Category Archives: War

Beware The Atavistic Dynamics Undergirding Two American Wars


By ilana mercer

Periodically, America experiences episodes of mass, hysterical contagion.

What is “hysterical contagion”? A sociologist explains it as the spread of symptoms of an illness among a group, absent any physiological disease. It provides a way of coping with a situation that cannot be handled with the usual coping mechanism.

For example, in 1983, girls in the West Bank fell ill, one after the other. Soon, all the schools and finally the entire community was engulfed, affected with the same symptoms. Arab doctors implicated the Israelis. The Israeli Occupation had poisoned the girls by gas to reduce their fertility. After a thorough medical workup, however, the girls were pronounced physically healthy.

The frenzied behavior known as mass hysteria or hysterical contagion is well documented. The Trump-Russia “collusion,” “obstruction of justice” probe qualifies, with an exception: This particular form of mass madness involves a meme, a story-line, rather than the physical symptoms observed in the West Bank.

Rumor recounted as fact for which no evidence can possibly be adduced: Indeed, the Establishment and opposition elites have poisoned the country’s collective consciousness. However, it’s the emotional pitch with which the Trump-Russia collusion group-think is delivered, day in and day out, that has gripped and inflamed irrational, febrile minds.

What sociology terms “a collective preoccupation” is fueled by organizational- and communication networks. Friendship networks (the liberal kind) and work organizations (government departments infested with like-minded individuals) serve as nodes in a system that transmits faulty signals across the synapses of this collective, damaged brain.

The storyline du jour is manufactured by America’s gilded elites. During the era of Bush II, DC operative Karl Rove put it plainly: “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality.”

When you’re the most powerful entity in the world, as the US government certainly is—the only government to have dropped nuclear bombs on civilian populations (“good” bombs, because dropped by the US)—you get to manufacture your own parallel universe with its unique rules of evidence and standards of proof. What’s more, as the mightiest rule-maker, you can coerce other earthlings into “sharing” your alternate reality. Or else.

The manufacturing of Fake News by the Deep State, circa 2017, is of a piece with the anatomy of the ramp-up to war in Iraq, in 2003. (Chronicled in achingly painful detail in Broad Sides: One Woman’s Clash With A Corrupt Culture.) Except that back then, Republicans, joined by diabolical Democrats like Hillary Clinton, were the ones dreaming up Homer Simpson’s Third Dimension.

Conscripted into America’s reality, Iraqis paid the price of this terrible American concoction. Hundreds of thousands of them were displaced and killed due to “Operation Iraqi Freedom.”

Because of Fake News generated so effectively by the likes of Judith Chalabi Miller, the Gray Lady’s prized reporter at the time, American soldiers paid dearly, as well. Miller shilled for that war over the pages of the New York Times like there was no tomorrow. She’s now a Fox News “specialist.”

To manufacture consent, elements in the intelligence community worked with neoconservative counterparts in Bush 43’s administration, in particularity with “the Office of Special Plans.” And while Fake News babes did wonders to sex up the cause of senseless killing—the dissemination of Fake News, vis-a-vis Iraq, was hardly the exclusive province of Fox News. With some laudable exceptions, Big Media all was tuned-out, turned-on and hot for war.

Now, it’s all-out war on Trump. Then it was war on Iraq.

Salient in 2003, as in 2017, was the monolithic quality of the cheer-leading coming from the networks; an unquestioning uniformity that spoke to a slutty sell-out throughout the media establishment. For journalistic jingoism, it’s impossible to best the coverage of the high-tech media extravaganza known as “Operation Iraqi Freedom.”

Embedded with the military turned out to be a euphemism for in bed with the military. Practically all network embeds focused exclusively on the Pentagon’s version of events, to the exclusion of reality on the Iraqi ground. Yet reporters who slept with their sources were treated as paragons of truth. Those of us who refused such cohabitation were labeled “unilaterals.” (This column paid with a syndication deal.)

Reporting hearsay as truth and failing to verify stories were all in a day’s work on cable and news networks. A Geiger counter that went off in the inexpert hands of a Marine, stationed in Iraq, became “Breaking News,” possible evidence of weapons-grade plutonium. Every bottle of Cipro tablets located was deemed a likely precursor to an anthrax factory. Anchormen and women somberly seconded these “finds,” seldom bothering to issue retractions.

To comprehend the hysterical mass contagion that is the war on Trump it’s essential to trace the contours of that other war, “Operation Iraqi Freedom,” and the way it was peddled to the American public.

The war on Trump could end badly. By “badly,” I don’t mean the violent silencing of conservatives and their speakers, the firebombing of Republican Party headquarters (October, 2016). Or, the attempted murder of Republicans representatives (June, 2017).

These are barbaric. But if past is prologue; the frenzy of inflamed imaginations could spill over into all-out war—against Russia, Iran or North Korea.

You’ve been warned.

*****

Ilana Mercer is the author of The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed (June, 2016) & Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa (2011). Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Gab & YouTube channel.

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Viva Obama (Reloaded)


Viva Obama! A View from the English Right
By Sean Gabb
Published in TakiMag
November 2012

Note: Since I am not an American, I have no right to feel disappointed by Mr Trump’s apparent pulling off his mask to show the usual neo-conservative skull beneath. I am disappointed, even so. I therefore offer some rather old thoughts on Mr Obama. They are sharply-expressed, but may turn out to contain less wishful-thinking than anything else I have written about American affairs. SIG Read more

Liberty in the Age of Trump: A Symposium, with Jim Turney


LIBERTY IN THE AGE OF TRUMP, WITH JIM TURNEY
SOUTH KENSINGTON
(4PM-6PM) 18TH FEBRUARY 2017

The Hoop and Toy (upstairs)
34 Thurloe Place, London, SW7 2HQ

Less than a month after the inauguration of Donald Trump as President of the United States, it is still unclear to many what exactly his presidency will mean for civil liberties, immigration, free markets, international trade, and war and peace. To discuss the Trump presidency and the US and European libertarian movements’ continued relevance, all are welcome to Mises UK’s intimate symposium in South Kensington featuring Jim Turney, former US Libertarian Party Chair. Free admission (donations welcome).
Read more

Rethinking Churchill


Ralph Raico

Rethinking Churchill

[This essay originally appears in The Costs of War: America’s Pyrrhic Victories, edited with an introduction by John V. Denson.]

Churchill as Icon

When, in a very few years, the pundits start to pontificate on the great question: “Who was the Man of the Century?” there is little doubt that they will reach virtually instant consensus. Inevitably, the answer will be: Winston Churchill. Indeed, Professor Harry Jaffa has already informed us that Churchill was not only the Man of the Twentieth Century, but the Man of Many Centuries.[1] Read more

HORSEMEN OF THE APOCALYPSE (Ron Olden)


Ron Olden

The behaviour of the West (including the media), in the persons of various Neo ‘Conservatives’ and liberals, in our dealings with the Middle East since 2001, has been a disgrace. And it shows no sign of abating.

This chaos was entirely caused by the West when it reduced Iraq to anarchy. You cannot remove all civil authority in a country and then abandon it, and especially not, when it is surrounded by pseudo religious murderous suicidal lunatics, and self interested dictatorships of the nature that inhabit the region. Read more

Thoughts on the 11th September 2001


Thoughts on the 11th September 2001
by Sean Gabb
(5th September 2002)

Introductory

On the 11th September 2001, I started out on holiday with Mrs Gabb to Greece. I was disembarking in a small airport when the bombings happened in America. We then drove off immediately to a small cottage in the hills above Chania, and did not go into town until we had eaten and drunk everything in the rather generous welcome pack left for us. When I did eventually hear about the bombings, I went back to the cottage and, looking out over the bay far beneath, wrote the following article in a lined exercise book I had bought for the purpose. Read more

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