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'War Made Easy' – The Iraq War 20 Years Later




March 18, 2023, marks the 20-year anniversary of the illegal US invasion of Iraq. Two decades later, over a million Iraqis have been killed, 37 million people have been displaced by the War on Terror, and none of the architects of the worst crime of the century have been held accountable.

In commemoration of the millions of lives lost and destroyed by the Iraq War and its consequences, The Real News Network is airing an exclusive showing of Norman Solomon’s War Made Easy, the acclaimed 2007 documentary produced by the Media Education Foundation at the height of the Iraq WarThis film was co-directed by Loretta Alper and Jeremy Earp, and is being shared with the permission of the filmmakers.

This critically acclaimed look at American war propaganda exhumes five decades of remarkable archival footage to show how presidents from both parties have relied on fear-driven political spin and craven media complicity to sell a succession of wars to the American people. The result is an invaluable introduction to how propaganda, public relations, and perception management function in democratic societies. Essential viewing for courses in media studies, political science, journalism, and US history.

Narrated by Sean Penn, and based on the bestselling book by renowned media analyst Norman Solomon.


GENERAL DOUGLAS MACARTHUR: Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world, and that God will preserve it always. These proceedings are closed.

1940s NEWSREEL VOICEOVER: The final United Nations victory has been won. The war is over. Peace is here.

A crowd of two million review the greatest parade of arms ever witnessed.

This is the news that electrified the world. Unconditional surrender. A new world of peace.

GENERAL DOUGLAS MACARTHUR: Today the guns are silent … The skies no longer rain death … The entire world lies quietly at peace.

VOICES OF NEWS REPORTERS: On the way American infantrymen once again hit the road toward Korea’s capital city of Seoul. On the way American infantry men …

And US Marines were ordered into the Dominican Republic as a rebel force collapses … Meanwhile US Marines have also taken center stage in South Vietnam …
This is what the war in Vietnam is all about …

The first wave of Marines landed in Grenada … encounter some twelve hundred US Marines would land in Grenada for several days along with …

Most of the Libyans were terrified with last night’s heavy bombing raid … President Bush’s decision to neutralize Panama’s General Manuel Noriega … Saddam Hussein’s reign of terror is over…
This is the beginning of the war in Iraq …

SEAN PENN: Since World War II we have seen a dramatic escalation in United States military actions around the globe, ranging from missile strikes and rapid troop deployments, to all out wars and occupations.

The reasons for these military interventions have varied, each involving complex geopolitical interests in different parts of the world at different times in US history. But the public face of these wars has not reflected this complexity.

Over the past five decades deliberation and debate about US military actions have largely been left to a closed circle of elite Washington policy makers, politicians and bureaucrats whose rationales for war have come into public view only with the release of leaked or declassified documents, often years after the bombs have been dropped and the troops have come home.

In real time, officials have explained and justified these military operations to the American people by withholding crucial information about the actual reasons and potential costs of military action – again and again choosing to present an easier version of war’s reality … a steady and remarkably consistent storyline designed not to inform, but to generate and maintain support and enthusiasm for war.

Nationally syndicated columnist and author Norman Solomon began to notice the basic contours of this official storyline during the war in Vietnam.

NORMAN SOLOMON: As a teenager I read about the war in Vietnam as it escalated. I saw the footage on television.

VIETNAM ERA REPORTER (UNIDENTIFIED): In combat there are no niceties. A dead enemy soldier is simply an object to be examined for documents and then removed as quickly as possible, sometimes crudely.

NORMAN SOLOMON: People that I knew began to go to Vietnam in uniform of the US military. And as time went on I began to wonder, particularly as I became draft age, about the truthfulness of the statements coming from the White House and top officials in Washington.

PRESIDENT LYNDON JOHNSON: We fight for the principle of self-determination. That the people of South Vietnam should be able to choose their own course, choose it in free elections, without violence, without terror and without fear.

NORMAN SOLOMON: And through that process I began to really wonder about whether we were getting more truth or lies.

SEAN PENN: In the years since, Solomon has focused his attention on a set of striking parallels between the selling of the Vietnam War and the way Presidents have rallied public support for subsequent military actions.

NORMAN SOLOMON: Looking back on the Vietnam War, as I did many times, I had a very eerie feeling that while the names of the countries changed, and of course each circumstance was different, there were some parallels that cried out for examination.

Rarely if ever does a war just kind of fall down from the sky. The foundation needs to be laid, and the case is built, often with deception.

COLD WAR PROPAGANDA FILM: In the background was the growing struggle between two great powers to shape the post-war world. Already an iron curtain had dropped around Poland, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria …

It can’t happen here? Well, this is what it looks like if it should …

Chief of police is hustled off to jail. Public utilities are seized by Fifth Columnists. Editor who operates under a free press, he goes to jail too …

This will account for some of the enemy, but some will get through to your home …

SEAN PENN: The use of propaganda to arouse public support for war is not new. Leaders throughout history have turned to propaganda to transform populations understandably wary of the costs of war into war’s most ardent supporters – invoking images of nationalism, and channeling fear and anger towards perceived enemies and threats.

And in the United States since World War II, government attempts to win public support for military actions have followed a similar pattern.

FIFTIES PROPAGANDA FILM: We are living in an era marked by the growth of socialism. It’s basic godless philosophy —

Lying, dirty …
It’s goal of world conquest — Shrewd, godless …

Its insidious tactics —
Murderous, determined …
And its cunning strategy —
It’s an international criminal conspiracy.

NORMAN SOLOMON: It’s the same sort of message that’s utilized today and often identical techniques.

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH (MONTAGE): States like these and their terrorist allies constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world.

These are barbaric people.

Servants of evil.

The cult of evil.

A monumental struggle of good versus evil. But good will prevail.

NORMAN SOLOMON: Whether it’s the Soviet Union or Al Qaeda, it provides a way to legitimize US plans for war.

You have the comparison between the enemy leader and Hitler.

PETER JENNINGS, ABC: President Bush called Saddam Hussein a little Hitler again today.

PRESIDENT GEORGE H.W. BUSH: We are dealing with Hitler revisited.

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Bin Laden and his terrorist allies have made their intentions as clear as Lenin and Hitler before them.

NORMAN SOLOMON: We don’t get information that would help us put the images in perspective

PRESIDENT REAGAN: This mad dog of the Middle East … I find that he’s not only a barbarian, but he’s flakey.

PRESIDENT GEORGE H.W. BUSH: The drug indicted, drug related, indicted dictator of Panama …

NEWS REPORTER (UNIDENTIFIED): And to support their claim that Noriega was out of control, ghoulish evidence of Satanic practices with dead animals that one official called “kinky.”

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Saddam Hussein is a homicidal dictator who is addicted to weapons of mass destruction.

NORMAN SOLOMON: And as Aldous Huxley said long ago – it’s more powerful to often leave things out than it is to tell lies. For instance, quite often the US government directly helped the dictators that we’re now being told must be overthrown. And it’s that selectivity of history that’s a very effective form of propaganda.

SEAN PENN: This selective view of reality, buttressed by these fear-based appeals, represents a larger pre-war pattern: the repeated claim that the United States uses military force only with great reluctance —

PRESIDENT LYNDON JOHNSON: We still seek no wider war.

PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: The United States does not start fights.

PRESIDENT GEORGE H.W. BUSH: America does not seek conflict.

PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON: I don’t like to use military force.

PRESIDENT GEORGE W BUSH: Out nation enters this conflict reluctantly

SEAN PENN: And only for the most virtuous of reasons: first and foremost, to spread freedom and democracy.

PRESIDENT LYNDON JOHNSON: We want nothing for ourselves, only that the people of South Vietnam be allowed to guide their own country in their own way.

NORMAN SOLOMON: The rhetoric of democracy is part of the process of convincing people that even though unpleasant things must be done sometimes in its name, like bombing other countries, democracy is really what it’s about.

PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: The United States has been engaged in an effort to stop the advance of communism in Central America by doing what we do best: by supporting democracy.

NORMAN SOLOMON: And it’s almost as though repeating it enough times makes it so.

PRESIDENT LYNDON JOHNSON: Our cause of liberty, our cause of freedom, our cause of compassion and understanding.

PRESIDENT GEORGE H.W. BUSH: People want democracy, peace, and the chance for a better life and dignity and freedom.

PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON: We want to lift lives around the world, not take them.

NORMAN SOLOMON: These are forms of propaganda that are insidious, because they tug at our heartstrings.

PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON: We must get the Kosovo refugees home safely. Mine fields will have to be cleared. Homes destroyed by Serb forces have to be rebuilt. Homeless people in need of food and medicine —

NORMAN SOLOMON: Of course, we want to help other people. These are propaganda messages that say don’t just think of yourself, America can’t just be selfish. It makes bombing other people ultimately seem like an act of kindness, of altruism.

PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON: Today, our armed forces joined our NATO allies in air strikes against Serbian forces responsible for the brutality in Kosovo.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: It was another devastating hit against Yugoslavia’s capital.

PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON: We are upholding our values, protecting our interests and advancing the cause of peace.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Belgrade’s largest heating plant up in flames.

PRESIDENT GEORGE H.W. BUSH: And even as planes of the multinational forces attack Iraq, I prefer to think of peace, not war.

NORMAN SOLOMON: If my motives are pure, then the fact that I’m killing people may not be too upsetting. As a matter of fact, it may indicate that I’m killing people for very good reasons.

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: America will stand with the allies of freedom to support democratic movements in the Middle East and beyond, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world.

NORMAN SOLOMON: And so, you have kind of the high-ground president with the lofty motives being proclaimed. We’re told that peace is being sought, alternatives to war are being explored. And that’s kind of, you know, the official story.

PRESIDENT LYNDON JOHNSON: And I am continuing and I am increasing the search for every possible path to peace.

NORMAN SOLOMON: Whether we’re talking about President Johnson or President Nixon or the president today, you have one chief executive after another in the White House saying how much they love peace and hate war.

PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: We maintain our strength in order to deter and defend against aggression, to preserve freedom and peace.

PRESIDENT GEORGE H.W. BUSH: No one, friend or foe, should doubt our desire for peace.

PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON: The United States wants peace. PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: We seek peace. We strive for peace.

NORMAN SOLOMON: Every president of the last half-century has gone out of his way to say that he wanted peace and wanted to avoid war.

PRESIDENT RICHARD NIXON: I pledged in my campaign for the presidency to end the war in a way that we could win the peace.

NORMAN SOLOMON: Even while ordering military action. NIXON WHITE HOUSE TAPES:

PRESIDENT RICHARD NIXON: I still think we ought to take the dikes out now. Will that drown people?

HENRY KISSINGER: That would drown about 200,000 people.
PRESIDENT RICHARD NIXON: Well, no, no, no. I’d rather use the nuclear bomb. HENRY KISSINGER: That, I think, would just be too much.
PRESIDENT RICHARD NIXON: The nuclear bomb? Does that bother you?
HENRY KISSINGER: [inaudible]
PRESIDENT RICHARD NIXON: I just want you to think big, Henry, for Christ’s sake.

NORMAN SOLOMON: So you have this paradox, in a way, of the President, who has just ordered massive military violence and lethal action by the Pentagon, turning around and saying, I want to oppose violence and promote peace.

PRESIDENT RICHARD NIXON: I respect your idealism. I share your concern for peace. I want peace as much as you do.

NORMAN SOLOMON: Actually, war becomes perpetual when it’s used as a rationale for peace.

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: We cannot wait for the final proof, the smoking gun, that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud.

NORMAN SOLOMON: As Americans, we like to think that we’re not subjected to propaganda from our own government, certainly that we’re not subjected to propaganda that’s trying to drag the country into war, as in the case of setting the stage for the invasion of Iraq.

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.

VICE PRESIDENT DICK CHENEY: There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.

DONALD RUMSFELD: Weapons of mass destruction. ARI FLEISCHER: Botulin, VX, Sarin, nerve agent. PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Iraq and al-Qaeda. RICHARD ARMITAGE: Al-Qaeda.

DONALD RUMSFELD: Cyber-attacks.
ARI FLEISCHER: Nuclear program.

COLIN POWELL: Biological weapons.
DONALD RUMSFELD: Cruise missiles, ballistic missiles. ARI FLEISCHER: Chemical and biological weapons. DONALD RUMSFELD: Iraq has weapons of mass destruction.

ARI FLEISCHER: President Bush has said Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. Tony Blair has said Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. Donald Rumsfeld has said Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. Richard Butler has said they do. The United Nations has said they do. The experts have said they do. Iraq says they don’t. You can choose who you want to believe.

NORMAN SOLOMON: The war propaganda function in the United States is finely tuned, it’s sophisticated, and most of all, it blends into the media terrain.

SHEPARD SMITH: The White House says it can prove that Saddam Hussein does have weapons of mass destruction, claiming it has solid evidence.

DAN RATHER: The White House insisted again today it does have solid evidence that Saddam Hussein is hiding an arsenal of prohibited weapons.

NORMAN SOLOMON: It’s necessary to provide a drumbeat media echo effect.

JOHN GIBSON: They might fight dirty, using weapons of mass destruction — chemical, biological or radioactive.

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER: There are ties between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda — BILL O’REILLY: Anthrax, smallpox.
TOM BROKAW: Dirty bomb.

BRIT HUME: Iraq-al-Qaeda connection.

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER: Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda share the same goal: they want to see — both of them — both of them want to see Americans dead.

NORMAN SOLOMON: And I was very struck by the acceptance, the tone of most of the media coverage, as the sabers was rattled, as the invasion of Iraq gradually went from possible to probable to almost certain.

DAVID LEE MILLER: The President essentially giving Saddam forty-eight hours to get out of Dodge. War now seems all but inevitable.

GREGG JARRETT: Short of a bullet to the back of his head or he leaves the country, war is inexorable.

UNIDENTIFIED: Well, I think that’s exactly right. War is inevitable, and it is approaching inexorably.

WOLF BLITZER: Is war with Iraq inevitable right now?
LAWRENCE EAGLEBURGER: I think it’s 95% inevitable.
CHRIS BURY: You, at this point, right now tonight, don’t see any other option but war.

CHRIS BURY: I’m asking you, Ambassador.

WESLEY CLARK: I agree. I don’t think there’s a viable option for the administration at this point. We’re way too far out front in this.

MAJOR BOB BEVELACQUA: You sent us over there, guys. Let’s get on with it. Let’s get it over with.

MSNBC AD: Showdown Iraq. If America goes to war, turn to MSNBC and “The Experts.”

NORMAN SOLOMON: And in many ways, the US news media were equal partners with the officials in Washington and on Capitol Hill in setting the agenda for war.

MSNBC AD: We’ll take you there.

NORMAN SOLOMON: And although it’s called the liberal media, one has a great deal of difficulty finding an example of major media outlets, in their reporting, challenging the way in which the agenda setting for war is well underway. And when that reporting is so much a hostage of official sources, that’s when you have a problem.

CNN: US officials tell CNN —

CNN REPORTER: Bush official says —

CNN REPORTER: Analysts say —

AARON BROWN: Pentagon officials tell us —

DAVID MARTIN: According to US intelligence —

NORMAN SOLOMON: Often, we’re encouraged to believe that officials are the ones who make news.

JOHN KING: US officials say —
US officials say that —
US officials here say —
Officials here at the White House tell us —

NORMAN SOLOMON: They are the ones who should be consulted to understand the situation.

COLIN POWELL: I just pull these two things out — I’ve laundered them, so you can’t really tell what I’m talking about, because I don’t want the Iraqis to know what I’m talking about, but trust me. Trust me.

NORMAN SOLOMON: If history is any guide, the opposite is the case: the officials blow smoke and cloud reality, rather than clarify.

VICE PRESIDENT DICK CHENEY: We will, in fact, be greeted as liberators.

PAUL WOLFOWITZ: The notion that it will take several hundred thousand US troops to provide stability in post-Saddam Iraq are wildly off the mark.

DONALD RUMSFELD: So the money’s going to come from Iraqi oil revenue, as everyone has said. They think it’s going to be something like $2 billion this year. They think it might be something like $15, $12 [billion] next year.

PAUL WOLFOWITZ: A country that can really finance its own reconstruction and relatively soon.

TOM BROKAW: National Security Advisors Ken Adelman and Richard Perle, early advocates of the war, said the war would be a cakewalk.

NORMAN SOLOMON: The sources that have deceived us so constantly don’t deserve our trust, and to the extent that we give them our trust, we set ourselves up to be scammed again and again.

REPORTER: There are reports that there is no evidence of a direct link between Baghdad and some of these terrorist organizations.

DONALD RUMSFELD: There are known knowns. There are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns. That is to say, we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don’t know we don’t know.

REPORTER: Excuse me, but is this an “unknown unknown”?
REPORTER: Just several unknowns, and I’m wondering if this is an unknown unknown. DONALD RUMSFELD: I’m not going to say which it is.
REPORTER: But, Mr. Secretary, do you believe —

DONALD RUMSFELD: I’m right here. I’m right here. REPORTER: If you believe something —

SEAN PENN: In the run-up to the war in Iraq, the failure of mainstream news organizations to raise legitimate questions about the government’s rush to war was compounded by the networks’ deliberate decision to stress military perspectives before any fighting had even begun.

AARON BROWN: We’ve got generals and, if you ask them about the prospects for war with Iraq, they think it is almost certain.

SEAN PENN: CNN’s use of retired generals as supposedly independent experts reinforced a decidedly military mindset, even as serious questions remained about the wisdom and necessity of going to war.

NORMAN SOLOMON: Often journalists blame the government for the failure of the journalists themselves to do independent reporting. But nobody forced the major networks like CNN to do so much commentary from retired generals and admirals and all the rest of it. You had a top CNN official named Eason Jordan going on the air of his network and boasting that he had visited the Pentagon with a list of possible military commentators, and he asked officials at the Defense Department whether that was a good list of people to hire.

EASON JORDAN: Oh, I think it’s important to have experts explain the war and to describe the military hardware, describe the tactics, talk about the strategy behind the conflict. I went to the Pentagon myself several times before the war started and met with important people there and said, for instance, at CNN, here are the generals we’re thinking of retaining to advise us on the air and off about the war, and we got a big thumbs up on all of them. That was important.

NORMAN SOLOMON: It wasn’t even something to hide, ultimately. It was something to say to the American people on its own network, “See, we’re team players. We may be the news media, but we’re on the same side and the same page as the Pentagon.” And that really runs directly counter to the idea of an independent press, and that suggests that we have some deep patterns of media avoidance when the US is involved in a war based on lies.


SEAN PENN: In 1964, President Lyndon Johnson falsely claimed that an attack on US gun ships by North Vietnamese forces in the Gulf of Tonkin gave him no choice but to escalate the war in Vietnam.

PRESIDENT LYNDON JOHNSON: …that renewed hostile actions against United States ships on the high seas in the Gulf of Tonkin have today required me to order the military forces of the United States to take action and reply.

NORMAN SOLOMON: Routinely, the official story is a lie or a deception or a partial bit of information that leaves out key facts.

US NAVY FILM, 1964: In international waters in the Gulf of Tonkin, destroyers of the United States Navy are assigned routine patrols from time to time. Sunday, August the 2nd, 1964, the destroyer Maddox was on such a patrol. Shortly after noon, the calm of the day is broken as general quarters sound. In a deliberate and unprovoked action, three North Vietnam PT boats unleash a torpedo attack against the Maddox.

NORMAN SOLOMON: The official story about the Gulf of Tonkin was a lie.

DEFENSE SECRETARY ROBERT MCNAMARA: The destroyer was carrying out a mission of patrol in those waters, in international waters, when it was attacked.

NORMAN SOLOMON: But it quickly became accepted as the absolute truth by the news media, and because of the press’s refusal to challenge that story, it was much easier for Congress to quickly pass the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which was pivotal, because it opened the floodgates to the Vietnam War.

SEN. WILLIAM FULBRIGHT: I think it’s a very clear demonstration of the unity of the country behind the policies that are being followed by the President in South Vietnam and, more specifically, of the action that was taken in response to the attack upon our destroyers.

NORMAN SOLOMON: At that point, the facts were secondary. In the case of the Washington Post reporting, I asked more than three decades later whether there had ever been a Post retraction of its reporting on the Gulf of Tonkin events, and I called the newspaper and eventually reached the man who had been the chief diplomatic correspondent for the paper at the time, Murrey Marder, and I said, “Mr. Marder, has there ever been a retraction by the Washington Post of its fallacious reporting on the Gulf of Tonkin?” And he said, “I can assure you it never happened. There was never any retraction.” And I asked why. And he said, “Well, if the news media were going to retract its reporting on the Gulf of Tonkin, it would have to retract its reporting on virtually the entire Vietnam War.”

Fast forward a few decades, you have President George W. Bush saying that to an absolute certainty there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and that intelligence sources told him that clearly, which was not at all the case.

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Secretary of State Powell will present information and intelligence about Iraq’s illegal weapons programs, its attempts to hide those weapons from inspectors and its links to terrorist groups.

SEAN PENN: The failure of American news media to check government distortion reached new heights when, on the eve of war, the highly respected Secretary of State Colin Powell appeared before the United Nations to make the case that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

COLIN POWELL: Saddam Hussein’s intentions have never changed. He is not developing the missiles for self-defense. These are missiles that Iraq wants in order to project power, to threaten and to deliver chemical, biological and, if we let him, nuclear warheads.

AARON BROWN: Today, Secretary of State Powell brought the United Nations Security Council, the administration’s best evidence so far.

NORMAN SOLOMON: After Colin Powell’s speech to the UN, immediately the US press applauded with great enthusiasm.

AARON BROWN: Did Colin Powell close the deal today, in your mind, for anyone who has yet objectively to make up their mind?

HENRY KISSINGER: I think for anybody who analyzes the situation, he has closed the deal.

SEAN HANNITY (MONTAGE): This irrefutable, undeniable, incontrovertible evidence today …

Colin Powell brilliantly delivered that smoking gun today … Colin Powell was outstanding today …

I mean, it was lockstep — it was so compelling, I don’t see how anybody, at this point, cannot support this effort.

ALAN COLMES: He made a wonderful presentation. I thought he made a great case for the purpose of disarmament.

MORT KONDRACKE (MONTAGE): It was devastating, I mean, and overwhelming …

Overwhelming abundance of the evidence. Point after point after point with — he just flooded the terrain with data.

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: It’s the end of the argument phase. America has made its case.

BRIT HUME: The Powell speech has moved the ball.

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: I think the case is closed.

NORMAN SOLOMON: But at the time, it was quite possible to analyze and debunk what he was saying.

SEAN PENN: Whereas the British press and other international news sources immediately raised legitimate questions about the accuracy of Powell’s presentation. the major US news media were virtually silent about the factual basis of his claims and near unanimous in their praise.

NORMAN SOLOMON: Even the purportedly antiwar New York Times editorialized the next day that Colin Powell had made a sober case, a factual case. One of the great myths and part of the war propaganda cycle is, way after the fact, to claim that it couldn’t have been known at the time that US officials were lying us into war. And in point of fact, it was known at the time and said by many people who were not allowed on the networks, by and large.

SEAN PENN: One such critical voice belonged to MSNBC’s Phil Donahue, one of the few mainstream media commentators who consistently challenged the official storyline coming out of Washington.

PHIL DONAHUE: And, you know, we’re all now — everybody’s righteous, what a terrible Hitler this is. We were mute when he was doing that. He was our SOB, and now we’re sending our sons and daughters to war to fix that mistake. It doesn’t seem fair to me.

SEAN PENN: Despite being the highest-rated program on MSNBC, Donahue’s show was abruptly cancelled by the network just three weeks before the start of the war.

NORMAN SOLOMON: Phil Donahue was an antiwar voice on MSNBC, one of the cable news channels, and a memo that was leaked as the Donahue show was cancelled is very explicit. It said, we don’t want this to be a face of NBC as the United States goes into war. This guy puts antiwar voices on our network.

JIM JENNINGS: The American people need to know there is no just cause for this war.

PHYLLIS BENNIS: But there’s no evidence that there is even a weapon that exists in that country yet.

JEFF COHEN: Journalists, too many of them — some quite explicitly — have said that they see their mission as helping the war effort. And if you define your mission that way, you’ll end up suppressing news that might be important, accurate, but maybe isn’t helpful to the war effort.

NORMAN SOLOMON: We don’t want to have that kind of public persona, when then we’d be vulnerable to charges that we’re unpatriotic. It will make it more difficult to keep

pace with the flag wavers at FOX or CNN, or whatever. And more broadly, news media are very worried, not only government pressure, but advertiser pressure, criticism from readers, listeners and viewers. “Gee, our soldiers are in the field. You got to support them. Don’t raise these tough questions.”

PAT BUCHANAN: It seems to me that the right thing to do for patriots when American lives are at risk and Americans are dying is to unite behind the troops until victory is won. Now, on this show, Buchanan and Press, we’ve had a good debate for eight months on this conflict, but now it seems when the war comes, the debate ends. I think unity, Bill, is essential at this time, or at least when the guns begin to fire.

NORMAN SOLOMON: It’s a very effective tactic, at least in the short run, to a large extent, to say, look, you’ve got to support the troops.

PRO-WAR COUNTER-PROTESTER: You’re killing the troops! You’re killing the troops!

NORMAN SOLOMON: And that’s an effort to conflate supporting the troops with supporting the President’s policies.

BILL O’REILLY: Once the war against Saddam begins, we expect every American to support our military, and if they can’t do that, to shut up.

SEAN PENN: In addition to Phil Donahue, many other journalists have been silenced for crossing the mythical line known as objectivity.

BRIT HUME: Today, NBC fired journalist Peter Arnett this morning for participating in an interview on Iraqi state-controlled television.

PETER JENNINGS: Arnett criticized American war planning and said his reports about civilian casualties in the Iraqi resistance were encouraging to antiwar protesters in America.

NORMAN SOLOMON: If you’re pro-war, you’re objective. But if you’re antiwar, you’re biased. And often, a news anchor will get no flak at all for making statements that are supportive of a war and wouldn’t dream of making a statement that’s against a war.

TED KOPPEL: I must say, I was trying to think of — I was trying to think of something that would be appropriate to say on an occasion like this, and as is often the case, the best you can come up with is something that Shakespeare wrote for Henry V, “Wreak havoc and unleash the dogs of war.”

NORMAN SOLOMON: And that is a tip-off to just how skewed the media terrain is. We should keep in mind that CNN, which many believe to be a liberal network, had a memo from their top news executive, Walter Isaacson, in the fall of 2001, as the missiles were falling in Afghanistan, telling the anchors and the reporters, “You need to remind people,

any time you show images on the screen of the people who are dying in Afghanistan, you’ve got to remind the American viewers that it’s in the context of what happened on 9/11,” as though people could forget 9/11.

NIC ROBERTSON: We talked to several people who told us that various friends and relatives had died in the bombing there in that collateral damage. Nic Robertson, CNN, Kandahar, Afghanistan.

JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN: And we would just remind you, as we always do now with these reports from inside the Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, that you’re seeing only one side of the story, that these US military actions that Nic Robertson was talking about are in response to a terrorist attack that killed 5,000 and more innocent people inside the United States.

BILL HEMMER, CNN: And we juxtapose what we’re hearing from the Taliban with a live picture of the clean-up that continues in Lower Manhattan, Ground Zero, again, a twenty-four-hour operation that has not ebbed. 5,000 killed that day back on Tuesday, September 11, their biggest crime, as civilians, going to work that day.

NORMAN SOLOMON: And yet, we know statistically — the best estimates tell us — that more civilians were killed by that bombing in Afghanistan than those who died in the Twin Towers in New York. And the moral objections that could be raised to slaughtering civilians in the name of retaliation against 9/11, those objections were muted by the phrase “war on terror,” by the way in which it was used by the White House and Congress and also by the news media.

SEAN PENN: Free flows of information have been further blocked by a more general atmosphere of contempt for antiwar voices.

MICHELLE MALKIN: Among them are a group called CODEPINK, which is headed by Medea Benjamin, who’s a terrorist sympathizer, dictator-worshiping propagandist.

BILL O’REILLY: The far-left element in America is a destructive force that must be confronted.

RUSH LIMBAUGH: Some Americans, sadly, not interested in victory, and yet they want us to believe that their behavior is patriotic. Well, it’s not.

STEVE MALZBERG: To call the president stupid, he doesn’t know much about anything, that’s just great. Go with Danny Glover and Susan Sarandon. You fit in perfect.

NEWT GINGRICH: To in any way be defending a torturer, a killer, a dictator — he used chemical weapons against his own people — is pretty remarkable, but it’s a very long tradition in the Democratic Party.

JOE SCARBOROUGH: Pay no heed to the peaceniks and the left-wing rock stars. They’ve had their fifteen minutes of fame.

JONAH GOLDBERG: These people are essentially useless. They are reflexively opposed to war. It’s a principled position, but it’s the wrong position, and you can’t take them seriously as a strategic voice.

WOLF BLITZER: Millions and millions of useful people out there?

NORMAN SOLOMON: If you want to have democracy, you’ve got to have the free flow of information through the body politic. You can’t have these blockages. You can’t have the manipulation.

SEAN PENN: While mainstream journalists have rarely called attention in real time to failure of news media to provide necessary information and real debate, they have repeatedly pointed to their own failures well after wars have been launched.

CHRIS MATTHEWS: During the course of this war, there was a lot of snap-to in press coverage: we’re at war, the world’s changed, we have to root for the country to some extent. And yet, it seems something missing from this debate was a critical analysis of where it was taking us.

JIM LEHRER: Those of us in journalism never even looked at the issue of occupation. CHRIS MATTHEWS: Because?

JIM LEHRER: Because it just didn’t occur to us. We weren’t smart enough. You’d have had to gone against the grain.

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Right. You’d also come off as kind of a pointy head trying to figure out some obscure issue here —

JIM LEHRER: Yeah, exactly. Yeah.

CHRIS MATTHEWS: — when it’s good guys and bad guys.

JIM LEHRER: Yeah, negative. Negativism.

NORMAN SOLOMON: News media, down the road, will point out that there were lies about the Gulf of Tonkin or about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: I’m sorry to say, but certainly television, and perhaps to an extent my station, was intimidated by the administration and its foot soldiers at FOX News.

WOLF BLITZER: We should have been more skeptical.

NORMAN SOLOMON: But that doesn’t bring back any of the people who have died, who were killed in their own country or sent over by the President of the United States to kill in that country. So, after the fact, it’s all well and good to say, “Well, the system worked” or “The truth comes out.” But when it comes to life and death, the truth comes out too late.

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: My fellow citizens, at this hour, American and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger.

[news montage]

SEAN PENN: Once public support is in place and war is finally under way, the news media necessarily turns from covering the rationales for war to covering war itself.

NORMAN SOLOMON: When the President decides he wants the US to go to war, then the war becomes the product.

Particularly in the early stages, news coverage of war is much more like PR about war.

SEAN PENN: Influencing the nature of this war coverage has been a priority of one administration after another since Vietnam, when conventional wisdom held that it was negative media coverage that turned the American people against the war and forced US withdrawal. Since that time, and beginning with new urgency during the 1991 Gulf War, the Pentagon has worked with increasing sophistication to shape media coverage of war.

As then-Defense Secretary Dick Cheney noted about the importance of public perceptions during the first Iraq War, “Frankly, I looked on it as a problem to be managed. The information function was extraordinarily important. I did not have a lot of confidence that I could leave it to the press.”

NORMAN SOLOMON: So for the invasion of Grenada and invasion of Panama in ’83 and ’89, then the Gulf War in early 1991, it was like a produced TV show, and the main producers were at the Pentagon. They decided, in the case of the Gulf War, exactly what footage would be made available to the TV stations. They did nonstop briefings, utilizing the increasing importance of cable television. They named it Operation Desert Storm.

DAN RATHER: Breaking news of what’s now officially called Operation Desert Storm. TOM BROKAW: Good evening. Operation Desert Storm rages on.

NORMAN SOLOMON: All that sort of stuff was very calculated, so you could look at that as an era of media war manipulation from the standpoint of the US government. Then you had a different era. You had the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

DAN RATHER: Scores of American reporters have now joined US military units in Kuwait as part of the Pentagon’s effort to make any war with Iraq what the Pentagon calls a media-friendly campaign. Another part that effort is on display at the US Military Command Center in Qatar. A Hollywood set designer was brought in to create a $200,000 backdrop for official war briefings.

NORMAN SOLOMON: And tied in with that is the worship of Pentagon technology.

HANSON HOSEIN: I’ve fallen almost in love with the F/A-18 Super Hornet, because it’s quite a versatile plane.

BRIAN WILSON: I’ve got to tell you, my favorite aircraft, the A-10 Wart Hog, I love the Wart Hogs.

JOHN ELLIOTT: This morning, around 4:00 a.m. local time, the first three took off. And when you’re 300 feet away from them, when they do it, you hear it in your shoes and feel it in your gut.

SEAN PENN: The Pentagon’s influence on war coverage has also been evident in the news media’s tendency to focus on the technical sophistication of the latest weaponry.

GREGG JARRETT: Should they have used more? Should they, you know, use a MOAB, the mother of all bombs, and a few daisy cutters? And, you know, let’s not just stop at a couple of cruise missiles.

JAMIE McINTYRE: The newest, biggest, baddest US bomb —

GENERAL BARRY MCCAFFREY: We’ll pound them with 2,000-pound bombs and then go in —

PAT BUCHANAN: 2000-pound bombs in urban areas? GENERAL BARRY MCCAFFREY: Oh, sure.

LESTER HOLT: I’m holding in my hand here the F-117 Stealth Fighter, was used in these attacks significantly —

GRETA VAN SUSTERN: How do you steer this thing? I mean, there’s no — you have a stick, is that right?

PILOT: Sure. Both of us have a matching center stick with left throttles. You can do every —

NORMAN SOLOMON: Every war, we have US news media that have praised the latest in the state-of-the-art killing technology, from the present moment to the war in Vietnam.

WALTER CRONKITE: B-57s — the British call them Canberra jets — we’re using them very effectively here in this war in Vietnam to dive-bomb the Vietcong in these jungles beyond Da Nang here. Colonel, what’s our mission we’re about to embark on?

AIR FORCE COLONEL: Well, our mission today, sir, is to report down to the site of the ambush seventy miles south of here and attempt to kill the VC.

WALTER CRONKITE: The colonel has just advised me that that is our target area right over there. One, two, three, four, we dropped our bomb, but now a tremendous G-load as we pull out of that dive. Oh, I know something of what those astronauts must go through.

Well, colonel.


WALTER CRONKITE: It’s a great way to go to war.

NORMAN SOLOMON: And there’s a kind of idolatry there. Some might see it as worship of the gods of metal.

UNIDENTIFIED: That’s the JDAM. It is a 2,000-pound bomb that is deadly accurate, and that is the thing that is allowing us — allowed us in Afghanistan and will allow us in this next conflict to be terribly accurate, terribly precise and terribly destructive.

SEAN PENN: In fact, even as US military technology has become increasingly sophisticated with the development of so-called smart bombs and other forms of precision-guided weaponry, civilian casualties now greatly outnumber military deaths, a grim toll that has steadily increased since World War I.

TEXT BOX (MOTION GRAPHIC): During World War I, 10% of all casualties were civilians.

During World War II, the number of civilian deaths rose to 50%.

During the Vietnam War 70% of all casualties were civilians.

In the war in Iraq, civilians account for 90% of all deaths.

UNIDENTIFIED: This is the beginning of the shock-and-awe campaign, according to one official, this is going to be the entire nine yards.

TOM BROKAW: It was a breathtaking display of firepower.

NORMAN SOLOMON: There’s kind of an acculturated callousness towards what happens at the other end of US weapons.

LESTER HOLT: Behind the flight deck, the weapons officer who goes by the call sign Oasis, will never see the ground or the target, for that matter. The airfield is simply a fuzzy image on his radar.

NORMAN SOLOMON: And this is another very insidious aspect of war propaganda. There’s a bias involved, where, because the United States has access to high-tech military weaponry, that somehow to slaughter people from 30,000 feet in the air or a thousand feet in the air from high-tech machinery is somehow moral, whereas strapping on a suicide belt and blowing people up is seen as the exact opposite.

DONALD RUMSFELD: The targeting capabilities, and the care that goes into targeting, to see that the precise targets are struck, and that other targets are not struck, is as impressive as anything anyone could see. The care that goes into it, the humanity that goes into it, to see that military targets are destroyed to be sure, but that it’s done in a way and in a manner and in a direction and with a weapon that is appropriate to that very particularized target. The weapons that are being used today have a degree of precision that no one ever dreamt of.

SEAN PENN: Within this war friendly news frame the Defense Department has also been successful in shaping actual war reporting. Its influence reached new levels with the embedding of journalists during the war in Iraq.

NEWS REPORT: The Pentagon tightly controlled the media during the 1991 Persian Gulf War – limiting where reporters could go and often restricting access to small groups of pool reporters. This time the Pentagon is doing an about face after running more than 230 journalists through media boot camps, the Pentagon is inviting more than 500 media representatives to accompany US combat units to war.

SEAN PENN: Despite being widely praised as a new form of realism in war coverage, the strategy of embedding reporters has raised new questions about the ability of war reporters to convey balanced information to the American people.

NORMAN SOLOMON: Rather than being kept far away, they were embraced and smothered and participated in the process of being smothered. They were brought along, hundreds and hundreds of them, with the Marines, with the Navy, with the Army. They became, in a sense, part of the invading apparatus. You didn’t have embedded reporters with people who were being bombed; you only had embedded reporters with the bombers.

NEWS REPORTER: Last night a tremendous light show here, just a tremendous light show.

NORMAN SOLOMON: And it was through the eyes of the invaders that so much of the reporting was done.

WALTER ROGERS, CNN: It was a gradual process of getting to know and trust each other. And for them trusting me was knowing I would not blow their objective and get us all shelled with artillery.

NORMAN SOLOMON: People who were correspondents for the major US TV networks would express in no uncertain terms that they had been bonding very closely with the US soldiers

SHEPARD SMITH: We have a number of correspondents in bed [SIC] with our troops across the region.

PETER JENNINGS: Very deeply embedded in a personal way with the marines he is traveling with …

NORMAN SOLOMON: And you had correspondents saying that you know, “I would do virtually anything for them, they would do anything for me.” There was all this camaraderie.

RICK LEVENTHAL, FOX NEWS: We had guys around us with guns and they were intent on keeping us alive, because, they said, “You guys are making us stars back home and we need to protect you.”

NORMAN SOLOMON: That’s very nice, but it has nothing to do with independent journalism, which we never need more than in times of war. It was a very shrewd effort by the Pentagon to say, “You want access, here’s plenty of access.”

DONALD RUMSFELD: I doubt that in a conflict of this type there’s ever been the degree of free press coverage as you are witnessing in this instance.

NORMAN SOLOMON: And the embedding process was actually a new wrinkle in an old game – which was, and is, propaganda for war.

SEAN PENN: Praise for the embedding process as a step forward in balanced war reporting has often invoked comparisons to media coverage of the Vietnam War.

NORMAN SOLOMON: A myth has kind of grown up after the Vietnam that the reporting was very tough, that Americans saw on their television sets the brutality of the war as it unfolded. And people often hark back to that as a standard that should now be rediscovered or emulated.

MORLEY SAFER: This is what the war in Vietnam is all about.

NORMAN SOLOMON: Yes, there was exceptional reporting, but it was the exception. And so you had the Zippo lighters being used by the GI’s burning down the huts of a village that Morley Safer on CBS reported. Well, people mention that actually because it wasunusual. Andinpointoffactverylittleaboutthetremendousviolenceinthatwar

was conveyed through the television set, especially when the US government was responsible for the human suffering. That is in a way the most taboo – to show in detail, graphic human detail, what’s involved when bombs, missiles, mortars paid for by US taxpayers do what their designed to do … which is to kill and to maim.

PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: I know that this is a great concern, I think it’s part of the Vietnam syndrome.

WALTER CRONKITE: The Vietnam Syndrome that President Reagan mentioned was a reference to America’s attempt to forget its most unpopular war.

PRESIDENT GEORGE H.W. BUSH: This will not be another Vietnam. Our troops will have the best possible support in the entire world and they will not be asked to fight with one hand tied behind their back.

SEAN PENN: Like President Reagan before him, President George H.W. Bush explicitly set out during the first Gulf War to rid the national psyche of the so-called Vietnam Syndrome, the common belief after the bloody and protracted conflict in Vietnam that the American public no longer had the stomach for war unless guaranteed swift, easy and decisive victory.

DOCUMENTARY NARRATOR FROM TV SPECIAL “INSIDE THE PENTAGON”: Precision weapons and the strategic use of air power helped make the Gulf War an enormous operational victory for the Pentagon, helping it move past the legacy of Vietnam.

PRESIDENT GEORGE H.W. BUSH: It’s a proud day for America, and by God we’ve kicked Vietnam Syndrome once and for all. Thank you very, very much.

NORMAN SOLOMON: The idea is that supposedly the public is not willing to back strong military action because people have become too skittish about US casualties. In fact, if you look at the actual course of public opinion there’s been a real willingness to support wars without exception at the beginning.

Public support for the Second World War never fell below 77%, according to opinion polls. But during the Vietnam War, public support fell to about 30%, and within a couple of years of the US occupation of Iraq public support was down to almost 30% among the US population.

So what’s the difference? In one case, WWII, the US public never felt that the war was fundamentally based on deception. But if it emerges that the war can’t be won quickly, and that the war was based on deceptions, then people have turned against the war.

So, first, the public has to be sold on the need to attack. Then, after the war’s under way, withdrawal needs to be put forward as an unacceptable option.

PRESIDENT RICHARD NIXON: Withdrawal of all American forces from Vietnam would be a disaster.

PRESIDENT LYNDON JOHNSON: Let no one think for a moment that retreat from Vietnam would bring an end to conflict.

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: We’re not leaving, so long as I’m the President. That would be a huge mistake.

PRESIDENT RICHARD NIXON: Our allies would lose confidence in America.

PRESIDENT LYNDON JOHNSON: To yield to force in Vietnam would weaken that confidence.

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Any sign that says we’re going to leave before the job is done simply emboldens terrorists.

PRESIDENT RICHARD NIXON: A retreat of the United States from Vietnam would be a communist victory, a victory of massive proportions and would lead to World War III.

PRESIDENT LYNDON JOHNSON: If this little nation goes down the drain and can’t maintain their independence, ask yourself what’s going to happen to all the other little nations.

PRESIDENT RICHARD NIXON: It would not bring peace. It would bring more war.

NORMAN SOLOMON: And many propaganda lines become stock and trade of those who started the war in the first place.

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: The party of FDR and the party of Harry Truman has become the party of “cut and run.”

REP. J.D. HAYWORTH: The American people will not stand for surrender. REP. JEAN SCHMIDT: Cowards cut and run.
REP. PATRICK MCHENRY: They’re advocating a policy called “cut and run.” KARL ROVE: That party’s old pattern of cutting and running.

REP. CHARLIE NORWOOD: If we high-tailed it and cut and run — PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH (MONTAGE): We won’t cut and run. Cut and run.

Cut and run.
We will not cut and run.
Cut and run.
ANDERSON COOPER: Cut and run. Cut and run. How do you respond? PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH (MONTAGE): We will stay the course. We must stay the course.
We stay the course.
We will stay the course.
And we’re not going to cut and run, if I’m in the Oval Office.

NORMAN SOLOMON: All a president has to do is start a war, and these arguments kick in that you can’t stop it. So it’s a real incentive for a president to lie, to deceive, to manipulate sufficiently to get the war started. And then they’ve got a long way to go without any sort of substantive challenge that says, hey, this war has to end.

NEWS ANCHOR: Then appealing for public support for his peace policy, Mr. Nixon said, “The enemy cannot defeat or humiliate the United States. Only Americans,” he said, “can do that.”

PRESIDENT LYNDON JOHNSON: The peacemakers are out there in the field. The soldier and the statesman need and welcome the sincere and the responsible assistance of concerned Americans. But they need reason much more than they need emotion. They must have a practical solution and not a concoction of wishful thinking and false hopes, however well-intentioned and well-meaning they may be. It must be a solution that does not call for surrender or for cutting and running now. Those fantasies hold the nightmare of World War III and a much larger war tomorrow.

NORMAN SOLOMON: During the Vietnam War public opinion polls were showing after a few years into the early 1970’s that a majority of Americans felt the war was wrong, even immoral and yet the war continued because the momentum was there.

NEWS ANCHOR: Vice President Agnew’s target tonight, as he put it, was the professional pessimist. Most of those, the Vice President explained at a rally for California Republicans, are Democrats and it was all the kind of rhetoric Republican crowds have been enjoying on this tour.

VICE PRESIDENT AGNEW: In the United States today we have more than our share of the nattering nabobs of negativism.

NORMAN SOLOMON: The same has been the case in terms of the occupation of Iraq.

VICE PRESIDENT DICK CHENEY: The President and I cannot prevent certain politicians for losing their memory or their backbone but we’re not going to sit by and let them rewrite history.

NORMAN SOLOMON: And that’s an insidious process because often those who oppose a war are simply discounted.

SHEPARD SMITH: Congressman John Murtha, the first Vietnam Vet to serve in Congress, a man awarded a bronze star and two purple hearts, choking back tears as he talked about his change of heart.

CONGRESSMAN JOHN MURTHA: It’s time to bring them home. They’ve done everything they can do, the military has done everything they can do. This war has been so mishandled, from the very start, not only was the intelligence bad, the way they disbanded the troops, there’s all kinds of mistakes that have been made. They don’t deserve to continue to suffer. They’re the targets.

NORMAN SOLOMON: As an original supporter of the war and somebody known as a hawk – pro-military – inside the Congress, John Murtha, despite his credentials, he was not taken terribly seriously.

BRITT HUME, FOX NEWS: This guy has long passed the day when he had anything but the foggiest awareness of what the heck is going on in the world, and that sound byte is naiveté writ-large. And the man is an absolute fountain of such talk.

NORMAN SOLOMON: His recommendations to pull out US troops, discounted by pundits.

RICH LOWRY, FOX NEWS: Pennsylvania Congressman John Murtha once again sounding like the grim reaper when it comes to the war on terror.

UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: Murtha’s running a psyop against his own people …

CRAIG MINNICK: As a veteran, I consider it my duty to defend those who defend America against repeated public attacks by a politician who cares nothing more than political and personal gain than the welfare of our fellow Americans on the battlefield.

NORMAN SOLOMON: And yet you looked at the polls and you found that a large amount of Americans totally were in his corner on this.

CONGRESSMAN JOHN MURTHA: I go by Arlington cemetery every day. And the Vice President – he criticizes Democrats? Let me tell you, those gravestones don’t say Democrat or Republican. They say American! [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

NORMAN SOLOMON: And almost any analysis of public opinion data, laid side-by- side with what news media are or are not advocating in terms of editorials, will show that the media establishment is way behind the grassroots. In February of 1968, the Boston Globe did a survey of 39 different major US daily newspapers. The Globe could not find a single paper that had editorialized for withdrawal of US troops from Vietnam.

PROTESTORS AT NIXON STADIUM SPEECH: 1-2-3-4 we don’t want your stinkin’ war.

SEAN PENN: And even when calls for withdrawal have eventually become too loud to ignore, officials have put forward strategies for ending war that have had the effect of prolonging it – in some cases, as with the Nixon administration’s strategy of Vietnamization, actually escalating war in the name of ending it.

PRESIDENT RICHARD NIXON: In the previous administration, we Americanized the war in Vietnam. In this administration, we are Vietnamizing the search for peace.

NORMAN SOLOMON: It’s the idea that, OK, the war has become unpopular in the United States, so let’s pull out some US troops and have the military burden fall on the allies inside that country.

NEWS REPORTER: White House officials say it is obvious that the South Vietnamese are going to have to hack it on their own.

NORMAN SOLOMON: The model is to use air power while pulling out US troops and training Vietnamese to kill other Vietnamese people. And several decades later, in effect, that is a goal of George W. Bush’s administration.

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Our strategy can be summed up this way: As the Iraqi’s stand up, we will stand down.

NORMAN SOLOMON: The rhetoric about shifting the burden of fighting the insurgency onto the shoulders of Iraqi people themselves is very enticing for a president because it’s a way of saying to people in the United States, “Hey, we’re going to be out of there, it’s just a matter of time.”

DONALD RUMSFELD: There isn’t a person at this table who agrees with you that we’re in a quagmire and that there’s no end in sight.

NORMAN SOLOMON: The media and political focus on the word quagmire is a good example of how an issue can be framed very narrowly.

JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN: The criticism would be that you’re in a situation from which there’s no good way to extricate yourself.

DONALD RUMSFELD: Then the word clearly would not be a good one.

NORMAN SOLOMON: Talking about a quagmire seems to be a positive way of fomenting debate because then we can argue about whether the war is actually working out well.

SENATOR EDWARD KENNEDY: We are now in a seemingly intractable quagmire. SENATOR CHUCK HAGEL: That terrible word quagmire.

ROBERT DALLEK, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: This could be or seems to be a kind of quagmire.

NORMAN SOLOMON: Quagmire is really a false sort of a critique because it says really the problem here is what the war is doing to the United States. Are we able to win.

ANDERSON COOPER: Are we winning in Iraq?
BILL O’REILLY: Do you want the United States to win in Iraq?
DAVID GERGEN, CNN: I can’t tell who’s winning and who’s losing.
SENATOR CARL LEVIN: Do you believe that we are currently winning in Iraq? DEFENSE SECRETARY ROBERT GATES: We are not winning but we are not losing. SECRETARY COLIN POWELL: We are losing.
GENERAL GEORGE CASEY: We’re winning it.
NEWS REPORTER TO SOLDIER: You’re winning this war?
SOLDIER: I couldn’t tell you.

NORMAN SOLOMON: And a big problem with the media focus is that it sees the war through the eyes of the Americans, through the eyes of the occupiers, rather than those who are bearing the brunt of the war in human terms.

WALTER CRONKITE: We have been too often disappointed by the optimism of the American leaders both in Vietnam and Washington to have faith any longer in the silver linings they find in the darkest clouds.

NORMAN SOLOMON: In early1968, Walter Cronkite told CBS viewers that the war couldn’t be won.

WALTER CRONKITE: It seems now more certain than ever that the bloody experience of Vietnam is to end in a stalemate.

NORMAN SOLOMON: And that was instantly, and through time even more so, heralded as the tide has turned. As Lyndon Johnson is reputed to have said when he saw Cronkite give that report, “I’ve lost middle America.” And it was presented as not only a turning point, quite often, but also as sort of a moral statement by the journalistic establishment.

Well, I would say yes and no. It was an acknowledgement that the United States, contrary to official Washington claims, was not winning the war in Vietnam, and could not win. But it was not a statement that the war was wrong. A problem there is that if the critique says this war is bad because it’s not winnable, then the response is, “Oh yeah, we’ll show you it can be winnable, or the next war will be winnable.”

AMERICAN TROOPS AT IRAQI HOME: Open the door, open the door.

NORMAN SOLOMON: So that critique doesn’t challenge the prerogatives of military expansion or aggression, if you will, or empire. And a deeper critique says, “Whether you can win or not, either way, empire enforced at the point – not of a bayonet but of the cruise missile — that’s not acceptable.”

SEAN PENN: Over the last five decades we have witnessed a wave of US military interventions – a series of bombings, invasions, and long-term occupations. Undertaken, we have been told, with the most noble of intentions … and paid for with the lives of young Americans and countless others around the world.

NORMAN SOLOMON: What has occurred with one war after another is still with us. These dynamics are in play in terms of the US occupation of Iraq, looking at other countries such as Iran, and the future will be replicated to the extent that we fail to understand what has been done with these wars in the past.

The news media have generally bought into and promoted the notion that it’s up to the President to make foreign policy decisions. This smart guy in the oval office has access to all the information, he knows more than we do, he’s the commander in chief. And the American people have no major role to play, and nor should they, because after all they don’t have the knowledge or capability to be responsive to the real situation. That was certainly true during the Vietnam War as it was to be later, time after time.

There were people in Congress that raised these issues and they simply were marginalized by the news media – even though in retrospect, maybe especially because in retrospect, they had it right and the conventional wisdom and the President were wrong.

REP: BARBARA LEE: However difficult this vote may be, some of us must urge the use of restraint.

Our country is in a state of mourning. Some of us must say, Let’s step back for a moment, let’s just pause just for a minute, and think through the implications of our actions today so that this does not spiral out of control.

As we act let us not become the evil that we deplore.
Thank you and I yield the balance of my time.
UNIDENTIFIED CONGRESSMAN: The gentlewoman’s time has expired.

NORMAN SOLOMON: And this is a very common motif of history in the last several decades, where people who at the time were portrayed as loners, as mavericks, as outside of the mainstream of wisdom turned out to understand the historical moment.

SENATOR WAYNE MORSE: We’ve got to back our President? Since when do we have to back our President, or should we, when the President is proposing an unconstitutional act?

NORMAN SOLOMON: The best example is Wayne Morse, the senior Senator from Oregon who, beginning in 1964, was a voice in the Congressional wilderness. Senator Morse was unusual in that he challenged the very prerogative of the US government to go to war against Vietnam. He said it’s up to the American people to formulate foreign policy.

PETER LISAGOR, FACE THE NATION: Senator, the Constitution gives to the President of the United States the sole responsibility for the conduct of foreign policy.

SENATOR WAYNE MORSE: Couldn’t be more wrong, you couldn’t make a more unsound legal statement than the one you have just made. This is the promulgation of an old fallacy that foreign policy belongs to the President of the United States. That’s nonsense.

PETER LISAGOR: To whom does it belong, then, Senator?

SENATOR WAYNE MORSE: It belongs to the American people, and the Constitutional fathers made it very, very clear —

PETER LISAGOR: Where does the President fit into this in the responsibility scale?

SENATOR WAYNE MORSE: What I’m saying is—under our constitution all the President is, is the administrator of the people’s foreign policy, those are his prerogatives, and I’m pleading that the American people be given the facts about foreign policy —

PETER LISAGOR: You know, Senator, that the American people cannot formulate and execute foreign policy —

SENATOR WAYNE MORSE: Why you’re a man of little faith in democracy if you make that kind of comment. I have complete faith in the ability of the American people to follow the facts if you give them, and my charge against my government is that we’re not giving the American people the facts.

NORMAN SOLOMON: And that’s the kind of faith in democracy that’s not in fashion among the Washington press corps or the power elite in the nation’s capital. But it’s a good reading of the Constitution, and it’s a good definition of democracy.

The independent journalist I.F. Stone says that all governments lie and nothing they say should be believed. Now Stone wasn’t conflating all governments, and he wasn’t saying that governments lie all the time, but he was saying that we should never trust that something said by a government is automatically true, especially our own, because we have a responsibility to go beneath the surface. Because the human costs of war, the consequences of militaristic policies, what Dr. King called “the madness of militarism,” they can’t stand the light of day if most people understand the deceptions that lead to the slaughter, and the human consequences of the carnage. If we get that into clear focus, we can change the course of events in this country. But it’s not going to be easy and it will require dedication to searching for truth.

MARTIN LUTHER KING: A time comes when silence is betrayal, and that time has come for us. …

Even when pressed by the demands of inner truth, men do not easily assume the task of opposing their government’s policy, especially in time of war. …

And I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today, my own government …

What do they think as we test out our latest weapons on them, just as the Germans tested out new medicine and new tortures in the concentration camps of Europe? …

Now there is little left to build on, save bitterness …

We are met by a deep but understandable mistrust. To speak for them is to explain this lack of confidence in Western words, and especially their mistrust of American intentions now …

The world now demands a maturity of America that we may not be able to achieve. … This way of settling differences is not just. …

A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death. …

Somehow this madness must cease. We must stop now. …

I speak as one who loves America, to the leaders of our own nation: The great initiative in this war is ours; the initiative to stop it must be ours.

World News

Australian National Review – Every Christian In America Is A Target Now





Every Christian in America is a Target Now

By Michael

This is what happens when you systematically suck all of the values out of a society.  There is utter lawlessness in the streets, and violence can literally erupt anywhere.  On Monday, a mass shooter ruthlessly gunned down six Christians at a private Christian school in Nashville, Tennessee.  The shooter once attended the school, but after leaving the school the shooter developed a deep hatred for the Christian values promoted there.  Unfortunately, this incident is a microcosm of what is going on in our society as a whole.  Countless voices are stirring up great hatred for the Christian faith, and all of that hate was inevitably going to result in great violence.

When I was growing up, I never imagined that someone would come in to a Christian gathering and start shooting.

But now every Christian in America is a potential target.

If you are a Christian, you will need to be on guard whenever you attend any type of a Christian event from this point forward.

I wish that this wasn’t true, but ignoring the reality of the world that we live in now could get you killed.

Prior to Monday, I am sure that most of those that worked at The Covenant School in Nashville never imagined that something like this would ever happen.  The following comes from NBC News…

Three children and three staff members — whose ages ranged from 9 to 61 — were killed at a private Christian school in Nashville on Monday before the shooter, a heavily armed 28-year-old woman, was killed by police, authorities said.

The shooting unfolded at The Covenant School on Burton Hills Boulevard where officers “engaged” the attacker, described by Metropolitan Nashville Police Chief John Drake as a former student at the school.

Actually, NBC News is guilty of “misgendering” the shooter, because “Aiden” has not identified as a woman for quite some time…

And it is also being reported that the shooter “had a manifesto and detailed maps of the school”…

Police said the “lone zealot”, who lived in Nashville, was armed with two assault-type rifles, a pistol and a handgun.

Hale had a manifesto and detailed maps of the school, and entered the building by shooting through a door before the killings.

I can guarantee you that this story will disappear from the news cycle faster than other mass shootings, because it is not a story that the corporate media will be eager to tell.

But the truth is that violence against Christians and Christian institutions is on the rise.

The corporate media is always trying to convince us that political violence from the right is such a threat, but the numbers tell us that political violence is far, far more likely to come from the left.  Here is just one example…

There have been 22 times more attacks against pro-life groups since the leak in early May of a draft Supreme Court opinion overturning Roe v. Wade compared to attacks on pro-choice organizations, new data show.

“The overwhelming narrative in the media is the claim those on the right are responsible for most of the politically motivated violence in the U.S. It has been a theme in the news media after the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision was leaked, with many claiming that there was disproportionate violence against pro-choice providers. But a review of cases shows over 22 times more violence against pro-life advocates,” John Lott, the founder and president of the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC), told Fox News Digital on Monday.

In recent years there have been hundreds of attacks on police by radical leftists, and one lunatic actually put a “bounty” on more than 9,300 Los Angeles police officers…

Three Los Angeles police officers are suing the owner of, accusing him of publishing their photos on his website and putting out a “bounty” on them.

It is the first legal action stemming from the Los Angeles Police Department’s release of the names and photos of almost every sworn officer — more than 9,300 officers, including some who work undercover — as part of a public records request. A police watchdog group posted the images online last Friday.

But these days attacking those that are promoting traditional values has become even trendier than attacking the police.

Sadly, this is happening all over the western world.  Just check out what happened when Posie Parker attempted to hold a public event in New Zealand the other day…

So what was her crime?

She believes that a “woman” is a biological woman.

If you don’t agree with her, then make your case.

But don’t get violent.

Sadly, the “woke crowd” has become so angry and so violent that you can’t even have a rational discussion with them about any of these issues.  I really like how this guy put it…

If you do not go along with their agenda, they will seek to punish you however they can.

In fact, a bill that has just been introduced in the Minnesota legislature would actually take children away from parents that do not allow their kids to get “gender-affirming health care”…

Minnesota lawmakers have advanced legislation introduced by a transgender representative that could strip custody from parents who do not support their child changing genders.
The bill, HF 146, moved forward with a vote of 68-62, along party lines.

The bill says that the state can claim temporary emergency jurisdiction over a child if they are in the state and “the child has been unable to obtain gender-affirming health care.” It is meant to prevent law enforcement from removing a child from parental custody based on an order made outside the state.

This is what we are becoming as a nation.

And the values that this nation was founded upon are rapidly disappearing…

Patriotism, religious faith, having children and other priorities that helped define the national character for generations are receding in importance to Americans, a new Wall Street Journal-NORC poll finds.

The survey, conducted with NORC at the University of Chicago, a nonpartisan research organization, also finds the country sharply divided by political party over social trends such as the push for racial diversity in businesses and the use of gender-neutral pronouns.

People often wonder why I talk about “values” so much.

This is why.

Our country is decaying from within, and most people don’t seem to care.

But if we don’t stand up now while we still can, eventually just about everything that we love about America will be completely gone.

Continue Reading

World News

Australian National Review – The Trump Campaign’s Collusion With Israel





The Trump Campaign’s Collusion With Israel

By James Bamford

While US media fixated on Russian interference in the 2016 election, an Israeli secret agent’s campaign to influence the outcome went unreported.

“Roger, hello from Jerusalem,” read the message from the Israeli secret agent. Dated August 12, 2016, it was addressed to Roger Stone—at the time a key player in Donald Trump’s presidential election campaign. “Any progress? He is going to be defeated unless we intervene. We have critical intel. The key is in your hands! Back in the US next week.” Later, the agent promised, “October Surprise coming!”

While the American media and political system fixated on Russian President Vladimir Putin and his armies of cyber warriors, trolls, and bots, what was completely missed in the Russiagate investigation of 2016 was the Israeli connection. No details of it were ever revealed in the heavily redacted Mueller Report. Nor was there any mention of an Israeli plot in the similarly redacted Senate Intelligence Committee Report on collusion charges in the 2016 election, or in any of the indictments or trials stemming from the Russia charges. Nor did any mention of Israeli involvement ever leak into the press. Yet I can reveal here the details of an elaborate covert operation personally directed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that aimed to use secret intelligence to clandestinely intervene at the highest levels in the presidential election on behalf of Trump.

Shadowy hints of the plot only became visible with the little-noticed release in 2020 of a heavily redacted May 2018 FBI search warrant and its accompanying affidavit. As part of the Mueller investigation, the bureau had conducted an extensive search for any foreign interference in the 2016 election, and the warrant was directed at securing the Google accounts of a mysterious Israeli agent acting under the direction of someone identified as “PM.” The FBI agent who wrote the affidavit noted, “I believe ‘PM’ refers to the ‘Prime Minister.’”

In the spring of 2016, no issue was more important to Benjamin Netanyahu than Donald Trump winning the White House. The GOP presidential candidate was key to everything he was after, from ending the Iran nuclear agreement, to recognizing Jerusalem—rather than Tel Aviv—as Israel’s capital, to continuing the occupation of Palestine. But November was months away, and there was no guarantee Trump would win. In the meantime, Netanyahu was under mounting pressure from President Barack Obama to finally resolve the issues surrounding Palestine. Leading the charge on behalf of Obama was Secretary of State John Kerry, who was equally determined to find a solution after many years of trying.

Kerry was not alone. The Middle East Quartet, a group formed to mediate the Palestine-Israel peace process that included representatives from the United Nations, the European Union, the United States, and Russia, was also seeking a solution to the issues surrounding the occupation—and it was about to release a report that was expected to be highly critical of Israel. With so much on the line, Netanyahu appears to have made a drastic decision. He would dispatch a discreet, highly trusted aide, armed with critical intelligence, to covertly “intervene” in the US election to help put his man Trump in the White House. Based on the FBI documents, the intelligence appears to have consisted of advance knowledge of Russia’s hacking of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, and it may have included confidential details from the stolen e-mails. It was likely obtained by Israeli eavesdropping operations that were targeting secret Russian communications, as well as those of WikiLeaks.

Although the affidavit did not specify any individual defendants, the numerous potential criminal charges laid out in the FBI documents spoke to the seriousness of the Israeli plot. They included violation of the foreign contributions ban, which prohibits foreigners from contributing money or something of value to federal, state, or local elections. Other charges included aiding and abetting, conspiracy, wire fraud, and attempted conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Still another charge, “unauthorized access to a protected computer,” indicates Israel may have conducted illegal hacking operations. Based on the e-mails and text messages contained in the documents, the conspiracy began in the late spring of 2016, when it was beginning to appear that Trump had a good chance of winning the Republican nomination.

This was also when the FBI and the media began focusing heavily on possible Russian collusion with the Trump campaign, as a result of Moscow’s hacking of the DNC and the Clinton campaign. But while the Mueller investigation was never able to conclusively demonstrate any collusion with Russia, the FBI did uncover hard evidence of extensive collusion between close Trump associates and the highest levels of the Israeli government.

Donald Trump speaking at a campaign press conference at the AIPAC Policy Conference

Common cause: Donald Trump speaking at a campaign press conference at the AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington, DC in 2016.

On the sixth floor of a concrete-and-glass high-rise just south of Tel Aviv, behind a door marked “Unit 17” in Hebrew, political operatives plot newer and more creative ways to use fraud to win elections across much of the planet. The 16-story Azrieli Business Center in Holon is home to Archimedes Group, a private intelligence company that boasts that it can “change reality according to our client’s wishes.” Those clients stretch from Africa to Latin America to Southeast Asia.

In Nigeria in 2018, the company’s campaign of lies and misinformation helped reelect former military coup leader Muhammadu Buhari as president. Hired by other would-be presidents and politicians around the world in at least 13 countries, Archimedes soon had 3 million people following its phony Facebook and Instagram accounts. It even created bogus “fact-checking” accounts to lie about its fake news stories, claiming they were based on solid facts.

But in May 2019, Facebook caught on to the various scams and removed 265 Facebook and Instagram accounts from the orbit of the Archimedes operation. “Archimedes Group,” it said, “has repeatedly violated our misrepresentation and other policies, including by engaging in coordinated inauthentic behavior. This organization and all its subsidiaries are now banned from Facebook, and it has been issued a cease and desist letter.”

Archimedes is hardly alone. An Israeli government official told the Times of Israel that outsourcing fake news and voter manipulation is a growth industry in Israel because many young Israelis who serve in intelligence units in the army are trained in the use of “avatars,” or fake identities, on social media. The Israeli government appears to have made no effort to halt or even curb the activity. Such inaction may be deliberate, since a number of the groups that engage in voter manipulation have close ties to the intelligence and defense agencies, possibly providing Netanyahu an opportunity to secretly manipulate foreign elections to Israel’s benefit.

In fact, a recent multinational journalistic investigation revealed that Israel has become a world center for the export of election fraud, fake news, hacking of private e-mails, and disinformation. Connections were discovered between private intelligence firms and both Israel’s Ministry of Defense and the firm Cambridge Analytica, which illegally collected data from more than 87 million Facebook users for use in the 2016 presidential campaigns of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.

The eight-month international collaborative project involved journalists from 30 news outlets, including Israel’s Haaretz, the UK’s Guardian and Observer, France’s Le Monde, Germany’s Der Spiegel, and Spain’s El Pais. They discovered an Israel-based “global private market in disinformation aimed at elections,” according to The Guardian. Among the individuals unmasked was Tal Hanan, a former Israeli special forces operative and the head of a secretive organization with the code name “Team Jorge” whose specialty was weaponizing disinformation worldwide “to covertly meddle in elections without a trace,” said The Guardian.

Hanan told the undercover reporters that his services had been used in Africa, South and Central America, the US, and Europe, and that his company had completed “33 presidential-level campaigns, 27 of which were successful.”

What was not revealed in this investigation, however, was the separate and far more covert operation undertaken by Netanyahu and his secret agent to clandestinely manipulate America’s 2016 presidential election for Netanyahu’s own political purposes.

Jerusalem attorney Isaac Molho

A discreet man: Jerusalem attorney Isaac Molho is one of Netanyahu’s oldest and most trusted advisers.

For years, the man Netanyahu relied on to do battle with Kerry and the Quartet was his top personal aide, Isaac Molho, a secretive and shadowy private attorney who was trusted with the prime minister’s most sensitive missions. “There has probably never been a person in the history of this country in such a desirable position as Isaac Molho,” Haaretz noted. “He enjoys almost complete silence from the media…. On Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s instructions, Molho undertakes sensitive missions to countries with which Israel has no diplomatic ties. The Mossad supplies him with logistical backing, security and transport.”

Some of Molho’s assignments are too sensitive even for the Mossad—a fact that has at times frustrated those at the spy agency. “The Mossad gritted its teeth over the past eight years while watching the diplomatic missions carried out by Isaac Molho, without any requirement to take a polygraph test and as a private citizen with business and other affairs that are not subject to civil service regulations,” Haaretz said. In addition to national loyalty, Molho, whose wife is Netanyahu’s cousin, may even be acting out of family loyalty.

Although the secret agent’s name was redacted from the FBI’s search warrant, his profile, as outlined in the accompanying affidavit, is strikingly similar to that of Isaac Molho. Like Molho, who was described by Haaretz as a “discreet man for sensitive missions,” the secret agent is described as highly trusted and very close to Netanyahu. Most important, at one point, according to the affidavit, the agent was summoned from the US to Rome at a moment’s notice to be by Netanyahu’s side on a date the Israeli prime minister was conducting negotiations with John Kerry in the Italian capital over Palestine. This critical role was for many years played exclusively by Molho. In addition, the agent referred to in the warrant had enough clout and authority to direct the actions of two other high-ranking Israeli officials involved in the clandestine operation to influence the results of the US election. Molho did not respond to The Nation’s request for comment.

The key for the Israeli agent was finding a back door—a covert channel—to Trump. Roger Stone, long a key Trump aide, fit the bill. Although Stone had formally left the campaign, he and Trump spoke frequently and confidentially. For these calls, Trump would often use the phone of his security director, Keith Schiller, “because he did not want his advisers to know they were talking,” according to Sam Nunberg, a political adviser who served on Trump’s 2016 election campaign. Stone energetically supported Israel’s harsh occupation of the Palestinian territories and its bellicose stance toward Iran; following Trump’s speech at an American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference in March 2016, Stone noted approvingly that “Donald Trump is a radical Zionist.”

Another Trump aide heavily involved in the conspiracy, according to the FBI documents, was Stone’s associate Jerome Corsi, who appears to have been the original contact who connected the Israelis to Stone. An ultraconservative journalist with a doctorate in political science from Harvard and the author of a shelf of books harshly critical of liberals and Democrats, Corsi was a leading literary light of the extreme right. He gained fame in 2004 for his “swiftboating” attacks on the military record of then–presidential candidate John Kerry. The secret agent was particularly drawn to Corsi’s adulation of Israel and support for its belligerence toward Iran.

Hiding behind his online pseudonym “jrlc,” Corsi was also a virulent Islamophobe. Posting on the conservative forum, he has called Islam “a virus” and “a worthless, dangerous Satanic religion” and has written that “Islam is a peaceful religion as long as the women are beaten, the boys buggered, and the infidels killed.”

After Corsi provided contact information to Stone, the secret Israeli agent and Stone connected. Then, on May 17, the agent wrote, “Hi Roger, I hope all is well. Our dinner tonight for 7PM is confirmed. I arrive at 4PM. Please suggest a good restaurant that has privacy.” The original plan was for Stone and the agent to meet alone, but Stone wanted to bring Corsi along as backup. “I am uncomfortable meeting without Jerry,” Stone wrote, and then rescheduled the dinner for the next day.

According to the FBI warrant, the same day that Stone communicated with the Israeli agent, he began Googling some very strange terms, including “guccifer” and “dcleaks.” It would be nearly a month before those same terms would make headlines around the world. On June 14, The Washington Post reported that the DNC had been hacked by Russian government agents. The next day, someone calling himself “Guccifer 2.0” took credit for the attack. He claimed to be an American hacktivist, but according to a Justice Department indictment in July 2018, he was actually a Russian GRU employee. Soon afterward, the website DCLeaks—another front for the GRU—began releasing hacked Democratic Party documents.

The timing implies that the Israeli agent was Stone’s most likely source of confirmed details of a Russian cyberattack on the DNC, a month before it became known to anyone outside of the Kremlin and the GRU. If that’s the case, there are two critical questions: How did the Israeli agent know, and why was he revealing the details to a close associate of Trump rather than to the Obama administration, Israel’s supposed ally?

On May 18, the day after Stone’s Google searches, Stone, Corsi, and the Israeli agent met for dinner at the 21 Club on 52nd Street in New York City. The restaurant, which features a balcony lined with painted iron lawn jockeys, was a regular Trump hangout. At the top of the agent’s agenda was getting Stone to quickly set up a confidential meeting with the candidate. The next day, the agent pressed Stone in an e-mail: “Did You Talk To Trump This Morning? Any News?” But Stone was coy. “Contact made—interrupted—mood good.”

Then, in early June, according to the Senate Intelligence Committee Report, Stone learned that Julian Assange, the head of WikiLeaks, was about to release something “big.” Stone relayed the details to Rick Gates, Trump’s deputy campaign manager, and told him that Assange appeared to have Clinton’s e-mails. Yet it wasn’t until later, on June 12, that Assange would publicly announce that WikiLeaks had “emails relating to Hillary Clinton which are pending publication.”

These were the first of many tips to Stone that appear to have come from his new Israeli friend. Two days later, the DNC announced that it had been hacked by Russia. The day after that, Stone again Googled “Guccifer” and “dcleaks,” hours before Guccifer 2.0 publicly claimed responsibility. On June 21, as Guccifer released more documents, the Israeli agent notified Stone that he was in New York accompanied by a senior official and would like a meeting with Trump. “RS: Secret,” said the message, according to the FBI documents. “Cabinet Minister [redacted] in NYC. Available for DJT meeting.”

Other parts of the message were also redacted, but in the affidavit the FBI revealed the cabinet minister’s official title: “According to publicly-available information, during this time [redacted] was a Minister without portfolio in the [redacted] cabinet dealing with issues concerning defense and foreign affairs.” At the time, the only minister without portfolio in the Israeli government was Tzachi Hanegbi, one of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s oldest and closest confidants, and Wikipedia (the likely source of the FBI agent’s “publicly- available information”) uses nearly identical language to describe him. Israeli press reports at the time indicated that Hanegbi was in the United States on that date as part of a delegation attending the unveiling of Israel’s new F-35 stealth fighter jet.

Married to an American from Florida and fluent in English, Hanegbi previously held a post as minister of intelligence supervising Mossad and Shin Bet, the Israeli internal security service. The question is, why would a high-level confidant of Netanyahu’s, with an intelligence background and close American links, seek a secret meeting with a US presidential candidate?

Trump had been busy, hustling from city to city on the campaign trail and hitting several rallies a day. Taking valuable time to meet a couple of Israeli contacts was not a high priority, especially without any idea what the meeting would be about. So, on June 25, Hanegbi returned to Israel. “Roger, Minister left,” said the Israeli agent. “Sends greetings from PM. When am I meeting DJT? Should I stay or leave Sunday as planned?” The next day, Stone replied, “I would not leave as we hope to schedule the meeting mon or tues.”

One possible explanation of the agent’s sense of urgency was Obama’s and Kerry’s increasing pressure on Netanyahu to resolve the Palestinian issue. A key element of that solution would be agreeing to negotiate an equitable division of Jerusalem, since both sides claimed it as their capital. But if his secret agent could confidentially meet with Trump and get a commitment that, if elected, he would support keeping Jerusalem undivided, then Netanyahu could ignore Obama. An election win for Trump, therefore, would also be a win for Netanyahu. Especially since the candidate was already fully committed to another key issue for Netanyahu: canceling the nuclear deal with Iran.

Trump and Netanyahu

A united front: Trump and Netanyahu participate in a joint statement in the East Room of the White House in 2020.

Suddenly, there was a change in plans. According to the FBI documents, the agent was ordered by Netanyahu to postpone the appointment with Trump and instead get on the next plane for Rome. In a last-minute effort to find a solution to Jerusalem and the Palestinian issue, meetings in the Italian capital were set up between Netanyahu, Kerry, and the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini. Netanyahu wanted his aide, the agent, at his side. At the meeting, the elephant in the room was a forthcoming report by the Middle East Quartet. It was expected by all to be extremely critical of Israel for its apartheid settlement policies and its treatment of the occupied Palestinians.

The night before the meeting, Netanyahu and Kerry met for dinner at Pierluigi, a popular seafood restaurant in Piazza de Ricci, a block from the Tiber. “What is your plan for the Palestinians?” Kerry asked as the prime minister began chain-smoking a batch of thick Cuban cigars. “What do you want to happen now?” Netanyahu offered a vague response involving a regional initiative, but Kerry wasn’t buying it. “You have no path of return to direct talks with the Palestinians, or a channel to talks with Arab countries,” Kerry told the prime minister, according to Haaretz. “You’ve hit the glass ceiling. What’s your plan?” he asked again. But Netanyahu may well have had one: to use his agent, perhaps sitting with them at that very table, to help put Trump in the White House.

On June 28, after the meeting in Rome had concluded, the agent quickly dashed off another message to Stone: “RETURNING TO DC AFTER URGENT CONSULTATIONS WITH PM IN ROME. MUST MEET WITH YOU WED. EVE AND WITH DJ TRUMP THURSDAY IN NYC.”

The meeting with Trump was rescheduled for 1 pm on Wednesday, July 6, before the candidate took off for a rally in Sharonville, Ohio. The Israeli agent flew to New York the day before and checked into the St. Regis, the French Beaux Arts–style hotel on East 55th Street. The next morning, he had planned to rendezvous with Stone in the lobby for a pre-meeting discussion. “At the St Regis With Lt General. Waiting For You Thank You,” he wrote.

But there were problems involving secrecy. Stone, at his home in Florida, had come down with a bad cold and was too ill to travel, so he arranged for Corsi to make the introduction. That made the Israeli agent uncomfortable because of the sensitive nature of the discussion. “I have to meet Trump alone,” he said, and they agreed that Corsi would leave after the introduction. There was still another problem, however. The meeting was meant to be secret, but the agent was accompanied by an Israeli lieutenant general. So once again the meeting had to be postponed.

Who was this lieutenant general? Unlike in the United States, where the highest military rank is a four-star general, in Israel it’s a three-star lieutenant general, and there is only one, the chief of the General Staff, the commander in chief of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF)—the equivalent of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. At the time, that was Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot. But it’s unlikely that Eizenkot was the person waiting in the lobby of the St. Regis to meet with Trump. Eizenkot had little to do with the election—and had actually sided with Obama on the issue of Iran. In January 2016, he said that the nuclear deal “had actually removed the most serious danger to Israel’s existence for the foreseeable future, and greatly reduced the threat over the longer term.”

Instead, it may have been Eizenkot’s predecessor, Benny Gantz, who had retired as head of the IDF in February 2015 but still held the rank of lieutenant general in the reserves and was often referred to by his military title. He was in charge of the IDF during Israel’s war on Palestinians in Gaza in 2014. It was a war that produced a “vastly disproportionate” number of civilian deaths: 1,400 of the nearly 2,300 people killed in the conflict, according to Human Rights Watch. Gantz would later boast that “parts of Gaza were sent back to the Stone Age.”

In May 2020, Gantz would become the second-most-powerful person in Israel under Netanyahu, as the alternate prime minister. At the time of the canceled meeting with Trump, however, he was the chairman of Fifth Dimension, an Israeli private intelligence company run by a former deputy head of Mossad, with another former Mossad member as CEO.

Fifth Dimension wasn’t the only Israeli spy company with close ties to Israeli intelligence. Another was Psy Group, a private intelligence firm that operated under the motto “Shape Reality.” Earlier that year, on behalf of the Ministry of Strategic Affairs, Psy Group had carried out Project Butterfly, a covert operation that spied on and attacked Americans who supported the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement. In April 2016, it offered Trump campaign official Rick Gates another secret operation, Project Rome. The subtitle of the six-page proposal clearly spelled out its objective to covertly interfere with the US presidential election: “Campaign Intelligence & Influence Services Proposal.”

Secrecy was paramount. “We recommend keeping this activity compartmentalized and on need-to-know basis since secrecy is a key factor in the success of the activity,” the proposal said. “Due to the sensitivity of some of the activities and the need for compartmentalization and secrecy, Psy Group will use code names.” Trump was called “Lion,” Hillary Clinton was “Forest,” and Ted Cruz was “Bear.” “This document details the services proposed by Psy Group for the ‘Lion’ project between now and July 2016,” the proposal noted, referring to the period of the US primaries.

The Project Rome proposal read like an official Ministry of Strategic Affairs or Mossad operational document, referring to “multisource intelligence collection,” “covert sources,” “automated collection and analysis,” and an “intelligence dossier on each target, including actionable intelligence.” “Once the information has been uncovered or extracted, it is delivered to the Influence platform for use in the campaign as needed,” the proposal said.

Project Rome’s “Influence+ process” platform involved targeting American voters through “authentic-looking 3rd party platforms”—that is, fake news sites—and also through the use of “tailored avatars,” thousands of phony social media accounts on platforms such as Facebook. “The purpose of these platforms is to engage the targets and actively convince them or sway their opinion towards our goals.” The “targets” were unwitting American voters. “The team will include over 40 intelligence and influence experts,” the document said. Then there were what internal company e-mails called “physical world ops like counter protesters, hecklers, etc.” The techniques were nearly identical to those used by the Israeli firms Archimedes Group and “Team Jorge” to secretly throw elections around the world.

The price tag for the operation was $3,210,000, with another $100,000 for media expenses and $400,000 more for “negative opposition.” It appears that Gates, wisely, passed on Project Rome. The key players behind Psy Group later formed a new Israeli company, Percepto International. Also investigated by the international journalism collaboration, it was labeled “an Israeli factory for online deception” by Haaretz.

Despite the Trump campaign’s rejection of Project Rome, covert high-level approaches to Roger Stone to get directly to Trump continued.

“Hi Roger,” the Israeli agent wrote on July 8. “Have you rescheduled the meeting with DJT? The PM is putting pressure for a quick decision.” Stone wrote back that Trump would not be back in New York until after the Republican National Convention, so the meeting would have to be postponed until then. He added, “Sorry about the fiasco last week, however you can’t just bring the General without tell[ing] me.”

As Trump stormed the Midwest for votes, Guccifer 2.0 was making final preparations for another major release of documents. On July 14, Guccifer sent WikiLeaks an e-mail titled “big archive,” with a one-gigabyte encrypted attachment. Four days later, on July 18, the WikiLeaks Twitter account notified Guccifer the data had been received and that release of the hacked DNC e-mails was planned for later in the week.

On or around the next day, Donald Trump was in his New York office venting at the press for its criticism of his wife Melania’s Republican convention address the night before. There were accusations that she had borrowed passages from a speech by Michelle Obama. At some point, however, according to Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s Senate Intelligence Committee testimony, Trump took a phone call from Roger Stone.

“Roger, how are you?” said Trump.

“Good,” Stone replied. “Just want to let you know I got off the telephone a moment ago with Julian Assange. And in a couple of days, there’s going to be a massive dump of e-mails that’s going to be extremely damaging to the Clinton campaign.”

Trump was pleased. “Uh, that’s good. Keep me posted,” he said into a small black speaker box on his desk. Sitting nearby was Michael Cohen. “Do you believe him? Do you think Roger really spoke to Assange?” Trump asked.

“I don’t know,” Cohen said. “Roger is Roger, and for all you know, he was looking on his Twitter account. I don’t know the answer.”

In the end, neither Mueller’s team nor the FBI could ever find any substantive or conspiratorial communications between Stone and WikiLeaks. He had exchanged a few innocuous messages with Guccifer, later reviewed by the FBI, but there was no indication of how Stone could have known what he knew—which left only one apparent explanation: that the information had been passed to him by Netanyahu’s agent. As in the case of the DNC hack, the information was 100 percent accurate. There was never any evidence that Stone learned of the releases from either WikiLeaks or the Russians, but during that period both he and Jerome Corsi were in contact with the Israeli agent. Israel’s version of the NSA, Unit 8200, which employs some of the most highly trained signals intelligence specialists in the world and is equipped with advanced intercept capabilities, may well have been surveilling Russia and WikiLeaks.

Three days later, on July 22, as Hillary Clinton was preparing to announce her choice of a running mate on the eve of the Democratic National Convention, WikiLeaks released approximately 20,000 e-mails stolen from the DNC. “I guess Roger was right,” Trump told Cohen. Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign manager, agreed. Sitting on the tarmac in his plane, about to take off for his next rally, Trump delayed the flight for half an hour to work the messages into his speech. Hungry for more, he later told Manafort to keep in touch with Stone about future WikiLeaks releases.

On Wednesday, July 29, the Israeli agent was back in touch with Stone and Corsi and eager to connect with Trump now that the convention was over and he was the Republican nominee. “HI ROGER,” the agent wrote. “HAVE YOU SET UP A NEW MEETING WITH TRUMP? I PLAN TO BE BACK IN THE US NEXT WEEK. PLEASE ADVISE. THANK YOU.” Stone sent a message to Manafort about finding a time to communicate, writing that there was “good shit happening.” The next day, the two spoke on the phone for 68 minutes. The following day, July 31, Stone had two phone calls with Trump that lasted over 10 minutes.

Then on Tuesday, August 2, despite previous failed attempts to connect with Assange, Corsi was nevertheless able to send a detailed message to Stone about WikiLeaks’ future plans:

Word is friend in embassy plans 2 more dumps. One shortly after I’m back. 2nd in Oct. Impact planned to be very damaging…. Time to let more than Podesta to be exposed as in bed w enemy if they are not ready to drop HRC. That appears to be the game hackers are now about. Would not hurt to start suggesting HRC old, memory bad, has stroke—neither he nor she well. I expect that much of next dump focus, setting stage for Foundation debacle.

Corsi later told Stone that there was “more to come than anyone realizes. Won’t really get started until after Labor Day.” The details, including the first indication that Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta was a target, were coming from somewhere other than Assange.

“Roger—As per PM we have one last shot before moving on,” the Israeli agent wrote to Stone on August 9. “Can you deliver? History will not forgive us. TRUMP IN FREE FALL. OCTOBER SURPRISE COMING!” What the “October Surprise” consisted of was left unexplained, but the implication was that there would be a spectacular new release of stolen e-mails, possibly centering on Podesta.

Three days later, the agent was even more frantic. He sent Stone his “hello from Jerusalem” message, promising that his government was prepared to “intervene” in the US election to help Trump win the presidency and offering to share critical intelligence to make it happen. Stone replied cryptically: “Matters complicated. Pondering.” Then, the following week, on August 20, Corsi suggested a meeting with the secret agent to determine “what if anything Israel plans to do in Oct.”

From the messages, it appears that Israel either had its own October Surprise planned or was aware of Guccifer’s planned release of the Podesta e-mails before the election. The day after Corsi suggested meeting with Netanyahu’s agent, Stone for the first time publicly indicated that Podesta would soon become a target of WikiLeaks—thereby predicting the event six weeks before it happened. “Trust me, it will soon the [sic] Podesta’s time in the barrel. #CrookedHillary,” said his tweet. Since neither Assange nor Guccifer was a source for either Corsi or Stone, the tweet once again points to the Israeli agent who was in communication with both of them about the October Surprise.

The prospect of an October Surprise, along with the offer of critical intelligence, apparently got Trump’s attention. On September 25, he and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, met privately with Netanyahu and Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer in his Trump Tower penthouse. Later that day, he publicly announced that if he was elected, his administration would finally “recognize Jerusalem as the undivided capital of the State of Israel.” Since 1947, there has been virtual unanimity within the international community—and among US presidents—that the future of Jerusalem must be the subject of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Now Trump was vowing to trash that consensus, along with the Palestinians, and support Netanyahu’s agenda. Whether Trump and the Israeli agent ever met in person is unclear. By late summer, Stone and Corsi were becoming increasingly concerned about potential charges, and to eliminate a paper trail they began meeting only in private with the agent. What is very clear, however, is that in the end Netanyahu got what he wanted—and so did Trump.

Around the same time, Stone had a conversation with Paul Manafort, who by then had left the campaign but stayed in communication with Trump’s political circles. According to Manafort’s later Senate Intelligence Committee testimony, Stone told him that “John Podesta was going to be in the barrel,” repeating the claim he made by tweet on August 21, and that “there were going to be leaks of John Podesta’s emails.” A few days later, on September 29, Stone called Trump, who was on the way to New York’s LaGuardia Airport in his black bulletproof limo. After concluding the call, Trump told Rick Gates, who was sitting next to him, that “more releases of damaging information would be coming.”

On October 7, WikiLeaks unleashed 2,050 Podesta e-mails that were damaging to Hillary Clinton and her campaign—just as Stone had predicted a month and a half earlier. But Stone’s concern about potential criminal charges seems to have turned into outright paranoia. Given that he had no close links to Assange or the Russians, the likely focus of his concerns were his numerous communications with the Israeli secret agent. After all, Stone had discussed clandestine foreign intervention in a presidential election, had made arrangements for Trump to meet a foreign agent, and had predicted the October Surprise. The prospect that authorities might look into any of these actions could certainly have been sufficient to rattle his nerves.

By secretly assisting Netanyahu’s agent in an attempt to make contact with a presidential candidate—aware that he intended to interfere in the US election on behalf of his country—both Stone and Corsi could have faced serious charges as agents of a foreign power under Section 951 of the criminal code, which makes it a crime to covertly assist a foreign government without registering.

Even before WikiLeaks released the Podesta e-mails in October, Stone and Corsi seemed to become nervous that someone would discover their back channel. Soon after the “Podesta’s time in the barrel” tweet in August, Stone and Corsi tried to find a way to somehow account for that unique insight. On August 30, Corsi said in his 2019 book Silent No More, “I suggested Stone could use me as an excuse, claiming my research on Podesta and Russia was the basis for Stone’s prediction that Podesta would soon be in the pickle barrel.” He added, “I knew this was a cover-story, in effect not true, since I recalled telling Stone earlier in August that Assange had Podesta e-mails that he planned to drop as the ‘October Surprise.’” The next day, Corsi said, he e-mailed to Stone “a nine-page background memorandum on John Podesta that I had written that day at Stone’s request.”

Following the Podesta dump, the cover-up became more frantic. Stone ordered Corsi to delete e-mails related to Podesta and hid his own communications with Corsi about WikiLeaks. Stone also pointed a finger at Randy Credico, a onetime friend who had a radio program in New York, as his back channel to WikiLeaks. Credico had interviewed Assange on his program, but that was four days after Stone’s tweet about Podesta’s upcoming time in the barrel. Credico denied under oath that he had acted as a back channel for Stone, and there was never any evidence to show he had.

In a predawn raid on January 25, 2019, heavily armed FBI agents stormed Roger Stone’s Fort Lauderdale, Fla., home and placed him under arrest. He was charged with seven criminal offenses, including one count of obstruction of an official proceeding, five counts of false statements, and one count of witness tampering. Later that day, Stone was released on a $250,000 signature bond. Defiant, he said he would refuse to “bear false witness” against Trump. Finally, on November 15, 2019, after a weeklong trial and two days of deliberations, Stone was convicted on all counts and sentenced to 40 months in federal prison. But on July 10, 2020, a few days before Stone was to turn himself in, Trump commuted his sentence, personally calling him with the news.

Throughout this chain of events—including the trial, the Mueller Report, and the nearly 1,000-page Senate Intelligence Committee Report—no hint of the involvement of Israel was made public. Despite the clear violations of US law and months of clandestine, high-level attempted interference in the presidential election, no details were released, and no congressional hearings or investigations took place. Nor was there ever a hint in the press, which remained transfixed by Russia.

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Australian National Review – Governance By Artificial Intelligence:The Ultimate Unaccountable Tyranny: The Elites Will Present AI As The Great Adjudicator, The Pure And Logical Intercessor Of The Correct Path; Not Just For Nations And For Populations At Large But For Each Individual





Governance By Artificial Intelligence:The Ultimate Unaccountable Tyranny: The elites will Present AI as the Great adjudicator, the Pure and Logical Intercessor of the Correct Path; Not Just for Nations and For Populations at Large But for Each individual

By Brandon Smith

It’s no secret that globalist institutions are obsessed with Artificial Intelligence as some kind of technological prophecy. They treat it as if it is almost supernatural in its potential and often argue that every meaningful industrial and social innovation in the near future will owe its existence to AI. The World Economic Forum cites AI as the singular key to the rise of what they call the “Fourth Industrial Revolution.” In their view, there can be no human progress without the influence of AI algorithms, making human input almost obsolete.

This delusion is often promoted by globalist propagandists.  For example, take a look at the summarized vision of WEF member Yuval Harari, who actually believes that AI has creative ability that will replace human imagination and innovation.  Not only that, but Harari has consistently argued in the past that AI will run the world much better than human beings ever could.

Harari’s examples of AI creativity might sound like extreme naivety to many of us, but he knows exactly what he is doing in misrepresenting the capabilities of algorithms.  Games like chess and Go are games of patterns restricted by rules, there only so many permutations of these patterns in any given scenario and AI is simply faster at spotting them than most humans because that is what it is designed to do by software creators.  This is no different that solving a mathematical equation; just because a calculator is faster than you does not mean it is “creative.”

There is a big difference between cognitive automation and cognitive autonomy.  AI is purely automation; it will play the games it is programmed to play and will learn to play them well, but it will never have an epiphany one day and create a new and unique game from scratch unless it is coded to do so.  AI will never have fun playing this new game it made, or feel the joy of sharing that game with others, so why would it bother?  It will never seek to contribute to the world any more than it is pre-programmed to do.

The manner in which globalists hype AI is very tactical, however.  When Harari claims that many people will become part of the “useless class” once AI takes over the economy, he is hinting at another globalist ideology based on elitism – Transhumanism.  The goal of transhumanism is to one day merge human bodies and human minds with technology and AI, and only a limited group of people will have the resources to accomplish this (the globalists).

Are you afraid of becoming part of the “useless class”?  Well, if you scrape and beg and serve every whim of the elitist establishment then maybe you will be lucky enough to get implants which allow you to interface with AI, and then your future employment and “usefulness” will be secured.  Doesn’t that sound nice?

But, like all the visions of narcissists there are delusions of godhood and then there is reality.  I continue to have serious doubts that AI will ever be legitimately autonomous or legitimately beneficial to humanity in any way beyond having the ability to calculate quickly within mathematical rules. Speedy data analysis can be useful in many areas of science, but it’s not really proof of autonomous intelligence, and algorithms can be predictive but not any more predictive than human beings looking at the same statistical data. There is nothing about AI that is impressive when one considers what little it actually accomplishes.

AI is a toy, a parlor trick, not a living entity with independent observations and conclusions. And, it’s certainly not a god-like being capable of showering us with scientific ambrosia or building a perfect civilization.  I predict that a society dependent on AI will actually stagnate and remain trapped in stasis, never really inventing anything of much value and never progressing.  It will only ever be concerned with homogenization – The merging of people with the algorithm.  That is where ALL the society’s energies will go.

As a point of reference to why AI is overrated, all we have to do is look at the behavior of AI programs like ChatGPT; the algorithm has been discovered on numerous occasions to contain extreme political biases always leaning to the far-left, including biases based in beliefs not backed in any way by scientific evidence. Interestingly, ChatGPT will even at times display a seemingly hostile response to conservative concepts or inconvenient facts. The bot will then DENY it is giving personal opinions even when its responses are consistently pro-leftist.

How is political bias possible for a piece of software unless it was programmed to display that bias? There is no objectivity to be found in AI, nor any creativity, it will simply regurgitate the personal opinions or biases of the people that created it and that engineered how it processes data.

Unlike a typical human teenager that seeks to adopt the opposing social or political beliefs of their parents in order set themselves apart, AI will never metaphorically dye its hair blue, pierce its nose and proclaim itself vegan – It will always do what its creators want it to do.  Another example of this dynamic is AI art, which essentially steals the stylistic properties of numerous human artists entered into its database and copies them. While imitation might be considered the highest form of flattery, it’s not the same as creativity.

This might not sound like much of a problem when it comes to a simple chatbot or the making of cartoons. But, it’s a massive problem when we start talking about AI influencing social and governmental policies.

The globalists argue that AI will be everywhere – In business, in schools, in corporate operations, in scientific enterprises, and even within government. It MUST run everything. Why? They don’t really say why other than to make vague promises of incredible advancements and previously unimaginable benefits. To date, there have been no profound innovations produced by AI, but I suppose pro-AI propagandists will say that the golden age is “right around the corner.”

The uses for AI are truly limited to helping humans with simple tasks, but there is still a cost. A self driving car might be great for a person that is physically handicapped, but it can also be a crutch that convinces a population to never learn to drive themselves. By extension, AI is in a lot of ways the ULTIMATE crutch which leads to ultimate tyranny. If people are convinced to hand over normal human processes and decision making opportunities to automation, then they have handed over their freedoms in exchange for convenience.

More importantly, if algorithms are allowed to dictate a large portion of choices and conclusions, people will no longer feel a sense of accountability for their actions. Regardless of the consequences, all they have to do for the rest of their lives is tell themselves they were only following the suggestions (or orders) of AI. The AI becomes a form of external collectivized conscience; an artificial moral compass for the hive mind.

But who will really be controlling that moral compass and bottle-necking the decisions of millions of people? Will it be the AI, or the elites behind the curtain that manipulate the algorithm?

For many people this probably sounds like science fiction. Yes, there have been many fictional imaginings of what the world would be like in the shadow of AI – I would highly recommend the French New Wave film ‘Alphaville’ as one of the most accurate predictions on the horrors of AI and technocracy. However, what I am warning about here is not some far off theoretical future, it is already here. Take a look at this disturbing video on AI from the World Government Summit:

These are the blatant goals of globalists in plain view, with a sugar coating to make them more palatable. I wrote about the motivations of the elites and their worshipful reverence for AI in my article ‘Artificial Intelligence: A Secular Look At The Digital Antichrist’. That piece was focused on the philosophical drives that make globalists desire AI.

In this article I want to stress the issue of AI governance and how it might be made to appeal to the masses. In order to achieve the dystopian future the globalists want, they still have to convince a large percentage of the population to applaud it and embrace it.

The comfort of having a system that makes difficult decisions for us is an obvious factor, as mentioned above. But, AI governance is not just about removing choice, it’s also about removing the information we might need to be educated enough to make choices. We saw this recently with the covid pandemic restrictions and the collusion between governments, corporate media and social media. Algorithms were widely used by web media conglomerates from Facebook to YouTube to disrupt the flow of information that might run contrary to the official narrative.

In some cases the censorship targeted people merely asking pertinent questions or fielding alternative theories. In other cases, the censorship outright targeted provably factual data that was contrary to government policies. A multitude of government claims on covid origins, masking, lockdowns and vaccines have been proven false over the past few years, and yet millions of people still blindly believe the original narrative because they were bombarded with it nonstop by the algorithms. They were never exposed to the conflicting information, so they were never able to come to their own conclusions.

Luckily, unlike bots, human intelligence is filled with anomalies – People who act on intuition and skepticism in order to question preconceived or fabricated assertions. The lack of contrary information immediately causes suspicion for many, and this is what authoritarian governments often refuse to grasp.

The great promise globalists hold up in the name of AI is the idea of a purely objective state; a social and governmental system without biases and without emotional content. It’s the notion that society can be run by machine thinking in order to “save human beings from themselves” and their own frailties. It is a false promise, because there will never be such a thing as objective AI, nor any AI that understand the complexities of human psychological development.

Furthermore, the globalist dream of AI is driven not by adventure, but by fear. It’s about the fear of responsibility, the fear of merit, the fear of inferiority, the fear of struggle and the fear of freedom. The greatest accomplishments of mankind are admirable because they are achieved with emotional content, not in spite of it. It is that content that inspires us to delve into the unknown and overcome our fears. AI governance and an AI integrated society would be nothing more than a desperate action to deny the necessity of struggle and the will to overcome.

Globalists are more than happy to offer a way out of the struggle, and they will do it with AI as the face of their benevolence. All you will have to do is trade your freedoms and perhaps your soul in exchange for never having to face the sheer terror of your own quiet thoughts. Some people, sadly, believe this is a fair trade.

The elites will present AI as the great adjudicator, the pure and logical intercessor of the correct path; not just for nations and for populations at large but for each individual life. With the algorithm falsely accepted as infallible and purely unbiased, the elites can then rule the world through their faceless creation without any oversight – For they can then claim that it’s not them making decisions, it’s the AI.  How does one question or even punish an AI for being wrong, or causing disaster? And, if the AI happens to make all its decisions in favor of the globalist agenda, well, that will be treated as merely coincidental.

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