Sean M. Madden: Living in a Lying Nation
Living in a Lying Nation
by Sean M. Madden
September 1, 2008
The following lead from Monday’s BBC Radio 4 Today program says it all, well, sort of:
Leaders of the European Union are meeting to decide what can be done about Russia in the wake of its invasion of Georgia. The leader of the opposition, David Cameron, went to Georgia in the aftermath of the conflict—and says that Russia must be shown what is unacceptable behaviour and that the UK must continue to stand by Georgia.
If one were to rely on the mainstream propaganda machine anywhere in the West, this statement would perhaps make sense. But when, instead, one actively seeks out news from beyond the mind-bending media machine, Cameron’s lie—like those told by the West’s other leading liars—is criminal in its assertion that Russia was the aggressor. A lie because despite it being known by all concerned, and by NATO leaders in particular, that Russia was responding to Georgia’s assault on South Ossetia, this fact is simply omitted by those who seem hell-bent on starting Cold War II, and who might spark, and even wish to spark, World War III. A criminal lie in that it is being exploited as yet one more in a long, perpetually growing list of casus belli to mask the West’s own “unacceptable behaviour,”its own criminal aggression.
But the Western media always reserves the right to choose its starting point in history. Those who retain a semblance of individual thought after seven years of being brainwashed by our brave truth-telling journalists may recall that all of history collapsed on the morning of September 11, 2001. The public was, therefore, denied a frank national discussion concerning U.S. foreign policy actions which may have led to the attacks. We were similarly denied a frank national discussion concerning the attacks themselves, who may have perpetrated them, what their motives may have been, who may have benefitted from the attacks, and what evidence existed which might point—beyond a shadow of a doubt—to the true culprits. Instead, what could have been a maturation moment for our adolescent republic, led, on the contrary, to a blatant attempt to keep “we the people” infantile in our response.
Living then in Massachusetts, I had been on the computer a couple hours before the terrorist strikes. I had noted with a certain sense of justice that a Reuters top headline had reported that the family of General RenéSchneider had filed a lawsuit on September 10 accusing Henry Kissinger of orchestrating a CIA operation which led to the 1970 assassination of Schneider, then commander-in-chief of the Chilean army. Immediately after learning of the terrorist attacks, I checked the Reuters headlines again—and searched the Reuters news database—to find that the story was no longer available.
History had gone down the memory hole, as it so often must do if monstrous lies are to be maintained.
Therefore, in the case of the Georgian conflict, Georgia’s aggressive assault on South Ossetia must be wiped out of existence by wiping the fact—if it ever reached us—from our individual and collective memory, through constant repetition of the lie, both explicit and implicit. We’ve all heard the explicit. What follows is an example of the implicit, and therefore perhaps even more insidious, lie.
John Humphrys, the supposedly hard-headed host of the Today program, set up Monday’s program with a false dichotomy, both sides of which assume the axiomatic lie of Russian aggression. Noticing when this false dichotomizing occurs is crucial, as one can thereby often see that even when a journalist appears to be critical he might very well be blindsiding us with propaganda:
To sceptical observers there is something vaguely absurd about the leaders of the European Union being summoned for an emergency summit meeting to decide what should be done about Russia in the wake of its invasion of Georgia. Because, they point out, there is nothing that can be done. If a military response is ruled out—and it is—what is left is sanctions, and how you enforce sanctions against a country with so much oil and gas that we need them rather more than they need us. Well, the sceptics may yet be confounded, and, indeed, we’re hearing pretty bellicose statements coming from the Russians themselves.
So, the question—as the BBC presents it, even by a journalist famous for his tenacity in interviewing politicians—is “to decide what should be done about Russia in the wake of its invasion of Georgia,” not reporting that this very statement is a lie, a lie told by the politicians and bellowed by their journalists.
The first article I wrote about the Georgia conflict was in response to the New York Times bellowing of August 14. It is perhaps right, then, that as an American living in Britain I point out that journalists on this side of the Atlantic are just as guilty as their American colleagues of hammering the lies into our noggins so as to form, or forge, public opinion—that is, to shape and mold our every thought, our every consideration, our every conviction—such that we blindly support our criminal leaders’ criminal actions.
The Today program, I should note, is BBC Radio 4’s most popular show, reported on its own website to reach over six million listeners each week. Radio 4 itself is a sort of British equivalent of National Public Radio in the U.S., and is similarly influential in its reach. Its programming in general, and the Today program in particular, often includes leading British politicians and other prominent opinion makers as guests, as in the case of opposition leader David Cameron being interviewed for today’s program.
In closing, I had hoped when I moved to Britain three years ago—for my wife to return to her native home after living in the U.S. with me for twelve years—that the world-renowned British press would prove to be more critical of, less beholden to, the criminal powers that be.
Worse, they are every bit as criminally complicit as their American counterparts.
And, so, whether I live in the United States or in the United Kingdom, I shall, regrettably, be living in a lying nation, a nation I call home.
Sean M. Madden is an American writer-educator living in East Sussex, England. His articles have been headlined by a wide range of online media outlets, including Information Clearing House, United Press International’s ReligionAndSpirituality.com, Guerrilla News Network, Online Journal, Atlantic Free Press, Scoop, OpEdNews.com, Thomas Paine’s Corner, Carolyn Baker’s popular website and the Populist Party of America’s website. Sean also edits and writes for his iNoodle.com and MindfulLivingGuide.com blogs, and welcomes correspondence from readers. His email address is email@example.com.