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Puppets and Lackeys

Puppets and Lackeys

By Luke Hiken and Marti Hiken
February 21, 2012

On RT (Russia Today) television the other night, it was reported that a recent poll indicated that over 50 % of the American people considered Iran to be a threat to the U.S. and felt it would be appropriate to invade them. It would not have been a surprise if Fox News, CNN or MSNBC had made such a preposterous suggestion. Intelligent viewers would assume that this was just another propaganda piece and not worth taking seriously. RT, however, tends to have honest reporting, and is not a mere mouthpiece for North America’s ruling class.

One could ponder the absurdity of believing that literally 50% of the American people are so bereft of the ability to think critically that such a poll could having any efficacy at all. A more fruitful inquiry, though, would not focus on the supposed results of the poll, but rather, on the more obvious question of “Who did the poll?” Of course, one might expect that the poll was simply another example of manipulative governmental spokespeople pretending to have their bellicose agenda endorsed by public opinion. What the “poll” really points to, however, is the degree to which the American people are misled on a daily basis by puppet institutions, mouthpieces and groups that are part of the oligarchy’s assaults on nations and people everywhere.

Rather than admitting our imperial objectives throughout the Middle East, Asia, Latin American and Africa, the United States trots out supposedly neutral third parties to support and applaud our actions everywhere. Thus, it is NATO, and not the U.S. military that takes the lead in destroying Libya or Syria, or anywhere else we demand that it shows up. It is the Arab League that condemns Syria, and calls for the murder of Bashar al-Assad, not the Pentagon or our own government. It is Israel, and not assassins from the Navy Seals or some other clandestine Special Operations Forces from the U.S. that kills Iranian scientists…. The list is endless.

Is the ever-increasing violence perpetrated by our government on independent nations to be accomplished so facilely? Is it merely a matter of the oligarchy trotting out some supposedly neutral, non-puppet voice, to endorse whatever atrocity they propose at the moment?

Certainly these so-called international institutions and groups have some credibility and influence on a bewildered public. But, are we, as a nation, so naïve and shallow as to believe that NATO, the Arab League, or militarist fanatics from Israel are making decisions that are not directed and issued by the U.S. military-industrial complex? The onslaught brought about as a result of our aggression internationally is of monumental proportions. Missile systems strategically located on the borders of countries that refuse to be vassals of the U.S., special operations assassins, drones, “contractors” who are little more than hired mercenaries are our stock and trade. The policies, practices and attitudes of those who have seized control of the U.S. go far beyond the Democrats or Republicans. The same repressive oligarchs that brought us NAFTA, the supposed “war on terrorism,” Homeland Security, and the mass incarceration of our own people feel so immune from retaliation that they need do nothing more than present us with puppets and lackeys to repeat their lies – a docile American public will do nothing to stop this madness.

We are supposedly withdrawing our troops from Iraq, after our stunning “victory” there, but nothing is said of the mercenaries, or “contractors” as our leaders would characterize them, who have replaced the troops at greater cost to the American people than our own military would incur. We are “leaving” Afghanistan, after wasting 10 years, countless lives, and billions of dollars of our taxpayer’s money, only to remain there with civilian soldiers, not directly beholden to the Pentagon. And now, we are about to invade Iran, as if our involvement there is in support of Israeli aggression. Israel could not exist for 30 minutes without U.S. military support. What garbage and nonsense it is to suggest that we are not the ones making the ultimate decision regarding the invasion of Iran!

With Tea Party spokespeople, right-wing think tanks, like the Hoover Institute, with high-placed politicians and government employees such as Clarence Thomas’ wife, Virginia Thomas (who drew income from the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank where she worked from 1998 to 2003 and from Liberty Central, a conservative political education group she co-founded in January 2009 in part to energize Tea Party activists), or AIPAC, or the other front groups for Israel, Zionism and American corporate militarism, the oligarchs and thieves who have robbed the American people blind can sit back and laugh themselves all the way to the bank.

The U.S does have its own apologists and spokespeople, i.e. those who are responsible for keeping the belligerent determined face on America. Susan Rice looked like a fool screaming her defiance toward Iran, Russia and China at the U.N., passing resolution after resolution, each more transparent than the next while trying to look credible and aggressive. Clinton continues her unbelievable tirades trying to pretend that we are outsourcing “American democracy” throughout the world. Both are as ridiculous as Khrushchev, pounding his shoe on the table at the U.N. General Assembly on October 12, 1960.

As the President travels throughout the country, seeking money from the unidentified rich, and carrying out the only campaign promise he will ever keep, namely, to raise a billion dollars to ensure his own re-election, the American people watch docilely, as the last vestiges of democracy in this country are torn asunder; yet, we need not feel isolated or abandoned -- the rich have an alphabet soup full of “independent” thinkers and countries standing by, on call, to assure us that world opinion is on our side. Whatever their title, you can be sure these forces are loyal to and on the payroll of the U.S. ruling class.


Marti Hiken is the director of Progressive Avenues. She is the former Associate Director of the Institute for Public Accuracy and former chair of the National Lawyers Guild Military Law Task Force.

Luke Hiken is an attorney who has engaged in the practice of criminal, military, immigration, and appellate law.

The Progressive Avenues website,, is regularly updated in the “What’s Added, What’s New” link on the Home page, at

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