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Lest We Forget (09.21.01)

"Oceana was at war with Eurasia; therefore Oceana had always been at war with Eurasia. The enemy of the moment always represented absolute evil. And it followed that any past of future agreement with him was impossible. If the [government] could thrust it's hand into the past and say this or that event "it never happened" that surely was more terrifying than mere torture and death." George Orwell 1984

So, it's been over a week now. Some have returned back to their usual lives while others struggle with the fact that their usual lives are gone forever. For most, it's been a week of TV, radio, and newspaper addiction. I've also had some time to think about my reaction and how it came about.

It was actually grade 11 history when I first heard a name that would forever change my way of processing information. That name is Joseph Goebbels. Joseph Goebbels (AKA, The Poison Dwarf) was basically Hitler's ad man. Picture it, here's a guy who's told to make an ad campaign for concentration camps. And boy was he successful! He convinced an entire nation that this was the right thing to do, and the best way to do it. All through the wonderful means of propaganda.

It wasn't too long after, that I realized, propaganda isn't just used by the enemy. In fact, today America is quite possibly at the cutting edge of perfecting propaganda. But of course they have it easy with the entire nation glued to the TV on average 4 hours a day and that's when nothing's on. America's talent for shaping popular opinion really hit home last night when I watched a 1988 movie featuring two army generals talking about Afghanistan:

"You know there won't be a victory. What happened was you underestimated your competition. If you studied your history, you'd know that these people have never given in to anyone. They'd rather die than be slaves to an invading army. You can't defeat a people like that. We tried. We've already had our Vietnam, now you're going to get yours!"

What liberal-commie-pinko-smut was I watching? Rambo III. That's right my friends, if you feel like a gut wrenching dose of irony, drop a twoonie and rent a movie that features Americans teaming up with the Afghanistan people to kill the evil Russians. "Alexander the Great tried to conquer this land, then Gangis Kahn, then the British, now Russia." But the kicker was at the end of the movie as the American victors celebrated around countless dead Russians, these words appeared in larger than life letters "This film is dedicated to the gallant people of Afghanistan" (pause for WOAH)

Of course, in the sea of propaganda there are those few who don't let greed, hatred, or ignorance fuel their information. Here are a few thoughts from annalists, Noam Chomsky. An American I have come to regard as intelligent, caring, and a great wielder of level headed brilliance.

Noam Chomsky re. US retaliation: "The U.S. has already demanded that Pakistan terminate the food and other supplies that are keeping at least some of the starving and suffering people of Afghanistan alive. If that demand is implemented, unknown numbers of people who have not the remotest connection to terrorism will die, possibly millions.

Let me repeat: the U.S. has demanded that Pakistan kill possibly millions of people who are themselves victims of the Taliban.

This has nothing to do even with revenge. It is at a far lower moral level even than that. The significance is heightened by the fact that this is mentioned in passing, with no comment, and probably will hardly be noticed. We can learn a great deal about the moral level of the reigning intellectual culture of the West by observing the reaction to this demand. I think we can be reasonably confident that if the American population had the slightest idea of what is being done in their name, they would be utterly appalled."

"We are not hated because we practice democracy, value freedom, or uphold human rights. We are hated because our government denies these things to people in Third World countries whose resources are coveted by our multinational corporations. That hatred we have sown has come back to haunt us in the form of terrorism and in the future, nuclear terrorism." - Robert Bowman, who flew 101 combat missions in Vietnam. Presently [1998] bishop of the United Catholic Church in Melbourne Beach, FL.

Then of course there's a quote from my favorite house of god, The 700 club. Jerry Falwell "I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle... I point the finger in their face and say, You helped this happen" Pat Robertson replied "Jerry, that's my feeling."

I'll leave you with the silver lining around this terrorist cloud. (yeah, my Mom didn't believe me when I said that either) In talking with a friend he pointed out that there will actually be a plus side to us living in BC. Since the US is now a police state, the borders are totally sealed, and the security at the airport is locked tight. Combine that with the fact that it's peak harvest season, and you've got thousands of pounds of BC bud with nowhere to go but home.

Bring on the fire sale!

I for one cant' think of a better time to fire up the peace pipe.


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