Culture of War Update

TRANSCEND MEMBERS, 2 Aug 2021

David Adams | Transition to a Culture of Peace – TRANSCEND Media Service

1 Aug 2021 – Two years ago in this blog, I wrote the following:

“There has been so much advance in both democracy and anti-war consciousness over the past few centuries that the state has found it increasingly difficult to get popular support for its wars, overt and covert, and its threats of war. People no longer will vote for this. To get around this problem and to continue its culture of war, the state has increasingly resorted to secret war, secret threats, and outright lies in order to justify its overt warfare. The war against Vietnam was justified by an invented attack in the Gulf of Tonkin. The war against Iraq was justified by the invented “weapons of mass destruction.” The control of information has become a crucial means for the culture of war – without this control it cannot be sustained.”

Recent events confirm this analysis. Their presentation in the commercial mass media has been controlled to mask the covert warfare of the American empire.

Cuba. As described on the website of FAIR:

“A wave of protests in Cuba became the somewhat unlikely focus of global attention earlier this week, the events becoming the worldwide No. 1 trend on Twitter for over 24 hours, as celebrities, politicians and even the president of the United States weighed in on the action. . . . However, while giving the protests a great deal of coverage, the corporate press across the political spectrum consistently downplayed one of the primary causes of unrest: the increasingly punitive US blockade.”

In other words, the US carries out an economic war against Cuba and then uses the press to justify it.

Nicaragua. A similar covert war has been carried out against Nicaragua. Here is the description reported in Prensa Latina:

“The Cuban ambassador to Nicaragua, Juan Carlos Hernández), said today that Sunday’s events in his country follow the same script as what happened in Nicaragua with the failed coup attempt in 2018. We are in the presence of a preconceived script that Nicaragua is not strange to, such as the use of vandalism by the ‘Protesters’, the diplomat stated in his appearance in Live magazine of Channel Four on Nicaraguan television. He explained the use of social networks from abroad to encourage violence and take advantage of the difficult conditions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic in order to provoke protests.”

Venezuela: Two years ago we reprinted an article in CPNN concerning the US economic war against Venezuela and the control of media reports in order to justify the aggression. The author,  Eric Zuesse, writing in Transcend Media Service compared this to many other similar interventions by the US:

“Over the past sixty years, non-conventional economic wars have been waged against Cuba, Chile, Nicaragua, the Syrian Arab Republic and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in order to make their economies fail, facilitate regime change and impose a neo-liberal socioeconomic model. In order to discredit selected governments, failures in the field of human rights are maximized so as to make violent overthrow more palatable. . . . . Other than readers of that single newspaper, where has the public been able to find these facts? If the public can have these facts hidden from them, then how much trust should the public reasonably have in the government, and in the news-media?”

Bolivia: More recently in another article by Eric Zuesse reprinted in CPNN , he states that,

“Without a doubt, the coup d’état in Bolivia is part of the tradition of the old military coups sponsored by the United States since the end of World War II. However, this practice dates back even further, as the history books show us. That means that the soft coup that was applied against Manuel Zelaya in Honduras, Lugo in Paraguay and Dilma Rousseff in Brazil, has been abandoned and the old formulas have returned. In Bolivia, the old formulas were applied, because in reality there was no possible propagandistic basis for the coup.”

A recent revelation supports the American role in the coup in Bolivia. It is reported by the website TV Mundus:

“The coup general who demanded the resignation of President Evo Morales went to live in the United States. Just 72 hours after the coup, Williams Kaliman went to live in the United States without knowing exactly in which state he will hide after having collected a million dollars. The Charge d’Affaires of the US Embassy in La Paz was in charge of giving one million dollars to each military chief and five hundred thousand of the same currency to each police chief. Between the mutiny of the policemen that allowed the vindictive chaos against the socialists and indigenous people and the inaction of the Army, the coup was implemented. . . . . Kaliman was immediately replaced by the self-proclaimed President Janine Añez and in this way, together with the other military chiefs, they left for the United States, safe from any immediate investigation by the local and international community.”

This information, like other analyses of the Bolivian coup, has never been reprinted by the mainstream media.

Brazil: The arrest and jailing of former Brazilian President Lula da Silva in April 2018 opened the door to far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro, who came to power with the support of the United States and powerful corporate interests. New information indicates that the US was involved as in the countries listed above. According to an article in the Brazil Wire Newsletter, in 2019 the US Department of Justice attempted to pay the Lava Jato task force a $682 million dollar kickback. This was the task force that produced the false evidence used to convict Lula. As they remark,

“Over the past 4 years, as most Anglo media completely ignored the issue, Brasil Wire has extensively covered US government involvement in the Lava Jato corruption investigation.”

Syria. American secret wars and media control is not confined to Latin America. In Syria, the United States and its allies funded the White Helmets organization which provided false propaganda to justify US military intervention against the Syrian government. This was exposed by Swedish Doctors for Human Rights, but the mainstream media continued to carry the White Helmets propaganda.

Xinjiang, China. The most recent example of secret intervention and media control comes in the context of Biden’s renewal of a Cold War with China. As described on the website Yilan,

“Recently, there has been a flood of posts on various other social media platforms, decrying outrage over alleged abuse of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang. These posts claim that Uyghur Muslims are being skinned alive, tortured, starved, and raped in Nazi Germany style concentration camps. According to these posts, the camps seek to indoctrinate Uyghur Muslims into abandoning their Uyghur and Muslim culture. Essentially, these posts are stating that China is engaging in a genocide of Uyghur Muslims.”

Indeed, Uyghur Muslims have been relocated to camps in Xinjiang. But why? Here is where the media fails to give full information. For a long time, the Central Intelligence Agency has financed an organization called ETIM to promote Uyghur independence from China. This is important in the context of the new Cold War because Xinjiang is a key transportation region for the Chinese economic venture, the belt and road initiative, for trade with the Middle East and Europe. The Uyghur camps have been established in response to the CIA-funded terrorist operations.

As described in Yilan,

“The ETIM is designated a terrorist organization by many countries for good reason. To quote from a report by the United Nations Security Council, ‘In recent years, ETIM has set up bases outside China to train terrorists and has dispatched its members to China to plot and execute terrorist acts including bombing buses, cinemas, department stores, markets and hotels.”

There have been fewer attacks since the camps were established by the Chinese government as a response to these interventions.

As for the media coverage, according to Yilan,

“The two main sources that are pushing the narrative of these centers being torture sites include Radio Free Asia, which is unsurprisingly also funded by the CIA, and a man named Adrien Zenz.” (See this analysis of Zenz).

None of this is to defend violations of human rights in the context of the culture of war by the opponents of the United States, but at the present time, it is the American empire that is dominating the culture of war.

That is the bad news, but there is good news as well. Returning to our point of departure, it is

“the advance in both democracy and anti-war consciousness over the past few centuries that [explains why] the state has found it increasingly difficult to get popular support for its wars.”

In fact, by disseminating the above information, we contribute to further democracy and further increase in anti-war consciousness.

It does not seem likely that the advance in democracy and anti-war consciousness can overthrow the American empire and its culture of war, but this empire, like its predecessor, the Soviet Empire, will eventually collapse from its own contradictions. At that point, there will be a window of opportunity. And at that point, the development of democracy and anti-war consciousness will be essential if we are to make a radical change in global governance, a United Nations based directly on the people and promoting a culture of peace.

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Dr. David Adams is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment and coordinator of the Culture of Peace News Network. He retired in 2001 from UNESCO where he was the Director of the Unit for the UN International Year for the Culture of Peace.  Previously, at Yale and Wesleyan Universities, he was a specialist on the brain mechanisms of aggressive behavior, the history of the culture of war, and the psychology of peace activists, and he helped to develop and publicize the Seville Statement on Violence. Send him an email.

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