The metaphor that we are kids on a playground run by bullies helps us understand the oftentimes confusing accounts of what’s going on in the world. There are so many wars. There are so many bad guys we, the American people, have to be persuaded to go after and bring to justice. There are so many arguments about what we should do. They all can be understood as complications of a very simple story. We are kids bullied.
The question we need to ask isn’t about which other kids we should beat up today. We’ve been persuaded to do this time after time. It seems that there is no end to the numbers of threatening children in some other part of the world. The question should be, however, whether the people persuading us to go beat up on some other kids are themselves a greater threat to us. John Pilger argues that the bullies have ways of making us roam the earth like a mob sacking and pillaging whomever these bullies accuse. We have become their enforcers.
If we want peace, and want the world to be less violent, Pilger wants us first to understand the ways that we create more violence in the world by being so willing to listen uncritically to the bully’s propagandists.
John Pilger’s The War You Don’t See
The following is a discussion from Pilger’s website about the efforts by governments to dupe populations into supporting wars that governments concoct.
In the US Army manual on counterinsurgency, the American commander General David Petraeus describes Afghanistan as a "war of perception... conducted continuously using the news media". What really matters is not so much the day-to-day battles against the Taliban as the way the adventure is sold in America where "the media directly influence the attitude of key audiences". Reading this, I was reminded of the Venezuelan general who led a coup against the democratic government in 2002. "We had a secret weapon," he boasted. "We had the media, especially TV. You got to have the media."
Never has so much official energy been expended in ensuring journalists collude with the makers of rapacious wars which, say the media-friendly generals, are now "perpetual". In echoing the west's more verbose warlords, such as the waterboarding former US vice-president Dick Cheney, who predicated "50 years of war", they plan a state of permanent conflict wholly dependent on keeping at bay an enemy whose name they dare not speak: the public.