The US news media is buzzing about the Malayasian airline which was downed from the sky in Ukraine. Some questions are being raised. Some are asking “Why did Ukrainian air traffic controllers not stop the flight from passing through the troubled region?” Others are asking “What motivations could Putin or the resistance fighters possibly have for shooting the plane down?”
While the forces who seek sanity, peace and stability in the world are raising questions, the Western media is singing a chorus of anti-Russian hysteria. Accusations and rhetoric are flying from US officials.
As events unfold over the next few days, weeks, and months, people must not forget that every war that the US has been involved in within recent history has been started with a lie. Hysterical media campaigns demonizing foreign leaders, are an essential part of the war machine. “Incidents” are frequently manufactured in order to build up public support and provide some loose justification for US military aggression.
Incubators in Kuwait
The Gulf War began with propaganda with a campaign of false propaganda about “crimes” by Saddam Hussein. CNN was filled with clips of a woman only called named “Nariyah” testifying that Iraqi troops were pulling babies from incubators. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and other non-profits backed up her claims. The media went on overdrive speaking of “crimes against humanity” and the need to “take action” to “protect the innocent.” President George H.W. Walker Bush justified sending troops, and dropping bombs on Iraq, claiming his intention was to rescue the people of Kuwait.
However, once the war was over, it was confirmed that the entire story had been a lie. “Nariyah” was actually Nariyah Sabah, the daughter of the US ambassador to Kuwait. She had not even testified under oath, making her immune from being prosecuted for perjury. In fact, she had been in United States the entire time, and could never have witnessed the events she described in Kuwaiti hospitals. Her testimony had been staged and scripted by an advertising firm called “Hill & Knowlton.”
Amnesty International and others issued retractions, when it was confirmed in the aftermath of the war, that no infants had ever been pulled from incubators by Iraqi troops. The whole story had been a lie. The lie was blasted everywhere in the US media, and made the gulf war possible. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis died.
Ironically, Saddam Hussein had committed many real atrocities just a few years before during the Iraq-Iran war. He had slaughtered entire villages, and used chemical and biological weapons against the people of the Islamic Republic of Iran. However, the US media never sought to publicize these atrocities, and at that time Saddam Hussein had been aligned with the United States. The US media had intentionally ignored real crimes by Saddam Hussein, but then promoted false ones in order to justify US military intervention in Kuwait.
Panama, Serbia, and Iraq
The US invasion of Panama in 1989 was justified with claims that Panamanian soldiers had fired on US troops. This was true, but what the western media left out, was the US military had a policy of deliberately provoking this. The US military was conducting exercises, and was directly ordered to “provoke” the Panamanians to fire at them. It took several attempts, but finally after enough provocation, the Panamanians responded and shot at US troops. The media then went into overdrive, and the US played the victim, and talked about the “war on drugs” “money laundering”, and other things. Thousands were killed during the US invasion in Panama, justified with an incident entirely provoked and staged to justify war.
Clinton’s bombing of Serbia in 1999 was also justified with lies. When Clinton began his bombing campaign, the US media was screaming about “mass rapes”, “concentration camps”, and “ethnic cleansing.” The “human rights” industry of non-profits and NGOs funded by George Soros, the Ford Foundation, and other “liberals” invested millions of dollars in building a case for war against Serbia.
In the following years, almost all of these claims were quickly disproved. Reports show that what the US Media was describing was completely false. Serbia had not been committing genocide, and the mass rapes and concentration camps were merely fairy tales designed to sell the war.
The Kosovo Liberation Army, a violent terrorist group aligned with the United States against Serbia had actually committed a huge number of atrocities, but these real crimes against humanity had been ignored. In addition, when the US bombed Serbia, it deliberately targeted hospitals, schools, churches, and other non-military targets. Thousands of Serbians were killed, and an entire country’s infrastructure was destroyed, all justified with lies.
The “weapons of mass destruction” George W. Bush claimed were in Iraq in 2003 did not exist. This lie, used to promote the US invasion in 2003, has resulted in at least a million deaths. The lie did not simply belong to Bush, but was repeated by many figures throughout the US government and media, including both Democrats and Republicans.
A Record of Deception
The record of US lies to justify war goes back further than the last few decades. The escalation of US involvement in the Vietnam War had been the “Gulf of Tonkin Incident.” It was claimed that US ships were attacked by Vietnamese Communists. Then President Lyndon Johnson spoke of “Communist aggression”, and US Congress passed the famous “Gulf of Tonkin Resolution” to justify further US military intervention in Vietnam.
In reality, the Vietnamese had not fired on the US ships. The opposite had occurred. US ships had opened fire on the Vietnamese. This lie was used to justify the escalation of the Vietnam War, which killed at least 3 million Vietnamese people. Over 58,000 US troops also died.
The record of lies used to justify US militarism against one country or another is lengthy. One could go back as far as the “Remember the Maine!” battle cry of the Spanish American War, or the suspicious “Zimmerman Telegram” of 1917, which prompted the US to enter the first world war.
In each instance that the US is preparing for war, the media is always filled with hateful propaganda. The leaders of one foreign government or other are demonized, called “monsters”, and stories are told of the “inhumanity” and “brutality.” Some kind of incident is staged, where the US gets to play the victim, or the rescuer. With such a propaganda victory, the US can then respond by killing thousands of innocent people, beating down whoever its latest competitor is, and continue to dominate and control world markets.
Once the smoke clears, most of the stories that were churned out are proven to be lies.
Furthermore, the people the US claims to be “rescuing” always end up in far worse circumstances. US bombs don’t free people, or save them from destruction. Every single place the US has intervened in the last several decades has only gotten worse. Libya is now in ruin, as warlords contend for power and the population has been reduced to extreme poverty. Iraq is a mess of poverty and instability. Afghanistan is wrecked. Serbia has never recovered from the devastation caused by the United States.
As the actual facts emerge regarding the recently downed aircraft, the important thing is that we don’t fall for it again. We cannot trust the billionaires that run the US, or their puppets in the White House of Pentagon.
We must not be conned into supporting yet another war, that will mean huge profits for them, and death, poverty and destruction for so many others.
Caleb Maupin is a political analyst and activist based in New York. He studied political science at Baldwin-Wallace College and was inspired and involved in the Occupy Wall Street movement, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.