By Caitlin Johnstone
As of this writing, a tweet by disgraced Broadway fraud convict Roland Scahill has 90 thousand shares and 362 thousand likes, which if you’re not used to Twitter is a ridiculously high amount that nobody generally hits. The tweet features nothing but four seconds of video footage from the John McCain funeral, and the caption “George W. Bush sneaking a piece of candy to Michelle Obama is warming my heart.”
That’s it. That’s all it took to win Twitter for the day. Those four seconds of footage have beenGeorge W. Bush sneaking a piece of candy to Michelle Obama is warming my heart . pic.twitter.com/pAtDdIcSeB— Roland Scahill (@rolandscahill) September 1, 2018
circulated around TV news stations to ‘ooh’s and ‘ahh’s of fawning establishment pundits yammering incessantly about how the death of War Hero John McCain™ has let everyone Put Aside Our Political Differences™ and Come Together As Americans™ to celebrate the life of a man who dedicated his entire political career to sowing death, suffering and devastation at every opportunity. A war criminal giving a piece of candy to the wife of another war criminal at the funeral of a war criminal is all it took to get mainstream American brains gushing with dopamine and oxytocin.
Because that’s how compartmentalized Americans are from the reality of what war is and what it means. The explosions, the screams, the charred and shredded human bodies, the chaos and displacement and all the suffering, terrorism, slavery and rape that necessarily always comes with it, the million Iraqis killed under Bush, the unfathomable humanitarian disasters created in Libya and Syria under Obama, all the devastation created in all the military interventions McCain helped push for, all of that is so peripheral and distant in American consciousness that it can be dismissed with a wave of the hand and a piece of fucking candy.
And it isn’t really their fault. The more woke Americans who’ve grown to resent their brainwashed countrymen hate it when I say this, but it isn’t. It’s not a coincidence that the nation with the most powerful military in the history of civilization and the most billionaires in the history of civilization also happens to have the most sophisticated propaganda system in the history of civilization, and that propaganda system is pointed at them from a very early age to normalize the war machine that is used to protect the empire of the billionaires.
The United States is the most important player in the imperial alliance centralized around it, and therefore its citizenry are necessarily the most propagandized people on earth. You can’t have the populace of such an important nation suddenly demanding that troops be brought home and the resources being spent on bombs be spent eliminating the economic inequality on which your empire depends instead, so you’ve got to get into their minds early and aggressively to manipulate the way they think about war. Everything from flag worship to the fetishization of military personnel to Pentagon-controlled Hollywood movies are used from early childhood to install the assumption that their nation’s bloated military budget is only ever going toward good and never evil, and to prime their minds for the war propaganda they will be fed by the plutocrat-owned news media.
Read the rest here.