It Was Only 16 Words
Sept. 1, 2003
We've all heard the excuses, "So what, at least Saddam is gone",
"It was bad intelligence" and of course, the infamous, "It was only 16 words."
Have we become so used to being lied to by politicians that we don't mind this
lapse in morality or ethics? Those 16 words "lied" us into war and yet we excuse
What if that "lie" was systematically and deliberately planned and manipulated by teams of PR people using polls and computer profiling and simulations? What about manipulations of your mind and thinking process playing upon fears that were created to have you react in a certain way. Is mind control excusable?
Before 9-11, very few people thought about Saddam or Iraq. Shortly after 9-11, even though we knew it was Osama who was said to have master-minded the attack, all we could talk about was Saddam. Nothing had changed in Iraq, but it was the topic of our conversation because we had been changed. Suddenly, we felt it was imminently necessary to go to war, invade a country and topple its leader. We were changed by technology such as computer personality programs that could predict how we would react to certain situations or words.
If that sounds far-fetched, consider hypnosis. It can alter your reality and change your level of consciousness. What is used to put someone under hypnosis and influence their thinking and realm of reality? What tool does the hypnotist use to cause you to believe what is suggested? Words! Simply words. But the right words.
Those high priced PR firms working for this administration use polls, past voting habits, buying preferences and life styles, etc. These demographics are entered into a computer and your most likely response to a given situation is generated. They can determine what emotion is likely to be evoked...fear, anger, gratitude, dependence. Then, just by using those same words, they can call up those same emotions in you any time it suits them. If they don't get the desired effect, they can simply tweak it until they do. When the polls show a good public response, the repetition of key sound-bites continues to reinforce that idea in the same way that daily drills helped permanently implant our times tables into our mind.
Propaganda is the systematic manipulation of public opinion, consciously and deliberately used to influence group attitudes. It is used all the time by advertisers and marketers to persuade us to buy their products. Sometimes images are used which have become so recognizable that looking at it is all it takes to make us think of the product it represents. A picture of "Golden Arches" for example, needs no words to make you think of a hamburger. A catch phrase like "Just do it" conjures up the Nike brand. The "War on Terror" is less of a war than it is a brand. That phrase can be used anytime the administration wants to produce our pre-programmed reaction to it.
Sometimes, propaganda is what we don't see. Noticeably absent from any media reports on Iraq are pictures of wounded troops returning, reports of the numbers of wounded, interviews with amputees, burn victims, paraplegics and quadriplegics in VA hospitals or Walter Reed Medical Center. One doctor at Walter Reed said he's had at least 4,000 admissions, but not all go to Walter Reed so the number is considerably higher. If you can even find a government figure, they put it at about 1200. Those brave men and women must remain invisible because they would remind us of the actual reality of this war rather than the created reality of a quick and sterile win. Being confronted with the facts might make us think, and rediscover our conscience. The propagandist wants to encourage as little thinking as possible. It seeks to produce emotions which provoke an action not thought.
What devious, malicious scheme is planned by this administration that would warrant programming us to voluntarily give up our Constitutional rights and freedoms? We say it's because 3000 people were killed in the WTC and Pentagon attack, yet 292,131 were killed in WW11 and it made us fight even harder to protect those same rights and freedoms. We never would have considered surrendering them, but then we weren't being systematically brainwashed either. Can we allow clever propaganda sound-bites to control us and make us break faith with all those patriots who gave their lives to give us freedoms? Will we let our programmed fear erase their acts of bravery and give up, and give in to this assault on our mind and our democracy? Think about that the next time you hear, "It was only 16 words". Words are very powerful weapons...weapons of mass destruction, capable of changing the world.