Our Time of Universal Deceit Needs An Orwell

Paul Craig Roberts

If we were to be blessed with a 21st century George Orwell, he would coin a new “speak” to apply to “support the troops.” Would he call this “Deceptive Speak”?  Or would he be more clever?

The words certainly deserve an Orwellian name.  The catch-phrase was rolled out the minute the war started, which makes one wonder about its public relations origin.  Who can oppose supporting the troops, at least before we learned from WikiLeaks and Abu Ghraib of the intentional killing of civilians and torturing of whoever happened to be rounded up in the various sweeps? All for the fun and games of it.

“Support the troops” originated in the public relations department of the military/security complex. What “support the troops” really means is to support the profits of the armaments industry and the neoconservative ideology of US world hegemony.

“Support the troops” is a clever PR slogan that causes Americans to turn a blind eye to the brutal exploitation of our soldiers and military families for profit and for an evil ideology.

Our soldiers and military families are paying for the Bush/Cheney/Obama/neocon wars with lives, limbs, post-traumatic stress, suicides, broken marriages, children without fathers, wives without husbands, and parents without sons and daughters.

“Support the troops” is one of the most cruel hoaxes in human history, and yet the vast majority of the population has fallen for it. “War Is Peace.”

When a people are so gullible, it is little wonder that they can be marched off to unaffordable open-ended wars based on nothing but lies, deceptions, and fabrications.

America produces an endless supply of material for a new Orwell.  Imagine what an Orwell could do with Hillary’s recent speech on America’s firm commitment to dissent and the First Amendment. CIA veteran Ray McGovern stood with his back to Hillary in an act of dissent from the Obama administration’s policy of coercing Internet companies into helping to eliminate WikiLeaks as a source of information.  McGovern was dragged beaten and bloody from the room, while Hillary continued praising America’s commitment to dissent and freedom of information.

To capture this level of hypocrisy requires a George Orwell. “Dissent Is Subversion.”

“Globalism” is another doctrine that needs Orwell’s illumination. Globalism, which presidents since Clinton have told us we can’t do without, enriches transnational corporations and turns workers into serfs who cannot earn enough to pay their bills.  “Poverty Is Wealth.”

The police state measures that accompany the fake “war on terror” subject Americans to far more danger and insecurity than could ever be realized from terrorists other than those of the state itself.   “Captivity Is Freedom.”

In his marvelous book, The Emotional Lives Of Animals, Marc Bekoff describes the devastating impact on animals of being kept in small cages.  US soldier Bradley Manning has been kept illegally in an even smaller cage for eight months with no end in sight. At his press conference on March 11, one reporter found the courage to ask President Obama about the conditions of Manning’s confinement.  The great and noble president of the United States replied that he had asked the Pentagon and was assured that the conditions of Manning’s confinement “are appropriate and are meeting our basic standards.” Only a George Orwell could do justice to an American president who thinks that keeping a US soldier in conditions worst than those that drive caged animals insane is “appropriate.”

The US government, which is profligate in its wars, profligate in tax cuts and bailouts for the mega-rich, and profligate in giving unlimited monopoly power to unregulated  financial institutions, blames the resulting financial crisis on “handouts” to the poor and “entitlements” to the elderly.  Such deception needs more than exposure.  It cries out for a 21st century Orwell.

Paul Craig Roberts  was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan’s first term.  He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal.

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