The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is expanding its counter-terrorism efforts by launching a propaganda site for children, complete with a comically primitive video game that no kid would want to play.
The stated purpose of the FBI’s new program, called “Don’t Be A Puppet: Pull Back the Curtain on Violent Extremism,” is to “keep young people…from embracing violent extremist ideologies in the first place.”
While it is laudable to discourage young people from engaging in violence, the campaign reeks of hypocrisy. As Martin Luther King, Jr. stated, the U.S. government is the greatest purveyor of violence in the world.
That’s why it’s hard to tell to who we should be thinking of when reading the FBI’s website.
More and more, violent extremists are trying to radicalize and recruit our nation’s youth, especially through the Internet and social media.
This website…uses a series of interactive materials to educate teens on the destructive nature of violent extremism and to encourage them to think critically about its messages and goals.
The site emphasizes that by blindly accepting radical ideologies, teens are essentially becoming the “puppets” of violent extremists who simply want them to carry out their destructive mission—which often includes targeting or killing innocent people.
These characterizations are certainly true of groups such as ISIS and Boko Haram, but they could also describe elected officials who whip the citizenry into supporting wars of aggression such as Vietnam and Iraq.
Radicalizing and recruiting youth into the “us vs. them” mindset, blindly accepting ideologies such as “pre-emptive war,” and accepting that the killing of innocent people is necessary for the cause, are all goals of puppet masters to recruit soldiers for military aggression.
Those are strategies of our own violent extremists such as Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Lyndon Johnson, Barack Obama and all the other politicians who spouted lies and propaganda to gain acceptance and to prevent critical thinking about their messages and goals.
The free video game on the FBI website, called “The Slippery Slope to Violent Extremism,” involves a running goat that you maneuver with the left/right arrow keys to avoid hitting blocks. If you hit a block (which represents a violent extremist) too many times then you lose the game.
Upon losing, you’ll see a screen saying:
AVOID DISTORTED LOGIC:
Our group is under attack.
The enemy is responsible for this injustice.
We must defend our traditions.
The use of violence is the only way to defend our beliefs.
Our violent actions will result in a better future.
These catechisms could summarize the propaganda of U.S. politicians and MSM cheerleaders who revel in the false notion of American exceptionalism and the wicked might of the military-industrial complex.
They could be a summary of the Statement of Principles laid out by the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), a think tank run by well-known war mongers that had long advocated for the invasion of Iraq and any country that stood in the way of American hegemony.
PNAC was active in the 1990s, finally achieving their goal of invading and occupying Iraq as part of an overarching strategy to gain military control of the region and geostrategic positioning. The founders of this disreputable group included Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, William Kristol and others who worship at the altar of big government and military might.
Yes, let’s discourage kids from engaging in all forms of violent extremism, from foreign terrorist groups to the war-mongering of our own politicians.
Justin Gardner writes for TheFreeThoughtProject.com