Op-Ed by Mathew Maavak
The United States is a schizophrenic asylum of extreme paradoxes: While its internal politics reverberates with fake news-mediated recriminations, Americans yet find merit in the same disinformation machinery that facilitates false flags abroad.
The US is now threatening Syria over an imminent “chemical weapons attack” without offering a shred of proof to the international community. Then again, the last time the US resorted to due UNSC process had instead resulted in wars and mayhem that continue till today. The vial brandished by Colin Powell was found to contain nothing more than a concoction of fraudulent intelligence and mass-mediated hysteria over Saddam Hussein’s alleged possession of Weapons of Mass Destruction. Nevertheless, fake news had come of age and forged an indispensable bond between elected US officials and the sheeple who voted them in.
Fake News: A Collective American Psychosis
No one epitomizes the fake news paradox better than the president of the United States, Donald J. Trump, himself.
Trump’s tantrums against the fake news machinery, particularly CNN, reached a new nadir when the president thumped the imaginary daylights out of a wrestler who supposedly represented CNN. It was a textbook demonstration of the Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED) – a mental condition characterized by impulsive outbursts of anger, violence and rage that are usually disproportionate to the situation at hand.
IED is listed as a behavioural disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) but it can share co-morbidity with various forms of psychoses. This may explain how Trump could magically see CNN in a rehearsed wrestling segment he had acted in years earlier. When fake wrestling is blurred with reality TV show and politics, the result is Donald Trump!
Just how this juvenile video montage is going to roll back years of collective citizen addiction to fake news is open to question but the incident does confirm what the world has been suspecting for a long time: The US is run by lunatics for lunatics. The recent US presidential elections, after all, was a deep state-engineered Hobson ’s choice between two psychopaths whose fanatical support base was evenly-split between 100 million adult Americans.
Trump’s electoral nemesis, Hillary Clinton, remains the catalyst for the fake news hydra but the president somehow lacks the courage to take her on. He is instead lashing out like a helpless child against institutions and personalities that are mere cogs in America’s disinformation complex.
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In the meantime, the US public has meekly accepted a status quo where the IEDs of its elected officials regularly result in US troops being blown up by the IEDs of the combat variety. Call it a poetic validation of the laws of “reaping what you sow.”
In any case, one in five Americans already suffer from mental illness and this crisis is expected to aggravate under the Trump presidency. Expect suicides, spree shootings and homelessness to skyrocket in the coming months. Perhaps, some genius in the White House had figured out that mentally-impaired citizens may be more receptive to fake news.
Fake News as an Instrument of War
Joseph de Maistre once noted: “Every nation gets the government it deserves.” This is particularly true in the case of the United States where Americans do not really vote for a president every four years but rather a messiah who can deliver them from the apocalyptic bogeys of the other deep state candidate. Forget the thinning bread; it is the ever-bloodying circus that counts!
After a while, fake news, lurid allegations and gutter politics are autonomously perpetuated through a zombified sheeple. Thereafter, the deep state only has to provide directions to the slaughter house.
This pathos was apparent when the latest WMD allegations were arrayed against Syria. The US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, did not disappoint with her inimitable performance. Her repertoire was as forceful and convincing as the incongruous melange of a Bollywood tear-jerker, rampant American militarism and open defecation along the Attari-Wagah border. Deconstructing Haley’s argument for anything of factual merit is like studying the erupting contents of a burst sewer pipe for intellectual stimulation. But then, Haley is the populist product of the very society that earlier elected her as the governor of South Carolina. Haley’s supporters like this sort of stuff, fake or not, and they continue to rally behind her in the social media.
The US fake news hydra also relayed Haley’s WMD allegations without questioning the need for an urgent deliberation by the UN Security Council, as is the case with anything concerning WMDs. Perhaps they forgot a famous precedence set by the United States during the height of the 1962 Cuban missile crisis when US envoy Adlai Stevenson prevailed against the USSR’s Valerian Zorin. The John F. Kennedy administration even won the admiration of the Soviets after that episode, and both superpowers thereafter entered a period of détente that brought a tangible degree of stability to the world.
However, officials of Stevenson’s calibre who can resort to facts, evidence and logic are virtually extinct in the United Sates. Instead, we have the insensate antics of Sean Spicer and Heather Nauert who themselves embody walking-talking WMDs against basic human intelligence – reflecting the sure prospect of oblivion that awaits the United States!
Mathew Maavak is a writer and geopolitical observer residing in Malaysia.