CAPTAIN AMERICA, CAPTAIN NORWAY
War, Hollywood, and the Saviors and Slaughterers of Freedom
1 August 2011
On July 22, 2011, thirty-two year-old Norwegian Anders Behring Breivik massacred 77 people in Norway. Hollywood released the new Captain America film the same week. Some people see Captain America as ugly Americana at its worst; others think anyone who criticizes it should be killed. The savior story Captain America follows the earlier 2011 premier of Marvel Comic's Nordic superhero THOR. Meanwhile, ordinary people of both developed and underdeveloped countries suffer more and more as the captains of industry profit from massive global high-tech warfare and the manufacture of misery. How do such seemingly benign Hollywood films affect mass psychology? How do they influence individuals? Is there any relationship between martyr-massacres and mass entertainment media? Some call the Nordic Aryan a psychopath. Others are calling him a savior. Is he a self-styled Norwegian version of Captain America?
Captain America offers spectator-consumers the chance to yet again sit back and be taken for a phantasmagorical ride. The new Hollywood film is another forces of good versus the forces of evil production, where the goodest good guy is a white superhero whose scrawny body is technologically transformed into the perfect muscular male. Moral, good, manly, just, brave, caring, altruistic -- all in a physical package that buckles women at the knees. He might as well be God.
Is there anything realistic about the film? Is it the American propaganda tool that the Russia media venue Russia Today (RT) has portrayed it as? Look at the comments that follow this short RT Captain America video and you will see that people question RT's motives and reject RT's characterization of the film as a flagrant example of ugly Americana.
Here's one example. "Can't anyone just enjoy a movie?" said a guy DaveSquibbSr, who seems to display some rather hysterical patriotic fervor about how the mass media lies to the people and falsely demonizes private enterprise.
Another example: "Dear RT News: Fuck You. By the way, Saving Private Ryan and Apocalypse Now are without a doubt anti-war movies. And the others mentioned contain anti-war messages too," wrote Austionous, who lists his favorite video as Glen Beck's patriotic cheer-lead The Real Story: Iraq.
The real story is that the Pentagon's military adventurism in Iraq and Afghanistan -- never mind Somalia, Congo, Ethiopia, Libya, Rwanda or any of the other sites of U.S. covert operations -- has cost U.S. taxpayers more than $1,228,000,000,000 since 2001, and the ticker is ticking, and the United States economy and all social services are in collapse. The real story is that more than 1,000,000 Iraqi people and at least 4000 US troops have died, with scores of thousands of U.S. veterans wounded and traumatized. Remember Iraq war veteran Timothy McVeigh?
"Anyone who points at Hollywood and accuses them of doing anything other than making entertaining movies for profit," says acircleoflight," needs a tattoo on their forehead that says, "I'm too stupid to understand fiction". And then when we have all these people properly labelled, kill them and send their meat to a starving country. Nothing that comes out of Hollywood is nonfiction. Movies based on 'real events' or 'based on a true story' are still Fiction. Its never actually what happened." This guy or gal self-identifies as a 'pagan' whose "spirituality is based in logic and reason."
And that's a death threat against, well, against your humble correspondent. Alas, I'll have to go into hiding now, hunker down and secure my own little heavily armed fortress in preparation for the Christian crusaders, soon to come my way, as this story gains readership.
Hmmm. I wonder if that's what Moslem immigrants or Rwandan Hutu refugees feel like? I mean, the mass media, governments, and plenty of the common people hold these awe-fully biased and ugly stereotypes about Moslems, you know, towel-headed camel jockeys and all that, and about people of color (niggers, spicks, chinks, gooks), more generally, and every Rwandan Hutu is considered a genocidal machete-wielding savage. How did these stereotypes and mythologies of persecution become so deeply seated in the mass psychology?
What is it about multiculturalism that people find so scary? The idea that we should share? Do unto others as we want others to do unto us?
Anti-Islamic fervor is whipped up by governments, corporations and individuals to provide an excuse for state terror and rationale for weapons proliferation. Such fervor is alive and thriving in the white power economies of the U.S., Canada, England, Italy, Japan (though this is changing), and, well, Norway. When stories about the twin Oslo attacks first broke, the mass media immediately launched into their private inquisition about Islamic jihadists, grounded in nothing but speculation and fear-mongering. Russia Today took their cue from the Western media and their first reports also framed the violence in the context of Islamic jihad.
Your correspondent, a bit too quick to speak (several friends were quite correct about this) but also caught off guard, was stupid enough to get caught up in it, and missed the chance to say, "Hey, wait, it's a blond-haired blue-eye white man who looks more like the Viking comic book superhero THOR... This is no Osama bin Laden recruit, let's kick this Islamophobia habit and stop doing our part to perpetuate war against innocent people..."
TOO STUPID TO UNDERSTAND FICTION
It seems that Norway's self-proclaimed savior decided to launch his own personal revolution, hoping to inspire Christian Holy War against non-white immigrants who are, in somebody's mind, soiling the blood of virile white men and defiling their (the white man's) virgin white women. This sounds like a Neo-Nazi screed about Aryan blood purity. In fact, he has been labelled a Nazi, and saddled with all kinds of other labels, which people and organizations -- who seem to have a lot in common with Breivik -- have used to distance themselves from him.
Did Breivik act alone? Did he independently flee the proverbially chicken coop of Norwegian normality and privately hatch his personal ideology and revolutionary intent? Christian purity, dirty Arabs, the imminent destruction of Israel? I don't think so. I think there are other cells, and plenty of them, or movements, and militias, spread over Europe and North America, who are quite pleased with Breivik's as-yet simmering revolution.
I think Breivik knows perfectly well that his ideas are embraced, and that's what gave him the sense of entitlement to do what he did. He expects to see Europe "burn". They are also shared by plenty of North Americans. In fact, the celebrated American Islamophobe Robert Spencer was cited 64 times in Breivik's 'Manifesto'. Spencer co-founded the hate group Stop Islamization of America (SIOA) and Jihad Watch. The latter was funded (2003) by the David Horowitz Freedom Center (Center for the Popular Study of Culture), a "conservative" group that set out to influence Hollywood and spread their ideas about freedom.
"Some of the ideas [Breivik] expressed are good, barring the violence. Some of them are great," Italian official Mario Borghezio reportedly told British press. Borghezio is a member of the European Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs. How does a guy like that defend civil liberties? It brings a whole new meaning to the words. "Christians ought not to be animals to be sacrificed," he said. "We have to defend them."
The xenophobic hatred of non-white people is written all over the walls of Fortress Europe and Fortress America and Fortress Canada and Fortress Israel. Who could miss it? Kill the Moslems. Kill the Libyans. Kill the Somalis. Kill the Yemenis. Kill the Iraqis and the Afghans and the Iranians. And kill every last Rwandan Hutu -- the fact that they are Christian doesn't matter, since their spirituality was void and null after they, according to the standard mythology, chopped off their own sisters' heads. Kill the Palestinians. To justify, to win popular support, the same people who advance these racist sentiments, and generally the ones who take action on them, are the ones who secretly produce and secretly disseminate much of the supposed 'hate' propaganda (Kill the Christians, Kill the Americans, Kill the Jews) that is directed at their own ethnic demographic (Christians, Americans, Jews).
Hollywood plays a huge role. Films like Captain America... well, tattoo my forehead "I'm too stupid to understand fiction."
Kill the Arabs in Sudan -- another rallying cry -- and arrest Omar Al-Bashir, the Arab Islamic president of Sudan: He's committing genocide says the powerful Jewish 'Save Darfur' lobby, and he's enslaving good Christians the Christians redouble. Hollywood actors and the mass media say so, it must be true. This rhetoric spews forth from think tanks and universities and 'human rights' agencies and from the Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Such rhetoric also spews forth from Christian and Jewish groups involved in the relief enterprise. Sudan has seen massive destabilization due to the Judeo-Christian AID enterprise. Now, I use the word "enterprise" because most 'relief' and 'aid' and 'charity' is for profit, even when the entities involved call themselves 'non-profit' (ditto with 'non-government'). The biggest 'charity' out of Norway, Norwegian People's Aid -- one of the groups who shared a Nobel Prize for the landmines campaigns -- is known for smuggling weapons in Sudan: other development personell working in Ethiopia and Sudan called them Norwegian People's Army.
Empire operates in a curious manner. Take Smith College, Northampton Massachusetts, where English professors like Dr. Eric Reeves sit in their quaint offices, surrounded by Shakespeare and Milton (and by eugenics professors like Seymour Itzkoff), worshipped by starry-eyed bleeding heart liberal elite women, and they hatch political screeds on genocide informed by intelligence operatives -- you know, Central Intelligence Agency types -- who are fomenting the Pentagon-backed guerrilla insurgencies on the ground in those far off places like Sudan.
Harvard University's Samantha Power has confirmed that this is our problem from hell: America has entered the age of genocide. Of course, we don't have anything to do with it, and poor Lady Liberty has to drag her allies with her, kicking and screaming, and stepping on the tails of her gown dragged through the mud on the rocky road to freedom. Of course, we sell 'em the humvees, missiles, tanks and fighter-bombers to get there.
THE RISE OF THE MACRO-NATIONALISTS
What's a guy gotta do to get a little recognition in the world? It was only a few days after his shooting spree in Oslo and the former nobody Anders Behring Breivik already had a huge Wikipedia entry with 164 references -- and it's expanding by the day. Obviously, he didn't create it. Is this capitalism? Or education? No one has created a page for me. Not a single word!
I mean, Rwandan government agents like Tom Ndahiro, who spin the lies for President Paul Kagame, have labeled me a "notorious Tutsi genocide denier" and such praise for my work is not restricted to Rwandans. Canadian academic Dr. Gerald Caplan, who is often seen at the side of dictator Paul Kagame, has published articles deriding me and the other "genocide deniers who drink the each other's putrid bath water". (Seems Caplan forgot to have his work peer-reviewed: its rather hysterical.) Meles Zenawi, the dictator in Ethiopia was a bit nonplussed by my exposure of genocide there. You'd think someone would create a Wikipedia page for me.
What's wrong with this picture? Do I have to become an elite warrior of the Christian Knights Templar? Embrace Zionism? Steal a few million diamonds from Congo and get away with it? Plagiarize the Unibomber's manifesto and then re-enact the Crusades by massacring a bunch of kids at summer camp? Or should I dress as a soldier and have my picture taken like King Leopold II? Leopold is still celebrated in Belgium, his crimes covered up. Is this the future historical situation of Mr. Breivik -- our modern day THOR?
"The recent killings in Norway were horrific," said British rock star Steven Morrissey (former Smiths singer). "As usual in such cases, the media give the killer exactly what he wants: worldwide fame. We aren't told the names of the people who were killed -- almost as if they are not considered to be important enough, yet the media frenzy to turn the killer into a Jack The Ripper star is.... repulsive. He should be un-named, not photographed, and quietly led away."
Does the coverage around this one Norwegian guy at all remind anyone of a guy named O.J. Simpson? Like the twin World Trade towers demolitions in New York City on September 11, 2001, did the twin Breivik attacks provide the corporate media system with the perfect topic to whip up hysteria and manufacture mass distraction? The media is now turning over every rock they can find in the hunt for clues to Breivik's madness. Imagine if they investigated the crimes of the big mining or military or pharmaceutical corporations, or the kickbacks to government officials?
Breivik's most favorite movie was the vaingloriousy bloody Roman war flick Gladiator. No. 2 was 300, an American comic fantasy action thriller marketed by Warner Brothers. No. 3 was independent film Dogville, with Hollywood stars James Caan, John Hurt, Lauren Bacall and, especially, Nicole Kidman -- who has the townspeople killed for sexually and emotionally abusing her.
Dogville is under attack: Danish director Lars Von Trier stated that he's "sorry for having made it" [the film] whose machine-gun massacre at the end might have inspired Breivik's armed assault on the little Norwegian island Utoya. (Von Trier is accused of being a "self-proclaimed Nazi" [the original version of this story repeated this falsehood] but actually suffers from bouts of Tourette's Syndrome -- where things get blurted out -- and made a joke that was misunderstood.] Like all his other works, Von Trier's film Dogville is no encouragement to war. Dogville is a harsh critique on American 'society' and there is absolutely no reason for Von Trier to apologize for making it. Why is an independent filmmaker bullied and shamed into apology? Filmmaker Quentin Tarantino applauded Dogville: does that make Tarantino culpable in mass murder? Why isn't director George Lucas under attack for making Star Wars now that killer robotic drone technologies are deployed against innocent people all over the world?
Why isn't Steven Spielberg under attack -- if not arrested -- for his alliance with the Pentagon in the war production Saving Private Ryan, for which he was awarded the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Service by Secretary of Defense William Cohen at the Pentagon? The award honored Spielberg for making ''a historic contribution to the national consciousness.'' What kind of national consciousness does patriotic war cinematography contribute to? How is Cohen's 'national consciousness' any different from the disease of nationalism?
Stephen Speilberg also has the unprecedented distinction of producing mass hysteria about sharks through the one film -- JAWS -- responsible for demonizing sharks as ruthless killers and, in large part, for the ongoing decimation of shark species and the uncertain fate of our oceans. In fact, sharks are highly sensitive, intelligent beings of higher consciousness, and nothing of Speilberg's representation could be further from the truth, as the film SHARKWATER makes clear.
William Cohen was Secretary of War under President William Jefferson Clinton at the height of the U.S. invasion of Central Africa. He was also deeply involved in the Iran/Contra affair. Cohen has been involved at the deepest levels of secrecy and denial in, for example, intelligence, torture, and special operations.
Saving Private Ryan provokes deep psychological sentiments and emotions based in the standard constructions and discourses of nationalism, patriotism, democracy and freedom. "Ryan, I must be quick to point out," Secretary of War Cohen disingenuously declared, "is not a recruitment promotional for the Pentagon. It speaks to us, however, about the importance of values, discipline, determination and sacrifice."
Who is US? It doesn't speak to me that way. It speaks to me of war, blood, private profits and deceptions that have ripped apart millions and millions of people's lives, and for no good reason, and that have exterminated entire nations of people. How are Cohen's important characteristics -- values, discipline, determination and sacrifice -- different from the patriotism and nationalism that the Pentagon uses to conscript and recruit young people to do its dirty work? Under the Nazi regime, all music had to 'fit' within certain standards defined as 'good' German music -- and censorship was ruthless. How does that differ from the Pentagon's approval or rejection of films?
Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen escorts Steven Spielberg
through a military honor cordon into the Pentagon (1999).
The Pentagon routinely influences the scripts and the direction of Hollywood films. Plot-lines have been changed, history altered, and scripts modified to meet the Pentagon's approval. If the Pentagon doesn't like the direction, plot, themes or characters of pre-production films they won't support them, and don't.
In keeping with the privatization of war, the Pentagon's interests are often served by civilian firms packed with ex-military who maintain tight ties to the war room. Professional soldiers with long service records in covert and psychological operations -- Navy Seals or 10th Mountain Division Rangers or Green Berets -- are often hired as consultants to enhance war films.This way, the Pentagon and U.S. officials can 'plausibly deny' involvement in a film's direction or production -- but the links, ideologies, patriotism and emotional hooks all satisfy the ideals of the American fighting machine.
Captain Dale Dye, a retired Marine who earned three purple hearts in Vietnam, has worked in Hollywood as an actor, producer, writer, and consultant, with major credits for Saving Private Ryan and Platoon. "We are fighting Islamo-fascists who will not tolerate the existence of non-Muslims -- infidels -- on this earth," Dye said in a Los Angeles Times article. "These are folks who are told they cannot rest until every infidel is driven from this earth...They aren't people you can negotiate with."
Dye's consulting company is Warriors, Inc., but he works three days a week to influence mass media reportage on wars the U.S. is involved in. He is a frequent 'independent expert' cited in corporate media stories. Dye worked as a reporter for Soldier of Fortune magazine, and he has run his own radio program. Dye's record in Vietnam raises questions about his involvement in illegal operations like the Phoenix Program. Later, during the Reagan administration's terrorist covert guerrilla wars Latin America, Dye worked "reporting and training troops in guerrilla warfare techniques" in Nicaragua and El Salvador. The Reagan projects in Latin America were meant to subvert democracy, institute dictatorship and further U.S. corporate interests; hundreds of thousands of people died from massacres, beheadings, dismemberment and disappearing.
Who says violence in cinematography has no connection to the real world? In Captain America we find some fascinating themes that should inspire anyone to question the motives of the corporate enterprises and the star-studded casts -- Hollywood, the Pentagon, Viacom, Paramount, Walt Disney, Marvel Entertainment -- that bring such phantasmagorical extravaganzas to the public's pleasure.
Isn't Empire the main theme of Captain America? Military superiority in a we-are-the-forces-of-good-they-are-the-forces-of-evil narrative that never threatens our sensibilities or ever makes us squirm in our fifteen-dollars-a-shot-plus-popcorn-and-soda seats? Is the film aimed at indoctrination for war and the manufacture of consent for our participation in elite military imperatives premised on private profit and power?
What about Hollywood's presentation of ideas about the manipulation of the human body achieved by modern science through genetic engineering, pharmaceutical products, (breast implants, plastic surgery, liposuction), hormones and steroids? Are there any references to these scientific advancements?
What about the theme of patriarchal male domination and the ideologies of the sexual control of women and male supremacy? Come on, can't anyone just sit and watch a movie?
NOT JUST A SOLDIER, A GOOD MAN
"We're gonna make a new breed of super-soldier," one of the military grunts proclaims. "Stay the way you are," the slightly mad scientist with the German accent tells the scrawny un-superized-soldier, prior to his physical transformation to glossy super-chested hero. "Not just a soldier, but a good man."
A good man. "I'm just a kid from Brooklyn," the as-yet-unsuperized hero says. Could be anybody from America. The mythology is that any one of us can rise to great heights if we set our minds on it. Isn't this the great American dream?
The soldier is a good man. The goodness projected by our Captain America savior translates directly to the commonly held belief in the goodness of the average U.S. soldier who, of course, is spreading truth and democracy around the world. This is not a guy who tortures or massacres innocent people, he is a very principled and very ethical hero -- like the great white American savior Jake Sully in the blockbuster 3-D emotional sensation Avatar. The projected image of the good soldier in these films maps directly onto U.S. forces deployed at Camp Lemonier in Djibouti, or the heroes "defending American values" in Afghanistan through Operation Enduring Freedom. America's soldiers are not unprincipled killers -- the kind of sociopath that some people are portraying Anders Behring Breivik out to be -- they are good men. Right?
Of course, Hollywood has its way with reality. Camp Lemonier is a Pentagon outpost for so-called 'snatch-and-grab' terrorist operations run by covert forces, in Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti and Somalia, with secret CIA torture centers. These illegal operations and covert guerrilla wars involve violations of international humanitarian law, including war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. The U.S. backs bloody dictatorships and nasty warlords all across the region. Such facts are obscured by Hollywood and its propaganda films, aren't they?
(c. keith harmon snow, 2006)
WE TAKE THE BRAIN
The new Captain America film is packed with action adventures and high technology war weapons. Consider the film's presentation of the secret weapons of HYDRA -- the Nazi deep science division presented as the ominous evil enemy. It sure looks a lot like the Pentagon's billion dollar boondoggle the Northrup-Grumman Corporation B-2 bomber. Coincidence?
Well, in the film this stealth bomber has a different name altogether, and its not our name for the thing, its the Nazi's name for it. Like the choice of the language that the Allied scientist speaks with -- a decisively Germanic accent -- the choice of the stealthy 'flying wing' resembling the Pentagon's B-2 bomber is no coincidence, but an intentional choice based in the hidden history of allied war crimes of WW-II.
Modern aerospace programs and technologies had their genesis in the secret aerospace programs of the Nazi-American war machine. On April 12, 1945, having crushed the last bastion of Nazi military resistance, U.S. forces under General Dwight D. Eisenhower secured Thuringia, the heart of the Nazi secret weapons research and development programs in Germany. Eisenhower led the charge to transfer superior and futuristic Nazi weapons technologies to the United States before the weapons facilities were turned over to the allied invading Soviet army on July 4, 1945. The Soviets, of course, drew the iron curtain over Thuringia and Eastern Germany for the next 43 years (until 1989).
General Eisenhower personally oversaw the removal of futuristic aerospace 'assets', including the Fi 103 'flying bomb' (propaganda name 'V1'), the A4 rocket ('V2'), and the world's first deployable jet turbine aircraft, the Messerschmidt Me 262 (which as a fighter could attain speeds of over 800 km/h). At least five Me 262 planes were assembled under the direction of U.S. forces in control of the Messerschmidt Me 262 production factory from April to July 1945.The biggest and most secretive catch was an intact prototype of an all-wing, single engine, single-seater jet plane, type named the Horten Ho IX or Go 229 V-3. The futuristic Northrup-Grumman Corporation 'stealth' bomber -- the flying wing -- unveiled in the United States (circa 1989) bears a striking similarity to the Nazi Go 229 V3. It is widely unknown that at least one complete Go 229 V-3 plane and a large number of finished parts of the prototype fell into U.S. hands and disappeared into supra-governmental 'black' programs in the secret weapons complex post WW-II.
Who ran this weapons complex? John Foster Dulles was Secretary of State under President Dwight D. Eisenhower from 1952-1959. Allen Dulles ran the Central Intelligence Agency, until recently known as the U.S. Office of Strategic Services (O.S.S.). The Dulles brothers had ties to Nazi Germany in the 1930's and into the war. Most interesting was the Sullivan and Cromwell -- Dulles brothers' law firm to a guy with a mustache named Adolf -- one of their clients. So began the post WW-II era in secrecy and denial, the Cult of the Atom, and the mythology of the comic strip superhero, Captain America.
"While watching the trailer for this movie I spotted a number of what-if planes and tanks," posted a guy named 'Nick" on a specialized military technology Internet forum. "The main one is a giant Nazi flying wing bomber that looks like an overgrown Ho-229 (sic) and it was being chased by what looks like an XP-55 Ascender. There were also some Nazi armoured cars that looked rather slick and streamlined, only on screen for a few seconds so not too sure. This should be a fun summer movie to switch off the brain and enjoy!"
Allied intelligence ascertained well in advance the locations of the supreme Nazi weapons facilities, including the exact factories and their production capabilities but the Allied bombing campaign did not target the weapons complex. For example, while bombs fell in an ostensible attack on the V2 rocket production facilities near Nordhausen on April 3, 1945, the V2 centers were entirely spared: some 8,800 civilians instead died when the bombs hit the town. There was no military significance to these killings, merely eight days before the American troops arrived. This is yet another example of U.S. government war crimes that went unchallenged.
General Eisenhower personally oversaw the exfiltration of over 2000 Nazi scientists -- experts in biological warfare, rocketry, munitions, intelligence and psychological operations (torture and propaganda) -- to U.S. military and intelligence bases, mostly, but not exclusively, in the continental United States. This mass and secretive recruitment and exfiltration occurred under highly classified programs of the O.S.S. -- and continued under its later incarnation, the Central Intelligence Agency. These O.S.S./CIA programs were called Project Paperclip and Project 63. Through the defense and intelligence establishment's then "Operation Sunshine," Nazi's belonging to the elite 'Gehlen Org' -- named for Nazi intelligence chief Reinhard Gehlen -- were exfiltrated into the CIA.
The U.S. Combined Intelligence Objectives Subcommittee (CIOS) was set up early in WW-II and tasked with collecting scientific data on the level of research attained by the Germans in select technical fields and weapons -- primarily, at first, concerned with the atom bomb. Some 3000 researchers and engineers wearing U.S. Army and Air Force uniforms were attached to General Patton's Third Army solely for this purpose, and they converged en masse on the Nazi secret underground weapons complex in Thuringia after the Allied invasion. Their slogan was: "We take the brain."
Designed and manufactured by Northrop Grumman with assistance from Boeing, the B-2 'Spirit' bomber aircraft each averaged US$737 million in 1997 dollars ($1.01 billion today). Total procurement costs averaged $929 million per aircraft ($1.27 billion today), while the total program cost (development, engineering, testing) averaged $2.1 billion per aircraft in 1997 dollars ($2.87 billion today). In 2010, Britain's scandal-ridden BAE Systems unveiled a new unmanned stealth bomber prototype of its own, Taranis, funded by the people of Britain to the tune of 143 million pounds.
The B-2 has been deployed in Serbia, Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan and in the recent illegal war against Libya, yet Hollywood films glamorize weapons of mass destruction, and they inspire young people to want to operate them, no matter the moral or ethical questions, which are never asked. Raining bombs down from the sky is as immoral as sitting in a remote office somewhere far from the actual war theatre pulling some joystick which rains UAV-deployed weaponry down on innocent men, women and children. Pakistan offers an egregious example which has only slightly scratched the surface of the impenetrable westeern mass media propaganda system.
The film Top Gun offers the premier example of western technological war propaganda and nationalism, completely stripped of all moral and ethical connundrums, cast as another contest of good (US) versus evil (them). Captain America (Tom Cruise), to the rescue. Of course, he always gets his girl. It's not just a job, it's an adventure.
THE BRAIN DRAIN
The military-entertainment complex comprises a lot more than the sleek propaganda and psychological mind-melts plastered across the big screen in such films. Often there are direct ties between current or past Pentagon or intelligence officials. For example, Captain America is a Paramount Films, Viacom Industries, Marvel Studios, Walt Disney Corp. production (the exact relations between these industrial giants are opaque and fluid).
One Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer director for some 19 years directed the interests of the corporation was former U.S. General Alexander Haig -- the former vice chief of staff of the U.S. Army (1973), White House chief of staff under Presidents Nixon and Ford (1973-74), Supreme Allied Commander of NATO Forces (1974-79), and secretary of state under President Reagan (1981-82). While serving MGM, Haig was also a director of the multinational defense contractor United Technologies International (UTI), the parent company of Sikorsky Helicopters, the maker of the Blackhawk choppers of the Pentagon's Somalia propaganda film Black Hawk Down.
Other highly leveraged corporate ties proliferate. For one example, one of the directors of aerospace and defense giant GE Company, Barbara Scott Preiskel, is also a director of the Washington Post, and she is Senior Vice-President of the Motion Picture Associations of America, New York, NY. You see the Motion Pictures of America cited on every pre-preview trailer. For another example, consider that Lucille S. Salhany sits on the Hewlett Packard board of directors with Philip M. Condit, Chairman and CEO of The Boeing Company, and that Lucille S. Salhany was President of United Paramount Network (1994-1997); Chairman and Director of Fox Broadcasting (1993-1994); and Chairman of 20th Century Fox Television (1991-1993).
Directors of Viacom Corporation (the parent company of numerous other media entities) include media magnate Sumner Redstone, a 1944 Harvard University and 1947 Harvard Law School graduate who served in the "Military Intelligence Division" during World War II. "While a student at Harvard, he was selected to join a special intelligence group whose mission was to break Japan's highlevel military and diplomatic codes. Mr. Redstone received, among other honors, two commendations from the Military Intelligence Division in recognition of his service, contribution and devotion to duty, and the Army Commendation Award. Mr. Redstone served in the Military Intelligence Division during World War II."
Redstone's 2010 annual compensation for Viacom was $35.3 million, while Viacom CEO received the largest annual compensation in America -- $84.5 million -- while Viacom's No. 2 director received $64.7 million in 2010.
The U.S. government's Joint Intelligence Committee, established soon after Pearl Harbor, had the dual mission of providing intelligence advice to the joint Chiefs of Staff and representing the United States in combined Military Intelligence matters with its British counterparts; they were also involved in interrogation operations (torture) against Japanese and German war prisoners. The Military Intelligence Division was also used to coordinate and implement various international 'deception operations'.
The film Pearl Harbor only advanced nationalistic and patriotic sentiments meant to further indoctrinate and recruit warriors. Starring great white hope Ben Affleck, the 2001 production is rife with inaccuracies and devoid of any serious geopolitical context. The oversimplified plot was purely based on emotion and jingoisms. Even U.S. military historians agreed.
One of the great cover-ups of the World War II era was the U.S. government's advance knowledge of an impending Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. However, it seems that U.S. taxpayers needed to be coaxed into another blood-drenched war that would claim the lives of so many aspiring Captain Americas.
But that was not the only big World War II whitewash that Hollywood has massaged for the Pentagon and its corporate allies. While the blockbuster film Schindler's List also helped recast the hidden history of World War II, it serves other propaganda purposes -- favorable to capitalism and the elites who benefit most from it.
Schindler's List fits neatly into the narratives about the Holocaust that have become industries unto themselves. Remember the wealth that ghetto refugees carried along with them in the film? Diamonds, easily concealed: the state of Israel was born out of the blood diamonds plundered from the Congo (Africa). While the suffering of the Jews in Europe was very real, it is their 'victim' status that has been used and abused to shield them against all charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity, or genocide being perpetrated by Israeli interests in the Congo, Angola, Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, South Africa, Botswana -- its a long list -- and the Palestinian territories. (Of course, the same 'victim' status has been used, falsely, by the elite Tutsi dictatorship ruling Rwanda today.) But Jewish film director Stephen Spielberg has played a major role in creating war propaganda that suits his personal preferences and private interests in real life. Exemplifying his deep anti-Arab sentimentality, Spielberg was boycotted by the Arab League for secretly donated $1,000,000 to Israel in 2006 during the second Lebanon War.
The 'good versus evil' dichotomy is often used to inculcate emotionally seated ideas about patriotism and nationalism, and to indoctrinate subjects and citizens, and this dichotomy was profoundly advanced by the Nuremberg war crimes tribunals and the post-WW II Cold War propaganda. Nuremberg and the formation of the United Nations were nothing more than sham dress rehearsals for the victor's justice of the international criminal tribunals on Yugoslavia (ICTY), Rwanda (ICTR), the Special Court for Sierra Leone, and the International criminal Court. The fire-bombings of the city of Dresden and Nordhausan (Thuringia), and the atomic atrocities at Nagasaki and Hiroshima all warranted investigation and prosecution for war crimes. Had the American and British and Belgian and French military officials and the monopoly capitalists that backed them been tried in an international court of law by a truly international League of Nations, the world would most likely be a far different place today.
Instead, the prevailing establishment narratives about genocide -- born out of the Nazi Holocaust -- set the stage for the evolution of deeply manipulative and hegemonic discourses that politicized the international human rights and war crimes arenas. These politicized doctrines have transformed all reasonable definitions and applications of international 'humanitarian' law into tools that the most powerful nations use against their ideological, political or economic enemies. Schindler's List quite neatly fits into the political economy of genocide and the financial and political imperatives of the Holocaust industry, and it's no surprise to find that corporate executives from Hollywood film enterprises -- like Viacom director Sheri Redstone -- and are deeply connected to powerful Jewish and Zionist organizations.
And the weapons procurements, productions, proliferation and profits continue to rise.
Norway is a key partner in the ongoing and illegal "War on Terror." Norway provides a base station (on its home turf) for the U.S. Missile Defense program intelligence and reconnaissance gathering against Russia and its neighbors. Norway is the 14th largest arms importer in the world, and a major exporter, with the highest military expenditures per capita of any country in Europe.
In 2002 Norway sent 18 F-16 fighter-bombers to support the Pentagon's illegal 'Operation Enduring Freedom' and the illegal coalition attacks against Afghanistan. Norwegian Armed Forces are involved today in covert 'counterterrorism' [read: terrorism] operations with U.S. and British Special Forces in Afghanistan: between 2001 and 2010, Norway had sent over 6938 soldiers participated in the illegal International Security and Assistance Forces (ISAF) occupation of Afghanistan.
Norway is also part of the international coalition that attacked Libya, in contravention of international law, on March 17, 2011. Norway has six General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jets, and two Lockheed Martin C-130 J-30 tactical transport aircraft, operating against Libya from an air base in Crete. By April 26, 2011, Norwegian F-16s had dropped over 200 bombs on the people of Libya.
The people of Norway are not innocent spectators to the wars their government and troops and intelligence apparatus are involved in. The anti-Arab sentiments in the country are reflected by their global position vis-a-vis the U.S., Canada, Britain and Israel, the predominant purveyors of Empire. The Norwegian government's recent shift to stand up against Israel's war crimes is certainly something to watch.
In 1999, the University of Southern Califonia was awarded a $42 million grant by the U.S. Army to establish the Institute for Creative Technology (ICT). The ICT "was created to combine the assets of a major research university with the creative resources of Hollywood and the game industry to advance the state-of-the-art in training and simulation." The ICT is an Army University Affiliated Research Center (UARC). The contract is managed by the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command's Simulation Training Technology Center (RDECOM STTC).
"At USC's Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT), high-tech tools and classic storytelling come together to pioneer new ways to teach and to train. Our goal is to create engaging and effective immersive experiences that shape the future of learning. With applications for leadership, and decision-making, ICT also seeks to redefine the range of skills these experiences can address."
Sound pretty benign? Check out the page where this text appears and you will see that it revolves around U.S. military agendas. The graphics openly display soldiering and military hardware. One of the main thrusts of interactive simulations is war gaming, a billions of dollars a year industry.
The Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT) has enlisted film studios and video game designers and it reflects the extensive overlap between Hollywood and the Pentagon. Officers from the Special Operations Command (SOCOM) sector of the DoD play an integral part in developing these simulations. ICT video games Full Spectrum Command and Full Spectrum Warrior use the Xbox and Sony Playstation platforms. Pac Man, Game Boy and DOOM were all used by the military as training simulation programs.
It is important to truly appreciate the subservient role that the mass media and entertainment industries play in further institutionalizing the American addiction to war and space. It is no anomaly that the Pentagon has sponsored hi-tech 'brainstorming' sessions with some of Hollywood's most celebrated science fiction writers and producers. With a five-year, $45 million dollar contract with the U.S. Army, the Institute for Creative Technology in Marina del Rey (CA) has been tapping the creative genius of John Milius (co-writer: Apocalypse Now), David Ayer (writer: Training Day), Ron Cobb (creature designer for Star Wars films). Hollywood consultants are paid anywhere from $500 to $1,000 a day to dream up new high-tech military gizmos -- coming to an Army near you.
It doesn't take the brawn or brains (sic) of Captain America to figure out that this Pentagon research and development institute facilitates advanced robotic and simulation warfare systems. Drones. That is, robotic killing technologies such as Unmanned Aerospace Vehicles (UAVs) and Unmanned Undersea Vehicles (UUVs) and a whole fleet of related warfare technologies.
Early in 2002, U.S. Secretary of War Donald Rumsfeld added over $1 billion to the fiscal 2003 defense budget request to develop certain Unmanned Aerospace Vehicle (UAV) programs. The DOD invested more than $3 billion in UAV development, procurement and operations between 1996 and 2001; invested $2.3 billion more by 2005 and another $4.2 billion before 2009. According to the so-called UAV Roadmap produced several years ago,the UAV inventory of all the military services was expected to grow to 290 vehicles by 2010. How many are really out there now?
The deployment of drone technologies with bombing and strafing capabilities represents the most egregious American immorality and cowardice -- the opposite of everything the Captain America supposedly stands for. There's no courage involved in the war games environment where some G.I. Joe operates a joystick -- hardly any different than masturbation -- in some isolated control room far from the killing fields.
Contrary to the propaganda of assurance and accountability ever touted by the Obama administration, the drones are every day deployed to spy on, terrorize, strafe and bomb innocent civilians from Pakistan to Iraq to Darfur to the Mexican border of the U.S.
(c. keith harmon snow, 2006)
"Al Qaeda seeks to bleed us financially by drawing us into long, costly wars that also inflame anti-American sentiment," John Brennan, President Barack Obama's Office of Homeland Security counter-terrorism adviser. "Going forward, we will be mindful that if our nation is threatened, our best offense won't always be deploying large armies abroad but delivering targeted, surgical pressure to the groups that threaten us."
America will pursue war "in the shadows" Brennan said, "relying heavily on missile strikes from unmanned aerial drones, raids by elite special operations troops, and quiet training of local forces to pursue terrorists... No civilians are ever hurt... And by that I mean, if there are terrorists who are within an area where there are women and children or others, you know, we do not take such action that might put those innocent men, women and children in danger."
"In the past year there hasn't been a single collateral [civilian] death, because of the exceptional proficiency, precision, of the capabilities we've been able to develop," said good soldier John Brennan, lying through his teeth. According to a British investigative journalism agency, and countless witnesses on the ground, civilians are routinely killed by drones. Brennan is a veteran CIA operative with a distinguished career in deception and death for profit.
Never explained are the direct connections between drone attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan and the poppy (opium) growers who are not on the Central Intelligence Agency's list of approved growers. The opium trade is used to fund covert operations all over the world -- to back our Captain America's in their pursuit of freedom and truth.
In 2005, Secretary of War Donald Rumsfeld appeared in a Pentagon press conference with Marvel superaction heroes Spiderman and Captain America. The purpose of the Pentagon photo op was to launch a new domestic war propaganda program aimed at active duty troops dubbed " America Supports You."
Now, this may sound like a judgement on my part, but Hollywood's recent Spiderman film is complete drivel. The film begins and ends with some subliminal patriotic seduction drivel -- big red, white anmd blue American flags fluttering over New York City. Then we get a few scenes of promotional drivel about nanotechnology, genetic engineering, aerospace weaponry, and a general lauding of science -- the "let's all bow down and worship science" phenomenon -- but after that its just white happy go lucky romance drivel, good verses evil drivel, some wet T-sheet nipples and boobs drivel, and white male superhero with subordinate white female who has to be saved drivel. When the damsel in distress is about to be raped in a dark alley, it's the Latinos and Spicks who are gonna do it. It is a perfect example of Hollywood mass distraction and stupidity. The film sets out to infantalize the consumer-spectator, and it -- apparently -- succeeds.
Under Donald Rumsfeld and his successor, the Unmanned Aerospace Vehicle sector has grown exponentially, exceeding its own expectations, and the military roles, uses, launch platforms, control rooms and payloads of UAVs -- like government expenditures on research, development and acquisition -- are out of sight. In 2005, tactical and theater level unmanned aircraft alone, had flown over 100,000 flight hours in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. The United States, Belgium, France, Germany and Israel are the leading producers of UAVs and related weaponry.
These are the Predators and other UAV drones being deployed by the Central Intelligence Agency and the Pentagon to bomb and strafe "insurgents" in remote Afghan villages, to patrol and surveil national borders in Israel and Texas, and to "stop genocide" in places like Sudan, where NATO alliance forces -- especially the US, Canada, Britain and Israel -- are deeply involved in perpetrating war crimes.
For example, instead of offering anything close to the truth about Sudan, the military-entertainment complex's "Save Darfur" (a province in Sudan) narrative has been based on flagrant propaganda channeled from the Pentagon and intelligence operatives in Sudan, and onto the western English-language press, through mouthpieces like National Security Council operative John Prendergast or the Holocaust Memorial Museum or Smith College English professor Eric Reeves. The 'Save Darfur' and 'Never Again' sloganeering advances by these propagandists relies accusations (e.g. Reeves) of a "genocidal war against African people's" ostensibly being committed by President Omar Al-Bashir, whose government is under a Pentagon 'regime change' attack.
MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU
Today's battle-fighting environments -- often cast in jungles, like Apocalypse Now or Rambo or the post-apocalyptic Mad Max genre films or -- are awash in weaponry and mythologized storylines that destroy the links between state-sponsored terrorism and domestic violence, between war propaganda and our complicity in war crimes, environmental destruction and terrorism. The ugly truth is that the 'universal American soldier' is indoctrinated to kill, and to kill ruthlessly, and is not some aberration who went astray of the pack and lost his sense of 'goodness'.
We see this lone aberation soldier gone awry in the Rambo films, and it is most starkly personified by Marlin Brando's charicature of Colonel Kurtz in Apocalypse Now. The film is packed with references to Central Africa, culminating in the bloody death where Kurtz (Brando) exclaims, "the Horror, the horror," right out of Joseph Conrad's famous novel on Belgian atrocities in the Congo, Heart of Darkness.
(Click link above.)
Apocalypse Now is no anti-war film. Captain Benjamin L. Willard (Martin Sheen) is a Special Operations assassin with the Pentagon's Military Assistance Command, Vietnam - Studies and Observations Group (MACV-SOG). Captain Willard is sent up the Mekong River to deep territory to assassinate a rogue U.S. Special Forces Colonel Walter E. Kurtz, whose gone 'native'. There's that theme of rogue U.S. commando again. In fact, MACV-SOG was responsible for covert operations, and sometimes these actually were against U.S. military -- but probably against officers and soldiers who opposed the illegal Pentagon or CIA operations and had become 'liabilities' that needed to be 'neutralized'.
The MACV-SOG operations supplemented a ruthless CIA 'counterinsurgency' program called 'Pheonix' -- an instrument of terror, accountable to no one, a psyop gone mad -- that cut like a scalpel deep into the hearts and minds and bodies of Vietnamese civilians in violation of the Geneva Conventions and all reasonable codes of war. Tortures, assassinations, kidnappings, detention for years without trial or survival -- 'neutralizations' of soldiers, fathers, mothers, supporters, innocent bystanders, friendly agents, entire families and entire villages, that occurred late at night after people went to bed. "Such horrendous acts were, for propaganda purposes, made to look as if they had been committed by the enemy." And everything occurred behind the smiling faces and democratic assurances -- standing up in front of the patriotic Western mass media for photo-ops -- of intelligence and defense officials' lies.
Hollywood cinematography introduced robotic technologies to the general public through the Hollywood Star Wars trilogies -- everything from the 1970's hit TV series The Six Million Dollar Man to the Schwarzennegger Terminator films. Thus we can say for certain where the language and public introduction of the new Unmanned Aerospace Vehicles (UAV) technologies came from -- language like 'drones', names like Predator and StrikeStar and DarkStar. These films habituated U.S. citizens to an increasingly militarized environment, the physical and social environments of every day life now characterized by rapid technological changes that are occurring at a rate far more accelerated than the rate of human adaptability, and beyond the capacity for any organized social protest.
These major Hollywood productions clearly facilitated the military objectives of "turning science fiction into fact" and it is in the context of the popularity of these films, and the hundreds of millions of dollars dedicated to their production and proliferation, that we can situate the realities of the "death-and-destruction" technologies that were developed behind them. Indeed, the technologies did not appear overnight: the Hollywood Star Wars type films were the chronicles of death foretold. Drones, droids and other 'futuristic' robotic systems employed in war zones today include sophisticated gadetry like Robotic Vehicle Trainers and these, in turn, revolve around simulation and gaming technologies.
"The robotic vehicle trainer teaches Soldiers how to operate robots like the Talon, SWORDS and PackBot," reads the US Army RDECOM Research Laboratory description, "using a virtual environment in the 'America's Army' video game." RDECOM is the U.S. Army's Research, Development and Engineering Command, another warmaking agency that has a direct relationship to Hollywood.
Simulation centers create the means for remotely piloted killing machines to perpetrate atrocities (war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide) on innocent civilian populations in places where the Pentagon seeks to limit soldier (human) casualties.
While the text explaining what the Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT) is supposedly about makes laudable (I'm being very sarcastic) attempts to classify their activities as civilian -- there is always some civilian benefit, like the peaceful atom and the medical uses of biological weapons -- there is no attempt to cover up the fact that this "university research center" is highly militarized and serves the Pentagon's war-making agenda: it is written all over the ICT web site.
For those traumas and casualties that do occur, the survivors can try to piece themselves -- and their relations with their significant others -- back together and lead semi-productive lives with the support of Bill Ford -- one of the ICT's trauma recovery simulation coaches. Retired Sergeant Major and Vietnam war veteran Bill Ford is a virtual human who is "based on the personality and experiences of real soldiers and marines."
Remember that rush of emotion that overwhelmed your body when watching the 3-D simulation of the decimation of 'Home Tree' in Avatar? Hollywood, in conjunction with academic and military research institutions, has honed in on subliminal psychology and ways to more deeply impact and influence human emotion. Avatar was no progressive film, but a deeply compromised narrative with all the same old stereotypes and ideologies of white supremacy and patriarchy, and contrary to commonly held public beliefs, the film helps to inculcate deeply insidious messages that actually enhance the western imperial project of Empire.
That is, Avatar facilitates conquest, and resource plunder, it does not challenge it. It does not challenge the destruction of the earth, and it facilitates the ongoing genocides of indigenous peoples, everywhere. Like Captain America, already is, or King Kong, Avatar became an industry unto itself -- complete with Na'vi action superheroes, books, costumes, T-shirts, and other materialistic paraphernalia peddled by Toys R' Us and other garbage producers.
Enter scientists like Jonathan Gratch, a member of the ICT research and development team, whose research focuses on virtual humans and computational models of emotion. He studies the relationship between cognition and emotion, the cognitive processes underlying emotional responses, and the influence of emotion on decision-making and physical behavior. His research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, DARPA, AFOSR and RDECOM. DARPA is the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and AFOSR is the Air Force Office of Scientific Research -- two of many amongst the most secretive military-intelligence entities on earth.
ICT Associate Director Dr. Albert Rizzo's latest project "has focused on the translation of the graphic assets from the Xbox game, Full Spectrum Warrior, into an exposure therapy application for combat-related PTSD with Iraq War veterans." ICT director Randall Hill graduated with a bachelor of science degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point and subsequently served as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army for six years with assignments in field artillery and military intelligence before getting an advanced degrees in computer sciences (artificial intelligence).
No connection between Hollywood and the Pentagon?
THE MARVEL UNIVERSE
The Pentagon's public web pages -- for all these agencies -- are awash in public relations, greenwashing (the Pentagon is the top global environmental polluter) and propaganda (read: perception management) whitewashing their true missions, agendas and record. Hollywood sets the stage by programming the minds of entertainment consumer-spectators. While Hollywood continues to falsify the consciousness of consumer-spectators through the bombast of 3-D film extravaganzas like Captain America, the other forms of mass media -- the information overload of "news" productions, advertising and military-corporate whitewashing -- are sure to help finish the job.
Walt Disney Corporation purchased Marvel Entertainment in 2009. Hollywood's Walt Disney productions are legendary, of course, with such animation films as The Lion King, Madagascar and Pocahontas -- each with its own subliminal themes dedicated to the indoctrination of youth in service to the entrenchment of capitalist interests (values, desires, associations) at a young age.
The indoctrination of children to serve the military-entertainment complex in its operational war theaters begins at an early age. It's not just the films. Amongst the many commodities being mass marketed by Marvel Industries are a whole line of superhero action apparel for children. You can also get your superaction hero dolls and fleece blankets and T-shirts and underwear.
That's right, for just $16.50 you can order your superaction hero pajama tops and shorts set on line today and tuck your tiny tot into bed in his Captain America pajamas for a restful night of superhero action associations -- influencing the developmental character structure at a deeply subconscious level through dreams -- which translate into early childhood indoctrination for weaponry, war and patriarchy.
The Lion King, for example, has a deeply anti-immigration message, this crafted over and above the more obvious racial stereotypes and patriarchal themes of male power and dominance that serve the ongoing evisceration of resources from Africa, and the depopulation that attends these. Such animation shorts are filled with mythologizing themes and images that distort the spectator-consumer's perceptions of reality, underscoring the supposed supremacy of the white societies (the light-skinned lions) and the supposed sociopathologies of people of color (the dark-skinned lion plotting with sniveling and drooling hyenas to leave the 'spoiled' badlands and take the good lands).
Never mind the elderly ape with walking stick being the closest thing to a human. While the Pentagon and multinational corporations are engaged in exercises to depopulate landscapes in Africa, we have co-existent and simultaneous the production and mass consumption of racialized animation imagery of The Lion King or Madagascar -- and its not a whole lot different with Out of Africa either, it's just different -- that inculcates the white consciousness with the un-peopled Africa. This is yet another debasing projection of savagery and beastiality onto African people -- and the blotting out of indigenous tribes of East Africa in favor of the mining and tourism interests of white western capitalism, backed by the Pentagon's new Africa Command, AFRICOM.
CURIOUSER AND CURIOUSER
Along with these primary western agents of disinformation come the Pentagon's 'humanitarian' entourage, Hollywood actorvists like George Clooney, Mia Farrow, and Don Cheadle, our Captain Americas for Sudan, and Ben Affleck, Angelina Jolie and now Emile Hersch, our Captains America for Congo. Hollywood films that disinform consumer-spectators and whitewash the historical and contemporary realities of western military and multinational corporate interventions in Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda and Congo are spread around the globe through the global cinema distribution complex. These films include The Devil Came on Horseback (Darfur, Sudan); Hotel Rwanda; Black Hawk Down; The Last King of Scotland; King Kong and Blood Diamond.
In the late fall of 2005, the Hollywood film King Kong opened to sellout crowds everywhere. The high-action cinematography and special effects combined with the racy recycled story of Beauty and the Beast to bring home a walloping fortune for everyone involved. Behind the film, however, is a dark forest of conservation organizations, primatologists and public relation firms peddling billions of dollars in so-called 'conservation' programs for Central Africa. Behind these conservation organizations, funding them, or working with them directly, are some very interesting corporate species. As you penetrate deeper and deeper into this jungle of surprises, the landscape gets curiouser and curiouser.
The King Kong industry and Kong paraphernalia was peddled at Starbucks and Burger King, but there's a whole jungle of Kong related products on sale out there. The King Kong media machine pumped articles into many print magazines, including WIRED, Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair. Turner Broadcasting (CNN/TBS/TNT) 'scooped up' the rights for the television network premier of King Kong from owner-producers NBC/Universal and Universal Studios Home Entertainment peddled the King Kong DVD and King Kong computer games.
Avatar's Colonel Miles Quaritch
Remarkably, there are many real life parallels to the characters and events in the King Kong epic. Included in these are interests connected to Universal Studios. One interesting entity cashing in on the King Kong frenzy is the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International (DFGF-I). Behind or partnered with them are a whole troop of multinational corporations whose interest in gorilla conservation appears to be a front for the control and exploitation of Banana Republics -- Rwanda, the two Congos, Uganda, Central African Republic, Gabon.
One of these secretive firms, ESRI (Earth Sciences Research Institute), has worked in the defense sector for years, initially focused on supporting defense mapping organizations and advanced terrain analysis and other cartographic military necessities for military base development. "Now as a result of Congressional mandate," said expert John Day in Military Geospatial Technology, "technology is being deployed into a wide range of warfighter, intelligence and base support programs; and ESRI is playing a leading role in that transformation."
At the heart of the King Kong tale is the white damsel in distress. Like the Tarzan myth, the sassy white female makes the adventure, and her sexuality is the central draw. Ann Darrow (actress Naomi Watts) makes her Kong debut in a flimsy nightgown and she closes the film in an equally seductive dancing gown. The seductress captures the imagination of the viewers, adding a titillating energy of subliminal sexual desire, but her white femininity is situated in a subordinate role, and her sexual availability is advertised most clearly when the big beast pokes at her. For the spectator-consumer, the titillating advances provoke subliminal sexual emotions.
Like Tarzan's Jane, Kong's Ann Darrow offers a metaphor for the real life femme fatales of the primate conservation community involved in the imperial enterprise of 'conservation' in Africa. A central character is Dian Fossey, the primatologist whose pioneering research on the mountain gorillas of Rwanda led to her murder in 1985. Another is Sigourney Weaver, the Hollywood star who played Dian Fossey in the late 1980's Hollywood film Gorillas in the Mist. And then there is Jane Goodall, the internationally renowned chimpanzee specialist. More recent femme fatales to enter the fray are Daryl Hannah and Madison Slate.
executed by police on the Danziger Bridge after Hurricane Katrina.
(Click link for story)
The buck doesn't stop there. The Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) has a base in an out-of-this-world place called Walikale, in South Kivu province, Congo. The JGI has been involved with militias and land theft, and is indirectly backing extortion, war crimes and genocide in Eastern Congo. Of course, like the place itself (Walikale), such stories appear completely off the map of establishment media reality -- an so they appear as crazy as the people of color, portrayed as drooling tribal zombies, in King Kong.
BLACK HAWK DOWN
"And ah, can someone explain to me how Hollywood was dishonest with Black Hawk Down?" said DaMarlboroMan3, commenting on RT's Captain America video. "We were there to help people and they tried to kill us and we killed a lot of them to defend ourselves. Somalia has no resources we would want unless dust becomes the next big thing on wall street."
And ah, DaMarlboroMan3 watches too many Hollywood movies (or smokes too much). Black Hawk Down was an outrageous war propaganda production that completely falsified the story of western occupation and plunder of Somalia. Scandalous corporate entities like Save the Children, and the deceptive spin on the Pentagon's war machine there, were chronicled in journalist Michael Maren's expose The Road to Hell.
The early 1990's crises in Somalia had its roots in the invasion of Western humanitarian aid organizations that occurred steadily as big money and big relief flooded into Somalia from 1981 onward. By the mid 1980's the aid machine had crippled the local economy and Somalia could not feed its own people.
white male Rambo-esque violence, war technologies, and female sexuality.
After a furious political scramble involving Royal/Dutch Shell, Agip and other petroleum vultures, all oil concessions were granted (1989) to Conoco, Chevron, Amoco (BP) and Philips Petroleum. The Pentagon's Operation Restore Hope was never a "humanitarian" mission: that was the cover story.
U.S. forces killed scores of thousands of Somali people -- and a few Captain America wannabees were dragged through the streets to ridicule our American arrogance. The Israeli-American-Ethiopian-Ugandan missionin Somalia today is far more nasty, involving U.S. Covert Ops in war crimes qualifying the US and Israel for the International criminal Court, and the western powers are equally culpable in the massive ongoing famine. So, oil in Darfur, covert operations in Somalia? This is the new, old, 'humanitarian' warfare in Africa and Hollywood covers it all up.
Like the representations of the females in Avatar, in the Indiana Jones series, in The Lion King Pocahontas and the many King Kong flicks, the typical Hollywood propaganda film casts females either in weak or subservient roles, or as lusty sex-craved female fatales out to eat every good man alive. In both cases the stereotypical females are overshadowed by dominant male roles, protectors and saviors of all that is good, out to rid the world of the scourge of evil.
THE WHITE MALE SAVIOR-SLAUGHTERER
Sigourney Weaver appears in Avatar an older woman scientist who can hardly trot for the scenes where she appears in human form, and so she is recast as a young, nubile, sexually attractive Na'vi avatar. Weaver can't accomplish what she wants, nor can the other non-white minorities (Latino helicopter pilot), until their dominant white male Jake Sully comes along and saves the day. The crippled Jake Sully is portrayed as an impotent soldier who, like the Six Million Dollar Man, can be made whole again through the technological transformation to an avatar. But even as a paraplegic, Jake Sully retains his white male superhero savior status and all the privileges that come with it, and this status is enhanced and reconfigured -- just as Captain America is physically reconfigured -- when he embodies a Na'vi, the people his occupying imperialist other-worldly corporate-dominated (earth) society has come to conquer.
Many Hollywood propaganda films promote technological utopia: science and technology are presented as a religion we should all (continue to) worship. The scrawny weakling but omnipotent moral soldier in Captain America is marvelously transformed into a spectacle of masculinity. Not only is he smart, and moral, now he is the super athletic man. In Avatar, Jake Sully goes native with the help of the futuristic technologies of the conquerors (that would be you, me, US). Here is the glorification of science, and the real-time corporate influence (aligned with Hollywood) provides the impetus behind the higher 'moral' purpose to save and not bomb 'Home tree'. Weaver's scientist character facilitates this medico-pharmaceutical-academic narrative which, translated, means biopiracy and theft of indigenous people's traditional knowledge, intellectual property, and ways of life. Sounds a lot like genocide, but the film does not leave ANYONE with any greater awareness of the actual genocides against indigenous people's that are happening while we sit in the theater watching the film.
The story is only slightly different in District 9. The weaponry is futuristic, to the average spectator-consumer's eye, but the Pentagon has already created weaponry which the general public is almost totally unaware of: directed energy weapons; advanced artificial intelligence systems; nanotechnology; biological weapons; and weather as a weapon. These things don't just appear out of the blue. District 9 is another film with a deep, dark anti-immigration message, but now the 'illegals' and 'refugees' are actual aliens from elsewhere in the universe.
"I saw in District 9 a depiction of a present day state, South Africa, which had fallen from black control under the unseen hand of white corporate control in the near future," says anthropologist Dr. Enoch Page. "That white control was exemplified in that film by a white male corporate executive who superficially seemed to be a racist bungling idiot, but in exercising his racism against the aliens he got infected with their genetic material and began to morph himself into the physical form of that oppressed alien population. As the man morphs into the other he is, of course, rejected by his own who deem him crazy or at least lost in battle. Consequently, he can only gain safe haven among the oppressed and begins to assist their liberation (but only with the thought of being healed so he can return to his white wife and white life). The total completion of his metamorphosis probably will be the basis for a sequel to that film. So we are seeing in recent films venues for projecting an imagined future in which the strategy of appropriating the physical form of the oppressed becomes the vehicle for a white male hero."
District 9 builds tension in the spectator-consumer by playing on deep-seated psychological anxieties about bodily fluids and primordial origins of existence. This tension is mapped over all the standard racial stereotyping where the whites -- the forces of good -- are superior, civilized, educated and rational, and they (we) must protect them (our) selves. In contradistinction, the non-whites -- the mixed up crazy forces of evil fighting amongst themselves -- are disgustingly irrational, violent, drug-dealing crack-addicted savages (the African warlords in the films) out to get us, or disgustingly insect-like alien prawns, whose biological material is infectious and dangerous to our society, mimicking the Africa disease narratives about ebola and malaria and HIV/AIDS spreading to the uninfected global north.
"It is important [to note] that we are seeing in both these films images of formerly colonized people of color who are aiding and abetting the white invasions as fellow Americans," says Dr. Page. "In District 9 we never see them come to the aid of the aliens. Even the raunchiest Africans engaged in the lowest of trade and behavior racially despise the aliens, while at the same time seeking to gain parts of their bodies to enhance their own sexual and physical powers. In Avatar people of color are positioned more centrally in support of the hero and defect from the cause of the invasionary force along with him but not on their own."
Avatar went on to become the highest-grossing film of all time, grossing more than US$2.730 billion ($2.8 billion adjusted for inflation) in box-office receipts worldwide. It should be no surprise to find out that Sam Worthington (Jake Sully) also stars in Call of Duty: Black Ops a first-person shooter video game released worldwide on November 9, 2010 for Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 consoles, with a separate version for Nintendo DS. Within 24 hours of going on sale, the game sold more than 7 million copies, 5.6 million in the U.S. and 1.4 million in the U.K.
Talking about immigration and plunder of resources and human trafficking, note that Marvel Entertainment director Morton Handel is also a director of American Uranium Mining and Trump Entertainment Resorts. The Trump casinos in Atlantic City exploit Mongolian students, lured into the United States through a U.S. State Department affiliated program, in hopes of experiencing the American Dream, and then forced to accept horrendous working conditions, to engage in survival sex, to be subject to rat infested living conditions and drug dealers and armed gangs. This is the trafficking and slavery side of the war on immigrants, refugees and people of color.
The film Blood Diamond also stars a muscular great white male (Leonardo DiCaprio) and a seductive white female (Jennifer Connelly) who assumes a subordinate role. Here the white savior warrior is again the savior of the other protagonist subordinates  first, the white female;  second, the African negro and freed diamond mine slave (Djimon Hounsou) who found the big diamond everybody is killed for.
Blood Diamond is packed with overt and covert racial codings that further entrench white superiority and the discourses that proclaim the need for white economic, political and military deployments to rescue/save Africa. "It's my teekit to geet out of thees God-forsaken continent," the white South African mercenary hero (DiCaprio) tells his soon-to-be-lover girl.
Blood Diamond appeared at precisely the same time as the diamond industry was whitewashing its bloody operations through the Harvard University-sponsored development of the Kimberley Process -- another faux mechanism shielding the true agents of warfare and plunder, in Africa, through a hegemonic protection mechanism -- conquerors policing themselves -- that criminalizes anyone who cuts into the profits of the big diamond cartels.
Blood Diamond ends by informing the reader that the Kimberley Process has sorted it all out, when in reality it merely rinses the blood off the diamonds sold in western luxury boutiques. The happy Hollywood ending arrives when the freed slave succeeds in testifying at some faux international court -- another euphemistic 'United Nations' reference -- and the journalist chick (Connelly) gets her story. Both of the subordinate role (white female, freed negro slave) successes relied on the supreme white warrior savior muscle male (De Caprio) who, in the end, is presented as a reformed and moral man, a good man, a martyr.
The Captain America of the savage jungles -- themes of darkness portrayed in such films as King Kong -- is our Hollywood hero Tarzan, another white Marvel comic action hero of stellar repute, and a popular fixture around Hollywood since the 1950's. Of course, every Tarzan has his seductive and easily seduced sidekick, Jane.
Tarzan and the Lion Man was set in the Ituri forest in Congo. "It has the makings of a good story," the publisher wrote, on the book jacket of the 1934 Edgar Rice Burroughs classic. "A motion picture company in the wilds of Africa, two beautiful girls, ruthless Arabs [emphasis added], a half-maniacal scientist, a tribe of gorillas that he has taught to speak English, a coward who looks like Tarzan, and Tarzan himself."
The whole Tarzan genre set the stage for the historical and ongoing conquest of Africa -- led by the Central Intelligence Agency, the French and Belgian and Israeli (Mossad) secret service, the Pentagon and the French Foreign Legion, and the rapacious multinational corporations that have long been plundering and killing on the continent.
In this 2009 AFRICOM image screen-captured from a 'Operation Lightning Thunder' video, the Pentagon forgot to expunge the white pilot.
HOLLYWOOD AND THE HOLOCAUST IN CENTRAL AFRICA
Hotel Rwanda covers up the United State's invasion of Central Africa. From the very first words, where the image has yet to appear and the screen is completely black, the film Hotel Rwanda sets up viewers to think a certain way about what happened in Rwanda in 1994. Here is a story about good versus evil. An ominous African voice is heard, clearly the announcer on a radio program, and he is describing the Tutsis as 'cockrrrRRROACHES.' The voice is black and the cataclysm unfathomable, as anyone will tell you, and the black screen underscores the evil darkness of Africa. This voice of terror returns throughout the film to haunt the innocent Tutsi refugees, on screen, and the viewers gripping their seats.
The good guys are the Tutsis, the victims of genocide. They are not killers in the movie: they are never killers. At the end of the film, when a well-attired guerrilla force is shown--the "rebels" of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF)--they are rescuers. They are disciplined, organized. They keep a tidy United Nations camp safely behind their lines. They don't kill Red Cross nurses, or orphaned children, in the film: they reconnect them to their families. They are good men -- the forces of good fighting the forces of evil. The Hutus in the standard Rwanda genocide stories are always the bad guys, and they are all bad guys. Every Hutu is a genocidaire. These are Hollywood's forces of evil.
"Speaking as an Englishman I am often appalled by the blatant propaganda that comes out of Fox News," said randomsamno9, commenting on Russia Today's Captain America video. "But on an equal level or perhaps even more so RT is pure propaganda... RT just spends all day bitching about the US rather than giving you actual news. Also 'The Last King of Scotland' may have been a fictionalized account but that doesn't change the fact that Amin was a real mass murderer rather than a fictional one."
Oh really? Back in the late 1960's the big imperialists were alarmed by Ugandan President Milton Obote's socialist shift. Imagine the audacity of an African leader -- who was, in the beginning, supported by Israel -- actually taking care of his people at the expense of foreign interests! In a new alliance with Sudan, Obote challenged the Israeli backing of southern Sudanese guerrillas from Uganda, armed by Israel to punish Sudan for backing Arabs in the Six-Day War (1967). Everywhere derided as a nasty dictator today, Obote was a truly great African leader who was saddled with false accusations of genocide and war crimes, these actually committed by his enemies.
Idi Amin Dada received training in Israel after Ugandan independence. As one of Obote's generals, Amin maintained Israeli supply lines to the Sudanese rebels. Backed by Colonel Bar-Lev, the Israeli Defense attache, Amin's army overthrew Obote in 1971 and restored relations with Israel (severed in 1967). In 1972 Israel refused Amin's request for tanks, and so Amin expelled Israeli residents from Uganda, severed relations, and forged a pact with Libya. Well, we all know how Washington and the Israelis feel about Muammar Gaddafi -- the supreme commander of the Islamic forces of evil, and so Israel and the west blockaded the Amin government, which overnight became a 'dictatorship' in western news reportage. Enter and the falsified narrative in Hollywood's Last King of Scotland.
The real mass murderer is Yoweri Museveni, Uganda's president for the past 25 years, but this is the Pentagon's man. The Last King of Scotland deflects public attention away from the ongoing Acholi and other genocides committed by the Museveni dictatorship, and Museveni is far more bloodthirsty and ruthless than Idi Amin ever was. The early 2009 US-Israeli-Ugandan 'Operation Lightning Thunder' was a massive military failure that led to thousands of civilian deaths in the border areas of South Sudan, northern Uganda and eastern Congo. But I am not even scratching the surface on the Museveni apparatus of terror in Uganda, Sudan, Rwanda, Somalia or Congo. The prisons in Uganda are packed, the people starving, with high maternal death rates, after 25 years of "a model African success story". All "development" aid to Uganda has been converted into weapons and war.
All of the documentary films about the Uganda/Sudan/Rwanda region -- The Devil came on Horseback, Shake Hands with the Devil, Lost Boys of Sudan, Invisible Children -- serve a one-sided and essentialized agenda: the advancement of Empire. Enter the Pentagon's PR machinery -- each year pumping thousands of "news" stories into the New York Times and Washington Post and National Public Radio -- and the pictures of U.S. troops holding smiling African children or buidling schools in desert villages. Enter the great white actorvist hero Ben Affleck and the corporate sustained catastrophe in the Congo that his debonair Hollywood image and sleek Stars-and-Stripes privileges shield us from seeing.
Do western war superhero films like Captain America influence children? Exit the matrix, jump back to the most deadly conflict in the world: Congo. The western human rights nexus likes to shake its trigger-happy fingers at foreign armies, rogue militias and uncooperative governments, and the Pentagon and State Department, with the help of USAID, are quick to accuse then of everything and anything the US, NATO and Israel are also doing. Massacres, torture, mass rape, spreading land mines across the land, and, of course, child soldiers. Well, look at the image of the child soldiers below, a photo snapped by your soon-to-be-killed foreign correspondent in eastern Congo. There's no mistaking the red-white-and-blue superhero graphic splashed across one soldier's T-shirt, and the twelve year-old children with AK-47's and cigarettes didn't pick these fruits of western progress out of the trees of the King Kong forests nearby.
(c. keith harmon snow, 2007)
"The recruitment of young people to military service in African conflicts has provoked a unanimous moral outcry from the West," writes Danish academic Dr. Kasper Hoffman. Child soldiering is by no means new or restricted to Africa, Hoffman notes, since children aged 16 can bear arms in U.S. military, and the West engages in a disingenuous hegemonic discourse where the use of child soldiers is always equated to disorder and moral corruption in Africans. But Hoffman found that child soldiers in Congo were heavily influenced by Hollywood superaction hero films.
The West likes to point its trigger-happy fingers at African conflicts, like the wars in Congo, where many child soldiers -- called 'kadogos' -- joined militias of their own accord to defend their country against foreign invaders. The West use accusations of child soldiering, immorality, tribalism and irration spirit magic to demonizes the highly organized and nationalist Mai Mai militias, and most all violence is blamed on the Mai Mai or the remnants of the Hutu Forces for the Democratic Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) that fled the illegal RPA invasion in 1994. Mai Mai do not fight with any sense of purpose or morality, according to arrogant Western agents and the corporate mass media, themselves complicit in plunder and genocide in Congo -- the Mai Mai worship spirit mediums and they rip out and eat the bloody hearts of their victims and they walk backwards into battle wearing bathroom fixtures on their heads (Newsweek, 1996).
Hoffman found that Mai Mai militia members fight out of a sense of pride, nationalism and a highly ethical sense of home-defense. They have seen entire villages wiped off the face of the earth by the U.S.-backed Rwandan (Kagame) and Ugandan (Museveni) troops and they know very well that clandestine cells of the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA) and Uganda People's Defense Forces (UPDF) are perpetrating terrorism there. The RPA/UPDF employ ruthless and unaccountable false flag operations and pseudo operations (covert psychological and terror operations developed by British Maj. Frank Kitson during the Mau Mau insurgency on Kenya) to disguise their origins and intent.
While offering some fascinating insights into the indigenous social formation of identity - a.k.a. Mai Mai social construction, empowerment and agency of domestic Congolese resistance to foreign occupation -- Dr. Kasper Hoffman's academic research publication decontextualizes the greater realities of western involvement in Central Africa. All Western military and corporate involvement (Zaire, Rwanda, Uganda, Congo) is obliterated. All Rwanda 'genocide' talk falls neatly into the false (establishment) narrative of Tutsis as victims and Hutus as genocidaires: the millions of displaced persons had no agency, no right to self-defense, to protect or return to their own country and liberate it from Western-backed terrorist occupation (the RPF/UPDF and foreign migrants from Uganda), and no rights to basic self-determination or survival. To understand his own biases, the author would need to appropriately situate himself vis-a-vis the elite imperial 'development' enterprise he mildly confronts, but his epistemologies of his whiteness prevent that. A.k.a. academics who feed off the system cannot be radically objective.
THE GLOBAL WAR ON _____ (please fill in the blank).
Western governments and United Nations, and the human rights, development and 'humanitarian' industries -- the merchants of death that profit off violence -- all play along with Western media reports that generally whitewash reality to exonerate Rwanda and Uganda and the corporations involved in eastern Congo (Banro, Moto Gold, DHL International, OM Group). More expedient to the mass media whitwashing of war in Congo, every Congolese Mai Mai and Hutu soldier is accused of mass rape, this offering another essentialized narrative convenient for conquest, and one that is peddled by tabloids from the New York Times to Wired to the BBC, from CNN to OPRAH to Democracy Now. Even the rape of men is excluded by the international discourse which confines all discussion about war in eastern Congo to the manipulative discourse about rape of women.
"The influence of Western action films emerges clearly in the care of the self among the kadogos Mai Mai," reports Dr. Hoffman in The Ethics of Child Soldiering. Popular culture influences the forms of violence, slang, gestures, and body language of the militia members that re-enact the attitudes and actions of 'freedom fighter' heroes. They aren't just mimicking Captain America: the kadogo internalize the deeper ethical constructs of freedom and resistance and apply them to the formation of their self and strength of purpose. The Rambo (Stallone) and Commando (Schwartzenegger) films were especially important in offering a sense of purpose and ethical direction to sustain their unending struggle.
"In these films the heroes are subject to grave injustices and are made to suffer immensely before they vanquish their enemies against all odds through the use of spectacular violence," wrote Hoffman. "The sublime qualities of the hero such as manliness, bravery, initiative, innate sense of justice, strength, speed, power, muscularity, warrior-skills, tactical abilities, etc., insure him of victory in the end."
Of course, the heroes in these films are the white saviors, the good men, the super-ethical-anything-in-the line-of-duty-goes-soldiers, the Captains America and Captains Norway.
"I grew up in the 80's and read a lot of comics -- not Captain America but i know the story line," says CasinoHijack, another commenter on the Russia Today Captain America propaganda video. "Looking back at my old comics I saw a ton of guns, violence, and every woman superhero looks like a stripper. Now that I'm older and more aware of the world we live in I see the propaganda in those comics and how it helped getting young men to fight for something they are not truly aware of. I educate kids all the time of the negative side of comics and superheros. Now I'm their super hero."
Super heroes, super heroines. We have become saturated by media that seeks to create super duper dumbded-down spectator entertainment warfare consumer conquerors who plead ignorance, rationalize our supposed non-participation in war, and even fight back against all who suggest that we might be more culpable than we want to believe. Kill them and feed their bodies to the starving masses in Somalia...
"The military-industrial complex, contrary to initial expectations, did not fade away with the end of the Cold War," wrote Tim Lenoir, in their excellent research paper All But War is Simulation. "It has simply reorganized itself. In fact, it is more efficiently organized than ever before. Indeed, a cynic might argue that whereas the military-industrial complex was more or less visible and identifiable during the Cold War, today it is invisibly everywhere, permeating our daily lives. The military-industrial complex has become the military-entertainment complex. The entertainment industry is both a major source of innovative ideas and technology, and the training ground for what might be called post-human warfare."
Marvel's 'Red Witch' superaction anti-heroine (read: pagan prostitute bitch).
Nationalism, patriotism, subliminal sexuality, female sexual control, and the destruction of matriarchal power all go hand in hand, as this translates to the anchoring of authoritarian beliefs in the basic character structure of the human beings in everyday technological society.
This is fascism.
We can name several of the most egregious manifestations of this post-human fighting man. We saw him in Avatar -- no, not Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), he was the 'good soldier' of the Captain America variety whose goodness and humanity is projected into the consciousness of the masses by the military-entertainment complex and its video games and other industrial warmaking offshoots. It is the antagonist, Colonel Miles Quaritch (Stephen Lang), the supreme destructor who takes out 'Home Tree' and everything else that gets in his way.
We can be sure that Quaritch will be back, more lethal than ever, along with the corporate world government Imperial earth forces -- Avatar 2 and Avatar 3 are already in production and, as we have seen over and over, imperialist forces never die, they only come back to finish the job. The early (white) conquistadors to arrive in the Philippines were slaughtered after the indigenous people were abused and their goodness exhausted. Ditto the first (white) Puritans to land on Turtle Island (North America) and the first (white) settlers who became the subjects of umteen Cowboys and Indians films.
Dances with Wolves was no radical critique of western military conquest and genocide: the narratives about 'good' soldier / 'bad' soldier, 'good' white man / 'bad' white man, and whitey-goes-native all reared their ugly heads. The white hero also saves a white woman in this film -- though she too first had to undergo a transformation to native. The good-versus-evil / savior-versus-savage films all entrench racial (white) superiority and they are coexistent with the overwhelming racialized propaganda about Christians versus Pagans, Christians versus Moslems, Christians versus Arabs, Israelis versus Arabs, Jews versus Arabs, Arabs versus black Africans, civilized people versus savage others, Christianity versus Islamic Fundamentalism.
So what are the real life consequences of all this warfare gaming, warfare simulation, warfare propaganda, racial propaganda, anti-immigration propaganda, technological propaganda, and weapons proliferation?
Well, most of the actual atrocities occur out of sight of the western media, because the media corporations are directly tied to the profits and perks of the power structure and the imperial project falsifies our consciousness about victims and killers. Soldiers do what they do because they can. They can get away with it because they are taught to. Their training, their education, the dynamics of the groups they are surrounded with, the messages in the mass media, the entire process of enculturation within and from a society premised on the supposed permanence and necessity of war, conquest and private profit.
The international legal term thrown around by 'human rights' and 'responsibility to protect' doctrines is impunity. People are not being held to account for their wrong actions. Wrong actions come from wrong thinking, wrong education, wrong messages about virulence and domination and entitlement encoded in a zillion different ways in the mainstream cultures of technological civilization. Such wrong thinking infects and grows in the minds of people increasingly isolated and disconnected from their true inner nature, their loving and compassionate selves and from the earth. Every now and then somebody is called out for their white supremacy -- some Bronx Catholic Seminary principal or other -- but most of the racial profiling and extrajudicial executions committed by police go unchecked by the system, unnoticed by the (white) public, and the perpetrators are often enough rewarded or celebrated.
The fears and insecurities are compounded by the many forms of class warfare and structural violence that We The People are increasingly subject to. Meanwhile the very same elites producing and disseminating the disturbing propaganda -- disguised as harmless entertainment --- are benefiting from the manufacture of consent and the structural violence that insures their elite economic status. More and more ordinary people, all over the world, are watching as their lives and loves are being stolen from them. We can see the contradictions that surround us, and we are many.
While presenting good versus evil narratives to justify bombing the coasts of North Africa, there is little discussion of why there are so many people, mostly people of color, seeking refuge and survival in the economically advantaged countries of North America and Europe. Refugees are presented as aliens, devoid of context or agency, people who ostensibly seek to steal our jobs and steal our land and steal our sons and daughters and steal everything that we have worked so hard to build. There is little discussion or awareness of why or how the rich First World countries got so rich or came in 'first'.
At its roots, the film engages in class warfare against the average middle and lower class spectator-consumers of the United States, and it facilitates imperialist conquest against people everywhere else, based on a hierarchical order of ethnicity that values white people and devalues people of color by degrees and categories and labels.
On immigration and refugees and displaced peoples, the military-entertainment and their corporate 'news' partners inculcate emotional and irrational beliefs grounded in fear, confusion, associations, falsified history, stereotypes and simplifications. The manufacture or production of 'refugees' and 'displaced peoples', or the political economy of the misery industry that feeds on them, are never examined. These things falls under the rubric of charity and philanthropy and... with all the 'good' things we are doing for those people over there, the least they could do is stay put and show some appreciation.
That is: "I think RT is stretching on this one" said MarcFaust. "The REAL story is the fact that it was renamed "The First Avenger" to other parts of the world because the USA is SO fucking horrible. How dare the US do whatever it takes to quell terrorism and donate billions across the world with aid... fucking Americans!"
These films distill the context and truth of the world down to nothing of value, save to perpetuate suffering and further institutionalize injustice. It is all summed up by that moment in Avatar when the white conquerors are force-marched (very politely!) onto their aerospace weapons platforms and sent back to earth sans unobtanium. The losers look for sympathy. It's as if they expect more privileges, even as losers.
(c. keith harmon snow 2006.)
Of course, almost every Hollywood film has some brand recognition and product placement. For example, how many products do you see advertised in the 'anti-war' film Across the Universe? Product placement in Spiderman included: Rolls Royce; Dr. Pepper; Carlsberg Beer; Prudential Insurance; Samsung; and Suntory. What about product placement and brand recognition in THE MATRIX? How many products do you see there? Neo gets a cell phone delivered by FED-X. But what else? Take a hard look, and then look again, and then again. How many?
So, coming to the end of this little not-so-comic tale, we can at last examine the violence perpetrated within the dominant cultures themselves -- in North America, Europe, Japan, South Korea, Norway -- the so-called thriving democracies. The psychic propaganda assault -- of patriotism, nationalism, xenophobia, racial superiority, male domination, subliminal sexuality, consumerism, individuality and desire -- saturates our society with irrational emotional beliefs and psychological insecurities. Fear is a driving force, and testosterone its sidekick. These are the effects inculcated by the propaganda films of the military-entertainment complex.
When the story of the Oslo massacres first broke, mass media outlets of all stripes, including Russia Today ("Oslo-Terrorist-Norway-Jihadist"), were quick to broadcast the typical western fear-mongering propaganda about Islamic jihad. Naturally, the global assault on our consciousness, where everything Islam is suspect, where Israel is above reproach, has not spared Norway. Not every Jew is a victim, and many are perpetrators. Not every Christian is a fundamentalist, and many are. Not every Hutu is a genocidaire; many Tutsis are. Not every Tutsi is a victim; many Hutus are.
Of course, the killing sprees perpetrated by individuals are no different then those perpetrated on the battlefield. In one case the mass murder is sanctioned by society, and in the other case society is victimized by it.
You get what you pay for. We get what we pay for. Perhaps that's why we have more killing, more bloodshed, more conquest, more rape, more white supremacy of the Anders Breivik and Tim McVeigh variety. These men are products of the societies in which they lived. Both men apparently believed themselves to be superheroes, called to rid their societies of the scourge of evil, to assault a tyrannical federal government out of control, and both brought other innocent human lives to a definitive end.
And so we have Timothy McVeigh, who appears to be a fine example of what our society teaches people they can do. Norwegian nationalist Anders Behring Breivik -- now described as an aberration, a Christian fanatic, a psycho, fascism behind a mask of morality -- appears to be another. McVeigh might have been part of a government conspiracy, he claimed to be a martyr in defense of U.S. government tyranny, but he was a Gulf War veteran socialized by our permanent warfare society and he probably suffered from serious post-war traumatic stress disorder. Breivik saw himself as a martyr who would spark a revolution, "a real European hero", "the savior of Christianity" and "the greatest defender of cultural-conservatism in Europe since 1950," and he called for a patriarchal revival. The two men held some similar beliefs. They are very much not alone in their fanaticism. They are Captains America, by any other names.
MAKE LOVE, NOT WAR
Why did Anders Breivik target the young people? Vulnerability, for one: they were an easy target and the most vulnerable to attack. He targeted them for political currency: they symbolized multiculturalism and waved flags calling for Palestinian liberation and truth and equality. If I had any heroes in this story, it would be these kids. They didn't do anything wrong. Were these kids naive? I don't think so. They stood up for what they believed is right, and good, and just. They believed in working for a better world. I guess they believed in love, and advocated for it. They had something going for them: the bluebird of consciousness.
I mean, just look at these kids -- really look at them -- and weep.
And if you can't weep, then you are moving too fast, watching too many Hollywood movies, drinking too much coffee, consuming too much New York Times or Economist, chasing after some addiction or other, caught up in meaninglessness, in denial, suffering from collective amnesia or the mass psychology of fascism, and stuck.
Stuck. Are you stuck?
These could be your friends, or your kids. They are not just someone else's kids, they are now part of our collective responsibility to wake up and stop the violence. To show compassion and tolerance, to sacrifice and to share, to organize for the betterment of all. There's plenty of information out there on how this needs to be done. What is lacking is the courage and the initiative. What is needed is love, more love, and more love.
Gosh, I can't think of a single Hollywood movie where love is the motivation for superheroism. We see plenty of love nonsense in the Hollywood war films, white male white female protagonists fall in love, blah blah blah, and in sit-com films like City of Angels or Beyond the Universe, films that ostensibly have nothing to do with war, blah blah blah, but where do we ever get propaganda that peddles love? Where is our U.S. Government Department of Peace? Why isn't the Dalai Lama speaking out for state-sanctioned acts of love in Iraq, Libya, or Afghanistan, achieved through an immediate U.S. military withdrawal?
Written by: keith harmon snow
Photography Credits: keith harmon snow
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