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John Chuckman



A genuinely depressing set of facts.

In part it is the much-consolidated press affording less genuine information than ever. Indeed, the relatively few sources are hand-in-glove with the military-security establishment, and they almost never broadcast or print genuine analyses of foreign situations. You can hear items on the major television networks that are just re-writes of junk from the CIA or Pentagon propaganda staffs.

Indeed, these major news sources today often do not even have much in the way of foreign correspondents and bureaus. All America’s press has suffered a terrible decline in advertising revenues owing to technology. Classified ads, for example, once the bread-and-butter of newspapers, has disappeared.

With rising costs and threatened revenues, the first area to be pitched overboard is foreign coverage. Remember George Bush Jr talking, bragging actually, about never reading the foreign news section? He was addressing some common attitudes.

But even domestic news is empty of real content. Just look at the way Hillary’s people have stolen several primaries – including importantly, California – by some combination of ballot-handling tricks and voter suppression tricks. Where’s the outrage? You’ll find it on the Internet to some extent, but it is virtually missing from the news most people read or hear.

The security services have had so much experience and practice at generating false stories or suppressing real ones that a great deal of what Americans read or hear is just empty nothing, informing them of nothing and reassuring them things at home are just fine.

After all, there has been a long record of events never genuinely explained to Americans – everything from the Kennedy assassination to the accidental shooting down of TWA Flight 800 and, of course, 9/11 – and at some point people just shrug and get on with their lives. America’s security services have become expert at suppressing and hiding information people should know. And the emergence of international terror has given them a great cover-up theme with which to play.

In part it is the fact that Americans have been working increasingly hard. They don’t have the time or resources for political activity.

Some must have two or three part-time jobs. Some must work extremely hard to pay for their more-expensive-than-ever college and university educations.

Good jobs are not just out there waiting as they were in the 1960s.

The American per capita real income for middle class people has fallen steadily for many years.

In virtually all young marriages, wives and husbands both must work now. And if they want to do right by young children, there are serious demands on their free time with lessons, sports, etc.

I also believe there has been a genuine shift in attitudes in America. The people are just conditioned to these horrors. The fact is, humans can get used to almost anything and they make quiet, almost automatic adjustments to bad situations. The truth was at Germany’s extermination camps during the Holocaust, people became, for the most part, completely conditioned to the world in which they were forced to live. Contrary to myths about heroism, there are many actual stories of prisoners cheating one another or jumping ahead in a line or stealing food. That’s just how humans behave.

Back in the days of Vietnam, seeing their own conscript sons die weighed heavily. The one thing the Pentagon learned was not to run big wars with conscripts. Absolutely cynical but true.

Today, the professional armed forces – all volunteer and relatively well paid – do not exert the same emotional pull on ordinary people.

But we also have an unprecedented level of activity by America’s military-security services today, pressing in many directions. The sheer variety is likely confusing to the general public when compared to a single focus like Vietnam. This is a result of the influence of the neo-cons and the American establishment’s fears of losing its preeminence in an emerging multi-polar world.

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