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Fake Wars

This Week in the Narrative 55

Nigel Clarke

I read an article a few weeks ago which was discussing how much time children spent each day in a “non-digital, organic reality.” They meant how much time do children spend each day off of their phones and devices.

It is an interesting shift in the presentation of the information, sort of like what happens to someone succumbing to substance addiction. When “Holy shit, I got drunk five times this week” becomes “I didn’t even drink two days this week.” “How much time do children spend on their devices each day?” has apparently turned into “how much time do they spend in a non-digital, organic reality?”

My first thought was to act the old curmudgeon, shake my fist at a cloud, and mutter about these “damn kids with their technology.”

Except, it occurs to me that, in many ways, what is going on in the “non-digital, organic reality” these days is not all that real itself.

This week, in a story which was effectively ignored in mainstream American news, it was revealed that, according to the Pentagon, the number of U.S. troops in Syria was quadruple the original number given; as in, thousands not hundreds.

By the way, there are over 10,000 troops currently in Afghanistan, and likely at least that number in Iraq.

Elsewhere, President Trump announced, at the behest of Turkish President Erdogan, that the U.S. would no longer supply arms to Kurdish militants fighting in Syria, whom Turkey considers terrorists.

This made me think about the 1997 movie Wag the Dog. The premise of the film is that political insiders close to the President enlist the help of a Hollywood producer to create a fake war for their own benefit, a sort of Hollywood production to be played out in the mainstream media. They do things like: construct a set of dilapidated buildings and film a woman running through while an explosions soundtrack plays.

The thing is, reality has taken this fictional storyline to the next level.

When Trump cuts the arms supply to a group Turkey classifies as terrorists it seems a soft-admission that the U.S. had been, to that point, supplying a terrorist organization. That the story, similarly to the escalation and misrepresentation of troops in the Middle East, received almost no coverage in mainstream American news is no surprise. At this point, this type of thing is, as the President might say, par for the course.

The militias funded and armed by the U.S. to overthrow Gaddafi in Libya became the terrorist groups operating throughout the region.

In Syria, the same, with the Kurds being only the latest example.  

In Africa:

“Since 9/11, U.S. military efforts on the continent have grown in every conceivable way, from funding and manpower to missions and outposts, while at the same time the number of transnational terror groups has increased in linear fashion.”

It is, admittedly, a clever ruse. Create the enemy you then propose to fight, increase military spending, and sell guns to everyone.

Fake wars, but with real people, all presented through the mainstream media.

I think about movies like The Hunger Games and The Running Man which present dystopian futures in which an elite power structure make criminals, poor people, and people they generally don’t like fight to the death for their own profits, power, and enjoyment.

Yea, that kind of reality would be fucked up …

Quote of the Week:

Read More This Week in the Narrative:

Week 54: The Best of Roy Moore

Week 53: A Blue Wave

Week 52: ‘Trump’s America’ vs. ‘The Gift of Trump’

Week 51: The Economic Growth Conspiracy Theory

Week 50: The Ten Commandments

Week 49: Hope For The Worst?


Written by Nigel Clarke

Writer and notorious vagabond. From the frozen north. Follow Nigel on Twitter @Nig_Clarke.

Nigel Clarke is a Writer for Progressive Army.

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