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Your Views: Is outrage over Islamic State video just more US propaganda?
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Yesterday, I saw two things on TV: an advertisement for insurance that promises to bury you and cover your “final expenses,” and a news report on an Internet video purportedly showing ISIS burning a Jordanian prisoner of war to death. I wondered which was the bigger con job?

Is the ISIS video real? I don’t know. Still, that consideration is secondary to the fact the video receives wall-to-wall news coverage because the U.S. government wants me to see it.

Some say history repeats. If that is so, it’s because human gullibility and stupidity repeat. There’s a long U.S. history of sensationalistic news reporting, yellow journalism and outright propaganda being used by the establishment to sell an agenda. P.T. Barnum said there’s a sucker born every minute. Someone else said the first casualty of war is the truth. Both are correct.

We’ve lost credibility on the world stage, and it’s mostly due to the war in Iraq, which was based on a lie. That war made us look like easily manipulated fools because we believed President George W. Bush’s declarations that we must invade Iraq to secure weapons of mass destruction, which history shows Saddam Hussein didn’t have. Indeed we are easily manipulated fools, armed with nuclear weapons.

Remember the Alamo? As children we memorized that line. That story incited public support for the Spanish American War. Same for the sinking of the Lusitania, and for “Red Scare” propaganda inciting the public to support war in Vietnam. Same for the “War On Drugs” and news reports that Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega was a drug dealer. Or the “War On Terror” and false reports that Saddam was associated with al-Qaida. Or news reports of atrocities committed by Moammar Gadhafi in Libya, Bashar Assad in Syria or Ukrainian president Victor Yanukovych. See a pattern?

It’s the same propaganda first used to turn U.S. colonists against Native Americans. The Indians were painted as lawless, subhuman savages. The public bought that lie and supported the establishment’s genocidal agenda to wipe them out and dispossess American Indians off tribal lands.

The rest is just a sorry history written by victors. We were right, they were wrong. We are good, they are evil. We are sons of light, they are an army of darkness. God is on our side.

I think of these things when I hear fresh news reports of another ISIS atrocity or horrific beheading that may or may not be real.

I wonder why Americans aren’t told about beheadings in Saudi Arabia. I wonder about these things when I hear our president quibble over who is or is not a terrorist. The president and establishment are apparently making up these rules and definitions as they go along in whatever manner serves their agenda.

All I want is the truth. The American people deserve that much. To get closer to that truth, we must consider the history I mentioned above. Only then will we know ourselves, what is being done to us, and what is being done to others in our name.

Bruce Vandiver

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