By Alya Rea.
[T]oday, I had a chance to read an excellent article by André Vltchek, “Brainwashed: The Indoctrinated West,” published on CounterPunch site at the beginning of March 2014. Even if it was written more than five months ago, this article is more relevant than ever. After all, it is today that the black people of Ferguson, Missouri, are besieged by mostly white police and think that their small community feels more like Gaza than America; it is today that the U.S.-supported Ukrainian army, the neo-Nazis included, is bombing the residential areas of Donetsk and Lugansk, turning these cities in the World War II reminiscent landscapes; it is today that the U.S. fighter jets are bombing Iraq, once again – while a majority of the western people have no clue about the real reasons for these and other egregious facts of suppression, murders, and manipulation.
“People of the world who still have some brain left – wake up and unite!”
According to Wikipedia, André Vltchek is a radical public intellectual, philosopher, revolutionary novelist, investigative journalist, filmmaker, and playwright. For the past two decades he has been uncovering the plight of the oppressed and colonized peoples all over the world. The author is very passionate about the fact that the western countries are continuingly committing their murderous activities around the world right before our eyes, and the western people in general are so much indoctrinated in this regard that they don’t even understand what is going on. Or, even if they see the facts, they don’t do enough to stop the plunder and atrocities committed by their respective governments in the name of “freedom” and “democracy.”
As the author, a few years ago I am, too, was wondering why the world is not changing for the best when the facts of brutality and cruelty committed by the West are so well documented and well known?! While working with CounterPunch, more than once I had this kind of discussion with Alexander Cockburn, asking him, “Why are the people not doing much if they know that their governments are doing something wrong in the world? How come they still believe their governments’ lies? Why is it – given the fact that people like you and Noam Chomsky, and many other independent writers, are informing all of us about what is really going on – nothing, or at least not much, has been changed?” Well, there was no definite answer to this conundrum! It is still a big mystery for me.
Of course, some people become more educated on the matter, and, as a result, they become disillusioned about their own governments. But it is about it! Nothing else is changing. Quite poignantly, Mr. Vltchek writes, “I am humbly asking: ‘Are people in the West, particularly in Europe… are they pretending that they don’t know what is happening in Syria, Venezuela, Thailand, and now, particularly, in Ukraine? Or have they simply turned into a cynical assembly of brainwashed degenerates? Where is that fabled diversity? Where is intellectual courage?’” The western governments are still going on about their business – they plunder other countries, murder innocent people, squash various dissents. So low! So criminal! And we all are the big part in these vile activities of our perspective governments! Why? Because we don’t stop them.
The cards are rarely hidden – with the advance of Internet, it is not easy to hide the facts anymore. Even if the false-flag operations are committed and propaganda is being used to brainwash the westerners, still, whoever wants to know the truth, he or she will find it no matter what. Of course, we may not know the exact details, but we can find out if this or that event was a sheer propaganda, for whose advantage it was committed and by whom, and so on. “There are facts everywhere. Everything is documented. Coups all over the world, financed and planned by the U.S. – it is all available, easily accessible. Yet nobody bothers to read about it!” All that is needed is the desire to know the truth! But how many of us want to know the truth? This is the question!
For the past 20 years or so, Andre Vltchik, as a courageous investigative journalist, has covered dozens of war zones and conflicts. And why did he put his life in danger? He says about it himself:
“For years, for decades I have been amassing proof and arguments about the horrendous and unthinkable crimes that the West had been committing on all the continents of the world. I have been painstakingly researching what was going on, sometimes risking my life or ruining my health, sometimes doing it without being supported by anything or anyone… actually, that was the scenario, most of the time.
“I was doing it because I believed; I believed like an idiot, I believed, day and night, that my findings would shock the world, particularly the West… That it will shame the European and North American dictators… That what I show will enrage the public… That the horrors that I had witnessed all over the world will finally end… You know: that bloody idiotic fairytale world of mine: ‘People will see the truth and force the monsters who are ruling them to stop killing human beings everywhere on this beautiful planet.”
“Today, I have to declare publicly: I was a fool!”
As Jacque Ellul – a well-known French philosopher who wrote on the topics of propaganda, the impact of technology on society, and the interaction between religion and politics – emphasized, in his book Political Illusion, even the presence of countervailing facts that expose the truth is not enough to dispel the public’s belief in interpretation of various political events. “A frontier accident, a plane crush, a bombing attack on a nation in peace is not important unless properly ‘staged’; neutral and purely objective information does not move public opinion.” Therefore, “…unless a campaign is launched in which values are injected,” the public “does not take any written fact seriously.” Only then people start to judge the fact and form an opinion. At that moment only, “the fact becomes politically important.”
So, given the above, it is clear that whatever is happening in Ukraine these days (or Gaza, or Syria, or Iraq, for that matter), it is just a neutral information that doesn’t move the western people, despite all the atrocities committed. And why? Only because our respective governments are successful in injecting the values that are beneficial to these governments! The sheer propaganda is in place, and we all are the subject of this vile propaganda. The worst part is that we allow this propaganda to manipulate our opinion and our actions, or rather lack of actions.
As far as Gaza is concerned, people around the world started to realize about the nefarious role of Israel in its genocide – thousands and thousands of people demonstrate against the murderous action of Israel. There was a wave of protests in South Africa, in Jordan, in London, Seattle, San Francisco, etc. Kudos to a few South America governments that are going further than just demonstrations of protest – El Salvador, Peru and Chile announced they would recall their ambassadors from Israel over the latter’s genocide in Gaza. These non-western countries are the ones who are much more democratic and just than the speciously democratic United States or the European Union!
As to Ukraine… So far – nothing! How many more innocent people should die before we start doing something to stop the atrocities committed by the U.S.-supported neo-Nazis in Novorossia?! “Where are those loud voices protesting against the antagonizing Russia? Don’t Europeans know their own history? Russia is not an aggressor; it has been a victim for at least a hundred years. Russia was attacked by Europe, again and again, and, in just one century, tens of millions of Russian people were slaughtered by European fascists, imperialists and ‘democrats.’” All in all, the western people are under the spell of their governments’ propaganda. They are led to believe in what their governments want them to believe! I wonder though – will we ever be awaken and see the insidious propaganda lies as clearly as we should?
The truth is right here, before our eyes! But many people just don’t want to see it, or don’t care at the end. As the author of this article implies, it is happening like this – people are sipping the refined wine, commenting, “oh, how awful that hundreds are being killed in the eastern Ukraine! But may I have another glass of wine?” They may shed a tear or two, but next moment they start planning their vacation, and the unpleasant truth is forgotten. And it’s it. Nothing is changing.
Will we ever wake up and unite? This is the question.