The False Fog Of Fake War?

Yesterday I listed Rush Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich, and Donald Trump as being responsible for the tone of today’s Republican Party. I forgot to mention Alex Jones who is responsible for nonsense like this:

I guess you haven’t been paying much attention, Kyle. I’ve seen oodles of war footage. This war is being documented by citizens with smart phones as well as the MSM.

I wasn’t aware that we were “sending our sons and daughters” to fight in Ukraine. President Biden has quite correctly said that’s not happening. Of course, right-wingers mistake him for their last Oval One: A man who wouldn’t know the truth if it ripped the weave off his head.

This latest outburst of paranoia was inspired by President Biden’s visit to Kyiv. He’s not the first Western leader to do so and he won’t be the last. Boris Johnson brought his weird hair to Kyiv several times before he got the boot.

How can world leaders visit a capitol under attack? Ukraine is winning the war, that’s why. They were supposed to fold when Russia attacked, but they did not.

Our own history teaches us that the will to resist along with shrewd strategy and tactics can vanquish a  more powerful opponent. That’s how the patriots defeated the British in the American Revolution and how the Vietnamese Communists defeated the US. The Vietnam War shouldn’t be ancient history but its lessons seem to be lost on many. See, the second Gulf War.

One of my favorite books is The Paranoid Style In American Politics by Richard Hofstadter who was a history professor at Columbia. It began life as a lecture, then became an article in Harper’s Magazine, and finally a book. It was published in 1965 and analyzed past periods of political paranoia. It was particularly relevant then because of the rise of the New Right. They’re still with us today in Trumper drag.

Repeat after me: the paranoid style in American politics is nothing new.

What *is* relatively new is the means of transmission. Past paranoiacs such as the John Birch Society relied on printed matter to get their message across. The internet changed everything. It made it possible for dolts like Alex Jones and Kyle Becker to spread disinformation via web sites, video, and social media.

Here’s an excellent example of the paranoid style at its Alex Jones-iest:

Past paranoiacs also made shit up. The Birchers claimed that General President Eisenhower was a Commie dupe. Joe McCarthy’s entire red scare was based on a series of not very convincing lies. A gullible public swallowed the lies until McCarthy overplayed his hand and took on the Army, which was at the peak of its prestige.

Repeat after me: the paranoid style in American politics is nothing new.

I’ve always been a skeptic with a critical turn of mind. The paranoid style has never appealed to me. I had a Greek relation who was a big macher in the Greek security services when the Junta was in power. He knew I was interested in politics and gave me two books that he said were banned in America circa 1972: The Warren Commission Report and The Pentagon Papers. I am not making this up.

While conspiracies and elaborate plots *do* exist, the simplest explanation is usually the truth. The sort of false flag operations described by Alex Jones, Kyle Becker and their ilk are few and far between. I’m not giving any examples. I don’t want to pour gasoline on the paranoid pyre.

I’m not sure how many people will buy Kyle Becker’s claim that the Ukraine War is a scam. It’s so preposterous that I doubt he believes it himself.

The ultimate effect of waving the false flag of fake war is to sow mistrust and suspicion. Confusion is the enemy of democracy and the friend of fascism.

Repeat after me: the paranoid style in American politics is nothing new.

I don’t usually care for heavy metal but I’m making an exception in this case. The last word goes to Black Sabbath:

4 thoughts on “The False Fog Of Fake War?

  1. Though I’m an atheist who doesn’t believe in a literal heaven or hell, I sometimes wish there was a hell so that vile cretins like Limbaugh, Gingrich, Trump and A. Jones could spent an eternity there.

  2. Live your life in such a way that people will not celebrate the anniversary of your death.

  3. I guess your Greek friend didn’t notice the location of the publisher on the back of the title pages of those two books.

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