Filthy Feet of Clay
This morning, April 13, 2002, Scott Ritter published another important article. “Twitter Wars — My Personal Experience in Twitter’s Ongoing Assault on Free Speech” (Consortium News, Volume 27, Number 101 — Tuesday, April 12, 2022). “Scott Ritter is a former U.S. Marine Corps intelligence officer who served in the former Soviet Union implementing arms control treaties, in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm and in Iraq overseeing the disarmament of [weapons of mass destruction]”.
As usual, Scott’s article made me think and reflect, both on the current history we are busy making and concurrently distorting, and on the history which I, as a young academic, once taught. The phrase “the Deep State’s own Twitter” popped into my mind, a kind of parody of the way British regiments are named, “the King or Queens own” followed by the name of a subjugated people; oxymorony at its best. The article led me to imagine myself as a “real” historian in the future, one realizing how utterly false almost everything the United States government proclaims turns out to be. For some reason I wondered how, assuming there will ever be “real” historians with access to accurate data, they’ll view the Second World War. Clearly the narrative concerning Japanese perfidy was utterly distorted if not outright false. It’s turned out to have been very much like the situation today with Russia and the Ukraine. In the Japanese analogy, the United States and the United Kingdom schemed and manipulated until the Japanese were left only with the choice of attacking or being attacked themselves. The United States National archives contains a telegram instructing MacArthur to either goad the Japanese into attacking or attacking them himself as the United States need an excuse to gain popular support for a war the People did not want (see John Tolland’s “The Rising Sun”). Pretty much the same scenario was used by young Winston Churchill in the First World War, then known as the War to End All Wars, when as first Lord of the Admiralty, he arranged for the sinking of the USS Lusitania in order to draw the United States into that war.
It made me wonder what really made the administrations of Richard Millhouse Nixon and Donald John Trump so despicable and whether it wasn’t Watergate (mow the norm) or Russiagate (an orchestrated farce) but Nixon’s Glasnost and outreach to China and Trump’s desire for a non-interventionist foreign policy and decent relations with Russia and China all of which were the unforgivable sins which farsighted Ike warned would not be tolerated by the Deep State he foresaw?
Given our own experiences with reality turned inside out and upside down, can we really take for granted all we’ve been told about things now as orthodox as the evils of Germany and the Nazis? Remember, demonology was an invention of the Catholic Church, as it turns out. It is illegal in most countries to question official narrative as to World War II which to real researchers, ought to make it all the more questionable. It is devastating to even consider that much of that narrative may not be wholly accurate, but even if it is, how “credible” will it remain given the postwar conduct of the United States and Western Europeans and their corporate media. How much of the history we’ve been spoon fed can we believe if gathering accurate information critical to learning from the past in order to avoid its errors is our goal. Not everything a liar says is necessarily a lie, but it all certainly becomes suspect when we realize that someone in whom we believed turns out to have had no value for the truth. The little boy who cried wolf, on a massive scale.
I recall watching “cowboys versus Indians” entertainment genre as a young boy, where white hatted cowboys were always the good guys, before, as a historian, I learned of President Andrew Jackson and the Cherokees’ Trail of Tears. Or when Columbus Day celebrated something positive, rather than physical and cultural genocide. Or when the United States invaded and occupied countries all over Latin America to make the world safe for democracy, but democracy turned out to be the United Fruit Company, a practice expanded worldwide starting with the Spanish American War in 1898. I even remember when watching television “Father Knew Best” and “Amos and Andy” were just happy go lucky friends.
Oh what a twisted web we’ve woven! I wonder what its ultimate price will be.
© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2022; all rights reserved. Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.
Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen). Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales. He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies). He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and much of his writing is available through his blog at www.guillermocalvo.com.