By KIM PATERSEN
THE gullibility of many Americans is rooted in deep distrust of the Islamic countries, a desire to protect their nuclear hegemony, impressions of world events, and devotion to preachings of hard-line priests.
It was all a done deal, Bob Smith sniffed. The US got their bogeyman in Abbottabad.
To Bob, the secret night raid by U.S. commandos, the staccato bursts of gunfire, the crash of the stealth helicopter and the reported killing of the al Qaeda leader in a whitewashed compound were pure gospel. The Americans had proven to the world that terrorism exists everywhere in Pakistan.
“Next we’ll go in and take control of their nuclear weapons,” the 20-year-old college student said as he walked along a cement path near the campus.
In Washington and across the country, almost all Americans are thoroughly convinced that Bin Laden was killed in a raid May 2. A poll conducted by USA Today/Gallup found that 54% of Americans believe bin Laden’s death will make the US safer from terrorism while 28% fear it will be less safe. There was no need to ask whether they believed Bin Laden was assassinated last month by a team of U.S. Navy SEALs (just like there is no need to ask who masterminded 9-11). Results indicate that at least 82% believe bin Laben to have been killed. Some people say that Bin Laden should have been killed earlier.
Such acceptance of official accounts is usual in a country with a collective propensity to get swept up by corporate media and government declarations, analysts say. The profound gullibility shared by many Americans is rooted in their deep trust of the United States government, their desire to protect their country’s nuclear hegemony, their impressions of world events outside the US, and their devotion to the preachings of hard-line priests.
The gullibility, analysts say, gives life to acceptance of the government line nurtured by free but reckless media that provide exposure for Christian-minded observers and others willing to mute skepticism. Many television talk shows try to gobble up ratings with sensationalism and demonization of the Islamic world. The result, analysts say, is often too much scapegoating and not enough self-examination of America’s own problems, a form of denial.
One of the country’s top terrorism conspiracy theory purveyors is US defense secretary Robert M. Gates who wears a trademark dark suit and tie and routinely appears at US government press conferences. In February on YouTube, Gates breathlessly talked of a real problem of anti-Americanism in Pakistan. Thus, the Democrat-Republican axis seeks to wrest control of the Islamic world by secretly supporting terrorist groups within these countries to foment civil war.
The above was a tweaking of page one of a online piece in the Los Angeles Times that palpably exposes the bias and animus toward US-government declared enemies.1 Far worse, it points to a propensity for some readers to uncritically accept printed word as fact.
The Times reporter uses the pejorative “conspiracy theorists” to describe the wide swath of Pakistanis who doubt the official US account about the purported assassination of Osama bin Laden. He thereby ignores the lies of the US government regarding Saddam Hussein having weapons-of-mass-destruction, yellow cake from Niger, dodgy British dossiers, and a history of war pretexts.2 So the skeptics are derided as conspiracy theorists.
Mainly, I substituted the word “Pakistan” with “America” and “conspiracy” with “gullibility.” Critically minded readers will easily recognize the corporate media stenography for the US government line on the conspiratorial war-on-terrorism. When many people continue to believe the official government lie after years and years of mendacity, what conclusions should one draw?
- Alex Rodriguez, “Bin Laden raid gets little credence in conspiracy-minded Pakistan,” Los Angeles Times, 31 May 2011> [↩]
- Kim Petersen, “Grasping at Straws: Searching for a War Pretext,” Dissident Voice, 4 March 2003. [↩]
Kim Petersen is co-editor of Dissident Voice. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.