The Great Deception
“What a man believes upon grossly insufficient evidence is an index into his desires -- desires of which he himself is often unconscious. If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance to his instincts, he will accept it even on the slightest evidence.” (Bertrand Russell)
So it is with Messrs. Bush and Blair which have acted time and again on the flimsiest of evidence to reshape Middle East into what they desire it to be: a neo-colonial possession to supply oil while at the same time helping their rich to get richer. You may disagree with this statement, especially, if you have been listening to so much propaganda about spreading democracy in the Muslim world in general and Middle East in particular. So I ask you to look at the following arguments and then decide if the actions taken so far point to fighting terrorism, spreading democracy or hegemony.
In 1996, the newly elected prime minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu commissioned a study group called “Study Group on a New Israeli Strategy Toward 2000" to formulate a strategy for Israel in the coming decades. The Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies, which included Richard Perle, James Colbert, Charles Fairbanks, Douglas Feith, Robert Loewenberg, David Wurmser, and Meyrav Wurmser, created the Israel’s strategy paper titled: “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm.” 
The paper contains six pages of recommendations for Benjamin Netanyahu and some of the more relevant suggestions are presented bellow:
In 1997 another set of Neo-Conservatives that included personalities such as Dick Cheney, Jeb Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz Elliott Abrams, Lewis Libby, Eliot A. Cohen and others, created a think-tank organisation by the name of “The Project for the New American Century.” They stated their vision of the new world in their “statement of Principles.” To their credit, they were very honest about their goals. They said:
We aim to make the case and rally support for American global leadership. As the 20th century draws to a close, the United States stands as the world's preeminent power. Having led the West to victory in the Cold War, America faces an opportunity and a challenge: Does the United States have the vision to build upon the achievements of past decades? Does the United States have the resolve to shape a new century favorable to American principles and interests? 
The authors of the Clean Break, and the New American Century were friends, and fellow travelers. It is therefore not surprising to see that they soon recognized the complementary nature of these two strategies for the Middle East. Of course I leave the question of who influences whom to the reader; suffice to say that when it came to Israel and the Middle East, they both shared a common vision.
Immediately after the creation of the New American Century, the Neocons started their campaign for a change in American policy. Statement after statement called for a fundamental change, but the Clinton administration was not buying it. Of course with election of George Bush everything changed. One must not forget that a founding member and signatory to the “statement of Principles” was Jeb Bush, President’s brother, and another member Dick Cheney was the Vice President. It would not be far-fetched to assume that the Neocons, in 2000, still believed in the rightness of their strategy. Already by then the “Road Map to piece”, the Arab-Israeli negotiations was dead, and the new strategy of “Clean Break” was being implemented. Now Israel was given the green light to go ahead and openly implement their vision of Peace-for-Peace instead of the Land-for-Peace.
Then came the golden opportunity: the infamous 9/11. Now the stage was set to begin to change the world and protect America’s “interest.” Now, what is it that the world needs most and of which 25% goes to America? Oil of course. Where is that Oil? Middle East. Who lives there? Muslims.
It is a fact that people in general, regardless of their nationality, race or creed, will not wage war on others without being either angry or frightened. People will not go to war for money alone; fear and anger have to be there. To create the fear and anger the Neocons started their propaganda campaign. According to Joseph Gobbles, Nazi Minister of Propaganda: "The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly ... it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over." The Neocons had already formulated the points:
Only after convincing people of these allegations, could they proper move to reshape the Middle East. The people had to be convinced that Neocons’ way was the only way forward. To achieve this, a two-prong campaign was waged against the people of the United States, UK and Australia. While people such as Rupert Murdoch and his media empire were used to demonise the Muslims and quash any American (as unpatriotic or soft) who dared to question the reasons behind the government’s actions; the US and other governments set about scaring the people to death by constantly warning people of imminent terrorist attacks.
Suddenly the people were bombarded with negative images of Muslim “terrorists” that were out there to get them. The fear factor was also increased by the government’s color coded warnings or announcements by police chiefs that they know of several terrorist plans to bomb civilians. One day it was New York, then Los Angeles, then somewhere else. Every week there were constant reports of terrorists planning this and that attack on unsuspecting citizens. News media, the government, the so-called experts, the series (such as 24 hours) on TVs depicting Muslims as terrorist, and other means were used to scare the people into submission. Then when the people were really scared, the government came with its anti-terror laws such as Patriot Act, rubbing people of some their most basic civil liberties.
The Propaganda Machine
I can very well understand if you are skeptical of this. But just look at all the films and discussions by the so-called “experts” in the news and see if you can detect the message. It is a message of fear that is repeated over and over again. This message is nicely inserted in the popular movie plots. Just look at all the series that have been released by major film studios, and see if you can find one that contains anything even remotely favorable to Arabs, Muslims, or Islam. And then look at all the movies and see if you can find one bad Jewish character in them. The Muslims are always portrayed as terrorists, terrorist sympathizers, or refugees running from Islam. In some films even the hero happily uses torture to extract information from the Muslim terrorist in order to save innocent people. You may watch these films and see it as fun, but unconsciously you are being prepared to believe the stereotypical caricature of the Muslims.
In contrast you see that the Jews are always portrayed as honest, religious, and educated people. Jews make up a very small percentage of the US population (2.2%), yet from the films you get the impression that they represent around 25% or more. Don’t get me wrong; I say good for them. They have worked hard to get into a position to improve their public image by using the media. After years of being portrayed as shylocks and such, it is refreshing to see them portrayed as good, honest, hard working citizens. I just mention them here to show how the media is portraying different people and how that may determine your view of these people. And just to be clear about it, I should say it loud and clear here that I hate anti-Semitism or any kind of racism and condemn it in all its forms. What I am talking about here is the manipulation of unsuspecting people by a small group for political and financial gains.
Of course, we hate the thought of being manipulated and controlled. We don’t want to believe it. Our intellectual autonomy, after life itself, is one that we cherish most. We accept the overt manipulations by the advertisers, for we believe that we are in control. After all, no one can fool me, right? That is why we pay for French bottled water, drink Pepsi and buy Nikes, and all because we are in control. In today’s world, the greatest illusion for an individual is that of being in control of one’s thought and opinion.
There exists a power that reaches into every home and into every mind and tries to manipulate and influence our opinions and perceptions of the reality. This power is called the mass media. We all acknowledge the influence of this power on young minds. We protect our children from images, language or contents that we deem unsuitable; thinking, rightly, that the young mind is all too impressionable and susceptible to believe the stuff that they are exposed to. Yet, we leave ourselves open to manipulation without blinking an eye; for we believe that they can not fool us. But unfortunately we are being fooled on a grand scale. After all, the greater the lie, the easier it is to accept it as the truth.
To show you how a few people can manipulate so many, I have to list just a small section of this vast propaganda machine that is employed to make-up our mind for us.
The sad truth is that a handful of powerful groups control the expanding media and leisure market spanning film, television, book publishing, music, new online media, theme parks, sport, the print media and even the theatres. For example, only 6 conglomerates control the US media market: Time Warner, General Electric, Walt Disney, Bertelsmann AG, Viacom, and News Corporation.
These companies, or rather their owners, set the agenda and control the dissemination of information to the public. Imagine the power these people have. It is no wonder that Presidents and Prime Ministers go hat in hand asking for an audience with the owners. These politicians know that these people are the ones that shape our perception of reality. So they go presenting their CVs, hoping to be accepted.
For example, every year Mr. Murdoch (the greatest friend of Israel) the owner of the News Corporation is described as television’s “most powerful man in the world with the capacity to reach more than 110 million viewers across four continents.” Murdoch’s network owns more than 175 newspapers, journals and magazines on three continents, publishes 40 million papers a week and dominates the newspaper markets in Britain, Australia and New Zealand.  Every year he holds a company meeting in a place of his choosing. This year it was in Pebble Beach, California.
According to Guardian, “Murdoch wields considerable clout, which is why Tony Blair is likely to address the Pebble Beach conference, just as he did, controversially, when the gathering was held in Sydney in 1996. As the political climate changes on both sides of the Atlantic, Murdoch continues to be courted by those seeking to gain or retain power. Blair's attendance will be viewed as a sign that Murdoch is not yet ready to abandon his paper's support for New Labour, but it could also be interpreted as a snub to Gordon Brown.
Murdoch is aligning his interests, as ever, with those who are most likely to benefit from a change in public opinion -- hence his flirtation with presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton. He is even hosting a fundraising event for the New York senator later this year.” 
You just have to look at Fox News, Sky News, or read the New York Post, Sun, or the Australian to understand what Mr Murdoch wants you to believe. He is one of the staunchest supporters -- among other media tycoons -- of the Neocons cause.
Mr. Murdoch controls -- among other things -- the following :
International Book Publishing
HarperCollins Publishing, including HarperCollins U.K.; HarperCollins Canada; and HarperCollins Australia. U.S. imprints include Perennial; Quill; Regan Books; Amistad Press; Hearst Book Group (acquired 1997); includes William Morrow; Avon; HarperCollins Children's Book Group; and Zondervan Publishing House (world's largest commercial Bible publisher).
In the US
Fox Sports Networks (21 networks covering major U.S. cities); Fox Sports Net (cable network with 60 million subscribers); Madison Square Garden Network (40 percent) with Cablevision; Speedvision (34 percent); Outdoor Life (34 percent); the Health Network (50 percent), with Liberty Media; Fox Family Worldwide; FOX News Channel; Fox Television Stations 22 stations (largest TV group in USA), Fox Entertainment, Fox Kid's Network, Fox Sports; Fox Filmed Entertainment: TV and film production from Twentieth Century Fox; Fox Animation Studios; Fox 2000; and Fox Searchlight; Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment; Twentieth Century Fox Television; Twentieth Century Fox Licensing and Merchandising , and The New York Post
In the UK
BSkyB (40 percent); Vivendi, as a result of its takeover of Universal has to divest its 24.5 percent stake in BskyB; Sky Digital, 150 channels and services including Sky One Sky News; National Geographic Channel (50 percent); The History Channel (50 percent); Paramount Channel (25 percent); Nickelodeon U.K. (50 percent); Premium channels including Sky Movies; Sky Movies Gold; Sky Sports, The Times; The Sunday Times; The Sun; The News of the World
More than 100 national, metropolitan, suburban, regional and Sunday titles. National: The Australian; The Weekend Australian , The Daily Telegraph; The Sunday Telegraph Sportsman; Cumberland Newspaper Group (20 titles in the Sydney suburbs); Herald Sun; Sunday Herald Sun; The Weekly Times (30 titles in the Melbourne suburbs); The Courier Mail (41.7 percent); The Sunday Mail (41.7 percent); Gold Coast Bulletin (41.7 percent); The Cairns Post Group (41.7 percent); North Queensland Newspaper Group; Townsville Bulletin; Quest Community newspapers (17 titles in the Brisbane suburbs); Northern Territory News; Sunday Territorian; Centralian Advocate; The Suburban; The Mercury; The Sunday Tasmanian; Tasmanian Country; Treasure Islander; Derwnet Valley Gazette and the Sunday Times.
The above list is only a part of a vast propaganda machine that is working hard to get us to fear and hate and pay with our money and blood, so that the dreams and visions of a few can be realized. People everywhere, be they Muslim, Christian, Jew, Hindu, or atheist, will rather work and help each other than kill one another. Nothing is more vile than killing for money and power. Where do you think the hundreds of billions of dollars spent on the unnecessary war in Iraq has come from and more importantly, where has it gone? The money has gone from millions of poor American, English and Australian pockets into a few rich and large pockets.
In the process parents have lost their children, wives have lost husbands, children have lost their parents, and many millions have become homeless. And as though this was not enough, the seeds of hatred have been sown in the heart of over one billion people. People think that like in the movies, when a war is finished, the victims somehow just vanish or cease to exist. But the millions of Iraqis who have been robbed of their loved ones and now have to endure a civil war are not likely to just forgive or forget.
But let us just forget about the victims and consider the bystanders. The people in the Muslim world also watch TV and read Newspapers. Do you think that people in Malaysia, Indonesia, Turkey or Jordan don’t see what they are being portrayed as? Do you think they don’t see the situation in Iraq, or Lebanon? If we were treated and portrayed in the same way, we would also react in the manner: with anger and frustration.
The war on terror is used like a beautiful magician’s assistant to distract the public while the magician does his tricks. As long as people are scared and busy with Osama Bin Laden, no one will be noticing the systematic erosion of their civil liberties, or the increasing inequality, or declining quality of their lives. Who cares if 37.0 million Americans live in poverty?  Who cares if over 13 million families including 26.5 million children are living at the edge of the poverty (median income = $38000)?  Who cares if the top 10% own 71.5% of everything in US?  As long as you are afraid of the evil “terrorists” and are engaged in an unending war, you will not care.
Perhaps, Joseph Goebbels, the master propagandist of the third Reich was correct in his theory that:
If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.
The Unending War: War on Terror
I don’t know if you are aware of this or not, but there is no internationally accepted definition of terrorism.  This is because if you are going to define terrorism, you are liable to define some of your own actions as terrorism. And this will not do at all.
For example, in December 1987 the United Nations General Assembly passed a very strong resolution against terrorism, condemning the plague in the strongest terms, calling on every state to fight against it in every possible way. When it came to vote, one country, Honduras, abstained and two voted against it: United States and Israel.  Are you surprised?
This was because of the article 8 of the resolution that mentions the elimination of colonialism, racism, and alien domination and occupation. This should tell you a lot about why UN can not come-up with a definition of terrorism. Here is the text of the article 8.
Article 8 of the UN resolution against terrorism: “Also urges all States, unilaterally and in co-operation with other States, as well as relevant United Nations organs, to contribute to the progressive elimination of the causes underlying international terrorism and to pay special attention to all situations, including colonialism, racism and situations involving mass and flagrant violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms and those involving alien domination and occupation, that may give rise to international terrorism and may endanger international peace and security.” 
Well this means that if you are fighting against an occupying power then you are not a terrorist. If you are fighting against colonialism, then you are not a terrorist. If you are fighting against racism, then you are not a terrorist. If you are fighting against flagrant human rights violation, then you area terrorist. The only way that you can avoid being labeled a terrorist is to be a good fellow and take it. Sandinistas of Nicaragua, when fighting for freedom were the terrorists. Nicaraguan Contras that were funded by CIA and committed horrendous atrocities were the freedom fighters. People that fought for a more just society in Bolivia, Uruguay, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Panama, and other places were all terrorists. Their governments torturing their citizens (and others’) and selling their countries on the cheap to multi-national conglomerates were the good guys fighting evil.
It seems that as long one uses aircraft, Armoured Personnel Carriers, and Tanks to kill civilians and destroy bridges and power stations, it is not terrorism. But if one kills the same civilians with a homemade bomb, it is terrorism. Even if one kills civilians taking refuge in the UN compound it is not terrorism. Even if one kills un-armed UN observers, it is not terrorism. Let us face the truth; terrorism is what you want it to be. And the powers that coined the phrase “fight on terror” intend to use it for all its worth. Now terrorism is an all-encompassing word covering everything from fighting occupation abroad to gang related shootings and animal-right activism in the US.
Since September 9/11, United States has systematically reduced its citizens’ liberties. The Patriot Act I, and II have taken away much of that freedom that made United States the Land of the Free. Already the draconian laws that were supposed to be used against the terrorists are being used against anyone thought to deserve a stronger punishment than the one provided under normal law. In United States the new laws are used against animal activists, teenagers, and to obtain information from law offices.
For example, in 2005, prosecutors in New Jersey used the anti terror law to prosecute a group of animal right activists.
The six, members of a group called Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC), are charged under the Animal Enterprise Protection Act, amended in 2002 to include "animal enterprise terrorism," which outlaws disrupting firms like Huntingdon. If convicted, the group and its accused members face a maximum $250,000 fine and three years in prison. 
In another case four teenagers were charged with terrorism when police discovered that the four had planned to kill their classmates.
The boys, between the ages of 14 and 16, were arrested Wednesday after police heard about the alleged plot from administrators at the school, where three of the teens are students. Authorities did not release their names because of their ages.
The boys initially were charged only with low-level crimes and were not eligible to be moved to adult court. Authorities said the teens planned to target students, and teachers and others.
The terrorism charge and other charges added Thursday -- two counts each of conspiracy to attempt murder -- are serious enough that prosecutors could ask a judge to move the case from family court to adult criminal court, where the penalties could be much stiffer.
Prosecutors have 30 days to consider whether to request moving the case; no decision on that was made by Thursday afternoon. 
In yet another case the Bronx District Attorney employed the anti-terror law in the trial of Edgar "Puebla" Morales, 22, and four other members of the "St. James Park" street gang.
This case appears to be the first in which the Anti-terrorism Statute has been used against members of an organized gang who sought to dominate a neighborhood through their criminal acts," Johnson said. Although the law was intended to be used against acts of political terror, Johnson said, "The terror perpetrated by gangs, which all too often occurs on the streets of New York, also fits squarely within the scope of this statute. 
But these incidents are all in the US. What concerns us is international terrorism. After all that term is used to wreak havoc on different parts of the world. So let us ignore the UN and instead adopt the US definition as our standard definition of international terrorism. Here is the definition of terrorism according to US criminal law TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 113B > § 2331. 
(1) The term “international terrorism” means activities that—
Well, now that we have established our definition of International Terrorism, we shall look at “some” (and by no means all) of the US government actions around the world and see if we can classify any of them as international terrorism.
I think planning assassination, attempted assassination or actually assassinating a foreign official (regardless of how horrible we may think they are), because of their political views, would classify as international terrorism. Don’t you agree?
Well, William Blum in his book Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower, has kindly provided us with a list of US actions overseas.
“The following is a list of prominent foreign individuals whose assassination (or planning for same) the United States has been involved in since the end of the Second World War. (CIA humorists have at times referred to this type of operation as “suicide involuntarily administered” to be carried out by the Agency’s Health Alteration Committee.)” 
You must note here that all these activities are prior to 9/11 attack. (Please note that I am not saying that these actions by US in any shape or form justify terrorist attacks either in US or elsewhere.)
1949: Kim Koo, Korean opposition leader
1950s: CIA-Neo-Nazi hit list of more than 200 political figures in West Germany to be “put out of the way” in the event of a Soviet invasion.
1950s: Zhou Enali, Prime minister of China, several attempts on his life.
1950s, 1962: Sukrano, President of Indonasia
1951: Kim II Sung, Premier of North Korea
1953: Mohammad Mossadegh, Prime minister of Iran
1950s: Carlo M. Recto, Philippines opposition leader
1955 : Jawaharlal Nehru, Prime minister of India
1957: Gamal Abdul Nasser, President of Egypt
1959/63/69: Nordom Sihanouk, Leader of Cambodia
1960: Brig. Gen. Abdul Karim Kassem, Leader of Iraq
1950s-70s: Jose Figueres, President of Costa Rica, two attempts on his life
1961: Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier, leader of Haiti
1961: Patrice Lumumba, Prime minister of Congo
1961: Gen. Rafael Truijillo, leader of Dominican Republic
1963: Ngo Dinh Diem, President of South Vietnam
1960s: Fidel Castro, President of Cuba, many attempts on his life
1960s: Raul Castro, High official in government of Cuba
1965: Francisco Caamano, Dominican Republic opposition leader
1965-6: Charles de Gaulle, President of France
1967: Che Guevara, Cuban Leader
1970: Salvador Allende, President on Chile
1970 : General Rene Schneider, Chief of Army, Chile
1970s:, 1981 General Omar Torrijos, leader of Panama
1972: General Manuel Noriega, Chief of Panama Intelligence
1975: Mobuto Sese Seko, President of Zaire
1976: Michael Manley, Prime Minister of Jamaica
1980-86: Moammar Qaddafi, leader of Libya
1982: Ayatollah Khomeini, Leader of Iran
1983: General Ahmed Dlimi, Moroccan Army commander
1983 Miguel d’Escoto, Foreign Minister of Nicaragua
1984: The nine commandantes of Sandinista National Directorate
1985: Sheikh Mohammad Hussain Fadlallah, Lebanese Shiite Leader
1991: Saddam Hussein, leader of Iraq
1998: Osama Bin-Laden, leading Islamic militant
1999: Slobodan Milosevic, President of Yugoslavia
Another case that we may consider as terrorism under US definition is that of kidnapping and torturing foreign nationals. Imagine that you are a US citizen living in Canada. One day as you are walking in the street, you are kidnapped (because you are “suspected” of sympathizing with the Basque separatists of Spain) and taken to Mexico where you are tortured for a few months by Guatemalan secret service and then released (if you are extremely lucky). Would you call this terrorism? Well this is what is happening to Muslims all around the world. I doubt if you hear any of this on Fox News.
Consider the case of Mr. Khalid al-Masri, a German citizen who was kidnapped by CIA on the Macedonian border in 2003.  He was taken to Afghanistan where he was interrogated and tortured for five months before being finally released in Albania. Or consider the case of Egyptian cleric Mr. Osama Mustafa Hassan Nasr who was kidnapped by CIA in Italy and taken to Egypt for torture and imprisonment in 2003. 
These are just two cases that we know of. There have been over 1000 secret CIA flights within EU since 2001, transporting terror “suspects” for questioning overseas. Usually suspects are taken to countries where torture and illegal imprisonment are routine. How many have been kidnapped and imprisoned without being charged or even murdered is anybody’s guess.
One can continue and list, page after page, of atrocities that have been committed and is being committed under the banner of fight against Terror; but none is more horrendous than falsely accusing and then invading a country on the pretext of fighting terrorism. The fighting so far has destroyed Afghanistan, Iraq, and Lebanon. There are plans afoot to do an Iraq to Iran. All the propaganda machines are now aiming for your approval to destroy Iran, and they are not holding back. Look at the latest propaganda:
“In a video taped message aired on al-Jazeera Saturday, one of the heads of the Iranian controlled al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri stated, "We announce to the Islamic nation the good news of the unification of a great faction of the knights of the Jamaa Islamiya ... with the al-Qaeda group." The head of the Egyptian group is Muhammad al-Islambouli, the younger brother of Khaled al-Islambouli, the assassin of Egypt President Anwar al-Sadat in 1981.” 
This article appeared in News Blaze. You can see how they now call Al Qaeda an Iranian creation. The propaganda machine never stops. There are constant talks about Iran and terrorism; Iran and Nuclear weapons; Iran being the danger to the world, etc. We are being prepared for another war. Does any of this sound familiar? If we are not careful, they will start another war in the name of “war on terrorism” or “stopping nuclear weapon proliferation.”
WE know that Iran has nothing to do with Al Qaeda. WE know that they don’t have atomic weapons. WE also know that Israel has over 200 atomic bombs. WE know that Pakistan and India have A-Bombs. WE also know that US is good friends of all three, not to mention the Brazilians that are enriching Uranium.
We know a lot, but we don’t have the voice to say: enough is enough. The people like Murdoch have stolen our voice. We can only shout in the streets, for newspapers and TVs are closed to us. But, we can still reach others through places like this internet site and say: WE have had enough of your propaganda and lies. WE do not want war of civilizations. We do not want a war of religions. WE do not want destroyed houses and bridges. WE do not want dead children and refugees. WE WANT TO LIVE IN PEACE.
Dr. Abbas Bakhtiar lives in Norway. He is a consultant and a contributing writer for many online journals. He's a former associate professor of Nordland University, Norway. Bakhtiarspaceemail@example.com. Copyright (C) 2006 Abbas Bakhtiar, all rights reserved.
Other Articles by Abbas Bakhtiar
 Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies, 8 July 1996, Richard Perle et al
 Gregory Acs and Pamela Loprest, “Low-Income Working Families”, The Urban Institute, 2100 M Street, NW ,Washington, DC 20037. September 2005