Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan’s first term. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University.
By Paul Craig Roberts:
Some readers have come to the erroneous conclusion that the Matrix consists of Republican Party disinformation as if there is no disinformation from the left. Others think that propaganda is the business of Obama and the Democrats. In fact, propaganda from the right, the left and the middle are all part of the disinformation fed to americans.
If I may give some examples: The other day Chuck Colson, one of the Nixon officials imprisoned for Watergate crimes, died. This gave NPR the opportunity to relive the Nixon horror.
What precisely was the Nixon horror? Essentially, there was no such thing. Watergate was about President Nixon lying about when he learned about the Watergate burglary.
When Nixon learned about the burglary, he did not act on it prior to his reelection, because he reasoned, rightly, that the Washington Post would blame him for the burglary, although he had nothing to do with it, in the hopes of preventing his reelection.
By going along with a cover-up, Nixon enabled the Washington Post to make an issue of the precise date on which Nixon learned of the burglary. White House tapes indicated that Nixon had learned of the burglary before he said he learned of it. So Nixon had permitted a cover-up and had to go, but what was the real reason?
What was the Watergate burglary? We don’t really know. A group of men including former CIA operatives were hired by the Committee to Re-elect the President to break into a Democratic campaign office in the Watergate complex. We don’t know the purpose of the burglary. Some claim it was to wire-tap the telephones in the belief that the Democratic Party was getting re-election money from communists in Cuba or elsewhere. Others claim that the burglars were looking for a list of call girls that compromised a White House official, as his fiancée was allegedly one of the call girls.
Looking back from our time during which Bush and Obama have deep-sixed the US Constitution, violated numerous US and international laws, and behaved as if they were caesars unconstrained by any law or any morality, Nixon’s “crimes” appear so trivial as to be unremarkable. Yet, Nixon was driven from office and is regarded as a criminal.
What was Watergate really about?
I doubt we will ever know. But I can offer one possible explanation. Nixon, like John F. Kennedy before him, alarmed the military/security complex with his plans to withdraw US troops from Vietnam (Vietnamization) and his determination to open communication with communist China and improve relations.
As President Eisenhower warned in his last address to the American people, conflict brings power and profit to interest groups that benefit from conflict. Nixon, like Kennedy before him, was perceived as a threat by these powerful interests, because he was working to reduce conflict.
James W. Douglass in his documented book, JFK and the Unspeakable, attributes the assassination of President John F. Kennedy to the CIA, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Secret Service. Douglas reports that these powerful government institutions were concerned by Kennedy’s refusal to approve Operation Northwoods, to back the CIA’s invasion of Cuba, and to confront the Soviets militarily over the Cuban missile crisis and by Kennedy’s plans to end US military intervention in Vietnam. JFK also told his brother Robert that after his re-election he was going to break the CIA into a thousand pieces.
The right-wing view that Kennedy was too soft to stand up to communism was intensified when it was learned that Kennedy was working with Nikita Khrushchev through back channels to defuse the Cold War. In his “A Strategy of Peace” speech (June 1963), Kennedy announced the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and the suspension of atmospheric nuclear testing.
“What kind of a peace do we seek?,” Kennedy asked. “Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war.” With his words and deeds, President Kennedy made himself into a threat against the interests of the military/security complex.
There was enough suspicion of JFK’s assassination that yet another president assassinated by another “unhinged lone gunman” might raise more eyebrows. Nixon was disliked by the media, which made him a good candidate for political assassination. The Watergate burglary provided the opportunity. The Washington Post did the job with reports of “deep throat” meeting with reporters in spooky underground parking lots after midnight. Little, if any, information of consequence was contained in these reports. Instead, the newspaper’s reporting transferred the spooky danger of the deserted parking garages to Nixon and an aura of evil was attached to Nixon that eroded his support.
It is interesting that it is only presidents who work to reduce conflict who become targets for assassination. Reagan’s anti-Soviet rhetoric was strong enough to fool the left-wing, but the military-security complex knew of Reagan’s intention to end the Cold War. The CIA, formerly headed by Reagan’s vice president, opposed Reagan’s plan to put the pressure of an arms race on the creaking Soviet economy. The CIA argued that the centrally planned Soviet economy allowed the Kremlin to control investment and that the Communist Party could allocate whatever percentage of Soviet GDP to the military as was needed to win the arms race. In other words, the CIA argued that the US would lose the arms race if Reagan raised the stakes as a means of bringing the Soviets to negotiate the end of the Cold War. Did the CIA really believe this, or was the military/security complex trying to keep the profitable Cold War stalemate going?
Washington cannot exist without conflict. Now that the “Muslim threat” is wearing thin, Washington is stirring up a conflict with China. Washington is sticking its nose into every dispute China has with its neighbors and building up its military presence in the Asian-Pacific. As I wrote in my previous column, a China threat is being created as a long-term threat to take the place of the former Soviet threat.
Moving on to another topic, americans are told that education is the answer to unemployment. Get that university degree and live happily every after.
As RT recently reported, the truth is that more than half of recent US university graduates are unemployed or very underemployed. So much for the mantra that “education is the answer.”
“Education is the answer” serves the colleges and universities who want the tuition payments. It serves the companies who make student loans. It helps the offshoring corporations disguise that they are the main cause of unemployment.
Education is not the answer when high value-added, high wage manufacturing and professional service jobs, such as software engineering, are moved offshore in order to enhance short-term profits for shareholders and multi-million dollar bonuses for CEOs, while domestic employment and purchasing power are destroyed. Unless American university graduates can emigrate to China and India, there is no one to employ them. Yet, we still hear the call to run up student loan debts beyond the ability of salaries to repay the loans.
Professional tradable service employment in the US is so scarce that the University of Florida has abolished its computer science department. As few of the graduates can find employment, the university has reallocated the department’s budget to football, a paying sport.
Americans plugged into the Matrix are programmed to believe that they have correct information provided by a varied and “independent media.” In fact the media is owned by 5 or 6 mega-media companies run by corporate advertising executives and Washington.
Recently, Bloomberg gave us the report that “Japan, Denmark and Switzerland are among the countries to rally this week to [IMF chief] Lagarde’s call for a bigger lending capacity beyond the current $380 billion to shield the world economy against any deepening of Europe’s debt turmoil.”
This Bloomberg report is nonsensical. The loans are not shielding the world economy. The loans are shielding the private banks from their own mistakes at the expense of the world economy. The Bloomberg report shows how completely the Western media is involved in forcing ordinary peoples to subsidize private bankers. It could not be more clear; yet, there is no embarrassment at Bloomberg for serving as the bankers’ propagandist.
Indeed, there is only honor. Serving the Matrix is where lie the rewards. Those who oppose the Matrix are the outcasts whose efforts might, as in the film, save the race of humans from the domination of evil, or else, if they lose, confine the outcasts to prosecution and death.
Across every front Americans are fed lies. The official media line is that the Japanese Fukushima nuclear threat from the earthquake and aftermath is well contained and over. However, the fact of the matter appears to be that an amazing radioactive inventory of both spent and unused fuel rods is in damaged cooling pools that could suffer collapse at any time (especially if there is another earthquake), thus releasing enormous radioactivity. This possibility presents a greater threat than the initial molten cores of the reactors themselves. Michael Chossudovsky points out that the media is yet to acknowledge the widespread contamination resulting from the Fukushima disaster, and there may be worse to come.
But who cares? Back to the Matrix and the “reality show.”