Friday, January 13, 2006

The greatest show on the road.



In a comment to my last entry, Victor Serge
pointed out that Free Trade
Agreements are
part of American Imperialism. By a strange
coincidence,
I immediately afterwards received
an email with a copy of Harold Pinter's

acceptance speech for the 2005 Nobel Prize
in Literature titled “Art,
Truth & Politics”.
Pinter spends much of his speech reflecting
on how
the US has maintained its international
hegemony through violence and then
letting
everyone forget about it.
It is, Pinter affirms,
“the greatest
show on the road.”
I quote a rather large section of the speech,
and you
can find the original at
http://nobelprize.org/literature/laureates/2005/pinter-lecture-e.html

As every single person here knows, the justification for
the invasion of Iraq was that Saddam Hussein possessed a highly dangerous
body of weapons of mass destruction, some of which could be fired in 45
minutes, bringing about appalling devastation. We were
assured that was
true. It was not true. We were told that Iraq had a
relationship with Al Quaeda and shared responsibility for the atrocity
in New York of September 11th 2001. We were assured that this was true.
It was not true. We were told that Iraq threatened the security of the
world. We were assured it was true. It was not true.

The truth is something entirely different. The truth is to do with how the
United States understands its role in the world and how it chooses to embody it.

But before I come back to the present I would like to look at the recent past,
by which I mean United States foreign policy since the end of the Second World War.
I believe it is obligatory upon us to subject this period to at least some kind of
even limited scrutiny, which is all that time will allow here.

Everyone knows what happened in the Soviet Union and throughout Eastern Europe
during the post-war period: the systematic brutality, the widespread atrocities,
the ruthless suppression of independent thought. All this has been fully
documented and verified.

But my contention here is that the US crimes in the same period have only been
superficially recorded,let alone documented, let alone acknowledged, let alone
recognised as crimes at all. I believe this must be addressed and that the truth
has considerable bearing on where the world stands now.Although constrained, to
a certain extent, by the existence of the Soviet Union, the United States' actions
throughout the world made it clear that it had concluded it had carte blanche to
do what it liked.



Direct invasion of a sovereign state has never in fact been America's favoured
method. In the main, it has preferred what it has described as 'low intensity
conflict'. Low intensity conflict means that thousands of people die but slower
than if you dropped a bomb on them in one fell swoop. It means that you infect
the heart of the country, that you establish a malignant growth and watch the
gangrene bloom. When the populace has been subdued - or beaten to death - the
same thing - and your own friends, the military and the great corporations, sit
comfortably in power, you go before the camera and say that democracy has
prevailed. This was a commonplace in US foreign policy in the years to which I
refer.

The tragedy of Nicaragua was a highly significant case. I choose to offer it here
as a potent example of America's view of its role in the world, both then and now.

I was present at a meeting at the US embassy in London in the late 1980s. The
United States Congress was about to decide whether to give more money to the
Contras in their campaign against the state of Nicaragua. I was a member of a
delegation speaking on behalf of Nicaragua but the most important member of
this delegation was a Father John Metcalf. The leader of the US body was
Raymond Seitz (then number two to the ambassador, later ambassador himself).
Father Metcalf said: 'Sir, I am in charge of a parish in the north of Nicaragua.
My parishioners built a school, a health centre, a cultural centre. We have lived
in peace. A few months ago a Contra force attacked the parish. They destroyed
everything: the school, the health centre, the cultural centre. They raped
nurses and teachers, slaughtered doctors, in the most brutal manner. They
behaved like savages. Please demand that the US government withdraw its support
from this shocking terrorist activity.'

Raymond Seitz had a very good reputation as a rational, responsible and highly
sophisticated man. He was greatly respected in diplomatic circles. He listened,
paused and then spoke with some gravity. 'Father,' he said, 'let me tell you
something. In war, innocent people always suffer.' There was a frozen silence.
We stared at him. He did not flinch.
 
 
Innocent people, indeed, always suffer. Finally somebody said: 'But in this case
"innocent people" were the victims of a gruesome atrocity subsidised by your
government, one among many. If Congress allows the Contras more money further
atrocities of this kind will take place. Is this not the case? Is your government
not therefore guilty of supporting acts of murder and destruction upon the
citizens of a sovereign state?' Seitz was imperturbable. 'I don't agree that the
facts as presented support your assertions,' he said.

As we were leaving the Embassy a US aide told me that he enjoyed my plays. I did
not reply. I should remind you that at the time President Reagan made the
following statement: 'The Contras are the moral equivalent of our Founding
Fathers.'

The United States supported the brutal Somoza dictatorship in Nicaragua for over
40 years. The Nicaraguan people, led by the Sandinistas, overthrew this regime in
1979, a
breathtaking popular revolution.

The Sandinistas weren't perfect. They possessed their fair share of arrogance and
their political philosophy contained a number of contradictory elements. But they
were intelligent, rational and civilised. They set out to establish a stable,
decent, pluralistic society. The death penalty was abolished. Hundreds of thousands
of poverty-stricken peasants were brought back from the dead. Over 100,000 families
were given title to land. Two thousand schools were built. A quite remarkable
literacy campaign reduced illiteracy in the country to less than one seventh.
Free education was established and a free health service. Infant mortality was
reduced by a third. Polio was eradicated.
 
 The United States denounced these achievements as Marxist/Leninist subversion.
In the view of the US government, a dangerous example was being set. If Nicaragua
was allowed to establish basic norms of social and economic justice, if it was
allowed to raise the standards of health care and education and achieve social
unity and national self respect, neighbouring countries would ask the same
questions and do the same things. There was of course at the time fierce
resistance to the status quo in El Salvador.

I spoke earlier about 'a tapestry of lies' which surrounds us. President Reagan
commonly described
Nicaragua as a 'totalitarian dungeon'. This was taken generally
by the media, and certainly by the British government, as accurate and fair
comment. But there was in fact no record of death squads under the Sandinista
government. There was no record of torture. There was no record of systematic
or official military brutality. No priests were ever murdered in Nicaragua.
There were in fact three priests in the government, two Jesuits and a Maryknoll
missionary. The totalitarian dungeons were actually next door, in El Salvador
and Guatemala. The United States had brought down the democratically elected
government of Guatemala in 1954 and it is estimated that over 200,000 people
had been victims of successive military dictatorships.

Six of the most distinguished Jesuits in the world were viciously murdered at the
Central American University in San Salvador in 1989 by a battalion of the
Alcatl regiment trained at Fort Benning, Georgia, USA. That extremely brave
man Archbishop Romero was assassinated while saying mass. It is estimated that
75,000 people died. Why were they killed? They were killed because they believed
a better life was possible and should be achieved. That belief immediately
qualified them as communists. They died because they dared to question the status
quo, the endless plateau of poverty, disease, degradation and oppression, which
had been their birthright.

The United States finally brought down the Sandinista government. It took some
years and considerable resistance but relentless economic persecution and
30,000 dead finally undermined the spirit of the Nicaraguan people. They were
exhausted and poverty stricken once again. The casinos moved back into the
country. Free health and free education were over. Big business returned with a
vengeance. 'Democracy' had prevailed.
 
But this 'policy' was by no means restricted to Central America. It was conducted
throughout the world. It was never-ending. And it is as if it never happened.

The United States supported and in many cases engendered every right wing
military dictatorship in the world after the end of the Second World War. I refer
to Indonesia, Greece, Uruguay, Brazil, Paraguay, Haiti, Turkey, the Philippines,
Guatemala, El Salvador, and, of course, Chile. The horror the United States
inflicted upon Chile in 1973 can never be purged and can never be forgiven.

Hundreds of thousands of deaths took place throughout these countries. Did they
take place? And are they in all cases attributable to US foreign policy? The
answer is yes they did take place and they are attributable to American foreign
policy. But you wouldn't know it.

It never happened. Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it wasn't
happening. It didn't matter. It was of no interest. The crimes of the United
States have been systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless, but very few people
have actually talked about them. You have to hand it to America. It has exercised
a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force
for universal good. It's a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis.

I put to you that the United States is without doubt the greatest show on the road.
Brutal, indifferent, scornful and ruthless it may be but it is also very clever.
As a salesman it is out on its own and its most saleable commodity is self love.
It's a winner. Listen to all American presidents on television say the words, 'the
American people', as in the sentence, 'I say to the American people it is time to
pray and to defend the rights of the American people and I ask the American
people to trust their president in the action he is about to take on behalf of
the American people.'

It's a scintillating stratagem. Language is actually employed to keep thought at
bay. The words 'the American people' provide a truly voluptuous cushion of
reassurance. You don't need to think. Just lie back on the cushion. The cushion
may be suffocating your intelligence and your critical faculties but it's very
comfortable. This does not apply of course to the 40 million people living below
the poverty line and the 2 million men and women imprisoned in the vast gulag
of prisons, which extends across the US.

 © THE NOBEL FOUNDATION 2005

5 comments:

Personal Development said...

I like what you have here! I have a hypnosis products site I think you might enjoy.

Sontín said...

Thank you so much for your fascinating idea. We could all just hypnotise ourselfs to think that the world is a wonderful place where everybody just wants to be nice to each other and buy more hypnosis products. That makes me feel so much better.

Anonymous said...

Your subconscious mind is a powerful force. It can be an un-defeatable ally or a dangerous foe! It is a powerful force of nature that can be harnessed and made to work for us or it can be a wild beast that runs riot with our lives.
How powerful is 'powerful'?
Take the first Atomic Bomb - it could lay waste to an entire city in seconds. Or the gravitational pull of the Sun which stops our tiny planet from hurtling into space. Imagine the power of a black hole - that region of spacetime from which nothing can escape not even light travelling at 186 thousand miles a second. The Universe is full of powerful forces. Yet, all these wondrous things pale into insignificance when compared to the power of the subconscious mind.
The subconscious part of your mind is that part which regulates your heartbeat, lungs, digestive system and everything else in your body. It directs the inner workings of your body and such things as (what biologists call) 'machines' - tiny living cells that are composed of motors, drive-shafts and propellers - seriously!!! There is mounting evidence that the cells in our bodies have memory and that our very DNA is coded with memories of our ancestors. As well as having full control of all these functions and more your subconscious also retains all the thoughts, experiences and emotions you have ever felt. It regulates the most complicated mechanism in the unknown Universe - your body - and it can calculate the trajectory of multiple moving objects while supplying you with the words necessary to debate an issue while controlling a complex task of activities such as driving a car!
These tasks alone show how powerful the subconscious mind is. But it is much more powerful than that!
The truth is: No-one knows the limits of the subconscious mind's power!
Tell yourself that you will wake up at 6 a.m. and chances are you will awake. Go to a crowed party and through a mass of voices you will hear someone at the other side of the room mention your name! Set a problem aside and miraculously, out of nowhere, the answer comes while you are involved in another task. It recreates situations in your life that correspond to your beliefs. Time and time again you find yourself in the same situations, with similar partners, in almost identical jobs. Like a wheel your subconscious mind creates situations that bring your life back to the same spot.
Likewise it can totally transform your life - even overnight! It can bring you new situations, life experiences, luxuries and even people.
However, it is like a na�ve child or a better analogy is that of a computer. It believes everything that you tell it. Your conscious mind is the gatekeeper. Anything you think with complete faith is immediately past to the subconscious mind - which it then takes as literal fact. There will be no arguments because it has no discriminating capabilities.
Although your subconscious mind is more powerful than you can possibly imagine it is a mere servant. It is at your disposal. YOU are in charge. It acts just like a computer and like every computer it needs software to run. So if you do not program it then someone else will! You are constantly being bombarded with software programs for the mind every minute of everyday. Buy this product and you will look slim, drive this car and you will seem sexy, drink this potion and you will feel more vibrant about life. You are told what to buy and when to buy it, when you are too young to do a thing and when you are too old. You are told what is possible and what is not. Snap out of it!
Take back your control over mind and body. You were born with the most powerful computer system known to man - a bio-computer that regulates a sophisticated, highly flexible, changeable, self repairing vehicle. You are amazing, a true miracle. If you bought a new top of the range diesel Mercedes would you let Joe or Sue down the road fill it up with petrol?
Begin to think for yourself. Who told you that you could not achieve your dreams? Do you believe it? Who told you that you were too fat, too skinny, too stupid, too smart, too young or too old?
Does it matter?
No! Because you are and always have been in total control. Change your thinking and you will change your subconscious beliefs. Change your subconscious beliefs and you will change your life. self hypnosis

Anonymous said...

The personal development industry has never been bigger! It consists of a myriad of authors basically telling us how to improve our lives. We are constantly being told self help and self improvement has never been easier. New techniques, gadgets and potions adorn the shelves of new age shops and the 1 billion dollar industry, that is personal development, offers many different approaches to help better our lives. They offer ways to increase our bounty and ultimately alter our own reality. A great example of this is how to develop a Prosperity Consciousness. But does this state really exist and if it does will it bring the effortless unlimited wealth promised?
A lot has been written about prosperity and how to attain it. We have been told by many religious traditions and every personal development guru that the Universersal Source (God, Spirit, Cosmic Mind or whatever label you chose to give it) is boundless wealth. We are also told that abundance, wealth and prosperity are our birthright! Why then are so many people ill, broke, frustrated and unfulfilled? Can a person really develop a prosperity consciousness and effortlessly attract wealth? Well as with everything in life there is only one way to find out. Test it for yourself!
Before we can attain and then test the effectiveness of having a prosperity consciousness we need to understand some basic truths. Let's start by explaining three fundamentals of personal development namely; 1. The Universal Source is all wealth, abundance and prosperity; 2. Prosperity is our birthright; 3. You get more of what you focus on.
1. Why are we told that the Universal Source is unlimited wealth? - Because the Universal Source is the consciousness of the Universe - a universe that is still expanding. It is the driving force behind physical reality. It created everything you see, hear, touch and smell as well as all that we are unaware of (microwaves, radiation, air etc.). It has been stated in religious and metaphysical traditions that this intelligence is not only the Source of everything but that it is also the substance of it! It creates the Universe from itself! It is omnipresent (everywhere present). That means that the entire seen and unseen aspects of the universe are a part of this Universal Source. Science reaffirms this theory as it states that nothing is solid and everything is just one mass of pure energy that vibrates at different frequencies and gives the illusion of separateness.
So we can now claim that the Universal Source is unlimited wealth, abundance and prosperity with some belief. For if this Source is the very substance of everything then it is all the wealth, abundance and prosperity that exists at this very moment!
Ok so far? Now lets look at the second point - prosperity is our birthright.
2. If this Universal Intelligence is the source and substance of all things then there can be only one intelligence in the Universe. Jesus said to his disciples "know ye not that you are the temple of the living God?" Buddha attained enlightenment and "oneness". The list of these religious teachings are too numerous to mention but their message remains the same - God (Universal Substance) resides within and around us. It's very substance makes up our physical body and the world around us - "For in him we live, move and have our being" Acts17:28. Therefore, if this Universal Source is at the very core of our being and is the substance from which we take physical form then it stands to reason that we are connected to everyone else and in fact everything else around us - we are a part of all the wealth, abundance and prosperity of the universe. Just as your hand or foot is a part of your body, so every grain of sand, blade of grass, wisp of wind, bar of gold and brick that is laid in a mansion is part of you. The unlimited wealth of the universe is yours for the claiming. It is already yours, always has been and always will be. It is a part of you.
Ok let's go the third point - you get more of what you focus on.
3. "It never rains but it pours", is a saying I have used myself in the past. Have you ever wondered why such a statement appears to be true? Well metaphysics and religion tell us that "as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he" or as Job cried out to God "For that which I greatly feared has come upon me". What we focus our conscious attention on increases! Don't believe me? Test it for yourself! If you can muster up the strength to do it then think in negative terms for a week. Judge everything that happens to you in negative terms and think only of a negative outcome and watch what happens in your world!!! This is a relatively easy experiment as we are conditioned to think negatively by the world. A word of warning though - once you prove that your focus determines your reality stop thinking negative thoughts as best you can.
I will not go into the 'hows' of why our focus has such a profound influence on our lives (that would be the subject of a book or perhaps a future article) just prove to yourself that it does. A clue can be found in the teachings of Jesus when he said "The Kingdom of heaven is within".
So now we have the three principles of the prosperity consciousness explained let's put it to work. The attainment of a prosperity consciousness is relatively simple - just think on the first two principles until you fully understand them and integrate them into your consciousness. As you focus on them you will discover that your feelings of lack disappear and you begin to feel a connection with everything around you. It is really just an attitude shift - nothing metaphysical or mystical about it at all. You begin to consciously realize that everything is a part of you. Your focus changes from poverty to wealth.
If it helps make a list of affirmations that correspond to the two principles outlined e.g. "God is the Source and substance of everything", "I am at one with everyone and everything around me", "I am a part of all the wealth, abundance and prosperity of the Universe" etc. Don't just rhyme them off in a parrot like manner, think on them and realize the scientific or spiritual truths behind them.
Will it work? Well I can say now that if you follow the above instructions a real change will happen in you. You will start to see the beauty of the world and the unlimited resources that are available within and around you. Will you attain wealth, abundance and prosperity? Test it for yourself! hypnosis

Sontín said...

oookayyy