In the comedy movie “Wag the Dog,” a fictitious U.S. president is on the cusp of losing an election over a real scandal. So a political spin doctor and Hollywood producer hired by his campaign instead distract the public by manufacturing “the appearance of a war” with Albania. The spin doctor explains: “It’s not a war, it’s a pageant. We need a theme, a song — some visuals.” The producer ascribes Albania a false motive against the United States: “They want to destroy our way of life!” The story line keeps changing to explain away emerging, inconvenient realities.
The ever-changing “Russia narrative” in American politics is today’s “Wag the Dog” scenario. Technology and the disintegration of evidence-based journalism permit a surprisingly small number of individuals to destroy bilateral or multilateral relations. Their motivation in shifting from an inconvenient reality into their desired reality is power and military-industrial commercial interests.
When I attended the Munich Security Conference in February, the extraordinary, coordinated message of a panel of U.S. senators was summarized by moderator Victoria Nuland, former assistant secretary of state under President Barack Obama, as: “Deep State-proud loyalists giving]broad reassurance about continuity.” One of the panelists, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), said: “What the Breitbart crowd would call the ‘Deep State’ is what many of us would call ‘knowledgeable professionals.’” The panel’s uniform message was essentially: Ignore Donald Trump and increase your defense budget to 2 percent, because the generals who are ‘operationalizing policy’ remain in charge.
When you owe the world $18 trillion, the only way to get them to “pay 2 percent for defense” is to manufacture a boogeyman. Russian novelist and pacifist Leo Tolstoy observed: “There is no war which was not hatched by the governments, the governments alone, independent of the interests of the people.”
What has been inelegantly termed the “Deep State” is really this: shadow power exercised by a small number of individuals from media, business, government and the intelligence community, foisting provocative and cynically false manipulations on the public. Out of these manipulations, an agenda of these architects’ own design is born.
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