MIND GAMES: The ‘War on Terror’ Isn’t Real, but the Illusion Is – By Barrie Zwicker (Archive)

Source – truthandshadows.wordpress.com

This is Part 2 of Barrie Zwicker’s exclusive Truth and Shadows series on false flag operations – Maximum Illusion Time:

Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.  Charles MacKay in the1852 preface [1] to his book Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds 

Where madness is concerned there’s always been a contagion effect, as Charles MacKay suggested in 1852. But in recent times, global power elites have increasingly been able to inject herds with particular madnesses.

The predominant one of these is the “war on terror.” [2]

In a sane world a question widely and repeatedly posed would be whether there is such a phenomenon as the “war on terror” as presented (for instance in newspaper headlines, TV news, speeches by “leaders,” most books on the subject and by almost everyone we encounter at home, school and work).

We who are skeptics can answer that question with a resounding “No!” We also know that the answer of most people  – “Yes, of course” – represents a windmill that we must, like Don Quixote, continue to joust with.

The “war on terror,” which should never be allowed to go out alone without its quotes on, is essentially a mass delusion. In case this offends anyone I downgrade it here to an illusion. Because the trouble isn’t essentially within the brains of the herd members. The trouble is what the herd is being fed. Call it mad crowd disease.

This “war” is integrated with other mutually supportive, artificially created forms of madness.

 Just one of these is “market fundamentalism.” That’s the quasi-religious belief that global monopoly capitalism not only is benign, not only is the best socio-economic system ever devised, but also is one “to which there is no alternative.” (“Democratic capitalism,” by the way, is not an “alternative.” It is an oxymoron.) [3]

The bogus “war on terror” along with largely market-created economic uncertainty, rapid technological change, [4] environmental destruction and more, comprise important components of the human condition today. For multitudes this concoction is a source of debilitating free-floating anxiety. (As opposed to facilitating anxiety, which is beneficial [5]) punctuated with dollops of often or usually unjustified deer-in-the-headlights fear.

An essay entitled Age in Psychosis on Hub Pages, includes The Scream by Edvard Munch…

…and includes this passage:

Today, many feel that they have changed in some way that is hard to define. And yet, under closer scrutiny in the age of economic uncertainty and the war against terror, we can see how the collective temperament has indeed changed in some way. But the change has been almost imperceptible and many people only feel that they have changed somehow without being able to define it. It takes an objective observer and good memory to see this change.

The_ScreamThe change is toward more fear and it works, as intended [6], to the advantage of the global power elites that I call the diaboligarchy. [7] Fear is the natural, unavoidable and helpful reaction of most humans to genuine threat (some psychopaths are exempt). The threat could be a tornado, wild animal or actual invading army.

Three basic courses of action are available: fight, flight or play dead. None of these are available to the average TV viewer exposed to most mediated (“if it bleeds, it leads”) threats. (An exception would be media reports of a rapist loose in one’s neighbourhood.)

The prices extracted from long-suffering humanity by the diaboligarchy’s “fear sector” include the killing of untold numbers of innocent human beings, ongoing destruction of the environment and steady reduction of freedoms for most people everywhere and an unrelenting increase in police state surveillance and other activities.

At the same time, global monopoly capitalism bestows minimum or no economic or other benefits upon anyone lower than the elites on the ladders of wealth, power and privilege. All the negative outcomes contradict the “pro-democracy” baloney, the “trickle down” nonsense, the cant about “fighting for freedom” (freedom being the most abused word in the language) and other self-serving fictions promoted and disseminated by the power elites across multiple platforms. It must be considered hopeful progress that in just the last decade it has become widely known that it’s the 1% versus the rest of us. [8]

Oligarchies dominated by psychopaths pursuing their own selfish interests at the expense of everyone else have risen spontaneously since civilization as we know it was born in Sumeria. To know this, however, is small comfort and should not be taken either as a sentence upon the future or cause for despair.

Rage is a reasonable reaction to the historical record as well as the present situation. “The truth will set you free,” someone said, “but first it will make you angry!” Once you learn truths hidden behind fiction after fiction you can never go back to believing the old fictions.

One of these fictions is to unduly equate our present pickle with previous pickles, such as that the world faced in September 1939. Things are very different today than they were even a few years ago, let alone decades or centuries ago. And “history” is as illusory as is the present. History, it has been said, is written by the victors. And it’s hard to find a more unsavoury lot than history’s victors.

As “speed-up” tightens its grip on all of us, it’s justifiable to state unambiguously that “civilization” faces an unprecedented and extremely dangerous situation. Its components are multiple and mostly growing crises. [9]

Some of these crises are developing at an exponential rate.

There’s also more than one possibility of a worldwide catastrophic event, such as the eruption of the Yellowstone Park volcano. These are beyond human control to prevent and therefore outside the mandate of this series. [10]

Unlike an asteroid strike that, even if human civilization took concentrated precautions to avert, would still rest in the hands of fate, false flag ops have been and remain an unnecessary concentrated calculated human activity, essentially in the hands of a small minority of humanity, not fate. I consider it obvious that numerous plans in various stages of completion are at the ready in the inner sancta of organizations such as the CIA, FBI, Mossad and MI-6. One targeting Iran could trigger World War III, even as it continues to true that false flag operations remain the least-recognized source of wars and misery.

The upshot of the injected madnesses is that to one extent or another many significant events and ideas taken – beyond our personal bubble – as “realities” are illusory. In a mind-boggling number of cases they are outright deceptions. In this series the reality of false flag operations is the focus. All merge into Maximum Illusion Time.


 Although it’s not entirely accurate [11 ] to say that the two letters in the Chinese alphabet representing crisis also stand for opportunity, the nub – that crisis is arguably the greatest change agent – holds true.

Crisis is a high-octane change agent in individual lives, society and history, dwarfing most other drivers. When I interviewed him in his home in California in the early 1970s, sociologist and futurist Richard Farson told me: “Most people believe they learn from their mistakes. That’s seldom true. It’s more true that people learn from their successes. But what causes people to learn the most by far, in a way that actually changes their behaviours, is crisis.”

He mentioned bankruptcy, divorce and life threatening illness. Later, in his 2003 book, Whoever Makes the Most Mistakes Wins, he writes: “As with individuals, sometimes crisis is the only thing that can move organizations. […] Paradoxically, adversity and upheaval can be far more powerful agents of change than planning and consultants. […] The lesson for managers, obviously, is not to arrange calamities, but to recognize that calamities, when they do occur, can be opportunities for significant and needed change.”

But diabolical managers would use Farson’s insight to “arrange a calamity,” wouldn’t they?

None know better that crises create opportunity, or take more advantage of it, than the diaboligarchs. Rather than waiting for crises advantageous for them, they manufacture them. [12] This is done largely, if not mainly, through false flag operations.

These help drive the herd mad while opening up repeated opportunities for the diaboligarchy to expand its powers, seize new ones, amass more wealth and privilege and further consolidate its overall grip on the herd, as well as impact the trajectory of history — for the worse, much the worse.

The madnesses are easier than ever to inject because of important advantages – some age old, some unprecedented – enjoyed by the power elites. These will be dealt with at some length in Part 6. But stripped to the core we can say here that the elites accomplish their goals mainly through their use in tandem with their control of the mass media of false flag events, pseudo-events, [13] organizations and agents.

Virtually all students of the “big picture” agree that the elites control the media – and furthermore that the media are the most crucial amplifiers “verifying” past and ongoing deceptions. The media also pre-clear the populace to board future fake flights of perception.


The detonation of a false flag “terrorist” bomb can be thought of – in a ones-and-zeroes sense – as pure information. It can simultaneously be thought of as disinformation, because of its origin and agency.

All meaning is negotiated. For most people the meaning of a false flag “terrorist” bomb is “negotiated” with the mass media. This is a one-sided negotiation for most people who have themselves – what is called “the illusion of the unified self” [14] – on one side, and the media and other controlled aspects of “reality” on the other.

One upshot, isolated for our purposes here, is to make false flags completely real for most people most of the time. This is true because it’s true that most people get most of their information about most things most of the time from the mainstream media. And even though more and more people are increasingly getting information from non-MSM – mainly Internet-accessed – sources the MSM continue to impose our main dose of “reality” through a combination of agenda-setting, disinformation and critical omissions – all persuasive and repetitive.

False flag ops are real even for those of us who are skeptics – but in a significantly different way. We skeptics are forced to acknowledge the truth that these lies are “the truth” for most others. Hence the paradox in the flashline at the top, that the “illusion” of the so-called “war on terror” is “real.”

Simple, yet complex.


So how is Maximum Illusion Time created and maintained? First, by language. The term “war on terror,” for instance, is literally [16] broadcast, heard, published, read and spoken thousands of times per hour, 24/7, worldwide. This has been true year in and year out since 9/11. This repetition alone creates a huge chunk of “reality.”

The two pillars of communication are persuasiveness and repetition. Explosions and bombings and arrests of dark- skinned bearded young men with Arab names, and court cases involving them and successful conviction of them and jailing of them are persuasive “facts,” to say the least, for most people unaware of the webs of deceit involved almost every step of the way in almost every case.

Integral to the phrase “war on terror” are images. No wonder. That phrase appears in headlines in close proximity to pictures of burned-out cars, blood-spattered marketplaces or mug shots of dark skinned bearded young men with Arab names – or pictures of them being led away in handcuffs or…

Inherent in the images are concepts.

Without consciously knowing about the phenomena transpiring in their crania, millions of people millions of times a day feel fear while, in micro-seconds, parts of their brains subliminally generate some version of dark skinned bearded young men with Arab names. Or planes crashing into buildings. Or blood-spattered marketplaces or…

The neural pathways to these feelings, images and subliminal phenomena impossible to describe except at book length (if then) have been trained, for 999 people out of 1,000, by a synthetic perceptual environment.

The thousandth person might have literally experienced something related to terror. But that person mathematically most likely suffered the experience at the hands of Americans or their proxies in Vietnam or Chile or Guatemala or El Salvador or Iraq or at Guantanamo. Or in Pakistan or Yemen. Or in the scores of countries, including Iran, where the USA has “projected its power.”

That thousandth person almost certainly has neural pathways leading in very different directions from those of the “great unwashed.”

The late Princeton University professor Julian Jaynes in his landmark book The Origin of Consciousness and the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind sheds considerable light on the percepts (not precepts) involved in Maximum Illusion Time. This is thinking about thinking.

He writes (page 9) that thinking is not something under our (supposedly “conscious”) control. It happens faster than we can control. He writes (page 38): “In introspecting we always have hundreds of words to describe what happens in a few seconds. What an astonishing fact that is!”

As Wikipedia puts it, “Jaynes defines ‘consciousness’ more narrowly than most philosophers. Jaynes’ definition of consciousness is synonymous with what philosophers call ‘meta-consciousness’ or ‘meta-awareness.’” Human consciousness, in Jaynes’ view, is defined by reflection, introspection. It’s not just “seeing a table.” Any dog or cat can do that.

On the critical matter of concepts (this would include “the war on terror”), Jaynes writes that they are not in [his definition of] consciousness, so language is required to access them. On page 31: “…one of the great functions of language is to let the word stand for the concept, which is exactly what we do in writing or speaking about conceptual material. And we must do this because concepts are usually not in consciousness at all.”

On page 27: “To be conscious of the elements of speech is to destroy the intention of speech.” This is significant for skeptics who, as outsiders as it were, can “meta consciously” see language being used and abused by charlatans.

It lies outside this series to deal with the subject of language let alone consciousness in anything like the depth they deserve. They will figure again in Parts 4 through 10. Meanwhile my approach is to question or highlight particular uses of language, consciousness and unconsciousness as I encounter them.

The general question posed earlier – Is there such a phenomenon as the “war on terror” as presented?– can be divided into four others. Are there different ways to perceive this “war?” Yes. Significantly different? Yes. Is the most significant alternative perception that the “war” is a contrived illusion? Yes. Can this be proven for reasonable people beyond a shadow of a doubt? Yes. These answers imply much heavy lifting on our [17] part for a long time.

Two more questions: Are we fighting only a rearguard action? Maybe. Can we win? Depends both on what we mean by win and also on future unforeseen developments. You never know your luck. We’ll return in Part 12, “Ways Forward,” to this territory.


“As presented” includes repetition, as already suggested: trillions of bytes of digital embroidery– printed and electronic output that endorses and promotes, explicitly or implicitly, the Big Lie of 9/11, and the interlaced cascade of prior and subsequent false flag operations and other lies in support of the whole ball of wax. This is accomplished with images and repetitive terminology in what I’ve already termed a synthetic perceptual environment. It’s laden with a continuous outpouring of mutually reinforcing language, “facts,” images, interpretations and opinions.

The opinions are especially interesting in that they differ (a few examples are provided further on) yet in their most important respect differ only superficially. That most important respect is the “takeaway.” In that they’re identical.

This is because all these “different opinions” are based on a shared unarticulated major premise: that these events and pseudo-events, including 9/11, are as they have been presented.

These “different opinions” therefore, serve to validate the cooked-up aspects of reality comprised of the language, images and “facts” provided by officialdom and the media. Their common and most important characteristic is, in fact, a lack of factuality – or even questioning. Thus they endorse the Big Lie of the official 9/11 narrative through repetitive omission, distraction and misdirection. By extension they endorse and promote the fraudulence of false flag operations.

“As presented” includes a November 7th2010 New York Times opinion piece promoting the “war on terror” by Thomas L. Friedman, one of the more restrained members of the commentariat. Friedman writes:

When Muslim jihadists are ready to just gun down or blow up unarmed men, women and children in the midst of prayer – Muslim or Christian – it means there are no moral, cultural or religious restraints left on the Islamic fringe.

This single example will here have to stand in for literally millions like it. Earlier in the same column he states that “the savage madness emanating from al Qaeda…is only increasing.”

In a more recent piece, Friedman discusses the bloody events in Syria without mentioning the false flag elements of “the opposition” – except to indirectly hide such U.S. (and Israeli) operations by referring to other types of their involvement or contemplated involvement.

The vast majority of books on 9/11 exhibit the same fact-free, fact-denying or fact-twisting information/disinformation. Most of the books in my own library of hundreds of 9/11 titles fail abjectly to question the official 9/11 narrative. The exceptions are fewer than two dozen titles by the likes of David Ray Griffin, Michael Ruppert and Paul Thompson.

The hundreds of books supporting the official narrative include religious or spiritual commentary (good on ethics, hopeless on facts); personal accounts (whether honest or dishonest, lacking the context of sufficient or any available evidence and therefore buttressing the overall lie); specialist literature such as from psychologists, overly technical and also lacking evidentiary context and even books by supposedly towering intellectuals on subjects other than 9/11 but that reference it in a major way.

(The most egregious example of intellectual treason I’ve encountered is the first 10 pages of “Words and Worlds,” the first chapter of Steven Pinker’s book The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window Into Human Nature. Pinker, a hero of mine otherwise whose brilliant intellect cannot be denied, nevertheless devotes those pages which launch his book to total, dogged, virtually incredible acceptance of the official 9/11 narrative. He concludes “…aside from the kooks, most people agree on the facts.” The last part is accurate if by facts he means “facts.” The put-down of those who question those “facts” is unforgivable.)

The worst 9/11 books on my shelves are pure disinformation. These include, most egregiously, “children’s books” that an informed 10-year-old could see through. In a book-length version of this series I will expose specific titles representing all these categories.

In addition to overwhelming reproduction in mass media “news” and “special reports” and in books, the world of illusion is reinforced in periodicals and “independent” documentaries; [18] in movies, mainstream TV documentaries and docudramas such as Flight 93; relevant programs on most “history” and “current affairs” specialty channels and in artistic output, including poetry and even quilting. It’s true. The book title is America from the Heart: Quilters Remember September 11, 2001. [19]

All recycled in a myriad of reincarnations such as in text messages, on Twitter, on Facebook pages and in email forwards and telephone and other personal messages and conversation.

The infosphere is polluted with the Big Lie of the “war on terror” and its linchpin, the false flag fraud of 9/11, like a giant fart in a global elevator.


 As I was writing this, two relevant developments occurred. One was the Boston Marathon false flag op and some other concurrent “terrorism” developments.[20]

I’m cutting back on my observations about Boston to make room for comments on Barack Obama’s May 23rd speech at Washington’s National Defense University, a speech widely hailed as a call to end the “war on terror.” First, Boston.

The Boston events are being treated compellingly on this blog, so it’s unnecessary for me to duplicate fascinating details of duplicity. I restrict myself to three observations.

1 –The narrowness of the path onto which the media are immediately forced (not that their past performance would indicate they have any desire to deviate from that well-worn path).

The assumptions the media make, the questions they ask, the questions they don’t ask, the words they use (“senseless act,” “jihadists,” “disaffected radicals”) and above all their framing of the events – all are laid out as thoroughly as the route of a marathon. No TV reporter, assignment editor, anchor, no newspaper editor, columnist, production assistant or copy editor can deviate significantly from the path of the premeditated story.

Even the most thoughtful mainstream commentators are forced to hew to the detonated narrative. The Globe and Mail’s Doug Saunders opened his April 20th two-page news feature about Boston  this way:

A busy public place, a dense and peaceful crowd of onlookers, a celebratory moment – and then the sharp rupture of a blast. There are bombs. There is panic, there is destruction, there is tragedy and heroism and death.

The reader is usefully tricked by Saunders into thinking he or she is reading here about Boston. But in this unusually independent-minded and historically-oriented piece Saunders assesses the phenomenon of terror bombings going back more than 100 years. The lead paragraph in fact refers to an event similar to the one in Boston that occurred in Lower Manhattan in 1820 [21]. Saunders continues, almost subversively (the emphases are mine):

Our political future is often determined by what we pour into that empty interval – the words we employ during that long moment, before the arrests are made, when we try to make sense of an act that by definition cannot make any reasonable sense. We point to foreign threats and peoples, we point to the neglected menaces and failures within our own society, we raise our security and perhaps lower our tolerance for reduced civil liberties, and in the process we allow a new political moment to take shape.

To a surprising degree, the policies and international actions of Western nations over the past century have been shaped by the decisions made, and the narratives constructed, in those blank days after a bomb.

As refreshingly historical and insightful as this is, it’s notable – as is the rest of his long piece – in its acceptance of the official portrayal of the “terrorists.”

2 – Several kinds of fuel drive – typically – this false flag story forward: the shock value (amplified with individual stories and pictures of victims); the victimization angle (everyone’s innocent); the bravery angle (everyone’s a hero); the tragic angle (persons in the wrong place at the wrong time); the luck angle (those a little ahead or a little behind, and so escaping injury); the city-under-siege angle; the pulling together angle (we will not let the terrorists win); the patriotic angle, with the crowd at Boston (TD) Garden lustily singing The Star Spangled Banner. Attacks on the motherland, the fatherland, the homeland are guaranteed to deliver patriotic fervour. And of course the biggest angle of all: “terrorists” who hate America did it.

3 The puzzle of apparent sloppiness by the perpetrators. Pretty well any false flag entails months of planning, training and rehearsals. Yet false flag agents (“crisis actors”) are easily caught acting anomalously on analyzable video, as shown in Sheila Casey’s post on this site.

We skeptics are handed — on digital silver platters — compelling evidence of staging. The perpetrators could not get their ducks in a row sufficiently to withstand scrutiny. Or could they?

Could the “sloppiness” be deliberate? The tissue of lies of a Carlos, for instance, will predictably be discovered by those of an already-skeptical bentwho possess the analytical skills required and who take the time and effort to reveal and share them. (That’s us, the maligned Truthers.)

Just as we Truthers cannot help sensing our misgivings, cannot help seeing the anomalies, contradictions and absurdities of the official Boston narrative and cannot help sharing our damning observations, the public is being royally snookered by a weeks-long blanket of mainstream “coverage” driving home “the terrible reality” of this latest deception.

Our questions, evidence, analysis and opinions show up — entirely on the Internet — in the same time frame as the MSM “dumb show.”

This opens the door wide for dishonest MSM sidebar references to our work, accompanied by the labels “kooks” and (yawn)“conspiracy theorists.”

In the short term our skepticism, our honesty, our courage, our work become fodder for MSM “media whores” who choose (or are assigned) to dismiss us, dismiss our evidence, dismiss our analyses, and dismiss our findings.

The first example of this predictable development coming to my attention was an opinion piece entitled “Why Rational People Buy Into Conspiracy Theories” in the New York Times on May 21st. It was written by contributor Maggie Koerth-Baker. [22]

“…in recent years,” Koerth-Baker, writes, “it seems as if every tragedy comes with a round of yarn-spinning, as the Web fills with stories about ‘false flag’ attacks and ‘crisis actors’ — not mere theorizing but arguments for the existence of a completely alternate [23] version of reality.[24]”

Because “rational people” (at least those fed the MSM version of Boston and with minimal or no exposure to, or curiosity about questions or opinions pointing to evidence of fakery) could hardly imagine an amputee as a “crisis actor,” our best efforts are here used against us in “the court of public opinion.”

In this tactic of the diaboligarchy, if that’s what it is, aided by agents such as Koerth-Baker, if that’s what she is, we’re destined to be made dupes, forever playing “evil clown” parts. Looked at this way, the apparent sloppiness of the false flag agents would be a deception planted within a deception.

If the majority of people cannot believe that the Boston Marathon events were a staged false flag operation, and further cannot believe the claims of skeptics who point out clanging anomalies (no blood accompanying legs blown off) what chance is there that they would believe the anomalies were planted as a trap for truth-seekers?

The answer surely is “very little,” and it buttresses the claim that the Maximum Illusion Time is real, if by real you mean that it works – for the herd.

Now to the second recent development: the May 23rd“landmark” speech delivered by U.S. president Barack Obama on May 23rd.


I’m not betting on it. The reason this question can be raised at all is because of Obama’s speech and coverage of it, reflected in this page-wide headline in the Toronto Star of May 24th:

“Obama calls for pullback in war on terrorism”

Wow. I for one was not expecting this. Flanked by a row of American flags on poles topped by eagles reminiscent of Hitler’s iconography, the American president spoke for an hour at the National Defense University [25] in Washington, D.C., in what was billed as a “major policy speech.” The Globe and Mail story, also with a page-wide headline, said Obama “shifted the United States away from a ‘boundless war on terror…’” It was The Toronto Star’s Mitch Potter [26] who called it a “landmark speech.”  And it was. But it was only a speech. Obama has so far proven himself a master of bait-and-switch, the king of broken promises, the prince of letdowns.

Reaction to Obama war speech

Be that as it may, judging by just one picture, his military-affiliated audience was taking him at his word and was not amused (see New York Times photo, right).

Left to right (starting with the lady) I see worried concern, growling contempt, alarm, thoughtful concern (third row), near disbelief (bow tie), wonderment (behind bow tie), indecipherable (third row) and grave disbelieving disappointment (far right). Okay, it’s a bit like phrenology, but faces do tell stories.

What did Obama say, what might it mean, and what were some post-speech reactions?

He said: “Our nation is still threatened by terrorists. We must recognize, however, that the threat has shifted and evolved from the one that came to our shores on 9/11.”

He said: “America must define the nature and scope of this struggle, or else it will define us.” He said: Al Qaeda is “a shell of its former self.”

He said: “Unless we discipline our thinking and our actions we may be drawn into more wars we don’t need to fight…”

He said: “History will cast a harsh judgment on this aspect [the existence of the U.S. prison in Guantanamo] of our fight against terrorism and those of us who fail to end it.”

He said he wants to limit drone strikes and he (again) said that he wants to close Guantanamo.


With, as I write this, miles to go by way of assessing MSM reportage and reactions, let alone assessing (unlikely) actions by the U.S. empire to make good on Obama’s rhetorical undertakings, let’s begin with the May 26th op ed column by the Toronto Star’s Haroon Siddiqui.

A liberal, [27] Siddiqui called Obama’s speech “courageous,” adding: “He confronted the hysteria that has defined America and affected much of the world, including Canada, for 12 years.”

Siddiqui noted that the speech amounted to “a rebuke to [Canadian Prime Minister] Stephen Harper and others who have profited from the politics of the ‘war on terror’ [28] – and its by-products – militarism, narrow nationalism and cultural warfare.”

It’s nice to see Harper’s hardline right wing rhetoric and his hardline pro-military pro-war ideology and actions compared unfavourably to Obama’s anti-war rhetoric. (Harper may compare favourably in one respect: not being as monstrous a double-talker as Obama.)

Siddiqui accurately notes that the MSM generally “highlighted Obama’s edict to curtail but not kill the drone program, and his renewed determination to close Guantanamo Bay.” Instead, Siddiqui writes, apparently taking the US president at his word: “What should command our greater attention is his clarion call to abandon perpetual war.”

It’s nice to see perpetual war named and decried, however.

Siddiqui asserts what to many of us has been obvious for years: “…we need to see how the president would translate his rhetoric into action.”

A possible clue about eventual action, if any, may be found in the New York Times report on the speech. It’s written by Peter Baker of the Washington bureau and is headlined “Pivoting From a War Footing, Obama Acts to Curtail Drones.” Baker writes: “Officials said they anticipated that the eventual transfer of the CIA drone program in Pakistan to the military would probably coincide with the withdrawal of combat units from Afghanistan at the end of 2014.”

That’s a fairly long wait considering the U.S. president could figuratively halt the drones in midair at the stroke of a pen. Also, the “policy guidance” from the president on the matters on which he spoke is “classified.”

Medea Benjamin, a co-founder of the antiwar group Code Pink, was in Obama’s audience, and shouted at the president to release prisoners from Guantánamo and halt CIA drone strikes. And “apologize to Muslims for killing so many of them,” she yelled as security personnel removed her from the auditorium. “Abide by the rule of law! You’re a constitutional lawyer!”

Siddiqui finds Obama’s “bathing” his rationale “in a legal and moral framework” … “unconvincing.”

Three or four stars for Siddiqui, I would say. After that it’s downhill in the MSM especially south of the border, on several counts. Too much uncritical acceptance of the rhetoric. Too much emphasis on promises of closing Guantanamo, especially in light of much too little reporting for a decade of the stomach-turning facts and the illegality of Guantanamo, “military trials” (another oxymoron) and the rest of the so-called “war on terror.”

Too much emphasis on promises of reduction of drone strikes. Too little emphasis on the horrors and illegality of those. Too much uncritical reporting of the madness of the Republican herd in response.

I borrow comments on MSM coverage of Obama’s speech from an outstanding dispatch by Stephen Lendman who writes regularly for the outstanding site Mathaba:

They didn’t surprise. Media scoundrels support his worst policies. His neo-liberal harshness is endorsed. His alliance with monied interests gets no coverage. His crimes of war, against humanity and genocide go unmentioned.

His partnership with Israel against Palestine isn’t explained. His systematic disdain for rule of law principles gets ignored.

Turning to the so-called “progressive press,” Lendman singled out The Nation magazine:

Throughout his tenure, [The Nation] largely endorsed Obama’s agenda. Criticism when expressed most often was muted. Lawless policies are mostly ignored or glossed over.

Accountability’s been largely unaddressed. It’s longstanding Nation magazine policy. It pretends to support rule of law principles, equity, justice, peace, and other democratic values. Often it falls woefully short.

It’s a virtual voice for Democrat party politics. On issues mattering most, both parties support each other’s agenda. Duopoly power runs America. Monied interests control it.

Supporting Obama and other Democrats endorses what demands condemnation. The Nation magazine and other faux progressives do it consistently.

They betray loyal followers in the process. They aid and abet lawless state policy. They remain unaccountable. Supporting wrong over right happens too often.

Given Obama’s self-chosen powerlessness, one can be forgiven for asking, when push comes to shove, who will more likely decide on the timing of the end, if indeed there is an end, of the so-called “war on terror” – Obama or the U.S. military. History shows the military are totally invested in perpetual war. Death is their life.

Pentagon officials testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee on May 16th, 2013 were asked how long the war on terror (the reality of it, as presented, completely unquestioned by anyone present) could go on. Replied Michael Sheehan, an assistant secretary of defense: “At least 10 to 20 years.” (Perhaps, by coincidence, the length of time until his retirement?)

On May 17th the “Democracy Now!” website carried this story based on those Committee hearings:

From Boston to Pakistan, Pentagon Claims Entire World Is a Battlefield

Pentagon officials today claimed President Obama and future presidents have the power to send troops anywhere in the world to fight groups linked to al-Qaeda, based in part on the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), passed by Congress days after the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

Speaking at the first Senate hearing on rewriting the AUMF, Pentagon officials specifically said troops could be sent to Syria, Yemen and the Congo without new congressional authorization.

Michael Sheehan, the assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity conflict, predicted the war against al-Qaeda would last at least 10 to 20 more years.

Senator Angus King (I-Maine) challenged the Pentagon’s interpretation of the Constitution and that the entire world is a battlefield. “This is the most astounding and most astoundingly disturbing hearing I’ve been to since I’ve been here. You guys have essentially rewritten the Constitution here today,” King said. “You guys have invented this term ‘associated forces’ that’s nowhere in this document. … It’s the justification for everything, and it renders the war powers of Congress null and void.”

Back to the “landmark” Obama speech. Following it, the Center for Constitutional Rights responded:

(U)nless (Obama) takes immediate steps to resume transfers and ultimately close (Guantanamo), his administration will not escape the “harsh judgment” of history.

Lifting the ban on Yemeni transfers fell short. So far it’s rhetoric, not policy. (W)e are disappointed by (Obama’s) comment that cleared men will only be released “to the greatest extent possible.

Obama’s equivocation is troubling. After eleven years of detention without charge or trial, all of the men President Obama does not intend to give fair trials should be released and reunited with their families.

Anything short of that threatens to worsen a potentially deadly crisis unfolding at Guantanamo.

Targeted drone strikes remain policy. Reasserting the right is equally flawed and dangerous.

Whether or not the United States can use lethal force under the laws of war is not a matter of policy preference – it is a matter of law and facts.

Continuing current policy in any forms sets a dangerous precedent for future administrations and other countries.

Lendman dug out information about an equally well-crafted speech made by Obama May 21st 2009 at the National Archives. Addressing “national security,” Obama said America “can’t be safe…”

…unless we enlist the power of our most fundamental values. The documents that we hold in this very hall – the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights – these are not simply words written into aging parchment.

They are the foundation of liberty and justice in this country, and a light that shines for all who seek freedom, fairness, equality, and dignity around the world.

(O)ur government made a series of hasty decisions. (O)ur government trimmed facts and evidence to fit ideological predispositions.

(W)e set (aside fundamental) principles as luxuries that we could no longer afford. In other words, we went off course. (Americans) called for a new approach – one that rejected torture and one that recognized the imperative of closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay.

We must act with an abiding confidence in the rule of law and due process, in checks and balances and accountability. (D)ecisions that were made over the last eight years established an ad hoc legal approach.

“He pledged change,” Lendman noted. “He said he took steps to prohibit torture. He ordered Guantanamo closed, he claimed.

He made other high-minded promises. He “swore an oath to uphold the Constitution,” he said. He systematically spurned it. He did so across the board. He represents the worst of rogue leadership.

Obama’s May 23rd 2013 speech might mean he seeks to leave a “peace” legacy or at least less of a war legacy. It might mean he sees the military and “intelligence” budgets threatening to beggar his country.

But given that a Republican-dominated Congress thwarts most of what he attempts (including gun control that, whatever side one is on regarding that issue, is a recent major example), and given that time after time he gives the appearance of a man trapped in a bottle even when he has the power, what he means may not matter all that much, except to say that Obama is a master illusionist in Maximum Illusion time.

As to post-speech reactions, the right wing hawks were in full cry, reinforcing multiple illusions. Railed a furious Senator Lindsey Graham: “The enemy is morphing and spreading, there are more theatres of conflict today than in several years…our allies are more afraid than I have ever seen.” Woo woo.

If Obama really and truly wants to wind down the “war on terror” and put his war-ending political boots on U.S. political ground, it will be a long time until he succeeds.

And if he really tries, he’ll spend all the time in the crosshairs of the same diaboligarchy that dispatched JFK. But judging by his track record [29], this speech is fancy hot air, with follow-up action both optional and difficult to impossible to achieve in a country where much of the herd is mad and the leading establishment beasts close to stark raving mad.

A harsher observation is that the speech is deceptive cover for the diaboligarchy’s war-and-surveillance business as usual, just another oratorical gimmick of Maximum Illusion Time.

I borrow from Julian Jaynes to describe the total import of Maximum Illusion Time.

In referring (page 441) to “scientisms,” that he calls “clusters of scientific ideas which come together and almost surprise themselves into creeds of belief,” he describes what could also be a description of the “worldview” manufactured by the diaboligarchy, in this passage:

…they share with religions many of their most obvious characteristics; a rational splendor that explains everything, a charismatic leader or succession of leaders who are highly visible and beyond criticism [I would say “who must be accepted by the majority mind” – BZ], a series of canonical texts which are somehow outside the usual arena of scientific criticism, certain gestures of idea and rituals of interpretation, and a requirement of total commitment.

In return, the adherent receives what the religions had once given him more universally: a worldview, a hierarchy of importances, and an auguring place where he may find out what to do and think, in short, a total explanation of man.

And more relevantly to this series, he continues:

And this totality is obtained not by actually explaining everything, but by an encasement of its activity, a severe and absolute restriction of attention, such that everything that is not explained is not in view.


[1] MacKay was a Scottish journalist. Extraordinary Popular Delusions &the Madness of Crowds was first published in 1841. It’s still in print, particularly for its prescience about economic bubbles and psychopathology.

[2] I appreciate that madness, or insanity, is a label too easily applied and one that deserves to be questioned.

When applied to an individual in an attempt to disparage or refute his or her beliefs, it’s an ad hominem argument. When applied to individuals in the context of clinical psychology or psychiatry, the diagnosis of mental illness is an attempt in the vast majority of cases to be neutral and indeed helpful. (The exceptions to this do not defeat the rule.)

Psychosis is a generic psychiatric term for “loss of contact with reality.” Within or overlapping this can be found “delusional beliefs.” The definition “a distorted or nonexistent sense of objective reality” is found in the free dictionary.

Within the psychiatric literature “mass psychosis” is generally accepted. The thrust of the psychosis then needs to be fleshed out. Arguably Hitler induced mass paranoia in the German body politic at a time of great national stress, through persuasive repetitive propaganda. Near the centre of that was a grotesquely-unfounded fear of communists, socialists and Jews.

My adoption of crowd “madness” in this text is meant both as a quasi-scientific descriptive term and as metaphor. I attempt to qualify my uses as I go along. For instance “delusion” is a term used both within medical circles and popularly. When a large population shares a belief that reasonable study of the evidence would show is simply untrue, that population can fairly be called deluded. If the population is subject to multiple delusions, the population can fairly be called delusional.

I tend to use the lower-octane word “illusion.” Perhaps I’m underplaying the phenomenon and its ugly outcomes.

[3] This grossly misleading term is used by Canadian born and Harvard educated Roger Martin, dean of The University of Toronto’s business school, no fewer than seven times in a 550-word opinion piece published on the front page of the business section of the Saturday Toronto Star of May 18th, 2013.

His is one of three “think pieces” appearing under the heading “Where capitalism goes from here.” Named one of the world’s top management thinkers by Thinkers50, Martin apparently thinks there’s no conflict between democracy and capitalism. It apparently escapes him that it is an oxymoron, because it is abundantly clear that capitalism, apart from small locally-owned enterprises, corrupts and opposes democracy in almost all its forms in a multitude of ways. The general truth about capitalism is that as it grows it bends, seemingly inevitably and with very few exceptions, toward crime and eventually fascism.

[4] Working handguns now are being produced with 3D printers.

[5] Most 9/11Truthers, fortunately, experience the facilitating kind. This is partly because we have a better grasp than Joe and Jane Public of the larger picture and details within it. To rationally understand there are human conspiracies, and possess some information about them, makes for better mental health than does living in fear of the many “threats” paraded daily to startle the herd and maintain fear control. Activist Truthers further enhance their facilitating anxiety because, as has been said: “worry is a substitute for action.”

[6] Not the least invested in the “fear sector” is Big Pharma and much of the psychiatric establishment. There’s gold in them thar pills.

[7] “Global power elites” is an understandable though somewhat vague term to describe what often is even more vaguely referred to as “the powers that be” or the “powers behind the throne.”

“Power elites” is widely accepted terminology, or at least not widely challenged. In this series it is unavoidable to refer, not infrequently, to those individuals and groups of individuals that possess demonstrably more power than the vast run of humanity. To avoid tiresomeness I use most of these synonyms on occasion.

These include Deep State (Peter Dale Scott); power elites (the term originated by C. Wright Mills); global supra-society (Russian historian Alexander Zinoviev, see especially Part 6); Invisible Government (Theodore Roosevelt); New World Order (Hitler), a term that George H. W. Bush tried unsuccessfully to rehabilitate; oligarchs, the oligarchy, the Permanent Committee and The Illuminati. My own invented term, the Diaboligarchy (with or without the caps) is a hybrid of theological and sociological terms.

[8] John Reynolds, a member of the Bertrand Russell Society, opened a copy of the Selected Writings of Bertrand Russell to this passage from the introduction, written in the 1920s on the eve of the Great Depression:

“It is evident that, in a world where there was leisure and economic security for all, the happiness of all would be greater than that of ninety-nine per cent of the present inhabitants of the planet. Why, then, do the ninety-nine per cent not combine to overcome the resistance of the privileged one per cent?

Reynolds researched the quote – sure the 99 Percent movement was inspired by Russell – but found no connection. It appears the good philosopher, as usual, was just ahead of his time.

[9] The crises include:

1 – global climate change (I acknowledge that some readers, unlike myself, might list this within quote marks as a hoax. But even as a hoax, I think those readers might agree it’s a large and important enough hoax to qualify as one of the crises);

2 – the size of the human population already exceeds the carrying capacity of the Earth;

3 – natural resources depletion;

4 – still-growing pollution of the natural environment, mainly through human activity;

5 – possible escape into large populations of natural or manmade viruses and infections resistant to antibiotics (so-called “superbugs.” A current apparent threat is a novel corona-virus named Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome [MERS] of which, according to a report on May 19th, 2013, there had been 41 confirmed cases of which 20 were fatal);

6 – rogue nano-technology;

7 – food shortages that already have sparked widespread social unrest;

8 – one or more “black swans” that could be novel or a result of merging of any of the previous six crises listed.

[10] It could be argued that a worldwide natural catastrophe, and/or almost any of the crises listed in the previous footnote can render moot the major premise of this series – that false flag deceptions are “history’s deadliest deceits.” I would disagree.

That false flag ops are deceits is inarguable. As to their deadliness, in terms of loss of human and other life and destruction of the natural environment (think defoliation in Vietnam), the built environment (think Iraq) and cultural treasures, false flag ops match or exceed the natural and other man-made catastrophies of at least the last 2,000 years. All false flags are the spawn of calculated human (albeit essentially psychopathic) designs that through time have arguably done almost irreparable harm to the whole human experiment.

I was going to include an asteroid strike as “beyond human control to prevent” but deleted that. If just a fraction of the trillions squandered on armaments were switched to scientists’ efforts to track, and devise means of diverting future threatening asteroids, we could breathe a little easier.

Whether the existence of three asteroids close to Earth – one entering our atmosphere – in early 2013 is coincidental, they are at least reminders that our planet has dangerous space company. The latest one came close by cosmic standards. It was 3.5 kilometers in diameter. Had it scored an Earth hit, it would have been “the end of civilization,” Canadian Broadcasting Corporation science specialist Bob McDonald noted. Noted by me was the bizarrely jokey demeanor of the news anchor introducing the subject.

[11] The Wikipedia entry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_word_for_%22crisis%22) on this common belief questions its accuracy, stating: “Some Western linguists consider this analysis fallacious, arguing that the character alone does not necessarily mean ‘opportunity.’ ”

[12] Just one example of the elites’ conscious creation of crises was seen in Ontario, Canada when John Snobelen was caught on videotape saying his government needs to “bankrupt” and to create a “useful crisis” in the province’s education system so as to initiate “significant reforms.” This was in 1995. At the time Snobelen was Minister of Education and Training in the rightwing Mike Harris Ontario government. The government ‘s “reforms” were controlling school board budgets to reduce them and providing tax credits for parents of students in private schools. This succeeded in convulsing the education system, with reverberations that lasted at least eight years.

[13] The concept of pseudo events was invented by American sociologist Daniel Boorstin. Although Boorstin’s focus was on publicity and advertising, his essential insight is highly applicable to false flag pseudo-events. Wikipedia’s entry on Boorstin’s concept is helpful: “Boorstin’s 1961 book The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-events in America is an early description of aspects of American life that were later termed hyperreality and postmodernity. In The Image, Boorstin describes shifts in American culture — mainly due to advertising — where the reproduction or simulation of an event becomes more important or ‘real’ than the event itself.” Pseudo-event describes an event or activity that “serves little or no purpose other than to be reproduced…”

[14] The illusion is well established, going back to the ancients. In his book The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature, Steven Pinker writes (pps. 43-4):

The conscious mind – the self or soul – is a spin doctor, not the commander in chief. Sigmund Freud immodestly wrote that ‘humanity has in the course of time had to endure from the hands of science three great outrages upon its naïve self-love’: the discovery that our world is not the center of the celestial spheres but rather a speck in a vast universe, the discovery that we were not specially created but instead descended from animals, and the discovery that often our conscious minds do not control how we act but merely tell us a story about our actions.

[15] For whatever reasons I was conscious of language as a significant phenomenon (rather than something we normally use unthinkingly) to the extent that by around the age of 20 I thought I’d like to make lexicography a career. I became a journalist etc. instead. Then, only a few years ago, my friend Bruce Sinclair, an Edmonton Truther, crystallized my appreciation of the centrality of language (I had been calling it the “the incision point into reality”) with a simpler construct: “Language is everything.” It isn’t, if we take into account subliminal phenomena. But Bruce’s assertion is highly thought-provoking and may even be true if we consider that we can’t think about/discuss consciously subliminal phenomena without language. We have to ask – using language – what “language is everything” means. This inescapably leads to the issue of consciousness. Julian Jaynes writes tellingly that language preceded consciousness in the development of our species.

[16] The word literally has become widely misused – so much so that a British language expert recently suggested we should throw in the towel on it; we should accept that when people say “The senator was literally buried alive in the Iowa primaries,” they mean the opposite. They mean figuratively.

As Dictionary.com puts it: “Since the early 20th century, literally has been widely used as an intensifier meaning ‘in effect, virtually,’ a sense that contradicts the earlier meaning [which is] ‘actually, without exaggeration.’ The use is often criticized; nevertheless, it appears in all but the most carefully edited writing.”

A practical but wry guide for the use of Washington Post writers virtually bans the use of literally because of its widespread misuse.  And because it has become a cliché. Good for the Washington Post on this. I think the word should if possible be reinstated, be re-appreciated for what it conveys. It is a synonym for truly, actually, really. Throughout this series, when I use the word literally I mean it in the strict dictionary sense: “In exact accordance with, or limited to, the explicit meaning of [the word or words or text it modifies].” – Collins English Dictionary, Third Edition

[17] Speaking again of language, in most cases in this series I use our and we to signify Truthers or skeptics. The use by pundits and writers of letters to the editor and politicians and TV news anchors of the word “we” to signify everyone drives me up the wall. Frequently I disagree strongly with what they tell me “we” think or believe. That includes me, gaddammit. Even in restricting my use of we and our to mean skeptics or Truthers I’m sure I’m driving a good number of these up the wall.

[18] An easily accessible example is on this blog. It’s my review of Shadows of Liberty. After I wrote the review I learned it was the top featured documentary at the 2013 National Conference for Media Reform, a body controlled by false flag agents who never have permitted more than the slightest reference to 9/11Truth. And then only once and only after pressure that amounted to (justified) near blackmail from a prominent academic.

[19] Curated by Karey Bresenhan and published by C&T publishing (ISBN 1-57120-145-9 (paper trade)

[20] By this I mean the public being informed via the MSM of the apprehension by Canadian police of a couple of would-be passenger train derailers or bombers living in Canada. A connection was immediately made to Iran. A short time previously, Canadian “news consumers” “saw” the emergence of up to four “home grown Canadian terrorists.” Two were among those killed in a bloody hostage taking in Algeria. It’s a continental new spate of “terrorist” events.

[21] Saunders in the middle of his piece refers back to “the habit” of the need for “a message to fill the silence” after the blast:

I believe this habit began on the morning of Sept. 18, 1920. The day before, a bomb blast surprisingly like the one that hit the Boston Marathon struck the busy streets of Lower Manhattan. It was the first time in history that a bomb had been used in quite this way, and The New York Times pulled a word out of obscurity to describe the act.

The most reasonable theory of the explosion is that it was intended as a terrorizing demonstration. It is not the first. It surely will not be the last,” the Times wrote in an editorial bearing the then-novel headline “To Put Down Terrorists.” The editorialists then set to work employing a set of phrases to become clichés…

[22]One of a series of opinion pieces entitled Eureka, to which Koerth-Baker contributes monthly.

[23] She’s misusing “alternate.” Alternate  meansevery other, or every second, as in she was asked to attend on alternate days or in alternating current.  She should have written “alternative,” which means one of two or more available possibilities, as in she had no alternative but to break the law.

[24] Koerth-Baker is scorched by Russell Baker in a piece in on the site WhoWhatWhy.

[25] (P.24) Misnamed because this “university,” among a slew of similarly misnamed institutions (leadingly the U.S. “Defense” department) are key instruments exerting the destructive powers of the aggressive, not defensive, U.S. empire. In 1949, not coincidentally when the “Cold War” was gaining full traction, the previously aptly named “War Department” was switched to linguistic stealth mode. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Department_of_War)

[26] Potter, the Toronto Star’s Washington Bureau chief, in many previous instances has been one of those stenographers dutifully reporting with minimal or zero questioning major false flag operations.

[27] I use the word “liberal” in the Canadian sense, meaning knowledgeable, thoughtful, intelligent. Not in the sense used so often in the USA as meaning a contemptible if not idiotic communist pedophile, probably of French background. Siddiqui – generally a critic of the establishment – also has been critical of the so-called “war on terror” in many of his past columns.

[28] It’s nice to see quote marks increasing wrapped around “war on terror,” quote marks hardly seen since 9/11.

[29] The chasms between Obama’s words and actions, and even between his words and his words, are becoming so large that you can’t see the other side of the chasm from this side. Even MSM are beginning to recognize this. Here’s Elizabeth Renzetti on page 2 of the Globe and Mail of Saturday June 8th after she noted Obama’s apologia for massive secret spying on millions of Americans by the National Security Agency:

Here’s what President Barack Obama had to say in 2008, when he was nobly seeking office and not uncomfortably occupying it: “I’ll make our government open and transparent, so anyone can ensure that our business is the people’s business. … no more secrecy, that’s a commitment I make to you.’’ He quoted Supreme Court justice Louis Brandeis: “Sunlight is the greatest disinfectant.”

Roger that. But the sunlight is coming from whistleblowers such as Daniel Ellsberg and now Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/09/edward-snowden-nsa-whistleblower-surveillance). Manning is facing life in prison and Snowden probably worse, from a darkness that talks about sunlight.


2 thoughts on “MIND GAMES: The ‘War on Terror’ Isn’t Real, but the Illusion Is – By Barrie Zwicker (Archive)

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