Who is Running the Show and Making the Dough?
First, the Pentagon infiltrated the US mainstream media on the sly by a constellation of retired military stars to massage the major message on Operation Indefinite Liberty, OIL aka GWAT, globally.
Later, Fort Fumble reversed its spinmeister tactics and, in overt civ/mil joint venture it imbedded tightly vetted quill-drivers into US Marines & Army units in Afghanistan to promote Obama’s double-down surge locally.
Then, in 2009, Lt. Gen. William Caldwell at Camp Eggers, Combined Security Transition Command, was implicated in an unsavory PSYOP shtick on gregarious Beltway tourists during their COIN window shopping in Afghanistan.
Having acknowledged belatedly that sinister brain-washing connotation of ops in question discredits the noble mission of US freedom agenda, the Pandemonium Palace on the Potomac euthanized its pet project. Case closed, end of story – or so it seemed.
On 21 June 2010, the last chapter of PSYOP was officially closed, only to resurrect the very same day as MISO, Military Information Support Operations.
Somehow, between then and now, a new incarnation of the veritable verbal venom has emerged – welcome to CISO, Civilian Information Support Operations! The king is dead, long live the king!
Mainstream Media as Message Multipliers
For PSYOP spotters, it’s a field day to identify a white propaganda booby-trap in the Western massive media, especially among US top tier feeders.
The receipt for info IED attack is rather straightforward:
- Select news bazaars patronized by the target audience
- Sugarcoat the poison pills with bona fide attributions
- If busted, cry foul or McFaul, profess innocence or ignorance.
Let’s take a closer look at the nifty nugget presented by NYT, “U.S. Efforts Fail to Curtail Trade in Afghan Opium”.
For a gullible reader, it’s just another article that offers impartial and sometimes even critical view on a linchpin of US foreign policy: War on Drugs. For a vigilant observer, this crafty narrative implants a subliminal message to let you whitewash, exonerate and internalize the White House Drug Promotion Policy in Afghanistan – all by your own volition!
Whitewashing the White House
To disarm this mind mine, let’s examine its configuration from deceptive package to delay-action deadly detonators. To penetrate cognitive armor, the piece has two business ends, framing the impact with opening and closing fuses.
The loaded if unobtrusive entry, without ever registering on your mental radar screen, swiftly injects a ludicrous notion: the White House did all humanly possible to eliminate Afghan opium, but as bad luck would have it, that decade long $6 billion plus heroic endeavor has come to no avail.
That primary article of false faith is supposed to pave the way for exoneration of US Narco Policy in Afghanistan: if America the Exceptional, the paragon of power & wisdom, has been shellacked in War on Drugs in Afghanistan, don’t blame the USA, it’s just Mission Impossible.
Bait & switch unabashed
To ensnare the hearts & minds of the skeptical audience the slick operators evoke the late Richard Holbrooke and position him as the trailblazer of US policy of zero-tolerance towards Afghan narco network.
Evidently, who could better illustrate the steadfast stance of the US than Holbrooke himself? – “Breaking the narco-state in Afghanistan is essential, or all else will fail.” This statement, ascribed to former doyen of the State Department, cuts both ways:
On the face of it, it hits the bull’s eye and deserves a standing ovation as the only American remedy for the Afghan tragedy.
Under the skin, this splash intends to hijack the goodwill of the target and lend the credibility for poison pills to come. Contextually, it was a wishful thinking for the US Drug Policy that has never materialized into War on Drugs Doctrine – before, during or after the tenure of the 1st special envoy to Afghanistan & Pakistan.
Trouble is the integrity of the key witness was thoroughly compromised by the discrepancy between Richard Holbrooke’s words and deeds.
Whatever the right things he had to say before his reactivation at the State Department, he did exactly the opposite when he emerged as the top dog in charge of US Drug War in Afghanistan.
He effectively legitimized drug production & corruption; prohibited aerial eradication, purged & bulldozed Foggy Bottom and the Pentagon from incorrigible counternarcotics warriors, led by the famous US Ambassador to Colombia and Afghanistan, William Willwood.
Sugarcoating vox opium
When it comes to blame game in War on Drugs, a knee-jerk reaction would be, ‘if it’s not America then it’s gotta be Afghanistan!’ Having secured the empathy for the White House narco travails, the troubadours of opium chill the burning indignation of a righteous reader with a battery of ironclad testimonials from COIN-friendly media savvy Afghan poppy preachers.
The choreographed wailing shames & shakes the target audience into ignorant repentance to take for face value vox opium for vox populi:
The fusillade opens up with “Now I’m desperate, what can I do? …If I grow any other crops, I cannot make a profit.”
Never mind to break even as most law-abiding and God-fearing farmers are striving to accomplish everywhere in the world; or that the most value-added produce, the fabulous Afghan pomegranate, is actually the most profitable; or that true Islam has never embraced drug profiteering in any shape or form.
The barrage on sanity doesn’t stop here: “The poppy is always good, you can sell it at any time. It’s like gold”, blasts another freedom farmer. If it sounds a dead ringer for Gordon Gekko, you wouldn’t blame Wall Street or question the flagrant legacy of Operation Enduring Greedom, would ya? Dollars to doughnuts, democracy from America has put down deep roots in Afghanistan!
And, in full compliance with propaganda cookbook, to overkill any resistance of reason left, here’s the parting shot: “It’s not an easy choice to grow poppies. But the people are poor, they have no choice.”
Indeed, who would read obscure UNODC annual reports debunking that PSYOP sob story? The poppy belt boys are the most affluent lot in rural Afghanistan, but somebody has forgotten to tell it like it is to the guardians of truth at NYT.
Trouble shooting canards
Once upon a time, when the White House was not occupied by the Democrats and the very same NYT had the guts and pizzazz to tear the mask from what they now are trying to promote.
On July 27, 2008 Thomas Schweich, US Ambassador who coordinated interagency counternarcotics efforts in Afghanistan, published his seminal article, “Is Afghanistan a Narco-State?” a sort of Afghan Drug Manifesto, and with his flamethrower blazing, mercilessly incinerated narco propaganda lobby:
- “Unfortunately, most media outlets clung to the myth that only desperate farmers grew poppies and that any serious law-enforcement effort would drive them into the hands of the Taliban. The “starving farmer” was a convenient myth.
- The myth gave military officers a reason to stay out of the drug war, while prominent Democrats used the myth to attack Bush administration policies. And the Taliban loved it because their propaganda campaign consisted of trotting out farmers whose fields had been eradicated and having them say that they were going to starve.
- An odd cabal of timorous Europeans, myopic media outlets, corrupt Afghans, blinkered Pentagon officers, politically motivated Democrats and the Taliban were preventing the implementation of an effective counter drug program.”
Way to go, partner!
At the end of the day, the only Afghan voice of reason, quoted as briefly as possible and barely perceptible in this disinformation cannonade, belongs to counter drug czar, Zarar Ahmad Muqbel Osmani.
He calls “Political will” a prerequisite for addressing the challenge of the narco-aggression. What the spin doctors of US Drug Policy didn’t let him to say was that as long as Afghanistan remains de facto American Reservation, ‘the political will’ should be summoned up in Washington, not in Kabul, to convert US Drug War into War on Drugs.
Therefore, if any US media outlet were honest broker re US Drug War, instead of parroting UK narco-friendly outlets which ridiculed honorable American diplomat as “Chemical Bill”, they would build up their narrative around interviews with US Ambassadors William Willwood and Thomas Schweich, together with Afghan counter drug czar, Zarar Ahmad Muqbel Osmani.
Last but not least: if Obama administration doesn’t want to be associated with narco-democracy in Afghanistan, they would renounce the Holbrooke’s legacy of appeasement of Afghan druglords, in and outside the officialdom.
William Willwood, not the US policy, will be exonerated on the heels of Ryan Crocker precipitous departure, as the new preliminary & plenipotentiary American Ambassador in Afghanistan to lead the way against the clear & present danger to the international security and stability of the united nations.
The happy end
So, the next time you are poised for news breaking mind blowing safari, make sure you have propaganda polarized Ray-Ban Shooter Special at the ready.
Editing: Jim W. Dean