Yesterday, Thursday, morning around three a.m. Eastern Time, a small bomb went off at a New York City Army Recruiting office. The office was obviously unstaffed at this time and nobody was hurt. I'm sure you've heard of it already, it's probably the only thing the news is talking about today. If you haven't heard about it, I'm guessing just turn on the TV and it will be like one of those real dramatic moments in movies when they turn on the TV and immediately the exact news story important to the story line comes on.
"If it is something that's directed toward American troops then it's something that's taken very seriously and is pretty unfortunate." Captain Charlie Jaquillard, commander of the Army recruiting office for Manhattan
This is all pretty straight forward so far, right? Well... let's look at the facts. (1) The explosion was caused by a small bomb, as it only destroyed the front window and door of the facility. (2) The explosion happened at 3 o'clock in the morning, obviously a time when everybody knows the office is not going to be staffed. (3) Nobody was hurt.
I am in no way supporting these kinds of actions, because obviously the use of deadly force is dangerous even when you are very sure nobody will be harmed by it, and it simply plays into the propaganda machine as we will see here.
So, we have these facts, and we have the officially offered quote of the United States military suggesting that this attack may probably have been directed at "our troops." In what universe does it appear that this "attack" was directed at our troops? A small explosive was used at a time when the perpetrators were reasonably sure nobody would be hurt. It seems to me that if you wanted to attack our troops, that would be easy enough, and it would not take a brilliant military strategist to realize that no troops would be present at a recruiting office at 3am.
So why would a military officer even suggest that this attack was aimed at our troops? It is very simple, really. It is the exact same reasoning behind the inane Public Relations stunt that is "Support the Troops." It is a meaningless distraction from what it is our troops are actually doing (by order from much higher, obviously). Instead of taking the chance that Americans will ever question the actions of our military in foreign lands, why not give the people something they can say over and over again without thinking about if it actually means anything?
This attack was not against American troops, but why not use the opportunity to stir up some blind emotion supporting our military and distract people from the real issue that was most likely meant to be raised through this attack? This attack was most likely (guessing from the target and what little has been leaked about 'leads' in the investigation so far) aimed at our military in general (the actions of it, not the people forced to carry out those actions). This is just another example of propaganda used to distract us from real issues... such as those actions that our military takes in foreign lands, suppressing and destroying people -- people just like you and me, except for they live somewhere else and through genetic isolation may look different from us.
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This reminds me of the recent brilliant PR trick pulled by the Republican party -- and if this thing wasn't planned, then somebody should take credit for it anyways, and put it in a textbook. What bit of propaganda am I talking about here?
Remember how two weeks ago a very large group of the Republican party did not support John McCain? I know that may be hard to remember because we are pretty good at reprogramming ourselves as Americans. Well, if you don't remember it, just go find a newspaper or a radio program from a couple of weeks ago. Then comes this rogue New York Times story about how John McCain may possibly have had an inappropriate relationship with some who-knows-who. The next morning, all those radio hosts out there questioning if McCain was right for the Republican party, because he isn't Reaganesque enough, are spitting blood they are so mad that anybody dare attack 'their candidate' with such absurd and unfounded allegations! Now we have an audio army of talk radio hosts and party-line Republicans willing to support McCain all the way to the ballot box.
A beautifully played ploy. Propaganda at its very finest.