When a friendly NATO government is besieged by mass street protests these days, they are referred to in the mainstream press as a “government” and people on the streets are “rioters.”
When resisting Washington, the government becomes a “regime” and the people “protesters.”
Rolling by our eyes and ears every day, busy consumers are not supposed to notice this coarse propaganda – but of course, we do.
Whether a government has been democratically elected or not gets curiously forgotten in cases where that fact obstructs the case for “regime change.” Britain and America’s interests are considered to be one and the “special relationship” between the countries, which supposedly springs from the US aid for Britain in WWII, as unassailable.
But, 70 years on, as Washington and the Pentagon press Britain to ever more humiliating and one-sided feats of amoral servitude, there are rumblings of discontent amongst both the ruling classes and the peasantry of the long-suffering Brits.
For many the present era of UK-US tension began on May 14, 1948, when the US became the first and only government to recognize David Ben-Gurion's self-declared State of Israel. Governing Palestine under the 1922 League of Nations Mandate, British forces were pulling out in May 1948 but had been cut down almost daily by newly arrived Jewish Irgun“freedom fighters.”
When two terrorists were caught, tried and hanged as an example, the Irgun kidnapped two British army sergeants at random, and executed them at dawn, booby-trapping the bodies. Eyebrows were raised in London as the US stood alone to back from afar with seemingly limitless supplies of cash a fundamentalist terror group that had spent much of the previous 17 years massacring the forces of British law and order.
Despite the ridicule, much of it justified, of postwar Europeans, Britain and the US shared a language, world wars and colonial heritage that made it difficult to fall out. However, the postwar planners of the US Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the War and Peace Studies group, would leave nothing to chance.
During 1943 they planned a secret political lobby group, which meets to this day, to weld post-war elites of Europe and North America together using banking, oil and royal families as the cement. The group was funded initially by the newly formed CIA and had its inaugural meeting in 1954 at the exact site, on the outskirts of Arnhem, of one of the bloodiest slaughters of British soldiers in WWII just 10 years before, at the Bilderberg hotel in Oosterbeek, Holland.
Perhaps Britain should feel flattered that the US chooses to spend so many millions of their hard-earned tax dollars courting British favor? The Italians now know of the millions the CIA spent in the 1960s and 1970s to stop them electing Communist governments. Yes, there are assassinations, but the overall mission is to let the idea that America is “nice” and even “cool” exude from every aspect of the arts, deliberately gently elbowing out local culture and homegrown creativity.
The US offensive, which has now all but wiped out British cinema, began in the 1960s. Michael Wakelin describes how US money bought influence in British cinema chains in his 1996 book about the Methodist mogul behind much of 20th Century British cinema – “J. Arthur Rank: The Man Behind the Gong.” That influence grew and Wakelin tells the tragic story of how these US-controlled chains gradually refused to show the British-made films Rank was producing, cutting off his revenue and gradually shutting him down. These nominally British cinemas were eventually showing exclusively Hollywood films. By the 1980s, British film studios at Pinewood and Shepperton were producing a declining number of almost exclusively US-funded and written films, albeit with English film crews and actors, and the British film industry was virtually dead.
US interference in UK culture reached such an extent in 1960 that a full-length feature film, starring Britain's most famous comedy actor of the day, Norman Wisdom, was unceremoniously “wiped.” The “offending” film, titled “There Was A Crooked Man,” featured Wisdom masquerading as an arrogant US general requisitioning British land for the US Air Force. The subject of US forces on British soil was deemed too sensitive even for comic treatment, and this classic film from the comic's golden years remains “missing, believed wiped” to this day.
The source of funding for these colossal cinema network takeovers may even have been, though few would have suspected at the time, the post WWII Bormann network. Former CBS News correspondent on the WWII Western front, Paul Manning, describes the genesis of the Bormann financiers in his 1980 book “Martin Bormann: Nazi in Exile” who were fuelled by millions of dollars of Nazi loot, laundered by CIA chief Alan Dulles’ New York law firm Sullivan and Cromwell.
We now know that “Encounter” magazine, which was in the vanguard of the arts world every month from 1953-91, was a transatlantic intelligence operation aimed at European opinion formers and the wealthy, designed to ferment the EU project while gluing Europe and US together culturally. The banking and intelligence funding was uncovered at the turn of the century when US writer Frances Stonor Saunders published “The Cultural Cold War” in 1999.
Saunders details the millions the CIA spent mesmerizing Europe with US arts ephemera, and how questions about Suez, Vietnam and other transatlantic power elite adventures were airbrushed away. An undeclared propaganda war was waged on Europeans through music and mainstream media while wave after new wave of innocuous US artists’ tours of Europe were funded and promoted to boot. The 1960s satirical TV comedy, “That Was The Week That Was” didn't last long after lampooning "Cultural NATO." The BBC pulled the show.
British intelligence baron Victor Rothschild helped fund “Encounter” through Secker and Warburg publishers, ensuring the regular arrival of cheques in brown envelopes payable to the “British Society for Cultural Freedom” in whose offices the editorial staff of “Encounter” were lodged. Even the Fabian Society’s journal “Venture” and a predecessor to the world-renowned “Index on Censorship” were funded through the same banking and intelligence circles.
These days, at the expense of homemade music, US songs come pumping out of the BBC and commercial radio stations all over the UK. US economists and commentators inexplicably turn up, like bad pennies, on domestic UK political discussion programs. US drama dominates UK digital TV too, where many of the 80 or so channels have nothing to do with Britain. The multi-channel model, thoroughly dumbed-down with nothing on night after night too is copied straight from the US of A.
Whilst much of this US intrusion into UK political debate and the arts is due to chumminess between UK media managers and their counterparts on the other side of the Atlantic, there are also more formal, big business, banking and intelligence-funded links, aimed at gluing personal relationships of the media people to business interests. The British American Project for the Successor Generation (BAP) is largely for the on-air and coal-face production personalities, while July's annual Sun Valley Conference is only for the biggest media barons and financiers.
Such is the power elite's success in instilling “groupthink” that when an international situation develops which requires more detailed commentary than broadcasters can supply in-house, producers call the CFR's London station, the Royal Institute for International Affairs (RIIA) or Chatham House, without a second thought. This industry- and BBC-funded “think tank” is anything but impartial, parroting studiously the Pentagon, NATO and Bilderberg line. It is introduced to unwary listeners as an unbiased “expert opinion.”
It is the revelations of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden as well as the running sore of US robot drone assassinations in Yemen, Pakistan and elsewhere that has prompted a cross-party defence group of House of Lords peers to table amendments to this month's Defence Reform Bill. Fifteen or so US military-controlled bases in Britain, functioning by the 1951 Status of Forces Agreement, represent an affront to British sovereignty. If passed, the new law will address this issue by installing a local “scrutiny group” at each base.
Drawn from the British population near the US base, these groups will include technical and legal experts with the access to satisfy themselves of the compliance with UK law of all activities inside. Ruling Coalition peer LibDem Baroness Miller, put it bluntly: “The government cannot claim that the American bases in the UK are accountable to anyone but the Pentagon under current legislation. It is time we made what happens to UK citizens on UK soil the responsibility of the UK government.”
However, British justice remains a victim of Tony Blair's 2003 UK-US Extradition Treaty. British citizens Paul and Sandra Dunham used to live in the US, where Paul Dunham managed a Maryland firm called Pace, manufacturing soldering irons. But as sometimes happens when a new owner takes over, personalities clashed and Paul returned to Britain. Pace’s new US boss accused them of misusing company credit cards and sued for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Back in Northumberland, the Dunhams have lost everything, including their home, as they have had their assets seized defending themselves against extradition. They are happy to refute the claim against them in court but if the extradition goes ahead, under the 2003 UK-US Extradition Treaty, the now penniless couple face 18 months in jail before their case is even heard.
This brave couple could be the first people extradited to the US under post-9/11 “terrorism legislation.” They face a combined jail term of more than 600 years and all without a shred of evidence being presented by their accuser. When High Court Judge Mr Justice Simon turned down their case against extradition this week, Paul Dunham said: “It’s a monumentally sad day for Sandra and me, and for those who follow us on this conveyor-belt to the US.”
Just like the European Arrest Warrant, which also fails to require any evidence to be presented, or the individual even to be charged in the distant country, the civil liberties in the West are not being eroded by wicked Sharia law-wielding Islamists, but by spineless civil servants and the shadowy power elite bureaucrats of London, Brussels and Washington.
Twelve years on, the global unending war agenda of the 9/11 attacks is struggling for its 21st century credibility. Pro-Islamist and anti-Islamist policies collide head on. Media PsyOps stumble over each other from a power elite increasingly alienated in Israel and the United States of Europe and America.
The media holds its head high, discussing domestic affairs on the basis of working democracies in which people have a say. But in the real world a power elite of bankers and energy brokers, along with the Pentagon, make all the big decisions in their own interests. The real kings of the Western world stay off the media radar, hoping the political pantomime they bankroll will keep public attention and the law off their backs and give them another year in the sun.
As the wartime head of the German section of the US Psychological Warfare Executive, Richard Crossman, put it: “The way to carry out good propaganda is never to appear to be carrying it out at all.”
The trouble for Crossman’s 2014 descendants is they’ve grown punch-drunk on one too many “shoot-’em-up-for-real” video games. What’s worse is the US in Britain been caught lying to, and spying on, their hosts and dinner party guests. To put it politely, as we British always aim to do, they’ve outstayed their welcome.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.