Evil de jour

Nothing in the entire world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
— Martin Luther King Jr. 

Every now and then when some poor country is about to receive some American military attention, the American people are prepared by an intense and unceasing propaganda. They are bombarded day in and day out by what a threat the leader of that country is to the peace loving, civilized and democratic people of the United States. Newspapers, TVs, Radios, blogs and anything else that can in anyway convey a message to the people are employed to present this person as the worst of the worst.

I don’t know if you remember the invasion of Panama in 1989; but it was just the same then as it is now. Manuel Noriega the president of Panama, who incidentally for many years had worked for the CIA (for Bush Senior), was no longer following the orders from Washington. The US decided to replace him.

Overnight Mr. Noriega became the most evil man on the planet. He was the dictator and a drug lord that had to be dealt with. He was made responsible for the entire drug trafficking in the US. He was made the most dangerous man in the world. He was the cruellest dictator that ever existed. In addition we were told that people of Panama deserved “democracy”.

After a short while the American people started thinking that if Mr. Noriega was removed then the drug problem in the US would vanish as well. So on December 1989 twenty seven thousand American soldiers invaded Panama. However, in order to keep the democratic tradition alive in Panama, a few hours prior to the invasion, US military appointed Mr. Guillermo Endara as the new President of Panama. The ceremony took place inside a US military base in the Panama Canal Zone.

Well, as you can see the drug problem is still there. Mr. Noriega turned-out to be nothing but a CIA agent that wasn’t following the orders. After a few months people forgot all about it. Later it was Saddam Hussein that became the most evil person in the world. Once again the media started the same old song and dance routine. The Gulf War ensued and thousands of people were killed.

Now it is Iran’s turn; and the Evil de jour is Mr. Ahmadinejad. He is described as anything from Hitler reincarnate to the most dangerous man on earth. Never mind that he is not the head of an army, or that he has no real power; the main thing is that he is EVIL. Never mind that there are no Iranian troops in Canada or Mexico; never mind that he does not possess thousands of nuclear missiles; he is still the most dangerous man alive and we have to do something about him.

It always amazes me to see that people, time and again, fall for the same old song and dance routine. Don’t you ever get a sense of déjà vu? Can’t people see that they are being, so openly, manipulated? Apparently not.

The very people who are preparing us for another war are the only ones that are going to benefit from it. Majority always lose and most likely you and I will be among the losers. We are the ones who have to pay for it, and believe me we will. We are already doing it by having to work more just to make ends meet. But no amount of money can give one that joy of seeing “our boys” smashing those evil, backward people, right?

We may feel great for a while seeing all those smart bombs killing thousands of people, but the feeling of the superiority along with the entertainment that war footage provides will be fleeting. After a few months of the bloodshed and after a few leaks, one begins to question the wisdom of it all. But by then most people will have forgotten that they were also one of those that supported the war.

As you shake your head and hope for it all to end soon, you are presented with a surge. You hope that if more troops are poured-in things will cool down. But as soon as you begin to realise that this was a bad idea, another EVIL man is identified, and you begin to think that something has to be done about him otherwise the world as we know it will come to an end. And so things will just continue to deteriorate and before you know it the country is involved in a war that it no longer can extricate itself from.

Meanwhile, all these wars and threats of war are frightening people around the world. People are asking themselves who is going to be next? There is already a joke going around in the Muslim world about this huge bold eagle and the fox. It goes something like this: once a zebra saw a fox distraught and running wild in the jungle. The zebra stopped the fox and asked him what was wrong. The fox answered: you know about the huge eagle don’t you? The zebra answered yes. The fox said: “well, she’s gone crazy. The eagle says that she has dreamt that there is an animal with three testicles that is going to destroy the jungle”. The zebra smiled and said: “well none of us has three testicles, so why are you running?” The fox said: “because the eagle first pulls out the testicles and then she counts them.” After hearing this, the zebra started running as well.

Well one might find this joke funny, but it depicts the feeling of the people other than the US and its allies. Fear breeds hatred and hatred leads to war. It is always easy to start a war, but extremely difficult to end one. As the journalists go around and pat themselves on the shoulder for coming-up with the best “evil…” title of the day, they should realise that they are unwittingly paving the road to another war.

Dr. Abbas Bakhtiar lives in Norway. He is a management consultant and a contributing writer for many online journals. He can be contacted by e-mail at:Bakhtiarspace-articles@yahoo.no

Copyright Abbas Bakhtiar, all rights reserved.

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