Deconstructing the reality behind The Reality of the “Lesser Evil”
November 15, 2012
This little boy was named Naeemullah. He was in his house — maybe playing, maybe sleeping, maybe having a meal — when an American drone missile was fired into the residential area where he lived and blew up the house next door.
As we all know, these drone missiles are, like the president who wields them, super-smart, a triumph of technology and technocratic expertise. We know, for the president and his aides have repeatedly told us, that these weapons — launched only after careful consultation of the just-war strictures of St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas — strike nothing but their intended targets and kill no one but “bad guys.” Indeed, the president’s top aides have testified under oath that not a single innocent person has been among the thousands of Pakistani civilians — that is, civilians of a sovereign nation that is not at war with the United States — who have been killed by the drone missile campaign of the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.
… As Wired reports, shrapnel and debris went flying through the walls of Naeemullah’s house and ripped through his small body. When the attack was over — when the buzzing drone sent with Augustinian wisdom by the Peace Laureate was no longer lurking over the village, shadowing the lives of every defenseless inhabitant with the terrorist threat of imminent death, Naeemullah was taken to the hospital in a nearby town.
… Before the election, we heard a lot of talk about this notion of the “lesser evil.” From prominent dissidents and opponents of empire like Daniel Ellsberg and Noam Chomsky and Robert Parry to innumerable progressive blogs to personal conversations, one heard this basic argument:
“Yes, the drone wars, the gutting of civil liberties, the White House death squads and all the rest are bad; but Romney would be worse. Therefore, with great reluctance, holding our noses and shaking our heads sadly, we must choose the lesser evil of Obama and vote accordingly.” — Chris Floyd, Dead Enough: The Reality of the “Lesser Evil” 09 November 2012
Thanks to Chris Floyd1 for remembering this tiny little Pakistani “unworthy victim” named Naeemullah, as Noam Chomsky would characterize this innocent unmourned victim of the good guys, who, predictably as always, is dismissed merely as “collateral damage”, the “lesser evil” in the war against a greater evil.
By Chomsky’s definition, the “worthy victim” is always worthy of being mourned, as it is made victim by the bad guys or their allies. The “unworthy victim” is unworthy of being mourned or even worrying about, as it is made victim by the good guys or their allies.
So the equally innocent child Malala Yousafzai, the “worthy victim”, a victim of the evil-doers, is to be honored and even celebrated, perhaps even anointed as the “peace-maker” and awarded the Nobel Peace prize. It makes the bad guys look really bad and advances the cause of empire’s counter-insurgency operations against them.
And because frequently occurring “worthy victims” continually refuel the necessary “doctrinal motivation, intellectual commitment, and patriotic gratification” to sustain “imperial mobilization” since “democracy is inimical to imperial mobilization” as Zbigniew Brzezinski puts it, it is not beyond empire to create the “worthy victims” itself using the bad guys as stooges:
Quote US Army Field Manual
“Top Secret: There may be times when host country governments show passivity or indecision in the face of Communist subversion … US Army Intelligence must have the means of launching special operations which will convince host country governments and public opinion of the reality of the insurgent danger … US Army Intelligence should seek to penetrate the insurgency by means of agents of special assignments, with the task of forming special action groups among the most radical elements of the insurgency.” — Source: see The Mighty Wurlitzer
The brutal creation and public-relations harvesting of “worthy victims” enables putting to bed all the “unworthy victims” as merely the “lesser evil” in empire’s counter-insurgency operations. This is examined in the report: Insurgency vs. Counter-Insurgency ( tinyurl.com/what-is-insurgency ).
The brilliant nomenclature of “worthy” vs. “unworthy” I hope helps shed some forensic light for the confused2 as to why empire’s favorite Malala Yousafzai even has November 11th, 2012, declared by the UN Special Envoy for Global Education and former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, as the ‘Malala Day’, while Dr. Aafia Siddiqui ( tinyurl.com/Dr-Aafia-Siddiqui ) has ignominiously been put in jail for life. Since no one really likes to remember the “unworthy victims”, I have included their images here.
My old prof. from MIT has surely contributed a great deal of meaningful vocabulary and penetrating concepts for explaining the Machiavellian statecraft of perception management throughout his extraordinary life of dissent. Including the following:
Quote Noam Chomsky
‘This “debate” is a typical illustration of a primary principle of sophisticated propaganda. In crude and brutal societies, the Party Line is publicly proclaimed and must be obeyed — or else. What you actually believe is your own business and of far less concern. In societies where the state has lost the capacity to control by force, the Party Line is simply presupposed; then, vigorous debate is encouraged within the limits imposed by unstated doctrinal orthodoxy. The cruder of the two systems leads, naturally enough, to disbelief; the sophisticated variant gives an impression of openness and freedom, and so far more effectively serves to instill the Party Line. It becomes beyond question, beyond thought itself, like the air we breathe.’
‘Democratic societies use a different method: they don’t articulate the party line. That’s a mistake. What they do is presuppose it, then encourage vigorous debate within the framework of the party line. This serves two purposes. For one thing it gives the impression of a free and open society because, after all, we have lively debate. It also instills a propaganda line that becomes something you presuppose, like the air you breathe.’
‘The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum – even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there’s free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate.’
It is most essential to understand the unstated backdrop for this “lesser evil” concept emanating from the dissent-chiefs who are evidently employing the same methods of perception management that they have explained the empire employing for “manufacturing consent”. So, logically speaking, are they manufacturing dissent – or straightforwardly manufacturing consent?
Virtually everyone who critiques empire’s burlesque, ahem, its excesses, has almost always made the pre-supposition that its “war on terror” is real because 9/11 was an invasion by terrorists from abroad. “Like the air we breathe”, once that pre-supposition becomes the silent and unnoticed backdrop, the lovely progressives and their dissent-chiefs can easily go about discussing the best way to fight that “war”, and that’s where the discourse of “lesser evil” concept cleverly plays in. It only serves to legitimize the “war on terror” axiom which itself remains unchallenged.
Thus one can go freely about critiquing empire’s methods of prosecuting that war, and not the axiom upon which it is based. Therefore, automatically, the “war” against the “terrorist” is the natural outcome once that core-axiom remains unchallenged. And we end up with what is the “lesser evil” debate – giving the illusion of “lively debate within that spectrum – even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there’s free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate.”
Noam Chomsky, Daniel Ellsberg, and Progressives et. al., have together echoed the same core-axiom as the Pentagon, the White House, the mainstream media, et. al., that 9/11 was the work of the Muslim terrorist Osama Bin Laden espousing the vile “militant Islam”. Amazing that they each have so much in common with their supposed “antagonists”! I had thought that dissent is supposed to challenge, inter alia, the Machiavellian narratives of the state? I guess it is only some narratives and not others that are to be challenged and dissented against.
I imagine I could easily classify these as “worthy narratives” (truths promulgated by power) and “unworthy narratives” (lies promulgated by power). The former to remain untouched by dissent-chiefs and those skeptics going after them to be labeled “conspiracy theorist”. The latter to be legitimately critiqued by dissent-chiefs and awarded peace prizes for as belonging to the “voices of conscience” and to “peace makers”. The “conspiracy theorist” label is examined in some depth in the report: Anatomy of Conspiracy Theory ( tinyurl.com/anatomy-conspiracy-theory ).
It is a perception management game of which virtually all the so called “progressives” in the Western hemisphere, and laudingly led by their vaunted dissent-chiefs whom they often air prominently, are an essential part. It constitutes the Hegelian Dialectic of Dissent. This is also examined in much depth in the report: The Mighty Wurlitzer ( tinyurl.com/MightyWurlitzer ).
Unless one can understand the various methods of perception management, including manufacturing dissent to capture those moral souls escaping from the manufacturing consent factory, one cannot understand anything of modernity. Including this “lesser evil” mantra. Some of these methods of controlled dissent the Mighty Noam Chomsky has himself brilliantly articulated, as evidenced from his perceptive quotes above. And he is celebrated as “arguably the most important intellectual alive” by the mouthpiece of empire itself, the New York Times.
All this manufactured “celebrity” status has garnered these “moral consciences” of the West a great following of useful idiots – people formerly in the mainstream who got fed-up with the lies of the state and were captured by these “collection agents” lest they become troublesome and effective in their opposition. Hitler characterized this lot rather well in his Mein Kampf as type-2. The report on Manufacturing Dissent ( tinyurl.com/Dissent-Factory ) examines the import of this exercise of craftily putting dissent on the treadmill running in place to nowhere for sustaining “imperial mobilization” unfettered.
As for Chris Floyd’s main observation of the Progressives: “… but Romney would be worse. Therefore, with great reluctance, holding our noses and shaking our heads sadly, we must choose the lesser evil of Obama and vote accordingly.”, any genuine dissent-chief with even an iota of analytical reasoning skills and the ability to astutely navigate the empire’s many rabbit holes would have argued what this scribe suggested in October 2008: “Not-Voting is a ‘YES’ vote to Reject a Corrupt System which thrives on the facade of Elections and Democracy!” ( tinyurl.com/not-voting-to-reject-a-sham )
It would be laughable, were it not actually a sophisticated propaganda engine, that among these so called “Progressives” led by their dissent-chiefs, the same spirit of presupposition of the party line is at play in their virtually every discourse with its concomitant “vigorous debate within the framework of the party line” as ably depicted by their most notable leader in his quoted passages at the top. “It also instills a propaganda line that becomes something you presuppose, like the air you breathe.” That “propaganda line”, that presupposition upon which the entire game of democracy is so vigorously contested and protected, is the myth of elections being anything useful in bringing change. This myth has been so craftily cultivated over the past two generations that none are able to see through the fog of indoctrination that something else entirely, “a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive,” such that people only whisper in hushed voices “when they speak in condemnation of it”, runs the United States with the elected Representatives merely as its front faces.
Which is why core policies of the state do not change by changing the front faces in the White House. Often minor domestic policy changes are put on the table and “then, vigorous debate is encouraged within the limits imposed by unstated doctrinal orthodoxy” just to maintain the facade of democracy and elections being the harbingers of the much needed change.
Advertising Age’s 2008 Marketer of the Year award to President Obama for his election campaign of the “Change” mantra, the Nobel committee’s awarding him the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, and the New York Times’ flashy report after the 2012 elections: “Academic ‘Dream Team’ Helped Obama’s Effort”, testify to the empiricism of this observation. The NYT November 12, 2012 disclosure after the fact, as it virtually always is – “All the News That’s Fit to Print” that they deem what and when it is fit to print, and almost always ex post facto if they are going to print it at all – is just revealing:
‘This election season the Obama campaign won a reputation for drawing on the tools of social science. The book “The Victory Lab,” by Sasha Issenberg, and news reports have portrayed an operation that ran its own experiment and, among other efforts, consulted with the Analyst Institute, a Washington voter research group established in 2007 by union officials and their allies to help Democratic candidates.
Less well known is that the Obama campaign also had a panel of unpaid academic advisers. The group — which calls itself the “consortium of behavioral scientists,” or COBS — provided ideas on how to counter false rumors, like one that President Obama is a Muslim. It suggested how to characterize the Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, in advertisements. It also delivered research-based advice on how to mobilize voters.’ — New York Times, Nov. 12, 2012
The Manufacturing Consent factory in the mainstream glorifies the electioneering candidates with astute perception management. The Manufacturing Dissent factory among the skeptics and the rebels pitches the “lesser evil” mantra to push the same candidate forward. Both factories of perception management of their respective constituencies work towards the same end from opposites sides!
In this game-theory laced entertainment for the masses, even if there is a voter-upset in the election game as a wildcard, the choice presented to the public is always carefully between twiddledee and twiddledum. All horses in the race are from the same stable so how much of an upset can the race outcome ever be? The game is further kept entertaining with various side shows, intrigues and scandals, like electronic ballot, voter-theft, etceteras. It keeps the people happy that they have a religion, the religion of democracy, watchfully guarded by the liberal-conservative corporate nexus of ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX and CNN on one side, and the Progressives and Pacifica non-corporate conscience of the nation on the other. The masses go for pilgrimage happy-happy every four years to do their religious duty. It keeps the priestly oligarchy class also happy, and perpetually in power.
The empirical fact of the matter is that there is no “lesser evil” as the entire “democratic elections” system is a scam based on primarily choosing between Vanilla and Chocolate, both carefully manufactured at the same confectionary owned by the same oligarchy! “Vanilla or Chocolate is merely the icing on the devil’s cake!” This is examined in some depth in Flashback: From President George W. Bush to President Barrack Obama – More faces change, more they remain the same! ( tinyurl.com/more-faces-change ).
Those who preach the “lesser evil” to push the system’s own manufactured candidates forward using their brilliance in specious argumentation rather than expose the outright sham of the so called democracy and its elections, are in fact manufacturing consent for the same oligarchic propaganda line while wearing the moral garb of dissent. I think when Jesus had referred to such peoples as “hypocrites”, he had perhaps missed the concept of “noora kushti” and never witnessed the circus clowns warming up the crowds to keep them interested in empire’s games. In other words, Jesus had perhaps never seen a WWF wrestling game, or met the ubermensch who see themselves as being “beyond good and evil”! Which is why all prophets of antiquity only preached within the template of “good and evil”. But both Plato and Friedrich Nietzsche, despite being separated in time by at least two millennia, evidently understood this game far more perceptively than the theistic prophets. This wonderful game of the oligarchy is further deconstructed in: Election 2012 vs. Election 2008: What has Changed? ( tinyurl.com/election-2012-vs-election-2008 ).
The only sensible thing to do for the public is to challenge the sham ab initio. Something you’d think the dissent-chiefs would take the lead in as the moral compass of humanity. But these compasses today have all been salted. Alas, we are at the day when the salt itself has rusted!
So long as the oligarchy exists and continues to control the purse strings of any nation, elections and democracy will remain their ace in the hole to continue Machiavellianly ruling the public with an iron fist in the name of their new god of modernity, “democracy”, no differently than when the priestly class of antiquity ruled their public in the name of their anointed deities. The difference today is that the public is presented with the illusion of “choice” with sophisticated perception management and behavior control. And these are all the presuppositions of “the Party Line” which constitute the invisible backdrop that remains “beyond question, beyond thought itself, like the air we breathe.”
If you are bothered by the images of “Harmless innocence Melt; Flours of all hue, and without Thorn the Rose” (Milton) mercilessly snuffed out in the bud with empire’s bombs and sanctions, drones and checkpoints, from Palestine to Pakistan, and soon coming to the police state near you, that’s where you must begin, before it is all a fait accompli.
Catch a man a fish and feed him for a day, teach him how to fish and feed him for life — or something like that….
Zahir Ebrahim, an ordinary researcher and writer on contemporary matters, grew up in Pakistan, studied EECS at UET, MIT, and Stanford, engineered for a while in high-tech Silicon Valley (http://tinyurl.com/zahir-patents), and retired early to pursue other responsible interests. His maiden 2003 book of protest, written in the aftermath of 9/11, was rejected by countless publishers and can be read on the web at http://PrisonersoftheCave.org. His prolific writings may be read at http://Humanbeingsfirst.org.
First Published November 15, 2012 | Last Updated Sunday, December 16, 2012 03:00 pm 3214
Zahir Ebrahim’s Response to Chris Floyd’s ‘Dead Enough: The Reality of the “Lesser Evil”‘