"War is the health of the state," the radical writer Randolph Bourne once said. And when the U.S. goes to war most of the corporate media wrap themselves in the American flag and join the parade. Instead of being on the sidelines and acting as independent and critical observers, too many journalists become cheerleaders. And in several notorious cases reporters have actually become conduits for government disinformation and propaganda. They simply take Pentagon and White House press releases and change a few words around and recycle them as "news." Media subordination to state power weakens democracy, does not serve the information needs of citizens, and makes war easy.
It is easy to lead the people this way and this quote from Goering, proves that people are easily led into supporting the very thing that they detest- war. We are told that journalism is the first draft of history. But it is the first draft in the news media that is the last draft for most people. They buy it and get on with their day.
Goering claimed he had never been anti-Semitic himself, had not believed these atrocities were happening, and that several Jews had offered to testify in his behalf. If he had known about atrocities in 1943, he would have tried to do something about it. He might not have had enough power to change things in 1943, but if somebody had come to him in 1941 or 1942 he could have forced a showdown. At the Nurenburg trials he said that he had no control over the actions or the defense of the others, like what [SS General Otto] Ohlendorf had said to this: that Goering had been written off as an effective "moderating" influence, because of his drug addiction and corruption. It was pointed out that with his "temperamental utterances," such as preferring the killing of 200 Jews to the destruction of property, he had hardly set himself up as champion of minority rights. Goering protested that too much weight was being put on these temperamental utterances. Furthermore, he made it clear that he was not defending or glorifying Hitler.
The quote cited does not appear in transcripts of the Nuremberg trials because although Goering spoke these words during the course of the proceedings, he did not offer them at his trial. His comments were made privately to Gustave Gilbert, a German-speaking intelligence officer and psychologist who was granted free access by the Allies to all the prisoners held in the Nuremberg jail. Gilbert kept a journal of his observations of the proceedings and his conversations with the prisoners, which he later published in the book Nuremberg Diary. The quote offered was part of a conversation Gilbert held with a dejected Hermann Goering in his cell on the evening of 18 April 1946.
We got around to the subject of war again and I said that, contrary to his attitude, I did not think that the common people are very thankful for leaders who bring them war and destruction.
"Why, of course, the people don't want war," Goering shrugged. "Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship."
"There is one difference," I pointed out. "In a democracy the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars."
"Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."
He was found guilty on charges of "war crimes," "crimes against peace," and "crimes against humanity" by the Nuremberg tribunal and sentenced to death by hanging. The sentence could not be carried out, however, because Goering committed suicide with smuggled cyanide capsules hours before his execution, scheduled for 15 October 1946. How did he get the pills? Was he not under guard at all times? Easy?
Sounds far to familiar and too close to home. Easy wasn't it! Huxley stated that ' Lies are powerful but even more powerful is the silence about truth". There is so much silence from the news media.
Napoleon is quoted as saying that, "It is not necessary to suppress news, just delay it until it no longer matters." That pretty much explains the bait and switch tactics used by Bush and his neo-con followers. Just repeat the point you want stressed until the facts are forgotten. Redirect the critique and pinpoint upon the analogy you wish to stress.
Thus the reasons for war, Such as WMD's can be forgotten by stressing a "War on Terror " and "Spread of Democracy' as a legitimate reason for further participation, and soon only "Those Who Wish Harm" to the fatherland, by questioning, are the true "Enemies of the State".
It is up to the media, trhe government propaganda machines and our natural penchant to see violence as a solution, to make it as easy as saying "Let's go to War". And there we are. Easy wasn't it.