John Pilger: Today, False Symbolism Is All. “Identity” Is All

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“One of the persistent strands in U.S. political life is a cultish extremism that approaches fascism. This was given expression and reinforced during the two terms of Barack Obama. “I believe in American exceptionalism with every fiber of my being,” said Obama, who expanded the United States’ favorite military pastime: bombing and death squads (“special operations”) as no other president has done since the Cold War.
According to a Council on Foreign Relations survey, in 2016 alone Obama dropped 26,171 bombs. That is 72 bombs every day. He bombed the poorest people on earth, in Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Syria, Iraq, Pakistan.

Every Tuesday — reported the New York Times — he personally selected those who would be murdered by mostly hellfire missiles fired from drones. Weddings, funerals, shepherds were attacked, along with those attempting to collect the body parts festooning the “terrorist target.” A leading Republican senator, Lindsey Graham, estimated, approvingly, that Obama’s drones killed 4,700 people. “Sometimes you hit innocent people and I hate that,” he said, “but we’ve taken out some very senior members of Al Qaeda.”

Like the fascism of the 1930s, big lies are delivered with the precision of a metronome, thanks to an omnipresent media whose description now fits that of the Nuremberg prosecutor: “Before each major aggression, with some few exceptions based on expediency, they initiated a press campaign calculated to weaken their victims and to prepare the German people psychologically … In the propaganda system … it was the daily press and the radio that were the most important weapons.”

Take the catastrophe in Libya. In 2011, Obama said Libyan president Muammar Gaddafi was planning “genocide” against his own people. “We knew … that if we waited one more day, Benghazi, a city the size of Charlotte, could suffer a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world.”

This was the known lie of Islamist militias facing defeat by Libyan government forces. It became the media story and NATO — led by Obama and Hillary Clinton — launched 9,700 “strike sorties” against Libya, of which more than a third were aimed at civilian targets. Uranium warheads were used; the cities of Misurata and Sirte were carpet-bombed. The Red Cross identified mass graves, and UNICEF reported that “most (of the children killed) were under the age of ten.”


“Today, false symbolism is all. “Identity” is all. In 2016, Hillary Clinton stigmatized millions of voters as “a basket of deplorables, racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic — you name it.” Her abuse was handed out at an LGBTQ rally as part of her cynical campaign to win over people of color by abusing a white mostly working-class majority. Divide and rule, this is called; or identity politics in which race and gender conceal class, and allow the waging of class war. Trump understood this.

“When the truth is replaced by silence,” said the Soviet dissident poet Yevtushenko, “the silence is a lie.”


This is the Call of Obama. It is not unlike a dog whistle: inaudible to most, irresistible to the besotted and boneheaded, especially “liberal brains pickled in the formaldehyde of identity politics,” as Luciana Bohne put it. “When Obama walks into a room,” gushed George Clooney, “you want to follow him somewhere, anywhere.”

William I. Robinson, professor at the University of California, and one of an uncontaminated group of U.S. strategic thinkers who have retained their independence during the years of intellectual dog-whistling since 9/11 wrote this last week, “President Barack Obama … may have done more than anyone to assure Trump’s victory.

–John Pilger, The Issue Is Not Trump, It’s us

5 thoughts on “John Pilger: Today, False Symbolism Is All. “Identity” Is All”

    1. I think it’s your racism on display Mr. Troll. I don’t care what skin pigment anybody has. Their actions are their actions and John Pilger has his facts together. Can you dispute any his facts? Do you ever interact with facts or only arrows of identity accusations that everybody has heard a thousand times. I voted for Mr. Obama. I also happen to think he won by a landslide, if true votes were counted in this country.

      Why do you hate humanity?

  1. The USA is the biggest war criminal country on the planet. Since I have been studying conspiracy theory since 1974, I knew from day 1 that if Obama got elected he would be even worst than George W. Bush — which he was. He killed more people, deported more undocumented aliens, deprived us of more of our civil liberties and usurped even more power to the office of the president than GWB did — all of which he handed to the madman now in the Oval Office — Agent Orange.

    The reason conspiracy theory is pilloried in the mainstream media is because it is the ONLY way to understand how this world really works. Once you start seeing the patterns, you can never go back to not seeing the patterns.

    The good news is that the people are starting to wake up to the extent to which we have been lied to by our leaders. Back in 1984 when I tried to talk to people about the Illuminati and the UFO cover-up at Roswell people looked at me as if I had two heads. Now everyone knows about the Illuminati and more and more people are seeing UFOs for themselves.

    This is cause for hope! Keep waking yourselves up, and wake up others!

  2. I confess: I was brainwashed there for a while. So seductive, that Obama. (So gullible, that me).

    Thanks for the link to this Pilger piece. Maybe you already had a post about another recent piece of his you can see on his website: “Getting Julian Assange–The Untold Story”.

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