Saturday, December 11, 2004

I always thought the Cold War was a bunch of hooey. What I didn't realize was that that "war" and the War on Terror have been brought to us courtesy of the same two men: Rumsfeld and Cheney. In an article titled "Hyping Terror for Fun, Profit--and Power", Thom Hartmann summarizes a BBC documentary that lays out the history of how they prevented the Cold war from ending in 1974.

What if there really was no need for much - or even most - of the Cold War? What if, in fact, the Cold War had been kept alive for two decades based on phony WMD threats?
What if, similarly, the War On Terror was largely a scam, and the administration was hyping it to seem larger-than-life? What if our "enemy" represented a real but relatively small threat posed by rogue and criminal groups well outside the mainstream of Islam? What if that hype was done largely to enhance the power, electability, and stature of George W. Bush and Tony Blair?
And what if the world was to discover the most shocking dimensions of these twin deceits - that the same men promulgated them in the 1970s and today?
It happened.
The myth-shattering event took place in England the first three weeks of October, when the BBC aired a three-hour documentary written and produced by Adam Curtis, titled " The Power of Nightmares." If the emails and phone calls many of us in the US received from friends in the UK - and debate in the pages of publications like The Guardian are any indicator, this was a seismic event, one that may have even provoked a hasty meeting between Blair and Bush a few weeks later.
According to this carefully researched and well-vetted BBC documentary, Richard Nixon, following in the steps of his mentor and former boss Dwight D. Eisenhower, believed it was possible to end the Cold War and eliminate fear from the national psyche. The nation need no longer be afraid of communism or the Soviet Union. Nixon worked out a truce with the Soviets, meeting their demands for safety as well as the US needs for security, and then announced to Americans that they need no longer be afraid.
In 1972, President Richard Nixon returned from the Soviet Union with a treaty worked out by Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, the beginning of a process Kissinger called "d├ętente." On June 1, 1972, Nixon gave a speech in which he said, "Last Friday, in Moscow, we witnessed the beginning of the end of that era which began in 1945. With this step, we have enhanced the security of both nations. We have begun to reduce the level of fear, by reducing the causes of fear-for our two peoples, and for all peoples in the world."
But Nixon left amid scandal and Ford came in, and Ford's Secretary of Defense (Donald Rumsfeld) and Chief of Staff (Dick Cheney) believed it was intolerable that Americans might no longer be bound by fear. Without fear, how could Americans be manipulated?
Rumsfeld and Cheney began a concerted effort - first secretly and then openly - to undermine Nixon's treaty for peace and to rebuild the state of fear and, thus, reinstate the Cold War.

If you'd like to read the rest, just click here.
I don't suppose PBS would be interested in airing this documentary. Too explosive. After all, the Brits have more freedom of the press than we do. But in the spirit of not being a victim of the abusers in power, I'm going to suggest to MoveOn, Al Franken and DFA that pressure be brought to bear to air the documentary in this country.
Actually, tennis elbow is making typing a problem for me these days. If anyone would be willing to write the organizations I mentioned above, would you please e-mail me at


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