Pretexts for War: How the public is deceived into fighting

by | Mar 12, 2014 | Videos | 7 comments

by James Corbett
March 11, 2014

When Secretary of State John Kerry made his now infamous statement about Russia’s actions in Ukraine, the hypocrisy was immediately apparent to all but the most clueless of viewers.

But perhaps Kerry wasn’t so wrong to expect the public to let him get away with such a transparently hypocritical statement. After all, the public have always been happy to go along with every pretext for war presented to them for decade after decade.

After Iraq there was Libya, where we were asked to believe that the invasion of the oil-rich country and rush to set up a central bank by the foreign-backed opposition was nothing more than an attempt to save the country from a power-mad dictator who was arming his troops with Viagra to help them rape innocent civilians…until this pretext was overturned by a pesky reporter asking for actual evidence of these crimes.

Before Iraq there was Afghanistan, where we were asked to believe that the war was necessary in order to get Bin Laden…until we were told that was not actually the case.

Similarly with the invasion of Grenada.

And the Vietnam War


And WWI.

And the Spanish-American War.

It would be the height of naiveté to believe that the political caste of our own age were any different in their willingness to use blatantly fabricated pretexts to rally the public into war.

But perhaps the public is finally catching on. “Kony 2012” became a viral video sensation two years ago with press-seeking celebrities endorsing the slick propaganda seeking to justify the deployment of AFRICOM troops to Uganda in the search for Joseph Kony.

But the video was quickly exposed as a sham when independent internet-based researchers discovered that the producers of the video, a group called “Invisible Children,” had been working with USAID and attended a US State Department linked summit in London in 2010. The simplistic Kony narrative was further undermined when the internet enabled Ugandans to speak out directly against the video to viewers around the world.

Similarly in Syria, the August 2013 chemical weapons attack in Ghouta was quickly seized upon as a pretext for military intervention in the country.

And now, another Kony 2012-like video production is attempting to make a similar case for why Americans and their NATO-bloc allies need to be involved in the current Ukrainian crisis.

And just like Kony 2012, this video, too, was exposed for its ties back to the Council on Foreign Relations and US State Department foreign policy apparatus.

Perhaps the saddest part of it all is that, once the people whose plight was exploited for the war propaganda have been used, abused, chewed up and spit out by the war machine, they are completely forgotten about. How many of those same flag-waving propaganda repeaters that pretended to care about the Libyan people, for example, even know what is happening in the country now that the NATO bombs have stopped raining down and the corporate media is telling us to look elsewhere?

The simple truth is that the people who fight and die in these bloody wars of aggression are never the ones who benefit from the slaughter. For this reason, the combined resources of the State Department, the corporate media, and countless foundation-funded NGOs are required to sell these lies to an increasingly skeptical public. But now we stand at a crossroads of history, with the public, perhaps for the first time, able to instantly research and expose the propagandistic claims of the ruling establishment almost as soon as they are made.

In some ways, the public is better positioned than ever to abandon that “19th century world” of war pretexts that Kerry was referring to. Perhaps we can start by consigning politicians like Kerry, and all the other liars who have enabled countless slaughter, warfare and bloodshed throughout the years, to the dustbin of history by simply refusing to believe their transparent lies.


  1. Its good to see this old video brought back to my attention. I have been reading “Imperial Cruise”, and its become even clearer to me that war is near impossible to justify, and yet our nation and all before it have sought to do so. War does not save lives, it destroys them.

  2. Timely revisit.

    • Another fallacy, more obvious, is ” did it” which, to me, means “the government of did it.”
      Good luck proving any of that, but luckily for them we don’t live in times in which evidence is held in high regard, or any regard at all.

      What McAfee is stating there goes further on top of what I wrote above.

      • hmh, a part of my comment was sanitized lol

        First sentence should read

        Another fallacy, more obvious, is ”*insert country name here* did it” which, to me, means “the government of *insert country name here* did it.”

  3. If there is such a thing as an expert on slaughter of civilians, then people like Kerry surely qualify. And therefore when he cries wolf, we should heed his call.

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