Hollywood – Manufacturing Consent
I learned of Oliver Stone’s new documentary film ‘South of the Border’ many months ago, and have been eagerly anticipating it ever since. It’s a welcome change from the suffocating bias that clouds the mainstream media (especially in the US) with regards to South America and Hugo Chavez in particular. In a nutshell, Stone’s new piece gives the viewer an insight into the Socialist revolution in South America and the leaders pioneering it. You’ll also get a brief history of how US imperialism and financial skulduggery from the IMF et al has prevented any real self-determination in the region, and has ensured that huge corporations benefit from the local resources rather than the indigenous population. Standard US operating procedure.
A wry smile crept across my face when I learned of the plotline of The Expendables, considering the fact that its release coincided with SOTB. The basic premise of Stallone’s eighth directorial venture is that a group of American mercenaries is hired to go down to South America to do away with some brutal tinpot dictator. Good ol’ Uncle Sam exporting the big F to all of those worthless little brown people who aren’t capable of determining their own future. It’s as if Hollywood has to suckle its fact-starved audience, and nourish them with propaganda at the risk of them actually being educated about the American imperialist machine (in which Hollywood and the mainstream media play a crucial part).
I wanted to share with you some of the propaganda that punctuated the film. That said, The Expendables isn’t unique in any way, it’s just that it’s the only Hollywood flick I’ve seen in the cinema in a long while. The misrepresentations fed to the consumer here are characteristic of most Hollywood films and the wider mainstream media, hence my desire to expose it.
Somalia & Yemen: Land Ahoy!
The movie opened with our heroic mercenaries raiding a cargo ship that had been taken over by Somali pirates. This scene hosted a particularly obvious attempt at spoon-fed propaganda. After killing scores of pirates in a pink mist, our plucky protagonists stop one of their more ‘unhinged’ members from hanging a pirate. “We don’t kill like that”, was the heroic, moralistic response. Technically you could argue they were right; instead of using a noose, the Americans tend to kill their victims from 10,000 feet.
The Somali pirate has become somewhat of a meme propagated by the mainstream media, so much so that it’s now a cliché. Why? Put simply, Hollywood is priming its audience for the globalist War On Terror’s next destination: Yemen and Somalia.
Washington’s drive to militarise the Horn of Africa and the southern Arab Peninsula revolves around two things: Bab el-Mandab, and the large undeveloped oil reserves lying underneath Yemen – reportedly amongst the world’s largest. Bab el-Mandab is a narrow waterway between the coasts of Yemen and Somalia, and it is a crucial oil shipping chokepoint serving oil markets across the globe. In 2006, the US Energy Department reported that an estimated 3.3 million barrels a day of oil flowed through this narrow waterway to Europe, the US, and Asia. Most oil, or some 2.1 million barrels a day, goes north through the Bab el-Mandab to the Suez/Sumed complex into the Mediterranean.
Bab el-Mandab is made all the more important to the global elite by the fact that China, Russia, Brazil, France, and several Gulf states have threatened to stop trading oil in the Dollar, in favour of other currencies such as the Euro or perhaps the Yen. This scares the hell out of the US, especially at a time when the Dollar is in dire need of a jolt. While we’re on the subject, pop quiz: what would give the dollar this much-needed kick up the arse? Well, rising prices in the dollar-traded oil barrel wouldn’t hurt. Have you ever considered the possibility that the men behind the curtain in Washington might actually want oil prices to increase? Nobel laureate Obama’s march to war with Iran is starting to make more sense now isn’t it?
Fulfilling their obligations to their globalist masters, the mainstream media demonises the Somali pirates, and we very rarely read or hear about the root causes of this phenomenon. European firms have destroyed the coastline of Somalia as well as the livelihoods of the native fishermen by dumping toxic waste in Somalia’s waters for over 20 years. As a result, many of these fishermen are left with no jobs, and no means of providing for their families. All the same, the TV-gazing masses are manipulated into righteous indignation when a multinational corporation’s cargo liner is hijacked by the very same starving people whose lives it has destroyed.
“In 1991, the government of Somalia collapsed. Its nine million people have been teetering on starvation ever since – and the ugliest forces in the Western world have seen this as a great opportunity to steal the country’s food supply and dump our nuclear waste in their seas.”
Yes, Western companies have been fishing in Somalia’s sovereign waters with the left hand, and dumping nuclear waste with the right. It is we who are the pirates.
At this point it’s also worth mentioning the foolhardy Underwear Bomber. Don’t you think it’s terribly convenient that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s bumbling efforts ended up implicating Yemen as a new front in the War On Terror? Yemen’s economy, and its US-backed dictator President Saleh, depend heavily on domestic oil production. Though Yemeni oil production has waned of late, the oil fields of the country are mostly undeveloped. Many large foreign drillers left during the 90s citing security concerns.
Washington’s militarisation of the Horn of Africa and southern Arab Peninsula under the guise of the War On Terror, aims to provide this security. As a result, its corporate masters can re-enter the region and ‘plunder their booty’, so to speak.
I’ll leave you with the icing on the propagandist’s cake. And I’ll forgive you if you think I’m going out on a limb here, but really, I thought this was too significant to gloss over.
The movie’s villain is called General Garza (pronounced just like that little old terrorist-infested coastal enclave in the Middle East). He leads an army of brutish soldiers whose arms are adorned with a flag. This flag looked so similar to the Palestinian flag, I would have prodded my fellow cinemagoers had they given a fuck. Sadly though, the truth is most of them probably couldn’t point out Gaza on a map for all the DVDs in the world.
Such brazen, clumsy propaganda almost added a layer of comedy to the film. The dark side of this however is the fact that audiences will most definitely be influenced here, subconsciously or otherwise. Propaganda like this works purely because the average media consumer’s mind is numbed and atrophied to impotence by this very diet of gratuitous nonsense. Hell, if they can sell 9/11 to us, they can sell anything. It’s time to wake up and stop seeing Hollywood as mere entertainment because it isn’t; it has a far darker purpose.