Re.: how students are brainwashed

Chris Brady chris_brady at
Wed Oct 4 00:47:41 MDT 2000

Back before Operation Desert Storm I joined the old Brooklyn College
Peace Coalition against the impending war in the Gulf.  Professor Norman
Finkelstein was an active member.  In reference to his recent book
reported on this list, and in reference to brainwashing, I thought I
should send along this letter I recently wrote to him:

Hi Norm,
I came across this item in the local Oregon State University History
Department web site.  It reminded me of what you wrote about funds and
fanfare funneled into Holocaust museums and memorials, so I thought I
should send it along:

At first I wondered why it was there, in context and all...
The town of Corvallis has few Jews, not even a synagogue.
However, in the heart of the fertile valley of the Willamette River
there once lived thriving communities of aboriginals.
Native Americans were decimated times nine along the West Coast of
North America.  Yet there is no week or even day, not even a special
 minute set aside to remember the genocide of Native Americans.
I think it is too close to home for folks here to think about.
Too much of the current order rides on keeping it under the rug,
so to speak.  (I mean, could you imagine invoking the right of return
for, say, the Cherokee, or the Lakota, or the Iroquois?
And then giving them military credits?)

But if it was not genocides or holocausts in general that concerned
local citizens, why such a big mobilization for The Holocaust?
Especially since there were so few Jews around?

I suspect the reason might be that it provides a moral imperative for
the United States to intercede abroad.  I remember when we were in the
Brooklyn College Peace Coalition (against the Gulf War) and our
antagonists bedeviled us with the highsterical charge that Sad-damn was
Anothah Hitlah!  Newsweek magazine provided the visuals with their
famous cover photo of the dictator in an Adolph-styled, touched-up
mustachio.  Goaded with guilt for the goyim, we remember The Holocaust.
We failed to save them.  Shame stokes the need for pride, and honor.
We nod, frowning, and intone: "Never Again!"  Our resolve fixes.

Where the media is controlled, human rights stops having a universal
application and becomes a one-way weapon.  It becomes a matter of
routine to seize upon, or make up, any little trip-up by the current
target and explode it into a humanitarian offense so the great United
States can intercede, send troops, and bombs.  It's the responsible
thing to do, the duty of the strong.  We cannot sit idly by...  For
humanitarian reasons, people were blown to pieces in Iraq.  For
humanitarian reasons NATO planes dropped bombs on people in the
Balkans.  For humanitarian reasons the USA blockades Cuba...   In it
all, the lesson of The Holocaust makes selective intervention holy.

But was there no humanitarian reason in East Timor? Or South Central
Africa?  What about apartheid South Africa, or closer to home,
Duvalier's Haiti? et cetera ad nauseum.

Whether these humanitarian missions actually work, in particular or in
general, is not a subject of study, for no sooner has the smoke
cleared than another urgent situation requires immediate action.

The one shining lesson that we can pull from this mess, though, is that
the masses, even here in the USA, do have their hearts in the right
places.  From the information they are given they understand a wrong
and wish to right it.  But they are not given the right information.
If all gross inhumane acts could be highlighted through the media
and the schools, and analysied in a free and open manner, we could
vanquish so many nightmares for millions of our fellow humans.
I think people are well-intentioned.  Ironically, under current
conditions it is these very best intentions that lead to hell on earth
for so many.

But what if there was a full account?  What if people knew the whole
story?  What if there were a stream of annual specials on the Kibya
massacre, or the hundred or so other genocidal attacks on Palestinians
over the last half century?  What if we got decent news coverage from
Africa?  Why can't we care about the very real help the rich and
powerful USA could give to this world in pain right now in the present?
People buried alive in a stinking mountain of garbage, which is their
hideous home, still, to this day --why?  Children hungry when over 50%
of Americans are over-weight --why?  Tuberculosis, the disease of
poverty, quadrupling in Russia, when Wall Street experiences an
expansion and profits of such magnitude and duration as to be
unprecedented  --why?

I am told to forget these torments and enjoy life.  I have so many
privileges, and life is short.  To follow that advice I think I may need
a lobotomy...But you know me, you know I think life is wonderful.  I
don't need a cranial erasure...  We also know there is enough to go
around...  so why not?

Keep up your research,
And all the best
>From your old BCPC comrade,
Chris Brady


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