There was much pearl-clutching by the corporate media when Trump blurted out the truth of US foreign policy in a recent interview with Fox host, Bill O’ Reilly.
“There are a lot of killers.” Trump responded. “We’ve got a lot of killers. What do you think — our country’s so innocent. You think our country’s so innocent?”
Aghast at Trump’s heresy, O’Reilly sputtered, “I don’t know of any government leaders that are killers.”
Trump: “Well — take a look at what we’ve done too. We made a lot of mistakes. I’ve been against the war in Iraq from the beginning.”
O’Reilly: “But mistakes are different than —“
Trump: “A lot of mistakes, but a lot of people were killed. A lot of killers around, believe me.”
The corporate media wasted no time in castigating Trump, with the New York Times accusing him of “Blaming America First.”
Investigative journalist, Robert Parry recognized that Trump is being targeted by the neoconservative elite for engaging in “moral equivalence,” and traces this pejorative back to the Reagan administration with their policy of “perception management.”
“The “moral equivalence” argument has been with us at least since the Reagan administration when human rights groups objected to President Reagan’s support for right-wing governments in Central America that engaged in “death squad” tactics against political dissidents, including the murders of priests and nuns and genocide against disaffected Indian tribes. To suggest that Reagan and his friends should be subjected to the same standards that he applied to left-wing authoritarian governments earned you the accusation of “moral equivalence.”
Declassified documents from Reagan’s White House show that this P.R. strategy was refined at National Security Council meetings led by U.S. intelligence propaganda experts. Now the “moral equivalence” theme is being revived to discredit a new Republican president who dares challenge this particular Official Washington “group think.”
American exceptionalism is the official-narrative of the US corporate empire, mindlessly repeated by all the talking-heads and government officials who support and identify with it. This “group think” requires that everyone who wants to be taken seriously in official Washington must repeat the mantra that America is the indispensable country. If invasions, assassinations, and torture are traced back to Washington then obviously mistakes were made in the US’s historic quest to spread peace and democracy.
After all that has happened since 9/11 the narrative is hardly believable but that’s beside the point. The idea is to use this narrative to create an ideological boundary that can be defended as truth by the deep state and their corporate media handmaidens. Unlike the former Soviet Union, the narrative is not enforced by clumsy official propaganda. In the US it’s much more subtle. For an employee of the corporate media, going along with the narrative confers all kinds of benefits like employment, career advancement and prestige, while challenging the narrative brings poverty, social and professional stigmatization, anxiety, and various other forms of suffering. If you are intelligent you learn quickly to play along.
Trump is a mystery. He says many things that are patently untrue, yet he also utters accurate statements that contradict the narrative.
However, telling such unpleasant, albeit obvious truths is not the way to please the mandarins of the deep state. To be a power broker in Washington requires one to stick with the official-narrative. Any inconvenient truth-telling is not welcome. After all, the deep state maintains its power through the control of information.
As writer Guy Debord noted in his masterpiece–Society of the Spectacle–“Illusion only is sacred, truth profane.”