Noam Chomsky’s latest article “Why WikiLeaks Won’t Stop the War” highlights perhaps the most important part of the WikiLeaks disclosures (largely overlooked by the mainstream media for obvious reasons). They are internal CIA memos that express huge concern that popular opposition in France and Germany to Obama’s war may make it increasingly difficult for the US Government to pressure their governments into sending more troops to the region.
In May, WikiLeaks released a March CIA memorandum about how to sustain Western Europe’s support for the war. The memorandum’s subtitle: “Why Counting on Apathy Might Not Be Enough.”
“The Afghanistan mission’s low public salience has allowed French and German leaders to disregard popular opposition and steadily increase their troop contributions to the International Security Assistance Force,” the memorandum states.
“Berlin and Paris currently maintain the third and fourth highest ISAF troop levels, despite the opposition of 80 percent of German and French respondents to increased ISAF deployments.” It is therefore necessary to “tailor messaging” to “forestall or at least contain backlash.”
The CIA memorandum should remind us that states have an internal enemy: their own population, which must be controlled when state policy is opposed by the public.
Democratic societies rely not on force but on propaganda, engineering consent by “necessary illusion” and “emotionally potent oversimplication,” to quote Obama’s favorite philosopher, Reinhold Niebuhr.
The clear lessons of these memos are that powerful interests are terrified of democracy and popular resistance in the West still remains the most effective way of stopping Obama’s war.