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Satirical News and the Build Up to the Third World War
Friday, 12 September 2008 00:12
by Pablo Ouziel
Perhaps a couple of decades from now we will all be praising the mainstream media for the wonderful work they have done reporting on our collective insanity. If we could all leave aside for a minute our nationalisms and ideologies, we could see through every page printed, every word aired, or every media image shown, that global confrontation is just around the corner. The media seems to be seeing what its readers, viewers and listeners are not able to grasp. A large scale war is now unavoidable, and we have all contributed to it through our obtuse obsession with ourselves and our ideals, and our lack of holistic understanding of human interaction. That said, it could be that news are no longer news, and are just part of the 21st century satirical entertainment culture. If that is the case, we can safely say that once the television is turned off, the war ends.

Week after week, escalation is the game being played by 'our' governments. Every country flexing its muscle to see what it is able to obtain, as the cake of global resources is safely being distributed between those with access to the knife. The British fighting for the little bit of oil which they might be able to extract, if they push the boundaries of their empire past the legal 200 nautical miles from the shoreline of its colonized Ascension Island. The Americans pushing for their famous missile shield in the ex-soviet states, which for years now professor Chomsky has been labeling as a declaration of war. The Israelis focused on their territorial expansion on Palestinian land, through their now world-renowned settlements. The Russians with their personal conflict in Georgia, which the 'international community' of hypocrites is unanimously condemning, with the same might as they unanimously support every aggression they personally wish to impart.

Literally every country in the world, no matter where we look, is bent on this culture of aggression. Nobody is able to trust anybody, because deep down we all know that we are selfish, and as soon as we can, we are going to do everything possible to get on top of the game. But the worse thing of all, is that we look at 'our' countries as if they were people with a life of their own — we talk about America as if it was a conquering woman, the pom-pom girl of world aggression, we look at Britain as the wise old fashioned conservative who thinks he knows everything, while Russia is the head of the Mafia and Israel the holder of the truth, the bearer of humanity's suffering.

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Farcical stereotypes have been continuously set up by very effective spin-doctors with enough resources to govern the world. Put a barking dog behind a herd of sheep and they are bound to go in the direction you plan for them to follow. That is what we have today - barking dogs disguised as politicians, and sheep seeing themselves as citizens with a right to vote. The problem is that in this equation there is no shepherd to guide anyone to greener pastures. This is status quo necessary for those in power to remain in power, building fraudulent imagery about the true state of the world.

It is this Status quo, which allows popular debate to remain framed in words like 'hope' and 'change' for Obama, as he sits in the foundations of corporate America, presenting his strategy for change, while demonstrators outside of Denver's 'freedom cage' are getting arrested. The same status quo, which constantly reminds us of McCain¹s bravery as a POW, in a war which was unjustified and which killed many innocent Vietnamese civilians. The status quo, which allows for 90 Afghan civilians to be killed in one day by American troops, without a single minute of mourning by civilized Americans who claim to be helping them.

In Spain, there is a saying which says, 'no lo cogería ni con pinzas', which translated to English could mean something like 'I wouldn't touch it with a barge pole', and sadly that is the state of our political systems worldwide. The problem is that global populations seem either too naïve, too ignorant, too indifferent, or too powerless, to reject this social reality and confront it with serious intentions for change.

As our politicians keep fighting for power while rallying the national flag, millions of people are confronting each other without knowing each other. Yet, as the suffering keeps mounting with the ringing of war bells, none of those firmly behind their candidates are gaining much from these paramilitary adventures. Only the corporate interests of a very small global elite keep pushing ahead, as their lapdog politicians keep barking, and the herd of sheep keeps moving towards what Samuel P. Huntington coined as 'the clash of civilizations.'

Mired in our own limited sphere of thought, dealing with our own personal problems, we are too disconnected from each other to ever get a grasp of the fact that no matter what our politicians tell us, Americans and Iraqis, French and Afghans, Iranians and Israelis, Russians and British and the rest of us, we are not all that different from each other. Yet, because most of us only know each other through the imagery of the television set, we allow our barking politicians to lead the way towards conflict.

Make no mistake about it, last century¹s great depression ended with the build up to the Second World War, and the unacknowledged economic depression of today will give way to the official beginning of the Third World War. When that happens, the whole of humanity will be subjected to the kind of depression which can only be felt with the destruction of social existence. We must be thankful to the media for all those images of reality which they have been streaming endlessly through their networks, for only the accumulation of those images allows us to see where the world is heading. I wish the media was satirical, then I could turn off the television set knowing we are not heading towards global war. However as things stand, it might be in one year, it might take five or ten, but sooner or later imperial attitudes lead to major conflict.

Pablo Ouziel is a sociologist and freelance writer  
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