It was the incredibly prescient and profoundly observant George Orwell, who wrote: “War against a foreign country happens when the moneyed classes think they are going to benefit from it.” No war can, however, be successfully executed without public support. The international banking cabal, which has controlled most of the major global powers in the past two centuries, has employed the media, developments in social sciences, knowledge of the human mind, and technological inventions, as its main instruments in moulding public opinion in favour of major wars. The American and the British agencies and their corporate masters have been performing this deception for over a century now. The stories about atrocities in Libya, Iraq, Syria and Iran that are flashed on the mainstream media, the property and tool of only six elite-owned corporations, are a repeat of what began over a century ago.

Each of these wars have burdened the public with more usurious debts, enhanced the control of the bankers, created new graveyards filled with mangled bodies, destroyed countless families, damaged traditional religions, and paved the way for future wars. Yet, the public is always made to believe that it is fighting a “moral” war. Through the media, that it owns, the banking cabal has employed the techniques of deception, of propagation, of utter lies and of manipulation of the public mind beyond belief. The lies are then embedded in the minds of generations through control of the educational system and controlled book writing. A good deal of history is concealed and a good deal distorted.

The emergence of the US as a major power and as the greatest tool in the hands of the international bankers, involved getting the state into wars which the public would have never allowed had the truth been told. There is the famous incident of the Spanish war of 1898 in which an explosion aboard a ship, the USS Maine, sank it killing 266 members of its crew. While the commander of the ship urged caution in concluding that the explosion was the work of enemy saboteurs, the US media ran story after story blaming Spain. When one reporter Frederick Remington telegraphed Hearst upon arrival at the scene: “There is no war…….Request to be recalled.” Hearst wrote back: “Please remain. You furnish the pictures, I will furnish the war.” The phrase “Remember the Maine - to hell with Spain” became a rallying cry within a few weeks. On April 25, 1898, the US declared war on Spain and started replacing it in Puerto Rico, Philippines, Guam and Cuba. All this expansion was built on an unproven statement - viz the Maine was sunk by the Spaniards. An investigation under Admiral Hyman Rickover in 1975 concluded that the most likely cause of the blast was internal. Apparently, and surprisingly, the ammunition had been stacked close to the coal bunker. The USA started its journey to superpower status on a false and manufactured pretext.

The entry of USA and Britain in World War I was the result of the highly sophisticated efforts of a team of men, who were to acquire great “eminence” later. These included Walter Lipmann, Arnold Toynbee and a nephew of Sigmund Freud named Edward Bernays, with offices at Wellington House near Buckingham Palace and money from the Rothschilds and Rockefellers! Former MI6 agent David Coleman writes: “From the start of World War I, stories of German atrocities filled British and American newspapers. Mostly, they were manufactured at Wellington House and spread through media channels. Mostly, they were supposed to have emanated from ‘eye-witness’ accounts by ‘reporters and photographers’, who accompanied the German army’s march through Belgium to outflank French defences in their drive to Paris.” Does that sound familiar today?

Stories of rape and of Germans carrying Belgian babies on bayonets were printed. Then the stories of “Huns” having dragged out young ladies in a Belgian village, each being raped by at least a dozen soldiers on tables laid out in the open, horrified the public. “At British expense a group of Belgians toured the United States retelling these stories.” When the stories about Germans having amputated young kids in Belgium were spread, an American lawyer named Clarence Darrow announced that he will pay $1,000 to anyone, who will come forward with any evidence. He advertised his offer widely. Not a single child, who had been amputated by the Germans, could be produced; nor could any evidence be provided about the Germans having bayoneted any child. When stories of this sort were questioned by the reporters, the team at Wellington House came up with the Bryce Report (in May 1915); a report in which no witnesses were questioned by the Commissioners. When, after the war, the scholars wanted to research into the documentation behind the  report, they learned that the files had disappeared!

But the report got headlines in the elite-owned media. Look at the following sample from the New York Times, which has, for over a century dominated the US media scene with lies and distortions: “German atrocities are proved finds Bryce Committee - not only premeditated crimes, but also premeditated slaughter in Belgium.” Here are a few others: “Young and old mutilated - women attacked, children brutally slain, arson and pillage systematic.” Or “Countenanced by officers - wanton firing on Red Cross and White Flag: prisoners and wounded shot.” Another headline: “Civilians used as human shields.”

Almost a century later, we hear of atrocities in Libya, Syria, Iraq and Iran. Not a word is uttered about the tens of millions savaged by the American armed forces and mercenaries in shameful service of its corporate masters. The cancer rate in Fallujah is higher than in Hiroshima and Nagasaki! The New York Times is silent! According to estimates by a scholar, the number of “avoidable deaths” since 1950 stands at over one billion! These deaths have resulted from wars and “collateral damage”, wars that are manipulated primarily by the American agencies in service of international bankers. The US has achievements in human knowledge that are unparalleled. The dying middle class of America is, or perhaps was, the greatest positive force in human history in the past few centuries. Also, the crimes carried out by its forces at the behest of their banker masters have no precedent in human history - these forces are the greatest killing machine ever to stalk this earth. The possibility of human extinction is now quite real.

n    The writer is the vice chancellor of the University of the Punjab.