Penjihad's Blog

"To comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable"

Brainwashing and Blind Patriotism

I was having an online conversation with a US ex-soldier recently. It began with Billy Graham’s death and rapidly went down the chute to the invasion of Iraq and slaughters of Muslims in many of our “War!”-front countries. I held Billy Graham responsible for supporting genocidal wars and for supporting his son Franklin in spite of Franklin’s open hostility towards Muslims and Islam…genocidal hostility, I would add.

 

I could not help but notice his fierce defense of the Iraq Invasion (Billy G was a supporter of all wars) so I remarked that it is understandable for him to have such a stand because he had been brainwashed during training that Iraq invasion was an existential war and the Iraqis were Evil incarnate.

 

Such an attitude is not peculiar to US soldiers alone, the entire American population that supported the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, had been programmed into believing they were defending “our way of life”, that “The enemy” will stop at nothing, “They” will kill us all and will not rest until America has been destroyed and turned into a “Sharia state”.

There are still millions of Americans who believe “The enemy” is still out there, waiting to destroy “our way of life”. Those millions of people are still looking at Muslims in America as “Sleeper-Cells” waiting for the secret order from some unknown Grand Controller, to rise and kill all “Unbelievers”.

 

The power of brainwashing is deep and very long-lasting.

I was taken back to 1971 when Sheikh Mujibur Rahman won the first free elections of my then-country Pakistan…by a landslide. He won 95% of the population of East Pakistan which meant 75% of the total electorate. West Pakistanis leaders did not like this defeat especially not Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, the majority-winner in West Pakistan. Although the other leaders were willing to have talks with Mujib, Bhutto cut that idea off by threatening physical harm to any leader who went to speak with Mujib. Bhutto desired the leadership of Pakistan at any cost.

 

Seeing that he would not be getting power Sheikh Mujibur Rahman decided Pakistan was not going to be a good deal for Bengalis in East Pakistan and he began to talk about a Federal system with large autonomy for East Pakistan and perhaps, even independence. With Bhutto’s approval, the out-going Martial Law Administrator Yahya Khan, ordered massive military movement into East Pakistan (over 1000 miles away) and the military began to indiscriminately kill Bengalis. Resistance against the invasion began and the 1971 Civil War that led to the liberation of Bangladesh, had begun.

 

Simultaneously, the invasion of East Pakistan was painted in patriotic colors. East Pakistanis, aligned with India, were determined to destroy Pakistan, “our way of life” was under attack, this was an existential war. The fact that the rights of the Bengalis had been snatched away and they were being butchered and raped in unimaginable numbers, was never discussed. India was brought into the discussion. India,  that monster across the border, had instigated this war and the people fighting were not Bengalis of Pakistan, but Indian fighters in disguise; they must all be eliminated!

 

A thousand miles away in West Pakistan, I was a student pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering and like all West Pakistanis (almost all) we embraced the propaganda fed to us by the government. We had Bengali class mates but we viewed them differently even though they spoke of escaping via Afghanistan or Iran and getting to East Pakistan.

 

It was a genocidal Civil War and later, a war with India involved. Pakistan eventually lost and in 1972, East Pakistan became the liberated country of Bangladesh, a country that Pakistani leaders led by Bhutto, swore to never recognize as anything but a part of Pakistan.

 

Not long afterwards there was a disastrous flood in Bangladesh and suddenly Bhutto declared that the Bengalis (whose genocide he had approved) were “our brothers” and that Pakistan would help its Muslim brethren in Bangladesh by sending food and medical supplies immediately. Almost as if a switch had turned, all of Pakistan was echoing the same formula. The Bangladeshis forgave Pakistan and the two nations embraced.

 

It took me a few years of living in a different country (the US) before I could manage the objectivity to understand what Pakistan had done to the Bengalis; that they (East Pakistanis) were not guilty of separating from the Mother country, but we (West Pakistanis) were guilty of exploiting them, treating them as lesser people and then wreaking a genocide on them for their “treasonous behavior”. Today, I cannot look a Bangladeshi in the eye without feeling terribly guilty, without wanting to beg forgiveness for Pakistan’s collective guilt.

 

But brainwashing is a powerful thing and once embedded into the public mind, it carries forward into future generations seamlessly. Today in 2018, 46 YEARS after the liberation of Bangladesh, Pakistan still hasn’t come to a place where it apologizes to the Bengalis for the atrocities committed. Pakistan still hasn’t tried a single military person for participating in genocide, in the mass-murders and in the mass rapes. The very subject of Pakistani guilt is a taboo subject that causes people who were not even born back then, to rise up in indignation and defend Pakistan’s “honor”.

 

Brainwashing is a deep, lasting action no matter where it is done.

Pakistan will not apologize to the Bengalis. America will not acknowledge it’s genocidal invasions of Afghanistan, Iraq and a multitude of other countries that it has reduced to effective rubble…for that matter, America has still not acknowledged its genocide of the Native or of the Africans, or the Koreans or, the Vietnamese.

 

Brainwashing. It is easy to embed and it can take generations of active action to remove. Right now, most Americans still believe we are on the righteous side…

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March 9, 2018 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , ,

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