"(Gaaaasp) Are those drones?!" my 11-year-old daughter asked as a formation of fighter jets flicked on giant screens while the national anthem played before a girls college basketball game we attended last month.
Whether it's through sporting events, politics, news or even entertainment (like NBC's reality show "Stars Earn Stripes"), we are constantly being bombarded by pro-war propaganda, paving the way for continued American imperialistic military engagements around the world (of late: Afghanistan, Chad, Iraq, Jordan, Libya, Mali, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Turkey, Uganda and Yemen).
Recent news that such psychological indoctrination is getting cranked up a few decibels indicates more of the same is in the pipeline.
According to the latest U.S. Army field manual released publicly in January, public relations (which has always been a part of the military) will now be front and center. New "Inform and Influence Activities" have been added to traditional war responsibilities to keep not only troops and Americans aware of what is going but also to brainwash foreign audiences' into supporting U.S military exploits (like the ever expanding War on Terror) in their own lands by working through fifth columnists.
Already, the military-industrial-complex has co-opted mass media--one of the most powerful tools used to manipulate the masses--throughout Muslim lands. Two glaring examples are Western puppet Qatar's Al-Jazeera (Former Al-Jazeera Germany correspondent Aktham Suliman: "We at Al-Jazeera were always proud to say: 'We're financed by Qatar, but the state never interferes with our reporting.' Now we suddenly find ourselves in a situation in which our reporting is precisely aligned with Qatari foreign policy.") and Pakistan's Geo News, which was launched by the help of former U.S. Navy officer David Hazinski of Intelligent Media Consultants.
Indeed, more journalists are being prepared to continue this work. USAID Pakistan and National Geographic Society last fall sponsored a "photo camp" for 15 young aspiring journalists from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), which is, ironically, the target of most U.S. drone strikes in that country.
"This USAID-funded photo camp is yet another expression of the United States' commitment to ensuring that the citizens of Pakistan are well informed about the events and policies that affect their daily lives," according to Jock Conly, USAID Mission Director.
Muslims as well as all others struggling to free themselves from imperialist rule must protect themselves from manipulation by: tuning them out.
God: “O Believers, if an unrighteous person comes to you with information, you should verify it or else you might inflict harm on a people in ignorance and then end up regretting what you have done.” (Quran 49: 6)
A study of Islamic history reveals how destructive false propaganda can be in society, especially when it comes from the mouth of "Muslims."
Muawiya, who vehemently opposed the rule of fourth caliph Ali, spread so many lies about Ali from the pulpits that when Ali was martyred in a mosque, people asked: "What was Ali doing in a mosque?" (Even today imperialist/Zionist influence over mosques can be heard loud and clear when imams laud U.S. military operations in Libya and pray for Western-backed rebels in Syria.)
To win the war of words, Muslims must take the lead in countering the lies with the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
"Ultimately, all media is propaganda, and that's not necessarily a bad thing as long as the propaganda corresponds with the truth," says Roshan Muhammad Salih, former head of news in London for Tehran-based Press TV. After Press TV was censored off the air in Europe, America and the Middle East last month, Iran announced it will launch three of its own telecom satellites in the next five years.
In America, Imam Abdul Alim Musa of Masjid Al-Islam in Washington is doing his part by heading the Islamic Institute of Counter Zionist American Psychological Warfare and urging people to promote truth, peace and justice by calling others to God, performing righteous deeds and cultivating friendships with fellow Americans.
"We do not call you to any kind of physical or military confrontation in America," Musa says. "We only ask that you stand up for justice and fair play."
In fact, even one person can make a difference in the battle for truth. While Muawiya succeeded in spreading lies about Ali, when Muawiya's son Yazid tried to do the same against Ali's son Hussain (who gave up his life fighting against the oppression of Yazid), Zainab, daughter of Ali, single-handedly countered the lies by exposing the truth, which has been passed down and inspired people of conscience from generation to generation.
Zainab to the oppressors: "O you deceivers!...You have done that which could tear down the skies, open the earth, and make the mountains vanish...Indeed you have done the ugliest, the most grievous and gruesome deed!"