War, Truth, Aspirin, and History Television

They fought where they were sent, to bring peace to where there was none.
– History Television’s “Days of Remembrance” commercial.

The 11th of November is approaching. Remembrance Day. I think we are all supposed to remember something, but I’m not entirely sure what it is. Is it that war is bad? Too simplistic. How about, “remember the sacrifice of the soldiers on our side”? Hmmm…that seems to be the consensus – and the sacrifice, we are told, was made in order to “bring peace”.

That’s what the commercial on History Television says. The commercial plays along with life insurance commercials, cosmetics commercials, and car commercials during the airing of the made-for-TV movie We Were Soldiers, starring Mel Gibson; the story of the first American soldiers to fight in the land war in Vietnam in 1965.

The movie spends some time with the wives and families of the American soldiers in order to build up the audience’s sympathy for the US side, but never shows the Vietnamese soldiers hanging out with their families. It instead shows them in their underground bunkers, planning the murder of more Americans. Vietnamese soldiers die quickly; US soldiers die in slow motion. The movie never really gets into why the US invaded Vietnam, how the US rigged elections and installed a puppet government, how the US bombed South Vietnam back to the Stone Age while claiming to defend it, or how the US faked the Gulf of Tonkin incident. Bring peace? As if. Peace left when the French and US imperialist armies arrived, and peace only returned to Vietnam when the US army left.

How about these poppies everyone’s wearing. Where do we get that ritual? The poppies come from the fields of Flanders in Belgium, where Canadians, many from Vancouver, died in the world’s first gas attack. It was April 1915.

The gas was supplied by I.G. Farben, a German chemical cartel headed by Bayer. Bayer also invented Aspirin and Heroin. Heroin is a semi-synthetic made with the opium that comes from poppies. To add to the irony, Bayer also has a monopoly on legal cannabis pharmaceuticals in Canada with their Sativex tincture spray.

Bayer advertises their Aspirin products on History Television. Something tells me we will never see an in-depth discussion of Bayer’s role in war profiteering or Nazi sponsoring or Anthrax weaponizing and Cipro-pushing on History Television.

The simple fact of war – the fact missing from the Remembrance Day ritual and History Television, the most important fact of all – is that war is big business. WWI, WWII, The Vietnam War, The Iraqi and Afghani Wars, The Terror War or The Drug War. These contrived and manufactured conflicts make billions for the likes of Bayer, Exxon, the weapons manufacturers and the banks. These corporations, in turn, own or advertise with the mass media we rely on to teach us the lessons we must learn to evolve beyond war, which is why we never learn these lessons.

It’s bad for The Business of War for the public to understand its true nature. So this year on November 11th, do yourself a favor: turn off History Television, and watch Fahrenheit 9/11 instead, and pay careful attention to the part at the end where they quote George Orwell’s 1984, where we learn that war is used to maintain a hierarchical society.

If you feel really inspired check out my website Potshot.ca. Issue #19 is online and it deals with Bayer and Exxon’s role in starting wars. Or look for a book called The Crime and Punishment of I.G. Farben by Joseph Borkin and help yourself, and your community, learn about the true nature of war.

David Malmo-Levine