Dutch military propaganda, truth and lies

This video is called The Rise of Militarism in Japan – World History.

Like in many other countries, waving the flag of “austerity”, the Dutch government claims there is no money for sick people .. for education … for art … for wildlife conservation … etc.

Apparently, the government does have some money left. Else, there would not have been those big advertisements in free daily paper Metro of 26 November 2013 (and probably in other media as well).

These advertisements are by the government’s Department of War … oh, so sorry, I should use the euphemism Department of Defense.

The title of the advertisement, which I translate here, is: “Why is the Department of Defense still hiring people?”

A good question, as we look at all the cuts and jobs lost in non-war … err… non-“Defense” sectors.

Then, the advertisement answers that question.

“To protect our international trade”.

This sounds like refreshing honesty. No hypocritical neo-conservative or “liberal hawkish” talk about “humanitarian wars“. No whipping up of “patriotic” frenzy that just beyond the Belgian or German borders, enemy armies are supposedly ready to invade the Netherlands. Unlike Tony Blair when he started the Iraq war, no lies about “weapons of mass destruction” supposedly flying from the Middle East to western Europe in 45 minutes.

Instead, honesty about the power of Big Money. When Alan Greenspan in the USA admitted that the Iraq war was largely about oil, he had already retired as George W Bush’s economics czar; so, he could “afford” some more honesty. The president of Germany, Horst Köhler, said similar economic things about the war in Afghanistan. His fellow government politicians did not like that honesty, and forced Köhler to stand down.

However, in the apparently “honest” Department of Defense ad’s first sentence “To protect our international trade”, there is also one lie. The word “our”. Dutch international trade is not controlled by 100% of the people in the Netherlands. It is controlled by, say, 1% of the people. Eg, by multinational corporations like Shell oil, or Philips. It is “their”, not “our” international trade.

The next sentence of the ad says “Helping during conflicts and calamities”. As for “conflicts”: that means Dutch soldiers participating in neo-colonial wars, like in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Mali, etc. Shooting people is hardly “helping”. As for “calamities”: help during disasters like the recent typhoon in the Philippines is now often done by armed forces. Often not for humanitarian, but for military reasons. Also, helping disaster survivors can be done more efficiently by people trained for helping people than for people trained for shooting people.

The advertisement concludes hypocritically: “Because we will always need people standing up for other people. Work for peace and security”. As the satirical Internet page Students for an Orwellian Society in the USA says, this is “Newspeak“, in which “War is Peace”; as novelist George Orwell described in his 1984.

That Internet page quotes George W Bush:

“I just want you to know that, when we talk about war, we’re really talking about peace.” — George W. Bush, 43rd President of the United States

8 thoughts on “Dutch military propaganda, truth and lies

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