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Opinion Editorials, February 2010


The Disastrous Power Elite Tunnel Vision, to Which a Population Is Indoctrinated

A Lecture Outline

By Dr. Hassan El-Najjar

Editor of Al-Jazeerah & ccun.org

February 22, 2010


The following is an outline of a lecture, which also includes links to resources, photos, and maps, provided for the use of researchers, peace activists, journalists, and readers.


I. Groupthink:

As a sociological term coined by Irving Janis (1972), it refers to the narrowing of thought by a group of people, leading to the perception that there is only one correct answer, in which to even suggest alternatives becomes a sign of disloyalty.

1. Examples of Groupthink from US history:

   a. Pearl Harbor attack, in 1941.

   b. Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba, 1961.

   c. Reports of Vietnamese strength, early 1960s.

   d. Colombia space shuttle disaster of 2003.

   e. Invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003. 

2. Consequences of Indoctrinating a nation to its Power Elite Groupthink

- The ruling class makes sure that the population under its control is indoctrinated to loyalty to their government and its policies, particularly those with long-term effects, such as wars.

- Because of indoctrination of loyalty to government no matter what it does, people become indifferent and numb towards wars launched by their government.

- Disasters and calamities befall on their heads and on other nations.

Examples from 20th century:

   a. Populations of Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and Imperialist Japan

   b. Populations of the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics

Examples from 21st century:

Indoctrination of the U.S. population about:

a.  The U.S. Invasion & Occupation of Iraq 

b. The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict



II. Dehumanization as a requirement of forming Groupthink about the enemy, in preparation for war

1. Definition: The act or process of reducing people to objects that do not deserve the treatment accorded humans (Henslin, 2007).

2. Example: "Terrorism" & "Islamo-Fascism" Propaganda Campaigns A Lecture, photos, references



III. How & why does it happen?

"War is the only solution for the world problems"

The dominant GROUPTHINK tunnel-vision view is that the US is involved in all of these wars around the world because there is something wrong with these people ... their religion, militancy, and terrorism.

An objective investigation shows that US wars are sought by the ruling class as the only way to control the world human and natural resources.


Explaining US "Permanent War" Policies:

1. The alliance between top political, military, and business leaders

    a. The Power Elite Theory of C. Wright Mills 

   b. The acknowledgement of and warning against the military-industrial

        complex by President Eisenhower in his Farewell Address): 


"A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be might, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction. . . .

American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. . . .

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. . . .Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. . . .

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist."


2. Ownership and control of the corporate mass media by the Power Elite

     (Major TV stations, newspapers, magazines, and publishing houses):

    a. The functional and conflict sociological theories

   b. Who owns the corporate mass media in the US? 

             Global media giants: Who own them and what is their goal?





IV. Explanation of war in relation to the historical evolution of capitalism

1. Mercantilism (Sponsoring explorations for trade): 16th Century

2. Colonialism (Establishing colonies in the New World): 17th-18th

3. Imperialism (Invasions and occupation for resources): 19th-20th Centuries

4. Neo-Imperialism (International debts & multi-national corporations): Late 20th Century & 21st Century. 




V. The Empire Paradigm

In every historical era, few empires compete globally for control over human and natural resources until one is dominant. Then, it is challenged by an emerging empire. Empires last from few decades to several centuries, depending on several internal and external factors.

1. Historical sequence of major world empires


a. Ancient Egyptian (3,500 BC) and Iraqi (Babylon 1,800 BC) Empires in the Middle East

b. Greek world Empire (400-300 BC), from Greece to Egypt, to India

c. Roman Mediterranean Empire (200 BC to 600 AD), coastal Mediterranean regions

d. Arab-Islamic Empire (632-1254), Spain, North Africa, Middle East, to borders of India and China (Arab Spain continued to 1492)

e. Mongol Empire (1200-1500), from China to the Middle East

f. Ottoman Empire (1500-1918), Turkey, Eastern Europe, & the Middle East

g. European Empires, mainly Spanish, Portuguese, British, and French empires (1492-1945), dividing all continents among themselves

h. Soviet Empire (1917-1989), Russia, Central Asia, & Eastern Europe

 i. American World Empire, competing with the Soviet Union for world dominance (1945-1989), then the only world-wide empire (1989-2010)

 j. Emerging World Empire following the ultimate financial collapse of the American Empire due to permanent wars and the resulting astronomical national debt ($12.3 trillion, as of February 2010).

Contenders are China, Europe, & who else?

Or maybe a multi-empire world system?


2. Stages of the development of an empire (Bin Khaldoun, 14th Century)

a. Overthrow of an existing regime

b. Expansion (By war: Conquest, invasion, occupation, and subjugation)

c. Contentment and glory

d. Corruption and decay

e. Fall and displacement by an emerging empire

Note: Stages b, c, & d overlap.



VI. A historical survey of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, as an example of GROUPTHINK.

A brief historical survey of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict shows that Israelis invaded Palestine during the first half of the 20th century, with help from Britain.

They dispossessed the Palestinian people in 1948, evicting them from their cities and villages and turning them into refugees.

Instead of helping the victim indigenous population, the European and United States governments have not stopped their financial, economic, and military aid to the Israelis.

Citizens of Europe and the US have been indoctrinated to the views of their governments towards the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.


VII. Conclusion: The Way Out

The way out is democracy, more participation of the masses in politics. The dictatorship and tyranny of the Power Elite can only come to an end with the large entry to governance by the middle and working classes.

Only then, the GROUPTHINK of the Power Elite, can be replaced with a broad arena of diversity of opinions and views of the world.

More political parties need to emerge representing the middle and working classes, with their grassroots institutions and their mass media.

A culture of tolerance to dissent and different opinions should be encouraged and celebrated in all levels of education, work, and political decision-making.

It's time to have a government which truly represents the pluralistic and multi-cultural society it is supposed to represent.



- Here's the conflict historical survey:


Palestinian Rights  


Palestinian-Israeli Conflict Maps

Source: http://www.miftah.org/Maps.cfm

1. Sykes-Picot Agreement, 1916

2. Zionist colonies in Palestine at the beginning of the British Mandate, 1920

3. Palestine under the British Mandate, 1923-1948

4. Distribution of population (Palestinian and Jewish) by subdistrict, 1946

5. Landownership in Palestine and the UN Partition Plan, 1947 & 1948 Depopulation of Palestinian Areas

6. Zionist Military Operations Outside the UN-proposed Jewish State, 1 April 1948 - 15 May 1948

7. United Nations Partition Plan-UN Resolution 181, 1947 / Rhodes Armistice

8. The Rhodes Armistice Line, 1949

Palestinian Refugees: UNWRA Refugee Camps

9. The Near East after the 1967 June War

10. Oslo II, 1995

11. Wye Memorandum, 1998

12. Projection of the West Bank Final Status Map presented by Israel, Camp David, July 2000

13. Israeli Check Points - West Bank (2002)

14. West Bank map pointing out Israeli build up areas and settlements

15. April 2004 - updated map of the Illegal Israeli Apartheid, Land-Grab Wall

16. Israeli Apartheid, Land-Grab Wall Overview

17. The Illegal Israeli Apartheid, Land-Grab Wall in the Palestinian occupied territory of the West Bank - 2008

- Photos of Israeli war crimes against the Palestinian people:

Gaza (December 27, 2008-January 19, 2009):

31 December 2008 News Photos

28-30 December 2008 News Photos

27-29 December 2008 News Photos

27-28 December 2008 News Photos
6 January 2009 News Photos

5 January 2009 News Photos

4 January 2009 News Photos

3 January 2009 News Photos

.2 January 2009 News Photos

1 January 2009 News Photos
13 January 2009 News Photos

12 January 2009 News Photos

11 January 2009 News Photos

9 January 2009 News Photos

8 January 2009 News Photos

7 January 2009 News Photos
19 January 2009 News Photos

18 January 2009 News Photos

17 January 2009 News Photos

16 January 2009 News Photos

15 January 2009 News Photos

14 January 2009 News Photos




Civilizations and Empires

Empire Timeframe Area Capital
Sumers XXXVI BC - XX BC Mesopotamia Ur
Egyptians XXXV BC - VI BC Egypt, Sudan, Palestine Thebes
Elamites XXVIII BC - VII BC Persia Elam
Minoans XXVI BC - XV BC Crete Knossos
China XXIII BC - now China Xian
Assyria XX BC - VII BC Mesopotamia Ninive
Babylon XVIII BC - VI BC Mesopotamia to Egypt Babylon
Hittites XVII BC - XIII Turkey, Palestine, Egypt Hattusa
Achemenids XVII BC - XII BC Greece Mycenae
Phoenicians XII BC - VIII BC Mediterranean Tyro
Greece XII BC - IV BC Greece, Italy, Turkey Athens
Persia IX BC - IV BC Egypt to Iran Persepolis
Rome VIII BC - V AD Portugal to Syria Rome
Macedonia IV BC - IV BC Egypt to north India Alexandria
Seleucids IV BC - I BC Turkey to Afghanistan Antioch
Bactria III BC - II BC Afghanistan to India Sogdiana
Maurya IV BC - II BC India Patna
Parthia III BC - III AD Turkmenistan, Iran Nisa
Sassanids III AD - VII AD Persia Ctesiphon
Japan I AD - XX AD Japan, Korea Nara
Byzanthium V AD - XV AD Turkey to north Africa Constantinople
France V AD - XX AD west Europe
north Africa
Arabs VII AD - XV AD Iran to Spain Baghdad
Vikings IX AD - XII AD Scandinavia to Britain Oslo
Spain IX AD - XX AD Spain, South America Madrid
Maya IX AD - XV AD Central America Tikal
Khmer IX AD - XV AD Indochina Angkor
Russia X AD - now Russia to Siberia Kiev
Poland X AD - XVII AD Poland, west Russia Kracow
Britain X AD - XX AD India, north America
Africa, Australia
Mongols XIII AD - XV AD China to Middle East Karakorum
Ottomans XIV AD - XX AD Egypt to Mesopotamia Istanbul
Aztec XIV AD - XV AD Mexico Tenochtitlan
Inca XV AD - XVI AD Southwest America Cuzco
Mogul XV AD - XVIII AD Afghanistan, north India Delhi
USA XIX AD - now north America Washington


Classical Music
Ancient Literature
Modern Fiction
Modern Poetry

Source: http://www.scaruffi.com/politics/worldhis.html