Who’s A Presstitute?


Paul Craig Roberts

Rainy Night in Georgia…

William Annett Global News Centre

(DAYTONA BEACH)  My neighbor Warren is pretty smart, being a physician and all, but he’s not very big on defending the freedoms we all hold dear. I mean, just the other day over the back fence, he was talking like a fellow-traveler, as we used to say back in Joe McCarthy’s hey-day.

“We’re always hearing about threats from the rest of the world,” Warren said, fingering his stethoscope, which he always wears, even when he’s pulling weeds. “I think the greatest threats are right here at home.”

“Whatever do you mean?” I responded.

So he dished into something he just read by Paul Craig Roberts, who’s a former Treasury Secretary, so you’d think he’d know better, about how the war drums are being beaten in Washington and how the media aren’t helping any. In fact, according to Warren, and in turn according to Roberts, he (Roberts) calls the media “presstitutes,” which I think is a rotten shame. After all, I told Warren, they’re just doing their job.

“So are all the other streetwalkers,” Warren said. “except in this case, it’s all the rest of us who are getting screwed.”

“What threats are you talking about?” I asked.

“Well, remember the way the Bush (Doubleya) Administration scared us like a bunch of rabbits about Saddam Hussein and his Weapons of Mass Destruction? Well, it turned out there weren’t any, and now 14 years later, having trashed that country, cost 5,000 G.I. lives, hundreds of thousands of Iraquis and a trillion or so American dollars, they’re scaring us about Iran, which is possibly trying to assemble one nuclear warhead with which to devastate our (and the Russians’) thousands of nuclear warheads.

And who is Congress listening to as an honored guest? Bibi Netanyahu, who is saying, like, ‘let’s you and them fight.’”

“What are you – anti-Semitic or something?”

“That’s just a side issue to the main threat, according to Roberts. You don’t hear any of the security agencies – of which there are so many that nobody, even Obama, really knows for sure how many there are – warning us or scaring us about the real threat.”

“And what might that be?” I scoffed, “electing Hillary in 2016?”

“Close,” said Warren, twitching his stethoscope. “No, the big threat these days, according to Paul Craig Roberts, is the current demonization of Putin in particular and Russia in general.”

“Yay!” I cheered. “it’s about time we put the Russkies in their place.”

“You sound like a Vietnam-era draft board. I’m old enough to remember how – after the Soviets killed three times the Germans that we did, while we bragged about D-Day and Patton and liberating Europe – in 1946 we suddenly swung the propaganda machine around and decided the real threat was the spread of Communism. That was the big Washington threat in those days.”

“The glory days,” I mused. “Ronnie Reagan and ‘the evil empire’.”

Warren wasn’t listening. “Roberts cited a recent CNN news program choreographed by Wolf Blitzer, producing a propaganda performance right out of the Third Reich, portraying Russia as a huge aggressive military threat – accompanied by startling graffics such as exploding missiles, interspersed with highly decorated Pentagon four-star Blimps, urging a more aggressive deployment against the “Russian threat.”

Good for Wolf Blitzer, I say,” I said.

“Roberts has it right when he says that the mainstream media, have collectively been transformed into a Ministry of Propaganda.”

“That’s leftie talk, Warren,” I warned. “As we used to say in Flatbush, what are you, a Communist or a boy scout?”

“Roberts maintains that the U.S., in its foreign policy, has a long history of preferring to work with tyrants and criminals since their motivations are predictable and their actions consistent. They’re always our staunch allies as long as we’re juicing them with money and armaments. Like the Israeli Model – they’ll never desert us as long as we pay the piper.

“Saakashvili is a perfect example of the Israeli Model, rendering his bailiwick as a lackey of the US before abandoning the political arena. So the coup takes place and the political mercenaries move into the post Kiev coup government. As for Georgia, the American public think he’s talking about the area between Atlanta and Savannah, and couldn’t care less. A rainy night in Georgia, indeed.”

“Well, you got that right,” I agreed. “The same sweet song keeps Georgia on my mind, and as far as Putin’s aggression is concerned, I couldn’t tell a Georgian from Hoagy Carmichael.”

“So, the American public haven’t a clue – and care less – over the level of foreign aggression we’re involved in, which has little to do with Presidential or Congressional changes. Obama is basically following Doubleya’s footsteps.”

“What better mentor?” I shrugged. “Unless it could be John McCain.”

“There’s the NATO tradition, a thinly veiled alliance, mainly useful as a protector of U.S. interests. And then of course there’s the notion of The American Empire, which is really what the whole schtick is about.”

“You lost me there, Warren,” I said. “What American Empire?”

“Where do you want me to start?” It was clear Warren had been doing some reading, at least beyond the medical journals. “Forget how NATO was originally formed. Today being a NATO ally merely means what choice they make of arms suppliers in addition to the vagaries of what individual members’ defensive needs are. The historical deal and the clear and present danger is and was the potential Russian threat, with the understanding that including U.S. forces in any NATO force would be a more effective deterrent and operational force than an EU army alone. A case of content, and the clout that goes along with it.

“Washington’s propaganda spread by the presstitutes is the most irresponsible act in human history. Reagan and Gorbachev reluctantly removed the threat of nuclear war, but the crazed neoconservatives and their media whores are busy bringing it back.”

“You’re getting all this from Paul Craig Roberts,” I suggested.

“Somewhat,” Warren returned, “but it requires no rocket scientist to determine that Washington’s propaganda attack on Russia and Vladimir Putin is a dead ringer for their less recent attacks on Afghanistan and Osama bin Laden, Iraq and Saddam Hussein, Libya and Gaddafi. This tends to suggest that Washington intends to attack Russia sooner or later.”

“Only if Putin is a real threat,” I threatened.

“It’s the whole neocon strategy and echoes the dreams of the American Empire, U.S. world hegemony supported by the unbridled greed of American corporations to control the resources of the world.”

“Oh come now, Warren,” I said. “There is no American Empire.”

“The British empire enslaved most of the globe, sending out from their crappy little island the British Navy, the royal Marines and armies of press-ganged cockneys who overpowered indigneous people and controlled most of the world, extracting whateve natural resources were availablr, the leverage of which on this little island enabled them to control the globe for 600 years. The American Empire is vastluy more subtle, but legions more effective, because we lever other people to do the heavy lifting for us. For a scant 5,000 G.I. lives and a trillion dollars or so, we were able to get a strangle -hold on the Middle East, set up our puppet governments – as we have done throughout both hemispheres – and so cream off all the resources – mostly oil – se require. Anone who opposes our libelous creation of democracy to make the world safe for McDonalds and Halliburton, we call terrorists and Drone and Stealth Bomber them to death.”

“Warren, you’re ranting. I don’t believe this.”

“Of course you don’t,” Warren replied, with a flip of his stethoscope. “And because most of us agree with you in your mild-mannered disbelief, CNN has a ready audience. And the presstitutes will continue to work the streets.”

“What you say is demeaning to women.” I offered.

“That’s why nobody makes the comparison,” Warren said, and returned to his pulling weeds. I could have reminded him that Monsanto has a product that could save him time, but that’s another story.


Bill Annett grew up a writing brat; his father, Ross Annett, at a time when Scott Fitzgerald and P.G. Wodehouse were regular contributors, wrote the longest series of short stories in the Saturday Evening Post’s history, with the sole exception of the unsinkable Tugboat Annie.

At 18, Bill’s first short story was included in the anthology “Canadian Short Stories.” Alarmed, his father enrolled Bill in law school in Manitoba to ensure his going straight. For a time, it worked, although Bill did an arabesque into an English major, followed, logically, by corporation finance, investment banking and business administration at NYU and the Wharton School. He added G.I. education in the Army’s CID at Fort Dix, New Jersey during the Korean altercation.

He also contributed to The American Banker and Venture in New York, INC. in Boston, the International Mining Journal in London, Hong Kong Business, Financial Times and Financial Post in Toronto.

Bill has written six books, including a page-turner on mutual funds, a send-up on the securities industry, three corporate histories and a novel, the latter no doubt inspired by his current occupation in Daytona Beach as a law-abiding beach comber.

You can write to Bill Annett at this address: hoople84@gmail.com


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