Insightful newsletter of Drishtikone: Issue #224 - The Tech Armageddon
The Incubator Babies that never were became the key for US to attack Saddam in 1992. Today, a sitting US Head of State is persona-non-grata within hours. Web of power and lies can do anything!
“You cannot reconcile creativeness with technical achievement. You may be perfect in playing the piano, and not be creative. You may be able to handle color, to put paint on canvas most cleverly, and not be a creative painter...having lost the song, we pursue the singer. We learn from the singer the technique of song, but there is no song, and I say the song is essential, the joy of singing is essential. When the joy is there, the technique can be built up from nothing; you will invent your own technique, you won't have to study elocution or style. When you have, you see, and the very seeing of beauty is an art.” ― Jiddu Krishnamurti
If all your essential supplies - like food or oil - come from another country, then in a time of war, your enemy does not have to kill you. They just need to deprive you of those things by cutting off your access.
In today’s world, with technology and social media as the new opium of the masses as well as the rails on which commerce and currency moves, one who wants to strangle you does not need to go out of his bedroom. He can switch off the access to everything from his bed.
There are no rules. There are no UN debates. As if they mattered. An upstart kid sitting in an office can decide whose digital life to end and poof - he is gone!
Monsters can be created. Wayward idiots can be fashioned as demons extraordinaire. Unleashing scorn from the entire society.
Once such a scenario has been accomplished, then all you need is an outraged crowd with the right phrases fed to them and a way to take the message to every person.
Stories can be created - full of sympathy and pity for the manufactured victims of the targeted person, organization, or even a nation.
And, now we know that when it comes to such machinations, even the world’s most powerful head of state can become a persona non grata within a matter of hours!
This, folks, is the scene of the Tech Armageddon.
Incubator Babies and Trump Sanctions
A group of politicians led by California Democrat Tom Lantos and Illinois Republican John Porter (remember these names we will come back to them in the end) came together on October 10, 1990, to hold a hearing on Capitol Hill. They called the group Congressional Human Rights Caucus. Lantos and Porter were also part of another group called the Congressional Human Rights Foundation. In fact, they were the co-chairs.
This group had a free office space in the Washington DC office of a PR firm called Gill and Knowlton.
That day, an alarming testimony was given by a 15-year old Kuwaiti girl - Nayirah. No one knew her full name. Saddam Hussein, the monster had attacked Kuwait and no one wanted her family to be impacted.
She described in detail, while sobbing, the damage and the monstrosity of Saddam and his troops!
"I volunteered at the al-Addan hospital," Nayirah said. "While I was there, I saw the Iraqi soldiers come into the hospital with guns, and go into the room where ... babies were in incubators. They took the babies out of the incubators, took the incubators, and left the babies on the cold floor to die."(Source)
As she was speaking, her written testimony was being passed out by Citizens for a Free Kuwait to the media.
That “Congressional hearing” was held by the Human Rights Caucus which was not really a committee of Congress.
Why is that important?
That meant you unlike the legal consequences of lying under oath in front of a congressional committee, doing the same against such a Caucus was merely termed as “Public Relations” - PR.
And, that becomes important because Nayirah was no poor Arab girl who witnessed the horrific crimes perpetrated by Saddam’s goons. She was a member of the Kuwaiti Royal Family! Her Dad, Saud Nasir al-Sabah, was Kuwait's Ambassador to the US.
About the Citizens for a Free Kuwait, the group which had shared Nayirah’s written testimony with the media on October 10th. They were a PR group which got millions from the Kuwaiti Royal family to nail Saddam. Oh, and the PR company whose DC office the two Congressmen were using for their own little organization? That was hired by the Kuwaiti royal family as well.
Hill & Knowlton, then the world's largest PR firm, served as mastermind for the Kuwaiti campaign. Its activities alone would have constituted the largest foreign-funded campaign ever aimed at manipulating American public opinion. By law, the Foreign Agents Registration Act should have exposed this propaganda campaign to the American people, but the Justice Department chose not to enforce it. Nine days after Saddam's army marched into Kuwait, the Emir's government agreed to fund a contract under which Hill & Knowlton would represent "Citizens for a Free Kuwait," a classic PR front group designed to hide the real role of the Kuwaiti government and its collusion with the Bush administration. Over the next six months, the Kuwaiti government channeled $11.9 million dollars to Citizens for a Free Kuwait, whose only other funding totalled $17,861 from 78 individuals. Virtually all of CFK's budget -- $10.8 million -- went to Hill & Knowlton in the form of fees. (Source)
With this elaborate set-up and public opinion creation exercise, the monsterization of Saddam was complete.
The “babies out of incubators” story from the Kuwaiti plant became the main phrase in every media outlet and used to describe Saddam’s monstrosity.
And, all this paved the way for the attack on Iraq.
On November 29, 1990, the UN authorized use of "all means necessary" to eject Iraq from Kuwait. On January 12, 1991, Congress authorized the use of force. (Source)
No one in the media had checked any of those lies. No one in the public even questioned if what the PR companies and their lackeys - the US Congressmen - were even telling the truth?
The stage was set for lies to show as the facts and those lies-as-facts were repeated ad nauseum to make them the Truth.
And, Iraq was attacked almost in the fashion of a video game war by Bush Sr.
A strategy that was repeated yet again by Bush Jr to completely finish Iraq and Saddam Hussein after 9-11.
Still, no one gave a rat’s arse about the facts.
To finish a country, any country, even an erstwhile close ally - as Saddam was of Bush administration before he decided to attack Kuwait - is that easy.
Lies can be fabricated. Tomes on monstrosities can be created and an entire nation can be razed to dust with everyone applauding at the generosity of the perpetrator.
This week, the Russian spokeswoman equated the blocking of Donald Trump by Social media tech giants to a nuclear explosion. (Source)
Let’s just leave out the jibes about Russia backing Trump out for a moment and focus on this comment.
How important is it?
Well, it has started a chain reaction where Trump is the greatest political and racist monster in the country and so needs to be purged from everywhere. These companies have either suspended Trump or anyone who remotely supported him in the last one week. (Source and Source)
- Snapchat, YouTube, Twitch, Reddit and Twitter have suspended Trump from their platforms
- Online payment platforms Paypal and Stripe will no longer process payments for Mr. Trump’s campaign website
- Shopifyclosed two online stores tied to Trump
- JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, BlackRock, Bank of America and Wells Fargo said they suspended donations through their PACs.
- Morgan Stanley said it suspended contributions to members of Congress who voted against certifying the results of the election
- Deutsche Bank, which has been Mr. Trump’s primary lender for two decades, and Signature Bank, are also seeking distance from him and his business. Deutsche Bank has decided not to do business with Mr. Trump or his company in the future, according to a person familiar with the bank’s thinking.
- Visa temporarily suspended all its political donations through its PAC as it reviews its candidate contribution guidelines, a spokesman said.
- American Express and Mastercard said they had suspended political contributions to politicians who had tried to block the certification of the election results
Whether he is a monstrous and racist villain or not is not what we want to discuss here. We want to look at the extent of damage that can be done if it is “proved” in the media, and loudly enough, that someone is a monster.
Just look at the situation for what it is:
The US establishment has put sanctions on their own sitting President! And the corporations have followed suit.
From social media companies to web hosting companies to email services to banks and the credit card payment rails like Visa, Mastercard and Paypal have basically taken Trump out of the system.
The last ones are the most important.
In our earlier newsletter edition, we had discussed how the UPI system that was laid out by the Indian government had basically beaten the Visa and Mastercard payment rails so spectacularly in India. (Issue #215 - The UPI/RuPay Juggernaut)
In the new world of digital currency being the dominant force - Cash is not what runs the economies. Payment rails - like Visa, Mastercard, Paypal, etc - do!
So now for some simple truth. (Source)
What can they do for outsiders?
If these companies can put sanctions on their own sitting Head of State, imagine what they can do with another state whose Head of State is hit by the “Incubator Babies" scheme?
Here is an example.
Crimeans lost the ability to use Visa and MasterCard cards after the annexation. They were not accepted in shops and did not work in the ATMs. Visa and MasterCard announced they were terminating services in Crimea in December 2015. The money transfer service PayPal also terminated operations in the occupied peninsula. After Visa and MasterCard ceased operations on the peninsula, and any kind of card payments became impossible, Crimeans started to think up various schemes to facilitate cash transfers. (Source)
Not that what Russia did to Crimea was a good thing. But since when was an invasion of another nation such a big issue for the US and its corporations?
The payment rails were taken out of the whole region.
Now factor in the Crypto Wars.
The Crypto Wars is an unofficial name for the U.S. and allied governments' attempts to limit the public's and foreign nations' access to cryptography strong enough to resist decryption by national intelligence agencies (especially USA's NSA). (Source)
Do you see how scary, comprehensive, and easy it is for the US “establishment” to bring an entire nation along with its leadership down to its knees?
Now imagine this scenario against India or Israel.
- The US establishment does not like one Head of State.
- They do a Saddam on him with complete “Incubator Babies” bait along with the media, PR, and Human RIghts Caucus-lies moves.
- To commit that country in that situation, the government is forced to act against a terror or other brazen attack against it.
- The sanctions - from the banishment of top corporate entities in that nation from the Cloud to Payment Rails to Net Security infrastructure is done within a couple of days.
- The entire nation’s economy is brought to the knees because the small and medium enterprises are enslaved to Amazon and Google.
- The country-wide wifi from Google is shut down and internet services are in trouble. Cryptographically, the country is vulnerable.
- At this point, an internal siege and attack from sleeper cells and compromised political powers can be activated.
- Within days.. not weeks or months - the whole nation is devastated and the Head of state can be “eliminated.”
Read the above again.
Now, think back to the anti-CAA protests and the resolutions in US cities against India. Add the anti-Article 370 protests, articles and the PR campaigns. And these hearings where Aarti Tikoo Singh (Source) and Sunanda Vashisht (Source) were hounded. The latter one was incidentally the Lantos Human Rights Committee - which was founded as the Human Right Caucus by Lantos and Porter. (Source) The infamous “Incubator Babies” PR duo!
Now come to the so-called Farm Protests and the swagger of Pakistan even when things are going kaput for them. Do you see that actions have already started in the last few years?
What should India do?
Building the entire IndiaStack was the first step.
The payment rails are out of the way as is the mechanism to unleash a nation-wide measure at a moment’s notice via Aadhar.
The next step - do a China. There is absolutely no need to create any new pathbreaking featured applications. Clone them and link them to Aadhar.
Final step - shut down the access to other apps. Completely.
market corner: 10 quick bytes
- Adani Enterprises wins Rs 1,838-cr highway project from NHAI in Kerala. The project, under hybrid annuity mode (HAM), is a part of Bharatmala Pariyojna. - more
- Mother Dairy expands packaged sweets portfolio, aims ₹100cr revenue in 2-3 years - more
- The CEO of Unilever, one of the UK's biggest companies, has said that its employees will never return to working from their desk five days a week anymore - more
- Bengaluru world's fastest-growing tech hub, London 2nd, Mumbai at 6th position - more
- Employee State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) too may be allowed to invest 15% of the corpus in mutual funds, stocks - more
- Kerala accounts for 30% of India's active Covid cases, has the worst recovery rate - more
- Y Combinator-backed Drip Capital crosses $1 billion milestones in trade financing for small businesses - more
- Non-life insurers see around 12% growth in December premiums - more
- Joe Biden to unveil plan to pump $1.5 trillion into the pandemic-hit economy - more
- India's automobile exports drop 18.87 pc in 2020 as per the latest figures by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) - more
Bhupinder Singh Mann, one of the four experts who was nominated by the Supreme Court for negotiations with farmers, is allegedly receiving threats from Canada after recusing himself from the SC-appointed panel. Mann, who is the president of the Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU), said on Thursday that he is recusing himself from the panel. (Source)
During COVID-19. many users are facing a cash crunch. Taking advantage of people's compulsion to make fast money, Chinese apps have siphoned off money to the tune of Rs 21 thousand crores. Meanwhile, Google has removed some lending apps aimed at consumers in India from Play Store in an attempt to safeguard users, it said in a blog post on Thursday. Alphabet Inc`s Google has removed some lending apps aimed at consumers in India from Play Store in an attempt to safeguard users, it said in a blog post on Thursday. (Source)
SpiceHealth, CSIR-IGIB launch genome sequencing lab at Delhi airport to ensure early action against new variants of coronavirus that have emerged in countries like the UK. Samples of all international passengers, who undergo RT-PCR test on arrival at the Delhi airport and are found positive, will be sent to this genome sequencing lab. (Source)
India’s first indigenous 9 mm Machine Pistol “ASMI” has been developed by a young officer from Infantry School, Mhow with assistance from Defence Research and Development’s (DRDO) Armament Research & Development Establishment (ARDE), Pune. Developed in a record time of four months by Lt Col Prasad Bansod, the weapon has the capability of firing the in-service 9 mm ammunition. (Source)
Asserting that the made-in-India light combat aircraft Tejas is far better and advanced than the Chinese-Pakistani JF-17 fighter jets, Air Force chief RKS Bhadauria on Thursday said the latest Indian jet would be better equipped to carry out Balakot-type airstrikes. (Source)
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on January 14 said he has allowed reopening of poultry markets and withdrawn orders that restricted trade and import of chicken stock. This came after samples taken from poultry markets in New Delhi tested negative for Bird Flu. (Source)
video corner: Selling a War
“To Sell A War - Gulf War Propaganda” was a documentary that aired in December 1992. It was part of the CBC program the fifth estate. The program was directed by Martyn Gregory and produced by Neil Docherty.
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