Opinion by Helge Nome
The recent agreement between Presidents Medvedev and Obama to limit the number of nuclear warheads in their arsenals was touted as a great step forwards towards nuclear disarmament by the mainstream media. Both men where hailed as heroes who have the best interests of humankind at heart.
Now, for the other side of the story: Both the US and Russia have a surplus of useless and antiquated nuclear warheads that can only be described as a headache for both governments. So, why not make some political hay out of their destruction? They need to be disposed of anyway. Both presidents, being the political animals they are, thought this would be a win-win for everybody and went ahead with the exercise. After all, they both have enough modern warheads to clobber each other, and us, many times over.
The troubling and educational component of this exercise is the willingness of the mainstream media to go along and help pull the wool over the eyes of the people of both nations and beyond. And the utter cynicism of the two leaders in playing their little game set up by their respective strategic advisers.
We should also be troubled by the unquestioning acceptance of this kind of “information” by the general population. It goes to show you how easy it is to lead the majority of people by the nose if you control the information fed to them in their daily dose of “news”.
Now, let’s look at a place where manipulation of the public mind has been taken to its logical end goal: The worship of a person. The following is taken from Wikipedia:
“Kim Jong-il is the centre of an elaborate personality cult inherited from his father and founder of the DPRK, Kim Il-sung. Defectors have been quoted as saying that North Korean schools deify both father and son. He is often the centre of attention throughout ordinary life in the DPRK. His birthday is one of the most important public holidays in the country. On his 60th birthday (based on his official date of birth), mass celebrations occurred throughout the country on the occasion of his Hwangap. Many North Koreans believe that he has the "magical" ability to "control the weather" based on his mood.”
Meanwhile, most North Koreans live in abject poverty next door to their southern brothers and sisters that have a booming industrial economy. The main difference between the two nations, the public mindset, dramatically demonstrates the importance of this factor in shaping a nation. And, as noted above, we regrettably are only too willing to be led by the nose down the garden path without bothering to question the motives of those that lead us. History provides a crystal clear answer to such a question: The leader and his tribe will always benefit at the expense of the followers.