Tomorrow I’m sure the mainstream media will be abuzz about the fall of the Berlin Wall, echoing old lies and maybe making up some new ones. In anticipation of the onslaught of propaganda coming our way, William Blum, author of Killing Hope, has a wonderful essay over at Counterpunch, “The Fall of the Berlin Wall.” Was the wall built because commies don’t like freedom? Or were there other more compelling reasons?
William Blum does an amazing job describing the lengths the United States went to to discredit and destroy East Germany:
It was a remarkable undertaking. The United States and its agents used explosives, arson, short circuiting, and other methods to damage power stations, shipyards, canals, docks, public buildings, gas stations, public transportation, bridges, etc; they derailed freight trains, seriously injuring workers; burned 12 cars of a freight train and destroyed air pressure hoses of others; used acids to damage vital factory machinery; put sand in the turbine of a factory, bringing it to a standstill; set fire to a tile-producing factory; promoted work slow-downs in factories; killed 7,000 cows of a co-operative dairy through poisoning; added soap to powdered milk destined for East German schools; were in possession, when arrested, of a large quantity of the poison cantharidin with which it was planned to produce poisoned cigarettes to kill leading East Germans; set off stink bombs to disrupt political meetings; attempted to disrupt the World Youth Festival in East Berlin by sending out forged invitations, false promises of free bed and board, false notices of cancellations, etc.; carried out attacks on participants with explosives, firebombs, and tire-puncturing equipment; forged and distributed large quantities of food ration cards to cause confusion, shortages and resentment; sent out forged tax notices and other government directives and documents to foster disorganization and inefficiency within industry and unions … all this and much more. (See Killing Hope, p.400, note 8, for a list of sources for the details of the sabotage and subversion.)
That’s terrorism, but we don’t call it that when we do it. So as the propaganda machine gets into full swing this week take a moment to remind folks just why that wall was built.