March 7, 2012
This may sound somewhat obvious, but I would argue that this is a fundamental sticking-point when discussing such matters, as it is difficult to link individuals to the antisocial and unethical actions they perpetrate [1:2] without a historically accurate point of reference.
For example, when discussing matters such as the proposal that 9/11 may have been initiated by our ‘leaders’ , I find that people quite often respond with the simple question 'why?', as it seems absurd to think that our 'leaders' would do something quite so inhuman and immoral for some sort of political gain. I will not attempt here to go into what their motives were, but rather into why it is that we, the general public, rarely remember the lessons of the past and continue to be misled about the circumstances leading to each and every conflict.
At this juncture I would suggest that the reader check out an article by John Pilger entitled 'Our children are learning lies' in which he clearly sets out several examples of how we are taught about an historic event at school and how this information will in turn have a direct effect on the formation of our future perceptions of the world 
Unfortunately, this information can all too often bear little or no relation to the actual event (Pilger uses Vietnam as a prime illustration of this), because the language and information used to teach us essentially pre-programs our comprehension of future warfare, automatically predisposing us to whichever side has been identified as the 'goodies' while creating a vested dislike or even hatred of the 'baddies'
It says that under the 1954 Geneva Accord: 'Vietnam was partitioned into communist north and democratic south.' In one sentence, truth is dispatched. The final declaration of the Geneva conference divided Vietnam 'temporarily' until free national elections were held on 26 July 1956. There was little doubt that Ho Chi Minh would win and form Vietnam's first democratically elected government. Certainly, President Eisenhower was in no doubt of this. 'I have never talked with a person knowledgeable in Indo-Chinese affairs,' he wrote, 'who did not agree that . . . 80 per cent of the population would have voted for the communist Ho Chi Minh as their leader.'Not only did the United States refuse to allow the UN to administer the agreed elections two years later, but the 'democratic' regime in the south was an invention. One of the inventors, the CIA official Ralph McGehee, describes in his masterly book Deadly Deceits how a brutal expatriate mandarin, Ngo Dinh Diem, was imported from New Jersey to be 'president' and a fake government was put in place. 'The CIA,' he wrote, 'was ordered to sustain that illusion through propaganda [placed in the media].'
Phony elections were arranged, hailed in the west as 'free and fair', with American officials fabricating 'an 83 per cent turnout despite Vietcong terror'. The GCSE guide alludes to none of this, nor that 'the terrorists', whom the Americans called the Vietcong, were also southern Vietnamese defending their homeland against the American invasion and whose resistance was popular. For Vietnam, read Iraq. ~ Extract from 'Our children are learning lies' by John Pilger 
You don’t have to look far to find similar examples of this subversive reinvention of recent history ~ simply look at how Hamas has been marginalized despite winning a clear majority in the Palestinian legislative election of 2006. 
Hamas was not 'permitted' to govern, despite winning the overall support of the Palestinian people, due to their not having the same agenda as the policy makers in Washington. That is not to say that we should agree with all Hamas policies (or anyone else’s, for that matter), but that we should at least respect the fact that the Palestinian people, through seemingly fair elections, have chosen their own government.
The Americans evidently did not: they swiftly imposed sanctions and withheld aid from the Palestinian Authority in protest at the audacity of the Palestinians voting for an anti-American party .
According to the words of former Republican Presidential hopeful, Newt Gingrich, the Palestinians are an "invented people" and are merely part of the larger Arab community, despite the fact that each Middle Eastern country has its own form of Arabic language and customs .
It could be argued that these types of statement serve to de-legitimize any section of society. Looking at history, this stratagem has been used as an excuse for ethnic cleansing, whether it be the United States in their treatment of Native Americans in the 19th Century; or 1930s Germany rounding up of the mentally ill, homosexuals, Jews and any other so-called undesirables; or the genocides in Bosnia or Rwanda in the 1990s ~ all the way through to Australia's expunging of aboriginal culture during the first half of the 20th Century.
To say that Palestinians are not a people is evidently to completely ignore the reality of their current political situation. Very few countries have the same boundaries as they did 200 years ago, so it can be reasonably argued that the Palestinians who reside in the “occupied territories” are on the land of their forefathers and have every right to be there. Claiming that they are part of the larger Arab community and not a people is to imply that no Arab country is sovereign unto itself; something that would certainly be disputed on talking to most Moroccans, Saudis or Jordanians.
Let us not forget that although the Israeli nation is intrinsically a modern construct, this doesn't mean that the Israeli people don't have a sense of nationhood or national culture; they evidently do.
For further examples of this duplicity, we could briefly consider the undermining of Daniel Ortega as leader of Nicaragua, and the deposition of Mohammad Mosaddegh as Prime Minister of Iran.
'It is a weird irony that Iranians know the history of Anglo-Persian relations better than the Brits'  This is something worth thinking about when looking at current Western-Iranian relations.
However, it is my belief that the situation is more dangerous than this, as noted at the start of this article. It is precisely this lack of information that prevents the general public from making informed decisions on a whole range of current areas of controversy ~ be it Iran, Syria, Libya or Sudan.
"No schooling was allowed to interfere with my education.” 
George Santayana wrote 'Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it' .
Might there be something more sinister at work in the world today?
All the information is still freely available and out there on the Web or in books for anyone who cares to know. It's up to each one of us to find out everything we can so that we can understand the realities behind global and national policy making, thus enabling us to make informed and rational commentary and contributions to society.
This is where a revolution in thinking should start. This is where the morally “repugnant" elite control structure should end. 
MICHAEL PARENTI AND THE STRUGGLE FOR HISTORY
END-NOTES AND FURTHER READING:
Note: this quote (or variation of) is also sometimes attributed to Mark Twain [http://quoteinvestigator.com/2010/09/25/schooling-vs-education/]
17 - http://www.h-net.org/~hst306/documents/indust.html
Andrew Fell lives in the Czech Republic and is a lecturer of English at a Social Work College in Prague. He has a keen interest in geo-politics, ethics, history, cooking and playing music. He can usually be found armed with a smile, sipping a cup of tea at a čajovna in Prague.