“What is liberty if it is accompanied with vast propaganda?”
“What is democracy when governments pursue actions in direct opposition of the will of the people?”
So let me hitch-hike on these ideas for a while, and hopefully I will have met Butch’s criterion for being a blog member on his site ….
GNN and CommonDreams reported the other day that 50% of Americans believe today that Iraq did, in fact, possess WMD’s, thus justifying the 2003 US invasion and current occupation. Never mind that NO WMD’s were found, the poll suggested that 50% of Americans believed that they were found there.
One of the many arguments given to the American sheople pre-war was that Iraq had WMD’s and intended to use them against the US. Well none were found. Another argument offered was that Saddam Hussein was in violation of UN resolutions, therefore the US had the unique right to invade the country and make him comply. This was an interesting argument because the measure went to the UN and the UN voted to pursue diplomatic means to resolve the problem, effectively vetoing the US’s intentions of pre-emption. But the US invaded anyway. In retrospect, the US defied the will of the UN to punish Saddam Hussein for being in non-compliance with the UN …. Never mind that Israel has historically defied more UN resolutions than any other member country. Israel is still in defiance of UN 242, and this is a resolution which is almost 40 years old. A third argument meant to hammer the point home was the that US should free the oppressed Iraqi people from its ruthless dictator, and the US should establish a “free and democratic” Iraq.
So let’s look at some obvious questions to raise:
1. If the US is so supportive of installing the democratic ideal in the Middle East, why did the US government and its corrupt representatives decide to punish the Palestinian people for voting Hamas into power?
So let’s amend the US agenda : the US supports democracies if and only if it likes the outcome of democratic elections abroad. When the US does not support the outcome, it supports measures to disenfranchise and disempower those elected governments. The obvious case in point recently is with the Hamas rise to power in Palestine. Historically, there have been other examples of the US sounding the trumpets of democracy until a person or group comes to power with agendas not in complete alignment with the US’s : e.g. the Arbenz-Guzman government of Guatemala in 1954, the Mossadegh government of Iran, before the 1953 coup by the CIA after Mossadegh decided to nationalize Iranian oil, which incidentally has much to do with the current propaganda concerning Iran.
The inescapable conclusion that reasonable people should arrive at is that if the US supports democracies, then it must also abide by the will of the respective peoples upon which it has imposed the democratic ideal.
2. Currently, 60% of Americans are opposed to the Iraq war, given the revelations of the last 18 months or so, namely that the intelligence was manipulated by the US government to pursue its geo-political strategies worldwide, that the Neo-Cons have wanted a war with Iraq since 1999, and have persuaded the government in charge, whether Clinton or Bush, to find reasons to pursue such a course of action. And yet even though a plurality of Americans do not support this invasion and occupation, there we are still. So the obvious point is that if democratically-elected governments do not respect the collective will of the people, should these governments be described as democratic?
3. Since the summer of 2002, which I will describe as the time of my political awakenings, I have been telling friends and colleagues of the underlying reasons for 9-11, and I have since witnessed that there have been no serious discussions by the mainstream media or the US government on how to rectify the situation, i.e. how to correct the root sources of the problem.
Here enters the monolithic power of propaganda, which certainly exists in most democratic countries but especially reigns in the US : GNN recently reported that a high-ranking member of the 9-11 commission, Governor Tom Keane of NJ, said publicly that the findings of the 9-11 commission report pointed to the US-Israel alliance as the chief motor of Al-Queda aggression directed at the US. And the propaganda machine has effectively failed to report this, on purpose mind you, due to the agendas of the major media outlets.
And now take the current Lebanon crisis : The US could have stopped the Israeli agression against Lebanon literally after day one. But they did not.
Forget about the law that prohibits countries receiving US military aid from using US weapons for offensive measures, which is what Israel precisely did, let’s just examine the role of propaganda in this affair.
Here are the facts.
2 Isareli soldiers were captured on Lebanese soil (an overlooked fact if you watch CNN), and Hezbollah said immediately that they wanted to exchange prisoners. Israel currently holds 9,000 prisoners (Palestinian and Lebanese), 1000 of which are being held without any charge or access to a court, prisoners labeled “administrative detainees”. Before any rockets were fired by Hezbollah into Haifa or Israel proper, Israel called the “kidnapping” of Israeli soldiers an “act of war” even though Israel routinely does the same in the Occupied Territories and elsewhere. Israel immediately bombed the Beirut airport. After more bombings by the IDF of Lebanon then and only then did Hezbollah resort to sending rockets into Israel. Israel bombed bridges, schools, hospitals, orphanages, apartment complexes, and a well-known UN compound, and it claimed while doing so that all were “Hezbollah strongholds” . Joke.
Yet if a disinterested observer had wandered into the conflict mid-stream they would have witnessed the actions on the Israeli side as “self-defense”, which is what the Israeli and US presses suggested; a suggestion, mind you, that is not consistent with the facts ….
So how did Hezbollah come to be in existence in the first place?
Good question …
Israel illegally invaded Lebanon in 1982, and illegally occupied that country until 2000. Hezbollah was a grass-roots resistance movement that grew from Israel’s illegal and non-UN-mandated actions. In fact, this author can produce a multitude of UN resolutions concerning the Lebanon invasion of 1982 that Israel defied and never complied with.
Yet the presses rolled on during the month-long conflict, and Israeli ambassadors and spokespeople told cameras about UN 1559, which called on Hezbollah to disarm. Why do I bring this up?
Well if Israel wishes to invoke the UN 1559 resolution, which has a favorable conclusion with respect to the Israeli agenda, then Israel should be equally willing to abide by UN 242, UN 139, and others : see below:
just cut and paste the above link and read with horror and shock !
And Israel quotes UN 1559 when it defies and has defied more UN resolutions than Hezbollah and Iran and Iraq combined ….
And now I mention Walt and Mearsheimer’s landmark expose of AIPAC in its famous paper. For those unaware of the 2 professors (where have you been), they are not fringe, they are not wackos, but mainstream academics from Harvard and the University of Chicago who questioned if the US-Israel alliance really does have the US best interest at heart. This duo was quickly maligned by the power apparatus as being anti-semitic, but upon closer inspection, those charges are completely unfounded and simply a smokescreen.
I have become quite knowledgable about the inner workings of AIPAC and if someone on the blogsite has a question, please feel free to send it to me.
Enter the spin and propaganda …
Yes it’s true that Mel Gibson is an anti-semite.
No it’s not true that any conscience-minded reader who criticizes Israeli policy in the OT or its master US’s approval orders is also anti-semitic.
This point has been argued by the likes of Noam Chomsky (Jewish), Norman Finkelstein (Jewish), Uri Avnery (Israeli former member of the Knesset), Michael Lerner (Rabbi), Gideon Levy(Israeli), etc etc etc
I can produce a plethera of Jewish academic voices who criticize Israeli policy and the US’s unconditional support thereof, and it is clear that those policies should be criticized based on their merits.
So the US has become even more threatened, and that is due in large part to its policy of letting Israel do whatever it wants. And now US citizens are spied on by its government. Its government is controlled by special interest groups at the exterior, and small think-tanks, which are frequently run by pro-Israel idealogues and Israel apologists, at the interior. The same think-tanks arranged for the Iraq war, even when Dick Clarke and George Tenet said confidently that 9-11 was perpetrated by Al-Queda and not Iraq. Yet through it all, it seems that Wolfowitz and Perle and Feith and Abrams and Cheney and Rumsfeld will still get away with all their lies and deceit and vast propaganda.
Sadly, 50% of Americans will tomorrow still believe that Iraq had WMD’s, even though reality cannot comply with the outcome of that poll.
So where are we now?
Posted at 03:40 pm by Scottie
|Posted by Johnny @ 08/14/2006 05:54 PM PDT|
|Wow. First thing I’ll say is this: you must have had to wait a while at the DMV. Before I get into a debate here, I would like to know the source that said the Israelis were in Lebanese territory, since that’s the first I heard of it.|
|Posted by Johnny @ 08/14/2006 09:56 PM PDT|
|Hey Scottie I thought OT was Old Testament instead of Occupied Territories. Not everybody is as up on the lingo as you are. That being said, Israel has some Old Testament policy, that’s for sure.|
|Posted by Johnny @ 08/14/2006 10:11 PM PDT|
|Hey When you say GNN do you mean “geurilla news network” where you can buy t-shirts that say, “George W Bush hates black people”. Ha! Just because it’s not mainstream doesn’t mean it’s legit. Sometimes Reuters isn’t even legit (you heard that story right? About the doctored photos).|
|Posted by BP @ 08/15/2006 06:12 PM PDT|
|If 50% of Americans believe that there are WMDs in Iraq and they’re such “sheople” (a ridiculous term in my opinion)…why in the world do you care that 60% of Americans disagree with the war in Iraq?|
|Posted by Emily @ 08/15/2006 11:44 PM PDT|
|Liberty is not dependent on the absence of propaganda.
We have a democracy…If the current leaders are going against the will of the people, then wait til the next election…then the cycle will start again. When/if the elected officials piss the voters off, then we’ll vote again. Bam, democracy.
|Posted by Scottie @ 08/16/2006 09:06 PM PDT|
|In response to Emily, the US is NOT a democracy in the true sense of the word. The US is a representative republic that is corrupt to the core. I do not understand why the US people need such a system in which the only recourse is to vote the other party into power when US citizens become disenfranchised by the status quo ; at some point a third-party must be embraced to counter-balance the present two-party system that it my mind is a joke.
There are 68,000 registered lobbyists in the US vying for the 535 elected members of Congress, who get showered with special interest monies, many times from competing interests, and until the corrupt system is changed, there is no real hope of meaningful change. I remember when I was once infuriated with groups like AIPAC who effectively control US foregn policy in the Middle East (please read Walt and Mearsheimer’s paper), but now I have, in a sense, softened my position on AIPAC soecifically, diverting my anger to the system itself that allows any special interest to hijack our system of representation, not democracy.
|Posted by Scottie @ 08/16/2006 09:14 PM PDT|
|In response to Johnny B,
The militant group Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers during clashes Wednesday across the border in southern Lebanon, prompting a swift reaction from Israel, which sent ground forces into its neighbor to look for them. The forces were trying to keep the soldiers’ captors from moving them deeper into Lebanon, Israeli government officials said on condition of anonymity. [Forbes 7/12/06]
TRANSLATION: According to the Lebanese police force, the two soldiers were captured in Lebanese territory, in the area of Aïta Al-Chaab close to the border, whereas Israeli television indicated that they had been captured in Israeli territory. [fr.news.yahoo 7/12/06]
It all started on July 12 when Israel troops were ambushed on Lebanon’s side of the border with Israel. Hezbollah, which commands the Lebanese south, immediately seized on their crossing. They arrested two Israeli soldiers, killed eight Israelis and wounded over 20 in attacks inside Israeli territory. [Asia Times 7/15/06]
There are other news agencies reporting this. I think I also read an article in which Chomsky said the same thing, but reading many articles, sometimes I attribute my sources poorly (getting old and grey sadly)
So hopefully, Johnny B will trust in the credibility of Forbes, and France Yahoo (even though I know the anti-frenchite Butch Porter will not) and Asia Times. But if not, do a quick google search, I am sure you can find others reporting the same thing.
|Posted by Scottie @ 08/16/2006 09:21 PM PDT|
|Just curious, did the readers who offered comments bother to read the attached link on Israel’s defiance of UN resolutions?
PS butch, i was just kidding buddy 🙂
|Posted by DC Offline @ 08/16/2006 09:47 PM PDT|
|While Scotty is a bit of a Chomsky-file (you have to start citing other sources, buddy – these conservatives are always going to straw-man Chomsky and Finkelstein. Don’t worry, there are plenty of other sources – just use Google), I could not agree more with his critique of our two-party system. The entire process has been hi-jacked by special interests.
The time is fast approaching when a viable (and serious) 3rd Party candidate will have a fighting chance. I wonder if the right way to start building credibility for that day is to sponsor 3rd Party candidates on the local levels rather than a big OK Corral moment every 4 years . . .
Just a thought . . .
|Posted by Scottie @ 08/17/2006 09:27 AM PDT|
|I did quote findings from Dick Clarke in his book ” Against All Enemies” and Stephen Kinzer’s “All the Shah’s Men” concerning the Mossadegh coup in ’53, and Walt and Mearsheimer’s report, 2 professors that cannot be impugned by the word “fringe”, upon checking their credentials. But point taken. I have plenty of other sources I can quote from.
|Posted by BP @ 08/17/2006 04:44 PM PDT|
|Number one…your 9:16 comment Scottie, you have my 100% agreement. We are a republic, and we always have been. I personally believe we should REMAIN a republic, but there is no doubt that the current setup is flawed and the only REAL solution to preserve the Republic that I happen to hold dear is a third party.
Second…I love the French…I think they make EXCELLENT pastries, and should…continue making them.
Third, I’ve read Dick Clarke’s book, and all it did was sell me on a couple of really good reasons for going into Iraq I hadn’t thought of before. Thanks, Dick.
BUT…third party…I’m all for it. Who wants to start one? We’ll call it “The American Common Sense Party”.
|Posted by Scottie @ 08/17/2006 08:15 PM PDT|
|In response your having read “Against All Enemies” , BP, I suggest that you re-read the damn thing, because I think you missed one of Clarke’s central points : that Clarke and Tenet were trying to focus their attention on the al-Queda threats after the 2 US Embassy bombings in Africa and the USS Cole, and the outgoing Clinton admin told the incoming Bush admin the number one priority was dealing with al-Queda, and despite efforts by Clarke to meet with Bush after the inauguration, they met just one week before Sept. 11. Moreover, the admin was given advice by Tenet and Clarke on the perpetrators with credible intelligence backing their claims, and it was Wolfowitz (and Woodward’s Plan of Attack confirms this) who was in Bush’s ear saying Iraq was behind 9-11, which was absurd.
Maybe you should consider the Defense Policy Board’s “Project for a New American Century” to understand the internal neo-con push for war with Iraq.
|Posted by BP @ 08/17/2006 09:35 PM PDT|
|By the way, weren’t the two Israeli’s captured behind Lebanese lines AFTER Hezbollah attacked with mortar fire and rockets?|