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Commentary ::
Democracy and Media Contradictions
11 Mar 2004
The contradiction between the continuous adulation given by the corporate media to supposed efforts by the United States to establish democracy in Iraq with the recent US crushing of democracy in Haiti.
After each naked, imperialist aggression by the United States against other countries, the US government attempts to mask this aggression by stating that they are bringing democracy to these suffering people. The United States has never been interested in installing democracy in other countries. They have supported brutal dictators like the Shah of Iran, Pinochet, Suharto, Somoza, Marcos, Mobutu and many others. We don't even have real democracy here at home, only two parties, both of which are controlled by the ruling class. What the United States desires to install in conquered Third World countries is the facade of democracy for propaganda purposes and to help quell dissent in those countries. That is to say, these nations are allowed to have a constitution, elections, an assembly or parliament and other manifestations of democracy, while the real economic and political power still remains in the hands of the United States. The US accomplishes this feat by financing parties that are composed of the elites in those countries who will allow complete exploitation of the natural resources and labor power of those countries by US corporations. In other words, they ensure that puppet or comprador rulers come to power. Colonialist nations realized long ago that it was much less expensive and more efficient to have puppet rulers than actual colonial governments and occupying armies.

The corporate media have been emphasizing and glorifying the Iraqi constitution and the supposed US contribution to Iraqi democracy, while at the very same time the United States has just crushed democracy in Haiti. The corporate media have been forced to report on some of the undemocratic aspects of the situation in Haiti by the influence of the Black Caucus in the US Congress. The corporate media report these two completely contradictory stories of US motivations and seemingly never notice the contradiction. It is as though they were mere stenographers of government power and were willing to report on whatever was in front of them. I often wonder if these smiling, beautiful personalities that report the news are aware of these glaring contradictions, or if they have the collective brain power of a sponge. Or maybe, they realize they are lying and their six figure salaries make it all worth while, and they are able to still look at themselves in the mirror every morning. It must be a bitter pill to swallow to know they are directly contributing to a much worse world for their children. Perhaps, they believe that with gated communities, private schools and wealth that they can insulate their children from outside events. On this one small planet, that is an impossibility.

Accept for the sake of argument that these media people sincerely believe that the US is constructing democracy in Iraq, rather than a puppet government that will allow the stealing of oil. It would seem with all the stories of shipments of American arms to the FRAPH rebels through the Dominican Republic, the close relationship of FRAPH to the CIA, the presence of FRAPH mass killers like Jodel Chamblain and Jean Tatoune in Haiti and the forced resignation and kidnapping of Jean-Bertrand Aristide that they would come to the conclusion this was really a coup d'etat and the very negation of democracy. And wouldn't that raise doubts in a reasonable person's minds about the alleged attempts by the United States to establish democracy in other parts of the world?

Noam Chomsky has written several books like Manufacturing Consent about media manipulation of public opinion and the techniques employed to accomplish this goal. He has given so many excellent examples that his conclusions are very strongly supported by the evidence. However, this has to be a new zenith in media sophistication in apparently successfully persuading the American people there is no contradiction in their continuous praise and adulation of supposed US contributions to democracy in Iraq, while simultaneously the US military and FRAPH crush democracy in Haiti and in collaboration with the French government keep Jean-Bertrand Aristide a virtual prisoner in the Central African Republic.
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