Sunday, August 18, 2013
My government is treating me like a mushroom, and I'm fed up
Our Leaders and Our Media Keep Us
in the Dark, Living in Fear
The civil unrest and rioting in Egypt has been in the headlines all week. The Obama administration and the Lame Stream Media are finding themselves in a lose-lose situation. If they choose to back the democratically elected president Morsi, they risk Egypt turning into a Muslim fundamentalist state. In that event, Morsi's government stands to inherit a stockpile of military weapons like jet fighters, tanks, machine guns and a whole host of advanced hardware like cruise missiles supplied by none other than the United States. So the Obama administration's next move could be to cut off all aid to Egypt, including military aid, in a frantic effort to keep these American weapons from being used against innocent civilians. Unfortunately for Obama and the US military, the proverbial cat is already out of the bag in this regard. If the Muslim Brotherhood gets their hands on those weapons, it will be civil war for sure. If they don't, or are prevented from reaching them, then they will be slaughtered by the Egyptian military. Either way, American weapons will be used. Shame on us for not standing up to Congress and the President, and for not voicing our outrage soon enough.
I also watched a video on my computer this past week where the news reporter referred to the Egyptian and Syrian rebels as ‘freedom fighters’. It led me to ponder why so many people were willing to accept at face value the agenda in the current US administration as well as the British government. It also led me to conclude just how easy it has been to manipulate ordinary people into backing imperialist ventures abroad, which are fought on behalf of rich people's interests. At a time of biting austerity in Europe (or its American code word, 'sequestration') and attacks on workers and the middle class, billions of dollars of ordinary people’s money was used to fund the illegal bombing of Libya, the Syrian civil war, and the ongoing drone attacks of America's clandestine wars.
The justification sold to people for such militarism is that dictators are bad. The justification sold to people for attacking or destabilizing countries resulting in mass death is that democracy must therefore be forced through by the barrel of a gun. Isn’t it terrible, the politicians and media say, that Syria's Bashar al-Assad is a brutal dictator who is preventing democracy by putting down the rebels? The Assad regime undoubtedly has its faults, but nothing is ever said by the corporate media about the authoritarian ruling clique in Saudi Arabia, which has even given its name to that country (House of Saud). Nothing is ever said about a western backed dictator in Bahrain who has been in power for 52 years. Nothing is ever revealed about the brutal ongoing crackdowns on protestors and dissenters in those countries. When Bahrain used Saudi troops to put down uprisings in 2011, the resultant death toll was proportionally much larger than was the loss of life in Egypt during the uprising there. In fact, if the death toll in Bahrain were taken as a proportion of the population, the equivalent death toll for Egypt would have been 12,000.
Where was the outrage from the US and its client states? That’s right, there was none. The King of Bahrain was even invited to attend Queen Elizabeth’s Jubilee celebrations at Buckingham Palace. As it did in Libya, repressive Saudi Arabia is playing a big role in facilitating the rag-tag rebels in Syria to destabilize a sovereign state that stands in the way of NATO and Israeli interests. And far away, back in Britain and the US, the public is being fed a pack of lies by politicians and the mainstream media about the situation in Syria, just as it has been over other military adventures over the past decade. The majority of westerners don’t have much of a clue about what is really happening. They are unaware that Syria forms part of the greater game in the region. They fail to see the links between Egypt, Syria, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran, which are all part of a Washington-led wider geo-political strategy hell-bent on global domination, controlling the world’s mineral resources, its pipeline routes, and lining the pockets of western financiers and oil, armaments and logistics companies. Too many remain confused or ignorant thanks to duplicitous politicians and the compliant corporate media.
The public cannot know the reality. They will not be allowed to know, or at least for as long as the powers-that-be can get away with it. We are being kept in fear and in the dark and deceived by politicians and the media that churn out increasingly tired-sounding clichés about a war on terror or humanitarian militarism to justify murderous brutality. And the result is that too many people accept the lie that rag-tag forces made up of vicious, faction-ridden fighters, illegally armed by NATO terror governments and unelected regimes in Saudi and Qatar, are fighting for freedom and democracy. Those forces and nations wouldn’t know about freedom and democracy if they were hit in the face with it. Sorry, my mistake, they would and they do. That’s why they seek to crush it out of existence as soon as it appears. And that applies whether it appears within the borders of the US, Britain or Saudi Arabia, or elsewhere in places that are of strategic importance to them. The US track record of crushing democratic governments is well documented by the likes of Noam Chomsky, Chris Hedges and historian William Blum. And look no further to see the attacks on WikiLeaks or the Occupy Movement to see how democratic movements are treated at home. Look no further to see how democratic workers’ movements that took hundreds of years to build in Britain and elsewhere, and for the last 100 years here in the US, and in Europe are under sustained attack. Giving the people the opportunity to vote every four or five years, while in the meantime deceiving, misinforming and lying to them, has no more to do with democracy or freedom than what is happening in Syria right now.
If more ordinary folk were to turn their attention away from glossy sports events, cheap Sunday morning political debate, reality shows, talent contests or all other forms of comatose infotainment on our TV's for one minute, they might well realize that the billionaire criminal elites that take their taxes and dictate national and foreign policy are in many cases a good deal worse than any number of the regimes they seek to demonize.