Saturday, July 30, 2016

Silencing America As It Prepares For War, By John Pilger

Returning to the United States in an election year, I am struck by the silence. I have covered four presidential campaigns, starting with 1968; I was with Robert Kennedy when he was shot and I saw his assassin, preparing to kill him. It was a baptism in the American way, along with the salivating violence of the Chicago police at the Democratic Party’s rigged convention. The great counter revolution had begun.

The election of Trump or Clinton is the old illusion of choice that is no choice: two sides of the same coin. In scapegoating minorities and promising to “make America great again”, Trump is a far right-wing domestic populist; yet the danger of Clinton may be more lethal for the world.

“Only Donald Trump has said anything meaningful and critical of US foreign policy,” wrote Stephen Cohen, emeritus professor of Russian History at Princeton and NYU, one of the few Russia experts in the United States to speak out about the risk of war.
In a radio broadcast, Cohen referred to critical questions Trump alone had raised. 
Among them: why is the United States “everywhere on the globe”? What is NATO’s true mission? Why does the US always pursue regime change in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Ukraine? Why does Washington treat Russia and Vladimir Putin as an enemy?

The hysteria in the liberal media over Trump serves an illusion of “free and open debate” and “democracy at work”. His views on immigrants and Muslims are grotesque, yet the deporter-in-chief of vulnerable people from America is not Trump but Obama, whose betrayal of people of colour is his legacy: such as the warehousing of a mostly black prison population, now more numerous than Stalin’s gulag.

This presidential campaign may not be about populism but American liberalism, an ideology that sees itself as modern and therefore superior and the one true way. Those on its right wing bear a likeness to 19th century Christian imperialists, with a God-given duty to convert or co-opt or conquer.

The equivalent in the US are the politically correct warmongers on the New York Times, the Washington Post and network TV who dominate political debate. I watched a furious debate on CNN about Trump’s infidelities. It was clear, they said, a man like that could not be trusted in the White House. No issues were raised. Nothing on the 80 per cent of Americans whose income has collapsed to 1970s levels. Nothing on the drift to war. The received wisdom seems to be “hold your nose” and vote for Clinton: anyone but Trump. That way, you stop the monster and preserve a system gagging for another war.


MRW said...

This is an excellent article, made impossible to read the excerpts of here by impossibly small type on my screen.

Read the original. It’s worth it.

Tom Hickey said...

Evidence of a complete failure of the US media, or alternatively, it's success as a propaganda machine.

It's also indicative of the inability of the US political system to educate for citizenship in a liberal democracy, to provide a range of choice required for liberal democracy, and to ensure equality and absence of privilege in the political process necessary for liberal democracy.

Kaivey said...

Thanks for letting me know, MRW. It's fine on my screen but I will make it bigger next time. I might try to edit it right now.

Kaivey said...

I decided to leave it because it looks okay on my small phone too. When I do excerpts it's not easy to know what to leave out. I like to do only a few excerpts because I think most people here are busy and would prefer a quick read, but they can always click on the link for more.

peterc said...

MRW, if viewing on a PC you can increase the size of text on screen by holding down the Control key and tapping the + button as many times as you wish. Pressing Control-0 will return the text to the default size.

Tom Hickey said...

Works on Macs too, but command instead of control.