Monday, March 31, 2008


Deterring Democracy Copyright © 1991, 1992 by Noam Chomsky. Published by South End Press.
Afterword Segment 6/14
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It is true that there was some regional support for the US stance apart from the friendly club of Arab tyrants. Turkish President Turgut Ozal doubtless nodded his head in approval. He had made use of the opportunity offered by the Gulf crisis to step up attacks on his own Kurdish population, confident that the US media would judiciously refrain from reporting the bombings of Kurdish villages and the plight of hundreds of thousands of refugees trying to survive the cold winter in the mountains without aid or provisions. The reader of the European press, human rights reports, or exotic US sources (see note 1) could learn something of the Winter 1990-91 exploits of the man whom George Bush hailed as "a protector of peace" who joined all of us who "stand up for civilized values around the world." But the mass and prestige media shielded their audiences from such improper thoughts.

The US stance also received support in Israel, where many commentators agreed with retiring Chief-of-Staff Dan Shomron that it was preferable for Saddam Hussein to remain in power. "We are all with Saddam," one headline read, reporting the view of Labor dove Avraham Burg that "in the present circumstances Saddam Hussein is better than any alternative" and that "a Shi'ite empire" from Iran to the territories would be harmful to Israel. Another leading dove, Ran Cohen of Ratz, also wanted "Saddam to continue to rule, so that perhaps the hope for any internal order will be buried" and the Americans will stay in the region and impose a "compromise." Suppression of the Kurds was a welcome development, an influential commentator explained in the Jerusalem Post, because of "the latent ambition of Iran and Syria to exploit the Kurds and create a territorial, military, contiguity between Teheran and Damascus -- a contiguity which embodies danger for Israel."15 None of this makes particularly good copy. Best to leave it in oblivion.

The "strikingly unanimous view" supporting US "pragmatism," then, included offices in Washington and New York, and US clients in the region, but left out a few others -- notably, Iraqi democrats in exile and the Arab population of the region. Respectable opinion in the United States could not care less.

The Times version kept to convention in approving US support for Hussein's terror in the name of "stability." One must, however, bear in mind the technical meaning of the term, explained in the internal record. Thus when Guatemala tried a brief experiment with capitalist democracy 40 years ago, the US was at first willing to stand back because President Arbenz seemed to have "no real sympathy for the lower classes." But when he carried out successful reforms, US policy changed and he was overthrown in favor of a murderous military regime that has been kept in power by regular US intervention ever since. The usual reasons were explained by a State Department official:

Guatemala has become an increasing threat to the stability of Honduras and El Salvador. Its agrarian reform is a powerful propaganda weapon; its broad social program of aiding the workers and peasants in a victorious struggle against the upper classes and large foreign enterprises has a strong appeal to the populations of Central American neighbors where similar conditions prevail.

In short, "stability" means security for "the upper classes and large foreign enterprises." It is therefore possible to destabilize in the name of stability, as explained by the editor of Foreign Affairs, James Chace: Nixon-Kissinger "efforts to destabilize a freely elected Marxist government in Chile" were undertaken because "we were determined to seek stability." Only the naive will sense a contradiction here.16

Returning to the Gulf... by the summer of 1991, state priorities had shifted, but it would have been too much to allow the August 2 anniversary to pass without notice. A last-ditch effort was therefore necessary to portray the outcome as a Grand Victory. Even with the journalistic achievements of the preceding year, such as the suppression of the possibilities for a negotiated settlement and the rigorous exclusion of Iraqi democrats, it was no simple matter to chant the praises of the Bush-Baker-Schwartzkopf team in the light of the "awesome tragedy" they left in their wake. But even this task was not too onerous. On the anniversary, the New York Times editors dismissed the qualms of "the doubters," concluding that Mr. Bush had acted wisely: he "avoided the quagmire and preserved his two triumphs: the extraordinary cooperation among coalition members and the revived self-confidence of Americans," who felt "relief and pride -- relief at miraculously few US casualties and pride in the brilliant performance of the allied forces."17

These are chilling words. One can readily understand the reaction of the non-people of the world.

Go to the next segment.

15 Ron Ben-Yishai, Ha'aretz, March 29; Shalom Yerushalmi, Kol Ha'ir, April 4; Moshe Zak, editor of Ma'ariv, JP. April 4, 1991.

16 Piero Gleijeses, Shattered Hope (Princeton, 1991), 125, 365. Chace, NYT Magazine, May 22, 1977.

17 Editorial, NYT, Aug. 2, 1991. KEYWORDS terrorist democracy elections cia mossad bnd nsa covert operation 911 mi6 inside job what really happened wtc pentagon joint chiefs of staff jcs centcom laser hologram usa mi5 undercover agent female sex exploitation perception deception power anarchy green social democratic participation japanese spy black-op false flag gladio terror.

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posted by u2r2h at 3:44 AM


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