Thursday, March 20, 2008


Deterring Democracy Copyright © 1991, 1992 by Noam Chomsky. Published by South End Press.
Chapter 10: The Decline of the Democratic Ideal Segment 12/13
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6. Looking Ahead

Let us depart now from the factual record and turn to a few speculations.

A fundamental goal of U.S. policy towards Latin America (and elsewhere), long-standing and well-documented, is to take control of the police and military so as to assure that the population will not act upon unacceptable ideas. One goal, then, will be eventually to restore something like the Somozist National Guard, following the prescriptions of the Carter doves.

A secondary goal is to destroy any independent press. Sometimes this requires murderous violence, as in El Salvador and Guatemala. The broad elite approval of the practice is evident from the reaction when it is carried out; typically, silence, coupled with praise for the advances towards democracy. Sometimes market forces suffice, as in Costa Rica, where the Spanish language press is a monopoly of the ultra-right.

More generally, there are two legitimate forces in Latin America: First and foremost, the United States; secondarily, the local oligarchy, military, and business groups that associate themselves with the interests of U.S. economic and political elites. If these forces hold power without challenge, all is well. The playing field is level, and if formal elections are held, it will be called "democracy." If there is any challenge from the general population, a firm response is necessary. The establishment, left and right, will tolerate some range of opinion over appropriate levels of savagery, repression, and general misery.

In Nicaragua, it will not be so simple to attain the traditional objectives. Any resistance to them will be condemned as "Sandinista totalitarianism." One can write the editorials in advance.

Perhaps the political coalition constructed by Washington will be unable to meet the demands imposed upon it by the master. If so, new managers will be needed. One option is a turn to the right, a virtual reflex. Vice-president Virgilio Godoy may qualify as an adequate hard-line autocrat, and ex-contras should be available to use the terrorist skills imparted to them by their trainers from the U.S. and its mercenary states. Or others may be found to do the job, as circumstances allow. Another option is to follow a different and also well-travelled road. There is one mass-based political organization in Nicaragua. It may disintegrate under repression, or social and economic deterioriation, or simply the inevitable pressures under monopoly of resources by the right-wing and its imperial associate. Or it may regain the vitality it has at least partially lost. If it remains, and if it can be brought to heel, perhaps its leadership can be assigned the task of social management under U.S. command. The point was made obliquely by the Wall Street Journal, in its triumphal editorial on the elections. "In time," the editors wrote, "Daniel Ortega may discover the moderating influences of democratic elections, as did Jamaica's Michael Manley, himself formerly a committed Marxist."53

Translating from Newspeak, the U.S. may have to fall back on the Jamacian model, first working to undermine and destroy a popular movement, then lavishly supporting the preferred capitalist alternative that proved to be a miserable failure, then turning to the populist Manley to manage the resulting disaster -- but for us.54

The point is widely understood, though generally left tacit in polite commentary. As if by instinct, when the election returns were announced Ortega was instantaneously tranformed from a villain to a statesman, with real promise. He can be kept in the wings, to be called upon if needed to follow our directions, if only he can learn his manners.

Go to the next segment.

53 WSJ, March 1, 1990.

54 On the Jamaican model, see chapter 7, pp. 234f. 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 8:07 PM


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