by Philip Greenspan
(Swans - December 17, 2007) Every day, editors in the corporate media must select news items among the many available to them. Those chosen may be inadvertently or deliberately distorted due to a reporter's or editor's biases. Consequently, many significant stories that could have been selected in the course of the year were never aired or published, or at best received little coverage. Merely listing all the important stories for a year would be a tall order.
Let me consider the implications of just a few major ones involving the U.S. in 2007. Should you strongly disagree with my interpretations just chalk it up to this author's bias. In short, it's been a year filled with bad news for the US government and its citizens.
A Supine Democratic Party
It was the year when it became self-evident -- I would hope to the vast majority of the public that mistakenly believes in the responsiveness of the US political system -- that our alleged democracy is defunct -- it always was. The plutocracy, dominated by the military-industrial complex, has employed the geniuses in the media to ensnare the booboisie in a long-lasting con operation; an operation, when objectively considered, that exceeds in scope anything imaginable. Don't the boobs realize that the elite's wartime objectives can only be achieved by their sacrifices? Their sons and daughters lose lives and limbs and the money expended to fight the wars -- billions, yes billions, perhaps trillions! -- will come out of their pockets. Win, lose, or draw, the elites pick up those billions or trillions via the US treasury.
The public overwhelmingly indicated in the 2006 congressional elections that they had had enough with the war. They wanted the Congress to end it. But the Democrats, the so-called opposition party, while in the minority had gone along with everything the administration had asked for in the previous six years of the Bush residency. So, having become the majority why would they change their stripes? Both parties are products of the elites. Obviously, the US democratic two-party system is a fraud.
The major primary candidates for next year's presidential election will continue the current pro-war policy. Who are those major candidates, what makes them major candidates, and why is one of them a sure bet to win? They are the ones who can be trusted to faithfully discharge their obligations to the elites. Accordingly, they receive loads of moolah for their campaigns and receive almost exclusive and favorable coverage from the corporate media. Those who respond to the antiwar demands of the public -- Kucinich, Gravel, and Paul -- are ignored and demeaned by the elites and their media. If through some miraculous circumstance one of the three were to win he'd be unable to overcome the opposition he'd receive from the elite-controlled Congress, courts, and bureaucracy.
Restraint on Iran
The Bush administration, hell-bent for war with Iran, unexpectedly held its fire. As the year progressed the increasing fervor of the White House hawks made an impending attack appear likely. Compliant congresspeople in both parties also raised alarms, as did the pundits in media and the think tanks. But an attack has not come, at least as of yet. Some intelligent and influential countervailing voices were able to temporarily persuade the warmongers of calamities likely to arise if the US military were to attack Iran. What more intelligent and influential voices would there be than those of the military leaders who would be called on to carry out that attack? Equally important, perhaps even more so, are the intelligence agencies that have dampened the hopes of the hawks with their recent National Intelligence Estimate report that there is no current Iranian nuclear threat.
Israeli PR Reversals
The unprecedented publication of two books that became best sellers eroded the enormous power of the Israeli lobby. Jimmy Carter's Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid exposed the abominable treatment of the Palestinians by the Israeli occupation. The Israeli Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy by University of Chicago Professor John Mearsheimer and Harvard University Professor Stephen Walt disclosed how effective the lobby was in advancing Israel's interests. The prestige of the three authors was sufficient to overcome the scurrilous attacks that were hurled at them and the books.
The economy suffered major blows during the year. Their effects will increasingly plunge the country deep into a devastating recession and possibly a depression. There was the puncturing of the real estate bubble via the mortgage scandal with more bad news expected in the future as variable rate mortgages bump up homeowners' payments. The steady decline of the dollar has caused foreigners who were buying the US government Treasury Bills to reduce their upcoming purchases.
The decline will soon result in another currency -- the euro and/or yen -- moving in with or replacing the dollar as a reserve currency. The bankruptcy of the U.S. will then become undeniable.
The actions of Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan against the courts have resulted in turmoil that might lead to the ouster of the exceedingly unpopular US-backed dictator from power. With a large area of northern Pakistan hospitable to, and a large number of Pakistanis sympathetic to the Taliban and al Qaeda, it is not inconceivable that unfriendly forces, collectively described as terrorists, may seize control of the government -- a government in possession of the ultimate weapon.
Armageddon et al.
Bush and his "Religious Right" acolytes have been praying for and anticipating an Armageddon that will not occur. They have belittled the dire reports issued by the scientific community regarding the irreversible consequences of global warming, genetically engineered foods, depleted uranium, etc. Another kind of Armageddon may still occur -- an end to the existence of high order animal and plant species within a few more generations.
I am hopefully expecting an increasingly thunderous reaction from the betrayed public as the disastrous effects of these and other problems strike them personally. Strong and forceful pressure from a significant number will bring about positive changes. It has happened before both here and in countries around the world.
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