Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

One of the things I am being reminded of again by Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism is that life isn't always as it first appears. This is particularly true when certain elements of our society go out of their way to set up one smokescreen after another so that it becomes very difficult to tell up from down.

As Klein details in her discussion of various coups in South America from the 1970s - 1990s, what was generally reported by the mainstream US press was patently untrue. American readers were told that these coups represented spontaneous domestic uprisings and that the US, like so many other nations, merely was watching from the sidelines to see how these events played out.

In almost every case, the coup was fomented by covert operations of our own CIA. We funded, trained and promised millions or billions of dollars in aid to those who carried out the coups against democratically-elected leaders. Our government initiated these covert operations because the populist and, sometimes, socialist pathways of South American leaders didn't please the capitalists because it erected barriers that kept them from looting these countries at will.

Once the despots and military leaders seized power, these trends quickly were reversed and the bottom lines of many US and European-based corporations grew substantially. Empowered by their successes in overthrowing democracy in South America, this general blueprint (though sometimes sans the brutal violence) was utilized again and again in places like Poland, Russia, South Africa and many Asian nations.

With this as a backdrop, one has to wonder if the democratic uprisings in the Middle East are as innocent as we have been led to believe. We have been told time and again by the Obama administration and the mainstream media that the protests across the Middle East and Northern Africa are the result of spontaneous domestic yearnings for an end to brutal regimes and a call for freedom and democracy.

While I grant this could well be true, owing to past history, this could merely be the "reality" that certain elements want us to believe. It is just as likely -- if not more so -- that our own CIA provided the spark that became the fire. As fires often do, they aren't always so easily controlled and so some of the real estate being burned now may not be of our choosing.

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