Shining Light into the Abyss

By Charles Sullivan

03/02/06 "ICH" -- -- If one is to understand the apparently incongruent actions of the U.S. government it is imperative to view events in the proper context. Too many of us are muddled in trying to explain U.S. policy from the perspective that we are a democratic republic undivided by socioeconomic class. This is not surprising. After all, this is what we were taught from earliest childhood; and the belief has been reinforced all the way to the grave. However, the absurdity of this assertion should be obvious to any student of history. The hypocrisy of rhetoric versus the reality created by policy is simply too great to ignore, and it is growing worse every year.

To understand American policy in historical context we must divorce ourselves from the old paradigm that has been ingrained in us—America as a classless democratic republic. This is simply a popular myth used by the ruling class to deceive and subvert the working class into servitude. U.S. policy makes sense only when we examine its formulation as stemming from plutocratic interests, rather than democratic principles

America as we know it was founded upon the eradication of its indigenous people—the American Indians. When the declaration of independence was written, slavery was the institution that drove the economic engines of the country. The merchant class emerged as the ruling class—the farmers and the artisans fell into the working class. From its very inception, America was never a true democracy because it did not allow the citizenship a great proportion of the population—including non-white males, women and slaves. The founding fathers never intended to create a true democratic republic. This was the basis for what was to become a nation divided by class and gender.

Ironically, there was a viable democracy in operation during this period of colonial history—the Iroquois nation. Thomas Jefferson recognized this fact and sought to base the Constitution in part on these behaviors. But like all democracies encountered by plutocracy, the Iroquois nation was brutally eradicated. Democracy and plutocracy cannot peacefully coexist. Plutocracy is a doctrine of conquest and subjugation that cannot be reconciled with democracy. It was the elitism fostered by plutocracy that morphed into the doctrine of Manifest Destiny that drives U.S. policy to this day.

We are witnessing the continued attempted overthrow of democratic governments throughout the world by the U.S. led plutocrats—most notably in Latin America. But even as the pentagon sends our troops to conquer and subdue the people of Iraq (a feat it will never accomplish), Democratic Socialism is taking root in several South American Countries, including Venezuela, Bolivia, and Chile—and it is spreading.

The U.S. has a long history of covert actions against democratic republics. For example, a few years ago covert C.I.A. operatives succeeded in ousting Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez from office; but only for two days. The immense popularity enjoyed by Chavez is something that a puppet like George Bush and his minions can only envy. That kind of respect cannot be given—it is earned through service to the people.

Indeed, Hugo Chavez and other Lain American leaders pose a viable threat to the United States, but not for the reasons we are told. The threat is not against the people of the U.S.; it is against plutocratic rule. Removing control from a privileged few and placing power in the hands of the people, would eliminate the class divisions that have always characterized America. Colossal wealth would no longer be concentrated among the top one or two percent of society—it would be equitably distributed among the people for the good of the Commonwealth.

America’s ruling elite cannot abide even the least vestige of a true democratic republic. They rail against democracy wherever they find it, as evidenced by countless U.S. sponsored acts of terror around the world. These often covert actions virtually always occur against left leaning governments that are not amendable to exploitation of their natural resources and human labor by U.S. business interests. This is what is meant when the president and cabal speak of ‘protecting American interests.’ They are referring to their own hold on power and wealth, not the welfare of the republic, as is so widely assumed.

The U.S. plutocracy has a long and bloody history of fomenting upheaval and violence against Democratic Socialism. For example, on September 11, 1973 a U.S. backed coup d’ etat was carried out against Chilean president Salvador Allende, in which the Popular Unity (socialist) government was overthrown, and Allende was assassinated. President Allende was replaced by Augusto Pinochet, a brutal dictator who with C.I.A. backing tortured and murdered thousands of people. Pinochet is the kind of man the U.S. always backs. His kind makes the host country safe for plunder by U.S. corporations. Look at the litany of brutal dictators the U.S. has supported all over the world. The list reads like a who’s who of world class terrorists. How can this be reconciled with democracy?

The assassination of Allende is part of a familiar pattern of intervention that can only be described as terrorism. The C.I.A. is involved in creating instability and insurrections in democratic governments all over the world—your tax dollars at work.

It is the plutocrats who foment political instability in democratic societies, and conduct campaigns of terror in order to exploit and to conquer. Their purpose is to extend hegemony for the creation of private wealth. Let us call it what it is—empire building. This is Manifest Destiny in action—a supremacist ideology that provides the moral underpinning for conquest and exploitation. As we have already seen, it was this doctrine that resulted in the extirpation of the American Indians and sanctioned the institution of chattel slavery. The same misguided ideology is driving U.S. Middle Eastern policy.

As critical thinkers, we must ask ourselves whom these policies benefit and whom they harm. Is the conquest of Iraq beneficial to the average American? Is it beneficial to those who live in the Middle East; or does it profit corporations such as Halliburton and individuals like Dick Cheney? When the evidence is presented in this way the truth becomes obvious.

The ideological divide between plutocracy and democracy are philosophically and ethically irreconcilable. Plutocratic government serves those possessed of wealth and power by exploiting the middle class and the under class. Democratic government places the welfare of the people above profiteering. Seen in these terms, which kind of government do we have? Once again, the truth is made clear.

The divergence comes into clear focus when we contrast George Bush with Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez. During the height of Hurricane Katrina last year, George Bush went on vacation. Dick Cheney was fly fishing in Arizona. Condi Rice was buying thousand dollar shoes in New York. The clear lack of concern for the welfare of the Gulf Region’s poor speaks volumes about the Bush cabal’s priorities. Hugo Chavez offered aide to the people of the Gulf Coast Region that our own government blithely abandoned. Bush flatly refused Chavez’s generous offer. What does this say about who George Bush serves?

This question can be answered by investigating another Bush policy. Last year Exxon-Mobil enjoyed a $36 billion profit, primarily through the outright theft of Iraqi oil, as the result of the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq. This is the largest single year corporate profit in history. Exxon-Mobil paid its CEOs handsomely, and its shareholders. But it did share the wealth. Bush responded by giving U.S. oil companies an additional $7 billion of corporate welfare by giving away oil from our public lands. Can there be any doubt about whom Bush serves?

Conversely, Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez is providing Citgo oil to America’s poor at deep discounts ranging from forty to fifty percent. By now it should be clear that the president of Venezuela is doing more for our nation’s poor than our own government. The corporate media has responded to Hugo Chavez’s humanitarian aide with predictable cynicism. It is often reported that Chavez is only seeking to embarrass the president. However, this assertion does not square with the facts in the case. Chavez has a history of service to the people that Bush does not. Bush caters to the elite, his self proclaimed political base. Chavez is a servant of the people, especially the poor.

Nothing more clearly delineates the contrast between Bush and Chavez than their divergent social policies. Bush consistently chooses profits over people; Chavez places people above profits. Thus, in my view, George Bush is not worthy to carry Hugo Chavez’s shoes.

Socialist Venezuela does not ransack its treasury or human capital on invading and occupying foreign nations in the service of empire. Conversely, plutocratic America sends its youth to serve as canon fodder for empire. Venezuela is not involved in the invasion of sovereign nations in order to pilfer their resources. As a result of a more humane social policy, Venezuela has the financial resources to provide health care to every citizen, and higher education to all who seek it. What does this say about our own national priorities? Whose interest do they serve?

Even the most florid language cannot conceal the obvious contempt the Bush cabal has for the poor, or the world’s working class people. All rhetoric aside, their actions, as well as their inactions, speak loud and clear about whose interest they are protecting.

America has a lot to answer for. Despite the willful perversion of language used to conceal unpopular truth, the soul of a nation is revealed not by what it says, but by what it does. We are not the people we purport to be. Our actions, our policies, do not portray a democratic republic concerned with human welfare, the common good. They depict the will of self-interested plutocrats who will gleefully kill every one of us in order to expand their power and increase their personal wealth. They do not care about us. To them, we are expendable servants who exist to do their evil bidding.

Occasionally events occur that reveal transitory glimpses of painful truths that are ordinarily kept hidden from public view, as when lightning strikes in darkness and reveals the contours of a landscape. Hurricane Katrina was such an event. As that powerful storm wrecked havoc upon the Gulf Coast, the world saw with absolute clarity who this government serves. Unvarnished truth of this kind is rarely a pretty sight. Yet we must see it and recognize it for all that it is.

Because we have eyes does not guarantee that we can see the truth that lies before us. Vision requires substantially more than eyes—it requires heart and soul and conscience. Our eyes may be open, yet we do not see or comprehend the travesty that unfolds before us, the hoax that is being perpetrated against us by those in power. Let us open our hearts and our minds and admit the light of truth that much of the world already knows. Let us see, for the first time, perhaps, who we really are. We must then reconcile that vision with our own conscience.

Charles Sullivan is a photographer and free-lance writer living in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. He welcomes your comments at

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