Behind the Facade
By Charles Sullivan
11/02/07 "ICH" -- -- It is clear that the US media moguls
would have us believe that the catastrophic invasion and
occupation of Iraq was a sincere effort to promote freedom and
democracy in the Middle East, gone awry. But we must remember
that everything associated with capitalism is about marketing:
making the people believe that things and events are the
opposite of what they really are, and creating artificial wants
that neither benefit the individual nor society, while
simultaneously embellishing corporate profits.
This understanding would have been equally evident in the
mainstream media’s buildup to the war had we a less
propagandized, better read, and more informed citizenry. Even
the politically na´ve should have known that Saddam Hussein’s
threat to the US, so vividly hyped in the media, was pure
But the majority of the people bought it, and now we have no
choice but to live with our purchase. Short of a major social
upheaval, we are going to be in Iraq for a very long time, and
the death toll will continue to rise, especially for the
Iraqis—the unwilling recipients of our corporate benevolence
delivered through carpet bombs, terror, and torture. For these
are the undeniable legacy of our foreign policies, and the
illegal, amoral, acquisition of property by blunt force trauma.
If we are to survive as a republic, we must appreciate that
capitalism and its cousin, global corporatism—not Saddam
Hussein, not Communism or Socialism, nor Islamic terrorists, are
the greatest threats to democracy. Zionism and Christian
fundamentalism, which attempt to provide the flimsy moral basis
for our Middle East policy, also pose significant obstacles to
world peace by denying justice to others and promoting ethnic
It is beguiling that we have yet to learn this fundamental
lesson, that we know so little about our own history, and the
role that mass ignorance plays in determining the future.
The narcotic of state sponsored propaganda has a powerful and
hypnotic effect on our collective senses, and it is rending
asunder the fabric of what is supposed to be a free and civil
society. We believe what we are told and accept what we are
given, without demanding truth, justice or accountability.
It is imperative for the purveyors of war to maintain a cloak of
secrecy and a fašade of public support where, if the truth were
known, none would exist. It is necessary to keep the truth
concealed in order to throw the public off the scent of the
corruption that is the guiding principle of corporate governance
and plutocracy, fomented by morally bankrupt men and women; a
system that causes irreparable harm and suffering to its
innocent victims and then profits from the misery and suffering
These days it is popular to describe the events occurring in
Iraq as the result of incompetence, mismanagement,
miscalculation, and benevolent bungling; to characterize them as
a well intentioned mistake on the road to freedom and democracy,
rather than the moral abomination they are. What we have in Iraq
is not the result of any of these phenomena. It is the intended
consequence of cold calculation to bomb Iraq into submission, to
thoroughly disorient its people, and to apply economic shock
therapy before they can recognize what is being done to them.
The intent is to invade sovereign nations either militarily,
economically, or both; and to force unbridled capitalism on
them. This means, of course, that we must first overthrow the
existing governments—many of them democracies, and replace them
with ruthless dictatorships willing to betray their own people,
and amenable to opening up their countries to corporate
exploitation and privatization.
So called free market capitalism requires corrupt leadership on
the receiving end that is willing to accept bribes while
becoming a puppet to the US. This is how some of the must brutal
regimes in the world came into power. Corporate America is
always beating the drums of war in search of profits and ever
increasing shares of the world’s markets. Enough is never
enough—they want it all.
Aside from overthrowing popularly elected governments, the
unspoken objective of mature capitalism, guided by the doctrine
of economic shock therapy, is to turn once sovereign nations
into totally deregulated corporate states, answerable to no one.
This objective will be accomplished by privatizing the
nationalized infrastructure, inviting in foreign investors,
removing tariffs that protect local business and cooperatives
from predatory multinational corporations, and downsizing the
workforce; by eliminating social spending, and removing all
forms of corporate controls. In short, by conducting a fire sale
of each nation’s stolen assets and auctioning them off at
bargain basement prices to wealthy multinational investors.
The intent is to create an unfettered corporate state in which
the market, driven solely by profit, is the final arbiter of all
things; an Orwellian world in which human rights, labor laws,
environmental protections, and social justice do not even exist,
much less enter into market equations.
Aided by the World Bank and the IMF, we are rapidly arriving at
a state of global corporate fascism—the free market reform of
manic capitalism, greed on steroids; a horrible economic monster
unleashed upon unsuspecting people the world over, masquerading
as democracy and free trade. And it is occurring in blatant
contradiction to everything that is free, decent, and fair; a
monstrosity utterly devoid of humanity and empathy for those
struggling to survive.
But behind the marketing fašade of a beneficent capitalism that
is more oxymoronic than real, the skeleton of Reaganism, free
marketry, and trickle down economics is exposed for all to see.
We are witnessing naked greed unleashed upon the world like a
swarm of locusts the size of North America. The fabulously
wealthy are realizing obscene profits, while the majority of the
world’s people are forced into economic servitude, many of them
living in abject poverty, scratching out a bleak existence on
sweatshop wages under horrendous conditions.
Economic slavery and burdensome debt, not freedom and democracy,
is what we are imposing upon Iraq, aided by the most powerful
military in history and, all too often, with the blessings of an
oblivious and propagandized citizenry. Aside from the fierce
resistance to the occupation, the US is achieving all of its
major objectives in Iraq.
Like flies circling piles of stinking excrement, the lords of
unfettered capitalism are buzzing around the bloated corpse of
what is left of the world. And they have no intentions of
stopping at Iraq. Iran and Syria are waiting in the wings: war
that will not end in our lifetime.
If the world were as enamored with capitalism as its adherents
proclaim, there would be no need to masquerade it as anything
other than what it is—economic self interest for the privileged,
driven by insatiable greed, funded by the public treasure. There
would be no need to impose it on the world through high tech
militarism and occupation, preceded by elaborate propagandistic
media blitzes and tricks. All people would seek it out, as they
seek water to slake their thirst and nourishment for their
So we must ask ourselves: When has it ever been in the pubic
interest to over feed the rich and starve the poor? When has it
ever been in the public interest to destroy the earth for the
sake of profits? When has it ever been in the public interest to
promote war and injustice over peace and shared prosperity?
Just people everywhere must resist evil or run the risk of being
complicit in it. Neutrality, indifference and apathy, are
untenable responses to what is being done in our name. Somehow,
we must awaken from this media induced cultural stupor. We must
do so under the prying eyes of government and private security
contractors who are protecting corporate investors from
democracy, and from people like us. Each of us is being
diminished just as the Declaration of Independence states:
“harass our people and eat out their substance.”
Every citizen is faced with a simple choice: organize or perish.
The storm clouds of World War Three are looming on the horizon.
These are extraordinary times that demand something from every
one of us.
Charles Sullivan is a nature photographer, free-lance writer,
and community activist residing in the Ridge and Valley Province
of geopolitical West Virginia. He welcomes your comments at
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