and Clinton: Censoring The Unpalatable
April 17, 2016
- A virulent if familiar censorship is about to
descend on the US election campaign. As the cartoon
brute, Donald Trump, seems almost certain to win the
Republican Party's nomination, Hillary Clinton is
being ordained both as the "women's candidate" and
the champion of American liberalism in its heroic
struggle with the Evil One.
drivel, of course; Hillary Clinton leaves a trail of
blood and suffering around the world and a clear
record of exploitation and greed in her own country.
To say so, however, is becoming intolerable in the
land of free speech.
presidential campaign of Barack Obama should have
alerted even the most dewy-eyed. Obama based his
"hope" campaign almost entirely on the fact of an
African-American aspiring to lead the land of
slavery. He was also "anti-war".
never anti-war. On the contrary, like all American
presidents, he was pro-war. He had voted for George
W. Bush's funding of the slaughter in Iraq and he
was planning to escalate the invasion of
Afghanistan. In the weeks before he took the
presidential oath, he secretly approved an Israeli
assault on Gaza, the massacre known as Operation
Cast Lead. He promised to close the concentration
camp at Guantanamo and did not. He pledged to help
make the world "free from nuclear weapons" and did
As a new
kind of marketing manager for the status quo, the
unctuous Obama was an inspired choice. Even at the
end of his blood-spattered presidency, with his
signature drones spreading infinitely more terror
and death around the world than that ignited by
jihadists in Paris and Brussels, Obama is fawned on
as "cool" (the Guardian).
23, Counterpunch published my article, "A World War
has Begun: Break the Silence". As has been my
practice for years, I then syndicated the piece
across an international network, including
Truthout.com, the liberal American website. Truthout
publishes some important journalism, not least Dahr
Jamail's outstanding corporate exposes.
rejected the piece because, said an editor, it had
appeared on Counterpunch and had broken
"guidelines". I replied that this had never been a
problem over many years and I knew of no
recalcitrance was then given another meaning. The
article was reprieved provided I submitted to a
"review" and agreed to changes and deletions made by
Truthout's "editorial committee". The result was the
softening and censoring of my criticism of Hillary
Clinton, and the distancing of her from Trump. The
following was cut:
Trump is a media hate figure. That alone should
our scepticism. Trump's views on migration are
no more grotesque than David Cameron. It is not
is the Great Deporter from the United States, but
Peace Prize winner Barack Obama ... The danger to
the rest of
us is not Trump, but Hillary Clinton. She is no
embodies the resilience and violence of a system...
presidential election day draws near, Clinton will
be hailed as
the first female president, regardless of her
crimes and lies
- just as Barack Obama was lauded as the first
and liberals swallowed his nonsense about "hope".
"editorial committee" clearly wanted me to water
down my argument that Clinton represented a proven
extreme danger to the world. Like all censorship,
this was unacceptable. Maya Schenwar, who runs
Truthout, wrote to me that my unwillingness to
submit my work to a "process of revision" meant she
had to take it off her "publication docket". Such is
the gatekeeper's way with words.
At the root
of this episode is an enduring unsayable. This is
the need, the compulsion, of many liberals in the
United States to embrace a leader from within a
system that is demonstrably imperial and violent.
Like Obama's "hope", Clinton's gender is no more
than a suitable facade.
This is an
historical urge. In his 1859 essay On Liberty, to
which modern liberals seem to pay unflagging homage,
John Stuart Mill described the power of empire.
"Despotism is a legitimate mode of government in
dealing with barbarians," he wrote, "provided the
end be their improvement, and the means justified by
actually effecting that end." The "barbarians" were
large sections of humanity of whom "implicit
obedience" was required.
nice and convenient myth that liberals are the
peacemakers and conservatives the warmongers," wrote
the British historian Hywel Williams in 2001, "but
the imperialism of the liberal way may be more
dangerous because of its open ended nature - its
conviction that it represents a superior form of
life [while denying its] self righteous fanaticism."
He had in mind a speech by Tony Blair in the
aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, in which Blair
promised to "reorder this world around us" according
to his "moral values". The carnage of a million dead
in Iraq was the result.
crimes are not unusual. Since 1945, some 69
countries - more than a third of the membership of
the United Nations - have suffered some or all of
the following. They have been invaded, their
governments overthrown, their popular movements
suppressed, their elections subverted and their
people bombed. The historian Mark Curtis estimates
the death toll in the millions. With the demise of
the European empires, this has been the project of
the liberal flame carrier, the "exceptional" United
States, whose celebrated "progressive" president,
John F Kennedy, according to new research,
authorised the bombing of Moscow during the Cuban
crisis in 1962.
"If we have
to use force," said Madeleine Albright, US secretary
of state in the liberal administration of Bill
Clinton and today a passionate campaigner for his
wife, "it is because we are America. We are the
indispensable nation. We stand tall. We see further
into the future."
Hillary Clinton's most searing crimes was the
destruction of Libya in 2011. At her urging, and
with American logistical support, NATO, launched
9,700 "strike sorties" against Libya, according to
its own records, of which more than a third were
aimed at civilian targets. They included missiles
with uranium warheads. See the photographs of the
rubble of Misurata and Sirte, and the mass graves
identified by the Red Cross. Read the UNICEF report
on the children killed, "most [of them] under the
age of ten".
Anglo-American scholarship, followed slavishly by
the liberal media on both sides of the Atlantic,
influential theorists known as "liberal realists"
have long taught that liberal imperialists - a term
they never use - are the world's peace brokers and
crisis managers, rather than the cause of a crisis.
They have taken the humanity out of the study of
nations and congealed it with a jargon that serves
warmongering power. Laying out whole nations for
autopsy, they have identified "failed states"
(nations difficult to exploit) and "rogue states"
(nations resistant to western dominance).
not the targeted regime is a democracy or
dictatorship is irrelevant. In the Middle East,
western liberalism's collaborators have long been
extremist Islamists, lately al-Qaeda, while cynical
notions of democracy and human rights serve as
rhetorical cover for conquest and mayhem - as in
Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Haiti,
Honduras. See the public record of those good
liberals Bill and Hillary Clinton. Theirs is a
standard to which Trump can only aspire.
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