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Commentary Last Updated: Aug 11th, 2006 - 01:24:38


Americans are not as stupid as they are made to think they are
By Luciana Bohne
Online Journal Contributing Writer


Aug 11, 2006, 01:21

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The defeat of Bush war-agenda loyalist, Senator Joe Lieberman (D-Conn), provisionally signals the public's disengagement with the faux "democracy" projects of the Bush administration's warmongering in West Asia.

It seems that the American public has lost its appetite for ramming the poisonous and blood-soaked "democracy" pill down the throats of the rebellious masses of the region through the therapy of blitzkriegs and aerial shock and awe. According to the March 2006 Confidence in US Foreign Policy Index, conducted for Foreign Affairs, the US establishment's most influential journal on the topic, 58 percent of the American public say that "democracy [is] something that countries only come to when they're ready for it."

Now, this elementary insight into the nature of democracy is nothing short of genius in a people abused by a massive propaganda machine that touts incessantly the claims that the Bush administration's foreign policy is ardently devoted to promoting democracy in Iraq and throughout West Asia as a major goal while, in reality, it dismembers nations, installs theocracies, helps to enslave women, steals national assets, reaps obscene corporate profits, subverts democracy at home, steals from the treasury to enrich cronies, incites hatred of the land, and helps to foment the next (and this time genuine) terrorist attack against its exposed citizens.

Americans, it seems, are not as stupid as its leaders would wish. The Foreign Affairs poll indicates that 73 percent of us worry that US actions in West Asia are aiding the recruitment of terrorists.

Moreover,"in just a few months" (that was in March) "public concern over oil prices and their impact on national security have gone from 0 to 60." Six in 10 people also believe that improving intelligence operations and becoming less dependent on foreign energy supplies would enhance US security "a great deal." Pressed a little further (but Foreign Affairs can draw its own conclusions), the public might say that US foreign policy needs to change course. Does this sound like Americans are stupid? Or that their leaders have other plans than the security of the people?

Not that the Foreign Affairs poll had been widely reported.

No, instead, we were told almost jubilantly a few weeks ago by our contemptible and contemptuous media that a poll had found that the majority of Americans still believe that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction -- hahaha! I'm sure we all thought individually, "Who are these imbeciles?" And, I think, that was how we were intended to react -- with contempt for the people and ourselves for belonging to them.

So long as the individual American believes he/she is in the minority of public opinion, the fact that Bush's foreign policy is profoundly resented can be successfully hidden and, for a while, neutralized. We will continue to think that voting for the illusory "lesser evil" is all the options we have, lacking any evidence that we actually are a majority "we" who could form an oppositional party that would reflect our actual unity, solidarity, and commitment on basic issues such as peace, human rights, respect for international law, social justice, and real (and not just electoral) democracy -- issues that poll after poll show we systematically support.

It is my belief that Israel's current proxy war in Lebanon for the US is dictated by this knowledge that in just one year, the American public has begun to rethink the fandango of the "war on terror" for the murderous freak show that it really is. After all, if Israel is now fighting "terror" in Lebanon why couldn't the US initiate it, the self-appointed #1 crusader against the "axis of evil" in the whole world? Because, among other important reasons (including the plan to provoke Syria and Iran into hostilities -- a task to which Israel is eminently better suited "diplomatically" speaking than the US), the US population would not buy it, that's why.

Foreign Affairs is not an organ the US public readily accesses to determine what its government is up to. Rather, it is what the ruling elite read and discuss among themselves. You will not find there any crude and rabid diatribes by media buffoons and Bush court jesters such as Rush Limbaughs, Ann Coulters, or other barking-mad illusionists' whose demagoguery is peddled to the allegedly enraptured patriotic masses without portfolios in the stock market. For them is reserved the inconsequential low-burlesque and media mock-epics of the "honor" of flags, "sanctity" of marriage, prayer in the schools, and the depravity and cowardice of the nonexistent "left" -- issues that do not put bread on the table, fill the gas tank, pay the doctor, or secure a child's employable education.

Foreign Affairs, as the forum of the rulers, has other things to think about -- like how to reproduce the privileges and profitability of the economic status quo and existing order. Accordingly, it obsessively studies us -- the bankrollers, cannon fodder, and potential obstructionist to their goals of economic inequality and social injustice -- with justifiably preoccupied and studious attention, much the way men used to study women in the days before women asserted their right to be treated as human beings and to be permitted the courtesy of studying themselves.

The establishment finds that we are not amused, which means that the rulers' agenda to impose American global economic hegemony through military primacy is in trouble. According to the Foreign Affairs poll, most of us rank "promoting democracies" as the least important of our foreign policy goals. This may be because we see that promoting democracy at home has taken second place to promoting tyranny through surveillance, through scrapping the constitution by ignoring that international treaties are the "supreme law of the land," through corrupt elections, and through curtailment of basic rights. We may wonder just why we should pay to export something abroad that we decreasingly have less of at home.

But, in truth, we are not that selfish. Even while suffering from democracy-deficit at home, we care about other people. According to the Confidence Index poll, 71 percent of us would approve our government's efforts to help other countries struck by national disasters and 70 percent of us want our government to cooperate with other countries on environmental and disease-control problems.

It is amazing -- and a credit to us -- that we have managed to hold on to this much of our humanity as our fearless leader shows so little. As Lebanon crumbles under his ally's bombs, the commander-in-chief is reported exuberantly bike-riding on his fake ranch in Texas, going down steep hills shouting, "Here comes an air raid!" Even as the amoral cretin rides again, it is comforting to know that most of us no longer ride with him.

Luciana Bohne teaches film and literature at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. She can be reached at lbohne@edinboro.edu.

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