The liberal media and the feds
In my last column, I quoted espionage expert Phillip Knightly. "An intelligence service thrives on threat," he wrote in "The Second Oldest Profession." The same could be said about the rest of the defense industry.
And there are "threats" all over, the "liberal" media warn us: South Korea is developing missiles that can travel farther than before; the Friday rocket attack on American diplomatic and U.N. buildings in Islamabad, Pakistan, which is tacitly assumed to be a "terrorist" strike on behalf of (if not masterminded by) Osam bin Laden.
What does it all come down to? There's a lot of truth in the cliché: money makes the world go round.
Meanwhile, defense industry folks must be real happy about all of this. That's right. The errand boys of the business class, who run the Pentagon system and dole out welfare payments to huge technology-making corporations, are happy as long as Congress is slashing social spending in the name of fiscal responsibility, while beefing up "defense" spending.
It's called "market discipline" for workers and the poor (in order to wean the rabble off big government "dependence"); while nurturing the parasitic relationship that big business has with Uncle Sam and our tax dollars.
Whenever someone tells me that socialism has failed, I laugh. If socialism has failed, then what do you call the Department of Defense? Economist Seymour Melman, author of "Pentagon Capitalism", calls the Pentagon system "a state within a state...a para-state." The chief of all military industrialists - the Secretary of Defense, a non-elected official - controls an economy larger than that of most nations on the planet!
This publicly subsidized, private profit-producing technology (via the Pentagon system) we "need," no doubt. Why? Because the world is full of terrorists, left-over commies, cranks and quacks who get in the way of our "national interest", i.e. Middle East oil market and consumer-friendly "free-markets" in every other nook and cranny of the globe.
Conservative hawks tend to be a little more forthcoming about these things than are liberal doves, as a cursory reading of "academic" foreign policy articles will reveal. The hawks usually don't dress up their language with Orwellian niceties like "human rights" and "democracy" - terms employed by propagandists meant to make this harsh reality a little more palpable to the ignorant masses. Honest talk about low-intensity conflict, special operations and economic politics would turn the stomach of even lukewarm Christians.
Then there's the "liberal" media which does everything but educate the public on the use and abuse of the forces that powerfully shape everyday life. Just about anything will do, right? Ridiculous debates between creationists and evolutionists; the supposed rift between O.J. supporters (blacks) and O.J. haters (whites); grave discussions about whether the peccadilloes of a promiscuous president rise to the level of "high crimes and misdemeanors."
And pundits cynically chastise the "uninformed" for their alleged ignorance and apathy. Then we are told, through no fault of the so-called Fourth Estate, this pandemic citizen inertia is probably the sole reason for low voter turnout. The more thoughtful pundits will note in somber tones that this is not what the "founding fathers" had in mind. Hence, the "crisis" of democracy!
No exposes on the Council of Foreign Relations? Just how is it that politicians allegedly as ideologically opposed as former President Bush and President Clinton can both be members of the CFR? What is the doctrinal glue that binds a "conservative" and a "liberal" under one umbrella?
No in-depth analysis on the World Bank? What is this institution? What are its policies? With a little digging you can find a World Bank report that says almost half of all "international trade" is really intrafirm transfers, which, by definition is not trade.
When Ford, for example, manufactures car components in Mexico and then ships them for assembly in America or vice versa, that's not trade; even though it's carried out under the guise of "free-trade" agreements like NAFTA. Do you think the "adversarial" press will question World Trade Organization leaders about this when they meet in Seattle in two weeks?
And finally, the "liberal" media offer up worthy "bad guys" that even make Rush Limbaugh fans feel good, venting their righteous radio rage. The schizophrenic "feds," say talk radio heads, defend and protect the "national interest" with vigor but throw discipline to the wind when it comes to taking care of the poor and the disinherited?
Must be that old pesky American goodwill getting in the way of reason, again. So even when we do bad, we're good! Fascinating. The feds are squishy when it comes to domestic policy but hard-nosed and brave when it comes to the "national interest"? Amazing creatures - these feds.
You can learn a lot about human nature, deceit, and denial by reading the "liberal" press.