Monday, September 21, 2009

A War Against Itself

In the wake of the First World War, Europe was a mess. Millions had died both directly from the war and indirectly from the Spanish Flu which had massacred the civilian population and the military alike, their resistance weakened by food and supply shortages.

What truly left Europe so devastated, however, was the shift from "traditional" means of warfare that had slowly accumulated over centuries into modern warfare, complete with machines that could kill with the press of a cliché button. Death had become automated and that had destabilized the complex power balances that had kept things running slowly before the war.

Something similar has happened in the American Media.

Instead of "traditional" censorship, where governments would flood the media with propaganda, out-competing alternative viewpoints, and threaten often at gunpoint those who had broken through the government's control.

Now we have something more automated. A censorship based on quiet omissions and a slow choking off of information, leaving what little information seeps through undecipherable, without context. While the mechanization of war roared into a European continent which had enjoyed a previously quite peaceful century and became inescapable as the horrors of the Great War embedded themselves in the politics and arts of the twenties, the subtle gaining of these means of censorship have gone largely unnoticed.

We are in the worst kind of danger. The kind you cannot see coming.

We should have known when it was England the reported more heavily on our own 2000 election and the following controversy. We should have realized what was happening when our media differed so radically from the rest of the world's total lack of the steady drumbeat into the Iraq War. We should have acted when the Pentagon irradiated entire Iraqi cities and the Gap bought members of congress to keep it's caged workers on Saipan working for scarily low wages.

What happens when the media starts refusing to cover bombs being built here, instead of just them going off over there?

(World on Fire coming by Friday, I swear!)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Third Parties

In short, the more things change the more they stay the same. We now have confirmed the link between the School of the Americas specifically and the US generally, and the coup in Honduras.

The left wing in the US has been ignored in favor of corporatist (and more recently, growing right wing populist) policy. Obama has no reason to change, and has shown no indication of movement on this subject, in spite of unusually strong complaints from the usually grateful left-center base.

The instability in Honduras at this point, buried by the American media, is the direct consequence of the complete isolation of the left from the American political scene. The entire country of Honduras has been functionally shut down by our actions and inability to correct our failed policies. Our broken system is breaking their system.

If the American Public wants to take a stand against our legitimizing and financing of military coups and resultant dictatorships, we need a protest vote we can turn to. Buchanan, Barr, and Nader have wrecked havoc transforming the Reform, Libertarian, and Green parties into organizations primarily focused on advancing their leaders careers, not actual reform.

There seems to be no avenue to actually repairing our system. For decades now, millions of Americans haven't voted, and tellingly, no mainstream attempts have been made to correct this. Dissatisfaction producing apathy is in the interest of those who don't want the United States to have a democracy, or at least a democracy that actually represents popular opinion.

Japan has given us hope, however.

Where a coalition of centrist, corporatist parties ruled for decades on end, financed by wealthy backers both foreign and domestic, a populist democratic seed took root and seems committed to rebuilding the nation.

Let's hope that they don't get another false promise, another Obama.