|From: "Elson Boles"
To: "WORLD SYSTEMS NETWORK"
Subject: Propaganda or Fantasy Island?
Date sent: Fri, 21 Feb 2003 17:03:40 -0500
Decide for yourself. Propaganda is defined as
"deceptive or distorted information that is systematically spread." Fantasy
Island is an isolated retreat where dreams come true.
A Feb. 19, 2003 New York Times article on the split over policy toward Iraq between the US
and nearly the entirety of the rest of the world is curiously titled, "Neither Side
Yielding in Debate Over War With Iraq." But it is not the title that I have in mind,
though it too qualifies with its impression that there are two sides in the debate that
are roughly equal in size. Nothing could be further from the truth.
It is rather a statement by Powell reported by the NYT that I have in mind: "'It
cannot be a satisfactory solution for inspections just to continue forever because some
nations are afraid of stepping up to the responsibility of imposing the will of the
international community,' Mr. Powell said."
This statement is a textbook example of propaganda. Powell contends that "some"
nations are opposed to the will of "the international community" for a war on
Iraq. But this incredible view is the very opposite of reality as details of the article
confirm. The international community, with very few exceptions (and even those are
shifting), is opposed to the Bush Administration's plans for war. But the Bush hawks are
deaf and blind, and they don't care.
For example, we learn in the same article that, "At United Nations headquarters in
New York, diplomats from 32 countries that are not Security Council members offered their
views today on dealing with Iraq. It was the second day of debate, and as with the first,
virtually all speakers argued against war. Among the countries represented were Egypt,
South Korea, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, and Canada."
Even Italy, the only Bush ally of political importance in Europe beside Britain, warned
Bush that he is isolating the US: "Italy's prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, who has
been one of President Bush's strongest supporters, said today that he had recently spoken
to Mr. Bush 'with candor and loyalty, as real friends do' and had 'invited him not to
cultivate isolationism.' As many as three million antiwar protesters marched in Rome on
Saturday. Afterward, Mr. Berlusconi insisted that military action against Iraq must be
carried out under the auspices of the United Nations [that is, not at Bush's will]."
China and Russia are now even closer: "The official Chinese news agency Xinhua said
that President Jiang Zemin of China and President Vladimir Putin of Russia spoke by phone
today and agreed that conditions for the weapons inspectors in Iraq had improved, and that
the Iraq situation should be resolved by peaceful means."
And "Switzerland announced that it had turned down an American request for military
overflights in coming months, saying the request could not be approved unless military
action was authorized by the United Nations."
The article goes on to note the impact of the global protests: "Marches by millions
of antiwar protesters around the world last weekend greatly strengthened the opponents'
positions. Overnight, some diplomats at the United Nations said that the United States and
Britain would have to postpone introduction of a new Security Council resolution
authorizing war because of Germany and France's implacable opposition, as well as the less
determined but still consistent arguments against war by China and Russia."
And it wasn't France that held up Turkey's involvement. Rather, the US can't afford to buy
off its Turkish ally as reported the same day in a New York Times article titled, "US
is Pessimistic That Turks Will Accept Aid Deal On Iraq." Specifically, "The
leader of Turkey's governing party said that the offer the White House described as
"final" was not yet good enough."
Thus, when Powell suggests that the Bush Administration has the support of the
"international community" he his is either knowingly propagandizing or referring
to the Bush's administration's isolated Fantasy Island.
Dept. of Sociology
Saginaw Valley State University
Saginaw MI, 48710