by William Bowles
Perhaps the most difficult thing to do when dealing with current events is to establish the link between economics and politics. Thus the corporate press never, ever present an event, the invasion of Iraq for example as having any connection with economics, indeed any attempt to do so is ridiculed (eg itâ€™s not all about oil). The modus operandi is, keep it simple stupid, itâ€™s good versus evil, donâ€™t confuse the publicâ€™s mind with the complexities of real life for once you do so, an awful lot of explaining has to be done as to why countries act the way they do, none of which is in accord with the way events are portrayed in the MSM.
In my last piece, â€˜Leaving the scene of the crimeâ€™, I quoted from a piece in the Independent on the â€˜Suez Crisisâ€™ by Mary Dejevsky which is a perfect example of this process in action whereby Empire whether past, present or intended is reduced to the level of psychology and personalities. Defeat is a â€œnational humiliationâ€. Yes, there is a passing reference to economics but it is never presented as the root cause of the Anglo-French-Israeli invasion of Eygpt. Instead itâ€™s couched in the context of the Cold War and Nasserâ€™s desire to â€˜take control of the Suez Canalâ€™. Why he would want to do this is not explained except in the context of one personâ€™s desire for power or a desire to humiliate â€˜Great Britain.â€™ Thus Dejevesky tells us
â€œThe Suez crisis began when the young and forceful President of Eygpt, Gamal Abdul Nasser, seized control of the Suez Canal after the US and Britain refused to help fund the Aswan Dam.â€
Note that Nasser did it according to Dejevsky largely because Nasser was â€œyoung and forcefulâ€ nor does Dejevsky explain why the US and Britain refused to fund the building of the Aswan Dam, fundamental economic reasons disappear beneath the psychology of Nasser, who was â€œyoung and forcefulâ€ no doubt because he had too much testosterone circulating in his overheated, Arab veins.
Thus the causes of wars are invariably presented to us because there are nasty, evil individuals in charge who want to take over the world or destroy â€˜civilisationâ€™ or, as in the case of Nasser, for some kind of adolescent urge to prove himself a â€˜real manâ€™. Once reduced to such simplistic causes it becomes all the easier to bury the deeper and more fundamental reasons why countries go to war. They may exist, it is after all, even for a duplicitous writer like Dejevesky all but impossible to ignore them, but we are led to believe that such reasons are subordinate.
Take for example North Korea where we are told that Kim Sung II, the president of the DPRK wants nuclear weapons because he wants to â€˜take overâ€™ South Korea and destroy the â€˜Westâ€™. He wants to do this basically because heâ€™s a nutcase, a psychopath or again perhaps he has too much testosterone circulating in his hot, Asian veins?
Whatever the reason be assured that economics has nothing to do with the â€˜Korean nuclear crisisâ€™. But dig a little deeper and we get a very different picture of events.
â€œAt the six-party talks on September 19, 2005, a statement of principles on nuclear disarmament was signed between the U.S. and the Democratic Peopleâ€™s Republic of Korea [DPRK] â€¦ Although the U.S. was required under the agreement to begin normalizing relations with North Korea, on literally the very next day it announced the imposition of sanctions on North Korean accounts held in the Macao-based Banco Delta Asia, ostensibly because they were being used to circulate counterfeit currency.â€
Over a year later and the US has yet to provide any evidence to back up its accusation.
â€œThe North Koreans said they would respond to evidence of counterfeiting by arresting those who were involved and seizing their equipment. â€œBoth sides can have a dialogue at the consultative body through which they can build trust. It would have a very positive impact on addressing the nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula,â€ Ri said. The delegation also suggested that a North Korean settlement account be opened at a U.S. financial institution and placed under U.S. supervision, so as to allay suspicions â€¦ Not surprisingly, the North Korean offers were rejected.â€
So why did the US invent the bogus story of North Korean counterfeiting?
â€œThe measures taken against Banco Delta Asia deprived North Korea of a major access point to foreign exchange, and served also as a mechanism for magnifying the effect of sanctions. By blacklisting Banco Delta Asia, the U.S. caused other financial institutions to curtail dealings with the bank, until it was forced to sever relations with North Korea. The campaign soon took on global significance. The U.S. Treasury Department sent warning letters to banks around the world, resulting in a worldwide wave of banks shutting down North Korean accounts. Fearing U.S. retaliation, banks felt it prudent to close North Korean accounts rather than risk being blacklisted and driven out of business. U.S. Treasury Under Secretary Stuart Levey observed that sanctions and U.S. threats had put â€œhuge pressureâ€ on the DPRK, leading to a â€œsnowballing avalanche effect.â€ U.S. actions were meant to undermine any prospect of a peaceful settlement.â€
Clearly â€˜regime changeâ€™ is the objective of US actions, for by depriving the DPRK of access to foreign currency and thus the ability to trade, further weakens the already weakened North Korean economy. Why subject the Korean people to such deprivations when we are told that it is the welfare of the Korean people that motivates the actions of the West?
So what the hell is going on here? Why would the US sign an agreement that reduces tensions, normalises relations that would lead to the removal of any kind of â€˜nuclear threatâ€™ from the DPRK and then do its best to sabotage the agreement? More to the point, why is this not reported in the MSM? Why hide such important information from the public especially when we are being told that North Korea is such an alleged threat to peace?
Dare one suggest that the MSM has some kind of hidden agenda here, that it doesnâ€™t want us to know the real reasons behind events and the actions of our political leaders? How else does one explain why such important information is missing from news coverage of North Korea?
Those of us with a skeptical view of events as they are portrayed to us will need no convincing but what of the great majority of the public who are not aware that they are being misled and lied to?
Obviously there are two realities coexisting here, the one presented to us in the mass media and the other reality of real power being exerted for the real reasons, not the least of which is economic. For as long as North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, indeed any country which pursues a course not in accordance with US economic objectives, it will feel the wrath of its power whether the leader is â€œyoung and forcefulâ€ or a â€œpopularist demagogueâ€ or whatever derogatory put-down suits the situation.
To suggest that the MSM behaves in this way is of course derided as the ravings of â€˜conspiracistsâ€™ or even worse that such a critique is itself the expression of a hidden agenda all its own. Yet how else can one explain the complete absence of any reference to the real actions of the US in its dealings with the DPRK than by the fact that the MSM has a not-so-hidden agenda in keeping critical facts from the public especially if they have a direct bearing on the management of engineered crises such as the North Korean â€˜nuclear threatâ€. It wouldnâ€™t do to expose the under-handed actions of the US when the media line consists of endless stories about the DPRKâ€™s â€˜nuclear ambitionsâ€™ and its deranged leader.
And note how â€˜crisesâ€™ come and go at least as presented in the corporate press. One day the world is on the brink of nuclear conflagration and the next not a word is to be found about North Koreaâ€™s nuclear â€˜ambitionsâ€™. But taken as a continuum of news coverage events consist largely of one â€˜crisisâ€™ after another. Never of course of the Westâ€™s creation, itâ€™s always those nasty Asians, double-dealing Arabs, or hot-blooded Latinos etc. In fact itâ€™s an endless liturgy of crises and threats to â€˜ourâ€™ way of life but these are always â€˜threatsâ€™ that exist in splendid isolation from reality.
â€˜Weâ€™ are always the victim of a rogueâ€™s gallery of various and sundry nutters and over-sexed psychopaths who come and go according to criteria dictated by the actions and objectives of our governments. But without the active complicity of the corporate media such â€˜threatsâ€™ would be impossible to sell, thus the seeming innocuous words of the likes of Mary Dejevsky, which purport to be no more than her â€˜musingsâ€™ about her then youthful impressions of the â€˜Suez Crisisâ€™ (â€Mine is the generation that grew up in the shadow of Suezâ€) take on a far more ominous role for they reinforce an imperial view of the world, of an â€˜us versus themâ€™ world, where â€˜weâ€™ are the victims, even if, as Dejevsky suggests, itâ€™s merely no more than a fatal blow to our once imperial egos.
But this is how the deception is carried off and what makes such â€˜musingsâ€™ so dangerous for they mask the underlying reality of power and economic interests (eg ownership of the Suez Canal, which although running through Egypt right across Egyptian land, was â€œseizedâ€ by Nasser in Dejevskyâ€™s topsy-turvy universe, where ownership is the exclusive right of those with the power to enforce it).
Defy that power and be assured you will get what you deserve, first demonised by the MSM, then isolated by the mythical â€˜international communityâ€™ (newsspeak for the US and the major European economic powers) followed by an unhealthy dose of high explosives just in case you didnâ€™t get the message.
1. For the full story see â€˜Why Bush is Seeking Confrontation With North Koreaâ€™, By GREGORY ELICH