Behind the Facade of Incompetence

It is clear that the US media moguls would have us believe that the catastrophic invasion and occupation of Iraq was a sincere effort to promote freedom and democracy in the Middle East, gone awry. But we must remember that everything associated with capitalism is about marketing: making the people believe that things and events are the opposite of what they really are, and creating artificial wants that neither benefit the individual nor society, while simultaneously embellishing corporate profits.

This understanding would have been equally evident in the mainstream media’s buildup to the war had we a less propagandized, better read, and more informed citizenry. Even the politically naïve should have known that Saddam Hussein’s threat to the US, so vividly hyped in the media, was pure marketing propaganda.

But the majority of the people bought it, and now we have no choice but to live with our purchase. Short of a major social upheaval, we are going to be in Iraq for a very long time, and the death toll will continue to rise, especially for the Iraqis—the unwilling recipients of our corporate benevolence delivered through carpet bombs, terror, and torture. For these are the undeniable legacy of our foreign policies, and the illegal, amoral, acquisition of property by blunt force trauma.

If we are to survive as a republic, we must appreciate that capitalism and its cousin, global corporatism—not Saddam Hussein, not Communism or Socialism, nor Islamic terrorists, are the greatest threats to democracy. Zionism and Christian fundamentalism, which attempt to provide the flimsy moral basis for our Middle East policy, also pose significant obstacles to world peace by denying justice to others and promoting ethnic cleansing.

It is beguiling that we have yet to learn this fundamental lesson, that we know so little about our own history, and the role that mass ignorance plays in determining the future.

The narcotic of state sponsored propaganda has a powerful and hypnotic effect on our collective senses, and it is rending asunder the fabric of what is supposed to be a free and civil society. We believe what we are told and accept what we are given, without demanding truth, justice or accountability.

It is imperative for the purveyors of war to maintain a cloak of secrecy and a façade of public support where, if the truth were known, none would exist. It is necessary to keep the truth concealed in order to throw the public off the scent of the corruption that is the guiding principle of corporate governance and plutocracy, fomented by morally bankrupt men and women; a system that causes irreparable harm and suffering to its innocent victims and then profits from the misery and suffering it inflicts.

These days it is popular to describe the events occurring in Iraq as the result of incompetence, mismanagement, miscalculation, and benevolent bungling; to characterize them as a well intentioned mistake on the road to freedom and democracy, rather than the moral abomination they are. What we have in Iraq is not the result of any of these phenomena. It is the intended consequence of cold calculation to bomb Iraq into submission, to thoroughly disorient its people, and to apply economic shock therapy before they can recognize what is being done to them.

The intent is to invade sovereign nations either militarily, economically, or both; and to force unbridled capitalism on them. This means, of course, that we must first overthrow the existing governments—many of them democracies, and replace them with ruthless dictatorships willing to betray their own people, and amenable to opening up their countries to corporate exploitation and privatization.

So called free market capitalism requires corrupt leadership on the receiving end that is willing to accept bribes while becoming a puppet to the US. This is how some of the must brutal regimes in the world came into power. Corporate America is always beating the drums of war in search of profits and ever increasing shares of the world’s markets. Enough is never enough—they want it all.

Aside from overthrowing popularly elected governments, the unspoken objective of mature capitalism, guided by the doctrine of economic shock therapy, is to turn once sovereign nations into totally deregulated corporate states, answerable to no one.

This objective will be accomplished by privatizing the nationalized infrastructure, inviting in foreign investors, removing tariffs that protect local business and cooperatives from predatory multinational corporations, and downsizing the workforce; by eliminating social spending, and removing all forms of corporate controls. In short, by conducting a fire sale of each nation’s stolen assets and auctioning them off at bargain basement prices to wealthy multinational investors.

The intent is to create an unfettered corporate state in which the market, driven solely by profit, is the final arbiter of all things; an Orwellian world in which human rights, labor laws, environmental protections, and social justice do not even exist, much less enter into market equations.

Aided by the World Bank and the IMF, we are rapidly arriving at a state of global corporate fascism—the free market reform of manic capitalism, greed on steroids; a horrible economic monster unleashed upon unsuspecting people the world over, masquerading as democracy and free trade. And it is occurring in blatant contradiction to everything that is free, decent, and fair; a monstrosity utterly devoid of humanity and empathy for those struggling to survive.

But behind the marketing façade of a beneficent capitalism that is more oxymoronic than real, the skeleton of Reaganism, free marketry, and trickle down economics is exposed for all to see. We are witnessing naked greed unleashed upon the world like a swarm of locusts the size of North America. The fabulously wealthy are realizing obscene profits, while the majority of the world’s people are forced into economic servitude, many of them living in abject poverty, scratching out a bleak existence on sweatshop wages under horrendous conditions.

Economic slavery and burdensome debt, not freedom and democracy, is what we are imposing upon Iraq, aided by the most powerful military in history and, all too often, with the blessings of an oblivious and propagandized citizenry. Aside from the fierce resistance to the occupation, the US is achieving all of its major objectives in Iraq.

Like flies circling piles of stinking excrement, the lords of unfettered capitalism are buzzing around the bloated corpse of what is left of the world. And they have no intentions of stopping at Iraq. Iran and Syria are waiting in the wings: war that will not end in our lifetime.

If the world were as enamored with capitalism as its adherents proclaim, there would be no need to masquerade it as anything other than what it is—economic self interest for the privileged, driven by insatiable greed, funded by the public treasure. There would be no need to impose it on the world through high tech militarism and occupation, preceded by elaborate propagandistic media blitzes and tricks. All people would seek it out, as they seek water to slake their thirst and nourishment for their bodies.

So we must ask ourselves: When has it ever been in the pubic interest to over feed the rich and starve the poor? When has it ever been in the public interest to destroy the earth for the sake of profits? When has it ever been in the public interest to promote war and injustice over peace and shared prosperity?

Just people everywhere must resist evil or run the risk of being complicit in it. Neutrality, indifference and apathy, are untenable responses to what is being done in our name. Somehow, we must awaken from this media induced cultural stupor. We must do so under the prying eyes of government and private security contractors who are protecting corporate investors from democracy, and from people like us. Each of us is being diminished just as the Declaration of Independence states: “harass our people and eat out their substance.”

Every citizen is faced with a simple choice: organize or perish. The storm clouds of World War Three are looming on the horizon. These are extraordinary times that demand something from every one of us.

Charles Sullivan is a naturalist, an educator and a freelance writer residing in the hinterlands of geopolitical West Virginia. He has an academic background in Appalachian Studies. . Read other articles by Charles.

12 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. rosemarie jackowski said on November 2nd, 2007 at 6:39am #

    Charles…Great article. Thanks for writing it. The media is stupid and incompetent – so much so that it allows itself to be manipulated and led away from the truth. Remember what happened to Phil Donahue when he was the ONLY one on air speaking against the war.
    On the other hand, the government is brilliant and has created the largest money laundering campaign in history. 9/11 is the goose that laid the golden egg. The government -democratic and republican Capitalists have brought about the transfer of capital from the poor and middle class to the wealthiest. The capitalists have achieved their goal.

  2. gerald spezio said on November 2nd, 2007 at 9:09am #

    “Somehow, we must awaken from this media induced cultural stupor.”

    Anyhow, I have to figure out what “somehow” means and then tell Charlie.

  3. gerald spezio said on November 2nd, 2007 at 9:14am #

    We all get together and tell the vicious laughing, well educated, and controlling capitalists that they have the most stupid ethics and changing their ethics must somehow take place very soon or else I’ll type them to death or worse.

  4. AJ Nasreddin said on November 3rd, 2007 at 9:42am #

    “If we are to survive as a republic, we must appreciate that capitalism and its cousin, global corporatism—not Saddam Hussein, not Communism or Socialism, nor Islamic terrorists, are the greatest threats to democracy. ”

    Why do people continue to cry that capitalism – system for buying and selling – has a problem with democracy – the rule of the people. The two go well hand in hand – the freedom to buy and sell.

    For Democracy to work – and it was known from the beginning – you must have an informed public. If the media sold out to corporate influence and corporate influence buys politicians, then you have a bad system – and the founding fathers pointed that out.

    What is really bad for democracy is that no one has morals, values, or ethics. Democracy is government by the people, so bad people = bad government. There’s a saying – “People get the government they deserve.”

  5. hp said on November 3rd, 2007 at 11:34am #

    “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what’s for lunch.”

  6. investigative journalist said on November 3rd, 2007 at 5:22pm #

    Bravo Charlie, well said. Everything happening in the middle east is a well orchestrated plan and is working perfectly. Also, you are absolutely correct that the root problem is the MSM. None of this could be happening if the people knew the truth. Well, that is why we are all here and working to solve the problem, right?

  7. kikz said on November 4th, 2007 at 9:23am #

    to discern truth, one must be able to think rationally.

    the MSM is symptom, not cause.

    ij , you need to read.
    free online/in entirety
    j.t. gatto’s
    underground history of american education

    does more than an ample job of explaining the true scope/goal of the systemically designed class war/assault on reason America has currently engaged in for a very long time.

    snip from chap 8: Plato’s Guardians
    … As long as such a pump existed to spew limitless numbers of independent, self-reliant, resourceful, and ambitious minds onto the scene, who could predict what risk to capital might strike next? To minds capable of thinking cosmically like Carnegie’s, Rockefeller’s, Rothschild’s, Morgan’s, or Cecil Rhodes’, real scientific control of overproduction must rest ultimately on the power to constrain the production of intellect. Here was a task worthy of immortals. Coal provided capital to finance it.

    Through the dependence of the all on the few, an instrument of management and of elite association would be created far beyond anything ever seen in the past. This powerful promise was, however, fragilely balanced atop the need to homogenize the population and all its descendant generations.1 A mass production economy can neither be created nor sustained without a leveled population, one conditioned to mass habits, mass tastes, mass enthusiasms, predictable mass behaviors. The will of both maker and purchaser had to give way to the predestinated output of machinery with a one-track mind.

    Nothing posed a more formidable obstacle than the American family. Traditionally, a self-sufficient production unit for which the marketplace played only an incidental role, the American family grew and produced its own food, cooked and served it; made its own soap and clothing. And provided its own transportation, entertainment, health care, and old age assistance. It entered freely into cooperative associations with neighbors, not with corporations. If that way of life had continued successfully—as it has for the modern Amish—it would have spelled curtains for corporate society.

  8. John Greenwood said on November 4th, 2007 at 11:18am #

    One really has to be a credulous simpleton to buy this vicious nonsense. There are plenty of examples where capitalism has obviously benefited people more than socialism. For instance, look at the difference between North and South Korea or the old East and West Germany. Look at what happened in Zimbawe where a country that exported food is now starving it’s people in the name of land reform and social justice. Also, to where do people tend to immigrate? From where do people risk there lives to escape? The answers are obvious to anyone who doesn’t have a brain the size and texture of a marble.

  9. Gary Lapon said on November 5th, 2007 at 2:28pm #


    It’s misleading to frame the choice of system of production as between capitalism on the one hand and “socialism” (I would argue that North Korea and the old East Germany are forms of state capitalism, not socialism, but thats another story) from above on the other. There is a third way, socialism from below (the dictatorship of the proletariat, the working class organized as the ruling class, etc.), which your false dichotomy completely ignores. Maybe this is what Sullivan advocates by his call for us to “organize,” or maybe it isn’t…it’s unclear what he’s calling for, but I doubt from the tone of his article that he’s advocating a Stalinist dictatorship.

    Anyways, let’s look where people are trying to escape and where they’re trying to go. Capitalism has settled pretty much everywhere by this point. Most migration is between capitalism countries. However, there is a concentration of capital in places like Western Europe, the United States, and Japan (the “Triad”), as a result of the transfer of wealth from the rest of the world. Capitalists from the Triad nations loot the rest of the world (as well as workers within the Triad nations) and benefit from the vicious exploitation of workers and the environment. So people from other countries go to Triad nations in an attempt to acquire a portion of the wealth that’s been stolen from their homeland.

  10. John Greenwood said on November 6th, 2007 at 8:01am #

    Mr. Lapon,
    You state “I would argue that North Korea and the old East Germany are forms of state capitalism, not socialism”. How Orwellian or perhaps more like something out of the mouth of a character from Alice in Wonderland. Ha, ha.

  11. JAMES MADISON said on November 6th, 2007 at 8:25pm #

    Mr. Greenwood has his motives ,and they are not to bring truth, but to distort reason for other purposes. His bankrupt vision of capitalism,the meaty goal of his nirvana that has murdered over 7 million innocents in the name of his “freedom” is tailored to his blind greed and profiteering from the labor of capitalism’s slaves. Matter’s not who financed the “Bolsheviks” or who bankrolled WWII’s Nazis and why those friends of Greenwoods are still in power and not swinging by ropes,nay, his blindness or purposeful ignorance,if you will,is a symptom of the executioneers denial syndrome. An idiot can see that neither N.Korea nor DDR were ever “socialist” only by the blathering of the Greenwoods of the world could socialism be attached to those ruthless exploiting dictatorships that have enslaved their populations much like the AmerikanWay of Greenwood these role models for BushCrime and Cheney have nothing to do with the ways and means of their goals,so Greenie go back to your handlers and wait for the people to come eventually and bring your distortion mongers to justice in the same manner as Hussein met his.

  12. John Greenwood said on November 7th, 2007 at 10:31pm #

    Mr. Madison,

    I have a few questions for you:

    1. How do you know what motivates me?

    2. How do you know what is my purpose?

    3. Where did I say that my vision of capitalism was “the meaty goal of nirvana”?

    4. What is your source for the 7 million innocents murdered in the name of freedom?

    5. How do you conclude that I am blinded by greed and profit from capitalism’s slaves? Do you know what I do for a living?

    6. Who are my “handlers”?

    7. Who exactly are my distortion mongers?

    8. Is James Madison your real name?