Today, geopolitics is simple. Or at least a once complex subject of relations between the nations of the planet, socio-economic consequences or interactions and responses to real or perceived grievances has now been boiled down to the lowest common denominator. For United States President George Bush and his supporters there are only two things that define the world today – good and evil.
And America is the epitome of good and whoever King George Bush II does not like is lumped into the great category of evil. Suffice to say white Europe and Canada are all good while Black Africa and parts of the Middle East are also evil. The gospel from the mouth of King George is now the stated official policy of the American mainstream media and Establishment.
This past week the complete collusion between the Bush Administration, the mainstream media, and sections of America’s privileged classes was on full display with the arrival in the United States of Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who was greeted by the asinine howlings of the New York Daily News’ front page banner headline “The Evil Has Landed.” This and other ravings from the likes of talking heads on CNN, Fox 5 et al, set the stage for the hostile and aggressive postures taken by this most rabid, reactionary and backward section of the American populace.
Indeed, the hateful frenzy whipped up by both leaders of the Democratic and Republican Parties and their agents in the media all but drowned out any valid arguments that Ahmadinejad made and prevented any objective and critical analysis of the real situation between Iran and the United States. So when the Iranian leader hilariously remarked about the alleged absence of homosexuality in his country the media latched onto this while rejecting and ignoring any legitimate statements that he made in his address at Columbia University.
But in the context of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s visit, how he was treated in the press and the vitriol directed against him, especially by sections of the Jewish community, was an object lesson not only on the state of democracy in America but how intolerance, persecution and tribal discourse has obfuscated and warped any sense of reality that hitherto existed. It also demonstrated how people, well-meaning people, in a practicing democracy could embrace anti-democratic and fascist methods because of the almost complete mind-control by autocratic and totalitarian sections of the national leadership.
First and foremost the angry piranha-like frenzy and hate-filled hysteria brought back vivid memories of the demonization of Saddam Hussein and the militaristic mood that muddled the minds of decent Americans in the fall of 2002 as the media joined George Bush, Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Pearle to hurl the nation down the road to war and occupation of a country that never threatened the United States. Perhaps Iran is next on the US hit list and the mainstream media is simply “doing its job.”
In characteristic one-sided attacks, condemnations and criticisms of the Iranian president the mainstream media offered a biased, uncritical, fawning adulation and praise for King George after his United Nations diatribe on September 25 in which he grandiloquently called on the UN to more aggressively promote human rights and oppose authoritarian regimes around the world. Such double standards from a man who molly-coddles and dances with military dictators, petty generalissimos and other leaders whose record of human rights is as spotty as a Dalmatian was a test case in hypocrisy.
However, albeit unconsciously, the coming together of these events served to demonstrate and amplify a creeping form of authoritarianism that is quietly gripping America. The contrasting treatment of the two world leaders was a case study in two distinct form of authoritarianism.
The first is the American version of today under the Bush Administration that was fine-tuned by the neoconservative cabal that serves with him and is characterized by a high degree of submission to the authorities who are perceived to be established and legitimate in the society of which one is a member. The second type that defined Ahmadinejad is characterized by authoritarian behavior that is visibly demonstrated by hostility toward people who are perceived to be disapproved by the established authorities and leaders that drives concomitant public hostility.
Correspondingly, giving Bush a free ride the mainstream media pummeled Ahmadinejad and called him every name imaginable. He was roasted at Columbia University by the institution’s president Lee Bollinger who marched zombie-like in lock-step with the Administration, the ignorant screeching sections of the population, and the cawing of the mainstream media about just how bad a guy Ahmadinejad was and how dare he come to America.
After chiding and chastising the UN Bush then waxed eloquently about individual human rights and brazenly called for the world body to uphold and protect them. Interestingly, the media never even mentioned a word about how many parts of the UN Declaration that as US president Bush had violated, ignored, or ran rough-shod over. Nor did the media remember that it was the United Nations under Kofi Anan that called for him to adhere to international standards and observe human rights safeguards in his “war on terror.”
Conspicuously silent in the saber rattling against Ahmadinejad was the long forgotten fact that it was the United Nations that called in February 2006 on the Bush Administration to shut down its Guantanamo Bay detention camp and charge the hundreds of detainees before a transparent and competent court or set them free. The media has long suffered from the amnesia when it comes to the fact that five independent investigators of the United Nations Commission of Human Rights have repeatedly made recommendations after an exhaustive 18-month probe into the situation of the detainees in Guantanamo that the facility be shut down.