Media Politics and Intervention
The article Dick Cheney’s Song of America, written by David Armstrong on October 2002 was about the Plan of the United States to be absolutely powerful, to be the very best in everything, to be the leading country in the whole world. Cheney was U.S. President George Bush’s Vice President and Secretary of Defense. He ended his term in 1993 and as he left his office, an unclassified article erupted, which was known to be part of the Defense Planning Guide draft of 1992.
The article was very controversial because it contained information which startled the whole nation. The plans of the U.S. to dominate the world shocked the nation as they become more concrete and structured. These plans are now slowly showing its true colors, and revealing itself to reality.
The Plan was published in unclassified form under the title of Defense Strategy for the 1990s (Powell), which goal is world power by unilateral action and military superiority. The Plan was made in unified efforts of Powell, Cheney and Wolfovits. The idea is to create a sense that US is responsible for world order in addition it proposes that America will act independently when confronted with crisis and when collective action cannot be accomplished. Meanwhile when the plan of being the worlds policeman is not possible still the US will take responsibility in addressing the wrongs however selectively those that threaten their interest as well as the interest of their allies.
The DPC was leaked to the New York Times in March 1992 where it was attack by critics as “blank check” to America’s allies by suggesting the United States would “go to war to defend their interests”, an excuse by the Pentagon to prevent the downsizing of budget but to gain big budgets instead and a “Pax Americana”, a global security system where threats to stability are suppressed or destroyed by U.S. military power. Thus, the Plan was dismissed as a low level draft.
The first plan was about money. Now, it is about dominion. One of the steps to fulfill this aim is to have a “forward presence” in different countries in the world. They will send fewer troops but in more locations. In this way, they would be able to reach more places at the same time. This step will still protect the interests of the Americans.
When Clinton went into office, the plan was officially rejected. He sought to maximize America’s existing position of strength and promote its interests through economic diplomacy. However, on the ascension of Bush into office, the proponents of the Plan reemerged and dominate the Pentagon thereby opening again the Plan that has been proposed in 1992. The proponent sought perfect timing for the released of the revised Plan in September 11, seizing the opportunity, Wolfowitz and Libby called for unilateral military action against Iraq, holding onto their assumption that Saddam Hussein has backed up Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda network. Conversely, at this time the media has been blinded by the Plan’s hidden agenda and even supported it.
In James Petra’s US-Latin American Relations: Measuring The Rise or Fall of US Power, he discussed the changes in US and Latin America’s relationship throughout the years.
The US has established bilateral trade agreements with countries in the Latin America; Peru, Colombia, Central America, Mexico, Chile, Uruguay and most of the Caribbean states to name some.
The United States of America is also continuously exerting efforts in expanding its military bases and the government is allocating much of its national budget for the defense and military sector. This budget is also used to provide training for the military. The US unceasingly builds a strong defense before dominating. Neo-liberalism still perpetuates in some of US’ former colonies, may it be structural or ideological.
Fidel Castro wrote The Empire and the Independent Island on August 2007. He discussed the history of Cuba, its struggle for independence and search for identity. The U.S. declared that it has no intentions of controlling Cuba outright. Several committees and Conventions was established, however many are still asking for the purposes of the Platt Amendment and even for they say that the Amendment limits the sovereignty and independence of Cuba, some even proposed solutions, however debates and solutions was not recognized and the US is firm on their stand, for they claim that it is a statute and it should be imposed as it is.
It is only in the letter of Leonard Wood to Theodore Roosevelt, that the purposes of the Platt Amendment for Cuba were described. In his letter he stated that the Platt Amendment has little or no independence for Cuba, it cannot make certain treaties without US consent, and its real goal is to control and gain possession of Cuba.
The US leases a place in Cuba for the Guantanamo Naval Base. This is in itself unnecessary; it is just another vicious step of the United States to continue to dominate people of other nations.
This paper entitled Images of Latino Immigrants in the Media by Sheila L. Seshans discusses the prevailing negative perceptions and stereotyped images of Latino Immigrants in the American media by analyzing the labels and other means by which Latino immigrants are portrayed in three different southwestern newspapers particularly in the Southwestern U.S./Mexico from August 1999 to January 2000. A panethnic approach is used in explaining why such negative perceptions and labels continue to exist in the media and why this role of the media continues to perpetuate the discriminating images of Latino immigrants in the United States. Latino immigration in the Southwest began with the establishment of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848 (Martinez, 1996). In 1929, it then noticeably became an issue with the promulgation of laws to criminalize the entry to the United States from Mexico without proper documentation (Lorey, 1999). History shows that immigration controls were conveniently relaxed and restricted by the government according to US demand for cheap labor, without necessarily changing the laws. The media is also a powerful tool in falsely exaggerating the negative images of Latino immigrants as shown in the 18 out of 20 articles used in this paper. This is by generalizing Latino immigrants as “illegal” implying deviance and criminal activity. Dehumanization is also done with the lumping into broad labels of all Central and South American immigrants and not presenting them as having a country of origin. The article concludes that the Economic Service function of media plays a pivotal role in the presentation of Latino immigrants in the news. Despite of the globalization of news and the protection of the dominant Anglo culture as reasons for stereotyping and dehumanizing of Latino immigrants, negative Latino immigrant stereotypes may somewhat weaken as more Latino journalists become more keen in the decision-making hierarchy and structure.
The article Marxism in the 21st century: Chavez, Latin Cultural Unity & the Amassing Proletariat discusses the relevance of the evolving Marxist theory in this era of globalization, particularly how it is being applied by Latin countries like Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador, Chile, Argentina, and by far the most active with Hugo Chavez as its forerunner, Venezuela.
According to Jessica Long, the Marxist agenda is now taking on a different challenge – how to launch a revolution initiated by the exploited proletariat, in this case, the global south against the bourgeoisie of today which is the global north. Capitalism is still the primary evil but this time, the exploitation is on an international scale with the battle not between classes but among economically advanced countries like the Unites States and impoverished nations all over the world. As Marx would have put it, the first step towards a successful revolution against capitalist oppression is the development of a class consciousness. Cultural unification is then a sensible means of accomplishing such a task just as what Latin America has been doing articulated by sentiments like “the time has come to launch the Latin American Revolution, to integrate, and breakaway” (Marquez, 2005:12). Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, one of the leaders of Latin America who is most committed in ending neo-liberalism and global capitalism enforces cultural integration by maintaining the alignment of political elite initiatives with proletarian progress. This is evidenced by projects like the “Vuelta al Campo” or Return to the Countryside campaign, the Venezuelan Agrarian Revolution, launching of an ‘assymetric war’, and solidification of ties with progressive nations having similar interests like Bolivia. Despite the anticipated conflict with the global north, a commitment to Latin cultural unity and amassing proletariat can possibly lead to the actualization of the Marxist prophecy.
The article Corporate Globalization and Middle East Terrorism by Charles Sullivan discusses the heated controversy on the establishment and dissemination of corporate globalization in the Middle East in the disguise of protecting the ideals of democracy by launching a war against terrorism. This is continuously evidenced by the developments in Iraq – a country forced into freedom and democracy in order to be all the more economically exploited and culturally dependent under a new tyrant which is the United States. As its ally that is most proximate and influential to Iraq, Israel is also now being conveniently used by the United States as a lookout and guardian. In fact, it is given that special role for all over the Middle East as revealed in “Rebuilding America’s Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century” that was written by Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and other neocon personalities who are always clamoring for war. The motive of the American-Israeli Middle East policy then boils down to the imposition of capitalism into the region in order to amass consumers for US surplus goods and American culture, and the exploitation of the vast and rich oil reservoirs of the Arab countries. The consequences of the US – Israel alliance are grave: a virtual martial law and eventual puppet government, forced membership in the World Trade Organization that effectively renders a nation’s Constitution and its laws null and void, coercion into accepting loans from the IMF and the World Bank, privatization of state institutions that require the state to open its borders to private ownership and foreign investors, some kind of Middle East Free Trade Agreement that encapsulates global capitalism and US hegemony, creation of markets for US pleasure and advantage, and a source of cheap labor for the US economy. Clearly, the United States and Israel have everything to gain in the domination of the Middle East in the name not of religion or democracy, but of corporate globalization.
The article Sheep can never be Shepherds: Tyranny of the Few by Mirza Yawar Baig discusses a Muslim’s point of view of the current events that have propelled resentment, anger, and even hatred among Muslims in general because of the atrocious terrorist attacks that have been made and are continuously being committed by some Muslim extremists against the United States of America. According to Mirza Yawar Baig, it is very typical for most Muslims to be in a state of denial whereby they just dismiss such allegations as false, ignoring the fact that such violent actions have indeed been committed by fellow believers of Islam. While various Muslim experiences justify this doubt however, in this case, Mirza Yawar Baig encourages other Muslims to open their eyes and see that fellow Muslims are really guilty for the deaths of thousands of innocent Americans and other acts of terror. In fact, such events should lead to the realization that apart from seeking revenge against Americans, Muslims should focus on dealing with one of their major problems which is unity. The division of their society into four mutually exclusive groups, the Ulama, Danishwaraan-e-millat, their own political leaders, and the majority of ordinary Muslims, should then be given a remedy. If only there was a way for a common authority or voice to bind Muslims together then there would be a mutual understanding in upholding the teachings and practices of Allah which emphasizes a non-violent struggle for truth. Satyagrah or non-violent civil disobedience like what Gandhi did in India should then be practiced. Today, think tanks and team work among Muslims should be the first step in devising creative and alternative means like mindshare and building popularity in order to voice out Muslim sentiments across America and all over the world, instead of violence and senseless retaliation.
Armstrong, D. (2002, October). Dick Cheney’s Song of America. Retrieved November 8, 2007, from http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article1544.htm.
Baig, M.Y. (2007, August 18). Sheep can never be shepherds: Tyranny of the few. Retrieved November 8, 2007, from http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article18209.htm.
Castro, F. (2007, August 20). The Empire And The Independent Island. Retrieved November 8, 2007, from http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article18216.htm.
Long, J. (2007, August 20). Marxism in the 21st century: Chavez, latin cultural unity & the amassing proletariat. Retrieved November 8, 2007, from http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article18220.htm.
Petras, J. (2006, January 1). US-Latin American Relations : Measuring The Rise or Fall of US Power. Retrieved November 8, 2007, from http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article15464.htm.
Seshans, S.L. Images of Latino Immigrants in the Media. Retrieved November 8, 2007, from http://aabss.org/journal2001/Seshan2001.jmm.html.
Sullivan, C. (2006, August 29). Corporate Globalization and Middle East Terrorism. Retrieved November 8, 2007, http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article14749.htm.