Monday, March 27, 2006

Potemkin Puppet

In his recent book of interviews with David Barsamian, Imperial Ambitions, Noam Chomsky reiterates several of the central arguments he’s been making now for decades:

1. That mass media in the U.S. function as a highly effective propaganda system.

2. Within the propaganda system, the sins of the powerful are either excused or positively praised, whereas the sins of state enemies are denounced vehemently.

3. One of the central functions of the intellectual in a system like ours is to practice the hypocrisy mentioned in point 2.

A case in point: contrast the media’s handling of the Abdul Rahman, the Afghan convert to Christianity, and that of Abdur Sayed Rahman, (see the CIC post for March 8, 2006) who has spent years in the U.S. torture facility at Guantanamo Bay for the crime of having a name similar to the terrorist Abdur Zahid Rahman (not really all that different from the Christian convert.)

The case of Abdur Sayed Rahman has already been consigned to the media Gulag of human rights organizations.

This example is tricky since Hamid Karzai has been deputized to sainthood by American Power, and so it is the Afghan judiciary that must be to blame for possibility of executing Abdul Rahman, not Karzai.

Karzai is not only an American puppet, but oddly exerts little control beyond Kabul. In effect, Karzai is a Potemkin Puppet.

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