Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

The Washington Post’s Case Against Democracy


The Washington Post has been a leading promoter of the Rules Based Order, which some have confused with a pro-democracy initiative. The Post has, however, assembled a powerful case against democracy, that we all need to take seriously if we want to be, you know, serious.

I want to highlight just the most recent two additions to the anti-democracy argument that by now is quite overwhelmingly established.

On August 29th, a column appeared in the Washington Post by a very serious columnist who has seriously and consistently supported every war in recent decades, and done so with completely inconsistent but super serious arguments. The fault of the horrific deaths of 13 people in Afghanistan in recent days, this column argued, lies with the U.S. public, which may have (the column doesn’t really suggest this, but who knows) had some influence on the U.S. government.

The brilliance of this column may fade into the wallpaper, because some of it is now well-established practice. It is none the less worth noting that vastly more than 13 people have died in recent days in Afghanistan. The U.S. military is still sending in missiles to blow men, women, and little children into tiny bits and pieces. But they are not lives that matter. If they mattered, then it would also matter that the war has been killing people, almost certainly in the 2 to 4 million range over a period of 20 years. And if that mattered, then ending a war wouldn’t be understood as an act of violence, no matter how badly you ended it.

There’s something even more brilliant here, though. If you look back at the public opinion polls in the United States, the U.S. public has opposed the war for well over 18 years. Millions of us have not just said that but done everything we could to end it since the day it began. If you’re finally going to give us credit, it might be worth considering the likelihood that the ending would have been better 19 or 20 years ago than it was this past week. Only a very skilled and serious columnist could erase that line of thought by transforming credit into blame, peace into war, and missile victims into vapor.

The idea of democracy is subtly weakened while the wars for “democracy” are strengthened in the hands of a master — or of a brain-dead jackass paid big bucks for this swill; as a member of the public, I don’t feel qualified to say which it is.

Example number 2: On August 27th, the Washington Post published a column that lamented the possible influence of European public opinion on the participation of European governments in NATO. It seems that people in Europe are not fond of all the wars, much less of planning more of them. They believe some of the fearmongering lies about Russia, yet still strongly oppose the basic idea of NATO, which is the illegal commitment of each member to join in any crime committed by the military of another member. In particular they oppose stirring up a war on China, which is of course the number one project of the democracy-spreading Rules Based Order.

The Washington Post knows what matters, thank goodness, and is focused on making sure NATO can do what the weapons dealers demand, no matter what the pesky public may prefer in NATO member states.

The point that the Post really needs to develop further, and I have every confidence that it can, is how an antidemocratic institution waging unpopular and illegal wars that cause more destruction, death, and suffering than just about anything else happening in the world can be better sold as pro-democracy. The Rules Based Order is already crumbling as a piece of propaganda. It too obviously is a mask for the notion that who rules gives the orders. But the sacred word “democracy” is of too much value to the most serious project there is for it to be allowed to slip away without a struggle. That project is of course the critical work of bullshitting everyone.

--

David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is executive director of WorldBeyondWar.org and campaign coordinator for RootsAction.org. Swanson's books include War Is A Lie. He blogs at DavidSwanson.org and WarIsACrime.org. He hosts Talk Nation Radio. He is a 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee.

Follow him on Twitter: @davidcnswanson and FaceBook.

Help support DavidSwanson.org, WarIsACrime.org, and TalkNationRadio.org by clicking here:

http://davidswanson.org/donate

Sign up for these emails at

https://actionnetwork.org/forms/articles-from-david-swanson

https://davidswanson.org/the-washington-posts-case-against-democracy/

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 


Globetrotter: How AUKUS May Damage NATO
The fallout over the AUKUS deal, as we are now seeing, has been a severe rift in relations between two historic allies, the U.S. and France. And the collateral damage may also include NATO. Only weeks after U.S. President Joe Biden courageously ended the war in Afghanistan—in the face of bitter opposition from the media and Congress... More>>

ANZUS without NZ: Why AUSUK might not be all it seems
We live, to borrow a phrase, in interesting times. The pandemic aside, relations between the superpowers are tense. The sudden arrival of the new AUKUS security agreement between Australia, the US and UK simply adds to the general sense of unease internationally... More>>

Bill Bennett: Farewell Clive Sinclair
My first brush with Sinclair was as an A-level student in the UK. Before he made computers, Sinclair designed an affordable programmable calculator. It fascinated me and, thanks to a well-paid part-time job, I managed to buy one. From memory it could only handle a few programmable steps, but it was enough to make complex calculations.... More>>




Binoy Kampmark: Melbourne Quake: Shaken, Not Stirred

It began just after a news interview. Time: a quarter past nine. Morning of September 22, and yet to take a sip from the brewed Turkish coffee, its light thin surface foam inviting. The Australian city of Melbourne in its sixth lockdown, its residents fatigued and ravaged by regulations. Rising COVID-19 numbers, seemingly inexorable... More>>



Keith Rankin: New Zealand Superannuation: The Rules Versus Common Sense

Radio New Zealand (Checkpoint) ran stories last week about New Zealanders aged over 65 stranded in Australia who are at risk of having their pensions ('New Zealand Superannuation') stopped, and then having to repay the funds they received while in Australia... More>>


Dunne Speaks: Proud to call Aotearoa home

Te Paati Māori continues to provide a breath of fresh air in the political space, otherwise thoroughly choked by Covid19. Its call this week this week for a referendum on changing the country’s name to Aotearoa by 2026 is timely and a welcome diversion to the necessarily short-term focus engendered by Covid19... More>>