Saturday, March 06, 2004

Haiti Situation Familiar to Conspiracy Theorists

Think you know the basics of what's going on in Haiti? What about Venezuela?

Well, the reason I ask is because sometimes, even with the best intentions some of us have of getting both sides of a story, both sides don't always seem to be readily available. Either that, or we're just too lazy or trusting to ask the question why?

In Greg Palast's book, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, Palast details the one-sided US coverage of the US-led Venezuela coup attempt. It's really unbelievable stuff, but what was so shocking to me was that I had no idea that there was even another side of the story. I remembered hearing every few weeks or so a short clip on CNN about protests against the evil dictator Hugo Chavez, the democratically-elected President of Venezuela, but that was about it. I never even thought to ask 'why?'. Why were people protesting? After that, the questions can really flow. Who, exactly, was protesting? Of course, CNN never told us about the implications of Chavez's unfavorable actions towards his country's oil industry - at least some part of which is managed by US-owned companies. If you haven't figured it out yet, oil reserves is something that America's powerful, oily elite care a whole lot about.

Read this story in his book. Watch the BBC video clip. Just do something to educate yourself. I'm guessing you'll be devastated, like I was, at how ignorant you were about the situation in Venezuela.

This documentary film on the 2002 coup attempt seems like it'll probably be interesting, too.

Or listen to this audio feed. Wow - this audio clip is...I'm over-using the word 'devastating', but how else could it be described? Talk about media consolidation. Howard Stern getting pulled off the air by Clear Channel just a couple of days after he became a Bush hater instead of a Bush supporter. Rush Limbaugh coming out to defend Stern because of his worries of censorship. A media propaganda machine drumming up support from the masses for action? Does any of this remind you of the US run-up to the Iraq War? Scary, man.

Now we have the situation in Haiti. Are you really prepared, again, to believe what your government is telling you? Aristide is saying he was kidnapped in a US-led coup.

I really like the idea of The Palast Investigative Fund. No details on it yet, but I know that more investigative reporting would be a very good thing for America...

p.s. full disclosure - I should mention that Greg Palast is my personal hero. right up there with James Bovard. and i reserve the right to have as many personal heros as i like.