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by La Jornada
Tuesday, Sep. 29, 2009 at 2:45 PM
Interview of Noam Chomsky
chomsky.jpg, image/jpeg, 252x355
"Latin America is today the place more stimulant of the world"
Latin America is today the place more stimulant of the world, Noam Chomsky says. There is a real resistance here to the USA empire; a lot of areas of the don't exist which can one to say the same. Interviewed by La Jornada, one of the more relevant dissident intellectuals of our times marks that the hope and the change announced by Barack Obama is an illusion, since they are the institutions and no the individuals that determine the direction of the politics. Ultimately, which Obama acts, for Chomsky, it is a turn of the extreme right heading for the center of the traditional politics of the United States.
Present in Mexico to be celebrated La Day's 25 years, the author of more than a hundred books, linguist, anti-imperialist critic, analyst of the paper carried out by the communication means in the production of the consensus, it explains as the war to the drugs began in the USA as part of a conservative offensive against the cultural revolution and the opposition to the invasion of Vietnam. We presented to follow the complete of the declarations of Chomsky to La Jornada:
"Latin America is today the place more stimulant of the world. For the first time in 500 years there are movements heading for a true independence and separation of the imperial world. Countries that historically were separate are beginning becoming complete. This integration is a prerequisite for the independence. Historically, the USA dropped a government after another; now no longer they can make it.
Brazil is an interesting example. In the beginning of the sixties, the programs of João Goulart were not so different from the one of Lula. In that case, Kennedy's government organized a military coup d'état. Like this, the national security state spread for the whole area as a curse. Nowadays, Lula is the good man, to which it try to treat well, in reaction to the most militant governments in the area. In the USA, Lula's favorable comments Chavez or Evo Morales are not published. Them silenced because they are not the model.
There is a movement towards the regional unification. They begin being formed institutions that, if they still don't work fully, they begin to exist, as it is the case of Mercosul and of Unasul.
Other notable case in the area is it of Bolivia. After the referendum, there was a great victory and also a quite violent rebellion in 1/2 Moon's provinces, where they are the governors traditional, white. Dozens of people died. There was a regional meeting in Santiago from Chile, where a great support was expressed Morales and a firm condemnation to the violence, what was answered by the Bolivian president with an important declaration. He said that it was the first time in the history of Latin America, from the European conquest, that the people took the destiny of their countries in their own hands without the control of a foreign power, in other words, Washington. That declaration was not published in the USA.
Central America is traumatized by the terror of the era Reagan. It is not a lot what happens in this area. The USA follow tolerating the military blow in Honduras, although it is significant that cannot support him openly.
Another change, although accident victim, is the cure of the pathology in Latin America, probably the unequalest area of the world. It is a very rich area, always governed by a small Europeanized elite, that it doesn't take any responsibility with the rest of their respective countries. That can be seen in very simple things, as the international flow of goods and capitals. In Latin America the escape of capitals is almost same to the debt. The contrast with oriental Asia is a lot better. That area, much poorer, had a development much more economical noun and the rich ones are submitted to control mechanisms. There is no escape of capitals; in South Korea, for instance, he is punished with the death penalty. The economical development there is relatively equalitarian.
The weakness of the control of the USA
There were two traditional forms for the which the USA controlled Latin America. One era the use of the violence; the other, the economical pressure. Both were weakened.
The economical controls are now weaker. Several countries were liberated of International Monetary Fund through the collaboration. Also the actions were diversified among the countries of the South, process in which the relationship of Brazil with to South Africa and China it carried out an important factor. Those countries started to face some internal problems without the powerful intervention of the United States.
The violence didn't finish. They happened three coup d'état in this century beginning XXI. The Venezuelan, openly leaning for the USA, it was reverted, and now Washington has to go through the other means to subvert the government, among them, press attacks and support to dissident groups. The second was in Haiti, where France and the USA deposed the government and they sent the president for to South Africa. The third party, in Honduras, was of a mixed type. Organization of American States (OAS) it assumed a firm posture and the White House had to follow her and to proceed with a lot of caution and slowness. IMF has just approved an enormous loan to Honduras, that substitutes the reduction of the government's from the USA help. In the past, these were routine subjects. Now, those measured (the violence and the economical pressure) they were weakened.
The United States are reacting and giving steps to militarize the area. The Fourth Fleet, dedicated to Latin America, that had been dismantled in the years 1950, was retaken, and the military bases in Colombia are an important theme.
The illusion of Obama
Barack Obama's election generated great change expectations to Latin America. But they are illusions. Yes, there is a change, but the turn is because Bush's government was so to the end of the American political spectrum that any thing that if it moved would go for the center. In fact, own Bush, in his second period, was less extremist. It came undone of some of their more arrogant collaborators and their politics were more moderately center. And Obama, in a previsible way, continues with this tendency.
We had a turn heading for the traditional position. But which is that tradition? Kennedy, for instance, was one of the most violent presidents of the postwar period. Woodrow Wilson was the largest intervener of the century XX. The center is not pacifist nor tolerant. In fact, Wilson was who took possession of Venezuela, removing English of there, in function of the discovery of petroleum. He supported a brutal dictator. And of there it proceeded heading for Haiti and to Dominican Republic. He sent them "marinate" and practically it destroyed Haiti. He left in these countries national guards and brutal dictators. Kennedy made the same. Obama is a return to the center.
The history repeats with the theme of Cuba, where, for more than half century, the USA wrapped up in a war, since the island won his/her independence. In the beginning, this war was quite violent, especially with Kennedy, when there were terrorism and economical pressure, to which most of the American population is opposed. During decades, almost two thirds of the population have state in favor of the normalization of the relationships, but that is not in the political calendar.
The maneuvers of Obama steered towards the center; he suspended some of the most extreme measures of Bush's model, which until it was leaning for the Cuban-American community's good part. He moved a little towards the center, but he left very clear that there won't be larger changes.
The "reforms" of Obama
The same happens in the politics interns. The assistants of Obama during the campaign were very careful in not letting to commit him with anything. You consign were them "the hope" and "the change, a change in the which to believe". Any publicity agency would have done with that those were them consign, therefore 80% of the country thought that this walked for mistaken rails. McCain said similar things, but Obama was more pleasant, easier to sell as product. The campaigns are alone subjects of market technique; they understand like this themselves. They were selling the "mark Obama" in opposition to the "mark McCain". it is dramatic to see those illusions, so much out as inside of the USA.
In the United States, almost all of the promises done in the extent of labor reform, of health and energy they were almost annulled. For instance, the system of health is a catastrophe. It is probably the only country in the world where no there is a basic warranty of medical attention. The costs are astronomical, almost the double of any other industrialized country. Anybody that has the head in the place knows which is the consequence of a private system of health. The companies don't seek health, but I profit.
It is a system highly bureaucratized, with a lot of supervision, high administrative costs, where the insurance companies have sophisticated forms of avoiding the payment of policies, but no there is anything in the calendar of Obama to do something to I respect. There were some proposed "light", as, for instance, the public option", that it ended annulled. If somebody reads the press of businesses, it will find that Business Week layer moderated that the insurance companies were celebrating his victory.
Campaigns were accomplished against this reform, organized for the communication means and for the industry to mobilize extremist segments of the population. It is a country where is easy to mobilize the people with the fear and to put in his/her head every type of crazy ideas, as the that Obama will kill their grandparents. Like this, they got to revert proposed legislative already for itself weak. If, in fact, it had happened a real commitment in the Congress and in the White House, that would not have prospered, but the politicians agreed more or less.
Obama has just made a secret agreement with the pharmaceutical companies to assure them that he won't make government efforts to regulate the price of the medicines. The USA are the only country in the western world where is not permitted that the government uses his purchase power to negotiate the price of the medicines. About 85% of the population they are opposed, but that doesn't mean any difference, until that all see that they are not the only ones that they are opposed for these measured.
The oil industry announced that will use the same tactics to defeat any legislative project of energy reform. If the United States doesn't implant firm controls on the carbon dioxide emissions, the global heating will destroy the modern civilization.
The Financial Times newspaper marked with reason that if there was a hope that Obama could have changed the things, now it would be surprising that it accomplished their promises. The reason is that he didn't want to change the things so much like this. He is a creature of those that financed his campaign: the financial institutions, institutions of energy, companies. He has the good young man's appearance, it would be a good company for dinner, but that is insufficient to change the politics; he affects her very a little, actually. Yes, there is change, but it is of a type a little softer. The politics comes from the institutions, it is not done by individuals. And the institutions are very stable and very powerful. Certainly, they find the best way to face the events.
More of the same.
The communication means are a little surprised that he is returning for the point where it was always. They moderate, it is difficult not to do it, but the fact is that the financial institutions show off that everything is being before same the. They won. Goldman Sachs not even it tries to hide that after having ruined the economy is giving generous bonus their executives. I have faith that last quarter it moderated the highest profits of his history. If they went a more intelligent little bit would try to hide that.
That is due to the fact that Obama is answering those that supported his campaign: the financial section. To look who he chose for his/her economical team is enough. His first assistant was Robert Rubin, responsible for the derogation of a law that regulated the financial section, what benefitted Goldman Sachs a lot; even so, he turned into director of Citigroup, he made a fortune and he left exactly on time, before the disaster. Larry Summers, the main responsible illustration for the blockade of all regulation of the exotic financial instruments, now is the main economical assistant of the White House. And Timothy Geithner, that as President of the Federal Reserve of New York, supervised what happens, he is the secretary of Treasury.
A recent report examined some of the main economical assistants of Obama. It was ended that great part of them should not be in the team of the president's consultantship, but facing legal demands, because they were involved in irregular handlings of accounting and in other subjects that detonated the crisis.
For how long can they stay the illusions? The banks are now better than before. First they received an enormous rescue of the government and of the taxpayers and they used those resources for if they strengthen. They are larger than never, because they absorbed the weakest. In other words, it is settling the base for the next crisis. The great banks are benefitting with a policy of the government's insurances that it calls itself "too big to break". In case you are an enormous bank or a great house of investments, it is too important to fail. If you are Goldman Sachs or Citigroup, it cannot fail because that would drop all the economy. Therefore they can make risk loans, to win a lot of money, and if something gives wrong, the government will take charge of the rescue.
The war against the drug traffic.
The war against the drug, that it disperses for several countries of Latin America, among them Mexico, has old antecedents. Revitalized by Nixon, it went an effort to overcome the effects of the war of Vietnam, in the USA. The war was a factor that took to an important cultural revolution in the sixties, which civilized the country: the woman's rights, civil laws. In other words, it democratized the territory, terrifying the elites. The last thing that they wanted was the democracy, the rights of the population, etc., reason for the which they threw an enormous one against offensive. The war against the drugs is part of it.
It was drawn to transport the conception of the war of Vietnam: of the one that we were doing to the Vietnamese ones to the that they were not doing to us. The great theme in the end of the sixties in the communication means, besides the liberal ones, it was that the war of Vietnam was a war against the USA. The Vietnamese ones were destroying our country with drugs. It was a myth manufactured by the communication means in the films and in the press. The history of an army was invented full of welded drug addicts that, when returning home, they turned into criminals, terrifying our cities. Yes, there was use of drugs among the military ones, but it was not very different from what it existed in other sections of the society. It was a manufactured myth. It is of that that the war was treated against the drugs. It moved like this the conception of the war of Vietnam, transforming it in a war in the which we were the victims.
That was fit in very well with the campaigns in favor of the law and of the order. It was said that our cities strayed from because of the movement anti-war and of the cultural rebels, and that for that was necessary to impose the law and the order. There the war fit against the drug.
Reagan enlarged it in a significant way. In the first years of his administration he intensified the campaign, accusing the communists of promoting the consumption of drugs. In the beginning of the eighties, the employees that you/they took the war seriously against the drugs they discovered a significant and inexplicable increment of bottoms in banks of the south of Florida. They threw a campaign to stop it. The White House intervened and it suspended the campaign. Who made it? George Bush father, in this period the person in charge of the war against the drugs. It was when the tax of prisons increased in a significant way, mainly the prison of black. Now the number of per capita prisoners is it louder of the world. However, the crime rate is almost same the one of the other countries. It is a control on part of the population. It is a class subject.
The war against the drugs, as other politics, promoted so much by liberals as for conservatives, it is an attempt to control the democratization of the social forces.
There are some days, the Department of State emitted his/her cooperation certification in the fight against the drugs. The three countries that healthy not certificate was Myamar, a military dictatorship? it doesn't matter, it is leaning for western oil companies -, Venezuela and Bolivia, that are enemies from the USA. Nor Mexico, nor Colombia, nor United States, in all which there is drug traffic.
An interesting place
The central element of the neoliberalism is the liberalization of the finance markets, that turns vulnerable the countries that have foreign investments. If a country cannot control his coin and the escape of capitals, it is under the foreign investors' control. They can destroy an economy if they don't like of something that that country does. That is another form of controlling people and social forces, as the labor movements. They are natural reactions of a very concentrated business community, with great class conscience. Of course has resistance, but fragmented and little organized and for that they can follow promoting politics to which most of the population is opposed. Sometimes that arrives to the end.
The financial section is the same as before; the insurance companies of health won with the reform of health, the companies of energy won with the reform of the section, the unions lost with the labor reform and, certainly, the population of the USA and of the world it loses because the destruction of the economy is serious for herself. If the environment is destroyed, the ones that more will suffer will be the poor. The rich ones will survive the effects of the global heating.
Therefore Latin America is today truly one of the places in the world interesting. It is one of the places where there is a true resistance to all this. Up to where it will arrive? It is not known. I would not be surprised with a turn to the right in the next elections in Latin America. Even so, it will have if gotten a progress that seats the bases more for something. There are no many places in the world of the which can one to say the same."
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