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Necessary Illusions 

Thought Control in Democratic Societies

By Noam Chomsky

Chapter Five

V. The Utility of Interpretations


Hypocrisy, Milton wrote, is "the only evil that walks Invisible, except to God alone." To ensure that "neither Man nor Angel can discern" the evil is, nonetheless, a demanding vocation. Pascal had discussed it a few years earlier while recording "how the casuists reconcile the contrarieties between their opinions and the decisions of the popes, the councils, and the Scripture." "One of the methods in which we reconcile these contradictions," his casuist interlocutor explains, "is by the interpretation of some phrase." Thus, if the Gospel says, "Give alms of your superfluity," and the task is "to discharge the wealthiest from the obligation of alms-giving," "the matter is easily put to rights by giving such an interpretation to the word superfluity that it will seldom or never happen that any one is troubled with such an article." Learned scholars demonstrate that "what men of the world lay up to improve their circumstances, or those of their relatives, cannot be termed superfluity; and accordingly, such a thing as superfluity is seldom to be found among men of the world, not even excepting kings" -- nowadays, we call it tax reform. We may, then, adhere faithfully to the preachings of the Gospel that "the rich are bound to give alms of their superfluity,...[though] it will seldom or never happen to be obligatory in practice." "There you see the utility of interpretations," he concludes.1

In our own times, the device, thanks to Orwell, is called Newspeak; the casuists are no less accomplished, though less forthcoming about the practice than Pascal's monk.

In the last two chapters, noting the recommendation of the liberal intellectuals that with the "advance of knowledge" we should keep to "subtle" and "refined" methods of social control, avoiding "coarse, obvious and direct methods," I discussed some of the modalities of thought control developed in democratic societies. The most effective device is the bounding of the thinkable, achieved by tolerating debate, even encouraging it, though only within proper limits. But democratic systems also resort to cruder means, the method of "interpretation of some phrase" being a notable instrument. Thus aggression and state terror in the Third World become "defense of democracy and human rights"; and "democracy" is successfully achieved when the government is safely in the hands of "the rich men dwelling at peace within their habitations," as in Winston Churchill's prescription for world order.2 At home the rule of the privileged must be guaranteed and the population reduced to the status of passive observers, while in the dependencies stern measures may be needed to eliminate any challenge to the natural rulers. Under the proper interpretation of the phrase, it is indeed true that "the yearning to see American-style democracy duplicated throughout the world has been a persistent theme in American foreign policy," as Times correspondent Neil Lewis declared.3

There is, accordingly, no "contrariety" when we yearn for democracy and independence for South Vietnam while demolishing the country to eradicate the National Liberation Front (NLF), then turning to the destruction of the politically organized Buddhists before permitting stage-managed "elections." Casuistry even permits us to proceed on this course while recognizing that until compelled by U.S. terror "to use counter-force to survive," the indigenous enemy insisted that its contest with the United States and its clients "should be fought out at the political level and that the use of massed military might was in itself illegitimate." Our rejection of politics in favor of military might is natural, because we also recognized that the NLF was the only "truly mass-based political party in South Vietnam," and no one, "with the possible exception of the Buddhists, thought themselves equal in size and power to risk entering a coalition, fearing that if they did the whale would swallow the minnow."4 With the same reasoning, it was only proper to subvert the first and last free election in the history of Laos, because the wrong people won; to organize or support the overthrow of elected governments in Guatemala, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, the Philippines, Chile, and Nicaragua; to support or directly organize large-scale terror to bar the threat of democracy, social reform, and independence in Central America in the 1980s; to take strong measures to ensure that the postwar world would return to proper hands; and much else -- all in our "yearning for democracy."

From the same perspective, we can understand why, in December 1965, the New York Times editors should praise Washington for having "wisely stayed in the background during the recent upheavals" in Indonesia. In these "recent upheavals," the Indonesian military had "de-fused the country's political time-bomb, the powerful Indonesian Communist party (P.K.I.)" by eliminating "virtually all the top- and second-level leaders of the P.K.I." in one or another manner -- and, incidentally, slaughtering hundreds of thousands of people, mostly landless peasants, while Washington "wisely" observed in silence, the editors choose to believe.5 This concomitant of a welcome victory for freedom was not mentioned, though the editors did warn that the social conditions that enabled the PKI to organize 14 million people persisted. They urged Washington to remain cautious about providing aid to the perpetrators of the slaughter, for fear that the nationalist leader Sukarno and the remnants of the PKI might yet benefit, despite the encouraging achievements of the friends and allies of the United States in conducting the largest slaughter since the Holocaust.

Similarly, it is natural that the New York Times should praise the government of the Shah of Iran, restored to power by the CIA, for its "highly successful campaign against subversive elements" and its "long record of success in defeating subversion without suppressing democracy." The subversives, now thankfully suppressed without suppressing democracy, include the "pro-Soviet Tudeh party," formerly "a real menace" but "considered now to have been completely liquidated," and the "extreme nationalists" who had been almost as subversive as the Communists.6 And few, apparently, find it jarring to read an upbeat report on "the return of full democracy" in the Philippines under the headline "Aquino's decree bans Communist Party," with a lead paragraph explaining that a presidential decree stipulated penalties of imprisonment for membership in the party, which had been legalized under the Marcos dictatorship.7 Not long before, Marcos himself had been a model democrat, a man "pledged to democracy," as Ronald Reagan explained; "we love your adherence to democratic principle and to the democratic processes" and your "service to freedom," his vice president, George Bush, proclaimed in Manila.8 That, however, was before Marcos had lost control, and with it his credentials as a freedom-loving democrat.

On the same principles, we can recall with nostalgia the days of "democracy" under the Diem and Thieu-Ky dictatorships in South Vietnam (see chapter 3). And what is more natural than to observe proudly that "democracy is on the ideological march" because the experience of the last several decades shows that it leads to prosperity and development: "As an economic mechanism, democracy demonstrably works," James Markham writes in the lead article in the Times Week in Review. Economic growth has indeed occurred in the "newly industrializing countries," notably South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore. We are to understand, then, that "democracy" is a system that rejects democratic forms so as to facilitate reduced consumption and superexploitation, with state control over the economy in coordination with domestic conglomerates and international corporations, a pattern closer to traditional fascism than to democracy. All makes sense, however, when we take the term "democracy" to mean domination of the economy and social and political life by domestic elements that are properly sensitive to the needs of corporations and the U.S. government.9

These are constant themes in the media and political system, reflecting broader norms. There are no contrarieties here, as long as we understand the proper interpretation of the term "democracy."

All of this is quite in accord with the doctrine that other countries should control their own destinies, unless "developments...get out of control" and "affect U.S. interests adversely" (see p. 59). The logic is similar when a National Intelligence Estimate of 1955 discusses the quandary the United States faced in Guatemala after the successful overthrow of the democratic capitalist regime. "Many Guatemalans are passionately attached to the democratic-nationalist ideals of the 1944 revolution," particularly to "the social and economic programs" of the regime overthrown in the CIA coup, the study observes with some distress; but few Guatemalans "understand the processes and responsibilities of democracy," so that "responsible democratic government is therefore difficult to achieve."10 The apparent contradiction is dispelled when we give the proper interpretation to "democracy." It is the task of the media, and the specialized class generally, to ensure that the hypocrisy "walks Invisible, except to God alone."

As we see from these and many other examples, a solicitous concern for democracy and human rights may go hand in hand with tolerance for large-scale slaughter, or direct participation in it. The Christian Science Monitor observed approvingly -- and accurately -- that after General Suharto's impressive achievement in eliminating the political threat in Indonesia by mass murder, "many in the West were keen to cultivate Jakarta's new moderate leader, Suharto"; here the term "moderate" is used with an appropriate casuistic interpretation. Suharto's subsequent achievements include extraordinary human rights violations at home and slaughter in the course of aggression in East Timor that bears comparison to Pol Pot in the same years, backed enthusiastically by the United States, with the effective support of Canada, Britain, France, and other guardians of morality. The media cooperated by simply eliminating the issue; New York Times coverage, for example, declined as atrocities increased along with U.S. participation, reaching zero as the atrocities peaked in 1978; and the few comments by its noted Southeast Asia correspondent Henry Kamm assured us, on the authority of the Indonesian generals, that the army was protecting the people fleeing from the control of the guerrillas. Scrupulously excluded was the testimony of refugees, Church officials, and others who might have interfered with public acquiescence in what appears to be the largest massacre, relative to the population, since the Holocaust. In retrospect, the London Economist, in an ode to Indonesia under General Suharto's rule, describes him as "at heart benign," referring, perhaps, to his kindness to international corporations.11

In accord with the same principles, it is natural that vast outrage should be evoked by the terror of the Pol Pot regime, while reporters in Phnom Penh in 1973, when the U.S. bombing of populated areas of rural Cambodia had reached its peak, should ignore the testimony of the hundreds of thousands of refugees before their eyes.12 Such selective perception guarantees that little is known about the scale and character of these U.S. atrocities, though enough to indicate that they may have been comparable to those attributable to the Khmer Rouge at the time when the chorus of indignation swept the West in 1977, and that they contributed significantly to the rise, and probably the brutality, of the Khmer Rouge.13

These achievements of "historical engineering" allow the editors of the New York Times to observe that "when America's eyes turned away from Indochina in 1975, Cambodia's misery had just begun," with "the infamous barbarities of the Khmer Rouge, then dreary occupation by Vietnam" (incidentally, expelling the Khmer Rouge). "After long indifference," they continue, "Washington can [now] play an important role as honest broker" and "heal a long-ignored wound in Cambodia." The misery began in 1975, not before, under "America's eyes," and the editors do not remind us that during the period of "indifference" Washington offered indirect support to the Khmer Rouge while backing the coalition in which it was the major element because of its "continuity" with the Pol Pot regime.14

U.S. relations with the Khmer Rouge require some careful maneuvering. The Khmer Rouge were, and remain, utterly evil insofar as they can be associated with the Communist threat, perhaps because of their origins in Jean-Paul Sartre's left-wing Paris circles. Even more evil, evidently, are the Vietnamese, who finally reacted to brutal and murderous border incidents by invading Cambodia and driving out the Khmer Rouge, terminating their slaughters. We therefore must back our Thai and Chinese allies who support Pol Pot. All of this requires commentators to step warily. The New York Times reports the "reluctance in Washington to push too hard" to pressure China to end its support for Pol Pot -- with the goal of bleeding Vietnam, as our Chinese allies have forthrightly explained. The Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian Affairs rejected a congressional plea to call for a cutoff of aid to Pol Pot because the situation was "delicate." U.S. pressure on China "might irritate relations unnecessarily," the Times explained, and this consideration overcomes our passionate concern over the fate of Cambodians exposed to Khmer Rouge terror. The press explains further that while naturally the United States is "one of the nations most concerned about a Khmer Rouge return," nevertheless "the US and its allies have decided that without some sign of compromise by Vietnam toward a political settlement [on U.S. terms], the Khmer Rouge forces must be allowed to serve as military pressure on Vietnam, despite their past" -- and despite what the population may think about "a Khmer Rouge return." Not only relations with China, but also the tasks of propagandists are "delicate" under these demanding conditions.15

An appropriate casuistic interpretation of the concept of democracy solves only half the problem; we also need a phrase for the enemies of democracy in some country where we yearn to establish or maintain it. The reflex device is to label the indigenous enemy "Communists," whatever their social commitments and political allegiances may be. They must be eliminated in favor of the "democrats" who are not "out of control." José Napoleón Duarte and his Defense Minister Vides Casanova are therefore "democrats," defending civilization against "Communists," such as the hundreds murdered by the security forces as they tried to flee to Honduras across the Rio Sumpul in May 1980. They were all "Communist guerrillas," Duarte explained, including, presumably, the infants sliced to pieces with machetes; the U.S. media took the simpler path of suppressing the massacre, one of the opening shots in the terrorist campaign for which Duarte provided legitimacy, to much acclaim.16

The U.S. attitude towards "American-style" democracies illustrates the prevailing conception in more subtle ways. Europe and Japan provide interesting examples, particularly in the early postwar years when it was necessary to restore traditional elites to power and undermine the anti-fascist resistance and its supporters, many of them imbued with unacceptable radical democratic commitments.17

The Third World provides a few similar illustrations, standing alongside the many cases where people with the wrong ideas are controlled by violence or liquidated "without suppressing democracy." Consider Costa Rica, the one functioning parliamentary democracy in Central America through the post-World War II period. It is sometimes argued, even by scholars who should know better, that U.S. support for Costa Rica undermines the thesis that a primary policy goal is to bar "nationalistic regimes" that do not adequately guarantee the rights of business,18 a thesis well supported by the documentary and historical records. This argument reflects a serious misunderstanding. The United States has no principled opposition to democratic forms, as long as the climate for business operations is preserved. As accurately observed by Gordon Connell-Smith in his study of the inter-American system for the Royal Institute of International Affairs,19 the U.S. "concept of democracy" is "closely identified with private, capitalistic enterprise," and it is only when this is threatened by what is regularly called "Communism" that action is taken to "restore democracy"; the "United States concern for representative democracy in Latin America [as elsewhere] is a facet of her anti-communist policy," or more accurately, the policy of opposing any threat to U.S. economic penetration and political control. And when these interests are safeguarded, democratic forms are not only tolerated, but approved, if only for public relations reasons. Costa Rica fits the model closely, and provides interesting insight into the "yearning for democracy" that is alleged to guide U.S. foreign policy.

In Costa Rica the system established under the leadership of José (Don Pepe) Figueres after the 1948 coup remains in place. It has always provided a warm welcome to foreign investment and has promoted a form of class collaboration that often "sacrificed the rights of labor," Don Pepe's biographer observes,20 while establishing a welfare system that continues to function thanks to U.S. subsidies, with one of the highest per capita debts in the world. Don Pepe's 1949 constitution outlawed Communism. With the most militant unions suppressed, labor rights declined. "Minimum wage laws were not enforced," and workers "lost every collective-bargaining contract except one that covered a single group of banana workers," Walter LaFeber notes. By the 1960s "it was almost as if the entire labor movement had ceased to exist," an academic study concludes. The United Fruit Company prospered, nearly tripling its profits and facing no threat of expropriation. Meanwhile, Figueres declared in 1953 that "we consider the United States as the standard-bearer of our cause."21 As the United States tried to line up Latin American states behind its planned overthrow of the Guatemalan government, Costa Rica and Bolivia were the only two elected governments to join the Latin American dictatorships in giving full support to the State Department draft resolution authorizing the United States to violate international law by detaining and inspecting "vessels, aircraft and other means of conveyance moving to and from the Republic of Guatemala" so as to block arms shipments for defense of Guatemala from the impending U.S. attack and "travel by agents of International Communism."22

By aligning itself unequivocally with the United States, fostering foreign investment, guaranteeing the domestic predominance of business interests, and maintaining a basis for repression of labor and political dissidence, the democratic government satisfied the basic conditions demanded by the United States. Correspondingly, it has received a measure of U.S. support. Thus in 1955, when a small force of Costa Ricans attacked border areas from Nicaragua, Figueres suspended individual rights and constitutional guarantees, and repelled the incursion with U.S. aid -- thus not forfeiting his democratic credentials by the repressive measures he instituted, permitted for U.S clients.

Nevertheless, concerns over Costa Rica did not abate. State Department intelligence warned in 1953 that Figueres had turned his country into "a haven for exiles from the dictatorships" and was toying with ideas about "a broad program of economic development and firmer control over foreign investment." He hoped to finance development "preferably by domestic capital" and "does not look with favor upon capital organized beyond the individual or family level. Large private corporations, such as those in the United States, are an anathema in his opinion." He also sought "to increase the bargaining power of the small, undeveloped countries vis-à-vis the large manufacturing nations." He was dangerous, LaFeber comments, "because he hoped to use government powers to free Costa Rica's internal development as much as possible from foreign control," thus undermining "the Good Neighbor policy's assumption that Latin America could be kept in line merely through economic pressure."23

The U.S. government was particularly concerned that the Costa Rican constitution, while outlawing Communism, still provided civil libertarian guarantees that impeded the kind of persecution of dissidents that is mandatory in a well-functioning democracy. And despite Don Pepe's cooperation with U.S. corporations and the CIA, support for U.S. interventions in the region, and general loyalty to the United States over the years, he has continued to exhibit an unacceptable degree of independence, so much so that the leading representative of capitalist democracy in Central America must be excluded from the media, as we have seen.24

If the enemies of democracy are not "Communists," then they are "terrorists"; still better, "Communist terrorists," or terrorists supported by International Communism. The rise and decline of international terrorism in the 1980s provides much insight into "the utility of interpretations."25

What Ronald Reagan and George Shultz call "the evil scourge of terrorism," a plague spread by "depraved opponents of civilization itself" in "a return to barbarism in the modern age," was placed on the agenda of concern by the Reagan administration. From its first days, the administration proclaimed that "international terrorism" would replace Carter's human rights crusade as "the Soul of our foreign policy." The Reaganites would dedicate themselves to defense of the civilized world against the program of international terrorism outlined most prominently in Claire Sterling's influential book The Terror Network. Here, the Soviet Union was identified as the source of the plague, with the endorsement of a new scholarly discipline, whose practitioners were particularly impressed with Sterling's major insight, which provides an irrefutable proof of Soviet guilt. The clinching evidence, as Walter Laqueur phrased it in a review of Sterling's book, is that terrorism occurs "almost exclusively in democratic or relatively democratic countries." By 1985, terrorism in the Middle East/Mediterranean region was selected as the top story of the year in an Associated Press poll of editors and broadcasters, and concern reached fever pitch in subsequent months. The U.S. bombing of Libya in April 1986 largely tamed the monster, and in the following years the plague subsided to more manageable proportions as the Soviet Union and its clients retreated in the face of American courage and determination, according to the preferred account.

The rise and decline of the plague had little relation to anything happening in the world, with one exception: its rise coincided with the need to mobilize the U.S. population to support the Reaganite commitment to state power and violence, and its decline with rising concern over the need to face the costs of Reaganite military Keynesian excesses with their technique of writing "hot checks for $200 billion a year" to create the illusion of prosperity, as vice-presidential candidate Lloyd Bentsen phrased the perception of conservative business elements at the 1988 Democratic convention.

The public relations apparatus -- surely the most sophisticated component of the Reagan administration -- was faced with a dual problem in 1981: to frighten the domestic enemy (the general population at home) sufficiently so that they would bear the costs of programs to which they were opposed, while avoiding direct confrontations with the Evil Empire itself, as far too dangerous for us. The solution to the dilemma was to concoct an array of little Satans, tentacles of the Great Satan poised to destroy us, but weak and defenseless so that they could be attacked with impunity: in short, Kremlin-directed international terrorism. The farce proceeded perfectly, with the cooperation of the casuists, whose task was to give a proper interpretation to the term "terrorism," protecting the doctrine that its victims are primarily the democratic countries of the West.

To conduct this campaign of ideological warfare successfully, it was necessary to obscure the central role of the United States in organizing and directing state terror, and to conceal its extensive involvement in international terrorism in earlier years, as in the attack against Cuba, the prime example of "the evil scourge of terrorism" from the early 1960s. Some "historical engineering" was also required with regard to terrorism in the Middle East/Mediterranean region, the primary focus of concern within the propaganda operations. Here, it was necessary to suppress the role of the United States and its Israeli client.

These tasks have been well within the capacity of the media and the terrorologists.26 The U.S. role is easily excised; after all, the phrase "U.S. terrorism" is an oxymoron, on a par with "thunderous silence" or "U.S. aggression." Israeli state terrorism escapes under the same literary convention, Israel being a client state, though it is recognized that there were Jewish terrorists in a distant and forgotten past. This fact can be placed in proper perspective by following the suggestion of the editor of a collection of scholarly essays, who invokes the plausible distinction between "morally unacceptable terrorist attacks" on civilians and more ambiguous attacks on agents of authority and persecution. "We would therefore distinguish sharply between the Irgun Zvai Leumi's attacks on British soldiers and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine's violence against airline passengers traveling to Israel."27

One can imagine a different formulation, for example, a sharp distinction between the attacks against Israeli and U.S. soldiers by Arabs who are termed "terrorists," and the many murderous attacks on Arab civilians by the Irgun Zvai Leumi, and the Israeli army in later years. But that would hardly create a proper image for a sound and sober analysis of "the consequences of political violence."

The great significance of international terrorism as an ideological instrument is illustrated by the reaction when someone breaks ranks and documents the part that the United States and its clients have played in conducting, organizing, and supporting international terrorism. If such work cannot simply be ignored, it elicits virtual frenzy -- "deranged," "absurd," and "fantasies" are some phrases drawn from 1988 commentary, unaccompanied by even a semblance of an argument. Such reactions are not without interest, and merit some thought.

There are three positions that one might take with regard to terrorism: (1) We can attribute it to official enemies, whatever the facts. (2) We can dismiss the entire discussion of terrorism as ideologically motivated nonsense, not worthy of attention. (3) We can take the phenomenon seriously, agree that terrorism warrants concern and condemnation, investigate it, and let the chips fall where they may. On rational assumptions, we dismiss the first and accept the third. The second position is at least arguable, though in my judgment wrong; I think there is every reason to take terrorism seriously, and the concept is as clear as most that enter into political discourse.

But considerations of rationality are not pertinent. The first and wholly irrational position is the standard one in the media and the literature of terrorology, overwhelmingly dominant. The second position is regarded as more or less tolerable, since it absolves the United States and its clients from blame apart from their attempts at ideological manipulation. The third position, in contrast, is utterly beyond the pale, for when we pursue it, we quickly reach entirely unacceptable conclusions, discovering, for example, that Miami and Washington have been among the major world centers of international terrorism from the Kennedy period until today, under any definition of terrorism -- whether that of the U.S. Code, international conventions, military manuals, or whatever.

A variant of the first position, still tolerable though less so than the pure form, is to argue that it is unfair to condemn Palestinians, Lebanese kidnappers, etc., without considering the factors that led them to these crimes. This position has the merit of tacitly accepting -- hence reinforcing -- the approved premises as to the origins of the plague. The second position can be made still more palatable by restricting it to a psychocultural analysis of the Western obsession with terrorism, avoiding the institutional factors that led to the choice of this marvellously successful public relations device in the 1980s (an analysis of such institutional factors, readily discernible, can be dismissed with the label "conspiracy theory," another familiar reflex when it is necessary to prevent thought and protect institutions from scrutiny). The idea that talk of terrorism is mere confusion provides a useful fall-back position in case the role of the United States is exposed. One can, in short, adopt this device to dismiss those who pursue the unacceptable third option as hopeless fanatics and conspiracy theorists, and then return to the favored first position for the interpretation of ongoing events.

The first position, simple and unsubtle, completely dominates public discussion, the media, and what is regarded as the scholarly literature. Its dominance and utility are obvious at every turn. To select an example from late 1988, consider the refusal of the State Department to permit Yasser Arafat to address the United Nations in November. The official grounds were that his visit posed a threat to U.S. security, but no one pretended to take that seriously; even George Shultz did not believe that Arafat's bodyguards were going to hijack a taxi in New York or take over the Pentagon (it is, perhaps, of some interest that no one cared that the official rationale was unworthy even of refutation, but let us put that aside). What was taken seriously was the story that accompanied the spurious reasons offered: that Arafat was not permitted to set foot on U.S. soil because of the abhorrence for terrorism on the part of the organizers and supporters of the contra war, government-run death squads in El Salvador and Guatemala, the bombing of Tripoli, and other notable exercises in violence -- all of which qualify as international terrorism, or worse, if we are willing to adopt the third position on the matter of terrorism, that is, the position that is honest, rational, and hence utterly unthinkable.

As the invitation to Arafat was being considered, Senator Christopher Dodd warned that if Arafat were permitted to address the General Assembly, Congress would cut off U.S. funding for the United Nations. "I think you can't underestimate the strong feeling in this country about terrorism," Dodd informed the press; a leading dove, Dodd has ample knowledge of Central America and the agency of terror there. Explaining "Shultz's `No' to Arafat," the front-page New York Times headline reads: "Personal Disgust for Terrorism Is at Root of Secretary's Decision to Rebuff the P.L.O." The article goes on to describe Shultz's "visceral contempt for terrorism." Times Washington correspondent R.W. Apple added that Mr. Shultz "has waged something of a personal crusade against terrorism," which "has always mattered so intensely to Mr. Shultz."28 The press, television, and radio either expressed their admiration for Shultz for taking such a forthright stand against the plague of terrorism, or criticized him for allowing his understandable and meritorious rage to overcome his statesmanlike reserve.

The news reports and commentary did not call upon witnesses from Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala, Angola, southern Lebanon, Gaza, and elsewhere to share their insights into Shultz's "visceral contempt for terrorism" and the "strong feelings" in Congress about the resort to violence. Rather, the media warned soberly that "Yasser Arafat is not your ordinary politically controversial visa applicant: his group kills people."29 Arafat is thus quite unlike Adolfo Calero, José Napoleón Duarte and his cohorts, or Yitzhak Shamir, among the many leaders whom we welcome from abroad because, one must assume, they do not "kill people."

Those who might have expected the media to take the occasion to review George Shultz's record of advocacy and support for terrorism, perhaps raising the question of whether there might be a note of hypocrisy in his "personal statement" or the media interpretation of it, would have been sorely disappointed. As in totalitarian states, however, cartoonists had greater latitude, and were able to depict the leaders who Shultz may have had in mind when he lamented that "people are forgetting what a threat international terrorism is": France's Mitterand, who "forgot when we sank the Greenpeace ship"; Britain's Thatcher, who "forgot when we had those IRA blokes shot at Gibraltar"; the USSR's Gorbachev, who "forgot how we mine bombed all those children in Afghanistan"; and the United States' Shultz, who "forgot about all the civilians our friends, the contras, murdered in Nicaragua."30

Other examples can readily be added. That Arafat and the PLO have engaged in terrorist acts is not in doubt; nor is it in doubt that they are minor actors in the arena of international terrorism.31

One of the acts of PLO terror that most outraged the Secretary of State and his admirers in Congress and the media was the hijacking of the Achille Lauro and the murder of Leon Klinghoffer, doubtless a vile terrorist act. Their sensibilities were not aroused, however, by the Israeli bombing of Tunis a week earlier, killing twenty Tunisians and fifty-five Palestinians with smart bombs that tore people to shreds beyond recognition, among other horrors described by Israeli journalist Amnon Kapeliouk on the scene. U.S. journals had little interest, the victims being Arabs and the killers U.S. clients. Secretary Shultz was definitely interested, however. The United States had cooperated in the massacre by refusing to warn its ally Tunisia that the bombers were on their way, and Shultz telephoned Israeli Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir, a noted terrorist himself from the early 1940s, to inform him that the U.S. administration "had considerable sympathy for the Israeli action," the press reported. Shultz drew back from this public approbation when the U.N. Security Council unanimously denounced the bombing as an "act of armed aggression" (the United States abstaining). Foreign Minister Shimon Peres was welcomed to Washington a few days later as a man of peace, while the press solemnly discussed his consultations with President Reagan on "the evil scourge of terrorism" and what can be done to counter it.32

The outrage over hijacking does not extend to Israeli hijackings that have been carried out in international waters for many years, including civilian ferries travelling from Cyprus to Lebanon, with large numbers of people kidnapped, over 100 kept in Israeli prisons without trial, and many killed, some by Israeli gunners while they tried to stay afloat after their ship was sunk, according to survivors interviewed in prison. The strong feelings of Congress and the media were also not aroused by the case of Na'il Amin Fatayir, deported from the West Bank in July 1987. After serving eighteen months in prison on the charge of membership in a banned organization, he was released and returned to his home in Nablus. Shortly after, the government ordered him deported. When he appealed to the courts, the prosecutor argued that the deportation was legitimate because he had entered the country illegally -- having been kidnapped by the Israeli navy while travelling from Lebanon to Cyprus on the ship Hamdallah in July 1985. The High Court accepted this elegant reasoning as valid.33

The visceral outrage over terrorism is restricted to worthy victims, meeting a criterion that is all too obvious.

The hijacking of the Achille Lauro was in retaliation for the bombing of Tunis, but the West properly dismissed this justification for a terrorist act. The bombing of Tunis, in turn, was in retaliation for a terrorist murder of three Israelis in Cyprus by a group which, as Israel conceded, had probable connections to Damascus but none to Tunis, which was selected as a target rather than Damascus because it was defenseless; the Reagan administration selected Libyan cities as a bombing target a few months later in part for the same reason. The bombing of Tunis, with its many civilian casualties, was described by Secretary Shultz as a "a legitimate response" to "terrorist attacks," to general approbation. The terrorist murders in Cyprus were, in turn, justified by their perpetrators as retaliation for the Israeli hijackings over the preceding decade. Had this plea even been heard, it would have been dismissed with scorn. The term "retaliation" too must be given an appropriate interpretation, as any casuist would understand.

The same is true of other terms. Take, for example, the notion of "preventing" or "reducing" violence. A report headlined "Palestinian casualties nearly double" opens by quoting the Israeli army chief of staff, who says "that the number of Palestinians wounded in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip has almost doubled in recent weeks but that the army has failed to reduce violence in the occupied areas." The statement makes no sense, but a look at the background allows it to be decoded. Shortly before, Minister of Defense Yitzhak Rabin had authorized the use of plastic bullets, stating that "more precisely our aim": "our purpose is to increase the number of (wounded) among those who take part in violent activities." He also explained the notion of "violent activities": "We want to get rid of the illusion of some people in remote villages that they have liberated themselves," he said, explaining that army raids "make it clear to them where they live and within which framework." Palestinians must "understand that the solution can be achieved only by peaceful means," not by illusions of self-government. The army is therefore stepping up raids on remote villages that have declared themselves "liberated zones," with a resulting increase in injuries, the report continues. In a typical example, "Israeli troops raided more than a dozen West Bank villages and wounded 22 Palestinians yesterday"; an army spokeswoman explained that a strike had been called and the army wanted to "prevent violence" by an "increased presence and by making more arrests."34

We can now return to the original Newspeak: "the number of Palestinians wounded in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip has almost doubled in recent weeks but...the army has failed to reduce violence in the occupied areas." Translating to intelligible English, the army has doubled the violence in the occupied territories by aggressive actions with the specific intent of increasing casualties, and by expanding its violent attacks to remote and peaceful villages that were attempting to run their own affairs. But it has so far failed to rid the people of illusions of self-government. For the Israeli authorities and the U.S. media, an attempt by villagers to run their own affairs is "violence," and a brutal attack to teach them who rules is "preventing violence." Orwell would have been impressed.

A report a few days later, headlined "Israelis kill three in West Bank, Gaza clashes," describes how soldiers shot and wounded three Palestinians in a "remote town rarely visited by soldiers" and "generally ignored by the military." "Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin said two weeks ago the army would step up its actions in such villages to remind the inhabitants where they live and who is in control." This was one of thirty villages raided "in an offensive aimed at preventing violence," the report continues. And one can see the point; after the Israeli soldiers shot three Palestinians in the village in their "offensive aimed at preventing violence," "angry residents later stoned vehicles in the area." An accompanying story is devoted to the question of whether the PLO will really "renounce terror," quoting officials from Rabin's Labor Party and others in disbelief.35

With appropriate interpretations, then, we can rest content that the United States and its clients defend democracy, social reform, and self-determination against Communists, terrorists, and violent elements of all kinds. It is the responsibility of the media to laud the "democrats" and demonize the official enemy: the Sandinistas, the PLO, or whoever gets in the way. On occasion this requires some fancy footwork, but the challenge has generally been successfully met.36

Our "yearning for democracy" is accompanied by a no less profound yearning for peace, and the media also face the task of "historical engineering" to establish this required truth. We therefore have phenomena called "peace missions" and "the peace process," terms that apply to whatever the United States happens to be doing or advocating at some moment. In the media or responsible scholarship, one will therefore find no such statement as "the United States opposes the peace process" or "Washington has to be induced to join the peace process." The reason is that such statements would be logical contradictions. Through the years, when the United States was "trumping" the Contadora process, undermining the Central America peace accords, and deflecting the threat of peace in the Middle East, it never opposed the peace process in acceptable commentary, but always supported the peace process and tried to advance it. One might imagine that even a great power that is sublime beyond imagination might sometimes be standing in the way of some peace process, perhaps because of misunderstanding or faulty judgment. Not so the United States, however -- by definition.

A headline in the Los Angeles Times in late January 1988 reads: "Latin Peace Trip by Shultz Planned." The subheading describes the contents of the "peace trip": "Mission Would Be Last-Ditch Effort to Defuse Opposition on Contra Aid."37 The article quotes administration officials who describe the "peace mission" as "the only way to save" contra aid in the face of "growing congressional opposition." In plain English, the "peace mission" was a last-ditch effort to block peace and mobilize Congress for the "unlawful use of force" now that Washington and its loyal media had succeeded in completely dismantling the unwanted Central American peace plan and Ortega had agreed that its provisions should apply to Nicaragua alone, foiling the hope that Nicaragua would reject these U.S. conditions so that they could be depicted as the spoilers.

A further goal of the "peace mission," the article continues, was to "relegate Nicaragua's four democratic neighbors to the sidelines in peace talks," with the United States taking command; the "democracies," though pliable, still show an annoying streak of independence. A few months later, the New York Times reported further efforts by the administration "to `keep pressure' on the Sandinistas by continuing to provide support for the contras," including "more military aid," while urging U.S. allies to "join the United States in efforts to isolate Nicaragua diplomatically and revive the peace process..."; George Shultz is quoted as reflecting that perhaps he might have become "involved in the peace process" still earlier. The Los Angeles Times described these renewed administration efforts "to build support for the resumption of U.S. military aid to Nicaragua's Contras" under the headline: "Shultz Will Try to Revive Latin Peace Process."38

In short, War is Peace.

The task of "historical engineering" has been accomplished with no less efficiency in the case of the Arab-Israeli conflict. The problem has been to present the United States and Israel as yearning for peace and pursuing the peace process while in fact, since the early 1970s, they have led the rejectionist camp and have been blocking peace initiatives that have had broad international and regional support. The technique has been the usual one: the "peace process" is, by definition, whatever the United States proposes. The desired conclusion now follows, whatever the facts. U.S. policy is also by definition "moderate," so that those who oppose it are "extremist" and "uncompromising." History has been stood on its head in a most intriguing manner, as I have documented elsewhere.39

There are actually two factors that operate to yield the remarkable distortion of the record concerning "peace," "terrorism," and related matters in the Middle East. One is the societal function of the media in serving U.S. elite interests; the other, the special protection afforded Israel since it became "the symbol of human decency" by virtue of the smashing military victory in 1967 that established it as a worthy strategic asset.

The interplay of these factors has led to some departure from the usual media pattern. Typically, as discussed throughout, the media encourage debate over tactical issues within the general framework of the elite consensus concerning goals and strategy. In the case of the Arab-Israeli conflict, however, the spectrum has been even narrower. Substantial segments of elite opinion, including major corporations with Middle East interests, have joined most of the world in favor of the political settlement that the United States and Israel have been able to block for many years. But their position has largely been excluded from the media, which have adhered to the consensus of Israel's two major political groupings, generally taking Labor Party rejectionism to represent the "peace option."

A problem develops when U.S. and Israeli positions diverge. One such case arose in October 1977, when a Soviet-American statement was issued calling for "termination of the state of war and establishment of normal peaceful relations" between Israel and its neighbors, as well as for internationally guaranteed borders and demilitarized zones. The statement was endorsed by the PLO but bitterly denounced by Israel and its domestic U.S. lobby. The media reaction was instructive. The media normally adopt the stand of their leader in the White House in the event of conflict with some foreign state. The administration is allowed to frame the issues and is given the most prominent coverage, with its adversaries sometimes permitted a line here and there in rebuttal, in the interest of objectivity and fairness. In this case, however, the pattern was reversed. As described in Montague Kern's detailed analysis of TV coverage, the media highlighted the Israeli position, treating the Carter administration in the manner of some official enemy. Israeli premises framed the issues, and Israeli sources generally dominated coverage and interpretation. Arab sources, in particular the PLO, were largely dismissed or treated with contempt. "Israel was able to make its case on television," Kern concludes, while "this was not so for the [U.S.] administration, which trailed the Israelis in terms of all the indicators" of media access and influence.40 Carter soon backed down. With the threat of a peaceful settlement deflected, the "peace process" could resume on its rejectionist course.

Nevertheless, the media are bitterly condemned as "pro-PLO" and as imposing an unfair "double standard" on Israel. We then debate the sources of this strange malady. As in other cases, attack is the best defense, particularly when dominance over the media and exclusion of contrary views has reached a sufficient level so that any criticism, however outlandish, will be treated with respect.41

Reinhold Niebuhr once remarked that "perhaps the most significant moral characteristic of a nation is its hypocrisy."42 The point is well taken. There is a simple measure of hypocrisy, which we properly apply to our enemies. When peace groups, government figures, media, and loyal intellectuals in the Soviet sphere deplore brutal and repressive acts of the United States and its clients, we test their sincerity by asking what they say about their own responsibilities. Upon ascertaining the answer, we dismiss their condemnations, however accurate, as the sheerest hypocrisy. Minimal honesty requires that we apply the same standards to ourselves.

Freedom of the press, for example, is a prime concern for the media and the intellectual community. The major issue of freedom of the press in the 1980s has surely been the harassment of La Prensa in Nicaragua. Coverage of its tribulations probably exceeds all other reporting and commentary on freedom of the press throughout the world combined, and is unique in the passion of rhetoric. No crime of the Sandinistas has elicited more outrage than their censorship of La Prensa and its suspension in 1986, immediately after the congressional vote of $100 million for the contras, a vote that amounted to a virtual declaration of war by the United States, as the Reaganites happily proclaimed, and a sharp rebuff to the World Court. La Prensa publisher Violeta Chamorro was at once given an award by the Nieman Journalism Foundation at Harvard for her courageous battle for freedom of speech. In the New York Review of Books, Murray Kempton appealed to all those committed to free expression to provide financial aid for the brave struggle of the owners and editors to maintain their staff and equipment; such gifts would supplement the funding provided by the U.S. government, which began shortly after the Sandinista victory, when President Carter authorized the CIA to support La Prensa and the anti-Sandinista opposition. Under the heading "A Newspaper of Valor," the Washington Post lauded Violeta Chamorro, commenting that she and her newspaper "deserve 10 awards." Other media commentary has been abundant and no less effusive, while the Sandinistas have been bitterly condemned for harassing or silencing this Tribune of the People.43

We now ask whether these sentiments reflect libertarian values or service to power, applying the standard test of sincerity. How, for example, did the same people and institutions react when the security forces of the Duarte government that we support eliminated the independent media in the U.S. client state of El Salvador -- not by intermittent censorship and suspension, but by murder, mutilation, and physical destruction? We have already seen the answer. There was silence. The New York Times had nothing to say about these atrocities in its news columns or editorials, then or since, and others who profess their indignation over the treatment of La Prensa are no different. This extreme contempt for freedom of the press remains in force as we applaud our achievements in bringing "democracy" to El Salvador.

We conclude that, among the articulate intellectuals, those who believe in freedom of the press could easily fit in someone's living room, and would include few of those who proclaim libertarian values while assailing the enemy of the state.

To test this conclusion further, we may turn to Guatemala. No censorship was required in Guatemala while the United States was supporting the terror at its height; the murder of dozens of journalists sufficed. There was little notice in the United States. With the "democratic renewal" that we proudly hail, there were some halting efforts to explore the "political space" that perhaps had opened. In February 1988, two journalists who had returned from exile opened the center-left weekly La Epoca, testing Guatemalan "democracy." A communiqué of the Secret Anti-Communist Army (ESA) had warned returning journalists: "We will make sure they either leave the country or die inside it."44 No notice was taken in the United States.

In April great indignation was aroused when La Prensa could not publish during a newsprint shortage. For the Washington Post, this was another "pointed lesson in arbitrary denying La Prensa the newsprint." There were renewed cries of outrage when La Prensa was suspended for two weeks in July after what the government alleged to be fabricated and inflammatory accounts of violence that had erupted at demonstrations.45

Meanwhile, on June 10, fifteen heavily armed men broke into the offices of La Epoca, stole valuable equipment, and firebombed the offices, destroying them. They also kidnapped the night watchman, releasing him later under threat of death if he were to speak about the attack. Eyewitness testimony and other sources left little doubt that it was an operation of the security forces. The editor held a press conference on June 14 to announce that the journal would shut down "because there are not conditions in the country to guarantee the exercise of free and independent journalism." After a circular appeared threatening "traitor journalists" including "communists and those who have returned from exile," warning them to flee the country or find themselves "dead within," he returned to exile, accompanied to the airport by a Western diplomat. Another journalist also left. The destruction of La Epoca "signalled not only the end of an independent media voice in Guatemala, but it served as a warning as well that future press independence would not be tolerated by the government or security forces," Americas Watch commented.46

These events elicited no public response from the guardians of free expression. The facts were not even reported in the New York Times or Washington Post, though not from ignorance, surely.47 It is simply that the violent destruction of independent media is not important when it takes place in a "fledgling democracy" backed by the United States. There was, however, a congressional reaction, NACLA reported: "In Washington, liberal Democratic Senators responded by adding $4 million onto the Administration's request for military aid. With Sen. Inouye leading the way, these erstwhile freedom-of-the-press junkies have offered the brass $9 million plus some $137 million in economic aid, including $80 million cash, much of which goes to swell the army's coffers," while La Epoca editor Bryan Barrera "is back in Mexico" and "Guatemala's press is again confined to rightwing muckraking and army propaganda."48 The vigilant guardians of freedom of the press observed in silence.

A few weeks later, Israeli security forces raided the offices of a leading Jerusalem daily, Al-Fajr, arresting its managing editor Hatem Abdel-Qader and jailing him for six months without trial on unspecified security grounds.49 There were no ringing editorial denunciations or calls for retribution; in fact, these trivialities were not even reported in the New York Times or Washington Post. Unlike Violeta Chamorro, to whom nothing of the sort has happened, Abdel-Qader does not "deserve 10 awards," or even one, or even a line.

Once again, the facts are clear: the alleged concern for freedom of the press in Nicaragua is sheer fraud.

Perhaps one might argue that censorship of La Prensa is more important than the murder of an editor by U.S.-backed security forces and the destruction of offices by the army or its terrorist squads, because La Prensa is a journal of such significance, having courageously opposed our ally Somoza under the leadership of Pedro Joaquín Chamorro, assassinated by the dictator in 1978. That would be a poor argument at best; freedom of the press means little if it only serves powerful institutions. But there are further flaws. One is that the post-1980 La Prensa bears virtually no relation to the journal that opposed Somoza. After the murder of Pedro Joaquín Chamorro, his brother Xavier became editor and remained so until the owners ousted him in 1980; 80 percent of the staff left with him and founded El Nuevo Diario, which is the successor to the old La Prensa if we consider a journal to be constituted of its editor and staff, not its owners and equipment. The new editor of La Prensa, son of the assassinated editor, had previously been selling advertising; later, he joined the CIA-run contra directorate, remaining co-editor of the journal, which publicly supports his stand.50

These facts are not be found in the media tributes to the brave tradition of La Prensa; they are either unmentioned in the course of lamentations over the fate of this "newspaper of valor," or treated in the style of Stephen Kinzer, who writes that El Nuevo Diario "was a breakaway group of employees of La Prensa sympathetic to the Sandinista cause" -- a "breakaway group" that included 80 percent of the staff and the editor, who opposed the new line of the CIA-supported journal.51

The extent of the hypocrisy becomes still more obvious when we consider the "newspaper of valor" more closely. The journal has quite openly supported the attack against Nicaragua. In April 1986, as the campaign to provide military aid to the contras was heating up, one of the owners, Jaime Chamorro, wrote an Op-Ed in the Washington Post calling for aid to "those Nicaraguans who are fighting for democracy" (the standard reference to the U.S. proxy forces). In the weeks preceding the summer congressional votes, "a host of articles by five different La Prensa staff members denounced the Sandinistas in major newspapers throughout the United States," John Spicer Nichols observes, including a series of Op-Eds signed by La Prensa editors in the Washington Post as they traveled to the United States under the auspices of front organizations of the North contra-funding network. Under its new regime, La Prensa has barely pretended to be a newspaper; rather, it is a propaganda journal devoted to undermining the government and supporting the attack against Nicaragua by a foreign power. Since its reopening in October 1987 the commitments are quite open and transparent.52 To my knowledge, there is no precedent for the survival and continued publication of such a journal during a period of crisis in any Western democracy, surely not the United States.53

Advocates of libertarian values should, nonetheless, insist that Nicaragua break precedent in this area, despite its dire straits, and deplore its failure to do so. As already mentioned, however, such advocates are not easy to discover, as the most elementary test of sincerity demonstrates.

It could be argued that comparison with the United States is inadequate, given the dismal U.S. record. We might take that to be the import of remarks by Supreme Court Justice William Brennan in a speech delivered at Hebrew University Law School in December 1987, where he observed that the United States "has a long history of failing to preserve civil liberties when it perceived its national security threatened" -- as during World War I, when there was not even a remote threat. "It may well be Israel, not the United States, that provides the best hope for building a jurisprudence that can protect civil liberties against the demands of national security," Brennan said, adding that "the nations of the world, faced with sudden threats to their own security, will look to Israel's experience in handling its continuing security crisis, and may well find in that experience the expertise to reject the security claims that Israel has exposed as baseless and the courage to preserve the civil liberties that Israel has preserved without detriment to its security." If we can draw lessons from Israel's stellar record, "adversity may yet be the handmaiden of liberty."54

Following the precepts of this characteristic accolade to the "symbol of human decency" -- and not coincidentally, loyal U.S. ally and client -- we derive a further test of the sincerity of those who denounce the totalitarian Sandinistas for their treatment of La Prensa and the political opposition. Let us proceed to apply it.

Just at the time that La Prensa was suspended in 1986 after the virtual U.S. declaration of war against Nicaragua, Israel permanently closed two Jerusalem newspapers, Al-Mithaq and Al-Ahd, on the grounds that "although we offer them freedom of expression, is forbidden to permit them to exploit this freedom in order to harm the State of Israel." The Interior Ministry declared that it was compelled to act "in the interest of state security and public welfare." We believe in freedom of the press, the Ministry asserted, but "one has to properly balance freedom of expression and the welfare of the state." The closure was upheld by the High Court on the grounds that "it is inconceivable that the State of Israel should allow terrorist organizations which seek to destroy it to set up businesses in its territory, legitimate as they may be"; the government had accused these two Arab newspapers of receiving support from hostile groups.55 To my knowledge, the only mention of these facts in a U.S. newspaper was in a letter of mine to the Boston Globe.

As La Prensa was reopened in 1987, the Israeli press reported the closing of a Nazareth political journal (within Israel proper) on grounds of its "extreme nationalist editorial line" and an Arab-owned news office in Nablus was shut down for two years; its owner had by then been imprisoned for six months without trial on the charge of "membership in an illegal organization," and a military communiqué stated that his wife had maintained the ties of the office to the PLO. Such repressive actions are "legal" under the state of emergency that has been in force since the state was founded in 1948. The High Court upheld the closing of the Nazareth journal, alleging that the security services had provided evidence of a connection between the journal and "terrorist organizations" and dismissing as irrelevant the plea of its publisher that everything that had appeared in the journal had passed through Israeli censorship.56 None of this appears to have been reported here; New York Times correspondent Thomas Friedman chose the day of the closing of the Nablus office to produce one of his regular odes to freedom of expression in Israel.57 There was no outcry of protest among American civil libertarians, no denunciation or even comment on acts that far exceed the harassment and temporary suspension of the U.S.-funded journal in Nicaragua that openly supports the overthrow of the government, no call for organizing a terrorist army to enforce our high standards, so grievously offended. Silence continued to reign as the Nazareth weekly Al-Raia was closed by order of the Ministry of Interior, after its editor had been jailed for three months without trial.58

Once again, history has devised a controlled experiment to demonstrate the utter contempt for freedom of speech on the part of professed civil libertarians. Critics of Nicaraguan abuses of press freedom who pass the most elementary test of sincerity could fit into a very small living room indeed, perhaps even a telephone booth.59

As for the jurisprudence that so impressed Justice Brennan, the Hebrew press observes that "Israeli journalism lacks any guarantees, even the slightest, for its freedom. The state is armed with weapons that have no parallel in any democratic society in the world," deriving from colonial British regulations that were reinstituted by Israel as soon as the state was established. These draconian regulations include measures to forbid and punish publications that might encourage "disobedience or displeasure among the inhabitants of the country" or "unpleasantness to the authorities." The law authorizes the Interior Ministry "to terminate the appearance of a journal, for any period that he will deem appropriate, if it has published lies or false rumors that are likely, in his opinion, to enhance panic or despair." The measures are held in reserve, sometimes applied, and they contribute to fear and an "atmosphere of McCarthyism" that enhances the self-censorship normally practiced by editors. This voluntary self-censorship, Israeli legal analyst Moshe Negbi writes, adds substantially to the effects of the "rich and unusual array of tools for crushing press freedom" in the hands of the government. The censor has the legal authority to forbid any information "which might, in his view, harm the defense of the country, public safety or public order." The military censor is "immune to public scrutiny" and "the law forbids the press from publishing any hint that the censor ordered any changes, additions or deletions," though often the fact is obvious, as when the lead editorial is blanked out in Israel's most respected newspaper, Ha'aretz. The censor also has the authority to punish, without trial, any newspaper he deems to have violated his orders. The Declaration of Independence of 1948, which expressed Israel's obligations with regard to freedom and civil rights, "makes no mention of freedom of expression," Negbi continues, adding that it was not an accidental omission, but rather reflected the attitudes of Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, who "vigorously opposed reference to these rights," adhering, along with his associates, to the "Leninist doctrine" that the state should suffer no criticism for actions it regards as right. The state is even authorized to refuse to register a journal (so that it cannot be published) or to terminate it, "without providing any motivation for its refusal."60

This authority is used: for example, in barring an Arabic-language social and political journal in Israel edited by an Israeli Arab lecturer at the Hebrew University in 1982, a decision approved by the High Court for unstated "security reasons"; or the arrest of an Arab from Nazareth a few months later "for publishing a newspaper without permission," namely, four informational leaflets. The courts offer no protection when the state produces the magic word "security."61

While Arab citizens are the usual targets, Jews are not immune from these principles of jurisprudence. When the dovish Progressive List, one of whose leaders is General Matti Peled (retired), sought to broadcast a campaign advertisement showing an interview with Arafat announcing that he accepts U.N. resolutions 242 and 338, High Court Justice Goldberg ruled it illegal, stating: "From the time when the government declared that the PLO is a terrorist organization, television is permitted to produce only broadcasts that conform to this declaration and present the PLO in a negative manner as a terrorist organization. It is forbidden to broadcast anything that contradicts the declaration and presents the PLO as a political organization." Commenting, attorney Avigdor Feldman writes: "The logic is iron-clad. State television [there is no other] is not permitted to broadcast a reality inconsistent with government decision, and if the facts are not consistent with the government stand, then not in our school, please."62

In the United States, one will discover very little reference to the severe constraints on free expression in Israel over many years. It was not until the violent reaction to the Palestinian uprising from December 1987 that even cursory notice was taken of these practices. In the New York Times there has been virtually nothing; it requires considerable audacity for former chief editor A.M. Rosenthal to assert in May 1988 that censorship in Israel "deserves and gets Western criticism."63 Furthermore, the rare exceptions64 do not lead to condemnations for these departures from our high ideals or a call for some action on the part of Israel's leading patron.

The reaction of the U.S. media and the American intellectual community to Israeli law and practices provides further dramatic evidence that the show of concern for civil liberties and human rights in Nicaragua is cynical pretense, serving other ends.

The standard test of sincerity yields similar results wherever we turn. These conclusions are well enough documented by now, in such a wide range of cases, as to raise some serious questions among people willing to consider fact and reason. The answers to these questions will not be pleasant to face, so we can be confident that the questions will not be asked.

Discussing "our un-free press" half a century ago, John Dewey observed that criticism of "specific abuses" has only limited value:

The only really fundamental approach to the problem is to inquire concerning the necessary effect of the present economic system upon the whole system of publicity; upon the judgment of what news is, upon the selection and elimination of matter that is published, upon the treatment of news in both editorial and news columns. The question, under this mode of approach, is not how many specific abuses there are and how they may be remedied, but how far genuine intellectual freedom and social responsibility are possible on any large scale under the existing economic regime.

Publishers and editors, with their commitments to "the public and social order" of which they are the beneficiaries, will often prove to be among the "chief enemies" of true "liberty of the press," Dewey continued. It is unreasonable to expect "the managers of this business enterprise to do otherwise than as the leaders and henchmen of big business," and to "select and treat their special wares from this standpoint." Insofar as the ideological managers are "giving the public what it `wants'," that is because of "the effect of the present economic system in generating intellectual indifference and apathy, in creating a demand for distraction and diversion, and almost a love for crime provided it pays" among a public "debauched by the ideal of getting away with whatever it can."65

To these apt reflections we may add the intimate relations between private and state power, the institutionally determined need to accommodate to the interests of those who control basic social decisions, and the success of established power in steadily disintegrating any independent culture that fosters values other than greed, personal gain, and subordination to authority, and any popular structures that sustain independent thought and action. The importance of these factors is highlighted by the fact that even the formal right to freedom of speech was gained only by unremitting popular struggle that challenged existing social arrangements.66

Within the reigning social order, the general public must remain an object of manipulation, not a participant in thought, debate, and decision. As the privileged have long understood, it is necessary to ward off recurrent "crises of democracy." In earlier chapters, I have discussed some of the ways these principles have been expressed in the modern period, but the concerns are natural and have arisen from the very origins of the modern democratic thrust. Condemning the radical democrats who had threatened to "turn the world upside down" during the English revolution of the seventeenth century, historian Clement Walker, in 1661, complained:

They have cast all the mysteries and secrets of government...before the vulgar (like pearls before swine), and have taught both the soldiery and people to look so far into them as to ravel back all governments to the first principles of nature... They have made the people thereby so curious and so arrogant that they will never find humility enough to submit to a civil rule.67

Walker's concerns were soon overcome, as an orderly world was restored and the "political defeat" of the democrats "was total and irreversible," Christopher Hill observes. By 1695 censorship could be abandoned, "not on the radicals' libertarian principles, but because censorship was no longer necessary," for "the opinion-formers" now "censored themselves" and "nothing got into print which frightened the men of property." In the same year, John Locke wrote that "day-labourers and tradesmen, the spinsters and dairymaids" must be told what to believe. "The greatest part cannot know and therefore they must believe." "But at least," Hill comments, "Locke did not intend that priests should do the telling: that was for God himself."68 With the decline of religious authority in the modern period, the task has fallen to the "secular priesthood," who understand their responsibility with some clarity, as already discussed.

Despite these insights, some have continued to be seduced by the "democratic dogmatisms" that are derided by those dedicated to the art of manipulation. John Stuart Mill wrote: "Not the violent conflict between parts of the truth, but the quiet suppression of half of it, is the formidable evil. There is always hope when people are forced to listen to both sides." Coming to the present, the Code of Professional Conduct of the British National Union of Journalists enjoins the journalist to "eliminate distortion" and "strive to ensure that the information he/she disseminates is fair and accurate, avoid the expression of comment and conjecture as established fact and falsification by distortion, selection, or misrepresentation."69 The manipulation of the public in the 1960s elicited the concerns expressed in 1966 by Senator Fulbright, quoted earlier. A year later, Jerome Barron proposed "an interpretation of the first amendment which focuses on the idea that restraining the hand of government is quite useless in assuring free speech if a restraint on access is effectively secured by private groups," that is, "the new media of communication": only they "can lay sentiments before the public, and it is they rather than government who can most effectively abridge expression by nullifying the opportunity for an idea to win acceptance. As a constitutional theory for the communication of ideas, laissez faire is manifestly irrelevant" when the media are narrowly controlled by private power.70

Many viewed such ideas with alarm. The editors of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, for many years one of the more independent segments of the local quality press, agreed that the newspaper "has an obligation to the community in which it is published to present fairly unpopular as well as popular sides of a question," but "such a dictum" should not be enforced by law. "As a practical matter," they held, "a newspaper which consistently refuses to give expression to viewpoints with which it differs is not likely to succeed, and doesn't deserve to."71

The editors were wrong in their factual assessment, though their qualms about legal obligations cannot be lightly dismissed. In reality, only those media that consistently restrict "both sides" to the narrow consensus of the powerful will succeed in the guided free market.

It is particularly important to understand what stories not to seek, what sources of evidence to avoid. Refugees from Timor or from U.S. bombing in Laos and Cambodia have no useful tales to tell. It is important to stay away from camps on the Honduran border, where refugees report "without exception" that they were "all fleeing from the army that we are supporting" and "every person had a tale of atrocity by government forces, the same ones we are again outfitting with weapons" as they conduct "a systematic campaign of terrorism" with "a combination of murder, torture, rape, the burning of crops in order to create starvation conditions," and vicious atrocities; the report of the congressional delegation that reached these conclusions after their first-hand investigation in early 1981 was excluded from the media, which were avoiding this primary source of evidence on rural El Salvador.72 It would be bad form to arouse public awareness of Nicaragua's "noteworthy progress in the social sector, which is laying a solid foundation for long-term socio-economic development," reported in 1983 by the Inter-American Development Bank, barred by U.S. pressure from contributing to these achievements.73 Correspondingly, it is improper to set forth the achievements of the Reagan administration in reversing these early successes, to record the return of disease and malnutrition, illiteracy and dying infants, while the country is driven to the zero grade of life to pay for the sin of independent development. In contrast, it is responsible journalism for James LeMoyne to denounce the Sandinistas for the "bitterness and apathy" he finds in Managua.74 Those who hope to enter the system must learn that terror traceable to the PLO, Qaddafi, or Khomeini leaves worthy victims who merit compassion and concern; but those targeted by the United States and its allies do not fall within this category. Responsible journalists must understand that a grenade attack on Israeli Army recruits and their families leaving one killed and many wounded deserves a front-page photograph of the victims and a substantial story, while a contra attack on a passenger bus the day before with two killed, two kidnapped, and many wounded merits no report at all.75 Category by category, the same lessons hold.

There is, in fact, a ready algorithm for those who wish to attain respectability and privilege. It is only necessary to bear in mind the test for sincerity already discussed, and to make sure that you fail it at every turn. The same simple logic explains the characteristic performance of the independent media, and the educated classes generally, for reasons that are hardly obscure.

I have been discussing methods of thought control and the reasons why they gain such prominence in democratic societies in which the general population cannot be driven from the political arena by force. The discussion may leave the impression that the system is all-powerful, but that is far from true. People have the capacity to resist, and sometimes do, with great effect.

Take the case of the Western-backed slaughter in Timor. The media suppressed the terrible events and the complicity of their own governments, but the story nevertheless did finally break through, reaching segments of the public and Congress. This was the achievement of a few dedicated young people, whose names will not be known to history, as is generally true of those whose actions have improved the world. Their efforts did not bring an end to the Indonesian terror or the U.S. support for it, but they did mitigate the violence. Finally, as a result of their work, the Red Cross was allowed limited access. In this and other ways, tens of thousands of lives were saved. There are very few people who can claim to have achieved so much of human consequence. The same is true of many other cases. Internal constraints within a powerful state provide a margin of survivability for its victims, a fact that should never be forgotten.

The United States is a much more civilized place than it was twenty-five years ago. The crisis of democracy and the intellectual independence that so terrify elites have been real enough, and the effects on the society have been profound, and on balance generally healthy. The impact is readily discernible over a wide range of concerns, including racism, the environment, feminism, forceful intervention, and much else; and also in the media, which have allowed some opening to dissident opinion and critical reporting in recent years, considerably beyond what was imaginable even at the peak of the ferment of the sixties, let alone before. One illustration of the improvement in the moral and cultural level is that it has become possible, for the first time, to confront in a serious way what had been done to Native Americans during the conquest of the continent; and many other necessary illusions were questioned, and quickly crumbled upon inspection, as challenges were raised to orthodoxy and authority. Small wonder that the sixties appear as a period of horror, chaos, and destructive abandon in the reflections of privileged observers who are distressed, even appalled, by intellectual independence and moral integrity on the part of the young.

The same developments have had their impact on state policy. There was no protest when John F. Kennedy sent the U.S. Air Force to attack the rural society of South Vietnam. Twenty years later, the Reagan administration was driven underground, compelled to resort to clandestine terror in Central America. The climate of opinion and concern had changed, outside of elite circles, and the capacity of the state to exercise violence had been correspondingly reduced. The toll of Reaganite terror was awesome: tens of thousands of tortured and mutilated bodies, massive starvation, disease and destruction, hundreds of thousands of miserable refugees. It would have been a great deal worse without the constraints imposed by people who had found ways to escape the system of indoctrination, and the courage and honesty to act. These are no small achievements -- again, on the part of people whose names will be lost to history.

There are ample opportunities to help create a more humane and decent world, if we choose to act upon them.

I began with the questions raised by the Brazilian bishops about the problems of democracy and the media. Perhaps I may close with my own conclusions on these matters. The professed concern for freedom of the press in the West is not very persuasive in the light of the easy dismissal of even extreme violations of the right of free expression in U.S. client states, and the actual performance of the media in serving the powerful and privileged as an agency of manipulation, indoctrination, and control. A "democratic communications policy," in contrast, would seek to develop means of expression and interaction that reflect the interests and concerns of the general population, and to encourage their self-education and their individual and collective action. A policy conceived in these terms would be a desideratum, though there are pitfalls and dangers that should not be overlooked. But the issue is largely academic, when viewed in isolation from the general social scene. The prospects for a democratic communications policy are inevitably constrained by the distribution of effective power to determine the course and functioning of major social institutions. Hence the goal can be approached only as an integral part of the further democratization of the social order. This process, in turn, requires a democratic communications policy as a central component, with an indispensable contribution to make. Serious steps towards more meaningful democracy would aim to dissolve the concentration of decision-making power, which in our societies resides primarily in a state-corporate nexus. Such a conception of democracy, though so familiar from earlier years that it might even merit the much-abused term "conservative," is remote from those that dominate public discourse -- hardly a surprise, given its threat to established privilege.

Human beings are the only species with a history. Whether they also have a future is not so obvious. The answer will lie in the prospects for popular movements, with firm roots among all sectors of the population, dedicated to values that are suppressed or driven to the margins within the existing social and political order: community, solidarity, concern for a fragile environment that will have to sustain future generations, creative work under voluntary control, independent thought, and true democratic participation in varied aspects of life.


1 Milton, Paradise Lost, Bk. III, 682-84; Pascal, Provincial Letters, Letter VI. For a perceptive account of how the wealthy and the business community transmute tax reform to serve their interests, using the device of "confusion of the public" to make this happen "while appearing not to happen," see Linda McQuaig, Behind Closed Doors: How the Rich Won Control of Canada's Tax System (Penguin, 1987). Her study deals specifically with Canada, but the conclusions are more general.

2 Churchill, The Second World War, vol. 5 (Houghton Mifflin, 1951, 382).

3 See p. 49.

4 U.S. government scholar Douglas Pike, Viet Cong (MIT, 1966).

5 Editorial, NYT, Dec. 22, 1965. Washington took credit for helping to prepare the ground for the military coup, and a more direct U.S. role in the coup and its aftermath is hardly unlikely; see Culture of Terrorism, 181, and an important study by Peter Dale Scott, "The United States and the Overthrow of Sukarno, 1965-1967," Pacific Affairs, Summer 1985. Lyndon Johnson's National Security Adviser McGeorge Bundy commented in retrospect that "our effort" in Vietnam was "excessive" after these events in Indonesia, which helped inoculate the region against Vietnamese-inspired nationalism, a perceptive insight into the backgrounds for the Vietnam war, amply supported by other evidence; Manufacturing Consent, 174.

6 Sam Pope Brewer, "Iran is Reported Subversion Free," NYT, Dec. 2, 1956; NYT, Aug. 30, 1960. Cited by William A. Dorman and Mansour Farhang, The U.S. Press and Iran (California, 1987, 77, 72).

7 UPI, BG, July 27, 1987.

8 See Turning the Tide, 161.

9 NYT, Sept. 25, 1988. Apart from the efficacy of quasi-fascist measures, the economic successes reflect the crucial priming effect of America's Asian wars and the lingering impact of Japanese colonialism, which exploited its colonies in a different manner from the West, "bringing industry to the labor and raw materials rather than vice versa," Bruce Cumings observes, commenting on the renewal of the industrial development that had been initiated under Japanese imperialism with state-corporate guidance ("The origins and development of the Northeast Asian political economy," International Organization 38.1, Winter 1984).

10 FRUS, 1955-57, Vol. VII, 88f., NIE 82-85. For more on this enlightening document, reflecting intelligence analysis at the highest level, see my "Agenda of the Doves," Z Magazine, September 1988.

11 John Murray Brown, CSM, Feb. 6, 1987; Economist, Aug. 15, 1987. On media coverage of East Timor, see Political Economy of Human Rights, Towards a New Cold War, and The Chomsky Reader, the latter including some discussion of the remarkable subsequent apologetics by Western journalists. There is a great deal to add about later efforts to cover up this dismal record, but I will not pursue it here. Though at a lesser scale, the terror and repression continue, with little notice.

12 For a record, see Manufacturing Consent, chapter 6. The U.S. bombings of rural Laos shortly before were also suppressed during the worst period; ibid., and sources cited.

13 Ibid., and sources cited; Ben Kiernan, "The American Bombardment of Kampuchea," Vietnam Generation 1.1, Winter 1989.

14 Editorial, NYT, July 16, 1988. On the U.S. role during the period of "indifference," see Manufacturing Consent, chapter 6.

15 Elaine Sciolino, NYT, Oct. 16; Clayton Jones, CSM, Aug. 24, 1988. On what he properly calls the "hypocrisy" of the West on this issue, see Peter Carey, Far Eastern Economic Review, Dec. 22, 1988. He points out that thanks to "generous supplies of Chinese arms and money" and "Western food aid" sent via the U.N., "the Khmer Rouge has become a formidable fighting force," well established in parts of Cambodia. Thai military authorities play a crucial role in allowing Khmer Rouge bases and "terror enclaves" to operate within Thailand. Much of the fighting has been between the Khmer Rouge and its non-Communist coalition partners that the U.S. claims to support, one of which (Son Sann's KPNLF) has been "almost eliminated" and the other (Sihanouk's army) "badly mauled." With the aid of the Thai and Chinese allies of the United States, the Khmer Rouge may be able to take over after the Vietnamese withdrawal that is the alleged goal of U.S. policy. These developments have been clear enough for several years. See Manufacturing Consent for earlier references.

16 For references, see Turning the Tide, chapter 3, section 5.2.

17 See my article "Democracy in the Industrial Societies," Z Magazine, January 1989.

18 See Victor Bulmer-Thomas, review of On Power and Ideology, Third World Quarterly, January 1988.

19 Connell-Smith, The Inter-American System (Oxford, 1966).

20 Charles Ameringer, Don Pepe (U. of New Mexico, 1978, 114).

21 LaFeber, Inevitable Revolutions (Norton 1983, 187, 105); Charles F. Denton and Preston Lee Lawrence, Latin American Politics: a Functional Approach (San Francisco, 1972), quoted by LaFeber; Ameringer, op. cit., 105.

22 FRUS, 1952-54, vol. IV, 1170, notes of meeting of Guatemala group, at State Dept., June 16, 1954; See pp. 1157f. for the text of the resolution. Guatemala would, it was hoped, be compelled to turn to the Soviet bloc for arms, other sources having been barred by the United States. As explained by Guatemala City embassy officer John Hill, stopping ships in international waters might "disrupt Guatemala's economy." This would in turn "encourage the Army or some other non-Communist elements to seize power," or else "the Communists will exploit the situation to extend their control," which would "justify the American community, or if they won't go along, the U.S. to take strong measures" (Bryce Wood, The Dismantling of the Good Neighbor Policy (Texas, 1985, 177).) We thus compel Guatemala to defend itself from our threatened attack, thereby creating a threat to our security which we exploit by destroying the Guatemalan economy so as to provoke a military coup or an actual Communist takeover which will justify our violent response, in self-defense. Here we see the real meaning of the phrase "security threat," spelled out with much insight.

23 LaFeber, op. cit., 105-6.

24 Cf. p. 63. For further details, see appendix V, section 1.

25 For an account of the origins and progress of this propaganda campaign, see, among others, Herman, The Real Terror Network, and my Towards a New Cold War (introduction), Fateful Triangle, and Pirates and Emperors; see these for references, where not cited below.

26 See appendix V, section 2.

27 Martha Crenshaw, ed., introduction, Terrorism, Legitimacy and Power: The Consequences of Political Violence (Wesleyan, 1983).

28 Dodd, AP, Nov. 25; Shultz, Robert Pear, NYT, Nov. 28, 1988. An accompanying article by Alan Cowell refers to the "protestations of outrage" on the part of the Arab nations after Arafat was excluded. Shultz feels genuine "visceral outrage"; Arabs produce "protestations," perhaps merely for show. Apple, Dec. 15, 1988.

29 Editorial, WP Weekly, Dec. 5-11, 1988.

30 Szep, BG, Dec. 4, 1988. In print, allusions to the same matters in a column by Globe editor Randolph Ryan, Dec. 2, are the only questioning note I detected, though the point is so transparent that there must have been some others among the flood of obedient reports and commentary.

31 For some comparative assessments, see the sources cited earlier in note 25.

32 See Pirates & Emperors, chapter 2.

33 Ibid., 87f.; Al-Fajr, Aug. 2, 1987; Danny Rubinstein, Ha'aretz, Aug. 29, 1987; Committee against State Terrorism at Sea, State Terrorism at Sea (Jerusalem, n.d.); Joseph Schechla, "Israel's Piracy on the High Seas," The Return (September 1988); Joost Hiltermann, Middle East International, Oct. 10, 1987.

34 Wire services, BG, Oct. 5, 4; Joel Greenberg, Jerusalem Post, Sept. 28; Mary Curtius, BG, Sept. 28, 1988.

35 BG, Oct. 10, 1988.

36 For one informative case, see appendix V, section 3.

37 Michael Wines and James Gerstenzang, LAT, Jan. 26, 1988.

38 Robert Pear, NYT, July 3, 1988; LAT, July 17, 1988.

39 See appendix V, section 4, for further comment.

40 Montague Kern, Television and Middle East Diplomacy: President Carter's Fall 1977 Peace Initiative (Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, Georgetown, Occasional Papers Series, 1983).

41 See appendix V, section 5.

42 Niebuhr, Moral Man and Immoral Society, 95.

43 Kempton, NYRB, Nov. 26, 1986; Bob Woodward, Veil (Simon & Schuster, 1987, 113); editorial, WP, March 29, 1987. See John Spicer Nichols, Columbia Journalism Review, July/August 1988, on the funding for La Prensa by the U.S. government, the North network, and other sources linked to the U.S. government and the contras; also letters, CJR, Sept./Oct. According to sources reported by the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, Violeta Chamorro was paid a CIA stipend and the journal received at least $500,000 from the CIA and other U.S. sources; Washington Report on the Hemisphere, March 16, 1988.

44 South, Oct. 1988.

45 Editorial, WP, April 25, 1988. See chapter 4 and appendix IV, section 5.

46 Central America Report (Guatemala City), June 10, 17, 1988; Jean-Marie Simon, ed., Guatemala News in Brief, no. 23, May 11-July 1988, Americas Watch; Human Rights Watch, The Persecution of Human Rights Monitors, Dec. 1988.

47 A month later, the seventeenth paragraph of a story on Guatemala by Stephen Kinzer mentions the bombing of La Epoca, which "some diplomats attributed to the security forces," and it was mentioned again in August in the Times book review in a report on a conference of Central American writers. Kinzer, NYT, July 6, 1988; David Unger, NYT Weekly Book Review, Aug. 7, 1988. The home of the TASS correspondent had been firebombed shortly before the destruction of La Epoca, and the correspondents for TASS and the Cuban Prensa Latina had been forced to leave the country after death threats; two traditional death squads, linked to the security forces, took credit.

48 "Freedom of the Press," NACLA Report on the Americas, May/June 1988.

49 Wire services, Boston Globe, Sept. 5, 1988.

50 See appendix V, section 6.

51 Kinzer, NYT, April 20, 1987. Elsewhere, Kinzer writes that "In 1980, La Prensa was shaken by internal conflict when a group of employees objected to its increasingly anti-Sandinista line. The dissident employees, led by Xavier Chamorro Cardenal, a brother of the late publisher, quit and founded their own paper, Nuevo Diario" (NYT, Oct. 2, 1987). Omitted is the fact that Xavier Chamorro was the editor and that the "dissident employees" constituted 80 percent of the staff.

52 Chamorro, WP, April 3, 1986; Nichols, op. cit.; see appendix V, section 6.

53 For comparison of Nicaraguan practices with those of the U.S. and Israel, see references of chapter 4, note 3.

54 AP, Dec. 22, 1987; Cal Thomas, BG, Jan. 3, 1988.

55 Al-Hamishmar, July 25, Aug. 13; Jerusalem Post, Aug. 12, 24; Al-Hamishmar, July 25, Aug. 13, 1986.

56 Yediot Ahronot, Aug. 16, 1987, translated in The Other Israel (Israeli Council for Israeli-Palestinian Peace), Sept. 1987; Ha'aretz, Jan 1, 1988; AP, Oct. 25, 26. On the state of emergency, see Avigdor Feldman, B. Michael, Hadashot, Aug. 14, 1987.

57 NYT, Oct. 26, 1987.

58 Simon Edge, Middle East International, Jan. 20, 1989.

59 The plea that we did not know is valid for passive consumers who believe that the media present the world as it actually is. It is not valid for those who have any familiarity with the ideological institutions or participate in them, and who therefore must surely be aware that it takes effort and enterprise to find important and unwelcome facts.

60 Leah Enbal, Koteret Rashit, June 8, 1988, also citing a series of recent cases of state repression of Israeli Jews. Moshe Negbi, Politika, Sept. 1986; "Press in Chains," Shomer Hanitzotz, May 1988 (published in protest over the suppression of the Hebrew newspaper Derech Hanitzotz and the arrest of its editors); "Paper Tiger: The Struggle for Press Freedom in Israel," Jerusalem Quarterly, #39, 1986. Ha'aretz, September 29, 1986.

61 Fateful Triangle, 139.

62 Avigdor Feldman, Hadashot, Nov. 18, 1988. See appendix V, section 7, for further comments.

63 Rosenthal, NYT, May 27, 1988.

64 For example, Dan Fisher, Los Angeles Times, Oct. 5, 1985.

65 Jo Ann Boydston, ed., John Dewey: The Later Works, vol. II, from Common Sense, Nov. 1935.

66 See appendix V, section 8.

67 Quoted by Hill, The World Turned Upside Down, 72.

68 Ibid., 385, 353.

69 See Mark Hollingsworth, The Press and Political Dissent (Pluto, London, 1986), for which Mill's statement serves as epigraph.

70 Barron, "Access to the Press," 1656.

71 St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Aug. 24, 1967, cited by Jerome A. Barron, "An Emerging First Amendment Right of Access to the Media?," George Washington Law Review (March 1969), 498. See Aronson, The Press and the Cold War, 273-74, for discussion.

72 See Towards a New Cold War, 36-37, 228, for further detail and some very marginal exceptions.

73 Dianna Melrose, Nicaragua: The Threat of a Good Example? (Oxfam, London, 1985).

74 NYT, Dec. 29, 1987.

75 Thomas Friedman, NYT, Oct. 16; photo, p. 1. AP, Oct. 15, 1986.

Table of Contents ] Preface ] I. Democracy and the Media ] II. Containing the Enemy ] III. The Bounds of the Expressible ] IV. Adjuncts of Government ] [ V. The Utility of Interpretations ] Appendix I ] Appendix II ] Appendix III ] Appendix IV ] Appendix V ]

 ] Deterring Democracy ] Necessary Illusions ] The Prosperous Few and the Restless Many ] Keeping the Rabble in Line ] Rethinking Camelot ] Powers and Prospects ] Year 501 ] Secrets, Lies and Democracy ] What Uncle Sam Really Wants ] Interviews, Debates and Talks ] About Noam Chomsky ]



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