Thanks for Buttin’ Out, Junior

From Latin America with love: Thank you, America, for ignoring us!
By Ben Tanosborn
Al-Jazeerah, February 5, 2007

Thomas Gray’s maxim stating that “ignorance is bliss” has been both, widely accepted and widely refuted. Proponents and opponents to what that gentleman said, or meant to say, back in 1742 seem to gather with equally opposing strength as centuries pass. Of late, however, the people of Latin America may have given us a replacement to that axiom, coining with their actions a true gem: “Bliss is being ignored – by the US!”

And you know what? They may have come up with an irrefutable truism when we try to make sense of what they mean by that. However, what they are saying south of the border and what we get from America’s corporate press confound us as if originating in Babel. Commentary by so-called experts on Latin America, usually from think-tanks of convenience – those from where most propaganda germinates which serves the needs of both the White House and the State Department – seem to always give us a minority or dissenting view… something which would be acceptable were it not presented as the majority or prevailing view. And that’s basically what we get, minority-imposed views.

Recently I came across an article-commentary typical of what’s being written these days; it was penned by Alejandro Chafuen from Atlas Economic Research Foundation, under a catchy headline, “Latin America won’t just sit still and be ignored – Our southern neighbors grow politically restive with U.S. inaction to their legitimate economic worries”. What, you say!? Is this individual for real or is he just a PR man for the Latin elite?

The fact that George W. Bush has ignored the breaking of political piñatas south of the border – way, way south of the Rio Grand – might have made the powerful local elite, and their squire-class of enablers, politically restive in Central and South America; but as far as most of the people who live there, those best described as without a pied à terre in Miami or elsewhere in the States or Europe, these past six years have proven to be a true blessing, bringing a ray of hope for a true beginning of social and economic reform. It’s not an anti-democratic or anti-American trend that is taking place, as we are being led to believe by a shamelessly lying government and a conformational press. What’s happening in the Latin Down Under is not really about us, it’s about them; about people freeing themselves from us, the “corporate America” that has kept the powerless in those nations as permanent beggars, at times mistakenly looking northward for alms.

At this point, all we have seen is nothing more than the unlocking of the gates to allow passage of both political reform and economic equity for hundreds of millions of Latin Americans. Whether or not these peaceful socio-economic revolutions succeed, and to what degree, remains an experimental unknown for now.

What the governments of Ortega (Nicaragua), Chavez (Venezuela), Correa (Ecuador), Morales (Bolivia), Lula (Brazil) – or the more acceptable, to the US government, political evolutions in Chile and Argentina – give us as a bottom line a decade or two from today, assuming the US does not intervene, will determine success or failure and not any ill-founded demagoguery pitting socialism against capitalism. Capitalism, defined as properly regulated free-enterprise, should be able to co-exist and thrive under almost any form of socialism. Only predatory capitalism will shrivel and die a natural death.

Read the rest here.

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