How the anglo whore media made a smart kid stupid

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Okay. I don’t like to pick on kids, because I was bullied myself as a kid. So I’m gonna try hard not to do it here. But one of the things I learned as a bullied kid is that you have to call people out sometimes. It’s the only way to make the abuse stop. So when I see things like this, I really can’t let the bullshit pass without calling it by its right name. And I don’t care if the bullshitter, Sami Kent, is only 19 years old. He was smarter when he was younger, believe it or not:

I was about 13 when I saw the documentary The Revolution Will Not Be Televised and I was utterly taken in. Venezuela’s charismatic indigenous leader had been overthrown by powerful vested interests, but came back to power improbably on the strength of his popular support.

For someone who had grown up in Britain during the Blair years, where there was an overwhelming centrist consensus among the parties, the strength of Hugo Chávez’s socialist conviction was appealing. As British politicians sought ever-closer ties with the US, Chávez condemned the war in Afghanistan, saying “no se puede luchar contra ningún terror con terror” – you cannot fight terror with terror.

That’s about the extent to which he’s not messed up. Things degenerate shortly thereafter…

I started to read extensively about the Bolivarian revolution, which seemed to perfectly mix socialism with liberal democracy. This view may seem naive, but I would point to the dramatic increase in literacy, the reduction of poverty, the widespread use of referenda and a new constitution that protected the rights of Venezuela’s indigenous communities. I was, however, blind to the creeping authoritarianism of the Venezuelan government.

That’s because there wasn’t any, Sami. There still isn’t any. And to know it for certain, you’d only have to understand a bit more Spanish, and take a look around the Venezuelan blogosphere, where the atmosphere is vibrant and, at least among progressives, anything but oppressive. (The opposition is another story, and a very scary one.)

Of course, if you knew much Spanish and read the Venezuelan blogs, you’d be a lot less naive (good choice of words!), and less given to the kind of wafflings you just put painfully down on the electronic page. But do go on, let’s hear what got you so worked up later on, when you were older and presumably “wiser”:

When Chávez refused to renew the licence for RCTV in 2006 I felt that I had lost a hero. I had printed his face on a T-shirt, which I have not worn since that day. It was not the dictatorial move as depicted in some of the media, but for me the purity of the revolution had been lost. After that, I have felt increasingly alienated from a political movement and a president I had once adored. Now I cringe when I see him describing Robert Mugabe and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as brothers, or comparing Angela Merkel to Adolf Hitler.

Aha. I see what you did there, Sami–you believed what your own whore media told you. I hope you’re reading this; you can learn a lot from it. Sit down first, though, because what I’m going to say will shock you.

First off, Chávez had nothing to do with the licence renewal of RCTV at all. He doesn’t run CONATEL, the government body that oversees television licencing in Venezuela; it is independent of the office of the presidency. So Chávez did not “refuse to renew” anything. CONATEL did. And given that RCTV, which actively fomented the coup against an elected president, was for many years in violation of Venezuela’s organic media laws (including ones that were on the books for decades before Chávez came to power!), the non-renewal of the station’s over-the-air licence was a no-brainer. So Sami’s complaint about the loss of the “purity of the revolution” comes off as more than a little silly. A more reliable analysis of the situation is available here; read it and learn, Sami!

As for the Mugabe and Ahmadinejad stuff, let’s get serious; the whore media have dwelt long enough on the fucking ridiculous, and it’s obvious that all Sami “knows” about these two scary monsters, he “knows” only from the presstitutes. And they know nothing. Their job is to make sure we know nothing, too. So here’s what Sami should know, but doesn’t:

Before Zimbabwe left the British Empire, it was practically the exclusive property of one very rich, very racist Englishman, Cecil Rhodes. All its current troubles can be traced to its time as a British colony, where whites owned land and blacks owned nothing; a time of virtual slavery. Mugabe, at least in the beginning, held out hope for progressives the world over that there would be a reversal of that old injustice. He has since become a disappointment, to say the least. But he’s not the disease; he’s merely one of its more egregious symptoms. I don’t suppose Sami knows nearly as much about his country’s colonial-imperialist past as he should, but there it is. When Chávez calls Mugabe brother, he’s not condoning, supporting or endorsing Mugabe’s bad behavior; he’s simply recognizing that someone besides himself is struggling to throw off the colonial-imperial-capitalist yoke. Someone who, like himself, is not a white man.

Ahmadinejad, too, is overblown as a threat, and again, I suspect Sami doesn’t know the real reason why he’s being made into such a bête noire. Surprise! Iran, too, was once a British colony. Back then, they called it Persia. British Petroleum practically owned the country. But the Iranians fought back, drove the British colonists out, overthrew their satraps, and elected a man who was their own Chávez–Mohammed Mossadegh, a secular, liberal democrat. Mossadegh was popular, not least because he was in favor of Iran controlling its own oil. And he was well under way to making certain that it did. The Brits didn’t like that one bit. So they complained to Washington and got the CIA to take back Iran for BP. The CIA installed the Shah, a brutal puppet dictator with a nasty secret police force, the SAVAK, who helped enforce his iron-fisted rule. Murder, torture and permanent disappearance were the order of the day for anyone who defied the Shah; to outward appearances, however, Iran was modern and westernized, so that little flaw was overlooked. That is, until a broad coalition of leftists and religious revolutionaries overthrew the Shah. He died in exile, the leftists were soon edged out, and Iran became the strange theocracy it is today–a theocracy with a veneer of republican democracy. The president of Iran is elected, but the real rulers, the mullahs and ayatollahs, are not. It is they, not little pipsqueaky, mouthy Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who should be feared and reviled.

And, for whatever this was worth, Ahmadinejad has been misquoted. Very deliberately so, and for propagandistic reasons–to drum up support for a war against Iran, as was done to neighboring Iraq. To understand this, however, demands that you read Juan Cole, who is familiar with Middle Eastern politics and history in ways you and I can only wish we were. But once you do understand this, you can see, again, why Chávez would call him “brother”–like Mossadegh in one way, if no other, Ahmadinejad seems bound and determined not to let foreign oil interests eat up Iran ever again. In Venezuela, it is the same with Chávez!

Back to Sami, and more sad evidence of how completely he has drunk the Kool-Aid:

Last year I went to a conference on Venezuela’s progress after 10 years of revolution, shocked to hear speaker after speaker ignore his treatment of opposition, his expulsion of human rights activists (fittingly, for claiming the country was slipping towards totalitarianism), or his temporary defence of a drug-dealing and murderous Farc.

Um, Chávez didn’t “defend” the “drug dealing and murderous” FARC; he simply recognized them as guerrillas in a political struggle, which they ARE. (One of their own prior hostages says the same thing.) And he interceded with them to release some hostages, which they did…in deference to him, out of respect for his Bolivarianism–a philosophy they share, though he openly and repeatedly insists he disagrees with their methods. And indeed, he doesn’t USE their methods, so we can safely take his word for that.

Let’s not forget, either, that Chávez used to be an army officer. His troops were in charge of patrolling the western border regions in the state of Apure, making sure Colombian guerrillas didn’t get into Venezuela or make political messes there. He had ample opportunity to find out, firsthand, that his government was setting him and his men against a leftist menace which, while real, paled in comparison to that of the right-wing Colombian army and its gringo backers–who are making at least as much trouble for him today, if not more! Worse, Colombia now has right-wing paramilitaries, whose job seems to be to augment and take flak for the army. They have infiltrated every level of government, and they are the real murderous drug-dealers of Colombia. They, too, are constantly spilling over the border into Venezuela, where they wreak havoc in the border states and serve as mercenaries to wealthy opposition politicians and land-owners. They have been caught in active campaigns to overthrow Chávez. The media, however, prefer to squawk only about the FARC, because those guys are actively opposed to the US’s toy governments. Colombia is widely made out to be a democracy, but it has not been since Jorge Eliecer Gaitán was assassinated in 1948. All the leftist parties of Colombia have been decimated and intimidated into uselessness. It is as much a puppet dictatorship today as Iran was under the Shah. The only thing that really changes in Colombia is the face of the puppet at the head of the conga line!

Sami is only 19 and obviously hasn’t done very much reading, or he would have known about all that, and particularly Chávez’s time as Venezuela’s border cop. I recommend Richard Gott; he wrote the book on Chávez, quite literally, before anyone else could. Read him, Sami, and don’t write another word about Venezuela until you’re done!

As for the “human rights activists”, those were right-wingers using the false front of human rights to conceal their real purpose: to drum up propaganda, portraying Chávez as…

…wait for it…

…A DICTATOR!!! OH NOES!!!1111athousandeleventyone!!! Let’s declare war on Venezuela! YeeHAW!!!

But hold on. José Miguel Vivanco is from Chile, and is known to be an apologist for a real dictator and human-rights abuser–none other than Augusto Pinochet. Chávez was within his rights to expel that odious little worm. Human Rights Watch has really compromised its own credibility by hiring the likes of him, and as long as it stands by such choices, it is discredited as a human-rights observer and has no business criticizing anyone anywhere in Latin America.

Compare Pinochet’s very real abuses–strikingly similar to those of the Shah of Iran–with the alleged ones of Chávez. Where are the secret detention camps? Where are the soccer stadiums converted to human holding tanks, centres for torture and summary execution? Where is the hand of Opus Dei in Venezuela? Not with Chávez or his PSUV government, that’s for damn sure. If it lies anywhere, it lies with his predecessors, who are now the opposition. They are the ones who set up death camps in large fincas on the plains, with stalls too small for horses, but just barely wide enough to hold a man. They are the ones responsible for the death of leftist professor Alberto Lovera, who was found washed up on a beach with manacles and chains from a dungeon still around his death-bloated ankles. They are the ones responsible for the massacres of Cantaura and Yumaré, as well as the Caracazo. Massacres which Sami has obviously never heard of. Else he wouldn’t write drivel like this:

Chávez has never been an intellectual or a democrat; he is primarily a soldier. He has shown himself to be extremely aggressive in his confrontation with Colombia, almost bringing the two countries to war. I don’t want to sound patronising or bourgeois, but I have come to conclude that a significant shortcoming of the Bolivarian revolution was its lack of intellectual movement – it was based on a military man’s charisma and his vague notions of imperialism, rather than a clear philosophy.

It is hard to accept that something you once loved, and something that other people once loved, is no longer a popular idea. My interest in South America recently took me to Chile where I watched several presidential election debates – the candidates were asked which leader in South America they thought had done the worst job and there was almost unanimous agreement that it was Chávez.

Well, duh–that’s because Chile hasn’t yet shed the vestiges of Pinochetism. It is a broken country, politically and economically, where even the Socialists really aren’t socialists. And Chile’s political situation has gone from stagnant to downright brackish. Everyone in the political class there is either fascist, fascist-lite, or a doormat. So of course you’ll get a meaningless consensus like that there. It’s why they sent an outright Pinochetist to work for Human Rights Watch, making a joke of the whole thing. It’s also why there are an awful lot of discontented Chileans who admire Chávez…and who are still currently shut out of the race for power. But they haven’t forgotten Salvador Allende, and they appreciate the big man in Venezuela who hasn’t forgotten him, either. It’s only a matter of time before the old embers flare up again down there; I suspect it will all depend on how badly Sebastián Piñera fucks Chile up. And fuck it up he will–depend on it.

As for the “confrontation with Colombia”, it’s instructive to remember who started it. Colombia did–by bombing Ecuador. Out of solidarity, as well as out of a well-schooled recognition that Venezuela was probably the next target for a Colombian military assault, Chávez closed the borders and sent the army out to secure them. And let’s not forget those seven gringo military bases; Chavecito certainly hasn’t. But S
ami forgets this entirely, and chooses instead to lay the blame on the media’s chosen scapegoat.

Most insulting of all is the notion that Bolivarianism has lost popularity. With whom? Sami? He’s a Brit; he doesn’t count. In Venezuela, it’s deepening, and Chávez is now actually more popular, not less, than when he was first elected. His approval rating is now 65%, up from the 58% of the vote that first elected him. Moving further to the left has made him more popular, and it hasn’t alienated anyone except for some coattail-riders from the professional political class whom he was better off without. They’ve basically jumped the fence into oblivion; good fucking riddance.

But “not an intellectual or a democrat”? What kind of bourgeois elitist twaddle is that, Sami? And what does his being a soldier have to do with that? He’s the son of two schoolteachers; he is university-educated with two master’s degrees (earned when he was in military officers’ school!); he’s up on history to an extent that shames most professors. He is himself a poet and an artist. If that’s “not an intellectual”, then what is? Do only doctorates from the Ivy League or Oxbridge count? Does one have to squat in a corporate-funded “institute” to be one, pray? Or does one just have to be white like you?

And “not a democrat”? Bullshit! Everything Chávez has done, in terms of laws and the constitution, has been put to a popular vote. If that’s undemocratic, I’ll eat my entire vast and funky collection of hats. Even his right to be re-elected was decided by the people of Venezuela, and when the Yes side passed, there was celebration in the streets.

Okay, gentle readers. Get ready. Here comes the final gulp of toxic Kool-Aid:

The Bolivarian revolution has a legacy that leaders actively seek to avoid. It is an especially galling process for someone who believes in the compatibility of democracy and socialism. In fact, when Chávez started to talk about his socialist project in Venezuela, opposed to an anti-imperialist one, he lost his first referendum ever in December 2007. I had misinterpreted Chávez’s early support: it had always been nationalist and not socialist.

Now, at the not-very-ripe age of 19, I find my increasing disillusionment with the revolution has had more impact on my personal political development than anything else. I still cling to the hope that in 2013, defeated in an election, he will leave peacefully. History, I feel, would then judge him well, and my early praise of him would have been justified.

I am aware that this process, from idealism to cynicism, is one that many go through in their lives. It is a painful but necessary step to recognise and criticise the faults of our former heroes. I feel it is a journey I have not yet completed. I am still an idealist, I will just need to relearn my lesson to put faith in principles rather than politicians.

And now, the antidote.

Sami claims he’s still an idealist. That’s the biggest horse-apple of all in this pile. He’s a cynic posturing as an idealist, and the sad thing is, he got that way by letting bigger cynics lead him around by the end of his teenage nose. He had it right in the first place, but he got swayed by one willful misinterpretation after another, to the point where he became weak and caved in. He is now a perfect useful idiot–an alienated pretend-leftist parroting the neo-con line–and it’s sad as hell to see, especially in one so young.

But at the same time, it’s not so surprising that he turned out that way. I know that process all too well, having escaped from it myself.

Maybe it’s the fact that I came at all this from the opposite side that enables me to see it; maybe because I’m more than twice Sami’s age. Maybe it’s both of those and a whole lot of other things besides. But I was an idealist who didn’t know it at 19. The side of me that cared and wanted to change the world was there, but it was dormant, stifled by what I kept hearing–that it was useless even to try. I was misled by media and my adult life has been largely an exercise in onion-peeling as a result. I was a conservative kid stuck in the cynical pose, mainly because I didn’t know what else to be. And mainly because the mainstream of the media up here in Canada is that way, believe it or not! In my teens, it was the “there is no alternative” conservatwaddle of Thatcher and Reagan that held sway, and the media fed it all to us with very little if any critical examination. Had I not gone to university at that age, and become acquainted with a much wider range of viewpoints (some of them–gasp–socialist!), I might never have questioned the incessant barrage of false messages I got as I was growing up. I would not have realized that there IS an alternative, and it is us. I would not have embarked on political activism, working to change the bad laws and stagnant social mores that we were told were here to stay. And I certainly would not have seen the positive social changes that have come as a result of people working in concert to make the world better.

And I too might have become, and remained, as Sami Kent is right now. The fact that I did not, is something I owe squarely to alternative, independent media. I first became acquainted with indie newspapers at university; I wound up writing, irregularly, for a couple of them myself during that time. It was a beginning, but it was only a beginning. Not until I began reading alternative news on the ‘net did I finally realize just how much and how badly we are being lied to.

And the story that brought it all to a head for me…was that of Hugo Chávez. It became impossible to believe anything the anglo mainstream sources wrote about him; at best it was only half true, and a half truth is as bad as flat-out lie. And what made the lie obvious to me is the very story that Sami Kent first adored and then forgot–this one right here:

It was the people who put Chávez in the presidency, and the people who brought him back. It is the people who are keeping him there right now; it is the people to whom he answers. If that is not the perfect example of socialist democracy at work, I don’t know what is.

No, Sami, Hugo Chávez did not break your heart. The anglo whore media did. Isn’t it time you took it back from them?

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8 Responses to How the anglo whore media made a smart kid stupid

  1. Jim Hadstate says:

    First of all, ‘Bina, a 19 year-old is not a kid. He is an adult. He can sign a contract, he can get married, he buy a house and he can buy a gun. So there is no bullying going on here. It is just calling a moron a moron.
    If this young man had truly wanted to keep himself informed and truly wanted to check on the facts of those who were feeding the bullshit to him that he wrote, those sources were and are available. You just have to WANT to find them.
    Sami just didn’t want to find them. It’s much easier to follow the stupid old media because they break everything down into a mushy gruel for you and tell you what to think and never show you that behind the curtain they are grinding up the people and putting them in the gruel that they feed you, the soylent green with a little cyanide for good measure.
    Sami had the right idea to start with, but England has wingnuts just like the US. And it has wingnut media just like the US. And Canada for that matter.
    Tony Blair was the biggest traitor to working people in England since time out of mind. I can’t remember Prime Minister elected on a plank that he used for firewood and became BFF with W.
    Blair was worse than Harper or that new Conservative snake that just became PM in England, because at least you know that they both are wingnuts. Blair was running under false colors and eventually became W’s mouthpiece for the illegal wars and the second on all the attacks on anyone with the stones to criticize it.
    Sami can go on with his idiot thinking and he will, because he is a lazy bastard who won’t bother to look for the truth. He’d rather listen to the old media print Blair’s attacks on Chavez and Morales and he was too stupid and lazy to fact-check them.

  2. Paul Escobar says:

    We interrupt the brutal ass-whooping of Sami Kent to bring you this special message…
    Yo! Bina!
    You heard the news in todays Globe & Mail?
    Brazil and Turkey rush to the middle
    Apparently, us Canadians aren’t the great diplomats we think we are…and probably haven’t been since THE SIXTIES!
    (Your atomic wedgie on Sami ain’t helping)

    Ottawa has never really achieved this status, except maybe for a few years in the 1960s, because Canada has never really managed to be in the middle – less so today than ever. What we saw Monday was a genuine middle.

    Like I told Structurally Maladjusted, eugenics may not be on the firm scientific footing we thought it was:

    Brazil and Turkey became this week what Canada has long tried to be: successful middle powers.

    Damn, it’s like we inherited EVERYTHING from the UK…their parliament, their language..and now, a false sense of pride based on an exaggerated sense of the past…

  3. Slave Revolt says:

    Western, capitalist societies are full of people like this punk. Instead of boning up on the ongoing contraditions and wading through the myriad contraditictions and outright lies inherent in capitalist media reporting, he so quickly imbibes the most sophmoric talking points forwarded in the capitalist media.
    Reminds me of a young OW.

  4. Slave, you said it. I have a Google alert on Chavecito, and the amount of dreck that pours out of the greasy pipes each day is just too much to keep up with. It would make a Wankers of the Week list unto itself, but with the same bad journos’ and blogtards’ names every week, and only the wank varying depending on which way the wind blows. So many presstitutes, so little time…
    Paul, excellent stuff. Why isn’t Lula getting his ass blasted for shaking Ah’m-a-dinner-jacket’s hand? Oh yeah, that’s right–he’s the “GOOD” Left. The one that didn’t challenge neoliberal crapitalism too hard. That’s why. BTW, if Canada is no longer a successful “middle” power, that’s because of who we sit next to. Apparently Harpo got it into his shellacked head that the best way to be a First Worlder and a Gee-I-Ate-er is to glue your lips to the anus of the nearest would-be unipolar entity. Uh, that would be Washington. And that would make us not First Worlders, but colonial lackeys with no pride or sovereignty left. I would hang my head in shame, but I’m too busy keeping it up in case something nasty flies in on us from above. (Pollution. Probably from Detroit, if the prevailing winds in my neck of the woods are any indication. Coughwheeze.)
    And Jim–mea culpa. Mea maxima culpa. I keep forgetting that at 19 I was legally old enough to consent (to what?), drive (which I didn’t and still don’t), vote (which I do unfailingly, and wonder why, seeing as we keep getting assholes) and drink (which I may end up doing a lot more, if these assholes we keep getting keep getting their way!) In some ways I was more of a woman at 13, when I watched mainly other people around me, and before I really started watching a lot of news on TV. Scary thought, that.

  5. hammer says:

    slave, you beat me too it. this guy is total shit, just like ow. poor broken hearted white boys. they were never idealists or leftists. they were rebels for show. now, most likely for personal reasons related to money or position, it is inconvenient. pure trash. take it out.

  6. Manaat says:

    This article looks like a CIA/NED plant ahead of the forthcoming assembly elections.

  7. Well, if it isn’t one in and of itself (kind of doubtful that they’d commission one from a teenager), it’s certainly evidence that their crapaganda is eating young brains. He’s parroting every one of their lines quite faithfully.

  8. Manaat says:

    They’re into the “youth” thing these days … the problem is that the relevant youth aren’t listening.

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