by William Blum
The jingo bells are ringing"Who really poses the greatest danger to world peace: Iraq, North Korea or the United States?" asked Time magazine in an online poll in early 2003, shortly before the US invasion of Iraq. The final results were: North Korea 6.7%, Iraq 6.3%, the United States 86.9%; 706,842 total votes cast.
Imagine that following North Korea's recent underground nuclear test neither the United States nor any other government cried out that the sky was falling. No threat to world peace and security was declared by the White House or any other house. It was thus not the lead story on every radio and TV broadcast and newspaper page one. The UN Security Council did not unanimously condemn it. Nor did NATO. "What should we do about him?" was not America Online's plaintive all-day headline alongside a photo of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.
Who would have known about the explosion, even if it wasn't baby-sized? Who would have cared? But because all this fear mongering did in fact take place, www.vote.com was able to pose the question -- "North Korea's Nuclear Threat: Is It Time For An International Economic Blockade To Make Them Stop?" -- and hence compile a 93% "yes" vote. It doesn't actually take too much to win hearts and mindless. Media pundit Ben Bagdikian once wrote: "While it is impossible for the media to tell the population what to think, they do tell the public what to think about."
and so on. A great read. As expected. Please click here and take in all of what Bill Blum is saying.