Capitalist-good-guy slanted articles filled with half-truths that distort, and blatant omissions of infamous US war crimes against vulnerable nations are frequent, but ridiculing tiny Laos, mercilessly carpet bombed for 9 yrs, reads as entertainment for the wealthy and arrogant Wall Street upper class. After 34 yrs Obama lifts sanctions on the-most-bombed-ever nation in the world. One shudders in patriotic embarrassment
Of course on any given day one can read capitalist-good-guy slanted articles filled with half-truths that distort, and blatant omissions of infamous past horrors of U.S. foreign policy committed against vulnerable nations, but the 9/17,09 published snide ridiculing of tiny Laos, once identified by President Eisenhower as the first domino that would later need merciless carpet bombing, reads in tone as if written just for fun and entertainment for the wealthy and arrogant Wall Street upper class.
Communism and Capitalism Are Mixing in Laos by Thomas Fuller
September 17, 2009
The writer depicts a sweet backwater mistaking innocent sincerity and the lack of artifice as naiveté and ignorance. He quizzes a rice farmer and reports his admitting being unknowledgeable about Marx, and answers humbly, “If I had studied more, I might know more about it,” a bookshop saleslady answering to booklets about Lenin offers, “He was a brave and smart person, everyone wants to get lessons from him. It’s still important.” , criticizes school girls dancing style and quotes a bank representative admission, “Civil society in Laos is still very immature ...”. Lack of sophistication is ‘exposed’ as a fault which will be hopefully be remedied “mastering the [capitalist] ideology might require some re-education.”
Why pick out little Laos to belittle? The article features a snide commentary and a condescending portrait of a modest nation. It derides the idea that its noted soft, quiet, innocent and gentle humanitarian Buddhist non-agressive culture could be effecting a commitment to socialism.
This Times lightly humorous targeting of a brave communist nation would seem to have been generated merely as an accompaniment to a rather insignificant news item for Americans, namely, the event of Obama officiously lifting the decades long punishing economic sanctions strangling Laos.
“Pursuant to the authority vested in me by section 2(b)(C) of the Export-Import Bank Act ... I hereby determine that The Lao People's Democratic Republic has ceased to be a Marxist-Leninist country within the definition of such term in section 2(b)(2)(B)(i) of that Act.”
Could it be that the blockade was lifted because American business has been losing out to Chinese and Vietnamese joint ventures.
Though depreciating Laos as what is described as a pastoral backwater, the writer saw fit to acknowledge fleetingly that Laotians are still beset with the lingering damage of the devastation the greatest empire in the world saw fit to wreak upon it in the aftermath of their liberating themselves from brutally exploitive French colonial rule.
Here is some history / History of the Bombing of Laos
Secret U.S. Bombings in Laos”
“From 1964 to 1973, the U.S. dropped more than two million tons of ordnance over Laos during 580,000 bombing missions - equal to a planeload of bombs every 8 minutes, 24-hours a day, for 9 years. ... The U.S. launched an unprecedented secret bombing campaign without authorization from the U.S. Congress. To evade the Geneva agreements, the U.S. placed CIA agents in foreign aid posts, contracted with private plane companies, and temporarily turned air force officers into civilian pilots. The Ravens, a code name for U.S. pilots in Laos, flew 1.5 times the number of air sorties flown in all of Vietnam. Each cluster bomb casing scattered several hundred tennis-ball-sized bomblets (known as bombies in Laos) over 5000-sq-meter areas. About 260 million cluster bomblets fell over Laos with close to 53 million bomblets dropped within one kilometer of villages. Up to 30% of the bomblets did not detonate on impact, leaving as many as 86 million unexploded cluster bomblets buried in fields, roads, forests, rivers and villages.
Thirty-six years later the New York Times has its writer playing the wise guy describing the survivors and descendants of the above as a confused bunch of Asian hicks - maybe to boost Times American readers’ sense of superiority over these louts who lets the Yanks cream ‘em with bombs and screw them over homicidally in line with various U.S. presidents’ kill-the-third-world- communists war wishes.
Mr. Fuller puzzles sterilely, “What to make of Laos, the former French colony that became a focal point of great powers during the Vietnam War, only to slide back into obscurity once the Cold War ended?”
The article plays to many old saws that were invented to debase communist economic performance, it being fair game to laugh at the ‘copying of capitalism’ every time the ancient invention of money is used or anything is imported from the advanced shlock & rock modern cheap U.S. commercial
Ah but we few archival research historian whistle-blowers on media distortions and blackouts read the Times in depth, and are therefore most appreciative of Mr. Fuller for inserting a blue link: “Laos” in the middle of his third paragraph - dutifully, for the New York Times is the U.S. newspaper of record.
A few of the articles that come up upon clicking on the link word “Laos” are worthwhile reading that makes one shudder in patriotic embarrassment at the cavalier treatment Laotians receive in this fun poking article:
“Highlights From the Archives
Old U.S. Allies, Still Hiding in Laos by Thomas Fuller, 9/19/09
Thousands of jungle warriors hired by the C.I.A. during the Vietnam War live in fear of the Laotian government.
Laos Sees Possibility of Tourism in Caves Used During the ‘Secret War’
by Jennifer Conlin
A network of caves promises to further illuminate the
“secret war” the United States waged in Laos against the North Vietnamese, but may also help open a region in need of tourism revenue.”
TravelNews, March 18, 2007
The Centuries-Old Allure of Laos’s Relaxed Capital
by Daniel Altman
“It’s easy to turn into a turbo-tourist in Southeast Asia. So when it’s time to take a break, there’s Vientiane.”
(Just don’t go strolling around and step on one of those 86 million unexploded cluster bombs.)
Does one understand how ‘Western civilization’, until recently touted as ‘the free world,’ currently operates.?
After putting Laos on the ‘community of nations’ map as the-most-bombed-ever nation in the world, it is now forgiven for causing trouble by its hating colonialism and the capitalism that always drove it. The U.S. masters of the universe now graciously ‘determine’ Laotians not to be really communists deserving of being
quarantined off from the capitalist system of the ‘New World Order. And ‘community of nations’ entrepreneurial businessmen gon’ turn this whole secret CIA war thing into a tourist attraction. The New York Times will help.
As opposed to making happiness, ‘making’ money from capital provided by hellish misery is more important than anyone’s feelings. Humanity itself is capital for, say, a David Rockefeller, who sets the pace for other Americans and Trilateralists to follow.
These Laotian communist leaders apparently are unswayed by the New York Times desperately manipulating the news by selection and omission in order to continue to foster a claim that capitalism works for more than just its wealthy corporate owners.
Right now no one seems more pathetically mixed up than Americans.
The New York Times, leading the conglomerate media cartel would like us to believe otherwise, and that it’s the quaint hillbilly populations in the bludgeoned former outright colonial world that can’t seem to get rid of this idea that capitalism is bad both as an economic order locally as well as imperially.
The capitalism experienced by a countries like Laos as a French colony was racist and inhuman. Economic neo-colonialism is even worse.
Fulller writes in that well established vein of communist run nations attributed fairy tale like ‘opening up to the outside world’ as if these wayward, outlaw countries had themselves sealed themselves up and not been blockaded, quarantined, contained, sanctioned, and branded as pariah international criminal governments that no American or friend of America shall visit or trade with. (God forbid they should prosper and make themselves free from the neo-colonialism oppressing the majority of human beings on Earth).
In one sense these deliberate false descriptions and misrepresentations to ‘show’ how
communist economics can never be successful in a capitalist world are part of a sad truth, but ‘the times, they are a changing.’
The author is impaled on his own imperialist prejudice as he attempts to denigrate Laotian politics:
“The official line from the government is that Laos is a one-party democracy — only members of the Communist Lao People’s Revolutionary Party are allowed to contest elections.” Fuller is confident that few readers will remember that only capitalists are allowed by the conglomerate media cartel to run for office in the U.S.A., granted the strength of the Empire being so locked in that an exception can be permitted with socialist Senator Bernie Sanders.
The US, EU and Japan are hurting while the better ethically and economically organized state banks of China and Vietnam temporarily protect their populations from the next round of imperialist exploitation backed up by the
US-NATO United Nations accepted World Army.
Laotians who read of themselves in an unflattering article published by an ungracious to communists New York Times must just be watching with Buddhist equanimity ‘as the world turns.’
Demand oversight of the dictatorial conglomerate owned media cartel!
When I first read what you had to say, I thought perhaps it might be a little over the top. After all, I grew up reading the NY Times, and thought they were the gold standard for journalism.
Then I read the piece and thought about it for a few minutes.
The Times has increasingly abdicated on its responsibilities to the people of this nation [and the world], and increasingly tracked towards the empty promises [aka lies] of Wall Street and corporate-speak. They are nothing like the newspaper I grew up reading, they are propagandists just like the rest of the mainstream media.
Why would this piece be anything different?
So, while you didn't win me over instantly, I do agree with you.
by Jennifer Hathaway
Jay Janson Reply:: Regarding hesitance to condemn the New York Times
Hesitance to condemn the New York Times is something we all have had or will have to have to grow up with, for as Jennifer points out, it is difficult to challenge something one's parents and/or primary school teachers right up through secondary education have lauded.
Today, looking around for something or someone to blame that a child, within that one sixth of humanity now well over a billion hungry brothers and sisters of ours, dies every three seconds from malnutrition somewhere on our lovely but tragic planet, the New York Times, the most influential capitalist/imperialist media cartel leader comes up as a good candidate for ‘Great Satan.'
Jennifer writes “nothing like the newspaper I grew up reading,” perhaps reinforcing the idea in the first paragraph of this author's answer. However since there are infinitely more children dying now than when Jennifer and yours truly ‘grew up' not only physically, one suspects one of the reasons for this increase in planned genocide is perhaps the worsening of the ethics and morality in deception the New York Times has always intentionally practiced as a capitalist tool foiling of compassionate resistance to the commodification of bread and life itself for the obscene profit of a relatively few of us.
Jennifer's succinct “Why would this piece be anything different?” kind of hurts, because though Jennifer assists this author's pointed attempt to draw attention to the nature of the purposes of New York Times in perfidy, it is painful, because we are still stuck with tomorrows edition insidiously dis-informing a reading public, with the exception of some few rudely awakened ‘grown up' readers who are largely helpless to break The New York Times harsh grip in our hearts and, sorrowfully, unable to convince this vast majority that it is being taken for a brain-washing ride.