We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Monday, September 10, 2012

A Tale of Two Asylums: Assange, Palacio, and Media Hypocrisy

Click here to access article by Keane Bhatt from North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA). (My commentary updated as of 8:00 AM Seattle time.)

Occasionally I see references in US mainstream media that charge Ecuadorian President Correa with hypocrisy over his offer of asylum to Assange. This article sets the record straight. Guess who is really guilty of hypocrisy?
Palacio...is the author of an example of abject journalistic malfeasance. His 2011 El Universo op-ed falsely accused “the Dictator,” President Correa, of committing “crimes against humanity” by purportedly ordering troops to fire at a “hospital full of civilians and innocent people” during a coup attempt against him in 2010. Palacio didn’t provide a shred of evidence for his claims. But the U.S. media have scrubbed the baselessness of Palacio’s charges from their coverage of his asylum approval—Reuters said that Palacio simply “criticized [Correa’s] actions,” and NPR stations around the country aired a flattering interview with Palacio’s lawyer....
Although my knowledge of Ecuadorian journalism is slight, I am very familiar with the right-wing newspapers' shameless lies in Venezuela in their ongoing attempt to destabilize the Chavez government. The US ruling class would never permit that type of journalism here.

See the latest bit of hypocrisy--the US refuses to extradite a Bolivian accused of crimes against humanity as reported by Glenn Greenwald.
In October 2003, the intensely pro-US president of Bolivia, Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada, sent his security forces to suppress growing popular protests against the government’s energy and globalization policies. Using high-powered rifles and machine guns, his military forces killed 67 men, women and children, and injured 400 more, almost all of whom were poor and from the nation’s indigenous Aymara communities. Dozens of protesters had been killed by government forces in the prior months when troops were sent to suppress them.