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There is a dreadful disconnect between the American conversation on Iraq, and the opinions of Iraqis and most people in the world. We know that more than 80 percent of Iraqis want the U.S. troops to get out of their country. This figure is so high, it reflects a consensus among all three major groups: Shia Arabs, Sunni Arabs, and Kurds. If Americans respected Iraqi opinion – their true democratic aspirations – there would be no question that the U.S. would leave. But instead, the corporate U.S. media pretends that America has brought democracy to Iraq, while disregarding Iraqi opinion. Only American opinion counts.

But it gets crazier, because a majority of Americans also want the U.S. to get out of Iraq, forthwith. So it appears that American public opinion doesn’t count for much, either. Americans want out of Iraq, and Iraqis want them out, but the two war parties, Democrats and Republicans, operate in a different reality zone. They continue to speak of the “necessity” of an American presence in Iraq for an unknown time frame. Senator Barack Obama, who many of us invested great hopes in, sings the same nonsensical song. Nancy Pelosi, a former leader of the Progressive Congressional Caucus and now leader of House Democrats, exerts her powers to muzzle the majority of her party that is anti-war. Eighty-five percent of Democrats want out of Iraq, quickly. But Obama and Pelosi are listening to other voices. None of this has anything to do with democracy, either for Iraqis or for Americans.

Worst of all, the Congressional Black Caucus has been neutered, as a body. Ninety-five percent of African Americans want out of the war, according to polls. All but two of the 42 Black members of the U.S. House of Representatives depend on these Black voters for their political existence. Yet the Black Caucus effectively takes its marching orders from Nancy Pelosi, disregarding overwhelming Black anti-war opinion. There is no semblance of democracy in the air.

So, whose voices are being heard? Certainly, not the vast majority of Iraqis, nor a clear majority of Americans, nor an almost universal share of African Americans. It is the corporate dialogue that reigns in the land. They deploy the raw power of media monopoly to dictate the options that Americans are allowed, and to give Iraqis no options, at all. Corporations have bought the political classes of both major American parties. Democrats and Republicans are answerable to the same bosses – and those bosses want to remain in Iraq.

There is a simple term for this state of affairs: dictatorship of the rich. For Radio BC, I’m Glen Ford.

You can visit the Radio BC page to listen to any of our audio commentaries voiced by BC Co-Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, Glen Ford. We publish the text of the radio commentary each week along with the audio program.
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December 15 2005
Issue 163

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