By Danny Haiphong, BAR contributor • 03 Apr 2019
American Exceptionalism is at the root of the Fake News Epidemic Attempting to Overthrow Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution
American exceptionalism is a white exceptionalism that portrays the U.S. as a society rooted in democracy rather than slavery, liberty rather than brutality and genocide.
“Nothing that the U.S. corporate media or the political establishment has said about Venezuela is true.”
This author, as well as Black Agenda Report Executive Editor Glen Ford and Black Agenda Report editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka, will be speaking at the book launch for American Exceptionalism and American Innocence: A People’s History of Fake News- From the Revolutionary War to the War on Terror by Danny Haiphong and Roberto Sirventat The People’s Forum in New York City on April 11that 6:30 PM . All readers are encouraged to attend. The ideology of American exceptionalism has become a sinister weapon in the arsenal of U.S. imperialism. Fake news has become an epidemic, but not for the same reasons repeated ad nauseum by the ruling elite. Centuries of being told that the U.S. possesses the most advanced and superior social system in the world is bearing the most painful fruit in this period of political and economic crisis. American Exceptionalism and American Innocencedebunks the myriad of myths that are told to us to protect the rule of the rich in the United States.
“The old Cold War suddenly became a new Cold War.”
The book was published just before the Mueller report concluded that not a hint of evidence existed proving Donald Trump “colluded” with Russia to win the 2016 election. After three years, the Democratic Party establishment and their allies in the intelligence agencies and corporate media peddled a conspiracy theory that the U.S. political system was under attack from the big, bad Russians. The old Cold War suddenly became a new Cold War. The term “fake news” was created by the Clinton wing of the capitalist ruling class not only to avoid the question of why a celebrity billionaire president could win the presidency “fairly” within the bounds of a completely corporate-owned election system but also to forward the imperial agenda of endless war and austerity. The current U.S.-led war campaign seeking to overthrow Venezuela’s Bolivarian revolution has benefitted greatly from the propagation of fake news cloaked in the mythology of American exceptionalism.
Venezuela has been depicted by the Trump Administration and its allies in the imperialist ruling class media and political establishment as a failed socialist dictatorship that murders and impoverishes its own people. In the eyes of the ruling class, only the U.S. can be the rightful guarantor of “democracy” in Venezuela. Juan Guaido was declared the rightful president of Venezuela even though no one in the country elected him or even knew his name prior to his promotion to “interim” president by a foreign power. Tens of billions of dollars have been directly robbed from the Venezuelan economy by way of sanctions and economic sabotage to bankroll Guaido and his opposition forces. These forces have been called the true face of democracy when in fact they represent nothing more than instruments of a slow rolling coup.
“In the eyes of the ruling class, only the U.S. can be the rightful guarantor of ‘democracy’ in Venezuela.”
American exceptionalism and fake news are interrelated. Fake news was devised by the Clinton wing of the elite to warn voters that the shortcomings of the Democratic Party were nothing more than lies spewed by angry trolls on the internet. However, as the recent Mueller report “nothing burger” attests, U.S. imperialism is unmatched in its propensity to spread fake news and Venezuela is just its latest victim. Nothing that the U.S. corporate media or the political establishment has said about Venezuela is true.U.S.-style fake news has laid the basis for justifying endless war and economic terrorism against Venezuelan socialism.
These lies have been debunked by eyewitness reports from activists and journalists. Multiple delegations have shown that Venezuelan socialism has not failed. Quite the contrary, Venezuelan socialism has built two million homes for the poor and working class in less than a decade. It has greatly expanded their access to healthcare. Education, including University education , has become accessible to all and illiteracy has been greatly reduced by Bolivarian revolution’s social mission programs. Even under the harshest of sanctions, Venezuelan socialism has found ways to subsidize food and other basic needs.Whatever levels of suffering experienced by the people of Venezuela are made in the U.S.A.
Another lie promoted under the guise of American exceptionalism is the notion that Venezuela is ruled by a repressive authoritarian regime. This is a particularly sinister lie steeped in Cold War anti-communist racism. Venezuela has held several elections since the Hugo Chavez was first elected as head of state in 1998. Jimmy Carter declared the Venezuelan electoral system the most democratic in the world in 2012. The opposition has run in every election since 1998 with varying degrees of success. Much of the opposition boycotted the last presidential election in fear that they would lose by legitimate means, thus debunking the myth that the opposition represents a majority in the nation.
“Even under the harshest of sanctions, Venezuelan socialism has found ways to subsidize food and other basic needs.”
The U.S. continues to claim that the democratically-elected government in Venezuela is illegitimate yet has been forced to support the opposition handsomely. U.S. imperialism has funneled tens of millions of dollars directly to opposition groups and NGOs primarily responsible for inciting violence and terrorism such as that seen in 2014 and 2017. The recent revelation that right-wing opposition forces burned their own “humanitarian” aid convoy only further exposed the reality of U.S.-backed terrorism in Venezuela. Most of the forces in the Venezuelan opposition are well-known for their hatred of darker skinned Venezuelans. In 2017, opposition protestors burned an Afro-Venezuelan man alive during their “protest” of the Bolivarian revolution. The opposition has routinely attacked the Bolivarian government and its supporters for their racial character since the Venezuelan people elected an African and Indigenous head of state in Hugo Chavez in 1998 to begin the Bolivarian process.
U.S. imperialism deploys American exceptionalism to legitimate its quest to dominate Venezuela under the Monroe Doctrine. The ideology of American exceptionalism has the people of the U.S. believe that the Venezuelan people are incapable of determining their own destiny. Former U.S. president Barack Obama labeled Venezuela a “threat” to “national security” thereby rendering the oil-rich nation vulnerable to the sanctions and military provocations that it currently faces from the Trump Administration. American exceptionalism is a white exceptionalism that portrays the U.S. as a society rooted in democracy rather than slavery, liberty rather than brutality and genocide. Thus, the U.S. acts as a “white” knight which must ride its military horse through the Venezuelan people in order to bring them to civilization.
“Most of the forces in the Venezuelan opposition are well-known for their hatred of darker skinned Venezuelans.”
The problem resides in the fact the Venezuelan people, nor much of the world, wants what the U.S. has to offer. Venezuelans have watched with a keen eye as U.S. interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Honduras, Syria, Libya, and countless others have created endless economic misery and political instability around the world. Venezuela is firmly on the side of the anti-imperialist camp led by Russia and China which respects international law. American exceptionalism is the weapon of the imperialist camp which is antithetical to international law. The interests of U.S. ruling elite and its allies are incompatible with an international order guided by the principles of the U.N. charter. Thus, the Bolivarian government in Venezuela must be defeated if the U.S. ruling class, represented by its corporations, banks, and military forces, is to maintain global hegemony.
American exceptionalism limits the consciousness of progressive and radical forces in the U.S. by isolating them from the people of the world. The U.S. defines itself as the basis of humanity and all non-European forces as completely devoid of humanity. This has consequences for the internal situation in the United States. Black Americans are viewed as non-humans who can be imprisoned, killed by police, and impoverished with impunity.Indigenous peoples can be erased from consciousness all together despite the ongoing struggle of many tribes and nations to preserve their cultural, political, and economic way of life amid the ongoing process of settler colonialism. American exceptionalism imbues a pro-American discourse to ensure that poverty and state repression remain constants so long as the image of the U.S. as a democratic system superior to all others is undisturbed and uninterrupted in the minds of a large section of the population.
“Black Americans are viewed as non-humans who can be imprisoned, killed by police, and impoverished with impunity.”
American exceptionalism is designed to sew unity between the ruling class and its victims based on ideological precision rather than material reality. It is built upon lies, but those lies are repeatedly presented as truths in all channels of society. Thus, American exceptionalism must be fought on two fronts. The first front is the need to tell the truth and then act on those truths. Venezuela, Syria, and all oppressed nations must not only be humanized but joined with in this global struggle against imperialist terrorism. The second front is ideological in and of itself. It is not enough to decry American exceptionalism. As U.S. imperialism continues to decline, a new ideology must be developed that aligns with the material interests of the oppressed and working masses. This ideology must explain the social relations of power from a political, economic, and historical perspective and will undoubtedly be socialist in character, moving beyond the limits of the Bernie Sanders-style socialism. Sanders-style socialism is not socialism at all because it refuses to extend solitary to the oppressed around the world and acknowledge the foundations of the U.S. as steeped in white supremacy, colonialism, and empire. A reckoning of the U.S.’ reign of terror is needed, and we hope that American Exceptionalism and American Innocence: A People’s History of Fake News -- From the Revolutionary War to the War on Terrorwill assist in that process. We hope to see you at the People’s Forum on April 11th.
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