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Response to struggle4progress (Original post)

Tue Sep 11, 2012, 01:41 AM

3. I held my nose and clicked on this New York Slimes article to sniff out the strategy...

...that the U.S. and its transglobal corporate/ war profiteer masters are going to take with Ecuador, generally and with regard to the Assange asylum.

It occurs to me that this Juan José Illingworth is a good candidate for "great white hope" of said transglobals and war profiteers, rather like Capriles in Venezuela--an airbrushed leader with even better creds than Capriles. The Slimes make much of Illingworth and his noble ancestors--including one who fought with Simon Bolivar for Latin American independence--and his "English bona fides" (born in Manchester). They don't do this for just anybody. I strongly sense that he is being "groomed," as they say.

Look how they do go on about Illingworth:

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"The family has a strong sense of history and its place in it. Its members walk through a city that has an Illingworth Street and an Illingworth Passage.

There are at least two statues and a bust of the Admiral, as their famous forebear is usually called. (The base of the statue in Navy Park contains a coffer with the Admiral’s remains. Mr. Illingworth was present a few years ago at the exhumation and was happy to see that, more than 150 years later, 'his skull was in perfect condition,' he said.)"
--The Slimes (from the OP)
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/11/world/americas/in-standoff-over-assange-ecuadoreans-close-ranks.html?pagewanted=all&_moc.semityn.www

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That's one possible bit of strategy with which to undermine and destroy the hugely popular Correa and his leftist government--if Illingworth is buyable. Don't know that he is but that doesn't mean they aren't trying. They used him here (and he allowed himself to be used) to start off on a negative tack against Correa ("Mr. Illingworth is no fan of Ecuador’s president...blah, blah, blah...") that pretty much drips slime on Correa throughout the article with only one exception--the "Miriam Vilela, 40, a seamstress" section--but then they dis her as not well informed and they managed to capture a statement from her that makes the poor sound like "little Ayn Rands," all greedy and self-interested, knitting names for the Guillotine. (“Never retreat. What’s ours is ours.”)

In total, the article quotes four anti-Correa Ecuadorans and two vaguely described groups with anti-Correa criticisms, and only one Correa supporter and one Assange supporter. 6 to 2. That is the OPPOSITE of how things stand in Ecuador, as to Correa's popularity. And the only pro-Correa statement is that of the seamstress, above, who is dissed. This is a strategy of propaganda--falsely portraying a hugely popular, democratically elected, leftist president as, somehow, illegitimate, because all the people that New York Slimes stringers hang out with at the country clubs think so. Get this paragraph (which could be a USAID-written Capriles paragraph):

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"Mr. Correa has made many broadly popular changes, improving health care, education, roads and social services. But he is a lightning rod and delights in in picking fights and taunting his opponents. He has been criticized by human rights groups for cracking down on popular protests and by dissident groups for seeking to intimidate and restrict the press." --The Slimes (from the OP) (my emphasis)

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"A lightning rod"? "Delights in picking fights?" That's "colorful language"--very, very biased and presented, by the reporter, as reality. Go back and read it. Who is saying this? The reporter! And no one is asked to reply to this reporter's editorializing. The 70% of Ecuadorans who support Correa likely have a very different view of Correa's strong character and wouldn't call it "picking fights" and "taunting his opponents." But none of his many supporters is asked to respond to this view of his character, nor any of his aides or political allies, nor Correa himself. It is the unchallenged opinion of the reporter that Correa's championing of the poor (health care, education) and development of Ecuador (roads, social services) is being perpetrated by a bully and a loudmouth who has only his own political interest in mind. The reporter quotes several people questioning Correa's "political motives" with regard to Assange's asylum, starting with the Admiral's descendant. The conflation is plain. Correa has no good motives at all. He is a bad dude. Get it?

This isn't the worst reporting I've seen on the Latin American Left, but it's close. The Slimes tend to put a slick veneer on their character assassinations. Beware!

As for "seeking to intimidate and restrict the press": As with Chavez in Venezuela, the Corporate Press screams bloody murder when their monopolistic, propagandistic, so-called journalism gets challenged by democratic notions akin to our late, lamented "Fairness Doctrine." Both Chavez and Correa have done more for REAL "free speech"--the speech of ordinary people, the speech of excluded groups, the speech of the poor majority, the speech that the founders of our own country intended to protect with the 1st Amendment--than any political leaders in history, except maybe Thomas Jefferson and Tom Paine, and certainly than any political leaders in Latin American history. Both countries are now characterized by extremely high levels of public participation. Both countries are now characterized by intense, widespread political debate about substantive issues. The people of both countries wrote their own constitutions, debated every provision of their constitutions and put their constitutions to a vote of the people (both of which won, hands down), and that intense involvement with their own public life continues--and it puts our public life to shame.

What the New York Slimes means by "the press" is the corporate press. And, by "free speech," they mean corporate speech! They really, really don't want what the 1st Amendment was written to protect: the speech of ordinary citizens.

The strategy of punishing Ecuador for its independent stance on Assange and other matters (including, for instance, a recent Ecuadoran court ruling against Chevron-Texaco for its vast pollution of the Amazon rainforest, and Correa kicking the U.S. military out of Ecuador) emerges in the final paragragh. They found one guy, in all of Ecuador, who would criticize Correa for the Assange asylum decision. I wonder how many phone calls they had to make to get this:

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"Enrique Ayala, the president of Simón Bolívar Andean University in Quito, said he believed that Mr. Assange had been politically persecuted and ran the risk of being accused of a crime by the United States for the release of secret documents and diplomatic cables. But he said that granting asylum was a mistake.

“'It isn’t in the best interests of Ecuador to have taken this step, which creates conflict with various countries,' Mr. Ayala said. 'The country doesn’t gain anything. I think it loses.'"
--The Slimes (from the OP)

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You are left to wonder what Washington is cooking up to make Ecuador "lose." Maybe Ayala knows, maybe not. What about his political motives in his criticism of Correa for doing what Ayala admits is the right thing but shouldn't have been done because it creates "conflict." Conflict with whom? The U.S., of course, and its poodle, England. What is his agenda that he would tolerate persecution of a journalist by these governments? Hm?

Finally, I am sick to death of this typical character assassination of Julian Assange:

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"Mr. Assange, who has taken refuge in the embassy since June 19 to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning on allegations that he sexually assaulted two women...". --the Slimes (from the OP)

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Let's get this straight. Julian Assange is NOT really wanted for questioning in Sweden. He has three times made himself available for questioning on these absurd "sexual assault" charges, and Swedish prosecutors have refused to question him. There are no charges against him. The first prosecutor in this case dropped the case because the charges were so flimsy. That prosecutor was replaced with someone with more political ambition. Talk about "political motives"! What they want is to get Assange INTO CUSTODY--in any way that they can--so they can turn him over to the U.S. to be "buried" in a deep dungeon with Bradley Manning!

The "sexual assault" charges are a mockery of every woman who has ever been genuinely assaulted. And this warrant for Assange is a mockery of justice. He is wanted for the crime of journalism. That is the truth. And, if the New York Slimes had any self-respect left, as journalists, they would not perpetuate this slanderous coupling of Assange's name with "sexual assault." He has NOT been charged with ANY "assault." And he has NOT avoided questioning about the allegations. They were so NOT going to charge him with these flimsy allegations that they told him he could leave Sweden! THEN they chased him with a warrant. THEN. Why? Because they want him in custody" NOT for "questioning" but for extradition to the U.S.

I don't call them the New York Slimes for nothing. This slimebag article is all too typical of what this once great newspaper--the publisher of the Pentagon Papers--has become.

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Arrow 4 replies Author Time Post
struggle4progress Sep 2012 OP
a geek named Bob Sep 2012 #1
joelz Sep 2012 #2
LineNew Reply I held my nose and clicked on this New York Slimes article to sniff out the strategy...
Peace Patriot Sep 2012 #3
roody Sep 2012 #4
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