After the Cataclysm, Postwar Indochina and the Reconstruction of Imperial Ideology

By Noam Chomsky; Edward S. Herman | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 7
Final Comments

We have explored some of the ways in which the propaganda systems of the West, primarily that of the United States, have faced the major tasks noted in chapter I of this volume. Not surprisingly, inquiry reveals a highly selective culling of facts and much outright lying. Some areas of the world are almost entirely blacked out, where disclosure of major abuses would disturb both pliable clients and the U.S. economic, military and political interests that find this pliability advantageous. As we have described throughout the two volumes, the first principle of the Free Press is the averting of the eyes from benign or constructive terror, along with a general avoidance of invidious language and a sympathetic understanding for the difficult problems faced by the terrorizing elites backed by the United States. In sharp contrast, countries that ordinarily evoke minimal western interest are thrust into the limelight when "enemy" terror and the evils of Communism can be revealed, and other useful lessons drawn. Thus the second principle of the Free Press is the intense and dedicated search for nefarious terror, which can be brought into focus without giving offense to any important groups and which contributes to domestic ideological mobilization.

Further devices used in handling nefarious terror, as we have described, include the stripping away of historical context, fabrication, and myth creation. Useful myths, once successfully instituted, are virtually immune to correction. In focusing on

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After the Cataclysm, Postwar Indochina and the Reconstruction of Imperial Ideology
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Table of Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Chapter 1 the Setting 1
  • Chapter 2 Precedents 23
  • Chapter 3 Refugees: Indochina and Beyond 49
  • Chapter 4 Vietnam 61
  • Chapter 5 Laos 119
  • Chapter 6 Cambodia 135
  • Chapter 7 Final Comments 295
  • Notes 301
  • Index 385
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