State Crime, the Media, and the Invasion of Panama

State Crime, the Media, and the Invasion of Panama

State Crime, the Media, and the Invasion of Panama

State Crime, the Media, and the Invasion of Panama

Synopsis

Johns and Johnson analyze the invasion of Panama in order to explore the ways in which the War on Drugs has been used as an ideological justification for a projection of U.S. state power into Latin America. They characterize the Bush Administration's reasons for the invasion as cynical ideological rhetoric which covered up strategic interests the United States had in deposing Noriega and replacing him with a more cooperative regime. The authors particularly discuss the role of media coverage, including the demonization of Noriega and the immediate adoption by the corporate media of the name "Operation Just Cause," in legitimating the invasion and transforming it in popular ideology as a law enforcement operation. Finally, they examine the aftermath of the invasion in the United States--Bush's popularity ratings, the distortion of civilian casualty information, the macho celebration of the war--and in Panama--the destruction of the labor and independence movements, the puppet Endara government, and the increased drug trafficking through Panama.
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