Alwaght- The American leaders and decision makers very often put spreading of the democracy on top of their claims list when they justify their meddling in other countries' domestic affairs, or waging wars, says Muhammad al-Asi, an American scholar and imam who formerly led the prayer at the Islamic Center of Washington.
In an interview with Alwaght news and analysis website, Dr. al-Asi said, American leaders deploy military forces overseas to overthrow other countries' governments under the excuse of bringing democracy to people. Nearly in any American foreign military intervention, the US politicians argue that their involvement goes in interests of the invaded nation. They say they want to spread democratic values and install democracy in other societies. Billions of dollars are spend on such wars.
The American public is, on the other side, bombed by news and analyses of mainstream media that majorly intend to vindicate that the wars serve the good of other nations, beside serving the American national interests. Before any military intervention, the mainstream media start spreading propaganda, all aimed at preparing the public opinion, or those who are known as the tax payers, for accepting the costs of the aggressions. But the US appears to face challenges now in making people believe that democracy is cherished in every overseas campaign.
No democracy is sought
Asked by Alwaght about the American presence in West Asia region, and the US leaders' explanation that they fight wars to propagate democracy in the region, Muhammad al-Asi said there has to be a look at the American public in the past, in four or five decades ago until now. The US public, according to al-Asi, used to buy the claim that the US deployed military to various parts of the world to entrench democracy.
But the developments over the nearly past two decades made people cast doubt on the veracity of their leaders' propaganda.
“I think that, though it is hard to say with certainty, a majority of the American public does not believe the American government’s claims that it wants to spread democracy throughout the world. Because the American foreign policy has demonstrated its failures in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Egypt for example, among other places. I'm just mentioning the Muslim East. In these countries, elections were held and people went to elect their officials. But the US turned out to be against these elections.”
He referred to the American military or political meddling into these countries to influence the vote outcomes. The Egyptian military coup against the democratically-elected President Mohamed Morsi is an example making it clear that the US is behind many regional changes.
The American scholar came clean on the reality that the American TV viewers now realize that all this is “phony”, but he also put part of the blame on the American public's failure to seek the reality.
“When the US speaks about democracy, it does not mean what it says. But you have to take into consideration that a good portion of the American public are not tuned in to the politics. They are instead tuned in to the sports. You give them a world map and ask them to show you France, or the neighboring Mexico and Canada. They fail to tell you where each of these countries are located. They are ignorant. A lot of the American people are politically ignorant. On the contrary, they are very tuned in when it comes to the sports. Speak with them about the basketball, football, baseball. They know the details of everything about the sports. But when it comes to the politics, they are empty-headed.”
People wake up
However, the American Imam said that the very bad experiences of war made the Americans wake up politically. “If it was not for the wars and their results, the public were still sleeping.”
Al-Asi touched on the American active wars in the Muslim hemisphere. He said that the American military is involved in drone wars is Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen, not to mention the troops-requiring wars in other regional countries.
“The American military personnel are sitting in Arizona and, while having in front of them monitors, control the drones over Yemen. They give signals to their drones to fire on the ground. The results are catastrophic.”
He pointed to the American people’s frustration with their government's interventionist policies.
“The American people are good people by nature. They don’t like to see bloodshed. But they are being misled by their own government.”
The former imam of Washington’s Islamic Center went on to hold the idea that “as I know, the American military are fed up with the wars. They don’t want wars anymore.”
He highlighted the American war in Iraq as the “largest disaster” and a “strategic catastrophe” in the American history. He went on to blast the war in Afghanistan.
“Look at Afghanistan war, the longest in the US history. They have been in Afghanistan for 16 years. Now they find no way out. They instead send more troops. They are sending 3,000 to 5,000 additional troops to Afghanistan, apparently with no results. The American public is tired of all this.”
He went on to pinpoint to the real beneficiaries of the American military interventions across the world, adding that typical Americans are not gainers of these military interventionism.
“The wars benefit the corporations, the money makers in the US, the military, industrial, and banking complex. These are what all wars about. The poor people are not seeing any economic improvement behind these wars. The American policymakers argue that the US goes to wars to improve the economy, but the economy is going down.”
He believes that there is a chasm between what the government says and what the people feel. “If this continues, there will be a break between the government and people.”
Mainstream media failing, challengers rise
In the shadow of such a gap and while American people are being bombed by the mainstream media's propaganda, Alwaght asked al-Asi about how people get fair news in the US.
He replied: “The Internet now plays a big role. There is a lot of information on the Internet. People have begun to find where the way is, and sense where the truth is. Back in 30 or 40 years ago, the major news outlets were the CBS and NBC, and others for example. They controlled the public opinion. Now they don’t. They are becoming secondary now. People watch CNN and Fox News just to see what they say. They don’t believe them.”
Dr. al-Asi referred to rise of challengers to the mainstream media, including the networks, which are out of the government dominance.
“Now much more information is coming to the public from websites which are not instruments of the government. That is why from time to time the government says it intends to control the Internet. Because the Internet is giving the people another horizon, another perspective on the events of the world.”
Beside the non-compliant news websites, non-American media outlets are the key challengers of the mainstream media that predominantly serve the government’s policy. He pointed to such news networks as Press TV and Russia Today, and teleSUR that are broadcasting another perspective.
Zero-tolerance to questions
But the US government is not as democratic and fair as it tries to pose, according to the American imam. The American administration talks about intention to introduce a regime of censorship to the Internet.
“They are talking about censoring the Internet. They haven’t done it yet, but when they talk about it, it means that their establishment media are failing.”
The US government has recently forced the RT news to register as a “foreign agent” as a restrictive measure and in a blow to freedom of information circulation. The Google also announced that it will de-rank articles of RT and Sputnik news agencies to make it harder to be found in search results.