Thursday, January 20, 2011

Ivory Coast Power Struggle: 99 44/100% Pure Propaganda?


It’s a familiar story, re-told three or four times a year with few alterations apart from geography: A dictator, long ensconced in power, holds formal “elections,” claims victory versus a proponent of “real democracy” despite clear evidence of loss, attempts to remain in power, but is eventually overthrown by his country’s people (with a little help from the United Nations, or the United States, or some regional organization of states).
The current version of the tale comes to us via western Africa’s Cote d’Ivoire, or as we English-speakers put it, Ivory Coast, where sitting president Laurent Koudou Gbagbo continues to hold out against the alleged democratic victory of Alassane Ouattara to succeed him in office.
Plot familiarity alone constitutes reasonable cause for suspicion. States love old standards and tend to recycle successful propaganda, rinsing and repeating until the colors fade completely out before moving on to new narratives.

Read the rest of Thomas L. Knapp's article
at The Center for a Stateless Society.

James Tuttle,
Regular Columnist, THL
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