But the reality is vastly different.
"More terrorists are given training and sanctuary in the United States than anywhere on earth. They include mass murderers, torturers, former and future tyrants and assorted international criminals. This is virtually unknown to the American public, thanks to the freest media on earth."
"During my lifetime, America has been constantly waging war against much of humanity: impoverished people mostly, in stricken places."
"In these surreal days, there is one truth. Nothing justified the killing of innocent people in America last week and nothing justifies the killing of innocent people anywhere else." (referring to 9/11)
Since his early years as a war correspondent in Vietnam, Pilger has been a trenchant critic of western foreign policy.
His views are widely publicised through his writings and documentary films. His polemical style has attracted both praise and criticism. But there is no denying the force and relevancy of his critiques.
Pilger turns his attention to the iniquities of American foreign policy in Latin America in Kelab Seni Filem's screening tonight --
Monday 26 May, 8.00pm
The War on Democracy
John Pilger; UK/Australia, 2007, 94 min
Award-winning journalist John Pilger examines the role of Washington in America's manipualtion of Latin American politics during the last 50 years leading up to the struggle by ordinary people to free themselves from poverty and racism.
Since the mid 19th century Latin America has been the 'backyard' of the US, a collection of mostly vassal states whose compliant and often brutal regimes have reinforced the 'invisibility'of their majority peoples. The film reveals similar CIA policies to be continuing in Iraq, Iran and the Lebanon. The rise of Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, despite ongoing Washington backed efforts to unseat him in spite of his overwhelming mass popularity, is democratic in a way that has been forgotten or abandoned by the west.
* One of the film's great coups is Pilger's interview with Hugo Chavez himself.
Festivals: Cannes 2007; Galway 2007.
HELP Univ College Theatrette, Pusat Bandar Damansara, KL
Admission by membership, available at the door: RM60 1 year (students RM30); RM40 6 mths; RM30 4 mths
Free admission for Alliance Francaise members & HELP students