Sunday, June 04, 2006

American Empire - from Killing Hope

The American Empire: 1992 to present
from the book, Killing Hope, by William Blum,2004 edition



WHAT WE FILIPINOS SHOULD KNOW:
To those who wonder "why dig the past": We engage in revisiting and revising our past, i.e. historical "revisionism", to develop new emphases and raise new questions on assumptions and explanations for key historical issues and policies --given by our former colonial master America, government officials and authors of history books, then and now.

In our homeland's case, we can not afford a "balanced" approach to history since in the past and present years, our homeland's history, as it refers to Philippine-US relationships, has been imbalanced in favor of the Americans, who as far as we baby boomers can remember, are only "the good guys" and "do-gooders" in history.

It is time for us, especially for Filipinos-in-the-Philippines to recover our history, a nationalist history (and reinforce Filipino nationalism); which necessitates uncovering the lies and myths about America; since the American arrival into and 50-year occupation of our homeland, the sweet nothings about "Philippine-American Special Relations", etc. perpetuated through our school textbooks, mass media, government pronouncements, Filipinos with Americanized
minds, etc.

We Filipinos, here and abroad, past and present, relied and continue to use these official explanations that lead only to our ignorance of hidden truths and knowledge of untruths, thus perpetuating the post-WW2 neocolonial conditions that brought only worsening impoverishment to the masses; foreign control of the national economy and the dwindling of our national patrimony.

The article below demonstrates and reminds us that the America we learned about do keep these hidden truths. It exposes the declared American innocence and thus its hypocrisy. And America's leaders and policymakers can do so only because the ordinary American is himself ignorant of them.

The Philippines makes a decent representative example of the US' first official exercise in colonial imperialism and formal empire [*], also referred to as "civilizational imperialism" - a project we're presently repeating."Lest this seem to be the bellicose pipedream of some dyspeptic desk soldier, let us remember that the military deal of our country has never been defensive warfare. Since the Revolution, only the United Kingdom has beaten our record for square miles of territory acquired by military conquest. Our exploits against the American Indian, against the Filipinos, the Mexicans, and against Spain are on a par with the campaigns of Genghis Khan, the Japanese in Manchuria and the African attack of Mussolini. No country has ever declared war on us before we first obliged them with that gesture. Our whole history shows we have never fought a defensive war. And at the rate our armed forces are being implemented at present, the odds are against our fighting one in the near future." - Major General Smedley D. Butler, America's Armed Forces: 'In Time of Peace', 1935.1898-1914: The Phillipines.

**********************************


Following its bombing of Iraq in 1991, the United States wound up with military bases in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and the United Arab Emirates.

Following its bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999, the United States wound up with military bases in Kosovo, Albania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Hungary, Bosnia and Croatia.

Following its bombing of Afghanistan in 2001-2, the United States wound up with military bases in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Georgia, Yemen and Djibouti.

Following its bombing and invasion of Iraq in 2003, the United States wound up with Iraq.

This is not very subtle foreign policy. Certainly not covert. The men who run the American Empire are not easily embarrassed.

And that is the way the empire grows-a base in every neighborhood, ready to be mobilized to put down any threat to imperial rule, real or imagined. Fifty-eight years after world War II ended, the United States still has major bases in Germany and Japan; fifty years after the end of the Korean War, tens of thousands of American armed forces continue to be stationed in South Korea.

"America will have a continuing interest and presence in Central Asia of a kind that we could not have dreamed of before," US Secretary of State Colin Powell declared in February 2002. Later that year, the US Defense Department announced: "The United States Military is currently deployed to more locations than it has been throughout history."

Equally unsubtle are the announcements beginning in the early 1990s-coinciding with the pivotal demise of the Soviet Union-and continuing to the present, trumpeting Washington's desire, means, and intention for world domination, while assuring the world of the noble purposes behind this crusade. These declarations have been regularly put forth in policy papers emanating from the White House and the Pentagon, as well as from government-appointed commissions and think tanks closely associated with the national security establishment.

Here is the voice of the empire in 1992
"Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union.... we must account sufficiently for the interests of the advanced industrial nations to discourage them from challenging our leadership or seeking to overturn the established political and economic order.... we must maintain the mechanisms for deterring potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role."

1996: "We will engage terrestrial targets someday-ships, airplanes, land targets-from space.... We're going to fight in space. We're going to fight from space and we're going to fight into space.

1997: "With regard to space dominance, we have it, we like it, and we're going to keep it."

2000: "The new [military preparedness] standard is to maintain military superiority over all potential rivals and to prepare now for future military rivalries even if they can not yet be identified and their eventual arrival is only speculative.... Military requirements have become detached from net assessments of actual security threats. Generic wars and generic capabilities are proffered as the basis for planning.... Particularities of real threat scenarios have become secondary to the generalized need to show raw U.S. power across the globe.

2001: "The presence of American forces in critical regions around the world is the visible expression of the extent of America's status as a superpower and as the guarantor of liberty, peace and stability."

2001: "If we just let our own vision of the world go forth, and we embrace it entirely, and we don't try to be clever and piece together clever diplomatic solutions to this thing, but just wage a total war against these tyrants, I think we will do very well, and our children will sing great songs about us years from now."

2001: The Bush administration's "Nuclear Posture Review", directing the military to prepare contingency plans to use nuclear weapons against at least seven countries- China, Russia, Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Libya and Syria-and to build smaller nuclear weapons for use in certain battlefield situations.

2002: In September, the White House issued its "National Security Strategy", which declared:

Our forces will be strong enough to dissuade potential adversaries from pursuing a military build-up in hopes of surpassing, or equaling, the power of the United States.... America will act against such emerging threats before they are fully formed.... We must deter and defend against the threat before it is unleashed.... We cannot let our enemies strike first.... To forestall or prevent such hostile acts by our adversaries, the United States will, if necessary, act preemptively.

Preemptiveness is essentially the rationale imperial Japan, without being overly paranoid, used to justify its attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, and which Nazi Germany, as a sham pretext, used to justify its invasion of Poland in 1939.


To one observer, the meaning of the "National Security Strategy" was this:It dashes the aspirations of those who had hoped that the world was moving toward a system of international law that would allow for the peaceful resolution of conflicts, through covenants and courts. In place of this, a single power that shuns covenants and courts has proclaimed that it intends to dominate the world militarily, intervening preemptively where necessary to exorcise threats.... Those who want a world in which no power is supreme and in which laws and covenants are used to settle conflicts will begin a new debate-about how to contend with imperial America.

So intoxicated with the idea of dominance is the US national security state that when it announced, in November 2002, the formation of a public affairs group that would travel to battlefields "to interact with journalists, assist U.S. commanders and send news and pictures back to headquarters for dissemination," it described the operation as an attempt at "information dominance."

The Cold War is Over. Long live the Cold War.
It is remarkable indeed that in the 21st century the government of the United States is still going around dropping huge amounts of exceedingly powerful explosives upon the heads of innocent and defenseless people. It wasn't supposed to be this way.

In the mid 1980s, Michael Gorbachev's reforms instituted the beginning of the end for the Soviet police state. In 1989, the Berlin Wall came down, and people all over Eastern Europe were joyfully celebrating "a new day". The United States then joined this celebration by invading and bombing Panama, only weeks after the Wall fell. At the same time, the US was shamelessly intervening in the election in Nicaragua to defeat a leftist government.

Soon thereafter, South Africa freed Nelson Mandela and apartheid began to crumble, and before the year 1990 was over Haiti held its first free election ever and chose a genuine progressive as president. It seemed like anything was possible, optimism was as widespread as pessimism is today.

However, when Bulgaria and Albania, "newly freed from the grip of communism", as the American media would put it, dared to elect governments not acceptable to Washington, Washington just stepped in and overthrew those governments.

The same period found the US bombing Iraq and its people, 40 days and nights without mercy, for no good or honest reason. And that was that for our hope for a different and better world.

But the American leaders were not through. In 1993 they were off attacking Somalia, trying to rearrange the country's political map, more bombing and killing.

They intervened to put down dissident movements in Peru, Mexico, Colombia and Ecuador, just as if it were the Cold War in the 1950s in Latin America, and the 1960s, the 1970s, the 1980s, still doing it in the 1990s, and into the new century.

In the latter part of the 1990s, Washington could be found engaged in serious meddling in the elections in territories which had once been part of the Soviet sphere: Russia, Mongolia, and Bosnia.

In 1999, they bombed the people of Serbia and Kosovo for 78 seemingly endless days, the culmination of Washington's master plan of breaking up the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, demonized as "the last of the Communists".

And once again, in the fall of 2001, grossly and openly intervened in an election in Nicaragua to prevent the left from winning.

At the same time, bombarding Afghanistan, and in all likelihood killing more innocent civilians than were killed in the United States on 11 September 2001,~3 as well as taking the lives of countless "combatants" (i.e., anyone who defended against the invasion of the land they were living in). Most of the so-called "terrorists" of foreign nationality residing in Afghanistan at the time, including those training at al Qaeda camps, had come there to fight against the Soviet forces or to help the Taliban in their later civil war; for them these were religious missions, nothing to do with terrorism or the United States. Amongst the thousands of victims of the American invasion, not one has been identified as having a connection to the events of that tragic day. The 11 September terrorists had chosen symbolic buildings to attack and the United States then chose a symbolic country to retaliate against.

While continuing to savage Afghanistan in 2002, Washington found time to lend its indispensable support to a plot to overthrow Hugo Chavez and his populist government in Venezuela, Chavez having made it abundantly clear that Venezuela was not prepared to become a foreign outpost of the empire. And all these years, still keeping a choke hold on Cuba; still, after a century of imperialist occupation, refusing to vacate Guantanamo Base in Cuba, converting it in 2002 to a modern Devil's Island for the illegal and grim imprisonment of men, as well as several children, kidnapped in various localities of the world in the so-called War on Terrorism. There was none of the "peace dividend" that had been promised for the end of the Cold War, not for Americans nor for the rest of the world.

What do we have here? The American people had been taught for nearly half a century that the Cold War, including the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the huge military budgets, all the US invasions and overthrows of governments-the ones they knew about-they were taught that this was all to fight the same menace: The International Communist Conspiracy, headquarters in Moscow. But then the Soviet Union was dissolved. The Warsaw Pact was dissolved as well. The East European satellites became independent. The former communists even became capitalists. And nothing changed in American foreign policy.

Even NATO remained, NATO which had been created-so we were told-to protect Western Europe against a Soviet invasion, even NATO remained, ever increasing in size and military power, a treaty on wheels which could be rolled in any direction to suit Washington's current policy-acting as a US surrogate ruling over the Balkans as a protectorate, invoking its charter to justify its members joining the US in the Afghanistan invasion.

And as Russia closed down its Cold War bases in Eastern Europe, Vietnam and Cuba, the United States was opening military bases in the territories of the former Soviet Union and in other regions of the world. While Russia closed down its radio intelligence station at Lourdes, Cuba, the United States was building a powerful communications listening station in Latvia, on the Russian border, as part of Washington's worldwide eavesdropping system.

The whole thing had been a con game. The Soviet Union and something called communism per se had not been the object of Washington's global attacks. There had never been an International Communist Conspiracy. The enemy was, and remains, any government or movement, or even individual, that stands in the way of the expansion of the American Empire; by whatever name the US gives to the enemy-communist, rogue state, drug trafficker, terrorist .

Is the United States Against Terrorism?
Are we now to believe that the American Empire is against terrorism? What does one call a man who blows up an airplane killing 73 civilians for political reasons; who attempts assassinations against several diplomats; who fires cannons at ships docked in American ports; who places bombs in numerous commercial and diplomatic buildings in the US and abroad? Dozens of such acts. His name is Orlando Bosch, he's Cuban and he lives in Miami, unmolested by the authorities. The city of Miami once declared a day in his honor-Dr. Orlando Bosch Day. He was freed from prison in Venezuela in 1988, where he had been held for the airplane bombing, partly because of pressure from the American ambassador at the time, Otto Reich, who in 2002 was appointed to a high position in the State Department by President Bush.

After Bosch returned to the US in 1988, the Justice Department condemned him as a totally violent terrorist and was all set to deport him, but that was blocked by President Bush, the first, with the help of son Jeb Bush in Florida. So is President Bush, the second, and his family against terrorism? Well, yes, they're against those terrorists who are not allies of the empire.

The plane that Bosch bombed, in 1976, was a Cuban plane. He's wanted in Cuba for that and a host of other serious crimes, and the Cubans have asked Washington to extradite him. To Cuba he's like Osama bin Laden is to the United States. But the US has refused. Imagine the reaction in the United States if bin Laden showed up in Havana and the Cubans refused to turn him over. Imagine the reaction in the United States if Havana proclaimed Osama bin Laden Day?

Washington's commitment to fighting terrorism can be further questioned in light of its support of the ethnic Albanians in Kosovo who comprised the Kosovo Liberation Army. The KLA, in furtherance of its political-ethnic agenda, have carried out numerous terrorist attacks for years in various parts of the Balkans, but they've been US allies because they've attacked people out of favor with Washington. This despite the fact that the KLA has had ideological and personal ties to Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda, and despite being categorized as a terrorist organization by the US State Department.

Moreover, in the 1980s and 90s, anti-communist Vietnamese, Cambodians, and Laotians resident in the United States financed and instigated their countrymen abroad in bombings and other attacks on their governments and citizens, hoping to destabilize those governments; at times they traveled from the US to those countries to carry out attacks themselves; these actions-terrorism by definition-were carried out with the tacit approval of the American government, which turned a blind eye to the Neutrality Act, which prohibits American citizens or residents from using force to overthrow a foreign government.

George W. Bush has also spoken out vehemently against harboring terrorists-"those who harbor terrorists threaten the national security of the United States". Does he really mean that?

We must ask: Which country harbors more terrorists than the United States? Orlando Bosch is only one of the numerous anti-Castro Cubans in Miami who have carried out many hundreds of terrorist acts, in the US, in Cuba, and elsewhere; all kinds of arson attacks, assassination attempts and bombings. They have been harbored in the US in safety for decades; as have numerous other friendly terrorists, torturers and human rights violators from Guatemala, El Salvador, Haiti, Indonesia and elsewhere, all allies of the empire. The CIA was busy looking for terrorists in caves in the mountains of Afghanistan at the same time as the Agency sat in bars in Miami having drinks with terrorists.

The Imperial Mafia

What are we to make of all this? How are we to understand United States foreign policy? Well, if one were to write a book called "The American Empire for Dummies", page one should say: Don't ever look for the moral factor. US foreign policy has no moral factor built into its DNA. One must clear one's mind of that baggage which only gets in the way of seeing beyond the clich├ęs and the platitudes.

It's rather difficult for most Americans and Americophiles throughout the world to accept such a notion. They see American leaders on television smiling and laughing, telling jokes; they see them with their families, hear them speak of God and love, of peace and law, of democracy and freedom, of human rights and justice, and even baseball. These leaders know how to condemn the world's atrocities in no uncertain terms, with just the right words that decent people love to hear, just the right catch in their throat to show how moved they are. How can such people be monsters, how can they be called immoral?

They have names like George and Dick and Donald, not a single Mohammed or Abdullah in the bunch. And they all speak English. People named Mohammed or Abdullah cut off people's hands as punishment for theft. Americans know that that's horrible. Americans are too civilized for that. But people named George and Dick and Donald drop cluster bombs on cities and villages, and the many unexploded ones become land mines, and before very long a child picks one up or steps on one of them and loses an arm or a leg, or both arms or both legs, and sometimes their eyesight; while the cluster bombs which actually explode create their own kind of high-velocity, jagged steel horror.

But these men [ American leaders] are perhaps not so much immoral as they are amoral. It's not that they take pleasure in causing so much death and suffering. It's that they just don't care ... the same that could be said about a sociopath. As long as the death and suffering advance the agenda of the empire, as long as the right people and the right corporations gain wealth and power and privilege and prestige, as long as the death and suffering aren't happening to them or people close to them ... then they just don't care about it happening to other people, including the American soldiers whom they throw into wars and who come home-the ones who make it back alive-with Agent Orange or Gulf War Syndrome eating away at their bodies. American leaders would not be in the positions they hold if they were bothered by such things.

When I was writing my book Rogue State during 1999-2000 I used the term "American Empire" with some caution because it was not in common usage and I wasn't sure the American public was quite ready for the idea. But I needn't have been so cautious. The idea of United States world hegemony has come to be discussed not only openly, but proudly, by supporters of the empire-prominent American intellectuals such as Dinesh D'Souza of the Hoover Institution, who wrote an article entitled "In praise of American empire", in which he argued that "America is the most magnanimous imperial power ever."

Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer has spoken of America's "uniquely benign imperium.

Michael Hirsch, editor of Newsweek magazine, added to the chorus of self-love songs with this: "U.S. allies must accept that some U.S. unilateralism is inevitable, even desirable. This mainly involves accepting the reality of America's supreme might-and truthfully, appreciating how historically lucky they are to be protected by such a relatively benign power. "

Robert Kagan, a leading light of the American foreign policy establishment, had written earlier: "And the truth is that the benevolent hegemony exercised by the United States is good for a vast portion of the world's population. It is certainly a better international arrangement than all realistic alternatives."

In this way are people who are wedded to American foreign policy able to live with it-they conclude, and proclaim, and may even believe, that such policies produce a humane force, an enlightened empire, bringing order, prosperity and civilized behavior everywhere, and if the US is forced to go to war it conducts it in a humanitarian manner.

... the present book documents in minute detail the exact opposite, showing the remarkable violence and cruelty, the suppression of social change, and the many other abhorrent consequences of US interventions for people in every corner of the globe for half a century.

The empire's scribes appear to be as amoral as the officials in the White House and the Pentagon. After all, the particles of depleted uranium are not lodging inside their lungs to radiate for the rest of their lives; the World Bank and International Monetary Fund are not bankrupting their economy and slashing their basic services; it's not their families wandering as refugees in the desert.


The leaders of the empire, the imperial mafia-George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, Richard Cheney, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, et al.- and their scribes as well, are as fanatic and as fundamentalist as Osama bin Laden. Allah Akhbar! God is great! ... USA! USA! USA!

[Robert] Kagan, an intellectual architect of an interventionism that seeks to impose a neo-conservative agenda upon the world, by any means necessary, has declared that the United States must refuse to abide by certain international conventions, like the international criminal court and the Kyoto accord on global warming. The US, he says, "must support arms control, but not always for itself. It must live by a double standard."

There is also Robert Cooper, a senior British diplomat and advisor to Prime Minister Tony Blalr. Cooper writes:

The challenge to the postmodern world is to get used to the idea of double standards. When dealing with more old-fashioned kinds of states outside the postmodern continent of Europe, we need to revert to the rougher methods of an earlier era-force, pre-emptive attack, deception, whatever is necessary to deal with those who still live in the nineteenth century world of every state for itself.

His expression, "every state for itself", can be better understood as any state not willing to accede to the agenda of the American Empire and the school bully's best friend in London.

So there we have it. The double standard is in. The golden rule of do unto others as you would have others do unto you is out. The imperial mafia, and their court intellectuals like Kagan and Cooper, have a difficult time selling or defending their world vision on the basis of legal, moral, ethical or fairness standards. Thus it is that they decide they're not bound by such standards.

The Liquid Gold, Again
The American occupation of Afghanistan served the purpose of setting up a new government that would be sufficiently amenable to Washington's international objectives, including the installation of military bases and listening stations and the running of secure oil and gas pipelines through Afghanistan from the Caspian Sea region once the country had been pacified.

For years, the American oil barons had had their eyes on the vast oil and gas reserves around the Caspian Sea, envisioning an Afghanistan-Pakistan route to the Indian Ocean. The oilmen had been quite open about this, giving frank testimony before Congress on the matter.

After Afghanistan, they turned their lust to the even greater oil reserves of Iraq. Once again, the American public had to be primed. Renowned espionage novelist John le Carre has observed: "How Bush and his junta succeeded in deflecting America's anger from bin Laden to Saddam Hussein is one of the great public relations conjuring tricks of history."

As this is written in April 2003, the United States has just completed the bombing, invasion and takeover of the beleaguered Iraqi society, causing great destruction, killing thousands of innocent people-civilians and soldiers-in the process, leaving countless others maimed and otherwise ruined. "It looks like it's a bombing of a city, but it isn't," declared US Secretary of War Donald Rumsfeld, in defense of American "precision bombing."

Washington looked at the results of its military actions, which others would call horrific, and labeled it "liberation", because the Saddam Hussein regime had been overthrown. Prior to this, the imperial mafia had staged a year-long propaganda show to convince Americans and the world that the world's only superpower had no choice but to attack a sovereign and crippled country that had not attacked the United States, that had not threatened to attack the United States, that knew it would mean instant mass suicide for them if they attacked the United States.

The imperial mafia's thesis was odd not simply because Iraq was not a threat-as the war's easy military victory demonstrated-but because the imperial mafia knew that Iraq was not a threat, at all. They'd been telling the world one story after another about why Iraq was a threat, an imminent threat, a threat increasing in danger with each passing day, a nuclear threat, a chemical threat, a biological threat, that Iraq was a terrorist state, that Iraq was tied to al Qaeda ... only to have each story amount to nothing. They insisted repeatedly that Iraq must agree to having the UN weapons inspectors back in, and when Iraq agreed to this the imperial mafia declared that it wasn't good enough and proceeded to disparage the effort.

For it was war that the White House yearned for, and it was war that they got, as they thumbed their nose at the greatest anti-war protests the world has ever seen as well as the sweeping opposition of the United Nations and humanity's hard-won concepts of international law and collaboration for a more peaceful planet. It remains to be seen whether and how the world body will survive being relegated to humiliating irrelevance on the most important question that it can face, the UN being an institution which declared in the very first sentence of its Charter the determination "to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our life-time has brought untold sorrow to mankind."

Did any of Washington's policy make sense? This sudden urgency of fighting a war in the absence of a fight? It did if one understood that the invasion was not about Sadaam Hussein's evilness or his alleged weapons of mass destruction. When weeks of US military occupation of Iraq failed to uncover any such weapons, the White House declared that WMD were not, after all, the real reason for the invasion. What they were really doing, they assured the world, was delivering various blows to terrorism. "We were not Iying," said one official. "But it was just a matter of emphasis."

Amongst other reasons, the war was about the US replacing Hussein and installing a puppet government, as it did in Afghanistan; in this case an American occupation government, enabling American oil companies to move into Iraq to enjoy a laissez-faire feast; at the same time opening the country to all manner of transnational corporations as Iraq takes its place in the new world order of globalized economies, and the American Empire adds another country and a few more bases from which to further control and remake the Middle East in the imperial mafia's endearing amoral style, for which, presumably, the children of the region will sing great songs in years to come.

US agreement to allow the UN weapons inspectors to return to Iraq in December 2002 had been no more than a bluff to cater to unexpectedly strong world opposition to Washington's planned invasion. Three months of inspections before the invasion began turned up nothing in the way of unambiguously prohibited weapons. Over the course of about seven years in the 1990s the UN inspectors had found and destroyed huge amounts of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons in Iraq. Scott Ritter, chief UN weapons inspector in Iraq, stated in 2002 that:

Since 1998 Iraq has been fundamentally disarmed; 90-95% of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction have been verifiably eliminated. This includes all of the factories used to produce chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, and long-range ballistic missiles; the associated equipment of these factories; and the vast majority of the products coming out of these factories.

In the same period, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed El Baradei, reported that his agency had:

dismantled extensive nuclear weapons-related facilities. We neutralized Iraq's nuclear program. We confiscated its weapon-usable material. We destroyed, removed or rendered harmless all its facilities and equipment relevant to nuclear weapons production.

This, then, was the alarming threat of Iraq which had to be wiped out, a society already terribly enfeebled by 12 years of sanctions, which US National Security Advisor Samuel Berger called "the most pervasive sanctions ever imposed on a nation in the history of mankind".

US Foreign Policy: A Laboratory for Growing the Anti-American Terrorism Virus
"We leveled it. There was nobody left, just dirt and dust." US Army Major Gen. Franklin Hagenbeck, speaking of the destruction of three villages in the Shahikot Valley in Afghanistan.

The American bombing of Afghanistan, begun on 7 October 2001 and followed by a military occupation of much of the country, gave rise to dozens of terrorist actions against American individuals and institutions, as well as Christian and other Western targets, in South Asia, the Middle East and elsewhere; a dozen or so attacks in Pakistan alone (including the kidnapping and murder of Wall Street Journal correspondent Daniel Pearl and the most disastrous one in Bali, Indonesia, on 12 October, which killed more than 180 people, almost all Australians, Americans, or British; the two leading suspects arrested in that case each stated that he had acted in retaliation for the US attack on Afghanistan and Muslims.

The subsequent attack on Iraq -a war nobody wanted except by the imperial mafia-may have recruited thousands more throughout the Muslim world as the next generation of terrorists to carry out the jihad against The Great Satan.


Has the American power elite learned anything from being the frequent target of terrorism over the years? Here's James Woolsey, former Director of the CIA and member of the Defense Department's Policy Board, speaking two months after the beginning of the US bombing of Afghanistan, advocating an invasion of Iraq and unconcerned about the response of the Arab world: The silence of the Arab public in the wake of America's victories in Afghanistan, Woolsey said, proves that "only fear will re-establish respect for the U.S." In a similar light, a phrase attributed to various leaders of the Roman Empire has been used by Bush administration officials: oderint dum metuant- "Let them hate so long as they fear."

The State Department may have learned something. At the time of the first anniversary of the 11 September 2001 terrorist attack and subsequently as well, the Department held conferences on how to improve America's image abroad in order to reduce the level of hatred. But it's image they were working on, not change of policies. And the policies scorecard reads as follows: From 1945 to 2003, the United States attempted to overthrow more than 40 foreign governments, and to crush more than 30 populist-nationalist movements fighting against intolerable regimes. In the process, the US bombed some 25 countries, caused the end of life for several million people, and condemned many millions more to a life of agony and despair.

"The idea is to build an antiterrorist global environment," a senior Defense Department official told the New York Times in 2003, "so that in 20 to 30 years, terrorism will be like slave-trading, completely discredited." The world can only wonder this: When will American wars of aggression, firing missiles into the heart of a city, and using depleted uranium and cluster bombs against the population become completely discredited?

They already have become such, but the United States, which wages war on the same scale other nations apply to mere survival, does not yet know it. Instead, it practices perpetual war for perpetual peace.


Source: http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Blum/American_Empire_KH2004.html

William Blum
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William Blum (born 1933) is an American author, and critic of United States foreign policy. A former State Department employee, he left the organization in 1967 due to his opposition to the Vietnam War.
From 1972 to 1973 Blum was stationed in
Chile, where he reported on the Allende government's "socialist experiment". In the mid-1970s, he worked in London with ex-CIA agent Philip Agee and his associates. Agee wrote a critique of CIA operations in his book Inside the Company: CIA Diary.


In the late 1980s, Blum moved to
Los Angeles to work on a documentary on U.S. foreign policy based on his own book Killing Hope. He worked on this together with the filmmaker Oliver Stone but the project ultimately foundered.

Blum was the founder and editor of the Washington Free Press, one of the many newspapers in the loosely organized U.S.
underground press in the 1960s and 1970s that opposed the Vietnam War.

In his writing, Blum devotes substantial attention to
CIA interventions and assassination plots. Blum describes himself as a socialist and has supported Ralph Nader's presidential campaigns. He currently circulates a monthly newsletter by email called "The Anti-Empire Report".

In early 2006, Blum briefly became the subject of widespread media attention when
Osama bin Laden issued a public statement in which he quoted Blum and recommended that all Americans read Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower.[1] Long before that, Blum's work was also publicly recommended by other famous people including Noam Chomsky, Helen Caldicott, and Oliver Stone.

In a May 22, 2006 article entitlted, Come Out of the White House With Your Hands Up, Blum wrote, "Since the bin Laden recommendation, January 19, I have not been offered a single speaking engagement on any campus . . .This despite January-May normally being the most active period for me and other campus speakers."

15 comments :

Anonymous said...

Thank you very interesting. I have circulated it.
God bless
Alfredo "Ding" Roces

Anonymous said...

Hi Bert,

I enjoy your emails.

You are asking the wrong questions, yet expecting the right responses.

I guess your thrust seems to be trying to find some reasons for the
Philippines' dysfunctionality in the US's influences on the Philippines.

The problems are much more profound than that.

The US is a collapsing Super Power, reacting badly to its being displaced,
in all the normal ways Empires do.

Everybody seems not to notice that the US has not won a war in 60 years and
lost quite a few, Korea, Vietnam Somalia, Haiti, Central America, Cuba, and
a whole bunch more. Lately it is Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention North
Korea and Darfur etc. Some are not yet full wars but don't be fooled the CIA
and the US villainy are there.

Bush and Sharon are by any definition Genocidal war criminals but the winnig
side is never held accountable, so they are heroes.

US/First-World, Western Culture has not left a single pocket of the world
untouched. Terrorism is the self fulfilling prophecy.

Unfortunately more vibrant cultures always overpower less vibrant ones, so
the Western Model will ultimately win, but it won't be at the hands of the
Americans. They are the Destructors of the present cultures, and the drivers
for the replacement cultures, probably at the hands of the New Chinese and
Indian mix.

Greek Cultire paved the way for Roman Empire, which paved the way for what
we now have as Western Civilization. We are busy destroying it now, for it
to be followed by another.

America has no bearing on the Philippines's problems. We have followed the
Judas Goat quite willingly. We scrambled to be as far to the front of the
line as we could get. Now that the execution is imminent we are whining and
complaining that we have been unfairly taken advantage of.

Nobody in this country has yet had the courage to ask the correct questions
or to attach blame to where it belongs.

Each one of us is personally culpable for our plight. We are "The Dilemma of
the Commons" yet we all individually deny any involvement.

We blame corruption, yet each one of us tries as hard as we can, to get to a
position where we can get our share of the corruption. Even the lowly clerk
in the LTO office takes my P40 to service my papers in less than a day.

We blame the Ruling class, yet in 1986 we elected a status quo puppet to
make sure nothing changed. We then proceed to have four more elections and
made sure we elected four more incomptents who guaranteed status quo for us.

We watch Governors and Senators place their wives, their children, and then
their dogs in office to ensure status quo. Mayors, Barangay Captains, and
all people in a positoin of power are all in on the game

We don't often see any of them complaining about the system. Their only
compalint is that they should be getting more cake.

Nobody ever addresses the fact that no deeply Catholic Country has ever
managed to transition to the Modern World until they have almost banned the
public display of Catholicism.

The Philippine Tragedy is that nobody wants to accept the fact that the
society has become so dysfunctional that it has to change attitudes or
perish. We are still looking for scape goats.

We all know the solutions but we are all in denial and nobody is prepared to
address the real problems or the real causes.

If we start the corredtion today it will take at least two generations to
see results, yet we have not yet even admitted the problem yet, let alone
started to correct it.

The hard fact is WE are the problem.

Forget the US its time is over.

Regards Graham

Anonymous said...

Very true!
How I wish we have the guts to rewrite our history books and expose these
Americans.
But we dont seem to care and neither do we have the guts to do so. And even
if we care, I wonder whether We would put our money where our mouth is.
Regards

Cesar Sarino

Bert M. Drona said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Very true!
How I wish we have the guts to rewrite our history books and expose these Americans.

But we dont seem to care and neither do we have the guts to do so. And even if we care, I wonder whether We would put our money where our mouth is.

Regards

Cesar Sarino

Anonymous said...

P.S. Come to think of it, HOW MUCH WILL IT COSt TO GET a reputable historian to write Fil-American history ? We could raise the funds for this.

Cesar

Bert M. Drona said...

Cesar,

We had good historians with the likes of Hernando Abaya, Renato Constantino, and have new ones like Walden Bello, Roland Simbulan, etc. They are not exactly historians as we understand it but their works about the economic policies, the IMF/WB/WTO, etc are factual and heavily documented.

It's only a matter of disseminating all their works. I am trying to do so in my own small way. You could too by reading, understanding and sharing by putting them into the net or emailing your buddies. Regards

Bert

Anonymous said...

I have read some of their essays. What I thought was writing Philipine History to be used as standard textbook for schools.

Cesar

Bert M. Drona said...

Since 1960, UP students use "History of the Filipino People" by Oscar Alfonso and Teodoro Agoncillo, from a nationalist viewpoint. Extremely influential to mass nationalism. Thus martial law was imposed with US-support, ostensibly to stop communism which Marcos at the time claimed was nil.

Nationalism anywhere is abhored by US. It can do business with commusim as happens now with China and Vietnam.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bert,

I enjoy your emails.

You are asking the wrong uestions, yet expecting the right responses.

I guess your thrust seems to be trying to find some reasons for the
Philippines' dysfunctionality in the US's influences on the Philippines.

The problems are much more profound than that.

The US is a collapsing Super Power, reacting badly to its being displaced,in all the normal ways Empires do.

Everybody seems not to notice that the US has not won a war in 60 years and lost quite a few, Korea, Vietnam Somalia, Haiti, Central America, Cuba, and a whole bunch more. Lately it is Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention North
Korea and Darfur etc. Some are not yet full wars but don't be fooled the CIA and the US villainy are there.

Bush and Sharon are by any definition Genocidal war criminals but the winnig side is never held accountable, so they are heroes.

US/First-World, Western Culture has not left a single pocket of the world untouched. Terrorism is the self fulfilling prophecy.

Unfortunately more vibrant cultures always overpower less vibrant ones, so the Western Model will ultimately win, but it won't be at the hands of the Americans. They are the Destructors of the present cultures, and the drivers
for the replacement cultures, probably at the hands of the New Chinese and Indian mix.

Greek Cultire paved the way for Roman Empire, which paved the way for what we now have as Western Civilization. We are busy destroying it now, for it
to be followed by another.

America has no bearing on the Philippines's problems. We have followed the Judas Goat quite willingly. We scrambled to be as far to the front of the line as we could get. Now that the execution is imminent we are whining and
complaining that we have been unfairly taken advantage of.

Nobody in this country has yet had the courage to ask the correct questions or to attach blame to where it belongs.

Each one of us is personally culpable for our plight. We are "The Dilemma of the Commons" yet we all individually deny any involvement.

We blame corruption, yet each one of us tries as hard as we can, to get to a position where we can get our share of the corruption. Even the lowly clerk in the LTO office takes my P40 to service my papers in less than a day.

We blame the Ruling class, yet in 1986 we elected a status quo puppet to make sure nothing changed. We then proceed to have four more elections and made sure we elected four more incomptents who guaranteed status quo for us.

We watch Governors and Senators place their wives, their children, and then their dogs in office to ensure status quo. Mayors, Barangay Captains, and all people in a positoin of power are all in on the game

We don't often see any of them complaining about the system. Their only compalint is that they should be getting more cake.

Nobody ever addresses the fact that no deeply Catholic Country has ever managed to transition to the Modern World until they have almost banned the public display of Catholicism.

The Philippine Tragedy is that nobody wants to accept the fact that the society has become so dysfunctional that it has to change attitudes or perish. We are still looking for scape goats.

We all know the solutions but we are all in denial and nobody is prepared to address the real problems or the real causes.

If we start the corredtion today it will take at least two generations to see results, yet we have not yet even admitted the problem yet, let alone
started to correct it.

The hard fact is WE are the problem.

Forget the US its time is over.

Regards Graham

Bert M. Drona said...

Thanks Graham.

Check this out: http://www.tinig.com/2005/v245tinig_bert/.

Regards

Anonymous said...

Hi Bert:

Free trade is only fanning the hatred of America, not the prosperity of the world.

In 1945, the Americans imposed free trade as a condition for the rehabilitation of the Philippines devastated by World War II.

It did not bring prosperity to the Philippines neither to the United States but it only brought
hatred for America as Filipino nationalist denounced those treaties (the Bell and Laurel Langley treaties)
that was meant to make the Philippines another dumping ground for American goods.

Offcourse, free trade advocates never admit this since they never bother to read history at all.

Now that the People's Power government has emulated the Americans by making free trade their primary economic strategy for solving our century old
underdevelopment problem.

I have been receiving many emails from many nationalist writers denouncing the People's Power government together with the Americans.

Thanks to nationalist writers like you, our people are finally being awaken from their slumber. It is just a matter of time when everybody will be informed about
the truth.

Free trade advocates will no longer be sleeping and will carefully research the facts before
they are accused of a terrible amnesia.

Very truly yours,



RAMON A. DEL GALLEGO

Bert M. Drona said...

Ramon,

Thanks.

I hope you are/will be right. But it is a long and difficult struggle. The majority of the citizenry ("taong masa") need to be educated about "what has gone and going on", which we already appreciate and understand.

Without them, no fundamental or radical change can occur for the common good of today's, our children and their children and our future generations of native Filipinos.

Let us continue to inform.

Bert

Anonymous said...

magandang araw po kabayan!

matatagpuan nyo po sa homepage ng ating bayang hagonoy ang permanenteng ugnay ng inyong blogspot. maraming salamat po sa mga napakagandang mga lathalain!

http://www.hagonoy.com

hanggang sa muli po!

webmaster

Anonymous said...

Hi Bert,

I read Tinig.com. Interesting, but intellectually very light weight.

The contemporary philosopher Krishnamurti tells the story of the day a group of people knocked on his door collecting.

"What are you collecting for he says?", "Oh for the poor unfortunate dogs who are starving in the neighbourhood"

Replies Krishnamurai," Anybody who cared about the starving dogs down the road would just go out and feed them. Your mission is more obvious. You wish to form a committee, with a leader, a few followers, and then all sit around
and feel good and impotant"

This tinig article is praising the merits of education and the wonders it does for the educated. Apple pie and motherhood plattitudes are a dime a dozen. Sure we need to educate the people. who doesn't

Nobody seems to be saying how. The teachers are all marginally educated themselves. Most have little comprehension of English. None has enough English to hold an abstract, hypotheticalconversation. Government schools
and universities are cruel and unusual punishment.

The modern Western culture is all about mental masturbation, hypotheses, and
what-iffs. Plato gave Europeqns a two thousand year history of it.

Unfortunately the American education system is in deep trouble. As is the Canadian system. Canada was sending its students to school for 180 days a
year. Japan, in its ascendancy was sending its students to school for 250 days a year. Is it any wonder that Toyota is whipping the pants off Ford?

Britain in its peak realized that 13 years was the minimum school
requirement to have a student ready for highrer education. Any and alll universities in the UK were producing world class grads.

Our wise Dep Ed gives only 10 years of school education, has no reputable Sat standards and after 4 years of University produces a student less educated than the average first world high school grad.

Our own "PhD", Gloria last month said that 100 students per classroom was low and could possibly be raised if the numbers did not fit. This is an act
of economic genius from a PhD in Economics.

The ruling class are doing just fine. They dont need the Philippine
educataion system, they can afford not to use it. Social politics therefore dictates that the system can never improve.

The Ruling class does not need the health care system, and don't give a damn if all our nurses and doctors go abroad, because they can afford not to use the Philippine Health care system. Result; the system can never improve.

Nobody has yet had enough smarts to realize that the ruling class, who are the government, gain far more direct and indirect political and economic advantage from OFW's than from uneducated unemployed citizens.

The lottery ticket mentality is innate in humans. Only one in 20 million has to win every week and the lemmings run to buy their ticket on the off chance
that they may be the 20 millionth.

We have 10% of our population abroad. That is a Lottery gift from God, one in ten wins!!

I hate to be the one to mention it, but somebody has to; The Philippines has not made a single future-friendly policy or decision for a long time. All their decisions are for the ruling class and so myopic it beggars the
imagination. There truly is no way out.

The first world makes policies and strategies 50-100 years ahead.

The world has turned out from under the Philippines for what it thought it knew. This is a new world and there will be new winners and losers. We
probably will not be one of the winners unless the Chinese recolonize us and whip us into shape. The Spanish and the Americans sure as hell did not
succeed.

There is a wonderful saying on the race track, "He is so far behind, that he thinks he is ahead" Our only hope is that we remain where we are while the rest of the world destroys itself and we end up a stone age paradise


Regards Graham