Quotations page 7
"Democracy is a state
of grace attained only by those countries that have a host of
individuals not only ready to enjoy freedom but to undergo the
heavy labor of maintaining it. "
"This war [Iraq}, should
it come, is intended to mark the official emergence of the United
States as a full-fledged global empire, seizing sole responsibility
and authority as planetary policeman. It would be the culmination
of a plan 10 years or more in the making, carried out by those
who believe the United States must seize the opportunity for global
domination, even if it means becoming the "American imperialists"
that our enemies always claimed we were."
columnist Jay Bookman of The Atlanta
Journal-Constitution, September 29, 2002
"[Patriotism] in America
is as if we're playing musical chairs, and you shouldn't get caught
without a flag or you're out of the game."
"The fact that we've been
a great democracy doesn't mean we will automatically keep being
one if we keep waving the flag."
"U.S. health expenditures
are by far the highest of any country in the world at 15 percent
of GDP. No other country spends even 11 percent of GDP. The U.S.
also spends much more in absolute dollars. U.S. citizens pay $5,440
on average for health coverage while Canadians, the fourth biggest
spenders, shell out $2,927.
In the U.S., 75 million are
without insurance at some point every two years while in Canada,
government spending provides health coverage for everyone.
According to the International
Journal of Health Services, "the average ranking for the
United States on 16 health indicators in a 1998 comparative study
of 13 countries by Starfield was 12th, second from the bottom.
Insurance companies, for-profit
hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, and doctors-the historical
linchpin of corporate medicine-oppose universal health insurance.
They are powerful political players. According to Acumen Journal,
"since late 1999 [U.S.] health care lobbying spending has
consistently passed that of any other industry. In 2002, that
amounted to expenditures of $264 million...the health care industry
as a whole accounted for 15 percent of the $1.8 billion in lobbying
spending for 2002."
"The United States has
745 bases in 120 countries."
Tony Benn, former British MP
"Where did this idea come
from that everybody deserves free education, free medical care,
free whatever? It comes from Moscow, from Russia. It comes straight
out of the pit of hell."
Texas State Representative Debbie
Riddle of Houston
"Just as the United States
trained Latin American military and police in methods of fighting
against "populism" in their countries, by this means
helping to produce a "favorable climate of investment"
by bringing into power National Security States, so a large, well-trained,
and ruthless police is needed in the home country as it pushes
a right-wing agenda that is contrary to the interests of a vast
Edward S. Herman
"For the most part, Israel
is the subcontractor for American arms to the 'Third World.' There
is no terrible regime-Colombia, Guatemala, Uruguay, Argentina
and Chile during the time of the colonels, Burma, Taiwan, Zaire,
Liberia, Congo, Sierra Leone-there is not one that does not have
a major military connection to Israel.... So this is the missing
piece... Israel is a key member of the empire."
Jeff Halper, Israeli activist
"The men and women who
enlist in this country's military [should] be told the truth that
they are not protecting the United States, they are and always
have been protecting corporate interests."
Chante Wolf, Veterans for Peace
"What good fortune for
governments that the people do not think."
"Capitalism is the extraordinary
belief that the nastiest of men for the nastiest of motives will
somehow work for the benefit of all."
John Maynard Keynes
"We will export death
and violence to the four corners of the Earth in defense of our
George W. Bush, 2001
"25% of the people of
Texas had no health insurance in the year 2000."
"The corporations don't
have to lobby the government any more. They are the government."
Jim Hightower, former Secretary
of Agriculture for the state of Texas
in the United States is usually restricted to the moderate to
conservative range that precludes discussion of class conflict.
If "class warfare" is mentioned, it is because a conservative
wants to suggest that certain matters should be kept off-limits
in American political discussion"
"Only the grand scale
and technocratic impersonality of the crimes conceived and directed
by the ruling elite acting under cover of state authority distinguish
them from garden variety killers."
"Evenhanded use of the
"terrorist" label would mean sometimes affixing it directly
on the U.S. government. During the past decade, from Iraq to Sudan
to Yugoslavia, and Afghanistan, Pentagon missiles have destroyed
the lives of civilians just as innocent as those who perished
on September 11, 2001. If journalists dare not call that "terrorism,"
then maybe the word should be retired from the media lexicon."
"For the American public
... warfare visited upon other countries has become an entertaining
"The U.S. record of war
crimes has been, from the nineteenth century to the present, a
largely invisible one with no government, no political leaders,
no military officials, no lower-level operatives held accountable
for criminal actions. A culture of militarism has saturated the
public sphere, including academia, endowing all U.S. interventions
abroad with a patina of patriotic goodness and democratic sensibilities
beyond genuine interrogation. Anyone challenging this mythology
is quickly marginalized, branded a traitor or Communist or terrorist
or simply a lunatic beyond the pale of reasonable discussion."
"Were [Thomas] Paine still
within reach of the federal authorities, Attorney General John
Ashcroft undoubtedly would prosecute him for blasphemy under a
technologically enhanced version of the Alien and Sedition Acts."
"In the old totalitarian
culture of the Big Lie, the truth is hidden. In the new totalitarianism,
there is no line between truth and falsehood. The truth is what
people can be conditioned to believe."
"If the U.S. really believes
that supporting terrorists makes you as guilty as the terrorists
themselves, then it would have to put on trial most of its military
and political leadership over the last handful of administrations,
" The boys of capital,
they ... chortle in their martinis about the death of socialism.
The word has been banned from polite conversation. And they hope
that no one will notice that every socialist experiment of any
significance in the twentieth century-without exception-has either
been crushed, overthrown, or invaded, or corrupted, perverted,
subverted, or destabilized, or otherwise had life made impossible
for it, by the United States. Not one socialist government or
movement-from the Russian Revolution to the Sandinistas in Nicaragua,
from Communist China to the EMLN in [El] Salvador-not one was
permitted to rise or fall solely on its own merits; not one was
left secure enough to drop its guard against the all-powerful
enemy abroad and freely and fully relax control at home."
" ... the U.S. should
bomb the Afghan infrastructure to rubble-the airport, the power
plants, their water facilities and the roads. This is a very primitive
country. And taking out their ability to exist day to day will
not be hard. Remember, the people of any country are ultimately
responsible for the government they have. The Germans were responsible
for Hitler. The Afghans are responsible for the Taliban. We should
not target civilians. But if they don't rise up against this criminal
government, they starve, period."
"If we have to use force,
it is because we are America. We are the indispensable nation.
We stand tall. We see farther into the future."
U.S. Secretary of State, Madeleine
Albright, defending the use of cruise missiles against Iraq, February
"I say, bomb the hell out
of them [Iraqis]. If there's collateral damage, so be it."
U.S. Senator Zell Miller, D-GA
- on the day after the September 11 attack
"It is firm and continuing
policy that [the democratically elected government of] Allende
be overthrown by a coup.... We are to continue to generate maximum
pressure toward this end utilizing every appropriate resource.
It is imperative that these actions be implemented clandestinely
and securely so that the USG [United States Government] and American
hands be well hidden."
October 1970 cable to CIA operatives
in Chile from Henry Kissinger's "Track Two" group
"U.S. Ieaders have striven
with much success to repress (1) the emergence of competing forms
of production (socialist, collectivist, communitarian); and (2)
competing capital formations (prosperous autonomous capitalist
economies, or mixed ones, in emerging nations, and with FTAA and
GATS, all public sector services except police and military in
all capitalist countries. The goal is the Third Worldization of
the entire world, including Europe and North America, a world
in which capital rules supreme with no public sector services;
no labor unions to speak of; no prosperous, literate, effectively
organized working class with rising expectations; no pension funds
or environmental, consumer, and occupational protections, or medical
plans, or any of the other insufferable things that cut into profit
"The Bush elites appear
more openly and arrogantly dedicated to the aims of U.S. economic,
political, and military domination of the world than any previous
"The Gulf War ... was
made popular by an immense propaganda barrage unleashed by the
Pentagon, the media, and government, creating an ideological milieu
in which 45 percent of the population said it would be prepared
to use nuclear weapons against Iraq. Military actions were, transformed
into a grotesque national spectacle, a great celebration of war-making."
"The American social infrastructure
deteriorates as the Pentagon's sphere of control widens. Today
we find an inverse relationship between growth of the U.S. empire
and various measures of domestic well-being.
conflict was until recently governed by political and ideological
considerations, the wars of the future will largely be fought
over the possession and control of vital economic goods-especially
resources needed for the functioning of modern industrial societies.
"The U.S. has a special
role in the world and should not adhere to every international
agreement and convention that someone thinks to propose."
Secretary of State Colin Powell
"America, under Bush,
is a danger to the world ... Bush feels that on September 11th
he was anointed by God. He's leading the U.S. and the world toward
a vicious circle of escalating violence."
"If you tell a lie big
enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe
it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State
can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military
consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for
the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the
truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the
truth is the greatest enemy of the State."
Joseph Goebbels, German Minister
of Propaganda, 1933-1945
based as it is on exploitation of the poor, with its fundamental
motivation in personal greed, simply cannot survive without force."
Philip Agee, CIA Diary
"Political will is the
ultimate determinant of spending priorities. There's always money
available for war and corporate bailouts; there's rarely money
available for social programs."
Adolph L. Reed, Jr.
"Through clever and
constant application of propaganda, people can be made to see
paradise as hell, and also the other way around to consider the
most wretched sort of life as paradise. "
"Somebody's paying the
corporations that destroyed Iraq and the corporations that are
rebuilding it. They're getting paid by the American taxpayer in
both cases. So we pay them to destroy the country, and then we
pay them to rebuild it. Those are gifts from U.S. taxpayer to
"What keeps most Americans
from being shocked by the shredding of the Bill of Rights is that
they have yet to feel the consequences, either personally or through
someone close to them. It would appear, however, that they only
have to wait."
William Blum, Rogue State
"No matter how paranoid
or conspiracy-minded you are, what the government is actually
doing is worse than you imagine."
William Blum, Rogue State
"A terrorist is someone
who has a bomb but doesn't have an air force."
William Blum, Rogue State
"Those who choose our
wars don't care much about liberating people from oppressive regimes
- if they did, we'd be kicking the shit out of half the world."
"Taking advantage of our
grief, and our fear that "it" may happen again, an appointed
president uses the dead of 9/11 as a convenient cover, a justification,
for permanently altering our American way of life. Is that why
they died, so that George W. Bush can turn the country into Texas?"
"What you will encounter
in the conservative mind is fear. . Fear of crime. Fear of enemies.
Fear of change. Fear of people not exactly like them. And, of
course, fear of losing any money on anything."
"The only true value your
life has to the wealthy is that they need your vote every election
day in order to get the politicians they've funded into office."
"Only after we smash every
atom bomb into depleted uranium ploughshares will we have the
right to tell North Korea, India, Pakistan, Israel, and the rest
that they don't need such weapons. "
"The singular goal [of
Corporate America] is to take enough control over our lives so
that, in the end, we'll be pledging allegiance, not to a flag
or some airy notions of freedom and democracy, but to the dictates
of Citigroup, Exxon, Nike, GE, GM, PG&E, and Philip Morris."
"The only true security
comes from ensuring that all people, here and around the globe,
are able to meet their basic needs and dream of a better life.
At the very least, we have to make damn sure we are not the ones
robbing them of that dream."
"A tiny portion of the
population controls the lion's share of the wealth and most of
the command positions of state, manufacturing, banking, investment,
publishing, higher education, philanthropy, and media... these
individuals exercise a preponderant influence over what is passed
off as public information and democratic discourse.
The ruling class is the politically
active component of the owning class, the top captains of finance
and policy who set the standards for investment and concentration
of capital at home and abroad... Their overall economic domination
and their campaign contributions, media monopoly, high-paid lobbyists,
and public relations experts regularly predetermine who will be
treated as major political candidates and which policy parameters
will prevail... Though relatively few in number they get the most
of what there is to get. Their wealth serves their power, and
their power serves their wealth."
"Along with Sri Lanka,
the United States is one of only two countries in the world that
do not give politicians free broadcast time."
Peter Levine, The New Progressive
"President Bush asked
for $87 billion more to pay for the American occupation and reconstruction
of Iraq. New reports already reveal the comparative costs and
sacrifices of this enormous expenditure: The entire proposed fiscal-year
budget for the Department of Health and Human Services is $66
billion; for the Department of Education, $53 billion. The total
amount for all 50 states to meet their projected budget shortfalls
this year is $78 billion."
Jim Wallis, In These Times magazine