Quotations page 9
" They have pillaged the
world. When the land has nothing left for men who ravage everything,
they scour the sea. If an enemy is rich, they are greedy; if he
is poor, they crave glory. Neither East nor West can sate their
appetite. They are the only people on earth to covet wealth and
poverty with equal craving. They plunder, they butcher, they ravish,
and call it by the lying name of "empire." They make
a desert and call it "peace"."
Roman historian Tacitus
"Held to be a crime when
committed by individuals, homicide is called a virtue when committed
by the state."
St. Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage,
3rd century AD - Epistulae
"There are no competitive
elections for president, for prime minister, nor for any kind
of legislative body that can initiate and pass meaningful laws
or make real policy in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Oman, Kuwait,
Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan,
or other autocratic governments in that region supported with
American military and economic aid. Indeed, the majority of governments
supported by the United States in the Middle East and Central
Asia are even less democratic than Iran."
"The whole aim of practical
politics is to keep the populace alarmed ..."
H. L. Mencken
"Throughout much of its
history, the AFL-CIO and other U.S. labor organizations have worked
with CIA and multi-national corporations to overthrow democratically-elected
governments, collaborated with dictators against progressive labor
movements, supported reactionary labor movements against progressive
governments, worked with corporate America to organize racist
and protectionist campaigns against foreign countries, and encouraged
racist campaigns against immigrant workers."
Lee Siu Hin
"During times of universal
deceit, telling the truth is revolutionary."
"Reagan ... was most definitely
a global empire builder, a servant of the corporatocracy. At the
time of his election, I found it fitting that he was a Hollywood
actor, a man who had followed orders passed down from moguls,
who knew how to take direction. That would be his signature. He
would cater to the men who shuttled back and forth from corporate
CEO offices to bank boards and into the halls of government. He
would serve the men who appeared to serve him but who in fact
ran the government - men like Vice President George H. W. Bush,
Secretary of State George Shultz, Secretary of Defense Caspar
Weinberger, Richard Cheney, Richard Helms, and Robert McNamara.
He would advocate what those men wanted: an America that controlled
the world and all its resources, a world that answered to the
commands of that America, a U.S. military that would enforce the
rules as they were written by America, and an international trade
and banking system that supported America as CEO of the global
"What happened was the
gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to be governed
by surprise, to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to
believing that the situation was so complicated that the government
had to act on information which the people could not understand,
or so dangerous that, even if people could understand it, it could
not be released because of national security ...
To live in the process is absolutely
not to notice it -- please try to believe me -- unless one has
a much greater degree of political awareness, acuity, than most
of us ever had occasion to develop. Each step was so small, so
inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, regretted.'
Believe me this is true. Each
act, each occasion is worse than the last, but only a little worse.
You wait for the next and the next. You wait for one shocking
occasion, thinking that others, when such a shock comes, will
join you in resisting somehow.
Suddenly it all comes down,
all at once. You see what you are, what you have done, or, more
accurately, what you haven't done (for that was all that was required
of most of us: that we did nothing) ... You remember everything
now, and your heart breaks. Too late. You are compromised beyond
A German professor after World
War II describing the rise of Nazism
"It is projected that
of the more than $100 billion of the [George W. Bush] tax cuts
set to take effect in 2005, 73 percent will go to the top 20 percent
of tax payers... Those with incomes over $1 million a year in
2005 will receive a tax cut of $135,000 a year. All those with
incomes less than $76,400 will get about $350 on average... The
Brookings and Urban Institute's Tax Policy Center estimates the
annual transfer in income to the rich and super rich flowing from
the Bush 2001-2003 tax cuts is $113 billion a year."
"Selective Service has
been registering young men for over 20 years and at any moment
the president can go to Congress and ask them to reauthorize conscription
for a male combat draft for ages 18-25. All that is needed is
a short, "trigger" resolution and the draft for men
18 to 25 is back."
"We live in a nation hated
abroad and frightened at home. A place in which we can reasonably
refer to the American Republic in the past tense. A country that
has moved into a post-constitutional era, no longer a nation of
laws but an autotocracy run by law breakers, law evaders and law
ignorers. A nation governed by a culture of impunity, a term from
Latin America where they know it well - a culture in which corruption
is no longer a form of deviance but the norm. We all live in a
Mafia neighborhood now."
Sam Smith's Progressive Review
"Iraq was the target because
neoconservatives wanted to remake the governments of the Middle
East, to secure long-term US. access to oil, to open the economies
to American investment and to protect Israel through installation
of governments friendly to the United States."
"Maybe this time the voters
chose what they actually want: Nationalism, pre-emptive war, order
not justice, "safety" through torture, backlash against
women and gays, a gulf between haves and have-nots, government
largesse for their churches and a my-way-or-the-highway President."
"With each newly minted
crisis, US leaders roll out the same time-tested scenario. They
start demonizing a foreign leader ... charging them with being
communistic or otherwise dictatorial, dangerously aggressive,
power hungry, genocidal, given to terrorism or drug trafficking,
ready to deny us access to vital resources, harboring weapons
of mass destruction, or just inexplicably "anti-American"
and "anti-West." Lacking any information to the contrary,
the frightened public ... are swept along."
"Democracy is not about
trust; it is about distrust. It is about accountability, exposure,
open debate, critical challenge, and popular input and feedback
from the citizenry. It is about responsible government. We have
to get our fellow Americans to trust their leaders less and themselves
more, trust their own questions and suspicions, and their own
desire to know what is going on."
"While vast sums of money
are being siphoned off into hidden [military] coffers, Americas
schools, hospitals and public services are facing cutbacks and
Representative Henry Waxman
"If the test of patriotism
comes only by reflexively falling into lockstep behind the leader
whenever the flag is waved, then what we have is a formula for
dictatorship, - not democracy... But the American way is to criticize
and debate openly, not to accept unthinkingly the doings of government
officials of this or any other country."
"The era of manufacturing
consent has given way to the era of manufacturing news. Soon media
newsrooms will drop the pretense, and start hiring theater directors
instead of journalists."
[Neo-liberal capitalists] have
mastered the technique of infiltrating the instruments of democracy-the
"independent" judiciary, the "free" press,
the parliament-and molding them to their purpose... Free elections,
a free press, and an independent judiciary mean little when the
free market has reduced them to commodities on sale to the highest
"To discredit the single-payer
idea, insurers, HMOs, for-profit hospitals and other private interests
play on Americans' long-standing fears of Big Government. In truth,
it is the private market that has created a massive bureaucracy,
one that dwarfs the size and costs of Medicare, the most efficiently
run health insurance program in the U.S. in terms of administrative
costs. Medicare's overhead averages about 2% a year."
Donald Barlett and James Steele
"Americans tend to believe
they have the best health care in the world, but in truth it is
a second-rate system and destined to get a lot worse and much
Donald Barlett and James Steele
" The political leadership
of this country, as exemplified by the campaign positions of Bush
and Kerry, has become so obsessed with our own security fears
and so convinced of our own virtue that it has very little to
offer in the way of positive socioeconomic development initiatives.
To most of the people of Latin America, Africa and Asia, the United
States has largely become irrelevant to their hopes for a better
future -- except as a potential market for some of their goods
or as a source of outsourced jobs."
"This is not about oil,
and anyone who thinks that is badly misunderstanding the situation."
US Secretary of Defense Donald
"[U.S.] domestic policy
... has focused on creating a massive welfare state for corporations
even as the minimal welfare state benefiting the majority of the
people was dismantled."
"The United States is
the world's largest consumer of oil .... Much of the world's oil
lies beneath Iraq and its Gulf neighbors... experts say oil played
a significant role in the decision to confront Iraq."
Council on Foreign Relations
"We're not in the business
of providing news and information, We're simply in the business
of selling our customers' products. "
Clear Channel CEO Lowry Mays
"NPR and PBS at a national
level tend to provide a bland variant of mainstream and conventional
journalism, comparable to what's on the commercial networks, especially
on highly sensitive matters such as the economy and the U.S. role
in the world. Public broadcasting is so obsessed with conservative
criticism, even more than commercial news media journalists are,
that it bends over backwards to appease the Right and appear "balanced."
"The United States is
a society in which people not only can get by without knowing
much about the wider world but are systematically encouraged not
to think independently or critically and instead to accept the
mythology of the United States as a benevolent, misunderstood
giant as it lumbers around the world trying to do good."
Robert Jensen, Citizens of Empire
"The United States is
the greatest threat to world peace, and has been for a long time,
and not merely because it is the world's only superpower. Equally
important, the United States is also far more disposed to use
its power than any other powerful nation currently is. Though
Americans are culturally and emotionally blind to the fact, the
mere intrusion of US power is, in and of itself, destabilizing."
T.D. Allman, Rogue State
"When a republic's most
venerable institutions no longer operate as they were intended,
it becomes possible for small cabals to usurp power, and, while
keeping the forms, corrupt the function of those institutions
for their own ends. Looking at things that way, the George W.
Bush presidency has been both result and symptom of the decadence
of America's constitutional mechanisms."
T.D. Allman, Rogue State
"An alternative [U.S.
foreign] policy offering real security would require ending the
support of oppressive rulers in the Middle East and elsewhere,
pursuing a more balanced approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,
changing our oil-dependent energy policy, and replacing the drive
for overwhelming global military dominance with policies for the
peaceful prevention of atrocities and deadly conflict."
Friends Committee on National
Legislation - Washington newsletter
"Cheap labor has always
been at the heart of U.S. - Haitian relations, ever since the
Haitian Revolution in 1804. It was actually a slave rebellion,
the first and still the only successful one in modern history.
The U.S. sided with French colonialism as the U.S. economy was
based on slavery at the time and Haiti represented the first "dangerous
"The communists had Pravda.
Republicans have Fox."
"This is an impressive
crowd. The "haves" and the "have-mores". Some
people call you the "elite". I call you my base."
George W. Bush during 2000 camapign
"The U.S. policy toward
Cuba [U.S.-sponsored sabotage, espionage, terrorism, hijackings,
trade sanctions, embargo, and outright invasion] has been consistent
with its longstanding policy of trying to subvert any country
that pursues an alternative path in the use of its land, labor,
capital, markets, and natural resources. Any nation or political
movement that emphasizes self-development, egalitarian human services,
and public ownership is condemned as an enemy and targeted for
sanctions or other forms of attack. In contrast, the countries
deemed "friendly toward America" and "pro-West"
are those that leave themselves at the disposal of large U.S.
investors on terms that are totally favorable to the moneyed corporate
"Cuba has also been condemned
for not allowing its people to flee the island. That so many want
to leave Cuba is treated as proof that Cuban socialism is a harshly
repressive system, rather than that the U.S. embargo has made
life difficult in Cuba. That so many millions more want to leave
capitalist countries like Mexico, Nigeria, Poland, El Salvador,
Philippines, South Korea, Macedonia, and others too numerous to
list is never treated as grounds for questioning the free-market
system that inflicts such misery on the Third World."
" Patriotism is the last
refuge of a scoundrel. "
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) English
author and social critic
"It's really not a number
I'm terribly interested in."
General Colin Powell commenting
on the number of dead Iraqis in Operation Desert Storm (1991)
"I want to be the bully
on the block. There is no future [for other countries] in trying
to challenge the armed forces of the United States."
General Colin Powell to House
Armed Services Committee, 1992
"The hidden hand of the
market will never work without a hidden fist - McDonald's cannot
flourish without McDonnell Douglas ..."
Thomas Friedman, New York Times
" Few trends could so
thoroughly undermine the very foundations of our free society
as the acceptance by corporate officials of a social responsibility
other than to make as much money for their stockholders as possible.
"This [the Constitution]
is likely to be administered for a course of years and then end
in despotism... when the people shall become so corrupted as to
need despotic government, being incapable of any other."
"The armed insurrection
which contributed to unseating President Aristide on February
29, 2004, was the result of a carefully staged military-intelligence
operation. The rebel paramilitary army crossed the border from
the Dominican Republic in early February. It constitutes a well
armed, trained, and equipped paramilitary unit integrated by former
members of FRAPH, the "plain clothes" death squadrons,
involved in mass killings of civilians and political assassinations
during the CIA-sponsored 1991 military coup, which led to the
overthrow of the democratically elected government of Aristide.
During the military government (1991-1994), FRAPH was (unofficially)
under the jurisdiction of the Armed Forces. According to a 1996
U.N. Human Rights Commission report, FRAPH had been supported
by the CIA."
"It's an obscene comparison,
but there was a time in South Africa when people would put flaming
tires around people's necks if they dissented. In some ways, the
fear is that you will be necklaced here, you will have a flaming
tire of lack of patriotism put around your neck. It's that fear
that keeps journalists from asking the toughest of the tough questions
and to continue to bore in on the tough questions so often. again."
CBS anchor Dan Rather about George
W. Bush's Iraq War
"The U.S. is a signatory
to nine multilateral treaties that it has either blatantly violated
or gradually subverted. The Bush Administration is now outright
rejecting a number of those treaties, and in doing so, places
global security in jeopardy, as other nations feel entitled to
do the same. The rejected treaties include: The Comprehensive
Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), the Treaty Banning Antipersonnel Mines,
the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), a
protocol to create a compliance regime for the Biological Weapons
Convention (BWC), the Kyoto Protocol on global warming, and the
Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM). The U.S. is also not complying
with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the Chemical
Weapons Commission (CWC), the BWC, and the U.N. framework Convention
on Climate Change."
Project Censored 2005
"As of July 2002, the
average life expectancy for the people of Afghanistan is 46 years.
The average yearly income per capita is $280. As for the children,
90 percent are not in school. More than one out of every four
children in Afghanistan will die before the age of five. A UNICEF
study found that the majority of children are highly traumatized
and expect to die before reaching adulthood. "
Project Censored 2005
"A 2003 Gallup survey
found 31 percent of respondents receiving their news every day
or several times a week from talk radio... The largest personality-centered
shows are all conservative: Rush Limbaugh has 14.5 million regular
listeners, followed by Sean Hannity (11.8 million), and Michael
Savage (7 million) (De la Vina 2004)... By the mid-1990s, regular
talk radio listeners constituted around 20 percent of U.S. voting
adults (Barker and Knight 2000)."
Jose Padin and Shelley Smith
"The moment war is declared...
the mass of the people, through some spiritual alchemy, become
convinced that they have willed and executed the deed themselves.
They then, with the exception of a few malcontents, proceed to
allow themselves to be regimented, coerced, deranged in all the
environments of their lives, and turned into a solid manufactory
of destruction toward whatever other people may have, in the appointed
scheme of things, come within the range of the Government's disapprobation...
The State is the organization
of the herd to act offensively or defensively against another
herd similarly organized...
War is the health of the State.
It automatically sets in motion throughout society those irresistible
forces for uniformity, for passionate cooperation with the Government
in coercing into obedience the minority groups and individuals
which lack the larger herd sense...
But in general, the nation
in wartime attains a uniformity of feeling, a hierarchy of values
culminating at the undisputed apex of the State ideal, which could
not possibly be produced through any other agency than war. Loyalty-or
mystic devotion to the State-becomes the major imagined human
In a nation at war, every citizen
identifies himself with the whole, and feels immensely strengthened
in that identification. The purpose and desire of the collective
community live in each person who throws himself wholeheartedly
into the cause of war...
It cannot be too firmly realized
that war is a function of States and not of nations, indeed that
it is the chief function of States...
War is the health of the State.
Only when the State is at war does the modern society function
with that unity of sentiment, simple uncritical patriotic devotion,
cooperation of services, which have always been the ideal of the
Randolph Bourne, "The State",