War Without End

From Cuba to Afghanistan

excerpted from the book

Covert Action

the Roots of Terrorism

edited by Ellen Ray and William H. Schaap

Ocean Press, 2003, paper

Another element driving this unilateralism is a form of religious fundamentalism endemic to the United States from its earliest days, the messianic notion that the United States represents God's chosen people, God's chosen system of government, God's chosen way of life: triumphalism. In one poll, 46 percent of the people of the United States-including the president -described themselves as "evangelical" or "born-again Christians," an astonishing figure. Many of them and most of their shepherds, do not believe we should merely offer our God-given way of life to the other peoples of the world; we should foist our brand of democracy upon them whether they like it or not and by military conquest if necessary, appropriating their resources as God intended. A world composed of hundreds of U.S. protectorates. A hundred and fifty years ago, it was the "manifest destiny" of the United States to take over North America (and to wipe out its original inhabitants in the process). Today, it is as manifest that we must take over the world. God has chosen the United States to cleanse the world and George W. Bush to lead that battle.


Corruption of Covert Actions
by Ramsey Clark, CAQ 1998
... most people cling desperately to the faith that their government is different and better than others, that it would engage in criminal, or ignoble, acts only under the greatest provocation, or direst necessity and then only for a greater good. They do not want information that suggests otherwise and question the patriotism of anyone who raises unwanted questions.

... it is primarily from U.S. citizens that the U.S. Government must keep the true nature and real purpose of so many of its domestic and foreign acts secret while it manufactures fear and falsehood to manipulate the U.S. public.

We must challenge controlling power in America that seeks to pacify the people by bread and circuses and relies on violence, deception and secrecy to advance its grand plans for the concentration of wealth and power in the hands of the few.


Tracking Covert Actions into the Future
by Philip Agee, CAQ 1992

Robert Gates, Director of Central Intelligence

... the intelligence community budget... [is] generally believed to be in excess of $31 billion.

... in February [1992, there was] a 70-page [classified Pentagon military planning] study projecting U.S. military requirements over the next 10 years. The report outlined seven possible scenarios which U.S. forces would have to be prepared to face and, presumably, would require those $1.5 trillion for the first five years:

* war with Iraq

* war with North Korea

* simultaneous wars with both Iraq and North Korea

* a war to defend a Baltic state from a resurgent and expansionist Russia

* war to defend the lives of U.S. citizens threatened by instability in the Philippines

* war to defend the Panamanian Government and the canal against "narcoterrorists"

* the emergence of an anti-U.S. global "adversarial rival" or an "aggressive expansionist international coalition."

The following month the New York Times published excerpts from another classified Pentagon document revealing the latest military policy to which the war scenarios were linked. This 46-page document, known formally as "Defense Planning Guidance-1994-99" was, according to the Times, the product of deliberations among President Bush, the National Security Council and the Pentagon. Its importance in prolonging U.S. militarism and the war economy into the 21st century could equal NSC-68's role in beginning the Cold War arms race in 1950.4

The goal of world hegemony expressed in the 1992 document should be as alarming to current U.S. friends such as Japan and NATO allies as to adversaries. "Our strategy must now refocus on precluding the emergence ~ of any future global competitor... Our first objective is to prevent the ) emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere..."

Notably lacking was any mention of collective settlement of disputes through the United Nations, although future multilateral actions through coalitions, as in the Gulf War, were not ruled out. And in order to prevent acquisition of nuclear weapons by potential adversaries, the United States asserted the need to be ready for unilateral military action.

As for Washington's friends, both Japan and Western Europe would be locked into security arrangements dominated by the United States. Without mentioning countries, the United States "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... [W]e must maintain the mechanisms for deterring potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role."

The document went on to suggest how to prevent Europe, with Germany in the lead, from becoming an independent regional arbiter in its own territory. "Therefore it is of fundamental importance to preserve NATO as the primary channel for U.S. influence... We seek to prevent the emergence of European-only security arrangements which would undermine NATO, particularly the alliance's integrated command structure... a substantial U.S. presence in Europe is vital..."

To keep Russia from resurging, expanding and again rivaling the United States-like the sci-fi "blob" -that country must remain hopelessly indebted and dependent on imports of basic necessities. Aid must be calibrated to keep Russia stable without allowing the economy to "take off" on its own steam. For these purposes the usual instruments will suffice: the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. Russia's military industries must be dismantled or converted to alternative production and the country locked into security arrangements, perhaps eventually in NATO. Western experts, especially from the United States, must penetrate its economic and political decisionmaking and its most advanced research in science and technology. No one political party should become dominant and, where possible, Western parties should establish close working relations with Russian parties. Ultranationalists must be discredited and shackled along with unreconstructed remnants of the old regime. The media should be filled with Western and Western-style programming, including consumerism, infotainment for news and healthy doses of anticommunist and pro-free market propaganda. The same would hold for the other countries of the former Soviet Union.

The whole area is like Germany and Italy after World War II, wide open for a double whammy from the CIA and its new sidekick, the National Endowment for Democracy-and all the Western "private" organizations they use. As with European fascists and the scant de-nazification that occurred, the new Russia can be built on communists-turned-liberals or social democrats, or even, why not, conservatives and Christian Democrats. As after World War II, the usual suspects can be targeted, neutralized, or co-opted: political parties, military and security services, trade unions, women's organizations, youth and students, business, professional and cultural societies and, probably most important, the media.


NATO and Beyond
by Ellen Ray and William H. Schaap
CAQ 1999

The United States has employed biological weapons for 200 years, from smallpox in the blankets of Native Americans to spreading plagues in Cuba; from chemical weapons like mustard gas to cripple and kill in World War I to Agent Orange to defoliate Vietnam-and to create a generation of deformed children. It is the only nation that has dropped nuclear bombs and one that now makes, uses, and sells depleted uranium weapons.


Evangelicals for Nuclear War
by Larry Jones
CAQ 1991

The "end of the world" has been an element of Christian mythology since before Christ's death. Most contemporary mainline churches in the United States and elsewhere have long since moderated this heavenly expectation, concentrating instead on the daily lives of believers. But the "end time" idea has retained all its fascination and power in a variety of U.S. Protestant churches, primarily evangelical and fundamentalist in outlook. In the "Scopes Monkey Trial" of 1925 fundamentalism was made a national laughingstock by defense counsel Clarence Darrow's eloquence and Baltimore Sun reporter H.L. Mencken's whiplash sarcasm.

By 1980, fundamentalist evangelicalism had made a stunning cultural comeback. The Moral Majority's claims about its contribution to the Reagan-Bush presidential victory were overblown but based on demographic facts. Once in office, Reagan himself spoke casually of nuclear Armageddon as possible because "it's in the Bible..." The close of the second millennium, or 1,000 years, since the first coming is certain to provoke an outpouring of end time expectation for the second coming of Christ. The reactions engendered by the Gulf War may offer a prelude of things to come.

Member organizations of the NRB [National Religious Broadcasters] control 90 percent of all religious broadcasting in the United States, and some 80 percent of religious broadcasting worldwide.

Evangelical apocalyptic literature after World War II has shown a casual disregard for the world. The earth is viewed as disposable, its destruction imminent. Apocalyptic writers seem to relish wars and environmental catastrophies as signs from God. Such a hostile attitude toward the world has clearly had political consequences. Following the agenda of U.S. political elites, this hostility has usually focused on one or two, or even a list, of official enemies. Communism, as a vast international (and supernatural) conspiracy, has served as the chief enemy of God in the post-war era.

The typical apocalyptic scenario often includes a nuclear war, triggered by a crisis in the Middle East. Nuclear war becomes the mechanism for resolving the conflict (between the believer and the world) at the heart of this end-time drama. It is also a possible mechanism for fulfilling prophecies of world destruction in the Apocalypse of John. Looked at this way, evangelical ideology can be understood as a religious response to nuclear weapons. As in the title of Jerry Falwell's 1983 tape set and pamphlet, Nuclear War and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, the two events had become, Falwell wrote, "intimately intertwined." For Swaggart, prophecies of the apocalypse were also difficult to distinguish from contemporary politics. One of Swaggart's end of the world pamphlets was entitled When God Fights Russia.

For believers, even the terrifying cloud of nuclear destruction has a silver lining: the Second Coming of Christ and the Millennial Kingdom. Belief in the rapture provides a magical escape from nuclear war, the cleansing fire needed to free the neighborhood of unrepentant backsliders, sinners and unbelievers. Popular dispensationalism thus retained its 19th century structure but took on a new, distinctly sinister emotional content after the World War II.

Evangelical apocalyptic ideology embraces nuclear weapons as a potential source of salvation. Any guilt or remorse from U.S. use of nuclear weapons was projected on to the enemy (the evil Japanese Empire, "Communism," and in 1991 "Babylon"). Nuclear weapons were seen as a reasonable response to the satanic intentions of official enemies. Demonization justified the construction of huge nuclear arsenals. Huge arsenals made war seem inevitable. And the looming threat of war counted as yet another sign of the End Times.

Evangelicalism and fundamentalism constitute the fastest growing segment of the U.S. religious community and have for some time. The ideology they promote, while limited in its appeal, vigorously disseminates one of the most virulent and implacable strains of U.S. militarism and xenophobia. Their "biblical" messages have injected an element of extreme irrationality into U.S. political discourse and it would be shortsighted to discount the utility of these messages for those who are wielding real power.


Instructive Examples
Introduction by Ellen Ray and William H. Schaap

The United States is the only country in the world where the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 are not viewed as a consequence of U.S. policy.


Power and the Semantics of Terrorism
by Edward S. Herman
CAQ 1986

... the powerful define terrorism and the Western media loyally follows the agenda of their own leaders. The powerful naturally define terrorism to exclude their own acts and those of their friends and clients.

In Western terrorism semantics, a state whose agents cross a border to kill is not I engaging in "international terrorism," nor is aiding a state that employs systematic violence supporting international terrorism. Thus, if the United States aids Pinochet and Botha, this is not supporting international terrorism. On the other hand, aid to the ANC, or any other group opposing government is automatically aid to international terrorists. This is enormously helpful to Botha, Pinochet and Reagan. On this system of definitions, also, aid by Nicaragua to the rebels of E1 Salvador makes the rebels international terrorists and the Nicaraguan Government a "terrorist state." Attacks on both are "counterterrorism." On the other hand, U.S. aid to the Salvadoran Government is exempt from any such labeling, even though it was massive killing by the U.S.-sponsored regimes in E1 Salvador that literally forced a guerrilla movement into existence in the early 1980s. As the West is generally trying to bolster up existing regimes against threats from below, a definitional system that renders all rebels and liberation movements terrorists by virtue of receiving aid, while not doing the same for aid to a government they are trying to unseat, is extremely convenient.

A problem arises, of course, where the West itself supports rebel movements and alleged "freedom fighters," as in the case of the Nicaraguan Contras and Savimbi in Angola. If the United States organizes and supports the Contras and South Africa (and the United States) do the same for Savimbi in Angola, strict adherence to the West's own skewed definition makes the United States and South Africa "terrorist states." How is this handled? The answer is, once again, power defines terrorism: what ~e and our allies do cannot be terrorism.


Cuban Exile Terrorists on Rampage
CAQ editorial 1979

Throughout the 1960s and well into the 1970s, this Cuban exiIe network worked for the CIA and its associates not only in innumerable raids against Cuba, most notably the Bay of Pigs fiasco, but as mercenaries in the Congo and in Vietnam, as the foot soldiers of Watergate and as hired guns for the DINA of Chile and other such secret services-all of them at one time or another creations and pawns of the CIA.

But even the CIA and the FBI are beginning to realize that they have created a Frankenstein monster. The U.S. Government, quick to condemn terrorism abroad, is hosting one of the most vicious terrorist organizations on earth. The foot soldiers are dangerous, professional criminals, hit men and drug dealers. They threaten not only Cuba, which is in fact quite secure, but also the vast majority of the Cuban community in the United States, who want no part of them, as well as U.S. and foreign citizens who may have business with Cuba.

From the early 1960s these terrorists perfected their skills under Agency tutelage-the use and handling of explosives, demolition and bomb construction, and, through the Agency's and their own Mafia connections, the arts of kidnapping and assassination. They have assassinated diplomats in Washington, Argentina, Italy and elsewhere. They have blown a Cubana airliner out of the skies in Barbados, killing everyone aboard. And in recent months they have launched a frontal attack against any contact with Cuba. They have bombed the Cuban United Nations Mission in New York and the Cuban Interests Section in Washington; they have bombed travel agencies for the same reason; they have bombed newspapers for sympathetic statements about Cuba ...

The authorities have not moved against this network, even though more and more is known about them. Their line has become more public-and more frenzied-with the commencement late last year of a dialogue between the Cuban exile community and the government of Cuba. Despite the condemnation of this dialogue by the terrorists, it has resulted in the release of more than 3,000 prisoners, the granting of exit visas to all of them and many others and blanket permission to Cubans outside the country to return to visit their relatives. The terrorists have been brutal; at a rally recently in Miami, one of the leaders of the Bay of Pigs Veterans openly threatened thousands of people in the audience. "We're not going to kill you people who visit Cuba, he said, "we're just going to make life painful for you."

In a recent article in New York Magazine, free-lance investigative reporter Jeff Stein has taken a close look at the terrorists, particularly the northern New Jersey community. On a side street in Union City, New Jersey, is found the public headquarters of the Cuban Nationalist Movement, a group with such illustrious alumni as Guillermo Novo Sampol, who, in 1964 fired a bazooka from Queens, New York, across the East River to the United Nations and through a window when Che Guevara was visiting. Members of the organization have been linked to major drug dealing and to almost all unsolved Cuban terrorist actions over the past several years. Although credit for most of those actions has been claimed by two groups, Omega 7 and Commando Zero, authorities are quite certain that both are merely different names for the Cuban Nationalist Movement.

At the Sixth Summit of Non-Aligned Nations, Fidel Castro said: "It is all too well known, and has been admitted officially in the United States, that the authorities of that country spent years organizing and methodically plotting to assassinate the leaders of the Cuban Revolution, using the most sophisticated means of conspiracy and crime. In spite of the fact that these deeds were investigated and publicized by the U.S. Senate, the U.S. government has not deigned to give any kind of apology for those vituperative and uncivilized actions."


New Spate of Terrorism: Key Leaders Unleashed
by William H. Schaap
CAQ 1980

For years, the rhetoric of the Western press has confused the public's image of terrorism. Virtually all progressive revolutionaries are referred to as "terrorists," while right-wing reactionaries are usually called "freedom fighters" or ''rebels." Historically, when terrorism has applied to liberation struggles-notably the Irish Revolution of 1916-21 and the Algerian Revolution of 1957-61-it has been in the context of a colonized people fighting the colonial settlers and occupiers.

In recent times, however, nearly all the terrorism in the world has been coming from the right, from some of the most reactionary forces in existence. Yet the effect of decades of linguistic manipulation has been to create the impression that terrorism is a weapon of the left and to obscure the real role that terrorism plays in rightist political movements.

... during this time and continuing to the present, the most visible, the most vocal, the most active terrorists in the United States have been a small group of Cuban exiles, based primarily in southern Florida and in New Jersey, operating under several names and generally well known to local authorities. This group originally was dedicated to the overthrow of the Cuban Government and concentrated its efforts in hundreds of attacks against Cuba and Cuban-related offices and personnel around the world. They were all involved in the Bay of Pigs fiasco. They were all trained, supplied and encouraged by the CIA.

During the 1960s, most of the group's efforts were directly related to their unending war against Cuba, but during the 1970s they expanded their horizons. In the words of investigative journalist Joe Trento of the Wilmington News-Journal, "they contracted themselves out as a hit team to provide at least two intelligence services with an assassination capability." Trento is referring to Chile's DINA and South Africa's BOSS. The group, centered around Orlando Bosch, is implicated in the killing of exiled Chilean General Carlos Prats and his wife in 1974; the attempted assassination of exiled Chilean politician Bernardo Leighton and his wife in 1975; the murder of Orlando Letelier and Ronni Moffitt in 1976; and the murder of South African economist Robert Smit and his wife in 1977.

What is most amazing about this avalanche of terrorism is that the U.S. authorities, local, state and federal, have done virtually nothing to stop it. The conviction of the Letelier hit men was virtually the only retribution and that has been overturned. A Cuban activist living in Boston was recently quoted by In These Times: "The [U.S.] government allows the right-wing Cubans to operate with impunity. That's a fact. The government organized them, trained them and armed them years ago. Now the government has the responsibility to disarm them."


Editorial on NSDD 138
CAQ 1984

The most widespread state terrorism in the world today is that of the United States' client regimes against their own people and their neighbors. In El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras the populations of those countries and of Nicaragua are being tortured and killed by the thousands with U.S.-made weapons in the hands of U.S.-trained military and paramilitary personnel. In many cases, as we are slowly discovering, the personnel are | North American as well.


Pentagon Moves on Terrorism
by Ellen Ray and William H. Schaap
CAQ 1984

1980 report, the CIA defined terrorism as

"the threat or use of violence for political purposes by individuals or groups, whether acting for, or in opposition to, established governmental authority, when such actions are intended to shock or intimidate a target group wider than the . immediate victims."

international law professor Alfred P. Rubin in a letter to the editor of the New York Times [July 11, 1984] said it would be clearer to define terrorism as:

"acts committed in time of peace that, if committed by a soldier in time of war, would be war crimes."

Chicago Sun-Times columnist Carl T. Rowan (April 30, 1984)

"In the eyes of officials and citizens of a given country, a 'terrorist' is someone who is killing friends, but the murderer of political enemies is labeled a 'rebel' or a 'freedom fighter."

... right-wing ideologues ... speak of terrorism as if it is identical with leftist guerrilla warfare and liberation movements in general. In reality, however, the two most significant types of terrorism-state terrorism and mercenary terrorism-are in the vast majority of instances supported, or at least condoned, by the U.S. Government.

State terrorism-government by the imposition of terrorism upon its own people-is the norm for many present and past U.S. allies, although their excesses are excused as merely "moderately authoritarian" by Reagan Administration officials. Chile under Pinochet, Haiti under the Duvaliers, Paraguay under Stroessner and Guatemala, Uruguay and E1 Salvador under all of their recent regimes are the most obvious examples in our hemisphere. It is also the rule in South Korea, Zaire, the Philippines, South Africa (with respect to the nonwhite majority), Turkey and elsewhere.

Mercenary terrorism is a less obvious phenomenon, but one which bears the U.S. stamp. "Soldiers of fortune" everywhere commit atrocities against populations struggling to liberate themselves from the yoke of imperialism.


Libya in U.S. Demonology
by Noam Chomsky
CAQ 1986

The term "terrorism" came into use at the end of the 18th century, primarily to designate violent acts of governments intended to ensure popular submission. That concept, plainly, is of little benefit to the practitioners of state terrorism, who, holding power, are in a position to control the system of thought and expression. The original sense has therefore been abandoned and the term "terrorism" has come to be applied mainly to retail terrorism by individuals or groups. Whereas the term was once applied to Emperors who molest their own subjects and the world, now it is restricted to thieves who molest the powerful.

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