U.S.Foreign Policy and Pentagon


Global Secrets & Lies

"Why of course the people don't want war.Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don't want war: neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship ...Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger."

Hermann Goering, Nazi leader, at the Nuremberg Trials after World War II

War and Peace

" ... the United States [is] cast in the role of Praetorian Guard, protecting the interests of the global financial order against fractious elements in the Third World. "

John Stockwell, former CIA official and author

War on Terrorism

United States foreign policy since the 1980s, effectively dictated by the U.S. right-wing, has been "selective rollback" - the deliberate overthrow of foreign governments, especially in the third world, which are seen as socialist, nationalist or just uncooperative with U.S. business interests, by a program of political, psychological and economic warfare, military and paramilitary actions, and the infiltration of agents and saboteurs.


American Empire

"How dare Americans allow their government to cause such misery [in the world]."

Ramsey Clark, former United States Attorney General and human rights activist


Friendly dictators

" Rollback as a foreign policy ... causes untold devastation and misery for millions overseas, and hinders any potential positive U.S. influence in world affairs... To the extent the U.S. public backs rollback, this support is rooted in a misguided sense of patriotism. Patriotism itself - love of one's country and one's people - is a natural and reasonable human feeling. But patriotism which measures one's country by military superiority over all rivals regardless of consequence is irrational... There is surely a more rational form of patriotism that searches for excellence in social, economic and moral spheres rather than in weapon systems. "

from the book Rollback by Thomas Bodenheimer and Robert Gould

Subverting Democracy

"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."

William Blum

Reducing U.S. Military Budget

" The enormous gap between what US leaders do in the world and what Americans think their leaders are doing is one of the great propaganda accomplishments of the dominant political mythology. "

Michael Parenti, political scientist and author


" America's inability to come to terms with revolutionary change in the The Third World...has created our biggest international problems in the postwar era. But the root of the problem is not, as many Americans persist in believing, the relentless spread of communism. Rather, it is our own difficulty in understanding that Third World revolutions are primarily nationalist, not communist. Nationalism, not capitalism or communism, is the dominant political force in the modern world. You might think that revolutionary nationalism and the desire for self-determination would be relatively easy for Americans - the first successful revolutionaries to win their independence - to understand. But instead we have been dumbfounded when other peoples have tried to pursue the goals of our own revolution two centuries ago.... "

Former U.S. Senator Frank Church, on the shortsightedness of 'rollback' as our foreign policy doctrine

Demanding Democracy page

" With unfailing consistancy, U.S. intervention has been on the side of the rich and powerful of various nations at the expense of the poor and needy. Rather than strengthening democracies, U.S. leaders have overthrown numerous democratically elected governments or other populist regimes in dozens of countries ... whenever these nations give evidence of putting the interests of their people ahead of the interests of multinational corporate interests. "

Michael Parenti, political scientist and author

International War Crimes

"Get some new lawyers"

US Secretary of State Madeline Albright to British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook when he told her
he was informed that the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia was illegal under international law

Terrorism watch

" ... there is a system of terroristic states -- the real terror network -- that has spread throughout Latin America and elsewhere over the past several decades, and which is deeply rooted in the corporate interest and sustaining political-military-financial propaganda mechanisms of the United States and its allies in the Free World."

Edward Herman, economist and media analyst

Torture watch

"If we love this country, we'd better change it."

Ramsey Clark, former United States Attorney General and human rights activist

School of the Americas watch

" America must prevent other states "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. "

Pentagon's Defense Planning Guide for 1994-1999

Pentagon watch

" Why should we flagellate ourselves for what the Cambodians did to each other?"

Henry Kissinger - who (with Richard Nixon) was responsible for the massive bombing of Cambodia in 1973, which killed three-quarters of a million peasants and disrupted Cambodian society, setting the stage for Pol Pot to come to power and ultimately kill another one-and-a-half million people

Militarization of Space

"Was there ever any domination that did not appear natural to those who possessed it?"

John Stuart Mill, British philosopher and economist, 1806-1873

Foreign policy watch

"Those who own the country ought to govern it."

John Jay, American statesman and first Chief Justice of US Supreme Court, 1745-1829

Middle East Watch

"That men should not be equal, is the primitive belief of primitive people."

author unknown

Israel watch

"To oppose the policies of a government does not mean you are against the country or the people that the government supposedly represents. Such opposition should be called what it really is: democracy, or democratic dissent, or having a critical perspective about what your leaders are doing. Either we have the right to democratic dissent and criticism of these policies or we all lie down and let the leader, the Fuhrer, do what is best, while we follow uncritically, and obey whatever he commands. That's just what the Germans did with Hitler, and look where it got them."

Michael Parenti

Afghanistan page

" The U.S. will not permit constructive programs in its own domains, so it must ensure that they are destroyed elsewhere to terminate " the threat of a good example".

Noam Chomsky, American linguist and US media and foreign policy critic

Iran watch

" The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy: that is the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."

John Kenneth Galbraith, economist and author

Central Asia watch

" Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with surprising effectiveness. "

George Orwell, author of the book "1984"

Caribbean watch

" The Clinton administration is revamping NATO and redefining its mission in order to make it an instrument of American world engagement as peacekeeper, peacemaker, and policeman... "

William Pfaff, columnist, Z magazine

Haiti page

" The agony and moral anguish that ought to accompany an act of mass killing -- yes, even in a war [the Gulf War against Iraq in 1991] -- seemed wholly absent from American culture."

Ruth Rosen, history professor


Latin America watch

" Everyone's values are defined by what they will tolerate when it is done to others. "

William Greider, author

Central America watch

" We routinely had Latin American students at the School of the Americas (SOA) who were known human rights abusers, and it didn't make any difference to us."

Instructor at the School of the Americas in Georgia

Mexico watch

" I know of no country in which there is so little independence of mind and real freedom of discussion as in America. "

Alexis de Tocqueville, 1805 - 1859, French political thinker and author of Democracy in America


South America watch

"The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them."

George Orwell, English writer, 1903-1950

Venezuela page

"Americans cannot escape a certain responsibility for what is done in our name around the world. In a democracy, even one as corrupted as ours, ultimate authority rests with the people. We empower the government with our votes, finance it with our taxes, bolster it with our silent acquiescence. If we are passive in the face of America's official actions overseas, we in effect endorse them."

Mark Hertzgaard

Colombia page

" It has been true all through history, the way you get a small group of people to be very rich is by getting a lot of other people to be very poor. "

Michael Parenti, political scientist and author

Asia Watch

"What the United States has done to the country [Cambodia] is greater evil than we have done to any country in the world..."

California Congressman Pete McClosky following a visit to Cambodia in the 1970s

Burma watch

" Patriotism, like religion, meets people's need for something greater to which their individual lives can be anchored ... America's state religion, [is] patriotism, a phenomenon which has convinced many of the citizenry that "treason" is morally worse than murder or rape "

William Blum, author of Killing Hope

China watch

" If we have to use force, it is because we are America. We are the indispensable nation. We stand tall. We see further into the future. "

Secretary of State Madelaine Albright, describing her vision of America's role in the world

South Asia page

"[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."

William Blum

Southeast Asia page

" History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. "

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Pacific watch

" ... the CIA had been running thousands of operations over the years... there have been about 3,000 major covert operations and over 10,000 minor operations... all designed to disrupt, destabilize, or modify the activities of other countries... But they are all illegal and they all disrupt the normal functioning, often the democratic functioning, of other societies. They raise serious questions about the moral responsibility of the United States in the international society of nations. "

John Stockwell, former CIA official and author

Islands Watch

" Coming to grips with ... U.S./CIA activities in broad numbers and figuring out how many people have been killed in the jungles of Laos or the hills of Nicaragua is very difficult. But, adding them up as best we can, we come up with a figure of six million people killed-and this is a minimum figure. Included are: one million killed in the Korean War, two million killed in the Vietnam War, 800,000 killed in Indonesia, one million in Cambodia, 20,000 killed in Angola ... and 22,000 killed in Nicaragua. These people would not have died if U.S. tax dollars had not been spent by the CIA to inflame tensions, finance covert political and military activities and destabilize societies. "

John Stockwell, former CIA official and author

Africa Watch

"I am strongly in favor of using poisoned gas against uncivilized tribes. The moral effect should be good...and it would spread a lively terror.... "

Winston Churchill, 1874-1965, British prime minister during World War II, commenting on the British use of poison gas against Iraqis after World War I

Central Africa page

" 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

East Africa page

"We have about 50% of the world's wealth but only 6.3% of its population.... Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity without positive detriment to our national security. To do so, we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and daydreaming, and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives. We need not deceive ourselves that we can afford today the luxury of altruism and world benefaction.... We should cease to talk about vague and unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of the living standards, and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are then hampered by idealistic slogans, the better."

George Kennan, State Department memo, 1948

North Africa page

"The Middle East is center of the world's energy resources... That's been an axiom of U.S. foreign policy, that it must control Middle East energy resources. It is not a matter of access ... the issue has always been control. Control is the source of strategic power."

Noam Chomsky

Southern Africa page

"Throughout the twentieth century and into the beginning of the twenty-first, the United States repeatedly used its military power, and that of its clandestine services, to overthrow governments that refused to protect American interests. Each time, it cloaked its intervention in the rhetoric of national security and liberation. In most cases, however, it acted mainly for economic reasons-specifically to establish, promote and defend the right of Americans to do business around the world without interference."

Stephen Kinzer

West Africa page

"There is nothing puzzling ... about America's gratuitously aggressive foreign policy or about the oligarchs' successful efforts to drag the Republic into five wars. What an aggressive foreign policy accomplishes by slow degrees, a state of war accomplishes in a trice. Overnight [war] kills reform, overnight it transforms insurgents into traitors and the Republic into an imperiled realm. Overnight it strangles free politics, distracts and overawes the citizenry. Overnight it blasts public hope."

Walter Karp

Russia watch

" As the mainstream media has become increasingly dependent on advertising revenues for support, it has become an anti-democratic force in society."

Robert McChesney, journalist and media critic

Canada page

" Since the modern world recognizes only wage earners as "productive" members of society -- housewives, traditional farmers and the elderly suddenly become identified as "unproductive.""

Helena Norberg-Hodge, anthropologist, speaking about the changes in traditional societies as they modernize

Landmine watch

" The foreign policies of nation-states, particularly economic and monetary policies, have always been a highly elitist matter. Policy options are proposed, reviewed, and executed within the context of a broad bipartisan consensus that is painstakingly managed by very small circles of public and private elites.... Where necessary, a consensus is engineered on issues which must get congressional / parliamentary approval, but wherever possible executive agreements between governments are used to avoid the democratic process altogether. "

Peter Thomson

United States & Third World

" The first casualty when war comes is the truth."

U.S. Senator Hiram Johnson, 1917

New World Order

" ... neoconservative Jeane Kirkpatrick ... argued in 1979 that Third World revolutions are illegitimate, the products of Soviet expansion rather than of local historical forces opposed to repressive dictatorships. ... Kirkpatrick had solved the moral problem of the rollbackers: why it is fine to overthrow left-wing governments and make friends with rightist dictators. The Kirkpatrick Doctrine held that right-wing dictatorships can evolve into democratic governments while left-wing nations cannot. Under this Doctrine, Marcos, Pinochet, and P.W. Botha were leading their countries down the path of democracy. "

from the book Rollback by Thomas Bodenheimer and Robert Gould

War on Drugs

" [The] American thirst for victory, his scorn for defeat, gives the militarist line great leverage over political debate, although its degree of dominance ebbs and flows with the nature of the issue and the public mood, the latter itself significantly shaped by a media that defers to the state on national security policy in most matters. "

Richard Falk, professor

Weapons page

" It may be necessary to kill half the Filippinos in order that the remaining half of the population may be advanced to a higher plane of lfe ..."

US Field Commander, General Shafter, during US invasion of Philippines in 1899

Foreign Policy Institutions page

"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... Anyone challenging this mythology is quickly marginalized, branded a traitor or Communist or terrorist or simply a lunatic beyond the pale of reasonable discussion."

Carl Boggs

Assassinations page

"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."

William Blum

Coup d'etat page

"For the last fifty years we've been supporting right-wing governments, and that is a puzzlement to me...I don't understand what there is in the American character... that almost automatically, even when we have a liberal President, we support fascist dictatorships or are tolerant towards them."

William Shirer

Ethical Foreign Policy page

" We are willing to accept lies if they make our lives easier. "

Producer from the TV series "People's Century", opining on why Americans tolerate unjust and inhumane U.S. government policies, at home and abroad

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