excerpts from the book

The Terrorism Trap

by Michael Parenti

City Lights books, 2002


Swept along in the jingoist tide, that gaggle of political wimps known as the US Congress passed a War Powers Resolution Authorization, granting Bush the power to initiate military action against any nation, organization, or individual of his choosing, without ever having to proffer evidence to justify the attack. Such an unlimited grant of arbitrary power-in violation of international law, the UN charter, and the US Constitution-transforms the almost-elected president into an absolute monarch who can exercise life-and-death power over any quarter of the world.

Under pressure to present a united front against terrorism, Democratic legislators rolled over on the issue of military spending. Opposition to the so-called outerspace missile defense shield ("National Missile Defense") began to evaporate, as did willingness to preserve the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM). The lawmakers seemed ready to come up with most of the $8.3 billion that the White House said it needed to develop the missile defense shield and further militarize outer space. In December, Bush declared that the United States was unilaterally breaking the ABM treaty with Russia, saying that it "hinders us from developing an anti-missile shield that will deter an attack from a rogue state."

Congress marched in lockstep behind Bush's proposal to jack up the military budget to $360 billion for 2002. Additional funds were promised to the NSA, CIA, FBI, and other skullduggery units of what has come to be known as the US national security state.

... the United States spends more on arms than all the other major industrial nations combined. The US military budget is about seven times greater than the $51 billion spent by Russia, the next highest competitor.

US leaders have been the greatest purveyors of terrorism throughout the world.

Editor of New Republic magazine

"This nation is now at war. And in such an environment, domestic political dissent is immoral without a prior statement of national solidarity, a choosing of sides."

The press is not just a stenographer for power, faithfully echoing what authorities feed it. It plays a far more proactive role as propagandist for the ruling ideology, exercising its own initiative to soften up public opinion, telling people what to think about events even before the events have played out, clearing the way for policymakers to make their moves.

The war against terrorism quickly became a cover for the war against democratic dissent.

Alternative sources [of energy] are readily available, infinitely renewable, ecologically sound, but ... vastly cheaper and less profitable than oil. Indeed, if developed to any great extent, alternative sustainable energy sources could destroy the multi-billion dollar oil industry, which is why they remain relatively underdeveloped

It is a myth that conservatives are practitioners of fiscal responsibility. Rightwing politicians who sing hymns to a balanced budget have been among the wildest deficit spenders. In twelve years (1981-1992) the Reagan-Bush administrations increased the national debt from $850 billion to $4.5 trillion. By early 2000, the debt had climbed to over $5.7 trillion. The deficit is pumped up by two things: first, successive tax cuts to rich individuals and corporations-so that the government increasingly borrows from the wealthy creditors it should be taxing; and second, titanic military budgets. In twelve years, the Reagan-Bush expenditures on the military came to $3.7 trillion. In eight years, Bill Clinton, a conservative Democrat who pretended to talk like a liberal on some subjects, spent over $2 trillion on the military.


Never do official circles or corporate media acknowledge how, for more than a half century, US military forces (or their US-supported surrogates) have repeatedly delivered mass destruction upon unarmed civilian populations in Latin America, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and-with the 1999 bombings of Yugoslavia- even Europe, pernicious acts of terrorism that go unexamined. No critical discussion is offered regarding who really benefits from such ventures and who is harmed. Nothing is said about how the dominant interests within a small number of industrial countries, led by the US national security state continue to monopolize more and more of the world's resources and markets.

US leaders preside over a military force of planetary magnitude unmatched in human history. Every year US taxpayers give up hundreds of billions of their hard-earned dollars to fund this global military empire, whose necessity has never really been critically debated on a national platform. A global military presence, we are told, supposedly safeguards our democracy and something called "the West," discouraging "rogue states" from launching attacks against us, and allowing us to protect weaker nations from aggression. We are told that "US interests" need to be defended, and humanitarian rescue missions must be pursued. Policymakers and media pundits toss these various assertions around like so many advertising slogans, while ignoring the alternative explanations and analyses offered by progressive critics.

With only 5 percent of the earth's population, the United States expends more military funds than all the other major powers combined. The US military establishment consists of about a half-million troops stationed at over 395 major bases and hundreds of minor installations in thirty-five foreign countries; more than 8,000 strategic nuclear weapons and 22,000 tactical ones; a naval strike force greater in total tonnage and firepower than all the other navies of the world combined, consisting of missile cruisers, nuclear submarines, nuclear aircraft carriers, and destroyers that sail every ocean and make port at every continent.

US bomber squadrons and long-range missiles can reach any target, delivering with impunity enough explosive force to destroy the infrastructures of entire countries-as demonstrated against Iraq in 1990-91 and Yugoslavia in 1999. US rapid deployment forces have a firepower in conventional weaponry vastly superior to any other nation's. US satellites and spy planes scope the entire planet. And today Washington is developing a capacity to conduct war from outer space. Worldwide US arms sales to cooperative capitalist nations rose to $36.9 billion in 2000, up from $34 billion in 1999. In addition to sales, since World War 11, the US government has given some $240 billion in military aid to train, equip, and subsidized some 2.3 million troops and internal security forces in more than eighty countries, many of them military autocracies. This extraordinary situation, this global military colossus goes on its grim and fatal way largely unexamined and unquestioned in public life.

September 11 had a terrible shock effect on the millions of Americans who get all their news from the corporate media and who were secure in the belief that everyone in the world secretly wants to be an American. They believed that America was universally loved and admired because the United States was more prosperous, nobler, and more generous than other countries. Very few Americans know about victims of US terrorism abroad. Relatively few are aware that whole societies have been shattered by US bombings or US monetary and trade policies.

... What changed on September 11 was people's perception of themselves and of America's place in the world. Many felt shocked, smaller, not respected, less secure, less powerful, and ) confused. Some even wondered if there were things that they had not been told.

... almost all of America know next to nothing about how US supported terrorists have taken millions of lives in scores of other countries. The media have little to say about those acts of terrorism, and so the general public knows relatively little about them.

Business profiteering in the name of patriotism has occurred in every war this nation has fought.

New York Times recently reported

"For 30 years the gap between the richest Americans and everyone else has been growing so much that the level of inequality is higher than in any other industrialized nation."


Why Do They Hate Us?

Asking why there are people around the world who hate us, the writer Madison Shockley offered a list of grievances: "Arrogance, dominance, exploitation, oppression, racism, militarism, imperialism ... As Iong as we continue to thwart the aspirations for freedom and dignity for much of the Third World, there will be those who resent us, and some who hate us." Similarly, a retired lieutenant-colonel of the US Air Force, Robert Bowman, argues that the United States was targeted not because it stands for freedom and human rights but because it stands "for dictatorship, bondage, and human exploitation in the world. We are the target of terrorists because we are hated. And we are hated because our government has done hateful things."

Some 1.5 billion people in the world live in absolute economic desperation, lacking even basic food, shelter, and clean water. One-fifth of all young men in the Middle East are unemployed, and the region's per capita income is about $2100 yearly, according to the World Bank, which is prone to understate the levels of economic deprivation. Leading the other rich industrial nations. The United States "has for decades imposed poverty-generating policies that force states to privatize resources and slash public spending." This increases unemployment and leads to greater poverty, disease, forced migration, and environmental devastation. In Egypt-home of Mohammed Atta, who piloted the first jet into the World Trade Center-8.5 percent of the children die before age five, while Egypt's government spends a mere 4 percent of its budget on health care.

US power supports retrograde rightwing governments that are dedicated not to the well-being of their peoples but to servicing the transnational corporations and the US national security state. Many Third World leaders eagerly incur huge debts with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Western banks, then often pocket substantial chunks of the incoming loans. Scores of maldeveloped capitalist countries in the Third World are trapped in a deepening cycle of borrowing and repayment at usurious rates, a process that further enriches global financial interests at the expense of Third World populations. Over the past seventeen years, poor capitalist nations have transferred a net total of $1.5 trillion to rich foreign creditors.

The deepening impoverishment that besets these debtor countries fuels popular resentment and rebellion. Leftist groups emerge and begin to mobilize large sectors of the population in the struggle for social betterment and against the economic servitude imposed by Western interests. These democratic movements are crushed by domestic military forces funded and advised by the US national security state.

Turkey today remains a police state with parliamentary window-dressing.

Various critics of US policy end up blaming America for the wars pursued in its name, noting that "all of us" have failed to stop what is being done in our name. But does this mean we are collaborative authors of US militaristic policies? More often, we are kept in the dark about what is done in our name. I do not blame the American people for what fundamentalist Muslim zealots did on September 11, nor for what secretive and deceptive fundamentalist empire-building zealots in Washington have been doing to help create the kind of world that brought forth the religious zealots.

Part of the problem may lie in the bad habit that many people have in using "we" when they mean US political and financial elites. To say that "we" are thwarting democracy abroad, impoverishing other populations, or bombing innocent people, when really referring to the actions of the White House, the CIA, the Pentagon, the IMF and the WTO, is to assume a community of interest between the general public and those who regularly prey upon it, which is just what the predators want.

CNN chairperson Walter Isaacson [in 1999] issued orders to his correspondents that when they broadcasted reports with footage of civilian deaths, hunger, and devastation they were to remind viewers that the Taliban harbored terrorists who killed thousands of Americans in September, as if viewers weren't being reminded almost every hour of every day by the media. Isaacson called it "perverse to focus too much on the casualties or hardship in Afghanistan."

To save us from such perversity, the Pentagon bought the rights to all pictures of Afghanistan and nearby countries taken by the world's best commercial imaging satellite, Space Imaging Inc., at a cost of $1.9 million a month, plus additional fees of hundreds of thousands of dollars for the images it actually purchased. The Pentagon contract meant that news media and other organizations outside government would not be able to obtain their own high-resolution satellite images of the Afghan conflict or of the entire region.

Pictures of killed or suffering Afghani civilians soon disappeared from the US news. We now could see nothing about the war except what the Pentagon wanted us to see, specifically, repetitive accounts about the search for bin Laden ..

The media-hyped jingoistic craze that gripped the United States after September 11 was mostly just that, a craze. In time, the patriotic hype recedes and reality returns.


Why US leaders intervene everywhere

Washington policymakers claim that US intervention is motivated by a desire to fight terrorism, bring democracy to other peoples, maintain peace and stability in various regions, defend our national security, protect weaker nations from aggressors, oppose tyranny, prevent genocide, and the like. But if US leaders have only the best intentions when they intervene in other lands, why has the United States become the most hated nation in the terrorist's pantheon of demons? And not only Muslim zealots but people from all walks of life around the world denounce the US government as the prime purveyor of violence and imperialist exploitation. Do they see something that most Americans have not been allowed to see?

Supporting the Right

Since World War II, the US government has given some $240 billion in military aid to build up the military and internal security forces of more than eighty other nations. The purpose of this enormous effort has been not to defend these nations from invasion by foreign aggressors but to protect their various ruling oligarchs and multinational corporate investors from the dangers of domestic anticapitalist insurgency. That is what some of us have been arguing. But how can we determine that? By observing that (a) with few exceptions there is no evidence suggesting that these various regimes have ever been threatened by attack from neighboring countries; (b) just about all these "friendly" regimes have supported economic systems that are integrated into a global system of corporate domination, open to foreign penetration on terms that are singularly favorable to transnational investors; (c) there is a great deal of evidence that US-supported military and security forces and death squads in these various countries have been repeatedly used to destroy reformist movements, labor unions, peasant organizations, and popular insurgencies that advocate some kind of egalitarian redistributive politics for themselves.

For decades we were told that a huge US military establishment was necessary to contain an expansionist world Communist movement with its headquarters in Moscow (or sometimes Beijing). But after the overthrow of the Soviet Union and other Eastern European communist nations in 1989-1991, Washington made no move to dismantle its costly and dangerous global military apparatus. All Cold War weapons programs continued in full force, with new ones being added all the time, including the outer-space National Missile Defense and other projects to militarize outer space. Immediately the White House and Pentagon began issuing jeremiads about a whole host of new enemies-for some unexplained reason previously overlooked-who menace the United States, including "dangerous rogue states" like Libya with its ragtag army of 50,000 and North Korea with its economy on the brink of collapse.

The real intentions of US national security state leaders can be revealed in part by noting whom they assist and whom they attack. US leaders have consistently supported rightist regimes and organizations and opposed leftist ones. The terms "Right" and "Left" are seldom specifically defined by policymakers or media commentators-and with good reason. To explicate the politico-economic content of leftist governments and movements is to reveal their egalitarian and usually democratic goals, making it much harder to demonize them. The "Left," as I would define it, encompasses those individuals, organizations, and governments that oppose the privileged interests of wealthy propertied classes, while advocating egalitarian redistributive policies and a common development beneficial to the general populace.

The Right too is involved in redistributive politics, but the distribution goes the other way, in an upward direction. Rightist governments and groups, including fascist ones, are dedicated to using the land, labor, markets, and natural resources of countries as so much fodder for the enrichment of the owning and investing classes. In almost every country including our own, rightist groups, parties, or governments pursue tax and spending programs, wage and investment practices, methods of police and military control, and deregulation and privatization policies that primarily benefit those who receive the bulk of their income from investments and property, at the expense of those who live off wages, salaries, fees, and pensions. That is what defines and distinguishes the Right from the Left.

In just about every instance, rightist forces are deemed by US opinion makers to be "friendly to the West," a coded term for "pro-capitalist." Conversely, leftist ones are labeled as "anti-democratic," "anti-American" and "anti-West," when actually what they are against is global capitalism.

While claiming to be motivated by a dedication to human rights and democracy, US leaders have supported some of the most notorious rightwing autocracies in history, governments that have tortured, killed or otherwise maltreated large numbers of their citizens because of their dissenting political views, as in Turkey, Zaire, Chad, Pakistan, Morocco, Indonesia, Honduras, Peru, Colombia, Argentina, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, the Philippines, Cuba (under Batista), Nicaragua (under Somoza), Iran (under the Shah), and Portugal (under Salazar).

Washington also assists counterrevolutionary groups that have perpetrated some of the most brutal bloodletting against civilian populations in leftist countries: Unita in Angola, Renamo in Mozambique, the contras in Nicaragua, the Khmer Rouge (during the 1980s) in Cambodia, the mujahideen and then the Taliban in Afghanistan, and the rightwing drug-dealing KLA terrorists in Kosovo. All this is a matter of public record although seldom if ever treated in the US media.

Washington's support has extended to the extreme rightist reaches of the political spectrum. Thus, after World War 11 US leaders and their Western capitalist allies did nothing to eradicate fascism from Europe, except for prosecuting some top Nazi leaders at Nuremberg. In short time, former Nazis and their collaborators were back in the saddle in Germany. Hundreds of Nazi war criminals found a haven in the United States and Latin America, either living in comfortable anonymity or employed by US intelligence agencies during the Cold War.

In France, very few Vichy collaborators were purged. "No one of any rank was seriously punished for his or her role in the roundup and deportation of Jews to Nazi camps." US military authorities also restored fascist collaborators to power in various Far East nations. In South Korea, police trained by the fascist Japanese occupation force were used after the war to suppress left democratic forces. The South Korean Army was commanded by officers who had served in the Imperial Japanese Army, some of whom had been guilty of horrid war crimes in the Philippines and China.

ln Italy, within a year after the war, almost all Italian fascists were released from prison while hundreds of communists and other leftist partisans who had been valiantly fighting the Nazi occupation were jailed. Allied authorities initiated most of these measures. In the three decades after the war, US government agencies gave an estimated $75 million to right-wing organizations in Italy. From 1969 to 1974, high-ranking elements in Italian military and civilian intelligence agencies, along with various secret and highly placed neofascist groups embarked upon a campaign of terror and sabotage known as the "strategy of tension," involving a series of kidnappings, assassinations, and bombing massacres directed against the growing popularity of the democratic parliamentary Left. In 1995, a deeply implicated CIA, refused to cooperate with an Italian parliamentary commission investigating this terrorist campaign.

In the 1980s, scores of people were murdered in Germany, Belgium, and elsewhere in Western Europe by rightwing terrorists in the service of state security agencies. As with the earlier "strategy of tension" in Italy, the attacks attempted to create enough popular fear and uncertainty to undermine the existing social democracies. The US corporate-owned media largely ignored these events.

Attacking the Left

We can grasp the real intentions of US leaders by looking at who they target for attack, specifically just about all leftist governments, movements, and popular insurgencies. The methods used include (a) financing, infiltrating, and co-opting their military, and their internal security units and intelligence agencies, providing them with police-state technology including instruments of torture; (b) imposing crippling economic sanctions and IMF austerity programs; (c) bribing political leaders, military leaders, and other key players; (d) inciting retrograde ethnic separatists and supremacists within the country; (e) subverting their democratic and popular organizations; (f) rigging their elections; and (g) financing collaborationist political parties, labor unions, academic researchers, journalists, religious groups, nongovernmental organizations, and various media.

US leaders profess a dedication to democracy. Yet over the past five decades, democratically elected reformist governments-"guilty" of introducing egalitarian redistributive economic programs in Guatemala, Guyana, the Dominican Republic, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Syria, Indonesia (under Sukarno), Greece, Cyprus, Argentina, Bolivia, Haiti, the Congo, and numerous other nations-were overthrown by their respective military forces funded and advised by the US national security state. The intent behind Washington's policy is seen in what the US-sponsored military rulers do when they come to power. They roll back any reforms and open their countries all the wider to foreign corporate investors on terms completely favorable to the investors.

The US national security state has participated in covert actions or proxy mercenary wars against reformist or revolutionary governments in Cuba, Angola, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Portugal, Nicaragua, Cambodia, East Timor, Western Sahara, Egypt, Cambodia, Lebanon, Peru, Iran, Syria, Jamaica, South Yemen, the Fiji Islands, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. In many cases the attacks were terroristic in kind, directed at "soft targets" such as schools, farm cooperatives, health clinics, and whole villages. These wars of attrition extracted a grisly toll on human life and frequently forced the reformist or revolutionary government to discard its programs and submit to IMF dictates, after which the US-propelled terrorist attacks ceased.

Since World War 11, US forces have invaded or launched aerial assaults against Vietnam, Laos, the Dominican Republic, North Korea, Cambodia, Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, Libya, Iraq, Somalia, Yugoslavia, and most recently Afghanistan-a record of direct military aggression unmatched by any communist government in history. US/NATO forces delivered round-the-clock terror bombings on Yugoslavia for two and a half months in 1999, targeting housing projects, private homes, hospitals, schools, state-owned factories, radio and television stations, government owned hotels, municipal power stations, water supply systems, and bridges, along with hundreds of other nonmilitary targets at great loss to civilian life. In some instances, neoimperialism has been replaced with an old-fashioned direct colonialist occupation, as in Bosnia, Kosovo, and Macedonia where US troops are stationed, and more recently in Afghanistan.

In 2000-2001, US leaders were involved in a counterinsurgency war against leftist guerrilla movements in Colombia. They also were preparing the public for moves against Venezuela, whose president, Hugo Chavez, is engaged in developing a popular movement and reforms that favor the poor. Stories appearing in the US press tell us that Chavez is emotionally unstable, autocratic, and bringing his country to ruin, the same kind of media hit pieces that demonized the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, the New Jewel Movement in Grenada, Allende in Chile, Noriega in Panama, Qaddafi in Libya, Milosevic in Yugoslavia, and Aristide in Haiti, to name some of the countries that were subsequently attacked by US forces or surrogate mercenary units.

Governments that strive for any kind of economic independence, or apply some significant portion of their budgets to not-for-profit public services, are the ones most likely to feel the wrath of US intervention. The designated "enemy" can be (a) a populist military government as in Panama under Omar Torrijos (and even under Manuel Noriega), Egypt under Gamal Abdul Nasser, Peru under Juan Velasco, Portugal under the leftist military officers in the MFA, and Venezuela under Hugo Chavez; (b) a Christian socialist government as in Nicaragua under the Sandinistas; (c) a social democracy as in Chile under Salvador Allende, Jamaica under Michael Manley, Greece under Andreas Papandreou, Cyprus under Mihail Makarios, and the Dominican Republic under Juan Bosch; (d) an anticolonialist reform government as in the Congo under Patrice Lumumba; (e) a Marxist-Leninist government as in Cuba, Vietnam, and North Korea; (f) an Islamic revolutionary order as in Libya under Omar Qaddafi; or even (g) a conservative militarist regime as in Iraq under Saddam Hussein if it should attempt an independent course on oil quotas and national development.

The goal of US global policy is the Third Worldization of the entire world including Europe and North America, a world in which capital rules supreme with no labor unions to speak of; no prosperous, literate, well-organized working class with rising expectations; no pension funds or medical plans or environmental, consumer, and occupational protections, or any of the other insufferable things that cut into profits.

While described as "anti-West" and "anti-American," just about all leftist governments-from Cuba to Vietnam to the late Soviet Union-have made friendly overtures and shown a willingness to establish normal diplomatic and economic relations with the United States. It was not their hostility toward the United States that caused conflict but Washington's intolerance of the alternative class systems they represented.

In the post-World War 11 era, US policymakers sent assistance to Third World nations, and put forth a Marshall plan, grudgingly accepting reforms that produced marginal benefits for the working classes of Western Europe and elsewhere. They did this because of the Cold War competition with the Soviet Union and the strong showing of Communist parties in Western European countries. But today there is no competing lure; hence, Third World peoples (and working populations everywhere) are given little consideration in the ongoing campaigns to rollback the politico-economic democratic gains won by working people in various countries.

The goal was, and continues to be, totally privatized economies that favor rich investor interests at the expense of the people in these countries.


When Words Speak Louder than Actions

It should not go unnoticed that US leaders occasionally do verbalize their dedication to making the world safe for the transnational corporate system. At such times words seem to speak louder than actions, for the words are an admission of the real intention behind the action. For example, as President Woodrow Wilson contemplated sending US troops as part of the expeditionary force of Western nations to overthrow the newly installed revolutionary socialist government in Russia in 1917, his Secretary of State, Robert Lansing, recorded in a confidential memorandum the administration's class concerns. Lansing ignored all the blather that US leaders were publicly mouthing about Lenin and the Bolsheviks being German agents. Instead he perceived them to be revolutionary socialists who sought "to make the ignorant and incapable mass of humanity dominate the earth." The Bolsheviks wanted "to overthrow all existing governments and establish on the ruins a despotism of the proletariat in every country." Their appeal was to "a class which does not have property but hopes to obtain a share by process of government rather than by individual enterprise. This is of course a direct threat at existing social order [i.e., capitalism] in all countries." The danger was that it "may well appeal to the average man, who will not perceive the fundamental errors."

Almost four decades later, in 1953, President Dwight Eisenhower uttered a forbidden truth in his State of the Union message: "A serious and explicit purpose of our foreign policy [is] the encouragement of a hospitable climate for [private] investment in foreign nations."

In 1982, the elder George Bush, then vice-president in the Reagan administration, announced, "We want to maintain a favorable climate for foreign investment in the Caribbean region, not merely to protect the existing US investment there, but to encourage new investment opportunities in stable, democratic, free-market oriented countries close to our shores." Not only close to our shores but everywhere else, as, General Gray, commandant of the US Marines, observed in 1990, saying that the United States must have "unimpeded access" to "established and developing economic markets throughout the world."

President Clinton announced before the United Nations on September 27, 1993: "Our overriding purpose is to expand and strengthen the world's community of market-based democracies." And over the past decade US policymakers have repeatedly and explicitly demanded "free-market reforms" in one country after another in the former communist nations of Eastern Europe.

Far from being wedded to each other, as US leaders and opinion makers would have us believe, capitalism and democracy are often on a fatal collision course. US leaders find electoral democracy useful when it helps to destabilize one-party socialism and serves as a legitimating cloak for capitalist restoration. But when it becomes a barrier to an untrammeled capitalism, democracy runs into trouble.

... policymakers will not move against the system-sustaining material interests of the dominant corporate class.

... US politico-corporate elites have resorted to every conceivable subterfuge, coercion, and act of terrorist violence in their struggle to make the world safe for transnational corporate capital accumulation; to attain control of the markets, lands, natural resources, and cheap labor of all countries; and to prevent the emergence of revolutionary socialist, populist, or even nationalist regimes that challenge this arrangement by seeking to build alternative productive systems. The goal is to create a world populated by client states and compliant populations open to transnational corporate penetration on terms that are completely favorable to the penetrators. It is not too much to conclude that such a consistent and ruthless policy of global hegemony is produced not by dumb coincidence but by conscious design.

... US leaders seem more interested in taking advantage of terrorist attacks than in preventing the conditions that breed them. They have neither the interest nor the will to make the kind of major changes in policy needed to dilute the hatred that so many people around the world feel toward US power. For one thing, they have no interest in breaking the "cycle of violence" by refraining from massive aerial assaults that wreak death and destruction upon innocent civilian populations.

... violence is a serviceable instrument of ruling class control. That is why it is used so frequently and furiously. Violence is an effective resource of political power, one of the coercive instrumentalities used to convince others to submit to policies that are harmful to themselves but beneficial to the interests of global investors. US leaders often use violence or other forms of repressive coercion to destroy dissenting individuals, organizations, governments, and the living standards of whole societies ...

... US global policy is devoted to benefiting the few not the many. This global policy must be opposed not because it is a failure but because it has been so terribly successful in the service of the rich and powerful, at great cost to the American people and still greater cost to the peoples of many other lands.

... the Third World is capitalism at its best, at its freest, the place where it is least troubled by labor unions, high wages, work benefits, occupational safety regulations, consumer protections, environmental controls, costly social benefits, public sector services, business taxes, and other progressive taxes. For half a century, commentators have been talking about bringing the prosperity of the Western world to the Third World. What is overlooked is that the real goal has been the other way around: to bring the Third World to the Western world, rolling back the century of democratic gains won by working people in North America and Europe.

The struggle is between those who believe that the land, labor, capital, technology, markets, and natural resources of society should be used as expendable resources for transnational profit accumulation, and those who believe that such things should be used for the mutual benefit of the populace.

What we need is to move away from liberal complaints about how bad things are and toward a radical analysis that explains why they are so ...

Those who believe in democracy must not be taken in by the reactionism that cloaks itself in patriotic hype. They must continue in their determination to educate, organize, and act.

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