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century, the United States attempted to overthrow more than 40 foreign governments, and
to crush more than 30 populist-nationalist movements struggling against intolerable
regimes. In the process, the US caused the end of life for several million people, and
condemned many millions more to a life of agony and despair.

As I write this in Washington, DC, in April 1999, the United States is busy saving
Yugoslavia. Bombing a modern, sophisticated society back to a pre-industrial age. And
The Great American Public, in its infinite wisdom, is convinced that its government is
motivated by "humanitarian" impulses.

Washington is awash with foreign dignitaries here to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the
North Atlantic Treaty Organization, three days of unprecedented pomp and circumstance.
The prime ministers, presidents and foreign ministers, despite their rank, are delighted to
be included amongst the schoolyard bully's close friends. Private corporations are
funding the opulent weekend; a dozen of them paying $250,000 apiece to have one of
their executives serve as a director on the NATO Summit's host committee. Many of the
same firms lobbied hard to expand NATO by adding the Czech Republic, Hungary and
Poland, each of which will be purchasing plentiful quantities of military hardware from
these companies.

This marriage of NATO and the transnationals is the foundation of the New World Order,
the name George Bush gave to the American Empire. The credibility of the New World
Order depends upon the world believing that the new world will be a better one for the
multitude of humanity, not just for those for whom too much is not enough, and believing
that the leader of the New World Order, the United States, means well.

Let's have a short look at some modern American history, which may be instructive. A
congressional report of 1994 informed us that:

Approximately 60,000 military personnel were used as human subjects in the 1940s to
test two chemical agents, mustard gas and lewisite [blister gas]. Most of these subjects
were not informed of the nature of the experiments and never received medical followup
after their participation in the research. Additionally, some of these human subjects were
threatened with imprisonment at Fort Leavenworth if they discussed these experiments
with anyone, including their wives, parents and family doctors. For decades, the Pentagon
denied that the research had taken place, resulting in decades of suffering for many
veterans who became ill after the secret testing.1

Now let's skip ahead to the 1990s. Many thousands of American soldiers came home
from the Gulf War with unusual, debilitating ailments. Exposure to harmful chemical or
biological agents was suspected, but the Pentagon denied that this had occurred. Years
went by while the GIs suffered terribly: neurological problems, chronic fatigue, skin
problems, scarred lungs, memory loss, muscle and joint pain, severe headaches,
personality changes, passing out and much more. Eventually, the Pentagon, inch by inch,
was forced to move away from its denials and admit that, yes, chemical weapon depots
had been bombed; then, yes, there probably were releases of the deadly poisons; then,
yes, American servicemen were indeed in the vicinity of these poisonous releases, 400
soldiers; then, it might have been 5,000; then, "a very large number", probably more than
15,000; then, finally, a precise number”20,867; then, "The Pentagon announced that a
long-awaited computer model estimates that nearly 100,000 U.S. soldiers could have
been exposed to trace amounts of sarin gas..."2

Soldiers were also forced to take vaccines against anthrax and nerve gas not approved by
the FDA as safe and effective, and punished, sometimes treated like criminals, if they
refused. (During World War II, US soldiers were forced to take a yellow fever vaccine,
with the result that some 330,000 of them were infected with the hepatitis B virus.3)
Finally, in late 1999, almost nine years after the Gulf War's end, the Defense Department
announced that a drug given to soldiers to protect them against a particular nerve gas
"cannot be ruled out" as a cause of lingering illnesses in some veterans.4

The Pentagon brass, moreover, did not warn American soldiers of the grave danger of
being in close proximity to expended depleted uranium weapons on the battlefield.

If the Pentagon had been much more forthcoming from the outset about what it knew all
along about these various substances and weapons, the soldiers might have had a proper
diagnosis early on and received appropriate care sooner. The cost in terms of human
suffering was incalculable. One gauge of that cost may lie in the estimate that one-third
of the homeless in America are military veterans.

And in the decades between the 1940s and 1990s, what do we find? A remarkable
variety of government programs, either formally, or in effect, using soldiers as guinea
pigs”marched to nuclear explosion sites, with pilots then sent through the mushroom
clouds; subjected to chemical and biological weapons experiments; radiation
experiments; behavior modification experiments that washed their brains with LSD;
exposure to the dioxin of Agent Orange in Korea and Vietnam...the list goes on...literally
millions of experimental subjects, seldom given a choice or adequate information, often
with disastrous effects to their physical and/or mental health, rarely with proper medical
care or even monitoring,5

The moral of this little slice of history is simple: If the United States government does not
care about the health and welfare of its own soldiers, if our leaders are not moved by the
prolonged pain and suffering of the wretched warriors enlisted to fight the empire's wars,
how can it be argued, how can it be believed, that they care about foreign peoples? At all.

When the Dalai Lama was asked by a CIA officer in 1995: "Did we do a good or bad
thing in providing this support [to the Tibetans]?", the Tibetan spiritual leader replied that
though it helped the morale of those resisting the Chinese, "thousands of lives were lost
in the, resistance" and that "the U.S. Government had involved itself in his country's
affairs not to help Tibet but only as a Cold War tactic to challenge the Chinese."6

"Let me tell you about the very rich," wrote E Scott Fitzgerald. "They are different from
you and me."

So are our leaders.

Consider Zbigniew Brzezinski, national security adviser to Jimmy Carter. In a 1998
interview he admitted that the official story that the US gave military aid to the
Afghanistan opposition only after the Soviet invasion in 1979 was a lie. The truth was, he
said, that the US began aiding the Islamic fundamentalist Moujahedeen six months before
the Russians made their move, even though he believed”and told this to Carter”that
"this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention".

Brzezinski was asked whether he regretted this decision.
Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the
Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets
officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter: We now have the opportunity of
giving to the USSR its Vietnam War. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry
on a war unsupportable by the government, a conflict that brought about the
demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire.7

Besides the fact that there is no demonstrable connection between the Afghanistan war
and the breakup of the Soviet empire, we are faced with the consequences of that war: the
defeat of a government committed to bringing the extraordinarily backward nation into
the 20th century; the breathtaking carnage; Moujahedeen torture that even US
government officials called "indescribable horror"8; half the population either dead,
disabled or refugees; the spawning of thousands of Islamic fundamentalist terrorists who
have unleashed atrocities in numerous countries; and the unbelievable repression of
women in Afghanistan, instituted by America's wartime allies.

And for playing a key role in causing all this, Zbigniew Brzezinski has no regrets.
Regrets? The man is downright proud of it! The kind-est thing one can say about such a
person”as about a sociopath”is that he's amoral At least in his public incarnation,
which is all we're concerned with here. In medieval times he would have been called
Zbigniew the Terrible.

And what does this tell us about Jimmy Carter, whom many people think of as perhaps
the only halfway decent person to occupy the White House since Roosevelt? Or is it
Lincoln?

In 1977, when pressed by journalists about whether the US had a moral obligation to help
rebuild Vietnam, President Carter responded: "Well, the destruction was mutual."9
(Perhaps when he observed the devastation of the South Bronx later that year, he was
under the impression that it had been caused by Vietnamese bombing.)

In the now-famous exchange on TV between Madeleine Albright and reporter Lesley
Stahl, the latter was speaking of US sanctions against Iraq, and asked the then-US
ambassador to the UN: "We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean,
that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And”and you know, is the price worth it?"

Replied Albright: "I think this is a very hard choice, but the price”we think the price is
worth it."10

One can give Albright the absolute full benefit of any doubt and say that she had no
choice but to defend administration policy. But what kind of person is it who takes a job
appointment knowing full well that she will be an integral part of such ongoing policies
and will be expected to defend them without apology? Not long afterwards, Albright was
appointed Secretary of State.
Lawrence Summers is another case in point. In December 1991, while chief economist
for the World Bank, he wrote an internal memo saying that the Bank should encourage
migration of "the dirty industries" to the less-developed countries because, amongst other
reasons, health-impairing and death-causing pollution costs would be lower. Inasmuch as
these costs are based on the lost earnings of the affected workers, in a country of very low
wages the computed costs would be much lower. "I think," he wrote, "the economic logic
behind dumping a load of toxic waste in the lowest-wage country is impeccable and we
should face up to that."11 Despite this memo receiving wide distribution and
condemnation, Summers, in 1999, was appointed Secretary of the Treasury by President
Clinton. This was a promotion from being Undersecretary of the Treasury”for
international affairs.

We also have Clinton himself, who on day 33 of the aerial devastation of Yugoslavia”
33 days and nights of destroying villages, schools, hospitals, apartment buildings, the
ecology, separating people from their limbs, from their eyesight, spilling their intestines,
traumatizing children for the rest of their days... destroying a life the Serbians will never
know again”on day 33 William Jefferson Clinton, cautioning against judging the
bombing policy prematurely, saw fit to declare: "This may seem like a long time. [But] I
don't think that this air campaign has been going on a particularly long time."12 And then
the man continued it another 45 days.

Clinton's vice president, Albert Gore, appeared eminently suitable to succeed him to the
throne. In 1998, he put great pressure on South Africa, threatening trade sanctions if the
government didn't cancel plans to use much cheaper generic AIDS drugs, which would
cut into US companies' sales.13 South Africa, it should be noted, has about three million
HIV-positive persons among its largely impoverished population. When Gore, who at the
time had significant ties to the drug industry,14 was heckled for what he had done during
a speech in New York, he declined to respond in substance, but instead called out: "I love
this country. I love the First Amendment."15

It's interesting to note that when Madeleine Albright was heckled in Columbus, Ohio in
February 1998, while defending the administration's Iraq policy, she yelled: "We are the
greatest country in the world!"

Patriotism is indeed the last refuge of a scoundrel, though Gore's and Albright's words
don't quite have the ring of "Deutschland über alles" or "Rule Britannia".

In 1985, Ronald Reagan, demonstrating the preeminent intellect for which he was
esteemed, tried to show how totalitarian the Soviet Union was by declaring: "I'm no
linguist, but I've been told that in the Russian language there isn't even a word for
'freedom'."16 In light of the above cast of characters and their declarations, can we ask if
there's a word in American English for "embarrassment"?

No, it is not simply that power corrupts and dehumanizes.

Neither is it that US foreign policy is cruel because American leaders are cruel.
It's that our leaders are cruel because only those willing and able to be inordinately cruel
and remorseless can hold positions of leadership in the foreign policy establishment; it
might as well be written into the job description. People capable of expressing a full
human measure of compassion and empathy toward faraway powerless strangers”let
alone American soldiers”do not become president of the United States, or vice
president, or secretary of state, or national security adviser or secretary of the treasury.
Nor do they want to.

There's a sort of Peter Principle at work here. Laurence Peter wrote that in a hierarchy
every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence. Perhaps we can postulate that
in a foreign policy estab-lishment committed to imperialist domination by any means
necessary, employees tend to rise to the level of cruelty they can live with.

A few days after the bombing of Yugoslavia had ended, the New York Times published
as its lead article in the Sunday Week in Review, a piece by Michael Wines, which
declared that "Human rights had been elevated to a military priority and a preeminent
Western value...The war only underscored the deep ideological divide between an
idealistic New World bent on ending inhumanity and an Old World equally fatalistic
about unending conflict...there is also a yawning gap between the West and much of the
world on the value of a single life."

And so on. A paean to the innate goodness of the West, an ethos unfortunately not shared
by much of the rest of the world, who, Wines lamented, "just don't buy into Western
notions of rights and responsibilities."17 The Times fed us this morality tale after "the
West" had just completed the most ferocious sustained bombing of a nation in the history
of the planet, a small portion of whose dreadful consequences are referred to above.

During the American bombing of Iraq in 1991, the previous record for sustained
ferociousness, a civilian air raid shelter was destroyed by a depleted-uranium projectile,
incinerating to charred blackness many hundreds of people, a great number of them
women and children. White House spokesman Marlin Fitzwater, reiterating US military
statements that the shelter had been a command-and-control center, said: "We don't know
why civilians were at that location, but we do know that Saddam Hussein does not share
our value for the sanctity of human life."18

Similarly, during the Vietnam War, President Johnson and other government officials
assured us that Asians don't have the same high regard for human life as Americans do.
We were told this, of course, as American bombs, napalm, Agent Orange and helicopter
gunships were disintegrating the Vietnamese and their highly regarded lives.

And at the same time, on a day in February 1966, David Lawrence, the editor of US
News & World Report, was moved to put the following words to paper: "What the
United States is doing in Vietnam is the most significant example of philanthropy
extended by one people to another that we have witnessed in our times."
I sent Mr. Lawrence a copy of a well-done pamphlet entitled American Atrocities in
Vietnam, which gave graphic detail of its subject. To this I attached a note which first
repeated Lawrence's quotation with his name below it, then added: "One of us is crazy,"
followed by my name.

Lawrence responded with a full page letter, at the heart of which was: "I think a careful
reading of it [the pamphlet] will prove the point I was trying to make”namely that
primitive peoples with savagery in their hearts have to be helped to understand the true
basis of a civilized existence."

The American mind”as exemplified by that of Michael Wines and David Lawrence”is,
politically, so deeply formed that to liberate it would involve uncommon, and as yet
perhaps undiscovered, philosophical and surgical skill. The great majority of Americans,
even the most cynical”who need no convincing that the words that come out of a
politician's mouth are a blend of mis-, dis-and non-information, and should always carry
a veracity health warning”appear to lose their critical faculties when confronted by "our
boys who are risking their lives". If love is blind, patriotism has lost all five senses.

To the extent that the cynicism of these Americans is directed toward their government's
habitual foreign adventures, it's to question whether the administration's stated
interpretation of a situation is valid, whether the stated goals are worthwhile, and whether
the stated goals can be achieved”but not to question the government's motivation. It is
assumed a priori that our leaders mean well by the foreign people involved”no matter
how much death, destruction and suffering their policies objectively result in.

Congressman Otis Pike (R.-NY) headed a committee in 1975 which uncovered a number
of dark covert actions of US foreign policy, many of which were leaked to the public,
while others remained secret. In an interview he stated that any member of Congress
could see the entire report if he agreed not to reveal anything that was in it. "But not
many want to read it," he added.

"Why?" asked his interviewer.

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