Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Anti-Empire Report--Courtesy Of William Blum:

In an email sent to me by the amazing author of "Rogue State", William Blum, he made some great points , as well as some advice for us 'Liberal's'--all which were spot-on & that I wish to relay to my readers here...

March 22nd, 2006

" I'm often told by readers of their encounters with Americans who support the outrages of US foreign policy no matter what facts are presented to them, no matter what arguments are made, no matter how much the goverment's statements are shown to be false. If these Americans have no other defense of the policies they will declare how glad they are that the United States rules and polices the world; better America than someone else. They include amongst their number those who still believe that Iraq had a direct involvement in the events of September 11th, that Saddam Hussein had close ties to al-Qaeda, and/or that weapons of mass destruction were indeed found in Iraq after the 2003 invasion.
My advice is to forget such people. They would support such outrages even if the goverment came to their homes, seized their first born, and hauled them away screaming, as long as the goverment assured them it was essential to fighting terrorism (or communism). My (very) rough guess is that they constitute no more than 15 percent of the population. I suggest that we concentrate on the rest, who are reachable.
Inasmuch as I can not see violent revolution succeeding in the United States (something deep inside tells me that we couldn't quite match the goverment's firepower, not to mention their viciousness), I can offer no solution to stopping the imperial monster other than increasing the number of those in the opposition until it reaches a critical mass; at which point...I can't predict the form the explosion will take.
So I'm speaking here of education, and in my writing and in my public talks I like to emphasize certain points which try to deal with the underlying intellectual misconceptions and emotional "hangups" I think Americans have which stand in the way of their seeing through the bullshit; this education can also take the form of demonstrations or acts of civil disobedience, whatever might cause a thaw in a frozen mind. Briefly, here are the main points:
(1) US foreign policy does not "mean well". It's not that American leaders have miscalculated, or blundered, causing great suffering, as in Iraq, while having noble intentions. Rather, while pursuing their imperial goals they simply do not care about the welfare of the foreign peoples who are on the receiving end of the bombing and the torture, and we should not let them get away with claiming such intentions.
(2) The United States is not concerned with this thing called "democracy", no matter how many times George W. uses the word each time he opens his mouth. In the past 60 years, the US has attempted to overthrow literally dozens of democratically-elected goverments, sometimes successfully, sometimes not, and grossly interfered in as many democratic elections in every corner of the world. The question is: What do the Busheviks mean by "democracy"? The last thing they have in mind is any kind of economic democracy, the closing of the gap between the desperate poor and those for whom too much is not enough. The first thing they have in mind is making sure the target country has the political, financial and legal mechanisms in place to make it hospitable to globalization.
(3) Anti-American terrorists are not motivated by hatred or envy of freedom or democracy, or by American wealth, secular goverment, or culture. They are motivated by decades of awful things done to their homelands by US foreign policy. It works the same all over the world. In the period of the 1950's to the 1980's in Latin America, in response to a long string of Washington's dreadful policies, there were countless acts of terrorism against US diplomatic and military targets as well as the offices of US corporations. The US bombing, invasion, occupation and torture in Iraq and Afghanistan have created thousands of new anti-American terrorists. We'll be hearing from them for a terribly long time.
(4) The United States is not actually against terrorism per se, only those terrorists who are not allies of the empire. There is a lengthy and infamous history of support for numerous anti-Castro terrorists, even when their terrorist acts were committed in the United States. At this moment, Luis Posada Carriles remains protected by the US goverment, though he masterminded the blowing up of a Cuban airplane that killed 73 people and his extradition has been requested by Venezuela. He's but one of hundreds of anti-Castro terrorists who've been given haven in the United States over the years. The United States has known connections to al-Qaeda, to further foreign policy goals more important than fighting terrorism.
(5) Iraq was not any kind of a threat to the United States. Of the never-ending lies concerning Iraq, this is the most insidious, the necessary foundation for all the other lies. This is the supposed justification for the preemptive invasion, for what the Nuremberg Tribunal called a war of aggression. Abscent such a threat, it didn't matter if Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, it didn't matter if the intelligence was right or wrong about this or that, or whether the Democrats also believed the lies. All that mattered was the Bush administration's claim that Iraq was an imminent threat to wreak some kind of great havoc upon America. But think about that. What possible reason could Saddam Hussein have had for attacking the United States other than an irresistible desire for mass national suicide?
(6) There was never any such animal as the International Communist Conspiracy. There were, as there still are, people living in misery, rising up in protest against their condition, against a oppressive goverment, a goverment usually supported by the United States.
(7) Conservatives, particularly of the neo-kind (far to the right on the political spectrum), and liberals (ever so slightly to the left of center) are not ideological polar opposites. Thus, watching a TV talk show on foreign policy with a conservative and a liberal is not "balanced"; a more appropriate balance to a conservative would be a left-wing radical or progressive. American liberals are typically closer to conservatives on foreign policy than they are to these groupings on the left, and the educational value of such "balanced" media can be more harmful than beneficial as far as seeing through the empire's motives and actions."

How to be (duh) happy:
" Renowned conservative writer George Will penned a column last month celebrating the fact that a survey showed that conservatives were happier than liberals or moderates. While 34 percent of all Americans call themselves "very happy", only 28 percent of liberal Democrats (and 31 percent of moderate or conservative Democrats) do, compared with 47 percent of conservative Republicans. Will asserted that the explanation for these poll results lies in the fact that conservatives are more pessimistic and less angry than liberals."

--Sappho's personal thought: Of course conservative Republicans are more "happy"..they roll around in their money all day with their blinders on, ignoring any & all problems the world is having. IGNORANCE IS BLISS!

" I would propose that one important reason conservatives may be happier is that their social conscience extends no farther than themselves and their immediate circle of friends or family. George Will gives not the slightest hint that the sad state of the world affects, or should affect, conservatives' happiness. In my own case, if my happiness were based soley on the objective conditions of my particular life--work, social relations, health, adventure, material comfort, etc--I could, without hesitation, say that I'm very happy. But I'm blessed/cursed with a social conscience that assails my tranquility. Reading the hundred varieties of daily horrors in my morning newspaper--the cruelty of man, the cruelty of nature, the cruelty of chance--I'm frozen in despair and anger. Often, what makes it hardest to take is that my own goverment, at home and abroad, directly and indirectly, is responsible for more of the misery than any other human agent. I would have been incredulous, during the first half of my life, to think that one day my own goverment would scare me so. But if I were a conservative, I could take great comfort, even happiness, in convincing myself that it's largely "the bad guys" who are being hurt and that all these horrors are for the purpose of extending democracy, freedom, and other joys to the dark corners of the world. And at a profit."