William Blum

Web: www.killinghope.org  http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com

[2010 Oct] The Anti-Empire Report by William Blum

[2008] The Real Drug Lords: A brief history of CIA involvement in the Drug Trade By William Blum

[1996] The CIA, Contras, Gangs, and Crack by William Blum

[2003] Guatemala 1953-1954 by William Blum

[2003] Nicaragua 1981-1990 by William Blum

[2001] The Bombing of PanAm Flight 103. Case Not Closed by William Blum

[2003] Killing Hope by William Blum

A terrorist is someone who has a bomb but doesn't have an air force.-- William Blum

[2010 Oct] The Anti-Empire Report by William Blum  since the end of World War Two the United States has: Endeavored to overthrow more than 50 foreign governments, most of which were democratically-elected.  Grossly interfered in democratic elections in at least 30 countries.  Waged war/military action, either directly or in conjunction with a proxy army, in some 30 countries.  Attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders.  Dropped bombs on the people of some 30 countries. Suppressed dozens of populist/nationalist movements in every corner of the world.

"No matter how paranoid or conspiracy-minded you are, what the government is actually doing is worse than you imagine."--William Blum

The contras' brutality earned them a wide notoriety. They regularly destroyed health centers, schools, agricultural cooperatives, and community centers-symbols of the Sandinistas' social programs in rural areas. People caught in these assaults were often tortured and killed in the most gruesome ways. One example, reported by The Guardian of London, suffices. In the words of a survivor of a raid in Jinotega province, which borders on Honduras: "Rosa had her breasts cut off. Then they cut into her chest and took out her heart. The men had their arms broken, their testicles cut off, and their eyes poked out They were killed by slitting their throats and pulling the tongue out through the slit." [2003] Nicaragua 1981-1990 by William Blum

In all these paradigms, "communist" is often no more than the name ascribed to those people who stand in the way of the realization of such ambitions (as "national security" is the name given for the reason for fighting "communists"). It is another twist of the old adage: if communists didn't exist, the United States would have to invent them. And so they have. The word "communist" (as well as "Marxist") has been so overused and so abused by American leaders and the media as to render it virtually meaningless. (The left has done the same to the word "fascist".) But merely having a name for something - witches or flying saucers-attaches a certain credence to it. Introduction to Killing Hope by William Blum

In the midst of the American preparation to overthrow the government, the Guatemalan Foreign Minister, Guillermo Toriello, lamented that the United States was categorizing "as 'communism' every manifestation of nationalism or economic independence any desire for social progress, any intellectual curiosity, and any interest in progressive liberal reforms." [2003] Guatemala 1953-1954 by William Blum

During the Cold War, Washington officials of course couldn't say that they were intervening to block social change, so they called it fighting communism, fighting a communist conspiracy, and of course fighting for freedom and democracy. Just like now the White House can't say that it invaded Iraq to expand the empire, or for the oil, or for the corporations, or for Israel, so it says it's fighting terrorism.
    The word "communist" was used exceptionally loosely during the Cold War, just as the word "terrorist" is used these days; or "al-Qaeda"-almost every individual or group that Washington wants to stigmatize is charged with being a member of al-Qaeda, as if there's a precise and meaningful distinction between people retaliating against American imperialism while being a member of al-Qaeda and people retaliating against American imperialism while not being a member of al-Qaeda; as if al-Qaeda gives out membership cards to fit into your wallet, as if there are chapters of al-Qaeda that put out a weekly newsletter, and hold a potluck on the first Monday of each month.
    U.S. policies keep creating new anti-American terrorists, whom Washington calls al-Qaeda, which justifies continuing the same policies to fight the new al-Qaeda terrorists.----William Blum

Following its bombing of Iraq in 1991, the United States wound up with military bases in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates. Following its bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999, the United States wound up with military bases in Kosovo, Albania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Hungary, Bosnia, and Croatia.
    Following its bombing of Afghanistan in 2001-02, the United States wound up with military bases in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Georgia, Yemen, and Djibouti. Following its bombing and invasion of Iraq in 2003, the United States wound up with Iraq.
    This is not very subtle foreign policy. Certainly not covert. The men who run the American Empire are not easily embarrassed.
    And that's the way the empire grows-a base in every region, ready to be mobilized to put down any threat to imperial rule, real or imagined. Sixty-two years after World War Two ended, the United States still has major bases in Germany and Japan; fifty-four years after the end of the Korean War, tens of thousands of American armed forces continue to be stationed in South Korea.----William Blum

Since World War Two the United States has attempted to overthrow more than fifty foreign governments, it has dropped bombs on the people of around thirty countries, has attempted to assassinate some sixty foreign leaders, helped to suppress dozens of populist or nationalist movements, has tortured many thousands, and seriously and illegally intervened in one way or another in virtually every country on the planet, in the process of which the U.S. has caused the end of life for several million people, and condemned many millions more to a life of agony and despair.

I like to ask the question: What does U.S. foreign policy have in common with Mae West, the Hollywood sexpot of the 1940s? The story is told of a visitor to her mansion, who looked around and said: "My goodness, what a beautiful home you have." And Mae West replied: "Goodness has nothing to do with it." And that's one of the important points I try to make about U.S. foreign policy-goodness has nothing to do with it.----William Blum

The two laws of politics that came out of the Watergate scandal of the 1970s, which I like to cite.
The First Watergate Law of American Politics states: "No matter how paranoid you are, what the government is actually doing is worse than you imagine."
    The Second Watergate Law states: "Don't believe anything until it's been officially denied."  Both laws are still on the books.

"Our leaders are cruel because only those willing to be inordinately cruel and remorseless can hold positions of leadership in the foreign policy establishment. People capable of expressing a full human measure of compassion and empathy toward faraway powerless strangers 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."--William Blum

"[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."  [2003] Killing Hope by William Blum