Tuesday, March 22, 2005


William Blum - American Imperialism

Through Uruknet I found this interesting article on American Imperialism, by William Blum, of which I post only a few short paragraphs:

There were also elections in Palestine in January, which occurred following the death of Yasser Arafat. Do the celebrators think that the United States was behind Arafat’s death as well? But here too, elections were held before; it’s how Arafat became president. Seumas Milne of The Guardian in London recently observed that elections would have taken place earlier than January if the US and Israel hadn’t known that Arafat was certain to win them. Milne adds: “The claim that democracy is on the march in the Middle East is a fraud. It is not democracy, but the US military, that is on the march.”{2}

And now, class: In 25 words or less explain why the UN, the US, France, Germany, Russia, Spain, and other nations are insisting that Syria leave Lebanon without delay while saying not a word about the US withdrawing from Iraq. There are most likely many more people in Lebanon who want the Syrians to stay than people in Iraq who want the US to stay, one reason being that Lebanon borders only on Syria and Israel.

What has distinguished the Bush administration’s foreign policy from that of its predecessors has been its unabashed and conspicuously overt expressions of its imperial ambitions. They flaunt it, publicly and proudly declaring their intention — nay, their God-inspired right and obligation — to remake the world in their own image. The utterly callous attitude toward human suffering that marks the current administration’s philosophy differs from Kennan’s cold-blooded amorality in that the Bushgang has rejected his advice and do indeed talk about human rights and democracy … ad infinitum. But so has every administration post World War II. Kennan was surprisingly out of tune with international public relations, or maybe he was just too honest to be a diplomat.

So why is the Bushgang so intent on encouraging democracy all over the world? Should that not be supported? Well, it depends on what you mean by democracy, or what the Bushgang means by it. I think that what Cheney, Bush, Rumsfeld, Rice, et al look for in a “democratic” third world country, or look to establish in that country, is that the government is corporate-friendly, that the society has the legal and financial institutions needed to remake the country so that it’s appealing to foreign investors, that it will play ball with the World Trade Organization, the IMF, and the rest of the international financial mafia, and most important, that it is a capitalist system, enterprise nice and free, none of this socialist crap. That’s what they mean by democracy. Least of all have they in mind any kind of economic democracy, the closing of the gap between the desperate poor and those for whom too much is not enough.


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