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What is an appropropriate response?
Political and philosophical considerations after the attack on the Word Trade Center



Why has the United States government supported counterinsurgency in 
Colombia, Guatemala, El Salvador, and many other places around the world, 
at such a loss of human life to the populations of those nations? Why did 
it invade tiny Grenada and then Panama? Why did it support mercenary wars 
against progressive governments in Nicaragua, Mozambique, Angola, Ethiopia,
Afghanistan, Indonesia, East Timor, Western Sahara, South Yemen, and 
elsewhere? Is it because our leaders want to save democracy? Are they 
concerned about the well-being of these defenseless peoples? Is our 
national security threatened? I shall try to show that the arguments given
to justify U.S. policies are false ones. But this does not mean the 
policies themselves are senseless. American intervention may seem "
wrongheaded" but, in fact, it is fairly consistent and horribly successful.

The history of the United States has been one of territorial and economic 
expansionism, with the benefits going mostly to the U.S. business class in
the form of growing investments and markets, access to rich natural 
resources and cheap labor, and the accumulation of enormous profits. The 
American people have had to pay the costs of empire, supporting a huge 
military establishment with their taxes, while suffering the loss of jobs,
the neglect of domestic services, and the loss of tens of thousands of 
American lives in overseas military ventures.

The greatest costs, of course, have been borne by the peoples of the Third
World who have endured poverty, pillage, disease, dispossession, 
exploitation, illiteracy, and the widespread destruction of their lands, 
cultures, and lives.

As a relative latecomer to the practice of colonialism, the United States 
could not match the older European powers in the acquisition of overseas 
territories. But the United States was the earliest and most consummate 
practitioner of neoimperialism or neocolonialism, the process of 
dominating the politico-economic life of a nation without benefit of 
direct possession. Almost half a century before the British thought to 
give a colonized land its nominal independence, as in India-while 
continuing to exploit its labor and resources, and dominate its markets 
and trade-the United States had perfected this practice in Cuba and 

In places like the Philippines, Haiti, and Nicaragua, and when dealing 
with Native American nations, U.S. imperialism proved itself as brutal as 
the French in Indochina, the Belgians in the Congo, the Spaniards in South
America, the Portuguese in Angola, the Italians in Libya, the Germans in 
Southwest Africa, and the British almost everywhere else. Not long ago, 
U.S. military forces delivered a destruction upon Vietnam, Laos, and 
Cambodia that surpassed anything perpetuated by the older colonizers. And 
today, the U.S. counterinsurgency apparatus and surrogate security forces 
in Latin America and elsewhere sustain a system of political assassination,
torture, and repression unequaled in technological sophistication and 

All this is common knowledge to progressive critics of U.S policy, but 
most Americans would be astonished to hear of it. They have been taught 
that, unlike other nations, their country has escaped the sins of empire 
and has been a champion of peace and justice among nations. This enormous 
gap between what the United States does in the world and what Americans 
think their nation is doing is one of the great propaganda accomplishments
of the dominant political mythology. It should be noted, though, that 
despite the endless propaganda barrage emanating from official sources and
the corporate-owned major media, large sectors of the public have 
throughout U.S. history displayed an anti-interventionist sentiment, an 
unwillingness to commit U.S. troops to overseas actions-a sentiment 
facilely labeled "isolationism" by the interventionists.

The Rational Function of Policy Myths

Within U.S. ruling circles there are differences of opinion regarding 
interventionist policy. There are conservatives who complain that U.S. 
policy is plagued by weakness and lacks toughness and guts and all the 
other John Wayne virtues. And there are liberals who say U.S. policy is 
foolish and relies too heavily on military solutions and should be more 
flexible and co-optive when protecting and advancing the interests of the 
United States (with such interests usually left unspecified).

A closer look reveals that U.S. foreign policy is neither weak nor foolish,
but on the contrary is rational and remarkably successful in reproducing
the conditions for the continued international expropriation of wealth, and
that while it has suffered occasional setbacks, the people who run the 
foreign policy establishment in Washington know what they are doing and 
why they are doing it.

If the mythology they offer as justification for their policies seems 
irrational, this does not mean that the policies themselves are irrational
from the standpoint of the class interests of those who pursue such 
policies. This is true of domestic myths and policies as well as those 
pertaining to foreign policy. Once we grasp this, we can see how notions 
and arrangements that are harmful, wasteful, indeed, destructive of human 
and social values-and irrational from a human and social viewpoint-are not
irrational for global finance capital because the latter has no dedication 
to human and social values. Capitalism has no loyalty to anything but 
itself, to the accumulation of wealth. Once we understand that, we can see
the cruel rationality of the seemingly irrational myths that Washington 
policy makers peddle. Some times what we see as irrational is really the 
discrepancy between what the myth wants us to believe and what is true. 
But again this does not mean the interests served are stupid or irrational,
as the liberals like to complain. There is a difference between 
confusion and deception, a difference between stupidity and subterfuge. 
Once we understand the underlying class interests of the ruling circles, 
we will be less mystified by their myths.

A myth is not an idle tale or a fanciful story but a powerful cultural 
force used to legitimate existing social relations. The interventionist 
mythology does just that, by emphasizing a community of interests between 
interventionists in Washington and the American people when in fact there 
is none, and by blurring over the question of who pays and who profits 
from U.S. global interventionism.

The mythology has been with us for so long and much of it sufficiently 
internalized by the public as to be considered part of the political 
culture. The interventionist mythology, like all other cultural beliefs, 
does not just float about in space. It must be mediated through a social 
structure. The national media play a crucial role in making sure that no 
fundamentally critical views of the rationales underlying and justifying 
U.S. policy gain national exposure. A similar role is played by the 
various institutes and policy centers linked to academia and, of course, 
by political lead ers themselves.

Saving Democracy with Tyranny

Our leaders would have us believe we intervened in Nicaragua, for instance,
because the Sandinista government was opposed to democracy. The U.S.-
supported invasion by right-wing Nicaraguan mercenaries was an "effort to 
bring them to elections." Putting aside the fact that the Sandinistas had 
already conducted fair and open elections in 1984, we might wonder why U.S.
leaders voiced no such urgent demand for free elections and 
Western-style parliamentarism during the fifty years that the Somoza 
dictatorship-installed and supported by the United States-plundered and 
brutalized the Nicaraguan nation. Nor today does Washington show any great
concern for democracy in any of the U.S.-backed dictatorships around the 
world (unless one believes that the electoral charade in a country like El
Salvador qualifies as "democracy").

If anything, successive U.S. administrations have worked hard to subvert 
constitutional and popularly accepted governments that pursued policies of
social reform favorable to the downtrodden and working poor. Thus the U.S. 
national security state was instrumental in the overthrow of popular 
reformist leaders such as Arbenz in Guatemala, Jagan in Guyana, Mossadegh 
in Iran, Bosch in the Dominican Republic, Sukarno in Indonesia, Goulart in
Brazil, and Allende in Chile. And let us not forget how the United States 
assisted the militarists in overthrowing democratic governments in Greece,
Uruguay, Bolivia, Pakistan, Thailand, and Turkey. Given this record, it is 
hard to believe that the CIA trained, armed, and financed an expeditionary
force of Somocista thugs and mercenaries out of a newly acquired concern 
for Western-style electoral politics in Nicaragua.

In defense of the undemocratic way U.S. leaders go about "saving
democracy," our policy makers offer this kind of sophistry: "We cannot
always pick and choose our allies. Sometimes we must support unsavory
right-wing authoritarian regimes in order to prevent the spread of far
more repressive totalitarian communist ones." But surely, the degree of 
repression cannot be the criterion guiding White House policy, for the 
United States has supported some of the worst butchers in the world: 
Batista in Cuba, Somoza in Nicaragua, the Shah in Iran, Salazar in 
Portugal, Marcos in the Philippines, Pinochet in Chile, Zia in Pakistan, 
Evren in Turkey, and even Pol Pot in Cambodia. In the 1965 Indonesian coup,
the military slaughtered 500,000 people, according to the Indonesian 
chief of security (New York Times, 12/21/77; some estimates run twice as 
high), but this did not deter U.S. leaders from assisting in that takeover
or from maintaining cozy relations with the same Jakarta regime that 
subsequently perpetuated a campaign of repression and mass extermination 
in East Timor.

U.S. leaders and the business-owned mainstream press describe "Marxist 
rebels" in countries like El Salvador as motivated by a lust for conquest.
Our leaders would have us believe that revolutionaries do not seek power in
order to eliminate hunger; they simply hunger for power. But even if this 
were true, why would that be cause for opposing them? Washington policy 
makers have never been bothered by the power appetites of the "moderate" 
right-wing authoritarian executionists, torturers, and militarists.

In any case, it is not true that leftist governments are more repressive 
than fascist ones. The political repression under the Sandinistas in 
Nicaragua was far less than what went on under Somoza. The political 
repression in Castro's Cuba is mild compared to the butchery perpetrated 
by the free-market Batista regime. And the revolutionary government in 
Angola treats its people much more gently than did the Portuguese 

Furthermore, in a number of countries successful social revolutionary 
movements have brought a net increase in individual freedom and well-being
by advancing the conditions for health and human life, by providing jobs 
and education for the unemployed and illiterate, by using economic 
resources for social development rather than for corporate profit, and by 
overthrowing brutal reactionary regimes, ending foreign exploitation, and 
involving large sectors of the populace in the task of rebuilding their 
countries. Revolutions can extend a number of real freedoms without 
destroying those freedoms that never existed under prior reactionary 

Who Threatens Whom?

Our policy makers also argue that right-wing governments, for all their 
deficiencies, are friendly toward the United States, while communist ones 
are belligerent and therefore a threat to U.S. security. But, in truth, 
every Marxist or left-leaning country, from a great power like the Soviet 
Union to a small power like Vietnam or Nicaragua to a minipower like 
Grenada under the New Jewel Movement, sought friendly diplomatic and 
economic relations with the United States. These governments did so not 
necessarily out of love and affection for the United States, but because 
of something firmer-their own self-interest. As they themselves admitted, 
their economic development and political security would have been much 
better served if they could have enjoyed good relations with Washington.

If U.S. Ieaders justify their hostility toward leftist governments on the 
grounds that such nations are hostile toward us, what becomes the 
justification when these countries try to be friendly? When a newly 
established revolutionary or otherwise dissident regime threatens U.S. 
hegemonic globalists with friendly relations, this does pose a problem. 
The solution is to (1) launch a well-orchestrated campaign of 
disinformation that heaps criticism on the new government for imprisoning 
the butchers, assassins, and torturers of the old regime and for failing 
to institute Western electoral party politics; (2) denounce the new 
government as a threat to our peace and security; (3) harass and 
destabilize it and impose economic sanctions; and (4) attack it with 
counterrevolutionary surrogate forces or, if necessary, U.S. troops. Long 
before the invasion, the targeted country responds with angry 
denunciations of U.S. policy. It moves closer to other "outlawed" nations 
and attempts to build up its military defenses in anticipation of a U.S.-
sponsored attack. These moves are eagerly seized upon by U.S. officials 
and media as evidence of the other country's antagonism toward the United 
States, and as justification for the policies that evoked such responses.

Yet it is difficult to demonstrate that small countries like Grenada and 
Nicaragua are a threat to U.S. security. We remember the cry of the hawk 
during the Vietnam war: "If we don't fight the Vietcong in the jungles of 
Indochina, we will have to fight them on the beaches of California." The 
image of the Vietnamese getting into their PT boats and crossing the 
Pacific to invade California was, as Walter Lippmann noted at the time, a 
grievous insult to the U.S. Navy. The image of a tiny ill-equipped 
Nicaraguan army driving up through Mexico and across the Rio Grande in 
order to lay waste to our land is equally ludicrous. The truth is, the 
Vietnamese, Cubans, Grenadians, and Nicaraguans have never invaded the 
United States; it is the United States that has invaded Vietnam, Cuba, 
Grenada, and Nicaragua, and it is our government that continues to try to 
isolate, destabilize, and in other ways threaten any country that tries to
drop out of the global capitalist system or even assert an economic 
nationalism within it.

Remember the Red Menace

For many decades of cold war, when all other arguments failed, there was 
always the Russian bear. According to our cold warriors, small leftist 
countries and insurgencies threatened our security because they were 
extensions of Soviet power. Behind the little Reds there supposedly stood 
the Giant Red Menace. Evidence to support this global menace thesis was 
sometimes farfetched. President Carter and National Security Advisor 
Brezinski suddenly discovered a "Soviet combat brigade" in Cuba in 1979- 
which turned out to be a noncombat unit that had been there since 1962. 
This did not stop President Reagan from announcing to a joint session of 
Congress several years later: "Cuba is host to a Soviet combat brigade...."

In 1983, in a nationally televised speech, Reagan pointed to satellite 
photos that revealed the menace of three Soviet helicopters in Nicaragua. 
Sandinista officials subsequently noted that the helicopters could be seen
by anyone arriving at Managua airport and, in any case, posed no military 
threat to the United States. Equally ingenious was the way Reagan 
transformed a Grenadian airport, built to accommodate direct tourist 
flights, into a killer-attack Soviet forward base, and a twenty-foot-deep 
Grenadian inlet into a potential Soviet submarine base.

In 1967 Secretary of State Dean Rusk argued that U.S. national security 
was at stake in Vietnam because the Vietnamese were puppets of "Red China"
and if China won in Vietnam, it would overrun all of Asia and this 
supposedly would be the beginning of the end for all of us. Later we were 
told that the Salvadoran rebels were puppets of the Sandinistas in 
Nicaragua who were puppets of the Cubans who were puppets of the Russians.
In truth, there was no evidence that Third World peoples took up arms and 
embarked upon costly revolutionary struggles because some sinister 
ringmaster in Moscow or Peking cracked the whip. Revolutions are not 
push-button affairs; rather, they evolve only if there exits a reservoir 
of hope and grievance that can be galvanized into popular action. 
Revolutions are made when large segments of the population take courage 
from each other and stand up to an insufferable social order. People are 
inclined to endure great abuses before risking their lives in 
confrontations with vastly superior armed forces. There is no such thing 
as a frivolous revolution, or a revolution initiated and orchestrated by a
manipulative cabal residing in a foreign capital.

Nor is there evidence that once the revolution succeeded, the new leaders 
placed the interests of their country at the disposal of Peking or Moscow.
Instead of becoming the willing puppets of "Red China," as our policy 
makers predicted, Vietnam found itself locked in combat with its neighbor 
to the north. And, as noted earlier, almost every Third World 
revolutionary country has tried to keep its options open and has sought 
friendly diplomatic and economic relations with the United States.

Why then do U.S. Ieaders intervene in every region and almost every nation
in the world, either overtly with U.S. military force or covertly with 
surrogate mercenary forces, death squads, aid, bribes, manipulated media, 
and rigged elections? Is all this intervention just an outgrowth of a 
deeply conditioned anticommunist ideology? Are U.S. Ieaders responding to 
the public's longstanding phobia about the Red Menace? Certainly many 
Americans are anticommunist, but this sentiment does not translate into a 
demand for overseas interventionism. Quite the contrary. Opinion polls 
over the last half-century have shown repeatedly that the U.S. public is 
not usually supportive of com mitting U.S. forces in overseas engagements 
and prefers friendly relations with other nations, including communist 
ones. Far from galvanizing our leaders into interventionist actions, 
popular opinion has been one of the few restraining influences.

There is no denying, however, that opinion can sometimes be successfully 
manipulated by jingoist ventures. The invasion of Grenada and the 
slaughter perpetrated against Iraq are cases in point. The quick, easy, 
low-cost wins reaffirmed for some Americans the feeling that we were not 
weak and indecisive, not sitting ducks to some foreign prey. But even in 
these cases, it took an intensive and sustained propaganda barrage of 
half-truths and lies by the national security state and its faithful 
lackeys in the national media to muster some public support for military 
actions against Grenada and Iraq.

In sum, various leftist states do not pose a military threat to U.S. 
security; instead, they want to trade and live in peace with us, and are 
much less abusive and more helpful toward their people than the 
reactionary regimes they replaced. In addition, U.S. Ieaders have shown 
little concern for freedom in the Third World and have helped subvert 
democracy in a number of nations. And popular opinion generally opposes 
interventionism by lopsided majorities. What then motivates U.S. policy 
and how can we think it is not confused and contradictory?

The answer is that Marxist and other leftist or revolutionary states do 
pose a real threat, not to the United States as a national entity and not 
to the American people as such, but to the corporate and financial 
interests of our country, to Exxon and Mobil, Chase Manhattan and First 
National, Ford and General Motors, Anaconda and U.S. Steel, and to 
capitalism as a world system.

The problem is not that revolutionaries accumulate power but that they use
power to pursue substantive policies that are unacceptable to U.S. ruling 
circles. What bothers our political leaders (and generals, investment 
bankers, and corporate heads) is not the supposed lack of political 
democracy in these countries but their attempts to construct economic 
democracy, to depart from the impoverishing rigors of the international 
free market, to use capital and labor in a way that is inimical to the 
interests of multinational corporatism.

A New York Times editorial (3/30183) referred to "the undesirable and 
offensive Managua regime" and the danger of seeing "Marxist power 
ensconced in Managua." But what specifically is so dangerous about
"Marxist power ?" What was undesirable and offensive about the Sandinista 
government in Managua? What did it do to us? What did it do to its own 
people? Was it the literacy campaign? The health care and housing programs
? The land reform and development of farm cooperatives? The attempt at 
rebuilding Managua, at increasing production or achieving a more equitable
distribution of taxes, services, and food? In large part, yes. Such reforms,
even if not openly denounced by our government, do make a country 
suspect because they are symptomatic of an effort to erect a new and 
competing economic order in which the prerogatives of wealth and corporate
investment are no longer secure, and the land, labor, and resources are no 
longer used primarily for the accumulation of corporate profits.

U.S. Ieaders and the corporate-owned press would have us believe they 
opposed revolutionary governments because the latter do not have an 
opposition press or have not thrown their country open to Western style
(and Western-financed) elections. U.S. Ieaders come closer to their true 
complaint when they condemn such governments for interfering with the 
prerogatives of the "free market." Similarly, Henry Kissinger came close 
to the truth when he defended the fascist overthrow of the democratic 
government in Chile by noting that when obliged to choose between saving 
the economy or saving democracy, we must save the economy. Had Kissinger 
said, we must save the capitalist economy, it would have been the whole 
truth. For under Allende, the danger was not that the economy was 
collapsing (although the U.S. was doing its utmost to destabilize it); the
real threat was that the economy was moving away from free-market 
capitalism and toward a more equitable social democracy, albeit in limited

U.S. officials say they are for change just as long as it is peaceful and 
not violently imposed. Indeed, economic elites may some times tolerate 
very limited reforms, learning to give a little in order to keep a lot. 
But judging from Chile, Guatemala, Indonesia, and a number of other places,
they have a low tolerance for changes, even peaceful ones, that tamper 
with the existing class structure and threaten the prerogatives of 
corporate and landed wealth.

To the rich and powerful it makes little difference if their interests are
undone by a peaceful transformation rather than a violent upheaval. The 
means concern them much less than the end results. It is not the "violent"
in violent revolution they hate; it is the "revolution." (Third World 
elites seldom perish in revolutions. The worst of them usually manage to 
make it to Miami, Madrid, Paris, or New York.) They dread socialism the 
way the rest of us might dread poverty and hunger. So, when push comes to 
shove, the wealthy classes of Third World countries, with a great deal of 
help from the corporate-military-political elites in our country, will use
fascism to preserve capitalism while claiming they are saving democracy 
from communism.

A socialist Cuba or a socialist North Korea, as such, are not a threat to 
the survival of world capitalism. The danger is not socialism in any one 
country but a socialism that might spread to many countries. Multinational
corporations, as their name implies, need the entire world, or a very large
part of it, to exploit and to invest and expand in. There can be no such 
thing as "capitalism in one country." The domino theory-the view that if 
one country falls to the revolutionaries, others will follow in quick 
succession-may not work as automatically as its more fearful proponents 
claim, but there usually is a contagion, a power of example and 
inspiration, and sometimes even direct encouragement and assistance from 
one revolution to another.

Support the Good Guys?

If revolutions arise from the sincere aspirations of the populace, then it
is time the United States identify itself with these aspi rations, so 
liberal critics keep urging. They ask: "Why do we always find ourselves on
the wrong side in the Third World? Why are we always on the side of the 
oppressor?" Too bad the question is treated as a rhetorical one, for it is
deserving of a response. The answer is that right-wing oppressors, however 
heinous they be, do not tamper with, and give full support to, private 
investment and profit, while the leftists pose a challenge to that system.

There are those who used to say that we had to learn from the communists, 
copy their techniques, and thus win the battle for the hearts and minds of
the people. Can we imagine the ruling interests of the United States 
abiding by this? The goal is not to copy communist reforms but to prevent 
them. How would U.S. interventionists try to learn from and outdo the 
revolutionaries? Drive out the latifundio owners and sweatshop bosses? 
Kick out the plundering corporations and nationalize their holdings? 
Imprison the militarists and torturers? Redistribute the land, use capital
investment for home consumption or hard currency exchange instead of cash 
crop exports that profit a rich few? Install a national health insurance 
program and construct hospitals and clinics at public expense? Mobilize 
the population for literacy campaigns and for work in publicly owned 
enterprises? If U.S. rulers did all this, they would have done more than 
defeat the communists and other revolutionaries, they would have carried 
out the communists' programs. They would have prevented revolution only by
bringing about its effects-thereby defeating their own goals.

U.S. policy makers say they cannot afford to pick and choose the 
governments they support, but that is exactly what they do. And the 
pattern of choice is consistent through each successive administration 
regardless of the party or personality in office. U.S. Ieaders support 
those governments, be they autocratic or democratic in form, that are 
friendly toward capitalism and oppose those governments, be they 
autocratic or democratic, that seek to develop a noncapitalist social 

Occasionally friendly relations are cultivated with noncapitalist nations 
like China if these countries show themselves in useful opposition to 
other socialist nations and are sufficiently open to private capital 
exploitation. In the case of China, the economic opportunity is so huge as
to be hard to resist, the labor supply is plentiful and cheap, and the 
profit opportunities are great.

In any one instance, interventionist policies may be less concerned with 
specific investments than with protecting the global investment system. 
The United States had relatively little direct investment in Cuba, Vietnam
, and Grenada-to mention three countries that Washington has invaded in 
recent years. What was at stake in Grenada, as Reagan said, was something 
more than nutmeg. It was whether we would let a country develop a 
competing economic order, a different way of utilizing its land, labor, 
capital, and natural resources. A social revolution in any part of the 
world may or may not hurt specific U.S. corporations, but it nevertheless 
becomes part of a cumulative threat to private finance capital in general.

The United States will support governments that seek to suppress guerrilla
movements, as in El Salvador, and will support guerrilla movements that 
seek to overthrow governments, as in Nicaragua. But there is no confusion 
or stupidity about it. It is incorrect to say, "We have no foreign policy"
or "We have a stupid and confused foreign policy." Again, it is necessary 
not to confuse subterfuge with stupidity. The policy is remarkably 
rational. Its central organizing principle is to make the world safe for 
the multinational corporations and the free-market capital-accumulation 
system. However, our rulers cannot ask the U.S. public to sacrifice their 
tax dollars and the lives of their sons for Exxon and Chase Manhattan, for
the profit system as such, so they tell us that the interventions are for 
freedom and national security and the protection of unspecified "U.S. 

Whether policy makers believe their own arguments is not the key question.
Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. Sometimes presidents Richard Nixon,
Ronald Reagan, George Bush, and Bill Clinton were doing their 
hypocritical best when their voices quavered with staged compassion for 
this or that oppressed people who had to be rescued from the communists or
terrorists with U.S. missiles and troops, and sometimes they were sincere, 
as when they spoke of their fear and loathing of communism and revolution 
and their desire to protect U.S. investments abroad. We need not ponder 
the question of whether our leaders are motivated by their class interests
or by a commitment to anti-communist ideology, as if these two things were 
in competition with each other instead of mutually reinforcing. The 
arguments our leaders proffer may be self-serving and fabricated, yet also
sincerely embraced. It is a creed's congruity with one's material 
self-interest that often makes it so compelling.

In any case, so much of politics is the rational use of irrational symbols.
The arguments in support of interventionism may sound and may actually 
be irrational and nonsensical, but they serve a rational purpose. Once we 
grasp the central consistency of U.S. foreign policy, we can move from a 
liberal complaint to a radical analysis, from criticizing the "foolishness"
of our government's behavior to understanding why the "foolishness" is 
not random but persists over time against all contrary arguments and 
evidence, always moving in the same elitist, repressive direction.

With the collapse of the Soviet Union and other Eastern European communist
governments, U.S. Ieaders now have a freer hand in their interventions. A 
number of left reformist governments that had relied on the Soviets for 
economic assistance and political protection against U.S. interference now
have nowhere to turn. The willingness of U.S. Ieaders to tolerate economic 
deviations does not grow with their sense of their growing power. Quite 
the contrary. Now even the palest economic nationalism, as displayed in 
Iraq by Saddam Hussein over oil prices, invites the destructive might of 
the U.S. military. The goal now, as always, is to obliterate every trace 
of an alternative system, to make it clear that there is no road to take 
except that of the free market, in a world in which the many at home and 
abroad will work still harder for less so that the favored few will 
accumulate more and more wealth.

That is the vision of the future to which most U.S. Ieaders are implicitly
dedicated. It is a vision taken from the past and never forgotten by them, 
a matter of putting the masses of people at home and abroad back in their 
place, divested of any aspirations for a better world because they are 
struggling too hard to survive in this one.

This article is taken from the book Dirty Truths written by Michael 
Parenti, published by City Lights Books, 261 Columbus Avenue, San 
Francisco, CA 94133.