|Blowback: The Cost and Consequences of American Foreign Policy|
by Jon Baker
"Blowback" is a term used by scholars of international relations. It refers to an unpredicted, negative response against a nation in regards to a diplomatic action previously undertaken by that nation.  What the daily press reports as the malign acts of "terrorists" or "drug lords" or "rogue states" or "illegal arms merchants" often turn out to be blowback from earlier foreign policy operations. The terrible, momentous events of September 11, 2001 were, in fact, the most stunning example of blowback in world history. Therefore, "blowback" can be simplified into the proverb "you reap what you sow," hence, as Jesus warned in the Bible, "all they that take the sword shall perish by the sword."  In this paper, it will be conclusively demonstrated that the United States actually brought the events of 9-ll and other related terrorist attacks upon itself by means of its foreign policy, and that any failure on the part of the U.S. to amend these policies will only encourage more attacks in the future.
Following the September 11 attacks, the most pressing mission facing the United States was -- or should have been -- to not allow what happened to pass without deriving important lessons from it to prevent its recurrence. Clearly, the most meaningful of these lessons is the answer to the question: Why do terrorists hate America enough to give up their lives in order to deal the country such mortal blows? Unfortunately for America, and indeed the rest of the world, the United States never paid this question a great deal of attention. America's leaders, pundits, and media were too busy blinding its citizens with patriotism to deal with the fundamental underlying causes. More often than not, Americans attributed these attacks to a group of crazy religious fanatics who despise America merely for its wealth and its freedom. Satisfied with this oversimplification, Americans were content to move on to the task of dealing out revenge -- finding and punishing those responsible for 9-11. The sad truth is that the United States is itself only perpetrating the conditions that led to these horrendous attacks in the first place. By ignoring the real underlying motives of these terrorists, the United States is setting itself up for another catastrophic assault.
Most Americans do not seem to realize that it is not America the terrorists hate, but rather it is America's foreign policy. Terrorists hate what the United States has done to the world over the course of the past half-century -- all the violence, the bombings, the depleted uranium, the cluster bombs, the assassinations, the promotion of torture, the overthrow of governments, and more. William Blum, a journalist and former U.S. State Department official, points out that terrorists -- whatever else they might be -- are also rational human beings, which is to say that in their own minds they have a rational justification for their actions. He contends most terrorists are people deeply concerned by what they see as social, political, or religious injustice and hypocrisy, and the immediate grounds for their terrorism is often retaliation for an action of the United States.  Indeed, this view is consistent with what the "victims" of U.S. foreign policy have been saying all along. A Palestinian resident of Jerusalem recently stated, "We feel sorry for the [Sept. 11] attack, and I am sorry all those people died, but [the Americans] have to see this as a reaction to U.S. policy outside the United States. There are many people in the world who are angry at the U.S. -- the Europeans, Japan, Kosovo, Yugoslavia. The United States makes millions of people suffer while leaving only a few thousand to live the high life." 
Most Americans find it extremely difficult to accept the proposition that terrorist acts against the United States can be viewed as revenge for Washington's policies abroad. They believe that the U.S. is targeted because of its freedom, its democracy, its modernity, its wealth, or just being part of the West. But government officials know better. A Department of Defense study in 1997 concluded that: "Historical data show a strong correlation between US involvement in international situations and an increase in terrorist attacks against the United States. In addition, the military asymmetry that denies nation states the ability to engage in overt attacks against the United States drives the use of transnational actors [that is, terrorists from one country attacking in another]." 
There is, of course, no need to wonder about the possible motivations of those from the Middle East or other Muslim countries to commit terrorist acts against the United States. Consider these actions of American foreign policy during the last 20 years: The shooting down of two Libyan planes in 1981; the bombardment of Beirut in 1983 and 1984; the furnishing of military aid and intelligence to both sides of the Iran-Iraq War of 1980-88 so as to maximize the damage each side would inflict upon the other; the bombing of Libya in 1986; the bombing and sinking of an Iranian ship in 1987; the shooting down of an Iranian passenger plane in 1988; the shooting down of two more Libyan planes in 1989; the massive bombing of the Iraqi people in 1991; the continuing bombings and sanctions against Iraq; the bombing of Afghanistan and Sudan in 1998, the latter destroying a pharmaceutical plant which provided for half the impoverished nation's medicine; the habitual support of Israel despite the devastation and routine torture it inflicts upon the Palestinian people; the condemnation of Palestinian resistance to this; the abduction of "suspected terrorists" from Muslim countries, such as Malaysia, Pakistan, Lebanon and Albania, who are then taken to places like Egypt and Saudi Arabia, where they are tortured; the large military and hi-tech presence in Islam's holiest land, Saudi Arabia, and elsewhere in the Persian Gulf region; and the support of anti-democratic Middle East governments from the Shah to the Saudis.  However, it is not just people in the Middle East who have good reason for hating what the U.S. government does. The United States has created huge numbers of potential terrorists all over Latin America during a half century of American actions far worse than what it has done in the Middle East (e.g. training Latin American militants in such skills as advanced sniper techniques, close-quarters combat, military operations in urban terrain, psychological warfare operations and torture so that they could control their citizens with a reign of terror).  If Latin Americans shared the belief of many Muslims that they will go directly to paradise for martyring themselves by killing the great enemy, by now we might have had decades of repeated terrorist horror coming from south of the border. This same principle applies to the peoples of Asia and Africa as well. When looked at from this perspective, it is clear that terrorist acts against the U.S. such as 9-11 are not random instances of irrational hatred, but rather proof of blowback resulting from American foreign policy.
The FBI refers to international terrorism as the use of force or violence against persons or property "to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives."  If this definition were applied to the actions of a nation, then the United States of America would qualify as the most ruthless, feared and effective terrorist organization in the history of the world. From 1945 to the end of the century, the U.S. attempted to overthrow more than 40 foreign governments, and to crush more than 30 populist-nationalist movements struggling against intolerable regimes (see The American Empire under Appendix I for a comprehensive list). In the process, the U.S. bombed about 25 countries, caused the end of life for several million people, and condemned many millions more to a life of agony and despair. Moreover, these figures only include the (known) political and military interventions that have taken place since 1945. There were over one hundred instances of the use of the United States Armed Forces in other countries from 1798-1945. 
William Blum has made a keen observation about the targets of American-style terrorism. He asserts that:
American foreign-policy makers are exquisitely attuned to the rise of a government, or a movement that might take power, that will not lie down and happily become an American client state, that will not look upon the free market or the privatization of the world known as "globalization" as the highest good, that will not change its laws to favour foreign investment, that will not be unconcerned about the effects of foreign investment upon the welfare of its own people, that will not produce primarily for export, that will not allow asbestos, banned pesticides and other products restricted in the developed world to be dumped onto their people, that will not easily tolerate the International Monetary Fund or the World Trade Organization inflicting a scorched-earth policy upon the country's social services or standard of living, that will not allow an American or NATO military installation upon its soil . . . 
No matter how small, how poor, or how far away a nation is, it still poses a threat in the eyes of the American foreign policy elite if is likely to fall under the above-mentioned. Therefore, given the proper pretext, any such "bad examples" must be reduced to basket cases (like Khomeini in Iran, Qaddafi in Libya), or, where feasible, simply overthrown (like Allende in Chile, the Sandinistas in Nicaragua); failing that, life has to be made impossible for these renegades, as is the case with Cuba, still. These effects are achieved either through direct U.S. action, such as trade sanctions and military assaults, or through covert operations, like state-sponsored terrorism, propaganda/censorship and rigged elections (see Perverting Elections and U.S. Government Assassination Plots under Appendix A for some examples). In any case, the U.S. feels it cannot simply let these foreign governments rise or fall on their own merits, for their very existence establishes a dangerous precedent that lead to a "domino effect."  As Michael Parenti has observed: "it has been noted that the cost of apprehending a bank robber may occasionally exceed the sum that is stolen. But if robbers were allowed to go their way, this would encourage others to follow suit and would put the entire banking system in jeopardy."  This was the foundation of American foreign policy for the entire twentieth century, both before and after the existence of the Soviet Union, from the Philippines, Panama and the Dominican Republic in the first decade of the century, to Peru, El Salvador and Colombia in the last decade. According to the FBI's definition, this would constitute state-terrorism on the part of the United States.
There is, nevertheless, something unique about America's global interventions. While many nations have a terrible record in modern times of dealing out great suffering face-to-face with their victims, Americans have made it a point to keep at a distance while inflicting some of the greatest horrors of the age. Besides the usual covert operations in which the U.S. turns its eyes away, closes its ears to the screams, and denies everything, a less obvious method by which the U.S. "keeps a distance" from its victims has been aerial bombing campaigns. These are conducted from high above the clouds in the safety of its stealth fighters and bombers, and have included laying waste to the Japanese with two atomic bombs, carpet-bombing Korea back to the stone age, engulfing the Vietnamese in napalm and pesticides, and dropping 177 million pounds of bombs on the people of Iraq for 40 days during the Gulf War, which was, at the time, the most concentrated aerial onslaught in world history  (see U.S. Bombings Since Word War II under Appendix A for more examples). Air campaigns such as these have led political scientist C. Douglas Lummis to declare that "air bombardment is state terrorism, it is the terrorism of the rich. It has burned up and blasted apart more innocents in the past six decades than have all the anti-state terrorists who ever lived. Something has benumbed our consciousness against this reality."  Thus, a terrorist could be defined as a person who possesses a bomb, but doesn't have an air force. Is there, after all, any significant difference between killing a mother holding a baby in her arms with a bomb dropped from a high-flying aircraft, or by an infantryman's point-blank gunfire? The fact that the aviator's act is described as more "impersonal" than the ground-soldier's may be psychologically valid, but surely it is not morally satisfactory.
Suggesting a moral equivalency between the United States and terrorists never fails to inflame American anger. Americans are told the terrorists purposely aim to kill civilians, while any non-combatant victims of the American bombings/attacks are completely accidental. However, U.S. bombing campaigns have also, on occasion, purposely aimed to cause suffering to civilians -- nations are bombed in the hopes that it would lead the people under the falling bombs to turn against the government. This was a recurrent feature of the bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999, which U.S. and NATO officials, in their consummate arrogance, freely admitted again and again.  This also seems to be the case in the recent campaign in Afghanistan. The chief of the British Defense Staff, Admiral Sir Michael Boyce, declared last October that the bombing would continue "until the people of the country themselves recognize that this is going to go on until they get the leadership changed."  Is this not a war crime just as serious as those currently charged against Slobodon Milosevic? Noam Chomsky has remarked that if the precedent set at the Nuremberg Trials after WWII, whereby the leaders of a nation are held responsible for war crimes, were applied to the United States, "then every post-war American President would have been hanged."  Nevertheless, no matter how horrific the intervention was, the American perpetrators of these acts of state terrorism have yet to appear on the FBI's "most wanted terrorists" list. Until these "criminals" are brought to justice, there is likely to be more instances of blowback in the future from world community's "vigilantes."
Like most terrorists, America's leaders are rational people who wage their (unlawful) wars in order to achieve an ultimate objective. In the case of the United States, that objective is the retention of its global hegemony -- the American Empire. George F. Kennan, one of America's most famous diplomats and the chief architect of the containment and deterrence policies that shaped American foreign policy during the Cold War, put it best in 1948 when he said, "We [the United States] have 50% of the world's wealth but only 6.3% of its population . . . Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will allow us to maintain this position of disparity"  [emphasis added]. Kennan then went on to state, "To do so, we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and day-dreaming . . . We should cease to talk about vague and . . . unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of the living standards, and democratization."  However, if the retention of global hegemony entails acts of state terrorism that ignore "human rights, the raising of the living standards, and democratization" (such as those listed in the previous section), then, as author David Schmitz points out, the U.S. would seem to face an inherent problem "given (broadly-speaking) its liberal universalism."  How, then, does Washington manage to persuade the public to let it conduct such indecent operations?
One major factor is undoubtedly the media. According to award-winning journalist John Pilger, the American Empire's greatest victory has been in the field of media management, which ensures that the Western media never mention U.S. terrorism. Pilger quotes George Orwell, who described how censorship in "free" societies was far more sophisticated and thorough than in dictatorships because "unpopular ideas can be silenced and inconvenient facts kept in the dark without any need for an official ban."  Thus, if those in charge of society -- politicians, corporate executives, and owners of press and television -- can dominate the public's ideas, they will be secure in their power and will not need soldiers patrolling the streets because the public will control themselves. Noam Chomsky has elaborated further on this point: "The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum -- even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there's free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate."  Indeed, John Pilger recalls a story from the Cold War about a group of Russian writers touring the United States. They were astonished to find, after reading the newspapers and watching television, that almost all the opinions on all the vital issues were the same. "In our country," said one of them, "to get that result we have a dictatorship. We imprison people. We torture them. Here you have none of that. How do you do it? What's the secret?" 
The media, however, cannot take all the credit/blame, for they are merely putting forth the agenda dictated to them by the government. Ultimately, the strategy of the American government in winning approval for its foreign policies is fear. British Statesman Edmund Burke once stated, "No passion so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear."  Thus, Kennan's "pattern of relationships" came to be based on a well-indoctrinated fear of communism. Until the end of the Cold War, the U.S convinced much of the world that an international Communist conspiracy (headquartered in Moscow) was afoot, one that sought no less than control over the entire planet for purposes that had no socially redeeming values. Moreover, the world was made to believe that it somehow needed the U.S. to save it from communist darkness. However, as William Blum remarks, "if people of any foreign land were benighted enough to not realize that they needed to be saved, if they failed to appreciate the underlying nobility of American motives, they were warned that they would burn in Communist Hell, or a CIA facsimile thereof, and they would be saved nonetheless." 
A decade after the fall of the Berlin Wall, America is still "saving" countries and peoples from one danger or another in order to preserve its global hegemony. But now that the Cold War is over, the leaders in Washington can no longer cry, "The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming!" as a pretext for intervention, they have regularly come up with new enemies. After all, enemies are the raison d'être for the U.S. military, its corporate contractors, and the CIA -- the "military-industrial-intelligence complex." Therefore, new enemies are needed by these various components of the National Security State in order to justify their swollen budgets, to aggrandize their work, to protect their jobs, and to give themselves a mission in the aftermath of the Soviet Union. One month the new enemy is Libya, then China, or Iraq, or Iran, or Sudan, or Afghanistan, or Serbia, or old reliable demon, Cuba -- countries each led by a Hitler-of-the-month, or at least a madman or mad dog. Furthermore, in place of the international Communist conspiracy, Washington now tells the world, on one day or another, it is fighting War against drugs, or a war on military and industrial spying, or the proliferation of "weapons of mass destruction", or organized crime, or on behalf of human rights, or, most notably, against terrorism. In any case, the strategy has not changed -- the government still needs to instil a sense of fear in the American public (and the world community) in order to achieve its foreign policy goals. History professor Howard Zinn supports this argument: "Terrorism has replaced Communism as the rationale for the militarization of the country, for military adventures abroad, and for the suppression of civil liberties at home. It serves the same purpose, serving to create hysteria."  The use of fear to gain public support for policy is nothing new. In 1920, author H.L. Mencken explained, "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence, clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary."  By creating a false hysteria, Washington can justify any action taken on its part as necessitated by "national security."
All this is not to say that the U.S. government has no regard whatsoever for human life, human rights, humanity and all those other wonderful things. It is meant to demonstrate that, contrary to what Washington says about defending liberty, democracy, human rights, etc., doing the right thing is not a principle of American foreign policy, not an ideal or a goal or policy in and of itself. If it so happens that doing the right thing coincides with, or is irrelevant to, Washington's overriding international ambitions, American officials have no problem walking the moral high ground. However, this is rarely the case. William Blum has determined that the engine of American foreign policy has been fuelled not by a devotion to any kind of morality, nor even simple decency, but rather by the necessity to serve other masters, which can be broken down to four imperatives:
The pursuit of these four "pillars" has resulted in, as John Pilger portrays in his book Hidden Agendas, a brutal and grotesque world, one that is populated mostly by the "Unpeople" of developing countries whose main role is to be controlled and exploited by a rapacious West led by the United States. The U.S. is "a hegemony greater than the world has ever seen dominating markets and trade from food to oil." 
Presently, the U.S. is the world's only superpower (or as France refers to it -- a hyperpower), and that is just the way America would like to see things remain. However, retaining this status quo sometimes requires extreme measures, including acts of state terrorism (as discussed earlier). For example, genocidal attacks have been unleashed on the Unpeople who fight Western oppression -- five million killed in Indochina by the U.S., a million in Indonesia, 200,000 in Guatemala, and 130,000 in Chile, just to name a few.  To American policy-makers, the ends (being the "four pillars") have justified the means, and all the means have been available. Therefore, author Richard Barnet indicts:
America, like Britain before her, is now the great defender of the Status Quo. She has committed herself against revolution and radical change in the underdeveloped world because independent governments would destroy the world economic and political system, which assures the United States its disproportionate share of economic and political power . . . America's preeminent wealth depends upon keeping things in the underdeveloped world much as they are, allowing change and modernization to proceed only in a controlled, orderly, and nonthreatening way. 
Similarly, Zachary Karabell remarks that since U.S. global interventions targeted the status quo, it necessitated the support of conservatives and reactionary elites. As a result, these interventions were usually anti-democratic and that "the subsequent histories of every country in which the U.S. intervened was typically brutal, with civil war, massive human-rights abuses, and ugly authoritarianism."  The fact is that not one U.S. intervention has brought greater freedom or better conditions for the peoples of the countries affected.  In fact, most of America's Cold War allies were among the most brutal dictators the world has known -- Pinochet in Chile, Duvalier in Haiti, Somoza in Nicaragua, Pot in Cambodia, Mobutu in Zaire, Amin in Uganda, and so on. According to John MacArthur, the "autocracy" of these dictators is preferable to Marxism: "[Unlike Communists,] traditional autocrats . . . do not disturb the habitual rhythms of work and leisure, habitual places of residence, habitual patterns of family and personal relations."  Thus, the United States did whatever it had to, including alliance with ruthless dictators and the perpetration of genocide, in order to preserve the American Empire. Such disregard for the rest of the world (predominately the Third World) vastly contributes to anti-American animosity and future instances of blowback.
Aside from the open evidence of American imperialism such as CIA and U.S. military interventions (although many of these operations were covert and their facts kept secret for many years), the United States has another, more stealthy method of exerting its control over other nations -- the international financial mafia. The International Monetary Fund, for exampoe, is staffed primarily with holder of Ph.D.s in economics from American universities, who are both illiterate about and contemptuous of cultures that do not conform to what they call the "American way of life." They offer only "one size (or, rather, one capitalism) fits all" remedies for ailing economic institutions. The IMF has applied these over the years to countries in Latin America, Russia and East Asia without ever achieving a single notable success.  Similarly, the World Bank functions like an international traffic cop of capital for development projects or interim loans to a government. The Bank is dominated by the G-7 countries, whose vast economic power allows them to control the developing world by forcing those nations to accept "free-market" capitalism. The World Bank has forced many developing nations to rewrite laws dealing with issues such as trade, budgets, labour, the environment, and healthcare. This erodes the sovereignty of developing countries and forces their citizens to live under the harsh rule of the World Bank. In essence, the Bank has virtually institutionalized a modern financial imperialism.  "Globalization," as has remarked Chalmers Johnson, "seems to boil down to the spread of poverty to every country except the U.S."  Indeed, many of the countries of the global South resent these new forms of economic imperialism that have replaced the former colonial rule. This presents yet another potential threat of blowback.
Washington has always maintained that terrorism is a threat; President Clinton often warned that "the United States was facing a long, ongoing struggle between freedom and fanaticism, between the rule of law and terrorism . . ."  Nevertheless, America's stance against terrorism is quite hypocritical. Not only is the U.S. itself the largest and most effective terrorist organization in the world, but is also distinguishes between good terrorists and bad terrorists in its foreign policy. Osama bin Laden -- alleged to have been the mastermind behind the bombing of the two U.S. embassies in Africa in 1998 and the infamous 9-11 attacks -- was not always on Washington's hate list. He, along with many other Islamic fundamentalists, were supremely useful during the 1980s in Washington's proxy war in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union.  On account of their uninhibited, sadistic cruelty directed against the government and the Soviet soldiers in Afghanistan, the fundamentalists (the Moujahedeen, or Muslim holy warriors, were good terrorists -- good terrorists simply because they attacked people out of favour with Washington.
However, forcing the Soviet Union to withdraw its military forces from Afghanistan truly went to the heads of the Moujahedeen. They thought they were invincible and had a god-given mission (not unlike their former American allies). The Afghan War had been a rallying point for Muslim zealots from throughout the world and laid the groundwork for their future collaboration and support -- the al-Qaeda terrorist network. Tens of thousands of veterans of the war -- young men from every Muslim nation, battle-hardened and armed -- dispersed to many lands to carry out other jihads against the infidels, and to inflame and train a new generation of militant Islamists and terrorists ready to become martyrs.  These forces grew bitter over American acts and policies in the Gulf War and vis-à-vis Israel, and they began to roam afar, carrying out grisly actions in numerous corners of the world.  Consequently, they suddenly metamorphosed into really bad terrorists in the eyes of the United States. Once again, this is tangible evidence of blowback. Such is the condemnation from an Algerian sociologist: "[The United States] government participated in creating a monster. Now it has turned against you and the world -- 16,000 Arabs were trained in Afghanistan, made into a veritable killing machine."  Nevertheless, in classic American style, the U.S. government has tried to deny/downplay any significant role in the creation of al-Qaeda, as observed by Eqbal Ahmad, a professor of Middle East Studies: "The propaganda in the West suggests that violence and holy war are inherent in Islam. The reality is that as a world-wide movement, Jihad International, Inc. is a recent phenomenon . . .Without significant exception during the 20th century, jihad was used in a national, secular and political context until, that is, the advent of the anti-Soviet war in Afghanistan."  The chickens are finally coming home to roost.
This brings us the post-Sept.11 world: What was the judicious response of the American government to the terrorist attacks of 9-11? Rather than instituting a extensive and meticulous manhunt for the perpetrators of the crime in order to bring them before a court of law, the most powerful nation in history rained down a daily storm of missiles for more than four months upon one of the poorest and most backward people in the world. Eventually, one has to ask the question: Who killed more innocent, defenceless people? Was it the terrorists in the United States on September 11 with their flying bombs, or was it the Americans in Afghanistan with their air-to-ground cruise missiles, their 15,000-pound "daisy cutter" bombs, their depleted uranium, and their cluster bombs? As seen in Appendix II, the count of the terrorists' victims in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania stood at about 3,000. The total count of civilian dead in Afghanistan, which was essentially ignored by American officials and just about everyone else, was well more than twice that of 9-11 -- nearly 8,000 victims!  Moreover, this figure continues to rise as more Afghanis die from unexploded American ordnance-turned landmines (namely cluster bombs), as well as those who perish slower deaths from depleted-uranium-caused sicknesses.
Nevertheless, there will be no minutes of silence for the Afghan dead, no memorial services attended by high American officials and entertainment celebrities, no messages of condolence sent by heads of state, and no millions of dollars raised for the victims' families. Yet, all in all, it was a massacre that more than rivals that of September 11. Furthermore, of the thousands dead in Afghanistan, how many, can it be said with any certainty, had played a conscious role in the events of 9-11? The United States proceeded virtually on the assumption that everyone who supported the Taliban government, native or foreigner, was fair game because they are 1) a "terrorist," and 2) morally, if not legally, stained with the blood of September 11, or perhaps one or another anti-U.S. terrorist action of the past. However, when the shoe is on another foot, even American officials can recognize which is the honourable path to walk. Speaking of Russia's problem with Chechnya in 1999, Strobe Talbot of the U.S. State Department urged Moscow to show "restraint and wisdom." Restraint, he said, "means taking action against real terrorists, but not using indiscriminate force that endangers innocents."  If the U.S. began practicing what it preached, terrorists would have fewer motivations to resent American foreign policy.
What was the media's response to the bombing in Afghanistan? In reaction to a number of gruesome images of Afghan bombing victims, and expressed European and Middle-Eastern concern about civilian casualties, the American media strove to downplay the significance of such deaths. The chairman of CNN advised the news staff that it "seems perverse to focus too much on the casualties or hardship in Afghanistan."  A Fox Network report on the war wondered why journalists should bother covering civilian deaths at all: "The question I have," said the host, "is civilian casualties are historically, by definition, a part of war, really. Should they be as big news as they've been?" His guest from National Public Radio replied: "No. Look, war is about killing people. Civilian casualties are unavoidable." Another guest, a columnist from the national magazine, U.S. News & World Report, had no argument: "Civilian casualties are not ... news. The fact is that they accompany wars."  However, if in fact the 9-11 attacks were an act of war, as the world has been told repeatedly by George W. Bush and his cohorts, then the casualties of the World Trade Center were clearly civilian war casualties. Why then has the media devoted so much time to their deaths? These were the only kind of deaths Americans wanted to hear about and they could become furious when told of Afghan deaths. A memo circulated at the Panama City, Florida News Herald warned editors: "DO NOT USE photos on Page 1A showing civilian casualties from the U.S. war on Afghanistan. Our sister paper in Fort Walton Beach has done so and received hundreds and hundreds of threatening e-mails and the like." 
The American powers-that-be can indeed count on support for their wars from the American people and the corporate media. It would take an exemplary research effort to uncover a single American daily newspaper that unequivocally opposed the U.S. bombing of Afghanistan . . . or a single American daily newspaper that unequivocally opposed the US-NATO bombing of Yugoslavia two years earlier . . . or a single American daily newspaper that unequivocally opposed the US bombing of Iraq in 1991. In a supposedly free society, with a supposedly free press, with so many daily newspapers, the odds should be decidedly against this being the case. This has led the likes of William Blum to pose the question:
What if all the nice, clean-cut, wholesome American boys who dropped an infinite tonnage of bombs, on a dozen different countries, on people they knew nothing about -- characters in a video game -- had to come down to earth and look upon and smell the burning flesh? Our leaders understand how this works. They make it a point to keep our American eyes away from our foreign victims as much as possible, even on television. 
Blum stresses that this separation of normally sensitive people from reality has allowed the creation of "America's evil twin." Therefore, the American public naturally has no reason to protest its government's foreign policy because it has never been presented with any alternative and/or objective perspectives.
Within hours after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Secretary of State Colin Powell condemned "people who believe with the destruction of buildings, with the murder of people, they can somehow achieve a political purpose."  Does that not precisely describe what the United States did in 1999 when it bombed Yugoslavia for 78 days and nights? And is this not the same Colin Powell who as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff oversaw the Gulf War, which in less than two months killed about 200,000 people with exactly the same underlying approach? Do American leaders think that no one has any memory, or do they simply not care what people think?
The hypocrisy does not end there. President Bush and other officials have routinely and angrily declared the U.S. will wage war against not only terrorists, but also any nation that harbours terrorists. Bush seems to be oblivious to the fact that there are few, if any, nations that harbour more terrorists than the United States. For example, the Cuban exiles, who live predominantly in Miami, are in fact one of the longest lasting and most prolific terrorist groups in the world, and they are still at it. During 1997 they carried out a spate of hotel bombings in Havana, directed from Miami. Hijacking is generally regarded as a grave international crime, but although there have been numerous air and boat hijackings over the years from Cuba to the U.S. -- at gunpoint, knifepoint and/or with the use of physical fore, including at least one murder -- it is difficult to find more than a single instance where the United States brought them to trial.  Cubans are not the only foreign terrorists or serious human-rights violators who have enjoyed safe haven in the U.S. in recent years. Many leading government and military leaders who served in oppressive dictatorships (that happened to be allied with the U.S.) are now living comfortable lives in the United States; they come from countries such as Guatemala, Haiti, El Salvador, Chile, Argentina, Indonesia, Iran, Cambodia, Vietnam and elsewhere, all allies of the "Empire." None of these individuals have been prosecuted or extradited.  Thus, if the United States can bomb Afghanistan and cite self-defence under the UN Charter as Washington did, think of the opportunities opened to countries like Panama, Libya and Cuba, to name but a few. Cuba, who could claim the right to bomb CIA headquarters many times over, not to mention Miami. It is safe to say though, that neither the White House nor American courts would accept this legal argument. Examples of hypocrisy such as these are cited regularly by the world's huddled masses as reasons for their hatred of American foreign policy.
During the heart of the bombing campaign against Afghanistan last year, the U.S. and two-dozen nations and international organizations met to develop an "action program" for the long-term rebuilding of the war-ravaged country.  Although this might provide some positive PR for America's "war on terrorism," it is doubtful that anything substantial will done by the U.S. to rebuild Afghanistan. The United States has a long record of bombing nations -- reducing entire neighborhoods, and much of cities, to rubble, wrecking the infrastructure, and ruining the lives of those people that the bombs did not kill -- and then doing nothing to repair the damage afterwards.
In his most recent book Rogue State, William Blum documented Washington's record of rebuilding in a chapter entitled "Being the World's Only Superpower Means Never Having to Say You're Sorry." He remarks that although the U.S. promised in writing that it would pursue its "traditional policy" of "postwar reconstruction," no compensation was given to Vietnam after a decade of devastation. During the same period, Laos and Cambodia were laid to waste by American bombing as unremittingly as was Vietnam. After the Indochina wars were over, these nations, too, qualified to become beneficiaries of Washington's "traditional policy" of zero reconstruction. Then came the American bombings of Grenada and Panama in the 1980s. Hundreds of Panamanians petitioned the Washington-controlled Organization of American States as well as American courts, all the way up to the US Supreme Court, for "just compensation" for the damage caused by the American invasion and bombing. They received nothing, as did the people of Grenada. It was Iraq's turn next, in 1991: 40 days and nights of relentless bombing; destruction of power, water and sanitation systems and everything else that goes into the making of a modern society. Everyone knows how much the United States has done to help rebuild Iraq.  In 1999 there was the case of Yugoslavia: 78 days of round-the-clock bombing, transforming an advanced industrial state into virtually a third world country; the reconstruction needs were awesome. Two years later, June 2001, after the Serbs had obediently followed Washington's wishes to oust Slobodan Milosevic and turn him over to the International Court in the Hague, a "donor's conference" was convened by the European Commission and the World Bank, supposedly concerned with Yugoslavia's reconstruction. It turned out to be a conference concerned with Yugoslavia's debts more than anything else.  As of yet, almost 3 1/2 years since Yugoslavian bridges fell into the Danube, the country's factories and homes destroyed, its transportation torn apart, Yugoslavia has not received any funds for reconstruction from the architect and leading perpetrator of the bombing campaign, the United States. Now that Afghanistan is off the radar off the American public, It remains to be seen how much Washington will contribution to postwar reconstruction in Afghanistan. If nothing substantial results, the U.S. will have subjected the Afghan peoples to even further hardships. While Americans will likely soon forget about the mess they have left behind them in Afghanistan, the impoverished people of that nation will not. Their festering resentment poses an enormous threat in terms of future blowback.
This author, like many others, suspects the bombing, invasion and occupation of Afghanistan -- apart from the primitive lashing out in blind revenge against . . . somebody -- were conducted primarily for the purpose of insuring the installation of a new government that will be sufficiently amenable to Washington's international objectives. These objectives include the sitting of the bases and electronic communications intercept stations, and the running of oil and gas pipelines through the country from the substantial reserves of the Caspian Sea region to the Arabian Sea (thereby avoiding the "rogue state" of Iran).  When considered in terms of America's overriding objective of retaining global hegemony, the welfare of the people of Afghanistan, by contrast, can have counted for little. In fact, virtually every military campaign since and including the Second World War has served to expand the American Empire. Following its bombing of Iraq, 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, the United States wound up with military bases in Kosovo, Albania, Macedonia, Hungary, Bosnia and Croatia. Following its bombing of Afghanistan, the United States is now winding up with military bases in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Georgia and perhaps elsewhere in the region. That's the way the Empire grows, a base on every corner, ready to be mobilized to put down any threat to imperial rule, real or imagined. It has been 57 years since the end of World War II and the U.S. still has major bases in Germany and Japan; it has been 49 years since the end of the Korean War and the U.S. military is still in Korea. There are still today, ten years after the end of the Cold War, some eight hundred Department of Defense facilities located outside the United States, ranging from radio relay stations to major air bases  (see Appendix III: U.S. Military Troops and Bases Around the World). Chalmers Johnson points out that there have been many instances when the personnel stationed at these facilities have victimized foreign civilians, not to mention the environmental damage that results from the bases in these regions. Referring to an incident in 1998 when an American pilot flew his fighter jet too close to a ski resort near the U.S. Air Force Base at Aviano, Italy, slicing through the ski-lift cable and killing twenty people, Johnson illustrates the absurdity of the U.S. military presence abroad: "There are, of course, no Italian air bases on American soil. Such a thought would be ridiculous. Nor, for that matter are there German, Indonesian, Russian, Greek or Japanese troops stationed on Italian soil. Italy is, moreover, a close ally of the United States, and no conceivable enemy nation endangers its shores." 
Now that Afghanistan has succumbed, Washington has its eyes on the even greater oil reserves of Iraq. The fact is that Washington has controlled Iraq's every move since the Gulf War, but Saddam Hussein remains the only roadblock to complete access to the nation's riches. U.S. Brigadier General William Looney commented on this point in 1999: "If they turn on their radars we're going to blow up their goddamn missiles. They know we own their country. We own their airspace . . . We dictate the way they live and talk. And that's what's great about America right now. It's a good thing, especially when there's a lot of oil out there we need."  If the U.S. overthrows Saddam Hussein and installs a puppet government, as they have in Afghanistan, the American oil companies will move into Iraq and have a feast, and the American Empire will add another country and a few more bases.
As the examples listed above have demonstrated, American officials still retain the unshakable belief that they have a god-given right to do whatever they want, for as long as they want, to whomever they want, whenever they want. The Cold War, after all, was not about containing an evil or expansionist communism; it was about imperialism, with "communist" (or "rogue state," "drug trafficker," or "terrorist") merely the name given to those who stood in its way. Those who work for the U.S. government bomb, invade, assassinate, torture, overthrow, commit injustice, keep the world in poverty and claim it is in the name of God. Until the events of Sept. 11, American citizens had never experienced what it is like to be on the receiving end of one of their own attacks. Americans had never seen the smoke and the fire, never smelt the blood, never seen the terror in the eyes of the children, whose nightmares now feature screaming missiles from unseen terrorists. It many other countries in the world, these unseen terrorists are known only as Americans.
William Blum has argued that the Cold War has, in fact, not actually ended. He reasons that if the Cold War is defined as a worldwide contention between the United States and the Soviet Union for the hearts and minds of the Third World (for whatever motives), then yes, it is certainly over; but if the Cold War is seen not as an East-West struggle, but rather a "North-South" struggle, as an American effort -- as mentioned above -- to prevent the rise of any society that might serve as a successful example of an alternative to the capitalist model, and to prevent the rise of any regional power that might challenge American supremacy, then no, the Cold War is still going on.  How else can one explain America's eschewing a "peace dividend," which it might have directed toward its own industrial and social infrastructure? The U.S. military's budget is now larger than it ever was during the Cold War, the existing stockpiles of nuclear weapons remain largely intact, new weapons systems such as National Missile Defence (NMD) are being pursued, and not only is NATO is still in existence, it is even expanding. In 1992, a Defence Department planning paper stated: "Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival . . . we must maintain the mechanisms for deterring potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role" [emphasis added].  The current manifestation of this continuum, by whatever name, can be viewed as yet another chapter in the never-ending saga of the war of the rich upon the poor. With the Soviet presence and influence gone, American interventions are more trouble-free than ever. Consider the fact that U.S. friendliness toward Iraq and Yugoslavia lasted exactly as long as the Soviet Union and its bloc existed. This continuum of policy is known as the American Empire.
The latest example of this policy, the American scorched-earth bombing of Afghanistan, may well turn out to be a political train wreck. Can it be doubted that thousands throughout the Muslim world were emotionally and spiritually recruited to the cause of Osama bin Laden by the awful ruination and perceived injustice in Afghanistan? While the U.S. was retaliating for the blowback of 9-11, it sewed the seeds of resentment and created the next generation of terrorists, which will create even more blowback. This is a vicious, never-ending cycle of violence, the very same one that currently plagues the dispute between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Moreover, if terrorists fail to bring down the U.S., maybe the other governments of the world will. In the June 1999 issue of the leading establishment journal, Foreign Affairs, Samuel Huntington warns that Washington is treading a dangerous course. He suggests that in the eyes of much of the world -- probably most of the world -- the U.S. is "becoming the rogue superpower," considered "the single greatest external threat to their societies." As a result, realist "international relations theory" predicts that coalitions may arise to counterbalance the rogue superpower.  Indeed, despite the American grip on the global media that glorifies the U.S. everywhere, the world is beginning to revaluate its love affair with America (see the section entitled "Rogue" Superpower:United States Foreign Policy vs. the World under Appendix I). It was in the early days of the fighting in Vietnam that a Vietcong officer said to his American prisoner, "You were our heroes after the War. We read American books and saw American films, and a common phrase in those days was 'to be as rich and as wise as an American.' What happened?"  An American might have been asked something similar by a Guatemalan, an Indonesian or a Cuban during the ten years previous, or by a Uruguayan, a Chilean or a Greek in the decade subsequent, or by an Iraqi or a Yugoslavian in the 1990s. The remarkable international goodwill and credibility enjoyed by the United States at the close of the Second World War was dissipated country by country, intervention by intervention. The opportunity to build the war-ravaged world anew, to lay the foundations for peace, prosperity and justice, collapsed under the awful weight of anti-communism and anti-terrorism.
Whether the threat comes from terrorists or multinational coalitions, what is certain is that a threat will emerge to challenge U.S. hegemony if it continues on its present foreign policy course. Unlike the Cold War years when the threat was greatly exaggerated, the U.S. has burned enough bridges that a real threat is quickly emerging. In 2000, one year before the 9-11 attacks, Chalmers Johnson warned, "The United States now faces an agenda of problems that simply would not exist except for the imperial commitments and activities, open and covert, that accompanied the Cold War . . . The innocent of the twenty-first century are going to harvest unexpected blowback disasters from imperialist escapades of recent decades. Although most Americans may be largely ignorant of what was, and still is, being done in their names, all are likely to pay a steep price -- individually and collectively -- for their nation's collective efforts to dominate the global scene."  The 9-11 attacks provided the American public with tangible evidence of the cost and consequences of blowback. There is a lot more to come.
What, then, can the United States do to end terrorism directed against it? The answer lies in removing the anti-American motivations of the terrorists. To achieve this, American foreign policy will have to undergo a metamorphosis. American foreign policy critic William Blum has proposed the following:
If I were the president, I could stop terrorist attacks against the United States in a few days. Permanently. First, I would apologize to all the widows and orphans, the tortured and impoverished, and all the many millions of other victims of American imperialism. Then I would announce, in all sincerity, to every corner of the world, that America's global interventions have come to an end, and inform Israel that it is no longer the 51st state of the USA but now -- oddly enough -- a foreign country. I would then reduce the military budget by at least 90% and use the savings to pay reparations to the victims. There would be more than enough money. One year's military budget of 330 billion dollars is equal to more than $18,000 an hour for every hour since Jesus Christ was born. That's what I'd do on my first three days in the White House. On the fourth day, I'd be assassinated. 
Indeed, Mr. Blum's anticipation of his own assassination is noteworthy. No drastic reform of the mentality of the U.S. government can come without a parallel change in American public opinion. A few years ago, journalist Alan Nairn wrote that with the end of the Cold War, the U.S. "wields powers that no nation should have. It can go anywhere and kill anyone. Only the American public can stand between the bombers and the bombed."  If there is to be any hope of the American public ever performing this role, their consciences and intellects will have to be awakened. Americans have never questioned whether their government's stated interpretation of a situation is valid, but only whether the stated goals are worthwhile and whether the stated goals can be achieved. Nor do Americans question their government's motivation. It is assumed a priori that American leaders mean well by the foreign people involved -- no matter how much death, destruction and suffering their policies objectively result in. If enough people understand what their government is doing and the harm that it causes, at some point the number of such people will reach critical mass and some changes can be effectuated.
With the Pentagon's monopoly on the formulation and conduct of American foreign policy, increasingly the U.S. has only one, commonly inappropriate, means of achieving external objectives, that being military force. Americans must learn that there are more effective -- and certainly less destructive -- ways of dealing with the threat of "terrorism" than instant military retaliation. If the U.S. government were to abandon the outdated notion that it needs to maintain the capability to project lethal force to every corner of the globe, and focus instead on preventing conflict by developing better diplomatic, economic, and cultural relations with other nations, it could satisfy its "national interests" and express American values without being charged, accurately, of hypocrisy. For example, in 1994, patient and firm negotiations finally resulted in the Sudan's turning over of the terrorist "Carlos the Jackal" to the French government for trial; and in September 1998, Libya finally agreed to surrender to a Dutch court the two men charged with bombing the Pan Am airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland. The latter agreement came about through a multilateral reliance on international law and an economic embargo of Libya, and by doing so avoided the spiral of blowback and retaliation that is undoubtedly not yet at end in the case of Sept. 11.  Not only are military interventions often ineffective, but also the use of military force in the name of democracy or human rights makes a mockery of these very principles. The U.S. would be much better served by bringing overseas forces home, and reorienting foreign policy to stress leadership through example and diplomacy. B-2 bombers and cruise missiles cannot achieve long-term peace and humanitarian objectives. If the U.S. were to devote the same percentage of its GDP to the military as the other NATO members (on average), America could have at least $200 billion to spend on foreign diplomacy, international assistance, international institutions, and domestic issues.
A long time ago, Hermann Goering once remarked, "The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."  Just as the Nazis did in Germany, the United States government has manipulated public support in favour of its agenda to commit atrocities of unimaginable proportions. William Blum has referred to this as the "American Holocaust," yet most people still do not know it exists. 
"Blowback" means a nation reaps what it sows, and the American government has cultivated a great many seeds of discontent. In spite of the efforts of American leaders to make their actions appear humanitarian and democratic, it is clear that the U.S. has run a global protection racket based on four imperatives: making the world hospitable for globalization, particularly American-based corporations; enriching defence contractors who donate generously to politicians; preventing the rise of any society that might serve as an alternative to capitalism; and extending political, economic and military hegemony over the world while creating a world order in America's image. As each day passes, more and more people are finding reasons to hate the United States, or more accurately, its foreign policy. Nevertheless, most Americans seem completely oblivious to this growing wave of anti-American animosity. Since they have done nothing to examine the root causes of this animosity which breeds terrorism, they have done nothing to redress the grievances. In fact, their latest campaigns in Afghanistan and (potentially) Iraq only serve to make the situation worse. The threat of more terrorist attacks will not subside in the near future, but will, in fact, only get worse.
The answer to the national security problems facing the United States lies in removing the anti-American motivations of the terrorists. To achieve this, American foreign policy will have to undergo a metamorphosis. As an Angolan proverb warns us, "The one who throws the stone forgets; the one who is hit remembers forever."  If we had to observe a moment of silence for each of the victims of American foreign policy, we would be silent for the rest of our lives.
Appendix I: Peace Gardens Conference Handout
The following pages were distributed as a handout to accompany this paper when it was presented at a conference at the International Peace Gardens on Oct. 18, 2002. The topic of the conference, which was organized by students from Brandon University and Minot State University, was "National/Global Security."
THE AMERICAN EMPIRE: Coming Soon To A Country Near You
Presented here is a list of some of the more serious post-Word War II American Interventions into the life of other nations. In addition to those mentioned below, there have been literally dozens of other serious American interventions in every corner of the world, against both governments and movements, from the 1950s on. The amount of U.S. government roguery to be uncovered appears to be infinite. The U.S. intervention machine has been, more or less, on automatic pilot . . .perpetual war for perpetual peace.
Source: William Blum, Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage
Press, 2000), 125-166.
U.S. GOVERNMENT ASSASSINATION PLOTS
The U.S. bombing of Iraq, June 26, 1993, in retaliation for an alleged Iraqi plot to assassinate former president George Bush, "was essential," said President Clinton, "to send a message to those who engage in state-sponsored terrorism ... and to affirm the expectation of civilized behavior among nations." *
Following is a list of prominent foreign individuals whose assassination (or planning for same) the United States has been involved in since the end of the Second World War. The list does not include several assassinations in various parts of the world carried out by anti-Castro Cubans employed by the CIA and headquartered in the United States.
* Washington Post, June 27, 1993
Source: William Blum, Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions
Since World War II (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1995), 453.
U.S. BOMBINGS SINCE WORLD WAR II
While "wanton destruction of towns, cities and villages" is a war crime of long standing, the bombing of cities from airplanes goes not only unpunished but also virtually unaccused. This is a legacy of Word War II. The Nuremberg and Tokyo judgements are silent on the subject of aerial bombardment. Since both sides had played a terrible game of urban destruction -- the Allies far more successfully -- there was no basis for criminal charges against Germans or Japanese, and in fact no such charges were brought. However, is there any significant difference between killing a mother holding a baby in her arms with a bomb dropped from a high-flying aircraft, or by an infantryman's point-blank gunfire? The aviator's act is described as more "impersonal" than the ground-soldier's. This many be psychologically valid, but surely is not morally satisfactory.
The following is a list of U.S. bombings since WWII.
Source: William Blum, Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 2000), 93-94.
It shall be unlawful for a foreign national directly or through any other person to make any contribution of money or other thing of value, or to promise expressly or impliedly to make any such contribution, in connection with an election to any political office or in connection with any primary election . . .
--Title 2, United States Code Amended (USCA), Section 441e(a)
Washington policymakers, however, have long reserved the unrestrained right to pour large amounts of money into elections of other countries (including those which also prohibit foreign contributions) and taint the electoral system in numerous other ways. Although Americans are raised to believe that no progress can be made in any society in the absence of democratic elections, the promotion of free and fair elections has not been a basic and sincere tenet of American foreign policy, as seen in the following list of American electoral interventions.
There have also been the occasions where the U.S., while (perhaps) not interfering in the election process, was, however, involved in overthrowing a democratically-elected government, such as in Iran (1953), Guatemala (1954), the Congo (1960), Ecuador (1961), Bolivia (1964), Greece (1967) and Fiji (1987).
In other countries, U.S. interventions resulted in free, or any, elections being done away with completely for long stretches of time, as in Iran, South Korea, Guatemala, Brazil, Congo, Indonesia, Chile and Greece.
Source: William Blum, Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 2000), 168-178.
On Feb. 4, 2002, the Bush administration requested $396.1 billion for the military in the Fiscal Year 2003 ($379.3 billion for the Defense Department and $16.8 billion for the nuclear weapons functions of the Department of Energy). This is an increase of 13 percent -- $45.5 billion above current levels -- and 15 percent above the Cold War average. All this to fund a force structure that is one-third smaller than it was a decade ago. In all, the administration plans to spend $2.1 TRILLION on the military over the next five years. The budget plans, if approved by Congress, would lead the nation back into deficit spending in FY'03 -- for the first time in four years.
"Allies" refers to the NATO countries, Australia Japan and South Korea.
"Rogues" refers to Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan and Syria.
Source: "World Military Expenditures," Center for Defense Information <http://www.cdi.org/issues/wme/> (9
"Rogue" Superpower: United States Foreign Policy vs. The World
". . . a decent respect to the opinions of mankind . . ."
--The Declaration of Independence
The 1983 U.S. invasion of Grenada was almost universally condemned in Latin America, only the military dictatorships of Chile, Guatemala and Uruguay expressing support. The United Nations voted its disapproval overwhelmingly. To this President Reagan responded: "One hundred nations in the UN have not agreed with us on just about everything that's come before them where we're involved, and it didn't upset my breakfast at all."
The world has been told for the last half century that America is the leader of "the free world." If this is so, it's proper to ask: Where are the followers? Where is the evidence that Washington's worldview sways the multitude of other governments by any virtue other than the U.S. being a 10,000-pound gorilla zillionaire? Where is the loyalty and admiration engendered by intellectual or moral leadership? For example, at the UN, with noteworthy regularity, Washington has found itself -- often alone, sometimes joined by one or two other countries -- standing in opposition to General Assembly resolutions aimed at furthering human rights, peace, nuclear disarmament, economic justice, the struggle against South African apartheid and Israeli lawlessness and other progressive causes. In a ten-year period from 1978-87, for example, there were some 150 General Assembly resolutions for which the U.S. cast a solitary "no" vote or was joined by one or two other nations (usually Israel). There were many other resolutions in this period where Israel cast a solitary "no" vote and the U.S. was the sole abstainer. The U.S. even voted against the right to food as a human right.
Source: William Blum, Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage
Press, 2000), 184-99.
The following is a small sample of some of the major contemporary issues in international politics where the United States has pursued policies that oppose those of most (if not all) of the rest of the world.
Appendix II: American vs. Afghani Casualties
Source: "Silent but deadly," Schnews, 13 September 2002
<http://www.schnews.org.uk/archive/news372.htm> (9 October 2002).
U.S. Military Troops and Bases Around the World
Source: "U.S. Military Troops and Bases Around the World," War Times <http://www.war-
times.org/current/5art7map.html> (15 October 2002).
 Chalmers Johnson, Blowback (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2000), 8.
 Jesus of Nazareth, "Matthew 26:52," Holy Bible <http://centre.telemanage.ca/quotes.nsf/quotes!ReadForm&Count=2000> (10 October 2002).
 William Blum, Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 2000), 30.
 "Palestinians say U.S. should reassess foreign policy," Catholic New Times, 21 October 21 2001, 6.
 Johnson, op. cit., 9.
 Ibid., 8-11; Blum, Rogue State, 30-33, 93-94.
 Johnson, op. cit., 73, 91.
 "Terrorism in the United States: 1999," Federal Bureau of Investigation, <http://www.fbi.gov/publications/terror/terror99.pdf> (9 October 2002), i.
 William Blum, Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1995), 444-452.
 Blum, Rogue State, 23.
 Johnson, op. cit., 29.
 Blum, Rogue State, 24.
 Blum, Killing Hope, 320
 C. Douglas Lummis, "Time to watch the watchers," Nation, 26 September 1994, 304.
 Blum, Rogue State, 76.
 Mark Wesibrot, "A War Against Civilians?" Common Dreams News Center, 2 November 2001 <http://www.commondreams.org/views01/1102-10.htm> (15 October 2002).
 Mark Achbar and Peter Wintonick, "Manufacturing Consent--Part II" (Montreal: National Film Board of Canada, 1992).
 John Pilger, "Hidden agendas," Briarpatch, November 1998, 30.
 George F. Kennan, Chronology of State Terrorism <http://free.freespeech.org/americanstateterrorism/ChronologyofTerror.html> (5 October 2002).
 David F. Schmitz, "Thank God They're on Our Side: The United States and Right-Wing Dictatorships," International History Review, June 2000, 449
 Pilger, "Hidden agendas," 30.
 Noam Chomsky, Third World Traveler <http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/> (9 October 2002).
 John Pilger, "In the freest press on earth, humanity is reported in terms of its usefulness to US power," Hidden Agendas: The Writing and Films of John Pilger, 20 Feb 2001, <http://pilger.carlton.com/print/47638> (16 October 2002)
 Edmond Burke, "Famous Quotations /Quotes," Telemanage Learning <http://centre.telemanage.ca/quotes.nsf/quotes!ReadForm&Count=2000> (10 October 2002).
 Blum, Rogue State, 1.
 Howard Zinn, Third World Traveler <http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/> (9 October 2002).
 H.L. Mencken, "Famous Quotations /Quotes," Telemanage Learning <http://centre.telemanage.ca/quotes.nsf/quotes!ReadForm&Count=2000> (10 October 2002).
 Blum, Rogue State, 13-14.
 Pilger, "Hidden agendas," 30.
 Richard Barnet, Third World Traveler <http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/> (9 October 2002).
 Zachary Karabell, "Architects of Intervention: the United States, the third world, and the Cold War, 1946-1962." International History Review, June 2000, 470.
 William Blum, "Killing hope: U.S. military and CIA intervention since World War II" Briarpatch, November 2001, 28.
 John R. MacArthur, "Aftermath," Globe and Mail, 14 September 2001 <http://web7.infotrac.galegroup.com/itw/infomark/640/227/26518229w7/purl=rc1_CPI_0_L2167127&dyn=3!xrn_12_0_L2167127?sw_aep=brandonu> (09 October 2002).
 Johnson, op. cit., 80.
 Payal Parekh & Oren Weinrib, "Why the Developing World Hates the World Bank," The Tech, 12 March 2002 <http://www-tech.mit.edu/V122/N11/col11parek.11c.html> (17 October 2002).
 Johnson, op. cit., 214.
 William Clinton, "Quotes": Good & Bad <http://minutemanpatriot.homestead.com/quotes.html> (14 October 2002).
 John R. MacArthur, op. cit.
 Blum, Rogue State, 33.
 Johnson, op. cit., 13.
 Blum, Rogue State, 34.
 "Silent but deadly," Schnews, 13 September 2002 <http://www.schnews.org.uk/archive/news372.htm> (9 October 2002).
 Strobe Talbott, "Pusuing U.S. interests with Russia and President-Elect Putin," PBS: Frontline <http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/yeltsin/putin/talbott00.html> (14 October 2002).
 "CNN Says Focus on Civilian Casualties Would Be 'Perverse'," Fair, 1 November 2001 <http://www.fair.org/activism/cnn-casualties.html> (10 October 2002).
 "Civilian Casualties Not News," Fair, 8 November 2001 <http://www.fair.org/activism/fox-civilian-casualties.html> (10 October 2002).
 Blum, Killing Hope, 1.
 Normon Solomon, "A media that invents history," Socialist Worker Online, 14 September 2001 <http://www.socialistworker.org/2001/377A/377A_02_Solomon.shtml> (10 October 2002).
 Blum, Rogue State, 79-80.
 Ibid., 81-86.
 William Blum, "Rebuilding Afghanistan?," ZNet <http://www.zmag.org/blumsave.htm> (1 October 2002).
 Blum, Rogue State, 228-232.
 "G7 Meet On Balkans To Discuss Ex-Yugoslavia Debt, EU Says," Balkan Peace, 11 November 2000 <http://www.balkanpeace.org/hed/archive/nov00/hed1158.shtml> (9 October 2002).
 "Palestinians say U.S. should reassess foreign policy," op. cit., 6; "The Oil Connection: Afghanistan and Caspian Sea oil pipeline routes," New Humanist <http://www.newhumanist.com/oil.html> (5 October 2002).
 Johnson, op. cit., 36.
 Ibid., 4.
 "Weapon of Mass Distraction," Schnews, 27 September 2002 <http://www.schnews.org.uk/archive/news373.htm> (9 October 2002).
 Blum, Rogue State, 24.
 Ales Callinicos, "Doctrine of Domination," Socialist Worker, 1 October 2002 <http://www.left-turn.org/feature/archive/iraq/domination.html> (15 October 2002).
 Noam Chomsky, "Crisis in the Balkans," ZNet <http://www.zmag.org/chomsky/> (5 October 2002).
 Blum, Killing Hope, 9.
 Johnson, op. cit., 29, 33.
 William Blum, "Concerning September 11, 2001 and the bombing of Afghanistan" American Holocaust <http://members.aol.com/bblum6/sep11.htm> (5 October 2002).
 "The Immorality of U.S. Foreign Policy and Hitler-Like Domestic Policy," New World Peace <http://www.newworldpeace.com/axis6.html> (9 October 2002).
 Johnson, op. cit., 93.
 Hermann Goering, "Famous Quotations /Quotes," Telemanage Learning <http://centre.telemanage.ca/quotes.nsf/quotes!ReadForm&Count=2000> (10 October 2002).
 Blum, Killing Hope, 1.
 Angolan Proverb, "Famous Quotations /Quotes," Telemanage Learning <http://centre.telemanage.ca/quotes.nsf/quotes!ReadForm&Count=2000> (10 October 2002).