Books And Authors I’ve Read (101-119)

list index

101. “The Washington Connection And Third World Fascism – The Political Economy Of Human Rights, Volume 1” by Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman

nugget 1:

“Among the many symbols used to frighten and manipulate the populace of the democratic states, a few have been more important than “terror” and “terrorism”. These terms have generally been confined to the use of violence by individuals and marginal groups. Official violence, which is far more extensive in both scale and destructiveness, is placed in a different category altogether. This usage has nothing to do with justice, causal sequence, or numbers abused. Whatever the actual sequence of cause and effect, official violence is described as responsive or provoked (“retaliation,” or “protective reaction,” etc.), not as the active and initiating source of abuse. Similarly, the massive long-term violence inherent in the oppressive social structures that U.S. power has supported or imposed is typically disregarded. The numbers tormented and killed by official violence – wholesale as opposed to retail terror – during recent decades have exceeded those of unofficial terrorists by a factor running into the thousands.” – pages 6 & 7

nugget 2:

“The military juntas of Latin America and Asia are our juntas. Many of them were directly installed by us or are the beneficiaries of our direct intervention, and most of the others came into existence with our tacit support, using our military equipment and training supplied by the United States. Our massive intervention and subversion over the past 25 years has been confined almost exclusively to overthrowing reformers, democrats, and radicals – we have rarely “destabilized” right-wing military regimes no matter how corrupt or terroristic. This systematic bias in intervention is only part of the larger system of connections – military, economic, and political – that have allowed the dominant power to shape the primary characteristics of the other states in its domains in accordance with its interests.

“The Brazilian counterrevolution… took place with the connivance of the United States and was followed by immediate recognition and consistent support, just as in Guatemala ten years earlier and elsewhere, repeatedly. The military junta model has been found to be a good one, and the United States has helped it flourish and spread. Torture, death squads and freedom of investment are related parts of the approved model sponsored and supported by the leader of the Free World.” – pg 17

nugget 3:

“Three features of the propaganda campaign with regard to Cambodia deserve special notice. The first is its vast and unprecedented scope. Editorial condemnation of Cambodian “genocide” in the mainstream media dates from mid-1975, immediately following the victory of the so-called “Khmer Rouge.” After that time [consumers of] the Western media were deluged with condemnations of Cambodia, including not only regular reporting in the press and news weeklies but also articles in such mass circulation journals as the Readers Digest (with tens of millions of readers in the United States and abroad), TV Guide, and for the intellectual elite, the New York Review, the New Republic, etc. In contrast, interpretations of developments in Cambodia that departed from the theme of systematic genocide received virtually no attention. The volume of the chorus proclaiming “genocide” and the careful exclusion of conflicting facts (and the context or history) made the occasional expression of skepticism appear pathological, much as if someone were to proclaim that the earthy is flat.

“A second major feature of the propaganda campaign was that it involved a systematic distortion or suppression of the highly relevant historical context as well as substantial fabrication – the grim reality evidently did not suffice for the needs of propaganda – and fabrication persisted even after exposure, which was regarded as irrelevant in the face of a “higher truth” that is independent of mere fact. Furthermore, the more inflated the claims and the more completely the evidence was presented in a historical vacuum, attributed strictly to Communist villainy, the greater the audience likely to be reached.

“A third striking feature of the campaign was the constant pretense that the horrors of Cambodia are being ignored except for the few courageous voices that seek to pierce the silence, or that some great conflict was raging about the question or whether or not there have been atrocities in Cambodia. In France and the United States, in particular, such pretense reached comic proportions. This particular feature of Western propaganda was apparently internalized by the intelligentsia, who came to believe it in dramatic defiance of the obvious facts. To cite one example, in the New York Times (22 September 1977) the well-known philosopher Walter Kaufmann, often a thoughtful commentator on moral and political issues, had an article entitled “Selective Compassion” in which he contrasts “the lack of international outrage, protests, and pressure in the face of what has been going on in Cambodia” with the compassion that is felt for the Arabs under Israeli military occupation. His comparison is doubly remarkable. By September 1977, condemnation of Cambodian atrocities, covering the full political spectrum with the exception of some Maoist groups, had reached a level and scale that has rarely been matched, whereas the situation of the Arabs under Israeli military occupation (or indeed, in Israel itself) is virtually a taboo topic in the United States. For example, the U.S. media are outraged over the fact that children work in Cambodia (rarely inquiring into conditions or circumstances or comparing the situation in other peasant societies), but accept with equanimity what is called in Israel “the Children’s market,” where children as young as six or seven years old are brought at 4 a.m. to pick fruit at subsistence wages or less for Israeli collective settlements.” – pages 21-23

nugget 4:

“Attention is focused above on Brazil precisely because it is such a large and relatively powerful country. In spite of this the CIA was able to bribe its journalists, subsidized its politicians, conspire with military factions, infiltrate and subvert the labor movement, and engage in extensive propaganda campaigns – in short, it could virtually disregard the sovereignty of this large and theoretically independent country. The catch, of course, is that Brazil was not an independent country – U.S. penetration was already enormous by the 1960s and U.S. leaders acted as if they had a veto over Brazilian economic and foreign policy. The Brazilian military and much of its economy were already “denationalized,” with strong ties and dependency relations to the United States; and U.S. business had a substantial presence in Brazil, controlling, among other things, about half of the advertising industry and a rapidly expanding and significant fraction of the mass media. It was hard to separate U.S. business and CIA activities in Brazil before 1964. [Jerome] Levinson and [Juan] de Onis claim that U.S. business, in close touch with the CIA, helped organize and finance anti-Goulart demonstrations in the early 1960s, and Richard Helms himself reported that business served regularly as a CIA cover. Hanna Mining not only funded anti-Communist conferences, but made a more direct defense of freedom by providing trucks for the Minas Gerais troops that launched the “revolution.”

“A curious aspect of this massive subersion operation in a country such as Brazil is that it is not regarded as subversion. If the Cubans are found to provide weapons to insurgents in Venezuela such a discovery is given great publicity as evidence of Cuban perfidy – this piddling and one dimension effort is subversion. The subversion of Brazil by the United States in the years leading up to the coup of 1964 – weapons on a huge scale, bribery, black propaganda, practically open conspiracy with military officers, massive institutional subversion – this multi-dimensional effort is the natural right of power – where domination is so taken for granted that the hegemonic power intervenes by inevitable and unquestioned authority. We are benevolently protecting our children in their own interest – can parents be considered alien to their children or conspire against them? Can the cat looking after its 20 mice have any interest antagonistic to theirs?” – pages 59 & 60

nugget 5:

“A major target of the new Argentinian regime, not surprisingly, is the trade union movement, which has been effectively dismantled, while “according to Argentine labor sources, economic conditions for workers have never been worse,” again, a typical concomitant of constructive terrorism. U.S. business, however, is pleased with the militarized Argentina, which has not only been struggling to pacify the labor force, but has also applied deflationary policies of a draconian nature to arrange price-cost-budget values in accordance with the criteria and interests of the international financial community. The junta leaders have shown great deference to the bankers, meeting with them periodically to explain their policies and seek banker approval, much as if the bankers constituted the board of directors of a corporation called “Argentina.” The Economics Minister of Argentina, Jose Martinez de Hoz, is a free enterpriser perfectly in tune with the demands of international business, and a personal friend of David Rockefeller, who addressed a group of bankers in New York at a screening of a promotional film on Argentina, explaining to them why Argentina was a new promised land:

I have the impression that finally Argentina has a regime which understands the private enterprise system… Not since the Second World War has Argentina been presented with a combination of advantageous circumstances as it has now.

The scale of state terror in Argentina since the military coup of March, 1976, is difficult to estimate. Jean-Pierre Clerc reports official figures of 8,500 missing, including 4000 prisoners and presumably 4,500 killed, noting that a figure of 15,000 killed is widely accepted among Argentine journalists. According to official reports, many have been killed in “combat,” but Argentine dissidents are skeptical about the nature of this “combat.” The Argentine writer and investigative reporter Rodolfo Walsh circulated an open letter to the junta documenting its crimes in March, 1977, in which he cited official figures from “combat” in 1976: 600 dead and 15 wounded, percentages “unheard of in even the most savage conflicts.” He concluded, not unreasonably, that the “combats” are actually muder operations. He estimated that in the “savage reign of terror” since the coup 15,000 people are missing without a trace., 10,000 are political prisoners, and tens of thousands are in exile, while the number of those tortured is unknown. Meanwhile, according to Walsh, real wages have been reduced by 60% in one year and food consumption has dropped by 40%, while “the only beneficiaries or your economic strategy are the old cattle-owning oligarchy, the new oligarchy of speculators, and a select group of international companies such as ITT, Exxon, U.S. Steel, and Siemens,” to which the economics minister and his associates are “directly and personally linked.” Walsh was kidnapped the day after his letter appeared and has not been heard from since.” – pages 301 & 302

102. “After The Cataclysm – The Political Economy Of Human Rights, Volume 2” by Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman

nugget 1:

“Once again the United States succeeded in preventing a peaceful settlement. In South Vietnam, it stood in opposition to all significant political forces, however anti-Communist, imposing the rule of a military clique that was willing to serve U.S. interests. By January 1965, the United States was compelled to undermine its own puppet, General [Nguyen] Khanh; he was attempting to form what Ambassador Taylor called a “dangerous” coalition with the Buddhists, who were not acting “in the Nation,” as General [William] Westmoreland explained. What is more, Khanh was apparently trying to make peace with the NLF, quite possibly a factor that lay behind the elimination of his predecessors. At that point, the United States, which stood alone in understanding “the interests of the Nation” in South Vietnam, had no alternative but to extend its already substantial military campaign against the rural society of the South, where the overwhelming majority of the population lived. The United States therefore launched a full-scale invasion in a final effort to destroy the organized popular forces in the South… Meanwhile, the United States began the systematic bombing of South Vietnam, at three times the level of the more publicized – and more protested – bombing of the North.” -pg 3

nugget 2:

“The general subservience of the articulate intelligentsia to the framework of state propaganda is not only unrecognized, it is strenuously denied by the propaganda system. The press and the intelligentsia in general are held to be fiercely independent, critical, antagonistic to the state, even suffused by a trendy anti-Americanism. It is quite true that controversy rages over government policies and the errors or even crimes of government officials and agencies. But the impression of internal dissidence is misleading. A more careful analysis shows that this controversy takes place, for the most part, within the narrow limits of a set of patriotic premises. Thus it is quite tolerable – indeed, a contribution to the propaganda system – for the Free Press to denounce the government for its “errors” in attempting “to defend South Vietnam from North Vietnamese aggression,” since by so doing it helps to establish more firmly the basic myth: that the United States was not engaged in a savage attack on South Vietnam but was rather “defending” it. If even the hostile critics adopt these assumptions, the clearly they must be true.” – pages 32 & 33

As an example of such a fakery, See the Democracy Now show, of April 9, 2018, titled “Glenn Greenwald on Syria: U.S. & Israel Revving Up War Machine Won’t Help Suffering Syrian Civilians.”

nugget 3:

“The refusal to concede the existence of direct eye-witness reports from Vietnam enabled the New York Times and its colleagues to evade the question of the consequences of the U.S. war and the problems of reconstruction that face the survivors. It enabled them to avoid the thoughts aroused by such passages as the following:

The traveller returning to the South a year after liberation cannot fail to be surprised at the transformation of the countryside. The thousands of young volunteers and peasants who are busy constructing dikes in the villages of Song-My (where the My Lai massacre tool place) to the sound of revolutionary music from loudspeakers, well symbolize the new epoch.

“Though one can imagine how brainwashed U.S. reporters would convey this scene, even if they were to concede its existence.

“On the rare occasions when the devastating consequences of the war are noted, care is taken to sanitize the reports so as to eliminate the U.S. role. The New York Times, for example, carried an AP report from Manila (21 March 1976) on a World Health Organization study, describing South Vietnam as “a land of widespread malaria, bubonic plague, leprosy, tuberculosis, venereal disease and 300,000 prostitutes… one of the few places on earth where leprosy was spreading and bubonic plague was still taking lives.” The WHO report states that “if the bomb-shattered fields are to be made fertile again, and the socio-economic conditions of the people improved, freedom from malaria will have to be first insured,” while in the North the main health problem is to reconstruct the 533 community health centers, 94 district hospitals, 28 provincial hospitals and 24 research institutes and specialized hospitals that “were destroyed during the war” – by some unknown hand.” – pages 94 & 95

nugget 4:

“…The serious moral issues that arise – the issues of the real locus of responsibility, the obligations to the victims, and the probably human consequences of the media barrage – have been entirely beyond the comprehension or concern of those who preach in the most strident tones of moral obligations. What enters history in the United States (and, we believe, the West generally, though we have not examined the media systematically elsewhere) is a version of the facts that suits the ideological requirements of dominant social groups; other interpretations are swept aside. The central theme that liberation from Western domination is a fate to be avoided at all costs is constantly and persistently drilled into popular consciousness. So effective is the awesome system of indoctrination and thought control that even many people who have been critics or skeptics are caught up in the well-orchestrated hysteria.

“When the facts are in, it may turn out that the more extreme condemnations were in fact correct. But if that turns out to be the case, it will in no way alter the conclusions we have reached on the central question addressed here: how the available facts were selected, modified, or sometimes invented to create a certain image offered to the general population. The answer to this question seems clear, and it is unaffected by whatever may yet be discovered about Cambodia in the future.

“We urge once again that the reader concerned with the workings of Western propaganda compare the treatment of Cambodia – and the other societies of Indochina as well – with the attention given to other cases where the evidence available, the scale and character of the atrocities alleged, and even the time frame is comparable: Timor, for example. We stress again that in the case of Cambodia, as all observers of even moderate seriousness agree, what happened in the 1975-78 period under review, whatever it may have been, lay beyond our control, whereas in the case of Timor and other ongoing benign and constructive bloodbaths, that is far from true.” – pages 335 & 336

103. “What We Say Goes” interviews of Noam Chomsky with David Barsamian

nugget 1:

“James Traub, in the New York Times Magazine, writes, “Of course, treaties and norms don’t restrain the outlaws. The prohibition on territorial aggression enshrined in the UN Charter didn’t faze Saddam Hussein when he decided to forcibly annex Kuwait.” Then he adds, “When it comes to military force, the United States can, and will, act alone. But diplomacy depends on a united front.”

“As Traub knows very well, the United States is a leading outlaw state, totally unconstrained by international law, and it openly says so. What we say goes. The United States invaded Iraq, even though that’s a radical violation of the United Nations Charter.

“If he knows that, why doesn’t he write that in the article?

“If he wrote that, then he wouldn’t be writing for the New York Times. There is a certain discipline that you have to meet. In a well-run society, you don’t say things you know. You say things that are required for service to power.

“That reminds me of the story of the emperor Alexander and his encounter with a pirate.

“I don’t know if it happened, but according to the account from Saint Augustine, a pirate was brought to Alexander, who asked him, How dare you molest the seas with your piracy? The pirate answered, How dare you molest the world? I have a small ship, so they call me a pirate. You have a great navy, so they call you an emperor. But you’re molesting the whole world. I’m doing almost nothing by comparison. That’s the way it works. The emperor is allowed to molest the world, but the pirate is considered a major criminal.” – pages 1 & 2

nugget 2:

Thomas Friedman writes that Chávez “uses Venezuela’s oil riches to try to sway democratic elections in Latin America and promote an economic populism that will eventually lead his country into a ditch.

“It’s undoubtedly true that Chávez is trying to influence elections. Is that something new? You think that we don’t try to influence elections? Not only does the U.S. government work desperately to influence elections in other countries, but if they come out the wrong way, we punish the population. Is Chávez doing that?

“If you don’t think countries should influence other countries’ elections, then shut down the National Endowment for Democracy and shut down the State Department, which is right now, for example, intervening massively in the Nicaraguan election. The ambassador – on Condoleeza Rice’s orders, I presume – is telling the people of Nicaragua, in effect, “If you don’t vote the way we say, we’re going to strangle you.”

“As to whether his policies will lead Venezuela into a ditch, Thomas Friedman is hardly an authority. The economic policies he supports have been a disaster for most of the global south. If you take a look at the last twenty-five years, growth rates have sharply declined in countries that have adopted the policies he loves. The countries that have done very well – China, South Korea, Taiwan – have done so by violating the rules that Friedman advocates. These countries radically violated International Monetary Fund and World Bank rules – the Washington consensus, which he praises – and they grew. On the other hand, the countries that observed neoliberal rules rigorously had an extremely sharp decline in economic growth and just about every other macroeconomic measure.” – pages 47 & 48

nugget 3:

Could you talk about the significance of Venezuela joining the Mercosur trade area and the general integration that’s happening in Latin America? In an article in the International Socialist Review you wrote, “Venezuela has forged probably the closest relations with China of any Latin American country.” Why is that important?

That is very significant. This is the first time since the Spanish conquest that Latin America has begun moves toward independence and integration. I have to qualify that – they have tried it before but were crushed. So, for example, Brazil had a moderately populist democratic government in the early 1960s. The Kennedy administration organized a military coup that imposed a neo-Nazi national security state that was the first of the plague that then spread throughout the continent to Chile, Argentina, Central America, and turned into one huge massacre.” – pg 64

nugget 4:

“…Israel is by now kind of like a caricature of the United States in many ways. Many of the features of U.S. society have been taken over and exaggerated in Israel. So it’s now to a large extent a highly militarized high-tech society, where the economy is based essentially on export of advanced military armaments. Israel needs markets, and the main market is China. But the United States doesn’t want Israel to sell high-tech arms to China. So repeatedly there have been serious conflicts over this. Each time Israel has backed down, and the lobby has been silent. The last major case was in 2005. Israel wanted to repair high-tech antiaircraft missiles it had sold to China. The Israeli government insisted that it wouldn’t be pressured on this. It was too important. They are an independent country. But the Bush administration ordered Israel not to do it, and insisted on publicly humiliating them. Washington refused to allow high-level Israeli military officials to visit the United States. Their counterparts here wouldn’t talk to them. They forced Israel to fire one of their main officials, and insisted on a public apology. They really dragged them through the mud. Of course, Israel agreed. What can they do? Israel can’t face down the United States.

“What was particularly interesting was the reaction of the lobby. Try to find it. All of this was barely reported in the United States. The lobby was quiet, whether in the Mearsheimer and Walt definition of the lobby or the intellectuals. They were all quiet because they know better than to confront power. If you can go along with power, that’s fine. They they can be strident and outspoken. But when confronted with real power, they back off.” – pages 135 & 136

nugget 5:

“You may recall that about a year ago there was a meeting in Mexico City between the Cuban energy specialists and representatives of Texas oil companies and also some of the majors, like ExxonMobil. The Bush administration discovered that the meeting was being held in a Sheraton hotel, which is owned by a U.S. corporation,m so they ordered the hotel to break up the meeting and expel the Texas oil representatives and the Cubans. It was a slap in the face to George Bush’s friends and supporters. But state interests, the Mafia-style interests, overwhelmed even the interests of the core constituency of the Bush administration.

“The same is happening in Iran. U.S. oil companies would be delighted to help enter into the development of huge Iranian natural gas fields, but they’re blocked by the state. We have to punish Iran for its successful defiance in overthrowing a U.S.-imposed tyrant.

“This morning, the Boston Globe reported something that has been known around here for a long time. In 1974, presumably at U.S. government initiative, MIT made a deal with the shah of Iran to effectively lease the nuclear engineering department, or a large part of it, to Iran, to bring in lots of Iranian nuclear engineers and train them in the development of uranium enrichment and other techniques of nuclear development. In return, the shah, who was one of the most brutal tyrants of the period, with a horrible human rights record, would pay MIT at least half a million dollars. The article also points out that several of the engineers who were trained at MIT are now apparently running the Iranian nuclear programs. Those programs were strongly supported by the United States in the mid-1970s.

“By Henry Kissinger and Gerald Ford.

“Yes, and by Rumsfeld, Cheney, Wolfowitz, and others. They claimed at the time that Iran needed nuclear power. It didn’t have enough energy, and needed to preserve its hydrocarbon resources for other purposes. Now the same people are giving the opposite story. They say how can Iran possibly be developing nuclear power? They have so much oil. They must be developing weapons. These are the same people.

“In the 1970s, there was quite a conflict at MIT about this program. I was there. When the news leaked out, the students were pretty upset, and there was a lot of protest. It led to a student referendum, which opposed the deal, by maybe 80 percent or something. By then, it had caused enough of an uproar that there had to be a faculty meeting. Everybody showed up and there was lively debate. Only a very small number of people – I was one of them – opposed the arrangement. The faculty overwhelmingly voted for it. It was implemented and continued until the fall of the shah.” – pages 175 & 176

104. “On Palestine” by Noam Chomsky and Ilan Pappé with Frank Barat

nuggets: 1. “…while specific Israeli policies are severely criticized and condemned, the very nature of the Israeli regime and the ideology that produces these policies are not targeted by the solidarity movement. Activists and supporters demonstrated against the massacre in Gaza in 2009 and the assault on the flotilla in 2010, yet in this arena of open and public protest nobody, it seems, dares to attack the ideology that is behind these aggressions. There is no demonstration against Zionism, because even the European Parliament regards such a demonstration as anti-Semitic. Imagine, in the days of supremacist South Africa, if you were not allowed to demonstrate against the apartheid regime itself, but only against the Soweto massacre or any other particular atrocity committed by the South African government.” – Ilan Pappé (pg 13). 2. Ilan states that there exists an “absence of any socialist discourse from the conversation about Palestine. This absence is one of the main reasons the so-called peace camp in Israel (and the same is true regarding the lobbyists on J Street in the United States) has no issue with neo-liberalism. This worldview is not opposed to Israeli withdrawal from the Occupied Territories but has no position on the harsh economic and social oppression that does not distinguish between a West Bank inhabitant and an Israeli citizen. It is true that, unfortunately, some of the Jewish oppressed classes in Israel, in particular the Arab Jews, who see themselves as Jews first, subscribe to extreme racist views, but their plight is another good reason to not give up on a worldview that challenges the present economic, not just political, regime between the River Jordan and the sea. The absence of this angle also weakens our ability to understand the Oslo Accords, the creation of the PA, projects such as People to People, and the maintenance of the occupation by EU and USAID money as neoliberal projects. Economic elites supported the “peace process” because it was perceived to lead to an economic bonanza.” – Ilan Pappé (pg 45). 3. Chomsky believes that Israel would have formed even without the holocaust, because there was so much support for it from powerful players (who had an incorrect understanding of what the Christian Bible – which includes the Old Testament – said). (pg 61). 4. “What I mentioned before – Israel determined that they will be a pariah state, but that it did not matter as long as the US backed them. That’s very much the South African position [during apartheid]. That is why I have written often, since the 1970s, that the people who call themselves supporters of Israel are in fact supporters of its moral degeneration and probably ultimate destruction.” – Noam Chomsky (pg 76). 5. “As Operation Protective Edge ended, Israel announced its largest appropriation of West Bank land in thirty years, almost 1,000 acres. Israel Radio reported that the takeover was in response to the killing of the three Jewish teenagers by “Hamas militants.” A Palestinian boy was burned to death in retaliation for the murder, but no Israeli land was handed to Palestinians, nor was there any reaction when an Israeli soldier murdered ten-year-old Khalil Anati on a quiet street in a refugee camp near Hebron on August 10, while the most moral army in the world was smashing Gaza to bits, and then drove away in his jeep as the child bled to death. Anati was one of twenty-three Palestinians (including three children) killed by Israeli occupation forces in the West Bank during the Gaza onslaught, according to UN statistics, along with more than two thousand wounded, 38 percent by live fire. “None of those killed were endangering soldiers’ lives,” Israeli journalist Gideon Levy reported. To none of this was there any reaction while Israel killed, on average, more than two Palestinian children a week for the past fourteen years. They are unpeople, after all.” – Noam Chomsky (pg 190)

105. “Towards A New Cold War – U.S. Foreign Policy From Vietnam To Reagan” by Noam Chomsky

nugget 1:

“…We also should expect to discover, and do discover, that the general public is rarely exposed to the impact of the United States on the Third World, and that in the occasional discussion of sporadic examples (e.g., state terror in Guatemala), the U.S. role is generally suppressed. The suffering, starvation, murderous repression, and exploitation throughout domains of U.S. influence and intervention are rarely perceived to be related to systematic U.S. policy initiatives guided by the interests of those with effective domestic power, in striking contrast to our interpretation of the systems dominated by official enemies. It is currently fashionable to distinguish between “authoritarian” and “totalitarian” regimes. We oppose the latter, and there is debate over the stance we should adopt toward the former. Investigating particular cases, we can easily identify the feature that in practice distinguishes the two categories: A regime is “totalitarian,” hence the essence of evil, if it restricts “economic freedom,” a term that does not refer to the freedom of workers or communities to control production but rather to the freedom for private business – crucially, U.S.-based transnational corporations – to conduct its affairs without constraint. If it does not restrict the freedom to invest and exploit, a state is at worst “authoritarian.” The distinction has little relation to the concern of the regime for the welfare of the population…” – pages 6 & 7

nugget 2:

“…The United States was opposed to Japanese fascism largely on the grounds that it was closing off U.S. access to China, and was willing to enter into an accommodation with Japan if this policy were changed…” -pg 8

nugget 3:

“It is only when one challenges the divine right of the United States to intervene by force in the internal affairs of others that such sinister terms as “ideological” are invoked…” -pg 82

nugget 4:

“The entire American record in Indochina can be captured in the three words, “lawlessness,” “savagery,” and “stupidity” – in that order. From the outset, it was understood, and explicitly affirmed, at the highest level of policymaking, that the U.S. “intervention” in South Vietnam and elsewhere was to be pursued in defiance of any legal barrier to the use of force in international affairs. Given the indigenous strength and courage of the South Vietnamese resistance, the United States was compelled to undertake a war of annihilation to destroy the society in which it gained its support – the society “controlled by the Viet Cong,” in the terminology of the propagandists. The United States partially succeeded in this aim, but was never able to construct a viable client regime out of the wreckage. When Washington was no longer able to call out the B-52s, the whole rotten structure collapsed from within. In the end, the interests of American ruling groups were damaged, in Southeast Asia, in the United States itself, and throughout the world. Lawlessness led to savagery in the face of resistance to aggression. And in retrospect, the failure of the project may be attributed, in part, to stupidity.

“Intellectual apologists for state violence, including those who describe themselves as doves, will naturally focus on the stupidity, alleging that the war was a tragic error, a case of worthy impulse transmuted into bad policy, perhaps because of the personal failings of a generation of political leaders and incompetent advisers. Stupidity is a politically neutral category. If American policy was stupid, as in retrospect all can see it was, then the remedy is to find smarter policymakers; presumably, the critics.

“Some opponents of the war were appalled by the savagery of the American attack. Even such a prominent hawk as Bernard Fall turned against the war in the belief that Vietnam was unlikely to survive as a cultural and historic entity under the American model of counterrevolutionary violence. It is true that the Nazi-like barbarity of the U.S. war policy was the most salient and unforgettable feature of the war, in South Vietnam and elsewhere in Indochina. But savagery too is a politically neutral category. If the American leadership was sadistic, as it surely was, the remedy – it will be argued – is to find people who will pursue the same policies in a more humane fashion.

“The more critical matter is the lawlessness, specifically the resort to force to maintain a “stable world order” primarily in the interests of those who claim the right to manage the global economy.

“Suppose that the system of thought control reestablishes the doctrine that the United States remains exempt from the principles we correctly but hypocritically invoke in condemning the resort to force and terror on the part of others. Then the basis is laid for the next stage of imperial violence and aggression. As long as these doctrines hold sway, there is every reason to expect a reenactment of the tragedy of Vietnam.” – pages 163 & 164

nugget 5:

“To attribute the continuing conflict simply to Arab and Russian intransigence has been plainly absurd for the past several years, as [Saul] Bellow could have learned from established Zionist commentators. Furthermore, the earlier record is far more complex than he believes. The Israelis of Bellow’s imagination do nothing but “farm a barren land, industrialize it, build cities, make a society, do research, philosophize, write books, sustain a great moral tradition, and, finally, create an army of tough fighters.” In the real world they have a few other achievements to their credit. They have expelled Arab peasants from their lands, conducted murderous attacks on defenseless villages and refugee camps, invaded Egypt in collusion with France and England, settled the occupied territories and instituted a harsh and repressive military regime within them, placed 90 percent of the land within Israel under the control of an organization that is officially committed to work for the benefit of “persons of Jewish religion, race or origin.” And so on.” – pg 321

And, seeing how I just read it yesterday and it’s still fresh in my mind, I’ll add a link to an eye-opening article by Rémi Brulin that demonstrates clearly that the Israelis have been engaged in terrorism forever. See “The remarkable disappearing act of Israel’s car-bombing campaign in Lebanon or: What we (do not) talk about when we talk about ‘terrorism’.”

Continuing with this index, a few pages down, I came across the following, from Edward Herman’s “The Real Terror Network,” page 79: “The Diary of former Israeli Prime Minister Moshe Sharett is a major source of evidence for a conscious policy of deliberate, unprovoked cross-border attacks, in which advantage was taken of superior military power and a servile Western propaganda machine, with the intent of destabilizing neighboring states and provoking them into military responses. Sharett was a foot-dragger in these enterprises, often shaken by the ruthlessness of the military establishment – “the long chain of false incidents and hostilities we have invented, and so many clashes we have provoked;” the “narrow-mindedness and short-sightedness of our military leaders” [who] “seem to presume that the State of Israel may – or even must – behave in the realm of international relations according to the laws of the jungle.” Sharett himself referred to this long effort as a “sacred terrorism.”