Thursday, May 01, 2003

Chomsky: Wars On Terror (long, very good)
'One familiar device is miraculous conversion [of the USA]: true, there have been flaws in the past, but they have now been overcome so we can forget those boring and now-irrelevant topics and march on to a bright future. This useful doctrine of “change of course” has been invoked frequently over the years, in ways that are instructive when we look closely.'

'To repeat the obvious, we basically have two choices. Either history is bunk, including current history, and we can march forward with confidence that the global enforcer will drive evil from the world much as the President's speech writers declare, plagiarizing ancient epics and children's tales. Or we can subject the doctrines of the proclaimed grand new era to scrutiny, drawing rational conclusions, perhaps gaining some sense of the emerging reality.'

'When Kennedy ordered his staff to subject Cubans to the “terrors of the earth” until Castro is eliminated, his planners advised that “The very existence of his regime … represents a successful defiance of the US, a negation of our whole hemispheric policy of almost a century and a half,” based on the principle of subordination to US will. Worse yet, Castro’s regime was providing an “example and general stimulus” that might “encourage agitation and radical change” in other parts of Latin America, where “social and economic conditions … invite opposition to ruling authority” and susceptibility to “the Castro idea of taking matters into one’s own hands.” These are grave dangers, Kennedy planners recognized, when “The distribution of land and other forms of national wealth greatly favors the propertied classes … [and] The poor and underprivileged, stimulated by the example of the Cuban revolution, are now demanding opportunities for a decent living.” These threats were only compounded by successful resistance to invasion, an intolerable threat to credibility, warranting the “terrors of the earth” and destructive economic warfare to excise that earlier “cancer.”'

These insights on the importance of land and other essential resources are fundamental and deserve more prominence in progressive literature. From a geonomist's perspective, this is the key and it provides the point on which the ideologies of socialism, anarchism, georgism and environmentalism can unite in effective opposition to imperialism and monopoly or enclosed capitalism.

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