Friday, May 05, 2006

Review of Gabriel Kolko's 'Age of War': "A fuller list, such as one provided by ZNet, numbers at least 60 US military and/or covert interventions since 1950, excluding shows of naval/air strength, covert action and/or the use of proxy forces where the United States did not have command, and US pilots flying foreign warplanes. Instances in which the US has used proxy forces and/or covert action for regime change, for propping up 'friendly' rulers, or to fight communism include scores of countries around the globe: Angola, Cuba, Venezuela, Indonesia, the Philippines, Namibia, Iran in 1953, Afghanistan in the 1980s, Iran again in 2006, to name just a very few.

"And all this for what? As Kolko writes, everywhere it has intervened, militarily, covertly, or by providing funding, arms and training for 'friendly' repressive regimes and their state-terrorist organs, the US has created enemies. Hardly anywhere has Washington's desired political outcome been achieved, despite - or because of - the staggering human, social and financial costs. In many cases, all the US has achieved has been stalemate (eg, Korea), defeat (eg, Vietnam), or blowback (eg, from its onetime proxy in Afghanistan, Osama bin Laden). In other cases it has set in motion unforeseen and uncontrollable developments (eg, the Khmer Rouge genocide in Cambodia). The US itself is at greater risk than ever, as it discovered in 2001 when war came to its shores. Its enemies are now far more diverse than they were during the Cold War. They are harder to identify, let alone attack, and threats and potential threats to the US are harder to see and foresee."

They call this nakedly aggressive, imperialistic, resource-dominating, hegemonic project a 'War on Terror' and people take them seriously. The power of state-sponsored propaganda, disinformation, mass delusion and self deception is staggering. This is a salutary lesson which every adult person must learn. In fact it should be taught from childhood.

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