Teach-In: Over Coffee
1. On post-World War II U.S. and Soviet military presence, see for example, Center for Defense Information, "Soviet Geopolitical Momentum: Myth or Menace? Trends of Soviet Influence Around the World From 1945 to 1980," Defense Monitor, January 1980, p. 5 (tracing Soviet influence on a country-by-country basis since World War II, and concluding that Soviet power peaked in the late 1950s and by 1979 "the Soviets were influencing only 6 percent of the world's population and 5 percent of the world's G.N.P., exclusive of the Soviet Union"); Senate Subcommittee on Security Agreements and Commitments Abroad, Security Agreements and Commitments Abroad, Report to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, December 21, 1970, 91st Congress, 2nd Session, Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1970, C.I.S.# 70-S382-17, p. 3 (pointing out that the post-World War II U.S. global military presence reached over 3,000 foreign military bases "virtually surrounding both the Soviet Union and Communist China"); Ruth Leger Sivard, World Military and Social Expenditures 1981, Leesburg, VA: World Priorities, 1981, p. 8 (study counting at least 125 military conflicts since the end of World War II, 95 percent of them occurring in the Third World and in most cases involving foreign forces, with "western powers accounting for 79 percent of the interventions, communist for 6 percent").
2. For Gaddis's justification of his use of the "containment" concept, see John Lewis Gaddis, Strategies of Containment: A Critical Appraisal of Postwar American National Security Policy, New York: Oxford University Press, 1982. The exact words (p. vii n."*"; emphasis in original):
The term "containment" poses certain problems, implying as it does a consistently defensive orientation in American policy. One can argue at length about whether Washington's approach to the world since 1945 has been primarily defensive -- I tend to think it has -- but the argument is irrelevant for the purposes of this book. What is important here is that American leaders consistently perceived themselves as responding to rather than initiating challenges to the existing international order. For this reason, it seems to me valid to treat the idea of containment as the central theme of postwar national security policy.
3. For Gaddis's reference to "economic considerations," see John Lewis Gaddis, Strategies of Containment: A Critical Appraisal of Postwar American National Security Policy, New York: Oxford University Press, 1982. The exact words (pp. 356-357; emphasis in original):
What is surprising is the primacy that has been accorded economic considerations in shaping strategies of containment, to the exclusion of other considerations. One would not expect to find, in initiatives directed so self-consciously at the world at large, such decisive but parochial concerns. . . . To a remarkable degree, containment has been the product, not so much of what the Russians have done, or of what has happened elsewhere in the world, but of internal forces operating within the United States.
4. For National Security Council [N.S.C.] 68, of April 14, 1950, see Foreign Relations of the United States, 1950, Vol. I, Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1977, pp. 234-292. The exact words (section VI.B.2, pp. 261, 258):
[T]here are grounds for predicting that the United States and other free nations will within a period of a few years at most experience a decline in economic activity of serious proportions unless more positive governmental programs are developed than are now available. . . . Industrial production declined by 10 percent between the first quarter of 1948 and the last quarter of 1949, and by approximately one-fourth between 1944 and 1949. In March 1950 there were approximately 4,750,000 unemployed, as compared to 1,070,000 in 1943 and 670,000 in 1944. The gross national product declined slowly in 1949 from the peak reached in 1948 ($262 billion in 1948 to an annual rate of $256 billion in the last six months of 1949), and in terms of constant prices declined by about 20 percent between 1944 and 1948.
The document then proposes a build-up of "economic and military strength" through rearmament (pp. 258, 286):
With a high level of economic activity, the United States could soon attain a gross national product of $300 billion per year, as was pointed out in the President's Economic Report (January 1950). Progress in this direction would permit, and might itself be aided by, a build-up of the economic and military strength of the United States and the free world; furthermore, if a dynamic expansion of the economy were achieved, the necessary build-up could be accomplished without a decrease in the national standard of living because the required resources could be obtained by siphoning off a part of the annual increment in the gross national product. . . .
One of the most significant lessons of our World War II experience was that the American economy, when it operates at a level approaching full efficiency, can provide enormous resources for purposes other than civilian consumption while simultaneously providing a high standard of living. After allowing for price changes, personal consumption expenditures rose by about one-fifth between 1939 and 1944, even though the economy had in the meantime increased the amount of resources going into Government use by $60-$65 billion (in 1939 prices).
For commentary, see for example, Fred Block, "Economic Instability and Military Strength: The Paradoxes of the 1950 Rearmament Decision," Politics and Society, Vol. 10, No. 1, 1980, pp. 35-58; Melvyn Leffler, A Preponderance of Power: National Security, the Truman Administration, and the Cold War, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1992, ch. 8. See also chapter 3 of U.P. and its footnotes 7 to 10.
5. On the decision to increase military spending in the wake of the Marshall Plan's failure, see for example, Richard M. Freeland, The Truman Doctrine and the Origins of McCarthyism: Foreign Policy, Domestic Politics, and Internal Security, 1946-1948, New York: New York University Press, 1985, pp. 329-334. An excerpt (pp. 330, 334):
Despite the rapid success of the aid program in inducing the recovery of western Europe's productive capacity, unsatisfactory progress was made with respect to the problem of increasing the dollar earnings of western European economies. In 1949 European exports to both the United States and Latin America actually declined. In this context Britain suffered another economic crisis and in September 1949 was forced to devalue the pound by 30 per cent; in subsequent months all other Marshall Plan countries followed suit. By the end of the year both [the Council of Economic Advisors] and other federal agencies came to the conclusion that the [Committee for European Economic Cooperation] had asserted in 1948: the E.R.P. [European Recovery Program, the "Marshall Plan,"] offered no prospect for the countries of Europe to balance their payments through exports to the U.S. . . .
The decision to shift the emphasis of American policy toward Europe from economic aid to military aid occurred within the context of the recognized failure of the politico-commercial strategy that was an essential component of the E.R.P. This failure left the kind of rearmament program proposed by N.S.C.-68 as the sole means for building the Atlantic political community to which U.S. policy was consistently committed after 1946.
William Borden, The Pacific Alliance: United States Foreign Economic Policy and Japanese Trade Recovery, 1947-1955, Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1984, especially pp. 12, 27, 50-60, 245-246 n.75 (reaching the same general conclusion; also pointing out that "few dollars changed hands internationally under the aid programs, the dollars went to American producers and the goods were sold to the European public" in local currencies).
See also, Melvyn Leffler, "The United States and the Strategic Dimensions of the Marshall Plan," Diplomatic History, Summer 1988, pp. 277-306 at pp. 277-278 (overcoming the dollar gap "which had originally prompted the Marshall Plan" required a restoration of the triangular trade patterns whereby Europe earned dollars through U.S. purchase of raw materials from its colonies; hence European, and Japanese, access to Third World markets and raw materials was an essential component of the general strategic planning, and a necessary condition for fulfillment of the general purposes of the Marshall Plan, which were to "benefit the American economy," to "redress the European balance of power" in favor of U.S. allies -- state and class -- and to "enhance American national security," where "national security . . . meant the control of raw materials, industrial infrastructure, skilled manpower, and military bases"). And see chapter 3 of U.P. and its footnotes 3, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11.
6. For Gaddis's characterization of the 1918 invasion of the Soviet Union, see John Lewis Gaddis, The Long Peace: Inquiries Into the History of the Cold War, New York: Oxford University Press, 1987, pp. 10f, 21. His exact words (pp. 10-11):
This debate over the motives for intervention misses an important point, though, which is that Wilson and his allies saw their actions in a defensive rather than an offensive context. Intervention in Russia took place in response to a profound and potentially far-reaching intervention by the new Soviet government in the internal affairs, not just of the West, but of virtually every other country in the world: I refer here, of course to the Revolution's challenge -- which could hardly have been more categorical -- to the very survival of the capitalist order. . . . From this perspective, the interesting question regarding Western intervention in Russia after the Bolshevik Revolution is why it was such a half-hearted, poorly planned, and ultimately ineffectual enterprise, given the seriousness of the threat it sought to counter.
7. For Secretary of State Lansing's warning, see "Lansing Papers, 1914-1920," Vol. II, Foreign Relations of the United States, Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1940, p. 348. His exact words (referring to a 1918 communication from the Bolsheviks to "the peoples and governments of the Allied countries"):
The document is an appeal to the proletariat of all countries, to the ignorant and mentally deficient, who by their numbers are urged to become masters. Here seems to me to lie a very real danger in view of the present social unrest throughout the world.
For a similar warning by Lansing made elsewhere, see John Lewis Gaddis, Russia, the Soviet Union, and the United States: An Interpretive History, New York: Knopf, 1978, p. 105:
[Bolshevism's appeal is] to the unintelligent and brutish elements of mankind to take from the intellectual and successful their rights and possessions and to reduce them to a state of slavery. . . . Bolshevism is the most hideous and monstrous thing that the human mind has ever conceived.
See also, Lloyd Gardner, Safe for Democracy: The Anglo-American Response to Revolution, New York: Oxford University Press, 1984, p. 242 (on President Wilson's fears about Bolshevism's potential effect upon American blacks).
For a study of Wilson's intervention in Russia, see David S. Fogelsang, America's Secret War Against Bolshevism: U.S. Intervention in the Russian Civil War, 1917-1920, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1995.
For sources on the Red Scare of 1919 in the U.S., see footnote 6 of chapter 8 of U.P. Chomsky remarks: "The Red Scare was strongly backed by the press and elites generally until they came to see that their own interests would be harmed as the right-wing frenzy got out of hand -- in particular, the anti-immigrant hysteria, which threatened the reserve of cheap labor" (Necessary Illusions: Thought Control in Democratic Societies, Boston: South End, 1989, p. 189).
8. On popular reform under the Sandinistas, see for example, Latin American Studies Association, The Electoral Process in Nicaragua: The Report of the Latin American Studies Association Delegation to Observe the Nicaraguan General Election of November 4, 1984, Latin American Studies Association Official Publication, November 19, 1984, pp. 4-7 (summarizing the Sandinista government's priorities and why it gained popular support during the first half of the 1980s; noting that the Sandinista agenda "defined national priorities according to 'the logic of the majority,' which meant that Nicaragua's poor majority would have access to, and be the primary beneficiaries of, public programs"); Joseph Collins et al., What Difference Could a Revolution Make?: Food and Farming in the New Nicaragua, San Francisco: Institute for Food and Development Policy, 1985; Dianna Melrose, Nicaragua: The Threat of a Good Example?, Oxford (U.K.): Oxfam [British charitable relief and development organization], 1985 (preface 1989). An excerpt (pp. 1, 13-14):
[Oxfam's] long-term development work is most likely to succeed where governments are genuinely committed to the needs of the poor majority. Rarely is this the case. Nicaragua stands out because of the positive climate for development based on people's active participation, which Oxfam has encountered over the past five years [i.e. since 1979 under the Sandinista government]. . . . [S]ince 1979 the scope for development has been enormous, with remarkable progress achieved in health, literacy and a more equitable distribution of resources. . . .
The new Government of National Reconstruction stressed its desire to develop a mixed economy and political pluralism in a country that had no tradition of democracy or free elections. Great importance was also attached to achieving a high degree of national self-sufficiency and an independent, non-aligned foreign policy. This radically new focus of social policy in Nicaragua towards the needs of the poor presented enormous scope for Oxfam's work. In addition to locally-based projects, Oxfam was now able to support nationwide initiatives to tackle problems rooted in poverty. The concept of actively involving people in development through community organisations is neither new nor radical, but widely recognised to be a precondition for successful development. However, as the World Bank points out: "Governments . . . vary greatly in the commitment of their political leadership to improving the condition of the people and encouraging their active participation in the development process." From Oxfam's experience of working in seventy-six developing countries, Nicaragua was to prove exceptional in the strength of that Government commitment.
This report documents a wide range of Sandinista reforms (pp. 14-26). They included a decline in the national illiteracy rate from 53 percent to 13 percent; popular education collectives established in 17,000 communities; 127 percent more schools, 61 percent more teachers, and 55 percent more children at primary school; a national program of mass inoculations against diseases which resulted in, among other successes, a 98 percent fall in new malaria cases; agrarian reform, including compensation for expropriated land, since up to a third of arable land (mainly on large estates) was idle or under-used; 49,661 families in a total population of three million receiving titles to land between late 1981 and late 1984; and an 8 percent increase in overall agricultural production between 1979 and 1983. The Inter-American Development Bank summarized: "Nicaragua has made noteworthy progress in the social sector, which is laying a solid foundation for long-term socio-economic development." As the New England Journal of Medicine put it: "In just three years, more has been done in most areas of social welfare than in fifty years of dictatorship under the Somoza family." See also footnote 52 of chapter 1 of U.P.
For the World Bank's 1980 prediction that it would take at least a decade for Nicaragua to reach the economic level that it had in 1977 -- because of the damaging economic consequences of the popular insurrection against the U.S.-client dictator Somoza's regime -- see Michael E. Conroy, "Economic Aggression as an Instrument of Low-Intensity Warfare," in Thomas Walker, ed., Reagan versus the Sandinistas: The Undeclared War on Nicaragua, Boulder, CO: Westview, 1987, pp. 57-79, especially p. 67 (citing "Nicaragua: The Challenge of Reconstruction," Washington: International Bank for Reconstruction and Development [the "World Bank"], October 9, 1981, p. 11). See also, Michael E. Conroy, "Economic Legacy and Policies: Performance and Critique," in Thomas Walker, ed., Nicaragua: The First Five Years, New York: Praeger, 1985, pp. 232-233.
9. On the "threat of a good example" as a preoccupation of U.S. foreign policy, see chapter 5 of U.P. and especially its footnote 32, and also its footnotes 7, 8 and 108. See also chapter 1 of U.P. and its footnote 20; and footnote 8 of this chapter.
10. A search on the Nexis computer database of newspapers and journals dating from the early 1980s for every instance in which the root-term "invade!" (i.e. including "invades," "invaded," etc.) was published within ten words of "South Vietnam" retrieved a total of two direct statements in American newspapers and journals that the U.S. invaded South Vietnam. One was by Chomsky in an interview -- see Eric Black, "Noam Chomsky: He's got a world on his mind," Star Tribune (Minneapolis), April 10, 1997, p. 17A. The other appeared in a letter to the editor from a reader in Lakeland, Florida -- see Fred Mercer, "U.S. caused 'Nam war," Letter, The Ledger (Lakeland, FL), December 1, 1995, p. A14. In addition, the Washington Post quoted the phrase one time in an article on North Vietnamese propaganda and reeducation camps; and the British news-wire Reuters and the British Broadcasting Corporation transmitted stories which utilized the terms in this manner. See Robert G. Kaiser, "Surviving Communist 'Reeducation Camp,'" Washington Post, May 15, 1994, p. A33; and, for example, John Chalmers, "Vietnam's party conclaves map turbulent history," Reuters, June 27, 1996.
11. For Gaddis's characterization of Dienbienphu, see John Lewis Gaddis, The Long Peace: Inquiries Into the History of the Cold War, New York: Oxford University Press, 1987, pp. 129f.
12. For Bundy's statement about Dienbienphu, see McGeorge Bundy, Danger and Survival: Choices About the Bomb in the First Fifty Years, New York: Random House, 1988, pp. 260-270 at pp. 260-261.
13. On the indigenous opposition which confronted the French and then the U.S. in Vietnam, see footnote 71 of chapter 1 of U.P.
14. On Nicaragua's 1984 election, see for example, Latin American Studies Association, The Electoral Process in Nicaragua: The Report of the Latin American Studies Association Delegation to Observe the Nicaraguan General Election of November 4, 1984, Latin American Studies Association Official Publication, November 19, 1984; Canadian Church and Human Rights Delegation, Nicaragua 1984: Democracy, Elections and War, Toronto: Inter-Church Committee on Human Rights in Latin America, 1984; Abraham Brumberg, "'Sham' and 'Farce' in Nicaragua?," Dissent, Spring 1985, pp. 226-237.
On El Salvador's 1982 election, see for example, Edward S. Herman and Frank Brodhead, Demonstration Elections: U.S.-Staged Elections in the Dominican Republic, Vietnam, and El Salvador, Boston: South End, 1984, ch. 4.
15. On repression in El Salvador and Guatemala versus that in Nicaragua under the Sandinistas, see for example, Americas Watch, Human Rights in Nicaragua 1986, New York: Americas Watch Committee, February 1987, chs. 1, 2 and 6. An excerpt (pp. 140-141, 158-159):
One illustration of the Reagan Administration's employment of human rights rhetoric in its war against the Sandinistas is a joint State Department-Defense Department document that was distributed to those who attended the White House ceremony on December 10, 1986 marking International Human Rights Day. Printed on glossy paper with a silver cover and with four color illustrations (a format that stands out in contrast to U.S. government documents on human rights in other parts of the world) it is titled "The Challenge to Democracy in Central America." At page 28, it cites the following statement approvingly: "In the American continent, there is no regime more barbaric and bloody, no regime that violates human rights in a manner more constant and permanent, than the Sandinista regime." Whatever the sins of the Sandinistas -- and they are real -- this is nonsense. . . .
Between 40,000 and 50,000 Salvadoran civilians were murdered by government forces and death squads allied to them during the 1980s. A similar number died during [the U.S. client] Somoza's last year or so in Nicaragua, mostly in indiscriminate attacks on the civilian population by the National Guard. The number of civilian noncombatants killed by the armed forces in Guatemala during the 1980s cannot be known, but it is probably the highest in the hemisphere. . . . As to Nicaragua, taking into account all of the civilian noncombatant deaths attributable to government forces in the more than seven years since the Sandinistas consolidated power, it is difficult to count a total of more than 300 . . . of which the largest number of victims were Miskito Indians on the Atlantic Coast in 1981 and 1982. . . . [Furthermore], Americas Watch knows of two cases of [Nicaraguan] political prisoners in the sense in which that term is used in the United States . . . [one of these] had been arrested for evading the military draft. . . . He was subsequently released without charges and is not presently serving in the military. . . . Also at this time, Amnesty International has no currently adopted "prisoner of conscience" in Nicaragua under the Sandinistas.
The true nature of the U.S.-client regimes in El Salvador and Guatemala should be fully appreciated. See for example, Reverend Daniel Santiago [Catholic priest working in El Salvador], "The Aesthetics of Terror, The Hermeneutics of Death," America [Jesuit journal], Vol. 162, No. 11, March 24, 1990, pp. 292-295. An excerpt:
I have heard Tonita tell her story at least a dozen times. She has recounted the horror for each delegation of North Americans who visited the refugee camp on the outskirts of San Salvador. With so many tellings, Tonita's testimony has acquired a repetitive quality. When translated and transcribed, it is somewhat unbelievable. What is convincing, however, is not the story itself, but Tonita's visceral reaction to each telling. Her tears are not the stage tears of an actress; the lines of pain that cross her wrinkled face have not been enhanced with makeup. Tonita's story is quite believable and that is the problem.
Tonita is a peasant from Santa Lucia, a rural village near the volcano of San Vicente in El Salvador. One day, two years ago, at 11:00 A.M., Tonita left her one-room home to carry lunch to her husband, Chepe, and their two teen-age sons who were cutting firewood on the volcano. She left her three smallest children -- an 18-month-old daughter, a 3-year-old son and a 5-year-old daughter -- in the care of her sister and mother. . . . Entering the house [on her return], Tonita was greeted by the grisly spectacle of a feast macabre. Seated around a small table in the middle of her house were her mother, sister and three children. The decapitated heads of all five had been placed in front of each torso, their hands arranged on top, as if each body was stroking its own head. This had proven to be difficult in the case of the youngest daughter. The difficulty had been overcome by nailing the hands onto the head. The hammer had been left on the table. The floor and table were awash with blood. In the very center of the table was a large plastic bowl filled with blood; the air hung heavy with its sweet, cloying smell. Tonita's neighbors had fled when the Salvadoran National Guard began their killing. The Guardia had not tried to stop the people from fleeing and, indeed, they encouraged it. One neighbor, Doña Laura, returned for Tonita and found her standing in the doorway, moaning and staring at her decapitated mother, sister and children. . . .
This is only one tableau of many. Other scènes macabres have been created by the armed forces in their 10-year exhibition of horror and death. People are not just killed by death squads in El Salvador -- they are decapitated and then their heads are placed on pikes and used to dot the landscape. Men are not just disemboweled by the Salvadoran Treasury Police; their severed genitalia are stuffed into their mouths. Salvadoran women are not just raped by the National Guard; their wombs are cut from their bodies and used to cover their faces. It is not enough to kill children; they are dragged over barbed wire until the flesh falls from their bones while parents are forced to watch. . . . There is a purpose to all of this. One embraces a certain style in order to achieve a certain effect. Stories of atrocities committed by Government security troops spread by word of mouth. It is the attention to detail that captures people's imagination and leaves them shaking. But these stories are not fairy tales. The stories are punctuated with the hard evidence of corpses, mutilated flesh, splattered brains and eyewitnesses. Sadomasochistic killing creates terror in El Salvador. Terror creates passivity in the face of oppression. A passive population is easy to control. Why the need to control the peasants? Somebody has to pick the coffee and cotton and cut the sugar cane.
Craig W. Nelson and Kenneth I. Taylor, Witness to Genocide: The Present Situation of Indians in Guatemala, London: Survival International, 1983 (collection of depositions taken in Mexico of refugees from Guatemala). An excerpt (p. 19):
[A mother of two children, who fled her village as it was burned down with many killed by the Guatemalan army, reports]: "In July, 1982, soldiers flew into the area by helicopter. First they went to [the name is redacted to avoid possible retributions], a nearby town, and killed five people, burned the town, and threw people, including women and children, into the flames. . . . Children's throats were cut, and women were hit with machetes. . . ."
[A man reports that he] watched as the soldiers killed fifteen people, including women, with machetes. They set fire to the houses, and sometimes opened the doors of huts and threw hand grenades inside. In all, fifty people in his village were killed. Soldiers also killed forty-nine people in the nearby town of [name redacted], which they burned as well. Two of those killed were his uncles. From a kilometer away, he saw women from the village who were hung by their feet without clothes and left.
Elizabeth Hanley, "Tales of Terror from El Salvador," In These Times, April 17, 1985, p. 16 (recounting stories of Salvadoran women in a refugee camp in Honduras). An excerpt:
When the National Guard came to [the] village in U.S.-supplied helicopters, they chopped all the children to bits and threw them to the village pigs. "The soldiers laughed all the while," Luisa told me. "What were they trying to kill?" she asked, still able to cry two years later. . . .
Like [her], all of the women still had tears to cry as they told stories of sons, brothers and husbands gathered into a circle and set on fire after their legs had been broken; or of trees heavy with women hanging from their wrists, all with breasts cut off and facial skin peeled back, all slowly bleeding to death. A frenzy went with each telling, as though women had yet to find a place inside themselves to contain it. Now, to my right one of the women was rocking another. Everyone was trembling.
Representative Gerry Studds, Central America, 1981, Report to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, U.S. House of Representatives, 97th Congress, 1st Session, Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, March 1981. An excerpt (pp. 26-29):
January 17-18, 1981 -- Conversations with refugees from El Salvador (conducted in areas along the Honduras-El Salvador border):
The conversations . . . were tape recorded and are summarized in detail below. They describe what appears to be a systematic campaign conducted by the security forces of El Salvador to deny any rural base for guerrilla operations in the north. By terrorizing and depopulating villages in the region, they have sought to isolate the guerrillas and create problems of logistics and food supply. This strategy was recently summarized by one military commander, who told the Boston Globe: "The subversives like to say that they are the fish and the people are the ocean. What we have done in the north is to dry up the ocean so we can catch the fish easily." The Salvadoran method of "drying up the ocean" involves, according to those who have fled from its violence, a combination of murder, torture, rape, the burning of crops in order to create starvation conditions, and a program of general terrorism and harassment. . . .
The following is an outline of the statements made by refugees to the [delegation led by Representative Barbara Mikulski], as summarized on the scene by the translator accompanying the group:
Interview -- Woman No. 1: "This woman fled in November 1980, and while she was then forced to flee, she was one of the last people from her village to flee. She was 9 months pregnant. She had her little baby, which she is holding in her arms right now, in the mountains on her way out to Honduras. The Army was setting up guns, heavy cannon artillery on the hills around their village, bombing the villages and forcing the people away. . . . If people were caught in the village, they would kill them. Women and children alike. She said that with pregnant women, they would cut open the stomachs and take the babies out. She said she was very afraid because she had seen the result of what a guard had done to a friend of hers. She had been pregnant and they took the child out after they cut open her stomach. And where she lived they did not leave one house standing. They burned all of them. . . ."
Interview -- Woman No. 2: Maria: "She say that she would like to tell us the following: That many of her family were killed, so many were killed that she doesn't even remember their names. . . . About 7 months ago they killed one of her family and the child was an infant and is now in a hospital in a nearby town close to death. The army threw the baby in the river when they found them, and they took them into the woods and later they were found. She personally saw children around the age of 8 being raped, and then they would take their bayonets and make mincemeat of them. With their guns they would shoot at their faces. . . ."
Question: "These were army troops or guards?"
Answer: "Troops. Army."
Question: "Did the left ever do these things?"
Answer: "No. No, they haven't done any of those kinds of things . . . but the army would cut people up and put soap and coffee in their stomachs as a mocking. They would slit the stomach of a pregnant woman and take the child out, as if they were taking eggs out of an iguana. That is what I saw. That is what I have to say. . . ."
Interview -- Man No. 2: "[United States helicopters] are up in the air and they shoot at us. And we are completely defenseless. We have our ax and machetes to clean the earth with and to cultivate the land, and that is all we have against the helicopters."
Ms. Mikulski: "Has the left done anything against him?"
Answer: "No, they don't kill children. We don't complain about them at all. . . ."
Interview -- Woman No. 5: "[O]nce she saw [the army] kill six women. First they killed two women and then they burned their bodies with firewood. She said, one thing she saw was a dog carrying a new born infant in its mouth. The child was dead because it had been taken from the mother's womb after the guard slit open her stomach."
Ms. Mikulski: "How were the other two women killed?"
Answer: "First, they hung them and then they machinegunned them and then they threw them down to the ground. When we arrived the dogs were eating them and the birds were eating them. They didn't have any clothes on. They had decapitated one of the women. They found the head somewhere else. Another woman's arm was sliced off. We saw the killings from a hillside and then when we came back down we saw what had happened. While we were with the bodies we heard another series of gunshots and we fled again. . . . [I]t's the military that is doing this. Only the military. The popular organization isn't doing any of this."
See also, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, "Bach and War in El Salvador," Spectator (London), May 10, 1986, pp. 16-17 (quoting a Salvadoran death squad member: "We learnt from you [i.e. Americans], we learnt from you the methods, like blowtorches in the armpits, shots in the balls"); Allan Nairn, "Behind the Death Squads," Progressive, May 1984, pp. 1f (documenting U.S. training of, support for, and behind-the-scenes involvement in Salvadoran Death Squad activities).
16. On freedom of the press in Sandinista Nicaragua, see for example, Thomas Walker, ed., Reagan versus the Sandinistas: the Undeclared War on Nicaragua, Boulder, CO: Westview, 1987, pp. 6-10. An excerpt (pp. 7-10):
As is true in all states in time of war or threat of war, certain human rights were gradually infringed upon in the name of national security [in Sandinista Nicaragua]. . . . [O]n a half-dozen occasions, La Prensa was closed for two-day periods [in late 1981]. This action was taken under the terms of a press law decreed by the original Junta (of which, ironically, La Prensa owner Violeta Chamorro had been part). . . . However, even with these shutdowns, La Prensa continued to operate freely and in bitter opposition to the government more than 95 percent of the time. . . .
In spring 1982 following contra attacks on important Nicaraguan infrastructure and the disclosure in the U.S. media of President Reagan's earlier authorization of funding for C.I.A.-sponsored paramilitary operations against its country, the government declared a state of prewar emergency under which certain civil and political rights were temporarily suspended. . . . La Prensa, though now heavily censored, continued to function until June 1986, when it was finally closed in the wake of the House approval of the $100 million [for the contras]. (In El Salvador the only real opposition papers had long since been driven completely out of business through the murder or exile of their owners.)
John Spicer Nichols, "The Media," in Thomas Walker, ed., Nicaragua: The First Five Years, New York: Praeger, 1985, pp. 183-199 (on the degree of censorship in Nicaragua during the contra war, with comparisons to censorship in the U.S. during wartime). See also chapter 4 of U.P. and its footnote 9. On civil liberties violations in times of war in the United States, see chapter 8 of U.P. and its footnotes 4 to 7.
17. On the fate of El Salvador's independent press, see for example, Jorge Pinto [editor of the former Salvadoran newspaper El Independiente, writing after he fled to Mexico], "In Salvador, Nooseprint," Op-Ed, New York Times, May 6, 1981, p. A31. An excerpt:
In January 1980, El Independiente's offices were bombed. In April, an office boy standing in the front entrance was killed in a machinegun attack. On June 27, armed men arrived at the printing shop and gave the 40 workers there one minute to leave before they placed dynamite under the press and destroyed it. Two days later, my car was sprayed with machine-gun fire, pocking it with 37 bullet holes. Two other such attacks were made on my life.
Raymond Bonner, Weakness and Deceit: U.S. Policy and El Salvador, New York: Times Books, 1984. An excerpt (pp. 206, 212):
The country's small opposition newspapers, El Independiente and La Crónica, were repeatedly bombed. La Crónica's editor in chief, Jaime Suárez, and a photojournalist, César Najarro, were seized mid-day while sitting in a downtown coffee shop. Their bodies, hacked to pieces by machetes, were found a few days later. . . . Two weeks after Reagan's triumph, troops stormed into the archdiocese's building, where they ransacked the offices of the church newspaper, Orientacíon, and destroyed the facilities of the radio station, YSAX.
Aside from Pinto's Op-Ed, there was not one word in the New York Times's news columns and not one editorial comment on the destruction of El Independiente. Before it was finally destroyed, there had been four bombings of La Crónica in six months; the last of these received forty words in a "News Brief" in the New York Times. See World News Briefs, "Salvador Groups Attack Paper and U.S. Plant," New York Times, April 19, 1980, p. 7. Chomsky comments (Necessary Illusions: Thought Control in Democratic Societies, Boston: South End, 1989, p. 42):
Contrasting sharply with the silence over the two Salvadoran newspapers is the case of the opposition journal La Prensa in Nicaragua. Media critic Francisco Goldman counted 263 references to its tribulations in the New York Times in four years [see Francisco Goldman, "Sad Tales of La Libertad de Prensa," Harper's, August 1988, p. 56]. The distinguishing criterion is not obscure: the Salvadoran newspapers were independent voices stilled by the murderous violence of U.S. clients; La Prensa is an agency of the U.S. campaign to overthrow the government of Nicaragua, therefore a "worthy victim," whose harassment calls forth anguish and outrage. . . . These matters did not arise in the enthusiastic reporting of El Salvador's "free elections" in 1982 and 1984.
The situation was much the same in U.S.-client Guatemala. For example, on June 10, 1988, fifteen heavily armed men broke into the offices of the newspaper La Epoca, stole valuable equipment, and firebombed the offices, destroying them. They also kidnapped the night watchman, releasing him later under threat of death if he were to speak about the attack. Eyewitness testimony and other sources left little doubt that it was an operation of the security forces. The editor, Byron Barrera Ortiz, held a press conference on June 14th to announce that the journal would shut down "because there are not conditions in the country to guarantee the exercise of free and independent journalism." The destruction of La Epoca "signaled not only the end of an independent media voice in Guatemala, but it served as a warning as well that future press independence would not be tolerated by the government or security forces," as Americas Watch put it. See "Guatemala: Independent press silenced by bombing," Central America Report (Guatemala City, Guatemala: Inforpress Centroamericana), Vol. XV, No. 23, June 17, 1988, p. 182; "Guatemala: Low-intensity political violence," Central America Report (Guatemala City, Guatemala: Inforpress Centroamericana), Vol. XV, No. 22, June 10, 1988, pp. 175-176.
These facts were not even reported contemporaneously in the New York Times or Washington Post. One month later, the seventeenth paragraph of a story on Guatemala by Stephen Kinzer mentioned the bombing of La Epoca, which "some diplomats attributed to the security forces," and it was referred to again in August in the Times book review in a report on a conference of Central American writers. See Stephen Kinzer, "Top Guatemala Officers Solidly Behind President," New York Times, July 6, 1988, p. A2; David Unger, "Central American Writers Meet Amid the Death Squads," New York Times, August 7, 1988, section 7, p. 25.
18. On the U.S. opposing the Central America peace process, see for example, Walter LaFeber, Inevitable Revolutions: The United States in Central America, New York: Norton, 1993 (revised and expanded edition). See also, Noam Chomsky, Necessary Illusions: Thought Control in Democratic Societies, Boston: South End, 1989, ch. 4 and Appendix 4.5.
19. For King Hassan as a "moderate," see for example, Eleanor Blau, "A King of the Unexpected," New York Times, July 23, 1986, p. A6 (King Hassan "has been described as charming and extremely self-confident . . . he is usually regarded as pro-Western, moderate and eager to preserve his throne against Islamic militants").
For useful lists of common media buzzwords and deceptive terminology, see Martin A. Lee and Norman Solomon, Unreliable Sources: A Guide to Detecting Bias in News Media, New York: Lyle Stuart, 1990, pp. 10-13, 39-41 ("A Lexicon of Media Buzzwords"); Edward S. Herman, Beyond Hypocrisy: Decoding the News in an Age of Propaganda, Montreal: Black Rose, 1992, pp. 113-187 ("A Doublespeak Dictionary for the 1990s").
20. For Saudi Arabia as "moderate," see for example, Jonathan C. Randal, "Iran's Rivalry With Saudis Seen as Factor in Book Row," Washington Post, February 21, 1989, p. A17 ("Saudi Arabia and other moderate, pro-western regimes in the Arab world").
21. On Iraq being described as "moving towards moderation," see for example, Henry Kamm, "Iraq Is Improving Links to Both U.S. and Soviet," New York Times, March 29, 1984, p. A12 ("a dramatic but little discussed Iraqi swing from Arab radicalism toward moderation and a warming relationship with the United States"); E.A. Wayne, "Iraq Returns to Mideast Political Lineup," Christian Science Monitor, July 17, 1989, p. 7 ("Iraq's leadership remains 'tough-minded' says one official, but it is less ideological and is aligning itself with moderates").
22. For the article on Indonesia, see John Murray Brown, "Bringing Irian Jaya into 20th century," Christian Science Monitor, February 6, 1987, p. 9 ("With the downfall in 1965 of then President Sukarno, many in the West were keen to cultivate Jakarta's new moderate leader, Suharto").
23. On U.S. support for the 1965 coup in Indonesia, see footnote 18 of chapter 1 of U.P.
For casualty estimates for the post-coup massacres in Indonesia, see for example, Amnesty International, Indonesia: An Amnesty International Report, London: Amnesty International Publications, 1977. An excerpt (pp. 12-13, 22, 41):
In the aftermath of the attempted coup [in 1965], the Army carried out a massive and violent purge of people identified as or suspected of being members of the Communist Party, or affiliated to left-wing organizations. . . . In a Dutch television interview in October 1976, the head of the Indonesian state security agency, Admiral Sudomo, gave a definitive estimate: he said that more than half a million people were killed following the attempted coup. There can be no doubt about the authority of that estimate, except that the true figure is possibly much higher. . . . [Sudomo added] that after the coup, 750,000 people were arrested. (Televisie Radio Omroep Stichting, 9 October 1976). The official figures of 600,000 [given by Indonesian Foreign Minister Adam Malik] or 750,000 arrested, do not include the number who were killed.
Ernst Utrecht, "The Indonesian Army as an Instrument of Repression," Journal of Contemporary Asia, Vol. 2, No. 1, 1972, pp. 56 n.1, 62 (relating "reliable" estimates of 500,000 killed after the 1965 coup, and 700,000 killed by the Indonesian military by the 1970s).
On the U.S. government's view of the slaughter in Indonesia, see for example, Audrey R. Kahin and George McT. Kahin, Subversion as Foreign Policy: The Secret Eisenhower and Dulles Debacle in Indonesia, New York: New Press, 1995. An excerpt (pp. 226, 229-230):
[T]he 1965-66 massacres constituted one of the bloodiest purges in modern history: in the words of the C.I.A. study, "In terms of the numbers killed the anti-P.K.I. [Indonesian Communist Party] massacres in Indonesia rank as one of the worst mass murders of the 20th century, along with the Soviet purges of the 1930's, the Nazi mass murders during the Second World War, and the Maoist blood bath of the early 1950's. . . ."
The U.S. embassy's attitude [towards these killings] was clearly expressed when, almost a month after the mass killings had begun, Francis Galbraith, the deputy chief of mission (later to succeed Marshall Green as ambassador), reporting to Washington on his conversation with a high-ranking Indonesian army officer, said that he had "made clear" to him "that the embassy and the U.S.G[overnment] were generally sympathetic with and admiring of what the army was doing." Careful study of all declassified U.S. government documents that bear on the physical liquidation of the P.K.I. disclose no instance of any American official objecting to or in any way criticizing the 1965-66 killings. . . . American input went beyond mere approbation and encouragement. As Bunnell has established from U.S. government documents and corroborative interviews with General Sukendro (in 1965 the ranking army intelligence chief), the United States quickly fulfilled the army's request, relayed by Sukendro on November 6, 1965, for weapons "to arm Moslem and nationalist youth in Central Java for use against the P.K.I." in the context of overall army policy "to eliminate the P.K.I."
For a rare investigative report on U.S. involvement in the Indonesia coup, see Kathy Kadane, "Ex-agents say C.I.A. compiled death lists for Indonesians," San Francisco Examiner, May 20, 1990, p. A1. An excerpt:
The U.S. government played a significant role in one of the worst massacres of the century by supplying the names of thousands of Communist Party leaders to the Indonesian army, which hunted down the leftists and killed them, former U.S. diplomats say. For the first time, U.S. officials acknowledge that in 1965 they systematically compiled comprehensive lists of communist operatives, from top echelons down to village cadres. As many as 5,000 names were furnished to the Indonesian army, and the Americans later checked off the names of those who had been killed or captured, according to U.S. officials. . . .
Silent for a quarter century, former senior U.S. diplomats and C.I.A. officers described in lengthy interviews how they aided Indonesian President Suharto, then army leader, in his attack on the P.K.I. [Indonesian Communist Party]. "It really was a big help to the army," said Robert J. Martens, a former member of the U.S. Embassy's political section who is now a consultant to the State Department. "They probably killed a lot of people, and I probably have a lot of blood on my hands, but that's not all bad. There's a time when you have to strike hard at a decisive moment. . . ." Approval for release of the names came from top U.S. Embassy officials, including former Ambassador Marshall Green, deputy chief of mission Jack Lydman and political section chief Edward Masters, the three acknowledged in interviews.
For a reply by Martens, see Robert Martens, "Indonesia's Fight Against Communism, 1965," Letter, Washington Post, June 2, 1990, p. A18 ("If I said anything like [that], it could only have been a wry remark"; although "[i]t is true I passed names of the P.K.I. leaders and senior cadre system to the non-Communist forces," Suharto's men probably could have obtained the information in any event).
See also, Kathy Kadane, "U.S. had role in '65 Indonesia massacre, ex-officials say," Orange County Register (CA), May 20, 1990, p. A8 (reporting that the U.S. also provided "logistical support" including "state-of-the-art radio field equipment" on which Indonesia's orders to attack villages and individuals were monitored).
24. For the articles describing the "welcome developments" in Indonesia, see James Reston, "Washington: A Gleam of Light in Asia," New York Times, June 19, 1966, p. E12; Robert P. Martin, "Indonesia: Hope . . . Where Once There Was None," U.S. News and World Report, June 6, 1966, p. 70.
Similarly, in a cover story titled "INDONESIA: The Land the Communists Lost," Time magazine celebrated "The West's best news for years in Asia" under the heading "Vengeance with a Smile," devoting 5 pages of text and 6 more of pictures to the "boiling bloodbath that almost unnoticed took 400,000 lives." Time happily announced that the new army is "scrupulously constitutional" and "based on law not on mere power," in the words of its "quietly determined" leader Suharto, with his "almost innocent face." Interestingly, details of the slaughter are not even minimized, as Time notes that:
During the eight months the terror lasted, to be a known Communist was usually to become a dead Communist. . . . Many were decapitated, their heads impaled on poles outside their front doors for widows and children to see. So many bodies were thrown into the Brantas River that Kediri townsfolk are still afraid to eat fish -- and communities downstream had to take emergency measures to prevent an outbreak of the plague.
Still, Time assures us, "there was little remorse anywhere," using as an illustration an Imam (Islamic leader) from a village whose population was cut in half, who states: "The Communists deserved the people's wrath." Families of victims were not consulted. See "Vengeance with a Smile," Time, July 15, 1966, p. 22.
See also, C.L. Sulzberger, "Foreign Affairs: As the Shadow Lengthens," New York Times, December 3, 1965, p. 38 ("From an American viewpoint, this represents a positive achievement"); "The extended family; Two fathers: Sukarno and Suharto," Economist (London), August 15, 1987, p. 3. An excerpt:
The president of Indonesia today is a Javanese general called Suharto. . . . [H]e will remain so -- health permitting -- until at least the early 1990s, since there is no other candidate for next year's presidential election. It is easy, therefore, for western liberals to assume he is a dictator in the manner of South America's generals. The assumption is logical, but it does scant justice to General Suharto. . . . His Indonesian critics concede he is at heart benign.
25. For the Times editorial, see Editorial, "Aid for Indonesia," New York Times, August 25, 1966, p. 36. An excerpt:
[T]he staggering mass slaughter of Communists and pro-Communists -- which took the lives of an estimated 150,000 to 400,000 -- has left a legacy of subsurface tension that may not be eased for generations. . . .
Washington wisely has not intruded into the Indonesia turmoil. To embrace the country's new rulers publicly could well hurt them. They themselves want to retain a neutralist posture. There is an urgent need for a large international loan -- perhaps as much as a half-billion dollars. . . . [I]t is vital that the United States play a positive role in building an international aid consortium.
See also, Editorial, "Indonesia's New Phase," New York Times, December 22, 1965, p. 30. An excerpt:
Washington, which has wisely stayed in the background during the recent upheavals [in Indonesia], would do well to encourage the International Monetary Fund, the new Asian Development Bank and, perhaps, an international consortium to take the lead.
Editorial, "The Indonesian Irony," New York Times, February 17, 1966, p. 32; Editorial, "Return to the Fold," New York Times, September 29, 1966, p. 46.
27. There is further discussion of contemporary poverty in the U.S. in chapter 10 of U.P.
28. On the rate of return to Europe of immigrants to the U.S., see for example, Richard B. DuBoff, Accumulation and Power: An Economic History of the United States, Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 1989. An excerpt (p. 179):
Between 1870 and 1900, it appears that more than one-fourth of all immigrants eventually returned home. The proportion rose to nearly 40 percent in the 1890s and remained at that level until the legislative restrictions of 1921-24. From 1900 to 1980, the 30 million legal immigrants admitted to the United States must be balanced against 10 million emigrants who left to settle elsewhere.
29. On violent crime being disproportionately poor people preying on one another, see chapter 10 of U.P. and its footnote 46.
30. Although claims about intentional introduction of drugs into the inner cities have been widely ridiculed, they become less ludicrous -- though they remain unsubstantiated -- when one considers (1) the extensive history of U.S. government involvement in the international drug trade, and (2) the U.S. government's vast covert operations against domestic dissidence, such as COINTELPRO, which had as an explicit goal the disruption of black community organizing. On the first of these points, see chapter 5 of U.P. and its footnote 79. On the second, see chapter 4 of U.P. and its footnote 33.
32. On the health impact of tobacco and marijuana, see for example, Ethan A. Nadelmann, "Drug Prohibition in the United States: Costs, Consequences, and Alternatives," Science, September 1, 1989, pp. 939-947 at p. 943 (reporting that there have been no deaths attributable to marijuana among 60 million users, while all illegal drugs combined resulted in 3562 reported deaths in 1985; in contrast, deaths attributable to tobacco are estimated at over 300,000 a year, while alcohol use adds an additional 50,000 to 200,000 annual deaths and alcohol abuse is a factor in some 40 percent of roughly 46,000 annual traffic fatalities); Philip J. Hilts, "Wide Peril Is Seen In Passive Smoking," New York Times, May 10, 1990, p. A25 (the Environmental Protection Agency has tentatively concluded that second-hand smoking causes "3,000 or more lung-cancer deaths annually and a substantial number of respiratory illnesses and deaths among the children of smokers"); Catherine Foster, "Alcohol Abuse: Sleeper in Drug War," Christian Science Monitor, September 18, 1989, p. 8 (the National Council on Alcoholism reports that there are 2 million drug addicts but 10.5 million alcoholics, and alcohol "is the leading cause of death among 15- to 24-year-olds"). See also chapter 10 of U.P. and its footnotes 36 and 55.
33. For the cross-cultural study of "religious fanaticism," see Walter Dean Burnham, "Social Stress and Political Response: Religion and the 1980 Election," Appendix A to Burnham's "The 1980 Earthquake: Realignment, Reaction, or What?," in Thomas Ferguson and Joel Rogers, eds., The Hidden Election: Politics and Economics in the 1980 Presidential Campaign, New York: Pantheon, 1981, pp. 132-140, especially p. 135.
34. For polls on Americans' religious beliefs, see for example, George Gallup, Jr. and Jim Castelli, The People's Religion: American Faith in the 90's, New York: Macmillan, 1989, pp. 46-48, 4, 14. This study gives the United States a rating of 67 on its "Religion Index," based on various indicators -- whereas West Germany, Norway, the Netherlands, Great Britain, and France all had scores in the thirties, and Denmark brought up the rear with a 21. It also finds that:
• Nine Americans in ten say they have never doubted the existence of God.
• Eight Americans in ten say they believe they will be called before God on Judgment Day to answer for their sins.
• Eight Americans in ten believe God still works miracles.
• Seven Americans in ten believe in life after death.
Richard Severo, "Poll Finds Americans Split on Creation Idea," New York Times, August 29, 1982, section 1, p. 22 (reporting a Gallup poll which found that 44 percent of Americans believe "God created man pretty much in his present form at one time within the last 10,000 years," 38 percent accept divine guidance of evolution, and a mere 9 percent accept Darwinian evolution -- a number not much above statistical error).
35. Walter Mondale actually was the son of a Methodist minister. See "Text of the First Reagan-Mondale Debate," Washington Post, October 8, 1984, p. A23. Asked whether he was a Born-Again Christian, Mondale explained:
I am a son of a Methodist minister. My wife is the daughter of a Presbyterian minister. And I don't know if I've been born again, but I know that I was born into a Christian family. And I believe I have sung at more weddings and funerals than anybody to ever seek the presidency. Whether that helps or not, I don't know. I have a deep religious faith; our family does. It is fundamental. It's probably the reason I'm in politics. I think our faith tells us, instructs us about the moral life that we should lead. And I think we are all together on that.
The passage followed a question to Reagan asking why he did not regularly attend religious services given his professed strong religious beliefs.
On the three candidates in the 1980 election saying that they were "Born Again," see for example, George Gallup, Jr. and Jim Castelli, The People's Religion: American Faith in the 90's, New York: Macmillan, 1989, p. 19.
36. On Bush's version of the Oath of Office, see for example, Ann Devroy, "A Matter-of-Fact Bush Takes His New Place in Nation's History," Washington Post, January 21, 1989, p. A7. For the Constitution's specification of the text of the Oath of Office, see U.S. CONST., art. II, §1, cl. 8.
37. On the Nazis in the 1988 Bush campaign, see for example, Russell C. Bellant, "Will Bush Purge Nazi Collaborators in the G.O.P.?," Op-Ed, New York Times, November 19, 1988, section 1, p. 27 (reporting that seven of the neo-Nazis and anti-Semites were discharged from the Bush campaign after the revelations, but four of them retained leadership positions in the Heritage Groups Council, the "Ethnic Outreach" arm of the Republican National Committee); John B. Judis, "Bush's teflon on anti-Semitic links," In These Times, September 28-October 4, 1988, pp. 6-7 (reviewing the "curiously blasé" reactions of the leading Jewish organizations "about both the revelations and Bush's response to them"); David Corn, "G.O.P. Anti-Semites," Nation, October 24, 1988, p. 369; Charles R. Allen, "The Real Nazis Behind Every Bush," Village Voice, November 1, 1988, p. 24; Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting, "The G.O.P.-Nazi Connection," Extra!, September/October 1988, p. 5 (on the media's minimization of the episode).
See also, Martin A. Lee and Norman Solomon, Unreliable Sources: A Guide to Detecting Bias in News Media, New York: Lyle Stuart, 1990. An excerpt (p. 161):
An exception [to the media's downplaying of the story] was the Philadelphia Inquirer, which featured a series of investigative pieces documenting the Nazi link. A front-page lead story detailed the sordid past of men like Florian Galdau, the national chairman of Romanians for Bush, who defended convicted war criminal Valerian Trifa; Radi Slavoff, co-chairman of Bulgarians for Bush, who arranged a 1983 event in Washington that honored Austin App, author of several texts denying the existence of the Nazi Holocaust; Phillip Guarino, chairman of the Italian-American National Republican Federation, who belonged to a neofascist masonic lodge implicated in terrorist attacks in Italy and Latin America; and Bohdan Fedorak, vice chairman of Ukrainians for Bush, who was also a leader of a Nazi collaborationist organization involved in anti-Polish and anti-Jewish wartime pogroms.
38. For the New Republic's editorial, see Editorial, "Anti-Semitism, Left and Right," New Republic, October 3, 1988, p. 9. An excerpt:
[There is a] comfortable haven for Jew-hatred on the left, including the left wing of the Democratic Party, [parts of the Jesse Jackson campaign, and] the ranks of increasingly well-organized Arab activists. . . .
Salient anti-Semitism is anti-Semitism with a program. One tenet of that program is the delegitimization of the Jewish national movement -- about the only national movement these people don't seem to thrill to. Another tenet -- sometimes disguised, sometimes not -- is that a just society would not have individuals from any group underrepresented or overrepresented in its positions of prestige and influence. This attack on talent was the central doctrine of the politics of resentment for which civilization (and the Jews) have already paid dearly. It's strange how some Democrats so alert to rather antique and anemic forms of anti-Semitism among the Republicans, haven't noticed far more virulent forms in their own contemporary habitat.
For the book by Anti-Defamation League's former National Director, see Nathan Perlmutter and Ruth Ann Perlmutter, The Real Anti-Semitism In America, New York: Arbor House, 1982. For discussion of the Perlmutters' thesis, see Noam Chomsky, Fateful Triangle: The United States, Israel and the Palestinians, Boston: South End, 1983 (updated edition 1999), pp. 14-16.
39. On the letters opposing the Brookline Holocaust project, see Barbara Vobejda, "Education Grant Process Assailed; Holocaust Program Bypassed After Criticism by Schlafly," Washington Post, October 20, 1988, p. A21. An excerpt:
Schlafly charged "Facing History and Ourselves" [the program] with "psychological manipulation, induced behavioral change and privacy-invading treatment" and urged the department to reject its proposals. . . . Concluding her remarks [one of the Education Department's reviewers] wrote: "The program gives no evidence of balance or objectivity. The Nazi point of view, however unpopular, is still a point of view and is not presented, nor is that of the Ku Klux Klan."
Ed Vulliamy, "Holocaust Project Funds: 'Eliminated' by Ideology?," Washington Post, October 4, 1988, p. A17 (the program also was described as "offensive to fundamentalists," "leftist," "anti-war," and "anti-hunting"); Muriel Cohen, "Holocaust Study Program Gets Lesson in Rejection," Boston Globe, November 14, 1988, p. 21; David Corn and Jefferson Morley, "Beltway Bandits; Against Remembrance," Nation, November 7, 1988, p. 448.
In September 1989, the Education Department reversed course and approved a grant for the program. See Bill McAllister, "Education Dept. Clears Holocaust Study Grant," Washington Post, September 27, 1989, p. A15.
40. For books discussing Reagan's confusions while President, see for example, David A. Stockman [Reagan's Director of the Office of Management and Budget], The Triumph of Politics: How the Reagan Revolution Failed, New York: Harper and Row, 1986. A few of the many examples (pp. 356-358, 366, 375):
[Reagan] had managed to convince himself that [the three-year $100 billion tax increase] wasn't really a tax increase at all. "This bill only collects taxes we are owed already," he told the group of dubious House Republicans in the Cabinet Room. "It won't raise taxes on the legitimate taxpayer at all." That was true only if you considered people who bought cigarettes and owned a telephone "illegitimate" taxpayers; they and millions of others were the ones who would now be paying more taxes. . . .
By the end of 1982, the fiscal situation was an utter, mind-numbing catastrophe. To convince the President [the economy] really was as bad as I was saying, I invented a multiple-choice budget quiz. The regular budget briefings weren't doing the job. I thought this might be the way. . . . The President enjoyed the quiz immensely. He sat there day after day with his pencil. . . . When we told him what his grade was early the next week, he was not so pleased. He had flunked the exam. . . .
When the discussion turned to taxes, [Reagan's] fist came down squarely on the table. "I don't want to hear any more talk about taxes," he insisted. "The problem is deficit spending!" It is difficult politely to correct the President of the United States when he has blatantly contradicted himself. . . .
[A colleague told Stockman:] "Don't get offended now," he began, "but you might as well know it. When you sit there going over the deficit projections, the man's eyes glaze over. He tunes out completely. . . ."
I couldn't believe I was hearing this. How was an unneeded inflation allowance supposed to stop Soviet tanks? But the President did not grasp the difference between constant dollars and current (inflated) dollars. . . .
What do you do when your President ignores all the palpable, relevant facts and wanders in circles. I could not bear to watch this good and decent man go on in this embarrassing way. I buried my head in my plate.
See also, Mark Green and Gail MacColl, There He Goes Again: Ronald Reagan's Reign of Error, New York: Pantheon, 1983; Mark Hertsgaard, On Bended Knee: The Press and the Reagan Presidency, New York: Schocken, 1988, especially ch. 7 -- titled "'An Amiable Dunce'" -- pp. 132-151 (presenting an incontrovertible case for the chapter's title, and noting such memorable but underreported moments as Reagan falling asleep during a one-on-one audience with the Pope, dozing off in the middle of speeches by the French and Italian Presidents, his beliefs that the Russian language has no word for "freedom," that trees cause eighty percent of air pollution, that the problem of segregated schools has been solved, his optimistic attitude towards limited nuclear war, and his tortured rewritings of history and only "passing acquaintance" with important policies of his administration); Mark Hertsgaard, "How Reagan Seduced Us: Inside the President's Propaganda Factory," Village Voice, September 18, 1984, pp. 1f at p. 14 (reporting how figures in the press considered Reagan's "abysmal ignorance" so common as to be unnewsworthy. As A.B.C. news reporter Sam Donaldson put it: "At first I thought it was important when Reagan would fudge up figures on the Health and Human Services budget to make it look like he wasn't cutting, but now I don't have time to put it in. I've told my audience before that he doesn't know facts so often, is it news that today he doesn't know facts again? If he got through a press conference flawlessly, I would certainly say so that night. That, to me, would be news. Now, that lets him off the hook, I agree").
41. On the role of the British monarchy in de-politicizing the country, see for example, Tom Nairn, The Enchanted Glass: Britain and its Monarchy, London: Radius, 1988.
42. Chomsky notes that, among other grounds for Nuremberg punishment -- based upon either direct or indirect involvement in atrocities and war crimes -- are Truman's counter-insurgency campaign in Greece; Eisenhower's role in the Guatemala coup; Kennedy's invasions of Cuba and Vietnam; Johnson's invasion of the Dominican Republic; Nixon's invasion of Cambodia; Ford's support for the invasion of East Timor; Carter's support for the genocide in East Timor and his administration's activities in Nicaragua (where, for example, it helped to spirit Somoza's National Guard out of the country in planes with Red Cross markings, a war crime, in order to establish them elsewhere); Reagan's activities in Central America and his administration's support for Israel's invasion of Lebanon; Bush's invasion of Panama and activities in Nicaragua; and Clinton's missile strikes against Iraq, the Sudan, and Afghanistan.
On the rhetoric of the Nuremberg prosecutors, see for example, Richard A. Falk, "The Circle of Responsibility," Nation, January 26, 1970, p. 77 (quoting U.S. Supreme Court Justice and Nuremberg prosecutor Robert H. Jackson's statement of the basic principle: "If certain acts and violations of treaties are crimes, they are crimes whether the United States does them or whether Germany does them. We are not prepared to lay down a rule of criminal conduct against others which we would not be willing to have invoked against us").
43. For Taylor's account of the standards at Nuremberg, see Telford Taylor, Nuremberg and Vietnam: an American Tragedy, Chicago: Quadrangle, 1970, pp. 37-38; Telford Taylor, The Anatomy of the Nuremberg Trials: A Personal Memoir, New York: Knopf, 1992, pp. 398f.
44. On the Tokyo trials, see for example, Richard M. Minnear, Victor's Justice: the Tokyo War Crimes Trial, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1971, pp. 6, 67f ("Some 5,700 Japanese were tried on conventional war crimes charges, and 920 of these men were executed"; "None of the defendants at Tokyo was accused of having personally committed an atrocity," but only of having conspired to authorize such crimes or having failed to stop them, and no evidence was submitted that the charged crimes were actual government policy); A. Frank Reel, The Case of General Yamashita, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1949, at p. 174 (book-length narrative of the Yamashita trial, written by a member of Yamashita's American defense team, noting: "There was no finding of any order, any knowledge, any condonation on General Yamashita's part. Crimes had been committed by his troops, and he had 'failed' to provide effective control. That was all. He was to hang").
46. Two principal threats to human existence are: (1) depletion of the atmospheric concentration of ozone (a form of oxygen whose presence in the atmosphere prevents most ultraviolet and other dangerous radiation from penetrating to the earth's surface, where it harms life) by pollutants; and (2) global warming through the greenhouse effect, wherein gases released in combustion (and water vapor caused by rising temperatures) trap more solar radiation from reflecting off the earth back into space, and thereby increase the temperature of the earth -- which could in turn melt polar ice sheets, raise the sea level, lead to flooding, drier soils, massive climate changes, and the extinction of species.
On the general state of these crises, see among many other sources, Ross Gelbspan, The Heat Is On: The High Stakes Battle over Earth's Threatened Climate, Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1997, especially pp. 34-59 (with a 40-page Appendix titled "A Scientific Critique of the Greenhouse Skeptics," including point-by-point refutation of the claims and work of the most visible and prominent of the skeptics by several leading climate scientists). An excerpt (pp. 1-2, 5, 9, 17, 22):
In January 1995 a vast section of ice the size of Rhode Island broke off the Larsen ice shelf in Antarctica. Although it received scant coverage in the press, it was one of the most spectacular and nightmarish manifestations yet of the ominous changes occurring on the planet. As early as the 1970s, scientists predicted that the melting of Antarctica's ice shelf would signal the accelerating heating of the planet as human activity pushed the temperature of the earth upward. They were not wrong. Two months later, a three-hundred-foot-deep ice shelf farther north collapsed, leaving only a plume of fragments in the Weddell Sea as evidence of its twenty-thousand-year existence. . . . Measurements in the Antarctic peninsula show that its average temperature has risen by nearly 20 degrees Fahrenheit in the last twenty years. . . .
The reason most Americans don't know what is happening to the climate is that the oil and coal industries have spent millions of dollars to persuade them that global warming isn't happening. . . . The deep-pocketed industry lobby has promoted their opinions through every channel of communication it can reach. It has demanded access to the press for these scientists' views, as a right of journalistic fairness. Unfortunately, most editors are too uninformed about climate science to resist. They would not accord to tobacco company scientists who dismiss the dangers of smoking the same weight that they accord to world-class lung specialists. But in the area of climate research, virtually no news story appears that does not feature prominently one of these few industry-sponsored scientific "greenhouse skeptics. . . ." "There is no debate among any statured scientists of what is happening," says [Chairman of the Advisory Committee on the Environment of the International Committee of Scientific Unions James] McCarthy. By "statured" scientists he means those who are currently engaged in relevant research and whose work has been published in the refereed scientific journals. "The only debate is the rate at which it's happening."
Richard A. Kerr, "New greenhouse report puts down dissenters," Science, August 3, 1990, p. 481. An excerpt:
"THE GLOBAL WARMING PANIC: A Classic Case of Overreaction," screams the cover of Forbes. "U.S. Data Fail to Show Warming Trend," announces the New York Times. A greenhouse skeptic and a greenhouse advocate go head to head on "This Week with David Brinkley" in what looks like an even match. . . . [R]ecent media coverage has given the impression that scientists can't agree among themselves whether the buildup of greenhouse gases is going to scorch the globe or merely leave it imperceptibly warmed. But a soon-to-be-published report [produced by a working group of the International Panel on Climate Change], the most broadly based assessment of the greenhouse threat conducted to date, presents a very different impression: There's virtual unanimity, it says, among greenhouse experts that a warming is on the way and that the consequences will be serious. . . .
"I was amazed how simple it was to come to agreement," says climatologist Christopher Folland of the U.K. Meteorological Office in Bracknell, who is a lead author of the report's section on observed climate change. "In America, a few extreme viewpoints have taken center stage. There are none like that elsewhere." Not a single panel member or reviewer agreed with [M.I.T.'s Richard] Lindzen that there is no sign of global warming in the climate records, says Folland. "That's about 200 people," he notes.
For a useful study of the massive corporate propaganda campaign to distort the facts -- and block actions to address -- this crisis, see Sharon Beder, Global Spin: The Corporate Assault On Environmentalism, White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green, 1998, especially ch. 6.
On some of the thwarted international attempts to address the issue, see for example, Rose Gutfeld, "Earth Summitry: How Bush Achieved Global Warming Pact With Modest Goals," Wall Street Journal, May 27, 1992, p. A1. An excerpt:
Until two weeks ago, it looked as if next week's Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro would become a widely publicized global morality play, with President Bush cast as the villain. He was the only major world leader unwilling to sign an agreement with firm limits on the "greenhouse" gases feared to cause global warming. Mr. Bush, who as a candidate in 1988 had promised to be the "environmental president," was in danger of being tagged in Rio as No. 1 Enemy of the Earth. But in an extraordinary coup . . . Bush administration negotiators persuaded the representatives of 142 other nations to reverse course. They all agreed to sign a vaguely worded pact that sets no binding timetables for reducing emissions, makes no commitments to achieving specific levels of emissions -- indeed, makes no commitments to do anything at all.
How did the White House manage to set the global-warming agenda for the coming conference on its own terms? The key, according to people familiar with the talks, was a clever bargaining ploy devised by an influential but little-known State Department official. The heart of his strategy: to use the threat that Mr. Bush would boycott the summit to wangle an agreement that wouldn't lock the U.S. into costly requirements that could threaten economic growth. . . . If the leader of the world's only remaining superpower didn't show, they figured, the conference would be judged a failure.
Farhan Haq, "Failure Of Rio Follow-Up Meeting A Wake-Up Call," Inter Press Service, June 27, 1997 (available on Nexis database). An excerpt:
By all admissions, the special session of the United Nations General Assembly this week to follow up on the 1992 Rio Earth Summit ended as a remarkable failure. . . . [T]he countries of both the North and the South honestly faced up to the lack of real action they had made on environmental promises made in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. . . . European leaders especially were frustrated that the two main achievements they sought at the conference . . . ran aground. U.S. President Bill Clinton refused to bind Washington to the 15-percent target [for reducing carbon emissions] despite massive pressure this week to sign on to the European Union (E.U.) plan.
For one example of minimization of the issue in the U.S. press, see William K. Stevens, "Cushioning the Shock of Global Warming," New York Times, November 30, 1997, section 4, p. 3. An excerpt:
There will surely be winners as well as losers [from global warming]: while Canadian and Russian farmers might reap more wheat, African farmers might reap drought-induced disaster. While summer heat in the southern United States might be more intense, northern winters might be milder. The economies of entire regions -- tourist-dependent New England, for instance -- might be transformed with uncertain results. . . . But humans are a resilient species. They have always had to contend with climatic change and have often been profoundly affected by it. Conventional wisdom now holds that Homo sapiens owes its very existence to a climatic adaptation. . . .
In North America, global warming would probably bring some benefits. . . . Milder northern winters could cut the costs of heating and snow removal. But for every benign impact, according to the intergovernmental panel, there would be at least one negative counterpart. How will the New England tourist industry adjust, for instance, if brilliant fall foliage is replaced by duller oaks and hickories. . . . How disruptive and expensive would it be to progressively abandon beachfront developments as seas rise . . .? Fifty or 100 years from now, if scientists' predictions about climate change turn out to be right, it may be that people will take the new climatic order in stride.
47. For a statement of the geopolitical tradition, see for example, George F. Kennan, American Diplomacy 1900-1950, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1951 (expanded edition 1984), p. 5. See also, Melvyn P. Leffler, "The American Conception of National Security and the Beginnings of the Cold War, 1945-48," American Historical Review, April 1984, pp. 346-400.
48. For comparisons of social welfare in the U.S. and other countries, see for example, Richard B. DuBoff, Accumulation and Power: An Economic History of the United States, Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 1989. An excerpt (pp. 183-184):
A study of the U.S., Japanese, West German, and Swedish economies for 1960 to 1985 employs 17 indicators of quality of life and economic performance to assess how well each country provides its people with "adequate income, good health, a secure livelihood, leisure time, adequate shelter, a long life, and freedom from harm." On the basis of the indicators, the U.S. performance was the worst, while Sweden's was the best.
A more concrete view of the American social welfare function comes from comparing "number one" per capita incomes with specific facts of everyday life: among advanced industrial nations, the United States is "number one," or close to it, in the following categories. . . .
- Combined worst ranking for life expectancy and infant mortality. . . .
- Highest incidence of poverty in the industrial world, with exceptionally high infant and preschool child poverty. . . .
- Lowest level of job security for workers, with greatest chance of being dismissed without notice or reason. . . .
- Greatest chance for a worker to become unemployed without adequate unemployment and medical insurance. . . .
- Less leisure time for workers. . . .
- Lowest combined level of working-class mobilization, percent of the labor force unionized, and percentage of the electorate voting in national elections. . . .
- Lowest ratio of female to male earnings. . . .
- Among worst rankings of all advanced industrial nations for levels of pollutant emissions into the air.
Lawrence Mishel, Jared Bernstein and John Schmitt, The State of Working America, 1998-1999, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1999, especially ch. 8 (detailed comparison of the economic performance of 20 rich industrialized countries, reaching similar conclusions about the U.S. economy in the late 1990s); Colin McCord and Harold P. Freeman, "Excess Mortality in Harlem," New England Journal of Medicine, January 18, 1990, pp. 173-177 ("Survival analysis showed that black men in Harlem were less likely to reach the age of 65 than men in Bangladesh"). See also chapter 10 of U.P. and its footnotes 4, 5, 8, 11, 12, 14, 27 and 28.
On Cuba's health and development standards, see chapter 5 of U.P. and its footnote 31.
49. On the attempt to maintain "veto power" over Japan's energy resources, see for example, Bruce Cumings, The Origins of the Korean War, Vol. II ("The Roaring of the Cataract, 1947-1950"), Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990. While Kennan advocated rebuilding Japan's economy, he noted (pp. 56-57):
"On the other hand, it seems to me absolutely inevitable that we must keep completely the maritime and air controls as a means . . . of keeping control of the situation with respect to [the] Japanese in all eventualities. . . . [It is] all the more imperative that we retain the ability to control their situation by controlling the overseas sources of supply and the naval power and air power without which it cannot become again aggressive." As if the listener might mistake his intent, he went on. "If we really in the Western world could work out controls, I suppose, adept enough and foolproof enough and cleverly enough exercised really to have power over what Japan imports in the way of oil and such other things as she has got to get from overseas, we would have veto power on what she does need in the military and industrial field."
Yoshi Tsurumi, "Japan," Daedalus (The Gulf Crisis: In Perspective), Vol. 104, No. 4, Fall 1975, pp. 113-127. An excerpt (pp. 114-115):
During the immediate post-war years, occupied Japan was not permitted to reconstruct the oil-refining facilities that had been destroyed by Allied bombings, a policy widely attributed in the oil industry of Japan to the fact that the oil bureau of General MacArthur's headquarters was heavily staffed with American personnel on temporary leave from Jersey Standard and Mobil. . . . [When in] July, 1949, General Headquarters permitted the Japanese government to begin the reconstruction of oil refining facilities . . . Exxon (Esso's parent company), Mobil, Shell and Getty positioned themselves as de facto integrated oil firms in Japan, whose refining and marketing interests were tied to their crude-oil interests held outside Japan. Under the Allied occupation, the Japanese government was powerless to block such business links.
50. On the impact of combustion on the environment, see footnote 46 of this chapter.
51. On industries lobbying for regulation, see for example, Thomas Ferguson, Golden Rule: The Investment Theory of Party Competition and the Logic of Money-Driven Political Systems, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995, especially chs. 1 to 4 (describing in detail how important sectors of the business community long have advocated government regulation); Thomas Ferguson and Joel Rogers, Right Turn: The Decline of the Democrats and the Future of American Politics, New York: Hill and Wang, 1986, ch. 2 (outlining the role of powerful U.S. business coalitions in supporting government regulations and programs since the New Deal); Elizabeth Fones-Wolf, Selling Free Enterprise: The Business Assault on Labor and Liberalism, 1945-1960, Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1992. An excerpt (pp. 23-24):
[T]he more sophisticated conservatives or moderates who joined together during the thirties in organizations like the Business Advisory Council and in the forties, the Committee for Economic Development [C.E.D.,] . . . looked to central economic planning . . . to ensure prosperity. . . . The C.E.D. asserted that America could no longer afford wild economic fluctuations. Instead of "ignorant opposition to change," the business community should help define a new role for the state to promote economic growth and stability. In 1946 [Paul G. Hoffman of Studebaker Automobile Company] challenged corporate leaders to "look one important fact squarely in the face -- that the Federal Government has a vital role to play in our capitalistic system." [National Association of Manufacturers] conservatives "who claimed that all that is necessary is to 'unshackle free enterprise' are guilty of an irresponsible sentiment. . . ."
Moderates tended to take an accomodationistic attitude toward organized labor. Rather than fearing unions, some welcomed them with open arms. . . . Through these means and without giving up real power, these executives hoped to gain organized labor's cooperation in increasing productivity and industrial stability. To these employers the [National Labor Relations Board] was not an enemy but an ally in the development of responsible unionism.
Edward S. Herman, Corporate Control, Corporate Power, Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1981, pp. 173-174; Kim McQuaid, Uneasy Partners: Big Business in American Politics, 1945-1990, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994 (discussing the general phenomenon). See also chapter 9 of U.P. and its footnote 18; and chapter 10 of U.P. and its footnote 94.
For the ultimate example of the conflict between unbridled competition for profits and self-preservation -- the destruction of the natural environment -- see footnote 46 of this chapter; and the text of chapter 10 of U.P.
52. For declassified U.S. government documents explaining the role of Third World countries, see for example, N.S.C. [National Security Council Memorandum] 144/1, "United States Objectives and Courses of Action With Respect to Latin America," March 18, 1953, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1952-1954, Vol. IV ("The American Republics"), Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1983. The Memorandum begins (pp. 6-7, 9):
There is a trend in Latin America toward nationalistic regimes maintained in large part by appeals to the masses of the population. Concurrently, there is an increasing popular demand for immediate improvement in the low living standards of the masses, with the result that most Latin American governments are under intense domestic political pressures to increase production and to diversify their economies.
Aiming to avoid this "drift in the area toward radical and nationalistic regimes" -- which is "facilitated by historic anti-U.S. prejudices and exploited by Communists" -- the Memorandum then lists the objectives and proposed courses of action for the United States, which include "Adequate production in Latin America of, and access by the United States to, raw materials essential to U.S. security"; "The ultimate standardization of Latin American military organization, training, doctrine and equipment along U.S. lines"; and "convincing them that their own self-interest requires an orientation of Latin American policies to our objectives."
A later N.S.C. document, N.S.C. 5432/1 of 1954, repeats much of the same language, adding that the U.S. should "encourage them by economic assistance and other means to base their economies on a system of private enterprise and, as essential thereto, to create a political and economic climate conducive to private investment, of both domestic and foreign capital, including . . . opportunity to earn and in the case of foreign capital to repatriate a reasonable return . . . [and] respect for contract and property rights, including assurance of prompt, adequate, and effective compensation in the event of expropriation." The Memorandum adds that the U.S. should "consider sympathetically" independent Latin American economic initiatives, but only "with the understanding that any such proposal would not involve discrimination against U.S. trade." In addition, the document calls for the U.S. to "encourage through consultation, prudent exchange of information, and other available means, individual and collective action against Communist or other anti-U.S. subversion or intervention in any American state" (emphasis added). Such actions should involve "A greater utilization of the Organization of American States as a means of achieving our objectives, which will avoid the appearance of unilateral action and identify our interests with those of the other American states." See N.S.C. 5432/1, "United States Objectives and Courses of Action With Respect To Latin America," September 3, 1954, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1952-1954, Vol. IV ("The American Republics"), Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1983, pp. 81-86.
For another memorandum stating the same reasoning, see N.S.C. 5613/1, "Statement Of Policy On U.S. Policy Toward Latin America," September 25, 1956, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1955-1957, Vol. VI ("American Republics; Multilateral; Mexico; Caribbean"), Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1987, pp. 119-127.
A major State Department study on the international order in the wake of World War II explains that the "exploitation of the colonial and dependent areas of the African Continent" should be undertaken to aid in the reconstruction of Western Europe, adding that "the idea . . . has much to recommend it" and noting that the opportunity to exploit Africa will provide a psychological lift for the European powers, affording them "that tangible objective for which everyone has been rather unsuccessfully groping." In the same report, the head of the State Department Planning Staff articulates the general problem (pp. 524-525):
[W]e have about 50% of the world's wealth but only 6.3% of its population. This disparity is particularly great as between ourselves and the peoples of Asia. In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity without positive detriment to our national security. To do so, we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and day-dreaming; and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives. We need not deceive ourselves that we can afford today the luxury of altruism and world-benefaction. . . .
We should cease to talk about vague and -- for the Far East -- unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of the living standards, and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are then hampered by idealistic slogans, the better.
See P.P.S. [Policy Planning Staff] 23, "Review of Current Trends; U.S. Foreign Policy," February 24, 1948, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1948, Vol. I, part 2 ("General, The United Nations"), Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1976, pp. 510f at p. 511.
See also, David Green, The Containment of Latin America: A history of the myths and realities of the Good Neighbor Policy, Chicago: Quadrangle, 1971, chs. VII and VIII at pp. 175-176, 188 (at the Chapultepec, Mexico, Hemispheric Conference in February 1945, the U.S. called for "An Economic Charter of the Americas" that would eliminate economic nationalism "in all its forms"; this policy stood in sharp conflict with the Latin American stand, which a State Department officer described as "The philosophy of the New Nationalism [that] embraces policies designed to bring about a broader distribution of wealth and to raise the standard of living of the masses." State Department Political Adviser Laurence Duggan wrote that "Economic nationalism is the common denominator of the new aspirations for industrialization. Latin Americans are convinced that the first beneficiaries of the development of a country's resources should be the people of that country"; the U.S. position, in contrast, was that the "first beneficiaries" should be U.S. investors, while Latin America fulfills its service function and should not undergo excessive industrial development that infringes on U.S. interests). And see discussion and examples in chapter 1 of U.P. and its footnotes 1, 14, 15, 18, 19, 20 and 71; chapter 4 of U.P. and its footnote 42; and chapter 5 of U.P. and its footnotes 7, 8, 32 and 108.
One of the principal results of these commitments has been a sharp increase in global economic inequality over the years. See for example, Ian Robinson, North American Trade As If Democracy Mattered: What's Wrong with N.A.F.T.A. and What Are the Alternatives?, Ottawa: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives/ Washington: International Labor Rights Education and Research Fund, 1993. An excerpt (Appendix 2):
[G]lobal economic inequality has grown dramatically in the last 30 years. The United Nations Development Programme (U.N.D.P.) estimates that between 1960 and 1989, the countries containing the richest 20 percent of the world's population increased their share of global G.N.P. from 70.2 to 82.7 percent, while the countries containing the poorest 20 percent of the world's population saw their share fall from 2.3 to 1.4 percent. In 1960, the countries with the top 20 percent received 30 times more than the countries with the bottom 20 percent; by 1989, the ratio had doubled to about 60:1. . . .
The scale of the gap is even more striking if, instead of looking at the income of rich and poor nations, we look at that of rich and poor people. For the 41 countries for which the data necessary to make such a calculation were available, the U.N.D.P. estimates that the ratio of the incomes of the richest and poorest 20 percent of the world's people was about 140:1 in 1989. . . . [M]ore than half of the inequality between the richest and the poorest 20 percent of the world's people -- the difference between the 1989 ratios of 60:1 and 140:1 -- is a function not of income inequalities among nations, but of income inequalities within nations.
53. Chomsky gives as another example of the U.S. opposing right-wing independence in the Third World the C.I.A.'s efforts to eliminate Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina, the dictator of the Dominican Republic who seized power in a military coup in 1930 and was assassinated in 1961. On the C.I.A.'s involvement in Trujillo's killing, see for example, John Stockwell [former Chief of the C.I.A.'s Angola Task Force], In Search of Enemies: A C.I.A. Story, New York: Norton, 1978. An excerpt (p. 236):
In late November 1975 more dramatic details of C.I.A. assassination programs were leaked to the press by the Senate investigators [in the Church and Pike Committees]. The C.I.A. had been directly involved with the killers of Rafael Trujillo of the Dominican Republic, Ngo Diem of South Vietnam, and General Schneider of Chile. It had plotted the deaths of Fidel Castro and Patrice Lumumba.
For the Congressional report on the C.I.A.'s involvement with Trujillo's assassins, see U.S. Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, Alleged Assassination Plots Involving Foreign Leaders, Interim Report (S. Rept. 94-465), 94th Congress, 1st Session, Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1975, section IIID, pp. 191-215.
54. On the new human species in northeast Brazil, see for example, Isabel Vincent, "Life a struggle for Pygmy family," Globe & Mail (Toronto), December 17, 1991, p. A15. An excerpt:
A diet consisting mainly of manioc flour, beans and rice has affected [northeastern Brazilian laborers'] mental development to the point that they have difficulty remembering or concentrating. Fully 30.7 per cent of children in the Northeast are born malnourished, according to Unicef and the Brazilian Ministry of Health. . . .
Brazilian medical experts have known of undernourishment in the country's poorest region for more than two decades, but they confirmed only recently the existence of a much more startling problem -- a severe lack of protein in their diet that is producing a population of Brazilian Pygmies known by some medical researchers in Brazil as homens nanicos. Their height at adulthood is far less than the average height recording by the World Health Organization and their brain capacity is 40 per cent less than average. . . . In the poorest states of the Northeast, such as Alagoas and Piaui, homens nanicos comprise about 30 per cent of the population. . . . Much of the Northeast comprises fertile farm land that is being taken up by large plantations for the production of cash crops such as sugar cane.
On the desperate conditions of poverty and repression in Central America, see for example, César Chelala, "Central America's Health Plight," Christian Science Monitor, March 22, 1990, p. 18 (the Pan American Health Organization estimates that of 850,000 children born every year in Central America, 100,000 will die before the age of five and two-thirds of those who survive will suffer from malnutrition, with attendant physical or mental development problems). See also chapter 1 of U.P. and its footnote 13; footnotes 15 and 52 of this chapter; and chapter 4 of U.P. and its footnote 8.
Chomsky notes that the one exception to the Central America horror story has been Costa Rica, set on a course of state-guided development by the José Figueres coup of 1948 with social-democratic welfare measures combined with harsh repression of labor and virtual elimination of the armed forces. The U.S. has always kept a wary eye on this deviation from the regional standards, despite the suppression of labor and the favorable conditions for foreign investors. In the 1980s, U.S. pressures to dismantle the social-democratic features and restore the army elicited bitter complaints from Figueres and others who shared his commitments. While Costa Rica continues to stand apart from the region in political and economic development, the signs of the "Central Americanization" of Costa Rica are unmistakable. For more on Costa Rica, see for example, Noam Chomsky, Necessary Illusions: Thought Control in Democratic Societies, Boston: South End, 1989, Appendix V; Martha Honey, Hostile Acts: U.S. Policy in Costa Rica in the 1980s, Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1994, chs. 3 to 7, and 10 (discussing U.S.-backed privatization programs in Costa Rica in the 1980s, as well as the militarization of the country); Anthony Winson, Coffee and Democracy in Modern Costa Rica, New York: St. Martin's, 1989.
55. For a historian's comparison of Japan and the Asante Kingdom, see Basil Davidson, The Black Man's Burden: Africa and the Curse of the Nation-State, New York: Times Books, 1992, ch. 2.
56. On the development of Japan's colonies, see for example, Robert Wade, Governing the Market: Economic Theory and the Role of Government in East Asian Industrialization, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990. An excerpt (pp. 74-75):
New research suggests that both Taiwan and Korea had higher rates of G.D.P. growth than Japan between 1911 and 1938. Moreover, Taiwan was already by the end of the 1930s the biggest trader in the region, though most of the trade was with Japan. . . . Levels of welfare improved. Indeed, some evidence suggests that the welfare of the Taiwanese peasant in the first half of the twentieth century may have exceeded that of the Japanese peasant. . . . The scope of primary education expanded so that by 1940 almost 60 percent of the relevant age group (males and females) were attending primary school. . . .
What is unusual about Taiwan's experience (and Korea's) is that this process did not give rise to a high concentration of capital and leadership in the hands of a Taiwanese elite, because the Japanese kept almost complete control. This delayed the emergence of a dynamic Taiwanese capitalist class; but it also contributed to a more equal class and income distribution than in most other developing countries.
57. On the death penalty for capital flight in South Korea, see for example, Alice Amsden, Asia's Next Giant: South Korea and Late Industrialization, New York: Oxford University Press, 1989, pp. 17-18 (questioning whether there has not been a lack of compliance with the law in the 1980s, but noting that as late as 1987 a bankrupt shipping magnate was believed to have committed suicide for fear of being prosecuted).
For a brief overview of Taiwan's and South Korea's defiance of the "laws of the free market," see Alice Amsden, "East Asia's Challenge -- to Standard Economics," American Prospect, Summer 1990, pp. 71-77. For a longer study on South Korea, see Amsden's Asia's Next Giant (cited above). For a study of economic development viewing Taiwan, South Korea and Japan as a political-economic unit and suggesting that Taiwan and Korea should be called "B.A.I.R.s" ("Bureaucratic-Authoritarian Industrializing Regimes") rather than "N.I.C.s" ("Newly Industrializing Countries"), see Bruce Cumings, "The origins and development of the Northeast Asian political economy: industrial sectors, product cycles, and political consequences," International Organization, Vol. 38, No. 1, Winter 1984, pp. 1-40.
For more on this subject, see for example, Stephen Haggard, Pathways From the Periphery: The Politics of Growth in the Newly Industrializing Countries, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1990 (comparison of Latin America and East Asia); Rhys Jenkins, "Learning from the Gang: are there Lessons for Latin America from East Asia?," Bulletin of Latin American Research, Vol. 10, No. 1, 1991, pp. 37-54 at p. 38 (discussing the East Asian N.I.C.s as a model for Latin America, citing fraudulent uses of the East Asian N.I.C.s as triumphs of the free market, and noting the role that vast U.S. foreign aid may have played in the growth of South Korea and Taiwan: "In the 1950s and early 1960s aid accounted for over one-third of both gross investment and total imports in Taiwan, and more than two-thirds of both variables in South Korea"); Rhys Jenkins, "The Political Economy of Industrialization: A Comparison of Latin American and East Asian Newly Industrializing Countries," Development and Change, Vol. 22, No. 2, April 1991, pp. 197-231 (attributing the greater growth rate in South Korea and Taiwan to the greater relative autonomy of the state in those countries).
See also, Robert Pastor [former National Security Council Director of Latin American Affairs], "Securing a Democratic Hemisphere," Foreign Policy, Winter 1988-89, pp. 41f at p. 52 (reporting that Latin America transferred some $150 billion to the industrial West between 1982 and 1987, in addition to $100 billion of capital flight -- a capital transfer which amounted to twenty-five times the total value of the Alliance for Progress and fifteen times the Marshall Plan). And see footnote 38 of chapter 7 of U.P.
58. On the costs and profitability of the British Empire, see for example, John Strachey, The End of Empire, New York: Random House, 1959, especially chs. 10 to 12 (an early investigation of the question).
On the costs of the 1980s interventions in Central America, see for example, Joshua Cohen and Joel Rogers, Inequity and Intervention: The Federal Budget and Central America, Boston: South End, 1986, p. 42.
Chomsky remarks that insight about the class interests underpinning empire goes back as far as the classical economist Adam Smith in the eighteenth century (Year 501: The Conquest Continues, Boston: South End, 1993, p. 15):
In his classic condemnation of monopoly power and colonization, Adam Smith has useful commentary on Britain's policies. . . . He describes these policies with some ambivalence, arguing finally that despite the great advantages that England gained from the colonies and its monopoly of their trade, in the long run the practices did not pay, either in Asia or North America. The argument is largely theoretical; adequate data were not available. But however convincing the argument may be, Smith's discussion also explains why it is not to the point.
Abandoning the colonies would be "more advantageous to the great body of the people" of England, he concludes, "though less so to the merchants, than the monopoly which she at present enjoys." The monopoly, "though a very grievous tax upon the colonies, and though it may increase the revenue of a particular order of men in Great Britain, diminishes instead of increasing that of the great body of the people." The military costs alone are a severe burden, apart from the distortions of investment and trade [citing Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1976 (original 1776), Book IV, ch. VII, pts. II and III, and ch. VIII, pp. 75-181, especially pp. 131-133, 147, 180-181 (which also is quoted in footnote 1 of chapter 5 of U.P.)].
59. In fact, the percentage of the American population that believes that the government is run by "a few big interests looking out for themselves" rose from 49 percent in 1984, to 71 percent in 1990, then to 79 percent by 1995.
For these figures, see Adam Clymer, "Americans In Poll View Government More Confidently," New York Times, November 19, 1984, p. A1 (reporting a poll which found that 49 percent of the U.S. population believed the government is "pretty much run by a few big interests looking out for themselves," rather than "for the benefit of all." The article's title refers to a change from the 1980 low, though the 1964 level of confidence -- when 64 percent of the U.S. population believed that the government is run "for the benefit of all" -- has never again been reached); Robin Toner, "The Budget Battle," New York Times, October 12, 1990, p. A21 (by 1990, the percentage of people who thought that the government is run for the benefit of "a few big interests looking out for themselves" had risen to 71 percent); R.W. Apple Jr., "Poll Shows Disenchantment With Politicians and Politics," New York Times, August 12, 1995, section 1, p. 1 (by 1995, the figure had risen to 79 percent). For other polls on increasing skepticism and dissidence, see chapter 9 of U.P. and its footnotes 10, 44 and 45.