2. On the similar economic effects of civilian and military spending, see for example, Paul Samuelson, Economics (Seventh Edition), New York: McGraw, 1967. An excerpt (p. 767; emphasis in original):
Before leaving the problem of achieving and keeping full employment, we should examine what would happen if the cold war were to give way to relaxed international tension. If America could cut down drastically on her defense expenditures, would that confront her with a depression problem that has merely been suppressed by reliance on armament production? The answer here is much like that given in Chapter 18 to the problem of some future acceleration of automation. If there is a political will, our mixed economy can rather easily keep C + I + G [C = consumption, I = investment, G = government spending] spending up to the level needed for full employment without armament spending. There is nothing special about G spending on jet bombers and intercontinental missiles that leads to a larger multiplier support of the economy than would other kinds of G expenditure.
John Kenneth Galbraith, The New Industrial State, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1967, pp. 230-231 (adding that, to have the same effect, the civilian spending "would have to have somewhat of the same relation to technology as the military spending it replaces").
3. Public funding of the development of computers and other advanced industries -- and the role of the Pentagon system in the U.S. economy more generally -- is an extremely important topic, which also is discussed at length in chapters 7 and 10 of U.P.
For sources on the Defense Department's role in fostering high-technology industries, see for example, Kenneth Flamm, Targeting the Computer: Government Support and International Competition, Washington: Brookings Institution, 1987, especially ch. 3 (on the crucial role of the Pentagon in the computer industry); Laura D'Andrea Tyson, Who's Bashing Whom?: Trade Conflict in High-Technology Industries, Washington: Institute for International Economics, 1992. An excerpt (pp. 88-90):
In its early years, up to 100 percent of the [semiconductor] industry's output was purchased by the military, and even as late as 1968 the military claimed nearly 40 percent. In addition, there was a derived defense demand for semiconductor output from the military's large procurement of computer output throughout the 1960s. Direct and indirect defense purchases reduced the risk of investment in both R&D and equipment for semiconductor producers, who were assured that a significant part of their output would be sold to the military. The willingness and ability of the U.S. government to purchase chips in quantity at premium prices allowed a growing number of companies to refine their production skills and develop elaborate manufacturing facilities. . . .
The government continued to pay for a large share of R&D through the early 1970s, providing roughly one-half of the total between 1958 and 1970. As late as 1958, federal funding covered an estimated 85 percent of overall American R&D in electronics. . . . [T]he military, which remained the largest single consumer of leading-edge components throughout the 1960s, was willing to buy very expensive products from brand-new firms that offered the ultimate in performance in lieu of an established track record.
Winfried Ruigrock and Rob Van Tulder, The Logic of International Restructuring, New York: Routledge, 1995. An excerpt (pp. 220-221):
[O]ver the 1950s and 1960s, the Pentagon paid more than one-third of I.B.M.'s R&D budget. The Pentagon moreover acted as a "lead user" to I.B.M., providing the company with scale economies and vital feedback on how to improve its computers. In the 1950s, the Pentagon took care of half of I.B.M.'s revenues, enabling it to move abroad and flood foreign markets with competitively priced mainframe computers. Thus, I.B.M.'s defense contracts cross-subsidised its civilian activities at home and abroad, and helped it to establish a near monopoly position throughout most of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Along similar lines, all formerly and/or currently leading U.S. computers, semiconductors and electronics makers in the 1993 Fortune 100 have benefited tremendously from preferential defense contracts. . . . In this manner, Pentagon cost-plus contracts functioned as a de facto industrial policy.
The same mechanism can be observed in the aerospace industry. In the 1950s, for instance, Boeing could make use of government-owned B-52 construction facilities to produce its B-707 model, providing the basis of its market dominance in large civilian aircraft. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (N.A.S.A.) has often played a role comparable to the Pentagon. . . . [G]overnment policies, in particular defence programmes, have been an overwhelming force in shaping the strategies and competitiveness of the world's largest firms. Even in 1994, without any major actual or imminent wars, ten to fourteen firms ranked in the 1993 Fortune 100 still [conducted] at least 10 per cent of their business in closed defence markets.
David F. Noble, Forces of Production: A Social History of Industrial Automation, New York: Knopf, 1984. An excerpt (pp. 5, 7-8):
[B]etween 1945 and 1968, the Department of Defense industrial system had supplied $44 billion of goods and services, exceeding the combined net sales of General Motors, General Electric, Du Pont, and U.S. Steel. . . . By 1964, 90 percent of the research and development for the aircraft industry was being underwritten by the government, particularly the Air Force. . . . In 1964, two-thirds of the research and development costs in the electrical equipment industry (e.g., those of G.E., Westinghouse, R.C.A., Raytheon, A.T.&T., Philco, I.B.M., Sperry Rand) were still paid for by the government.
On the important government-funding organization DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), see for example, Elizabeth Corcoran, "Computing's controversial patron," Science, April 2, 1993, p. 20. An excerpt:
Lean by Washington standards, the 100-person corps [of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)] spurs researchers at universities and private companies to build the stuff of future defense technologies by handing out research grants -- a total of $1.5 billion in fiscal 1992 and more this year. Among their achievements, DARPA managers can count such key technologies as high-speed networking, advances in integrated circuits, and the emergence of massively parallel supercomputers. . . .
That track record has encouraged the new administration to drop the "Defense" from DARPA's name, renaming it ARPA and anointing it a lead agency in a new effort to help fledgling technologies gain a hold in commercial markets. But this role for DARPA isn't altogether new: Throughout the Reagan and much of the Bush Administrations, Congress pumped hundreds of millions of dollars into DARPA, enabling the agency to work hand in hand with industry on technologies that would be critical not just to defense but to U.S. competitiveness in civilian markets as well.
Andrew Pollack, "America's Answer to Japan's MITI," New York Times, March 5, 1989, section 3, p. 1. An excerpt:
At a time when more industries are seeking Government help to hold their own against Asian and European competitors, Darpa [the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency] is stepping into the void, becoming the closest thing this nation has to Japan's Ministry of International Trade and Industry, the agency that organizes the industrial programs that are credited with making Japan so competitive. . . . [U]nder the rubric of national security, the Pentagon can undertake programs like Sematech [a research consortium to help the U.S. semiconductor industry compete] that would arouse opposition if done by another agency in the name of industrial policy. . . .
Many fundamental computer technologies in use today can be traced to its backing, including the basic graphics techniques that make the Apple Macintosh computer easy to use; time-sharing, which allows several people to share a computer, and packet-switching for routing data over comptuer networks. . . . C. Gordon Bell, head of research at the Ardent Computer Corporation and one of the nation's leading computer designers [states,] "They are the sole drive of computer technology. That's it. Period." Darpa does no research on its own, only finances work.
See also, Frank Kofsky, Harry S. Truman and the War Scare of 1948: A Successful Campaign to Deceive the Nation, New York: St. Martin's, 1993 (on the origins of the system of government subsidies to high-tech industry). And see chapter 2 of U.P. and its footnotes 4 and 5; footnotes 4, 7, 9 and 10 of this chapter; the text of chapter 7 of U.P.; and chapter 10 of U.P. and its footnotes 22 and 23.
4. On the real function of "Star Wars," see for example, Dave Griffiths, Evert Clark, and Alan Hall, "Why Star Wars Is A Shot In The Arm For Corporate R&D," Business Week, April 8, 1985, p. 77. An excerpt:
Not surprisingly, the goings-on at the Star Wars office are closely watched from corporate boardrooms. Says Army Colonel Robert W. Parker, director of resource management at S.D.I.'s office: "One way or another, 80% of our money is going to the private sector." On any given day, representatives of dozens of companies and universities visit the headquarters. . . . [Star Wars head James Abrahamson] has given the private sector an unprecedented role in shaping a defense project. . . .
S.D.I. will need much more than existing technology if it is ever to fly. To get all the necessary advances, it will pump 3% to 4% of its projected budget [$26 billion] over the next five years into pushing innovations in technologies ranging from advanced computers to optics. . . . Almost no cutting-edge technology will go without a shot of new research funds. . . . Whether or not Star Wars comes to fruition, Abrahamson and Ionson [head of S.D.I.'s Innovative Science and Technology Office] are convinced that it will produce a wealth of new technology. "Star Wars will create an industrial revolution," insists Ionson.
Malcolme W. Browne, "The Star Wars Spinoff" (cover story), New York Times Magazine, August 24, 1986, p. 18. The subtitles on the cover and in the story read:
For better or worse, the controversial Strategic Defense Initiative is already yielding new technologies that seem destined to change the world. . . . It is estimated that adapted Star Wars technology will eventually yield private-sector sales of $5 trillion to $20 trillion. . . . Experts say the computers and programs S.D.I. is helping to bring into being are powerful tools whose civilian counterparts will have incalculable civilian value.
"Will star wars reward or retard science?," Economist (London), September 7, 1985, p. 93. An excerpt:
[T]he share of American government R&D funds going for defence . . . rose from 47% in 1980 to 70% this year. Japan, in contrast, gives less than 1% of its government R&D funds to defence. . . . Yet the differences in research priorities between, say, America with its defence bias and Japan with its market bias are less stark than the raw statistics suggest. The makers of science policy in most industrial countries are investing in the same group of core technologies -- computers, materials and biotechnology. A review of science and technology policy by the OECD [Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development] notes that, biotechnology apart, the Pentagon and Japan's ministry of international trade and industry (Miti) are putting their money into very similar kinds of R&D.
In computer science, for example, both are trying to build a "fifth-generation" computer that can give a rudimentary imitation of human thinking. Miti has underwritten about a third of the development costs of very-large-scale-integrated (VLSI) circuits; the Pentagon has a $300m development programme in the same area. Miti has a $30m R&D programme on fibre optics; the Pentagon is spending $40m a year on similar research. Both are also investing heavily in research on new materials such as polymers and metal-matrix composites. Both are spending about $200m on manufacturing technology, including robots and factory automation. Does it matter whether the research sails under a military banner or a civilian one? Many scientists who oppose star wars say that its objectives are technically impossible. Enthusiasts counter that its ambitious aims make the SDI a perfect catalyst for the sort of innovative research that industry cannot afford but that will pay big dividends in the long run. . . . The search for a beam weapon to knock out missiles will spur research on lasers that operate at short wavelengths. Spin-offs could range from X-ray microscopes to excimer lasers that unclog blocked arteries.
See also, William J. Broad, "Star Wars Is Coming, But Where Is It Going?," New York Times Magazine, December 6, 1987, p. 80. An excerpt:
The best evidence indicates that . . . a space-based defense has no chance of working as envisioned by President Reagan. . . . The American Physical Society, in an exhaustive 424-page report, found that so many breakthroughs were needed for overall Star Wars development that no deployment decision should even be considered for another decade or more. The physicists, Nobel laureates among them, said that the survival of any space-based antimissile system against enemy attack was "highly questionable."
Nick Cook, "S&T: fuel for the economic engine," Jane's Defence Weekly, January 28, 1995, pp. 19f; Robert Reich, "High Tech, A Subsidiary Of Pentagon Inc.," Op-Ed, New York Times, May 29, 1985, p. A23. And see footnote 3 of this chapter.
5. On the Pentagon budget being higher in real terms in 1995 than it was under the Nixon administration at the end of the Vietnam War in 1975, see footnote 75 of chapter 8 of U.P.
On real wages for college-educated workers declining in 1987 after the Pentagon budget declined in 1986, see footnote 42 of chapter 9 of U.P.
6. For a Depression-era economist making the point about fascisms, see for example, Robert A. Brady, Business As A System of Power, New York: Columbia University Press, 1943, especially pp. 5-7, 16-17, 295.
7. On the failure of the New Deal but success of military spending in ending the Depression, see for example, Richard B. DuBoff, Accumulation and Power: An Economic History of the United States, Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 1989, ch. 6. An excerpt (pp. 91, 98):
Despite the efforts of Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal, real G.N.P. [Gross National Product] did not regain its 1929 volume until 1939, when per capita income was still 7 percent below its 1929 level. Unemployment, reaching an estimated 25 percent of the labor force in 1933, averaged nearly 19 percent from 1931 through 1940 and never dipped below 10 percent until late 1941. The anemic nature of the recovery during the 1930s was a direct result of the inadequate increases in government support for the economy. . . .
Only the Second World War ended the Great Depression. "Rearmament" commenced in June 1940 and over the next year, before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, military spending jumped more than six-fold, to 11 percent of the G.N.P. It rose to 42 percent of G.N.P. in 1943-44. Under this mighty stimulus, real national product increased 65 percent from 1940 through 1944, industrial production by 90 percent. . . . What had really happened between 1929 and 1933 is that the institutions of nineteenth-century free market growth broke down, beyond repair. . . . The tumultuous passage from the depression of the 1930s to the total economic mobilization of the 1940s was the watershed in twentieth century capitalism. After that, nothing in the macroeconomy would ever be the same; there was no going back to the days of a pure, practically unregulated capitalist economic order.
Richard Barnet, The Economy of Death, New York: Atheneum, 1969, at p. 116 (summarizing the evolution of the military spending system, and quoting General Electric President Charles E. Wilson on the need to develop a "permanent war economy").
On corporate executives running the U.S. economy during World War II, see for example, Alfred D. Chandler, Jr., "The Role of Business in the United States: A Historical Survey," Daedalus, Winter 1969, pp. 23-40 at p. 36. See also chapter 2 of U.P. and its footnote 5; footnote 9 of this chapter; and chapter 10 of U.P. and its footnote 94.
8. For warnings about the necessity for government intervention in the economy after the war, see for example, Paul A. Samuelson, "Unemployment Ahead: (I.) A Warning to the Washington Expert," New Republic, September 11, 1944, pp. 297-299; Paul A. Samuelson, "Unemployment Ahead: (II.) The Coming Economic Crisis," New Republic, September 18, 1944, pp. 333-335. An excerpt:
Every month, every day, every hour the federal government is pumping millions and billions of dollars into the bloodstream of the American economy. It is as if we were building a T.V.A. [Tennessee Valley Authority, a massive New Deal public works project] every Tuesday. Did I say every Tuesday? Two T.V.A.'s every Tuesday would be nearer the truth. We have reached the present high levels of output and employment only by means of $100 billion of government expenditures, of which $50 billion represent deficits. In the usual sense of the word, the present prosperity is "artificial," although no criticism is thereby implied. Any simple statistical calculation will show that the automobile, aircraft, ship-building and electronics industries combined, comprising the fields with rosiest postwar prospects, cannot possibly maintain their present level of employment, or one-half, or one-third of it. . . .
[I]t is demonstrable that the immediate demobilization period presents a grave challenge to our economy. . . . Our economic system is living on a rich diet of government spending. It will be found cheaper in the long run, and infinitely preferable in human terms, to wean it gradually. . . . For better or worse, the government under any party will have to undertake extensive action in the years ahead.
"Shall we have Airplanes?," Fortune, January 1948, pp. 77f. An excerpt (emphasis in original):
[The U.S. aircraft industry] is today producing at a rate that is less than 3 per cent of its wartime peak. . . . [Its spokesmen] speak frequently of "free enterprise," but they speak just as frequently of "long-range planning." It is crystal clear to them that they cannot live without one kind or another of governmental support -- yet "subsidy" is a shocking word to them. . . . Its respected heads . . . freely play the game of nagging and chiding the government, but it then transpires that their reproaches are made because the government has not gone far enough toward stating "clearly and frankly" its "obligation to help develop new and improved air transports and efficient networks of air transportation," as well as fostering new programs for military planes. . . .
Every one of these proposals acknowledges the inability of unaided "private" capital to venture any deeper into the technological terra incognita of the aircraft industry. Every one acknowledges that only the credit resources of the U.S.A. are sufficient to keep the aircraft industry going: to enable it to hire its engineers, buy its materials, pay wages to its labor force, compensate its executives -- and pay dividends to its stockholders. The fact seems to remain, then, that the aircraft industry today cannot satisfactorily exist in a pure, competitive, unsubsidized, "free-enterprise" economy. It never has been able to. Its huge customer has always been the United States Government, whether in war or in peace.
"Aviation RFC (Reconstruction Finance Corporation)?," Business Week, January 31, 1948, p. 28 ("the aircraft builders, even with tax carrybacks, are near disaster. . . . Right now the government is their only possible savior -- with orders, subsidies, or loans"). See also, Frank Kofsky, Harry S. Truman and the War Scare of 1948: A Successful Campaign to Deceive the Nation, New York: St. Martin's, 1993, at p. 2 (arguing with substantial documentation that the Truman administration manipulated "war scares" for the purpose of sustaining and expanding U.S. industry through the military system; citing business magazines and newspapers of the period that "made it quite unmistakable that the aircraft industry would have collapsed had it not been for the big procurement orders that came in the wake of the war scare of 1948").
In the following years, the business press routinely recognized that continued high levels of military spending were essential to the U.S. economy. See for example, Ward Gates, "Approaching Recession in American Business?," Magazine of Wall Street, May 31, 1952, p. 252. An excerpt:
[R]earmament has played a large part in the increase in world trade directly after Korea and remains one of the basic elements in the future of world business. No better illustration could be had than the effects of the U.S. withdrawal from the primary markets when it had about completed its stock-piling program. When this occurred the primary markets practically fell apart. It is obvious that foreign economies as well as our own are now mainly dependent on the scope of continued arms spending in this country. . . . Basic to continued high activity in industry is the government program of defense expenditures, actual and projected.
Ward Gates, "Major Economic Adjustment -- If Shooting War Stops?," Magazine of Wall Street, July 28, 1951, p. 436. An excerpt:
Cynics both here and abroad have claimed, and not without some justification, that American business interests "fear peace." The moral aspect of this dilemma need not concern us but, on a realistic basis, there is no question that the prospect of peace is altering the thinking of economists, business men and investors. For that reason, it is imperative that a new view be taken of the over-all situation and to see whether the prospective ending of hostilities will produce marked changes in the industrial, business and financial picture. . . .
While the prospect of peace in Korea has exerted an unsettling act and probably will continue to do so during the next few months, we must consider whether these comparatively adverse conditions will not disappear as the enormous armaments program acquires momentum. . . . [T]he very high continued rate of arms production will greatly tend to support the economy and as long as this feature remains it is difficult to see the possibility for a genuine recession generally in the period ahead, although individual industries will have to contend with the uncertainties presented by the cessation of hostilities.
See also, "Newsgram From the Nation's Capital," U.S. News and World Report, May 26, 1950, pp. 7-8. An excerpt (emphasis in original):
Money Supply will continue to be abundant, rising. Population will go on rising. Households will grow proportionately faster than population. "Cold war," at the same time, will go on, uninterrupted. It's in that little combination of facts that Government planners figure they have found the magic formula for almost endless good times. They now are beginning to wonder if there may not be something in perpetual motion after all.
The formula, as the planners figure it, can work this way:
Rising money supply, rising population are ingredients of good times. Cold war is the catalyst. Cold war is an automatic pump primer. Turn a spigot, and the public clamors for more arms spending. Turn another, the clamor ceases.
A little deflation, unemployment, signs of harder times, and the spigot is turned to the left. Money flows out, money supply rises, activity revives. High activity encourages people to have bigger families. . . . Good times come back, boom signs appear, prices start to rise.
A little inflation, signs of shortages, speculation, and the spigot is turned to the right. Cold-war talk is eased. Economy is proposed. Money is tightened a little by tighter rein on Government-guaranteed credit, by use of devices in other fields. Things tend to calm down, to stabilize.
That's the formula in use. It's been working fairly well to date. . . . Truman confidence, cockiness, is based on this "Truman formula." Truman era of good times, President is told, can run much beyond 1952. Cold-war demands, if fully exploited, are almost limitless.
9. For an articulation in the business press of the problems with domestic public works and social welfare spending, see "From Cold War to Cold Peace," Business Week, February 12, 1949, p. 19. An excerpt:
But there's a tremendous difference between welfare pump-priming and military pump-priming. . . . Military spending doesn't really alter the structure of the economy. It goes through the regular channels. As far as business is concerned, a munitions order from the government is much like an order from a private customer. But the kind of welfare and public works spending that Truman plans does alter the economy. It makes new channels of its own. It creates new institutions. It redistributes income. It shifts demand from one industry to another. It changes the whole economic pattern.
Similarly, business leaders also feared that the public would demand ownership of publicly-subsidized industries if they became involved in or informed about industrial policy-making. See for example, Frank Kofsky, Harry S. Truman and the War Scare of 1948: A Successful Campaign to Deceive the Nation, New York: St. Martin's, 1993. An excerpt (p. 37):
Although the aircraft companies could not have been more eager to tap the U.S. treasury, their executives were also enormously concerned that any federal funds they might receive not even resemble -- much less be called -- a subsidy. Their reasoning was the same that impelled William Allen, the president of the Boeing Airplane Company, to insist that any computation of the airplane makers' wartime profits be on the basis of sales, not investments. If the taxpayers were ever to realize how much the creation, expansion and current well-being of the aircraft industry depended on money they had provided, Allen and his counterparts feared, their outrage might result in a demand for nationalization. Advocates of such a measure might plausibly argue that as long as the public was expected to continue footing the bill to keep the airplane builders in operation, it might as well own that for which it was being forced to pay. . . . The trick, therefore, was for the industry to achieve the beneficial effect of a subsidy without the appearance of having taken one.
Earlier, the same considerations applied with respect to the government's foreign-spending programs -- which ultimately became military-spending programs, as discussed in footnotes 4 and 5 of chapter 2 of U.P. -- namely, business leaders saw them as an economic stimulus that avoided the dangers of increased domestic social-welfare spending. See for example, David W. Eakins, "Business Planners and America's Postwar Expansion," in David Horowitz, ed., Corporations and the Cold War, New York: Monthly Review, 1969, pp. 143-171. An excerpt (pp. 150, 156, 167-168):
Corporate liberal businessmen were generally agreed that the government should continue to help sustain full production and employment, but most of them were opposed to more internal planning -- that is, to an expanded New Deal at home. . . . In 1944, the National Planning Association offered a foreign economic policy plan on the scale of that proposed by Secretary of State George C. Marshall three years later. It called for a great expansion of government-supported foreign investment, and it did so strictly on the basis of American domestic needs, using, of course, none of the later justifications that were to be based on a Cold War with Russia. . . . The corporate liberal planners who began to work out the system during World War II [in groups such as the National Planning Association, the Twentieth Century Fund, and the Committee for Economic Development] were aware of the political potential of foreign aid -- in the sense that it would help create "the kind of economic and political world that the United States would like to see prevail." But their scheme had broader implications. It stemmed, first of all, from a well-learned lesson of the New Deal, that it was the duty of government to prevent the stagnation of the capitalist economy by large-scale compensatory spending. But that spending, if "free enterprise" at home was to be saved, had to be largely directed abroad. . . .
[The Marshall Plan's program of massive] foreign aid emerged to provide an elegantly symmetrical answer to several dilemmas. It was a form of government compensatory spending that avoided revived New Deal spending at home. . . . To have turned inward to solve American problems -- to allow foreigners to choose their own course -- might very well have meant, as [senior State Department and World Bank official] Will Clayton put it, "radical readjustments in our entire economic structure . . . changes which could hardly be made under our democratic free enterprise system." These men were fearful of the expanded New Deal solution to continued economic growth precisely because they felt that such a program would be compelled to move far beyond the most radical projections of New Deal planners.
For a more detailed description of the origins of the post-war military economy, and of military spending's general role as a "floor under the economy" to prevent the return to depression conditions, see Fred Block, The Origins of International Economic Disorder: A Study of United States International Monetary Policy from World War II to the Present, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1977, especially pp. 102-108.
For other articulations of these themes, see for example, Bernard Nossiter, "Arms Firms See Postwar Spurt," Washington Post, December 8, 1968, pp. A1, A18. This article quotes Samuel F. Downer, Financial Vice-President of the L.T.V. Aerospace Corporation, explaining why "the post-[Vietnam] war world must be bolstered with military orders":
"It's basic," he says. "Its selling appeal is defense of the home. This is one of the greatest appeals the politicians have to adjusting the system. If you're the President and you need a control factor in the economy, and you need to sell this factor, you can't sell Harlem and Watts but you can sell self-preservation, a new environment. We're going to increase defense budgets as long as those bastards in Russia are ahead of us. The American people understand this."
Robert Reich, "High Tech, A Subsidiary Of Pentagon Inc.," Op-Ed, New York Times, May 29, 1985, p. A23 ("national defense has served as a convenient pretext for the kind of planning that would be ideologically suspect if undertaken on its own behalf"); John Kenneth Galbraith, The New Industrial State, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1967. An excerpt (pp. 228-229):
In 1929, Federal expenditures for all goods and services amounted to $3.5 billion; by 1939 they were $12.5 billion; in 1965 they were approximately $57 billion. In relation to Gross National Product they increased from 1.7 per cent in 1929 to 8.4 per cent in 1965 and earlier in the same decade they had been substantially in excess of 10 per cent. Although the cliché is to the contrary, this increase has been with strong approval of the industrial system. There is also every reason to regard it, and the social attitudes and beliefs by which it is sustained, as reflecting substantial adaptation to the goals of the mature corporation and its technostructure. For the cliché has noticed only the ritual objection of business to government expenditure. Much of this objection comes from small businessmen outside the industrial system or it reflects entrepreneurial attitudes rather than those of the technostructure. And it is directed at only a small part of public expenditure.
All business objection to public expenditure automatically exempts expenditures for defense or those, as for space exploration, which are held to serve equivalent goals of international policy. It is these expenditures which account for by far the largest part of the increase in Federal expenditure over the past thirty years. . . . Legislators who most conscientiously reflect the views of the business community regularly warn that insufficient funds are being spent on particular weapons. No more than any other social institution does the industrial system disapprove of what is important for its success. Those who have thought it suspicious of Keynesian fiscal policy have failed to see how precisely it has identified and supported what is essential for that policy.
See also, Richard B. DuBoff, Accumulation and Power: An Economic History of the United States, Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 1989, ch. 6, especially pp. 98-100; Gabriel Kolko, Main Currents in American History, New York: Harper and Row, 1976, pp. 316-330. And see chapter 1 of U.P. and its footnote 1; chapter 2 of U.P. and its footnotes 4 and 5; and footnotes 7, 8, 10 and 11 of this chapter.
10. On the importance of military spending as a cushion under the economy, see for example, Frank Kofsky, Harry S. Truman and the War Scare of 1948: A Successful Campaign to Deceive the Nation, New York: St. Martin's, 1993. An excerpt (pp. 258-260):
In supporting bigger armaments budgets, business journals repeatedly returned to the idea that military procurement could prevent or overcome recessions by keeping overall levels of spending high. Even as early as the spring of 1948, The Magazine of Wall Street was beginning to cast the matter in exactly those terms: "In fact, the contemplated scale of spending . . . may be just enough, together with tax reduction and other outlays such as foreign aid, to act as a cushion against a business decline" [see E.A. Krauss, "The Effect on Our Economy," Magazine of Wall Street, April 24, 1948, pp. 60, 100]. . . . "In a broad manner, the enlarged Government spending will inject new strength into the entire economy" [see Frederick K. Dodge, "Which Securities under Preparedness?," Magazine of Wall Street, April 24, 1948, p. 98]. . . .
Later in the year, Business Week gave this idea its official imprimatur [see "Where's That War Boom," Business Week, October 30, 1948, p. 23]. . . . "Industrialists generally are in accord with the military's program of preparedness," Steel noted as early as April of 1948, specifically citing "C.E. Wilson, president of General Electric Co.," as a case in point [see "Industry Sizing Up New Military Program, Steel, April 5, 1948, p. 46]. . . . "The country is now geared to a $13-billion military budget," [Business Week] noted . . . "a big -- and reliable -- prop under business. For the country as a whole," a Pentagon budget of this size guaranteed "a high level of federal spending," while for "individual suppliers, it means a solid backlog of orders" [see "Defense Buying Hits Stride," Business Week, March 18, 1950, pp. 19-20]. The following month, the editors again drew the connection between fueling the arms race and maintaining a stable capitalist order: "Pressure for more government spending is mounting. And the prospect is that Congress will give in. . . . The reason is a combination of concern over tense Russian relations, and growing fear of a rising level of unemployment here at home" [see "Washington Outlook," Business Week, April 15, 1950, p. 15].
This important function of military spending in the economy continues to the present. For one study of its influence, see Maryellen R. Kelley and Todd A. Watkins, "The myth of the specialized military contractor," Technology Review, April 1, 1995, pp. 52f. An excerpt:
[O]ur research indicates that the image of a few highly specialized defense contractors occupying an enclave walled off from commercial manufacturing is largely a myth. . . . [T]he vast majority of defense contractors serve both military and civilian customers. What's more, strengths developed under the umbrella of national security are being tapped to benefit firms' commercial work, and vice versa. . . . Far from being responsible for most of the nation's military manufacturing, [the] major defense contractors stand at the top of diverse and deep supply structures. . . . This supplier base encompasses a significant percentage of all U.S. manufacturing companies. In a 1991 survey of firms in 21 durable goods industries, as well as an analysis of 1988 data gathered by the Census Bureau, we found that fully half of all plants make parts, components, or materials for military equipment.
See also, Maryellen Kelley and Todd A. Watkins, "In from the cold: prospects for the conversion of the defense industrial base," Science, April 28, 1995, pp. 525f; Karen Pennar, "Pentagon Spending Is the Economy's Biggest Gun," Business Week, October 21, 1985, pp. 60, 64 ("Big [armaments] contractors like Lockheed and McDonnell Douglas like to use defense spending as a cushion for times when other business gets weak"). And see footnotes 3, 4, 7 and 9 of this chapter; and chapter 10 of U.P. and its footnotes 22 and 23.
Chomsky points out that military-Keynesian initiatives have not been limited to the U.S. defense budget: a substantial proportion of the U.S. foreign aid budget is devoted to direct grants or loans to foreign governments for the purchase of U.S. military equipment, and there are many other programs shaped to serve the same ends. On U.S. armaments exports and the scale of U.S. military spending, see chapter 8 of U.P. and its footnote 75.
11. Air Force Secretary Symington's exact words were: "The word to talk was not 'subsidy'; the word to talk was 'security.'" He made the remark in a discussion following an Air Force presentation to the Combat Aviation Subcommittee of the Congressional Aviation Policy Board, on January 21, 1948. See Frank Kofsky, Harry S. Truman and the War Scare of 1948: A Successful Campaign to Deceive the Nation, New York: St. Martin's, 1993, pp. 48, 81, 319 n.7.
12. On the Reagan administration's immediate selection of Libya as its target, see for example, "Excerpts from Haig's Remarks at First News Conference as Secretary of State," New York Times, January 29, 1981, p. A10 (announcing that, under the new Reagan administration, "international terrorism will take the place of human rights in our concern because it is the ultimate abuse of human rights"). See generally, Edward S. Herman, The Real Terror Network: Terrorism in Fact and Propaganda, Boston: South End, 1982; Edward S. Herman and Gerry O'Sullivan, The "Terrorism" Industry: The Experts and Institutions That Shape Our View of Terror, New York: Pantheon, 1990; Alexander George, ed., Western State Terrorism, New York: Routledge, 1991.
13. On Qaddafi's record of terrorism at the time, see for example, William D. Perdue, Terrorism and the State: A Critique of Domination Through Fear, New York: Praeger, 1989, chs. 3 and 6, especially p. 114 ("Amnesty International attributed 14 killings of political opponents (4 abroad) to Libya through 1985"). In contrast, torture victims and people killed in the U.S.-client state of El Salvador alone numbered 50,000. For comparison with victims of government terrorism in most-favored U.S. ally states such as El Salvador, Indonesia, Israel, and Colombia, see the text of U.P. and sources in these notes, throughout.
14. Chomsky notes that the U.S. government's Operation MONGOOSE terrorism campaign against Cuba -- launched primarily from Miami -- alone dwarfs terrorism coming from the Arab world. On MONGOOSE, see chapter 1 of U.P. and its footnotes 21 and 22. On the international terrorism coming from Washington, see examples throughout the text of U.P. and sources in these notes.
Chomsky explains his point about the main centers of international terrorism (The Washington Connection and Third World Fascism -- The Political Economy of Human Rights: Volume I, Boston: South End, 1979, pp. 85-87):
The words "terror" and "terrorism" have become semantic tools of the powerful in the Western world. In their dictionary meaning, these words refer to "intimidation" by the "systematic use of violence" as a means of both governing and opposing existing governments. But current Western usage has restricted the sense, on purely ideological grounds, to the retail violence of those who oppose the established order. . . .
In the Third World, the United States set itself firmly against revolutionary change after World War II, and has struggled to maintain the disintegrating post-colonial societies within the "Free World," often in conflict with the main drift of social and political forces within those countries. This conservative and counter-revolutionary political objective has defined the spectrum of acceptable and unacceptable violence and bloodshed. From this perspective, killings associated with revolution represent a resort to violence which is both reprehensible, and improper as a means for bringing about social change. Such atrocities are carried out by "terrorists. . . ." The same Orwellian usage was standard on the home front during the Vietnam War. Students, war protesters, Black Panthers, and associated other dissidents were effectively branded as violent and terroristic by a government that dropped more than five million tons of bombs over a dozen year period on a small peasant country with no means of self-defense. Beating of demonstrators, infiltration of dissident organizations, extensive use of agent provocateur tactics, even F.B.I. complicity in political assassination were not designated by any such terms [on these tactics by the U.S. government, see chapter 4 of U.P. and its footnote 33].
Elsewhere, Chomsky comments about his use of the word "terrorism" (Pirates and Emperors: International Terrorism in the Real World, Boston: South End, 1991, pp. 9-10):
The term "terrorism" came into use at the end of the eighteenth century, primarily referring to violent acts of governments designed to ensure popular submission. That concept is plainly of little benefit to the practitioners of state terrorism, who, holding power, are in a position to control the system of thought and expression. The original sense has therefore been abandoned, and the term "terrorism" has come to be applied mainly to "retail terrorism" by individuals or groups. Whereas the term was once applied to emperors who molest their own subjects and the world, it is now restricted to thieves who molest the powerful [this reference to "emperors" and "thieves" refers to a story told by Saint Augustine, in which a pirate was asked by Alexander the Great, "How dare you molest the seas?" -- to which the pirate replied: "How dare you molest the whole world? Because I do it with a little ship only, I am called a thief; you, doing it with a great navy, are called an emperor"].
Extracting ourselves from the system of indoctrination, we will use the term "terrorism" to refer to the threat or the use of violence to intimidate or coerce (generally for political ends), whether it is the wholesale terrorism of the emperor or the retail terrorism of the thief. The pirate's maxim explains the recently-evolved concept of "international terrorism" only in part. It is necessary to add a second feature: an act of terrorism enters the canon only if it is committed by "their side," not ours.
15. For one of the major texts in the propaganda campaign about "Kremlin-directed" terrorism, see Claire Sterling, The Terror Network: The Secret War of International Terrorism, New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Reader's Digest Press, 1981, especially pp. 1-24, ch. 16, and Epilogue, at pp. 291-293. This book's unifying theme is that all international terrorism has been part of a single, carefully-designed "Soviet enterprise" whose "primary value to the Kremlin lay in [its] resolute efforts to weaken, demoralize, confuse, humiliate, frighten, paralyze, and if possible, dismantle the West's democratic societies." Particularly noteworthy is Sterling's criticism of Western European governments for failing, out of timidity, to acknowledge this "Soviet design" even though their intelligence services "may have had pieces of the puzzle in hand for years."
The New York Times and Washington Post both published condensed versions and excerpts from the book in their Sunday Magazine sections. See Claire Sterling, "Terrorism: Tracing the International Network," New York Times, March 1, 1981, section 6, p. 16 ("There is massive proof that the Soviet Union and its surrogates, over the last decade, have provided the weapons, training and sanctuary for a worldwide terror network aimed at the destabilization of Western democratic society"); Claire Sterling, "The Strange Case of Henri Curiel," Washington Post, March 15, 1981, Magazine section, p. 26. For samples of the mainstream reception of Sterling's book, see for example, Daniel Schorr, "Tracing the Thread of Terrorism," New York Times, May 17, 1981, section 7, p. 13 (an "important study of terrorism," though flawed); Ronald Taggiasco, "The case for a global conspiracy of terrorism," Business Week, April 27, 1981, p. 9 ("although Sterling's evidence is circumstantial, it is overwhelmingly compelling in its logic").
For instant exposure of Sterling's book as a fraud and extensive discussion, see Edward S. Herman, The Real Terror Network: Terrorism in Fact and Propaganda, Boston: South End, 1982, ch. 2.
16. Chomsky wrote in the 1981 introduction to Towards A New Cold War: Essays on the Current Crisis and How We Got There, New York: Pantheon, 1982 (p. 17):
The Reagan Administration also experimented with another device: "International terrorism," organized by the Soviet Union, is the key problem of the modern world and the mechanism by which the Soviet Union aims at global conquest. . . . [T]he Reagan Administration is seeking to raise the level of international terrorism and to create a mood of crisis at home and abroad, seizing whatever opportunities present themselves. . . . [T]he reasons are not difficult to discern. They are implicit in the domestic policies that constitute the core of the Reagan Administration program: transfer of resources from the poor to the rich by slashing social welfare programs and by regressive tax policies, and a vast increase in the state sector of the economy in the familiar mode: by subsidizing and providing a guaranteed market for high-technology production, namely, military production
17. For Newsweek's reference to the disinformation campaign, see "A Plan to Overthrow Kaddafi," Newsweek, August 3, 1981, p. 19. An excerpt:
The details of the plan were sketchy, but it seemed to be a classic C.I.A. destabilization campaign. One element was a "disinformation" program designed to embarrass Kaddafi and his government. Another was the creation of a "counter government" to challenge his claim to national leadership. A third -- potentially the most risky -- was an escalating paramilitary campaign, probably by disaffected Libyan nationals, to blow up bridges, conduct small-scale guerrilla operations and demonstrate that Kaddafi was opposed by an indigenous political force.
On other Reagan administration press manipulations, see footnote 38 of this chapter.
18. For some of the lunatic disinformation stories about Libya -- keeping only to a single journal's coverage -- see for example, Michael Reese, "Uniting Against Libya," Newsweek, October 19, 1981, p. 43. An excerpt:
NEWSWEEK has also learned that Kaddafi . . . [is] ordering the assassination of the U.S. ambassador to Italy. . . . U.S. intelligence also picked up evidence that Kaddafi had hatched yet another assassination plot -- this time against President Reagan.
Fay Willey, "Kaddafi's Latest Plot," Newsweek, November 9, 1981, p. 29. An excerpt:
U.S. intelligence believes that Libyan strongman Muammar Kaddafi is planning terrorist attacks on four American embassies in Western Europe.
John Brecher, "New Threats From Kaddafi," Newsweek, November 30, 1981, p. 51. An excerpt:
[S]enior American officials told NEWSWEEK, Kaddafi's talk appears to be more than bluster. These officials say Kaddafi has expanded his hit list to include Vice President George Bush, Secretary of State Alexander Haig and Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger -- and that he has equipped special assassination squads with bazookas, grenade launchers and even portable SAM-7 missiles capable of bringing down the President's plane.
"The Kaddafi Hit Squad At Large?," Newsweek, December 14, 1981, p. 36. An excerpt:
[A]n assassination squad dispatched by Libyan strongman Muammar Kaddafi [has] entered the United States.
David M. Alpern, "Coping With a Plot to Kill the President," Newsweek, December 21, 1981, p. 16. An excerpt:
Security around [President Reagan] tightened amid intelligence reports that placed his potential assassins either in the country or on its borders preparing to strike.
See also, James Kelly, "Searching for Hit Teams: There was no proof, but there was sufficient reason to believe," Time, December 21, 1981, p. 16 (summing up the status of the hitmen story in its title, while nonetheless continuing its publicity); Duncan Campbell and Patrick Forbes, "Tale of Anti-Reagan Hit Team Was 'Fraud'," New Statesman (U.K.), August 16, 1985, p. 6 (reporting that a secret official U.S. list of fourteen alleged "Libyan terrorists" was in fact a list of prominent members of the Lebanese Shiite party Amal, including its leader Nabih Berri and the religious leader of the Lebanese Shiite community, with most of the rest being aging Lebanese politicians; to compound the absurdity, the Amal party is passionately anti-Libyan).
On a later Reagan administration claim that Libya was planning to overthrow the government of the Sudan, see for example, Bernard Gwertzman, "Shultz Asserts Libyan Threat Has 'Receded,'" New York Times, February 21, 1983, p. A1. An excerpt:
Secretary of State George P. Shultz said today that what the Reagan Administration believed last week was a military threat by Libya against the Sudan had now "receded. . . ." Mr. Shultz, in his television appearance, said, "The President of the United States acted quickly and decisively and effectively, and at least for the moment Qaddafi is back in his box where he belongs." His comments were in line with the White House effort Friday and Saturday to convince reporters privately that Mr. Reagan was actually in charge of the operation, even though at his news conference on Wednesday he made factual errors. . . .
Administration officials have said the Awacs [that attacked Libya] were sent at the explicit request of President Mubarak, but Egyptian officials and news organizations have denied in recent days that any such request was made or that any threat to the Sudan exists. The Libyans have denied any plans to attack the Sudan [across six hundred miles of desert]. The lack of any tangible threat from Libya was reminiscent of the Administration's problems in late 1981 when it aroused considerable agitation in Washington over reports of a Libyan "hit squad" being sent to the United States to try to kill high officials. Nothing happened, and it was unclear whether the publicity forced cancellation of the Libyan plans or whether the Administration's information was faulty in the first place.
For a later exposure of some of the U.S. government's disinformation campaigns, see Jonathan Alter, "A Bodyguard of Lies," Newsweek, October 13, 1986, p. 43. An excerpt:
[I]n August national-security adviser John Poindexter sent President Reagan a memo outlining what Poindexter called a "disinformation program" aimed at destabilizing Libyan leader Muammar Kaddafi by generating false reports that the United States and Libya were again on a collision course. . . . Evidence that the disinformation campaign was under way first turned up on Aug. 25 in The Wall Street Journal. . . . "We relied on high-level officials who hyped some of this," [Wall Street Journal Washington Bureau Chief Albert] Hunt says. . . . [The lies] were profoundly disturbing, even to journalists hardened by a lifetime of covering dissembling officials.
Edward P. Haley, Qaddafi and the United States Since 1969, New York: Praeger, 1984, pp. 257-264 (bitterly anti-Qaddafi study, summarizing the various stages of the "propaganda campaign designed to discredit the Libyan leader and turn him into an international outlaw"; making a praiseworthy effort to take the comedy seriously).
19. For Reagan's own remarks linking Qaddafi and the contra vote, see for example, Jonathan Fuerbringer, "Contras' Backers Lose A Close Vote On House Debate," New York Times, April 16, 1986, p. A1. An excerpt:
Before the House votes today, President Reagan, pressing his case for $100 million in aid to the rebels [i.e. the contras], said he wanted to remind the House that Libya had sent money, weapons and advisers to the Nicaraguan Government. Addressing a group of business leaders a day after American planes bombed Libyan targets, President Reagan said the Libyan leader, Col. Muamar el-Qaddafi, was helping Nicaragua in an effort to "bring his war home to the United States."
"I would remind the House voting this week that this archterrorist has sent $400 million and an arsenal of weapons and advisers into Nicaragua," Mr. Reagan said. "He has bragged that he is helping the Nicaraguans because they fight America on its own ground."
"Reagan's Remarks On Raid," New York Times, April 16, 1986, p. A20 (transcript of Reagan's speech to the American Business Conference, asserting a link between Qaddafi and Nicaragua).
See also, Edward P. Haley, Qaddafi and the United States Since 1969, New York: Praeger, 1984. An excerpt (p. 8):
[The Reagan administration was] exploiting the "Libyan menace" in order to win support for steps it wished to take in pursuit of Secretary [of State Alexander] Haig's "strategic consensus" against the Soviet Union, and as an element in the arrangements necessary for the creation of a Rapid Deployment Force [an intervention force targeted primarily at the Middle East, now the "Central Command"].
Chomsky adds that, in addition to the Reagan administration's seeking to create public hysteria in order to help ram through its policies, Qaddafi also was opposed because, increasingly, he was standing in the way of the U.S. "strategic consensus" in North Africa, the Middle East and elsewhere -- he was supporting (along with the United Nations) Polisario, the indigenous resistance movement to Morocco's illegal annexation of Western Sahara, as well as anti-U.S. elements in the Sudan; forging a union with Morocco; intervening in Chad; and in general being an obstacle to U.S. objectives in the region and interfering with its efforts to impose its will elsewhere.
20. On the legal backdrop of the Gulf of Sidra bombing, including U.S. objections to allowing the World Court to decide the dispute, see for example, R.C. Longworth, "Victory at Sea," Chicago Tribune, March 30, 1986, p. C1. An excerpt:
The Navy sailed into battle off Libya last week in defense of a treaty that the United States, almost alone in the world, has refused to sign. . . . The treaty in question is the Law of the Sea Treaty, signed in 1982 by 156 nations but not by the U.S., Britain and West Germany. The treaty establishes what part of the world's oceans are high seas, open to any shipping, and what part belongs to the countries along the coast. . . . It was ostensibly in defense of these provisions that the Navy last week steamed across Libyan strongman Moammar Khadafy's "line of death" and into the Gulf of Sidra. There were those, in Washington and elsewhere, who suspected that President Reagan invited the fracas because he was angered by the House of Representatives' refusal on March 2 to give him $100 million for the Nicaraguan antigovernment rebels, and that he vented his rage on an easy unpopular target -- Khadafy. To such critics, the legal justification for the Navy's voyage into the gulf was only a figleaf for the presidential snit. The administration denied this and said the President's move amounted to a vital testing of the freedom of the high seas. . . .
The facts are these: First, the Law of the Sea Treaty gives every coastal nation sovereignty over the oceans up to 12 miles out from its shore. Ships of other nations may pass through these "territorial waters" under the right of "innocent passage," which means they must move with "dispatch" and pose no threat to the coastal nation. . . . But Alfred Rubin, professor of international law at Tufts University, said the concepts are so vague that, though "Libya is probably wrong, its claim is not absurd. We may be within our legal rights, but we may not be." Rubin's argument with the Reagan mission, however, has another basis. He notes that Libya did not shoot at U.S. ships but at the airplanes launched from them. The ships may have been exercising their right to the high seas, but Libya may have been exercising another well-established right -- the "law of self-defense." That law, as stated by Daniel Webster in 1842, permits action against a threat that is "instant, overwhelming and leaving no choice of means and no moment for deliberation." Rubin argues that the appearance of U.S. planes off Libya's coast may have amounted to such a threat, considering the U.S. government's official and open hostility to Libya. At any rate, Rubin argues, the United Nations Charter provides for more peaceful means, the World Court, for settling such disputes as navigation rights, even though this would be "awkward," as one expert put it, for the U.S. after it denied the court's jurisdiction last year in a lawsuit brought by Nicaragua [see the text following this footnote in U.P., and footnotes 43 and 44 of this chapter].
Brian Hoyle, director of the Office of Ocean Law and Policy at the State Department, was openly contemptuous of Rubin's arguments. . . . "I find it inconceivable that Libya could invoke this right [of self-defense]." As to the World Court, Hoyle said any case "would have taken years and years. I don't think we could live with this."
21. For the White House's immediate announcement of a Libyan connection to the disco bombing, see for example, Gerald M. Boyd, "U.S. Sees Methods Of Libya In Attack," New York Times, April 6, 1986, p. 1 ("Administration counterterrorism officials said there was 'strong circumstantial evidence' linking Libya to the bombing," and "a 'consensus' within the Administration that the nightclub attack was part of a pattern of activity directed against Americans and American installations in which Colonel Qaddafi has been responsible"); Bernard Gwertzman, "Fear of Flying," New York Times, April 6, 1986, section 4, p. 1 (also reporting that "American officials said they suspected there was Libyan involvement in the Berlin attack," without providing any specific evidence). See also footnotes 28 and 30 of this chapter.
22. The A.P. story appeared on the ticker-tape on April 14, 1986. It stated:
[T]he Allied military command [in West Berlin] reported no developments in the investigation of the disco bombing. . . . U.S. and West German officials have said Libya -- possibly through its embassy in Communist-ruled East Berlin -- is suspected of involvement in the bombing of the La Belle night-club.
23. For Speakes's assertion, see for example, Gerald M. Boyd, "Genesis of a Decision: How the President Approved Retaliatory Strikes," New York Times, April 15, 1986, p. A11 (Speakes told reporters that the President decided to bomb Libya "[w]hen we were able to, in the last several days . . . tie Qaddafi in very directly to the Berlin disco bombing which resulted in the death of an American citizen").
24. In contrast to the enthusiastic reaction of the U.S. press, the bombing aroused extensive protest throughout Europe, including large demonstrations, and evoked editorial condemnation in most of the world. Chomsky summarizes (Pirates and Emperors: International Terrorism in the Real World, Boston: South End, 1991, pp. 131-132):
Spain's major newspaper, the independent El Pais, condemned the raid, stating: "The military action of the United States is not only an offense against international law and a grave threat to peace in the Mediterranean, but a mockery of its European allies, who did not find motives for economic sanctions against Libya in a meeting Monday, despite being previously and unsuccessfully pressured to adopt sanctions."
The conservative South China Morning Post in Hong Kong wrote that "President Reagan's cure for the 'mad dog of the Middle East' may prove more lethal than the disease," and his action "may also have lit the fuse to a wider conflagration in the Middle East." In Mexico City, El Universal wrote that the U.S. "has no right to set itself up as the defender of world freedom," urging recourse to legal means through the United Nations.
25. For the German magazine, see Der Speigel (Germany), April 21, 1986. The edition of the issue sold in the United States had a picture of Qaddafi on the cover, not Reagan.
26. For the West German investigator's statement, see Andrew Cockburn, "Sixty Seconds Over Tripoli," Playboy, May 1987, pp. 130f (Manfred Ganschow's exact words: "I have no more evidence that Libya was connected to the bombing than I had when you first called me two days after the act. Which is none").
On Helmut Kohl's alleged statement of support, see James M. Markham, "Libya Raids: Behind Allies' Reactions," New York Times, April 25, 1986, p. A6. An excerpt:
A senior adviser to the Chancellor [of West Germany] said Mr. Kohl was "furious" when he read that Reagan administration officials had described him as willing to condone military action against Libya in private while publicly opposing such a step. "He said nothing like this," the adviser insisted. . . . [Italian Prime Minister Bettino] Craxi's aides, too, were shocked to hear him described by Washington officials as having privately endorsed the American raid.
27. For later stories about other suspects in the disco bombing, see for example, Robert J. McCartney, "Clues Hint Syrian Link In '86 Berlin Bombing," Washington Post, January 11, 1988, p. A13. An excerpt:
New clues have surfaced suggesting that the 1986 bombing of a West Berlin discotheque may have been ordered by a convicted Arab terrorist who has been linked by a court to Syrian officials in another bombing case, a West Berlin court spokesman said today. . . .
[A] U.S. official familiar with the case acknowledged that the revelations "may raise some questions about who was sponsoring what." The U.S. government has not altered its judgment that Libya was "involved" in the La Belle bombing, said the official, who spoke on condition that he not be identified. "We're still sticking to our original notion that the Libyans were involved in this thing, regardless of who else this woman may be tied in with," the U.S. official said. "It's not unusual for people involved in terrorism to have contacts with different countries," he said. President Reagan, in announcing the bombing raid on Libya, said the United States had "conclusive" evidence that the bombing was on "direct order by the Libyan regime."
James M. Markham, "Suspect Reportedly Asserts Syria Directed Bombing At A Berlin Club," New York Times, May 7, 1986, p. A1 (suggesting "possible Syrian involvement in the attack"); Roberto Suro, "New Data Linked to Terror Plots," New York Times, July 3, 1986, p. B11 (reporting the arrest of a Jordanian student in connection with the bombing). See also footnote 29 of this chapter.
28. The B.B.C.'s investigation, "Twelve Minutes Over Tripoli," aired on B.B.C.-1 T.V. on April 3, 1987. For a summary of some of its findings, see Bill Schaap, "The Endless Campaign: Disinforming the World on Libya," Covert Action Information Bulletin, No. 30, Summer 1988, pp. 70-71. An excerpt:
Not only was there no evidence of Libyan involvement, there was considerable evidence to the contrary. Every Western European government except Mrs. Thatcher's -- which would support President Reagan if he said the sun rose in the west -- expressed skepticism, as did the West Berlin police authorities in charge of the investigation.
In fact, U.S. Ambassador Burt, Secretary of State Shultz, and Secretary of Defense Weinberger all lied to bolster the story that the U.S. had clear proof of Libyan involvement. They said that the U.S. evidence -- intercepts of coded messages between Libyan People's Bureaus -- was so compelling that prior to the bombing U.S. military police in West Berlin had been put on the alert and had been clearing bars of customers that evening. Weinberger went so far as to say that the M.P.s were just fifteen minutes late to save the people at the LaBelle discotheque. In fact, this was a complete fabrication. As the Deputy Chief of West Berlin's military police told Bower, there was no alert, no one was going around clearing bars, and it would not have made any sense in the first place, since the intercepts made no mention of specific targets.
29. Fifteen years after the Berlin disco bombing, a German judge convicted four people, including a Libyan embassy worker and diplomat, of the crime and imposed 12 to 14 year sentences. The judge concluded that Qaddafi's personal responsibility was not proven, but that "Libya bears at least a very considerable part of the responsibility for the attack." The judge also criticized the U.S. and German governments for continuing unwillingness to disclose their "intelligence" about the incident. See for example, Steven Erlanger, "4 Guilty in Fatal 1986 Berlin Disco Bombing Linked to Libya," New York Times, November 14, 2001, p. A7.
Chomsky remarks about the relationship of this verdict to his comments in the text regarding the lack of proffered evidence of a Libyan connection at the time, and the media's treatment of the U.S. bombings: "As a matter of logic, the only relevant question is what was known at the time -- what might be discovered years later has nothing to do with the justification for the bombing of Libya or the disgraceful way the media handled the information that was known to them. Suppose, for example, that it is discovered twenty years from now that on Sept. 12, 2001, the U.S. was planning to drop nuclear weapons on Iraq, and the Sept. 11th attack aborted that effort. Would that vindicate bin Laden?"
Notably, the Reagan administration's assertion at the time it was bombing Tripoli and Benghazi that Qaddafi was "very directly" implicated in the disco bombing -- which is quoted in footnote 23 of this chapter -- was deemed insufficiently proven by the German judge. See for example, "No proof Gadhafi tied to blast: Four convicted in '86 Bombing of Berlin Disco," Seattle Times, November 14, 2001, p.A17.
30. For the story of the bombing alert, see for example, Bob Woodward, "Intelligence 'Coup' Tied Libya to Blast," Washington Post, April 22, 1986, p. A1. An excerpt:
As the North Atlantic Treaty Organization commander, Gen. Bernard W. Rogers, said in a speech in Atlanta on April 9, the [intercepted] intelligence provided "indisputable evidence" of Libyan responsibility and the United States was almost able to warn G.I.s to vacate the La Belle disco minutes before the explosion. "We were about 15 minutes too late," Rogers said.
See also footnote 28 of this chapter.
31. For Markham's selectively quoting the West German investigator, see for example, James M. Markham, "West Germans Question Suspect In Disco Bombing," New York Times, April 23, 1986, p. A6 (the only reference to Ganschow: "In a telephone interview, Manfred Ganschow, the head of a special commission investigating the discotheque explosion, confirmed that patrons who had been in the club on April 5 had been shown [a Jordanian not suspected of being the main perpetrator] in a police lineup with other Arabs. Mr. Ganschow declined to say what the results of the lineup had been"); James M. Markham, "Suspect Reportedly Asserts Syria Directed Bombing At A Berlin Club," New York Times, May 7, 1986, p. A1 (quoting Ganschow, but not his skepticism about the Reagan administration's claims or his statements about the lack of any evidence of Libyan involvement in the bombing); James M. Markham, "On the Trail of Arab Terror: Footprints In Berlin," New York Times, May 31, 1986, p. 2 (same).
32. For the account of the British engineers, see David Blundy, "Britons worked on Gaddafi's missiles," Sunday Times (London), April 6, 1986, p. 12. An excerpt:
[One of the engineers] said that he was watching the radar screens during the two days of fighting. He saw American warplanes cross not only into the 12 miles of Libyan territorial waters, but over Libyan land as well. "I watched the planes fly approximately eight miles into Libyan air space," he said. "I don't think the Libyans had any choice but to hit back. In my opinion they were reluctant to do so."
The engineer said the American warplanes made their approach using a normal civil airline traffic route and followed in the wake of a Libyan airliner, so that its radar blip would mask them on the Libyan radar screen.
See also, David Blundy with Andrew Lycett, Quaddafi and the Libyan Revolution, Boston: Little, Brown, 1987, pp. 7-8.
33. For Reagan's speech, see footnote 19 of this chapter.
34. For Andrew Cockburn's study of the Libya bombing, see Andrew Cockburn, "Sixty Seconds Over Tripoli," Playboy, May 1987, pp. 130f.
35. On the Grenada Medals of Honor, see for example, "Overdecorated," Time, April 9, 1984, p. 27. An excerpt:
For last year's invasion of Grenada, by any measure a quick and efficient operation, the U.S. Army last week disclosed it had awarded 8,612 medals. What made the back-patting noteworthy was that no more than about 7,000 officers and enlisted men ever set foot on the tiny Caribbean island.
"Medals Outnumber G.I.'s In Grenada Assault," New York Times, March 30, 1984, p. A1; Brad Knickerbocker, "Study criticizes invasion tactics in Grenada," Christian Science Monitor, April 6, 1984, p. 1 (the awards "included achievement medals to about 50 people based at the Pentagon").
36. On the official report about the Grenada invasion, see for example, Rick Atkinson, "Study Faults U.S. Military Tactics in Grenada Invasion," Washington Post, April 6, 1984, p. A3. An excerpt:
The invasion of Grenada last October was not the classic operation the Pentagon has implied but a poorly planned venture that raises "disturbing" questions about U.S. military tactics and performance, a study released yesterday . . . concludes. An initial invasion plan developed by the Navy's Atlantic Fleet headquarters was "overruled by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who demanded that all four services be involved -- just as in the Iran rescue mission" in 1980, according to the analysis prepared by William S. Lind. . . . [T]he resulting "pie-dividing contest" allowed the relatively small number of Cuban defenders on the island "to form and maintain a fairly effective defense. . . ."
[The study found that] the elite military units in the invasion, including Navy SEAL commandos and a Delta Force anti-terrorist squad, "failed in much of what they attempted." For example, the SEALs failed to knock Radio Grenada off the air because they "attacked the wrong building" after finding the station compound. Several SEALs drowned because of "poor weather forecasting. . . ." Of "approximately 100 U.S. helicopters used on Grenada, nine were destroyed and a number of others were damaged" although the Cubans lacked antiaircraft missiles.
See also, Mark Hertsgaard, On Bended Knee: The Press and the Reagan Presidency, New York: Schocken Books, 1989, ch. 10 (discussing media coverage of the Grenada invasion); James Ferguson, Grenada: Revolution in Reverse, London: Latin America Bureau, 1990; Hugh O'Shaughnessy, Grenada: An Eyewitness Account of the U.S. Invasion and the Caribbean History That Provoked It, New York: Dodd, Mead, 1984.
37. On the performance of much of the most expensive weaponry, see for example, Tim Weiner, "The $2 Billion Stealth Bomber Can't Go Out in the Rain," New York Times, August 23, 1997, p. A5. An excerpt:
Two years ago, the problem with the Air Force's B-2 Stealth bombers, which cost $2 billion apiece, was that their radar could not tell a rain cloud from a mountainside. Now the problem is that the B-2 cannot go out in the rain. The investigative arm of Congress reported this week that the B-2, the world's most expensive aircraft, deteriorates in rain, heat and humidity. It "must be sheltered or exposed only to the most benign environments -- low humidity, no precipitation, moderate temperatures. . . ."
The Air Force issued a statement today saying that, for now, it will cancel plans to station the bombers overseas. . . . The Northrop Grumman Corporation is building 21 of the planes at a cost of $44.7 billion. . . . The report by the General Accounting Office said . . . [i]t is unlikely that the problem "will ever be fully resolved. . . ." [T]he B-2 bombers were able to perform their missions only 26 percent of the time.
Alexander Cockburn and Ken Silverstein, Washington Babylon, London: Verso, 1996. An excerpt (pp. 176-178):
The $500 million Aegis high-tech radar system . . . was designed to track and shoot down up to 200 incoming missiles at once. The Navy "tested" the Aegis in a meadow near Exit 4 of the New Jersey Turnpike, where it was charged with the difficult task of monitoring civilian air traffic over New York-area airports. In another set of tests, the Aegis performed brilliantly, shooting down 10 of 11 drones. It turned out that the system's operators were informed in advance of the path and speed of incoming targets. In 1988, its first time in combat after being installed on the U.S.S. Vincennes, the Aegis successfully bagged an Iranian Airbus with 290 civilians on board. Human and mechanical error led the crew to mistake the Airbus (length: 175 feet) for an F-14 (length: 62 feet), miscalculate its altitude by 4,000 feet and report that the civilian aircraft was descending in attack position when the plane was actually climbing. . . .
The Maverick air-to-surface missile, used with less than 50 percent accuracy during the Gulf War, has heat-seeking infrared sensors which "lock on" target. Unfortunately, the sensors are easily distracted. In one test during which the Maverick was supposed to be homing in on a tank, operators discovered that the missile had locked on a distant campfire where two soldiers were cooking beans.
One of the most outrageous pieces of pork in the Pentagon's budget is the C-17 transport plane, staunchly backed by the Clintonites. . . . The plane's purpose is to rush men and materials to distant wars. The Pentagon initially planned to buy 210 C-17s for $32 billion ($152 million apiece), but in 1990 cut the order to 120 planes for $36 billion ($333 million apiece). In late 1993, the Pentagon announced a further reduction of the program to 40 planes. No cost was given but the price tag is likely to hit $28 billion, or $700 million apiece. The original justification for the aircraft -- confronting the Red Menace -- has vanished. But the Pentagon still insists that the C-17 is a "must buy." A 1993 Congressional Research Service report detailed a few of the problems surrounding this wondrous boondoggle.
Officials described the C-17's wings as having "buckled" during an October 1992 "stress" test. A congressional staffer familiar with the program says "the wings didn't buckle, they were destroyed. They ripped like pieces of paper." After McDonnell Douglas spent approximately $100 million on a major redesign -- an expense most likely passed on to the Pentagon -- a second test was conducted in July of 1993, only to be quickly halted when the wings began to splinter. In a third test conducted two months later, the C-17's left wing cracked in two places. Heartened because the right wing was undamaged, the Pentagon declared this test a rousing success and said no further experiments would be required. The C-17 also has a mysterious center-of-gravity problem, which makes take-off extremely dangerous unless the plane is fully loaded. When the aircraft is empty, Air Force crews keep two 7,950 pound cement blocks -- known as the "pet rocks" -- in the craft's forward area to ensure safe take-off. This means that the C-17 will either fly into action pre-loaded with nearly eight tons of cement or advance troops will be forced to tote along two "pet rocks" to load onto the plane after removing its cargo. Alas, the C-17 is incapable of carrying out its assigned task of forward resupply. The enormous aircraft needs at least 4,000 feet of runway to land, 1,000 more than the Air Force claims. The C-17 cannot come down on a dirt airstrip because its jet engines will "ingest" earth. A used Boeing 747 -- which can be bought and modified for less than $100 million -- can carry three times as much cargo twice as far as the C-17.
See also, Mark Zepezauer and Arthur Naiman, Take The Rich Off Welfare, Tucson: Odonian, 1996, pp. 13-35. And see footnote 45 of chapter 5 of U.P.
38. For Reagan's comment, see for example, Francis X. Clines, "Military of U.S. 'Standing Tall,' Reagan Asserts," New York Times, December 13, 1983, p. A1.
For more on the masterful way that the Reagan administration used photo-opportunity sessions to manipulate the press, see Thomas Whiteside, "Standups," New Yorker, December 2, 1985, pp. 81f; Alexander Cockburn, "Viewpoint: Is Press Awakening to Reagan's Deceptions?," Wall Street Journal, November 13, 1986, p. 33; Mark Hertsgaard, On Bended Knee: The Press and the Reagan Presidency, New York: Schocken, 1988.
39. On the U.S. lead in U.N. Security Council vetoes since the 1970s, see for example, Anjali V. Patil, The U.N. Veto in World Affairs, 1946-1990: A Complete Record and Case Histories of the Security Council's Veto, Sarasota, FL: Unifo, 1992, pp. 471-486. From 1946 to 1972, the U.S.S.R. used 116 vetoes, Britain 11, China 5, France 4, and the U.S. 2. From 1973 to 1990, the U.S. used 80 vetoes, Britain 22, China 17, France 14, and the U.S.S.R./Russia 8.
See also, Robert C. Johansen, "The Reagan Administration and the U.N.: The Costs of Unilateralism," World Policy Journal, Fall 1986, pp. 601-641 at p. 605 (from 1980 to 1986, the U.S. used 27 Security Council vetoes and the Soviet Union 4; from 1966 to 1980, the U.S. used 22 vetoes and the Soviet Union 10); Noam Chomsky, "The Rule of Force in International Affairs," Yale Law Journal, Vol. 80, No. 7, June 1971, pp. 1456-1491 (revised and reprinted as ch. 3 of Chomsky's For Reasons of State, New York: Pantheon, 1973); Noam Chomsky, "The United States and the challenge of relativity," in Tony Evans, ed., Human rights fifty years on: A reappraisal, Manchester, U.K.: Manchester University Press, 1998, pp. 24-56. And see footnotes 43, 44 and 46 of this chapter; and chapter 4 of U.P. and its footnote 48.
40. For "diaperology," see for example, Margaret Mead, "What Makes The Soviet Character?," Natural History, September 1951, pp. 296f. An excerpt:
The Russian baby was swaddled, as were most of the infants of Eastern peoples and as Western European infants used to be, but they were swaddled tighter and longer than were, for example, their neighbors, the Poles. . . . This early period seems to have left a stronger impression on Russian character than the same period of learning does for members of many other societies in which the parents are more preoccupied with teaching skills appropriate to later stages of development. . . . So we find in traditional Russian character elaborated forms of these very early learnings. There is a tendency to confuse thought and action, a capacity for impersonal anger as at the constriction of the swaddling bands. . . . We may expect everything we do to look different to them from the way it looks to us. . . . In communicating with people who think as differently as this, successful plans either for limited co-operation in the attainment of partial world goals or for active opposition depend upon our getting an accurate estimate of what the Soviet people of today are like. We must know just what the differences in their thinking and feeling are.
41. On U.S. vetoes at the U.N. from the 1970s, see footnote 39 of this chapter.
42. For the article on the U.N., see Richard Bernstein, "The U.N. Versus the U.S.," New York Times Magazine, January 22, 1984, p. 18. An excerpt:
The question is not why American policy has diverged from that of other member states, but why the world's most powerful democracy has failed to win support for its views among the participants in United Nations debates. The answer seems to lie in two underlying factors. The first and dominant one is the very structure and political culture that have evolved at the world body, tending in the process to isolate the United States and to portray it as a kind of ideological villain. The other fact is American failure to play the game of multilateral diplomacy with sufficient skill.
43. On Congress's response immediately after the World Court's decision, see for example, Linda Greenhouse, "Trump Cards; Reagan And The Contras Win A Round In The House," New York Times, June 29, 1986, section 4, p. 1.
For the World Court's decision, see International Court of Justice, Reports of Judgments, Advisory Opinions and Orders: 1986, "Case Concerning Military and Paramilitary Activities in and Against Nicaragua" (Nicaragua v. United States of America), Judgment of June 27, 1986. The Court's conclusions are in paragraph 292, with the references to illegal economic warfare in subparagraphs 10 and 11. An excerpt (paragraphs 251, 252, 158-160):
[T]he assistance to the contras, as well as the direct attacks on Nicaraguan ports, oil installations, etc . . . not only amount to an unlawful use of force, but also constitute infringements of the territorial sovereignty of Nicaragua, and incursions into its territorial and internal waters. . . . These violations cannot be justified either by collective self-defence [the U.S. claim] . . . nor by any right of the United States to take counter-measures involving the use of force in the event of intervention by Nicaragua in El Salvador, since no such right exists under the applicable international law. They cannot be justified by the activities in El Salvador attributed to the Government of Nicaragua [i.e. an alleged arms flow to the Salvadoran guerrillas] . . . [of which] the evidence is insufficient to satisfy the Court.
44. For U.S. commentary on the World Court's decision, see for example, Thomas Franck [New York University international law specialist], "A Way to Rejoin the World Court," New York Times, July 17, 1986, p. A23 (agreeing that the United States should not accept the Court's jurisdiction in such matters, because we must maintain "the freedom to protect freedom"; apparently in denial that a Central America solidarity movement existed in the U.S., Professor Franck's article begins by asserting: "no American will rejoice that the United States has just lost a major lawsuit brought against it by Nicaragua"); Jonathan Karp, "Administration Dismisses Ruling: State Dept. Says World Court Is 'Not Equipped' For Complex Cases," Washington Post, June 28, 1986, p. A14; Editorial, "America's Guilt -- or Default," New York Times, July 1, 1986, p. A22 (calling the World Court "a hostile forum," the editors falsely claim that "even the majority [of the World Court] acknowledged that prior attacks against El Salvador from Nicaragua made 'collective defense' a possible justification for America's retaliation"). Two weeks later, the Times published the Nicaraguan Ambassador's letter responding to this editorial (Carlos Tunnermann Bernheim, "World Court's Definitive Ruling Against the U.S.," Letter, New York Times, July 17, 1986, p. A22):
You say "the majority acknowledged that prior attacks against El Salvador from Nicaragua made 'collective defense' a possible justification for America's retaliation." This is untrue. The Court's 142-page opinion, supported by 12 of the 15 judges, totally rejects "collective defense" as a justification for U.S. actions against Nicaragua. The Court found that there were no attacks by Nicaragua against El Salvador. With respect to U.S. allegations that Nicaragua sends arms to Salvadoran rebels, the Court found that "the evidence is insufficient to satisfy the Court that the Government of Nicaragua was responsible for any flow of arms." Thus, the Court determined that the factual underpinning of the "collective defense" argument was nonexistent. Moreover, it ruled that even if Nicaragua had supplied some arms to the rebels, under international law this would not constitute an "attack" against El Salvador and would not justify U.S. support of the contras or any other form of "collective defense. . . ."
[T]he Court's "hostility" is not directed at the U.S. but at actions by any state that flagrantly violates the most fundamental principles of international law -- such as U.S. support for the contras.
See also, Abraham Sofaer [State Department Legal Adviser], "The United States and the World Court," Statement before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, December 4, 1985, Current Policy, U.S. Department of State: Bureau of Public Affairs, No. 769, December 1985 (explaining that when the U.S. originally accepted the jurisdiction of a World Court, most members of the U.N. "were aligned with the United States and shared its views regarding world order" -- but now, "A great many of these [countries] cannot be counted on to share our view of the original constitutional conception of the U.N. Charter, particularly with regard to the special position of the Permanent Members of the Security Council in the maintenance of international peace and security. This same majority often opposes the United States on important international questions." Therefore, the author advises that we "reserve to ourselves the power to determine whether the Court has jurisdiction over us in a particular case").
45. On the unreported U.N. resolutions concerning the World Court decision, see for example, Andrew Katell, "U.N. Adopts Resolution Calling For End To U.S. Aid To Contras," November 12, 1987 (Westlaw database # 1987 WL 3190359). An excerpt from this article, which was on the news-wire but not reported by the U.S. press:
For the second year in a row, the General Assembly on Thursday approved a resolution calling on the United States to stop helping the Nicaraguan rebels. . . . The 159-member world body passed a similar resolution Nov. 3, 1986. The measure was adopted 94-2, with 48 abstentions. . . . Last year's tally was 94-3 in favor, with 47 abstentions.
The 1986 General Assembly vote received no mention in the New York Times -- the same day, its U.N. correspondent preferred to report on overly high salaries at the U.N. The 1986 Security Council veto merited only a brief note. See Stephen Engelberg, "Justice Department Opens Contra Study," New York Times, October 29, 1986, p. A3 ("The United States tonight vetoed a Security Council resolution that called for compliance with a World Court ruling banning United States aid to rebels fighting Nicaragua's Government"). The 1987 General Assembly vote was not reported by the New York Times, the Washington Post, or the three national television networks. See Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting, "Cold War Bias at the U.N. Beat," Extra!, December 1987, p. 10 (analyzing the media treatment). The August 1988 World Court announcement that the United States had failed to meet the court's deadline for determining war reparations to Nicaragua also passed virtually without notice. See A.P., "World Court Declares U.S. Misses Deadline," Washington Post, August 4, 1988, p. A24 (five-sentence item on the World Court's announcement).
46. On the United States's unpaid U.N. dues, see for example, John M. Goshko, "U.N. Reform Pits U.S. and Third World," Washington Post, March 10, 1997, p. A1. An excerpt:
A majority of Congress believes the United Nations spends too much of American taxpayers' money on programs that don't work or are not in the U.S. interest. The lawmakers have told new Secretary General Kofi Annan that he must carry out drastic cost-cutting, perhaps by eliminating as much as one-fourth of his staff, or they will not approve paying the dues the United States owes that the United Nations needs to save it from bankruptcy. . . .
Annan was told that a lot of back-seat driving by Congress would be the price if Congress is to approve paying the back dues and assessments that the United States has owed to the United Nations for years. U.N. officials estimate the amount at $1.3 billion, but Congress says that by its reckoning the figure is closer to $800 million. . . . Annan . . . reaffirmed his view that the United States is obligated by treaty to continue paying its U.N. obligations at existing rates. In this, Annan has the support of all other U.N. members, including Western European nations that Washington normally counts as allies.
See also, Paul Lewis, "Soviet, In Switch, Says It Is Paying U.N. All It Owes," New York Times, October 16, 1987, p. A1. An excerpt:
The Soviet Union announced today that it was paying all its outstanding debts to the financially troubled United Nations, including $197 million for peacekeeping operations it has long refused to support. . . . The United States remains the United Nations' largest single debtor. . . . Herbert S. Okun, the American deputy permanent representative at the United Nations, called the [Soviets'] decision "long overdue. . . ."
The United States has . . . refused to pay all the dues assessed by the United Nations in recent years. . . . The United States even backed a request to the World Court at The Hague for a ruling on whether the Soviet Union should pay its share. The Court ruled that all members must pay, but Moscow still refused to do so. . . . [T]he failure of the United States to pay its assessed share of the United Nations budget . . . is the main cause of the organization's serious financial difficulties.
Unreported is the fact that according to the U.S. mission at the United Nations, the U.N. operation "funnels $400 million to $700 million per year into the U.S. and New York economies." See A.P., February 28, 1988 (unpublished news-wire report).
47. On the propaganda campaign against U.N.E.S.C.O., see for example, William Preston, Edward S. Herman, and Herbert I. Schiller, Hope and Folly: The United States and U.N.E.S.C.O., 1945-1985, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1989.
48. For selective reporting of the U.N. condemnations, see Paul Lewis, "General Assembly Handed Setbacks to U.S. and Soviet: Washington Lost on Budget, Moscow on Afghanistan in Session Just Ended," New York Times, December 26, 1987, section 1, p. 1 (reviewing the General Assembly session and reporting the vote denouncing the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, but mentioning nothing about the 94-to-2 vote on the World Court's decision condemning the U.S. contra war in Nicaragua -- in which the majority even included such U.S. allies as Australia, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, and Spain, as well as major Latin American countries including Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela, along with Sweden, Finland, and others); Paul Lewis, "U.N. Urges Soviet to Pull Forces From Afghanistan," New York Times, November 11, 1987, p. A12 ("The General Assembly voted overwhelmingly today for the immediate withdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan, brushing aside Moscow's first concerted attempt to deflect such criticism by the United Nations"). On the following day's unreported General Assembly vote calling upon the United States to comply with international law, see footnote 45 of this chapter.
49. For a news-wire article on the General Assembly disarmament resolutions, see A.P., "General Assembly Opposes Star Wars, Calls For End To Nuclear Testing," November 30, 1987 (Westlaw database # 1987 WL 3193928). An excerpt:
The General Assembly voted overwhelmingly Monday to oppose an arms race in outer space and the United States cast the single dissenting ballot. . . . The vote was 154 to 1, with no abstentions. It was one of a series of more than 25 votes on arms issues. In 14 cases, the United States opposed the resolutions, while the Soviet Union endorsed them. . . .
The United States was in a minority on other votes. It cast the single "no" vote on a resolution against developing new kinds of weapons of mass destruction. The vote was 135 to 1, with 18 abstentions. The assembly overwhelmingly called for a comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty by a vote of 143 to 2 with eight abstentions. The United States was joined by France, another nuclear power. The world body also urged a halt to all nuclear test explosions, by a vote of 137 to 3, with 14 abstentions. France and Britain, which has nuclear weapons, joined the American side. The General Assembly also voted for a freeze on nuclear weapons and for a prohibition on development and use of radiological weapons.
Note that this story was on the news-wire, but apparently was reported by only one major newspaper in the United States -- see A.P. "U.N. Condemns Space Arms Race," San Francisco Chronicle, December 1, 1987, p. A21.
These U.N. votes are discussed in Noam Chomsky, Necessary Illusions: Thought Control in Democratic Societies, Boston: South End, 1989, pp. 83f; and Noam Chomsky, Deterring Democracy, New York: Hill and Wang, 1991 (expanded edition 1992), pp. 96-97.
50. For the New York Times's 1987 summary article on the U.N., see Paul Lewis, "General Assembly Handed Setbacks to U.S. and Soviet: Washington Lost on Budget, Moscow on Afghanistan in Session Just Ended," New York Times, December 26, 1987, section 1, p. 1 (note that this article is described in footnote 48 of this chapter).
51. On early opposition to public education in the United States, see chapter 7 of U.P. and its footnote 31.
52. On the devastation inflicted during the Indochina wars, see for example, Paul Quinn-Judge, "The confusion and mystery surrounding Vietnam's war dead," Far Eastern Economic Review, October 11, 1984, pp. 48-49 (reporting that from 1965, deaths in Vietnam alone -- not in all of Indochina, as Chomsky is discussing in the text -- may have exceeded three million people); Jean Lacouture and Simonne Lacouture, Vietnam: voyage à travers une victoire, Paris: Seuil, 1976 (graphic eyewitness description of the extent and character of the damage to property and persons throughout Vietnam, estimating that in South Vietnam alone 8 million people were displaced from their homes by the war); John Pilger, "Vietnam: Do not weep for those just born; John Pilger revisits the country whose war he reported for ten years," New Statesman (U.K.), September 15, 1978, pp. 324f. An excerpt:
Much of North Vietnam is a moonscape from which visible signs of life -- houses, factories, schools, hospitals, pagodas, churches -- have been obliterated. In some forests there are no longer birds and animals; and there are lorry drivers who will not respond to the hooting of a horn because they are deaf from the incessant sound of bombs; according to the Vice Minister of health, more than 30,000 children in Hanoi and Haiphong suffered permanent deafness during the twelve nights of bombing at Christmas 1972.
In Hanoi's Bach Mai Hospital, doctors have discovered that Napalm "B," an amalgam of benzine, polystyrene and gasoline, which the Dow Chemical Company created especially for Vietnam, continues to smolder under the skin's tissues through the lifetime of its victims. . . .
A place called Ham Long ought to be as famous as Dresden [site of the climax of Allied aerial bombing of Germany in World War II], because it was bombed more than Dresden: every day for four years, from five in the morning till two in the afternoon. . . . [I]n Vinh, a large mining community, the layer upon layer of bombing penetrated underground and today not even the foundations of buildings remain. . . . People here, living under straw, are today on the edge of famine; a Cuban agronomist I met told me that . . . people in devastated areas, such as Vinh, were being rationed to just six pounds of rice per month. "That is considerably less than Bangladesh," he reminded me.
John Pilger, "From Vietnam to El Salvador," New Statesman (U.K.), May 22, 1981, pp. 6f. An excerpt (p. 18):
In Cu Chi, near Saigon, which I remember as thick forest, there is today a shimmering horizon of wilderness which has been poisoned, perhaps for generations. Eleven million gallons of the herbicide Agent Orange were dumped on Vietnam; its chief ingredient, dioxin, is estimated to be a thousand times more destructive than thalidomide. Blind and deformed babies are now common in those areas sprayed during Operation Hades, later re-named Operation Ranch Hand.
Amnon Kapeliouk, "Thousands of Vietnamese still die from the effects of American chemical warfare," Yediot Ahronot (Israel), April 7, 1988 (describing the "terrifying" scene in hospitals in South Vietnam of children dying of cancer and hideous birth deformities caused by U.S. chemical warfare, and the "hair-raising stories that remind me of what we heard during the trials of Eichmann and Demjanjuk," told to the author on his visit to post-war Vietnam by victims who, remarkably, "express no hatred against the American people")(quotations are Chomsky's own translation); Arthur Westing, "Crop destruction as a means of war," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, February 1981, pp. 38-42 (on the devastating impact of U.S. crop-destruction programs from 1961, including aerial destruction using chemicals; ground operations to destroy orchards and dikes; and land-clearing by giant tractors called "Rome plows," which "obliterated" agricultural lands and entire rural residential areas and farming hamlets, often including extensive systems of paddy dikes, leaving the soil "bare, gray and lifeless"; the author likens the result of these operations to the "less efficient" destruction of Carthage by the ancient Romans in the Punic Wars); J.B. Neiland et al., Harvest of Death: Chemical Warfare In Vietnam and Cambodia, New York: Free Press, 1972 (study by four science professors and a doctor of the effects and the use by the United States of gas warfare and herbicides in Vietnam and Cambodia); Charles Mohr, "Studies Show Vietnam Raids Failed," New York Times, May 28, 1984, p. A6. Although the overwhelming majority of the casualties in the Vietnam War were in the South, this article reports C.I.A. casualty estimates only for North Vietnam (note the article's title):
C.I.A. reports, now declassified . . . essentially confirmed the North Vietnamese figures [estimating civilian and non-civilian casualties]. [A 1967 C.I.A. report] said the monthly air casualty rate in the North -- "heavily weighted with civilians" -- had gone from 2,200 a month in 1966 to 2,800 a month in early 1967 [i.e. well more than 33,000 by 1967].
Edward S. Herman, Atrocities in Vietnam: Myths and Realities, Boston: Pilgrim, 1970, pp. 44-45, 86 (careful early analysis of casualty figures, estimating that in South Vietnam alone civilian casualties by 1970 were more than 1 million dead and more than 2 million wounded, and noting that by 1968 the total number of refugees "generated" mainly by the American scorched-earth policy was estimated by the Kennedy Committee of the 90th Congress at almost 4 million people; the horrors described throughout this study are nearly unbearable). See also chapter 1 of U.P. and its footnote 79; footnotes 61 and 62 of this chapter; and chapter 7 of U.P. and its footnote 57.
Chomsky remarks (After the Cataclysm: Postwar Indochina and the Reconstruction of Imperial Ideology -- The Political Economy of Human Rights: Volume II, Boston: South End, 1979, p. 83):
On the rare occasions when the devastating consequences of the [Vietnam] war are noted [in the West], care is taken to sanitize the reports so as to eliminate the U.S. role. The New York Times, for example, carried an A.P. report from Manila on a World Health Organization study, describing South Vietnam as "a land of widespread malaria, bubonic plague, leprosy, tuberculosis, venereal disease and 300,000 prostitutes . . . one of the few places on earth where leprosy was spreading and bubonic plague was still taking lives." The W.H.O. report states that "if the bomb-shattered fields are to be made fertile again, and the socio-economic conditions of the people improved, freedom from malaria will have to be first insured," while in the North the main health problem is to reconstruct the 533 community health centers, 94 district hospitals, 28 provincial hospitals and 24 research institutes and specialized hospitals that "were destroyed during the war" -- by some unknown hand.
The sole mention of the United States in this grisly report is the statement that the United States has been invited to a meeting "to consider helping the two countries" -- the "two countries" being North and South Vietnam; while the Times recognized the integration of East Timor into Indonesia in 1976 [on East Timor, see chapter 8 of U.P.], it had not yet recognized the unification of the "two countries" of Vietnam [see A.P., "South Vietnam, After 30 Years of War, Is Land of Widespread Disease, U.N. Group Says," New York Times, March 21, 1976, p. A13].
53. For Chomsky's view in 1970 of the prospects for Vietnam, see Noam Chomsky, At War With Asia: Essays on Indochina, New York: Pantheon, 1970. Chomsky warned (p. 286):
I left Southeast Asia, after this brief stay, with two overriding general impressions. The first was of the resilience and strength of Vietnamese society. It is conceivable that the United States may be able to break the will of the popular movements in the surrounding countries, perhaps even destroy the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam, by employing the vast resources of violence and terror at its command. If so, it will create a situation in which, indeed, North Vietnam will necessarily dominate Indochina, for no other viable society will remain.
54. For the phrase "bleeding Vietnam" as a description of U.S. post-Vietnam War policies, see for example, Derek Davies, "Caught in history's vice" (Cover title: "Bleeding Vietnam White"), Far Eastern Economic Review, December 25, 1981, p. 17 (article criticizing the "bleed Vietnam" policy in that it is damaging U.S. and Asian interests and "is immensely helpful to the Soviet Union").
55. On U.S. support for Pol Pot as a way to "bleed Vietnam," see for example, Ben Kiernan, "Deferring Peace in Cambodia: Regional Rapprochement, Superpower Obstruction," in George W. Breslauer, Harry Kreisler and Benjamin Ward, eds., Beyond The Cold War: Conflict and Cooperation In the Third World, Berkeley: Institute of International Studies, 1991, pp. 59-82. An excerpt (pp. 67-70):
[Through 1990, the] three major planks of American policy towards Cambodia remained unchanged. The U.S. veto of aid, including U.N., World Bank, and International Monetary Fund aid to Cambodia, U.S. support for a Khmer Rouge role, and U.S. military support of the Khmer Rouge's allies ($17-32 million per annum), all continued. . . . Despite obvious difficulty in justifying it, the West has maintained an embargo on Cambodia (renewed by Washington in September 1990 for its twelfth year), yet still supports Pol Pot's allies and opposes Pol Pot's Cambodian opponents, and continues to offer the Pol Pot forces a veto over any proposed settlement. For over a decade, official Western support for Deng Xiaoping's China has spilled over into Western support for his protégé Pol Pot. . . . Washington also pressured U.N. agencies to supply the Khmer Rouge. . . . Congressional sources have also cited a figure of $85 million for U.S. aid to Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge since 1979. . . .
In the diplomatic arena, the United States led most of the Western world to line up behind China in support of the Khmer Rouge. Both the Carter and Reagan Administrations voted for Pol Pot's representative to occupy Cambodia's seat in the United Nations. . . . [T]he Bush administration has threatened to punish Thailand for its defection from the aggressive U.S.-Chinese position. . . ." Washington has sought not a mere independent Cambodian government, but an anti-Vietnamese one. According to the Far Eastern Economic Review of 7 September 1989, "Thai officials believe that, despite its publicly expressed revulsion towards the Khmer Rouge, the U.S. has been quietly aiding the Khmer Rouge war effort for several years." [See Michael Field, Rodney Tasker and Murray Hiebert, "No end in sight: Failure of Paris talks signals return to battlefield," Far Eastern Economic Review, September 7, 1989, pp. 14-16.]
Raymond L. Garthoff, Détente and Confrontation: American-Soviet Relations from Nixon to Reagan, Boston: Brookings Institution, 1985. An excerpt (p. 751):
American-Chinese collaboration in 1979 was also evident in the support given by the United States (and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, A.S.E.A.N.) in the U.N. General Assembly to the Chinese-supported Khmer Rouge under Pol Pot as the legitimate representative of Kampuchea [i.e. Cambodia]. . . . [R]ather than abstain (as many Western European countries did), the United States joined China in supporting the Khmer Rouge.
John Pilger, "America's second war in Indochina . . . Only the allies are new," New Statesman (U.K.), August 1, 1980, pp. 10f.
For some of Deng Xiaoping's statements, see for example, Nayan Chanda, Brother Enemy: The War after the War; A History of Indochina Since the Fall of Saigon, New York: Harcourt Brace, 1986, p. 379. In 1979, Deng explained his motive for China's supporting Pol Pot to Japanese Prime Minister Masayoshi Ohira (note that Vietnam had invaded Cambodia in December 1978 and overthrown the Khmer Rouge regime, in response to years of murderous attacks on its borders by Pol Pot's forces):
"It is wise to force the Vietnamese to stay in Kampuchea [i.e. Cambodia] because that way they will suffer more and more and will not be able to extend their hand to Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore."
Nayan Chanda, "Sihanouk stonewalled," Far Eastern Economic Review, November 1, 1984, pp. 30-32. An excerpt:
China's senior statesman Deng Xiaoping said . . . "I do not understand why some want to remove Pol Pot. It is true that he made some mistakes in the past but now he is leading the fight against the Vietnamese aggressors."
56. On the "threat of a good example" as a motivation of U.S. foreign policy, see chapter 5 of U.P. especially its footnote 32, and also its footnotes 7, 8, 29 and 108. See also, chapter 1 of U.P. and its footnote 20; and chapter 2 of U.P. and its footnote 8.
57. On sadistic U.S. efforts to maximize the suffering in post-war Vietnam, see for example, Daniel Southerland, "U.S. blocks private shipment of wheat to Vietnam," Christian Science Monitor, May 13, 1981, p. 3 (on the U.S. government's rejection of a Mennonite application "to ship 250 tons of wheat flour from Kansas to Vietnam"); Nayan Chanda, "New Delhi Wants to Offer Help," Far Eastern Economic Review, February 25, 1977, p. 44 (on the U.S. trying to block a shipment of buffaloes from India to Vietnam); James Srodes, "An enigma at the World Bank," Far Eastern Economic Review, November 16, 1979, p. 82 (reporting that the U.S. successfully pressured the World Bank to "cave in" and withdraw its only development loan to Vietnam); Elizabeth Becker, "Milk for Vietnam," New York Times, July 3, 1981, p. A19 (reporting that the European Economic Community's decision to withhold food from U.N.I.C.E.F. for Vietnam was made under strong U.S. pressure: "'We had no choice on that one,' an E.E.C. source explained"); Louis Wiznitzer, "The news -- briefly: U.S. blocks Viet project meant to step up food," Christian Science Monitor, November 6, 1981, p. 2. An excerpt:
The United States is now using food as an instrument of its foreign policy. . . . It has succeeded in blocking a $5 million project (already reduced from the originally intended $25 million) by the World Food Program aimed at building dams in Vietnam that would improve the food situation there, which is reportedly dire.
Ted Morello, "Reagan's aid weapon: The axe hangs over U.N. agencies as Washington seeks revenge over Kampuchea," Far Eastern Economic Review, May 1, 1981, p. 22. An excerpt:
Already there is a shadow over such U.N. agencies as the Food and Agriculture Organisation and Children's Fund [U.N.I.C.E.F.]. But the main target of the campaign is the U.N. Development Programme [U.N.D.P.]. . . . The U.S. hopes that the [U.N.D.P.'s governing] council can be persuaded to do what the U.S. cannot effectively accomplish alone: inflict a punitive aid slash on Vietnam.
John Pilger, "From Vietnam to El Salvador," New Statesman (U.K.), May 22, 1981, pp. 6-8. An excerpt:
Six million Vietnamese are faced with "serious malnutrition," according to a U.N. Food and Agricultural Organisation group. Rations are now less than even during the war years: less than half the daily amount of food needed for healthy survival.
A development programme drawn up by the Asian Development Bank was considered to be vital. "The Americans," said an official of the bank, "have told us to lose the file on Vietnam." The Japanese and the E.E.C. have sent nothing. Britain long ago cut off its piddling humanitarian aid.
Daniel Southerland, "U.S. squeezes Vietnam's economy," Christian Science Monitor, May 14, 1981, p. 1. An excerpt:
Through international aid donors, the United States is moving further to tighten the economic screws on Vietnam. The intention, State Department officials say, is to "isolate" Vietnam not only diplomatically but also economically. . . . At almost every turn, Vietnam's sources of outside assistance seems to be dwindling. The World Bank ended its program in 1979, partly because of conditions set by the U.S. Congress in exchange for approving U.S. contributions to that international institution.
François Nivolon, "Debt shackles Vietnam," Far Eastern Economic Review, May 22, 1981, pp. 59f. An excerpt:
Prospects for loans from the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank are very bleak, since many donor countries, especially the U.S. and Japan, are opposed to any assistance to Vietnam.
Louis Wiznitzer, "U.S. tries to punish Vietnam by paring U.N. assistance," Christian Science Monitor, May 26, 1981, p. 6. An excerpt:
The Reagan administration has launched a vigorous, behind-the-scenes campaign at U.N. headquarters to cut U.N. humanitarian and development aid to Vietnam. . . . Contrary to some reports, the U.S. initiative is backed by none of its major allies. Essentially, it is supported by China, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
Steven Greenhouse, "U.S. Open to Talks on Ties to Vietnam," New York Times, October 24, 1991, p. A17. An excerpt:
After decades of battling the Japanese, French and Americans, Vietnam is one of the world's poorest countries, with a per capita income of about $200 a year. Vietnamese officials were irritated last week when the United States blocked a French proposal calling for the International Monetary Fund to lend money to Vietnam.
See also, Harold Ellithorpe, "Mass starvation looms in Vietnam with no aid in sight," Business Week, May 4, 1981, p. 70.
58. On the circumstances and development of the American colonies in the eighteenth century, for comparison to modern Third World countries, see for example, Robert W. Fogel, "Nutrition and the Decline in Mortality since 1700: Some Preliminary Findings in Long-Term Factors in American Economic Growth," in Stanley L. Engerman and Robert E. Gallman, eds., Long-Term Factors in American Economic Growth, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986, pp. 466-467 (reporting that examination of European and American data has shown that mid-eighteenth century Americans achieved diets and had food allotments that were remarkably nutritious by European standards and were not achieved in Europe until well into the twentieth century; Americans achieved mean body heights and levels of life expectancy by the middle of the eighteenth century which were not achieved even by the British upper classes until the first quarter of the twentieth century, not to speak of less privileged parts of the world). See also, John W. Frank and Fraser Mustard, "The Determinants of Health from a Historical Perspective," Daedalus (Health and Wealth), Vol. 123, No. 4, Fall 1994, pp. 1-19.
59. On pressures from American business to end the Vietnam embargo, see for example, Robert Greenberger, "U.S. and Vietnam Move Under Pressure Toward Normalizing Their Relations," Wall Street Journal, October 26, 1992, p. A13. An excerpt:
The U.S . . . is under pressure from American companies to resolve the [M.I.A./P.O.W.] issue so that they can do more than talk about business with Vietnam. They don't want to be left behind in the race for access to Vietnam's markets and resources, including potentially rich offshore oil deposits. Washington also faces pressure from its allies, particularly Japan, who have been ready to relax the economic embargo on Vietnam since 1989, when Hanoi withdrew its troops from Cambodia. . . .
Through the 1980s, U.S. officials emphasized that Vietnam should end its occupation of Cambodia before the U.S. embargo could be lifted. After Vietnam withdrew its troops, the U.S. then stressed the need to resolve the M.I.A. and P.O.W. issues before relations could be restored. Meanwhile, U.S. companies look on Vietnam, with its population of 70 million, as a rich market for consumer products and such other exports as earth-moving equipment, which will be needed to build Vietnam's infrastructure.
On the M.I.A./P.O.W. issue, see chapter 7 of U.P. and its footnote 56.
60. One work of recent scholarship estimates the number of "excess deaths" during the Pol Pot period at 1.5 million (see Ben Kiernan, The Pol Pot Regime: Race, Power, and Genocide in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge, 1975-79, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1996, pp. 456-460). Another detailed scholarly source, invoked in Chomsky's 1989 remarks in the text, suggests a lower figure of 750,000 deaths above the norm in the Pol Pot period -- 200,000 to 300,000 of these due to executions -- but maintains that, "[g]iven the lack of precision inherent in all the data and estimates, it is impossible to reach more accurate final totals" (see Michael Vickery, Cambodia: 1975-1982, Boston: South End, 1984, pp. 184-188). Another notable study estimates "excess deaths" of 1.05 million in the Khmer Rouge period, based upon the 1962 census and a 1980 administrative survey about which the authors warn "there is much uncertainty about [its] accuracy" (see Judith Banister and Paige Johnson, "After the Nightmare: The Population of Cambodia," in Ben Kiernan, ed., Genocide and Democracy in Cambodia: The Khmer Rouge, the United Nations and the International Community, New Haven: Yale University Southeast Asia Studies, 1993, pp. 65-139 at p. 91). Finally, a slightly lower range of 700,000 to 1 million excess deaths for the Khmer Rouge period -- suggesting 75,000 to 150,000 as a possible range for the number of executions -- was given in the Report of the Finnish Inquiry Commission which studied Cambodia in the early 1980s (see Kimmo Kiljunen, ed., Kampuchea: Decade of the Genocide, London: Zed Books, 1984, pp. 31-33).
The most authoritative presentation of the official U.S. government view, noting that its "assumptions are highly speculative," alleged that in addition to deaths from inadequate food, lack of medical care, harsh labor, etc., "50,000 to 100,000 former military personnel, bureaucrats, teachers, and educated people may have been executed," and that the absolute population decline during the period was between 1.2 and 1.8 million people, with an additional 700,000 deaths occurring due to an April 1979 famine after the fall of the Pol Pot regime (see C.I.A. Research Paper, Kampuchea: A Demographic Catastrophe, Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, May 1980 (Doc. G.C. 80-10019U)).
It should be emphasized that calculations of total deaths in Cambodia for the years 1975 to 1979 -- often asserted with certainty in the mainstream U.S. press -- have had to rely heavily, if not completely, on highly speculative growth-rate projections based upon the one nationwide Cambodian census from the pre-war period, which was performed in 1962. As Michael Vickery comments in Cambodia: 1975-1982 (p. 185):
[W]hen the war began in Cambodia in 1970 no one knew what the population was, there was a difference of over half a million between the official and the most reasonable expert estimates, and any figure could have been off by 2-300,000. The war, it may safely be assumed, both altered the normal growth rate and took a high death toll of which there could be no accurate count, but which both sides have put at around half a million. Thus estimates for 1975 contain an even larger margin of error.
Studies employing more "impressionistic" estimates are still more unreliable, for obvious reasons. For instance, Vickery documents cases in which local death estimates proved exaggerated by a factor of 60, and others in which the execution estimates for a district were several times larger than the entire population of the district (pp. 123, 185). Surveys such as those cited by Kiernan have been based on interviews with refugees on the Thai-Cambodian border and others in sample sizes of 100, 500 or 1,500 people, which were then extrapolated to the Cambodian population as a whole (approximately 6 to 8 million people). Apart from possible issues of reliability in the testimonies themselves, such studies may suffer from sampling problems.
It also should be stressed that while stories in the mainstream American media often give the impression that the Khmer Rouge actually executed one million or more people -- even going as far as to say that the Khmer Rouge "murdered" one million people (see for example, T.D. Allman, "Sihanouk's Sideshow," Vanity Fair, April 1990, pp. 150f at p. 152) -- all of the statistical studies cited above agree that executions accounted for only a portion of the total number of "excess deaths," with the remainder being attributable to various conditions of the period (though none contest that there was vast killing). There has been ample commentary that the brutality of the Khmer Rouge increased the overall misery of the period -- but based upon current data at least, the claim that the Khmer Rouge "murdered" one million people requires a somewhat expanded definition of that term. On the conditions in Cambodia at the time that the Khmer Rouge took power, see footnote 62 of this chapter. For an argument that the Khmer Rouge's food programs actually saved the lives of many peasants who would have starved to death in the conditions of post-war Cambodia, see Testimony of Gareth Porter, in Hearings Before the Subcommittee on International Organizations of the Committee on International Relations, Human Rights in Cambodia, House of Representatives, Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 95th Congress, 1st Session, May 3, 1977, pp. 19-32. For an example of one way that the New York Times has handled the issue, see Thomas L. Friedman, "U.S. Gulf Policy: Vague 'Vital Interest,'" New York Times, August 12, 1990, section 1, p. 1 ("The Khmer Rouge are held responsible for the deaths of more than a million Cambodians during their reign of terror in the 1970s")(emphasis added).
61. For estimates of the death toll in Cambodia in the first half of the 1970s, see for example, C.I.A. Research Paper, Kampuchea: A Demographic Catastrophe, Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, May 1980 (Doc. G.C. 80-10019U), p. 2 (concluding that between July 1, 1970 and April 17, 1975, "Death rates, high since the 1960s, soared with the addition of an estimated 600,000 to 700,000 war-related deaths"); Michael Vickery, Cambodia: 1975-1982, Boston: South End, 1984, pp. 184-188 (accepting as plausible a "war loss" of over 500,000 for the period prior to 1975, calculated from the C.I.A. estimates but lower than the C.I.A.'s conclusions); Judith Banister and Paige Johnson, "After the Nightmare: The Population of Cambodia," in Ben Kiernan, ed., Genocide and Democracy in Cambodia: The Khmer Rouge, the United Nations and the International Community, New Haven: Yale University Southeast Asia Studies, 1993, pp. 65-139 (estimating 275,000 "excess deaths" in the pre-1975 period). See also footnotes 62 and 63 of this chapter.
62. For 1975 predictions of deaths in Cambodia following the U.S. war, see for example, Editorial, "Cambodia On The Rack," Far Eastern Economic Review, July 25, 1975, p. 9 ("Kissinger has been actively leaking White House intelligence on the tragic sufferings of the Cambodian people, including predictions that one million Cambodians will die in the next 12 months"); John Rogers, "Cambodians Are Starving, Refugees Say," Washington Post, June 23, 1975, p. A7. An excerpt:
Diplomats and officials of international relief organizations . . . point to the food crisis in Phnom Penh in the months preceding the Khmer Rouge victory as a further indicator of what must be happening now. . . . [O]ne relief official [said,] "When you look at the facts, it's difficult to believe there is not mass starvation."
For a description of the conditions in Phnom Penh by the U.S. A.I.D. Director, see William Goodfellow [Director of the Center for International Studies], "Starvation In Cambodia," Op-Ed, New York Times, July 14, 1975, p. 25. An excerpt:
The evacuation of Cambodia's larger cities has been sensationalized in the Western press as a "death march." In fact, it was a journey away from certain death by starvation, for at the time the former Phnom Penh Government surrendered, starvation was already a reality in the urban centers, and widespread famine only a matter of weeks away, while in the countryside there was a sizable food surplus. . . .
The coup d'état of 1970 was followed by five years of death, suffering and destruction, with 600,000 Cambodians on both sides killed. Primarily because of a large-scale United States bombing campaign in which 539,129 tons of bombs were dropped on the Cambodian countryside, the agrarian economy was shattered. . . . Last March, the director of the United States Agency for International Development in Cambodia, Norman Sweet, estimated that in Phnom Penh alone 1.2 million people were in "desperate need" of United States food. . . . A.I.D. officials reported that stockpiles of rice in Phnom Pehn could last for six days.
For a U.S. government report on the conditions of vast starvation in Cambodia, which was issued a month before the Khmer Rouge takeover, see Office of the Inspector-General of Foreign Assistance, "Cambodia: An Assessment of Humanitarian Needs and Relief Efforts," Inspection Report, March 12, 1975, in Congressional Record, March 20, 1975, Vol. 121, 94th Congress, 1st Session, pp. 7891-7894. An excerpt:
The general level of health of almost the entire Cambodian population -- the refugees, the poor, families of military servicemen, and particularly the children, has deteriorated rapidly. Malnutrition, including the advanced stages of kwashiorkor and marasmus, has increased dramatically over the last several months. Measles, malaria, tuberculosis and other respiratory diseases also were increasing in incidence, often with fatal prognosis. . . . Dispensaries, clinics, hospitals and nutrition centers, limited in number, were forced to refuse treatment to gravely ill because of the lack of facilities and shortage of doctors. Overworked medical personnel were unable to cope with the numbers of people that presented themselves for treatment. . . .
In Phnom Penh, there are between one and two million refugees [from the U.S. bombing war] in a city that had a pre-war total population of about 375,000. The added hundreds of thousands of destitute victims has proven a burden with which relief programs cannot cope. . . . Almost the totality of those refugees entering Phnom Penh and the provincial capitals for protection were farmers from the neighboring countryside. The impact of this influx of farmers into urban areas and away from the productive farm areas had great economic impact, reducing the agricultural production of the country to the point where instead of being a substantial exporter of rice, fruit, fish and livestock Cambodia has become a massive importer of rice. . . .
Doctors treating Cambodian children reported an increase in malnutrition and nutrition-related diseases. They found that children were slipping fast into serious undernourishment and that the state of their health was such that ordinarily simple childhood maladies were often fatal. Children were dying of complications brought about by enteritises, flu, measles, and respiratory diseases. . . . Doctors from the International Red Cross reported that "Malnutrition now exists on a large scale . . . complications are stronger now in malnourished children. . . . Thousands and thousands [of children] may be tipping over. Kwashiorkor, usually a disease in age 2 to 4 years, is occurring in 10-year olds. There is no hope for the future. T.B. is increasing. Cholera and typhoid have started in January . . . ."
One voluntary agency operates a child nutrition center in an old converted private house on the outskirts of Phnom Penh. . . . The Medical Director sadly recounted that there are never enough beds to take care of all of the children, that they must turn thousands needing hospitalization away, and without admission here, their fate is almost certain death. Visibly distraught over the critical situation and the plight of the children she was seeing daily . . . [she said]: "This morning at our clinic there were a thousand patients waiting. We numbered 200 this morning. This afternoon we'll see another 200. All those people are sick. 75 percent are children. We saw only the worst cases. 50 children should have been admitted this morning. I took six kids. . . ." [From December through the beginning of February, 1975, over a thousand were turned away from this center.] It requires little imagination to picture these wretchedly frail and sickly little bodies, borne away in their weak mothers' arms, carried to a shanty hovel, a concrete stadium bench or a dirty alley somewhere, to die; certain to suffer, then to die, untreated, unhospitalized, unfed.
For a similar chilling report in the U.S. press, also written before the Khmer Rouge took power, see Tom Matthews, "Phnom Penh: Trial by Fire," Newsweek, March 10, 1975, pp. 24-25. An excerpt:
In the Khmer Soviétique hospital, more than 1,300 patients struggled for survival last week. Doctors, nurses, medical corpsmen, drugs and plasma were scarce; malaria, tuberculosis and dysentery were rampant. Out of desperation, overworked staffers in some wards tied wounded men to their beds to prevent them from breaking open their wounds and sutures. Flies covered the face of one such patient, who could only shake his head feebly in a vain attempt to keep them from crawling into his mouth. . . .
[A] Brechtian army of impoverished women, orphans and mutilated war veterans panhandled their way along the boulevards and scoured garbage pails in the back alleys for edible scraps of food. Thousands of small children, their bellies swollen from hunger, lingered listlessly in the streets and, in their homes of thatch and waste lumber at the edges of the city, waited for slow death from kwashiorkor and marasmus, the terminal forms of malnutrition. . . . Well over 500,000 poverty-stricken refugees from the war in the countryside were struggling to get by in the capital last week. Nearly 500 of them squatted miserably in the Svay Dang Kum pagoda -- the men in loincloths, the women in rags, the children naked. A miasma of malaria, diarrhea and despair hovered over the shrine.
For the Finnish Inquiry Commission's findings about the conditions in Cambodia prior to the Khmer Rouge taking power, see Kimmo Kiljunen, ed., Kampuchea: Decade of the Genocide, London: Zed Books, 1984, pp. 5-8.
63. On the death rate from starvation in Phnom Penh at the time of the U.S. withdrawal, see for example, George Hildebrand and Gareth Porter, Cambodia: Starvation and Revolution, New York: Monthly Review, 1976, pp. 19-29 at p. 29 (using "a conservative estimate" based on numerous accounts of "250 deaths per day from starvation," and concluding that the death toll "for March alone comes to nearly 8,000 people," or a rate of 96,000 a year). See also, Michael Vickery, Cambodia: 1975-1982, Boston: South End, 1984, pp. 78-79.
64. For the A.I.D. report's prediction, see William Shawcross, Sideshow: Kissinger, Nixon and the Destruction of Cambodia, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1979, p. 375. The U.S. A.I.D. report's exact words:
"Slave labor and starvation rations for half the nation's people (probably heaviest among those who supported the republic) will be a cruel necessity for this year, and general deprivation and suffering will stretch over the next two or three years before Cambodia can get back to rice self-sufficiency."
65. On the predictability of a peasant backlash due to the nature of the U.S. war on Cambodia, see for example, Richard Dudman [captured war correspondent], Forty Days with the Enemy, New York: Liveright, 1971, p. 69 (reporting the author's observation, while in captivity, that "[t]he bombing and shooting [of the U.S. attack] was radicalizing the people of rural Cambodia and was turning the countryside into a massive, dedicated, and effective revolutionary base"). See also, Jon Swain, "Diary of a Doomed City," Sunday Times (London), May 11, 1975, pp. 15-19. Evacuated from Phnom Penh following the Khmer Rouge victory, this British correspondent summarized his impressions of the Cambodian countryside at the end of the U.S. war:
The United States has much to answer for here, not only in terms of human lives and massive material destruction; the rigidity and nastiness of the un-Cambodian like fellows in black who run this country now, or what is left of it, are as much a product of this wholesale American bombing which has hardened and honed their minds as they are a product of Marx and Mao. . . .
The war damage here [in the countryside], as everywhere else we saw, is total. Not a bridge is standing, hardly a house. I am told most villagers have spent the war years living semi-permanently underground in earth bunkers to escape the bombing. . . . The entire countryside has been churned up by American B-52 bomb craters, whole towns and villages razed. So far I have not seen one intact pagoda.
David Chandler, "Revising the Past in Democratic Kampuchea: When Was the Birthday of the Party," Pacific Affairs, Summer 1983, pp. 288-300. An excerpt (p. 295):
Aside from killing and maiming tens of thousands of Cambodians who had never fired a shot at an American, the bombing had several political effects, all beneficial to the C.P.K. [Khmer Rouge]. One was to demonstrate the party's contention that Cambodia's principal enemy was the United States. Another was to turn thousands of young Cambodians into participants in an anti-American crusade, while driving hundreds of thousands of others into the relative safety (and squalor) of Phnom Penh, Battambang, and other Khmer Republic strongholds. The destruction of so many villages, moreover, and the deaths and dislocation of so many people enabled the C.P.K. to collectivize agriculture in the zones under its control, in May 1973, while the bombing was going on. When it stopped, the party was able to claim that the Cambodian revolution, unlike any other in the history of the world, had defeated the United States. The bombing destroyed a good deal of the fabric of prewar Cambodian society and provided the C.P.K. with the psychological ingredients of a violent, vengeful, and unrelenting social revolution.
For a comparison of the Khmer Rouge phenomenon with other peasant rebellions and what has been called "peasant populism," see Michael Vickery, Cambodia: 1975-1982, Boston: South End, 1984, ch. 5, especially pp. 271-290.
66. Chomsky notes that the honor is shared by a collection of monsters which includes Henry Kissinger, F.W. de Klerk, Yasser Arafat, Yitzhak Rabin, Theodore Roosevelt, and many others -- although obviously not everyone who has received it fits this category.
67. For a portrayal of Eugene McCarthy as the hero of the Vietnam War opposition, see for example, Editorial, "The McCarthy Decade," New Republic, December 10, 1977, p. 5.
68. On strong opposition to Martin Luther King while he was alive, see chapter 9 of U.P. and its footnote 39.
69. For Neil Postman's analysis of popular media, see for example, Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business, New York: Viking, 1985; Neil Postman, Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology, New York: Knopf, 1992.
70. On the number of colonists who fled the American Revolution, see for example, Carl Van Doren, Secret History of the American Revolution, New York: Viking, 1941. An excerpt (p. 433):
[Numbers leaving] the United States on account of loyalty to the British Empire . . . may have been as high as 100,000, of whom 35,000 may have gone from New York alone. About half the exiles settled in Canada, where they and their descendants were called United Empire Loyalists. The expulsion was so thorough that the next generation of Americans, with few former loyalists as reminders, almost forgot the civil aspects of the war and came to think of it as a war solely against England.
Richard B. Morris, The Forging of the Union: 1781-1789, New York: Harper & Row, 1987, pp. 13, 17 (giving a 1775 population of 2,600,000 in the American colonies, and a population of 2,389,300 at the end of the war; estimating the number of Loyalists who fled at 80,000 to 100,000, in a "vast exodus of Loyalists and blacks"). See also, Paul H. Smith, "The American Loyalists: Notes on their Organization and Numerical Strength," William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd Series, Vol. XXV, 1968, pp. 259-277 (estimating that the white population of the American colonies was approximately two and one-half million, and "at least a fifth of the white population -- a half-million people -- behaved in ways that enable us to identify them as Loyalist"); Claude Halstead Van Tyne, The Loyalists in the American Revolution, New York: Peter Smith, 1929 (original 1902), pp. 104-105.
Proportional figures for South Vietnam would be about 4 million supporters of the United States and 800,000 refugees fleeing, while the total for all of Vietnam would be approximately double that. While the actual number of people who fled Vietnam is unknown, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimated in late 1978 that "71,379 Vietnamese successfully escaped from their homeland by sea during the last four years." See "U.N. Seeks Solution for 'Boat People,'" New York Times, November 11, 1978, p. 6.
On blacks and native peoples in the American Revolution, see for example, Ira Berlin, "The Revolution in Black Life," and Francis Jennings, "The Indians' Revolution," in Alfred Young, ed., The American Revolution: Explorations in the History of American Radicalism, DeKalb: University of Northern Illinois Press, 1976, pp. 319-382.
71. On the Populists' migration to Canada, see for example, Gabriel Kolko, Main Currents in American History, New York: Harper and Row, 1976. An excerpt (pp. 28-29):
Perhaps most disturbing of all to conventional wisdom is the fact that between 1898 and 1914 about one million American residents, the vast majority of whom had been previously in the states with large agrarian radical movements, moved to Canada, predominantly the rich wheat-growing provinces. Many had been Populists, and some outstanding former Populist political leaders were among their ranks, and this constituency and its inheritance became an important strand in the Canadian social democratic movement.
Paul F. Sharp, "When Our West Moved North," American Historical Review, Vol. 55, January 1950, pp. 286-300. An excerpt (p. 290):
Many [emigrants to Canada from the U.S.] sought release from political conditions in the States which they considered intolerable. It was no accident that the movement into the Canadian West had its Populist contingent after the election of 1896. In the vanguard were men like John W. Leedy, an ex-Populist governor of Kansas, Bertram Wilson Huffman, a recruit in Coxey's famous army, George Bevington, an "expert" on money and credits, and Henry Wise Wood, whose Populism profoundly shaped the farmers' movements in western Canada. Many of the farmers who made the trek into the Northwest later insisted that this dissatisfaction had reinforced their decision to leave for Canada. They cited the growth of trusts and the overweening strength of the "money-power" as developments in the republic they hoped to escape. As one former Iowan testified, "I didn't much mind leaving the States, the trusts were getting so bad there it didn't seem to be the same country to me any more."