Playing the U.S. American Game of Rogue States/Regime Change–1/2


What’s a “Rogue State?”

“Rogue state” is a term applied by some theorists to states they consider threatening to world peace. That is, countries ruled by authoritarian governments that severely restrict human rights, sponsor terrorism and seek to extend weapons of mass destruction. The term is used primarily by the United States (though the US State Department officially stopped using it in 2000). In a speech to the UN in 2017, President Donald Trump reiterated the phrase.

The US Americans have established themselves as the world authority on “rogue states.” They decide which are the countries that function outside of the constrictions of international order and reject the rule of law. In fact, it was President Clinton’s National Security Advisor, Anthony Lake, who coined the term “rogue state” in a 1994 issue of Foreign Affairs. He categorized five countries as rogue states: North Korea, Cuba, Iraq, Iran and Libya. One nation was conspicuously missing from this list but it would have been unseemly for Mr. Lake to name his own country.

In was in June of 2000 when U.S. Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, swapped the term for “States of Concern.” Other euphemisms have been employed since then–“Axis of Evil,” “Outposts of Tyranny,” and “State Sponsors of Terrorism.” I recently discovered that two excellent books were published on the subject of rogue states some time ago, by Noam Chomsky and William Blum. Both included the term “rogue state” in the title, and the United States was the protagonist of both of them. Interestingly, both of these prestigious commentator/activists also included Israel in the category of rogue state, principally for their treatment of the Palestinians since 1948.

They Decide Who the Devil Is

Once the rogue states are named and shamed there begins a process of demonization by sophisticated propaganda techniques that may last decades. This process is entirely arbitrary though it usually coincides with US American political and military objectives or the acquisition/control of natural resources. The following step inevitably is “regime change,” and Washington takes charge of that process, too, making use of the carrot-and-stick techniques that have become familiar to us over the years.

The carrots can be loans to purchase U.S. arms or bribes to pliant politicians either in country or in exile who can be refinanced and recycled under US American “guidance.” Needless to say, all of these “assets” are required to present impeccable anti-communist, pro “free-market” credentials. Massive, expert-run disinformation campaigns in existing and expressly-created media might also fall under the category of  (somewhat bitter) “carrots.”

If the carrots don’t get the job done, they bring out the sticks, which are wielded by C.I.A. operatives and their hired hands, and run the gamut from low-level political and industrial sabotage to either the assassination of key political figures or the organizing equipping and training of entire mercenary armies and air forces. Many of these terrorist actions are “false flag” operations, staged to look as if they were perpetrated by someone else, “communists or “outside agitators.” The most authoritative information I’ve seen on this policy is in the 2004 book, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, by whistleblower, John Perkins, who worked as a US agent during the 1970s.

The List of Those “Neutralized” is a Long One

Actual assassinations organized and/or executed in recent years by the CIA include Ngo Dinh Diem of Vietnam (a dictator installed in his position by the CIA itself); Che Guevara; Patrice Lumumba the Congo’s first prime minister; René Schneider, Commander and Chief of the Chilean Army, loyal to Salvador Allende’s democratically-elected government; Allende himself; Prince Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia and Sukarno in Indonesia, among many others. And it’s not clear yet whether the name of President John F. Kennedy should be added to this list. The operation that culminated in Dallas on November 22, 1962, certainly precipitated an immediate regime change.

My source for the majority of these cases is, The CIA: A Forgotten History, a book published in 1986 by author and investigative journalist, William Blum. It’s out of print but available second hand on the Web and I can’t recommend it highly enough. It’s a thoughtful, straightforward and authoritative glossary of CIA clandestine operations around the world between the end of World War II and the mid-1980s. It confirms with hard data a lot suspicions we’ve harbored for a long time.

Regime Change Is Easy

It doesn’t take a lot of resources or imagination to wreak massive social and political chaos in someone else’s country. Washington operatives just have to pay off a few crooked local politicians and call upon the CIA to put its coup techniques in motion. After more than half a century of running these operations, the CIA has got it down to a sinister routine. Bingo! Another impertinent little country (with a democratically elected government or not; that’s irrelevant) has privatized its sovereign wealth and joined NATO.

“Privatize?” That means selling off their mines and oil fields, fields and forests, industries and even housing to US American banks and vulture funds at market prices. You can imagine how the “market” looks after a couple of decades of CIA black ops. The first stages of this process are currently underway in Venezuela and Iran. If all goes well they will soon join the long list of U.S. “client states.”

Chomsky Puts Us Straight

The other book that penetrates the murk on these subjects is Noam Chomsky’s Rogue States—The Rule of Force in World Affairs, published in 2000. Chomsky, who has spent his life building a reputation for seriousness, honesty and calm level-headedness, affirms in his book that, contrary to the versions in the mainstream media the real “rogue states” today are not totalitarian nations run by wacky dictators (neither Kim-Jong-un of North Korea, Maduro of Venezuela, nor Ali Khamenei, supreme leader of Iran, for example), rather the United States and its allies.

Chomsky, who defines “radical nationalism” as the unwillingness to submit to the will of the powerful, discards the specious reasons given for the US American (& Co.) unilateral intervention around the world in favor of one simple explanation: the willful use of force to impose the bare-fisted power of the United States. He cites many examples, including Kosovo, East Timor, and U.S. destabilizing operations in Southeast Asia, the Middle East and South America. His scholarship is impeccable, as he elaborates the historical contexts and declassified documents that explain how simple self-interest and economic and political opportunism fuel US American sponsorship of violent regional conflicts around the world, reducing the rule of law to a grotesque farce. They see no need to respect neither the United Nations’ guidelines nor international legal precedents to justify their actions. Today, more than ever, it’s diaphanously clear that they do whatever they please.

25 Pages to Whet Your Appetite

Here’s a link to a 25-page article that Chomsky published in Z Magazine a couple of years before his Rogue States book came out. I want to quote just a couple of paragraphs here, but his piece merits a full reading for its lucidity and well-documented revelations. Chomsky starts his article:

Quote: The concept of “rogue state” plays a pre-eminent role today in policy planning and analysis. The current Iraq crisis is only the latest example. Washington and London declared Iraq a “rogue state,” a threat to its neighbors and to the entire world, an “outlaw nation” led by a reincarnation of Hitler who must be contained by the guardians of world order, the United States and its British “junior partner,” to adopt the term ruefully employed by the British foreign office half a century ago.

Was there any objective justification for the two Iraq wars? There was none, especially in the light of the later acknowledgment that the weapons of mass destruction justification was a whole-cloth American-fabricated lie.

In another paragraph Professor Chomsky quotes a serving United States Secretary of State on the rationale of his country’s arbitrary use of its awesome military power anywhere in the world at any time. My ears are pretty calloused but I find this Hitlerian pronouncement alarming.

Secretary of State George Shultz meanwhile explained (April 14, 1986) that “Negotiations are a euphemism for capitulation if the shadow of power is not cast across the bargaining table.” He condemned those who advocate “utopian, legalistic means like outside mediation, the United Nations, and the World Court, while ignoring the power element of the equation”—sentiments not without precedent in modern history.

Coming soon: Playing the U.S. American Game of Rogue States/Regime Change–2/2

Read more rantings in my ebook, The Turncoat Chronicles.

Thanks for commenting and sharing.

Is the Trump Tail Wagging the American Dog?–1/2


No, Like Everything Else It’s More Complicated Than That

It’s a long story but the brief answer is no, the tail is not wagging the dog. Donald Trump did not give rise to sordid, amoral America. As much as right-thinking Americans would like to pretend otherwise, Donald Trump is not responsible for white-trash America. That happened much earlier. Trump was just a semi-literate opportunist, a billionaire’s proxy who grabbed the brass ring and rode his merry-go-round pony into the White House.

It was the wave of ignorance, greed and pitch-to-the-lowest-common-denominator opportunism that had been growing lustily since World War II that permitted a person like Trump to run for president and actually win. At the same time this grimy ideological mix provided those right-thinking-Americans with the scapegoat they needed to evade responsibility for the mess their country is in. “Just blame it on Trump and his barbarian horde.” Ladies and gentlemen, it’s not that simple.

A Little History

After World War II—and even before, at the 1944 Bretton Wood Conference–while other countries of the world were struggling to create decent lives for their people, including health care for their underclasses, the war-glutted American oligarchies were busy turning their backs on their own citizens and laying the groundwork for the Cold War and eventual unique superpower status. We’re talking about the creation of institutions like the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, NATO, SEATO, the CIA, the NSA, the multinationals, the oil-and-gas cartel, the suffocating American worldwide information regime, and let’s not forget their favorite bugbear, their all-pervading anti-communism (…blame it on the Russkies…).

Though this preparation for world domination wasn’t quite so evident in the beginning, the Neocons appeared at the end of the nineties and jerked the blanket off the seamy bed where all the promiscuous American powers-that-be were cavorting. It was their Project for a New American Century which in 1997 described the United States as the “world’s pre-eminent power,” and affirmed that the nation faced a challenge to “shape a new century favorable to American principles and interests.” In order to achieve this goal, the statement’s signers prescribed the usual bromides: “significant increases in defense spending, and the promotion of the “political and economic freedom abroad.”

Calling for a Reaganite policy of “military strength and moral clarity,” they concluded that PNAC’s principles were necessary “if the United States is to build on the successes of this past century and to ensure our security and our greatness in the next.” This declaration of principles, adopted by succeeding Republican governments, clearly revealed their sinister medium-and-long-term geopolitical intentions for all who had eyes to see. (That said, how many of us have eyes to see, eyes that have not been occluded by the myths and lies about the United States as a hilltop beacon of democracy, illuminating the way for less-fortunate peoples around the world?)

That shopworn set of lies about the United States exporting democracy no longer washes anywhere except, ironically, inside their own country where it’s still being fed like toxic kibble to their ingenuous choir of methodically-dumbed-down true believers.

“We Will Nuke You”

Then, in a document released in 2000 as DOD Joint Vision 2020, came “full-spectrum dominance,” a term coined by the gaily-decorated uniforms at the Pentagon. It called for “full spectrum dominance” over all land, surface and sub-surface sea, air, space, electromagnetic spectrum and information systems with enough overwhelming power to fight and win global wars against any adversary, including with nuclear weapons preemptively. (Emphasis mine. Translation: We reserve the right to nuke anyone and everyone, anywhere in the world, at any time.)

Harold Pinter referred to the term in his 2005 Nobel Prize acceptance speech:

“I have said earlier that the United States is now totally frank about putting its cards on the table. That is the case. Its official declared policy is now defined as “full spectrum dominance”. That is not my term, it is theirs. “Full spectrum dominance” means control of land, sea, air and space and all attendant resources.”

Not since Hitler’s Germany has any country in the world arrogated to itself such an awesome prerogative: the right to kill everybody, everywhere, indiscriminately, this from a country that spends more on arms than the following 18 countries combined, a country that vociferously declares itself a bastion of democracy worldwide. Lincoln once said to an office seeker, “What you are speaks to me so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.”

The Bizarre Billionaire Card

Another factor in the creation of American policy that doesn’t get discussed as much is the influence of right-wing billionaires on U.S. policy both at home and abroad. Here’s a link to an enlightening half-hour documentary that discusses the billionaire card in American politics: The Bizarre Billionaire that Backed Bannon and Made Trump President.

 Nor is this American policy limited to rhetoric. Throughout the past century they have materialized it in the form of gratuitous, unprovoked war-making on a series of sovereign nations in total disregard for international law. These attacks formed part of a rich American tradition dating from Colonial times: the wars against Native Americans on their own lands, the failed attempt to annex Canada, the 1848 “Mexican Cession” land grab…

In our own time the Americans’ omnivorous taste for other people’s countries has manifested itself in Vietnam and Iraq, to name just the most egregious cases. Vietnam was doubly cursed, both by the history of French colonialism there and the facile Cold War perception of that little Southeast Asian country as a catalyst for a “domino effect” of Communist expansion. That gossamer theory was the “justification” for 20 years of total (including chemical) warfare against and utter destruction of that tiny storybook country.

The end of the Vietnam War took the Americans by surprise. They lost. A combination of General Giap’s military and President Ho Chi Minh’s political genius, and the incredible capacity of the Vietnamese people for sacrifice, coupled with the influence of American anti-war activists, forced the United States armed forces and their running-dog allies out of Vietnam on April 30, 1975.

Coming hard on the heels of the 9/11 terror attack, the Iraq invasion was somewhat different, though it shared the use of lies and false pretenses the Americans employ regularly. How could we ever forget the pot-calling-the-kettle-black “arms of mass destruction” claims? Those assertions aside, the Iraq War was a straight American attempt to grab the country’s natural resources. The Iraqui oil fields are some of the most important in the world. Combine that fact with their geostrategic position in the Middle East and Iraq was an irresistible candidate for a dose of American democracy delivered from the air.

“Mission Accomplished!” Really?

According to President George W. Bush, nattily dressed in a U.S. Air Force costume-party getup for his “Mission Accomplished” speech to the troops of the USS Abraham Lincoln on May 1, 2003, the Americans won that one. As it turned out, however, the issue was somewhat more complicated than President Bush could have conceived. Up there on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier, surrounded by unconditional admirers, he was either whistling irresponsibly in the dark or malevolently twisting the truth to his own belligerent purposes. In any case today, 14 years later, the fate of Iraq is still up in the air and the Americans are no closer to grabbing the Iraqi oil than they were on day one.

Go to the second part of this post

Read more rantings in my ebook, The Turncoat Chronicles.

Thanks for commenting and sharing.

Sex, Money, Power, Nonsense and Killer Euphemisms


It doesn’t have to make sense, unleash the dogs of war!

Many things in this world, some of them of great consequence, don’t make sense. That’s because the world doesn’t run on sense. It runs on greed and lust. It runs on envy and revenge. It runs on ambition. And let’s not forget cynicism and falsehood.  That said, a minuscule part of the world is actually driven by love and loyalty, truth and sincerity, altruism and generosity. Say Iceland…

For most of the rest it’s half-truths and false appearances, vested interests, bribery and chicanery. (Want to know how it works? Read John Perkins’s book in PDF here.) Cravings for fame abound, along with hidden agendas and false-flag operations. Pride and obstinance coexist at the highest levels. Good God, I can’t believe I almost forgot sex, money and power, the aristocrats in this senseless world. I was tempted to include examples of all these sins, but I decided not to. It’s not necessary. Examples abound. Choose your own. Continue reading “Sex, Money, Power, Nonsense and Killer Euphemisms”