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Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Rogue State

In my already foul mood, I probably shouldn't be reading William Blum's Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower. If you want page after page after page of answers to the question "Why do they hate us?" then this is your book. Here are a couple of choice sections:
"What we're doing in Vietnam is using the black man to kill the yellow man so the white man can keep the land he took from the red man."--Dick Gregory

The slippery slope began with the US siding with the French, the former colonists, and with collaborators with the Japanese, against Ho Chi Minh and his followers, who had worked closely with the Allied war effort and admired all things American. Ho Chi Minh was, after all, some kind of "communist" (one of those bad-for-you label warnings). He had written numerous letters to President Truman and the State Department asking for America's help in winning Vietnamese independence from the French and finding a peaceful solution for his country. All his entreaties were ignored. For he was some kind of communist. Ho Chi Minh modeled the new Vietnamese declaration of independence on the American, beginning it with "All men are created equal. They are endowed by their Creator with..." But this would count for nothing in Washington. Ho Chi Minh was some kind of communist.

More than twenty years and more than a million dead later, the United States withdrew its military forces from Vietnam. Most people believe that the US lost the war. But by destroying Vietnam to its core, by poisoning the earth, the water and the gene pool for generations, Washington had in fact achieved its primary purpose: preventing what might have been the rise of a good development option for Asia. Ho Chi Minh was, after all, some kind of communist.
In the introduction, Blum explains the goals of American foreign policy:
  1. making the world open and hospitable for--in current terminology--globalization, particularly American-based transnational corporations
  2. enhancing the financial statements of defense contractors at home who have contributed generously to members of Congress and residents of the White House
  3. preventing the rise of any society that might serve as a successful example of an alternative to the capitalist model
  4. extending political, economic and military hegemony over as much of the globe as possible, to prevent the rise of any regional power that might challenge American supremacy, and to create a world order in America's image, as befits the world's only superpower.

By the way, the book was written BEFORE George W. Bush was appointed pResident.