William Blum, 'Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower'

IssueDecember 2000 - February 2001
Review by Theresa Wolfwood

This is a guide to a trip every activist should take. There is, of course, only one rogue state -the United States of America. Any evil deed of the US that an activist can imagine in the wildest of paranoid dreams is described and referenced in this comprehensive guide by Blum, a journalist and ex-US State Department official.

In spite of the efforts of US leaders to make their actions appear humanitarian and democratic, Blum makes it clear that the US has run a global protection racket based on four imperatives: making the world hospitable for globalisation, particularly US-based corporations; enriching defence contractors who donate generously to politicians; preventing the rise of any society that might serve as an alternative to capitalism; and extending political, economic and military hegemony over the world while creating a world order in America's image.

Part I makes the connection between supporting terrorism abroad in the US interests, from Cambodia to Afghanistan, to the School of Americas and the CIA, and the criminal “justice” system at home.

Careful research by Blum reveals that the US invented the Soviet threat to justify NATO. Now it extends NATO and military control with implausible scenarios of “rogue states”, terrorism and drugs. He documents military interventions since 1945: the US still has military forces in more than 100 countries. Earth is not enough though; Blum quotes the Pentagon's plan to control and wage war in space... “We're going to fight in space. We're going to fight from space and we're going to fight into space.”

Part II covers US weapons of mass destruction from Hiroshima to depleted uranium in Iraq and Yugoslavia. There is a long list of the use of chemical and biological weapons abroad and in the US - literally insecticides for people.

Part III is The American Empire: Coming soon to a country near you. He lists military and political interventions all over the world. Wherever you go, the US has been there, done that, and is still doing it. The US has stood as a true “rogue” in dozens of UN General Assembly votes, often supported only by Israel, and a handful of other faithful allies, like Canada and Britain. The US even voted against the right to food as a human right.

Electronic eavesdropping... “like a mammoth vacuum cleaner in the sky the National Security Agency sucks it all up” and invades the privacy of every citizen in the world. And then there is the kidnapping, abductions and government drug involvement. The marginalised of the US are treated like criminals for just existing.

Even when the truth is revealed, “being the World's Superpower means never having to say you're sorry”. This powerful empire is based on repression abroad and at home. How do they get away with it? Blum says, “little is left to chance in the Selling of America”. The worldwide love affair with America is the result of a media as powerful as the military that glorifies the US everywhere and in every form of media. He quotes Goethe, “None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free”. Blum says most Americans do not yet recognise the consequences of their government's deeds.

It's all here and this book provides excellent reference for activists everywhere.

Topics: Empire
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