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The Big Answer


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America's Deadliest Export: Democracy - The Truth about US Foreign Policy and Everything Else

a book by William Blum

(our site's book review)

William Blum

William Blum is a leading expert on American Foreign Policy. He is a freelance journalist, and he guides us toward understanding that our government does not mean well. As soon as we understand that, we're far more prepared to effectively do good ourselves. This book contains essays on many matters from conspiracies, ideologies and the media to Cuba, Iran and Wikileaks. The author provides us with convincing critiques of U.S. global policy in a freshly informed and engaging way that lets readers see the stated democracy spreading propaganda in U.S. foreign policy rhetoric versus the reality of a cynical foreign policy based on imperialistic empire building. If you've ever wondered why other countries detest U.S. actions in the world, wonder no more.

William Blum says that no matter how paranoid or conspiracy-minded you are, what the government is actually doing is worse than you imagine
William Blum says that no matter how paranoid or conspiracy-minded you are, what the government is actually doing is worse than you imagine. See Rogue State: A Guide to the Worlds Only Superpower.


U.S. neocons' imperialism and warmongering is out of control yet the Congress tasked with stopping such abuses is mute—something smells rotten in Washington!
U.S. neocons' imperialism and warmongering is out of control yet the Congress tasked with stopping such abuses is mute—something smells rotten in Washington! The game is rigged. Bailouts? The biggest companies got help while the little guy got the finger.

Blum cofounded The Washington Free Press as a biweekly radical underground newspaper published in Washington, DC, beginning in 1966. Topics covered in the paper included the antiwar movement, welfare, police brutality, campus activism at the five colleges in the area, drugs, abortion, and the youth culture. The Vietnam War had been a bad idea from the start, and Blum—an ex-State Department worker—could already detect that this fiasco was already much more about imperialism than democratization. For the most part, the mainstream press was ignorant about such realities, mostly just printing administration press releases, although there was a bit of actual investigative journalism going on, but that died in the 1980s as the shadow government insisted on the press conforming to the party line: "my way or the highway." The Iraq War was/is an even bigger waste than the Vietnam debacle.

The mainstream press mostly just prints administration press releases; the actual investigative journalism going on died in the 1980s as the shadow government insisted on the press conforming to the party line
The mainstream press mostly just prints administration press releases; the actual investigative journalism going on died in the 1980s as the shadow government insisted on the press conforming to the party line


Our Vietnam and Iraq wars were much more about imperialism than democratization
Our Vietnam and Iraq wars were much more about imperialism than democratization


Vietnam War—58,209 U.S. dead: but for WHAT? Cost: $770 billion (in 2003 dollars)—but for WHAT?
Vietnam War—58,209 U.S. dead: but for WHAT? Cost: $770 billion (in 2003 dollars)—but for WHAT?

Blum is an activist in the best sense of the word, seeking truth more than headlines, and having the courage to keep the public informed about reality to the best of his ability, in spite of competition from the merciless flood of propaganda inserted into the mainstream press and hence the American mind. It was David and Goliath and yet Blum, like a bulldog with its teeth in their leg, never lost heart.

A Morsel of Truth from a Very Unlikely Source!

Osama bin Laden released an audiotape back in 2006, declaring: "If you [Americans] are sincere in your desire for peace and security... and if Bush decides to carry on with his lies and oppression, then it would be useful for you to read the book Rogue State." Bin Laden then quoted from the Foreword of Blum's 2000 book, Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower, in which Blum mused: "If I were ... president, I could stop terrorist attacks [on us] in a few days. Permanently. I would first apologize ... to all the widows and the orphans, the impoverished and the tortured, and all the many millions of other victims of American imperialism. I would then announce that America's global interventions ... have come to an end. And I would inform Israel that it is no longer the 51st state of the union but ... a foreign country. I would then reduce the military budget by at least 90% and use the savings to pay reparations to the victims. ... That's what I'd do on my first three days in the White House. On the fourth day, I'd be assassinated." (Note—Blum is being an extreme optimist: Obviously, after the apologies about imperialism and the promise to stop it, this new president would be dead within hours—the neocons of the shadow government actually run things and elected leaders are merely frontmen. Those in control would wish to send an unmistakable warning to any smartass upstart future presidents who wished to challenge their authority.)

We need have no doubt: Osama bin Laden won, as new sects of al-Qaeda rise up across the world and as ISIS preys on the instability the United States wrought in Iraq
We need have no doubt: Osama bin Laden won, as new sects of al-Qaeda rise up across the world and as ISIS preys on the instability the United States wrought in Iraq


Put our shadow government on a leash so we start no more wars and replace no more decent leaders with U.S. corporatocracy-loving dictators
Put our shadow government on a leash so we start no more wars and replace no more decent leaders with U.S. corporatocracy-loving dictators

No one is all bad. We can and should and do hate Osama for backing terrorists, but that does not mean he never had any good points, and Blum believes that the above is one of those rare times when we need to forget the speaker and grasp the message. The more you investigate American imperialism since the middle of the 20th century, the more you realize Blum is right. There IS a way to stop the terrorism. Put our shadow government on a leash so we start no more wars and replace no more decent leaders with U.S. corporatocracy-loving dictators and stop plunging other countries into debt and stop setting various sects in foreign countries against other sects and then stop selling them enormous amounts of weapons to fight their U.S.-created wars with. See A Game As Old As Empire: The Secret World of Economic Hit Men and the Web of Global Corruption.

Blum reminds us about something it is easy to forget: Anti-American terrorists are motivated by decades of awful things done to their homelands by US foreign policy. How would we feel if we were in their shoes?

Be Proud of the U.S. but Ashamed of U.S. Empire Building

In America's Deadliest Export: Democracy - The Truth about US Foreign Policy and Everything Else, one constantly encounters some nefarious act committed by the U.S. empire builders in the guise of freedom, democracy and fighting communism or terrorism. Reading Blum's book with an open mind, weighing the evidence, will put into question any pride in our country as we contemplate the reality of all those corpses around the world with U.S. flags sticking out of their chests—they incurred the ultimate "freedom." We will continue loving our country and its citizens and its Constitution and Bill of Rights and our democracy, but we will begin not just questioning but speaking out against the U.S. empire builders and the copious amounts of evil they've perpetrated in our name.

US dropping a little democracy on some country
US dropping a little democracy on some country


Evil
Evil

Their propaganda had led us to drink the Kool-Aid, believing in their fighting for freedom and democracy and fighting against bad types of communism and any type of terrorism, except that that is not what they were really up to at all. That was merely the cover story. We DO believe in fighting for freedom and democracy and fighting against bad types of communism and any type of terrorism, but we do NOT believe the U.S. shadow government has the right to start wars for empire building and kill other countries' leaders and exploit their people to further the greed of the corporatocracy!

The propaganda attempts to convince us that the military and CIA acts in the interests of U.S. citizens and acts for the good of the world. The facts say different. Keep in mind that the shadow government will label anyone not supporting all their nefarious deeds as unpatriotic. "Believe our lies or you are bad citizens." But when they say "if you do not support our empire building you are bad citizens because that means you do not believe in fighting for freedom and democracy and fighting against bad types of communism and any type of terrorism," you need to call them on their crap. The empire builders do bad things for their own greedy purposes and you disagree with what they do and with supporting their greed, but you are good citizens supporting freedom and democracy, and fighting terrorism. You see the tricky way the Kool-Aid tries to confuse you until you see black as white? DON'T BUY IT!

We are patriots who DO believe in fighting for freedom and democracy and fighting against bad types of communism and any type of terrorism
We are patriots who DO believe in fighting for freedom and democracy and fighting against bad types of communism and any type of terrorism

As good citizens with sincere beliefs about justice, freedom and democracy, it is time for us to put down the Kool-Aid and drink no more, and instead become truth seekers, investigators, and no longer content to listen to mainstream media lies, since such reporters are merely saying what the shadow government makes them say. Read alternative media sources like Alternet and read honest, more objective books like the following:

As good citizens with sincere beliefs about justice, freedom and democracy, it is time for us to put down the Kool-Aid and drink no more, and instead become truth seekers, investigators, and no longer content to listen to mainstream media lies
As good citizens with sincere beliefs about justice, freedom and democracy, it is time for us to put down the Kool-Aid and drink no more, and instead become truth seekers, investigators, and no longer content to listen to mainstream media lies

Other Shadow Government Perspectives

Various authors see the shadow government from various perspectives—like the blind men and the elephant, but the overall gist is creepily similar
Various authors see the shadow government from various perspectives—like the blind men and the elephant, but the overall gist is creepily similar

Blum's Message is Essential to Hear, Even If Depressing

Blum is a citizen of the world: "I love certain principles, like human rights, civil liberties, meaningful democracy, an economy which puts people before profits." The more a nation supports these principles, the more Blum supports that nation. U.S. empire building is supporting the opposite of such principles, so Blum, patriot that he is, writes about the terrible effect U.S. aggressive imperialism—a.k.a. predatory capitalism or just the Corporatocracy—is having not just on the world but on the U.S. as well.

Memorable Blumisms: "War can be seen as America's religion." Reflecting on Obama's octupling Bush's number of drones used to assassinate, collaterally kill and terrorize, he affirms: "Obama is one of the worst things that has ever happened to the American left." "Capitalism is the theory that the worst people, acting from their worst motives, will somehow produce the most good."

Bush and Obama love playing God, swatting to death anyone they don't like the looks of and making the U.S. look like the Great Satan the Islamics see us as
Bush and Obama love playing God, swatting to death anyone they don't like the looks of and making the U.S. look like the Great Satan the Islamics see us as


War is America's religion
War is America's religion

"The American people are very much like the children of a Mafia boss who do not know what their father does for a living, and don’t want to know, but then wonder why someone just threw a firebomb through the living room window."

"The principal beneficiary of America’s foreign assistance programs has always been the United States."

"Communist governments take over companies. Under capitalism, the companies take over the government."

As Blum stands up for human dignity and freedom and justice, the Bushes and Obama stand up for greed and exploitation disguised under a rich, chocolately layer of disingenuous buzzwords like democracy and freedom, fed to the mass media as tasty calculated press releases full of feigned sincerity and layered with oozing dollops of patriotic pretense.

The Bushes and Obama stand up for greed and exploitation disguised under a rich, chocolatey layer of disingenuous buzzwords like democracy and freedom, fed to the mass media as tasty calculated press releases full of feigned sincerity and layered with oozing dollops of patriotic pretense
The Bushes and Obama stand up for greed and exploitation disguised under a rich, chocolatey layer of disingenuous buzzwords like democracy and freedom, fed to the mass media as tasty calculated press releases full of feigned sincerity and layered with oozing dollops of patriotic pretense

Like a precociously insightful child, Blum doesn't learn from what his "parents" say but from what they do. (That is gospel to P.E.T..) He walks his talk, and when the U.S. talks the talk but doesn't walk the talk, Blum, responsible journalist that he is, reports on this flagrant inconsistency and moral slippage.

U.S. Intentions

The author states that "one must come to the realization that the United States strives to dominate the world, for which end it is prepared to use any means necessary. Once one understands that, much of the apparent confusion, contradiction, and ambiguity surrounding Washington’s policies fades away. To express this striving for dominance numerically, one can consider that since the end of World War II the United States has

In total: since 1945, the United States has carried out one or more of the above-listed actions, on one or more occasions, in seventy-one countries (more than one-third of the countries of the world), in the process of which the US has ended the lives of several million people, condemned many millions more to a life of agony and despair, and has been responsible for the torture of countless thousands."

This is an important book. Read it and weep.