Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance
a book by Noam Chomsky
(our site's book review)
Chomsky is the swinging banjo in the movie Deliverance, forewarning us of grave repercussions should we continue on the wrongheaded Might Makes Right path we're on
The hero of Chomsky's book is Propaganda, since it won the day repeatedly every time the shadow government needed it to mislead the American public into falling for another fraudulent manipulation. They say truth is the first casualty of war. And so it was, over and over again. War used to be a tool to settle international differences once diplomacy had failed. But it has become the recourse of choice when American Imperialism encounters a reluctant victim. Of course, such international war crimes and treachery are not going to sell to the American public, so elaborate, multifaceted propaganda campaigns oozing with lies and misinformation were used to lure the sheep to see the neoconservative point of view (illegal aggression is fine as long as it's the U.S. doing it) the administration (a.k.a. shadow government puppets) was peddling.
The shadow government pulls the real levers of power to keep things more profitable for the elites, and elected leaders are mere puppets
Neither Chomsky nor the book's reviewers saw Propaganda as in any way heroic, of course, as it was mostly a tool useful in promoting acceptance of criminal behavior by a nation a bit too greedy for its own good. And yet this tool was obviously indispensible for Stalin, Hitler, Bush, Reagan, Milosevic, and essentially every U.S. president since the dawn of the 20th century. The globalist, imperialist, neocon wet dreams must be facilitated at all costs! Long live nationalist extremism!
In 1985, President Reagan—with a straight face!—declared a national emergency, renewed annually, because "the policies and the actions of the government of Nicaragua constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States." Translated, this of course means that they wouldn't submit to the U.S. corporatocracy's demands to control Nicaraguan resources and thereby control Nicaragua. There was no threat from Nicaragua and even out-of-touch Reagan knew it. But then Reagan knew when he went into politics that he would end up with words light on clarification but heavy on prevarication. In acting, he'd learned to control his facial expressions, and what is politics if not learning to lie with a straight face?
When Nicaragua fought against U.S. corporatocracy's demands to control Nicaraguan resources, Reagan lied and said they were a threat to our national security!
Later, in 2002, still reeling from 9/11, Chomsky notes that internationally, "public diplomacy . . . failed badly," the international press reported, but "at home it has succeeded brilliantly in linking the war on Iraq with the trauma of September 11. ... nearly 90 percent believe Saddam's regime is aiding and abetting terrorists who are planning future strikes against the US." Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. There was no 9/11-Iraq connection and Bush knew it, but the CIA-controlled propaganda was using the innocence and gullibility of American citizens to conjure a pretext to go to war so the shadow government oligarchs could get even richer than they already were.
Dubya lied and linked the war on Iraq with the trauma of 9/11 using massive propaganda campaigns—white man speak with forked tongue
When Bush and Obama said their wars on terror may go on indefinitely, you can just imagine these fat cats rolling around in huge money bins laughing just like Scrooge McDuck
9/11 terrorist attack
Political analyst Anatol Lieven commented that most Americans had been "duped... by a propaganda programme which for systematic mendacity [lying] has few parallels in peacetime democracies." I.e., they'd been lied into war so the American Empire builders could seize massive amounts of wealth from the American citizens and line their pockets with it handsomely. That is of course the ultimate goal of warmongering—wealth accumulation. But not wealth from the enemy. From the U.S. taxpayer. The public had been scammed, and scared, but the U.S. didn't even raise taxes—it just added it to our national debt after borrowing the money from China!
U.S. citizens had been lied into war so the American Empire builders could seize massive amounts of wealth from the American citizens and line their pockets with it—and they did just that
The only known connection between the Iraq invasion and the threat of terror: that the invasion enhanced the threat, as had been widely predicted. It appears to have been a "huge setback in the 'war on terror' " by sharply increasing Al Qaeda recruitment." Whose side is Bush/Obama on, anyway?
Whose side is the Bush/Obama monster on, anyway?
Within the establishment people are worried that "America's imperial ambition" is a serious threat even to its own people. Their fears increased as Dubya's administration declared itself to be a "revisionist state" that intends to rule the world permanently, becoming a menace to itself and to mankind under the authoritarian control of radical nationalist imperialists of the shadow government, who are aiming for "unilateral world domination through absolute military superiority."
Many others within the mainstream spectrum have been appalled by the adventurism and arrogance of the radical nationalists who have regained the power they wielded through the 1980s under Reagan's international treachery that tried to kill Latin American democracy—or at least self control. Today these neocons operate with fewer external constraints since the USSR is kaputsky. The concerns are not entirely new since in the 1990s there were fears the USA was becoming the rogue superpower—the single greatest external threat to their societies. Robert Jervis, then president of the American Political Science Association, warned that "in the eyes of much of the world, in fact, the prime rogue state today is the United States."
The U.S. military bullies dropping a little 'democracy' on Middle Eastern citizens, demonstrating why in the eyes of much of the world the prime rogue state today is the United States
Several leading figures of the foreign policy elite have pointed out that the potential targets of America's imperial ambition are not likely simply to await destruction. They "know that the United States can be held at bay only by deterrence," Kenneth Waltz has written, and that "weapons of mass destruction are the only means to deter the United States." Without the slightest doubt, the nuclear ambitions of both North Korea and Iran are simply defensive survival reactions—so that what happened to Iraq and many other U.S.-exploited countries in the world would not happen to them. No matter how our mainstream media spun it with propaganda that these were rogue states eager to up their terrorism games, the desire to avoid being a victim of the empire obsessed neocons of our shadow government is not only understandable but wise on their part. Many experts gave voice to these obvious conclusions.
Comparisons are often drawn to Vietnam. The common query "What happened to the tradition of protest and dissent?" makes clear just how effectively the historical record has been cleansed and how little sense there is, in many circles, of the changes in public consciousness since the Vietnam debacle. Bush acts like a mad dog and plans to attack defenseless Iraq and get the whole Mideast—which will get the whole Islamic area of the world furious at the U.S. But the main difference between then and now is that the propaganda was amateurish back then compared to the overwhelmingly thoroughgoing media saturation that happened before Bush started his Iraq War. Back then the evils of communism were stressed so we needed to stop the "dominos from tipping"—i.e., stop the spread of communism.
We never learned how the whole Vietnam thing was just empire building to please elites. But the Chinese and North Vietnamese and Soviets and Cubans and North Koreans and others knew what we were up to even if our own citizens did not. They made sure the U.S. aggressors were stopped by making sure the North Vietnamese had enough weapons, ammunition, and personnel to frustrate the U.S. troops into eventually calling it quits no matter how long it took. In other words, the Vietnamese War was merely a proxy war which the North Vietnamese had no chance of winning against the U.S. But in actual fact, the war was against China, the USSR, Cuba, North Korea, and—oh yes—North Vietnam, a war which the U.S. early on realized they could never win, but they didn't tell the people of the U.S. They just kept flying home body bags.
It was communism against U.S. imperialism poorly disguised as democratization, and all communist nations knew it. Our leaders kept saying they could win it—they had propaganda going out that misled the public about the hopefulness of the war. But then along came the 1968 Tet Offensive—a huge military campaign launched by the North. The Tet Offensive became the turning point in the war, as it persuaded a large segment of the United States population that its government's claims of progress toward winning the war were illusory despite many years of massive U.S. military aid to South Vietnam. The reasons the U.S. leaders kept Americans fighting and dying until 1973 were ugly. They knew they'd lost. But neocon elites think of soldiers as cannon fodder, not people, and generals cared more about their egos and reputations than about their men.
Neocons do not care what happens to our young or to Mideast citizens—they care about their own power and wealth, and see citizens as mere cannon fodder—a means to an end
The media repeated over and over how Iraq was a terrible threat to us and we could expect mushroom clouds over our cities any minute. The idea was to create so much fear that we would lose our ability to think. Conjuring up scary images until our minds went numb got us to stop realizing that there was no evidence whatsoever that Iraq was a threat to us or that they wished us ill or that they even had WMD programs in place much less WMDs themselves. So once the brainwashing was complete and the U.S. was full of scared sheep who supported being safe at all costs—including invading Iraq—the neocons chuckled because they knew they had us where they wanted us. The attack on Iraq commenced forthwith. True, there was large-scale, committed, and principled popular protest before the war had been officially launched, in 2002, but the leaders ignored it and told the press to do the same, so the protesters might as well not have bothered. They were under the delusion they lived in a democracy.
The media repeated over and over the lie that Iraq was a terrible threat to us and we could expect mushroom clouds over our cities any minute, so we attacked out of fear
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
Note that when neocon dictators behind the scenes—a.k.a. the shadow government—wish to make terrible imperialist empire builder decisions for the U.S. they're controlling, they just make sure they control the message so the public stays blind to their treachery. So the CIA censors (they had them in all major papers and TV stations and radio stations) censored all news reports that don't please the shadow government, so reporters have learned to just publish administration press releases and forget about investigative journalism—it will get deleted and you may even get fired. (These are facts, not theories, folks. See Freedom of the Press—an American Delusion.)
THE MEN WHO WOULD BE GODS: They aim to control everything—like Gods
Wait a minute. The constitution guarantees freedom of the press. Yet we haven't had that since 1915. And the basis of democracy is an informed public that makes intelligent decisions because the press reports all sides of an issue and the public decides and then votes accordingly. And yet democracy is now defined by neocons in charge as an informed public (informed only by the mainstream media which was bought and paid for over a century ago) that makes intelligent decisions (that are irrelevant because they no longer have any power to affect their government, and they're also biased decisions because they've heard only one side of the issue—the neocon side) because the press reports all sides of an issue (as long it's not something the neocons care about such as foreign policy in which case only the neocon side is reported) and the public decides and then votes accordingly. The public voting is a farce. Both parties are full of people who know they have to go along to get along so they favor neocon policy, so why would voting for neocon flunky 1 be different from voting for neocon flunky 2? The public gets promised change and then gets the opposite (e.g., Obama) because candidates know that if they don't tow the shadow government line, they won't get elected, and once elected, if they decide to disobey the dictates of those who are actually in charge, they won't live long (e.g., JFK).
There is no functional democracy in the USA—only a corporatocracy
In other words, there is no functional democracy in the USA. See Democracy—an American Delusion. And the Constitution is now defined by the radical nationalist-globalist neoconservative empire builders as anything they want it to be. The Patriot Act nullifies many aspects of the Constitution and our Congress was bullied into passing it by neocon radicals trying to protect themselves from angry citizens who are mad at the loss of rights and freedoms and the loss of democracy. If the ACLU had actual patriots rather than neocon sympathizers in it, or if the Congress or Supreme Court or Justice Department had actual patriots rather than neocon sympathizers in it, things would be different.
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.
The loss of democracy and many of our Constitutional rights could only have been tolerated because of propaganda-supported fear of terrorists. However, ask any citizen of other countries who they fear. They will not say terrorists. They will say the U.S. empire builders. WE are the terrorists in their eyes. We attack countries without cause, foment rebellions and assassinations and bloody coups all so we can control their resources and support our corporatocracy and our oligarchs and our shadow government's perverse overreaching ambitions of world control. See A Game As Old As Empire: The Secret World of Economic Hit Men and the Web of Global Corruption.
Having laid a bit of relevant groundwork by looking at the Vietnam War let's look once more at that ugly, bloody war. The military were losing and looked around for someone to blame. They blamed the press for actually doing what they were supposed to do in an actual democracy—investigative reporting. They wanted them to print shadow government controlled press releases as their "patriotic duty." If it's a dictatorship it is their patriotic duty to print the party line. But if it's a democracy with the indispensible ingredient called an informed public, their duty is to try to find and print the truth. And some did their duty and the informed public, after a few years, went against a stupid, expensive, bloody, divisive war, as they should have. The military blamed the press for the military's own failures. But if you know all the facts (see above), you already know that no amount of weapons or troops or clever strategies could have possibly won that war for us, since it was a proxy war and we were going to be running out of troops and weapons and money long before the combined might of China, the USSR, Cuba, North Korea, and—oh yes—North Vietnam. So it was this informed public that saved tremendous quantities of lives and expenditures and extricated us from a no-win quagmire. Democracy at work, folks.
But these days, like in China and Russia and Cuba and North Korea, the U.S. mainstream media is no longer allowed to report the truth. They print only propaganda about sensitive subjects like foreign policy. So the public hears lies. And how did this happen? The answer is depressingly obvious: The elites learned a critical lesson from their humiliating Vietnam War defeat: Democracy is incompatible with imperialistic neoconservative empire building! So give the sheep the PRETENSE of democracy but keep them in the dark about what the empire is up to. They did not succeed at controlling the message in that war. Walter Cronkite, the most trusted man in America, went there and talked to the grunts and generals and correctly told the public we need to leave there. This made the warmongering military hate him. That could never happen today—it could only happen in a democracy. So, since we have no democracy and there is no truth in the mainstream media and a Cronkite would be silenced in 2016, it shows the neocons did control—and are controlling—the message in U.S. empire building in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Walter Cronkite, the most trusted man in America, the hero who had the guts to tell the truth
Since the ostensible reason for controlling the message and only delivering shadow government approved propaganda is so we stop losing wars like we did in Vietnam, how are the neocon elites handling the fact that both the Iraq War and the Afghan War are disastrous failures and our leaders have so mucked up the entire Mideast situation that the extreme Islamic hatred our empire builders have generated in the region has morphed into the most hateful and degenerate bunch of degenerate psychos the world has ever encountered: ISIS? There is no longer a reason to anti-democractically control the message because the Vietnam War was a brilliant success next to the Iraq War and the Afghan War disasters, the consequences of which turned out to be trillions of times worse than anyone ever imagined possible. And yet the mainstream media continues to lay nothing but propaganda on us. So if it is no longer so that they "win wars" then why do it, since the "win wars" idea has become a moot point?
The answer is to stay positioned to create hegemony where they do not have it and maintain or extend hegemony where they do have it. Always remember that no one ever voluntarily relinquishes power or control. Apparently hegemony, like crack cocaine, is highly addictive.
The U.S. is as addicted to violence as a drug addict is addicted to drugs
How do you take wealth from a rich, powerful oligarch? The same way you take a banana from a 900-pound gorilla—very carefully! As we stated, no one ever relinquishes power!
The neocons intend to create hegemony where they do not have it and maintain or extend hegemony where they do have it—apparently hegemony, like crack cocaine, is highly addictive
President William Howard Taft had presciently observed, "the day is not far distant [when] the whole hemisphere will be ours in fact as, by virtue of our superiority of race, it already is ours morally." Latin Americans may not understand, the Wilson administration added, but that is because "they are naughty children who are exercising all the privileges and rights of grown-ups" and require "a stiff hand, an authoritative hand." Such racist patronization was a kind of portent that hinted at expanding the reach of US power in Latin America, which Reagan did, in ugly and often inhuman ways. Later, Haitians were "little more than primitive savages," according to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who claimed to have rewritten the Haitian Constitution during Wilson's military occupation—so as to permit US corporations to take over Haiti's land and resources after its recalcitrant Parliament had been sent packing by the marines. More hegemony? Or just empire building? Both, is our best answer. And decades of U.S. terrorism against Cuba from 1960s through 1990s was mostly sour grapes and being sore losers after the Bay of Pigs fiasco. Thomas Paterson writes, "Cuba, as symbol and reality, challenged U.S. hegemony in Latin America." International terrorism and economic warfare to bring about regime change are justified not by what Cuba does, but by its "very existence," its "successful defiance" of the proper master of the hemisphere—USA.
Nicaragua was the recipient of some of the worst and longest-lasting terrorism U.S. shadow government criminals could generate—all because of merciless U.S. corporatocracy greed and lust for hegemony. The country's progress during the early 1980s was lauded by the World Bank and other international agencies as "remarkable" and as "laying a solid foundation for longterm socio-economic development" (Inter-American Development Bank). But corrupt U.S. neocons wanted no part of this banana republic getting "progress" unless it was on our terms. So they wrecked their progress because Nicaraguans wanted to control themselves—a nono when neocon greed rules the day.
The world hated U.S. terrorism in Nicaragua. It went to court. The World Court—in 1986—found in Nicaragua's favor, dismissing US government claims and condemning Washington for "unlawful use of force"—international terrorism, in lay terms. The U.S. was ordered to pay reparations. Of course, the U.S. laughed at the court and then insulted it and demeaned it in the Washington Post and The New York Times—a couple of the major bought-and-paid-for propaganda spreaders of the mainstream media. Then it ramped up its terrorism campaign against Nicaragua, Congress immediately approved an additional $100 million to escalate what the court had condemned as the "unlawful use of force." Nicaragua next took its case to the Security Council, which endorsed the court's judgment, but the U.S. vetoed it.
The USA installed the corrupt Shah in Iran in 1953, so they paid us back with the 1979 hostage crisis and reactionary anti-Western radicalism: here the hostages return to USA. Senior Reagan administration officials secretly facilitated the sale of arms to Iran, which was the subject of an arms embargo. They hoped thereby to secure the release of several U.S. hostages and to fund the Contras in Nicaragua.
But the brave Nicaraguns wouldn't capitulate so the CIA-backed Contras started up brutal tactics including torture and assassinations. Senior Reagan administration officials secretly facilitated the sale of arms to Iran, which was the subject of an arms embargo. They hoped thereby to secure the release of several U.S. hostages and to fund the Contras in Nicaragua. Under the Boland Amendment, further funding of the Contras by the government had been prohibited by Congress. This Amendment was due to a widespread opposition among the American public to funding the Contras. The public didn't like Reagan's handling of foreign policy, especially in Central America, and more especially Nicaragua where he was supporting Contras in spite of their terrible human rights record. Reagan had great P.R. experts, but the word on Contra terrorism was leaking up through Central America and Mexico and into the U.S. and getting to the public. (The mainstream media was afraid to report anything but lying press releases from the military elites.)
But Reagan didn't care what the people or Congress thought and his lying to the public about how great the Contras were and how rotten the Sandinistas were was not being swallowed. Daniel Ortega, Sandinista leader, was seen as heroic by millions in the U.S., as he replaced a cruel dictator. Ortega was voted back into office in 2006, in spite of threats from Dubya. And in 1991 Reagan was ranked alongside Nixon as the least popular living ex-president.
The PR spin is that the U.S. military push into space is about missile defense or defense of U.S. space satellites; but the truth is using space to establish military domination over the world below: hegemony gone mad
The National Security Strategy states that no potential challenge to US hegemony will be tolerated. All nations' military planning authorities are surely aware that the US maintains the right of first use of nuclear weapons. Space weapon systems will be "key to our nation's military effectiveness," it states. The US must proceed from "control" of space to "ownership," which is to be permanent, in accord with the National Security Strategy. Ownership of space is to permit "instant engagement anywhere in the world" so that "attacks from space" can be integrated into combat plans.
But—if there was ever a strategy more likely to provoke hostile responses and massive weapons buildups and acquisition of loose nukes from illicit courses, we cannot imagine what that is. All this leaves the world at the mercy of US attack at will, without warning or credible pretext. The schoolyard bully can run around threatening and bullying, relishing the fear he incites, but eventually someone will get so fed up with his tyranny that they club him over the head with a very big stick when he's not looking.
"The PR spin is that the U.S. military push into space is about 'missile defense' or defense of U.S. space satellites. But the volumes of material coming out of the military are concerned mainly with offense—with using space to establish military domination over the world below. 'It's politically sensitive, but it's going to happen. Some people don't want to hear this, and it sure isn't in vogue, but—absolutely—we're going to fight in space,' General Joseph W. Ashy, the former commander-in-chief of the U.S. Space Command told Aviation Week and Space Technology in 1996. 'We're going to fight from space, and we're going to fight into space. That's why the U.S. has development programs in directed energy and hit-to-kill mechanisms. We will engage terrestrial targets someday—ships, airplanes, land targets—from space.'" (Source: Master of Space, by Karl Grossman, The Progressive magazine, January 2000)
"The United States is seeking to 'control space' and from space 'dominate' the Earth below—and 'control' and 'dominate' are words used repeatedly in U.S. military documents. The U.S. military, further, would like to base weapons in space. The new Bush administration is gung-ho for U.S. projection of space military power." (Source: U.S. Military Moves to "Control Space" and be "Enforcement Arm for the Global Economy")
The Ugly American and his perverse lust for hegemony
One very promising development is the slow evolution of a human rights culture among the general population. There's increasing concern for the rights of minorities, women, and future generations, and the latter inspired a powerful environmental movement.
Not for the first time in American history, people doubted the actions of their leaders and acted on their doubts, not just about the environment but also about American imperialism—just because most U.S. citizens drank the Kool-Aid doesn't mean everyone does. The solidarity movements that developed in mainstream America in the 1980s, concerning Central America in particular, broke new ground in the history of imperialism. Significant numbers of people from the empire builder society went to live with the victims of our CIA-sponsored vicious attacks to help them and offer some measure of protection. Says Chomsky, "The international solidarity organizations that evolved from these roots now function very effectively in many parts of the world, arousing fear and anger in repressive states and sometimes exposing participants to serious danger, even death. The global justice movements that have since taken shape, meeting at the World Social Forum annually, are an entirely new and unprecedented phenomenon in character and scale."
Just because most U.S. citizens drank the Kool-Aid of mainstream media propaganda doesn't mean everyone does; the rest of the world saw the lying and hated it
Global justice movements support human rights for the victims of imperialism
"These various developments could prove very important if momentum can be sustained in ways that deepen the emerging global bonds of sympathy and solidarity. It is fair to say, I think, that the future of our endangered species may be determined in no small measure by how these popular forces evolve," he says. The course of history could slide toward the lunatic doctrinal framework of hegemony as it threatens survival but lines oligarchs' pockets, or toward humanistic compassion, wisdom, and win-win coexistence. The MC movement is the only known way in which the latter is predictable. All other paths will find a way to play into shadow government hands. To do nothing is to lie down before the charging tanks of the empire builders.
We are at a fork in the road, one toward the lunatic goal of hegemony at all costs, the other toward a wise, peaceful, happy world via MCs. Choose.
The course of history could slide toward the lunatic doctrinal framework of hegemony as it threatens survival but lines oligarchs' pockets, or toward humanistic compassion
Daily, more people see the lies, the wrongness, the foolishness of the military-industrial complex's plans, the perversity of the neoconservatives' warmongering arrogance, and the rising danger of following fools over the cliff as if we had no more brains than lemmings
One thing is clear. The definition of patriotism is no longer joining in the oppression and exploitation activities of the empire builders because the government press releases distributed through mass media accomplices tell citizens it's a good thing to do. Daily, more people see the lies, the wrongness, the foolishness of the military-industrial complex's plans, the perversity of the neoconservatives' warmongering arrogance, and the rising danger of following fools over the cliff as if we had no more brains than lemmings. Let neocons make that fatal over-the-cliff leap alone if they must. The critical issue here is whether or not we let them convince us to take the U.S. or the world with them.
Let neocons make that fatal over-the-cliff step alone if they must. The critical issue here is whether or not we let them convince us to take the U.S. or the world with them
The rightful definition of Patriotism is: trying to help restore our democracy and defending our beloved country here at home and helping to re-evolve the USA into the democracy our Founders established in 1776. It is NOT about attacking other countries, empire building, tricking smaller countries out of their resources, or conducting coups and lying to the citizens about it. The U.S. in the eyes of the world is the biggest terrorist threat ever. They're all begging us to put leashes on our warmongering leaders. Most of the terrorism in the world that the U.S. didn't do was at least incited by U.S. empire building, and if we stop our leaders from any more of this brainless, shadow-government-conceived insanity, world terrorism will rapidly recede.
Let neocons make that fatal over-the-cliff leap alone if they must—the critical issue here is whether or not we let them convince us to take the U.S. or the world with them