War Without End
From Cuba to Afghanistan
excerpted from the book
the Roots of Terrorism
edited by Ellen Ray and William
Ocean Press, 2003, paper
Another element driving this unilateralism is a form of religious
fundamentalism endemic to the United States from its earliest
days, the messianic notion that the United States represents God's
chosen people, God's chosen system of government, God's chosen
way of life: triumphalism. In one poll, 46 percent of the people
of the United States-including the president -described themselves
as "evangelical" or "born-again Christians,"
an astonishing figure. Many of them and most of their shepherds,
do not believe we should merely offer our God-given way of life
to the other peoples of the world; we should foist our brand of
democracy upon them whether they like it or not and by military
conquest if necessary, appropriating their resources as God intended.
A world composed of hundreds of U.S. protectorates. A hundred
and fifty years ago, it was the "manifest destiny" of
the United States to take over North America (and to wipe out
its original inhabitants in the process). Today, it is as manifest
that we must take over the world. God has chosen the United States
to cleanse the world and George W. Bush to lead that battle.
Corruption of Covert Actions
by Ramsey Clark, CAQ 1998
... most people cling desperately to the faith that their government
is different and better than others, that it would engage in criminal,
or ignoble, acts only under the greatest provocation, or direst
necessity and then only for a greater good. They do not want information
that suggests otherwise and question the patriotism of anyone
who raises unwanted questions.
... it is primarily from U.S. citizens that the U.S. Government
must keep the true nature and real purpose of so many of its domestic
and foreign acts secret while it manufactures fear and falsehood
to manipulate the U.S. public.
We must challenge controlling power in America that seeks to pacify
the people by bread and circuses and relies on violence, deception
and secrecy to advance its grand plans for the concentration of
wealth and power in the hands of the few.
Tracking Covert Actions into the Future
by Philip Agee, CAQ 1992
Robert Gates, Director of Central Intelligence
... the intelligence community budget...
[is] generally believed to be in excess of $31 billion.
... in February [1992, there was] a 70-page [classified Pentagon
military planning] study projecting U.S. military requirements
over the next 10 years. The report outlined seven possible scenarios
which U.S. forces would have to be prepared to face and, presumably,
would require those $1.5 trillion for the first five years:
* war with Iraq
* war with North Korea
* simultaneous wars with both Iraq and
* a war to defend a Baltic state from
a resurgent and expansionist Russia
* war to defend the lives of U.S. citizens
threatened by instability in the Philippines
* war to defend the Panamanian Government
and the canal against "narcoterrorists"
* the emergence of an anti-U.S. global
"adversarial rival" or an "aggressive expansionist
The following month the New York Times
published excerpts from another classified Pentagon document revealing
the latest military policy to which the war scenarios were linked.
This 46-page document, known formally as "Defense Planning
Guidance-1994-99" was, according to the Times, the product
of deliberations among President Bush, the National Security Council
and the Pentagon. Its importance in prolonging U.S. militarism
and the war economy into the 21st century could equal NSC-68's
role in beginning the Cold War arms race in 1950.4
The goal of world hegemony expressed in
the 1992 document should be as alarming to current U.S. friends
such as Japan and NATO allies as to adversaries. "Our strategy
must now refocus on precluding the emergence ~ of any future global
competitor... Our first objective is to prevent the ) emergence
of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union
Notably lacking was any mention of collective
settlement of disputes through the United Nations, although future
multilateral actions through coalitions, as in the Gulf War, were
not ruled out. And in order to prevent acquisition of nuclear
weapons by potential adversaries, the United States asserted the
need to be ready for unilateral military action.
As for Washington's friends, both Japan
and Western Europe would be locked into security arrangements
dominated by the United States. Without mentioning countries,
the United States "must account sufficiently for the interests
of the advanced industrial nations to discourage them from challenging
our leadership or seeking to overturn the established political
and economic order... [W]e must maintain the mechanisms for deterring
potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional
or global role."
The document went on to suggest how to
prevent Europe, with Germany in the lead, from becoming an independent
regional arbiter in its own territory. "Therefore it is of
fundamental importance to preserve NATO as the primary channel
for U.S. influence... We seek to prevent the emergence of European-only
security arrangements which would undermine NATO, particularly
the alliance's integrated command structure... a substantial U.S.
presence in Europe is vital..."
To keep Russia from resurging, expanding and again rivaling the
United States-like the sci-fi "blob" -that country must
remain hopelessly indebted and dependent on imports of basic necessities.
Aid must be calibrated to keep Russia stable without allowing
the economy to "take off" on its own steam. For these
purposes the usual instruments will suffice: the International
Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the General Agreement on Tariffs
and Trade. Russia's military industries must be dismantled or
converted to alternative production and the country locked into
security arrangements, perhaps eventually in NATO. Western experts,
especially from the United States, must penetrate its economic
and political decisionmaking and its most advanced research in
science and technology. No one political party should become dominant
and, where possible, Western parties should establish close working
relations with Russian parties. Ultranationalists must be discredited
and shackled along with unreconstructed remnants of the old regime.
The media should be filled with Western and Western-style programming,
including consumerism, infotainment for news and healthy doses
of anticommunist and pro-free market propaganda. The same would
hold for the other countries of the former Soviet Union.
The whole area is like Germany and Italy
after World War II, wide open for a double whammy from the CIA
and its new sidekick, the National Endowment for Democracy-and
all the Western "private" organizations they use. As
with European fascists and the scant de-nazification that occurred,
the new Russia can be built on communists-turned-liberals or social
democrats, or even, why not, conservatives and Christian Democrats.
As after World War II, the usual suspects can be targeted, neutralized,
or co-opted: political parties, military and security services,
trade unions, women's organizations, youth and students, business,
professional and cultural societies and, probably most important,
NATO and Beyond
by Ellen Ray and William H. Schaap
The United States has employed biological weapons for 200 years,
from smallpox in the blankets of Native Americans to spreading
plagues in Cuba; from chemical weapons like mustard gas to cripple
and kill in World War I to Agent Orange to defoliate Vietnam-and
to create a generation of deformed children. It is the only nation
that has dropped nuclear bombs and one that now makes, uses, and
sells depleted uranium weapons.
Evangelicals for Nuclear War
by Larry Jones
The "end of the world" has been an element of Christian
mythology since before Christ's death. Most contemporary mainline
churches in the United States and elsewhere have long since moderated
this heavenly expectation, concentrating instead on the daily
lives of believers. But the "end time" idea has retained
all its fascination and power in a variety of U.S. Protestant
churches, primarily evangelical and fundamentalist in outlook.
In the "Scopes Monkey Trial" of 1925 fundamentalism
was made a national laughingstock by defense counsel Clarence
Darrow's eloquence and Baltimore Sun reporter H.L. Mencken's whiplash
By 1980, fundamentalist evangelicalism
had made a stunning cultural comeback. The Moral Majority's claims
about its contribution to the Reagan-Bush presidential victory
were overblown but based on demographic facts. Once in office,
Reagan himself spoke casually of nuclear Armageddon as possible
because "it's in the Bible..." The close of the second
millennium, or 1,000 years, since the first coming is certain
to provoke an outpouring of end time expectation for the second
coming of Christ. The reactions engendered by the Gulf War may
offer a prelude of things to come.
Member organizations of the NRB [National Religious Broadcasters]
control 90 percent of all religious broadcasting in the United
States, and some 80 percent of religious broadcasting worldwide.
Evangelical apocalyptic literature after World War II has shown
a casual disregard for the world. The earth is viewed as disposable,
its destruction imminent. Apocalyptic writers seem to relish wars
and environmental catastrophies as signs from God. Such a hostile
attitude toward the world has clearly had political consequences.
Following the agenda of U.S. political elites, this hostility
has usually focused on one or two, or even a list, of official
enemies. Communism, as a vast international (and supernatural)
conspiracy, has served as the chief enemy of God in the post-war
The typical apocalyptic scenario often
includes a nuclear war, triggered by a crisis in the Middle East.
Nuclear war becomes the mechanism for resolving the conflict (between
the believer and the world) at the heart of this end-time drama.
It is also a possible mechanism for fulfilling prophecies of world
destruction in the Apocalypse of John. Looked at this way, evangelical
ideology can be understood as a religious response to nuclear
weapons. As in the title of Jerry Falwell's 1983 tape set and
pamphlet, Nuclear War and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, the
two events had become, Falwell wrote, "intimately intertwined."
For Swaggart, prophecies of the apocalypse were also difficult
to distinguish from contemporary politics. One of Swaggart's end
of the world pamphlets was entitled When God Fights Russia.
For believers, even the terrifying cloud
of nuclear destruction has a silver lining: the Second Coming
of Christ and the Millennial Kingdom. Belief in the rapture provides
a magical escape from nuclear war, the cleansing fire needed to
free the neighborhood of unrepentant backsliders, sinners and
unbelievers. Popular dispensationalism thus retained its 19th
century structure but took on a new, distinctly sinister emotional
content after the World War II.
Evangelical apocalyptic ideology embraces
nuclear weapons as a potential source of salvation. Any guilt
or remorse from U.S. use of nuclear weapons was projected on to
the enemy (the evil Japanese Empire, "Communism," and
in 1991 "Babylon"). Nuclear weapons were seen as a reasonable
response to the satanic intentions of official enemies. Demonization
justified the construction of huge nuclear arsenals. Huge arsenals
made war seem inevitable. And the looming threat of war counted
as yet another sign of the End Times.
Evangelicalism and fundamentalism constitute the fastest growing
segment of the U.S. religious community and have for some time.
The ideology they promote, while limited in its appeal, vigorously
disseminates one of the most virulent and implacable strains of
U.S. militarism and xenophobia. Their "biblical" messages
have injected an element of extreme irrationality into U.S. political
discourse and it would be shortsighted to discount the utility
of these messages for those who are wielding real power.
Introduction by Ellen Ray and William H. Schaap
The United States is the only country in the world where the terrorist
attacks on September 11, 2001 are not viewed as a consequence
of U.S. policy.
Power and the Semantics of Terrorism
by Edward S. Herman
... the powerful define terrorism and the Western media loyally
follows the agenda of their own leaders. The powerful naturally
define terrorism to exclude their own acts and those of their
friends and clients.
In Western terrorism semantics, a state whose agents cross a border
to kill is not I engaging in "international terrorism,"
nor is aiding a state that employs systematic violence supporting
international terrorism. Thus, if the United States aids Pinochet
and Botha, this is not supporting international terrorism. On
the other hand, aid to the ANC, or any other group opposing government
is automatically aid to international terrorists. This is enormously
helpful to Botha, Pinochet and Reagan. On this system of definitions,
also, aid by Nicaragua to the rebels of E1 Salvador makes the
rebels international terrorists and the Nicaraguan Government
a "terrorist state." Attacks on both are "counterterrorism."
On the other hand, U.S. aid to the Salvadoran Government is exempt
from any such labeling, even though it was massive killing by
the U.S.-sponsored regimes in E1 Salvador that literally forced
a guerrilla movement into existence in the early 1980s. As the
West is generally trying to bolster up existing regimes against
threats from below, a definitional system that renders all rebels
and liberation movements terrorists by virtue of receiving aid,
while not doing the same for aid to a government they are trying
to unseat, is extremely convenient.
A problem arises, of course, where the
West itself supports rebel movements and alleged "freedom
fighters," as in the case of the Nicaraguan Contras and Savimbi
in Angola. If the United States organizes and supports the Contras
and South Africa (and the United States) do the same for Savimbi
in Angola, strict adherence to the West's own skewed definition
makes the United States and South Africa "terrorist states."
How is this handled? The answer is, once again, power defines
terrorism: what ~e and our allies do cannot be terrorism.
Cuban Exile Terrorists on Rampage
CAQ editorial 1979
Throughout the 1960s and well into the 1970s, this Cuban exiIe
network worked for the CIA and its associates not only in innumerable
raids against Cuba, most notably the Bay of Pigs fiasco, but as
mercenaries in the Congo and in Vietnam, as the foot soldiers
of Watergate and as hired guns for the DINA of Chile and other
such secret services-all of them at one time or another creations
and pawns of the CIA.
But even the CIA and the FBI are beginning
to realize that they have created a Frankenstein monster. The
U.S. Government, quick to condemn terrorism abroad, is hosting
one of the most vicious terrorist organizations on earth. The
foot soldiers are dangerous, professional criminals, hit men and
drug dealers. They threaten not only Cuba, which is in fact quite
secure, but also the vast majority of the Cuban community in the
United States, who want no part of them, as well as U.S. and foreign
citizens who may have business with Cuba.
From the early 1960s these terrorists
perfected their skills under Agency tutelage-the use and handling
of explosives, demolition and bomb construction, and, through
the Agency's and their own Mafia connections, the arts of kidnapping
and assassination. They have assassinated diplomats in Washington,
Argentina, Italy and elsewhere. They have blown a Cubana airliner
out of the skies in Barbados, killing everyone aboard. And in
recent months they have launched a frontal attack against any
contact with Cuba. They have bombed the Cuban United Nations Mission
in New York and the Cuban Interests Section in Washington; they
have bombed travel agencies for the same reason; they have bombed
newspapers for sympathetic statements about Cuba ...
The authorities have not moved against this network, even though
more and more is known about them. Their line has become more
public-and more frenzied-with the commencement late last year
of a dialogue between the Cuban exile community and the government
of Cuba. Despite the condemnation of this dialogue by the terrorists,
it has resulted in the release of more than 3,000 prisoners, the
granting of exit visas to all of them and many others and blanket
permission to Cubans outside the country to return to visit their
relatives. The terrorists have been brutal; at a rally recently
in Miami, one of the leaders of the Bay of Pigs Veterans openly
threatened thousands of people in the audience. "We're not
going to kill you people who visit Cuba, he said, "we're
just going to make life painful for you."
In a recent article in New York Magazine,
free-lance investigative reporter Jeff Stein has taken a close
look at the terrorists, particularly the northern New Jersey community.
On a side street in Union City, New Jersey, is found the public
headquarters of the Cuban Nationalist Movement, a group with such
illustrious alumni as Guillermo Novo Sampol, who, in 1964 fired
a bazooka from Queens, New York, across the East River to the
United Nations and through a window when Che Guevara was visiting.
Members of the organization have been linked to major drug dealing
and to almost all unsolved Cuban terrorist actions over the past
several years. Although credit for most of those actions has been
claimed by two groups, Omega 7 and Commando Zero, authorities
are quite certain that both are merely different names for the
Cuban Nationalist Movement.
At the Sixth Summit of Non-Aligned Nations, Fidel Castro said:
"It is all too well known, and has been admitted officially
in the United States, that the authorities of that country spent
years organizing and methodically plotting to assassinate the
leaders of the Cuban Revolution, using the most sophisticated
means of conspiracy and crime. In spite of the fact that these
deeds were investigated and publicized by the U.S. Senate, the
U.S. government has not deigned to give any kind of apology for
those vituperative and uncivilized actions."
New Spate of Terrorism: Key Leaders Unleashed
by William H. Schaap
For years, the rhetoric of the Western press has confused the
public's image of terrorism. Virtually all progressive revolutionaries
are referred to as "terrorists," while right-wing reactionaries
are usually called "freedom fighters" or ''rebels."
Historically, when terrorism has applied to liberation struggles-notably
the Irish Revolution of 1916-21 and the Algerian Revolution of
1957-61-it has been in the context of a colonized people fighting
the colonial settlers and occupiers.
In recent times, however, nearly all the
terrorism in the world has been coming from the right, from some
of the most reactionary forces in existence. Yet the effect of
decades of linguistic manipulation has been to create the impression
that terrorism is a weapon of the left and to obscure the real
role that terrorism plays in rightist political movements.
... during this time and continuing to the present, the most visible,
the most vocal, the most active terrorists in the United States
have been a small group of Cuban exiles, based primarily in southern
Florida and in New Jersey, operating under several names and generally
well known to local authorities. This group originally was dedicated
to the overthrow of the Cuban Government and concentrated its
efforts in hundreds of attacks against Cuba and Cuban-related
offices and personnel around the world. They were all involved
in the Bay of Pigs fiasco. They were all trained, supplied and
encouraged by the CIA.
During the 1960s, most of the group's
efforts were directly related to their unending war against Cuba,
but during the 1970s they expanded their horizons. In the words
of investigative journalist Joe Trento of the Wilmington News-Journal,
"they contracted themselves out as a hit team to provide
at least two intelligence services with an assassination capability."
Trento is referring to Chile's DINA and South Africa's BOSS. The
group, centered around Orlando Bosch, is implicated in the killing
of exiled Chilean General Carlos Prats and his wife in 1974; the
attempted assassination of exiled Chilean politician Bernardo
Leighton and his wife in 1975; the murder of Orlando Letelier
and Ronni Moffitt in 1976; and the murder of South African economist
Robert Smit and his wife in 1977.
What is most amazing about this avalanche of terrorism is that
the U.S. authorities, local, state and federal, have done virtually
nothing to stop it. The conviction of the Letelier hit men was
virtually the only retribution and that has been overturned. A
Cuban activist living in Boston was recently quoted by In These
Times: "The [U.S.] government allows the right-wing Cubans
to operate with impunity. That's a fact. The government organized
them, trained them and armed them years ago. Now the government
has the responsibility to disarm them."
Editorial on NSDD 138
The most widespread state terrorism in the world today is that
of the United States' client regimes against their own people
and their neighbors. In El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras the
populations of those countries and of Nicaragua are being tortured
and killed by the thousands with U.S.-made weapons in the hands
of U.S.-trained military and paramilitary personnel. In many cases,
as we are slowly discovering, the personnel are | North American
Pentagon Moves on Terrorism
by Ellen Ray and William H. Schaap
1980 report, the CIA defined terrorism as
"the threat or use of violence for
political purposes by individuals or groups, whether acting for,
or in opposition to, established governmental authority, when
such actions are intended to shock or intimidate a target group
wider than the . immediate victims."
international law professor Alfred P. Rubin in a letter to the
editor of the New York Times [July 11, 1984] said it would be
clearer to define terrorism as:
"acts committed in time of peace
that, if committed by a soldier in time of war, would be war crimes."
Chicago Sun-Times columnist Carl T. Rowan (April 30, 1984)
"In the eyes of officials and citizens
of a given country, a 'terrorist' is someone who is killing friends,
but the murderer of political enemies is labeled a 'rebel' or
a 'freedom fighter."
... right-wing ideologues ... speak of terrorism as if it is identical
with leftist guerrilla warfare and liberation movements in general.
In reality, however, the two most significant types of terrorism-state
terrorism and mercenary terrorism-are in the vast majority of
instances supported, or at least condoned, by the U.S. Government.
State terrorism-government by the imposition
of terrorism upon its own people-is the norm for many present
and past U.S. allies, although their excesses are excused as merely
"moderately authoritarian" by Reagan Administration
officials. Chile under Pinochet, Haiti under the Duvaliers, Paraguay
under Stroessner and Guatemala, Uruguay and E1 Salvador under
all of their recent regimes are the most obvious examples in our
hemisphere. It is also the rule in South Korea, Zaire, the Philippines,
South Africa (with respect to the nonwhite majority), Turkey and
Mercenary terrorism is a less obvious
phenomenon, but one which bears the U.S. stamp. "Soldiers
of fortune" everywhere commit atrocities against populations
struggling to liberate themselves from the yoke of imperialism.
Libya in U.S. Demonology
by Noam Chomsky
The term "terrorism" came into use at the end of the
18th century, primarily to designate violent acts of governments
intended to ensure popular submission. That concept, plainly,
is of little benefit to the practitioners of state terrorism,
who, holding power, are in a position to control the system of
thought and expression. The original sense has therefore been
abandoned and the term "terrorism" has come to be applied
mainly to retail terrorism by individuals or groups. Whereas the
term was once applied to Emperors who molest their own subjects
and the world, now it is restricted to thieves who molest the