Brief Excerpts and Quotations
from the book
How our covert wars have
across the Middle East and brought terror to America.
by Mark Zepezauer
Common Courage Press, 2003,
George Kennan-a respected diplomat in charge of long-term planning
for the State Department, in his book:
"We [Americans] have 50% of the world's
wealth but only 6.3% of the population. This disparity is particularly
great between ourselves and the peoples of Asia. In this situation,
we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real
task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships
which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity without
positive detriment to our national security. To do so we will
have to dispense with all sentimentality and daydreaming... We
should cease to talk about vague, and for the Far East, unreal
objectives, such as human rights, the raising of living standards,
and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going
to have to deal in straight power concepts..."
And that's exactly what we did. We devised
a "pattern of relationships" throughout the Arab and
Muslim world which was designed to maintain our wealth and disparity-
chiefly through the control of one particular commodity: oil.
Our number one priority in dealing with these states was not democracy
or human rights, and certainly not the living standards of the
inhabitants. It was to make sure that U.S. firms and U.S. client
states controlled the bulk of the planet's oil supply. States
that don't have oil, such as Turkey, Israel and Egypt, are useful
to us primarily for helping to keep in line those that do.
Paul Wolfowitz (then, as now, Undersecretary of Defense) under
the supervision of then-Defense Secretary Dick Cheney, spelled
out the direction of our foreign policy in 1992, following the
dissolution of the Soviet Union.
At that point, according to Wolfowitz,
our real task was to "establish and protect a new order"
which would account "sufficiently for the interests of the
advanced industrial nations to discourage them from challenging
our leadership," while spending enough on our military to
be capable of "deterring potential competitors from even
aspiring to a larger regional or global role." And, of course,
"in the Middle East and Southwest Asia, our overall objective
is to remain the predominant outside power in the region and preserve
U.S. and Western access to the region's oil."
We've studiously looked the other way while our clients commit
appalling human rights abuses. We've helped the Israelis to keep
down the Palestinians, the Turks to oppress the Kurds, the Saudi
royal family to keep slaves and live in opulent palaces. We've
sent our own troops into Lebanon, Iraq, and Afghanistan, killing
some of the enemies we've made, and anyone else who gets in the
way. And we've kept the people of Iraq under punishing sanctions
for over a decade, contributing to the deaths of more than a million
people who never did a thing to harm us.
If we stay on the path of disregarding human rights and the living
standards of others-in order to maintain our own disparity of
wealth-our children and grandchildren may well pay the price.
By 1976, Amnesty International announced that Iran had the worst
human rights record on Earth ... The secret police, SAVAK, trained
by Israel and supplied by the U.S., were infamous for th use of
torture and assassination.
Former President Jimmy Carter stated in 1999 that
"the people in Sudan want to resolve
the conflict. The biggest obstacle is U.S. government policy.
The U.S. is committed to overthrowing the government in Khartoum.
Any sort of peace effort is aborted, basically by the policies
of the United States. Instead of working for peace in Sudan, the
U.S. government has basically promoted a continuation of the war."
Vice President Dick Cheney
"The good Lord didn't see fit to
put oil and gas only where there are democratically elected regimes
friendly to the United States."
And so the war in the Sudan continues. Nearly two million have
been killed in the last round alone (since 1983), including one
out of every five residents of the south. There are four million
refugees displaced internally, with another half million in neighboring
Since 1984, Turkey has killed some 30,000 Kurds, scattered some
2 million refugees, and depopulated more than 3000 villages. Turkish
forces have used napalm, poison gas and other chemical weapons
against the Kurds-and 80% of the weapons have come from the U.S.
A program of assassinations has been carried out against Kurdish
journalists, intellectuals and politicians, and thousands more
have been imprisoned.
A 1979 State Department memo strips away any pretense of being
a force for freedom in the region: "The United States' larger
interest would be served by the demise of the Taraki Amin regime,
despite whatever setbacks this might mean for future social and
economic reforms in Afghanistan.
Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski saw the fury of the Islamic rebels
as "an opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam War."
Brzezinski advised President Carter that the new Afghan regime
was part of the Soviet plan to dominate South Asia. This despite
the fact that the State Department had found no Soviet complicity
in the 1978 coup, and that the Russians were, in fact, advising
Taraki to slow down the pace of reforms in the interest of stability.
Nonetheless, Brzezinski advised Carter to authorize aid to the
mujahedin, noting, correctly as it turned out, that "this
aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention."
Brzezinski is unrepentant and crystal
clear about U.S. priorities. "Regret what?" he asked
an interviewer years later. "That secret operation was an
excellent idea. It had the I effect of drawing the Russians into
the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it?''
War is God's way of teaching geography