Tasks of Empire,
Rounding Up the Bush Gang

excerpted from the book

Robbing Us Blind

The Return of the Bush Gang and the Mugging of America

by Steve Brouwer

Common Courage Press, 2004, paper

President William McKinley explaining to the ladies of Methodist Missionary Society how he decided that the United States should conquer the Philippines in 1900.

I went down on my knees and prayed Almighty God...and one night late it came -) to me this way...there was nothing left for us to do but to take them all...and Christianize them.


George W. Bush, August 5, 2002

There's no telling how many wars it will take to secure freedom in the homeland.

We once had freedom in the United States, before we started calling our nation "The Homeland." Why would anyone want to call our country "The Homeland?" The word does not sit well with democracy because it has an imperial ring to it. In the 20th century, the word was more fitting to the fascist countries that dreamed of expanding outwards into Europe and beyond. It suggests that soldiers and citizens should be able to venture out into the world, acquire the riches of any land they like, wreak vengeance upon those who dare to oppose them, and return home to "The Homeland" where their safety, and the safety and comfort of their loved ones, is guaranteed. Only empires have "homeland" to distinguish their base territory from all the lands they have conquered.

We are now two years into a different century and the Bush Gang has changed the rules. In the 21st century, if they have their way, the United States of America will become something different-the United Empire of America perhaps-an openly aggressive, super-duper power that makes the rest of the world conform to American standards, American culture, and American demands. Long-time anti-imperialist critic Noam Chomsky summed up the situation when he spoke to the World Social Forum in early 2003: "the most powerful state in history has proclaimed, loud and clear, that it intends to rule the world by force, the dimension in which it reigns supreme."

It used to be that only outright anti capitalists spoke about American imperialism and empire, as part of a deep critique of the direction the United States was heading. But in 2002, rather suddenly, one could find arguments in favor of "American Empire" throughout the mainstream media, written by those who are very close associates of the Bush Gang and their vision of the world. The New York Times quoted conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer as saying,

People are now coming out of the closet on the word 'empire.' The fact is, no country has been as dominant culturally, economically, technologically and militarily in the history of the world since the Roman Empire.

The Weekly Standard published "The Case for American Empire," by former editorial features editor at The Wall Street Journal Max Boot.

He wrote: "We are an attractive empire;" and "Afghanistan and other troubled lands today cry out for the sort of enlightened foreign administration once provided by self-confident Englishmen in jodphurs and pith helmets." Robert D. Kaplan, the author of Warrior Politics: Why Leadership Demands a Pagan Ethos, said, "There's a positive side to empire. It's in some ways the most benign form of order.''

Even those who were not enthusiastic supporters of Bush's imperial ambitions were ruminating on the situation. Paul Kennedy of Yale, author of The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, wrote in the Financial Times of London, "From the time the first settlers arrived in Virginia from England and started moving westward, this was an imperial nation, a conquering nation." As Kennedy well knows, the ambitions of the Anglo-Americans did not end with the annihilation of the American Indian nations and the extension of the republic to the edge of the Pacific. The Robber Barons had their imperial urges, which Henry Cabot Lodge described so eloquently in the 1890s, "The great nations are rapidly absorbing for their future expansion all the waste nations of the earth. It is a movement that makes for civilization and the advancement of the race." The aristocratic Lodge did not think the Anglo-Saxon elite could contain their lust for other lands, such as Cuba and the Philippines: "We have a record of conquest, colonization and expansion unequaled by any people in the 19th century," he bragged. "We are not about to be curbed now."

Imperialism requires war. And on this issue, George W. Bush was able to find common ground with Theodore Roosevelt, who on domestic issues was an enemy of the Robber Baron mentality. Roosevelt wrote to a friend one year before the United States embarked upon the Spanish American War and its conquest of Cuba and the Philippines, "I should welcome almost any war, for I think this country needs one."

Theodore Roosevelt, who on domestic issues was an enemy of the Robber Baron mentality. Roosevelt wrote to a friend one year before the United States embarked upon the Spanish American War and its conquest of Cuba and the Philippines, "I should welcome almost any war, for I think this country needs one."

Project for the New American Century

Real freedom in the Middle East is the last thing the Anglo-Americans, now led by the Bush Gang, want to see. It is as unlikely for them to promote democracy and self-determination among the Arab, Iranians, Afghans, and Kurds in 2003 as it would have been for the Spanish government to restore the good fortunes of the indigenous, non-Christian civilizations of the Western hemisphere in 1603. At that historical moment, nearly a century after Spain started looting the gold and silver from the temples and mines of Mexico, Peru, and Bolivia, the conquistadors had not nearly finished the job. Should we expect anything less from the dominant empire of the 21st century when there are still trillions of barrels of "black gold" to be extracted from the earth? And when 65% of those reserves lie beneath Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirate?

The United States, Great Britain, and Israel are extending their control over the Middle East because it benefits all three of them at the expense of the rest of the world. Long before George W. Bush announced his candidacy for president, the Bush Gang was formulating a plan which would harness the right-wing Likudnik lobby, the right-wing segment of the military-industrial complex, and the right-wing Christian lobby to one imperial wagon.

In 1997, a small group of potentially powerful people, just twenty five of them, announced the formation of a new organization dedicated to building up the power of the United States to unparalleled levels. They were clearly looking forward to the presidential election of 2000 and the beginning of a new millennium, because they called their organization "The Project for the New American Century" (PNAC). Among the principal signers of the Statement of Principles were Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, as well as a number of people whom they recruited to join them in the Bush administration, including Cheney's National Security Adviser, I. Lewis Libby, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, former Middle East envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, and new special Middle East envoy Elliot Abrams. A few right-wing Republican politicians, Jeb Bush, Dan Quayle, and Steve Forbes signed on; two influential representatives of the Christian Right, William Bennett and Gary Bauer; and some influential neo-conservative intellectuals and writers, such as Francis Fukuyama, Norman Podhoretz, Midge Decter, and Eliot Cohen. This was a pretty tight group; according to their declaration of principles they were committed:

to accept responsibility for America's unique role in preserving and extending an international order friendly to our security, our prosperity, and our principles [my emphasis].

Intimately connected to those who signed the declaration of principles were other people who had drafted much of the language of the organization and would later make the recommendations of the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) into the foundation of a new, definitive U.S. policy-for example, Richard Perle, Chairman of the Defense Policy Board that reports to the Pentagon; William Kristol of The Weekly Standard; John Bolton, at the State Department as chief arms control negotiator; and Douglas Feith, chief assistant to Rumsfeld. The Project for a New American Century from the beginning saw itself as an agent of bold change, one that could strengthen Israel as well as the United States. Just a year before its founding, in 1996, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was presented with a report that recommended repudiation of the Oslo Accords and the whole idea of "land for peace," and instead called for the seizure of the West Bank and Gaza Strip as well as encouraging an outright invasion of Iraq by the United States. It then suggested the next items that should be on the agenda: toppling the governments of Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Iran. This report, entitled "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm," was co authored by Perle, Feith, and David Wurmser, who now works at the State Department under Bolton. A few days later these ideas, which would later become key policies of both Netanyahu and Sharon, were endorsed by the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal.

In the next few years, John Bolton and others wrote essays for the PNAC and for the neo conservative press that expounded upon these three themes: expanding Israel, taking out Iraq, and subduing the rest of the Middle East in one way or another. By the fall of 2002, advocates of this position were sharing their enthusiasm with the mainstream media. Interviewed in The Boston Globe, Meyrav Wurmser, wife of David Wurmser and director of the Center for Middle East Policy at the ultra-right Hudson Institute, was enthusiastic about the extended effects of the U.S. establishing "democracy" in Iraq: "Everyone will flip out, starting with the Saudis. It will send shock waves throughout the Arab world... After a war with Iraq, then you really shape the region."

This position was bolstered by support from various other neo-conservative allies and the right-wing foundations. Writing in the London Telegraph on the first anniversary of 9/11 was Michael Ledeen, who holds a special position as "freedom analyst" at the American Enterprise Institute. He once worked as a foreign policy propagandist for the Reagan/Bush administration in the 1 980s and formulated much of the misleading anti-Communist rhetoric that led to the Central American wars. Ledeen described a "war of vast dimensions" coming in the Middle East, one that would topple "tyrannies and replace them with freer societies, as was done after the Second World War ....A war on such a scale has hardly been mentioned by commentators and politicians, yet it is implicit in everything President Bush has said and done ... America's enemies will soon be the subject of revolutionary change at its hands."

James Woolsey, the former CIA director under Clinton who later joined the neo-conservative effort at PNAC, seconded Ledeen's arguments at a NATO conference in Prague in November of 2002 and announced that "Iraq can be seen as the first battle of the fourth world war."

Within this context, the program for building up the right wing in Israel and conducting a widespread war to "liberate" Iraq was not an end in itself, but part of an even bigger geo-political transformation, the new role that was being assumed by the United States. In September of 2000, just before the presidential election, the Project for a New American

Century came out with a detailed blueprint for the military and foreign policy of the future Bush administration, a report called "Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategies, Forces And Resources For A New Century" The ninety page report bluntly suggested the direction that the U.S. would end up pursuing a year later after the attacks of September 11, 2001: "The United States has for decades sought to play a more permanent role in Gulf regional security. While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein."

The rest of the document outlined most of the detailed program that Bush presented two years later in the fall of 2002. "The National Security of the United States" was the Bush Gang's plan for nothing less than a total change in the declared foreign policy of the United States. Whereas in the past the U.S. had claimed to be resisting hostile regimes such as the Soviet Union through containment and pledged itself to work within a variety of global organizations and treaties that promoted peace, the new policy was clearly imperial in tone. It stated that the United State would not be constrained by membership in multinational peacekeeping organizations - "we will be prepared to act apart when our interests and unique responsibilities require" - and when necessary would construct "coalitions of the willing" to follow its bidding.

The new National Security Doctrine suggested that the U.S. had the right to discourage others nations from building up their military power and could act "to dissuade potential adversaries from pursuing a military buildup in hopes of surpassing, or equaling, the power of the United States." This included the new explicit policy of "pre-emptive" war whenever the U.S. feels threatened: "America will act against such emerging threats before they are fully formed." What is more, the new American edict told other nations that the conservative economic objectives of the Republican Party were policies that should be implemented throughout the whole world. The list included the following requirements: "pro-growth legal and regulatory policies to encourage business investment, innovation, and entrepreneurial activity; tax policies-particularly lower marginal tax rates-that improve incentives for work and investment... strong financial systems that allow capital to be put to its most efficient use; sound fiscal policies to support business activity... and free trade that provides new avenues for growth and fosters the diffusion of technologies and ideas that increase productivity and opportunity.''

This new foreign policy was the basis for the speech that Bush made to the United Nations in September of 2002. He told them that the United States was ready to go it alone in the world if the U.N. did not join his preemptive war. The U.S. would take any action that it deemed necessary, against Iraq or anyone else. His administration was making preparations to act quickly and decisively by shedding its various multilateral constraints.

Joseph Schumpeter's classic essay, The Sociology of Imperialism

There was no corner of the known world where some interest was not alleged to be in danger or under actual attack. If the interests were not Roman, they were those of Rome's allies: and if Rome had no allies, then allies would be invented... The fight was always invested with an aura of legality. Rome was always being attacked by evil-minded neighbors, always fighting for a breathing space. The whole world was pervaded by a host of enemies, and it was manifestly Rome's duty to guard against their indubitably aggressive designs.

President Dwight Eisenhower saw gathering years ago, the military industrial complex.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

reporter Maggie Burns

"The U.S. Department of Commerce licensed 70 biological exports to Iraq between 1985 and 1989, including at least 21 batches of lethal strains of anthrax, sent by the American Type Culture Collection Shipments."

When Iraq used chemical weapons against the Iranian troops and the Kurds, no one was calling them "weapons of mass destruction." Instead, the United States chose to ignore their use.

William Blum, Z Magazine, 1999

The engine of American foreign policy has been fueled not by a devotion to any kind of morality, but rather by the necessity to serve other imperatives, which can be summarized as follows: making the world safe for American corporations; enhancing the financial statements of defense contractors at home who have contributed generously to members of congress; preventing the rise of any society that might serve as a successful example of an alternative to the capitalist model; extending political and economic hegemony over as wide an area as possible, as befits a "great power."

John Foster Dulles, U.S Secretary of State in the 1950s

"The world ... is divided into two groups of people, the Christian anti-Communists and the others."

Our struggles with Al Qaeda and Iraq have their origins with antagonisms created in large part by U.S. meddling in the world. While we did not force Al Qaeda to attack us, we did create the conditions under which Muslim fundamentalists ran rampant in Central Asia. As the books of Ahmed Rashid so carefully point out, Al Qaeda and the Taliban would never have come into being or gained any terrorist expertise if they had not been trained and funded by the United States, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia. The idea was to use them to unmercifully harass the Soviet Union and provoke a war in Afghanistan in the 1980s. The operation was very successful from the U.S. point of view for it helped lead to the demise of the Soviet Union. The problems arose later when we ignored the terrorist fundamentalists we had created.

The Bush Gang, like the Clinton administration, was annoyed with Al Qaeda's activities, but they had bigger things on their mind, which they had already mapped out in their Project for the New American Century. They wanted to control the natural resources of the world, most especially hydrocarbons, and they wanted to control the Central Asian and Middle Eastern countries surrounding that oil and natural gas. They not only wanted strategic control over the energy products themselves, but they also wanted to set up military bases in various small countries and control energy distribution lines and routes going out to the rest of the world. Thus, by the summer of 2001, the Bush administration was surrounding the Taliban and Al Qaeda, organizing neighboring countries to help coerce Afghanistan into agreeing to oil pipeline deals with American companies, and threatening to invade the country if they did not comply.

All of this helped provoke the devastating attacks on the World Trade Towers and the Pentagon. They constitute a horrific example of "blowback," the word coined by the CIA for the unintentional repercussions of covert operations and subversion practiced by those who are trying to manipulate geopolitical events around the world.

If the Bush Gang remains in power after 2004, they will have the opportunity to renew or intensify destabilization efforts against Cuba and Venezuela; they also may decide that Luis da Silva's democratic, left-leaning government in Brazil needs to be disciplined and brought into line.

Secretary of State Henry Kissinger sputtering, "I don't see why we have to stand by and watch a country go Communist due to the irresponsibility of its own people." The CIA then began working with its friends in the Chilean army on a final solution to Chilean independence, because, as Kissinger said, "the issues are much too important for the Chilean voters to be left to decide for themselves."

... in Venezuela in 2002 - President Chavez was attempting to reorganize the nation's very profitable state-owned oil business in order to bring prosperity, better education, and health care to the majority of the population.

... with the backing of ... American friends, the upper classes of Venezuela tried to stage a coup but failed when the military would not follow a few corrupt senior officers.

Six months later, right-wing business leaders, who controlled all the media in the country, tried another tack. They had their allies, the oil executives, stage a lock-out and shut-down of the entire oil industry, cutting off all exports. Meanwhile the conservative media oligarchy called for daily demonstrations in the wealthy areas of Caracas, the capital city. All day long the TV stations showed middle class demonstrators who were banging loudly on their pots and pans, just like their counterparts in Chile years before. Stories and images of the strike by the rich were carried out to newspapers and television stations all over the world, portraying a whole country in rebellion and in great distress.

In reality, the majority of the population were not affected and went on with daily life in the streets and markets, while the armed forces tried to help load the oil tankers that were scheduled to make deliveries around the world. In Venezuela, the divide between rich and poor was immense, and it mimicked, in one country, the split that exists in the whole world. The twenty percent (or less) of the population that was middle class and rich was predominantly white and Spanish. The eighty percent that struggled to get by on very little were a more brown-skinned mix of indigenous Americans, descendants of African slaves, and poor whites. Their president was the first in Venezuelan history who was brown-skinned himself.

The rich were calling on the U.S. for help, not because they were being abused, but because they did not want to share Venezuela's wealth with their fellow citizens. At Christmas time 2002 the upper-class strike began to fizzle, and some non-rich Venezuelans joked that the wealthy could not sustain their rebellion because they always did their shopping in Miami at that time of year. More significantly, the Organization of American States would not relent to pressure from Washington and condemn President Chavez. Instead they called for the continuation of democratic rule at the same time that the left-leaning President-elect of Brazil, Luis da Silva, conveyed his support to Chavez.

The question remained: was it possible for a democratic government that had resisted the wishes of Washington to survive the standard de-stabilization plan? At the very moment that the Bush Gang was mobilizing its forces to control the oil of the Middle East, its imperial will was being challenged by democratically elected elements in its own backyard. Just as mainstream conservative forces were openly praising the idea of an American Empire and launching the half-baked idea that it would bring democracy and freedom to large parts of the Muslim world and Asia, the United States was being embarrassed by its clumsy attempts to subvert freedom and re-privatize the oil resources of Venezuela.

In his "Fireside Chat" radio program of January 11, 1944, [Franklin] Roosevelt explicitly told the American people they deserved "a second Bill of Rights" which would encompass the economic rights of all citizens to fair employment, good education, adequate medical care, and security in their old age. The new economic rights that Roosevelt listed for his audience sounded pretty substantial:

The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation; the right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation; the right of farmers to raise and sell their products at a return which will give them and their families a decent living; the right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad; the right of every family to a decent home; the right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health; the right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age and sickness and accident and unemployment; and finally, the right to a good education.

"...If such a reaction should develop-if history were to repeat itself and we were to return to the so-called normalcy of the 1920s-then it is certain that even though we shall have conquered our enemies on the battlefields abroad, we shall have yielded to the spirit of Fascism here at home.

John Jay, the president of the first Continental Congress and the first Chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court

"The people who own the country ought to run it."

Hiram Johnson, Republican Senator from California, 1917

"The first casualty when war comes is truth."

Marcy Kaptur, Congresswoman from Ohio, 2002

To win, our party must adopt a reform paradigm. We will never raise more money than the Republicans. Never. We must elevate the non-money | wing of the Democratic Party and create | populist symbols to convey our message.

The basics of a meaningful progressive program are not difficult to lay out:

1) full employment at good wages, with a flexible work week, and a higher minimum wage.
2) quality day care and quality nursing home care for all who need it
3) federally funded health care that serves everyone.
4) good public schools, inexpensive higher education and training programs for all.
5) comprehensive environmental programs that safeguard our health and the natural world.
6) public works spending that restores roads, bridges, and other parts of the nation's infrastructure.

Progressive, Egalitarian Solutions

* Raise taxes on the rich. Re-establish hefty upper-bracket federal income tax rates, even if they are not quite comparable to the 70-90% rates imposed during the prosperous decades of the 1950s and 1960s. The top rate on the richest 1% should be at least 50%, and should yield an effective rate of 40% on all income, including capital gains and dividends.

* Re-establish corporate profit taxes at 50%, the approximate rate of the 1950s.

* Raise the minimum wage to $7.50 or $8.00 per hour. (This only seems high because it has been held down so long. If the minimum wage had increased proportionately to productivity gains since 1979, it would now be about $10 per hour.)

* Do not let Bush get away with abolishing the estate tax on great fortunes. Re-establish and increase the effective amount of estate tax collected on rich inheritances of $5 million and above.

* Institute an annual wealth tax on the biggest American fortunes at a rate of between 1% and 3%.

* Cut military spending on new weaponry by $100 to $200 billion to stay in line with the diminished military budgets of the rest of the world, and immediately begin a staged program of demilitarization, disarmament, and weapons inspections throughout the world.

* Extend Social Security taxation to the highest salaries, and to most forms of investment income. This would keep the overall withholding percentage at the current rate of 12.3%; and it would contribute extra funds for a universal health program.

* Introduce federal Health Security, a universal government health program that will provide health care for all Americans. It will be paid through a combination of revenues, such as progressive income taxes levied on the rich and the corporations and the extended withholding tax. The reduction in administrative costs, overhead, and profit will save at least 12% to 14% of costs (see Chapter 11); this savings can be applied to the care of all 42 million Americans who are not now covered by insurance. A range of fees will be set for hospitals and doctors; many drugs will be purchased at discount rates by state or federal agencies. The government will provide malpractice coverage and set up strict boards of review for medical competency, but doctors will be free to practice alone or in clinical groups as they see fit. All patients will be free to choose their physicians, nurse practitioners, and other professionals. Medical school education will be totally free for all doctors, nurses, and other health workers.

Louis Brandeis, Supreme Court Justice (1916-1939)

We can have a democratic society or we can have great concentrated wealth in the hands of a few. We cannot have both.

Warren Buffett, second richest man in the United States, May 20,2003

Supporters of making dividends tax-free like to paint critics as promoters of class warfare. The fact is, however, that their proposal promotes class welfare. For my class.

Martin Luther King, Jr., April 4, 1967, the day he led the largest anti-war march in U.S. history

Somehow the madness must cease ... a nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.

While the corporate upper class and the Bush Gang were staging their raids on American society for over twenty years, the ultra-conservative turn of U.S. politics eviscerated the Democratic Party. The Republicans continued to control the political agenda even when Clinton was president. And sometimes the Democrats, bereft of ideas and a sense of moral direction, joined the Republicans as willing accomplices of the richest citizens and corporations as they looted the economy. Political commentator and television host Bill Moyers summed up the situation as of March of 2003:

In no small part because they coveted the same corporate money, Democrats practically walked away from the politics of struggle, leaving millions of working people with no one to fight for them. We see the consequences all around us in what a friend of mine calls "a suffocating consensus." Even as poverty spreads, inequality grows, and our quality of life diminishes, Democrats have become the doves of class warfare.

If Arkansas, which looks suspiciously like a center of third world development within the United States, is the economic and political model stuck inside our President's head [Clinton], then we are already in trouble. And if Singapore is the model state for globalizing high-tech development in the eyes of the world's investing class, then we are drifting toward something worse: an illusion of democracy called 'authoritarian democracy'.

Alexis de Tocqueville

A nation that demands from its government nothing but the maintenance of order is already a slave in the bottom of its heart ...

Mark Twain penned his most famous anti-imperialist essay, "To a Person Sitting in Darkness," in response to the war the United States was waging against the Filipinos, who had just won their struggle for independence from Spain. He was also answering the hypocritical presidential platform of the Republicans, who wanted a colony in the Pacific and promised "to confer the blessings of liberty and civilization upon all the rescued peoples." Twain served as vice president of the Anti-Imperialist League, which included such people as philosopher William James, industrialist Andrew Carnegie, and Samuel Gompers of the AFL. The League tried to stop our murderous foreign adventure in the Philippines, where more than 200,000 people were slaughtered in the name of Christianity and American democracy. Twain wrote:

The Person Sitting in Darkness is almost sure to say: "There is something curious about this-curious and unaccountable. There must be two Americas: one that sets the captive free, and one that takes a once-captive's new freedom away from him, and picks a quarrel with him with nothing to found it on; then kills him to get his land.

"Of course, we must not venture to ignore our General MacArthur's reports-oh, why do they keep on printing those embarrassing things? -we must drop them trippingly from the tongue and take the chances

During the last ten months our losses have been 268 killed and 750 wounded; Filipino loss, three thousand two hundred and twenty-seven killed, and 694 wounded.

We must stand ready to grab the Person Sitting in Darkness, for he will swoon away at this confession, saying: "Good God, those 'niggers' spare their wounded, and the Americans massacre theirs!" We must bring him to, and coax him and coddle him, and assure him that the ways of Providence are best, and that it would not become us to find fault with them; and then, to show him that we are only imitators, not originators, we must read the following passage from the letter of an American soldier-lad in the Philippines to his mother, published in Public Opinion, of Decorah, lowa, describing the finish of a victorious battle 'WE NEVER LEFT ONE ALIVE. IF ONE WAS WOUNDED, WE WOULD RUN OUR BAYONETS THROUGH HIM.'

And as for a flag for the Philippine Province, it is easily managed. We can have a special one-our States do it: we can have just our usual flag, with the white stripes painted black and the stars replaced by the skull and cross-bones."

From a certain point of view-that of the artificial person known as the corporation, which only "lives" as long as it maximizes the return on invested capital-it does not look so crazy to employ an enormous military machine in the service of a new empire. The human point of view is something else entirely. Why should other nations of the earth tolerate this? And, even if many of them acquiesce to the Bush Gang's imperial desires, why would the people of the United States want to sustain such a project?

The major media corporations, being part of the multinational corporate web, effectively limit real debate about our choices in foreign and domestic policy. And in anticipation of the war in Iraq, they beat the drums for war almost as effectively as William Randolph Hearst did one hundred years ago. So naturally many people have swallowed the scary nonsense peddled by the Bush Gang in the name of patriotism. Our government wants to keep frightening American parents with constant images of impending terror, while simultaneously training our children to be gendarmes guarding our growing outposts and new colonies. They are told that they can be heroes who will protect American interests and freedom. One option for young citizens, as there are fewer prospects of good employment at home, is to become legionnaires or centurions who venture out into the empire. In so doing they will face the same moral problem that faced American soldiers in the Philippines in 1900 and later in Vietnam. The new centurions may be asked to do many things "for the homeland" that are reprehensible.

Bush said to Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward

"I'm in the Lord's hands.... This will be a monumental struggle between good and evil.''

Robbing Us Blind

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