own actions (e.g., helping dismantle the Soviet Union and pressing Russian

"reform"; positively encouraging Slovenian and Croatian exit from Yugoslavia

and the breakup of that state, and without dealing with the problem of

stranded minorities, etc.) is completely unrecognized.

The Times then goes

on to blame terrorism on "religious fanaticism…the anger among those left

behind by globalization," and the "distaste of Western civilization and

cultural values" among the global dispossessed. The blinders and

self-deception in such a statement are truly mind-boggling. As if corporate

globalization, pushed by the U.S. government and its closest allies, with the

help of the World Trade Organization, World Bank and IMF, had not unleashed a

tremendous immiseration process on the Third World, with budget cuts and

import devastation of artisans and small farmers. Many of these hundreds of

millions of losers are quite aware of the role of the United States in this

process. It is the U.S. public who by and large have been kept in the dark.

Vast numbers have

also suffered from U.S. policies of supporting rightwing rule and state

terrorism, in the interest of combating "nationalistic regimes maintained in

large part by appeals to the masses" and threatening to respond to "an

increasing popular demand for immediate improvement in the low living

standards of the masses," as fearfully expressed in a 1954 National Security

Council report, whose contents were never found to be "news fit to print." In

connection with such policies, in the U.S. sphere of influence a dozen

National Security States came into existence in the 1960s and 1970s, and as

Noam Chomsky and I reported back in 1979, of 35 countries using torture on an

administrative basis in the late 1970s, 26 were clients of the United States.

The idea that many of those torture victims and their families, and the

families of the thousands of "disappeared" in Latin America in the 1960s

through the 1980s, may have harbored some ill-feelings toward the United

States remains unthinkable to U.S. commentators.

During the Vietnam

war the United States used its enormous military power to try to install in

South Vietnam a minority government of U.S. choice, with its military

operations based on the knowledge that the people there were the enemy. This

country killed millions and left Vietnam (and the rest of Indochina)

devastated. A Wall Street Journal report in 1997 estimated that perhaps

500,000 children in Vietnam suffer from serious birth defects resulting from

the U.S. use of chemical weapons there. Here again there could be a great many

people with well-grounded hostile feelings toward the United States.

The same is true of

millions in southern Africa, where the United States supported Savimbi in

Angola and carried out a policy of "constructive engagement" with apartheid

South Africa as it carried out a huge cross-border terroristic operation

against the frontline states in the 1970s and 1980s, with enormous casualties.

U.S. support of "our kind of guy" Suharto as he killed and stole at home and

in East Timor, and its long warm relation with Philippine dictator Ferdinand

Marcos, also may have generated a great deal of hostility toward this country

among the numerous victims.

Iranians may remember

that the United States installed the Shah as an amenable dictator in 1953,

trained his secret services in "methods of interrogation," and lauded him as

he ran his regime of torture; and they surely remember that the United States

supported Saddam Hussein all through the 1980s as he carried out his war with

them, and turned a blind eye to his use of chemical weapons against the enemy

state. Their civilian airliner 655 that was destroyed in 1988, killing 290

people, was downed by a U.S. warship engaged in helping Saddam Hussein fight

his war with Iran. Many Iranians may know that the commander of that ship was

given a Legion of Merit award in 1990 for his "outstanding service" (but

readers of the New York Times would not know this as the paper has never

mentioned this high level commendation).

The unbending U.S.

backing for Israel as that country has carried out a long-term policy of

expropriating Palestinian land in a major ethnic cleansing process, has

produced two intifadas– uprisings reflecting the desperation of an oppressed

people. But these uprisings and this fight for elementary rights have had no

constructive consequences because the United States gives the ethnic cleanser

arms, diplomatic protection, and carte blanche as regards policy.

All of these victims

may well have a distaste for "Western civilization and cultural values," but

that is because they recognize that these include the ruthless imposition of a

neoliberal regime that serves Western transnational corporate interests, along

with a willingness to use unlimited force to achieve Western ends. This is

genuine imperialism, sometimes using economic coercion alone, sometimes

supplementing it with violence, but with many millions–perhaps even

billions–of people "unworthy victims." The Times editors do not recognize

this, or at least do not admit it, because they are spokespersons for an

imperialism that is riding high and whose principals are unprepared to change

its policies. This bodes ill for the future. But it is of great importance

right now to stress the fact that imperial terrorism inevitably produces

retail terrorist responses; that the urgent need is the curbing of the causal

force, which is the rampaging empire.

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