Full Spectrum Dominance
It is not often that the empire is put in the position of one its victims, in fear of the military and technical prowess of another country, forced to talk of peace and cooperation, just as Iraq and others, hoping to put off an American attack, were forced to do over the years; just as Iran now. No, China is not about to attack the United States, but the Chinese shootdown of a satellite (an old weather satellite of theirs) in space on January 11, has made a US attack on China much more dangerous and much less likely; it’s made the empire’s leaders realize that they don’t have total power to make any and all other nations do their bidding.
Here’s how the gentlemen of the Pentagon have sounded in the recent past on the subject of space.
“We will engage terrestrial targets someday — ships, airplanes, land targets — from space. … We’re going to fight in space. We’re going to fight from space and we’re going to fight into space.” — General Joseph Ashy, Commander-in-Chief of the
“With regard to space dominance, we have it, we like it, and we’re going to keep it.” — Keith R. Hall, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Space and Director of the National Reconnaissance Office, 1997
“US Space Command — dominating the space dimension of military operations to protect US interests and investment. Integrating Space Forces into warfighting capabilities across the full spectrum of conflict. … During the early portion of the 21st century, space power will also evolve into a separate and equal medium of warfare. … The emerging synergy of space superiority with land, sea, and air superiority will lead to Full Spectrum Dominance. … Development of ballistic missile defenses using space systems and planning for precision strikes from space offers a counter to the worldwide proliferation of WMD [weapons of mass destruction]. … Space is a region with increasing commercial, civil, international, and military interests and investments. The threat to these vital systems is also increasing. … Control of Space is the ability to assure access to space, freedom of operations within the space medium, and an ability to deny others the use of space, if required.” — “
“Space represents a fundamentally new and better way to apply military force” — U.S. Strategic Command, 2004
And now along comes
A reporter asked: “Has the
Yes, said Casey, in 1985. But that was different because “there was a Cold War that was being engaged in between the
Cong. Terry Everett, senior Republican on the House armed services subcommittee on strategic forces, said
Even prior to the Chinese test, the Washington Post pointed out: “For a
Tom Casey, the State Department spokesperson, tried his best to give the impression that the United States has no idea why China would do such a thing — “We would like to see and understand and know more about what they’re really trying to accomplish here.” … “exactly what their intentions are” … “questions that arise about what Chinese intentions are” … “not only the nature of what they’ve done, but the purpose and intent”
“But what did anyone expect?” asks Lawrence Martin, columnist for The Globe and Mail of Canada. “For several years,
The ideology of the ruling class in any society is one that tries to depict the existing social order as “natural”.
In 1972 I traveled by land from
There’s the classic Latin American story of the servant of a family of the oligarchy. He bought steak for his patrÃ³n’s dog, but his own family ate scraps. He took the dog to the vet, but couldn’t take his own children to a doctor. And complained not. In
In the 1980s, in
Over canapes served by hovering waiters at a party, a guest said she was convinced that God had created two distinct classes of people: the rich and people to serve them. She described herself as charitable for allowing the poor to work as her servants. “It’s the best you can do,” she said. The woman’s outspokenness was unusual, but her attitude is shared by a large segment of the Salvadoran upper class.
The separation between classes is so rigid that even small expressions of kindness across the divide are viewed with suspicion. When an American, visiting an ice cream store, remarked that he was shopping for a birthday party for his maid’s child, other store patrons immediately stopped talking and began staring at the American. Finally, an astonished woman in the check-out line spoke out. “You must be kidding,” she said.
The same polarization is taking place now in
I wonder what such people think of George “I am the decider” Bush and his repeated use of “signing statements”, which effectively means a law is what he says it is, no more, no less; his Patriot Act, and his various assaults on the principle of habeas corpus, to name but a few of the scary practices of his authoritarian rule.
Chuck Kaufman, National Co-Coordinator of the Washington-based Nicaragua Network, was part of a group which visited
I admire Hugo ChÃ¡vez and what he’s trying to do in
Liberalism’s best and brightest
A report in the Washington Post, headlined “Soldier’s Death Strengthens Senators’ Antiwar Resolve”, informs us that Senators Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) and John Kerry (D-Mass.) have been rather upset upon learning of the death in Iraq of an Army Captain whom they met on a visit to the country in December, and who made a strong impression upon them. Dodd has been “radicalized”, the story says, and Kerry has been “energized” in his opposition to the war.
Why, it must be asked, does it take the death of someone they met by chance to fire up their anti-war sentiments? Many millions of Americans, and many millions more around the world, have protested the war vehemently and passionately without having met any of the war’s victims. What do these protestors have inside of them that so many members of Congress seem to lack?
“This was the kind of person you don’t forget,” said Dodd. “You mention the number dead, 3,000, the 22,000 wounded, and you almost see the eyes glaze over. But you talk about an individual like this, who was doing his job, a hell of a job, but was also willing to talk about what was wrong, it’s a way to really bring it to life, to connect.”
Dear reader, is it the same for you? Do your eyes glaze over when you read or hear about the dead and wounded of
Neither senator has apparently been “energized” enough to call for the immediate withdrawal of American forces from
This gap — emotionally and intellectually — between members of Congress and normal human beings has been with us for ages of course. The anti-Vietnam War movement burst out of the starting gate back in August 1964, with hundreds of people demonstrating in
In the land where happiness is guaranteed in the Declaration of
“Think raising the minimum wage is a good idea?”
That was the message of a full-page advertisement that appeared in major newspapers in January. It was accompanied by statements of approval from the usual eminent suspects:
“The reason I object to the minimum wage is I think it destroys jobs, and I think the evidence on that, in my judgment, is overwhelming.” Alan Greenspan, former Federal Reserve Chairman
“The high rate of unemployment among teenagers, and especially black teenagers, is both a scandal and a serious source of social unrest. Yet it is largely a result of minimum wage laws.” Milton Friedman, Nobel Prize-winning economist
Well, if raising the minimum wage can produce such negative consequences, then surely it is clear what we as an enlightened and humane people must do. We must lower the minimum wage. And thus enjoy less unemployment, less social unrest. Indeed, if we lower the minimum wage to zero, particularly for poor blacks … think of it! … No unemployment at all! Hardly any social unrest! In fact — dare I say it? — What if we did away with wages altogether?
“The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy: that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.” John Kenneth Galbraith
Some little-known items from my old files
Edward R. Murrow is of course a much-honored newsman and “legendary broadcaster”. There’s the annual Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Public Diplomacy, with nominations made by the State Department, and there’s the recent acclaimed film about Murrow, “Good Night, and Good Luck”, amongst many other tributes. In 1960, CBS aired “Harvest of Shame”, a documentary made by Murrow, which was lauded for exposing the terrible abuses endured by migratory farm workers in the
One could wax cynical about Jimmy Carter as well; for example, while in the White House he tried hard to sabotage the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua; even worse, Carter supported the Islamic opposition to the leftist Afghanistan government in 1979, which led to a decade of very bloody civil war, the Taliban, and anti-American terrorism in the United States and elsewhere. However, I think that overall Carter was closer to a decent human being than any post-World War Two president. In 1978 he invited 1960s anti-war activist and leader of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), Tom Hayden, to the White House. (Think George W inviting Michael Moore.) As recounted by Hayden, in their private conversation he said to Carter: “You are the elected President of the
“After looking pensively out the Oval Office window, President Carter nodded and said, ‘I believe that’s right. I’ve learned that these last 12 months’.”
 “Aviation Week and Space Technology” (
 Speaking to the National Space Club (Washington, DC), September 15, 1997
 Excerpts are in the same sequence as found in the August 1997 brochure beginning on page 1.
 March 2004, www.stratcom.mil/fact_sheets/fact_sm.html. In 2002, the U.S. Space Command was merged with the U.S. Strategic Command.
 State Department Press Briefing, January 19, 2007, www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2007/79056.htm
 Associated Press, January 19, 2007
 Washington Post, December 17, 2006; p.12
 See note 5
 January 25, 2007 p.A19
 New York Times, October 7, 1990, p.10
 For the full report of October 28, 2006, see www.vensolidarity.org
 Washington Post, January 30, 2007, p.3
 To see the advertisement — www.MinimumWage.org
 Fred Kaplan, “The Wizards of Armageddon” (1983), p.246
William Blum is the author of:
Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War 2
Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower
West-Bloc Dissident: A Cold War Memoir
Freeing the World to Death: Essays on the American Empire
Portions of the books can be read, and copies purchased, at