NOTE: Due to the time it took to write this article, some information is outdated, or later found not to be correct. I tried to include fixes wherever possible, but something might have slipped due to the volume of data.
United States are currently busy promoting “democracy and free (unregulated) market” all over the world, despite the fact that two are mutually exclusive. Ways they are doing it are obviously undemocratic, and sometimes violent. It is equally obvious that modern-day US foreign policy is driven primarly by interests of US capital – at the same time United States are chastizing other countries for economic protectionism, entire US economy was based on such protectionism, and US policies in regards to military industry are extremely protectionist.
Despite the seemingly democratic governmental setup, and heavy aversion in general US culture towards idea of empire, United States are an empire, which exists only to benefit the ruling class. It has 5 global military commands, military deployments on every continent except Antarctica, at least one CVBG (aircraft carrier battle group) in every ocean; it also guarantees survival of regimes in Iraq, South Korea, Israel and controls the World Bank, the International Monetary Fond and the World Trade Organization; these three organizations have been corrupted; from organizations that were meant to help countries in trouble, they became organizations meant to spread US neoliberal ideology and promote US imperial interests. But similar to the Romans, Americans think of themselves as the only hope of the world – most Americans continue to practice “American exceptionalism”, believing that United States are a democratic country with a world mission to spread liberty and democracy.
Anyone disagreeing with neoliberal policies is in danger – of being called idiot, loosing job or being killed. Corporations are not part of United States, but United States are extension of US corporations. Yet, ironically, these same corporations are a reason why United States have turned into a tiger of paper. Countries that refuse to prioritize needs of US capitalists over needs of their own populations are subjected to sanctions or invaded. Naturally, for threat of invasion to be useful, large military is required, leading to maintenance of large Military-Industrial Complex.
Important here is to note that Military-Industrial Complex is not US specific; MIC was formed in Soviet Union in mid-1960s. However, USSR – and now Russian – MIC is different from one in US in one important detail: whereas United States fell under control of private companies that form its own MIC, Russian MIC is still controlled by state. However, it did manage to achieve high levels of political influence during Cold War, and in 1980s it accounted for 25% of national GDP, and 75% of all R&D.
One thing that all Military-Industrial Complexes have is “The Iron Triangle” (a number of unfortunate comparisions come to mind here). It is composed of the Government – which pays for development and production, Military – which identifies need, and Industry – which fulfills defense contracts. Important thing is that Government, and through it, military, are influenced (to the point of being controlled) by Industry, through its lobbysts and campaign donations.
US agressive, militant imperialism, however, has many causes. One is serving interests of US capitalism, which goes beyond simple “have wars to buy weapons” logic. Second is maintenance and expansion of global capitalism in ways that are beneficial for US-based corporations. Third cause are interests of US defense companies, which make large profits based on development of expensive, ineffective weapons.
Before, during and after Cold War US opposed, secretly and openly, any nationalist or socialist (or nationalistic socialist, which, by the way, does NOT automatically mean “Nazi”) movements, which could harm status quo.
US Military-Industrial Complex was and is important in agressive promotion of triad of “liberal democracy, economic liberalization and human rights”, despite the fact that economic liberalization is detrimental to the other two; due to its overwhelming importance in pursiung these policies, MIC reaped large profits. That promotion is based around logical fallacy that free people need to have free market; but free market regularly leads to slavery and oppression, as in its purist form, it requires monopoly on ideology to be successful.
While argument exists that MIC creates jobs, in reality, it is very ineffective in that area; same amount of Government spending in any other area (such as education, civilian industry, etc.) would create far more jobs that MIC can. However, such massive state spending in civilian sector, aside from reducing MIC, also goes against neoliberal dogma that state should not interfere in economic development, and especially against idea that such interference is usually destructive.
Military industry is also very harmful for ecosystem, due to military production being largely exempt from environmental protection laws in the name of national security. United States have been – and are – world’s leading producer of NBC weapons; technologies have transferred into civilian sector, in form of very risky nuclear power, gene manipulation/therapy and pesticide technologies. Depleted Uranium ammunition, used by United States in Iraq and on Kosovo, have caused serious health problems for veterans of these wars. WMDs, including nerve gas shells, are stored in settled areas.
And while it is only two World Wars that gave MIC its large influence on US politics and society, United States were imperialistic superpower from beginning, carrying out wars of genocide against native populations in North America, including use of primitive biological weapons, such as blankets used by victims of pox; US also carried wars of expansion against Spain and Mexico, and Thomas Jefferson doubled size of United States through purchase of Louisiana in 1803 despite saying 30 years earlier that United States are not interested in conquest. United States have also held Americas as their own interest area, “playground” if you want, at least since the Monroe Doctrine in 1823. Yet most Americans refuse to believe that United States are an empire.
US Corporate Empire
As already mentioned, United States are an empire, ruled by corporations. However, many people refuse to accept it due to seemingly democratic setup of United States, despite US usage of its political and military clout to promote neoliberal ideas and US capital over the world proving them wrong.
President – who is nothing more than a puppet in hands of corporations, of which Obama is the best example – has great power over both economical and military policies of state, of former through budget proposals and power of veto, and of latter through his/her capacity as a Commander in Chief.
In United States, there are two actors – state and the corporations, both profiting from current situation; in Military-Industrial Complex, to be discussed later, state factor can be divided into military and the Congress.
United States are also pushing to expand their rule and ideals over most of the world; in this quest, World Trade Organization, International Monetary Fund and World Trade Organization are acting as US’ extended hand.
Here, I will quote Benito Mussolini: “Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power”. That merger is exactly what has happened in United States, where state is basically acting as a private bank and service provider for corporations.
Neoconservative ideology, which has ruled United States since 1980s at least, holds that power of State should be merged with power of individual corporations. Thus more correct term for neoconservatism would be neofascism.
Many signatores of Statement of Principles by neoconservative think-tank Project for the New American Century proceeded to become important political figures. PNAC also called for removal of Saddam Hussein, as well as wrote a document “Rebuilding America’s Defenses – Strategy, Forces and Resources For a New Century” which outlines objective of making United States a world empire; it also calls for a massive increase in military spending. It also identified a need for “some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor” in order to facilitate a quick change in a desired direction. Document was published in September 2000; exactly one year later, such event happened. More about it later.
As example of corporate influence on US policy making, I will use an example of company that doesn’t have too much to do with military – McDonalds. After movie “Supersize Me” went out in 2004, people started suing McDonalds and other food production corporations for making them obese – a completely accurate allegation, as not only is fast food unhealthy, it is also made in a way that makes it cause chemical addiction – something like heroine or cocaine addiction. In March 2004, Congress made it illegal for people to sue food industry for making them obese. And make no mistake – armaments companies are protected in a similar way.
History of US imperialism
Military-Industrial Complex is a term first used by then-President Dwight D Eisenhower in his farawell adress in 1961. It described interwened workings of military industry and military itself, which forced increasingly complex and useless weapons into use; but it can also include heavy influence of said Complex in the Government, as well as in structure and spirit of United States post-World War 2, especially post-1980; whereas before 1980, United States have waged wars for a specific goal, after 1980s wars were started simply for the sake of US military industry.
At the heart of MIC is belief that greater complexity – both technological and organizational – leads to greater combat effectiveness. Reality is very different – complexity prevents system from adapting to changing situation; which is also part of a reason why United States refuse to adapt to peacetime world. It makes forces rigid, unable to answer effectively to changing situation, and thus vulnerable to agile opponents such as Taliban.
It also goes against World War II-honed KISS principle: “Keep It Simple, Stupid”. Principle goes back to Carl von Clausewitz, who emphasized simplicity to reduce friction. Results are easily seen: United States were overwhelmed by having to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan at the same time, despite the fact that these two wars combined did not present military commitment that came even close to equating Vietnam War.
There is no oversight of weapons manufacturers by Government. Just management failures accounted for 70 billion USD worth of cost overruns in 2010. Cost overruns and overchargings are massive – Boeing has charged 71,01 USD for a metal pin that should cost 4 cents; 644,75 USD for a small gear that sells for 12,51 USD; 1 678,71 USD for another part that could have been bought for 7,71 USD. Air conditioning for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan had cost 20 billion USD a year before withdrawal from Iraq – more than NASAs entire annual budget. Yet corporations continue to be awarded contracts.
One important thing to note here is that large armaments industry always leads to a war; old weapons have to be spent so new weapons can be procured in large quantities. Military-Industrial Complex is also often close ally to oil industry, not the least due to military’s heavy fuel consumption in any war.
For both military and oil industry, and increasingly for some other business branches, war is the most profitable endeavour possible. All these industries, naturally, try to keep profits flowing in, leading to a state of endless war.
Imperialism at home
While Military-Industrial Complex has direct roots in World War II and early Cold War, its origin goes, indirectly, to Civil War and, directly, to World War I. Civil War fueled industrialism of the North, and fostered a production-oriented society, with nearly 3 million people being directly involved in massive military-industrial complex. While Spanish-US war, planted first seeds of the Complex, for a long time thereafter United States continued to rely on army of citizen soldiers, called upon in time of crisis, and dismissed after the end of the crisis, which served as a natural check against too large influence by infant Military-Industrial Complex.
Following World War I, United States never fully demilitarized. But its true creation came due to the complete mobilization during World War II, after which United States created a definite, permanent armaments industry. While Jimmy Carter tried to demilitarize, Ronald Reagan’s increased spending brought Military-Industrial Complex back to life.
Prior to the World War II, US peacetime military spending was generally less than 1 % of GDP. In WWI, it was around 7%, while in 1943, it was more than 37% of GDP, and remained that way until 1945. After war, spending was cut to 5% of GDP, until it rose to 14% during Korean War. Spending remained above 10% for the rest of 1950s, even after end of Korean War. It was also in 1950s that costs of weapons started growing faster than defense budgets, due to increasing reliance on electronics
During the Vietnam War, defense spending was 9% of GDP, and it declined to 5% in 1970s, increasing to 6% in 1980s. By 2000, it fell to 3%, and increased to 4% with start of War on Terror.
However, figures do not account for entire defense-related spending – which is over 10% as of 2011. Moreover, ever since 1940, total military spending was around 45% of annual Federal budget – basically, of every dollar paid by US taxpayers, 45 cents went to military. And though state was unwilling to create jobs by state intervention in civilian sector, it does same thing – albeit less efficiently – through military spending.
Now, MICC (Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex) reaches into every part of US society, distorting economy, politics, educational system and media. Cold War served as engine to keep money flowing into MIC. When Cold War ended, different goals had to be found to keep MIC alive and well – and they have been. War on Terror, and sense of danger created by media, have launched United States into continuous string of small wars, without which weapons manufacturers would have no means to survive. In truth, it would be more accurate to talk about MIMCEC – Military-Industrial-Media-Congressional-Entertainment Complex. War is being turned into fun and profit, while new weapons such as drones remove humane element from war, turning it into a war game. United States are not a society with a strong miliitary – they are a militarized, and militaristic, society.
After taking over United States in 1980, Military-Industrial Complex was strenghtened in mid-1990s, when a series of mergers led to formation of three make-it-all defense giants.
Moreover, majority of Americans have been brainwashed into thinking that supporting one’s country means supporting war machine; thus, any defense cuts are seen as betrayal. 87 % of security budget, however, goes on attacking other nations, 7% on homeland security, and 6% on prevention of attacks.
While participation of private elements in defense industry is nothing new in US history – it goes back to the War of Independence – scope is unprecedented. Today, US military would be unable to function without private contractors; and their real influence, as explained above, goes far further than simply supplying the military.
In the same vein, US imperialism coupled with wars is nothing new – it goes back to genocidal wars against American Natives. However, MIC-fuelled wars are different in that they are not wars of conquest; they are wars because of war, whose sole purpose is to allow expolatation of targeted country’s resources while at the same time providing war so as to keep massive military industry running.
Pre-World War I
World War I
During World War I, as during World War II, Federal agencies were largerly controlled by the industry and the military. However, in World War I military was a reluctant participant, being largerly isolated from the Federal Government and civilian institutions until the war itself. Economy was mobilized by Federal agencies devised and staffed by businessmen, such as War Industry Board, but these could only advise the President and were subordinate to the Council for National Defense – neither had legal ways to enforce their decisions.
However, Commodity Comittees, subdivisions of Federal War Industry Board, were assisted by War Service Comittees, which were elected by national industries. While these could officially only advice the War Industry Board committees, in reality they exercised major influence on decisions of Board.
War Department also carries part of blame, since eight supply bureaus competed with one another, hoarding the supplies and creating chaos. Congress’ demands to put military procurement under civilian munitions industry were ignored; instead, WIB was separated from Council for National Defense and placed under President’s direct control. It was also granted broad powers to regulate the economy, mostly ending the chaos.
From March 1918, WIB started to regulate economy, as well as to cooperate with army commodity committees, whose members joined the Board, leading to cooperation between military and industry.
Inter-War period and World War II
After the World War I, Congress authorized the military to plan for procurement and economic mobilization along with thousands of industrialists. Cooperation between military and industry started during World War I continued, and by the late 1930s, armed services were in full agreement with military for wartime economic mobilization. War supply planning was placed under an assistant secretary of war, an industrialist, who was made equal with Chief of Staff. Soon after, Congress authorization enabled him to plan for entire wartime economy – why that was done is obscure, but could easily be connected to lobbying. After years of hesitating to assume what were, in effect, civillian government’s responsibilities, Office of Assistant Secretary of War started to plan for both economic mobilization and procurement, assisted by military industry. In 1922, a very vague bill was drafted, granting President almost unlimited authority over nation’s manpower and industrial resources in the event of the war.
In June 1930, War Policies Comission was created, whose goal was equalizing war burdens, preventing war profiteering and formulating policies to be pursued in the event of the war. Emphasis was put on last part, with first two goals more-or-less forgotten. In reality, Comission was intended to popularize War Department’s planning and drum up support for it. At the same time, however, inherent dangers of industrialized warfare – requiring support of entire nation’s industrial capability during the war – were realized. Industry and military leaders reconized mutual interests in increased defense spending, and helped each other. For instance, industry lobbied for increased military appropriations, whereas armed services granted industry favors and encouraged monopoly where they thought it worked for their interests, with little regard for consequences. Often, these actions compromised national policies for disarmaments, arms limitations, sales and embargoes.
At the same time, ties connecting military and supporting industry were forged. Retired Army and Navy officers often joined firms contracting with respective services; officials of corporations contracting with services were known to become reserve military officers. This brought about connections that existed in Imperial Germany before World War I, and were actually directly responsible for it. Nye Comitte proposed nationalization of defense industry as a counter for such possibility, but Congress never seriously considered the proposal, and even refused to strengthen regulations governing military procurement. Another concern brought up was that Army’s planning for the war was based on wartime methods of World War I, which encouraged shameless profiteering and extragavant waste. War caused inflation, debt, and concentration of industry, a process that was certain to repeat itself if no regulation was present. Comittee supported legislation proposing limitation of profits at 3 percent and and of personal annual income at 10 000 USD. Also, legislation forbade individuals with direct or indirect interests in industry to serve in governmental capacity concerning that industry. President would also be granted large powers over industry during wartime, with industrial managers removed from seats of power. Bill was repealed, ending the best chance to prevent creation of MICC.
In 1939, Roosevelt authorised creation of advisory group called War Resources Board, with Edward R Stettinius Jr of the United States Steel Corporation as chairman. It prepared to institute “Industrial Mobilization Plan”, and its supporters sent a memorandum to President Roosevelt that would have granted War Resources Board and Munitions Board authority to mobilize economy, as well as secured them cooperation of all government agencies. However, Roosevelt waited until WRB submitted final report in November 1939, which called for control of wartime economy by federal agencies controlled by industry and military services, suspension of antitrust laws, as well that ANMB (Army-Navy Munitions Board) should continue to explore, through consultation with industry, unresolved issues of industrial mobilization. Roosevelt thanked Board for its services, and never called on it again.
In 1932, President Herbert B Hoover blamed his political defeat on Wall Street switching support to Roosevelt. Yet, in 1933, some bankers have contacted Major General Smedley Butler to arrange overthrow of President Roosevelt. When General revealed that, media corporations labelled him as a liar.
In 1920s, system of private central banks (which still exists) was created to control national money supply of individual economies. Since then, banks have influenced politics through financial support for various candidates’ election campaigns, and throught control of monetary supply (as it is said, idiot and his money always win the elections). Bank of International Settlements in Switzerland continued to work through war.
General Electric attacked Roosevelt’s New Deal as “tyrannical”, for betraying liberal ideas. It was also invilved in rise of Hitler. However, both Walter Rathenau of German General Electric, and his counterparts in US Owen Young and Gerard Swope, spoke against free enterprise; they wanted protection of state for themselves, and only themselves. As Rathenau said in New Political Economy:
“The new economy will, as we have seen, be no state or governmental economy but a private economy committed to a civic power of resolution which certainly will require state cooperation for organic consolidation to overcome inner friction and increase production and endurance.“
Translated, private firms were to take over power and duties of the state; in Germany, it was known as National Socialism (irony much, huh?); in modern-day United States, it is known as Neoliberalism / Neoliberal democracy.
In 1920 Owen D Young became chairman of General Electric Company. One of company’s directors was Victor M. Cutter, figure from Banana revolutions in Central America. In late 1920s, General Electric acquired shares in A.E.G. and Osram; it also reached agreement with other owners of Osram.
Classic view of Cold War in Europe is one of defnsive, democratic West, led by United States, versus expansive, undemocratic East. However, what is ignored is that United States were quick to remove any, democratic or not, governments that did not suit US goals – and even faster to support dictators that did. Between 1946 and 1965 United States have carried out 186 separate overseas interventions.
Threat from USSR was overstated for two purposes – first, creation of Military-Industrial Complex during World War II was driven by large external threats. Maintaining it post World War II required equally large continued threat from other source – namely, USSR. Second, it provided covenient excuse for US military interventionism through rest of the world, necessary to both maintain massive military industry, and to ensure continued disparity in wealth (in 1948, US had 50% of world’s wealth but only 6,3% of world’s populace) by providing US with access to raw materials (including oil), markets and cheap labor, as well as to maintain pro-US regimes. Vietnam War, and to lesser extent, Korean War, were conducted to create multi-billion contracts for US armaments industry; for Vietnam War, that was its sole purpose. US military spending through Cold War was usually between 300 and 400 billion USD a year in 2008 dollars; sometimes it went over 400 billion USD. Third, it ensured continuation of US dominance in the world, especially by countering rise of Europe, and by convincing US public that United States are not an empire.
In late 1950s, and early 1960s, fears of “missile gap” with Soviet Union were whipped up by MIC and supporting politicians. No such gap ever existed.
Ronald Reagan and later
Ronald Reagan unleashed a spending spree which, ironically, led to reduction in force structure due to ever more complex and ineffective weapons.
However, his most important contribution was introduction of uncompromising neoliberal policies, such as replacement of most support services with civilian contractors. Under LOGCAP (Logistics Civil Augmentation Program), plan was articulated for the outsourcing of selected services to civilian contractors in “wartime conditions”, so that military will be free to concentrate on killing people. However, what “wartime conditions” are was not clearly defined, and as such “heightened tensions” – not even combat deployments – were enough to justify enactment of LOGCAP.
Original LOGCAP allowed commanders to “balance their military and contractor mix”, and admitted that, since civilian performance is far less predictable under wartime conditions, such situation may result in less-than-desired performance as well as increased costs.
First major test for that policy was Gulf War. By 1992, LOGCAP I was reorganized to provide a single global worldwide planning and service contract. It run until 1997, with total value of 811 million USD, and was awarded to Brown and Root. LOGCAP II, awarded in 1997 to DynCorp, ran until December 2001 at total value of 102 million USD. It was followed by LOGCAP III, awarded to Halliburton subsidiary KBR with accumulated value of 35,7 billion USD by 2006. In 2006, LOGCAP III was cancelled, and LOGCAP IV awarded, with projected value of 150 billion USD by 2017.
On economic plan, in 1982, Hayek, one of members of neoliberal movement, has approached Margaret Tatcher with proposals for massive privatization campaigns – back then, states in the West controlled very profitable assets: telephone, airline, television and power companies. However, she was running low on polls at the time and was 3 years into her first term, and was not about to commit a political suicide by introducing neoliberal policies. Nixon acted same way back in 1971, and in fact had put price controls in place, something Friedman hated. Friedman was even more outraged at Rumsfeld, his former pupil who introduced Keynesian policies – price and wage control – to deal with recession. Even worse from Friedman’s point of view, these measures were working: inflation was going down, and economy was growing. Reagan, on the other hand, fired 11 400 air traffic controllers when they went on a strike, despite increasing military spending.
Meanwhile in Britain, first Tatcher’s term has resulted in doubling of both number of unemployed and the inflation rate. Her personal approval rating fell to 25%, and that of her government to 18%. But in 1982, Argentine invaded Falklands islands, and Margaret Tatcher – despite cutting the military spending, and practically inviting Argentina to invade the islands by cutting number of ships and soldiers guarding them – decided to defend the islands. (In practice it meant that phrase “Ditch the bitch” was replaced by “Up your junta”). After victory in Falklands, moniker “The Iron Lady” – which Tatcher gained by crushing any anti-neoliberal movement in the country such as worker strikes – became a praise instead of insult, proving yet again the cynical observation that people are stupid, have short memory and are easily distracted. Her personal approval rating increased from 25% to 59%, securing her a victory in next elections. When in 1984, coal miners went on strike, she crushed revolt in force, and followed it with massive wave of privatization. This has set a precedent that, while neoliberalization and privatization is possible in democracy, an opponent has to be found – that opponent was, for Reagan, a Soviet Union, with whom he broke any dialogue, and terrorists for Bush administration.
Friedman has similarly hoped for a crisis in the United States, and he and his corporatist associates have built up a network of right-wing think-tanks such as Heritage and Cato.
9/11 attacks and aftermath
As is well know, three airplanes have crashed into two towers of World Trade Center and in to Pentagon, in short succession (8:46 AM into WTC north tower, 9:03 into WTC south tower, 9:38 into the Pentagon). Fourth was shot down.
First airplane to be hijacked was American Airlines Flight 11, which subsequently failed to respond to order from Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to climb, and soon its radio and transponder went off. At 8:20, it went radically off course. If that was not enough to raise suspicion that airplane was hijacked, in 8:21 flight attendants reported by telephone that airplane was definetly hijacked. 8:28 airplane turned towards New York. At 8:44, two minutes before airplane crashed into WTC, Donald Rumsfeld said to representative Cox that “there will definetly be another attack”.
According to procedures, at 8:14 emergency procedures would have been enacted, as soon as transponder went off, which would have automatically alerted NORAD – meaning that airplane would have been intercepted by fighters no later than 8:30. At 8:20 at latest, FAA would have notified military, since every passenger airplane has a series of flight points it has to strictly follow. When intercepted, aircraft has to comply to orders of fighter jet’s pilot, or it will be shot down.
In this case, none of that happened. VicePresident Cheney said that decision about wether to intercept and, subsequently, wether to shoot down commercial aircraft is presidential-level decision, which is factually incorrect, as it is decision made by Secretary of Defense; there are also other people who have authority to make such decision in the event that SoD cannot be contacted in time. In short, there is no explanation as to why at least second attack was not intercepted, as it was hijacked much later than first airplane, and followed the same pattern of “radio+transponder off > go radically off-course”. It hit the WTC 17 minutes after first crash.
No command from high-on is required for fighter jets to be scrambled; actually, it is required for them NOT to be scrambled. Yet NORAD said that no jets were scrambled until after Pentagon was hit, and later retracted that statement and said that jets were scrambled, but arrived too late (according to that version, jets were scrambled at 8:46 and took of at 8:52). Even if F-15s did take off at 8:52, they should have been at WTC by 9:00, three minutes before second tower was struck (one of F-15 pilots said that they were travelling at “full blower”, meaning full afterburner), making “not scrambled” story more believable. As matter of fact, Anatoli Kornukov, the commander in
chief of the Russian Air Force, was quoted the day after 9/11 as saying: “Generally it is
impossible to carry out an act of terror on the scenario which was used in the USA yesterday….
As soon as something like that happens here, I am reported about that right away and in a
minute we are all up.” In short, only an executive order from high-ranking military or political personnel could have allowed scenario which happened on 9/11. But on the morning of 9/11 attacks, multiple military drills were in progress. In fact, hijackers would have never made it to their targets – even the first one – without these drills. Operation Northern Vigilance deployed many of the jets guarding the east coast to Alaska and northern Canada. Operation Vigilant Guardian on the other hand simulated hijacked planes in the northeastern sectors, while real hijackers were in the same airspace. This simulation included false radar blips, so when NORAD’s airborne control officer, Lt. Col. Dawne Deskins, heard Boston claim it had a hijacked airliner, her first words were, “It must be part of the exercise.”
North tower collapsed 1h 52m after it was struck. Soth tower collapsed 52 minutes after it was struck. WTC-7, two blocks away, was not struck yet collapsed 56 minutes after south tower.
To melt steel, as is official account, one needs temperature of 1 500 degrees Celsius. Since WTC fires were fuel-rich (as evidenced by black smoke), temperature could not have been above 700 degrees Celsius – and maximum temperature achievable by hydrocarbon fire is below 950 degrees Celsius. Moreover, steel structure of World Trade Center was actually stronger than that of many modern buildings, especially bar-joist trousses, which were said to have been “flimsy” in official account, with far more redundancy than was required, and than is modern-day standard.
Steel has to be able to carry at least five times its actual load in modern steel buildings; for steel to loose 80% of its strenght, it would have to be heated to over 700 degrees Celzius, according to Eager. However, even then, considerable time would have been required for it to cause collapse, and fire would have had to be large. Opposite was true: photos and videos of North Tower show only black smoke – meaning fires were already suffocating – and no huge fires that would have been required, while those of South Tower show only relatively small fires, insufficient to cause collapse. Furthermore, much of fuel that airplanes were carrying was spilled outside towers, where it burned up quickly.
Prior to the 9/11, no steel building ever collapsed due to fire. Even floor-collapse theory is flawed, as hundreds of joints had to collapse simultaneously on 283 collumns. Towers also collapsed within 10 seconds, which is near free-fall speed. Actually, south tower collapsed in 8 seconds, exactly free-fall speed at that height. It also collapsed 29 minutes earlier than the North Tower, despite being struck 17 minutes later.
Last fact is easily explainable: as fires in south tower were dying down, those controlling demolition had to demolish it first, so as to be able to blame collapse on fires. Also, each collapse produced lot of fine dust, consisting primarly of gypsium and concrete – completely in line with controlled collapse, and completely out of line with other forms of collapse. Much of dust and concrete pieces were also thrown out 50 meters away, horizontally. Steel was also in short pieces, broken at joints; furthermore, over one hundred of firefighters and other people reported hearing or feeling explosions, or witnessing effects that appeared to be from explosions. Molten steel was also found at subbasement levels.
Demolition theory also explains why all evidence was quickly removed before it could be analyzed – metal remains could have revealed evidence of use of explosives. Indeed, unreacted nanothermite dust has been found in dust from the towers. Using “terrorist attacks” to destroy the towers was also far cheaper than removing them in conventional way: due to the cancerogen asbesthos used in construction, removing towers would have meant costs in double-digit billions of USD. Port authority was for this reason forbidden from demolishing towers, and indeed their collapse caused increase in cancer rates throughout the city.
Building 7 also collapsed despite being relatively removed from Twins and not being struck by airplanes. Official theory says that debris from one of Twins entered building and started fire, which automatic fire suppression system did not put out – and firefighters also did not enter the building, despite being nearby. Fire caused collapse of steel support, but problem is – there was no raging fire. Buildings 4, 5 and 6 had raging fires, but did not collapse. WTC 7 would have been first steel-framed building in history to collapse solely due to fire. It also collapsed at the bottom, suggesting a typical demolition, unlike Twin Towers. Molten steel was also found, and all steel was quickly removed with no justification.
There is other evidence of, if not necessarily the attack being false flag, then of prior knowledge of the attack. Despite the Twins’ questionable status prior to the attacks, in January 2001. Larry Silverstein made a 3,2 billion USD bid on the World Trade Center. On July 24., the offer was accepted. Silverstein took out the insurance policy that, among other things, covered the terrorist attacks – which happened seven weeks later. By 2008, Silverstein received 5 billion USD in payments from nine different insurance companies.
As for attack on Pentagon, AA Flight 77 went significantly off course 26 minutes after it took off at 8:20; at 8:50, plane went back on course, but radio contact was lost; at 8:56, transponder went off and plane disappeared from air controllers’ radars. Plane was not heard from again, and at 9:09, it was assumed that plane had crashed. At 9:25, however, airplane was noticed moving towards White House over Dulles Airport. At 9:35 airplane flew towards Pentagon and executed extremely difficult downward spiral; at 9:38, minutes after Donald Rumsfeld warned that Pentagon may be attacked, Pentagon was hit. Impacted area, however, was being renovated, and majority of 125 people killed by impact were civilians.
While airplane was stated to have been Boeing 757 of Flight 77, one of air controllers said that it was too fast and too maneuverable to be a civilian airplane; some eyewitnesses said that it looked and sounded most like winged cruise missile. Indeed, all information used to identify object that hit Pentagon as Flight 77 came from military sources.
After the impact, but before west wing facade collapsed, there was a hole in it, between 4,5 and 5,6 meters in diameter, larger than a 4-meter-wide body of Boeing 757. There also were no signs of any airplane at all – wings, fuselage, engines – or damage to the grass. Inside wall of C ring was penetrated, meaning that object had penetrated 6 concrete walls. However, Boeing 757 is too large to do it; only nose would have gone inside with rest of aircraft remaining outside the building. Yet there was no wreck of airplane remaining after the impact, despite the fact that entire aft part of aluminium construction would have remained. And while tailfin and wings are too large for the damage done (it is not likely they would leave trace, though, as they are comparatively fragile), actual body, being 4 meters in diameter, is too small.
Official theory holds that wings had folded back in order to allow airplane to make the round hole. However, as aircraft’s momentum would have been reduced when nose hit the wall, wings should have folded frontwards, not backwards. There was also no damage from steel jet engines, and part of facade that would have been struck by tailfin was also intact until entire facade collapsed.
Moreover, only first ring was devastated; in second and third rings there were only 2,2-meter holes. Nose of Boeing, made out of fragile carbon fibers, would have crushed, and not penetrated such holes. However, DU missiles that would have created such piercing effect exist. Flame that object started at Pentagon was also red, and instanteneous – kind that would have been started by missile.
(Here I will make note that, while some 9/11 researchers such as Meyssan mention existence of White House and Pentagon missile defense systems, any of which could have easily shot down “airplane” that crashed into Pentagon, there is no proof of existence of such systems. Even if they did exist, proximity of civilian air port would have made Phalanx CIWS a far better choice, although far from ideal.)
Moreover, aluminium from airplane’s fuselage would not have melted in ordinary hydrocarbon fire, and neither would steel engines – and not even molten remains of airplane were found, meaning that it had to vaporize.
Authorities were also apparently able to identify victims of impact by fingerprints, meaning that fire that made aluminium and steel evaporate did not even scratch human flesh, which is mostly water.
FBI also took film from security cameras of gas station nearby, cameras that would have documented impact. While there are eyewitnesses, some of whom support missile theory, and some of whom support airplane theory, it is known that human memory is highly dynamic, and often reconstructs reality from bits of data; suggestions and statements made later can have impact on how one remembers original event; which is why physical evidence is given more weight in any investigation.
Furthermore, most witnesses did not see actual impact; they saw “plane flying too low”, and then saw smoke and heard explosion from where Pentagon, which they couldn’t see, was. None of alleged 19 eyewitnesses actually saw impact itself.
Some witnesses remember seeing two airplanes – one commercial air liner, and another military jet, which could also have been cruise missile. Civilian airplane came close to Pentagon, but given that noone saw the actual impact, it most likely veered away while missile struck Pentagon.
Moreover, if there really were terrorists aiming for Pentagon, it would be logical to target the roof, as it would have done most damage, and would have presented largest target, as well as providing least damage attenuation.
In the hardest-hit areas normally 4500 people would have been; yet only 800 were there, majority of whom were civilian workers. It was actually very difficult to do as little damage to Pentagon as it was done.
Maneuver allegedly done by airplane was extremely difficult, and only an experienced pilot could have done it. Mr. Hanjour, alleged pilot of that attack, was actually very bad pilot, as testimonies of his collegaues show.
While some question why PAVE PAWS array apparently did not detect suspicious air liner, despite being able to track ballistic missiles, PAVE PAWS apparently has a gap in coverage, extending to Washingon and west of it.
Officially, Andrews Air Force Airbase did not have any fighters present, despite it being its function to protect Washington, and by extension, Pentagon. In reality, it did have fighters at alert, as evidenced by F-16s flying over Pentagon soon after the attack.
Also, Pentagon should have, as high-value military target, been evacuated immediately after WTC attacks. It was not.
In Flight 93, passangers attempted, and were nearly successfull, in regaining control of the airplane – they had a pilot among them, and hijackers had only knives; passengers also knew aircraft was on a suicide mission. All of that is known due to telephone conversation of one passanger with outside – conversation which was monitored by FBI. In the end, airplane was shot down by F-16 just as passangers were about to regain control of the cockpit; last thing heard on cockpit voice recorder was sound of wind, showing that airplane was holed; just before that, an explosion was heard. Airplane crashed, as shown by seismic records, at 10:06 AM, whereas Government claims it occured at 10:03, allowing them to hide crucial three minutes of the tape. Several people on ground, one of them Vietnam veteran, also heard missiles. Remains were found as far as 8 miles away from crash site, with piece of one engine being found over mile away – and F-16 normally carries heat-seeking Sidewinder missiles. By that time, Flight 93 was only hijacked flight remaining in the air, being late 41 minutes in departing, whereas other three airplanes departed roughly at the same time, leaving time for passengers to learn what is happening and try to regain control.
Target of Flight 93 may have been Capitol, which would have killed many Senators and Congresspeople, considering evacuation only started 10 minutes after Pentagon was hit, or White House, where senior officials were taken to underground bunkers at 9:03, but general evacuation only commenced at 9:45.
President Bush also was not informed of attacks until 10 minutes after first reports were already on the news. Cheney also accidentally revealed that Secret Service has arrangement with FAA, and knew about attacks almost as soon as they happened. Bush also referred to the crash as accident, despite it being known by that time that several airliners have been hijacked. He also remained to make his speech, despite his location being widely known, and remained unconcerned despite being Commander in Chief of US Armed Forces. Later, he went on Air Force One, which was not escorted by armed fighters. Bush also said that he saw first plane fly into building while waiting to enter classroom, which is impossible.
Every security measure and intelligence agency failed at the same moment. While this alone is not a sufficient evidence – US intelligence agencies, especially CIA, have a history of failure and incompetence (see: Legacy of Ashes – The History of CIA, by Tim Weiner) – no investigation has been launched after the attacks; on the contrary, after the Pearl Harbor attacks, investigation was launched immediately.
While claims were made that possibility of big aircraft being used as missiles were not envisioned, a 1993 panel of experts suggested possibility of airplanes being used by missiles, but were told by DoD not to publish it. FBI also advised Attorney General Ashcroft to stop using commercial aircraft shortly before the attacks, and spent lot of time obstructing counterterrorism efforts. Several other officials also cancelled flights just before attacks, and there were large shifts in stock market related to corporations whose aircraft ended uo being used in the attacks.
US officials also repeatedly failed to capture Osama bin Laden, even when they had a chance, and when information about all Al Quaeda’s bases had been provided by Russian Intelligence. In summer 2001, bin Laden spent two weeks in US hospital in Dubai. For over 20 years before 2001, Bush and bin Laden families had financial relations.
Reasons for 9/11 attacks are obvious, and already explained before; they allowed United States to remain on war footing, and execute invasions, such as invasion of Afghanistan, which were planned long before attacks took place – Afghanistan is important as oil export route, and it was hoped that Taliban will provide stability required for an oil pipeline through Afghanistan, but they failed. Taliban themselves were created by CIA, working together with Pakistan’s ISI, with financia support from Saudi Arabia. United States started bombing Afghanistan on October 7, 2001. South Carolina National Guard was also told in July 2001 that all activities henceforth will be suspended for unit to prepare for mobilization on September 14, 2001.
Toppling of Saddam regime was also discussed in 2000. During the invasion, first concern of US troops was securing oil fields in the south, and only Ministry of Oil avoided being looted, because it was only one literally surrounded by US troops.
Events of 9/11 were required because American public generally does not support military deployments abroad except when these can be justified by massive external threat – be it Soviet Union or terrorists. 9/11 also enabled massive changes in US defense policy, such as Missile Defense Shield, whose purpose it to stop other countries from deterring US from attacking them. One of large advocates of MDS was its current commander, General Ralph E. Eberhart, who – as commander of NORAD – was in charge of air traffic control on 9/11.
There is a precedent for such plan, too – in 1962, plan was formulated to provoke Cuba into provoking United States into attacking Cuba; to create impression that US invasion is a response to Cuban actions. It listed series of possible actions that would justify invasion of Cuba, such as shootding down a passenger airplane by fighters, or blowing up US Navy vessel (latter action was already done before, and provided justification for attacking Spain – US siezed Phillipines in that war).
During invasion of Afghanistan, a convoy of at least 1 000 Al-Quaeda trucks and cars made its escape, with flashlights on. Despite it being perfect turkey-shoot opportunity for US forces – especially A-10s – convoy was allowed to leave unchallenged. US forces also failed to block all obvious routes when Taliban were leaving Tora Bora region, despite there being only two routes – Taliban escaped using free one. There are claims that ISI – a US ally in “war on terror” – helped Osama escape. ISI is also called a “state within a state” due to amount of influence and independence it displays.
On September 9 2001, the leader of the Northern Alliance, Ahmad Masood, was the victim of an assassination by ISI; he was fiercely nationalistic and as such could have threatened US interests. US financial aid to Al Quaeda was also funneled through ISI. When that relationship was under threat of being uncovered, US pressured ISI chief to quietly resign. In addition, many reporters investigating connection between ISI, CIA and Taliban had been expelled from Pakistan; others were kidnapped or murdered.
FBI also tried to cover up the fact that two of 9/11 hijackers received training from flight school in Florida. Intelligence Able Danger program had identified four of the hijackers and uncovered two of the three terrorist cells a year before the attacks. But the information was blocked by CIA from being sent to FBI. United States have received warnings about the attacks, including information such as names, dates and locations, from the intelligence agencies of Indonesia, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Egypt, Jordan, India, Argentina, Morocco, Russia, Israel and France, as well as the Taliban. In each case United States decided not to investigate.
After 9/11 attacks, many CIA, FBI and NSA personnel have been promoted, instead of being punished as would have happened if attacks were simply result of incopetence of parts of these organizations. Due to various acts of terrorism United States have done all over the world, especially in Middle East, it would have been easy to find people willing to ram airplanes into World Trade Center.
To conclude: it is impossible for attacks to have happened as official account says. Even if terrorists that made attacks did not have connections to CIA – an assumption made unlikely by several of the facts presented – there is no way that attacks could have happened as they did without US working hard to make these attacks possible.
From perspective of Military-Industrial Complex, 9/11 was a gift from Heaven. While George W Bush was already planning to boost position of Military-Industrial Complex in 1999, despite widespread expectations (and talk) of redirecting funds from MIC to more important duties, such as education and environmental protection, attacks gave him more or less free hands. One of his promises was increase in anti-terrorism efforts, and another was endorsement of high-tech military. Defense contractors were only firms whose stock price increased after the attacks, and continued increasing through WoT – Northrop Grumann’s stock increased by 21,2% in a week after the attacks.
After 9/11, defense spending soared – CIAs funding increased by 42%; military spending received largest increase since the end of the Cold War. Simultaneously, many laws protecting personal freedoms of US citizens came under attack, and “national security” (meaning espionage) market increased dramatically. 9/11 also gave a good excuse for continued military deployments as well as a string of small wars, as US policy makers esplained that US dominance over the world must continue for the sake of security at home. In order to replace weapons used after invasion of Afghanistan, and as preparation for invasion of Iraq, US weapons makers increased production. As such, attacks marked an end of the crisis caused by the collapse of the Soviet Union. Within weeks of the attack, F-35 programme, which faced cancellation or at least scaling-back, was unconditionally accepted and moved forward, and additional funds were allocated towards F-22, F-35 and F-18E programmes.
In 2000, one of Bush officials said that above-described changes Bush administration desired would be difficult to implement unless a “new Pearl Harbor” occured. Indeed, 9/11 and Pearl Harbor attacks were similar in that they unified, briefly, an entire nation behind politicians calling for revenge. But while US knew about Pearl Harbor attack, and did nothing to prevent it – it is doubtful it could have been prevented, and were battleships sunk in deep water, recovery would have been impossible – 2001 attacks were orchestrated by US Government. 9/11 allowed United States to start fulfilling – aggressively – their desire for world-wide corporate empire. After the attacks, Bush administration blocked investigations into attacks, claiming that “it will distract from war on terrorism”. Mass media refused to present sceptics’ views to the public, in a true manner of police state, which indeed was soon implemented legally, through PATRIOT act. It helped that “unpatriotic” journalists were in danger of being fired, similarly how today, any USAF personnel not glorifying F-22 and F-35 is in same danger. Attacks also saved by then rather unpopular Bush administration.
In 2011, 122 billion USD were spent just for war in Afghanistan – enough to wipe out 80% of domestic budget deficits. Between 2001 and 2011, US Government has spent more than 1,2 trillion USD on wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and spending in unconstitutional war in Libya in 2011 reached 4 million USD per day.
But most important point is – entire US mindset changed after the attacks. Nation launched itself into another defense spending frenzy, which lasts even today – and now, US have found new excuse in China. Increase in military spending has allowed Pentagon to avoid reforms, and has allowed defense contractors to remain in business. Indeed, major elements of new spending were Cold War relics, completely unnecessary in War on Terror, such as F22, F35 and F-18 E/F, none of which met required performance goals. 11-billion-USD Crusader programme is another such relic. But what was important was that new, post-9/11 mindset, prevented defense budget cuts; as Harry Stonecipher, then Vice President of Boeing said: “the purse is now open” and “any member of Congress who doesn’t vote for the funds we need to defend this country will be looking for a new job after next November.” “Dominance over the world”, mentioned in the second paragraph of this section, was expanded to include “a force that is dominant across the full spectrum of military operations – persuasive in peace, decisive in war, and pre-eminent in any form of conflict.”. Definition was interpreted to mean “technological dominance”, with funds for training being redirected to wasteful, outdated and unnecessary technologies and R&D programmes, such as stealth aircraft. Computerization of US wars has followed, resulting in numerous war crimes in Afghanistan and Pakistan (thanks, UAVs!), proving that precision targeting is still a myth. Reliance on technology became more than a way of achieving a set goal, it became a goal in itself.
Sending troops abroad became far easier, especially as US public came to expect quick and bloodless victories.
Moreover, Rumsfeld has taken on relying on former corporate executives, who were keen to cut on personnel costs, such as health care for soldiers – yet supported extremely expensive cost overruns incurred by Wunderwaffe programmes. Thirty-two of these appointees had connections to top military contractors; seventeen of these had ties to top contractors Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumann and Raytheon. State stoped providing national security, and started purchasing it at market price – even intelligence and counterintellingence was privatized, contributing to later failures of US intelligence apparatus. In 2003., Bush administration spent 327 billion USD on contracts to private companies. Number of security-oriented lobby firms (helping corporations hook up on Pentagon funds) increased from two in 2001. to 543 in mid-2006. 4,2 million surveillance cameras were installed in the UK and 30 million in the US. Many surveillance technologies have also been proposed or even implemented as fear of terrorism overshadowed fear of living in the Big Brother surveillance society. Suspects – people with names sounding similar to those of known terrorists, or looking similar to them – could now be taken to prison, such as Guantanamo Bay, without right of defense. Corporations also started interrogating prisoners, a win-win propositions for both them and Bush administration as private contractors were far more willing to “massage” the information gained to suit administration’s political goals. Rewards given for information about terrorists meant that prisons were overflowing with innocent people who were sold for a 5.000 USD reward promised to anyone who turns in a terrorist fighter.
One of distinguishing features of the Bush Administration, and inherited by the Obama Administration, was its reliance on outside advisers and freelancers. Volunteer advisors – James Baker, Paul Bremer, Henry Kissinger, George Shultz, Richard Perle and others – wielded enormous influence while at the same time US Congress and Supreme Court were reduced to rubber-stamping decisions made by the private interests. Much like Dick Cheney, James Baker had made a fortune from his government contacts after leaving the office at the end of Bush Sr.’s term. His law firm, Baker Botts, represented the Saudi Royal Family, Halliburton and Gazprom. Baker was also an equity partner in the Carlyle Group, which benefited enormously from the War on Terror thanks to sales of robotics systems, defense communications systems and a contract to train Iraqi police. In the first six months of the Iraqi War, war translated into 6,6 billion USD payout to Carlyle’s investors. Baker kept his place in Carlyle – and his profits – even as Bush named him a special envoy on Iraq debt; a clear conflict of interests, but one that nobody except a few newspapers batted an eye on. Not only he did not resign, he wrote a 65-page business plan submitted by a consortium of companies, Carlyle Group included, to the Kuwaiti Government. In it, the consortium offered to use its high-level political connections to collect from Iraq 27 billion in unpaid debts to Kuwait stemming from Saddam’s invasion of the latter. This was the exact opposite of what he was supposed to be doing, namely securing cancellation of Iraqi’s Saddam era debts. The document was submitted two months after Baker’s appointment, and in exchange for helping Kuwait collect Iraq’s debt, it required the government of Kuwait to invest 1 billion USD with the Carlyle Group. Baker backed out of the Consortium the day after Naomi Klein’s story was published in The Nation, but the damage had been done. George Shultz headed the private Committe for the Liberation of Iraq, a pressure group formed in 2002 and tasked with whipping up hysteria about threat from Saddam. Being, on paper, separate from the government, meant that he was free to do so without burden of proof. He did his work while at the same time being a member of the board of directors of Bechtel, a company that would collect 2,3 billion USD on “reconstruction” of Iraq. Committe for the Liberation of Iraq itself was stacked with people who had worked at Lockheed; not surprising, given that it was convened by Bruce Jackson, who had only three months earlier held the job of vice president for strategy and planning at Lockheed Martin. Not one member stepped down from the Lockheed Martin, whose share price jumped 145 per cent between March 2003 and February 2007. Henry Kissinger, a hugely important figure in the US government at the time, was named the chair of 9/11 Commission in November 2002. Yet when the families of victims asked Kissinger to produce a list of his corporate clients in order to determine wether there is a conflict of interest, he refused to do it and stepped down as a chair of commission to avoid such pressure in the future. Richard Perle, a chair of the Defense Policy Board, stepped down from the position after using the Board to argue for invasion of Iraq. And two months after the invasion, he launched his venture capital firm Trireme Partners which would invest in private defense and security firms, and openly boasted of its political connections. In 2003, he finally had to step down as a chairman of the Board after his connections were exposed.
In 2006, George W. Bush signed a Defense Authorization Act, which allowed President to use US Army and National Guard as he wishes, without either Congress or the Senate being able to stop him. Service in Government agencies had turned into a scouting missions, with knowledge gained being used later to help companies secure lucrative contracts.
Iraq was invaded on basis of carefully staged video evidence – and all of it was made possible by nationalistic frenzy 9/11 attacks launched US into. Meanwhile, in 2003, US did not have a single agent in Iraq.
United States seem to fully agree with Stalin’s words: “Words must have no relations to actions — otherwise what kind of diplomacy is it? Words are one thing, actions another. Good words are a mask for concealment of bad deeds. Sincere diplomacy is no more possible than dry water or wooden iron.“
United States talk of peace, yet, since 2001, they have invaded or intervened in Panama, Kuwait, Iraq, Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, Serbia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Libya. Wars against Russia in Georgia and against Iran have been proposed but avoided – for now. But in majority of countries, existing regimes were replaced with ones friendly to United States and US interests. War has become one of main tools in US foreign relations.
On international level, while there was much resistance from Europe and Russia to United States maintaining their empire, after 9/11 such resistance ceased – there was a surge of solidarity with United States, even by countries and newspapers that normally opposed US policies (“Le Monde”, daily French newspaper, being an example – normally not friendly towards United States, it has written “We are all Americans today”). Missile shield also received badly-needed support, which may have been reason why attacks came from the air – attacks themselves were used as a pretense for withdrawal from 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, despite opposition from Russia, China and majority of NATO. In Islam world, however, many people celebrated as people of US have felt what their country has exactly been inflicting on Mid East – and some other parts of the globe. Attacks made it easy for troops to be sent abroad, something that politicians had to fight tooth and nail in a decade following the end of the Cold War.
In the end, as history has shown, it is much easier for great mass of people to fall victim to a large lie than a small one – and insecurity following the attacks has been masterfully used by the US administration. Final nail in coffin of coincidence theory is pure number of coincidences that would have to had happened if coincidence/incompetence theory is correct.
Turning United States into police state
After 9/11, a Patriot Act was passed, under which state had gained large powers in spying on general populace. Corporate subsidiaries are used to spy on foreign citizens. Patriot Act became a law with little debate, thanks mostly to anthrax letters which entered the mail the same week. While Congressional offices were evacuated, examined and cleaned, the Act remained unread. It was made into the law with almost no debate, immediately giving the administration power to examine people’s medical and tax records, information about the books they have borrowed and the power to conduct secret residental searches at drop of the hat.
After 9/11, importance of agencies such as newly-formed Department of Homeland Security (in reality an Frankenstein monster created by merging of 22 governmental agencies, largest of which was US Coast Guard) skyjumped. Deepwater project, aimed at increasing capability of Coast Guard to deal with most sea traffic-related issues, giving it “over 90 new ships, 124 small boats, nearly 200 new or refurbished helicopters, over four dozen Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), and an integrated surveillance and communications system”, gave Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grummann complete control over the project – deciding about everything, from ship designs to what other firms can join the project. Bush administration stated that it will lead to increased efficiency, lower costs and reduced bureocracy, in keeping with their general policy of utter privatization of everything, including Government. Result was exact opposite of statement, demonstrating that private contractors are often far less efficient than governmental ones. For example, last ship of Deepwater project, the National Security Cutter, was launched with a price tag of 564 million USD for a first copy – only for hull cracks to be found.
Many basic functions of government were privatized – from providing health care for soldiers, to interrogating prisoners and intelligence ops. In 2003, US Government handed out 3 512 security contracts; in 22 months, ending with August 2006, it handed out over 115 000 such contracts. This happened despite attacks revealing dangerous inadequacy of public services, which were primarly a consequence of privatization that happened even before the attacks – for example, radio communications between rescuers broke down during rescue operations.
Donald Rumsfeld, who by 2001 already had personal fortune estimated at 250 million USD, and spent twenty years heading private corporations, started transformation projects. He wanted military to shed as many full-time employees as possible, replacing them by contractors, as well as outsorcing as many jobs as possible from DoD to corporations. Savings from fewer troops and tanks would be spent on largest (and mostly useless) technological gadgets such as stealth aircraft and nanotechnology, thus building a military without substance; an empty, hollow force.
But older generals, who despite long-standing addiction to high technology knew that “things” and “mass” still mattered when it came to fighting wars, became hostile to Rumsfeld’s hollow force. As a result, Rumsfeld called a meeting, in which he called Pentagon’s bureocracy most dangerous enemy of United States. It wasn’t for savings: Rumsfeld just asked Congress for 11% budget increase. But he wanted as little money as possible to be spent on staff, and as much as possible given to corporate contractors. Everything that could be outsourced was; even health care for soldiers was to be done by private sector. There was only one problem with that: US Constitution clearly defined national security, and everything connected to it, as duty of Government. Only reason that this adress did not cost him his job was that it was given on September 10, 2001, which also meant that media coverage of the event remained sparse – day later, attack on Pentagon left 125 employees dead and 110 wounded.
After Rumsfeld retired, he kept busy in companies that formed parts of Military-Industrial Complex. Even before he became minister of defense, he made many controversial decisions: in 1997, when he was chairman on of board of the biotech firm Gilead Sciences company registered the patent for Tamiflu, which became preferred cure for avian flu – drug had psychological effects, and many young people who took it became confused, paranoid, delusional and suicidal. Between November 2005 and November 2006, it caused 25 deaths across the world. Some of firm’s key medicines were developed on taxpayer’s funds.
Dick Cheney had similar history, though he banked on war. As a secretary of defense under Bush Sr, he scaled down number of active troops and dramatically increased reliance on private contractors, going as far as to contact Houston-based multinational Halliburton (more precisely, it’s engineering division Brown&Root) to identify tasks performed by US troops that could be performed by private contractors. This lead to LOGCAP, which used companies to provide logistical support for US military. LOGCAP was a “cost plus” contract – companies were assured that no matter what they did for military, costs of it will be covered by Pentagon (a.k.a. taxpayers), plus a guaranteed profit. Cheney’s wife, Lynne, was a board member at Lockheed Martin.
While not directly connected to the attacks, energy firm Enron declared a bankruptcy three months after the attacks. Directors managed to save their own savings as they knew what was coming, but thousands of employees were not so lucky. It was also Enron’s manipulation of energy prices that led to massive blackouts in California months earlier, and attacks made personnell of public sector – which Bush was trying to destroy – heroes. But Bush was far from converting to Keynesianism, and attacks allowed him to push through a neoliberal agenda even harder than before. Government was about to spend huge amounts of money to boost economy, but like Obama’s plan in 2010s, it was nothing like what Franklin Delano Roosevelt did; all money was going to corporations, in forms of hundreds of lucrative contracts offered – usually secretevely, with little competition and no oversight – to private corporations. Everything that could be privatized was, and after the 9/11 attacks, with US in nationalistic frenzy, there was no oversight at all.
All key functions in the Bush administration were performed by outside advisers and freelance envoys: James Baker, Paul Bremer, Henry Kissinger, George Shultz, Richard Perle and so on, with Congress and Supreme Court reduced to rubber-stamp role. As they were classified as contractors, they were not subject to conflict of interest laws and rules. By 2006, Charley’s companies had made 6,6 billion USD from war in Iraq. Baker was in charge of collecting debt from Iraq – completely opposite of what he was supposed to do, that is convince governments to forgive Saddam-era debts. George Shultz, tasked by administration to whip up the war hysteria in United States, was at time a member of board of directors of Bachtel, company which would proceed to collect 2,3 billion USD in reconstruction of Iraq.
In 1950s, CIA performed experiments designed to wipe people’s memories clean (MKUltra); experiments were supervised by dr. Ewen Cameron. These were later used to develop torture techniques that were used in Abu Ghraib, albeit in far worse shape (first studies – done on medical students – consisted simply of complete sensory deprivation, that lasted for days at the end, after which tapes promoting occult ideas – which students were extremely repulsive towards before experiment – were played to them; some test subjects did develop interest in occult that lasted several weeks after the experiment. These were done by dr. Donald Hebb in accordance to medical ethics, including limiting the time of such deprivation to three days at most; but far more extensive experiments to same end, with patients being held in isolation for up to 35 days, were done by dr. Cameron, under contract with CIA. Cameron, aside from preventing sensory input, also destroyed memory with electroshocks.)
In 1966, CIA sent agents to Saigon to field-test Cameron’s theories. But in seventies and eighties, CIA agents usually played a role of mentor to foreign intelligence agencies. However, that ended after 9/11; attacks had effect similar to one described in Kubark manual – disorientation, fear and intellectual regression – but these manifested on society itself, giving CIA more-or-less free hands.
To make CIA, and US Government, immune to legal reprisal, laws were changed – so that prisoners at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay were not “prisoners of war” but “unlawful combatants”. Torture was accordingly redefined as something causing pain “equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure”. This allowed full use of techniques described above, with all side-effects, including intellectual regression of detainees.
US imperialism abroad
Pre-World War I
US tradition of using force to solve the problems where diplomacy would suffice actually goes to very beginning of United States themselves, with any native populace in the way of US expansion being dislocated, exterminated or isolated in reservates. United States kept expanding over North American continent through conquest and purchase (Louisiana 1803), however expansion towards the North was stopped by their defeat in English-American War of 1812.
Since very beginning, Americans have perceived themselves as people chosen by God to propagate their values and beliefs to rest of the world. Thus, extending US-style demo(n)cracy to rest of the world is seen as a something of an imperative beyond simple interest in profit. In that they can be compared to Roman Empire – much like Rome, United States don’t see themselves as opressors, but as civilizators; slaughter and genocide are both acceptable if they serve interests of political and social elite.
In 1823, Jason Monroe declared both Americas to be US-exclusive interest zone and thus exempt from any colonization attempts or interference by European powers. However, until end of the 19-th century, it was British Navy which actually enforced that exemption, due to UK’s own interests – only by end of the century did United States have navy capable of enforcing the declaration on its own.
Still, Monroe Doctrine did not exemp United States from such interference, setting up American continent as US interest zone. Theodore Roosevelt has confirmed in 1904 that United States have a special right to intervene in any country in both Americas, militarily if need be. That right was, over time, extended to rest of the world.
In 1898, after Spanish-US war, United States have gained control over the entire Spanish empire in Pacific and Carribeans (Cuba, Puerto Rico, Phillipines, Guam). In same year, Hawaii were also annexed.
Theodore Roosevelt, arguing for annexation of Phillipines, claimed that it is “not imperialism, but expansion”. Such euphemisms will later become typical of US politicians. After Phillipines were annexed, 200 000 Filipinos were killed out of population of eight million in an attempt to crush the rebellion, which happened in 1903.
United States controlled the Phillipines from 1898 to 1946; Cuba was protectorate from 1901 to 1934, and in that time, two naval bases were built on Cuban territory – Guam and Puerto Rico; both bases are still under US control. United States also controlled island’s sugar economy and political life, intervening in force when necessary to quell uprisings. Cuban government had to obtain blessing from US minister in Havana in order to undertake any major departure.
In 1903, United States sponsored a coup against Columbia in which Republic of Panama was created; new country immediately gave right for building a canal over Panama isthmus. Upened in 1914, canal remained under direct US control until 1979, to be again invaded in 1989-1990.
Woodrow Wilson interventioned militarily in Haiti in 1914, Dominican Republic in 1916 and twice in Mexico (1914, 1916) to crush revolutions that threatened to nationalize US land, as well as mining and oil companies. However, as none of these interventions had a result of United States annexing any land, but rather installing US-friendly regimes and using them to control politics and economies of invaded countries, many believe that these interventions cannot be described as actions of an empire. They are, obviously, wrong.
In 1899, United States entered China and claimed equal treatments as that of European powers (in other words, preferential relative to indigenous Chinese commerce). However, while United States took liberty in rest of the world, US involvement with Europe was purely economical, not military, in nature – excepting when it comes to matters directly pertaining to American continent – due to the fact that Europe could, if unified, easily counter any US attempt at involvement. Moreover, there was fear that a politically unified Europe could threaten the security and very identity of United States; that fear still remains.
In 1914, United States have displaced Great Britain as world’s leading industrial power, accounting for 33% of world’s GNP. Same year, US Navy ranked third in the world, just behind UK and German fleets, after a massive buildup. Despite all that, and criticism from Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson kept United States from entering World War I. In 1917, however, he entered war, declaring that “German agression is a threat to humanity itself”.
After US entry won the war for the Allies, Wilson created Fourteen Points and League of Nations; however, US Senate refused to allow United States entry into League. United States have greatly benefoted from the World War I, becoming greatest creditor and financial country in the world, and producing 43% of world’s industrial output.
US entry in World War II also won the war for the Allies (despite USSR carrying the brunt of fighting) but this time, United States emerged from the war, which saw dissolusion of old European empires, as unmatched world empire, producing half the world economic output, and holding 80% of world’s gold reserves, along with gigantic armed forces. At the end of the World War II, United States opted for a show of force, unnecessarily dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki (as matter of fact, Japan was trying to surrender since Battle of Midway).
While Roosevelt was preaching about evils of British and French Empires and their imperial ambitions, his advisors were compiling lists of bases to be included in US empire around the globe. However, rise of Soviet Union left United States competing for dominance over the globe; thus NATO was created, which, coupled by interests of US military industry, was actually a superior option to destruction of USSR – existence of strong empire in vicinity left Western European countries to seek protection of another power – United States. Thus era of increased militarization of United States started, as did the era of US interventions in oil-rich Middle East.
In 1933, SoCal – today Chevron – obtained 60-year concession to drill and export Saudi oil. In 1945, SoCal created Arabian-American oil company (Aramco). United States, in order to secure flow of oil, did their best to keep Saudi ruling elite satisfied. With time, Saudi oil fields de facto became part of US oil industry. Iran was also area of US interest until 1979 and islamic revolution in the country. In 1979, Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, after which United States started preparing Middle East for possibility of US military intervention. During Iraq-Iran war, United States supported Iraq, including access to high technology.
When Cold War ended, United States had powerful Military Industrial Complex. However, now it faced emerging economic powers – Japan and Germany – both of whom dedicated far greater percentage of resources to civilian research. Ronal Reagan’s expenditures near the end of the Cold War created large fiscal deficits, and United States are now in position of many empires through ages, where imperial commitments outweighted empire’s ability to undertake them. Due to that, and aforementioned rise of new economic powers, United States had to produce a new excuse for continuing military and political primacy, and found it in War on Terror. NATO, an unnecessary dinosaur of the Cold War, has thus been maintained, with one of goals being to prevent – or at least limit – the rise of Germany. United States have also appointed themselves a world policeman, helping MIC and maintaining world primacy, in one stroke.
World War I
In 1915, United States have sent troops to Haiti, and occupied Dominican Republic. In 1914 and 1916, armed intrusions were sent into Mexico so as to teach the Mexicans to “elect good men.”
Inter-War period and World War II
US military industry and finances during this period also had fingers in Europe. In 1920s to 1940s, Wall Street has financed preparation of Germany for war – one which began even before Hitler came to power, and continued until 1945. In 1934, Germany produced 300 000 tons of natural petroleum products, and 800 000 tons of synthetic gasoline. In 1944, production was 6 500 000 tons of oil – 5 500 000 of which was made synthetically, via usage of Standard Oil hydrogenation patents. US corporations aided German rearmament, despite knowing that probable outcome is another war in Europe.
Treaty of Versailles imposed heavy reparations burden on Germany – one which made Hitler so popular. Annual fee was 132 billion gold marks – a quarter of 1921 German exports. As Germany was unable to pay it, France and Belgium occupied Ruhr. Meanwhile, US loans were used to establish large chemical and steel cartels in Germany, ones which later helped Hitler to power, and produced bulk of German war materials. Between 1924 and 1931, Germany paid 86 billion marks in reparations, and was given 138 billion marks in loans. It was actually 1928 Young plan (formulated by Morgan agent Owen D Young) which helped Hitler to power, by convincing many people that they had to join Hitler if Young plan was to be prevented from collapsing Germany. Young Plan was actually nothing more than a plan to occupy Germany with US capital, similar to Friedman’s neoliberal policies that will be discussed later.
In 1920s, three major loans were made by US to three German cartels – same ones which put Hitler in power few years later. On boards of two of these cartels, US financiers were directly represented. Two cartels, IG Farben and Vereinigte Stahlworke, produced 95% of German explosives in 1937-8, using caapcity built by US loans and partly US technology. IG Farben had also cooperated with Standard Oil, which gave it monopoly on German gasoline production. Two largest tank producers in Germany were also Opel, a subsidiary of General Motors (which had 100% of ownership in it), and Ford A G, subsidiary of Ford company in Detroit (Ford himself was decorated by Hitler for his services to Third Reich). Bendix Aviation helped create German aircraft industry – in 1940, it supplied complete technical data for diesel engine starters to Robert Bosch, and before it it supplied data on automatic pilots to German Siemens&Halske A G.
On beginning of World War II, IG Farben was largest chemical manufacturing enterprise in the world, with vast influence – a state within the state. Without capital from Wall Street, however, it wouldn’t exist – and Hitler would have been remembered os yet another political failure, or wouldn’t be remembered at all. Furthermore, without IG Farben’s capital, Germany would have been unable to go to war. IG Farben was also tasked by Hitler to make Germany independent from imported resources – rubber, gasoline, lubricating oils, magnesium, fibers, fats and explosives – by utilizing vast German coal reserves. Processes were developed or acquired abroad – such as iso-octane process, acquired from United States.
Farben made numerous arangements with US firms – including technology exchanges. It also served as espionage agency during the war, with Chemnyco Inc serving as its US arm. Moreover, it helped German military on its own initiative – Wehrmacht only rarely had to approach it for projects. Moreover, most of Nazi propaganda in United States was funded by firms inside United States themselves. Many directors of US branch of Farben came directly from Wall Street; yet, only directors found guilty at Nuremburg trials were Germans.
By 1930, General Electric also gained effective monopoly on Soviet electrical industry, and soon thereafter penetrated last bastions in Germany, specifically Siemens. While it was able to acquire shares in Siemens, it was unable to get directors on Siemens board, which consequently remained fairly independent of GE. Siemens also never participated in financing of Hitler, directly or indirectly, unlike US-dominated A.E.G. and Osram.
Thus, by time of Hitler’s preparations for takeover, US firms dominated Germany. Both A.E.G. and Osram, as noted, financed Hitler. IG Farben supplied 30% of the 1933 Hitler National Trusteeship (or takeover) fund, as did all other firms GE was associated with.
General Electric also cooperated with Krupp, which went on to develop 8,8 cm Flak 18/36/37/41, which found use as anti-tank gun – actually, Tiger I tanks used modified version of Flak 36 as KwK 36. General Electric, with Krupp’s help, obtained monopoly on tungsten carbide in US. German electrical industry was also mostly owned by US firms, and only companies not owned by US ones – such as Brown Boveri and Siemenstadt – were bombed by US Air Force. Meanwhile, originally civilian AEG plant was converted for civilian production; it was not bombed until after protection has been developed.
Standard Oil, meanwhile, helped prepare German economy for war, as German crude petroleum supplies were insufficient for prolonged war. Standard Oil-developed process for getting petroleum from coal was what enabled Germany to go to war. It also undermined US preparations for war. As late as 1944, Standard Oil contributed to Hennrich Himmler’s personal fund.
Standard Oil/General Motors owned Ethyl Gasoline Corporation supplied Ethyl lead and ethyl fluid – used to improve engine efficiency; without it, mobile warfare would be impractical. Until 1935, such compounds were manufactured exclusively in United States; in 1935, know-how was transferred to Germany by Ethyl Gasoline Corporation, despite protests of US Government.
In 1939 I.T.T. in the United States controlled Standard Elektrizitats in Germany, which in turn controlled 94 percent of Mix & Genest. Lorenz Company owned 25 % of Focke-Wolfe AG in Bremen, which was making airplanes for Luftwaffe (such as fighter FW-190).
In 1930s, Henry Ford built Gorki automobile plant in USSR; moreover, he was one of foremost Nazi backers. In 1922, he was backing Adolph Hitler’s movement in Munich. Hitler used Ford’s funds to fund Bavarian rebellion. However, Hitler’s backing in late 1920s and early 1930s came from chemical, steel, weapons and electrical industry cartels, not individual industrialists. In 1928, 40% of Ford Germany was transferred to IG Farben during latter’s merge with Ford, and Carl Bosch of IG Farben came to head Ford Germany.
Through German Ford, Germany imported various war materials. In late 1930s, Ford-Werke AG was transformed into German company, which exported automobiles to rest of Europe and US; any required foreign supplies were procured through American Ford Company. During war, Ford transferred modern US production and sales methods to Germany; information about that was promptly buried by Washington. French Ford produced 20 trucks a day for Wehrmacht.
While US Bombing Command did not bomb European plants owned by Wall Street interests, UK Bombing Command apparently did not receive note. When RAF bombed Ford plant in Poissy in France in 1942, Vichy Government paid Ford 38 million francs as compensation for damage. Its primary function was manufacture of light trucks and spares for trucks.
Nuremburg industrials gave large sums of money to Hitler. Majority of those that did, however, had connections to United States. Except for Thysenn and Kirdoff, all firms that backed Hitler were multinationals built up with US loans in 1920s. However, even Thysenn had connections in United States, and his US partners were prominent members of Wall Street financial establishment, such as Harrimans. Harriman and Thysenn interests did business between them, and although there is no proof that Harrimans supported Hitler directly, they knew of Thyssen’s support for Hitler.
On Kaiserhof Meeting in May 1932, IG Farbe, Hamburg-America Line, and Diem of the German Potash Trust raised more than 500 000 Reichmarks and given to Rudolf Hess; IG Farben alone contributed 100 000 RM. A total of 3 000 000 was contributed by prominent firms and businessmen; 700 000 of that came from IG Farben.
Hitler also had Keppler Circle, a group of businessmen who supported his rise to power before and during 1933 and put them under protection of SS. Its founder, Wilhelm Keppler, was close to Hitler even before 1933. Few years after being posted to Austria in 1938, he achieved string of directorships in German firms, including being chairman of two IG Farben subsidiaries – Braunkohle Benzin AG and Kontinental Oil AG; former firm was one that acquired US technology for creation of synthetic gasoline from coal. Meanwhile, at least 8 members of Keppler Corcle were high-ranking members of IG Farben or Farben subsidiary.
Major US multinationals also were represented in Circle, and made major cash contributions to the Reich regime until 1944.
American IG was renamed in 1941 to General Aniline & Film, but remained important producer of major war materials. IG Farben plants in Germany, similar to Ford and United Rayon plants, were never bombed by USAAF.
Developing computer industry was not free of guilt either; beginning in 1933, with Hitler’s rise to power, IBM made a series of contracts with the Third Reich; countracts included running railroads, organizing concentration camp slave labor, as well as identifying and categorizing all European Jews and other prosecuted minorities. While there were no electronic computers back then, IBM provided punch card machines.
US-based automotive firm General Motors manufactured many of vehicles used by Third Reich military apparatus, most of the through their subsidiary in Germany, Opel.
Prescott Bush, grandfather of George Bush Jr., had one of his business ventures – the Silesian-American Corporation – siezed when it was discovered that it was profiting from slave labour at Auschwitz concentration camp.
US industrialists and politicians, such as Henry and Edsel Ford, never were implicated at Nuremberg trials, despite guidiles calling for arrest of „Nazis and Nazi sympathisers“ – which Fords clearly were.
In short, Wall Street financed not only Hitler’s rise to power, but also Third Reich’s rearmament programmes, and war itself. International firms, especially banks, were extremely important in all this, and without them, Hitler would never be able to come to power in the first place, let alone initiate a war.
In everything it did – massive armaments industry, imperialism, armed invasions, corporations’ influence in Government – Nazi Germany was a corporatistic empire, much like present-day United States, but far more direct. Entire World War II was result of massive armaments industry Germany built up – a Military Industrial Complex, much like modern-day US „peacekeeping interventions“ over the world are result of US’ own MIC. But more about that later.
In 1938-1941, United States used embargoes to push Japan to attack them – Japan was left with no other option. Moreover, US politicians knew precisely when and where will Japanese Navy launch its attack. Similarly, in 1915, Lusitania was sunk to push US into war –although that didn’t work (namely, US ignored German warnings about waters around UK being no-sail zone, and did not follow any of established protocols for civilian ships in danger of submarine attacks – protocols which would have allowed it to evade any submarine of that era. Moreover, Lusitania was carrying war materials to Britain and actually sank due to ammunitions explosion).
Democratic governments have been overthrown in Iran in 1953, Guatemala in 1954, and Chile in 1973, courtesy of CIA.
During Cold War, United States exported strategic materials and knowledge to USSR. In 1961, 35 ball bearing machines were exported to Soviet Union – United States themselves had 72 such machines left. All of that was done without knowledge of public, or in Congress. In 1968, Gleason Company of Rochester in New York exported equipent to Gorki automobile plant in Russia (built previously by Ford) – plant which produced military vehicles. Despite the fact that post-WW2 assessment showed that any automobile industry is a major war industry, United States exported automobile-manufacturing plants to the Soviet Union.
Gorki plant produced two models of Ford trucks; both were adopted for military use. US equipment was shipped to Gorski during both WW2 and Vietnam War. During WW2 and Cold War, it had continuous history of producing vehicles for military use. Similar situation was with ZIL plant.
In 1960s and 1970s even rager aid for construction of military truck plants was approved. One was Volgograd plant, and had capacity to produce 600 000 vehicles per year. Three quarters of equipment came from United States.
In late 1960s and early 1970s, US financed building of large Kama plant, with annual output of 100 000 vehicles.
Similar assistance was provided with computer technology. In August 1971, US DoD paid 2 million USD to Hamilton Watch Company for watchmaking equipent (used to manufacture bomb and artillery shell fuses, aircraft timing gear and similar).
United States also exported computers – Soviet models of Cold War still used electronic tubes and could, as of 1960, perform 100 operations per second, compared to 15 000 operations per second of 1950s US computers. Soviet military use of imported equipemnt was well known to US Government. US also exported accelerometers and ball bearings for Soviet ballistic missiles, as well as equipment for their production, which allowed USSR to create highly precise ICBMs, as well as nerve gas technology.
Despite Eisenhower himself providing resistance to MIC at home, his administration was more than happy to protect corporate interests abroad. In Latin America of 1950s, nationalist economies, based around ideas similar to these of US New Deal, were proving to be extraordinarily successfull in economic terms. In 1953 and 1954, Keynesian governments in Iran and Guatemala were overthrown, former being replaced by exceedingly brutal shah. Coup in Guatemala was done on behest of United Fruit Company.
“Problem” was that President Jacobo Arbenz has expropriated (providing full compensation) some of UFCs land, with goal fo transforming Guatemala “from feudal to modern capitalist state”. He was soon out of office, and UFC was running the country again. Iran, on the other hand, wanted to nationalize oil industry.
University of Chicago was chosen to “educate” Chilean economy students, actually to brainwash them into following lassiez-faire philosophy, including “if it doesn’t work, you’re not doing it hard enough” logical fallacy. Project was done at Chilean Catholic University, with all expenses paid by the United States. In 1965, program was expanded to include students from across Latin America. But despite it, Latin America continued to move towards the left – discussion was between extensive nationalization, and formation of trade bloc to rival Europe and North America. By 1970, in Chile itself all three major political parties were in favor of nationalizing copper mines, nation’s largest source of revenue that was at the time controlled by US corporations.
In 1970, Salvador Allende won elections, promising to nationalize large parts of economy that were still in hands of foreign and local corporations. While he also promised to negotiate fair compensations to US companies that were losing property and investments, these were unwilling to part with extremely profitable arrangements: by 1968, US companies have invested 1 billion USD in Chile’s copper mining industry, sending 7,2 billion USD home.
Immediately after that, ad-hoc Comittee on Chile was created in the United States, with purpose to force Allende to cease plans for nationalizations. Corporations included in the comittee decided to block US loans to Chile. In March 1971, it was discovered that US telephone company ITT had plotted with CIA and US State Department with goal of preventing Allende from being inaugurated. After that failed, ITT turned to shaping US policy towards Chile, a task it was successfull in, including a preparation of military coup against Allende. Yet in 1973, after years of tricks similar to one described, Allende was still in power, gaining even larger support than he had at first elections, all despite US lobbying.
In Brazil, US-backed military junta seized control of the government in 1964, immediately establishing neoliberal economic programme, and opening Brazil to foreign investment. But when these measures proved unpopular to the point of junta’s regime being in jeopardy, junta turned to repression.
Indonesia was not better off. Since Second World War, Indonesia was ruled by President Sucarno, a nationalist, who followed protectionist economic policies, redistributed wealth and threw out both IMF and the World Bank. In October 1965, CIA-backed General Suharto started killing country’s leading leftists (term used in economic sense), with CIA providing the list. Soon, more indiscriminate killings were started by Suharto’s followers, with between 500 000 and 1 million people being killed as a result. His economic program was prepared by students of University of Berkeley, so-called Berkeley Mafia, who were ideological duplicates of “Chicago Boys”, economy students from University of Chicago. Berkeley Mafia was also funded by Henry Ford.
After the coup, Suharto not only followed economic programme, but packed his government with Berkeley Mafia members, in effect creating a technocratic government. Role of brutality in establishing and maintaining his regime was closely studied in Washington. Soon afterwards, laws were passed that allowed foreign companies to hold hundred per cent of Indonesia’s resources, handed out tax holidays, and within two years all Indonesia’s natural resources were divided between world’s corporate giants.
Lessons from Indonesia coup were then used in Chile. In September 1971, top business leaders held a meeting to develop a regime-change strategy, while Chicago Boys, along with collegaues from Catholic University, developed economic strategies to be implemented after the coup – later called “The Brick”. Over 75% of their funding came from CIA, eight of ten authors of “The Brick” came from University of Chicago. Military, as mentioned, planned its own coup, and soon two groups opened a dialogue.
Shock of the coup was to be followed by economic “shock therapy”, a lightning-fast ad-hoc implementation of neoliberal policies, as well as by general opression, which included torture techniques from CIAs Kubark manual.
On September 11, 1973, General Augusto Pinochet launched a coup against President Sallende, who had refused to organize his supporters into militias, while Pinochet had complete control of the military. After 41 years of uninterrupted democracy, Chile was to find itself under military dictatorship, which came with fireworks, tanks firing on opposition there was none of, except for Allende and his inner circle who attempted to defend Presidential Palace. Military launched 24 rockets on Allende and his 36 supporters. After surrender, Allende was found with head blown apart; likely a suicide to prevent capture. Reason was that CIA brainwashed military into believing that any kind of socialism could be equated with Soviet-style Communism, and therefore had to be extinguished. In following days, 13 500 civillians were arrested and imprisoned, with hundreds being executed. End result of coup was 3 200 people dead or disappeared, 80 000 imprisoned and 200 000 fled the country for political reasons.
By noon of September 12, Chicago Boys had finished their economic programme, taken straight out of Milton Friedman’s “Capitalism and Freedom”: privatization, deregulation and cuts to social spending. Without push and pull mechanism of democracy, they were free to implement it completely.
Pinochet knew nothing of economy, yet coup and caimpaign of corporate sabotage spearheaded by ITT had sent economy into chaos. He named several Chicago Boys as advisors, and they spke things he did understand and like: that economics were like force of nature, that need to be respected and obeyed because “acting against nature is counter-productive”. This argument, of course, ignored two main points that actually destroy it completely: a) economy is not force of nature, it is part of human society and its creation, and b) human civilization is built on human ability to shape nature, act against it where required and adapt it to humanity’s own needs, as opposed to animals’ response of adapting themselves to the nature.
For first year and a half, Pinochet mostly followed Chicago rules: partial privatization of state-owned banks and corporations, allowance of speculative finance, and cutting of governmental spending, except for the military – whose spending was massively increased. Price control was also abolished. Results were, expectedly, catastrophic: in 1974, inflation reached 375%, highest rate in the world and twice the top level under Allende. Costs of basics, like bread, suffered a massive increase. Country was hit with massive imports, which lead to equally massive loss of jobs and widespread starvation. With agenda in danger, Chicago Boys had to call in Milton Friedman and Arnold Hamberger. Friedman said that “shock treatment” was the only solution. He further advised complete free trade and cutting government spending by 25% across the board, and predicted that recovery will follow in matter of months. After it, Pincochet filled government with even more Chicago Boys, and in 1975, cut the government spending by 27%. In 1980, government spending was half of what it was under Allende. 500 of state-owned companies and banks were privatized at bagatel price. Result was that manufacturing as a percentage of economy was, by mid-1980s, at lowest levels since World War II. In the first year, economy contracted by 15%, and unemployed went from 3% under Allende to 20%. Crisis, contrary to Friedman’s predictions, lasted for years. 74% of average family’s income went to buying bread, while under Allende, bread, milk and bus fare took up 17% of average public employee’s salary. School milk program was eliminated, and many students were so badly fed that they were incapable of going to the school. Not that it mattered, since public school system was soon replaced by private schools, health care became pay-as-you-go, kindergartens and cementeries were privatized.
Chile is now held up as a “proof” that free market works. But its period of steady growth that statement in question is actually referring to did not begin until mid-1980s. In 1982, despite (or, rather, because of) its strict adherence to Chicago doctrine, Chile’s economy crashed: debt exploded, and unemployment reached 30%. These problems were mainly caused by “piranhas”, financial houses that were now free from all regulation, buying country’s assets on borrowed money and racking up debt of 14 billion USD. In the end, Pinochet was forced to nationalize most of “piranhas”, and fired Chicago Boys – with many of them ending up under investigation for fraud. Collapse was prevented though, entirely thanks to the fact that Codelco, copper mine company that was nationalized by Allende and accounted for 85% of Chile’s export revenues, was never privatized. Chile was, in effect, what United States are today: a corporatist country, an alliance between state and big business. Thanks to Pinochet’s last measures, in 1988 economy stabilized and entered a phase of rapid growth. But by then, 45% of Chileans ended up below poverty line, and richest 10% had seen their wealth increase by 83%. Even in 2007, Chile remained among top ten most unequal countries in the world, a fact that does not help economy at all. It exposes Chicago school as pushing agenda of big business: exterminating middle class, making wealthy extraordinarily wealthy and the poor extraordinarily poor.
In 1973, Uruguay military staged a coup and decided to go Chile’s route. Real wages dropped by 28%. In 1976, Argentina also fell under military junta, which also followed Chicago course. Argentina’s junta did not privatize oil reserves or social security. Still, strikes were banned, and employers given ability to fire workers at will. Price control was abolished, as were limitations on foreign ownership of Argentina’s companies. Within year, wages lost 40% of their value, and poverty spiralled. Argentina did want to avoid international pressure that was levelled against Chile due to obvious terror; as Chile eventually did, so Argentina settled on disappearances. By the end of the generals’ regin, 30 000 people have disappeared. Like after US invasion of Iraq in 2003, bodies would often show up in garbage bins, missing fingers and teeth.
Governments of juntas collaborated with each other in cracking down on populace, in what was called Operation Condor. Operation Condor included information exchange and safe passages for each others’ agents so as to snatch subversives that had taken refuge in neighbouring countries. Information on torture was also exhchanged, with military officers attending “torture classes” – these included live demonstrations, and as many as 100 officers could be present at any given torture. Torture techniques were taken from “Kubark” manual, and included sensory deprivation and electroshocks among the others. Between 100 000 and 150 000 people were tortured in the Southern Cone, and tens of thousands were killed. CIA also directly trained Argentine police. Admiral Massera called junta’s terror campaign a “war for freedom and against tyranny”. Orladno Letelier, who worked on exposing Pinochet’s crimes, was killed on September 21, 1976. by assassins who have been smuggled into US with CIAs consent. Ideologically inappropriate books were burned, and some of students on University of Chile were shot for holding views that contradicted official ones.
Raids targeting worker unions begun at the day of the coup itself. In Chile, arrests started while everyone was focused on the siege of Presidential Palace.
Foregin corporations did everything they could to help regimes. In Brazil, several multinational corporations, including Ford Motor Company, financed their own private torture squads. In Argentina, company supplied cars to the military, and green Ford Falcon sedan was vehicle of choice for kidnappings. Juntas responded by ridding corporation’s production lines of trade unions – prominent members of unions were detained and tortured by techniques straight from Kubark manual. Mercedes Benz provided names of union leaders in their own factories to junta’s squads – sixteen people on the list disappeared, and only two of them were seen again. In fact, everyone who had vision of society built on anything except pure profit was in danger. Farmers were tortured by electricized picanas, while at the same time powerful ranchers rised price of meat by 700 per cent. In slums, anyone who helped poor was a target, including members of the Catholic Church. In September 1976, six high school students were tortured to death after student protests for lower bus fare. People were tortured to provide information – information that in many cases interrogators already knew, but divulgion of which would create a sense of betrayal and shame in interrogated.
Torture was also used to make prisoners as individualistic as possible – choice was often between more torture for oneself or more torture for a fellow prisoner, so as to make them succumb to Western neoliberalistic, individualistic cutthroat ethos. Babies were taken from parents, who were then usually tortured to death, and given to members of junta, to be raised as “model citizens”.
Human rights organizations, to most extent, ignored underlying political goals and focused on acts of torture without even trying to understand them. One of reasons for that was the fact that many of these groups received funding from Ford Foundation, same organization that funded many South American universities. While some of these were left-leaning, most of funding went to two institutions: University of Chicago’s Program for Latin American Economic Research and Training and Chile’s Catholic University, both of whom were examples of institutionalized neoliberal fundamentalism. Foundation also trained Suharto’s economists, who proceeded to basically sell entire country to foreign corporations. Despite it, Ford’s work did produce some results: corporation was often the only possibility of putting an end to worst of abuses, and it helped persuade US Congress to cut military funding for juntas, forcing them to scale back repression to an extent. But it would be wrong to think that Ford did this for filanthropy; it was closely associated to neoliberal dogma, and it did not want its image tainted. For this reason, only one – and completely independent – report ever asked the most basic of all questions: why.
Milton Friedman, often hailed as a “great economist”, was directly responsible for campaign of terror that ravaged Chile, since his economic reforms could not be established peacefully. But that campaign was more than just terror; it was campaign of extermination targeted against whole sections of society. Result of neoliberal transformation of South America was that Chile, Brazil and Argentina were reduced from developed first-world nations to third-world hell holes. He would later go on to say that “Pinochet spent first two years trying to run economy on his own”, a very obvious lie made to excuse his economic programme which managed to completely ruin Chilean economy in first year-and-a-half after the coup in which it was implemented. He also claimed that Pinochet’s regime was example of “free society” brought by free markets.
In 1979, US-backed Shah of Iran was overthrown, and new government nationalized the banking sector and brought in a land redistribution program, as well as imposed restrictions on imports and exports. Five months later in Nicuaragua, US-backed dictatorship of Anastazio Somoza Dabayle was replaced by left-wing Sandinista government in a popular revolt, which also restricted imports and nationalized banks.
In 1985, Bolivian Presidential candidate Hugo Banzer enlisted help of neoliberal Friedmanite economist, Jeffrey Sachs. Unlike other neoliberal economists, however, Sachs believed that free market policies have to be supported by debt relief and foreign aid. His approach in other avenues was neoliberal, however – contrary to Keynesians, he believed that government austerity and price increases are best solution for the crisis, an utter illogicality considering that economics are all about flow of money and not its accumulation. While Paz Esstensoro was inaugurated President, Sahch’s policies were implemented thanks to back-room dealings. His “solution” to Bolivia’s crisis was price deregulation and tenfold increase in price of oil. This was supported by a promise of US aid if Bolivia went neoliberal route, and soon Bolivian borders were openet to unregulated import, wages were frozen, food subsidies were cancelled, as were price controls. State companies were also downsized, and all measures were done at one time so as to overload public’s perception of events, breaking their OODA loop.
While price increases did end hyperinflation, they shifted all costs of that process on the poor. Unemployment rate increased from 20% in 1985 to more than 25% in 1987. By the same time, real wages were down 40%, and per-capita income fell from $845 to $789. Worse, most of total income was received by the rich; average income of average person was just $140. Sachs, who has returned to Bolivia, opposed increase in pays to deal with price increases. One of immediate results was that many farmers turned to growing coca, and by 1989 as much as 10% of all workers was connected to cocaine industry in some way. In 1987, illegal cocaine exports had generated more revenue for Bolivia than all legal exports combined, and had resurrected economy and beaten inflation. Bolivian economy itself had become addicted to cocaine. All of it was done through Vodoo politics – better known as “lying”.
In response, a country-wide strike was organized. Paz responded to a response by placing country under effective military dictatorship, rounding up two hundred union leaders. This state lasted until economic plan was fully implemented.
United States prevented formation of free democracies by forcing them to pay debts accumulated by previous juntas. In Argentina, junta collapsed after 1983, and Raul Alfonsin was elected president. But junta had managed to increase debt from 7,9 to 45 billion USD. In Uruguay, junta increased debt from 0,5 to 5 billion USD. In Brazil, junta increased debt from 3 billion USD in 1964 to 103 billion in 1985. Most of that money was spent on military and on torture camps, and much of remaining money simply vanished, transferred to accounts in foreign banks – Pinochet had 125 different bank accounts. In Argentina, of 35 billion USD borrowed by junta, 19 billion USD was moved to such accounts. Of the remaining money, most was spent on interest payments and on bailouts of private firms, as juntas absorbed their debts.
In later half of 1970s, United States let the interest rates on debt soar. This meant that interest on debt could only be met by further indebtment. In Argentina, 45 billion USD debt left over by junta reached 65 billion USD in 1989. Brazil’s debt doubled in 6 years, to 100 billion USD. In 1986, Bolivia was hit by a price shock, and all exports except for coca dropped by 55%, literally hooking its economy on cocaine.
In Europe, Solidarity organized a strike in Poland in 1980; Catholicism played an important role. Within a year, it had 10 million members, a half of Poland’s working population. It wanted five-day work week, social democracy, reduced bureocracy, ability of workers to decide how their factories are run. It demanded self-governing and democracy at every social level, and economic system combining the plan, self-governing and market. State-run companies were to become democratic workers’ cooperatives. But these goals were in opposition to Communist Party’s wishes, and it cracked down on Solidarity. In 1983, Walesa was awarded Nobel Peace Prize; yet everyone saw in Solidarity what he wanted to see, and not what Solidarity was. The left saw a socialism untained by genocides of Stalin and Mao; the right saw evidence of Communist brutality against even smallest dissent; Catholic Church saw ally against Communist atheism; while Margaret Tatcher and Ronald Reagan saw an opening in Soviet armor, despite themselves fighting in their own countries against everything that Solidarity represented.
But by then, economy, ruined by political bickering and mismanagement of Communist era, was in free-fall. Solidarity was unable to reform it, having to fight simply to avoid complete meltdown and mass starvation. Inside Solidarity, some wanted to give over factories to workers, whereas others wanted Scandinavian social democracy. Both approaches would have worked, if it were not for the fact that Poland desperately needed loans and debt relief to get out of its immediate crisis. But despite such help being a central mandate of IMF, now-neoliberal IMF refused any help at all, eyeing a chance to implement neoliberal reforms.
United States made it clear that they expected Solidarity to pay debts accumulated by ousted dictatorship, and IMF let the country fall deeper and deeper into debt and inflation. At the same time, hyped-up Jeffrey Sachs started working as advisor to Solidarity. Sachs offered help with paying off debt, but it came at price: neoliberal economy had to be put in place. Plan included slashing off subsidies, eliminating price control, and selling off entire industrial sector into private hands. These moves were in utter contradiction with what Solidarity wanted, but Poland’s leaders wanted a quick fix. In 1989, Sachs’ plan was adopted; in return, he secured 1 billion USD of IMFs help. Francis Fukuyama soon declared the “end of history”, a victory of liberty and economical libertarianism. Democracy and radical capitalism were to be fused together, despite statements that people wanted neoliberalism being nothing more than bold lies. In the same year, IMF and World Bank unveiled Washington Concensus, an attempt to crush new democracies under neoliberalism’s heel.
First place where Fukuyama’s dream was to be tested was China. Two months after his February speech, protests started at Tainanmen Square, to oppose dictatorship’s newly-introduced neoliberal policies – deregulation of wages and prices was not followed by democracy, as Fukuyama claimed, but in repeat of Latin America, neoliberal policies were introduced through bloodshed. Like in Croatia in 1990s, old Communists used privatization to enrich themselves. Price controls were lifted and job security eliminated, but by 1988 Party was forced to reverse some of reforms due to popular backlash. Friedman visited China in 1988, and soon thereafter Chinese experiment took overtones of Chile. All of this resulted in protests on Tainanmen Square, protests as much against authoritarianism itself as against economic policies of dictatorial government, in which people had no vote. On May 20, 1989, Party decided to protect economic programme at all costs, and declared martial law – between 2 000 and 7 000 people were killed, measures that Henry Kissinger supported as “necessary”. Afterwards, 40 000 people were arrested in a witch hunt on opponents of the regime, and hundreds were executed. Workers bore brunt of the reprisals, and all neoliberal reforms that had to be reversed in 1988 were reintroduced. These events turned China into sweatshop of the world, basically wrecking Western economies: in face of low taxes, corrupt officials and spineless workforce cowed by massacres, capitalists were free to do as they pleased.
This was a win-win for Party and for capitalists. In 2006, 90% of Chinese billionaires (calculated in yuans) were children of Party officials. Foreign multinational companies are still helpin China censor the knowledge about massacres – whenever “Chianmein Square massacres” or similar key words are typed in by Chinese, no results turn up.
Orthodox narratives tend to think of post-Cold War US policies as not being continuous with Cold War policies. However, there are no major differences; US policy continues to be malign and anti-democratic whenever its interests are opposed; and even when it is seemingly pro-democratic, it usually supports only phony representative democracies, easily manipulated for benefit of United States themselves. Massive military industry is also present, and United States have often criticized its allies in Europe for not spending enough on defense – despite the fact that EU is second-largest defense spender. It is still concerned with controlling world’s resources, especially oil – and is also curbing development of alternative energy sources. United States control IMF and World Bank, using them to push neoliberal policies to rest of the world; there is a literal conveyor belt delivering neoliberal economists – predominantly from University of Chicago – to headquarters of two institutions. This is in direct contradiction to reasons for IMF’s and WB’s founding – namely, to regulate markets, help countries in financial trouble, and prevent opportunities for rise of dictators like Hitler. But IMF was always regulated on basis of country’s effective economic size, which led to de facto complete US control over IMF, and latter’s complete embracement of neoliberal ideals after those took over in US.
In fact, everything United States are doing in a new post-Cold War world is aimed at establishing US dominance – political and economic – and providing justification for continuing existence of Military-Industrial Complex. United States are, with exceptions such as Russia and China, to decide who has right to posses nuclear weapons and label everyone else as a “rogue state”. Continued US military presence in Japan and Germany is aimed more at preventing these economic superpowers from seeking policies independent of US ones than assuring their security (security from who?). External threats – real, and more often imagined, or even created – are used to justify large defense spending and militarization. “Two-war” doctrine was also adapted to justify large spending, but it was never anything more than a marketing, assuming far better equipped opponents than US likely enemies were (or are).
United States are also promoting “free, unregulated market”, not only because of ideological concerns, but because it opens them access to previously protected world markets, and resources these markets had access to. At the same time, US companies’ investments are protected from confiscation by local governments – and large military plays role in securing these investments. Since 1983, IMF, as US-controlled body, forced countries that required its help to embrace neoliberal ideals.
As for relationship with Europe, United States have prevented creation of European alternative to US-dominated NATO, which has quickly become far more than a military alliance. US military bases are still in Europe, limiting EUs ability to counter US.
US position between two oceans allows United States to wage wars that have almost no impact at everyday life of citizens – except for cuts in public sector. That, combined with “always just” rhetoric, allows US elite to ramp up popular support for wars abroad. Any challenge to US primacy is met with military intervention or threat thereof. That threat is supported by world-wide network of military bases. Once United States go somewhere, they remain there – after First Gulf War, US military bases have been established in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and other Gulf states. After bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999, military bases have been established in Kosovo, Albania, Macedonia, Hungary, Bosnia and Croatia. After Operation Enduring Freedom, US bases have been established in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.
Only really important difference is the lack of the Soviet Union, which used to confine US military interventions abroad; though, it is possible that resurgent Russia may be able to fulfill that role. However, fall of the Soviet Union meant that United States have found themselves without a rival requiring enormous military expenditures; thus, War on Terror was used as a substitute. Today, rise of China and its threat to the West are constantly ramped up in order to justify huge levels of defense spending on irrelevant weapons (F-35 being the prime example).
In many cases, United States had a choice between diplomacy and force for solving the problems; yet, they have usually (if not exclusively) opted for the use of force, causing wars required for MIC to prosper. At the same time, US-controlled IMF, World Bank and UN have continued to push neoliberal agencies, this time not only exploiting crises but also creating them. More than once did IMF falsify the data in order to wreck economy of country not conforming to neoliberal ideals, such as doubling cost of work force or inventing huge unpaid debts. Trinidad and Tobago’s economy was wrecked that way, and IMF’s “help” came with requirement of neoliberal reforms.
When President Carlos Menem declared that he will revive Juan Peron’s nationalistic economic policies, he was pressued by IMF to continue junta’s corporatistic experiment. Soon, all country’s top economic posts were filled by University of Chicago’s neoliberal economists. These formed a mafia-like partnership with collegaues that remained on University itself. Soon, Cavallo Plan was enacted, selling off massive privatization coupled with equally massive cuts to public spending as a solution for hyperinflation crisis. Parts of Argentina’s economy – such as airline and oil reserves – that were still in public hands, were privatized. By 1994, 90% of all state enterprises have been privatized, and 700 000 workers fired in preparation for a sell-out.
But Cavallo Plan was actually written not by Cavallo or IMF, but by JP Morgan and Citibank, two of Argentina’s largest creditors. Measures taken – such as tying peso to USD – meant that it became too expensive to produce goods in Argentina, so its economy was destroyed by cheap imports, and more than half of populace was pushed below poverty line. In 2001, President de la Rua was finally forced to flee in helicopter.
In that vein, United States have continued giving aid to Colombia – while Cold War excuse was to combat communism, modern excuse is that aid is intended to combat narco-trafficking. However, money actually goes – and was going since the start – on combating left-wing guerilla groups, such as FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces for Columbia) – despite US allegations of FARC being involved in narco-trafficking, FARC is actually actively cooperating with UN in facilitating a shift from coca crops to alternative legal crops, although some of its profits do come from taxing coca production. Meanwhile, right-wing groups such as AUC are left alone, despite supporting drug trafficking.
After beginning of War on Terror, US have continued supporting Colombian military, despite the fact that paramilitaries, which have ties to military, are consistently responsible for more than 80% of human rights abuses as well as almost entire cocaine traffic. While coca plantations are targeted, all of targeted plantations were within FARC-controlled territory, in a campaign obviously aimed at cutting off one of FARC’s sources of revenue. US counter-insurgency manual also deemed terrorist attacks against civilians acceptable as a part of counter-insurgent strategy, and advised monitoring of labor organizations, legal political organizations that may serve as a front for insurgents, public education system, religious organizations; it also explained that counter-insurgents must watch for any refusal of peasants to pay taxes.
In last 15 years prior to 2003, entire democratic left party was eliminated by right-wing paramilitaries. In 2002 alone, 8 000 political assasinations were carried out – 80% of them by paramilitary groups. Teachers, human right activists, indigenous leaders and community activists were regular targets.
US interest in Colombia are obvious – Colombia is US’ seventh largest oil supplier, and has vast oil reserves within its territory. In fact, it now supplies more oil to US than Kuwait did in 1991. Second, repression has enabled Columbian transition to neoliberal dictatorship, where over half of population lives in poverty.
In 1989, United States have decided to overthrow president Noreiga, a one-time ally. War, which lasted basically hours, claimed 24 US combat causalties, 450 Panamian military casualties and 2 000 – 4 000 civilians. Operation was labelled “Operation Just Cause”, a very hypocritical designation, as US concerns were strategic (control of Panama Canal, for one) rather than humanitarian. War was largest US military deployment since Vietnam, and unilateral “screw-the-UN” action caught President Noreiga by surprise. Invasion lasted hours, and UN resolution condemning it was vetoed by US, UK and France.
As it turned out, quickness and cleanness of operation were its main dangers, as operation convinced US politicians and public that military solution can be quick, clean and successful – something which increased willingness to use force abroad. Moreover, with no USSR to watch over its shoulder, US freedom of using Rambo-style actions increased.
Post-invasion democratic performance of Panama was poor, as with all other countries where US have changed the government. Timing of invasion has shown that USSR, dictatorial as it was, was in fact only thing restraining United States.
Gulf War had two purposes; on external plan, it was to protect oil-rich Kuwait from Saddam. On internal plan, it served as an excellent counter to those who were calling for cuts in defense spending. Another US concern was that Saddam may invade Saudi Arabia – very anti-democratic and opressive country, which supports Muslim terrorists in Bosnia, but which is also US ally, and one with large oil reserves to boot; the war was useful for consolidating US control over the region, especially over Saudi Arabia.
When Iraq invaded Kuwait, it was far more than invasion of one sovereign state by another – it was a threat to US domination over the world. Had Iraq been allowed to keep Kuwait, it would have controlled 20% of world’s proven oil reserves. But with USSR having fallen apart, there was no state capable of preventing United States from invading Iraq. On internal political plan, US public was falsely convinced that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction, and thus there was no real opposition to the war. It is important to note that, had Iraq produced WMDs, United States hegemony over Iraq, and entire Gulf region, would have been politically challenged.
All requests set by US were made specifically so Saddam could not accept them. War, thus, was inevitable; but it achieved its purposes of: defending Kuwait oil reserves; securing them to West; justifying extremely expensive military buildup of preceeding decade; demonstrating apparent need for military might as well as demonstrating US capability to provide global leadership. Financial cost of campaign was mainly paid for by Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. However, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi died due to direct effects of war, and many more due to economic sanctions. After the war, two rebellions rose in Iraq, by Kurds and Shiites, both previously encouraged by US during the intervention. US did nothing while Saddam crushed rebellions; two million Kurds escaped to Iran and Turkey, and hundreds of thousands of Shiites had to flee to southern marshlands of Iraq. UN, meanwhile, was involved simply so as to give invasion appearance of legitimacy.
Interesting is the fact that, when asked by Iraqi President, United States ambassador said that United States will not intervene militarily if Iraq was to attack Kuwait. That was basically giving a green light to Saddam for the invasion.
Quick victory in war was used to make people forget lessons of Vietnam, and keep military spending at or above Cold War level. The war has also proven that even “smart” weapons always result in tremendous number of civilian casualties. Further, DU weapons used – 1 000 tons – have poisoned the country. These would later be used in Yugoslavia and Gulf War II, resulting in numerous health problems for both veterans and inhabitants of affected areas.
Maybe most important of all, Persian Gulf has remained American gulf. After Desert Storm, US military presence within the Gulf has increased, especially regarding naval assets.
In 1999, NATO attack on Belgrade has created conditions for massive privatization wave in former Yugoslavia. In fact, Strobe Talbott, the Deputy Secretary of State under Clinton and the leading U.S. negotiator during the war, later denied that “the plight of the Kosovar Albanians” was cause of the campaign, stating that the real reason was “Yugoslavia’s resistance to… political and economic reform” that had been driving forward the liberalisation and deregulation of markets throughout the region. In fact, Croatian Government had been forced to push through neoliberal reforms in exchange for US diplomatic support, and first waves of privatization were done during the 1991-1995 war. Most of state-owned business was not immediately sold to foreigners, however, but was taken by old Communist politicians, to be then re-sold to West.
In Poland, neoliberal reforms mentioned in “Cold War” section have, by 1990s, caused a full-blown depression: 30% reduction in industrial output and 25% unemployment by 1993 (during Communism, rate of unemployment was basically 0%). In 2006, 20% workers were still unemployed, and for workers under 24, rate of unemployment was 40%. Number of people living in poverty jumped from 15% in 1989 to 59% in 2003. This contrasted strongly with normal European countries, with their strong labor laws and social benefits, even though these started to be relaxed after end of Cold War. Economy was in worse shape than at any time during Communism. Number of strikes increased from 250 in 1990 to 6 000 in 1992 and 7500 in 1993. This forced a slowdown in privatization – by end of 1993, 62% of Poland’s industry was still public. Polish economy started to grow rapidly during same period, especially after it became obvious that wholesale privatization has been prevented. In 1993, coalition of left parties won 66% of seats in the Parliament.
By the beginning of 1990s, Gorbachov had managed to democratize the Soviet Union, and was moving towards the combination of free market and strong safety net, with key industries under public control. Goal was to build a Scandinavian-style social democracy. And while at first it seemed that West did support his moves, at G7 meeting in 1991 he was forced to accept neoliberal shock therapy. After the meeting, US-controlled IMF, World Bank and other financial institutions also pushed for neoliberalization, and when Gorbachev asked for debt forgiveness some time later, it was denied. But only way to implement economically-suicidal neoliberal policies was through force – and The Economist magazine asked for “a strong hand” to smash through with reforms, asking Gorbachov to follow Pinochet’s model. The Washington Post did something similar, but asking for Gorbachov’s replacement with someone more like Pinochet.
And that someone did exist. Boris Yeltsin, president of Russia, though holding post lower than Gorbachov’s, was far less scrupulous and responsible. A notorious alcoholic, after “saving” democracy (in what, to me at least, looked like a staged incident), he formed alliance with two other Soviet republics, ending the USSR and forcing Gorbachov’s resignation. Then Yeltsin invited Jeffrey Sachs for help with economics, and for monetary help. Sachs promised him 15 billion USD.
After that, Yeltsin asked Duma for dictatorial powers, which were granted, for one year. Immediately, a team of neoliberal economists was created, and notorious strongman Yury Skokov was put in charge of defense and internal security. US Government funded its own experts which were to assist Yeltsin’s group, and in May 1995 Sachs was named director of Harvard Institute for International Development.
On October 28, 1991, price controls were lifted, and 7 days later, free trade policies were introduced – including a first of several waves of massive privatization, which were designed to gut Russia’s 255 000 state-owned companies. This quick approach was needed in order to prevent slow democracy from stopping neoliberal conqest dead in its tracks. Results were, as always, socially and economically devastating – after only one year, millions of Russians lost their life savings as money lost its value, and millions more did not receive pay for months. Average Russian consumed 40% less in 1992 than in 1991, and 1/3 of population fell below the poverty line.
Soon after, Duma, under pressure from voters, decided that it was time to rein in the president and his neoliberal bloodsucking think-tank. In December 1992 they unseated Yegor Gaidar, and in March 1993, Duma voted to repeal special powers given to Yeltsin. But Yeltsin, by now in rather monarchic mood – even calling himself Boris I. – declared state of emergency, restoring his powers, and even after independent Constitutional Court voted 9-3 that he had violated constitution on eight different counts. But Washington still threw its weight behind Yeltsin, and The Washington Post called parliamentars a “hardline Communists”, despite all members of Duma having stood in 1991 against coup by hardliners.
In spring 1993, Parliament decided to ignore IMFs requests for strict (and suicidal) austerity. Yeltsin responded by trying to eliminate the Parliament, throwing together a referendum – with total support from press – asking for dissolution of Parliament. Not enough voters actually voted for him to get the mandate, and those that did only supported him by very slight majority, yet he claimed victory. IMF decided to threaten withdrawing the load because of Russia “backtracking on reforms”. Day after, Yeltsin dissolved the Parliament, and two days later Parliament voted 636-2 to impeach Yeltsin for his act, which was nothing short of mutiny against democratic government. Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi stated that Russia had already paid dearly for Yeltsin’s adventurism.
Russian Constitutional Court once again voted Yeltsin’s actions to be unconstitutional, yet US Congress voted to give him 2,5 billion USD in aid. Immediately afterwards, Yeltsin sent troops to blockade Parliament, and power, heat and phone lines to Parliamentary building were cut. Peaceful demonstrations managed to achieve partial unblocking of Parliament, but despite many calling for early elections, so voters could state their opinion of Yeltsin’s work, defeat of Solidarity after their own neoliberal measures devastated Poland convinced Yeltsin and his Western neoliberal superiors that he was not going to win on polls. He doubled military salaries, and surrounded Parliament. On October 3, military slaughtered 100 protesters at Ostankino TV center.
Both Washington and EU continued to support Yeltsin, and on October 4 1993, he ordered reluctant military to storm the Parliament White House and burn it; result was 500 people dead and 1 000 wounded. In the end, 5 000 troops and 30 armored vehicles were required to defend neoliberalism from the threat of democracy. Following the coup, all elected bodies as well as Constitutional Court were dissolved, and press was put under censorship.
At the same time, neoliberal practices were hurriedly introduced. With Parliament out of the way, it was excellent opportunity for huge budget cuts, removal of any and all price controls, and ever-faster privatization. Only people who benefited from that were old Communists, and clique of billionaires – later to beome known as “oligarchs” – was created. While before 1990s Russia had no millionaires, by 2003 there were 17 billionaires, as Yeltsin and his clique did not allow state property to be sold but rather divided it up among themselves, and then sold them for far higher price.
In December 1994, in order to hold on power, Yeltsin did what many leaders, since the time of the Roman Emperors, did when their popularity started to worsen – he started a war. To that end, Chechenya was invaded. In 1996, Yeltsin won at elections – thanks in part to that, but far more to generous financing by oligarchs, who donated 100 million USD, as well as secured him 800 times more coverage in oligarch-controlled media (that is to say, all media) than his rivals. (This is also how corporations have walked away with democracy in the West).
After that, sales followed – 40% of the company comparable in size to France’s Total (193 billion USD of sales in 2006) was sold for 88 million USD. Norilsk Nickel, which sold 1,5 billion USD worth of nickel annualy – a 1/5 of world’s production, was sold for 170 million USD. Oil company Yukos, which controlled more oil than Kuwait, was sold for 309 million USD; by 2006, it was earning over 3 billion USD a year. Many of Russia’s public riches met the same fate, and all were purchased by public money. Oligarchs became politicians, and politicians became oligarchs; and after securing themselves, they opened up their companies to multinationals, with Royal Dutch Shell and BP entering partnership with Gazprom and Sidanko. Many of foreign “advisors”, also profited on this wave of privatization, showing perhaps obvious: that ideology of neoliberalism and free markets is nothing more than self-serving attempt to justify unfettered greed by capitalists and think-tanks who promote it. Soros also did profit on it, though by the late 1990s he apparently – alone of all – had change of heart, funding NGOs that focused on putting anticorruption measures in place, and criticizing shock therapy.
In 1998, Russian economy – left open and vulnerable by short-term speculative investments and currency trading brought in by neoliberalization – collapsed entirely when Asian financial crisis started spreading. It looked like Yeltsin and oligarchs were going to be hit hard, with Yeltsin’s approval rating dropping to 6%, when in September 1999 a number of terrorist attacks hit, killing 300 people and redirecting eyes of public from economic issues. Immediately afterwards, 17-year veteral of KGB Vladimir Putin was put in charge of bringing terrorists to justice, and he launched a series of air strakes against Chechenya. On December 31, power was quietly transferred from Yeltsin to Putin, no elections necessary, and Putin signed a law protecting Yeltsin from prosecution.
Wars in Chechenya killed 100 000 people. By 1998, 80% of Russia’s farms have gone bankrupt, 70 000 of state factories had closed, and between 1989 and 1997 number of people living below poverty line increased from 2 million to 74 million. In 2006, 3,5 million children were homeless, Russians started to drink twice as much alcohol as during Communism, and number of drug users went up 900% between 1994 and 2004, reaching 4 million. Between 1995 and 1997, number of HIV positive Russians doubled from 50 000 to 100 000, and by 2005 it reached 1 000 000. By 1994, suicide rates were double of these in 1986, and violent crime increased more than fourfold. By 2006, criminal capitalism has killed off 10% of Russia’s populace. Yet Western media only began writing badly about Russia again once Putin started to crack down on illegal activities of some oligarchs, and were careful to blame Russia’s problems on “mafia capitalsm”, supposedly a genuinely Russian phenomenon – nevermind that it is alive and well in both United States and European Union as I write this, where state is nothing more than rescue fund provider for corporations. Part of problem was that Sachs was unable to secure promised help, as many believed that “it should all be left to markets”. Social capitalsm – which, in West, produced high standard of living and powerful economies, and is continuing to do so in Scandinavia – was nothing more than pragmatic need for something to counter communism, as was Marshall’s plan. By 1949, US Government tolerated from West German Government all kinds of protectionist and interventionist economic policies, even going so far to help with them by forbidding US companies to compete in West Germany until German ones have recovered. But when Soviet Union collapsed, capitalists saw a perfect opportunity to end it; Heritage Foundation, ground-zero of rabid neoliberalism, refused Sach’s request to help Russia.
Following Russian lessons, Mexico was quickly privatized during “tequilla crisis”.
In South Africa, where white elite had amassed huge wealth, ANC had finally won in 1990. Mandela wanted to nationalize the mines, something that would have been very dangerous to neoliberalists; but he was in position to do so despite certain outrage from neoliberal empires and their enforcers: the United States, European Union, and International Monetary Fund. But being viewed as a living saint, he was in position to withstand the pressure. But when ANC – trying to avoid the civil war – negotiated with National Party about power transfer. It turned out peaceful, but National Party managed to take over country’s economy, nullifying – with help from IMF, World Bank and GAAT – political power ANC gained. Central Bank ended up being run as autonomous entity, and ANC was – despite rulling the country – powerless to do anything about any important issue. In fact, any measures that had any impact at all on economy were effectively outlawed, unless carried out with IMF’s consent.
ANC did try to make good on its promises, giving millions water, electricity and homes – but debt, combined with international pressure to privatize services, meant that changes had to be undone. No firms were nationalized either, and in 2005 only 4% of all South African companies and 30% of the land were controlled by blacks, who make up 90% of the population. Reason was that ANC did not try to undo economic changes, instead searching for foreign investors. And as money was no longer gold standard, and trade barriers were down, corporations speculating and switching nationalities on a whim was commonplace. Markets responded with panic at any statements that hinted at nationalization; only alternative would have been country’s complete self-dependance and withdrawal from international markets – still a far better choice than what happened.
ANC was forced to forget any talk of nationalization, redistribution of wealth and similar socialist policies. New neoliberal programme was made, which as usual called for privatization, cuts to government spending, labor “flexibility” (actually free hands to capitalists to fire workers as they please), free trade and almost no control on money flows. But it didn’t work: it only attracted short-term speculative betting. And despite country being forced to pay apartheid debts (much of which goes on pensions of appartheid officials), ANC did not ask for corporations to pay reparations for their policies, and refused to default on debts, all in attempt not to look radical.
Between 1997 and 2004, 18 state-owned firms had to be sold to service the debt. Between 1994 and 2004, a decade of neoliberalism, number of people living on less than 1 USD per day doubled, as did unemployment rate for black South Africans; out of 35 million black citizens, only 5 000 earn more than 6 000 USD per year, compared to 100 000 white citizens; government has built 1,8 million homes, but 2 million people have lost their homes; 1 million of people have been evicted from land; number of shack dwellers has doubled. ANC staffers had meanwhile been brainwashed by neoliberal propaganda, which promised that more of the same will fix what it caused. Lies about globalization and economic interdependence prevented Marshall plan from being carried out.
In February 1993, artificially constructed but unjustified fear of financial catastrophe, and justified fear of Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s downgrading Canada’s credit rating from AAA to something way lower, forced Liberal Party to drastically cut public spending. While Canada did indeed have deficit problem, it wasn’t caused by social spending but by high interest rates. Credit rating was also heavily influenced by Canadian corporate executives and bankers. Reason was political battle waged in Canada, where bankers and capitalists wanted spending on social programs to be cut. But in the time it took Moody’s issued statement that there was no problem with Canadian economics, and that reports by right-wing think tanks were exaggarated, Canadian government had already made deep cuts to social spending.
In 1997, Asia fell into economic crisis. Cause was human stupidity and pure panic which spread through globalized markets. Because of unsubstantiated, and ultimately false, rumor that Thailand did not have enough dollars to back up its currency, banks called in their loans and fast-growing bubble of real estate market promptly popped. Panic spread and money fled from Indonesia, Malaysia, Phillipines and the South Korea. Asian countries, in an example of self-fulfilling prophecy, were forced to drain their central banks, to which markets responded with even more panic. In South Korea, people donated 200 tons of gold; yet currency continued to plummet.
Only thing that could have stopped the crisis was a quick, decisive loan, such as one that saved Mexico’s currency during so-called Tequilla Crisis of 1994. None were coming, with so-called “experts” such as Milton Friedman advising that markets should be “left to correct themselves” (yet markets, being an artificial construction, are inherently unstable and require external input to recover properly, and to avoid destabilization in the first place; apparently Friedman ignored that fact for ideological reasons). IMF, US-controlled world body designed to prevent such crises, would eventually respond: but only with a list of demands based on neoliberal dogmas.
During 1990s, Asian Tigers were held as proof of benefits of free trade for economies. But truth was opposite: Malaysia, South Korea and Thailand had highly protectionist economies that prevented foreigners from owning land or buying national firms. Energy and transportation sectors, as well as many other sectors, or firms in sectors that did have significant private ownership, were state-owned. Many foreign imports from Japan, Europe and North America were blocked from entering their markets. They proved that Keynesian, mixed and managed, economies grew far faster and more equally than free-market ones. Western and Japanese firms wanted their peace of the cake, to sell their products and buy Tigers’ corporations.
As a result, IMF and WTO forced Tigers to lift barriers to financial sectors, barriers which were preventing currency trading. This speculative investment, once allowed in, devastated their economies in 1997; it is not a stretch to imagine that rumor which brought down their economies originated at IMF, WTO, US Federal Reserve or the Wall Street. In any case, crisis allowed these organizations to bypass remaining barriers. IMF, after months of doing nothing, entered negotiations with Tigers. Only Malaysia, with relatively small debt at the time, resisted. Remark made by its prime minister, Mahathir Mohamad, who said that he “did not think he should have to “destroy the economy in order that it should become better” was enough for him to be branded a raving radical. China was only country which did not lift barriers to currency trading, and as result its economy remained healthy, whereas Malaysia started to recover immediately after putting barriers back up.
But other Tigers were not so lucky. They were forced to adopt austerity measures and neoliberal economic policies, leading to massive worker layoffs and letting foreign bloodsucking firms and capitalists to enter their economies. In Korea, IMF dictated that it was to shed 50% (later lowered to 30%) of its workforce in order to meet its targets. It also refused to lend any money until all four presidential candidates, of which two were running on anti-IMF platforms, agreed to adopt anything IMF demanded if they won.
In Indonesia, Suharto was still in power, but instead of enriching foreign corporations, his attention was now turned to enriching himself and his children, such as giving heavy subsidies to automobile corporation owned by his son Tommy. He resisted IMF for few months, until IMF deliberately gave a public statement that it would withhold billions of promised loans unless he complied; after that, Indonesia’s currency lost 25% of its value in a single day. Suharto brought back IMFs lapdogs, the Berkeley Mafia, which immediately agreed to 140 “adjustements” IMF wanted without any discussion at all.
Despite IMF’s promises that money will return after neoliberal reforms, these same reforms caused market to panic, and money started fleeing Asia at even higher rate. 24 million people lost their jobs; Indonesia’s unemployment rate increased from 4 to 12 per cent, and Thailand was losing 2.000 jobs per day at height of the reforms. In South Korea, IMF’s pressure to slash government budgets and hike interest rates caused 300.000 workers to be fired every month. Large and growing middle class disappeared: in 1996, 63,6% South Koreans identified themselves as middle class, compared to 38,4% in 1999. 20 million Asians were thrown into poverty. In the year after IMF reforms, there was 20% increase in child prostitution in Thailand. But Wall Street rejoiced: everything in Asia was now up for sale. As few examples, Merryl Linch bought Yamaichi Securities, AIG bought Bangkok Investment for fraction of its worth. Both Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney were on Salomon Smith Barney’s International Advisory Board, which was providing advice on company mergers and acquisitions; Rumsfeld was actually board’s chairman. Carlyle Group, often a soft landing for ex-presidents and ministers, bought Daewoo’s telecom division. Korean titan Samsung was sold in parts: Volvo bough its heavy industry division, SC Johnson & Son its pharmaceutical arm, General Electric its lightning division. Daewoo’s car division, worth 6 billion USD, was sold to General Motors for 400 million USD. General Electrics also acquired stake in Korea’s refrigerator manufacturer LG; UK’s Powergen grabbed LG Energy; Nissan bought one of Indonesia’s largest car companies. Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bought a stake in Daewoo, among other things. Morgan Stanley advised Daewoo on sale of its car division.
Massive privatization of state firms was also agreed upon. Bechtel privatized water and sewage system in eastern Manilla; New York-based energy giant Sithe purchased large stake in Thailand’s public gas company. Indonesia’s water systems were split between Britain’s Thames Water and France’s Lyonnaise des Eaux. Other foreign companies also made purchases. Due to that, massive layoffs continued even after crisis was declared over.
People, as slow-learning they may be, obviously learned something. In 1999, World Trade Organization talks in Seattle collapsed when developing countries refused to give deeper trade concessions as long as US and Europe continued to subsidize domestic industries. Within few years, free trade zones planned by US, which would encompass entire Pacific and Americas, were abandoned.
9/11 attacks and aftermath
War on terror
In keeping with Neoconservative ideology that that lying is necessary for the state to survive, and that the state, and society itself, should be run by an intellectual elite, entire War on Terror is based on lies. Furthermore, they believe that attack on civil liberties is not only allowed, but necessary. In contrast to this, and to healthy logic, goes neoliberal argument that war can be used to bring democracy. Hogwash. You can’t “bring” democracy to someone, it is, by nature, a free choice people make. Imposing democracy on someone automatically means that what he gets is no longer a democracy – if it was ever intended to be in the first place. It is nothing new, in either US history or history of country that has taught US everything they know – Great Britain.
War on Terror is basically an unconstrained, costly and permanent state of war with large number of far smaller groups. It has most paralels to Rome’s wars with barbarian tribes, and it is almost as ruthless – mass murders are an option if they further US goals. However, paralels can be also drawn with crusades: both WoT and Crusades were wars between different civilizations, using excuses (then religion, now democracy and security) to further their own, far more pragmatic goals (such as control of trade routes).
US “anti-terrorism” wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are first ones in history to depend on mercenaries, so-called “private military contractors”, who undertook tasks up to and including combat support – previously exclusive task of state military. In 2011, there were between 200 000 and 260 000 PMC mercenaries – between one and two contractors for every uniformed soldier; compare that to ratio of one contractor for every 50 uniformed soldiers in Gulf War One. From 2001 to 2011, 177 billion USD had been obligated to private contractors; 12 billion USD may have been lost in fraud and inefficiency due to lack of governmental oversight of private contractors. And even though it is called “defense budget”, and touted as necessary for “War on Terror”, the FY 2012 budget allocated 87 % of budget for conventional military forces, 7% for homeland security, and 6 % for prevention (diplomacy, etc.), exactly opposite of what it should have been.
In 2011, US were paying 20 billion USD a month just for air-conditioning US bases in Iraq and Afghanistan. Once costs of transport are counted in, one gallon of gas used in these two countries costs between 18 and 30 USD. And withdrawal of governmental troops does not reduce the costs, since troops withdrawn are always replaced by mercenaries.
In 2001, Bush tried to “root out inefficiencies” by reforming government based on free market principles. US Government embarked on a program of outsourcing and privatization, and on September 10, 2001, Donald Rumsfeld attacked Pentagon bureocracy – actually, generals that were opposed to privatization – as “bastion of central planning” and a “dangerous threat to the state”.
Shortly after, QDR (Quadrennial Defense Review) stated that “DoD will turn to private enterprise” and “blend government and private research where appropriate”. It also stated that “only functions that must be performed by DoD should be kept by DoD”.
In 2009, contractors were forbidden from certain activities, such as prisoner interrogation. However, in all other areas, they have continued to operate with virtual legal immunity. From 2003 to 2008, only two contractor personnell have been convicted for crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Private contractors have also often caused confusion due to their unclear status (are they civilian or military personnell?).
From 2004 through 2010, 215 billion USD worth of new weapons have been procured. Many of these were unnecessary in context of War on Terror, used to justify such procurements. Some procurements were inserted despite Air Force not stating need for them, such as lease of 100 air refueling tankers from Boeing – which was, at 26 billion USD, more expensive than simply buying new aircraft. Tankers were also unnecessary, as even oldest tankers in fleet could have lasted until 2040.
War on Terrorism has seen heavy usage of “Shock and Awe” tactics coupled with various forms of strategic bombing, in an obvious attempt to intimidate civilian population – aka “terrorism”. At the same time, political rhetoric has avoided saying the truth, that US citizens have become target because of what United States have been doing; labelling instead those opposing United States – terrorists and non-terrorists alike – criminals. War on Terrorism itself has been declared a “war on behalf of freedom”, in keeping with US centuries-old tradition of fact-spinning. Yet terrorists were nothing more than a replacement for USSR as a justification for extreme defense spending and military interventions over the world, and labelling terrorists (those not on US payroll) a source of opposition to US policies ignores the fact – intentionally, it seems – that anti-US terrorism, at least part not directly caused by CIA, is but a symptom of popular dissatifaction with US international policies.
UN has become no more than a tool in US hands.
During hunt for Osama bin Laden, US cruise missiles have destroyed Sudan’s pharmaceutical factory; it has been claimed to be a provider of chemical weapons for Osama bin Laden. As a result of factory’s destruction, Sudan faced medical supply shortages which left tens of thousands of people dead.
In Operation Enduring Freedom, United States have attacked Afghanistan. Official purpose of operation was to remove Al-Quaeda and punish Taliban providing Al-Quaeda with support. Invasion started on October 7, and on October 14 Taliban have offered to surrender Osama bin Laden to a thrid country for a trial if United States offered proof of his involvement in 9/11 attacks. Offer was not accepted.
Invasion was long planned since before 9/11 attacks: in July 2001, Taliban were described as a “threat to international peace and security in the region”, and as such, goal of war was to install a US-friendly government, establish military bases (including ones for electronic surveillance) and provide passage for oil and gas pipelines. War consisted mostly of “using $2 million missiles to hit $10 empty tents” in words of President Bush jr. Air superiority followed, and soon United States started searching for locals willing to fight ground war for them. They found Northern Alliance, which had been removed from power by Taliban in 1996.
Afghan warlords and drug dealers dutifuly complied, stepping into role of freedom fighters spreading civilization. Civilization was spread in around 8 weeks of fighting between Taliban and Northern Alliance, coupled with mandatory massacres of civilians by US strategic bombing campaign, which killed at least as many people as were killed in 9/11 attacks.
In Afghanistan, US security firms hire local mercenaries, many of whom have ties to local war lords, criminals and insurgents. During the war, Pakistan has turned from a rogue state to an ally, and Uzbekistan got promises of military help in case it was ever attacked.
Consequence of occupation of Afghanistan was that United States have, after securing Americas and Europe, secured a foothold in Central Asia, from which they could spread military involvement in region, and protect Middle East from China. It has also convinced Muslim world that “War on Terror” is euphemism for “Crusade”, and that Islam itself is an actual target, bringing an increase in resistence to US goals, and with it, increase in terrorist attacks both there and in the West – not that United States are concerned about it. As for Afghanistan itself, it fell into chaos, with US trying to secure peace with B-52s (refer to my Strategic Bombing analysis on how successfull that is).
Iraq was attacked despite the fact that UN inspections have found no proof at all of active nuclear programme. It was also asserted that bringing the democracy to Iraq (or, as it turned out, “democracy”) will cause its neighbours to change and prosper, thus cutting off terrorists’ sources of manpower. Occupation of Iraq was indeed important for US, but for Iraq’s oil and mineral wealth, as well as for establishment of military bases, allowing US military to leave Saudi Arabia, where they were not welcome by the populace. No green light from UNSC has been received, and invasion was definetly not a case of self-defense – as such, it was illegal; but as might makes the right – or so Bush administration assumed – noone cared. Nor did it adress question of some other, US-protected, tyrants, such as Saudi royal family.
In fact, invasion itself has been set long before 2001 attacks have happened. One of reasons was that Iraq had defied United States by starting to trade oil in Euros instead of US Dollars in November 2000. Second reason was that Saddam had signed contracts with a Russian oil giant and was negotiating with France’s Total, leaving US and British companies with nothing. After Saddam’s removal from power, opportunities opened for ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell, BP and many other firms.
No evidence of Saddam’s link to the Al’Quaeda has been brought forward. Only – and very uncertain – act of terrorism he performed against United States was his alleged attempt to assasinate George Bush sr. Two and half months after that event, Clinton ordered cruise missile strikes at Baghdad, killing several innocent bystanderds.
As United States were unable to get support of UN Security Council members other than Great Britain, Spain and Bulgaria, they immediately launched an unilateral operation rather than waiting for vote and a certain veto. Result were worldwide demonstrations and polls that showed people marking George Bush as a greater danger to world peace than Saddam Hussein was.
Campaign, guided by “Shock and Awe” theorem, lasted 10 days. After the campaign, no traces of WMDs have been found. Yet United States did not face any sanctions they should have, showing again amount of control they exert over the United Nations.
In March 2011, there were 155 000 private military contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan , and 145 000 uniformed military personnell. In Iraq, 10 500 PMC personnell (16%) were armed (private security contractors) and rest were tasked with support activities. Companies providing these services, such as Halliburton, have often hired employees from third-world countries (57%) and Iraq (16%), with US citizens accounting for less than one-third of all personnell. Personnell from third-world countries were paid far less than Iraqi, and both were paid far less than US citizens – American workers were paid 60 000 USD per year on average, and foreign workers 3 000 USD per year, with security personnell with background in Marines or Army Special Forces were paid over 200 000 USD per year. In Afghanistan, however, majority of 9-20 thousand mercenaries that were there in 2011 were Afghan nationals.
From FY 2002 to 2006, Halliburton’s contracts grew more than tenfold due to contracts awarded for rebuilding Iraq’s oil infrastructure and support US troops. First rebuilding contract – mainly connected to Iraq’s oil infrastructure (putting out oil fires, rebuilding Iraq’s oil infrastructure in wake of US invasion) – was awarded before war began, without any bid at all. It also included seven-year contract for running oil facilities, although later two other firms got smaller parts of contract; majority of it remained to Halliburton.
Thanks to logistics contracts, Halliburton’s contracts jumped from 483 million USD in 2002 to 6 billion USD in 2006, much of which went unaccounted for.
Despite enormous profits, work done by US companies on rebuilding Iraq was shaggy and incomplete. Multi-national firms did not perform any better. Many firms were contracted to do tasks they never did or even prepared for. Custer Battles had contracts to guard the Baghdad air port, and to collect the old Iraqi currency – they hired security guards with no prior training, had no translators who spoke Arabic, no dogs, and no knowledge of Iraqi laws and legal standards. Yet they used governmental money to build luxury apartments with controlled climate, pools and wireless internet for themselves while US soldiers were still living in tents. They built substandard quarters for workers replacing the money, and trucks so unreliable that general in charge of operation had to ask for military trucks. It also grossly overcharged projects it was supposed to do – many were never done – with estimated earnings from such dealings exceeding 10 million USD a year. In the end, company had to pay 10 million USD in fines and was barred from receiveing government contracts. On March 8, 2004, Blackwater security firm signed contract under which it was to supply two armored SUVs with three guards per vehicle to provide security for ESS trucks transporting food. On March 12, Blackwater changed contract to exclude “‘armored’ vehicle” requirement, without informing guards that they will be using unarmored vehicles as result. Two vehicles departed with just two guards per vehicle, each short a rear gunner, and no member of team ever worked with another member before. When it came out, Blackwater successfully employed lobbysts to stop any investigation, and contributed 2 million USD for campaigns of certain government officials. These officials in turn helped Blackwater obtain new contracts, many of them receiveing high-paying jobs in Blackwater after leaving the office.
What was built very quickly were military bases – work on four has started in 2003 alone, bringing large profits to private contractors, and ensuring United States yet another jump-off point for further invasions. And even now, 10 years after the invasion, PMCs remain in Iraq. Prisons were established too, and in these prisons prisoners were tortured and insulted.
Important goal of US invasion was also restructuring Iraq according to the neoliberal dogma. Paul Bremer’s first step as US governor of Iraq was privatization of energy sector, media and the heavy industry. Argument was that privatization, despite all evidence to the contrary visible in United States and the Europe, is the prerequisite for establishment of democracy.
In fact, United States are using system of indirect rule, tried and tested by both United States themselves and the now-extinct British Empire. Native rulers are installed, but superpower controlls country’s financial matters, taking control of country without most people realizing it.
Countering the China
Since China has started to challenge US dominance on Pacific, US have started transferring military assets to the area. In 2011, announcement was made that US Marines will be stationed at US base in Darwin. Aside from that, new deal included greater US access to Australian bases, more joint military exercises as well as increased interoperability in equipment – basically, it was turning Australian military into branch of US military. In 2012, Australian military assets have been moved to the north and west of the continent.
By increasing military threat, United States are trying to start arms race with China, so as to compensate for US economic weakness and prevent or slow China’s economic and military rise. Considering developments of new, very expensive but rather useless, weapons in Chinese arsenal – example being J-20 “stealth” fighter – “arms race” part is succeeding. Main goal is control of markets, natural resources and cheap labour, as well as forcing countries of Pacific Basin to switch to the “free market” corporate capitalism – if they didn’t already, as well as to prevent China from doing the same. Furthermore, China is providing a threat that US Military-Industrial Complex needs to survive.
Through combination of playing up threat of China, promoting stealth aircraft, and exherting political pressure, United States have managed to sell F-35 strike aircraft to Japan – under false presumption that it can carry out air superiority missions. Some countries, like South Korea, have been effectively occupied – in case of war, US general would be in charge of South Korean military. Vietnam has allowed US bases on its territory.
United States have also positioned military assets at key choke points, such as Malacca Straits. Yet through all this, China’s response was – aside from answering US invitation to an arms race – restrained.
Addicted to War – how and why Military-Industrial Complex dictates US policies
Important fact about military-industrial complex is that it needs constant string of small wars to survive. Thus, Miltary-Industrial Complex has erected US empire dedicated to perpetual warfare all over the world.
Right now, there are three mammoth defense corporations which can make any weapon required by United States military. Despite extreme redundancy, no measures are made to reduce these corporations to manageable size – and because of their large size and do-it-all nature, none can be allowed to fail; as all three corporations, as well as Congress, are profiting from war, it means that war is not only profitable, but addictive for United States as a whole; unnecessary wars and unnecessary weapons are required to keep said corporations fat and happy. That situation is a legacy of mergers carried out in 1990s. These corporations alse have facilities all over United States, greatly increasing costs and complexity of armaments manufacure process, but securing their political position.
In the 1950s, when General Motors was the nation’s top automaker and its chief executive officer, Charles Wilson, was tapped to be President Eisenhower’s secretary of Defense, Wilson responded to critics who were concerned that he and his company had too much power by saying “what’s good for General Motors is good for America.” Today’s largest weapons maker, Lockheed Martin, was created by merger of Lockheed, Martin Marietta, Loral Defense and General Dynamics armaments division. It has 939 facilities in 457 cities in 45 states. Northrop Grumman is located in 44 states, Boeing has 62 facilities in 27 states and Raytheon has 79 sites in 26 states. Thus, these corporations are able to easily influence majority of US political elite. Mergers have thus resulted in politically more powerful corporations; however, they have also resulted in defense industry having greater leverage over Pentagon, and thus being less effective and efficient, since Pentagon has less options to choose from. Just as bad in that sense is practice of other large defense corporations becoming subcontractors to winner, since it discourages innovation and efficiency. In fact, defense companies often team up to secure inefficient – and thus very lucrative – contracts. Many contracts are actually inserted in budget despite never being asked for by Pentagon.
For example, in 1976 to 2000 timespan, USAF has requested 5 C-130s; they have received 256. In order to keep up with acquirement pace, many perfectly-good C-130s had to be retired – and remaining extra C-130s still cost over 160 million USD per year to maintain. In 1998, at least 4 billion USD were added by lobbysts.
Lobbysts have also supported expansion of NATO, since NATO members were (and are) usually forced to buy US hardware.
While health care and social security are being cut, defense budget rarely is. Yet, most basic weapons are being worn out and rarely modernized; on the other hand, super-expensive and equally useless wunderwaffe are given priority in spending. Right now, United States have “at least 10 ways to hit 65% of thousands of expected ground targets in two major regional conflicts”, according to the GAO. Doctrine of preparedness for any new threat is consistently abused so as to promote expensive, ineffective weapons. Another doctrine is the doctrine of “prevention”, according to which any threat to US world empire has to be confronted and destroyed before it materializes, militarily if possible.
In 2011, United States were spending more than $15 billion a month on foreign wars. Then there were expenses of maintaining more than 1 000 US military bases worldwide – as it was said that sun never sets on British Empire, now it never sets on US military. Currently, United States spend more on military than rest of the world combined. Defense spending is far larger than combined US spending on health, education, welfare and safety.
From 2001 to 2011, United States spent around 2,7 trillion USD on wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Spending on unconstitutional war in Libya was around 4 million USD a day. Annual cost of supporting one US serviceman in Afghanistan is over 1 million USD, in good part due to lack of governmental oversight of private contractors’ billings.
United States are also world’s leading arms exporter – 45 of the top 100 arms-producing companies are based in the US, and generated 247 billion USD in 2009 – 61% of worldwide arms sales.
Currently, United States have troops stationed in 177 countries worldwide. Most new US military bases resemble fortified hotels more than military bases, with pools, fast food restaurants, movie theaters and similar.
While many see US foreign policy as pro-democratic, United States were quick to crush democratic movements whenever US interests were threatened (South America, Iraq). CIAs charter does not specify clandestine and covert actions aimed at maintaining US imperial influence (always at expense of democracy) as part of CIA’s duties, yet they have become CIA’s main activity – blackmail, torture, bribery, murder (including assasinations), spreading of lies, consorting with known murderers and international terrorists are all used if they can serve US interests. Meanwhile, CIA has been defective in gathering intelligence.
In 2009, US spent 711 billion USD on direct military spending, spending which more or less remained level since then. Over 400 billion USD was distributed to private companies, and between 2001 and 2008, incomes of largest contractors nearly doubled. Lockheed Martin alone received 29 billion USD in Pentagon contracts in 2008 – for comparision, Department of Labor and Department of Transportation combined received less than 27 billion USD.
At the Republican National Convention of 2000 Lockheed’s vice president for corporate strategy and development boasted that he “wrote the Republican Party’s foreign policy platform.” Almost 30 of appointees of George Bush Jr came directly from arms industry.
Furthermore, military industry finances large number of “conservative” think tanks, such as Heritage Foundation, Empower America and the Center for Security Policy. These spread misinformation in traditional neoconservative bombastic sense, such as attacking Harry Reid and Richard Bryan that they were “against defending US” due to their reluctance to vote for largerly useless missile defense system.
One of more important functions of armament industry is to preserve – by force – wealth disparity between North and South; US military is often used to punish “evildoers” that may damage that balance.
US logic of continuous expansion – that of a Roman Emperor or a large landowner, who believe that “all they need to protect their own land is land adjacent to it” – is obviously imperialistic, and as shown, extends even beyond boundaries of planet. Neither wars or a Ballistic Missile Defense system are thus instruments of self-defense, but rather instruments of ensuring continued US domination of the world. Exact aspects of that domination, and ways to achieve it in time following 9/11, have been largerly concieved by the Project for the New American Century.
It isn’t only military industry that is interested in imperialistic wars, either. Oil industry has very large stakes in Middle East, namely in the oil-rich Persian Gulf states – Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan. Huge amounts of oil are required for United States to retain its position of a world hegemon. Iraq has second-largest oil reserves in the world, just after the Saudi Arabia. Thus, invasion served the purpose of installing the puppet government, ensuring US access to Iraqi oil in face of EU, India and China. In fact, after US troops entered the Baghdad in 2003, their first task was to turn headquarters of Iraq’s Ministry of Oil into fortress surrounded by tanks. Other US troops were tasked with protecting southern oil fields.
Securing Israel’s position was also a large concern – thus attack on Iraq and current war against Syria.
Another goal is reshaping the world to US own image – that of privatized, neoliberal police state. This is an accurate image, especially because all US wars since 1893 have been motivated primarly by removing threats to bottom line of some US company (or companies). US politicians are seemingly incapable of distinguishing threats to US companies from threats to United States themselves, and assume that only dictatorial regimes would bother US companies. In July 2005, the Pentagon purchased 58 million USD worth of Tamiflu from Rumsfeld’s company, Gilead. Dick Cheney went to Halliburton and became its CEO in 1995, immediately after Halliburton was awarded major LOGCAP deal related to invasion of Iraq, which speaks of connections between business and Government. He refused to give up (sell) many stocks in Halliburton, ensuring him an anual deferred income of 211.000 USD – equal to his Government salary. As a direct consequence of a war with Iraq, Halliburton’s stock price rose from 10 USD before the war to 41 USD in 2006. Defense corporations are spending large sums on lobbying, ensuring that Government does what they want, as well as making sure officials that will do what corporations want always get elected. There is no limit on how much money corporations can donate for election campaigns, and as well-proven principle goes: “idiot and his money always win the elections”.
Consequences of perpetual war
Prolonged wars, huge military and accompanying expenditures, together with false economic prosperity led to the establishment and then the demise of Roman Empire. Same demise symptoms are displayed by United States today, all casued by overpowerful MIC.
As for wether the United States are the empire, let’s see the definition: “the effective political control of a dominant metropole over the effective sovereignty of a subordinate periphery in both its internal and external policy, while imperialism is the process of establishing and maintaining an empire.” All signs show that United States are, indeed, an empire: NATO is nothing more than tool of US control, and UN fares only a bit better.
Democracy and empire are not compatible. Rome decided to maintain empire, and lost democracy. Britain decided to maintain democracy, and lost empire. EU turned into corporate empire, losing democracy in practice if not in form – and United States have clearly set on to last path in 1980s.
Influence of MIC has turned United States into Orwellian state, complete with totalitarian government (fascism – union of government and corporate power), surveillance state and worldwide military empire. In fact, continuous external threat served to take power away from people and transfer it to corporations. It also brings deception, and stronger-than-usual misinformation, to table as daily avaliable and completely acceptable political tools.
While any spending boosts economy in short-term, military spending does not give any lasting positive effect. In fact, long-term effect is largerly negative, due to focus on military spending resulting in neglect of far more important elements, such as civilian infrastructure, investments into economy etc.
Large defense spending during 1980s and later has reduced US productivity, allowing Japan and Germany to achieve far higher per-worker productivity than United States (that is, if either Japan or Germany had as large propulace as US, they would be far more economically powerful than US are). Other consequences were rise of national debt and low productivity increase – as such, debt rose fast while economy that had to pay it was lagging behind. From below $60 billion in 1980, the federal deficit rose to more than $200 billion in 1985, and debt rose from little more than $900 billion to little less than $2 trillion. This means that US empire will, like Roman one, collapse due to too large military commitments and expenditures.
Military-Industrial Complex and internal politics
Politicians have to defend jobs because of voters, and defense industry always spins “defending jobs” to mean “defending military industry”. That, combined with purposeful spreading of production all over the States, despite reduced efficiency (F-35 programme is spread over 44 states), makes it very hard to even reduce unnecessary military spending, let alone cut it completely.
Nearly two million Americans, mostly non-violent offenders, are imprisoned at any time. While usage of criminals for work is nothing new, what is new is privatization that has occured. Result is that even offenders who should not get sent to prison – and would not get sent in other countries, instead being sent to treatment, community service or not convicted at all – are being convicted for prison sentence, increasing amount of cheap workforce avaliable to corporations.
Such prison complexes often destroy economy of area they exist in. While private prisons do offer better conditions than state-run prisons, that is mostly due to lack of funding that all neoliberal countries have to cope with – tax cuts mean reduced funding for state-run prisons.
Private prisons are most similar to hotels, except that “guests” stay for a set amount of time, and their stay is paid by money from taxpayers’ pockets. Thus, private prisons have great interest in “encouraging” their “guests” to stay as long as possible, and in countering alternative – and far more effective – options.
While private companies often build and operate prisons at lower costs, savings mostly come from usage of nonunion workers. Unlike workers, however, managers and administrators earn far more than their counterparts in public systems.
US prisons are, themselves, factories of crime – people who spend enough time in such prison get the idea that strong always rule the weak; inmates who display the smallest amount of vulnerability become targets. That has led to formation of prison gangs.
And such system already existed: Nazi concentration camps were nothing more than high-security prisons where prisoners were forced to work; difference is that they were state-run according to clear-cut, if inhumane, practices.
During George W. Bush’ time as a Governor of Texas, number of private prisons grew from 26 to 42, and security started being provided in part by private firms.
Most American movies and computer games glorify war, United States and US war machine. There is an official US Army game, America’s Army, intended as a recruiting device; it is distributed for free on Internet. In most movies and video games, US armed forces are portrayed basically as superheroes.
It is interesting to note that Real War, a military-supported game simulating war on terror, was finished entirely before September 11, 2001.
Other types of US cultural imperialism
Results of privatization
As with everything else, health care system in United States is also heavily privatized. That, however, has resulted in higher costs compared to nationalized health care systems. Similar situation is in educational system: according to former Secretary of Education William Bennett, “American 12th graders rank 19th out of 21 industrialized countries in mathematics achievement and 16th out of 21 nations in science and advanced physics students rank dead last.”
Lack of state funding for universities, and consequential high costs, may soon translate into lack of highly-educated work force.
Control of media
All major media in United States are owned by several large corporations: AOL-Time Warner owns CNN and Time Magazine; Disney owns ABC; General Electric owns MSNBC, NBC and CNBC. General Electric also produces high-tech surveillance equipment, meaning it has heavy interest in continuation of War on Terror. News Corporation owns National Geographic Magazine and Fox News.
Most major US media are engaged in justifying US imperialism. In fact, process of consolidation has created fewer media, interested only in profit.
Effects on other countries
Since Brian Murloney opened Canada to United States, US corporations have bought almost entire Canadian infrastructure. NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) paved the way for the multinational corporations to buy up Canada’s resources, as well as its politicians.
“Deep Integration” programme advocated by Canadian Council of Chief Executives calls for merging United States, Canada and Mexico into a supranational empire similar to European Union. They, as the EU, also advocate issuing cards with biometric identification technology to citizens, combining militaries, energy resources as well as a single currency and a common education program. In 2005, North American Union was signed into agreement as the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America, or SPP.
The Calgary School, Canadian equivalent of US University of Chicago, is one of bases of neoconservative thought.
Agressive US imperialism in Middle East, however, is causing equally agressive response by people suffering it. What is more, United States are directly responsible for failures of UN to deal with major world problems; failures caused by US regard of UN as enforcer of US policies. That imperialism as also causing proliferation of nuclear weapons, only remaining tool that can – to an extent – guarantee security within US world order. Of course, any state that tries to acquire nuclear weapons is deemed to be part of “axis of evil”.
Not only United States prevent UN from being an effective body, they also interfere with nations’ internal affairs. US’ “might makes right” philosphy has seeded resentment all over the world; in countries directly affected by US policies, blowback takes form of armed resistence to US occupation – resistence that is labelled by US as “terrorism”.
In 2000, 100 000 US troops were deployed in both Europe and Pacific. Entire world is divided into several “commands”, from where United States influence most countries at will. In fact, majority of US diplomats and ambassadors are military personnell.
Milton Friedman was a son of capitalist; his father, an immigrant from Hungary, owned a sweatshop factory in New Jersey. Milton was heavily influenced in his opinions by his father, who eventually bankrupted and had to close the factory. Despite it, Milton often talked of his father’s factory as showing “all benefits of deregulated capitalism”.
Friedrich Hayek often warned that any government involvement in economy would “lead society down the road of serfdom”. Problem is that serfdom is defined in part by lack of governmental involvement, and by feudal landlords – precursors to capitalists – being highest power on their domain. Neoliberalism is thus the closest thing modern world has to serfdom.
- Keynes actually predicted that taking lassiez-faire approach to post-WWI Germany would lead to Germany wanting revenge, but that warning was not heeded. In 1950s, Keynesian-socialist practices launched southern tip of South America on way to join the developed world, but it was extinguished.