Wednesday, February 23, 2011

How America Attacks Countries: 3 Examples of the Modern Formula

    The United States has a typical pattern it follows when it wants to attack other countires (with its own military). This list is by no means exhaustive but a summary of recent conflicts. It would be wise the next time you hear increasing hysteria in the media about a threat to world peace to ask yourself what the real reasons are that your government and its subservient intellectual class are preparing you to accept war.
    The following 3 steps are typically followed:
  • Generate hysteria - A propaganda campaign, manufacturing a crisis or threat (and obscuring the true war agenda.) Newspapers and other media dutifully oblige by parroting official rhetoric, and don't ask too many serious questions. 
  • Fake diplomacy - Appear to seek a peaceful resolution, to appease your citizens's sense of decency.
  • Finally, Use military force - to achieve unstated geo-strategic goals. 

Don't worry! They're just
trying  panic you into
supporting war...
    In 1999, NATO countries led by the United States attacked the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY). Since attacking a country without justification would offend the sensibilities of Western populations, a pretense had to be manufactured. Western leaders obliged and invented claims that "ethnic cleansing" in huge proportions was going on, that thousands, perhaps tens or hundreds of thousands of people were being killed and displaced in the Kosovo region of that country. The numbers were made up and subsequent attempts to find mass graves only yielded about 2,000 bodies, most of them killed after the war had begun. At least an even number of the atrocities before the conflict were actually by ethnic Albanians, according to the OSCE's own intelligence reports. These actions were initiated by the Kosovo Liberation Army, with the support of the US. The deliberate lies were necessary to garner support for the air offensive, coupled with the threat of ground invasion, to force Yugoslavia to capitulate. The NATO ultimatum was: give the Kosovo region autonomy, as well as allowance for an international presence, or face attack. While these demands were made, the real reasons for the conflict were to integrate the FRY into the Western economic and political sphere.(1)
    Gestures of peaceful diplomacy were offered, but as Chomsky writes, "the Rambouillet ultimatum, though universally described as the peace proposal, was also kept from the public, particularly the provisions that were apparently introduced in the final moments of the Paris peace talks in March after Serbia had expressed agreement with the main political proposals, and that virtually guaranteed rejection."(2)
    Eventually Yugoslavia accepted conditions for market reforms stipulated by the International Monetary Fund, resulting in an economic shock which impoverished the working class of that nation and brought the region into the U.S. economic system, to be dominated by foreign investors who would now own the country.

    In 2001, the United States attacked Afghanistan, on the pretense of "fighting terrorism" and punishing the Taliban for harboring terrorists. The United States' diplomatic demands started out with demanding Osama Bin Laden be turned over to U.S. justice. The Taliban said it would consider it, but first asked for evidence. The U.S. did not provide any, probably because they did not have any. Still, they re-iterated their demand and threatened the use of force (a war crime) if Bin Laden was not handed over. Eventually the Taliban relented and said they would turn him over without any evidence, but it did not matter and the U.S. invaded anyway. Explanations vary as to why the U.S. wanted control of Afghanistan, including control of proposed pipeline routes, but what is clear is that the U.S. strategy has been to support client regimes in the region to gain total control, thereby encircle its main enemies in the region, Iran and China.

I hope you feel like enough of a fool from
being suckered into the WMD story so
that this doesn't happen again.
    In 2003, the United States had been beating the war drums for a long time in the news media, loudly accusing Saddam Hussein of having weapons of mass destruction or programs to produce them, as well as intimating that he was involved with terrorism by mentioning him in the same sentence as 9/11 repeatedly. Intense hysteria was generated in the States by saying that we could not wait for the evidence of his programs, which would come in the form of a mushroom cloud over New York.
    Neo-conservative intellectuals expressed a desire to invade and occupy Iraq before the beginning of the W. Bush administration. Paul Wolfowitz said, "For bureaucratic reasons we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction, because it was the one reason everyone could agree on", which might suggest to the observant that there were other strategic reasons besides WMD underlying going to war. From this it would follow that diplomatic overtures insisting on Saddam's diarmement were political theatre. The Azores conference took place just before war with Iraq, which the mainstream media described as an ultimatum to Saddam, a last chance to avoid war. In reality the administration admitted in the 48 hours before the invasion that even if Saddam disarmed his non-existant weapons, "that it didn't matter whether Saddam Hussein and his cohorts stayed in Iraq or not, ... we're going to invade anyway"(2). The goal of the war was to have military control over the world's oil supplies in this key region. Control over energy has been described as giving "veto power" over the world to those who control it. Dick Cheney has described control over oil distribution as “tools of intimidation and blackmail”. He was referring to potential threats from our evil enemies when he said that, but the same principle applies to the U.S., that if they control the world's oil, it will give them a strategic advantage over emerging rivals like China.

Iran... and other future official enemies
     Cries in the media about the dire threat that Iran and its nuclear enrichment poses to the West have existed since 2005 or earlier. While the United States does not seem quite ready to invade Iran, the same pattern is being followed: hysteria is being generated over an enemy which is being demonized and labelled as dangerous and a threat to world stability in editorials everywhere. This of course requires the complicity of intellectuals in the media, who act as cheerleaders for the cause. The United States has engaged in diplomacy with Iran to discourage its development of nuclear weapons as Iran continues to enrich Uranium under the ausipces of international inspectors (as is their legal right). The ultimate goal of the U.S. is to overthrow the regime and install a client friendly to American business and military interests so that the U.S. has effective control over the oil and natural gas supplies of the region.
"To drag a people to war, simply
convince them of a mortal threat
and accuse the opposition of
exposing the country to danger."
     Whenever you hear politicians warning of a "grave threat" to the U.S. or one of its allies, one ought to ask, is there a nation that would actively seek a military conflict with the lone superpower of the world? It is right to approach such claims of great dangers with healthy skepticism. They are generally simple pretexts for war. You can avoid the fear that this kind of propaganda may instill in you once you understand that there are other reasons underlying a war, and that what you are being told about the threat another country poses is a lie. In the end, it's the underlying geo-political motivations of the attacking power that truly dictate policy, not what you hear on the news.

3. - Chomsky seems to misattribute the quote to Bush, when it was actually Ari Fleischer who said "that even if Saddam was ousted, or left the country voluntarily, the U.S.-British forces would still invade Iraq in a "peaceful entry" to search for "weapons of mass destruction"." (
Bush and Blair actually said at the Azores press conference that Saddam had a last chance for peace--to disarm or face invasion, implying peace was still possible. The mainstream media reported that this was a final overture to avoid war, but in reality it was political theatre, and the US had already committed to an invasion. 

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