File spoon-archives/lyotard.archive/lyotard_2001/lyotard.0109, message 42

Date: Sat, 15 Sep 2001 08:20:19 -0500
Subject: War Crimes

Here is a point of view that is currently being ignored in the American

VALUES"Edward S. Herman

One of the most durable features of the U.S. culture is the inability
orrefusal to recognize U.S. crimes. The media have long been calling for
theJapanese and Germans to admit guilt, apologize, and pay reparations.
But theidea that this country has committed huge crimes, and that
current eventssuch as the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks may be
rooted inresponses to those crimes, is close to inadmissible.
Editorializing on the recent attacks ("The National Defense," Sept. 12),
the New York Times doesgive a bit of weight to the end of the Cold War
and consequent "resurgent ofethnic hatreds," but that the United States
and other NATO powerscontributed to that resurgence by their own actions
(e.g., helping dismantlethe Soviet Union and pressing Russian "reform";
positively encouragingSlovenian and Croatian exit from Yugoslavia and
the breakup of that state,and without dealing with the problem of
stranded minorities, etc.) is completely unrecognized.The Times then
goes on to blame terrorism on "religious fanaticism...theanger among
those left behind by globalization," and the "distaste ofWestern
civilization and cultural values" among the global dispossessed.
Theblinders and self-deception in such a statement are truly
mind-boggling. Asif corporate globalization, pushed by the U.S.
government and its closestallies, with the help of the World Trade
Organization, World Bank and IMF,had not unleashed a tremendous
immiseration process on the Third World, withbudget cuts and import
devastation of artisans and small farmers. Many ofthese hundreds of
millions of losers are quite aware of the role of theUnited States in
this process. It is the U.S. public who by and large havebeen kept in
the dark.Vast numbers have also suffered from U.S. policies of
supporting rightwingrule and state terrorism, in the interest of
combating "nationalisticregimes maintained in large part by appeals to
the masses" and threateningto respond to "an increasing popular demand
for immediate improvement in thelow living standards of the masses," as
fearfully expressed in a 1954National Security Council report, whose
contents were never found to be"news fit to print." In connection with
such policies, in the U.S. sphere ofinfluence a dozen National Security
States came into existence in the 1960sand 1970s, and as Noam Chomsky
and I reported back in 1979, of 35 countriesusing torture on an
administrative basis in the late 1970s, 26 were clientsof the United
States. The idea that many of those torture victims and theirfamilies,
and the families of the thousands of "disappeared" in LatinAmerica in
the 1960s through the 1980s, may have harbored some ill-feelingstoward
the United States remains unthinkable to U.S. commentators. During the
Vietnam war the United States used its enormous military power totry to
install in South Vietnam a minority government of U.S. choice, withits
military operations based on the knowledge that the people there werethe
enemy. This country killed millions and left Vietnam (and the rest
ofIndochina) devastated. A Wall Street Journal report in 1997 estimated
thatperhaps 500,000 children in Vietnam suffer from serious birth
defectsresulting from the U.S. use of chemical weapons there. Here again
therecould be a great many people with well-grounded hostile feelings
toward theUnited States.The same is true of millions in southern Africa,
where the United Statessupported Savimbi in Angola and carried out a
policy of "constructiveengagement" with apartheid South Africa as it
carried out a hugecross-border terroristic operation against the
frontline states in the 1970sand 1980s, with enormous casualties. U.S.
support of "our kind of guy"Suharto as he killed and stole at home and
in East Timor, and its long warmrelation with Philippine dictator
Ferdinand Marcos, also may have generateda great deal of hostility
toward this country among the numerous victims.Iranians may remember
that the United States installed the Shah as anamenable dictator in
1953, trained his secret services in "methods ofinterrogation," and
lauded him as he ran his regime of torture; and theysurely remember that
the United States supported Saddam Hussein all throughthe 1980s as he
carried out his war with them, and turned a blind eye to hisuse of
chemical weapons against the enemy state. Their civilian airliner
655that was destroyed in 1988, killing 290 people, was downed by a U.S.
warship engaged in helping Saddam Hussein fight his war with Iran. Many
Iranians mayknow that the commander of that ship was given a Legion of
Merit award in1990 for his "outstanding service" (but readers of the New
York Times wouldnot know this as the paper has never mentioned this high
levelcommendation).The unbending U.S. backing for Israel as that country
has carried out along-term policy of expropriating Palestinian land in a
major ethniccleansing process, has produced two intifadas-- uprisings
reflecting thedesperation of an oppressed people. But these uprisings
and this fight forelementary rights have had no constructive
consequences because the UnitedStates gives the ethnic cleanser arms,
diplomatic protection, and carteblanche as regards policy.All of these
victims may well have a distaste for "Western civilization andcultural
values," but that is because they recognize that these include
theruthless imposition of a neoliberal regime that serves Western
transnationalcorporate interests, along with a willingness to use
unlimited force toachieve Western ends. This is genuine imperialism,
sometimes using economiccoercion alone, sometimes supplementing it with
violence, but with manymillions--perhaps even billions--of people
"unworthy victims." The Timeseditors do not recognize this, or at least
do not admit it, because they arespokespersons for an imperialism that
is riding high and whose principalsare unprepared to change its
policies. This bodes ill for the future. But itis of great importance
right now to stress the fact that imperial terrorisminevitably produces
retail terrorist responses; that the urgent need is thecurbing of the
causal force, which is the rampaging empire.-----Messaggio
[]Per conto di
AnttiRautiainen Inviato: venerd́ 14 settembre 2001 14.55A:;;;; caravan99-AT-mail.nadir.orgOggetto: AUT: Time to fight
back for the globalization Time to fight back for the globalizationI
wrote this in the aftermath of tragic events of Tuesday 11thOf
September. It is still unclear who were behind these awful attacks, but
it is hard to imagine who else might haveinterest to hit these targets
except opponents of the globalization.Anti-globalists have been behind
all major terrorist attacks donein the USA during last ten years, such
as first WTC bombing 1993,Oklahoma bombing 1995 and Atlanta bomb attack
1996. Enemies of the globalization are divided to many different groups
ofinterest hostile to each other, only common nominator is that there
isnothing in common. The movement is negation of the ideas of
universalfreedom and equality. Thus movement against the globalization
isdestructive first of all to itself, and the danger is that
mutualhostilitieslead finally to destruction of the whole planet. But
what is this movement,who are these people who murder thousands of
people with massiveterrorist attacks, hundreds of thousands of people
with economic sanctions and millions of people by marketing breastmilk
substitutesto poor countries?First of all, movement consists of
opponents of globalization of the human possibilities. They are
organized in form of nation states alliedtogether to formimperiums. They
resist idea to give everyone equal opportunities tomake their own lives
better. They build border controls, personalregisters, military
alliances and geopolitical interests. The purpose is toisolate the rich
from the poor, and to create artificial common interestsbased on common
history and language, against other people. Sad buttrue, this movement
has often managed to take over the workers movement,which wasonce the
most internationalist movement on Earth. Many participators of
theenvironmental movement have been mislead as well. This movementseems
not to suffer in Finland although the state of Finland hasvanished as an
independent subject of the global economy. The state ofFinland continues
its existence as a reservation of ice-hockey players and a Formula1 car
riding endless cycle and hunting tobacco sponsorship millions, tryingto
maintain illusionthat nothing has changed.Another branch of the movement
are opponents of the globalization ofself-governance and
self-sufficiency. They fight against universal humandemand of secure and
independent livelihood. They are organized ina form of multinational
corporations, common interest groups of multinationalcorporations and
international organs claiming to "liberate" the worldtrade.Their purpose
is to secure the supply of cheap raw materials to richcountries,and to
divide world to consumers and producers. Their ethics is that
ofanti-universalism, that some have right to consume more than the
others.Third branch of the movement are enemies of the globalization
ofidentities. They believe that in one place nature of human being isto
grow a beard and walk veiled, in another to cut a short hair andwear a
necktie. It is nowhere OK to be a gay, since it is "unnatural", whatever
it means. At first sight these groups seem to be marginal,but then one
realizes that protestant and Islamic fundamentalists organizingmassive
terrorist attacks are just a peak of the iceberg. More moderateforms of
these movements exist everywhere - Freedom party of Austria,National
Front of France, right-wing republicans of the US, Progress partyOf
Norway, Communist Party of Russian Federation. groups trying tocreate
prisons of identities inside of which people are forced to
uniformbehavior. Real multi-culturality and ethnicity means that
identities travelaroundthe world crossing all the borders, and everyone
may pick from thepack what they like. One should have as much right to
be mushroom eating shaman in Finland as a computer hacker in Siberian
taiga.Fourth wing of the movement are enemies of the globalization of
theequality -such as many economists and creditor institutions such as
London and Parisclubsand IMF. They believe, that international financial
institutions workingwith commercial principles may increase equality.
They believe, that a company should beallowed to go bankrupt, but states
from which citizens expect to receive socialbenefits should never be
able to clean their debt. They believe that wealth createdby
economicgrowth trickles down to poor, and that no other means of
creating equalityexists.There is no space for conspiracy theories here -
the anti-globalist movementis dangerous due to difference of its
interests, not because it has somesecret agenda. For us fightingfor
globalization it is also no use to look anti-globalists only
arrogantly.We do representuniversal values of freedom and equality
against relativism and egoism ofanti-globalists,but still our ideas also
include controversies and goals such asself-sufficiency, freedom
andequality are often difficult to unite. However, idea of universal
humanityis our onlylight in the darkness, and after 11th of September
2001 it is more clear than never before thatwe have no any other hope.


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