GLOBAL PEACE AND CONFLICT.

11.11.2019

 

Throughout history conflict and war have mostly been caused by the determination to take the resources of others, or to take more than a fair share of the available resources. The armed conflicts in the world today are mostly explicable in these terms. It is not possible to understand the problem of peace and war unless we connect it to the commitment to affluence and growth.

The context is about limited and dwindling resources. The world is using them at almost twice a sustainable rate, and the few living in rich countries account for most of the consumption. It is not possible for all people to rise to the consumption levels rich countries have now, let alone those they expect growth to deliver in future. If all pursue this quest it is inevitable that there will be increasing conflict over access to scarce resources.

 Our high "living standards" in rich countries would not be possible if we were not getting far more than our fair share of the world’s resources. The global economy is massively unjust; it increasingly allocates most of the world’s wealth to the rich few. This is not possible without a) the depriving the Third World of a fair share, by exporting their resources to the rich countries, and b) armed conflict.  We cannot secure the share we get unless we make deals with regimes that will give us access to their resources and markets, and unless we are prepared to use military force to replace them if they refuse to do so.

 Thus our affluence inevitably involves injustice, conflict and war. A peaceful world is not achievable unless we all agree to live on a fair share of the world’s limited resources. That means the only way to eventually eliminate war is to shift to The Simpler Way. 

 

CONSIDER OUR SITUATION. 

 

The inescapable conclusion:-

While all parties remain dedicated to greater and greater affluence regardless of how rich they already are, and there are nowhere near enough resources to enable all to be as affluent as the rich are now, there can be no outcome other than increasing competition and conflict between nations for resources and markets.

 In other words, global peace is not possible unless there is movement towards a society in which we can all live well on far lower per capita resource use rates than at present.

              Global peace is not possible without global justice

It is not just that rich countries get most of the resources on sale ( …which they do simply by being able to pay most for them in the global market economy). The economy also enables much of the productive capacity of the Third World, especially its land and labour, to be put into producing to export to rich world supermarkets. This is why conventional development can be seen as a process of legitimised plunder. It mostly develops industries and structures which deliver resources and wealth to the rich while ignoring the needs of billions of people and taking from them the capacity to produce for themselves to meet their own basic needs. (For a detailed critical discussion of development see TSW: Third World Development.)

It is remarkable that the Third World has expressed so little outrage at this situation. This is partly because most of them are ruled by elites who have a strong interest in perpetuating a system they also benefit from.  But it is mainly due to the fact that conventional development theory is so dominant. There is no understanding that there could be any other approach to development than having it driven by whatever those with capital choose to invest in… which is obviously whatever they think will maximise their profits. Thus conventional development is never driven by what is most urgently needed. The inevitable result is development of those ventures that put Third World resources into the production of goods for the Third World elites and for export to rich world supermarkets.

There are two ways in which this global economic situation generates armed conflict and violence. The first is evident in the drive all countries have to secure more and more of the world’s scarce resources and markets, which throughout history has generated most of the wars that have plagued humankind for about 10,000 years.

The second element is evident in the skulduggery nations engage in to get Third World countries to adopt policies that enable us to get at their resources and markets. This involves supporting brutal dictatorships willing to allow foreign investors in on favourable terms, and allowing their country’s resources to be shipped out to rich countries while crushing dissent by their impoverished people. It also involves direct military invasions intended to get rid of regimes which will not facilitate such resource flows, and to install regimes that will. Most people in rich countries have little or no idea of the huge effort made by rich world governments and agencies to do these kinds of things. (Some documentation is given below, and in the Appendix. For the detailed account see TSW: Our Empire.)

WHY IS THERE WAR?

Most of human history has been dominated by warfare. Briggs (2018) estimates that over the last 3,400 years we have only had peace for 268 years. A major source has been religious fanaticism but the main one has been the intention to get richer, to take the territory and wealth of others, or enforce arrangements whereby rulers will go along with the terms of the dominant power (e.g., when China was forced by Britain to open to trade.) Since the first empire several thousand years BCE greed has driven the quest for expansion and limitless accumulation of wealth. Although there are societies that have not been expansionist or aggressive, and many humans have been content to live stable and peaceful lives on local resources, more often someone or some class emerges determined to dominate others and accumulate wealth. History has thus been largely about these small groups seeking to conquer other groups or regions or nations, enlisting or forcing very large numbers of ordinary people to fight their wars. In the twentieth century this cost over 160 million lives. How different history would have been had humans been content to live with enough. Various analysts, such as Murray Bookchin, have identified this drive to dominate as the powerful fatal flaw in human beings. The core principle in Anarchism is the determination to get rid of domination.

A central mechanism evident in our long sorry history is known as the Thucydides Trap. When a dominant power sees a rival growing in strength big trouble usually ensues. In his History of the Peloponnesian War Thucydides wrote, "What made war inevitable was the growth of Athenian power and the fear which this caused in Sparta." Athens and Sparta had both become wealthy states but both were eager to get richer still, so they inevitably came to see each other as rivals in competition for the resources of the region. So they tried to put each other down, resulting in their mutual destruction. Similarly Rome saw Carthage as a growing rival to regional looting rights, so crushed it. The historian Graham Allison (2017) found that over the past 500 years there have been 16 periods in which an emerging power threatened to supplant a ruling power. Twelve times this ended in war. He says, "…when one great power threatens to displace another, war is almost always the result." The question now on our agenda is will the declining US empire tolerate the rise of the China to dominant global power.

The dreadful twentieth century of armed conflict is largely explicable in terms of imperial struggles. The vast empire the British had conquered via more than seventy wars was challenged by the rising industrial power of Germany, which led to World War 1. Buckley (Undated) says the resulting Treaty of Versailles was “…designed to wreck the imperial rival.” It was about bringing “…the Germany economy to its knees … never to rise again.” But the Treaty was a major factor soon motivating the Germans to plan expansion into the Rhineland, Austria, Czechoslovakia and Russia. Hitler decided to take Russia’s black soils and oil, and the Japanese decided to bomb Pearl Harbour “…to secure a naval route to the Indonesian oil fields.” Meanwhile the Japanese decided to take Manchuria and China, and Italy decided to take Ethiopia.

The present precarious global situation is largely explicable in the same terms, but there is now a new dimension to it; the increasing scarcity of resources. The rich countries are way past levels of resource consumption they could sustain without consuming most of the world’s dwindling resources, so they have to devote astronomical sums to getting control of the remaining sources. Hence there is constant conflict over access, requiring 800 US military bases on foreign soil (compared with China’s maybe 4; Wikipedia 2019) and 170,000 troops in 150 foreign countries and the expenditure by the US on military equipment of around $700,000,000,000 dollars every year. “We’ve spent trillions of dollars on defence and the military to keep the oil flowing, the Straits of Hormuz open, and invade oil-producing countries.”  (Friedmann, 2012.) Many have analysed the close connection between access to resources and war. For instance Hall and Klitgaard discuss how “…resources have frequently been the underlying cause for wars, including World Wars I and II.” Wenar says, “Many of the West's troubles in the Middle East have emerged from its relentless search for resources.” Klare’s works have detailed the occurrence of and potential for resource wars.

MAINTAINING OUR EMPIRE.

In recent times the job of maintaining and expanding our empire has mostly been done without overt large scale war between nations.  But it has required a great deal of effort to be put into making sure that procedures and regimes which enable most of the world’s resource wealth to flow to the corporations, banks and consumers in rich countries. Following are a few illustrations from the abundant literature on the maintenance and expansion of your empire, and the way it requires armed violence. (A 17 page account is given in TSW: OUR EMPIRE. A few further illustrative quotes from it are given in the Appendix below.)

The first concern is to support governments willing to implement policies that benefit us and deliver wealth to local elites, while preventing development that would benefit the poor. Rich countries go to a great deal of effort to keep in place in the Third World the governments and policies that benefit the rich countries, including use of aid, military equipment and actual invasion. Brutal Third World regimes are often supported or installed by the rich countries because they are willing to give the rich countries the access they want to Third World resources and markets. Often rich countries prop up these governments with aid and arms, and resort to direct military invasion. Governments which attempt to put local resources into development which will benefit the nation rather than foreign investors and local elites are often eliminated.

Often rebels, war lords and rival factions which are fighting ruthlessly to get control of the supply of diamonds, timber, oil etc., are funded and armed by rich world governments and corporations in an effort to come out aligned with the winning side.  This is common in Africa.  The local people not only get none of the wealth produced, they suffer brutal harassment, while the resources are of course sold eventually to rich countries.

The Structural Adjustment Packages inflicted on indebted poor countries by the World Bank have contributed to many serious conflicts by destroying a poor country’s meagre capacity to provide assistance to its poorest and thereby provoking huge social problems. This was an important cause of the Rwanda genocide and of the break up of Yugoslavia. (See Chussodovsky’s The Globalisation of Poverty, 2004.)  The SAPs force countries to give corporations greater freedom to access the country’s resources and markets, again fuelling problems leading to violence while increasing resource flows to the rich.

Rich world military force is deployed in the world’s “trouble spots” to be used against or to deter “rebel/communist/subversive/insurgent/terrorist” groups who might disrupt “order”, and to deal with those “…threatening our vital interests.” That’s why the US has all those military bases around the world. How long do you think we could go on getting most of the world’s oil if we did not have huge military forces patrolling the seas, in bases in the Middle East, supporting ruling elites who are hated by many of their people, e.g., the Saudi royal family?  It is in our “vital interests” that most of the world’s oil continues to flow to us and not to benefit the ordinary people of Nigeria, Iraq, etc.  Any one calling for radical redistribution of these wealth flows so that poor people get more/some of it, is of course an insurgent or communist or terrorist…etc.

Then there are the outright massive invasions rich countries carry out, usually justified in noble-sounding terms such as “humanitarian aid”, “preventing genocide”, “resisting communist advance”, “getting rid of a dictator”, “responsibility to protect”, and “opposing terrorism.”  Sometimes there is some validity in these claims but always the action achieves important economic or political goals of the rich countries.  There are many cases where they have totally ignored the need for humanitarian intervention (notably Rwanda, and East Timor for many years), and where they not only ignore but support dictators or take no action against genocide, or support regimes that murder their own people…because it is in their interests not to act.  Where they do launch military action you can be sure they will end up with resources, markets, military bases, control they didn’t have before.  For instance Yugoslavia and Iraq were socialist states, with no private ownership of major industries and resources and no place for foreign corporations … but now these economies and firms are in the hands of western corporations operating in a market economy.  Before the invasion Iraq oil was controlled by the state, but early in 2007 the industry was massively restructured and much of the oil revenue now goes to western corporations.

In other words, arms and violence are needed to maintain our empire, to guarantee our access to more than our fair share of the world’s resources. If we insist on having a way of life that is far more extravagant than all can share and that is only possible for the few of us, and if we take far more than our fair share of the world's resources, much of it from Third World regions, then we will need a lot of military force and the readiness to use it. We also have to supply arms to the Third World regimes that will keep their societies to the economic policies that suit us.

 

Speaking to American soldiers at Camp Stanley, Korea,

                         President Johnson said, "Don't forget, there are two

                         hundred million of us in a world of three billion. They want

                         what we've got -- and we are not going to give it to them!"

 

                        If that’s our attitude, and  it seems to be, then we would be

                        wise to remain heavily armed.

 

GREED AND HISTORY.

Most people fail to grasp any of this. They wonder why there are conflict and poverty and poor nations. Every now and then their leaders tell them their children must go to war and slaughter the children of other people just like themselves. They don’t like this much but it never occurs to them that they have brought it on their own heads by being enthusiastic supporters of and beneficiaries of the grabbing that has led to the conflict. They have been enthusiastic about the empire building, the quest for more markets, the pursuit of national prestige, and they all want to be members of “a great and powerful nation”. Why can’t they be content to be members of a noble and admirable nation, or a caring nation? Above all they want the high "living standards" they can’t have without taking more than their fair share. But they would angrily reject the claim that they are greedy; they only want normal, “nice” things. They don’t realise that lifestyles regarded as normal in rich countries are far more resource expensive than all people could ever have.   We can’t solve the problem until people who go to supermarkets realise what they are doing; i.e., understand that they are participating in and reinforcing the injustice and the plunder that requires and generates armed conflict in the world.

THE (UNWITTING) HYPOCRISY OF MUCH OF THE PEACE MOVEMENT.

In general the Peace Movement fails to attend to the focal theme being stressed here. It has been largely made up of middle class people in rich countries who are pleading for an end to armed conflict while they go on living affluently… which they do not recognise as the main cause of conflict in the world. The movement does not say, “We can’t have peace in the world unless we the over-consuming few shift to much simpler living standards and ways”.

Similarly people who criticise President Bush for invading Iraq and planning to invade Iran, and all the previous American Presidents who presided over numerous invasions, assassinations and coups, fail to realise that unless things like this are done they cannot go on enjoying their high “living standards”.

And most ordinary people have no idea that unless these things are done their supermarkets will not be well stocked.

Just as mindless are pleas and admonitions designed to get us to “love one another” and to “make peace, not war”, as if the cause of war is a choice individuals make to dislike and harm each other.  It never seems to occur to most people that the basic causes are to do with international relations, foreign policy and imperial plunder, or the ceaseless quest by corporations and shoppers for more and more throughput.

Similarly glaringly obvious is the mindlessness of efforts to establish international conventions to avoid or resolve conflicts is evident when no attention is given to the fact that if all continue their determination to increase their wealth and power, then nothing is being done to defuse the causes of armed conflict.

              THE FAILURE TO  QUESTION ---THE REFUSAL TO ASK WHY?

One of the most fascinating, puzzling and surprising things about our society is the almost total absence of interest in the question, “Why do we get into wars?”  A tiny number of historians delve into the question but governments, military establishments, soldiers who fight in wars, the civilians who get minced, and publics in general show not the slightest interest in the question!  Consider the massive amount of time and energy and rhetoric and emotion that goes into the “celebration” of wars, the remembrance services, the recognition of bravery and endurance and sacrifice.  Consider the number of books describing heroic campaigns. As Lockhart says (2017) there is obsession with “… how our soldiers fought, while failing to face up to the issue of what we were fighting for.”

Consider also the massive investment of brains, resources and dollars in military policy and preparation, such as the time that goes into building another destroyer.  Governments spend more than $1000 billion every year on preparing to fight wars. They spend something on ”peace keeping” but they spend almost nothing on trying to prevent conflicts from arising in the first place. They spend far less on thinking about why they occur and how to avoid them.

War is an astronomically costly business, in dollars, effort, options foregone and destroyed lives.  It killed about 160 million people last century.  It has plagued human society for about 12,000 years.  (It appears that there was little or none of it before humans established settlements.)  Wouldn’t you think that the overwhelmingly focal concerns for human beings would then be, “Why does war occur?” and “How can we make sure it does not occur again?”  Yet almost no one shows the slightest interest in these questions!  The books and movies describing and eulogising and lamenting pour out continually.  Where are the books trying to explain why war occurs and how to avoid it?  The ideological forces at work here are extraordinarily powerful and mysterious.

Huge numbers of people go off to kill each other when they are told to, evidently without any interest in whether or not there is a good reason do so, whether someone has made a mistake, whether there might be another option, whether their leaders are dolts or thieves.  They seem to feel no need to check. They certainly show almost no interest in asking whether their own lifestyles or their nation’s foreign policies might be a source of the trouble.

 If I told you to go and kill someone would you do it?  Or would you ask “Why?” and expect a very good reason before you did it?  The military mind is trained never to ask such questions, but people in general seem to need no training.

In World War 1 many Australians walked hundreds of miles from country regions to cities to enlist, to fight against young Germans and Turks on the other side of the world enlisting with probably the same appallingly unsatisfactory reasons.  Many of them actually said they enlisted for adventure.  Many enlisted “…to defend the Fatherland.”  Many on our side enlisted “…to defend the glorious British Empire”.   Did they not understand what an empire is, and that you are not supposed to steal, and that stolen property should be returned?

How many of them would have had the faintest idea why the war had broken out or whether there was a good reason to enlist, or whether the politicians who presided over the creation of the war were the one’s who should have been shot? How many would have enlisted if we could have sat down with them for half an hour to explain a little about international relations, imperialism, the military industrial complex, the class interests that generate war`and the history of war? The British fought 72 colonial wars to conquer their glorious empire.  World Wars 1 and 2 were about the Germans challenging the British for dominance of the global system, i.e., for looting rights.  A major factor leading to the outbreak of the war with Japan was that country’s effort to get access the resources of the region, and the Americans’ determination not to let them into the spheres they had access to. The politicians always say we are taking this action “…in defence of our interests”, but this mostly means “in defence of our access to distant resources which we don’t want anyone else to have access to, except on our terms”.  It is now in the vital interests of Americans that they should be able to go on getting and squandering 25% of the world’s scarce and dwindling oil, while about 4 billion people get almost none of it.  They have said they are prepared to go to war against anyone who threatens this access (The “Carter Doctrine”.)

If soldiers were inclined to demand very good reasons as to why they are being told to slaughter others just like themselves, and what international relations had led their leaders to tell them to do it, and knew a little about the history and causes of war, then there probably wouldn’t be much war.

(For a short comment on the remarkable failure to think critically about the causes of war, see TSW: Why Anzac Day is so Distressing.)

 

THE OBVIOUS CONCLUSIONS.

We cannot have global peace without global justice.

We cannot have global justice unless the rich countries cease grabbing so much of he world's wealth.

 

                                                                          or

If you want affluence you will have to remain heavily armed.

This means there cannot be a peaceful world before we have adopted some kind of Simpler Way, enabling all to live very resource-frugally, within highly self-sufficient local economies, thereby eliminating the main cause of armed conflict and of most of the other serious problems facing the planet.  Essential to The Simpler Way is the understanding that affluence is not possible for all and is the basic cause of global problems.

            ------------------------------------------------------------

 

Allison, G., (2017), Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides Trap?. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Briggs, W., (2018), “A century of remembrance days: will the guns ever fall silent?”, Pearls and Irritations,   9th Nov.

Buckley, I., (Undated), “Causes of war in the context of international trade.” http://www.anu.edu.au/emeritus/members/pages/ian_buckley/IKBhome.html

Lockhart, G., (2017), “ What were we fighting for at Gallipoli, in Palestine and on the Western Front?” (Part 3 of 5)

Pearls and Irritations,  26 July.

Wikipedia (2019) re US overseas bases, https://www.google.com/search?q=how+manyoverseas+military+bases+does+the+us+have&rlz=1C5CHFA_enAU782AU782&oq=how+manyoverseas

+military+bases+does+the+us+have&aqs=chrome..69i57j0l4.12247j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

Re Chinese overseas bases, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_with_overseas_military_bases#Chiip

Wenar, L., Professor and Chair in Philosophy and Law, King’s College London.

 

  •  

 

Appendix: SOME ILLUSTRATIVE QUOTES.

(Some references for these quotes are in the Our Empire document.)

"To maintain its levels of production and consumption … the US must be assured of getting increasing amounts of the resources of poor countries. … This in turn requires strong support of unpopular and dictatorial regimes which maintain political and police oppression while serving American interests, to the detriment of their own poor majorities. If on the other hand Third World people controlled their own political economies … they could then use more of their resources themselves…much of the land now used to grow export cash crops…would be used to feed their own hungry people for example."  (Moyer, 1973.)

"It is in the economic interests of the American corporations who have investments in these countries to maintain this social structure (whereby poor masses are oppressed and exploited by local elites.)  It is to keep these elites in power that the United States has …provided them with the necessary military equipment, the finance and training." (Greene, 1980, p. 125.)

"The impoverished and long abused masses of Latin America…will not stay quietly on the farms or in the slums unless they are terribly afraid…the rich get richer only because they have the guns.  The rich include a great many US companies and individuals, which is why the United States has provided the guns…."  (Chomsky and Herman, 1979,  p.3.)

"No socialist or communist government giving top priority to the needs of its people would, if it had any choice in the matter, willingly sell natural resources, especially the produce of its soils, at such very low returns to the common people as the typical Third World government does now.    '. . No democratic government could permit its country's resources to be developed on terms favourable to American corporate and government interests."  (Katsnelson and Kesselman, 1983, p. 234.)

“The basic fact is that the United States has organized under its sponsorship and protection a neo-colonial system of client states ruled mainly by terror and serving the interests of a small local and foreign business and military elite.” 

“U.S. economic interests in the Third World have dictated a policy of containing revolution, preserving an open door for U.S. investment, and assuring favourable conditions of investment. Reformist efforts to improve the lot of the poor and oppressed, including the encouragement of independent trade unions, are not conducive to a favourable climate of investment.” (Chomsky and Herman, 1979.)

These policies of repression are “… designed to keep large numbers in a state of serious deprivation while small upper classes, multinational business interests and elites of military enforcers "develop" these countries without any democratic constraint.”(Herman, 1982.)

“Since the end of the Cold War, the US has intervened in 72 countries, in an attempt to change the government there. Those actions and their maintenance of 800 military bases/facilities overseas, are the indelible signs of imperialism.” (Butler, 2017.)

“U.S. officials and their corporate sponsors are looking at an almost irresistible gold mine if they can bring Venezuela to its knees: a fire sale of its oil industry to foreign oil companies and the privatization of many other sectors of its economy, from hydroelectric power plants to iron, aluminum and, yes, actual gold mines. This is not speculation. It is what the U.S.’s new puppet, Juan Guaido, has reportedly promised his American backers if they can overthrow Venezuela’s elected government and install him in the presidential palace.” (Benjamin and Davies, 2019).

“... the tinier and weaker the country, the less endowed it is with resources, the more dangerous it is. If even a marginal and impoverished country can begin to utilize its own limited human and material resources and can undertake programs of development geared to the needs of the domestic population, then others may ask: why not us?” (Chomsky, 1986, p. 72.)

Hence the US waged war on Nicaragua as intensely as international opinion has permitted. Nicaragua was one of the most pathetically weak and impoverished countries in the world, due primarily to forty years of dictatorship and exploitation at the hands of Somoza who was installed by the US and constantly propped up by US aid and arms. Somoza exemplified brutal rule in the interests of a greedy local elite while making his country a paradise for foreign investors. At the end of his rule his family owned approximately one-third of the country's arable land. Over 25,000 people were killed ”… in the 41 year reign of terror aided and abetted by Washington...

The USA has consistently done all it could to destroy the experiment. In the mid-1980s the US was spending millions of dollars in aid to the Contras fighting against the Sandinista government, and direct US invasion seemed imminent. In addition, all possible strategies for economic sabotage were being exercised, such as blocking trade, loans and aid, and attempting to get US allies do the same.”

Nicaragua's unforgivable error was to reject development defined in terms of permitting foreign investors, market forces, the profit motive and the obsession with economic growth to determine what happens, and to insist on some degree of rational control and planning of development in the interests of the majority. The US onslaught was intended to make sure that such an alternative path was not seen to succeed in Nicaragua. (See Note 1 for additional references on Nicaragua.)

Similarly US efforts to overthrow Cuba become understandable. Cuba threatens to show that a non-capitalist approach can solve many problems. Several Cuban social indicators, such as the infant mortality rate, are equal to or better than US indicators, despite the huge difference in “wealth “.

"The US has rained death and destruction on more people in more regions of the globe than any other nation in the period since the second world war…it has employed its military forces in other countries over 70 times since 1945, not counting innumerable instances of counter insurgency operations by the CIA."  (The Editors, Monthly Review, 2001, p. 3.)

"…the US state has long been using terrorist networks, and carrying out acts of terror itself." (Deak, 2001.)

The US "…is the greatest source of terror on earth."  (Pilger, undated.)

"The greatest source of terrorism is the US itself and some of the Latin American countries."  (Said, 2001, p. 68.)

"…the US is itself a leading terrorist state."  (Chomsky, 2001, p. 16.) 

Fantina (2018) sums up U.S. foreign policy as follows: “Here’s the template for typical Empire action: find some weak country, subvert it, accuse it of human right violations, slap economic sanctions, trigger riots and intervene militarily in “defense” of “democracy”, “freedom” and “self-determination” … The U.S. has done this countless times in its history.”

Former CIA director Stansfield Turner stated to a House subcommittee that US support for the Contras “…would have to be characterised as terrorism…” (George, 1991b, op. cit., p. 72. For several other references see Note 1.)

East Timor provides another of the most disturbing instances of recent Western state behaviour.  Rich Western countries did not speak out, let alone condemn, let alone block the Indonesian invasion of East Timor, which they recognised as being in their interests. Instead they sold the Indonesians the weapons used to kill some 200,000 East Timorese people. US presidents Ford and Carter supported the takeover. Budiardjo quotes a US State Department official as saying Indonesia is “…a nation we do a lot of business with...we are more or less condoning the incursion into East Timor.”  (Budiardjo, 1991, p. 200.)   Britain “…offered the Indonesian regime continuous and increasing military, financial and diplomatic support.”  (George, 1991b, p. 81.)  “It is well established that the Western powers…had already decided to give Indonesia a free hand.” (Bundiardjo, op. cit., 1991, p. 200.)

In Iran “…the US installed the Shah as an amenable dictator in 1953, trained his secret services in “methods of interrogation” and lauded him as he ran his regime of torture.”  (Herman, 2001.) 

“In Vietnam selected Vietnamese troops were organised into terror squads.” (McClintok, 1991, p. 133.) “…indiscriminate killing of civilians was a central part of a “counter-insurgency war” in which 20,000 civilians were systematically assassinated under the CIA’s Operation Phoenix Program…”  (Focus on the Global South, 2001.)  Pilger says this operation was the model for the later terror carried out in Chile and Nicaragua.   (Pilger, undated.)

In the 1960s Kennedy instituted “counterinsurgency, essentially the development of “special forces” trained in the use of terror to prevent peasants from supporting revolutionary groups.  For decades the US School of the Americas has provided this training to large numbers of Laltin American police and military personnel, including many of the region’s worst tyrants and torturers. As Monbiot (2001) says, “The US has been training terrorists at a camp in Georgia for years – and it’s still at it.” Training manuals include explicit material on the use of torture and terror.  “…torture,  ‘disappearance’, mass killings and political imprisonment became the norm in many of the nations most heavily assisted by the United States…”  (McClintock, 1991, p. 142.)

After referring to massacres in El Salvador similar to those in Guatemala Chomsky says “…this is international terrorism, supported or directly organised in Washington with the assistance of its international network of mercenary states,” (Chomsky, 1991, p. 23.)

Time after time we have ousted popular leaders who wanted the riches of the land to be  shared by the people who worked it…We are hated because our government denies (democracy, freedom, human rights) to people in Third World countries whose resources are coveted by our multinational corporations.”  (Bowman, 2001.)

“In 1998 Amnesty International released a report which made it clear that the US was at least as responsible for extreme violation of human rights around the globe – including the promotion of torture and terrorism and state violence – as any government or organisation in the world.”  (See Collier, 1993, and Amnesty International, 1998.)

 After documenting a number of cases of US complicity in torture by Third World countries, Chomsky and Herman state, “..the US and its allies have armed the elites of the Third World to the teeth, and saturated them with counterinsurgency weaponry and training… Hideous torture has become standard practice in US client fascist states …  Much of the electronic and other torture gear, is US supplied and great numbers of …interrogators are US trained… ... the U.S. is the prime sponsor of Third World fascism.””  (Chomsky and Herman, 1979, p.10.) 

“Many of the world’s most brutal dictatorships “…are in place precisely because they serve US interests in a joint venture with local torturers at the expense of their majorities.”  (Herman, 1982, p. 15.) 

After documenting supply of aid to 23 countries guilty of “human rights abuses”, Trosan and Yates say, “Without US help they would be hard pressed to contain the fury of their oppressed citizens and US businesses would find it difficult to flourish.  “Whenever their people have rebelled and tried to seize power, thereby threatening foreign investments, the US has on every occasion actively supported government repression and terror, or has promoted coups to overthrow popular governments.”  (Trosan and Yates, 1980, p. 44.)