Has America run out of B52 bombers, napalm, agent orange to donate to Vietnam? What about the three nuclear bombs offered to France to wipe out the Viet Minh and Vietnam? Or has America simply run out of decency altogether? It might recover a scrap if it donated one year of “defense” budget–around $700 billion–as war reparation for 4 million Vietnamese dead in America’s war of aggression. At any rate, has Vietnam accepted or needed America’s morally grotesque offering or does America plan to go door to door, “Geopolitical Hearts and Minds 2-0 calling here.”
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CAITLIN JOHNSTONE—If the western media were what it purports to be, every member of the public will be acutely aware of the fact that a journalist is being imprisoned by the most powerful government on earth for exposing inconvenient facts about its war machine. Because the western media are propaganda institutions designed to protect the powerful, this fact is far from the forefront of public attention. Most people are more aware of the smears about Assange being a Russian agent or a rapist than they are of his victimization by a tyrannical assault on world press freedoms.
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CHRIS HEDGES—Liberals like Chris Hedges are almost always extremely efficient and eloquent in their diagnoses of what ails society. In this talk, Hedges provides, for example, a good anatomy of what constitutes the main working parts of the imperialist organism, currently managed by Joe Biden (the collective Biden, not the real, physical Biden). This, Hedges insists, is just an army of professional bureaucrats dedicated to the design and implementation of policies conducive to the perpetuation of a global, deeply undemocratic oligarchic cabal, with HQ in Washington. The problem with Chris is that his analysis does not advance much in the manner of solutions, aside from recommending extra-electoral mass mobilizations (something we certainly agree with). And Chris’s anti-communism and anti-Sovietism do not help matters much, either.
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PATRICK LAWRENCE—We do not have 800–odd military bases around the world, as commentators on these matters usually report. We have military facilities, various sorts of manned and unmanned installations, and bases that come to 800–odd. This is nonetheless well, well more than a sufficiency, as the English say. Northeast Asia, Southeast, Africa, all over Europe (Britain, Germany, Spain, Italy), all over the Pacific, and, of course, up to Western Europe’s border with the Russian Federation. How hollow to celebrate on our Main Streets what our military is up to in all of this. How brazen a gloss on American conduct abroad. Peoria is comfortably distant from Damascus.
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JACQUES PAUWELS—Speaking of Vietnam, the American intervention in that country was a counterrevolutionary and intrinsically antidemocratic aggression, which cost the lives of two to three million Vietnamese. It is noteworthy that it was supported by US allies who were also supposed to be devotees of the democratic cause, such as West Germany, but opposed by the presumably undemocratic Soviet “satellites”, including East Germany. But this is not an anomaly from the perspective of the paradigm reflected in this book: as we have seen earlier, West Germany was far less democratic, and the “eastern bloc”-countries considerably more democratic, than we have been led to believe.