The Brutal American Empire and the Great Lie

Glen T. Martin

People are becoming increasingly aware that the mass-media�s mission is that of molding, rather than informing, the popular mind in the service of Washington�s system of global domination and exploitation. True to this mission, the Roanoke Times in southwest Virginia had a front page article on March 21st, 2002, stating that “some scholars believe America now an empire, like Rome was.” This admission is a sign that the realities of the U.S. world empire, the quest for which began as early as 1827 with the Monroe Doctrine, cannot be effectively hidden from the average citizen any longer. The traditional government rhetoric about “defending democracy, national sovereignty, and human rights worldwide” does not deceive people any more. A new propaganda strategy is needed to ensure the complicity of the average American in our world-wide system of domination, exploitation, torture and murder.

This new propaganda spin is supplied by the subtitle of the March 21st article: “Experts say the United States builds its worldwide dominance through economic, cultural and political means, not brute force.” These “experts” must be either from the moon or some goon squad of the CIA. Adolph Hitler stated two profound truths that are directly relevant here. First, if you tell people a really big lie they are more likely to believe it because most people are ashamed to tell big lies. Second, if you tell people they are under attack they will believe and do almost anything you ask of them.

The systematic quest for empire and world domination that was formulated by the State Department in top secret “Policy Planning Study 23” in 1948 required both of these profound truths. That is why the formation of the Soviet Union was the perfect excuse: for 50 years we heard the constant drum beat that we were under attack by a world wide Communist conspiracy while the helpless giant of the U.S. attempted to defend democracy and human rights for all the world�s citizens. This big lie about a global attack by evil communists allowed the U.S. in 1953 to overthrow the popular government of Iran and install the brutal Shaw who tortured his people while selling oil freely to U.S. corporations. It allowed the U.S. to overthrow the elected government of Guatemala in 1954 leading to a U.S. supported nightmare state with 200,000 tortured, murdered and disappeared during the next 40 years, and it allowed dozens more horrific repressions down to the present moment.

In my travels in South Asia, Europe and Latin America, I have found that most people have no illusion about the brutal global empire run by the US. However, their opinion makes little difference since their countries are largely controlled through the rule of force and the vice-grip of economic domination. On the other hand, it is crucial that American citizens believe in the goodness of their country. For if they knew the truth, the entire undemocratic system in the US would be seen as illegitimate and our world-wide empire might soon begin to collapse.

From Korea and to Vietnam to the secret bombings of Laos and Cambodia in the 50s, 60s and 70s, the US wreaked unspeakable carnage, death and terror on helpless civilian populations who resisted the demand that they serve as client states supplying cheap labor and natural resources to its brutal corporations. It overthrew the elected government of Chile in 1973, installing a vicious dictator. During the 1980s, the US created and armed the Taliban terrorists in Afghanistan to resist the Soviets and prosecuted brutal wars against the people of Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala who were struggling for freedom. In the light of this history, how can there be any doubt about the hidden meaning of the April 2003 invasion of Iraq?

Since World War II, the US has interfered in the following countries (and more) in the service of its global domination: China 1945-51, Marshall Islands 1946-58, Italy 1947-1970s, Greece 1947-49 and 1967-74, Philippines 1945-53, Korea 1945-53, Albania 1949-53, Iran 1953, Guatemala 1953-1990s, Costa Rica 1970-71, Middle East 1956-58, Indonesia 1957-58 and 1965, Haiti 1959 and 1987-94, Iraq 1958-63 and 1991-2002, Vietnam 1945-73, Cambodia 1955-73, Laos 1957-73, Thailand 1965-73, Ecuador 1960-63, The Congo/Zaire 1960-65 and 1977-78, Brazil 1961-64, Peru 1965 and 1990s, Dominican Republic 1963-65, Cuba 1959-2002, Ghana 1966, Uruguay 1969-72, Chile 1973, South Africa 1960s-1980s, Bolivia 1964-75, Portugal 1974-76, East Timor 1975-99, Angola 1975-1980s, Jamaica 1976, Honduras 1980s, Nicaragua 1978-1990, Philippines 1970s-1990s, South Yeman 1979-84, Chad 1981-82, Grenada 1979-83, Libya 1981-89, Panama 1989, Afghanistan 1979-2002, El Salvador 1980-92, Bulgaria 1990-91, Albania 1991-92, Somalia 1993, Yugoslavia 1995-99, Iraq 1991 to the present, Columbia 1990 to the present, Cuba 1959 to the present.

With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989 the great double lie (that we defend democracy and human rights and that we were under attack from a global communist conspiracy) no longer had credibility. The American people expected a peace dividend. The murderous US interventions now had to be justified on a case by case basis. The destruction of Iraq and subsequent sanctions (killing to date 1.5 million people) were justified as stopping a brutal dictator with “weapons of mass destruction” from expanding around the world. The brutal bombing of civilians in Yugoslavia was justified as defending human rights. The real crimes of those countries was that their leadership was independent of US domination. Any real independence (such as Cuba since 1959 or Venezuela since 1998) must be crushed since its very existence serves as an inspiration to others longing for freedom.

That is why the horrible attacks of September 11 came as a god-send to the corporate and political rulers of the American empire. The great double lie that we learned from Hitler could be instantly reinstated in a new form. Now, although we admit to having an empire, our “experts” say that it that it is kept in place through cultural and political means, not brute force. We are no longer being attacked by a global communist conspiracy but by a “global terrorist network” located in more than 60 countries worldwide and full of hatred toward our freedoms and prosperity. Military interventions around the world again receive a cart blanche from the American people, and our huge military budget is expanded by 149 more billion. It is never mentioned that these countries “harboring terrorists” just happen to be the ones still somewhat independent of our global empire. The torture, murder, devastation and starvation caused by our attacks are never shown on mainstream TV. The starvation, misery and exploitation of those under the thumb of our empire are never mentioned in our mass media.

The new double lie is truly a grand lie. Rather than managing a beneficent and gentle empire, we are in reality the world�s ultimate terrorist state. Our consistent policy has been to stop at nothing to promote our global domination. Today, under the guise of the new big double lie, we continue with saturation bombing and military invasion (Afghanistan), forced mass starvation (Iraq before the April 2003 invasion), special forces military inventions (currently operating in Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, Panama, Afghanistan, Yemen, the Philippines, Georgia, Uzbekistan and probably elsewhere), destabilization and attempts at military coup (Venezuela), and support for paramilitary massacres, torture and death squads (Columbia). It is truly the sort of lie that would make Hitler proud.