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Home | Blog | "Our Job Was to Build Up the American Empire"

"Our Job Was to Build Up the American Empire"


On C-Span2's Book TV this past Sunday, author John Perkins offered up a fascinating talk about his book, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man.

Perkins, a former government loan shark, has spent twenty years contemplating this book, and has struck a goldmine with the timing of its release. I suspect he is a political moderate, though he occasionally let fly the usual liberal cliches. Perkins started off his session by saying, "This is an Empire." 

"We are run by a corporatocracy," he notes. He decided to write his book post-9/11, and his very surprising assessment of that scenario was correctly termed "blowback." Chalmers Johnson would be proud.

As an economic hit man, his job was to force Third-World countries to take on massive debt for financing services and infrastructure construction that usually benefitted the businessmen and upper tier of poor societies, including dictators and their collective. These loans, often from the World Bank, couldn't possibly be paid back.

The US government went after poor nations rich in natural resources, and often took payment in the form of cheap oil or other resources. The usual, corporate suspects were allied with government in scam after scam: Halliburton, Bechtel, etc.

The word Perkins often mentioned in regards to The Empire's oppression and piracy was "coercion."

Perkins does not mince words; he calls it as it is. He stated that the US Empire is not altruistic in regards to its Third-World relations. Rather, the US is lining the pockets of statist, corporate America, and cooperative Third-World dictators. The type of dictators the US would approach were indeed corrupt, or in the least, corruptable.

Perkins calls the US military a means of last resort. In other words, if you can't get 'em to join, take 'em down. Had Saddam bought into the deals offered him by the US, said our author, Saddam would still be heading up Iraq, and we'd be sending him all the planes, tanks, and guns that he needed to build his Mideast Empire. So the US Empire sent in its "jackals" to do the dirty work. But they couldn't get to Saddam. His bodyguards were far too loyal, and Saddam's doubles caused quite a stir for the US government's CIA lackeys. The result of Saddam not cooperating with the US was the first Iraq war.

Upon returning from the Amazon, recently, where he is working with a non-profit group, John Perkins had this to say: "The headhunters of the Amazon were very safe, unlike the bastards I served here."

You can watch Perkins here. Buy the book here. Read an interview with Perkins here.

This is a fascinating man, with an incredible book. Buy it, and be not disappointed.

The heroic Major General Smedley Butler once said: "I was a high class muscleman for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism." No, he wasn't a gangster for "capitalism"; he was a hired oppressor for the government-enabled corporatist State and its tyrannical lackeys.

Karen DeCoster, CPA, has an MA in economics and works in the healthcare industry. She has written for an assortment of publications and organizations, including LewRockwell.comMackinac Center for Public PolicyTaki's MagazineEuro Pacific Capital, and the Claire Boothe Luce Policy Institute. Her website is KarenDeCoster.com.

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