War by Bill
Not all political leaders around the world enjoy the luxury of conducting foreign bombings when their political prospects at home are sinking. But this a privilege enjoyed by the U.S. President, heading an administration that claims that U.S. militarism is somehow indispensible to world order.
Heads of state can usually count on war to excite public jingoism that redounds to their political benefit. But it is the obligation of people who love freedom to look deeper and examine the true motives behind the violence of state power and the actual effects of its use internationally.
Just how orderly is the violence of war and the constant threat of war? How moral? How just? How compatible with the dream of freedom and the classically liberal vision of society?
The Costs of War, edited by John V. Denson, demonstrates that the largest price paid for war is American liberty itself. So long as the U.S. government maintains an imperial presence around the world, or engages in politically driven bombings of foreign peoples, it will continue to trample on the rights and liberties of American citizens at home.
If you do not yet own this extraordinary book, you can purchase it by going to our book catalog and scrolling down to Denson.
Modern Age (Summer 1998) features a review essay by Thomas Woods (doctoral candidate in history at Columbia University). Woods discusses several essays in the volume, and has these general comments:
"An original and scholarly appraisal of America's wars and their consequences, The Costs of War is easily one of the most important books to emerge from American conservatives in a generation.
"For with the balance sheet before us and with the imperial ambitions even of conservatives still showing no sings of abating, perhaps we might at last learn the lessons that so many millions taught with their blood."
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NO SHORTAGE OF SUSPECTS
By Eric Margolis
August 13, 1998
ZURICH - The terror bombing of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania this
week horrified Americans, and left them feeling they were once again
innocent victims of evil terrorism that was as mindless it was abominable.
While certainly abominable, the attacks were hardly mindless: they were
clearly designed to punish the US, though innocent Africans mostly paid
the price. So far, the culprits remain unknown, though Mideast underground
groups are clearly leading suspects.
Most Americans simply don't understand how deeply their nation is involved
in the turmoils of Asia and Africa. Nor that the United States has fully
inherited the role of world imperial power played by Great Britain last
century. As the British discovered with notorious Victorian malefactors,
like Sudan's Mahdi, Somalia's ‘Mad Mullah,' or China's Boxers, the
restless natives occasionally bite back.
The US hardly lacks enemies abroad, thus suspects in the bombing. At
present, the US openly admits to seeking to overthrow the governments of
four nations: Libya, Iraq, Sudan, and Iran - the last democratically
elected. The US has repeatedly tried to assassinate the leaders of Libya
and Iraq for impudently challenging US-British hegemony in the Mideast.
Israel, with enemies galore, is seen in the Mideast as either an extension
of the United States, or the United States an extension of Israel. By the
warped logic of the region, attacking the US equals attacking Israel.
This week's embassy bombings were very similar to an earlier - and still
unsolved - terror attack on the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires.
US agents are conducting a secret war, including abduction or
assassination, against numerous Palestinian and Arab groups, such as
Hamas, the PFLP and Saudi mujihadin. CIA, FBI and US military
intelligence are extremely active in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the
Gulf in protecting the undemocratic rulers of these nations from being
overthrown by their own citizens.
Defending the status quo brings the US into head-on collision with
underground groups across the Mideast- like the shadowy Saudi, Osma Bin
Laden - whose aim is to replace the region's oil kings and sheiks by
popular Islamic and/or even democratic governments.
Radical underground groups in North Africa, Egypt, Jordan, 'Holy' Saudi
Arabia, and the Gulf claim their nations have been turned into virtual
American colonies, under US military occupation. They say Arab `puppet'
rulers give away their oil to the US and Britain in exchange for
protection. American ‘occupiers' are thus fair game, such as the bombing
two years ago, of US military garrison at El-Khobar, Saudi Arabia.
Other somewhat less likely suspects: US-trained Afghans who fought the
Soviet Union, were later branded 'terrorists' by Washington,' and are now
hunted by US and Pakistani agents.
Marxist Kurds of the PKK, who see the US as the main support of their
blood enemy, Turkey.
Serbs, to distract Washington from their ethnic cleansing in Kosova.
Chechens, to punish the Clinton Administration for financing Russia's
destruction of their tiny nation, and slaughter of 100,000 people.
Colombian, Mexican or Peruvian drug lords - angry over the US led war
against their business.
Congolese, for revenge against the US-orchestrated overthrow of their late
leader President Mobutu.
Angola's UNITA movement -an old ally ditched and lately besieged by the
US, which now backs Angola's communist regime for reasons of
The embassies in Nairobi and Dar-es-Salaam suffered damage roughly
equivalent to a hit by a 2,000-lb bomb or 16-in naval shell - just what
the US liberally dropped on Libya and Iraq, or fired at Lebanon. Or
supplied to Iraq, to drop on Iran. And supplied to Israel to drop on
various Arab targets.
In other words, the attack was either payback time or a bloody step in
driving the US out of its Mideast Oil Raj. Mindless, it was not. Expect
Copyright E. Margolis, August 1998
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By International Syndicated Columnist & Broadcaster