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The Invisible Government in America

The Invisible Government Book Cover

The Invisible Government Book Cover

The Invisible Government is a startling and disturbing book. It is the first full, authentic account of America’s intelligence and espionage apparatus, an invisible government. With the CIA at its center that conducts the clandestine polices. The book was a best seller from the authors of “The U-2 Affair”.

The Invisible Government by David Wise and Thomas B. Ross.(New York: Random. 1964. 375 pp. $5.95.) Book review by Charles E. Valpey, from CIA HISTORICAL REVIEW PROGRAM. (Released in full: 18 SEPT 95; Posted: May 08, 2007; Last Updated: Aug 04, 2011; Last Reviewed: May 08, 2007.)

CONFIDENTIAL

The journalist-authors of this best-seller admit that Communist subversion and espionage pose a unique threat to the American people and their government, and they accept the necessity under certain circumstances for secret American efforts to prevent Moscow and Peking from gaining new allegiances. But they profess to believe that our secret attempts to meet the Communist challenge constitute so real a threat to our own freedoms that they must be exposed in as detailed and dramatic a way as possible. If the Soviets are profiting from these revelations, as they are, -Vise and Ross apparently think that such self-inflicted wounds must be endured in the battle against excessive secrecy.

Broadly stated, their thesis is that the U.S. intelligence community, with the CIA at its heart, has grown so big and powerful that it threatens the democracy it was designed to defend. The CIA, they say, conducts its own clandestine foreign policy, and even the President – has been unable to control it. The State Department is powerless to exert policy direction because its ambassadors are kept uninformed and are habitually by-passed by CIA operatives. The Congress has abdicated its legislative role and votes huge secret funds without adequate knowledge of how the money is spent.

If all this were true, American democracy would certainly be in serious trouble, and the alarm professed about the “invisible government” would be justified. But is it true? Strangely enough, the authors themselves provide, ambiguously, a negative answer to this question which is so central to their major thesis. They concede the existence of institutional arrangements designed to give the President and his principal foreign policy advisors the very kind of close policy control over secret operations that they ought to have. Early in the book, they mention the existence of a “Special Group” which :makes the major decisions regarding clandestine operations, though they say it is so secret that it is “unknown outside the innermost circle of the Invisible Government.” The reader must wait through 255 pages to learn that the members of this policy group are no sinister shadows but McGeorge Bundy in the White House, Secretary of Defense McNamara, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, and the Director of Central Intelligence. These are just the officials that one would expect the President to have chosen to advise him on matters of high clandestine policy, and they are far from invisible.

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Quotes and Comments Attributed to Prince Philip

Prince Philip The Duke of Edinburgh

Prince Philip The Duke of Edinburgh

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, is quite famous for making some rather embarrassing and funny comments. This is a list of some of his own words, and comments attributed to Prince Philip:

Are you Indian or Pakistani? I can never tell the difference between you chaps. At Washington Embassy reception for Commonwealth members.

British women can’t cook; they are very good at decorating food and making it attractive. Addressing mainly female audience at Scottish Rural Women’s Institute Display in 1966.

Do you still throw spears at each other? To Australian Aborigines, during a visit to Queensland, 2002.

I don’t think a prostitute is more moral than a wife, but they are doing the same thing. Speech in December 1988, dismissing claims that those who sell slaughtered meat have greater moral authority than those who participate in blood sports.

In the event that I am reincarnated, I would like to return as a deadly virus, in order to contribute something to solve overpopulation. In August 1988, in an interview with Deutsche Presse-Agentur

I must confess that I am tempted to ask for reincarnation as a particularly deadly virus. In 1987, he wrote in his foreword to a book  “If I Were an Animal” – UK, Robin Clark Ltd.

So you’re responsible for the kind of crap Channel Four produces! Speaking to then chairman of the channel, Michael Bishop, in 1962

Deaf? If you are near there, no wonder you are deaf. To group of deaf children standing next to Jamaican steel drum band, on visit to new National Assembly for Wales, 1999.

When a man opens the car door for his wife, it’s either a new car of a new wife. March 1988.

Dontopedalogy is the science of opening your mouth and putting your foot in it, a science which I have practiced for a good many years. Address to General Dental Council, quoted in Time November 21, 1960.

Can you tell the difference between them? On being told by President Obama that he’d had breakfast with the leaders of the UK, China and Russia

People think there’s a rigid class system here, but dukes have even been known to marry chorus girls. Some have even married Americans. In 2000

How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to pass the test. To Scottish driving instructor, 1995.

Tolerance is the one essential ingredient … You can take it from me that the Queen has the quality of tolerance in abundance. His recipe for a successful marriage, during celebrations for their golden wedding anniversary, November 1997.

If it has got four legs and is not a chair, if it has two wings and it flies but is not an aeroplane, and if it swims and is not a submarine, the Cantonese will eat it. Commenting on Chinese eating habits to World Wildlife Fund conference in 1986.

Brazilians live there. On key problems facing Brazil

You have mosquitos. I have the Press. To the matron of a hospital in the Caribbean

Ghastly. Commenting on Beijing, China, during 1986 official visit there.

Everybody was saying we must have more leisure. Now they are complaining they are unemployed. At the height of the recession in 1981.

If you stay here much longer you’ll all be slitty-eyed. To British students in China during Royal visit there in 1986.

It looks as if it was put in by an Indian. Pointing at an old-fashioned fuse box while on a tour of a factory near Edinburgh.

Bloody silly fool! Referring to a Cambridge University car park attendant who failed to recognize him, 1997.

Aren’t most of you descended from pirates? To islander in the Cayman Islands, 1994.

You managed not to get eaten, then. To student who had been trekking in Papua New Guinea in 1998, suggesting Papuan tribes people were still cannibals.

Aren’t there any male supervisors? This is a nanny city. In San Francisco on meeting five city officials – all of whom were female.

People usually say that after a fire it’s the water damage that’s the worst. We’re STILL trying to dry out Windsor castle. To grieving residents of Lockerbie, Scotland, during a 1993 visit after a plane exploded and crashed into the town, killing everyone on board and several people on the ground (and shortly after a fire swept through one wing of Windsor Castle).

We don’t come here for our health. We can think of other ways of enjoying ourselves. On Canada.

You can’t have been here that long, you haven’t got a potbelly. To a Briton residing in Hungary, 1993.

You were playing your instruments weren’t you? Or do you have tape recorders under your seats? Congratulating a school band on their performance in Australia.

You are a woman, aren’t you? In Kenya in 1984, after accepting a gift from an indigenous woman.

If you gave a seven-year-old a brush and paints he’d produce something like that. In The Sudan, after viewing some of the paintings housed in the country’s ethnic museum.

I would like to go to Russia very much – although the bastards murdered half my family. In 1967, asked if he would like to visit the Soviet Union.

What do you gargle with – pebbles? To singer Tom Jones, after 1969 Royal Variety Performance.

I never see any home cooking – all I get is fancy stuff. Remark in 1962 taken as a slight against Buckingham Palace chefs, and later had to be qualified.

All money nowadays seems to be produced with a natural homing instinct for the Treasury. May 1963.

We live in what virtually amounts to a museum – which does not happen to a lot of people. February 1964.

It’s a pleasant change to be in a country that isn’t ruled by its people. To Alfredo Stroessner, the Paraguayan dictator.

You look like you’re ready for bed! To the President of Nigeria, dressed in traditional robes

The problem with London is the tourists. They cause the congestion. If we could just stop tourism, we could stop the congestion. On the London Traffic Debate

The best thing to do with a degree is to forget it. At the University of Salford.

Where did you get the hat? To his wife, the Queen, after her coronation

Any bloody fool can lay a wreath at the thingamy. Discussing his role in an interview with Jeremy Paxman.

Young people are the same as they always were. They are just as ignorant. At the 50th anniversary of the Duke of Edinburgh Awards scheme.

You must be out of your minds. To Solomon Islanders, on being told that their population growth was 5 per cent a year, in 1982.

Who are you? Simon Kelner: “I’m the editor-in-chief of The Independent, Sir.” “What are you doing here?” “You invited me.” “Well, you didn’t have to come!” An exchange at a press reception to mark the Golden Jubilee in 2002.

Warning: Some of these Quotes are Dubiously and may not be said by HRH Prince Philip.

America Bully the World by Regimes Change

America Bully the World by Regimes Change

America Bully the World by Regimes Change

The United States government has been involved in and assisted in the overthrow of foreign governments (more recently termed regime change) without the overt use of U.S. military force. Often, such operations are tasked to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Many of the governments targeted by the U.S. have been democratically elected, rather than authoritarian governments or military dictatorships. In many cases, the governments toppled were replaced by dictatorships, sometimes installed with assistance by the U.S.

No Bully Should Expect That People Would Like It

Regime change has been attempted through direct involvement of U.S. operatives, the funding and training of insurgency groups within these countries, anti-regime propaganda campaigns, coup d’états, and other, often illegal, activities usually conducted as operations by the CIA. The U.S. has also accomplished regime change by direct military action, such as following the U.S. invasion of Panama in 1989 and the U.S.-led military invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Some argue that non-transparent United States government agencies working in secret sometimes mislead or do not fully implement the decisions of elected civilian leaders and that this has been an important component of many such operations. See Plausible deniability. Some contend that the US has supported more coups against democracies that it perceived as communist, or becoming communist.

Notwithstanding a history of U.S. covert actions to topple democratic governments and of installing authoritarian regimes in their places (see, e.g. Iran 1953, below), U.S. officials routinely express support for democracy as best supporting U.S. interests and as protecting human life and health.

“So why would anyone think the U.S. is an international bully? A bully is someone who attacks the weak, avoids fights with strong, and ignores the rules when it suites him.” The U.S. also looks like a bully because they have built a global military empire. They have troops all over the world. They spend more than $700 billion a year on military. China, the country with the next largest military budget, spends only $120 billion a year. The U.S. military expenditure alone  is 43% from the global total. Can the Americans find better ways of wasting world resources and better ways of living and more acceptable policies?

Here is just incomplete list of regimes changed by America in less than a hundred years. It is a manifestation of how bully and unlawful is the U.S.

Russia:

In 1918, the Allied powers including the United States began a military intervention in the Russian Civil War.
Communist states 1944-1989:
The National Endowment for Democracy supported pro-capitalist movements in the communist states and has been accused of secretly supporting regime change, which it denies.

Syria:

The March 1949 Syrian coup d’état ended the initial civilian government.

Iran 1953:

The CIA worked with the United Kingdom to overthrow the democratically elected government of Iran led by Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh who had attempted to nationalize Iran’s petroleum industry. The 1953 Iranian coup d’état (known in Iran as the 28 Mordad coup) was under the name TPAJAX Project. The coup saw the transition of Mohammad-Rezā Shāh Pahlavi from a constitutional monarch to an authoritarian one who relied heavily on United States support to hold on to power until his own overthrow in February 1979.

Tibet 1950s:

The CIA armed an anti-Communist insurgency for decades in order to oppose the invasion of Tibet by Chinese forces and the subsequent control of Tibet by China. The program had a record of almost unmitigated failure.

Guatemala 1954:

The CIA participated in the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Guatemala led by Jacobo Arbenz. The CIA claimed it intervened because it feared that a communist government would become “a Soviet beachhead in the Western Hemisphere”, it was also protecting, among others, four hundred thousand acres of land the United Fruit Company had acquired.

Cuba 1959

The largest and most complicated coup effort, approved at White House level, was the Bay of Pigs operation. Under initiatives by the Eisenhower and Kennedy Administrations, CIA-trained Cuban anti-communist exiles and refugees to land in Cuba and attempt to overthrow the government of Fidel Castro. Plans originally formed under Eisenhower were scaled back under Kennedy.

Democratic Republic of the Congo 1960

Both Belgium and the United States actively sought to have Patrice Lumumba, the first legally elected Prime Minister of the Republic of the Congo, killed. The CIA ordered his assassination but could not complete the job. Instead, the United States and Belgium covertly funneled cash and aid to rival politicians who seized power and arrested Lumumba.  The Belgian government orchestrated a military coup to remove the Lumumba government from power. Lumumba was subsequently murdered in prison. U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower had said something [to CIA chief Allen Dulles] to the effect that Lumumba should be eliminated”. This was revealed by a declassified interview with then-US National Security Council minutekeeper Robert Johnson released in August 2000 from Senate intelligence committee’s inquiry on covert action. The committee later found that while the CIA had conspired to kill Lumumba, it was not directly involved in the actual murder.

Iraq 1963

In February 1963, the United States backed a coup by the Ba’ath Party against the government of Iraq headed by General Abd al-Karim Qasim, who five years earlier had deposed the Western-allied Iraqi monarchy. The US was concerned about the growing influence of Communist Iraqi government officials under his administration, as well as his threats to invade Kuwait, which almost caused a war between Iraq and England.

Brazil 1964

A democratically-elected government headed by President João Goulart was overthrown by a CIA-supported coup in March 1964. Declassified transcripts of communications between US ambassador to Brazil Lincoln Gordon and the U.S. government show that, predicting an all-out civil war, President Johnson authorized logistical materials to be in place to support the coup-side of the rebellion as part of U.S. Operation Brother Sam. President Joao Goulart was not favorably viewed in Washington. He took an independent stand in foreign policy, resuming relations with socialist countries and opposing sanctions against Cuba; his administration passed a law limiting the amount of profits multinationals could transmit outside the country; a subsidiary of ITT was nationalized; he promoted economic and social reforms.

Republic of Ghana 1966

On 24 February 1966, Kwame Nkrumah, the first President of Ghana, was overthrown in a military coup backed by the CIA. Nkrumah was the first President of Ghana and the first Prime Minister of Ghana. An influential 20th-century advocate of Pan-Africanism, he was a founding member of the Organization of African Unity and one of the founding fathers of the Non-aligned movement. Nkrumah argued that socialism was the system that would best accommodate the changes that capitalism had brought, while still respecting African values.

Iraq 1968

President Abdul Salam Arif lost patience with the Ba’ath party due to factionalism, and the Party was ousted from government on 18 November 1963. 1963–1968, the Ba’th Party was forced underground and began to make sweeping changes in its leadership and strategy in order to recapture power. Ahmad Hassan al-Bakr became secretary of the Regional Command of the Ba’th Party in 1964. He was assisted in reorganizing the party by Saddam Hussein.
In 1967, the government of Iraq was very close to giving concessions for the development of huge new oil fields in the country to France and the USSR. Robert Anderson, former secretary of the treasury under President Dwight D. Eisenhower, secretly met with the Ba’ath Party and came to a negotiated agreement according to which both the oil field concessions and sulfur mined in the northern part of the country would go to United States companies if the Ba’ath again took power. The Baath Party toppled Abdul Rahman Arif, bringing Saddam Hussein to the threshold of power.
Former CIA Near East Division Chief James Chritchfield maintains that the CIA played no direct role in the 1963 coup, but that it viewed the Ba’ath Party favorably and offered support after they had taken over. He referred to the subsequent coups that brought Saddam to power as “counter-coups” that enabled the “radical” elements of the Party. The U.S. broke all relations with Iraq in 1967. After al-Bakr seized power in 1968, relations remained completely severed for 16 years and the U.S. made arms sales to Iraq illegal in a law passed by Congress. In June 1972, the Iraqi government nationalized the oil assets of British Petroleum, Royal Dutch Shell, Compagnie Française des Petroles, Mobil Oil and Standard Oil of New Jersey.

Chile 1973

The U.S. government hostility to the democratically-elected President Salvador Allende is unquestioned. This hostility was substantiated in documents declassified during the Clinton administration. The CIA, as recounted in the Church Committee report, was involved in various plots designed to remove Allende and then let the Chileans vote in a new election where he would not be a candidate; It tried to buy off the Chilean Congress to prevent his appointment, attempted to have him exiled, worked to sway public opinion against him to prevent his election, tried to foil his political aspirations during the Lyndon B. Johnson administration, and financed protests designed to bring the country to a stand-still and make him resign.
To destabilise the Allende Government, the CIA paid some U.S. $8 million to right-wing opposition groups to “create pressures, exploit weaknesses, magnify obstacles” and hasten Allende’s deposition. The CIA report released in 2000 records some U.S. $6.8 million spent to depose Allende. Gen. Carlos Prats succeeded Gen. René Schneider after his assassination on 24 October 1970 by the groups of Gen. Roberto Viaux and Gen. Camilo Valenzuela, whom the CIA financed and logistically supported.
The 1973 Chilean coup d’état organised by the Chilean military and unofficially endorsed by the Nixon administration and the CIA was a watershed event of the Cold War and the history of Chile. A military junta led by Allende’s Commander-in-Chief Augusto Pinochet eventually took control of the government. After the coup, Pinochet established a military dictatorship that ruled Chile until 1990; it was marked by numerous human rights violations.

Afghanistan 1973-74

The CIA began offering covert backing to radical Islamist rebels in Afghanistan premised on the claim that the authoritarian government headed by Mohammed Daoud Khan might prove a likely instrument of Soviet military aggression in South Asia. U.S. secret backing of the Islamist rebels ceased following an abortive uprising in 1975.
In 1974, the Islamists plotted a military coup, but Daoud’s regime discovered the plot and imprisoned the leaders—at least those who did not escape to Pakistan. The following year, the Islamists attempted a failing uprising in the Panjshir Valley.

Iraq 1973-75

The CIA colludes with the Shah of Iran to finance and arm Kurdish rebels in an attempt to overthrow al-Bakr. When Iran and Iraq sign a peace treaty in 1975, the support ceases. The Shah denies the Kurds refuge in Iran, even as many are slaughtered. The U.S. decides not to press the issue with the Shah. “Covert action should not be confused with missionary work”, declares Sec. of State Henry Kissinger. Subsequently, Al-Bakr attempts in 1979 to demote the Vice-President, Saddam Hussein, to a position of relative obscurity. Saddam responds with a counter-coup, forcing al-Bakr to resign, conducting a ruthless purge of hundreds of Ba’athists and naming himself President.
The American betrayal of the Kurds was investigated by the Pike Committee, which described it as cynical and self-serving. It has been argued that it tarnished America’s image with one of the most pro-Western groups in the Middle East.

Argentina 1976

The democratically elected government of Argentina headed by Isabel Martínez de Perón was overthrown by a right-wing coup d’état in March 1976. It was headed by General Jorge Rafael Videla, Admiral Emilio Eduardo Massera and Brigadier Orlando Ramón Agosti. The junta took the official name of “National Reorganization Process,” and remained in power until 1983. U.S. planners were aware that the coup would be unlikely to succeed without murderous repression. Two days after the coup, Assistant Secretary for Latin America, William Rogers, advised Secretary of State Henry Kissinger that “we ought not at this moment rush out and embrace this new regime” because he expected significant repression to follow the coup. But Kissinger made his preferences clear: “Whatever chance they have, they will need a little encouragement… because I do want to encourage them. I don’t want to give the sense that they’re harassed by the United States.”

Afghanistan 1978-1980s

One of the CIA’s longest and most expensive covert operations was the supplying of billions of dollars in arms to the Afghan mujahideen militants. The CIA provided assistance to the fundamentalist insurgents through the ISI in a program called Operation Cyclone. Somewhere between $2–$20 billion in U.S. funds were funneled into the country to train and equip troops with weapons. The 2007 movie “Charlie Wilson’s War” celebrated the CIA’s involvement in the repulsion of the USSR troops from Afghanistan. Representative Wilson was awarded the Honored College Award by the CIA for his involvement.

Iran 1980

Alleged U.S. green light for Saddam. According to Kenneth R. Timmerman, the “Islamic revolution in Iran upset the entire strategic equation in the region. America’s principal ally in the Persian Gulf, the Shah, was swept aside overnight, and no one else on the horizon could replace him as the guarantor of U.S. interests in the region.”
In 1979 Saddam allowed the CIA, which he had once so virulently attacked, to open an office in Baghdad.” Zbigniew Brzezinski, National Security Advisor to President Carter, “began to look more favorably toward Saddam Hussein as a potential counterweight to the Ayatollah Khomeini and as a force to contain Soviet expansionism in the region.” The U.S. also acted to defend Saudi Arabia, and lobbied the surrounding states not to become involved in the war.

Nicaragua 1981-1990

The CIA planted mines in civilian harbors and sunk civilian ships in an attempt to overthrow the Sandinista government of Nicaragua. The U.S. also armed and trained the Contra guerrilla insurgency to destabilize the Nicaraguan government. The Contras based in neighboring Honduras, waged a guerrilla war of insurgency in an effort to topple the government of Nicaragua and to seize power. The Contras’ form of warfare was one of consistent and bloody abuse of human rights, of murder, torture, mutilation, rape, arson, destruction and kidnapping.

El Salvador 1980-92

In the Salvadoran Civil War between the military-led government of El Salvador and the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN), a coalition or umbrella organization of five left-wing militias; the US supported the Salvadoran military government. America also supported the centrist Christian Democrats, who were targets of death squads. The security forces were split between reformists and right-wing extremists, who used death squads to stop political and economic change.

Cambodia 1980-95

The Reagan Administration sought to apply the Reagan Doctrine of aiding anti-Soviet resistance movements abroad to Cambodia, which was under Vietnamese occupation following the Cambodian genocide carried out by the Communist Khmer Rouge.

Angola 1980s

The Reagan administration offered covert aid to a group of anti-Communist rebels led by Jonas Savimbi, called UNITA, whose insurgency was backed by South Africa.

Philippines 1986

The United States had for many decades coddled the dictator Ferdinand Marcos, even as his regime abused human rights and his wife Imelda Marcos plundered their country of billions of dollars. The U.S. support was based on the U.S. military’s desire of Philippine territory for its naval bases. But some American presidents, such a Ronald Reagan, were genuinely fond of Marcos, calling him a “freedom fighter.”

Iraq 1992-1995

The CIA orchestrated a bomb and sabotage campaign between 1992 and 1995 in Iraq via one of the insurgent organizations, the Iraqi National Accord, led by Iyad Allawi. The campaign had no apparent effect in toppling Saddam Hussein’s rule.

Guatemala 1993

In 1993 the CIA helped in overthrowing Jorge Serrano Elías. Jorge then attempted a self-coup, suspended the constitution, dissolved Congress and the Supreme Court, and imposed censorship. He was replaced by Ramiro de León Carpio.

Serbia 2000

The United States is alleged to have made secret effort to topple the nationalist Slobodan Milošević in Serbia during and after the events of the Kosovo War. The 5 October Revolution removed Milošević and installed a pro-western government which permitted the extradition of Milosevic and other war crime suspects.

Venezuela 2002

In 2002, Washington is claimed to have approved and supported a failed coup d’état on 11 April 2002 against the Venezuelan government that saw President Hugo Chávez ousted from office for 47 hours. Senior officials, including Special Envoy to Latin America Otto Reich and convicted Iran-contra figure and George W. Bush “democracy ‘czar'” Elliott Abrams, were allegedly part of the plot.

Haiti 2004

The insurgency against the government of Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was allegedly supported by the United States, and Aristide claims he was physically removed from the country by U.S. personnel against his wishes.

Somalia 2006-2007

Although the United States has had an ongoing interest in Somalia for decades, in early 2006 the CIA began a program of funding a coalition of anti-Islamic warlords. This involved the support of CIA case workers operating out of the Nairobi, Kenya office funneling payments of hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Alliance for the Restoration of Peace and Counter-Terrorism. As the power balance shifted towards this alliance, the CIA program backfired and the militias of the Islamic Court Union (ICU) gained control of the country.

Iran 2001-present

President Bush secretly authorized the CIA to undertake black operations against Iran in an effort to topple the Iranian government. The Black Ops include a U.S. propaganda and disinformation campaign intended to destabilize the government, and disrupting the Iranian economy by manipulating the country’s currency and its international financial transactions. U.S. officials have been secretly encouraging and advising a Pakistani Balochi militant group named Jundullah that is responsible for a series of deadly guerrilla raids inside Iran. Another claimed US proxy inside Iran has been the Party for a Free Life in Kurdistan (PEJAK). Another terrorist group allegedly protected by the United States government that operates out of Iraq is the People’s Mujahedin of Iran, PMOI, known also as the Mujahedeen-e Khalq or MEK.

Nations and governments don’t like bullies and bullying. It is not a clash of civilizations, cultures or anything else.

American Militarism and Hegemony of Military Establishment

US Military Expenditure 2001-2012

US Military Expenditure 2001-2012

U.S. Military bases and installations around the world

U.S. Military bases and installations around the world

US Military Spending as proportion of total federal budget in FY 2009

US Military Spending as proportion of total federal budget in FY 2009

US Military Spending versus the world in 2008

US Military Spending versus the world in 2008

Allocation of US 2010 Taxes

Allocation of US 2010 Taxes

Global Distribution of Military Expenditure in 2010

Global Distribution of Military Expenditure in 2010

Top Military Spender Countries in 2009

Top Military Spender Countries in 2009

Partial List of U.S. Military Interventions 1947-2009

Partial List of U.S. Military Interventions 1947-2009

 

The following paragraphs are from a forthcoming book: American Society how it actually works, Chapter 20: Militarism and Empire, written By Erik Olin Wright & Joel Rogers.

Most Americans think of the military power of the United States in roughly the following way:
[The world is a dangerous place. There are war-making aggressive, hostile forces in the world, countries which oppress their own people and threaten others, as well political movements that are prepared to use violence to get their way. We must oppose these threats to our national security. But we are not aggressors. We have a Department of Defense, not a Department of War. We use our military power to defend freedom, to defend democracy, to protect America, but not to dominate other countries and people. If sometimes serious problems arise from our use of military power, as in the Vietnam War or in the Iraq war, mostly these reflect bad judgment, poor information or inadequate understanding of the context rather than bad motives or malevolent goals. Even though we are not perfect, we are a moral force in the world and use our military power for moral purposes. ]  That is the dominant view of the American military. Three stark facts about the reality of American military power stand in tension with this idealized view.
1. The United States spends orders of magnitude more on the military than any other country. As indicated in Figures 20.1 and 20.2, in 2008 military spending in the United States accounted for nearly half of the world’s total military spending.  This is more than the next 46 highest spending countries in the world combined. It is 5.8 times larger than the spending on the military in China, 10.2 times larger than in Russia and almost 100 times larger than in Iran. If you add to the American figures the spending by the strongest allies of the United States – the NATO countries, Japan, South Korea and Australia – the total comes to 72% of the world’s total. The United States is not simply the world’s only superpower; our military dwarfs that of all potential adversaries combined.

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Racial Inequality in Modern United States of America

Racial Inequality in Modern United States of America

Racial Inequality in Modern United States of America

Race and racial inequality have powerfully shaped American history from its beginnings. Americans like to think of the founding of the American colonies and, later, the United States, as driven by the quest for freedom – initially, religious liberty and later political and economic liberty. Yet, from the start, American society was equally founded on brutal forms of domination, inequality and oppression which involved the absolute denial of freedom for slaves.

This is one of the great paradoxes of American history – how could the ideals of equality and freedom coexist with slavery? We live with the ramifications of that paradox even today.
In this chapter we will explore the nature of racial inequality in America, both in terms of its historical variations and contemporary realities. We will begin by clarifying precisely what we mean by race, racial inequality and racism.  We will then briefly examine the ways in which racism harms many people within racially dominant groups, not just racially oppressed groups. It might seem a little odd to raise this issue at the beginning of a discussion of racial inequality, for it is surely the case that racial inequality is more damaging to the lives of people within the oppressed group. We do this because we feel it is one of the critical complexities of racial inequality and needs to be part of our understanding even as we focus on the more direct effects of racism. This will be followed by a more extended discussion of the historical variations in the forms of racial inequality and oppression in the United States. The chapter will conclude with a discussion of the empirical realities today and prospects for the future.

This chapter will focus primarily on the experience of racial inequality of African-Americans, although in the more historical section we will briefly discuss specific forms of racial oppression of Native-Americans, Mexican-Americans, and Chinese-Americans. This focus on African-Americans does not imply that the forms of racism to which other racial minorities have been subjected are any less real. And certainly the nature of racial domination of these other groups has also stamped the character of contemporary American society.

Source: CHAPTER 14, RACIAL INEQUALITY, Final Draft, August 2009
American Society: how it actually works (forthcoming, 2010, W.W. Norton) By Erik Olin Wright & Joel Rogers. Erik Olin Wright Professor of Sociology at University of Wisconsin – Madison

Note: This book is a joint project with Joel Rogers based on an undergraduate  sociology course, “Contemporary American Sociology”, which we have taught since the early 1990s. The draft posted below is the final draft, August 2009, before being copy-edited by the publisher.
Contemporary American Society, University of Wisconsin – Madison

American Society: how it actually works

.        Table of Contents
1 Prologue: Values and Perspectives
2 What kind of a country is this?
.        Part I. Efficiency & Freedom
3 The market: how it is supposed to work
4 The market: How it actually works
5 The environment
6 Transportation
7 Consumerism
8 Health Care
9 High Road Capitalism
.         Part II. Fairness
10 Thinking about Equality, Inequality and Fairness
11 Class
12 Persistent Poverty and Rising Inequality
13 Solutions to Poverty
14 Racial Inequality
15 Gender inequality
.          Part III. Democracy
16 Capitalist Democracy: how it works
17 Voting
18 Taxation and the Affirmative State
19 Democracy and Corporate Media
20 Militarism & Empire
21 Unions and Democracy
22 Democracy from below
.        Conclusion
23 Alternative Futures

Best wishes for Russia and Putin

Vladimir Putin cry at victory

Vladimir Putin cry at victory

My heartily congratulations for the election of Vladimir Putin.
Wishing them very peaceful, strong and prosperous Russia; and greater role in the stability, development and justice in world affairs.

I am sure they will compensate developing nations from the failed hopes and disappointments resulted from the previous U.S. presidential election.

Homeland Security Searches Your Facebook and Twitter

Homeland Security Searches Your Facebook and Twitter

Homeland Security Searches Your Facebook and Twitter

Document Proves DHS Is Monitoring Social Media For Government Criticism. Keywords agency is tracking include “body scanner,” “nationalist” , “police,” and “immigration”

Paul Joseph Watson wrote on Infowars.com on February 23, 2012.

[A Homeland Security training manual belies claims made by DHS representatives during a Congressional hearing last week that the federal agency is only monitoring social media outlets for “situational awareness,” and proves the fact that Bis Sis is also tracking online criticism of government, including discussion of airport body scanners.

“Analysts for a Department of Homeland Security program that monitors social networks like Twitter and Facebook have been instructed to produce reports on policy debates related to the department, a newly disclosed manual shows,” reports the New York Times.

The manual, entitled Department of Homeland Security National Operations Center Media Monitoring Capability Desktop Reference Binder, was obtained by the Electronic Privacy Information Center via a FOIA request.

The controversy over DHS spying on social media erupted last month following the release of 300 documents which detailed how DHS had hired an outside contractor, General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, to monitor social media outlets along with a list of websites, on a “24/7/365 basis,” in order to uncover “any media reports that reflect adversely on the U.S. Government and the Department of Homeland Security.”

During a subsequent Congressional hearing on the matter, DHS representatives Mary Callahan and Richard Chávez denied the fact that tracking criticism of government agencies formed any part of the program, and that the effort was merely aimed at developing “situational awareness” of potential threats, mostly related to extreme weather events.

However, the 2011 manual makes it abundantly clear that the program was a backdoor effort to keep tabs on what the American people were saying about not just the DHS, but a whole host of federal agencies, including the CIA, the ATF, the TSA, FEMA, as well as organizations outside of the U.S. government such as the United Nations and the Red Cross.

The ‘items of interest’ listed in the document which require monitoring of social media include, “policy directives, debates and implementations related to DHS.”

In addition, the list of keywords the DHS is tasked with monitoring include terms that have little to do with “situational awareness.”
During last week’s hearing, Callaham claimed that such keywords were restricted to “you know, flood, tornado and things like that.” In reality, the manual also directs DHS analysts to search for terms such as “China, cops, hacking, illegal immigrants, Iran, Iraq, marijuana, organized crime, police, pork and radicals.”

The words “militia,” “riot,” “body scanner,” and “nationalist” are also included in the list of keywords the DHS is tasked with monitoring.

The fact that Homeland Security is monitoring what people say about airport body scanners, in the aftermath of a wider national basklash against the TSA as a whole, dovetails with how the TSA has subjected people who refuse to use them to undue suspicion and questioning.

“The D.H.S. continues to monitor the Internet for criticism of the government,” EPIC’s Ginger McCall said in reference to the document. “This suspicionless, overbroad monitoring quells legitimate First Amendment activity and exceeds the agency’s legal authority.”]

[Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Prison Planet.com. He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a regular fill-in host for The Alex Jones Show and Infowars Nightly News.]

“Homeland Security personnel regularly monitor updates on social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, to uncover “Items Of Interest” (IOI), according to an internal DHS memo released by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), reports Animal New York.
That baseline list of terms for which the DHS searches — or at least a DHS subcontractor hired to monitor social networks — reveals which specific words generate realtime IOI reports.” wrote Steve Elliott on Toke of the Town.com

ANIMAL New York.com wrote “In addition to the following list of terms, the DHS can also add additional search terms circumstantially as deemed necessary.”
The current list of DHS Media Monitoring Terms can be viewed at ANIMAL New York.com