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QUOTATION: People often say that, in a democracy, decisions are made by a majority of the people. Of course, that is not true. Decisions are made by a majority of those who make themselves heard and who vote - a very different thing. - Walter H. Judd

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2004-08-24 - 7:09 p.m.

North Korea Launches Verbal Attack
and White House Shrugs Off Comments

An AP Asia Article today reports that the Bush Administration dismissed as inappropriate North Korea’s unusually strong personal attacks on President Bush – “imbecile,” a “fascist tyrant”, “worse than Adolf Hitler”. The North Korean leader further accused Bush of turning “a peaceful world into a pandemonium unprecedented in history,” saying they would not attend the six-nation working-level talks on the nuclear issue in the Korean peninsula. Rather ironic, don’t you think, for the State Department to call North Korea’s personal attacks inappropriate when President Bush just last week described North Korean leader Kim John-Il as a tyrant and Korea part of the Axis of Evil.

Even more ironic, I think, is that the United States wants to “send a clear message” that North Korea should end its nuclear program and realize “the benefits of the international community,” according to White House spokesman Scott McClellan. Ironic because the United States has invested $5.5 trillion to build and maintain our nuclear arsenal. [Quoted in Ivan Eland, “Protecting the Homeland: The Best Defense Is to Give No Offense,” Policy Analysis (Cato Institute), no. 306 (May 5, 1998), p. 3. – quoted in Blowback] I especially like the title of that article. Perhaps one of the best ways to protect our homeland is to not be offensive! I’ve never understood why every other country should give up their “nuclear arms” while we continue to test and stockpile ours. It seems to me these weaker countries have far more to fear from the United States, which appears to have become something of a rogue superpower than does this war-mongering crazed regime.

Incidentally, according to Chalmers Johnson in Blowback:The Costs and Consequences of American Empire, this threatening language, tastelessly bragging of the power and virtue of our country is not exclusive to the Bush Administration, but has been going on for some time, going back to John Foster Dulles and even Madeleine Albright.

“Blowback refers to the unintended consequences of policies that were kept secret from the American people. What the daily press reports as the malign acts of “terrorists” or “drug lords” or “rogue states” or “illegal arms merchange” often turn out to be blowback from earlier American operations.”

“We Americans deeply believe that our role in the world is virtuous – that our actions are almost invariably for the good of others as well as ourselves. Even when our country’s actions have led to disaster, we assume that the motives behind them were honorable. But the evidence is building up that in the decade following the end of the Cold War, the United States largely abandoned a reliance on diplomacy, economic aid, international law, and multilateral institutions in carrying out its foreign policies and resorted much of the time to bluster, military force, and financial manipulation.

“The world is not a safer place as a result….In the long run, the people of the United States are neither militaristic enough nor rich enough to engage in the perpetual police actions, wars, and bailouts their governments hegemonic policies will require.”

U. S. covert policies have created conditions and then we seem surprised at the “blowback” – e.g. In Afghanistan the U.S. helped bring to power the Taliban. In 1993, the very bombs we had armed them with were used on the World Trade Center in N. Y. Today, we have installed a new regime in Iraq and are selling them arms. Hmmm.

One reason we continue to supply, protect and expand our “empire” is because communities where Black Hawk or Comanche helicopters are made depend for their economic health on continued large-scale arms sales to countries like Turkey and Iraq. [You have only to read one day's contracts from the Defense Department to fully understand the economics of war.] If we want to stop human rights abuses, we should not sell arms and give aid – and then complain about human rights issues.

Arrogance best characterizes American official attitudes toward Asia today. The people of the U. S. are paying a steep price – individually and collectively – as we give up many of our rights because of our nation’s continued flexing of its muscles, its efforts to dominate the global scene.

I’m not sure of Bush’s motivations for announcing his intentions to bring troops home from various countries he’s cited. Don’t you wonder why foreign troops are based in countries like Germany and Japan more than half a century after the end of World War II and more than a decade after the Soviet Union was no longer a threat?

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