Pilger: The Colder War
By John Pilger
30/1/2002 12:43 pm Wed
John Pilger writes in The Mirror (UK) about the new "red scare."
29 Jan 2002.
By John Pilger
LAST week, the US government announced that it was building the
biggest-ever war machine. Military spending will rise to $379billion,
of which $50billion will pay for its "war on terrorism". There will be
special funding for new, refined weapons of mass slaughter and for
"military operations" - invasions of other countries.
Of all the extraordinary news since September 11, this is the most
alarming. It is time to break our silence.
That is to say, it is time for other governments to break their silence,
especially the Blair government, whose complicity in the American
rampage in Afghanistan has not denied its understanding of the Bush
administration's true plans and ambitions.
The recent statements of British Ministers about the "vindication" of
the "outstanding success" in Afghanistan would be comical if the
price of their "success" had not been paid with the lives of more than
5,000 innocent Afghani civilians and the failure to catch Osama bin
Laden and anyone else of importance in the al-Qaeda network.
The Pentagon's release of deliberately provocative pictures of
prisoners at Camp X-Ray on Cuba was meant to conceal this failure
from the American public, who are being conditioned, along with the
rest of us, to accept a permanent war footing similar to the paranoia
that sustained and prolonged the Cold War.
The threat of "terrorism", some of it real, most of it invented, is the
new Red Scare.
The parallels are striking.
IN AMERICA in the 1950s, the Red Scare was used to justify the
growth of war industries, the suspension of democratic rights and the
silencing of dissenters.
That is happening now.
Above all, the American industrial-complex has a new enemy with
which to justify its gargantuan appetite for public resources - the
new military budget is enough to end all primary causes of poverty in
Donald Rumsfeld, the Defence Secretary, says he has told the
Pentagon to "think the unthinkable".
Vice President Dick Cheney, the voice of Bush, has said the US is
considering military or other action against "40 to 50 countries" and
warns that the new war may last 50 years or more.
A Bush adviser, Richard Perle, explained. "(There will be) no
stages," he said.
"This is total war. We are fighting a variety of enemies. There are lots
of them out there ... If we just let our vision of the world go forth, and
we embrace it entirely, and we don't try to piece together clever
diplomacy but just wage a total war, our children will sing great
songs about us years from now."
Their words evoke George Orwell's great prophetic work, Nineteen
In the novel, three slogans dominate society: war is peace, freedom
is slavery and ignorance is strength.
Today's slogan, war on terrorism, also reverses meaning. The war is
The next American attack is likely to be against Somalia, a deeply
impoverished country in the Horn of Africa.
Washington claims there are al-Qaeda terrorist cells there.
This is almost certainly a fiction spread by Somalia's overbearing
neighbour, Ethiopia, in order to ingratiate itself with Washington.
Certainly, there are vast oil fields off the coast of Somalia.
For the Americans, there is the added attraction of "settling a score".
In 1993, in the last days of George Bush Senior's presidency, 18
American soldiers were killed in Somalia after the US Marines had
invaded to "restore hope", as they put it.
A current Hollywood movie, Black Hawk Down, glamorises and lies
about this episode.
A current Hollywood movie, Black Hawk Down, glamorises and lies about this episode.
It leaves out the fact that the invading Americans left behind between
7,000 and 10,000 Somalis killed.
Like the victims of American bombing in Afghanistan, and Iraq, and
Cambodia, and Vietnam and many other stricken countries, the
Somalis are unpeople, whose deaths have no political and media
value in the West.
WHEN Bush Junior's heroic marines return in their Black Hawk
gunships, loaded with technology, looking for "terrorists", their
victims will once again be nameless. We can then expect the release
of Black Hawk Down II.
Breaking our silence means not allowing the history of our lifetimes to
be written this way, with lies and the blood of innocent people. To
understand the lie of what Blair/Straw/Hoon call the "outstanding
success" in Afghanistan, read the work of the original author of
"Total War", a man called Zbigniew Brzezinski, who was President
Carter's National Security Adviser and is still a powerful force in
Brzezinski not long ago revealed that on July 3, 1979, unknown to
the American public and Congress, President Jimmy Carter secretly
authorised $500million to create an international terrorist movement
that would spread Islamic fundamentalism in Central Asia and
"destabilise" the Soviet Union.
The CIA called this Operation Cyclone and in the following years
poured $4billion into setting up Islamic training schools in Pakistan
(Taliban means "student").
Young zealots were sent to the CIA's spy training camp in Virginia,
where future members of al-Qaeda were taught "sabotage skills" -
Others were recruited at an Islamic school in Brooklyn, New York,
within sight of the fated Twin Towers.
In Pakistan, they were directed by British MI6 officers and trained by
The result, quipped Brzezinski, was "a few stirred up Muslims" -
meaning the Taliban.
At that time, the late 1970s, the American goal was to overthrow
Afghanistan's first progressive, secular government, which had
granted equal rights to women, established health care and literacy
programmes and set out to break feudalism.
When the Taliban seized power in 1996, they hanged the former
president from a lamp-post in Kabul. His body was still a public spectacle when Clinton administration
officials and oil company executives were entertaining Taliban
leaders in Washington and Houston, Texas.
His body was still a public spectacle when Clinton administration officials and oil company executives were entertaining Taliban leaders in Washington and Houston, Texas.
The Wall Street Journal declared: "The Taliban are the players most
capable of achieving peace. Moreover, they were crucial to secure
the country as a prime trans-shipment route for the export of Central
Asia's vast oil, gas and other natural resources."
NO AMERICAN newspaper dares suggest that the prisoners in Camp
X-Ray are the product of this policy, nor that it was one of the
factors that led to the attacks of September 11.
Nor do they ask: who were the real winners of September 11?
The day the Wall Street stockmarket opened after the destruction of
the Twin Towers, the few companies showing increased value were
the giant military contractors Alliant Tech Systems, Northrop Gruman,
Raytheon (a contributor to New Labour) and Lockheed Martin.
As the US military's biggest supplier, Lockheed Martin's share value
rose by a staggering 30 per cent.
Within six weeks of September 11, the company (with its main plant
in Texas, George Bush's home state) had secured the biggest military
order in history: a $200billion contract to develop a new fighter
aircraft. The greatest taboo of all, which Orwell would surely
recognise, is the record of the United States as a terrorist state and
haven for terrorists.
This truth is virtually unknown by the American public and makes a
mockery of Bush's (and Blair's) statements about "tracking down
terrorists wherever they are".
They don't have to look far.
Florida, currently governed by the President's brother, Jeb Bush,
has given refuge to terrorists who, like the September 11 gang, have
hi-jacked aircraft and boats with guns and knives.
Most have never had criminal charges brought against them.
Most have never had criminal charges brought against them.
Why? All of them are anti-Castro Cubans. Former Guatemalan
Defence Minister Gramajo Morales, who was accused of "devising
and directing an indiscriminate campaign of terror against civilians",
including the torture of an American nun and the massacre of eight
people from one family, studied at Harvard University on a US
During the 1980s, thousands of people were murdered by death
squads connected to the army of El Salvador, whose former chief
now lives comfortably in Florida.
The former Haitian dictator, General Prosper Avril, liked to display
the bloodied victims of his torture on television.
When he was overthrown, he was flown to Florida by the US
government, and granted political asylum.
A leading member of the Chilean military during the reign of General
Pinochet, whose special responsibility was executions and torture,
lives in Miami.
THE Iranian general who ran Iran's notorious prisons, is a wealthy
exile in the US.
One of Pol Pot's senior henchmen, who enticed Cambodian exiles
back to their certain death, lives in Mount Vernon, New York.
What all these people have in common, apart from their history of
terrorism, is that they either worked directly for the US government or
carried out the dirty work of US policies.
The al-Qaeda training camps are kindergartens compared with the
world's leading university of terrorism at Fort Benning in Georgia.
Known until recently as the School of the Americas, its graduates
include almost half the cabinet ministers of the genocidal regimes in
Guatemala, two thirds of the El Salvadorean army officers who
committed, according to the United Nations, the worst atrocities of
that country's civil war, and the head of Pinochet's secret police,
who ran Chile's concentration camps.
There is terrible irony at work here. The humane response of people
all over the world to the terrorism of September 11 has long been
hijacked by those running a rapacious great power with a history of
terrorism second to none. Global supremacy, not the defeat of
terrorism, is the goal; only the politically blind believe otherwise.
The "widening gap between the world's "haves" and "have nots"',
says a remarkably candid document of the US Space Command,
presents "new challenges" to the world's superpower and which can
only be met by "Full Spectrum Dominance" - dominance of land,
sea, air and space.