The Bush administration is paltering to the American public with exaggerated misconceptions of worldwide terrorism to frighten us into supporting a global police state. With seven hundred military bases and a budget bigger than the rest of the world combined, the US military has become the new supreme-power force repressing “terrorism” everywhere.
Vice President Dick Cheney’s keynote address at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference March 7, 2006 is a telling example of neo-conservative global dominance thought in the current administration. Here are his exact words, “Israel, and the United States, and all civilized nations will win the war on terror. To prevail in this fight, we must understand the nature of the enemy. Šas America experienced on September 11th, 2001, the terrorist enemy is brutal and heartless. This enemy wears no uniform, has no regard for the rules of warfare, and is unconstrained by any standard of decency or moralityŠ.The terrorists want to end all American and Western influence in the Middle East. Their goal in that region is to seize control of a country, so they have a base from which to launch attacks and wage war against governments that do not meet their demands ultimately to establish a totalitarian empire that encompasses a region from Spain, across North Africa, through the Middle East and South Asia, all the way around to Indonesia.”
Cheney claims that evil terrorists everywhere are plotting for the ruin of “civilized” nations. In order to stop them we must militarily control all the regions they are threatening in a permanent global war. Cheney’s military empire, set to prevail over the totalitarian terrorists, will inevitably expand global resistance to US domination. Large coalitions of freedom fighters, fundamentalists, patriots, religious zealots, nationalists, and ideologues of various beliefs will emerge from within the regions the US occupies.
Widespread resistance is exactly what is happening in Iraq. Le Monde Diplomatique on May 2, 2006 described the Iraq insurgents – terrorists to Cheney – as “armed opposition often divided into a set of wholly independent categories which apparently do not have much in common. The categories include the patriotic former army officers, the foreign terrorists, the Sunni Arabs determined to regain power, the Muslims opposed to any kind of foreign occupation, the tribal factions pursuing their own specific vendettas, the die-hard Ba’athists – and the “pissed-off” Iraqis (in coalition soldier jargon, POIs) who are simply sick of the foreign forces occupying their country.”
For Cheney and other global dominance neo-conservatives, the terrorist label is so broad that it can be applied to any individual, group, or nation that resists US military occupations, US threats, or US corporate interests anywhere in the world. In reality, the US military is the world’s foremost totalitarian force.
Three years ago I met a Dutch journalist, Willem Oltman, at the International Campaign Against US Aggression on Iraq in Cairo, Egypt. Oltman described his teen years during World War II in the Dutch resistance movement. “The Nazi’s called us terrorists,” he exclaimed. “Now as the US invades and occupies other countries you do the same thing,” he added.
Maintaining an US military global police force enriches defense contractors and enflames resistance. There is no worldwide terrorism threat other than the one we create when we make war on other peoples. Addressing world poverty, sickness, and environmental issues will go much further in preventing single acts of terrorism inside the United States than any military actions we can muster. It is time to challenge the neo-conservative global dominance agenda and stand up for human rights and the traditional American values of grass-roots democracy, due process, governmental transparency, and individual freedoms for ourselves and the rest of the world.
Peter Phillips is a professor of Sociology at Sonoma State University and director of Project Censored a media research group. www.projectcensored.org . He is co-editor with Dennis Loo of the forthcoming book, Impeach the President: The Case Against Bush and Cheney, from Seven Stories Press, summer 2006.