Remembering William Blum: Washington’s Destructive Imperial Agenda

Author, historian, former State Department official-turned sharp critic of Washington’s destructive imperial agenda William Blum passed away on December 9 at age 85.

In failing health for some time, his condition deteriorated markedly after a serious fall at home, passing away two months later.

I’m personally indebted to Blum. His books and other writings inspired my own, notably his book titled “Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower.”

It documented Washington’s imperial agenda from 1945 – 2005, explaining how the US  tried or succeeded in toppling over 40 governments worldwide.

It crushed dozens of popular movements, slaughtering millions of people post-9/11 alone, along with pouring countless trillions down a black hole of waste, fraud and abuse at the expense of vital homeland needs gone begging, eroding social justice, targeted for elimination altogether.

The US interferes in the internal affairs of virtually all other countries, including their elections, wanting their ruling authorities bowing to its will, independent ones targeted for regime change by color revolutions, old-fashioned coups, or imperial wars.

Blum’s documentation showed US policies are “worse than you imagine,” stressing:

“If you flip over the rock of American foreign policy (throughout) the past century, this is what crawls out: invasions, bombings, (subversion), overthrowing governments, suppressing (popular) movements for social change, assassinating political leaders, perverting elections, manipulating labor unions, manufacturing ‘news,’ death squads, torture, (chemical), biological (and nuclear) warfare, (radiological contamination), drug trafficking, mercenaries,” police state repression, and endless wars on humanity.

That’s what imperialism is all about. Blum stressed it’s not a pretty picture – “enough to give imperialism a bad name.”

Millions of corpses attest to America’s barbarity, a rogue state like no others in world history, operating globally, willing to risk destroying planet earth to own it, the human cost of its wars and other harshness of no consequence.

Blum called democracy “America’s deadliest export,” the way it should be abhorrent in the US and other Western countries.

Post-WW II, Washington’s monstrous “war machine has been on auto pilot,” Blum explained, documenting disturbing truths about the US in his books, Anti-Empire Report, and other writings.

US regimes targeted, and continue targeting, populist or nationalist movements in numerous countries worldwide for elimination, wanting pro-Western puppet regimes replacing them.

Washington tried influencing presidential elections scores of times post-WW II – post-9/11 in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Yemen, Egypt, Tunisia, Honduras, Paraguay, Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Russia, and elsewhere.

The above interventionism excludes military coups and other regime change efforts in Iran, Guatemala, Chile, Honduras, Nicaragua, and numerous other countries. Blum documented disturbing truths about America’s post-WW II history.

In 1967, he left the State Department over US aggression in Southeast Asia, massacring millions to advance its imperium – an agenda begun in the mid-19th century, accelerated post-WW II, endless wars waged from then to now against nations threatening no one, countless millions slaughtered, the human toll of no consequence.

Blum co-founded and edited the Washington Free Press, the first alternative newspaper in the nation’s capital, he explained.

His journalism was the way it’s supposed to be, truth-telling on major domestic and geopolitical issues prioritized – polar opposite how major Western and most other world media operate.

In the mid-1970s, he worked with former CIA official Philip Agree and his associates, exposing CIA high crimes since its 1947 founding.

His books, translated into over 15 languages, include America’s Deadliest Export: Democracy – The Truth About US Foreign Policy and Everything Else (2013), Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower (updated edition 2005), West-Bloc Dissident: A Cold War Memoir (2002), and Freeing the World to Death: Essays on the American Empire (2004).

They explain the dark side of US history not taught in US or other Western institutions of higher learning except by professors like James Petras, John McMurtry, Francis Boyle, Michel Chossudovsky, Edward Said, Edward Herman, Howard Zinn, Michael Parenti, John Kozy, Michael Mandel, and other distinguished academics like them.

Like Blum, they inspired my writing and activism, my passion for truth-telling, my opposition to Washington’s imperial agenda and neoliberal harshness, my aspiration for a world safe and fit to live in.

Blum will be sorely missed. He and other distinguished figures I cherish as colleagues and valued friends inspired me and countless others to work for the kind of world we envision – moral, righteous, free, just, and egalitarian at peace.


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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

Visit his blog site at

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Articles by: Stephen Lendman

About the author:

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III." Visit his blog site at Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

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