What century are we living in? What millennium? What world?

“At last the world knows America as the savior of the world!” – President Woodrow Wilson, Paris Peace Conference, 1919

The horrors reported each day from Syria and Iraq are enough to make one cry; in particular, the atrocities carried out by the al-Qaeda types: floggings; beheadings; playing soccer with the heads; cutting open dead bodies to remove organs just for mockery; suicide bombers, car bombs, the ground littered with human body parts; countless young children traumatized for life; the imposition of sharia law, including bans on music … What century are we living in? What millennium? What world?

People occasionally write to me that my unwavering antagonism toward American foreign policy is misplaced; that as awful as Washington’s Museum of Horrors is, al-Qaeda is worse and the world needs the United States to combat the awful jihadists.

“Let me tell you about the very rich,” F. Scott Fitzgerald famously wrote. “They are different from you and me.”

And let me tell you about American leaders. In power, they don’t think the way you and I do. They don’t feel the way you and I do. They have supported “awful jihadists” and their moral equivalents for decades. Let’s begin in 1979 in Afghanistan, where the Moujahedeen (“holy warriors”) were in battle against a secular, progressive government supported by the Soviet Union; a “favorite tactic” of the Moujahedeen was “to torture victims [often Russians] by first cutting off their nose, ears, and genitals, then removing one slice of skin after another”, producing “a slow, very painful death”. 1

With America’s massive and indispensable military backing in the 1980s, Afghanistan’s last secular government (bringing women into the 20th century) was overthrown, and out of the victorious Moujahedeen arose al Qaeda.

During this same period the United States was supporting the infamous Khmer Rouge of Cambodia; yes, the same charming lads of Pol Pot and The Killing Fields. 2

President Carter’s National Security Adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, was a leading force behind the US support of both the Moujahedeen and the Khmer Rouge. What does that tell you about that American leader? Or Jimmy Carter – an inspiration out of office, but a rather different person in the White House? Or Nobel Peace Laureate Barack Obama, who chose Brzezinski as one of his advisers?

Another proud example of the United States fighting the awful jihadists is Kosovo, an overwhelmingly Muslim province of Serbia. The Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) began an armed conflict with Belgrade in the early 1990s to split Kosovo from Serbia. The KLA was considered a terrorist organization by the US, the UK and France for years, with numerous reports of the KLA having contact with al-Qaeda, getting arms from them, having its militants trained in al-Qaeda camps in Pakistan, and even having members of al-Qaeda in KLA ranks fighting against Serbia. 3 But Washington’s imperialists, more concerned about dealing a blow to Serbia, “the last communist government in Europe”, supported the KLA.

The KLA have been known for their torture and trafficking in women, heroin, and human body parts (sic). 4 The United States has naturally been pushing for Kosovo’s membership in NATO and the European Union.

More recently the US has supported awful jihadists in Libya and Syria, with awful consequences.

It would, moreover, be difficult to name a single brutal dictatorship of the second half of the 20th Century that was not supported by the United States; not only supported, but often put into power and kept in power against the wishes of the population. And in recent years as well, Washington has supported very repressive governments, such as Saudi Arabia, Honduras, Indonesia, Egypt, Colombia, Qatar, and Israel.

Not exactly the grand savior our sad old world is yearning for. (Oh, did I mention that Washington’s policies create a never-ending supply of terrorists?)

And what do American leaders think of their own record? Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was probably speaking for the whole private club when she wrote that in the pursuit of its national security the United States no longer needed to be guided by “notions of international law and norms” or “institutions like the United Nations” because America was “on the right side of history.” 5

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William Blum, BFP contributing author and analyst, is an American, historian and critic of United States foreign policy. He is the author of Killing Hope: U.S. Military & CIA Interventions Since World War II. He has described his life’s mission as: “If not ending, at least slowing down the American Empire. At least injuring the beast. It’s causing so much suffering around the world.” Mr. Blum can be reached through his website http://killinghope.org .


1.Washington Post May 11, 1979; New York Times, April 13 1979

2.William Blum, “Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower” (2005), chapter 10

3.RT TV (Russia Today, Moscow), May 4, 2012

4.Associated Press, December 14, 2010

5.Foreign Affairs (Council on Foreign Relations), January/February 2000 issue

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  1. Is William Blum familiar with the Gladio B series, with Sibel and James, here at BFP? Seems like he’s on the right track, but might be missing the story that ties it all together.

    • donilo252525 says:


      Good observation. Following on from it I hope that you, or some other well-informed (and clear presenter of Gladio history) will contact Mr. Blum. Working with someone of his perceptive skills and excellent writing skills would be a most favorable position from which to spread this history and its continuing deadly effects in our world.

    • The situation begins to make “sense” when we remember that our cultures, in just about every nation except for some of the Native Americans, tend to favor the rise of psychopaths in all hierarchical structures, be that personal, business, religious, academic, governmental, etc. AND that the only defense against these insane lunatics is DISENGAGEMENT. (James Corbett has a couple of good reports on the subject, and there are several good videos in YouTube)
      So, the question becomes, how do we disengage from these all encompassing structures?
      Perhaps, the first step is simply awareness.

      • I wonder if the oligarchs want some if us to disengage?

        • In some things they do, in others they don’t. They need us to stay engaged, as their cattle, that is, consumers. Disengage in our effort to find out their true motives and stratagems, yes, I suppose they would like nothing better than that.
          As the reports and videos I mention above, the only way that we can defend against psychopaths is to stop giving them our power, that is, our consent, confidence, agreement, money, resources, etc. That’s what I mean by disengage. You surely realize that we can not engage them with any sort of violence. The political process is completely ineffective (useless in fact) as it is constantly being expressed in this and many other venues. Popular uprisings, such as occupy movements, Arab Spring, and so forth, are in short order rendered impotent through their coordinated subversive efforts, and so on.
          So… HOW are we going to liberate our selves, our culture, our progeny? I can do it, to some degree, on a personal level, but that does not seem very promising.
          Just wondering…

          • continuing… Perhaps the “localize” efforts being tried through out the world will do something. Being conscious of what is happening is also helping. Loving my family, friends and colleagues, expressing it as much as possible, may also help. Using the “open source” media is probably good.
            But above all, not giving in to the idea that all is lost and all is useless, is the best. We are making connections. There is something deep in our being that is not suicidal and loves justice and freedom. This, as some point, will come forth and overcome all artificial and unnatural indoctrination.

          • I agree with much of what you said. Boycotting should be part of the solution. So should localization, open source, and loving relationships. And I agree with the goals of liberty and justice.

            One question I have that might boil my perspective down a little: Is liberty a public interest?

          • @Xicha: not sure if your question was rhetorical.
            If not: liberty is not always a public interest, Liberty is only interesting and valuable for those who can handle the complexity of the world and are not afraid of a bit more liberty (and more diversity in behavior of others). That is the reason why terrorism exists: the pervasive anxiety that results from it lets people prefer security over liberty.
            I try to explain the resulting morals here: http://www.geopoliticsandcognition.com/ThreeSetsOfMorals.html (actually this whole section of my website addresses this)
            @bobloco: above all we need much more independently thinking minds. That’s what the elite is fearing most.

          • @Tjeerd: No, I think it’s a key question and not rhetorical.

            Liberty is only interesting and valuable for those who can handle the complexity of the world and are not afraid of a bit more liberty (and more diversity in behavior of others)

            My opinion differs on this. I am of the mind that first there needs to be a condition of liberty for all (the public). At that point, folks can self-impose limits on their own liberty, but not of others, through non-aggression.

            So, in my view, perfect liberty cannot be attained, but is a direction we strive for. Liberty is not an island to me, it is a condition of our relationships. How can I be free when others around me are not, and it is not self-imposed for them? For they will always be aggressive and the context for my individual liberty cannot exist.

            Thanks for your thoughts about this. I will check out your page as soon as time permits.

          • I guess I don’t know if it perfect can be attained or not, but we need to direct ourselves towards liberty and justice for all, in order to experience them as individuals, through relationships.

            There’s a feedback loop involved, and eternal vigilance required.

  2. mariotrevi says:

    Momentum for change can build over time. British and American diplomats completely missed the rise of the Ayatollahs in Iran and couldn’t see the coming of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and downfall of the Shah, around 1978. I looked-up US riots in the ’60s, and the years ’67 and ’68 seem to stand out. Part race (or black) riots, part Vietnam War discontent, and then in ’68 following the assassination of Martin Luther King. I don’t think the Europeans saw World War I coming in early 1914. Sometimes situations become pretty explosive and change seems to be in the air, but it’s much too complicated to foretell , etc.

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