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Monday, November 11, 2013

Maker of “failed states” fails ─ political economics expert Edward Herman

U.S. global aggression neglects home: destroyer is being destroyed from Edward Herman's article “Manufacturing Failed States”
Excerpt, minor edit, ending one-sentence comment by Carolyn Bennett

Failed states manufacturer

The United States has been a “manufacturer of failed states for a long time, as in the cases of Haiti, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala and those Indochinese  states (Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia) where ‘killing was so good.’” Edward Herman writes. “But we have seen a dramatic resurgence in more recent times.…[T]here has been a fresh stream of failed states brought about by U.S. and NATO ‘humanitarian intervention’ and regime change, carried out more aggressively in the wake of the death of the Soviet Union (and thus the end of an important if limited force of containment’).

The Soviet Union as threat to the United States and allies, Herman notes in another context, was fiction: “ideology” and “propaganda.”

Chemical killing
U.S. over Vietnam
In reality the Soviet Union was always far less powerful than the United States, had weaker and less reliable allies, and was essentially on the defensive from 1945 till its demise in 1991. The Soviet Union was an obstruction to U.S. expansion, with sufficient military power to constitute a modest containing force, but it also served U.S. propaganda as an alleged expansionist threat.

The United States, on the other hand, was aggressively on the march outward from 1945, with the steady spread of military bases across the globe, numerous interventions, large and small, on all continents, engaged in building the first truly global empire.

William Jefferson Clinton  - Barack Obama: “Humanitarian intervention in Yugoslavia has been a model, with Bosnia, Serbia and Kosovo turned into failed states, with several other weaklings broken out, all of them Western clients or supplicants, plus a huge U.S. military base in Kosovo, replacing one formerly independent social democratic state. …

“…Manufactured failures have often had common features that show them to be a product of imperial policy and the projection of imperial power. 
  • “One frequent feature is the rise and/or recognition of ethnic group rebels who claim victimhood, fight their government with terroristic acts, sometimes designed to provoke a violent government response, and who regularly appeal to the imperial powers to come to their aid. 

  • “Sometimes foreign mercenaries are imported to aid the rebels, and both the indigenous rebels and mercenaries are often armed, trained and given logistical support by the imperial powers. 

  • “The imperial powers encourage these rebel efforts as they find them useful to justify destabilizing, bombing, and eventually overthrowing the target regime. 
This process was evident throughout the period of the dismantlement of Yugoslavia and creation of the resultant set of failed states.…[And] …this demonstration of the merits of imperial intervention set the stage for further failed-state manufacturing efforts in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Iraq, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Libya, with a similar program well advanced today in Syria and one obviously in process for some years in the Free World’s treatment of a threatening Iran ─ following its happy relationship with the Western-imposed Shah dictatorship.”

Note: The United States’ Shah of Iran was the oldest son of Reza Shah Pahlavi, an army officer who became the ruler of Iran and founder of the Pahlavi dynasty (1925). Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi (b. October 26, 1919, Tehran, Iran, d. July 27, 1980, Cairo, Egypt) was Shah of Iran from 1941 to 1979.

“… During the Vietnam War, a sign over one of the U.S. army bases read ‘Killing Is Our Business, and Business Is Good.’ …It was a very good business in Vietnam (and Cambodia, Laos, and Korea as well), the number of civilian deaths running into the millions. And it has been quite respectable in the years after Vietnam.

“The killings have been carried out both directly and via proxies on every continent, as U.S. ‘national security’ has required bases, garrisons, assassinations, invasions, bombing wars, and the sponsorship of killer regimes, real terror networks, and programs everywhere in response to terrorist threats and challenges to the ‘pitiful giant.’ [Herman quotes Jan Knippers Black]:

‘National security’ is a wonderfully elastic concept, expanding in accord with ‘what a nation, class or institution…thinks it should have,’ with the result that it is those ‘whose wealth and power would appear to make them most secure who are, in fact, most paranoid, and who, by their frenetic attempts to ensure their security, bring on their own destruction.’

Herman defines Failed State as

 …One that has been crushed militarily or rendered unmanageable by political and/or economic destabilization and a resultant chaos and is unable (or is not permitted) for long periods to recover and take care of its citizens’ needs.

USA Failed, Failing State

“There is a good case to be made that the United States itself is a failed or failing state,” Herman writes.

“It obviously has not been crushed militarily by any foreign power, but its underlying population has been hugely damaged by its own permanent war system. In this case the military elite, with its contractor, banker, political, media and intellectual allies has

…greatly enlarged poverty and mass distress, shriveled the public services, and impoverished the country, making it impossible for the hamstrung and compromised leadership to properly service its ordinary citizens, despite steadily rising per capita productivity and GDP.

The surpluses are drained into the war system and the consumption and ownership of a small minority, who, … are aggressively striving to go beyond mere surplus monopolization to transfers from the incomes, wealth and public claims of the great (and struggling) majority.

“As a failed state as well as in other ways the United States of America is surely an exceptional nation!” 

Try swallowing that without choking.

Sources and notes

“Manufacturing Failed States” (MADE BY THE USA) by Edward S. Herman, VOLTAIRE NETWORK September 23, 2012, http://www.voltairenet.org/article175898.html

“‘Responsibility to Protect’ (R2P): An Instrument of Aggression” by Edward S. Herman, November 9, 2013 VOLTAIRE NETWORK, http://www.voltairenet.org/article180927.html

Edward S. Herman is professor emeritus of finance at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and has written extensively on economics, political economy, and the media. His books include Corporate Control, Corporate Power (1981); The Real Terror Network (1982); Manufacturing Consent (2002); and The Political Economy of Human Rights (co-author 1979),

Professor Jan Knippers Black, Ph.D., Monterey Institute of International Studies: A Graduate School of Middlebury College; expert in Human rights, international and comparative politics of the Western Hemisphere, international and grassroots development, women´s rights and roles, globalization

Professor Jan Knippers Black, according to one biographical note, “has had a passion for freedom, fairness and social justice ever since she traveled to Chile as part of the very first class of Peace Corps Volunteers in 1962.”

Her books include The Politics of Human Rights Protection (2009, pbk 2010), and Latin America, Its Problems and Its Promise, 5th ed, rev (2010).  United States Penetration of Brazil (1977, Portuguese edition published by Brazil’s Editora Massangana, Fundacao Joaquim Nabuco, 2010); Sentinels of Empire: The United States and Latin American Militarism (1986); Development in Theory and Practice: Paradigms and Paradoxes, 2nd ed, rev (1999); and Inequity in the Global Village: Recycled Rhetoric and Disposable People (1999).  Dr. Black has edited and co-authored three books, co-authored 14 more, and published more than 200 chapters or articles in reference books, anthologies, journals, magazines and newspapers.


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