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Killing Hope - By William Blum

"[American leaders] are perhaps not so much immoral as they are amoral. It's not that they take pleasure in causing so much death and suffering. It's that they just don't care ... the same that could be said about a sociopath. As long as the death and suffering advance the agenda of the empire, as long as the right people and the right corporations gain wealth and power and privilege and prestige, as long as the death and suffering aren't happening to them or people close to them ... then they just don't care about it happening to other people, including the American soldiers whom they throw into wars and who come home-the ones who make it back alive-with Agent Orange or Gulf War Syndrome eating away at their bodies. American leaders would not be in the positions they hold if they were bothered by such things."

"In all these paradigms, "communist" is often no more than the name ascribed to those people who stand in the way of the realization of such ambitions (as "national security" is the name given for the reason for fighting "communists"). It is another twist of the old adage: if communists didn't exist, the United States would have to invent them. And so they have. The word "communist" (as well as "Marxist") has been so overused and so abused by American leaders and the media as to render it virtually meaningless. (The left has done the same to the word "fascist".) But merely having a name for something - witches or flying saucers-attaches a certain credence to it.

At the same time, the American public ... has been soundly conditioned to react Pavlovianly to the term: it means, still, the worst excesses of Stalin, from wholesale purges to Siberian slave-labor camps; it means, as Michael Parenti has observed, that "Classic Marxist-Leninist predictions [concerning world revolution] are treated as statements of intent directing all present-day communist actions.'' It means "us" against "them"."

And "them" can mean a peasant in the Philippines, a mural-painter in Nicaragua, a legally-elected prime minister in British Guiana, or a European intellectual, a Cambodian neutralist, an African nationalist - all, somehow, part of the same monolithic conspiracy; each, in some way, a threat to the American Way of Life; no land too small, too poor, or too far away to pose such a threat, the "communist threat".

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