Quotes to Ponder

by Stephen Gowans

September 3, 2001

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American Foreign Policy

•  "American foreign policy has been fueled not by a devotion to any kind of morality, nor even simple decency, but rather by the necessity to serve other masters, which can be broken down into four imperatives:

1) making the world open and hospitable for -- in current terminology -- globalization, particularly American based transnational corporations

2) enhancing the financial statements of defense contractors at home who have contributed generously to members of Congress and residents of the White House

3) preventing the rise of any society that might serve as a successful example of an alternative to the capitalist model

4) extending political, economic and military hegemony over as much of the globe as possible, to prevent the rise of any regional power than might challenge American supremacy, and to create a world order in America's image, as befits the world's only superpower."
   --William Blum, Rogue State

•  "America is today the leader of a world-wide anti revolutionary movement in defense of vested interests. She now stands for what Rome stood for. Rome consistently supported the rich against the poor in all foreign communities that fell under her sway; and, since the poor, so far, have always and everywhere been far more numerous than the rich, Rome's policy made for inequality, for injustice, and the least happiness for the greatest number."
   --British historian Arnold J Toynbee

•  "There was no corner of the known world where some interest was not alleged to be in danger or under actual attack.  If the interests were not Roman, they were those of Rome's allies; and if Rome had no allies, the allies would be invented. When it was utterly impossible to contrive such an interest -- why, then it was the national honor that had been insulted.  The fight was always invested with an aura of legality. Rome was always being attacked by evil-minded neighbours...The whole world was pervaded by a host of enemies, it was manifestly Rome's duty to guard against their indubitably aggressive designs."
   --Joseph Schumpteter, Imperialism and Social Classes, 1919

•  "People who label the United States 'imperialist' usually mean it as an insult. But in recent years a handful of conservative defense intellectuals have begun to argue that the United States is indeed acting in an imperialist fashion -- and that it should embrace the role.

When the Cold War ended just over a decade ago, these thinkers note, the United States actually expanded its global military presence. With the establishment over the last decade of a semi-permanent presence of about 20,000 troops in the Persian Gulf area, they contend, the United States is now a major military power in almost every region of the world -- the Mideast, Europe, East Asia and the Western Hemisphere. And even though the United States is unlikely to fight a major war anytime soon, they believe, it remains very active militarily around the globe, keeping the peace in Bosnia and Kosovo, garrisoning 37,000 troops in South Korea, patrolling the skies of Iraq, and seeking to balance the rise of China.

The leading advocate of this idea of enforcing a new 'Pax Americana' is Thomas Donnelly, deputy executive director of the Project for the New American Century, a Washington think tank that advocates a vigorous, expansionistic Reaganite foreign policy. In ways similar though not identical to the Roman and British empires, he argues, the United States is an empire of democracy or liberty -- it is not conquering land or establishing colonies, but it has a dominating global presence militarily, economically and culturally."
   --Thomas E. Ricks, "Empire or Not: A Quiet Debate over US Role," Washington Post, August 21, 2001

•  "Those who think that present-day imperialism does not require territorial occupation should think again. Military occupation for an indefinite length of time is already in evidence in parts of the Balkans.....the US militarily occupies territory in no less than sixty-nine countries through its military bases: a number that continues to expand with the enlargement of NATO. What mattered in all imperialist ventures was always the ability to impose dictates on the dominated country an a continuing basis, using punitive military interventions only when the 'normal' way of ruling was challenged."
   --Istvan Meszaros, "Socialism or Barbarism," Monthly Review Press, New York, 2001

•  "In the past we have witnessed ... extremely dangerous developments in...US imperialism. NATO has expanded significantly toward the east, which may be considered by the Russian authorities a threat...the aims and objectives of NATO have been radically redefined, in conflict with international law, transforming it from what used to be a supposedly purely defensive military association into a potentially most aggressive offensive alliance, which can do what it pleases without any reference to lawful authority. Ibid.

One of the most favored ways of enforcing US imperial interests has always been the overthrow of unpalatable governments..."
   --Istvan Meszaros, "Socialism or Barbarism," Monthly Review Press, New York, 2001

National Interests

•  "...their legitimacy is forcefully asserted when the issues at stake affect...the presumed interests of the United States, not hesitating to use even the most extreme forms of military violence, or the threat of such violence, to impose their arbitrary decisions on the rest of the world. On the other hand, however, the legitimate national interests of other countries are arrogantly dismissed as intolerable 'nationalism' and even as 'ethnic pandemonium.' At the same time, the United Nations and other international organizations are treated as playthings of the United States, and defined with utmost cynicism when their resolutions are not palatable to the guardians of the more or less openly declared US national interests."
   --Istvan Meszaros, "Socialism or Barbarism," Monthly Review Press, New York, 2001


•  "It is of fundamental importance to preserve NATO as the primary instrument of Western defense and security ...We must seek to prevent the emergence of European only security arrangements which would undermine NATO."
   --1992 Pentagon policy document, excerpted in The New York Times, March 8, 1992

Government Debt

•  "Instead of taxing rich people, governments borrow from them, and pay them interest for the privilege."
   --Doug Henwood, Wall Street

•  "The national debt is a transfer payment from taxpayers to bondholders, from labor to capital, from average people to the wealthy."
   --Michael Parenti


•  "And with...wealth comes extraordinary social power -- the power to buy politicians, pundits, and professors, and to dictate both public and corporate policy."
   --Doug Henwood, Wall Street

•  "We can either have democracy in this country or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of few, but we can't have both."
   --US Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis

•  "The name for their profits is democracy."
   --Phil Ochs, The Cops of the World

•  "You're exercising your precious freedom to vote and the only candidates presented to you with more than a snowball-in-hell's chance of winning are those whose ideologies enable them to raise about a half million dollars to contest a seat in the House, about five million for the Senate, and about a hundred million for the White House."
   --William Blum, Rogue State

•  ...[business]...remained the extra-parliamentary force par excellence, which could dominate parliament as it pleased from the outside.
   --Istvan Meszaros, "Socialism or Barbarism," Monthly Review Press, New York, 2001


•  "Strangely enough, all the charges against (Slobodan Milosevic), except one (Racak), refer to incidents that took place after the NATO bombing had commenced. Yet it supposedly was Milosevic's long-standing atrocity policies that had made the bombing so imperative. Another oddity: the number of deaths for which Milosevic was held responsible totaled 391. (Human Rights Watch puts the number of civilians killed by NATO bombs at 500.)"
   --Michael Parenti, To Kill a Nation: The Attack on Yugoslavia

•  "American officials are quoted as urging Serbian authorities to keep searching for some crime committed by Milosevic, since 'he's certainly guilty of something...'  No such frantic search is necessary to find the guilt of NATO leaders. They launched an illegal war. They targeted civilian infrastructure, used toxic weapons."
   --Diana Johnstone

•  "If you wake up in the morning and you have no power to your house and no gas to your stove and the bridge you take to work is down and will be lying in the Danube for the next 20 years, I think you begin to ask, 'Hey, Slobo, what's this all about? How much more of this do we have to withstand?'"
   --US Air Force Lt. General Michael Short

•  "Our colonel went to his NATO heads several times and protested against the choice of targets that were not of a military nature...Once we received an encoded order from U.S. military officials to drop anti-personnel bombs over the towns of Pristina and Nis.  Our colonel refused the order, and a week later he was deposed."
   --Spanish F-18 pilot

•  "This is about America's energy security...It's also about preventing strategic inroads by those who don't share our values. We're trying to move these newly independent countries toward the West...We would like to see them reliant on Western commercial and political interests rather than going another way.  We've made a substantial political investment in the Caspian, and it's very important to us that both the pipeline map and the politics come out right."
   --Former US Energy Secretary Bill Richardson, a few months before the 1999 bombing of Yugoslavia.

•  "Many Americans recognize that politicians lie, that they are capable of saying one thing then doing another...But when it comes to U.S. foreign policy, many of us retreat from that judgment. Suddenly we find it hard to believe that U.S. leaders would lie to us about their intentions in the world..."
   --Michael Parenti, Against Empire

•  "[T]here was no humanitarian crisis [in Kosovo] until NATO began to bomb...Everyone knew that a humanitarian crisis would arise if NATO started to bomb."
   --Norma Brown, U.S. diplomat

•  "American foreign policy makers are exquisitely attuned to the rise of a government, or a movement that might take power, that will not lie down and happily become an American client state, that will not look upon the free market or the privatization of the world known a 'globalization' as the summum bonum, that will not change its laws to favor foreign investment, that will not be unconcerned about the effects of foreign investment upon the welfare of its people, that will not produce primarily for export, that will not allow asbestos, banned pesticides and other products restricted in the developed world to be dumped onto their people, that will not easily tolerate the International Monetary Fund or the World Trace Organization inflicting a scorched earth policy upon the country's social services or standard of living, that will not allow an American or NATO military installation upon its soil...To the highly sensitive nostrils of Washington foreign policy veterans, Yugoslavia smelled a bit too much like one of these governments."
   --William Blum, Rogue State

Macedonia (FYROM)

•  "[W]e will certainly remain here a long time so that we can also guarantee the security of the energy corridors which traverse this country."
   --General Michael Jackson, KFOR commander

•  "Wesley Clark, NATO Supreme Commander during the Kosovo campaign, wrote in the New York Times this week advocating the establishment of a permanent Western military presence. 'If NATO is serious about making democracy work in this fractious corner of Europe, then Western forces need to enter as soon as possible, engage as broadly as possible and stay as long as necessary.'"
   --Chris Marsden, "Tensions deepen as NATO begins Macedonia mission," World Socialist Web Site, 25 August 2001

•  "'People have got our number,' said Chalmers Johnson, president of the Japan Policy Research Institute, an independent think tank outside San Diego. He believes that the United States is pursuing an imperialist course, and that 'Coalitions are forming left and right around the world to thwart it.' He points to closer cooperation between Russia and China, to a united Europe that is becoming less of an ally and more of a competitor, and to the swift rise of the anti-globalization movement."
   --Thomas E. Ricks, "Empire or Not: A Quiet Debate over US Role," Washnington Post, August 21, 2001

•  "Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski met with Russia's President Vladimir Putin in the Ukraine. Putin expressed his own 'great doubts' about the NATO mission and called instead for measures to stop terrorist attacks. Trajkovski emphasised Russia's role in helping Macedonia solve the crisis: 'Our assessments coincide. Both President Putin and I think that the source of problems in the region is Kosovo which continues to be a region's bleeding spot.'"
   --Chris Marsden, "Tensions deepen as NATO begins Macedonia mission," World Socialist Web Site, 25 August 2001

•  "The purpose of this NATO with sharp teeth is to establish forward bases on Russia's periphery from which it will then unleash ethnically based guerrilla armies on the Russians. One objective will be to exhaust the Russians in fighting endless secessionist wars. An enfeebled Russia will then be only too eager to sign away mineral concessions to the rapacious multinationals hovering behind NATO."
   --George Szamuely, "Expanding NATO," New York Press, Vol. 24, No.26

•  "The UCK commanders welcomed me with a shout of, 'God bless America and Canada too for all that they have provided to us!' In the well constructed UCK bunkers overlooking the besieged city of Tetovo, there is ample evidence of US military hardware. Everything from sidearms and sniper rifles to menacing-looking grenade launchers are emblazoned with a 'Made in the USA' logo.

An abundant stock of sophisticated night vision goggles provides the UCK with a tremendous tactical advantage over the Macedonian security forces. By nightfall, the Macedonians are compelled to hole-up in their bunkers while the UCK roam with impunity throughout the Tetovo streets.

'Snake' Arifaj, a 22-year-old platoon commander with the UCK, proudly displayed his unit's impressive arsenal and said, 'Thanks to Uncle Sam, the Macedonians are no match for us.'

Two weeks ago, there was a flurry of diplomatic protests filed by the Macedonian government when two US helicopters were observed delivering supplies to an Albanian village in the mountains above Tetovo. Officially, the US claimed their aircraft were only transporting vital 'humanitarian aid.' However, the local UCK commander – 'Commandant Mouse' – contradicted this statement and confirmed that the Americans had in fact delivered 'heavy mortars and ammunition' to the UCK.

As proof of 'Mouse's' claim, Thursday, 16 August, the UCK began bombarding Tetovo with 120mm and 82mm mortars. Judging from the duration and intensity of the bombardment, which I witnessed, ammunition supply is not a problem for the UCK fighters.

The US also frequently used their tactical helicopters to gather intelligence inside Macedonia, without authorization from the Macedonian government. The sight of the US choppers prompted the ethnic Albanian villagers to cheer wildly, waving their arms to encourage 'their' airforce.

Further illustration of this Albanian sentiment toward US aircraft can be found at the UCK brigade headquarters, just outside Tetovo. Here the security platoon wear T-shirts emblazoned with a Nike logo and the phrase, 'NATO Air – Just do it!'"
   --Scott Taylor, "Macedonia's Civil War: 'Made in the USA,'" August 20, 2001, antiwar.com

Practical Politics

•  "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary."
   --H.L. Mencken


•  "When you think of the long and gloomy history of man, you will find more hideous crimes have been committed in the name of obedience than have ever been committed in the name of rebellion...The German Officer Corps were brought up in the most rigorous code of obedience...in the name of obedience they were party to, and assisted in, the most wicked large scale actions in the history of the world."
   --C.P. Snow. "Either-Or," Progressive, February 1961. p. 24.


•  "Used in Korea, south as well as north, in lieu of nuclear weapons, napalm killed painfully hundreds of thousands of people. Planes flew low down city and town streets killing clusters and targeted peasants in the fields. More than two million northern civilians died... In World War II overall 40 percent of causalities were civilian, in Korea 70 percent."
   --Hugh Deane, The Korean War: 1945-1953

•  "In 1993, while in South Korea, Clinton declared: 'It is pointless for them [North Korea] to develop nuclear weapons. Because if they ever use them it would be the end of their country.'"
   --William Blum, Rogue State

•  "'We've some nations today that concern us, [such as] North Korea,' (Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen.Henry H. Shelton) said. 'We've 38,000 great Americans in South Korea that stand guard day in and day out protecting America's interests along the DMZ.'"
   --"Shelton Talks Change, Troops, Transformation," Gerry Gilmore, American Forces Press Service, Aug. 27, 2001


•  "(Sanctions have) contributed to more deaths during the post Cold War era than all the weapons of mass destruction throughout history."
   --John and Karl Mueller, "Sanctions of Mass Destruction," Foreign Affairs, May 1999.

Military Spending

•  "Every gun that is fired, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies...a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed.  This world in arms is not spending money alone.  It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children...We pay for a single fighter plane with half a million bushels of wheat.  We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than eight thousand people."
   --Dwight Eisenhower

•  "Our government has kept us in a perpetual state of fear--kept us in a continuous stampede of patriotic fervor--with the cry of grave national emergency. Always there has been some terrible evil...to gobble us up if we did not blindly rally behind it by furnishing the exorbitant funds demanded. Yet, in retrospect, these disasters seem never to have happened, seem never to have been quite real."
   --General Douglas MacArthur, 1957

Air War

•  "(Three bombers) whipped down to the valley, whirled around and came back again...They knew what they were doing.  They knew they were destroying private houses in a helpless village...and people in those houses if they were not quick enough.

The story of air warfare of this sort has been told and retold...It is not an accidental 'atrocity'...It is an attested, studied, boasted method of attack.  These are the gangsters of the air."
   --The New York Times, May 10 1940, comment on a Nazi air raid in Norway.

•  "It is a scandal in contemporary international law, don't forget, that while the wanton destruction of towns, cities and villages is a war crime of long standing, the bombing of cities from airplanes goes not only unpunished but virtually unaccused. Air bombardment is state terrorism, the terrorism of the rich. It has burned up and blasted apart more innocents in the past six decades than have all the anti-state terrorists who ever lived."
   --Political scientist C Douglas Lummis

•  "A few days after the Wuerzburg raid (a March 16, 1945 firebomb attack on a southern German town), Winston Churchill drafted a memorandum for the chiefs of staff. 'The moment has come when the question of bombing of German cities simply for the sake of increasing the terror, though under other pretexts, should be reviewed. Otherwise we shall come into control of an utterly ruined land.'"
   --The Guardian, August 24, 2001

Collapse of Communism

•  "The number of people in Russia living on less than $4 a day grew from 4 million in 1989 to 147 million in 1999."
   --World Bank

So, globalization opponents are standing in the way of the world's poor getting richer

•  "The extremes of global capitalism are astonishing. While the economies of East Asia have reached rapid growth, there has been little overall progress in much of the rest of the developed world. Income in Latin America grew by only six percent in the past two decades, when the continent was opening up. Average incomes in sub-Saharan Africa and the old Eastern bloc have actually contracted. The World Bank figures the number of people living under $1 a day increased, to 1.3 billion, over the last decade."
   --Business Week, Nov. 6, 2000

•  "While more than a billion people live in poverty, the richest 200 people in the world more than doubled their net worth between 1994 and 1998 to more than $1 trillion. A measly one percent of their wealth could fund primary education for all of the world's children who lack access to schooling. The world's top three billionaires alone possess more assets than the combined gross national product of the 48 least developed countries and their combined population of 600 million people."
   --United Nations Human Development Report

Who is Marcos?

•  "Marcos is gay in San Francisco, Black in South Africa, an Asian in Europe, a Chicano in San Ysidro, an anarchist in Spain, a Palestinian in Israel, a Mayan Indian in the streets of San Cristobal...a communist in the post-Cold War era, an artist without gallery or portfolio, a pacifist in Bosnia...a reporter writing filler stories for the back pages, a single woman on the Metro at 10 P.M., a peasant without land, an unemployed worker...an unhappy student, a dissident amid free-market economics, a writer without books or readers, and, of course, a Zapatista in the mountains of southeast Mexico.

So Marcos is a human being, any human being, in this world. Marcos is all the exploited, marginalized and oppressed minorities, resisting and saying, 'Enough!'"
   --Sub Commandante Marcos

Israel and Palestine

•  "Ninety-nine percent of the people reading newspapers or watching TV news all over the world (including Arabs) have simply forgotten -- if they ever knew -- that Israel is an illegal occupying power and has been for 34 years. So long as there is a military occupation of Palestine by Israel, there can never be peace. Occupation with tanks, soldiers, checkpoints and settlement is violence, and it is much greater than anything Palestinians have done by way of resistance."
   --Edward Said

•  "The conflict is centered in territories that have been under harsh military occupation since 1967.  The conqueror is a major armed power, acting with massive military, economic and diplomatic support from the global superpower. Its subjects are alone and defenseless, many barely surviving in miserable camps."
   --Noam Chomsky


•  "The picture of the world's greatest superpower killing or seriously injuring 1,000 non-combatants a week, while trying to pound a tiny backward nation into submission on an issue whose merits are hotly disputed, in not a pretty one."
   --US Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, in a 1967 letter to US President Lyndon Johnson


•  "The US has recently rejected the Kyoto accord on reducing greenhouse gases, refused to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty on nuclear weapons, opposed the creation of an International Criminal Court, refused to sign the Ottawa Accord banning anti-personnel land mines and served notice that it plans to abandon the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. On top of that, Washington has rejected a plan to enforce an international ban on germ warfare, is proposing to weaponize space, refuses to renounce the first-strike use of nuclear weapons, continues to practice capital punishment in the face of world condemnation, and has repeatedly engaged in self described police actions without UN sanction. For this the US is said to be isolationist or engaged in unilateralisim. But what it really says is that the US is the world's biggest, and most dangerous, rogue."

Trickle Down Theory

•  "Capital prowls the globe with a ravenous freedom it hasn't enjoyed since before World War I, operating free of friction, free of gravity. Will this mean any better life for the multitudes...? 'By all means,' says Capital, offering another warmed-up version of the 'trickle down' theory, the principle that the poor, who must subsist on table scraps dropped by the rich, can best be served by giving the rich bigger meals."
   --William Blum, Killing Hope


•  "In one raid on Tokyo, after midnight in March 10, 1945, 300 B-29s left the city in flames...A million people were left homeless...100,000 people died that night. The bomb on Hiroshima (dropped August 6, 1945) left perhaps 140,000 dead; the one on Nagasaki (dropped August 9, 1945) 70,000 dead. Another 130,000 died in the next five years. On August 14, 1945, five days after the Nagasaki bombing and the day before the actual acceptance of surrender terms ... more than 1,000 planes were sent to bomb Japanese cities. The last plane had not returned when Truman announced the Japanese had surrendered. Oda Makoto went out into the streets and found in the midst of the corpses American leaflets written in Japanese, which had been dropped with the bombs: 'Your government has surrendered; the war is over.'"
   --American historian Howard Zinn

•  "The bombs were dropped, not to intimidate the Japanese, but to put the fear of the American God into the Russians. The dropping of the A-bomb, it has been said, was not the last shot of World War II, but the first shot of the Cold War."
   --William Blum, Rogue State


•  "According to reports of a US Senate Committee in 1994: From 1985, if not earlier, through 1989, a veritable witch's brew of biological materials were exported to Iraq by private American suppliers pursuant to application and licensing by the US Department of Commerce...These exports continued to at least November 28, 1989 despite the fact that Iraq had been reported to be engaging in chemical warfare and possibly biological warfare against Iranians, Kurds and Shiites since the early 1980s as part of its war with Iran."
   --William Blum, Rogue State

Social Services

•  "It's quite remarkable: When governments are embroiled in labour disputes, they deem health care and education essential services.  But when it's time to cut the budget, where is the first place they go?"
   --R.G. McGillivray


•  "The usual complaint about Belarus's president Alexander Lukashenko is that he abolished the parliament, cheats on elections, and is autocratic. But Boris Yeltsin, as president of Russia, ruled almost exclusively by decree, cheated on every election, and blew up a parliament he didn't like. And yet Yeltsin was admired as a reformer. The difference it seems between Yeltsin, the admired reformer, and  Lukashenko, the despised autocrat, is that Yeltsin was enthusiastic about embracing the free market, while Lukashenko's passions for free market reforms have proved less than overwhelming."


•  "They have to control the air above, the water aquifers below, the sea and the borders. They have to divide the West Bank in three cantons. They keep 10 percent of it for settlements and roads and their forces. No sovereignty over Haram and Sharif. And refugees, we didn't have a serious discussion about."
   --Yasser Arafat

In their own words

•  "Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival...First, the US must show the leadership necessary to establish and protect a new order that holds the promise of convincing potential competitors that they need not aspire to a greater role or pursue a more aggressive posture to protect their legitimate interests.

We must account sufficiently for the interest of the advanced industrial nations to discourage them from seeking to overturn the established political and economic order. Finally, we must maintain the mechanism, for deterring potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role."
   --1992 Pentagon policy document, excerpted in The New York Times, March 8, 1992

•  "We will continue to be involved in regions that control scarce resources, such as the Middle East and the emerging Caspian Sea areas for oil, as we try to hedge our own and our allies' resource dependencies. We will also continue to be involved with the nations of Africa in areas of mutual interest. Neither can we overlook the importance of those who share our borders and our hemisphere—Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean nations. Developments in these countries can have a profound effect on our security and economic well-being.

Closely tied to the challenges developing from these demographic and social trends are the effects of the expanding global marketplace. U.S. citizens, businesses, and nongovernment organizations will move into every corner of the globe, including those areas 'off-limits' during the Cold War. Multinational corporations will continue to gain economic power and political influence, posing opportunities and challenges for diplomacy and other aspects of international relations. Economic sanctions, for example, may be more difficult to implement and enforce, given the multinational character of global corporations.

...access to oil in the Gulf, the Caspian Sea, and elsewhere will likely remain critical to global economic stability."
   --Report of the National Defense Panel, December 1997


•  "In a 1998 interview (Zbigniew Brezinski, national security advisor to Jimmy Carter) admitted that the official story that the US gave military aid to the Afghanistan opposition only after the Soviet invasion in 1979 was a lie. The truth was, he said, that the US began aiding the Islamic fundamentalist Moujahedeen six months before the Russians made their move, even though he believed -- and told this to Carter--that 'this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention.'...we are faced with the consequences of that war: the defeat of a government committed to bringing the extraordinarily backward nation into the 20th century."
   --William Blum, Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower, Common Courage Press, 2000.

•  "Living conditions in the country are among the worst in the world. A quarter of all children die by the age of five. Like expectancy is about 45 years. Literacy, now about 30 percent of Afghan adults, is likely to drop under the Taliban's opposition to education of young girls."
   --Jack Redden, Reuters News Agency, August 29, 2001


       Stephen Gowans is a writer and political activist who lives in Ottawa, Canada.

       Please, DO NOT steal, scavenge or repost this work without the expressed written authorization of Swans, which will seek permission from the author. This material is copyrighted, © Stephen Gowans 2001. All rights reserved.

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Published September 3, 2001
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