Saturday, March 29, 2008


Deterring Democracy Copyright © 1991, 1992 by Noam Chomsky. Published by South End Press.
Chapter 3: The Global System Segment 3/5
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3. Containing "Gorby Fever"

In this context, one can appreciate the concerns aroused in the late 1980s by Gorbachev's moves, which require a new form of containment: a cure for "Gorby Fever" in Western Europe, or at least confinement of the disease. A headline in the Wall Street Journal reads: "Anti-Nuclear Fever Presents a Dilemma for Bush as Soviets Ease Confrontation." The article goes on to outline one of Bush's "most thankless but important jobs": to defend "the virtue of nuclear weapons in the face of a relentless and sometimes brilliant Soviet crusade to rid Europe of them." This new "Soviet strategy" has "deprived Western hardliners of their best weapon," and "appears to be working" among the disobedient Europeans, though European elites are also concerned that relaxation of tension might free their own populations from the controls of Cold War confrontation. Dan Rather reported from Germany that Helmut Kohl might be about to make the same mistake that Chamberlain made in 1939, believing Gorbachev just as Chamberlain believed Hitler and succumbing to fantasy about "peace in our time"; Americans can help keep Germany from making that mistake, he advises. Liberal Sovietologist Jerry Hough of the Brookings Institution warned that the U.S. had given in too readily to "the complacent optimism that Gorbachev cannot possibly succeed." "Perhaps this optimism will be justified," he writes, but we cannot be sure, and must be more cognizant of the "looming difficulties and challenges."11

One problem has been Europe's failure to see the moves towards détente in the proper terms: as a victory for capitalist democracy achieved by the courage of Ronald Reagan, then his skills as a peacemaker after his firm resolve compelled the enemy to throw in the towel. The London Financial Times welcomed "the rosy glow of the new détente," adding, however, that "everybody knows that the architect of that détente is not Ronald Reagan but Mikhail Gorbachev." As for Reagan, his "contribution to the gaiety of nations includes the Evil Empire, Star Wars, the invasion of Grenada, the bombing of Libya, the 1986 Reykjavik summit at which he almost agreed to give away America's nuclear arsenal, and Irangate. Plus, of course, the steady piling up of the budget and trade deficits; and when they are eventually paid for, the price to the American people will be very high." Public opinion polls showed Gorbachev to be more popular than Reagan; Gorbachev's initiatives are playing havoc with West European politics, the New York Times reports, and his "charm has so captivated European public opinion that it could inhibit NATO's room for maneuver," a senior U.S. government official laments.12

A more comforting view of the matter was crafted by former Times executive editor A.M. Rosenthal. "Nobody is telling the truth," he writes -- not implausibly, for once. The "truth," he proceeds, is that Western Europe is terrified by West Germany's unwillingness to upgrade NATO missiles as the U.S. demands. Germany's intransigence on this critical matter and its moves towards accommodation with the USSR arouse European fears of "a mighty Germany working in tandem with a rejuvenated Soviet Union," with echoes of the Hitler-Stalin pact.

But the Europeans, again, refused to see matters as they were told they did -- which is not to deny that there are fears of a mighty Germany and its ambitions. As Rosenthal was expounding European concerns over Germany's intransigence, public support for Germany's position mounted through most of Europe, while polls showed little fear of the USSR. Such results are not new; to cite one of many prior cases, classified U.S. Information Agency (USIA) opinion polls leaked in Europe (but apparently unpublished in the U.S. media) revealed that Europeans blamed Reagan by wide margins for the breakdown of the 1986 Reykjavik summit. In the conflict over missiles, the London Guardian observed, the U.S. and Britain -- the two "island powers" -- are "isolated in Nato, and not the Germans," who are supported by most of the alliance. The Guardian adds correctly that the issue is not missiles, but Germany's "ambition to lead Western Europe into a rapprochement with the Soviet Union -- one out of which could flow much mutual economic and political benefit"; exactly the concern of American planners, and for the present, their British lieutenant with its enduring illusions of partnership.13

4. The Community of Nations

Putting a bold face on the matter, George Bush, arriving in Europe for NATO consultations, said that the U.S. is "prepared to move beyond containment toward a policy that works to bring the Soviet Union into the community of nations."14 A worthy objective, doubtless, but some queries remain.

There is a "community of nations," with an organized forum in which the world community has expressed some opinions on the matters of disarmament and détente, about which Bush now offers his kind tutelage to the errant Soviet Union. Thus, while Reagan was being extolled (in the United States) for leading the world towards peace at the December 1987 Washington summit, where the INF treaty was signed, the United Nations General Assembly, speaking for "the community of nations," voted a series of disarmament resolutions. It voted 154 to 1, with no abstentions, opposing the buildup of weapons in outer space (Reagan's Star Wars) and 135 to 1 against developing new weapons of mass destruction. The Assembly voted 143 to 2 for a comprehensive test ban, and 137 to 3 for a halt to all nuclear test explosions. The U.S. voted against each resolution, joined in two cases by France, and one by Britain. None of this was reported in the Free Press, the "community of nations" being irrelevant when it fails to perceive the Truth.15

The U.S. alone boycotted a U.N. disarmament conference in New York in 1987 to consider how reduction of armaments might release funds for economic development, particularly in the Third World. Shortly before, the U.S. was alone at the General Assembly in opposing a South Atlantic "zone of peace" (voted 124-1). By that time, Gorbachev's proposal that the U.S. join the unilateral test ban (largely suppressed in the U.S.), his call for steps towards dismantling the pacts, removal of U.S. and Soviet fleets from the Mediterranean, outlawing sea-launched cruise missiles, and other annoying actions had become an acute embarrassment, so much so that George Shultz was compelled to call upon him to "end public diplomacy," drawing sober approval from media pundits. The White House complained that Gorbachev was behaving like a "drugstore cowboy" with his scattershot proposals, depressingly popular. On numerous other issues (among them: observance of international law, terrorism, South Africa, a Middle East political settlement) the U.S. has been alone or in a small minority, and it is far in the lead in recent years in Security Council vetoes. The deviant behavior of the world community has elicited some anxious commentary in the media, which are naturally concerned over the failure of the community of nations to comprehend truths that are simple and uncontroversial, as is demonstrated, conclusively, by the fact that they are put forth by U.S. power. This thoughtful concern over the deficiencies of the world community coexists, somewhat uneasily perhaps, with our earnest efforts to uplift and civilize the Evil Empire and bring it into the community of nations.16

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11 John Walcott, WSJ, Feb. 6, 1989. Dan Rather, CBS radio news, 4:40 PM, WEEI, Boston, Jan. 30, 1989. Hough, International Economist, Jan./Feb. 1989.

12 Ian Davidson, Financial Times, reprinted in World Press Review, Dec. 1988; Thomas Friedman, NYT, Feb. 14, 1989.

13 Rosenthal, NYT, May 2, 1989; USIA polls, see Culture of Terrorism, 197; Manchester Guardian Weekly, May 7, 1989. For the polls and related discussion of the mood in Europe, see Diana Johnstone, who has long been the most informative commentator on European affairs, In These Times, May 17, 1989.

14 John Mashek, Boston Globe, May 27, 1989.

15 Votes critical of the Soviet Union were prominently reported at exactly that time. The disarmament votes were obviously timely, given the outpouring of praise for Reagan the Peacemaker. I found nothing. See Culture of Terrorism, 195, and Necessary Illusions, 82f. 218ff., for details on these matters. On U.S. isolation on environmental issues, see chapter 2, section 3 and note 23. See also chapters 5, 6.

16 Serge Schmemann, NYT, March 27, 30; BG, Oct. 28; AP, Berlin, April 21, 1986. Joseph Nye, Foreign Affairs, Fall 1986. Schultz, Bernard Gwertzman, NYT, March 31, 1986. Bernard Weinraub, NYT, May 17, 1989. On U.S. commentary on the world community and its inadequacies, see Necessary Illusions, Appendix IV, sec. 4. I apologize to the ghost of President McKinley for borrowing his rhetoric, as he launched his liberation of the Philippines. KEYWORDS terrorist democracy elections cia mossad bnd nsa covert operation 911 mi6 inside job what really happened wtc pentagon joint chiefs of staff jcs centcom laser hologram usa mi5 undercover agent female sex exploitation perception deception power anarchy green social democratic participation japanese spy black-op false flag gladio terror.

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