Friday, March 21, 2008


Deterring Democracy Copyright © 1991, 1992 by Noam Chomsky. Published by South End Press.
Chapter 6: Nefarious Aggression Segment 2/14
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1. Our Traditional Values

The fundamental issue was clearly articulated by a distinguished Cambridge University Professor of political theory:

Our traditions, fortunately, prove to have at their core universal values, while theirs are sometimes hard to distinguish with the naked eye from rampant (and heavily armed) nihilism. In the Persian Gulf today, President Bush could hardly put it more bluntly...4
One who fails to grasp this principle might find it hard to distinguish Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait from many other crimes, some far worse than his, that the West has readily tolerated, or supported, or perpetrated directly, including one case only a few months before, with its lessons about the New World Order.

Our traditions and the values at their core had long been evident in the Gulf. Keeping just to Iraq, they were illustrated during the insurrection of 1920 against British rule, one episode of "a contagion of unrest afflicting the British Empire from Egypt to India."5 British sensibilities were deeply offended by this rampant nihilism, a stab in the back at a time when the empire had been weakened by the World War. Sir Arnold Wilson fumed that "To kick a man when he is down is the most popular pastime in the East, sanctioned by centuries of precept and practice." The India office traced the Iraqi revolt to local "ultra-extremists," who desired the "abolition of European control of all sorts throughout the East." Winston Churchill agreed, calling the revolt "only part of a general agitation against the British empire and all it stands for."

Plainly, the situation called for strong measures. In India a year before, British troops had fired on a peaceful political assembly at Amritsar, leaving nearly 400 dead. Lacking ground forces in Iraq, Britain turned to air power to bomb native villages, but as part of a larger strategy. Churchill, then Colonial Secretary, observed that "sheer force" would not suffice for "holding Mesopotamia." What was needed was a Government and Ruler who would be "freely accepted" by the people of Iraq and -- just to assure that none would stray from that free acquiescence -- "supported by the [British] Air Force, and by British organised levies, and by 4 Imperial battalions." The tactic had its problems. Commenting on "the means now in fact used" -- namely, "the bombing of the women and children of the villages" -- the Secretary of State for War warned that "If the Arab population realize that the peaceful control of Mesopotamia ultimately depends on our intention of bombing women and children, I am very doubtful if we shall gain that acquiescence" for which Churchill hoped. Britain proceeded to establish a puppet regime while the RAF conducted terror bombing to overcome "tribal insubordination" (as explained by the Colonial Secretary of the Ramsay MacDonald Labour cabinet in 1924) and to collect taxes from tribesmen who were too poor to pay.

As Secretary of State at the War Office in 1919, Churchill had already had opportunities to articulate our traditional values. He was approached by the RAF Middle East command for permission to use chemical weapons "against recalcitrant Arabs as experiment." Churchill authorized the experiment, dismissing objections by the India office as "unreasonable":

I do not understand this squeamishness about the use of gas... I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes... It is not necessary to use only the most deadly gasses; gasses can be used which cause great inconvenience and would spread a lively terror and yet would leave no serious permanent effects on most of those affected.
Churchill added that "we cannot in any circumstances acquiesce in the non-utilisation of any weapons which are available to procure a speedy termination of the disorder which prevails on the frontier." Chemical weapons were merely "the application of Western science to modern warfare." They had in fact already been used by the British air force in North Russia against the Bolsheviks, with great success, according to the British command. The common belief that "the taboo against the use of chemical weapons which has held sway since the First World War has now lost much of its force" because of Iraqi actions and threats is hardly accurate, even if we put aside the massive resort to chemical warfare by the U.S. in South Vietnam with its terrible human toll, of no interest to the guardians of our traditional values.6
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4 John Dunn, "Our insecure tradition," Times Literary Supplement, Oct. 5, 1990.

5 William Stivers, Supremacy and Oil (Cornell U., 1982), from which the following is drawn (pp. 34ff.; 74ff.)

6 Andy Thomas, Effects of Chemical Warfare (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Taylor & Francis, 1985), chap. 2; taboo, Victor Mallet, Financial Times (London), Dec. 18, 1990. On the effects of U.S. chemical warfare, years after the war ended, see Necessary Illusions, 38f. and sources cited. 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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