Nasty Letters To Crooked Politicians

As we enter a new era of politics, we hope to see that Obama has the courage to fight the policies that Progressives hate. Will he have the fortitude to turn the economic future of America to help the working man? Or will he turn out to be just a pawn of big money, as he seems to be right now.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Powell declares tsunami aid part of global war on terror

Imperialism in Samaritan’s clothing

By Bill Van Auken
6 January 2005

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During his whirlwind tour of the tsunami-devastated nations of South Asia, US Secretary of State Colin Powell let slip that the begrudging and belated funding offered by Washington to the ongoing relief effort is all part of its “global war on terror.”

Speaking of US aid and the participation of the American military in relief efforts, Powell declared: “It dries up those pools of dissatisfaction that might give rise to terrorist activity. That supports not only our national security interest but the national security interests of the countries involved.”

Noting that the majority of the victims of the tsunami were Muslims, the US Secretary of State continued: “We’d be doing it regardless of religion, but I think it does give the Muslim world and the rest of the world an opportunity to see American generosity, American values in action.”

Powell’s trip is largely an exercise in damage control. It is aimed at overcoming the well-founded international perception that the government of the most powerful imperialist country in the world—and specifically its president, George W. Bush—reacted with appalling indifference to the worst natural catastrophe in living memory.

The US Secretary of State has been accompanied by Florida’s Governor Jeb Bush, who seems to be acting as a personal emissary for his older brother, while exploiting the international tragedy to further his own political ambitions by appearing to be grappling with a global crisis.

What of the claim that Washington’s reaction to the massive destruction and lost of life wrought by the tsunami is an expression of “American generosity, American values in action”?

Generosity implies selflessness, hardly a characteristic of US foreign policy. On the contrary, the successive decisions to increase US aid from an obscene $15 million, to $35 million and finally $350 million were taken with a calculated view toward the immense damage that Washington’s miserliness was inflicting upon US imperialism’s global image.

As Powell acknowledges, the aid is part and parcel of a “war on terror” that is directed at furthering US global economic and political hegemony by means of military power and aggression.

No doubt, the shock of the tsunami’s devastation and the unimaginable loss of human life have led to expressions of what might genuinely be described as “American values,” but not from the administration in Washington.

The open-heartedness and political naiveté associated with the generosity of the American people has been on display across the United States, with students and youth organizing bake sales and other activities to raise money for the victims, and many thousands donating to fund appeals.

It is noteworthy that US television and newspapers have accurately portrayed the scale of the disaster. Once American ruling circles determined that the Bush administration’s initial disdain for the suffering caused by the Indian Ocean earthquake was untenable, the corporate media conglomerates swung into action, providing non-stop coverage of the catastrophe. Graphic and chilling images of rows of corpses, parents carrying the bodies of their young children and villages reduced to rubble have been shown nightly to US viewing audiences.

One cannot help contrast this coverage to the media’s cowardly and complicit silence in response to the human catastrophe created by the US invasion and occupation of Iraq. Images of the dead, of sobbing parents clutching the bodies of children killed by US bombardments and of blocks reduced to rubble are readily available, but rigorously censored by America’s vaunted free press.

Link to balance of report...


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