The New Rulers of the World

By John Pilger


Excerpted from the book - The New Rulers of the World

By John Pilger
Verso, 2002, paper

When American Vice-President Dick Cheney said that the 'war on terrorism' could last for fifty years or more, his words evoked George Orwell's great prophetic work, Nineteen Eighty-four. We are to live with the threat and illusion of endless war, it seems, in order to justify increased social control and state repression, while great power pursues its goal of global supremacy. Washington is transformed into 'chief city of Airstrip One' and every problem is blamed on the 'enemy', the evil Goldstein, as Orwell called him.' He could be Osama bin Laden, or his successors, the 'axis of evil'.

In the novel [1984], three slogans dominate society: war is peace, freedom is slavery and ignorance is strength. Today's slogan, 'war on terrorism' also reverses meaning. The war is terrorism. The most potent weapon in this 'war' is pseudo-information, different only in form from that Orwell described, consigning to oblivion unacceptable truths and historical sense. Dissent is permissible within 'consensual' boundaries, reinforcing the illusion that information and speech are 'free'.

The attacks of September 11, 2001 did not 'change everything', but accelerated the continuity of events, providing an extraordinary pretext for destroying social democracy. The undermining of the Bill of Rights in the United States and the further dismantling of trial by jury in Britain and a plethora of related civil liberties are part of the reduction of democracy to electoral ritual: that is, competition between indistinguishable parties for the management of a single-ideology state.

Central to the growth of this 'business state' are the media conglomerates, which have unprecedented power, owning press and television, book publishing, film production and databases. They provide a virtual world of the 'eternal present', as Time magazine called it: politics by media, war by media, justice by media, even grief by media (Princess Diana).

The 'global economy' is their most important media enterprise. 'Global economy' is a modern Orwellian term. On the surface, it is instant financial trading, mobile phones, McDonald's, Starbucks, holidays booked on the net. Beneath this gloss, it is the globalisation of poverty, a world where most human beings never make a phone call and live on less than two dollars a day, where 6,000 children die every day from diarrhea because most have no access to clean water.

In this world, unseen by most of us in the global north, a sophisticated system of plunder has forced more than ninety countries into 'structural adjustment' programmes since the eighties, widening the divide between rich and poor as never before. This is known as 'nation building' and 'good governance' by the 'quad' dominating the World Trade Organisation (the United States, Europe, Canada and Japan) and the Washington triumvirate (the World Bank, the IMF and the US Treasury) that controls even minute aspects of government policy in developing countries. Their power derives largely from an unrepayable debt that forces the poorest countries to pay $100 million to western creditors every day. The result is a world where an elite of fewer than a billion people controls 80 per cent of humanity's wealth.

Promoting this are the transnational media corporations, American and European, that own or manage the world's principal sources of news and information. They have transformed much of the 'information society' into a media age where extraordinary technology allows the incessant repetition of politically 'safe' information that is acceptable to the 'nation builders' . In the West, we are trained to view other societies in terms of their usefulness or threat to 'us' and to regard 'cultural' differences as more important than the political and economic forces by which we judge ourselves. Those with unprecedented resources to understand this, including many who teach and research in the great universities, suppress their knowledge publicly; perhaps never before has there been such a silence.

Russian dissident economist Boris Kagarlitsky

'Globalisation does not mean the impotence of the state, but the rejection by the state of its social functions, in favour of repressive ones, and the ending of democratic freedoms.'

... compare the actions of politicians inn western democracies with those of criminal tyrants. In cause and effect, the crucial difference is distance from the carnage, and the dissemination of an insidious propaganda that says a crime is not a crime if we commit it. It was not a crime to murder more than half a million peasants with bombs dropped secretly and illegally on Cambodia, igniting an Asian holocaust. It was not a crime for Bill Clinton and George W Bush, Tony Blair and his Tory predecessors to have caused the deaths in Iraq of 'more people than have been killed by all weapons of mass destruction in history', to quote the conclusion of an American study.

Their medieval blockade against twenty-two million people, now in its thirteenth year ... A report by the United Nations Secretary-General in October 2001 says that the obstruction of $4 billion of humanitarian supplies by the US and British governments is by far the main cause of the extreme suffering and deaths in Iraq. The United Nations Children's Fund, Unicef, says that the death-rate for under-fives has almost trebled since 1990, before the imposition of sanctions, and every month up to 6,000 children die mostly as a result of the blockade.' This is twice the total number of deaths in the Twin Towers and another vivid reminder of the different value of different lives. The Twin Towers victims are people. The Iraqi children are unpeople.

However, the Iraqi 'threat' is central to the Bush administration's post-September 11 strategy of 'total war'. Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's instructions to the Pentagon to 'think the unthinkable' may well cause non-Americans, at least, to worry that the world's only superpower has been taken over by fundamentalists whose fanaticism promises human carnage on a scale that dwarfs the non-state terrorism of those who fly aircraft into skyscrapers and plant bombs in nightclubs in Bali.

In Washington, the 'oil and gas junta' is increasingly influenced by the Defense Policy Board (DPB), a semi-official panel that advises Rumsfeld and his deputy, Paul Wolfowitz. Known in Washington as the 'Wolfowitz cabal', the group draws together the extreme right of American political life and is responsible for the inspiration behind the 'war on terrorism', principally a concept of 'total war'.

One of the group's 'thinkers', Richard Perle, a cold war planner in the Reagan administration, offered this explanation. 'No stages,' he said. 'This is total war. We are fighting a variety of enemies. There are lots of them out there. All this talk about first we are going to do Afghanistan, then we will do Iraq, then we take a look around and see how things stand. This is entirely the wrong way to go about it . . . If we just let our vision of the world go forth, and we embrace it entirely, and we don't try to piece together clever diplomacy, but just wage a total war . . . our children will sing great songs about us years from now."

I interviewed Perle in 1987 when he was an adviser to President Reagan. I thought then he was simply mad. I was mistaken; for there is a perfectly understandable logic to the American enterprise of world conquest, of which he and the other Bush-ites are merely the latest promoters and executors. The 'war on terrorism' (or, as former Python Terry Jones put it, 'the bombing of an abstract noun') is part of the logic. It is the long-sought-after replacement for the 'red scare', justifying a permanent war footing and paranoia, and construction of the greatest military machine ever: the 'National Defense Missile Programme'. This, says the US Space Command, will ensure the 'full spectrum dominance' of the world.

This means complete military mastery, which is likened in Pentagon literature to the European navies' dominance of both the northern and eastern hemispheres in the nineteenth century. It does not end there. These words are already applied in other areas, notably the control of all economic life, the composition, or 'internal wiring', as the New York Times put it, of foreign governments and the redefinition of dissent as an 'international security concern'.

This is expressed more openly and crudely than ever before, notably by a select group of literate oafs in the American press. In an article entitled 'Unilateralism is the key to our success', Charles Krauthammer of the Washington Post described the world in the next fifty years as one without protection against nuclear attack or environmental damage for the citizens of any country except the United States; a world where 'democracy' means nothing if its benefits are at odds with American 'interests'; a world in which to express dissent against these 'interests' brands one a terrorist and justifies surveillance, repression and death. As Drew Whitworth pointed out, these beliefs are indistinguishable from those of Osama bin Laden, 'carried forward by a few men without a mandate'.

There is an echo of the 'Thousand Year Reich' about this, first promoted in an American context by Henry Luce's bellicose proclamation, in 1941 in Time, of an 'American Century'. In the United States, academic-populists once again dispense a Reader's Digest view of the world, such as Samuel Huntington's Clash of Civilisations and, more recently, Victor Davis Hanson's Why the West Has Won, with its call to 'civic militarism'. In none of these texts, which emphasise 'cultural' supremacy, is there recognition that the imperialist imperatives of the American Century have undermined the greatest western achievement, that of secular, redistributive politics, and allowed the maelstrom stemming from American violence, along with introspective, revengeful religion, to fill the gaps.

This book argues that we urgently need antidotes to a propaganda that beckons dangers no less than those of the cold war.

We need an awareness of lethal double standards: that 'international law' and 'international community' are often merely the preserves of great power, not the expression of the majority. The United States can mount a posse with Britain and one or two bribed hangers-on and call it a 'coalition', for the purposes of a wholly piratical attack on other countries, while more than 400 United Nations resolutions calling for justice in Palestine are not worth the paper they are written on. We also need to examine the common use of 'we' and its appropriation by great power. If 'we' are to fight terrorism, then 'we' must call on the United States to end its terror in the Middle East, Colombia and elsewhere. Only then can 'we' make the world a safer place.

One of my oldest friends, Charlie Perkins, Australia's Martin Luther King, lived past the age of sixty, an amazing achievement for one whose people more often than not die in their thirties and forties. It was Charlie who led the 'freedom rides' of the sixties into Australia's equivalent of the American Deep South, chaining himself to the turnstiles of swimming pools that refused to admit black children. On our first visit to Alice Springs together, in 1969, Charlie's mother, Hetti, who was a queen of the Arrente people, suggested we gain entry to an Aboriginal 'reserve', a concentration camp in the bush, by revving the car and ramming the gate, which we did. His last, long interview with me is published here. This book is a tribute to those, like Charlie and Hetti, whose actions shame the silent and defy the myth of apathy.

They belong to what the great American reporter Martha Gellhorn called 'an old and unending worldwide company, the men and women of conscience and struggle'. Some are famous like Tom Paine and Wilberforce and Mandela, but most are little known in the West. In India, there is the 300,000-strong, all-female Self-Employed Women's Association (SEWA); in Brazil the Landless People's Movement; in Mexico the Zapatistas. Their victories, usually unrecognised in the West, are often epic. Not long before I wrote this, in Bolivia's third city, Cochabamba, ordinary people took back their water from a corporate conglomerate, after the World Bank had pressurised the Bolivian government into privatising the public water supply. Having refused credit to the public water company, the bank demanded that a monopoly be given to Aguas del Tunari, part of International Water Limited, a British-based company half-owned by the American engineering giant Bechtel.

Granted a forty-year concession, the company immediately raised the price of water. In a country where the minimum wage is less than $100 a month, people faced increases in their water bills of $20 a month-more than water users pay each month in the wealthy suburbs of Washington, home to many World Bank economists. In Cochabamba, even collecting rainwater without a permit was now illegal.

So they organised. Marcelo Rojas, who became one of the leaders, said, 'I had never taken an interest in politics before. My father is a politician, and I thought it was all about cutting deals. But to see people fighting for their water, their rights. made me realise there was a common good to defend, that the country can't be left in the hands of the politicians.' He was arrested and tortured by the police, as were many young people who built barricades and protected the old when the authorities attacked. They took over their city and they won. The government tore up the contract, and the company cleared its desks.

Victories of that kind are not acknowledged in the West. Argentina is reported as chaos, not as a struggle with connections to our own lives. The epic struggle of journalists in Turkey for a free press, of trade unionists in Colombia and the new 'tiger' unions in East Asia are of no concern to 'us'. In Indonesia, the IMF may have delivered an expedient coup de grace to the genocidist Suharto, but it was brave people, like Dita Sari and Daniel Indra Kusuma ... who broke the long silence and faced guns and armoured vehicles supplied by the dictator's friends, notably the British government.

In South Africa, it was young people, like those at Soweto in 1976, who faced the 'Hippos', the hideous armoured vehicles from which the police killed and wounded indiscriminately. Study Paul Weinberg's historic photograph of a lone woman standing defiant between two of these monsters, as they rolled into her township; her arms are raised, her fists are clenched. The negotiators played a part, but it was those like her who defeated apartheid.

The list is endless. Contrary to myth, people are seldom compliant. In a survey of thirty countries, Gallup found that the majority opposed the bombing of Afghanistan and military violence as a means of bringing terrorists to justice. Most understand that the real terror is poverty, from which some 24,000 people die every day.

Following September 11, Robin Theurkauf, a lecturer in national law at Yale University, wrote, 'Terrorist impulses ferment in poverty, oppression and ignorance. The elimination of these conditions and the active promotion of a universal respect for human rights must become a priority.'

'To be corrupted by totalitarianism', warned George Orwell, | 'one does not need to live in a totalitarian country.' In the United States, where a military plutocracy rules, another generation now marches in streets that some of the most tenacious peace and democracy movements once filled. In Europe, the energy and organisation are well ahead of the 1960s, rather like the blossoming political awareness of all sorts of people, especially the young. They no longer confuse the distractions of elective oligarchies with true politics. Under many banners, this new 'endless company', drawing millions from across the world, may well be the greatest.

The Model Pupil

excerpted from the book - The New Rulers of the World

by John Pilger

Verso, 2002, paper

Flying into Jakarta, it is not difficult to imagine the city below fitting the World Bank's description of Indonesia. A 'model pupil of globalisation' was the last of many laurels the bank bestowed. That was almost five years ago. Within weeks, short-term global capital had fled the country, the stock market and currency had crashed, and the number of people living in absolute poverty had reached almost 70 million. The next year, 1998, General Suharto was forced to resign after thirty years as dictator, taking with him severance pay estimated at $15 billion, the equivalent of almost 13 percent of his country's foreign debt, much of it owed to the World Bank.'

Nike workers get about 4 per cent of the retail price of the shoes they make, which is not enough to buy the laces.

The workers I met later, secretly, told me: 'If Gap trousers have to be finished, we don't leave. We stay till the order is full, no matter the time. If you want to go to the toilet, you have to be lucky. If the supervisor says no, you shit in your pants . . . we are treated like animals because we have to work hard all the time | without saying a word.'

I told them the Gap company boasted about a 'code of conduct' that protected workers' basic rights.

'We've never seen it,' they said. 'Foreigners from Gap come to the factory, but they are interested only in quality control and the rate of production. They never ask about working conditions. They don't even look at us.'

Agribusiness in the West, especially the United States and Europe, has produced its famous surpluses and export power only because of high tariff walls and massive domestic subsidies. The result has been a monopoly on humanity's staples

... according to a CIA memorandum, Prime Minister Harold Macmillan and President John Kennedy had agreed to 'liquidate President Sukarno, depending on the situation and available opportunities'. The CIA author added, 'It is not clear to me whether murder or overthrow is intended by the word liquidate.'

Sukarno was a populist, the founder of modern Indonesia and of the non-aligned movement of developing countries, which he hoped would forge a genuine 'third way' between the spheres of the two superpowers. In 1955, he convened the 'Asia-Africa Conference' in the Javanese hill city of Bandung. It was the first time the leaders of the developing world, the majority of humanity, had met to forge common interests: a prospect that alarmed the western powers, especially as the vision and idealism of nonalignment represented a potentially popular force that might seriously challenge neo-colonialism. The hopes invested in such an unprecedented meeting are glimpsed in the faded tableaux and black-and-white photographs in the museum at Bandung and in the forecourt of the splendid art deco Savoy Hotel, where the following Bandung Principles are displayed:

I - Respect for fundamental human rights and the principles of the United Nations Charter.

2 - Respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations.

3 - The recognition of the equality of all peoples.

4 - The settlement of disputes by peaceful means.

Sukarno could be a democrat and a demagogue. For a time, Indonesia was a parliamentary democracy, then became what he called a 'guided democracy'. He encouraged mass trade unions and peasant, women's and cultural movements. Between 1959 and 1965, more than 15 million people joined political parties or affiliated mass organisations that were encouraged to challenge British and American influence in the region. With 3 million members, the PKI was the largest communist party in the world outside the Soviet Union and China. According to the Australian historian Harold Crouch, 'the PKI had won widespread support not as a revolutionary party but as an organisation defending the interests of 'the poor within the existing system'. It was this popularity, rather than any armed insurgency, that alarmed the Americans. Like Vietnam to the north, Indonesia might 'go communist' .

In 1990, the American investigative journalist Kathy Kadane revealed the extent of secret American collaboration in the massacres of 1965-66 which allowed Suharto to seize the presidency. Following a series of interviews with former US officials, she wrote, 'They systematically compiled comprehensive lists of communist operatives. As many as 5,000 names were furnished to the Indonesian army, and the Americans later checked off the names of those who had been killed or captured.' One of those interviewed was Robert J Martens, a political officer in the US embassy in Jakarta. 'It was a big help to the army,' he said. 'They probably killed a lot of people and I probably have a lot of blood on my hands, but that's not all bad. There's a time when you have to strike hard at a decisive moment.' Joseph Lazarsky, the deputy CIA station chief in Jakarta, said that confirmation of the killings came straight from Suharto's headquarters. 'We were getting a good account in Jakarta of who was being picked up,' he said. 'The army had a "shooting list" of about 4,000 or 5,000 people. They didn't have enough goon squads to zap them all, and some individuals were valuable for interrogation. The infrastructure [of the PKI] was zapped almost immediately. We knew what they were doing . . . Suharto and his advisers said, if you keep them alive you have to feed them.'

Having already armed and equipped much of the army, Washington secretly supplied Suharto's troops with a field communications network as the killings got under way. Flown in at night by US air force planes based in the Philippines, this was state-of-the-art equipment, whose high frequencies were known to the CIA and the National Security Agency advising President Johnson. Not only did this allow Suharto's generals to co-ordinate the killings, it meant that the highest echelons of the US administration were listening in and that Suharto could seal off large areas of the country. Although there is archive film of people being herded into trucks and driven away, a single fuzzy photograph of a massacre is, to my knowledge, the only pictorial record of what was Asia's holocaust

The American Ambassador in Jakarta was Marshall Green, known in the State Department as 'the coupmaster'. Green had arrived in Jakarta only months earlier, bringing with him a reputation for having masterminded the overthrow of the Korean leader Syngman Rhee, who had fallen out with the Americans. When the killings got under way in Indonesia, manuals on student organising, written in Korean and English, were distributed by the US embassy to the Indonesian Student Action Command (KAMI), whose leaders were sponsored by the CIA.

On October 5, 1965, Green cabled Washington on how the United States could 'shape developments to our advantage'. The plan was to blacken the name of the PKI and its 'protector', Sukarno. The propaganda should be based on '[spreading] the story of the PKI's guilt, treachery and brutality'. At the height of the bloodbath, Green assured General Suharto: 'The US is generally sympathetic with and admiring of what the army is doing.'' As for the numbers killed, Howard Federspiel, the Indonesia expert at the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research in 1965, said, 'No one cared, as long as they were communists, that they were being butchered. No one was getting very worked up about it.'

The Americans worked closely with the British, the reputed masters and inventors of the 'black' propaganda admired and adapted by Joseph Goebbels in the 1930s. Sir Andrew Gilchrist, the Ambassador in Jakarta, made his position clear in a cable to the Foreign Office: 'I have never concealed from you my belief that a little shooting in Indonesia would be an essential preliminary to effective change.' With more than 'a little shooting' under way, and with no evidence of the PKI's guilt, the embassy advised British intelligence headquarters in Singapore on the line to be taken, with the aim of 'weakening the PKI permanently' .

Suitable propaganda themes might be: PKI brutality in murdering Generals and [Foreign Minister] Nasution's daughter . . . PKI subverting Indonesia as agents of foreign Communists . . . But treatment will need to be subtle, e.g. (a) all activities should be strictly unattributable, (b) British participation or co-operation should be carefully concealed.

Within two weeks, an office of the Foreign Office's Information Research Department (IRD) had opened in Singapore. The IRD was a top-secret, cold war propaganda unit headed by Norman Reddaway, one of Her Majesty's most experienced liars. It would be salutary for journalists these days to study the critical role western propaganda played then, as it does now, in shaping the news. Indeed, Reddaway and his colleagues manipulated the press so expertly that he boasted to Gilchrist in a letter marked 'secret and personal' that the story he had promoted - that Sukarno's continued rule would lead to a communist takeover - 'went all over the world and back again' . He described how an experienced Fleet Street journalist agreed 'to give exactly your angle on events in his article ... . i.e. that this was a kid glove coup without butchery.'

Roland Challis, the BBC's South-East Asia correspondent, was a particular target of Reddaway, who claimed that the official version of events could be 'put almost instantly back to Indonesia via the BBC'. Prevented from entering Indonesia along with other foreign journalists, Challis was unaware of the extent of the slaughter. 'It was a triumph for western propaganda,' he told me. 'My British sources purported not to know what was going on, but they knew what the American plan was. There were bodies being washed up on the lawns of the British consulate in Surabaya, and British warships escorted a ship full of Indonesian troops down the Malacca Straits so that they could take part in this terrible holocaust. It was only much later that we learned the American embassy was supplying names and ticking them off as they were killed. There was a deal, you see. In establishing the Suharto regime, the involvement of the IMF and the World Bank was part of it. Sukarno had kicked them out; now Suharto would bring them back. That was the deal.'

With Sukarno now virtually powerless and ill, and Suharto about to appoint himself acting president, the American press reported the Washington-backed coup not as a great human catastrophe, but in terms of the new economic advantages. The massacres were described by Time as 'The West's Best News in Asia'. A headline in US News and World Report read: 'Indonesia: Hope . . . where there was once none'. The renowned New York Times columnist James Reston celebrated 'A gleam of light in Asia' and wrote a kid-glove version that he had clearly been given. The Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt, who was visiting the US, offered a striking example of his sense of humour: 'With 500,000 to a million communist sympathisers knocked off,' he said approvingly, 'I think it's safe to assume a reorientation has taken place.'

Holt's remark was an accurate reflection of the complicity of the Australian foreign affairs and political establishment in the agony of its closest neighbour. The Australian embassy in Jakarta described the massacres as a 'cleansing operation'. The Australian Ambassador, KCO Shann, enthused to Canberra that the Indonesian army was 'refreshingly determined to do over the PKI', adding that the generals had spoken approvingly of the reporting on Radio Australia, which he described as 'a bit dishonest'.' In the Prime Minister's Department, officials considered supporting 'any measures to assist the Indonesian army ... cope with the internal situation'.

In February 1966, [British] Ambassador Gilchrist wrote a report on the scale of the massacres based on the findings of the Swedish Ambassador, who had toured central and eastern Java with his Indonesian wife and had been able to speak to people out of earshot of government officials. Gilchrist wrote to the Foreign Office: 'The Ambassador and I had discussed the killings before he left [on the tour] and he had found my suggested figure of 400,000 quite incredible. His enquiries have led him to reconsider it a very serious under-estimate. A bank manager in Surabaya with twenty employees said that four had been removed one night and beheaded . . . A third of a spinning factory's technicians, being members of a Communist union, had been killed ... The killings in Bali had been particularly monstrous. In certain areas, it was felt that not enough people [emphasis in the original] had been killed.'

On the island of Bali, the 'reorientation' described by Prime Minister Holt meant the violent deaths of at least 80,000 people, although this is generally regarded as a conservative figure. The many western, mostly Australian, tourists who have since taken advantage of cheap package holidays to the island might reflect that beneath the car parks of several of the major tourist hotels are buried countless bodies.

The distinguished campaigner and author Carmel Budiardjo, an Englishwoman married to a tapol and herself a former political prisoner, returned to Indonesia in 2000 and found 'the trauma left by the killings thirty-five years ago still gripping many communities on the island'. She described meeting, in Denpasar, fifty people who had never spoken about their experiences before in public. 'One witness,' she wrote, 'who was 20 years old at the time calmly told us how he had been arrested and held in a large cell by the military, 52 people in all, mostly members of mass organisations from nearby villages. Every few days, a batch of men was taken out, their hands tied behind their backs and driven off to be shot. Only two of the prisoners survived . . . Another witness, an ethnic Chinese Indonesian, gave testimony about the killing of 103 people, some as young as 15. In this case, the people were not arrested but simply taken from their homes and killed, as their names were ticked off a list.'

'In the early sixties,' he said, 'the pressure on Indonesia to do what the Americans wanted was intense. Sukarno wanted good relations with them, but he didn't want their economic system. With America, that is never possible. So he became an enemy. All of us who wanted an independent country, free to make our own mistakes, were made the enemy. They didn't call it globalisation then; but it was the same thing. If you accepted it, you were America's friend. If you chose another way, you were given warnings, and if you didn't comply, hell was visited on you. But I am back; I am well; I have my family. They didn't win.'

Ralph McGehee, a senior CIA operations officer in the 1960s, described the terror in Indonesia from 1965 - 66 as a 'model operation' for the American-run coup that got rid of Salvador Allende in Chile seven years later. 'The CIA forged a document purporting to reveal a leftist plot to murder Chilean military leaders,' he wrote, '[just like] what happened in Indonesia in 1965.' He says Indonesia was also the model for Operation Phoenix in Vietnam, where American-directed death squads assassinated up to 50,000 people. 'You can trace back all the major, bloody events run from Washington to the way Suharto came to power,' he told me. 'The success of that meant that it would be repeated, again and again.'

Indonesia, once owing nothing but having been plundered of its gold, precious stones, wood, spices and other natural riches by its colonial masters, the Dutch, today has a total indebtedness estimated at $262 billion, which is 170 per cent of its gross domestic product. There is no debt like it on earth. It can never be repaid. It is a bottomless hole.

Today, in rebellious West Papua, the army openly supports an Islamic group, Lashkar Jihad, while playing its traditional role of terrorising the local population in order to 'protect' the vast multinational Freeport copper and gold mine, the world's largest. In Aceh, where the American Exxon company has holdings in oil drilling and liquefied natural gas, human rights violations by the army are well documented.

The United States and Australia, in the meantime, have quietly resumed training the officer corps of a military that has never repudiated its genocidal past. In the name of the 'war on terror', the state terrorism that the West backed for forty years is making a comeback.

Paying the Price

excerpted from the book - The New Rulers of the World

by John Pilger

Verso, 2002, paper

They know we own their country ... we dictate the way they live and talk. And that's what's great about America right now. It's a good thing, especially when there's a lot of oil out there we need.

Brigadier-General William Looney, US airforce, _ director of the bombing of Iraq

Wherever you go in Iraq's southern city of Basra, there is dust. It rolls down the long roads that are the desert's fingers. It gets in your eyes and nose and throat; it swirls in markets and school playgrounds, consuming children kicking a plastic ball; and it carries, according to Dr Tawad Al-Ali, 'the seeds of our death'. Dr Al-Ali is a cancer specialist at the city hospital and a member of Britain's Royal College of Physicians. He has a neat moustache and a kindly, furrowed face. His starched white coat, like the collar of his shirt, is frayed.

'Before the Gulf War, we had only three or four deaths in a month from cancer,' he said. 'Now it's thirty to thirty-five patients dying every month, and that's just in my department. That is twelve times the increase in the cancer mortality. Our studies indicate that 40 to 48 per cent of the population in this area will get cancer: in five years' time to begin with, then long afterwards. That's almost half the population. Most of my own family now have cancer, and we have no history of the disease. It has spread to the medical staff of this hospital; yesterday, the son of the medical director died. We don't know the precise source of the contamination, because we are not allowed to get the equipment to conduct a proper survey, or even test the excess level of radiation in our bodies. We strongly suspect depleted uranium, which was used by the Americans and British in the Gulf War right across the southern battlefields. Whatever the cause, it is like Chernobyl here; the genetic effects are new to us. The mushrooms grow huge, and the fish in what was once a beautiful river are inedible. Even the grapes in my garden have mutated and can't be eaten.''

Along the corridor, I met Dr Ginan Ghalib Hassen, a paediatrician. At another time, she might have been described as an effervescent personality; now she, too, has a melancholy expression that does not change; it is the face of Iraq. 'This is Ali Raffa Asswadi,' she said, stopping to take the hand of a wasted boy I guessed to be about four years old. 'He is nine years,' she said. 'He has leukaemia. Now we can't treat him. Only some of the drugs are available. We get drugs for two or three weeks, and then they stop when the shipments stop. Unless you continue a course, the treatment is useless. We can't even give blood transfusions, because there are not enough blood bags . . .'

In the next bed, a child lay in his shrouded mother's arms. One side of his head was severely swollen. 'This is neuroblastoma,' said Dr Hassen. 'It is a very unusual tumour. Before 1991, we saw only one case of this tumour in two years. Now we have many cases.' Another child had his eyes fixed on me and I asked what would happen to him. She said, 'He has an abdominal mass. We have operated on him, but unless the tumour receives treatment, it will recur. We have only some drugs. We are waiting for the full course. He has renal failure now, so his future is bad. All the futures here are bad.'

Dr Hassen keeps a photo album of the children she is trying to save and has been unable to save. 'This is Talum Saleh,' she said, turning to a photograph of a boy in a blue pullover and with sparkling eyes. 'He is five-and-a-half years old. This is a case of Hodgkin's Disease. Normally, with Hodgkin's, a patient can expect to live and the cure can be 95 per cent. But if the drugs are not available, complications set in, and death follows. This boy had a beautiful nature. He died.'

I said, 'As we were walking, I noticed you stop and put your face to the wall.'

Yes, I was emotional ... I am a doctor; I am not supposed to cry, but I cry every day, because this is torture. These children could live; they could live and grow up; and when you see your son and daughter in front of you, dying, what happens to you?'

I said, 'What do you say to those in the West who deny the connection between depleted uranium and the deformities of these children?'

'That is not true. How much proof do they want? There is every relation between congenital malformation and depleted uranium. Before 1991, we saw nothing like this at all. If there is no connection, why have these things not happened before? Most of these children have no family history of cancer. I have studied what happened in Hiroshima. It is almost exactly the same here; we have an increased percentage of congenital malformation, an increase of malignancy, leukaemia, brain tumours: the same.

Under the economic embargo imposed by the United Nations Security Council in 1990 and upgraded the following year, Iraq is denied equipment and expertise to decontaminate its battlefields, in contrast to how Kuwait was cleaned up after the Gulf War. The US army physicist responsible for cleaning up Kuwait was Professor Doug Rokke, whom I met in London. Today, he himself is a victim. 'I am like many people in southern Iraq,' he said. 'I have 5,000 times the recommended level of radiation in my body. The contamination was right throughout Iraq and Kuwait. With the munitions testing and preparation in Saudi Arabia, uranium contamination covers the entire region. The effect depends on whether a person inhaled it or ingested it by eating and drinking, or if they got it in an open wound. What we're seeing now, respiratory problems, kidney problems, cancers, are the direct result of the use of this highly toxic material. The controversy over whether or not it's the cause is a manufactured one; my own ill-health is testament to that.'

Professor Rokke says there are two urgent issues to be confronted by people in the West, 'those with a sense of right and wrong': first, the decision by the United States and Britain to use a 'weapon of mass destruction', such as depleted uranium. He said, 'In the Gulf War, well over 300 tons were fired. An A-10 Warthog attack aircraft fired over 900,000 rounds. Each individual round was 300 grams of solid uranium 238. When a tank fired its shells, each round carried over 4,500 grams of solid uranium. These rounds are not coated, they're not tipped; they're solid uranium. Moreover, we have evidence to suggest that they were mixed with plutonium. What happened in the Gulf was a form of nuclear warfare.

The second issue is the denial of medical care to American and British and other allied soldiers, and the tens of thousands of Iraqis contaminated. At international symposiums, I have watched Iraqi officials approach their counterparts from the Department of Defence and the Ministry of Defence and ask, plead, for help with decontamination. The Iraqis didn't use depleted uranium; it was not their weapon. They simply don't know how to get rid of it from their environment. I watched them put their case, describing the deaths and the horrific deformities that are showing up; and I watched them rebuffed. It was pathetic.

The United Nations Sanctions Committee in New York, dominated by the Americans and British, has vetoed or delayed a range of vital medical equipment, chemotherapy drugs, even pain-killers. (In the jargon of denial, 'blocked' equals vetoed, and 'on hold' means delayed, or maybe blocked.) In Baghdad, I sat in a clinic as doctors received parents and their children, many of them grey-skinned and bald, some of them dying. After every second or third examination, Dr Lekaa Fasseh Ozeer, the young oncologist, wrote in English: 'No drugs available.' I asked her to jot down in my notebook a list of drugs the hospital had ordered, but had not received, or had received intermittently. She filled a page.

I had been filming in Iraq for my documentary Paying the Price: Killing the Children of Iraq. Back in London, I showed Dr Ozeer's list to Professor Karol Sikora who, as chief of the cancer programme of the World Health Organisation (WHO), wrote in the British Medical Journal: 'Requested radiotherapy equipment, chemotherapy drugs and analgesics are consistently blocked by United States and British advisers [to the Sanctions Committee]. There seems to be a rather ludicrous notion that such agents could be converted into chemical and other weapons. He told me, 'Nearly all these drugs are available in every British hospital. They're very standard. When I came back from Iraq last year, with a group of experts I drew up a list of seventeen drugs that are deemed essential for cancer treatment. We informed the UN that there was no possibility of converting these drugs into chemical warfare agents. We heard nothing more. The saddest thing I saw in Iraq was children dying because there was no chemotherapy and no pain control. It seemed crazy they couldn't have morphine, because for everybody with cancer pain, it is the best drug. When I was there, they had a little bottle of aspirin pills to go round 200 patients in pain. They would receive a particular anti-cancer drug, but then get only little bits of drugs here and there, and so you can't have any planning. It's bizarre.'

Denis Halliday had resigned after thirty-four years with the UN. He was then Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations, with a long and distinguished career in development, 'attempting to help people, not harm them' . His was the first public expression of an unprecedented rebellion within the UN bureaucracy. 'I am resigning,' he wrote, 'because the policy of economic sanctions is totally bankrupt. We are in the process of destroying an entire society. It is as simple as that . . . Five thousand children are dying every month . . . I don't want to administer a programme that results in figures like these.'

Since I met Halliday, I have been struck by the principle behind this carefully chosen, uncompromising words. 'I had been instructed,' he said, 'to implement a policy that satisfies the definition of genocide: a deliberate policy that has effectively killed well over a million individuals, children and adults. We all know that the regime, Saddam Hussein, is not paying the price for economic sanctions; on the contrary, he has been strengthened by them. It is the little people who are losing their children or their parents for lack of untreated water. What is clear is that the Security Council is now out of control, for its actions here undermine its own Charter, and the Declaration of Human Rights and the Geneva Convention. History will slaughter those responsible."

Dr Eric Herring, of Bristol University, a sanctions specialist

Those policymakers who backed the [Iraq] sanctions cannot say that they did not know what was going to happen. Whatever the political purpose, it was a conscious and callous choice to deny an entire society the means necessary to survive.

The cost in lives is staggering. A study by the United Nations Children's Fund, Unicef, found that between 1991 and 1998, there were 500,000 deaths above the anticipated rate among Iraqi children under five years of age. This, on average, is 5,200 preventable under five deaths per month. Hans Von Sponeck said, 'Some 167 Iraqi children are dying every day. Denis Halliday said, 'If you include adults, the figure is now almost certainly well over a million.'

In 1999, a humanitarian panel set up by the Security Council reported that Iraq had slipped from 'relative affluence' prior to 1991 into 'massive poverty' . The panel criticised the Oil for Food Programme as 'inadequate' to remedy a 'dire' humanitarian situation 'that cannot be overstated'. The panel's members took the remarkable step of attacking their sponsor, charging that 'the Iraqi people would not be undergoing such deprivations in the absence of the prolonged measures imposed by the Security Council'. Once again, children were found to be the main victims, with the infant mortality rate soaring from one of the lowest in the world in 1990 to the highest.

In a separate study, Richard Garfield, a renowned epidemiologist at Columbia University in New York, says that, in tripling since 1990, the death rate of children in Iraq is unique. There is almost no documented case,' he wrote, 'of rising mortality for children under five years in the modern world.' Extrapolating from these statistics, American researchers John Mueller and Karl Mueller conclude that 'economic sanctions have probably already taken the lives of more people in Iraq than have been killed by all weapons of mass destruction in history.'

In 1999, seventy members of the US Congress signed an unusually blunt letter to President Clinton, appealing to him to lift the embargo and end what they called 'infanticide masquerading as policy' . The Clinton administration had already given them their reply. In 1996, in an infamous interview on the American current affairs programme 60 Minutes, Madeleine Albright, then US Ambassador to the United Nations, had been asked: 'We have heard that half a million children have died . . . is the price worth it?' Albright replied, 'I think this is a very hard choice, but the price-we think the price is worth it.'

The Al Rasheed Hotel is where Saddam Hussein's people are glimpsed. Dark glasses, large dyed moustaches and spooks proliferate. You enter by way of an icon of dark Iraqi humour, crossing a large floor portrait, set in tiles, of George Bush Senior, a good likeness, and the words: 'George Bush is a war criminal'.

A 1994 Senate report documented the transfer to Iraq of the ingredients of biological weapons: botulism developed at a company in Maryland, licensed by the Commerce Department and approved by the State Department. Anthrax was also supplied by the Porton Down laboratories in Britain, a government establishment. A Congressional investigator said, 'It was all money, it was all greed. The US Government knew, the British Government knew. Did they care? No. It was a competition with the Germans. That's how the arms trade works.'

During the parallel Scott Inquiry in London into the arms-to-Iraq scandal, Tim Laxton, a City of London auditor, was brought in to examine the books of the British arms company Astra, which the Thatcher Government covertly and illegally used as a channel for arms to Iraq. Laxton was one of the few observers to sit through the entire inquiry. He believes that if Sir Richard Scott's

brief had been open and unlimited, and Thatcher's senior aides and civil servants had been compelled to give evidence under oath, as well as numerous other vital witnesses who were not called, the outcome would have been very different from the temporary embarrassment meted out to a few ministers. 'Hundreds,' he said, 'would have faced criminal investigation, including top political figures, very senior civil servants from the Foreign Office, the Ministry of Defence, the Department of Trade . . . the top echelon of government.'

Dr Anupama Rao Singh, Unicef's senior representative in Iraq, about the effect of the US sanctions

In 1989, the literacy rate was more than 90 per cent; parents were fined for failing to send their children to | school. The phenomenon of street children was unheard of. Iraq | had reached a stage where the basic indicators we use to measure the overall well-being of human beings, including children, were some of the best in the world. Now it is among the bottom 20 per cent.

Just before Christmas 1999, the Department of Trade and Industry in London restricted the export of vaccines meant to protect Iraqi children against diphtheria and yellow fever. Dr Kim Howells told Parliament why. His title of Parliamentary UnderSecretary of State for Competition and Consumer Affairs perfectly suited his Orwellian reply. The children's vaccines were, he said, 'capable of being used in weapons of mass destruction'.

'Perhaps the most repulsive thing about the whole policy,' wrote Eric Herring 'is that US and British decision-makers have exploited popular humanitarian sentiment for the most crucial realpolitik reasons. They have no desire for the Shi'ite majority to take control or for the Kurds to gain independence. Their policy is to keep them strong enough to cause trouble for Saddam Hussein while ensuring that Saddam Hussein is strong enough to keep repressing them. This is a direct descendant of British imperial policy from the First World War onwards [and is about the control]

'Most Americans,' wrote Roger Normand, 'are unaware that sanctions against Iraq have killed more people than the two atomic bombs dropped on Japan, because the media have focused exclusively on the demonised figure of Saddam Hussein and presented Iraq as a country of military targets rather than people.'

The playwright Arthur Miller was more charitable. 'Few of us,' he wrote, can easily surrender our belief that society must somehow make sense. The thought that the State has lost its mind and is punishing so many innocent people is intolerable. And so the evidence has to be internally denied.'

A report for the UN Secretary-General, written by Professor Marc Bossuyt, a respected authority on international law, says that the 'sanctions regime against Iraq is unequivocally illegal under existing human rights law' and 'could raise questions under the Genocide Convention' . His subtext is that if the new court [ICC] is to have authority, it cannot merely dispense the justice of the powerful.

A growing body of legal opinion agrees that the court has a duty, as Eric Herring wrote, to investigate 'not only the regime, but also the UN bombing and sanctions which have violated the human rights of Iraqi civilians on a vast scale . . . It should also investigate those who assisted [Saddam Hussein's] programmes of now prohibited weapons, including western governments and companies.'

In 2000, Hain blocked a parliamentary request to publish the full list of law-breaking British companies. A prosecutor might ask why, then ask who has killed the most innocent people in Iraq: Saddam Hussein, or British and American policy-makers? The answer may well put the murderous tyrant in second place: a crime compounded by a military assault that will kill and maim civilians and destroy the United Nations Charter.

Denis Halliday ... in the General Assembly at the United Nations, where he had been Assistant Secretary-General.

This is where the real world is represented,' he said. 'This is where democracy applies: one state, one vote. By contrast, the Security Council has five permanent members which have veto rights. There is no democracy there; it does not in any way represent the real world. Had the issue of sanctions on Iraq gone to the General Assembly, it would have been overturned by a very large majority. We have to change the United Nations, to reclaim what is ours. The genocide in Iraq is the test of our will. All of us have to break the silence: to make those responsible, in Washington and London, aware that history will slaughter them.

The Great Game
[for Middle East Oil]

excerpted from the book - The New Rulers of the World

by John Pilger

Verso, 2002, paper 

To me, I confess that [countries] are pieces on a chessboard ) upon which is being played out a great game for the domination of the world.

Lord Curzon, Viceroy of India, 1898

George Kennan, US strategic planner, 1948

"We have 50 per cent of the world's wealth but only 6.3 percent of its population. In this situation, our real job in the coming period . . . is to maintain this position of disparity. To do so, we have to dispense with all sentimentality . . . we should cease thinking about human rights, the raising of living standards and democratisation."

Thomas Friedman, New York Times, 2001 [of the war on terrorism - after 9-11]

"This is World War Three."

Independent [newspaper, London] on Sunday during the Gulf War in 1991.

"War is never pleasant. There are certain actions that a civilised society can never contemplate. This carpet bombing is undeniably terrible. But that does not make it wrong."

... cluster bombs are landmines. The crucial difference from those banned under international treaty is that they are dropped from aircraft. At the time of writing, an estimated 70,000 American cluster 'bomblets' lie unexploded in Afghanistan, already the most landmined country in the world.

This is the nature of the 'war against terrorism'.

'Surely, the point about civilisation,' wrote a Guardian columnist, Isobel Hilton, 'is that it does not descend lightly into terror - and barbarism? . . . The Afghans, we hear, have a bent for savagery and it would be absurd to expect a war in Afghanistan to be fought by Queensberry rules. But whose war is this? . . . Were [the Americans and British] fighting by Dostum's rules or by their own? Or do we no longer bother with the distinction?'

Nothing has changed. Not the clusters, which were tested in Vietnam. Not the shock to the liberal conscience when forced to acknowledge the truth that mass murder, 'terror and barbarism' are standard practice on 'our' side: only the technology is different. Not the concealment of true objectives in moral illusions by the richest country on earth using its terrifying military might against the poorest, and in the name of 'civilisation'.

Neither has the disregard for peaceful resolution changed. In 1954, US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles walked out of a Geneva conference because the majority had agreed on democratic elections in Vietnam that would unify the north and south of the country. His action ignited a war that took as many as five million lives.

In the spirit of Lord Curzon's 'great game', the bombing of Afghanistan replaced unwanted tribes with preferred tribes. That both groups, in the vernacular of the modern game, are 'terrorists' is beside the point. The difference is that President Bush calls the present occupiers of Kabul, the Northern Alliance, 'our friends'. These are the same people welcomed with kite-flying in 1992, who then killed an estimated 50,000 in four years of internecine feuding. 'In 1994 alone,' reported New York-based Human Rights Watch, 'an estimated 25,000 people were killed in Kabul, most of them civilians, in rocket and artillery attacks. One-third of the city was reduced to rubble.'

Today, having tortured and executed hundreds of prisoners-of-war, as well as looted foreign aid warehouses, the new heroes have quietly re-established their monopoly over the affairs of the nation, as well as the heroin trade. Life is meant to be easier for Afghan women, but the burqa remains, along with most of the Taliban's laws. Only a third of children are educated; of these, less than three per cent are girls. Sexual policing thrives; and the much-trumpeted Women's Affairs Minister, Dr Sima Samar, has been disposed of and charged with blasphemy. Fazul Hadi Shinwari, the new Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, has said the Taliban's Sharia punishments will continue, including stoning and amputation.

The president, Hamid Karzai, installed by Washington, rules over a tribal council that is seen by most Afghans as an unrepresentative sham. Karzai is guarded by 46 American Special Forces soldiers and has survived one assassination attempt. His country is stricken, with the arrival of only a fraction of the money promised by its 'liberators' with which, they pledged, to build a civilian infrastructure. The Americans dropped 10,000 tonnes of bombs. The United Nations estimates that between 50 and 100 people are killed or injured every week by unexploded bombs and

The greater sham is the 'war on terrorism' itself. The search for Osama bin Laden and his cohorts in the mountains of Afghanistan was a circus spectacle. The American goal is, and always was, the control, through vassals, of former Soviet Central Asia, a region rich in oil and minerals and of great strategic importance to competing powers, Russia and China. By February 2002, the United States had established permanent military bases in all the Central Asian republics, and in Afghanistan, whose post-Taliban government is American approved. 'America will have a continuing interest and presence in Central Asia of a kind that we could not have dreamed of before [September 11],' said Secretary of State Colin Powell. This is just a beginning. The ultimate goal is a far wider American conquest, military and economic, which was planned during the Second World War and which, as Vice President Cheney says, 'may not end in our lifetimes', or until the United States has positioned itself as gatekeeper of the world's remaining oil and gas.

| Since the end of the cold war, a new opportunity has arisen. The economic and political crises in the developing world, largely the result of post-colonialism, such as the blood-letting in the Middle East and the destruction of commodity markets in Africa, now serve as retrospective justification for imperialism. Although the word remains unspeakable, the western intelligentsia, conservatives and liberals alike, boldly echo the preferred euphemism, 'civilisation'. From Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, an ally of crypto-fascists, to the former British liberal editor Harold Evans, the new imperialists share a concept whose true meaning relies on an unexpressed contrast with those who are 'uncivilised', i.e. inferior, and might challenge the 'values' of the West, specifically its God-given right to control and plunder.

There are many blueprints for the new imperialism, but none as cogent as that of Zbigniew Brzezinski, adviser to several presidents and one of the most influential gurus in Washington, whose 1997 book is said to have biblical authority among the Bush gang and its intelligentsia. In The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and its Geostrategic Imperatives, Brzezinski writes, 'Ever since the continents started interacting politically, some 500 years ago, Eurasia has been the center of world power.'

He defines Eurasia as all the territory east of Germany and Poland, stretching through Russia and China to the Pacific Ocean and including the Middle East and most of the Indian sub-continent. The key to controlling this vast area of the world is Central Asia. Dominance of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan ensures not only new sources of energy and mineral wealth, but a 'guardpost' over American control of the oil of the Persian Gulf. 'What is most important to the history of the world?' wrote Brzezinski. 'The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Muslims or the liberation of central Europe . . . ?' The 'stirred-up Muslims' replied on September 11, 2001.

The first priority has been achieved, says Brzezinski. This is the economic subjugation of the former superpower. Once the Soviet Union had collapsed, he writes, the United States looted some $300 billion in Russian assets, destabilising the currency and ensuring that a weakened Russia would have no choice but to look westward to Europe for economic and political revival, rather than south to Central Asia. Brzezinski's analysis dismisses the notion of 'local wars as responses to terrorism'. Rather, they are the beginning of a final conflict leading inexorably to the dissolution of national governments and world domination by the United States.

Nation states will be incorporated in the 'new order', controlled solely by economic interests as dictated by international banks, corporations and ruling elites concerned with the maintenance (by manipulation and war) of their power. 'To put it in a terminology that harkens back to the more brutal age of ancient empires,' he writes, 'the three grand imperatives of imperial geostrategy are to prevent collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals, to keep tributaries pliant and protected, and to keep the barbarians from coming together.'

In 2001 ... US Council on Foreign Relations and the Baker Institute for Public Policy described the significance of this decline for American power. 'The world,' it said, 'is perilously close to utilising all its available global oil production capacity.' If the global demand for oil continues to rise, world shortages could reduce the status of the US to that of 'a poor developing country'.

Bush Senior
'The American way of life is not up for negotiation.'

'The hidden hand of the market,' wrote Thomas Friedman, the guardian of American foreign policy in the New York Times, 'will never work without a hidden fist. McDonald's cannot flourish without McDonnell Douglas, the designer of the F-15. And the hidden fist that keeps the world safe for Silicon Valley's technologies is called the US Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps.'

'Governments are reduced to playing the role of servile lackeys to big business," wrote Noreena Hertz, the dissident London financier.

... an elite of fewer than a billion people controls 80 percent of the world's riches.

'Globalisation does not mean the impotence of the state,' wrote the Russian economist and dissident Boris Kagarlitsky, 'but the rejection by the state of its social functions, in favour of repressive ones, irresponsibility on the part of governments and the ending of democratic freedoms.' Since Thatcher and Reagan in the eighties, social democratic states have looked to America and progressively shed their 'social functions'. Repression has become a corollary.

Following September 11, 2001, Congress enacted the so-called Patriot Act, which lays the foundation of a police state.

'The atmosphere is such,' wrote Andrew Stephen, the New Statesman's Washington correspondent, 'that supposedly liberal columnists debate the pros and cons of torturing prisoners, and then finally conclude that, yes, torture is OK in these extraordinary times.' This evokes the McCarthy period of the fifties when a state-promoted paranoia consumed much of American life, suspending the Bill of Rights and dictating foreign policy. Obeying the totalitarian impulses that are as American as the Fourth of July, the United States has become a plutocracy.

The unelected Bush cabal consists of authentic fundamentalists, the heirs of John Foster Dulles and his brother Alan, the Baptist fanatics who ran the State Department and the CIA respectively, smashing reforming governments in country after country-Iran, Iraq, Guatemala-tearing up international agreements, such as the 1954 Geneva accords on Indochina.

The World Bank now admits that few of the poorest countries will meet its 'poverty reduction targets' by 2015. In other words, 'structural adjustment programmes', consisting of privatisation, indebtedness and the destruction of public services, have further impoverished and disaffected a large proportion of the world's population.

This was illustrated at the fourth annual meeting of the World Trade Organisation at Doha, in the Gulf state of Qatar, in November 2001. Although the WTO has 143 members, only twenty-one governments, the richest, are permitted to draft policy, most of which has already been written by the 'quad': the United States, Europe, Canada and Japan. These rich nations demanded a new 'round' of what they call 'trade liberalisation', which is the power to intervene in the economies of poor countries, to demand privatisation and the destruction of public services. Only they are permitted to protect their home industries and agriculture; only they have the right to subsidise exports of meat, grain and sugar and to dump them in poor countries at artificially low prices, thereby destroying the livelihoods of small farmers. (In India, says the environmentalist Vandana Shiva, suicides among poor farmers are 'an epidemic'.)

Before the conference opened, the US trade representative Robert Zoellick invoked the 'war on terrorism'. He said, 'The United States is committed to global leadership of openness and understands that the staying power of our new coalition depends on economic growth . . .'4' The implication could not be clearer. 'Economic growth' (rich elite, poor majority) equals antiterrorism. Mark Curtis, the historian and Christian Aid's head of policy, who attended Doha, described 'an emerging pattern of threats and intimidation of poor countries' that amounted to 'economic gunboat diplomacy'. He said, 'It was utterly outrageous. Wealthy countries exploited their power to spin the agenda of big business. The issue of multinational corporations as a cause of poverty was not even on the agenda; it was like a conference on malaria that does not even discuss the mosquito.' 'If I speak out too strongly,' said an African delegate, 'the US will phone my minister. They will say that I am embarrassing the United States. My government will not even ask, "What did he say?" They will just send me a ticket tomorrow . . . so I don't speak, for fear of upsetting the master.' Haiti and the Dominican Republic were threatened with the withdrawal of their special trade preferences with the United States if they objected-to the new 'round' of 'free trade'.

The truth about the West's various claims to furthering the 'development' of the poor world, 'forgiving' its debt and generally promoting 'poverty reduction', can be found in the statistics on foreign aid. Although members of the United Nations have agreed that the rich countries should give a minimum of 0.7 per cent of their Gross National Product in genuine aid to the poor world, Britain gives just 0.34 per cent and the United States barely registers, with 0.19.

Two illustrations tell the story. One of Clare Short's enterprises is in Ghana where, according to internal documents, British officials have made clear that aid money for a clean water project is conditional on the privatisation of the country's water supply. This would reap profits for at least one British multinational company, while ensuring the doubling of water bills for the poorest. In the last Foreign Aid bill passed by the US Senate in 2000, a pittance of $75 million went to the poorest countries, a tenth of the cost of one B-52 bomber. The same bill approved $1 .3 billion for the Colombian military, one of the world's worst human rights violators.

US Space Command - Vision for 2020.

Historically, military forces have evolved to protect national interests and investments-both military and economic. During the rise of commerce, nations built navies to protect and enhance their commercial interests. During the westward expansion of the continental United States, military outposts and the cavalry emerged to protect our wagon trains, settlements and railroads. The emergence of space power follows both of these models . . . Although unlikely to be challenged by a global peer competitor, the United States will continue to be challenged regionally. The globalisation of the world economy will continue, with a widening gap between 'haves' and 'have-nots' . . .

Shortly before Christmas 1991, the Medical Educational Trust in London published a comprehensive study of casualties. Up to a quarter of a million men, women and children were killed or died as a direct result of the American-led attack on Iraq.

[Tony] Blair
'Whatever faults we have,' he said, 'Britain is a very moral nation with a strong sense of right and wrong...

With an arms business second only in size to that of the United States, Britain continued to sell two-thirds of its lethal weapons and military equipment to governments with appalling human rights records. Its biggest customer is Saudi Arabia, the most extreme Islamic regime on earth, tutors of the Taliban and home to most of the alleged September 11 hijackers. An investigation by the National Audit Office into the 20 billion 'Al Yamamah' (The Dove) arms deal, whose report both Conservative and Labour governments refused to release, describes 'commissions' paid on Tornado fighters - 15 million on one aircraft is said to be the going rate.

Britain is a major arms supplier to at least five countries with internal conflict, where the combined death toll runs to almost a million people. Countries on the verge of war with each other are also clients: for example, India and Pakistan. For twenty years, Britain armed the Indonesian genocidists in East Timor.

When the Blair Government came to power, and Cook made his 'mission statement' at the Foreign Office, he met the two 1997 Nobel Peace Prize-winners, Bishop Carlos Belo and Jose Ramos Horta, of East Timor He assured them Britain would not license weapons that might be used for internal repression in their occupied country. At a public meeting in London soon afterwards, I listened to Bishop Belo make an emotional appeal to the government. 'Please, I beg you,' he said, 'do not sustain any longer a conflict which without these sales could never have been pursued in the first place, nor for so long.' He might have been speaking for much of humanity.

The government's response was to increase arms shipments to Indonesia under cover of the Official Secrets Act.

In the United States, the world's supermarket of weapons, the making and selling of arms is central to any economic 'boom'. The American 'military-industrial complex' is held aloft by arms and other military-related contracts. Forty cents in every tax dollar ends up with the Pentagon, which, in the financial year 2001/2, spent more than $400 billion. War ensures the industry's prosperity. Following the Gulf War, American arms sales increased by 64 per cent. The NATO attack on Yugoslavia resulted in an extra $17 billion in sales. Following September 11, a 'boom' is already evident in the weapons business.

The day the stock markets re-opened after the attacks, the few companies showing increased value were the military contractors Raytheon, Alliant Tech Systems, Northrop Gruman and Lockheed Martin. As the US military's biggest supplier, Lockheed Martin's share value rose by 30 per cent. The company's main plant is in George W Bush's home state of Texas. As governor, Bush tried unsuccessfully to sell the Texas welfare system to Lockheed Martin-owned companies. In 1999, the company had record arms sales of more than $ 25 billion, and received more than $12 billion in Pentagon contracts.

Within six weeks of the Twin Towers attacks, Lockheed Martin had secured the biggest military order in history: a $200 billion contract to develop a fighter aircraft. The aircraft will be built in Fort Worth, Texas, creating 32,000 new jobs. 'Amidst all the bad news these days,' said a company executive, 'what's happening to our stake in America is good news.'

The British arms industry has also boomed since September 11. At the time of writing, BAE Systems is selling a $40 million air defence system to Tanzania, one of the world's poorest countries. With a per capita income of $250 a year, half the population has no clean running water, and one in four children dies before their fifth birthday. Even though the World Bank has opposed the sale, Tony Blair has given it his personal backing, no doubt in the spirit of his evangelical speech to the Labour Party Conference in which he called Africa's poverty 'a scar on the conscience of the world'.

That the US is the only nation on record to have been condemned by the World Court for international terrorism (in Nicaragua), and has vetoed a UN Security Council resolution calling on governments to observe international law, is unmentionable. There is no conspiracy to keep this beyond public gaze. Compliance to institutional and corporate needs is internalised early in a journalist's career. The difference, in authoritarian societies, is that the state makes these demands directly. Self-censorship and censorship by omission are rarely pointed out to practising journalists and students in media colleges. Much of it is subliminal, giving it pervasive influence. Minimising the culpability of western power, indeed reporting countries in terms of their usefulness to the West, becomes almost an act of professional faith.

In 1998, President Clinton went before the United Nations to speak on terrorism. 'What are our global obligations?' he asked. 'To give terrorists no support, no sanctuary.' Following September 11, 2001, President George W Bush said almost the same words. 'In the war against terrorism,' he said, 'we're going to hunt down these evil-doers wherever they are, no matter how long it takes.' Strictly speaking, it should not take long, as more terrorists are given 'training, support and sanctuary' in the United States than anywhere on earth. They include mass murderers, torturers, former and future tyrants and assorted international criminals who fit the President's description. This is virtually unknown by the American public.

Hijacking is generally regarded as the gravest of crimes, especially since September 11. As William Blum points out in Rogue State, 'although there have been numerous air and boat hijackings over the years from Cuba to the US, at gunpoint, knifepoint and/or with the use of physical force, including at least one murder, it's difficult to find more than a single instance where the United States brought criminal charges against the hijackers.' All the hijackers were anti-Castro.

As for sanctuaries, there is none to compare with Florida, currently governed by the President's brother, Jeb Bush. Blum describes a typical Florida trial of three terrorists, who hijacked a plane to Miami at knifepoint. 'This is like trying someone for gambling in a Nevada court,' he noted. 'Even though the kidnapped pilot was brought back from Cuba to testify against the men, the defence simply told the jurors the man was Iying, and the jury deliberated for less than an hour before acquitting the defendants.'

Former Guatemalan Defence Minister Hector Gramajo Morales was ordered by a US court to pay $47.5 million in damages for his responsibility for the torture of an American nun and the massacre of eight Guatemalans from one family. The evidence suggests,' said the judge, 'that Gramajo devised and directed the implementation of an indiscriminate campaign of terror against civilians.' Gramajo graduated from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, where he had studied on a US government scholarship. He was never arrested, and eventually returned home, saying he had merely carried out 'a more humanitarian' way of dealing with opponents of the regime.

Former general Jose Guillermo Garcia has lived in Florida since the 1990s. As head of El Salvador's military during the eighties, Garcia oversaw the murder of thousands of people by death squads connected to the army. Garcia's successor, General Carlos Vides Casanova, who ran the feared National Guard, is another resident of Jeb Bush's Sunshine State. 'According to the UN Truth Commission for El Salvador,' writes Blum, 'Vides covered up and protected those who raped and murdered three American nuns and a lay worker in 1980. He was physically present on at least two occasions when Dr Juan Romagoza was tortured; in the end, the injuries inflicted on Arce left him unable to perform surgery.'

General Prosper Avril, the Haitian dictator, liked to display the bloodied victims of his torture on television. When he was overthrown, he was flown to Florida by the US government. The notorious Haitian death squad leader Emanuel Constant, whose thugs terrorised Haiti, mutilating people with machetes, lives in New York. Armando Fernandez Larios, a member of a Chilean military squad responsible for torture and executions following the overthrow of Salvador Allende in 1973, lives in Miami. Argentine Admiral Jorge Enrico, who was associated with the infamous 'Dirty War' of torture and 'disappearances' in the 1970s, lives in Hawaii. Thiounn Prasith, Pol Pot's henchman and apologist at the United Nations, lives in Mount Vernon, New York.

In California, in the eighties, I met four Vietnamese who had been assassins in America's Operation Phoenix; one of them ran a fast food drive-in. He seemed a contented man. What all these people have in common, apart from their history of terrorism, is that they were either working directly for the US government or carrying out the dirty work of American policies. Operation Phoenix, for example, devised, funded and run by the CIA, was responsible for up to 50,000 murders.

Much was made of al-Qa'ida's training camps in Afghanistan, the target of American bombers. But these were kindergartens compared with the world's leading university of terrorism at Fort Benning in Georgia. Known until recently as the School of the Americas, it trained some 60,000 Latin American soldiers, policemen, paramilitaries and intelligence agents. Forty per cent of the Cabinet ministers who served in the genocidal regimes of Lucas Garcia, Rios Montt and Mejia Victores in Guatemala are graduates.

In 1993, the UN Truth Commission for El Salvador named the army officers who had committed the worst atrocities of the civil war; two-thirds of them had been trained at Fort Benning. They included Roberto D'Aubuisson, the leader of the death squads and the murderers of Archbishop Oscar Romero and a group of Jesuit priests. In Chile, the school's graduates ran Pinochet's secret police and three principal concentration camps. In 1996, the US government was forced to release copies of the school's training manuals. For aspiring terrorists, these recommended blackmail, torture, execution and the arrest of witnesses relatives.

Renamed the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, or Whisc, the school's website is missing its 'History' pages. George Monbiot asked:

Given that the evidence linking the school to continuing atrocities in Latin America is rather stronger than the evidence linking al-Qa'ida training camps to the attack on New York, what should we do about the 'evil-doers' in Fort Benning, Georgia? Well, we could urge our governments to apply full diplomatic pressure and to seek extradition of the school's commanders for trial on charges of complicity in crimes against humanity. Alternatively, we could demand that our governments attack the United States, bombing its military installations, cities and airports in the hope of overthrowing its unelected government and replacing it with a new administration administered by the UN. In case this proposal proves unpopular with the American people, we could win their hearts and minds by dropping naan bread and dried curry in plastic bags stamped with the Afghan flag.

Putting aside his mockery, Monbiot pointed out that the only moral difference between America's terrorism and that of al Qa'ida is that the latter was puny by comparison.

The trail of blood is endless: from the subjugation of the Philippines and Central America, to the greatest terrorist acts of all, the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki; from the devastation of Indochina, such as the murder of 600,000 peasants in neutral Cambodia, and the use of chemicals and starvation against civilian populations, to the shooting down of an Iranian passenger plane and the bombing of prisoners-of-war in a mud fort in Afghanistan.

The documentation of American terrorism is voluminous, and because such truths cannot be rationally rebutted, those who mention them, drawing the obvious connections between them, are often abused as 'anti-American', regardless of whether or not they themselves are American. During the 1930s, the term 'anti-German' was deployed against critics the Third Reich wished to silence.

When President Clinton ordered that missiles be fired at the Al Shifa pharmaceutical plant in Sudan in 1998, claiming it was a 'chemical weapons facility', it was, by any measure, a major act of terrorism. The plant was well known as the only source of 90 per cent of the basic medicines of one of the poorest countries.

It was the only factory producing chloroquine, the most effective treatment for malaria, and anti-tuberculosis drugs that were lifelines to more than 100,000 patients at a cost of about 1 a month. Nowhere else produced veterinary drugs that killed the parasites passed from cattle to people, one of Sudan's main causes of infant mortality.

As a result of the American attack, wrote Jonathan Belke of the Near East Foundation, a respected humanitarian organisation, 'tens of thousands of people-many of them children - have suffered and died from malaria, tuberculosis and other treatable diseases . . . [American] sanctions against Sudan make it impossible to import adequate amounts of medicines to cover the serious gap left by the plant's destruction.'

How many Sudanese have since died as a result of Clinton's bombing? According to Germany's Ambassador to Sudan, 'several tens of thousands seems a reasonable guess.' A United Nations investigation, requested by the Sudanese government, was blocked by Washington. None of this has been reported as news.

It is rarely reported that of the hundreds killed and thousands wounded in the second intifada, 90 per cent have been Palestinian civilians, 45 per cent have been under eighteen, and 60 per cent were shot while in | their homes, schools and workplaces.

Unlike the Palestinians, the ethnic Albanian population of Kosovo was given an almost immediate right of return by the United States and its NATO partners. The western media overwhelmingly supported the NATO action. Yet this was a civil war, and NATO did not dispute Yugoslav sovereignty. While the Kosovars were being repatriated, 250,000 Serbs and Roma were expelled or fled in fear from the province. NATO's 40,000 occupying troops stood by as this ethnic cleansing took place and did virtually nothing to prevent the Kosovo Liberation Army from murdering, torturing, abducting, desecrating churches and generally living up to its previous description by Secretary of State Albright and Foreign Secretary Cook as 'a terrorist organisation'.

During the Kosovo 'war', the list of civilian targets in Yugoslavia was published on the internet, but no newspaper carried it. Code-named 'Stage Three', these targets included public transport, non-military factories, telephone exchanges, food processing ~ plants, fertiliser depots, hospitals, schools, museums, churches, heritage-listed monasteries and farms.

'They ran out of military targets in the first couple of weeks,' said James Bissell, the Canadian Ambassador to Yugoslavia. 'It was common knowledge that NATO then went to Stage Three: civilian targets. Otherwise, they would not have been bombing bridges on Sunday afternoons and market places.' Admiral Elmar Schmahling, head of German Military Intelligence, said, 'The plan was to first put pressure on the civilian population and second to destroy the Yugoslav economy so deeply it would not recover.'

During the latter weeks of the bombing, I watched the BBC's Kirsty Wark interviewing General Wesley Clark, the NATO commander, on Newsnight. She asked not one question about the targeting of civilians, even though the city of Nis had been recently sprayed with cluster bombs, killing women, old people and children caught in the open. That only 2 per cent of NATO's precision-guided missiles hit military targets was fleeting news. The headlines spoke of 'mistakes' and 'blunders'; barely a handful of journalists, notably Robert Fisk, exposed them as deliberate. The overall 'coverage' was exemplified by the work of Mark Laity, the BBC's correspondent in Brussels, soon afterwards appointed Personal Adviser to the Secretary-General of NATO.

The 'coverage' became a series of official justifications, or lies, beginning with US Defence Secretary William Cohen's claim that 'we've now seen about 100,000 military-aged [Albanian] men missing . . . they may have been murdered' . Two weeks later, David Scheffer, the US Ambassador at Large for war crimes, announced that as many as '225,000 ethnic Albanian men aged between 14 and 59' may have been killed. The British press took their cue. 'Flight

from genocide', said the Daily Mail. 'Echoes of the Holocaust', chorused the Sun and The Mirror. Tony Blair also invoked the Holocaust and 'the spirit of the Second World War', apparently unaware of the irony. The Serbs, in their epic resistance to the Nazi invasion, lost more people, proportionally, than any other European nation.

By June 1999, with the bombardment over, international forensic teams began subjecting Kosovo to minute examination. The American FBI arrived to investigate what was called 'the largest crime scene in the FBI's forensic history'. Several weeks later, having not found a single mass grave, the FBI went home. The Spanish forensic team also returned home, its leader complaining angrily that he and his colleagues had become part of 'a semantic pirouette by the war propaganda machines, because we did not find one-not one-mass grave.'

In November 1999, the Wall Street Journal published the results of its own investigation, dismissing 'the mass grave obsession'. Instead of 'the huge killing fields some investigators were led to expect . . . the pattern is of scattered killings [mostly] in areas where the separatist Kosovo Liberation Army had been active.' The paper concluded that NATO stepped up its claims about Serb killing fields when it 'saw a fatigued press corps drifting toward the contrarian story: civilians killed by Nato's bombs.' Many of the claims of numbers killed could be traced back to the KLA. 'The war in Kosovo was cruel, bitter, savage,' said the Journal. 'Genocide it wasn't.'

NATO had bombed, according to British Defence Secretary George Robertson, 'to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe' of mass expulsion and killing. In December 1999, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, whose monitors were in Kosovo just before the bombing, released its report, which went virtually unreported. It disclosed that most of the crimes against the Albanian population had taken place after the bombing began: that is, they were not a cause, but a consequence, of the bombing. 'While Serb forces were clearly the instrument of the unfolding "humanitarian disaster",' wrote former senior NATO planner Michael McGwire, 'Nato's long-trailered urge to war was undoubtedly a primary cause [and description of the] bombing as "humanitarian intervention" [is] really grotesque.'

In the summer of 2000, the International War Crimes Tribunal, a body effectively set up by NATO, announced that the final count of bodies found in Kosovo's 'mass graves' was 2,788. This included Serbs, Roma and combatants. It meant that the figures used by the British and US governments and most of the media were inventions. Little of this was reported.

Those journalists who had swallowed Nato's lies were the loudest in their abuse of the few who had questioned the bombing and exposed the charade of the 'breakdown' of the Rambouillet talks that were manipulated to justify the bombing. The tactic of their abuse was to equate objections to the killing of civilians with support for Milosevic. This was the same propaganda that equated humane concern for the Iraqi and Afghan peoples with support for Saddam Hussein and the Taliban respectively. It is a time-honoured intellectual dishonesty. In the wake of September 11, 2001, the proponents of the 'war on terrorism' fortified themselves with the cry, 'We were right over Kosovo, we are right now' as the cluster bombs rained down again, with only a change of terrain.

Writing in the Washington Post, the columnist Michael Kelly spoke for the consensus in the media when he wrote, 'The American pacifists . . . are on the side of future mass murders of Americans. They are objectively proterrorist . . . that is the pacifists' position, and it is evil.'

On September 11, 2001, George W Bush told America: 'I have directed the full resources of our intelligence and law enforcement communities to find those responsible and bring them to justice.'

Well over a year later, the 'full resources' of America's thirteen intelligence agencies have failed to secure the conviction of a single person in connection with September 11.. Not one of the 22 men on the 'Terrorists Wanted' poster has been sighted; not a cent of the $500 million reward money has been claimed. As failures go, the enormity of this has few historical equals. Yet, the heads of the two principal agencies, the CIA and the FBI, have not been dismissed or forced to resign, or shamed by Congress. For a while, George W Bush's popularity rating was at an all-time high.

What Bush never explained to his fellow Americans was that his and the previous Clinton administration had been warned that al Qa'ida, or 'the Base', a network spawned in an American client state, Saudi Arabia, was planning audacious attacks on New York and Washington. Hidden from the public was the CIA's long relationship with Osama bin Laden during the majaheddin war against the Soviets in Afghanistan, and that the President's father still worked as a consultant to the immensely rich bin Laden family.

In July 2001, a briefing paper was prepared for Bush. It began: 'We [the CIA and FBI] believe that OBL [Osama bin Laden] will launch a significant terrorist attack against US and/or Israeli interests in the coming weeks. The attack will be spectacular and designed to inflict mass casualties against US facilities or interests. Attack preparations have been made. Attack will occur with little or no warning.'

And that is what happened.

Within days of the hijackers taking off from Boston for the Twin Towers, reported the BBC, 'a special charter flight out of the same airport whisked 11 members of Osama's family off to Saudi Arabia. That did not concern the White House, whose official line is that the bin Ladens are above suspicion.'

In January 2002, CNN reported that 'Bush personally asked Senate majority leader Tom Daschle to limit the Congressional investigation into the events of September 11 . . . The request was made at a private meeting with Congressional leaders . . . Sources said Bush initiated the conversation . . . He asked that only the House and Senate intelligence committees look into the potential breakdowns among federal agencies that could have allowed the terrorist attacks to occur, rather than a broader enquiry . . . Tuesday's discussion followed a rare call from Vice-President Dick Cheney last Friday to make the same request . . .' The excuse given was that 'resources and personnel would be taken' away from the 'war on terrorism'.

The study of post-war international politics, 'liberal realism', was invented in the United States, largely with the sponsorship of those who designed and have policed modern American economic power. They included the Ford, Carnegie and Rockefeller Foundations, the OSS (the forerunner of the CIA) and the Council on Foreign Relations, effectively a branch of government. Thus, in the great American universities, learned voices justified the cold war and its great risks.

In Britain, this 'transatlantic' view found its clearest echo. With honourable exceptions, scholars have taken the humanity out of the study of nations and congealed it with a jargon that serves the dominant power. Laying out whole societies for autopsy, they identify 'failed states' and 'rogue states', requiring 'humanitarian intervention'. As Noam Chomsky points out, imperial Japan described its invasion of Manchuria as a 'humanitarian intervention' and Mussolini used the term to justify seizing Ethiopia, as did Hitler when the Nazis drove into Sudetenland.

In academic literature and the media, Bill Clinton was described as 'centre left', a denial of the historical record. During the Clinton years, the principal welfare safety nets were taken away and poverty in America increased, an aggressive missile 'defence' system known as 'Star Wars 2' was instigated, the biggest war and arms budget in history was approved, biological weapons verification was rejected, along with a comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty, the establishment of an international criminal court, a worldwide ban on landmines and proposals to curb money laundering. Contrary to myth, which blames his successor, the Clinton administration effectively destroyed the movement to combat global warming. In addition, Haiti was invaded; the blockade of Cuba was reinforced; Iraq, Yugoslavia and Sudan were attacked.

'It's a nice and convenient myth that liberals are the peacemakers and conservatives the war-mongers,' wrote Hywel Williams, 'but the imperialism of the liberal may be more dangerous because of its open-ended nature-its conviction that it represents a superior form of life."

There is no conspiracy, and that should be emphasised. It is simply the way the system works, ensuring 'access' and 'credibility' in an academic hierarchy always eager to credit more ethical intent to government policy-makers than the policy-makers themselves. In politics departments, the task of liberal realists is to ensure that western imperialism is interpreted as crisis management, rather than the cause of the crisis and its escalation. By never recognising western state terrorism, their complicity is assured. To state this simple truth is deemed unscholarly; better to say nothing.

Martin Luther King
'The time has come when silence is betrayal.'

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