Flimsy Sanity: Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

Flimsy Sanity

In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule. - Friedrich Nietzsche

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

By Charley Reese

09/26/05 -- -- John Perkins' book "Confessions of an
Economic Hit Man" explains American foreign policy
better than any of the academic tomes you might read
on the subject.

In a nutshell, the game is played this way: People
like Perkins work for consulting firms, and their job
is to entice a foreign head of state to go deeply in
debt. They do this by greatly exaggerating the
economic returns on big projects such as dams and
electrification systems.

The payoff comes in two ways. The foreign country
hires American contractors to build the systems, and
they make big profits. Then, mired in debt, the head
of state will do what the United States government
tells him to do. If he proves too independent or too
honest to accept bribes, then he will be removed from
power, either in a coup or in an accident.

Yes, I know that sounds more like the Mafia than the
great and good government of the United States, which
wants only to spread peace, prosperity and democracy
around the world. Read the book and decide for
yourself. The publisher is Berrett-Koehler Publishers

I believe Perkins is telling the truth, because I have
observed through the years that the United States
hates any honest nationalist leader. Let some guy try
to benefit his own people instead of catering to
multinational corporations, and the U.S. government
and the propaganda machine will crank up and paint him
as a villain. After the American people have been
sufficiently indoctrinated, the poor guy won't be
around much longer.

We did that to Mohammed Mossadegh, a democratically
elected nationalist who thought Iran's oil should
benefit Iranians. We painted him as a communist, and
the CIA engineered a coup that replaced him with the
Shah. In case you're curious, that's why so many
Iranians hate us. We did it to a Guatemalan patriot,
Jacobo Arbenz, when he tried to implement land reform
and thus ran afoul of the United Fruit Co., which
orchestrated the campaign that led to his overthrow by
the U.S. Omar Torrijos, a Panamanian reformer, and
Jaime Roldos, president of Ecuador who locked horns
with big oil companies, both died in planes that

On the other hand, the ruthless and corrupt killers
who play the game our way get rewarded with more loans
and more aid. I know this sounds leftist and even, God
forbid, liberal, but the more you get to know our
government, the less you will think it's all sweetness
and light. People fear the U.S. with good reason. We
talk about spreading democracy, but what we do is
extend empire and make war.

If you count the Cold War, we have been at war almost
continuously. There was Korea, Vietnam, the invasion
of Lebanon, the invasions of Panama and Grenada, the
bombings of Serbia and Libya, our little misadventure
in Somalia and two wars with Iraq, and now that the
Cold War is over, we have replaced it with an endless
war on terrorism. Sprinkled in between all of these
overt wars are numerous covert operations.

It isn't, after all, a capital crime for a foreign
leader to be a socialist or to believe in land reform
or to try to stop oil companies from defiling his
country or cheating it out of a proper return. I've
often thought old Saddam Hussein cut his own throat
when he made a speech to the other Arab leaders saying
they should not invest their petrodollars in the West
but should instead invest them in the Arab world.
Bankers in London and New York don't like to hear that
kind of talk. We don't mind thugs and killers, but we
despise a nationalist. The very idea of denying us the
use of their dollars is, well, sacrilegious from an
imperial point of view.

We were a great and much-loved country when we were a
republic. Since we've become an empire, we're hardly
loved at all and, in fact, are hated by many people in
the world. Unless we find a way to return to our
republican roots, we will go the way of all empires -
simultaneously accumulating enemies and bankrupting
ourselves in an eventually futile attempt to defeat

At any rate, read Perkins' book. Like a real hit man,
he got wealthy and then ratted out his former

© 2005 by King Features Syndicate, Inc.


  • At 9:52 AM, Blogger RJ Adams said…

    I once saw a not so nice cartoon - shortly after 9/11 - showing the burning and collapsing towers with groups of Americans standing watching, faces lit by utter puzzlement. The caption read: "Why do they hate us so much?"
    Sadly, it took 9/11 for most Americans to begin asking that question. Now they are slowly discovering the answers. The Roman Empire was loved by most Romans; the British Empire was loved by the British. The oppressed nations under each regime hated both. No-one stops to consider the plight of those who are oppressed so citizens of the oppressor can live in luxury.
    I haven't read Perkins book, but cetainly his remarks with regard to Mohammed Mossadegh are true. Both Britain (under Churchill) and America (under Eisenhower) were heavily involved. It was all about oil, of course.


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