The Art of Deception

     The 
Art of Deception

    Americans
    and the rest of the world are watching different wars on TV:
    the real one presented by the foreign media all around the world, and

    the other sanitized war presented to the American people by the
    American networks. The United States population is probably
    the most manipulated population on the face of earth.
    by: Ricardo
    C. Amaral

     

    All
    the subjects that I am discussing in this article affect Brazil one
    way or another. On February 5, 2003 I did watch on television Secretary
    of State Colin L. Powell give a presentation to the United Nations trying
    to make the case for war against Iraq. He presented photographs, a tape
    of conversations between Iraqi military officers, and other information
    acquired from various sources. Why were most representatives in the
    United Nations from other countries around the world skeptical about
    all the information presented?

    Because,
    with today’s computer technology, it is very easy for anyone to make
    up such a simple presentation. The government doesn’t need the CIA technological
    knowledge to produce that type of presentation—today, most 15 year
    old high school kids in the US have the expertise to put together such
    a presentation.

    Why
    isn’t the propaganda machine working in Iraq?

    I have
    seen many programs on US television showing how the American military
    operates—showing many of the techniques used by the military to
    control the people and the governments of countries when they get involved
    in the conflict for any reason. They call it psychological warfare.
    They use loudspeakers with sounds of major fighting going on to simulate
    a major offensive attack to scare the enemy. They jam the local air
    waves of radio and television, and then they broadcast their own information
    or propaganda.

    They
    drop from airplanes all kind of propaganda materials trying to convey
    to the local people the ideas and instructions that they wish them to
    follow. For example, in the current war against Iraq, the US has dropped
    all over that country more than 30 million pieces of propaganda materials.
    These materials give the people all kind of instructions from how to
    overthrow the current government to how to get humanitarian help.

    Today,
    communications travel at the speed of light around the world; even the
    most remote places on our planet are connected by the Internet and other
    modern means of communications. Everybody around the world is watching
    the current war in Iraq almost in real time.

    People
    are watching different wars on television. Depending on where you are
    located, there are two wars going on—the one presented all around
    the world by the foreign media, and the other sanitized war presented
    to the American people by the American networks (in the US, from what
    I have seen so far, only the CNN, "BBC," the English television
    channel, and the Spanish television channels are giving war coverage
    more in line with the rest of the world media).

    In
    the last two weeks, since the war started, most American cable and television
    networks have hired any retired general that they could find, since
    the American Civil War, to do their on-the-air analysis of the war—from
    General Custer to General Tire, General Motors, General Electric and
    so on.

    For
    a long time, US television programs have been very successfully distributed
    around the world. People from around the world love American movies.
    In many of these movies they show how the CIA uses many deceptive means
    to achieve their goals around the world. They show CIA agents involved
    in fighting against communism, drug dealers, in trying to destabilize
    what they perceive as unfriendly governments, or in fighting against
    some group which they tag as terrorists for one reason or another.

    All
    these movies have many unintended consequences on audiences outside
    the US, such as the increased distrust of the American agenda of spreading
    democracy and capitalism around the world. They also learn through these
    movies about the many ways and techniques that Americans use to spread
    their ideologies to foreign lands.

    In
    the minds of many foreign people these movies become proof of American
    deception against the rest of the world. These movies basically become
    a form of unintended propaganda against the CIA and the American government.
    I can see why people from other countries, after watching many of these
    American movies, would become suspicious of American intentions around
    the world.

    Historical
    facts also reinforce CIA involvement in many countries around the world,
    such as their involvement in many Central American revolutions, the
    Bay of Pigs fiasco in Cuba, the overthrow of governments in Colombia
    and just a few months ago of President Chavez in Venezuela. We also
    should not forget the assassination of President Allende in Chile. These
    countries are only the beginning of a long list of countries on which
    the CIA had an impact in the last 50 years.

    Since
    the CIA is a secret agency, sometimes the public finds out about some
    of their mistakes, but they rarely find out about the agencies’ successes
    because of its secret nature. The CIA is a necessary organization, because
    the US is one of the leading economies in the world. The organization
    provides to the US government critical political and economic information
    about the other countries of the world.

    How
    opinions are formed.

    The
    government, the public relations people, the spin doctors and the media
    in general know how the public’s opinions are formed by the media, which
    repeat a story over and over until the majority believe it, and how
    polls reflect what people have been told by the media.

    If
    you have been watching television in the United States in the last few
    years can you tell what is real news and what is misinformation? Can
    you tell what is "Wag the dog" and what is really going on?

    We
    had many examples of misinformation in action in the last few months,
    when George W. Bush and Tony Blair (the English Prime Minister,) made
    remark after remark about Saddam Hussein and his connection to Al Qaeda,
    or Iraq and its nuclear weapons programs which turned out to be false.

    The
    United States population is probably the most manipulated population
    on the face of earth, because they can be bombarded by the media with
    any information 24 hours a day, 7 days of the week. This information
    can be a true story or real information, or misinformation and propaganda.
    Most people do not step back and try to analyze any situation objectively.

    Today
    few people do any rational thinking about most things. Most people just
    accept anything presented to them at face value and they feel powerless
    and irrelevant. Most of the time people accept anything in a very passive
    manner. This manipulation of news and information and the lack of profound
    analytic thinking is affecting the foundations of the American system.

    For
    example, even its democratic system, and its Constitution and Bill of
    Rights are under attack—the current president, George W. Bush,
    was not elected by the people (a feature fundamental for a democratic
    system); he was selected by the highest court of the land—The US
    Supreme Court.

    The
    power of the media

    False
    information (misinformation and propaganda) becomes true information
    in the minds of even normally rational and smart people. I always wondered
    why Adolf Hitler was able to become so powerful in a nation such as
    Germany—when the German people as a group (in terms of the intelligence
    of the average German), are considered the smartest people in the world.
    How was it possible to make these very smart people stop thinking and
    becoming just a herd of brainless sheep?

    Only
    now, have I started understanding how that process works, when I saw
    various people in the American media, including Senator Joseph Biden,
    saying that after the first shot was fired, every American is supposed
    to be behind the President, and support the troops and the war effort.
    He also implied that Americans should stop any type of criticism against
    this war.

    The
    German people in the 1930’s, also a very patriotic people, probably
    became blind by the call for patriotism by their leader Adolf Hitler
    to build the most powerful army in the world. After you build such a
    powerful machine, there is the seduction of why not use it against other
    weaker people, and take over their countries.

    I see
    on television all the time Americans asking themselves why people around
    the world hate us? They must be jealous of how rich and prosperous we
    are.

    Let’s
    stop for a moment and analyze the current world events not from the
    American perspective, but from the point of view of what the rest of
    the world might be seeing from their perspective.

    Let’s
    see if we can find a recent parallel in world history. For example:
    In the 1930’s Hitler was building the greatest armed forces of his time.
    Then he decided to take over the rest of the world starting with Europe.
    The rest is history.

    Today,
    the US is considered, at least by the American press, to be the only
    surviving world superpower. The US already has one of the largest armies
    in the world, and one of the largest arsenals of any country in the
    world. In 2003 the US defense budget accounts for 50 percent of the
    entire defense spending of our planet.

    From
    the rest of the world’s perspective, the other countries must be wondering
    why the US is spending so much money on defense. The US is spending
    much more money on defense than can be justified, if the main purpose
    is the defense of the country.

    The
    rest of the world has the right to be suspicious of US intentions. Why
    is the US spending so much money on defense when at the same time it
    has so many other more pressing needs?

    American
    dominance and the new world order

    The
    rest of the world has the right of being even more suspicious when they
    read articles such as the one published by The Record on February
    23, 2003, "American dominance. The making of a blueprint for a
    new world order." I was surprised to read that article in The
    Record, because that newspaper leans more to the right than to the
    left.

    Quoting
    from that article: "An attack on Iraq. Vast increases in military
    spending. Planting new American bases all over the world, from the jungles
    of South America to the steppes of Central Asia. Embracing the concept
    of preemptive war and unilateral action as cornerstones of national
    strategy."

    These
    policies may seem like reactions to the changed world confronting America
    after the September 11 terrorist attacks. But in fact, each one of them—and
    many other policies now being advanced by the Bush administration—were
    planned years before the first plane ever struck the doomed Twin Towers.

    They
    are the handiwork of an obscure but influential conservative group called
    Project for the New American Century (PNAC), whose members—including
    Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld—now
    sit at the highest reaches of power. The papers they produced during
    the 1990’s are like a roadmap of the course that America is following—a
    course that PNAC hopes will lead to an utterly dominant America in world
    affairs.

    PNAC
    was formed in 1997, with a roster of conservative heavy-hitters, many
    of whom are now major players in the Bush administration. In addition
    to Cheney and Rumsfeld, the lineup included Paul Wolfowitz (now deputy
    defense secretary) Lewis Libby (Cheney’s chief of staff), Zalmay Khalilzad
    (special emissary to Afghanistan), John Bolton (undersecretary of state
    for arms control)…Other influential participants included publisher
    Steve Forbes, Gary Bauer, former Secretary of Education William Bennett,
    former Vice President Dan Quayle, and Jeb Bush, brother of the president
    and now governor of Florida.

    In
    2000, this group published a highly detailed 90 page blueprint for transforming
    America’s military. The document, "Rebuilding America’s Defenses,"
    advocates a series of "revolutions" in national defense and
    foreign affairs—all of which have come to pass, in a very short
    time, since the September 11 terrorist attacks. The measures proposed
    in PNAC’s 2000 report included:

    1)
    Projecting American dominance with a "worldwide network of forward
    operating bases"—some permanent, others "temporary access
    arrangements"—in the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America.
    These additions to America’s already extensive overseas deployments
    would act as "the cavalry on the new American frontier"—a
    frontier that PNAC declared now extended throughout the world.

    2)
    Withdrawing from arms control treaties to allow for the development
    of a global missile shield, the deployment of space based weapons, and
    the production of a generation of battlefield nuclear weapons, especially
    so-called "bunker-busters" for penetrating underground fortifications.

    3)
    Raising the US military budget to at least 3.8 percent of gross domestic
    product, with annual increases of tens of billions of dollars each year.

    4)
    Developing sophisticated new technologies to "control the global
    commons of cyberspace" by closely monitoring communications and
    transactions on the Internet.

    5)
    Pursuing the development of "new methods of attack—electronic,
    non-lethal, biological…in new dimensions, in space, cyberspace, and
    perhaps the world of microbes."

    6)
    Developing the ability to "fight and decisively win multiple, simultaneous
    major theater wars." This means moving beyond the two-war standard
    of preparedness that has guided US strategy since World War II in order
    to account for "new realities and potential new conflicts."
    It lists countries such as Iraq, Iran, Syria, North Korea, and Libya
    as targets for those potential new conflicts, and urges Pentagon war
    planners to consider not merely containing them or defeating them in
    battle, but "changing their regimes."

    The
    article was too long for me to quote it in its entirety, but the article
    followed by giving actual examples of how PNAC’s plan is being implement
    by the Bush administration in every way. It is a plan for the US to
    dominate all the nations of the world. It is the American version of
    Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf.

    In
    Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler presented the world with his vision
    of the world. Many years later he attained the political power to realize
    that vision. The world dismissed his book as the work of a madman and
    ignored his message; the result was a tragedy of unprecedented proportions.

    What
    are the lessons we are learning from the Iraq war?

    The
    world is watching the war in Iraq almost in real time, and they are
    learning major lessons from this experience such as—there is "no"
    world military superpower left. The idea that the United States being
    the only military superpower appears to be more a myth and an illusion.
    The war in Iraq, it has made it suspect, the claim that the United States
    is the only superpower left in the world. The war in Iraq, remind us
    of the trouble that the Soviets had in Afghanistan in the late 1980’s.

    Why?

    Let’s
    check the facts. In the last 12 years, Iraq became a very poor nation,
    with its gross national product averaging 1/10 of its old economy. Can
    you imagine what would happen in the US, if its economy went from $10
    trillion dollars to $1 trillion dollars per year? The result would be
    an economic catastrophe in every sense.

    That
    was the economic conditions that Iraq had to operate as a country in
    the last 12 years.

    Currently,
    the defense budget of the US government is about $400 billion dollars.

    The
    current Iraq government defense budget is $ 1billion dollars. The combined
    US defense budget for the last three years was approximately $1 trillion
    dollars, compared with the Iraq’s government defense budget of approximately
    $ 5billion dollars.

    In
    the current war in Iraq, the US has an astonishing superiority in about
    any area of comparison—the US has an army with about three times
    more soldiers than the Iraqi’s army. But that isn’t enough to beat the
    Iraqis. The US is sending another 200,000 men to the war to be able
    to handle the Iraqi army. That will give an advantage to the US of 5
    to 1—in the number of fighting soldiers.

    The
    US has a state-of-art arsenal, including a large number of the biggest
    bombs ever made by mankind, complete control and a massive air power
    capability, and the latest technology in their fleet of tanks. They
    also have the most modern and sophisticated communications systems such
    as satellites and all sorts of computer and software systems—this
    also gives them a major advantage in the war.

    Another
    fact that is remarkable, is that the US and the British were able to
    get all kind of spying information from Iraq in the last 4 months before
    this war began.

    The
    United Nations inspectors were allowed to go to any location in Iraq
    and report their findings back to the UN—including the United States.
    I am sure that the US and the British have made maximum use of that
    opportunity to gather intelligence about all kind of locations in Iraq
    during that time. It is absolutely remarkable that Iraq is able to put
    up such a fight against its foreign aggressors when their aggressors
    have all kinds of advantage over them including their military arsenal,
    technology, and intelligence capabilities.

    In
    the Iraqi side, they are fighting with an arsenal vintage World War
    II. Most of the riffles and military arsenal is obsolete, and many over
    50 years old.

    Before
    the war started, the superiority of the US was so great that the US
    government gave the impression that this war would be wrapped up in
    less than a week. The United States was trying to win the war, before
    they fired the first shot, with hype and misinformation.

    To
    quote from my last article about nuclear weapons: what you don’t know
    can hurt you on a big way. I want to repeat what I wrote in some of
    my articles from last year: I am 100 percent sure that the Saddam regime
    would do anything to defend their country from foreign invasion, including
    using biological and chemical weapons.

    I will
    not be surprised, if the Iraqis use chemical and biological weapons,
    as a last resort to defend Baghdad.

    From
    what I am watching on the American television channels, I don’t understand
    the American logic. It is OK to drop from the air the largest bombs
    ever made by mankind (excluding the atomic bomb). The television news
    claims that the US has dropped so far, as of March 31, 2003, over 18
    thousand missiles all over Iraq, and they have killed a massive amount
    of soldiers and a large amount of civilians (excuse me—and collateral
    damage). According to the US media, it is not acceptable for the Iraqis
    to use any means that they have, to try to survive this unprovoked attack.

    I have
    been against this war, since George W. Bush started talking about this
    issue.

    It’s
    still time to stop this war, and bring home the American troops. If
    they stay in Iraq, I am afraid that they will be sacrificed, in the
    most horrific biological and chemical warfare attack— It will be
    a nightmare, and World War I all over again.

    The
    US probably will retaliate with atomic weapons or biological and chemical
    weapons as well, making this war an absolute catastrophe for both sides.

    In
    the end, the US will win the military war over Iraq, since they have
    an astronomic advantage over them. In my opinion, it is mind boggling
    to me, the negative implications of this American victory to the civilized
    world.

    The
    North Koreans must be watching the war in Iraq, and making lots of notes
    for the time when the US turn their attention to them. The North Koreans
    know that they are next— in the US list of "axis of evil."

    I wonder
    if the North Koreans are going to sit and wait, the US bring their army,
    piece by piece, until the US has a massive firepower to attack the North
    Koreans. The question is: are the North Koreans also as naïve as
    the Iraqis? They will just sit and wait for the US army to come, and
    destroy their army and the infrastructure of their country?

    On
    March 31, 2003, The New York Times had an article: "North
    Korea Watches War and Wonder What’s Next." Quoting from that article:
    "The Supreme People’s Assembly of North Korea held its annual meeting
    last week to rubber stamp the national budget, and for the first time
    in six years, the country’s leader, Kim Gong II., did not show up.

    …A
    clue may come from North Korea’s outrage over the American attempt to
    kill President Saddam Hussein of Iraq and his top generals. "The
    arrogant and outrageous behavior of the US that adopted it as its national
    policy to kill the state leader of another country is typical state
    terrorism that can never be tolerated," the official Korean Central
    News Agency said, quoting a Foreign Ministry spokesman.

    …The
    Dong-A llbo, a conservative South Korean newspaper, said, "Kim
    may already be in hiding in preparation for a possible US attack that
    could come in the future." That opinion was echoed in The Chosun
    llbo, the nation’s largest centrist newspaper…."It is becoming
    certain that, in case the US imperialists’ invasion of Iraq is `successful,’
    they will wage a new war of aggression on the Korean Peninsula,

    Rodong
    Sinmun, the newspaper of the governing Worker’s Party, wrote: "But
    they should clearly understand it, North Korea is not Afghanistan nor
    Iraq."

    According
    to the Bush administration new vision, diplomacy is an obsolete way
    of handling things—diplomacy is an old tool, used by "Old
    Europe." I can see the events in the Korean Peninsula, also getting
    out of hand. Since the international rule for engaging in war has been
    changed by the US—the North Koreans will not wait for an American
    preemptive attack.

    They
    probably will start the war themselves— by shooting 8,000 missiles
    into Tokyo, Japan, to cause maximum economic loss, and possibly a world
    economic collapse. After that, the North Koreans would take a break,
    to try to resolve the situation with diplomacy. If diplomacy did not
    work, at that stage of the game, then they would go to the limit—nuclear
    war.

    If
    the Iraqis are giving such a hard time to the US armed forces, I hate
    to see what kind of damage, the North Koreans can inflict in the US
    forces—since the North Koreans are better armed and have an army
    of 1.5 million people and 4.5 million reserves.

    As
    soon as the Iraq war is over, the US will have to deal with North Korea.
    There is no other choice. Now, the US has to disarm North Korea as well,
    and there is no room for diplomacy at this time. If the US doesn’t follow
    up with a war against the North Koreans, the perception that the US
    will give to the world: is that they pick only on weak countries which
    can’t defend themselves such as: Grenada, Panama, Serbia, Haiti, Bosnia,
    Afghanistan, Iraq and so on.

    The
    final conclusion that every country around the world can arrive after
    witnessing the Iraq fiasco, is the following: if your country has a
    supply of atomic weapons and biological and chemical weapons, then your
    country is in the major league. If your country does not have these
    weapons, then your country is in the third division. When it comes to
    the big bang of an atomic weapon, I don’t think that the US has any
    superiority over the big bang caused by a Russian or Chinese atomic
    weapon. Atomic bombs are devastating weapons, and doesn’t matter from
    which country they come from.

    Things
    can change very fast

    I believe
    that the Bush administration has adopted some misguided policies. Thanks’
    God, we live in a democracy in the US. Americans have the choice to
    change the management team, when things don’t work out. In this case,
    Americans will have to wait until the next election to change the people
    running the US government, or start impeachment proceedings and elect
    a better leader than George W. Bush.

    The
    United States is a great country. I live here in the US, and I am interested
    in what is good for this country, in the short and long run, since my
    family and many of my close friends live here as well. I am worried
    about what kind of country the US is becoming, and what country we will
    leave to our future generation including my niece (19 years old,) my
    nephew (24 years old,) Mike (5 years old,) David (9 years old,) and
    Chase (16 years old.) I love these guys, and I believe they deserve
    that we leave to them, an America—stable, prosperous, strong economically,
    and not a nation discredited around the world and bankrupted.

    We
    have an obligation to leave to the new generation, a better country
    than the one that we were lucky to have inherited from the prior generation.
    It has been part of the "Social Contract" in America, that
    every generation tries to improve the country that has been handed to
    them. The US was a country, until recent times, that the world looked
    at with extreme admiration for its achievements. After the presidential
    election of 2000, things turned sour very fast in the United States.
    But, Americans can change things around for the better once again.

    In
    my opinion, the country went from one extreme to a complete opposite
    overnight. In the last president, the United States had one of the best
    presidents of its history—President Bill Clinton—a Rhodes
    Scholar, a very intelligent man, an intellectual of the highest caliber,
    a brilliant politician, a statesman admired around the world.

    Today,
    the United States has George W. Bush. A man, proud of being a "C"
    student, when he was a young man. I have a feeling that his teachers
    must have inflated his grades, to help move him forward.

    George
    W. Bush was selected by the Supreme Court as the new US President in
    2000, since then, the average grade for his performance, should be close
    to "F." Here is a list of the accomplishments, which can be
    credited to his administration:

    1)
    Since January 2001 the US economy has lost over 3 million jobs.

    2)
    Unemployment has exploded and the real figure should be around 12 percent,
    instead of the 6 percent published by the government.

    3)
    In my opinion, Bush made a very poor choice of close advisers; including
    Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Paul
    Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Condolezza Rice, and Attorney General John
    Aschcroft.

    4)
    His administration has been a complete failure in the area of international
    relations and diplomacy.

    5)
    Mr. Bush has no regard or respect for international law. He managed
    in a short time to destroy not only the United Nations, but also the
    NATO alliance.

    He
    left the world without the structure of institutions that have served
    an important service to the international community for the last 50
    years. The complete destruction of these important international institutions
    leaves the world without a safety net. I have a feeling, that for some
    strange reason, George W. Bush must have delusions, that he is the reincarnation
    of Napoleon—and he has decided to crown himself "Emperor and
    Supreme Ruler of the World".

    6)
    The Bush administration has alienated most of its European allies in
    all sort of ways—from diplomatic to economic issues. They also
    have created an international economic environment that can develop
    into an international trading war.

    7)
    One of the major goals of the Bush administration is to create a Western-style
    democracy in Iraq. The Bush administration must be kidding. The only
    thing I can say is that those guys don’t have a clue about the mess
    that they are about to create in the Middle East.

    In
    December 1997, Atlantic Monthly magazine published an article
    by Robert Kapplan, "Was Democracy Just a Moment?". I have
    read that article a number of times over the years, because the author
    of that article has a profound understanding of history and how democracy
    works.

    I suggest
    that the readers of this article find in the internet the Atlantic
    Monthly website, and read that article. After reading that article,
    you will understand why democracy can’t be implemented, and work, in
    many countries around the world, and why it is just an illusion and
    wishful thinking in the Iraq case.

    8)
    The Bush administration gets an "F" regarding economic policy.

    First,
    as soon as his administration assumed office they started changing the
    structure of the American economy. This was the Bush administration’s
    biggest mistake—a complete shift in the structure of the American
    economy. The Clinton administration had positioned the American economy
    in the path to the future—focusing in the information superhighway,
    and the internet—the American economy was moving forward into the
    future.

    The
    Bush administration shifted gears, and changed the foundations of the
    economy, they turned the American economy twenty years back in time—to
    the economy of defense spending and the cold war. They found their boogie
    man in terrorism and Saddam Hussein to justify the return to the military
    industrial complex and the past.

    The
    Bush administration has no domestic economic policy. The world economy
    is in a free fall, and in a very bad shape. When many economies around
    the world are being infected by deflation, and also many countries has
    already moved into the next stage of the contraction, which is a state
    of economic depression.

    The
    Bush administration is using this war in Iraq, as a diversion to take
    the attention of the American people, and the world, from the collapsing
    American economy. The economy in most states in the US are in bad shape
    as well, and they will have a combined budget deficit of around $ 100
    billion dollars in 2003. The job market in the New York/New Jersey Metropolitan
    area is a complete disaster and it is deteriorating even more because
    of the war. There is no help from the federal government in sight.

    The
    Bush administration left out in the cold, close to 2 million unemployed
    people in the US, whose unemployment extension has expired since the
    summer of 2002, and they still can’t find a job. It is an absolute disgrace.
    This administration doesn’t take care of its own people. Who they think
    they are kidding, when they say that they will help people to rebuild
    their countries such as the Bosnians, the Serbs, the Curds, the Afghanis,
    and now the Iraqis. They don’t help, even the folks at home.

    When
    we analyze the US government spending of the last twenty years, and
    ask the hard questions: where the money was invested? What are the Americans
    leaving to future generations, other than the $8 trillion dollars of
    debt, which still growing?

    The
    answer is: they invested in defense spending, lots of toys. Defense
    spending is not a lasting investment, because most of the guns and airplanes,
    and everything else, becomes obsolete very fast, because of the speed
    of innovation. Look how ridiculous the numbers have become—for
    example: The Brazilian government, recently adopted its new annual budget,
    to run the entire Brazilian government. The total Brazilian government
    budget, for the fiscal year 2003, is around $ 100 billion dollars.

    The
    US government also adopted a new budget, for the fiscal year 2003, in
    the amount of $2.2 trillion dollars. But, this figure does not include
    the costs related to the Iraq war. The budget includes, $200 billion
    dollars to pay interest, in the current US government outstanding debt.
    The US government outstanding debt is so large, that the amount that
    they have to pay in interest, it is twice the amount of the entire budget
    needed to run the country Brazil. This is an absurd, and seems to me,
    that there is something drastically wrong with the reasoning of the
    international economic system. I don’t know for how long, this unbelievable
    imbalance in the numbers, can be sustained in the future.

    Today,
    I believe even more, after witnessing first hand, the fiasco in Iraq,
    on how the resources are being wasted in defense spending, here in the
    United States. I wish the American government were using that money
    instead to rebuild the entire infrastructure here in the US, in turn,
    creating good local paying jobs. They should use these resources: to
    build bridges, tunnels, upgrade the port system, rebuild the water system
    of many old cities such as New York City, create a new transportation
    system including bullet trains, and so on. They should use the money
    wisely, to leave something worthwhile behind for future generations.

    Long
    ago, past generations used their money wisely in the United States—this
    is why we have the subway system in New York, and the bridges and tunnels.
    To mention just a few investments they made, which benefited future
    generations.

    What
    it means to future generations, all the trillions of dollars spent on
    defense in the US, in the last twenty years, and the money that they
    will continue to spend in the future? It means that they will inherit
    a bankrupted nation, and they will have a pile of obsolete junk instead
    of useful things, as the return on the investment.

    We
    are out of luck here in the New York/ New Jersey Metropolitan area.

    There
    is no help from the US government for us. We have to get in line, because
    the US government have many commitments, and other priorities before
    it is our turn. The US government has promised first to rebuild; Bosnia,
    Serbia, Afghanistan, and Iraq. This is the current list of countries,
    which are ahead of New York and New Jersey, in the list of countries
    waiting for help from the US government. There are other counties, which
    might be added to this list, in the near future, ahead of New York and
    New Jersey, such as Syria, Iran and North Korea. But these countries
    have to be destroyed first.

    The
    impact of current events in Brazil and in South America

    It
    is obvious that many of the issues that I mentioned above, have an important
    impact in Brazil and in South America as well. This war in Iraq has
    been devastating to the world economy, and has made a bad economic situation
    even worse in Brazil and in South America.

    I am
    sorry for President Lula, I don’t think that he will be able to deliver
    anything that he promised to the Brazilian people, because he inherited
    an economic nightmare in Brazil, and current world events make things
    even worse. Short of a miracle, I don’t think anyone could do a better
    job under these conditions.

    Current
    world events should be proof enough to convince even the most skeptical
    Brazilians that Brazil needs nuclear weapons to be able to defend the
    country in the future against any foreign aggression. If you can’t grasp
    the severity of current events, and the implications regarding what
    it takes for a country to be able to keep its sovereignty intact, then,
    I don’t know what else I can say, to convince the Brazilian people of
    their naiveté.

    The
    Bush administration’s judgment on foreign affairs is very questionable
    at best, and worrisome to everyone around the world. I would not be
    surprised to see the United States involvement in future events in Colombia
    and Venezuela to escalate and get out of control—and turn it into
    a Vietnam type of war. That would be catastrophic, and could affect
    many countries in South America, including Brazil.

    The
    US policy of preemptive military attack has changed military engagement
    policy for every country around the world. We know that after Iraq the
    US will go after North Korea, then Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia (after
    all, the terrorists who attacked the United States on Sept. 11, were
    from Saudi Arabia), Libya, Colombia, Venezuela, and so on.

    Recently,
    the US has adopted it as its national policy, to kill the state leader
    of another country for a reason or another. I know that even when people
    are elected based on democratic principles; if the winner of an election
    in a foreign country, is not perceived by the US government, as being
    the right candidate, he can end up 6 foot under—as it was the case
    in Chile—when Allende was elected president of that country in
    the 1970’s. I wonder if that policy and type of reasoning also will
    be used in the future, against President Lula of Brazil, or President
    Chavez of Venezuela.

    There
    is an important lesson to be learned from the French President Charles
    de Gaulle. In the 1960’s he received a call from a head of state who
    claimed that he was a friend of Charles de Gaulle, and he told Mr. de
    Gaulle that he could not understand, why France was doing business with
    Iraq? Charles de Gaulle told his friend, "sure I am your friend,
    but countries don’t have friends, countries have only interests."

    For
    example: in the 1980’s, the country Iraq was considered a friend of

    the
    United States, but who needs friends like that? There is no guaranty
    that any country, which is your friend today, will not become your enemy
    tomorrow. Nothing in life is guaranteed—other than taxes and death.

    The
    Bush administration might be perceived as a loose canon by the rest
    of the world, but the reality is that the Unite States has profound
    vulnerabilities. There is, for example, an oversupply of US Dollars
    circulating outside the United States, which might prove to be the Achilles
    heel of the US economy. There is also the fact that the US needs to
    borrow, from foreign sources, about $500 billion dollars per year, to
    keep its economy from sinking—like the Titanic.

    The
    United States depends on foreign money, to keep itself afloat. In other
    words, the rest of the world has the power to pull the plug in the US
    economy, at any time in the future. But, if you still want to read most
    of the information published by PNAC, and its plan for the United States
    to conquer the world—you can read the information in the following
    website: http://www.newamericancentury.org/

     

    Ricardo
    C. Amaral is an economist and author. You can reach him at amaral@alumni.fdu.edu 

     

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