Home > Uncategorized > Interview: U.S. Behaving Like An Insane Power

Interview: U.S. Behaving Like An Insane Power

Voice of Russia
September 24, 2013

The US is an insane power like the Nazis – Dr. Edward Herman

The US is behaving like an insane power, like the threat of the Nazis back in the 1930s and 40s. It’s out of control, and it’s engaging in war after war, violating international law and considers itself to be above the law. It is also the richest country in the world but it’s having trouble feeding its own citizens while preparing for yet another war. Dr. Edward Herman told in an interview with the Voice of Russia that it is time for the international community to rise up and bring the US under control.

Hello. This is John Robles. I’m speaking with Dr. Edward Herman. He is a Professor Emeritus at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He is also the author of several books namely “Manufacturing Consent” which he wrote with Noam Chomsky and “The Srebrenica Massacre: Evidence, Context and Politics.” My next question is: isn’t the US financially “stressed out” maybe if you would put it… to engage in yet another war? Is this financially viable for the US or maybe a move to actually save the economy?

For those of us that are critical of US policy, of the situation with respect to the use of resources, it’s amazing! The United States is in a financial crisis. It’s cutting back on all kinds of public expenditures, on Food Stamps, it’s cutting back on its schools and it’s really stripped for resources, and here it’s about to go into another war which is going to be extremely costly.

So we’re dealing with a country that is kind of a little “crazy.” It has unlimited resources for its military policies and its wars abroad but it’s struggling to provide for its own citizens. It’s amazing! This may be a good part why the public is against this war. The public is troubled, it’s getting very poor support from its government. And yet this government is preparing for another war of choice! It’s really quite amazing.

A lot of people in the United States seem to be, right now, afraid of losing food. Is the situation that bad in the United States?

Yeah! Republicans are certainly planning on cutting back Food Stamps. Food insecurity has increased greatly there are a lot of people in distress and a lot of people are really worried. So this is a remarkable situation: the richest country in the world, the richest country in history but it’s having trouble feeding its own people while it’s preparing for another war.

So this is a real serious problem in the United States right now? And people are truly afraid of running out of food or not being able to obtain or buy food? Right?

Yeah, it is a serious problem but the high-level people don’t seem to recognize it. There’s Obama and his “crew” spending a lot of their time now organizing forces to justify another war, and meanwhile his base constituency is struggling. It’s lunacy. A lot of people consider that this is a country that is out of control. It’s kind of a lunatic asylum.
I see. Now. What drives the US government at this point into threatening yet another war? What are the real motivations behind this?

I think that there are a couple of things that are involved. One is the military forces in the United States, the military industrial complex is immensely powerful. Eisenhower warned about it back in 1960, that the military complex was getting out of control, it’s much more powerful now.

The United States has become a permanent war system and I read in a paper just the other day that the companies that are supplying cruise missiles and the rest, their stock prices are rising, Raytheon, Lockheed, they are doing very well.

So you’ve got the military industrial complex and all its affiliates pressing for war. You also have the pro-Israel lobby, the AIPAC (The American Israel Public Affairs Committee). The Israelis have been very influential on US policy, Syria is their enemy, Iran is their enemy, Iraq was their enemy, so they are pressing for a military operation and they have great in influence in Washington.

The United States is kind of “running wild”, globally you read about the fact that Obama says, and others say: “We have to maintain our credibility,” which can allow them to do these things and get away with them.

What about our credibility? Well, whose credibility? The American people? The United States? It’s the credibility of the imperial power. It is trying to dominate, really trying to dominate the world and it can’t stand setbacks.

Once Obama stuck his neck out and said we must stop these “bad guys,” we can’t back down. So there’s really a multiplicity of forces here but we are now in a permanent war system and the forces that support that permanent war system: the military industrial complex and the pro-Israel lobby, they are running wild here. The media follow along.
Intelligent, educated, informed people all over the world would equate credibility with following the rule of law. The world knows that an attack on Syria is a Crime Against Peace, there is no justification for it. So the hypocrisy of Obama saying: “Well we said we’re going to bomb…” and that (If we don’t) damages our credibility, I mean that could only possibly play to the internal US audience.

I think the American leaders think that they have to show foreigners that we mean business, that if we give orders and we say we are going to do something, we are going to follow through otherwise they won’t obey us.

So the claim is, draw a “Red Line” for Syria, and don’t follow through if it crosses the Red Line then Iran will take notice and it won’t follow orders either. I think the “credibility” applies to the little countries that we are trying to keep in line.
I would say 99% of the countries (other than a couple and we know who they are) are attempting to follow international law in implementing their economic policies and their interstate relationships, and to see this big bully come in and say: “We are going to kill you and we are going to do whatever we want.” A lot of people, a lot of states, a lot of countries, and this should be something that the US leadership really listens to: people are getting tired of it.

I think you have a point there. A lot of foreigners are really quite upset at the United States threatening Syria, and actually I am just hoping… I mean that’s part of the reason why the British Parliament voted down going along, that was an amazing vote that the British Parliament wouldn’t go along with Obama’s policies even our close European… other European allies, and the Canadians are not rushing in to back Obama. And that’s probably much more true of the general population.

Usually we get the leaders to go along and peoples of the world are not so enthused, but now even the leaders of the rest of the world are dragging their feet and Pope has made a powerful statement about the rule of law and even Ban Ki-Moon, who is usually a puppet of the United States, even he is dragging his feet and calling for the rule of law.
So there is a reaction in the world, and let’s hope that it will constrain (make a difference) the trouble is in the United States the pro-war forces are extremely strong and the political parties too, the war-faction is important. Even in the United States there is a public reaction the public doesn’t want to go to war. It’s possible that it will affect the Obama administration. Let’s hope so.

Yeah, let’s hope so. Do you think the chemical weapons attack in Damascus may have been a false flag operation?
I actually believe that it probably is. The bombing of August the 21st, if you ask the question: “Who benefits from that?” The Syrian government surely does not. It has given the Obama Administration the stimulus to go to war, it fits the needs of the rebels in Syria, and the Israelis who want the United States to go to war.

So if we ask that fundamental question: “Who benefits from this chemical warfare action?” The answer is: not the Syrian government.

So, that’s one factor, the other factor is that they haven’t collected the evidence yet. The Syrian government actually welcomed the UN people who were coming in to investigate an early chemical war action and they have not impeded the work of the UN investigators.

On the other hand, United States government said it was too late for them to do their work, which was false, the work that they have to do, is work that does not have a time limit, it’s not as if they have to be there two or three days after an event to be able to get very significant evidence.

So on one hand, you have the United States trying to avoid confirmation and Syrian Government, sort of, welcoming these investigators. That’s another consideration.

The Syrian government actually invited the UN Chemical Weapons Inspection Team, and they arrived on the same day in Damascus and all of a sudden there was this chemical attack in a neighborhood that was, despite western media reports, that neighborhood was under control of the government forces. That would be complete insanity for President Assad to launch a chemical weapons attack on the day that the UN inspectors that he invited to the country arrived, don’t you think?

Yeah, yeah… Absolutely!

It goes beyond belief really…

Well, it’s still “believable,” it could be that there was an accident, it could be that some lower level government persons did this, but it’s up in the air, it is certainly something that has to be investigated. The third important factor that is involved is that the rebels had access to these chemical weapons, they had been being supplied and trained in Jordan and Turkey and by the United States and by Israeli forces.

Are you aware of the reports that Saudi Prince Bandar (after three and a half weeks ago – four weeks ago threatening Russia with terrorist attacks at the Sochi Olympics: admitting that all the terrorists in Syria are under Saudi control, in particular Chechens), there are reports that “he” delivered, personally, he was involved in the operation to deliver the chemical weapons directly to the Syria insurgents, Wahhabis or al-Qaeda elements or whatever you want to call them? Have you heard anything about that? Probably not in the western media but …

Yeah, that’s a very good point and I think that it is absolutely true that there “seems” to have been that threat, and evidence from Saudi Arabian sources themselves, that they were involved, that there was a threat by them and their allies to use chemical weapons, but the broad point is that the rebels surely had access to these weapons and they had the incentive to use them, and so at a minimum: it’s a serious question as to whether the Syrian Government did it, or in my view, more probably that the rebels did it.

Now.. (We could talk about this for weeks I think) Next question if we could?: Where is the international community in all of this maneuvering and why is the US so adamant about going in there so quickly and urgently? Why the urgency by the US, why the desperation to drop bombs?

Actually, the international community is looking relatively good, as I mentioned, Ban Ki-moon is actually dragging his feet and calling for restraint and Pope is calling for restraint and the allied governments to the United States are dragging their feet, they usually have lined-up with the United States when it wants to go to war, but they are dragging their feet.

So the international community, while actually it should be condemning the US action, the Syrian government has asked the Security Council to declare a forthcoming attack “illegal,” which it should do under the rules of the UN Charter, so if the international community was really “on its toes” and trying to prevent war and follow international law, it would be castigating the United States and bringing actions against it but it’s not doing that. But it’s an improvement that they are dragging their feet, suggesting that there should be delays until the facts are in. That’s a big deal.
Dr. Herman what would you say to those responsible for all of this, to those in power who can prevent this war, what would your message be to them?

I think the United States is behaving like an insane power, it’s almost like the threat of the Nazis back in the 1930s and 40s, it’s out of control, and it’s engaging in war after war, and it’s violating international law, considers itself to be above the law.

The international community has to rise up and bring it under control, has to take a much more vigorous, hostile action to the US war threats.

I noticed today that this guy Rasmussen, the Secretary General of NATO, has come out in favor of action against Syria, he is a menace, and NATO is a menace, and the Warsaw Pact dissolved and the whole rational for NATO dissolved and NATO has been expanding, taking on more obligations. This is part of the US program for global domination. The world has to wake up and stop it!

Okay thank you Dr. Herman, I really appreciate it.

Okay. Good to be with you John.

That was the final installment of an interview with Dr. Edward Herman, a Professor Emeritus of Finance at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He is also the author of several books namely “Manufacturing Consent”, “The Srebrenica Massacre: Evidence, Context and Politics” and other works. Thank you very much for listening and I wish you the best wherever you may be!

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