Manuel Valenzuela: Of The Evil Empire
Of The Evil Empire, Imperialist Devastation of Peoples And the Evils Done in our Name
By Manuel Valenzuela, Axis of Logic Contributing Editor
Mar 8, 2004, 15:25
Let us for a few moments put aside our lavish lifestyles of fortuitous endowment and providence that have made us blind to the realities of billions of our fellow humans. Let us ignore our plasma televisions, our DVDs, our two-story cookie cutter homes and gas-guzzling SUVs. Let us promise to not open our overstocked pantries and refrigerators, or to go out and eat at one of many corporate controlled franchise restaurants offering vast assortments of gargantuan meals. We should ignore the opulence of our society that dwells permanently in our minds that makes us forget the severe indigence and suffering that transpires beyond our shores and borders.
In short, we should come out of our luxurious bubble that has shielded us from the evils inflicted on billions of humans that have not been as privy to a life of safety and security. Let us traverse the road of reality, sojourning through history and through mirages of hidden truths. Let us dive into the making of the Evil Empire so that we may see what our government has and continues to do in our name. The road ahead will not be easy to swallow or comprehend, yet we must open our minds to the possibility that what has happened is real and what is occurring is not fiction. Only then will we understand why our hands are smeared in the blood of tens of millions of human cadavers and countless more whose lives and futures have been devastated at the hands of the United States of America. Only by knowing who and what we are can we correct ourselves.
Our society is ingrained with an appetite for violence. It is apparent in the over 11,000 murders by firearm per year. It is apparent in Hollywood’s gratuitous assembly-line of blood and gore, violence, devastation and death. It is visible in the ever-growing number of video games sold to our children depicting egregious violence, killings and bloodletting. Our society celebrates violence, be it through football, hockey or boxing, television, cartoons and music. Even Disney cartoon movies have as a main theme battles of good versus evil and the plethora of violence, destruction and death associated with them. The US military industrial complex supplies the world with 45 percent of all weapons for sale on the market.
Yet without public demand for violence none of the above would exist. It is the citizenry – with complicit help from government and corporate media – that drives the engine that conditions us toward accepting and participating in our violent society.
Violence in America is today a manifestation of our society and history, of a never ending thirst for blood, conquest, oppression and death that sprung from the first moment of Puritan arrival. Before and after the Revolutionary war Americans participated in one of the greatest acts of genocide and ethnic cleansing the world has ever witnessed. Millions upon millions of native Indians were slaughtered, raped and cleansed from the lands of North America. Manifest destiny ransacked from Atlantic to Pacific like a devastating hurricane, destroying everything native people thought precious and sacred. Wars against native populations extinguishing the energies of men, women, children and elderly alike. The American thirst for violence had been born. The addiction for blood would become insatiable and never ending.
Native peoples’ lands were taken from them; lies, manipulations and betrayals erased their tribes from the homes they once knew and cherished. Replanted into hellholes called reservations, Indians were left to rot away their existence, given only the evil of Firewater to wash away their inner demons and scars in a land both alien and inhospitable. Hidden from the voracious Anglo onslaught, Indians of talent and ability were left to dwell on a future lost through the disappearance of opportunity. Disease, depression, lack of education and incessant poverty soon followed. Demons of a life wasted and opportunity lost consumed those who escaped the barrel of a gun and the virus of the white man.
Entire ethnicities, tribes, languages and cultures were eviscerated from the face of the Earth by those whose importance of property and ownership superceded the respect for human life. Beautiful peoples took with them to the grave lives living free, roaming pristine and untouched forests, deserts and prairies, being one with nature, respecting everything that breathed and a spirituality that has much to offer our capitalistic civilization. Advanced civilizations in wisdom and spirituality, yet seen as savages to the “more sophisticated” European people, native peoples’ way of life was vanished, never to fully flourish again. Millions ethnically cleansed, millions whose lives were made barren, all making way for the destructive bulldozer ravaging land and man. The Evil Empire had sprung to life, a trail of victims visible everywhere the giant walked.
Not satisfied with the killing of millions of native peoples, the citizens of America next decided to unleash hell onto each other. As a result the American Civil War of the latter part of the 19th century killed more than 600,000 people, leaving the United States mourning for brothers and sons, fathers and grandfathers. Graveyards littered the landscape; battlefields were transformed into fields of death and devastation. Divided a prospering nation stood, soaked in blood and agony, splitting apart families, creating widows and orphans. In the end, hundreds of thousands lay dead, many more maimed and wounded, all to quench the voracious appetite for violence, death and destruction.
The Evil Empire’s cannibalism was only the beginning of a much greater disease.
Lands and People of Asia
As the Empire grew stronger so too did its addiction for expansion. War with Spain commencing in 1898 brought forth new lands, colonies and treasure. Yet it also brought forth death and destruction. American violence had not dissipated; it had only evolved, with new forms of warfare and destruction arising with the passage of time. Tens of thousands died on both sides. In the end, the United States had conquered both man and land, thereby increasing its power and prestige. The Empire was growing, prospering and learning that force was the means by which to achieve its ends. Force was weapons, intimidation, violence and war. It was victory and imperialism. It was the means to becoming the most powerful nation on the planet. The Evil Empire had grown up, as the Philippines would soon learn.
In 1899 Filipino forces seeking independence from Spain confronted in armed struggle American forces intent on maintaining the colonization of the nation. A ruthless war of attrition between the two forces began. For the next three years tens of thousands of native resistance fighters died at the hands of the much more technologically sophisticated and economically powerful American military. Numerous war crimes were committed by American soldiers. Destruction and looting of property, shooting of captives, rapes of women, torture of prisoners and civilians, devastation of the environment and the forced social engineering of the people were thrust upon the nation in an orgy of occupier lawlessness.
In addition, over 200,000 civilians perished due to the brutal scorched earth policy implemented by the US military that destroyed agriculture, fertile land and villages. In addition, many thousands died from cholera arising out of economic devastation of infrastructure. The harsh subjugation of the Filipino people was a form of collective punishment that America used as a weapon of war in order to pacify the independently minded population. The American intervention in the Philippines indiscriminately erased from the face of the Earth hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians. This is called genocide, and the Evil Empire got exceedingly good at it.
The reality of what happened over 100 years ago is comfortably hidden away from us today. The American war in the Philippines is today but an asterisk in our history books, yet the gravity of the malevolence cannot be forgotten. It certainly is not included in the educational material of our children, or in those of our own childhood, however. Why is this? What the US government does in our name cannot be made known lest the population rage in anger at the wickedness that America exports abroad. Genocide, collective punishment, scorched earth policy and ethnic cleansing leading to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of human beings is not something to be proud of. Not when Stalin, Hitler and the Nazis did the exact same thing.
In the Philippines the Evil Empire was only getting warmed up. For the next 100 years it controlled all aspects of the Philippine government. The US installed minions and puppets that kept the populace in dire poverty, robbing the nation blind and fostering an era of inept and corrupt leaders handpicked by America. Ferdinand Marcos, who ruled as dictator of the beleaguered nation from 1965 until his ouster in 1986, is the best example of American complicity in the utter devastation of both the people and economy of the Philippines.
Marcos ruled with extreme harshness, subverting democracy, robbing the nation blind (some estimates have him stealing anywhere from $3 to $30 billion dollars) and killing thousands of dissenters and opposition members who dared speak out against the injustices and inequalities. He brought onto the nation’s masses untold suffering, indigence and slave labor, wages and conditions. Hundreds of thousands have died form malnourishment, disease, poverty and exploitation. The nation’s debt amassed under Marcos is today responsible for the dire circumstances of the population, and is a reason for the growth of Muslim and Marxist revolutionary groups prospering and threatening the government.
The beneficiary of the evil spawned by Marcos you may ask? The Evil Empire, which established military bases that helped expand the Empire geopolitically, collected hundreds of millions of dollars in debt, exploited slave labor for the manufacture of cheap products sold back in the US and controlled a subjugated populace through neo-liberal economic policies that privatized and made available to American corporations national industries and utilities. The Evil Empire and the Corporate Leviathan are one and the same, after all, their interests not mutually exclusive.
The Evil Empire’s claws of incessant violence soon expanded to other nations of Southeast Asia. When its addiction for destruction was not satisfied with the firebombing of Tokyo that killed hundreds of thousands of civilians, it turned to that most evil of human creations: the atomic bomb. After becoming the only nation to ever use atomic weapons on innocent populated areas, killing hundreds of thousands and unleashing utter devastation on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, America soon launched its appetite for blood in the Korean Peninsula after it entered the war, creating vast killing fields of both soldiers and civilians. Hundreds of thousands of soldiers on all sides perished along with upwards of three million Koreans (North and South) who were caught in the crossfire of ideologies and human wickedness.
Following the Korean War America soon found itself immersed in yet another war, this time in Vietnam. Decades of war led to the death of 58,000 American soldiers, over 100,000 South Vietnamese soldiers and close to one million North Vietnamese soldiers. Estimates place the number of civilian deaths at anywhere from 400,000 to two million. If the illegal American bombing of Cambodia and Laos orchestrated by Henry Kissinger is considered, in which civilian targets were selected and bombed, upwards of two million more Southeast Asians can be added to the Evil Empire’s macabre statistics. Furthermore, many more died as a result of the total devastation of land and infrastructure the bombings and war created, including the continued death and disease of land and man due to the lingering effects of Agent Orange and through the enormous amount of unexploded bombs and ordinance still littering the ground.
Indonesia is another nation that, through the American imposed and supported dictator Mohamed Suharto, suffered tremendously thanks to the meddling by the Evil Empire. Under Suharto’s watch, anywhere from 500,000 to two million people were killed in a 1965 alleged coup attempt, most of them dissenters, leftists, communists or opposition members. In 1975, with American blessings and weaponry, Suharto invaded East Timor in order to stop an insurrection by the native people, killing 250,000 people out of a population of 650,000. During Suharto’s stay in power he detained and executed hundreds of thousands of Indonesian opposition members. His reign ended in 1998. During this time corruption was endemic, as was the subversion of democracy, freedoms and rights. In 1999 it was found that the Suharto family fortune totaled $15 billion, most of it coming from those government funds created thanks to international loans and the labor of the masses.
Lands and People of Latin America
The Evil Empire’s omnipotent reach has had devastating effects in Latin America as well. The US government has interfered with the internal governance of several Central and South American nations in its quest to maintain its form of democracy and capitalism. The US has meddled in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile, Peru and Brazil, not to mention Cuba, Haiti and the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean. The Evil Empire has imposed coups and US friendly dictatorships and leaders in many of the above mentioned nations. In Central America it supplied death squads with military support and logistics. In Chile, Argentina and Brazil, dictators, with the consent of their American masters, initiated a war against leftist dissenters and opponents, leading to the disappearance of thousands of men and women. In Panama, Manuel Noriega, a former CIA puppet, betrayed his American masters and hell was unleashed on Panama City by the US military. Anywhere from 3,000 to 10,000 civilians died as the Evil Empire pursued the capture of one man.
Today, the Evil Empire is once more interfering in the destabilization of Latin American nations. Haiti is but the latest but by no means the last country to be burned by the searing claws of America’s might. President Aristide, a champion of the poor and a seeker of equality and justice, stepped on US shoes with his defiance of neo-liberal threats imposed on him by Haiti’s elite and the Bush administration. In essence, he sealed his own fate, and the clandestine coup sponsored by the US removed Aristide from office. As a result, Haiti, which has been the slave shop for US corporations for decades, will remain poor and exploited, a cesspool of poverty and hopelessness for its citizens.
Colombia has, thanks to the US, become a militarized zone where hundreds of people are killed on a yearly basis. Civil war has ensnarled the nation, instability runs amok and the livelihood of rural peasants has been destroyed by the coca eradication program enacted the America that has ruined arable land. With the potential of large oil reserves present under the nation’s lands and the already discovered exploitable natural resources prevalent throughout the countryside, Colombia has become a target for US interests. Oil and energy companies, along with their growing infrastructure, are already protected by the US military as they continue their exploitation of the nation.
Meanwhile, the Evil Empire already has its sites set on destabilizing Venezuela and a harsh critic of the US, Hugo Chavez. Forces now at work, supported and maintained by the US, are slowly setting in motion mechanisms that, it is hoped, will unseat Chavez from office, whether by force or other means, thereby installing a friendly US pro-neo-liberal puppet that will allow for the pilfering of Venezuelan oil by the Evil Empire. A coup, assassination and or invasion are not out of the realm of possibilities, especially when black gold is involved.
What the Evil Empire has done to Latin America and its hundreds of millions of people is the imposition – by its proctors in high office and its bullying threats involving capital – of market colonialism that has had the effect of imprisoning and enslaving the masses. Neo-liberal ideology has indebted most “third-world” nations, not simply those of Latin America, and it has furthered indigence, lack of education, the corrosive caste system upon which millions are born into, inequality, injustice, hunger, disease, suffering, loss of opportunity and death.
Latin American nations have been made worse off since the inception of neo-liberal economic models forcefully imposed by the Evil Empire. As a result, labor has been made cheaper for US corporations, translating into cheaper goods for its citizens. Through the back-breaking slave labor, conditions and wages Latin Americans are exploited so that we in the rich north can consume to our hearts content. Yet millions upon millions live in squalor, surviving day to day, usually earning less than two dollars a day, living in feeble conditions and without the chance of ever improving their lives due to the non-existence of opportunity.
The Evil Empire’s domination of Latin America (for more detail please see my January 12th article, Not in Our Backyard) has resulted in the mass migration towards our borders. When mechanisms such as NAFTA and neo-liberal tools are put in place in countries such as Mexico, only the elite benefit and profit. Everyone else is made worse off; jobs are meager, scarce and dehumanizing. US subsidies to agriculture have devastated rural farmers and workers in Latin America. When these people leave for the cities they find that employment is non-existent and life unbearable. The push to migrate north, where natives no longer perform the jobs of hard labor, is tremendous.
Thus, today we see millions of undocumented workers living in the US. It is the Evil Empire’s imposed economic models and trade mechanisms that have created the eruption of Latin slave labor in our nation. Is it any coincidence that the mass migration north began after NAFTA was imposed on the region? The only entities that have benefited from NAFTA, both in the US and Mexico, are the corporations and the few ruling elite. Everyone else has been thrust into the realm of exploitation and failure.
The near enslavement of Latin America for the benefit of the Evil Empire has devastated millions of lives, talent and ability. It has created colonized economies, based on US crony capitalism that has exploited both man and land. Public companies and utilities have been privatized and subjugated to fit the Leviathan’s goals. The rich have become richer while the poor poorer, and this has led to the greatest disparity in wealth the region has ever seen.
The Evil Empire has created a region that has for the last fifty years been subservient to the US. Its many puppets and proctors have helped devastate lives and subjugate the masses. Democracy has historically been an illusion. Fraud, coups, assassinations, destabilization, dictatorships and a state of perpetual wretchedness have been used by the Evil Empire as tools to control Latin America. When the will of the people triumphs, such as in Chile with Allende, Venezuela with Chavez or Haiti with Aristide, the Evil Empire imposes its will in order to decimate democracy and maintain a system that benefits the US, its corporations and the elite.
Social democracy and economic models that benefit the masses are not allowed to flourish lest they become a threat to the US. Systems of governance that benefit the people are never allowed to prosper, lest the “pestilence” gain momentum and traverse like a virus beyond borders, giving millions of destitute people hope. Only US style crony capitalism that makes serfs and slaves of the masses for the greater benefit of the Leviathan and the elite oligarchs can exist. Only US style debauched democracy can stand, where the will of the people is silenced and their incredible ability quashed.
The Evil Empire has in the last fifty years devastated hundreds of millions of lives and we are all complicit, thanks to the work of our government, in the ruination of lives and exploitation of human energies.
Lands and People of the Middle East
With wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Evil Empire has killed tens of thousands of Arabs in the last two years. The remnants of cluster bombs and depleted uranium used by the American war machine have and will continue to kill and maim thousands more in the coming decades.
US sponsored sanctions on Iraq, in essence nothing more than a cruel form of economic genocide that was imposed in the aftermath of Gulf War I, unleashed its inherent evils for the next decade, resulting in the death of up to a million men, women and children who were denied basic necessities needed for survival. This form of crime against humanity enforced by the Evil Empire was in essence a quasi-concentration camp in which a million humans perished due to the American government’s collective punishment on an entire population.
Iraq, needless to say, has suffered tremendously both by the one-time American lackey whose tyrannical dictatorship led to the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians and by US wars and sanctions. The Evil Empire has made the Cradle of Civilization a walking wasteland of death, suffering and destruction, a barren desert whose fertility has been eroded.
For years the people of Iran were forced to endure the horrors and despotism of the shah, an American proctor and puppet that subjected his people to tyranny, oppression and exploitation. Democracy was subverted, many innocent civilians were killed or disappeared and the nation fell into decay while the shah and his cronies basked in the splendor of oil’s rewards. When the masses finally revolted, the American embassy was attacked and destroyed, a clear symbol of who the people thought was responsible for their misery. The Great Satan was purged from the lands of Persia and to this day has not returned.
Today, Saudi Arabia is controlled by a US-protected monarchy loyal to its masters. Meanwhile, the people linger in growing poverty and desperation. Democracy is non-existent, as are freedoms and liberties. As a result, many living below human dignity are turning toward resistance and resentment that is manifesting itself in a growing hatred of both the Saud monarchy and American “Crusaders” despoiling sacred Muslim lands.
In Turkey, the Kurdish minority has for years been ethnically cleansed by the Turkish government. Hundreds of thousands of people have died and many more maimed and injured thanks to the vast, modern and sophisticated array of weapons and military hardware provided by the Evil Empire, who has turned a blind eye to the genocide and repression that has brought misery and suffering to the Kurds of Turkey. The Empire’s failure to act in the face of such crimes against humanity and its approval of arms sales to the Turkish military makes it complicit in the systemic annihilation and plight of the Kurdish people.
Through one-sided political support for the crimes against humanity being perpetrated by Israel against the occupied and oppressed Palestinian people, the Evil Empire’s hands are smeared in the blood of a people robbed of their land, raped of their livelihood and dehumanized of their existence. It is American Apache helicopters, Abrams tanks, Caterpillar bulldozers, fast missiles, smart bombs, weapons and bullets that are decimating an entire population, making prisoners of millions who now live in Bantustans and ghettos.
This, along with billions of dollars in financial and military aid to the Israeli government has morphed the crimes of the IDF with the interests of the Evil Empire, forming a Molotov cocktail of destruction, dehumanization and death. The apartheid wall being built today that is usurping Palestinian land, crops, water, homes and lives is in large part possible thanks to American taxpayer money. The Evil Empire’s role in Israel’s treatment of the native Palestinian people is apparent in the geopolitical protection afforded the country by the US and its role in vetoing UN condemnations of Israeli behavior and by its tacit support for Israeli actions in the occupied territories.
The Evil Empire is once more involved in the devastation of millions of people who have been robbed of their lands and lives, live in utter decay and dehumanization, suffer severe forms of collective punishment and are being ethnically cleansed in a most meticulous and abhorrent way. Palestinians are today living in a state of apartheid, in ghettos resembling large concentration camps, under the watchful eyes of a trigger-happy occupying force, struggling to survive on the measly crumbs Israel throws their way and with the knowledge that their endemic and ruinous plight is endorsed by the greatest “purveyor of democracy” and “defender of human rights” the world has ever seen.
In Central Asia, the Evil Empire is systematically forging alliances with a new group of tyrannical dictators that have subjugated their people to despotism. In these nations, democracy is dwindling, freedoms are hardly existent and the decay of liberties is being exacerbated. Torture, death, misery and poverty are hallmarks of the new group of dictators now entrenched in the pockets of the US government. It seems that when vast oil wealth is involved the US altruistic fight for democracy is a principle that is easily disposed of and forgotten. The struggle for human rights and dignity the US so boldly declares as a priority is erased and ignored.
The Evils Done in our Name
The devastation of peoples throughout the planet directly or indirectly sponsored by the Evil Empire, who through no fault of their own are denied rights, freedoms and democracy, are subjected to gross human rights violations and persecutions and face death or disappearance is a crime against humanity. It is state sponsored terrorism and genocide. Market colonialism has decimated both countries and the lives of their inhabitants. Economic genocide has wrought suffering and increased indigence, robbing millions of education, healthcare, opportunity and livable wages. The world’s people have in many instances been enslaved to cater to the interests of the Evil Empire and its minions.
The evils done in our name have created worldwide animosity and hatred. They have given rise to desperation and humiliation that is today manifested by the growing number of humans fighting the system that has been imposed onto them. From Al-Qaeda to Iraqi freedom fighters to the Venezuelan poor to enlightened Europeans to the growing number of sprouting “terror” groups franchising around the world, the people of the world are growing frustrated at the Evil Empire’s devastation of peoples in order to suit its interests, both corporate and governmental.
Billions are searing in anger at the US government and by indirect complicity at its citizens as well. We are no longer welcome neighbors in the community of nations. To be American is to be scorned and castigated, to be unwelcome in the lands of the exploited and subjugated. The evils done in our name are beginning to have karmic repercussions throughout the globe, and the danger now present will affect us all who have been made blind to the crimes against humanity and the planet being committed by the Evil Empire.
In the last 200 years the United States has killed, directly or indirectly, tens of millions of human beings, surpassing the horrors of evildoers past and present. It has created untold levels of suffering and depravity, sending untold millions to the sewers of poverty and dehumanization. These truths are not easy to swallow, or to accept, yet they are as real as the air we breathe. It is time we accept the evils done in our name.
George W. Bush is but the latest in a long line of presidents who have continued the cycle of violence our nation has such a propensity towards. America, it seems, gravitates naturally towards violence and destruction, perhaps due to the fact that besides 9/11, we have never seen the true horrors of what man is capable of unleashing onto his fellow man. The reality that afflicts billions is to us a distant haze of blurriness. We have not been made privy to the suffering and misery, the death, disease and maiming of a land in war, an environment in flames and a people in battle. Our luck has been the world’s misfortune.
Our society has been made blind to endemic and ceaseless worldwide suffering at the hands of our government. Through years of conditioning we now fail to blink at the carnage our military engenders around the world. From the cradle to the grave we are subjected to incessant violence, whether real or fictional, that makes us immune to the torment prevalent in the rest of the world. Through careful manipulation we are made to believe that war is peace, destruction is prosperity and murder is life.
The world burns while we live lives of consumption and production, happy worker bees stuck in hour long commutes working most of our productive lives. We live in peace and harmony at home, distracted from reality by our television screens and movie theatres, by our lavish lifestyles and wasteful society. In the land of the individual the communality of peoples is an alien principle. Content, conformist and passive thanks to our nation of plenty, we care not for peoples outside our borders. We have everything we need, after all, and a plethora of distractions in our daily lives prevents us from even considering that a larger world exists beyond our shores.
The impenetrable bubble we live in protects us from empathizing with billions whose lives have been made worse since the birth of the Evil Empire. We have been made ignorant to that which has been unleashed onto the world and that owes its existence to our continued lifestyle and complicity by acquiescence and failure to act. The Evil Empire runs rampant through the planet, devouring all in its path, enslaving millions and conquering and despoiling lands. Meanwhile, inside the belly of the beast we sit, basking in extravagance and splendor, complacent in life and circumstance, unwilling to open our eyes and minds to the evils done in our name.
© Copyright 2004 by AxisofLogic.com
Manuel Valenzuela is social critic and commentator, activist, writer and author of Echoes in the Wind, a novel to be published in Spring of 2004. His articles appear weekly on axisoflogic.com where he is also contributing editor. Mr. Valenzuela welcomes comments and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Read Other Articles By Manuel Valenzuela: The Manuel Valenzuela Collection