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The Gospel as Counter-Narrative to Empire.

More on Empire below.


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PLEASE FURTHER NOTE: Often I make changes to posts after posted! Sometimes immediately. So do check back after the initial notice of a new post. It’s usually to correct typos, grammatical errors, misspellings, malapropisms (eg. “Forward” for “Foreword”), etc. I appreciate feedback on any errors you find, including non-working links! Thanks.

Restorative Justice Links

Restorative Justice Links

I’ve been writing on Restorative Justice since 1974. Back then, only a handful even knew of the term “Restorative Justice”… Most links here are to eclectic sources of personal interest. Some are to publications, such as the Mennonite Central Committee’s “Occasional Papers” series, some of the earliest writings on Restorative Justice. A submenu, Justice That Transforms, introduces a series of my writings in this field. I am projecting six books in all. (Then I hope to publish a series likely titled, Justice: The Harvest of Peace on Peace/Peacemaking themes.)

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Chrysalis Crucible

Chrysalis Crucible

Chrysalis Crucible is the title of a novel I wrote after having spent two years in West Berlin between 1972 and 1974 doing evangelism there under a Plymouth Brethren organization, “Literature Crusades.” The writing was for me coming to terms with something terribly wrong about that entire enterprise–and me!–and much of my fundamentalist faith upbringing. Though largely a piece of fiction, the coming-of-age novel is based nonetheless on wrestling with that experience, one that in fact was watershed life-changing for me. Issues of war and peace, hell, sex, and other themes arise in the course of the story.

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Book Reviews

Book Reviews

Most Book Reviews were composed by me. I try to put “clickables” to much of the resource material I mention, both on the website page and within the Review. There is also a story-telling introduction to each Book Review on the website page, besides the Review itself, which is downloadable in pdf format. There is a drop-down menu that lists all Book Reviews in alphabetical order.

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Personal Mantra

The Gospels indicate that the test case for love of God is love of neighbour.

The test case for love of neighbour is love of enemy. Therefore, to the extent we love neighbour and enemy, to that extent we love God. And to the extent we fail to love neighbour and enemy, we fail to love God.

“Love” (agapao) is a New Testament action verb that constantly reaches out to embrace as friends, draw a circle of inclusion around, neighbour and enemy (agape is the noun form, almost invariably referencing God’s unconditional love in the New Testament).

Therefore, the ultimate theological bottom line is:


This then is a Great Divide in Christian theology, on the one and the other hands:

Those who affirm that God is All-Inclusive Love. Period!

Those who assert God to be Anything Less!

In light of the mantra, I love this quote:

Without the moral command to non-violence, the teaching on prayer would become merely a pietistic escape from life’s troubles. Without the teaching on going into the inner room and shutting the door, setting our mind on God’s kingdom before everything else, and leaving self behind, the moral command to turn the other cheek would be empty idealism. We cannot love our enemies without doing so from a profound contemplative source of energy. We cannot meditate without becoming more loving and less violent.

(A Letter from Laurence Freeman March 2013, Laurence Freeman Blog)

Augustine recounts this story of Empire:

The king asked the fellow, “What is your idea, in infesting the sea?” And the pirate answered, with uninhibited insolence, “the same as yours, in infesting the earth! But because I do it with a tiny craft, I’m called a pirate: because you have a mighty navy, you’re called an emperor[Prime Minister/President].” (Saint Augustine, Concerning the City of God Against the Pagans, trans. Henry Bettenson, New York: Penguin Books, 1984, IV, 4, p. 139).”

From the dawn of history the oppressor has always insisted that oppression was good for the oppressed. — Moorfield Storey Further: Each act of aggression, each new expedition of conquest is prefaced by a pronouncement containing a moral justification and an assurance to the victims of the imperial aggression that all is being done for their benefit.Richard F. PetticrewAmerican Exceptionalism

The Expansion of the Roman empire, which accusers were blaming Christ for having reversed, was not an automatic benefit to the human race; for “if justice has been abolished, what is empire but a fancy name for larceny?” — Augustine (The Illustrated Jesus Through the Centuries, Jaroslav Pelikan, 1997, p. 30.)

Roman historian Tacitus wrote so long ago:

To plunder, butcher, steal, these things they misname empire; they make a desolation and call it peace[/democracy].

Novelist J.M. Coetzee writes in Waiting for the Barbarians (1980):

One thought alone preoccupies the submerged mind of Empire: how not to end, how not to die, how to prolong its era. By day it pursues its enemies. It is cunning and ruthless, it sends its bloodhounds everywhere. By night it feeds on images of disaster: the sack of cities, the rape of populations, pyramids of bones, acres of desolation (p. 133).

American public intellectual Edward Said wrote in the Preface of Orientalism (1978):

Every single empire in its official discourse has said that it is not like all the others, that its circumstances are special, that it has a mission to enlighten, civilize, bring order and democracy, and that it uses force only as a last resort. And, sadder still, there always is a chorus of willing intellectuals to say calming words about benign or altruistic empires, as if one shouldn’t trust the evidence of one’s eyes watching the destruction and the misery and death brought by the latest ‘mission civilisatrice.’

American Empire has always and supremely been about “plundering, butchering, and stealing,” “the sack of cities, the rape of populations, pyramids of bones, acres of desolation,” leaving “desolation,” “destruction and misery and death” in its wake (while calling it “peace and freedom”), and long since has been in voracious bid for worldwide domination, in order to extract maximum wealth from all peoples and the Planet. Our call is simply to practise insurrection against Empire in all its avaricious, brutal and horribly destructive ways. (No small order!)

In this historical moment that supreme manifestation of Empire is the United States – to which the entire Western world is tied in various supportive ways; under which domination the rest of the world suffers: in the Greater Middle East as only one example, which endures brutal will to domination and oppression at the hands of American Empire. I reflect on this in an introduction to a posting here. An expanding list of postings on American Empire may be accessed here.1

The Vietnam War is classic instance of what it means for America to be “leader of the free world”. It was prosecuted under five Presidents: from Eisenhower to Nixon, 1955 to 1975. The New York Times ran an article in 2003 about a series published by The Toledo Blade, based upon accounts of several Vietnam War veterans, entitled “Report on Brutal Vietnam Campaign Stirs Memories.”  The article reads in part:

The report, published in October [2003] and titled ‘Rogue G.I.’s Unleashed Wave of Terror in Central Highlands,’ said that in 1967, an elite unit, a reconnaissance platoon in the 101st Airborne Division, went on a rampage that the newspaper described as ‘the longest series of atrocities in the Vietnam War.2

Please consult further two of many websites: Major US Vietnam War Atrocities Case Exposed by Ohio Newspaper; and The Mad Men Premiere’s Dark Vietnam Subtext.

There is “no honour among thieves”? There is no honour among American leadership—with rare exceptions throughout its history. Expressed differently, American leadership has been for centuries made up of thieves, brigands and murderers of the highest order.

One American scholar asks: Was America Great When It Burned Native American Babies? That question with its implicit answer (detailed in a book the article tells about) can be asked of any historical period of the United States.

In the middle of the Vietnam War President Lyndon Johnson made a speech about America “The Great Society” to a group of university students. He said in part, while fully aware of the supreme atrocity that was the Vietnam War–one he was vigorously waging:

Will you join in the battle to make it possible for all nations to live in enduring peace — as neighbors and not as mortal enemies?

Will you join in the battle to build the Great Society, to prove that our material progress is only the foundation on which we will build a richer life of mind and spirit?

There are those timid souls who say this battle cannot be won; that we are condemned to a soulless wealth. I do not agree. We have the power to shape the civilization that we want. But we need your will, your labor, your hearts, if we are to build that kind of society.

Those who came to this land sought to build more than just a new country. They sought a new world. So I have come here today to your campus to say that you can make their vision our reality. So let us from this moment begin our work so that in the future men will look back and say: It was then, after a long and weary way, that man turned the exploits of his genius to the full enrichment of his life.

Thank you. Good-bye.

In the end, he was only fooling himself! The United States has been above all else about “soulless wealth” almost since inception. Its way of enduring peace has ever been that often of the graveyard–of vast hordes of slaughtered victims over time and the world, multiple times in excess of the tally of The Nazi Holocaust. (It’s called deceptively “pacification” Pacification is an attempt to create or maintain peace. That can mean appeasing a hostile country through diplomacy or even just by settling an argument.” Or through mass slaughter! See my: Kipling, the ‘White Man’s Burden,’ and U.S. Imperialism 02-08-2018. The classic biblical text is of course: The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? (Jeremiah 17:9) In answer to the question posed, the majority of “settler” Americans simply do not know it–never have! One of my longstanding (American theology professor) friends has asked me over the years: Why are you so angry (about this)? To which I reply thunderously: THE VAST MAJORITY OF THE TRUTH ABOUT THE AMERICAN HALL OF HORRORS HAS NEVER BEEN TOLD (to average white Americans)!!! But there are they who have told it. One could start with Howard Zinn . . .

Yet even people who know me well do not want to hear this. Why?! Does The Truth hurt that much?! There is in this regard the ominous comment by Desmond Tutu about White South Africa during apartheid:

The former apartheid cabinet member Leon Wessels was closer to the mark when he said that they had not wanted to know [about brutal repression of Blacks and Coloureds], for there were those who tried to alert them (p. 269).

There are always “those who try to alert.” They are called prophets. They are generally ignored and worse. Jesus (Matthew 23:30 -32):

And you [Americans/Westerners] say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets/[Native Americans/Blacks/Etc./Etc./Etc.]’ So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets/[Native Americans/Blacks/Etc./Etc./Etc.] Go ahead, then, and complete what your ancestors started!

And to this day America tragically has been doing exactly that!

But Archbishop Tutu also indicated:

There but for the grace of God go I (p. 253). . . .

And that puts us all in the West in the same soup! Ugh!

Here is a classic expression of America’s will to worldwide domination to extract maximum wealth from all peoples and the planet, the central motif of (American) Empire:

In 1948, George Keennan, State Department Director of policy planning, noted that the United States then possessed “about 50% of the world’s wealth but only 6.3% of its population.” The challenge facing U.S. policy makers, he believed, was “to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity without positive detriment to our national security.” [1. PPS 23, “Review of Current Trends, U.S. Foreign Policy” (February 24, 1948).] The overarching aim of American statecraft in other words, was to sustain the uniquely favorable situation to which the United States had ascended by the end of World War II. It’s hard to imagine a statement of purpose more succinct, cogent, and to the point. Judged by this standard, the stewards of U.S. foreign policy down to the present day have done more than passably well… (America’s War For the Greater Middle East: A Military History, Andrew J. Bacevich, New York: Random House, 2016, p. 358) (See my commentary on this and more with reference to Michelle Obama here.)

General (George) Lee Butler, a “nuclear warrior” in the early years of the Cold War (that many claim began with the dropping of two atomic bombs on Japan, August 1945), spent 27 years in nuclear policy-making. He eventually in an overt mea culpa became a passionate proponent for outright nuclear abolition. He self-published Uncommon Cause: A Life at Odds With Convention (volumes I & II). He catalogued a long list of disturbing experiences:
• investigating “a distressing array of accidents and incidents involving strategic weapons and forces”
• seeing “an army of experts confounded;”
• confronting “the mind-numbing compression of decision-making under threat of nuclear attack”;
• “staggering costs;”
• “the relentless pressure of advancing technology;”
• “grotesquely destructive war plans;”
• and “the terror-induced anesthesia which suspended rational thought, made nuclear war thinkable, and grossly excessive arsenals possible during the Cold War.” (The Violent American Century: War and Terror Since World War II, John W. Dower, Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2017; p. 37. See also my post on this here.) Dower continues:

In retrospect, he decried the “wantonness,” “savagery,” “reckless proliferation,” “treacherous axioms,” and voracious “appetite” of deterrence — for which he himself had helped create many systems and technologies, including “war plans with over 12,000 targets.”… Elegant theories of deterrence,” he exclaimed in one speech, “wilt in the crucible of impending nuclear war.” In later recollection of the folly of deterrence, Butler pointed out that at its peak the United States “had 36,000 weapons in our active inventory,” including nuclear landmines and sea mines and “warheads on artillery shells that could be launched from jeeps.” He concluded that mankind escaped the Cold War without a nuclear holocaust by some combination of diplomatic skill, blind luck and divine intervention, probably the latter in greatest proportion. (ibid, pp. 36 & 37).

Nuclear strategist Albert Wohlstetter described this longstanding policy as a “delicate balance of terror (ibid, p. 27).” In short, any number of nuclear war planners in Washington contemplated striking 295 Soviet cities, with an estimated death toll total of 115 million, and another 107 million dead in Red China, besides millions more in Soviet satellite countries (ibid, pp. 28 & 29). In some circles, as a kind of sick dark humour, the two bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki due to “only” 200,000 dead, came to be called “firecracker nukes (ibid, p. 29).” (This is not to mention the millions killed since World War II with related devastation in at least 37 countries around the world, or the millions murdered through US proxy wars, CIA covert operations the world over, surrogate terror exported to countries throughout Central and South America for more than a century, and other parts of the world, etc., etc., etc… (See ibid, throughout the book.)3

And these “noble” American nuclear strategists holding up of course America as bastion of freedom and democracy throughout the world, blithely contemplated over many decades mass murder on a scale that all previous mass murderers combined in the history of the world could only dream of! And serious contemplation of first-strike deployment was given repeated consideration: Public as well as confidential proposals to launch a “preventive” or “pre-emptive” strike against the Soviet Union were not uncommon before the Soviets developed a serious retaliatory capability — including for instance General Douglas MacArthur. The American public likewise supported this in general (ibid, p. 41).

This is America — Leader of the Free World?! Vocabulary for such gargantuan evil mindsets utterly fails! Yet every US Administration since Truman authorized the first atomic bombs dropped (which phenomenon he, a Baptist Sunday School teacher, declared to be “the greatest event in human history” — and not the Resurrection?! — one massively death-dealing, the other universally life-giving), along with thousands of strategists, day-in, day-out, went off to work with this kind of obscene potential horror, like “visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads”. How delightfully American (Empire)!4

And Hitler, and Stalin are considered “mad” in their mass murders?! By the above dark humour standard, they were only “firecracker despots” compared to a long line of US Presidents. What then are all these upstanding Americans — right up to the present, with possibly a genuinely deranged current President (Trump) seemingly itching to “nuke” some nation such as North Korea — if not mad monsters? And the overwhelming monstrosity of America the Ultimate Evil Empire only increases exponentially when one reads noted historian Alfred McCoy’s description of what is being developed by said American Empire. A paper that I wrote years ago, Christianity and the Subversion of Just About Everything!, in relation to this, with an introduction and excerpt, may be accessed here. I explain in introducing it that today were I writing the paper, the overall positing of “Just About Everything!” would mean Empire. The Judeo-Christian Story is nothing if not one long Counter-Narrative to Empire! A sermon preached on this theme by Pastor Rob Brown of Eden Mennonite Church may be found here. There is an expanding scholarship that underscores this, links to several instances of which are below, and also mentioned on the page introducing the paper above. Amen! Thy Kingdom Come! Maranatha! (Come, O Lord).

Please also see the post on U.S. biological warfare: Baseless: My Search for Secrets in the Ruins of the Freedom of Information Act by Nicholson Baker. And Trump blames the Chinese!

The focal concern of the kingdom of God in Jesus’ preaching and practice, however, is the liberation and welfare of the people. Jesus’ understanding of the “kingdom of God” is similar in its broader perspective to the confident hopes expressed in then-contemporary Jewish apocalyptic literature. That is, he had utter confidence that God was restoring the life of the society, and that this would mean judgment for those who oppressed the people and vindication for those who faithfully adhered to God’s will and responded to the kingdom. That is, God was imminently and presently effecting a historical transformation. In modern parlance that would be labeled a “revolution.”Richard Horsley (Jesus and the Spiral of Violence: Popular Jewish Resistance in Roman Palestine, pp. 207–208)

A Counter-Narrative-to-Empire Book List

“Come Out My People!”: God’s Call Out of Empire in the Bible and BeyondWes Howard-Brook
• Unveiling Empire: Reading Revelation Then and Now–Wes Howard-Brook
Empire Baptized: How the Church Embraced What Jesus Rejected (Second-Fifth Centuries)–Wes Howard-Brook
Jesus and the Empire: The Kingdom of God and the New World DisorderRichard Horsley
Religion and Empire: People, Power, and the Life of the Spirit–Richard Horsley
In the Shadow of Empire: Reclaiming the Bible as a History of Faithful Resistance–Richard Horsley
Paul and the Roman Imperial Order–Richard Horsley
Christ & Empire: From Paul to Postcolonial TimesJoerg Rieger
Christ and the Emperor: The Gospel EvidenceGilbert Van Belle, Joseph Verheyden
God, Neighbor, Empire: The Excess of Divine Fidelity and the Command of Common GoodWalter Bruegemann
Faith in the Face of EmpireMitri Raheb
Empire and the Christian Tradition: New Readings of Classical TheologiansKwok Pui-Lan
Paul and Empire (website on The Paul Page)

I also draw attention to a trilogy of Empire Justice issues that have dogged the Church since its inception: Just War, Just Deserts, and in significant ways undergirding the first two, Just Hell (of eternal conscious torment). Each doctrine subscribed to by the Church has led to the Church’s wreaking (or blessing the wreaking of) untold violence and misery on vast swaths of humanity – all in the name of Christ! These three Justice doctrines constitute a massive travesty that arguably has turned away (and/or occasioned the slaughter of) more would-be Christ followers or otherwise than the Church has ever gained in its collective evangelistic efforts across the centuries. The trilogy of Justice Doctrines represents direct inversion of the Good News – which invariably calls us out of Empire ways to liberation in Christ on every level of relationship brokenness:

• towards God (theological);
• towards ourselves (psychological);
• towards others (sociological);
• towards Creation (ecological and cosmological). This is what is at play in II Corinthians 5:17 – 21:

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness [“justice” – see Chris Marshall’s paper on “justice” in Paul] of God.

You may wish also to peruse my Just War5 , Just Deserts, and Just Hell and also a much longer essay, War and Hell; including with this web page, notice and commentary of/on Kevin Miller’s (editor) November 2017 book, Hellrazed?, to which I contributed Chapter 20 — a variation, but much shorter, on the “War and Hell” essay. Twenty-five in all, from all the major Christian Traditions, wrote a piece. There is much powerful witness.


As blogs go, there are some miscellaneous whimsy and musings by me. There are also, beginning in 2016, many articles that I pick and choose from many sources, on many themes; many turning on the worldwide phenomenon of American Empire. I try to put “clickables” to much of the resource material I mention, again, both on the website page, and within the article. (If any clickables do not work, and you are willing, please inform me through Contact Me.) There is often an introduction to the Blogs by me (beginning with WN — if I remember to add the initials) on the website page, besides the entry itself, which is downloadable in pdf format, or accessible online. There is also a list in Sitemap of all items. PLEASE AGAIN NOTE: Often I make changes to posts after posted! Sometimes immediately. So do check back after the initial notice of a new post. It’s usually to correct typos, grammatical errors, misspellings, malapropisms (eg. “Forward” for “Foreword”), etc. I appreciate feedback on any errors you find, including non-working links! Thanks.

I am taken with the adjacent quote from Thomas Merton — please click on image for full text.

Robbie Burns presents something below in the two excerpted verses about a “muse”, and hence “musings”… He seems to capture how I mostly feel drawn to write.

Epistle To J. Lapraik – Robbie Burns

I am nae poet, in a sense;
But just a rhymer like by chance,
An’ hae to learning nae pretence;
Yet, what the matter?
Whene’er my muse does on me glance,
I jingle at her.
Gie me ae spark o’ nature’s fire,
That’s a’ the learning I desire;
Then tho’ I drudge thro’ dub an’ mire
At pleugh or cart,
My muse, tho’ hamely in attire,
May touch the heart.

Another great piece by Robbie Burns with too-true wisdom is To a Mouse with its bitter lesson:
The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
Gang aft agley,
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain
For promis’d joy…

To these twists of Fate, Saint Paul said in Romans: “And hope does not disappoint…” Hope in Ancient Greece was a Trickster. Not so this hope… But never straightforward either. To “Follow” the blog entries, please click on the button to the bottom right and type in the e-mail address you would like to use to receive notifications of additional Blogs.

Finally, you may wish to tune into The World Community of Christian Meditation (WCCM) podcasts. They have many great resources for meditation. Please click icon below or here. You can also listen to the material on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or Google Podcasts.

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  1. Please look at several articles as well on American/Western will to world domination by clicking on “Selected Articles: Western Aggression Backed by Western Media”. The series of articles is introduced thus:

    The Western allies never run dry of resources to support their global war of terror and aggression, ostensibly an integral part of their foreign policy. They dynamically legislate laws lest the people awaken. They have the unbending support of the corporate media, which skilfully distorts reality. When will they ever back down from their destructive quest for colonies? Read our selection below.[]

  2. It continued:


    ‘For seven months, Tiger Force soldiers moved across the Central Highlands, killing scores of unarmed civilians – in some cases torturing and mutilating them – in a spate of violence never revealed to the American public,’ the newspaper said, at other points describing the killing of hundreds of unarmed civilians.

    ‘Women and children were intentionally blown up in underground bunkers,’ The Blade said. ‘Elderly farmers were shot as they toiled in the fields. Prisoners were tortured and executed – their ears and scalps severed for souvenirs. One soldier kicked out the teeth of executed civilians for their gold fillings.”   The New York Times confirmed the claimed accuracy of the stories by contacting several of those interviewed.  It reported: “But they wanted to make another point: that Tiger Force had not been a ‘rogue’ unit. Its members had done only what they were told, and their superiors knew what they were doing.

    “Burning huts and villages, shooting civilians and throwing grenades into protective shelters were common tactics for American ground forces throughout Vietnam, they said. That contention is backed up by accounts of journalists, historians and disillusioned troops…

    ‘Vietnam was an atrocity from the get-go,’ [one veteran] said in a recent telephone interview. ‘It was that kind of war, a frontless war of great frustration. There were hundreds of My Lais. You got your card punched by the numbers of bodies you counted.’

    Current likely Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry was also quoted giving evidence before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1971.  He reported that American soldiers in Vietnam had “raped, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country.

    Nicholas Turse [later author of: Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam], a doctoral candidate at Columbia University, has been studying government archives and said they were filled with accounts of similar atrocities.

    ”I stumbled across the incidents The Blade reported,” Mr. Turse said by telephone. ”I read through that case a year, year and a half ago, and it really didn’t stand out. There was nothing that made it stand out from anything else. That’s the scary thing. It was just one of hundreds.”

    Yet there were few prosecutions.[]

  3. Historian John Coatsworth in The Cambridge History of the Cold War noted:

    Between 1960, by which time the Soviets had dismantled Stalin’s gulags, and the Soviet collapse in 1990, the numbers of political prisoners, torture victims, and executions of nonviolent political dissenters in Latin America vastly exceeded those of the Soviet Union and its East European satellites. In other words, from 1960 to 1990, the Soviet bloc as a whole was less repressive, measured in terms of human victims, than many individual Latin American countries [under direct sway of US Empire] (“The Cold War in Central America,” pp. 216 – 221).

    What was true for Latin America was true for around the world: massive human rights abuses, assassinations, regime changes of democratically elected governments, etc., etc., etc. orchestrated by US Empire. Yet Americans invariably have wanted it both ways: to be seen as the exemplary “City on A Hill” that upholds universal human rights and democracy, while operating a brutal Empire directly contrary to all such elevated values, and a concomitant rapacious Empire market economy that takes no prisoners. This began of course even before the founding of the United States of America and continued apace, in its mass slaughter and dispossession of indigenous peoples, in its brutal system of slavery on which its obscene wealth in the textile industry in the first place was built. “The Land of the Free” conceit was a sustained con job on the part of America’s leaders. It was also apotheosis of hypocrisy. American exceptionalism was/is true in one respect only: it was brutal like no other Empire in its eventual global reach.[]

  4. The highlighted article about renowned whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg points to again what is utterly chilling, horror-filled, exponentially beyond immoral, American (hence the world’s) reality: “Daniel Ellsberg: U.S. Military Planned First Strike On Every City In Russia and China … and Gave Many Low-Level Field Commanders the Power to Push the Button“. ((He has since written The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner. Of it we read:

    Shortlisted for the 2018 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction
    Finalist for the California Book Award in Nonfiction
    The San Francisco Chronicle’s Best of 2017 List
    In These Times “Best Books of 2017”
    Huffington Post’s Ten Excellent December Books List
    LitHub’s “Five Books Making News This Week”

    From the legendary whistle-blower who revealed the Pentagon Papers, an eyewitness exposé of the dangers of America’s Top Secret, seventy-year-long nuclear policy that continues to this day.

    Here, for the first time, former high-level defense analyst Daniel Ellsberg reveals his shocking firsthand account of America’s nuclear program in the 1960s. From the remotest air bases in the Pacific Command, where he discovered that the authority to initiate use of nuclear weapons was widely delegated, to the secret plans for general nuclear war under Eisenhower, which, if executed, would cause the near-extinction of humanity, Ellsberg shows that the legacy of this most dangerous arms buildup in the history of civilization–and its proposed renewal under the Trump administration–threatens our very survival. No other insider with high-level access has written so candidly of the nuclear strategy of the late Eisenhower and early Kennedy years, and nothing has fundamentally changed since that era.[]

  5. A classic instance of this aligning with “just war” is the United States’ “war on drugs” as subset of “war on crime,” while at the same time the CIA was a major worldwide drug dealer in league with other drug cartels–all done to enhance American Empire during the Cold War–and continues to the present. The four-part series mentioned below connects American Empire drug dealing to the current War on Terror, in particular in Afghanistan. This of course is colossal hypocrisy as well. Worse: the series posits American federal government administrations over many decades as the Ultimate Drug Cartel, with Blacks, Latinos, and generally the poor directly being knowingly poisoned en masse. Then they have been primary targets of the Drug Enforcement Agency, and thereby become victims of America’s too often savage prison system that oppresses and brutalizes them all over again… See: “The War on Drugs Is a Failure, So [Attorney General] Jeff Sessions Is All for It”. A citation from the article reads:

    In June [2017], the History Channel aired a four-part documentary series called America’s War on Drugs.” The series asserts that the war on drugs was actually a war of drugs—and that the CIA was essentially a partner in spreading drugs and drug use. The series follows how the U.S. intelligence agency, in an obsession with fighting communism, allied itself with U.S. organized crime and foreign drug traffickers and includes firsthand accounts from many involved. In an interview with Truthdig columnist Sonali Kolhatkar on her radio program “Rising Up With Sonali,” the series’ executive producer, Anthony Lappé, explains why the CIA got involved:

    It’s actually a pretty mind-blowing story when you look at the extent to which the CIA was involved with drug traffickers and drug trafficking throughout the Cold War. … If you look at Cold War policy against the Soviet Union, we were locked in a global battle for supremacy, where we have lots of proxy wars going on. … We needed to team up with local allies, and often the local allies we were teaming up with were people who had access to guns, who had access to underground networks, to help us fight the perceived threat of communism. There are actually a lot of similarities between what drug traffickers do and what the CIA does.

    Lappé elaborates by saying the hypocrisy of the war on drugs has been evident from the start: Secret CIA experiments with LSD helped fuel the counterculture movement, leading to President Richard Nixon’s crackdown and declaration of the war on drugs. The series also explores the CIA’s role in the rise of crack cocaine in poor black communities and a secret island “cocaine base.” In addition the documentary makes the connection between the war on drugs, the war on terror and the transformation of Afghanistan into a narco state and contends that American intervention in Mexico helped give clout to Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán and the super cartels, making it easier to send drugs across American borders. Watch Kolhatkar’s full interview with Lappé by clicking here.

    Please also see the now classic: The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade, by noted American historian Alfred McCoy. Of it we read:

    The first book to prove CIA and U.S. government complicity in global drug trafficking, The Politics of Heroin includes meticulous documentation of dishonesty and dirty dealings at the highest levels from the Cold War until today. Maintaining a global perspective, this groundbreaking study details the mechanics of drug trafficking in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and South and Central America. New chapters detail U.S. involvement in the narcotics trade in Afghanistan and Pakistan before and after the fall of the Taliban, and how U.S. drug policy in Central America and Colombia has increased the global supply of illicit drugs.

    To be noted as well is Johann Hari’s Chasing The Scream, which tells the tragic tale of America’s long-standing offensive against drugs, and the way to end such a war worldwide — that several nations are successfully embracing.[]