Andre Gunder Frank


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Doublespeak: The White Man's Civilizing Mission Burden Once Again

In George Orwell's 1984 the DOUBLE THINK and NEW SPEAK of BIG BROTHER proclaimed WAR IS PEACE. Here and Now, they are collapsed into DOUBLESPEAK

The present war without end is being fought to assure lasting pecae, as President George W. Bush has repeatedly assured us.


"Beware of the leader who bangs of war in order to whip the citizenry into a patriotic fervor, for patriotism is indeed a double-edged sword. "It both emboldens the blood, just as it narrows the mind. And when the drums of war have reached a fever pitch and the blood boils with hate and the mind is closed, the leader will have no need in seizing the rights of the citizenry. "Rather, the citizenry infused with fear and blinded by patriotism, will offer up all of their rights unto the leader and do it gladly so. How do I know? I know for this is what I have done. "And I am Caesar."


by Naomi Klein

TORONTO -- When the White House decided it was time to address the rising tides of anti-Americanism around the world, it didn't look to a career diplomat for help. Instead, in keeping with the Bush administration's philosophy that anything the public sector can do the private sector can do better, it hired one of Madison Avenue's top brand managers.

As undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs, Charlotte Beers' assignment was not to improve relations with other countries but rather to perform an overhaul of the U.S. image abroad. Beers had no previous State Department experience, but she had held the top job at both the J. Walter Thompson and Ogilvy & Mather ad agencies, and she's built brands for everything from dog food to power drills.

Now she was being asked to work her magic on the greatest branding challenge of all: to sell the United States and its war on terrorism to an increasingly hostile world. The appointment of an ad woman to this post understandably raised some criticism, but Secretary of State Colin L. Powell shrugged it off. "There is nothing wrong with getting somebody who knows how to sell something. We are selling a product. We need someone who can re-brand American foreign policy, re-brand diplomacy." Besides, he said, "She got me to buy Uncle Ben's rice."


- White House spokesman Ari Fleischer told reporters. "The president believes that Ariel Sharon is a man of peace." April 11

Comment by Elson Boles:

Well of course "The president believes that Ariel Sharon is a man of peace" because the president is himself similarly a deft "man of peace." It's all quite consistent: Occupation is Liberation. Repression is Freedom. War is Peace and Security. Bush and Sharon are men of peace.


[from among thousands...]

by Eqbal Ahmad

In the 1930s and 1940s, the Jewish underground in Palestine was described a "terrorist." Then new things happened. By 1942, the Holocaust was occurring, and a certain liberal sympathy with the Jewish people had built up in the Western world. At that point, the terrorists of Palestine, who were Zionists, suddenly started to be described, by 1944-45, as "freedom fighters." At least two Israeli Prime Ministers, including Menachem Begin, have actually, you can find in the books and posters with their pictures, saying "Terrorists, Reward This Much." The highest reward I have noted so far was 100,000 British pounds on the head of Menachem Begin, the terrorist. Then from 1969 to 1990 the PLO, the Palestine Liberation Organization, occupied the center stage as the terrorist organization. Yasir Arafat has been described repeatedly by the great sage of American journalism, William Safire of the New York Times, as the "Chief of Terrorism."


Prof. Ehud Sprinzak, the so-called "expert on extremist movements," was interviewed on the lunchtime programme [Yoman Hatzohorayim] of Channel 7. The interviewer, Ariel Kahana, presented him as a "person of the left". Sprinzak did not like this description. "I am a person of the centre", he said, "and in general I dislike labels". Then the following dialogue took place:

Kahana: "What do you think about the executions in the Palestinian Authority?"

Sprinzak: "I have a very positive opinion; I mean, it is a vital instrument, part of the struggle against terrorism and I have no reservation, except for one thing..."

Kahana: "Ah, one moment, one moment: I was referring to the executions of collaborators by the Palestinian Authorities, not to the liquidations by our forces".

Sprinzak: "Pardon, pardon, I thought you were asking me ... In any case, about the Palestinians: it is disgusting, nauseating, this is how a dictatorial system operates, without any juridical process. Absolutely unacceptable, shocking."

[Originally from GNAA]


Comment by Gunder Frank:

Analogously to the appeal to human rights in order to trample on them in the NATO WAR against Yugoslavia, the present US/UK WAR against Afghanistan is ''fighing terrorism'' by using and spreading terrorism. Apart from using culster bombs, the US military is flying B-52 bombers 8 thousand miles from the US to Afghanistan in order to drop its biggest block busters [designed to bust bunkers] on people with the express [that is expressed by the Pentagon! ] intent '' to frighten and create panic and chaos'' among both troops and civilians. That is not terror? Moreover, the US government is also deliberately exposing its own population to increased and more widespread terror: A US Senator inteviewed on ABC TV was asked how the bombing of Afghanistan might impact on the United States. His answer: that his sources informed that a US attack of Afghanistan would result ''in a 100 % chance of another terrorist attack on the US" [a direct quotation!]. Then asked further by the interviewer whether that does not pose a serious problmen, the US Senator replied [another direct quotation] ''I am not troubled by that''!


In THE STATE OF TERROR, Oliverio's powerful analysis of terrorism is to "comprehend that it is the state, including especially the academy and the media, who serve their own interests by labelling, denouncing, and persecuting the powerless as the sources of 'terrorism'. Concomitantly, Oliverio also appeals to our comprehension of how the same interested parties use this same power to shape our perceptions in their (largely successful) attempt to protect themselves from the terrorist label and other critiques and to exempt their policies from reform." [from the Foreword by Andre Gunder Frank]


US organized Venezuelan military and right wing ouster of democratically elected [2 times with highest majorities ever] elected Presidet Hugo Chavez - and the installation of a new ''president'' in violation of the Constitutional provisions for succession - is a ''return to democracy same time, same station


The visits by Venezuelans plotting a coup, including Carmona himself, began, say sources, 'several months ago', and continued until weeks before the putsch last weekend. The visitors were received at the White House by the man President George Bush tasked to be his key policy-maker for Latin America, Otto Reich.

Reich is a right-wing Cuban-American who, under Reagan, ran the Office for Public Diplomacy. It reported in theory to the State Department, but Reich was shown by congressional investigations to report directly to Reagan's National Security Aide, Colonel Oliver North, in the White House.

Reich also has close ties to Venezuela, having been made ambassador to Caracas in 1986. Reich is said by OAS sources to have had 'a number of meetings with Carmona and other leaders of the coup' over several months. The coup was discussed in some detail, right down to its timing and chances of success, which were deemed to be excellent.

On the day Carmona claimed power, Reich summoned ambassadors from Latin America and the Caribbean to his office. He said the removal of Chavez was not a rupture of democratic rule, as he had resigned and was 'responsible for his fate'. He said the US would support the Carmona government.

But the crucial figure around the coup was Abrams, who operates in the White House as senior director of the National Security Council for 'democracy, human rights and international operations' [SIC!!]. He was a leading theoretician of the school known as 'Hemispherism', which put a priority on combating Marxism in the Americas.

It led to the coup in Chile in 1973, and the sponsorship of regimes and death squads that followed it in Argentina, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and elsewhere. During the Contras' rampage in Nicaragua, he worked directly to North.

Congressional investigations found Abrams had harvested illegal funding for the rebellion. Convicted for withholding information from the inquiry, he was pardoned by George Bush senior.

Ed Vulliamy in THE OBSERVER [London]


The Times (London)
April 24, 2002

From David Adams in Miami

In the aftermath of Venezuela's failed coup, the United States faces further potential embarrassment after the discovery that several alleged coup leaders fled to Miami


Before Venezuela's 1998 presidential election, the US State Department denied Chavez a visa to visit the United States on the grounds - according to Albright - that he had once been the leader of a coup, and therefore a criminal unworthy of entry.

We wonder if the State Department will now apply its "no coup leaders allowed" to the band of oligarchs, military thugs (trained by the School of the Americas, like so many Latin American torturers and dictators), and media moguls, who were leaders of the failed coup of April 2002. (When he was arrested and charged with violating the Constitution on Sunday, the military-installed dictator-for-a-day Pedro Carmona was reportedly fleeing from Miraflores Palace en route to the U.S. Embassy to seek asylum.)

Comment by Al Giordano


Well...this is really amusing. I have to confess that, after Reagan's alleged reasons to invade Grenada (that little island was supposed to be a security threat for the US...according to Chomsky the Mexican president refused to report this to his own people and support the invasion because he was, understandably, afraid that fourty million mexicans would die in histerical laughter)...well, I never thought that I would find a more reliable source of comic relief than that story. But what about this? We have a country whose president wins, and with a considerable margin, four elections in three years (1998 election with 80 per cent of the vote, referendum on the modification of the constitution, election for the members of the constitutional commission, referendum on the approval of the the point that i do not believe there is a more 'democratic' government on planet earth), who gets attacked by an organisation for the promotion of democracy emating from a country of which the president was appointed by the Supreme Court, after a very dubious Florida ballot and anyhow obtaining the minority of the overall US citizens votes...this one really is hard to beat.

Comment by Damian Popolo


"Partnership for Peace" programs of which the Strategic Research Development Report 5-96 of the [U.S] Center for Naval Warfare Studies reports on

"activities of these forces that provide dominant battlespace knowledge necessary to shape regional security environments. Multinational excersizes, port visits, staff-to-staff coordination - all designed to increase force inter-operability and access to regional military facilities - along with intelligence and surveillance operations.... [So] forward deployed forces are backed up by those which can surge for rapid reenforcement and can be in place in seven to thirty days [256-257]"

Gunder Frank comments December 2000:

-- all as a 'partnership for peace" in - we may understand - Orwellian double-speak. Indeed, U.S. local diplomats and the Clinton administration now regard the Transcapian as a 'backup' for Middle East oil supplies and some insist that the U.S. "take the lead in pacifying the entire area" including by the possible overthrow of inconveniently not sufficiently cooperative governments [258]. The policy and praxis of common military exercises also includes distant Kazakstan. All this and more "reflects a major shift in U.S. policy toward Cental Asia ... coordinated by the National Security Council," as the author quotes from the hawkish U.S. JAMESTOWN FOUNDATION MONITOR. The Security Council's former head and then already super anti-Soviet Russian hawk, Zbigniew Brzezinsky, now promotes a modernized Mackinder heartland vision of a grand U.S. led anti-Russian coalition of Europe,Turkey, Iran, and China as well as Central Asia [253].


by Eqbal Ahmad

In 1985, President Ronald Reagan received a group of bearded men. These bearded men I was writing about in those days in The New Yorker, actually did. They were very ferocious-looking bearded men with turbans looking like they came from another century. President Reagan received them in the White House. After receiving them he spoke to the press. He pointed towards them, I'm sure some of you will recall that moment, and said, "These are the moral equivalent of America's founding fathers". These were the Afghan Mujahiddin. They were at the time, guns in hand, battling the Evil Empire. They were the moral equivalent of our founding fathers!


U.N. Secretary General Wins Nobel Peace Prize

The United Nations and Secretary General Kofi Annan jointly won the centenary Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for working for human rights and to defuse global conflicts.

-Kofi Annan has done nothing of the kind. On the contrary, he as been a willing tool and has provided ''legitimation''of agressive US international military and political policy & practise.

- He did nothing useful and has not even denounced much less done anything [even if he did make a visit there] the decimation of Palestion civilians by Israel with US backing, nor for the implementation of the over two decade old UN resolution 202 calling for the return of the Trans-Jordan lands

- He has done nothing to stop, nor even to eliminate the alleged UN cover for, the decade long embargo of Iraq, which has already killed a million persens, over half of them children [about wich US Secretary of State Madelein Albright said ''It was worth it'' ]

- He did nothing at all to impede or stop the killing of millions in Africa

- He did nothing useful to impede or stop the killing in East Timor

- He did nothing useful to defuse the 3 year killing in Bosnia

- He raised no concrete objection to the transfer from the UN to NATO of the responsibility of of policy making for and intervention praxis in Yugolsavia, thereby taking the UN out of the loop of international war/peace policy making

- He then simply accepted the ''solution'' of the Bosnia crisis at

- He raised no concrete objection to the transfer from the UN to NATO of the responsibility of of policy making for and intervention praxis in Yugolsavia, thereby taking the UN out of the loop of international war/peace policy making

- He then simply accepted the ''solution'' of the Bosnia crisis at Dayton, USA [significantly on a military base! why is the agreement not named after that military base instead of after the nearby civilian city?]

- He raised no objection - indeed consented - to the NATO war against Yugoslavia, which sidestepped and thereby violated about a dozen clauses and sections of the UN charter and most dangerously for the future sanctified the appeal to ''human rights'' to TRAMPLE ON n HUMAN RIGHTS [the anti-Iraq war already did the same and violated 7 [only!] articles of the United Nations Charter. His predecessor UN General Secretary Perez de Cuellar said ''this is a US war not a UN one." But he did nothing to prevent or modify that, and he did not even resign in protest, which might at least have dramatized that fact for the world'] and of course Kofi Annan failed to do so as well when the UN was totally emascualted and 2 decades of international law were simply destroyed in one day [or rather night].

- After the above end run around the UN, he then willingly let the UN be used as a fig leaf for the military occupation of Kosovo and then its adminstration by NATO under a UN flag

- He did no more in or about the even more serious US war against Afghanstan, in which the US is using weapons and targeting people in total violation, of course again of the UN Charter [ the reference to its ''self defense section'' is both hypocritical and outside the remainder of the UN charter that defines and sets limits to what appeal to it can be used for-and this action is goes WAY beyond that] and the violation of all Geneva conventions against the targetting of facilites needed by civilians, and of the use of cluster boms [useful only against people] that also violate the Geneva convention and even US law [the last time they were used against Yugoslavia, former US President Jimmy Carter went on TV and said they are illegal, because I [he] made them illegal].

--- In a travesty even greater than bestowing it on Henry Kissinger - the same one for whom Christopher Hitchins recently provided ample documentation in HARPERS magazine to demand his indictement for WAR CRIMES - we must all now ask ourselves and answer how it is possible that the Nobel Prize is now bestowed on Mr. Annan for ''PEACE'' ??? !!!


Sir: Wow, it's just like when the Spanish bombed our airbases in retaliation for our failure to extradite the terrorist Pinochet, in spite of the fact that we'd been shown the evidence against him. How history repeats itself ...

letter in THE INDEPENDENT [London]


Tuesday, September 11, 2001
Bombing of WTC in NYC and Pentagon in Washington DC, USA

DAMAGE: Human and Pysical, Economic and Political Dead and Missing 5,000 - more than half NON nationals of the USA. WTC destroyed, Pentagon damaged existing economic recession deepend,existing political power strengthened

RESPONSIBILITY personal : Unknown. Suspected: possibly Osmana bin Laden, but unproven Behind the Scenes [not much] : possibly Al Quata State responsible: None proven, nor even to anybody's knowledge RESPONSE: Massive bombing of Afghanistan by US & UK


Bombing of Presidential Palace La Moneda in Santiago Chile

DAMAGE : Human and Pysical, Economic and Political Dead and Missing - about 30,000, almost all Chileans Thousands tortured, 100,000 plus driven into exile Moneda Palace damaged [by destruction and fire] Economy seriously damaged, unemployment trippled, inflation quadrupled, income vastly lowered and very much more unequally distributed political power changed by military coup and decade and a half military dictatorship

RESPONSIBILITY personal:Chilean General Augusto Pinochet and Military Junta, [behind the scenes but very visible] U.S. President Richard Nixon & Secretary of State Henry Kissinger - all self declared and proven, eg. in their files, US Senate Church Committee Hearings, recently summarized by Christopher Hitchins in Harpers Magazine and demanding that Henry Kissinger be indicted as War Criminal to be brought before International Court of Justice or new International Criminal Court Responsible State : Chilean and United States of America

RESPONSE: Car bomb in Washington DC, killing ex Chilean ambassador to US and a US national, proven responsibility: Chilean DINA secret police with CIA backup


by John Pilger

In his zeal, Tony Blair has come closer to an announcement of real intentions than any British leader since Anthony Eden. Not simply the handmaiden of Washington, Blair, in the Victorian verbosity of his extraordinary speech to the Labour Party conference, puts us on notice that imperialism's return journey to respectability is well under way. Hark, the Christian gentleman-bomber's vision of a better world for "the starving, the wretched, the dispossessed, the ignorant, those living in want and squalor from the deserts of northern Africa to the slums of Gaza to the mountain ranges of Afghanistan". Hark, his unctuous concern for the "human rights of the suffering women of Afghanistan" as he colludes in bombing them and preventing food reaching their starving children.

Is all this a dark joke? Far from it; as Frank Furedi reminds us in the New Ideology of Imperialism, it is not long ago "that the moral claims of imperialism were seldom questioned in the west. Imperialism and the global expansion of the western powers were represented in unambiguously positive terms as a major contributor to human civilisation". The quest went wrong when it was clear that fascism, with all its ideas of racial and cultural superiority, was imperialism, too, and the word vanished from academic discourse. In the best Stalinist tradition, imperialism no longer existed.

Since the end of the cold war, a new opportunity has arisen. The economic and political crises in the developing world, largely the result of imperialism, such as the blood-letting in the Middle East and the destruction of commodity markets in Africa, now serve as retrospective justification for imperialism. Although the word remains unspeakable, the western intelligentsia, conservatives and liberals alike, today boldly echo Bush and Blair's preferred euphemism, "civilisation". Italy's prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, and the former liberal editor Harold Evans share a word whose true meaning relies on a comparison with those who are uncivilised, inferior and might challenge the "values"of the west, specifically its God-given right to control and plunder the uncivilised.


by gunder frank

What kind of ''civilization'' is being defended by abrogating the only civilized institutions and laws we have in the world designed to and at least moderately able to protect us and our civilization from ourselves in a society of laws instead of brutes? The civilized institutions and laws that we have - granted that they are insufficient, but for that to be strengthend, NOT abrogated whenever it suits the strong- is all that stands between us and Hobbes's ''law of the jungle'' war of all against all in which the weak [poor and starving people in Afghanistan?] are at the total mercy of the strong [what is the most powerful country in this sad world?].

If this is not destroying civilization to save it, then destroying villages in Vietnam to save them was not Orwellian war is peace double-speak either. What kind of [Western?] civilization is this that must be ''saved'' by destroying it - indeed denying and/or wantonly neglecting its existence - and the very institutions that would make us civilized -- if we were. But of course if we are not civilized enough to observe, acknowledge and live by the very norms and institutions that would make us civilized, then what ''civilization'' is there to protect and save?




A political unit that has overwhelming superiority in military power, and uses that power to influence the internal behavior of other states, is called an empire. The United States [is] an indirect empire, to be sure, but an empire nonetheless.... If this is correct, our goal is not combating a rival, but maintaining our imperial position, and maintaining imperial order. Imperial wars are not so constrained [from escalation as when still confronted by the Soviet Union]. The maximum amount of force can and should e used as quickly as possible for psychological impact - to demonstrate that the empire cannot be challenged with impunity. Now we are in the business of bringing down hostile governments and creating governments favorable to us. Imperial wars end, but imperial garrisons must be left in place for decades to ensure order and stability. This is, in fact, what we are beginning to see, first in the Balkans and now in Central Asia [and] requires a lighly armed ground force for garrison purposes. Finally, imperial strategy focuses on preventing the emergence of powerful, hostile challengers to empire: by war if necessary, but by imperial assimilation if possible. China will be a major economic and military power in a generationbut is not yet powerful enough to be a challenger to American empire, and the goal of the United States is to prevent that challenge from emerging. The United States could do what it does now: reassure its friends in Asia that we will not allow Chinese military intimidation to succeed.We may also want unconventional weapons with which to remind China.

Stephen Peter Rose
Harvard University
Kaneb professor of national security and military affairs,
Director of the Olin Institute for Strategic Studies,
HARVARD MAGAZINE May-June 2002, pp 30-31

Table of Contents
Personal and Professional
Research Interests
ReOrient: Global Economy in the Asian Age
On the New World Order
On-line Essays
IISH Archives
AGF on the Internet

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