Famous quote from near-forgotten man

If I were the president, I could stop terrorist attacks against the United States in a few days. Permanently. I would first apologize to all the widows and orphans, the tortured and impoverished, and all the many millions of other victims of American imperialism.

Then I would announce, in all sincerity, to every corner of the world, that America’s global interventions have come to an end, and inform Israel that it is no longer the 51st state of the USA but henceforth—oddly enough—a foreign country. I would then reduce the military budget by at least 90% and use the savings to pay reparations to the victims.

There would be more than enough money. One year’s military budget of $330 billion is equal to more than $18,000 an hour for every hour since Jesus Christ was born.

That’s what I’d do on my first three days in the White House. On the fourth day, I’d be assassinated.

You will find this passage in “Author’s Foreword: Concerning September 11, 2001” in a book written by William Blum: Rogue State – a Guide to the World’s only Superpower.

The author is not particularly well known, despite his impressive erudition. Whatever fame has befallen him is due largely to praise he received from Osama Bin Laden, who allegedly quoted the above paragraph and recommended the book.

Surprisingly, William Blum (1933-2018) is not vilified in Wikipedia’s brief article about him, in spite of his sharp and detailed criticism of the long line of scandalous US military, economic and media interventions – all of which have had disastrous humanitarian consequences – all over the world. Judging from the article, he grew up in fairly modest circumstances. His education as an accountant will have seemed sensible rather than glamorous. He must have been very bright, because rather than work as an accountant, he became a computer programmer with IBM and was subsequently employed by the foreign service. A patriot, it would seem if we read between the lines, who subsequently was “disillusioned” by the Vietnam war.

Many others, of course, were also disillusioned by the Vietnam war. Many young US Americans were badly beaten by the police. Most of them recovered and went on to lead so-called “normal” lives.

But William Blum lost his cherished job with the State Department, something that did not deflate his interest in foreign affairs: He devoted the rest of his life to the solitary task of studying and writing about US foreign policy. Apart from the books he wrote, he also kept a blog that is still available to us. (By the way, I suggest you run a search in his blog for NED. William Blum knew very well what sort of sinister apparatus NED was and is.)

Reading Blum’s books, one cannot help being dumbfounded by the callousness, ignorance and recklessness of the entire string of presidential administrations since WWII. All the more reason, Blum must have thought, for him to try to tell his fellow citizens what was going on, and what – by the way – is still going on, though William Blum has been spared having to witness the latest consequences of US policies in the Middle East and Ukraine.

Several of his books, including The Rogue State are available on, for instance, Amazon. I should point out, though, that you can also download that particular book from, of all places, the CIA library.

Killing Hope, U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II
was the book Noam Chomsky referred to with the words: “far and away the best book on the topic.” It is rather expensive, but I see that a free pdf version can be found.

More than 20 years have passed since the above-mentioned two books appeared. A long time, you might say. Many people will maintain that the USA has changed over the past two decades and is more observant of human rights, more humane. I’m afraid that such a view will seem doubtful in light of the ongoing genocide in which USA is deeply complicit. Insisting that Ukraine must be a member of NATO (most recently two days ago), at the expense of the vast and growing number of Ukrainian widows, is not very humane. (I mention the widows rather than the men, of whom relatively few remain, since dead soldiers no longer feel pain.)

A systematic US mistake identified by William Blum (e.g. in Vietnam in 1952, according to Graham Green in the novel The Quiet American) – a mistake made again, and again, and again – was to fail to understand the “adversary”. With blissfully arrogant ignorance, the US very recently set about using Ukraine to destroy or at least weaken Russia. The result was of course the decimation of the male Ukrainian population, while Russia has never been stronger.

Chapter 34 of Killing Hope is, I find, particularly illuminating. Here Blum discusses the details of the US-directed propaganda war in the run-up to the coup in Chile – 9/11, by the way, 1973. The population had to be prepared for the coup, had to be convinced that it was a necessary step to save the country from cutthroat Communists and from a Russian and/or Cuban invasion. The details are fascinating because I see some of the same tactics being employed in Norway today.


Alas, yes, my country, Norway, is a US vassal. Norway’s propaganda blitzkrieg these past two years has been staggering. Here nobody in his or her right mind dares dispute the official narrative that Russia’s military operation was “unprovoked”. Nobody dares call the war a US proxy war. There is no discussion, no debate, nothing, in a country that used to relish fierce political discussions!

I sent a couple of articles to one of the couple of independent websites that do actually dispute the official narrative, and I was warned not to reveal my name, as I might then lose my job and my friends.

And today, we learn: Norway will henceforward devote 3 % of GNP to “defence”

To “defence”! Not to countering climate change; not even to green-washing, not to reduction of inequality, not to humanitarian aid.

No. To “defence”, i.e. to asist USA in its efforts to maintain global hegemony. To war. To a bellicose march under the US flag. Do we, Norwegians, want this? Do we even know that this is in store for us?

I am shattered. I am desperately ashamed of my country. This is how William Blum must have felt when he discovered what the Vietnam war was all about.