Coalitions Of The Willing, Coerced, And Bribed

An important part of coalition building by the United States is based on the desire to give the appearance that its unilateral actions really have wide support and that the actions themselves are collective. Currently, Pakistan has been given substantial payments for servicing the U.S. war, and Russia, Uzbekistan, and others as well are being paid off. That the publics in many of these countries are unsympathetic to the war, not having been bought or coerced as their elite leaderships, is rarely mentioned.

December 23, 2001

It would be intolerable to question whether the United States NEEDS a “coalition” to help it work over some small country. It didn’t resort to any in its attacks on Grenada, Panama, or Nicaragua, but it went to great pains to put up coalitions to assault Iraq in 1991, Yugoslavia in 1999, and now once again Afghanistan.


Nobody in the mainstream media asks: Wasn’t the U.S. military edge over these small adversaries already great enough to allow it to do the job without a coalition? Isn’t this overkill and superbullying?


Of course, an important part of coalition building by the United States is based on the desire to give the appearance that its unilateral actions really have wide support and that the actions themselves are collective. This fools the imperial liberals, who are anxious to be fooled.


Thus, Robert Kuttner writes complacently that “the White House is now pursuing a feverish multilaterialism…and may soon embrace yesterday’s conservative epithet ‘nation building'” (American Prospect, Nov. 5, 2001). Kuttner mistakes unilateralism with a nominal multilateral cover for a genuine multilateralism that would involve authority and decision-making beyond the boss.

Kuttner also assumes for no reason whatsoever that post-war humanitarian intervention will be constructive and effective.


The record on postwar “nation-building” in Nicaragua and Kosovo are outside the orbit of his interest or knowledge; and although he is well aware of Bush’s unwillingness to spend money on nation-building at home, imperial faith causes this liberal Democrat to assume that even Bush will prove to be an overseas do-gooder.


In reality, the U.S.-organized coalitions to attack Iraq, Yugoslavia, and now Afghanistan, have been tightly controlled by the United States, with the help of its lap-dog British ally; the two, but mainly the United States, have done all the dirty work in Iraq, and they ran the bombing show in the Yugoslav war despite a supposed 19-member coalition (NATO) at work there; and the same is true in the Afghan war.


A few countries support the United States because its leaders truly believe in what it is doing, but many go along because of potential negative consequences of failing to line up behind the hegemon, and some leaders are bought.

French president Mitterand admitted to taking part in the 1991 Persian Gulf war to assure membership in the “Club des Grands,” and Italian Prime Minister Massimo D’Alema explained that taking part in the Kosovo war was essential for Italy to “count as a major country.”


It is sad to see Nelson Mandela also supporting the U.S. “war against terrorism” (“Anwar Sadat Lecture for Peace [sic],” University of Maryland, Nov. 15, 2001), which I suspect he is doing partly in the Mitterand-D’Alema mold–to be an accepted member of the respectable state cohort.


But I wouldn’t be surprised if he has been sold by the saturation coverage of the victims of the 9/11 attacks, which reflects U.S. power and the global power of the U.S. media.

If Mandela and many others were provided each day with pictures of dying Iraqi children, with Iraqi and other indignant descriptions of the U. S.-British refusal to allow Iraq to import equipment to make its water safe, his consciousness and indignation on that “terrorism” would be greatly elevated.


It is sad also that Mandela can’t reflect on the fact that the United States held the African National Congress to be a terrorist organization in the 1980s, and that the CIA helped South Africa capture and imprison its terrorist commander, Nelson Mandela. What would he think of a Third World country that had gotten on THAT antiterrorist bandwagon?


It is well-known that Egypt had a multi-billion dollar debt forgiven for supporting the first Bush, while Yemen, refusing to go along on a Persian Gulf war vote, was told by a U.S. official that this would be “the most expensive ‘no’ vote you ever cast,” followed shortly thereafter by its loss of a $70 million aid package.

Currently, Pakistan has been given substantial payments for servicing the U.S. war, and Russia, Uzbekistan, and others as well are being paid off.


The U.S. mainstream media, however, speak of the emergence of these coalitions as a wondrous upsurge of support from the world community based on moral solidarity, not fear of retaliation, threats, or bribery.


That these coalitions represent and support extreme superbullying by the Great Powers is never hinted at–these are always moral ventures and just causes.


That the publics in many of these countries are unsympathetic to the war, not having been bought or coerced as their elite leaderships, is rarely mentioned.

In short, the U.S. media are an integral part of a beautifully working war machine, serving their state with at least as much bias and enthusiasm as Serb broadcasting served its state, before it was bombed out of existence by NATO for war service.


[ also see related items:

Afghanistan: What’s Happening? Interviews Available – http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=1603

Alt.war News: A Source Guide for Alternative Middle East and War Press – http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=1600

Stimulus or War Profiteering? Interviews Available – http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=1602

Video Shows CIA Threats of Execution Preceding Qalai Janghi Massacre – http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=1599

The Castle of Death: What Really Happened in Qalai Janghi – http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=1591

ACTION ALERT: HOW MANY DEAD? Major networks aren’t counting – http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=1598

Please Help Ensure Aid is Delivered to Afghanistan – http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=1594

A Veil on the Truth: U.S. Ensures Famine for Afghanistan – http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=1593

Behind the Jargon Lie Thousands of Dead – http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=1581

Uri Avnery on the Holy Alliance, Past and Present – http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=1579

Rabid Journalists and Pundits Push Bush to Extremes – http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=1579

War on Terror: False Victory – http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=1563

U.S. Bombs Al-Jazeera and the BBC Off the Air – http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=1562

Al-Jazeera TV Leads the New Arab Free Press – http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=1555

Civilian Casualties We’re Not Hearing About in the U.S. – http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=1554

The War in Afghanistan 101: 47 Questions and Answers – http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=1539

U.S. is Dropping World’s Biggest Non-Nuclear bomb in Afghanistan – http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=1553

Taliban Agreed to Bin Laden Handover in 1998 – http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=1545

Channel 4 News Special Reports: Oil Rush – http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=1537

Are You A Terrorist? Read the FBI’s Definition! – http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=1531

US ‘Planned Attack on Taleban’ – http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=1528

The Oil Behind Bush and Son’s Campaigns – http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=1513

Bush’s [May 2001] Faustian Deal With the Taliban – http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=1491

Remembering the Last U.S. Retaliation Against Terror – http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=1482 ]

Author: Edward Herman

News Service: ZNet

URL: http://www.zmag.org/sustainers/content/2001-12/23herman.cfm