"Economic Hit Man" John Perkins Recounts US Efforts to Block Nationalization of Panama CanalMakes one want to stand up, salute the flag and sing "America the Beautiful."
AMY GOODMAN: Former Ecuadorian President Jaime Roldos died on May 24, 1981. Less than three months later, the leader of Panama, General Omar Torrijos, also died in a plane crash. This is a clip, also from the docudrama Apology of an Economic Hit Man, with Marta Roldos discussing Torrijos.
MARTA ROLDOS: [translated] I believe he was worried. My father’s death troubled him very much. According to his family, Torrijos said, “If they come to kill me, don’t interfere. Don’t risk your lives.”
AMY GOODMAN: John Perkins, your response?
JOHN PERKINS: Well, there’s no question in my mind that both Jaime Roldos and Omar Torrijos were assassinated by CIA-sponsored jackals. When we economic hit men failed to bring these people around, to corrupt these presidents, we knew that standing in the shadows were the jackals. And they either overthrew governments or assassinated leaders. And so, although it was deeply, deeply disturbing to me, I was not terribly surprised when this happened.
AMY GOODMAN: Now, let’s go back. You explain economic hit men and who you were working for.
JOHN PERKINS: Well, really, we economic hit men have managed to create the world’s first truly global empire, I think. And we worked primarily to get US corporations big jobs in other countries. We identified third world countries that have resources our corporations covet, like oil, or in this case—in Ecuador it was oil, in Panama it was the canal. And then we arranged huge loans for that country from the World Bank or one of its sisters.
But the money doesn’t go to the country. Instead, it goes to our own corporations to build projects in that country, like power plants and industrial parks and highways, that benefit a few rich people, in addition to our corporations, but don’t help the majority of the people who are too poor to buy electricity or don’t have the skills to get jobs in industrial parks.
But the country is left holding a huge debt that it can’t possibly repay. So, at some point, we go back and say, “Listen, you know, you can’t pay our debt, so go along with us. Sell your oil real cheap to our oil companies. Let us stay with the canal. Let us build a military base in Ecuador,” as we’ve done in Manta, Ecuador. And in that way, we’ve really managed to bring these countries around to our side to create this empire.
When we fail, which doesn’t happen too often—but that’s what happened in Ecuador with Roldos and in Panama with Torrijos—then the jackals step in and either overthrow the governments or assassinate the leaders. If the jackals also fail—that’s what happened with Saddam Hussein in Iraq—then and only then does the military go in.
How we've matured as a nation! From chanting "Kill a Commie for Christ" in the 1960's to "Kill a Towel Head for John Hagee" in the 21st Century!
WAR IS A RACKET - Major General Smedley D. Butler - USMC RetiredGeneral Butler is one of only 19 people to be twice awarded the Medal of Honor, one of three to be awarded a Marine Corps Brevet Medal and a Medal of Honor, and the only person to be awarded the Brevet Medal and a Medal of Honor for two different actions.
WAR is a racket. It always has been.
It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.
A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small "inside" group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.
In the World War [I] a mere handful garnered the profits of the conflict. At least 21,000 new millionaires and billionaires were made in the United States during the World War. That many admitted their huge blood gains in their income tax returns. How many other war millionaires falsified their tax returns no one knows.
How many of these war millionaires shouldered a rifle? How many of them dug a trench? How many of them knew what it meant to go hungry in a rat-infested dug-out? How many of them spent sleepless, frightened nights, ducking shells and shrapnel and machine gun bullets? How many of them parried a bayonet thrust of an enemy? How many of them were wounded or killed in battle?
Out of war nations acquire additional territory, if they are victorious. They just take it. This newly acquired territory promptly is exploited by the few – the selfsame few who wrung dollars out of blood in the war. The general public shoulders the bill.
And what is this bill?
This bill renders a horrible accounting. Newly placed gravestones. Mangled bodies. Shattered minds. Broken hearts and homes. Economic instability. Depression and all its attendant miseries. Back-breaking taxation for generations and generations.