Issue 169 - February 2, 2006

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A recent poll by Bloomberg and the Los Angeles Times shows that a clear majority of Americans - 57 percent of them - would favor military action against Iran, if that country continues to produce nuclear materials that could be used to make weapons. Only a third of those polled say they would oppose military force against Iran. The poll provides no racial breakdown, but it is safe to assume, based on past polling history, that the percentage of white Americans who favor an attack on Iran is substantially higher than 57 percent, and that more than two out of three white males are in a mood for war.

One's first reaction - if one is sane - is: Oh no, here we go again. These Americans are psyching themselves up for another war, right next door to the war they are bogged down in, in Iraq. Don't they know that an attack on Iran, the number two oil producer in the Middle East, would send petroleum prices soaring to the stratosphere, and possibly lead to a world-wide depression? Polls show that majorities of Americans want to get out of Iraq - soon. Don't they realize that attacks on Shiite Iran would inflame the Shiite majority in Iraq, vastly complicating the U.S. military and political situation there, and throughout the region?

I think they do know, but that there is a deep imperative at work, one that overrides immediate self-interest and even common sense: an imperative to steal other people's property, an urge that is both animated and justified by a culture of national supremacy. This culture, which at root is a war culture, is inseparable from white supremacy, which is inseparable from American Manifest Destiny, the founding, empire-building ideology that is older than the United States, itself. (Remember, the colonial settlers were most angry at King George, not because of taxes, which were far lower in the colonies than in Britain, but because the King would not let them steal more Indian lands across the Allegheny Mountains. So they cast out the Crown, and took what they wanted.)

This national imperative to steal is made to seem rational to the thieves through a process that makes the victims into villains or people otherwise unworthy of keeping their property, or even their lives. It is a profoundly sick psychological exercise, in which one section of the targeted foreign population is marked for death, while the rest are made subjects of the empire, to be protected against themselves.

Americans pay lip service to human rights, but there is a big catch: majorities of Americans don't really believe that much of the world's population is fully human, worthy of running their own lives and keeping own property - like oil - to use as they see fit. Apologists for their fellow Americans claim that an essentially "good" people have simply been brainwashed by incessant war propaganda. Well, if that is true, it's been going on for hundreds of years. Stealing on a global scale - not baseball - is the national pastime. For Radio BC, I'm Glen Ford.

You can visit the Radio BC page to listen to any of our audio commentaries voiced by BC Co-Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, Glen Ford. We publish the text of the radio commentary each week along with the audio program.


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