April 2003

The Art of Deception

Americans and the rest of the world are watching different wars on TV:
the real one presented by the foreign media all around the world, and
the other sanitized war presented to the American people by the
American networks. The United States population is probably
the most manipulated population on the face of earth.

Ricardo C. Amaral

All the subjects that I am discussing in this article affect Brazil one way or another. On February 5, 2003 I did watch on television Secretary of State Colin L. Powell give a presentation to the United Nations trying to make the case for war against Iraq. He presented photographs, a tape of conversations between Iraqi military officers, and other information acquired from various sources. Why were most representatives in the United Nations from other countries around the world skeptical about all the information presented?

Because, with today's computer technology, it is very easy for anyone to make up such a simple presentation. The government doesn't need the CIA technological knowledge to produce that type of presentation—today, most 15 year old high school kids in the US have the expertise to put together such a presentation.

Why isn't the propaganda machine working in Iraq?

I have seen many programs on US television showing how the American military operates—showing many of the techniques used by the military to control the people and the governments of countries when they get involved in the conflict for any reason. They call it psychological warfare. They use loudspeakers with sounds of major fighting going on to simulate a major offensive attack to scare the enemy. They jam the local air waves of radio and television, and then they broadcast their own information or propaganda.

They drop from airplanes all kind of propaganda materials trying to convey to the local people the ideas and instructions that they wish them to follow. For example, in the current war against Iraq, the US has dropped all over that country more than 30 million pieces of propaganda materials. These materials give the people all kind of instructions from how to overthrow the current government to how to get humanitarian help.

Today, communications travel at the speed of light around the world; even the most remote places on our planet are connected by the Internet and other modern means of communications. Everybody around the world is watching the current war in Iraq almost in real time.

People are watching different wars on television. Depending on where you are located, there are two wars going on—the one presented all around the world by the foreign media, and the other sanitized war presented to the American people by the American networks (in the US, from what I have seen so far, only the CNN, "BBC," the English television channel, and the Spanish television channels are giving war coverage more in line with the rest of the world media).

In the last two weeks, since the war started, most American cable and television networks have hired any retired general that they could find, since the American Civil War, to do their on-the-air analysis of the war—from General Custer to General Tire, General Motors, General Electric and so on.

For a long time, US television programs have been very successfully distributed around the world. People from around the world love American movies. In many of these movies they show how the CIA uses many deceptive means to achieve their goals around the world. They show CIA agents involved in fighting against communism, drug dealers, in trying to destabilize what they perceive as unfriendly governments, or in fighting against some group which they tag as terrorists for one reason or another.

All these movies have many unintended consequences on audiences outside the US, such as the increased distrust of the American agenda of spreading democracy and capitalism around the world. They also learn through these movies about the many ways and techniques that Americans use to spread their ideologies to foreign lands.

In the minds of many foreign people these movies become proof of American deception against the rest of the world. These movies basically become a form of unintended propaganda against the CIA and the American government. I can see why people from other countries, after watching many of these American movies, would become suspicious of American intentions around the world.

Historical facts also reinforce CIA involvement in many countries around the world, such as their involvement in many Central American revolutions, the Bay of Pigs fiasco in Cuba, the overthrow of governments in Colombia and just a few months ago of President Chavez in Venezuela. We also should not forget the assassination of President Allende in Chile. These countries are only the beginning of a long list of countries on which the CIA had an impact in the last 50 years.

Since the CIA is a secret agency, sometimes the public finds out about some of their mistakes, but they rarely find out about the agencies' successes because of its secret nature. The CIA is a necessary organization, because the US is one of the leading economies in the world. The organization provides to the US government critical political and economic information about the other countries of the world.

How opinions are formed.

The government, the public relations people, the spin doctors and the media in general know how the public's opinions are formed by the media, which repeat a story over and over until the majority believe it, and how polls reflect what people have been told by the media.

If you have been watching television in the United States in the last few years can you tell what is real news and what is misinformation? Can you tell what is "Wag the dog" and what is really going on?

We had many examples of misinformation in action in the last few months, when George W. Bush and Tony Blair (the English Prime Minister,) made remark after remark about Saddam Hussein and his connection to Al Qaeda, or Iraq and its nuclear weapons programs which turned out to be false.

The United States population is probably the most manipulated population on the face of earth, because they can be bombarded by the media with any information 24 hours a day, 7 days of the week. This information can be a true story or real information, or misinformation and propaganda. Most people do not step back and try to analyze any situation objectively.

Today few people do any rational thinking about most things. Most people just accept anything presented to them at face value and they feel powerless and irrelevant. Most of the time people accept anything in a very passive manner. This manipulation of news and information and the lack of profound analytic thinking is affecting the foundations of the American system.

For example, even its democratic system, and its Constitution and Bill of Rights are under attack—the current president, George W. Bush, was not elected by the people (a feature fundamental for a democratic system); he was selected by the highest court of the land—The US Supreme Court.

The power of the media

False information (misinformation and propaganda) becomes true information in the minds of even normally rational and smart people. I always wondered why Adolf Hitler was able to become so powerful in a nation such as Germany—when the German people as a group (in terms of the intelligence of the average German), are considered the smartest people in the world. How was it possible to make these very smart people stop thinking and becoming just a herd of brainless sheep?

Only now, have I started understanding how that process works, when I saw various people in the American media, including Senator Joseph Biden, saying that after the first shot was fired, every American is supposed to be behind the President, and support the troops and the war effort. He also implied that Americans should stop any type of criticism against this war.

The German people in the 1930's, also a very patriotic people, probably became blind by the call for patriotism by their leader Adolf Hitler to build the most powerful army in the world. After you build such a powerful machine, there is the seduction of why not use it against other weaker people, and take over their countries.

I see on television all the time Americans asking themselves why people around the world hate us? They must be jealous of how rich and prosperous we are.

Let's stop for a moment and analyze the current world events not from the American perspective, but from the point of view of what the rest of the world might be seeing from their perspective.

Let's see if we can find a recent parallel in world history. For example: In the 1930's Hitler was building the greatest armed forces of his time. Then he decided to take over the rest of the world starting with Europe. The rest is history.

Today, the US is considered, at least by the American press, to be the only surviving world superpower. The US already has one of the largest armies in the world, and one of the largest arsenals of any country in the world. In 2003 the US defense budget accounts for 50 percent of the entire defense spending of our planet.

From the rest of the world's perspective, the other countries must be wondering why the US is spending so much money on defense. The US is spending much more money on defense than can be justified, if the main purpose is the defense of the country.

The rest of the world has the right to be suspicious of US intentions. Why is the US spending so much money on defense when at the same time it has so many other more pressing needs?

American dominance and the new world order

The rest of the world has the right of being even more suspicious when they read articles such as the one published by The Record on February 23, 2003, "American dominance. The making of a blueprint for a new world order." I was surprised to read that article in The Record, because that newspaper leans more to the right than to the left.

Quoting from that article: "An attack on Iraq. Vast increases in military spending. Planting new American bases all over the world, from the jungles of South America to the steppes of Central Asia. Embracing the concept of preemptive war and unilateral action as cornerstones of national strategy."

These policies may seem like reactions to the changed world confronting America after the September 11 terrorist attacks. But in fact, each one of them—and many other policies now being advanced by the Bush administration—were planned years before the first plane ever struck the doomed Twin Towers.

They are the handiwork of an obscure but influential conservative group called Project for the New American Century (PNAC), whose members—including Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld—now sit at the highest reaches of power. The papers they produced during the 1990's are like a roadmap of the course that America is following—a course that PNAC hopes will lead to an utterly dominant America in world affairs.

PNAC was formed in 1997, with a roster of conservative heavy-hitters, many of whom are now major players in the Bush administration. In addition to Cheney and Rumsfeld, the lineup included Paul Wolfowitz (now deputy defense secretary) Lewis Libby (Cheney's chief of staff), Zalmay Khalilzad (special emissary to Afghanistan), John Bolton (undersecretary of state for arms control)...Other influential participants included publisher Steve Forbes, Gary Bauer, former Secretary of Education William Bennett, former Vice President Dan Quayle, and Jeb Bush, brother of the president and now governor of Florida.

In 2000, this group published a highly detailed 90 page blueprint for transforming America's military. The document, "Rebuilding America's Defenses," advocates a series of "revolutions" in national defense and foreign affairs—all of which have come to pass, in a very short time, since the September 11 terrorist attacks. The measures proposed in PNAC's 2000 report included:

1) Projecting American dominance with a "worldwide network of forward operating bases"—some permanent, others "temporary access arrangements"—in the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America. These additions to America's already extensive overseas deployments would act as "the cavalry on the new American frontier"—a frontier that PNAC declared now extended throughout the world.

2) Withdrawing from arms control treaties to allow for the development of a global missile shield, the deployment of space based weapons, and the production of a generation of battlefield nuclear weapons, especially so-called "bunker-busters" for penetrating underground fortifications.

3) Raising the US military budget to at least 3.8 percent of gross domestic product, with annual increases of tens of billions of dollars each year.

4) Developing sophisticated new technologies to "control the global commons of cyberspace" by closely monitoring communications and transactions on the Internet.

5) Pursuing the development of "new methods of attack—electronic, non-lethal, new dimensions, in space, cyberspace, and perhaps the world of microbes."

6) Developing the ability to "fight and decisively win multiple, simultaneous major theater wars." This means moving beyond the two-war standard of preparedness that has guided US strategy since World War II in order to account for "new realities and potential new conflicts." It lists countries such as Iraq, Iran, Syria, North Korea, and Libya as targets for those potential new conflicts, and urges Pentagon war planners to consider not merely containing them or defeating them in battle, but "changing their regimes."

The article was too long for me to quote it in its entirety, but the article followed by giving actual examples of how PNAC's plan is being implement by the Bush administration in every way. It is a plan for the US to dominate all the nations of the world. It is the American version of Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf.

In Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler presented the world with his vision of the world. Many years later he attained the political power to realize that vision. The world dismissed his book as the work of a madman and ignored his message; the result was a tragedy of unprecedented proportions.

What are the lessons we are learning from the Iraq war?

The world is watching the war in Iraq almost in real time, and they are learning major lessons from this experience such as—there is "no" world military superpower left. The idea that the United States being the only military superpower appears to be more a myth and an illusion. The war in Iraq, it has made it suspect, the claim that the United States is the only superpower left in the world. The war in Iraq, remind us of the trouble that the Soviets had in Afghanistan in the late 1980's.


Let's check the facts. In the last 12 years, Iraq became a very poor nation, with its gross national product averaging 1/10 of its old economy. Can you imagine what would happen in the US, if its economy went from $10 trillion dollars to $1 trillion dollars per year? The result would be an economic catastrophe in every sense.

That was the economic conditions that Iraq had to operate as a country in the last 12 years.

Currently, the defense budget of the US government is about $400 billion dollars.

The current Iraq government defense budget is $ 1billion dollars. The combined US defense budget for the last three years was approximately $1 trillion dollars, compared with the Iraq's government defense budget of approximately $ 5billion dollars.

In the current war in Iraq, the US has an astonishing superiority in about any area of comparison—the US has an army with about three times more soldiers than the Iraqi's army. But that isn't enough to beat the Iraqis. The US is sending another 200,000 men to the war to be able to handle the Iraqi army. That will give an advantage to the US of 5 to 1—in the number of fighting soldiers.

The US has a state-of-art arsenal, including a large number of the biggest bombs ever made by mankind, complete control and a massive air power capability, and the latest technology in their fleet of tanks. They also have the most modern and sophisticated communications systems such as satellites and all sorts of computer and software systems—this also gives them a major advantage in the war.

Another fact that is remarkable, is that the US and the British were able to get all kind of spying information from Iraq in the last 4 months before this war began.

The United Nations inspectors were allowed to go to any location in Iraq and report their findings back to the UN—including the United States. I am sure that the US and the British have made maximum use of that opportunity to gather intelligence about all kind of locations in Iraq during that time. It is absolutely remarkable that Iraq is able to put up such a fight against its foreign aggressors when their aggressors have all kinds of advantage over them including their military arsenal, technology, and intelligence capabilities.

In the Iraqi side, they are fighting with an arsenal vintage World War II. Most of the riffles and military arsenal is obsolete, and many over 50 years old.

Before the war started, the superiority of the US was so great that the US government gave the impression that this war would be wrapped up in less than a week. The United States was trying to win the war, before they fired the first shot, with hype and misinformation.

To quote from my last article about nuclear weapons: what you don't know can hurt you on a big way. I want to repeat what I wrote in some of my articles from last year: I am 100 percent sure that the Saddam regime would do anything to defend their country from foreign invasion, including using biological and chemical weapons.

I will not be surprised, if the Iraqis use chemical and biological weapons, as a last resort to defend Baghdad.

From what I am watching on the American television channels, I don't understand the American logic. It is OK to drop from the air the largest bombs ever made by mankind (excluding the atomic bomb). The television news claims that the US has dropped so far, as of March 31, 2003, over 18 thousand missiles all over Iraq, and they have killed a massive amount of soldiers and a large amount of civilians (excuse me—and collateral damage). According to the US media, it is not acceptable for the Iraqis to use any means that they have, to try to survive this unprovoked attack.

I have been against this war, since George W. Bush started talking about this issue.

It's still time to stop this war, and bring home the American troops. If they stay in Iraq, I am afraid that they will be sacrificed, in the most horrific biological and chemical warfare attack— It will be a nightmare, and World War I all over again.

The US probably will retaliate with atomic weapons or biological and chemical weapons as well, making this war an absolute catastrophe for both sides.

In the end, the US will win the military war over Iraq, since they have an astronomic advantage over them. In my opinion, it is mind boggling to me, the negative implications of this American victory to the civilized world.

The North Koreans must be watching the war in Iraq, and making lots of notes for the time when the US turn their attention to them. The North Koreans know that they are next— in the US list of "axis of evil."

I wonder if the North Koreans are going to sit and wait, the US bring their army, piece by piece, until the US has a massive firepower to attack the North Koreans. The question is: are the North Koreans also as naïve as the Iraqis? They will just sit and wait for the US army to come, and destroy their army and the infrastructure of their country?

On March 31, 2003, The New York Times had an article: "North Korea Watches War and Wonder What's Next." Quoting from that article: "The Supreme People's Assembly of North Korea held its annual meeting last week to rubber stamp the national budget, and for the first time in six years, the country's leader, Kim Gong II., did not show up.

...A clue may come from North Korea's outrage over the American attempt to kill President Saddam Hussein of Iraq and his top generals. "The arrogant and outrageous behavior of the US that adopted it as its national policy to kill the state leader of another country is typical state terrorism that can never be tolerated," the official Korean Central News Agency said, quoting a Foreign Ministry spokesman.

...The Dong-A llbo, a conservative South Korean newspaper, said, "Kim may already be in hiding in preparation for a possible US attack that could come in the future." That opinion was echoed in The Chosun llbo, the nation's largest centrist newspaper...."It is becoming certain that, in case the US imperialists' invasion of Iraq is `successful,' they will wage a new war of aggression on the Korean Peninsula,

Rodong Sinmun, the newspaper of the governing Worker's Party, wrote: "But they should clearly understand it, North Korea is not Afghanistan nor Iraq."

According to the Bush administration new vision, diplomacy is an obsolete way of handling things—diplomacy is an old tool, used by "Old Europe." I can see the events in the Korean Peninsula, also getting out of hand. Since the international rule for engaging in war has been changed by the US—the North Koreans will not wait for an American preemptive attack.

They probably will start the war themselves— by shooting 8,000 missiles into Tokyo, Japan, to cause maximum economic loss, and possibly a world economic collapse. After that, the North Koreans would take a break, to try to resolve the situation with diplomacy. If diplomacy did not work, at that stage of the game, then they would go to the limit—nuclear war.

If the Iraqis are giving such a hard time to the US armed forces, I hate to see what kind of damage, the North Koreans can inflict in the US forces—since the North Koreans are better armed and have an army of 1.5 million people and 4.5 million reserves.

As soon as the Iraq war is over, the US will have to deal with North Korea. There is no other choice. Now, the US has to disarm North Korea as well, and there is no room for diplomacy at this time. If the US doesn't follow up with a war against the North Koreans, the perception that the US will give to the world: is that they pick only on weak countries which can't defend themselves such as: Grenada, Panama, Serbia, Haiti, Bosnia, Afghanistan, Iraq and so on.

The final conclusion that every country around the world can arrive after witnessing the Iraq fiasco, is the following: if your country has a supply of atomic weapons and biological and chemical weapons, then your country is in the major league. If your country does not have these weapons, then your country is in the third division. When it comes to the big bang of an atomic weapon, I don't think that the US has any superiority over the big bang caused by a Russian or Chinese atomic weapon. Atomic bombs are devastating weapons, and doesn't matter from which country they come from.

Things can change very fast

I believe that the Bush administration has adopted some misguided policies. Thanks' God, we live in a democracy in the US. Americans have the choice to change the management team, when things don't work out. In this case, Americans will have to wait until the next election to change the people running the US government, or start impeachment proceedings and elect a better leader than George W. Bush.

The United States is a great country. I live here in the US, and I am interested in what is good for this country, in the short and long run, since my family and many of my close friends live here as well. I am worried about what kind of country the US is becoming, and what country we will leave to our future generation including my niece (19 years old,) my nephew (24 years old,) Mike (5 years old,) David (9 years old,) and Chase (16 years old.) I love these guys, and I believe they deserve that we leave to them, an America—stable, prosperous, strong economically, and not a nation discredited around the world and bankrupted.

We have an obligation to leave to the new generation, a better country than the one that we were lucky to have inherited from the prior generation. It has been part of the "Social Contract" in America, that every generation tries to improve the country that has been handed to them. The US was a country, until recent times, that the world looked at with extreme admiration for its achievements. After the presidential election of 2000, things turned sour very fast in the United States. But, Americans can change things around for the better once again.

In my opinion, the country went from one extreme to a complete opposite overnight. In the last president, the United States had one of the best presidents of its history—President Bill Clinton—a Rhodes Scholar, a very intelligent man, an intellectual of the highest caliber, a brilliant politician, a statesman admired around the world.

Today, the United States has George W. Bush. A man, proud of being a "C" student, when he was a young man. I have a feeling that his teachers must have inflated his grades, to help move him forward.

George W. Bush was selected by the Supreme Court as the new US President in 2000, since then, the average grade for his performance, should be close to "F." Here is a list of the accomplishments, which can be credited to his administration:

1) Since January 2001 the US economy has lost over 3 million jobs.

2) Unemployment has exploded and the real figure should be around 12 percent, instead of the 6 percent published by the government.

3) In my opinion, Bush made a very poor choice of close advisers; including Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Condolezza Rice, and Attorney General John Aschcroft.

4) His administration has been a complete failure in the area of international relations and diplomacy.

5) Mr. Bush has no regard or respect for international law. He managed in a short time to destroy not only the United Nations, but also the NATO alliance.

He left the world without the structure of institutions that have served an important service to the international community for the last 50 years. The complete destruction of these important international institutions leaves the world without a safety net. I have a feeling, that for some strange reason, George W. Bush must have delusions, that he is the reincarnation of Napoleon—and he has decided to crown himself "Emperor and Supreme Ruler of the World".

6) The Bush administration has alienated most of its European allies in all sort of ways—from diplomatic to economic issues. They also have created an international economic environment that can develop into an international trading war.

7) One of the major goals of the Bush administration is to create a Western-style democracy in Iraq. The Bush administration must be kidding. The only thing I can say is that those guys don't have a clue about the mess that they are about to create in the Middle East.

In December 1997, Atlantic Monthly magazine published an article by Robert Kapplan, "Was Democracy Just a Moment?". I have read that article a number of times over the years, because the author of that article has a profound understanding of history and how democracy works.

I suggest that the readers of this article find in the internet the Atlantic Monthly website, and read that article. After reading that article, you will understand why democracy can't be implemented, and work, in many countries around the world, and why it is just an illusion and wishful thinking in the Iraq case.

8) The Bush administration gets an "F" regarding economic policy.

First, as soon as his administration assumed office they started changing the structure of the American economy. This was the Bush administration's biggest mistake—a complete shift in the structure of the American economy. The Clinton administration had positioned the American economy in the path to the future—focusing in the information superhighway, and the internet—the American economy was moving forward into the future.

The Bush administration shifted gears, and changed the foundations of the economy, they turned the American economy twenty years back in time—to the economy of defense spending and the cold war. They found their boogie man in terrorism and Saddam Hussein to justify the return to the military industrial complex and the past.

The Bush administration has no domestic economic policy. The world economy is in a free fall, and in a very bad shape. When many economies around the world are being infected by deflation, and also many countries has already moved into the next stage of the contraction, which is a state of economic depression.

The Bush administration is using this war in Iraq, as a diversion to take the attention of the American people, and the world, from the collapsing American economy. The economy in most states in the US are in bad shape as well, and they will have a combined budget deficit of around $ 100 billion dollars in 2003. The job market in the New York/New Jersey Metropolitan area is a complete disaster and it is deteriorating even more because of the war. There is no help from the federal government in sight.

The Bush administration left out in the cold, close to 2 million unemployed people in the US, whose unemployment extension has expired since the summer of 2002, and they still can't find a job. It is an absolute disgrace. This administration doesn't take care of its own people. Who they think they are kidding, when they say that they will help people to rebuild their countries such as the Bosnians, the Serbs, the Curds, the Afghanis, and now the Iraqis. They don't help, even the folks at home.

When we analyze the US government spending of the last twenty years, and ask the hard questions: where the money was invested? What are the Americans leaving to future generations, other than the $8 trillion dollars of debt, which still growing?

The answer is: they invested in defense spending, lots of toys. Defense spending is not a lasting investment, because most of the guns and airplanes, and everything else, becomes obsolete very fast, because of the speed of innovation. Look how ridiculous the numbers have become—for example: The Brazilian government, recently adopted its new annual budget, to run the entire Brazilian government. The total Brazilian government budget, for the fiscal year 2003, is around $ 100 billion dollars.

The US government also adopted a new budget, for the fiscal year 2003, in the amount of $2.2 trillion dollars. But, this figure does not include the costs related to the Iraq war. The budget includes, $200 billion dollars to pay interest, in the current US government outstanding debt. The US government outstanding debt is so large, that the amount that they have to pay in interest, it is twice the amount of the entire budget needed to run the country Brazil. This is an absurd, and seems to me, that there is something drastically wrong with the reasoning of the international economic system. I don't know for how long, this unbelievable imbalance in the numbers, can be sustained in the future.

Today, I believe even more, after witnessing first hand, the fiasco in Iraq, on how the resources are being wasted in defense spending, here in the United States. I wish the American government were using that money instead to rebuild the entire infrastructure here in the US, in turn, creating good local paying jobs. They should use these resources: to build bridges, tunnels, upgrade the port system, rebuild the water system of many old cities such as New York City, create a new transportation system including bullet trains, and so on. They should use the money wisely, to leave something worthwhile behind for future generations.

Long ago, past generations used their money wisely in the United States—this is why we have the subway system in New York, and the bridges and tunnels. To mention just a few investments they made, which benefited future generations.

What it means to future generations, all the trillions of dollars spent on defense in the US, in the last twenty years, and the money that they will continue to spend in the future? It means that they will inherit a bankrupted nation, and they will have a pile of obsolete junk instead of useful things, as the return on the investment.

We are out of luck here in the New York/ New Jersey Metropolitan area.

There is no help from the US government for us. We have to get in line, because the US government have many commitments, and other priorities before it is our turn. The US government has promised first to rebuild; Bosnia, Serbia, Afghanistan, and Iraq. This is the current list of countries, which are ahead of New York and New Jersey, in the list of countries waiting for help from the US government. There are other counties, which might be added to this list, in the near future, ahead of New York and New Jersey, such as Syria, Iran and North Korea. But these countries have to be destroyed first.

The impact of current events in Brazil and in South America

It is obvious that many of the issues that I mentioned above, have an important impact in Brazil and in South America as well. This war in Iraq has been devastating to the world economy, and has made a bad economic situation even worse in Brazil and in South America.

I am sorry for President Lula, I don't think that he will be able to deliver anything that he promised to the Brazilian people, because he inherited an economic nightmare in Brazil, and current world events make things even worse. Short of a miracle, I don't think anyone could do a better job under these conditions.

Current world events should be proof enough to convince even the most skeptical Brazilians that Brazil needs nuclear weapons to be able to defend the country in the future against any foreign aggression. If you can't grasp the severity of current events, and the implications regarding what it takes for a country to be able to keep its sovereignty intact, then, I don't know what else I can say, to convince the Brazilian people of their naiveté.

The Bush administration's judgment on foreign affairs is very questionable at best, and worrisome to everyone around the world. I would not be surprised to see the United States involvement in future events in Colombia and Venezuela to escalate and get out of control—and turn it into a Vietnam type of war. That would be catastrophic, and could affect many countries in South America, including Brazil.

The US policy of preemptive military attack has changed military engagement policy for every country around the world. We know that after Iraq the US will go after North Korea, then Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia (after all, the terrorists who attacked the United States on Sept. 11, were from Saudi Arabia), Libya, Colombia, Venezuela, and so on.

Recently, the US has adopted it as its national policy, to kill the state leader of another country for a reason or another. I know that even when people are elected based on democratic principles; if the winner of an election in a foreign country, is not perceived by the US government, as being the right candidate, he can end up 6 foot under—as it was the case in Chile—when Allende was elected president of that country in the 1970's. I wonder if that policy and type of reasoning also will be used in the future, against President Lula of Brazil, or President Chavez of Venezuela.

There is an important lesson to be learned from the French President Charles de Gaulle. In the 1960's he received a call from a head of state who claimed that he was a friend of Charles de Gaulle, and he told Mr. de Gaulle that he could not understand, why France was doing business with Iraq? Charles de Gaulle told his friend, "sure I am your friend, but countries don't have friends, countries have only interests."

For example: in the 1980's, the country Iraq was considered a friend of

the United States, but who needs friends like that? There is no guaranty that any country, which is your friend today, will not become your enemy tomorrow. Nothing in life is guaranteed—other than taxes and death.

The Bush administration might be perceived as a loose canon by the rest of the world, but the reality is that the Unite States has profound vulnerabilities. There is, for example, an oversupply of US Dollars circulating outside the United States, which might prove to be the Achilles heel of the US economy. There is also the fact that the US needs to borrow, from foreign sources, about $500 billion dollars per year, to keep its economy from sinking—like the Titanic.

The United States depends on foreign money, to keep itself afloat. In other words, the rest of the world has the power to pull the plug in the US economy, at any time in the future. But, if you still want to read most of the information published by PNAC, and its plan for the United States to conquer the world—you can read the information in the following website:

Ricardo C. Amaral is an economist and author. You can reach him at 

Discuss it in our Forum

Send your
comments to