Robert Parry’s Upcoming Book

From Journalist Robert Parry: As I’m putting the finishing touches on my new book, America’s Stolen Narrative, we are also facing a financial crisis at Consortiumnews.com. So I would like to make a proposal that combines these two developments.

If you donate $100 or more now (or if you have in the recent past), I will send you an autographed copy as soon as the book is back from the printer. This will be a thank-you gift for your tax-deductible donation.

(To donate by Visa/Mastercard, click here.To donate by check, make it out to Consortium for Independent Journalism [CIJ]; 2200 Wilson Blvd.; Suite 102-231; Arlington, VA 22201. To use PayPal, our account is named after our e-mail address: “consortnew @ aol.com”)

After your donation, just send me an e-mail at consortnew@aol.com telling me where to ship the book and prescribing any special inscription that you might like. I will set aside (and number) the first 250 copies for this purpose. (I expect to get the book back from the printers sometime in October.)

America’s Stolen Narrative draws from my personal experiences over 35 years as a Washington-based investigative reporter, including years at The Associated Press, Newsweek and PBS “Frontline.” It addresses how the historic and political narrative of the United States has been corrupted by the right-wing forces that have grown so powerful over those years.

These forces have not only applied propaganda to today’s political storyline (for instance, with lies about Barack Obama’s birthplace, religion and ideology) but have dispatched “scholars” to rewrite the nation’s founding narrative.

That has enabled the Right’s propaganda machine to convince millions of Americans that the Constitution’s Framers despised the idea of a strong central government when George Washington and James Madison were actually reacting to the threat from a weak central government under the Articles of Confederation.

In right-wing world, the Framers have been recreated as neo-Confederates devoted to “states’ rights.”

America’s Stolen Narrative also draws from newly available archival records to repair how we understand the modern political era from 1968 through today. In doing so, the book demonstrates how Richard Nixon infused the modern Republican Party with a win-by-any-means ethos and how the Democrats consistently failed to hold the Republicans accountable.

By setting this story straight, the book rewrites the history of the latter years of the Vietnam War and explains why Nixon started his infamous “plumbers” unit, which later got caught at Watergate. The book then traces how Nixon’s playbook of dirty tricks was passed down through the years of Ronald Reagan, the Bushes and now the Tea Party.

The truth that is uncovered in America’s Stolen Narrative may not entirely set us free, but it at least will provide a solid foundation upon which a more complete and accurate history can be built.

The survival of Consortiumnews.com is also important to the book because it refers readers to original documents that exist at our Web site and, in many case, no place else.

So please help us make sure that Consortiumnews.com, which began 17 years ago in the early days of the modern Internet, continues to uncover and explain important facts that shape American history.

As always, thanks for your support.

Robert Parry

Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. He founded Consortiumnews.com in 1995 as the Internet’s first investigative magazine. He saw it as a way to combine modern technology and old-fashioned journalism to counter the increasing triviality of the mainstream U.S. news media.




The Price of US Interventionism

Mitt Romney and his neocon advisers want to confront the Muslim world with a “credible military threat” as if more American “tough-guy-ism” will quell the region’s anti-Americanism. But the reality is that the long history of U.S. intervention has engendered the hostility, says the Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland.

By Ivan Eland

The attack on the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, which killed four U.S. diplomats, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, is the latest example of tragic blowback from the U.S. government’s interventionist foreign policy in the Islamic world. That it happened on the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, an even more severe example of such blowback, is a cruel irony.

After 9/11, President George W. Bush told us that Islamist terrorists attack us for “our freedoms.” This contradicted the conclusion of his own Defense Science Board and other expert opinion, including that of the perpetrator of those attacks, Osama bin Laden, that al-Qaeda attacked us for our foreign policy of intervening indiscriminately in Muslim lands.

The enduring lack of introspection on the part of the American government and people about the ill effects of those needless interventions leads to their continuation and consequent unpleasant blowback. Unfortunately, the killing of American personnel in Libya and the attacks on and violent protests at U.S. diplomatic facilities in 20 Islamic countries are examples of this payback.

At the time, critics of the overthrow of Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi rightfully asked during the process exactly who made up the opposition the U.S. was supporting and what kind of government would replace him. They held out the possibility of post-Gaddafi instability, tribal warfare, and maybe even an Islamist takeover of the country.

The attack on the U.S. diplomatic facilities in Libya is an example of that instability even in an Islamic country with relatively favorable feelings toward America. The new Libyan government was too weak to protect U.S. diplomats and actually blamed the United States for not evacuating its personnel sooner.

Obviously, some Libyan factions aren’t very grateful for the help of Western air power in Gaddafi’s overthrow and continuing Western aid.

However, some would say that it was the Internet film insulting Islam that caused worldwide anti-American violence, not U.S. intervention. Yet the film was only the trigger, and the real underlying issue is U.S. and Western meddling in Islamic lands and culture.

The U.S. superpower has been pursuing an interventionist policy in the Islamic world since World War II, ramping it up even further after 9/11 with the unnecessary invasion of Iraq, and is roundly hated for it, thus making it the target for such blowback attacks, even among peoples the U.S. tried to “help.”

In addition, the Western overthrow of Gaddafi, a long-time nemesis of the United States and West who had recently given up his nuclear program and had begun cooperating with the West, including holding Islamist detainees in his prisons for a U.S. government that had rendered them there, sent the wrong message to other countries thinking about getting or working on nuclear weapons.

The United States showed no respect for non-nuclear Libya or Saddam Hussein’s Iraq but certainly has for nuclear North Korea.

Yet after the seemingly easy overthrow of Gaddafi, using only Western air power supporting an indigenous opposition force, with no need for boots on the ground, pressure is now building for a repeat in Syria. But the blowback attacks in Libya, Egypt, and other Islamic countries should be a cautionary note about what could come after the overthrow of Bashar al-Assad.

Like the heavily armed and rival tribal militias now roaming Libya, Syria has many heavily armed opposition factions, which continue to commit atrocities against civilians and, according to U.S. intelligence, have been infiltrated, and are sometimes commanded, by al-Qaeda.

To illustrate, a doctor recently back from a humanitarian mission in Syria was shocked at the number of radical Islamist fighters in the opposition forces battling the Assad regime. Post-Gaddafi Islamist radicalism should have been no surprise in Libya, because al-Qaeda had always had a high participation rate from Benghazi and eastern Libya, the cradle of the anti-Gaddafi revolution.

After the doctor’s report in Syria, such an Islamist upsurge should be no surprise to the U.S. government in any post-Assad Syria either. Furthermore, overt U.S. military intervention in Syria will do nothing for America’s already very low popularity in the Islamic world.

The attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Libya, Egypt, and worldwide should be a “canary in the coal mine” warning to stop U.S. meddling in the Islamic world. The U.S. has recently conducted military interventions in at least six Muslim nations: Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen.

Even bigger birds flew in on 9/11 without causing any such introspection, however, so the prospect is bleak 11 years later for any badly needed U.S. soul-searching. Thus, unfortunately, at home and abroad, America will continue to needlessly have a big bull’s eye on its back.

Ivan Eland is Director of the Center on Peace & Liberty at The Independent Institute. Dr. Eland has spent 15 years working for Congress on national security issues, including stints as an investigator for the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Principal Defense Analyst at the Congressional Budget Office. His books include Partitioning for Peace: An Exit Strategy for Iraq The Empire Has No Clothes: U.S. Foreign Policy Exposed, and Putting “Defense” Back into U.S. Defense Policy.