The historian Dr Daniele Ganser lays down three principles in his recently published research paper “Imperium USA. Die skrupellose Weltmacht (The US empire. The unscrupulous world power)”: the UN ban on violence, mindfulness and the human fa-mily. In other words, he formulates that without respect for international law, human rights and international humanitarian law, without the free formation of opinion and without ethics and responsibility, a peaceful coexistence of humans on this planet will not be possible. And it is to this concern that the author dedicates his book, and “to all people who reject war, terror, torture and war propaganda from the bottom of their hearts and who are, with perseverance and joy, committed to peace”.1 Daniele Ganser, head of SIPER, the Swiss Institute for Peace and Energy Research,2 has deliberately written his latest book for 15-25 year olds, i.e. in an unpretentious language that is easy to understand.
The dark side of Wikipedia …
It can be seen in many examples in the book that when you commit yourself to peace, you get in the way of a powerful military-industrial-media complex and this is therefore not always without danger, but the author himself has also had relevant experiences. An author tracing the sequence of empires in the history of the world up into the 20th century, and here listing the USA as the empire of the 20th century which follows Great Britain, the empire of the 19th century, is exposed to hash headwinds: If you look up the author’s name – and today the vast majority do so via the Google corporation domiciled in the USA – under the keyword “Daniele Ganser”, you will find much that is disparaging in the online “reference work” Wikipedia, also based in the USA.
If you want to know more about the creation of such entries in the online “encyclopedia”, you should refer to the very worthwhile documentary “Die dunkle Seite der Wikipedia (The Dark Side of Wikipedia)” by the filmmakers Markus Fiedler and Frank-Michael Speer,3 which, using Daniele Ganser as an example, shows how unscientifically this website is structured with regard to social and power politics - while considering scientific contributions as certainly worthy of recognition.
… or the defamatory attack ad personam
Due to his critical historical research on US history, the various anonymously-acting hierarchical levels of Wikipedia editors became aware of Ganser and covered him with abuse that can no longer be removed. Thus he has for some time now been regarded as a writer spreading “conspiracy theories on various topics, especially conspiracy theories on 11 September 2001”.4 With this disqualification, this attack ad personam, Ganser is to be rendered untrustworthy as an author, and this serves the sole purpose of preventing readers from an in-depth examination of the content of his research. Already his dissertation “Nato-Geheimarmeen in Europa (Secret NATO-controlled armies in Europe)” from 2008 did not meet with the approval of the relevant circles, nor did “Europa im Erdölrausch (Europe in the Petroleum High)” from 2012 or “Illegale Kriege (Illegal Wars)” from 2016. These titles were, however, a big hit with interested readers. The latest work by Ganser, which is to be shown here, is already on the “Spiegel” bestseller list. And why? Probably because he does not spread conspiracy theories, but rather traces well documented, verifiable real conspiracies against peace and humanity, and consequently crimes that should be punished.
The US Empire – the greatest threat to world peace
Even the blurb and a first glance at the table of contents make it clear why the Swiss historian, whose lectures on the internet are clicked on by hundreds of thousands of readers, is a thorn in the side of some very powerful people. For example, a survey from 2019 showed that for the majority of Germans, the USA currently posed the greatest threat to world peace – and not, as US President Trump repeatedly insinuates, Russia, China or the now forgotten dubious IS. And as early as 2013, according to Gallup International 56% of all respondents worldwide considered the USA to be the country with the strongest destabilising influence on world affairs. Ganser makes it clear that such figures do not stem from clumsy anti-Americanism by emphasising that the overwhelming majority of Americans would like nothing better than to live in peace, just like people in other countries. Nevertheless, Ganser points out that the world‘s number one power, with its 300,000 very wealthy families, has bombed untold countries, like no other power after the Second World War. “No other country has toppled so many governments since 1945 and been involved in so many open and hidden conflicts as the USA. No other country in the world has military bases in so many other countries, exports so many weapons and maintains such a large arms budget as the United States.” He states that intimidation, manipulation and violence are the means used by certain circles in the USA.
A combination of “hard power” and “soft power” from the beginning
Ganser encompasses a wide range of the history of the USA; his table of contents reads like a summary of his book. After presenting the current military machinery and the fact that the USA of today cannot be called anything but an oligarchy, the author starts with the Indian wars. Much of what follows is not unknown to the reader over 25 years of age, but is often presented in an enlightening new context, based on serious source material from predominantly US-American sources. The “original sins” of the young state, the four million killed Indians and the twelve million abducted Africans, are followed by the imperialist grip beyond North America: always accompanied by deception, false-flag operations, psychological warfare, but also by naked violence – a repertoire was built up that was later described by Joseph S. Nye as “smart power”, as that mixture of “hard power” and “soft power”, i.e. of instruments that can be used in various combinations, according to need.5
National Security Council and covert warfare
You will not only read about the US involvement with Nazi Germany with interest, but also the chapter on “Covert Warfare”, in which the National Security Council(NSC) is presented as a steering committee with the highest authority. This council, which holds ist meetings in secret, holds the keys of power in its hands and commands the US Army and all US intelligence agencies, the NSC meetings are attended, in addition to the President, by the Vice President, the Foreign Minister, the Minister of Defence, the CIA Director, the National Security Advisor, the Chief of Staff and other senior officials. According to the US historian John Prados, to whom Ganser refers here, this council is “the highest level of the political establishment” (p. 169). And apropos the CIA: With reference to the National Security Act passed by the US Congress on 26 July 1947, Ganser also clearly proves that the CIA, founded on that day, was and is not only an intelligence service, but has also received far-reaching powers for covert warfare.
And Ganser’s chapter 8 shows where war has been waged undercover: Even if much is already familiar from other accounts to the gentle reader, here one receives once again a concise overview, well documented from US American sources, of the agents’ sheer murderous lust. Some of these were themselves subject to the propaganda telling them that they were fighting for the free world. The role of CIA director Allen Dulles is also piquant, especially in connection with the assassination of John F. Kennedy ... The fact that the documents have still not been fully released so many decades after the assassination speaks for itself!
Alarming findings of the Church Commission
Also of interest is the role of the Church Commission in uncovering the CIA’s assassination attempts. The US Senate report, published in 1975, under the responsibility of Senator Frank Church from Idaho, listed the crimes committed by the operational arm of the CIA, the Covert Operations Division, on 350 pages. The findings were so devastating that Noam Chomsky called his home country, the USA, “the leading terrorist state”. The Church Commission report is publicly available and should be mandatory reading for anyone who wants to understand this world better. At the same time, the process also shows that the USA is constantly producing self-purifying forces that want to bring the state back into the circle of civilised peoples. The complete documentation of the Church Committee reports (14 volumes) as well as some 1000 pages of released original files can easily be found on the Internet.6
Since most people lack the time to work through the documents, let us quote the quintessence of the senators’ investigation with Ganser: “‘We believe that the public has a right to know what instruments their government uses,’ the Church Commission stated in its explosive murder report. ‘The Commission is convinced that the truth about these assassination attempts must be told, because democracy depends on a ‘well-informed electorate’. In the report the senators expressed their ‘disgust with what we have learned’. ‘That is a sad story. But this country has the power to listen to this story and learn from it,’ the senators believed. ‘We must remain a nation that sees its mistakes and is determined not to repeat them. If we do not make it, we are going down. But if we succeed, our future will be as bright as the best times of our past’” (p. 176).
With these words by the Church Commission in his mind, the reader of the further parts of the book will have to ask himself the painful question why the Commission was not given an ear – especially also when it came to the Iran-Contra affair, which Ganser recounts in chapter 11.
Digital empire and personalised propaganda
At the latest after reading about this unbelievable scandal, the reader will not want to put the book down again. Ganser now comes to 9/11, there focusing on the building WTC 7, then to the so-called war on terror. It is up to the reader to judge whether this is the case of a new Pearl Harbor … If you cannot remember exactly what the state of research is on this event, that led to the United States’ entry into World War II: Ganser also recalls this in a chapter entitled “The USA and the Second World War”.
The chapter “The Digital Empire” recalls, among other things, the scandal of Cambridge Analytica and the subtle personalised election propaganda via Facebook, only to then deal briefly with the “dark side” of Wikipedia already mentioned at the beginning of this article.
Battle for Eurasia instead of war on terror
When you turn to the last chapter, “The Struggle for Eurasia”, it will do no harm to remember the words of Zbigniew Brzezinski. What did this (meanwhile deceased) doyen of geostrategy and security consultant of Jimmy Carter once say? What are some Islamist terrorists compared to having brought the Soviet empire to its knees? And elsewhere he said that compared to the conflict with Russia and China, Islamist terror will soon be forgotten in the 21st century.7
Against this background, Ganser’s comparison between the construction of the Berlin-Baghdad railway before the First World War and China‘s „New Silk Road“ seems even more uncomfortable: if the former could not be completed because otherwise Great Britain, the Empire at the time, would have had to share its power with the German Empire or even cede it to the latter, the US Empire today is faced with the question of whether the realisation of Road and Belt or the “New Silk Road” might not also mean the end of the US Empire. Whether we then see a war of the USA against China and Russia according to the Thucydide's Trap (according to which the hitherto dominant power attacks the rising one, as Sparta then attacked Athens), will not least depend on all of us, the citizens of the world, who would prefer nothing better than to live together in peace – just as it meets to social nature of mankind.
Our problems are man-made,
so they can be solved by mankind
In conclusion, we would like to quote John F. Kennedy, though he is not always above all doubt, with a very true statement that may encourage us to step outside our own front door and see what is there, as the Swiss writer Gottfried Keller once put it. Kennedy said: “Let us first examine our attitude towards peace itself. Too many of us think it is impossible to achieve …But that is a dangerous, defeatist belief. It leads to the conclusion that war is inevitable, that humanity is doomed to perdition … But our problems are man-made, so they can be solved by humans.” This is a statement that can only be agreed with. •
1 Ganser, Daniele. Imperium USA. Die skrupellose Weltmacht (The US empire. The unscrupulous world power) 2020, p. 2
2 see https://www.siper.ch/ and https://www.danieleganser.ch/
4 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniele_Ganser. Status 3 June 2020
5 See for example Nye, Joseph S. Jr. “Get Smart: Combining Hard and Soft Power”; in: Foreign Affairs, Vol. 88, No. 4 (July/August 2009), pp. 160–163.
Or, among others: Professor Joseph Nye on “Smart Power” at the Australian Institute of International Affairs; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K3sLkLbmsuU. Status 4 June 2020
7 cf. Brzezinski, Zbigniew. “How Jimmy Carter and I Started the Mujahideen”; https://theaustrianeconomists.wordpress.com/2010/02/24/zbigniew-brzezinski-how-jimmy-carter-and-i-started-the-mujahideen/ Status 4 June 2020
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