Create a more secure, democratic, and prosperous world for the benefit of the American people and the international community.
American diplomacy in the 21st century is based on fundamental beliefs: our freedom is best protected by ensuring that others are free; our prosperity depends on the prosperity of others; and our security relies on a global effort to secure the rights of all. The history of the American people is the chronicle of our efforts to live up to our ideals. In this moment in history, we recognize that the United States has an immense responsibility to use its power constructively to advance security, democracy, and prosperity around the globe. We will pursue these interests and remain faithful to our beliefs.
FY 2004-2009 Department of State and USAID Strategic Plan
According to the U.S. State Department, for the fiscal years 2004-2009, the United States mission is to createsecurity, democracy and prosperity throughout the world not only for U.S. citizens, but the people of the world as a whole. While I find this statement to be extremely generous and altruistic, I can’t help but wonder why the U.S. State Departments mission statement is a contradiction rather than an axiom. The premise is fraught with controversy which necessitates discussion. Typically, actions speak louder than words; I shall endeavor to discuss both the actions and the words of the U.S. State Department.
I suggest we take a look at this mission statement which was taken directly from the U.S. Department of State website and fully examine its meaning. Let’s start with the statement: the creation of a more secure, democratic, and prosperous world for the benefit of the American people and the international community. While I would agree the United States has acted in an honorable fashion in the past, such as, the sacrifices made by the American people to end Hitler’s reign of terror. This effort, of course, was not just an American effort; it was an effort by many people of many nations who worked together for a common and righteous goal. I believe the end result was in fact, a more secure, just, and prosperous world. But let’s fast forward to the end of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty first century and examine our actions.
Iraq is a good example of the U.S. State Departments mission. How many bombs and bullets does it take to create security, democracy or prosperity in Iraq? From January 1991 to December 2011 the expenditure of munitions by the United States and its allies in Iraq hasn’t actually created security, democracy or prosperity; it has created instability, inequality and poverty. I’m not suggesting Saddam Hussein wasn’t a ruthless dictator, I am suggesting he was an ally and protégé of the CIA and the U.S. State Department. So how did this war that basically lasted 20 years (I include the years between Operation Desert Storm and the 2003 Iraq War, when the U.S. military maintained a no-fly zone by bombing Iraq), create a secure, democratic and prosperous Iraq as a result of our CIA protégé Saddam Hussein and the U.S. State Department mission?
Iraq had one of the highest standards of living in the Middle East after the Ba’ath party stepped away from the CIA following the coup in 1968. This increased standard of living happened over the next 22 years, basically through the nationalization of the Iraqi oil industry[ii]. Now that the U.S. military has left Iraq, after 20 years of war, the Iraqi standard of living is improving somewhat, yet in 2008 the World Food Programme[iii] estimated “3.1% of Iraqi households were described as “food insecure” and living with hunger and fearing starvation.” This is a sad but “considerable improvement to the 15.4% figure from the survey in 2005.” In 2010 the BBC reported, “23% of Iraqis live below the poverty line[iv].” However, I find it hard to believe Iraqi’s are more secure as a result of its people fearing starvation or because of the 20 year killing spree in their country by the west, or the 8 years of war with Iran for certain favors by Saddam’s mentor, the CIA and the U.S. State Department. Figures for documented civilian deaths from violence in the 2nd Persian Gulf War, also known as the 2003 Iraq War, alone are between 107,055 and 116,979 people according to IBC (Iraq Body Count) [v].
“…In the case of Iraq, the question that emerges from this consideration is,
“Was there any other way to remove Saddam?” In this case, the answer, as
described above, is yes, but the U.S. government is not sufficiently dexterous
or focused to accomplish lower cost, longer-term solutions.
The conclusion is that American leaders and the American people must assume
that a foreign policy objective must be so important that it is worth doing very
badly--because it is probable that the U.S. government will, in the event, do
it very badly.Good intentions are not enough. Our good intentions, when
acted upon, have done much damage.”
Excerpt from, Hide and Seek: The Search for Truth in Iraq
I can only wonder how 20 years of war with the U.S. from 1991 to 2011, along with the decades of meddling by the CIA and the U.S. State Department has created a more secure, democratic and prosperous Iraq? If you look at Iraq today you will find a country besieged by violence; the daily Al Jazeera reports of violence in Iraq are all similar, “Iraq: A country still in shambles[vii],” “Scores killed in Iraq attacks[viii],” and “Has sectarian violence returned to Iraq[ix].” Daily reports from the BBC are almost mirror images, “Deadly blasts hit Baghdad, Kirkuk and other Iraq cities[x],” “Iraq violence: Eight killed in Baquba café bomb attacks[xi],” and “Bomb attack in Iraq kills three Lebanese Shia pilgrims[xii].”
Should the United States aggressively fight and act as the policemen of the world? I would argue our Navy should and does protect international waters to keep open all shipping lanes as well as protect mariners on the high seas, but this is just as much a duty and responsibility of other nations Navies as it is ours. But why should the U.S. military actually be required (other than to simply follow orders), or if it is even legal, to act in other nations at the behest of the U.S. State Department as their minions to further a misguided U.S. State Department foreign policy agenda? I’m not certain within how many countries a combative role is played by the U.S. military, or if it is even possible to know the true number, but reports indicate “direct action has been taken by the U.S. military in Yemen and Somalia[xiii].” In 1980, “The Reagan-Bush administration begins funding the Contra War[xiv],” according to Stanford.edu, “This ten-year war is fought at the cost of 60,000 lives, 178 billion dollars, and the Nicaraguan infrastructure and economy.” Other reports state, “The U.S. funded the rebels, illegally mined a harbor, taught the rebels terror tactics, and destroyed the elected government’s infrastructure. Nicaragua lost approximately a quarter of its population and the rest were terrorized[xv].” Or the U.S. involvement in Bosnia-Herzegovina in the 1990’s as stated in a report, “Croatian troops were being trained by…Military Professional Resources, which was licensed by the U.S. State Department. Some believe the U.S. actually instructed Croatia when to proceed with their attack and promised to reward them[xvi].” Further evidence the U.S. acts as the policemen of the world, are U.S. military operations in Africa as reported by Al Jazeera in, “Timeline; US military activity in Africa…from 1993 to 2011[xvii].” I do believe the Congress should act solely based upon what is best for the people of our nation when we are attacked. I must also note; many of the operations in Africa during that time were security and evacuation operations of U.S. citizens, U.S. government personnel at U.S. embassies and third nation citizens which are acceptable under the U.S. Constitution. But the true purpose of the U.S. military is for the common defence as stated in the U.S. Constitution. However, without express consent from another sovereign nation asking for our assistance, we have no authority to act within those borders and we should not be compelled to act within those borders as the world’s policemen. Unless the United States has been attacked byanother nation or our citizens in those nations have been attacked, where is our obligation?
While our fundamental beliefs may be to ensure that others are free, prosperous and secure in their rights; our beliefs, as set forth in the U.S. Constitution[xviii], undeniably are intended for the citizens of this great nation; the United States of America. Can we actually defend policies of the U.S. State Department which bring our economy and the economies of other nations to the brink of ruin[xix]? The U.S. State Department must believe the power of the United States, whether wielded constructively or destructively is a responsible way to advance their form of security, democracy and prosperity around the globe. Reuters reports approximately 250,000 deaths, 365,000 wounded and 7.8 million people displaced in Iraq alone and a possible dollar cost of 3.7 to 4.4 trillion for Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan according to Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies[xx]. The report also noted even with the deaths of Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein, “Iraq and Afghanistan are far from stable democracies.” The National Priorities Project breaks down the costs of the 2003 Iraq War and the Afghanistan War in Cost of War to the United States, which clearly shows, ‘prosperity’ is definitely not part of the U.S. State Department equation[xxi]. Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter recently accused the Obama administration of sanctioning the widespread abuse of human rights[xxii] and violating 10 of the 30 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights[xxiii]with regard to drone attacks. How do these violations of individual human rights ‘secure the rights of all’ as described in the U.S. State Departments mission statement?
Should the U.S. engage in activities which cause massive death and destruction in other sovereign nations, such as Iraq[xxiv], without just cause? Chief inspector for the U.S.-led Iraq Survey Group, Charles A. Duelfer stated to a Senate panel, “We were almost all wrong” on Iraq. If Mr. Hans Blix[xxv], head of the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) from March 2000 to June 2003, stated the war was illegal, and Dr. David Kay[xxvi]chief inspector of the U.S.-led ISG (who resigned 23 January 2004) and his successor Mr. Charles A. Duelfer, all stated there were no weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Iraq, then where was the just cause for the invasion?
Perhaps as a Republic, we should demand the Congress of the United States act in a manner as set forth in Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution with concern to the Declaration of War and not hand that power over to the Executive Branch of government, which has the power to Make War, but not declare war. However, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit didn’t see it that way[xxvii]. The U.S Constitution also states in Article II, Section 1 with regard to the duties of the President, “Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:--“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”” If the U.S. President and the U.S. Congress fail to act in a manner as set forth in the U.S. Constitution, then haven’t they violated the U.S. Constitution?
We should act if possible, to provide freedom, prosperity and human rights to everyone on the planet through diplomacy. Unfortunately, the U.S. State Departments attempts in this area are generally at gunpoint or through bribery. But first and foremost, the Constitution of the United States of America was and is intended to “establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and to our Posterity.”
An example of the U.S. State Departments policy of diplomacy at gunpoint is the invasion of Iraq in March of 2003. Prior to the invasion, the UN Security Council was advised by Mr. Blix the lead weapons inspector, that Iraq was cooperating and had given access, but no weapons of mass destruction (WMD) were found. After the invasion, the U.S.-led Iraq Survey Group didn’t find one WMD[xxviii]. The transcript from an interview with Margaret Warner of PBS and chief inspector for the U.S.-led ISG, Mr. Duelfer, states there were no WMD in Iraq[xxix]. An example of the U.S. State Departments policy of diplomacy through bribery is a $7.5 billion dollar aid package to Pakistan. The U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated the money would mainly go to seven signature projects[xxx]. The New York Times report further stated, “Pakistanis see the aid as a crude attempt to buy friendship and an effort to alleviate antipathy toward United States drone attacks against militants in the tribal areas.”
The founding fathers of this nation created a Constitutional Republic, they never intended to create a democracy[xxxi], nor did they intend to export such ideals around the globe. I would unequivocally state, the chronicle of American efforts throughout the history of this great nation have been to uphold such lofty ideals as stated in the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence; which among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness[xxxii]. U.S. citizens have historically been a generous people, who are concerned with the general welfare of others; within the United States as well as outside of her borders. Yet nowhere within the U.S. Constitution does it state, “We the People of the United Stateswill provide these ideals to the entire globe, whether they like it or not.”
Perhaps the U.S. State Departments desire for democracy around the globe should be examined as well as the word itself. Merriam-Webster’s dictionary[xxxiii] defines democracy as “a government by the people; especially: rule of the majority” and “a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections.” However, if we look at the etymology of democracy, I believe we find something entirely different. According to The Olin Revelation[xxxiv], typically, the traditional viewpoint is “democracy is derived from two Greek words: demos, meaning the common people, and kratos, meaning rule.” Other ancient Greek words also “meant or are related to” common people, such as “idiotes” meaning “unskilled person” (“people who didn’t participate in public life”), or “laos” which is where “we get the words laymen and laity” it also means “people of the same community.” However, kratos“appears to be closely associated with acts of strength, courage and/or violence.” So one could easily say and define democracy as “governance by force,” which seems to fit in with the U.S. State Departments mission statement as well as its actions.
“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety,
deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
Assume the U.S State Department is concerned with democracy and freedom for the U.S. and others around the globe. Why do their actions point away from so-called democracy and freedom? Under Section 411 of the USA PATRIOT Act, the Secretary of State has the power to designate groups, whether foreign or domestic, as terrorists[xxxvi]. Terrorist activity is defined and states, “…’engage in terrorist activity’ means, in an individual capacity or as a member of an organization--to commit or incite to commit, under circumstances indicating an intention to cause death or serious bodily injury, a terrorist activity.” By definition, the Secretary of State could label a home-owner a terrorist for killing an intruder within the home in the middle of the night as well as label members of the military or law enforcement agencies who act within the scope of their duties, as such. Another example, is the U.S. State Departments desire to have their own drones as reported by Nextgov, “The procurement…marks the start of a project to provide…UAV assets that could be deployed anywhere in the world[xxxvii].” Of course this is proffered under the guise of security for diplomats, which is undoubtedly a euphemism for spying.
The New York Times reported on 9 December 2011 about a formal complaint to the UN Security Council by Iran, “The hostile and aggressive behavior of the United States in sending a sophisticated radar-evading spy drone over Iranian territory[xxxviii].” Congress has not made a Declaration of War with regard to Iran, yet we violate their airspace with a surveillance drone. I’m certain the U.S. Department of State considers this to be security for the American and Iranian people, just as their desire for a worldwide fleet of drones is for the protection of the world. However, the U.S. State Department is not alone in this endeavor. The U.S. Congress has passed a bill which requires the FAA to open American airspace to drones by 2015. PRESSTV[xxxix] reports, “There are serious policy questions on the horizon about privacy and surveillance, by both government agencies and commercial entities” according to, Steven Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) Project on Government Secrecy[xl]. I can only wonder how this possibly furthers a more secure, democratic and prosperous world. However, I do believe the definition of democracy as “governance by force”applies.
The National Security Agency (NSA) is building a new massive complex in Bluffdale Utah. According to Reader Supported News (RSN) as well as The Extinction Protocol, “near-bottomless databases” will collect and store “all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails—parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases and other digital “pocket litter[xli].”” This is a clear violation of the 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which states, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated[xlii].” The upshot according to a senior intelligence official, “Everybody’s a target; everybody with communication is a target.” I believe this is a perfect example of the U.S. government’s desire to control peoples every move; to do away with Justice, to discard domestic Tranquility, to completely forget about the general Welfare, and to remove peoples Blessings of Liberty not only for themselves, but for their Posterity as well. None of what is happening is about security, democracy or prosperity; this is all about governance by force. Invasive government tactics such as these, whether domestic or international, are a threat to our Freedom, our Liberty and our way of life.
I freely state without reservation, the President of the United States, the U.S. Congress and Judiciary as well as the U.S. State Department have nothing but utter contempt and disdain for the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Our Republic has been decimated by those who wish to do the same on a global level. I cannot believe we have been using our power constructively over the last number of decades, or we would have been trying to form a more perfect Union, as our founding fathers envisioned, rather than foisting the U.S. governments and the U.S. State Departments depraved policies on ourselves and on other peoples. By allowing these “Nabobs of Obfuscation and Deceit” the unfettered power to destroy people and nations, “We the People” of the United States are, in fact, also guilty of violating the U.S. Constitution by allowing Hypocrites and Prevaricatorsthe absolute power which they so desperately crave. We have neither advanced security in the U.S. nor abroad. We have not advanced Liberty or prosperity around the globe, and we certainly have not advanced Liberty or prosperity right here in the United States of America.
“The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground.”
God Bless this Great Republic, the United States of America. Completed on this 2ndday of July, in the year of our Lord 2012.
Brett L. Baker
[vi] Charles Duelfer; Hide and Seek: The Search for Truth in Iraq,(Page xvi-xvii) 2009
[xxv] Common Dreams, Building Progressive Community; “Blix; Iraq War Was Illegal, Blair’s defense is bogus,
says the former UN weapons inspector,” Independent/UK, 5 March 2004
[xxxii] The Declaration of Independence; 4 July 1776