The Arab uprising is a rebellion against Washington's Empire: William Norman Grigg
Interview by Kourosh Ziabari
William Norman Grigg is an author and journalist of Mexican and Irish descent. He was born on February 4, 1963 in Idaho. He was a senior editor of "The New American" magazine and has authored several books from a Constitutionalist perspective.Grigg graduated from Utah State University in political science. He was a "Provo Daily Herald" columnist for a while and also covered the United Nations summits and conferences from 1994 to 2001 for the John Birch Society's official biweekly magazine.
Grigg is also a studio musician and served as lead guitarist in the Wisconsin band "Slick Willie and the Calzones" until his 2005 move to Idaho.
Grigg has interviewed prominent world leaders, including former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and former Costa Rican President Oscar Arias. His investigations of terrorism and international organized crime included interviews with high-ranking officials of the Chinese Communist Party, former operatives of the Soviet KGB, and – long before the group was thrust into the spotlight during the 2008 presidential election – leaders of the New Black Panther Party.
Will writes and publishes the Pro Libertate blog, and is a frequent contributor to LewRockwell.com, the most widely read freedom-oriented website in the world. He also produces the "Liberty Minute," a one-minute syndicated radio commentary archived at www.prolibertate.us.
Grigg has published several books of which we can name "The Gospel of Revolt: Feminism Vs. the Family" by Northwest Publishing Inc. and "Liberty In Eclipse: The Rise of the Homeland Security State" by Welch Foundation.
William Norman Grigg joined me in an exclusive interview to discuss with me the latest developments in the Middle East, the prospect of Egyptian revolution, the massacre of peace activists and pro-democracy demonstrators in Egypt and the blurred destiny of Libyan civil war.
Kourosh Ziabari: Let's start with a question which has been occupying my mind for a number of days. What do you think about Bahrain's suicidal act of destructing the Pearl Roundabout? It was a childish act; wasn't it? They thought that they can quench the revolution of their angry people by destroying the symbol which their movement was associated with. At the same time, it was a fabulous act, like the TV cartoons! What's your idea?
William Grigg: Every ruling elite attracts a disproportionate share of a human type inclined toward the "rule or ruin" mindset. Bahrain's al-Khalifa clique is a pampered imperial pet who can rely on Washington to service every whim, so their eruption of authoritarian petulance doesn't surprise me at all. The idea here seems to be that by destroying a symbol, the rulers have repealed the relevant history. I'm gratified to see that so many of the protesters – people who are insanely courageous – have simply shrugged off that little tantrum.
KZ: Let's get a little bit more serious. Why did the Arab world rise in rebellion so suddenly and unexpectedly? Today, some ten Arab countries are entangled with the waves of popular uprising by their people who don't want to tolerate them anymore. What did pull the trigger of these consecutive and chained revolutions in the Arab world? Was it all about a street vendor who committed an act of self-immolation before the municipality office?
WG: I suspect that the Arab uprising, which I perceive as a rebellion against Washington's Empire, and may it succeed and prosper, is a magnified aftershock of our October Revolution of 2008, in which the Federal Reserve emitted an unprecedented gusher of "liquidity", that is, inflation, to bail out Wall Street's politically protected oligarchs. The resulting debasement of the dollar has to be a contributing factor in the price shocks – particularly for food and other necessities – that have driven people into the streets in many countries, both in the Middle East and elsewhere. Egypt has been particularly vulnerable, since that country imports all of its wheat.
For decades, Washington's power apparatus – the Federal Reserve and the military-industrial complex (MIC) have been able to export inflation, which was a great deal for the investor class but a huge burden on the rest of us. That game is probably going to come to a very end very soon, and what we're seeing in the Arab world is something of a foretaste of what we're likely to see here, as well.
In U.S.-sponsored police states like Egypt and Tunisia, people were willing to countenance a great deal of abuse as long as there was some reasonable expectation that they would be able to feed themselves. It's not surprising to see their forbearance evaporate in the heat of the ongoing economic meltdown. It's interesting to see that the triggering incidents in both Tunisia and Egypt were episodes of casual, arrogant abuse by police officers who consider themselves to be imperviously clothed in official privilege. We have more than a little of that kind of thing here in the U.S., as well, and I suspect that at some point someone somewhere is going to be pushed too far by an officious prick in uniform – and then all hell will break loose.
KZ: We are told that Bahrain has a black human rights record. Essentially, all of the Arab countries of the Middle East have black human rights records. They flagrantly censor, arrest, incarcerate, punish, torture and then release. How much significant was the role of humanitarian demands in the formation of Bahrain's revolution? Are the Bahraini people after obtaining social dignity, self-esteem and basic human rights in their protests at the 30-year dictatorship of Al Khalifa?
WG: The deadliest foe of the Bahraini people isn't the vicious little clique ruling them directly; it's the imperial sponsor of that clique in Washington, who supplied the military and "security" hardware being used to murder them. If Washington were to butt out of Bahrain – as our Constitution and soundest political principles require – the Bahrainis would be able to work things out for themselves. Pending that day, however, I'm not optimistic regarding their chances.
KZ: It was on the news that during the past decade, the Bahraini government gave citizenship to scores of Pakistanis, Bangladeshis and Indians to distort the demographic structure of its population and put in shade its huge Shiite majority. Political commentators believe that the Shiite majority of Bahrain has been long entangled in the discriminatory scaffolding of the kingdom and deprived of their most essential political and social rights. What's your evaluation of the situation of Shiites in Bahrain? Why has the government adopted such a hostile stance with regards to them?
WG: I don't know most of the details of the demographic re-engineering of Bahrain's population, but assuming you're describing it correctly this appears to be an example of Brecht's cynical aphorism that in a dictatorship, it is the people who lose the confidence of the ruler – and the ruler responds by dissolving them and "electing a new people." This kind of thing happens quite frequently in history, we've seen similar experiences in North America – just ask a descendant of the Cherokees or the Nez Perce. Bahrain's situation, in which a Sunni elite is ruling a Shiite majority, offers an ideal setting for this kind of forced-draft population manipulation, which will eventually end very badly. To describe it in terms of applied physics: There's a great deal of stored energy here in the form of officially cultivated resentments, and when the incumbent regime is removed, as it will be, eventually, the result is likely to be explosive.
KZ: Bahrain hosts the United States Fifth Fleet and is one of the main partners of White House in the Persian Gulf region. UAE is also another major friend of the Untied States in the region. Does the United States consider Bahrain and United Arab Emirates proxies to eliminate Iran's supremacy as a regional superpower? Do the anti-Iranian movements of the Bahraini and Emirati governments hpw emanate from the provocations of the United States?
WG: The desire to contain Iran figures prominently in most of Washington's military ventures in the region, and this is an outgrowth of Washington's utterly indefensible meddling in Iranian politics from 1953 until 1979. For decades, Washington built the Shah into both a domestic despot and an international power; this was particularly true under Nixon, who strove to turn Pahlavi's regime into a nuclear-capable superpower. There was a splendid opportunity back in 2003 for a rapprochement between Washington and Tehran, but the Bush administration wasn't interested, and the Obama administration is, if anything, even more inhospitable. I'm convinced that there is a huge constituency in Washington for war with Iran, which would be a calamity for everybody. My own prejudices in this matter are Jeffersonian: I support free trade with everybody, and non-interference in the domestic affairs of other countries. My own experiences with Iranians, including my old Judo instructor and most of the members of our Judo/Jiu-Jitsu Club, have been uniformly pleasant. I've long been interested in attending a training session at a Zour Khaneh. I don't see any reason why America and Iran are fated to be enemies. Then again, one of the chief purposes of government, I've become convinced, is to save us from the scourge of peaceful commerce.
KZ: Let's move to Libya, where the 42-year tyranny of the delirious dictator – if I may – has exhausted the oppressed people. Gaddafi has so far refused to sign any willingness for leaving the from power and his family members still hold crucial positions in the government and have immediate access to the public wealth. What's your idea regarding NATO's military intervention in Libya? Has it been successful in its proclaimed goals? Basically, do you support a foreign military intervention option on Libya? What's your proposal for the termination of bloodshed and violence in Libya?
WG: The Libyan war isn't going to "succeed," because nobody responsible for it can define "success." The Obama administration insists that "regime change" isn't necessary," while backing a CIA/SAS-funded group that wants to be treated as a shadow government. Up until practically the week before the war began, Gaddafi was receiving military and economic assistance from Washington. It honestly looks as if someone decided to attack Libya simply because … well, because the Arab revolution was marginalizing Washington, so the U.S. military simply had to be bombing somebody, somewhere. It's possible that Gaddafi, who is a genuinely despicable thug, will end up being allowed to remain, or to leave on favorable terms, after thousands have been killed pointlessly. The whole thing reminds me of the "Flower Wars" waged by my Aztec ancestors — staged affairs in which huge armies were led to battle and then betrayed into captivity by tribal leaders who had been bought off by the Aztecs.
KZ: And for my final question, what's your prediction for the prospect of Egyptian revolution? Will the freedom fighters in Cairo finally find their dream of having a democratic government realized? Does Mohammed Elbaradei have the sufficient potentials to become the symbol of Egypt's revolutionary movement? What will be the fate of Hosni Mubarak? Does the international community have enough backbone to put Mubarak on trial for the crimes he has committed during his three decades of government?
WG: Back in 2009, Foreign Policy magazine noted that the Egyptian military was positioning itself to stage an auto-coup for the purpose of replacing Mubarak with Suleiman, the secret police chief — who, unlike his predecessors, had become a public figure. It seems to me that the military establishment accomplished most of what it set out to do, and now that the "revolutionary moment" has passed they're consolidating power. May God grant the Egyptians the strength and wisdom to persist until they've actually uprooted the police state Washington planted and cultivated in that country for a generation. As for Mubarak, if I remember correctly, Herodotus reported that Cheops, the ruler who built the Great Pyramid at the cost of 100,000 lives and the entire public treasury, fell into such well-earned disrepute after his death that for centuries it was a crime even to speak his name. I think Mubarak richly deserves a similar fate.
Afghanistan, where America has lost the war but is not prepared to accept her defeat in a Vietnam situation likes to extend the war to Pakistan like Cambodia was roped in. This she would only do to damage Pakistan for the sake of Indo-Israeli interests in the region, what would you say to that.
Washington's war in Afghanistan actually began more than thirty years ago, when Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter's National Security Adviser, manipulated Carter into approving a CIA covert action to overthrow the Soviet-aligned government in Kabul. As Brzezinski has admitted, the objective was to provoke military intervention by Moscow in the hope of leaving the Soviets mired in their own Vietnam-style morass. This gave birth to a long-term proxy war in the region, in which Pakistan was used as a Cambodia-style staging area by the CIA and its assets in the guerrilla campaign against the Soviets. So Washington's strategic savants helped arrange the ruin of both Afghanistan and Pakistan — and now, in a nice little historic symmetry, U.S. military involvement there will probably bring the ruin of Washington's empire, which I won't lament.
The Red Army did some perfectly atrocious things during its decade in Afghanistan, but give Moscow what little credit it deserves for acceding to reality and pulling out. Washington is in thrall to a Power Elite that is at least as corrupt as the Soviets, but less sensible in terms of strategic thinking, so they'll continue to double down, rather than doing the sensible thing which is to cut and run. They seem to think that their power and money are inexhaustible, and that there is no mess they can create that couldn't be mopped up with a sufficient quantity of dollars. The problem with that approach, of course, is that the more dollars they throw at people, the less those dollars are worth. At the rate the dollar is depreciating, it won't be long before it's no longer a credible medium in which to conduct official bribery. Then things will get really interesting — meaning post-Weimar Republic "interesting."
G.K. Chesterton — who, like myself, was a patriot who opposed the Empire presuming to rule in his name — once ruefully observed that people had lost the capacity for astonishment over their own actions. I think something similar could be said about the obliviousness of many Americans to the actions of the government claiming to represent us. How on earth can it justify waging remote-controlled drone warfare in Pakistan — a putatively friendly country — in which thousands of perfectly innocent people have been slaughtered? Each drone attack plants the seeds of resentment that will eventually blossom into anti-American terrorism — which, in turn, will be used to justify even further adventures in imperial violence, until the dollar collapses and the Empire withers like a scorched spider. I suspect that all of this will end like Vietnam, or the Soviet occupation — but worse, by several orders of magnitude.
I think it's fair to say (as Karen Kwiatowski and others have) that many of these perverse policy choices are made in the service of perceived Israeli interests, but I can't see how rational actors in Israel (there are a few, but — as is the case nearly everywhere else — they have little tangible influence on policy) could see the present course as anything other than pregnant with disaster for that country. I don't claim any special insight regarding the question of Israel's relationship with its neighbors, but I earnestly wish we'd butt out and let the people of the region work out the problems on their own. Our support for Israel (and for client dictators bribed to accommodate that country) has created a whole nest of perverse incentives that militate against peace and freedom for anybody in the region. This won't end well for anybody, I'm afraid.