The well-respected American author, William Blum, writes a very interesting and poignant introduction to his 2013 publication: ‘AMERICA’S DEADLIEST EXPORT-DEMOCRACY.’

Blum, one of his country’s non-mainstream experts on US foreign policy, is a former State Department official who quit his post in opposition to the war in Vietnam and has been a vociferous critic of his country’s actions abroad ever since.

And what he says in his introduction seems to me to encapsulate that human condition of ours of being able to be aware and to process unpleasant experiences – but then store them away in a dimly-lit and rarely opened compartment ‘somewhere’ along the corridor.

Here’s what he says: ‘The impact on world consciousness in recent decades of tragedies such as Rwanda and Darfur has been more conspicuous than the American-caused tragedies because the first two each took place in one area and within a relatively short space of time. Despite the extensive documentation of the crimes of US foreign policy (since the end of the Second World War in 1945), and the very breadth of American intervention, it is much more difficult for the world to fully grasp what the United States has done.’

Blum states quite candidly: ‘The secret to understanding US foreign policy is that there is no secret. Principally, one must come to the realisation that the United States strives to dominate the world, for which end it is prepared to use any means necessary.

‘Once one understands this, much of the apparent confusion, contradiction and ambiguity surrounding Washington’s policies fades away. To express this striving for dominance numerically, one can consider that since the end of World War II the US has

*endeavoured to overthrow more than 50 foreign governments, most of which were democratically elected.

*grossly interfered in democratic elections in at least 30 countries

*attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders

*dropped bombs on the people of more than 30 countries

*attempted to suppress a populist or nationalist movement in 20 countries

‘In total, the United States has carried out one or more of the above actions on one or more occasions in 71 countries (more than one third of the countries of the world), in the process of which the US has ended the lives of several million people, condemned many millions more to a life of agony and despair, and has been responsible for the torture of countless thousands.’

He goes on: ‘All countries, it is often argued, certainly all powerful countries, have always acted belligerently and millitaristically so why condemn the US so much? Obviously, it’s a question of magnitude. And the magnitude of US aggression puts it historically into a league all by itself.’

Blum’s work is an eminently readable tour de force that unlocks a multitude of facts which, put together, add up to a frightening portrait of a nation out of control. And, most worryingly, its direction shows no sign of abatement.