This is an indispensable guide to the domestic and foreign policies of the US state. In Part I, Blum analyses the US state's use of terrorists, particularly those who fought in Afghanistan, and its use of mass murderers like Pol Pot. In Part II, he analyses the US uses of weapons of mass destruction - bombing, depleted uranium, cluster bombs, chemical and biological weapons. In Part III, he analyses the US role in the world, its relationships with democracy and elections.
He looks at the notion that 9/11 is explicable only in terms of evil. He cites the Pentagon's own Defense Science Board, which quoted, and contradicted, Bush when it said, "Muslims do not `hate our freedom', but rather they hate our policies." He writes, "This idée fixe - that the rise of anti-American terrorism owes nothing to American policies - in effect postulates an America that is always the aggrieved innocent in a treacherous world, a benign United States government peacefully going about its business but being `provoked' into taking extreme measures to defend its people, its freedom and its democracy."
He writes, "Throughout the period of the Cuban revolution, 1959 to the present, Latin America has witnessed a terrible parade of human rights violations - systematic, routine torture; legions of `disappeared' people; government-supported death squads picking off selected individuals; massacres en masse of peasants, students and other groups, shot down in cold blood. The worst perpetrators of these acts during this period have been the military and associated paramilitary squads of El Salvador, Guatemala, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Mexico, Uruguay, Haiti and Honduras. Not even Cuba's worst enemies have made serious charges against the Castro government for any of these violations ..." Now the US state is encouraging Florida-based Cuban anti-communist terrorists to help Venezuelan fascist to overthrow President Chavez.
Blum concludes that, to the US state, "'democracy', at best, or at most, is equated solely with elections and civil liberties. Neither jobs, food or shelter, nor education or health care are part of the equation. Thus, a nation with hordes of hungry, homeless, untended sick, barely literate, unemployed, and/or tortured people, whose loved ones are being disappeared and/or murdered with state connivance, can be said to be living in a `democracy' ... provided that every two years or four years they have the right to go to a designated place and put an X next to the name of one or another individual who promises to relieve their miserable condition, but who will, typically, do virtually nothing of the kind ..."