william blum: “our leaders do not mean well”

THE ABRIDGED STATEMENTS BELOW are lifted from an article titled “Our Leaders Do Not Mean Well,” which is an interview by Daniel Falcone of author William Blum for Truthout (January 4, 2014). Blum is a former anti-commie-turned-anti-war-activist and underground newspaper publisher. In 1966, he was one of the founders and editors of the Washington Free Press, the first alternative paper in the nation’s capital.

Falcone: How do you think people that are a part of the electorate today differentiate President Bush from President Obama, and what are the differences between the two in approach of the office in terms of diplomacy, meaning in terms of diplomacy or foreign affairs?

Blum: I cannot name any significant difference in foreign policy between Bush and Obama. Obama is, perhaps, worse. He’s invaded six nations already. I cannot think of any way to point out that Obama is less of an imperialist than Bush. The Obama supporters would love to think he’s better and they would argue even—and they do argue that it’s the Republicans who forced him to do what he did.

I get this again and again. If Obama was free to do what he wants, he would be an angel or at least much better than he is now. I don’t buy that. He’s the most powerful person in the world, and he’s just lacking courage—he’s lacking belief, too.

There’s nothing really important to that man except being president of the United States. That he likes. He likes what goes with that.

But there’s no issue that he would not compromise on. He’s willing to take any side of any issue in order to get elected. So he’s no better than Bush. Bush at least believes what he says, I think. Obama doesn’t even do that.

Falcone: Going back to what you were saying about education earlier, do you think that it’s possible to get an understanding of how the world is organized without being self-taught? Or is this something that is a skill that you must acquire on your own?

Blum: One doesn’t have to be self-taught. One can learn in all kinds of ways. One can have a teacher that inspires them. If I had had a teacher like that, I might not have had to become self-taught. But I didn’t.

Blum is best known today for his book Killing Hope: U.S. Military And CIA Interventions Since World War II (2003), whose title should tell you all you need to know. His current book is titled America’s Deadliest Export: Democracy – The Truth About US Foreign Policy And Everything Else.

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