What Uncle Sam Really Wants

Chomsky, Noam
Publisher:  Odonian Press/The Real Story Series, Berkeley CA 94707, USA
Year Published:  1993
Pages:  112pp   Price:  $6.95   ISBN:  1-878825-01-1
Resource Type:  Book
Cx Number:  CX6634

Chomsky discusses examples of U.S. intervention and links together events stretching over four decades in regions throughout the world. He provides a quick synopsis of American foreign policy and paints a vivid picture of the realities faced by social movements.

Noam Chomsky's What Uncle Sam Really Wants discusses American foreign policy since the end of the Second World War, highlighting the United States' use of subversion and force to maintain their economic and political hegemony over the Third World. At the end of World War II, the United States held roughly 50% of the world's wealth while only containing 6% of the total population. National Security Council planners aimed to maintain the discrepancy by any means necessary, most often by supporting violent regimes and dictatorships favoring the needs of American corporations and big businesses over social and political development.

Discussing examples from Latin America, South East Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, Chomsky strings together decades of events revealing patterns and trends in American foreign involvement. The biggest fear of the United States, believes Chomsky, is the development of democratic governments in poor countries that threaten to produce positive social and political changes to improve the lives of their citizens. American foreign policy intended to ensure that profits flowed out of the countries they were exploiting for cheap labour, not find their way into social programs to help peasants and poor communities. When social movements began to spread in Third World countries, the United States subversively or openly worked to destroy the movements by imposing economic sanctions, funding guerilla movements and mass murderers or sending their own armed forces to tackle the problem as in Viet Nam and Panama, among several other examples. The fear of an example being set by a poor country for others to follow threatened to undermine America's capitalist methods of global governance.

Chomsky discusses various examples of U.S. intervention and forms a narrative by linking together events stretching over four decades in regions throughout the world. His work provides a quick synopsis of American foreign policy and paints a vivid picture of the realities faced by social movements in Third World nations. What Uncle Sam Really Wants calls for Americans to pay greater attention to the role of their nation in global affairs and pressure their government to change its course of action through sustained, organized demonstration. "One of the things they want," Chomsky writes, "is a passive, quiescent population. So one of the things that you can do to make life uncomfortable for them is not to be passive and quiescent."

[Abstract by William Stevenson]

Table of Contents

Editor's foreword

The main goals of US foreign policy

Protecting our turf
The liberal extreme
The "Grand Area"
Restoring the traditional order
Our commitment to democracy
The threat of a good example
The three-sided world

Devastation abroad

Our Good Neighbour policy
The crucifixion of El Salvador
Teaching Nicaragua a lesson
Making Guatemala killing field
The invasion of Panama
Inoculating Southeast Asia
The Gulf War
The Iran/contra cover -up
The prospects for Eastern Europe
The world's rent-a-thug

Brainwashing at home

How the Cold War worked
The war on (certain) drugs
War is peace. Freedom is slavery.
Ignorance is strength
Socialism, real and fake
The Media

The Future

Things have changed
What you can do
The struggle continues

Political books by Noam Chomsky
Other Real Story Titles

Subject Headings

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