Yankee go home

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Of Kim Jong-Un, Uncle Sam and I


    1. Yankee go home – Wiktionary


      (idiomatic) United States people go back to your country; used to express anger at Ashford claims he got the Yankee-go-home treatment only once in his many

    2. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! – Yankee Go Home – YouTube

      Oct 28, 2009 – Uploaded by 2much4mymirror

      Buy “Yankee Go Home” on. Google PlayAmazonMP3iTunes; Artist Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Show more

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    4. Yankee Go Home

      Sid Harth – 1 minute ago – Limited –

      Yankee Go Home Of Kim Jong-Un, Uncle Sam and I

    5. Images for Yankee go home

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    6. Yankee Go Home | Facebook


      Our Dec 15 show in Akron has been CANCELLED! instead we’re playing at Major Leagues in Hamilton w/Yankee Go Home Updated: Dec 14 – Avalon Bar

    7. Anti-Americanism – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


      Protestors also shouted phrases such as “Yankee go home” and “Obama go home”. J. Ceaser has claimed that anti-Americanism in Europe has been an

    8. Yankee Go Home!’ – An Idea Whose Time Has Come


      Aug 17, 2002 – ‘Yankee Go Home!’ – An Idea Whose Time Has Come. by Richard Cummings. Who can forget the good old days when an angry mob pelted



      Yankee go / Yankee go home / The gas prices are getting higher / As the rain falls upon dry land / Yankee go home / Senses burn man / when the deck-hand

    10. Yankee Go Home Lyric Meaning – Clap Your Hands Say Yeah


      They Say / Yankee go / Yankee go home / The gas prices are getting higher / As the rain falls upon dry land / Yankee go Yankee go home / Senses burn man



      Jan Howard Yankee Go Home song lyrics. These Yankee Go Home lyrics are performed by Jan Howard Get the music video and song lyrics here.

    12. Song-o-matic – Yankee Go Home


      Oh GI Joe put your gun away. The sun is setting on another day. Why don’t you leave us alone? Yankee go home! They’re burning effigies out in the street

    American imperialism – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


    American imperialism is a term referring to the economic, military, and cultural influence of the United States on other countries. The concept of an American

  2. Images for American Imperialism

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  3. Unit 7: American Imperialism | Stanford History Education Group


    The American Imperialism Unit covers the Spanish-American War and the War in the Philippines. The lessons approach historical inquiry from different angles:



    I. Causes of U.S. imperialism. A. End of the frontier: 1890 report from the Superintendent of the Census 1. Many Americans believed U.S. had to expand or

  5. The Age of Imperialism


    The Age of Imperialism: An On-line History. This history unit covers United States The Spanish-American War: · Remember the Maine · A Splendid Little War

  6. American Imperialism: Born Hand-in-Hand With the Constitution


    Nov 3, 2012 – Many look to the time 1898 as the beginning or commencement of the American drive for imperialism; empire. The Spanish – American War,

  7. American Imperialism | SHPRS


    Jan 18, 2010 – This is a compilation of some of the best websites and lesson plans available online about the era of American Imperialism. The materials are

  8. The Rise and Fall of American Imperialism@mysistermarilynmonroe.com

    Sid Harth – Sep 22, 2012 – Limited –

    The Rise and Fall of American Imperialism@mysistermarilynmonroe.com Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? Islamists!

  9. Imperialism – Internet History Sourcebooks


    John A. Hobson (1858-1940): Imperialism, 1902, excerpts [At this Site]; John A. The American Anti Imperialist League Platform, 1899 [At this Site]; George

  10. American Imperialism | HTI


    Students will collaboratively analyze and compare editorial cartoons focusing on American imperialism drawn by both American and foreign cartoonists

  11. In defense of American imperialism – old new lefty – Open Salon


    Aug 22, 2012 – I have to admit to have always having a certain point of view, and that is — I am an American imperialist. I always have been because I realize

NKoreans dance in the streets, celebrating rocket launch opposed by international community

By Associated Press, Published: December 11 | Updated: Wednesday, December 12, 5:26 AM

PYONGYANG, North Korea — North Koreans danced in the streets of their capital Wednesday after the Pyongyang regime successfully fired a long-range rocket, defying international warnings and taking a big step forward in its quest to develop a nuclear-tipped missile.The rocket launch will enhance the credentials of 20-something leader Kim Jong Un at home a year after he took power following the death of his father Kim Jong Il. It is also likely to bring fresh sanctions and other punishments from the U.S. and its allies, which were quick to condemn the launch as a test of technology for a missile that could attack the U.S. mainland. Pyongyang says it was merely a peaceful effort to put a satellite into orbit.
The White House called it a “highly provocative act that threatens regional security.”Even China, North Korea’s closest ally, expressed “regret” that North Korea went ahead with the launch “in spite of the extensive concerns of international community,” said Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hong Lei.The timing of the launch came as something of a surprise after Pyongyang had indicated technical problems might delay it. That it succeeded after several failed attempts was an even greater surprise.“North Korea will now turn its attention to developing bigger rockets with heavier payloads,” said Chae Yeon-seok, a rocket expert at South Korea’s state-run Korea Aerospace Research Institute. “Its ultimate aim will be putting a nuclear warhead on the tip.”
The Unha-3 rocket fired just before 10 a.m. local time, and was detected heading south by a South Korean destroyer patrolling the Yellow Sea. Japanese officials said the first rocket stage fell into the Yellow Sea west of the Korean Peninsula; a second stage fell into the Philippine Sea hundreds of kilometers (miles) farther south.
The North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, later confirmed that “initial indications are that the missile deployed an object that appeared to achieve orbit.”
About an hour and a half after the launch, North Korea proclaimed it a success, prompting dancing in the streets of the capital. State media called it a “momentous event” in the country’s scientific development.
It was a marked contrast to an attempted launch in April, which broke up soon after liftoff. The presence of dozens of foreign journalists invited into the country ahead of that attempt forced the government to make an unusual public admission of failure.
This time, Pyongyang waited, presumably long enough to know the satellite had successfully entered orbit, before making a public pronouncement.
Guests and workers at a hotel bar in Pyongyang applauded as they watched the announcement by a female anchor on a flat-panel television. Vehicles mounted with loudspeakers drove around the capital announcing the news.
Pyongyang resident Ham Myong Son told The Associated Press that he felt “proud to have been born a Korean,” and Mun Su Kyong, a dancer dressed in bright traditional clothes, said the launch was something to “boast to the world.”
“How happy would our General have been,” said Rim Un Hui, another Pyongyang resident, referring to late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, who died one year ago next week and was succeeded by his young son. “I’m confident that our country will be stronger and more prosperous under the leadership of Kim Jong Un.”
In reality, the launch could leave Pyongyang even more isolated if the U.S., South Korea and Japan pursue fresh United Nations sanctions against the North. The U.N. Security Council will meet behind closed doors Wednesday to discuss its response to the launch.
The U.N. has already imposed two rounds of sanctions that followed underground nuclear tests, and a 2009 resolution orders the North not to conduct any launches using ballistic missile technology. Wednesday’s launch would appear to violate that order.Still, North Korea under new leader Kim has vowed to continue pursuing its nuclear ambitions unless Washington scraps what Pyongyang calls a hostile policy.The timing of the rocket test seems full of symbolism.
It may have been timed to commemorate the first anniversary of Kim Jong Il’s Dec. 17 death and the close of his son’s first year as supreme leader. It also closely aligns with next week’s South Korean presidential election, and parliamentary elections in Japan, another long-time enemy nation. President Barack Obama is due to be inaugurated for his second term next month.
Politically, it also sends a powerful message to the world.
Rocket tests are seen as crucial to advancing North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.
Pyongyang is thought to have a handful of rudimentary nuclear bombs, but experts believe it lacks the ability to make a warhead small enough to mount on a missile that could threaten the United States.
North Korea also has spent decades trying to perfect a multistage, long-range rocket capable of carrying such a device. Since ballistic missiles share similar bodies, engines and other technology to rockets used in satellite launches, experts see the North’s rocket launches as a thinly veiled cover for its missile program, despite Pyongyang’s insistence that it is a peaceful satellite program.
There were four previous attempts at a long-range launch, dating back to 1998 when Pyongyang sent a rocket hurtling over Japan.
The success of this launch “allows the North Koreans to determine what kind of delivery vehicle they could use for a potential nuclear warhead,” said retired Air Force Col. Cedric Leighton, a weapons expert and intelligence analyst.
David Wright, a senior scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said North Korea showed some technical capability getting the rockets stages to work Wednesday.
“Politically, however, it will certainly have an impact on the way other countries view North Korea,” Wright said.
Wednesday’s launch, like the one in April, came from a site on the west coast, in the village of Tongchang-ri, about 56 kilometers (35 miles) from the Chinese border city of Dandong. The site is 70 kilometers (45 miles) from the North’s main Yongbyon nuclear complex, and is said to have better roads and facilities than previous sites and to allow a southerly flight path meant to keep the rocket from flying over other countries.
The launch, which comes amid high tensions between the rival Koreas, also puts the North a step ahead of South Korea in the race to space. Seoul recently canceled its own attempt to launch its first satellite from its own territory, citing technical problems. Two previous attempts by Seoul in 2009 and 2010 failed.
“It’s really good news,” Jon Il Gwang, a Pyongyang resident, told the AP. “It clearly testifies that our country has the capability to enter space. I think our country should continue launching man-made satellites in the future in order to further advance the position of our country as a science and technology power.”
Associated Press writers Foster Klug, Hyung-jin Kim and Sam Kim in Seoul, South Korea, Peter Enav in Taipei, Taiwan, Matthew Pennington and Noel Waghorn in Washington, and Mari Yamaguchi and Elaine Kurtenbach in Tokyo contributed to this report.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
5:48 AM EST
Soviet Union, USSR launched their first satelllite, Sputnik 1 on October, 4, 1957. The world did not end. What’s the big fuss about North Korea, experimenting, with something that goes up and comes down, crashing?American Imperialism created one of the most deadly weapons of mass destructions. First Atom bomb, first Hydrogen Bomb, some Neutron Bombs, thousands of highly effective rockets to deliver their payloads to any and all parts of the world.I am not counting other deadly categories, Napalm, Sarin gas, biological weapons and only God knows what other secret weapons.I am not a fan of North Korea, Iran, India and Pakistan who may have similar world threatening ambitions, Oops, forgot all about Israel.
Destroy old, dilapidated nuclear arms, first, Uncle Sam before running amok over one single, alleged, North Korean rocket launch. I beg you.
…and I am Sid Harth@mysistermarilynmonroe.org
12/11/2012 11:58 PM EST
Actually this isn’t very important at all, I’d worry more when Skynet becomes self-aware.Anybody not wearing 2 million sunblock is gonna have a real bad day. Get it?
1:56 AM EST
Not to worry nonneocon, the Mayans are going to get us AND Skynet. Doomsday countdown at minus nine days and counting……

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American imperialism

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This article may contain original research. Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding references. Statements consisting only of original research may be removed. (February 2011)

Spheres of influence during the Cold War. The US and USSR are shown in dark green and orange respectively, and their spheres of influence in light green and orange.

A 1900 Campaign poster for the Republican Party. “The American flag has not been planted in foreign soil to acquire more territory but for humanity’s sake.[1]“, President William McKinley, July 12, 1900. On one side is shown the situation in 1896, before McKinley’s presidential election victory: “Gone Democratic: A run on the bank, Spanish rule in Cuba“. On the other side is the situation was in 1900, after four years of McKinley’s leadership: “Gone Republican: a run to the bank, American rule in Cuba[2]” (the Spanish–American War took place in 1898).

American imperialism is a term referring to the economic, military, and cultural influence of the United States on other countries. The concept of an American Empire was first popularized during the presidency of James K. Polk who led the United States into the Mexican–American War of 1846, and the eventual annexation of the territories like California and the Gadsden purchase.[3][4]


Imperialism and empire

On the cover of Puck published on April 6, 1901, in the wake of gainful victory in the Spanish–American War, Columbia – the National personification of the U.S. – preens herself with an Easter bonnet in the form of a warship bearing the words “World Power” and the word “Expansion” on the smoke coming out of its stack.

Thomas Jefferson, in the 1780s, awaited the fall of the Spanish empire until “our population can be sufficiently advanced to gain it from them piece by piece.”[5][6] In turn, historian Sidney Lens notes that “the urge for expansion – at the expense of other peoples – goes back to the beginnings of the United States itself.”[3]
Effects labelled “cultural imperialism” occur without overt government policy.[citation needed] Stuart Creighton Miller says that the public’s sense of innocence about Realpolitik impairs popular recognition of U.S. imperial conduct. The resistance to actively occupying foreign territory has led to policies of exerting influence via other means, including governing other countries via surrogates, where domestically unpopular governments survive only through U.S. support.[7]
The maximum geographical extension of American direct political and military control happened in the aftermath of World War II, in the period after the surrender and occupations of Germany and Austria in May and later Japan and Korea in September 1945 and before the independence of the Philippines in July 1946.[citation needed]

American exceptionalism

American exceptionalism refers to the theory that the United States occupies a special niche among the nations of the world[8] in terms of its national credo, historical evolution, political and religious institutions and origins.
Philosopher Douglas Kellner traces the identification of American exceptionalism as a distinct phenomenon back to 19th century French observer Alexis de Tocqueville, who concluded by agreeing that the U.S., uniquely, was “proceeding along a path to which no limit can be perceived.”[9]
American exceptionalism is popular among people within the U.S.,[10] but its validity and its consequences are disputed.
As a Monthly Review editorial opines on the phenomenon, “in Britain, empire was justified as a benevolent ‘white man’s burden’. And in the United States, empire does not even exist; ‘we’ are merely protecting the causes of freedom, democracy, and justice worldwide.”[11]

Imperialism at the heart of U.S. foreign policy

1898 political cartoon: “Ten Thousand Miles From Tip to Tip” meaning the extension of U.S. domination (symbolized by a bald eagle) from Puerto Rico to the Philippines. The cartoon contrasts this with a map of the smaller United States 100 years earlier in 1798.

Historian Donald W. Meinig says that imperial behavior for the United States dates at least to the Louisiana Purchase, which he describes as an “imperial acquisition – imperial in the sense of the aggressive encroachment of one people upon the territory of another, resulting in the subjugation of that people to alien rule.” The U.S. policies towards the Native Americans he said were “designed to remold them into a people more appropriately conformed to imperial desires.”[12]
Writers and academics of the early 20th century, like Charles A. Beard, in support of non-interventionism (sometimes referred to in a derogatory manner as “isolationism”), discussed American policy as being driven by self-interested expansionism going back as far as the writing of the Constitution. Some politicians today do not agree. Pat Buchanan claims that the modern United States’ drive to empire is “far removed from what the Founding Fathers had intended the young Republic to become.”[13]
Andrew Bacevich argues that the U.S. did not fundamentally change its foreign policy after the Cold War, and remains focused on an effort to expand its control across the world.[14] As the surviving superpower at the end of the Cold War, the U.S. could focus its assets in new directions, the future being “up for grabs” according to former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Paul Wolfowitz in 1991.[15]
In Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media, the political activist Noam Chomsky argues that exceptionalism and the denials of imperialism are the result of a systematic strategy of propaganda, to “manufacture opinion” as the process has long been described in other countries.[16]

Views of American imperialism

Caricature showing Uncle Sam lecturing four children labelled Philippines, Hawaii, Porto Rico [sic] and Cuba in front of children holding books labelled with various U.S. states. The caption reads: “School Begins. Uncle Sam (to his new class in Civilization): Now, children, you’ve got to learn these lessons whether you want to or not! But just take a look at the class ahead of you, and remember that, in a little while, you will feel as glad to be here as they are!”

Journalist Ashley Smith divides theories of the U.S. imperialism into 5 broad categories: (1) “liberal” theories, (2) “social-democratic” theories, (3) “Leninist” theories, (4) theories of “super-imperialism“, and (5) “Hardt-and-Negri-ite” theories.[17][page needed] There is also a conservative, anti-interventionist view as expressed by American journalist John T. Flynn:

The enemy aggressor is always pursuing a course of larceny, murder, rapine and barbarism. We are always moving forward with high mission, a destiny imposed by the Deity to regenerate our victims, while incidentally capturing their markets; to civilise savage and senile and paranoid peoples, while blundering accidentally into their oil wells.[18]

A “social-democratic” theory[attribution needed] says that imperialistic U.S. policies are the products of the excessive influence of certain sectors of U.S. business and government—the arms industry in alliance with military and political bureaucracies and sometimes other industries such as oil and finance, a combination often referred to as the “military–industrial complex“. The complex is said to benefit from war profiteering and the looting of natural resources, often at the expense of the public interest.[19] The proposed solution is typically unceasing popular vigilance in order to apply counter-pressure.[20] Johnson holds a version of this view.[citation needed]
Alfred T. Mahan, who served as an officer in the U.S. Navy during the late 19th century, supported the notion of American imperialism in his 1890 book titled The Influence of Sea Power upon History. In chapter one Mahan argued that modern industrial nations must secure foreign markets for the purpose of exchanging goods and, consequently, they must maintain a maritime force that is capable of protecting these trade routes.[21][page needed] Mahan’s argument provides a context that also justifies imperialism by industrial nations such as the United States.[citation needed]
A theory of “super-imperialism” says[attribution needed] that imperialistic U.S. policies are driven not simply by the interests of American businesses, but by the interests of the economic elites of a global alliance of developed countries.[citation needed] Capitalism in Europe, the U.S., and Japan has become too entangled, in this view, to permit military or geopolitical conflict between these countries, and the central conflict in modern imperialism is between the global core and the global periphery rather than between imperialist powers. Political scientists Leo Panitch and Samuel Gindin hold versions of this view.[22][23][24][25] Lenin argued this view was wishful thinking.[26]


In the book “Empire“, Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri argue that “the decline of Empire has begun”.[27] Hardt says the Iraq War is a classically imperialist war, and is the last gasp of a doomed strategy.[28] This new era still has colonizing power, but it has moved from national military forces based on an economy of physical goods to networked biopower based on an informational and affective economy. The U.S. is central to the development and constitution of a new global regime of international power and sovereignty, termed Empire, but is decentralized and global, and not ruled by one sovereign state; “the United States does indeed occupy a privileged position in Empire, but this privilege derives not from its similarities to the old European imperialist powers, but from its differences.”[29] Hardt and Negri draw on the theories of Spinoza, Foucault, Deleuze, and Italian autonomist marxists.[30][31]
Geographer David Harvey says there has emerged a new type of imperialism due to geographical distinctions as well as uneven levels of development.[32] He says there has emerged three new global economic and politics blocs: the United States, the European Union, and East Asia centered around China and Japan.[33] He says there are tensions between the three major blocs over resources and economic power, citing the 2003 invasion of Iraq, whose goal was to prevent rivals from controlling oil.[34] Furthermore, Harvey argues there can arise conflict within the major blocs between capitalists and politicians due to their opposing economic interests.[35] Politicians, on the other hand, live in geographically fixed locations and are, in the U.S. and Europe, accountable to the electorate. The ‘new’ imperialism, then, has led to an alignment of the interests of capitalists and politicians in order to prevent the rise and expansion of possible economic and political rivals from challenging America’s dominance.[36]
Victor Davis Hanson comparing the American “empire” to other empires stated, “We do not send out proconsuls to reside over client states, which in turn impose taxes on coerced subjects to pay for the legions. Instead, American bases are predicated on contractual obligations — costly to us and profitable to their hosts. We do not see any profits in Korea, but instead accept the risk of losing almost 40,000 of our youth to ensure that Kias can flood our shores and that shaggy students can protest outside our embassy in Seoul.”[37]

U.S. military bases

Chalmers Johnson argues that America’s version of the colony is the military base.[38] Chip Pitts argues similarly that enduring U.S. bases in Iraq suggest a vision of “Iraq as a colony“.[39]
There have also been conflicting reports made by U.S. government officials as to how many military bases actually exist outside the country.[40]
While territories such as Guam, the United States Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, and Puerto Rico remain under U.S. control, the U.S. allowed many of its overseas territories or occupations to gain independence after World War II. Examples include the Philippines (1946), the Panama canal zone (1979), Palau (1981), the Federated States of Micronesia (1986), and the Marshall Islands (1986). Most of them still have U.S. bases within their territories. In the case of Okinawa, which came under U.S. administration after the battle of Okinawa during World War II, this happened despite local popular opinion.[41] As of 2003, the United States had bases in over 36 countries worldwide.[42]

Benevolent imperialism

Main article: Neoconservatism

Max Boot defends U.S. imperialism by claiming: “U.S. imperialism has been the greatest force for good in the world during the past century. It has defeated communism and Nazism and has intervened against the Taliban and Serbian ethnic cleansing.” Boot willingly used “imperialism” to describe United States policy, not only in the early 20th century but “since at least 1803″.[43][44]
Columnist Charles Krauthammer says, “People are now coming out of the closet on the word ‘empire.'” This embrace of empire is made by many neoconservatives, including British historian Paul Johnson, and writers Dinesh D’Souza and Mark Steyn. It is also made by some liberal hawks, such as political scientist Zbigniew Brzezinski, and Michael Ignatieff.[45]
For instance, British historian Niall Ferguson argues that the United States is an empire, but believes that this is a good thing. Ferguson has drawn parallels between the British Empire and the imperial role of the United States in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, though he describes the United States’ political and social structures as more like those of the Roman Empire than of the British. Ferguson argues that all these empires have had both positive and negative aspects, but that the positive aspects of the U.S. empire will, if it learns from history and its mistakes, greatly outweigh its negative aspects.[46][page needed]
Another point of view believes United States expansion overseas has been imperialistic, but this imperialism as a temporary phenomenon, a corruption of American ideals or the relic of a past historical era. Historian Samuel Flagg Bemis argues that Spanish–American War expansionism was a short-lived imperialistic impulse and “a great aberration in American history”, a very different form of territorial growth than that of earlier American history.[47] Historian Walter LaFeber sees the Spanish–American War expansionism not as an aberration, but as a culmination of United States expansion westward.[48] But both agree that the end of the occupation of the Philippines marked the end of U.S. empire, hence denying that present United States foreign policy is imperialistic.
Historian Victor Davis Hanson argues that the U.S. does not pursue world domination, but maintains worldwide influence by a system of mutually beneficial exchanges.[49]
Liberal internationalists argue that even though the present world order is dominated by the United States, the form taken by that dominance is not imperial. International relations scholar John Ikenberry argues that international institutions have taken the place of empire.[50]
International relations scholar Joseph Nye argues that U.S. power is more and more based on “soft power“, which comes from cultural hegemony rather than raw military or economic force.[51] This includes such factors as the widespread desire to emigrate to the United States, the prestige and corresponding high proportion of foreign students at U.S. universities, and the spread of U.S. styles of popular music and cinema. Thus the U.S., no matter how hegemonic, can no longer be considered to be an ‘empire’ in the classic sense of the term.

Factors unique to the “Age of imperialism”

A variety of factors may have coincided during the “Age of Imperialism” in the late 19th century, when the United States and the other major powers rapidly expanded their territorial possessions. Some of these are explained, or used as examples for the various perceived forms of American imperialism.

  • Early in his career, as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Roosevelt was instrumental in preparing the Navy for the Spanish–American War[53] and was an enthusiastic proponent of testing the U.S. military in battle, at one point stating “I should welcome almost any war, for I think this country needs one”.[54][55][56]

Debate over U.S. foreign policy

Some scholars defend the historical role of the U.S.,[57] and certain prominent political figures, such as former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, have argued that “[The U.S. does not] seek empires. We’re not imperialistic. We never have been.”[58]
Thorton wrote that “[…]imperialism is more often the name of the emotion that reacts to a series of events than a definition of the events themselves. Where colonization finds analysts and analogies, imperialism must contend with crusaders for and against.”[59] Political theorist Michael Walzer argues that the term hegemony is better than empire to describe the US’s role in the world;[60] political scientist Robert Keohane agrees saying, a “balanced and nuanced analysis is not aided…by the use of the phrase ‘empire’ to describe United States hegemony, since ‘empire’ obscures rather than illuminates the differences in form of rule between the United States and other Great Powers, such as Great Britain in the 19th century or the Soviet Union in the twentieth.”[61]
Other political scientists, such as Daniel Nexon and Thomas Wright, argue that neither term exclusively describes foreign relations of the United States. The U.S. can be, and has been, simultaneously an empire and a hegemonic power. They claim that the general trend in U.S. foreign relations has been away from imperial modes of control.[62]

Cultural imperialism

Some critics of imperialism argue that military and cultural imperialism are interdependent. American Edward Said, one of the founders of post-colonial theory, said that,

[…], so influential has been the discourse insisting on American specialness, altruism and opportunity, that imperialism in the United States as a word or ideology has turned up only rarely and recently in accounts of the United States culture, politics and history. But the connection between imperial politics and culture in North America, and in particular in the United States, is astonishingly direct.[63]

International relations scholar David Rothkopf disagrees and argues that cultural imperialism is the innocent result of globalization, which allows access to numerous U.S. and Western ideas and products that many non-U.S. and non-Western consumers across the world voluntarily choose to consume.[64] Matthew Fraser has a similar analysis, but argues further that the global cultural influence of the U.S. is a good thing.[65]

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ George Thomas Kurian (1997). The encyclopedia of the Republican Party. Sharpe. pp. 91. ISBN 978-1-56324-729-3.
  2. ^ However, regarding “American rule in Cuba”, the 1898 Teller Amendment had mandated that the U.S. could not annex Cuba but only leave “control of the island to its people.” After Spanish troops left the island in December 1898, the United States occupied Cuba until 1902 and, as promised in the Teller Amendment, did not attempt to annex the island. Under the Platt Amendment, crafted in 1901 by U.S. Secretary of War Elihu Root to replace the Teller Amendment, however, important decisions of the government of Cuba remained subject to override by the United States. This suzerainty bred resentment toward the U.S.
  3. ^ a b Lens, Sidney; Zinn, Howard (2003) [1971]. The Forging of the American Empire. London: Pluto Press. ISBN 0-7453-2100-3.
  4. ^ Field, James A., Jr. (June 1978). “American Imperialism: The Worst Chapter in Almost Any Book”. The American Historical Review 83 (3): 644–668. doi:10.2307/1861842. JSTOR 1861842.
  5. ^ Susan Welch; John Gruhl; Susan M. Rigdon; Sue Thomas (2011). Understanding American Government. Cengage Learning. pp. 583, 671 (note 3). ISBN 978-0-495-91050-3.
  6. ^ Walter LaFeber (1993). Inevitable Revolutions: The United States in Central America. W. W. Norton & Company. p. 19. ISBN 978-0-393-30964-5.
  7. ^ Johnson, Chalmers, Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire (2000), pp.72–9
  8. ^ Frederick Jackson Turner, “Significance of the Frontier”, sagehistory.net (archived from the original on May 21, 2008).
  9. ^ Kellner, Douglas (April 25, 2003). “American Exceptionalism”. Archived from the original on February 17, 2006. Retrieved February 20, 2006.
  10. ^ Edwords, Frederick (November/December 1987). “The religious character of American patriotism. It’s time to recognize our traditions and answer some hard questions.”. The Humanist (p. 20-24, 36).
  11. ^ Magdoff, Harry; John Bellamy Foster (November 2001). “After the Attack…The War on Terrorism”. Monthly Review 53 (6): 7. Retrieved October 8, 2009.
  12. ^ Meinig, Donald W. (1993). The Shaping of America: A Geographical Perspective on 500 Years of History, Volume 2: Continental America, 1800–1867. Yale University Press. pp. 22–23, 170–196, 516–517. ISBN 0-300-05658-3.
  13. ^ Buchanan, Pat (1999). A Republic, Not an Empire: Reclaiming America’s Destiny. Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing. ISBN 0-89526-272-X. p. 165.
  14. ^ Bacevich, Andrew (2004). American Empire: The Realities and Consequences of U.S. Diplomacy. Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-01375-1.
  15. ^ ERIC SCHMITT, “Washington at Work; Ex-Cold Warrior Sees the Future as ‘Up for Grabs'” The New York Times December 23, 1991.
  16. ^ Edward Hallett Carr, The Twenty Years’ Crisis 1919–1939: An Introduction to the Study of International Relations, 1939.
  17. ^ Smith, Ashley (June 24, 2006). “The Classical Marxist Theory of Imperialism”. Socialism 2006. Columbia University.
  18. ^ Flynn, John T. (1944) As We Go Marching. p.240
  19. ^ C. Wright Mills, The Causes of World War Three, Simon and Schuster, 1958, pp. 52, 111
  20. ^ Flynn, John T. (1944) As We Go Marching.
  21. ^ Alfred Thayer Mahan (1987). The Influence of Sea Power upon History, 1660–1783. Courier Dover Publications. ISBN 978-0-486-25509-5.
  22. ^ Leo Panitch, “What you need to know about May Day”
  23. ^ Leo Panitch, “Whose Violence? Imperial State Security and the Global Justice Movement” Jan, 2005
  24. ^ Leo Panitch, “Putting the U.S. Economic Crisis in Perspective” January 31, 2008
  25. ^ Leo Panitch and Sam Gindin, “The Current Crisis: A Socialist Perspective” September 30, 2008
  26. ^ BRIAN JONES, “Imperialism, The Highest Stage of Capitalism” International Socialist Review Issue 44, November–December 2005
  27. ^ Empire hits back. The Observer, July 15, 2001.
  28. ^ Hardt, Michael (July 13, 2006). “From Imperialism to Empire”. The Nation.
  29. ^ Negri, Antonio; Hardt, Michael (2000). Empire. Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-00671-2. Retrieved October 8, 2009. p. xiii–xiv.
  30. ^ Michael Hardt, Gilles Deleuze: an Apprenticeship in Philosophy, ISBN 0-8166-2161-6
  31. ^ Autonomism#Italian_autonomism
  32. ^ Harvey, David (2005). The new imperialism. Oxford University Press. p. 101. ISBN 978-0-19-927808-4.
  33. ^ Harvey 2005, p. 31.
  34. ^ Harvey 2005, pp. 77–78.
  35. ^ Harvey 2005, p. 187.
  36. ^ Harvey 2005, pp. 76–78
  37. ^ VDH’s Private Papers::A Funny Sort of Empire
  38. ^ America’s Empire of Bases
  39. ^ Pitts, Chip (November 8, 2006). “The Election on Empire”. The National Interest. Retrieved October 8, 2009.
  40. ^ Military mystery: How many bases does the US have around the world, anyway? | Occasional Planet
  41. ^ Patrick Smith, Pay Attention to Okinawans and Close the U.S. Bases, International Herald Tribune (Opinion section), March 6, 1998.
  42. ^ “Base Structure Report” (PDF). USA Department of Defense. 2003. Archived from the original on January 10, 2007. Retrieved January 23, 2007.
  43. ^ American Imperialism? No Need to Run Away From the Label USA Today May 6, 2003
  44. ^ Neither New nor Nefarious: The Liberal Empire Strikes Back Current History, Vol. 102 No. 66 November, 2003
  45. ^ Heer, Jeet (March 23, 2003). “Operation Anglosphere”. Boston Globe. Retrieved October 8, 2009.
  46. ^ Ferguson, Niall (June 2, 2005). Colossus: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire. Penguin. ISBN 0-14-101700-7.
  47. ^ Miller, Stuart Creighton (1982). “Benevolent Assimilation” The American Conquest of the Philippines, 1899–1903. Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-02697-8. p. 3.
  48. ^ Lafeber, Walter (1975). The New Empire: An Interpretation of American Expansion, 1860–1898. Cornell University Press. ISBN 0-8014-9048-0.
  49. ^ Hanson, Victor Davis (November 2002). “A Funny Sort of Empire”. National Review. Retrieved October 8, 2009.
  50. ^ Ikenberry, G. John (March/April 2004). “Illusions of Empire: Defining the New American Order”. Foreign Affairs.
  51. ^ Cf. Nye, Joseph Jr. 2005. Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics. Public Affairs. 208 pp.
  52. ^ Thomas Friedman, “The Lexus and the Olive Tree”, p. 381, and Manfred Steger, “Globalism: The New Market Ideology,” and Jeff Faux, “Flat Note from the Pied Piper of Globalization,” Dissent, Fall 2005, pp. 64–67.
  53. ^ Brands, Henry William. (1997). T.R.: The Last Romantic. New York: Basic Books. Reprinted 2001, full biography OCLC 36954615, ch 12
  54. ^ “April 16, 1897: T. Roosevelt Appointed Assistant Secretary of the Navy”. Crucible of Empire – Timeline. PBS Online. Retrieved July 26, 2007.
  55. ^ “Transcript For “Crucible Of Empire””. Crucible of Empire – Timeline. PBS Online. Retrieved July 26, 2007.
  56. ^ Tilchin, William N. Theodore Roosevelt and the British Empire: A Study in Presidential Statecraft (1997)
  57. ^ See, for instance, Michael Mann (2005), Incoherent Empire (Verso); Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. (2005), “The American Empire? Not so fast”, World Policy, Volume XXII, No 1, Spring;
  58. ^ Bookman, Jay (June 25, 2003). “Let’s just say it’s not an empire”. Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved October 8, 2009.
  59. ^ Thornton, Archibald Paton (September 1978). Imperialism in the Twentieth Century. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 0-333-24848-1.
  60. ^ Walzer, Michael. “Is There an American Empire?”. www.freeindiamedia.com. Archived from the original on October 21, 2006. Retrieved June 10, 2006.
  61. ^ Keohane, Robert O. “The United States and the Postwar Order: Empire or Hegemony?” (Review of Geir Lundestad, The American Empire) Journal of Peace Research, Vol. 28, No. 4 (November , 1991), p. 435
  62. ^ Nexon, Daniel and Wright, Thomas “What’s at Stake in the American Empire Debate” American Political Science Review, Vol. 101, No. 2 (May 2007), p. 266-267
  63. ^ Said, Edward. Culture and Imperialism, speech at York University, Toronto, February 10, 1993. (archived from the original on October 13, 2007).
  64. ^ Rothkopf, David In Praise of Cultural Imperialism? Foreign Policy, Number 107, Summer 1997, pp. 38-53
  65. ^ Fraser, Matthew (2005). Weapons of Mass Distraction: Soft Power and American Empire. St. Martin’s Press.

Further reading

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: American Imperialism
Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: American benevolence

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Weapon of mass destruction

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A weapon of mass destruction (WMD) is a weapon that can kill and bring significant harm to a large number of humans (and other life forms) and/or cause great damage to man-made structures (e.g. buildings), natural structures (e.g. mountains), or the biosphere in general. The scope and application of the term has evolved and been disputed, often signifying more politically than technically. Coined in reference to aerial bombing with chemical explosives, it has come to distinguish large-scale weaponry of other technologies, such as chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear. This differentiates the term from more technical ones such as chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear weapons (CBRN).


Early uses of the term weapon of mass destruction

The first use of the term “weapon of mass destruction” on record is by Cosmo Gordon Lang, Archbishop of Canterbury, in 1937 in reference to the aerial bombardment of Guernica, Spain:

Who can think at this present time without a sickening of the heart of the appalling slaughter, the suffering, the manifold misery brought by war to Spain and to China? Who can think without horror of what another widespread war would mean, waged as it would be with all the new weapons of mass destruction?[1]

At the time, the United States (with help from Western Allies) had yet to develop and use nuclear weapons. Japan conducted research on biological weapons (see Unit 731),[2] and chemical weapons had seen wide use, most notably in World War I.
Following the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and progressing through the Cold War, the term came to refer more to non-conventional weapons. The application of the term to specifically nuclear and radiological weapons is traced by William Safire to the Russian phrase “Оружие массового поражения” – oruzhiye massovogo porazheniya (weapons of mass destruction).
He credits James Goodby (of the Brookings Institution) with tracing what he considers the earliest known English-language use soon after the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (although it is not quite verbatim): a communique from a 15 November 1945, meeting of Harry Truman, Clement Attlee and Mackenzie King (probably drafted by Vannevar Bush– or so Bush claimed in 1970) referred to “weapons adaptable to mass destruction”.
That exact phrase, says Safire, was also used by Bernard Baruch in 1946 (in a speech at the United Nations probably written by Herbert Bayard Swope).[3] The same phrase found its way into the very first resolution adopted by the United Nations General assembly in January 1946 in London, which used the wording “…the elimination from national armaments of atomic weapons and of all other weapons adaptable to mass destruction.”[4] This resolution also created the Atomic Energy Commission (predecessor of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)).
An exact use of this term was given in a lecture “Atomic Energy as an Atomic Problem” by J. Robert Oppenheimer. The lecture was delivered to the Foreign Service and the State Department, on 17 September 1947. The lecture is reprinted in The Open Mind (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1955).

“It is a very far reaching control which would eliminate the rivalry between nations in this field, which would prevent the surreptitious arming of one nation against another, which would provide some cushion of time before atomic attack, and presumably therefore before any attack with weapons of mass destruction, and which would go a long way toward removing atomic energy at least as a source of conflict between the powers”.

The term was also used in the introduction to the hugely influential US Government Document known as NSC-68 written in April 1950.[5]
During a televised presentation about the Cuban Missile Crisis on 22 October 1962, John F. Kennedy made reference to “offensive weapons of sudden mass destruction.[6]
An early use of the exact phrase in an international treaty was in the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, however no definition was provided.

Evolution of its use

During the Cold War, the term “weapons of mass destruction” was primarily a reference to nuclear weapons. At the time, in the West the euphemism “strategic weapons” was used to refer to the American nuclear arsenal, which was presented as a necessary deterrent against nuclear or conventional attack from the Soviet Union (see Mutual Assured Destruction).
The term “weapons of mass destruction” continued to see periodic use throughout this time, usually in the context of nuclear arms control; Ronald Reagan used it during the 1986 Reykjavík Summit, when referring to the 1967 Outer Space Treaty.[7] Reagan’s successor, George H.W. Bush, used the term in an 1989 speech to the United Nations, using it primarily in reference to chemical arms.[8]
The end of the Cold War reduced U.S. reliance on nuclear weapons as a deterrent, causing it to shift its focus to disarmament. This period coincided with an increasing threat to U.S. interests from Islamic nations and independent Islamic groups. With the 1990 invasion of Kuwait and 1991 Gulf War, Iraq’s nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons programs became a particular concern of the first Bush Administration.[9] Following the war, Bill Clinton and other western politicians and media continued to use the term, usually in reference to ongoing attempts to dismantle Iraq’s weapons programs.[citation needed]
After the 11 September 2001 attacks and the 2001 anthrax attacks, an increased fear of non-conventional weapons and asymmetrical warfare took hold of the United States and other Western powers. This fear reached a crescendo with the 2002 Iraq disarmament crisis and the alleged existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq that became the primary justification for the 2003 invasion of Iraq. However, no WMD were found in Iraq.[a]
Because of its prolific use during this period, the American Dialect Society voted “weapons of mass destruction” (and its abbreviation, “WMD”) the word of the year in 2002,[10] and in 2003 Lake Superior State University added WMD to its list of terms banished for “Mis-use, Over-use and General Uselessness“.[11]

Definitions of the term

United States


The most widely used definition of “weapons of mass destruction” is that of nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons (NBC) although there is no treaty or customary international law that contains an authoritative definition. Instead, international law has been used with respect to the specific categories of weapons within WMD, and not to WMD as a whole.
The abbreviations NBC (for nuclear, biological and chemical) or CBR (chemical, biological, radiological) are used with regards to battlefield protection systems for armored vehicles, because all three involve insidious toxins that can be carried through the air and can be protected against with vehicle air filtration systems.
However, there is an argument that nuclear and biological weapons do not belong in the same category as chemical and “dirty bomb” radiological weapons, which have limited destructive potential (and close to none, as far as property is concerned), whereas nuclear and biological weapons have the unique ability to kill large numbers of people with very small amounts of material, and thus could be said to belong in a class by themselves.
The NBC definition has also been used in official U.S. documents, by the U.S. President,[12][13] the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency,[14] the U.S. Department of Defense,[15][16] and the U.S. Government Accountability Office.[17]
Other documents expand the definition of WMD to also include radiological or conventional weapons. The U.S. military refers to WMD as:

Chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear weapons capable of a high order of destruction or causing mass casualties and exclude the means of transporting or propelling the weapon where such means is a separable and divisible part from the weapon. Also called WMD.[18]

The significance of the words separable and divisible part of the weapon is that missiles such as the Pershing II and the SCUD are considered weapons of mass destruction, while aircraft capable of carrying bombloads are not.
In 2004, the United Kingdom’s Butler Review recognized the “considerable and long-standing academic debate about the proper interpretation of the phrase ‘weapons of mass destruction’”. The committee set out to avoid the general term but when using it, employed the definition of United Nations Security Council Resolution 687, which defined the systems which Iraq was required to abandon:

  • “Nuclear weapons or nuclear-weapons-usable material or any sub-systems or components or any research, development, support or manufacturing facilities relating to [nuclear weapons].
  • Chemical and biological weapons and all stocks of agents and all related subsystems and components and all research,development,support and manufacturing facilities.
  • Ballistic missiles with a range greater than 150 kilometres and related major parts, and repair and production facilities.”[19]

Chemical weapons expert Gert G. Harigel considers only nuclear weapons true weapons of mass destruction, because “only nuclear weapons are completely indiscriminate by their explosive power, heat radiation and radioactivity, and only they should therefore be called a weapon of mass destruction”. He prefers to call chemical and biological weapons “weapons of terror” when aimed against civilians and “weapons of intimidation” for soldiers.
Testimony of one such soldier expresses the same viewpoint.[20] For a period of several months in the winter of 2002–2003, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz frequently used the term “weapons of mass terror,” apparently also recognizing the distinction between the psychological and the physical effects of many things currently falling into the WMD category.
Gustavo Bell Lemus, the Vice President of Colombia, at the 2001 United Nations Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects, quoted the Millennium Report of the UN Secretary-General to the General Assembly, in which Kofi Annan said that small arms could be described as WMD because the fatalities they cause “dwarf that of all other weapons systems – and in most years greatly exceed the toll of the atomic bombs that devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki“.[21]
An additional condition often implicitly applied to WMD is that the use of the weapons must be strategic. In other words, they would be designed to “have consequences far outweighing the size and effectiveness of the weapons themselves“.[22] The strategic nature of WMD also defines their function in the military doctrine of total war as targeting the means a country would use to support and supply its war effort, specifically its population, industry, and natural resources.
Within U.S. civil defense organizations, the category is now Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosive (CBRNE), which defines WMD as:

(1) Any explosive, incendiary, poison gas, bomb, grenade, or rocket having a propellant charge of more than four ounces [113 g], missile having an explosive or incendiary charge of more than one-quarter ounce [7 g], or mine or device similar to the above. (2) Poison gas. (3) Any weapon involving a disease organism. (4) Any weapon that is designed to release radiation at a level dangerous to human life.[citation needed]


For the general purposes of national defense,[23] US Code[24] defines a weapon of mass destruction as:

  • any weapon or device that is intended, or has the capability, to cause death or serious bodily injury to a significant number of people through the release, dissemination, or impact of:
    • toxic or poisonous chemicals or their precursors
    • a disease organism
    • radiation or radioactivity[25]

For the purposes of the prevention of weapons proliferation,[26] US Code defines weapons of mass destruction as “chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons, and chemical, biological, and nuclear materials used in the manufacture of such weapons.”[27]

Criminal (Civilian)

For the purposes of US Criminal law concerning terrorism,[28] weapons of mass destruction are defined as:

  • any destructive device defined as any explosive, incendiary, or poison gas bomb, grenade, rocket having a propellant charge of more than four ounces, missile having an explosive or incendiary charge of more than one-quarter ounce, mine, or device similar to any of the devices described in the preceding clauses[29]
  • any weapon that is designed or intended to cause death or serious bodily injury through the release, dissemination, or impact of toxic or poisonous chemicals, or their precursors
  • any weapon involving a biological agent, toxin, or vector
  • any weapon that is designed to release radiation or radioactivity at a level dangerous to human life[30]

The Federal Bureau of Investigation‘s definition is similar to that presented above from the terrorism statute:[31]

  • any explosive or incendiary device, as defined in Title 18 USC, Section 921: bomb, grenade, rocket, missile, mine, or other device with a charge of more than four ounces
  • any weapon designed or intended to cause death or serious bodily injury through the release, dissemination, or impact of toxic or poisonous chemicals or their precursors
  • any weapon involving a disease organism
  • any weapon designed to release radiation or radioactivity at a level dangerous to human life
  • any device or weapon designed or intended to cause death or serious bodily injury by causing a malfunction of or destruction of an aircraft or other vehicle that carries humans or of an aircraft or other vehicle whose malfunction or destruction may cause said aircraft or other vehicle to cause death or serious bodily injury to humans who may be within range of the vector in its course of travel or the travel of its debris.

Indictments and convictions for possession and use of WMD such as truck bombs,[32] pipe bombs,[33] shoe bombs,[34] cactus needles coated with botulin toxin,[35] etc. have been obtained under 18 USC 2332a.
The Washington Post reported on 30 March 2006: “Jurors asked the judge in the death penalty trial of Zacarias Moussaoui today to define the term ‘weapons of mass destruction’ and were told it includes airplanes used as missiles”. Moussaoui was indicted and tried for the use of airplanes as WMD.


See also: Arms control

The development and use of WMD is governed by international conventions and treaties, although not all countries have signed and ratified them:

WMD use, possession and access

Nuclear weapons

U.S. nuclear warheads, 1945–2002

The only country to have used a nuclear weapon in war is the United States, which dropped two atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II. There are eight countries that have declared they possess nuclear weapons and are known to have tested a nuclear weapon, only five of which are members of the NPT. The eight are China, France, India, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Israel is considered by most analysts to have nuclear weapons numbering in the low hundreds as well, but maintains an official policy of nuclear ambiguity, neither denying nor confirming its nuclear status.
Iran is suspected by western countries of seeking nuclear weapons, a claim that it denies. While the truth is unknown, the November 2007 NIE on Iran stated that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in the fall of 2003.[36]
South Africa developed a small nuclear arsenal in the 1980s but disassembled them in the early 1990s, making it the only country to have fully given up an independently developed nuclear weapons arsenal. Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine inherited stockpiles of nuclear arms following the break-up of the Soviet Union, but relinquished them to the Russian Federation.
Countries with access to nuclear weapons through nuclear sharing agreements include Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Turkey. North Korea has claimed to have developed and tested nuclear devices. Although outside sources have been unable to unequivocally support the state’s claims, North Korea has officially been identified to have nuclear weapons.

United States politics

Due to the indiscriminate impact of WMD, the fear of a WMD attack has shaped political policies and campaigns, fostered social movements, and has been the central theme of many films. Support for different levels of WMD development and control varies nationally and internationally. Yet understanding of the nature of the threats is not high, in part because of imprecise usage of the term by politicians and the media.
Fear of WMD, or of threats diminished by the possession of WMD, has long been used to catalyze public support for various WMD policies. They include mobilization of pro- and anti-WMD campaigners alike, and generation of popular political support. The term WMD may be used as a powerful buzzword[37] or to generate a culture of fear.[38] It is also used ambiguously, particularly by not distinguishing among the different types of WMD.[39]
A television commercial called Daisy, promoting Democrat Lyndon Johnson‘s 1964 presidential candidacy, invoked the fear of a nuclear war and was an element in Johnson’s subsequent election.
More recently, the threat of potential WMD in Iraq was used by President George W. Bush to generate public support for the 2003 invasion of Iraq.[40][41] Broad reference to Iraqi WMD in general was seen as an element of President Bush’s arguments.[39]
As Paul Wolfowitz explained: “For bureaucratic reasons, we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction, because it was the one reason everyone could agree on.”[42] To date, however, Coalition forces have found mainly degraded artillery shells.
There was almost no dissent on the issue. Molly Ivins wrote: “The ONLY (source) to report skeptically on the administration’s claims about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction before the war? Knight-Ridder and its terrific reporters Warren Strobel and Jonathan Landay.”[43]
On 21 June 2006, then-United States Republican Senator Rick Santorum claimed “We have found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, chemical weapons.” According to the Washington Post, he was referring to 500 such shells “that had been buried near the Iranian border, and then long forgotten, by Iraqi troops during their eight-year war with Iran, which ended in 1988.” That night, “intelligence officials reaffirmed that the shells were old and were not the suspected weapons of mass destruction sought in Iraq after the 2003 invasion of Iraq.” The shells had been uncovered and reported on in 2004.[44]
In 2004, Polish troops found nineteen 1980s-era rocket warheads, thwarting an attempt by militants to buy them at $5000 each. Some of the rockets contained extremely deteriorated nerve agent.[45]

Media coverage of WMD

In 2004, the Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM) released a report[46] examining the media’s coverage of WMD issues during three separate periods: nuclear weapons tests by India and Pakistan in May 1998; the US announcement of evidence of a North Korean nuclear weapons program in October 2002; and revelations about Iran’s nuclear program in May 2003. The CISSM report notes that poor coverage resulted less from political bias among the media than from tired journalistic conventions. The report’s major findings were that:

  1. Most media outlets represented WMD as a monolithic menace, failing to adequately distinguish between weapons programs and actual weapons or to address the real differences among chemical, biological, nuclear, and radiological weapons.
  2. Most journalists accepted the Bush administration’s formulation of the “War on Terror” as a campaign against WMD, in contrast to coverage during the Clinton era, when many journalists made careful distinctions between acts of terrorism and the acquisition and use of WMD.
  3. Many stories stenographically reported the incumbent administration’s perspective on WMD, giving too little critical examination of the way officials framed the events, issues, threats, and policy options.
  4. Too few stories proffered alternative perspectives to official line, a problem exacerbated by the journalistic prioritizing of breaking-news stories and the “inverted pyramid” style of storytelling.

In a separate study published in 2005,[47] a group of researchers assessed the effects reports and retractions in the media had on people’s memory regarding the search for WMD in Iraq during the 2003 Iraq War. The study focused on populations in two coalition countries (Australia and USA) and one opposed to the war (Germany). Results showed that US citizens generally did not correct initial misconceptions regarding WMD, even following disconfirmation; Australian and German citizens were more responsive to retractions. Dependence on the initial source of information led to a substantial minority of Americans exhibiting false memory that WMD were indeed discovered, while they were not. This led to three conclusions:

  1. The repetition of tentative news stories, even if they are subsequently disconfirmed, can assist in the creation of false memories in a substantial proportion of people.
  2. Once information is published, its subsequent correction does not alter people’s beliefs unless they are suspicious about the motives underlying the events the news stories are about.
  3. When people ignore corrections, they do so irrespective of how certain they are that the corrections occurred.

A poll conducted between June and September 2003 asked people whether they thought evidence of WMD had been discovered in Iraq since the war ended. They were also asked which media sources they relied upon. Those who obtained their news primarily from Fox News were three times as likely to believe that evidence of WMD had been discovered in Iraq than those who relied on PBS and NPR for their news, and one third more likely than those who primarily watched CBS.

Media source Respondents believing evidence of WMD had been found in Iraq
Fox 33%
CBS 23%
NBC 20%
CNN 20%
ABC 19%
Print media 17%

Based on a series of polls taken from June–September 2003.[48]
In 2006 Fox News reported the claims of two Republican lawmakers that WMDs had been found in Iraq,[49] based upon unclassified portions of a report by the National Ground Intelligence Center. Quoting from the report Senator Rick Santorum said “Since 2003, coalition forces have recovered approximately 500 weapons munitions which contain degraded mustard or sarin nerve agent”. According to David Kay, who appeared before the US House Armed Services Committee to discuss these badly corroded munitions, they were leftovers, many years old, improperly stored or destroyed by the Iraqis.[50] Charles Duelfer agreed, stating on NPR’s Talk of the Nation: “When I was running the ISG – the Iraq Survey Group – we had a couple of them that had been turned in to these IEDs, the improvised explosive devices. But they are local hazards. They are not a major, you know, weapon of mass destruction.”[51]
Later, wikileaks would show that these kind of WMDs continued to be found as the Iraqi occupation continued.[52]
Many news agencies, including Fox News, reported the conclusions of the CIA that, based upon the investigation of the Iraq Survey Group, WMDs have yet to be found in Iraq.[53][54]

Public perceptions of WMD

Awareness and opinions of WMD have varied during the course of their history. Their threat is a source of unease, security, and pride to different people. The anti-WMD movement is embodied most in nuclear disarmament, and led to the formation of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.
In order to increase awareness of all kinds of WMD, in 2004 the nuclear physicist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Joseph Rotblat inspired the creation of The WMD Awareness Programme[55] to provide trustworthy and up to date information on WMD world wide.
In 1998 University of New Mexico‘s Institute for Public Policy released their third report[56] on US perceptions – including the general public, politicians and scientists – of nuclear weapons since the breakup of the Soviet Union. Risks of nuclear conflict, proliferation, and terrorism were seen as substantial.
While maintenance of a nuclear US arsenal was considered above average in importance, there was widespread support for a reduction in the stockpile, and very little support for developing and testing new nuclear weapons.
Also in 1998, but after the UNM survey was conducted, nuclear weapons became an issue in India’s election of March,[57] in relation to political tensions with neighboring Pakistan. Prior to the election the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) announced it would “declare India a nuclear weapon state” after coming to power.
BJP won the elections, and on 14 May, three days after India tested nuclear weapons for the second time, a public opinion poll reported that a majority of Indians favored the country’s nuclear build-up.[citation needed]
On 15 April 2004, the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) reported[58] that US citizens showed high levels of concern regarding WMD, and that preventing the spread of nuclear weapons should be “a very important US foreign policy goal”, accomplished through multilateral arms control rather than the use of military threats.
A majority also believed the US should be more forthcoming with its biological research and its Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty commitment of nuclear arms reduction, and incorrectly thought the US was a party to various non-proliferation treaties.
A Russian opinion poll conducted on 5 August 2005 indicated half the population believes new nuclear powers have the right to possess nuclear weapons.[59] 39% believes the Russian stockpile should be reduced, though not fully eliminated.

WMD in popular culture

Weapons of mass destruction and their related impacts have been a mainstay of popular culture since the beginning of the Cold War, as both political commentary and humorous outlet.

Common hazard symbols

Main article: Hazard symbol
Symbol Unicode Image
Toxic symbol U+2620 Skull and crossbones
Radioactive symbol U+2622 Radioactivity
Biohazard symbol U+2623 Biohazard

Radioactive weaponry/hazard symbol


The international radioactivity symbol (also known as trefoil) first appeared in 1946, at the University of California, Berkeley Radiation Laboratory. At the time, it was rendered as magenta, and was set on a blue background.[60]
It is drawn with a central circle of radius R, the blades having an internal radius of 1.5R and an external radius of 5R, and separated from each other by 60°.[61] It is meant to represent a radiating atom.
The International Atomic Energy Agency found, however, that the symbol is unintuitive and can be variously interpreted by those uneducated in its meaning, and that its role as a hazard warning was compromised as it did not clearly indicate “danger” to many non-Westerners and children who encountered it. As a result of research, a new radiation hazard symbol was developed to be placed near the most dangerous parts of radiation sources featuring a skull, someone running away, and using the color red rather than yellow as the background.[62]

Biological weaponry/hazard symbol


Developed by Dow Chemical company in the 1960s for their containment products.[63]
According to Charles Dullin, an environmental-health engineer who contributed to its development:[61]

We wanted something that was memorable but meaningless, so we could educate people as to what it means.


  1. Stockpiles of chemical munitions including sarin and mustard agents were found, but none were considered to be in a usable condition due to corrosion.


See also


  1. ^ “Archbishop’s Appeal,” Times (London), 28 December 1937, p. 9.
  2. ^ “Biological Weapons Program – Japan”. Fas.org. Retrieved 5 August 2010.
  3. ^ “Weapons of Mass Destruction”, New York Times Magazine, 19 April 1998, p.22. Retrieved 24 February 2007.
  4. ^ “UNODA – Nuclear Weapons Home”. Un.org. Retrieved 14 May 2012.
  5. ^ “NSC-68 United States Objectives and Programs for National Security”. Fas.org. Retrieved 5 August 2010.
  6. ^ Kennedy JF (1962-10-22). Televised remarks to the American people re “the Soviet military buildup on the island of Cuba”
  7. ^ “CNN Cold War – Historical Documents: Reagan-Gorbachev transcripts”. Web.archive.org. 18 May 2008. Archived from the original on 18 May 2008. Retrieved 14 May 2012.
  8. ^ “Excerpts From Bush’s Speech at the Opening of the U.N. General Assembly –”. New York Times (Union Of Soviet Socialist Republics (Ussr)). 26 September 1989. Retrieved 5 August 2010.
  9. ^ By MICHAEL WINES, Special to The New York Times (30 September 1990). “Confrontation in the Gulf; U.S. Explores New Strategies to Limit Weapons of Mass Destruction –”. New York Times (IRAQ). Retrieved 5 August 2010.
  10. ^ “American Dialect Society”. Americandialect.org. 13 January 2003. Retrieved 5 August 2010.
  11. ^ “Lake Superior State University:: Banished Words List:: 2003″. Lssu.edu. Retrieved 5 August 2010.
  12. ^ [1][dead link]
  13. ^ “Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents Volume 37, Issue 19 (May 14, 2001)”. Frwebgate.access.gpo.gov. Retrieved 14 May 2012.
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  61. ^ a b “Biohazard and radioactive Symbol, design and proportions”.
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