The chance of an American being killed by terrorists is close to zero

… the risk is calculated to be 1 in 20 million – Published on Intrepid Report, by John Chuckman, Feb 27, 2015.

… Let’s get a rough total estimate of what has happened to Americans from these causes in the time since 9/11. Just using the low number in each case for fourteen years, 7,000 Americans were killed by their own police, 420,000 were killed by something parked in their garage, 210,000 were murdered by fellow citizens, 1,400,000 were killed by friendly family doctors, and there were 560,000 who just decided to pack it in for one reason or another. The total of these various causes of death rounds to 2,600,000 deaths, nearly 867 times the number of Americans killed in 9/11, 867 collapsed sets of twin towers, nearly 62 collapsed sets of towers per year.  

So why are we spending countless billions of dollars fighting terror, an almost insignificant threat to our well-being? We spend a total by various estimates of between 1 and 5 trillion dollars (yes, that’s trillion with a “t”), although such totals can never accurately be given owing to secrecy, false accounting, and the immense waste that is an inherent part of all military and intelligence operations. Even in the crudest military terms of “bang for the buck,” ignoring all the death and destruction and ethical issues, just as the military routinely does in its grim work, the War on Terror has to be the greatest misdirection of resources in all of human history.

Or is it? Perhaps there are other reasons for the War on Terror, reasons never discussed in newspapers or on news broadcasts, reasons which make the expenditure of such colossal amounts against such an insignificant risk acceptable to those doing the spending? Unless American leaders are all lunatics, I think there must be … //

… In a very real sense, America’s establishment, its government within the government consisting of leaders in security and the military and of its great corporations, has been given license to create a kind of Frankenstein monster which now stands ready with terrible powers to do its bidding. It certainly isn’t just terrorists who need fear, it is every person with the impulse in his or her breast for justice, fairness, and human decency, and it is every country which has an impulse for independence from America’s imperious declarations of how they should carry on their affairs. I don’t like the expression New World Order, but it does in fact communicate something of what has been pursued relentlessly by America’s establishment since 9/11 with an unbounded sense of its entitlement and privilege. The awesome creature it has brought to life—which already runs secret prisons, tortures, conducts extrajudicial killings, and supports horrible governments in many places—is no respecter of principles or human rights or even basic decency. We all know from history and common experience that over time any well-funded, established, and privileged institution grows, altering the terms of its charter and spreading its influence always further, just as today American intelligence, bound by charter not to spy on Americans, spies on them all the time through various technical arrangements effectively going around its charter.

This monster serves ambitions abroad—crush democracy anywhere it proves inconvenient or a barrier to the interests of America’s establishment, as in Ukraine and in Egypt and as attempted in Venezuela, but also crush old arrangements which have produced advancing societies in other lands, even though they are not yet democratic, as in Syria, Iraq, or Libya.

In a relatively short time the monster has made chaotic wastelands of such previously prosperous lands as Iraq and Libya, and it is now hard at work doing the same to the lovely, ancient land of Syria where it is allied in its efforts with some of the ugliest violent fanatics you could hope to find anywhere. Its acts have resulted in many hundreds of thousands of deaths in these places, countless refugees and injuries, the destruction of much precious infrastructure, and left people to wallow in chaos for years to come.

It created a coup, and thereby a civil war, in Ukraine, reducing that impoverished land still further, and it allied itself for the effort with the kind of stormfront militia trash that even the pathetic FBI surely would infiltrate and investigate were they active in the United States. It did all this just to gain temporary psychological advantages over Russia, a country whose leadership today far better represents principles of international peace and good order—not without some distant echo of irony for those of us raised on a steady diet of Cold War propaganda—than those in Washington who never stop mouthing slogans about rights and democracy which they routinely ignore … //

… (full long text).

(John Chuckman is former chief economist for a large Canadian oil company. He has many interests and is a lifelong student of history. He writes with a passionate desire for honesty, the rule of reason, and concern for human decency. John regards it as a badge of honor to have left the United States as a poor young man from the South Side of Chicago when the country embarked on the pointless murder of something like 3 million Vietnamese in their own land because they happened to embrace the wrong economic loyalties. He lives in Canada, which he is fond of calling “the peaceable kingdom.” John’s columns appear regularly on Counterpunch, Media Monitors, Politics Canada, Baltimore Chronicle, Intrepid Report, Scoop (New Zealand), Asian Tribune,, Smirking Chimp, Dissident Voice, and many other Internet sites. He has been translated into at least ten languages and is regularly translated into Italian and Spanish. Several of his essays have been published in book collections, including two college texts. His first book has just been published, “The Decline of the American Empire and the Rise of China as a Global Power,” published by Constable and Robinson, London. Contact him at


100yrs to repair Gaza – Oxfam says blockade remains, aid almost non-existent, on Russia Today RT, Feb 27, 2015;

A Grassroots Win – FCC Approves Net Neutrality, on naked capitalism, by Yves Smith, Feb 27, 2015;

Roubaix veut révolutionner la lutte contre la pauvreté, les idées fusent, dans Croix du Nord, le 27 février, 2015;

Ukraine pays Gazprom $15mn for 24 hours worth of gas, on Russia Today RT, Feb 27, 2015;

Egypt: A deafening silence, on Al-Ahram weekly online, by Ahmed Eleiba, Feb 26, 2015: on the price Egypt will pay for the international neglect of Libya;

Video: The School Closure Playbook – How Billionaires Exploit Poor Children in Chicago, 22.00 min, on naked capitalism, by Yves Smit, Feb 26, 2015 … I hope you’ll watch this video. Be sure to circulate it to anyone you know who lives or votes in Chicago (also on vimeo);

The Economic Lessons the British Left Can Learn From the US, on Huffington Post, by Dan Holden, Feb 26, 2015;

L’honorable Yacouba Traoré sème le bordel à Markala, dans MaliWeb, by Bakary SOGODOGO, Feb 26, 2015;

Nouvelle Donne se présente sur deux cantons [#Départementales2015] #Marseille, dans La, par Emmanuelle Barret, le 26 février 2015;

Sous le feu des critiques, le RSI veut rassurer les indépendants, dans l’Express, par Ludwig Gallet, Feb 26, 2015;

Les candidats EELV veulent actionner le levier solidaire du Département, dans La Voix Du Nore, le 26 février 2015;

Qu’est-ce que la PAC? dans Toute l’, le 25 février 2015;

India: Reinvest LTCG in a new house to get tax benefit, on live mint, by Parizad Sirwalla, Feb 25, 2015:

Survey: Americans Get a Low Grade on Their Knowledge of Income Taxes, on Accounting Web, by Jason Bramwell, Feb 25, 2015;

Video: The Modern History of the Greek Debt Crisis, 16.40 min, on The Real News, Feb 25, 2015: John Weeks, the author of Economics of the 1%, explains the history behind the Greek debt burden;

Celebrating Black History Month, on The Real News, Feb 22, 2015;

Regime change – endless failures by the United States, on Current Concerns, by Professor Dr Albert A. Stahel, Feb 22, 2015: According to the prevailing political orientation in the White House be it that of Republicans or Democrats, right-wing neo-conservatives or left liberals in the respective administrations regularly call for the overthrow of inconvenient rulers all over the world and for their replacement by democratic governments …;

How I became an erratic Marxist, on The Guardian, by Yanis Varoufakis, Feb 18, 2015: Before he entered politics, Yanis Varoufakis, the iconoclastic Greek finance minister at the centre of the latest eurozone standoff, wrote this searing account of European capitalism and and how the left can learn from Marx’s mistakes;

Video: Red Talks: Ep. 1, 47.55 min, December 2014: A conversation with Leo Panitch and David Harvey on 17 Contradictions and the End of Capitalism - Find on en.wikipedia:

  • David W. Harvey FBA (born 31 October 1935) is the Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Geography at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY) …;
  • Leo Victor Panitch FRSC (born May 3, 1945, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada) is a Distinguished Research Professor of Political Science and Canada Research Chair in Comparative Political Economy at York University …;

The Economics of the 1%, on The Real News, October 2014:

… and this:

Maksim Mrvica, uploaded by Mattyb2001uk, November 2007:

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