Mon, 08 Sep 2014 16:54 CDT
Mon, 08 Sep 2014 16:54 CDT
It wasn't the corruption of former President Yanukovych, it wasn't Putin's "annexing of Crimea", and it wasn't "pro-Russian militias on the orders of Putin" demanding independence. It all started, as with so many other 'crises' around the globe, with Western politicians and bankers deciding that they needed more 'lebensraum'1, and sources of cheap human capital and natural resources, to prop up Western nations' junk economies that have been looted by the same bankers and politicians.
Picture, if you will, the following fictional scenario:
Russia has long sought to diminish the influence and power of the USA on the world stage and, at the same time, acquire new territory, resources and cheap labor for Russian oligarchs and banking interests. As part of their decades-long strategy to achieve this aim, they have slowly infiltrated and compromised the governments and national integrity of South and Central American countries, forcing them to take an 'anti-US' approach in everything from trade to cultural exchange programs.
Due to its physical proximity and its long-standing trade and cultural links with the USA, one of the only Central (or South) American countries still on friendly and mature terms with the USA is Mexico. Mexico is a large country with plentiful natural resources, and enjoys many benefits from its economic and cultural association with the USA. The USA provides Mexico with cheap oil for example, many of the biggest Mexican corporations are owned by US citizens, and up to 40% of the Mexican population is of North American origin and speaks English as their first language. Most of these people, however, are concentrated in Northern Mexican states along the US border. In addition, the US Navy has an historic naval base on Mexican territory, on the Baja California peninsula.
Despite these long-established facts on the ground, the Russian government has decided that it is time to finish the job of neutralizing American influence in the Americas (and beyond) by removing Mexico from the USA's 'sphere of influence' and into Russia's.
The Russian plan is fairly simple and follows methods that have been used in other parts of the world.
The Russian government begins to fund and train hundreds of 'grass roots activist' groups in Mexico who then mobilize their members into mass protests against the 'corrupt' Mexican government and its president who has close ties with the USA. As a result of long-term Russian efforts to infiltrate Mexican politics, many members of Mexican political parties are aligned with Russia and are now part of the Russian plot and are encouraging the violence on the streets. Some of these politicians are also the leaders of openly fascistic 'Mexican supremacist' or 'La Raza' organisations and political parties that have a long tradition of anti-Americanism going back to the 1846 Mexican-American war, which was ignited by the U.S. annexation of Texas, which Mexico considered part of its territory. These ultra-nationalist Mexican groups and parties have apparently failed to recognize that 1846 was a long time ago and the US is no longer a threat to Mexican territory.
As the protests in the Mexican capital gain momentum, they turn increasingly violent with the "Mexican supremacist" organisations among the protestors occupying and burning government buildings. They are armed with Molotov cocktails and guns and shoot, burn and kill dozens of policemen, and it is suspected that the same organisations have been carrying out sniper attacks on both policemen and protestors. At this stage the first signs of the hidden agenda begin to be seen when the pro-Russia Mexican politicians, and the Russian government itself, claim that the USA is involved in the shooting of protestors and warn it to stay out of Mexico's internal affairs.
In a single day, over 100 people, including policemen, are killed in the protests and the Mexican president is forced to flee the country along with many members of parliament. A coup has taken place, and a new "interim government" is installed that includes the political representatives of the "Mexican supremacist" groups because, after all, it was their 'minions' that were behind most of the violence that effected the coup.
A leaked telephone conversation between two high level officials in the Russian ministry of foreign affairs reveals that the new "interim government" in Mexico had been chosen in advance by the Russian government. The USA, naturally, isn't happy.
The USA decides that it has to act, and act quickly, if it is to protect itself against this proxy attack on its national integrity and interests both in the USA and in Mexico, and protect the many ethnic Americans living in Mexico. The US Naval base in the Baja California peninsula is vital to the US military because, due to "global warming", almost all of the US Western coastlines are iced-over in winter. The Naval base in Baja California is therefore one of the US's few remaining year-round warm water ports that provide access to the Pacific. (Panama, being heavily pro-Russian, had long since made US gulf access to the pacific via the Panama canal unreliable.) The peninsula is also heavily populated with ethnic Americans who have been watching the events unfold in Mexico City with increasing alarm. In particular, they are horrified at the coup-installed government's proposed nation-wide laws that would ban the speaking of English in the country.
The coup-installed pro-Russia Mexican government is outraged, as are the Russians, with the Russian Foreign Minister denouncing the move as an "incredible act of aggression" by the USA and stating that "you just don't in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped-up pretexts." Of course, the US move to secure Baja California was not on a "trumped-up pretext" but rather as a direct result of the Russian-inspired coup in Mexico City that was, in itself, an indirect attack on the USA.
Mexican citizens in the other, naturally US-aligned, northern Mexican states of Sonora and Chihuahua are appalled at the fascist takeover of their government and naturally reject the new, unelected, foreign coup-installed 'leaders' for what they are, a bunch of racist and fascist crazies sponsored by a foreign government that has no business being anywhere near Mexico or the USA. The ordinary citizens of Northern Mexican states declare that they want no part of this new neo-Nazi-led 'government' and assert their independence from it by taking over local government buildings and declaring that they will hold a referendum to explore the possibility of seceding from the Mexican nation.
In response, the new Russian-backed authorities in Mexico City send the National Guard and private mercenary companies to the Northern states to put down what they describe as a "terrorist insurrection" and declare that any referendums in these states are "totally illegal". Many civilians are shot dead by the new Mexican authorities in an effort to cow the secessionist states. In addition, the Russian puppet government in Mexico and the Russian government itself have both publicly accused the USA of fomenting dissent in the Northern Mexican states and funding the anti-interim-government protestors. The reality is that, while the protestors in the Northern states are naturally 'pro-USA' because of their cultural and historical ties, they are first and foremost against a fascist takeover of their country at the behest of a foreign power, in this case, Russia.
Nevertheless, Russia and its client states in central and South America announce that they will impose economic sanctions on the USA for its interference in their attempt to destroy historic US-Mexico relations. The US government, however, is largely unperturbed. Sanctions imposed by Russia and its client states in South and Central America are toothless, with many nations quietly honoring their trade agreements and contracts with the USA. For its part, the US government realises that the historical facts on the ground in Mexico, in particular the strong ethnic and cultural ties that link much of the population of Mexico to the USA, mean that the Russian attempts to 'remake' Mexico is doomed to failure.
All attempts by the Russian government and its Mexican puppets to suppress by force the breakaway movements in the Northern Mexican states are destined to backfire and simply increase local anger and revulsion toward Mexico and strengthen the secessionist movement. This fact-based reality is unlikely, however, to dissuade the Russians or their 'tools of intrigue' in Mexico City.
The Russian political and banking elite have long believed that the map of the world, with its complex (and sometimes delicate) national and ethnic mix, is entirely mutable, if enough manipulation and force is applied. On many occasions, Russian force and manipulation have indeed succeeded in reshaping the political and demographic makeup of nations and whole regions, albeit with catastrophic consequences for the local population. But in this case, it seems that the Russian 'reality-creators' have met their match in the form of a implacable combination of a local Mexican population that is wise to their manipulations, and a US government that is strong enough and determined enough not to back down in the face of the Russian Imperial juggernaut.
If this fictional scenario were to be played out in reality, I'm sure I can guess where the allegiance of US and Western citizens would lie. But what if the nations were changed, with Russia and the US switched and Ukraine in the place of Mexico? What would be your take on the situation then? Because, with those changes, the above scenario is precisely how the 'Ukrainian crisis' has played out to date. With the US in the role of aggressor, does your interpretation of the facts change? Do you fall back into a 'Western perspective' and defend that which, with only cosmetic changes, you would otherwise describe as "indefensible"?
When the people of Crimea voted overwhelmingly to declare independence and then join the Russian Federation, Western politicians, particularly those in the USA, claimed that the vote was illegitimate because it occurred under duress, "with the barrel of a gun pointed at you", according to Obama. Yet, in the run up to the vote in May's Presidential elections in Ukraine, when the 'chocolate king', Ukrainian oligarch Poroshenko, emerged victorious, the Ukrainian military had been firing rockets at Eastern Ukrainian citizens, and journalists were being killed and kidnapped on the orders of the interim government in Kiev, all with the full support of the US government. Indeed, Obama personally called Poroshenko to congratulate him on his victory and called the elections, "a major step for Ukrainians who have repeatedly demonstrated their desire to choose their leaders without interference and to live in a democracy where they can determine their own future free of violence and intimidation."
Russian involvement in Ukraine an example of what Western powers claim to do
At the NATO summit in Wales last week, General Sir Adrian Bradshaw, Britain's most senior commander in NATO, said there had been "some deception and some deceit" from the Russian side over the conflict in Ukraine, and that "the reality on the ground is that Russian regular armed forces are being employed on the territory of Ukraine in support of this separatist movement."
Russia, and Putin in particular, has been demonized by the West for the alleged involvement of the Russian government and military in aiding the pro-independence rebels in Ukraine. Putin and his ministers have repeatedly denied this claim but, of course, it is highly likely that the allegation is true.
Should we therefore all be outraged along with our Western 'leaders'? Well, it depends. If you live in 'moo-moo' land, where, over the past 70 years, Western governments have been paragons of virtue and all things wonderful, and have only ever involved themselves in the affairs of supposedly sovereign nations in order to stamp out evil and bring "freedom and democracy" to all, then yes, you should be outraged that Russia would involve itself in Ukrainian affairs.
If, on the other hand, you live in the real world and know the actual history and truth about Western intervention around the world over the past 70 years, specifically, that successive US administrations have been waging an aggressive war of imperial conquest, overthrowing democratically elected governments and torturing, killing and maiming untold millions of people, then you can only conclude that what Russia is doing in Ukraine is entirely justified as per the unofficial rules of geopolitical 'play' as established long ago by Western powers. More to the point, you must also conclude that Russia's involvement in Ukraine is extremely 'small potatoes' in that respect and, indeed, one of the extremely rare examples of a major world nation actually doing what US and Western governments have claimed to be doing as they expanded the Anglo-American Empire across the globe, i.e. defending actual freedom and democracy and the rights of ordinary people to determine their own futures.
The following is a (by no means complete) list of instances where the US govt., intelligence agencies and military have directly intervened in (and in many cases invaded) supposedly sovereign nations, not for the purpose of spreading 'freedom and democracy" but to achieve precisely the opposite goal: to overthrow a democratically-elected government that has the best interests of its people at heart; to install a brutal dictatorial regime that invariably went on, with continued US help, to murder countless thousands of its civilian population and, in general, to make the world safe for American corporations, enhance the financial statements of US defense contractors who contribute generously to members of Congress, prevent the rise of any society that might serve as a successful example of an alternative to the predatory capitalist model, and extend political and economic hegemony over as wide an area as possible, as befits a 'great power'.
In contrast, Russian involvement in Ukraine was for the express purpose of preventing the march of this same great and brutal power and to provide support to a genuine and popular East Ukrainian movement for independence from a US imposed-by-coup, right-wing, fascist, Nazi regime that threatened the basic rights and lives of the Eastern Ukrainian population.
To call the US and Western stance on Russian involvement in Ukraine 'hypocritical' really doesn't accurately describe the egregious mendacity exhibited by Western psychopaths in power. Welcome to the real world.
Here's the list of direct US military interventions in the affairs of other nations since 1945, as compiled by historian William Blumwith some updates by me.
Intervened in a civil war, taking the side of the neo-fascists against the Greek left which had fought the Nazis courageously. The neo-fascists won and instituted a highly brutal regime, for which the CIA created a new internal security agency, KYP. Before long, KYP was carrying out all the endearing practices of secret police everywhere, including systematic torture.
U.S. military fought against leftist forces (Huks) even while the Huks were still fighting against the Japanese invaders. After the war, the U. S. continued its fight against the Huks, defeating them, and then installing a series of puppets as president, culminating in the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos.
South Korea, 1945-53:
After World War II, the United States suppressed the popular progressive forces in favor of the conservatives who had collaborated with the Japanese. This led to a long era of corrupt, reactionary, and brutal governments.
The CIA orchestrated a wide-ranging campaign of sabotage, terrorism, dirty tricks, and psychological warfare against East Germany. This was one of the factors which led to the building of the Berlin Wall in 1961.
Prime Minister Mossadegh was overthrown in a joint U.S./British operation. Mossadegh had been elected to his position by a large majority of parliament, but he had made the fateful mistake of spearheading the movement to nationalize a British-owned oil company, the sole oil company operating in Iran. The coup restored the Shah to absolute power and began a period of 25 years of repression and torture, with the oil industry being restored to foreign ownership, as follows: Britain and the U.S., each 40 percent, other nations 20 percent
A CIA-organized coup overthrew the democratically-elected and progressive government of Jacobo Arbenz, initiating 40 years of death-squads, torture, disappearances, mass executions, and unimaginable cruelty, totaling well over 100,000 victims - indisputably one of the most inhuman chapters of the 20th century. Arbenz had nationalized the U.S. firm, United Fruit Company, which had extremely close ties to the American power elite. As justification for the coup, Washington declared that Guatemala had been on the verge of a Soviet takeover, when in fact the Russians had so little interest in the country that it didn't even maintain diplomatic relations. The real problem in the eyes of Washington, in addition to United Fruit, was the danger of Guatemala's social democracy spreading to other countries in Latin America.
Middle East, 1956-58:
The Eisenhower Doctrine stated that the United States "is prepared to use armed forces to assist" any Middle East country "requesting assistance against armed aggression from any country controlled by international communism." The English translation of this was that no one would be allowed to dominate, or have excessive influence over, the middle east and its oil fields except the United States, and that anyone who tried would be, by definition, "Communist." In keeping with this policy, the United States twice attempted to overthrow the Syrian government, staged several shows-of-force in the Mediterranean to intimidate movements opposed to U.S.-supported governments in Jordan and Lebanon, landed 14,000 troops in Lebanon, and conspired to overthrow or assassinate Nasser of Egypt and his troublesome middle-east nationalism
Sukarno, like Nasser, was the kind of Third World leader the United States could not abide. He took neutralism in the cold war seriously, making trips to the Soviet Union and China (though to the White House as well). He nationalized many private holdings of the Dutch, the former colonial power. He refused to crack down on the Indonesian Communist Party, which was walking the legal, peaceful road and making impressive gains electorally. Such policies could easily give other Third World leaders "wrong ideas." The CIA began throwing money into the elections, plotted Sukarno's assassination, tried to blackmail him with a phony sex film, and joined forces with dissident military officers to wage a full-scale war against the government. Sukarno survived it all.
British Guiana/Guyana, 1953-64:
For 11 years, two of the oldest democracies in the world, Great Britain and the United States, went to great lengths to prevent a democratically elected leader from occupying his office. Cheddi Jagan was another Third World leader who tried to remain neutral and independent. He was elected three times. Although a leftist-more so than Sukarno or Arbenz-his policies in office were not revolutionary. But he was still a marked man, for he represented Washington's greatest fear: building a society that might be a successful example of an alternative to the capitalist model. Using a wide variety of tactics-from general strikes and disinformation to terrorism and British legalisms, the U. S. and Britain finally forced Jagan out in 1964.
One of the better-off countries in the region under Jagan, Guyana, by the 1980s, was one of the poorest. Its principal export became people.
The slippery slope began with siding with ~ French, the former colonizers and collaborators with the Japanese, against Ho Chi Minh and his followers who had worked closely with the Allied war effort and admired all things American. Ho Chi Minh was, after all, some kind of Communist. He had written numerous letters to President Truman and the State Department asking for America's help in winning Vietnamese independence from the French and finding a peaceful solution for his country. All his entreaties were ignored. Ho Chi Minh modeled the new Vietnamese declaration of independence on the American, beginning it with "All men are created equal. They are endowed by their Creator with ..." But this would count for nothing in Washington. Ho Chi Minh was some kind of Communist.US-terrorists
Twenty-three years and more than a million dead, later, the United States withdrew its military forces from Vietnam. Most people say that the U.S. lost the war. But by destroying Vietnam to its core, and poisoning the earth and the gene pool for generations, Washington had achieved its main purpose: preventing what might have been the rise of a good development option for Asia. Ho Chi Minh was, after all, some kind of communist.
Prince Sihanouk was yet another leader who did not fancy being an American client. After many years of hostility towards his regime, including assassination plots and the infamous Nixon/Kissinger secret "carpet bombings" of 1969-70, Washington finally overthrew Sihanouk in a coup in 1970. This was all that was needed to impel Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge forces to enter the fray. Five years later, they took power. But five years of American bombing had caused Cambodia's traditional economy to vanish. The old Cambodia had been destroyed forever.
Incredibly, the Khmer Rouge were to inflict even greater misery on this unhappy land. To add to the irony, the United States supported Pol Pot, militarily and diplomatically, after their subsequent defeat by the Vietnamese.
The Congo/Zaire, 1960-65:
In June 1960, Patrice Lumumba became the Congo's first prime minister after independence from Belgium. But Belgium retained its vast mineral wealth in Katanga province, prominent Eisenhower administration officials had financial ties to the same wealth, and Lumumba, at Independence Day ceremonies before a host of foreign dignitaries, called for the nation's economic as well as its political liberation, and recounted a list of injustices against the natives by the white owners of the country. The man was obviously a "Communist." The poor man was obviously doomed.
Eleven days later, Katanga province seceded, in September, Lumumba was dismissed by the president at the instigation of the United States, and in January 1961 he was assassinated at the express request of Dwight Eisenhower. There followed several years of civil conflict and chaos and the rise to power of Mobutu Sese Seko, a man not a stranger to the CIA. Mobutu went on to rule the country for more than 30 years, with a level of corruption and cruelty that shocked even his CIA handlers. The Zairian people lived in abject poverty despite the plentiful natural wealth, while Mobutu became a multibillionaire.
President Joao Goulart was guilty of the usual 'crimes': He took an independent stand in foreign policy, resuming relations with socialist countries and opposing sanctions against Cuba; his administration passed a law limiting the amount of profits multinationals could transmit outside the country; a subsidiary of ITT was nationalized; he promoted economic and social reforms. And Attorney-General Robert Kennedy was uneasy about Goulart allowing "communists" to hold positions in government agencies. Yet the man was no radical. He was a millionaire land-owner and a Catholic who wore a medal of the Virgin around his neck. That, however, was not enough to save him. In 1964, he was overthrown in a military coup which had deep, covert American involvement. The official Washington line was...yes, it's unfortunate that democracy has been overthrown in Brazil...but, still, the country has been saved from communism.
For the next 15 years, all the features of military dictatorship that Latin America has come to know were instituted:Congress was shut down, political opposition was reduced to virtual extinction, habeas corpus for "political crimes" was suspended, criticism of the president was forbidden by law, labor unions were taken over by government interveners, mounting protests were met by police and military firing into crowds, peasants' homes were burned down, priests were brutalized...disappearances, death squads, a remarkable degree and depravity of torture...the government had a name for its program: the "moral rehabilitation" of Brazil.
Washington was very pleased. Brazil broke relations with Cuba and became one of the United States' most reliable allies in Latin America.
Dominican Republic, 1963-66:
In February 1963, Juan Bosch took office as the first democratically elected president of the Dominican Republic since 1924. Here at last was John F. Kennedy's liberal anti-Communist, to counter the charge that the U.S. supported only military dictatorships. Bosch's government was to be the long sought "showcase of democracy" that would put the lie to Fidel Castro. He was given the grand treatment in Washington shortly before he took office.
Bosch was true to his beliefs. He called for land reform, low-rent housing, modest nationalization of business, and foreign investment provided it was not excessively exploitative of the country and other policies making up the program of any liberal Third World leader serious about social change. He was likewise serious about civil liberties: Communists, or those labeled as such, were not to be persecuted unless they actually violated the law.
A number of American officials and congresspeople expressed their discomfort with Bosch's plans, as well as his stance of independence from the United States. Land reform and nationalization are always touchy issues in Washington, the stuff that "creeping socialism" is made of. In several quarters of the U.S. press Bosch was red-baited.
In September, the military boots marched. Bosch was out. The United States, which could discourage a military coup in Latin America with a frown, did nothing. Nineteen months later, a revolt broke out which promised to put the exiled Bosch back into power. The United States sent 23,000 troops to help crush it.
Cuba, 1959 to present:
Fidel Castro came to power at the beginning of 1959. A U.S. National Security Council meeting of March 10, 1959 included on its agenda the feasibility of bringing "another government to power in Cuba." There followed 40 years of terrorist attacks, bombings, full-scale military invasion, sanctions, embargoes, isolation, assassinations...Cuba had carried out The Unforgivable Revolution, a very serious threat of setting a "good example" in Latin America.
The saddest part of this is that the world will never know what kind of society Cuba could have produced if left alone, if not constantly under the gun and the threat of a U.S. invasion, if allowed to relax its control at home. The idealism, the vision, the talent were all there. But we'll never know. And that of course was the idea.
A complex series of events, involving a supposed coup attempt, a counter-coup, and perhaps a counter-counter-coup, with American fingerprints apparent at various points, resulted in the ouster from power of Sukarno and his replacement by a military coup led by General Suharto. The massacre that began immediately - of Communists, Communist sympathizers, suspected Communists, suspected Communist sympathizers, and none of the above-was called by the New York Times "one of the most savage mass slayings of modern political history." The estimates of the number killed in the course of a few years begin at half a million and go above a million.
It was later learned that the U.S. embassy had compiled lists of "Communist" operatives, from top echelons down to village cadres, as many as 5,000 names, and turned them over to the army, which then hunted those persons down and killed them. The Americans would then check off the names of those who had been killed or captured. "It really was a big help to the army. They probably killed a lot of people, and I probably have a lot of blood on my hands," said one U.S. diplomat. "But that's not all bad. There's a time when you have to strike hard at a decisive moment."
Salvador Allende was the worst possible scenario for a Washington imperialist. He could imagine only one thing worse than a Marxist in power-an elected Marxist in power, who honored the constitution, and became increasingly popular. This shook the very foundation stones on which the anti-Communist tower was built: the doctrine, painstakingly cultivated for decades, that "communists" can take power only through force and deception, that they can retain that power only through terrorizing and brainwashing the population.
After sabotaging Allende's electoral endeavor in 1964, and failing to do so in 1970, despite their best efforts, the CIA and the rest of the American foreign policy machine left no stone unturned in their attempt to destabilize the Allende government over the next three years, paying particular attention to building up military hostility. Finally, in September 1973, the military overthrew the government, Allende dying in the process.
They closed the country to the outside world for a week, while the tanks rolled and the soldiers broke down doors; the stadiums rang with the sounds of execution and the bodies piled up along the streets and floated in the river; the torture centers opened for business; the subversive books were thrown into bonfires; soldiers slit the trouser legs of women, shouting that "In Chile women wear dresses!"; the poor returned to their natural state; and the men of the world in Washington and in the halls of international finance opened up their check- books. In the end, more than 3,000 had been executed, thousands more tortured or disappeared.
The military coup took place in April 1967, just two days before the campaign for national elections was to begin, elections which appeared certain to bring the veteran liberal leader George Papandreou back as prime minister. Papandreou had been elected in February 1964 with the only outright majority in the history of modern Greek elections. The successful machinations to unseat him had begun immediately, a joint effort of the Royal Court, the Greek military, and the American military and CIA stationed in Greece. The 1967 coup was followed immediately by the traditional martial law, censorship, arrests, beatings, torture, and killings, the victims totaling some 8,000 in the first month. This was accompanied by the equally traditional declaration that this was all being done to save the nation from a "Communist takeover." Corrupting and subversive influences in Greek life were to be removed. Among these were miniskirts, long hair, and foreign newspapers; church attendance for the young would be compulsory.
It was torture, however, which most indelibly marked the seven-year Greek nightmare. James Becket, an American attorney sent to Greece by Amnesty International, wrote in December 1969 that "a conservative estimate would place at not less than two thousand" the number of people tortured, usually in the most gruesome of ways, often with equipment supplied by the United States.
Becket reported the following: Hundreds of prisoners have listened to the little speech given by Inspector Basil Lambrou, who sits behind his desk which displays the red, white, and blue clasped-hand symbol of American aid. He tries to show the prisoner the absolute futility of resistance: "You make yourself ridiculous by thinking you can do anything. The world is divided in two. There are the communists on that side and on this side the free world. The Russians and the Americans, no one else. What are we? Americans. Behind me there is the government, behind the government is NATO, behind NATO is the U.S.
You can't fight us, we are Americans."
George Papandreou was not any kind of radical. He was a liberal anti-Communist type. But his son Andreas, the heir-apparent, while only a little to the left of his father had not disguised his wish to take Greece out of the Cold War, and had questioned remaining in NATO, or at least as a satellite of the United States.
East Timor, 1975 to present:
In December 1975, Indonesia invaded East Timor, which lies at the eastern end of the Indonesian archipelago, and which had proclaimed its independence after Portugal had relinquished control of it. The invasion was launched the day after U. S. President Gerald Ford and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger had left Indonesia after giving Suharto permission to use American arms, which, under U.S. Iaw, could not be used for aggression. Indonesia was Washington's most valuable tool in Southeast Asia.
Amnesty International estimated that by 1989, Indonesian troops, with the aim of forcibly annexing East Timor, had killed 200,000 people out of a population of between 600,000 and 700,000. The United States consistently supported Indonesia's claim to East Timor (unlike the UN and the EU), and downplayed the slaughter to a remarkable degree, at the same time supplying Indonesia with all the military hardware and training it needed to carry out the job.
When the Sandinistas overthrew the Somoza dictatorship in 1978, it was clear to Washington that they might well be that long-dreaded beast - "another Cuba." Under President Carter, attempts to sabotage the revolution took diplomatic and economic forms. Under Reagan, violence was the method of choice. For eight terribly long years, the people of Nicaragua were under attack by Washington's proxy army, the Contras, formed from Somoza's vicious National Guard and other supporters of the dictator. It was all-out war, aiming to destroy the progressive social and economic programs of the government, burning down schools and medical clinics, raping, torturing, mining harbors, bombing and strafing. These were Ronald Reagan's "freedom fighters." There would be no revolution in Nicaragua.
What would drive the most powerful nation in the world to invade a country of 110,000? Maurice Bishop and his followers had taken power in a 1979 coup, and though their actual policies were not as revolutionary as Castro's, Washington was again driven by its fear of "another Cuba," particularly when public appearances by the Grenadian leaders in other countries of the region met with great enthusiasm.
U. S. destabilization tactics against the Bishop government began soon after the coup and continued until 1983, featuring numerous acts of disinformation and dirty tricks. The American invasion in October 1983 met minimal resistance, although the U.S. suffered 135 killed or wounded; there were also some 400 Grenadian casualties, and 84 Cubans, mainly construction workers.
At the end of 1984, a questionable election was held which was won by a man supported by the Reagan administration. One year later, the human rights organization, Council on Hemispheric Affairs, reported that Grenada's new U.S.-trained police force and counter-insurgency forces had acquired a reputation for brutality, arbitrary arrest, and abuse of authority, and were eroding civil rights.
Libya refused to be a proper Middle East client state of Washington. Its leader, Muammar el-Qaddafi, was uppity. He would have to be punished. U.S. planes shot down two Libyan planes in what Libya regarded as its air space. The U.S. also dropped bombs on the country, killing at least 40 people, including Qaddafi's daughter. There were other attempts to assassinate the man, operations to overthrow him, a major disinformation campaign, economic sanctions, and blaming Libya for being behind the Pan Am 103 bombing without any good evidence.
Washington's bombers strike again. December 1989, a large tenement barrio in Panama City wiped out, 15,000 people left homeless. Counting several days of ground fighting against Panamanian forces, 500-something dead was the official body count, what the U.S. and the new U.S.-installed Panamanian government admitted to; other sources, with no less evidence, insisted that thousands had died; 3,000-something wounded.
Manuel Noriega had been an American ally and informant for years until he outlived his usefulness. But getting him was not the only motive for the attack. Bush wanted to send a clear message to the people of Nicaragua, who had an election scheduled in two months, that this might be their fate if they reelected the Sandinistas. Bush also wanted to flex some military muscle to illustrate to Congress the need for a large combat-ready force even after the very recent dissolution of the "Soviet threat." The official explanation for the American ouster was Noriega's drug trafficking, which Washington had known about for years and had not been at all bothered by.CIA-torture
Relentless bombing for more than 40 days and nights, against one of the most advanced nations in the Middle East, devastating its ancient and modern capital city; 177 million pounds of bombs falling on the people of Iraq, the most concentrated aerial onslaught in the history of the world; depleted uranium weapons incinerating people, causing cancer; blasting chemical and biological weapon storage and oil facilities; poisoning the atmosphere to a degree perhaps never matched anywhere; burying soldiers alive, deliberately; the infrastructure destroyed, with a terrible effect on health; sanctions continued to this day multiplying the health problems; perhaps a million children dead by now from all of these things, even more adults.
Iraq was the strongest military power among the Arab states. This may have been their crime. Noam Chomsky has written: "It's been a leading, driving doctrine of U.S. foreign policy since the 1940s that the vast and unparalleled energy resources of the Gulf region will be effectively dominated by the United States and its clients, and, crucially, that no independent, indigenous force will be permitted to have a substantial influence on the administration of oil production and price."
How many people know that during the late 1970s and most of the 1980s, Afghanistan had a government committed to bringing the incredibly backward nation into the 20th century, including giving women equal rights? What happened, however, is that the United States poured billions of dollars into waging a terrible war against this government, simply because it was supported by the Soviet Union. Prior to this, CIA operations had knowingly increased the probability of a Soviet intervention, which is what occurred. In the end, the United States won, and the women, and the rest of Afghanistan, lost. More than a million dead, three million disabled, five million refugees, in total about half the population.
El Salvador, 1980-92:
El Salvador's dissidents tried to work within the system. But with U.S. support, the government made that impossible, using repeated electoral fraud and murdering hundreds of protesters and strikers. In 1980, the dissidents took to the gun, and civil war.
Officially, the U.S. military presence in El Salvador was limited to an advisory capacity. In actuality, military and CIA personnel played a more active role on a continuous basis. About 20 Americans were killed or wounded in helicopter and plane crashes while flying reconnaissance or other missions over combat areas, and considerable evidence surfaced of a U.S. role in the ground fighting as well. The war came to an official end in 1992; 75,000 civilian deaths and the U.S. Treasury depleted by six billion dollars. Meaningful social change has been largely thwarted. A handful of the wealthy still own the country, the poor remain as ever, and dissidents still have to fear right-wing death squads.
The U.S. supported the Duvalier family dictatorship for 30 years, then opposed the reformist priest, Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Meanwhile, the CIA was working intimately with death squads, torturers, and drug traffickers. With this as background, the Clinton White House found itself in the awkward position of having to pretend-because of all their rhetoric about "democracy"-that they supported Aristide's return to power in Haiti after he had been ousted in a 1991 military coup. After delaying his return for more than two years, Washington finally had its military restore Aristide to office, but only after obliging the priest to guarantee that he would not help the poor at the expense of the rich, and that he would stick closely to free-market economics. This meant that Haiti would continue to be the assembly plant of the Western Hemisphere, with its workers receiving literally starvation wages.
The United States bombed the country back to a pre-industrial era after exacerbating the conflict by funding and arming jihadi fighters they had used against the Soviets in Afghanistan. The main reason was to prevent the new nation states from coming under Russia's sphere of influence. 5,700 civilians were murdered by NATO forces so that the rest could be made slaves for the "trans-Atlantic alliance"
Iraq 2003- present:
Strongly promoted by the Israel lobby, the US military invaded Iraq on a 'pack of lies' to make sure no truly independent Iraq could emerge, secure the Middle East for Israeli interests and, again, thwart Russian interests in the area. 1.5 million civilians killed and 4 million displaced over 10 years of brutal occupation, death squads were formed and used under the command of US contractor James Steel. The country is still in ruins today and has been offered up to US, Israeli and Saudi-backed 'Muslim' radicals equipped with weapons left for them by the US military.
Libya Part 2 - 2011
As Muammar Gaddafi pushed forward with his plans to free many African nations from the yolk of Western imperialism through his African union, the US decided something had to be done to prevent the modernization of Africa. Under the cover of the contrived 'Arab Spring' and the bogus pretext that Gaddafi was 'bombing his own people', NATO bombed the country for 7 months killing 15,000 civilians and reducing cities like Sirte to rubble. Gaddafi himself was eventually thrown to the US-backed Jihadi wolves who almost literally tore him apart. Hilary Clinton publicly laughed at the spectacle. The result was the destruction of Libya society and seeding of chaos that continues to this day.
Syria 2011 - present
Again under cover of the 'Arab Spring' US and Saudi paid and armed fighters from Libya and elsewhere were sent to Syria to ignite a "civil war" aimed at overthrowing the democratically elected President Assad and, again, securing the Middle East for Israeli interests and shutting out Russian influence in the Middle East.
Between December 24th 2011 and January 18th 2012, a League of Arab States Observer Mission was in Syria comprising observers from every single country in the Arab world. Their report cited instances of 'armed groups' attacking both Syrian military and civilian targets, including a bus load of people.
The CIA and other European Intelligence groups have been directly involved in training and arming the 'jihadis', including 'al-qaeda' at camps in Jordan. Eventually this protracted Western coup attempt failed, but not before 200,000 civilians had been killed and another 4.5 million displaced.
In early 2014 the Western and Saudi-backed jihadis decamped to Iraq to reorganise and rearm themselves for an upcoming second attack on the Syrian government and people. This time however, the US State Dept. and NATO has recast them as 'terrorists' and is planning to use the pretext of wiping them out to carrying a NATO bombing campaign against Assad directly.Many more thousands of Syrian civilians will undoubtedly pay the ultimate price for living in a country coveted by the Anglo-American Empire.
1 Lebensraum was an important component of Nazi ideology in Germany. The Nazis supported territorial expansionism to gain Lebensraum as being a law of nature for all healthy and vigorous peoples of superior races to displace people of inferior races.