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America's 100 Years of Overthrow

The US is addicted to overthrowing foreign governments -- 14 in the past century -- from Cuba to Chile to Iran.
July 25, 2006  |  
 
 
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George Bush and Dick Cheney may get your vote as the worst, the dumbest, the most venal, and the most dangerous bunglers in foreign affairs in U.S. history. But this book will show you that their equals have appeared before. Author Stephen Kinzer's Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change From Hawaii to Iraq (Times Books, 2006) is an infuriating recitation of our government's military bullying over the past 110 years -- a century of interventions around the world that resulted in the overthrow of 14 governments -- in Hawaii, Cuba, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Vietnam, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, Panama, Chile, Iran, Grenada, Afghanistan, and ... Iraq.

Stephen Kinzer, who spent years on various front lines for The New York Times, calls these regime changes "catastrophic victories," but of course some were more catastrophic than others.

Most of these coups were triggered by foreign combatants and then taken over and finished by us. But four of them, in many ways the worst of the lot, were all our own, from conspiracy to conclusion. "American agents engaged in complex, well-financed campaigns to bring down the governments of Iran, Guatemala, South Vietnam, and Chile. None would have fallen -- certainly not in the same way or at the same time -- if Washington had not acted as it did.

"Each of these four coups was launched against a government that was reasonably democratic (with the arguable exception of South Vietnam). ... They led to the fall of leaders who embraced American ideals, and the imposition of others who detested everything Americans hold dear. They were not rogue operations. Presidents, cabinet secretaries, national security advisers, and CIA directors approved them. ... The first thing all four of these coups have in common is that American leaders promoted them consciously, willfully, deliberately, and in strict accordance with the laws."

For all 14 regime changes, Kinzer assigns blame to the smug American belief that we are the most righteous people in the world and that we are obliged to force our version of righteousness on nations we judge to be backward -- especially if they have a bountiful supply of minerals that our corporations want (i.e., oil in Iran, copper in Chile). In short, our military conquests have been launched under the glorious banner of Bible-thumping Christian capitalists.

Yes, of course, you immediately think of George Bush, but he is just the last of a long line.

Though World War I is beyond the scope of this book, it must be mentioned simply to bring in the pronouncement of President Woodrow Wilson as he prepared to lead us into that war: "There is a mighty task before us. .... It is to make the United States a mighty Christian nation, and to Christianize the world." (Some of the more radical senators of that era doubted his piety and were convinced he wanted to help England and France win so that they could pay their huge debts to our arms merchants.)

Of the four regime changes launched independently by the United States, two were concocted in the sedate office of John Foster Dulles. (That office, as Kinzer reminds us, has been moved and reconstructed, down to Dulles' silver tea set, at the University of Texas, at the Harry Ransom Center.) Of this book's several candidates for the title Most Dangerous Nutcase, my odds-on favorite is Dulles, President Eisenhower's secretary of state. His influence over Ike in foreign affairs seems to have been as strong as Cheney's influence over Bush.

Dulles was the grandson and son of preachers, and, being exceedingly devout himself, he would have gone into the clergy if he had not decided to enter an even more suspect profession: law. For years he worked for some of the world's richest corporations, and as secretary of state he continued to serve them.

In 1953 the brutal, venal shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, was pushed into exile by Mohammad Mossadegh, the democratically elected prime minister.

"Modern Iran has produced few figures of Mossadegh's stature," Kinzer says.

Iranians loved Mossadegh. He made clear that his two ambitions were to set up a lasting democracy and to strengthen nationalism -- by which he meant get rid of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Co., which had been robbing Iran for half a century. Indeed, the British company had been earning each year as much as all the royalties it paid Iran over 50 years. Mossadegh intended to recapture those riches to rebuild Iran.

In a scheme to get rid of Mossadegh, the British enlisted Secretary of State Dulles; he in turn enlisted his brother, CIA Director Allen Dulles, and what ensued was a truly masterful piece of skullduggery. First came a propaganda campaign to convince the West that Mossadegh was a communist, which in the U.S. of the 1950s put him on the level of a child molester. Actually, Mossadegh hated communists, but most of our press swallowed the lie. Time Magazine had previously called Mossadegh "the Iranian George Washington" and "the most world-renowned man his ancient race had produced for centuries." Now it called him "one of the worst calamities to the anti-communist world since the Red conquest of China."

The propaganda program on the outside was followed by a bogus "revolution" inside Iran, with a CIA agent-provocateur hiring such a huge army of thugs and terrorists to roam the streets of Tehran that the town fell into violent anarchy. The CIA plotters ousted Mossadegh and restored the shah to his Peacock Throne.

For Secretary of State Dulles and his old law clients -- including Gulf Oil Corp., Standard Oil Co. of New Jersey, Texaco Inc., and Mobil Corp., who were subsequently allowed to take 40 percent of Iran's oil supply -- the shah's return was a happy and very lucrative event. But, Kinzer reminds us, "The shah did not tolerate dissent [to silence some, he simply killed them] and repressed opposition newspapers, political parties, trade unions, and civic groups. As a result, the only place Iranian dissidents could find a home was in mosques and religious schools, many of which were controlled by" radical fundamentalists. So when the revolution against the shah finally broke out in 1979, it was inevitable that these clerics led it.

They then went on to sponsor acts of terror from Saudi Arabia to Argentina, mostly to humiliate the United States, and "their example inspired Muslim fanatics around the world, including those who carried out the attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001. None of this ... might have happened if Mossadegh had not been overthrown."

At roughly the same time Secretary of State Dulles was destroying democracy in Iran, he was also busy destroying democracy in Central America, and once again it was on behalf of a renegade industry: United Fruit Co. If any bureaucrat deserved to spend the rest of his life in prison for conflict of interest, it was Dulles. And several of his bureaucratic buddies would have been right there beside him breaking rocks.

"Few private companies have ever been as closely interwoven with the United States government as United Fruit was during the mid-1950s," writes Kinzer. For decades, Dulles had been one of its principal legal counselors.

(At one time Dulles negotiated an agreement with Guatemala that gave United Fruit a 99-year lease on a vast tract of land, tax free.) Dulles' brother -- Allen, the CIA Director -- had also done legal work for the company and owned a big block of its stock. So did other top officials at State; one had previously been president of United Fruit. The head of our National Security Council was United Fruit's former chairman of the board, and the president of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development was a former board member.

These fine chaps and their numerous colleagues in our government were, not surprisingly, very upset when between 1944 and 1954, Guatemala entered what would be known as its "democratic spring," denoting the presidencies of Juan José Arevalo and -- after the first peaceful transfer of power in Guatemalan history -- Jacobo Arbenz.

What those two did was nothing less than breathtaking. Under Arevalo, the National Assembly was persuaded to establish the first social security system, guarantee the rights of trade unions, fix a 48-hour workweek, and even slap a modest tax on the big landholders -- meaning three American companies: a huge electric monopoly, a rail monopoly, and, of course, United Fruit, which controlled the other two.

Arbenz was even bolder. He persuaded the National Assembly to pass the Agrarian Reform Law, which gave the government the power to seize and redistribute uncultivated land on estates larger than 672 acres. United Fruit owned more than 550,000 acres, about one-fifth of the country's arable land, but cultivated less than 15 percent -- while many thousands of Guatemalans were starving for land. So in 1953, Arbenz's government seized 234,000 uncultivated acres of United Fruit's land, for which the government offered in compensation (one can imagine the vengeful hilarity this must have stirred in Arbenz's circle) a paltry $1.185 million -- the value United Fruit had declared each year for tax purposes.

That did it. The Dulles gang back in Washington, all "products of the international business world and utterly ignorant of the realities of Guatemalan life, considered the idea of land redistribution to be inherently Marxist," writes Kinzer. So they began using the same techniques as in Iran, although much more elaborately played out -- first portraying Guatemala as having fallen into the hands of Communists, a falsehood that was supported by the U.S. press, including a series in The New York Times. Dulles even got Francis Cardinal Spellman, the most powerful and most hysterically anti-communist priest in America, to recruit Guatemala's Catholic clergy to "rise as a single man against this enemy of God and country." Then the CIA launched a bogus "invasion" by an "anti-Communist" force, followed by a bogus "revolt."

Arbenz was forced into exile and replaced by Col. Carlos Armas, who promptly canceled reforms and established a police state. He was soon assassinated, but bedlam continued. By overthrowing Arbenz, writes Kinzer, "the United States crushed a democratic experiment that held great promise for Latin America. As in Iran a year earlier, it deposed a regime that embraced fundamental American ideals but that had committed the sin of seeking to retake control of its own natural resources."

The dismantling of Arbenz's administration was named, with the usual buffoonery of our undercover government, "Operation Success."

When Guatemalans saw that democracy was dead, thousands revolted, took to the hills, and, inspired by Fidel Castro's victory in Cuba, formed guerrilla bands. "To combat this threat," writes Kinzer, "the Guatemalan army used such brutal tactics that all normal political life in the country ceased. Death squads roamed with impunity, chasing down and murdering politicians, union organizers, student activists, and peasant leaders. Thousands of people were kidnapped... and never seen again. Many were tortured to death on military bases ... This repression raged for three decades, and during this period soldiers killed more civilians in Guatemala than in the rest of the hemisphere combined." A United Nations commission put the toll at 200,000.

It was a great victory for Dulles' side; today 2 percent of the people in Guatemala still own half the arable land.

To maintain that status quo, the United States from 1960 to 1990 gave Guatemala hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid, including training and arming its death squads. Guatemala didn't need an air force; we dispatched our own planes from the Canal Zone to drop napalm on suspected guerrilla camps.

"This bloodiest of all modern Latin American wars would not have broken out if not for Operation Success," writes Kinzer. "Operation Success taught Cuban revolutionaries -- and those from other countries -- that the United States would not accept democratic nationalism in Latin America. It gave them a decisive push towards radicalism."

Never mind the regime change in Vietnam. The heart of it was simply the stupidity and administrative paralysis of the Kennedy administration. At the very moment when a close watch on the turmoil in South Vietnam was vitally needed (hey, it was supposedly "our" government), Kennedy and his important cabinet members were out of town, playing golf, sailing, or at a baseball game. In their absence, lesser officials sent word to dump Ngo Dinh Diem, our unpopular puppet president of South Vietnam. (Diem, by the way, was another protégé of Dulles and Francis Cardinal Spellman.) When the Kennedy insiders returned to their duties, they dithered for four days, largely agreeing that the dumping was a bad idea, but doing nothing to cancel it.

Nor, writes Kinzer, were any of the counselors bright enough to suggest that it might be a perfect time to walk away from the mess and leave it all to the Vietnamese. "That," writes Kinzer, "would probably have led to the establishment of a Communist... rule over the entire country, but that is what ultimately happened anyway." And a withdrawal at this point "would have saved hundreds of thousands of lives... and spared the United States its greatest national trauma since the Civil War."

Once dumped, Diem was assassinated. With a bizarre measurement of historical events, this seemed to bother Kennedy the most. Historian Ellen Hammer writes that he was "shaken and depressed" to realize that "the first Catholic ever to become a Vietnamese chief of state was dead, assassinated as a direct result of policy authorized by the first American Catholic president."

What a pleasure it is to move away from sheer stupidity and back to sheer meanness, supplied by the man many love to hate, Henry Kissinger, and his part in Kinzer's fourth featured regime change, in Chile. Misplaced piety cannot be blamed for any part of this. The motivation was entirely capitalistic. "For us there are two sorts of people in the world," Dulles once said. "There are those who are Christian and support free enterprise, and there are the others." Leaving out the Christians, Kissinger would have agreed.

The Chilean foreign minister once accused him of knowing nothing about the Southern Hemisphere. Kissinger nodded, saying, "And I don't care ... The axis of history starts in Moscow, goes to Bonn, crosses over to Washington and then goes to Tokyo. What happens in the South is of no importance."

Unless it carried the odor of Soviet influence. And Kissinger, then secretary of state, was certain he detected the odor of communism in the election of Salvador Allende Gossens to the presidency of Chile. "Kissinger would be more directly responsible for what happened in Chile than any other American," writes Kinzer, "with the possible exception of Nixon."

Chile was one of the most stable countries in South America, with a high literacy rate, a relatively large middle class, and a strong civil society. But millions of its people lived in desperate poverty, and Allende made no secret of his ambition to lift that class -- and to do it by controlling some of the giant corporations operating in Chile but owned by yanquis.

Topping his hit list, besides consumer-product companies like PepsiCo Inc., were the world's two largest copper mining companies, Kennecott Corp. and Anaconda Mining Co., and International Telephone and Telegraph Co., all owned by U.S. interests. Allende wanted the Chilean government to take them over.

The men running these outfits, along with swingers like Kissinger's close friend David Rockefeller of Chase Manhattan Bank, which had multibillion-dollar interests in South America, struck back and got all the help they needed. Banks were persuaded to put a devastating credit squeeze on Allende's government. The CIA (though some of its officers wanted nothing to do with these dirty tricks) was turned loose, hiring assassins, paying for strikes that caused severe shortages of food, gasoline, electricity, and other materials. "Within two years, one-third of Chile's buses and 20 percent of its taxis were out of service due to lack of spare parts." Much, but not all, of the Chilean military was corrupted. Ditto the Chilean press.

Kinzer's account of these rebellious years ends with the death of Allende in La Moneda, the presidential palace and traditional seat of Chilean democracy. He had been president for 1,042 days. He refused an offer of free passage out of the country and committed suicide.

So Kissinger and Nixon and Rockefeller and their friends got what they wanted: a Chile run by Gen. Augusto Pinochet, who took office after the coup of September 11, 1973. His first act was to order a nationwide roundup of tens of thousands of leftists and other supporters of the Allende regime. Thousands were tortured in prison. Many were never seen again.

In 1976, Kissinger met privately with Pinochet in Santiago to assure the dictator that although his upcoming speech to the Organization of American States "would include a few perfunctory references to human rights, it was 'not aimed at Chile ...' We are not out to weaken your position.'"

Okay, so after that depressing encounter with Kissinger, you need to get back to someone who can offer you piety, comedy, and, well, brutality of a different sort. Meet the inflated president, William McKinley, elected by midwestern industries. He launched the Spanish-American War in 1899, which brought Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines into the U.S. kennel. Later he would admit he saw the war as "a commercial opportunity," but at first he peddled the war as a sacred duty, telling a group of Methodist missionaries that while he wrestled with the question of taking the Philippine archipelago (which he at first had trouble finding on the map), he fell to his knees in the White House on several evenings and "prayed Almighty God for light and guidance. One night late, it came to me that there was nothing left for us to do but to take them all, and to educate the Filipinos and uplift them and Christianize them."

Kinzer points out that McKinley obviously didn't realize that most Filipinos were already practicing Catholics. Nor did he have a clue as to the natives' feelings about being "saved" by force. McKinley's missionary invasion ended only after three and a half years of horrific fighting (deaths: 4,374 American soldiers, 16,000 guerrillas, and at least 20,000 civilians) in which both sides engaged in wholesale torture. Abu Ghraib was a cakewalk compared with some of the things our soldiers did in that war. "The most notorious was the 'water cure,' in which sections of bamboo were forced down the throats of prisoners and then used to fill the prisoners' stomachs with dirty water until they swelled in torment. Then soldiers would jump on the prisoner's stomach to force the water out."

Actually, the people of the Philippines and Cuba didn't need our help to whip Spain. The natives of those places had been hitting their Spanish overlords so hard for so many years that Spain was already willing to give Cuba home rule. The chief organizer of the rebellion at that stage, José Martí, encouraged his fighters to push on, not only to win freedom from Spain but "to prevent, by the independence of Cuba, the United States from spreading over the West Indies and falling, with that added weight, upon other lands of our America."

Uh oh. That kind of talk scared the devil into American businessmen who had more than $50 million -- big bucks in those days -- invested in Cuban agriculture. Obviously a war to pre-empt the Martí crowd was needed. That was nicely cooked up by a "friendly" visit of the U.S. battleship Maine to the Havana harbor, where an explosion killed 250 of its sailors, and the Hearst newspapers were filled with mendacious stories fixing the guilt on Spain. Hearst and his loud crowd called for all-out war. McKinley enthusiastically complied.

But there were enough members of Congress, touched by the Cubans' long fight for freedom, who refused to back a pro-war resolution until McKinley agreed to an amendment promising that at war's end, we would leave the government and control of the island to its people. When the promise was made, our military's brief, Hollywood-style part in the liberation of Cuba took place. Kinzer tells us, "in three one-day battles, the most famous being one in which [Teddy] Roosevelt, dressed in a uniform he had ordered from Brooks Brothers, led a charge up Kettle Hill" and "American cruisers destroyed the few decrepit Spanish naval vessels anchored at Santiago" in a single day.

"Just 385 Americans had been killed in action, barely more than Sioux Indians had killed at Little Big Horn in the country's last major military engagement, twenty-two years before." No wonder the American statesman John Hay called it "a splendid little war."

As for our promises to let Cuba rule itself, we quickly backed off on that. Republicans in Congress and much of the press greatly exaggerated our part in whipping Spain and argued, successfully, that Cubans had little to do with it and deserved to rule themselves only so long "as they allowed the United States to veto any decision they made." Castro was still a long way off. A couple of Kinzer's regime changes are pure comic opera.

Grenada for example -- a tiny, former British colony in the Caribbean. On October 21, 1983, eager to get away from Washington for a few rounds of golf at Augusta, President Reagan hurriedly signed an order for a naval task force heading for Lebanon to change course and go to Grenada to ... Well, nobody was exactly sure, but apparently a couple of wacky "Marxist" cliques were in a shooting donnybrook to see who would have political control down there. And maybe a couple of hundred American students at a medical school on Grenada were in danger. Actually, when polled by their dean, 90 percent of the students said they felt perfectly safe. But the naval task force steamed on.

The invasion -- named Operation Urgent Fury -- would not be easy. The Pentagon had no up-to-date maps of Grenada, so some of our troops had to use photocopies of tourist maps. About 6,000 troops landed in Grenada, "at least twice the number needed for the job," writes Kinzer. A mental hospital was accidentally bombed, killing more than a dozen patients. Several dozen others stumbled away, dazed, and some were still wandering days later.

Oops! Neither Reagan nor any other American official had told the Brits what we were up to. "The United Nations General Assembly overwhelming passed a resolution 'deeply deploring' ... a flagrant violation of international law."

But Representative Dick Cheney of Wyoming said the invasion made "a lot of folks around the world feel we are more steady and reliable than heretofore."

Reagan was doggone proud, too. In a speech to the Congressional Medal of Honor Society in New York, he proclaimed, "Our days of weakness are over! Our military forces are back on their feet, and standing tall."

Except for the 250 Marines who had been killed by a bomb in Lebanon at the same time we were invading Grenada.

And finally we musn't forget our very first regime change, in 1893, when a few dozen sugar planters and descendants of missionaries, wanting more control of island commerce, overthrew Queen Liliuokalani of Hawaii. It wasn't a fair fight. The sugar planters got the help of 162 American Marines and sailors who were passing through. The queen's "army" consisted of the Honolulu police chief.
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The Confessions of an economic hitman
Posted by: Aussie Kim on Jul 25, 2006 12:35 AM   
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For a VERY similar read, if you can find it, try "The Confessions of an economic hitman" by John Perkins.

The transcript of an interview with John Perkins is here

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Remembering the Banana Wars
Posted by: wli on Jul 25, 2006 2:38 AM   
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The US had three concurrent major occupations ongoing in the first half of the 20th century: Haiti (1915-1934), Nicaragua (1909-1933), and the Dominican Republic (1916-1924), though Panama should also be considered to have been occupied during the canal construction (1902-1914), making it four. The US was also involved in a 1913 coup d'etat in Mexico and went on an "expedition" in Mexico (technically an invasion) in pursuit of Pancho Villa. Also recall that Panama was created by the US invading Colombia in 1902 with some window dressing of a breakaway guerrilla movement (the real guerrillas were leftists; the US army came in to be the foot soldiers for the rich landowners to oppose them). Recall that the original Panama Canal Treaty, the Hay-Bunau Varilla treaty, was the "Treaty No Panamian Signed." A de facto US occupation persisted throughout the building of the canal (1902-1914).

The US occupation of Haiti is particularly notable for its reimposition of slavery of a broad class of citizens in a country in the 20th century, euphemistically called "corvée labor."

The reason it's important to remember the Banana Wars is that it explodes the myth that that the imperialistic streak only began after WWII and shows continuity between 19th-century and 20th-century imperialistic tendencies. Put in context, the only interruption whatsoever was the FDR administration.

It may also provide context for the Middle East. One might ask, "Aren't Iraq and Afghanistan enough?" By setting historical standards, the Banana Wars answer the question solidly negatively, and provide an historical example of three or four concurrent occupations over the course of 30 years depending on whether one accepts Panama as an instance of de facto occupation. Another question answered by the Banana Wars is "How bad can the occupations get?" Enslaving large swaths of the population of an occupied territory, as in Haiti, and the use of concentration camps(!), as in the Philippines, provide the answer.

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» Robert Sherrill Posted by: derfb1

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Another similar title is...
Posted by: HeroesAll on Jul 25, 2006 2:58 AM   
Current rating: 5    [1 = poor; 5 = excellent]
...Killing Hope by William Blum. Just as its title implies, it's a relentless wrist-slitter of a book, summarising all the CIA and military interventions since World War II.

Then people wonder why I get snarky when they assert that the US is the home of freedom, democracy, and All Good Things. I'd like that book, plus a few others like Blowback, to be required reading for everyone in the West, so they might finally understand what we, the industrial overclass, have done to the poor people elsewhere. And why they might hate us. And why, maybe, we should stop doing it to them now.

Ahem, sorry. I'm all right now, really. Calm as anything, honestly. Let me just wipe the spittle from my chin and I'll be right as rain.

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» RE: HeroesAll's suggestion... Posted by: John Rice

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Matthew
Posted by: Matthew_Burgess on Jul 25, 2006 3:56 AM   
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While I find little to argue with in this overview, I am disappointed that 'the best of what we are' (Canadian singer Bruce Cockburn), the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, were not included in your list of democratic regimes. The Sandinistas ran exemplary democratic elections in...1983 and '87, I think it was, as attested to by witnesses from all over Europe and North America. The anti-government press was allowed to print and distribute, and anti-government candidates were allowed to campaign and were openly receiving support from the US government, something outlawed by the US government, I believe, were it to happen in an American election.
But of course the propoganda machine in the US -- laughingly called the Free Press -- followed right along with the US government, calling it unfair. Ha, when in what the US called its 'fledgling democracies' in El Salvador and Guatemala, tens of thousands were being killed for merely expressing interest in voting for other than ruling generals of those police states. (E.g. Roberto D'Aubuison in El Salavador, colloquially known as 'Blowtorch Bob', so-named after his favourite interrogation instrument.) All this supported by Nazi Reagan, the so-called Great Communicator, who called Nicaragua, "a serious and imminent threat to the foreign policy and national security of the United States." Ha, what a joke! Little Nicaragua a threat...
It was only a threat by the example it was setting of Nicaragua for the Nicaraguans, and not Nicaragua for the US-controlled transnational corporations and multi-lateral Bretton Woods institutions. Even the World Court condemned the US and ordered it pay restitution to Nicaragua, to which the Congress and Administration responded by stepping up aid to the so-called Contras. (The latter can be thought of as the guerrilla wing of the School for the Americas.)
Matthew Burgess

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» RE: Matthew Posted by: LMNOP
» RE: Matthew Posted by: Jinu

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score
Posted by: rsaxto on Jul 25, 2006 4:12 AM   
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The score for the last century is USA tyrants 14, UN peacekeepers 0.

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» Peacekeepers do just fine... Posted by: Ghoulman

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You forgot one.
Posted by: polyquat50 on Jul 25, 2006 4:44 AM   
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You left out the CIA-backed overthrow of the Whitlam Government in Australia.

Bastards. Couldn't even leave your allies alone.

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» RE: You forgot one. Posted by: Aussie Kim
» RE: You forgot one. Posted by: Aussie Kim
» RE: You forgot one. Posted by: Aussie Kim

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A few words to the free world from its self-proclaimed leader.
Posted by: LMNOP on Jul 25, 2006 4:45 AM   
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Blah blah blah democracy and freedom blah blah. Blah freedom blah blah, blah spreading democracy blah blah.

Blah America blah blah blah leading the world blah blah Christian nation blah blah God blah blah. Blah democracy blah blah let freedom ring. And blah blah blah blah! Blah?

Blah blah liberty blah blah blah? Blah moral leadership blah blah blah! Blah blah! Truth and freedom blah blah blah. And democracy too.

Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah!!

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Overthrow and occupation of Hawai'i
Posted by: stevelaudig on Jul 25, 2006 6:23 AM   
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For developing scholarly works go to: http://www2.hawaii.edu/~hslp/journal.html

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Bush and history
Posted by: MikeG on Jul 25, 2006 6:59 AM   
Current rating: 5    [1 = poor; 5 = excellent]
The importance of this book and many others is that they bring some history into the discussion about how to view the current administration. It's completely myopic to think that all we have to do is bring the Democrats back, and everything will be just hunky-dory. We have to expose what's behind US foreign policy, the role of bipartisan outfits like the National Endowment for Democracy, the way the media are manipulated. It's happening with Venezuela right now, and if anything, the Democrats may do a "better" job at this than the relatively incompetent Bush Administration is doing.

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» democrats are "better" Posted by: Lauren

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forward to the past
Posted by: davidh on Jul 25, 2006 7:21 AM   
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Back in the 1960s there was a debate within the anti-war movement over whether Vietnam was a "mistake" or an inevitable result of US imperialism. I -- and many others -- came to the conclusion that we needed to oppose ANY US intevention, because as long as the US is ruled by the powers that be, any intervention is going to be bad for most people in the world. I was reminded of this when I read the article in the recent New Yorker defending a policy of "liberal interventionism." He should be assigned to review Kinzer's book. (Actually that whole article -- which argued that Islamic radicalism was the current equivalent of the "communist threat" -- seemed to be coming from some parallel universe.)

Great article by Sherrill, and great book, and neither should be faulted for leaving out the many other US overt and covert interventions and regime changes: They'd fill many volumes. But let me mention a few that should not rest in unmarked graves, especially since their effects still reverberate: Iraq (no, not this time, but when the US backed the Ba'ath Party to come to power, and later when it backed Sadam to take over Ba'ath -- talk about "blowback"!); and too-late breaking to make the book: Haiti, the abduction of Aristide; and Venezuela: the first US-backed coup, to my knowledge, to have been successfully reversed by popular action (and Fidel's assistance). Cause for celebration, no? And then there's Brazil (Goulart) in the 60's; money paid to defeat "communist" (ie anti-Nazi resistance) forces in the post WW II elections in Italy and France; Oh yes, and the Greek Generals, don't forget them! And then there's intervention for regime maintnenance as well as regime change -- remember the CIA supplying hit lists of "communists" in Indonesia? And on and on.

Final note: Kinzer was the NY Times reporter in Nicaragua during the Sandinista years. If memory serves he was critical of the Sandinistas, but not a friend of the contras. Of course the Times has hardly been reliable in reporting on any of these interventions.

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Kinser was good on talking about media complicity.
Posted by: jreinhart1 on Jul 25, 2006 8:04 AM   
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In every case, the people were mislead by the cheerleading corporate main stream media elite that believed as the leaders of multinational banks and corporations, that anything that was left of far right (i.e. populist, centrist, leftist) was communist. The people behind all of these as well as an infinite amount of meddling in other country's internal affairs, are against any laws of living wages, trade unions, humane working conditions, 5 day work week and 8 hour day, retirement for the toilers, ...

The corporate media and leadership in Washington is as phony as a three dollar bill. They have been voting to put money into the endless pit for war since 1898. Our representative government is that of choices given to us that have been pre-screened by the Republican and Democrat leadership committees.

The US is obviously becoming a nation of two polar opposites with an aristocracy and a permanent underclass. We are moving back to the guilded age of the Morgans, Chases, Mellons, Rockefellers... these people call the shots for our foreign policy and anoint themselves to positions in the White House cabinet and buy key positions in Congress, Senate, K-Street, "Think Tanks" and the military. The hill is a millionaires club of, by and for the wealthy to establish beach heads in foreign lands by over or covert activities.

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Some more great exposes are
Posted by: daw13 on Jul 25, 2006 9:01 AM   
Current rating: Not yet rated    [1 = poor; 5 = excellent]
Non fiction:
(1) Walter LaFeber, Inevitable Revolutions
(2) Noam Chomsky, Hegemony or Survival
(3) The School of the Americas documentary film
(4) Manufacturing Consent documentary film

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Tiffany Twain
Posted by: Tiffany Twain on Jul 25, 2006 9:59 AM   
Current rating: Not yet rated    [1 = poor; 5 = excellent]
Better understandings must prevail. Thanks for the great article. Other valuable understandings are contained from two great sources:

"Addicted to War: Why the U.S. Can't Kick Militarism", by Joel Andreas, and

"A Declaration of Interdependence: Comprehensive Global Perspective", by Tiffany Twain, online at www.EarthManifesto.com.

I encourage readers to check these out!!!

T. Twain

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clinker
Posted by: cottontail on Jul 25, 2006 10:45 AM   
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Did anyone mention Chalmers Johnson's "Sorrows of Empire"? A must read. He has another coming out soon titled "Nemisis" Can't wait.

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CARTEL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY @ AMERIKA CORP
Posted by: Hal on Jul 25, 2006 1:35 PM   
Current rating: Not yet rated    [1 = poor; 5 = excellent]
The outline of democracies overthrown by corporate cartel run CIA-British secret police action in the story outlined here is far from complete. The actual number is at least 20 democracies overthrown since WW2. And that’s only the democracies.

A partial list…

1947
Greece - President Truman requests military aid to Greece to support right-wing forces. The CIA backs notorious Greek leaders with deplorable human rights records.

1949
Syria - CIA backs a military coup overthrowing the elected government of Syria and establishes a military dictatorship under Colonel Za'im.

1953
Iran - CIA overthrows the democratically elected Mohammed Mossadegh in a military coup, after he threatened to nationalize British oil.

1954
Guatemala - CIA overthrows the democratically elected Jacob Arbenz in a military coup.

1954-1958
North Vietnam - CIA officer Edward Lansdale spends four years trying to overthrow the “communist” land reform government of North Vietnam, using all the usual dirty tricks.

1957-1973
Laos - The CIA carries out approximately one coup per year trying to nullify Laos’ democratic elections.

1959
Haiti - The U.S. military helps “Papa Doc” Duvalier become dictator of Haiti.

1961
Dominican Republic - The CIA assassinates Rafael Trujillo, a murderous dictator Washington has supported since 1930.

1961
Ecuador - CIA-backed military forces depose democratically elected President Jose Velasco.

1961
Congo (Zaire) - The CIA assassinates the democratically elected Patrice Lumumba.

1963
Dominican Republic - The CIA overthrows the democratically elected Juan Bosch in a military coup and installs a repressive junta.

1963
Iraq - Iraqi leader Abdul Karim Kassem assassinated in a coup organized by the CIA and the British. Abdel-Salim Aref and Saddam Hussein along with their Baath Party are installed into power.

1964
Brazil - A CIA-backed military coup overthrows the democratically elected government of Joao Goulart for a murderous junta.

1965
Philippines – Marcos put into power as de facto dictator over the Philippines as a result of CIA backed overthrow of the nation.

1965
Indonesia - The CIA overthrows the democratically elected Sukarno with a military coup.

1970
Cambodia - The CIA overthrows admired Prince Sahounek for CIA puppet Lon Nol followed by the Khmer Rouge (led by Pol Pot), that massacres millions of its own people.

1971
Bolivia - After half a decade of CIA-inspired political turmoil, a CIA-backed military coup overthrows President Juan Torres. for dictator Hugo Banzer who tortures, rapes and executes opponents.

1973
Chile - The CIA overthrows and assassinates democratically elected Salvador Allende and replaces him with General Augusto Pinochet, who will torture and murder thousands.

1975
Australia - The CIA topples the democratically elected government of Prime Minister Edward Whitlam thru Governor-General, John Kerr.

1989
Panama - The U.S. invades Panama to overthrow a CIA installed dictator of its own making in General Manuel Noriega. Noriega has been on the CIA’s payroll since 1966, and has been transporting drugs with the CIA’s knowledge since 1972 (Noriega was considered “difficult”).

1990
Haiti - CIA-backed military deposes democratically elected Jean-Bertrand Aristide him. More military dictators brutalize the country.

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You keep saying the same things and doing nothing
Posted by: luther6 on Jul 25, 2006 1:50 PM   
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Smedley Bulter told most of this in the thirty's, and you people gush about another reporter "exposing' what anyone with a brain has known for a very long time. You talk and real people die, you discuss and everyone who isn't part of your ridiculous elite suffers. You are the best friends the Kissingers and Cheneys have, ineffectual nothings who are characatures from an old Woody Allen movie. Either do something or shut up, a big mouth and going tut-tut is a waste of everyone's time.

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Finally
Posted by: Pacif13r on Jul 25, 2006 2:29 PM   
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Finally, someone who acknowledges that Bush and cronies are only the latest in a long line of malignant contributions to the planet from a diseased culture. Woe behold any country or person who doesn't want to be governed by mega corporations masquerading under the pathetically childlike and transparent banners of "patriotism", "freedom" and "democracy".

Sadly most western politicians are too morally atrophied and/or become besotted by the thought of a few crumbs from the banquet of wealth to do anything but tow the line.

Planet wide McCarthy era here we come... unless of course the few thinking folk such as Alternet readers do something radical and form their own political party :-)

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» RE: Finally Posted by: bettyn

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Overthrow a gov't, how about ours????
Posted by: Reader11722 on Jul 26, 2006 5:06 AM   
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We should over-throw the US gov't. After all the gov't violates our Constitutuional rights. The gov't violates the 1st Amendment by caging peaceful protestors and pressuring Amazon to drop the book "America Deceived" by E.A. Blayre III. The gov't violates the 4th Amendment by illegal wire-taps. The gov't violates the entire Constitution by starting 2 illegal wars based on lies and a false-flag operation known as 9/11.
Last link (before Google Books bends to pressure):
America Deceived - book

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What about Haiti just three years ago?
Posted by: Joshua Holland on Jul 27, 2006 7:08 PM   
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Why isn't that on the list, I wonder?

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Why not connect
Posted by: blackinjun on Jul 30, 2006 5:24 AM   
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the dots to get a real clear picture...

America is an extension of Europe..before the "American Empire" the same thing was going on with every country in Europe. Asia, Africa, South America, Pacific, etc. Is this a white man's thing?

What other non white or non European culture sort world domination? (Japan, altho it's non white sort only conquest in Asia, it's sphere of influence and for that, today, they are the only non white G8'er..what does THAT tell you, lol)

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» RE: Why not connect Posted by: blackinjun
Alternet Comments:

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The Confessions of an economic hitman
Posted by: Aussie Kim on Jul 25, 2006 12:35 AM   
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For a VERY similar read, if you can find it, try "The Confessions of an economic hitman" by John Perkins.

The transcript of an interview with John Perkins is here

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Remembering the Banana Wars
Posted by: wli on Jul 25, 2006 2:38 AM   
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The US had three concurrent major occupations ongoing in the first half of the 20th century: Haiti (1915-1934), Nicaragua (1909-1933), and the Dominican Republic (1916-1924), though Panama should also be considered to have been occupied during the canal construction (1902-1914), making it four. The US was also involved in a 1913 coup d'etat in Mexico and went on an "expedition" in Mexico (technically an invasion) in pursuit of Pancho Villa. Also recall that Panama was created by the US invading Colombia in 1902 with some window dressing of a breakaway guerrilla movement (the real guerrillas were leftists; the US army came in to be the foot soldiers for the rich landowners to oppose them). Recall that the original Panama Canal Treaty, the Hay-Bunau Varilla treaty, was the "Treaty No Panamian Signed." A de facto US occupation persisted throughout the building of the canal (1902-1914).

The US occupation of Haiti is particularly notable for its reimposition of slavery of a broad class of citizens in a country in the 20th century, euphemistically called "corvée labor."

The reason it's important to remember the Banana Wars is that it explodes the myth that that the imperialistic streak only began after WWII and shows continuity between 19th-century and 20th-century imperialistic tendencies. Put in context, the only interruption whatsoever was the FDR administration.

It may also provide context for the Middle East. One might ask, "Aren't Iraq and Afghanistan enough?" By setting historical standards, the Banana Wars answer the question solidly negatively, and provide an historical example of three or four concurrent occupations over the course of 30 years depending on whether one accepts Panama as an instance of de facto occupation. Another question answered by the Banana Wars is "How bad can the occupations get?" Enslaving large swaths of the population of an occupied territory, as in Haiti, and the use of concentration camps(!), as in the Philippines, provide the answer.

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» Robert Sherrill Posted by: derfb1

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Another similar title is...
Posted by: HeroesAll on Jul 25, 2006 2:58 AM   
Current rating: 5    [1 = poor; 5 = excellent]
...Killing Hope by William Blum. Just as its title implies, it's a relentless wrist-slitter of a book, summarising all the CIA and military interventions since World War II.

Then people wonder why I get snarky when they assert that the US is the home of freedom, democracy, and All Good Things. I'd like that book, plus a few others like Blowback, to be required reading for everyone in the West, so they might finally understand what we, the industrial overclass, have done to the poor people elsewhere. And why they might hate us. And why, maybe, we should stop doing it to them now.

Ahem, sorry. I'm all right now, really. Calm as anything, honestly. Let me just wipe the spittle from my chin and I'll be right as rain.

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» RE: HeroesAll's suggestion... Posted by: John Rice

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Matthew
Posted by: Matthew_Burgess on Jul 25, 2006 3:56 AM   
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While I find little to argue with in this overview, I am disappointed that 'the best of what we are' (Canadian singer Bruce Cockburn), the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, were not included in your list of democratic regimes. The Sandinistas ran exemplary democratic elections in...1983 and '87, I think it was, as attested to by witnesses from all over Europe and North America. The anti-government press was allowed to print and distribute, and anti-government candidates were allowed to campaign and were openly receiving support from the US government, something outlawed by the US government, I believe, were it to happen in an American election.
But of course the propoganda machine in the US -- laughingly called the Free Press -- followed right along with the US government, calling it unfair. Ha, when in what the US called its 'fledgling democracies' in El Salvador and Guatemala, tens of thousands were being killed for merely expressing interest in voting for other than ruling generals of those police states. (E.g. Roberto D'Aubuison in El Salavador, colloquially known as 'Blowtorch Bob', so-named after his favourite interrogation instrument.) All this supported by Nazi Reagan, the so-called Great Communicator, who called Nicaragua, "a serious and imminent threat to the foreign policy and national security of the United States." Ha, what a joke! Little Nicaragua a threat...
It was only a threat by the example it was setting of Nicaragua for the Nicaraguans, and not Nicaragua for the US-controlled transnational corporations and multi-lateral Bretton Woods institutions. Even the World Court condemned the US and ordered it pay restitution to Nicaragua, to which the Congress and Administration responded by stepping up aid to the so-called Contras. (The latter can be thought of as the guerrilla wing of the School for the Americas.)
Matthew Burgess

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» RE: Matthew Posted by: LMNOP
» RE: Matthew Posted by: Jinu

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score
Posted by: rsaxto on Jul 25, 2006 4:12 AM   
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The score for the last century is USA tyrants 14, UN peacekeepers 0.

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» Peacekeepers do just fine... Posted by: Ghoulman

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You forgot one.
Posted by: polyquat50 on Jul 25, 2006 4:44 AM   
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You left out the CIA-backed overthrow of the Whitlam Government in Australia.

Bastards. Couldn't even leave your allies alone.

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» RE: You forgot one. Posted by: Aussie Kim
» RE: You forgot one. Posted by: Aussie Kim
» RE: You forgot one. Posted by: Aussie Kim

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A few words to the free world from its self-proclaimed leader.
Posted by: LMNOP on Jul 25, 2006 4:45 AM   
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Blah blah blah democracy and freedom blah blah. Blah freedom blah blah, blah spreading democracy blah blah.

Blah America blah blah blah leading the world blah blah Christian nation blah blah God blah blah. Blah democracy blah blah let freedom ring. And blah blah blah blah! Blah?

Blah blah liberty blah blah blah? Blah moral leadership blah blah blah! Blah blah! Truth and freedom blah blah blah. And democracy too.

Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah!!

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Overthrow and occupation of Hawai'i
Posted by: stevelaudig on Jul 25, 2006 6:23 AM   
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For developing scholarly works go to: http://www2.hawaii.edu/~hslp/journal.html

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Bush and history
Posted by: MikeG on Jul 25, 2006 6:59 AM   
Current rating: 5    [1 = poor; 5 = excellent]
The importance of this book and many others is that they bring some history into the discussion about how to view the current administration. It's completely myopic to think that all we have to do is bring the Democrats back, and everything will be just hunky-dory. We have to expose what's behind US foreign policy, the role of bipartisan outfits like the National Endowment for Democracy, the way the media are manipulated. It's happening with Venezuela right now, and if anything, the Democrats may do a "better" job at this than the relatively incompetent Bush Administration is doing.

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» democrats are "better" Posted by: Lauren

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forward to the past
Posted by: davidh on Jul 25, 2006 7:21 AM   
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Back in the 1960s there was a debate within the anti-war movement over whether Vietnam was a "mistake" or an inevitable result of US imperialism. I -- and many others -- came to the conclusion that we needed to oppose ANY US intevention, because as long as the US is ruled by the powers that be, any intervention is going to be bad for most people in the world. I was reminded of this when I read the article in the recent New Yorker defending a policy of "liberal interventionism." He should be assigned to review Kinzer's book. (Actually that whole article -- which argued that Islamic radicalism was the current equivalent of the "communist threat" -- seemed to be coming from some parallel universe.)

Great article by Sherrill, and great book, and neither should be faulted for leaving out the many other US overt and covert interventions and regime changes: They'd fill many volumes. But let me mention a few that should not rest in unmarked graves, especially since their effects still reverberate: Iraq (no, not this time, but when the US backed the Ba'ath Party to come to power, and later when it backed Sadam to take over Ba'ath -- talk about "blowback"!); and too-late breaking to make the book: Haiti, the abduction of Aristide; and Venezuela: the first US-backed coup, to my knowledge, to have been successfully reversed by popular action (and Fidel's assistance). Cause for celebration, no? And then there's Brazil (Goulart) in the 60's; money paid to defeat "communist" (ie anti-Nazi resistance) forces in the post WW II elections in Italy and France; Oh yes, and the Greek Generals, don't forget them! And then there's intervention for regime maintnenance as well as regime change -- remember the CIA supplying hit lists of "communists" in Indonesia? And on and on.

Final note: Kinzer was the NY Times reporter in Nicaragua during the Sandinista years. If memory serves he was critical of the Sandinistas, but not a friend of the contras. Of course the Times has hardly been reliable in reporting on any of these interventions.

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Kinser was good on talking about media complicity.
Posted by: jreinhart1 on Jul 25, 2006 8:04 AM   
Current rating: Not yet rated    [1 = poor; 5 = excellent]
In every case, the people were mislead by the cheerleading corporate main stream media elite that believed as the leaders of multinational banks and corporations, that anything that was left of far right (i.e. populist, centrist, leftist) was communist. The people behind all of these as well as an infinite amount of meddling in other country's internal affairs, are against any laws of living wages, trade unions, humane working conditions, 5 day work week and 8 hour day, retirement for the toilers, ...

The corporate media and leadership in Washington is as phony as a three dollar bill. They have been voting to put money into the endless pit for war since 1898. Our representative government is that of choices given to us that have been pre-screened by the Republican and Democrat leadership committees.

The US is obviously becoming a nation of two polar opposites with an aristocracy and a permanent underclass. We are moving back to the guilded age of the Morgans, Chases, Mellons, Rockefellers... these people call the shots for our foreign policy and anoint themselves to positions in the White House cabinet and buy key positions in Congress, Senate, K-Street, "Think Tanks" and the military. The hill is a millionaires club of, by and for the wealthy to establish beach heads in foreign lands by over or covert activities.

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Some more great exposes are
Posted by: daw13 on Jul 25, 2006 9:01 AM   
Current rating: Not yet rated    [1 = poor; 5 = excellent]
Non fiction:
(1) Walter LaFeber, Inevitable Revolutions
(2) Noam Chomsky, Hegemony or Survival
(3) The School of the Americas documentary film
(4) Manufacturing Consent documentary film

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Comments are closed-

Tiffany Twain
Posted by: Tiffany Twain on Jul 25, 2006 9:59 AM   
Current rating: Not yet rated    [1 = poor; 5 = excellent]
Better understandings must prevail. Thanks for the great article. Other valuable understandings are contained from two great sources:

"Addicted to War: Why the U.S. Can't Kick Militarism", by Joel Andreas, and

"A Declaration of Interdependence: Comprehensive Global Perspective", by Tiffany Twain, online at www.EarthManifesto.com.

I encourage readers to check these out!!!

T. Twain

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clinker
Posted by: cottontail on Jul 25, 2006 10:45 AM   
Current rating: Not yet rated    [1 = poor; 5 = excellent]
Did anyone mention Chalmers Johnson's "Sorrows of Empire"? A must read. He has another coming out soon titled "Nemisis" Can't wait.

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CARTEL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY @ AMERIKA CORP
Posted by: Hal on Jul 25, 2006 1:35 PM   
Current rating: Not yet rated    [1 = poor; 5 = excellent]
The outline of democracies overthrown by corporate cartel run CIA-British secret police action in the story outlined here is far from complete. The actual number is at least 20 democracies overthrown since WW2. And that’s only the democracies.

A partial list…

1947
Greece - President Truman requests military aid to Greece to support right-wing forces. The CIA backs notorious Greek leaders with deplorable human rights records.

1949
Syria - CIA backs a military coup overthrowing the elected government of Syria and establishes a military dictatorship under Colonel Za'im.

1953
Iran - CIA overthrows the democratically elected Mohammed Mossadegh in a military coup, after he threatened to nationalize British oil.

1954
Guatemala - CIA overthrows the democratically elected Jacob Arbenz in a military coup.

1954-1958
North Vietnam - CIA officer Edward Lansdale spends four years trying to overthrow the “communist” land reform government of North Vietnam, using all the usual dirty tricks.

1957-1973
Laos - The CIA carries out approximately one coup per year trying to nullify Laos’ democratic elections.

1959
Haiti - The U.S. military helps “Papa Doc” Duvalier become dictator of Haiti.

1961
Dominican Republic - The CIA assassinates Rafael Trujillo, a murderous dictator Washington has supported since 1930.

1961
Ecuador - CIA-backed military forces depose democratically elected President Jose Velasco.

1961
Congo (Zaire) - The CIA assassinates the democratically elected Patrice Lumumba.

1963
Dominican Republic - The CIA overthrows the democratically elected Juan Bosch in a military coup and installs a repressive junta.

1963
Iraq - Iraqi leader Abdul Karim Kassem assassinated in a coup organized by the CIA and the British. Abdel-Salim Aref and Saddam Hussein along with their Baath Party are installed into power.

1964
Brazil - A CIA-backed military coup overthrows the democratically elected government of Joao Goulart for a murderous junta.

1965
Philippines – Marcos put into power as de facto dictator over the Philippines as a result of CIA backed overthrow of the nation.

1965
Indonesia - The CIA overthrows the democratically elected Sukarno with a military coup.

1970
Cambodia - The CIA overthrows admired Prince Sahounek for CIA puppet Lon Nol followed by the Khmer Rouge (led by Pol Pot), that massacres millions of its own people.

1971
Bolivia - After half a decade of CIA-inspired political turmoil, a CIA-backed military coup overthrows President Juan Torres. for dictator Hugo Banzer who tortures, rapes and executes opponents.

1973
Chile - The CIA overthrows and assassinates democratically elected Salvador Allende and replaces him with General Augusto Pinochet, who will torture and murder thousands.

1975
Australia - The CIA topples the democratically elected government of Prime Minister Edward Whitlam thru Governor-General, John Kerr.

1989
Panama - The U.S. invades Panama to overthrow a CIA installed dictator of its own making in General Manuel Noriega. Noriega has been on the CIA’s payroll since 1966, and has been transporting drugs with the CIA’s knowledge since 1972 (Noriega was considered “difficult”).

1990
Haiti - CIA-backed military deposes democratically elected Jean-Bertrand Aristide him. More military dictators brutalize the country.

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You keep saying the same things and doing nothing
Posted by: luther6 on Jul 25, 2006 1:50 PM   
Current rating: Not yet rated    [1 = poor; 5 = excellent]
Smedley Bulter told most of this in the thirty's, and you people gush about another reporter "exposing' what anyone with a brain has known for a very long time. You talk and real people die, you discuss and everyone who isn't part of your ridiculous elite suffers. You are the best friends the Kissingers and Cheneys have, ineffectual nothings who are characatures from an old Woody Allen movie. Either do something or shut up, a big mouth and going tut-tut is a waste of everyone's time.

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Finally
Posted by: Pacif13r on Jul 25, 2006 2:29 PM   
Current rating: Not yet rated    [1 = poor; 5 = excellent]
Finally, someone who acknowledges that Bush and cronies are only the latest in a long line of malignant contributions to the planet from a diseased culture. Woe behold any country or person who doesn't want to be governed by mega corporations masquerading under the pathetically childlike and transparent banners of "patriotism", "freedom" and "democracy".

Sadly most western politicians are too morally atrophied and/or become besotted by the thought of a few crumbs from the banquet of wealth to do anything but tow the line.

Planet wide McCarthy era here we come... unless of course the few thinking folk such as Alternet readers do something radical and form their own political party :-)

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» RE: Finally Posted by: bettyn

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Overthrow a gov't, how about ours????
Posted by: Reader11722 on Jul 26, 2006 5:06 AM   
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We should over-throw the US gov't. After all the gov't violates our Constitutuional rights. The gov't violates the 1st Amendment by caging peaceful protestors and pressuring Amazon to drop the book "America Deceived" by E.A. Blayre III. The gov't violates the 4th Amendment by illegal wire-taps. The gov't violates the entire Constitution by starting 2 illegal wars based on lies and a false-flag operation known as 9/11.
Last link (before Google Books bends to pressure):
America Deceived - book

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What about Haiti just three years ago?
Posted by: Joshua Holland on Jul 27, 2006 7:08 PM   
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Why isn't that on the list, I wonder?

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Why not connect
Posted by: blackinjun on Jul 30, 2006 5:24 AM   
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the dots to get a real clear picture...

America is an extension of Europe..before the "American Empire" the same thing was going on with every country in Europe. Asia, Africa, South America, Pacific, etc. Is this a white man's thing?

What other non white or non European culture sort world domination? (Japan, altho it's non white sort only conquest in Asia, it's sphere of influence and for that, today, they are the only non white G8'er..what does THAT tell you, lol)

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» RE: Why not connect Posted by: blackinjun
 
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