examples of U.S. conduct and foreign policy over the
past half century are just a partial glimpse of the
whole story. Our conduct throughout the third world up
to this point has been very anti-democratic."
What is American Interventionism really
Posted June 13, 2003
by Brian McAfee (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The war is, for the most part, over. Iraq has been
liberated, the country is in a shambles but Halliburton is on hand to
rebuild. Most of the troops are back home or on their way. With apparently
overwhelming public support, why were those Pesky demonstrators out there?
All across the U.S., in Europe, in India, pretty much everywhere. After all,
isn't Saddam Hussen the most evil man on earth, a blight on the planet?
Well, yes he is, as are Osama bin Laden, the Taliban, Manuel Noriega. All
bad bad men, with one thing in common- 20 years ago we (the U.S.) armed,
trained and financed them.
Manuel Noriega was a well paid CIA man, "our man in
Panama" as it were. Heavily involved with cocaine trafficking, he
was convicted and imprisonedin '89 after a closed door trial, leaving a
cloud over the CIA of apparentinvolvement of drug smuggling and involvement
in the crack epidemic in our inner cities.
Osama bin Laden first surfaced in Afghanistan in 1979
with the U.S. armed trained and financed Mujahideen, a violent group of
Islamic fundamentalists. They overthrew the Soviet supported government in
Kabul and replaced it with a number of successive theocracies notorious for
their human rights abuses and treatment of women and girls. They evolved
into the Taliban. The green jacket bin Laden has been seen in since 9/11 is
a U.S. military issue from the days of his partnership with the U.S. when he
was fighting against the other "Great Satan", the Soviet Union.
The current situation brings us to the 50 year mark of
excessive intervention that has resulted in massive bloodshed throughout the
In 1953, the elected president of Iran, Mohammed
Mossadegh, decided to nationalize his country's oil supply, for the usual
reasons, infrastructure, health care, and education. This, of course,
outraged the U.S. and Great Britain who of course thought the oil was
theirs. After a short time it was. They instilled the Shah, Mohammed
Reza Pahlavi, who lived a life of indulgence for the next 25 years. The
SAVAK, the Shah's secret police which had close ties to the CIA, any
perceived threat or demonstrations for democracy were met with imprisonment,
torture and sometimes death. Under the guidance of the CIA, leftists were
the primary target for SAVAK and in 1979 when the Islamists swept to power
under the Ayatolla Khomeini, there was little the Shah or SAVAK could do
about it. They fled to the U.S.
In '54 another elected president, Jacobo Arbenz,
decided it would be a good idea to nationalize some of the unused land in
Guatemala, one of the poorest countries in the world, the land though not
being used, was claimed by United Fruit a U.S. owned company that was under
the control of U.S. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles. And, you
guessed it, the elected president had to flee. Guatemala has been run
by a military dictatorship. Over a hundred thousand poor and indigenous
people have been killed and our bananas are cheap.
In the Congo in 1960 the U.S. had a problem, there was a
new political leader on the rise, and he was concerned about poverty and
justice in his country. They had just come out of the racist and colonial
yoke. The CIA got on it. The next year Patrice Lumumba was dead and
the U.S. had another dictator in Mobutu.
Indonesia in '65 was probably an exciting place to be,
colorful, politically lively, a strong left and an equally strong right and
a charismatic if somewhat bizarre president Sukarno was leading a fledgling
democracy. Indonesia, even then, was a major oil producer. Of course
the U.S. government was concerned and the CIA was quite active, a little too
active, they planted a story of an eminent communist takeover and gave the
right wing military a list of "communists" that they wanted dead.
The military and Suharto dictatorship exceeded the list by between half a
million to a million in one of the worst massacres of the 20th century. (Sukarno
having been kicked out of the presidency in the U.S. plan and sponsored
Ten years later the Indonesia story takes another turn.
East Timor, the newly independent former Portuguese colony is under threat
from Indonesia. The U.S. gives a green light for a takeover to
Indonesia, giving them U.S. weapons and their blessing in a state visit
[Ford and Kissinger] as their plane is leaving the tarmac the Indonesian
military makes its move invading the poor island made up of very poor
Aboriginal people. The Indonesian military is very cruel, over time killing
about 200 thousand of the island's 800 thousand inhabitants.
A few years ago this story took another turn. In a
vote East Timor declared its own independence. The Indonesians
violently retreated off the island, burning and looting as they went. The
U.S. and Australian military
were present to make sure their former ally in crime left an interesting
twist to this is that prior to the U.S. and Australian assistance to kick
out the Indonesian occupiers, in a short article in an Australian newspaper
it was announced that oil and natural gas was found off shore in East Timor
From '68 to '73 according to William Shawcross, a war
reporter and author of "Sideshow", about the bombing of Cambodia
the U.S. routinely and indiscriminately bombed poor villages up and down the
borders of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. The numbers of non combatants killed
are unknown because there was no census but it is likely to be very high.
Another tragic atrocity that few Americans know about but
resulted from direct and violent interference in another third world
democracy. In 1970 Chile elected its first socialist president Salvador
Allende. A medical doctor, Allende's first act as president was to make it
mandatory that all school children should be given milk during the school
day as he noticed a certain vitamin deficiency among some of the poor
children which impacted their learning. About a third of the country lived
in severe poverty and his ambition was to rectify this and pay for the
usual, infrastructure, health care, schools. Chiles major natural resource
is copper and Allende offered the main U.S. owned copper company, Kennecott,
the current [at the time] market price for the value of the copper mines at
the time, they said no and involved the U.S. government, chief among them
Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger. In short, the U.S. enacted an
embargo, boycotts and in the end when nothing worked out to their
satisfaction a coup was orchestrated out of Washington. Salvador Allende was
assassinated on 9/11/73. The U.S. supported the Augusto Pinochet
dictatorship in which over 3,200 were murdered by Pinochet's henchmen. Many
that were murdered were women and about 25,000 more were imprisoned and
tortured, all civilian leftists.
These examples of U.S. conduct and foreign policy over
the past half century are just a partial glimpse of the whole story. Our
conduct throughout the third world up to this point has been very
anti-democratic. Another aspect to this is a national election that
took place in Bolivia about five years ago in which only 5% of the
electorate voted, the reason for this being the people had no influence in
their own country. The IMF and World Bank had taken control of the
nation's financing cutting funding for education, health care and
infrastructure, privatizing everything possible, bringing foreign investors
in so they could attempt to profit off the backs of the poor.
This has been a long war on the poor of the world.
A change in attitude and conduct is needed. A change in which mutual
respect, mutual benefit and compassion are paramount.
Almost all of the aforementioned occurrences were
preceded at home by declaration that they were being carried out for
"Democracy's" or "freedom's" sake, none of which was
I'm proud to be an American but many of our political
leaders should be ashamed of themselves. Whether it were Nixon and Kissinger
or are Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld they should do the right thing not the
This article is © copyright 2003 by Brian