<<

. 18
( 42 .)



>>

It may be further relevant that a detailed study of the first one-and-a-half years of the
Chemical Convention's life has shown that Washington's record in complying with the
Convention has been remarkably dismal, setting a rather bad example for other nations.5




PART III : A Rogue State versus the World


CHAPTER 17 : A Concise History of United States Global Interventions,
1945 to the Present

Presented here is the most extensive compilation ever of serious post-World War II
American interventions into the life of other nations, covering many more cases than
found in the author's book, Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since
World War 11 (Please see this book for further details of some of the interventions and
for sources not indicated below.)

The Roman Empire

There was no comer of the known world where some interest was not alleged to be in
danger or under actual attack. If the interests were not Roman, they were those of Rome's
allies; and if Rome had no allies, the allies would be invented. When it was utterly
impossible to contrive such an interest”why, then it was the national honor that had
been insulted. The fight was always invested with an aura of legality. Rome was always
being attacked by evil-minded neighbors...The whole world was pervaded by a host of
enemies, it was manifestly Rome's duty to guard against their indubitably aggressive
designs...Even less than in the cases that have already been discussed, can an attempt be
made here to comprehend these wars of conquest from the point of view of concrete
objectives. Here there was neither a warrior nation in our sense, nor, in the beginning, a
military despotism or an aristocracy of specifically military orientation. Thus there is but
one way to an understanding: scrutiny of domestic class interests, the question of who
stood to gain.

Joseph Schumpeter, 1919 1

America is today the leader of a world-wide anti-revolutionary movement in the defense
of vested interests. She now stands for what Rome stood for. Rome consistently
supported the rich against the poor in all foreign communities that fell under her sway;
and, since the poor, so far, have always and everywhere been far more numerous than the
rich, Rome's policy made for inequality, for injustice, and for the least happiness of the
greatest number.

Arnold Toynbee, 1961 2


The American Empire:

COMING SOON TO A COUNTRY NEAR YOU


China, 1945-51

At the close of World War II, the US intervened in a civil war, taking the side of Chiang
Kai-shek's Nationalists against Mao Tse-tung's Communists, even though the latter had
been a much closer ally of the United States in the war. To compound the irony, the US
used defeated Japanese soldiers to fight for its side. After their defeat in 1949, many
Nationalist soldiers took refuge in northern Burma, where the CIA regrouped them,
brought in other recruits from elsewhere in Asia, and provided a large supply of heavy
arms and planes. During the early 1950s, this army proceeded to carry out a number of
incursions into China, involving at times thousands of troops, accompanied by CIA
advisers (some of whom were killed), and supplied by air drops from American planes.


France, 1947

Communist Party members had fought in the wartime resistance, unlike many other
French who had collaborated with the Germans. After the war the Communists followed
the legal path to form strong labor unions and vie for political office. But the United
States was determined to deny them their place at the table, particularly since some
unions were taking steps to impede the flow of arms to French forces seeking to
reconquer their former colony of Vietnam with US aid. The US funneled very large
amounts of money to the Socialist Party, the Communists' chief rival; sent in American
Federation of Labor (AFL) experts to subvert the CP's union dominance and import scabs
from Italy; supplied arms and money to Corsican gangs to break up Communist strikes,
burn down party offices and beat up and murder party members and strikers; sent in a
psychological warfare team to complement all of these actions and used the threat of a
cutoff of food aid and other aid...all to seriously undermine Communist Party support and
prestige. It worked.

A portion of the financing for these covert operations came from the funds of the
Marshall Plan, which also helped finance the corruption of the Italian elections of 1948
(see below), and set up a special covert operations agency which later melded into the
CIA.3 These are a few of the hidden sides of the Marshall Plan, which has long been held
up to the world as a shining example of America's unselfish benevolence.

At the same time, Washington was forcing the French government to dismiss its
Communist ministers in order to receive American economic aid. Said Premier Paul
Ramadier: "A little of our independence is departing from us with each loan we obtain."4


Marshall Islands, 1946-58

Driven by perceived Cold War exigencies, the United States con-ducted dozens of
intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), nuclear bomb and other nuclear tests on this
trust territory in the Pacific, after forcing the residents of certain islands, notably Bikini
Atoll, to relocate to other, uninhabited islands. In 1968, the former residents of Bikini
were told by the Johnson administration that their island had been cleaned and was safe
for habitation. Many went back, only to be told later that they had been subjected to
massive doses of radiation and would have to leave again. In 1983, the US Interior
Department declared that the islanders could return to their homes immediately”
provided they ate no home-grown food until the late 21st century.5 They have never
returned.


Italy, 1947-1970s
In 1947, the US forced the Italian government to dismiss its Communist and Socialist
cabinet members in order to receive American economic aid. The following year and for
decades there-after, each time a combined front of the Communists and Socialists, or the
Communists alone, threatened to defeat the US-supported Christian Democrats in
national elections, the CIA used every (dirty) trick in the book and trained its big
economic, political and psychological-warfare guns on the Italian people, while covertly
funding the CD candidates. And it worked. Again and again. This perversion of
democracy was done in the name of "saving democracy" in Italy. American corporations
also contributed many millions of dollars to help keep the left from a share of power.


Greece, 1947-49

The United States intervened in a civil war, taking the side of the neo-fascists against the
Greek left, who had fought the Nazis courageously. The neo-fascists won and instituted a
highly brutal regime, for which the CIA created a suitably repressive internal security
agency. For the next 15 years, Greece was looked upon much as a piece of real estate to
be developed according to Washington's needs.


Philippines, 1945-53

The US military fought against the leftist Huk forces even while the Huks were still
fighting against the Japanese invaders in the world war. After the war, the US organized
Philippine armed forces to continue the fight against the Huks, finally defeating them and
their reform movement. The CIA interfered grossly in elections, installing a series of
puppets as president, culminating in the long dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos, for whom
torture was la sp©cialit© de la maison (see Elections chapter).


Korea, 1945-53

After World War II, the United States suppressed popular progressive organizations, who
had been allies in the war”at times with brutal force”in favor of the conservatives who
had collaborated with the Japanese. As a result, the best opportunities to unify North and
South were derailed. This led to a long era of corrupt, reactionary and ruthless
governments in the South and the huge, war-crime-filled American military intervention
of 1950-53 in the "Korean War", which was far from the simple affair of North Korea
invading South Korea on a particular day, which the world has been led to believe.

In 1999, we learned that shortly after the war began, American soldiers machine-gunned
hundreds of helpless civilians; amongst many other such incidents, hundreds were killed
when the US purposely blew up bridges they were crossing.6
Albania, 1949-53

By infiltrating emigre guerrillas into the country, the US and Britain tried to overthrow
the communist government and install a new one that would have been pro-Western,
albeit composed largely of monarchists and collaborators with Italian fascists and Nazis.
Hundreds of the ©migr©s lost their lives or were imprisoned.


Eastern Europe, 1948-56

Allen Dulles, Director of the CIA, in a remarkable chess game, instigated a high Polish
security official, Jozef Swiatlo, to use a controversial American, Noel Field, to spread
paranoia amongst the security establishments of Eastern Europe, leading to countless
purge trials, hundreds of thousands of imprisonments and at least hundreds of deaths.7


Germany, 1950s

The CIA orchestrated a wide-ranging campaign of sabotage, terror-ism, 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.

The United States also created a secret civilian army in Germany, which drew up a list of
200 leading Social Democrats, 15 Communists and various others who were to be "put
out of the way" if the Soviet Union invaded.

This secret army had its counterparts all over Western Europe as part of "Operation
Gladio", developed by the CIA and other intelligence services, and not answerable for its
actions under the laws of any state. After NATO was formed in 1949, Gladio came under
its discreet aegis. "Gladiators" were responsible for numerous acts of terrorism in Europe,
foremost of which was the bombing of the Bologna railway station in 1980, claiming 86
lives. The purpose of the terrorism was to place the blame for these atrocities on the left
and thus heighten public concern about a Soviet invasion and at the same time discredit
leftist electoral candidates. NATO feared that if the left came to power in the government
of any of its members, they might pass legislation that would be a threat to the NATO
installations or operations in that country.8


Iran, 1953

Prime Minister Mossadegh was overthrown in a joint US-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, initiating a period of 25 years of repression and torture, while the oil industry was
restored to foreign ownership, with the US and Britain each getting 40 percent.


Guatemala, 1953-1990s

Humorist Dave Barry boils the Monroe Doctrine down to three simple precepts: 1) Other
nations are not allowed to mess around with the internal affairs of nations in this
hemisphere. 2) But we are. 3) Ha ha ha.

A CIA-organized coup overthrew the democratically-elected and progressive government
of Jacobo Arbenz, initiating 40 years of military-government death squads, torture,
disappearances, mass executions and unimaginable cruelty, totaling more than 200,000
victims”indisputably one of the most inhumane chapters of the 20th century. The
justification for the coup that has been put forth over the years is that Guatemala had been
on the verge of the proverbial Soviet takeover. In actuality, the Russians had so little
interest in the country that it didn't even maintain diplomatic relations. The real problem
was that Arbenz had taken over some of the uncultivated land of the US firm United Fruit
Company, which had extremely close ties to the American power elite. Moreover, in the
eyes of Washington, there was the danger of Guatemala's social-democracy model
spreading to other countries in Latin America.

Despite a 1996 "peace" accord between the government and rebels, respect for human
rights remains as only a concept in Guatemala; death squads continue to operate with a
significant measure of impunity against union activists and other dissidents; torture still
rears its ugly head; the lower classes are as wretched as ever; the military endures as a
formidable institution; the US continues to arm and train the Guatemalan military and
carry out exercises with it; and key provisions of the peace accord concerning military
reform have not been carried out.9


Costa Rica, mid-1950s, 1970-71

To liberal American political leaders, President Jose Figueres was the quintessential
"liberal democrat", the kind of statesman they liked to think, and liked the world to think,
was the natural partner of US foreign policy rather than the military dictators who
somehow kept popping up as allies. Yet the United States tried to overthrow Figueres (in
the 1950s, and perhaps also in the 1970s, when he was again president), and tried to
assassinate him twice. The reasons? Figueres was not tough enough on the left, led Costa
Rica to become the first country in Central America to establish diplomatic relations with
the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, and on occasion questioned American foreign
policy, like the Bay of Pigs invasion.


Middle East, 1956-58
The Eisenhower Doctrine stated that the United States "is prepared to use armed forces to
assist" any Middle Eastern 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
over-throw the Syrian government, staged several shows-of-force in the Mediterranean to
intimidate movements opposed to US-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.


Indonesia, 1957-58

Sukarno, like Nasser, was the kind of Third World leader the United States could not
abide: a nationalist who was serving the wrong national interest. He took neutralism in
the Cold War seriously, making trips to the Soviet Union and China as well as to the
White House. He nationalized many private holdings of the Dutch, the former colonial
power. And 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". Thus it was that the CIA
began throwing money into the elections, plotted Sukarno's assassination, tried to
blackmail him with a phoney sex film, and joined forces with dissident military officers
to wage a full-scale war against the government, including bombing runs by American
pilots. Sukarno survived it all.


Haiti, 1959

The US military mission, in Haiti to train the troops of noted dictator Francois Duvalier,
used its air, sea and ground power to smash an attempt to overthrow Duvalier by a small

<<

. 18
( 42 .)



>>