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group of Haitians, aided by some Cubans and other Latin Americans.

Western Europe, 1950s-1960s

For two decades, the CIA used dozens of American foundations, charitable trusts and the
like, including a few of its own creation, as conduits for payments to all manner of
organizations in Western Europe. The beneficiaries of this largesse were political parties,
magazines, news agencies, journalists' and other unions, labor organi-zations, student and
youth groups, lawyers' associations and other enterprises, all ostensibly independent, but
nonetheless serving Washington's Cold-War, anti-communist, anti-socialist agenda”an
agenda which also included a militarized and united Western Europe, allied to (and
dominated by) the United States, and support for the Common Market and NATO, all
part of the bulwark against the supposed Soviet threat.
British Guiana/Guyana, 1953-64

The United States and Great Britain made life extremely difficult for the democratically
elected leader, Cheddi Jagan, finally forcing him from office (see Elections chapter).
Jagan was another Third World leader who incurred Washington's wrath by trying to
remain neutral and independent. Although a leftist”more so than Sukarno or Arbenz”
his policies in office were not revolutionary. But he was still targeted, for he represented
Washington's greatest fear: building a society that might be a successful example of an
alternative to the capitalist model. John F. Kennedy had given a direct order for his
ouster, as, presumably, had Eisenhower.

One of the better-off countries in the region under Jagan, Guyana, by the 1980s, was one
of the poorest. Its principal export had become people.

Iraq, 1958-63

In July 1958, Gen. Abdul Karim Kassem overthrew the monarchy and established a
republic. Though somewhat of a reformist, he was by no means any kind of radical. His
action, however, awakened revolutionary fervor in the masses and increased the influence
of the Iraqi Communist Party. By April of the following year, CIA Director Allen Dulles,
with his customary hyperbole, was telling Congress that the Iraqi Communists were close
to a "complete takeover" and the situation in that country was "the most dangerous in the
world today".10 In actuality, Kassem aimed at being a neutralist in the Cold War and
pursued rather inconsistent policies toward the Iraqi Communists, never allowing them
formal representation in his cabinet, nor even full legality, though they strongly desired
both. He tried to maintain power by playing the Communists off against other ideological

A secret plan for a joint US-Turkish invasion of the country was drafted by the United
States Joint Chiefs of Staff shortly after the 1958 coup. Reportedly, only Soviet threats to
intercede on Iraq's side forced Washington to hold back. But in 1960, the United States
began to fund the Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq who were fighting for a measure of
autonomy12 and the CIA undertook an assassination attempt against Kassem, which was
unsuccessful.13 The Iraqi leader made himself even more of a marked man when, in that
same year, he began to help create the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries
(OPEC), which challenged the stranglehold Western oil companies had on the marketing
of Arab oil; and in 1962 he created a national oil company to exploit the nation's oil.

In February 1963, Kassem told the French daily, Le Monde, that he had received a note
from Washington”"in terms scarcely veiled, calling upon me to change my attitude,
under threat of sanctions against Iraq...All our trouble with the imperialists [the US and
the UK] began the day we claimed our legitimate rights to Kuwait."14 (Kuwait was a key
element in US and UK hegemonic designs over Mid-East oil.) A few days after Kassem's
remarks were published, he was overthrown in a coup and summarily executed;
thousands of communists were killed. The State Department soon informed the press that
it was pleased that the new regime would respect international agreements and was not
interested in nationalizing the giant Iraq Petroleum Co., of which the US was a major
owner.15 The new government, at least for the time being, also cooled its claim to

Papers of the British cabinet of 1963, later declassified, disclose that the coup had been
backed by the British and the CIA.16

Soviet Union, 1940s-1960s

The US infiltrated many hundreds of Russian emigres into the Soviet Union to gather
intelligence about military and technological instal-lations; commit assassinations; obtain
current samples of identifica-tion documents; assist Western agents to escape; engage in
sabotage, such as derailing trains, wrecking bridges, actions against arms factories and
power plants; or instigate armed political struggle against Communist rule by linking up
with resistance movements. There was also a mammoth CIA anti-Soviet propaganda
campaign, highlighted by the covert publishing of well over a thousand books in English,
a number by well-known authors, which were distributed all over the world, as well as
hundreds in foreign languages.

Vietnam, 1945-73

"What we're doing in Vietnam is using the black man to kill the yellow man so the white
man can keep the land he took from the red man."”Dick Gregory

The slippery slope began with the US siding with the French, the former colonizers, and
with 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" (one of those bad-for-you label warnings). 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. For he was some kind
of communist. 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.

More than twenty years and more than a million dead later, the United States withdrew its
military forces from Vietnam. Most people believe that the US lost the war. But by
destroying Vietnam to its core, by poisoning the earth, the water and the gene pool for
generations, Washington had in fact achieved its primary 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.
Cambodia, 1955-73

Prince Sihanouk was yet another leader who did not fancy being an American client.
After many years of hostility toward 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 the 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 upon this unhappy land.
And to multiply the irony, the United States supported Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge
after their subsequent defeat by the Vietnamese (See "Pol Pot" chapter).

Laos, 1957-73

The Laotian left, led by the Pathet Lao, tried to effect social change peacefully, making
significant electoral gains and taking part in coalition governments. But the United States
would have none of that. The CIA and the State Department, through force, bribery and
other pressures, engineered coups in 1958,1959 and 1960. Eventually, the only option left
for the Pathet Lao was armed force. The CIA created its famous Armee Clandestine”
totaling 30,000, from every corner of Asia”to do battle, while the US Air Force,
between 1965 and 1973, rained down more than two million tons of bombs upon the
people of Laos, many of whom were forced to live in caves for years in a desperate
attempt to escape the monsters falling from the sky. After hundreds of thousands had
been killed, many more maimed, and countless bombed villages with hardly stone
standing upon stone, the Pathet Lao took control of the country, following on the heels of
events in Vietnam.

Thailand, 1965-73

While using the country to facilitate its daily bombings of Vietnam and Laos, the US
military took the time to try to suppress insurgents who were fighting for economic
reform, an end to police repression and in opposition to the mammoth US military
presence, with its huge airbases, piers, barracks, road building and other major projects,
which appeared to be taking the country apart and taking it over. Eventually, the
American military personnel count in Thailand reached 40,000, with those engaged in
the civil conflict”including 365 Green Beret forces”officially designated as "advisers",
as they were in Vietnam.

To fight the guerrillas, the US financed, armed, equipped and trained police and military
units in counter-insurgency, significantly increasing their numbers; transported
government forces by helicopter to combat areas; were present in the field as well, as
battalion advisers and sometimes accompanied Thai soldiers on anti-guerrilia sweeps. In
addition, the Americans instituted considerable propaganda and psychological warfare
activities, and actually encouraged the Thai government to adopt a more forceful
response.17 However, the conflict in Thailand, and the US role, never approached the
dimen' sions of Vietnam.

In 1966, the Washington Post reported that "In the view of some observers, continued
dictatorship in Thailand suits the United States, since it assures a continuation of
American bases in the country and that, as a US official put it bluntly, 'is our real interest
in this place'."18

Ecuador, 1960-63

Infiltrating virtually every department of the government, up to and including the second
and third positions of power, along with an abundant use of dirty tricks, enabled the CIA
to oust President Jose Maria Velasco because of his refusal to go along with US Cuba
policy and because he did not clamp down hard on the left domestically; and when his
replacement also refused to break relations with Cuba, a military leader in the pay of the
CIA gave him an ultimatum, which he acceded to.

The Congo/Zaire, 1960-65, 1977-78

In June 1960, Patrice Lumumba”legally and peacefully”became the Congo's first
prime minister after independence from Belgium. At Independence Day ceremonies
before a host of foreign dignitaries, Lumumba called for the nation's economic as well as
its political liberation, recounting a list of injustices against the natives by the white
owners of the country. The man was obviously a "communist". And obviously doomed,
particularly since Belgium retained its vast mineral wealth in Katanga province, and
prominent Eisenhower administration officials had financial ties to the same wealth.

Eleven days later, Katanga seceded; in September Lumumba was dismissed by the
president at the instigation of the United States; and in January 1961 he was assassinated,
with CIA involvement, after Eisenhower had requested that Lumumba should depart
from this life. There followed several years of civil conflict and chaos and the rise to
power in 1965 of Mobutu Sese Seko, a man not a stranger to the CIA. Mobutu went on to
rule the country (which he renamed Zaire) 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 country's extraordinary natural wealth, while Mobutu became a

In both 1977 and 1978, the Carter administration rushed exten-sive military aid to Zaire,
including airlifting Moroccan troops, to help Mobutu quell rebel uprisings and remain in
power. President George Bush was later to remark that Mobutu was "our best friend in

France/Algeria, 1960s

The CIA apparently supported a French military coup in Algeria to block that country's
independence in the face of French president Charles de Gaulle's determination to grant
independence. The US was concerned that an independent Algeria would have a
"communist" government. Washington also hoped that the repercussions would topple de
Gaulle, who was a major obstacle to American hegemonic plans for NATO. A few years
later, evidence indicates, the CIA was involved in an aborted plot to assassinate the
French president.

Brazil, 1961-64

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 covert American involvement and indispensable
support. 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 which Latin America has
come to know and love were instituted: Congress was shut down, political opposition was
reduced to virtual extinction, habeas corpus for "political crimes" was suspended, criti-
cism 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...there were 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.

Peru, 1965
The US military set up "a miniature Fort Bragg" in the Peruvian jungle and proceeded to
wipe out several guerrilla groups, which had arisen in response to the deep-seated poverty
of the Peruvian masses.

Dominican Republic, 1963-65

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 US 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.

To Washington's dismay, however, Bosch was true to his beliefs.

He called for land reform; low-rent housing; modest nationalization of business; 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 the thing called 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 congressmen expressed their discomfort with
Bosch's plans, as well as his stance of independence from the United States. Land reform
and nationaliza-tion are always touchy issues in Washington, the stuff that "creep-ing
socialism" is made of. In several quarters of the US 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. (The most
recent demonstra-tion of this was in Ecuador in January 2000, where a military coup was
rescinded almost immediately after a few calls from Washington officials.)20

Nineteen months later, April 1965, a widespread popular revolt broke out, which


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