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against the transnational aluminum companies. The United States employed many tactics
in an attempt to defeat Manley's bid for reelection in 1976, but failed.33

Honduras, 1980s

The US turned Honduras into an instant colony in the early 1980s, a military base with
thousands of American troops, to support counter-insurgency operations in El Salvador
and Guatemala, and, above all, to serve as a staging area, supply center and refuge for the
Contras and their war against the Nicaraguan government. Inasmuch as the uninterrupted
continuance of such operations required a quiescent population, the US gave the
Honduran military and police the training, arms, equipment and funds needed to
efficiently suppress dissidents”the anti-American types (who mockingly referred to their
country as the U.S.S. Honduras), those involved in solidarity campaigns for the
Salvadoran rebels and the Sandinistas of Nicaragua and those striving for social change
within Honduras, though still far from becoming a guerrilla threat.34 "American
diplomats," observed the New York Times in 1988, "exercise more control over domestic
politics in Honduras than in any other country in the hemisphere, and in private that fact
is universally acknowledged here."35

Nicaragua, 1978-90

When the Sandinistas overthrew the Somoza dictatorship in 1978, it was clear to
Washington that they might well be that long-dreaded beast”"another Cuba". Under
President Carter, attempts to sabotage the revolution took diplomatic and economic
forms. Under Reagan, violence was the method of choice. For eight terribly long years,
the people of Nicaragua were under attack by Washington's proxy army, the Contras,
formed from Somoza's vicious National Guardsmen and other supporters of the dictator.
It was all-out war, aiming to destroy the progressive social and economic programs of the
government, burning down schools and medical clinics, raping, torturing, mining harbors,
bombing and strafing. These were the charming gentlemen Ronald Reagan liked to call
"freedom fighters".

In 1990, the US seriously interfered in national elections, resulting in the defeat of the

As with Cuba, we'll never know what kind of progressive society the Sandinistas might
have created if allowed to live in peace and not have to spend half their budget on
fighting a war. Oxfam, the international development organization, said that from its
experi-ence of working in 76 developing countries, Nicaragua under the Sandinistas was
"exceptional in the strength of that government's commitment...to improving the
condition of the people and encour-aging their active participation in the development

A decade after returning to the rule of the free market, Nicaragua had become one of the
poorest nations in the hemisphere, with more than half its people suffering from
malnutrition and with illiteracy widespread.

Philippines, 1970s-1990s

Another scenario of poverty, social injustice, death squads, torture, etc. leading to wide-
ranging protest and armed resistance...time once again for the US military and CIA to
come to the aid of the government in suppressing such movements. In 1987 it was
revealed that the Reagan administration had approved a $10 million, two-year plan for
increased CIA involvement in the counter-insurgency campaign.38 The CIA undertook
large-scale psychological warfare operations and US military advisers routinely
accompanied Philippine troops during their maneuvers.39 The Philippines has long been
the most strategic location for US war-making in Asia, the site of several large American
military bases, which have been the object of numerous protests by the citizens. In 1991,
the US embassy informed the media that embassy polls indicated that 68 percent, 72
percent, even 81 percent of the Philippine people favored the bases. The polls, however,
never existed. "I made the numbers up," an embassy official conceded.40

Seychelles, 1979-81

The country's leader, France Albert Rene, amongst other shortcomings in the eyes of
Washington, was a socialist, pursued non-alignment, wanted to turn the Indian Ocean
into a nuclear-free zone and was not happy that his island nation was the home of a US
Air Force satellite tracking station. For this he was the object of various US
destabilization conspiracies beginning in 1979. In November 1981, the CIA reportedly
was behind a mercenary invasion of the island nation, which originated in South Africa
and got no further than an armed battle at the Seychelles airport.41

South Yemen, 1979-84

Partly to cater to the wishes of next-door Saudi Arabia, and partly as Cold-War reflex, the
US supported paramilitary forces in South Yemen to undermine the government, which
was perceived as the proverbial "Soviet satellite", as opposed to North Yemen, which
was seen to be the proverbial "pro-Western" good guys. North and South had been
fighting on and off for years. The US sent North Yemen military aid and trained
paramilitary forces to blow up bridges and carry out other acts of sabotage in the South.
In March 1982, a 13-man paramilitary team was captured in the South; under torture,
they confessed (honestly) to a CIA training connection and 12 were executed; the
operation soon came to an end. Reagan's CIA Director, William Casey, a genuine anti-
Soviet primitive, had been convinced that the South Yemenis were part of a Soviet-run
international ter-rorist network, along with Cubans, the Italian Red Brigades and the
IRA.42 In reality, since 1979, the Soviet Union had been providing military support and
advisers to both North and South, sometimes at the very same time, and even helped
North Yemen to put down a leftwing guerrilla movement.43 In 1990, North and South
combined into one country, the Republic of Yemen. The Cold War as vaudeville.

South Korea, 1980

In May, the United States”which had the first and last word on matters military in South
Korea”acting on a government request, released some South Korean forces from the
combined US-Korean command to be used by military strongman Chun Doo Hwan to
suppress an uprising of students and workers in the city of Kwangju.44 The protestors
were pressing for an end to martial law, the arrest of dissidents and their families and
friends, fraudulent elections, torture and unmet social needs. A brutal crackdown
followed, estimates of the death toll ranging between several hundred and 2,000, with a
number of gross atrocities committed by the armed forces,45 The US support came from
the Carter administration, heralded as human^ rights advocates. Said a State Department
spokesman: "Our situation, for better or worse, is that Korea is a treaty ally, and the US
has a very strong security interest in that part of the world."46

In February 1981, Chun was honored by being invited to the White House as President
Reagan's first state visitor; the US and South Korea engaged in the first joint military
exercises of the new administration; the administration asked Congress to delay
publication of the annual worldwide report on human rights while the South Korean
president was still in Washington, to avoid embarrassing him; and Reagan, in his toast to
Chun, was moved to declare: "You've done much to strengthen the tradition of 5,000
years' commitment to freedom."47 In 1996, a Korean court convicted Chun of treason
and murder, and sentenced him to death, for his role in the Kwangju massacre.

Chad, 1981-82

The Reagan administration's obsession with Moammar Qaddafi of Libya knew no limits:
geographical, legal or ethical. Libya maintained a military force in neighboring Chad at
the request of that government”which was faced with armed insurgents”and to serve
Libya's desire for a friendly government on its border. The United States wanted to
replace the Chadian government with one not very friendly to Libya, at the same time
giving free rein to anti-Qaddafi Libyan exiles in Chad to mount attacks on Libya from
across the border.

Thus it was that the US, along with France, the former colonial power in Chad, employed
bribes and political pressures to induce the Chad government to ask the Libyans to
leave”which Libya reluctantly did”and to replace them with forces of the Organization
of African Unity. The OAU was given a vague mandate to maintain security in Chad.
This proved to be a sort of Trojan horse. The CIA rebuilt an opposition Chadian force in
the Sudan and provided it with money, arms, political support and technical assistance.
Then, as the OAU stood by doing nothing, this army, led by Hissen Habr©, succeeded in
overthrowing the Chadian government in June 1982.48 With US support, Habre went on
to rule for eight years, during which his secret police reportedly killed tens of thousands,
tortured as many as 200,000, and disappeared an undetermined number. In 2000, some of
his torture victims succeeded in having him indicted in Senegal, where he resided, calling
him "Africa's Pinochet".49

Grenada, 1979-83

How impoverished, small, weak or far away must a country be before it is not a threat to
the US government? In a 1979 coup, Maurice Bishop and his followers had taken power
in this island country of 110 thousand, and though their actual policies were not as
revolutionary as Castro's, Washington was again driven by its fear of "another Cuba",
particularly when public appearances by the Grenadian leaders in other countries of the
region met with great enthusiasm.

Reagan administration destabilization tactics against the Bishop government began soon
after the coup, featuring outrageous disin-formation and deception. Finally came the
invasion in October 1983, which put into power individuals more beholden to US foreign
policy objectives. The US suffered 135 killed or wounded; there were also some 400
Grenadian casualties, and 84 Cubans, mainly construction workers. The invasion was
attended by yet more transparent lies, created by Washington to justify its gross
violations of international law.

Suriname, 1982-84

A plot was hatched by the United States to overthrow the govern-ment because it
allegedly was falling into "the Cuban orbit". It was to be an invasion by some 300 men,
half US and South American and half Surinamese. The CIA had actually informed
Congress of its plan to use a paramilitary force, which President Reagan had authorized.
Congress was not enthused, but William Casey and his CIA cowboys went ahead with
their planning anyway, and were induced to call it off only after the scheme was
discovered by the internal security agency of the Netherlands, the former colonial power
in Suriname when it was known as Dutch Guiana.

Libya, 1981-89

The official reason for the Reagan administration's intense antipathy toward Moammar
Qaddafi was that he supported terrorism. In actual-ity, the Libyan leader's crime was not
his support for terrorist groups per se, but that he was supporting the wrong terrorist
groups; i.e., Qaddafi was not supporting the same terrorists that Reagan was, such as the
Nicaraguan Contras, UNITA in Angola, Cuban exiles in Miami, the governments of El
Salvador and Guatemala and the US military in Grenada. The one band of terrorists the
two men supported in common was the Moujahedeen in Afghanistan.

On top of this, Washington has a deep-seated antipathy toward Middle East oil-producing
countries that it can't exert proper control over. Qaddafi was uppity, and he had
overthrown a rich ruling clique and instituted a welfare state. He and his country would
have to be put in their place. In 1981, US planes shot down two Libyan planes in Libyan
air space. Five years later, the United States bombed one of Qaddafi's residences, killing
scores of people. There were other attempts to assassinate the man, operations to
overthrow him, economic sanctions, and a major disinformation campaign reporting one
piece of nonsense after another, including conspicuous exaggera-tions of his support for
terrorism, and shifting the blame for the 1988 bombing of PanAm 103 to Libya and away
from Iran and Syria when the Gulf War campaign required the support of the latter two
countries. To Washington, Libya was like magnetic north: the finger always pointed
Fiji, 1987

Prime Minister Timoci Bavrada was ousted in a military coup only a month after taking
office in April following a democratic election. Bavrada, of the Labour Party, made
Washington officials unhappy by identifying himself with the Non-Aligned Movement,
and even more so by taking office with a pledge to reinstate Fiji as a nuclear-free zone,
meaning that nuclear-powered or nuclear-weapons-carrying ships could not make port
calls. When Bavrada's predecessor, R.S.K. Mara, instituted the same policy in 1982, he
was put under great US pressure to drop it. Said the former US ambassador to Fiji that
year, William Bodde, Jr., "a nuclear free zone would be unacceptable to the US given our
strategic needs...the US must do everything possible to counter this movement."50 The
following year, Mara dropped the policy. Bavrada would clearly not be so easily swayed.
He had taken office as part of a Nuclear-Free-Pacific Coalition.

Two weeks after Bavrada took office, American UN Ambassador Vernon Walters visited
the island. The former Deputy Director of the CIA has had a history of showing up
shortly before, during, or shortly after CIA destabilization operations. Walters met with
Bavrada, ostensibly to discuss UN matters. He also met with Lt. Col. Sitiveni Rabuka,
third-in-command of the Army. Two weeks later, Rabuka led a military coup which
ousted Bavrada.

During Bavrada's month in office, a multi-layered "Libyan scare" campaign suddenly and
inexplicably broke out in the Pacific area. The Reagan administration had already been
exposed for its phoney Libya-scare campaign in the United States. When the Fiji coup
took place, Rabuka and his supporters pointed to the Libyan "threat" as justifying the

There are more of such "coincidences" in this drama, including appearances in Fiji before
the coup of the National Endowment for Democracy (q.v.) and its funding, some of the
CIAs labor mafia, and units of the US military in the Pacific.52

The day after the coup, a Pentagon source, while denying US involvement, declared:
"We're kinda delighted.. .All of a sudden our ships couldn't go to Fiji, and now all of a
sudden they can."53

Panama, 1989

Less than two weeks after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the United States showed its joy
that a new era of world peace was now possible by invading Panama, as Washington's
mad bombers struck again. On December 20, 1989, a large tenement barrio in Panama
City was wiped out; 15,000 people were left homeless. Counting several days of ground
fighting between US and Panamanian forces, 500-something natives dead was the official
body count”i.e., what the United States and the new US-installed Panamanian
government admitted to. Other sources, examining more evidence, concluded that
thousands had died. Additionally, some 3,000 Panamanians were wounded, 23
Americans died, and 324 were wounded.

Question from reporter: "Was it really worth it to send people to their death for this? To
get Noriega?"

George Bush: "Every human life is precious, and yet I have to answer, yes, it has been
worth it."

Manuel Noriega had been an American ally and informant for years until he outlived his
usefulness. But getting him was hardly a major motive for the attack. Bush wanted to
send a clear message to the people of Nicaragua, who had an election scheduled in two
months, that this might be their fate if they reelected the Sandinistas. Bush also wanted to
flex some military muscle to illustrate to Congress the need for a large combat-ready
force despite the very recent dissolution of the "Soviet threat". The official explanation
for the American ouster was Noriega's drug trafficking, which Washington had known
about for years and had not been at all bothered by. And they could easily have gotten
their hands on the man without wreaking such terrible devastation upon the Panamanian

Afghanistan, 1979-92

The striking repression of women in Afghanistan carried out by the Taliban Islamic
fundamentalists is well known. Much less publicized is that in the late 1970s and most of
the 1980s Afghanistan had a government committed to bringing the incredibly
underdeveloped country into the 20th century (never mind the 21st), including giving
women equal rights. The United States, however, poured billions of dollars into waging a
terrible war against this government, simply because it was supported by the Soviet


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