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As Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) pointed out in 1999, in speaking of Colombia: "What
we are really seeing is a ratcheting up of a counterinsurgency policy masquerading as a
counter-drug policy."81

In a 1994 report, Amnesty International estimated that more than 20,000 people had been
killed in Colombia since 1986, mainly by the military and its paramilitary allies”"not in
the 'drug wars' but for political reasons". Many of the victims were "trade unionists,
human-rights activists and leaders of legal left-wing movements." Amnesty charged that
"U.S.-supplied military equipment, ostensibly delivered for use against narcotics
traffickers, was being used by the Colombian military to commit these abuses in the
name of 'counter-insurgency'."82 As with Mexico, much of this aid is in violation of
congressional human-rights laws. The Pentagon has barely masked its scorn of these
A March 1997 letter by members of the House Foreign Operations Subcommittee to
Secretary of State Albright stated that "efforts by the Colombian government to take
action to curb the increased abuses committed by paramilitary groups, or to curb
extrajudicial executions, disappearances, torture, political killings and other forms of
human rights abuses committed by security forces [i.e., the regular military] are not
sufficient to warrant the provision of over $100 million in military assistance and the
resumption of lethal aid."84

The lethal aid, however, has continued. Washington suspects that the Colombian
insurgents, if they ever took power, would just not fit in very well in the globalized
economy of the New World Order.

Yugoslavia, 1995-99

In April 1996, President Clinton visited Russia during a pause in the brutal military
struggle between Moscow and its breakaway province of Chechnya. At a press
conference, the president declared:

You say that there are some who say we should have been more openly critical. I think it
depends upon your first premise; do you believe that Chechnya is a part of Russia or not?
I would remind you that we once had a Civil War in our country in which we lost on a
pet-capita basis far more people than we lost in any of the wars of the 20th century over
the proposition that Abraham Lincoln gave his life for, that no State had a right to
withdraw from our Union.85

Three years later Clinton destroyed much of Yugoslavian civilized life and culture in
Operation Bomb for Humanity, in effect rejecting the idea that Slobodan Milosevic had
the right to try to prevent the province of Kosovo from withdrawing from the Federal
Republic of Yugoslavia. The United States, under the cover of NATO, intervened in a
civil war less violent than the American civil war; indeed, a lot less violent, and of shorter
duration, than several other civil conflicts going on in the world at the same time, such as
in Turkey, Sri Lanka, Indonesia/East Timor, Angola and other places in Africa; and it
was the supposed extreme (one-sided?) violence of Serbia against the Kosovars that tore
at the heartstrings of the kindly American and NATO leaders.

To those who argue that the US couldn't be saving the entire world, it must be pointed out
that far from simply not saving certain peoples, Washington had been actively supporting
Turkey and Indonesia for years in their mailed-fist military suppressions, and helped
Croatia carry out, and then cover up, its ethnic cleansing of the Krajina Serbs in 1995.86
Turkey, in fact, had nearly threatened to veto the NATO decision that it could act on
Kosovo unless
A Concise History of US Global Interventions 165

Ankara was assured that this policy could never be applied to Turkey's treatment of

But it was imperative for the United States that certain principles be established: 1) that
NATO”in the absence of the Cold War, the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact”still
had a purpose in life; 2) that NATO had the right to intervene anywhere, even outside of
its own geographical boundaries, and without having to seek explicit authority from the
UN Security Council; 3) that NATO was to be the military arm of the New World Order
(corporate headquarters located in Washington, DC).

Yugoslavia was not inclined to worship these principles; nor, as we have seen, had the
Serbs shown proper reverence for joining the club of globalized American allies cum
obedient junior partners. Most of their industry and financial sector was still state owned.
They had not even banned the word "socialism" from polite conversation yet. Veritable
dinosaurs they were! All in all, an ideal humanitarian bombing target. The fact that
Milosevic is a dictator was of no strategic significance, except for its propaganda value.

So Yugoslavia, which for years had feared an attack from the East (the Soviet Union),
instead was devastated by the Western "free world". While the bombing attacks were
being carried out, Serbian TV was also targeted, because it was broadcasting things
which the United States did not like. The bombs took the lives of many of the station's
staff, and both legs of one of the survivors, which had to be amputated to free him from
the wreckage.88

"Once you kill people because you don't like what they say," observed noted British
foreign correspondent, Robert Fisk, "you change the rules of war."89

Perhaps the strangest aspect of the whole conflict is the collective amnesia that appears to
have afflicted countless intelligent, well-meaning people, who are convinced that the
US/NATO bombing took place after, the mass forced deportation of ethnic Albanians
from Kosovo was well underway; which is to say that the bombing was launched to stop
this "ethnic cleansing". In actuality, the systematic forced deportations of large numbers
of people did not begin until a few days after the bombing began, and was clearly a
reaction to it, born of extreme anger and powerlessness. This is easily verified by looking
at a daily newspaper for the few days before the bombing began the night of March
23/24, and the few days after. Or simply look at the New York Times of March 26, page
1, which reads:

...with the NATO bombing already begun, a deepening sense of fear took hold in Pristina
[the main city of Kosovo] that the Serbs would now vent their rage against ethnic
Albanian civilians in retaliation [emphasis added].

On March 27, we find the first reference to a "forced march" or anything of that sort.
But the propaganda version may already be set in marble. It's the neatest con-game since
the church sprang "papal infallibility" upon a gullible people.

There's a lot more, hay mucho mas, il y a beaucoup plus, es gibt noch viel mehr

In addition to the above, there have been literally dozens of other serious American
interventions in every corner of the world, against both governments and movements,
from the 1950s on. The amount of US government roguery to be uncovered appears to be
infinite, while the author's time is finite. The US intervention machine has been, more or
less, on automatic pilot...perpetual war for perpetual peace.

Narco-terrorists gonna get your mama

US government officials often seem desirous of identifying leftist guerrillas with drug
trafficking, whether the linkage is factual or not. They also like to make use of the
expression "narco-terrorists" in speaking of the guerrillas. These linguistic associations
may serve a function beyond the purely descriptive. Here is Special Forces commander
Col. John Waghelstein, speaking in 1987 about this linkage:

A melding in the American public's mind and in Congress of this connection would lead
to tbe necessary support to counter tbe guerrilla/narcotics terrorists in this
hemisphere...Congress would find it difficult to stand in the way of supporting our allies
with the training, advice and security assistance necessary to do the job. Those church
and academic groups that have slavishly supported insurgency in Latin America would
find themselves on the wrong side of the moral issue. Above all, we would have the
unassailable moral position from which to launch a concerted effort using Department of
Defense (DOD) and non-DOD assets.90

Victims Memorial Museums

For several years, Cold-War conservatives have been planning for the opening of "The
Victims of Communism Memorial Museum" near the Mall in Washington. This building
has been commissioned by an act of Congress and signed by President Clinton. The
literature its backers put out in behalf of this project is egregiously inaccurate and
propagandistic. But that is not the point I wish to make here so much as to call for the
erection of "The Victims of Anti-Communism Memorial Museum"; right next door
would be a good spot. Displays dealing with the interventions described above and with
the torture and support of terrorism detailed in other chapters would provide more than
enough material to fill a good-sized edifice.
CHAPTER 18 : Perverting Elections

It shall be unlawful for a foreign national directly or through any other person to make
any contribution of money or other thing of value, or to promise expressly or impliedly to
make any such contribution, in connection with an election to any political office or in
connection with any primary election...

Title 2, United States Code Amended (USCA), Section 441e(a)

Thus the legal basis, if not the political, for the indignation expressed by both
Republican and Democratic members of Congress at revelations that the Chinese may
have tried to use covert campaign donations to influence American policy.

Washington policymakers, however, have long reserved the unrestrained right to pour
large amounts of money into elections of other countries (including those which also
prohibit foreign contributions) and taint the electoral system in numerous other ways, as
we shall see below.

Elections and this thing called democracy

During the Clinton administration, the sentiment has been pro-claimed on so many
occasions by the president and other political leaders, and dutifully reiterated by the
media, that the thesis "Cuba is the only non-democracy in the Western Hemisphere" is
now nothing short of received wisdom in the United States.

Let us examine this thesis carefully for it has a highly interesting implication.

Throughout the period of the Cuban revolution, 1959 to the present, Latin America has
witnessed a terrible parade of human rights violations”systematic, routine torture;
legions of "disappeared" people; government-supported death squads picking off selected
individuals; massacres en masse of peasants, students and other groups, shot down in
cold blood. The worst perpetrators of these acts during all or part of this period have been
the military and associated paramilitary squads of El Salvador, Guatemala, Brazil,
Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Mexico, Uruguay, Haiti and Honduras.

Not even Cuba's worst enemies have charged the Castro govern-ment with any of these
violations, and if one further considers education and health care”each guaranteed by
the United Nations "Universal Declaration of Human Rights" and the "European
Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms"”"both of
which," said President Clinton, "work better [in Cuba] than most other countries",1 then
it would appear that during the more-than-40 years of its revolution, Cuba has enjoyed
one of the very best human-rights records in all of Latin America.

If, despite this record, the United States can insist that Cuba is the only "non-democracy"
in the Western Hemisphere, we are left with the inescapable conclusion that this thing
called "democracy", as seen from the White House, may have little or nothing to do with
many of our most cherished human rights. Indeed, numerous pronouncements emanating
from Washington officialdom over the years make plain that "democracy", at best, or at
most, is equated solely with elections and civil liberties. Not even jobs, food and shelter
are part of the equation.

Thus, a nation with hordes of hungry, homeless, untended sick, barely literate,
unemployed and/or tortured people, whose loved ones are being disappeared and/or
murdered with state connivance, can be said to be living in a "democracy"”its literal
Greek meaning of "rule of the people" implying that this is the kind of life the people
actually want”provided that every two years or four years they have the right to go to a
designated place and put an X next to the name of one or another individual who
promises to relieve their miserable condition, but who will, typically, do virtually nothing
of the kind; and provided further that in this society there is at least a certain minimum of
freedom”how much being in large measure a function of one's wealth”for one to
express one's views about the powers-that-be and the workings of the society, without
undue fear of punishment, regardless of whether expressing these views has any
influence whatsoever over the way things are.

It is not by chance that the United States has defined democracy in this narrow manner.
Throughout the Cold War, the absence of "free and fair" multiparty elections and
adequate civil liberties was what marked the Soviet foe and its satellites. These nations,
however, provided their citizens with a relatively decent standard of living in terms of
employment, food, health care, education, etc., without omnipresent Brazilian torture or
Guatemalan death squads. At the same time, many of America's Third World allies in the
Cold War”members of what Washington liked to refer to as "The Free World"”were
human-rights disaster areas, who could boast of little other than the 60-second democracy
of the polling booth and a tolerance for dissenting opinion so long as it didn't cut too
close to the bone or threaten to turn into a movement.

Naturally, the only way to win Cold War propaganda points with team lineups like these
was to extol your team's brand of virtue and damn the enemy's lack of it, designating the
former "democracy" and the latter "totalitarianism".

Thus it is that Americans are raised to fervently believe that no progress can be made in
any society in the absence of elections. They are taught to equate elections with
democracy, and democracy with elections. And no matter how cynical they've grown
about electoral politics at home, few of them harbor any doubt that the promotion of free
and fair elections has long been a basic and sincere tenet of American foreign policy.

In light of this, let us examine the actual historical record.

Philippines, 1950s
Flagrant manipulation by the CIA of the nation's political life, featuring stage-managed
elections with extensive disinformation campaigns, heavy financing of candidates,
writing their speeches, drugging the drinks of one of the opponents of the CIA candidate
so he would appear incoherent, plotting the assassination of another candidate. The
Agency covertly set up an organization called

National Movement for Free Elections, the better to promote its agenda, and trusting
citizens joined up all over the country. The New York Times was also trusting. It praised
the Philippines' political and electoral development, declaring that "It is not without
reason that the Philippines has been called "democracy's showcase in Asia".2

Italy, 1948-1970s

See "Interventions" chapter.

Lebanon, 1950s

The CIA provided funds to support the campaigns of President Camille Chamoun and
selected parliamentary candidates; other funds were targeted against candidates who had
shown less than total enchantment with US interference in Lebanese politics.3

Indonesia, 1955

A million dollars were dispensed by the CIA to a centrist coalition's electoral campaign
in a bid to cut into the support for President Sukarno's party and the Indonesian
Communist Party.4

Vietnam, 1955

The US was instrumental in South Vietnam canceling the elections scheduled to unify
North and South because of the certainty that the North Vietnamese communist leader,
Ho Chi Minh, would easily win.5

British Guiana/Guyana, 1953-64


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