It would be easy for me to suggest that America has completely turned from a Country that prided itself on liberty and freedom of the 18th Century, to a Global tyrant of epic proportions. It would be easy. But it isn’t true. The tyrant of America has always been present, it simply grew and grew and is now at that stage where it surprises no one, and so we let it happen. As terrorists go, the greatest of them all, over the past Century at least, has been America.
It is a tradition in the USA to suffer a strange case of denial. Early Americans pillaged their way across the continent; committing nothing short of a total genocide of the Natives. Between 1850 and 1890, author David E. Stannard concludes that at least 22,000 Natives had been killed. The Indian Removal Act of 1830, which demanded that 17,000 Cherokee Indian’s leave their homes immediately (known as “The Trail of Tears“) purely so Americans could benefit from their lands financially. Elizur Butler, an American missionary estimated that 4000 Cherokees died during the removals. And yet, they managed to pride themselves on being the “land of the free and brave“. It’s a mask of denial, that still exists today.
The destruction of indigenous populations, for resource purposes, for financial gain, is ingrained into the blood of America. When it suits America, they hide behind the concept of spreading Capitalism and Democracy. It is not unreasonable to suggest that millions have died unnecessarily for what the US likes to call “freedom”. It is then, overly ironic that the US has been quite staunch supporters of evil non-democratically elected regimes, who just so happen to fill the pockets, of America, whilst slaying their population.
In 1953, the democratically elected government of Iran, lead by Mohammad Mosaddeq was overthrown by a US and UK backed Coup designed primarily to free up the oil reserves that Mosaddeq had Nationalised earlier in his premiership. Mosaddeq (remember, he was democratically elected, and incredibly popular with the Iranian people) was subsequently put in prison and died under house arrest. America had become what the 1776 revolutionaries fought to destroy; oppressors. Iran became a US colony in all but name. A new leader, a puppet for American interests, the Shah was installed. Thousands of people took to the streets in 1971 after the Shah announced plans to spend upwards of $100,000,000 on an extravagant, pompous tent city for the Iranian rich, and business leaders across the World who had recently enjoyed a more open Iranian market place. Whilst huge sums of money were spent, the nearby villagers continued to starve. And so they protested. The Shah (supported by the US) couldn’t let this happen, which resulted in thousands of people killed in horrendous circumstances, tortured, and political opposition repressed and “disappeared“. Fully supported of course, by America.
Whilst also supporting the dictatorship of Batista in Cuba in the 1950s, America was planning a coup elsewhere. Up until 1951, Guatemala had been opened up to American investment, and thousands upon thousands of miles of the Countryside had been eaten up by American businesses, whilst Guatemalan peasants lived in dire poverty. The new democratically elected President Jacobo Árbenz, proposed the agrarian reform laws of 1952, which proposed to move uncultivated lands from upper middle class land owners (whom consisted primarily of Americans), to the peasantry. Arbenz also opened up voting rights to the peasantry thereby spreading democracy, and gave labour rights to those being dreadfully exploited (again, mainly by American business interests). Apparently America had no problem with the fact that 2.2% of the Guatemalan population owned 70% of arable land. Arbenz then joined the “Caribbean League”, a group of Latin American Democracies who plotted to overthrow evil dictatorship regimes, not for resource gains, but purely for the sake of democracy. The problem was, that these dictatorships, were supported by the USA, and so were not “evil”. And so it leads on to 1953; America sends CIA Director of Central Intelligence Walter B. Smith to investigate opposition to Arbenz, in order to figure out which group of rebels the USA could best fund in order to overthrow Arbenz and install an American backed dictator. Smith came back with no names, because opposition to Arbenz was pretty slim, except with the rich classes. The US cut a deal with Dominican unelected dictator Rafael Trujillo (whose regime is known as one of the most violent and bloody of the 20th Century), in which both the U.S and Dominican Republic provided funds and support to the far right rebel army of Carlos Castillo Armas. The coup succeeded and Armas became the new dictator of Guatemala from 1953 until his assassination in 1957. During his reign, he rolled back voting rights from those who couldn’t read or write, he stripped land away from the peasants, forcing millions out to live on the streets, and he created (with CIA backing) the National Committee of Defense Against Communism, which systematically killed and tortured anyone suspected of having left wing views. He cancelled the elections, but allowed Congressional elections, as long as only his party was allowed to field candidates. President Nixon referred to Armas dictatorship as “…the first instance in history where a Communist government has been replaced by a free one.“
On November 4th, 1970, Chile swore into power, democratically elected Marxist President Salvador Allende. Real democracy in action. President Nixon of America decided that Allende should not be President of Chile because it might affect American business interests in a negative way. Apparently, democracy is only democracy, if it doesn’t include the Left Wing. According to the U.S Department of State, the U.S Government, just before the 1970 election, “directed CIA to carry out “spoiling operations” to prevent an Allende victory“. That sounds like quite the opposite of democracy to me. This follows on, from the same report that “CIA also provided assistance to militant right-wing groups to undermine the President and create a tense environment“. Needless to say, on September 11th 1973 (the first 9/11), Allende, under intense pressure from US business interests (Pepsi-Cola and ITT were the main culprits) was the victim of a coup, that placed perhaps one of the World’s most evil dictators, General Pinochet, in control of Chile. But, Pinochet opened up the Country to foreign (and by “foreign” mean Western and by “opened up” I mean – let America plunder it’s resources) investment. These pro-free market measures didn’t do much good, given that inflation reached 375% by 1978. Wages decreased by 8%. Budgets for education, health and housing had dropped by 20%. Good times!
According to the Rettig report, 2,279 people (mainly left wingers, not necessarily politically active) were killed immediately following the coup, and close to 32,000 were tortured beyond description by the Pinochet regime. Thousands more were tortured and killed between 1973, and the end of Pinochet’s reign of utter terror, nothing short of Hitler-esque in 1990. Quite despicably, the U.S and U.K (especially Reagan and Thatcher) grew close friendships with Pinochet. Thatcher, in defending Pinochet’s human rights record, quite ridiculously and shamefully blamed the left wing, or more specifically, in her own words, an “organised international Left who are bent on revenge“. This then leading to Thatcher, in 1999, claiming that Pinochet should be released from his house arrest. It’d be like President Roosevelt telling Churchill to “go easy on Hitler, he isn’t THAT bad“.
One of my most favourite authors into U.S Foreign Policy, Noam Chomsky had the following to say, about the Chilean 9/11….
“Suppose that on September 11, Al-Qaeda had bombed the White House and killed the President, instituted a murderous, brutal regime which killed maybe 50,000 to 100,000 people and tortured about 700,000, set up a major international terrorist center in Washington, which was overthrowing governments all over the world, and installing brutal vicious neo-Nazi dictatorships, assassinating people. Suppose he called in a bunch of economists, let’s call them the ‘Kandahar Boys’ to run the American economy, who within a couple of years had driven the economy into one of the worst collapses of its history. Suppose this had happened. That would have been worse than 9/11, right? But it did happen. And it happened on 9/11. That happened on September 11, 1973 in Chile. The only thing you have to change is this per capita equivalence, which is the right way to look at it. Well, did that change the world? Yeah, it did but not from our point of view, in fact, who even knows about it? Incidentally, just to finish, because we the U.S. were responsible for that one.”
And then we wonder why half the World hates the West? Is it not plainly obvious?
I could easily talk about Iraq, Iran, the US arming of the Taliban, the assassination of President Diem in South Vietnam leading to the unnecessary deaths of 4 million South East Asians in perhaps the most needless war of the 20th Century, and many more instances when the USA, the light, the beakon of Freedom and Democracy has supported the World’s most evil regimes in order to further its own business interests. Capitalism and what the US calls “Democracy” haven’t been a true success, they’ve been a forced package that the victim Nation’s citizens have had to embrace, or die. The USA therefore, has no right to celebrate “Independence Day” on July 4th. The most hypocritical day in World history. Having said that, Jefferson would be proud that the abolition of slavery in America, didn’t stop the U.S from finding slaves elsewhere.