THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AS A ‘GLOBAL POWER’. Part 1
Posted on January 8th, 2017
The United States of America was created by the aggressive takeover of land that belonged to others. The white settlers killed the Native Americans and took over their territory when advancing from east coast to west. Texas and California were forcibly taken from Mexico in the Mexican-American war of 1846. US gained control of Cuba and Puerto Rico and the Philippines in the Spanish–American War of 1898. Philippines declared war on America in 1899 and gained its independence in 1904. Cuba gained independence in 1902 but U.S. retained the right to intervene in Cuban affairs and to supervise its finances and foreign relations.
The United States of America is strategically placed between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, facing Europe on one side and Asia on the other. USA became a recognized world power after it helped to win World War II by bombing Hiroshima in Japan (1945). From the 1950s onwards, USA was engaged in a Cold War with the ‘Communist bloc’ dominated by Russia.
The Cold War came to an end in the 1980s, when Russia decided to go capitalist and the Communist bloc collapsed. Russia thereafter temporarily disappeared from the international radar and USA emerged as the ‘sole remaining superpower’. But before the US could control the whole world, China came on the scene. A new tactic was needed. So USA decided that it was going to champion human rights and use this to gain control of the world.
Using human rights, USA went after countries which were important for the US, bringing down any regime which opposed American interests, helped by the fact that USA has the mightiest military in the world, though very costly. The main agency responsible for executing all this, it is alleged, is the US Central Intelligence Agency(CIA). This department has its own Facebook and Twitter pages and is blamed for everything. CIA operates inside USA as well. CIA’s role in the Kennedy assassination has been openly discussed.
CIA concocted spurious narratives about regimes they wanted to target. They particularly focused on rape and torture. CIA planned to stage terrorists attack in the 1960s in USA to look as though they were done by Cuba. A study of these show how carefully and in what detail these were planned. There was CIA infiltration in Cuba. CIA operatives carried out many acts of sabotage against civilian targets, including a railway bridge, molasses storage facilities, an electric power plant and the sugar harvest. Elsewhere, CIA ran secret detention centers, and turned a blind eye to torture and illegal abductions of terror suspects.
CIA also subverted free and fair elections. They had done so 81 times between 1946 and 2000. The interference starts long before the election, analysts said. CIA orchestrated a series of street protests, to topple governments of Georgia and Ukraine. The CIA works through agencies. US National Endowment for Democracy (NED) it is alleged is a CIA creation. NED promoted political action and psychological warfare against states which did not support the US. NED had supported 65 projects in the Ukraine.
The first targets of US power were the lands below USA, in Central and South America. US President Theodore Roosevelt said in 1904 that USA had the exclusive right to interfere in the countries of South America and correct their ‘mistakes.’ He said chronic wrongdoing would require intervention by a ‘civilized nation’ and in extreme cases, the United States may be forced to act as an ‘international police power’.
Nicaragua was occupied almost continuously by USA from 1912 to 1933. Honduras was occupied seven times between 1903 and 1925. The main export of Honduras, banana, was completely in the hands of two American companies. The term ‘banana republic’ was first used for Honduras. The US occupied Haiti from 1915–1934 and Dominican Republic from 1916–1924. Cuba was occupied by the U.S. four times between 1898 and 1922.
US involvement became more aggressive from the 1950s. In Haiti, the U.S. military helped “Papa Doc” Duvalier and then his son “Baby Doc” Duvalier (1971-1986) to carry out a bloody reign with’ full knowledge’ of the American CIA. Over 100,000 were killed during the Duvalier period. Jean-Bertrand Aristide, elected in the 1990 Haiti election was deposed by the CIA-backed military after eight months in power. Aristide returned in 1994 and again in 2000 but went into exile in 2004.Now there is a UN Peace keeping Mission in Haiti.
US supported the dictator Rafael Trujillo of the Dominican Republic. His 31 years in power, with over 50,000 killed , is considered one of the ‘bloodiest eras’ ever in the region. CIA assassinated him in 1961 because Trujillo’s business interests were competing with American interests. The democratically elected government under leftist Juan Bosch was overthrown and military rule set up. After 19 months of military rule, in April 1965, the public wanted Bosch back but US sent its Marines ( navy) to uphold the military regime by force.
In 1954, the democratically elected Jacob Arbenz of Guatemala, in Central America , was removed by a coup engineered by the CIA. Arbenz had attempted a series of land reforms that affected the Rockefeller-owned United Fruit Company. Arbenz was replaced by a line of brutal right-wing dictators who killed over 100,000 Guatemalans in the next 40 years. Classified details of the CIA’s involvement, which included equipping rebels and paramilitary troops while the U.S. Navy blockaded the Guatemalan coast, came to light in 1999.
In the 1970s US intervention became even harsher. Anastasios Samoza, the CIA-backed dictator ruling in Nicaragua was overthrown in 1979, by Marxist Sandinistas who were popular because of their commitment to land and poverty reform .The Contras, formed out of Samoza’s murderous and hated personal army, were used to fight a CIA-backed guerilla war against the Sandinista government in the 1980s.
CIA distributed a detailed “terror manual” which told the Contras, inter alia, how to blow up public buildings, assassinate judges, create martyrs, and to blackmail ordinary citizens. The U.S. continued to arm and train the Contras even after the 1984 election won by Sandanistas. In addition to orchestrating the Contras, the U.S. government also blew up bridges and mined Corinto harbor, causing the sinking of several civilian Nicaraguan and foreign ships and many civilian deaths.
El Salvador had a cruel military government which led to a civil war, 1979-1992, with the peasants in the hills fighting against the military government. The CIA and U.S. Armed Forces supplied the government with arms. CIA-trained death squads roamed the countryside, committing atrocities like that of El Mazote in 1982, where they massacred between 700 and 1000 men, women and children. By 1992, some 63,000 Salvadorans were killed.
The U.S. invaded Panama in 1989, to overthrow its dictator, General Manuel Noriega. Noriega has been on the CIA’s payroll since 1966, and was transporting drugs with the CIA’s knowledge since 1972. But he became too independent and the US got rid of him in 1989.
In South America, the CIA-backed military forced the democratically elected President Jose Velasco of Ecuador to resign in 1961. In Brazil, fearing that the government of President Joao Goulart would make Brazil powerful in the region, the United States backed a 1964 coup led by Humberto Castello Branco, then chief of staff of the Brazilian army. CIA encouraged street rallies against the Goulart government and provided fuel and arms to those supporting the military. The Brazilian military went on to govern the country until 1985.
In 1958 US intervened to bolster the pro-Western Lebanese government of President Camille Chamoun. In 1967, a CIA-backed military coup overthrew the Greek government two days before elections in which liberal candidate George Papandreous was expected to win. The next six years saw the “reign of the colonels” ,backed by the CIA with widespread use of torture and murder against political opponents.
In 1971 The CIA assassinated Salvador Allende of Chile, Latin America’s first democratically elected socialist leader. Allende had nationalized Chile’s copper mines. The CIA replaced Allende with General Augusto Pinochet, who installed a regime that crushed the Leftists , tortured 38,000 and murdered over 3000. Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda had been planning to leave for Mexico to lead the opposition to Pinochet, when he suddenly died. Chile still recalls the Pinochet regime with revulsion.
In Bolivia, a CIA-organized military operation captured Che Guevara in 1968. Bolivia then underwent ‘half a decade of CIA-inspired political turmoil’ .Leftist President Juan Torres elected in 1971 was overthrown in a CIA-backed military coup. He was replaced by dictator Hugo Banzer who had people arrested without trial, then tortured, raped and executed. In Uruguay the ‘notorious CIA torturer’ Dan Mitrione took power in 1969. He used torture as a routine, widespread practice. He was greatly feared, but was kidnapped and murdered by revolutionaries a year later.
In Africa, Patrice Lumumba, the first prime minister of the Congo (Zaire) was assassinated in 1961 and replaced by Mobutu Sese Seko in a CIA-backed military coup. CIA had first tried to kill him with a poisoned handkerchief. The hated and repressive Mobutu exploited his country. The 1975 commission of inquiry , found that the CIA had been active in the murder of Lumumba. CIA had alerted Congolese troops to Lumumba’s location and noted roads to be blocked and potential escape routes. In Angola there was a CIA-backed war in 1975, supporting the brutal leader of UNITAS, Jonas Savimbi. This ‘entirely pointless war’ killed over 300,000 Angolans.
In South east Asia, CIA overthrew the democratically elected Sukarno of Indonesia with a military coup in 1967. CIA had been trying to eliminate Sukarno since 1957. US had sent weapons for 8,000 potential revolutionaries by ship to Sumatra. Sukarno’s successor, General Suharto, massacred between 500,000 to 1 million civilians accused of being “communist.” in Cambodia, CIA removed the highly popular Prince Norodom Sihanouk in 1970 and replaced him with CIA puppet Lon Nol. Khmer Rouge, came to power in 1975 and started to massacre millions of Cambodians. US had interfered in the 1957 democratic elections of Laos. USA dropped 2 million tons of bombs on Laos from 1964- 1973. US wanted to crush the communist forces in Laos and break Vietnam’s supply line.
The best known ‘American war’ was the protracted war fought by South Vietnam, supported by America against communist North Vietnam. US had earlier got south Vietnam’s leader Ngo Dinh Diem killed ( 1953) and a pro American government set up in South Vietnam. The Vietnam War ended in 1973 with defeat for America. The country was reunified in 1975.
The US troops engaged in chemical warfare in Vietnam. They used napalm and Agent Orange. Napalm is a mixture of polystyrene, adhesive, diesel and petrol. When ignited, napalm sticks to practically anything and burns up in ten minutes. The effects of napalm on the human body are unbearably painful and almost always cause death. “Napalm is the most terrible pain you can ever imagine” said a survivor from a napalm bombing. Napalm generates temperatures of 1,500°F to 2,200°F.
Agent Orange is a toxic chemical herbicide. It had devastating effects on agriculture, completely destroying all plants in the area. It also affected people and animals. The Vietnam Red Cross recorded over 4.8 million deaths and 400,000 children born with birth defects due to exposure to Agent Orange. Agent Orange was later determined to be in violation of the Geneva Conventions.
We now come to the current USA wars. Here are the best known of them. When Russia invaded Afghanistan in 1979, USA also dashed in. From 1979 to 1989 CIA secretly provided weapons and funding to any faction willing to fight Russia, like the Mujahadin. Russia left Afghanistan in 1989 but US troops did not.
The Middle East has the best quality petroleum in the world, in easily accessible quantities. Therefore USA was interested. In 1953 CIA overthrew the democratically elected Mohammed Mossadegh of Iran, in a military coup, after he threatened to nationalize the oil industry which was in the hands of British oil companies. The CIA replaced Mossadegh with the cruel and repressive Shah of Iran, who had a brutal secret police, Savak.
When the Shah was overthrown in 1979, USA started its present opposition to Iran, using trade embargos and objections to Iran’s nuclear weapons capabilities. Israel, also concerned about the highly Islamic state in Iran, put additional pressure on the US. There are as many Jews in USA as in Israel. In 2007, there were 5.4 million Jews in Israel and 5.3 in USA. In 2015 there were 6.3 million in Israel and between 5.3 and 7 million in USA. It is said that America owes its advancement to the Jews who emigrated there and today they control the higher levels of the global economy, from America.
In Libya Gaddafi took power in 1969 through a coup. Gaddafi nationalized the oil industry improved the living standard of the people and supported Palestine and anti-Israeli Arab governments. Gaddafi was killed in the civil war of 2011. Observers wanted to know who provided the heavy artillery and sophisticated weapons used by the rebels. Rebel groups cannot afford such expensive weapons. USA involvement was suspected.
Critics say Libya provides an almost textbook case of the disinformation, subversion and destabilisation which precedes US directed regime change. The rebellion against Gaddafi took the guise of peaceful protests and was reported as such in the media. It was funded by ultra rightist institutes such as Freedom House, (also associated with the invasion of Iraq.) International corporations also helped. Today Libya is a divided country without proper government.
Iraq dictator Saddam Hussein was a ‘creature of the CIA’. CIA built up Saddam’s army, giving it sophisticated arms, intelligence, training and financial backing. This cemented Hussein’s power at home, allowing him to crush the many internal rebellions that erupted from time to time, sometimes with poison gas. Wikileaks showed that US had trained deadly sectarian para military force of 17,000 men to fight in Iraq. There was also Pentagon backed death squads that tortured detainees for information on armed groups. With U.S. encouragement, Hussein invaded Iran in 1980. The west wants to see Iraq divided into Kurdish, Sunni and Shiite enclaves and a Kurdish homeland carved out of Iraq, Syria and Turkey,
US is deeply involved in the Syrian war that it going on now. From 2005 the US government was funding Syrian opposition groups working to topple the Syrian government. There are doubts about the ‘Islamic state of Iraq and Syria’ (ISIS). It appears to be a part of the western strategy. How could such a powerful organization spring up so suddenly? IS training camps In Jordan are under the supervision of the US marines. . President Basher of Syria said that peace would only come to Syria when the west and its Middle Eastern allies stop interfering. (CONTINUED)