200 YEARS OF IMPERIALISM
MISINFORMATION AND DISINFORMATION
MISINFORMATION AND DISINFORMATION
"I have never met anybody who wasn't against war. Even
Hitler and Mussolini were, according to themselves."
- David Low, 1946
THE GULF WAR.Yellow ribbons, flag-waving, and parades down Main Street and bumper stickers reading "I support Desert Storm" and "God bless our troops," are all examples of how millions of Americans were swallowed up in the fervor of the Persian Gulf War in 1991. All are signs of an uninformed society which is the pawn of militaristic patriotism.
Operation Desert Storm was a swift and sanitized war. None other had been so masterfully and adroitly orchestrated by the White House and CIA in the history of the United States. It was in this way that the government and the media portrayed it to the American people. Had it been a true United Nations war, it would have been carried out by the Security Council. Consequently, there was only one participant in Desert Storm, the United States. The impotent Iraqis sat back and took pounding after pounding until the infrastructure of their country was reduced to shambles.
President George Bush continually stated that "oil was not the reason" for the American invasion; that Saddam Hussein was "worse than Hitler"; and that he would swallow up Saudi Arabia and perhaps most of the Middle East. American generals were feeding the people daily reports on commercial television. Americans were being told that sorties were hitting their targets, that primarily smart laser-guided bombs were being dropped, and that civilian areas were being avoided.
Yet the American people were not told about Iraq's military impotence as a result of its eight-year war of attrition with Iran and that Saudi Arabia and Israel were the pillars of strength in the Middle East. The United States has castigated Saudi Arabia for its repressive regime. Yet thousands of troops have been deployed to protect the country's oil which is the source of 12 percent of all American petroleum.
It was not reported by the mainstream media that Iraq had several legitimate claims to Kuwait, since the Iraqi government never signed a border agreement with Kuwait; and that the emir of Kuwait had a human rights record just as dismal as that of Hussein. In the daily Pentagon briefings, Americans were told of the precision bombings carried out by American warplanes and missiles.
The results were staggering. Approximately 200,000 Iraqi children died of injuries, diseases, and malnutrition due to the decimation of the country's infrastructure. Tens of thousands were left homeless. Later it was revealed that 70 percent of American bombs missed their targets, and only 7 percent were smart bombs. These "surgical bombings" incurred the death of thousands of civilians, and tens of thousands more were injured. In addition 20 percent of all Americans killed during Desert Storm were hit by "friendly fire." Had Kuwait been a giant broccoli field instead of consisting of thousands of oil wells, Bush would have left this relatively unknown despotic corporate state untouched.
THE DISINFORMATION CAMPAIGN. Since the emergence of the Cold War, there have been continual misinformation and disinformation that the goal of the Soviet Union was world domination. On the contrary, it was the United States which not only surrounded the Soviets with its allies, but also immensely outdistanced the Soviets in Third World domination. The United States exported much more capitalism throughout the world for the benefit of multinational corporations than the Soviets exported socialism. In the past two decades alone, the United States was involved in wars or attacks in Nicaragua, Libya, Grenada, Lebanon, Panama, Somalia, and Haiti. In 1998 alone, the United States carried out attacks in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Afghanistan, and Sudan.
In the years following World War II, American intelligence groups actively recruited Nazi officers, physicians, psychiatrists, and scientists and clandestinely brought them into the United States. Former SS officers, who had carried out interrogations by means of drugging and torturing prisoners, were placed in high level positions in military intelligence agencies as well as in the Office of Strategic Services and the Central Intelligence Agency. Some emerged with new techniques in interrogation such as the use of THC and LSD. Others performed lobotomies and inserted electric probes on unwilling subjects in order to evaluate their behavioral patterns. Still others were placed in isolation for days or placed in cold and then hot water intermittently. In the 1990s the Department of Energy disclosed that since the development of nuclear energy in the 1940s, numerous civilians unknowingly were exposed to radiation, in many cases to study its effect on the human body.
The development of nuclear energy played a gigantic role in the formulation of foreign policy since World War II. In 1997 the Department of Energy could not locate the records which allegedly proved that it had disposed of 30,000 nuclear warheads in a 30 year span between 1945 and 1975. The DOE never disclosed how many nuclear bombs which it had produced. Estimates are that 70,000 warheads were assembled since World War II. It is estimated that 11,000 warheads still exist today. Available DOE records indicate that 26,735 bombs were destroyed at weapons' sites in Oak Ridge, Tennessee and Amarillo, Texas. This leaves another 30,000 warheads unaccounted for. Since 1945, the United States government produced 95.5 tons of fissionable plutonium -- and the DOE can only account for 2.8 tons of that plutonium today.
UNITED STATES HEGEMONY. Americans have been among the most naive people in the "civilized" world. Most do not know -- or do not want to know --that the United States has sent troops abroad or militarily struck other countries' territory over 225 times since independence from Britain. Since 1945 the United States has intervened in more than 20 countries throughout the world. These include: Greece (1947-49), Italy (1948), Korea (1950-53), Iran (1953), Guatemala (1954), Congo (1960), Cuba (1961), Vietnam (1961-75), Laos (1961-75), Dominican Republic (1965), Cambodia (1969-71), Chile (1973), Grenada (1983), Lebanon (twice: 1958 and 1983), Libya (1986), Panama (1989), Iraq (three times: 1991 Gulf War, 1993, and 1998-99), Somalia (1991-92), Afghanistan and Sudan (1998), and Serbia (1999).
Since the United States Army massacred 300 Lakotas in 1890, American forces have intervened elsewhere around the globe over 225 times. According to a study undertaken by Zoltan Grossman, the United States has sent troops into the following countries over the span of the past century:
Argentina - 1890 - Troops sent to Buenos Aires to protect business interests.
Chile - 1891 - Marines sent to Chile and clashed with nationalist rebels.
Haiti - 1891 American troops suppress a revolt by Black workers on United States-claimed Navassa Island.
Hawaii - 1893 - Navy sent to Hawaii to overthrow the independent kingdom - Hawaii annexed by the United States.
Nicaragua - 1894 - Troops occupied Bluefields, a city on the Caribbean Sea, for a month.
China - 1894-95 - Navy, Army, and Marines landed during the Sino-Japanese War.
Korea - 1894-96 - Troops kept in Seoul during the war.
Panama - 1895 - Army, Navy, and Marines landed in the port city of Corinto.
China - 1894-1900 - Troops occupied China during the Boxer Rebellion.
Philippines - 1898-1910 - Navy and Army troops landed after the Philippines fell during the Spanish-American War; 600,000 Filipinos were killed.
Cuba - 1898-1902 - Troops seized Cuba in the Spanish-American War; the United States still maintains troops at Guantanamo Bay today.
Puerto Rico - 1898 - present - Troops seized Puerto Rico in the Spanish-American War and still occupy Puerto Rico today.
Nicaragua - 1898 - Marines landed at the port of San Juan del Sur.
Samoa - 1899 - Troops landed as a result over the battle for succession to the throne.
Panama - 1901-14 - Navy supported the revolution when Panama claimed independence from Colombia. American troops have occupied the Canal Zone since 1901 when construction for the canal began.
Honduras - 1903 - Marines landed to intervene during a revolution.
Dominican Republic - 1903-04 - Troops landed to protect American interests during a revolution.
Korea - 1904-05 - Marines landed during the Russo-Japanese War.
Cuba - 1906-09 - Troops landed during an election.
Nicaragua - 1907 - Troops landed and a protectorate was set up.
Honduras - 1907 - Marines landed during Honduras' war with Nicaragua.
Panama - 1908 - Marines sent in during Panama's election.
Nicaragua - 1910 - Marines landed for a second time in Bluefields and Corinto.
Honduras - 1911 - Troops sent in to protect American interests during Honduras' civil war.
China - 1911-41 - Navy and troops sent to China during continuous flare-ups.
Cuba - 1912 - Troops sent in to protect American interests in Havana.
Panama - 1912 - Marines landed during Panama's election.
Honduras - 1912 - Troops sent in to protect American interests.
Nicaragua - 1912-33 - Troops occupied Nicaragua and fought guerrillas during its 20 year civil war.
Mexico - 1913 - Navy evacuated Americans during revolution.
Dominican Republic - 1914 - Navy fought with rebels over Santo Domingo.
Mexico - 1914-18 - Navy and troops sent in to intervene against nationalists.
Haiti - 1914-34 - Troops occupied Haiti after a revolution and occupied Haiti for 19 years.
Dominican Republic - 1916-24 - Marines occupied the Dominican Republic for eight years.
Cuba - 1917-33 - Troops landed and occupied Cuba for 16 years; Cuba became an economic protectorate.
World War I - 1917-18 - Navy and Army sent to Europe to fight the Axis powers.
Russia - 1918-22 - Navy and troops sent to eastern Russia after the Bolshevik Revolution; Army made five landings.
Honduras - 1919 - Marines sent during Honduras' national elections.
Guatemala - 1920 - Troops occupied Guatemala for two weeks during a union strike.
Turkey - 1922 - Troops fought nationalists in Smyrna.
China - 1922-27 - Navy and Army troops deployed during a nationalist revolt.
Honduras - 1924-25 - Troops landed twice during a national election.
Panama - 1925 - Troops sent in to put down a general strike.
China - 1927-34 - Marines sent in and stationed for seven years throughout China.
El Salvador - 1932 - Naval warships deployed during the FMLN revolt under Marti.
World War II - 1941-45 - Military fought the Axis powers: Japan, Germany, and Italy.
Yugoslavia - 1946 - Navy deployed off the coast of Yugoslavia in response to the downing of an American plane.
Uruguay - 1947 - Bombers deployed as a show of military force.
Greece - 1947-49 - United States operations insured a victory for the far right in national "elections."
Germany - 1948 - Military deployed in response to the Berlin blockade; the Berlin airlift lasts 444 days.
Philippines - 1948-54 - The CIA directed a civil war against the Filipino Huk revolt.
Puerto Rico - 1950 - Military helped crush an independence rebellion in Ponce.
Korean War - 1951-53 - Military sent in during the war.
Iran - 1953 - The CIA orchestrated the overthrow of democratically elected Mossadegh and restored the Shah to power.
Vietnam - 1954 - The United States offered weapons to the French in the battle against Ho Chi Minh and the Viet Minh.
Guatemala - 1954 - The CIA overthrew the democratically elected Arbenz and placed Colonel Armas in power.
Egypt - 1956 - Marines deployed to evacuate foreigners after Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal.
Lebanon - 1958 - Navy supported an Army occupation of Lebanon during its civil war.
Panama - 1958 - Troops landed after Panamanians demonstrations threatened the Canal Zone.
Vietnam - 1950s-75 - Vietnam War.
Cuba - 1961 - The CIA-directed Bay of Pigs invasions failed to overthrow the Castro government.
Cuba - 1962 - The Navy quarantines Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Laos - 1962 - Military occupied Laos during its civil war against the Pathet Lao guerrillas.
Panama - 1964 - Troops sent in and Panamanians shot while protesting the United States presence in the Canal Zone.
Indonesia - 1965 - The CIA orchestrated a military coup.
Dominican Republic - 1965-66 - Troops deployed during a national election.
Guatemala - 1966-67 - Green Berets sent in.
Cambodia - 1969-75 - Military sent in after the Vietnam War expanded into Cambodia.
Oman - 1970 - Marines landed to direct a possible invasion into Iran.
Laos - 1971-75 - Americans carpet-bomb the countryside during Laos' civil war.
Chile - 1973 - The CIA orchestrated a coup, killing President Allende who had been popularly elected. The CIA helped to establish a military regime under General Pinochet.
Cambodia - 1975 - Twenty-eight Americans killed in an effort to retrieve the crew of the Mayaquez which had been seized.
Angola - 1976-92 - The CIA backed South African rebels fighting against Marxist Angola.
Iran - 1980 - Americans aborted a rescue attempt to liberate 52 hostages seized in the Teheran embassy; eight Americans were killed.
Libya - 1981 - American fighters shoot down two Libyan fighters.
El Salvador - 1981-92 - The CIA, troops, and advisers aid in El Salvador's war against the FMLN.
Nicaragua - 1981-90 - The CIA and NSC directed the Contra War against the Sandinistas.
Lebanon - 1982-84 - Marines occupied Beirut during Lebanon's civil war; 241 were killed in the American barracks and Reagan "redeployed" the troops to the Mediterranean.
Honduras - 1983-89 - Troops sent in to build bases near the Honduran border.
Grenada - 1983-84 - American invasion overthrew the Maurice Bishop government.
Iran - 1984 - American fighters shot down two Iranian planes over the Persian Gulf.
Libya - 1986 - American fighters hit targets in and around the capital city of Tripoli.
Bolivia - 1986 - The Army assisted government troops on raids of cocaine areas.
Iran - 1987-88 - The United States intervened on the side of Iraq during the Iran-Iraq War.
Libya - 1989 - Navy shot down two more Libyan jets.
Virgin Islands - 1989 - Troops landed during unrest among Virgin Island Blacks.
Philippines - 1989 - Air Force provided air cover for government during coup.
Panama - 1989-90 - 27,000 Americans landed in overthrow of President Noriega; over 2,000 Panama civilians were killed.
Liberia - 1990 - Troops entered Liberia to evacuate foreigners during civil war.
Saudi Arabia - 1990-91 - American troops sent to Saudi Arabia which was a staging area in the war against Iraq.
Kuwait - 1991 - Troops sent into Kuwait to turn back Saddam Hussein.
Somalia - 1992-94 - Troops occupied Somalia during civil war.
Bosnia - 1993-95 - Air Force jets bombed "no-fly zone" during civil war in Yugoslavia.
Haiti - 1994-96 - American troops and Navy provided a blockade against Haiti's military government. The CIA restored Aristide to power.
Zaire - 1996-97 - Marines sent into Rwanda Hutus' refugee camps in the area where the Congo revolution began.
Albania - 1997 - Troops deployed during evacuation of foreigners.
Sudan - 1998 - American missiles destroyed a pharmaceutical complex where alleged nerve gas components were manufactured.
Afghanistan - 1998 - Missiles launched towards alleged Afghan terrorist training camps used by Islamic fundamentalists.
Iraq - 1998-99 - Missiles launched into Baghdad and other large Iraq cities for four days. American jets enforced "no-fly zone" and continued to hit Iraqi targets since December 1998.
Yugoslavia - 1999 - Bombings and missile attacks carried out by the United States in conjunction with NATO in the 11 week war against Milosevic.
Colombia Late 1900s and 2000s American troops and advisors attempted to thwart guerrillas.
Afghanistan 2001 American invaded and occupied Afghanistan after the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States.
Pakistan 2001 American advisors and forces searched for Al Qaeda terrorists.
Georgia 2001 American trainers and contractors were sent to Georgia, near Chechnya, where Islamic separatists were fighting Russian rule.
Yemen 2001 American advisors searched for Al Qaeda terrorists.
Indonesia 2001 United States advisors trained Indonesias military in investigating Al Qaida cells.
The Philippines 2002 American troops and advisors trained local forces who were fighting Abu Sayyaf Muslim, a radical group with ties to Al Qaeda. United States forces also accompanied local troops into the countryside.
These 225+plus instances of American military intervention did not include times when the United States:
(1) deployed military police overseas;
(2) mobilized the National Guard;
(3) sent Navy ships off the coast of numerous countries as a show of strength;
(4) sent additional troops to areas where Americans were already stationed;
(5) carried out covert actions where American forces were not under the direct rule of an American command;
(6) used small hostage rescue units;
(7) used American pilots to fly foreign planes;
(8) carried out military training and advisory programs which did not involve direct combat.
Since World War II, the United States has intervened in more than 20 countries throughout the world. These include: Greece (1947-49), Italy (1948), Korea (1950-53), Iran (1953), Guatemala (1954), Congo (1960), Cuba (1961), Vietnam (1961-75), Laos (1961-75), Dominican Republic (1965), Cambodia (1969-71), Chile (1973), Grenada (1983), Lebanon (twice: 1958 and 1983), Libya (1986), Panama (1989), Iraq (three times: 1991 Gulf War, 1993, and 1998-99), Somalia (1991-92), Afghanistan and Sudan (1998), and Serbia (1999).
Since World War II, the United States actually dropped bombs on 23 countries. These include: China 1945-46, Korea 1950-53, China 1950-53, Guatemala 1954, Indonesia 1958, Cuba 1959-60, Guatemala 1960, Congo 1964, Peru 1965, Laos 1964-73, Vietnam 1961-73, Cambodia 1969-70, Guatemala 1967-69, Grenada 1983, Lebanon 1984, Libya 1986, El Salvador 1980s, Nicaragua 1980s, Panama 1989, Iraq 1991-1999, Sudan 1998, Afghanistan 1998, and Yugoslavia 1999.
Since World War II, the United States assisted in over 20 different coups throughout the world, and that the CIA was responsible for half a dozen assassinations of political heads of state.
In most cases, the "enemies" were nationalistic nations which did not tolerate the exploitation of their people by American multinational corporations. The White House conveniently branded these popularly elected governments as communist in order to gain the support of the American public. At the same time policy has been to prop up dozens of right wing oppressive capitalistic dictatorships under the name of "democracy."
ASSASSINATION AND COUP ATTEMPTS. The following are undoubtedly only a small number of CIA assassination plots and coup attempts, since most of them will never be revealed.
--Although it has never been substantiated, the CIA may have been behind the plot to kill Chou En-Lai in 1955. An Air India flight from Hong Kong mysteriously crashed in Bandung, Indonesia. A mechanism used in bombs was found in the wreckage of the airliner, and investigators concluded that two time bombs were smuggled aboard the plane. John Driscoe Smith, who worked in the American embassy in India at this time, later said that he had delivered a package to a Chinese nationalist which he later discovered contained the two time bombs.
--A Senate Committee investigating the CIA reported that it had "received some evidence" of CIA involvement in plans to assassinate Indonesian President Sukarno in 1975.
--In 1959 the CIA and the opposition forces of the Khmer Serei attempted to assassinate Prince Sihanouk of Cambodia in 1959. The assassin was spotted in a crowd minutes before he was planning to kill Sihanouk.
--In 1958 the CIA Chief of Station in the Dominican Republic, Lear Reed, along with several Dominicans, plotted the assassination of Rafael Trujillo. The CIA armed several opponents of his regime for assassination attempts, which were never carried out. The CIA unsuccessfully tried to kill Costa Rican President Jose Figueres twice from 1955 to 1970. Figueres publicly announced on several occasions that he worked with the CIA frequently, especially in the overthrow of Trujillo.
--There have been eight documented attempts beginning in the early 1960s by the CIA to assassinate Cuba's Fidel Castro. One was plotted for the day that President Kennedy was assassinated in November 1963.
--The CIA aided Bolivian efforts to capture and kill Che Guevera who led a small guerrilla movement in the late 1960s.
--After Salvador Allende, a committed Marxist, was democratically elected president in Chile in 1970, CIA Director Richard Helms reported to President Nixon: "One in ten chance perhaps, but save Chile ... not concerned with risks involved ... $10,000,000 available, more if necessary ... make the economy scream ..." Nixon and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger made it known to the CIA that an assassination of Allende would not be an unwelcome event. A White House paper discussed the various ways that Allende might be assassinated.
--In 1975 the Senate's Church Committee concluded that CIA Director Allen Dulles had ordered the assassination of Patrice Lumumba, Congo's prime minister. In September 1960 the CIA sent Sidney Gottlieb to the Congo with a virus intended for use in an assassination attempt against Lumumba. At the time, the CIA was aiding Mobutu Sese Seko's search for Lumumba who eventually was captured by Mobutu in December 1961. Shortly afterwards, Lumumba was assassinated.
--The CIA was directly involved in a failed plot to assassinate Jamaican President Michael Manley in 1976.
--In 1978 President Carter authorized the CIA to provide financial and other forms of support to the opponents of the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. This support was continued throughout the Reagan administration.
--In 1982 and 1983, the CIA plotted to assassinate General Ahmed Dlimi, a Moroccan officer who sought to overthrow the Moroccan monarchy.
--In December of 1982, CIA Director William Casey told the House of Representatives and the Senate Intelligence Committees that President Reagan had authorized the CIA to try to topple the government of Suriname's ruler, Colonel Desi Bouterse.
--In 1983 the Nicaraguan government accused the CIA twice of hatching a plot to kill Foreign Minister Miguel d'Escoto, but the attempts on his life were never carried out.
--The CIA proposed a plan to assassinate Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi in 1986 as part of bombing missions carried out by American warplanes over Libya. Qadaffi's house was hit, and an adopted child was killed.
--President Reagan authorized an aborted attempt at influencing the 1987 Haitian elections to keep leftist Jean-Bertrand Aristide from being elected president.
VIETNAM. Even though many believe that the Vietnam War was uncensored to some extent, the United States government was still able to maintain a great deal of secrecy. Throughout the war the public was informed that the United States was supporting the democratic republic of South Vietnam, while in reality it was a corrupt right wing military regime. Even President Dwight Eisenhower admitted in his memoirs that had his administration allowed free elections after the fall of the French, 80 percent of the Vietnamese people would have elected the communist, Ho Chi Minh. In 1964 two American destroyers, the Turner Joy and Maddox, mistakenly believed they were fired upon in the Gulf of Tonkin by North Vietnamese gunboats. Johnson concealed the truth, and Congress granted him the de facto power to begin waging war against North Vietnam. The media never reported this incident until many years after the war had ended. A few reports of American atrocities were seen on television. For example, the media did report the My Lai massacre -- where Americans murdered 400 to 500 innocent civilians -- but it was not until two years after the fact. The government was able to maintain secrecy concerning Operation Phoenix which involved the systematic killing of more than 20,000 South Vietnamese suspected of collaborating with the Viet Cong. This was even acknowledged years later by William Colby, director of the CIA. It was not until the 1980s that only minimal information was acknowledged about the arms-for-heroin operations which were carried out by the CIA in Laos during the Vietnam War.
THE COLD WAR IN THE FAR EAST. Even though the Cold War was declared over by the Bush administration in 1991, another cold war still continued in the Far East. Even today, the United States maintains approximately 100,000 troops in Korea and Japan. After the Korean War, the United States participated in setting up a dictatorial regime under the control of the authoritarian, Syngman Rhee. After he was overthrown in 1960, Washington threw its support behind Park Chung-hee, the first of three army generals who would rule between 1961 and 1993. The Carter administration considered withdrawing troops from the area below the 38th Parallel. However, the assassination of Park prompted Washington to reconsider. Additionally, any consideration of reducing the number of American troops evaporated when the Shah of Iran was overthrown and the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in 1979.
Washington looked the other way in 1979 when General Chun Doo-hwan orchestrated a coup which brought him to power. As a result, thousands -- perhaps tens of thousands -- of civilians were killed by government forces the following year in Kwangju. To show support to the Chun regime, the Reagan administration appointed two ambassadors to South Korea. Both were senior officials in the CIA, James Lilly and Donald Gregg.
In 1987 South Korea moved towards a democratic state, largely because Seoul was about to host the World Olympics the next year. After the election of Kim Young-sam in 1993, the new president put the two surviving dictators, Chun and Roh Tae Woo, on trial. They were convicted of state terrorism, sedition, and corruption.
Even though Washington boasted that the Cold War ended with the demise of the Soviet Union in 1991, the United States still continued to maintain a military presence throughout the world. By the end of the century, American troops in Japan and South Korea still numbered over 100,000. Today, there are 640,000 Americans stationed in South Korea. The United States dominated Combined Forces Command maintains 461 Air Force combat planes, and the Navy has 44 warships in South Korean waters. Each year the United States spends $16 billion to maintain its military presence.
IMPERIALISM UNDER REAGAN AND BUSH. In the 1980s and 1990s, the Reagan and Bush administrations adeptly controlled the media. The White House completely squelched the truth about the purpose of American invasions in Grenada, Libya, Panama, and Iraq. After 241 American marines were killed in Beirut in 1983, President Ronald Reagan attempted to divert the attention of the American people elsewhere. Two days later he deployed troops to the tiny island of Grenada at the bottom of the Caribbean. Americans were told that the island of 110,000 had fallen to the communists; that the Cubans were building a 10,000 foot runway for Soviet bombers; and that American students were in danger at the island's medical school. In reality the prime minister had made significant social changes to benefit the island's inhabitants; the runway was completed -- not for bombers but for commercial airlines to land on this tourist island; and the medical students even admitted that their lives were not in danger.
Since the 1850s the United States has invaded Nicaragua on 17 separate occasions. After the Somoza family was overthrown in 1979, democracy was ushered into Nicaragua for the first time in history. Under the Reagan-Bush administrations, the Contras waged a war against the Sandinistas and the people of Nicaragua. Americans were told that it was a ruthless communist regime controlled by Cuba and the Soviet Union. Reagan stated that the Soviets were establishing a beachhead, from which they could proceed up Central America into the United States. Yet facts prove that it was a liberal democratic government which held free elections in 1984 and established social, educational, and health care programs for the first time. The White House repeatedly claimed that the Sandinistas were involved in drug trafficking. However, it was the CIA, as part of the Iran-Contra scandal, which acted as a conduit for drugs being exported to the United States.
After Manuel Noriega had been on the CIA payroll for over ten years, President George Bush launched Operation Just Cause in 1989. The administration initially reported that just a "couple of hundred" civilians died as a result of massive air strikes. And after the blitzkrieg, Bush stated that the economy was in an upswing, and that drug trafficking was declining. In reality, human rights commissions determined that nearly 5,000 innocent Panamanians died. In addition drug trade, unemployment, homeless people, inflation, and political corruption all increased in Panama after the invasion.
Only small portions of Africa are economically importance to the United States. However, Somalia is significant, since four American multinational oil companies - Conoco, Amoco, Chevron, and Phillips - staked out claims to two-thirds of Somalia. They are "quietly sitting on a prospective fortune in exclusive concessions to explore and exploit tens of millions of acres of the Somalia countryside." However, in next door Sudan, worse human rights violations, famine, and poverty exist, as in much of the rest of the African continent. Perhaps Bush's "Operation Restore Hope" should have been called Operation Restore Oil.
Panama not only has a canal as antiquated as it may be in this modern age, but this strategically located Central American country has been used as a conduit in trafficking drugs between South America and the United States. As economic interests and egomania continue to dictate foreign policy, the United States continues to be the policemen of the Middle East where oil is abundant.
VOTING AGAINST HUMAN RIGHTS. In July 1998 a global criminal court was established. A world delegation convened in Rome and voted 120 to 7 with 30 abstentions to establish this international judicial organization. The Clinton administration, along with six other countries, voted against the court. The United States joined ranks with Libya, Sudan, and Iraq in opposition to the treaty. This marked the first time since the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 that the United States voted against a peace proposal. It was a major diplomatic defeat since the United States did not show its support in efforts to work with 120 other world countries in combating impunity.
The United States has always made unilateral -- not multilateral -- decisions in establishing war crime tribunals in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia. However, by supporting a global criminal court, the United States would have left itself wide open for the prosecution of American soldiers. For example, the administration would not be able to shield such people as the two American Marine pilots who carelessly flew into an Italian valley and severed a cable, leading to the death of 20 Italians who were riding a tram up a mountain. This international tribunal would also be capable of prosecuting Americans for war crimes, according to Article 12 of the treaty, if either the country where the crime occurred or the country of the defendant's nationality is a party to the treaty. In essence the criminal court would jeopardize the United States foreign policy which consistently has been to project its military might wherever it has been deemed necessary.
Amnesty International lobbied to work towards such a court. Amnesty's secretary general stated:
"This statute provides a basis for an improvement in human rights protection, but it needs work to make the court truly effective. We will continue to push for a court that could have a real impact in protecting millions of future victims." He said that this court would protect the victims of genocide, crimes against humanity and serious war crimes. Instead, victims looking for justice are faced with a court which could let these horrendous crimes go unpunished. This court requires the permission of criminals to face trial. He welcomed the decision to give the prosecutor power to initiate an investigation of genocide, other crimes against humanity and on war crimes which are based on information from victims.
THE FORMER EASTERN BLOC. Since the crumbling of the Eastern European dictatorships beginning in 1989, many of the former countries have experimented with a free market economy. However, they only learned that capitalism was much more of a failure than socialism had been. As a result they went to the polls to democratically elect communists, under the title of social democrats, who promised to restore socialism in hopes of bolstering their economy.
Over 50 percent of Russians prefer the predictable communist system where jobs, food, health care, and education are guaranteed by the government. The three Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania carried out free elections. In March 1995, parliamentary elections in Estonia gave 41 of the 101 seats to two left-leaning parties made up of communist members. In June 1993, Latvia conducted its first post-Soviet elections, and an alliance of communists and emigres formed a coalition government. In Lithuania free elections were carried out in February 1993, and the communist Brazauskas was elected president.
Parliamentary elections in Hungary in June 1994 gave the Socialists, formerly the Communist Party, a 15-seat majority, and a coalition government with Free Democrats was formed the following July.
In Poland, the Solidarity Party under Lech Walesa had been very popular since the early 1980s. In 1991, parliamentary elections took place, and non-communists were elected to office. However, in 1995, the voters elected the communist Oleksky, a senior member of the Democratic Left Alliance which was a direct descendant of the Communist Party. In the July 1997 national elections, Albania's Socialist Party, the country's former communist party, won over 80 seats in the 155-member legislature. In October 1998, the first communist since 1947 was elected to lead a Western European nation. Massimo d'Alema was elected prime minister of Italy and formed a center-left coalition in Parliament. His government included two unreformed communists.
In December 1995, Russia democratic elections for parliament witnessed 43 competing parties. The Communist party, led by Gennady Zyuganov, won slightly over 20 percent of the seats, almost doubling the number of positions which were awarded to its closest competitor. Since the collapse of communism, Russia's economy continued to falter as a result of an impotent capitalist system.
Since 1991, 20 million Russians were unemployed, and 37 million could not make enough to cover their daily expenses. The American media rarely reported the results of these elections.
Americans are not totally to blame for this ignorance. Almost none of these facts is taught in schools. Neither the Department of Education nor any school district would dare to adopt textbooks which are critical of American foreign policy. Moreover, the White House, National Security Council, Central Intelligence Agency, right-wing think tanks, and the corporate media, which control television and radio, newspapers, and the motion picture industry, have suppressed much of the truth. This is carried out as an orchestrated propaganda campaign to mislead the American public by disseminating misinformation and disinformation to the public.
Since the demise of the Soviet Union, the New World Order may proceed unimpeded. There is no foreign power with the capability of blocking American economic expansionism, while within the United States, the corporate elite continues to control the media and to dictate the nation's policies.
In December 1995, President Clinton ordered 20,000 troops to Bosnia-Herzegovina. Yet no minerals or other valuable resources rested below its surface. Fragmented Yugoslavia had no geopolitical importance to the United States. To the east the Soviet Union had crumbled six years earlier, so it served no purpose as a buffer state. Furthermore, this area was comprised primarily of Muslims, a people whom the United States has rarely defended. Perhaps the genocide, carried out by Serb leader Slobodam Milosevic, had reached such a magnitude that the tens of thousands who were killed and the hundreds of thousands who were relocated, could not be ignored. Yugoslavia was not an American problem. It was an intramural dilemma which should have been dealt with exclusively by the European community. Clinton's decision to deploy 20,000 American troops remains an enigma, since it is certainly inconsistent with realpolitik.
WAR AS PORTRAYED BY THE MOTION PICTURE MEDIUM. The motion picture industry has portrayed America as a self-righteous wholesome country through- out the years. Whenever the United States went to war, it was only because of fear of invasion by some ruthless imperialistic country.
Author Michael Parenti has shown that racism is made clear in numerous Hollywood productions:
--In "The Halls of Montezuma" (1950), a Japanese officer stated that "depth is the basis of our strength" and then commits hara-kiri.
--In "The Searchers" (1956), John Wayne said: "There's humans and there's Comanches."
--In "Guadalcanal Diary" (1943), an American marine said that "they (Japanese) live in trees like apes."
American colonialism is shown in many Hollywood films. "Real Glory" (1939) is about the Spanish- American War in the Philippines. Nothing is said about why the United States invaded the Far East and about the Filipino resistance movement. The film is also silent about the thousands of Filipinos who were slaughtered. Just prior to the Gulf War in October 1990, there was a re-run on television of this relatively unknown film. It came at a time when Bush was attempting to rally the American people behind the country's war machine in the Gulf.
The motion picture industry has always been hostile to communists and the Soviet Union. Communists were looked upon as grim, unsmiling, liars; they were cruel to animals and preyed upon America's impressionable youth. They were atheists and not shown as good Christian Americans. Communists would "bring America to its knees," and their goal was "to control everything."
-- "Hunt for Red October" was approved by the military only when high technology weapons were used and the United States military -- not that of the Soviet Union -- is glorified. The story revolves around a diabolic Soviet submarine.
-- "Mission to Moscow" (1943) is about an American ambassador and only shows the negative side of the Soviet Union.
--In "Rocky IV" (1985), the American boxer wears an American flag in an arena filled with bellicose Soviet fans. In the film the crowd and politburo, including Gorbachev, changed their ideology by denouncing communism. They applaud Rocky who instructs them on the meaning of world peace.
--In "Rambo III" (1988) the same hero was in Afghanistan where he kills dozens of Soviet soldiers who were portrayed as rapists, sadists, and murderers of little children. None of this was proved true of the Soviets between 1979 and 1989. The movie ends with Rambo moving to Texas and opens a gun shop.
--"Red Dawn" (1984), "Invasion USA" (1985), and "Amerika" (1987) are about Soviet invasions of the United States. "Red Dawn"is a story of an American crop failure and food riots which were invitations to a Soviet invasion. The Soviets, along with the mighty Cubans and Nicaraguans, are finally defeated by a group of youngsters in Colorado. "Invasion USA" is about a Soviet and Cuban invasion of Florida. And "Amerika" is about a Soviet-dominated United Nations which invades the United States. In the film the Soviets use sports and other propaganda to distract the American people.
During the McCarthy era of the early 1950s Hollywood's goals included: exposing any film which was even slightly sympathetic to communism; preventing the further production of such films by blackballing such producers, directors, and actors; and terminating the role of labor in the film industry. Films of this era, which were ideological stereotypes, include "The Red Menace" (1949), "I Married a Communist" (1950), and "I Was a Communist for the FBI" (1951).
Most Hollywood films do not depict the true violence of war. Since the 1960s numerous films have been made on the Vietnam War, and all represent the Americans as the patriots and the victims. On the other hand, the North Vietnamese are depicted as the aggressors and the savages. Americans and the thousands of innocent victims of this violence. The My Lai massacre, for example, wiped out 400 to 500 innocent women and children. Operation Phoenix was a CIA venture which systematically led to the murder of over 20,000 civilians suspected of being Viet Cong sympathizers.
--"Platoon" (1986) includes a scene where Americans burned a Vietnamese village, and children are carried away by the Americans. Yet nothing showed the numerous villages torched and destroyed by Americans.
--In "Steel Helmet" a scene was omitted because the American Army objected to an unarmed North Vietnamese prisoner of war being killed by American soldiers.
-- "Missing in Action" (1984), starring Chuck Norris, is about an ex-soldier who returns to Vietnam and frees several POWs. The nomadic Vietnamese cannot shoot straight, so all the Americans are liberated. However, if that is the case, one does wonder how the Americans lost the war.
-- "Missing in Action II: The Beginning" (1985) stars the same super-patriot Chuck Norris. He escapes from a POW camp, kills communists, and wins the war single-handedly.
--In "Braddock: Missing in Action III" (1988), Norris returned to Vietnam and freed his wife and won the Vietnam War.
--"Rambo, First Blood II" (1985) was about the hero making a deal. By going to Vietnam, the criminal is given a Presidential pardon. He frees some American POWs but is captured. However, he luckily escapes by shooting his way to freedom, killing all the Vietnamese and Soviet soldiers. He dodges thousands of rounds of enemy bullets. Surprisingly, he does not run into Chuck Norris.
Since the inception of Israel as a nation in 1948, movies have almost entirely depicted Jewish people with positive virtues. On the other hand the dark-skinned Arabs have frequently been seen as uncivilized, imperialistic savages. All these films portray the more intelligent Americans threatened by Arab savages.
-- "Network" (1977) is a story of a group of Arabs trying to take control of the United States.
-- "Black Sunday" (1977) is about an Arab plot to blow up the Super Bowl.
-- "Rollover" (1981) centers around Arabs attempting to destroy the world's financial system.
-- "Iron Eagle" (1986) is about a teenager who flies a fighter from the United States to the Middle East and kills dozens of Arabs who are holding his father captive.
--In "Delta Force," stars Chuck Norris who is an American platoon leader and kills hundreds of Arabs in order to free American prisoners.
--In "Death before Dishonor" (1987), American marines stop Arab terrorists who are sent to Beirut by Gaddafi. An American marine is taken hostage and just before the Arabs drill a hole in his heart, he escapes. Almost every Arab in the film is killed by the Marines.
-- "The Soldier" (1982) centers around a KGB which threatens to blow up the Middle East unless Israel withdraws from the West Bank. The CIA counter-terrorist team is able to infiltrate the Soviet network, and the Middle East is barely saved.
Monster movies have also shown aliens from outer space invading the United States.
--In "King Kong" (1933 and 1976), the gorilla pursues a beautiful woman, but he is finally captured by the United States military.
-- "Invaders from Mars" (1953) is about outer space aliens who try to "take us all over from within."
--In "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" (1956 and 1978), plant pods gain control of people's bodies.
Hollywood has taught the American people that: capitalism is the best economic system in the world; wealth is one's basic goal in life; the United States military stands ready to defend the country and never invades other nations; Western industrial and military power are civilizing forces; and the United States and other Western powers have been threatened by imperialistic advances by the horrid Soviet Union.