Cowboys and Idiots - The Reagan Years
The World as a Grade-B Hollywood Shoot 'Em Up Movie
Back in "Fabulous Fifties" America, a has-been Grade-B Hollywood movie actor named Ronald Reagan revived a floundering acting career by taking a job as corporate spokesman for General Electric, a leader in the burgeoning "Military/Industrial Complex". Reagan's Hollywood "Good Guy" image and his ability to read a script from a teleprompter served his new employers well, and enabled Reagan to quickly advance to the top of the ranks of corporate shills. As 1950's America sought escape and refuge in the "Never Never Land" of their television sets, they found comfort, reassurance and solace in the feigned sincerity of television actors who sold them various products along with a sanitized, fictional version of American history. In spite of his growing mental confusion, the increasingly addled Reagan was able to retain his abilty to read a teleprompter convincingly, while remembering the script for the GE public relations speech he was taught. Those skills, along with an aging, grandfatherly image, further endeared Reagan to a brainwashed and ignorant American public, thus adding to his usefulness to his employers. The single most useful trait Reagan possessed was the fact that he actually believed the Good Guy Vs. Bad Guy fairy tales himself.
Reagan is credited with the defeat of the "Evil Empire", the Soviet Union. Reagan had many friends and helpers in his fight against evil around the world, including Saddam Hussein of Iraq and the fanatical Muslim extremists in Afghanistan that founded the Taliban regime and spawned al-Qaeda terrorism. Now, the U.S. is asking Russia for help in the war against Reagans' former "brave freedom fighters". Now Reagan's robber baron bosses have another befuddled but likeable puppet leader under their influence. The Bush regime includes former members of the Reagan-Bush administration. They have succeeded in turning the U.S. into the new Evil Empire. Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle and other holdovers from the Reagan admimistration helped to set the stage for the "War on Terror". Reagans' "brave freedom fighters" are now Bushs' "evildoers" who "hate our freedoms". Colin Powell was there too, he played important behind-the-scenes roles in missile shipments to Iran, arms to Iraq and in the coverup of the Iran-Contra scandal. Project for the New American Century (PNAC), the blueprint for American global dominance, was founded by none other than Cheney, Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Donald Rumsfeld, and other former Reagan and Bush administration hawks. The plans for the invasion of Iraq were made years before 9/11/2001. The Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon simply provided the perfect rationale to implement existing plans.
The Reagan-Bush bunch armed and supported the Afghan Islamic fundamentalists in order to "bleed the USSR white". The monster they created grew too big to control, and now the U.S. is bleeding white trying to stop it. Now the U.S. is seen by people around the world as the "Evil Empire".
We have another goofy cowboy in the White House!
Looks like the Matrix, doesn't it?
President Ronald Reagan, honoring Afghan "freedom fighters" at the White House in 1893: "The Afghan Mujaheddin are the moral equivalent of the Founding Fathers of America."
Afghanistan 1979-1992: America’s Jihad
by William Blum
His followers first gained attention by throwing acid in the faces of women who refused to wear the veil. CIA and State Department officials I have spoken with call him "scary", "vicious", "a fascist", "definite dictatorship material".
This did not prevent the United States government from showering the man with large amounts of aid to fight against the Soviet-supported government of Afghanistan. His name was Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. He was head of the Islamic Party and he hated the United States almost as much as he hated the Russians. His followers screamed "Death to America" along with "Death to the Soviet Union", only the Russians were not showering him with large amounts of aid.
The United States began supporting Afghan Islamic fundamentalists despite the fact that in February of that year some of them had kidnapped the American ambassador in the capital city of Kabul, leading to his death in the rescue attempt. The support continued even after their brother Islamic fundamentalists in next-door Iran seized the U.S. embassy in Teheran in November and held 55 Americans hostage for over a year. Hekmatyar and his colleagues were, after all, in battle against the Soviet Evil Empire; he was thus an important member of those forces Ronald Reagan called "freedom fighters".
A "favorite tactic" of the Afghan freedom fighters was "to torture victims [often Russians] by first cutting off their noses, ears, and genitals, then removing one slice of skin after another", producing "a slow, very painful death". The Mujaheddin also killed a Canadian tourist and six West Germans, including two children, and a U.S. military attaché was dragged from his car and beaten; all due to the rebels’ apparent inability to distinguish Russians from other Europeans.
Like everything spawned in Hollywood, the Reagan myth is nothing at all like the reality of what really went on behind the scenes. Read on to learn the God-awful truth about the Reagan-Bush administration.
Nixon Called Reagan 'Strange'
Dec. 10, 2003
COLLEGE PARK, Md.(AP) - President Nixon didn't think much of fellow Californian and Republican icon Ronald Reagan, calling him "strange" and not "pleasant to be around," newly released White House tapes show.
Talking politics with White House Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman at Camp David in August 1972, Nixon switched the conversation to two Republican governors, Reagan of California and Nelson Rockefeller of New York. Both men unsuccessfully sought the 1968 Republican presidential nomination that Nixon received.
"Reagan is not one that wears well," Nixon said. "I know," Haldeman agreed.
"On a personal basis, Rockefeller is a pretty nice guy," Nixon said. "Reagan on a personal basis, is terrible. He just isn't pleasant to be around."
"No, he isn't," Haldeman said.
"Maybe he's different with others," Nixon said.
"No," Haldeman said.
"No, he's just an uncomfortable man to be around," Nixon said, "strange."
The conversations are part of the 240 hours of White House tape recordings from the Nixon administration released Wednesday by the National Archives. Covering July through October 1972, the tapes are the 10th batch of Nixon recordings, totaling 2,109 hours, that the Archives has released since 1980. In all, there are about 3,700 hours of Nixon White House tapes.
In 1980, Nixon told Parade magazine that he had several good talks with Reagan. "I think he values my foreign policy advice," the magazine quoted Nixon as saying. "I will be available for any assistance or advice."
Reagan had corresponded with Nixon for years. When Reagan was elected president, he sought Nixon's advice.
Later, Nixon said Reagan's economic policies were unduly harsh and cautioned against giving him too much credit for winning the Cold War. "Communism would have collapsed anyway," he told Monica Crowley, a Nixon aide in in his last years, according to her 1996 book, "Nixon Off the Record."
VIDEO CLIPS FROM RONALD REAGAN'S LAST
"DEATH VALLEY DAYS" TELEVISION EPISODE/ 1967
Nancy Davis, later Nancy Reagan, helped land Ronald Reagan a job for General Electric as their spokesman. Reagan not only appeared every week on TV as the host of General Electric Theater, he also traveled extensively, visiting all 135 of G.E.'s plants and speaking to 250,000 employees. At each stop he made what became to be known as "The Speech." It was a patriotic, anti-communism, and pro-business speech that eventually became the ideology for Reagan in politics in the years to come.
From CNN's "Reagan Years
By the mid-1950s, Ronald Reagan had made the full transformation from liberal to Republican and his acting career had taken a backseat to his political aspirations. In September 1954, he agreed to host television's "General Electric Theater" -- a move that helped speed his transition from actor to full-time politician.
While serving as a corporate ambassador for GE, appearing at functions across America, Reagan developed what came to be known as "The Speech" -- a sentimental, anti-big government paean to a romantic America of a bygone era. In 1964, he delivered a rousing address on behalf of Barry Goldwater, the ultra-conservative Republican presidential candidate, running against President Lyndon B. Johnson. While the speech did not salvage Goldwater's campaign, the former GE host electrified the audience, effectively launching his own political career.
Charles Wilson, Chairman of the Board of General Electric (whom Truman had just appointed to head the Office of Defense Mobilization), in a speech to the Newspaper Publishers Association in 1950:
"If the people were not convinced that the free world is in danger it would be impossible for Congress to vote for the vast sums now being spent to avert this danger. With the support of public opinion, as marshalled by the press, we are off to a good start. It is our job - yours and mine - to keep our people convinced that the only way to keep disaster away from our shores is to build up America's might."
On January 24, 1997 GE was identified as the world's biggest company, heading the Financial Times Global 500 list. GE was also named the most profitable U.S. company, with after-tax profits of $7.28 billion, as sales grew 13% to $79 billion. Financial Times, January 24, 1997, p. 17. GE has an estimated 250,000 employees and is ranked number ninety-six out of the top one hundred U.S. defense contractors. Aviation Week and Space Technology, vol. 146, no. 2, January 13, 1997, p. 235.
Read Human Rights Watch's The Case Against General Electric
By far the most recognizable name on the list of landmine component producers is General Electric - the U.S. multinational that says it "brings good things to life." For more than a dozen years these "good things" included parts for deadly antipersonnel landmines.
General Electric's involvement in the landmines business first came to Human Rights Watch's attention when GE showed up on a 1994 Pentagon list of suppliers of landmines and mine components.
Reagan was a firm adherent to Biblical prophecy; specifically, he believed that the end of the world -- the Battle of Armageddon -- was close at hand.
PHOTO: Reagan with Jerry Falwell. Falwell called Reagan his "favorite Christian".
While he was running for office in 1980, candidate Reagan announced during an interview with televangelists Jim and Tammy Bakker that "We may be the generation that sees Armageddon." But that certainly wasn't the first time. At a 1971 banquet for California state senator James Mills, then-Governor Reagan broke it all down for the honoree during the dessert course:
"In the 38th chapter of Ezekiel, it says that the land of Israel will come under attack by the armies of the ungodly nations, and it says that Libya will be among them. Do you understand the significance of that? Libya has now gone Communist, and that's a sign that the day of Armageddon isn't far off.
"Biblical scholars have been saying for generations that Gog must be Russia. What other powerful nation is to the north of Israel? None. But it didn't seem to make sense before the Russian revolution, when Russia was a Christian country. Now it does, now that Russia has become communistic and atheistic, now that Russia has set itself against God. Now it fits the description of Gog perfectly.
"For the first time ever, everything is in place for the battle of Armageddon and the Second Coming of Christ. It can't be too long now. Ezekiel says that fire and brimstone will be rained upon the enemies of God's people. That must mean that they will be destroyed by nuclear weapons."
In an interview published in a December 1983 issue of People magazine, the most powerful man in the world revealed that:
"[T]heologians had been studying the ancient prophecies -- what would portend the coming of Armageddon-- and have said that never, in the time between the prophecies up untiI now, has there ever been a time in which so many of the prophecies are coming together. There have been times in the past when people thought the end of the world was coming, and so forth, but never anything like this."
He was also an ardent supporter of school prayer and anti-abortion laws. He withheld funding from international contraception programs. Over complaints by the ACLU, he officially declared 1983 to be "The Year of the Bible." And he appointed likeminded Jesus freaks to his cabinet. During a 1981 Congressional hearing, Reagan's first Secretary of the Interior, James Watt, revealed the depth of his commitment to preserving America's environment for posterity:
"I do not know how many future generations we can count on before the Lord returns."
21 Sept. 1983 James Watt, describes his staff's racial diversity to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce: "We have every mixture you can have. I have a black, a woman, two Jews and a cripple. And we have talent." Watt is forced to resign 18 days later over these comments.
Ronald Reagan was famous for not understanding how government works and not particularly caring about it. His job was to read speeches off the Teleprompter, shake hands with foreign dignitaries, pose for pictures, and maybe go out and visit a flag factory or a steel mill every once in a while. Otherwise he was busy sleeping in, eating jellybeans, and watching television.
Even so, Reagan got deferential treatment from the press, so the news coverage almost always cast him in the best possible light. He was extremely comfortable in front of the cameras, as you would expect -- after all, he had been a movie star prior to becoming a politician. And he could be disarmingly affable. He often shared jokes and anecdotes and brilliantly-scripted one-liners that sounded spontaneous. But none of that explains why the journalists decided to take it easy on him.
The reason Reagan got a free ride in the media stemmed from his fortuitously-timed assassination attempt.
The American people immediately rallied around their wounded leader. Reagan's popularity ratings suddenly went through the roof, inflated by public sympathy. The nation's news editors and publishers chose to play along, rather than risk appearing cold and heartless. This deference persisted throughout his Presidency. So when Reagan would say something phenomenally stupid during a press conference, most news outlets just let it go. Even when he was obviously lying, he never really got called on it. Reagan received the nickname "The Teflon President" thanks to this phenomenon, the name being that of a nonstick coating applied to cookware.
After the shooting, First Lady Nancy heard from her part-time astrologer, Joan Quigley, that they could have and would have predicted that March 30 was destined to be a bad day for her husband... if only Quigley had been on the payroll. Rather than risk a similar incident happening, Nancy decided that it would be prudent to keep the astrologer in the loop. She ordered dedicated phone lines be installed at the White House and Camp David, just so she would never be without the wisdom of the Zodiac.
For the next eight years, Quigley determined the most opportune timing for all of the President's crucial activities. The First Lady would furnish Ronnie's tentative itinerary, which the astrologer would optimize and return. Then the White House staff would make the necessary adjustments. This tinkering affected the scheduling of press conferences, Air Force One departures, even the timing of international summits.
As former White House Chief of Staff Don Regan later wrote in his memoirs:
Although I had never met this seer -- Mrs. Reagan passed along her prognostications to me after conferring with her on the telephone -- she had become such a factor in my work, and in the highest affairs of the nation, that at one point I kept a color-coded calendar on my desk (numerals highlighted in green ink for "good" days, red for "bad" days, yellow for "iffy" days) as an aid to remembering when it was propitious to move the president of the United States from one place to another, or schedule him to speak in public, or commence negotiations with a foreign power.
"Mrs. Reagan's dependence on the occult went back at least as far as her husband's governorship, when she had depended on the advice of the famous Jeane Dixon. Subsequently she had lost confidence in Dixon's powers. But the First Lady seemed to have absolute faith in the clairvoyant talents of a woman in San Francisco."
"Virtually every major move and decision the Reagans made during my time as White House Chief of Staff was cleared in advance with a woman in San Francisco who drew up horoscopes to make certain that the planets were in a favorable alignment for the enterprise."
--Donald Regan (Reagan's former chief of staff), For the Record: From Wall Street to Washington
"According to a list provided by Mrs. Reagan to [scheduling aide] Bill Henkel, [Quigley] had made the following prohibitions based on her reading of the President's horoscope:
Late Dec thru March bad
Jan 16 - 23 very bad
Jan 20 nothing outside WH--possible attempt
Feb 20 - 26 be careful
March 7 - 14 bad period
March 10 - 14 no outside activity!
March 16 very bad
March 21 no
March 27 no
March 12 - 19 no trips exposure
March 19 - 25 no public exposure
April 3 careful
April 11 careful
April 17 careful
April 21 - 28 stay home
"Obviously this list of dangerous or forbidden dates left very little latitude for scheduling."
"The frustration of dealing with a situation in which the schedule of the President of the United States was determined by occult prognostications was very great--far greater than any other I had known in nearly forty-five years of working life."
--Donald Regan, For the Record: From Wall Street to Washington
It wasn't widely circulated until the publication of Donald Regan's memoir, For the Record in 1988, that President Reagan and his influential wife sought the advice of an astrologer. Time magazine would later identify Ron and Nancy's chart reader as being San Francisco astrologist Joan Quigley.
Quigley was not the first astrologer the Reagans had consulted. Ronald and Nancy Reagan had a long history of involvement with astrologers and psychics. During the 1950's and 1960's, Ron and Nancy enlisted the services of Hollywood astrologer Carroll Righter, and later Jeane Dixon. In his 1965 autobiography, Where's the Rest of Me, Reagan said that he and Righter were friends, and that he and Nancy read Righter's column "regularly." (It was on Righter's advice that Reagan postponed his inauguration as governor of California for 9 minutes until the auspicious moment of 12:10 a.m.)
For fundamentalist preachers like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell--who promoted the myth of Reagan as a standard-bearer of Christian righteousness--the astrology matter should have been of particular concern. Astrology is a branch of the occult and is inimical to Christianity. However, if the fundamentalist leaders were concerned or embarrassed by the astrology revelations, they didn't show it.
For those who had already sized up Ronald Reagan for the flake that he was, the disclosure of astrology in the White House came as no big surprise. It was consistent with the goofy statements and eccentric policy decisions that Reagan had made throughout his presidency.
For the record: Joan Quigley became Nancy Reagan's astrologer after the two met on "The Merv Griffin Show" in the 1970's. She reportedly provided astrological advice during Reagan's bid for the Republican nomination in 1976. After reaching the White House, the Reagans sought Quigley's horoscope readings even more. Nancy had special private phone lines installed in the White House, and at Camp David, expressly for talking to Quigley.
Shortly after President Reagan was shot by John Hinckley, Merv Griffin informed Nancy that he had spoken to Quigley. Quigley told Griffin that if Nancy had only called her on the day of the assassination attempt, she could have warned Nancy that the President's charts foretold a bad day.
Following the astrologer's instructions, the selection of Anthony Kennedy for the Supreme Court was announced to the press at precisely 11:32:25 A.M. According to Quigley's memoir, the President was cued by "a man with a stopwatch" to make sure he hit the exact moment. (She does not mention whether she gave similar assistance to the President's two previous selections to fill that seat, Robert Bork and Douglas Ginsburg, who both failed to gain Senate confirmation.)
Ronnie was himself a superstitious man. He always carried a lucky charm in his pocket. He knocked on wood, avoided walking under ladders, and made a habit of tossing salt over his left shoulder before each meal. So it shouldn't be surprising that the astrology stuff would appeal to him. Throughout the 1950s, Ron and Nancy sought out the services of Carroll Righter, astrologer to the stars. When Reagan won California's governor seat, he scheduled his inauguration for 12:10 A.M., on Righter's insistence. And in the 1960s, Ron had been consulting with psychic Jeane Dixon over whether to run for President someday.
"I'd heard my parents [Ron and Nancy] read their horoscopes aloud at the breakfast table, but that seemed pretty innocuous to me. Occasionally, I read mine, too--usually so I can do the exact opposite of what it says. But my parents have done what the stars suggested--altered schedules, changed travel plans, stayed home, cancelled appearances."
--Patti Davis (formerly Patricia Ann Reagan), The Way I See It
"Emerging from a particularly credulous Southern California culture, Nancy and Ronald Reagan relied on an astrologer in private and public matters--unknown to the voting public. Some portion of the decision-making that influences the future of our civilization is plainly in the hands of charlatans."
--Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World
On Tuesday, March 31 the Houston Post published a copyrighted story under the headline: "BUSH'S SON WAS TO DINE WITH SUSPECT'S BROTHER, by Arthur Wiese and Margarte Downing." The lead paragraph read as follows:
Scott Hinckley, the brother of John Hinckley Jr., who is charged with shooting President Reagan and three others, was to have been a dinner guest Tuesday night at the home of Neil Bush, son of Vice President George Bush, The Houston Post has learned.
According to the article, Neil Bush had admitted on Monday, March 30 that he was personally acquainted with Scott Hinckley, having met with him on one occasion in the recent past. Neil Bush also stated that he knew the Hinckley family, and referred to large monetary contributions made by the Hinckleys to the Bush 1980 presidential campaign. Neil Bush and Scott Hinckley both lived in Denver at this time. Scott Hinckley was the vice president of Vanderbilt Energy Corporation, and Neil Bush was employed as a land man for Standard Oil of Indiana. John W. Hinckley Jr., the would-be assassin, lived on and off with his parents in Evergreen, Colorado, not far from Denver.
Neil Bush was reached for comment on Monday, March 30, and was asked if, in addition to Scott Hinckley, he also knew John W. Hinckley Jr., the would-be killer. "I have no idea," said Neil Bush. "I don't recognize any pictures of him. I just wish I could see a better picture of him."
Sharon Bush, Neil's wife, was also asked about her acquaintance with the Hinckley family. "I don't even know the brother," she replied, suggesting that Scott Hinckley was coming to dinner as the date of a woman whom Sharon did know. "From what I know and have heard, they [the Hinckleys] are a very nice family...and have given a lot of money to the Bush campaign. I understand he [John W. Hinckley Jr.] was just the renegade brother in the family. They must feel awful." - read more about the Hinckely-Bush coincidence
"The Great Communicator"
(As long as he read from a script)
After Reagan made several misstatements and gaffes early in his presidency, White House aide David Gergen said in Reagan's defense, "The man has a reputation as a great communicator." However, there was something that Gergen didn't say about Reagan: without a script to read from, Reagan was often lost. Without a script, Reagan would frequently make erroneous and outlandish comments.
One of Reagan's aides would later remark:
"You have to treat him [Reagan] as if you were the director and he was the actor, and you tell him what to say and what not to say, and only then does he say the right thing."
--"The Mind of the President," The New York Times Magazine, October 6, 1985
Yet it was not so easy for Reagan's aides to script him for press conferences where unforeseen questions lurked. This is one reason that Reagan limited his meetings with the press.
Reagan himself was aware that he was inept at handling reporters. On several occasions, he allowed his press secretary, Larry Speakes to intervene when he became confused, or was confronted with a difficult question:
'My guardian says I can't talk.''
--President Reagan explaining that he can't answer a reporter's question after his press secretary, Larry Speakes steps forward and orders the lights turned off, July 10, 1984
"They turned out the lights. That tells me I can't talk anymore."
--President Reagan explaining that he is not allowed to answer any more questions, June 19, 1985
Not only did Larry Speakes worry that an unprepared Reagan would put his foot in his mouth, so did Reagan's wife Nancy. At a 1983 press conference, when Reagan began to stumble, Nancy burst on stage carrying a birthday cake. She successfully turned a news event into a party where reporters stopped asking questions and sang "Happy Birthday" to Reagan.
The wit and wisdom of Ronald Reagan
"I never knew anything above Cs."
--President Reagan, in a moment of truthfulness, describes his academic record to Barbara Walters, November 27, 1981
"They told stories about how inattentive and inept the President was.... They said he wouldn't come to work--all he wanted to do was to watch movies and television at the residence."
--Jim Cannon (an aide to Howard Baker) reporting what Reagan's underlings told him, Landslide: The Unmaking of the President: 1984-88
"This President is treated by both the press and foreign leaders as if he were a child.... It is major news when he honors a political or economic discussion with a germane remark and not an anecdote about his Hollywood days."
--Columnist Richard Cohen
"What planet is he living on?"
--President Mitterand of France poses this question about Reagan to Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau.
"He demonstrated for all to see how far you can go in this life with a smile, a shoeshine and the nerve to put your own spin on the facts."
--David Nyhan, Boston Globe columnist
"an amiable dunce"
--Clark Clifford (former Defense Secretary)
"Poor dear, there's nothing between his ears."
--British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
"...like reinventing the wheel."
--Larry Speakes (Reagan's former press secretary) describing what it was like preparing the President for a press conference, Speaking Out: The Reagan Presidency from Inside the White House
"The task of watering the arid desert between Reagan's ears is a challenging one for his aides."
--Columnist David Broder
"He has the ability to make statements that are so far outside the parameters of logic that they leave you speechless"
--Patti Davis (formerly Patricia Ann Reagan), talking about her father, The Way I See It
"This loathing for government, this eagerness to prove that any program to aid the disadvantaged is nothing but a boondoggle and a money gobbler, leads him to contrive statistics and stories with unmatched vigor."
--Mark Green, Reagan's Reign of Error
"President Reagan doesn't always check the facts before he makes statements, and the press accepts this as kind of amusing."
--former president Jimmy Carter, March 6, 1984
"His errors glide past unchallenged. At one point...he alleged that almost half the population gets a free meal from the government each day. No one told him he was crazy. The general message of the American press is that, yes, while it is perfectly true that the emperor has no clothes, nudity is actually very acceptable this year."
--Simon Hoggart, in The Observer (London), 1986
"A tree's a tree. How many more do you need to look at?"
--Ronald Reagan (Governor of California), quoted in the Sacramento Bee, opposing expansion of Redwood National Park, March 3, 1966
"I don't believe a tree is a tree and if you've seen one you've seen them all."
--Governor Ronald Reagan, in the Sacramento Bee, September 14, 1966
"All the waste in a year from a nuclear power plant can be stored under a desk."
--Ronald Reagan (Republican candidate for president), quoted in the Burlington (Vermont) Free Press, February 15, 1980. (In reality, the average nuclear reactor generates 30 tons of radioactive waste per year.)
"I have flown twice over Mount St. Helens. I'm not a scientist and I don't know the figures, but I have a suspicion that one little mountain out there, in these last several months, has probably released more sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere than has been released in the last ten years of automobile driving or things of that kind."
--Ronald Reagan, quoted in Time magazine, October 20, 1980. (According to scientists, Mount St. Helens emitted about 2,000 tons of sulfur dioxide per day at its peak activity, compared with 81,000 tons per day produced by cars.)
"Growing and decaying vegetation in this land are responsible for 93 percent of the oxides of nitrogen."
--Ronald Reagan, quoted in the Los Angeles Times, October 9, 1980. (According to Dr. Michael Oppenheimer of the Environmental Defense Fund, industrial sources are responsible for at least 65 percent and possibly as much as 90 percent of the oxides of nitrogen in the U.S.)
"Approximately 80 percent of our air pollution stems from hydrocarbons released by vegetation. So let's not go overboard in setting and enforcing tough emission standards for man-made sources."
--Ronald Reagan, quoted in Sierra, September 10, 1980
"I've said it before and I'll say it again. The U.S. Geological Survey has told me that the proven potential for oil in Alaska alone is greater than the proven reserves in Saudi Arabia."
--Ronald Reagan, quoted in the Detroit Free Press, March 23, 1980. (According to the USGS, the Saudi reserves of 165.5 billion barrels are 17 times the proven reserves--9.2 billion barrels--in Alaska.)
"Why should we subsidize intellectual curiosity?"
--Ronald Reagan, campaign speech, 1980
"Trains are not any more energy efficient than the average automobile, with both getting about 48 passenger miles to the gallon."
--Ronald Reagan, quoted in the Chicago Tribune, May 10, 1980. (The U.S. Department of Transportation calculates that a 14-car train traveling at 80 miles per hour gets 400 passenger miles to the gallon. A 1980 auto carrying an average of 2.2 people gets 42.6 passenger miles to the gallon.)
"It's silly talking about how many years we will have to spend in the jungles of Vietnam when we could pave the whole country and put parking stripes on it and still be home by Christmas."
--Ronald Reagan (candidate for Governor of California), interviewed in the Fresno Bee, October 10, 1965
"I have a feeling that we are doing better in the war [in Vietnam] than the people have been told."
--Ronald Reagan, in the Los Angeles Times, October 16, 1967
"...the moral equal of our Founding Fathers."
--President Reagan, describing the Nicaraguan contras, March 1, 1985
"Fascism was really the basis for the New Deal."
--Ronald Reagan, quoted in Time, May 17, 1976
"I know all the bad things that happened in that war. I was in uniform four years myself."
--President Reagan, in an interview with foreign journalists, April 19, 1985. ("In costume" is more like it. Reagan spent World War II making Army training films at Hal Roach Studios in Hollywood.)
"They've done away with those committees. That shows the success of what the Soviets were able to do in this country."
--Ronald Reagan, quoted in the Washington Times, September 30, 1987. (Reagan longs for the days of Sen. Joseph McCarthy and the HCUA witch hunts.)
"We think there is a parallel between federal involvement in education and the decline in profit over recent years."
--President Reagan, quoted in USA Today, April 26, 1983
"What we have found in this country, and maybe we're more aware of it now, is one problem that we've had, even in the best of times, and that is the people who are sleeping on the grates, the homeless who are homeless, you might say, by choice."
--President Reagan, defending himself against charges of callousness on Good Morning America, January 31, 1984
"I favor the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and it must be enforced at the point of a bayonet, if necessary."
--Ronald Reagan, Los Angeles Times, October 20, 1965
"I would have voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964."
--Ronald Reagan, Los Angeles Times, June 17, 1966
"If there has to be a bloodbath then let's get it over with."
--Ronald Reagan (Governor of California), quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle, May 15, 1969. (Reagan reveals how he intends to deal with student protesters at the University of California, Berkeley.)
"Today a newcomer to the state is automatically eligible for our many aid programs the moment he crosses the border."
--Ronald Reagan, in a speech announcing his candidacy for Governor, January 3, 1966. (In fact, immigrants to California had to wait five years before becoming eligible for benefits. Reagan acknowledged his error, but nine months later said exactly the same thing.)
"...a faceless mass, waiting for handouts."
--Ronald Reagan, 1965. (Description of Medicaid recipients.)
"Unemployment insurance is a pre-paid vacation for freeloaders."
--California Governor Ronald Reagan, in the Sacramento Bee, April 28, 1966
"We were told four years ago that 17 million people went to bed hungry every night. Well, that was probably true. They were all on a diet."
--Ronald Reagan, TV speech, October 27, 1964
"But I also happen to be someone who believes in tithing--the giving of a tenth [to charity]."
--Ronald Reagan, from The Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, February 8, 1982. (He may believe in tithing, but he doesn't practice it. Reagan's total charitable giving of $5,965 did not approach 10% of total income. It was more like 1.4%.)
"[Not] until now has there ever been a time in which so many of the prophecies are coming together. There have been times in the past when people thought the end of the world was coming, and so forth, but never anything like this."
--President Reagan revealing a disturbing view about the "coming of Armageddon," December 6, 1983
"History shows that when the taxes of a nation approach about 20 percent of the people's income, there begins to be a lack of respect for government.... When it reaches 25 percent, there comes an increase in lawlessness."
--Ronald Reagan, in Time, April 14, 1980. (History shows no such thing. Income tax rates in Europe have traditionally been far higher than U.S. rates, while European crime rates have been much lower.)
"Because Vietnam was not a declared war, the veterans are not even eligible for the G. I. Bill of Rights with respect to education or anything."
--Ronald Reagan, in Newsweek, April 21, 1980. (Wrong again.)
"Politics is just like show business. You have a hell of an opening, coast for a while, and then have a hell of a close."
--Ronald Reagan to aide Stuart Spencer, 1966
Early Signs of Alzheimers' Disease:
After opining in August 1980 that "trees cause more pollution than automobiles do," Reagan arrived at a campaign rally to find a tree decorated with this sign: "Chop me down before I kill again."
Guns of Brixton.
"In England, if a criminal carried a gun, even though he didn't use it, he was tried for first-degree murder and hung if he was found guilty," Ronald Reagan claimed in April 1982. When informed that the story was "just not true," White House spokesman Larry Speakes said, "Well, it's a good story, though. It made the point, didn't it?" Reagan repeated the story again on March 21, 1986 during an interview with The New York Times.
In November 1983, Reagan told visiting Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir that he had served as a photographer in a U.S. Army unit assigned to film Nazi death camps. He repeated the story to Simon Wiesenthal the following February. Reagan never visited or filmed a concentration camp; he spent World War II in Hollywood, making training films with the First Motion Picture Unit of the Army Air Corps.
Arms for Hostages.
"We did not--repeat, did not--trade weapons or anything else for hostages, nor will we," Reagan proclaimed in November 1986. Four months later, on March 4, 1987, Reagan admitted in a televised national address, "A few months ago, I told the American people I did not trade arms for hostages. My heart and my best intentions still tell me that's true, but the facts and the evidence tell me it is not."
Over a period of about five years, Reagan told the story of the "Chicago welfare queen" who had 80 names, 30 addresses, 12 Social Security cards, and collected benefits for "four nonexisting deceased husbands," bilking the government out of "over $150,000." The real welfare recipient to whom Reagan referred was actually convicted for using two different aliases to collect $8,000. Reagan continued to use his version of the story even after the press pointed out the actual facts of the case to him.
Balance the Budget And Increase Defense Spending?
The Reagan administration introduced the 1981 Economic Recovery Act by claiming that it would cut taxes by 30 percent, increase defense spending by three-quarters of a trillion dollars, and achieve a balanced budget within three years. Budget director David Stockman admitted in November of 1981 that, "None of us really understands what's going on with all these numbers" and that supply-side economics "was always a Trojan horse to bring down the top rate."
William Casey was the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 1981 to 1987.
Casey directed the successful presidential campaign of Ronald Reagan in 1980. After Reagan was elected president, he named Casey to the post of Director of Central Intelligence (DCI). During his tenure at the CIA, Casey played a large part in the shaping of Reagan's foreign-policy, particularly its approach to Soviet expansionism.
This period of the Cold War saw a ramping up of the Agency's anti-Soviet activities around the world. Casey was the principal architect of the arms-for-hostages deal that became known as the Iran-Contra affair. He also oversaw covert assistance to the mujahadeen resistance in Afghanistan, the Solidarity movement in Poland, and a number of coups and attempted coups in South- and Central America.
Prior to heading the CIA, in the 1960s, Casey served as chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. In World War II, he was a member of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS).
Under William Casey, CIA covert operations proliferated. Casey was featured prominently in Bob Woodward's book Veil: The Secret Wars of the CIA (ISBN 0671601172).
Casey and vice presidential nominee Bush met face-to-face with Iranian mullahs in 1980. According to one set of allegations, the pair slipped off to Paris for such a meeting on Oct. 19, 1980.
Four French intelligence officials, including France's spy chief Alexandre deMarenches in statements to his biographer, placed Casey at the Paris meeting. But two other witnesses, a pilot named Heinrich Rupp and Israeli intelligence official Ari Ben-Menashe, also claimed to have seen Bush in Paris that day. Ben-Menashe testified that Casey and Bush were accompanied by active-duty CIA officers.
A Washington Post article from 1992 says:
"On a secret visit by the CIA director to plan strategy for the war against Soviet forces in Afghanistan, helicopters lifted CIA director William Casey to three secret training camps near the Afghan border, where he watched mujaheddin rebels fire heavy weapons and learn to make bombs with CIA-supplied plastic explosives and detonators.
During the visit, Casey startled his Pakistani hosts by proposing that they take the Afghan war into enemy territory -- into the Soviet Union itself. Casey wanted to ship subversive propaganda through Afghanistan to the Soviet Union's predominantly Muslim southern republics. The Pakistanis agreed, and the CIA soon supplied thousands of Korans, as well as books on Soviet atrocities in Uzbekistan and tracts on historical heroes of Uzbek nationalism, according to Pakistani and Western officials.
Iraqi President Saddam Hussein greets Donald Rumsfeld,
then special envoy of President Ronald Reagan,
in Baghdad on December 20, 1983.
Shaking Hands with Saddam Hussein:National Security Archive Electronic Briefing
The U.S. Tilts toward Iraq, 1980-1984
Edited by Joyce Battle
Ronald Reagan issued National Security Decision Directive (NSDD) 114, dated November 26, 1983, concerned specifically with U.S. policy toward the Iran-Iraq war. The directive reflects the administration's priorities: it calls for heightened regional military cooperation to defend oil facilities, and measures to improve U.S. military capabilities in the Persian Gulf, and directs the secretaries of state and defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to take appropriate measures to respond to tensions in the area. It states, "Because of the real and psychological impact of a curtailment in the flow of oil from the Persian Gulf on the international economic system, we must assure our readiness to deal promptly with actions aimed at disrupting that traffic." It does not mention chemical weapons [Document 26].
Soon thereafter, Donald Rumsfeld (who had served in various positions in the Nixon and Ford administrations, including as President Ford's defense secretary, and at this time headed the multinational pharmaceutical company G.D. Searle & Co.) was dispatched to the Middle East as a presidential envoy. His December 1983 tour of regional capitals included Baghdad, where he was to establish "direct contact between an envoy of President Reagan and President Saddam Hussein," while emphasizing "his close relationship" with the president [Document 28]. Rumsfeld met with Saddam, and the two discussed regional issues of mutual interest, shared enmity toward Iran and Syria, and the U.S.'s efforts to find alternative routes to transport Iraq's oil; its facilities in the Persian Gulf had been shut down by Iran, and Iran's ally, Syria, had cut off a pipeline that transported Iraqi oil through its territory. Rumsfeld made no reference to chemical weapons, according to detailed notes on the meeting [Document 31].
Rumsfeld also met with Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz, and the two agreed, "the U.S. and Iraq shared many common interests." Rumsfeld affirmed the Reagan administration's "willingness to do more" regarding the Iran-Iraq war, but "made clear that our efforts to assist were inhibited by certain things that made it difficult for us, citing the use of chemical weapons, possible escalation in the Gulf, and human rights." He then moved on to other U.S. concerns [Document 32]. Later, Rumsfeld was assured by the U.S. interests section that Iraq's leadership had been "extremely pleased" with the visit, and that "Tariq Aziz had gone out of his way to praise Rumsfeld as a person" [Document 36 and Document 37]. - Read entire article at National Security Archive, George Washington University
Rumsfeld 'offered help to Saddam'
Declassified papers leave the White House hawk exposed over his role during the Iran-Iraq war
Tuesday December 31, 2002 The Guardian
WASHINGTON POST - 12-30-02
U.S. Had Key Role in Iraq Buildup
Trade in Chemical Arms Allowed Despite Their Use on Iranians, Kurds
"...Among the people instrumental in tilting U.S. policy toward Baghdad during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war was Donald H. Rumsfeld, now defense secretary, whose December 1983 meeting with Hussein as a special presidential envoy paved the way for normalization of U.S.- Iraqi relations. Declassified documents show that Rumsfeld traveled to Baghdad at a time when Iraq was using chemical weapons on an "almost daily" basis in defiance of international conventions. ..."
"...The administrations of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush authorized the sale to Iraq of ... poisonous chemicals and deadly biological viruses, such as anthrax and bubonic plague. ..."
CNN Transcript - Interview with Rumsfeld - Sept 21, '02:
MCINTYRE: Well, let me take you back about 20 years ago. The date, I believe, was December 20th, 1983, you were meeting with Saddam Hussein. I think we have some video of that, of that meeting. Tell me what was going on during this meeting.
RUMSFELD: Where did you get this video? From the Iraqi television...
MCINTYRE: You were pressed during the briefings -- during the hearings this week by Senator Byrd on the question of whether the U.S., in any way, aided Saddam Hussein in his chemical weapons program. At the time, during the hearings, you said you had no knowledge of it. Have you looked into it since then?
RUMSFELD: I had no knowledge. I have no knowledge today.
Hmmmmm.......Rummy looks and sounds like Reagan in the early stages of dementia. Will Rumsfeld be the next member of the Reagan bunch to be diagnosed with Alzheimers disease?
Exclusive: Saddam key in early CIA plot
By Richard Sale
UPI Intelligence Correspondent
U.S. forces in Baghdad might now be searching high and low for Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, but in the past Saddam was seen by U.S. intelligence services as a bulwark of anti-communism and they used him as their instrument for more than 40 years, according to former U.S. intelligence diplomats and intelligence officials.
United Press International has interviewed almost a dozen former U.S. diplomats, British scholars and former U.S. intelligence officials to piece together the following account. The CIA declined to comment on the report.
While many have thought that Saddam first became involved with U.S. intelligence agencies at the start of the September 1980 Iran-Iraq war, his first contacts with U.S. officials date back to 1959, when he was part of a CIA-authorized six-man squad tasked with assassinating then Iraqi Prime Minister Gen. Abd al-Karim Qasim.
Saddam, in the meantime, became head of al-Jihaz a-Khas, the secret intelligence apparatus of the Baath Party.
The CIA/Defense Intelligence Agency relation with Saddam intensified after the start of the Iran-Iraq war in September of 1980. During the war, the CIA regularly sent a team to Saddam to deliver battlefield intelligence obtained from Saudi AWACS surveillance aircraft to aid the effectiveness of Iraq's armed forces, according to a former DIA official, part of a U.S. interagency intelligence group.
This former official said that he personally had signed off on a document that shared U.S. satellite intelligence with both Iraq and Iran in an attempt to produce a military stalemate. "When I signed it, I thought I was losing my mind," the former official told UPI.
A former CIA official said that Saddam had assigned a top team of three senior officers from the Estikhbarat, Iraq's military intelligence, to meet with the Americans.
According to Darwish, the CIA and DIA provided military assistance to Saddam's ferocious February 1988 assault on Iranian positions in the al-Fao peninsula by blinding Iranian radars for three days.
The Saddam-U.S. intelligence alliance of convenience came to an end at 2 a.m. Aug. 2, 1990, when 100,000 Iraqi troops, backed by 300 tanks, invaded its neighbor, Kuwait. America's one-time ally had become its bitterest enemy. - Entire UPI article
Proclamations, March 21, 1983
Afghanistan Day, 1983 March 21, 1983
By the President of the United States of America
The tragedy of Afghanistan continues as the valiant and courageous Afghan freedom fighters persevere in standing up against the brutal power of the Soviet invasion and occupation. The Afghan people are struggling to reclaim their freedom, which was taken from them when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in December of 1979.
In this three-year period the Soviet Union has been unable to subjugate Afghanistan. The Soviet forces are pitted against an extraordinary people who, in their determination to preserve the character of their ancient land, have organized an effective and still spreading country-wide resistance. The resistance of the Afghan freedom fighters is an example to all the world of the invincibility of the ideals we in this country hold most dear, the ideals of freedom and independence.
We must also recognize that the sacrifices required to maintain this resistance are very high. Millions have gone into exile as refugees. We will probably never know the numbers of people killed and maimed, poisoned and gased, of the homes that have been destroyed, and of the lives that have been shattered and stricken with grief.
It is, therefore, incumbent upon us as Americans to reflect on the events in Afghanistan, to think about the agony which these brave people bear, and to maintain our condemnation of the continuing Soviet occupation. Our observance again this year of Afghanistan Day on March 21, the Afghan New Year, will recall for all the world America's unflagging sympathy for a determined people, its support for their refugees and commitment to achieving a political settlement for Afghanistan which will free that country from tyranny's yoke.
The Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 65, has designated March 21, 1983 as ``Afghanistan Day'' and has requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of that day.
Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate March 21, 1983 as Afghanistan Day.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-first day of March, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and seventh.
Ronald Reagan [Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 3:10 p.m., March 24, 1983]
Blowback: Bin Laden, the CIA and US war against Afghanistan
Compiled by Richard Sanders,
Coordinator, Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade
Blowback is the term that the CIA uses to describe a situation when a some operative, a terrorist, or some situation that they've created gets out of their control and comes back to haunt them. It's a situation where the scientist (Frankenstein) creates a monster that "blows back" on its creator.
Manuel Noriega, Saddam Hussein, Timothy McVeigh and Osama bin Laden are all pretty good examples of blowback. They were all nurtured for many years by the CIA, the US military or military intelligence. They all eventually "blew back."
Below you'll find some background on the CIA war against Afghanistan. More research is needed on bin Laden's connection to the CIA and it's counterparts in Pakistan. Does anyone out there have time to spend a few hours finding the info on bin Laden's CIA connections? It would be very useful to dig that info up. You'd think people might want to know this guy's connection to US-sponsored terrorist groups.
Here are some basic facts on the context from which bin Laden emerged. All but one of the following articles are from COAT's issue on the CIA (#43) http://www.ncf.ca/coat/our_magazine/links/issue43/issue43.htm (January 2001: A People's History of the CIA: The Subversion of Democracy from Australia to Zaire)
Pre-1979-1989, Afghanistan: The CIA's Biggest Covert War
By Mark Zapezauer
During the Reagan years, the CIA ran nearly two dozen covert operations against various governments. Of these, Afghanistan was by far the biggest; it was, in fact, the biggest CIA operation of all time, both in terms of dollars spent (US$5 to US$6 billion) and personnel involved.
Its main purpose was to "bleed" the Soviet Union, just as the U.S. had been bled in Vietnam. Prior to the 1979 Russian invasion, Afghanistan was ruled by a brutal dictator. Like the neighboring shah of Iran, he allowed the CIA to set up radar installations in his country that were used to monitor the Soviets. In 1979, after several dozen Soviet advisors were massacred by Afghan tribesmen, the USSR sent in the Red Army.
The Soviets tried to install a pliable client regime, without taking local attitudes into account. Many of the mullahs who controlled chunks of Afghan territory objected to Soviet efforts to educate women and to institute land reform. Others, outraged by the USSR's attempts to suppress the heroin trade, shifted their operations to Pakistan.
As for the CIA, its aim was simply to humiliate the Soviets by arming anyone who would fight against them. The agency funneled cash and weapons to over a dozen guerrilla groups, many of whom had been staging raids from Pakistan years before the Soviet invasion. For many years, long after the Soviets left Afghanistan, most of these groups were still fighting each other for control of the country.
One notable veteran of the Afghan operation is Sheik Abdel Rahman, famous for his role in the World Trade Center bombing.
The CIA succeeded in creating chaos, but never developed a plan for ending it. When the ten-year war was over, a million people were dead, and Afghan heroin had captured 60% of the U.S. market.
Source: Excerpted from CIA's Greatest Hits
The Los Angeles Times, May 4, 2000
The Consequences Of Our Actions Abroad:
Americans Feeling the Effects of 'Blowback'
by Chalmers Johnson
Our intelligence agencies--the CIA and its rivals in the Pentagon--have a history of creating neologisms to describe our world that cover up more than they reveal. There have been lofty coinages like "host-nation support," meaning foreign countries pay to base our troops on their soil, and military jargon like "low-intensity warfare" that repackages the most brutal strife in antiseptic language.
Every now and then, however, a useful new word emerges from the labyrinth of our secret services. The American media recently started to use the term "blowback." Central Intelligence Agency officials coined it for internal use in the wake of decisions by the Carter and Reagan administrations to plunge the agency deep into the civil war in Afghanistan. It wasn't long before the CIA was secretly arming every moujahedeen volunteer in sight, without considering who they were or what their politics might be--all in the name of ensuring that the Soviet Union had its own Vietnam-like experience.
Not so many years later, these "freedom fighters" began to turn up in unexpected places. They bombed the World Trade Center in New York City, murdered several CIA employees in Virginia and some American businessmen in Pakistan and gave support to Osama bin Laden, a prime CIA "asset" back when our national security advisors had no qualms about giving guns to religious fundamentalists.
In this context, "blowback" came to be shorthand for the unintended consequences of U.S. policies kept secret from the American people. In fact, to CIA officials and an increasing number of American pundits, blowback has become a term of art acknowledging that the unconstrained, often illegal, secret acts of the United States in other countries can result in retaliation against innocent American citizens. The dirty tricks agencies are at pains never to draw the connection between what they do and what sometimes happens to those who pay their salaries.
So we are supposed to believe that the bombings of American embassies in East Africa in 1998, the proliferation of sophisticated weapons, not to mention devices of mass murder, around the world, or the crack cocaine epidemic in American cities are simply examples of terrorism, the work of unscrupulous arms dealers, drug lords, ancient hatreds, rogue states; anything unconnected to America's global policies.
Perhaps the term "blowback" can help us to re-link certain violent acts against Americans to the policies from which they secretly--as far as most Americans are concerned--sprang. From refugee flows across our southern borders from countries where U.S.-supported repression has created hopeless conditions, to U.S.-supported economic policies that have led to unimaginable misery, blowback reintroduces us to a world of cause and effect.
We also might consider widening the word's application to take in the unintended consequences U.S. policies may have for others. For example, even if the policies that our government fostered and that produced the economic collapse of Indonesia in 1997 never blow back to the U.S., the unintended consequences for Indonesians have been staggering. They include poverty, serious ethnic violence and perhaps political disintegration. Similarly, our "dirty hands" in overthrowing President Salvador Allende in Chile and installing Gen. Augusto Pinochet, who subsequently killed thousands of his own citizens, are just now coming fully into the open. Even when blowback from our policies mainly strikes other peoples, it has a corrosive effect on us, debasing political discourse and making us feel duped when the news finally emerges.
The United States likes to think of itself as the winner of the Cold War. In all probability, to those looking back at blowback a century hence, neither side will appear to have won, particularly if the United States maintains its present imperial course.
Chalmers Johnson Is President of the Japan Policy Research Institute and Author of Blowback: the Costs and Consequences of American Empire (Metropolitan Books, 2000)
Osama bin Laden
By Michael Moran, International Editor, MSNBC.
Since the early 1990s, Osama bin Laden, heir to a Saudi construction fortune, has financed attacks on interests of U.S. and its Arab allies.
As his unclassified CIA biography states, bin Laden left Saudi Arabia in 1979 to fight the Soviet army in Afghanistan. By 1984, he was running Maktab al-Khidamar (MAK) that funneled money, arms and fighters into the Afghan war. MAK was nurtured by Pakistan's intelligence agency, the CIA's primary conduit for conducting the covert war in Afghanistan. Bin Laden and Islamic militants from Egypt, Pakistan, Lebanon, Syria and Palestinian refugee camps in the Middle East, were partners in the CIA's war.
By 1988, bin Laden split from the relatively conventional MAK and established a new group, al-Qaida, that included many MAK members.
Source: MSNBC, Aug. 24, 1998.
By Christopher Kremmer
Heat-seeking, supersonic shoulder-fired "stinger" missiles and launchers were doled out generously by the CIA to inflict a humiliating blow on the Soviet Union.
From 1986 to 1989, the CIA distributed more than a thousand of these surface-to-air missiles to the Afghan mujihadeen, who used some of them to bring down 270 Soviet aircraft. The U.S. is still looking for the Stinger missiles, fearing they may be in the hands of Islamic extremists, like Osama bin Laden, or hostile foreign governments.
In a covert buy-back scheme, funded by the U.S. Congress, the CIA has offered up to $US175,000 apiece, five times their original cost, to get the missiles back. The scheme initially provoked a flood of responses from Afghan warlords and shady Pakistani middlemen. Hundreds of Stingers are believed to be still unaccounted for.
Pakistani technicians trained mujihadeen fighters to use the Stingers, which enjoyed a 79% strike rate.
The lion's share of missiles went to mujihadeen leader, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who became Afghanistan's U.S.-backed Prime Minister. He is now exiled in Iran.
China, Iran and North Korea are among the countries rumored to possess Stingers bought from Afghan commanders.
Source: The Age, April 15, 1999.
Mujahedeen: The CIA's Heroin Heroes
CIA-supported mujahedeen engaged heavily in drug trafficking while fighting against the Soviet-supported government and its plans to reform the very backward Afghan society. The CIA's principal client was Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, one of the leading druglords and a major heroin refiner. CIA-supplied trucks and mules, which had carried arms into Afghanistan, were used to transport opium to laboratories along the Afghan/Pakistan border. They provided up to half of the heroin used annually in the U.S. and three-quarters of that used in Western Europe. U.S. officials admitted in 1990 that they had failed to investigate or take action against the drug operation. In 1993, an official of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency called Afghanistan the new Colombia of the drug world.
Source: William Blum, A Brief History of CIA Involvement in the Drug Trade, 1997.
From January 2001: A People's History of the CIA: The Subversion of Democracy from Australia to Zaire
Reagan supported the brutal, genocidal Guatemalan dictator Rios Montt. It was during the same time period that Saddam Hussein was killing Shiites.
Rios Montt killed many more "of his own people" than Saddam did.
A UN-sponsored Truth Commission held the Guatemalan army responsible for 85 percent of all violations in the 30 year war, which ended in l996. Some 200,000 died, more than 80 percent of them unarmed Maya, including women and children.
". . .after meeting Rios Montt in Honduras later that month, President Reagan insisted that the regime was ‘getting a bad deal’ from the accusations of massacres and deserved renewed military aid from the United States (which he granted the following month). Had not the White House received a flood of letters calling for renewed arms sales to Guatemala after Pat Robertson appealed to his 700 Club television show for prayers and money for the regime?
- Gerard Colby and Charlotte Dennett, Thy Will Be Done: The Conquest of the Amazon: Nelson Rockefeller and Evangelism in the Age of Oil, HarperCollins Publisher, 1995, p. 818-19
Pat Robertson's organization funded Gospel Outreach to help Rios Montt build ‘model villages’ for the Guatemalan peasants. Gospel Outreach’s fundraising arm in the U.S., International Love Lift, was able to raise $1.5 million for Rios Montt’s program. The authors of Thy Will Be Done: The Conquest of the Amazon: Nelson Rockefeller and Evangelism in the Age of Oil, describe the fruit of Gospel Outreach - which turned out not to be model villages, but a genocidal campaign that was perpetuated largely because of Evangelical funding and petitions to President Reagan:
"The irony of [Gospel Outreach’s] name was outranked only by the name of its fund-raising arm in the United States, which was endorsed by TV evangelist Pat Robertson: International Love Lift. . . .
"Within three months of Rios Montt’s self-declaration as ‘God’s choice,’ in June 1982, Amnesty International would issue a special report, Massive Extrajudicial Executions in Rural Areas Under the Government of General Efrain Rios Montt. Its ‘partial listing of massacres,’ totaling more than sixty, included one village where survivors witnessed soldiers beheading men, battering children’s heads against rocks, and raping women. More than 500 Indian people were killed in three villages in the departments of Quiche and Huehuetenango on March 23. In addition, 100 people were slaughtered in three villages in Alta Verapaz between March 24 and March 27; 250 people, in three villages in Chimaltenango the first two weeks of April; 100, in the village of Nangal alone in Quiche on April 5; 193, in Rio Negro on April 15; 54, in Macalbaj on April 18; and 100, in Josefinos on April 20.
Machine guns, grenades, and machetes were used with sadistic abandon. Most of the victims were women and children. In Alta Alta Verapaz, home of the Kekchi Indians, more than 1,000 of the 2,500 communities in the province were abandoned or destroyed. Those communities that remained were decimated by losses. In one municipality, Santa Cristobal Verapaz, up to 10,000 of the 28,000 residents were believed by local authorities to have died. . .
". . .after meeting Rios Montt in Honduras later that month, President Reagan insisted that the regime was ‘getting a bad deal’ from the accusations of massacres and deserved renewed military aid from the United States (which he granted the following month). Had not the White House received a flood of letters calling for renewed arms sales to Guatemala after Pat Robertson appealed to his 700 Club television show for prayers and money for the regime?
- Gerard Colby and Charlotte Dennett, Thy Will Be Done: The Conquest of the Amazon: Nelson Rockefeller and Evangelism in the Age of Oil, HarperCollins Publisher, 1995, p. 818-19
The evil old bastard Rios Montt is still at it:
Slayings Mar Campaign Trail in Guatemala
Oct. 11, 2003
SAN MIGUEL PATAPA, Guatemala (AP) - Ismael Mancur was outside his family's hardware store, painting a sign for his senatorial campaign, when a man stepped from the shadows and shot him three times in the chest.
Police have not uncovered direct evidence Mancur's killing was politically motivated, but Mancur was one of 21 candidates and activists slain since Guatemala's election season began, according to groups monitoring events leading up to Nov. 9, the scheduled date for presidential, legislative and local elections. Fifteen others have survived gun or machete attacks.
Opposition parties and human rights organizations say the unusually high level of violence is linked to the controversial comeback effort of former dictator Efrain Rios Montt, presidential candidate of the ruling Guatemalan Republican Front party.
This month, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch called on U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to establish a commission to investigate the wave of political violence sweeping this country ahead of elections.
The Organization of American States has condemned the violence and the authorities' failure to capture any attackers.
The overwhelming majority of victims, including Mancur, belonged to opposition parties. They include a mayoral candidate for an alliance of former guerrilla groups who was kidnapped and beaten, an opposition activist shot to death by a Republican Front mayor as he tacked posters over the mayor's campaign signs, and another opposition activist who had his tongue cut out by muggers.
Tom Koenigs, head of the U.N. Mission to Guatemala, said Rios Montt's party "can very easily and very quickly create an atmosphere of fear" throughout the country.
"It's not so much the figure of the general himself that triggers violence as much as it is his very authoritarian party. They've already shown it is easy for them to mobilize a very steady ... very strong stream of antidemocratic demonstrators that can cripple the election process," said Koenigs, who helps monitor Guatemala's adherence to peace accords that ended the country's 1960-1996 civil war.
Rios Montt said he "didn't believe violence had increased" from past election years. But in an interview with The Associated Press, the retired brigadier-general ducked questions about who was behind the attacks.
"I think the passion to be the winner that many supporters have makes certain excesses inevitable," he said. "But I see that as normal."
Guatemalan Nobelist Threatened
The Washington Post
Saturday, October 11, 2003; Page A21
GUATEMALA CITY, Oct 10 Reuters -- Rigoberta Menchu, a Guatemalan human rights activist and winner of the 1992 Nobel Peace Prize, was threatened and manhandled Thursday by supporters of Efrain Rios Montt, a presidential hopeful and former dictator, witnesses said.
They said Rios Montt supporters, who objected to Menchu's presence at a judicial hearing on the retired general's candidacy for president, violently shoved Menchu, a leader of indigenous Guatemalans.
Rios Montt's 1982-83 dictatorship is considered one of the bloodiest periods in Guatemalan history.
He was barred from running for president in 1990 and 1995 by an article in Guatemala's 1985 constitution banning ex-dictators from the country's top job. In a decision that shocked rights groups, Guatemala's highest court ruled on July 14 that Rios Montt may run, agreeing with his argument that the law was created after his term ended.
It's about the oil:
Guatemala A-2-92 Oil License Project
Ceiba Petroleo S.A. (majority owned by Trinity Plumas Capital Corp.) is one of only nine companies engaged in oil and gas exploration and development in Guatemala.
The geologic patterns in Guatemala are similar to those in southern Mexico, where recent oil discoveries immediately west and northwest of Ceiba's concessions reinforce the optimism about Ceiba's holdings.
Guatemala is in the middle of the American portion of the Tethyan Belt, an ancient geologic feature that underlies 75% of the world's proven oil reserves. Although oil has been found in three sedimentary basins in Guatemala, none has been fully developed in the past because of regulatory, political and other constraints.
The license area covers 554,000 acres along the boundary of the Mexico-Guatemala thrustbelt and the southern Peten Basin. Recent discoveries in the general region have generated an increase in international interest.
As part of a secret deal to purchase the release of American hostages held in the Middle East, the White House agreed to sell arms to the government of Iran. But that was really just the catalyst for their real objective. The NSC sold Iran weapons, and then funneled some of the proceeds to the Contra insurgency in Nicaragua. This was a blatant and intentional violation of federal law.
While all this was going on, Reagan pretended that there was nothing illegal going on. At one press conference, a journalist addressed the issue point-blank:
REPORTER: Mr. President, why don't we openly support those 7,000 guerillas that are in rebellion rather than giving aid through covert activity? PRESIDENT REAGAN: Well, because we want to keep on obeying the laws of our country, which we are now obeying. REPORTER: Doesn't the United States want that government replaced? PRESIDENT REAGAN: No, because that would be a violation of the law.
After the story broke, the President continued to deny everything. When he was finally forced to discuss the growing scandal in November 1986, Reagan declared:
"In spite of the wildly speculative and false stories of arms for hostages and alleged ransom payments, we did not -- repeat did not -- trade weapons or anything else for hostages; nor will we."
The following month, the White House was impatient about receiving a report on the arms-for-hostages deal by the Senate Intelligence Committee. Senator Leahy commented on the administration's insistent requests for the report:
"The President ordered this whole operation on Iran. He ordered his Administration not to tell the intelligence committees what he was doing. Now he wants the Intelligence Committee to tell him what his Administration was doing during the time they were under his orders not to tell the Intelligence Committee. Even Alice in Wonderland doesn't get this twisted around."
In his January 1987 testimony before the Tower Commission, President Reagan specifically acknowledged having approved the Iranian arms sales back in August 1985. Two weeks later he reversed himself, claiming that his prior statement was erroneous. Reading from his notes, Reagan goofed up when he read some of his stage directions aloud:
"If the question comes up at the Tower Board meeting, you might want to say that you were surprised."
A couple of weeks later, Reagan sent a memo to the commission to clarify his testimony yet again. It stated that he had been mistaken during his January deposition, wherein he claimed to have approved the Iranian arms shipments:
The only honest answer is to state that try as I might, I cannot recall anything whatsoever about whether I approved an Israeli sale in advance or whether I approved replenishment of Israeli stocks around August of 1985. My answer therefore and the simple truth is, "I don't remember, period."
But all doubt seemed to have disappeared from his mind in March. Following the revelations of the Tower Commission investigation, Reagan told the American people that he had never approved any such thing.
"A few months ago I told the American people I did not trade arms for hostages. My heart and my best intentions still tell me that's true, but the facts and the evidence tell me it is not."
Reagan also addressed the subject of his much-ballyhooed delegating technique (MBA students, take note):
"Much has been said about my management style, a style that's worked successfully for me during 8 years as Governor of California and for most of my Presidency. The way I work is to identify the problem, find the right individuals to do the job, and then let them go to it. I've found this invariably brings out the best in people. They seem to rise to their full capability, and in the long run you get more done. [...] When it came to managing the NSC staff, let's face it, my style didn't match its previous track record."
In another triumph of keeping the government small and nimble, the NSC evidently did not keep records of its meeting minutes. Reagan explained that this was a woeful oversight, and not a deliberate attempt to cover the tracks of an illegal operation:
"One thing still upsetting me, however, is that no one kept proper records of meetings or decisions. [...] Well, rest assured, there's plenty of recordkeeping now going on at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue."
Perhaps so, but that didn't mean those documents were being produced for lawful inquiries. Vice President George HW Bush began dictating a daily journal in 1986, which included many references to NSC operations. When Bush's documents were subpoenaed by Congress, he failed to mention the diary despite the fact that diaries were specifically included under the court order. And no wonder. When portions of it were finally produced, one entry from July 1987 seemed to explain Bush's reticence to comply with the mandate:
Howard Baker in the presence of the President, told me today that George Shultz had kept 700 pages of personal notes, dictated to his staff [...] Notes on personal meetings he had with the President. I found this almost inconceivable. Not only that he kept the notes, but that he'd turned them all over to Congress [...] I would never do it. I would never surrender such documents and I wouldn't keep such detailed notes.
George HW Bush personally attended many of the NSC meetings, and the President himself attended a few as well. But the apparent lack of documentation allowed Bush and Reagan to claim that neither man had been "in the loop" regarding the Boland amendment violations. It's funny how things like that always seem to work out.
When Reagan's VP became President, he pardoned six participants in the Iran-Contra scandal who were facing trial. Bush claimed that the prosecutions amounted to nothing more than the "criminalization of policy differences." 15 years later, his son George W Bush ordered the National Archives to withhold 68,000 pages of Reagan administration documents, including papers belonging to his father, who was then the VP. Nobody knows whether this paperwork includes anything germane to the Iran-Contra scandal. Perhaps we will never know.
As for himself, in all likelihood Ronald Reagan genuinely no longer remembers whether he approved the sale of arms to a terrorist nation, in order to illegally fund guerrilla forces in Nicaragua. He probably doesn't remember that he was ever Governor of California, or even President of the United States for that matter. In November 1994, Reagan announced to the world that he was suffering from Alzheimer's disease -- an incurable, progressive deterioration of mental faculties.
In August 2002, it was reported that Reagan no longer recognizes his own wife Nancy. According to an unnamed friend: "Some days he seems to recognize her as someone who's familiar, but most of the time she's just a blank to him."
Project for the New American Century (PNAC) PNAC was founded by none other than Cheney, Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Donald Rumsfeld, and other former Reagan and Bush administration hawks.
The Neoconservative Plan For Global Dominance
The Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon simply provided the perfect rationale to implement existing plans. Back in the early 1990s, hawks in Bush Sr.'s administration - notably, then-Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney, with the help of General Colin Powell and Paul Wolfowitz (at the time, the Joint Chiefs of Staff chair and Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, respectively) - drew up a plan that was virtually identical to the National Security Strategy unveiled in September 2002.
Their blueprint - first spelled out in a 1992 classified internal policy statement titled "Defense Planning Guidance" (later repeated in Cheney's "Defense Strategy for the 1990s," formally released in January 1993) - called for the United States to assert its military superiority to prevent the emergence of a new superpower rival.
It called for the United States to diversify its military presence throughout the world, offered a policy of preemption, argued for the expansion of the U.S. nuclear program while discouraging those of other countries, and foresaw the need for the United States to act alone, if need be, to protect its interests and those of its allies. Sound familiar? Yet the neocons knew they faced a hard sell as Bill Clinton took office. "Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategy, Forces, and Resources," a report released by the Project for the New American Century in 2000, stated that the United States needed a catastrophe - "a new Pearl Harbor," as the authors called it - to jump-start the neocons' blueprint for all-encompassing military and economic world dominance. (PNAC was founded by none other than Cheney, Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Donald Rumsfeld, and other former Reagan and Bush administration hawks.)
Then came the attacks of Sept. 11 - just nine months after the Bush administration took office. The events of that day provided the perfect excuse for Cheney and company to finally see their plans to fruition. Top on their list of targets was Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Within 24 hours of the planes hitting the World Trade Center and the Pentagon - and without so much as an inkling of evidence as to who had carried out the attacks - Attorney General John Ashcroft was already calling for war on Iraq, according to a report by Bob Woodward in the Washington Post.
Indeed, the neocons have had the Persian Gulf in their crosshairs for 30 years now. After the oil crisis of 1976 and the Gulf states' nationalization of their petroleum industries in the years that preceded it, the United States began building up forces in the region - primarily in Saudi Arabia - and strengthening relationships with regional dictatorships. The reasons seem simple: the region holds two-thirds of the world's oil. "Control over the Persian Gulf translates into control over Europe, Japan, and China," Hampshire College professor and Resource Wars author Michael Klare told Mother Jones. "It's having our hand on the spigot."
David Armstrong, Harper's Magazine, October 2002; Robert Dreyfuss, Mother Jones, March 2003; John Pilger, Dec. 12, 2002.
The President's Real Goal in Iraq
By Jay Bookman
Atlantic Journal Constitution, 9/29/02
Over the last year corporate media have made much of Saddam Hussein and his stockpile of weapons of mass destruction. Rarely did the press or, especially, television address the possibility that larger strategies might also have driven the decision to invade Iraq. Broad political strategies regarding foreign policy do indeed exist and are part of the public record. The following is a summary of the current strategies that have formed over the last 30 years; strategies that eclipse the pursuit of oil and that preceded Hussein's rise to power:
In the 1970s, the United States and the Middle East were embroiled in a tug-of-war over oil. At the time, American military presence in the Gulf was fairly insignificant and the prospect of seizing control of Arab oil fields by force was pretty unattainable. Still, the idea of this level of dominance was very attractive to a group of hard-line, pro-military Washington insiders that included both Democrats and Republicans. Eventually labeled "neoconservatives," this circle of influential strategists played important roles in the Defense Departments of Ford, Reagan and Bush Sr., at conservative think tanks throughout the '80s and '90s, and today occupies several key posts in the White House, Pentagon, and State Department. Most principal among them are:
·Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, our current Vice-President and Defense Secretary respectively, who have been closely aligned since they served with the Ford administration in the 1970s;
·Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, the key architect of the post-war reconstruction of Iraq;
·Richard Perle, past-chairman and still-member of the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board that has great influence over foreign military policies;
·William Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard and founder of the powerful, neo-conservative think-tank, Project for a New American Century.
In the 1970s, however, neither high-level politicos, nor the American people, shared the priorities of this small group of military strategists. In 1979 the Shah of Iran fell and U.S. political sway in the region was greatly jeopardized. In 1980, the Carter Doctrine declared the Gulf "a zone of U.S. influence." It warned (especially the Soviets) that any attempt to gain control of the Persian Gulf region would be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the U.S. and repelled by any means necessary, including military force. This was followed by the creation of the Rapid Deployment Force - a military program specifically designed to rush several thousand U.S. troops to the Gulf on short notice.
Under President Reagan, the Rapid Deployment Force was transformed into the U.S. Central Command that oversaw the area from eastern Africa to Afghanistan. Bases and support facilities were established throughout the Gulf region, and alliances were expanded with countries such as Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq.
Since the first Gulf War, the U.S. has built a network of military bases that now almost completely encircle the oil fields of the Persian Gulf.
In 1989, following the end of the Cold War and just prior to the Gulf War, Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, and Paul Wolfowitz produced the 'Defense Planning Guidance' report advocating U.S. military dominance around the globe. The Plan called for the United States to maintain and grow in military superiority and prevent new rivals from rising up to challenge us on the world stage. Using words like 'preemptive' and military 'forward presence,’ the plan called for the U.S. to be dominant over friends and foes alike. It concluded with the assertion that the U.S. can best attain this position by making itself 'absolutely powerful.'
The 1989 plan was spawned after the fall of the Soviet Union. Without the traditional threat to national security, Cheney, Powell and Wolfowitz knew that the military budget would dwindle without new enemies and threats. In an attempt to salvage defense funding, Cheney and company constructed a plan to fill the 'threat blank'. On August 2, 1990 President Bush called a press conference. He explained that the threat of global war had significantly receded, but in its wake a new danger arose. This unforeseen threat to national security could come from any angle and from any power.
Iraq, by a remarkable coincidence, invaded Northern Kuwait later the same day.
Cheney et al. were out of political power for the eight years of Clinton’s presidency. During this time the neo-conservatives founded the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) The most influential product of the PNAC was a report entitled "Rebuilding America's Defense," which called for U.S. military dominance and control of global economic markets.
With the election of George W. Bush, the authors of the plan were returned to power: Cheney as vice president, Powell as Secretary of State, and Wolfowitz in the number two spot at the Pentagon. With the old Defense Planning Guidance as the skeleton, the three went back to the drawing board. When their new plan was complete, it included contributions from Wolfowitz's boss Donald Rumsfeld. The old 'preemptive' attacks have now become 'unwarned attacks.' The Powell-Cheney doctrine of military 'forward presence' has been replaced by 'forward deterrence.' The U.S. stands ready to invade any country deemed a possible threat to our economic interests.
In Eisenhower's Presidential Farewell speech, he warned the nation about the "Military/Industrial Complex".
"In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military/industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted."
America didn't listen, and now the "Military/Industrial Complex" is firmly in control of America, and the world.
Prior to announcing his candidacy for the Presidency, George W. Bush said to TV evangelist James Robison: 'I feel like God wants me to run for President. I can't explain it, but I sense my country is going to need me. Something is going to happen... I know it won't be easy on me or my family, but God wants me to do it.'
In a book by the late Grace Halsell, Prophecy and Politics: Militant Evangelists on the Road to Nuclear War, published in 1986, Ms. Halsell quotes TV evangelist James Robison:
"'There'll be no peace until Jesus comes. Any preaching of peace prior to this return is heresy; it's against the word of God; it's Anti-Christ,' says TV evangelist Jim Robison, who was invited by President Reagan to deliver the opening prayer at the 1984 Republican National Convention."
Armageddon Theology and Presidential Decision-Making:
Religious Leaders' Concern
Transcript of a Press Conference for RELIGIOUS ISSUES '84,
in Association with Conference on the Fate of the Earth
and Washington Research Center
October 24, 1984, 10:00 am, at San Francisco Press Club
Is Reagan Planning for Nuclear Armageddon?
(Transcript of Cassette Tape Recording)
"There are many prophecies made in ancient times in the Bible which speak of the kind of destruction that will be wrought upon the earth in the last great war before Jesus comes back. And they are perfect descriptions of a nuclear war."
What has this man been doing holding military briefings inside the Pentagon? Why does Ronald Reagan quote this man? Who is he? What does he believe, and what is he teaching the man who is control of our nuclear weapons?
"Nuclear war, and the second coming of Jesus Christ; Armageddon, and the coming war with Russia: what does all this have to do and say to you and me? It says this: "Prepare to meet thy God."
Why did Ronald Reagan arrange a private top-secret National Security Council briefing for this man? Who is he? What does he believe, and what is he teaching the man who is in control of our nuclear weapons?
"There will be no peace until Jesus comes! That is what the Anti-christ promises. Any teaching of peace prior to his return is heresy. It is against the word of God - it is anti-Christ!"
Why did Ronald Reagan choose this man to deliver the opening invocation at the 1984 Republican convention in Dallas? Who is he? What does he believe, and what is he teaching the man who is in control of our nuclear weapons?
"Because of all the private conversations I have had with Ronald Reagan through the years including long before he ever ran for public office, because of all the private times I have had with him, I have just always known he is a man who has sought God's will, who is determined to do God's will, either as a private citizen or as an elected official, regardless of the human cost or outcome."
Why did Ronald Reagan choose this man to be with during the opening speech of this 1984 election campaign? Who is he? . What does he believe, and what is he teaching the man who is in control of our nuclear weapons?
You have just heard Pat Boone, a born-again fundamentalist, and a personal religious confidant of Ronald Reagan's for over thirty years. And James Robison, fundamentalist born-again minister Ronald Reagan chose to open his 1984 Republican convention in Dallas. And Jerry Falwell, born-again fundamentalist leader of the Moral Majority, who has met with Ronald Reagan more than any other religious leader - in the oval office, in cabinet meetings, over the phone, in speeches, and in policy meetings. In March 1981, as one of his first acts as president, Ronald Reagan arranged for a top-secret National Security Council briefing, on the Soviet Union, for Jerry Falwell.
The first voice you heard was Hal Lindsey, born-again fundamentalist and author of The Late, Great Planet Earth, a book which Ronald Reagan has quoted ever since he was governor of California.
"The Governor was familiar with some of the books that were in this area; for example, The Late, Great Planet Earth, by Hal Lindsey, which was a book that he had read. I've given him a lot of books, and The Late, Great Planet-Earth was one in which has been repeatedly discussed."
You have just heard the voice of Herbert Ellingwood, Legal Affairs Secretary to Ronald Reagan when he was governor of California. Herbert Ellingwood now heads one of Ronald Reagan's government agencies. According to Ronald Reagan's 1984 campaign biography, Reagan Inside Out, Herbert Ellingwood meets inside the Pentagon with the men Ronald Reagan has chosen to control nuclear weapons - to discuss the Bible: with the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General John Vesse, with the chief of Naval Operations, James Watkins, and with other top military officers.
What do these men who have been influencing Ronald Reagan have in common? They are all born-again fundamentalists, who teach that the world is about to end in a nuclear Armageddon with the Soviet Union; that prophecy contained in two key books in the Bible, the Book of Revelation and Ezekiel: 38 and 39, is the literal will of God; and that a horrible final war of Armageddon is about to happen.
Is it possible Ronald Reagan, the man who controls our nuclear weapons, really believes these things? In the October 7th presidential debate with Walter Mondale, President Reagan was asked if he is born-again. He evaded the question. Why didn't he tell the truth when 100 million Americans were watching?
Ronald Reagan: "So, yes, I would say in the sense that I understand it, that I have had an experience that could be described as born-again."
Robert Slosser, author of the Reagan 1984 presidential campaign biography, Reagan Inside Out: "Reagan is quite knowledgeable about the Scriptures and particularly keenly interested in the various parts of prophecy that have been and are being fulfilled."
George Otis, 1980 honorary chairman of Christians for Reagan, is a born-again fundamentalist who has been a personal religious confidant of Ronald Reagan's since before he was Governor of California. Otis was asked about Ronald Reagan and biblical prophecy: "Reagan does recognize the fact that this nation has a unique opportunity to have an influence upon the coming of the Kingdom Age. It is clear that this is in the forefront of his mind."
"Ronald Reagan indeed is very conscious of the fact that the Bible speaks of Armageddon. Ronald Reagan seems to be very cognizant of the Scripture, particularly as contained in Ezekiel: 38 and 39, involving that group of nations such as Persia and modern Iran, and Libya, and of course Israel, and Assyria (what had been Assyria then) and the linkage somewhere downstream to Russia."
Born-again fundamentalist Harald Bredesen has known and counseled Ronald Reagan for over fifteen years. He was interviewed about the Biblical prophecy, Ezekiel: 38 and 39, regarding Armageddon and the end of the world, and the effects it might be having on the President's official policies: "I believe that Reagan is conscious of this section of scriptures and that it is having a real impact on his policies."
Is it possible that the man who controls our nuclear weapons really believes the world is about to come to an end? One week before announcing his candidacy for president, in 1980, Ronald Reagan told reporter Doug Wead: "We may be the generation that sees Armageddon."
Since becoming president, and especially since the assassination attempt on his life, the President's public statements about the end of the world have become progressively more certain, and more urgent.
Six weeks after Reagan became president, Jerry Falwell told reporter Bob Scheer in a tape-recorded interview, that President Reagan agreed with him on Bible prophecy and said, "Jerry, we are heading very fast for Armageddon now."
In October 1983 Ronald Reagan told the Executive Director of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Thomas Dine, in a widely-published interview, "I turn back to your prophets in the Old Testament and the signs foretelling Armageddon, and I find myself wondering if we are the generation that is going to see that come about. I don't know if you have noted any of those prophecies lately, but, believe me, they describe the times we are going through."
On December 6, 1983, Ronald Reagan told two reporters from People Magazine, in a White House interview, "There were times in the past when we thought the end of the world was coming, but never anything like this."
This interview was also recorded in the official weekly White House compilation of presidential documents, with one exception. According to journalist Ronnie Dugger, author of the 1984 Washington Post article, "Does Reagan Expect Armageddon?", the President's references to the end of the world have been deleted from the public record.
Is it possible that Ronald Reagan has been making personnel decisions based on these beliefs?
Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger told students at Harvard University, while head of the Pentagon: "I have read the Book of Revelation, and, yes, I believe the world is going to end - by an act of God, I hope - and every day I think that time is running out." In real terms, Secretary of Defense Weinberger is second in command of our nuclear weapons.
Secretary of the Interior James Watt, while in office, said that the government might as well mine federal lands because the world is about to come to an end anyway. News reports emphasized that he was not joking. In March 1982, in a nuclear war simulation inside the White House, Secretary James Watt made the final decision to move to an all-out nuclear war with the Soviet Union.
According to Robert Slosser, executive vice president of the Christian Broadcasting Network, and author of Reagan's 1984 campaign biography, military commanders with the highest control over our nuclear weapons, General John Vesse, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and James Watkins, Chief of Naval Operations, meet regularly inside the Pentagon with Herbert Ellingwood and Ed Meese, closest advisor to Ronald Reagan, to discuss the Bible. Do they discuss Bible prophecy about a nuclear Armageddon and the end of the world?
The Associate Director of Ronald Reagan's White House Office of Public Liaison, Carolyn Sundseth, this year, 1984, told the National Religious Broadcaster convention, that all White House aides should "get saved or get out" of the United States government. At that same meeting in Washington, D.C., former Republican Congressman John Conlan, called for a united campaign to defeat all non-born-again Christians running for public office. When President Reagan addressed this same group in the kick-off speech of his 1984 presidential campaign, what did he say?
He referred to Pat Boone: "And Pat Boone stood up, and in speaking to this crowd, he said, in talking of communism, that he had daughters, they were little girls then, and he said, 'I love them more than anything on earth.' And he said, (and I thought,'I know what he is going to say,' and 'Oh, you must not say that,' and yet I had underestimated him). He said, "I would rather that they die now believing in God than live to grow up under communism and die one day no longer believing in God."
Is it possible Ronald Reagan's beliefs about Bible prophecy and the end of the world have something to do with his calling the Soviet Union the focus of evil?
George Otis, religious confidant of Ronald Reagan's for over fifteen years and honorary chairman of Christians for Reagan in the 1980 campaign: "It is little wonder that modern observation plus his grasp of prophecy concerning what we now call Russia would cause him to express a description of the essence of the Kremlin's thinking and behavior as a condensation of evil."
"They are the focus of evil in the modern world."(Reagan)
Is it possible that Ronald Reagan and the Republicans he has appointed to highest positions believe that they are the actual instruments of God's will? ,
Senator Paul Laxalt, Ronald Reagan's longest political colleague, and general chairman of the Republican Party, sent a letter to fundamentalist Reagan supporters in this 1984 presidential campaign telling them that they are "leaders under God's authority".
Bob Slosser: "I would not expect Reagan to do anything that would be contrary to the revealed will of God."
Harald Bredesen: "Reagan is sufficiently conversant with the Bible and yielded to the will of God that he would not do anything that would frustrate or seek to frustrate the purposes of God as indicated in the Scriptures."
Pat Boone: "I believe that Ronald Reagan would make no decision that would run counter to his understanding of God's direction and what God says is going to happen and what God says he wants to happen."
George Otis: "As the various conversations took place, there was a great clarity in his mind as to the fact that we needed to watch and to steer all that we could do in context with the fact that God had foretold the significance of the fact that that area what we call the Holy Land, the Middle East area, is like the stage upon which not only the last act of time will be worked out but also the stage of the last scene of the last of time. . . "
"Reagan does recognize the fact that this nation does have a unique opportunity to have an influence upon the coming of the Kingdom Age, and is aware of the fact that the strength of the United States, and its ability to be able to allow its people to fund the spreading of things that are consistent with what God asks us to do, would have a tremendous influence upon the timing of Christ's return."
What exactly do Ronald Reagan and the born-again fundamentalists who have been teaching and guiding him for over fifteen years believe is God's will? What do they believe will happen if Biblical prophecy as they teach it, is fulfilled?
H. L. Wilmington, leader of Jerry Falwell's Liberty Home Bible Institute: "All hell will break loose and many of the Jews will loose their lives. In fact, there are some theologians that feel on the basis of reading Zachariah:14 that two-thirds of the Jews will be slaughtered. It is difficult to know who a Jew is today, but approximately 16 million Jews, which means he will kill more than Hitler killed."
Sixteen million Jewish people is far greater than the entire Jewish population living in the Middle East today. Do Ronald Reagan and the fundamentalists who guide him then expect their nuclear Armageddon will become a global, not just a limited, nuclear war?
Jerry Falwell not only teaches that the Armageddon in the Bible will be a nuclear war with the Soviet Union, but that born-again believers will be miraculously saved from the physical effects of nuclear weapons, world-wide. This is the belief they call the "Rapture".
Rev. Jerry Falwell: "What is going to happen on this earth when the Rapture occurs? You'll be riding along in an automobile. You'll be the driver, perhaps. You're a Christian. There will be several people in the automobile with you, maybe someone who is not a Christian. When the trumpet sounds, you and the other born-again believers in that automobile will be instantly called away - you will disappear, leaving behind only your clothing, and physical things that cannot inherit eternal life. That unsaved person or persons in the automobile will suddenly be startled to find that the car is moving along without a driver and suddenly somewhere crashes. These saved people in the car have disappeared. Other cars on the highway driven by believers will suddenly be out of control, and stark pandemonium will occur on that highway and every highway in the world where Christians are called away from the driver's wheel."
Ronald Reagan arranged a private National Security Council briefing on the Middle East and the Soviet Union for Rev. Jerry Falwell. Falwell's pamphlet, Armageddon, shows a nuclear explosion mushrooming into a reddened sky on its cover. Another Falwell pamphlet, Alpha-Omega, has a major section called, "The Coming War with Russia", about nuclear Armageddon.
If a nuclear crisis involving the Soviet Union were to begin while he was president, would Ronald Reagan see events there as precursors of the God-ordained cataclysm he expects to happen in this generation?
Are Ronald Reagan, his key White House advisors, cabinet officials, and top military commanders in control of nuclear weapons discussing Bible prophecy for a reason?
Do Ronald Reagan's beliefs about the end of the world have anything to do with the fact that he has opposed every arms control. proposal of every president, Democrat or Republican, since the bombing of Hiroshima?
Do Ronald Reagan's beliefs have anything to do with his 1984 platform calling for the United States to keep building more and more nuclear weapons so that the United States will "clearly prevail" in any US-Soviet nuclear conflict. Do Ronald Reagan's beliefs about the end of the world have anything to do with his 'joke' that he would begin bombing the Soviet Union in five minutes? Or why the Soviet leaders suggested that the beliefs behind Reagan's 'joke' were his "secret dream"?
Don't you have right to know the answers to these questions before November 6th?
This collective insanity can be stopped. The vast majority of Americans and Christians do not condone this collective madness.
Gerald Shepherd, Professor of Old Testament theology at Union Theological Seminary: "I think what worries me the most when Ronald Reagan panders to and perhaps even believes what people like Hal Lindsey, Harold Bredesen, Pat Boone and Jerry Falwell are saying about this generation being the last one prior to the imminent second coming is not simply that they believe that this is the last generation. It is one thing to bemoan the fact that we have taken the risk of destroying this generation; it's another to see that fact as a glorious sign of the imminent coming of Jesus Christ and then use that information to evaluate the relation of nations to one another, to decide which nations are going to participate in which final war, to decide who we should ally ourselves with now in anticipation of Armageddon.
That kind of thinking in using Biblical prophecy, or pandering of people who use Biblical prophecy in such a fashion, to me is the kind of thinking presidents cannot afford to participate in.
It's a misuse of a message of hope in terms of a disaster scenario that could lead to very bad public decisions about our conduct in the world. It's bad policy making, poor Christianity, and a threat to the human race.
Ronald Reagan: "Maybe it's later than we think."
Ruben Israel, left, of Los Angeles, and Stephen James, right, of Somerset, Penn., heckle anti-war demonstrators as they march in Washington to protest the U.S. troops presence in Iraq on Saturday, Oct. 25, 2003. The thousands strong march, labeled 'Bring the Troops Home Now, End the Occupation of Iraq,' was organized by the groups A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition (Act Now To Stop War And Racism) and United For Peace And Justice. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Holy Bible, Job 34:30: "That the hypocrite reign not, lest the people be ensnared."
Bush says God chose him to lead his nation
Book reveals how President's religious and political beliefs are entwined - and claims he did pray with Blair
Paul Harris in New York
Sunday November 2, 2003
President George W. Bush stood before a cheering crowd at a Dallas Christian youth centre last week, and told them about being 'born again' as a Christian.
Behind Bush were two banners. 'King of Kings', proclaimed one. 'Lord of Lords', said the other. The symbolism of how fervent Christianity has become deeply entwined with the most powerful man on the planet could not have been stronger.
The book, which depicts a President who prays each day and believes he is on a direct mission from God, will give ammunition to critics who claim Bush's administration is heavily influenced by extremist Christians.
Bush is already under fire for allowing the appointment of General William Boykin to head the hunt for Osama bin Laden. Boykin, who speaks at evangelical Christian meetings, once said the war on terror was a fight against Satan, and also told a Somali warlord that, 'My God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol.'
Among Mansfield's revelations is his insistence that Bush and Tony Blair have prayed together at a private meeting at Camp David. Blair has previously denied this.
Mansfield, however, says that, while there were no witnesses, aides were left in little doubt as to what had happened. He told The Observer: 'There is no question they have shared scripture and prayed together.'
The book also shows that in the lead-up to announcing his candidacy for the presidency, Bush told a Texan evangelist that he had had a premonition of some form of national disaster happening.
Bush said to James Robison: 'I feel like God wants me to run for President. I can't explain it, but I sense my country is going to need me. Something is going to happen... I know it won't be easy on me or my family, but God wants me to do it.'
In a book by the late Grace Halsell, Prophecy and Politics: Militant Evangelists on the Road to Nuclear War, published in 1986, Ms. Halsell quotes TV evangelist James Robison:
"'There'll be no peace until Jesus comes. Any preaching of peace prior to this return is heresy; it's against the word of God; it's Anti-Christ,' says TV evangelist Jim Robison, who was invited by President Reagan to deliver the opening prayer at the 1984 Republican National Convention."
Sept. 15, 2003 - The long-awaited Kay Report -- the systematic investigation into Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction programs -- might be delayed or never even issued at all.
The administration has been telling us for months that it would be released in mid-September. And now, of course, it's mid-September.
Then a couple days ago NBC's Andrea Mitchell reported that Kay's survey had come up short, but implied that a report would indeed be issued when Kay returns to Washington this week.
The Sept. 14, 2003 Sunday Times of London reported that "Britain and America have decided to delay indefinitely the publication of a full report on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction after inspectors found no evidence that any such weapons exist."
Rep. Henry Waxman has introduced legislation to
create an independent commission to investigate
the Bush administration's distortion of evidence.
Please ask your Representative to pledge support.
"Today Christians ... stand at the head of Germany ... I pledge that I never will tie myself to parties who want to destroy Christianity .. We want to fill our culture again with the Christian spirit ... We want to burn out all the recent immoral developments in literature, in the theater, and in the press - in short, we want to burn out the poison of immorality which has entered into our whole life and culture as a result of liberal excess during the past ... (few) years." - Adolph Hitler - The Speeches of Adolph Hitler, 1922-1939, Vol. 1 (London, Oxford University Press, 1942), pg. 871-872.
"An evil exists that threatens every man, woman and child of this great nation," the leader of another country once wrote. "We must take steps to ensure our domestic security and protect our homeland." - Adoph Hitler, writing about creation of the Gestapo in Nazi Germany.
A Kind of Fascism Is Replacing Our Democracy
By Sheldon S. Wolin
Sheldon S. Wolin is emeritus professor of politics at Princeton University and the author of "Politics and Vision: The Presence of the Past" and "Alexis de Tocqueville: Between Two Worlds."
July 18, 2003
Sept. 11, 2001, hastened a significant shift in our nation's self-understanding. It became commonplace to refer to an "American empire" and to the United States as "the world's only superpower."
Instead of those formulations, try to conceive of ones like "superpower democracy" or "imperial democracy," and they seem not only contradictory but opposed to basic assumptions that Americans hold about their political system and their place within it. Supposedly ours is a government of constitutionally limited powers in which equal citizens can take part in power. But one can no more assume that a superpower welcomes legal limits than believe that an empire finds democratic participation congenial.
No administration before George W. Bush's ever claimed such sweeping powers for an enterprise as vaguely defined as the "war against terrorism" and the "axis of evil." Nor has one begun to consume such an enormous amount of the nation's resources for a mission whose end would be difficult to recognize even if achieved.
Like previous forms of totalitarianism, the Bush administration boasts a reckless unilateralism that believes the United States can demand unquestioning support, on terms it dictates; ignores treaties and violates international law at will; invades other countries without provocation; and incarcerates persons indefinitely without charging them with a crime or allowing access to counsel.
Americans are now facing a grim situation with no easy solution. Perhaps the just-passed anniversary of the Declaration of Independence might remind us that "whenever any form of Government becomes destructive ..." it must be challenged. - Entire article
Copyright © 2003, Newsday, Inc.
Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan
President of the United States of America, George W. Bush
(Photo by Agence France-Presse)
"You can fool some of the people all of the time and those are the ones you want to concentrate on."
- President Bush, speaking at the Gridiron Dinner, Washington, DC March 31, 2001
Extensive list of Bush regime lies about Iraq
"According to Abbas, immediately thereafter Bush said: "God told me to strike at al Qaida and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East." - Read the entire article: Haaretz
From JVIM, Jack Van Impe Ministries , August 11, 2003
Q: Do you think that President Bush, apparently a Christian man, believes and knows he is involved in prophetic events concerning the Middle East and final battle between good and evil?
A: I am not sure whether he knows all of the prophecies and how deep of a student he has been in God's Word, but I was contacted a few weeks ago by the Office of Public Liaison for the White House and by the National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice to make an outline. And I’ve spent hours preparing it. I will release this information to the public in September, but it’s in his hands. He will know exactly what is going to happen in the Middle East and what part he will have under the leading of the Holy Spirit of God"
- Dr. Jack Van Impe.the man known as the "Walking Bible" and "one of the world's foremost prophetic scholars"
Watch "Jack Van Impe Presents" online | Jack Van Impe "end-time prophecy" movies.
Tuesday, June 24, 2003
The Burning Bush Bush aide Tim Goeglein recently told the Christian-right magazine World: "I think President Bush is God's man at this hour, and I say this with a great sense of humility."
by CAROL WOLMAN, M.D.
Many people, inside and especially outside this country, believe that the American president is nuts, and is taking the world on a suicidal path. As a board-certified psychiatrist, I feel it's my duty to share my understanding of his psychopathology.
From a Jungian point of view:
Dubya may be identifying with an archetype (as Hitler did with the ubermensch)--something out of Revelations, perhaps, whereby he sees himself as an instrument of God's will to bring about Armageddon.
Dr. Carol Wolman is a board certified psychiatrist. More of Dr. Wolman's differential diagnosis.
Reagan's buddy Jerry Falwell is still leading the charge against the enemies of God.
"I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say 'you helped this happen'. - Jerry Falwell, 9/13/01, appearing with Pat Robertson, explaining the reasons for the attacks on 9/11/2001.
"Our goal has been achieved. The Religious Right is solidly in place, and religious conservatives in America are now in for the duration" - Jerry Falwell
Falwell bearing false witness
Jerry Falwell, appearing on CNN, claimed, "global warming is a myth. .. I can tell you, our grandchildren will laugh at those who predicted global warming. We’ll be cooler by then, if the Lord hasn’t returned..."
At the end of the spot, Falwell said, "I urge everyone to go out and buy an SUV today."
The Rise and Fall of the Holy Roller Empire
Fundamentalist Christians are in control of the White House, and U.S. foreign policy. God help us all!
As the so-called 9/11 Commission continues its investigation of the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon in the U.S., a new book bringing together many of the previously published alternative theories (some of which we've linked to at Indymedia) and unanswered questions on 9/11 is stirring up controversy. "The New Pearl Harbor : Disturbing questions about the Bush Administration and 9/11" by David Griffin, a reputable scholar, lays out some striking and credible information indicating U.S. government complicity in the attacks.
911 visibility project
From a skeptical vantage-point, but also taking to heart the classic idea that those who benefit from a crime ought to at least be investigated, Griffin, an eminent philosopher and theologian, brings together an account of the national tragedy that is far more logical than the one we've been asked to believe. Gathering stories from the mainstream press, reports from other countries, the work of other researchers, and the contradictory words of members of the Bush administration themselves, Griffin presents a case that leaves very little doubt that the attacks of 9/11 need to be further investigated.
Sadly, ever since the attacks on New York and Washington in 2001 many progressives and progressive media outlets in the U.S. have bought into the fear of being labeled crazy "conspiracy theorists" and have either avoided the issue of a potential government conspiracy or worse, condemned those who have dared to raise the issue. Such fears are, of course, prayed on by rightwing operatives in the media and elsewhere seeking to bolster the faltering Bush regime, its disastrous occupation of Iraq, and its quest for empire.
December 13, 2001: The Bush Administration released a so-called "authentic" videotape of Osama bin Laden confessing to being responsible for the 911 attacks. The video, which was supposedly shot on November 9, 2001, had one minor flaw: THEY USED THE FAKE OSAMA!
The video of "Osama" taking credit for 9/11 is a fake! The real Osama is on the right.
Osama's face is wider at the eye level.
Osama has a much taller and narrower nose.
Osama is less "well-nourished." - Fake Osama video
--"' The tape's release is central to informing people in the outside world who don't believe bin Laden was involved in the September 11 attacks,' said Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Alabama, the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. 'I don't know how they can be in denial after they see this tape.'"
--" The Bush administration hopes the tape will convince skeptics, particularly in the Muslim and Arab worlds, of bin Laden's complicity in the attacks."
Pope John Paul II Said to be Concerned Bush is the Anti-Christ: Journalists Close to the Vatican
Wayne Madsen writes, "Bush's blood lust, his repeated commitment to Christian beliefs, and his constant references to 'evil doers,' in the eyes of many devout Catholic leaders, bear all the hallmarks of the one warned about in the Book of Revelations - the anti-Christ. People close to the Pope claim that amid these concerns, the Pontiff wishes he was younger and in better health to confront the possibility that Bush may represent the person prophesized in Revelations... According to journalists close to the Vatican, the Pope and his closest advisers are also concerned that the ultimate acts of evil - the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon - were known in advance by senior Bush administration officials. By permitting the attacks to take their course, there is a perception within the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy that a coup d'etat was implemented, one that gave Bush and his leadership near-dictatorial powers to carry out their agenda......Whether Bush represents a dangerous right-wing ideologue who couples his political fanaticism with a neo-Christian blood cult (as I believe) or he is either the anti-Christ or heralds one, the Pope should know he has fought the good battle and has gained the respect and admiration of many non-Catholics around the world." - Entire article
Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and columnist. He wrote the introduction to Forbidden Truth.
All The Shah's Men:
An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror
by Stephen Kinzer
This mesmerizing account of how a CIA agent, the grandson of Theodore Roosevelt, orchestrated the overthrow of the democratically elected Iranian government in 1953, provides a riveting, detailed account that sheds light on current Anglo-American oil politics in the Middle East. It's not an exaggeration to say that the British-American staged coup that put the Shah in power created the model, continuing through today, for CIA involvement in replacing governments that the U.S. finds fault with for one reason or another. With Iran, it was the nationalization of the oil industry, which had been a British concession, that set in motion the CIA-British coup. Even then, you see, it was about oil. Today, the U.S. is still paying the price, in its relations with Iran, for the 1953 coup and the U.S. support of the Shah and his secret police. As you read the book, you can't help but find eerie foreshadowings of Bush's Iraq policies.
Praise for All the Shah’s Men
"Stephen Kinzer’s brilliant reconstruction of the Iranian coup is made even more fascinating by the fact that it is true. It is as gripping as a thriller, and also tells much about why the United States is involved today in places like Afghanistan and Iraq."
–Gore Vidal, author of Lincoln, Burr, and 1876.
"Remarkable, readable, and relevant . . . All the Shah’s Men not only reads like an exciting, page-turning spy novel, it deals with the hard issues of today."
–Senator Richard Lugar, Chairman, Senate Foreign Relations Committee
"A well-researched object lesson in the dismal folly of so-called nation-building. British and American readers of today should blush with shame."
–John le Carré, author of The Spy Who Came In from the Cold
and The Tailor of Panama
New York Times Special Report: The C.I.A. in Iran
The Central Intelligence Agency's secret history of its covert operation to overthrow Iran's government in 1953 offers an inside look at how the agency stumbled into success, despite a series of mishaps that derailed its original plans.
Written in 1954 by one of the coup's chief planners, the history details how United States and British officials plotted the military coup that returned the shah of Iran to power and toppled Iran's elected prime minister, an ardent nationalist.
The document shows that:
Britain, fearful of Iran's plans to nationalize its oil industry, came up with the idea for the coup in 1952 and pressed the United States to mount a joint operation to remove the prime minister. The C.I.A. and S.I.S., the British intelligence service, handpicked Gen. Fazlollah Zahedi to succeed Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh and covertly funneled $5 million to General Zahedi's regime two days after the coup prevailed. Iranians working for the C.I.A. and posing as Communists harassed religious leaders and staged the bombing of one cleric's home in a campaign to turn the country's Islamic religious community against Mossadegh's government.
"The majority of the stupid is invincible and guaranteed for all time. The terror of their tyranny, however, is alleviated by their lack of consistency." - Albert Einstein
"The American people, taking one with another, constitute the most timorous, sniveling, poltroonish, ignominious mob of serfs and goose-steppers ever gathered under one flag in Christendom since the end of the Middle Ages."
"No one ever went broke under-estimating the taste of the American people".
- H. L. Mencken
The Big Oil Robber Baron Invasion of Vietnam
What's REALLY Going on in Iraq
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