Our Empire; Documents Part 5
12. DOCUMENTS ON PARTICULAR COUNTRIES.
Not surprisingly, the CIA preferred the most fanatic and cruel fighters they could mobilise. The end result was to "destroy a moderate regime and create a fanatical one, from groups recklessly financed by the Americans" (London Times correspondent Simon Jenkins, also a specialist on the region). These "Afghanis" as they are called (many, like bin Laden, not from Afghanistan) carried out terror operations across the border in Russia, but they terminated these after Russia withdrew.
Bin Laden and his "Afghanis" turned against the US in 1990 when they established permanent bases in Saudi Arabia -- from his point of view, a counterpart to the Russian occupation of Afghanistan, but far more significant because of Saudi Arabia's special status as the guardian of the holiest shrines.
Bin Laden is also bitterly opposed to the corrupt and repressive regimes of the region, which he regards as "un-Islamic," including the Saudi Arabian regime, the most extreme Islamic fundamentalist regime in the world, apart from the Taliban, and a close US ally since its origins. Bin Laden despises the US for its support of these regimes. Like others in the region, he is also outraged by long-standing US support for Israel's brutal military occupation, now in its 35th year: Washington's decisive diplomatic, military, and economic intervention in support of the killings, the harsh and destructive siege over many years, the daily humiliation to which Palestinians are subjected, the expanding settlements designed to break the occupied territories into Bantustan-like cantons and take control of the resources, the gross violation of the Geneva Conventions, and other actions that are recognised as crimes throughout most of the world, apart from the US, which has prime responsibility for them. And like others, he contrasts Washington's dedicated support for these crimes with the decade-long British assault against the civilian population of Iraq which has devastated the society and caused hundreds of thousands of deaths while strengthening Saddam Hussein -- who was a favoured friend and ally of the US and Britain right through his worst atrocities, including the gassing of the Kurds, as people of the region also remember well, even if Westerners prefer to forget the facts. These sentiments are very widely shared. The _Wall Street Journal, (Sept. 14) published a survey of opinions of wealthy and privileged Muslims in the Gulf region (bankers, professionals, businessmen with close links to the U.S.). They expressed much the same views: resentment of the U.S. policies of supporting Israeli crimes and blocking the international consensus on a diplomatic settlement for many years while devastating Iraqi civilian society, supporting harsh and repressive anti-democratic regimes throughout the region, and imposing barriers against economic development by "propping up oppressive regimes." Among the great majority of people suffering deep poverty and oppression, similar sentiments are far more bitter, and are the source of the fury and despair that has led to suicide bombings, as commonly understood by those who are interested in the facts.
Simply ask how the same people would have reacted if Nicaragua had adopted this doctrine after the U.S. had rejected the orders of the World Court to terminate its "unlawful use of force" against Nicaragua and had vetoed a Security Council resolution calling on all states to observe international law. And that terrorist attack was far more severe and destructive even than this atrocity.
The U.S. has already demanded that Pakistan terminate the food and other supplies that are keeping at least some of the starving and suffering people of Afghanistan alive. If that demand is implemented, unknown numbers of people who have not the remotest connection to terrorism will die, possibly millions. Let me repeat: the U.S. has demanded that Pakistan kill possibly millions of people who are themselves victims of the Taliban. This has nothing to do even with revenge. It is at a far lower moral level even than that. The significance is heightened by the fact that this is mentioned in passing, with no comment, and probably will hardly be noticed.
Interview of N. Chomsky, Radio B92, Belgrade. Sept. 2001
The U.S.-U.K. attack on Afghanistan is …clearly illegal. It violates international law and the express words of the United Nations Charter.
The Security Council has already passed two resolutions condemning the Sept. 11 attacks and announcing a host of measures aimed at combating terrorism.
Neither resolution can remotely be said to authorize the use of military force.
That's because the right of unilateral self-defence does not include the right to retaliate once an attack has stopped.
The right of self-defence in international law is like the right of self-defence in our own law: It allows you to defend yourself when the law is not around, but it does not allow you to take the law into your own hands.
Even the Security Council is only permitted to authorize the use of force where "necessary to maintain and restore international peace and security." Now it must be clear to everyone that the military attack on Afghanistan has nothing to do with preventing terrorism.
Critics of the Bush approach have argued that any effective fight against terrorism would have to involve a re-evaluation of the way Washington conducts its affairs in the world. For example, the way it has promoted violence for short-term gain, as in Afghanistan when it supported the Taliban a decade ago, in Iraq when it supported Saddam Hussein against Iran, and Iran before that when it supported the Shah.
For all that has been said about how things have changed since Sept. 11, one thing that has not changed is U.S. disregard for international law. Its decade-long bombing campaign against Iraq and its 1999 bombing of Yugoslavia were both illegal. The U.S. does not even recognize the jurisdiction of the World Court. It withdrew from it in 1986 when the court condemned Washington or attacking Nicaragua, mining its harbours and funding the contras. In that case, the court rejected U.S. claims that it was acting under Article 51 in defence of Nicaragua's neighbours.
The Arabs, of course, would also like an end to world terror. But they would like to include a few other names on the list. Palestinians would like to see Mr Sharon picked up for the Sabra and Chatila massacre, a terrorist slaughter carried out by Israel's Lebanese allies - who were trained by the Israeli army - in 1982. At 1,800 dead, that's only a quarter of the number killed on 11 September. Syrians in Hama would like to put Rifaat Al-Assad, the brother of the late president, on their list of terrorists for the mass killings perpetrated by his Defense Brigades in the city of Hama in the same year. At 20,000, that's more than double the 11 September death toll.
The Lebanese would like trials for the Israeli officers who planned the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, which killed 17,500 people, most of them civilians - again, well over twice the 11 September statistic. Christian Sudanese would like President Omar al-Bashir arraigned for mass murder.
But, as the Americans have made clear, it's their own terrorist enemies they are after, not their terrorist friends or those terrorists who have been slaughtering populations outside American "spheres of interest". Even those terrorists who live comfortably in the US but have not harmed America are safe: take, for example, the pro-Israeli militiaman who murdered two Irish UN soldiers in southern Lebanon in 1980 and who now live in Detroit after flying safely out of Tel Aviv. The Irish have the name and address, if the FBI are interested - but of course they're not.
So we are not really being asked to fight "world terror". We are being asked to fight America's enemies. If that means bagging the murderers behind the atrocities in New York and Washington, few would object. But it does raise the question of why those thousands of innocents are more important - more worthy of our effort and perhaps blood - than all the other thousands of innocents. And it also raises a much more disturbing question: whether or not the crime against humanity committed in the US on 11 September is to be met with justice - or a brutal military assault intended to extend American political power in the Middle East.
Sources confused; either from "Say what you want but this war is illegal", M. Mandel, Globe and Mail, Oct., 9, 2001. Or "This is Not a War on Terror. It's a Fight Against America's Enemies", by Robert Fisk, Published on Tuesday, September 25, 2001 in the Guardian, UK.
The struggle over control of Afghanistan, is about installing a pliant, pro -Western government to allow Western oil corporations access to an oil pipeline corridor to draw off large deposits of Central Asian oil.
W. Bello, "Endless War?", FOCUS ON THE GLOBAL SOUTH, A Program of Development Policy Research, Analysis and Action, Issue # 31, September 18, 2001.
What is most depressing, however, is how little time is spent trying to understand America's role in the world, and its direct involvement in the complex reality beyond the two coasts that have for so long kept the rest of the world extremely distant and virtually out of the average American's mind. You'd think that 'America' was a sleeping giant rather than a superpower almost constantly at war, or in some sort of conflict, all over the Islamic domains. Osama bin Laden's name and face have become so numbingly familiar to Americans as in effect to obliterate any history he and his shadowy followers might have had before they became stock symbols of everything loathsome and hateful to the collective imagination.
Yet to most people in the Islamic and Arab worlds the official US is synonymous with arrogant power, known for its sanctimoniously munificent support not only of Israel but of numerous repressive Arab regimes, and its inattentiveness even to the possibility of dialogue with secular movements and people who have real grievances. Anti-Americanism in this context is not based on a hatred of modernity or technology-envy: it is based on a narrative of concrete interventions, specific depredations and, in the cases of the Iraqi people's suffering under US-imposed sanctions and US support for the 34-year-old Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories. Israel is now cynically exploiting the American catastrophe by intensifying its military occupation and oppression of the Palestinians.
There has been terror of course, and nearly every struggling modern movement at some stage has relied on terror.
Edward Said, Many Islams, 17th Sept., 2001.
The West’s "use and dump" attitude to Aghanistan.
(The West used Afghanistan to cripple the Soviet Union, by assisting the rebels to eject Soviet forces. However when this goal was achieved we left without helping a devastated country to establish stable government, a development initiative, or to attend to the serious health and malnutrition problems, or to reduce the huge number of small arms that had been pumped in…or to clear the mines. In 2001 mines were reported to be injuring or killing 40 people every week. (TT.)
Consider Zbigniew Brezinski, national security adviser to Jimmy Carter. In a 1998 interview he admitted that the official story that the US gave military aid to the Afghanistan opposition only after the Soviet invasion in 1979 was a lie. The truth was, he said, that the US began aiding the Islamic fundamentalist Monjahedeen six months before the Russians made their move, even though he believed—and told this to Carter—that "this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention". Brzezinski was asked whether he regretted this decision.
Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that rhe Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter: We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam War. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war unsupportable by the government, a conflict that brought about the demoralization and finally the break up of the Soviet empire.7
And for playing a key role in causing all this, Zbigniew Brzezinski has no regrets. Regrets? The man is downright proud of it! The kindest thing one can say about such a person—as about a sociopath—is that he's amoral. 4-5
Because of this uninhibited, sadistic cruelty directed against government and Soviet soldiers in Afghanistan, the fundamentalists—the moujahedeen (Muslim holy warriors)—were good terrorists. They were our terrorists. 33 "Your government is a monster," complained ~ an Algerian sociologist to a Los Angeles Times correspondent in Algiers. "Now it has turned against you
and the world—16,000 Arabs -~ were trained Afghanistan, made into a veritable killing machine." 34…in the later 1970s and most of the 1980s Afghanistan had a government committed to bringing the incredibly underdeveloped country into the 20th century (never mind the 21st), including giving women equal rights. The United States, however, poured billions of dollars into waging a terrible war against this government, simply because it was supported by the Soviet Union. By aiding the fundamentalist opposition, Washington knowingly and deliberately increased the probability of a Soviet intervention. And when that occurred, the CIA became the grand orchestrator: hitting up Middle Eastem countries for huge financial support, on top of that from Washington; pressuring and bribing neighbouring Pakistan to rent out its country as a military staging area and sanctuary; supplying a great arsenal of weaponry and military training.
W. Blum, Rogue State; A Guide to the World's Only Superpower, Monroe, Me., Common Courage Press, 2000.
For two and a half months following September 11 the most powerful nation in history rained down a daily storm of missiles upon Afghanistan, one of the poorest and most backward countries in the world. Eventually, this question pressed itself onto the world's stage: Who killed more innocent, defenseless people? The terrorists in the United States on September 11 with their flying bombs? Or the Americans in Afghanistan with their AGM-86D cruise missiles, their AGM-130 missiles, their 15,000-pound "daisy cutter" bombs their depleted uranium and their cluster bombs?
W. Blum, Rogue State; A Guide to the World's Only Superpower, Monroe, Me., Common Courage Press, 2000
America helped to mine Afghanistan, then left without any effort to clean up the problem. Mines kill or injure 300 a month, in 2001.
As late as 1998 the US was paying the salary of every single Taliban official in Afghanistan? Isn't that strange? There is more oil and gas in the Caspian Sea area than in Saudi Arabia, but you need a pipeline through Afghanistan to get the oil out…
UNOCAL, a giant American Oil conglomerate, wanted to build a 1000 mile long pipeline from the Caspian Sea through Afghanistan to the Arabian Sea…UNOCAL spent 10,000,000,000 on geological surveys for pipeline construction, and very nicely courted the Taliban for their support in allowing the construction to begin. …1998-1999 the Taliban changed its mind and threw UNOCAL out of the country and awarded the pipeline project to a company from Argentina. Isn't that strange?
John Maresca VP of UNOCAL testified before Congress and said no pipeline until the Taliban was gone and a more friendly government was established. Isn't that strange?
1999-2000 The Taliban became the most evil people in the world. Isn't that strange?... Bush goes to war against Afghanistan even though none of the hijackers came from Afghanistan.
Taliban offered to negotiate to turn over Bin Laden if we showed them some proof. We refused; we bombed. …
We have a new government in Afghanistan. ..The leader of that government formerly worked for UNOCAL. .. Bush appoints a special envoy to represent the US to deal with that new government, who formerly was the "chief consultant to UNOCAL". ..
"It is the Oil, Stupid!" by Joseph Clifford , Date: Tue, 4 Jun
Out of sight of the television cameras "at least 3,767 civilians were killed by US bombs between October 7 and December 10...an average of 62 innocent deaths a day", according to a study carried out at the University of New Hampshire in the US. This is now estimated to have passed 5,000 civilian deaths: almost double the number killed on September 11. There is no evidence that a single leader of al-Qaeda has been captured or, to anyone's knowledge, killed. Neither has the leader of the Taliban. The change in Afghanistan is minimal compared with the murderous feudalism that ruled during the 1990s, and before the Taliban came to power. Not only the Marines but the British public ought to feel duped. Both Washington and Whitehall knew long ago al-Qaeda was finished in Afghanistan. Apart from the element of revenge, for home gratification, the Americans have set out to reassert the control of their favourite warlords: people responsible for thousands of deaths in their stricken country. In recent months, the American rogue state… tried to sabotage the setting up of an international criminal court, understandably, because its generals and leading politicians might be summoned as defendants.
JOHN PILGER on America's bid to control the world Tue, 9 Jul 2002 Prof. John McMurtry." The New Totalitarian Movement", Mid 2002. ____________________________________________________________
In 1967, anti-Castro Cubans, working with the CIA to find Che Guevara, set up houses of interrogation where Bolivians suspected' of aiding Che's guerrilla army were brought for questioning and '; sometimes tortured. When the Bolivian interior minister learned of the torture, he was furious and demanded that the CIA put a stop to it. W. Blum, Rogue State; A Guide to the World's Only Superpower, Monroe, Me., Common Courage Press, 2000, p. 52.
An armed popular revolt in 1952 had defeated the military and reduced it to a small, impotent and discredited force. But under US guidance and aid, there was a slow but certain rejuvenation of the armed forces. By 1964, the military, with the indispensable support of the CIA and the Pentagon, was able to overthrow President Victor Paz, whom the United States had designated a marked man because of his refusal to support Washington's Cuba policies. The US continued f to dictate who should lead Bolivia long after. 144
W. Blum, Rogue State; A Guide to the World's Only Superpower, Monroe, Me., Common Courage Press, 2000.
Brazil, 1961-64 President Joao Goulart was guilty of the usual crimes: he took an independent stand in foreign policy, resuming relations with socialist ,countries and opposing sanctions against Cuba; his administration passed a law limiting the amount of profits multinationals could transmit outside the country; a subsidiary of ITT was nationalized; he promoted economic and social reforms. …In 1964, he was overthrown in a military coup which had covert American involvement and indispensable support. 139.
W. Blum, Rogue State; A Guide to the World's Only Superpower, Monroe, Me., Common Courage Press, 2000.
Before the Office of Public Safety assigned Dan Mitrione to Uruguay, he had been stationed in Brazil. There he and other Americans worked with OPS, AID and CIA in supplying Brazilian security forces with the equipment and training to facilitate the torture of prisoners. The Americans also advised on how much electric shock could be administered without killing the person, if his or her death might prove awkward.
W. Blum, Rogue State; A Guide to the World's Only Superpower, Monroe, Me., Common Courage Press, 2000, p.
British Guyana, 1953~64 The United States and Great Britain made life extremely difficult for the democratically elected leader, Cheddi Jagan, finally forcing him from office (see Elections chapter). Jagan was another Third World leader who incurred Washington's wrath by trying to remain neutral and independent. Although a leftist—more so than Sukamo or Arbenz—his policies in office were not revolutionary. But he was still targeted, for he represented Washington's greatest fear: building a society that might be a successful example of an alternative to the capitalist model. John F. Kennedy had given a direct order for his ouster, as, presumably, had Eisenhower. 133
Thus it was that an American policy took root—to provide the Khmer Rouge with food, financial aid and military aid beginning soon after their ouster. The aim, in conjunction with China and long~time American client state Thailand, was to restore Pol Pot's , troops to military capability as the only force which could make the Vietnamese withdraw their army, leading to the overthrow of the Cambodian government. The Khmer Rouge were meanwhile using this aid to regularly attack Cambodian villages, seed minefields, kill peasants and make off with their rice and cattle Cambodia, 1955-73 Prince Sihanouk was yet another leader who did not fancy being an American client. After many years of hostility towards his regime, including assassination plots and the infamous Nixon/Kissinger secret "carpet bombings" of 1969-70, Washington finally overthrew Sihanouk in a coup in 1970. This was all that was needed to impel Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge forces to enter the fray. Five years later, they took power. But the years of American bombing had caused Cambodia's traditional economy to vanish. The old Cambodia had been destroyed forever. Incredibly, the Khmer Rouge were to inflict even greater misery upon this unhappy land. And to multiply the irony, the United States supported Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge after their subsequent defeat I by the Vietnamese (See "Pol Pot" chapter).
Arndo Fernandez Lanos, a member of a Chilean military squad responsible for the torture and execution of at least 72 political prisoners in the month following the 1973 coup, is now residing in the United States. Fernandez has publicly acknowledged his service as a member of the military squad, as well as his role as an agent of Chile's-notorious secret police, the DINA, during the Pinochet regime. He struck a plea bargain with US government prosecutors, pleading guilty to being an "accessory after the fact" in the DINA-sponsored 1976 Washington, DC bombing murder of former Chilean dissident official Orlando Letelier. 82 At least two former members of the Hondur an army's Battalion 316 (see "Torture" chapter), a ClA-trained intelligence unit that murdered hundreds of suspected leftists in the 1980s, are also known to be living the good life in South Florida…83
In September 15, 1970, following the election of Allende to be President of Chile, Richard Nixon summoned Henry Kissinger, Richard Helms, and John Mitchell to the White House. The topic was Chile Allende, Nixon stated, was unacceptable to the President of the United States. In his handwritten notes for this meeting, Nixon indicated that he was "not concerned" with the risks involved. As CIA Director Helms recalled in testimony before the Senate Committee, "The President came down very hard that he wanted something done, and he didn't care how."
Thus the President of the United States had given orders to the CIA to prevent the popularly-elected President of Chile from entering office.
To bar Allende from the Presidency, a military coup was organized, with the CIA playing a direct role in the planning. The United States sought also to bring the Chilean economy under Allende to its knees. In a situation report to Dr. Kissinger, our Ambassador wrote that:
Not a nut or bolt will be allowed to reach Chile under Allende. Once Allende comes to power we shall do all within our power to condemn Chile and the Chileans to utmost deprivation and poverty, a policy designed for a long time to come to accelerate the hard features of a Communist society in Chile. The ultimate outcome, as you know, of these and other efforts to destroy the Allende government was a bloodbath which included the death of Allende and the installation, in his place, of a repressive military dictatorship.
F. Church, "Covert action, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Feb., 1976, 7-11.
The CIA spent $3 million to influence the 1964 elections in Chile against Allende, and in 1967 $8 million. 14Pages 35- give a good account of CIA activity in Chile, and of US action against Cuba, pp. 42-64"…communism has been the traditional pretext for opposing reforms in Latin America." "In late 1953 the Eisenhower administration decided to arrange a coup to rid Guatemala of the Arbenz regime. 60
S. Kumar, The C IA and the Third World, Zed, 1981.
Salvador Allende was the worst possible scenario for the Washington power elite, who could imagine only one thing worse than a Marxist in power—an elected Marxist in power, one who honoured the constitution, and became increasingly popular. This shook the very foundation stones upon which the anti-communist tower was built: the doctrine, painstakingly cultivated for decades, that "communists" can take power only through force and deception, that they can retain that power only through terrorizing and brainwashing the population. After sabotaging Allende's electoral endeavour in 1964, and failing to do so in 1970, despite their best efforts, the CIA and the rest of the American foreign policy machine left no stone unturned in their attempt to destabilize the Allende government over the next three years, paying particular attention to undermining the economy and building up military hostility. Finally, in September 1973, the military, under General Pinochet, overthrew the government, Allende dying in the process. The FBI accommodated the new government by trying to track down Chilean leftists in the United States, while Secretary of State Henry Kissinger assured Pinochet that "In the United States, as you know, we are sympathetic with what you are trying to do here...We wish your government well."143.
'In September 1974 President Ford confirmed the fact that the Nixon administration had authorised the CIA to spend 9 million between 1970 and 1973 to weaken Allende and strengthen his opposition.'
S. Baily, The U.S. and the Development of South America 1945-1975, 1976, p. 206.
As Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) pointed out in 1999, in speaking of Colombia: "What we are really seeing is a ratcheting up of a counterinsurgency policy masquerading as a counter-drug policy.
In a 1994 report, Amnesty International estimated that more | than 20,000 people had been killed in Colombia since 1986, mainly by the military and its paramilitary allies—"not in the 'drug wars' but for political reasons". Many of the victims were "trade unionists, human rights activists and leaders of legal left-wing movements." Amnesty charged that "U.S.-supplied military equipment, ostensibly delivered for use against narcotics traffickers, was being used by the Colombian military to commit these abuses. 163
Costa Rica, mid-195Os, 1970-71. Yet the United States tried to overthrow Figueres (in the 1950s, and perhaps also in the 1970s, when he was again president), and tried to assassinate him twice. 129
In keeping with this policy, the United States twice attempted to overthrow the Syrian government, staged several shows-of-force in the Mediterranean to intimidate movements opposed to US-supported governments in Jordan and Lebanon, landed 14,000 troops in Lebanon, and conspired to overthrow or assassinate Nasser of Egypt and his troublesome Middle-East nationalism. 132
The Senate Intelligence Committee in I975 reported finding "concrete evidence of at least eight plots involving the CIA to assassinate Castro, and another to kill his brother Raul. The plots, the Senate report said, involved devices "which strain the imagination," including Mafia hit men, poisoned cigars, and a diving suit contaminated with disease-causing organisms …242 In addition, the CIA acknowledged nine other assassination attempts against Castro by persons with "operational relationships" with the CIA …242
J. Kwitney, Endless Enemies, Penguin, 1986.
Anti-Cuban terrorism was directed by a secret Special Group established in November 1961 under the code name "Mongoose," involving 400 Americans, 2,000 Cubans, a private navy of fast boats, and a $50 million in annual budget, run in part by a Miami CIA station functioning in violation of the Neutrality Act and, presumably, the law banning CIA operations in the United States.20 These operations included bombing of hotels and industrial installations, sinking of fishing boats, poisoning of crops and livestock, contamination of sugar exports, etc. Not all of these actions were specifically authorized by the CIA, but no such considerations absolve official enemieS…a Cuban terrorist group operating from Florida with US government authorization carried out "a daring speedboat strafing attack on a Cuban seaside hotel near Havana where Soviet military technicians were known to congregate, killing a score of Russians and Cubans and shortly after, attacked British and Cuban cargo ships and again raided Cuba, among other actions that were stepped up in early October. At one of the tensest moments of the missile crisis, on November 8, a terrorist team dispatched from the United States blew up a Cuban industrial facility after the Mongoose operations had been officially suspended. Fidel Castro alleged that 400 workers had been killed in this operation, guided by "photographs taken by spying planes." This terrorist act, which might have set off a global nuclear war, evoked little comment when it was revealed. Attempts to assassinate Castro and other terror continued immediately after the crisis terminated, and were escalated by Nixon in 1969…
In October, ClA-trained Cuban exiles bombed a Cuban civilian airliner, killing all 73 aboard including Cuba's gold medal-winning international fencing team…in the US and the Caribbean area for 1969-79 to Cuban exile groups, and the major one, OMEGA 7, was identified by the FBI as the most dangerous terrorist group operating in the US during much of the 1970s.
N. Chomsky, International Terrorism; Image and Reality, Ch. 2 in . George, Introduction tA. George, Ed., Western State Terrorism, 1991, 22-23.
Totally ignored by the American government, however, was Cuba's lawsuit of May 31, 1999, filed in a Havana court demanding $181.1 billion in US compensation for death and injury suffered by Cuban citizens in four decades of "war" by Washington against Cuba The document outlined American "aggression", ranging from backing for armed rebel groups within Cuba and the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961, to subversion attempts from the US naval base of Guantanamo and the planting of epidemics on the island. Cuba said it was demanding $30 million in direct compensation for each of the 3,478 people it said were killed by US actions and $15 million each for the 2,099 injured. It was also asking $10 million each for the people killed, and $5 million each for the injured, to repay Cuban society for the costs it has had to assume on their behalf. 228.
In 1971, also according to participants, the CIA turned over to Cuban exiles a virus which causes African swine fever. Six weeks later, an outbreak of the disease in Cuba forced the slaughter of 500,000 pigs to prevent a nationwide animal epidemic. 109.
The motto of the CIA: "Proudly overthrowing Fidel Castro since 1959." Castro came to power at the beginning of 1959. As early as March 10, a US National Security Council meeting included on its agenda the feasibility of bringing "another government to power in Cuba". There followed 40 years of terrorist attacks, bombings, full-scale military invasion, sanctions, embargoes, isolation, assassinations...Cuba had carried out The Unforgivable Revolution, a very serious threat of setting a "good example" in Latin America. 140
In August, 1975, as the Suharto dictatorship was preparing to invade East Timor, Australian Ambassador to Indonesia, Woolcott, sent a cable to Canberra urging compliance with Indonesia‚s plans to annex EastTimor. He wrote:
„It would seem to me that this Department [of Minerals and Energy] might well have an interest in closing the present gap in the agreed sea border and this could be much more readily negotiated with Indonesia than with Portugal; or independent Portuguese Timor. I know I am recommending a pragmatic rather than a principled stand but that is what national interest and foreign policy is all about ·‰
What followed was 25 years of Australian government complicity in an illegal and brutal military occupation of East Timor by Suharto‚s military. More than 200,000 East Timorese lost their lives to famine, war and slaughter. Tens of thousands more suffered torture, rape and other forms of terror. All throughout this period, Australian governments ˆ both Labour and Liberal ˆ led Suharto‚s backers in defending and recognising the invasion and occupation.
This policy helped Canberra to squeeze a good deal for itself out of the Suharto government on the Timor Gap Treaty that gave Canberra exploration and taxation rights over oil and gas resources which rightfully belonged to East Timor. In 1989 all the world witnessed Australian Foreign Minister, Gareth Evans and the Suharto dictatorship‚ Foreign Minister, Ali Alatas, raise champagne glasses to the treaty as they flew over the killing fields of East Timor. Canberra received this concession from Jakarta in return for its morally and politically bankrupt support for Jakarta‚s invasion of East Timor.
The Australian government secured a treaty that established a Zone of ooperation between Australia and Indonesia. Australia and Indonesia were to jointly manage resources exploration in this area and share taxation imposed on companies working in the region. But under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), none of this area falls into Australian territorial waters. UNCLOS determines that in the Timor Gap situation, the seabed boundary should be a equidistant median line etween Australia and East Timor. If this were applied, the whole of thecurrent Zone of Cooperation would fall in East Timorese territory. Most of the current oil exploration is inside the Zone of Cooperation.
Now that the East Timorese people have driven out Suharto‚s military and are on the way to independence, the treaty is now recognised as a document with no valdity, if it ever any had such legality in the first place. Negotiations have begun between Canberra and Dili (UNTAET cabinet ministers Mari Alkatiri and Peter Galbraith) on a new treaty between East Timor and Australia.
And the Howard government still wants its blood money from the Timorese peoples‚ oil! Canberra wants the East Timorese to accept the Zone of Cooperation as it currently stands, with Canberra getting a 50% share of royalties from the area.
Australia has no legitimate rights over these resources. Indeed, Canberra bears a moral debt to the East Timorese for 25 years of complicity in the destruction and terrorisation of their country.
The Democratic Socialist Party calls on the Australian government to: unconditionally recognise a seabed boundary equidistant between East Timor and Australia, as it already does in relation to ocean resources above the seabed * immediately declare to UNTAET and the Timorese that if the Timorese people decide, for whatever reason, they wish to keep the Zone of Cooperation, Australia will require no royalties. This is part compensation for the damage done by 25 years of complicity in Suharto‚swar against the East Timorese people* immediately announce a commitment to hand over to an independent EastTimor all royalties already collected from the Zone of Cooperation The high priests screwed the Timorese. However there was another reason that compelled the Australian government to get of its butt and do something usefull. In World War 2 thousands of Australian soldiers lives were saved by the Timorese who hid them and fed them in the mountains when the Japanese invaded. These old soldiers including a deputy prime minister have been campaigning for a fair go for the Timorese since then. There is a very strong popular feeling in support of the Timorese in Australia and that is the only thing that might give them an Oil and gas agreement that they need to rebuild their country.
Please check out our website, http://www.zerogrowth.org
Ecuador, 196~63. Infiltrating virtually every department of the government, up to and including the second and third positions of power, along with an | abundant use of dirty tricks, enabled the CIA to oust President Jose Maria Velasco because of his refusal to go along with US Cuba policy and because he did not clamp down hard on the left domestically. 137
In El Salvador, the US ensures "…the maintenance of a violent and undemocratic regime…which without American intervention would clearly fall within the next three months…"
The Guardian, 8th March, 1981.
Training by US military "…has directly aided the oligarchy to carry out its terror campaign against peasant and worker masses…"
El Salvador, A Dossier, Sydney, CISAC, 1981, p. 32.
"The US has unfailingly supplied the tools of terror and repression to the Salvadoran military, as well as training in their use."
George, Introduction in A George, Ed., Western State Terrorism, Cambridge, Polity, 1991, p. 5.
The El Salvador regime '. . . has become well known for its systematic atrocities . . .' An estimated 40,000 murders have been carried out by the army in the last 8 years.
Sydney Morning Herald, 4th Feb., 1982, p. 1.
In the early 1980s approximately 40,000 people were killed by the ruling class in El Salvador, mostly via ‘death squads" composed of off duty military officers and police. "The regime which presides over these measures would long since have collapsed were it not for the support of the US. US backed loans in 1981 amounted to $523 million.
Since June 1980 over 38,000 civilians-in E1 Salvador have died, mostly at the hands of right-wing death squads composed of off-duty soldiers and police men. To put that in perspective, the equivalent in Britain would be 500,000 dead - like obliterating Manchester. In addition, 650,000 Salvadoreans (out of a population of 4~/4 million) are refugees. The government's campaign to suppress the guerrilla movement and its popular organizations has led to torture and misery on a scale almost unparalleled elsewhere in the world.
The regime which presides over these 'reprehensible measures' would long since have collapsed were it not for the support of the United States ---- US-backed loans, in 1981 alone, amounted to $523 million. p. 30.
New Internationalist, Feb., 1983, p. 30. See also Sydney Morning Herald, 4th Feb., 1982, p. 4.
'Visiting a refugee camp in Honduras, Elizabeth Hanly reports the testimony of a Salvadoran peasant woman who describes a 1983 massacre, when the National Guard came to her village in US-supplied helicopters, killing her three children among others, chopping the children to pieces and throwing them to the village pigs: "The soldiers laughed all the while," she said. Like her, other women "still had tears to cry as they told stories of sons, brothers and husbands gathered into a circle and set on fire after their legs had been broken; or of trees heavy with women hanging from their wrists, all with breasts cut off and facial skin peeled back, all slowly bleeding to death." They described how "they had worked, generations of them, all day, every day on someone else's land,"
their children starving or parasite-ridden. Peaceful visits to the landowners to beg for food had brought the National Guard: "We asked for food; they gave us bullets".'
N. Chomsky, Turning the Tide, London, Pluto,1986.
According to Cockburn, in Corruptions of Empire, p. 396. "…aerial bombardment of El Salvador is a "secret war" in the special sense of being "a military enterprise carried out by the United States and known to its victims, international observers, humanitarian organizations, foreign journalists and the domestic radical community but, for reasons of collective internal censorship, not reported in the mainstream media of the United States" (Corruptions of Empire, p. 394). This is an important example of the media dutifully operating according to "their own voluntary guidelines and self-restraint in terrorism coverage," as Wilkinson (p. 177) urges they do (employing, to be sure, a different conception of terrorism). The bombing continues to this day. For a recent eyewitness account by a US doctor of a bombing and strafing raid that killed five people (four of them children) and wounded sixteen others (eleven of them children), see Ann Mangamaro, "Villages Targeted in El Salvador Bombing," Central Amenia Register (July-August 1990).
A. George, The Discipline of Terrorology, Ch. 4., In A. George, Western State Terrorism, 1991, p. 93.
Since the early 1980s, some 70,000 Salvadorans have died at the hands of their government's security forces. The terror is indiscriminate: anyone involved in educational, health, church, union, press, or human rights activities at any level is a likely target. In the countryside, the government's campaign against its own citizens is completely unrestrained, with the most intensive campaign of aerial bombardment in the history of the Americas taking a large civilian toll. The bombing campaign, begun in late 1983, is a no-holds-barred operation designed to terrorize the entire…
E. S. Herman and G O'Sullivan, "Terrorism" as Ideology and Cultural Industry, Ch. 3 in A. George, Ed., Western State Terrorism, 1991, p. 77.
Supply of arms and training: From January 1987, Britain has provided training at Sandhurst for members of the El Salvadoran military. In its defence, the British government has urged that such training will have a "civilizing influence" the exact nature of which can be appreciated by examining the murderous performance of the Atlacatl Battalion, trained from scratch by the US. See McClintock, The American Connection, pp. 307ff; also my "School for the Brutal," TheGuardian (London) (December 19, 1986)… p 93.
According to Chomsky, "The main target of terrorist attacks for the past twenty years has undoubtedly been Cuba;" he cites instances of Cuban boats and planes being attacked, embassies bombed, embassy personnel murdered and kidnapped, Cuban crops and livestock poisoned, attacks on Cuban oil refineries, bridges, and sugar mills, industrial sabotage, and numerous assassination attempts on Castro, most of these acts of terrorism being organized or supported by the Kennedy administration. P. 94
A. George, The Discipline of Terrorology, Ch. 4., In A. George, Ed.,Western State Terrorism, 1991, p. 93
The Bush administration throughout has provided the terroristic Salvadoran regime with support of every kind… atrocities perpetrated by those we support are chalked up either to the "terrorist" left or to "right-wing death squads" beyond the control of the Salvadoran military.
A. George, Introduction to In A. George, Ed., Western State Terrorism, 1991, p. 3.
The Salvadorean government and army survive only through a massive influx of aid from Washington, totalling $4.6 billion dollars over the past decade. US military aid (by now some $1 billion dollars) is essential for keeping in power military and security forces largely responsible for the deaths of 70,000 civilians in the past ten years. The US has unfailingly supplied the tools of terror and repression to the Salvadoran military, as well as training in their use. The massacres of November 1989 were no exception: in September 1989, as Salvadoran state repression against popular movements was intensifying, the liberal senator Christopher Dodd joined Jesse Helms in sponsoring a bill to provide the Salvadoran military with $90 million in military assistance, to show that "we appreciate and support what he [Cristiani] is doing and we stand behind him". 14
An alternative proposal linking aid with progress on human rights and peace negotiations was opposed by Dodd and fellow liberal Democrat John Kerry, and subsequently defeated 68 to 32. Dodd's measure was approved by an even wider margin. When, on November 15, as the bloodbath was getting under way, the Salvadoran government requested extra arms and ammunition from the United States, the Bush administration rejected appeals to link military assistance to a serious investigation into the murders of the Jesuit priests and insteadpromised to hasten delivery of the military aid allocated for the 1990 fiscal year. Shortly afterwards, a weak bill introduced in the House of Representatives to suspend 30 percent of military aid to El Salvador until the regime undertook an honest inquiry into the killings was defeated in both the House and the Senate.'5 As of this writing, the Bush administration is seeking a $50 million increase in aid to El Salvador next year: "I know of his [Cristiani's] commitment to democracy," Bush declared, "And I have been very impressed with the courage he has shown in going after those who have broken the law in his country. And that's been a shining example to all of us."' 6
Clearly, these all too familiar events raise many important questions, some of them formulated in general terms above. This is especially so because US actions in El Salvador are not isolated and egregious aberrations from a fundamentally freedom- and justice-loving foreign policy: similar patterns have been, and are being, played out in other parts of Central and South America, Africa, the Middle East, and South East Asia. Taken together, these give a good, if depressing, indication of the substantial involvement of the West in the most serious instances of terrorism today.
A. George, Introduction to In A. George, Ed., Western State Terrorism, 1991, p 5.
… an Amnesty International report entitled El Salvador. "Death Squads" - A Government Strategy, (October 1988), reporting the "alarming rise" in killings by official death squads as part of the government strategy of intimidating any potential opposition by "killing and mutilating victims in the most macabre way," leaving victims "mutilated, decapitated, dismembered, strangled or showing marks of torture . . . or rape." Since the goal of the government strategy is "to intimidate or coerce a civilian population" (that is, terrorism, as officially defined in the US Code), it is not enough simply to kill. Rather, bodies must be left dismembered by the roadside. ..
In the same years, a massacre of even greater scale took place in Guatemala, also supported throughout by the United States and its mercenary states…Notice crucially that all of this is international terrorism, supported or directly organized in Washington with the assistance of its international network of mercenary states.
A. George, Introduction to In A. George, Ed., Western State Terrorism, 1991, p 21.
El Salvador 1980-2 Salvador's dissidents tried to work within the system. But with US support, the government made that impossible, using repeated electoral fraud and murdering hundreds of protestors and strikers. In 1980, the dissidents took to the gun, and civil war. Washington responded immediately.
Officially, the US military presence in El Salvador was limited to an advisory capacity. In actuality, military and CIA personnel played a more active role on a continuous basis. About 20 Americans were killed or wounded in helicopter and plane crashes while flying reconnaissance or other missions over combat areas, and considerable evidence surfaced of a US role in the ground fighting as well. The war came to an official end in 1992 with these results: 75,000 civilian deaths; the US Treasury depleted by six billion dollars; meaningful social change thwarted; a handful of the wealthy still owning the country; the poor remaining as ever; dissidents still having to fear right wing death squads; there would be no profound social change in El Salvador. 156 It was later learned that the US embassy had compiled lists of "communists", from top echelons down to village cadres, as many as . 5,000 names, and turned them over to the army, which then hunted those persons down and killed them. The Americans would then check off the names of those who had been killed or captured. "It really was a big help to the army," said one US diplomat. 1 41
Another Salvadoran, a former member of the National Guard, later testified in a 1986 British television documentary: "I belonged to a squad of twelve. We devoted ourselves to torture, and to finding people whom we were told were guerrillas. I was trained in Panama for nine months by the [unintelligible] of the United States for anti~guerrilla warfare. Part of the time we were instructed about torture."
W. Blum, Rogue State; A Guide to the World's Only Superpower, Monroe, Me., Common Courage Press, 2000, p. 55