We are continuing to publish on our site the fragments from the book AMERICA’S PLANSFOR WORLD HEGEMONY, by Romanian author Calistrat M. Atudorei which was published in English version very recently by printing house ”ePublishers” in Bucharest.
Chapter 4/1. American Military Interventions during the Cold War
Against the backdrop of the Soviet Union ”containment policy” and in the logic of Domino Theory, US administrations carried out dozens of military interventions in other countries during the Cold War and dozens of secret operations, set up by the CIA, to control the political regimes in those states. In many of these countries, military aggressions led to a very large number of victims, and often involved coups d’état whose aims were to overthrow democratically-elected governments and install others, subjected to the will of the US.
The actual list of interventions is long and it is still open as there are operations that were not declassified or about which the data made public are not clear enough. However, to have an idea about the scale of the actions, I will mention—on the basis of studies conducted by Harvard University1, Warwick2 University and Global Policy organization3 —a list of military interventions executed by the United States between 1946 and 1992: Iran (1946, 1953, 1980, 1984, 1987–1988), Yugoslavia (1946), Greece (1946–1949), Uruguay (1947), China (1946–1949,1958), Philippines (1948–1954, 1989), Italy (1948), Germany (1948,1961), Puerto Rico (1950), Korea (1950–1953), Vietnam (1954, 1960–1975), Guyana (1953), Guatemala (1954, 1963, 1966–1967, 1982–1983), Egypt (1956), Lebanon (1958,1982–1984), Iraq (1958, 1990–1991), Panama (1949, 1958, 1964, 1969, 1989,1990), Haiti (1959, 1991), Congo (1960, 1965), Cuba (1961, 1962), Laos (1962, 1965–1973), Brazil (1964), Indonesia (1965), Dominican Republic (1961, 1965–1966), Ecuador (1963), Ghana (1966), Cambodia (1969–1975), Oman (1970), Chile (1973, 1989–1990), Libya (1981, 1986, 1989), El Salvador (1961, 1979–1992), Nicaragua (1979, 1981–1990), Grenada (1983,1984), Honduras (1963, 1983–1989), Bolivia (1963, 1971, 1986), Virgin Islands (1989), Angola (1976–1992), Liberia (1990).
Even the CIA admitted that they did this kind of operations. In October 2014, on one of the rare occasions when the Agency disclosed a series of data about its work, a report was made available to the White House stating that “The Central Intelligence Agency has run guns to insurgencies across the world during its 67-year history — from Angola to Nicaragua to Cuba.”4
The report noted that the first such operation was in 1947, the very same year when the agency was set up. The President in office, Harry S. Truman, “ordered millions of dollars’ worth of guns and ammunition sent to Greece to help put down a Communist insurgency there.” Or, another operation took place in 1961, in the Bay of Pigs area, where “C.I.A.-trained Cuban guerrillas launched an invasion to fight Fidel Castro’s troops.” Or, another assumed operation is the one from 80’s, when “Reagan administration authorized the C.I.A. to try to bring down Nicaragua’s Sandinista government with a secret war supporting the contra rebels.”5
A February 2018 issue of the New York Times also admitted, based on official sources, that
The C.I.A. helped overthrow elected leaders in Iran and Guatemala in the 1950s and backed violent coups in several other countries in the 1960s. It plotted assassinations and supported brutal anti-Communist governments in Latin America, Africa and Asia.
The well-known American newspaper admitted overtly that “The United States’ departure from democratic ideals sometimes went much further.”6 Interestingly, these deviations were not critically considered or regretted, but presented as perfectly justifiable and necessary, and even in some cases the CIA was quoted as “proudly” reporting “successful” operations.
Another report, presented by Washington Post, brings more accurate statistical data and shows that “Between 1947 and 1989 the US sought to overthrow the governments of other countries 72 times.”7 Of these, only six actions were “overt”; the other 66, i.e. the majority, consisted of secret operations. The report was conducted on the basis of relevant documents from the National Archives, the National Security Archive or presidential libraries.
The interventions often involved the massive, decisive influence of the electoral process. I consider it necessary to emphasize that these were also completely antidemocratic actions, which flagrantly contradict American politicking slogans that extoll democracy. A 2016 study by the Institute for Policy and Strategies at Carnegie University documented 81 US interventions in electoral processes in other states between 1946 and 2000. For example, the report shows that during the elections of 1964 in Chile, the CIA provided “large sums of money” for the campaign of the candidate that served the US interests, whom they portrayed extensively in the media as a “wise, sincere and high-minded statesman “while his left opponent was described as a “calculating schemer.”8 Following the CIA-sponsored propaganda, the America-backed candidate was declared victorious. Another documented example is that in the 1990 Nicaraguan elections, the CIA “planted” false stories of corruption attributed to the left-wing Sandinista government. The electoral manipulation strategy was successful and the opposition won.
This information is well documented by the Carnegie Institute, a prestigious international institute. It is true, the study data show that other states did the same, including the USSR. What is surprising to some extent is the outrage expressed by US officials and mainstream media at the idea that the Russian Federation might have got involved in 2016 in favor of Donald Trump’s election. Even if it were true (although no conclusive evidence was presented for almost three years), how can you outrage about something that you yourself did intensively and systematically?
Let us not forget either that after the Second World War the United States ratified the UN Charter in 1945, the fundamental document of international law, that legally obliged the US government to comply with the provisions of the Charter. Among these provisions, Article 2 (4) prohibits the threat with force or use of force in international relations, except in very limited circumstances, whereby the UN Security Council had to approve the interventions. Yet, oftentimes, the United States not only acted without asking for the UN Council’ approval, but what could we say about covert CIA operations, which from the beginning were meant to remain hidden even to the UN? Behold the difference between the demagogic discourse (which advocates “democracy promotion” along with respect for the sovereignty and independence of states) and the harsh reality, where what really matters is the cynical interest and the craving for power.
In order not to remain merely at the level of a statistical view, I will further present some concrete details about a number of US military interventions during the Cold War. We will thus ascertain with an increased realism the consequences and even the dramatism of the events.
North Korea, 1950–1953: 20% of the Population Killed
The war in Korea took place between June 1950 and July 1953. Although the confrontation had apparently been disputed between North Korea and South Korea, in reality it was a war between the capitalist power and communist one. North Korea was supported by the USSR and China, and South Korea was backed by the US.According to a study by Bruce Cumings, president of the Department of History at the University of Chicago, the United States bombed North Korea from 1950 to 1952 with more bombs than the number of those used in the entire campaign against Japan during the Second World War. Cumings provides exact figures: it is “635,000 tons of conventional explosives and 32,557 tons of napalm.”9
Also, in line with General Curtis LeMay, the head of the US Air Force strategic command during the Korean War—“We went there and fought, and eventually we scorched every North Korean city.” LeMay estimated that during the three years of war the United States army “killed 20% of the population.”10
The information is also confirmed by The Asia Pacific Journal, which adds that
The war destroyed some 8,700 factories, 5,000 schools, 1,000 hospitals and 600,000 homes. (…) By the fall of 1952, there were no effective targets left for US planes to hit. Every significant town, city and industrial area in North Korea had already been bombed. In the spring of 1953, the Air Force targeted irrigation dams on the Yalu River, both to destroy the North Korean rice crop and to pressure the Chinese, who would have to supply more food aid to the North. Five reservoirs were hit, flooding thousands of acres of farmland, inundating whole towns and laying waste to the essential food source for millions of North Koreans.11
A very suggestive description was offered by Dean Rusk, who was the American Secretary of State in that period. He explained that the US bombed in North Korea “Everything that moved, every brick standing on top of another.”12 It should be noted, however, that the destruction of water dams is a very serious act that callously affects large masses of innocent civilians. That is why such attack is forbidden by all international treaties, being considered a war crime.
Ascertaining this devastating violence of the US, the journalist Selig Harrison asserted in an article issued by New York Times that “Undoubtedly, the lesson learned by North Korea is that they need nuclear defense.”13 Currently, in 2019, we may confirm that this lesson has been well learned by North Korea. At the beginning of last year, a war based on nuclear weapons seemed imminent between the US and North Korea. In May 2018 Donald Trump threatened Kim Jong-un that if he does not proceed to nuclear disarmament, he will “suffer the same fate as Gaddafi.”14 Then, after Trump apparently convinced Kim Jong-un to sign an agreement for denuclearization, the North Korean president made clear that he actually has a different vision and he continued with missile testing.
Considering that the US destroyed states only under suspicion (or pretext) that they might own mass destruction weapons, the seemingly paradoxical conclusion is, as the famous political scientist Keneth Waltz noted, that “The only way a state can resist America is to have mass destruction weapons.”15
Iran, 1953: A Lesson Against Nationalism
Another instance of US’s abusive intervention in the domestic affairs of another country is the Iranian coup d’état in 1953. At that time, Iran’s democratic parliamentary governance managed to organize the control of country’s resources. As expected, the United States and the United Kingdom were not satisfied at all with losing access to the respective riches. Thereby, they organized a coup d’état that eventually set up an obedient government to the West’s interests. The new regime, a dictatorial one, led the country through terror for 25 years. The coup had been unveiled without any doubts, but only after 60 years, in 2013, when some documents of the US National Security Archives were disclosed. The documents show that “the CIA confirmed its role in the 1953 coup in Iran”16 alongside the British secret services, that were also involved. Other approximately 1,000 pages of documents were declassified in June 2017 by the CIA under the The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The new documents provided details on the “Planning and Implementation of Operation TPAJAX”17 whereby the nationalist government headed by Muhammad Mossadegh has been replaced by a US-controlled puppet government.
It is worth to keep in mind the unequivocal message sent to the world by the United States in 1954 through publications such New York Times:
Underdeveloped countries with rich resources now have an object lesson in the heavy cost that must be paid by one of their number which goes berserk with fanatical nationalism… Iran’s experience [may] strengthen the hands of more reasonable and more far-seeing leaders [elsewhere], who will have a clear-eyed understanding of the principles of decent behavior.18
In spite of this very clear and explicit “lesson,” delivered including through media, there were further many other “fanatic nationalists” with “indecent behavior” who did not want to give up the rich resources of their countries. This is precisely why the lesson was often repeated and, in certain forms, we currently continue to see it inflicted.
Vietnam, 1955–1975: Chemical Attacks with Orange Agent
The war in Vietnam lasted about 19 years, from November 1, 1955 to April 30,1975, being named in Vietnam “The War of Resistance against America.” As in the case of the Korean War, beyond the appearance of confrontation between North Vietnam and South Vietnam, the fight carried actually on between an alliance of US-led anti-communist states (supporting South Vietnam) and the USSR-China alliance (that backed North Vietnam). The US war policy was based on the strategy of communism containment, as well as the Domino Theory, mentioned above.
A horrendous aspect is that the US intervention in Vietnam included the widespread use of extremely powerful chemical weapons. It is a documented fact that “From 1961 to 1971, the US military sprayed about 20 million gallons (about 75 million tons) of herbicides and defoliants across vast areas of Vietnam”19 through the Dust Trail Operation. The chemical agents were manufactured by Monsanto, Dow Chemical and other companies. The most used and the most powerful of the spilled agents was the so-called Orange Agent. It was shown that this chemical causes very serious health problems: from cancer, congenital defects, rash to irreparable psychological and neurological problems.
American journalist Matt Taibbi explained that the pragmatic goal of the operation was “just to make the shooting easier without all those trees.” Taibbi described the operation as “an insane plan (…) that has left about a million still disabled from defects and disease – including about 100,000 children.” However, the Vietnam disaster did not stop with the end of the war, but it still continues today: “Even decades later, little kids with misshapen heads, webbed hands and fused eyelids writhing on cots, our real American legacy, well out of view, of course.”20
As reported by Washington Post the Vietnamese genocide led to the death of an estimated number “between 1.5 and 3.8 million people.”21
The Orange Agent site, dedicated to commemorating the victims of this atrocity, reports that the attack took place despite the fact that “there was vehement opposition to the program from the beginning. (…) In 1967, the American Scientists Federation filed a petition to the White House with over 5,000 signatures of famous scholars, including 17 Nobel laureates and 129 members of the National Academy of Sciences to end the program.”22
Beyond the fact that the topic is rarely approached today in the Western mainstream media, we may notice that the United States are as loud as possible in prosecuting and punishing others for the use of chemical weapons.
(To be continued)