Map of US Military and CIA Interventions since World War II
“We came, We saw, We destroyed, We forgot” by William Blum
An updated summary of the charming record of US foreign policy. Since the end of the Second World War, the United States of America has …
1. Attempted to overthrow more than 50 governments, most of which were democratically-elected.
2. Attempted to suppress a populist or nationalist movement in 20 countries.
3. Grossly interfered in democratic elections in at least 30 countries.
4. Dropped bombs on the people of more than 30 countries.
5. Attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders.
In total: Since 1945, the United States has carried out one or more of the above actions, on one or more occasions, in the following 69 countries (more than one-third of the countries of the world):
- British Guiana (now Guyana)
- Congo (also as Zaire)
- Costa Rica
- Dominican Republic
- East Timor
- El Salvador
- Germany (plus East Germany)
- North Korea
- South Africa
- Soviet Union
- Vietnam (plus North Vietnam)
- Yemen (plus South Yemen)
The first democratically elected government the CIA overthrew was actually Iran’s in 1953 through Operation Ajax. Democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadiq and his National Front Party planned on nationalizing the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (now known as BP). To protect British interests, the CIA and MI6 overthrew Mossadiq, reinstalled the Shah, and set up a secret police known as SAVAK. Until the Iranian Revolution in 1979, the Shah and SAVAK killed over 20,000 Iranians.
Yeah. So, for the record, I’m coming out of the closet about my deeply held belief that military equals murder, as the military has existed for humans on planet Earth up to this point in time. (Maybe it’s possible to have ‘ethical armies’, but that’s a whole other convo.) Particularly with regards to the US, our military is about legalized murder — state-sanctioned, legally & socially approved homicide. Generally on massive scales. & to me, it’s murder, premeditated intentional homicide with loads of malice.
One of my basic premises is that war is destructive & not productive, that diversion of resources to war-making is a diversion away from myriad other far more productive uses of resources, & that the end result of war is the destruction of productivity, productive capacity, & resources. Not the most popular opinion, but there it is . .. .. .
I’ve kept my mouth shut war after military action after invasion, covert & overt. &, yeah, reading Blum’s ‘Killing Hope’, in addition to being massively painful, did radicalize me as to our decidedly murderous actions over & over again. (& typically for the most squalid of mercantilist & imperialist ‘reasons’.) But before that I never really did buy into the big lie that there is such a thing as a ‘good war’ or a ‘justified war’. Nope, I refuse to sign onto any of the offered justifications, rationalizations, excuses, or explanations. War is murder, participating in war is participation (however indirectly) in murder. War is one of the ultimate expressions of abuse culture, & it’s fetishized appurtenances are the rituals of the abusive in minimizing individual participants’ discomfort with all that abuse & murder.
Given this perspective it rarely surprises me to see that militaries are full of abuse culture manifestations, for the record . .…. ;)
Ah. & the whole supporting-our-soldiers meme gives me all kinds of gut-queasy stuff. (A), it’s telling that we increasingly must coerce the impressionable young into going into the military, it’s an increasingly unpopular choice in the modern profusion of life-choices. (As compares with, say, classical western antiquity, where every able-bodied post-pubertal male rather enthusiastically marched off to war after war after war, from village after hamlet after town. It was the exception _not_ to get in on all the spoils of war up until fairly recently for the majority of human cultures that have existed.) I’m very curious what a completely un-coerced military might look like, how large it might be.
& (b), outside of the coercion factor I tend to expect those who choose military careers (& policing careers) to believe more unquestioningly in authority & the utility of force & violence & similar concepts. Mostly I radically disagree with much of the discourse on the usefulness of non-consensual violence & its various premises.
Okay, so now we’re all on the same page about my opinion on this topic. :D
One of the things that stands out about blaming video games for violent behaviors is that we never hold the military to the same standard. The military actually trains people to be violent, works to reduce or eliminate soldiers’ inhibitions against violent behavior & killing. But we never see mass cultural campaigns against the violence-inculcation of the military, when that’s a far bigger proven threat than violence-depicting video games or comic books or movies … . .