Keeping Track of the US Empire’s Crimes

If you catch the CIA with its hand in the cookie jar and the Agency admits the obvious — what your eyes can plainly see — that its hand is indeed in the cookie jar, it means one of two things:

a) the CIA’s hand is in several other cookie jars at the same time which you don’t know about and they hope that by confessing to the one instance they can keep the others covered up; or

b) its hand is not really in the cookie jar — it’s an illusion to throw you off the right scent — but they want you to believe it.

There have been numerous news stories in recent months about secret CIA programs, hidden from Congress, inspired by former vice-president Dick Cheney, in operation since the September 11 terrorist attacks, involving assassination of al Qaeda operatives or other non-believers-in-the-Empire abroad without the knowledge of their governments. The Agency admits to some sort of program having existed, but insists that it was canceled; and if it was an assassination program it was canceled before anyone was actually assassinated. Another report has the US military, not the CIA, putting the plan — or was it a different plan? — into operation, carrying out several assassinations including one in Kenya that proved to be a severe embarrassment and helped lead to the quashing of the program. (The Guardian, July 13, 2009.)

All of this can be confusing to those following the news. And rather irrelevant. We already know that the United States has been assassinating non-believers, or suspected non-believers, with regularity, and impunity, in recent years, using unmanned planes (drones) firing missiles, in Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Somalia, if not elsewhere. (Even more victims have been produced from amongst those who happened to be in the same house, car, wedding party, or funeral as the non-believer.) These murders apparently don’t qualify as “assassinations”, for somehow killing “terrorists” from 2000 feet is morally and legally superior to doing so from two feet away.

But whatever the real story is behind the current rash of speculation, we should not fall into the media’s practice of at times intimating that multiple or routine CIA assassination attempts would be something shocking or at least very unusual.

I’ve compiled a list of CIA assassination attempts, successful and unsuccessful, against prominent foreign political figures, from 1949 through 2003, which, depending on how you count it, can run into the hundreds (targeting Fidel Castro alone totals 634 according to Cuban intelligence)2; the list can be updated by adding the allegedly al Qaeda leaders among the drone attack victims of recent years. Assassination and torture are the two things governments are most loath to admit to, and try their best to cover up. It’s thus rare to find a government document or recorded statement mentioning a particular plan to assassinate someone. There is, however, an abundance of compelling circumstantial evidence to work with. The following list does not include several assassinations in various parts of the world carried out by anti-Castro Cubans employed by the CIA and headquartered in the United States.

1949 – Kim Koo, Korean opposition leader

1950s – CIA/Neo-Nazi hit list of more than 200 political figures in West Germany
to be “put out of the way” in the event of a Soviet invasion

1950s – Chou En-lai, Prime minister of China, several attempts on his life

1950s, 1962 – Sukarno, President of Indonesia

1951 – Kim Il Sung, Premier of North Korea

1953 – Mohammed Mossadegh, Prime Minister of Iran

1950s (mid) – Claro M. Recto, Philippines opposition leader

1955 – Jawaharlal Nehru, Prime Minister of India

1957 – Gamal Abdul Nasser, President of Egypt

1959, 1963, 1969 – Norodom Sihanouk, leader of Cambodia

1960 – Brig. Gen. Abdul Karim Kassem, leader of Iraq

1950s-70s – José Figueres, President of Costa Rica, two attempts on his life

1961 – Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier, leader of Haiti

1961 – Patrice Lumumba, Prime Minister of the Congo (Zaire)

1961 – Gen. Rafael Trujillo, leader of Dominican Republic

1963 – Ngo Dinh Diem, President of South Vietnam

1960s-70s – Fidel Castro, President of Cuba, many attempts on his life

1960s – Raúl Castro, high official in government of Cuba

1965 – Francisco Caamaño, Dominican Republic opposition leader

1965-6 – Charles de Gaulle, President of France

1967 – Che Guevara, Cuban leader

1970 – Salvador Allende, President of Chile

1970 – Gen. Rene Schneider, Commander-in-Chief of Army, Chile

1970s, 1981 – General Omar Torrijos, leader of Panama

1972 – General Manuel Noriega, Chief of Panama Intelligence

1975 – Mobutu Sese Seko, President of Zaire

1976 – Michael Manley, Prime Minister of Jamaica

1980-1986 – Muammar Qaddafi, leader of Libya, several plots and attempts upon his life

1982 – Ayatollah Khomeini, leader of Iran

1983 – Gen. Ahmed Dlimi, Moroccan Army commander

1983 – Miguel d’Escoto, Foreign Minister of Nicaragua

1984 – The nine comandantes of the Sandinista National Directorate

1985 – Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, Lebanese Shiite leader (80 people killed in the attempt)

1991 – Saddam Hussein, leader of Iraq

1993 – Mohamed Farah Aideed, prominent clan leader of Somalia

1998, 2001-2 – Osama bin Laden, leading Islamic militant

1999 – Slobodan Milosevic, President of Yugoslavia

2002 – Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Afghan Islamic leader and warlord

2003 – Saddam Hussein and his two sons

For those of you who collect lists about splendid US foreign policy post-World War II, here are a few more that, lacking anything better to do, I’ve put together: Attempts to overthrow more than 50 foreign governments, most of which had been democratically-elected. (* = successful ouster of a government.)

Albania 1949-53
East Germany 1950s
Iran 1953 *
Guatemala 1954 *
Costa Rica mid-1950s
Syria 1956-7
Egypt 1957
Indonesia 1957-8
British Guiana 1953-64 *
Iraq 1963 *
North Vietnam 1945-73
Cambodia 1955-70 *
Laos 1958-60 *
Ecuador 1960-63 *
Congo 1960 *
France 1965
Brazil 1962-64 *
Dominican Republic 1963 *
Cuba 1959 to present
Bolivia 1964 *
Indonesia 1965 *
Ghana 1966 *
Chile 1964-73 *
Greece 1967 *
Costa Rica 1970-71
Bolivia 1971 *
Australia 1973-75 *
Angola 1975, 1980s
Zaire 1975
Portugal 1974-76 *
Jamaica 1976-80 *
Seychelles 1979-81
Chad 1981-82 *
Grenada 1983 *
South Yemen 1982-84
Suriname 1982-84
Fiji 1987 *
Libya 1980s
Nicaragua 1981-90 *
Panama 1989 *
Bulgaria 1990 *
Albania 1991 *
Iraq 1991
Afghanistan 1980s *
Somalia 1993
Yugoslavia 1999
Ecuador 2000 *
Afghanistan 2001 *
Venezuela 2002 *
Iraq 2003 *

After his June 4 Cairo speech, President Obama was much praised for mentioning the 1953 CIA overthrow of Iranian prime minister Mohammed Mossadegh. But in his talk in Ghana on July 11 he failed to mention the CIA coup that ousted Ghanian president Kwame Nkrumah in 1966, referring to him only as a “giant” among African leaders. The Mossadegh coup is one of the most well-known CIA covert actions. Obama could not easily get away without mentioning it in a talk in the Middle East looking to mend fences. But the Nkrumah ouster is one of the least known; indeed, not a single print or broadcast news report in the American mainstream media saw fit to mention it at the time of the president’s talk. Like it never happened.

And the next time you hear that Africa can’t produce good leaders, people who are committed to the welfare of the masses of their people, think of Nkrumah and his fate. And think of Patrice Lumumba, overthrown in the Congo 1960-61 with the help of the United States; Agostinho Neto of Angola, against whom Washington waged war in the 1970s, making it impossible for him to institute progressive changes; Samora Machel of Mozambique against whom the CIA supported a counter-revolution in the 1970s-80s period; and Nelson Mandela of South Africa (now married to Machel’s widow), who spent 28 years in prison thanks to the CIA.

Ref: Counterpunch

William Blum is the author of Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II, Rogue State: a guide to the World’s Only Super Power. and West-Bloc Dissident: a Cold War Political Memoir.

He can be reached at: BBlum6@aol.com

American Hegemony – the timeline A must read!

The US maintains to this day over a dozen direct dependencies, the largest of which is Puerto Rico. Its military forces are active over most of the globe: at last audit about 226 countries have US military troops, 63 of which host American bases, while only 46 countries in the world have no US military presence – a projection of military power that makes the Roman, British, and Soviet empires pale in comparison. The bulk of this document will deal with what is alternatively referred to as “neo-colonialism”, “hegemony”, “proxy rule”, or “informal empire”: roughly, a system of “dual elite” political rule, in which domestic elites (the proxy) recieve backing from (are dependent on – to varying degrees) a foreign elite, and in return protect (to varying degrees) the foreign power’s interests in the country (security, economic, or domestic political interests). This is, at least, the framework within which I use the terms – as it is generally accepted by students of history. To take an explanation cited by Ariel Cohen as “One of the more successful attempts made to create a coherent theory of empires” in Russian Imperialism:

“Empire is a relationship, formal or informal, in which one state controls the effective political sovereignty of another political society. It can be achieved by force, by political collaboration, by economic, social, or cultural dependence. Imperialism is simply the process or policy of establishing or maintaining an empire.”
–Michael Doyle, Empires
As a point of reference formal American imperialism begins (or not – one would have to completely ignore the genocide of the native population, African and Native-American slavery, rapid and continuous expansion of the national borders through war, rapid and continuous expansion of mercantilism through war and the threat of war, the ethnic cleansing of indigenous peoples, the mid 1800s mercantilist state established in Nicaragua, etc.) with the aquisition of Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Phillipines after the Spanish-American War of 1898. It’s a good point to remember how that war started: part hoax, part sensationalized, war mongering “journalism”, and of course much talk about the brutality of the enemy and the necessity of our intervention on behalf of the suffering – in this case on behalf of the Cubans and their savage treatment at the hands of the tyrannical Spaniards: much better for them to suffer at our hands.

Old habits die hard.

For the sake of what has become a very very poor attempt at brevity, or in recognition of the precedent set by the Nuremberg Tribunal and principles laid out under the UN charter, these notes will mostly focus on post-WWII history – though it would seem imperative to include interventions that fly in the face of the popular misconception that the United States ended its imperial project at the end of the Spanish-American war. There were military involvements during the 1890s by the USG in Argentina, Chile, Haiti, Hawaii, Nicaragua, China, Korea, Panama, Samoa, in extremely brutal labour conflicts within the nation, and something akin to a war on working Americans waged by the National Association of Manufacturers that will otherwise go undiscussed. The Phillipines makes a decent representative example of the US’ first official exercise in colonial imperialism and formal empire [*], also referred to as “civilizational imperialism” – a project we’re presently repeating.

“Lest this seem to be the bellicose pipedream of some dyspeptic desk soldier, let us remember that the military deal of our country has never been defensive warfare. Since the Revolution, only the United Kingdom has beaten our record for square miles of territory acquired by military conquest. Our exploits against the American Indian, against the Filipinos, the Mexicans, and against Spain are on a par with the campaigns of Genghis Khan, the Japanese in Manchuria and the African attack of Mussolini. No country has ever declared war on us before we first obliged them with that gesture. Our whole history shows we have never fought a defensive war. And at the rate our armed forces are being implemented at present, the odds are against our fighting one in the near future.”
–Major General Smedley D. Butler, America’s Armed Forces: ‘In Time of Peace’, 1935.


1898-1914: The Phillipines
1903-1936: Panama
1904-1978: Dominican Republic
1915-1934: Haiti
1912-1979: Nicaragua
1917-1920: Russian Civil War
1932-1972: The Tuskegee Syphilis Study
1936-1958: America
1940: The McCollum Memo.
1942-1945: Japanese-American internment.
1945-1974: Greece.
1945-1960s: China. Tibet. Taiwan.
1945-1952: South Korean Occupation, Cheju Island, the Korean War
1945-1994: Vietnam: “Remember! Only you can prevent forests.”
1945-Present: Projection of American Nuclear Power
1946-1954: Phillipines
1946-1996: Marshall Islands.
1949-1961: Burma
1948-1976: Italy.
1948-1956: Peru
1949: Syria
1949-1953: Ukraine
1949-1976: Thailand
1950-?: Congress for Cultural Freedom/International Association for Cultural Freedom
1950: Puerto Rico
1950s-1970s: United States
1950-1975: Spain
1952-1959: Cuba
1952-1992: South Korea
1953: Costa Rica
1953-1979: Iran
1950-1952: Albania
1950-1952: Poland
1950s: Japan
1953: Segue: explosion of the first Russian hydrogen bomb; Destalinization begins; the McCarthy Era
1953-1996: Guatemala
1954-1965: Pakistan
1955-1958: Indonesia – Operation HAIK
1956-1976: Jordan
957-1975: Laos.
1957-1986: Haiti
1957: Syria
1958-1973: Cambodia
1958: Lebanon
1959: Iraq
1959-Present: Cuba
1960-1963: Ecuador
1960-Present: Congo
1961-Present: Diego Garcia
1962: Brazil
1962-Present: Guyana
1962-1975: Paraguay
1962-1977: Chile
1962-1989: South Africa
1962-1979: The Enemy of Communists are Islamic Fundamentalists are Our Kind of Bastards
1963-1979: Iraq *
1964: Brazil
1964: Panama
1963-1994: Malawi
1964-1971: Uruguay
1965-1987: Phillipines – the Democratizing Virtues of “Constitutional Authoritarianism”
1965: Indonesia.
1966-1967: Guatemala
1966: Ghana
1967: Bolivia; Assassination of Ernesto Guevara
1967: Detroit, Michigan
1968: El Salvador
1968-2000: Peru
1970s: Mexico
1971: Pakistan East and West, or ‘Don’t squeeze Yahya’ [*] [*]
1971: Uganda
1971-1978: Bolivia
1972: Philippines
USG backs overthrow of Philippine republic.
1972-1976: Ecuador
1973: Oman
1973-Present: The “War on Drugs”
1973: Uruguay
1973-1978: Afghanistan
1974: Pine Ridge, South Dakota
1974-1976: Portugal
1974-Present: The Navajo-Hopi Land Settlement Act
1975: Australia
1975-1992: Angola
1975-1999: East Timor: the Indonesian Occupation
1975-?: US backs the Khmer Rouge.
1975-Present: Morocco
1976: Operation CONDOR
Plan CONDOR, Part Deux
1976-1980: Jamaica
1976-1984: Mozambique
1976-1983: Argentina
1977-1978: Ethiopia; Somalia; the Ogaden Swap
1978-2002: Kenya
July 3, 1979-1989: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Operation CYCLONE
1979: Greensboro Massacre.
1979-2001: Sudan
1979-1990: Nicaragua, “The Threat of a Good Example.”
1980s: Iran-Contra; the CIA and the Crack Trade
1980s: Romania
1980: Grenada
1980: Guyana. Fun with FOIA.
1980-1992: El Salvador
1980-1989: Liberia [2]
1962 and 1980.
1980: The Nojeh Coup and the origins of the Iraq-Iran war.
1980-1988: The Gulf War, Genocide of the Kurds
1980-Present: Turkey
Turkey becomes a long-running top recipient of US foreign military aid shortly after the 1980 coup, upon which time the new regime passes several laws banning cultural and literary expression of Kurdish identity: the Kurdish language becomes illegal, as were Kurdish broadcasts, publications, and other means of cultural expression – everything down to Kurdish first names (until August 2002, when such restrictions began being lifted with some relationship to reality under European pressure, though still not much).
Out from under the harsh state repression a Kurish seperatist movement forms in 1984, which the Turkish government duly attempts to wipe out with violence. Throughout the conflict, which by any standard is an explicit campaign of outright cultural genocide, Turkey remains a top recipient of US military support. In fact military aid escalates through the counter-insurgency campaign, in which some of the most brutal tactics are largely dependent on lethal resources generously delivered by the USG.

The war against Kurdish society and the PKK forcibly evacuated anywhere between 500,000 to 2,000,000 Kurds and killed over 30,000; Turkish military razed entire villages as part of the force evacuation program, burning nearly all Kurdish villages in southeast Turkey to the ground by the end of the campaign. Uncritical, unconditional support for Turkey continued despite ongoing political repression and numerous human rights abuses, including the use of torture, “virginity exams”, and racist governmental policies.

The PKK in the meantime has the onerous distinction of being considered freedom fighters when in Iraq and terrorists when in Turkey, demonstrating once again Western politicians’ inability to just call an indigenous nationalist movement an indigenous nationalist movement.

After the capture of the PKK’s top leader the conflict diminished in intensity, but the conflict remains largely unsettled in terms of general Turkish repression of the Kurdish population.

Human Rights Watch: Turkey: Weapons Transfers and Violations of International Law, 1995
1981: Libya
Two Libyan jets shot down in 1981. Evidence of CIA involvement dates back to the early 70s and extends into the late 90s.
1982-84: Lebanon
1982-84 marines expel PLO and back Phalangists and Navy bombs and shells Muslim positions.
1982-1990: Chad
1982: Guatemala
1982-1983: Surinam ^
1983: Guatemala
1983: Grenada
1984-1990: Honduras
1986: Libya
1987: Fiji ^
1987: Bolivia
1988-1989: Panama [*]
1988-Present: Columbia
1989: Libya
1989: Phillipines
1989-1994: Afghanistan.
1990: Segue: Collapse of the Soviet Union
1991: Gulf War II – The Empire Strikes Back.
1991: Kuwait, or “Liberate this!”
1991-2003: Iraq Sanctions, Disarmament, and Bombing
1991-?: De-Industrialization of Russia
1992-95: Balkans
1992: Los Angeles, California.
1992-1994: Somalia, or “Defense Contractor Job Security”
1992: Algeria
1993: Waco: “Crush Satan, Crush Satan”.
1993-2006: Central Asia – The New Friendly Dictators
1994: Rwanda
1995: Croatia
1995: Bosnia
1995-Present: Mexico: Chiapas, Mexico
1998: Sudan
1998: Nicaragua.
1998-Present: Indonesia/East Timor (continued)
2002-Present: Iraq – ‘The attack has been spectacular.’
2004-Present: Somalia – The Hard Power of Reverse Psychology
2006-Present: Iran
Present: The New Colonialism – US Military Cities Abroad
1944-Present: The US government tries to erase its own history.
1950-Present: The IMF, World Bank, GATS, FTAA, NAFTA, WTO, etc.
10/2001-Present: US campaign in Afghanistan. You Too Can Make a Desert and Call It Peace.
4/2002: Venezuela.
School of the Americas: Now the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation – an old dog with a new name.
2001-Present: Haiti [* *]

Ref: Flagrancy

Intresting? Then follow the american colonialism thread …
Further reading:

Empire’s Workshop, Greg Grandin.
Legacy of Ashes, Tim Weiner.
Hope and Memory, 1801-2004.
CCR: The Complete 9/11 Timeline
US Foreign Policy in the Periphery: 30 case studies.
PeaceWorks: Backgrounder on the current crisis
The Acts of Democracies, 1945-Present.
US Uses of Force 1870-1995 [pdf].
US Crimes in Africa.
CIA Death Squad Timeline compiled by Ralph McGehee.
US Interventions in the Middle East – A Timeline.
McGehee: CIA Death Squad Timeline
A list of covert US operations, prepared by “Tom Gervasi of the Center for Military Research and Analysis in 1984”.
FAS: Coldwar and US Military Interventions.
Zmag: Timeline of US Policy in the Middle East, US military interventions.
Blum: US Assassination Plots. Read a fairly full accounting of disservices to the nation: Killing Hope. I haven’t yet, but you should.
American Peace
US Intervention in the Middle East
US Labor Timeline
Instances of Use of United States Forces Abroad, 1798 – 1993
imperial stats

Further resources:
American Studies Resources.
1975 Congressional Church Interim Report.
Cold War International History Project.

The Destabilization of Bolivia and the “Kosovo Option”

The secession of Bolivia’s Eastern provinces is part of a US sponsored covert operation, coordinated out of the US State Department, in liaison with US intelligence.

The death squads armed with automatic weapons responsible for killing supporters of Evo Morales in El Porvenir are supported covertly by the US. According to one report, “USAID has an “Office of Transition Initiatives” operating in Bolivia, funneling millions of dollars of training and support to right-wing opposition regional governments and movements.”(The Center for Economic and Policy Research, September 2008). The US also provides support to various opposition groups through the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

The expelled US Ambassador Philip S. Goldberg worked under the helm of Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte, who directly oversees the various “activities” of US embassies around the World. In this regard Negroponte plays a far more important role, acting behind the scenes, than Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice. He is also known as one of the main architects of regime change and covert support to paramilitary death squads both in Central America and Iraq.

Philip S. Goldberg’s mandate as ambassador to Bolivia was to trigger the fracture of Bolivia as a country. Prior to his appointment as ambassador in early 2007, he served as US Chief of Mission in Pristina, Kosovo (2004-2006) and was in permanent liaison with the leaders of the KLA paramilitary, who had integrated civilian politics, following the NATO occupation of Kosovo in 1999.

Supported by the CIA, the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), whose leaders now head the Kosovar government, was known for its extensive links to organized crime and the trade in narcotics. In Kosovo, Goldberg was involved in setting the stage for the subsequent secession of Kosovo from Serbia, leading to the installation of an “independent” Kosovar government.

In the course of the 1990s, Goldberg had played an active role in the break up of Yugoslavia. From 1994-1996 he was responsible for the Bosnia Desk at the State Department. He worked closely with Washington’s Special Envoy Richard Holbrooke and played a central role as Chief of Staff of the US negotiating team at Dayton, leading up to the signing of the Dayton Accords in 1995. These accords were conducive to the carving up of Bosnia-Herzegovina. More generally they triggered the destruction and destabilization of Yugoslavia as country. In 1996, Goldberg worked directly as Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott (1994-2000), who together with Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, played a key role in launching the war on Yugoslavia in 1999.

The Central Role of John Negroponte

Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte plays a central role in the conduct of covert operations. He served as US ambassador to Honduras from 1981 to 1985. As Ambassador in Tegucigalpa, he played a key role in supporting and supervising the Nicaraguan Contra mercenaries who were based in Honduras. The cross border Contra attacks into Nicaragua claimed some 50 000 civilian lives. During the same period, Negroponte was instrumental in setting up the Honduran military death squads, “operating with Washington support’s, [they] assassinated hundreds of opponents of the US-backed regime.” (See Bill Venn, Bush Nominee linked to Latin American Terrorism, Global Research, November 2001)

Under the rule of General Gustavo Alvarez Martnez, Honduras’s military government was both a close ally of the Reagan administration and was “disappearing” dozens of political opponents in classic death squad fashion.

(See Peter Roff and James Chapin, Face-off: Bush’s Foreign Policy Warriors , Global Research, July 2001)

This did not prevent his nomination to the position of US Permanent Representative to the UN under the Clinton administration.

The Salvador Option

Negroponte became Ambassador to Iraq in 2004, where he set up a “security framework” for the US occupation, largely modeled on the Central American death squads. This project was referred to by several writers as the “Salvador Option”.

While in Baghdad, Negroponte hired as his Counselor on security issues, a former head of special operations in El Salvador. The two men were close colleagues going back to the 1980s in Central America. While Negroponte was busy setting up the death squads in Honduras, Colonel Steele had been in charge of the US Military Advisory Group in El Salvador, (1984-86) “where he was responsible for developing special operating forces at brigade level during the height of the conflict.”:

“These forces, composed of the most brutal soldiers available, replicated the kind of small-unit operations with which Steele was familiar from his service in Vietnam. Rather than focusing on seizing terrain, their role was to attack ‘insurgent’ leadership, their supporters, sources of supply and base camps.” (Max Fuller, For Iraq, “The Salvador Option” Becomes Reality, Global Research, June 2005)

In Iraq, Steele was “assigned to work with a new elite Iraqi counter-insurgency unit known as the Special Police Commandos”. In this context, Negroponte’s objective was to encourage ethnic divisions and factional strife, by triggering covert terrorist attacks directed against the Iraqi civilian population.

Negroponte was appointed as the Head of the Directorate of National Intelligence in 2005, and subsequently in 2007 came to occupy the Number Two position in the State Department.

The Kosovo Option: Haiti

This is not the first time that the “Kosovo model” of supporting terrorist paramilitaries has been applied in Latin America.

In February 2003, Washington announced the appointment of James Foley as Ambassador to Haiti. Ambassadors Goldberg and Foley are part of the same “diplomatic stable”. Foley had been a State Department spokesman under the Clinton administration during the war on Kosovo. He was involved at an earlier period in channeling support to the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA).

Amply documented, the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) was financed by drug money and supported by the CIA. ( See Michel Chossudovsky, Kosovo Freedom Fighters Financed by Organized Crime, Covert Action Quarterly, 1999 )

At the time of the Kosovo war, the then ambassador to Haiti James Foley had been in charge of State Department briefings, working closely with his NATO counterpart in Brussels, Jamie Shea. Barely two months before the onslaught of the NATO led war on 24 March 1999, James Foley, had called for the “transformation” of the KLA into a respectable political organization:

“We want to develop a good relationship with them [the KLA] as they transform themselves into a politically-oriented organization,’ ..`[W]e believe that we have a lot of advice and a lot of help that we can provide to them if they become precisely the kind of political actor we would like to see them become… “If we can help them and they want us to help them in that effort of transformation, I think it’s nothing that anybody can argue with..’ (quoted in the New York Times, 2 February 1999)

In other words, Washington’s design was “regime change”: topple the Lavalas administration and install a compliant US puppet regime, integrated by the “Democratic Platform” and the self-proclaimed Front pour la libération et la reconstruction nationale (FLRN), whose leaders are former FRAPH and Tonton Macoute terrorists. (For further details see Michel Chossudovsky, The Destabilization of Haiti, Global Research, February 2004)

Following the 2004 coup d’Etat which led to the downfall of the Aristide government, KLA advisers were brought into Haiti by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to assist in the country’s reconstruction. (See Anthony Fenton, Kosovo Liberation Army helps establish “Protectorate” in Haiti, Global Research, November 2004)

Specifically, the KLA consultants were to assist in restructuring the Haitian police force, bringing into its ranks, former members of FRAPH and the Tonton Macout.

[In support of] the “Office of Transition Initiatives,” (OTI) … USAID is paying three consultants to help consult for the integration of the former brutal military into the current Haitian police force. And who are those three consultants? Those three consultants are members of the Kosovo Liberation Army.” (Flashpoints interview, November 19, 2004, http://www.flashpoints.net )

USAID’s “Office of Transition Initiatives” (OTI)

The Salvador/ Kosovo option is part of a US strategy to fracture and destabilize countries. The USAID sponsored OTI in Bolivia performs much the same function as a similar OTI in Haiti.

It is also worth noting that there was an Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI) in Venezuela, where a plot, according to reports, was recently uncovered to allegedly assassinate President Hugo Chavez. The role of the OTI office in Venezuela is discussed in Eva Golinger’s recent book “Bush vs. Chavez.”

The stated purpose of US covert operations is to provide support as well as as training to “Liberation Armies” ultimately with a view to destabilizing sovereign governments. In Kosovo, the training of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) in the 1990s had been entrusted to a private mercenary company, Military Professional Resources Inc (MPRI), on contract to the Pentagon.

Pakistan and the “Kosovo Option”

It is worth noting that in Pakistan, recent developments point towards direct forms of US military intervention, in violation of Pakistani sovereignty.

Already in 2005, a report by the US National Intelligence Council and the CIA forecast a “Yugoslav-like fate” for Pakistan “in a decade with the country riven by civil war, bloodshed and inter-provincial rivalries, as seen recently in Balochistan.” (Energy Compass, 2 March 2005).

According to a 2006 report of Pakistan’s Senate Committee on Defence, British intelligence was involved in supporting the Balochistan separatist movement. (Press Trust of India, 9 August 2006). The Bolochistan Liberation Army (BLA) bears a canny resemblance to Kosovo’s KLA, financed by the drug trade and supported by the CIA.

Washington favors the creation of a “Greater Balochistan” [similar to a Greater Albania] which would integrate the Baloch areas of Pakistan with those of Iran and possibly the Southern tip of Afghanistan, thereby leading to a process of political fracturing in both Iran and Pakistan. (Michel Chossudovsky, The Destabilization of Pakistan, December 30, 2007)

Ref: global research

Inside USA – US interference in Bolivia + Bolivia: a Coup in the Making?

 

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Yesterday, in Bolivia, Minister of Government, Alfredo Rada, accused the right-wing autonomist leader Branko Marinkovic, and Santa Cruz prefect, Rubén Costas, of orchestrating a wave of violence as part of a “civic governors’ coup d’état.” Rada accused Marinkovic of having just returned from the United States where he allegedly received instructions for fomenting the coup attempt.

“Bolivia on the Brink,” is a phrase too often uttered by passing journalists unaccustomed to the country’s regular politics of the streets. But events of the last two weeks cannot be passed off as the ordinary business of protest. Rather, a right-wing coup attempt is in the offing in the five departments (states) governed by the right-wing opposition to President Evo Morales, of the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) party. The critical “media luna” departments of the eastern lowlands – Santa Cruz, Tarija, Beni, and Pando – have been joined in part by far-right elements in the government of the department of Chuquisaca. Thus far, these right-wing autonomists have not achieved critical support within the military, but the passivity of the Morales government in the face of ferocious racism, violence, and the takeover of state institutions and airports on an unprecedented scale, does not bode well for the future of Bolivia.

One indication of the seriousness of the situation is that Morales just announced that US ambassador Philip Goldberg is no longer welcome in Bolivia and will be asked officially to leave the country in the coming hours. Morales accused Goldberg of meeting with the oppositional prefects (governors) of the five departments in rebellion, to help coordinate what has become a full-scale destabilization campaign.

The campaign is being led by the Consejo Nacional Democrático (National Democratic Council, CONALDE), which brings together the prefectures and civic committees of Santa Cruz, Beni, Pando, Tarija, and Sucre, under the banner of “departmental autonomy.” These prefectures and civic committees in turn represent the agro-industrial, petroleum, and financial elite of these departments. While they are led by the bourgeoisie, the autonomists have won over substantial sectors of the popular classes by manipulating real democratic desires for decentralized “autonomous” self-governance, as opposed to alienating central state control. If the civic committees and prefects are the pretty face of autonomism, a growing network of proto-fascist youth groups linked to them are the clenched fist in the streets.

The immediate objective of the autonomist right is to destabilize the Morales government and to weaken left-indigenous forces throughout the country. One longer term goal is to reaffirm and consolidate private elite control over the natural gas and agricultural wealth of the country that is currently under threat due to widespread popular sentiment in favour of expropriation, nationalization, redistribution, and the establishment of social control over Bolivia’s riches. A related long-term objective of the autonomist right is to re-conquer state power at the national level.

Read the whole artical here

Ref: Counterpunch

US backs eastern seccession in Bolivia: Minority landholders vote for independence

ofcourse they do!
they are all about aggression, oppression, oil and profite as they
are about the “talk” of democracy, human rights…
even as their “church” is burning out back home the imperialism
is deep rooted and a part of “beeing” american.

suck the poor poorer might have been the game before.
but “you can´t fool all the people all da time”.
USA time is over and out. the hegemony of power is shifting.

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U.S. is Promoting Secession in Bolivia, Repeating Venezuela Effort

Having avoided any meaningful coverage of Bolivia since the election of Evo Morales in December, 2005, the international media is now obliged to play catch up. Yesterday, the Andean nation of 9.1 million held a crucial vote which could pave the way for secession of the resource-rich Santa Cruz region.

In a challenge to Morales’ authority, more than 80% of voters approved a referendum which would allow more powers for Santa Cruz, an area which is responsible for about 30 percent of Bolivia’s gross domestic product while making up about a quarter of the country’s population. Morales, who rejected the autonomy vote as illegal, called on the opposition to engage in a dialogue with his government.

Fundamentally, the Santa Cruz imbroglio is a struggle over oil and gas.

The mixed race elite in the lowlands wants more local control over the resources while Morales, who has the support of indigenous peoples in the highlands, wants the wealthier eastern regions to contribute more to the poorer west.

Affluent leaders in Santa Cruz are particularly incensed by a new draft constitution which would limit large land holdings. In a repudiation of the constitutional reforms, the people of Santa Cruz voted yesterday to give their region more control over land distribution, as well as rich oil and gas reserves.

So what happens next?

The Santa Cruz referendum has set an ominous precedent: three other eastern provinces, Tarija, Pando, and Bendi, which also possess large fields of crude oil and natural gas, have said they too will vote on greater autonomy. If voters there move to repudiate the central government as well, it could set up a civil war scenario leading to national breakup.

The Secret Hand Behind Secession

If political tensions were not high enough, Morales escalated matters further when he accused the U.S. of backing eastern secessionists. Warning that he would take “radical decisions” against foreign diplomats who become involved in Bolivian politics, Morales remarked “I cannot understand how some ambassadors dedicate themselves to politics, and not diplomacy, in our country. That is not called cooperation. That is called conspiracy.”

Meanwhile, Vice President Álvaro García accused the U.S Embassy of financing “publications, trips, and seminars” to help Morales’ opposition develop “ideological and political resistance” to the administration.

Morales has some just reason to be paranoid. As I document in some detail in my current book, Revolution! South America and the Rise of the New Left (Palgrave-Macmillan), Morales’s socialist agenda, coca-style nationalism and hostility to economic neo-liberalism has hardly succeeded in ingratiating himself amongst the Beltway elite. The Bolivian leader’s increasingly close ties to Venezuela and Cuba have similarly set off the alarm bell for U.S. diplomats.

In an effort to rollback social and political change in Bolivia, the U.S has funneled millions of dollars to opposition groups through USAID and The National Endowment for Democracy. What’s more, USAID explicitly supports demands of the right wing for greater regional autonomy in the east.

It’s not the first time, however, that the U.S. has sought to encourage secessionist sentiment within South American regions possessing rich natural resources.

Flashback: Venezuela

In 1908, the US helped to support a military coup d’etat in Venezuela launched by Juan Vicente Gómez. Gómez’s primary goal was to establish a strong, centralized state. To achieve this, he would have to head off secessionist sentiment in the westernmost state of Zulia.

Gómez, a brutal dictator, could ill afford political problems in the west. Measuring 63,100 square kilometers, with 178,388 inhabitants in 1908, Zulia was not only large in terms of sheer land mass, but also economically important. When Gómez took power, Zulia had the most substantial budget of any Venezuelan state. The largest city, Maracaibo, had a population of about 39,000 at the turn of the century.

The discovery of vast oil deposits in Lake Maracaibo complicated matters somewhat for Gómez. U.S. President Warren Harding attached singular importance to promoting the expansion of U.S. oil interests abroad, and the State Department was riddled with officials compromised by conflicts of interest.

For example, William T.S. Doyle, the resident manager of Shell Oil in 1919-1920, was a former head of the State Department’s Division of Latin American Affairs. Jordan Stabler, another State Department official, went on to work for Gulf Oil. Francis Loomis, a powerful State Department official, later worked for Standard Oil.

In December 1921, Gómez received a shock when he was apprised of a plot for a military invasion of Venezuela. The plan was foiled when the Dutch authorities stopped a ship setting forth from Holland. The ship had been chartered to travel to Venezuela, apparently to engage in a “filibustering expedition.” Another ship was prevented from setting sail from England. Both ships, the British Public Records Office stated, had been funded to the tune of $400,000 by “oil interests of the United States,” which “had been pulling every possible string in order to block the development of the British Concessions which they ultimately hoped to get hold of.”

Though the plot hatched by American oil interests never came to fruition, the growing oil presence was a concern for Santos Gómez, the Zulia state governor. In 1923, he personally wrote Gómez, warning his chief that oil workers could be subverted by enemies of the regime.

The U.S. Navy in Zulia

Officially, the later Republican administration of Calvin Coolidge espoused a policy of non-intervention in Latin American affairs. Nevertheless, Gómez acted decisively to appoint a stronger and more competent state governor in Zulia, Vincencio Pérez Soto. According to the historian Brian McBeth, rumors of oil companies sponsoring Zulia secession concerned Gómez and convinced the dictator of the need to appoint a stronger man as state president. Clearly, the oil-rich Zulia region was increasingly critical. By 1928, in fact, Venezuela would become the leading world oil exporter.

In the 1920s, U.S. economic interests in Zulia grew, with American oil companies such as Standard Oil and Gulf joining their British counterparts in the Lake Maracaibo area. According to the U.S. consul in Maracaibo, Alexander Sloan, there was widespread disaffection in Maracaibo against the Gómez government. Sloan said that Zulia natives as well as Maracaibo residents “do not now and have not for years felt any great affection for the central government.”

Meanwhile, Pérez Soto was confronted with unsettling news. On July 2, 1926 the USS Niagara arrived off the coast of Zulia. The U.S. consul requested that the sailors be allowed to celebrate the 4th of July in Venezuela. When an air officer attached to the Niagara requested permission to fly over Maracaibo in honor of July 4th, Pérez Soto grew suspicious. Reports reached the governor that the real reason for the over flight was to take aerial photographs of the region. Pérez Soto barred the disembarking of the Niagara crew and refused to authorize the over-flight.

Writing Gómez, the governor related that the U.S. sought to station the Niagara in Venezuelan waters “as a kind of sentinel of North American interests in Venezuela.” Pérez Soto then employed his intelligence to obtain detailed reports concerning the activities of U.S. marines from the Niagara on Zapara island, located in the mouth of the Maracaibo Bar.

Pérez Soto uncovered that the Niagara crew had mounted a wireless radio with a reach of 2,000 miles. Pérez Soto was particularly concerned that powerful sectors of Maracaibo society might conspire with the United States to further Zulia secession with the aim of separating the state from the rest of Venezuela.

The Republic of Zulia

In an effort to lessen tensions with foreign interests, Pérez Soto assured oil company managers that he was “anxious to discuss their problems with them and to lend them any aid in his power.” Pérez Soto sought to assert his authority over the oil companies through diplomatic and legal means. As the U.S. consul put it, Pérez Soto and local officials were determined “that conditions such as existed in Tampico [Mexico] are not to be tolerated here, and [they] have become much stricter in enforcing discipline and obedience to the laws.” In a note to Gómez, Pérez Soto mused that perhaps the oil companies would put up with legality and honesty—”or maybe not, and they will try to undermine me,” through their representatives in Caracas.

In many respects Pérez Soto had been more a more forceful governor than his predecessors. For Gómez, however, the risk was that the more powerful Pérez Soto became, the greater the possibility that the charismatic politician would become a rival in his own right. As Gómez consolidated power he faced yet further military unrest, and there were ample opportunities for Pérez Soto to create intrigue.

In July 1928 Col. Jose Maria Fossi, a trusted Gómez subordinate, turned against the dictator, taking the city of La Vela de Coro for a few hours. The military uprising, which called for revolutionaries to be reinforced by 300 Venezuelan and 90 Dominican rebels working in Curacao, was crushed by Gómez’s troops. Fossi later remarked that Pérez Soto had approached him and offered him money in exchange for his support in fomenting a separatist movement. The ultimate aim was to form a new republic comprising the Venezuelan states of Zulia, Falcon, and the Catatumbo region of Colombia. The venture, added Fossi, would have the support of the oil companies in Lake Maracaibo.

While such reports must be treated cautiously, Colombian authorities were apparently concerned about a plot and Bogotá’s House of Deputies met in secret session to discuss “moves of Yankee agents in the Departments of Santander and Goagira which sought to provoke a separatist movement which, united to Zulia, would form the Republic of Zulia.” Pérez Soto dismissed rumors of his involvement in Zulia secession as “treason against the Fatherland, and an immense dishonor.” However, Pérez Soto’s credibility was further damaged when correspondence reached Gómez himself hinting at efforts to involve Pérez Soto in Zulia secessionist plots. McBeth writes that “important oilmen with close connections with the State Department had enquired about the suitability of Pérez Soto as President of Zulia.”

What is the present day relevance of all this history? We must remember that the U.S. helped to install Gómez in the first place and sent U.S. gunboats to help the dictator to power in 1908. What’s more, Gómez himself was a solid anti-Communist. And yet, powerful interests in the United States were still not satisfied with Gómez’s reactionary credentials and sought to intrigue against the dictator. Given the history, it is hardly surprising that the U.S. would now encourage secessionist sentiment in Bolivia, a country whose President displays far less ideological affinity with Washington than Gómez during the early twentieth century.

Ref: Counterpunch, by Nikolas Kozloff

Nikolas Kozloff is the author of Hugo Chávez: Oil, Politics, and the Challenge to the U.S. (Palgrave Macmillan, 2006), and Revolution! South America and the Rise of the New Left (Palgrave Macmillan, April 2008).