Throughout the history of United States Foreign policy the U.S. Government has often justified or called for the invasion of another country by claiming the need to remove a dictator who was committing human rights abuses against his own people.
But what is not commonly known is that throughout that same history the U.S. Government also gave military and financial support to numerous tyrants and terrorists with the full knowledge and awareness that these groups were committing human rights abuses against their own people.
This is something the mainstream media in America will never talk about.
And while the media and the U.S. Governent tells us that “terrorists hate us for our freedoms”, perhaps it’s much closer to the truth to say they hate us for propping up dictators around the world, who kill, torture, steal from and unjustly imprison their citizens.
Here is a partial list of some of the worst tyrants and dictators your tax dollars have aided and abetted over the years…
Shah of Iran
One of the favourite foreign policy tactics of powerful Western democratic states was conspiring to establish vicious dictatorships in third world nations for fun and profit.
The Shah of Iran, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, was on the point of being ousted by Mohammed Moseddeq’s emerging parliamentarian government, before the CIA, in collusion with British Intelligence, acted to incite a military coup, restoring Pahlavi to power. Once he was back in the driving seat, Pahlavi established the sinister SAVAK agency of secret police as his instrument of control, terrorising the Iranian population with brutal methods of repression for the next quarter of a century.
The lion’s share of Iran’s rich oil reserves were divided among British and US corporations, while Pahlavi propped up his regime with a steady flow of Western support, effectively becoming a puppet ruler for his imperial masters.
“[T]he United States and the CIA supported Saddam Hussein, right from the day he came to power, when the Ba’athists first came to power, they even gave lists of the names of people for the Ba’athists to murder, which they did.
The CIA worked very closely with them and United States supported Saddam Hussein at every level — gave him arms, gave him money, gave him political backing, the military helped him; none of this is really fully understood by the American people. And then the decision when he wouldn’t follow orders from Washington, to go to war against Iraq, is an additional crime against the Iraqi people.
Because first we put Saddam Hussein against them, a murderer and torturer, as George Bush says, without ever explaining of course, that politically we supported Saddam Hussein. His father in 1990 even sent a message to Iraq saying what a good job Saddam Hussein was doing. This is after he used poison gas on his people.”
Osama Bin Laden
In January 1980, several weeks after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Osama bin Laden went to Peshawar, Pakistan, to join the anti-Soviet resistance movement. Although he would later participate in some battles against the Soviet-backed government of Afghanistan, bin Laden’s main role was to stay behind the front lines, financing and organizing brigades of Islamic volunteers going into battle. He not only invested some of his personal financial resources to fund the combat brigades, he also received military and financial assistance from the intelligence services of Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and the United States. Osama Bin Laden eventually came to control a force of about 2,000 Islamic fighters from different Arab countries. He established several guerrilla training camps: Al-Ansar and Masadat in Sudan and several others in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The fighters trained in these camps came from all over the Islamic world and were willing to fight wherever they felt Islam was being threatened.
The defeat of the Soviet Army in Afghanistan played a key role in the downfall of the Soviet empire and the demise of communism. The final withdrawal of the Soviet troops in 1989 gave Islamic fighters all over the world a tremendous sense of self-confidence. Arguably, it was the first major victory of an Islamic cause over a European power in four centuries.
The Soviet defeat produced in bin Laden not just a feeling of pride and self-confidence, but megalomania. He speaks about his dream of creating a unified Islamic empire, encompassing 50 countries, stretching from North Africa and the Balkans, encompassing the whole Middle East (including Israel, naturally) and former Soviet Central Asia, all the way to Indonesia and the Philippines on the Pacific. It turned out that Osama bin Laden regarded the Soviet Union not as the primary enemy, but merely as the weakest link in the chain. He turned his attention to waging war against his erstwhile ally, the United States.
The U.S.’s own involvement in the Syrian conflict is telling. Early in the civil war, the Obama administrationexpressed its conviction that Bashar al-Assad’s regime had to go. Given U.S. antagonism toward Iran and its allies, this statement did not come as a surprise. The U.S. offered nonlethal aid to the Syrian rebels and eventually covertly armed them, going so far as to operate a training camp for rebels in northern Jordan.
But the U.S. didn’t appear to expand its direct support for the Syrian rebels beyond this point, and for good reason. When the Obama administration asked Congress for $500 million to train and equip “moderate rebels,” the Pentagon testified that it anticipated difficulties finding moderate fighters to train and arm. In plain English, this means that they don’t really exist. With ISIS’s victories in Iraq, the U.S. strategy of fueling the fire in Syria without allowing either side to win is finally revealing its inherent contradictions.
No one is innocent in the Iraqi and Syrian civil wars, but Iran is not primarily responsible for the current state of affairs. The U.S. and its allies destabilized Iraq and Syria in turn, creating safe havens for extremists that previously did not exist. U.S. allies provided the material support that allowed ISIS and groups like it to become threats to the entire region, despite lacking any substantial popular base in Syria and Iraq. It is not unreasonable for Iran and Hezbollah to fight against these groups, which murder and enslave Shia and other religious minorities. Their actions conceivably fall under one of the West’s favorite principles of international law: the duty to protect.
US embassy cables released by WikiLeaks on Wednesday and Thursday expose the close collaboration between the US government, top American politicians and Muammar Gaddafi, who Washington now insists must be hunted down and murdered.
Washington and its NATO allies are now determined to smash the Libyan regime, supposedly in the interests of “liberating” the Libyan people. That Gaddafi was until the beginning of this year viewed as a strategic, if somewhat unreliable, ally is clearly seen as an inconvenient truth.
The cables have been virtually blacked out by the corporate media, which has functioned as an embedded asset of NATO and the so-called rebel forces that it directs. It is hardly coincidental that the WikiLeaks posting of the cables was followed the next day by a combination of a massive denial of service attack and a US judge’s use of the Patriot Act to issue a sweeping “production order” or subpoena against the anti-secrecy organization’s California-based Domain Name Server, Dynadot.
The most damning of these cables memorializes an August 2009 meeting between Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and his son and national security adviser, Muatassim, with US Republican Senators John McCain (Arizona), Lindsey Graham (South Carolina), Susan Collins (Maine) and Connecticut “independent” Joe Lieberman.
McCain, the Republican presidential candidate in 2008, has in recent speeches denounced Gaddafi as “one of the most bloodthirsty dictators on Earth” and criticized the Obama administration for failing “to employ the full weight of our airpower” in effecting regime change in Libya.
In the meeting held just two years ago, however, McCain took the lead in currying favor with the Gaddafis. According to the embassy cable, he “assured” them that “the United States wanted to provide Libya with the equipment it needs for its security” and “pledged to see what he could do to move things forward in Congress.”
Free Syrian Army
“The Guy Who Was Eating a Heart, He Was Part of a Moderate Faction”
If he were an extremist, he would have eaten the liver too. That quote comes from Dan Layman, the spokesman for the Syrian Support Group.
The Syrian Support Group, a US-based nonprofit that is the only organization the Obama administration has authorized to hand out nonlethal US-funded supplies to the rebels, insists it keeps track of who’s receiving this assistance based on handwritten receipts provided by rebel commanders in the field.
On April 30, the Syrian Support Group began receiving State Department contracts, worth about $12 million so far, to deliver supplies—including MREs, combat casualty bags, and surgical equipment—directly to Syria’s Supreme Military Council.
This spring, one militia leader affiliated with the FSA—his brigade has since been kicked out—was filmed eating a dead soldier’s heart. “This stuff happens rarely, but it’s unfortunate,” Layman says. “With the guy who was eating a heart, he was part of a moderate faction…We work with Idriss and let him know that he needs to prevent these things.”
As Layman no doubt knows, Idriss has no control or ability to prevent these things. Also the guy eating the heart claimed he was actually eating a lung.
Why Does the U.S. Support a Country which was FOUNDED With Terrorism
A U.S. congressman for 6 years, who is now a talking head on MSNBC (Joe Scarborough) says that – even if the Saudi government backed the 9/11 attacks – Saudi oil is too important to do anything about it:
Emílio Garrastazu Médici
In December 1971, President Richard Nixon and Brazilian President Emilio Garrastazú Médici discussed Brazil’s role in efforts to overthrow the elected government of Salvador Allende in Chile, formerly Top Secret records posted by the National Security Archive today reveal. According to a declassified memorandum of conversation, Nixon asked Médici whether the Chilean military was capable of overthrowing Allende. “He felt that they were…,” Médici replied, “and made clear that Brazil was working toward this end.”
The Top Secret “memcon” of the December 9, 1971, Oval Office meeting indicates that Nixon offered his approval and support for Brazil’s intervention in Chile. “The President said that it was very important that Brazil and the United States work closely in this field. We could not take direction but if the Brazilians felt that there was something we could do to be helpful in this area, he would like President Médici to let him know. If money were required or other discreet aid, we might be able to make it available. This should be held in the greatest confidence.”
While in Chile US President Barack Obama ran from a comment calling for a US apology over its support of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, saying he would however be willing to share US records about the American role in the 1973 coup.
Obama back stepped from a question by a Chilean radio reporter that asked if he would be willing to apologize for US involvement and support of Pinochet. The US President merely indicated the actions during the 1970’s may have been unwise, but said little beyond that.
“I think it’s very important for all of us to know our history,” he said. “And obviously the history of relations between the United States and Latin America have at times been extremely rocky and have at times been difficult. I think it’s important, though, for us, even as we understand our history and gain clarity about our history, that we’re not trapped by our history.”
When Africa is in the news these days, the news is usually depressing. Except in the case of Zaire. Political turmoil in that country is having some positive effects.
The dictatorship of Mobutu Sese Seko is crumbling. After weeks of riots, military mutiny, strikes, opposition agitation and intervention by French and Belgian paratroopers, ostensibly to protect European nationals, Gen.–or more recently “Marshall”–Mobutu is grudgingly ceding power. On Sept. 28, Mobutu announced that he would permit the formation of a coalition government led by an opposition figure, leaving the presidency for himself. Most observers believe it is a matter of time, now that Mobutu has fulfilled his promise, before the regime collapses.
No one should mourn the end of Mobutu. His 26 years of rule have wrecked Zaire; almost no one but Mobutu himself has benefitted. The economy barely functions, despite large mineral reserves. Living standards have dropped to a fraction of what they were 20 years ago. Inflation is as high as 3,000%. Government corruption is notorious, with Mobutu as Mr. Corruption. He is estimated to be worth about $5 billion–nearly as much as Zaire’s total foreign debt. Although economic decline has been a staple in many African countries during the 1980s, Mobutu’s Zaire stands out as one of the poorest.
It’s easy to criticize Mobutu, now that he is falling. What is not so easy is to reflect on the U.S. role in his rise and fall. It is not simply that the United States supported the Mobutu dictatorship. It practically created the dictator.
The Contras of Nicaragua
In front of the International Court of Justice, Nicaragua claimed that the contras were altogether a creation of the U.S. This claim was rejected. However, the evidence of a very close relationship between the contras and the United States was considered overwhelming and incontrovertible. The U.S. played a very large role in financing, training, arming, and advising the contras over a long period, and the contras only became capable of carrying out significant military operations as a result of this support.
- targeting health care clinics and health care workers for assassination
- kidnapping civilians
- torturing civilians
- executing civilians, including children, who were captured in combat
- raping women
- indiscriminately attacking civilians and civilian houses
- seizing civilian property
- burning civilian houses in captured towns.
Human Rights Watch released a report on the situation in 1989, which stated: “[The] contras were major and systematic violators of the most basic standards of the laws of armed conflict, including by launching indiscriminate attacks on civilians, selectively murdering non-combatants, and mistreating prisoners.”
In his affidavit to the World Court, former contra Edgar Chamorro testified that “The CIA did not discourage such tactics. To the contrary, the Agency severely criticized me when I admitted to the press that the FDN had regularly kidnapped and executed agrarian reform workers and civilians. We were told that the only way to defeat the Sandinistas was to…kill, kidnap, rob and torture…”
Contra leader Adolfo Calero denied that his forces deliberately targeted civilians: “What they call a cooperative is also a troop concentration full of armed people. We are not killing civilians. We are fighting armed people and returning fire when fire is directed at us.”
The Obama administration, like the Bush administration before it, has been pursuing closer ties with Turkmenistan, which both borders Afghanistan and has some of the largest proven gas reserves in the world. The United States sends supplies for the Afghan war through Turkmenistan, which is part of the northern corridor into Afghanistan, a crucial alternative to dangerous supply routes through Pakistan. Turkmenistan received $2 million in military aid in 2010, up from just $150,000 in 2009. Because of its strategic importance in Central Asia, the country has been graced by visits from top U.S. officials, including Gen. David Petraeus.
It seems not to matter to U.S. policymakers that Turkmenistan is run by one of the most repressive regimes in existence. Its current president, Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, was the dentist of the previous president-for-life, who died in 2006. The regime, alternatively described in the press as “Stalinist” and “hermit-like,” presides over the following impressively long list of human rights violations, according to a 2009 State Department report:
citizens’ inability to change their government; reports of torture and mistreatment of detainees; incommunicado and prolonged detention; arbitrary arrest and detention; denial of due process and fair trial; arbitrary interference with privacy, home, and correspondence; restrictions on freedom of speech, press, assembly, and association; restrictions on religious freedom, including continued harassment of religious minority group members; restrictions on freedom of movement for some citizens, including increased restrictions on those intending to study abroad; violence against women; and restrictions on free association of workers.