US-Supported Dictatorships: No Democracies Here
Readers should try to remember that this is only one act of a continuous play that has been on stage for a century now. These are all facts of history, and the essential facts are not in dispute by anyone – including the US state department.
The US has always had a fond affection for repressive dictators, tyrants and corrupt puppet-presidents, who have been aided, supported, and rewarded handsomely for their loyalty to US interests.
US tax dollars and US-backed loans have made billionaires of some, while others are international drug dealers who also collect CIA paychecks. I am unaware of occasions where the US government was held responsible in any way for supporting and protecting some of the worst human rights violators in the world.
These men usually rise to power through bloody ClA-backed coups, and rule by terror and torture. Their troops receive arms, training and advice from the CIA and other US agencies. It is US military support that guarantees their hold on power – and the fact that they provide free access to US corporations to exploit their countries’ resources.
The US has, over the years, installed, financed, supported with cash and arms, 45 bloody dictators. In 13 of those cases, the US overthrew a legitimate functioning democracy for the sake of installing one of their own dictators who would be more pliable to US foreign policy.
In several cases when the population of a country revolted and overthrew the US-installed dictaor, the US sent in their warships to put down the revolution and re-install their dictator once again.
Even worse, the US has sent in CIA hit squads to assassinate a democratically-elected leader who wanted to eliminate colonialism in his country – Patrice Lumumba in the Congo comes to mind, and there may be others.
The US not only often installed, but in each case protected, both politically and militarily, and supported with arms, cash and military training, the corrupt dictatorships of:
Abacha, General Sani —————————-Nigeria
Amin, Idi —————————————-Uganda
Banzer, Colonel Hugo —————————–Bolivia
Batista, Fulgencio ——————————-Cuba
Bolkiah, Sir Hassanal —————————–Brunei
Botha, P.W. ———————————South Africa
Branco, General Humberto ————————Brazil
Cedras, Raoul ————————————Haiti
Cerezo, Vinicio ——————————Guatemala
Chiang Kai-Shek ———————————Taiwan
Cordova, Roberto Suazo ————————-Honduras
Christiani, Alfredo —————————El Salvador
Diem, Ngo Dihn ———————————-Vietnam
Doe, General Samuel —————————-Liberia
Duvalier, Francois ——————————–Haiti
Duvalier, Jean Claude—————————–Haiti
Fahd bin’Abdul-‘Aziz, King ——————–Saudi Arabia
Franco, General Francisco ———————–Spain
Hussein, Saddam ——————————–Iraq
Marcos, Ferdinand ——————————-Philippines
Martinez, General Maximiliano Hernandez ———-El Salvador
Mobutu Sese Seko ——————————-Zaire
Noriega, General Manuel ————————–Panama
Ozal, Turgut ————————————-Turkey
Pahlevi, Shah Mohammed Reza ——————-Iran
Papadopoulos, George —————————Greece
Park Chung Hee ———————————South Korea
Pinochet, General Augusto ———————–Chile
Rabuka, General Sitiveni ————————-Fiji
Montt, General Efrain Rios ———————–Guatemala
Salassie, Halie ———————————-Ethiopia
Salazar, Antonio de Oliveira ———————-Portugal
Somoza, Anastasio Jr. —————————Nicaragua
Somoza, Anastasio, Sr. ————————–Nicaragua
Smith, Ian ————————————–Rhodesia
Stroessner, Alfredo ——————————Paraguay
Suharto, General ——————————–Indonesia
Trujillo, Rafael Leonidas ——————–Dominican Republic
Videla, General Jorge Rafael ———————-Argentina
Zia Ul-Haq, Mohammed ————————–Pakistan
Here are some countries where the US military and/or CIA financed and led revolutions to depose legitimate democracies and install a dictator (in Zaire, they did the assassination themselves):
There are also cases where the US military and CIA intervened to prevent the citizens of a country from getting rid of a dictator and returning to democracy. The Dominican Republic comes to mind as one of the more shameful episodes in US history.
Our Friends – People like US (Pun Intended)
And what about the quality of these newly-installed dictators? Well:
Trujillo in the Dominican Republic was a convicted rapist.
In El Salvador, the US installed Roberto D’Aubuisson, whom a US Ambassador called a “pathological killer”.
Of Somoza in Nicaragua, Franklin Roosevelt said, “Somoza may be a son-of-a-bitch, but he’s our son-of-a-bitch.”
An estimated 50,000 killed during the Nicaraguan “revolution”, 120,000 exiled and 600,000 made homeless, and this was only the beginning. Nicaragua was one of the few cases where international pressure on Jimmy Carter’s government forced the US to abandon military and political support for one of their favorite dictators.
Alfredo Cristiani of El Salvador was famous worldwide for his motto – “Be patriotic-kill a priest”.
Ferdinand Marcos – Philippines
The US candidate for Philippines dictator, under President Lyndon Johnson, Ferdinand Marcos began his career in prison at age 21 for the murder of the man who had beaten his father in the local election.
Starting in 1950, the US CIA funded several decades of academic research into “the relative usefulness of drugs, electroshock, violence, and other coercive techniques” to discover a new method of psychological torture – perhaps the most significant revolution in this cruel science during the past four centuries.
Instead of a simple physical brutality, these units practiced a distinctive form of psychological torture with wider implications for the military and its society.
The CIA’s thousand-page torture manual, distributed to military regimes in Latin America for over 20 years, taught psychological tactics to break down what the Agency called a victim’s “capacity to resist”. Through “persistent manipulation of time,” the interrogator can break a victim’s will, driving the victim, in the CIA’s words, “deeper and deeper into himself, until he is no longer able to control his responses in an adult fashion.”
The CIA created in the Philippines “a closed, tight-knit, psychotic club of martial-law enforcers, and few could rival their psychopathic interrogations.”
in 2008, lawyers for Philippine victims of human rights abuses under CIA-supported Marcos said Friday they regretted a U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning lower court rulings that gave the victims the right to money stashed by Marcos in the United States.
Mohammad Reza Pahlevi – Iran
With the support of US President Eisenhower, Allen Dulles used the CIA to topple the elected government of Dr. Mohammad Mossadeq and install the Shah. With Dulles’ encouragement, he forced all people to join his party or go to jail.
Thousands were imprisoned or murdered. His agents raided a religious school and hurled hundreds of students to their deaths from the roof.
His secret police agency, SAVAK, was created in 1957 and managed by the CIA at all levels of daily operation, including the choice and organization of personnel, selection and operation of equipment, and the running of agents. Torture methods included:
inserting broken glass and pouring boiling water into the rectum
tying weights to the testicles
the extraction of teeth and nails.
Iran under the Shah became a devoted US ally and a base for spy operations on the border of the Soviet Union.
In 2000, U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright stated: “In 1953 the United States played a significant role in orchestrating the overthrow of Iran’s popular Prime Minister, Mohammed Massadegh.
The Eisenhower Administration believed its actions were justified for strategic reasons; but the coup was clearly a setback for Iran’s political development. And it is easy to see now why many Iranians continue to resent this intervention by America in their internal affairs.”
P.W. Botha – South Africa
Reagan significantly increased military expenditures and support, but Botha had some bad habits that Reagan ignored:
(1) Cutting off the ears, noses, and limbs of civilians
(2) He would:
round up 10 year old boys
kill their parents in front of them
rape young women while they watched
then recruit them to fight in his army
Mobutu Sese Seko – Zaire
Zaire’s first President, Patrice Lumumba, seemed to be too socialist and US companies feared they might lose control of Zaire’s cobalt, copper and diamonds.
So the CIA assassinated Lumumba and replaced him with Mobutu, who had been the US’s main man in Central Africa.
He imprisoned and tortured, but the US Congress continued to reward his work against communism and his warm reception of American corporations.
General Suharto – Indonesia
Suharto was one of the most brutal dictators in history. He ruled for 32 years and continued his savage atrocities under the support of 7 US presidents: Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush Sr., Clinton.
President Lyndon Johnson authorised a CIA-organized coup that brought Suharto to power in 1965, and the CIA then supervised while Suharto exterminated three million Indonesian communist party members.
They hacked the alleged subversives to death with machetes. Entire populations of towns and villages were herded to central locations and massacred. Children would be asked to identify communists who would then be executed on the spot.
In addition to the half million people who were killed outright after the coup, another 750,000 were arrested and tortured. Ultimately, one million people died in one of the most savage mass slaughters of modern political history.
The US continues to this day to train and arm the Indonesian military with the latest high-tech equipment. The US has also recently opened a new “black” “Peace Medicine” installation in Indonesia that is almost certainly a torture laboratory.
Mohammed Zia Ul-Haq – Pakistan
Zia executed his elected predecessor, Zulfigar Ali Bhutto in 1979, and by 1984 Pakistan was furnishing 70% of the world’s high grade heroin.
That same year, George Bush addressed a group of Pakistani officials and praised the government of President Zia for its anti-narcotics program.
Henry Kissinger called Pakistan a “frontline state defending free people everywhere’, in spite of its record of jailing and torturing dissidents.
Pakistan under Zia was the largest recipient of US. aid, of which over half was for weapons. Zia died in a mysterious (CIA induced?) plane crash in 1988.
Yahya Khan – Pakistan
One more US-backed genocidal dictator.
Khan initiated a massive campaign of genocide, targeting Muslims, Hindus, Bengali intellectuals, students and political activists. While President Nixon looked the other way, 3 million people were killed in a few months along with another 400,000 women who were raped.
General Efrain Rios Montt – Guatemala
One in a long series of dictators who ran Guatemala after the Dulles brothers and United Fruit, backed by the CIA, removed democratically-elected President Jacobo Arbenz.
Montt had given $500,000 to Reagan’s 1980 campaign, and his henchman, Mario Sandoval Alarcon, the Godfather of Central American death squads, was a guest at Reagan’s first inaugural celebration.
The U.S. Ambassador to Guatemala said “Guatemala has come out of the darkness and into the light”.
General Augusto Pinochet – Chile
“Democracy is the breeding ground of communism”.
Pinochet deposed and assassinated democratically elected President Salvador Allende in 1973, in a bloody coup which was carefully managed by the CIA and ITT.
Tens of thousands of Chileans were tortured, killed, and exiled since then.
Maximiliano Hernandez Martinez – El Salvador
“It is a greater crime to kill an ant than a man.”
Martinez initiated an anti-communist massacre that left 40,000 peasants dead and wiped out the country’s Indian culture.
Roadways and drainage ditches were littered with bodies. U.S. warships were stationed off-shore, ready to send in Marines to aid the General in case he ran into serious opposition.