Progressive Calendar 02.04.08
From: David Shove (
Date: Mon, 4 Feb 2008 02:53:58 -0800 (PST)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    02.04.08

1. 9-11 misreport  2.04 8pm

2. Aeon housing    2.05 7:30am
3. Somali          2.05 8:30am
4. Journalism/CTV  2.05 5pm
5. Abortion doctor 2.05 7:30pm

6. William Blum - Killing Hope: Indroduction  (1986)
7. ed           - Runneth  (poem)
8. ed           - FM Bush  (bumpersticker)

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From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: 9-11 misreport 2.04 8pm

MON.FEB.4, 8 pm,FRESH AIR hosted by Terry Gross: Investigative journalist
Philip Shenon on the missed evidence, ignored clues and political
considerations that interfered with the 9/11 Commission's work. It's the
subject of his new book, The Commission.
91.1 FM in the Twin Cities

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From: Jenny Johnson <JJohnson [at]>
Subject: Aeon housing 2.05 7:30am

Learn how Aeon is responding to the affordable housing shortage in the
Twin Cities. Please join us for a 1-hour Building Dreams presentation.

Minneapolis Session: February 5 at 7:30 am

We are also happy to present Building Dreams at your organization, place
of worship, or business. Space is limited, please register online at: or call Jenny Johnson at 612-341-3148 x237

Aeon 1625 Park Ave Minneapolis, MN 55404 (612) 341-3148

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From: J. May <jmay [at]>
Subject: Somali 2.05 8:30am

Sheeko Wadaag/Sharing Stories: From Home Language to School Literacy
with Somali Families
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Minnesota Humanities Center, St. Paul
CEU credits: 7  Lunch included

This workshop has been designed especially for professionals who are
working with Somali parents who are not yet literate in Somali and/or
English to will improve their support of preliterate Somali families.
Participants will learn about the Somali oral storytelling tradition;
examine techniques for working with preliterate and low-literate adult
students; discover research- and practice-based suggestions about how to
work together with preliterate parents to support the emergent literacy
skills of their children; and will explore resources for building
language, story, and book skills with families. The workshop connects
educators to existing language development resources and enhances
educators' knowledge of oral traditions and the connections between
language and culture.

Presenters include: Said Salah Ahmed, Minneapolis Public Schools;
educational consultants Marian Hassan, Angele Passe, and Patsy Vinogradov;
and Kathleen Moriarty, Minnesota Humanities Center. Fee: $85. Includes
materials, continental breakfast and lunch.

--------4 of 8w--------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at]>
Subject: Journalism/CTV 2.05 5pm

Esteemed St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN 15) viewers:

"Our World In Depth" cablecasts in St. Paul on Tuesday evenings at 5pm,
after DemocracyNow!, and midnight and Wednesday mornings at 10am.  All
households with basic cable may watch.

Tues, 2/5 and midnight and 2/6 10am "Life After Newspapers: Changes in
Journalism: A Panel Perspective from Twin Cities Journalists".  Short
film: "EPIC 2015" about the future of media, plus panel discussion
featuring experienced Twin Cities journalists: Brian Lambert, Steve Perry,
Matt Thompson, Eric Black and Joel Kramer.

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From: david unowsky <david.unowsky [at]>
Subject: Abortion doctor 2.05 7:30pm

Susan Wicklund discusses her book This Common Secret: My Journey as an
Abortion Doctor (Public Affairs Books) 7:30 pm Tuesday, February 5 at
Magers and Quinn Booksellers.

One doctor's raw and riveting memoir, contrasting the headline-grabbing
political rhetoric with the contours of her life, and the lives of her

In This Common Secret Dr. Susan Wicklund chronicles her emotional and
dramatic twenty-year career on the front lines of the abortion war.
Growing up in working class, rural Wisconsin, Wicklund had her own painful
abortion at a young age. It was not until she became a doctor that she
realized how many women shared her ordeal of an unwanted pregnancy - and
how hidden this common experience remains.

This is the story of Susan's love for a profession that means listening to
women and helping them through one of the most pivotal and controversial
events in their lives. Hers is also a calling that means sleeping on
planes and commuting between clinics in different states - and that
requires her to wear a bulletproof vest and to carry a .38 caliber
revolver. This is also the story of the women whom Susan serves, women
whose options are increasingly limited.

Through these intimate, complicated, and inspiring accounts, Wicklund
reveals the truth about the women's clinics that anti-abortion activists
portray as little more than slaughterhouses for the unborn. As we enter
the most fevered political fight over abortion America has ever seen, this
raw and powerful memoir shows us what is at stake.

Susan Wicklund has worked in the field of women's reproductive health for
more than twenty years. For much of that time she has been on the front
lines of the abortion war, both as a doctor and as a spokeswoman for
women's rights. She has been interviewed by numerous leading media
outlets, including 60 Minutes and "Fresh Air." Alan Kesselheim is a
full-time freelance writer from Bozeman, Montana. This Common Secret is
his ninth book.

For further information, contact: David Unowsky 612/822-4611
davidu [at]

55408 612-822-4611

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from the book
Killing Hope (1986)
by William Blum


Our fear that communism might someday take over most of the world blinds
us to the fact that anti-communism already has.
-Michael Parenti, The Anti-Communist Impulse

[This introduction is presented, with some modifications, as it appeared
in 1986. At that time the Soviet Union still existed and the cold war was
very much alive. It is presented here because it offers a concise history
of the cold war and a background to understanding the impetus behind, and
the nature of, the many American interventions throughout the world.]

It was in the early days of the fighting in Vietnam that a Vietcong
officer said to his American prisoner: "You were our heroes after the War.
We read American books and saw American films, and a common phrase in
those days was `to be as rich and as wise as an American'. What

An American might have been asked something similar by a Guatemalan, an
Indonesian or a Cuban during the ten years previous, or by a Uruguayan, a
Chilean or a Greek in the decade subsequent. The remarkable international
goodwill and credibility enjoyed by the United States at the close of the
Second World War was dissipated country by country, intervention by
intervention. The opportunity to build the war-ravaged world anew, to lay
the foundations for peace, prosperity and justice, collapsed under the
awful weight of anti-communism.

The weight had been accumulating for some time; indeed, since Day One of
the Russian Revolution. By the summer of 1918 some 13,000 American troops
could be found in the newly-born Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Two
years and thousands of casualties later, the American troops left, having
failed in their mission to "strangle at its birth" the Bolshevik state, as
Winston Churchill put it.{2} The young Churchill was Great Britain's
Minister for War and Air during this period. Increasingly, it was he who
directed the invasion of the Soviet Union by the Allies (Great Britain,
the US, France, Japan and several other nations) on the side of the
counter-revolutionary "White Army". Years later, Churchill the historian
was to record his views of this singular affair for posterity:

Were they [the Allies] at war with Soviet Russia? Certainly not; but they
shot Soviet Russians at sight. They stood as invaders on Russian soil.
They armed the enemies of the Soviet Government. They blockaded its ports,
and sunk its battleships. They earnestly desired and schemed its downfall.
But war - shocking!  Interference - shame! It was, they repeated, a
matter of indifference to them how Russians settled their own internal
affairs. They were impartial - Bang!{3}

What was there about this Bolshevik Revolution that so alarmed the most
powerful nations in the world? What drove them to invade a land whose
soldiers had recently fought alongside them for over three years and
suffered more casualties than any other country on either side of the
World War?

The Bolsheviks had had the audacity to make a separate peace with Germany
in order to take leave of a war they regarded as imperialist and not in
any way their war, and to try and rebuild a terribly weary and devastated
Russia. But the Bolsheviks had displayed the far greater audacity of
overthrowing a capitalist-feudal system and proclaiming the first
socialist state in the history of the world. This was uppitiness writ
incredibly large. This was the crime the Allies had to punish, the virus
which had to be eradicated lest it spread to their own people.

The invasion did not achieve its immediate purpose, but its consequences
were nonetheless profound and persist to the present day. Professor D.F.
Fleming, the Vanderbilt University historian of the cold war, has noted:

For the American people the cosmic tragedy of the interventions in Russia
does not exist, or it was an unimportant incident long forgotten. But for
the Soviet peoples and their leaders the period was a time of endless
killing, of looting and rapine, of plague and famine, of measureless
suffering for scores of millions - an experience burned into the very
soul of a nation, not to be forgotten for many generations, if ever. Also
for many years the harsh Soviet regimentations could all be justified by
fear that the capitalist powers would be back to finish the job. It is not
strange that in his address in New York, September 17, 1959, Premier
Khrushchev should remind us of the interventions, "the time you sent your
troops to quell the revolution", as he put it.{4}

In what could be taken as a portent of superpower insensitivity, a 1920 US
War Department report reads: "This expedition affords one of the finest
examples in history of honorable, unselfish dealings ... under very
difficult circumstances to be helpful to a people struggling to achieve a
new liberty." {5}

History does not tell us what a Soviet Union, allowed to develop in a
"normal" way of its own choosing, would look like today. We do know,
however, the nature of a Soviet Union attacked in its cradle, raised alone
in an extremely hostile world, and, when it managed to survive to
adulthood, overrun by the Nazi war machine with the blessings of the
Western powers. The resulting insecurities and fears have inevitably led
to deformities of character not unlike that found in an individual raised
in a similar life-threatening manner.

We in the West are never allowed to forget the political shortcomings
(real and alleged) of the Soviet Union; at the same time we are never
reminded of the history which lies behind it. The anti-communist
propaganda campaign began even earlier than the military intervention.
Before the year 1918 was over, expressions in the vein of "Red Peril",
"the Bolshevik assault on civilization", and "menace to world by Reds is
seen" had become commonplace in the pages of the New York Times.

During February and March 1919, a US Senate Judiciary Subcommittee held
hearings before which many "Bolshevik horror stories" were presented. The
character of some of the testimony can be gauged by the headline in the
usually sedate Times of 12 February 1919.


Historian Frederick Lewis Schuman has written: "The net result of these
hearings ... was to picture Soviet Russia as a kind of bedlam inhabited by
abject slaves completely at the mercy of an organization of homicidal
maniacs whose purpose was to destroy all traces of civilization and carry
the nation back to barbarism."{6}

Literally no story about the Bolsheviks was too contrived, too bizarre,
too grotesque, or too perverted to be printed and widely believed - from
women being nationalized to babies being eaten (as the early pagans
believed the Christians guilty of devouring their children; the same was
believed of the Jews in the Middle Ages). The story about women with all
the lurid connotations of state property, compulsory marriage, "free
love", etc.  "was broadcasted over the country through a thousand
channels," wrote Schuman, "and perhaps did more than anything else to
stamp the Russian Communists in the minds of most American citizens as
criminal perverts".{7} This tale continued to receive great currency even
after the State Department was obliged to announce that it was a fraud.
(That the Soviets eat their babies was still being taught by the John
Birch Society to its large audience at least as late as 1978.){8}

By the end of 1919, when the defeat of the Allies and the White Army
appeared likely, the New York Times treated its readers to headlines and
stories such as the following:

30 Dec. 1919: "Reds Seek War With America"
9 Jan. 1920: "`Official quarters' describe the Bolshevist menace in the
Middle East as ominous"
11 Jan. 1920: "Allied officials and diplomats [envisage] a possible
invasion of Europe"
13 Jan. 1920: "Allied diplomatic circles" fear an invasion of Persia
16 Jan. 1920: A page-one headline, eight columns wide: "Britain Facing War
With Reds, Calls Council In Paris."
"Well-informed diplomats" expect both a military invasion of Europe and a
Soviet advance into Eastern and Southern Asia.
The following morning, however, we could read: "No War With Russia, Allies
To Trade With Her"
7 Feb. 1920: "Reds Raising Army To Attack India"
11 Feb. 1920: "Fear That Bolsheviki Will Now Invade Japanese Territory"

Readers of the New York Times were asked to believe that all these
invasions were to come from a nation that was shattered as few nations in
history have been; a nation still recovering from a horrendous world war;
in extreme chaos from a fundamental social revolution that was barely off
the ground; engaged in a brutal civil war against forces backed by the
major powers of the world; its industries, never advanced to begin with,
in a shambles; and the country in the throes of a famine that was to leave
many millions dead before it subsided.

In 1920, The New Republic magazine presented a lengthy analysis of the
news coverage by the New York Times of the Russian Revolution and the
intervention. Amongst much else, it observed that in the two years
following the November 1917 revolution, the Times had stated no less than
91 times that "the Soviets were nearing their rope's end or actually had
reached it."{9}

If this was reality as presented by the United States' "newspaper of
record", one can imagine only with dismay the witch's brew the rest of the
nation's newspapers were feeding to their readers.

This, then, was the American people's first experience of a new social
phenomenon that had come upon the world, their introductory education
about the Soviet Union and this thing called "communism". The students
have never recovered from the lesson. Neither has the Soviet Union.

The military intervention came to an end but, with the sole and partial
exception of the Second World War period, the propaganda offensive has
never let up. In 1943 Life magazine devoted an entire issue in honor of
the Soviet Union's accomplishments, going far beyond what was demanded by
the need for wartime solidarity, going so far as to call Lenin "perhaps
the greatest man of modern times".{10} Two years later, however, with
Harry Truman sitting in the White House, such fraternity had no chance of
surviving. Truman, after all, was the man who, the day after the Nazis
invaded the Soviet Union, said: "If we see that Germany is winning, we
ought to help Russia, and if Russia is winning, we ought to help Germany,
and that way let them kill as many as possible, although I don't want to
see Hitler victorious in any circumstance."{11} Much propaganda mileage
has been squeezed out of the Soviet-German treaty of 1939, made possible
only by entirely ignoring the fact that the Russians were forced into the
pact by the repeated refusal of the Western powers, particularly the
United States and Great Britain, to unite with Moscow in a stand against
Hitler;{12} as they likewise refused to come to the aid of the
socialist-oriented Spanish government under siege by the German, Italian
and Spanish fascists, and even sold arms to Hitler and Mussolini..

>From the Red Scare of the 1920s to the McCarthyism of the 1950s to the
Reagan Crusade against the Evil Empire of the 1980s, the American people
have been subjected to a relentless anti-communist indoctrination. It is
imbibed with their mother's milk, pictured in their comic books, spelled
out in their school books; their daily paper offers them headlines that
tell them all they need to know; ministers find sermons in it, politicians
are elected with it, and Reader's Digest becomes rich on it.

The fiercely-held conviction inevitably produced by this insidious assault
upon the intellect is that a great damnation has been unleashed upon the
world, possibly by the devil himself, but in the form of people; people
not motivated by the same needs, fears, emotions, and personal morality
that govern others of the species, but people engaged in an extremely
clever, monolithic, international conspiracy dedicated to taking over the
world and enslaving it; for reasons not always clear perhaps, but evil
needs no motivation save evil itself.  Moreover, any appearance or claim
by these people to be rational human beings seeking a better kind of world
or society is a sham, a cover-up, to delude others, and proof only of
their cleverness;  the repression and cruelties which have taken place in
the Soviet Union are forever proof of the bankruptcy of virtue and the
evil intentions of these people in whichever country they may be found,
under whatever name they may call themselves: and, most important of all,
the only choice open to anyone in the United States is between the
American Way of Life and the Soviet Way of Life, that nothing lies between
or beyond these two ways of making the world.

This is how it looks to the simple folk of America. One finds that the
sophisticated, when probed slightly beneath the surface of their academic
language, see it exactly the same way.

And lest we think that such beliefs belong to an earlier, less enlightened
period, it should be noted that in the fall of 1987, two years after
Gorbachev, when a Gallup poll asked Americans whether they agreed that
"There is an international Communist conspiracy to rule the world", 60
percent replied in the affirmative; only 28 percent disagreed.{13)

To the mind carefully brought to adulthood in the United States, the
truths of anti-communism are self-evident, as self-evident as the flatness
of the world once was to an earlier mind; as the Russian people believed
that the victims of Stalin's purges were truly guilty of treason.

The foregoing slice of American history must be taken into account if one
is to make sense of the vagaries of American foreign policy since the end
of World War II, specifically the record, as presented in this book, of
what the CIA and other branches of the US government have done to the
peoples of the world.

In 1918, the barons of American capital needed no reason for their war
against communism other than the threat to their wealth and privilege,
although their opposition was expressed in terms of moral indignation.

During the period between the two world wars, US gunboat diplomacy
operated in the Caribbean to make "The American Lake" safe for the
fortunes of United Fruit and W.R.  Grace & Co., at the same time warning
of the Bolshevik threat to righteousness from the likes of Augusto

By the end of the Second World War, every American past the age of 40 had
been subjected to some 25 years of anti-communist radiation, the average
incubation period needed to produce a malignancy. Anti-communism had
developed a life of its own, independent of its capitalist father.
Increasingly, in the post-war period, middle-aged Washington policy makers
and diplomats saw the world out there as one composed of "communists" and
"anti-communists", whether of nations, movements or individuals. This
comic-strip vision of the world, with American supermen fighting communist
evil everywhere, had graduated from a cynical propaganda exercise to a
moral imperative of US foreign policy.

Even the concept of "non-communist", implying some measure of neutrality,
has generally been accorded scant legitimacy in this paradigm. John Foster
Dulles, one of the major architects of post-war US foreign policy,
expressed this succinctly in his typically simple, moralistic way: "For us
there are two sorts of people in the world: there are those who are
Christians and support free enterprise and there are the others."{14} As
several of the case studies in the present book confirm, Dulles put that
creed into rigid practice.

It is as true now as ever that American multinationals derive significant
economic advantages from Third World countries due to their being
under-industrialized, under-diversified, capitalist-oriented, and
relatively powerless.

It is equally true that the consequence of American interventions has
frequently been to keep Third World countries in just such an
underdeveloped, impotent state.

There is thus at least a prima-facie case to be made for the contention
that the engine of US foreign policy is still fueled predominantly by
"economic imperialism".

But that the consequence illuminates the intent does not necessarily
follow. The argument that economic factors have continued to exert an
important and direct influence upon United States interventionist policy
in modern times does not stand up to close or "micro" examination. When
all the known elements of the interventions are considered, scarcely any
cases emerge which actually conform to the economic model, and even in
these the stage is shared with other factors. The upshot in the great
majority of cases is that tangible economic gain, existing or potential,
did not, and could not, play a determining role in the American decision
to intervene. The economic model proves woefully inadequate not only as a
means of explanation, but even more so as a tool of prediction. In each of
the most recent cases, for example - Grenada, El Salvador, and Nicaragua -
American intervention was foreseen and warned of well in advance simply,
and only, because of the "communist" nature of the targets. But no one
seriously suggested that some treasure lay in these impoverished lands
luring the American pirates.  Indeed, after the conquest and occupation of
Grenada, the US business community displayed a marked indifference to
setting up shop on the island, despite being implored to do so by
Washington for political reasons. In other cases, where the American side
failed to win a civil war, such as in China, Vietnam and Angola,
Washington put up barriers to American corporations having any commercial
dealings with the new regimes which were actually eager to do business
with the United States.

But this, as mentioned, is the "micro" way of looking at the question. One
can just as legitimately approach it from a "macro" point of view. Seen
from this perspective, one must examine the role of the
military-industrial-intelligence complex. The members of this network need
enemies - the military and the CIA because enemies are their raison
d'tre, industry, specifically the defense contractors, because enemies are
to be fought, with increasingly sophisticated weaponry and aircraft
systems; enemies of our enemies are to be armed, to the teeth.  It's made
these corporations wealthier than many countries of the world; in one year
the US spends on the military more than $17,000 per hour, for every hour
since Jesus Christ was born. The executives of these corporations have
long moved effortlessly through a revolving door between industry and
government service, members in good standing of the good ol' boys club who
continue to use their positions, their wealth, and their influence, along
with a compliant and indispensable media, as we shall see, to nourish and
perpetuate the fear of "communism, the enemy" now in its seventh decade
and going strong. Given the nature and machinations of the
military-industrial-intelligence complex, interventions against these
enemies are inevitable, and, from the complex's point of view, highly

In cases such as the above-mentioned Grenada, El Salvador, and Nicaragua,
even if the particular target of intervention does not present an
immediate lucrative economic opportunity for American multinationals, the
target's socialist-revolutionary program and rhetoric does present a
threat and a challenge which the United States has repeatedly felt obliged
to stamp out, to maintain the principle, and as a warning to others; for
what the US has always feared from the Third World is the emergence of a
good example: a flourishing socialist society independent of Washington.

Governments and movements with such programs and rhetoric are clearly not
going to be cold-war allies, are clearly "communist", and thus are
eminently credible candidates for the category of enemy.

Inextricably bound up with these motivations is a far older seducer of men
and nations, the lust for power: the acquisition, maintenance, use and
enjoyment of influence and prestige; the incomparable elation that derives
from molding the world in your own beloved image.

In all these paradigms, "communist" is often no more than the name
ascribed to those people who stand in the way of the realization of such
ambitions (as "national security" is the name given for the reason for
fighting "communists"). It is another twist of the old adage: if
communists didn't exist, the United States would have to invent them. And
so they have. The word "communist" (as well as "Marxist") has been so
overused and so abused by American leaders and the media as to render it
virtually meaningless. (The Left has done the same to the word "fascist".)
But merely having a name for something - witches or flying saucers -
attaches a certain credence to it.

At the same time, the American public, as we have seen, has been soundly
conditioned to react Pavlovianly to the term: it means, still, the worst
excesses of Stalin, from wholesale purges to Siberian slave-labor camps;
it means, as Michael Parenti has observed, that "Classic Marxist-Leninist
predictions [concerning world revolution] are treated as statements of
intent directing all present-day communist actions."{15} It means "us"
against "them".

And "them" can mean a peasant in the Philippines, a mural-painter in
Nicaragua, a legally-elected prime minister in British Guiana, or a
European intellectual, a Cambodian neutralist, an African nationalist -
all, somehow, part of the same monolithic conspiracy; each, in some way, a
threat to the American Way of Life; no land too small, too poor, or too
far away to pose such a threat, the "communist threat".

The cases presented in this book illustrate that it has been largely
irrelevant whether the particular targets of intervention - be they
individuals, political parties, movements or governments - called
themselves "communist" or not. It has mattered little whether they were
scholars of dialectical materialism or had never heard of Karl Marx;
whether they were atheists or priests; whether a strong and influential
Communist Party was in the picture or not; whether the government had come
into being through violent revolution or peaceful elections ... all have
been targets, all "communists".

It has mattered still less that the Soviet KGB was in the picture. The
assertion has been frequently voiced that the CIA carries out its dirty
tricks largely in reaction to operations of the KGB which have been "even
dirtier". This is a lie made out of whole cloth. There may be an isolated
incident of such in the course of the CIA's life, but it has kept itself
well hidden. The relationship between the two sinister agencies is marked
by fraternization and respect for fellow professionals more than by
hand-to-hand combat. Former CIA officer John Stockwell has written:

Actually, at least in more routine operations, case officers most fear the
US ambassador and his staff, then restrictive headquarters cables, then
curious, gossipy neighbors in the local community, as potential threats to
operations. Next would come the local police, then the press. Last of all
is the KGB - in my twelve years of case officering I never saw or heard of
a situation in which the KGB attacked or obstructed a CIA operation.{16}

Stockwell adds that the various intelligence services do not want their
world to be "complicated" by murdering each other.

It isn't done. If a CIA case officer has a flat tire in the dark of night
on a lonely road, he will not hesitate to accept a ride from a KGB officer
- likely the two would detour to some bar for a drink together. In fact
CIA and KGB officers entertain each other frequently in their homes. The
CIA's files are full of mention of such relationships in almost every
African station.{17}

Proponents of "fighting fire with fire" come perilously close at times to
arguing that if the KGB, for example, had a hand in the overthrow of the
Czechoslovak government in 1968, it is OK for the CIA to have a hand in
the overthrow of the Chilean government in 1973.  It's as if the
destruction of democracy by the KGB deposits funds in a bank account from
which the CIA is then justified in making withdrawals.

What then has been the thread common to the diverse targets of American
intervention which has brought down upon them the wrath, and often the
firepower, of the world's most powerful nation? In virtually every case
involving the Third World described in this book, it has been, in one form
or another, a policy of "self-determination": the desire, born of
perceived need and principle, to pursue a path of development independent
of US foreign policy objectives.  Most commonly, this has been manifested
in (a) the ambition to free themselves from economic and political
subservience to the United States; (b) the refusal to minimize relations
with the socialist bloc, or suppress the left at home, or welcome an
American military installation on their soil; in short, a refusal to be a
pawn in the cold war; or (c) the attempt to alter or replace a government
which held to neither of these aspirations.

It cannot be emphasized too strongly that such a policy of independence
has been viewed and expressed by numerous Third World leaders and
revolutionaries as one not to be equated by definition to anti-Americanism
or pro-communism, but as simply a determination to maintain a position of
neutrality and non-alignment vis-a-vis the two superpowers.  Time and time
again, however, it will be seen that the United States was not prepared to
live with this proposition. Arbenz of Guatemala, Mossadegh of Iran,
Sukarno of Indonesia, Nkrumah of Ghana, Jagan of British Guiana, Sihanouk
of Cambodia ... all, insisted Uncle Sam, must declare themselves
unequivocally on the side of "The Free World" or suffer the consequences.
Nkrumah put the case for non-alignment as follows:

The experiment which we tried in Ghana was essentially one of developing
the country in co-operation with the world as a whole. Non-alignment meant
exactly what it said. We were not hostile to the countries of the
socialist world in the way in which the governments of the old colonial
territories were. It should be remembered that while Britain pursued at
home co-existence with the Soviet Union this was never allowed to extend
to British colonial territories. Books on socialism, which were published
and circulated freely in Britain, were banned in the British colonial
empire, and after Ghana became independent it was assumed abroad that it
would continue to follow the same restrictive ideological approach. When
we behaved as did the British in their relations with the socialist
countries we were accused of being pro-Russian and introducing the most
dangerous ideas into Africa.{18}

It is reminiscent of the 19th-century American South, where many
Southerners were deeply offended that so many of their black slaves had
deserted to the Northern side in the Civil War. They had genuinely thought
that the blacks should have been grateful for all their white masters had
done for them, and that they were happy and content with their lot. A
Southern physician, Samuel Cartwright, argued that many of the slaves
suffered from a form of mental illness, which he called "drapetomania",
diagnosed as the uncontrollable urge to escape from slavery. In the second
half of the 20th-century, this illness, in the Third World, has usually
been called "communism".

When Washington officials equate nationalism or self-determination with
"communism", there are times when they are "correct". At other times, they
are "wrong". It doesn't particularly matter, for in either case they are
referring to the same phenomenon. Although, in this book, the Soviet
Union, China, various communist parties, etc., are sometimes referred to
as "communist", this is primarily a shorthand convenience and a bow to
custom, and is not meant to infer a political ideology or practice
necessarily different in any way from those governments or parties not
referred to as communist. Emphasis is placed upon what these bodies have
actually done, not upon reference to what Marx or Lenin wrote.

Perhaps the most deeply ingrained reflex of knee-jerk anti-communism is
the belief that the Soviet Union (or Cuba or Vietnam, etc., acting as
Moscow's surrogate) is a clandestine force lurking behind the facade of
self-determination, stirring up the hydra of revolution, or just plain
trouble, here, there, and everywhere; yet another incarnation, although on
a far grander scale, of the proverbial "outside agitator", he who has made
his appearance regularly throughout history ... King George blamed the
French for inciting the American colonies to revolt ... disillusioned
American farmers and veterans protesting their onerous economic
circumstances after the revolution (Shays' Rebellion) were branded as
British agents out to wreck the new republic ... labor strikes in
late-19th-century America were blamed on "anarchists" and "foreigners",
during the First World War on "German agents", after the war on

And in the 1960s, said the National Commission on the Causes and
Prevention of Violence, J. Edgar Hoover "helped spread the view among the
police ranks that any kind of mass protest is due to a conspiracy
promulgated by agitators, often Communists, `who misdirect otherwise
contented people'."{19}

The last is the key phrase, one which encapsulates the conspiracy
mentality of those in power - the idea that no people, except those living
under the enemy, could be so miserable and discontent as to need recourse
to revolution or even mass protest; that it is only the agitation of the
outsider which misdirects them along this path. Accordingly, if Ronald
Reagan were to concede that the masses of El Salvador have every good
reason to rise up against their god-awful existence, it would bring into
question his accusation, and the rationale for US intervention, that it is
principally (only?) the Soviet Union and its Cuban and Nicaraguan allies
who instigate the Salvadoreans: that seemingly magical power of communists
everywhere who, with a twist of their red wrist, can transform peaceful,
happy people into furious guerrillas. The CIA knows how difficult a feat
this is. The Agency, as we shall see, tried to spark mass revolt in China,
Albania, Cuba, the Soviet Union, and elsewhere in Eastern Europe with a
singular lack of success. The Agency's scribes have laid the blame for
these failures on the "closed" nature of the societies involved. But in
non-communist countries, the CIA has had to resort to military coups or
extra-legal chicanery to get its people into power. It has never been able
to light the fire of popular revolution.

For Washington to concede merit and virtue to a particular Third World
insurgency would, moreover, raise the question: Why does not the United
States, if it must intervene, take the side of the rebels? Not only might
this better serve the cause of human rights and justice, but it would shut
out the Russians from their alleged role. What better way to frustrate the
International Communist Conspiracy? But this is a question that dares not
speak its name in the Oval Office, a question that is relevant to many of
the cases in this book.

Instead, the United States remains committed to its all-too-familiar
policy of establishing and/or supporting the most vile tyrannies in the
world, whose outrages against their own people confront us daily in the
pages of our newspapers: brutal massacres; systematic, sophisticated
torture; public whippings; soldiers and police firing into crowds; hunger,
runaway unemployment, the homeless, the refugees, the tens of thousands of
disappeared persons ... a way of life that is virtually a monopoly held by
America's allies, from Guatemala, Chile and El Salvador to Turkey,
Pakistan and Indonesia, all members in good standing of the Holy War
Against Communism, all members of "The Free World", that region of which
we hear so much and see so little.

The restrictions on civil liberties found in the communist bloc, as severe
as they are, pale by comparison to the cottage-industry Auschwitzes of
"The Free World", and, except in that curious mental landscape inhabited
by The Compleat Anti-Communist, can have little or nothing to do with the
sundry American interventions supposedly in the cause of a higher good.

It is interesting to note that as commonplace as it is for American
leaders to speak of freedom and democracy while supporting dictatorships,
so do Russian leaders speak of wars of liberation, anti-imperialism and
anti-colonialism while doing extremely little to actually further these
causes, American propaganda notwithstanding. The Soviets like to be
thought of as champions of the Third World, but they have stood by doing
little more than going "tsk, tsk" as progressive movements and
governments, even Communist Parties, in Greece, Guatemala, British Guiana,
Chile, Indonesia, the Philippines and elsewhere have gone to the wall with
American complicity.

During the early 1950s, the Central Intelligence Agency instigated several
military incursions into Communist China. In 1960, CIA planes, without any
provocation, bombed the sovereign nation of Guatemala. In 1973, the Agency
encouraged a bloody revolt against the government of Iraq. In the American
mass media at the time, and therefore in the American mind, these events
did not happen.

"We didn't know what was happening", became a cliche used to ridicule
those Germans who claimed ignorance of the events which took place under
the Nazis. Yet, was their stock answer as far-fetched as we'd like to
think? It is sobering to reflect that in our era of instant world-wide
communications, the United States has, on many occasions, been able to
mount a large- or small-scale military operation or undertake another,
equally blatant, form of intervention without the American public being
aware of it until years later, if ever. Often the only report of the event
or of US involvement was a passing reference to the fact that a communist
government had made certain charges - just the kind of "news" the American
public has been well conditioned to dismiss out of hand, and the press not
to follow up; as the German people were taught that reports from abroad of
Nazi wrong-doings were no more than communist propaganda.

With few exceptions, the interventions never made the headlines or the
evening TV news. With some, bits and pieces of the stories have popped up
here and there, but rarely brought together to form a cohesive and
enlightening whole; the fragments usually appear long after the fact,
quietly buried within other stories, just as quietly forgotten, bursting
into the foreground only when extraordinary circumstances have compelled
it, such as the Iranian hostage crisis which produced a rash of articles
on the role played by the United States in the overthrow of the Iranian
government in 1953. It was as if editors had been spurred into thinking:
"Hey, just what did we do in Iran to make all those people hate us so?"

There have been a lot of Irans in America's recent past, but in the
absence of the New York Daily News or the Los Angeles Times conspicuously
grabbing the reader by the collar and pressing against his face the full
implication of the deed ... in the absence of NBC putting it all into real
pictures of real people on the receiving end ... in such absence the
incidents become non-events for the large majority of Americans, and they
can honestly say "We didn't know what was happening."

Former Chinese Premier Chou En-lai once observed: "One of the delightful
things about Americans is that they have absolutely no historical memory."

It's probably even worse than he realized. During the Three Mile Island
nuclear power plant accident in Pennsylvania in 1979, a Japanese
journalist, Atsuo Kaneko of the Japanese Kyoto News Service, spent several
hours interviewing people temporarily housed at a hockey rink - mostly
children, pregnant women and young mothers. He discovered that none of
them had heard of Hiroshima. Mention of the name drew a blank.{20}

And in 1982, a judge in Oakland, California said he was appalled when some
50 prospective jurors for a death-penalty murder trial were questioned and
"none of them knew who Hitler was".{21}

To the foreign policy oligarchy in Washington, it is more than delightful.
It is sine qua non.

So obscured is the comprehensive record of American interventions that
when, in 1975, the Congressional Research Service of the Library of
Congress was asked to undertake a study of covert activities of the CIA to
date, it was able to come up with but a very minor portion of the overseas
incidents presented in this book for the same period.{22}

Yet, all the information is there for the reading. I have not had access
to the secret archives of the CIA or other government agencies. The
details of the interventions have been gathered from books, newspapers,
periodicals, and US Government publications freely available in one
library or another. But for all that has made its way into popular
consciousness, or into school texts, encyclopedias, or other standard
reference works, there might as well exist strict censorship in the United

The reader is invited to look through the relevant sections of the three
principal American encyclopedias, Americana, Britannica, and Colliers,
after completing this book. The image of encyclopedias as the final
repository of objective knowledge takes a beating. What is tantamount to a
non-recognition of American interventions may very well be due to these
esteemed works employing a criterion similar to that of Washington
officials as reflected in the Pentagon Papers. The New York Times
summarized this highly interesting phenomenon thusly:

Clandestine warfare against North Vietnam, for example, is not seen ... as
violating the Geneva Accords of 1954, which ended the French Indochina
War, or as conflicting with the public policy pronouncements of the
various administrations. Clandestine warfare, because it is covert, does
not exist as far as treaties and public posture are concerned. Further,
secret commitments to other nations are not sensed as infringing on the
treaty-making powers of the Senate, because they are not publicly

The de facto censorship which leaves so many Americans functionally
illiterate about the history of US foreign affairs may be all the more
effective because it is not official, heavy-handed or conspiratorial, but
woven artlessly into the fabric of education and media. No conspiracy is
needed. The editors of Reader's Digest and U.S. News and World Report do
not need to meet covertly with the man from NBC in an FBI safe-house to
plan next month's stories and programs; for the simple truth is that these
men would not have reached the positions they occupy if they themselves
had not all been guided through the same tunnel of camouflaged history and
emerged with the same selective memory and conventional wisdom.

As extensive as the historical record presented here is, it is by no means
meant to be a complete catalogue of every instance and every kind of
American intervention since the Second World War. We are, after all,
dealing largely with events which were covert when they occurred and
which, for the most part, remain officially classified. Moreover, with but
a few exceptions, this study does not concern itself with espionage or
counter-espionage other than in passing.  These areas have been well
documented in countless "spy" books. Generally speaking, the study is
confined to the more significant or blatant cases of intervention: the use
of armed aggression by American and/or native troops acting with the
United States; an operation, successful or not, to overthrow a government;
an attempt to suppress a popular rebellion or movement; an attempted
assassination of a political leader; gross interference in an election, or
other flagrant manipulation of a country's political or economic system.

To serve these ends, the CIA over the years has made use of an
extraordinary arsenal of weapons. Because of space considerations and to
avoid excess repetition, only selected examples are given here and there
amongst the cases. In actuality, at least one, and usually more, of these
tactics was brought to bear in virtually every instance.  Principal among
them are the following:

1) CIA schools: in the United States and Latin America, where many tens of
thousands of Third World military and police personnel have been taught
modern methods of controlling insurgency and "subversion"; instruction
includes techniques of "interrogation"  (often a euphemism for torture);
members of the labor movement learn the how and why of organizing workers
within a framework of free enterprise and anti-communism.

2) Infiltration and manipulation of selected groups: political parties,
women's organizations, professional, youth and cultural associations,
etc., for electoral and propaganda purposes; the creation of unions -
local, regional, national and international - set up to counterpoise and
weaken existing labor groups too closely oriented towards social change
and the left.

3) News manipulation: the "hiring" of foreign editors, columnists and
journalists ... "I guess I've bought as much newspaper space as the A &
P," chortled a former CIA officer one day{24}; the creation and/or
subsidizing of numerous periodicals, news services, radio stations, books,
and book publishers. Considering all assets, the CIA, at least until the
late 1970s, has run what probably amounts to the largest news organization
in the world; its propaganda and disinformation effect is routinely
multiplied by world-wide replay.

4) Economic means: in concert with other US government agencies, such as
AID, private American corporations, and international lending
institutions, the methods of manipulating and applying pressure to
selected sectors of a country's economy, or the economy as a whole, are
without number.

5) Dirty tricks department: bugging, wire-tapping, forged documents, bogus
personal letters, planting of evidence, spreading rumors, blackmail, etc.,
etc., to create incidents or obtain information to embarrass the left,
locally and internationally, particularly to lend credence to charges of a
Moscow or Havana conspiracy; to provoke the expulsion of communist-bloc
diplomats or the breaking of relations with those countries; to foster
distrust and dissension within the left.

Although the cases which follow are presented as more or less discrete
stories, fixed in time and with beginnings and ends, this is done mainly
to keep the information within manageable bounds and to highlight the more
dramatic turns of events, and is not meant to indicate that there was no
significant CIA activity in the particular country before or after the
years specified. The reader should therefore keep in mind that the above
types of operation as well as others are all ongoing programs, carried out
routinely in numerous countries, including many not listed in this book.
This is the Agency's "job", what its officers do for a living.

"The upheaval in China is a revolution which, if we analyze it, we will
see is prompted by the same things that prompted the British, French and
American revolutions."  {25} A cosmopolitan and generous sentiment of Dean
Rusk, then Assistant Secretary for Far Eastern Affairs, later Secretary of
State. At precisely the same time as Mr. Rusk's talk in 1950, others in
his government were actively plotting the downfall of the Chinese
revolutionary government.

This has been a common phenomenon. For many of the cases described in the
following pages, one can find statements of high or middle-level
Washington officials which put into question the policy of intervention;
which expressed misgivings based either on principle (sometimes the better
side of American liberalism) or concern that the intervention would not
serve any worthwhile end, might even result in disaster. I have attached
little weight to such dissenting statements as, indeed, in the final
analysis, did Washington decision-makers who, in controversial world
situations, could be relied upon to play the anti-communist card. In
presenting the interventions in this manner, I am declaring that American
foreign policy is what American foreign policy does.

Though I am clearly opposed to the American interventions on both
political and moral grounds, I have striven to not let this color my
selection of facts; to not fall prey to that familiar failing: choosing
one's facts to fit one's thesis. Which is to say, I have not knowingly
omitted any facts which contradict in any significant way the information
I have presented, or the implications of that information. Further, I have
chosen not to take into account a number of intriguing disclosures
concerning American interventions where I felt that the source could not
be sufficiently trusted and/or the information was not presented or
documented in a manner which made it credible to me. In any event, it is
not demanded of the reader that he accept my biases, but that he reflect
upon his own{26}


1. Washington Post, 24 October 1965, article by Stanley Karnow.

2. Winston Churchill, The Second World War, Vol. IV, The Hinge of Fate
(London, 1951), p. 428.

3. Winston Churchill, The World Crisis: The Aftermath (London, 1929), p.

4. D.F. Fleming, "The Western Intervention in the Soviet Union,
1918-1920", New World Review (New York), Fall 1967; see also Fleming, The
Cold War and its Origins, 1917-1960 (New York, 1961), pp. 16-35.

5. Los Angeles Times, 2 September 1991, p. 1.

6. Frederick L. Schuman, American Policy Toward Russia Since 1917 (New
York, 1928), p. 125.

7. Ibid., p. 154.

8. San Francisco Chronicle, 4 October 1978, p. 4.

9. New Republic, 4 August 1920, a 42-page analysis by Walter Lippmann and
Charles Merz.

10. Life, 29 March 1943, p. 29.

11. New York Times, 24 June 1941; for an interesting account of how US
officials laid the groundwork for the cold war during and immediately
after World War 2, see the first two chapters of Blanche Wiesen Cook, The
Declassified Eisenhower (New York, 1981), a study of previously classified
papers at the Eisenhower Library.

12. This has been well documented and would be "common knowledge" if not
for its shameful implications. See, e.g., the British Cabinet papers for
1939, summarized in the Washington Post, 2 January 1970 (reprinted from
the Manchester Guardian); also Fleming, The Cold War, pp. 48-97.

13. Los Angeles Times, 15 December 1987; the figure of 28% disagreeing was
obtained by the author from the Times reporter. For a highly insightful
and readable description of the anti-communist mentality in the United
States, see Michael Parenti, The Anti-Communist Impulse (Random House, New
York, 1969).

14. Related by former French Foreign Minister Christian Pineau in a
recorded interview for the Dulles Oral History Project, Princeton
University Library; cited in Roger Morgan, The United States and West
Germany, 1945-1973: A Study in Alliance Politics (Oxford University Press,
London, 1974), p. 54, my translation from the French.

15. Parenti, p. 35.

16. John Stockwell, In Search of Enemies (New York, 1978), p. 101. The
expressions "CIA officer" or "case officer" are used throughout the
present book to denote regular, full-time, career employees of the Agency,
as opposed to "agent", someone working for the CIA on an ad hoc basis.
Other sources which are quoted, it will be seen, tend to use the word
"agent" to cover both categories.

17. Ibid., p. 238.

18. Kwame Nkrumah, Dark Days in Ghana (London, 1968), pp. 71-2.

19. The full quotation is from the New York Times, 11 January 1969, p. 1;
the inside quotation is that of the National Commission.

20. Mother Jones magazine (San Francisco), April 1981, p. 5.

21. San Francisco Chronicle, 14 January 1982, p. 2.

22. Richard F. Grimmett, "Reported Foreign and Domestic Covert Activities
of the United States Central Intelligence Agency: 1950-1974" (Library of
Congress report) 18 February 1975.

23. The Pentagon Papers (N.Y. Times edition, 1971), p. xiii.

24. Newsweek, 22 November 1971, p. 37.

25. Speech before the World Affairs Council at the University of
Pennsylvania, 13 January 1950, cited in the Republican Congressional
Committee Newsletter, 20 September 1965.

26. The last sentence is borrowed from Michael Parenti, op. cit., p. 7.

Taken from Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World
War II; by William Blum email:bblum6 [at]

--------7 of 8--------

 Clinton & 'Bama:
 their mouths runneth over but
 their feet moveth not

--------8 of 8--------

                          FotherMucker Bush


   - David Shove             shove001 [at]
   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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