Funny thing about life, as you grow older you remember more of history firsthand. You've been there, seen it, and lived it. Lately, in relation to the events following the 9-11 terrorist attack on New York, I began to do a little reflection. The flag waving and unity building sounds were sounding very familiar. The term, "America at War", has begun to sound and appear much like a favored American holiday. Everyone comes out of their emotional and psychological caves to embrace society with their pent up need to do violence. Like any issue America sees fit to do violence for, is automatically exempt from repercussive consequence. Americans are called upon to donate, and the Military Industrial complex gets a big bonus check. The President, no matter how stupid he really is, is elevated to the level of God. Primarily because he has his hand on the biggest penis in the known world. The American War machine.
This President postures, and we posture with him. He picks an enemy and we, trained from birth to respond to Nationalism, respond by hating the chosen enemy. We get emotionally involved, write editorials, draw cartoons, give undisclosed amounts of tax dollars, enlist in our armed forces, and vow to slay the faceless foe. Never recognizing the foe is usually faceless. Never recognizing the foe we face is ourselves.
Would you give a man a gun, teach him how to use it, then pay him to shoot you? Only if you were trying to get away with the insurance money. Its admittedly a strange path to martyrdom. Yet, we as Americans have done this for at least the last twenty-five years. In today's information age, the truth about history comes out much faster. We can realistically look back at the last 25yrs firsthand. Most of us were there. Lets take a little stroll back down memory lane.
The following chronology is just a brief stroll. Its purpose is to highlight prior U.S. involvement with the last three international villains:
1976 George Bush becomes Director of CIA. He inherits Manuel Noriega as a primary contact in Central America. It is reported Noriega was paid upwards of $100,000 a year of American tax dollars to provide info for the CIA. National Security Archives document Noriega's extensive involvement with the CIA, back into the Sixties. His involvement with drug trafficking was frequently overlooked.
1976 In a Presidential campaign speech, Ronald Reagan declares that the "Panama canal zone is sovereign U.S. territory, just as much as Alaska is, as well as the States carved from the Louisiana purchase. We bought it, we paid for it, and General Torrijos should be told we're going to keep it."
Apr 18, 1978 President Jimmy Carter and Panamanian President Omar Torrijos sign a treaty which nullifies the treaty of 1903 which gave control of the Panama Canal to the U.S., and establishes the date of December 31, 1999 as the date complete control of the canal will return to the Panamanian people.
November 4, 1979, exactly one year before the U.S. presidential election, a mob of 3,000 students stormed the American Embassy's gate in Tehran, overran the guards, and took the 66 people inside hostage, in the name of the Ayatollah Khomeini. The Iran hostage crisis would last for 444 days.
December 25, 1979, 100,000 Soviet troops entered Afghanistan, beginning what would be called the "Soviet Vietnam," a 10 year war with no clear victor.
1979-1989, the CIA and the Pakistan army trained and equipped mujahideen and Muslim mercenaries from around the world to fight the Soviet infidels.
December 27, 1979 Soviet troops stormed the royal palace, killed Afghan leader Hafizullah Amin and replaced him with Babrak Karmal.
January 1980, President Carter proclaimed the "Carter Doctrine," declaring that the U.S. was willing to use military force if necessary to prevent "an outside power" from conquering the Gulf. The Carter administration began the formation of a Rapid Deployment Force (RDF) to project U.S. military power into the Gulf region. To support the RDF, the Pentagon needed a network of bases, and not just in the Middle East, but worldwide. "To all intents and purposes," a former senior Defense Department official observed, "'Gulf waters' now extend from the Straits of Malacca to the South Atlantic." Nevertheless, bases nearer the Gulf had a special importance, and Pentagon planners urged "as substantial a land presence in the area as can be managed."
September 22, 1980, Iraqi troops launch a full-scale invasion of Iran.
November 4, 1980 Ronald Wilson Reagan is elected the 40th President of the United States.
January 20, 1981 12 noon - Ronald Reagan is inaugurated as President. 12:20pm EST - hostages are released in Teheran
1981 After George Bush is sworn in as Vice President under Ronald Reagan, he's appointed head of the Administrations Anti Drug Campaign and again had responsibility for monitoring Noriega's drug activities. Admiral Stansfeild Turner former CIA Director under Jimmy Carter had cut Noriega off, and removed him from the U.S. payroll. George Bush put him back on with a raise.
March 1981, the Iraqi Communist Party, repressed by Saddam Hussein, beamed broadcasts from the Soviet Union calling for an end to the war and the withdrawal of Iraqi troops.
Mar 25, 1981 Vice President George Bush was named the leader of the United States `` Crisis Management '' staff, `` as a part of the National Security Council system. ''
July 31, 1981 General Omar Torrijos dies in a fireiry plane crash in Panama. Witnesses say the plane exploded in flight, although the authorities called it an accident. Some say it was the CIA and Colonel Manuel Noriega.
1981, U.S. Secretary of State Alexander Haig told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that he saw the possibility of improved ties with Baghdad and approvingly noted that Iraq was concerned by "the behavior of Soviet imperialism in the Middle Eastern area." The U.S. then approved the sale to Iraq of five Boeing jetliners, and sent a deputy assistant secretary of state to Baghdad for talks. The U.S. removed Iraq from its notoriously selective list of nations supporting international terrorism (despite the fact that terrorist Abu Nidal was based in the country) and Washington extended a $400 million credit guarantee for U.S. exports to Iraq.
December 1981 Presidential Finding authorizes CIA to support and conduct political and paramilitary operations in Nicaragua, elsewhere in Central America. Congress votes $19 million Contra military assistance.
May 14, 1982 Bush's position as chief of all covert action and de facto head of U.S. intelligence a sense, the acting President was formalized in a secret memorandum. The memo explained that `` National Security Decision Directive 3, Crisis Management, establishes the Special Situation Group (SSG), chaired by the Vice President. The SSG is charged ... with formulating plans in anticipation of crises. ''
June 1982, the Iranians went over to the offensive, but Iraq, with a significant advantage in heavy weaponry, was able to prevent a decisive Iranian breakthrough.
1982 The Pentagon's secret Defense Guidance document stated that the Soviet Union might extend its forces into the Gulf area "by means other than outright invasion." It continued: "Whatever the circumstances, we should be prepared to introduce American forces directly into the region should it appear that the security of access to Persian Gulf oil is threatened...." In the Senate, many argued that there was too much emphasis on countering the USSR, whereas the focus should be on "deterring and, if necessary, fighting regional wars or leftist or nationalist insurgencies that threatened U.S. and allied access to the region's oil supplies.
December 1982 Boland Amendment, enacted as part of the Defense Appropriations Act of 1983, prohibits CIA and Department of Defense (DoD) from spending money to support activities designed to overthrow the Sandinista Government. Reagans ability to openly support the Contras is limited.
Mar 8, 1983 President Reagan declares Soviet Communism "the focus of evil in the world"!
Apr 14, 1983 Reagan says covert aid to Nicaragua is legal. He calls the Contra's freedom fighters.
Aug , 1983 With the assistance of the CIA Manuel Noriega becomes Commander of the Panamanian Defense Forces and the defacto leader of Panama. Using his connections, Noriega creates an effective network to effectively supply Southern Front Contra's in Costa Rica with weapons and supplies provided by the network Oliver North put in place.
Oct 31, 1983 "Operation Urgent Fury" U.S. troops invade the island of Grenada to help restore democratic institutions and defeat a band of what President Reagan called "Cuban thugs".
1983, the United States helped bring to the attention of Teheran the threat inherent in the extensive infiltration of the government by the communist Tudeh Party and Soviet or pro Soviet cadres in the country. Using this information, the Khomeini government took measures, including mass executions, that virtually eliminated the pro Soviet infrastructure in Iran."
1984 Manuel Noriega hosts the Contadora Peace talks, the talks called for an end of U.S. involvement in Central American affairs.
Apr 8, 1984 Reagan Administration denies authority of World Court decisions on Central America
October 1984 A specially equipped C-141 Starlifter transport carrying William Casey touched down at a military air base south of Islamabad for a secret visit by the CIA director to plan strategy for the war against Soviet forces in Afghanistan. Helicopters lifted Casey to three secret training camps near the Afghan border, where he watched Mujaheddin rebels fire heavy weapons and learn to make bombs with CIA supplied plastic explosives and detonators. During the visit, Casey startled his Pakistani hosts by proposing that they take the Afghan war into enemy territory -- into the Soviet Union itself. Casey wanted to ship subversive propaganda through Afghanistan to the Soviet Union's predominantly Muslim southern republics. The Pakistanis agreed, and the CIA soon supplied thousands of Koran's, as well as books on Soviet atrocities in Uzbekistan and tracts on historical heroes of Uzbek nationalism, according to Pakistani and Western officials.
November 1984, the U.S. and Iraq restored diplomatic relations, which had been ruptured in 1967.
1984, because of Iranian battlefield victories and the growing U.S.-Iraqi ties, Washington launched "Operation Staunch," an effort to dry up Iran's sources of arms by pressuring U.S. allies to stop supplying Teheran. U.S. secret arms sales to Iran in 1985 and 1986 thus not only violated U.S. neutrality, but undercut as well what the U.S. was trying to get everyone else to do. The cynical would note that Operation Staunch made the U.S. arms transfers to Iran that much more valuable.
Jan 21, 1985 Ronald Reagan sworn in as President at Super Bowl 19.
March 1985, Casey's visit in 1984, was a prelude to a secret Reagan administration decision reflected in National Security Decision Directive 166, to sharply escalate U.S. covert action in Afghanistan. Abandoning a policy of simple harassment of Soviet occupiers, the Reagan team decided secretly to let loose on the Afghan battlefield an array of U.S. high technology and military expertise in an effort to hit and demoralize Soviet commanders and soldiers.
May 1985, the seven principal resistance groups formed an official alliance, the Islamic Unity of Afghan Mujaheddin, to coordinate political and military activities
1985 The CIA supplied mujaheddin rebels with extensive satellite reconnaissance data of Soviet targets on the Afghan battlefield, plans for military operations based on the satellite intelligence, intercepts of Soviet communications, secret communications networks for the rebels, delayed timing devices for tons of C-4 plastic explosives for urban sabotage and sophisticated guerrilla attacks, long-range sniper rifles, a targeting device for mortars that was linked to a U.S. Navy satellite, wire-guided anti-tank missiles, and other equipment.
December 1985 Oliver North told Robert McFarlane and John Poindexter that the anti-tank weapons the U.S. was secretly providing to Iran would probably go to the Revolutionary Guards, the shock troops of the mullahs.
February 1986 Oliver North gave critical data to Iran which aided in its crucial victory in the Fao Peninsula.
1986, the CIA established a direct Washington-to-Baghdad link to provide the Iraqis with faster intelligence from U.S. satellites.
June 1986 Pakistani officers traveled to the United States for training on the Stinger missle. Then set up a secret mujaheddin Stinger training facility in Rawalpindi, complete with an electronic simulator made in the United States. The simulator allowed mujaheddin trainees to aim and fire at a large screen without actually shooting off expensive missiles.
1986 One faction in the Iranian government leaked the story of the U.S. arms dealing, Washington's effort to enhance its position with both sides came apart. The Iran-Contra scandal had began.
November 1986, The U.S. purpose, Reagan announced after the Iran-Contra scandal blew open, was "to find an avenue to get Iran back where it once was and that is in the family of democratic nations"
August 20, 1988 The Iran-Iraq war comes to an end.
December 20, 1989, "Operation Just Cause", American armed forces in Panama were ordered by President George Bush, ostensibly on the grounds that the unofficial leader, General Manuel Antonio Noriega, had declared in a state of war with the United States. Noriega - a longtime intelligence source for the CIA, dating back to Bush's term as the agency's director - had been indicted by a federal jury in Miami on a drug trafficking charge the previous year.
July 17, 1990 Hussein accuses Kuwait of oil overproduction and theft of oil from the Rumailia Oil Field.
July 25, 1990 US Ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie, tells Hussien that the Iraq/Kuwaitt dispute is an Arab matter, not one that affects the United States.
August 2, 1990 Iraq invades Kuwait. President Bush freezes Iraqi and Kuwaiti assets. The United Nations calls on Hussien to withdraw.
Nov. 20, 1990 45 Democrats file suit in Washington to have President Bush first seek Congressional approval of military operations. (eventually thrown out)
Jan 16, 1991 First US government statement of Operation Desert-Storm made. Marlin Fitzwater announces, "The liberation of Kuwait has begun..." The air war started Jan 17 at 2:38 a.m. (local time) or January 16 at 6:38PM EST due to an 8 hour time difference, with an Apache helicopter attack. US warplanes attack Baghdad, Kuwait and other military targets in Iraq.
1996 Osama bin Laden fled Sudan and sought refuge in Afghanistan.
2001 U.S. begins late night
attacks in Afghanistan to remove the Taliban government and force them
to hand over Osama bin Ladin.
This has been a brief overview of U.S. foriegn policy for about the last 24 years. It raises the question of what does America stand for. We say we support peace and democracy abroad, and yet the policy of our elected officials often puts us in bed with hardened criminals charged with the task of protecting us from other hardened criminals. We support dictatorships that in turn rise up against us. All the while our so called "foreign policy" does nothing more than secure resources for our industrial complex, and money for our military industrial complex. War is about and for business. Would you like to buy a war today. It's going for the bargain basement price of only $43 billion?
we, as Americans,
been duped into paying our taxes to Imperialists?
As a nation, we do not participate in the social dialogue of the world,
unless it is to further the control or influence of western industry or
financial institutions. We won't ban land mines because we produce the
most. We won't cut our greenhouse emissions because we like to drive
SUVs, and burning oil is the current profit paradigm. We won't sign a
test ban treaty because we want to nuke someone someday. We won't go to
an International Conference on racism because we don't want to curb our
racist tendency's. And it doesn't stop there. It would seem we are not
the America we think we are. Now the world is telling us about it. How
many more of us need to die for the wrong reasons? It would seem,
to our belief, that we, the United States, makes the world a more
place. Our tax dollars are continually being used to create pain and
in the world, and we as Americans will not escape gods wrath when it
back around. No matter how good or right we think we are. Something you
better think about.