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Regime Change: An American Addiction

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    Regime Change: An American Addiction by William Hughes http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org/cgi-bin/blogs/voices.php/2008/04/01/p24467#more24467 The seizure of
    Message 1 of 1 , May 25, 2008
      Regime Change: An American Addiction
      by William Hughes

      "The seizure of faraway lands by America...is a perversion of our
      national mission." - President Grover Cleveland, in 1893.

      It didn't start with the U.S.'s Neocon-inspired invasion of Iraq in
      March, 2003. Whether knowingly or not, the morally bankrupt
      Bush-Cheney Gang was following an imperial script which is over 110
      years old. During that period, the U.S. has "overthrown fourteen
      governments that displeased it for various ideological, political and
      economic reasons," writes Stephen Kinzer, in his riveting book,
      "Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq."

      Why did America betray its values and become itself a brutal
      colonizer? Well, after you blow away all the baloney about "national
      security and liberation," Kinzer reveals: "The U.S. acted mainly for
      `economic' reasons--specifically, to establish, promote and defend the
      right of `Americans' to do business around the world without
      interference." By "Americans," Kinzer mostly means the giant
      multinational corporations.

      Each of the respective countries on which the U.S. forced a regime
      change followed a basic kind of pattern, an M.O., if you please.
      Unfortunately, for our closest neighbors in Central and South America,
      they felt, more than any other nations, the consistent brunt of our
      greedy, violent, murderous and racist reach. Destabilization and
      intervention were two of our tactics, which often times resulted in
      horrific consequences for the targeted country and their inhabitants.
      Kinzer puts it this way: "Almost every American overthrow...left in
      its wake a bitter residue of pain and anger. Some have led to the
      slaughter of innocents...The U.S. was willing to support any governing
      clique, `no matter how odious,' as long as it did America's bidding."

      Over time, Cuba, Guatemala, Puerto Rica, Panama, Chile, Grenada,
      Nicaragua and Honduras to our South were subjected to some type of
      coercive, gangster-like intervention from the U.S. bully. Sometimes,
      it took the form of a direct invasion by military forces, like in
      Panama and Grenada. In other cases, the CIA initiated covert activity
      to bring the targeted regime to its knees.

      Take Honduras as a prime example of how "regime change" worked in
      Central America. What the U.S. did there reads like a script of
      fiction. Yet, it's all true. It really did happen. Kinzer shows that
      in 1910, a "soldier of fortune," Lee Christmas, conspired with the
      rapacious Sam Zemurray, a wheeler-dealer planter in Central America,
      along with an Honduras native, Manuel Bonilla, to take over that
      country. The conspiracy was hatched in New Orleans. All the wrongdoing
      was accomplished with the support, on a nod and wink basis, of the
      U.S. government. Christmas was to supply the muscle for the illegal
      coup, (think mercenary army). Zemurray provided the money to pay the
      hired thugs and to purchase the necessary weapons, and Bonilla was to
      be installed as "The President." Thanks to some timely gunboat
      diplomacy from the U.S., via its naval vessels, Marietta and Tacoma,
      it became a done deal by Nov. 1912. Honduras, a liberal democracy
      under its then President Miguel Davila, was never the same again.

      Here is how the author describes Zemurray: "`Sam the Banana Man' was
      one of the most colorful figures in the history of... capitalism...
      Some Jews considered him an exemplary figure of their Diaspora, an
      immigrant from Eastern Europe...[who] rose to great wealth and power.
      In Honduras, people know him as the man who `overthrew' their
      government and `took over' their country."

      After "President Bonilla" was installed, he rewarded Zemurray "10,000
      hectares of banana land--about 24,700 acres--near the north coast.
      Later he added 10,000 hectares near the Guatemala border." Zemurray
      was also allowed "to import whatever he needed, duty-free. Finally,
      [President Bonilla] authorized Zemurray to raise a $500,000 loan in
      the name of the Honduran government, and to use the money to repay
      himself for what he claimed to have spent organizing the
      revolution...With assets like these, it is no wonder Zemurray soon
      became known as the `uncrowned king of Central America'...Later
      [Zemurray] merged his enterprises with UNITED FRUIT...Four decades
      later, this uniquely powerful company would help overthrow another
      Central American government."

      The corrupt takeover in Honduras was repeated time and again, with
      various schemes, by U.S. interests, (corporate and government
      combined], in Central America. When I think about how a slippery
      character, like Zemurray, was permitted to profit so unfairly at the
      expense of generations of Honduran citizens, the word "Reparations"
      jumps out at me. If ever there was a case that cries out for justice,
      it's this one!

      Recently, I was in Costa Rica for a holiday. It's located south of
      Nicaragua and north of Panama. It's a lovely little country that has
      mostly been spared the blood-stained upheavals experienced by many of
      its unfortunate neighbors, who fell under the hegemony of Wall
      Street-based interests. Bananas and coffee are its main exports and
      the people are very friendly, with a high literacy rate. In 1948 Costa
      Rica abolished its army! Tourism is booming in this Caribbean paradise
      of myriad natural wonders. (1) Although it has its share of problems,
      its outlook is positive. If we ever learn to keep our
      corporate/government hands off of other countries, Costa Rica can be
      the future for all of our neighbors.

      On another front, the U.S., with the Brits as a partner, orchestrated
      a violent coup in Iran back in 1953. This subject comes up in Kinzer's
      book, although his definitive account of that massive crime against
      the Iranian people is recorded more fully in his excellent tome, "All
      the Shah's Men." I'm also highly recommending that book to readers. It
      is well documented and you will find it difficult to put down. Query:
      Why doesn't Hollywood do a movie about that U.S. induced "regime
      change?" (2)

      Enter Ted Koppel! I remember when that gabby news-reader first started
      out in 1979, with his popular "America Held Hostage" shows about the
      Iranian takeover of the American Embassy in Tehran. What Koppel never
      told his ABC-TV audiences, however, was how the U.S. and British
      governments (on behalf of "Big Oil') had plotted a coup d'etat
      ("Operation Ajax") in Iran, in 1953. It unseated the
      then-democratically elected government of Prime Minister Mohammad
      Mossadegh. They (the CIA and British Intelligence] replaced him with a
      tyrannical stooge, one Mohammad Reza Shah. It was the Shah's ultra
      corrupt regime which in turn inspired the student-led 1979 Islamic
      Revolution in Iran. If you want to know why we're really hated in the
      Islamic World, this is one of the many reasons why. Think BLOWBACK! (3)

      As I had written earlier, the 1953 Iranian coup "was critical
      background material that I don't recall Koppel ever revealing. In
      addition, by `Nightline' playing, ad infinitum, the hostage situation,
      it helped to undermine [support for] Democratic President Jimmy Carter
      and, eventually, it led to the GOP's Ronald Reagan capturing the White
      House, in 1980. Once in office, Reagan began to systematically
      undercut the social justice programs enacted under FDR's `New Deal.'
      He also greatly enlarged the Pentagon's budget, assaulted Organized
      Labor, [introduced the `Racket of `Deregulation' all to the glee of
      the Wall Street Wirepullers], and created national deficits of
      unprecedented proportions." (4)

      Finally, the U.S. record in overthrowing governments around the world
      is a sordid one. It is also a stain on our Republic as Kinzer's book
      so resounding shows. On a karmic level, some of the evil we've
      unleashed by our numerous criminal enterprises has, indeed, come home
      to roost. It is long past the time for our Republic to end this
      "perversion of its historic mission."


      1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmWr9zT1M7A

      2. See, "All The Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle
      East Terror," by Stephen Kinzer.

      3. "Blowback" by Chalmers Johnson. Check out:

      4. http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/3850

      See, also:

      William Hughes is a video and print journalist. His videos can be
      found at: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=liamh2.

      Email Contact: liamhughes @ comcast.net.



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