Everything* you ever wanted to know about U.S. foreign policy that history books tend to neglect

Viet Nam
A child burned by Napalm Vietnam
1960-75 Vietnamese attempts to decolonize from the French. Thinking the United States might support that initiative (as an ex-colony and all), Ho Chi Minh asks for American help. A slew of U.S. Presidents decide to invade, rape, murder, and poison the country instead. Several million Vietnamese are killed. The CIA's "Operation Phoenix" alone executes over 20,000 civilians as suspected communists.
The Philippines
dead Filipinos The Philippines 1898-1910
The US "bought" the Philippines from a defeated Spain. When Filipinos attempted to call for their independence, the US sent over the army and killed over 600,000. Filipinos were rounded up into concentration camps, tortured, and orders were given to "kill everyone over the age of ten." Whole villages were lined up on bridges and shot into rivers. The atrocities were enough to inspire a vibrant anti-imperialist movement back in the United States. Pictured, dead Filipinos.
U.S. Brig. Gen. Jacob H. Smith: "I want no prisoners. I wish you to kill and burn, the more you kill and burn the better you will please me. I want all persons killed who are capable of bearing arms in actual hostilities against the United States."
Major Littleton W. T. Waller: How young?
Smith: Ten years and up.
—Exchange on October 1901, quote from the testimony at Smith's court martial by the New York Evening Journal (May 5, 1902).
1984-1989 The CIA and Special Forces units undertake a prolonged counterinsurgency campaign to quell lefist guerrillas in the south; the unsuccessful effort claims some 30,000 lives.
An American soldier frisks a Panamanian man Panama
1846 US and Bogota sign Bidlack-Mallarino Treaty, granting US a railroad in Panama and military presence for protection of railroad and prevention of independence of Panama from New Granada. There will be twenty US interventions before 1903, many to suppress independence revolts.
1856 The Watermelon War: Revolts by Afro-Panamanians against racism of US businessmen and troops. US occupies isthmus to quell disturbances.
1895 Marines land in Colombian province.
1899-1902 US collaborates with Colombian Conservative forces to suppress three Liberal independence revolts, during Colombia's Thousand Days War.
1903 US forces plan and assist Conservative independence revolt for Panama, ensuring success.
1914 The Canal Zone is annexed.
1908 Marines intervene in election contest.
1912 Marines land during heated election.
1918-20 "Police duty" during unrest after elections.
1925 Marines suppress general strike.
1958 Flag protests erupt into confrontation.
l964 22 Panamanian students shot for raising a Panamanian flag in the canal zone.
1989 Nationalist government ousted by 27,000 soldiers, leaders arrested, 2000+ killed.
President Carter and the Shah Iran
1953 CIA overthrows democracy, installs Shah. Shah tortures and murders thousands of critics.
1983 CIA identifies to Iranian government 200 leftists who were then executed.
1982-1988 US supports Saddam Hussein in war against Iran. The Navy destroys Iranian oil platforms.
1988 USS Vincennes shoots down Iran Air Flight 655, a passenger jet. All 290 passengers die. About the deaths, Bush 1 says "I will never apologize for the United States, ever. I don't care what the facts are."
1987-88 US intervenes on side of Iraq in war, bombs Iran.
1954 CIA overthrew the democratically elected Jacob Arbenz in a military coup. Arbenz had threatened to nationalize the Rockefeller-owned United Fruit Company, in which CIA Director Allen Dulles also owned stock. As justification for the coup, Washington declared that Guatemala had been on the verge of a Soviet takeover, when in fact the Russians had so little interest in the country that it didn't even maintain diplomatic relations. The real problem in the eyes of Washington, in addition to United Fruit, was the danger of Guatemala's social democracy spreading to other countries in Latin America. Arbenz was replaced with a series of right-wing dictators whose bloodthirsty policies kill over 100,000 Guatemalans over the next 40 years.
"If it is necessary to turn the country into a cemetary in order to pacify it, I will not hesitate to do so." —President Carlos Arana Osorio
"We have created a more humanitarian, less costly strategy, to be more compatible with the democratic system. We instituted civil affairs [in 1982] which provides development for 70 percent of the population, while we kill 30 percent. Before, the strategy was to kill 100 percent."
—General Hector Gramajo, 1980s Guatemalan Minister of Defense
A child burned by Napalm Korea
Late 1940s Cheju Island uprisings leads to 40,000+ Koreans being killed; thousands are arrested and tortured to death. Hundreds of villages disappear.
1945-53 After World War II, the United States suppressed the popular progressive forces in favor of the conservatives who had collaborated with the Japanese. This led to a long era of corrupt, reactionary, and brutal governments.
South Dakota
The Massacre at Wounded KneeWounded Knee, South Dakota
1890 300 Lakota Indians massacred at Wounded Knee.
1974 US armed forces lay siege on Lakotas.
tanks roll in for the coup Chile
1891 Marines clash with nationalist rebels.
1971 The CIA in near daily contact with military. The station collecting the kind of information that would be essential for a military dictatorship after a coup: lists of civilians to be arrested, those to be protected and government installations occupied at once.
The lists include nearly 20,000 middle-level leaders of people's organizations, scheduled to be assassinated from the morning of the coup on. The list of some 3,000 high-level directors to be arrested. Lists detailed: name, address, age, profession, marital status, and closest personal friends. From late June on, plotters began to finalize lists of extremists, political leaders, Marxist journalists, agents of international communism, and any and all persons participating with any vigor in neighborhood, communal, union, or national organization. The Pentagon had been asked to get the CIA to give the Chilean army lists of Chileans linked to socialist countries. Names sorted into two groups: persons not publicly known but who important in leftist organizations; and, well-known people in important positions. 20,000 in first group and 3,000 in second. Second group to be jailed, the first to be killed.
1973 CIA-backed coup ousts and murders elected marxist president. Thousands are rounded up into a sports stadium and massacred. Ironically, the terrorist coup is on September 11.
A child burned by Napalm Nicaragua
1854 Naval forces bombarded and burned San Juan del Norte (Greytown) to avenge an insult to the American Minister to Nicaragua.
1894 Month-long occupation of Bluefields.
1898 Marines land at port of San Juan del Sur.
1899 Marines land at port of Bluefields.
1907 "Dollar Diplomacy" protectorate set up.
1910 Marines land in Bluefields and Corinto.
1912-33 20-year occupation fighting guerrillas of Augusto Sandino
1979 On July 19, the Sandinistas lead the revolutionary overthrow of U.S.-backed dictator, Anastasio Somoza, The FSLN begins instituting popular measures such as land reform and literacy programs.
1981-90 CIA directs Contra invasions, plants harbor mines to attack the Sandinista revolutionary government. At least 50,000 were killed. 76,000 landmines are still left over from the war.
1987 Iran-Contra investigation reveals illegal covert actions by Reagan administration to aid contras fighting to overthrow Nicaraguan Government. The International Court finds the United States in abrogation of international law for its embargo against Nicaragua, mining its harbors and creating and supporting contras. All the co-conspirators get pardoned by President Bush in 1993.
1947-49 U.S. directs extreme-right in civil war.
1964-74 The military coup of 1967, a joint effort of the Royal Court, the Greek military, and the American military and CIA stationed in Greece, is put in motion because the liberal candidate, George Papandreou, is sure to become prime minister. The coup is followed immediately by the martial law, censorship, arrests, beatings, torture, and killings, the victims totaling some 8,000 in the first month. This is accompanied by the equally traditional declaration that this is all being done to save the nation from a "communist takeover." Corrupting and subversive influences (i.e. miniskirts, long hair, and foreign newspapers) in Greek life are removed; Church attendance for the young becomes compulsory.
It was torture, however, which most indelibly marked the seven-year Greek nightmare. James Becket, an American attorney sent by Amnesty International, wrote in December 1969 that "a conservative estimate would place at not less than two thousand" the number of people tortured, usually in the most gruesome of ways, often with US-supplied equipment.
Becket reported the following:
Hundreds of prisoners have listened to the little speech given by Inspector Basil Lambrou, who sits behind his desk which displays the red, white, and blue clasped-hand symbol of American aid. He tries to show the prisoner the absolute futility of resistance: "You make yourself ridiculous by thinking you can do anything. The world is divided in two. There are the communists on that side and on this side the free world. The Russians and the Americans, no one else. What are we? Americans. Behind me there is the government, behind the government is NATO, behind NATO is the U.S. You can't fight us, we are Americans."
Italy 1948-1976
The Congressional Pike Report reveals that the since 1948, we spent over $65 million dollars (including some Marshall Plan aid) interfering in Italian elections, joining Moscow in support of European anti-communism, by way of neo-fascists and known terrorists.
Interference in Italy included buying every election from 1948 to 1972 and destroying the anti-fascist resistance that had organized powerful unions and worker committees in its fight against Germany.
Ft. Benning
School of Americas, Ft. Benning 1946-present
The School of the Americas (SOA) was formed in 1946, one year before the CIA was created, in order to train Latin American dictators, death squad leaders, and military and police officers. Originally constructed in Panama and moved to Georgia in 1985, the school has trained such notorious figures as: El Salvador's Roberto D'Abuisson, a 1972 graduate and the death squad leader responsible for the murder of Archbishop Oscar Romero in 1980; SOA graduate Leopoldo Galtieri, dictator of Argentina between 1981 and 1982, was responsible for the death or disappearance of more than 30,000 people; Colonel Julio Roberto Alpirez, a two-time graduate of the SOA and a CIA "asset," commanded the Guatemalan security force responsible for the deaths of more than 100,000 people throughout the course of a four-decade counterinsurgency war.
El Salvador's Atlacatl Battalion's leaders were also trained at the SOA. In December 1981, the battalion swept into the northeastern village of El Mozote and systematically killed more than 200 men, women, and children, raping many of the women, beheading many of the victims, and slitting the throats of and hanging children.
Other notable alumni include: Manuel Noriega and Omar Torrijos, former Panamanian strongmen; Roberto Viola and Leopoldo Galtieri, leaders of argentine dirty war; Michael Francois, former Haitian police chief; 19 of 27 Salvadoran officers cited for murder of six Jesuit priests; 10 of 12 Salvadoran officers involved in El Mozote massacre; 105 of 247 Colombian officers cited for human rights violations in 1992; and former dictators of Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru.
Baby Duvalier with the Pope Haiti
1891 Black revolt on Navassa defeated
1914-34 19-year occupation after revolts.
1957-1986 US supports rule of the Duvalier dictatorships, which assassinates 40-60,000 political opponents. Above, "Baby Doc" Duvalier with the Pope.
1994 Blockade against military government; troops restore President Aristide to office three years after coup.
Congo 1961
Shortly after the Congo wins its independence from the US-supported rule of Belgium, anti-colonial leader Patrice Lumumba is elected president. Eisenhower immediately orders his assassination. Lumumba is killed. The US then backs dictator Joseph Mobutu Sese-Seko, who tortures and kills his critics.
Detroit, Michigan
Detroit, Michigan 1967
After notoriously racist "vice squads" break up a "welcome home" party for two returning Vietnam vets, a rebellion breaks out which lasts for 5 days. At the conclusion, 43 people are dead, including three black youths who were executed at the Algiers Motel (ostensibly for being with white women; the women were severely beaten).
East Timor
A student is tortured and killed in Timor East Timor 1975-1999
The US supports Suharto's killing spree of hundreds of thousands of East Timorese, exterminating somewhere on the order of one third of the population in one of the most thorough acts of genocide committed in recent history. Expansive trade relations, military aid, and the sale of arms to Indonesisa continued unabated until 1999, and in 2002 began anew. Pictured, a student is tortured in East Timor.
Jamaica 1976-1980
CIA backs unsuccessful military coup against Michael Manley in 1976. Related activity leaves some 750 dead. Destabalizing trade measures and interference in elections leads to Manley's defeat in 1980. Manley returns to office in 1989 after he adopts Washington Consensus approved economic programs.
El Salvador
Victims from a Death SquadEl Salvador 1980-1992
The US backs the Salvadorian junta's power grab and subsequent reign of terror with massive military aid and training, and without dealing at any point with the underlying causes of the violence. El Salvador becomes a top recipient of US aid globally as death squad activity proliferates. There are numbers of political assassinations, including the deaths of American aid workers; Between 1978-81, some 35,000 civillians are murdered. By the end of the civil war in 1992, this number rises to 75,000, with over a quarter of the population internally displaced or in other countries as refugees, the total figure for US military aid is $6 billion.
"People are not just killed by death squads in El Salvador; they are decapitated and then their heads are placed on pikes and used to dot the landscape. Men are not just disemboweled by the Salvadoran Treasury Police; their severed genitalia are stuffed into their mouths. Salvadoran women are not just raped by the National Guard; their wombs are cut from their bodies and used to cover their faces. It is not enough to kill children; they are dragged over barbed wire until the flesh falls from their bones while parents are forced to watch. The aesthetics of terror in El Salvador is religious." —Father Daniel Santiago
Pictured, victims from a Death Squad
Rwanda 1994
While the US didn't support, fund, or endorse the genocide, the US DID unilaterally prevent UN intervention while refusing to act itself, even minimally, during the Rwandan genocide of some 75% of the Tutsi population, which, unlike in the past when genocidal violence occurred between Tutsi and Hutu in Burundi 20 odd years earlier, was possible and largely supported by many other governments.
Venezuela 2002
US-backed coup against the Chavez government fails after two days amidst huge street demonstrations.
Saddam and RumsfeldIraq until 1990
1982-1988 US supports Saddam Hussein and Iraq's war on Iran.
1983 President Reagan's envoy to the Middle East, Donald Rumsfeld (seen at left in the picture), is sent to broker normal diplomatic relations, which he does despite growing evidence that Hussein is using chemical weapons against Iran. Saddam begins to purchase US helicopters.
1988 Saddam gasses kurdish civilians. In response to the gassing, sweeping sanctions were unanimously passed by the US Senate that would have denied Iraq access to most US technology. The measure was killed by the White House. Bob Dole leads a convoy of US senators to assure Hussein that he still has American support.
1990 With Saddam amassing troops on the Iraq-Kuwait border, the US State Department sends diplomat April Glaspie with the strict instructions to inquire about Saddam's intentions and to give the green light: "We have no opinion on your Arab-Arab conflicts, such as your dispute with Kuwait. Secretary Baker has directed me to emphasize the instruction, first given to Iraq in the 1960s, that the Kuwait issue is not associated with America."
Iraq 1990-Present
Iraq 1990-Present
1990-1 Blockade of Iraqi and Jordanian ports, air strikes; 200,000+ killed in invasion of Iraq and Kuwait
1990-2002 no-fly zone over Kurdish north, Shiite south, large-scale destruction of Iraqi military. US bombs Iraq almost daily.
1991-2003 12-year embargo on Iraq kills over 2 million. Half of million of these are children. When asked about the half a million dead children on the TV show 60 Minutes, Secretary of State Madeline Albright says "We think the price is worth it."
2002-present US invades again. After massive bombing campaign, violent occupation begins. Tens of thousands dead with guesses as low as 50,000 and as high as 700,000. Illegal prison facilities are caught hiding "ghost" prisoners. Abu Ghraib prison scandal reveals widespread systemic use of torture by Americans.
Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
1947-2003 US Navy expels families in Vieques and uses the land for military exercises, including with depleted uranium.
The FBI created "subversive" lists with names of more than 150,000 "independentistas" who often find themselves thrown out of work. FBI agents organized and trained death squads within the Puerto Rican police department.
2005 The FBI assassinates 72 year old Filiberto Ojeda Rios, leader of the Boricua Popular Army, Los Macheteros (the Machete Wielders).
South Africa
Nelson Mandela South Africa
1962 A tip from a paid CIA informant led to 1962 arrest of Nelson Mandela, leader of the African National Congress. A CIA officer claimed "we have turned Mandela over to the South African security branch."
1986 The Apartheid regime concedes to grant people of mixed race and Indians the vote and their own chambers in Parliament; "Africans" are still excluded. Black resistance turns many townships into no-go areas for the police. Millions of black people strike for a day on the 10th anniversary of the Soweto uprising on June 16. A nationwide state of emergency is imposed. The U.S. Congress finally passes sanctions on October 2nd, despite Reagan's veto.
Pictured, Nelson on his release after 27 years in prison.
Ludlow, Colorado
Ludlow Colorado 1914
Colorado National Guard troops and mine guards attack a tent colony inhabited by striking miners and their families, killing twenty, including two women and eleven children. It is known as the "Ludlow Massacre."
The Baldwin Felts Detective Agency, hired to suppress the Colorado miners, brought with them an armored car mounted with a machine gun—the Death Special—that roamed the area spraying bullets. The day of the massacre, the miners were celebrating Greek Easter. At 10:00 am the militia surrounded the camp and began firing into the tents upon a signal from the commander, Lt. Karl E. Lindenfelter. Not one of the perpetrators of the slaughter were ever punished, but scores of miners and their leaders were arrested and black-balled from the coal industry.
An Indonesian man in military custody Indonesia 1965
A complex series of events, involving a supposed coup attempt, a counter-coup, and perhaps a counter-counter-coup, with American fingerprints apparent at various points, resulted in the ouster from power of Sukarno and his replacement by a military coup led by General Suharto. The massacre that began immediately—of communists, communists sympathizers, suspected communists, suspected communist sympathizers, and none of the above—was called by the New York Times "one of the most savage mass slayings of modern political history." The estimates of the number killed in the course of a few years begin at half a million and go above a million.
It was later learned that the U.S. embassy had compiled lists of "communist" operatives, from top echelons down to village cadres, as many as 5,000 names, and turned them over to the army, which then hunted those persons down and killed them. The Americans would then check off the names of those who had been killed or captured. "It really was a big help to the army. They probably killed a lot of people, and I probably have a lot of blood on my hands," said one U.S. diplomat. "But that's not all bad. There's a time when you have to strike hard at a decisive moment." Above, An Indonesian man in military custody.
Cuban Revolutionaries Cuba
1953-1959 Cuba's revolution; when Castro makes it clear that he will not simply replace Batista as the US's puppet dictator, Eisenhower orders trade sanctions and for the CIA to begin preparing to overthrow the new government.
1961-1963 CIA unsuccessfully attempts at least 6 times to assassinate Fidel Castro.
1961 CIA trains, supports, and assists invasion force of Cuban exiles to overthrow Castro government. The attempt, known as the "Bay of Pigs" is unsuccessful.
1961-1966 Broad sabotage program, including terrorist attacks on coastal targets and bacteriological warfare, in effort to weaken Castro government. Unsuccessful.
1962 Kennedy widens the ban on trade to an all out embargo.
1980-present After several years of a warming relationship, Reagan re-tightens the embargo. The US continues to fund terrorist and anti-Cuban organizations today.
1903 Marines intervene in revolution.
1907 The US Marines invade.
1912 The US Marines invade.
1919 Marines land during election campaign.
1984-1990 The US pressures Honduras into hosting and training Nicaraguan contras in return for aid money. By 1985 President Suazo Cordova is receiving on the order of $230 million a year from his US partners. Death squad activity and human rights abuses drastically increased shortly after.
1962-1975 The dictatorship of a poor man's Nazi, Alfredo Stroessner, receives $146 million in US aid, never receiving condemnations for its human rights abuses, the genocide of the indigenous Ache, drug trafficking and open arms policy for ex-Nazis until the 1980s. The condemnation shortly preceded a 1988 coup. Stroessner took exile in Brazil.
1964 A U.S.-backed military coup topples the three-year-old left-wing government. Paulo Freire, who uses literacy programs to "conscientize" the poor, is imprisoned, then exiled. General Costa e Silva, the newly installed head-of-state, allows the CIA to establish an irregular political police apparatus which serves as the prototype for the U.S. "Office of Public Safety" (OPS), the mechanism through which Latin American death squads are created on a wholesale basis later in the decade.
1967 Che Guevera is captured by CIA and U.S.-trained Bolivian Rangers on October 8 and executed the next day.
1966 CIA assists overthrow of Kwame Nkrumah.
1969 Nixon and Secretary of State kissinger start secret bombing, followed by a U.S. Invasion.
1975 After gaining independence from Portugal, Angola descends into civil war. The MPLA government is challenged by UNITA, which is backed by apartheid South Africa. The CIA also supports UNITA.
1998 The United States bombs a pharmaceutical plant causing 30,000 civilian deaths.
1983 7000 US troops invade Grenada in order to dismantle the Soviet Union- and Cuba- aligned government of Maurice Bishop. The Bishop government begins constructing an airport which Reagan claims constitutes a "threat" against the United States. The US Joint Chief of Staffs also claims that, in the event of a Russian attack on Western Europe, Grenada would interdict the supply lines between the Caribbean and Western Europe and without oil from the region America would be doomed. After the invasion, Grenada receives $48 million in aid and pro-US Herbert Blaize is elected Prime Minister with $675,000 in funds channeled through the CIA.
Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic
1904 Theodore Roosevelt introduces the Roosevelt corollary to the Monroe Doctrine after D.R.'s government threatens to default on over $34 million in foreign loans. The corollary establishes the US's role as Latin America's banker and policeman:
If a nation...keeps order and pays its obligations, it need fear no interference from the United States. ...in the Western Hemisphere the adherence of the United States to the Monroe Doctrine may force the United States, however reluctantly, in flagrant cases of such wrongdoing or impotence, to the exercise of an international police power.

1916 US invades DR and occupies the country until 1924. The US military kicks peasants off land illegitimately owned by (mostly American) sugar companies, creates the National Police Force, and strictly controls the expression of dissent through censorship and imprisonment.

1930-61 Dictatorship of Rafael Leonidas Trujillo, who seizes power thanks to the US-trained National Police Force and enjoys US support during his rule thanks to his anti-communist stance. Highlights of the Trujillo era include the policy of blanquismo (whitening) and the massacre of 20-25,000 Haitians.

1965 Lyndon Johnson sends 23,000 US troops to D.R. in response to domestic clashes between "constitutionalists" (supporters of left-wing Juan Bosch) and "loyalists" (far-right military supporters of Trujillo protege Joaquin Balaguer). After the invasion, US-backed Balaguer will dominate Dominican politics for the next 35 years.
1963-1974 The United States, in an attempt to cut Vietnamese supply lines, drops 80 million cluster bombs over the country over the course of 580,000 bombing runs. 350,000 Laotians are killed, 2 million tons of explosives are dropped, and US government denies the existence of any conflict in the country.
1979 US trains and arms Mujahideen to fight USSR-supported Afghan government; when Soviet troops invade in late December to fight the Mujahideen insurgents, the 10-year Soviet-Afghan War begins.
1980s The U.S. spent billions of dollars through the 1980s in support of the Islamic fundamentalist extremist Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. The Far Eastern Economic Review reports that 1994 opium production in Afghanistan is the biggest crop the world has ever seen, enabling Afghanistan and Pakistan (the base for the CIA operations) to win first place in world heroin-production, overtaking the Golden Triangle that gained that status as a by-product of U.S. subversion and aggression a generation ago. "It is now widely accepted," the Review reports, "that the U.S. deliberately played down heroin production by the mujahideen during these years" (1980-89), causing at least one DEA agent to resign in disgust because of the CIA's protection of known druglords. One consequence is that Pakistan, with no significant drug problem in 1980, now has perhaps as many as 2 million heroin addicts, while heroin-export earnings amount to about 20 percent of its formal exports, a UN report estimates. Most of the heroin produced ends up in the United States.
2001 After the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the US invades Afghanistan.
1981 The White house trumpets the story of a "Libyan hit squad" out to get Reagan. They are lying. Interestingly enough, CIA director William Casey feeds false intelligence to other US government agencies to create multiple "independent" reports to justify a hard response against Libya; this same strategy is pursued in the build-up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The US begins shooting down Libyan jets, flying over Libyan airspace, and basically trying hard to pick a fight.
1986 President Reagan accuses Libya of bombing of a West Berlin disco frequented by American soldiers and claims "Our evidence is direct, it is precise, it is irrefutable." He is lying on all three counts. The US then bombs Libya, killing between 40 and 100 people (all but one a civilian) and wounding another 100. The US awards 158 medals to the pilots who dropped 500-pound and 2,000-pound bombs in the dark of night upon sleeping people.
1873The first Marine landing to support the colonists. 1886After failing to take power in the an elections, the plantation oligarchy prepared for a coup d'etat, which took place a year later with the help of their military arm, the Hawaiian Rifles. The "Bayonet Constitution" forced upon the king granted US citizens the right to vote, while excluding a large part of the native population through property qualifications and barring Asian immigrants as aliens. Another consequence of the coup was the delivery of the Pearl River estuary to the United States as a naval base.
1891the USS Pensacola was dispatched "in order to guard American interests," which now included ownership of four-fifths of the arable land.
1893 Queen Liliuokalani made a last ditch effort to preserve Hawaiian sovereignty, granting the right to vote in Hawaiian elections only to Hawaiians, rich or poor, without discrimination. At the order of US Minister John Stevens, US troops landed and imposed martial law—to support "the best citizens and nine-tenths of the property owners of the country," in the words of the commanding officer. Stevens informed the Secretary of State that "The Hawaiian pear is now fully ripe and this is the golden hour for the United States to pluck it." The US planters and their native collaborators produced a declaration proclaiming the conviction of the "overwhelming majority of the conservative and responsible members of the community"—who numbered a few hundred men—"that independent, constitutional, representative and responsible government, able to protect itself from revolutionary uprisings and royal aggression, is no longer possible in Hawaii under the existing system of government." Under protest, the Queen surrendered to the "superior force of the United States of America" and its troops, abdicating in the hope of saving her followers from the death penalty; she herself was fined $5000 and sentenced to five years at hard labor for her crimes against good order (commuted in 1896).
1965 US establishes the "Office of Public Safety" in Montevideo. The OPS trained and armed Uruguayan police to combat the Tupumaros/MLM revolutionary forces. Torture expert Dan Mitrione comes to the OPS in 1969 and is credited with making torture "routine" in Uruguay.
1976 One out of every 500 of Uruguay's three million people is said to be a political prisoner. Over 25,000 are tortured.
1976 Following a military coup, upwards of 15,000 Argentineans are kidnapped, tortured, and then murdered (many are thrown from airplanes). Though some US military aid is cut by congress, it is over the objection of the Carter administration. Other institutions that the US plays a major role in, including the World Bank, The Inter-American Development Bank, and the International Monetary Fund, offer Argentina new loans since it has become "credit worthy."
1977 David Rockefeller explains to a group of New York bankers that "I have the impression that finally Argentina has a regime which understands the private enterprise system."
"According to journalist Grace Livingstone, as of 2003 more Colombian SOA graduates have been identified as alleged human rights abusers than SOA graduates from any other Latin American country."
Human Rights Watch concluded that the resulting military intelligence networks, organized and operating according to the US suggestions incorporated by Order 200-05/91, subsequently laid the groundwork for continuing an illegal, covert partnership between the military and paramilitaries. HRW argued that the restructuring process solidified linkages between members of the Colombian military and civilian members of paramilitary groups, by incorporating them into several of the local intelligence networks and by cooperating with their activities. In effect, HRW believed that this further consolidated a secret network that relied on paramilitaries not only for intelligence, but to carry out murder". Human Rights Watch argued that this situation allowed the Colombian government and military to plausibly deny links or responsibility for paramilitary human rights abuses. HRW stated that, far from diminishing violence, the military intelligence networks created by the U.S. reorganization appeared to have dramatically increased violence, citing massacres in Barrancabermeja as an example."
1958 The US invades Lebanon, sending ashore troops with atomic-armored rockets and while nuclear weapons were deployed on offshore aircraft carriers and the Strategic Air Command is placed on a worldwide nuclear alert.
1982-1984 Marines are put ashore to support an Israeli invasion and partial occupation of the ocuntry.
1958 The National Security Council Planning Board comments that "if we choose to combat radical Arab nationalism and to hold Persian Gulf oil by force if necessary, a logical corollary would be to support Israel as the only strong pro-West power left in the Near East." Currently, Israel, with .1% of the world's population, receives a third of US Foreign Aid. According to a conservative estimate, the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise, from 1949 to 2001, the U.S. has given Israel a total of $94,966,300,000. The actual number is much higher.
1960s-? Israel acts as a mercenary state assisting political repression, supplying arms, and serving as a conduit to dictatorships around the world for the US State Department and CIA. For example, Israel was the main force that established the Mobutu dictatorship in Zaire, supported Idi Amin in Uganda, early on, as well as Haile Selasse in Ethopia, and Emperor Bokassa in the Central African Republic. In the eighties, Israel established close relations with the military regimes of Argentina and Chile, both of whom contained Nazi and fascist elements. Israel also supported genocidal attacks on the indigenous population of Guatemala and sent arms to El Salvador and Honduras to support the contras.
1971 US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger supports the idea of a "Stalemate," that is: a continued unresolved tension that retains Israel as a heavily armed and subsidized military outpost in the Middle East. This role, as "proxy army," is its primary one.
1978-90 The US supports Somali Warlord Siad Barre who kills 50-60,000 people with US assistance.
1992 In the face of a serious famine, the US sends in the military. Army Gen. Colin L. Powell, then chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, terms the measure a "paid political advertisement" (After the Cold War ended, the military was expected to reduce its gargantuan size; Powell and others felt that the Somali venture, in part, showed the continued need for the most expensive military in world history.) While initially welcomed, before long serious fighing breaks out:
There were times when [U.S. troops] shot at everything that moved, took hostages, gunned their way through crowds of men and women, finished off any wounded who were showing signs of life. Many people died in their homes, their tin roofs ripped to shreds by high-velocity bullets and rockets. Accounts of the fighting frequently contain such statements as this: "One moment there was a crowd, and the next instant it was just a bleeding heap of dead and injured." Even with a degree of restraint on the part of the gunners, the technology deployed by the U.S. Army was such that carnage was inevitable.
One thing that the U.S. and U.N. never appreciated was that, as they escalated the level of murder and mayhem, they increased the determination of Somalis to resist and fight back. By the time of the 3 October battle, literally every inhabitant of large areas of Mogadishu considered the U.N. and U.S. as enemies, and were ready to take up arms against them. People who ten months before had welcomed the U.S. Marines with open arms were now ready to risk death to drive them out. The US governments estimates "6,000 to 10,000 Somali casualties in four months last summer" alone — with "two-thirds" of these being women and children — as compared to 26 American soldiers killed. Reported atrocities by U.S. and U.N. troops, included attacking a hospital, bombarding political meetings, and shooting into crowds of demonstrators.
2006 US allegedly backs Somali warlords in civil war despite the UN arms embargo.
Current There is also evidence of private US security companies' involvement in the current situation in Somalia, also in violation of UN rules.
1971 Archer Blood, the US Consul General to Dhaka, East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) sends a telegram to President Nixon. In it he details and condemns the genocide committed by the Pakistani Army in response to the East Pakistani separatist movement. It is not known how many (mostly Bengali Hindus) died, but estimates vary between 26,000 (reported by Pakistan) and 3 million (reported by Bangladesh). The most conservative estimate by the international press puts the number at 200,000.
Our government has failed to denounce the suppression of democracy. Our government has failed to denounce atrocities. Our government has failed to take forceful measures to protect its citizens while at the same time bending over backwards to placate the West Pak[istan] dominated government and to lessen any deservedly negative international public relations impact against them. ...We have chosen not to intervene, even morally, on the grounds that the Awami conflict, in which unfortunately the overworked term genocide is applicable, is purely an internal matter of a sovereign state. Private Americans have expressed disgust. We, as professional civil servants, express our dissent with current policy and fervently hope that our true and lasting interests here can be defined and our policies redirected.
Nixon and Kissinger ignore Blood's information and request for action and recall him from his position. In addition to the U.S.'s refusal to condemn West Pakistan, they send military supplies via Jordan and Iran. Nixon and Kissinger are trying to show China—one of Pakistan's biggest allies—the benefits of US military and political support, hoping to create commercial ties with the PRC and strengthen the tacit US-Chinese alliance against the USSR.
1845-48 The United States invades, conquers 40% of the territory of Mexico, bringing Texas in as a slave state.
1918-20 US sends 13,000 troops to join more than one hundred thousand from western and Japanese militaries to suppress Russian Revolution.
1816-18 The Seminole Indians, whose area was a haven for escaped slaves and border ruffians, were attacked and pursued into northern Florida. Spanish posts were attacked and occupied, British citizens executed.
Additional Information
Additional Information
Map not drawn to scale.
This selection of countries and events is FAR from exhaustive.

Sources are from the History Is A Weapon library, including, but not limited to:
William Blum (Author of Killing Hope), Noam Chomsky (whose work is quoted extensively here), Ward Churchill (especially on the Justice of Roosting Chickens), NACLA, Zoltan Grossman, Z Magazine.

Please email for suggestions or corrections.


Started 10.2006
Last edit sweep 12.2010

*actually this is just a small selection