Saturday, March 29, 2008


Deterring Democracy Copyright © 1991, 1992 by Noam Chomsky. Published by South End Press.
Chapter 1: Cold War: Fact and Fancy Segment 16/20
Previous segment |Next segment | Contents | Overview |

It was also recognized that the plans for the targeted countries would be unpopular there, but for their populations, no subtle measures of control are necessary. Under the cover of U.S. government aid programs (USAID), "public safety missions" trained local police forces. The reasoning, as outlined by the State Department, is that the police "first detect discontent among people" and "should serve as one of the major means by which the government assures itself of acceptance by the majority." An effective police force can often abort unwanted developments that might otherwise require "major surgery" to "redress these threats." But police operations may not suffice. Accordingly, U.S. planners stressed the need to gain control over the Latin American military, described as "the least anti-American of any political group." Their task, the Kennedy "action intellectuals" explained, is "to remove government leaders from office whenever, in the judgment of the military, the conduct of these leaders is injurious to the welfare of the nation" -- an obligation that they should be equipped to carry out once U.S. training has afforded them "the understanding of, and orientation toward, U.S. objectives."

Converting the mission of the military from "hemispheric defense" to "internal security," the Kennedy administration and its successors were able to overcome the problem of nationalism (or "ultranationalism" as it is sometimes termed in the internal planning record) by establishing and backing National Security States on a neo-Nazi model, with consequences that are well-known. The purpose, as explained by Lars Schoultz, the foremost U.S. academic specialist on human rights in Latin America, was "to destroy permanently a perceived threat to the existing structure of socioeconomic privilege by eliminating the political participation of the numerical majority...," the "popular classes."76 U.S. support for these regimes follows essentially the model of the 1920s and European Fascism, already discussed.

Note that this is a harsher variant of the policies designed for the industrial societies, motivated by the same world view and social and political ideals. The harsher measures deemed appropriate for the Third World also helped overcome the concerns expressed in the internal record over the excessive liberalism of Latin American governments, the protection of rights afforded by their legal systems, and the free flow of ideas, which undercut U.S. efforts at indoctrination and ideological control. These stand alongside other recurrent problems, such as the "low level of intellectualism" in Guatemala deplored by the CIA in 1965, illustrated by the fact that "liberal groups...are overresponsive to `Yankee imperialist' themes," perhaps because of "the long-term political and economic influence of US fruit companies in the country as well as by the US role in the Castillo Armas liberation" -- the "liberation" by a CIA-backed coup that overthrew the popular democratic government and reinstated the traditional murderous rule of the military and oligarchy. Where the police and military cannot be controlled directly, as in post-Somoza Nicaragua or Panama, it is necessary to overthrow the government, install a more compliant regime, and restore a "worthy army" in the style of Somoza's National Guard, long a U.S. favorite.77

These policies are givens; their basic thrust is subject to no challenge and no debate. It would be misleading to say that there is near unanimity on these matters in Congress, the media, and the intellectual community. More accurately, the basic doctrines are out of sight, out of mind, like the air we breathe, beyond the possibility of discussion.

The general framework was adapted for particular regions. Thus, Southeast Asia was to "fulfill its major function as a source of raw materials and a market for Japan and Western Europe," in the words of George Kennan's State Department Policy Planning Staff in 1949.78 This reasoning led directly to U.S. intervention in Indochina, at first in support of French colonialism, later alone. An independent Vietnam, it was feared, might spread the "virus" of nationalism throughout Southeast Asia, leading Japan to accommodate to a mainland Communist bloc and thus to become the industrial heartland of a "New Order" from which the U.S. might be excluded; the Pacific War had been fought in large measure to prevent such an outcome. Japan was regarded as the "superdomino," in the appropriate phrase of Asia historian John Dower. To overcome the threat posed by Vietnamese nationalism, it was necessary to destroy the virus and to inoculate the region against the disease. This result was achieved. Indochina was successfully destroyed, while the U.S. supported killers, torturers, and tyrants in Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and South Korea, providing the crucial support when needed for slaughter on a massive scale, while the media, and respectable people generally, nodded in approval or chose to look the other way.

In Latin America, similar principles were applied with fair success. This region too was to fulfill its function as a source of raw materials and a market. During and after World War II, the traditional rivals of the United States in Latin America, Britain and France, were largely displaced, on Henry Stimson's principle that Latin America is "our little region over here which never has bothered anybody."79 While "stability" of the sort conducive to U.S. elite interests has not been completely attained, nevertheless the threat of independent development was largely aborted, perhaps forever in the Central America-Caribbean region, where U.S. influence has been overwhelming.

Africa was to be "exploited" for the reconstruction of Europe, Kennan explained in a major State Department study on the international order. He added that the opportunity to exploit Africa should provide a psychological lift for the European powers, affording them "that tangible objective for which everyone has been rather unsuccessfully groping...."80 History might have suggested a different project: that Africa should "exploit" Europe to enable it to reconstruct from centuries of devastation at the hands of European conquerors, perhaps also improving its psychological state through this process. Needless to say, nothing of the sort was remotely thinkable, and the actual proposals have received little if any notice, apparently being regarded as uncontroversial.

Go to the next segment.

76 Schoultz, Human Rights and United States Policy toward Latin America (Princeton, 1981), 7.

77 CIA, Office of Current Intelligence, "The Role of Public Opinion in Latin American Political Stability," 13 May 1965, OCI No. 1803/65. On the support for Somoza and the National Guard under the Carter administration, see chapter 10. For more on the "low level of intellectualism" in Guatemala, see chapter 12, p. 393-4; chapter 8, pp. 262-3f.

78 Minutes summarizing PPS 51, April 1949, cited by Michael Schaller, "Securing the Great Crescent: Occupied Japan and the Origins of Containment in Southeast Asia," J. of American History, Sept. 1982. See also Schaller, American Occupation of Japan, 160. On planning for Southeast Asia, see also For Reasons of State, 31ff., and several essays in Chomsky and Howard Zinn, eds., Critical Essays, The Pentagon Papers, Senator Gravel Edition, vol. 5 (Beacon, 1972), particularly those by John Dower and Richard Du Boff. See chapter 11, section 3, below.

79 Stimson, explaining in May 1945 why all regional systems must be dismantled in the interests of liberal internationalism, apart from our own, which are to be extended. See Turning the Tide, 63f. See On Power and Ideology, 21f., on the plans to displace the influence of our traditional European enemies over the military.

80 PPS 23, February 24, 1948; see FRUS, vol I, 1948, 511. KEYWORDS terrorist democracy elections cia mossad bnd nsa covert operation 911 mi6 inside job what really happened wtc pentagon joint chiefs of staff jcs centcom laser hologram usa mi5 undercover agent female sex exploitation perception deception power anarchy green social democratic participation japanese spy black-op false flag gladio terror.

StumbleUpon PLEASE give it a thumbs up Stumble It!
Bookmark and Share
posted by u2r2h at 4:03 PM


Post a Comment

<< Home