If one looks into the history of U.S. dominance of lesser nations during the 19th and 20th centuries — particularly in Latin America, but also in other scattered areas where rich resources are to be discovered (the Middle East and African oil-producing countries particularly), one finds a pattern of ‘democracy’ in which wealthy elites dominated and controlled resources in conjunction with their U.S. patrons.
I recall particularly meeting the children of such elites in my American (and British) prep schools. One particularly unattractive crew derived from Batista’s Cuba before his overthrow by Castro. Sugar was the primary resource down there, I guess. These guys were (as most teen males in isolation from females) obsessed with sex. They invited some Americans home with them during a vacation to Cuba and these returned all atwitter — a kindly Cuban uncle had staked them to their first sexual encounter in a Cuban whore house with ‘virgin’ thirteen-year-olds (before Castro Cuba was beset with great poverty, illiteracy, minimal medical care and education apart from what might be provided by the Catholic church to the poor).
Had these guys left things at that, this would be only a Cuban story, but they proceeded to con our single parent school telephone operator into introducing them to local high school girls whom they proceeded to date rape — the school was a sanctuary from local police authorities who were minimal in a small town anyway. When word of these doings got out, our poor telephone operator (with whom I worked as a scholarship student) — not the Cubans — was expelled. This was my first encounter with the ravages of American capitalism south of the border — to which my junior year history teacher had also alerted us.
Check out the record of U.S. exploitation of South American countries and you will find that we trained the military juntas that ‘disappeared’ thousands down there in our School of the Americas:
We systematically drove out democratically elected leaders — Salvador Allende in Chile, Jacobo Arbenz of Guatemala among the most disastrous — to replace them with murderous junta leaders such as Pinochet in Chile who has just died before he could be finally tried for the thousands that he tortured and killed. Guatemala has seen hundreds of thousands murdered in a small country since the Arbenz expulsion under Eisenhower.
Our CIA/corporate approach now well publicized has been to use three tactics to get rid of democracy to enable corporate grabs of indigenous resources:
1) destabilization of a government by covert intrusion and/or economic manipulation.
2) assassination of leaders if #1 does not work,
3) direct military intervention as a last resort.
We have done this more than a hundred times — sometimes many times over to the same resistant country (e.g. Haiti, Cuba). Here are some of the listings for Latin America:
Currently Shell oil and the people of Nigeria are at war with each other. Nigeria was barely liberated from British colonial status before our oil companies moved in to support a long, brutal series of military juntas. Ken Saro-Wiwa was the victim who might have rescued Nigeria from such exploitation, but he was executed by the junta in 1995:
Currently the people in his region are attacking Shell oil facilities in hopes of expelling this corporate monster which is polluting their land, extracting their resources, and leaving them in desperate poverty.
One could go on at great length. But two concluding comments:
1) What we are seeing in Latin America is the spreading rebellion at last against American corporate exploitation of any and all resources there, ranging from natural gas and oil to basic food products (sugar, bananas) for which American corporations have been willing to kill people and sabotage democratic governments to maintain their exploitative dominance.
2) The Bush family notion of democracy for ‘THEM’ is not majority rule and the rule of law. It is domination by American corporate interests. Let us not forget that grand daddy Bush (Prescott), whom I met while he was our Connecticut Senator, was playing footsie with the Nazi corporate interests prior to WW2. Prescott was also a glad-handing wannabe charmer type, none too bright either.
The above are a few of the web sites that spell out U.S. conniving on behalf of fascist/Nazi corporate interests.
Back to my prep school days — I went to school with U.S. types who also hoped to join this in corporate exploitation of the world’s resources to the detriment of the vast numbers of poor people yearning for better things. The whole anti-communist routine was exploited by our corporate crooks on the march — a good number of whom had been in their earlier years “America Firsters,” i.e. supporters of the Nazis:
One subsequent president of Yale had been one in his college days.
My British public school experience exposed me to a more benign version of capitalist exploitation. Some of my classmates were specialists in the classics (there were 3 areas of specialized study that one selected at about age 12: science and math, modern languages and history, the classics). Those heading for the British foreign service took the third for its training in Greek and Roman modes of imperialism. A few years later when I returned for studies at Oxford, I met one of my friends who was in a state of shock in that the Brits were rapidly discarding the empire which he had planned to serve as a colonial administrator — so it goes. I mention this because it is pretty clear that Blair had high hopes of reestablishing the empire once again in the Middle East — as the little brother to Bush’s endeavor.
The one good thing that has come out of this late empire building fiasco is that it has liberated dominated ones elsewhere, e.g. in Latin America and parts of Africa such as Nigeria now rising up against the corporations! Let us not leave out Papa Bush who among other things took over Panama with U.S. troops and the deaths of hundreds there:
Noriega, also once our guy, still sits in an American jail in Florida — a precedent for the treatment of those who resist American capitalistic ventures — Guantanamo and all that? Guess he is fortunate compared with Hussein.
Those who do not know this history are bound to be conned by those who know it all too well. Hopefully both Americans and Brits are now awakening from this latter day Iraq colonial nightmare. And may the Israelis wake up, too, before it is too late! They are now entangled with us!
I must admit that the foreign service was once a career that I contemplated. But I learned of the above fortunately in time to avoid what for me would have been an impossible role to play — as hired gun in diplomatic guise for my nation.
“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)
Ed Kent 718-951-5324 (voice mail only) [blind copies]