Everyone is entitled to their opinion. My opinion is that American foreign policy has long been insipid and murky. I have been accused of listening to “liberal lefties”. Well, I’ve never listened to that band but I do like a couple tracks on “Leftism” by Leftfield, if that’s any use. I don’t align myself to any particular political leaning but, since I abhor the neo conservatives like Bush, Thatcher, Wolfowitz etc, I suppose you could consider my politics to be more on the left side of the political fulcrum. It still amuses me that people still assume I was pro-Clinton, while they are accusing me of being a “lefty”. I was no fan of Clinton but at least he could speak. I may also have a link to Michael Moore’s site on mine but I actually believe that Michael Moore is an arrogant man who has embellished certain facts to achieve his argument. To be honest, it also amuses me when Conservative supporters use this fact against him, when Conservative politics has depended upon being liberally ecconomic with the truth for as long as there’s been conservatism. The thing about Michael Moore is that, no matter how self-promoting he is, he does turn up some facts which cannot be discredited. That is why his site is linked here.
So, a lot of you seem to think that America’s motives in Iraq are pure. Some believe that the war on terror is actually about freedom. The Patriot Act has restricted freedom in America itself, so it beats me how any American could believe that Bush and Co could give a continental fuck about freedom. I have touched on this in a previous rant but this one is a little more detailed.
Here’s a list of brutal dictators who have been supported by the American government.
Emperor Bao Dai1949 - 1955
He was the French puppet emperor when France ruled Vietnam.
While the Vietminh, a Communist guerrilla group, was fighting against French rule and against Bao Dai, America actually supported Vietminh
After the Chinese Revolution of 1949, America was afraid that Vietminh would end up as a Chinese puppet, so they started supporting the unpopular Bao Dai and the French
However, the French were defeated in 1954.
The UK, the USSR and the USA agreed to split up Vietnam into North and South: the North was Communist and the South ruled by Bao Dai
America then provided protection for South Vietnam and began to provide help to the dictator
Afterwards, Bao Dai, whose corrupt and inefficient dictatorship had become an embarrassment for America, was disposed by another dictator, Ngo Dinh Diem - who America also supported.
Chiang Kai Shek China: 1928 - 1949 & Taiwan 1949 - 1975
This guy was a corrupt, vicious and brutal dictator.
Won the support of foreign powers, especially America and Britain, during the Civil War but did not gain any support of ordinary Chinese people.
Dealt brutally with protestors.
Despite all the wartime hardships he forced the peasants to pay taxes to his army
Laurent Kabila 19997 -2001
This monster took control of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1997 after a bloody war in which his supporters and Rwandan and Ugandan allies slaughtered tens of thousands of civilians.
In a second civil war, Kabila’s forces, like those of Rwanda, Uganda, and the Congolese rebels allied with them, have all engaged in indiscriminate attacks on civilians, extrajudicial executions, rape, and destruction of property, with the result of massive displacement of population.
During his nearly four years in power, Kabila regularly and ruthlessly violated the human rights of the Congolese people, killing, torturing, imprisoning, and causing the “disappearance” of any who he thought threatened him or his regime.
Among those who suffered most were political opponents, leaders of civil society, human rights activists, and journalists
Kabila handed out rights to exploit the vast mineral riches of the country to his commercial and military cronies (including American and western multi-national companies)
while the economy as a whole disintegrated and ordinary people lacked food, medicine, and other basic needs of life, particularly in Kinshasa and other urban areas.
He enjoyed the support of troops from his home region of Katanga, whom he in turn favored with regular pay and supplies. But other units, ordinarily left unpaid, preyed on citizens to support themselves.
International businessmen, many of them based outside the region, have milked the wealth of the Congo while their governments exert no effective pressure for peace.
In 1997 the U.N. Secretary-General sent a team to investigate war crimes committed by all parties during the first Congo war. Kabila blocked their work, but the investigators returned with enough information to conclude that combatants in the first Congo war had committed crimes against humanity and perhaps genocide.
When he died, his son came to power in a very undemocratic method. But America, as a reward for allowing American multi-national companies to undermine the Congolese people, Colin Powell (American Secretary of Foreign Affairs) invited the new young dictator for dinner as soon as he came to power!!
General Sani Abacha1993 - 1999
Banned all political activities and parties
Formed a military autocratic regime
Fired and arrested political opponents
Allowed western oil companies to exploit the nation’s resources and damage the environment
Despite international outcry, in November 1995 the Nigerian government hanged writer and dissident Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight others. Saro-Wiwa, a member of the Ogoni ethnic group of southern Nigeria whose Niger River delta land has long been exploited for its oil deposits, had brought the plight of the Ogonis to the attention of the international media.
Saro-Wiwa led protests demanding that proceeds from oil mining in the Ogoni homeland be used to help the Ogoni people, and calling on Royal Dutch/Shell Group oil corporation to clean up the environmental damage it had inflicted.
Idi Amin1971 - 1979
Followed an erratic, tyrannical, and increasingly bloody course that left the country in shambles
Killed 300,000 Ugandans during his rule
Found refuge in Saudi Arabia, a friendly state of America
Francisco Franco 1939 - 1975
Supported by some western nations in winning the Spanish Civil War
He himself was a fascist
Ordered tens of thousands of executions during and after the Civil War to guarantee his power
Although he was excluded by the United Nations, America signed with him a military assistance pact
Supported by America mainly because he was anti-Communist and managed to murder them
Augusto Pinnochet 1973 - 1990
Supported by the CIA in the military coup against the democratically and legally elected Salvador Allende
America hated Allende because he made socialist reforms and nationalized American businesses. America wanted a dictator to achieve its benefits
Allende was assassinated while he was in his Palace
Suspended the constitution, dissolved Congress, imposed strict censorship, and banned all political parties.
Embarked on a campaign of terror against leftist elements in the country.
In his regime, thousands were arrested; many were executed, tortured, or exiled, while still others languished in prison or simply “disappeared”
The army had a iron grip on the nation
Led a police state
When there was a recent debate on whether Pinnochet should be on trail for his crimes against Human Rights, America and other western nations opposed the trail with the excuse that he was too old and sick!!! If Pinnochet was an anti-American dictator, he would have been on trail even if he was paralyzed!!!
Fulgencio Batista 1940 - 1959 (two different terms)
Led a brutal and corrupt regime
Rigged the elections
Suspended the constitution for some time
His capitalist regime made the rich richer and the poor poorer
Many important sectors of the Cuban economy were owned by American businesses
Used US dollars in lavish bribes for his supporters
Turned a deaf ear to all voices of reform
Later, in the Bay of Pigs, some of his supporters along with other anti-Communists tried to invade Cuba after being trained and supported by the CIA
P.W Botha1978 - 1989
Only gave democracy to the white minority
Treated the native South Africans, who formed the majority, brutally
Refused to give independence to Namibia.
Saddam Hussein 1979 - ?
Was supported by financial and military from America, the west and the Gulf nations to fight against Iran during the Iran-Iraq War
Killed and tortured many of his political opponents
Believed to have used chemical weapons against Iran and against his own people while he was getting support from America
Ironically, when he began to fight against western interests in Kuwait, only then he began to be viewed as a tyrant
During an Uprising in 1993, America supported the opponents of Saddam, but then deliberately left them to be killed by Saddam. 250,000 people were killed. The absence of Saddam would have meant that there would be no excuse for America to remain in the Gulf .
Muammar al-Qaddafi 1969 - ?
Soon after his military coup, Qaddafi had strong anti-Communist views and as a result America supported him for a short time
The CIA helped him to assassinate an opposition group known as the “Muslim Brotherhood”
However, Qaddafi eventually pro-Soviet and anti-western and America actually stood against him
He was injured and one of his daughters were killed in 1986 during American attack when he was accused by America of causing a terrorist attack in West Germany. It was later proved that he wasn’t behind but there was no apology from America.
Husni Mubarak 1981 - ?
Egypt has long been a key country for U.S. strategy in the Middle East and will soon host some 23,000 U.S. troops for long-scheduled military exercises, Operation Bright Star. The Cairo West airbase could be an important forward-supply base for attacks on Afghanistan.
Following a resurgence of political violence in the early 1990s, the government introduced anti-terror laws giving the security and intelligence services greater powers of arrest and detention and rounded up thousands of suspects.
There are now 20,000 political prisoners who were not put on trial
Among them are individuals who were arrested as children in their early teens and who remain incarcerated as adults. Others were kept in prison though their sentences had expired.
The state also uses emergency rule to refer civilian defendants to military courts or to exceptional state security courts, in effect creating a parallel court system under direct government control.
Since 1992 hundreds of civilians have been referred to military courts. These trials, sometimes held en masse, fail to meet international fair trial standards: basic rights, such as the right to appeal, have been routinely violated, even in cases where the defendants faced and were punished with the death penalty.
These measures have been used widely against Egyptians attempting to exercise peacefully basic political rights like freedom of association or freedom of expression, as well as persons accused of committing or advocating acts of violence.
Non-governmental organizations, professional associations, the media, trade unions and political parties - all have had their work hampered by laws aimed at silencing them and increasing governmental control over their activities.
Torture in Egypt is widespread and systematic. Security forces and the police routinely torture or ill-treat detainees, particularly during interrogation. In his January 2001 report to the Commission on Human Rights, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture cited thirty-two cases of death in custody, apparently as a result of torture, occurring between 1997 and 1999.
The 1992 Anti-Terror Law also criminalized non-violent political opposition, and was used to arrest and bring to trial persons not accused of committing or advocating violence but simply of alleged affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood.
Some of these excerpts were taken from Human Rights Watch.
I’m sure that some of you will try to defend the indefensible and I look forward to hearing from those people. America can be the greatest country in the world but they need a major rethink on their foreign policy and a vast improvement on their human rights record. I have nothing against the American people - although there are some American tourists who annoy me.