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Brief Summary of the U.S. Invasions and Coups (Death Count Estimated At 6 to 30 million people)

War On Terror
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February 19, 2024

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February 19, 2024

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December 11, 2018

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December 1, 2018
CIA Coups and Secret Wars

In its 200 plus history, the US has fought 15 major wars. It has put its troops in other countries to force them to bend to our will over 200 times, or an average of about once a year. Currently, the US has troops in 135 countries around the world. It has bombed 23 countries since WWII, and attempted to overthrow over 40 governments of foreign countries. The CIA has overthrown functional constitutional democracies in over 20 countries. It has manipulated elections in dozens of countries. It has created and financed standing armies and directed them to fight. It has organized ethnic minorities (such as the Tibetans, Kurds, Miskitos of Nicaragua, mujahadeen of Afghanistan, etc.) and encouraged them to revolt.

The Church (Senate) Committee Report of 1975 stated that the CIA had run thousands of operations over the years. Ex-CIA agent, John Stockwell, places the number of covert operations at about 3,000, with another 10,000 minor operations. All of these have been illegal and all have been designed to disrupt, destabilize, or modify activities of other countries. All were justified on the basis of “national security” or “anti-communism”. However, in reality, they were a means of maintaining covert colonialism in the age where overt colonialism is officially passe. Most of these operations were truly secret and there was little or no press coverage. There was, however, press coverage of some operations, especially the secret wars- but this has been carefully controlled and involves carefully crafted “smokescreen terminology” and the techniques for “manufacturing consent”. Nonetheless, we have details of several hundred of these operations based on Congressional hearings, journalists, books, and testimony of CIA personnel and victims of CIA programs.

The following extended talks by ex-CIA station chief, John Stockwell, in 1979 and 1989 provide an excellent introduction to this vast subject:

Secret Wars of the CIA (December, 1989 lecture):

John Stockwell exposes ALL CIA operations (1979):


JOHN STOCKWELL, former CIA Station Chief Angola Task Force

“My expertise, as you know, is CIA, Marine Corp, three CIA Secret Wars. I had a position in the National Security Council in 1975 as the Chief of the Angola Task Force running the Secret War in Angola. It was the third CIA Secret War I was part of.”

“The National Security law creating the National Security Council and the CIA, as you know, was passed in 1947. The CIA was given its charter to perform such other duties and functions as might be necessary to national security interests and given a vague authority to protect its sources and methods. I think it was in the mid ‘80s that I coined this phrase the ‘Third World War’ because in my research I realized that we were not attacking the Soviet Union in the CIA’s activities, we were attacking people in the Third World. And I am going to just quickly, in the interest of time, just give you a little sense of what that means, this Third World War.”

“Basically, it’s the third, I believe in terms of loss of life and human destruction, the third bloodiest war in all of history. They undertake to run operations in every corner of the globe. They also undertook the license of operating just totally above and beyond U.S. laws. They had a license, if you will, to kill, but also they took that to a license to smuggle drugs, a license to do all kinds of things to other people and other societies in violation of international law, our law, and every principle of nations working together for a healthier and more peaceful world.”

“Meanwhile, again, they battled to convert the U.S. legal system in such a way that it would give them control of our society. Now we have massive documentation of what they call the secret wars of the CIA. We don’t have to guess or speculate. We had the Church committee investigate them in 1975 which gave us our first really in-depth powerful look inside this structure.”

“Senator Church said in the 14 years before he did his investigation that he found that they had run 900 major operations and 3000 minor operations. And if you extrapolate that over the whole period of the 40 odd years that we’ve had a CIA, you come up with 3000 major operations and over 10,000 minor operations. Every one of them illegal. Every one of them disruptive of the lives and societies of other peoples and many of them bloody and gory beyond comprehension, almost.”

“Extensively, we manipulated and organized the overthrow of functioning constitutional democracies in other countries. We organized secret armies and directed them to fight in just about every continent in the world. We encouraged ethnic minorities to rise up and fight. People like the Mosquito Indians in Nicaragua, the Kurds in the Middle East, the Hmongs in Southeast Asia.”

“And of course, we have organized, and still do, fund death squads in countries around the world. Like the Treasury Police in El Salvador which are responsible for most of the killing of the 50,000 people just in the ‘80s and there was 70,000 before that. An orchestration of CIA secret teams and propaganda led us directly into the Korean War. We were attacking China from the islands of Quemoy and Matsu, Thailand, Tibet, (a lot of drug trafficking involved in this by the way) until eventually we convinced ourselves to fight the Chinese in Korea and we had the Korean War and a million people were killed. Same thing for the Vietnam War and we have extensive documentation of how the CIA was involved at every level of the national security complex because it’s a very cooperative thing into manipulating the nation into the Vietnam War. And we wound up creating the Golden Triangle in which the CIA Air America airplanes were flying in arms to our allies and flying back out with the heroin.”

“We launched the largest; this is something that Jimmy Carter did, Admiral Turner brags about it, the operation in Afghanistan. The biggest single operation I am told in the history of CIA secret wars and sure enough very quickly we produced the Golden Crescent which is still the largest source of heroin perhaps in the world today.”

“Trying to summarize this Third World War that the CIA, the U.S. National Security Complex with the military all interwoven in it in many different ways, has been waging, let me just put it this way, the best heads that I coordinate with studying this thing, we count at least minimum figure six million people who’ve been killed in this long 40-year war that we have waged against the people of the Third World.”

“These are not Soviets, we have not been parachuting teams into the Soviet Union to kill and hurt and maim people, especially not since 1954 when they developed actually the capability of dropping atomic weapons on the United States. They aren’t British, French, Swedes, Swiss, Belgians, we don’t do bloody gory operations in the countries of Europe. These are all people of the Third World. They are people of countries like the Congo, Vietnam, Kampuchea, Indonesia, Nicaragua, where conspicuously, they nor their governments, do not have the capability of doing any physical hurt to the United States. They don’t have ICBM’s, they don’t have armies or navies. They could not hurt us if they wanted to. There has rarely been any evidence that they really wanted to. And that, in fact is perhaps the whole point. If they had had ICBMs we probably wouldn’t have done the things to them for fear of retaliation.”

“Cheap shots, if you will, killing people of other countries of the world who cannot defend themselves under the guise of secrecy and under the rubric of national security.”

(John Stockwell is the highest-ranking CIA official ever to leave the agency and go public. He ran a CIA intelligence gathering post in Vietnam, was the Task-force commander of the CIA’s secret war in Angola in 1975 and 1976, and was awarded the Medal of Merit before he resigned. Stockwell’s book ‘In Search of Enemies’ is an international best-seller.)

From William Blum: (“Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since WWII”; 1995, and “Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower,” 2000)F

1948. Italy. Election engineering. Mafia and CIA teamed up to defeat communist candidates in elections.

1948. Thailand. CIA coup led by Major General Phin Choohannan. Phao was installed and Thailand became the CIA’s main base of operations in the region. Thailand became a police state. The KMT () was driven into Thailand.

1945-53. Korea. Proxy war with China. After Mao defeated Chiang Kai-shek in China, the CIA mounted a long destabilization program against Mao and the Chinese communists. The CIA installed Chiang Kai-shek in Taiwan and parachuted teams from Tibet, Quemoy, Matsu, Burma and Thailand to destabilize mainland China. These operations failed and eventually we fought China in North Korea, killing about a million. The actual American war in Korea was between 1950 and 1953. The U.S. supported a corrupt, ruthless, puppet government in South Korea and blocked re-unification of South and North Korea.

1945-1973. Vietnam. 11 year war and two coups. The U.S. sided with the French against its former colony, even though Ho Chi Minh had appealed to the U.S. for help and even modeled the new Vietnamese declaration of independence on the American model. Ho had also helped the CIA near the end of WWII to rescue downed US pilots. The Geneva Accords partitioned the country into north and south and guaranteed a national election in 1956 in which the Vietnamese people would decide their own fate. The US quashed those elections because it was obvious that Ho would win. A CIA coup in 1963 resulted in the assassination of South Vietnam’s President Ngo Dinh Diem (an exiled priest and CIA puppet), as well as his brother Bho Dhin Nhu. (Nhu was one of largest heroin brokers in South Vietnam). The CIA installed Marshall Nguyen Cao Ky (van Thieu) as South Vietnam’s new leader.

The “Gulf of Tonkin” incident (July 30, 1964) was a manufactured incident which “triggered” the official US entry into a full-scale war. CIA crews aboard Norwegian built SWIFTS (ships) attacked a radar station in North Vietnam on Hon Me Island. The North Vietnamese issued a formal protest to the US. The US Maddox was patrolling inside North Vietnamese waters to provide cover for the CIA marauders. Some reports are that North Vietnamese pursued the CIA mauraders and confronted the Maddox. The Maddox fired upon the North Vietnamese, who returned fire- with torpedoes that missed. No Americans or Vietnamese were hurt.

After a 20 year-non-declared war, with about 3 million Vietnamese and 58,000 Americans dead, any “good development” option (that is a “nationalistic”) development model for Asia was prevented. The country was in ruins, the environment was decimated. Tarpley and Chaitkin attribute the insane adventure in Vietnam to the Brown Brothers, Harriman/Skull and bones network (which has consistently promoted the interests of George H.W. Bush). When Kennedy took office in 1960, he asked Brown Brothers/Harriman partner Robert Lovett to provide him a list of cabinet choices. From this list came Sec. of State Dean Rusk, Sec. of Defense Robert McNamara, and McGeorge and William Bundy, the leading hawks in the cabinet..

Egypt. 1952. Coup.

Iran. 1953. Coup.. Prior to 1953, the country was dominated by British and U.S. oil companies and intelligence agencies. At this time, it was producing 600 tons of opium a year and had 1.3 million opium addicts, second only to China. Democratically-elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh, upon entering office, moved immediately to suppress the opium trade. He also wanted to nationalize British Petroleum. Within months, he was overthrown by the CIA and British Intelligence Agencies and the Shah was installed by the CIA; the oil and opium fields were once again in friendly hands. This initiated 25 year period of repression and torture, with the U.S. and Britain each getting 40% of oil profits. When the Ayatollah Khomeini assumed power in 1979, he shut down opium production altogether.

Guatemala. 1954. Coup and proxy war. (Operation Success). Democratically-elected Jacobo Arbenz, a social reformer but not a communist, was overthrown in a CIA coup, initiating 40 years of torture, death squads, disappearances, mass executions, and unimaginable cruelty, totaling more than 200,000 victims. Arbenz’s sin? He wanted to redistribute a small proportion of the land in Guatemala to the landless poor. Included was some of his own family land and some of the uncultivated land belonging to the United Fruit Company. The U.S. decided that there was a danger that this model of social democracy might spread to nearby countries in Latin America. Despite a 1996 peace accord, death squad and torture continues and the U.S. continues to arm and train the Guatemalan military through the School of the Americas, etc.

1959-present. Cuba. Attempted assassinations and low intensity conflict. The Cuban revolution of 1959 was followed by 40 years of terrorist attacks, bombings, full-scale military invasion, sanctions, embargos, isolation, and assassinations… Cuba had carried out the Unforgivable Revolution, posing the threat of a “good example” in Latin America. The CIA’s OPMONGOOSE was the code name for the secret war against Cuba.

1958, 59, 60. Laos. Coup and secret war. “Laos belongs to the CIA”. The CIA fixed elections in 1960. To try to legitimize rule of General Nosavan Phoumi, they managed to Prime Minister Souvanna Phouma, who had amicable relations with the Pathet Lao. C.I.A. coups forced Pathet Lao to arm itself. In 1960, the CIA built up and funded an army for Hmong general Vang Pao, a leading drug lord. The CIA assembled 30,000 in “L’Arme Clandestine”, under Vang Pao (mostly teenagers) to fight the Pathet Lao. The U.S. also rained down two million tons of carpet bombs between 1965 and 1973- the most bombs ever dropped in the world in any conflict at that time. Hundreds of thousands of civilians were killed and hundreds of thousands more maimed. The government of Laos estimates that even today, 20,000 (mostly villagers and children) die each year , when they accidentally trip unexploded bomblets remaining from the U.S. cluster bombs.

1960,1961. Korea. 

1961. Congo/Zaire. Coup and military support. First President (after decolonization) Patrice Lamumba was assassinated after a CIA coup removed him. The CIA ally (puppet) Mobutu took power in 1965 and renamed the country Zaire. Mobutu became a multibillionaire while his people remained incredibly impoverished. In 1977-78, Carter rushed military aid to Mobutu to quell popular uprisings and maintain his power.

1961- Dominican Republic. Coup.. Rafael Trujillo, who had been installed by CIA earlier.

1961-64. Brazil. Coup. Democratically-elected leader, Joao Goulart, was

overthrown by a CIA sponsored coup after he tried to limit the profits that multinational corporations could transfer outside the country. Congress was shut down, labor unions were crushed, protestors shot, Priests were brutalized, and an era death squads, torture and disappearances was ushered in. The name for the institutional changes: the “moral rehabilitation” of Brazil.

1962-5 Indonesia. Coup, terror. The CIA fomented a civil war which killed one half to two million people. The CIA alerted the military to a supposed plan by the Communist Party to overthrow the government violently. The result was a bloodbath. The CIA puts the number of killed at 800,000. President Sukarno was overthrown, but an attempted assassination failed. Sukarno was replaced by General Suharto, a CIA ally. The U.S. handed Indonesian military list of 5000 communists. The military then cooperated by killing them.

1960-63. Equador. A C.I.A. coup ousted President Jose Maria Valesco because he refused to go along with the U.S. Cuba policy.

1963. Iraq. Coup, assassination, terror. In the early 1950’s the U.S. and Britain arranged the unification of two rotten monarchies, Jordan and Iraq into the short-lived alliance called the Arab Union. 1962, Iraqi General Abdul Kassem created an Iraqi national oil company and helped to create OPEC (the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries). In 1963, a CIA and British-sponsored coup resulted in his assassination and the killing of thousands of communists. Kassem’s sins: 1) expressing interest in reclaiming the territory of Kuwait, which Iraq had historical claims and legitimate rights over. And 2) In 1962, he had created a national oil company, thus diverting profits from British Petroleum.

1964. Dominican Republic. Coup. Juan Bosche, the first democratically- elected President of Dominican Republic since 1924, was ousted in a coup. He had called for land reform, low-rent housing, modest nationalization of business, and civil liberties. In 1965, a popular uprising demanded his return. The U.S. sent in 23,000 troops to squash the rebellion.

1964, 1971 Bolivia. Coups. Victor Paz was overthrown in a CIA-supported coup. Paz had not supported the U.S. Cuban policy. Barrientos. a U.S. puppet, was installed. The U.S. took firm control of the Bolivian army, sent dozens of US advisors to La Paz and brought 1600 of Bolivia’s military officers back to the U.S. for training at U.S. military bases. The CIA spent several million dollars in 1966 and 1967. Ex-Nazi butcher, Klaus Barbie, helped form the Bolivian “national security state”, using torture.

1966. Ghana. Coup. Khwame Nkrumah was overthrown in a CIA-backed military coup after he tried to strengthen ties to the Soviet Union, East Germany, and China.

1967-1974. Greece. Coup and terror. Liberal leader George Papandreou was overthrown in a military coup backed by the CIA, the Greek military, and U.S. military stationed in Greece. Martial law, arrests, beatings, torture, killings followed, with 8,000 victims in the first month. Democracy was effectively killed.

1967- Cuba. Assassination. In CIA operation OPMONGOOSE, the Agency’s Cuban exile agents tracked down guerilla leader, Che Guevara, and executed him in Bolivia.

1960s – 1980s. South Africa. Terror. The CIA worked with South African intelligence to try to defeat Nelson Mandela’s African National Congress (ANC) and was responsible for the capture and imprisonment of Mandela. Mandela was to spend 28 years in prison. The CIA covertly sent arms to South Africa (in violation of UN and US policy) in order to support the apartheid regime there.

1968-1980s. Mexico. The “dirty war”. Hundreds of student protesters were killed in 1968. The killers were never brought to justice. Indeed, they had been hired by the government.

1970. Bolivia. Coup. CIA patsy Barrientos died in 1969, under suspicious circumstances. Juan Jose Torres was elected and immediately he seized land owned by foreign corporations, including Gulf Oil. Another CIA-directed coup overthrew President Torres and installed SOA-graduate, Banzer. He was a longtime friend of ex-Nazi, Klaus Barbie. The overthrow of Torres was accompanied by extreme violence; tin miners were violently suppressed and over 3000 leftists and union organizers were interrogated and “disappeared”. Barbie advised Banzer on techniques of internal suppression- including a system of concentration camps for important military and political prisoners. Banzer also oversaw one of the world’s most profitable drug empires- a multi-billion-dollar business- La Mafia Cruzena. 80% of the world’s cocaine originated from his fields in the Alto Beni. He was the primary supplier of raw coca and cocaine to the Medellin cartel.

1970. Cambodia. Coup and secret war, terrorism. During 1969, President Nixon and Kissinger ordered a secret “carpet bombing” against North Vietnamese troops on Cambodian territory under code name “Menu”. (This bombing was substantive grounds for impeachment of Nixon and was chosen as 4th proposed article of impeachment by the House Judiciary Committee. Prince Sihanouk, former king turned prime minister, was overthrown in U.S.-sponsored coup in March, 1970. Marshal Lon Nol of the Cambodian army, was installed as a U.S. puppet. In April, 1970, Nixon and Kissinger launched a large scale US military invasion of Cambodia and occupied the “parrot’s beak” area. The Khmer Rouge (Cambodian communist party modeled on the Chinese example) took power after a systematic campaign of terror bombing, ordered by Nixon and Kissinger in 1973. Operation Arclight began shortly after the Jan., 1973 Paris accords with Vietnam and had the pretext of halting a Khmer Rouge attack on Phnom Penh. US forces carried out 79,959 officially-confirmed sorties with B-52s and F-ll bombers against targets inside Cambodia, dropping 539,129 tons of explosives. (The estimated death toll: 300,000 to 500,000). In 1974, the Khmer Rouge, under Pol Pot, consolidated power, executing teachers, civil servants, intellectuals, i.e., those who could read and write. (This was similar to Operation Phoenix in Vietnam which was occurring at the same time). Nixon and Kissinger supported these genocidal policies because it fit with their overall aim to depopulate LDCs and because it helped consolidate their relationship with China. Over 2 million of about 7 million people were killed in the period 1969-79, per capita the perhaps the greatest genocide in the 20th century. Some estimate that 34% of population was wiped out.

1964-1973. Chile. Coup, assassination, and terrorism. Twice in the 60’s, the CIA spent large sums of money to influence the outcome of elections and install the candidate favored by Washington. Nonetheless, Salvador Allende, was democratically elected. A Marxist leader, he held office between 1964 and 1973. He survived several attempts at electoral sabotage by the U.S. Finally, the CIA organized the Track I and Track II destabilization programs. In 1973, General Pinochet deposed Allende in a C.I.A.-supported military coup. Allende was killed and over 30,000 Chileans were killed by the brutal new military regime, thousands more were disappeared, and tens of thousands were tortured. Books were burned, torture centers opened, dogs were trained to sexually molest female prisoners. Declassified federal documents indicate Kissinger and Nixon’s close supervision of the coup. The interests most served were those of Anaconda Copper and ITT. Henry Kissinger, said to Congress: “The issues are much too important for the Chilean people to decide for themselves.”

1972-1975. Iraq. Proxy War. As a favor to the Shah of Iran, Nixon and Kissinger supplied $16 million in military aid to help the Kurds of Iraq fight for their autonomy within Iraq. It was a cynical operation designed not to help the Kurds but to sap the strength of the Iraqi regime.

Portugal. Coups. In 1974, a bloodless military coup brought down the U.S.

supported 48-year fascist regime. This was followed by nationalization of industries,

worker control, establishment of minimum wages, and land reform. The CIA

subverted the new regime and reforms and through economic sabotage, and covert

activity, and managed to install their own candidates within a couple years.

1975. Australia. Coup. Prime Minister Edward Gough Whitlam of the Labor Party was a vocal opponent of the U.S. bombing of Vietnmam and called home the Australian military personnel from Vietnam. The CIA had already spent millions of dollars trying to keep Whitlam and the Labor Party from winning the elections. The CIA arranged to have Whitlam “legally dismissed” by Governor-General John Kerr, a CIA ally.

1975. Saudi Arabia. King Feisal was murdered by CIA. In 1991, King Fahd was informed by Sec. of Defense Richard Cheney that they were to be a militarily occupied country in order to protect them from Iraqi aggression. U.S. troops remain there today, as well as in Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman and all the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

1975-1980s. Angola. Proxy war. The U.S. first intervened in Angolan politics in the 1960’s. This precipitated a civil war that raged for decades and killed about half a million. The U.S. China, and South Africa supported one side while the Soviets and Cuba supported the other. Thus, it became a proxy war between three competing factions. Angola is said to have the highest amputee rate in the world due to all the land mines. (The Red Cross counts over 20,000 walking maimed). Kissinger prevented a peaceful solution in the early years. In 1974, it was apparent that Angola would gain its independence from Portugal. So the US spent $32 million and killed about 20,000. CIA agent John Stockwell oversaw the operation and outlines CIA activities here as a classic case of CIA destablization.

1975-99. East Timor. State-sponsored terror/mass murder. In 1975, East Timor was decolonizing from Portugal. A civil war broke out and a leftest group, Fretilin, gained power. Nine days after Fretilin declared independence from Portugal, Indonesia invaded, using U.S. arms, money, and diplomatic support. By 1989, Indonesian troops had slaughtered and killed about 200,000 of the 600,000 to 700,000 East Timorese. The U.S. government continued military support for the Indonesian massacres until 1999.

1978. Honduras. Coup. Central American drug kingpin, Juan Matta Ballesteros, a CIA friend, financed the overthrow of Honduran president Juan Alberto Melgar Castro, thus ushering into power Policarp Paz Garcia. Paz was a keen supporter of Nicaragua’s Somoza. Under Paz, Honduran army and intelligence services got a cut of Ballesteros drug trafficking in exchange for protection. Now Honduras was a major point of transit for cocaine and marijuana coming north from Columbia in to the US.

1978 – 1990. Nicaragua. Secret war, state-sponsored terrorism, election engineering. The Sandanistas overthrew the brutally repressive Samoza dictatorship in 1978, prompting Washington fears of “another Cuba”. Under Carter, Washington tried to sabotage the new regime economically and diplomatically. Under Reagan, it became all out war for eight years, although one he was officially not allowed to pursue by Congress’ Boland Amendment. Nicaragua was under attack for eight years by the Contras, Washington’s proxy army formed from Samoza’s National Guardsmen. Over 22,000 were killed in a war mainly on civilians which the World Court condemned as “illegal use of force”, i.e. state-sponsored terrorism. New York Times cites 45,000 killed or wounded.

In 1990, the U.S. interfered with national elections, resulting in the defeat of the Sandanistas and the election of Bush’s friend and CIA-collaborator, Violetta Chamorro. The CIA spent about $20 million orchestrating that election. After a decade of “free market” rule, Nicaragua has become one of the poorest nations in the hemisphere, with over half its population suffering from malnutrition and with illiteracy widespread. Funding the Contras (Samoza’s old National Guards and other mercenaries recruited by the CIA) was done mostly privately and heavily relied on drug money. Cocaine was shipped to the area and processed in local labs and then run via CIA and US planes to US Air Force and National Guard bases and shipped to San Francisco and L.A., often using CIA personnel. The CIA was adept at covering up the operation and keeping the DEA from prosecuting their guys. This story is told in Gary Webb’s Dark Alliance. In the 10 year continuous attack on Nicaragua (the world court called it “war”), Nicaraguans never once committed an act of war against the US. The total cost of the attack and destabilization to the US- over $1 billion.

President Reagan spent more public air time on this issue than any other aspect of his presidency. The lines he used to rally Americans to the war cause include: “a Communist beachhead right in our own backyard”… “there are now Soviets flying planes in this hemisphere for the first time in history…. “the creeping virus of Communism”…. “It’s a two day drive from Managua to Harlingen, Texas” (it actually takes about a week)…. “It’s closer from Managua to Houston than from Houston to Maine”.. “There will be a million Communists coming up across our borders from Central America….

1979 – 1983. Grenada. Coup and military invasion. In a 1979 coup, Maurice Bishop took control of the island of 110,000 people. He was enough of a leftist reformer that Washington feared “another Cuba”. Under Reagan, in Oct. 1983, the U.S. launched an attack upon the tiny island, which resulted in 400 Grenadans (including Bishop), 84 Cubans, and 135 Americans killed or wounded. A U.S.-friendly-government was installed. The attack was officially justified by the Reagan administration on the basis of an alleged threat to American lives, although this was not true.

1980s. El Salvador. Election fraud and state-sponsored terrorism. Civil war

broke out in 1980 after the U.S. supported government had thwarted the peaceful

protests of dissidents within the country. At least 75,000 civilian casualties occurred

during the war which cost the U.S. treasury $6 billion. Death squads and torture were

rampant during the war and continue even today. Meaningful social change was

averted: a handful of rich people still own the country and the masses are as poor and wretched as ever.

1980. Bolivia. Coup and assassination. The “cocaine coup”. Quiroja was tortured and killed. Garcia-Meza was installed. Ex-Nazi, now on the U.S. payroll, Klaus Barbie, helped orchestrate the coup. When a junta of Bolivian generals seized power, they slaughtered the leftist opposition and reaped billions in cocaine profits. Barbie had worked for the secret police and the drug lords and also engaged in drug trafficking. Torture techniques used by Barbie included use of bullwhips, needles pushed under fingernails, drugs, and electricity applied to the nipples and testicles. Thousands of opposition leaders were shot en masse by internal security forces, now headed by Barbie.

1979 – 1992. Afghanistan. Proxy war, training and support for terrorists. Beginning in 1979 and throughout the 80’s, the CIA poured over $3 billion dollars into training and funding the Mujahadeen (including Osama bin laden and other Islamic Fundamentalist mercenaries) in order destablize the Afghan government, largely because it was supported by the Soviets. By aiding the fundamentalist opposition, the CIA helped instigate an invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviets. It was then stated State Dept. policy to bleed the Soviets in a proxy war. Eventually the U.S.-supported Taliban prevailed and the rest of the country lost. More than a million were killed, three million disabled, and five million were refugees, about half of the population.

1980’s Haiti’s. Coup. Democratically-elected Aristide was overthrown and Cedras installed.

1981 – 1982. Chad. Coup and state-sponsored terrorsim. The government of Chad was friendly with Libya’s Qadaffi and asked him to supply military support to protect it’s internal security. Reagan hated Qadaffi and wanted to replace the government. The U.S. and France prevailed upon Chad to ask Qadaffi to leave and they replaced his forces with those of OAU (Organization of African Unity). The CIA rebuilt and financed an opposition Chadian force in the Sudan, which then invaded Chad and toppled the government. The U.S. puppet Hissen Habre, Chad’s equivalent to Chile’s Pinochet, ruled brutally for the next 8 years. The secret police killed 10s of thousands, tortured as many as 200,000, and disappeared an undetermined number.

1984. India. Indira Ghandi was assassinated by Anglo-American intelligence. Her son Rajiv Ghandhi was campaigning for president in 1991, when he too was assassinated, attributed in India to the CIA. Why? He opposed Bush’s “New World Order” and specifically, was determined to reject a US demand for military aircraft landing rights.

1986. Bombing of Libya.

1987. Fiji. Coup. Democratically-elected Prime Minister Timoci Bavrada, of the Labour Party, had pledged to reinstate Fiji as a “nuclear free zone”, meaning that nuclear-powered ships could not take port there. A month after he took office, he was ousted in a military coup, no doubt of the CIA’s making. The coup was most cynically and implausibly justified by the “Libyan threat”.

1989. Panama. Coup, military invasion, and terrorism. In May 1989, under George Bush I, the CIA spent $10 million to rig elections in Panama. After 2 botched coup attempts, Bush began to orchestrate public opinion against Noriega enough to order a full scale invasion. The U.S. invasion which killed thousands and wounded some 3,000 Panamanians was officially to oust Noriega on drug trafficking charges. According to George Bush I, Noriega had served as a CIA asset under 6 U.S. Presidents. But now he was no longer favored. The real reason for the attack was to show the Nicaraguans what might happen if they re-elected the Sandanistas and to show Congress that military budgets needed to stay inflated even after the recent fall of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. Noriega was interred in a Florida jail on trumped up charges. Endora was installed as puppet President. The invasion cost US taxpayers about $2 billion, did about that amount of damage to the Panamanian economy and killed about 2000 Panamanians.

1990’s, Iraq. Military invasion, sanctions, terrorism. In the 1980’s, the U.S. funded and encouraged Iraq in its bloody war with Iran, hoping to weaken and destroy both countries. The war killed a million people and did weaken both countries. However, even during this war, the standard of living in Iraq was amongst the highest in the Arab world. 97% of people living in the cities had access to clean water, there was a very high literacy rate, and the country had relative equality of sexes, with 40-50% of doctors being women. All this was due to Iraqi nationalization of oil resources. It was just after Iran-Iraq war, that the U.S. began calling Saddam “another Hitler”. Why? Again, because the Iraqi government was using Iraqi oil wealth to help the Iraqi people. This, in a neocolony, and utilizing it’s own resources for its own people was, is and always has been regarded as a threat to U.S. imperialistic interests.

The official reason for the U.S. invasion of Iraq was Saddam Hussein’s threat to invade Kuwait (which Iraq has historical claims to and which the U.S. Asst. Secretary of State indirectly encouraged, saying “We have no opinion on your border dispute with Kuwait”). But the real reason, of course, was to utilize the U.S. military (justifying large defense expenditures), to weaken one of the strongest countries in the Middle East, and to install an American military presence in Saudi Arabia, thereby insuring American hegemony over the critical, oil-rich region. The U.S. attack began with 43 days and nights of relentless and sustained bombing of Iraqi civilian targets: 177 million pounds of bombs fell, the most concentrated aerial attack the world had seen at that time. Cluster bombs and depleted uranium were used and the total Iraqi death toll during the war was about 200,000 (60,000 soldiers and 140,000 civilians); less than 50 Americans were killed. The bombing destroyed Iraq’s infrastructure. U.N. and U.S.-imposed sanctions on Iraq since the war have resulted in the deaths of over a million Iraqi civilians, of which an estimated half have been children. Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait was indeed not different from Indonesia’s invasion of East Timor, which had been carried out with Washington’s blessing. Noam Chomsky sums up U.S. strategic objectives in the area:

It’s been a leading, driving doctrine of US foreign policy since the 1940s that the vast and unparalleled energy resources of the Gulf region will be effectively dominated by the United States and its clients, and crucially, that no independent, indigenous force will be permitted to have a substantial influence on the administration of oil production and price.


Cost of military operation: $25 million/day. Bush bullied Germany and Japan each to pay $4 billion toward the cost of the war- all in all, Bush and Baker organized a $55 billion shakedown of other countries. This gave the US budget its first balance of payments surplus in recent memory in the first quarter of 1991.

In 1996, former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark has stated: “There is no greater violation of human rights anywhere in the world in the last decade of this millenium than the sanctions against Iraq”.

1990 – 1991. Bulgaria. Coup. In 1990, the U.S.-backed National Endowment for Democracy (NED) spent $1.5 million trying t o defeat the Bulgarian Socialist Party (formerly communist party). However, the BSP won. Washington was determined that a Socialist government in Bulgaria not be given a chance to succeed. The government under seige, the president was forced to resign. In 1991, the NED again spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on the election. This time “democratic forces” (i.e., US interests) won.

1991 – 1992. Albania. More election engineering. This story is nearly identical to that of Bulgaria. After the Communist party won elections, street demonstrations and general strikes occurred, crippling the new government. A new election was held in 1992. For this one, NED and U.S. diplomats had made it clear that unless the Democratic Party won, U.S. aid would be withheld.

1993. Somalia. “Humanitarian” military invasion. The chaos of fighting warlords in Somalia threatened the stability and profitability of Somalia for four American oil companies. Officially, it was a mission to feed the starving masses. However, when the marines landed, the worst of the famine was already over. Anyway, the U.S. special forces then tried to depose the strongest warlord and in an ensuing battle, 500 to 1000 Somalis were killed, many more were wounded, and 18 Americans were killed, 73 were wounded and five helicopters were shot down. See the movie, “Blackhawk Down” for an uncommonly honest depiction of U.S. forces abroad.

1990s- present. Peru. State-sponsored terrorism. The U.S. has provided Alberto Fujimoro, one of the most repressive dictators in the hemisphere, with an unending supply of military advisers and trainers, arms and equipment. Why? The official reason was to fight drugs. However, clearly Fujimori’s own military as well as their CIA advisors were on the drug payroll. The real reason was to control and terrorize leftist guerillas and to quelch popular reform movements in this impoverished country.

1990’s-present. Mexico. State-supported terrorism. Indigenous people in Mexico, led by the Zapatistas, have been recently demanding economic and political rights and autonomy. The Zapatistas began protesting the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) on the day it went into effect in 1994. At stake are the corporation’s capabilities to extract oil and other natural resources from Mexico. In the name of fighting drugs, again, the U.S. has poured hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid and training to support the corrupt Mexican government and to neutralize and defeat these popular political movements of poor people. Many, many Mexican police and military personnel were sent to be trained at the School of Americas (in Fort Benning Georgia) in the techniques of torture, psychological warfare, etc. These state-supported paramilitary terrorists have been waging low-intensity warfare against the Zapatistas, much as they did in El Salvador and Guatemala in the 1980s. Hundreds of helicopters have been used to attack villages and communities with machine guns, rockets and bombs. Interestingly, no one, even in Washington D.C., has accused the Zapatistas of being involved in drugs. Thus, Washington’s vendetta against the indigenous peoples of Mexico can only be seen for what it is- a war against the poor on behalf of the rich.

1990’s- present. Columbia. State-supported terrorism. By the year 2000, Columbia, the most violent nation in the world, was the third largest recipient of U.S. military aid. Our official mission: to provide military advisers and bases to aid in “counter-insurgency” actions against leftist guerillas. The public rationale for all this military support is the “war on drugs”. And we normally refer to the leading guerilla group, FARC, as drug traffickers. However, the Columbian military is the main recipient of US military arms and aid. And the Columbian military and paramilitaries are definitely involved in drug trafficking. In 1998, a Columbian Air Force cargo plane landed in Florida with nearly a ton of cocaine. Indeed, President Samper himself was labeled a drug trafficker by a senior Clinton administration official. In 1994, Amnesty International reported that over 20,000 people had been killed in Columbia since 1986, mainly by the military and the paramilitaries- “not in the “drug wars” but for political reasons”. Many of the victims were trade unionists, human-rights activists, and leftist political leaders. As with Mexico, much of the U.S. military aid to Columbia is in violation of Congressional human-rights laws. Here again, as in Guatemala and El Salvador in the 1980s, widespread, state-sponsored torture, disappearances, political killings and other human rights abuses are proceeding with U.S. financial backing in order to help insure that Columbia will fit well into the global economy and the New World Order. Under “Plan Columbia”, we spend $1.3 billion a year to insure American corporations’ access to Columbia’s oil reserves, protect oil pipelines, and to access drug revenues . We are spraying Glyphosphate, produced (by Monsanto) to kill cocoa leaves but it also kills fish and pollutes forests, streams, etc. Plan Columbia has resulted in the displacement of 2 million people.

1995-99. Yugoslavia. Military invasion. In WWII, Croatian dictator Ante Pavelic, supervised one of the greatest killing sprees of the war, killing hundreds of thousands of Serbs (some say over 2 million) in order to make Croatia “a 100% Catholic state”. His favorite trophy was a 40 lb. jar of human eyeballs of his Serb victims. He controlled numerous death squads. In 1991, Sec. State James Baker met with Serbian fascist, Slobaodan Milosvic, and encouraged him to suppress any internal rebellions with military force. The federal army assaults on Slovenia and then on Croatia can be dated from these exchanges and constituted the first bombing of civilians in central Europe since 1945. Then, the U.S. helped Croatia carry out and then cover up its ethnic cleansing of the Krajina Serbs in 1995. Although Yugoslav banks were involved in western-style drug money laundering and US diplomats (like Undersecretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger) were on the boards of the Yugoslav automobile industry, most of the industry and financial sector was state-owned. It was commonly reported and believed that the US/NATO bombing of Yugoslavia occurred after the mass forced deportation of ethnic Albanians from Kosovo was underway. Actually, the forced deportation of Albanians did not begin until several days after the NATO bombing began and was a reaction to the bombing. NATO bombing was relentless for a period of 78 days and nights, killing hundreds of innocent civilians. The ultimate objective of Anglo-American geopolitical strategy was to “Balkanize” and weaken Yugoslavia in order to assert Western neo-colonial control. Depleted uranium rounds were utilized here by NATO forces, as in the 1991 Iraq invasion.

2003. Venezuela. CIA coup fails to oust democratically-elected President Hugo Chavez, after thousands of Venezuelans protest his ouster by right-ring business forces in Caracas.

2003. Re-invasion of Iraq.

2004. Haiti. Coup. Democratically-elected President Aristide ousted again by a CIA-orchestrated coup.


In violation of its own laws, the U.S. has subverted and perverted elections in the following countries:

The Phillipines, 1950s, Italy, 1948-1970s, Lebanon, 1950s, Indonesia, 1955

Vietnam, 1955, British Guiana/Guyana, 1953-64, Japan, 1958-1970s, Guatemala, 1963, Bolivia, 1966, Chad, 1964-1970, Portugal, 1974-5, Australia, 1974-5, Jamaica, 1976, Panama, 1984 + 89, Nicaragua, 1984 + 1990, Haiti, 1987-88, Bulgaria, 1990-1

Albania, 1991-2, Russia, 1996, Mongolia, 1996, Bosnia, 1998


1950S- Several attempts on life of Zhou Enlai, Prime Minister of China

1950s-70s- Costa Rica. President Jose Figuueres,- two attempts to assassinate .

1960- Iraq. Unsuccessful CIA assassination attempt against Iraqi President Kassem.

1960S and 70s- 30 attempts upon the life of Castro of Cuba

Primary Source: Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower by William Blum- 2000, Common Courage Press.

Coming to grips with these U.S./CIA activities in broad numbers and figuring out how many people have been killed in the jungles of Laos or the hills of Nicaragua is very difficult. But, adding them up as best we can, we come up with a figure of six million people killed- and this is a minimum figure. Included are: one million killed in the Korean War, two million killed the Vietnam War, 800,000 killed in Indonesia, one million in Cambodia, 20,000 killed in Angola, and 22,000 killed in Nicaragua. These people would not have died if U.S. tax dollars had not been spent by the CIA to inflame tensions, finance covert political and military activity, and destabilize societies.

One might call this the “Third World War”. It is a war that has been fought by the United States against the Third World. Others call it the Cold War and focus on the anti-communist and anti-Soviet rationales, but the dead are not Soviets; they are people of the Third World. It might also be called the Forty-Year (now Fifty-Year) War , like the Thirty-Year and Hundred-Year Wars in Europe, for this one began when the CIA was founded in 1947 and continues today. Altogether perhaps 20 million people died in the Cold War. As wars go, it has been the second or third most destructive of human life in all of history, after World War I and World War II. 

The six million people the CIA has helped to kill are people of the Mitumba Mountains of the Congo, the jungles of Southeast Asia, and the hills of northern Nicaragua. They are people without ICBMs or armies or navies, incapable of doing physical damage to the United States. The 22,000 killed in Nicaragua, for example, are not Russians, they are not Cuban soldiers or advisors; they are not even mostly Sandanistas. A majority are rag-poor peasants, including large numbers of women and children. Communists? Hardly, since the dead Nicaraguans are predominantly Roman Catholics. Enemies of the United States? That description doesn’t fit either, because… they love the people of the United States, and they simply cannot understand why our leaders would want to spend $1 billion on a contra force designed to murder people and wreck the country.

John Stockwell, The Praetorian Guard: The U.S. Role in the New World Order 

Some notable world citizens assassinated by the “New World Order”

1963, US: John F. Kennedy, November, 1963, Dallas, in CIA-orchestrated coup.

1963, Vietnam, President Diem assassinated in CIA coup.

1963, Iraq, General Kassem assassinated in CIA coup.

1973, Chile, Democratically-elected Salvador Allende assassinated in CIA coup.

1973, Saudi Arabia, King Feisal assassinated in CIA coup.

1984. India, President Indira Ghandi assassinated in CIA coup

1991. President Rajiv Ghandi assassinated in CIA coup.

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