The fact that the United States has been long treating other nations in a derogatory and irresponsible manner and allows itself to intervene in the internal affairs of other countries is a source of frustration for many people, even if the world’s politicians don’t dare to criticize Washington over its arrogant behavior.
The United States, blasted by many critics of its domestic and foreign policy as a newly-emerged police state interacts with the other nations across the world in such a way as if they are all its subordinates and inferiors. The people occupying the different rooms of White House think that they are the owners of the world and that they have a right to look down upon the other nations pejoratively.
The long history of U.S.-led military interventions, wars, coups, covert operations and economic sanctions that have strangulated the livelihoods of the subjugated people in the four corners of the globe and annihilated thousands of lives shows that the United States has not only failed to realize its ambitions for becoming a “beacon of freedom,” as its different presidents proclaim, but that it has also become a rogue regime, that despite the criticism and objections of its people, continues to maintain its imperial and colonial policies and its disdainful approach toward the “unfriendly” nations, and even its close allies, as it was the case in Edward Snowden’s recent intelligence revelations.
All throughout the 20th century, the United States has been busy fulfilling the mission of destabilizing the countries with which it has not felt at ease or those countries which could be potentially damaging and harmful to the U.S. military-industrial complex.
Among the most important regime change projects set in motion by the United States in the recent decades are the 1949 Syrian coup d’état, the 1954 Guatemalan coup d’état, the 1964 Brazilian coup d’état and 1967 Greek coup d’état, not to mention the 1953 coup in Iran through which the U.S. intelligence agents toppled the democratically-elected government of Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh and consolidated the reign of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the uncompromising and ruthless monarch who ruled Iran from 1941 until the early days of 1979 when the Islamic Revolution drew an end to his kingdom.
However, the U.S.-engineered coup in Chile in 1973 was perhaps the most important U.S. plan of regime change through covert action in the recent decades which took place without the U.S. resorting to military force. By staging the coup in Chile, the United States clearly demonstrated the disgraceful and despicable nature of its foreign policy and the futility of the values which its leaders usually boast of pompously.
Following the election of the socialist politician Salvador Allende as the Chilean President in the 1970 presidential elections, the U.S. government, fearing the growth of leftist sentiments and the empowerment of the socialists in the Latin American country which has been a role model of democracy and freedom in the region for many years, orchestrated concerted efforts to remove him from power and conduct new elections in which Allende would not be a candidate anymore. As recounted in the Church Committee report, the CIA was involved in mounting an economic warfare and black propaganda campaign against the democratic government of President Allende for several months following his election and was pushing for the annulment of the election results. It’s noted that the U.S. President Richard Nixon funded and provoked street protests in Chile against Allende to force him to resign. All of their efforts failed, and in 1973, with the conspiracy of U.S.-allied, disloyal elements in the army, navy, air force and defense ministry, General Augusto Pinochet seized power and declared himself as the Chilean President. President Nixon expressively supported the military junta government and a democratic government was replaced by a group of military rulers who remained in power until it was decided in an internationally supported plebiscite in 1988 that Pinochet should step down.
However, military coups were not the only instruments used by the bullying power, the United States, to coerce, intimidate and influence its adversaries. The interesting point is that these adversaries had never taken up arms against the United States or threatened its national security directly. The only reason the United States has been at loggerheads with them and intervened to torture them is their ideology, or their worldview! The United States torments whoever thinks in a different way, and this cannot be interpreted as anything other than outright dictatorship.
Wars and military interventions are the other means by which the United States extends the umbrella of its imperial power, as Noam Chomsky puts it, dismantle the governments which are ideologically opposed to its values and then plunders their resources. Since its declaration of independence, the United States has either participated in or waged wars against some 40 countries to purportedly export its democracy to them and “liberate” these countries! The dissident American indie singer and songwriter David Rovics composed a beautiful song called “Operation Iraqi Liberation: OIL” in which he implied that the U.S. war on Iraq in 2003 was an attempt to take over the vast oil reserves of Iraq.
The civilian death toll in the U.S. “wars of liberation” is one of the most intentionally-neglected issues surrounding these endless and numerous wars. Only since the invasion of Iraq by the U.S. and its NATO allies in 2003, 500,000 Iraqis were killed, as confirmed by several reliable sources, and even those close to the U.S. government, including Britain’s state-run BBC that reported on October 16, 2013 that the casualties of the U.S. war on Iraq neared half a million. The prominent American Middle East expert Juan Cole says that 500,000 equals to about 2% of the Iraq’s population, and it’s unimaginable that what could happen if the Army Iraq had murdered 2% of the U.S. population!
The American public intellectual and author John Tirman notes in a January 6, 2012 article in Washington Post, “inattention to civilian deaths in America’s wars isn’t unique to Iraq. There’s little evidence that the American public gives much thought to the people who live in the nations where our military interventions take place. Think about the memorials on the Mall honoring American sacrifices in Korea and Vietnam. These are powerful, sacred spots, but neither mentions the people of those countries who perished in the conflicts.”
James A. Lucas, an American political activist with the Dayton Peace Action has elaborately enumerated the civilian casualties of the U.S. wars in the past 100 years in an extensive article originally appeared on “Counter Currents” website on April 24, 2007. He lists the civilian deaths caused by the U.S. wars in 37 countries and says that for example, in the U.S. military strike on Laos from 1965 to 1973, during which the Americans dropped two million tons of bombs on Laos, more than 200,000 people were killed.
The author concludes that since the conclusion of the World War II, the United States has contributed to the killing of more than 20 million people. Shouldn’t it be held accountable then?
Are these insignificant figures? While the U.S. laments, protests and runs a great hullabaloo over the death of one of its citizens in a foreign country, how can it nonchalantly proceed with the killing of civilians in other countries in thousands?
An important question need to be addressed here: who has appointed the United States to be the world’s policeman? Who has asked the United States to intervene in the other countries, either militarily or politically, kill innocent civilians in the name of expanding and promoting democracy and destabilize the political system of these countries? Who has given the United States the responsibility to remove from power the governments and leaders which are not seen as democratic and freedom-loving? And finally, who is in charge of holding the United States responsible for its innumerable war crimes and crimes against humanity?