Sunday, January 28, 2007
Plus ca Change
I came across this quote while reading the excellent book "Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq" by Stephen Kinzer:
It is now clear that we are facing an implacable enemy whose avowed objective is world domination by whatever means and at whatever cost. There are no rules in such a game. Hitherto acceptable norms of human conduct do not apply. If the United States is to survive, longstanding American concepts of "fair play" must be reconsidered. We must develop effective espionage and counter-espionage services and must learn to subvert, sabotage and destroy our enemies by more clever, sophisticated and more effective methods than those used against us.Cheney? Bush? Alberto Gonzalez defending domestic spying? No, it's Jimmy Doolittle, a former air force general and Shell Oil executive appointed by President Eisenhower in 1954 to review the CIA and its role in countering the Soviet threat. This kind of thinking provided the needed justification for the US to overthrow arguably moderate and inarguably democratic governments in Iran and Guatemala, and later Chile. In each case, the true driving force for US intervention was the needs of a few multinational corporations (BP in Iran, United Fruit in Guatemala, ITT and others in Chile), while the consequences of regime change were devastating to the affected countries, with decades of repression, murder, suffering and deprivation. Sound familiar?