To the Editor:
Anton Skerbinc’s letter regarding the destabilization of the Ukraine government is absolutely correct — especially the comment that it is nothing new. It is simply the latest in the long line of U.S. (and British) involvement in such shameful activities.
In 1953 the democratically elected Mossaddegh government of Iran was overthrown by a joint effort of the CIA and MI-5 because Mossaddegh was committed to making Iran a true democracy while reducing the power of the shah. The western press painted this as a “popular uprising”. They then installed the shah, who ruled for 30 years with the most brutal secret service (Savak) engaging in torture of “dissidents” (political opponents) with the full support of the CIA.
From 1952, the despot Fulgencio Batista was supported financially and militarily in Cuba by the Mafia and the U.S. government until the Cuban revolution overthrew that tyrant. (He jailed Castro when it looked as though Castro was going to win the election.)
On Sept. 11, 1973, (the first 9-11) a U.S.-backed coup overthrew the democratically elected Salvador Allende in Santiago, Chile, — ironically killing over 3000, including Allende when he refused to resign. (Allende had the temerity to challenge U.S. conglomerate food interests on behalf of his citizens.) This was, of course, just a taste of what was to come when Augusto Pinochet took over and was responsible for tens of thousands of deaths and disappearances with the support of such icons as then-U.S. secretary of state Henry Kissinger. Unfortunately, these actions reflect the mainstay of U.S. foreign policy, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend,” which has resulted is so much long-term embarrassment for the U.S. as they try to explain, for example, why Saddam Hussein was an ally yesterday but not today. It’s foreign policy by whim.
Anybody who is interested in the history of overt U.S. actions to overthrow governments in other countries can read about them in Overthrow by Stephen Kinzer (available in the Creston library). The covert activities to achieve the same ends are too numerous to list.
Freedom to choose is an illusion and the aforementioned activities illustrate the true U.S. definition of democracy, namely: You can have any government that they want.