A source on politics, war, the Middle East, Arabic poetry, and art.
Thursday, October 13, 2016
"The long history of the U.S. interfering with elections elsewhere"
"In the late 1940s, the newly-established CIA cut its teeth in Western Europe, pushing back against some of the continent's most influential leftist parties and labor unions. In 1948, the U.S. propped up Italy's centrist Christian Democrats and helped ensure their electoral victory against a leftist coalition, anchored by one of the most powerful communist parties in Europe. CIA operatives gave millions of dollars to their Italian allies and helped orchestrate what was then an unprecedented, clandestine propaganda campaign: This included forging documents to besmirch communist leaders in fabricated sex scandals, starting a mass letter-writing campaign from Italian-Americans to their compatriots, and spreading hysteria about a Russian takeover and the undermining of the Catholic Church. "We had bags of money that we delivered to selected politicians, to defray their political expenses, their campaign expenses, for posters, for pamphlets,"recounted F. Mark Wyatt, the CIA officer who handled the mission and later participated in more than two-and-a-half decades of direct support to Italy's Christian Democrats. Thistemplate spread everywhere: CIA operative Edward G. Lansdale, notorious for his efforts to bring down the North Vietnamese government, is said to have run the successful 1953 campaign of Philippines President Ramon Magsaysay. Japan's center-right Liberal Democratic Party was backed with secret American funds through the 1950s and 60s. The U.S. government and American oil corporations helped Christian parties in Lebanon win crucial elections in 1957 with briefcases full of cash. In Chile, the U.S. successfully prevented Allende from winning an election in 1964. “A total of nearly four million dollars was spent on some fifteen covert action projects, ranging from organizing slum dwellers to passing funds to political parties,"detaileda Senate inquiry in the mid-1970s that started to expose the role of the CIA in overseas elections. When they couldn't defeat Allende at the ballot box in 1970, Washington decided to remove him anyway. "I don’t see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its own people," Kissinger is said to have quipped. Pinochet's regime presided over years of torture, disappearances and targeted assassinations. (In a recent op-ed, Chilean-American novelist Ariel Dorfman called onHillary Clinton to repudiate Kissinger if she wins the presidential election.)"
Comic by Terry Furry, reproduced from "Heard the One About the Funny Leftist?" by Cris Thompson, East Bay Express
As'ad AbuKhalil, born March 16, 1960. From Tyre, Lebanon, grew up in Beirut. Received his BA and MA from American University of Beirut in pol sc. Came to US in 1983 and received his PhD in comparative government from Georgetown University. Taught at Tufts University, Georgetown University, George Washington University, Colorado College, and Randolph-Macon Woman's College. Served as a Scholar-in-Residence at Middle East Institute in Washington DC. He served as free-lance Middle East consultant for NBC News and ABC News, an experience that only served to increase his disdain for maintream US media. He is now professor of political science at California State University, Stanislaus. His favorite food is fried eggplants.
Email the Angry Arab at: aabukhalil[at]csustan [dot][edu]
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