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Official: The US is a Leading Terrorist State

Philosopher Noam Chomsky is professor of the MIT Institute of Linguistics

(Emeritus). (Photo: tele!"#file)
An international poll found that the United States is ranked far in the lead
as the biggest threat to world peace today, far ahead of second-place
Pakistan, with no one else even close.
Published ! "ctober !#$
%&agine that the lead article in Pravda reported a study by the '() that
reviews &a*or terrorist operations run by the 're&lin around the world, in
an e+ort to deter&ine the factors that led to their success or failure, ,nally
concluding that unfortunately successes were rare so that so&e rethinking
of policy is in order. Suppose that the article went on to -uote Putin as
saying that he had asked the '() to carry out such in-uiries in order to ,nd
cases of ,nancing and supplying ar&s to an insurgency in a country that
actually worked out well. And they couldn.t co&e up with &uch. So he has
so&e reluctance about continuing such e+orts.
%f, al&ost uni&aginably, such an article were to appear, cries of outrage
and indignation would rise to the heavens, and /ussia would be bitterly
conde&ned 0 or worse -- not only for the vicious terrorist record openly
acknowledged, but for the reaction a&ong the leadership and the political
class1 no concern, e2cept how well /ussian state terroris& works and
whether the practices can be i&proved.
%t is indeed hard to i&agine that such an article &ight appear, e2cept for
the fact that it *ust did 0 al&ost.
"n "ctober #$, the lead story in the 3ew 4ork 5i&es reported a study by
the 6%A that reviews &a*or terrorist operations run by the 7hite 8ouse
around the world, in an e+ort to deter&ine the factors that led to their
success or failure, ,nally concluding that unfortunately successes were rare
so that so&e rethinking of policy is in order. 5he article went on to -uote
"ba&a as saying that he had asked the 6%A to carry out such in-uiries in
order to ,nd cases of ,nancing and supplying ar&s to an insurgency in a
country that actually worked out well. And they couldn.t co&e up with
&uch. So he has so&e reluctance about continuing such e+orts.
5here were no cries of outrage, no indignation, nothing.
5he conclusion see&s -uite clear. %n western political culture, it is taken to
be entirely natural and appropriate that the 9eader of the :ree 7orld should
be a terrorist rogue state and should openly proclai& its e&inence in such
cri&es. And it is only natural and appropriate that the 3obel Peace Pri;e
laureate and liberal constitutional lawyer who holds the reins of power
should be concerned only with how to carry out such actions &ore
A closer look establishes these conclusions -uite ,r&ly.
5he article opens by citing US operations fro& Angola to 3icaragua to
6uba. 9et us add a little of what is o&itted.
%n Angola, the US *oined South Africa in providing the crucial support for
=onas Savi&bi.s terrorist U3%5A ar&y, and continued to do so after Savi&bi
had been roundly defeated in a carefully &onitored free election and even
after South Africa had withdrawn support fro& this &onster whose lust for
power had brought appalling &isery to his people, in the words of )ritish
A&bassador to Angola >arrack (oulding, seconded by the 6%A station chief
in neighboring 'inshasa who warned that it wasn.t a good idea to support
the &onster because of the e2tent of Savi&bi.s cri&es. 8e was terribly
?espite e2tensive and &urderous US-backed terrorist operations in Angola,
6uban forces drove South African aggressors out of the country, co&pelled
the& to leave illegally occupied 3a&ibia, and opened the way for the
Angolan election in which, after his defeat, Savi&bi dis&issed entirely the
views of nearly @!! foreign elections observers here that the ballotingAwas
generally free and fair B3ew 4ork 5i&esC, and continued the terrorist war
with US support.
6uban achieve&ents in the liberation of Africa and ending of Apartheid
were hailed by 3elson >andela when he was ,nally released fro& prison.
A&ong his ,rst acts was to declare that ?uring all &y years in prison,
6uba was an inspiration and :idel 6astro a tower of strengthA D6uban
victoriesE destroyed the &yth of the invincibility of the white oppressor
DandE inspired the ,ghting &asses of South Africa A a turning point for the
liberation of our continent F and of &y people F fro& the scourge of
apartheid. A 7hat other country can point to a record of greater
selGessness than 6uba has displayed in its relations to AfricaH
5he terrorist co&&ander 8enry 'issinger, in contrast, was apoplectic over
the insubordination of the pips-ueak 6astro who should be s&ashDedE,
as reported by 7illia& 9eogrande and Peter 'ornbluh in their book )ack
6hannel to 6uba, relying on recently declassi,ed docu&ents.
5urning to 3icaragua, we need not tarry on /eagan.s terrorist war, which
continued well after the %nternational 6ourt of =ustice ordered 7ashington to
cease its illegal use of force 0 that is, international terroris& -- and pay
substantial reparations, and after a resolution of the U3 Security 6ouncil
that called on all states B&eaning the USC to observe international law 0
vetoed by 7ashington.
%t should be acknowledged, however, that /eagan.s terrorist war against
3icaragua 0 e2tended by )ush %, the states&an )ush -- was not as
destructive as the state terroris& he backed enthusiastically in Il Salvador
and (uate&ala. 3icaragua had the advantage of having an ar&y to
confront the US-run terrorist forces, while in the neighboring states the
terrorists assaulting the population were the security forces ar&ed and
trained by 7ashington.
%n a few weeks we will be co&&e&orating the (rand :inale of 7ashington.s
terrorist wars in 9atin A&erica1 the &urder of si2 leading 9atin A&erican
intellectuals, =esuit priests, by an elite terrorist unit of the Salvadoran ar&y,
the Atlacatl )attalion, ar&ed and trained by 7ashington, acting on the
e2plicit orders of the 8igh 6o&&and, and with a long record of &assacres
of the usual victi&s.
5his shocking cri&e on 3ove&ber #J, #K@K, at the =esuit University in San
Salvador was the coda to the enor&ous plague of terror that spread over
the continent after =ohn :. 'ennedy changed the &ission of the 9atin
A&erican &ilitary fro& he&ispheric defense 0 an outdated relic of 7orld
7ar %% 0 to internal security, which &eans war against the do&estic
population. 5he after&ath is described succinctly by 6harles >aechling,
who led US counterinsurgency and internal defense planning fro& #KJ# to
#KJJ. 8e described 'ennedy.s #KJ decision as a shift fro& toleration of
the rapacity and cruelty of the 9atin A&erican &ilitary to direct
co&plicity in their cri&es, to US support for the &ethods of 8einrich
8i&&ler.s e2ter&ination s-uads.
All forgotten, not the right kind of facts.
%n 6uba, 7ashington.s terror operations were launched in full fury by
President 'ennedy to punish 6ubans for defeating the US-run )ay of Pigs
invasion. As described by historian Piero (lei*eses, =:' asked his brother,
Attorney (eneral /obert 'ennedy, to lead the top-level interagency group
that oversaw "peration >ongoose, a progra& of para&ilitary operations,
econo&ic warfare, and sabotage he launched in late #KJ# to visit the
Lterrors of the earthL on :idel 6astro and, &ore prosaically, to topple hi&.
5he phrase terrors of the earth is -uoted fro& 'ennedy associate and
historian Arthur Schlesinger, in his -uasi-o<cial biography of /obert
'ennedy, who was assigned responsibility for conducting the terrorist war.
/:' infor&ed the 6%A that the 6uban proble& carries DtEhe top priority in
the United States (overn&ent -- all else is secondary -- no ti&e, no e+ort,
or &anpower is to be spared in the e+ort to overthrow the 6astro regi&e,
and to bring the terrors of the earth to 6uba.
5he terrorist war launched by the 'ennedy brothers was no s&all a+air. %t
involved $!! A&ericans, ,!!! 6ubans, a private navy of fast boats, and a
MN! &illion annual budget, run in part by a >ia&i 6%A station functioning in
violation of the 3eutrality Act and, presu&ably, the law banning 6%A
operations in the United States. "perations included bo&bing of hotels and
industrial installations, sinking of ,shing boats, poisoning of crops and
livestock, conta&ination of sugar e2ports, etc. So&e of these operations
were not speci,cally authori;ed by the 6%A but carried out by the terrorist
forces it funded and supported, a distinction without a di+erence in the
case of o<cial ene&ies.
5he >ongoose terrorist operations were run by (eneral Idward 9ansdale,
who had a&ple e2perience in US-run terrorist operations in the Philippines
and Oietna&. 8is ti&etable for "peration >ongoose called for open revolt
and overthrow of the 6o&&unist regi&e in "ctober #KJ, which, for ,nal
success will re-uire decisive U.S. &ilitary intervention after terroris& and
subversion had laid the basis.
"ctober #KJ is, of course, a very signi,cant &o&ent in &odern history. %t
was in that &onth that 3ikita 'hrushchev sent &issiles to 6uba, setting o+
the &issile crisis that ca&e o&inously close to ter&inal nuclear war.
Scholarship now recogni;es that 'hrushchev was in part &otivated by the
huge US preponderance in force after 'ennedy had responded to his calls
for reduction in o+ensive weapons by radically increasing the US
advantage, and in part by concern over a possible US invasion of 6uba.
4ears later, 'ennedy.s ?efense Secretary /obert >c3a&ara recogni;ed that
6uba and /ussia were *usti,ed in fearing an attack. %f % were in 6uban or
Soviet shoes, % would have thought so, too, >c3a&ara observed at a &a*or
international conference on the &issile crisis on the $!th anniversary.
5he highly regarded policy analyst /ay&ond (artho+, who had &any years
of direct e2perience in US intelligence, reports that in the weeks before the
"ctober crisis erupted, a 6uban terrorist group operating fro& :lorida with
US govern&ent authori;ation carried out a daring speedboat stra,ng
attack on a 6uban seaside hotel near 8avana where Soviet &ilitary
technicians were known to congregate, killing a score of /ussians and
6ubans. And shortly after, he continues, the terrorist forces attacked
)ritish and 6uban cargo ships and again raided 6uba, a&ong other actions
that were stepped up in early "ctober. At a tense &o&ent of the still-
unresolved &issile crisis, on 3ove&ber @, a terrorist tea& dispatched fro&
the United States blew up a 6uban industrial facility after the >ongoose
operations had been o<cially suspended. :idel 6astro alleged that $!!
workers had been killed in this operation, guided by photographs taken by
spying planes. Atte&pts to assassinate 6astro and other terrorist attacks
continued i&&ediately after the crisis ter&inated, and were escalated
again in later years.
5here has been so&e notice of one rather &inor part of the terror war, the
&any atte&pts to assassinate 6astro, generally dis&issed as childish 6%A
shenanigans. Apart fro& that, none of what happened has elicited &uch
interest or co&&entary. 5he ,rst serious Inglish-language in-uiry into the
i&pact on 6ubans was published in !#! by 6anadian researcher 'eith
)olender, in his Ooices :ro& 5he "ther Side1 An "ral 8istory "f 5erroris&
Against 6uba, a very valuable study largely ignored.
5he three e2a&ples highlighted in the 3ew 4ork 5i&es report of US
terroris& are only the tip of the iceberg. 3evertheless, it is useful to have
this pro&inent acknowledg&ent of 7ashington.s dedication to &urderous
and destructive terror operations and of the insigni,cance of all of this to
the political class, which accepts it as nor&al and proper that the US should
be a terrorist superpower, i&&une to law and civili;ed nor&s.
"ddly, the world &ay not agree. An international poll released a year ago
by the 7orldwide %ndependent 3etworkP(allup %nternational Association
B7%3P(%AC found that the United States is ranked far in the lead as the
biggest threat to world peace today, far ahead of second-place Pakistan
Bdoubtless inGated by the %ndian voteC, with no one else even close.
:ortunately, A&ericans were spared this insigni,cant infor&ation.
Poste$ %y Tha&am