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Kennedy’s assassination is the coup d’état that dare not speak its name

By Greg Felton | November 24, 2013

For an event that changed the course of world history, the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy passed with barely a ripple. It featured the same sort of superficial solemnity and obligatory rehashing of canonical texts one expects at a religious observance.

At Easter, the clergy do not expect faithful Christians to question the absurdity of the Resurrection as they hearken unto ritualistic stories and watch the umpteenth depiction of the Crucifixion. The ritual is a time to reinforce official belief, not stimulate thoughtful discussion.

So it came to pass that the 50th commemoration of the Kennedy assassination was, like all the others, an exercise in a manipulative ritual designed solely to allow people to expiate their grief and honour a martyred saint. It consisted of the veneration of official iconography, hearkening unto personal testimonies, and paying homage to the absurdities of the Warren Commission, which concluded that Kennedy was killed from behind by a single bullet fired from the rifle of Lee Harvey Oswald.

Criticism of the report and expressions of alternative explanations are still anathematized like a religious heresy even though a dedicated subculture of journalists, servicemen and scholars have successfully proven that the commission’s report is a hamfisted cover-up. To refute the one-bullet theory, for example, all one has to do is watch the famous Zapruder film to see that a bullet struck Kennedy in the forehead, snapping his head back and causing a gaping exit wound in the back of his skull. Ballistically speaking, this could not have been caused by a sniper shooting from behind.

The disconnect between official dogma and reality over these 50 years has had the (perhaps intended) effect of trivializing the assassination, turning it into a cliché so that we have become deaf to its true political importance.

Who rerouted the motorcade at the last minute to make it slow down at Dealey Plaza so that the assassin or assassins could get a clear shot? Who stood to benefit the most from his assassination? Certainly not Oswald. A lot of theorists point to the CIA, the Israelis, or Vice-President Lyndon Johnson. Others say the military did it. Perhaps it was all of them and others. (For an excellent list, see “16 Mind-Blowing Facts About Who Really Killed JFK” by Carl Gibson of Reader Supported News.)

Ironically, the persecution and marginalization of heretics may offer the best clues because as Voltaire wrote: “To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.” An examination of two policy areas before and after the assassination gives us a good idea who really killed Kennedy and why.

Vietnam

From the outset, Kennedy had to fight an insurrection within his administration from the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the CIA, which were looking for any excuse to start a war. During the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962, when medium-range ballistic missiles were spotted in Cuba, Kennedy faced almost unanimous opposition to a non-military response. Air Force Chief of Staff Curtis LeMay, the most outspoken belligerent, typified the contempt Kennedy faced: “This blockade and political action, I see leading into war. I don’t see any other solution for it. It will lead right into war. This is almost as bad as the appeasement at Munich.”

In the end, a naval blockade and a missile trade off convinced Khrushchev to pull the missiles out, thus sparing the world the spectre of nuclear war, but despite this success Kennedy’s refusal to be stampeded into nuclear war further alienated the military-industrial complex, as President Eisenhower called it, which thought such a war inevitable and necessary. It was Kennedy’s enlightened Vietnam policy, though, that sent the warmongers over the edge and points to a motive for assassination.

In a lengthy piece to Rolling Stone, Robert Kennedy Jr, gave a candid account of that policy:

On September 2nd, 1963, in a televised interview, JFK told the American people he didn’t want to get drawn into Vietnam. ‘In the final analysis, it is their war,’ he said. ‘They are the ones who have to win or lose it. We can help them, we can give them equipment. We can send our men out there as advisers, but they have to win it, the people of Vietnam.’

Exactly one month later, Kennedy told a National Security Council meeting that there would be a partial withdrawal of 1,000 military personnel by the end of 1963 and a complete withdrawal by the end of 1965, regardless of the military circumstances. The thought of pulling out of Vietnam sent the warmongers into a frothing rage. As RFK Jr. further recounts:

Journalist Richard Starnes, filing from Vietnam, gave a stark assessment in The Washington Daily News of the CIA’s unrestrained thirst for power in Vietnam. Starnes quoted high-level U.S. officials horrified by the CIA’s role in escalating the conflict. They described an insubordinate, out-of-control agency, which one top official called a ‘malignancy.’ He doubted that ‘even the White House could control it any longer.’ Another warned, ‘If the United States ever experiences a [coup], it will come from the CIA and not from the Pentagon.’ Added another, ‘[Members of the CIA] represent tremendous power and total unaccountability to anyone.’

That coup was the assassination. Four days afterwards, Lyndon Johnson, promulgated National Security Action Memorandum 273, which authorized covert operations against North Vietnam, and these in turn would lead to the fraudulent Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which led to the widening of the war that was known to be lost before it started.

Israel

JFK abhorred nuclear weapons, and wanted to rid the world of them. He was determined to conclude a peace treaty with Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, with whom he had been keeping a secret correspondence, and to implement a unilateral test ban. Most significantly, JFK refused to sell Israel nuclear weapons and demanded that Israel’s nuclear facility at Dimona be completely open for inspection. On July 5, 1963, Kennedy wrote a letter to Prime Minister Levi Eshkol (né Shkol’nik) to that effect.

The request was contemptuously ignored; four months later Kennedy was dead. Johnson proceeded to turn Kennedy’s rational policy on its head and put the U.S. on the long humiliating road to becoming Israel’s bitch. As historian Laurent Guyénot wrote:

Johnson increased [aid to Israel] from 40 million [dollars] to 71 million and to 130 million the following year. While the Kennedy administration had authorized the sale of a limited number of defensive missile batteries to Israel, under Johnson more than 70% of the aid was earmarked for military equipment, including 250 tanks and 48 Skyhawk offensive aircraft. Military aid to Israel reached 92 million in 1966, more than the total of all previous years combined.

Regarding nuclear matters, Johnson turned a blind eye to Dimona and allowed Mossad agents to begin stealing 269 kg of enriched uranium from the Numec nuclear facility in Apollo, Pennsylvania.

Johnson’s support for Israel would lead to an overt act of treason on June 8, 1967, when he abetted Israel’s premeditated 75-minute assault on the intelligence-gathering ship USS Liberty that included torpedoes, rockets, napalm and 30mm gunfire fire, even at life rafts. Thirty-four servicemen died and 172 were wounded. Presidential speechwriter Grace Halsell explains the familiar motive for why Johnson sucked up to Israel:

In 1967, President Johnson felt he needed all the support he could get to ‘win’ in Vietnam. Many American Jews were liberals outspokenly opposed to the war there. Johnson was told if he gave all out support to Israel… influential Jewish Americans would stop opposing his Vietnam policies. In a memo to the president, [speechwriter Ben] Wattenberg… said flatly that if the president came out with strong support for Israel, he would win American Jewish support for the war in Vietnam. Many American Jewish leaders are ‘doves’ on Vietnam, Wattenberg wrote, but ‘hawks’ on a war with Arab states.

No investigation of the attack has ever been carried out and the lame cover story offered up by Israel—mistaken identity—is still endorsed by official Washington.

Israel also had a political motive to kill Kennedy because of his Middle East policy. He was determined to uphold international law in Occupied Palestine, and so the U.S. delegation to the UN called for the implementation of UNGA Resolution 194, by which Israel, as part of the terms of its admission to the UN, agreed to allow the 800,000 Palestinian refugees expelled from their neighborhoods and villages in 1947-48 to return. That was on Nov. 20, 1963. Kennedy was assassinated two days later.

Summary

No event in living memory altered the course of history as profoundly or as destructively as did the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. When he died, so did the idea of a just, democratic America and a world without the threat of nuclear war. In its place arose a militaristic usurper state that would be directly responsible for a half-century of wanton slaughter, despoliation, stupidity and incompetence.

Our modern corporatist police states are the offspring of the assassination, and the Military-Industrial-Zionist Complex, our political clergy, are waging total war on civilization so that we the people do not become informed, enlightened heretics and seek to reclaim our countries.

It can’t be coincidence that the 9/11 attacks followed the same script as the Kennedy assassination: an attack on American soil, a ludicrous cover story, patsies to take the blame, media propaganda, corrupt legislation to permit war on an industrial scale, a complicit White House, and censorship of dissenters. We know for certaint that warmongers in the government and pro-Israel Jews were involved in that attack. It stands to reason that they were involved in the JFK assassination. No wonder, it got such little respect.

November 26, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Conspiracy vs. Facts: Who killed JFK?

By Maidhc Ó Cathail | The Passionate Attachment | November 22, 2013

In all the media coverage of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, with its predictably misleading analysis of the attendant conspiracy theories, there are a few intriguing facts that you are unlikely to read.

Fact #1: When John F. Kennedy demanded in a personal letter dated May 18, 1963 that David Ben-Gurion end Israel’s nuclear weapons program — considered by one leading Israel advocate in a 2010 Jerusalem Post op-ed to be “necessary to ensure Jewish survival in a very hostile world” — the Israeli Prime Minister “abruptly resigned” in order to avoid answering.

Fact #2: Kennedy’s alleged lone assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, was assassinated by Jacob Rubenstein, whose rabbi recently told The Jewish Daily Forward that he thinks Ruby told him when he visited the mobster from Chicago the next day in jail, “I did it for the Jewish people.”

Fact #3: Oliver Stone’s conspiratorial “JFK” movie was produced by Arnon Milchan, described in a 2011 biography as “one of the most important covert agents that Israeli intelligence has ever fielded,” who according to recently declassified FBI files played a key role in the stealth acquisition of U.S. nuclear triggers by the Middle East’s sole albeit “unmentionable” nuclear power.

An article in today’s Guardian by the head of the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit at Goldsmiths, University of London, wonders:

At no point have more than 36% of Americans believed Kennedy was assassinated by a lone gunman. What is it about human psychology that makes conspiracy theories so appealing?

Perhaps it has something to do with many people’s healthy, well-founded skepticism of the media’s rather selective reporting of the facts. Or that no matter how many conspiracy theories they are prepared to discuss, journalists will rarely, if ever, look into the one conspiracy that might tell us who had the most to gain from Kennedy’s abrupt death 50 years ago today.

Maidhc Ó Cathail is an investigative journalist and Middle East analyst. He is also the creator and editor of The Passionate Attachment blog, which focuses primarily on the U.S.-Israeli relationship. You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter @O_Cathail.

November 22, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Kennedy Assassination 50 Years Later

By Paul Craig Roberts | The Real Agenda | November 22, 2013 

November 22, 2013, is the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The true story of JFK’s murder has never been officially admitted, although the conclusion that JFK was murdered by a plot involving the Secret Service, the CIA, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff has been well established by years of research, such as that provided by James W. Douglass in his book, JFK And The Unspeakable. Ignore Douglass’ interest in the Trappist monk Thomas Merton and Merton’s prediction and focus on the heavily documented research that Douglass provides.

Or just turn to the contemporary films, taken by tourists watching JFK’s motorcade that are available on YouTube, which show clearly the Secret Service pulled from President Kennedy’s limo just prior to his assassination, and the Zapruder film that shows the killing shot to have come from President Kennedy’s right front, blowing off the back of his head, not from the rear as postulated in the Warren Commission Report, which would have pushed his head forward, not rearward.

I am not going to write about the assassination to the extent that the massive information permits. Those who want to know already know. Those who cannot face the music will never be able to confront the facts regardless of what I or anyone else writes or reveals.

To briefly review, the facts are conclusive that JFK was on terrible terms with the CIA and the Joint Chiefs. He had refused to support the CIA organized Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba. He had rejected the Joint Chiefs’ Operation Northwoods, a plan to commit real and faked acts of violence against Americans, blame Castro and use the false flag events to bring regime change to Cuba. He had rejected the Joint Chiefs’ case that the Soviet Union should be attacked while the US held the advantage and before the Soviets could develop delivery systems for nuclear weapons. He had indicated that after his reelection he was going to pull US troops out of Vietnam and that he was going to break the CIA into a thousand pieces. He had aroused suspicion by working behind the scenes with Khrushchev to defuse the Cuban Missile Crisis, leading to claims that he was “soft on communism.” The CIA and Joint Chiefs’ belief that JFK was an unreliable ally in the war against communism spread into the Secret Service.

It has been established that the original autopsy of JFK’s fatal head wound was discarded and a faked one substituted in order to support the official story that Oswald shot JFK from behind. FBI director J. Edgar Hoover and President Johnson knew that Oswald was the CIA’s patsy, but they also understood, as did members of the Warren Commission, that to let the true story out would cause Americans to lose confidence in their own government at the height of the Cold War.

Robert Kennedy knew what had happened. He was on his way to being elected president and to holding the plotters accountable for the murder of his brother when the CIA assassinated him. A distinguished journalist, who was standing behind Robert Kennedy at the time of his assassination, told me that the killing shots came from behind past his ear. He submitted his report to the FBI and was never contacted.

Acoustic experts have conclusively demonstrated that more shots were fired than can be accounted for by Sirhan Sirhan’s pistol and that the sounds indicate two different calibers of firearms.

I never cease to be amazed by the gullibility of Americans, who know nothing about either event, but who confidently dismiss the factual evidence provided by experts and historians on the basis of their naive belief that “the government wouldn’t lie about such important events” or “someone would have talked.” What good would it do if someone talked when the gullible won’t believe hard evidence?

 

November 22, 2013 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Why does it still matter?

JFK Murder Solved

“There is no doubt now that there was a conspiracy, yet most of us are not very angry about it. The conspiracy to kill the president of the United States was also a conspiracy against the democratic system –and thus a conspiracy against you. I think you should get very angry about that.” – Gaeton Fonzi, Investigator HSCA

It matters because the murder of President Kennedy was not only a conspiracy but a true coup d etat. The powers behind it, did not only come away with it, but took control over the new government and orchestrated the cover-up. These powers included some of the highest elected officials like president Lyndon Johnson and later presidents, FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, former CIA director Allen Dulles, John McCloy and Arlen Specter.

It matters because a coup d’etat that was successfully kept secret in a democratic country means, by default, that the succeeding government was illegitimate.

It matters because the American government continues to LIE about the Kennedy assassination. The vast majority of the American people does not believe the official version because of a preponderance of evidence to the contrary, evidence that was uncovered not by the government but by private concerned citizens. The majority of the American people KNOWS their government is still lying. How can Americans honestly export their democratic values and principles with the knowledge that their government is lying?

It matters because if the government is still lying about the Kennedy assassination, it essentially means that the powers that killed John F. Kennedy are still in charge this very day. Therefore the Kennedy assassination is NOT just an historical event of a distant past. It is an event that has changed the course of history and has set the stage for the political situation of today. In short, it has affected all our lives to some extent, but we do not know exactly how or why.

It matters because the mainstream media continues to support, and even endorse, the official version of the Kennedy assassination. We must, therefore, seriously question if there is indeed freedom of speech and freedom of press in America.

It matters because the framing of Lee Harvey Oswald, his denial of a fair legal representation and trial, and the systematic distortion of his legacy, is one of the great injustices in American history, not only to him, but for his family and the American people as a whole.

It matters because John F. Kennedy was not the only one that was killed. The path to the truth is littered with dead bodies of mostly innocent and patriotic people killed just because they knew something, just because they had seen something, or because they tried to expose a level of corruption that, at the time, was unequaled in American history. And some of these cases are in a much less distant past than the death of John F. Kennedy.

If the citizens of a democratic society are not able to uncover the truth about the assassination of their own elected president, they effectively have no control over their destiny. They may want, and indeed need, to believe differently but that does not make it less of a lie. In short: Wake up, get angry and take your country back!

Why does every American know the expression: “I love my country, but I don’t trust my government”? America is indeed a great country. It should stay that way.

November 17, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 2 Comments

5 decades later, JFK files still sealed

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Press TV – August 18, 2013

US President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on Nov. 22, 1963 in Dallas. Five decades after his death, thousands of pages of official documents over the case remain withheld from public view.

The contents of these files are only partially known and thousands of documents relating to the case remain confidential. What secrets do these documents hold? Why are they still off-limits to researchers?

Documents pertaining to Kennedy’s assassination are set to be released by 2017. But why then and why not sooner? This as researchers demand transparency urging the classified files be made public on eve of the fiftieth anniversary of the assassination.

The Associated Press reports that researchers demand the CIA to declassify documents detailing what the government knew about Kennedy’s accused assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, before the assassination.

Several hundred of the still-classified pages, according to the AP, concern a CIA operative “George Joannides, whose activities just before the assassination and, fascinatingly, during a government investigation years later, have tantalized researchers for years.”

Joannides left the CIA in 1979 and died in March 1990.

Researchers believe Joannides played a key role in the case both before and after the assassination. Some critics believe that Joannides was involved in a conspiracy to link Oswald with the government of Fidel Castro.

The AP reports that “Joannides was the CIA case officer assigned to an anti-Castro group called the Student Revolutionary Directorate, which had an altercation in the streets of New Orleans with the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, a pro-Castro organization that counted Oswald as a member. After the fight, it was discovered that Oswald was passing out pamphlets that contained the address of a known anti-Castro operation, leading many to believe that Oswald was part of a CIA effort to sabotage the pro-Castro group from the inside.”

It was only after Joannides’ death that it came to light that he was in contact with the Directorate (Directorio Revolucionario Estudiantil of DRE) in 1963, the same year that JFK was assassinated. The CIA has so far refused to release files concerning the activities of Joannides in 1963 fueling suspicions that it might be covering up some secrets about the assassination. The agency was paying the anti-Castro group.

Author Anthony Summers states “By withholding Joannides material, the agency continues to encourage the public to believe they’re covering up something more sinister.”

The Warren Commission, assigned by President Johnson in 1963, concluded in 1964 that Oswald acted alone and was not part of a conspiracy. But an investigation by the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) which was established in 1976 to probe the Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. assassinations, concluded that Kennedy was very likely assassinated as a result of a conspiracy.

Most Americans believe Oswald conspired with others to kill JFK. In November of 1963 some 52% of Americans thought others were involved in the assassination. The percentage was 50% in 1966, 81% in 1976, 74% in 1983, 77% in 1992, 75% in 2001 and 75% in 2003. A 2004 Fox News poll found that 66% of Americans thought there had been a conspiracy while 74% thought there had been a cover-up in the case.

August 18, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | Leave a comment

Imperialism and Violence in Colombia

By James Petras :: 06.04.2012

Invited paper to be presented at the national conference on “Multinationals, Violence, Trade Union Freedom and Democracy in Colombia” organized by the SINALTRAINAL International Trade Union on its 30th anniversary, July 26, 2012 at Autonomous University of Colombia in Bogota, Colombia.

Introduction

The US military intervention in Colombia constitutes the longest counter-insurgency war in recent world history. Beginning with President John F. Kennedy’s launch of the “Green Berets” in 1962 and escalating in the new century with President Clinton’s $7 billion dollar military program (Plan Colombia) in 2001 to Obama’s inauguration of seven new military bases in the present, the US has been at war in Colombia for 50 years. Ten US presidents, 5 Democrats and 5 Republicans, both liberals and conservatives, have alternated in carrying out one of the most brutal counter-insurgency wars ever recorded in Latin America. In terms of civilian killings, trade union and human rights activist murders and the dispossession of peasants, the US backed oligarchy has the dubious distinction of being at the top of the list of tyrannical rulers.

To understand the bloody history of US imperial intervention in Colombia requires us to examine several key dimensions of the relation in a comparative-historical framework that highlights the specificities of Colombia’s ruling class and the strategic geo-political importance of Colombia to US hemispheric dominance.

Colombia: A Ruling Class in Search of Hegemony

Violence is endemic in a society ruled by a ‘closed’ ruling class governing through 19th century oligarchical parties (and their competing factions) for the greater part of the 20th and 21st centuries. Colombia differs from most of the rest of the major countries of Latin America which early on in the 20th century expanded representation to diverse middle class parties. In the post-World War 1 period and certainly by the World Depression of the 1930’s, Latin America witnessed the emergence of socialist, communist and national populist parties and Popular Front type regimes. However, Colombia remained frozen in a time warp of a closed political system dominated by two oligarchical parties which competed with bullets and ballots.

When in the immediate post WWII period a dynamic nationalist- populist figure emerged, Jorge Elicier Gaitan, he was assassinated and the country entered a period of a society-wide blood bath, dubbed “La Violencia”. Factions of Conservative and Liberal oligarchs financed armed bands to murder each other resulting in over 300,000 killings. The oligarchs ended their internecine war by signing an agreement to alternate electoral office, the so-called “National Front” further consolidating their stranglehold on power and forcibly excluding new political movements from achieving any significant representation.

Even when a pseudo alternative emerged, under the rule of rightwing populist, Rojas Pinilla, the mass urban and rural poor were subject to the private armies of the landlords, while the urban workers movement was brutally repressed by the military and police. Dissident democrats usually formed a faction of the Liberal Party; while activist workers were drawn to the militant trade unions and the clandestine or semi-legal Communist Party or smaller socialist parties.

The Cold War and US Imperial Penetration

With the onset of the Cold War, Washington found a willing accomplice in the bi-party oligarchical alliance, especially after the elimination of Gaitan and the savage repression of militant class based unions in the US agro-business complexes. Beginning with the bi-lateral and multi-lateral anti-communist military agreements of the early 1950’s, Colombian politics was frozen into a pattern of subordination and collaboration with Washington, as the US extended its empire from Central America and the Caribbean into Latin America.

The similarities between the bi-partisan political systems of Colombia and the US and the exclusion of any effective opposition in both countries, facilitated continuity and collaboration. As a result, Colombia’s oligarchy did not face the challenges that emerged from time to time in Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay.

The Cuban Revolution and the US-Colombian Alliance

The Cuban revolution, especially its transition toward socialism and the multiplication of guerilla movements throughout Latin America, marked a turning point in US-Colombian relations. Colombia became a pivotal country in Washington’s counter-revolutionary strategy. Colombia served as a US “laboratory” in the effort to defeat the revolutionary upsurge of the 1960’s.

Colombia served as a trampoline for Washington to launch a counter-offensive based on military regimes to establish an empire of dependent client-states, open to US economic interests and obedient to Washington’s foreign policy dictates.

US Imperialism and Latin American Nationalism: Impositions and Adaptations

The US Empire did not emerge ready-made at the end of World War II. It confronted and had to overcome many domestic and overseas obstacles and challenges. Domestically at the end of WW II, after years of war, most US citizens demanded a military demobilization (1945-47) which weakened the capacity to intervene against the emerging progressive governments in Guatemala, Chile, Argentina and elsewhere. However, with the Cold War and the “hot war” in Korea, the US rearmed and launched its quest for world dominance. Social democratic and progressive governments and leaders were ousted from governments and jailed in Venezuela, Guatemala and Chile. Throughout the 1950s Washington embraced the “First (but not last) Age of Dictators and Free Markets”. They included Odria in Peru, Perez Jimenez in Venezuela, Ospina and Gomez in Colombia, Trujillo in the Dominican Republic, Duvalier in Haiti; Somoza in Nicaragua, Armas in Guatemala, Batista in Cuba.

Between 1948-1960 the US Empire totally relied on the brute force of the dictators and the complicity of the local agro-mineral oligarchy to secure its dominance.

The Empire, built on the basis of rightwing dictators, however, did not last beyond a decade. Beginning with the victory of the 26th of July Movement in Cuba, a decade-long (1960-1970) continent-wide revolutionary upsurge challenged imperial power and client collaborators of Empire.

US imperialism, faced with the demise of its dictatorial clients, was forced to adapt to the new configuration of forces composed of reformist middle class electoral parties and a new generation of radicals and a revolutionary movement of intellectuals, peasants and workers inspired by the Cuban example.

In 1962 Washington launched a new strategy called the “Alliance for Progress” (AP) to divide reformers from revolutionaries: the AP promised economic aid to the reformist middle class regimes and military advisors, arms and special forces to destroy the revolutionary insurgents. In other words imperial violence was more selective; it was directed against the independent revolutionary movements and involved greater direct military involvement in the counter-insurgency programs of the electoral regimes.

Colombia the Exception: Repression with Reform

In contrast to the rest of Latin America, where agrarian, democratic and nationalist reforms accompanied the counter-insurgency programs (Chile, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil and Venezuela), in Colombia the oligarchy retained power, blocked the emergence of a reformist – democratic alternative and relied wholly on a strategy of total militarization – polarizing politics between revolution and reaction.

In Colombia the US Empire did not face a choice between a reformist middle class regime or a revolutionary movement because the oligarchical bi-party system dominated the electoral arena. The US did not need to combine the “carrot with the stick” – it concentrated all its efforts in strengthening the military power of the dominant oligarchy.

The Colombian ruling class ruled out any “agrarian reform” like in Chile, Peru and Ecuador for the obvious reason that they were the landowning elite. The Colombian oligarchy did not face a ‘nationalist military’ pressuring to nationalize strategic industries, like in Bolivia (tin and petrol), and Peru (oil and copper) because the military was under US tutelage and was closely linked with the emerging narco bourgeoisie. The Colombian ruling class served as the US “counter-point” to launch its second and most brutal counter-revolutionary offensive beginning with a coup in Brazil in 1964.

By the end of the 1960’s Colombia became the centerpiece (“model”) of US policy for Latin America. The region moved from reform to radical nationalism and democratic socialism in the early 1970’s – especially among the Andean countries and the Caribbean. Colombia was the anomaly in an Andean region ruled by nationalists like Guillermo Rodriguez in Ecuador, Juan Velasco Alvarez in Peru, J J Torres in Bolivia and democratic socialists like Salvador Allende in Chile.

Subsequently the US invaded and occupied the Dominican Republic in 1965/66 and supported the overthrow of Allende, Rodriquez, Torres, Velasco Alvarez in the Andean countries.Later the US backed military coups in Argentina (1976) and Uruguay(1972).

The Pentagon organized mercenary death squads in El Salvador and Guatemala killing nearly 300,000 peasants, Indian workers, teachers and other citizens. The US organized a mercenary army (the “Contras”) in Honduras to destroy the Sandinista revolution.

Colombia’s ruling class, backed by US and Israeli counter-insurgency experts, tried to follow the US counter-revolutionary lead by engaging in a “scorched earth policy” to defeat the popular insurgency. But narco-presidents Turbay, Betancur,Barco , Gaviria and Samper were only partially successful – they destroyed the popular legal Union Patriotica but increased the size, scope and membership of the armed insurgency.

The second wave of “Dictators and Free Markets” (1970’s – 1980’s), including Pinochet (Chile), Videla (Argentina) and Alvarez (Uruguay) came under popular pressure and faced the insurmountable debt crises of the early 1980’s. Once again US imperialism faced a challenge and choice: continue with the dictators and a deepening financial crisis or engineer a “democratic transition” which would preserve the state and the neo-liberal economy.

The Golden Age of Imperialism … Neoliberalism and Elections 1990-2000 (except Colombia)

The 1990’s witnessed the greatest pillage of the Latin American economies since the times of Pizzaro and Cortes. Presidents Menem in Argentina, Salinas and Zedillo in Mexico, Cardoso in Brazil, Sanchez de Losado of Bolivia and Fujimori in Peru privatized and de-nationalized over 5,000 public enterprises, mines, energy resources, banks, telecommunication networks – mostly through executive decrees – worth over $1 trillion dollars. During the 1990’s over $900 billion dollars flowed out of Latin America in profits, royalties and interest payments to multi-national corporations, bankers and speculators. In Colombia, narco-trafficking became the principle source of profits as the traditional oligarchy joined with the new “narco-bourgeoisie” in laundering billions of dollars via “correspondence” accounts with the major US banks in Miami, Wall Street and Los Angeles.

The “transition” from military dictatorships to neo-liberal authoritarian electoral systems in Latin America was paralleled in Colombia by the transition from an oligarchical to a narco-state. In Colombia the military and para-military death squads dispossessed millions of peasants, and confronted the armed insurgency. There was no “democratic transition” – the democratic opposition was murdered! Between 1984-1990 over 5,000 members of the Patriotic Union were slaughtered.

US empire builders looked on neo-liberal Latin America in the 1990’s as the “model” for expanding on a world-scale. The formula was to combine pillage via privatization in Latin America and dispossession via militarization in Colombia.

The Crises of the Neo-liberal-Militarist Model of Empire 2000-2012

The entire basis of US imperial supremacy in Latin America in the 1990’s was built on fragile foundations: pillage, plunder and corruption led to a profound class polarization and economic crises which culminated in mass popular uprisings overthrowing US backed client regimes in Argentina, Bolivia and Ecuador. In Brazil, Uruguay and Venezuela the incumbent neo-liberal Presidents were defeated by center-left and national populist’s parties and leaders.

In Colombia, mass rejection of the ruling neo-liberal narco-bourgeoisie expressed itself via massive electoral abstention (over 75%): the exponential growth of influence and the presence of the armed insurgency in over one-third of the municipalities and the tactical retreat of President Pastrana. He accepted a demilitarized zone for direct peace negotiations with the FARC-EP.

The entire basis of US imperial rule built on the collaboration of the neo-liberal client regime crashed. Between 2000-2005 popular social movements succeeded in defeating a counterrevolutionary coup and lock-out in Venezuela(2002-3). A victorious President Chavez accelerated and radicalized the process of socio-economic change and deepened Venezuela’s anti-imperialist foreign policy. Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay rejected US free trade agreements.

Once again Colombia went against the progressive tide of the region. Colombia’s narco-bourgeoisie and oligarchy opted for total militarization to avoid the popular democratic movements occurring in the rest of Latin America. The Colombian-US response to democratic revolution in Latin America was “Plan Colombia” – a $10 billion dollar war on the Colombian people financed by the governments of the US, Colombia and the European Union.

Plan Colombia: Imperialism’s Response to Latin America’s Democracy Movement

“Plan Colombia” was the US response to the spread of the popular democratic revolution throughout Latin America. Plan Colombia represented the biggest US military aid program in the entire region and was designed with several strategic goals.

1. To ‘fence in’ Colombia from the “contagion” of the anti-neo-liberal revolution which had undermined the proposed US Free Trade of the Americas agreement.

2. Plan Colombia served to build-up Colombia’s capacity to threaten and pressure Venezuela’s anti-imperialist government and to provide the US with multiple military bases from which to launch a direct intervention in Venezuela if an ‘internal’ coups took place.

3. ‘Plan Colombia’ had an important internal political and economic function.

It was designed to militarize society and to empty the countryside; 300,000 soldiers together with 30,000 death squad paramilitary forces, forced millions to flee guerrilla controlled territory. The guerrillas lost important intelligence and logistical support but gained new recruits. As a result of the Uribe/Santos “scorched earth policy” and the mass violence, entire new economic sectors, especially in mining, oil and agriculture, were secured for foreign investors, laying the groundwork in 2012 for the Obama-Santos free trade agreement.

There is a direct connection between Plan Colombia (2001), militarization of the state, mass repression and dispossession (2002-2011), the deepening of neo-liberalization and the free trade agreement (2012).

4. Colombia serves a strategic geo-political role in the US militarized empire.

In the Middle East, South Asia and North Africa the US has used the pretext of the “War against Terrorism” to invade and establish an empire of military bases, in alliance with Israel and NATO. In Latin America, the US in alliance with Colombia and Mexico and under the pretext of the “War on Drugs” has built an empire of military bases in Central America, the Caribbean and increasingly in Latin America. Currently the US has military bases in Colombia (8), Aruba, Costa Rica, Guantanamo (Cuba), Curacao, El Salvador , Honduras (3), Haiti, Panama (12), Paraguay, Peru, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico (several).

The US: A Militarized Empire

Because of the relative decline of US economic power and the rise of militarism, the US Empire today is largely a military empire engaged in perpetual wars. Washington’s close ties with Colombia reflect the close structural features of the state – heavily weighted toward military institutions – and economy, skewed toward neo-liberal and free market policies.

Once again, Colombia is the anomaly in Latin America. Nearly ten years after Latin America rejected neo-liberalism and eight years after the center-left regimes rejected a free trade agreement with the US, Colombia under Uribe-Santos embrace neo-liberalism and a free trade agreement with Washington.

Facing two major economic initiatives from Venezuela , Plan Caribe and ALBA, challenging US hegemony in the Caribbean and Andean region, Washington tightens its ties with Colombia via the free trade agreement.

Conclusion

US Empire depends on collaborator regimes everywhere in order to defend its military dominance. In Latin America, Colombia is the biggest and most active collaborator, especially in the Central American-Caribbean region.

But like the US, Colombia’s militarized state does not ‘fit’ in with the rest of Latin America. The US has no new economic initiatives to offer Latin America and has lost significant influence and witnessed a relative decline in trade, investment and market shares. Because Colombia, as a militarized-neo-liberal state complements the US global project, it became a special recipient of massive US military aid – precisely to prevent it from joining the new bloc of independent progressive states and further isolating Washington.

Colombia’s increasing dependence on the US economy via the free trade agreement sacrifices a large sector of domestic producers in agriculture and manufacturing but increases vast opportunities for the oligarchy and foreign investors in mining, oil and finance. The free trade agreement will increase the opportunities of the powerful narco-financial-bourgeoisie which launders over $20 billion dollars annually in drug revenues through leading US and EU banks.

Colombia is the ‘model state’ of the US Empire in Latin America. Colombia is ruled by a triple alliance of a narco-oligarchy, neo-liberal bourgeoisie and the military. The Santos regime depends increasingly on the large scale inflow of foreign capital, which is oriented toward producing for overseas markets. The military expenditures, the mass terror of the Uribe regime, the political isolation from the regional economic powers (Venezuela, Brazil and Argentina) and the limitation of the stagnant US economy are serious obstacles to the neo-liberal model. President Santos is attempting to reconcile these “internal contradictions”. Santos has replaced mass terror with selective assassinations of key activists in the trade unions and the human rights and social movements. He has focused on co-opting electoral politicians and centering the activity of the paramilitaries on eliminating popular opponents in the new mining and investment zones. He has combined major economic agreements with Venezuela and deepened military ties with the US.

The Santos-White House agreements and the strategy of diversified dependence and free markets rest on very fragile domestic and global foundations. The repression of dissent, the regressive taxes, the depression of living standards, the millions of rural dispossessed have led to the vast growth of inequalities and pent-up mass demand and rising popular pressure. The military commitments to the US impose a heavy economic cost with no economic compensation. The cost of US promoted militarism undermines efforts by Colombian business to expand in regional markets. The US economy is stagnant, the EU is in recession and the outlook for 2012 is precarious, especially for an open economy like Colombia.

At the turn of the 21st century Latin American countries faced a similar situation: neo-liberal regimes in crises, the US in economic decline and a ruling class unable to grow externally and unwilling to develop the internal market. The result was the popular democratic revolutions which led to a partial rupture with US hegemony and neo-liberalism. A decade later Colombia faces a similar situation. The question is whether Colombia will follow the rest of progressive Latin America in breaking with imperial militarism and embracing a new developmental road. The time is ripe for Colombia to cease being a ‘political anomaly’, a client of a militarized imperialism. The popular movements in Colombia,as evidenced in the Patriotic March movement are ready to make their own popular democratic and anti-imperialist revolution and establish their own Colombian road to 21st century Socialism.

June 5, 2012 Posted by | Corruption, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Comments Off on Imperialism and Violence in Colombia