43 Responses

  1. I wonder which US invention happened in Germany after World War II.

    If you refer to the troop presence, that was a liberation from the Nazi dictatorship. And the continuing presence afterwards is something that we (West) Germans were very thankful for because we were much more afraid of an attack by the Warsaw Pact.

    • To Andreas Moser:

      As a Latin American, My experience of US troops or US interferenece is vastly different from your experience as a German and European. The first country the USA invaded was Cuba in 1898. The first foreign government ever toppled by the State Department was that of Cipriano Castro in Venezuela, in 1908.

      As you can see, Nazi Germany didn´t even exist. Or the Soviet Union, for that matter.

      It can be argued that you were liberated by the US..and the USSR. It is completely justifiable your fear of the Warsaw pact. But we saw the Soviet bloc in a very different way from you.
      For you, the American presence began in 1945, and was justified. For us, it began in 1898 and was hardly justified.

      Nevertheless, there are STILL american military presence in Europe, something that even the US public opinion finds difficult to understand.

      Greetings.

      • And any idea, Carlos, how many “US” troops are manning the “forward bases” in Costa Rica and so many other “inoffensive little nations in America’s Sphere of Influence?” One slightly dated look: link to unidir.org

        And how many “littoral combat vessels” are deployed in your back and front yards? Here’s one among many discursions on the “necessity” for a couple of BRIGADES of “US” Marines and a couple of hundred helicopters and 70-odd, really odd if you look at the pictures in “Jane’s All The World’s Warships,” combat and support vessels… Too bad US public opinion is all about adrenaline and testosterone, so who gives a toot about “trillions for ‘deeeefense,’ and not one cent for common sense.”

        Part of the stuff behind the fig leaf called “the war on drugs,” which has its own sui-genesis, now doesn’t it?

      • The first country the US invaded was Canada during the War of 1812. But the first Latin American nation that suffered an US war of agression was Mexico in 1845. Mexico lost half of its territory as a result of that intervention.

    • “The first country the USA invaded was Cuba in 1898. The first foreign government ever toppled by the State Department was that of Cipriano Castro in Venezuela, in 1908.”

      Arn’t we overlooking the war of 1812? USA invaded Canada/British empire. The USA lost the war.

  2. Writers like William Blum,Howard Zinn, David Stannard have by their intense research so boldly revealed the horrors of US history and politics. Yet US politicians of today have learned nothing from history and their past grave errors and blunders. Do these guys ever read good stuff? Dont think so.
    The situation of the world remains pretty much the same or even worse. During the fities and the sixties the target was North Asia, South East Asia and the countries of South America. Today it is the Middle East. It is like one colossal monster trying to swallow up the smaller fish. Unfortunately this colossal monster is being controlled by a midget monster situated in the heart of the Arab Middle East. We all know who.

  3. It is not instructive to look at this map in such an isolated way. It is necessary to look at where Soviet secret ops and subversion were at work at well. There was a Cold War going on, you know.

    • Exactly, I-LIKE-IKE52. The map with no context has little value. Does the author consider some of these interventions good and some bad? If so, which are good and which are bad, and for what reason? Does he consider all the interventions bad? If so, why? And what would have been the result had the U.S. not intervened, particularly in Cold War hot spots?

      Was he against the U.S. intervention in Sebia that resulted in the ultimate liberation of Kosovo? Was he against the U.S. intervention in Bosnia that put a stop to the Serb-sponsored killings of Muslims? Was he against the recent U.S. intervention in Libya that deposed Ghadafi? We don’t know because there is no context provided.

      • To I_like_ike52 (and to Bill):

        The Cold War ended in 1990. It offcially began in 1945. As I pointed out some posts above, U.S intervention began in 1898. Many other interventions have happened since 1990.

        What´s your explanation?

        Greetings.

  4. And even this map is incomplete, having been made in 2010… Yemen has been bombed by the US, and isn’t colored red.

    • The U.S. was not “bombing Yemen,” as if Yemen were the target of an attack, DC. The U.S., in concert with the Yemeni Government, was attacking elements of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) who were operating in Yemen.

      • I wonder how would you feel, Bill, if China or Russia “intervened” in, Say, Hawaii, or Puerto Rico.

        You went bonkers when the USSR intervened in Cuba!And I´m talking about BEFORE the Missile crisis!

        • Well, Carlos, if terrorist groups in Hawaii or Puerto Rico were targeting China or Russia, I would understand China’s or Russia’s targeting of those terrorists, as the U.S. is doing in Yemen. Where your anology fails is there are no equivalent of terrorists in Hawaii or Puerto Rico targeting China or Russia, as there are in Yemen targeting the U.S.

        • Yeah, Bill, I guess all those US military assets (more accurately “consumables,” since they return about exactly squat bupkis on those trillions of Real Wealth dollars of acquisition and management and operational costs), parts of the various “Commands” that divvy up the world and decide where the Regime Changing and Droning will be done next, located in places like Hawaii and Puerto Rico and across Tamps Bay from me on Davis Island, are not fair game for your putative bugbear New Enemies, China and Russia, because, well, STATE terrorism is legitimate, where state-sponsored terrorism, that of course WE maintain the fiction that WE don’t do, is defined in your lexicon, your carefully parsed and pruned lexicon, as “A-OK.” It ain’t even worth parsing your counter-analogy for its logical disingenuities.

          Nice tag-team you got going with ILikeIke (who apparently likes the bellicose Supreme-Commander, cold-warrior part of Ike’s image, but prefers to ignore the old sachem’s voice when it comes to Ike’s Farewell Address… you know, the bit about the dangers to your sainted “democracy” from the “military-industrial complex?”)

          Too bad there’s no wise mother in her apron, standing in the kitchen doorway to call to the kids playing the Great Game on into the twilight, to call the little unsocialized beasties with their rocks and sticks in, to give them a glass of warm milk and a hug, and send them off to bed, to dream of new stratagems for the morrow…

  5. There’s an old Latin American “joke”:

    You know why there are never any military coups in the USA?

    Because they don´t have an american embassy to organize it.

  6. To Andreas Moser:

    As a Latin American, My experience of US troops or US interferenece is vastly different from your experience as a German and European. The first country the USA invaded was Cuba in 1898. The first foreign government ever toppled by the State Department was that of Cipriano Castro in Venezuela, in 1908.

    As you can see, Nazi Germany didn´t even exist.

    It can be argued that you were liberated by the US..and the USSR. It is completely justifiable your fear of the Warsaw pact. But we saw the Soviet bloc in a very different way from you.
    For you, the American presence began in 1945, and was justified. For us, it began in 1898 and was hardly justified.

    Nevertheless, there are STILL american military presence in Europe, something that even the US public opinion finds difficult to understand.

    Greetings.

    • To read your post, Carlos, one would think that the United States invaded a sovereign nation-state when it invaded Cuba in 1898. In fact, if you recall your history, the U.S. was at war with Spain, and Cuba was (and had been for more than 300 years) a Spanish colony. Are you as indignant over Spain’s 300-year history of colonialism in Cuba as you appear to be over the United States’ actions in Cuba at that time?

      • Bill:

        The idea was to “liberate” Cuba… and leave. But the US just wouldn´t let go. Quite simply, there was no “liberation”, that colonial power Spain was replaced with that colonial power the USA. All cuban dictators until Fidel were US puppets. Dictator Fidel was/is no US puppet, hence all this hatred.

        Please Bill. We’re not children.

  7. To Juan:

    Gladio or not;

    The Map omits Venezuela, Argentina and Paraguay.

    Suffice to say that there is documented U.S involvement in the Venezuelan coups of 1945, 1948, 1958 and 2002.

    As for Argentina, I´m less of an expert, but the U.S did help Britain in the Malvinas (Falklands) conflict.

    Greetings.

    • The United States did not materially help Britain in the Falklands War of 1982, Carlos. In fact, although the U.S. ended up officially supporting Britain’s war to repel the Argentine invasion of the British territory of the Falklands, there were some in the U.S. Government who actually wanted to remain neutral because of the Argentine claim to the islands.

      What is interesting is that both Brazil and Chile secretly allowed British Vulcan bombers to refuel en route to their bombing runs over Argentina. Latin American solidarity was a superficial fiction designed to placate the public in some countries, but it did not exist at deeper levels of government. In fact, my impression is that quite a few people in Latin America were glad to see the Argentines get their comeuppance in that war, although they had to publicly support the Argentines for the sake of perceived “solidarity.”

      • Bill:

        Of course, US Support to Britain was never in the Open. The support was not with troops, but logistically, of intelligence, of satellite information, etc etc. Of course they will never acknowledge it!

        From Wikipedia: The White House continued its neutrality; Reagan famously declared at the time that he could not understand why two allies were arguing over “that little ice-cold bunch of land down there”. But he assented to Haig and Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger’s position. Haig briefly (April 8–April 30) headed a “shuttle diplomacy” mission between London and Buenos Aires. According to a BBC documentary titled “The Falklands War and the White House”,[19] Caspar Weinberger’s Department of Defense began a number of non-public actions to support and supply the British military while Haig’s shuttle diplomacy was still ongoing. Haig’s message to the Argentines was that the British would indeed fight, and that the U.S. would support Britain, but at the time he was not aware that the U.S. was providing support already.

        At the end of the month, Reagan blamed Argentina for the failure of the mediation, declared U.S. support for Britain, and announced the imposition of economic sanctions against Argentina. link to en.wikipedia.org

        Indeed, Chile did help the British. All those are known facts. The leader of Chile was General Pinochet, who was there thanks to a U.S backed coup (that´s why Chile is in red in that map, you see)Please, do not try to make it appear as if Pinochet’s thugs and chicago boys constituted the prevalent opinion of average Latin Americans. Pinochet did, of course, showed the views of Kissinger, Nixon, Reagan, and everyone who put hinm in power. Not the average chileno.

        Please Bill. Really. We’re not stupid.

        My impression is that your impression is vastly mistaken, since as it is, it is the view of an out of touch “USAmerican”. You vastly underestimate the general view of the average Latin American as “Better united than divided”. Please, I am not implying an offense to you.

        It is difficult for the average american citizen to believe that it´s government has donde any harm to anyone .

        Also Bill, you will see that nothing is static. 30+ years later, with democratically elected governments, almost all, if not all of countries in the region support Argentina’s claims.

  8. As a Canadian, I find it surprising that involvement in my country is not indicated. Perhaps the degree of integration between the US military and our own exempts us. It is known that CIA and FBI maintain files on any left-leaning politicos here.

    • Well, as you probably know, we did invade Canada during the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.

  9. To I_like_ike52 :

    The Cold War ended in 1990. It offcially began in 1945. As I pointed out some posts above, U.S intervention began in 1898. Many other interventions have happened since 1990.

    What´s your explanation?

    Greetings.

  10. Wonderful. A chart completely without context using lots of scary red colors. Taken from a book notorious for ignoring context.

    Espionage and strategies of tension are ugly. The US has every right, in fact obligation, to defend itself in like manner. The alternative is war.

    “Adventures” like Vietnam and Iraq were completely self-destructive. But the alternative is not complete dismissal of the need for covert actions.

  11. Using the term “intervention” by itself, as if everything that can be called by that name is part of an undifferentiated mass, is as wrong when applied to foreign affairs as it is when libertarians apply the term to domestic policy.

    • There is value in displaying information in a nuanced manner. Sometimes, however, nuance distracts from important fundamental truths. As Chomsky covered in the recent post here – there is a global system that even State dept doves feel compelled to maintain at all costs; this map demonstrates that in a visual manner.

      In Chile, a president was butchered, and the stadiums were turned into torture centres. In Australia, a constitutional convention was violated, to enable a dismissal. Similar goals, different means. Sometimes its worth emphasising the similarities.

  12. The polite fiction, that the CIA and US military have not “intervened” inside the USA itself, also does not bear even cursory inspection.

  13. As soon as nations are powerful enough to intervene in the affairs of other nations, they do. See China, People’s Republic of.

    Now, of course, the real question is the degree of “interference” and what form it takes. You can argue that the US should not have carried out specific operations, wars, assassinations, etc., (and I might agree), but what would a similar map look like for say, France? I can think of 10 countries or so that France has intervened in militarily since WWII — and that is not counting assassination plots or DGSE covert ops.

    The point: this is as much a result of the nation-state system itself as anything else.

  14. This map is wrong, Operation Condor involved CIA takeovers in Argentina and Uruguay. I never heard about anything is Australia though

    • TimT:
      The CIA was instumental in overthrowing Australia’a Labor government in 1975. Certainly the weirdest episode in our long struggle to “defend” ourselves. The book “The Falcon and the Snowman,” later made into a movie with Sean Penn and Tim Hutton, goes into this oddity in detail.

    • I recommend you read “A Secret Country” by John Pilger. The 1975 dismissal of PM Gough Whitlam, the funding of his opponent, and the role played by the right-wing union leader, CIA asset and future PM Bob Hawke in quelling the subsequent outrage, are all very much from the CIA playbook. If I recall correctly, the team that overthrew Allende was dispatched to Australia to repeat the job here. The motive was the protection of the vast surveillance apparatus located on Australian soil (operated exclusively by the USA and directed against Asia).

  15. Another couple to add.

    I believe special forces and drones have been operating in the Malian and Nigerien parts of the Sahara, since the mid-2000’s.

    No Cold War necessary, I’m afraid. If anything, the US is getting more active, interventionist, and aggressive now that they are no longer offset by other Great Powers.

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