The Great Silence
 — Bruce Hartford

What today's indictments reveal about Soviet (excuse me, "Russian") interference in our elections is infuriating and Trump/Republican attempts to distract, disguise, distort, and deny it are despicable. People (or at least the news media) are finally talking about it which is good.

But all the TV commentaries and news column inches, all the talking heads and pontificating pundits, are being carefully silent on something that someone needs to finally say out loud. To quote Malcolm X "The chickens are coming home to roost."

Over the past 70 years the greatest interferer in free elections has been the U.S. government, the CIA, and the trans-national corporations whose interests both Democrats and Republicans have slavishly served.

President Eisenhower sabotaged and halted the Vietnam reunification election called for by the Geneva Peace Accords because, as he himself publicly admitted, the other side would have won. That election interference resulted in the Vietnam War, close to 60,000 American war dead and the death of somewhere between 1,000,000 and 2,000,000 Indochinese men, women and children.

When Mosaddegh was democratically elected by the people of Iran in the only secular democratic election they were ever allowed to have, he and his government were overthrown by Operation Ajax, a CIA coup d'etat because big oil opposed his social and economic policies. The U.S. then installed the Shah, a ruthless dictator who ruled through a U.S. backed and funded terrorist police state. The current, fanatic Islamic theocratic dictatorship in Iran that so violently hates the West (and particularly America) is the direct and inevitable result of that election interference.

These are not isolated incidents but merely the most extreme examples of a general pattern of U.S. intererence in other countries such as the assassination of Patrice Lumumba in the Congo, the deposing and killing Salvador Allende in Chile, election meddling in France, Italy, Ukraine, Greece, and elsewhere in Europe, the overthrow of Nkrumah in Ghana, the Contra war in Nicaragua, backing UNITA in the Angolan civil war, the military occupation of the Dominican Republic, the Magsaysay election in the Philipines, the "dirty war" in Argentinia, unseating the democratically elected Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala at the behest of United Fruit Corporation, to name just a few.

Around the world, for decade after decade, the U.S. government has interfered in other nation's elections through bribery, campaign financing, overt and covert propaganda, puppet-candidates, blackmail, disinformation ("fake news"), assassinations, coups, proxy-wars, and direct military intervention. Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Europe have all been victims of U.S. election interference. The only reason Antarctica isn't on that list is they haven't had any elections.

Yes, what the Russians did (and are still doing) to us is infuriating and intolerable. But shouldn't we take a moment to acknowledge and apologize for the dirt on the hands of our own government?

Copyright © Bruce Hartford


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