Thursday, February 3, 2011

US response to Egypt draws criticism in Israel

An article by Amy Teibel on MyWay indicates Israel is beginning to break its silence on the matters in Egypt.

Critics - including senior Israeli officials who have shied from saying so publicly - say Obama is repeating the same mistakes of predecessors whose calls for human rights and democracy in the Middle East have often backfired by bringing anti-West regimes to power.

"I don't think the Americans understand yet the disaster they have pushed the Middle East into," said lawmaker Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, who until recently was a Cabinet minister and who is a longtime friend of Mubarak.

If you are of a certain age, you may remember the Tehran Embassy crisis in 1980. What you may not remember is that it was in response to the US backing the Shah of Iran. While pro US, the Shah maintained control of the Iranian people through his secret police, SAVAK. SAVAK could sensor the media in addition to the usual things secret police do, such as detain and torturing political dissidents.

The Tehran Embassy crisis led Ronald Reagan to support Saddam Hussein when he picked a fight with Iran. Saddam, many forget, used chemical weapons on the Iranians. There is some evidence to suggest the support the US gave Saddam against Iran led him to thinks invading Kuwait was okay. Of course this misunderstanding leads to Desert Storm and ultimately Iraqi Freedom. No wonder the Middle East gets confused whenever the US gets involved.

Foreign policy failures though aren't just limited to the Middle East. Something most college students don't understand is the not so proud history of US involvement in Central and South America. Here are a few that you may have forgotten;

- In 1921, Presdient Coolidge supports the overthrow of Guatemalan President Herrera. The Guatemalan president did not agree with the United Fruit company taking all of the lands away from the Guatamalan people to grow bananas.

- In 1946, U.S. Army School of the Americas opens in Panama as a hemisphere-wide military academy. Its linchpin is the doctrine of National Security, by which the chief threat to a nation is internal subversion; this will be the guiding principle behind dictatorships in Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Central America, and elsewhere.

- In 1961, the CIA backa a coup to overthrow elected Pres. J. M. Velasco Ibarra of Ecuador, who has been too friendly with Cuba.

- In 1962, the CIA engages in campaign in Brazil to keep João Goulart from achieving control of Congress.

- In 1963, the CIA backs a coup to overthrow elected social democrat Juan Bosch in the Dominican Republic.

- In 1967, US Green Berets are sent to Bolivia to assasinate Che Guevera

- In 1968, Gen. José Alberto Medrano, who is on the payroll of the CIA, organizes the ORDEN paramilitary force, considered the precursor of El Salvador's death squads.

- In 1973, a U.S.-supported military coup kills Allende and brings Augusto Pinochet Ugarte to power. Pinochet imprisons well over a hundred thousand Chileans (torture and rape are the usual methods of interrogation), terminates civil liberties, abolishes unions, extends the work week to 48 hours, and reverses Allende's land reforms.

- In 1973, the military takes power in Uruguay, supported by U.S. The subsequent repression reportedly features the world's highest percentage of the population imprisoned for political reasons.

President Obama and Secretary Clinton need to pay attention to this little history lesson and know intervening in foreign policy has never been successful regardless of one's political party.

Article Here

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