Foreign Election Interference: Who is to Blame?

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by MELVIN GOODMAN

Photograph Source: Bill Smith – CC BY 2.0

Ever since the Russian election interference in 2016, the New York Times  has been blaming Russian President Vladimir Putin for the new Cold War with the United States.  On July 2, it ran a front-page article that headlined the United States “stands on the sidelines” while the Kremlin conducts a “wave of aggression.” On July 1, the Times ran an oped article by former national security adviser Susan Rice, reportedly on the short list as a possible Biden vice presidential candidate, describing a White House run by “liars and wimps catering to a tyrannical president who is actively advancing our arch adversary’s nefarious interests.”  In view of the blame being assigned to Putin, perhaps it’s time to remind readers of the Times of the U.S. record of intervention in foreign elections.

The New York Times has always taken the view that U.S. election interventions have “generally been aimed at helping non-authoritarian candidates” whereas Russia has “more often intervened to disrupt democracy or promote authoritarian rule.”  Too bad the Times could not interview Iran’s Mohammed Mossadegh, Chile’s Salvador Allende, or the Congo’s Patrice Lumumba, who were targeted by the Central Intelligence Agency and replaced by brutal regimes that ruled for decades.  Allende and Lumumba, moreover, didn’t survive the violence that the CIA orchestrated.  The revelations of assassination plots in Cuba, the Congo, the Dominican Republic, and Vietnam finally led to a ban on CIA political assassinations in the mid-1970s.

The grand master of election interference and regime change is, of course, the CIA, which was created in 1947 and immediately began to interfere in elections in Europe.  France and Italy were the primary targets as “bags of money” were “delivered to selected politicians, to defray their expenses,” according to F. Mark Wyatt, a former CIA operative.  The road got much darker in the 1950s, when President Dwight D. Eisenhower ordered the overthrow of the democratically elected president of Iran in 1953 and the installation of a brutal military regime in Guatemala in 1954.

The CIA released a small batch of records on the 1954 military coup in Guatemala, but it has not declassified materials on the CIA-assisted Guatemalan security forces responsible for the deaths of an estimated 200,000 Guatemalans since the coup.  The CIA trained and supported notorious security forces throughout Central America, particularly in Honduras, where the Battalion 316 operated brutal detention centers throughout the country.  The United States and the CIA were responsible for installing abusive authoritarians in Nicaragua and El Salvador as well.

American national interests were rarely at stake in any of these interventions.  Henry A. Kissinger, President Richard M. Nixon’s national security adviser, put it best when he facetiously described Chile as a “dagger pointed at the heart of Antarctica.”  Kissinger simply could not see “why the United States should stand by and let Chile go communist merely due to the stupidity of its own people.”  The CIA’s installation of the Shah of Iran in 1953 was the original sin that continues to plague U.S.-Iranian relations.

A Carnegie Mellon scholar, Dov H. Levin, examined the historical record and determined that there were more than 80 overt and covert election influence operations by the United States from 1947 to 2000 as opposed to 36 Soviet and Russian operations in the same period.  The United States relied on various clandestine means, including breaking into political offices to steal codes.  In 1996, the Clinton administration intervened overtly and covertly in the Russian election to make sure that Boris Yeltsin was not defeated by an old-fashioned communist bureaucrat.  The United States engineered a $10 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund to Russia and assigned American political consultants to Yeltsin’s campaign.

The Russian intervention in the U.S. election in 2016 was merely a technological version of the kind of political influence operations that the KGB and the CIA conducted throughout the Cold War.  The digital interventions were far less costly and risky than the clandestine operations of the CIA and the National Security Agency over many decades.  We may lack a full understanding of the extent of U.S. intervention over the yearsm but we know a great deal about the Russian effort to use social media to attack Hillary Clinton, to boost Donald Trump, and to sow discord in the United States. We still lack information on the nature of the cooperation that existed between the Trump campaign and the Russian influence operation.  I’m sure that my former CIA colleagues would find nothing unusual in these Russian actions.

Too many opinion leaders in the United States still believe that several presidential administrations have failed to take advantage of the so-called U.S. victory in the Cold War.  Self-proclaimed liberals such as Susan Rice even share a point of view with neoconservatives such as John Bolton.  They appear to believe that the “shame of the West” is the failure to capitalize on the winning of the Cold War by not making sure that former Soviet republics such as Georgia and Ukraine be admitted to NATO and that recent events in Crimea and Hong Kong justify a new Cold War.  They have exaggerated the extent of Putin’s risk-taking and ignored Washington’s contribution to the sorry state of Russian-American relations.

Unfortunately, a presidential campaign in the United States doesn’t allow for the time or space to conduct a rational dialogue on the importance of restoring stable and predictable relations between the United States and Russia.

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More articles by:MELVIN GOODMAN

Melvin A. Goodman is a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy and a professor of government at Johns Hopkins University.  A former CIA analyst, Goodman is the author of Failure of Intelligence: The Decline and Fall of the CIA and National Insecurity: The Cost of American Militarism. and A Whistleblower at the CIA. His most recent book is “American Carnage: The Wars of Donald Trump” (Opus Publishing), and he is the author of the forthcoming “The Dangerous National Security State” (2020).” Goodman is the national security columnist for counterpunch.org.

International Zionism and Satanism Are Indistinguishable

An “active allegiance to Satan” is the political ideology of the United States, Saudi Arabia, and indeed Israel, specifically when it comes to dealing with important issues in the Middle East. The Jamal Khashoggi debacle again makes this very clear. The recent war in Yemen is another example.

By Jonas E. Alexis
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There are essentially three Zionist powerhouses in the world: Israel, the United States, and Saudi Arabia. Those powerhouses want to rule much of the world with an iron fist. They have been meddling in covert activities and diabolical espionage for more than sixty years, and the Jamal Khashoggi murder is a recent manifestation of clandestine enterprises through the decades.

One can historically argue that covert activities are engrained in the Zionist powerhouses. By 1979, the Ayatollah Khomeini understood that idea very clearly precisely because it was already creating chaos in Iran and elsewhere in the Middle East. Khomeini then had to attack that idea. He fleshed out a principle which continues to be true to this very day. Khomeini posited then:

“There is no crime America will not commit in order to maintain its political, economic, cultural, and military domination of those parts of the world where it predominates. It exploits the oppressed people of the world by means of the large-scale propaganda campaigns that are coordinated for it by international Zionism.

“By means of its hidden and treacherous agents, it sucks the blood of the defenseless people as if it alone, together with its satellites, had the right to live in this world. Iran has tried to sever all its relations with this Great Satan and it is for this reason that it now finds wars imposed upon it.”[1]

“International Zionism” is an apt description of what was going on then. The United States and England had already overthrown a democratically elected president in Iran by the name of Mossadegh in 1953,[2] and both countries were expanding aggressively in the Middle East to keep a diabolical empire alive and well.

By 1954, the CIA again overthrew a democratically elected official by the name of Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala.[3] The documents for this unfortunate coup are readily available at the National Security Archive.[4]

If one peels the ideological onion, then the logic becomes pretty clear: the United States has been in the business of overthrowing countries in the Middle East and elsewhere for a century.[5] So it is no surprise to see that Trump is treading on the same diabolical path.

Going back to the Ayatollah Khomeini, he made an attempt to solve the “international Zionism” problem by appealing to Muslim unity. But that again was another problem because countries like Saudi Arabia were already prostrating before “international Zionism.” As E. Michael Jones puts it,

“At the very moment he invoked Islamic unity, Khomeini was forced to concede that Islam was breaking up into two warring factions. The grand climactic battle of the anti-Communist crusade disguised this split for decades, but now, as intra-Islamic wars raged in Yemen and Iraq, Khomeini showed himself more of a prophet than a politician who could bring about Islamic unity. Either way, the Great Satan was exacerbating division as a means of achieving geo-political goals.”[6]

Khomeini obviously lit up a prophetic fire which again is still relevant today. “International Zionism” is still sucking the blood of virtually every nation on earth through covert activities, espionage, and deceptive means. And by metaphysically rejecting the moral and political order and embracing chaos and destruction, international Zionism has essentially become Satanism.

yemeni-civilians-living-on-bread-crumbs-to-survive-1068x718.jpeg
Yemeni civilians living on bread crumbs

This principle was articulated by St. Athanasius, who posited that any metaphysical idea which ontologically denies Logos and its central place in the universe will end up being Satanic. In a Satanic universe, what is true is actually a lie and what is a lie is by definition true. In fact, opposition to Logos “was deemed to involve an active allegiance to Satan.”[7]An “active allegiance to Satan” means that innocent people have to die in order to preserve a wicked ideology. If you doubt this, then take a look at what happened in Iraq in 2003, where the warmongers sent a six-trillion dollar bill to the American people.

In short, an “active allegiance to Satan” is the political ideology of the United States, Saudi Arabia, and indeed Israel, specifically when it comes to dealing with important issues in the Middle East. The Jamal Khashoggi debacle again makes this very clear. The recent war in Yemen is another example.

The sad thing is that there are people out there who preposterously think that the murder of Khashoggi was a set up by a “a rogue group connected to Turkey, NATO and others” in order to embarrass both Saudi Arabia and the United States! The person who has made this crazy claim is none other than Alex Jones.[8]

Creatures like Jones will never tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth because they prey on naïve people. Like Donald Trump and Justin Trudeau who keep selling military weapons to the Saudis (despite the fact that the Saudis have openly assassinated journalists),[9] a green goblin like Jones is just on the air to empty the pockets of thousands upon thousands of listeners. That’s why he lies. He invents lies. And he will continue to lie because he loves money more than truth.

So in the Zionist world, everyone wants to get a piece of the pie. The only people who cannot get even a decent meal are the poor souls in Yemen, people who are now living on bread crumbs.[10]

  • [1] Quoted in E. Michael Jones, “The Great Satan and Me: Reflections on Iran and Postmodernism’s Faustian Pact,” Culture Wars, July/August 2015.
  • [2] See Stephen Kinzer, All the Shah’s Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror (Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, 2003 & 2008); Christopher de Bellaigue, Patriot of Persia: Muhammad Mossadegh and a Tragic Anglo-American Coup (New York: HarperCollins, 2013); Ervand Abrahamian, The Coup: 1953, the CIA, and the Roots of Modern U.S.-Iranian Relations (New York: The New Press, 2015).
  • [3] Stephen C.. Schlesinger and Stephen Kinzer, Bitter Fruit: The Untold Story of the American Coup in Guatemala (New York: Anchor Books, 1990); Piero Gleijeses, Shattered Hope: The Guatemalan Revolution and the United States, 1944-1954(Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992); Richard H. Immerman, The CIA in Guatemala: The Foreign Policy of Intervention (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2007); Nick Cullather, Secret History: The CIA’s Classified Account of Its Operations in Guatemala 1952-1954 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2006); Kate Doyle and Peter Kornbluh, eds., “CIA and Assassinations: The Guatemala 1954 Documents,” The National Security Archivehttps://nsarchive2.gwu.edu//NSAEBB/NSAEBB4/index.html.
  • [4] https://nsarchive2.gwu.edu//NSAEBB/NSAEBB4/index.html.
  • [5] Stephen Kinzer, Overthrow: America’s Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq (New York: Times Books, 2006); Michael Grow, U.S. Presidents and Latin American Interventions: Pursuing Regime Change in the Cold War (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2008).
  • [6] Jones, “The Great Satan and Me: Reflections on Iran and Postmodernism’s Faustian Pact,” Culture Wars, July/August 2015.
  • [7] Ibid.
  • [8] If you are an Alex Jones listener, if you are financially supporting this man with your precious money, then I feel sorry for you because you are being duped. Alex Jones has not the slightest of moral and truthful integrity, particularly when it comes to issues in the Middle East. No sane person should even support this man precisely because fundamental truth is not part of his vocabulary.
  • [9] Ashifa Kassam, “Justin Trudeau defends Canada’s arms sales to Saudi Arabia,” Guardian, March 21, 2018; “Justin Trudeau says he is unlikely to cancel Saudi armored vehicles sale,” Guardian, October 23, 2018.
  • [10] “Yemen’s displaced live on bread crumbs, leaves,” Associated Press, November 2, 2018.

 

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