Besides our wars in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan or the invasion of the Bay of Pigs and Granada; the invasion of Panama was a prime example of our real attitude towards freedom and political sovereignty of other nations. In 1989 President George H. W. Bush ordered the invasion to physically remove Dictator Manuel Noriega from his homeland. Noriega was once an ally of ours. He was an informant mapping all of the illegal drug activity between Mexico and South America. Deciding he was making too much money playing both ends against us and drug cartels, we sent tanks to his door step, arrested the leader of a sovereign country and threw him in jail. Using the same information he gave the government as an informant, we convicted him of illegally trafficking drugs.
Now the public is finding out that we are guilty of plotting the overthrow of a democratically elected prime minister of a sovereign country, Iran, as far back as 1953. Information obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, the National Security Archive has learned the CIA planned a coup employing local Iranian collaborators to undermine the government of Prime Minister Mohammed Mosaddeq. Using the cooperation of the shah, we bribed members of the Iranian Parliament, organized security forces to stir up public demonstrations; setting the stage of rhetorical propaganda leading to the demise of democracy and reinstating power to the hand of the shah of Iran.
The CIA was concerned Iran was not cooperating with the United States. At the time Iran refused to bargain with the British-run Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, threatening the supply of cheap oil to Britain and the United States. Not wanting to risk a British invasion that might lead to a counter invasion by the Soviets, we decided to take matters into our own hands. Ironically, 50 years later in 2003, we invaded Iraq under a false pretext to protect American oil interest in the middle of the desert.
If politics were a religion, America could no longer claim, we are holier than thou.
David Farside is political activist and Sparks resident.