It seems Clausewitz
was right - war is
just the continuation
of politics by other
The American Spark
A Short History Of U.S. Governmental Gangsterism
By Cliff Montgomery - May 31st, 2019
War is the continuation of politics by other means.
- Carl von Clausewitz
Vice President Mike Pence recently told the West Point Class of 2019 that “it is a virtual certainty that you will
fight on a battlefield for America at some point in your life.”
“Some of you may even be called upon to serve in this hemisphere,” he added.
Pence almost surely was involved up to his nose in the apparently failed presidential coup in Venezuela.
Another individual working for the Trump Administration - Elliott Abrams, who currently works as the United
States Special Representative for Venezuela - was routinely involved in the morally and legally dubious “dirty
wars” of Latin America during the 1980s.
Abrams’ conduct toward left-wing groups and governments in such places as El Salvador, Guatemala and
Nicaragua proved to be “little different from Henry Kissinger’s realpolitik that discounted human rights issues
entirely,” according to American University political scientist William LeoGrande.
And of course Pence is almost certainly wrong about U.S. soldiers being sent to “fight on a battlefield for
America.” Most U.S. military conflicts come down to a fight for career politicians and the wealthy individuals
who own them. As U.S. Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler famously put it:
“I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my
time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a
racketeer; a gangster for capitalism.”
So perhaps we shouldn’t be at all surprised that the Trump Administration is now considering a move of
violence against the people of Venezuela, since policy and subterfuge have failed.
Clausewitz, it seems, knew exactly what he was talking about.
But we at the American Spark feel we would be remiss if we didn’t point to previous, well-documented
instances of U.S. capitalist gangsterism. Just to remind people of what is really meant by that pregnant
Trump got into the White House claiming he would “make America great again.” Over the month of June, the
Spark will put together a series of articles to remind Mr. Trump that gangsterism is not “greatness.”
We will discuss a few key, well-documented instances in which U.S. officials worked to overthrow foreign
governments too left-wing for their personal taste.
We will cover:
- The 1953 overthrow of Iran’s left-wing Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh;
- “Operation Northwoods,” a 1962 military plan the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff developed for use against
Castro’s government - and, it seems, against American citizens;
- “Project FUBELT,” A 1970 Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) series of operations that promoted a coup
in Chile against democratically-elected socialist president Salvador Allende;
- U.S. involvement with the 2002 coup attempt in Venezuela against democratically-elected socialist
president Hugo Chávez.
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