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Sunday, December 27, 2015

How to get the beaver back

OK, so you have finally realized that at least a partial solution to your water problems is to get the beaver back in every stream or seep where he can possibly build a dam.  As you have realized, this will shift water from winter to summer (just as snow packs and glaciers used to do), recharge your water table, clean your water of sediment and nutrients, extend the life and effectiveness of your hydro-electric dams, allow these dams to provide more water and more electricity than they are doing now, greatly reduce flood peaks and so forth and so on.  So how do you get the beaver back in your catchments.

First, beavers need trees to build their dams.  Willows are first choice but any deciduous tree will do.  If you have such areas, capture and transfer some beavers to the area.  release them in lakes, artificially dammed ponds in streams or naturally deep parts of the stream. This will keep them happy as they explore the area and find a suitable location to build a dam.  However, the problem is, that much of the catchment will have been degraded and will be lacking a riparian zone of trees. Let's fix that and spend very little money doing it.

Tools you will need are a chain saw (If you don't like the noise, get an electric one that plugs directly into your specially installed alternator on your pick up truck) a pair of pruning sheers, a lopper (optional), an axe, a sledge hammer and 5 foot  steel bar sharpened on one end for each member of the crew.

Find a suitable deciduous tree such as a willow, poplar, aspen, cotton wood etc. Cut it down about waste height.  You want to leave a stump to coppice (grow from the stump).  Cut the entire tree all the way from the trunk to the small twigs into fore-arm length pieces.  The pruning sheers will come in handy for the smallest branches.

The larger logs you can leave as-is or split into four.  Sharpen the bottom end of all the larger pieces with your axe.  The thinner branches don't need sharpening.  Bundle all this into your pick up truck, cover with some wet sacks and head for your site.  You must do this when there is some moisture in the soil where you want to establish a beaver friendly riparian* zone.  This might be following a rain which has zoomed down to the sea, taking your top soil with it.  Nothing like watching your top soil disappear to inspire action.

*A a zone of trees and bushes on the side of a stream or river.

At the site, take the sharpened logs and quarter logs and pound them into the ground with your sledge hammer.  For the smaller branches, use your steel bar to punch a hole into the ground.  Try to make the hole about a third as deep as the length of your pieces of branch.  Drop in the branch and heel in.

For the intermediate diameter branches, if the ground is too hard to pound them in, the bar is also useful.  Punch a hole with your bar by ramming it a few times into the same hole,  rotating the top around to widen the hole at each punch.  It is now much easier to pound the medium diameter pieces into the ground.

If you have deer around the place and no wolves to keep them moving, you will have to find some way to keep them off of your new forest at least until it has a couple of years to grow.  Many of the deciduous trees grow at phenomenal rates if protected and soon will be too high for the dear to destroy.

Have fun and make sure to take 'before' and 'after' pictures and maybe write a blog with an article for each site you do.

And what happens if your introduced beavers threaten to flood your house or wash away a road.  Simple. You install a beaver deceiver.   Look them up on the net.  Here is how you make and install one model.

At a convenient place on the dam, remove branches.  Make a depression deep enough so that if the water only gets to that level, it won't cause damage to whatever you are trying to protect.

Get a piece of that corrugated plastic pipe and lay it over the dam.  It must be long enough to reach the bottom of the pond and  to reach he outside of the dam at the height you want the water not to exceed.

Make up a U of scrap wood and pound it down into the beaver dam, upside down to hold the pipe in place.  The beavers will come and patch up the leak that evening and you don't want them to accidentally shift the pipe.

And the last step. Get some wire weld mesh of the type they use to reinforce concrete.  The bigger the holes the better but not large enough to let an adult beaver through.  Bend this mesh in a circle to make a cylinder and attach the ends together.  On one end, clip out a couple of cross ties all around.  A bolt cutter will do nicely.  You are going to pound this cylinder into the bottom of the pond with the clipped end down and removing the cross ties will allow you to push or pound the cylinder into the bottom of the pond.  The cylinder can extend above the level of the water or you could even put a top on it of mesh* and have it totally under water.  You, of course, are going to place this cylinder over the inner end of the pipe (almost forgot to mention that).

Now no matter what the beavers do, the water will remain at the level you have determined.

* Unprotected steel which is always immersed in water corrodes (rusts) very very slowly so putting a mesh lid on the cylinder and making sure it is completely submersed is not a bad idea.  Besides if you are in an area where the water freezes in the winter, if the top of the cylinder is below the bottom of the ice, it won't be shifted by ice movement.  A bit more work but worth the effort.  Iron corrodes most quickly just at the surface of the water.

Friday, October 9, 2015

The Chernoble Nature Reserve

Much surprise is exhibited by people when they realize that the no-go area around Chernobyl is turning into a wild life sanctuary.  We see such comments as "People are worse than nuclear fall out", referring to  the ever increasing richness and abundance of the flora and fauna in the area since people were excluded.  No argument there but it misses the basic biological point.

It is, of course true that if you are exposed to sufficient radiation, such as you might find inside one of the damaged Fukushima reactors and you stay in there long enough (not all that long), you will have your insides sun tanned and you will die.  Expressing it a bit more scientifically, the ionizing radiation wizzing through your body will disrupt so much of your physiology that your organism will cease to work.

Less radiation than a fatal dose will cause an increase in mutations in your germ cells (sperm or eggs) and as we all know, most mutations decrease the fitness of your offspring to survive in their environment.  The effect on an individual germ cell, being hit with increased radiation is something of a lottery.  One individual from a given germ cell may be made less fit, another not effected. A very very small proportion will have a mutation that will be advantageous.   And remember that we all live with a background level of radiation.  We get it from the sky as cosmic rays (heavy nuclei traveling at near relativistic speeds) and from radioactive elements in our soil.  To some extent our genetics is adapted to this radiation and there are mechanisms in our bodies that repair at least a portion of the copying errors.

Let's jump sideways for a moment.  Think of a pair of wolves.  The mother can easily have three pups (often many more) each  year and a wolf can easily live for 10 years.  Let's say 30 pups born to the couple over their life time.  Why are we not overrun by wolves.  A sparrow even more so.  A successful pair of sparrows can have 5 clutches with 5 young in each clutch in a single summer season.  Why are we not overrun by sparrows.  Even Humans are in this category.  A female human can have 10 babies in her lifetime and it wasn't so long ago that this was not unusual.  Thank heaven for contraception.  Without it, there would be standing room only.  Actually, the result would be starvation and pestilence.   

Most of the young of any animal  you care to mention die and in fact, in a stable population, on average, only two young from each pair of adults survive to carry on the species and they themselves give rise to two survivors.  Natural selection involves a lot of death.

So how does this relate to animals living in an area of increased radiation.  As long as the radiation isn't of such a level to "cook" any organism in the area, some offspring will be dealt a poor genetic hand, some not and natural selection will winnow out the ones with no aces.  The winnowing will simply occur a little earlier in a population with higher radiation  levels.  In the case of our wolf, in a "normal" radiation area, all the pups could well survive during the summer with most of them starving in the winter if their food source is not sufficient*.  In the high radiation area, it is likely that less of  the litter will survive initially and by and large, the same number of wolves will survive into the next spring in both cases.

*Which will  eventually occur at some point, if the wolf population is increasing.

Part of the reason we are so shocked is that if we humans were exposed to increased radiation, many of our children would be effected and we don't just shrug this off and let the maimed children die.  In the animal  world, without human interference, many young would die before they are born  We never see this.  Following hatching, many little sparrows fall. It may or may not meet his tender view but that is life (or rather natural selection).  The radiation has to be pretty severe to cause an actual decrease in population.  All animals produce a  massive excess of young, surplus to what what is needed to keep the population in a steady state.  As long as each pair leave more than two offspring who in turn produce more than two, the population grows.

This is clearly what has happened in Chernobyl.  The radiation is not sufficient to kill off enough young to decrease the population.  Quite the contrary. The animals have left more young than enough to grow the population 

We get tied up in misunderstanding when we try to apply a human perspective of the acceptableness of having many wonky children to the Animal situation in which only a very few of the progeny of any animal survive even without increased radiation.  Short of massive radiation levels, natural selection simply occurs a little earlier and as long as a few survive, the population will rise until it encounters the usual limiting factors, such as food supply at which point, the population will level out.

Note that in certain extreme areas with simplified assemblages of flora and fauna such as the Arctic, population boom and bust but still remain over all around the carrying capacity of their area.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

The Arctic Hurricane

The following is a hypothesis of why we have hurricanes in the Arctic and what lies in the future.  It is written as if it is well established fact.  It is not.  The reason I write it this way is that it is simply too annoying to read something that full of might be's and could be's.  Remember too, that while much of it is well established physics, you only need one broken link in  a chain of argument to wreck the whole.  With that in mind, here goes.

Does it ever strike you as odd that we have hurricanes in the Arctic.  The one in 2012 was right on the border between a category 2 and 3; quite a powerful beast.  That was also the year of the greatest ice melt we have yet seen (up to 2015*).

* 2016 could well be a different story all together with the massive El Nino we are experiencing.  We will see. (written Jan, 2016)

In the tropics the surface water must be about 25C or more to create a hurricane. This is because, in the tropics, all the pressure gradient needed to create a hurricane is supplied by the "suck" in the middle.  Warm humid air rises, reaches the dew point, and the water vapor begins to condense, releasing latent heat of vaporization*.  This keeps the air buoyant and powers it upward.  Air is sucked along the surface of the ocean from all around to be sucked up and continue the process.  Only with the sea above about 25 degrees C is there enough water vapor in the air to sustain this process.

* It takes 2260 kj (kilojoules) of heat to vaporize one kg (kilogram) of water.  When water vapour condenses, it gives out this heat.

In the Arctic the surface water never gets this warm (so far) so how do we  achieve the pressure gradient necessary to create a hurricane.  We need the suck in the middle to be augmented somehow by a "blow" from outside.  This is created, especially in the fall when the land begins to rapidly cool down, cooling the air above it.  The ever more open Arctic ocean has accumulated heat in the top tens of meters while the land rapidly cools off. And in the Arctic, the land is all around the sea.  We have a push from almost all sides from this cooling, sinking air which reaches the ground and flows toward an ocean that  each year is accumulating more and more heat.

This is further exacerbated by Coriolis.  In the Northern hemisphere, Coriolis causes anything that is moving, to veer to the right.  Since Coriolis is a function of how rapidly something moves closer to the center of rotation (the earth's axis) it is more powerful in the Arctic than in the tropics.  Near the equator, moving a km hardly changes your distance from the earth's axis.  Near the North Pole, a km of motion across the sea moves you nearly a km toward or away from the center.  However, just like water going down a plug hole, once the rotation starts it is powered by the gradient between the outside and the center.

So what can we expect.  The Arctic ocean, as more of it becomes open ocean, is absorbing more and more heat from the sun.  Snow over top of ice is said to reflect about 90% of the incoming radiation back into space while open water absorbs about 90% of the radiation.  Don't take the exact figures too seriously.  There are a number of whichever's involved but the basic principle holds.  In addition, at present, melting ice helps to keep the water cold as it absorbs latent heat of crystallization.*  We are seeing another one of these positive feed back mechanisms.  As the ice melts, it sets up the situation to melt even more ice.

* To melt a kg of ice takes 334kj.  Water, when it freezes gives out the same amount of heat per kg.  This will become important below.  Incidentally, to get a feel for how much heat this is, it is approximately enough heat to raise the same mass of water by 80 degrees.

So as the ocean becomes more an more ice free, we can expect more hurricanes, especially in the fall.  And we might, in the future, even see them following Sept 15 when the freeze up starts again.  Remember it is the gradient that creates hurricanes.  If we have got to the point where most of the Arctic is ice free then a lot of latent heat is released as the water freezes.  If this freeze doesn't start until the surrounding land is really cold and snow covered, a serious pressure gradient could be created.  Of course, as it freezes, sublimation replaces evaporation which is less vigorous.  If the land has really cooled down and air is falling over the land,  the gradient could still be enough to create a hurricane.  Other effects occur.

In the historical situation with the Arctic Ocean  pretty well covered with ice and snow, the air doesn't get heated from below as it does everywhere else on earth due to the absorption of heat from the sun.  It is an area of falling air which gives rise to a clockwise, high pressure weather system.  This clockwise rotating air pushes the water in the same direction giving rise to the clockwise rotating Beaufort Gyre to the North of Alaska.  Coriolis comes into play again as surface water rotating in this gyre veers toward the center.  Fresh water is pouring into the ocean from surrounding rivers and this floating fresh water (and ice) accumulates in the gyre. The gyre is actually a little higher in the middle than on the outside contrary to what we would expect in a rotating body of liquid.  The fresher water layer is a couple of hundred meters deep and holds an amount of fresh water equivalent to a couple of years  flow from the surrounding rivers. 

Now what happens if we start to have anti-clockwise (storm) patterns over the Arctic.  If sufficiently long and strong, the Beaufort gyre should reverse direction, flinging ice and surface fresher water outwards (Coriolis again) to be expelled through the Bering and Fram straights.  This creates  another positive feed back loop.

The surface water in the Arctic is colder than the deeper water.  It is only kept on the surface because of its lower salinity.  If we start to expel this surface layer, the deeper warmer water comes closer and closer to the surface.  The very storms which expel this fresher water from the arctic, create large waves which mix the layers. 

Surface waves are not the only waves of concern.  Between layers of water of different density there are also waves.  They can be induced by surface waves.  When they reach shallow water, they also break, mixing the layers and decreasing the density difference between the layers.

It would appear that in the coming years we should expect more and more hurricanes occurring in the arctic.  As the melting of the ice progresses, these hurricanes should occur earlier and earlier in the melt season.  It is also possible that they will continue into the beginning of the re-freezing season.  If their effect is to send more ice and fresh water into the Atlantic and Pacific, this will exacerbate the melting.

I wouldn't want to live in a coastal community on the shores of the Arctic Ocean.  I would be moving to higher ground.Increased storms with an increased fetch for the waves to build up will cause severe erosion of the coast.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Stealing our infrastructure

Countries spend considerable time and energy stealing each other's infrastructure.  For a take on this, read John Perkins book Confessions of an Economic Hit Man and his two subsequent books on the subject.  Also get Oliver stone's book, The Untold History of the United States or click on the link Timeline America.

Here is a new scenario (to me at least); a new wrinkle on this ongoing quest for dominance and economic advantage.  I don't know if this is been actively engineered or if countries are simply taking advantage of the situation opportunistically.  Either way, the result is the same.  One country owns more and more of the infrastructure of another country.

And it may not be the actual country that is doing it but rather her large businesses.  In fact, with the independence of large multi-national companies, the companies themselves will be either engineering take overs or taking advantage of opportunities when they arise independent of their country of origin.  This applies particularly to commodity enterprises such as coal mines and lumber mills.  I will use milk as an example since with respect to our milk markets, New Zealand is at present deep in what comes out of the other orifice of the cow.

So how does it work.

A country with deep pockets gives top dollar for a commodity such as raw logs, coal or milk powder.  It must be a large country with a large market for the commodity for this to work.  It also must be a commodity that has a long shelf life.  You may think that this eliminates milk but much of the milk that is traded around the world is traded as powdered milk.  As long as you keep your powder dry, it lasts for ever.  The country with the deep pockets stockpiles far more of this product than she needs and then stops purchasing.  Because she is such a large part of the  market for the product, the price plummets.

Being human, the farmers (in the case of milk) have spent up big when the milk solid price ishigh and even overspent in anticipation of a long run if high milk prices.  Many have increased their debt.  Now the price tanks.  Foreclosures are inevitable.

Here is where we see the metal and the vision of the government of the small country that is under this economic attack.  She can make it open slather on farms and allow the country that caused the crisis to buy up the foreclosed farms.  The foreclosed farmers will be happy (as much as they can be under the circumstances) since they get out from under their debt.  The big country can pay at least enough to pay off the debt and voila; the farms are alienated from the economy of the small country.

On the other hand they can legislate that no farms will be sold to non residents.  Lets burrow down into this decision level by level and see what the results will be if only residents can buy these farms.

Level 1
Pretty harsh on the foreclosed farmers.  Without someone with deep pockets coming along to buy their farm, They might still owe money to the bank even after it has been sold.  With a deep pocket buyer, they might even have a little surplus in pocket after the sale of their farm.

Level 2
The banks may think twice and then once again about foreclosing on a farm if the prospect of a rich buyer is not in the offing.  Less farms will be foreclosed. As the milk price recovers, some of these farmers will get their heads above water and become successful.

Level 3
Residents who do buy  foreclosed farms will get them for a reasonable price when there is no competition from overseas.  With the resulting smaller mortgage, their break even milk solid price will be lower.  Our dairy industry will be just that little bit more financially resilient when the next attack on the industry occurs.

Level 4
Most of our mortgages (in New Zealand) are held by Australian banks.  With lower mortgages, less money will be hemorrhaging to Australia and NZ's balance of payments will be that little bit better.

Level 5
With no farm sales to non residents we will have a measurement of how much overseas sales push up  farm prices and hence a hint of how much they push up  housing prices.  Perhaps if the drop is significant, the government of the day will consider legislating for no house sales as well to non residents with similar beneficial effects for Kiwis.

As I said, I don't know if this sort of thing is being actively engineered by large countries with deep pockets or if they are simply taking advantage of periodic falls in commodity prices.  Whichever the case, without a government with some long term vision, a small country is slowly but steadily bought out.  Not a bullet fired and you become tenants in your own country.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Corruption of our Politicians

A letter to some MP's in New Zealand

Isn't it ironic or some might call it perverse.  On one hand if we sign up to the TPP, it includes regulations with real teeth.  If we do something to protect our people like insisting on plain packaging on tobacco, the tobacco industry can sue our country.  No use denying it.  Such provisions already exist in other trade agreements and our neighbour, Australia is right now embroiled  in such an action.  The court consists of a collection of judges who in their private law practice often work for the very companies that are suing governments.  There is no recourse to our sovereign courts and we, the tax payers are obliged to cough up the money.

On the other hand we have carbon emission agreements under Koyota et al..  these agreements have no teeth what so ever.  If the scientists are even 10% correct we are on the way to triggering a suit of mutually re-enforcing tipping points which will send us back into the dark ages.  If they are 50% correct, we are heading for the stone age and if they are completely correct It is well withing the bounds of possibility that we, and many of our fellow travellers on the planet are heading for extinction.

And, to put the cherry on the cake, it is the very same giant businesses; the banks, arms manufacturers, fossil fuel merchants, Monsantoes of the world and so forth that are fighting tooth and nail to maintain their bottom line and, in the process, stop any actions which might avert the coming climate disaster.

Do you think I am exaggerating.   Have a look at the following.  This is a small sample of things that happened under Globilization and the imbedded trade agreements with the enforcement or threatened enforcement of the WTO (world trade organization).  small caps intentional

A soft drink company successfully sued Brazil when they wanted to reduce harmful fructose in soft drinks.

Australia is at present embroiled in a stramash with a tobacco company over plain packaging

An extremely successful program in Ontario, Canada to replace coal fired power stations with renewably generated electricity was closed down.  The program, as is the case with many renewable energy projects,  was also providing thousands of new jobs.

The USA challenged a Chinese wind power subsidy program.

China filed a complaint over Italian and Greek wind power programs and has threatened to challenge wind power programs in 5 US states.

The USA has challenged India's Nehru National Solar Mission; a program to generate large amounts of renewable power.

India has replied, threatening to challenge a number of US renewable energy programs.

Free trade agreements and Globalization under the auspices of the WTO have the following effects.

    Stops the world from weaning itself off fossil fuel

    Ties your hands when you want to protect your citizens from harmful products. 

    Turns your farms, businesses and houses into international commodities.  Great for the real estate agents and the now famous 1% but not so good for your citizens if they want to buy a farm, house or business.  A wall of money out there  is searching for a safe haven from the abuses of Northern Hemisphere banks,hedge funds and wall street.  If it falls on us it will send our own assets way beyond the means of our citizens. 

      Stops you from protecting your citizens from companies like Monsanto. (are you familiar with the Percy Schmeizer story.  If not, click on this link).
Stops you from implementing many measures you could put in place to create jobs in your country.
If you have a drug buying institution such as exists in New Zealand to get the best prices for the countrie's drugs, this will be shut down.   

Now the American government (not the American people) want us to enter into multi-lateral trade agreements which will result in these multiple sorts of abuse from all sides.   I just don't get it. Implicit in the word 'Democracy' is that it is "for the people".  For heaven sake, it is actually written into the founding documents of the greatest abuser of her own citizens; the USA but is also implicit in the foundation of all democracies.

These corporations have subverted our so-called democracies by buying our politicians.  People stage huge demonstrations against the abuse.  Occupy Wall Street, March against Monsanto, Protest against the Iraq war and so forth and these actions and demonstrations have absolutely no effect.  And they will continue to have no effect if we don't sort out the core problem.  PPCT

Who Pays the Piper Calls the Tune.  With  most things, my own country, New Zealand is too small to have any  directly effect any outcome in the world.  If, for instance, we went completely carbon free tomorrow, it would have no effect on the world's carbon pollution.  However, we do have an ace in the hole. 

Countries, like people, are sheep and we are experts on sheep.  They follow a leader and we have been that leader many many times in the past.  People need a concrete example that they can refer to when they are telling the story.  Humans are the story telling ape.  Everything we do is based on "story".

The one  action which is necessary so that all the other very necessary actions will bear fruit is to get big business out of politics.  Then the politicians can start to do what is needed for their people.  For a change we might just have government for the people, not for the corporatocracy. 

It is not just the case that once a politician has been paid by big business,  he returns the favour. Much worse, he knows if he does not do the bidding of his financial supporters, then the next time he needs election funds, the tap will be closed.  It's insidious.

It is time for New Zealand to set the example and make it illegal for any person or business to give money to a politician for any reason what so ever.  Take a legislated amount of money from the public purse with each prospective MP getting so much, Each leader of a party so much and so forth. (with complete accountability for every cent they spend) 

Does this sound expensive.  Look at the complete gutting of the people of the world under our present system and then tell me it is too expensive.  Look at the likely consequences of the present system and tell me it is too expensive.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Ocean Nodule Mining

Here in New Zealand, an application has been rejected to mine the mineral nodules in our surrounding deep ocean.  I think that the powers-that-be have little sense of proportion.  Let me be clear.  I am not talking about the mining of mineral sands in shallow water.  That is another story.  I'm not saying that shallow water mineral mining is bad or good.  Just that it is another story and has to be examined separately on its merits.

These mineral nodules in the deep ocean lie on the surface of the ocean bottom.  They contain a range of very valuable minerals in concentrated form.  

Let's assume for the sake of the argument, the worst case scenario; that the hovering up of the nodules and the return of the gangue* totally smothers that area of sea bottom.

*waste bits and pieces that are not mineral nodules

No polluting chemicals are used. No excavation of the sea bottom occurs. At the most extreme, the returning waste will smother whatever is living on that area of sea bottom.  The most extreme possibility is that the area is rendered sterile.  Once the area has been mined it can't be mined again for many thousands of years.  That is how long it takes for the nodules to grow.  Here is where it gets interesting.  Let me sidestep for a moment.

Let's look at a mature forest; one that has reached it's climax state.  Competition has gone on between the various plants (trees, epiphites etc.) and the various animals and whatever survived makes up the environment.  Many species have fallen by the wayside in this competition.  Then a giant tree falls or a fire burns out a section of the forest.  Note we are not talking about logging in which massive areas are clear felled and as soon as the new growth is large enough, logged again but rather a bit of the forest that is cleared.

All sorts of pioneer species start to grow in the cleared area and the forest is greatly diversified.  Animals which do better in a pioneering forest return.  The forest is now much more diverse and for that matter much more interesting than it was.

The same thing can be expected on the ocean bottom.  Note that here we are not talking about A) the huge areas which are cleared by bottom trawling or B) the trawling again and again of the same area, never letting pioneering species  establish themselves.
It takes that long for nodules to grow.  The area gets recolonized by whatever lives in the area and whatever larvae drift by from afar and over time goes back to its original state.  If it follows the path that is observed in many ecologies from pioneer to climax state.  The over all area is enriched by a small part of it being re-set to its beginning and going through a succession toward its climactic state.

Compare that with bottom trawling which we do allow.  You scrape the bottom clean and then do it again and again and again.  The area never has a chance to recover.  If we want to do something for the bottom of the ocean we should ban bottom trawling and only allow long line methods.

We need a sense of proportion when deciding what to allow and what to forbid.  Nodule mining has to be on the extreme benign end of the spectrum and a good case can be made for it even being beneficial.  Bottom trawling is at the disastrous end.

This whole episode is similar to the stramash we had over indoor dairy farms in the MacKenzie country.  Yes, indoor dairy farms can be bad for the animals and truly horrible places.  However they can  be much better for the animals, far more ecologically friendly and, would you believe, more profitable.  The devil is in the details.

I saw a similar situation in Canada.  I met a fisheries biologist who should have known better.  He was off to break up a beaver dam in the belief that they were bad for fish stocks in that river.  Hydro dams are bad so, so must be a beaver dam.  I asked him why, before the Hudson Bay Company era, when beaver dams were in pretty well every location where  one could be built, the salmon runs were many orders of magnitude larger than they are today*.  He still went out to break up the beaver dam but hopefully it got him thinking.

Biology is complicated and intricate and the first knee jerk reaction to a situation is not often the best one.  Each situation has to be examined in detail and intelligent decisions make.  Much of our use of the planet is disastrous but not all of it.

*In about  1888, the Hudson Bay Company initiated a policy to exterminate the fur bearing animals of the Columbia Catchment to deny an economic base for America in that area.  The beavers were first to go.  Salmon runs plummeted. 

More famous is the situation with wolves.  Farley Mowat deals with this in his very amusing book Never Cry Wolf.  Canadian wildlife biologists were convinced that the wolves were decimating the caribou and put a bounty on them.

Of course we then have the example of the destruction of the fisheries of the Grand Banks under the supervision of Canadian fisheries biologists, a group of people who tend to be as green as they come.  Through a combination of corporation short sighted greed and faulty science by the best scientist of the day, the Grand Banks were trashed. 

I am a greenie through and through.  I always support the Green Party, my hero is George Monbiot and my passion is rewilding in general and beavers in particular but the greens do sometimes do go off half cocked with knee jerk reactions to things without examining the deeper implications (unexpected consequences) of their actions.  As greens we must choose our battles and carry them through to the  end and not get distracted by unimportant causes or causes in which we are  on the wrong side of the argument.

We must realize that humans are the story telling ape and get better at telling the story.  It is far more interesting than the sound bite.

The green parties of the world are our only chance in a world we seem to be determined to trash.  They are usually the only party with a vision that extends beyond a single election term.  We desperately need them to make the right choices, hold their governments feet to the fire, speak truth to power and just maybe they will succeed in pulling us out of mad rush to exterminate ourselves or at least to end the fantastic advances we have made since we have shaken loose the bonds of religious fanaticism.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Time Line America

This blog deals with the chronological history  of the USA, focusing on the interference of America in the affairs of other countries for pecuniary gain.  When I was a young fellow I was convinced that the Russians were the bad guys and that America wore the white hat.  The more I read, the more I realize that governments are amoral and the more powerful they are the more amoral they are.  The United States of America at present is, by a long shot,  the most powerful and the most amoral.

In case you think I am getting at America well yes I am but have a look at this map.  It shows in white countries that the UK never invaded.
 . This map shows countries (in white) that England has never invaded.  There are only 22 of them.

England in her time was just as bad as America is now.

We can all recount to the abuses of other empires of the recent past.  We have the Ottoman empire with its genocide of Armenians, the Congo under Belgium with their obscene treatment of the indigenous population and the British Empire in India, interfering with the Indian population to such an extent that they didn't even allow the Indians  to weave their own cloth or make their own salt.  Talk about pettiness.  In China, the UK pushed opium on the population to get revenue to buy products from China; a government drug pusher.  How amoral can you get.

Britain used companies to do much of their dirty work;  the Hudson Bay Company was used in Canada, destroying the beaver, one of the key species of that ecology,  and the East Indian Company was the flag bearer in India and other Eastern countries.  The way the American empire operates is slightly nuanced but basically the same,  Its main aim is to acquire the resources of other countries at very little cost to herself, using her companies to do the dirty work, aided by the CIA and the army.

Incidentally, China is on the same path with the same aims but using yet another variation on a theme but that will be the subject of a future blog.

You have probably often read that America has 4% of the world's population but uses 25% of her resources.  Where do you think she gets these resources?  They are not within her territory.  She gets them from other countries.  How do you think she gets them?  Does she buy them in a fair world market with a willing exchange between buyer and seller?  Not on your nelly she doesn't.  She steals them.  

In the words of John Perkins (Confessions of an Economic Hit Man et al.) they first send in the economic hit man to see if he can bribe and/or cajole the  leader to fall in line.  If that doesn't work, they send in the jackals (CIA operatives) to disrupt the society and get the leader deposed or killed so they can put in their own puppet.  Failing that, in goes the army.  They now have a couple of new wrinkles.  They have a contract army once called Blackwater*.  What an appropriate name. It has now changed its name but not what it does.  They also use the IMF and the World bank (not 'international' and not 'world' respectively)

*Blackwater is a particularly nasty form of Malaria. They now call themselves The American training company (small caps intentional) and, would you believe, "academi". ditto

The World Bank and the IMF  give large loans to other countries.  Sounds benign doesn't it?  It is parallel to how banks give mortgages to Americans in their own country, who can't afford them  but just on a larger scale.  These loans to countries are generally given to develop a resource;  for instance electrical power in Iceland.  The power will be used mainly  to smelt Aluminium.  The target country sees almost none of this money.  It goes to American companies who do the work.  Then the client country defaults on its loan which was highly overpriced for the level of work done and America generously lets the client country pay back its loan with its resources.  Payback can also be given politically in some cases such as a favourable vote in the UN.

You may have wondered why America was so utterly furious with Cuba and Castro in particular and Communism in general.  Why should she care if another country operates her society with communes.  Incidentally, the only place I have seen communes actually  working  is in Israel.  They are called Kibbutzim (plural of kibbutz)*  and Israel is one of the staunchest friends of America.  The reason America hates Cuba is because Castro is one of the few leaders who succeeded in taking back his country for his countrymen and America, despite numerous attempts to assassinate Castro and the attempted coup (Bay of Pigs),  hasn't succeeded in getting Cuba back under her thumb**.

* The Kibutz movement in its original form has collapsed for a variety of reasons but that is another story.  At some time I might write a blog on where they went wrong.  I spent a couple of years in two Kibutzim.  It was a magnificent system so in many ways. 

** She will be trying now that relations are being "normalized" between Cuba and America.  If Cuba is induced to take loans from America, the writing is on the wall.  I wonder if the Cuban leadership has the nouce to resist the blandishments.

Incidentally, if you want a take on how, why and by whom Kennedy was assassinated, read  Hollywood Godfather by Gianni Russo.

Communism  is simply a code word that America uses.  America couldn't care less about communism.  Did you ever ask yourself why America should get up tight about the government system in another country?    What America doesn't want is a democratically organized country in which she can not corrupt the top brass in order to steal their resources.  In other words, they don't want other countries to do exactly what America did when America became independent from  Britain.  They don't want other countries to declare independence and take control of their own resources.  They call such a take over of a country by its citizens Communism.  They don't object to communism per se.  They object to having a  democracy in a country that they can not subvert.  The problem is,  if they do manage to subvert a democracy, then at the next election a new party may take power and they have to start all over again.*

*You can bet a dollar to a doughnut that America is also doing her best to subvert democracies such as European countries, Australia, New Zealand and Canada to her aims.  The only question is how well she is succeeding.  Some of the actions of the leaders of these countries seem hard to understand without hypothesizing that the head of the country is under US influence in some form.

America objected most fanatically to Russia because the Bolshevik revolution, in which the workers took power, was spreading its "poison" to America.  The American bosses fought unions tooth and nail.  Thousands of people were joining the Communist party and other socialists organizations and unionizing.  In Russia in the mean time, Stalin took the reigns and in his push to shore up his country and unite them against German aggression, he committed huge abuses on his own people. 

As this became known in America, the shine went off  communism and people left the communist and socialist organizations as fast as they had joined.    FDR for a while gave comfort to the unions as he pulled America out of the depression and backed down the fat cats that had caused the great depression of the 30's.  Big business and wall street hated Roosevelt and as you will see were trying to organize a coup against him to be led by a marine general.  By the 1980's unions had pretty well been decimated by the "bosses: (see above link).

In the following blog I will simply list in chronological order what America has done and where possible, include the motivation and a comment here and there.  It is a work in progress and I will add to it as I find new information.  I haven't gone back as far as the genocide of the indigenous people or to slavery.   It somehow seems to be "then" and this is "now".  As you will see, 'Now' is just as insidious as 'Then'.

To a large extent the information for this blog is from Peter Kusnick and Oliver Stone's book, The Untold History of The United States.  I heartily recommend it.  This blog is only an outline.   The full list of sources is found at the end of this blog. Links within the blog are mainly to Wikipedia.

Annexation of the port of Pago Pago in Samoa to obtain a harbour for a naval base.

Deposing Queen Liliuokalani of Hawaii using American military and installing Sanford Dole, the cousin of James Dole of Dole Pineapple as the  governor.

Annexation of Hawaii

April 25, 1898
  America attacks Spain by destroying her fleet in Manilla, in the Philippines.  The excuse - to free Cuba from Spanish domination.  You could call this Spain's Pearl Harbor carried out by America.  America calls this and other actions against other countries, "Manifest Destiny".  Earlier manifestations of manifest destiny included the genocide of the native people of America.

  America annexes Philippines, Guam, Peurto Rico and Cuba, all previously Spanish colonies.  Filipinos have been rebelling against the repressive regime of the Spanish for years.  They thought that America would help them establish a democracy such as they mistakenly believed, exists in America and just as the Americans had done themselves vis a vis the UK. How wrong they were.

Jan3 1899
  US fleet opens fire on Manilla.  In subsequent years America slaughters whole villages in reprisals for the Philippines daring to try to establish their own democratic government as Americans did when she declared independence from Britain.  This war of attrition continues for three and a half years.  This story repeats itself again and again as America helps local dictators to put down uprisings that are trying to establish a more democratic form of government.  As I write this in 2015, America is once more doing the same in Yemen, supporting Saudi Arabia which is bombing the rebels who are against the oppressive Yemen government.  In addition to the code word 'Communism', America now uses the code word 'Terrorism' to justify whatever she does. One has to ask who are the terrorists.  Are they the Americans, bombing Viet Nam, Cambodia, Leos and various countries in the Middle and Far East or are they the people who fight back against the Americans.

Feb 1901
  Congress passes a bill severely limiting Cuban independence and annexing Guantanamo Bay.  United Fruit grabs huge tracks of Cuba for sugar production at almost no cost and US Steel and other mining companies grab Cuba's mineral wealth.

Teddy Roosevelt organizes a revolution in Panama, a state of Columbia, and sets Panama up as an American dependency with very limited internal powers. The prize -- the Panama Canal which the Americans complete. (The French started it)

At the same time, American companies, mainly United Fruit Company invests heavily in central American countries, producing commodity products for the market.  This was done to such an extent that the locals have to import food to feed themselves.  You can guess what sort of wages they were paying the locals who worked on their plantations. Bananas were a main crop and hence the name Banana Republic.

Here are some dates in which America sent troops to Latin American countries.

Troops to Honduras 1903, 07, 11, 12, 19, 24, 25

Troops to Cuba 1906, 12, 17

Troops to Dominican Republic 1903, 14, 16

Troops to Haiti 1914

Troops to Panama 1908, 12, 21, 25

Troops to Mexico 1914

Troops to Guatemala 1920

However this doesn't show the whole story.  Continuous occupation by US military was as follows:

Nicaragua                1912 to 1933
Haiti                         1914 to 1938
Dominican Republic 1916 to 1924
Cuba                          1917 to 1922
Panama                     1918 to 1920

General Smedley Butler,  Marine General who was the commander in many of these actions wrote that he was the gangster muscle for American Business.  In his writings he sounds somewhat disgusted by what he had done.  You will meet Smedley again a wee way further on.

June 28, 1914
 Archduke Ferdinand assassinated, triggering first world war.

Oct 1, 1918
 140,000 American university students inducted into the army at a stroke of the pen.  They continued their studies in the mean time, received privates pay and had to attend a range of propaganda lectures.  Any professors talking against the war were hounded out of their jobs.  The land of the free??  Not on your Nelly.  Certainly the home of the brave, if you had the guts to speak out.

1917 and 1918
  The Espionage and Sedition acts passed.  Provisions were wide enough to fine and/or jail anyone expressing opposition to the war and  US mail was censored in an earlier version of NSA spying and of the Patriot act.

June 28 1918
  America launches research into chemical warfare.  By  wars end there were 5,400 chemists involved in this effort.

15,000 American troops to Russia to support the White Russians against the Bolsheviks.  The Bolsheviks are trying to overthrow the Tsar and establish a just system of government.  Once more America supporting the elite against the good of the population.

Through this year over four million America workers struck for better conditions and fair wages and the right to join unions.  This was inspired  in part by the revolution against oppression in Russia.  US government sent in the police, then the state militias and finally federal troops to put down the strikes. Many killed and left homeless.

JP Morgan  Co were instrumental in running the reparations treaty against Germany

Special service squadron sent to Venezuela to protect the dictator Gomez who was friendly to the USA and sold oil to America.  Gulf Oil and Pan American were the main oil companies in Venezuela*.

Note that now in 2019, once more America is trying to subvert the democratically elected government of Venezuella.  So far the army has not agreed to go along with the plan.

An investigation showed that American companies between the two wars were helping to design German submarines and to rearm Germany.  Many companies, Ford amongst them, had subsidiaries in Germany.  Proposals were suggested to either nationalize the war industries or to tax their profits out of existence.  Ford led the charge against this.  In the mean time, America leads the world in eugenics;  the forced sterilization of undesirables.  Profits build up in blocked accounts of German subsidiaries of American companies.  Prescott bush, the father of Bush the elder and grandfather of Bush the younger works for Brown Bros Hariman, protecting the money of many of the American companies that were collaborating with the Nazis. 

After WW2, many American companies received compensation for their factories in Germany which were bombed flat. (If you put this in a piece of fiction, you would be laughed out of the writers guild)

July 1931
Japan invades Mongolia

Mar4, 1933
FDR takes over in the White House in the 4th year of the great depression.  America had had a few prosperous years to recover after the first world war but Europe was in shocking condition.  A week earlier Hitler had used the "shock Doctrine" to consolidate his power (see Naomi Klein's book of the same name).

In his inaugural address FDR blames the money lenders who, fortunately were devastated and disorganized by the crash.  He sighted obscene salaries, unpaid taxes, hidden bonuses and unethical loans (does this sound familiar).  FDR instituted strict controls on the banks including not gambling with other peoples money.  This was done through the Glass Steagell act which separated investment banks from commercial banks.  This ushered in a period of many decades in which the boom and bust cycle was halted until the banks managed to convince the government to once again eliminate these controls.*  Banks maintained that they were best placed to control their own business. (why do we  fall for this bullshit again and again.  Big business is amoral)   "Why", they pleaded, "would we do anything to destroy our own businesses".  Why indeed!!!  Any guesses??**

*Google Senator Elizabeth Warren and have a look at her comments on this. 

** In case you are puzzled by this, realize that these crooks who run and operate banks, investment houses and so forth are in it for themselves.  In every transaction that they carry out, some of the money sticks to their grasping little fingers.  According to their wont, they ether live the high life or salt this money away (or both).  As long as they have reserves sqirriled away, they could care less if the business they work for collapses.  They are sweet.

FDR pushes through legislation (Democrats held both houses) on competition, minimum wages, maximum working hours and co-ordinated production.  See Dodd Frank and Glass Steagell.

April 1934
Congressional committee investigates the role of munition manufacturers in fomenting war.  See two books from this time.
Merchants of Death by HC Engelbrecht and FC Hanighen
Iron, Blood and Profits by George Seldes
In a March issue of Fortune Magazine the following exerp

"According to the best accountancy figures it cost about $25,000 to kill a soldier during the World War.  There is one class of Big Business Man in Europe that never rose up to denounce the extravagance of its governments in this regard -- to point out that when death is left unhampered as an enterprise for the individual initiative of gangsters the cost of a single killing seldom exceeds $100.*  The reason for the silence of these Big Business Men is quite simple: the killing is their business.  Armaments are their stock in trade; governments are their customers; the ultimate consumers of their products are, historically, almost as often their compatriots as their enemies.  That does not matter.  The important point is that every time a burst shell fragment finds its way into the brain, the heart, or the intestines of a man in the front line, a great part of the $25,000. much of it profit, finds its way into the pocket of the armament makers".

*Sounds like something Jonathan Swift would write. Shades of Gulliver's Travels

 Nov 1934
General Smedley Butler testifies to Congress that right wing business interests tried to recruit him to stage a coup against Roosevelt.  Smedley told them that if they succeeded in raising an army, he would raise another to defeat them.

(I wouldn't be surprised if Bernie gets elected president that such moves could be made against him)

Note.  1937 At this time Truman was a haberdasher.  He applies for membership in the KKK but doesn't go through with it. Each business Truman was involved in fails.

Jan 3, 1936
  FDR's message to congress broadcasted to the nation speaking about the bankers and their ilk.

     "They seek the restoration of their selfish power.  Give them their way and they will take the course of every autocracy of the past.  Power for themselves, enslavement for the public."  Do we have to learn this lesson again and again."

In a subsequent speech.

"We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace -- business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking class antagonism, sectionalism and profiteering.  They had begun to consider the Government of the United Stares as a mere appendage to their own affairs.  We know now that Government by organized money is just a dangerous as Government by organized mob... They are unanimous in their hate for me -- and I welcome their hatred." 
Does any of this sound familiar.

Aug 1939
Stalin makes a non-aggression pack with Hitler.  He needed time to arm Russia and get his army in order.  He had been asking the allies for years for form a united front against Hitler with no success.  He is under no illusions as to the perfidy of Hitler and the equal or greater perfidy of the Western powers.

Jan 1941
Roosevelt managed to get Lend Lease passed in which America would supply the UK with war material to be paid back after the war. The Quid pro Quo was that America would get naval bases in various parts of the British Empire and access to her markets, from which America had been shut out up to this time.  Basically a forced sale to a country that was in danger of being overrun by Germany.  Of course, Britain really had no right to give away what didn't belong to her in the first place and which she had taken by force of arms.

Early 1941
Publishing magnate, Henry Luce, publishes an article in Life Magazine stating that this must be an American Century in which America does whatever is in the interests of America any way we see fit.  Note below in May 1942, Wallace's repudiation of this attitude. So much for the press - the guardian of freedom.  Sounds like an early Murdock

Sept 1941
Britain and Russia invade Iran, depose the Shaw and put in his son who is less sympathetic to the Nazis.

Dec 7, 1941
Pearl Harbour.  As mentioned above, America had done the same to Spain in Manilla and then took over Spain's colonies.

62% of all federal research done for the military.  Understandable since there was a war on.  Has it changed now??

May 1942
Wallace* gives his vision for the coming years.

*Roosevelt's vice president and previously the Minister of Agriculture, responsible for the most part in modernizing and saving American agriculture.

"Some have spoken of the "American Century". I say... the century which will come of this war can and must be the century of the common man... No nation will have the God-given right to exploit other nations... there must be neither military nor economic imperialism... International cartels that serve American greed and the German will to power must go... The march of freedom of the past 150 years has been a...great revolution of the people, there was the American Revolution of 1775, the French Revolution of 1792, the Latin American revolutions of the Bolivian era, the German revolution of 1848, and the Russian revolution of 1917.  Each spoke for the common man... Some went to excess, but ... people groped their way to the light..l Modern science, which is a by product and an essential part of the people/s revolution, has made it... possible to see that all of the people of the world get enough to eat... We shall not rest until all the victims under the Nazi yoke are freed... The peoples revolution is on the march."

Huge public pressure to open a new front in Europe to take some of the pressure off Russia which is bearing the brunt of Hitlers army.  Incidentally,  Russia, by a large measure, was the country that defeated Germany.  They accounted for far more German casualties and destruction of far more German war material that all other countries put together.  Russia also took more casualties by a large margin than all the allied countries put together.

Instead of a second front in Europe, the US and UK open a front in Sicily???

March 1943
Wallace, speaking Spanish, tours Latin America.  He talks of a vision of emancipation and is received with tumultuous enthusiasm by everyone.  Moneyed interests hate him.  When Roosevelt went for a 4th term, very sick and weak, the vast majority of the delegates to the Democratic congress wanted Wallace.  The party bosses, then as now, in the pocket of big business, sabotaged his vice presidency by a combination of dirty tricks, cajolement and bribery. Chief amongst them was an Oil Millionaire, Edwin Pauley helped by the rest of the Democrat party bosses.   If Wallace had been vice president, he would have become president after Roosevelt and the coming years of pure nastiness would probably have been very different. During his tour of Latin America he gave this speech in Ecuador.

"If the liberation of the people for which the fight is going on today with the blood of youth and the sweat of workers results in imperialism and oppression, tomorrow, this terrible war will have been in vain.  If this sacrifice of blood and strength again brings a concentration of riches in the hands of a few -- great fortunes for the privileged and poverty for the people in general -- then democracy will have failed and all this sacrifice will have been in vain."

Clearly it did fail and it was in vain.

Note that by the end of his tour 12 countries had declared war on Germany and 20 had broken off diplomatic relations.  A Gallup pole at home put him the favourite choice to replace Roosevelt as president with twice the votes as his nearest rival.

June 6, 1944
Second front finally opened up in Europe, a year and a half later than promised to Stalin.

US initiates a World Bank  which has nothing to do with the World and an International Monetary fund which is anything but International.  Both are American Institutions and are based on Gold, the greatest part of which America owns and on the US dollar.  This gives the American great economic advantage after the war and makes her very twitchy whenever suggestions come up to use some other currency as the world medium of exchange.

Roosevelt, again and again rails against British Imperialism, only backing off enough so as not to cause a rift.  Since Roosevelt was an Honourable man (Julius Cesar - Shakespeare) I suppose he wasn't aware of American Imperialism up to this time.  He also railed against French Imperialism in Indo-China.  Roosevelt isn't  the first or the last American with either very little idea of American history or a great ability to hold two mutually exclusive ideas in their head at the same time*.

*Called by psycologists Cognitive Dissonance.

Dec 1944
Britain sends troops to put down the left wing in Greece and support the Monarchy.  The left wing (our "communists" again) were allies of the British in their fight against the Nazis.  Britain still behaving like an imperial power which she is not.  America has taken over.

E. Wilson, the head of war production and of GM tells the Army Ordinance Board that America must remain on a permanent war economy to avoid depression.  Someone must have taken his words to heart.

Roald Dahl (author of Matilda, the BFG and many other great books) sent to spy on Wallace.  They became great friends and played tennis together.  Dahl feeds information back to Britain.  The British vested interests were no more enamoured of Wallace's vision that were the American vested interests. Wallace's vision would put an end to their privileged positions.

Brutal US backed dictator of Guatemala, Jorge Ubico, overthrown by a popular movement.

Truman wants the CIA to only be an information gathering institution, keeping him informed about what is happening around the world

The battle begins between the military and executive (the president) over who will control the CIA

Ike in his farewell speech as army chief of staff

National security does not mean militarism or any approach to it.  Security cannot be measured by the size of munitions stockpiles or the number of men under arms or the monopoly of an invincible weapon.  That was [the] German and Japanese idea of power which, in the test of war, was proven false.  Even in time of peace, the index of material strength is unreliable for arms become obsolete and worthless, vast armies decay while sapping the strength of the nations supporting them,[and the] monopoly of weapon is soon broken.

Pity he didn't re-read his own speech when he became president.  He presided over the massive build up of nukes instead of seeking rapprochement with Russia.  In a later speech

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.  This spending the sweat of its labourers, the genius of its scientists , the hopes of its children.  The cost of one modern heavy bomber is... a modern brick school in more than 30 cities.  It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population.  It is two fine fully equipped hospitals.  It is some 50 miles of concrete pavement.  We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat.  we pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8000 people...This is not a way of life at all...Underneath cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.

How do American presidents with fantastic visions get completely corrupted. PPCT  Do they never read their own speeches or is it just so much gum flapping to keep the public quiet. As president, Ike again and again threatened to use Nukes against other countries despite his great speeches.  He deployed nukes to country  after country close to Russia.  Nixon learned the lesson and took it to heart.

Mar 12, 1947
Truman makes a speech about fighting communism and sends military aid to Greece to shore up the Greek Monarchy against the people who want a democracy.  The "communists" against whom the American military was fighting, were allies of America as well in the fight against the Nazis.

Aug 1948
Truman sends troops to Russia to support the White Russians against the Bolsheviks.  Marshall plan funds diverted into  Nightingale, a guerrilla organization, originally organized by the Nazis in 1941 to subvert Russia.   Most of the American agents infiltrated into  the Ukraine were caught and executed by Stalin, further souring his attitude toward the west.  Mannn!!! did he ever have cause to mistrust the West.

CIA subverts Italian elections to get Christian Democrats elected instead of "communists".  Kennan, a fanatic anti communist, said he would like to see the Communist party outlawed so that there would be an armed insurrection, which would give America the excuse to intervene militarily in Italy.  Kennan later realized the error of his ways and reversed many of his opinions on the possibility of rapprochement with Russia.  He was immediately marginalized by the Truman administration.

Wallace, now editor of the New Republic magazine, challenges Truman for the presidency.  Party bosses use the usual tactic of accusing him of being a Communist.  Wallace loosed badly but forces Truman to adopt many of his proposals for the rights of the common man in order to get elected.  No effect, however, on Truman's foreign policy*.

*Shades of Hillary having to swing to the left because of Bernie.

Our George Kennan outlined the problem and basically explained why the party bosses, who were in the pocket of big business, hated Wallace with a vengeance.

We have about 50% of the world's wealth, but only 6.3 percent of its population...we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment.  Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity... to do so, we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and daydreaming... we should cease to talk about vague and ... unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of the living standards, and democratization...we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts.  The less we are then hampered by idealistic slogans, the better.

Someone was listening

1949  Sukarno takes over in Indonesia.  Flash forward to 1955

Sept 23, 1949
Truman announces Russian Nuclear test.  Scientists had predicted this and pushed for America to use the intervening years to make diplomatic efforts so that an arms race would not be necessary.  Politicians ignored the advice, Big business profited.

December 9, 1950
General Douglas McArthur requests authorization to use atomic bombs at his discretion in the Korean War.  Besides tactical nukes, he wanted between 30 and 50 to blow up across the access from China to North Korea to create an impassible radioactive wasteland.

In Guatemala, Jacobo Arbenz Guzman democratically elected.  As usual USA condemned this as communist tyranny.  US papers joined the attack.  Arbenz began to modernize agriculture and industry and give the land back to the Guatemalan people.   America deposed Arbenz with a raft of dirty tricks and with Air support and installed their dictator puppet, Castillo Armes.  As usual, when he was installed, the purse strings opened up so that Armes would have enough funds to keep his circle of syncopates happy and helping him to keep the population under control.  United Fruit gets its land back.  Che Guevara, a medical doctor, watched the action from the Argentinian embassy.  He drew the conclusion that the mistake of Arbenz was that he didn't give arms to the people.

American government votes $6m to support French in Viet Nam.  By the end of this war, they were supplying most of the funds to keep the war going.

America bombs North Korea flat and causes almost as much damage in South Korea.  Napalm was the weapon of choice and hardly a village survived.

America supports French Puppet Emperor Bao Dai in Vietnam, president Manuel Roxas of the Philippines and later Elpidio Quirine against a peasant insurgency.  America deploys air power against Huks peasants and beefed up the army of the regime.  War was stopped by President Ramon Magsaysay who initiated land reforms and welcomed the Huxs back into the government.  

Mossaddegh elected as prime minister of Iran.  Introduces land reforms to benefit the peasants and nationalizes the Anglo-Persian Oil Company which had been stealing Iran blind since 1913*.  APOil later became BP.  Mossaddegh was much loved by his  people but was overthrown in operation Ajax by the CIA in 1953.  From then on, only the king (Shah) ruled with puppet prime ministers until the Shah was deposed in 1979 and the Ayatolla Kumani took over.  Of course American oil companies took over much of Iran's oil from the UK following the overthrow of Mossaddegh.  The UK contemplated invading Iraq when Mossaddegh nationalize their oil company but opted instead for severe economic sanctions.  They collaborated with the CIA to overthrow Mosseddegh, a mistake, since they lost much of this resource to the Americans.  The success of the overthrow of a democratically elected government encouraged the CIA.  Many more such actions would follow.

*Note: the Anglo-Persian Oil company paid more in taxes in the UK than it left for the people of Iran. 

March 5 1953
Stalin dies.  His successors hold out an olive branch to Ike and John Foster Dullis.  It was rejected.

America carries out new H bomb tests in Polynesia.  Despite a change of the wind which they knew would harm many people, they tested it anyway.  Japanese fishing boat, the Lucky Dragon, was in the way of the fallout which gave a focus to campaigners against nuclear tests.  The bomb was about twice as powerful as was expected.

Note that Under Ike, the number of American nukes went from about one thousand to about twenty two thousand.  Under Kennedy, another nineteen and a half thousand were added.  Many of these had already been ordered under Ike. by 1960 there was a combined megatonage of 20,491 or One million, three hundred and sixty thousand Hiroshimas.  In 1961, the tonnage was slightly decreased but with the advent of more accurate ICBMs, the destructive capacity was greatly enhanced. At this time, there were no locks on Nukes and their use was delegated and sub delegated to various commanders.  With the lack of locks, even undelegated military personnel could have sent off a nuke.  The last locks were finally installed (on nuclear submarines) in the 1980's

Sukarno of Indonesia hosts a meeting of 29 non aligned nations.  Meeting agrees on neutrality as far as the US and USSR is concerned, decolonization and horror of horrors, countries taking control of their own resources.  John Foster Dulles, head of the CIA plans his assassination.  To be used to carry out the Assassination, the aptly named CIA department "The Health Alteration committee".  I suppose you have to admire them for at least having a sense of humour.  CIA spreads rumors that Sukarno is involved with a blond Russian spy that has him under her control.  Plans made to release pornographic film with a Sukarno look alike.  At least the Sukarno look alike got something out of this little fiasco.  Flash forward to 1957

Oct 4 1957
Russia, which has developed an ICBM, launches Sputnik, the first man made satellite to orbit the earth.  American prestige hugely diminished world wide.

Ike and CIA support coup by rebel military while US Air force bombs military and civilian targets in Indonesia.  American pilot Allen Pope shot down and exposed at a news conference.  Ike denies any involvement and our favorite publication, the New York Times, dutifully supports him.

Note:- When Kennedy was in power, he reversed the campaign to destabilize Indonesia, invited Sukarno to visit the White House and planned to return the visit.  He was assassinated before he could carry this out.  Bobby visited the next year.

America with the help of Belgium assassinate the democratically elected head of the Congo, Patrice Lamumba and install the American puppet dictator, Joseph Mabutu.  The incredibly resource rich Congo is still in turmoil.

Jan 1, 1959
Fidel Castro and Che Guevara overthrow American puppet dictator Fulgensio Batista.  it is 61 years since America annexed Cuba.  Three months later, Ike, who talked democracy, respect for other people and limitation of the Industrio-millitary Juggernaut, told the CIA to organize  a force of Cuban exiles to overthrow Castro.  Pre-Castro, America owned 80% of Cuban mines, cattle Ranches utilities, oil refineries, 50% of the railways and 40% of the sugar industries.  Most of the rest was owned by the Cuban elite who helped control the population.    Pity Ike didn't refer back to his own speeches and what he had learned as the commander of a force which fought the naked aggression of the Nazis.

17 April 1961
CIA sponsored "Bay of Pigs" invasion of Cuba fails miserably.  Prior to the invasion, American Air power had taken out much of the Cuban air force.  Kennedy afraid that the Soviets would move on Berlin if he sent in the armed forces.  He totally lost respect for his senior commanders due to this operation and faced them down.  They assured him that the rag tag army of Cuban exiles would re-take Cuba, knowing very well that American forces would be needed.  They assumed that the new president wouldn't have the grit to deny sending in the army.  America looses huge respect around the world for trying this on and then for not following it through.  Kennedy makes an enemy of the joint chiefs of staff and of the CIA.  His involvement in Viet Nam may partially have been due to his desire to show that he was a tough president and to revive American prestige.  Boy did that backfire.

May 1961
Kennedy sends Johnson to Vietnam.  Johnson proclaims the highly corrupt South Vietnam dictator, Diem, the Winston Churchill of SE Asia.  Perhaps that was not so far off the mark but not the way he meant it.

Note: -When Kennedy took office, there were 800 "military advisers" in Vietnam.  By 1963, 16,000 (but still no boots on the ground - does this sound familiar they must have used hover craft).  Villagers already being relocated at gun point and herbicides being sprayed on the jungle.

August 1961
Democratically elected president Joao Goullant takes power in Brazil.  Intends to do land reforms, institute democratic rights and to legalize the communist party.  America tools up to remove him. 

Oct 1961
Despite having used the Soviet superiority in nuclear weapons to get elected (shock doctrine used once again), Kennedy sets    McNamera  to research the true situation.  Result:

                                                              Russia                                US
ICBM's                                                           4                                 45
Total warheads                                              ?                               3400
Heavy bombers                                          192                             1500
IRBM's near the "enemy"                               0                               120
Fighter bombers within range                       0                              1000
Total Nukes                                                2500                           25000

Following the Bay of Pigs, Russia responds by setting off a 30MT bomb and then a 50.  She had plans for setting off a 100MT but restrained herself.  She wanted to let America know that using nukes against Russia would not go unanswered.

Nov 1961
Kennedy unleashes operation Mongoose against Castro using espionage, sabotage and general disorder to wreck the Cuban economy and assassinate Castro using Cuban exiles.  Imagine a democracy trying to fight off this type of assault.  Cuba would have been back in the hands of the Americas before breakfast the next day.  Castro foils all these efforts.  Only a dictator could have staved off these continual attempts to assassinate him.

The size of the operation is instructive.  There were 600 CIA agents and 5000 'contractors' involved and the Joint Chiefs of Staff were set the task of working our a false flag excuse to invade Cuba.    Suggested were:

*Blaming the Cubans for sabotaging the upcoming orbital flight by John Glen if it didn't succeed.  Not  clear if the Americans were going to sabotage it themselves to create the excuse.
*Sinking a ship and blaming it on the Cubans.  Remember, this was the way they justified sinking the Spanish fleet and later used it again in the Gulf of Tonkin
*Starting a terror campaign against Cuban refugees in America and blaming it on Castro
*Sinking a boat load of Cuban refugees escaping from Cuba and blaming it on Castro.
*Hijacking a plane and blaming it on Cuba (is any of this sounding familiar).  Looks like they kept this one in mind for later use.
*Shooting down a civilian airliner full of college students and blaming Cuba (and more familiar still)
*Shooting down a military plane over international waters.
*Staging an attack on Gitmo.

Jan 1962
US convinces Latin American countries to kick Cuba out of OAS

April 1962
American military maneuvers carried out with 40,000 American troops simulating the invasion of a Caribbean state.

May 1962
Two smaller military exercises.

October 1962
Operation Ortsac announced.  An operation by 7500 marines to overthrow a government of a Caribbean Island (spell Ortsac backwards)

Note:- When Kennedy visited Vietnam in 1951, he advised against supporting French war.  Later he spoke about needing to win the hearts and minds of the people in third world countries.  He pointed out the absurdity of opposing Russia in Eastern Europe while supporting the French in Vietnam, Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia.  What happens when a man assumes the presidency of the US that makes sensible moral clever men throw away all reason.  US is soon supporting corrupt South Vietnam govt for 'American prestige'.  The whole Far East would be threatened if Communism was allowed to spread.  (true message - if these countries all achieved democracy, it would be much harder to subvert them to US business aims although it looks as if America began at some point to believe her own propaganda and Communism became the bogey man).

Oct 1962
Cuban missile crisis.  Russians had calculated that missiles in Cuba would deter America from a first strike against Russia and keep Cuba from being invaded.

Oct 16 1962
In a meeting with his advisers, Kennedy pondered why Russia had done this. He suggested it would be like the US putting MRBMs in Turkey.  Bundy had to inform the president that the US had already done this.

US backed down Russia in the missile crisis but the lesson the Soviets learned was never to be humiliated again and they started a massive build up of nukes and delivery systems.  Khrushchev soon forced out of power

America concluded that it could back Russia down whenever they wanted to

Following the crisis, Krushchev made approaches to Kennedy to wind down the conflict.  Nuclear war had been barely averted.  After a time Kennedy agreed.  He also decided to wind down in Vietnam and withdraw troops.  Joint Chiefs of Staff furious.  Kennedy formalized his commitment to that in NSAM 263 on Oct 11 1963.  He planned to initiate this after the 1964 elections which he was sure he would loose if he announced a withdrawal before the election.

Nov 22, 1962
Kennedy shot ending any chance of rapprochement with Russia, cooperation in space, withdrawal from Vietnam and recognition of Cuba.  Who killed Kennedy?  Who had the motivation.  An exerp from Oliver Stone's book, The untold history of the United States

"In the minds of some leaders in the military and intelligence community, Kennedy was guilty of far more than three betrayals.  He was guilty of not following through in the Bay of Pigs, dis empowering the CIA and firing its leaders, resisting involvement and opting for a neutralist solution in Laos, concluding the atmospheric test ban treaty, planning to disengage from Vietnam, flirting with ending the cold war, abandoning the space race, encouraging third world nationalism and perhaps most damming, accepting a negotiated settlement in the Cuban Missile Crisis."

Dec 1962
In Dominican republic.Juan Bosch is elected democratically.  He was deposed by the military.  Flash forward to 1965

June 1963
America cuts off aid to Brazil but increases finances to the military.  Alliance for Progress offers funds to states who's governors oppose Goulart

March8, 1963
American Secretary of State for inter-American affairs says that from now on Latin American countries will be judged on how well they promote US interests, not on how well they promote the good of their people.  At least he is honest.

1964 (a very busy year for America)
US demands that Goulart impose austerity.  Instead, he carries out land reform, nationalizes American property and sets in place controls over foreign capital. 
Once again, America foments a military coup and does everything possible to disrupt the Brazil economy and stir up the Brazilian people.  General Castallo Branco takes over and imposes his dictatorship.  In the first month 50,000 people arrested.  He uses the massive amounts of money flowing in from America through USD AID and from the Inter American Development Bank to keep control.  For the next 20 years, Brazil has the greatest gap between the wealth of the rich and the poor.

Peru tries to nationalize her oil company, a subsidiary of of Standard Oil.  America once again stops all support of the Govt and increases support for the military.  You know where this is going.  It's getting to be a bit of a bore.

CIA helps Eduerdo Frei of Chili defeat democratically elected Salvador Allende.  As usual, Military given lots of aid.  Americans train Chilean military officers in counter insurgency (read keeping control of a suppressed population) in her facility in Panama.  Chili had been a democracy since 1932.  America using the companies Kennecott and Anaconda (what an appropriate name) control Chilli's massive copper mines. As usual, pretty well nothing left for the Chileans.  See 1970 for when Allende ran again for president.

August 1964

October 1964
China explodes her first nuke.

Sukarno of Indonesia seizes Caltex and  160,00 acres of rubber plantation from American company US rubber

Oct 1 1965
A group of junior officers kill 6 generals who they accuse of plotting with the CIA.  Conveniently General Suharto (don't confuse the name with Sukarno, the prime minister) was not there.  He leads the army in putting down President Sukarno's supporters.  He accuses the PKI, a communist party that Sukarno was supporting of engineering this plot (how absurd can you get) and spreads propaganda against them.  CIA provides Suharto with names of opposition and a huge slaughter results. For the next couple of decades, Indonesians remain in poverty except for the rich circle that supports Suharto.

Johnson and McNamara use a fabricated (false flag operation) to justify escalating the war in Vietnam. they blew a hole in a navy ship in the Gulf of Tonkin.   During his election campaign, Johnson had said that he was not going to send American boys to Vietnam..  Do all politicians lie through their teeth.  Johnson began a steady escalation and ignored Vietnam suggestions for negotiations. 

A popular uprising in the Dominican Republic tries to re-instate Bosch.  Raborn, head of the CIA supports Johnson and Johnson sends in 23,000 troops with 10,000 in reserve offshore using Castro and Communism as an excuse to put down the uprising.  `Same old same old.

Hubert Humphrey urges Johnson not to escalate the war.  Johnson freezes him out of policy sessions despite the fact that the VP is a legislated member of the NSC.  Weapons of choice in Vietnam are napalm, cluster bombs and white phosphorous.  US manufactures another false flag operation, maintaining that North Vietnam was supplying weapons to Vietcong. A bombing campaign against North Vietnam titled rolling thunder began.

As massive anti-war rallies begin, CIA starts massive surveillance despite the fact that they are not meant to operate within the borders of America.  Main purpose to find out about dissidents to the war despite dissidence being a constitutional right of every American.  CIA eventually had files on 300,000 American citizens and extensive files on 7200.  Johnston was not a happy camper when the CIA could not prove any connection with communism.

UK begins to withdraw troops from East of Suez.  Since America had weakened her empire with lend lease provisions and national movements were rebelling against colonialism, the UK could no longer afford to maintain the military presence to keep control of her interests.  US takes over the Island of Diego Garcia as a naval base from which the UK had already expelled the inhabitants.

March 1969
Nixon begins bombing Cambodia.  Uses Major Hall Night to falsify bombing reports so that it looks as if he is bombing Vietnam.  True story comes out in 1973 when Night testifies before congress. (actually the bombing started in 1965 under Johnson)  In April, the New York Times reported the story. (they do sometimes get something right) and Nixon and Kissinger has the FBI tap phones of all sorts of officials to try to find out where the leak came from.  Nixon deploys nuke armed bombers to within range of Vietnam.

October, November 1969
Nixon spreads rumours that the anti war demonstrations are communist inspired.  The old Bogey man once again that most Americans accept uncritically.  Shades of 1984.

October 15, 1969
At least 2 million Americans demonstrate against the war all over America.

November 1969
Massacre at Mai Laie.  Virtually no fighting age men in the village.  American troops go on a rampage killing old men, women and children and raping the women.  Not a single bullet had been fired against the American troops.  Lt William Calley, the officer in charge.  Troops take a "tea break" in the middle of the "operation" before resuming the carnage.  Lt Hugh Thompson, a helicopter pilot used his mounted weapons to protect civilians as well as he could and was shunned for his efforts.  Much later he was posthumously decorated for his efforts.  At least 50 high level officers knew of the massacre and  covered it up.  It only came to light because Ron Ridenhour sent reports of Mai Laie to many members of congress at the same time.  Nixon was reported to have said that the "dirty rotten Jews of New York were behind the story".

1960s and 70s
US provides Iran with an arsenal of sophisticated weapons.  The Shah (the son) ruled as an absolute Emperor with his secret police.  US encourages the Shaw to ramp up his nuclear power program to save his oil.  The Ayatola Humani rails against the US fomented overthrow of Mossadeq.  He is exiled to France.  Carter approves the sale of reactors to Iran.  Iranian people are more and more riled up by the abuses by the Shah. 

Allende of Chili runs again for president and wins despite massive disinformation campaigns by the CIA.  Allende promises wealth distribution and the nationalization of American mining companies and of ITT.  Nixon instructs CIA to force Allende out.  David Atlee Phillips, the station chief in Brazil who had been involved in overthrowing the government in Guatemala and suppressing a democratic uprising in the Dominion Republic was chosen to head the operation.  The NY times, that paragon of good reporting, ran an article saying that if Allende took over, the communists would be in and there would not be a free election for years.  CIA encourages army to stage a coup.  A reader Michael Dodge took exception to the article and wrote the following letter to the editor.  Surprisingly they printed it.

     Sir:  Intrigued by you marvelous cold war headline,  MARXIST THREAT IN THE AMERICAS, I read on to see who is being threatened.  Apparently it's some US copper firms, the telephone company, and assorted juntas.  Somehow, I'm not alarmed.  I am, however irritated by your persistent assumption that any form of Marxism enjoying any form of success in any part of the world is ipso facto a threat.  This kind of thinking gave us Viet Nam.  And it ignores the obvious; non-Marxist politicians have generally failed to meet the needs of the masses.  I suggest we let our humanity transcend our cold war reflexes and hope that the people of Latin America are finding some kind of solution to their problems.  We haven't been much help.

America cuts off all loans to Chili from the Import Export bank and the Agency for International* Development, increases aid to the army and continues to destabilize Chili with all means at her disposal.  Allende takes over as president Nov3. 

*Don't you love the way America puts words like "World" and "International" in front of her financial institutions.

April 30, 1970
America invades Cambodia and continues bombing.  Cambodia decimated.

Late 1970
Sandinista National front in Nicaragua begins rising against the brutal 43 year reign by the Somoza family.  US feared this would lead other Latin American countries to also overthow their dictators.  Jump forward to 1979

June 1971
NY Times begins to publish the Pentagon Papers showing the lies the American government had fed to the American people and to Congress over the years about the Viet Nam war.  Daniel Ellsberg had acquired these papers and went into hiding.  When the Govt. got a court order to stop publication of the on going serial, Elsberg sent the next chapters to other papers.  Each managed a few chapters before they were shut down.  Eventually all were published.

July 1971
Chilean Congress nationalizes Kennecott, Anaconda and Cerro mining and takes management control of ITT.  The mining companies had taken billions out of Chili for an investment of approximately 30m so Allende refuses any compensation for the take over of these Chilean resources.

Spring 1972
Up to this point, America had dropped more tonnage of bombs on Vietnam than were dropped by all sides in all previous wars.  Or stated another way, three times the tonnage of bombs dropped by both sides in WW2.  In addition she had sprayed 19,000 tons of herbicide on the jungles colloquially known as Agent Orange.  This herbicide was contaminated with the very dangerous chemical, dioxin which has left Vietnam with a heritage of deformed children down through the generations.

The US had threatened the use of nuclear weapons on 13 occasions, mainly by Nixon.  He had learned this trick from Ike who had also employed it in Korea.  By wars end 58,000 Americans were dead, and an estimated 3.8 million Vietnamese.  The bombing of Cambodia sent people into the arms of the Khmer Rouge under Pal Pot.  He killed an  estimated 1.5million of his own people in addition to the approximately half a million killed by US bombing.  The scenario repeats itself over and over.  America attacks a country, the biggest local psychopath takes over and decimates his own people in his attempts to hold power.  The words of a Khmer Rouge officer, Chhit Do describe the process.

Every time after there had been bombing, they would take the people to see the craters, to see how big and deep the craters were, to see how the earth had been gouged out and scorched...The ordinary people sometimes literally shit in their pants when the big bombs and shells came.  Their minds just froze up and they would wander around mute for three or four days.  Terrified and half crazy, the people were ready to believe what they were told.  It was because of their dissatisfaction with the bombing that they kept on co-operating with the Khmer Rouge, joining up with the Khmer Rouse, sending their children off to go with them...sometimes the bombs fell and hit little children and their fathers would be all for the Khmer rouge

Why were Nixon and Kissinger not hung.  The death toll, just in that conflict is just short of Hitlers record in killing Jewish people.

Incidentally, America had been secretly bombing Laos since 1964.  In 1967, the relatively low level bombing intensified.    George Chapelier, UN Belgian adviser interviewed survivors and described it thus.

Prior to 1967, bombing was light and far from populated centers.  By 1968 the intensity of the bombing was such that no organized life was possible in the villages.  The villages moved to the outskirts and then deeper and deeper into the forest as the bombing  reached its peak in 1969. when jet planes came daily and destroyed all stationary structures.  Nothing was left standing.  The villagers lived in trenches and holes or in caves.  They only farmed at night.  All of the interlocutors, without any exceptions, had his village completely destroyed.  In the last phase, bombings were aimed at the systematic destruction of the material basis of the civilian society.  Harvest burned down and rice became scarce.

I can't help wondering what American air force commanders tell the pilots that carry out these bombing raids.  How do they brainwash what should be some of the brightest in their society to kill civilian populations on a Hitlarese scale.  What do they teach in their military colleges.  Are these future officers ever taught the true history of the United States 

Dec4, 1972
Allende takes his case against the USA to the UN and gives an hour and a half speech.  Here is an exerp but click on the link for a much fuller rendition.

 "Our economy could no longer tolerate the subordination implied by having more than eighty percent of its exports in the hands of a small group of large foreign companies that have always put their interests ahead of those of the countries where they make their profits.... These same firms exploited Chilean copper for many years, made more than four billion dollars in profit in the last 42 years alone, while their initial investments were less than thirty million... we find ourselves opposed by forces that operate in the shadows, without a flag, with powerful weapons, from positions of great influence.... We are potentially rich countries yet we live in poverty.  We go here and there begging for credits and aid, yet we are great exporters of capital.  It is a classic paradox of the capitalist economic system".

At the end of his speech he received a thunderous prolonged standing ovation by the members of the UN.  Bush the Elder was the ambassador to the UN at the time and was very uncomfortable in having to stand there clapping himself.  He later made some supercilious comments about how America didn't do such things.  The head of ITT followed suit.  Again, I wonder if American politicians are ignorant of how their country works or complicit.  I suspect a combination of both.  

CIA continues to do everything it can to destabilize Chili and encourage Pinochet of the army to stage a coup.  Pinochet scheduled the coup for Sept 11, 1973.  Allende got wind of the coup.  He made a final radio address to his people, said good by and shot himself.  Pinochet took power and murdered 3,200 of his opposition.  America (ho hum ho hum) opened her cheque book to the new regime.  Pinochet also carried out assassinations of an estimated 13,000 Chileans who were opposed to his government and were living overseas.  Many dissidents who were not killed were sent to concentration camps.

Jan27, 1973
Peace accord signed and last UD troops leave Vietnam.  Nixon resumes bombing???  Nixon paused the bombing when he heard what was being revealed about Watergate.    War continued two more years.

October 1973
Kissinger gets the Nobel Peace prize Tom Lehrer, a political satirist, said that this makes political satire obsolete and refused ever to perform again.  Do the people who decide on these awards have any concept of reality.  Le Duc Tho who received the peace prize with Kissinger refused it.
Aug9, 1974
Nixon resigns.  He was about to be impeached and got out just in time.  40 Nixon associates were convicted of felonies.  Many of them served jail time.

April 30, 1975
North Vietnam finally takes Saigon and war is over.  Last Americans leave Vietnam with their tails between their legs.  America then imposes severe sanctions against Vietnam.  In the following years 42,000 more Vietnamese were killed by unexploded ordinance and the toll continues.  Many more were maimed.  America takes no part in cleaning up the mess.  The suicide rate amongst American servicemen who had "served" in Vietnam is estimated to have exceeded the 58,000 that were killed in combat.

Dec 1975
Indonesia under Suharto (the one that deposed Sukarno with US help) invades East Timor.  The East Timor government was left wing (read Timor for the Timorese. The Americans of course pulled out the communist Bogey man again).  Ford and Kissinger assured Suharto that they would not interfere.  As usual, America continues to send aid to the Indonesian military. 

Luis Posada Carriles, a CIA agent, kills 73 people with the bombing of a Cuba Passenger jet.

Nov2, 1976
Jimmy Carter elected president of the United States of America.  The world breaths a sigh of relief.  His election speeches talked of reconciliation with the world, re-establishing Americas moral standing (what moral standing) and de-escalating the cold war.  It must be noted that before his election he had supported many of the measures taken in Vietnam.  Whatever the case, Brzezinski managed to oust virtually all other advisers and turn Carter around nearly 180 degrees.  Brzezinski was of Polish extraction and wanted "to stick it to the Russians". 

In Afghanistan a coup takes over the government.  New government wants to put in land reforms, introduce education for women and industrialize.  Fundamentalist Muslims, the Mujahideen  oppose this and  America supports them.  Couldn't America, just once, be on the side of the people who want what America tried to get when she broke away from Great Britain.  The problem.  The reform government had relationships with Russia. 

Jan 1979
Shaw flees Iran before an angry mob.  Brzezinski had been attempting to get the Iranian military to move against the protesters.

Christmas 1979
Russia invades Afghanistan to help the reform government against the religious fundamentalists who wanted to send Afghanistan back into the dark ages with Sharia law.  Our old friend Brzezinski fans the flames of discontent amongst the fundamentalist.  Nothing new in this.  Again and again, when people tried to overthrow fanatic dictatorships in the East, America encouraged and supported fundamentalists against the nationalists.  Saudis promise to match America dollar for dollar in any support they give to the Mujahideen.

Carter, the peace maker, builds up American forces to counter any Russian move and in Directive 59, allows limited use of nuclear weapons.  His avowed intention to limit the military and reduce nuclear weapons is in tatters.  Under Carter defence spending went from 115b to 180b and he intended to up it another 25% if re-elected.  The Russians, not surprisingly, found this somewhat disquieting.

Sandinistas depose the Smoza family who had ruled Nicaragua brutally for 43 years.  They began a program of land reform, education and modernization of their economy.    The US congress voted $75m  in aid but Carter vetoed it when it was revealed that they were receiving arms from Americas favorite Bogey man, Castro.  In 1980, following the age old formula, Carter restored aid to the 40 family dictatorship.

Feb 1979
Ayatollah Khomeni returns to Iran to a heroes welcome.  Once more American machinations have thrown a country back into the hands of a religious fundamentalist.  In this class, I would include Pal Pot of Cambodia.  In his case his religion was Paul Pot.  Iran pushed back toward the dark ages.  What a contrast with what Mossedegh was trying to do.  Carter in a fit of unbelievable stupidity allowes the Shah into America enraging the Iranian people and inducing them to take over the American Embassy and hold the Americans within as hostages.  Fortunately, Khomeni was violently anti Russian, especially after they invaded Afghanistan or he might have been driven into the Russian camp by US blunders.  Carter showed restraint with respect to the hostages at firse, not sending in the army.   On April 24 and 25, 1980, the US tries a very ill conceived  attempt to rescue the hostages.  They refused to take any advice about operating in the desert from the Israelis who had earlier rescued their own hostages in Entebbe and who were experts in helicopter operations in the sandy conditions of the Middle East. 

Sept 1980
Saddam Husein of Iraq, apparently with agreement from America invades Iran.  Carter agrees to send  arms which had already been paid for to Iran if they will release the hostages from the embassy.   It appears that Regan supporters got to the Ayatollah Humani and promised him more arms if he would hold off releasing the hostages until after the upcoming American presidential elections.  Reagan won the election, the hostages were released and weapons were sent to Iran via Israel.  The Iran Iraq war continued for 8 years with America putting down a bob each way. 

November4, 1980
Ronald Reagan elected president setting a new low amongst American Presidents with respect to their knowledge of their own history and knowledge of the rest of the world.  This won't be exceeded until Bush, the younger takes office.  Reagen was also either delusional or had very little inhibition about doctoring the truth.  For instance he once told the president of  Israel that he had been at the liberation of the death camps in Europe when  actually he never was overseas during the WW2.

During Reagan's presidency, America supported brutal and sometime genocidal dictators in  Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Honduras.  Have a look at this article by Anthony Lewis of the New York Times in 1982

William J Casey had engineered the campaign to get Reagan elected and was subsequently appointed by Reagan to be the head of the CIA.  Many of the abuses perpetuated on other countries during the Reagan era can be laid at Casey's door.  In some ways he was just as delusional as Reagan.  He actually took propaganda that the CIA had spread about the USSR as fact and used it to foment his policy.  America had now got into a paranoid spiral of believing its own propaganda and  using it as the basis for policy.  The Bogey man of communism has got hold of the American Imagination so strongly that almost no one examined what was actually meant when the word was used.

This is not to say that any other country, including the USSR or China wouldn't behave just as badly if they had been the biggest lad on the block.  Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Casey, by lying to congress was guilty of contempt of congress and he certainly was contemptuous of anyone who disagreed with his way of thinking, purging the CIA of anyone who disagreed with him.

While the Iran Iraq war was on, America, using Oliver North, sold US missiles at hugely inflated prices to Iran and used the profits to support the Contras.  Latin American drug dealers were often used as conduits for this money for which they received access to American markets.  As the contras destroyed the infrastructure of Nicaragua, Reagan described them as the equivalent of the founding fathers.  Under Reagan, people were trained from various Latin American countries to fight against revolutionary governments that had taken power from dictators.

Reagan says that for too long we have been told that in Vietnam we were an imperialistic aggressor.  It is time we recognize that ours was a noble cause. (for heaven sake, he doesn't even have a grasp on recent history that he lived through).  Bogged down in grinding proxy wars in Nicaragua and El Salvador, he wanted an easy war to show his macho and restore confidence in American military might.  

With his 1981 appointments of two aggressive champions of industry, James G. Watt as Secretary of the Interior and Anne M. Burford as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Regan trashed environmentalism in the USA
Regan, as was the case with many Republican presidents, was a puppet of those that stood behind the throne.

Oct25, 1983
America invades Grenada to take out the revolutionary government which had deposed the former dictator, The situation in Grenada was very turbulent with various factions vying for power.  The bombing of a Marine barracks in Lebanon had just  happened and Reagan needed a distraction from this and a way of showing his "macho".    America used, as and excuse, the rescue of a bunch of American medical students who didn't want to be rescued.  Their living quarters were right beside the beach so if this was the aim, a quick surgical operation by an elite force would have done the job.  As it was, the army only reached the students three days after the invasion began.

Reagan, during his tenure, slashed 70b from domestic programs, massively increased 'defence' spending and slashed the income tax rate for the rich from 70% to 28%.  America supports Iran in the Iran Iraq war and then switches sides and supports Iraq.  Rumsfield assures Sadam Husein that they will not interfere with the war and then supplies him with arms and anthrax.  Sadam uses chemical weapons regularly against Iran and then against some of his own people.  America stands by watching.

US deploys missiles to UK and Germany well within range of Russia.

Nov 1983
US carries out massive war games in Europe stimulating a nuclear war.  Games called Able Archer.  Reagan can't understand why this should alarm the Russians!!!  It took a while but eventually he came to understand, under the influence of his great buddy, Maggie Thatcher,  that such actions might just possibly alarm the Russians and he began to question the assertions of some of the folks in the Pentagon that a nuclear war was winnable.  Eventually he came to understand that even if the Russians did not retaliate, a first strike by America would virtually destroy America.

June, 1985
CIA under Casey produces a report suggesting that Iran may be unstable enough to oust Khomeini.  Casper Weinburger, Secretary of Defense said that the report was too absurd for comment.

Iran was receiving battle field intelligence for which they paid through the nose.  CIA used this money to supply anti-Castro factions and the contras.

Cheney manages to get the Boland ammendment repealed by congress and approves $100m to support the contras.

April 26, 1986
Chernobyl explodes.  Its radioactivity was equivalent to about a third of a small nuclear device.  Radioactive fall out spreads across Europe.  This was a fortunate occurrence because finally some  leaders began to realize what would happen in a nuclear war.

Regan, advised by Shultz, suggested capitalizing on this disaster and suggested a treaty with Russia to limit ballistic missiles, the only area in which the Soviets had a lead in armaments.

Reagan and Gorbachev meet in Iceland and Gorbachev had a far wider set of proposals.  Gorbachev later recounted:

`"Reagan reacted by consulting or reading his notes written on cards.  I tried to discuss with him the points I had just outlined, but all my attempts failed.  I decided to try specific questions, but still did not get any response.  President Reagan was looking through is notes.  The cards got mixed up and some of them fell to the floor.  He started shuffling them, looking for the right answer to my arguments, but he could not find it.  There could be no right answer available ---  The American President and his aids had been preparing for a completely different conversation."

Gorbachev has proposed:

*  Cutting strategic arms in half

*  Eliminate all IRBM's (intermediate range ballistic missiles ) in Europe

*  Allow UK and France to maintain their arsenals.

*  Stop the development of short range missiles.

*  Stop nuclear testing.

*  Allow on-site inspections.

*  Limit SDI (starwar defence initiative - in other words arming space) to labs for 10 years.

Reagan at the next meeting suggested that the US would share SDI with the Russians at some time in the future. After some more of the same, Gorbachev finally lost it and replied:

"Excuse me Mr President, but I can not take your idea of sharing SDI seriously.  You are not willing to share with us oil well equipment, digitally guided machine tools, or even milking machines.  Sharing SDI would provoke a second American revolution.  Let's be realistic and pragmatic." 

A few provisions were adopted but basically America lost the chance to make real progress toward a nuclear free world.  Gorbachev put on a brave face publicly saying "for the first time we looked beyond the horizon" but reported to the Politburos that:

"with President Reagan who exhibited extreme primitivism, a caveman outlook, and intellectual impotence...... American administration are people without conscience, with no morale.  Their line is the one of pressure, deceit or greedy mercantilism"

There were plans to resume negotiations but history intervened.

Oct5, 1986
Sandinistas shoot down an American plane supplying the Contras with arms, which led to the unravelling of the whole sorry story of how America was selling arms to Iran at highly inflated prices for her war against Iraq (who America professed to be supporting) and using the money to support the ContrasOliver North was the director of this little operation.

Congress strengthened the Boland Act to try to tie the hands of Casey, the head of the CIA.  North went to other countries, notably the Saudis to get funds to continue on the support of the Contras.  GP Schultz, Secretary of State told Regan that doing so would be an impeachable offense but Reagan, Bush and Casey ignored the possibility and carried on.

Sept 11, 2001  9/11

Oct 7, 2001
America invades Afghanistan

2002  At the latest count, America has a military presence in 132 of the United Nations 190 countries.

May 2015
Top CIA official admits that the administration knowingly misled the public on weapons of mass destruction in the lead up to the Iraq war.

I'm sorry.  I just can't go on with this blog.  It is not that the Bush era was any different that what happened under past presidents.  I is just that it is so glaringly obvious.  America uses false flag operations, the Bogey man, Communism and now the new Bogey man Terrorism to justify taking over other countries and bending them to the American will.  Clearly I have no inside information if 9/11 was an inside job or if it was known it was going to happen and allowed to happen or if it was just pure incompetence that it wasn't stopped.  What is certain is that the American administration milked it for all it was worth, putting in the Patriot act and starting a war with Iraq, which had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11 and didn't have any WMD's.  The American administration has turned on her own people and is gutting democracy and her middle class.  Now she is using Iran's supposed move to acquire nuclear weapons to shaft Iran.  Her own intelligence tells here that Iran abandoned the move to nuclear weapons long ago.  The truth never stopped the Americans from doing whatever she wanted.  In the latest twist, even Obama is trying to push through the TPP which will be a further disaster for her own people as well as the people of the rest of the world.  Research it yourselves.  I have just become too disgusted to continue.

I'll give the last word to Naom Chomsky.  He brings it up to date and puts it all in context.

The information in this blog was taken from a number of sources listed below.  Links within the text have generally been referenced back to Wikipedia which gives much more information on each subject.

Klein, Naomi., Shock Doctrine

Perkins, John., Confessions of an Economic Hit Man
                        The Secret History of the American Empire

Skahill, Jeremy., Blackwater

Stiglitz, Joseph, E.,  The Price of Inequality

Stone, Oliver and Peter Kusnick.,  The Untold History of the United States.
(also available for Kindle and as a 10 part DVD set from Amazon)  This is an amazing work and is the main source for this blog.

Weiner, Tim, Legacy of Ashes, The history of the CIA

Wikipedia  many references.