World thug: an A-Z of US aggression

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World thug: an A-Z of US aggression

By Zanny Begg

Angola — 1975: civil war breaks out after Portugal is forced to withdraw. The US backs the right-wing Union for the Total Liberation of Angola in its counter-revolutionary war against the radical Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola. Angola is invaded several times by South Africa with covert support by the US.

Bolivia — 1967: around 100 US advisers are part of the military force which murders Che Guevara in Bolivia.

Cuba — 1899: US occupies with 18,000 marines. 1902: Cuba is forced to sign the Platt Amendment, giving the US the "right" to intervene in Cuba's internal affairs at any time. 1906, 1916 and 1917: US troops invade and occupy Cuba. 1933: US government overthrows Cuban government. 1959: Cuban revolutionaries take power. 1961: US attempts to invade Cuba to overthrow the revolutionary government. 1999: the US still maintains a blockade against Cuba and an illegal military base at Guantánamo.

Dominican Republic — 1965: 4000 US marines invade to overthrow a left-wing government.

PictureEl Salvador — 1981-92: US backed a right-wing military dictatorship in its war against the left-wing Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front.

Fiji — 1987: The US offers tacit support to the leaders of the military coup against the Fiji Labour Party government.

Grenada — 1983: US forces invade Grenada when conflicts within the revolutionary government, including the murder of Prime Minister Maurice Bishop, created an opportunity to install a pro-US regime.

Haiti — US invades in 1915 and 1918. In 1994, 6000 US marines invade Haiti to restore President Aristide to power.

Iraq — 1991: US uses its dominance of the United Nations to launch a war for oil profits in the Persian Gulf. At least 200,000 Iraqi civilians are killed. US-imposed sanctions cause the death of more than 1 million people. "No-fly zones" continue to be enforced over northern and southern Iraq.

Japan — 1945: US drops atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Kosova — 1999: the US-led NATO alliance bombs Serbia and Kosova.

Lebanon — 1958: 10,000 US marines invade. 1982-84: US sends troops to expel Palestine Liberation Organisation fighters and Arab rebels.

Mexico — 1914: US troops occupy Vera Cruz province.

Nicaragua — 1927-33: US forces occupy Nicaragua to fight revolutionary leader Augusto Sandino's liberation army. 1979: the revolutionary movement inspired by Sandino, the Sandinista National Liberation Front, overthrows the US-backed Somoza dictatorship. Washington backs a covert war against the new government. 1990: the Nicaraguan government loses elections after years of fighting a war against contras sponsored and funded by the US.

Oman — 1962: US oil companies discover oil in Oman. 1965: the people of Oman rise up and form the Liberation Front for the Occupied Arabian Gulf. The US pressures Iran to intervene. It is subsequently revealed that the sultan of Oman had signed a secret deal with the Iranian monarchy to aid the anti-guerilla war.

Panama — 1901: After engineering Panama's separation from Colombia, Washington takes control of the Canal Zone. 1918: US forces invade five cities in Panama. 1964: US troops attack protesters who attempt to fly the Panamanian flag in the Canal Zone. In December 1989 the US invades Panama, killing 2000 people.

Qatar — 1995: US stores equipment to supply armoured brigades in Qatar.

Rwanda — 1994: the French-backed Interahamwe government commits one of the worst massacres in this century. During the 1980s, the CIA helped funnel arms to the Interahamwe through Zaire. US officials now admit that the US tried to cover up the extent of the massacre.

Somalia — 1995: under the guise of a "humanitarian mission", 35,000 US-led troops occupy Somalia. Troops land on a beach in Mogadishu to coincide with prime time TV broadcasts.

Timor — 1975: the US dramatically increases its military aid to Indonesia, enabling the Indonesian government to invade to quell the East Timorese resistance. Until 1991, the US was the main provider of military aid and training to the Indonesian regime. More than 250,000 East Timorese have died since the Indonesian invasion.

USSR — 5000 troops were sent to the Arctic ports in 1919 and 10,000 to Siberia in 1920 in an unsuccessful attempt to crush the Russian Revolution.

Vietnam — 1965: US escalates the war in Vietnam, eventually sending in hundreds of thousands of ground troops and conducting massive air raids against North Vietnam. The US drops the equivalent of 620 Hiroshima bombs over the next 10 years in an unsuccessful attempt to crush the Vietnamese revolution.

Wake Island — 1899: US annexes Wake Island in the Pacific Ocean.

Xieng Khouang — 1960s: US Special Forces established a base in this north-eastern Laos province as part of its intervention in a civil war. The Plain of Jars, located in the province was heavily bombed by the US.

Yugoslavia — 1992: the UN, with US support, imposes an arms embargo. This allows the chauvinists backed by the Serbian regime to massacre the multi-ethnic Bosnian forces. US forces down jets over Bosnia in 1993.

Zaire — 1998: one of the world's longest serving dictators, Mobutu, backed by the US, falls. During the 1980s, the US loaned Mobutu over $40 million a year.