The Secret History Of American Wars For Big Business
Charlie Wilson's War
1973 Relations Are Chile In Here
Perhaps the most notorious instance of American intervention was the overthrow of Chile's Salvador Allende. General Augusto Pinochet's military junta killed Allende in a bomb attack as troops closed in on the Presidential Palace, all thanks to a CIA-backed plot that began three years earlier, when the U.S. spent $430,000 on anti-Allende propaganda in a failed attempt to prevent his election. In the 2002 documentary, The Trials of Henry Kissinger, author Christopher Hitchens accused various corporations, including ITT and Bank of America, of having committed war crimes by staging the coup and backing Pinochet's regime.
1975 Diamonds and Oil Are America's Best Friend
After the Cuba-backed rebels reached a peace agreement with the U.S. back powers-that-be in Angola, the U.S. reignited the conflict by extending financial aid to the FNLA and supporting an invasion by South Africa. Doom was inevitable, with South Africa littering the country with landmines, Western companies taking control of Angola's rich diamond and oil reserves and the Soviets left with little more than fishing rights.
1979 Osama Bin Laden Loves America
The CIA turned up the heat on the Cold War by drawing the USSR into a prolonged military campaign in Afghanistan, one that would ultimately help bring down the communist juggernaut. Of course, since they had to keep their fingerprints from appearing on any war plans, the Americans secretly funneled money to Afghani Mujahideen fighters and stayed off the front lines. (The story of Texas Democratic Congressman Charlie Wilson, who shepherded America's secret involvement in the struggle, became the book and film Charlie Wilson's War.) The eventual disintegration of the Afghan state allowed for the rise of the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden, a textbook example of CIA blowback.
1981-1990 The Affairs of Ronald Reagan
To stem the spread of communism - very worrisome to big business operating freely in Central America - President Reagan authorized the CIA to support rebel counter-revolutionaries against the democratically-elected, left-leaning Sandinista government. After the U.S. Congress prohibited aid to the Contras in 1983, the Reagan administration covertly continued to support them with funds from cocaine trafficking - all while First Lady Nancy Reagan promoted her "Just Say No" anti-drug-use campaign. Meanwhile, the CIA sold arms to Iran in exchange for cash to be sent to Nicaraguan Contras, a scandal known as the Iran-Contra Affair.