The Secret History Of American Wars For Big Business
The New American (Corporate) Empire
You think Iraq was the first war fought on behalf of American businesses? The CIA and its various incarnations have been rumored to have been doing it for decades -- and that's not including what we were up to long before there "secret agents." Take a look at this timeline of historic and disturbing partnerships between corporations and the U.S. government.
1867 How We (Maybe) Stole Alaska
When Secretary of State William Seward bought Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million, at less than two pennies an acre, Republicans called it "Seward's Folly." (Back then, Alaska was seen as an ice-bound wasteland.) Some historians say Alaskan natives and Russians signed a 99-year lease with the U.S. government, but by 1966, when Alaska became the 49th state, corporations had become fully aware of its riches and a permanent takeover had long since been completed. (Other observers note that this rumor about a lease sprang from the Russian revolution, which declared all previous treaties null and void.)
1893 How We Definitely Stole Hawaii
A conspiracy of American businessmen, salivating over 1.75 million acres of fertile land, convinced the American minister to Hawaii that its sovereign regime was corrupt and needed to be replaced. Bullied by U.S. soldiers and marines, Queen Liliuokalani abdicated her throne to avoid bloodshed. The U.S. quickly established Hawaii as a territory to secure a strategically valuable coaling station and naval base and, in 1959, annexed the islands as the 50th state.
1952 U.S. Is Close With Cuba, But No Cigar
American ally Fulgencio Batista seized power in Cuba via coup three months before democratic elections were to take place. Acting on behalf of U.S. business interests, the Truman Administration quickly endorsed his regime, while American oilmen seized on a new lawlessness to expand their drilling frontier. In a 1963 interview, President Kennedy apologized for U.S. support of Batista. "To some extent it is as though Batista was the incarnation of a number of sins on the part of the United States," he said.
1953 Iran, Iran So Far Away
Progressive Prime Minister Mosaddegh proposed the nationalization of Iran's petroleum industry, which didn't sit well with the Anglo-American Oil Company (now known as BP.) Fired up over a potential loss of profits, the Dulles brothers (Eisenhower's Secretary of State and his CIA Director, respectively) painted Mosaddegh as a communist and plotted to depose him in favor of the business-friendly Shah. The brothers were partners at Sullivan & Cromwell, the law firm that negotiated the oil plunder, and awarded U.S. companies 40% of production.
[ Jesse Ventura's Take ]
Are you surprised our officially sanctioned government policies don't always rub off on our troops? The Wikileaks documents about the ongoing war in Iraq, for example, contain some pretty grim disclosures, including one about American forces decapitating an Iraqi on order of their higher-ups. Imagine what these documents will say, when you look closely, about big corporations and their involvement in this war.