Monday, April 10, 2006

Something to think about 

I've decided (I blame the movie tonight?) to copy out a bit more of the book I am reading. Is it relevant to today's world? Very much so. The author spends much timing comparing/discussing a set of history books used in high school classes. These are the books referred to in any comments included in what I am going to type up (which also means that any spelling/grammar errors are most likely mine, not his).

The author lists six instances in which the US govt attempted to "subvert foreign governments":

"1. our assistance to the shah's faction in Iran in deposing Prime Minister Mussadegh and returning the shah to the throne in 1953;
2. our role in brining down the elected government of Guatemala in 1954;
3. our rigging of the 1957 election in Lebanon, which entrenched the Christians on top and led to the Muslim revolt and civil war the next year;
4. our involvement in the assassination of Patrice Lumumbu in Zaire in 1961;
5. our repeated attempts to murder Premier Fidel Castro of Cuba and bring down his government by terror and sabotage; and
6. our role in bringing down the elected government of Chile in 1973.

The U.S. government calls actions such as these "state-sponsored terrorism" when other countries do them to us. We would be indignant to learn of Cuban or Libyan attempts to influence our politics or destabillize our economy. Our government expressed outrage at Iraq's Saddam Hussein for trying to arrage the assassination of former President Bush when he visited Kuwait in 1993 and retaliated with a bombing attack on Baghdad, yet the United States has repeatedly orchestrated similar assassination attempts.

In 1990 Warren Cohen resigned from the historical committee that he headed at the State Department to protest the government's deletion from its official history of U.S. foreign relations of "all mention of the C.I.A. coup that put Shah Mohammed Riza Pahlevi in power in Iran in 1953".


...The only specific U.S. action in Iran that A History of the Republic (one of the textbooks) reports, for example, is our assistance in wiping out malaria! When these textbooks' authors laster describe the successful attempt in 1979 by the people of Iran to overthrow the shah, their accounts cannot explain why Iranians might be so upset with the United States. Of the twelve textbooks, only Life and Liberty and The American Pageant explain the shah's unpopularity owing to our identification with the shah and his policies. Thus only two books give students a basis for understanding why Iranians held Americans hostage for more than a year during the Carter administration."

Huh. Perhaps a more critical look at our history in the world might also explain why the Muslim world (for example) seems so incensed with the US (and the Western World) even prior to the invasion of Iraq?

The oppressed will rise up, will they not?

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Name: Corey
Location: Portland, Oregon, United States

I'm on a journey with no destination. The path is constantly changing direction but there are always adventures to be had. "Never" and "always" have left my lexicon.

WWW http:/www.jimspeak.blogspot.com