BY MIKE STOUT
When it comes to hypocrisy, the US military and national security establishments know no bounds. And once again, USW labor and human rights lawyer and author Dan Kovalik has come out with another important work to call them out on it. His newest book, The Plot to Control the World, his third book in as many years, pulls no punches in reviewing and dissecting the US government’s history since World War II interfering covertly and overtly in the elections and affairs of numerous countries around the globe, including Italy, Greece, Russia, Iran, Guatemala, Brazil, Honduras, Cuba, Vietnam, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Ukraine, among others. With the precision of a medical doctor on the operating table, he not only details these decadeslong interventions, but gives a cogent analysis of what’s behind all the saberrattling with Russia, Iran and a number of others.
A case in point: The US press reported recently that US National Security Adviser John Bolton has announced his support for Brazil’s far-right president elect Jair Bolsonaro in the battle against what Bolton has termed the “troika of tyranny” in Latin America – namely, Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua. The irony and bald-faced hypocrisy of such a statement will not be lost upon the reader. As The Plot details, the US intervened in Cuba and Nicaragua to ensure rule by right-wing despots, and has never stopped intervening in these countries in retaliation for their overthrowing these despots. In Venezuela, the US supported the 2002 coup against democratically elected President Hugo Chavez and was one of the only countries in the world to recognize the short-lived coup government despite its disbanding of the Supreme Court and National Assembly and its tearing up of the Venezuelan Constitution.
Contrary to the US’s self-proclaimed role as protector of democracy and freedom around the world, the US has invariably intervened in these countries to subvert and even destroy democracy and to impose harsh, right-wing dictatorships. They are now supporting 73 percent of the world’s dictatorships. In the case of Brazil, for example, The Plot details the US’s role in overthrowing a democratically-elected President in 1964 and in installing a military dictatorship which ruled Brazil with an iron hand until 1985. Jair Bolsonaro, the just elected President of Brazil whom Bolton openly praises, has made it clear that he views the military coup of 1964 as a good thing and that he views torture, which the military dictatorship carried out systematically, as a “legitimate practice.”
If there is a force for tyranny in Latin America, it is not the “troika” that Bolton points to, but it is the US itself which has worked with calculated and cruel resolve to prevent democratic rule in the region. And, as President Trump sends thousands of troops to the US/ Mexican border to confront the migrant caravan from Central America, The Plot reminds us how the US undermined democratic governments in the countries from which these migrants are fleeing (Honduras and Guatemala) and how the US went so far as to create and support brutal death squads to enforce dictatorial rule in these countries. That is, the US made these countries unlivable through its interventionist policies and now threatens those who are fleeing from the disastrous conditions, which the US created for them.
For those attempting to both understand and educate others about the destructive US role around the world, The Plot to Control the World is an important read. Dan’s book is scholarly, but written from a deeply personal perspective and easy to understand. With heartfelt passion, he exposes the deepseated history and roots of the American capitalist ‘exceptionalist’ ideology and belief in our own superiority over others as the source and justification for this continuing interference, plundering that resulted in disastrous human consequences. As Dan explained in his concluding chapter, if we are to find a different, more positive way to interact with the world, we must first understand and learn about what we have already done and continue to do. We, the people, must force our government to find a way that does not seek to control, dominate, destabilize and destroy. He ends the book with, “If I have inspired people to at least start asking questions, then I have done my job.” Folks can pick up the book at any Barnes & Noble, on Amazon, or by order from indiebound.org
Mike Stout is an anti-war activist, labor and environmental organizer, and singer-songwriter.
(TMC newspaper VOL.48 No.10 December 2018. All rights reserved)