Friday, July 12, 2013

No Military Coups for America? What About November 1963?

An interesting aspect of the military coup in Egypt has been the attitude of American mainstream commentators who suggest that unlike Egypt and other countries, the chances of a military coup in the United States are virtually nil. See, for example, “America the Coupless” by Rosa Brooks and “Could a Military Coup Happen in America?” by Paul Greenberg.

Really? What about November 22, 1963?
“Oh, Jacob, don’t be silly. President Kennedy’s assassination couldn’t have been orchestrated by the U.S. national-security state, notwithstanding the overwhelming amount of evidence pointing in that direction, because it’s just inconceivable that such a thing could happen here in our country. That’s just a conspiracy theory. Such things only happen in places like Egypt … or Chile … or Iran … or Guatemala … or South Vietnam and, yes, oftentimes with the support and participation of the U.S. military and the CIA, but such a thing could never happen here in our country.”
Oh, really? So, what you’re saying, Mr. Statist, is that if the democratically elected president of the United States is engaged in policies and actions that are leading to the nation’s destruction, the U.S. national-security state apparatus — i.e., the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA — will simply stand aside and let it happen — despite the fact that the U.S. military and the CIA have supported and even participated in military coups that purportedly save foreign countries from their rulers.
Consider Chile. The Chilean people elect a communist, Salvador Allende, in a democratic election at the height of the Cold War. U.S. officials say that this cannot stand. So, President Nixon orders the CIA to foment a massive economic crisis within the country, much like the economic crisis leading up to the military coup in Egypt. “Make the economy scream” are Nixon’s exact words.  The CIA faithfully obeys his orders notwithstanding the fact that the Constitution does not authorize any such action. The Chilean military, with the support of the U.S. national-security state, ousts Allende in a coup and imposes brutal military rule under Army General Augusto Pinochet.