The American Empire’s Terrorist Network
The United States of America is the biggest and worst terrorist nation of the world. And most Americans approve enthusiastically. Those two statements need careful corroboration. They need a careful reading of history.
In his State of the Union speech in December 1823, President James Monroe told European nations to stay out of the Americas, and North Americans applauded what was rapidly dubbed the Monroe Doctrine. Of course, most European countries ignored it back then because the U.S. armed forces were not strong enough to enforce it. But soon they were, giving President Theodore Roosevelt the opportunity to declare in his infamous 1904 corollary that the United States had the right to intervene in Latin America to “stabilize” its economic affairs. As every Latino school kid immediately understood, that corollary meant that the United States could decide whatever made the United States richer. And it did — massively.
Grabbing Land, Grooming Dictators: U.S. Interventions in Latin America
At first the victims of the Monroe Doctrine were almost always the United States’ close neighbors in Central America. Examples would take hundreds of pages. But let me mention a few. In 1824, then Secretary of State John Quincy Adams (who later became president) told Simon Bolivar that he must not interpret the Monroe Doctrine as “authorization for the weak to be insolent with the strong.” Bolivar wanted to kick out the Spaniards from the Caribbean, but U.S. oligarchs sought those islands for themselves, leading Bolivar to quip in 1829: “The United States appear to be destined by Providence to plague America with misery in the name of liberty.”
In 1833 England invaded the Falkland Islands, which as Las Islas Malvinas belonged to Argentina. The United States did nothing. Nor did it object when England seized a huge chunk of Guatemala, plus the island of Roatan. The reason was that while abolition of slavery did not become a formal law until the 1840s in Spanish America, Afro-Spaniards had become an integral part of the land ever since the great liberators — José de San Martín, Manuel Belgrano, Bernardo O’Higgins, and Simón Bolivar — made them free because they joined the wars of liberation. Not so in territories dominated by England.
By 1830 slavery was firmly outlawed in Mexico. That did not stop U.S. land-grabbers from pouring over its borders, bringing slaves of African descent with them. When Mexico objected, the gringos declared their area independent, calling it Texas. And when war ensued, the United States seized over half of independent Mexico — its richest part, of course. A few years later, when Mexico asked U.S. residents in what was left of its territory to pay taxes just like all Mexicans, U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes scoffed at “the volatile and childish character of these people” and sent troops across the Rio Grande to teach them a lesson.
In 1854, the United States settled a minor argument with Nicaragua, again over taxes, by sending a warship to bombard San Juan del Norte. Three years later, when the United States levied a fine of twenty thousand dollars because one of its latifundistas refused to pay his taxes, and a scuffle ensued and Nicaragua could not pay, President Buchanan dispatched the navy to flatten that town and, to make sure, sent in U.S. Marines to finish the job.
Gerassi, John. 2011. The American Empire's Terrorist Network. Tikkun 26(3).