Did Russia attempt to sway American voters in the 2016 presidential election?
Why Putin would support Trump — who despite doing business in Russia is an American Firster — rather than Clinton, never known for being tough on anything is beyond my ken.
Trump’s predecessor in the White House claims this is so, and he now admits he and his staff knew about the Russian attempted interference long before the November election … he just didn’t DO anything, or reveal anything, to the American public.
For all that, Americans should not feel used and abused by Putin & Company; the U.S. government is an old hand at manipulating elections in other countries … as well as invading countries and kidnapping leaders it deems unsuitable for the job.
The graphic above lists 41 countries — actually 44 if no-longer-extant countries are counted — in which the U.S. government has been caught interfering in foreign elections.
There are many reasons why a foreign government would want to interfere in U.S. elections; there are an equal number of reasons — valid or perceived necessary — why the U.S. government interferes in foreign elections.
A sampling of America’s interference
Beneath the rule are article titles and URLs that describe some of America’s involvement in the affairs of other countries.
What defines an “invasion?” Politifact provides a definition of “invasion”:
- It violated the U.N. Charter, which says in Article 2, Paragraph 4 that member countries shall refrain "from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state."
- • It didn’t qualify as a permitted exception for the use of force under the U.N. Charter. The charter permits military action in the case of "self-defense if an armed attack occurs" or if the U.N. Security Council authorizes armed force.
- It involves ground troops entering another country.
A Facebook meme says, "22 Countries Invaded by the U.S. in 20 Years. Russia Does It and Everyone Loses Their Mind." In face, Politifact continues, here were 23 nations invaded over not 20 but 30 years. (The Facebook entry doesn’t go back to the U.S.’ invasion of Mexico in 1846 (Mexican-American War).
After bashing President Trump, Owen Jones, writing for the UK’s Guardian, notes that while Americans feel justifiably angry at alleged interference with their political process, they have also been handed a mirror, and the reflection should disturb them.
For the US is a world leader in the field of intervening in the internal affairs of other countries. The alleged interference is far more extensive than hacking into emails belonging to unfavoured political parties. According to research by political scientist Dov Levin, the US and the USSR/Russia together intervened no less than 117 times in foreign elections between 1946 and 2000, or “one out of every nine competitive, national-level executive elections”.
Noam Chomsky, another Trump basher who, according to Wikipedia is " is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, historian, social critic, and political activist, " told an interviewer Much of the world must be astonished -- if they are not collapsing in laughter -- while watching the performances in high places and in media concerning Russian efforts to influence an American election, a familiar US government specialty as far back as we choose to trace the practice. There is, however, merit in the claim that this case is different in character: By US standards, the Russian efforts are so meager as to barely elicit notice.
The history of US foreign policy, especially after World War II, is pretty much defined by the subversion and overthrow of foreign regimes, including parliamentary regimes, and the resort to violence to destroy popular organizations that might offer the majority of the population an opportunity to enter the political arena.
Chomsky then goes on to detail some of America's meddling in foreign affairs.
The LA Times headlines "The U.S. is no stranger to interfering in the elections of other countries" and reports that The U.S. has a long history of attempting to influence presidential elections in other countries – it’s done so as many as 81 times between 1946 and 2000, according to a database amassed by political scientist Dov Levin of Carnegie Mellon University.
That number doesn’t include military coups and regime change efforts following the election of candidates the U.S. didn’t like, notably those in Iran, Guatemala and Chile. Nor does it include general assistance with the electoral process, such as election monitoring.
Levin defines intervention as “a costly act which is designed to determine the election results [in favor of] one of the two sides.” These acts, carried out in secret two-thirds of the time, include funding the election campaigns of specific parties, disseminating misinformation or propaganda, training locals of only one side in various campaigning or get-out-the-vote techniques, helping one side design their campaign materials, making public pronouncements or threats in favor of or against a candidate, and providing or withdrawing foreign aid.
According to the Foreign Policy site, The era of CIA-supported coups dawned in dramatic fashion: An American general flies to Iran and meets with “old friends”; days later, the Shah orders Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh to step down. When the Iranian military hesitates, millions of dollars are funneled into Tehran to buy off Mossadegh’s supporters and finance street protests. The military, recognizing that the balance of power has shifted, seizes the prime minister, who will live the rest of his life under house arrest. It was, as one CIA history puts it, “an American operation from beginning to end,” and one of many U.S.-backed coups to take place around the world during the second half of the 20th century.
Several national leaders, both dictators and democratically elected figures, were caught in the middle of the U.S.-Soviet Cold War — a position that ultimately cost them their office (and, for some, their life) as the CIA tried to install “their man” as head of state. The U.S. government has since publicly acknowledged some of these covert actions; in fact, the CIA’s role in the 1953 coup was just declassified this week. In other cases, the CIA’s involvement is still only suspected.
According to Wikipedia, the U.S.’ first attempt to intervene on foreign shores was to put down pirate attacks eminating from the Barbary coast. There were two “Barbary Wars,” the first from 1801 to 1805,and the second from 1815 to 1817.
The U.S. largely stayed out of European squabbles due to the Monroe Doctrine that said, in general, that the Europeans would leave the Americas alone and the U.S. would keep its troops at home. The Barbary wars were the exception ssince the pirates preyed on U.S. flagged ships, much as the pirates along Africa’s coasts do today.
Foreign Policy’s site includes a headline reading “Mapped: The 7 Governments the U.S. Has Overthrown" In the associated article, Foreign Policy lists
- Iran, 1953
Dominican Republic, 1961
South Vietnam, 1963
The article fails to include Granada nor does it include the failed attempt to invade Castro's Cuba (Bay of Pigs).
Dr. Zoltan Grossman lists on a *.edu page U.S. military interventions dating back to 1890 when U.S. troops salaughtered at least 300 Lakota Indians at Wounded Knee. He also lists a number of times U.S. troops have been used to put down strikes (silver mines, rail) and Indian revolts against Washington rule, the Veterans' March on Washington, and more than a few times to put down black rioters.
The bottom line
The brouhaha over Russian meddling in U.S. politics is, for both governments, “busines as usual” and should not be fodder for the liberal media (of the conservative media, either). It harks back to Mad Magazine’s Spy v. Spy cartoons. If anyone thinks only “the other guys” meddle in our business, there is plenty of evidence to prove the U.S. is a big time player.
Trump’s predecessor knew the Russians were meddling in the U.S. elections but was unable to decide what acton, if any, to take. (Imagine a Commander in Chief who can’t make up his — or her — mind how to respond to an attack on Am,erica’s interests.)
The URLs that follow (beneath the rule) all focus on U.S. interference in other nations’ business. The are the result of a “quick and dirty” Internet search. Many are biased; a few are blatantly one sided opinions. Readers may be able to sort the wheat from the chafe.
The following titles and URLs are NOT “all inclusive”
Internet sites about U.S. interference in foreign elections
Americans can spot election meddling because they’ve been doing it for years (UK Guardian) Tiny URL: http://tinyurl.com/hul9ewc
Noam Chomsky on the Long History of US Meddling in Foreign Elections (Truth Out) Tiny URL: http://tinyurl.com/zf5ntbz
The U.S. is no stranger to interfering in the elections of other countries (LA Times) Tiny URL: http://tinyurl.com/gvknssl
Election Interference? The U.S. Has Done It In 45 Countries Worldwide (Vocativ) Tiny URL: http://tinyurl.com/zwyvdsc
Invasions and Dispositions
Overseas interventions of the United States (Wiki) Tiny URL: http://tinyurl.com/lrysehm
Author Kinzer Charts 'Century of Regime Change (NPR) Tiny URL: http://tinyurl.com/m3dpd
Mapped: The 7 Governments the U.S. Has Overthrown (Foreign Policy) Tiny URL: http://tinyurl.com/zodj2hm
From Wounded Knee to Syria: A Century of U.S. Military Interventions (.edu) Tiny URL: http://tinyurl.com/h46zxh9
Viral meme says United States has 'invaded' 22 countries in the past 20 years (Politifact) Tiny URL: http://tinyurl.com/jwmjqzk
About Tiny URL (http://tinyurl.com/) – this application “shrinks” long URLs to managable size. It’s free and very handy, especially when blog software works as it should.
If the links in the body fail to work, see http://tinyurl.com/y82lye4d to learn how to find/access them. It's a Google problem.
PLAGIARISM is the act of appropriating the literary composition of another, or parts or passages of his writings, or the ideas or language of the same, and passing them off as the product of one’s own mind.
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