Though the Cold War was and is sold as a struggle between two superpowers, I believe it was much more and much less than that. Cryptic enough for you? Allow me to explain.

While NATO and the Warsaw Pact did engage in much proxy fighting in smaller, weaker countries, often the fighting– from the U.S. perspective– wasn’t so much about staving off communism as it was squelching smaller countries’ self-determination. In no region was this more true than Latin America. The pretense of fighting communism allowed our nation’s corporate elite (including the military-industrial complex of which Eisenhower warned) to put a fresh coat of paint on the Monroe Doctrine.

Everyone but Canada felt the pain of post-WWII U.S. intervention. In spite of the still-hyped characterization of the Cold War being a struggle for freedom and against tyranny, democracy against totalitarianism, the U.S. spent more funds destabilizing and overthrowing democracy in our hemisphere than the Soviets did in theirs. We supported business-friendly right wing dictators pretty consistently, and we even had a wing of one of our military bases devoted to training those dictators’ secret police and death squads.

Of course, the main reason our democratically elected government was able to get away with its many crimes against humanity in our own hemisphere is the ignorance of the electorate. Most people had no idea what was going on in Latin America; if they knew, they were probably unaware of the full extent of their own government’s involvement. This widespread and comprehensive level of ignorance would not have been possible without the complicity of the corporate media.

As sure as we had Judith Miller and the New York Times to help the Bush administration sell its illegal and elective war in Iraq, the U.S. government has always had the megaphones of the powerful to help goad the public along the chosen route. Sad to say, these megaphones don’t only work in real time. They also do a fine job of maintaining the original subterfuge even decades after the fact.

I’ll give you links to two cases of this unforgivable historical revisionism.

The U.S. Government & Salvador Allende: Aren’t They Actually the Same Thing?
by Jonathan Schwarz

The Repeatedly Re-Elected Autocrat
Painting Chávez as a ‘would-be dictator’
by Steve Rendall

3 comments on “

  1. Elmo says:

    Our imperialism in South America will be the blueprint of what not to do for much wiser generations…

  2. I hope so, Elmo. Unfortunately, I used to say the same thing about Vietnam. Now I’m hoping we can survive to getting a wiswer generation.

  3. Cynthia says:

    As long as religion is used to justify domination others, we will continue to see the same thing.

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