Monthly review | Lessons learned from the “Washington Bullets”: the countless American coups d’état and the counterfire anti-imperialist movements
A history of the CIA, coups and assassinations
162 pp, $ 17 pbk, ISBN 978-1-58367-906-7
Through Vijay Prashad
Reviewed by Jamal Elaheebocus
“… .A sense of hope… emerges, whether it be stories of resistance and victory by the Vietnamese Communists, or the heroic struggles of individuals like Thomas Sankara, who dared to resist the IMF’s austerity regime and nationalize them. industries across Burkina Faso….
There are several important lessons to remember Washington Balls. The first is the importance of the collective struggle to free oneself from capitalism. The liberation of the colonized countries was not achieved because the colonizers decided it was the right thing to do, it was done thanks to a long struggle, which forced the United Nations to recognize “ the process of liberation ” as “ irresistible and irreversible ” (p. 57).
International law offered no support to the brutally oppressed in colonized countries. The Geneva Convention did not consider wars of independence to be official wars until 1976, effectively granting colonizers permission to bomb and terrorize innocent people. This happened in Libya in 1911 and during Britain’s “genocidal war” in Kenya in the 1950s (p.33). It was only with the spread of liberation movements and the formation of the Non-Aligned Movement, made up of recently liberated countries, that a change took place.
The other lesson concerns the lengths to which the capitalist state is willing to go to destroy the chances of socialism and a radical redistribution of wealth and power. The United States followed through on CIA Director Richard Helms’ pledge to “roar the economy” in Chile when Allende came to power. He vetoed almost all loans made to Chile by the Inter-American Development Bank and ensured that the World Bank did not grant any new loans to Chile from 1970-3. When the economic stranglehold failed, ruthless violence ensued, from Vietnam to Iraq, Indonesia to Bolivia.
This extreme action is necessary because the ideas of redistributing wealth and reorganizing society for the greatest number are rapidly gaining popularity. Socialist movements give hope to millions of brutally oppressed people by offering an alternative, free from inequalities, discrimination and violent repression. When this hope arises, it spreads and the bourgeoisie must therefore do everything possible to destroy this hope.
Washington Balls also reinforces the importance of our campaign on war and foreign policy issues. Since the United States became the world’s leading power, Britain has reliably supported their violent and oppressive coups and wars. From Wilson’s support for the Vietnam War to Blair’s unwavering loyalty to Bush’s bloody mission in Iraq, Britain has supported US imperialism every step of the way.
Anti-war and anti-imperialist activists have taken to the streets at every opportunity, demanding that the inhabitants of these countries be allowed to decide their own future, without interference from the West. As sanctions against Iran and Venezuela continue, the brutal bombing of Yemen and Syria continues, and tensions between the United States and China remain high, our campaign around war and foreign policy remains more important than ever to prevent the atrocities the book documents.
You can read the full review at Counter-fire