History Of US Backed Dictators – Redux

Since the original post and  the update, several more dictators have come and gone.  This information will be receiving an update this month to include several Middle Eastern, African, South East Asian and South American dictators and propped up regimes that have been reshuffled.  Unfortunately, oil, gas and mineral exploitation has determined who the latest dictator will be in many of these countries.  Also, it is unfortunate that many of these exploiting enterprises, who choose the dictator, most easily bought, have the backing of the US Politicians they have gotten elected.  Therefore, by proxy, the US Government is complicit in determining who gets into power, for the purpose of plundering natural resources.  So, many of the horrible leaders the US has historically endorsed, are the ones chosen by big corporations.  There is something very wrong with this scenario.  The populations of these exploited countries seldom reap the benefits of the exploitation, most often, they suffer the consequences of unaccountability by their leader and the corporations who control them.

Prime examples of the US setting up and backing corrupt dictators to serve our agenda, is the Shah, Saddam, Ayub Khan, Yahya Khan, Musharraf, Suharto, and Osama Bin Laden, not to mention many South American countries.We gave them the same weapons and technology that are killing our soldiers today.The practice of nation building and democratizing other countries is a sad ‘quick fix’ for whatever policy the US seeks.This won’t work anymore.Look at Sudan.We have allowed atrocities, as bad as or worse than Saddam and the Shah, to kill and displace millions of human beings.The US arrangement with Sudan is pitiful … as long as the impression remains that they have credible intelligence about Bin Laden, the US is ‘hands off’.

This is a puppet show.The puppeteers are following a script.The world is on to our script and won’t take it anymore.The US arms the same elements that they expect to fight in the future … they allow a crisis to evolve in order to market intervention to the American public and select allies.

History repeats

To the populations back home the reason often given for was for “freedom”, “stability”, “containing the Soviet Union” and so on. For the people of the region that had their popular leaders overthrown and replaced with corrupt rulers, this was surely not freedom. Communism was an often used reason around the world, not just the Middle East, even if it was not the case. As Noam Chomsky details, it was often a convenient excuse, but the underlying threat was often that nations might be able to use their own resources and be an example for others to follow.

… the CIA played a considerable role in the overthrowing of Chilean President Salvador Allende in 1973 by Augusto Pinochet, who is credited with a 17-year reign of oppression and terror.

The U.S. government’s problem with Pakistan is similar to the one it had with Iran in 1979. The U.S. government placed Iranian Shah Reza Pahlavi in power in 1953, which extinguished the rising flames of democracy. This resulted in a populist Islamic revolution and extreme anti-American sentiment. Now, Pakistan’s brutal dictator, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, is facing a populist uprising.

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Twentieth-century American foreign policy is a paradox: the world’s oldest democracy repeatedly backs dictatorships in the name of freedom. Defenders of right-wing dictators argued they were a necessary evil. Blast the notion that this violation of core American values actually serves U.S. interests. The policy of coddling dictators has brought a backlash among foreign populations with long memories.  Book by historian, professor, David SchmitzThe United States and Right-Wing Dictatorships, 1965-1989

Comment at the back of the book,  “A crucial insight into the uncertain status of America in the world today.” by  Max Paul Friedman who co-authored Partisan Histories: The Past in Contemporary Global Politics


Expect an update once extensive research is completed on the specific history of the US backing genocidal dictators, including Pakistani President Yahya Kahn, who killed 3 million Bangladeshi while President Nixon looked the other way. Prior to that, Suharto massacred millions under the blind eye of US and Cold War mentality while receiving USAID. To the well trained US media, these events are not really news worthy. Nothing that might humble or awaken the US public to some of our very own shady manipulations will be front page news … but they will be available in the blogosphere and real researchers.  America can’t live in a bubble forever.  Reality is a very sharp pin …

22 comments to History Of US Backed Dictators – Redux

  • Nalliah Thayabharan

    Since the 1950s Western imperialists have been in the business of regime change, assassinations and propping up client states to pillage the wealth of nations. The USA has always had a fond affection for repressive dictators, tyrants and corrupt puppet-presidents, who have been aided, supported, and rewarded handsomely for their loyalty to American interests.
    American tax dollars and USA backed loans have made billionaires of some, while others are international drug dealers who also collect CIA paychecks. But the US government was held responsible in any way for supporting and protecting some of the worst human rights violators in the world.
    These dictators usually rise to power through bloody USA-backed coups, and rule by terror and torture. Their troops receive arms, training and advice from the CIA and other US agencies. It is the American military support that guarantees their hold on power – and the fact that they provide free access to Wall Street to exploit their countries’ resources.
    The USA has, over the years, installed, financed, supported with cash and arms, 44 bloody dictators. In 13 of those 44 cases, the USA actually overthrew a legitimate functioning democracy for the sake of installing one of their own dictators who would be more pliable to US foreign policy. In several cases when the population of a country revolted and overthrew the USA installed dictaor, the USA sent in their warships to put down the revolution and re-install their dictator once again.
    The US not only often installed, but in each case protected, both politically and militarily, and supported with arms, cash and military training, the corrupt dictatorships of General Sani Abacha of Nigeria, Id iAmin of Uganda,Colonel Hugo Banzer of Bolivia, Fulgencio Batista of Cuba, Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei, P.W.Botha of South Africa,General Humberto Branco of Brazil. Raoul Cedras of Haiti, Vinicio Cerezo of Guatemala, Kai-Shek Chiang of Taiwan, Roberto Suazo Cordova of Honduras, Alfredo Christiani of El Salvador, Ngo Dihn Diem of Vietnam, General Samuel Doe of Liberia, Francois Duvalier of Haiti, Jean Claude Duvalier of Haiti, King Fahd bin’Abdul-‘Aziz of Saudi Arabia, General Francisco Franco of Spain, Il Hassan of Morocco, Saddam Hussein of Iraq, Yahya Khan of Pakistan, Ferdinand Marcos of Philippines, General Maximiliano Hernandez Martinez of El Salvador, Joseph Mobutu of Congo, General Manuel Noriega of Panama, Turgut Ozal of Turkey, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi of Iran, George Papadopoulos of Greece, Park Chung Hee of South Korea, General Augusto Pinochet of Chile, Pol Pot of Cambodia, General Sitiveni Rabukaof Fiji, General Efrain Rios Montt of Guatemala, Halie Salassie of Ethiopia, Antonio de Oliveira Salazar of Portugal, Anastasio Jr Somoza Jr of Nicaragua, Anastasio, Somoza Sr of Nicaragua, Ian Smith of Rhodesia, Alfredo Stroessnerof Paraguay, General Suharto of Indonesia, Rafael Leonidas Trujillo of Dominican Republic, General Jorge Rafael Videla of Argentina and General Mohammed Zia Ul-Haq of Pakistan.
    The US military and CIA financed and led revolutions to depose legitimate democracies and install a dictator in several countries including Bolivia, Brazil, Haiti, Spain, Philppines, Zaire. Guatemala, Iran, Greece, Chile, Fiji, Nicaragua, Indonesia and Congo. In Zaire, the US military and CIA did the assassination themselves. The US military and CIA intervened in several countries to prevent the citizens of a country from getting rid of a dictator and returning to democracy. In 1953, England and America overthrew the democratically elected government of Dr Mohammad Mosaddegh of Iran. The coup was orchestrated by the intelligence apparatus of both countries after Dr Mosaddegh nationalized the oil industry that was controlled by foreign interests. With the support of US President Eisenhower, CIA Director Allen Dulles used the CIA to topple the elected government of Dr Mohammad Mosaddegh and install the Shah in Iran. They set up Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi (the shah of Iran) as a puppet authoritarian ruler who relied heavily on U.S. support. With CIA Director AllenDulles’ encouragement, he forced all people to join his party or go to jail. Thousands were imprisoned or murdered. His agents raided a religious school and hurled hundreds of students to their deaths from the roof. His secret police agency, SAVAK, was created in 1957 and managed by the CIA at all levels of daily operation, including the choice and organization of personnel, selection and operation of equipment, and the running of agents. Iran under the Shah became a devoted US ally and a base for spy operations on the border of the Soviet Union. In 2000, US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright stated “In 1953 the United States played a significant role in orchestrating the overthrow of Iran’s popular Prime Minister Mohammed Massadegh. The Eisenhower Administration believed its actions were justified for strategic reasons; but the coup was clearly a setback for Iran’s political development. And it is easy to see now why many Iranians continue to resent this intervention by America in their internal affairs.”
    Congo’s first President, Patrice Lumumba, seemed to be too socialist and US companies feared they might lose control of Congo’s cobalt, copper and diamonds.
    In 1961, the CIA in collaboration with Belgium plotted the overthrow and subsequent murder of Patrice Lumumba—the country’s first post colonial prime minister of Congo —and installed Joseph Mobutu who had been the US’s main man in Central Africa. He imprisoned and tortured, but the US Congress continued to reward his work against communism and his warm reception of American corporations. Joseph Mobutu who served America for 32 years until his own demise at the hands of Clinton administration backed proxies, Rwanda and Uganda. The war caused the death of 6 million Congolese.
    In 1966, Ghanaian independence leader Dr Kwame Nkrumah was deposed by the CIA using ambitious enemies from within Ghana while Dr Nkrumah was abroad in China on a peace mission attempting to mediate the Vietnam conflict.
    Another gross example of U.S. meddling in the affairs of others was the September 11, 1973 ousting and assassination of the legitimate, elected government of President Salvador Allende of Chile. General Augusto Pinochet of Chile who once said “Democracy is the breeding ground of communism” deposed and assassinated democratically elected President Salvador Allende in a bloody coup which was carefully managed by the CIA and International Telephone & Telegraph(ITT). The coup d’état was organized by the Richard Nixon administration and Chilean military, ushering in the brutal dictator General Augusto Pinochet. Tens of thousands of Chileans were tortured, killed, and exiled since then.
    The US installed Trujillo in the Dominican Republic was a convicted rapist. In El Salvador the US installed Roberto D’Aubuisson, whom a US Ambassador called a “pathological killer”. Of Somoza in Nicaragua, Franklin Roosevelt said, “Somoza may be a son-of-a-bitch, but he’s our son-of-a-bitch”. An estimated 50,000 killed during the Nicaraguan “revolution”, 120,000 exiled and 600,000 made homeless. Nicaragua was one of the few cases where international pressure on Jimmy Carter’s government forced the US to abandon military and political support for one of their favorite dictators. Alfredo Cristiani of El Salvador was famous worldwide for his motto – “Be patriotic-kill a priest”. The US candidate for Philippines dictator, under US President Lyndon Johnson, Ferdinand Marcos began his career in prison at age 21 for the murder of the man who had beaten his father in the local election.
    Starting in 1950, the US CIA funded several decades of academic research into “the relative usefulness of drugs, electroshock, violence, and other coercive techniques” to discover a new method of psychological torture – perhaps the most significant revolution in this cruel science during the past four centuries. Instead of a simple physical brutality, these units practiced a distinctive form of psychological torture with wider implications for the military and its society.
    The CIA’s thousand-page torture manual, distributed to military regimes in Latin America for over 20 years, taught psychological tactics to break down what the Agency called a victim’s “capacity to resist”. Through “persistent manipulation of time,” the interrogator can break a victim’s will, driving the victim, in the CIA’s words, “deeper and deeper into himself, until he is no longer able to control his responses in an adult fashion.”
    The CIA created in the Philippines “a closed, tight-knit, psychotic club of martial-law enforcers, and few could rival their psychopathic interrogations.” In 2008, lawyers for Philippine victims of human rights abuses under CIA-supported Marcos said Friday they regretted a U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning lower court rulings that gave the victims the right to money stashed by Marcos in the United States.
    US President Reagan significantly increased military expenditures and support, but P.W. Botha of South Africa had some bad habits that Reagan ignored including cutting off the ears, noses, and limbs of civilians. His army rounded up 10 year old boys, killed their parents in front of them, raped young women while they watched then recruited them to fight in his army.
    General Suharto of Indonesia was one of the most brutal dictators in history. He ruled for 32 years and continued his savage atrocities under the support of 7 US presidents Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush Sr., and Clinton. President Lyndon Johnson authorised a CIA-organized coup that brought Suharto to power in 1965, and the CIA then supervised while Suharto exterminated three million Indonesian communist party members. They hacked the alleged subversives to death with machetes. Entire populations of towns and villages were herded to central locations and massacred. Children would be asked to identify communists who would then be executed on the spot. In addition to the half million people who were killed outright after the coup, another 750,000 were arrested and tortured. Ultimately, one million people died in one of the most savage mass slaughters of modern political history. The US continues to this day to train and arm the Indonesian military with the latest high-tech equipment. The US has also recently opened a new “black” “Peace Medicine” installation in Indonesia that is almost certainly a torture laboratory.
    General Mohammed Zia Ul-Haq of Pakistan executed his elected predecessor, Zulfigar Ali Bhutto in 1979, and by 1984 Pakistan was furnishing 70% of the world’s high grade heroin. That same year, George Bush addressed a group of Pakistani officials and praised the government of President Zia for its anti-narcotics program. Henry Kissinger called Pakistan a “frontline state defending free people everywhere’, in spite of its record of jailing and torturing dissidents. Pakistan under Zia was the largest recipient of US. aid, of which over half was for weapons. Zia died in a mysterious plane crash in 1988.
    Yahya Khan of Pakistan was a US-backed genocidal dictator too. Khan initiated a massive campaign of genocide, targeting Muslims, Hindus, Bengali intellectuals, students and political activists. While President Nixon looked the other way, 3 million people were killed in a few months along with another 400,000 women who were raped.
    General Efrain Rios Montt of Guatemala was one in a long series of dictators who ran Guatemala after the US Secretary of State John Dulles and his brother Allen Welsh Dulles and United Fruit, backed by the CIA, removed democratically-elected President Jacobo Arbenz. Montt had given $500,000 to Reagan’s 1980 campaign, and his henchman, Mario Sandoval Alarcon, the Godfather of Central American death squads, was a guest at Reagan’s first inaugural celebration. The U.S. Ambassador to Guatemala said “Guatemala has come out of the darkness and into the light”.
    Maximiliano Hernandez Martinez of El Salvador who once said “It is a greater crime to kill an ant than a man”, initiated an anti-communist massacre that left 40,000 peasants dead and wiped out the country’s Indian culture. Roadways and drainage ditches were littered with bodies. U.S. warships were stationed off-shore, ready to send in Marines to aid the General in case he ran into serious opposition.
    A dictator becomes a “dictator” abhorred by his countrymen when he has overused his authority & power. These are good lessons for such leaders overstepping their power because they have come to equate power as their right. Such have been the countries that the West have been quick to ear mark & target for overthrowing these countries has been an easy effort to enter & dislodge these leaders. It is these very citizens who end up helping the overthrow take place, thus the non-requirement for stretched military equipment or personnel & the use of their own to minimize the casualties to their own countrymen. Collateral damage is what the West would call this. The countries where these leaders become “dictators” are often rich in natural resources which are one reason why they end up misusing the mandate given to them & becoming power hungry & their stooges & families end up devastating the country to which they are supposed to function as custodians.
    It is the lack of answering this all important question that demands the West not to use these false clichés of “freedom from dictators” as an excuse. No sooner these “dictators” are overthrown the first thing the West ends up doing is to tap the natural resources, take over the economic hubs & privatize all channels that will supply their countries a steady flow of monetary returns & economic gain. All those who played an indirect role in aiding the West by providing support end up just turning their heads away. Therefore, when we all know Iraq was a mistake it is good to now ask whether Libya is going to be another – where the consequences to the future of the people of these countries were never part of the strategy or overall plan!
    It is not hard to deduce that all of the efforts to overthrow Governments whatever type of governance has taken place in these countries are done so purely on the basis of acquiring the wealth of these nations. The calls for removal of these “despots” or “dictators” are mere slogans helped greatly by the mass media that provides the visuals of sensationalism to justify the overthrowing by painting the perfect picture of saviors against despots. It took no time for Mubarak of Egypt, the one time darling of the West to be portrayed with so much hatred by the media with no reminder to the public that he was an agent of the West. This is what is likely to happen to all other political leaders who think they will remain the darlings of the West & continue corrupt leadership.
    In any democracy where people come to power on the strength of a vote it is natural that almost half the nation will not vote in favor of the overall winner. This is certainly not basis for any country to say that a leader is opposed & plans set to overthrow him.
    The countries that are currently earmarked for regime change will know from diplomatic statements where their countries are heading for & this alone should suffice to ensure the country is set in order & issues that are likely to be used as excuses are properly taken care of. Corruption being one excuse is a perfect area to ensure that politicians, their stooges & the corrupt public service immediately function as they should & not as they want to run for the repercussions are far more dangerous in the present context. If any country should be saved by the West it should be Palestinians suffering in Gaza for years as a result of Israeli.

  • Frank DS

    We could have prevented the partition of Korea too, despite the Yalta napkin deal that gave Norh Korea to Stalin. A moderate in Korea, Kim Gu, could have unified the country. But instead we supported a expat Korean, Syngman Rhee, who had been living in the US for decades because he was rabidly anticommunist. A dark secret of the South Korean government was that they slaughtered hundreds of thousands of koreans who they considered politically unreliable, not as many murders as the North, but a substantial number, perhaps hundreds of thousands, dumping their bodies in old mine shafts. Also, they ruthlessly suppressed a popular uprising in Kwangju during the Carter administration. That story is only now beginning to be told.

    We have to stop doing this. As you can see, it invariably leads to extreme left wing regimes that unfortunately, have these hidden reasons for their radicalism.

  • Frank DS

    We really screwed up in China by supporting the corrupt Nationalists. After Sun Yat Sen died, Chiang Kai Shek’s army was notoriously corrupt, and were in many cases almost as bad as the Japanese. They were both fascists, patterned after germany and Italy. Chiang took millions of US aid and stole much of it, turning tail and leaving Nanjing to the Japanese to slaughter 300,000 in the bloodiest week in history. After his defeat on the mainland, he and the Nationalist elite fled to Taiwan, where Chiang consolidated his power ruthlessly, killing many naive Taiwanese. The period between 1949 and the first democratic elections I think in the 80s, was a bloody one.

    The US made a mistake in putting its eggs in the Naionalist basket despite intelligence reports that were highly critical of Chiang.

    We would have been smarter to support the Communists, despite their affiliations, against the Japanese. We might have been able to prevent the horrible events of the 50s and 60s, instead we eliminated the middle ground of moderation.

  • Frank DS

    The book “Killing Hope” goes into interventions since 1945, and its exhaustive. There must be 60 -70 of them, many largely unknown. That’s also a must read for people who want to understand what we need to acknowledge about our past and change in the future. American companies need to accept normal profits instead of what they are doing, treating the American people as they have treated the residents of these Third World countries in the past.

  • Anon.

    makes one proud to be American.
    God Bless America.


    What about Haiti? What’s their history and future with dictators?

  • Biresh

    USA = United States of Anarchy

  • […] Who Will Be The Next Dictator ? Based on US history, and your own personal observations, who will be the next "good guy/Bad guy" for the US to go after ? It makes the choices easier if the candidates are unattractive, brutal, easily bribed, cold blooded, self absorbed, and, of course, foreign. History Of US Backed Dictators – Redux | BlueBloggin […]

  • […] one has to do is look at America’s history with dictators to see the dirty deeds that the US did in the national interest.  China has a “national […]

  • John Moore

    We all share a common interest, namely existance. I believe there needs to be a refrain from all violent means of achieving our objectives and a sustained effort of scaling down our expectations from others. Needs, as a human, are minimal in a biological sense. there is however implicit in our dna the compulsion to overcome our situation. All our energy’s need to be employed in understanding the motivations and neccessary needs of our short tenue of this land without recourse of taking from others

  • please add my name to the list,
    HE Marc Ravalomanana.

  • riverwatcher

    good info here. I’ll visit regularly. Corporations & The Church would probably also qualify as “dictators” supported by the US at the peril of the people.

  • LFB
    Interesting connection, which has value. I have always thought it was very odd how Georgia has embraced Bush and considers him a hero. Oil, well with the Bush regime it’s always about oil. The world is his oil fountain.

    The American media is a joke. They will once again pass over the real story and then wonder how they missed it. Maybe covering John Edwards affair and Paris Hilton’s video is the extent of their mental capabilities.

  • LFB

    In view of current events (Aug. 08), it’s fascinating how all the US news media have managed completely to avoid mentioning the big oil pipeline routed through Turkey into Georgia, which will give the US an excuse for stationing troops along Russia’s southern border areas, and incidentally just to the east of the Middle East.

    Given his views on human rights, Saakashvili seems to be just the latest in the long tradition of US-created monsters.

  • […] at BlueBloggin reviews the History Of US Backed Dictators – Redux. A historical look at the US setting up and backing corrupt dictators to serve our […]

  • […] at BlueBloggin reviews the History Of US Backed Dictators – Redux. A historical look at the US setting up and backing corrupt dictators to serve our […]

  • Thank you and welcome Christopher. This common strategy the US has used since it came to be. Americans are slick talkers, great snake oil salesmen and entrepreneurs. US ability to promise the world and convince the unwilling to do our dirty work, pay our way into the pockets of notorious dictators … This strategy is backfiring now. The money we now use to get our way is borrowed. US leaders are skimping on their own people to fund outrageous schemes. America has changed. Time will tell whether anything has been learned.

  • Christopher:
    Welcome to BlueBloggin and we do try to keep it interesting.

    The US is the new empire, with 700 military installations worldwide, we can’t say that we are not in everyone’s business. Every dictator that we have set up has been a disaster to their country, slaughtered their people and we eventually have to send in troops because they are standing up to us.

    England learned it’s lesson and pulled out everywhere. But, as the US goes we know how to do everything better so now we are the empire.

    BTW:I went to your site and I likes it. I also like that you have Existentialist Cowboy link.

  • When has the US never supported dictators if it thinks it is in the US’s interests?

    All great powers act the same, and always will.

    JFK once famously said, in so many words, that America didn’t have permanent friends, only permanent interests.

    You have an interesting site, and I’ll visit it often.

  • Thank you Josh. I welcome any help I can get. I will do more research for a specific post about genocidal dictators we have endorsed throughout this century. I am amazed at just how many I am beginning to unearth. I do believe America lives in a bubble and likes it that way. Please feel free to suggest anything I may have missed. I do try to research thoroughly on most topics. But, sometimes I just editorialize on what the MSM dishes out.

  • Josh:
    Welcome to BlueBloggin

    Thanks for the input. BossKitty will update the post with the information from your keen catch.

  • josh mailman

    You left out Suharto and whoever was running Pakistan when the military there killed 2M people in Bangladesh during the war of independence in 1971 . Great work on the blog .