JFK’s Corporatist and Imperialist Presidency

Part 3: Assassinations, Anti-communism, Interventionism and Right-wing Dictators

Part One of this series discussed how power and privilege are integral to JFK’s presidential cabinet. Part Two addressed the Kennedy Tax Cuts, the influence of international capital and how Kennedy pushed forward ‘free trade’ through increased negotiations at GATT. Part Three will talk about JFK’s foreign policy specifically relating to assassinations, support for right-wing dictators, how all revolved around his quest to fight communism or what he thought was communism.

President Kennedy was not following the views  against military intervention expressed by the American public before WWI and during the 1920s and 1930s. Instead, he liked to use military force as Noam Chomsky points out:  ((Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky (edited by Peter R. Mitchell and John Schoeffel), New York: The New Press, 2002))

…The U.S. government [by the Reagan era] couldn’t intervene directly whenever it wanted to anymore…it’s a lot more efficient to do what Kennedy did, and what Johnson did–just send in the Marines. That’s…an efficient killing-machine…you don’t have to do it around corners.

While Kennedy was only in office for three years, the empire was kept all well and good. During his short time as President, he sent 50,000 Marines into Thailand in 1962 “to support that country during the threat of Communist pressure from outside”, and who stayed for over two months; he began the US role in Laos which would continue until 1975 under the pretext of being “military support of anti-communist forces” in the country; he implemented the infamous quarantine “on the shipment of offensive missiles to Cuba from the Soviet Union;” he begun the war against the Vietnamese people in 1960 (continued until 1975), he authorized the failed CIA-directed Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuban exiles in 1961, and put in place an “alert during Berlin Wall crisis” the same year. ((Sardar, Z., & Davies, M. W. (2002). Why do people hate America?. New York: Disinformation. Also, a report put out by the Congressional Research Service titled ‘Instances of Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad, 1798-2012’ but published on the UNHCR site provides this information as well.))

William Blum added to these offenses in his comprehensive book, Rogue State: a Guide to the World’s Only Superpower, which acts almost as a truth commission report reveling the blood, death and destruction of the American empire.  ((Blum, William. “Introduction.” Rogue State: a Guide to the World’s Only Superpower. Monroe, Me.: Common Courage Press, 2000. 1-4. Print.)  In the first part of the book, I believe it’s the Introduction, Blum notes that while there have been citizen groups that have created ‘truth commission’ reports detailing atrocities during certain US wars, he details the blood, gore, and more which happened from Wounded Knee onwards until 2000. Later there was an update in 2004, but those sorts of measures continue on into the Obama administration and long afterwards.))

Blum writes that from 1959 to present, the CIA has engaged in “terrorist attacks, bombings, full-scale military invasion, sanctions, embargos, isolations, assassinations.” Specifically he notes that during the 1960s, “the CIA apparently supported a French military coup in Algeria to block that country’s independence in the face of French president Charles de Gaulle’s determination to grant independence [because] the US was concerned that an independent Algeria would have a “communist” government [and hated]…de Gaulle [because he]…was a major obstacle to American hegemonic plans for NATO.”  ((Blum: Ibid 1))  At the same time, JFK’s administration opposed nationalist, Catholic, and millionaire land owner President Joao Goulart of Brazil because he, in Blum’s words, “took an independent stand in foreign policy, resulting relations with socialist countries and opposing sanctions against Cuba; his administration passed a law limiting the amount of profits multinationals could transmit outside the country; a subsidiary of ITT was nationalized; he promoted economic and social reform.” ((Blum: Ibid 2))

More directly, with the support of the UK, JFK gave a direct order for the ouster of the democratically-elected leader of Guyana, Cheddi Jagan, because he “was another Third World leader who incurred Washington’s wrath by trying to remain neutral and independent…his policies were not revolutionary…he was still targeted…[because he might] build…a society that might be a successful example of an alternative to the capitalist model.” Despite this, JFK was not directly involved in the assassination of Patrice Lumumba who “called for the nation’s economic as well as its political liberation,” but instead it was his predecessor, Eisenhower, who called for Lumumba to be ‘eliminated’ by the CIA. ((President ‘ordered murder’ of Congo leader as noted in The Guardian in 2005 by Martin Kettle. It also must be noted that many of the enemies of Lumumba “were in fact working for the CIA, including General Joseph-Desere Mobutu, who played a key role in his death…most researchers have left open the possibility that the CIA was responsible for Lumumba’s death…the CIA certainly plotted to assassinate Lumumba…[as noted by a] authoritative 1975 report…[when] Lumumba was murdered…it is safe to assume those Americans who had sought to kill him for months were pleased…there seems little doubt that Congo was targeted by one of the largest covert operations in the history of the CIA…Mobutu [was] receiving cash payments” from the CIA, according to David N. Gibbs in The Journal of Modern African Studies on pages 176-180.))

Similarly, while the CIA infiltrated “virtually every department of the government [of Ecuador] up to, and including, the second and third positions of power, along with an abundant use of dirty tricks,”  ((Blum: Ibid 3)) it seems that JFK was not directly involved in this ouster but he would have wanted to out “communists” from power. Premier political observer and writer Gore Vidal added to this in his detailed analysis of presidents from George Washington to Bill Clinton  ((Vidal, Gore. The American presidency. Monroe, Me.: Odonian Press, 1998. Print.)). He wrote that while Truman and Eisenhower “knew that the Communist threat was all nonsense [and] that it was good for business…Kennedy believed the nonsense, and he wanted to win the Cold War…[he] wanted to be a war president.” He continued on, saying that while JFK was very charming, he was one of the ‘worst presidents’: ((Ibid.))

…He gave the green light to an invasion of Cuba and suffered a humiliating defeat. Nevertheless he was still so confrontational that Khrushchev…put nuclear missiles into Cuba, bring the whole world to that famous brink. Then, undaunted, Jack started his hot war in Vietnam, by committing 20,000 troops as advisors to the South Vietnamese Army…In the gospel according to Oliver Stone, after a little trip to Dallas, Kennedy would bring back the troops that he has only just sent into battle. Why? Because he’s the good guy. Actually he has no intention of ending the war that he has just begun. “After Cuba,” he told mutual friends, “I have to go all the way with this one.”

While some readers might be screaming bloody murder at me saying that I have it all wrong, I ask you to look at some of his speeches as starters. In his nomination acceptance speech for President of the United States, he not only declared that there be a “New Frontier” but that:

Communist influence has penetrated further into Asia, stood astride in the Middle East and now festers some ninety miles off the coast of Florida…We must prove all over again whether this nation, or any nation so conceived, can long endure; whether our society, with its freedom of choice, its breadth of opportunity, its range of alternatives, can compete with the single-minded advance of the Communist system.

In his inaugural address, despite his flowery, seemingly liberal rhetoric, Kennedy used an even stronger tone, clearly indicating that he would stand up for the American empire no matter what:

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and the success of liberty…To those old allies whose cultural and spiritual origins we share, we pledge the loyalty of faithful friends…To those new states whom we welcome to the ranks of the free, we pledge our word that one form of colonial control shall not have passed away merely to be replaced by a far more iron tyranny…we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves for whatever period is required…To our sister republics south of our border, we offer a special pledge to convert our good words into good deeds in a new alliance for progress…Let all our neighbors know that we shall join with them to oppose aggression or subversion anywhere in the Americas and let every other power know that this hemisphere intends to remain the master of its own house…In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility, I welcome it…And so my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.

This inaugural address set the stage for his pro-empire foreign policy for the rest of his presidency.  The Spanish language magazine, Razón y Palabra, wrote about the transformation of international broadcasting, including relevant US policy, noting that “in the early 1960s, President Kennedy sought to build up Voice of America broadcasting for the “peaceful evolution” of socialist countries. The President aimed to make the broadcasts “leap national borders and the oceans, the ‘Iron Curtain’ and stone walls, in a life-and-death competition with communism.”  According to an article about propaganda outlets for the US government, VOA’s activities during the Cold War included “broadcasting to Soviet citizens in order to counter the propaganda of the USSR.” He brought this into a whole new realm, ignoring Eisenhower’s warning of a military-industrial-complex while thinking that the threat of ‘communism’ was a real one. As a result, he drastically increased military spending and created scares about possible military build-ups by the Soviets in order to justify continuing nuclear superiority. ((Zinn, Howard. Chapter 16: A People’s War? A people’s history of the United States: 1492-present.  (New ed. New York: HarperCollins, 2003. Print).))

Then, there are those who cherry-pick certain facts and instances to show that Kennedy was anti-military which can’t be further from the truth. Instead, it is important to recognize how JFK “… allowed the attempted CIA assassinations of José Figueres, “Papa Doc” Duvalier, Fidel and Raul Castro.” At the same time, according to filmmaker, Joe Giambrone, “there was a time when no one trusted the CIA…they were the prime suspects in the assassination of president John F. Kennedy, and presidential candidate Robert Kennedy. CIA support of terrorists was well known, if not loudly opposed.”

There’s more. JFK basically courted the likes of many right-wing dictators. Helen Chapin Metz, in a 1992 US Government Printing Office report, noted that in 1963, JFK “ordered a squadron of fighters to Saudi Arabia to protect the kingdom from Egyptian air assaults.” Then, the good ‘ole dictator and US puppet in Iran, the Shah, was deeply supported by Kennedy. In a 1962 letter, JFK wrote to the Shah, thanking him for engaging in a “program of progress and reform,” that the US “greatly appreciates the highly important strategic location of Iran and your steadfastness in remaining vigilant against the pressures of international communism” and that the US government had a “great interest…in the security and modernization of Iran.” For him, it was no big deal that while Iran was becoming “modernized,” inequality and corruption increased”, the Shah became increasingly autocratic and crushed any rumblings of political dissent through an extensive repressive apparatus including the well known infamous SAVAK.

However, there is one event that is not well-known: the 1963 coup in Iraq which was supported by the US. In a memorandum to President Kennedy on the night that the government would be overthrown, Robert Komer, who worked to “pacify” Vietnamese, wrote that: “We will make informal friendly noises as soon as we can find out whom to talk with, and ought to recognize as soon as we’re sure these guys are firmly in the saddle. CIA had excellent reports on the plotting, but I doubt either they or UK should claim much credit for it”.  ((JFK Library, Memorandum for The President from Robert W. Komer, February 8, 1963 (JFK, NSF, Countries, Iraq, Box 117, “Iraq 1/63-2/63”, document 18), p. 1.))

More directly,  Professor Bill Zeman in an article on this topic, noted that:

The way the U.S. assisted the 1963 Iraqi coup by Saddam Hussein’s Ba’ath Party was financially…The CIA would have paid a lot of money for this steady supply of information, especially because American planners had determined that the Ba’ath Party would be the best for U.S. policy in Iraq going forward in 1962…At least they helped fund it and gave assurances that the Ba’ath would be well received in Washington.

The primary evidence supports this claim. A memo sent after the conclusion of the coup by Stephen O. Fuqua of the Bureau of International Security Affairs at the Department of Defense reads: “It is believed by members of CIA that the coup was triggered by Qasim’s recent arrest of a large number of Bath Party members” who believe deeply in “anti-Communism…[and] the consensus of members of State and CIA is that if the coup is successful, relations between the U.S. and Iraq will be considerably improved and the internal situation in Iraq should gradually improve.”

Another memo, this one from Secretary of State Rusk to President Kennedy after the coup, said that the current US Chargé’ D’affaires in Baghdad would “indicate that the United States would welcome public affirmation that the new Iraqi regime intends to carry out Iraq’s international obligations. He will also ask for assurance that the new regime will safeguard American citizens and interests in Iraq.” Around that same time, a telegram was sent from the State Department stating: “…US statements cannot be disseminated without distortion within Iraq, and shortwave broadcasts would not have impact on wide group…Should harassment of mission operations accompany rise in Qasim’s critical propaganda, Department would wish consider counter moves.”

Clearly, there was a US interest in getting rid of Prime Minister Abd al-Karim Qasim (or Qassem), who had enacted a “land reform programme and construction of the massive urban development of…Revolution City [now called Sadr City], to provide low-cost housing” as noted by the Institute for War & Peace Reporting. Additionally, while he was not a communist, “the arrangement of players that made this partnership expedient tended to drive Iraq out of the American orbit…and towards that of the Soviet Union. Qasim partly nationalized the oil industry…and hosted the meetings where OPEC was born. Washington looked askance at these developments, and it was well before 1963 that it took steps to abort them.”

It is important to note that British officials, US officials and multinational corporations were very angry and demanded that JFK place pressures on the Qasim government after he partially nationalized the oil in 1960, which was definitely a reason for his overthrow.

Richard Sanders adds to this, writing that when Qasim took “power in a popularly-backed coup in 1958, he certainly got recognized in Washington…[he began] starting the process of nationalizing foreign oil companies in Iraq, withdrawing Iraq from the US-initiated right-wing Baghdad Pact…and decriminalizing the Iraqi Communist Party. Despite these actions, and more likely because of them, he was Iraq’s most popular leader…In 1959, there was a failed assassination attempt on Qasim….In 1963, a CIA-organized coup did successfully assassinate Qasim and Saddam’s Ba’ath Party came to power for the first time. Saddam returned from exile in Egypt and took up the key post as head of Iraq’s secret service. The CIA then provided the new pliant Iraqi regime with the names of thousands of communists, and other leftist activists and organizers…[who] were soon dead in a rampage of mass murder.”

Similar information about the lists being provided by the CIA is also noted by Global Policy.  In the words of Andrew and Patrick Cockburn, since Qasim in 1961 threatened to “occupy Kuwait and nationalized part of the Iraq Petroleum Company (IPC), the foreign oil consortium that exploited Iraq’s oil,” getting rid of him was “in retrospect, it was the CIA’s favorite coup.”

This overthrow is very similar to the countries described earlier in this section including the CIA-assisted overthrows in the 1950s, the attempted overthrow of the Castro government and pushing for the overthrow of the government of Brazil. Let us also not forget that from 1959 to 1965, around 259 “Tibetan guerrillas were secretly trained at Camp Hale by the CIA” while the CIA had “quite extensive Agency involvement with the plotters” who overthrew Rafael Trujillo as noted in the CIA’s Family Jewels document.  While Trujillo was clearly a dictator and authoritarian who instituted a reign of terror, he still “welcomed US businesses and investors in the Dominican Republic and he maintained a pro-US foreign policy” but when he tried to kill US ally and liberal Rómulo Betancourt, the relationship between the two countries frayed as the US feared that “the Dominican Republic would follow the revolutionary model of Fidel Castro’s Cuba.”  ((This is noted by a PDF made for an eighth grade class by a teacher, is expounded upon Stephen Rabe in his twenty-three page piece titled ‘The Caribbean Triangle: Betancourt, Castro, and Trujillo and US foreign policy’ and a tourist-geared site about the Colonial Zone in the city of Santo Domingo of the Dominican Republic, among other places. Also, just search “why the US hated Trujillo” for for more as well.))

As a result, Frank Smitha expanded on this, writing that “six months after the Bay of Pigs invasion and two months after the Berlin Wall had gone up” the Kennedy administration responded to this overthrow by having a show of force: “United States warships with 4000 Marines appeared just outside the three-mile limit. A jet fighter flew overhead, and all members of the Trujillo family fled the country, to live thereafter on savings from Swiss banks.” This is a key as it notes that JFK and his administration clearly believed Trujillo should go as well. Then, there’s JFK’s involvement in the assassination of Diem, the US favored leader who was causing too much trouble and making the US look bad.

According to the National Security Archive:

Top U.S. officials sought the November 1, 1963 coup against then-South Vietnamese leader Ngo Dinh Diem without apparently considering the physical consequences for Diem personally….U.S. officials, including JFK, vastly overestimated their ability to control the South Vietnamese generals who ran the coup…the United States supported, remained in the throes of a civil war between the anti-communist government the U.S. favored and communist guerrillas backed by North Vietnam…The weight of evidence therefore supports the view that President Kennedy did not conspire in the death of Diem…The documentary record is replete with evidence that President Kennedy and his advisers, both individually and collectively, had a considerable role in the coup overall, by giving initial support to Saigon military officers uncertain what the U.S. response might be…The ultimate effect of United States participation in the overthrow of Ngo Dinh Diem was to commit Washington to Saigon even more deeply.

There is also a wonderful PDF that has been published online, which is a memorandum of a conference with the president on November 1st, 1963, in part about this assassination. Let’s not forget that JFK started off his presidency by continuing “the policies of Truman and Eisenhower in Southeast Asia…[including approving] a secret plan for various military actions in Vietnam and Laos.”  ((Zinn:  Ibid 1))

Beyond these overthrows of government, the Kennedy Administration had an interesting policy that was interventionist, anti-communist and imperialist. This revolved around what one could call the Kennedy Doctrine which pushed for containment of ‘communism’ and the stopping of ‘communism’ from further taking a foothold in the Western Hemisphere. As noted by Saeid Naji and Jayum A. Jawan in the International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, “there were, indeed, the efficient role of oil in political and economic relations between the United States and the Middle Eastern oil-rich countries, but as it was mentioned the main focus was Latin America, and the Venezuela‘s oil had an important quota in the US oil imports,” which explains the US support for that government. It also must be noted that the Trade Expansion Act, which led to a new round of tariff negotiations under GATT, (see Part 2 of this series) has a deeper reason for being pushed by JFK.

Thomas W. Zeiler writes that “John F. Kennedy had to placate not only oil and coal interests at home, but also traditional trade partners like Venezuela abroad…[meaning] he also had to foster the broad national security aim of retaining domestic oil reserves.”

This adds to David S. Painter’s analysis that “most of the major doctrines of postwar U.S. foreign policy— the Truman, Eisenhower, Nixon, and Carter Doctrines—related, either directly or indirectly, to the Middle East and its oil.”

As for the Congo, which was rich in resources (like cobalt) which the US corporations wanted, “Lumumba[‘s]…death eased American fears that the crisis would open an avenue for Soviet power into the heart of Africa” and to counter the ‘communist’ inversion, JFK’s administration pushed U.N. efforts that would “prevent outside assistance from entering the Congo” (i.e. Soviet assistance), support a “broadly-based government” that included the participation of Lumumba supporters and wanting a “greater U.N. role in providing administrative and technical assistance to the Congo, as an additional safeguard against a Lumumba takeover” as noted by the US Department of State’s Office of the Historian. On top of this, the central problems for the US “were the need for retraining the Congolese Army (ANC) and the need for technical and economic aid as part of a program of economic and financial stabilization.”

Even though Lumumba was no communist, he sought Soviet aid as the only choice, and declared a view of ‘positive neutralism’, saying that “we are not Communists, Catholics, Socialists. We are African nationalists.”  ((These statements are noted in New York Times articles here, here, and here. Also, the wikiquote for Patrice Lumumba notes this as well.)) Clearly, the US did not like where this was going, and JFK would have none of it. After all, before he was President, “JFK was an active Cold Warrior,” wanting more money for the military, and while as president he increased “spending on nuclear missiles that set off an arms race, supporting the partial test ban treaty “chiefly for environmental reasons,” increasing the amount of US troops in Vietnam tremendously, disagreeing with those “who were suggesting the idea of a pullout” from Vietnam, accepting the domino theory, an “often zealous commitment to counterinsurgency, and his determination to never appear soft on communism.”

Kennedy’s hard stance as a Cold Warrior had an even deeper influence, as it was connected to, as noted earlier, the business community. This showed in his so-called “Alliance for Progress” which contained a provision that committed governments in Latin American to promoting “conditions that will encourage the flow of foreign investments” to the specific region, connected to an amendment to the Foreign Assistance Act which benefited domestic multinational corporations to foreign ones. Sold as “a program of help for Latin America, emphasizing social reform to better the lives of people,” the Alliance of Progress quickly revealed its true self: a program of mostly military aid to keep “in power right-wing dictatorships and enable them to stave off revolutions.”  ((Zinn:  Ibid 2))

As for the still-seeming-good and great Peace Corps, there is something bad behind that as well.  For instance, it does little to expand on experiences of volunteers once they are out of the service; it is possibly a PR image front for the American empire; may legitimize dictators, and doesn’t really help the poor. At the time there was a controversy at a university in Nigeria as volunteers were immediately denounced “as agents of imperialism” and “members of America’s international spy ring” which shook the program to its core. This expanded into different realms, with JFK embracing a “strategic doctrine, which theoretically incorporated a capability to engage simultaneously or serially in irregular, conventional, or nuclear warfare” which was started when he ordered “his secretary of defense, Robert McNamara, to plan and manage an across-the-board buildup of America’s conventional military forces…[and] mandated that the U.S. military, in coordination with other national security agencies, be mobilized to wage wars of suppression against revolutionary guerrilla upheavals in the Third World…As a result, the U.S. Army was ordered to expand its Special Forces detachments and to step up training…Kennedy’s near-obsession with guerrilla warfare gave rise to the doctrine of counterinsurgency, which inexorably led the United States into the jungles of Indochina…In his last year in office,. President Kennedy authorized a buildup of Special Forces advisers, the deployment of U.S. combat aircraft, and the initiation of a broad “civic action” program in South Vietnam in order to counter stepped-up guerrilla activity by the National Liberation Front (NLF).”

Noam Chomsky adds to this belief of counterinsurgency with a deep focus specifically on Cuba.  ((Chomsky: Ibid 1)) He notes that the prelude to the Cuban Missile Crisis included “an actual confrontation between Russian and Cuban forces about who was going to have physical control of the missiles…[then] right in the middle of it, one of the Operation MONGOOSE activities took place…the C.I.A. blew up a factory in Cuba, with about four hundred people killed according to the Cubans…fortunately, the Cubans didn’t react–but if something has happened to us at the time, Kennedy certainly would have reacted, and we would have had a nuclear war” and the background of this crisis is that “the United States was planning to invade Cuba at the time, and the Russians knew it, and the Cubans knew it…the American people didn’t know it.”

At the same time, the often ridiculed Bay of Pigs Invasion was based on an expected “general rising against Castro. But it was a popular regime…in three days, the CIA forces were crushed by Castro’s army. The whole Bay of Pigs affair was accompanied by hypocrisy and lying. The invasion was a violation…of a treaty the U.S. had signed, the Charter of the Organization of American States.”  ((Zinn: Ibid 3 ))  One has to look, then, at Operation Mongoose, also called ‘the Cuban Project’, itself. Chomsky describes it as the “world’s leading single international terrorist operation, started by the Kennedy administration right after the Bay of Pigs…a terrorist campaign…without even remote comparison in the history of international terrorism.”

A Top Secret Program Review of this operation, by the US Department of State, headed by anti-communist Dean Rusk, noted that the objective was to “help the Cubans overthrow the Communist regime from within Cuba and institute a new government with which the United States can live in peace….the operation is to bring about the revolt of the Cuban people.”

It continues on, reading like a set of terrorist attacks to destabilize power:

The political actions will be assisted by economic warfare to induce failure of the Communist regime…psychological operations to turn the peoples’ resentment increasingly against the regime, and military-type groups to give the popular movement an action arm for sabotage and armed resistance…The popular movement will capitalize on this climactic moment by initiating an open revolt. Areas will be taken and held. If necessary…the United States….will then give open support to the Cuban peoples’ revolt. Such support will include military force, as necessary….The major task for our diplomatic capability is to encourage Latin American leaders to develop independent operations similar to this Project, seeking an internal revolt of the Cuban people against the Communist regime…Sabotage of transport, mills, sugar sacking and cane fields was explored…Equipment to enable TV intrusion of Havana TV broadcasts has been reactivated on a small vessel under CIA control….Defense has been tasked with preparing a contingency plan for U.S. military action, in case the Cuban people request U.S. help when their revolt starts making headway…CIA has concluded that its realistic role should be to create at least the illusion of a popular movement, to win external support for it…and to help create a climate which will permit provocative actions in support of a shift to overt action….State to report…on possibilities to obtain the discreet cooperation of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers to influence U.S. firms having subsidiaries abroad to adhere to the spirit of U.S. economic sanctions….status of plans to gain cooperation of NATO allies…[and] Japan…CIA to submit by 15 February its operational schedule for a psychological campaign to provoke a relaxing of police state control…[the] CIA apparently believes that its role should be to create and expand a popular movement, illusory and actual, which will create a political climate which can provide a framework of plausible excuse for armed intervention. This is not in conformity with the Presidential directive now governing Project tasking. Actually, the role of creating the political climate and plausible excuse for armed intervention would be more properly that of State and Defense, if such an objective becomes desirable.

Operation Northwoods was part of this plan, which “included staging the assassinations of Cubans living in the United States” creating a fake “Communist Cuban terror campaign” in parts of the US, a real or simulated sinking of a “boatload of Cuban refugees…faking a Cuban airforce attack on a civilian jetliner” and blowing up a U.S. ship in Cuban waters, blaming it on the Cubans in order to create “Remember the Maine” incident, like that which began the Spanish-American War as noted by the National Security Archive. While this Operation was rejected in February 1962, Operation Mongoose was still in place until October 1962 when it was suspended. Interestingly enough, this meant that those in the highest levels of government were basically formulating terrorist attacks, and this time it’s no conspiracy theory. In the end, JFK’s support of right-wing dictators, and being an anti-communist stalwart would affect how he dealt in the domestic realm.

Burkely Hermann is an activist who wants to change the world for the better by imagining alternatives to the status quo of neoliberal global capitalism. In order to illuminate these alternatives and outline the status quo, he runs numerous online blogs, writes numerous articles, and uses his tech savvy skills to fight for social justice. Read other articles by Burkely.