Tuesday, October 21, 2008

America’s Greatest Hits - Lies, Misrepresentations & Omissions

There’s a list that seems to be quite popular among the left and other America Haters taken from the book by Kenny Anderson called Land of Hypocrisy.  This list of lies, misrepresentations and omissions is outrageous enough to be worthy of Noam Chomsky.  Indeed, when I first encountered it, I thought it was something Chomsky had written.  The problem is that too many people are sufficiently ignorant of history, and accept this list at face value. It’s become a foundation of ad hominum attacks by the Muslim community as some sort of refutation when the link between Terrorism and Islam is pointed out.   
The website is down, but there are plenty of copies around the internet. 
The figures used in Mr. Anderson’s list are questionable at best and totally specious for the most part.  Given a probability distribution of estimated casualties in any given conflict from a variety of sources, he invariably took the absolute worst case figure, no matter how outrageous it was compared to the mean estimates.   What can you do when someone looks you in the face and tells you an outright lie?  Moreover, both of you know it’s a lie!  The outrageousness of these claims leaves one gasping in disbelief that anyone would be so brazen as to represent this as a legitimate argument.  The bulk of what follows here is a point by point refutation of Mr. Anderson’s accusations.  Before we dive into that, I want to make my concluding comments here, because you’re going to be brain fried by the time you reach the end of this article.  The United States stands for freedom and liberty throughout the world.  It was once observed to me by a Filipino municipal leader that “The world is circled with the graves of Americans who died to set other people free.”  The use of force is always a last resort, because inevitably innocent people get hurt.  But when the enemies of freedom and justice choose to use force to achieve their ends, the sad fact is that force is often the only way to stop them.  In the post WWII world all too often those enemies do not wear a uniform, swear allegiance to no government, and exhibit a shocking disregard for life to achieve their ends.  This places innocents at even greater risk.  For the West to hang fire because innocent people might get hurt means surrendering the battlefield to the enemy, and inevitably history has shown us that this leads to even greater suffering and loss of life.

Whenever a disaster occurs, the United States is often the first one the scene with the most to offer.  The United States is the only country in history which has publicly prosecuted and convicted its own soldiers for war crimes.  In the last 70 years the United Sates has militarily conquered more territory than any other power in history – and we have returned all of it back to its rightful owners, keeping only small pieces on which to bury our honored dead. Mr. Anderson would have you believe that the world would be better off without America.  I invite Mr. Anderson to relocate to the socialist paradise of North Korea.  

History shows that without America to set the example, to provide the gold standard upon which all other free countries measure themselves, the convulsion of violence of the twentieth century would have plunged the  world into a savage dark age of tyranny, slavery and bloodshed from which it may never have emerged.
Before I address each of these items in detail, let’s just set the stage on which most of these accusations took place.  In 1945 we concluded the bloodiest nine years of warfare the world has ever seen.  We had just witnessed the deaths of 21 million Russians in combat, up to 60 million more Russians to purges and pogroms by their own government, 12 million people had been gassed by Nazi Germany in concentration camps such as Auschwitz and Treblinka.  In all, an estimated 48 million souls perished as a direct result of the aggression of Fascist Germany, Japan and Italy.  In the next 10 years the world witnessed an additional 60 million deaths in China’s Cultural Revolution.  Millions more had lost their freedom and were suffering under Soviet dictatorship in puppet communist regimes set up by the occupiers behind the iron and bamboo curtains.  

Claim 1:    3,000,000 Vietnamese People murdered over 30 years of US Aggression  
I could write thousands of words concerning the Vietnam War, but I will address Mr. Anderson’s charge without getting into even a sketchy history. 
In the first place the charge of 30 years of US aggression is plainly false.  The United States did not get directly involved – and in fact deliberately avoided involvement – until the early 1960’s, and did not get involved in earnest until 1965.  The total period of heavy involvement lasted eight years – a far cry from 30 years. Prior to the 1960’s the Vietnamese fought the French.  The USA refused to support the French defense at Dien Bien Phu in 1954 when France asked for air support. 
The Vietnamese war was a civil war, and as such was waged with a passion that exceeds that normally seen on a battlefield.  Guerrilla warfare made everyone a potential enemy.  The methods used by the Communist Vietnamese to intimidate the population into submission were animalistic.  Peace Corps volunteers operated traveling clinics to treat illness and immunize children in rural villages.  After the Peace Corps left, Communist Guerrillas would enter those same villages and hack off the arms of the children who were immunized.  Village leaders who did not cooperate with the Viet Cong were made to watch while their wives and daughters were publicly raped and killed.  Communist ideology in Vietnam was based on agrarian collectivism similar to that instituted in China.  This ideology was attractive to the poorly educated farm class, who stood to gain the most in terms of power and prestige under this system.  It considered the educated class as an unproductive liability, and deliberately targeted doctors, lawyers, teachers and businessmen for execution or re-education.  During the 26 days that the Viet Cong held the southern city of Hue in the Tet offensive of 1968, more than 5,000 civilians were executed by communist death squads who combed the city with lists of targeted community leaders, intellectuals, and even anyone who wore glasses (doing so was deemed to be the mark of an intellectual).
The United States air offensive in North Vietnam pitted US air power against the most sophisticated air defense network in the world at the time.  In order to avoid collateral damage, US forces operated under restrictive rules of engagement that ceded the advantage to the enemy and resulted in losses to US forces that would have been avoided had we used unrestricted warfare on North Vietnam.  The North Vietnamese deliberately located key air defense installations in population centers and near schools and hospitals, both for protection and propaganda purposes if they were hit. Civilians were issued weapons with instructions to go outside and shoot straight in the air during an air raid.  These policies resulted in thousands of unnecessary deaths among the North Vietnamese civilian population.
The final justification for the Vietnam War came after the war when Communist Vietnam could no longer support the millions of people who refused to accept communist party ideology and told them to leave.  1.5 million people risked their lives to take advantage of this, and more than 600,000 died trying.  The United States’ role in this tragedy was to use our navy to rescue as many people as we could from the south China sea as they fled the brutal tyranny of the regime that Mr. Anderson would have you believe was a victim. This is the fate that 58,000 American soldiers gave their lives to prevent in Vietnam.  This was no war of aggression on the part of America.  It was a defensive war, fought to keep a freedom loving people free, against a brutal, homicidal enemy who was devoid of morality. 
Claim 2: Well over 300,000 Japanese massacred when the US dropped nuclear bombs on the urban civilian areas of Nagasaki and Hiroshima and firebombed Tokyo.   
Let’s be clear: the Pacific campaign of WWII was a war of aggression on the part of Imperial Japan.  It started with an invasion of China, and exploded into the strategic naval struggle when the USA cut off oil shipments to Japan in protest of Japan’s aggression in China.  Because of such actions as the rape of Nanking in which as many as 340,000 Chinese civilians were killed, the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor before war was officially declared, Japanese refusal to surrender or take prisoners on the field of battle and the Kamikaze suicide attackers, the USA adopted a policy of unconditional surrender as the only means to end the war with Imperial Japan.
In the 82 day campaign on Okinawa in April, 1945, 142,000 civilians were killed out of a total population of 338,000.  The casualty rate on mainland Japan was expected to be higher, as it was understood that the civilian population was being armed and interleaved with the military, that there would be no noncombatant Japanese in a country of 72 million.  Even using the ratios  from the Okinawan campaign, Japanese civilian casualties could be expected to reach as high as 30 million when the USA invaded Japan proper.  US casualties were expected to be as high as 1.5 million.  The country of Japan would have been devastated. The use of nuclear weapons to end WWII in the Pacific was horrible, but in the long run saved a hundred times more lives, and countless suffering.  It’s an axiom of warfare that a brief, shockingly violent, decisive action is far less costly for all concerned in the long run than a drawn out campaign that lacks resolve.

Claim 3: More than 4,000 innocent civilians killed in Panama during the US invasion in 1989.   
The US invaded Panama in 1989 to depose and capture the Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega on international drug trafficking charges.  Noriega’s power in Panama was held by force of arms, having been defeated in a democratic election by a 3-1 margin by Guillermo Endara the previous May.  This was not an invasion of aggression, but to support the popular will of the Panamanian people and enforce international law.

This number is derived from a controversial shock journalism piece that the news show 60 Minutes aired on Sept 23, 1990.  Not known for its journalistic integrity or objectivity, 60 Minutes interviewed obviously biased Panamanian officials who made outrageous claims without any substantiation, and then presented those claims as undisputed fact.  The actual tally ranges from 202 to 700 civilian deaths during the invasion.  Residents of the densely populated El Chorillo barrio area near Manuel Noreiga’s palace stated that the fires which took a majority of the lives were started by Noreiga forces.

Claim 4: Over 500,000 people were killed in Laos when America subjected civilians to "secret bombing" from 1964 to 1973, dropping over two million tons of bombs on the country.  Over one fourth of the population also became refugees.  
In spite of the publicity that Vietnam garnered in Indochina during the 1960’s, the communist insurgency in Laos represented the key conflict to the whole region.  Communist Pathet Lao forces, supported by China and North Vietnam, waged unrestricted warfare on the peace and freedom loving Hmong people of the Plaines des Jarres region. Whereas Vietnam was a civil war among an ethnically and culturally homogeneous people, the Laotian conflict was an outright war of genocide against the Hmong.  US air operations over Laos took two forms.    Low technology tactical air cover was provided to Hmong military units, flown by a combination of Hmong pilots, CIA contractors and regular USAF with Hmong or CIA tactical control.  In the relatively uninhabited southeastern panhandle area, an extensive air campaign was waged to interdict supplies from North Vietnam to the south, bypassing the heavily fortified Demilitarized Zone of Vietnam.

Most of the casualties suffered in Mr. Anderson’s highly speculative and inflated figure were North Vietnamese regular army soldiers ferrying supplies down the network of roads and paths known as the Ho Chi Minh Trail.  These were de facto invaders of Laos by international law.
The one fourth of the population who became refugees that Mr. Anderson quotes were the US allied Hmong peoples who lost their ancestral lands to the communist Pathet Lao and resettled in . . . you guessed it, the United States of America.  I know and often work daily with some of these people.

Claim 5: 100,000 people were murdered in South Korea prior to the Korean War by a brutal repression supported by US forces in 1945. This includes between 30,000 and 40,000 killed during the suppression of a peasant revolt on Cheju Island.  
Mr. Anderson’s “brutal repression” was a counterinsurgency effort on the part of the South Korean government to quell a revolution sponsored by the Soviet government.  This was an effort to destabilize the government of South Korea and open the way for a communist takeover.  Those “innocents” murdered were armed revolutionaries attempting to overthrow the legitimate government of South Korea by force.  No attempt was made by these communist insurgents to negotiate or have a say in the government of South Korea. Their goal, dictated from Moscow, was the total subjugation of Korea under a communist regime, securing an additional jewel in the crown of Soviet Hegemony.

When this insurgency failed to accomplish its goals, communist North Korea invaded South Korea and attempted to establish a communist dictatorship by conventional warfare.
Claim 6: Up to 4,500,000 Koreans were killed from 1951 to 1953 during America's massive slaughter in the Korean War.  
“America’s massive Slaughter???”  Not Russia’s Slaughter?  Not China’s slaughter?
In July of 1951, North Korean forces attacked across the 38th parallel in the most blatant act of aggression since Hitler invaded Poland in 1939.  United Nations forces – primarily South Korean and American – were forced back to a tiny perimeter around the city of Pusan.  Whose slaughter was it?  I find it amazing that a defensive action against an unprovoked attack makes America at fault for this. 

After the defeat of the North Korean forces in the south, South Korean and United Nations units pursued the remaining North Korean army deep into the mountains of North Korea.  In the winter of 1951-52, China committed millions of soldiers across the Yalu River in a second act of unlawful aggression to re-establish a communist dictatorship in Korea.  Many of the deaths Mr. Anderson cites were not Korean, but Chinese, because the Chinese were poorly equipped, poorly trained and poorly led.  They relied on human wave attacks in combat, with astonishing casualties. 

In a way, Mr. Anderson is correct.  We could have avoided the deaths of so many by just admitting that communism was better for Korea.  In Mr. Anderson’s world, I’m sure this is true.  Of course, had that happened, Korea wouldn’t be the powerhouse economy it is today.  It would be suffering the same fate as North Korea, which is one of the poorest countries on the planet and suffers from nearly constant famine.  The true disparity between these countries is highlighted by a night time photograph from space.  Perhaps if Mr. Anderson hates the USA so much he should go live in the socialist paradise of North Korea.  I’m sure everyone involved would be happier if he did.
Claim 7: 200,000 were murdered when the Philippines were conquered by American forces. This took place just over 100 years ago.  
In 1984 historian John M. Gates concluded that the maximum wartime death toll was 234,000, of which up to 200,000 resulted from a cholera epidemic largely unrelated to the war.

"When I next realized that the Philippines had dropped into our laps I confess I did not know what to do with them... And one night late it came to me this way... 1) That we could not give them back to Spain- that would be cowardly and dishonorable; 2) that we could not turn them over to France and Germany - our commercial rivals in the Orient - that would be bad business and discreditable; 3) that we not leave them to themselves - they are unfit for self-government - and they would soon have anarchy and misrule over there worse than Spain's wars; and 4) that there was nothing left for us to do but to take them all, and to educate the Filipinos, and uplift and civilize and Christianize them, and by God's grace do the very best we could by them, as our fellow-men for whom Christ also died."—U.S. President William McKinley

McKinley was absolutely right in this regard.  The Philippines was not at that time prepared to be independent.  To really appreciate this, you must be familiar with the Philippines.  The country is one of the most balkanized in the world.  The inhabitants speak no less than 70 different languages.  When the country was ceded to the US by Spain, there were still active head hunter tribes in the rural areas – My own father-in-law was one of those head hunters!
Had the US granted Aguinaldo immediate independence, the result of trying to unify the Filipino people under a single government would have been a civil war with casualties and brutalities that would have made the Philippine-American war seem like a tea party.  You are dealing with a culture of passionate people with no sense of fair play in the western understanding of the term for whom violence lurks just below the surface.  The decision to administer the Philippines in order to prevent a genocidal bloodbath is mirrored in the post-Saddam occupation of Iraq, where the bulk of deaths are caused in Iraqi-on-Iraqi conflicts.

Under the Tydings-McDuffie Act the Philippines was made a transitional commonwealth in preparation for Philippine independence, which was granted on schedule in spite of the disruption of the transition caused by WWII and Japanese occupation.  The USA built roads, schools, government buildings and civic works on behalf of the Filipino people in order to better prepare them for independence.  To this day the Philippines and the United States share a very close relationship
Claim 8: 23,000 people were slaughtered in Taiwan by US-backed, trained, equipped, and funded forces (Chiang's Nationalist army) during the late 1940s.  
Taken in a vacuum, Mr. Anderson would have you believe that the USA trained, backed and funded the Kuomintang Army for the express purpose of subjugating Taiwan.  The fact is that this occurred during WWII, when China was an American ally and the primary front against Japanese aggression.  The bulk of the Japanese army spent WWII fighting in China.  The USA supplied and trained Chinese soldiers, the same as it supplied the Soviet Union to assist in the defeat of Germany.

The United States had no hand in the administration of post-war Taiwan, and cannot be held responsible in any way for any wrongdoing there at the end of the war.  It’s disingenuous for Mr. Anderson to make these sorts of accusations without explaining what the USA should have done differently.  Should the USA have refrained from supporting the KMT during WWII, ensuring a Japanese victory on the mainland, and subsequent ability to resist the US advance through the Pacific?  How exactly, in Mr. Anderson’s opinion, was the USA to have foreseen the abuses in Taiwan as a result of aiding its ally?

Claim 9:  700,000 Indonesians (mostly landless peasants) were murdered in 1965 when the US armed and supported General Suharto.  
The United States supported the Suharto government with arms and aid as part of the general campaign to contain communism.  The US recognized the abuses perpetrated by Suharto, but was essentially powerless to affect Indonesian policy.  The US had learned through its experiences in Vietnam.  The struggle for power in southeast Asia after WWII had less to do with ideology than expediency.  In 1945, the US had the opportunity to support Ho Chi Minh in his quest for Vietnamese independence.  Failing to secure US support, he easily went to Russia and China.  The USA did not want to see that replayed in strategically critical Indonesia.  Likewise, US interference in the perceived abuses by Vietnam’s Ngo Dinh Diem resulted in even worse abuses by his successors, as well as fomenting chaos in the government in the middle of a communist insurgency. 

In short, the Realpolitik of the situation was that Suharto was a bad man, but he was our bad man.  This is a critical distinction since Indonesia sits astride critical waterways, including the strategic petroleum lifeline to Japan and Korea.  As much as the United States deplored the domestic policies of Suharto, there was simply very little that could be done that would not risk alienating Suharto.  A communist dictatorship in Indonesia would have been a disaster, both in terms of human costs and strategically for the free world.  It’s interesting when Muslims use Mr. Anderson’s list to defame the USA, since Suharto was a Muslim leader of a Muslim dominated country.

Claim 10:  200,000 were slaughtered in East Timor in 1975 by General Suharto with US support.  
This claim is in error.  There was no specific US support, contrary to what some left wing blogs allege.  The US state department adopted a policy of silence regarding the invasion of East Timor, because it deplored the act and yet was not prepared to alienate one of the biggest American allies in the region after the collapse of Vietnam.  Mr. Anderson likes to have his cake and eat it, too.  If the United States does not intervene, an atrocity is our fault for allowing it.  If the US does intervene, subsequent violence is our fault for being involved.  Mr. Anderson gets to denigrate the USA no matter what happens. 
Claim 11: 600,000 civilians in Cambodia killed by US bombing 1969-1975.  
The 600,000 figure has often been mis-attributed to the US bombing exclusively, when it is the commonly accepted figure for total Cambodian deaths from the Cambodian civil war that took place during this same time period.  One can only hold the USA responsible for war deaths in this civil war if the Soviet Union and China accept an equivalent share of blame for logistically supplying the communist side in this conflict.
There is simply no way of reliably estimating the numbers of civilian dead from the US bombing campaign in Cambodia.  Reliable estimates range from 30,000 to 800,000.  The murderous excesses of the Khmer Rouge regime eclipsed the tragedy of the US bombing campaigns, and make any form of estimation nothing but a wild guess.  Most of the areas bombed were non-agricultural jungle.  Population centers were deliberately avoided.  It’s hard to see how the figures quoted can be justified without bombing major population centers with an effectiveness that exceeded that of WWII.
During the Vietnam War, Vietnamese communist units staged and operated out of sanctuaries in Cambodia, secure in the belief that the USA would observe the national boundary – a boundary which was not recognized by any of the indigenous combatants.  Vietnamese combatants were easily misidentified as civilians, because they did not wear a uniform, making them either spies or criminals under the Geneva Convention.  The ill-advised decision to bomb Cambodia was the brain child of the Nixon/Kissinger team, and was not supported by the American people or the US Congress.  Nixon, knowing such support did not exist, kept the campaign a secret. 
Claim 12:  750,000 civilians were driven from their homes in East Timor by Indonesian forces in 1999 and 10,000 were killed.  
I’m sorry, I thought this list was of deaths caused by America or American sponsorship.  The genocidal anti-Christian campaign against separatist East Timor by the Muslim government of Indonesia was in no way supported by or condoned by the USA.  The USA pressured the Indonesian government to withdraw from East Timor by threatening to withdraw IMF loans.
Mr. Anderson wants to have his cake and eat it, too.  The United States’ reluctance to engage militarily in East Timor implies to him that the USA supported Indonesia, yet had the USA intervened in East Timor, I’m sure this list would contain an accounting of Indonesian deaths. 

This twisted logic results in the sort of list you see here, where any event can and is twisted to portray the USA in a bad light.

Claim 13: Over 1,700,000 Iraqis have been killed by US bombings and sanctions, mostly women and children. Non-combat casualties from bombing are considered collateral damage.  By any measure, the collateral damage from the US use of air power in Iraq has been extremely low.  What there has been has been a result of Iraq taking a lesson from Vietnam and placing high value targets in close proximity to population centers, to maximize the propaganda potential if the targets are hit.  I personally have no sympathy for some of the civilian casualties.  If a known terrorist leader makes himself a guest in your house, he is inviting a retaliatory strike into your home as well.  Consider that before you let him in.

After the first Gulf War, Saddam Hussein was ordered to comply with terms of the surrender, or face crippling sanctions.  This was done in the mistaken assumption that the leader of Iraq felt responsibility towards his country and was answerable to its population.  When it became clear that the sanctions were not having the desired effect on the Iraqi leadership, the oil for food program was instituted.  This program was implemented without adequate oversight and review, and made it possible to divert funds from the program to line the pockets of both Iraqi and UN officials alike, at the expense of the Iraqi people.

The assumption was that the stress of sanctions would spur the Iraqi people to revolt against Saddam and get rid of him.  This assumption neglected to account for just how brutally effective a totalitarian regime is at maintaining order, in spite of the example of Cuba.  The Iraqi people chose their fate through inaction, and Saddam was complicit by playing chicken with the West with the stakes being his starving population.  Turns out the West and America cared more for his people than he did.
Claim 14: Over 1,000,000 lives were lost during the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s in which the US used direct force and supported Hussein and Iraq.  
The United States did not use any direct force in the Iran-Iraq war. This claim is an outright lie.  The United States provided weapons to Saddam Hussein at no discount, which prevented the collapse of Iraq and a greater Iranian hegemony in the Middle East.  Selling a combatant weapons at market prices does not imply sponsorship.  Iraq also bought arms from France, Russia and even Israel.  Do these countries share the blame for supporting Hussein?
Claim 15: 45,000 people were killed in South Lebanon since 1982 by Israel, always armed and supported by the US.  
So if I am to understand this, Israel unilaterally attacks its neighbors without provocation, seeking to expand its Jewish empire.  Innocent Muslims and Arabs flee in terror and bleed under the crushing boot of Israeli tyranny.  I guess Mr. Anderson must have received his degree in history from Hezbollah University.

The fact that Lebanon was and remains a sanctuary for terrorists seeking to attack Israel, both with terrorist infiltration, and more directly as a base for rocket attacks into Israel.  According to Mr. Anderson, this has nothing to do with Israel’s pre-emptive actions to restore order to what is essentially a lawless region of Lebanon.

In the 1980’s competing factions, ethnic groups and ideologies made Lebanon into a country defined more by its neighbors than an internal cohesion.  Syrian army forces occupied Lebanon, as well as Palestinians who made southern Lebanon a country within a country. The United States deployed marines to Lebanon as part of a United Nations peacekeeping force, essentially to keep the Israelis in check.  The response to this was a suicide attack on a marine compound which killed 168 marines – an attack by the very people that the marines were there to protect.

Claim 16: Thousands have been killed in Palestine and millions (in both Palestine and Lebanon) were made refugees by US and Britain-backed Israel.  
The Israeli struggle to establish a non-Muslim state in the holy land started without US government assistance.  In 1956, the United States sided with Arab countries to force a cease-fire on Britain, France and Israel when they attacked Egypt for nationalizing the Suez canal.

Since then, the realities of the politics in the area have led the US to support Israel against repeated aggression.  The fact is, that whether you agree that Israel was legitimately established or not, it is here to stay.  Palestinians today yearn for a “homeland” that most of their people have never even seen.  The United Nations has recognized Israel as a country by providing it a seat in the general Assembly.  Israel has a right to exist, and to defend itself against foreign attacks.  Since its inception, Israel had been engaged in no less than 4 major wars, numerous minor conflicts, and an almost continuous terror campaign waged by its enemies.  All of these were defensive in nature.  Israel’s acquisition of territory in these wars was solely to provide buffer zones between the country’s small, densely packed population centers and a group of enemies whose expressed goal is the destruction of Israel. 
Claim 17: Over 75,000 civilians were killed and over one million refugees were created in El Salvador from 1980 to 1994 when the US intensely supported the efforts of a brutal regime and its death squads to eliminate a popular uprisin
Claim 18: 40,000 civilians were killed by the US-backed National Guard in Nicaragua over the course of almost 50 years
Claim 19: 30,000 lives were killed by the US Contras in Nicaragua from 1979 to 1989  
These three claims can be taken together.  The siren song of socialism plays strong to the impoverished countries of Latin America. The less productive the populace is, the more it seems that socialism should level the playing field between the rich and the poor.  Hopeless people who don’t see any hope of making a better life for themselves are inclined to move to seize a better life through government fiat.  Those who dream of bettering themselves resist this, since they see that someday their production would be seized by those who cannot produce.

Consider the passionate Latin temperament, where revenge is obligatory, and blood feuds are normal.  Throw some Kalashnikovs into these conditions, and you have everything you need for an old-fashioned socialist purge. 

The United States funded anti-communist forces in Central America in the 1980’s to balance the aid the communist forces were receiving from Cuba and the Soviet Union.  The United States position is that the solution to the poverty was not to drag everyone down to the same level of poverty, but to sponsor investment which would raise conditions and provide opportunity for everyone.
The excesses  of the anti-communist forces were and are an embarrassment to the United States.  But to hold the United States responsible for these excesses is to suggest that the United States surrender Central America to Communism.  We would have preferred to accomplish this from the moral high ground, but there is no way to give a free man a gun and dictate the rules of engagement under which is to use it.  The US simply did not have any leverage on how the anti-communist forces in Central America were to behave. Withholding support and weapons would have just ensured a communist victory.  Given the track record of communism where it has been tried elsewhere, the body count and level of human misery would have no doubt been just as high, if not higher, under a communist regime.  Further, the presence of regimes friendly to the Soviet Union so close to the strategically critical Panama Canal was unacceptable during the Cold War.
Claim 20: 200,000 Guatemalans were slaughtered from 1960-1990s by a military apparatus trained, armed, funded, and assisted by America.  
Political scientist Michael Radu, in an editorial on the website of the Foreign Policy Research Institute, writes that before 1977 the US only provided a very small amount of military aid. Between 1962, when the Marxist insurgency began, and 1977, the country received $2 million per year, or about $30 million in military aid. After 1977 military aid was stopped and Guatemala was even denied the right to buy parts for American military equipment previously provided or sold. When Romeo Lucas Garcia and Efrain Rios Montt broke the communist insurgency's back and killed the largest number of people during the Civil War, they did so without US military aid. The CIA was no doubt aware of the human rights violations, but since aid was nonexistent the US had no leverage within the Guatemalan military.

Claim 21: Over 35,000 Colombian civilians have been killed during the US-supported Columbian war against left-wing rebels.  
Colombia is the primary source of a good deal of the cocaine that is inundating the United States and poisoning our streets.  The Colombian government has joined with the USA to end the drug trade, and requires US military aid to engage the well-funded and well-armed Colombian drug lords.  The need for this aid is compounded by Venezuelan and Ecuadorian sponsorship of socialist rebel groups in Colombia.  What Mr. Anderson doesn’t tell you is that most of the dead that he cites died at the hands of rebels who make a point of exterminating whole villages to demonstrate the consequences of cooperating with the government.  Since the rebels and drug lords and gang members are not uniformed combatants, I suppose they qualify under Mr. Anderson’s definition as civilians, and are counted in the death toll that they themselves ignited against the forces of liberty and freedom.
Claim 22: Over 3,000 were killed and countless others injured by US interventions in Cuba. 
 Intervention.  Singular.  In 1961, a US equipped force of Cuban expatriates landed on the southern coast of Cuba with the intention of returning democracy to Cuba.  This action was supported by American naval and air power, but was comprised entirely of Cubans on the ground. Mr. Andersons figure is off by an order of magnitude, as only 300 people died in the Bay of Pigs.   
In contrast the Cuba Archive project, headed by scholars Maria Werlau and Armando Lago, puts the death toll from Castro's regime, including deaths at sea and the desperate anti-Communist insurgency of the early '60s, at 102,000. 125,000 Cubans voluntarily left the Socialist paradise of Cuba bound for the evil United States over a six month period in 1980 during the Mariel boatlift. But I guess people killed in the effort to promote global socialism don’t bother Mr. Anderson.
Claim 23: Up to 10,000 more Somalians were killed by US troops during America's "humanitarian mission" in 1993  
Hundreds of thousands of Somalis were dying of starvation in refugee camps.  Somali warlords were preventing supplies from being delivered to these people to maintain their lives.  The United States mission was to protect the delivery of these supplies, and avoid a catastrophe.  No doubt Mr. Anderson would be just as roundly condemning the United States for not taking action to get these supplies through, and hold the USA responsible for even more deaths through neglect.
Mr. Anderson occupies an enviable position where the target of his vitriol can be held to blame regardless of what it does.  He somehow expects the United States to be superman, meeting and defeating evil the world over without actually hurting anybody, and in the process preventing anyone from hurting anyone else.  Unfortunately, his utopian world does not exist, and our leaders are often faced with engaging in a policy that will result in a certain number of deaths in order to prevent a far greater death toll.  By neglecting to acknowledge the alternatives to each action on this list, Mr. Anderson is engaging in intellectual dishonesty of the worst sort.
Claim 24:  1,500,000 were killed between 1980 and 1988 in southern Africa by the US-armed South Africa.  
Mr. Anderson has moved from misrepresentation to pure fantasy with this accusation.  An international arms embargo was placed on South Africa in 1977 with the full backing of the USA.  The USA did not approve of the apartheid policies of South Africa at any time.
Prior to 1977, South Africa was the world’s leading supplier in many mineral resources, including the majority of the world’s chromium supply.  Some of the revenue from this export went towards the purchase of military hardware, some of which was purchased from the United States.  Had The United States declined to sell such hardware to South Africa, they could have bought it from France or the Soviet Union.  South Africa also purchased manufacturing hardware that allowed it to produce its own weapons.  Such hardware has generic applicability and can be used to manufacture many things besides weaponry.   By Mr. Anderson's logic, we should not only prosecute the gun store who sold the gun which was used to commit the crime, but also the gun manufacturer and the manufacturer of the machine that was used to manufacture the gun.
Many thanks to Alba de Veritas for her help in preparing this article.

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