Thursday, December 16, 2004

Follow up From Previous Post

I got a lot of feed back on the previous post, so I thought I'd expand on it briefly. Some of you are no doubt way ahead of me on this, but the examples mentioned in the previous post are just a few among many. In addition to the CIA coup in Guatemala in 1954, a similar incident occurred in Chile in 1972 where the CIA and the Nixon administration overthrew a democratic government in Chile. And then there was the CIA coup in Iran in 1953.

Another often repeated lie is that the Korean War was a struggle between the forces of Democracy and freedom versus tyranny and oppression. In fact the US supported South Korean Government was a brutal right wing dictatorship during the Korean War and for much of this century. In 1980 the US gave the green light for South Korea to violently crush pro-democracy demonstrators in the Kwangju Massacre. The incident is often referred to as the South Korean Tiananmen square. But of course the obvious difference with the event in China is that you've heard about Tiananmen Square. You probably never heard about Kwangju.

And there are further examples, and examples, and examples. Anyone interested in further reading would do well to check out Lies My Teacher Told Me : Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong by James W. Loewen. Portions of this book were assigned for my "History Education" class at Calvin College, and it is a fascinating read. Also "A People's History of the United States" by Howard Zinn is another fascinating read, and also part of my assigned reading in a Calvin College history course.

Anyone interested in reading about the extent of American war crimes during the Vietnam War, (especially concerning Laos and Cambodia, two countries not even technically in the war), should read "The Trial of Henry Kissinger" by Christopher Hitchens or "Sideshow: Kissinger, Nixon, and the Destruction of Cambodia" by William Shawcross. Large portions of both books are actually available on line here and here respectively, although if you're like me you prefer a hard copy in your hands.

And as always, I can't recommend Noam Chomsky enough. I have a link to his weblog on the right, but to be honest his weblog does not represent his best writing. But if you have yet to be introduced to Noam Chomsky, pick up one of his books at the library or book store. Guaranteed to blow your mind.

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