Social philosopher Noam Chomsky ripped the history of U.S. “covert aid” policies following reports that President Barack Obama had recently reconsidered such measures.
Chomsky said in an op-ed for Truthout that the U.S. had “emerged as the world champion in generating terror” for its efforts to arm insurgent forces not only in the Middle East, but for past efforts in Angola, Nicaragua and Cuba.
“To this we may add the world’s greatest terrorist campaign: Obama’s global project of assassination of ‘terrorists,'” Chomsky wrote. “The ‘resentment-generating impact’ of those drone and special-forces strikes should be too well known to require further comment.”
A study by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Chomsky said, had determined that providing weapons and training to local rebel groups often had “minimal impact” on their campaigns, and were less effective without help from American ground troops. The New York Times reported earlier this month that Obama had commissioned the study while deciding whether to support rebels in Syria.
Chomsky has blamed the rise of the Islamic State extremist group on the U.S. using its military “sledgehammer” against Iraq. In his op-ed, he cited a former agency analyst, Paul Pillar, who argued that Islamic State could join with a rival group, Jabhat al-Nusra, to push back against U.S. airstrikes in the country by calling it “a war against Islam.”
“That is by now a familiar consequence of U.S. operations that have helped to spread jihadism from a corner of Afghanistan to a large part of the world,” Chomsky stated.
But Chomsky also argued that the Times‘ examples of countries where the U.S. provided “covert aid” — Angola, Cuba, and Nicaragua — also present evidence of American “atrocities.”
It was the U.S., he said, that supported not only South Africa’s Apartheid regime during the 1980s, but Angolan dictator Jonas Savimbi, even after he was defeated in an official election. The U.S. also lent aid to Cuban revolutionaries following the Bay of Pigs operation in 1961, on top of maintaining a blockade against the country despite multiple calls by the United Nations to stop it.
And American-funded “terrorist wars” in Nicaragua and other Central American nations, Chomsky argued, have led to the influx of undocumented immigrants from that region to the U.S.
“This is a record to be contemplated with some awe,” he concluded.