How 1989’s Invasion Of Panama Set The Stage For 25 Years Of Endless War
TheMisesInstitute, June 1, 2017
In November 1989, the US used the newly apparent Soviet weakness as an opportunity to begin invading a variety of foreign countries. These included Iraq, Somalia, and the former Yugoslavia.
But first on the list was Panama in December 1989. At the time, the Panamanian state was an authoritarian regime that stayed in power largely due to US support, and functioned as an American puppet state in Central America. The US regime’s man in Panama was Manuel Noriega, who just died at 83 years of age. After he stopped taking orders from Washington, Noriega became the first in a long line of foreign politicians who were held up as the next «Hitler» by the American propaganda machine. This was done in order to justify what would become an endless policy of invading tiny foreign countries that are no threat to the US — all done in the name of «humanitarian» intervention.
The U.S. invasion of Panama was the first act of military intervention in the new post-Cold War world — the first act of war since 1945 where the United States has not used Communism or «Marxism-Leninism» as the effective all-purpose alibi. Coming so soon after the end of the Cold War, US President George Bush’s list of alleged reasons for the invasion were a grab-bag of haphazard and inconsistent arguments — none of which made sense.
The positive vaunting was, of course, prominent: what was called, idiotically, the «restoration of democracy» in Panama. When in blazes did Panama ever have a democracy? Certainly not under Noriega’s beloved predecessor and mentor, the U.S.’s Panama Treaty partner, General Omar Torrijos. The alleged victory of the unappetizing Guillermo Endara in the abortive Panamanian election was totally unproven. The «democracy» the U.S. imposed was peculiar, to say the least: swearing in Endara and his «cabinet» in secrecy on a US army base.
Since Noriega, whatever his other sins, was obviously no Marxist-Leninist, and since the Cold War was over anyway it would have been tricky; even embarrassing, to try to paint Noriega and his tiny country as a grave threat to big, powerful United States. And so the Bush administration laid on the «drug» menace, braving the common knowledge that Noriega himself was a longtime CIA creature and employee whose drug trafficking was at the very least condoned by the U.S. for many years.
The administration therefore kept stressing that Noriega was simply a «common criminal» who had been indicted in the US (for actions outside the US — so why not indict every other head of state as well?) so that the invasion was simply a police action to apprehend an alleged fugitive. But what real police action — that is, police action over a territory over which the government has a virtual monopoly of force —involves total destruction of an entire working-class neighborhood, the murder of hundreds of Panamanian civilians as well as American soldiers, and the destruction of a half-billion dollars of civilian property?
It’s almost darkly comedic how easy it has been to convince the American people to go along with nearly any justification for invading a foreign country, no matter how flimsy.
The US would perfect aspects of this routine as time went on. In 1991, Saddam Hussein was the next Hitler, with the media hinting that if left unchecked, Hussein would invade the entire Middle East. «He gassed his own people!» was the endless refrain. The other justification was that Saddam’s government had invaded another country.
But, «he invaded a small country.» Are we ungracious for bringing up the undoubted fact that none other than George Bush, not long ago, invaded a very small country: Panama? And to the unanimous huzzahs of the same U.S. media and politicians now denouncing Saddam?
By the Clinton years, Slobodan Miloševi? was the new next Hitler. Even the call for «humanitarian» action rung a little untrue. After all, it struck many people as curious as to why Serbia required bombing for its human rights violations while the genocide in Rwanda — which was occurring right around the same time — was steadfastly ignored by Washington.
In 2011, the usual tactics were employed to justify the invasion of Libya — which only made the country a breeding ground for ISIS and Al Qaeda.
And today, of course, we hear the same things about Bashar Assad in Syria. Like Noriega, Hussein, Miloševi?, and Qaddafi before him, Assad is obviously no threat to the US or its residents. Indeed, Assad is fighting people who potentially are a threat to US residents. But, since the US military establishment wants Assad gone, some excuse must be manufactured for an invasion.
These methods can be employed against any regime on earth. I make a Modest Proposal for the only possible consistent and coherent foreign policy: the U.S. must, very soon, Invade the Entire World! Sanctions are peanuts; we must invade every country in the world, perhaps softening them up beforehand with a wonderful high-tech missile bombing show.
Thus the destruction of Manuel Noriega and his regime illustrated what was to come during the next 25 years of American foreign policy: target a foreign regime that poses no threat to the US, and manufacture a nice-sounding reason for doing so.
Между тем, в России политиканы, «эксперты», подконтрольные ЦРУ СМИ продолжают нахваливать псевдодемократическую Америку.
Те, кто любит «наших американских партнеров», «забывают» о грязных, злых уродах США.
О таких монстрах, как коварный и крайне опасный мошенник, расист, лжец, и убийца Дональд Трамп. И о таких, как порочный Конгресс США, фашистские ФБР и ЦРУ, лживые американские СМИ…
Арнольд Локшин, политэмигрант из США