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The hypocrisy of America’s response to the possibility of Russian hacking

This election cycle American voters worried that a foreign power was possibly attempting to influence the direction America’s government was heading.
If the potential Russian hacks are, as Senator McCain states, “an act of war” what category do some of the actions taken by the American government fall under? If Russia did indeed influence our elections they are only following a precedent set by the United States, which involved itself in efforts to subvert foreign governments in different cases including those of Hawaii, Guatemala and Chile.
Take the CIA’s attempt to bribe Chile’s senate with 350,000 dollars in order to prevent Salvador Allende’s ascension to the position of democratically elected president. Or in Iran in 1953, when the CIA orchestrated a movement that unseated democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh.
The CIA’s Operation PBSUCCESS also saw the overthrow of President Jacobo Árbenz of Guatemala at the request of American agricultural giant United Fruit Company. If Americans have been complicit with dozens of operations meant to undermine democracy abroad, how can they be upset when the same tactics are used against us?
Many of these covert actions, such as the bribery of the Chilean Congress, were approved by Henry Kissinger, a person Senator McCain described as “a man who served his country with the greatest distinction.“ The consequences of destroying democracy in many of these countries is that dictators rose to power and civil wars ensued as people resisted American-backed dictatorships following these American interventions.
The American government was astute enough to realize there are other ways of destroying a democracy without interfering in elections. In Fort Benning, Georgia the School of the Americas is operated by the American military. Here, Latin American military officials receive training from American instructors. Graduates of this school include Hugo Banzer, Manuel Noriega, and Jorge Rafael Videla, all of whom suppressed democracy. Despite their behavior these dictators are treated as heroes, with Banzer being a member of the School’s hall of fame.
Banzer was so close with American military personnel that when his communication network failed him during his 1971 coup attempt Major Robert Lundin allowed him to use an American Air Force communications network.
More disturbing, during periods when the CIA was actively seeking to remove Allende from power in Chile, the School began accepting higher percentages of Chilean applicants.
The School operated similarly in other cases as well, indicating that when the United States encountered unfavorable governments in Latin America it sought to curry favor with the militaries of those nations.
While Allende was still president in 1970, the National Security Council approved spending seven million dollars to outfit the Chilean Military stating that rejecting Chile’s application for military hardware would “cause resentment in the Chilean armed forces and could sever our tenuous relationship with them while there is still the possibility they may act against Allende.” The Security Council reveals America’s true intentions, to provide aid to the military of Chile so that they would overthrow the democratically elected president.
The American government still interferes in foreign democracies to this day. Look at Honduras, where in 2009 democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya was forced into exile by the military.
While immediately condemned by the United Nations, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated that Zelaya was deposed over “fears that he was preparing to circumvent the constitution and extend his term in office.”
This is either a gross misinterpretation of Zelaya’s intentions or a lie. Zelaya was in fact simply asking the country to vote on the possibility of having a referendum on whether the presidential term limits should be extended.
While the American government did not pull the strings in the coup or seek to interfere in elections they nevertheless played an important role by legitimizing a government that achieved power through kidnapping.
This gives us a perfect example of another one of McCain’s hypocrisies as he later tweeted, “I regret the military takeover in Honduras, but its clear President Zelaya was in violation of his country’s constitution.” Lawmakers in Washington cannot continue to denounce foreign intervention in our elections while celebrating the collapse of democracy abroad.
While a Trump presidency has its flaws it is preferable to the characters of Augusto Pinochet, Carlos Eugenio Vides Casanova, or Carlos Castillo Armas. These dictators were able to dominate politics in their home countries largely due to American support.
Donald Trump, as of now, has not organized extrajudicial killings of his own population and because of this he is better than the leaders the United States has historically forced upon other countries. And for that he should be thanked.

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