Yes, there is a double standard at play here

Take Italy in 1948: as the cold war unfolded, the US feared that a socialist-communist coalition would triumph in Italian elections. It barred Italians who “did not believe in the ideology of the United States” from even entering the country; funded opposing parties via the CIA; orchestrated a massive propaganda campaign, including millions of letters from Americans of Italian origin; and made it quite clear, via the State Department, that there was “no further question of assistance from the United States” if the wrong people won. Its efforts were a success. This was the first of many Italian elections featuring US interference.

Take the CIA’s self-professed involvement in the military coup that overthrew democratically elected secular Iranian president Mohammad Mosaddeq in 1953: it was “carried out under CIA direction as an act of US foreign policy, conceived and approved at the highest levels of government”, as the agency later confessed. The nature of the 1979 Iranian revolution cannot be understood without it. Or what of CIA backing for Augusto Pinochet’s murderous overthrow of Salvador Allende in Chile in 1973?

There are more recent examples too. Take the military overthrow of Honduras’ Manuel Zelaya in 2009. The then secretary of state – a certain Hillary Clinton – refused to describe the toppling of Zelaya as a “military coup”, which would have required the suspension of US aid, including to the armed forces. Rather than call for Zelaya’s reinstatement, Clinton called for new elections. US assistance – including military aid – continued as dissidents were treated brutally; as death squads re-emerged; as violence against LGBT people surged; and as widely boycotted unfair elections took place.

Allegations of Russian interference in the US elections are undoubtedly alarming, but there’s a double standard at play.

We seem to have missed the Soviets sending in the tanks in 1953 in Berlin, in 1956 in Budapest, in 1968 in Czechoslovakia, the pressures in 1981 in Poland….

Owen Jones does seem to be operating to a double standard, doesn’t he?

As well as missing that that Honduran bloke was dumped entirely according to the local constitution on the grounds that he tried to change said constitution so that he could run for another term.

21 comments on “Yes, there is a double standard at play here

  1. Take the CIA’s self-professed involvement in the military coup that overthrew democratically elected secular Iranian president Mohammad Mosaddeq in 1953: it was “carried out under CIA direction as an act of US foreign policy, conceived and approved at the highest levels of government”, as the agency later confessed.

    The CIA might have claimed that but there is no reason to think it is true. The CIA being unable to catch the clap in a whorehouse. Mossadegh had alienated the Shah and hence the military, the clergy, he had lost an election and so was fixing the result, and the Tehran street mob had come out against him. He was going to lose whatever he did and it is unlikely the CIA did anything but claim the credit afterwards.

    After all, if they have an unbroken record of being unable to spot Soviet troops massing for invasion – not once since 1919 have they got it right – why would they be able to organise a coup?

    “Or what of CIA backing for Augusto Pinochet’s murderous overthrow of Salvador Allende in Chile in 1973?”

    So they did something good then. Pinochet being one of history’s great heroes.

  2. I think the most amazing double standard is that the Left now sees the CIA as an ally and a reputable source of information, whereas in October it was a toss up between which three words were most likely to give them an embolism: Thatcher, CIA or Israel.

  3. The myth of Allende is amazingly powerful – point out to a committed lefty that he was
    a) a Marxist
    b) a keen proponent of eugenics
    c) responsible for economic disaster which he tried to address by sucking up to the Soviets and massive nationalisation

    and you’ll be met with bafflement.

    If you mention that the trigger for the coup was his refusal to implement measures voted for by the democratically-elected congress (a breach of the constitution), and his subsequent failure to recognise a Congressional resolution accusing him of illegal repression and a move to totalitarianism then you’ll be met with bafflement.

    In some respects he’s like Guevara – another tin-pot dictator, fond of repression, anti-Semitic, prone to the use of state violence and inexplicably popular with pig-ignorant socialists

  4. Or what of CIA backing for Augusto Pinochet’s murderous overthrow of Salvador Allende in Chile in 1973?

    You mean the backing from the CIA for which there is no evidence whatsoever, and quite a lot to suggest that the CIA knew nothing about it? Indeed, what of it?

  5. What Tim Newman said. The story at the time was that ITT asked the CIA to get rid of Allende and the CIA refused. Those of us who watched ITT from a safe distance found this highly plausible.

  6. OK, but it’s good of Owen to point this out amongst the whole “OMG the Russians are trying to change the election result” nonsense. Because yeah, that’s what countries do. It wasn’t that long ago that the Black Messiah himself came over and tried to change the Brexit vote.

  7. SMFS/ Tim Newman

    Not sure you have read the legendary David Horowitz (SMFS – I would definitely recommend the Book ‘Hating Whitey and other progressive causes’ if you have not read it)on the Chilean Coup. I have never forgotten it. As someone who swallowed this ‘official line’ for over ten years and recanted in the 80s he is well qualified to assess it.

    ‘So the all powerful CIA in Grenada failed to oust a tiny Marxist coup nor even remove in Panama a druglord in their own employ by cover means. Both these required military invasions’

    Even with the subsequent fall in Pinochet’s reputation in Chile there has been net zero revelations from within the Chilean intelligence ministry itself. As The super Tim Newman says – likelihood is it did not happen!

  8. Perhaps the one example of outside influence not mentioned in this screed is the British Left assisting in the rigging of the recent elections in Venezuela which Tim often chronicles the ongoing consequences of. I wonder why this example escapes young Jones’ radar?

  9. Bloke in Wiltshire – “Because yeah, that’s what countries do. It wasn’t that long ago that the Black Messiah himself came over and tried to change the Brexit vote.”

    Not just countries. I am still praying for the Guardian to repeat its effort to influence the American election.

  10. Tim

    You need to check out the ‘Events, Dear Boy Events’ post on TRUK – it’s pure Gold. Easy fisking for at least five of his absurd ‘points’ if you are not busy…..

  11. Not to mention the Soviet gold distributed amongst British trade union leaders. I would be very unsurprised to discover similar contributions to Italian, French etc. Trade unions and communist parties.

  12. Worth remembering also that Ayatollah Khomenini was comfortably billeted in Paris immediately before the Iranian Revolution, and for some years previous to that as I understand.

    The Saudis fund lots of mosques in the West etc. Foreign influence is all around us, but only the ones which suit the narrative are highlighted.

  13. Its amazing how the left think the CIA are capable of organising coups in far away countries yet they couldn’t even get rid of Castro on their own doorstep with 1000’s of Castro supporters to call on. They couldn’t even organise illegal arms sales to Iran.

    The more we learn about the CIA the more we find they tend to be incompetent bullies who couldn’t organise the proverbial piss up.

  14. In some respects he’s like Guevara – another tin-pot dictator, fond of repression, anti-Semitic, prone to the use of state violence and inexplicablytherefore popular with pig-ignorant socialists

    Fixed it for you

  15. “After all, if they have an unbroken record of being unable to spot Soviet troops massing for invasion – not once since 1919 have they got it right – why would they be able to organise a coup?” The CIA didn’t exist in 1919.

    “Or what of CIA backing for Augusto Pinochet’s murderous overthrow of Salvador Allende in Chile in 1973?” I understand that (i) it wasn’t a CIA coup, but (ii) they did back an earlier failed attempt at a coup.

    I tend to agree that they probably aren’t much cop. You could argue that any secret spy service is handicapped by not being able to brag of their successes publicly, but that doesn’t apply to the CIA, their being American.

  16. You could argue that any secret spy service is handicapped by not being able to brag of their successes publicly, but that doesn’t apply to the CIA, their being American.

    Yup. Mossad knocked off a couple of people in a hotel in Dubai using agents pretending to be tennis players on faked British and Irish passports and simply said “We have no idea what you’re talking about” when the ensuing outrage began.

  17. Usually the CIA, to the extent it wasn’t completely inept, was trying to influence the outcome in unstable, potentially hostile nations. Leave it to the disgusting anti-Semite Obama to try to overthrow the leader of an ally. I think it would be wonderful payback if it were Mossad that did the electoral shenanigans and then blamed it on the Russians.

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