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Wars Against 74 Nations...and Counting
An ABC of American Interventions
by FRANCISC CATALIN

United States of Americans, this Patriot Day let us take the time, on behalf of the newly-liberated Iraqi and Afghan people, to remember not only the innocents killed on 9/11, but also the death, injury, mental and emotional trauma, political repression, economic hardship and social destruction from the many wars the United States of America has been involved in in it’s brief 228 years of existence.

1. Afghanistan:

A. 1998 bombing AND

B. Operation Enduring Freedom

* A special note, the birth of the "World Islamic Front for Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders" (also known as Usama bin Laden’s al-Qaida terrorist organisation) occurred because of US cooperation with fundamentalist Islamic militants at the time known as "freedom fighters" against the USSR in Afghanistan;

2. Algeria (Barbary Wars);

3. Angola (1976-92 US-backing of South African rebels fighting Marxists);

4. Argentina (1890 troop dispatch to Buenos Aires to protect business interests);

5. Austria:

A. WWI, Central Power AND

B. WWII;

6. Bolivia (US-backed killing of former Cuban government minister and doctor Ernesto "Che" Guevara and comrades in 1967);

7. Bulgaria:

A. WWI, Central Power AND

B. WWII, minor Axis member AND

C. Cold War;

8. Cambodia (see Vietnam);

9. Canada (war of 1812);

10. Chile:

A. clashed with nationalists in 1891 AND

B. US-backed 11 September 1973 coup that led to the killing of President Allende and start of Pinochet military regime;

11. China:

A. involvement during Sino-Japanese War AND

B. occupation during Boxer Revolution AND

C. intermittent troops dispatches from 1911 to 1941 AND

D. Cold War;

12. Cuba:

A. seized during Spanish-American War, with Guantanamo Bay still under US control due to a resulting treaty AND

B. 1906-09 troop landing AND

C. 1912 troop dispatch to protect business interests AND

D. 1917-33 occupation AND

E. 1961 Bay of Pigs AND

F. 1962 Navy quarantine during Cuban Missile Crisis AND

G. repeated assassination attempts against Dr. Fidel Castro AND

H. Cold War;

13. Dominican Republic:

A. 1903-04 troop dispatch to protect business interests AND

B. 1914 fight with rebels over Santo Domingo AND

C. 1916-24 occupation AND

D. 1965-66 troop deployment;

14. Egypt

A. 1956 troop deployment following nationalisation of Suez Canal AND

B. propping-up of unelected Hosni Mubarak;

15. El Salvador:

A. 1932 Navy warships deployed during FMLN revolt under Marti AND

B. 1981-92 assistance in fight against FMLN;

16. France (naval conflict, 1798-1800)

* Another special note, this was the very country that less than a generation earlier was USA’s principal ally in the fight for independence;

17. Germany:

A. WWI, Central Power AND

B. WWII, major Axis member;

18. Greece (1947-49 US operations secure far-right victory in elections ­ arguably the seeds of the later birth of the November 17 organisation)

19. Grenada (Reagan’s 1983-84 "Wag the Dog" to get Lebanon out of the news);

20. Guatemala:

A. 1920 two-week occupation during strikes AND

B. 1954 overthrow of the democratically elected Arbenz and placement of Colonel Armas in power AND

C. 1966-67 troop deployment;

21. Haiti:

A. suppressed revolt in 1891 AND

B. 1914-34 occupation AND

C. 1994-96 blockade against government AND

D. 2004 intervention;

22. Honduras:

A. 1903 intervention in revolution AND

B. 1907 troops landing AND

C. 1911-12 troop dispatch to protect business interests AND

D. 1919 troop landing during elections AND

E. 2 troop landings during 1924-25 election;

23. Hungary:

A. WWI, Central Power AND

B. WWII, minor Axis member AND

C. Cold War;

24. Indonesia (1965 US-backed military coup leading to Suharto rule)

25. Iran:

A. US-sponsored overthrow of democratically elected Mossadegh and restoration of the Shah to power AND

B. 1980 rescue operation incursion AND

C. 1984 shoot down of two fighter planes AND

D. 1980′s US assistance for Iraq, and Saddam Hussein, during Iran-Iraq war;

26. Iraq:

A. Gulf War AND

B. Operation Iraqi Freedom (or the acronym people with senses of humour prefer, Operation Iraqi Liberation);

27. Italy (WWII, major Axis member);

28. Japan (WWII, major Axis member)

* Yet another special note, this country was the recipient (TWICE!) of the ultimate Weapon of Mass Destruction, a historical distinction still uniquely owned by the US of A;

29. Jordan (propping up of Hussein monarchy);

30. Laos:

A. see Vietnam AND

B. Cold War;

31. Lebanon (1982-84 occupation that eventually led to the barracks bombing by Hizbullah, arguably the de facto declaration of modern day asymmetrical warfare waged by fundamentalist Islamic militant irregulars against the United States of America);

32. Liberia:

A. 1990 troop entrance during civil war AND

B. 2003 intervention;

33. Libya:

A. Barbary Wars AND

B. 1981 shoot down of two fighter planes AND

C. 1986 bombings of Tripoli AND

D. 1989 shoot down of two more fighter planes;

34. Mexico:

A. Mexican-American War AND

B. 1914-18 intervention against nationalists;

35. Morocco (Barbary Wars);

36. Nicaragua:

A. 1894 occupation of Bluefields AND

B. 1898 troops landing in San Juan del Sur AND

C. 1907 protectorate AND

D. 1912-33 occupation AND

E. 1981-90 Iran Contra scandal;

37. North Korea:

A. Korean War AND

B. Cold War;

38. Panama:

A. 1895, troops landed in Corinto AND

B. occupation since the start of the building of the Panama Canal AND

C. 1908 troop dispatch AND

D. 1912 troop landing during election AND

E. 1925 troop deployment to put down national strike AND

F. 1958 troop landing during demonstrations that threatened the Canal Zone AND

G. 1964 troop deployment during protests against US presence AND

H. 1989-90 overthrow of Manuel Noriega;

39. Philippines:

A. 1898-1910 AND

B. Moros War AND

C. the US-backed civil war against the Filipino Huk revolt AND

D. 1989 Air Force cover for Marcos government during coup;

40. Romania:

A. WWII, minor Axis member, until it became a member of the Allies in 1944 AND

B. Cold War;

41. Russia:

A. 1918-1922 troop landings after Bolshevik Revolution AND

B. Cold War;

42. Saudi Arabia (propping of undemocratic monarchy and former troop stationing in Mecca and Medina);

43. Somalia ("Black-Hawk Down");

44. Spain (Spanish-American War);

45. Sudan (1998 bombing of a pharmaceutical company in Khartoum);

46. Tunisia (Barbary Wars);

47. Turkey:

A. WWI, Central Power AND

B. 1922 fight with nationalists at Smyrna;

48. United Kingdom:

A. Revolutionary War AND

B. War of 1812;

49-69. United Socialist Soviet Republics, allies and satellite states ("Cold War" involving at least 20 nations not otherwise listed previously – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Chechnya, Czechoslovakia [today the Czech Republic and Slovakia], Dagestan, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan)

* Yet another special note, countries otherwise mentioned on the list are NOT included in the aforementioned 20;

70. Uruguay (bombers deployed in 1947);

71. Vietnam:

A. war that started under fictitious auspices, the Gulf of Tomklin incident, that spread to neighbouring countries AND

B. Cold War;

72. Former Yugoslavia:

A. Cold War AND

B. 1990s Balkan Wars;

73. Zaire (1996-97 entrance into Rwanda Hutus’ refugee camps from where the Congo revolution began);

74. Zimbabwe (assisting apartheidist Rhodesia).

Total countries recognised by the United Nations as of 2004: 191.

Of course, this list omits USA’s wars with the aboriginal peoples of the homeland (the Indian Wars) and the Civil War. The list further fails to list all the by-proxy conflicts, such as US-backed dictatorships, US-funded death squads, and US-supported insurgencies, movements, or rebellions. Also, the list does not cite support for state-sponsored terrorism, such as US support for Israel’s occupation of Palestine. Lastly, left out are the "wars" on crime, drugs, illiteracy, poverty, terrorism.

For any red, white and blue trivia buffs, look into the history of how Hawaii became part of the States. Most of the Southwest as well. (Hint, in school they only tell you about the purchases of Alaska, Louisiana and Manhattan; they are silent about other ‘acquisitions’ for a reason.)

By the way, whilst we are on the subject of trivia, who can name the number of people killed on 9/11? About 3,000 you say? How about US troops killed in Iraq the past 18 months? About 1,000 you say? How about innocent Iraqi civilians (or, euphemistically, collateral damage) killed during their receipt of freedom? How about today’s price for a gallon of petrol?

FRANCISC CATALIN is a Romanian-American. He welcomes your comments at francisc_catalin@hotmail.com