Coup, Coup, Kachoo

Photograph Source: Tyler Merbler – CC BY 2.0

Contrary to the bleatings of rabid Never Trumpers, Democrat drum majors, and neurasthenic pundits, the Butthead Circus of camo wanks, Halloweening morons, and feeble-minded Q Anon dead-enders, the bumbling vandalism and imbecile thuggery at the Capitol had no resemblance whatever to an actual coup.

See Websters, Coup d’Etat: “A sudden, decisive action in politics effecting a change of government illegally or by force”.

The precise definition, likely unfamiliar to most Americans, is not a subject of confusion to our government.  Coups, it can be said, are us.  Our government runs them all the time.  They are, with unilateral and undeclared war, its favorite ‘diplomatic’ endeavor.  It was late to adopt the tactic but strove to perfect subversion and destruction of regimes beyond what was thought possible.

In our early days, invasions and occupations were all America required in its own hemisphere, long before we had deemed it necessary to manage the entire world for our Capitalists’ profit. Inspired by British and French examples, it was clear to the U.S. that killing inferior races was fine where profit justified it.  As the world then was up for rape and domination, we joined the fest in Central America, the Caribbean and Pacific Islands, while finally completing the casual extermination of our own native peoples.

After WWI, invasion of nations to steal resources fell somewhat out of favor in the world, which was awkward.  If war and murder were out, then Capitalism—a euphemism for our government—had to find an alternative.  It gambled that the next best thing to conquest was corruption, which proved to be cost effective besides, always a critical factor to us.  You just pull the Marines out of Nicaragua, Haiti, Cuba, and the Philippines, and install a dirty elite to hand you the country for a tiny cut of the gross.  It was much cheaper than murdering thousands of people.

This new kind of soft coup worked well in most places, most of the time.  You had to have a slush budget to control press and education but that was peanuts compared to garrisoning combat outfits.  Where the program hit the skids was in countries where, against all odds, a small dedicated cadre of courageous idealists somehow defied propaganda and moral pollution and resolved to die rather than whore themselves to the Gringo and his lackeys.

In Nicaragua, Sandino’s guerrillas fought their pimp United Fruit Co. government and U.S. troops to a standstill.  When we couldn’t kill or capture him, we paid to get him betrayed and murdered by the brute, Somoza, of whom Roosevelt famously said, “I know he’s a son of a bitch, but he’s our son of a bitch”.

After WWII, hopes for world peace through self-determination of nations ended the era when America could openly rape and loot weak states with no repercussions, even when hidden behind our hired slut elites.  They began being seriously menaced by their own people which interfered annoyingly with corporate cash flow.

England had ripped Iran’s oil off for decades when a proud old aristocrat pol nationalized it and ran the coward Shah out with the dithering Brits, who came whining to the flexing CIA.  Ike said go, and in a bollixed farce—the first by those hugely over-rated, ham-handed bunglers—it doled out wheelbarrows of cash, brought Mossadegh down, and set the preening, brutal Shah up as chief whore for the new majority owners, American Oil.

With ever fiercer demands for national autonomy and an end to U.S. Capitalist piracy, it was felt that, we had to put teeth in the program.  The way to get “plausible deniability”, was to train native murderers as “security forces”.  This was clear when we nearly botched a coup against popular Guatemalan Socialist, Jacobo Arbenz, for lack of a killer unit.  Threats of invasion and bribes won the army and he was ousted for our chosen dictator.  United Fruit won, and America lost face forever in Guatemala.

By the 60s it was clear that you didn’t always need a new, dirty government, you could just destabilize some states to create chaos.  In independent Congo, we bought the assassination of people’s hero, Patrice Lumumba, left power up for grabs, and hired the sick winner of the bloodbath that followed as our guy.

It got yet tougher to subvert countries in the 70s but our tactics were improving.  When Socialist Salvador Allende won election in Chile and began running it for the people, Kissinger’s CIA buckled down.  We cut off essential exports, jammed the banking system, bribed union leaders, jawboned crooked generals, and armed traitors inside.  In the end the coup went off well and our “partners” killed him.  We made our deal with General Augusto Pinochet, America’s fave dictator with the Shah for a time, as vicious a psychopath as Heinrich Himmler ever aspired to be.

That brings us to 50 years ago and rather than belabor the point by listing dozens more of our coups, some bloodier, clumsier, stupider than others, the prosecution rests.  What happened at the Capitol was a tantrum of the rabble not remotely resembling an effort to take over the country, QED.  Americans are self-absorbed, and much given to exaggeration.  And very fearful…

Well, we have much to be fearful about.  But it isn’t a Trumpian coup.  And it isn’t Russia or China.  Or Iran…  Or Communists, or Socialists, or Antifa, or Proud Boys, or BLM, or Q Anon…

What should fill you with terror, shake your soul, give you night sweats and hurt your heart, is the appalling truth that we are all  trapped in a system that cares nothing for its people or the world they inhabit, and that that people, facing looming manmade and natural catastrophe, hasn’t the courage and wisdom to save itself.


Paul Edwards is a writer and film-maker in Montana. He can be reached at: