imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Regime Change: An American Addiction

by William Hughes Wednesday, Apr. 02, 2008 at 5:37 AM

I would like to blame the Neocons for America’s sordid record of “regime change” around the globe, but I can’t! For Iraq, yes! But, sadly, the U.S. has been in the dirty business of “regime change” for at least 110 years going back to the days that it unlawfully seized Hawaii. Author Stephen Kinzer’s book, “Overthrow: America’s Century of Regime Change,” tells the story of how 14 countries, many in Central America, came under our hegemony.

			Regime Change: An...
iraq_oil_at_risk.jpg, image/jpeg, 640x470

“The seizure of faraway lands by a perversion of our national mission.” - President Grover Cleveland, in 1893.

It didn’t start with the U.S.’s Neocon-inspired invasion of Iraq in March, 2003. Whether knowingly or not, the morally bankrupt Bush-Cheney Gang was following an imperial script which is over 110 years old. During that period, the U.S. has “overthrown fourteen governments that displeased it for various ideological, political and economic reasons,” writes Stephen Kinzer, in his riveting book, “Overthrow: America’s Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq.” Why did America betray its values and become itself a brutal colonizer? Well, after you blow away all the baloney about “national security and liberation,” Kinzer reveals: “The U.S. acted mainly for ‘economic’ reasons--specifically, to establish, promote and defend the right of ‘Americans’ to do business around the world without interference.” By “Americans,” Kinzer mostly means the giant multinational corporations.

Each of the respective countries on which the U.S. forced a regime change followed a basic kind of pattern, an M.O., if you please. Unfortunately, for our closest neighbors in Central and South America, they felt, more than any other nations, the consistent brunt of our greedy, violent, murderous and racist reach. Destabilization and intervention were two of our tactics, which often times resulted in horrific consequences for the targeted country and their inhabitants. Kinzer puts it this way: “Almost every American overthrow...left in its wake a bitter residue of pain and anger. Some have led to the slaughter of innocents...The U.S. was willing to support any governing clique, ‘no matter how odious,’ as long as it did America’s bidding.”

Over time, Cuba, Guatemala, Puerto Rica, Panama, Chile, Grenada, Nicaragua and Honduras to our South were subjected to some type of coercive, gangster-like intervention from the U.S. bully. Sometimes, it took the form of a direct invasion by military forces, like in Panama and Grenada. In other cases, the CIA initiated covert activity to bring the targeted regime to its knees.

Take Honduras as a prime example of how “regime change” worked in Central America. What the U.S. did there reads like a script of fiction. Yet, it’s all true. It really did happen. Kinzer shows that in 1910, a “soldier of fortune,” Lee Christmas, conspired with the rapacious Sam Zemurray, a wheeler-dealer planter in Central America, along with an Honduras native, Manuel Bonilla, to take over that country. The conspiracy was hatched in New Orleans. All the wrongdoing was accomplished with the support, on a nod and wink basis, of the U.S. government. Christmas was to supply the muscle for the illegal coup, (think mercenary army). Zemurray provided the money to pay the hired thugs and to purchase the necessary weapons, and Bonilla was to be installed as “The President.” Thanks to some timely gunboat diplomacy from the U.S., via its naval vessels, Marietta and Tacoma, it became a done deal by Nov. 1912. Honduras, a liberal democracy under its then President Miguel Davila, was never the same again.

Here is how the author describes Zemurray: “‘Sam the Banana Man’ was one of the most colorful figures in the history of... capitalism...Some Jews considered him an exemplary figure of their Diaspora, an immigrant from Eastern Europe...[who] rose to great wealth and power. In Honduras, people know him as the man who ‘overthrew’ their government and ‘took over’ their country.”

After “President Bonilla” was installed, he rewarded Zemurray “10,000 hectares of banana land--about 24,700 acres--near the north coast. Later he added 10,000 hectares near the Guatemala border.” Zemurray was also allowed “to import whatever he needed, duty-free. Finally, [President Bonilla] authorized Zemurray to raise a 0,000 loan in the name of the Honduran government, and to use the money to repay himself for what he claimed to have spent organizing the revolution...With assets like these, it is no wonder Zemurray soon became known as the ‘uncrowned king of Central America’...Later [Zemurray] merged his enterprises with UNITED FRUIT...Four decades later, this uniquely powerful company would help overthrow another Central American government.”

The corrupt takeover in Honduras was repeated time and again, with various schemes, by U.S. interests, (corporate and government combined], in Central America. When I think about how a slippery character, like Zemurray, was permitted to profit so unfairly at the expense of generations of Honduran citizens, the word “Reparations” jumps out at me. If ever there was a case that cries out for justice, it’s this one!

Recently, I was in Costa Rica for a holiday. It’s located south of Nicaragua and north of Panama. It’s a lovely little country that has mostly been spared the blood-stained upheavals experienced by many of its unfortunate neighbors, who fell under the hegemony of Wall Street-based interests. Bananas and coffee are its main exports and the people are very friendly, with a high literacy rate. In 1948 Costa Rica abolished its army! Tourism is booming in this Caribbean paradise of myriad natural wonders. (1) Although it has its share of problems, its outlook is positive. If we ever learn to keep our corporate/government hands off of other countries, Costa Rica can be the future for all of our neighbors.

On another front, the U.S., with the Brits as a partner, orchestrated a violent coup in Iran back in 1953. This subject comes up in Kinzer’s book, although his definitive account of that massive crime against the Iranian people is recorded more fully in his excellent tome, “All the Shah’s Men.” I’m also highly recommending that book to readers. It is well documented and you will find it difficult to put down. Query: Why doesn’t Hollywood do a movie about that U.S. induced “regime change?” (2)

Enter Ted Koppel! I remember when that gabby news-reader first started out in 1979, with his popular “America Held Hostage” shows about the Iranian takeover of the American Embassy in Tehran. What Koppel never told his ABC-TV audiences, however, was how the U.S. and British governments (on behalf of “Big Oil’) had plotted a coup d’etat (“Operation Ajax”) in Iran, in 1953. It unseated the then-democratically elected government of Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh. They (the CIA and British Intelligence] replaced him with a tyrannical stooge, one Mohammad Reza Shah. It was the Shah’s ultra corrupt regime which in turn inspired the student-led 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran. If you want to know why we’re really hated in the Islamic World, this is one of the many reasons why. Think BLOWBACK! (3)

As I had written earlier, the 1953 Iranian coup “was critical background material that I don’t recall Koppel ever revealing. In addition, by ‘Nightline’ playing, ad infinitum, the hostage situation, it helped to undermine [support for] Democratic President Jimmy Carter and, eventually, it led to the GOP’s Ronald Reagan capturing the White House, in 1980. Once in office, Reagan began to systematically undercut the social justice programs enacted under FDR’s ‘New Deal.’ He also greatly enlarged the Pentagon’s budget, assaulted Organized Labor, [introduced the ‘Racket of ‘Deregulation’ all to the glee of the Wall Street Wirepullers], and created national deficits of unprecedented proportions.” (4)

Finally, the U.S. record in overthrowing governments around the world is a sordid one. It is also a stain on our Republic as Kinzer’s book so resounding shows. On a karmic level, some of the evil we’ve unleashed by our numerous criminal enterprises has, indeed, come home to roost. It is long past the time for our Republic to end this “perversion of its historic mission.”



2. See, “All The Shah’s Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror,” by Stephen Kinzer.

3. “Blowback” by Chalmers Johnson. Check out:


See, also: and

©2008, William Hughes, All Rights Reserved.

William Hughes is a video and print journalist. His videos can be found at:

Email Contact:

Report this post as:

Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 1 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
Never too late for impeachment of bush regime! Regime change begins at home!! Thursday, Apr. 03, 2008 at 10:46 AM

Local News


lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Architect Stephen Francis Jones A24 3:01PM

UN Forum Wrestles with Economic Policies 10 Years After Financial Crisis Islands Call for A24 12:34PM

Xyloglossie attitudinale A23 8:07AM

Shadowgun Legends Hack and Cheats A23 7:24AM

What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress?? A21 4:15PM

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety A08 10:29PM

Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man A08 9:50PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy