“This nation is very reluctant to use military force…. Military action is the very last resort for us.”
— George W. Bush, October 28, 2003
“[Richard] Gephardt approved a Bush-Cheney policy where, for the first time in American history, we commit to war before exhausting our efforts to commit to peace.”
— Howard Dean Campaign Statement, November 16, 2003
Here are just a few of the facts about U.S. foreign policy contradicting such claims:
* In 1962, while trying to show that there were precedents for the use of armed force against Cuba, Secretary of State Dean Rusk produced for a Senate committee a list titled “Instances of the Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad 1798-1945.” It listed 103 interventions between 1798 and 1895 alone.
* The United States invaded Cuba in 1898 — expelling Spain, installing a U.S. military base and keeping Cuba as an economic “protectorate” until 1933.
* In the Philippines, 1898-1908, the U.S. waged war to suppress the independence movement, killing probably 600,000 Filipinos and establishing the Philippines as a U.S. colony until 1946. [Speaking before the Philippine National Congress, President Bush said on October 18: “America is proud of its part in the great story of the Filipino people. Together our soldiers liberated the Philippines from colonial rule.”]
* Intervention and occupation: Nicaragua (1912-33); Haiti (1915-34); Dominican Republic (1916-33).
* Vietnam, intervention and bombing from 1960-1975; Laos and Cambodia also massively bombed.
* Lebanon bombed, 1983-84; Grenada invaded, 1983; Libya bombed, 1986; Panama invaded, 1989.
The following are available for interviews:
A widely read historian who has authored numerous books including A People’s History of the United States and Terrorism and War, Zinn said today: “Instances of the U.S. government spurning peace efforts and going to war include the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the first Gulf War, the bombing of Afghanistan…. Colin Powell on November 12, responding to statements of the Mexican ambassador to the UN who had said the U.S. regards Mexico as a second-class country, remarked: ‘We never, ever, in any way would treat Mexico as some backyard or as a second-class nation. We have too much of a history that we have gone through together.’ That history includes invading Mexico, 1846-48, and taking half of its territory, bombarding the Mexican coast in 1914, killing several hundred Mexicans, and a long history of subordinating Mexican interests to our own.'” The Mexican ambassador who made the remarks, Adolfo Aguilar Zinser, has been compelled to resign.
Grossman is assistant professor of geography at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and author of the article “From Wounded Knee to Iraq: A Century of U.S. Military Interventions.”
For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167