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CIA and Chiles Coup - Essay Example

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Making an informed decision on whether a nation state is guilty of state sponsored terrorism dictates that their actions be evaluated on an individual basis and in context with international conventions. Aggressive political activity by a powerful state will always be labeled as a terrorist act by someone who feels oppressed by the action, even though it may be legitimate…
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Download file "CIA and Chiles Coup" to see previous pages... The CIA's covert actions during the two decades of 1970-1989 can be viewed as a coordinated assault on the socialist movement within Chile. The Cold War mentality had made Washington overly sensitive to socialist movements in this hemisphere as evidenced by their reaction to, and covert involvement in,
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Cuba and the Dominican Republic. In an attempt to thwart any influence of socialism in Chile the US embarked on a multi prong operation over a period of twenty years. The aims of this action were to influence the elections, disseminate propaganda, disrupt the economy, foment an overthrow of Allende in 1973, encourage Allende's assassination, and repress the socialist movement through covert cooperation with the Direccin de Inteligencia Naciona (DINA). Recently declassified documents verify that these actions were taken as a coordinated effort that was financed and sponsored by the US government. The unrealistic fear of the spread of socialism resulted in a series on actions taken by the CIA in Chile that escalated from political intervention to a clear cut case of state sponsored terrorism.
The acts of supplying weapons to the opposition, encouraging violence, and supporting the murder of political adversaries defines the US activity in Chile as an armed intervention and an act of war, which can not be ethically justified. Interference in the democratic process is highly unethical and unacceptable in any situation, though may not rise to the level of a strict definition of terrorism. However, any unilateral armed conflict into the affairs of another nation that is not supported by a regional or international governing body must meet certain moral guidelines, or be labeled as terrorism. The just war theory contends that armed intervention can be justified if certain criteria are met. Coady argues that the ethics of a just war, "insists not only on the justice of the cause for which the war is conducted, but also on certain other restrictive conditions" (p.19). For example, the cost in human suffering resulting from the action must not exceed the amount of suffering that already exists. In addition, alternatives need to be explored, exhausted, and deemed unworkable. If the US had only immorally interfered in the elections, it could be seen as merely as a transgression of international ethics or possibly law. If lying during a campaign, illegal contributions, and voter suppression were acts of terrorism, our own two major parties would be guilty. However, many of the initial unjustifiable actions of the US in Chile did meet the criteria for unilateral state sponsored terrorism.
As has been noted, interference in the free elections of a democratic process is immoral and unacceptable, but does not induce the fear and random violence required to be defined as terrorism. However, the extent of the US involvement and the unreasonable intrusion into Chile's democracy need to be examined to put the rest of the US activities into historical context. During the 1964 election, the CIA mounted an extensive anti-Allende propaganda campaign and funneled as much as $20 million dollars to the campaign of his opponent Eduardo Frei (Kim 30). The financing, and some 15 covert action projects, assured Frei an easy victory with 56 percent of the vote (Kim 30). Though Frei may have ...Download file "CIA and Chiles Coup" to see next pagesRead More
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