Bolton admits U.S. planned foreign coups 

July 13, 2022 - 19:0

Former White House National Security Advisor and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, has admitted he played a role in Washington’s plans to overthrow governments around the world. A policy that has long been strongly condemned internationally, from Latin America to West Asia and beyond. 

Bolton made the remarks to CNN following Tuesday’s congressional hearing into the January 6 2021 insurrection on Capitol Hill by supporters of ex-U.S. President Donald Trump to stop the certification of his successor.

The former U.S. official said Trump was not capable enough to pull off a “carefully planned coup d'etat,” because “that’s not the way Donald Trump does things.” 

The TV host said that “one doesn’t have to be brilliant to attempt a coup.” Still, Bolton remained defiant, admitting that he was personally involved in overthrowing foreign governments and that these operations must be planned carefully.

“I disagree with that. As someone who has helped plan coup d’etats, not here but, you know, other places, it takes a lot of work, and that’s not what [Trump] did. It was just stumbling around from one idea to another” he said. 

The host pressed Bolton on which governments he helped overthrow. "I'm not going to get into the specifics," Bolton replied, before pointing to Venezuela. "It turned out not to be successful. Not that we had all that much to do with it but I saw what it took for an opposition to try and overturn an illegally elected president and they failed," 

"I feel like there's other stuff you're not telling me (apart from Venezuela)," the TV host said, to which Bolton offered this reply: "I'm sure there is."

In 2019, Bolton as National Security Adviser to Trump publicly supported Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido's call for the country’s military to oust the democratically elected government of President Nicolas Maduro. 

In what was a carefully planned chain of events, following Guaido's call, Washington immediately declared it’s recognition of Guaido as President despite the fact he had never contesting an election. 

Caracas accused Washington of orchestrating several plots to overthrow the government. These included military operations involving the participation of U.S. agents that were captured. Washington is also accused of using sanctions to destroy the Venezuelan economy with the aim of triggering unrest so people rise up against the government. 

Maduro’s government ultimately remained in power as the majority of Venezuelans stood by it and Guaido lost whatever popularity he had.

It is evident that the U.S. has a long history of interventions in other countries. 

U.S. officials have admitted the CIA orchestrated the overthrow of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh in 1953 after he nationalized the country’s oil sector which had been mainly controlled by the British-owned Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. 

Leaked documents reveal the United Kingdom’s spy agency helped the U.S. overthrow the democratically elected Iranian leader and ultimately replacing Mosaddegh with a dictatorship that would serve foreign interests in particular the United States. 

The pattern of U.S. interference in foreign countries is quite clear. Washington targets governments that are independent, oppose, and/or denounce U.S. policy in the region as destabilizing. America does not target the political and economic affairs of governments that are already serving U.S. interests or host U.S. military bases because as some analysts say ‘you can’t invade the invaded’.

Bolton boasting about how Washington carefully plans to overthrow foreign governments is not a secret but is uncommon for a former U.S. official to say so in public.

The U.S. is accused of using various methods to overthrow foreign governments. From military means by invading countries (Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq for example) or using proxies (Syria, Libya, Bolivia for example) to economic means through the use of sanctions in an attempt to suffocate another country’s economy (Venezuela, Cuba, Lebanon, Iran for example) and more recently the use of social media to spread anti-government propaganda (see below).

Syria accuses the U.S. of trying to overthrow the government in Damascus by training, funding, and backing different terrorist groups to do the job. U.S. troops are also illegally present in the country. 

At least two Iraqi governments have blamed the United States for overthrowing them despite being publicly elected. The governments of Nouri al-Maliki and Adel Abdul Mehdi have two things in common. They both strongly pushed for the U.S. military to withdraw from Iraqi soil. 

The government of al-Maliki successfully did so but in 2014 accused Washington of intentionally delaying the delivery of weapons that Baghdad had paid for (in particular hellfire missiles). 

The former Iraqi PM says had Washington provided the missiles, Daesh terrorists, who began gathering in the Eastern Desert of Anbar province (having crossed the border with Syria) could have been wiped out there and then. The weapons were delivered eighteen months later after Daesh expanded its presence to two-thirds of Iraq and led to the government of al-Maliki stepping down. 

Following the assassination of Iran’s Lieutenant General and anti-terror war hero Qassem Soleimani alongside the deputy commander of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis (another highly respected anti-terror commander) by the U.S. military in the vicinity of Baghdad International Airport in an act of U.S. state terrorism; Iraqi PM Abdul Mehdi also strongly pushed for the exit of U.S. forces (who crept back under the pretext of helping fight Daesh), the U.S. is accused of using a social media campaign to cause unrest in southern Iraq that led to the former Iraqi PM stepping down.

The use of social media to overthrow foreign governments is nothing new.

A public relations company in Washington DC was caught red-handed in the act of destabilizing Latin American nations such as Bolivia, Venezuela, and Mexico by using large-scale social media campaigns. CLS strategies operated in many countries, but revelations by U.S. media regarding its regime change policies in Latin America on behalf of the former U.S. administration put it under the spotlight. 

The firm posted fake content on social media platforms Facebook and Instagram in Spanish supporting Bolivia’s military junta that ousted President Evo Morales the country’s first indigenously President. 

In November 2019, the democratically elected leader was ousted in a U.S.-backed military coup following a contested election. In the lead-up to that election, CLS was working with far-right military figures including coup leader Jeanine Anez. 

It set up accounts spreading fake news in Spanish by supposedly disaffected former supporters of Morales. Despite winning just four percent of the election, Anez was recognized by the U.S. as Bolivia’s interim President. During her time in charge, she oversaw a brutal crackdown on protesters. 

Anez would later be sentenced to prison and the party of Morales returned to power in an election that showed how nobody in the country supported Anez and her authoritarian rule apart from Washington. 

Experts say the CLS scandal is just a fraction of a much larger campaign regarding Washington’s use of social media to foment unrest or regime change in other countries.

Washington’s policy of overthrowing governments is an ongoing process, critics argue it’s the only way the U.S. can survive by trying to maintain an empire that conquers and divides. At the same time, there is also a growing amount of evidence that this empire is facing difficulties and sinking.

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