Forget Russia, the U.S. has stuck its nose in all kinds of foreign elections
If someone says "Russia" one more time ...
Look, everyone gets it. There were emails and embarrassing comments being made and all-out attacks between parties in the 2016 election. It was one of the nastiest displays of arrogance and power struggle we've seen in recent history. Welcome to politics.
But it's now 100-and-some-odd days past the Presidential Inauguration and media headlines are still squeezed with the repudiated "R-word" — it won't go away. Foreign meddling is so hot right now.
In fact, Dov Levin, a political scientist at Carnegie-Mellon University, wrote a huge paper on the topic and found close to a hundred examples of U.S. political interference since 1946.
We can take all the seats now.
- In Argentina, right before its 1946 elections, the U.S. published a lengthy tome called "The Blue Book" — accusing the leading candidate Juan Perón and some of his cronies of being a Nazi sympathizers. However, Perón used the attack as fodder for his own candidacy and snapped back at it. He won fairly easily, which likely had little to do with his politics and everything to do with his love of Christmas bonuses.
- In 1951, it's reported the U.S. smuggled large quantities of tungsten (a type of metal) from Japanese military hideaways to sell in America. The profits of it — some $7 million (worth roughly $70 million by today's standards) — were given back to the Japanese to support the conservative movement there. For four decades, the CIA continued to support the party and keep them in power.
- By now everyone knows how fucked up Vietnam was in the early '60s, but the unnecessary death toll and ultimate loss is only half the story. See, in 1955, the U.S. took the reigns on establishing who should lead South Vietnam. It chose a man named Ngo Dinh Diem, who eventually won the election by a 98 percent to 2 margin with 600,000 votes (even though there were only 400,000 registered voters). A few years later, however, the CIA fiunded a coup to take him out of power, further destabilizing the entire region.
- In 1958, what started out as a great idea eventually morphed into something exceptionally sinister. In an effort to bribe Loatian farmers to vote the way America wanted them to, an aid campaign dubbed "Operation Booster Shot" dropped tons of food, medicine and farming equipment. The controlling Communists, however, denounced the move as foreign meddling and won by a landslide. Of course, the CIA then spent over a decade waging war on the country all the way up until 1973. It cost the nation of Laos one-tenth of its population.
- And sometimes, these things just take a turn for Shitsville. It's what happened to the people of Chile after the CIA spent millions while attempting to keep Salvador Allende from gaining power. It worked once. Though in 1970, Allende finally won. A few years later, a CIA-approved coup allowed for Augosto Pinochet to jump in the driver's seat. He reigned for close to 17 years and murdered/tortured thousands of his own people. Oops.
Makes this amateur hour Russian AOL-hack on the U.S. look like child's play, doesn't it?