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Source: (consider it) Thread: Could there be a coup?
Dave W.
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quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.:
What do you imagine "driven from behind the scenes by the US" means, anyway?

This kind of thing:

"assert that the US administration was not only aware the coup was about to take place, but had sanctioned it, presuming it to be destined for success."

"The coup was discussed in some detail, right down to its timing and chances of success, which were deemed to be excellent."

If you say so. I would have thought a process "driven" by the US would have involved more, well, driving.
quote:
quote:
As far as you can tell? Well, maybe - I don't know how far you've looked, but there's this. Will that do?
Within the time-frame of the coup?

That link was offered as a counter to your broad statement about Chavez and Maduro (the latter was just a legislator in 2002 and wouldn't have had any particular connection to the treatment of prisoners.) I don't know whether your opinion about conditions in 2002 is as poorly supported.
quote:
There was quite a lot of articles on his suppression of some parts of the press, and tangles with the judiciary, but again no mass round up - Carmona was placed under house arrest and then went into exile. Was there a concerted attempt to interrogate coup leaders that you are aware of?

It seems pretty unlikely that any regime that had just survived a coup attempt would fail to perform a pretty thorough investigation - or that the coup plotters would prove themselves to be generally incompetent and yet unaccountably effective in hiding evidence incriminating their American co-conspirators.
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RuthW

liberal "peace first" hankie squeezer
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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
If there's a coup in the western hemisphere we the most reasonable assumption is the USA is involved.

Knee-jerk anti-Americanism at its finest.
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Golden Key
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quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
If there's a coup in the western hemisphere we the most reasonable assumption is the USA is involved.

Knee-jerk anti-Americanism at its finest.
What Ruth said.

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Pangolin Guerre
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Well, Ruth and Key, the historical record largely bears out NP's assertion, if by coup we mean a military/economic elite intervention in the political sphere. NP's assertion doesn't hold in every case, but the prevalent pattern of American design/support/approval (depending on the case) in the Western Hemisphere is undeniable. I make a meaningful differentiation between a coup (e.g., Chile 1970, Argentina 1976 and the subsequent Operation Condor) and an insurgency (e.g., Cuba 1953-59, Nicaragua 1978-79 ). There are one saint (to be), very few heroes, and many villains in this story, leaving not much in the way of high ground, but attempting to dismiss this as facile anti-Americanism is equally "knee jerk", especially when that goes unaccompanied by argument or evidence. That 's more ad hominem.

And, I'm not anti-American, I say preemptively.

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Golden Key
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PG--

Yes, the gov't of my country has done all sorts of horrible things to other countries. (E.g., look up "United Fruit Revolution", "Gen. Smedley Butler war is a racket", and "School Of The Americas".)

But np periodically makes jabs like this and it gets tiresome.

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
If there's a coup in the western hemisphere we the most reasonable assumption is the USA is involved.

Knee-jerk anti-Americanism at its finest.
What Ruth said.
I dunno. I'm an American and I think it's a pretty reasonable assumption. Indeed, the most reasonable.

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Pangolin Guerre
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Correcting error: Chile 1973. (I shouldn't post so late at night. Apologies.)
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Doc Tor
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For information only.

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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
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quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
If there's a coup in the western hemisphere we the most reasonable assumption is the USA is involved.

Knee-jerk anti-Americanism at its finest.
No. Based on history. It's the pattern. Has nothing to do with anti-Americanism. Why is is anti-American to consider the fact that American interference in other countries, invasions and coups is very common? The knee-jerk here is your's.

Just from my own memory: Guatemala, Grenada, Chile, Panama, Argentina, Columbia, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Cuba (I had multiple family living in South America and the Caribbean in the 1970 and early 1980s; I particularly recall Grenada because they'd just left the country) . All of which the USA either supported dictators against popular revolts overthrew elected governments or attempted to do so. It's the pattern.

After I wrote the prior paragraph, I did the simplest of web searches. You can find dates and circumstance listings if you'd care to inform yourself.

You might also inform yourself about the School of the Americas, since renamed Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation.

FWIW, my one of my grandfathers and grandmothers was American and so is my sister.

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RuthW

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US foreign policy is appalling; I won't defend it. But in addition to the horrors the US has visited upon virtually every country in the western hemisphere, Latin American countries are perfectly able of staging coups without our help. Here are all the coups I could find that have taken place in Central and South America since World War II, with italics for US involvement:

Argentina
1951 - unsuccessful military coup against Peron
1955 - Revolucion Libertadora - military/civilian uprising overthrows Peron
1956 - failed military uprising
1962 - military coup
1966 - military coup
1976 - military coup with tacit US approval, regime gets US financial and military aid
1987 - failed military coup
1988 - failed military coup
1988 - and another the same year
1990 - failed coup

Bolivia
1946 - Villarroel overthrown
1949 - failed coup by MNR
1952 - military junta prevents MNR from taking power after they won the election; leads to revolution
1964 - US-backed coup
1964 - second coup
1970 - coup
1970 - counter-coup
1971 - US-backed coup
1980 - "cocaine coup"
2008 - failed "civic coup" - Morales alleges it was backed by the US

Brazil
1945 - ends dictatorship of Vargas
1955 - counter-coup
1959 - attempted military coup
1964 - military coup supported by the US
1969 - VP should have taken over when President had stroke but military junta takes over

Chile
1954 - Linea Recta affair - president wanted to be dictator, failed
1969 - Tacnazo insurrection - failed
1973 - failed coup by Roberto Souper - El Tanquetazo
1973 - US-backed coup

Colombia
1953 - peaceful coup - Rojas in
1957 - "coup d'etat of public opinion" - Rojas out

Cuba
1952 - Batista's coup ousts Prio
1956 - unsuccessful coup against Batista
1959 - Cuban Revolution, Castro ousts Batista
1961 - Bay of Pigs invasion - failed attempt by US to oust Castro
1961-2 - Operation Mongoose - US attempts to kill Castro - I'm not sure these were technically attempted coups, but they should nevertheless be included here

Dominican Republic
1961 - Trujillo assassinated with CIA support
1963 - military coup; Bosch ousted in faver of Reid
1965 - April Revolution - US intervention and occupation

Ecuador
1963 - military coup
1976 - military coup
2000 - junta briefly took power
2005 - removed President Borbua

El Salvador
1960 - bloodless coup ousts president
1961 - counter coup
1979 - coup raised to remove military from government, leads to civil war - US-USSR proxy war

Grenada
1979 - Bishop ousts Gairy
1983 - military coup, which is pretext for ...
US-backed counter-coup and invasion

Guatemala
1954 - US-backed coup
1963 - military coup
1982 - military coup
1993 - unsuccessful self-coup by president, who is removed by the constitutional court

Haiti
1946 - military coup
1950 - military coup
1958 - coup attempt
1988 - coup
1988 - and another
1991 - military coup ousts Aristide - US involvement in dispute
1994 - Aristide put back into power by US
2004 - Aristide removed, probably with US support

Honduras
1955 - military coup, followed by elections in 1957
1959 - failed military coup
1963 - military coup, opposed by the Kennedy administration; the US ended diplomatic relations with Honduras; LBJ reversed this and recognized the military government
1972 - military coup
1975 - military coup partially prompted by Bananagate scandal exposed by the US Securities and Exchange Commission
1978 - military coup, followed by elections
2009 - President seeks unconstitutional third term and is removed by army

Nicaragua
1981-90 US support for Contras

Panama
1968 - military coup
1988 - failed coup against Noriega
1989 - failed coup against Noriega
1989 - US invasion, removal of Noriega
1990 - failed coup attempt against Endara

Paraguay
1948 - coup
1949 - coup
1949 - and another
1949 - and a third
1954 - military coup, followed by election
1989 - military coup

Peru
1948 - military coup
1962 - military coup
1968 - military coup
1992 - Fujimori's self-coup
1992 - unsuccessful military coup

Trinidad & Tobago
1990 - failed coup attempt

Uruguay
1973 - coup: President dissolves Parliament

Venezuela
1945 - dictator overthrown by military and popular movement, leads to democratic elections
1948 - coup, beginning of military dictatorship
1958 - coup ends military dictatorship, leads to democratic elections
1992 - two unsuccessful coup attempts by Hugo Chavez; Cuban involvement is alleged
2002 - failed coup attempt; charges that the US was involved are strongly disputed
2017 - self-coup: Maduro dissolves National Assembly - US condemns

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simontoad
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wow. How long did that take you to compile Ruth?

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RuthW

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Let's just say I need to make a donation to Wikipedia.
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Jane R
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RuthW:
quote:
US foreign policy is appalling; I won't defend it.
Ours is no better, of course. But there was a time when both our nations were proud of interfering in the affairs of others *cough* Mission Impossible , anyone?

Getting back to the subject of the OP, I think a coup is highly unlikely. Ozymandias' political opponents believe in the rule of law, and (shudder) he is your legally elected President, however dubious the circumstances of the election may have been. The means to remove him legally or work around him are there.

[ 07. August 2017, 06:42: Message edited by: Jane R ]

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RuthW

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quote:
Originally posted by Jane R:
Ozymandias' political opponents believe in the rule of law, and (shudder) he is your legally elected President, however dubious the circumstances of the election may have been. The means to remove him legally or work around him are there.

And are infinitely preferable to a coup!

Sign me up for the working around him bit. Trump is incompetent and increasingly hamstrung. I don't want to see him removed because he'd be replaced by Mike Pence, who is malevolent and competent, whereas Trump is malevolent and incompetent.

One thing a dive into Latin American history leads me to believe is that we don't need to worry about a coup. Coups are almost exclusively led by the military, and the US military is not going to rise up against the president. My answer to the question in the title of the thread is a resounding "No."

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Doublethink.
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[Crosspost]

So at least one in 13 out of 20 countries, where we know about US involvement. I think that is enough to say the reputation is earned rather than assumed, and will mean people will wonder if it is the US *this time* basically every time there's a coup in Latin America.

(Also, that is just one continent - if you tried to count across the world, I think you'd find more.)

In the US itself, I'd have thought your biggest risks are:

A) White supremacist domestic terrorism if Trump I'd impeached

B) Small scale civil war on Capitol Hill if Trump attempts to institute a dictatorship and then refuses to leave office. (The sort of thing where's troops surround the presidential palace - WH - then there's a stand off and then the leader is evacuated to a country that will tolerate him, usually Saudi.)

[ 07. August 2017, 07:00: Message edited by: Doublethink. ]

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All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome. George Orwell

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RuthW

liberal "peace first" hankie squeezer
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quote:
Originally posted by Doublethink.:
So at least one in 13 out of 20 countries, where we know about US involvement. I think that is enough to say the reputation is earned rather than assumed, and will mean people will wonder if it is the US *this time* basically every time there's a coup in Latin America.

Yes, and in Venezuela Maduro exploits that every chance he gets. We brought it on ourselves, to be sure.

At the same time, more than 90% of the time it wasn't us!

quote:
(Also, that is just one continent - if you tried to count across the world, I think you'd find more.)
Ya think? [Roll Eyes]

quote:
In the US itself, I'd have thought your biggest risks are:

A) White supremacist domestic terrorism if Trump [is] impeached

The Democrats have to re-take the House in 2018 to impeach Trump. The Republicans won't do it (and I don't really think so badly of them for this -- impeachment is a political tool, always has been). It's not impossible, but it's more likely that they will gain seats but not enough to get a majority. But yes, if this happens, and if Trump is impeached, this is a possibility.

quote:
B) Small scale civil war on Capitol Hill if Trump attempts to institute a dictatorship and then refuses to leave office. (The sort of thing where's troops surround the presidential palace - WH - then there's a stand off and then the leader is evacuated to a country that will tolerate him, usually Saudi.)
How on earth does this happen?

I don't see him enjoying the office enough to want to stay in past his term, and even more important, I don't see him having the institutional support to do this. If he loses the 2020 election or is termed out in 2024 (please God let it not take that long), he'd need Congress and the military on his side if he wanted to hang around somehow. Republicans are already thinking about challenging him in the primary in 2020 (NY Times).

Trump is weak and getting weaker. He might be forced from office by Mueller's investigation, or he might stumble through the full four-year term. But he is not in a strong political position, and it's only August of his first year.

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Doublethink.
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He doesn't like the job, but he is a total narcissist and the idea of "losing" by being removed from office may be simply intolerable for him.

As to creeping dictatorship, I am sure you have seen all the various lists of warning signs circulating.

There will come a point where he crosses a constitutional line - tries to dismiss the house majority leader, demands the AG lock up a specific reporter - something - and how Trump reacts to the state response maybe very ugly.

There are clearly members of the police, border force and military who support him - if he declares he is being removed illegally, or that the deep state is attempting a coup - thru his Facebook news channel or wherever and calls patriots to come to the capitol / White House to defend him, some will come and some will be armed.

[ 07. August 2017, 07:36: Message edited by: Doublethink. ]

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All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome. George Orwell

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Doc Tor
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Ruth, as comprehensive as your list appears to be, it disagrees with the one I posted earlier on several dates.

I don't disagree with the idea that coups can be entirely self-started - clearly they can. A more radical thought would be that it may have been better for western democracies to have supported civil society and democratic institutions in other countries, and indicated that they would cut trade and relations with any country that replaced an elected government with a military one.

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Get your arse to Mars

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la vie en rouge
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I am currently reading this book and it is very, very alarming. It argues that there is already a fifth column working to undermine American democracy, and it comes from the radical libertarian right, bankrolled principally by the Koch brothers. The purpose of their campaign is to concentrate power and wealth in the hands of rich white people at the expense of the majority, and they’ve been doing rather well of late (exhibit A: private prisons; exhibit B: the defunding of public education in favour of vouchers; exhibit C: the propaganda campaign to convince the American public that climate change is not real in order to further corporate interests).

It’s safe to say these people are never going to launch an outright coup because they’ve figured out that a stealth campaign via the back door is a much more effective method. Right now they’re getting exactly what they want. We should all be very worried. And angry.

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simontoad
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Honestly, la vie, that sounds like disaster porn for the left. Put it away and re-read The Handmaid's Tale. Atwood is brilliant and convincing, and the mini-series which I'm watching now is excellent. As for the Koch brothers, the name says it all.

My opinion is the US tendency to back coups in other countries is nothing more than catch-up colonialism tinged with a fair dollop of cold-war paranoia. Every group of people that has weilded power in the world has these sorts of skeletons in their closet, and much much worse.

I'll bet (expression only) I can match any anti-democratic practice or atrocity perpetrated on behalf of the United States without even referring to Mao, Stalin, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, Saddam Hussein or the Rwandan massacre. I'll even try and limit myself to the Georgian Brits, though I'm a bit worried I might be exhibiting braggadocio there. Hell, you can even include the massacres of native Americans in the westward expansion if you like.

In spite of the evil inflicted upon peoples in the name of the United States, it is still the most humane and benevolent world leader the planet has yet seen.

No wikipedia. I pull everything out of my arse.

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Brenda Clough
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I agree. And as a nation the US is prone to occasional fits of lunacy (the last really good one was Joe McCarthy, and who can forget Prohibition?) but we always pull out of the nosedive eventually. Crooked Don too shall pass, and become no more than roadkill in the rear-view mirror, the wellspring of thousands of TV dramas, novels and psychological analyses. We are bigger than he is. My hope is that the crackup won't be too damaging for the nation.

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RuthW

liberal "peace first" hankie squeezer
# 13

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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
Ruth, as comprehensive as your list appears to be, it disagrees with the one I posted earlier on several dates.

Blum is listing attempts to overthrow governments, while I'm listing coups and attempted coups - not entirely the same thing. There are other ways besides coups to overthrow governments. And if some of my dates are wrong, well, so it goes. I took them all from Wikipedia.

Thanks for the reference - Blum is going on my to-read list.

quote:

I don't disagree with the idea that coups can be entirely self-started - clearly they can. A more radical thought would be that it may have been better for western democracies to have supported civil society and democratic institutions in other countries, and indicated that they would cut trade and relations with any country that replaced an elected government with a military one.

Could not agree more. I was only disputing the notion that it is reasonable to suspect US involvement every single time there's a coup in the western hemisphere, given that most of the time it's actually not the case.

The long list of coups makes me think even more that the US is unlikely to experience one. The conditions that give rise to them in other countries don't exist here. Not to say things couldn't develop in that direction, if our democratic institutions are sufficiently undermined.

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Doc Tor
Deepest Red
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The British are/were probably one of the worst offenders for regime change - just that we tended to do it by invasion and occupation. Though I did like Blum's sardonic joke at the bottom of the page:

quote:
Q: Why will there never be a coup d’état in Washington?

A: Because there’s no American embassy there.



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Get your arse to Mars

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Golden Key
Shipmate
# 1468

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Re Kochs:

quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:
Honestly, la vie, that sounds like disaster porn for the left.

Actually, from what I understand from news over the years, the Koch thing is for real (DuckDuckGo).

Example:

"Covert Operations The billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama." (Jane Mayer for The New Yorker).

The Koch bros. were not happy campers about that...

"How the Kochtopus Went After a Reporter In Jane Mayer’s new book, she reports how the conservative machine sicced private detectives on her." (Mother Jones).

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
--"I'm not giving up--and neither should you." --SNL

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RuthW

liberal "peace first" hankie squeezer
# 13

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Doc Tor: Yeah, I appreciated that as well. One of my arguments against California seceding from the union is that we'd then be subject to American foreign policy. [Eek!]

[ 07. August 2017, 20:22: Message edited by: RuthW ]

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Dave W.
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# 8765

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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
Ruth, as comprehensive as your list appears to be, it disagrees with the one I posted earlier on several dates.

Is there a reason to think that one should be considered authoritative? (I note that, according to it, the US overthrew the Australian government back in the 70s. You might think that would rankle, but they seem to be remarkably chill about it.)

In any case, the sorry history of US interference in Latin America (among other regions) provides such a rich source of well-documented knavery that an unsupported statement like "even the Economist - no lefty conspiracy rag - reported the attempted coup as driven behind the scenes by the US" just seems sloppy and lazy.

Besides, in the spring of 2002 the US administration was rather preoccupied on the foreign policy front with preparations for something much, much worse.

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Doc Tor
Deepest Red
# 9748

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quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.:
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
Ruth, as comprehensive as your list appears to be, it disagrees with the one I posted earlier on several dates.

Is there a reason to think that one should be considered authoritative? (I note that, according to it, the US overthrew the Australian government back in the 70s. You might think that would rankle, but they seem to be remarkably chill about it.)
I gave it as a point of information, and will merely comment that the author has presented, in writing and at length in several books, arguments to support such allegations.

You could, of course, look up the 1975 Australian constitutional crisis, as I've just done (I was nine at the time, and it seems to have passed me by) and see the official denials and odd coincidences for yourself, including the report of a call that President Carter made, promising to "never again interfere with Australia's democratic processes" (emphasis mine).

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Dave W.
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I'm sure he has! I can find lists of any number of interesting things on the internet, compiled by prolific authors who will be happy to sell you their books and send you their newsletters. This doesn't necessarily make them useful to discussions of the issues they purportedly address, even as merely "information".

You may not be surprised (or maybe you are!) to know that I had already read the same Wikipedia article I presume you did. I don't think that comes anywhere near supporting Blum's contention that the US overthrew the Australian government. Do you?

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Doc Tor
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I think that there is not enough evidence in the public domain to conclusively prove that they did. There is enough circumstantial evidence to say they certainly picked sides, and that it may have even gone as far as interfering in the democratic process.

How else would you explain Carter's "never again" remark, else in that context?

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Dave W.
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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
I think that there is not enough evidence in the public domain to conclusively prove that they did. There is enough circumstantial evidence to say they certainly picked sides, and that it may have even gone as far as interfering in the democratic process.

Really? The former head of the ASIO "has dismissed the notion of CIA involvement", but you're certain of your evaluation of evidence about this remarkable government overthrow that you had never heard of until today?
quote:

How else would you explain Carter's "never again" remark, else in that context?

Wikipedia doesn't ascribe any remark or call directly to Carter. Supposedly Deputy Secretary of State Warren Christopher told Whitlam that Carter said that - or so Whitlam claimed in his memoirs. But Wikipedia also says Whitlam "wrote that Kerr did not need any encouragement from the CIA" - this is from a 2008 article in the Australian headlined "Carter denied CIA meddling". If there was something actually from Carter that said this, or even from Warren Christopher, that might be worth looking into, but third hand? Eventually we'll end up asking Kevin Bacon.
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Golden Key
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...presumably, then, giving Kevin Bacon the sixth degree?
[Biased]

I don't think I ever heard about *anyone* trying to overthrow the Australian gov't, though I might have heard back in the day, and forgotten it. I don't know why the US gov't would mess with *Australia*.

If Carter made that "never again" remark, I wonder if he had the Middle East peace process (and, therefore, the Holocaust) on his mind. That might have influenced the wording.

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simontoad
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What happened in 1975 was:

(a) The Whitlam govt made a series of serious mistakes that left it vulnerable if the Liberal opposition could engineer an election;

(b) The Senate was evenly poised when a Government senator died. The convention was that the State Government would appoint the nominee of the dead senator's party to fill the vacancy. This Gentleman's agreement was broken by the conservative premier of Queensland, thus giving control of the Senate to the conservative forces. I think he appointed a bloke who used to be a member of the ALP, the tricky bastard.

(c) The leader of the Liberal Party Mal Fraser, used his control of the Senate to block money bills from passing, effectively choking off the executive branch from supply. The choke hold was proving effective, but the Government was not yet asphyxiated.

(d) Fraser then advised the Governor General, Sir John Kerr, to use his reserve powers to dismiss the executive Government and appoint Fraser as Prime Minister for the purpose of holding an election to resolve the Parliamentary deadlock. Kerr received advice from Whitlam not to do this, but did it anyway.

(e) Fraser was appointed Prime Minister by Kerr, called an election, and won in a landslide.

There was no coup. I am certain that the Americans were cheering the actions of Fraser and Kerr, because Whitlam and some in the ALP had expressed hostility towards the American alliance, a minor element of their political incompetence at the time. The Americans didn't have to do anything to get rid of Whitlam. He created the conditions for his own demise and he got what was coming to him, just a bit earlier than expected.

There were some shall we say difficulties in what Kerr did and how he did it. However, he took advice from the proper source, the Chief Justice. It's just that the Chief Justice's impartiality was suspect. Arguably, Fraser should not have advised Kerr at all, and arguably Kerr should only have acted on the Prime Minister's advice, not on his own volition. But these points are moot. The salient point is that this crisis was about the interactions, relationships and personalities of a dozen or so Australian men, and had very little to do with the Americans.

Hopefully Gee D. will join in the conversation. I'm sure his understanding of the legalities will be more accurate than mine, and his recollection of events more precise.

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The opinions expressed above are transitory emotional responses and do not necessarily reflect the considered views of the author.

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Gramps49
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There is a constitutional provision for a coup, technically, it is the 25th amendment. Basically it says if the VP and at least half the cabinet determines the President cannot fulfill duties of the office, they can notify Congress, and Congress has 21 days to accept the actions of the VP. If they do not, the President can return to office.

https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/amendmentxxv

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Doc Tor
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# 9748

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quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.:
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
I think that there is not enough evidence in the public domain to conclusively prove that they did. There is enough circumstantial evidence to say they certainly picked sides, and that it may have even gone as far as interfering in the democratic process.

Really? The former head of the ASIO "has dismissed the notion of CIA involvement", but you're certain of your evaluation of evidence about this remarkable government overthrow that you had never heard of until today?
I am ... uncertain ... as to how to got to your comment from mine, unless you're feeling particularly fighty this morning.

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LutheranChik
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I agree with a previous observation that it's actually 45, his plutocrat supporters like the Mercer family and his minions who are engaged in a slow-motion coup, systematically dismantling our government and ignoring the rule of law.

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