PATRICK LAWRENCE: Now the Interim of US Self-Deception Over Bolivia

To read the mainstream press on what just happened to Evo Morales is to enter a hall of mirrors.

By Patrick Lawrence
Special to Consortium News

Years from now, maybe a generation from now, it will be permissible to describe Evo Morales’s resignation-at-gunpoint two weeks ago as what it was: a coup the U.S. cultivated just as it has dozens of others since it emerged as a superpower in 1945. The acknowledgement will not matter then. The events in question will be comfortably distant in time. Those responsible for deposing the Bolivian president will be either retired or deceased. Americans will not have fooled any Bolivians, for this autumn will be etched in their memories, but Americans will have once again fooled themselves.

This is how it often goes when Washington crushes the democratic aspirations of others by toppling legitimately elected leaders and replacing them with figures — usually corrupt, often dictatorial, by definition undemocratic — to its liking. It took decades for the U.S. to acknowledge the C.I.A.–directed coup in 1953 against the Mossadegh government in Iran: President Barack Obama did so (without apologizing) in 2009. Forty-five years after the fact, Bill Clinton spent half a day in Guatemala expressing regret for the coup that brought down President Jacobo Árbenz in 1954.

This is what awaits us now in the case of Bolivia — a long interim of self-deception, ending only when the truth makes little difference and responsibility can no longer be assigned.

Bolivia’s Evo Morales in 2008. (Joel Alvarez, Wikimedia Commons)

Here is some of what Bill Clinton, president at the time, said in Guatemala City in March 1999. He spoke shortly after Guatemala’s Historical Clarification Commission — a name one has to love — concluded that in deposing Árbenz the U.S. was responsible for the blood-soaked human rights abuses that followed during 36 years of civil war:

“It is important that I state clearly that support for military forces or intelligence units which engaged in violent and widespread repression of the kind described in the report was wrong. And the United States must not repeat that mistake. We must and we will instead continue to support the peace and reconciliation process in Guatemala.”

Dishonesty & Consequences

This is a complacently dishonest statement, and it is essential to recognize not only Clinton’s dishonesty but also its consequences. These bear directly on the Bolivia question now. 

Clinton was explicit in asserting that the Árbenz coup was an injustice that will not happen again. The past was evil, but evil has passed: This is a sound summation of his message. Having followed Clinton’s Central American tour at the time, I remain convinced that he addressed Americans at least as much Guatemalans when he made the just-quoted remarks. Some of us intervened violently in another country and caused much suffering, he told us norteamericanos, but we are not those people. They are gone now and we are better than they were.

Former President Bill in Guatemala expressing regret for the coup that brought down President Jacobo Árbenz in 1954. (YouTube still)

This is the message implicit in all of the apologies U.S. officials occasionally make for misdeeds safely packed away in history’s deep freeze. In it we find the grand illusion of America’s present-day innocence. And it is by this illusion that the U.S. regularly repeats the mistake Clinton mentions, always certain that its injustices lie in a past for which Americans alive in the present bear no burden of guilt.

What are we to make of America’s apologies to others in view of the record before and after one or another of these expressions of regret? In Latin America alone, the Guatemalan “mistake” in 1954 was repeated, successfully or otherwise, in Cuba (1961, Bay of Pigs), Chile (1973), Nicaragua (1981–90, the Contra insurgency), and Honduras (2009). Washington has been trying for years to repeat its mistake in Venezuela and is currently trying again in Nicaragua. In the Venezuela case, sanctions have already succeeded in destabilizing the nation’s economy.

We have just watched it make this mistake in Bolivia. John Bolton, in his noted “troika of tyranny” speech a year ago, lumped Cuba with Venezuela and Nicaragua. Trump’s now-departed national security adviser unabashedly promised coups in all three nations.

The past is evil, all right, but evil has not passed.

Fighting for Plain Speech

Guatemala’s democratically elected president Jacobo Árbenz. (Wikimedia Commons)

Language is the battleground in the Bolivian case, as in all others like it in the past. This is as it should be. The fight for plain, spade-a-spade language is one worth fighting. It is by naming things and events honestly that we shed our illusions of innocence. This is the essential first step if America is to alter its ruinous conduct abroad. To fail in this is to protect the illegal practices of a disorderly hegemonic power from scrutiny.

Our corporate media have treated us to a remarkable display of hand-wringing and verbal contortions to avoid using the term “coup” in describing the events in La Paz from Oct. 20, when Morales was elected to a fourth term, and Nov. 10, when his high command forced him into exile. “Was there a coup in Bolivia?” The Economist asked after Morales sought asylum in Mexico. “Coup isn’t the right word,” the reliably neoliberal Foreign Policy protested as if in response. This is the same journal that published a piece in mid–2018 headlined, “It’s Time for a Coup in Venezuela.”

To read the mainstream press on Bolivia is to enter a hall of mirrors. The violent overthrow of an elected president struck a blow for the restoration of order and the rule of law. Christian fundamentalists of European descent, racist to the core and explicitly contemptuous of Bolivia’s indigenous majority, are “democrats” worthy of our support. Bolivia’s first indigenous president, highly popular for lifting an impressive percentage of Bolivians out of poverty, was a hated, “tyrannical dictator.”

This, the Orwellian touch, is routine — and is routinely reported in the American press. When the murderous General Abdul–Fattah al–Sisi took power in Egypt in a coup six years ago, John Kerry, as U.S. secretary of state, applauded  him for “restoring democracy.” For good measure the secretary of state added, “The military did not take over.” 

Islands of Responsible Coverage  

Bolivia’s President Evo Morales and Vice President Álvaro García Linera in 2006 shining the shoes of shoeshine boys. (Wikimedia Commons)

Accurate, responsible accounts of the events surrounding Morales’s ouster are perfectly available, even if they appear amid a sea of mis– and disinformation. The Grayzone’s reporting on Bolivia this autumn is second to no one’s. Last week Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, FAIR, carried a highly informed and informative interview with Alex Main of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington.

These publications make the truth of events in Bolivia easily legible. There was no “drastic change” in the vote count late in the polling process, as the U.S.–controlled Organization of American States alleged. Neither was there a suspicious interruption in official reports of the final results, as also alleged. Many of the key figures in the coup have dense ties to Washington; some, including Williams Kalimán Romero, the since-replaced commander of the armed forces at the time of the coup, were trained at WHINSEC, the military training base in the U.S. state of Georgia previously (and infamously) known as the School of the Americas.

Just as it has elsewhere — Venezuela and Ukraine are recent examples — Washington was supporting right-wing political parties and opposition “civil society” groups even before Morales first won office in 2006. The first U.S.–cultivated coup attempt against him came two years later.

Do we have prima facie proof of Washington’s involvement in the coup against Morales? This is rarely available in such circumstances as these. As in many other cases, we may have to wait for the historians and the declassification of foreign- relations records. The closest we come so far in the Bolivia case is a set of 16 audio recordings released Nov. 10 by El Periódico, an independent publication in Costa Rica. These appear to record top coup plotters as they plan actions against the Morales government and, in one, discuss the support they receive from Senators Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Bob Menendez — all of whom have taken a hand in previous Latin American interventions.

The recordings are here with English-language summaries of each recording, and here in the original El Periódico version. Provenance, chain of custody, the identities of those who made the recordings and those whose voices are recorded: None of this is clear. El Periódico did not reply to queries sent by email. But given how closely these audios align with established procedures in U.S.–cultivated coups (such as a leaked audio regarding the coup in Ukraine), and the formidable accumulation of compelling circumstantial evidence, they cannot be dismissed pending needed verifications.

What just happened in Bolivia happened in Guatemala 65 years ago, 66 in Iran, and so on. Coups were conducted in more or less the same fashion, without so much as a procedural update. Now as on previous occasions, most Americans are kept ignorant of what has been done in their name — and, atop this, remain indifferent to their ignorance. This is a media failure as much as a moral failure. When Bolton openly promises coups across Latin America, and liberal magazines such as FP cheer on such plans in banner headlines, we must conclude that in our late-imperial phase we are a numbed nation.

Washington has just degraded Bolivia’s long effort to climb out of poverty, to take control of its resources and its destiny, and to escape from centuries of exploitation at the hands of Westerners. This is shameful. The silent consent of most Americans after many decades of unlearned lessons is equally so.

Patrick Lawrence, a correspondent abroad for many years, chiefly for the International Herald Tribune, is a columnist, essayist, author and lecturer. His most recent book is “Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century” (Yale). Follow him on Twitter @thefloutist. His web site is Patrick Lawrence. Support his work via his Patreon site. 

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28 comments for “PATRICK LAWRENCE: Now the Interim of US Self-Deception Over Bolivia

  1. George
    November 30, 2019 at 07:36

    I’m probably late in this thread but thought this was interesting enough to post anyway

    abcnews (dot) go (dot)com/amp/International/wireStory/bolivia-renew-israel-ties-rupture-morales-67374746

  2. Marc
    November 27, 2019 at 22:40

    Not mistakes were made but crimes were done. The inevitable results of deliberate policies. Perhaps it was not the intent or knowledge of all involved, but the bottom line is the same.

  3. Lester D
    November 26, 2019 at 18:09

    Hey, when will that “arc of the moral universe” start bending. It will snap itself in two if it tries to bend all the way over to “justice”!!

  4. Sam F
    November 26, 2019 at 17:48

    The “silent consent of most Americans after many decades of unlearned lessons” is largely due to mass media corrupted by economic power, which of course controls all branches of federal and most state governments as well. Most cannot bear to admit the corruption, and bury themselves in mass media illusions to get by, to know what they must say to stabilize their economic and social relationships. They avoid the truth because (H.L.Mencken) “it is dangerous, no good can come of it, and it doesn’t pay.” And (Twain) they are more easily fooled than persuaded that they have been fooled.

    I am prosecuting racketeering in state government, need IRS/FBI/HSI assistance, and they refuse apparently because they only prosecute low-level Dem public officials in Florida, whereas the operations I uncovered are apparently all Reps.

    There is no peaceful way to end the corruption, because the tools of democracy are all controlled by the oligarchy.
    These mad foreign wars for political bribes must ultimately lead to worldwide embargo of the US, when its oligarchy will have no one to rob but US citizens. But it may take many generations of that before public anger leads to forcible resistance, and even then the sheep will sell themselves to brutalize their own people, on absurd myths of national purpose nowhere evidenced.

    Perhaps secessions will be the only path, but state governments are no better, and would never permit secessions themselves.
    I would be glad to hear of another path to reform, but presently see no good ones.

  5. Jeff Harrison
    November 26, 2019 at 17:37

    I think the phrase you’re looking for Patrick is “I take the responsibility, but not the blame”. I think, however, that the days of the US being able to evade the consequences of our coups etc are also just about over. Even our vassals in Europe are noticing.

  6. SuperLJ
    November 26, 2019 at 15:48

    Things are tough all over. If you want to get a little outside the box look at how much money , US Dollars are in the world. How much debt that climbs every day. The CIA has an unlimited budget for bribery . They have had a blank check since WW II. Coincidentally the Japanese treasures and much of what the NAZIs had confiscated disappeared. Was it s corralled into US intelligence coffers ? Hey , that’s classified. ‘ I’m not making this up but it may disappear , that is to say obvious truth may disappear from logical discourse. . Bolivia? Most probably a gambit to seize resources that are integral to battery production which is the future of private motor transportation. . The Forces that have taken control of Boliovia are well less than a 40% minoritry. This power p[lay is similar to Venezuelan oil but since there are US Dollars to bribe anyone in South America, Africa, Syria, Iran, even Russia and Hong Kong, etc. why not try a losing hand in Bolivia? My words are true. This will not succeed but since Trump is a brigand in all ways he falls easily into US Policy . Oh Bartelby, Oh Humanity. I just want a little cheese with my crumpets. Please Sir.

  7. Seamus Padraig
    November 26, 2019 at 14:55

    “And the United States must not repeat that mistake. We must and we will instead continue to support the peace and reconciliation process in Guatemala.”

    I note with scornful irony that only 10 years after Billy Bob made that statement, his wife, as Secretary of State, presided over coups in both Honduras and Paraguay. Never again, eh!

  8. November 26, 2019 at 14:23

    I think you have vastly oversimplified this situation. I have Bolivian family members, who were big Morales supporters for years. But after the referendum in 2016, to set term limits on presidents, Morales went to a tribunal that overturned the peoples’ will and stated that it was a violation of his human rights to have term limits. Then, there was also the indigenous protest in 2013, where 1000 indigenous people were beaten for protesting a super highway through the rainforest in their area. Morales either sent in the police, or at the very least, did not hold any accountable for the beatings. Many progressives in Bolivia turned against Morales for these reasons.

    • November 27, 2019 at 12:56

      He still won the election. I suppose you think the “interim” president represents the will of the people. The elite, certainly; not the masses.

    • Peter in Seattle
      November 28, 2019 at 21:13

      I don’t know anything about the incident where 1000 indigenous people were ostensibly beaten, nor how many of them might have been paid astroturfers or provocateurs (a practice noted by investigative reporters in the recent “uprising”).

      I also don’t know anything about how conflicts between duly ratified international treaties and subsequent constitutional provisions are resolved in Bolivian law — not every country follows the US model where the Constitution always prevails.

      But I do know that term limits were effectively banned by Article 23 of the American Convention on Human Rights, which Bolivia ratified in 1979. If the Convention was legitimately held by Bolivian courts to prevail, Morales did in fact have a “human right” to run again.

      And while Morales’s popular support may have been flagging compared to what it was in previous elections, he apparently won a sufficient plurality margin in the first run to be re-elected outright. And if unsupported allegations of vote-counting fraud were to be lent credence and his plurality margin found insufficient, he was apparently poised to win an absolute majority in the second round.

      In short, Morales had colorable legal grounds for running again, and he apparently still has majority popular support, at least as the “lesser evil.”

    • Jahaziel Bonilla
      November 29, 2019 at 13:06

      The fact remains and is factual that even if Evo Morales Ayma lost some support among his former base he still won, hands down and it was the US State department with non elected collaborators like Mesa, Camacho, Williams Kaliman etc. (trained at the School of the Americas in Fort Benin Georgia) with the cover of the Ministry of Colonies (OAS/OEA). Before Evo Bolivia had US puppets govern every two years on average with very little economic growth (all the plunder went to transnational corporations and the local oligarchy). All Evo did was include the rest of the population in education, health care delivery and nationalized key segments of industry for the benefit of ALL Bolivians and not just the oligarchs. If your relatives in Bolivia are not part of the local oligarchy they will soon discover their mistake in not backing Evo……

  9. James Gatherer
    November 26, 2019 at 13:32

    Thanks Patrick. “The past was evil, but the evil has passed” seems to echo the words of Robert Meister whom you interviewed a while back.

    • November 27, 2019 at 06:31

      Well spotted, James. V grateful to have so close a reader as you. P. L.

  10. Theo
    November 26, 2019 at 12:54

    Thank you for this article and the audio links.

  11. Hide Behind
    November 26, 2019 at 12:46

    History in the future, where will be the reference works come from?
    If one looks at archives of news print and video of Clintons period, Somalia and Balkans, the hype in media has not been redacted, and of Iraq none of official and media archives have either.
    In Bush/Cheney era an Executive order was written that placed past official records, and even masses of what was already in public domain of his pappy and associates political and financial dealings, remember the oil company’s meeting prior to Iraq invasion #2, led by Cheny, has no written records even today.
    Digital records who has final say over them, as with books everything was supposed to be available on line, Smithsonian has Vmailnhas all of its written transferred to digital and removed original books and writings from public access, will Google Cassify them Hate Speech, charge an exorbitant fee, or as false news?
    If on Internet who actually owns the data.
    Last F.O.I.A. request for Federal Records cost over 30,000 USD and to get full took three more tries, they said must be more specofic, page number , federal registry number and pay fees almost 15,000 US$, and almost 2/3 of data was.blacked out.
    Mostly useless to use as reference because to draw a definite conclusion of who what where or when was impossible to be verified enough so as to be used and would be called conjecture by Officials and media outlets.
    Compared to years before Bush/ Regan Presidency when the publications of independent journalist was carried by all News Medias, and.published by independent andUniversity Press in Book form, there is almost no way other than by a wealthy sponsor group can their works get published, forget visual TV and Cable,.but only in digital form upon internet.
    An internet that daily removes such independent sights, demonitizing, and at same time destroys all digital archive materials as well.
    One needs matches to burn books, digital needs but 1 push button, “Delete”.
    If one wants truth of nations aiding coups, do not look at popular media, popular as in mass viewership mediums, and try looking into Financial records , FOREX and Stock Market reporting , and Financial sections of Press, and glossy Industrial specific reports and publications.
    Those who actually control worlds wealth from resources and financial transactions do brag about it, all done by publications they own,
    Only thing is the world’s largest money Laundering organizations, Israel, City of London” and off shore Banking were Trust are managed do not and cannot have records revealed even by Sovereign nations gOvernment request.
    The investment increase in Brazil by foreign financials , especially Sovereign Bond sales, by all of top mining, energy, agricultural and those such as Nestle who privatize water and other such firms, the flow of over 100 Billions just since elections won by their Fascist Groups now in power.
    Good ok boy silent agreements begin before the coups, no written historical records,
    Try looking up to whom all the Gold and US sales of Venezuelas oils firms has been disbursed to.
    It’s said history is written by the victors, true, but what is not printed will never be written.
    In the future all history will be conjecture, same as today, passing into the wind and public just hiding from its backsplash.

  12. Robert
    November 26, 2019 at 12:37

    A numbed nation, yes. America is at the polarization / paralysis stage of national hysteria (a febrile, fevered atmosphere), ruled by a pathologically egotistical ‘spellbinder’. If it doesn’t wake up then a ‘pathocracy’ will probably follow (rule by a minority of psychopathological individuals hiding behind an ‘ideological mask’, in America’s case presumably some form of right-wing capitalism).

    Quotes from the book ‘Political Ponerology’ (meaning the scientific study of political evil), a book written by the last survivor of an underground group of psychiatrists and psychologists in the former Soviet Union who studied how totalitarian states are born.


    Egoism among individuals and social groups increases, and the links of moral duty and social networks are felt to be loosening…

    When a hysterical environment stops differentiating the opinions of limited, not-quite-normal people from those of normal, reasonable persons, this opens the door for activation of the pathological factors of a various nature to enter in….

    Triumphant repression of self-critical or unpleasant concepts from the field of consciousness gradually gives rise to the phenomena of conversive thinking [twisted thinking], or paralogistics [twisted logic], paramoralisms [twisted morality], and the use of reversion blockades [Big Lies]. They stream so profusely from the mind and mouth of the spellbinder that they flood the average person’s mind….

    … people who have maintained their healthy critical faculties intact, based upon their own common sense and moral criteria, attempt to counteract the spellbinders’ activities and their results. In the resulting polarization of social attitudes, each side justifies itself by means of moral categories. That is why such commonsense resistance is always accompanied by some feeling of helplessness and deficiency of criteria [an inability to understand what’s going on in those who’ve never heard of the process of pathocratisation].

  13. Guy
    November 26, 2019 at 11:45

    ““Was there a coup in Bolivia?” The Economist asked after Morales sought asylum in Mexico. “Coup isn’t the right word,” the reliably neoliberal Foreign Policy protested as if in response. This is the same journal that published a piece in mid–2018 headlined, “It’s Time for a Coup in Venezuela.””
    Did someone mention hypocrisy ? To the point of hard to fathom I would suggest .
    Thank you CN and Patrick Lawrence for this excellent exposé.

    • CitizenOne
      November 26, 2019 at 21:46

      Once upon a time The Economist was not an organ of speech for the global economic group of multinational corporations that spins such coups as “restoring democracy” but bit by bit this once independent publisher was usurped into a mouth organ for the powerful corporations ending in the articles it publishes today that favor the world view of global corporate interests. Sad to see how the take down of independent analysis of global events has been so thoroughly achieved that today it is just a pompom girl for the greedy desires of wealthy corporations. Such is the fate of many once independent credible outlets. The take downs happen all over the mediascape and the results of these takeovers have a special purpose. That is to trap avid readers of the once independent and critical analyses of economic trends published by a thoughtful and independent media outlet slowly by inches and then by feet and then by miles and then by thousands of miles into subscribers that have been transformed slowly into true believers in the global economic strategies of global corporations while being simultaneously blasted with propaganda that the roots of independent media outlets are liberal garbage and attempting to expunge any traces of the media outlet’s original intent to provide independent analysis and replace it with corporate group think.

      The many references here comparing what is going on with the dystopia depicted in George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty Four are not wrong. The nearly complete obliviousness in the general public with current events depicts a completely deluded populace that has no idea what is going on in Oceania or the reasons for its endless wars with Eurasia and Eastasia all fomented by the supposed mastermind Emmanuel Goldstein, the enemy of the people of Oceania. These themes are duplicated in the real world against real national leaders and nations.

      Unfortunately it seems that Orwell not only wrote a cautionary fictional novel about a terrifying future but he also supplied a roadmap for those who are in power and also choose to take us all there. It is hard to separate the fiction from fact or to accurately judge causality but I think both are intertwined with reality and the actions of our leaders either by inspiration derived from the prescience of Orwell or by the studious nature of those that realized this fictional novel was a credible possible future they wanted to pursue.

      Anyway, we have arrived here together in the future based on the timeline of the author just about forty years off from the original fictional timeline of the novel.

  14. November 26, 2019 at 11:28

    The terms “liberal” and “conservative” no longer have any meaning at all. It’s one big mashup of neolibcons and they are ALL imperialist profiteers.

  15. November 26, 2019 at 10:28

    Shameful, yes. Also horrifying, heartbreaking, and criminal. The days of reckoning are surely coming.

  16. michael
    November 26, 2019 at 09:53

    Sadly the US-instituted coups in Latin America are more pernicious than those in Egypt or even Ukraine; possibly because of the Monroe Doctrine and being in our “backyard” (hemisphere). Bolivia will likely follow the pattern of the other Latin countries, American extraction of resources (lithium) with minimal payments to the country, resistance met with death squads, forcing those who have enough resources to escape into the caravan of illegal aliens heading to the US, who will become exploited cheap labor, keeping wages down for their jobs at 1980s’ levels. These desperate people will fill the workplaces of political donors, and some will end up in the suburbs, cleaning toilets, cutting grass, building decks and caring for children or aged, where their “owners” pocket most of the money. Probably Bolivia will become like Honduras (Hillary made in clear it was not to be called a coup), which recently went the same route and is now a narco-state (and Americans, the CIA?, get their cut).

  17. Skip Scott
    November 26, 2019 at 08:12

    Foreign Policy is a “liberal” magazine? It seems to me that is a rather Orwellian description. There is NO doubt that we are a “numbed” nation. The masses are sheep dipped in propaganda and “info-tainment”, and many are drugged. Children’s free hours are spent submerged in violent video games to prepare them to become unthinking cannon fodder for the Oligarchy. Kids in poor neighborhoods are graduating high school with sixth-grade educations so they can end up feeding the prison-industrial complex or the military, or both.
    Liberal Arts education is seen as a waste of money, and colleges have become mere servants of empire grinding out automatons that have no knowledge of history, or anything else outside their chosen specialty.

    For anyone with eyes to see, two brain cells, and a firing synapse, this is all by design. We will either stand up to evil and revolt, or our species will soon perish.

    • Sam F
      November 26, 2019 at 17:36

      Well said.

  18. AnneR
    November 26, 2019 at 07:43

    Coups, fomenting them, interfering in elections, provoking “color” revolutions leading to coups…all are part and parcel of the USA’s past and present determination to ensure that *its* corporate-capitalist-imperialists, *its* diktats rule the world, OK. (Of course, the UK, along with F and IS are on board.) And it doesn’t matter in the slightest which color political hat the existing admin and Congress wears when it comes to these violent, underhanded, hegemonic, vicious actions. As with so much else, the (so-called) two parties – Dems and Reps – are indistinguishable from each other.

    I’d not read any of Slick Willy’s Guatemalan “apology” before, so thank you Mr Lawrence for that. Interesting to note that even as the prez purportedly apologizes for the violence the US unleashed upon Guatemala with its coup fomentation and military slaughter and torture training, he did by *once again* describing American actions as a “Mistake.”

    Merely a mistake. We didn’t mean it, gov. Sorry. We only wanted the best for you, but now, some 40 years later, can we see what a terrible “mistake” we made. Next time we try, we’ll do it better, promise.

    American “exceptionalism” at work for you. We make mistakes – You have to live with the devastation, death and misery we cause. But we don’t mean it, really. Sorry.

    • michael
      November 26, 2019 at 10:06

      “Mistakes were made”. As William Safire noted, this non-apology is “a passive-evasive way of acknowledging error while distancing the speaker from responsibility for it.” Clinton’s “apology” was a more forceful, powerful LIE, at which he excelled.
      But Clinton is still revered by many, as the, and the Glass Steagall/ bank deregulation/ housing bubbles only collapsed after he left office.

    • Lois Gagnon
      November 26, 2019 at 14:55

      “Merely a mistake. We didn’t mean it, gov. Sorry. We only wanted the best for you, but now, some 40 years later, can we see what a terrible “mistake” we made. Next time we try, we’ll do it better, promise.

      American “exceptionalism” at work for you. We make mistakes – You have to live with the devastation, death and misery we cause. But we don’t mean it, really. Sorry.”

      Exactly. The “indispensable nation” to the rescue. Not.

    • Eddie S
      November 26, 2019 at 20:58

      I think that was an excellent point in this article— the way that the US ‘mistakes’ are somehow always ‘in the past’ and with a virtual implied assurance that ‘Oh, that WON’T happen again! That was just a weird exception to our normal benevolent interest in the welfare of all peoples around the world! That was the ‘old’ us! We’re WAY different now.’

      But then something like the Iraq ‘War’(-crime) happens, and it takes mass psychosis to believe that ‘Oh, that was an honest mistake based on some bad information’, and then to RE-elect the dullard ‘W’ who let it happen. This country crossed the Rubicon long ago, and we keep doing it…

  19. geeyp
    November 26, 2019 at 02:54

    Patrick Lawrence – Thank you for pointing out audio links and, for some unaware , the history of the US routine of coup-causing.

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