Learning Lessons From the Past: Regime Change

Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet shaking hands with Kissinger in 1976
Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet shaking hands with Kissinger in 1976

I was reading the CIA archives from the George Washington University website. When working for an organization like the CIA, there’s a strict code of confidentiality like with all corporate institutions. It’s only until years later those secret files are made available to the general public. In a secret memorandum between Henry Kissinger & Pinochet, the Department of State and Augusto Pinochet’s U-Chilean Relations takes place on June 8, 1976:

“Afterward, the bombing of Orlando Letellier followed two weeks later, but Pinochet survived the first attempt by the CIA. In this secret memorandum, Henry Kissinger briefs Pinochet, in advance, in his speech to the OAS in Santiago. He lets Pinochet know that he will treat the issue of human rights in general terms only. He stresses that his speech is not aimed at Chile, but it is intended to appease the United States Congress. He notes,“we have a practical problem we have taken into account bringing about pressures incompatible with your dignity, and at the same time, which does not lead to U.S. laws which will undermine our relations.”

According to the declassified CIA memos and cables, at least some US officials acknowledged that the regime change was neither in the best interest of Chile, nor the United States. Defense Intelligence Agency analysts compared Pinochet’s secret police DINA to Hitler’s Gestapo. “A documented case can be made for the position that the current regime in Chile is militaristic, fascists, tyrannical and murderous (mass executions),” one State Department intelligence analyst reported in 1974. Public fears over government secrecy and deception are pervasive once again—similar to the current situation(s): Iran and Syria. Even so, 1974 demands to be remembered, as US foreign policy becomes further removed from the values, morality, and real national interests of the American public—Democracy and Crude Oil.

After WWII, a surge in nationalism and anti-Colonialism became prominent on the global stage. Regime change has weakened rather then strengthened American national security. It produced generations of militants who are deeply and sometimes violently anti-American. There’s growing resentment against US military presence in the Mideast, which has given Iran the impetus to propagate violence against the United States & Western forces. Richard Nixon with the Secretary of State Henry Kissinger continued the strategy—developed under the administration of John Foster Dulles and his brother Allen Dulles—of dealing with dictators, as the likes of Shah of Iran Reza Pahlavi, who allowed their countries to be used as platforms for the projection of American power.

Even, the Department of State, Hilary Clinton, apologized to Iran for the 1953 Coupe that ousted the democratic Prime Minister Mosadeq. The Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, known as (BP) British Petroleum had convinced the US to overthrow the Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosadeq, in 1953. Prime Minister Mosadeq arrived to the UN to present his case against a foreign corporation that controlled his country’s basic resource—Oil. The idealist and western-educated, Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosadeq embodied the cause that became his country’s obsession. He was determined to expel the Anglo Oil Company, nationalize the oil industry, and use the money it generated to develop Iran. The removal of Mosadeq was the removal of the only chance Iran ever had at a true democracy.

History of U.S. Intervention in Iran – 1953 Until Present


CNN Insight. U.S. Comes Clean About The Coup In Iran. Retrieved from:                http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0004/19/i_ins.00.html

George Washington University Archives: Declassified CIA memos.