Aid flights that have been turned away from Haiti by the American military include flights from:

CARICOM, the Caribbean Community, Médecins Sans Frontieres, Brazil, France, Italy, and even the U.S. Red Cross

photo: JUAN BARRETO/AFP/Getty Images. Port-au-Prince January 19, 2010. US troops descended by helicopter to take control of Haiti's ruined presidential palace Tuesday, as the military earthquake relief operation gathered pace. As Bag News Notes says: I would love to know how the US military thought this picture would play (in Haiti -- after the first rush; domestically; abroad) in landing American troops at the Haitian Presidential Palace. Was it all gung-ho, or was there an upside/downside consideration?

The United States, having stolen so much from Haiti, now dictates what and when foreign aid will reach the Haitian people. … President Obama’s response to the tragedy in Haiti has been robust in military deployment and puny in what the Haitians need most: food; first responders and their specialized equipment; doctors and medical facilities and equipment; and engineers, heavy equipment, and heavy movers.
Cynthia McKinney

Médecins Sans Frontieres writes, with video at the link:

Six Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) cargo planes loaded with vital medical material like antibiotics have been redirected to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. This will delay MSF staff’s ability to treat patients who urgently need it.

And earlier:

Port-au-Prince, January 19, 2010A Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) cargo plane carrying 12 tons of medical equipment, including drugs, surgical supplies and two dialysis machines, was turned away three times from Port-au-Prince airport since Sunday night despite repeated assurances of its ability to land there. This 12-ton cargo was part of the contents of an earlier plane carrying a total of 40 tons of supplies that was blocked from landing on Sunday morning. Since January 14, MSF has had five planes diverted from the original destination of Port-au-Prince to the Dominican Republic. These planes carried a total of 85 tons of medical and relief supplies.

“We have had five patients in Martissant health center die for lack of the medical supplies that this plane was carrying,” said Loris de Filippi, emergency coordinator for the MSF’s Choscal Hospital in Cite Soleil. “I have never seen anything like this. Any time I leave the operating theater I see lots of people desperately asking to be taken for surgery. Today, there are 12 people who need lifesaving amputations at Choscal Hospital. We were forced to buy a saw in the market to continue amputations. We are running against time here.”

“It is like working in a war situation,” said Rosa Crestani, MSF medical coordinator for Choscal Hospital. “We don’t have any more morphine to manage pain for our patients. We cannot accept that planes carrying lifesaving medical supplies and equipment continue to be turned away while our patients die. Priority must be given to medical supplies entering the country.”

Many of the patients have been pulled from the rubble of collapsed buildings are at grave risk of death from septicemia and the consequences of “crush syndrome,” a condition where damaged muscle tissue releases toxins into the bloodstream and can lead to death from kidney failure. Dialysis machines are vital to keeping patients alive with this condition.

People who might have lived are already dead and more are in danger. Those who are lucky enough to get surgery may have no morphine to relieve their pain.

While writing this I just saw a clip on Rachel Maddow’s show of US Lt. Gen. Keane being asked about quake survivors camped within 200 yards of the airport who say they have received no aid so far. The General started talking about bringing in troops from lots of countries and ITN reporter Bill Neely had the presence to say they need aid, not troops.

With Foreign Aid Still at a Trickle, Devastated Port-au-Prince General Hospital Struggles to Meet Overwhelming Need

AMY GOODMAN: There are now, I think it was announced, 12,000 US soldiers. The Venezuelan President Chavez called it an occupation now. What would you say?

DR. EVAN LYON: I think it has real potential to be an occupation. If there are 12,000 soldiers here, it is an occupation. I’ve not known of any violence at the hands of the American military. We’ve also just barely had the beginning of collaboration with them, literally within the last thirty minutes. General Keane, their operations person, finally showed up here after some time. And the military is helping us secure the grounds. But of course this is an occupation. It’s not a—this is a disaster area. Warm bodies help, but military is potentially very destructive in this environment.

AMY GOODMAN: What do you need? What would be constructive?

DR. EVAN LYON: What we need right now is electricity, water, nurses, surgeons and materials. We have on site right now—we have seven operating rooms up and running. We need about fifteen or twenty within the next twenty-four hours. We have materials to keep the operating rooms going for maybe another twelve hours. Once that runs out, then we’re stuck.

AMY GOODMAN: Soldiers haven’t brought you supplies?

DR. EVAN LYON: Not yet.

DR. EVAN LYON: This question of security and the rumors of security and the racism behind the idea of security has been our major block to getting aid in. The US military has promised us for several days to bring in—to bring in machinery, but they’ve been listening to this idea that things are insecure, and so we don’t have supplies.

I’m living here in the neighborhood with a friend. I’m staying with some of my Haitian doctor colleagues. We’ve been circulating on the roads to 1:00 and 2:00 in the morning, moving patients, moving supplies, trying to get our work done. There is no security. The UN is not out. The US is not out. The Haitian police are not able to be out. But there’s also no insecurity. I don’t know if you guys were out late last night, but you can hear a pin drop in this city. It’s a peaceful place. There is no war. There is no crisis except the suffering that’s ongoing.

The concern for militarization, the concern for occupation is very real. There is capacity that we don’t have that the military will help us with, and that is urgently needed, because we’re losing patients minute to minute. But the first that listeners need to understand is that there is no insecurity here. There has not been, and I expect there will not be. [h/t b real]

The obvious question is why the US might be interested in occupying Haiti. Cynthia McKinney fills us in on that as well:

Ms. Laurent reminds us of Haiti’s offshore oil and other mineral riches and recent revival of an old idea to use Haiti and an oil refinery to be built there as a transshipment terminal for U.S. supertankers. Ms. Laurent, also known as Ezili Danto of the Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network (HLLN), writes:

“There is evidence that the United States found oil in Haiti decades ago and due to the geopolitical circumstances and big business interests of that era made the decision to keep Haitian oil in reserve for when Middle Eastern oil had dried up. This is detailed by Dr. Georges Michel in an article dated March 27, 2004 outlining the history of oil explorations and oil reserves in Haiti and in the research of Dr. Ginette and Daniel Mathurin.

“The U.S. plans to use Haiti’s deep water ports either for oil refineries or to develop oil tank farm sites.”

“There is also good evidence that these very same big US oil companies and their inter-related monopolies of engineering and defense contractors made plans, decades ago, to use Haiti’s deep water ports either for oil refineries or to develop oil tank farm sites or depots where crude oil could be stored and later transferred to small tankers to serve U.S. and Caribbean ports. This is detailed in a paperabout the Dunn Plantation at Fort Liberte in Haiti.

“Ezili’s HLLN underlines these two papers on Haiti’s oil resources and the works of Dr. Ginette and Daniel Mathurin in order to provide a view one will not find in the mainstream media nor anywhere else as to the economic and strategic reasons the US has constructed its fifth largest embassy in the world – fifth only besides the US embassy in China, Iraq, Iran and Germany – in tiny Haiti, post the 2004 Haiti Bush regime change.”

McKinney also writes:

For those of us who have been following events in Haiti before the tragic earthquake, it is worth noting that several items have caused deep concern:

1. the continued exile of Haiti’s democratically-elected and well-loved, yet twice-removed former priest, President Jean-Bertrand Aristide;

2. the unexplained continued occupation of the country by United Nations troops who have killed innocent Haitians and are hardly there for “security” (I’ve personally seen them on the roads that only lead to Haiti’s sparsely-populated areas teeming with beautiful beaches);

3. U.S. construction of its fifth-largest embassy in the world in Port-au-Prince, Haiti;

4. mining and port licenses and contracts, including the privatization of Haiti’s deep water ports, because certain off-shore oil and transshipment arrangements would not be possible inside the U.S. for environmental and other considerations; and

5. extensive foreign NGO presence in Haiti that could be rendered unnecessary if, instead, appropriate U.S. and other government policy allowed the Haitian people some modicum of political and economic self-determination.

And from a Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

It is understandable that many African Americans are making comparisons between the militarized character of the U.S. intervention in Haiti’s earthquake disaster and the federal government’s largely military response to the Katrina catastrophe in New Orleans, four and a half years ago. It is quite reasonable to conclude that the U.S. government is more concerned about law and order issues than in attending to the immediate needs of desperate disaster victims – especially when the victims are Black. History tells us that U.S. governments regard masses of Black people, first, as potential threats to security, and only second as fellow human beings deserving of assistance. Nevertheless, the heavy-handed militarization of U.S. disaster aid to Haiti should be seen in a larger context. As a matter of established American policy, the military has been assigned prime responsibility for U.S. foreign disaster relief, worldwide.

It’s not just disaster relief that has been militarized. The U.S. military command in Africa, AFRICOM, has assumed responsibility for much of the day-to-day duties once performed by the State Department and other civilian agencies. More often than not, the uniformed military is the dispenser of a wide range of U.S. foreign aid in Africa, as part of a general militarization of U.S. relations with the rest of the planet.

And Ford offers another reason why the US has built:

… the fifth largest U.S. embassy in the world sits in Haiti, one of the planet’s most economically unimportant nations. What purpose could it possibly serve, other than as a U.S. military and and dirty tricks base for the U.S. Southern Command – which now decides what gets in and out of Haiti. For all practical purposes, the U.S. Southern Command is the occupying power in Haiti. What we are observing is imperialism in action, under cover of disaster.

I would like to add this picture, both as a tribute to the human spirit, and as a rebuke to CNN in particular, and the media coverage in general.

Youths play with empty boxes as they collect them after food was distributed by the World Food Program in Port-au-Prince, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2010. Relief groups and officials are focused on moving the aid flowing into Haiti to the survivors of the powerful earthquake that hit the country on Tuesday. (photo: Ariana Cubillos/AP)

From Bag News Notes:

We’ve been closely observing the schizophrenia in the Haiti media coverage over the past twelve hours, with some outlets describing a situation of widespread violence and looting … with others showing scenes of grateful Haitian citizens receiving their first food and water in days.

More background:

As one commenter wrote over at dKos about how this scene played out Saturday on CNN:

It was interesting – though unwelcome – to watch the narrative in the making. The anchor (somebody Lemon) broke away from another story to go to the reporter at a food distribution center, who was reporting unrest. By the time they got to the reporter he had determined that what he thought might be violence breaking out because all the food was gone – was in reality children who had discovered a field full of empty boxes and had started an impromptu game of throwing them up in the air and kicking them and doing whatever it is they do that has kids everywhere so fascinated with empty boxes.

The adults were standing around, calm as could be and the reporter was smiling a bit at these children who had been through so much, lost so much finding a bit of lightness and fun in a field full of boxes. The newsreader, however, might as well have not heard a word of this explanation, as he went on being so understanding of desperate people doing desperate things – while a loop of the children throwing boxes went on in the background. He went back to this narrative and loop a couple more times during the show. Then Wolf Blitzer starts his show and continues to promote the same narrative using the same footage of the same children who CNN are trying to make the face of desperate riot and mayhem in Haiti… all because they found some boxes in a field and decided to play.

Finally, something you don’t often see: here’s a clip of a CNN reporter on the scene actually correcting the impression.

Raj Patel posts how lethal are requests that infant formula be sent to Haiti. Where there is no reliable clean water, infant formula is a death sentence, and another predation of disaster capitalists. He points out:

It’s already bitterly ironic that Bill Clinton is the United Nation’s special envoy to Haiti, after the economic policy he imposed there to transform it into the Caribbean’s sweatshop. Now, President Obama has asked George Bush to lead fundraising efforts for relief in Haiti. After Bush took part in an international coup to overthrow Aristide. It’s like sending in the horsemen of the apocalypse to negotiate peace.

First, as poet activist Shailja Patel has posted, there’s a progressive action plan for Haiti:

Haiti: 10-point action plan
1) Grants, not loans.
2) Keep corporations and corporatist policies OUT. Stop disaster capitalism in its tracks.
3) Cancel ALL Haiti’s debt to the Inter-American Development Bank.
4) Let Aristide return to Haiti.
5) Lift the ban on Aristide’s Fanmi Lavalas political party.
6) Rip up the neoliberal pre-earthquake Clinton-Obama program for Haiti: tourism, sweatshops, privatization, deregulation.
7) Do not allow US military or UN “peacekeepers” to point guns at desperate Haitians.
8 ) Allow all Haitians in the US to work, and remit money home.
9) Release all 30,000 Haitians held in US jails for deportation, and grant them Temporary Protected Status.
10) Demand that France start repaying the $21 billion it extorted from Haiti in 1825, to “compensate” France for loss of Haiti as a slave colony.”


h/t Bag News Notes for the photo at the top

For background on the Haitian economy, see:
An open letter to Ban Ki-Moon: Why Haiti can’t forget its past
Haiti – the first free Black republic in the Caribbean
Haiti’s Creole Pig and the Other Swine Flu Epidemic

In his Nobel acceptance speech President Obama said:

… the United States of America has helped underwrite global security for more than six decades with the blood of our citizens and the strength of our arms.

Stream crossing on the road to Tunis shows a by-pass built by engineers after enemy blew up an ancient stone bridge near the mill beyond. Strange procession of jeeps, peeps, half-tracks, tanks, oxcarts, Arabs and soldiers moves across the waterway, which is several miles behind the front lines. Light traffic uses the timber roadbed and steel bridge, while heavier vehicles ford the stream. Soldiers strip and wash away the dust of a campaign.

US forces in Tunisia 1943, illustration by Fletcher Martin, click to enlarge and read caption. (link provided below)

Over at Open Left, Paul Rosenberg examines Obama’s claim:

Just take a look [at the list below], and ask yourself, is this what global security looks like? Or is it a confused mish-mash best explained not as a defense of freedom and global security, but as the unaccountable workings of empire? Remember, not a single one of the interventions listed … was authorized by a congressional declaration of war–the legally prescribed process under the Constitution. UN Security Council approval–required under international law, which is also binding under the US Constitution–has been almost as rare, meaning that virtually everything listed below is a specific collective national act of lawless violence, carrying with it countless individual acts of violence as well. But this is the record of ‘underwriting global security’ that Obama blithely claims as justification for yet more of the same lawless violence in the name of ‘peace.’ Here’ the table of contents from Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II by William Blum:

1. China – 1945 to 1960s: Was Mao Tse-tung just paranoid?
2. Italy – 1947-1948: Free elections, Hollywood style
3. Greece – 1947 to early 1950s: From cradle of democracy to client state
4. The Philippines – 1940s and 1950s: America’s oldest colony
5. Korea – 1945-1953: Was it all that it appeared to be?
6. Albania – 1949-1953: The proper English spy
7. Eastern Europe – 1948-1956: Operation Splinter Factor
8. Germany – 1950s: Everything from juvenile delinquency to terrorism
9. Iran – 1953: Making it safe for the King of Kings
10. Guatemala – 1953-1954: While the world watched
11. Costa Rica – Mid-1950s: Trying to topple an ally – Part 1
12. Syria – 1956-1957: Purchasing a new government
13. Middle East – 1957-1958: The Eisenhower Doctrine claims another backyard for America
14. Indonesia – 1957-1958: War and pornography
15. Western Europe – 1950s and 1960s: Fronts within fronts within fronts
16. British Guiana – 1953-1964: The CIA’s international labor mafia
17. Soviet Union – Late 1940s to 1960s: From spy planes to book publishing
18. Italy – 1950s to 1970s: Supporting the Cardinal’s orphans and techno-fascism
19. Vietnam – 1950-1973: The Hearts and Minds Circus
20. Cambodia – 1955-1973: Prince Sihanouk walks the high-wire of neutralism
21. Laos – 1957-1973: L’Armée Clandestine
22. Haiti – 1959-1963: The Marines land, again
23. Guatemala – 1960: One good coup deserves another
24. France/Algeria – 1960s: L’état, c’est la CIA
25. Ecuador – 1960-1963: A text book of dirty tricks
26. The Congo – 1960-1964: The assassination of Patrice Lumumba
27. Brazil – 1961-1964: Introducing the marvelous new world of death squads
28. Peru – 1960-1965: Fort Bragg moves to the jungle
29. Dominican Republic – 1960-1966: Saving democracy from communism by getting rid of democracy
30. Cuba – 1959 to 1980s: The unforgivable revolution
31. Indonesia – 1965: Liquidating President Sukarno … and 500,000 others
East Timor – 1975: And 200,000 more
32. Ghana – 1966: Kwame Nkrumah steps out of line
33. Uruguay – 1964-1970: Torture — as American as apple pie
34. Chile – 1964-1973: A hammer and sickle stamped on your child’s forehead
35. Greece – 1964-1974: “Fuck your Parliament and your Constitution,” said
the President of the United States
36. Bolivia – 1964-1975: Tracking down Che Guevara in the land of coup d’etat
37. Guatemala – 1962 to 1980s: A less publicized “final solution”
38. Costa Rica – 1970-1971: Trying to topple an ally — Part 2
39. Iraq – 1972-1975: Covert action should not be confused with missionary work
40. Australia – 1973-1975: Another free election bites the dust
41. Angola – 1975 to 1980s: The Great Powers Poker Game
42. Zaire – 1975-1978: Mobutu and the CIA, a marriage made in heaven
43. Jamaica – 1976-1980: Kissinger’s ultimatum
44. Seychelles – 1979-1981: Yet another area of great strategic importance
45. Grenada – 1979-1984: Lying — one of the few growth industries in Washington
46. Morocco – 1983: A video nasty
47. Suriname – 1982-1984: Once again, the Cuban bogeyman
48. Libya – 1981-1989: Ronald Reagan meets his match
49. Nicaragua – 1981-1990: Destabilization in slow motion
50. Panama – 1969-1991: Double-crossing our drug supplier
51. Bulgaria 1990/Albania 1991: Teaching communists what democracy is all about
52. Iraq – 1990-1991: Desert holocaust
53. Afghanistan – 1979-1992: America’s Jihad
54. El Salvador – 1980-1994: Human rights, Washington style
55. Haiti – 1986-1994: Who will rid me of this turbulent priest?
56. The American Empire – 1992 to present
Appendix I: This is How the Money Goes Round
Appendix II: Instances of Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad, 1798-1945
Appendix III: U. S. Government Assassination Plots

* * * * *

Reaching farther back Zoltán Grossman provides:

table and commentary at the link.

COUNTRY OR STATE || Dates of intervention || Forces || Comments
SOUTH DAKOTA || 1890 (-?) || Troops || 300 Lakota Indians massacred at Wounded Knee.
ARGENTINA || 1890 || Troops || Buenos Aires interests protected.
CHILE || 1891 || Troops || Marines clash with nationalist rebels.
HAITI || 1891 || Troops || Black revolt on Navassa defeated.
IDAHO || 1892 || Troops || Army suppresses silver miners’ strike.
HAWAII || 1893 (-?) || Naval, troops || Independent kingdom overthrown, annexed.
CHICAGO || 1894 || Troops || Breaking of rail strike, 34 killed.
NICARAGUA || 1894 || Troops || Month-long occupation of Bluefields.
CHINA || 1894-95 || Naval, troops || Marines land in Sino-Japanese War
KOREA || 1894-96 || Troops || Marines kept in Seoul during war.
PANAMA || 1895 || Troops, naval || Marines land in Colombian province.
NICARAGUA || 1896 || Troops || Marines land in port of Corinto.
CHINA || 1898-1900 || Troops || Boxer Rebellion fought by foreign armies.
PHILIPPINES || 1898-1910 (-?) || Naval, troops || Seized from Spain, killed 600,000 Filipinos
CUBA || 1898-1902 (-?) || Naval, troops || Seized from Spain, still hold Navy base.
PUERTO RICO || 1898 (-?) || Naval, troops || Seized from Spain, occupation continues.
GUAM || 1898 (-?) || Naval, troops || Seized from Spain, still use as base.
MINNESOTA || 1898 (-?) || Troops || Army battles Chippewa at Leech Lake.
NICARAGUA || 1898 || Troops || Marines land at port of San Juan del Sur.
SAMOA || 1899 (-?) || Troops || Battle over succession to throne.
NICARAGUA || 1899 || Troops || Marines land at port of Bluefields.
IDAHO || 1899-1901 || Troops || Army occupies Coeur d’Alene mining region.
OKLAHOMA || 1901 || Troops || Army battles Creek Indian revolt.
PANAMA || 1901-14 || Naval, troops || Broke off from Colombia 1903, annexed Canal Zone 1914.
HONDURAS || 1903 || Troops || Marines intervene in revolution.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC || 1903-04 || Troops || U.S. interests protected in Revolution.
KOREA || 1904-05 || Troops || Marines land in Russo-Japanese War.
CUBA || 1906-09 || Troops || Marines land in democratic election.
NICARAGUA || 1907 || Troops || “Dollar Diplomacy” protectorate set up.
HONDURAS || 1907 || Troops || Marines land during war with Nicaragua
PANAMA || 1908 || Troops || Marines intervene in election contest.
NICARAGUA || 1910 || Troops || Marines land in Bluefields and Corinto.
HONDURAS || 1911 || Troops || U.S. interests protected in civil war.
CHINA || 1911-41 || Naval, troops || Continuous occupation with flare-ups.
CUBA || 1912 || Troops || U.S. interests protected in civil war.
PANAMA || 1912 || Troops || Marines land during heated election.
HONDURAS || 1912 || Troops || Marines protect U.S. economic interests.
NICARAGUA || 1912-33 || Troops, bombing || 10-year occupation, fought guerillas
MEXICO || 1913 || Naval || Americans evacuated during revolution.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC || 1914 || Naval || Fight with rebels over Santo Domingo.
COLORADO || 1914 || Troops || Breaking of miners’ strike by Army.
MEXICO || 1914-18 || Naval, troops || Series of interventions against nationalists.
HAITI || 1914-34 || Troops, || bombing 19-year occupation after revolts.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC || 1916-24 || Troops || 8-year Marine occupation.
CUBA || 1917-33 || Troops || Military occupation, economic protectorate.
WORLD WAR I || 1917-18 || Naval, troops || Ships sunk, fought Germany for 1 1/2 years.
RUSSIA || 1918-22 || Naval, troops || Five landings to fight Bolsheviks
PANAMA || 1918-20 || Troops || “Police duty” during unrest after elections.
HONDURAS || 1919 || Troops || Marines land during election campaign.
YUGOSLAVIA || 1919 || Troops/Marines || intervene for Italy against Serbs in Dalmatia.
GUATEMALA || 1920 || Troops || 2-week intervention against unionists.
WEST VIRGINIA || 1920-21 || Troops, bombing || Army intervenes against mineworkers.
TURKEY || 1922 || Troops || Fought nationalists in Smyrna.
CHINA || 1922-27 || Naval, troops || Deployment during nationalist revolt.
HONDURAS || 1924-25 || Troops || Landed twice during election strife.
PANAMA || 1925 || Troops || Marines suppress general strike.
CHINA || 1927-34 || Troops || Marines stationed throughout the country.
EL SALVADOR || 1932 || Naval || Warships send during Marti revolt.
WASHINGTON DC || 1932 || Troops || Army stops WWI vet bonus protest.
WORLD WAR II || 1941-45 || Naval, troops, bombing, nuclear || Hawaii bombed, fought Japan, Italy and Germay for 3 years; first nuclear war.
DETROIT || 1943 || Troops || Army put down Black rebellion.
IRAN || 1946 || Nuclear threat || Soviet troops told to leave north.
YUGOSLAVIA || 1946 || Nuclear threat, naval || Response to shoot-down of US plane.
URUGUAY || 1947 || Nuclear threat || Bombers deployed as show of strength.
GREECE || 1947-49 || Command operation || U.S. directs extreme-right in civil war.
GERMANY || 1948 || Nuclear Threat || Atomic-capable bombers guard Berlin Airlift.
CHINA || 1948-49 || Troops/Marines || evacuate Americans before Communist victory.
PHILIPPINES || 1948-54 || Command operation || CIA directs war against Huk Rebellion.
PUERTO RICO || 1950 || Command operation || Independence rebellion crushed in Ponce.
KOREA || 1951-53 (-?) || Troops, naval, bombing , nuclear threats || U.S./So. Korea fights China/No. Korea to stalemate; A-bomb threat in 1950, and against China in 1953. Still have bases.
IRAN || 1953 || Command Operation || CIA overthrows democracy, installs Shah.
VIETNAM || 1954 || Nuclear threat || French offered bombs to use against seige.
GUATEMALA || 1954 || Command operation, bombing, nuclear threat || CIA directs exile invasion after new gov’t nationalized U.S. company lands; bombers based in Nicaragua.
EGYPT || 1956 || Nuclear threat, troops || Soviets told to keep out of Suez crisis; Marines evacuate foreigners.
LEBANON || 1958 || Troops, naval || Marine occupation against rebels.
IRAQ || 1958 || Nuclear threat || Iraq warned against invading Kuwait.
CHINA || l958 || Nuclear threat || China told not to move on Taiwan isles.
PANAMA || 1958 || Troops || Flag protests erupt into confrontation.
VIETNAM || 1960-75 || Troops, naval, bombing, nuclear threats || Fought South Vietnam revolt & North Vietnam; one million killed in longest U.S. war; atomic bomb threats in l968 and l969.
CUBA || l961 || Command operation || CIA-directed exile invasion fails.
GERMANY || l961 || Nuclear threat || Alert during Berlin Wall crisis.
LAOS || 1962 || Command operation || Military buildup during guerrilla war.
CUBA || l962 || Nuclear threat, naval || Blockade during missile crisis; near-war with Soviet Union.
IRAQ || 1963 || Command operation || CIA organizes coup that killed president, brings Ba’ath Party to power, and Saddam Hussein back from exile to be head of the secret service.
PANAMA || l964 || Troops || Panamanians shot for urging canal’s return.
INDONESIA || l965 || Command operation || Million killed in CIA-assisted army coup.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC || 1965-66 || Troops, bombing || Marines land during election campaign.
GUATEMALA || l966-67 || Command operation || Green Berets intervene against rebels.
DETROIT || l967 || Troops || Army battles African Americans, 43 killed.
UNITED STATES || l968 || Troops || After King is shot; over 21,000 soldiers in cities.
CAMBODIA || l969-75 || Bombing, troops, naval || Up to 2 million killed in decade of bombing, starvation, and political chaos.
OMAN || l970 || Command operation || U.S. directs Iranian marine invasion.
LAOS || l971-73 || Command operation, bombing || U.S. directs South Vietnamese invasion; “carpet-bombs” countryside.
SOUTH DAKOTA || l973 || Command operation || Army directs Wounded Knee siege of Lakotas.
MIDEAST || 1973 || Nuclear threat || World-wide alert during Mideast War.
CHILE || 1973 || Command operation || CIA-backed coup ousts elected marxist president.
CAMBODIA || l975 || Troops, bombing || Gas captured ship, 28 die in copter crash.
ANGOLA || l976-92 || Command operation || CIA assists South African-backed rebels.
IRAN || l980 || Troops, nuclear threat, aborted bombing || Raid to rescue Embassy hostages; 8 troops die in copter-plane crash. Soviets warned not to get involved in revolution.
LIBYA || l981 || Naval jets || Two Libyan jets shot down in maneuvers.
EL SALVADOR || l981-92 || Command operation, troops || Advisors, overflights aid anti-rebel war, soldiers briefly involved in hostage clash.
NICARAGUA || l981-90 || Command operation, naval || CIA directs exile (Contra) invasions, plants harbor mines against revolution.
LEBANON || l982-84 || Naval, bombing, troops || Marines expel PLO and back Phalangists, Navy bombs and shells Muslim positions.
GRENADA || l983-84 || Troops, bombing || Invasion four years after revolution.
HONDURAS || l983-89 || Troops || Maneuvers help build bases near borders.
IRAN || l984 || Jets || Two Iranian jets shot down over Persian Gulf.
LIBYA || l986 || Bombing, naval || Air strikes to topple nationalist gov’t.
BOLIVIA || 1986 || Troops || Army assists raids on cocaine region.
IRAN || l987-88 || Naval, bombing || US intervenes on side of Iraq in war.
LIBYA || 1989 || Naval jets || Two Libyan jets shot down.
VIRGIN ISLANDS || 1989 || Troops || St. Croix Black unrest after storm.
PHILIPPINES || 1989 || Jets || Air cover provided for government against coup.
PANAMA || 1989 (-?) || Troops, bombing || Nationalist government ousted by 27,000 soldiers, leaders arrested, 2000+ killed.
LIBERIA || 1990 || Troops || Foreigners evacuated during civil war.
SAUDI ARABIA || 1990-91 || Troops, jets || Iraq countered after invading Kuwait. 540,000 troops also stationed in Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, UAE, Israel.
IRAQ || 1990-? || Bombing, troops, naval || Blockade of Iraqi and Jordanian ports, air strikes; 200,000+ killed in invasion of Iraq and Kuwait; no-fly zone over Kurdish north, Shiite south, large-scale destruction of Iraqi military.
KUWAIT || 1991 || Naval, bombing, troops || Kuwait royal family returned to throne.
LOS ANGELES || 1992 || Troops Army, || Marines deployed against anti-police uprising.
SOMALIA || 1992-94 || Troops, naval, bombing || U.S.-led United Nations occupation during civil war; raids against one Mogadishu faction.
YUGOSLAVIA || 1992-94 || Naval || NATO blockade of Serbia and Montenegro.
BOSNIA || 1993-? || Jets, bombing || No-fly zone patrolled in civil war; downed jets, bombed Serbs.
HAITI || 1994 Troops, naval || Blockade against military government; troops restore President Aristide to office three years after coup.
ZAIRE (CONGO) || 1996-97 || Troops || Marines at Rwandan Hutu refugee camps, in area where Congo revolution begins.
LIBERIA || 1997 || Troops || Soldiers under fire during evacuation of foreigners.
ALBANIA || 1997 || Troops || Soldiers under fire during evacuation of foreigners.
SUDAN || 1998 || Missiles || Attack on pharmaceutical plant alleged to be “terrorist” nerve gas plant.
AFGHANISTAN || 1998 || Missiles || Attack on former CIA training camps used by Islamic fundamentalist groups alleged to have attacked embassies.
IRAQ || 1998-? || Bombing, Missiles || Four days of intensive air strikes after weapons inspectors allege Iraqi obstructions.
YUGOSLAVIA || 1999 || Bombing, Missiles || Heavy NATO air strikes after Serbia declines to withdraw from Kosovo. NATO occupation of Kosovo.
YEMEN || 2000 || Naval || USS Cole, docked in Aden, bombed.
MACEDONIA || || 2001 Troops || NATO forces deployed to move and disarm Albanian rebels.
UNITED STATES || 2001 || Jets, naval || Reaction to hijacker attacks on New York, DC
AFGHANISTAN || 2001-? || Troops, bombing, missiles || Massive U.S. mobilization to overthrow Taliban, hunt Al Qaeda fighters, install Karzai regime, and battle Taliban insurgency. More than 30,000 U.S. troops and numerous private security contractors carry our occupation.
YEMEN || 2002 || Missiles || Predator drone missile attack on Al Qaeda, including a US citizen.
PHILIPPINES || 2002-? || Troops, naval || Training mission for Philippine military fighting Abu Sayyaf rebels evolves into combat missions in Sulu Archipelago, west of Mindanao.
COLOMBIA || 2003-? || Troops || US special forces sent to rebel zone to back up Colombian military protecting oil pipeline.
IRAQ || 2003-? || Troops, naval, bombing, missiles || Saddam regime toppled in Baghdad. More than 250,000 U.S. personnel participate in invasion. US and UK forces occupy country and battle Sunni and Shi’ite insurgencies. More than 160,000 troops and numerous private contractors carry out occupation and build large permanent bases.
LIBERIA || 2003 || Troops || Brief involvement in peacekeeping force as rebels drove out leader.
HAITI || 2004-05 || Troops, naval || Marines land after right-wing rebels oust elected President Aristide, who was advised to leave by Washington.
PAKISTAN || 2005-? || Missiles, bombing, covert operation || CIA missile and air strikes and Special Forces raids on alleged Al Qaeda and Taliban refuge villages kill multiple civilians.
SOMALIA || 2006-? || Missiles, naval, covert operation || Special Forces advise Ethiopian invasion that topples Islamist government; AC-130 strikes and Cruise missile attacks against Islamist rebels; naval blockade against “pirates” and insurgents.
SYRIA || 2008 || Troops || Special Forces in helicopter raid 5 miles from Iraq kill 8 Syrian civilians

* * * * *

The picture at the top from Tunisia in 1943 is by Fletcher Martin, war artist for Life magazine. This picture appeared along with others in the December 1943 issue. Although it comes out of the past, it speaks to the present as well, showing American soldiers in an African country, amongst the traditional architecture and culture of that country. Martin is a superb illustrator. His portraits of soldiers faces, if you follow the link, could have come from Iraq or Afghanistan today as easily as from Tunisia in 1943, though being 1943, only white soldiers are pictured.

The question yet to be answered in this century is what is the US fighting for today, why is it fighting. There have been lots of misleading explanations, and even more speculation. But we have no genuine and truthful answers as to what? and why?

The US Africa Command, AFRICOM, is just the latest expression of the historical process delineated in the lists above.