State terrorismState terrorism
considered as carried out or sponsored by a government. Like terrorism generally, state terrorism involves deliberate attacks on civilians, for the purpose of attaining a political or religious goal. Some advocates, such as anti-communists, consider that Stalin
's purges also constitute state terrorism; there is much disagreement, however, on what to call this: genocide
, crime against humanity
, mass murder
are also possible descriptions. There is also deliberation between what is state terrorism and state-sponsored terrorism.
The assassination of dissidents in exile (such as the 1940 murder of Leon Trotsky in Mexico by agents of Josef Stalin) might also be considered an example of state terrorism.
Various advocates have accused
of state terrorism.
In the case of US support of state terrorism, Michael Moore's documentary film Bowling for Columbine provides the following list:
- 1953: U.S. overthrows Prime Minister Mossadegh of Iran. U.S. installs the Shah as dictator.
- 1954: U.S. overthrows democratically elected President Arbenz of Guatemala. 20,000 civilians are killed.
- 1963: U.S. backs assassination of South Vietnamese President Diem.
- 1963-1975: U.S. military kills 4 million people in Southeast Asia.
- September 11, 1973: U.S. stages a military coup in Chile. Democratically elected president Salvador Allende is assassinated. Dictator General Augusto Pinochet is installed. 5,000 Chileans are murdered.
- 1977: U.S. backs military rulers of El Salvador. 7,000 Salvadorans and four American nuns are killed.
- 1980s: U.S. trains Osama bin Laden and fellow Muslim terrorists to kill Soviet soldiers. CIA gives them $3 billion.
- 1981: Reagan administration trains and funds Contras to fight communist government. 30,000 Nicaraguans die.
- 1982: U.S. provides billions in aid to Saddam Hussein for weapons to kill Iranians.
- 1983: The White House secretly gives Iran weapons to kill Iraqis.
- 1989: CIA agent Manuel Noriega (also serving as president of Panama) disobeys orders from Washington. U.S. invades Panama and removes Noriega.
- 1990: Iraq invades Kuwait with weapons from U.S.
- 1991: U.S. enters Iraq. Bush reinstates dictator of Kuwait.
- 1998: U.S. bombs “weapons factory” in Sudan. The factory turns out to be making aspirin.
- 1991-making of the film: U.S. planes bomb Iraq on a weekly basis. The United Nations estimates that 500,000 Iraqi children die from bombing and sanctions.
- 2000-2001: U.S. gives Taliban-ruled Afghanistan $245 million in aid.
In the case of Chile
, under the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet
, not only they develop a extended policy of State terrorism against civilians, but also in the international arena against perceived enemies, including the assassinations of Orlando Letelier
in Washington DC by a car bomb, Gen. Carlos Prats
in Argentina in similar circumstances, and the attempted assassination of Bernardo Leighton in Italy.