Revolution #581, February 4, 2019 (

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Revolution #581 February 4, 2019

The Murderers Who Run This System Have No Answer to the Crisis Around Immigration Other Than Demonizing, Criminalizing and Deporting Immigrants, and Militarization of the Border…
But The Revolution Does!

| Revolution Newspaper |


At least 10,000…

That is the number of people estimated to have died attempting to cross the U.S. border with Mexico in the past 25 years.1 Some have been killed with bullets, but most have been killed by the militarization of the border by the U.S. The barriers erected by this government and the brutal cops they have placed on the border force the immigrants who are desperately seeking work or fleeing for survival to cross the border in the dangerous deserts. There, they die horrible deaths from starvation or dehydration, their bodies picked apart by animals, their bones left unclaimed and unknown. (And if you think this isn’t intentional, some people who wanted to aid the immigrants by putting bottles of water and food in the desert were recently found guilty of “littering” and now face six months in prison!)

The blood and bones of each of these precious lives are on the hands of both political parties and this whole capitalist-imperialist system they serve and represent. This border was established in the first place by an unprovoked war by the U.S. to seize a large part of what had been Mexico.2 The conditions which drive immigrants to risk their lives to find work or refuge in the U.S. were created by the U.S. itself, through its economic plunder of these countries, its political domination of them, and—whenever these imperialists deemed it “necessary”—its CIA coups and outright military invasions. The crimes on the border of the past 25 years were planned and carried out—and were knowingly continued long after their murderous consequences were made clear—by both Republican and Democratic administrations, voted for by both Republican and Democratic senators and congresspeople (yes, including Obama and Hillary Clinton).3

None of the pigs who rule, or want to rule, this hellish system have any answers to the problems their system has created. Not Trump, with his fascist and overtly genocidal program; not the Democrats, with their petty dissents and amendments; and no, not Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who shouts “Abolish ICE” but then whispers that, of course, she favors a “secure border” and keeping out undocumented immigrants. No answers except more domination of these countries and more militarization of the border.

But the Revolution does. 

After the revolution comes to power, after having mobilized millions to defeat the forces of repression of the ruling class and dismantle their system, it will change everything—and this will certainly include relations with other countries, the borders, and immigration. The Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (authored by Bob Avakian, and adopted by the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party) sets forth a whole vision and blueprint for a new society on the road to eliminating all forms of exploitation and oppression, and all forms of social antagonism among the people. What follows are its provisions directly relevant to today’s crisis.

1. According to the immigrant rights group Border Angels, since 1994, “an estimated 10,000 people have lost their lives during the journey due to extreme weather, lack of food and water, and the overall perilous nature of the trip.” And the group No More Deaths notes that many thousands of immigrants who dies crossing the border may never be accounted for.  [back]

2. See “American Crime Case #83: The U.S.-Mexico War of 1846-1848” at  [back]

3. See “How the Democratic Party Has Persecuted and Deported Millions—and Murdered Thousands—with Their ‘Moral’ Immigration Policy” at  [back]


Federal Court Convicts Four People—for Trying to Save the Lives of Immigrants

On January 18, four women working with the group No More Deaths were convicted of misdemeanor charges stemming from their arrests in 2017 for leaving water and food for immigrants making the crossing through the dangerous deserts of the Arizona-Mexico border. For years, volunteers with No More Deaths have placed food and water in remote areas along the border regularly used by immigrants, and these supplies can mean the difference between life and death. At the same time, Border Patrol agents have been deliberately destroying these lifesaving supplies. A longtime volunteer with No More Deaths said, “This verdict challenges not only No More Deaths volunteers, but people of conscience throughout the country. If giving water to someone dying of thirst is illegal, what humanity is left in the law of this country?”


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Revolution #581 February 4, 2019

USA Backs Coup in Venezuela, Makes the Godfather Look Like Mary Poppins

| Revolution Newspaper |


The essence of what exists in the U.S. is not democracy but capitalism-imperialism and political structures to enforce that capitalism-imperialism. What the U.S. spreads around the world is not democracy, but imperialism and political structures to enforce that imperialism.

Bob Avakian, BAsics 1:3

Over the last week politicians and media have been spewing honeyed bullshit over their direct efforts to overthrow a government in Venezuela. They insist that the United States must intervene in support of the Venezuelan people who want their constitution and democracy followed.

This has nothing to do with humanitarianism or democratic rights. This is a well-orchestrated coup to deepen the U.S.’s bloody grip on Latin America and pull a pesky thorn out of its side. This is gangsterism pure and simple—another American crime. And once again, they’re trying to fool you with the well-worn-out “democracy” line.

In the midst of a deepening political and economic crisis—made intolerably worse by U.S. economic warfare—hundreds of thousands of people demonstrated last week against the government of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro. Maduro is the inheritor of the legacy of Hugo Chávez, who used Venezuela’s oil as a lever not for “socialism” but to get a better position in the overall imperialist system. And the U.S. has been working ever since to smash Venezuela’s teeth and get their head more fully under the U.S. boot.

Addressing the thousands of protestors, Juan Guaidó, president of the National Assembly and key leader in the anti-Maduro opposition, declared the Maduro regime illegitimate and announced himself president.

Just minutes after Guaidó’s declaration, Trump recognized him as interim leader, and declared his National Assembly was “the only legitimate branch of government duly elected by the Venezuelan people.” Both U.S. National Security Adviser and unrepentant war criminal John Bolton and defender-of-all-things-democratic Donald Trump have threatened a military intervention to oust Maduro, saying, “All options are on the table.”

There’s been a lot of talk about human rights violations and how Guaidó is some sort of heroic fighter against unconstitutional tyranny. The reality is that Mafia Boss USA has plans for a new subservient government and has made the Venezuelan people an offer they cannot refuse.  

The gamble made by Chávez and then Maduro—that they could use their oil to get a better position in the world imperialist system—fell apart when oil prices went down. The Venezuelan economy went into crisis. But the U.S. has been turning the screws on the Venezuelan people to create a situation so intolerable that they beg for U.S. intervention. Let’s talk about who should really be held accountable for the crisis.

The Chávez-Maduro Road Is Part of the Problem, Not Part of the Solution

Venezuela, with the largest oil reserves in the world, has long been dominated as a gas station for U.S. imperialism. This has created a lopsided and distorted society with a highly technical oil sector and an overall backwards economy with huge numbers of people unemployed and living in slums. Chávez and Maduro are not “socialist.” They attempted to angle for a "better deal" with like-minded countries to improve their bargaining position and get a bigger share of the oil profits, and then used some of that wealth to fund social welfare programs among the poor.

But Venezuela didn’t really break with the relations of imperialism and left many of the backward social relations within Venezuela intact: Almost nine million people remained locked into slums. Women remained subordinated and degraded—abortion is banned in Venezuela. As for the environment, Venezuela is the largest CO2 emitter in Latin America.

This leads to a very important point: the road promoted by Chávez is part of the problem and NOT part of the solution. It is a dead end trap that leaves imperialism itself untouched.

But despite still being locked within this oppressive system, this “art of the deal” was too much for the U.S. to tolerate in what they so arrogantly regard as their “backyard.” The U.S. imperialist ruling class—and this includes both the Trump/Pence regime and the Democrats, almost all of whom are on board with this coup attempt—is determined to put Venezuela, and all of Latin America, back in what the U.S. regards as “its place.” That’s what’s really behind all the honeyed words these politicians spew to justify regime change and all the misery and suffering they are consciously subjecting tens of millions of people to.

We need a whole new world—beyond the division of the world into a handful of imperialist powers who exploit, dominate, and bludgeon the whole rest of humanity... a world moving to eliminate all forms of oppression and exploitation, and all the relations between people and the ideas that are founded on and reinforce that exploitation and oppression. And as part of fighting for that revolution, we need to oppose the current vicious—and highly risky—threats and actions being carried out by U.S. imperialism against Venezuela.

People scavenging for food in Venezuela. Photo: AP

Venezuelans are mass migrating out of the country. Above: Venezuelan migrants in Tumbes, Peru. (Photo: AP)

Q&A: Would Mexico And Central America Still Be the US Backyard After the Revolution?


Q&A: Bob Avakian's Answer to People Who Complain about Immigrants Crossing Borders

Excerpts from “Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution”
A speech by Bob Avakian

Watch the whole speech, spread it, fund it

Find out more about this speech—and get organized to spread it


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Revolution #581 February 4, 2019




Revolution #581 February 4, 2019

September 19, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


From the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

To Do This, We Need To Know:

Why we need an actual revolution.
What we need to do now.
How we could defeat them.

Why We Need An Actual Revolution

An actual revolution does not mean trying to make some changes within this system—it means overthrowing this system and bringing into being a radically different and far better system.This system of capitalism-imperialism cannot be reformed. There is no way, under this system, to put an end to the brutality and murder by police, the wars and destruction of people and the environment, the exploitation, oppression and degradation of millions and billions of people, including the half of humanity that is female, here and throughout the world—all of which is rooted in profound contradictions built into the basic functioning, relations, and structures of this system. Only an actual revolution can bring about the fundamental change that is needed.

What We Need To Do Now

To make this revolution, we need to be serious, and scientific. We need to take into account the actual strengths of this system, but more than that its strategic weaknesses, based in its deep and defining contradictions. We need to build this revolution among those who most desperately need a radical change, but among others as well who refuse to live in a world where this system spews forth endless horrors, and this is continually “justified” and even glorified as “greatness.”

We need to be on a mission to spread the word, to let people know that we have the leadership, the science, the strategy and program, and the basis for organizing people for an actual, emancipating revolution. We have Bob Avakian (BA) the leader of this revolution and the architect of a new framework for revolution, the new synthesis of communism. We have the Party led by BA, the Revolutionary Communist Party, with this new synthesis as its scientific basis to build for revolution. We have the Revolution Clubs, where people can take part in and powerfully represent for the revolution in an organized way, as they learn more about the revolution and advance toward joining the Party. We have the website of the Party,, and its newspaper Revolution, which sharply expose the crimes of this system, scientifically analyze why it cannot be reformed, and give guidance and direction for people to work in a unified way for revolution. We have the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by BA and adopted by the Party’s Central Committee, which provides a sweeping and concrete vision and “blueprint” for a radically new and emancipating society. People in the inner cities, and in the prisons, students, scholars, artists, lawyers and other professionals, youth in the suburbs and rural areas—people in all parts of society—need to know about this and seriously take it up.

Those who catch the worst hell under this system, and those who are sickened by the endless outrages perpetrated by this system, need to join up with this revolution. Thousands need to get organized into the ranks of the revolution now, while millions are being influenced in favor of this revolution. We have seen the potential for this in the protests that have taken place against police brutality and murder, and other ways in which large numbers of people have gone up against the established authorities and the political “rules of the game.” But this needs to be transformed, through struggle, into revolutionary understanding, determination, and organization. The organized forces and the leadership of this revolution must become the “authority” that growing numbers of people look to and follow—not the lying politicians and media of this oppressive system—not those who front for the oppressors and preach about “reconciliation” with this system—not those who turn people against each other when they need to be uniting for this revolution. While many people will do positive things in opposing the crimes of this system, we need to approach everything—evaluate every political program and every organized force in society, every kind of culture, values and ways of treating people—according to how it relates to the revolution we need, to end all oppression. We should unite with people whenever we can, and struggle with them whenever we need to, to advance the revolution.

While awaiting the necessary conditions to go all-out for revolution, we need to hasten this and actively carry out the “3 Prepares”: Prepare the Ground, Prepare the People, and Prepare the Vanguard—Get Ready for the Time When Millions Can Be Led to Go for Revolution, All-Out, With a Real Chance to Win. We need to Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution—protest and resist the injustices and atrocities of this system, and win people to defy and repudiate this putrid system and its ways of thinking, and to take up the outlook and values, and the strategy and program of the revolution, build up the forces for this revolution, and defeat the attempts of the ruling powers to crush the revolution and its leadership. With every “jolt” in society—every crisis, every new outrage, where many people question and resist what they normally accept—we need to seize on this to advance the revolution and expand its organized forces. We need to oppose and disrupt the moves of the ruling powers to isolate, “encircle,” brutalize, mass incarcerate and murderously repress the people who have the hardest life under this system and who most need this revolution. We need to “encircle” them—by bringing forth wave upon wave of people rising up in determined opposition to this system.

All this is aiming for something very definite—a revolutionary situation: Where the system and its ruling powers are in a serious crisis, and the violence they use to enforce this system is seen by large parts of society for what it is—murderous and illegitimate. Where the conflicts among the ruling forces become really deep and sharp—and masses of people respond to this not by falling in behind one side or the other of the oppressive rulers, but by taking advantage of this situation to build up the forces for revolution. Where millions and millions of people refuse to be ruled in the old way—and are willing and determined to put everything on the line to bring down this system and bring into being a new society and government that will be based on the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America. That is the time to go all-out to win. That is what we need to be actively working for and preparing for now.

How We Could Defeat Them

“On the Possibility of Revolution” is a very important statement from the Party, which is posted on It sets forth the foundation—the strategic conception and doctrine—for how to fight with a real chance of winning, once a revolutionary people in the millions, and the necessary conditions for revolution, have been brought into being. Now is not yet the time to wage this kind of fight—to try to do so now would only lead to a devastating defeat—but ongoing work is being done to further develop this strategic conception and doctrine with the future in mind, and the following are some of the main things the revolutionary forces would need to do when the conditions to go all-out to make revolution had been brought into being.

  • When the revolutionary situation is clearly emerging, rapidly transform backbone forces of the revolution into organized fighting forces in key strategic areas, carry out the necessary training, obtain the necessary equipment and provide for the basic logistical needs of this revolutionary fighting force to start the all-out fight, while preventing the enemy from crushing the revolutionary forces at this crucial juncture. Back up these core fighting forces with millions more organized into powerful “reserves” for the revolution.
  • Initiate actions throughout the country, accompanied by a bold declaration to the world, which make clear that there is an organized force determined to defeat the forces of the old order and bring into being a new, revolutionary system. Upon completion of these initial actions, quickly regroup forces for “follow-on” actions and maintain the momentum of the revolution.
  • Counter the enemy’s superior destructive force by seeking to fight only on favorable terms, and actively avoiding decisive encounters, which would determine the outcome of the whole thing, until the “balance of forces” has shifted overwhelmingly in favor of the revolution. Utilize equipment captured from the enemy in ways that fit the fighting strategy of the revolution. Build up political and logistical bases of support, in key strategic areas, but do not attempt to openly control and govern territory, until the necessary “favorable balance of forces” has been achieved.
  • Maintain the initiative—or, if it is temporarily lost, regain it—through surprise and maneuver. Fight in ways the enemy does not anticipate. Carry out actions to keep the enemy off balance, disrupting the concentration and utilization of his forces and contributing to their disintegration. Always conduct operations and act in ways that are in line with the emancipating outlook and goals of the revolution, and turn the barbaric actions of the enemy against him—to win greater forces for the revolution, including those who come over from the ranks of the enemy.
  • Combine strategic direction and coordination for the fight as a whole, with decentralized actions and initiative by local units and leaders. Relying on mass support, the intelligence this provides for the revolution and the denial of intelligence to the enemy, counter the enemy’s efforts to find, fix and annihilate revolutionary leadership and key fighting units. Rapidly replace forces and leaders that are lost—continually train and deploy new forces and leaders.
  • Correctly handle the relation between this all-out fight and the situation—including the character and level of revolutionary struggle—in countries to the south (and the north).
  • When the “balance of forces” has shifted in favor of the revolution, conduct operations aimed at achieving final victory, while continuing to “calibrate” these operations so that decisive encounters are still avoided until the forces of the old order have been brought to the brink of total defeat—and then fully, finally, rout and dismantle the remaining enemy forces.

All this depends on winning millions to revolution in the period that leads up to the ripening of a revolutionary situation. The chance to defeat them, when the time comes—the chance to be rid of this system and to bring something far better into being—has everything to do with what we do now. Everyone who hungers for a radically different world, free of exploitation and oppression and all the needless suffering caused by this system, needs to work now with a fired determination to make this happen, so we will have a real chance to win.


Now is the time to spread these messages to all of society

"HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution" is a companion to the Message from the Central Committee of the RCP, USA posted on on May 16, 2016.  Get "HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution,” together with “Time to Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution,” out everywhere.  Now is the time to spread the word to all of society.

Download "HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution" HERE (36”x24” PDF): ENGLISH  | ESPAÑOL.  Download “Time to Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution” HERE (17"x 22" PDF): ENGLISH | ESPAÑOL.  Our suggestion is that they be printed on white bond paper and posted together in the appropriate ways all over the place. Here’s a rough picture of what this could look like.

“HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution” now in booklet form!

Printing Instructions:
The PDF of a booklet that includes “HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution,Time To Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution” and the “Points of Attention for the Revolution”is now available. This booklet is 16 pages long. The size of the laid-out pages is 5 1/2" x 8 1/2". It can also be printed 6" x 9". There are two layouts here. 1) One is a single PDF with 16 consecutive, individual pages. 2) The second is a printer's spread; that is, the first spread is page 16 and page 1, the second is page 2 and page 15, etc., so that when it prints and is folded, the pages will be in order. Printers can tell you which layout they need. Readers should make plans for printing this 5 1/2" x 8.5" booklet, raising money, and getting it out in the tens of thousands everywhere as soon as possible.

Download 5.5x8.5 PDF, single pages
Download 5.5x8.5 PDF, printer spread

Download 5.5x8.5 PDF, single pages
Download 5.5x8.5 PDF, printer spread






Revolution #581 February 4, 2019

You Can’t Change the World If You Don’t Know the BAsics

| Revolution Newspaper |



Every week, Revolution features one quote from BAsics, by Bob Avakian, the handbook for revolution. We encourage Revolution Clubs and other readers, everywhere, to take the time to discuss the quote—the whole quote—and to write us at with accounts of these discussions, or thoughts provoked in yourself by reading the quote.


Basics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian

BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian

"You can't change the world if you don't know the BAsics."

BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian is a book of quotations and short essays that speaks powerfully to questions of revolution and human emancipation.

Order the book or download the book in ePub format HERE


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Revolution #581 February 4, 2019

Reposted from


| Revolution Newspaper |


Tuesday February 5:
State of the Union Address – Protest

Into the Streets With the Message:
To the World’s Migrants and All of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America!

  • New York City: Meet at 8:00 pm, Columbus Circle, March to Trump Tower (5th Avenue and 57th Street). Facebook Event
  • Atlanta: 5:30-7 pm, Moreland Ave. and Freedom Pkwy. Facebook Event
  • Boston: 5:00 to 7:00 pm, Park Street Station Upstairs, Boston Commons, 139 Tremont Street, Boston, MA. Facebook Event
  • Honolulu: 4:00 pm, Thomas Square, corner of King Street & Ward
  • Houston: 4:30 – 6:00 pm: Montrose Blvd bridge over 59 Freeway: “Bridge Blogging” (holding signs over the rush hour traffic). 7:30 pm: Gather in front of KTRK tv Channel 13, 3310 Bissonnet, Houston 77005. 8:00 – 9:00 pm: Drown out Trump with pots and pans, sirens, whistles, and our voices! Facebook Event
  • Los Angeles: 5:30 pm Meet at 7th St. / 110 Freeway overpass in Downtown Los Angeles. Facebook Event
  • San Francisco: 5:30 pm, SF Union Square (on the corner of Geary Blvd. & Powell St.). Facebook Event
  • Philadelpha: 8:30 PM – 10 PM, 34th St and Market St. Facebook Event
  • Seattle: 5-6:30 PM, Broadway and Pike Streets. Facebook Event

Go here for location updates


On the Night of Trump’s State of the Union Address (Feb 5)
Into the Streets With the Message:
To the World’s Migrants and All of Humanity,
We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America!

State of the Union? How about the state of HUMANITY!? Enough of Trump and his fascist regime’s assaults on our lives, here and around the world. Enough of Trump’s reign of terror and the escalating damage inflicted on the interconnected ecosystems of this planet.

Enough! Basta Ya!

On Tuesday February 5: Don’t sit watching by yourself, disgusted and outraged!

Bounce from your home… and…flood the street corners in cities large and small to demand: To The World’s Migrants and All of Humanity: We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America! The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! No to Trump’s Fascist Wall and their program of ethnic cleansing — NO TO ALL ATTACKS on immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers – a lynchpin and a battering ram of the Trump/Pence Regime’s entire fascist program also targeting women, LGBTQ, the Black masses, people all over the world, science and the earth itself.

And… Enough of the Democratic Party’s complicity on “border security,” family separation and asylum seekers. High tech drones, sensors, satellites, enhanced fencing and more border patrol agents is their plan for keeping immigrants out. We also must reject this plan, since it also leads to atrocities and is complicit with Trump’s program of ethnic cleansing. We need sustained, nationwide protests and a society-wide struggle to remove the fascist Trump-Pence regime. Making Trump’s State of the Union an evening of #RefuseandReject can contribute to this.

No more relying on saviors to oust a fascist regime and of passivity rooted in illusion, of failed predictions this fascist regime will self-implode any day or be swept aside by those at the top of this society. No more of that! Fascism can come to power through the ballot box but fascism cannot be voted out ~ the people must drive it from power.

And… enough already of the the numbing television news promoting these illusions ~ of ‘couch-lock’ (passivity and quiescence) and the complicity of millions and millions ~ as a fascist horror unfolds daily and the Trump/Pence regime rapidly transforms society and government into an open terroristic dictatorship.

On Tuesday before, during, and after the State of the Union, get onto street corners… let’s take history into our own hands. Let’s drown them out and powerfully snatch the spotlight, with a massive and loud refusal and rejection of the entire fascist direction of this society and this world.

In the name of humanity, THIS IS A CALL for a night of Refusal and Rejection of a Fascist America during Trump’s State of the Union.

On the night of Trump’s State of the Union, at 9:00 pm Eastern/8:00 pm Central/7:00 pm Mountain/6:00 pm Pacific Time: Get your friends, colleagues and neighbors together and lets get the hell onto the streets, in two’s three’s twenty’s and hundreds, with posters, banners, projections, noise-makers (pots and pans and musical instruments…) expressing our REFUSAL to Accept a Fascist America.

Most importantly… let this night of Refusal and Rejection contribute to the time, in the not too distant future, when tens of thousands, in cities large and small, won’t just protest for a day, or one night, but will come back out, day after day and night after night, growing our protest from thousands to millions, to the achieve the single, unifying objective of driving out the fascist Trump/Pence regime. The people of the world are counting on us. national team
917 407 1286
 is a movement of people coming from diverse perspectives, united in the recognition that the Trump/Pence Regime poses a catastrophic danger to humanity and the planet, and that it is our responsibility to drive them from power through non-violent protests that grow every day until our demand is met.

Go to to learn more and find out how to participate.

Get the message out everywhere and organize people into Refuse Fascism

Boldly challenge people to confront that we are facing FASCISM which can only be stopped through mass independent sustained political protest from below demanding the removal of the whole regime.

Printable flyer PDF. Take to a print shop. Or, to print on a home or office printer, download the PDF file, and choose the Two-Sided option in your printer dialog. Then cut the flyers in half with a paper cutter.

Get these signs up and out! Download this zip file with printable PDFs for both signs. Take them to a print shop or print them yourself and glue them on any kind of poster board.


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Revolution #581 February 4, 2019

American Crime

Case #27: October 2, 1968: The U.S. Hand in the Mexican Government’s Massacre of Hundreds of Students at Tlatelolco

| Revolution Newspaper |


Bob Avakian has written that one of three things that has "to happen in order for there to be real and lasting change for the better: People have to fully confront the actual history of this country and its role in the world up to today, and the terrible consequences of this." (See "3 Things that have to happen in order for there to be real and lasting change for the better.")

In that light, and in that spirit, "American Crime" is a regular feature of Each installment will focus on one of the 100 worst crimes committed by the U.S. rulers—out of countless bloody crimes they have carried out against people around the world, from the founding of the U.S. to the present day.

American Crime

See all the articles in this series.



On October 2, 1968—ten days before the start of the 19th Olympic Games in Mexico City—10,000 students and other supporters of a months-long student upsurge gathered for a meeting and rally in the Plaza de las Tres Culturas in the Tlatelolco section of Mexico City. The students had made clear they weren’t going to march on the Olympic Village, but some 5,000 soldiers, 300 government tanks, jeeps, and armored cars, and hundreds of police surrounded the plaza nonetheless.

At 6:10 pm, flares were fired into the sky from a helicopter. Suddenly, out of nowhere, shots were fired from the upper floors of the Chihuahua apartment building overlooking the crowd, where many students were gathered.

The troops immediately responded by raking the crowd with machine-gunfire. Soldiers with fixed bayonets advanced from two sides—there was no escape. Tanks opened fire on the apartment complex, where student leaders had been speaking from a balcony. Inside the apartment building, a group of heavily armed men—each wearing a white glove on his left hand—detained the student leaders. The students were beaten, stripped to their underwear, and arrested.1

The Mexican government initially reported that four people had been killed and 20 wounded. The British newspaper Manchester Guardian reported that after careful investigation, it found that 325 probably died and the number could be much higher. Eyewitnesses described seeing “bodies of hundreds of young people being trucked away.” There were reports that bodies were burned or tossed into the sea. Thousands of students were beaten and jailed, and many disappeared.2

Ten days later, while 1,500 students in a military camp were being beaten and tortured, the Olympic ceremonies opened. Family members of the disappeared searched the prisons and morgues for missing loved ones, as tanks rumbled past billboards in a dozen languages proclaiming “Everything is possible with peace.”

The night of October 2 became known as the Massacre in Tlatelolco.

Bloody U.S. Fingerprints Covering the Massacre

The U.S. and Mexican governments immediately blamed student protesters for shooting first and triggering the Mexican police and military response. These were lies.

It wasn’t until three decades later—after some of the secret U.S. government documents about the events of October 2, 1968 were declassified and released—that the truth began to come out.3 It was discovered that an elite battalion of Mexican undercover police and military snipers, known as the Olympia Battalion—organized under the guidance of CIA “asset” and Mexico’s secretary of the interior Luis Echeverría—had infiltrated the crowd dressed as students and took up positions on the upper floors of surrounding buildings. Each one wore a white glove on his left hand so the soldiers would not mistake them for students. A machine gun was set up in the apartment where Echeverría’s sister-in-law lived. Among them were 10 marksmen. They were the ones who opened fire—on their own troops—provoking them to fire on the students and unleash the massacre.4 These documents and other reports also reveal that the fingerprints of the U.S.—the CIA in particular—are all over this bloody massacre.

CIA’s Secret U.S.-Mexico Spy Network Prepares for the Olympics

Mexico City housed the largest CIA headquarters in the hemisphere, from which they carried out operations throughout Central and South America. And it was the only country where the FBI operated openly. Winston Scott, the CIA station chief in Mexico from 1956 to 1969, had recruited at least 12 agents from among the top echelons of the Mexican government as paid informants: including Mexico’s then president, Gustavo Díaz Ordaz, and Luis Echeverría, his successor as president, who while secretary of the interior was in charge of national security and the country’s police and security forces.5

In 1960, Scott had set up a secret spy network, code-named “LITEMPO,” operating out of the U.S. embassy in Mexico City, which provided the U.S. and Mexican governments with “sensitive political information neither wanted to receive through public channels.” LITEMPO would become the CIA’s “eyes on Tlatelolco.”6 During the months leading up to the October Olympics, the CIA and other U.S. agencies and top Mexican officials had secretly been in direct, daily contact to make sure the Olympic Games went off without a hitch and to monitor, assess, and take action against the growing student protests.

The chief of Mexico’s elite intelligence agency, the DFS (Dirección Federal de Seguridad), Fernando Gutiérrez Barrios, also on the CIA payroll, passed daily reports from his own DFS agents to the CIA. And Scott delivered “‘a daily intelligence summary’ to President Díaz Ordaz, with a section on activities of Mexican revolutionary organizations and communist diplomatic missions.” Scott, in turn, relayed the views of Díaz Ordaz and other top officials to the U.S. ambassador and to CIA headquarters.7

Expediting Military Equipment to Mexico in Advance of Olympics

The U.S. and Mexico were not simply sharing intelligence. They were also preparing militarily to make sure the Olympics were not disrupted. In late spring and again in mid-summer 1968, the State Department requested that the Pentagon expedite Mexican orders of military equipment, for this reason: “In view of the importance which the Mexican Government gives to the smooth functioning of the Olympic Games, and our own Government’s desire to see that this event be as successful as possible.”8

Student Protests Erupt Nationwide...

In late July, the government’s violent repression of students protesting police brutality in Mexico City led to a student strike that quickly grew and spread rapidly to universities throughout the country. Through August and September this student movement attracted broad supportholding marches of hundreds of thousandsand became more determined in the face of police and military violence that left many students killed. In the eyes of the U.S. imperialists, Mexico had joined the list of world trouble spots, with buses burning on downtown corners of the city about to have the eyes of the world on it.

...and the U.S. and Mexico Prepare for a Clampdown

In response to the student upsurge, Echeverría had been put in charge of the “Strategy Committee”a key working group of senior government officials created to fashion a response to the student protests. In Washington, the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) described “the committee as being at the heart of the government’s efforts to head off the students—whether by force or coercion.”9 The Olympia Battalion was one of the committee’s creations.

By September, Scott and other agents were meeting daily with Mexican leaders to assess developments and possible government responses to the growing student movement as the Olympics neared. The CIA and U.S. embassy were filing daily reports to the State Department and CIA headquarters in Washington.

The declassified U.S. government documents point to strong U.S. support for a forceful crackdown against the student uprising. A CIA dispatch applauded Díaz Ordaz’s September 1 presidential address promising to clamp down on student unrest. The U.S. embassy noted that the “permissive period” allowed by the regime had come to an end, and summed up their own view of the stakes for the Mexican government if they didn’t take decisive action: “Mexicans expect president above all to be strong decisive personality and, if permissive period extended too long, general public might conclude president lacks means or courage to deal with students. Ensuing loss of respect for president would, within Mexican political system, create grave dangers.”10

In late September, Dean Rusk, President Lyndon Johnson’s secretary of state, secretly reported that the “GOM (Government of Mexico) [is] virtually committed to forceful showdown with student militants,” but expressed concern over its “capability to prevent extremist disruption [of] Olympic Village, sports events, other Olympic facilities.” Meanwhile, Echeverría and Gutiérrez Barrios secretly assured the CIA that “no danger exists that the Olympic Games will be affected ... the situation will be under complete control very shortly, meaning a cessation of all acts of violence.”11

Then, just two days before October 2, the two most powerful men in U.S. Intelligence—current and former CIA directors Richard Helms and Allen Dulles—flew into Mexico City to meet with CIA station chief Winston Scott. What Helms, Dulles, and Scott discussed on the eve of the massacre has never been declassified. But this massacre has “Made in the USA” written all over it. The key lines of command of this slaughterfrom the chief of staff of the Mexican military Luis Gutiérrez Oropeza, who posted the 10 marksmen; to the head of national intelligence, Gutiérrez Barrios; to Echeverría, secretary of the interior in charge of the strategic planning; to Díaz Ordazwas connected to the CIA.

U.S. support for the Mexican government and its savage actions was also clear in the massacre’s aftermath. Neither the U.S. State Department nor President Johnson issued statements of condemnation of the Mexican government for this slaughter. Instead, the U.S. and Mexican governments continued to blame the students.12


Mexican President Díaz Ordaz oversaw and then lied to cover up the direct hand of the Mexican military in the massacre in Tlatelolco. Díaz Ordaz had been a paid CIA informant for years who was in regular contact with the CIA and the U.S. State Department. He provided the U.S. with crucial intelligence information every step of the way, and requested that the U.S. provide Mexico with military hardware and ammunition in the months leading up to October 2.

Luis Echeverría, as Mexico’s secretary of the interior, was in charge of the strategic planning for October 2, and directly oversaw the Olympia Battalion and the massacre. He, too, was a CIA asset. Echeverría was Mexico’s president from 1970 to 1976, at the height of Mexico’s dirty war against leftists, when over 500 were disappeared. In 2006, he was ordered arrested but was never tried on genocide charges for his role in the massacre at Tlatelolco.

Lyndon Johnson, the Democratic U.S. president in 1968, was overall responsible for the intelligence operations and other measures carried out by the CIA and other branches of the U.S. government. He was receiving secret messages and reports on the developments in Mexico more and more frequently in the period leading up to October 2.

Winston Scott was the CIA station chief in Mexico and was at the center of U.S. intelligence and covert operations before and after the massacre. Through his years-long cultivation of U.S. “assets” at the highest levels of the Mexican government, he was in position to provide constant reports to the CIA and Defense and State Departments about what was taking place on the ground, including how the Mexican government was planning to prevent the student uprising from disrupting or preventing the Olympic Games, and to convey U.S. advice, recommendations, and desires.

Richard Helms, Director of Central Intelligence, was responsible for the CIA’s role in Mexico overall and ensuring that a “successful” Olympic Games was able to take place in Mexico City.


The Mexican government claimed that the students were responsible for the massacre, and that the initial shots had come from among students on the upper floor of the Chihuahua building overlooking the plaza. Díaz Ordaz said the massacre had been “carefully planned” by pro-Soviet and pro-Cuban radical students who had been at the center of the initial attack, as part of Cuban and Soviet efforts to disrupt the Olympic Games and destabilize the Mexican government. The U.S. publicly supported and echoed Mexico’s claims.


Mexico City was the first Third World country to host the Olympic Games. Mexico’s ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) saw the Olympics as an opportunity to showcase to the world the country’s economic development and stability. For the U.S., it was a chance to show off the benefits of U.S. imperialist-led economic and political development, which by 1968 was being challenged by revolutionary China’s socialist road, the Soviet-Cuban model of development, and the national liberation struggles taking place around the world.

Mexico’s student movement erupted and spread across the country against this backdrop. The Díaz Ordaz regime and its U.S. overseers viewed the gathering force of the student movement with great alarm, fearing the student protests could grow to overshadow, or force the cancellation of, the games on which they had so much riding, and possibly threaten the stability of the Mexican government. The U.S. rulers were determined not to allow this.

For all these reasons, the U.S. and Mexican governments were hell-bent on not only containing the student uprising, but brutally drowning it in blood when that became necessary, and to continue to violently repress and disappear students and leftists under Mexico’s presidentand CIA assetEcheverría during the “dirty war” of the early 1970s.


1. “Before the World Arrived,” Jonah Walters, The Jacobin, May 23, 2018.  [back]

2. “October 2 is not forgotten, Upsurge and Massacre in Mexico 1968—Part 2: Blood at Tlatelolco,”, October 4, 1998.  [back]

3. The National Security Archive began investigating the Tlatelolco massacre in 1994, through records obtained under the Freedom of Information Act and archival research in both Mexico and the United States. In 1998, the archive posted its first 30 declassified U.S. documents on 1968. All of them come from the secret archives of the CIA, FBI, Defense Department, the embassy in Mexico City, and the White House.  [back]

4. “Tlatelolco Massacre: U.S. documents on Mexico and the Events of 1968,” National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 99, edited by Kate Doyle, published October 10, 2003; “Mexico’s 1968 Massacre: What Really Happened?” Broadcast on NPR’s All Things Considered, December 1, 2008.  [back]

5. “LITEMPO: The CIA’s Eyes on Tlatelolco—CIA Spy Operations in Mexico,” Jefferson Morley, National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 204, October 18, 2006 (originally published in Proceso magazine, October 1, 2006).  [back]

6. Ibid. Each agent was identified in CIA files by a specific number: LITEMPO-2 was President Díaz Ordaz, and his nephew was LITEMPO-1; Fernando Gutiérrez Barrios, head of DFS, was LITEMPO-4; and Luis Echeverría was LITEMPO-8.  [back]

7. Ibid.  [back]

8. K. Doyle, op. cit. Document 84, State Department Letter—May 24, 1968.  [back]

9. Ibid., Introduction.  [back]

10. Ibid., Document 13, September 6, 1968.  [back]

11. Ibid., Document 34, September 25, 1968.  [back]

12. The following morning, the International Olympic Committee met in secret, and IOC President Avery Brundage announced afterwards that the Games would proceed as scheduled and that local student problems had no connection with the Olympics.  [back]


In July 1968, the Mexican government’s violent repression of students protesting police brutality led to a student strike that rapidly spread to universities. Here a great throng of demonstrators gathers in the Zócalo, or Constitution Square, in the heart of Mexico City, August 14, 1968, at the conclusion of a five-mile march through the city.  (Photo: AP)

Mexican troops guard young men arrested after a night of protests on October 2, 1968. (Photo: AP)

Mexican army soldiers beat demonstrators in the Plaza de las Tres Culturas area of Mexico City, a slaughter that came to be known “Tlatelolco massacre.” (Photo: AP)

Q&A: Would Mexico And Central America Still Be the US Backyard After the Revolution?

Excerpt from “Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution”
A speech by Bob Avakian

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Revolution #581 February 4, 2019

The Republican Party Is Fascist
The Democratic Party Is Also a Machine of Massive War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity
This System CANNOT Be Reformed—It MUST Be Overthrown!

Republicans, Democrats and U.S. Crimes Against Humanity: A Chart


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U.S. Wars and Interventions


The Human Cost

The nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, August 1945

Harry Truman (D)

As Japan was suing for peace and World War 2 was coming to an end, on August 6, the U.S. dropped the first atomic bomb ever used on the city of Hiroshima. By the end of 1945, between 140,000 and 150,000 people, overwhelmingly civilians, died from the attack and hundreds of thousands more were wounded. On August 9, the U.S. dropped an even more powerful nuclear bomb on Nagasaki, destroying the city and murdering another 70,000 people.1

Military intervention in the Chinese Revolution, 1945-1949

Truman (D)

By 1945, Japan had been defeated, in large part by decades of revolutionary struggle under the leadership of Mao Zedong and the Chinese Communist Party. A civil war soon broke out between China’s revolutionaries and the reactionary Nationalist Party (Kuomintang/KMT) under Chiang Kai-shek. The U.S. funneled billions in aid and military equipment to the KMT. The roughly 100,000 American troops stationed in China advised, trained, organized, and supported Chiang’s forces, even airlifting 500,000 to different battlefronts. Without U.S. backing the KMT would have been defeated more—perhaps much more—quickly. So U.S. intervention prolonged the conflict and contributed significantly to the terrible toll on the Chinese. Between 1945 and 1949, an estimated 2.5 million were killed, millions more were displaced, the economy collapsed, and tens of millions were left destitute.2

Turning Micronesia into a nuclear testing ground, 1946-1962

Truman (D)

Dwight Eisenhower (R)

John Kennedy (D)


From 1946 to 1962, the U.S. turned Micronesia—a region in the Western Pacific Ocean comprising thousands of small islands, including the Marshall Islands—into a nuclear test site which it named the “Pacific Proving Ground.” It carried out its first test by exploding a nuclear bomb over Bikini Atoll in 1946, and between 1947 and 1962 carried out 102 tests over, on, or under the waters of these precious islands. Of these tests, 67 were atomic bombs.

Some islands were evacuated prior to testing and were obliterated. But other tests were carried out on inhabited islands and people were exposed to huge amounts of nuclear fallout and suffered acute radiation illness including nausea, vomiting, burns, hair loss, hypothyroidism, and miscarriages. Some were guinea pigs in a secret medical experiment to study the effects of radiation on human beings. Today, 60 years after nuclear testing, entire islands remain uninhabitable and many islanders still suffer their aftereffects, in some instances with thyroid cancer rates 200 percent above the national baseline.3

Military intervention in Greek civil war, 1947-49

Truman (D)

In 1947, the U.S. took over from Britain, whose troops had spent three years trying to crush the pro-Soviet leftist fighters that had driven the Nazi invaders from many parts of Greece during World War 2. The U.S. armed, trained, and led the reactionary Greek military in a bloody counterinsurgency against these anti-fascist Greek guerrilla fighters who held out for nearly three years, suffering losses of many tens of thousands before their surrender in October 1949. In this “Third Phase” of the Greek civil war, the total deaths were estimated at 158,000 and a million people were forced from their homes (including through U.S.-orchestrated “pacification”). After surrendering, “Almost 100,000 ELAS fighters and communist sympathizers serving in DSE ranks were imprisoned, exiled or executed.” The U.S. then “exercised almost dictatorial control” of Greece in the economic sphere, according to a prominent Greek politician.4

The Korean War,


Truman (D)

Eisenhower (R)

In June 1950, the U.S. orchestrated a United Nations invasion of Korea, and sent over 340,000 American troops. Over the next three years of combat and massive bombings, U.S. and U.S.-led forces killed more than three million people: two million North Korean civilians, 500,000 North Korean soldiers, between 900,000 and a million Chinese soldiers. There were also 1.3 million South Korean casualties, including 400,000 dead.5

Korean War 1950-53: U.S. Army photo depicts the summary execution of 1,800 South Korean political prisoners July 1950 carried out by the U.S.-installed puppet Syngman Rhee.

U.S. nuclear threats against China and North Korea, 1950-1951

Truman (D)

On November 30, 1950, Truman stated publicly that the U.S. was considering using nuclear weapons against Chinese and North Korean forces. That day, the Strategic Air Command was ordered to “be prepared to dispatch without delay medium bomb groups to the Far East ... this augmentation should include atomic capability.” Some in government advocated a “limited war” against China, including air attacks and a naval blockade. Gen. Douglas MacArthur, then in overall command of U.S. forces in Korea, argued for dropping 30 to 50 atomic bombs on Manchuria and Chinese cities. (Truman feared this could end up harming U.S. interests and fired MacArthur in the spring of 1951.)6

CIA coup in Iran, 1953

Truman (D)

Eisenhower (R)

On August 19, 1953, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), along with British intelligence, launched a military coup overthrowing Iran’s popular, elected prime minister, Mohammad Mossadegh. In 1951, during an upsurge of protest against British colonialism, Mossadegh had nationalized Britain’s Anglo-Iranian Oil Company.

That day, CIA-organized mobs, joined by the military, took over streets chanting “Long live the Shah! Death to Mossadegh!” Street battles raged. By late afternoon, military units seized control of Mossadegh’s house, breaking the resistance. By evening, 300 lay dead, and Iran’s Mohammad Reza Shah [King] Pahlavi’s throne was secure.

Iran’s nationalist upsurge was crushed. The U.S. replaced Britain as the dominant imperialist power in Iran. Mossadegh’s nationalization was reversed, and U.S. oil giants were cut in on the spoils, reaping enormous profits. The coup embedded Iran as a key military outpost for the U.S. against regional liberation struggles and in its Cold War clash with the Soviet Union.

The Shah ruled as an iron-fisted U.S. puppet for 25 years. Speaking out risked arrest by SAVAK, his U.S.-trained secret police. Thousands were murdered, jailed, or barbarically tortured—they even threatened to torture children in front of their parents. When millions rose against the Shah in 1978-79, he shot down thousands with U.S. backing before being ousted. The 1953 coup and what followed ended up helping pave the way for a new Iranian nightmare: the 1979 founding of the Islamic Republic of Iran.7

U.S. threatens nuclear attack against Iraq’s 1958 revolution

Eisenhower (R)

After the pro-Western Iraqi monarchy was overthrown in a nationalist military coup, the U.S. threatened war against the new republic. U.S. forces, including the Strategic Air Command, were put on worldwide alert, and 70 naval vessels, hundreds of aircraft, and 14,000 Marines were dispatched to neighboring Lebanon, including an atomic unit with artillery capable of firing nuclear shells. Eisenhower had secretly ordered the military to prepare to use nuclear weapons to prevent an Iraqi takeover of Kuwait’s oil fields. In response to U.S. threats and deployments, the Soviet Union began large-scale maneuvers on its borders with Turkey and Iran. “Until the makeup and intentions of the new Republic of Iraq became clear, ‘general war’ was a real possibility,” one journalist summed up.8

Vietnam War, 1961-1975

Eisenhower (R)

John Kennedy (D)

Lyndon Johnson (D)

Richard Nixon (R)

Gerald Ford (R)

The U.S.first sent military advisers, then more than 500,000 troops, and dropped millions of tons of bombs in an effort to defeat the national liberation struggle of the Vietnamese people and prevent either revolutionary China or the imperialist Soviet Union from strengthening their influence in Southeast Asia. By the time the war ended in America’s defeat in April 1975, its military had slaughtered some two million Vietnamese civilians and one million Vietnamese soldiers.9

My Lai massacre.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Planning for nuclear war with the Soviet Union and China, 1950s and ’60s.

Truman (D)

Eisenhower (R)

Kennedy (D)


Whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg saw a copy of these war plans in 1961.He later wrote: “The total death toll as calculated by the Joint Chiefs, from a U.S. first strike aimed at the Soviet Union, its Warsaw Pact satellites, and China, would be roughly six hundred million dead. A hundred Holocausts.”10

Murdering the Congo’s Patrice Lumumba, installing the butcher Mobutu, 1961-1997

Eisenhower (R)

Kennedy (D)

Lyndon B. Johnson (D)

Richard Nixon (R)

Gerald Ford (R)

Jimmy Carter (D)

Ronald Reagan (R)

George H.W. Bush (R)

Bill Clinton (D)


On January 17, 1961, a firing squad shot to death the Congolese anti-colonialist leader Patrice Lumumba, just months after he’d been elected prime minister of the newly founded Republic of the Congo. This brutal murder was carried out by Lumumba’s Congolese enemies, but it had been called for by President Eisenhower in August 1960 and organized by CIA Director Allen Dulles, who wrote the CIA station chief in the Congo that Lumumba’s “removal must be an urgent and prime objective.”

Murdering Lumumba, who sought to use the Congo’s vast mineral resources to improve its people’s lives, and then in 1965 installing the brutal regime of Mobutu Sese Seko, turned the Congo into a bulwark for U.S. political and military intervention in Africa for nearly three decades. While global imperialism and Mobutu plundered the country, Congolese suffered hellish enslavement and medieval destitution. “How do I describe ... the feeling of holding in my arms a child half-dead from lack of protein,” one eyewitness wrote, “his hair a sickly orange, his face bloated and puffy, his abdomen an overstretched balloon?” Meanwhile, Carter intervened to save Mobutu in 1977 and 1978, Reagan hailed him as “a voice of good sense and good will,” and George H.W. Bush called him “our best friend in Africa.”11

The Bay of Pigs invasion, 1961

Kennedy (D)

The U.S. attempted to spark the overthrow of Cuba’s government, headed by Fidel Castro, by organizing this invasion by reactionary Cuban exiles. It was defeated, but during the fighting some 2,000 to 6,000 Cuban soldiers, militia personnel, and others were killed, wounded, or went missing.12

Cuban missile crisis, 1962

Kennedy (D)

The U.S. was carrying out secret operations to overthrow the Cuban government (and on another front, had also stationed nuclear missiles threatening the Soviet Union in Turkey). At Cuba’s request, the Soviets placed 36 nuclear-armed missiles in Cuba. The U.S. demanded the missiles be removed, sent U-2 spy planes over Cuba (one was shot down), placed a naval blockade on Cuba, dropped depth charges near a disabled Soviet submarine, considered invading, and put its nuclear forces on DEFCON 2 alert, the highest level short of nuclear war. For 13 days, the world hovered on the brink of nuclear holocaust before the crisis was defused.13

Invasion of Dominican Republic, 1965

Johnson (D)

On April 28, 1965, 22,000 U.S. Marines and other troops invaded the Dominican Republic to crush a just, mass uprising against the country’s pro-U.S. tyranny. Some 3,000 to 4,000 Dominicans were killed, although others estimated that the death toll was as high as 6,000 to 10,000.14

CIA orchestrates bloodbath in Indonesia, 1965-1966

Johnson (D)

For many months, starting at the end of 1965, the reactionary Indonesian military, led by the pro-U.S. General Suharto, as well as other reactionary forces that it unleashed, slaughtered people with wild abandon. This massive bloodbath was set in motion, backed, and orchestrated by the U.S., which provided the military with equipment, weapons, and ultimately tens of billions of dollars. CIA advisers counseled Indonesian generals and provided them with a “hit list” of 5,000, then checked off their names as they were murdered. When the bloodletting ended, at least 500,000, perhaps more than a million, had been killed, including members of the Communist Party of Indonesia, trade unionists, intellectuals, teachers, land reform advocates, ordinary peasants, ethnic Chinese, women, and children. Hundreds of thousands more were arrested and tortured.15

Bombing of Laos, 1965-1973

Johnson (D)

Nixon (R)

During the war in Vietnam, U.S. warplanes dropped two million tons of bombs on the small neighboring country of Laos, more than had been dropped on Germany or Japan during World War 2. These included anti-personnel cluster bombs. There’s been no accounting of those killed or wounded during the bombing, but over 20,000 people have been killed or maimed by unexploded ordinance—including cluster bombs—in the decades since the war ended.16

Bombing of Cambodia, 1969-1973

Nixon (R)

The U.S. also carpet bombed Cambodia during the war in Vietnam, directly or indirectly killing 100,000 to 600,000 Cambodians—mostly civilians. Hundreds of thousands more likely died due to displacement, disease, and starvation in this period. Over two million people, more than 25 percent of its population, were driven from their homes in the countryside.17

Christmas bombing of North Vietnam, December 18-29, 1972

Nixon (R)

The U.S. massively bombed the densely populated cities of Hanoi and Haiphong to force concessions by North Vietnam in negotiations to end the war. It claimed 1,600 Vietnamese civilians were killed, but Vietnamese sources estimate there were 2,300 civilian deaths—about 1,500 in Hanoi alone.18

CIA-organized military coup in Chile, 1973

Nixon (R)

Beginning in the early morning hours of September 11, 1973, the Chilean military, with political guidance and secret backing from the U.S., carried out a coup against the leftist government of Chilean president Salvador Allende. More than 3,000 Chilean people were executed, thousands more were “disappeared,” and tens of thousands tortured; over 140,000 people were rounded up during the coup, and in the few years that followed, as many as one million people out of Chile’s population of 11 million were forced into exile.19

U.S. foments civil war in Angola, 1975-1994


Ford (R)

Carter (D)

Reagan (R)

George H.W. Bush (R)

Clinton (D)

In the 1960s, when the Angolan people were fighting to lift the yoke of Portuguese colonialism, the U.S. backed the Portuguese government’s attempts to crush their struggle—including supplying the colonial regime with napalm. In 1975, when Portugal ended its rule and the Angolan MPLA was set to take power, the U.S. began arming, funding, and militarily assisting the reactionary anti-MPLA butchers of UNITA headed by Jonas Savimbi. The U.S. also backed South Africa’s military intervention in Angola to weaken or overthrow the MPLA government, prevent the Soviet Union or its ally Cuba from gaining a foothold in Southern Africa, and help preserve the apartheid government of South Africa. A savage civil war was unleashed which lasted until 2002. Some 500,000 were killed, over four million were driven from their homes, and the society was devastated. The U.S. rulers only dialed back their support for the civil war in 1993 when the Soviet Union had collapsed. After the war, “80 percent of people have no access to basic medical care. More than two-thirds have no running water. A whole generation of children has never opened a schoolbook. Life expectancy is less than 40 years. Three in ten children will die before reaching their fifth birthday,” the New York Times reported.20

Covertly fueling terror in Mozambique, 1977-1992

Carter (D)

Reagan (R)

George H.W. Bush (R)

Between 1977 and 1992, the U.S. covertly fueled a reactionary war and a barbaric campaign of mass terror in the southern Africa country of Mozambique. This newly independent nation was ruled by the nationalist Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (FRELIMO), which was aided by the Soviet Union. The white settler states of Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and South Africa, secretly backed by the U.S., formed, supported, and armed the “Mozambican National Resistance” (RENAMO). Their goal: to force Mozambique to halt support for the just struggle against apartheid South Africa, drive it into the arms of Western imperialism, and prevent the imperialist Soviet Union from gaining a foothold in southern Africa.

RENAMO systematically carried out crimes against humanity as part of a strategy to cripple and destabilize Mozambique’s government. It abducted children to be soldiers. It forced villagers to produce food, transport munitions, and turned village women into sex slaves—devastating agriculture (as well as the country’s infrastructure) and spawning mass starvation and famines which killed hundreds of thousands. It carried out brutal massacres, including the 1987 slaughter of 424 civilians, including hospital patients in the town of Homoine, and directly murdered some 100,000 people in all. U.S. ally South Africa gave RENAMO logistical, military, and financial support, and also carried out direct attacks in Mozambique, including cross-border raids, aerial bombings, sabotage, assassinations, kidnappings, even a 1986 invasion aimed at cutting Mozambique in half in 1986. Between 600,000 and one million died of war-related causes.

The U.S. secretly supported this slaughter—through private parties (the right-wing Heritage Foundation gave RENAMO office space in Washington, DC, for instance) and covert backing for South Africa. Author Mahmood Mamdani summed up, “Simply put, after the defeat in Vietnam and the Watergate scandal, the United States decided to harness, and even to cultivate, terrorism in the struggle against regimes it considered pro-Soviet.”21

Supporting Indonesian genocide in East Timor, 1975-1999

Ford (R)

Carter (D)

Reagan (R)

George H.W. Bush (R)

Clinton (D)

On December 6, 1975, President Ford and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger met with America’s close ally, Indonesian dictator Suharto (who spearheaded the mass slaughter of leftists in 1965 and then staged a military coup in 1967—all with U.S. backing), and green-lighted Indonesia’s invasion of its neighbor, East Timor. “What followed was one of the greatest genocides of the 20th century. It is estimated that up to one-third of the Timorese population was killed through a policy of army massacre and enforced starvation. Many of those who were left were imprisoned and tortured by a military armed and trained by the United States.” The slaughter continued for almost 25 years. In 1999, after the Timorese voted for independence from Indonesia, pro-Indonesia forces murdered about 14,000 people. A few months later, the U.S. president—this time Clinton—was again meeting with Suharto to strengthen ties with his murderous regime.22

U.S. proxy war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, 1979-1989


Carter (D)

Reagan (R)

After the Soviet Union, the U.S.’s main imperialist rival, invaded Afghanistan in 1979, the U.S., along with Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, armed, organized, and funded the reactionary Islamic fundamentalist Mujahideen (who later became Afghanistan’s Taliban and Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda) to wage war against the Soviet forces and the Afghan regime it backed. When the Soviets finally pulled out of Afghanistan in 1989, between 800,000 and 1.5 million Afghans (along with 15,000 Soviet soldiers) had been killed in this reactionary bloodbath and five million Afghans, one-third of its population at the time, had been driven out of the country as refugees.23

U.S. threatens tactical nuclear war over Iran, 1980

Carter (D)

During and immediately after the 1979 Iranian revolution, the U.S. and the Soviet Union engaged in a series of high-stakes warnings and threats, backed by military maneuvers and nuclear alerts, to maintain or increase their leverage in Iran. In August 1980, the U.S. warned the Soviets that any move into Iran would lead to a direct military confrontation. Those options included the use of tactical nuclear weapons. For the first time, National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski later wrote, “the United States deliberately sought for itself the capability to manage a protracted nuclear conflict.”24

U.S. backs El Salvador death squads, 1980-92

Carter (D)

Reagan (R)

George H.W. Bush (R)

To crush a guerrilla struggle against its brutal client regime, the U.S. supported, funded, and armed death squads that carried out extra-judicial executions and massacres which killed as many as 75,000 Salvadorans25

Fueling the Iran-Iraq war, 1980-1988

Carter (D)

Reagan (R)

In September 1980, Iraq’s Saddam Hussein invaded Iran with a green light from the U.S. Their common goal—to weaken or topple the new Islamic Republic. The U.S. sold (or had allies sell) arms to Iraq, including the capability to make biological and chemical weapons (which were used against Iran), and provided military intelligence. For a time, the U.S. also supplied Iran with weapons. U.S. machinations prolonged the war and worsened the slaughter: Conservative estimates place the death toll at 262,000 to 367,000 Iranians and 105,000 Iraqis, plus an estimated 700,000 injured or wounded on both sides.26

The U.S.-sponsored Contra war in Nicaragua, 1981-1988

Reagan (R)

George H.W. Bush (R)


After the Sandinistas overthrew the pro-U.S. Somoza dictatorship in 1978, and established friendly ties with the Soviet Union, the U.S. was determined to overthrow them. “For eight terrible long years, the people of Nicaragua were under attack by Washington’s proxy army, the Contras, formed from Somoza’s vicious National Guardsmen and other supporters of the dictator. It was all-out war ... burning down schools and medical clinics, raping, torturing, mining harbors, bombing and strafing.” As many as 50,000 people were killed. In 1990 the U.S. forced a “free election” with the threat of escalated terror if people supported the Sandinista government. It fell. Today, Nicaragua is one of the poorest and most violence plagued nations in the hemisphere.27

U.S.-backed genocide in Guatemala, 1982-1983

Reagan (R)

In 1982, the U.S. backed a military coup by the Christian fanatic General José Efraín Ríos Montt, who then launched a genocidal assault on Guatemala’s indigenous Mayan population. With U.S. aid and support, Guatemala’s military systematically destroyed more than 600 indigenous Mayan villages and slaughtered some 75,000 people. The Guatemalan military regime’s savage, U.S.-supported war against leftist opponents and peasants (which had begun in the 1960s) continued until 1996. During those decades it’s estimated that some 200,000 people were disappeared or killed.28

1982-1983: Armed and backed by the U.S., the Guatemalan military systematically destroyed more than 600 indigenous Mayan villages, and slaughtered some 75,000 people.

Invasion of Grenada, 1983

Reagan (R)

The U.S. invaded this small island nation to overthrow its leftist government, an action the UN denounced as a “flagrant” violation of international law. U.S. forces killed 45 Grenadians and 25 Cubans working there in support of Grenada’s government, and wounded a total of 396 Grenadians and Cubans.29

America’s complicity in the massacre of Iraqi Kurds, 1987-1988

Reagan (R)

After facilitating Iraq’s development of chemical weapons, the U.S. turned a blind eye and continued to support it when it used them against Iraq’s Kurds. As many as 60,000 were massacred, including an estimated 5,000 in one gas attack at Halabja, according to an Iraq scholar. A Defense Intelligence Agency officer told the New York Times that the Pentagon “wasn’t so horrified by Iraq’s use of gas. It was just another way of killing people—whether with a bullet or phosgene, it didn’t make any difference.”30

The shoot-down of Iran Air Flight 655, 1988

Reagan (R)

On July 2, 1988, at a time the U.S. was seeking to end the eight-year-long Iran-Iraq war, the naval warship USS Vincennes shot down an unarmed Iranian civilian passenger jet—Iran Air Flight 655—as it flew over the Persian Gulf. All 290 passengers on board were killed.31

The invasion of Panama, 1989-1990

George H.W. Bush (R)

On December 20, 1989, the U.S. military invaded Panama with 27,684 troops and 300 aircraft, removing Manuel Noriega and his Panamanian Defense Force from power. Whole neighborhoods were destroyed and an estimated 3,000-6,000 Panamanians—mainly civilians—were killed.32

On December 20, 1989, the U.S. military invaded Panama with 27,500 troops and 300 aircraft, killing thousands of civilians and removing Manuel Noriega. (Photo: AP)

The Persian Gulf War—the U.S. assault on Iraq, 1990-1991

George H.W. Bush (R)

From January 16 to February 27, 1991, the U.S. waged war against Iraq to strengthen its grip on the Persian Gulf and set the tone for the post-Soviet “new world order” it sought to establish. Some 100,000 Iraqi soldiers were killed and another 300,000 wounded. The war also caused the deaths of 70,000 civilians by January 1992.33

U.S.-UN killer sanctions on Iraq, 1990-2003

George H.W. Bush (R)

Clinton (D)

George W. Bush (R)

In the months leading up to the January-March 1991 Persian Gulf War, the U.S. and UN imposed a crippling economic blockade on Iraq. Then, during the attack, U.S. bombers destroyed much of Iraq’s infrastructure, including its electrical, water, and sewage treatment systems. By 1997, the UN reported that more than 1.2 million Iraqis had died as a result of medical shortages caused by the war and sanctions, including 750,000 children under the age of five. A 1999 survey found that twice as many Iraqi children under five were dying than before the Gulf War. That’s roughly 5,000 Iraqi children under five dying each month thanks to U.S. actions.34

Iraq, 2004
Iraqi woman seeks treatment for her three-month-old son suffering from dehydration due to U.S. sanctions. (Photo: AP)

Military intervention in the former Yugoslavia: Bosnia, 1994-95; Serbia, 1999

Clinton (D)

In the 1990s, the multi-national Republic of Yugoslavia was torn apart by the forces of reactionary nationalism, egged on, backed, and manipulated by Germany, Russia, the U.S., and other imperialist powers. A complex series of brutal wars erupted in which over 100,000 died. At various points, NATO—under U.S. command—intervened in order to shape the outcome in U.S. interests, carrying out its own war crimes. In April 1999 alone, NATO planes conducted hundreds of runs, destroying homes, apartment complexes, and bridges, and killing over 100 civilians in Kosovo and Serbia.35

Invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, 2001-present

George W. Bush (R)

Obama (D)

Donald Trump (R)

In October 2001, U.S. forces invaded Afghanistan, drove the Islamic fundamentalist Taliban regime from power, and installed a widely hated, pro-U.S. “Islamic Republic.” But the U.S. has never succeeded in defeating the Taliban or stabilizing the country, and the U.S. air and ground war has continued ever since. By August 2016, some 111,000 people had been killed and over 116,000 injured. More than 31,000 of the dead were Afghan civilians.36

Afghanistan, 2008
Children killed by U.S. airstrike in Kabul, Afghanistan, 2008. (Photo: AP)

Invasion, occupation, and ongoing intervention in Iraq, 2003-present


George W. Bush (R)

Obama (D)

Trump (R)

In 2003, the U.S. invaded Iraq and overthrew Saddam Hussein’s regime based on the lie that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. The U.S. war and occupation sparked armed resistance and led to the rise of reactionary Islamic jihadism and the ethnic-sectarian conflict that continues to this day. From 2003 to 2016, 251,000 Iraqis were killed in the war, including between 168,239 and 187,378 civilians. Other studies estimate that between 1.2 and 1.4 million (and perhaps as many as 2.4 million) have died from the war’s direct and indirect impacts. More than 4.2 million Iraqis had been injured and at least 4.5 million driven from their homes by 2016.37

U.S., British, French war on Libya, 2011

Obama (D)

In March 2011, the U.S., Britain, and France seized on a mass uprising against Muammar Qaddafi’s oppressive, 42-year-long rule, to launch a war. Their goal: overthrow him and tighten their grip on Libya. For the next seven months, the U.S.-led coalition carried out extensive bombing raids and military operations. By October, between 10,000 and 30,000 had been killed and Qaddafi’s regime had been shattered. Libya was turned into a battleground between reactionaries, and life became a nightmare for the people, with shortages of food, water, and electricity. A third of the population had no medical care, and a half-million people were forced to flee from their homes.38

Arming, backing, and enabling the Saudi-led war in Yemen, 2015-present

Obama (D)

Trump (R)

In March 2015, Saudi Arabia, with U.S. arms, technical support, and political backing, launched a war against Yemen’s Houthi movement, which had taken power. Since then, between 57,000 and 60,000 have been killed, mainly by Saudi air strikes. The Saudis have bombed Yemen’s food, water, and medical systems, causing massive hunger and disease. At least 85,000 children have starved to death as a result, and in 2016 and 2017 alone, 113,000 children died of starvation or preventable disease. Now, 14 million Yemenis are on the brink of famine.39

U.S. support for Israel’s wars, 1948-present

Truman (D)

The Nakba (1948). Israel was created by defeating armies from Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Iraq in war, and by violently forcing Palestinians from their lands and homes. Between 1947 and 1949, at least 750,000 Palestinians—of a population of 1.9 million—were expelled and made refugees. Zionist forces took more than 78 percent of historic Palestine, ethnically cleansed and destroyed about 530 villages and cities, and killed about 15,000 Palestinians in a series of mass atrocities, including more than 70 massacres. The U.S. supported the foundation of Israel, seeing an opportunity to undercut British influence in the region and strengthen its own. One of Truman’s aides argued that Israel “could become a strategic asset—a kind of stationary aircraft carrier to protect American interests in the Mediterranean and the Middle East.”40


Johnson (D)

1967 War [“Six-Day War”] (June 5, 1967-June 10, 1967). In 1967, Israel launched a preemptive war against Egypt, Syria, and Jordan, crippling their air forces. Israel then carried out a successful ground offensive, seizing the Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip from Egypt; the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan; and the Golan Heights from Syria. Egypt’s casualties numbered more than 11,000, with 6,000 for Jordan, and 1,000 for Syria, compared with only 700 for Israel. This overwhelming military victory impressed on U.S. strategic thinkers that Israel was the key ally to ensure American domination in the Middle East. The U.S. began providing Israel cutting-edge weapons and jet fighters, and a massive flood of U.S. military aid that continues to this day. (Since its founding, the U.S. has given Israel a staggering $134 billion in aid—including over $94 billion in military aid—far more than the U.S. has given to any other country.) This established Israel’s military superiority over Arab regimes, and Israel increasingly functioned as an American proxy and attack dog, not only in the Middle East, but around the world.41


Nixon (R)

1973 Arab-Israeli War (October 6, 1973-October 26, 1973) started after a coalition of Arab states led by Egypt and Syria fought to regain lands that had been seized by Israel in the 1967 war. The lowest casualty estimate is 8,000 (5,000 Egyptians and 3,000 Syrians) killed and 18,000 wounded. The highest estimate is 18,500 (15,000 Egyptians and 3,500 Syrians) killed. The U.S. fully backed Israel, even putting its nuclear forces on alert as a warning to the Soviets against intervening unilaterally in the war. It saw this (and the June 1967 war) as a way to bludgeon the surrounding Arab countries, and to demonstrate, as then Secretary of State Henry Kissinger put it, “the limits of Soviet influence.” They were also aimed at crushing the Palestinian liberation struggle, then the region’s most revolutionary and broadly influential movement.42


Reagan (R)

1982 Lebanon War (June 1982-September 1982)

Israel Defense Forces invaded southern Lebanon with the goals of expelling the Palestine Liberation Organization, removing Syrian influence over Lebanon, and installing a pro-Israeli Christian government. By the end of the second week, International Red Cross and Lebanese police figures claimed up to 14,000 people died and 20,000 were injured, mostly civilians. During the Siege of Beirut, by late August 1982, Lebanese sources put the death toll in Beirut at 6,776. Lebanese police and international doctors serving in Beirut put the share of civilian casualties at about 80 percent. While some in the Reagan administration may have been concerned about the fallout from Israel’s attack, the U.S. continued to staunchly support Israel overall, including the need to crush the Palestinian resistance and other anti-U.S. forces in the region.43


George W. Bush (R)

Massacre in Gaza, 2008-09

Between December 27, 2008 and January 19, 2009, Israel waged a war of wanton death and destruction as collective punishment of Gazans after Hamas (an Islamist Party) was voted into power. Between 1,166 and 1,417 people were killed, including 844 unarmed civilians, 281 of them children. On January 9, Democrats and Republicans in both houses of Congress voted overwhelmingly in support of Israel’s actions, declaring—in direct opposition to the findings of Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the International Red Cross, and other humanitarian organizations—that Israel’s armed forces bore no responsibility for the large numbers of civilian casualties from their assault on Gaza.44


Obama (D)

2014 Gaza War (July 8, 2014-August 26, 2014)

2,251 Palestinians were killed, including 1,462 Palestinian civilians, of whom 299 were women and 551 children; and 11,231 Palestinians, including 3,540 women and 3,436 children, were injured, of whom 10 percent suffered permanent disability as a result. Again, both Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate passed resolutions unanimously supporting Israel’s slaughter.45


Trump (R)

2018—the Great March of Return

Weekly protests began March 30, 2018 at Gaza’s border with Israel. They demanded that Israel’s crippling blockade be lifted and Palestinian refugees be given the right to return to their homes stolen by Israel in the 1948 war. The protests were also fueled by the Trump/Pence regime’s decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem—a big “fuck you” to the Palestinian people and a green light for Israeli ethnic cleansing. Unarmed protests have continued since then, and as of October 2018 over 150 Palestinians have been killed in the demonstrations. At least 10,000 others have been injured, including 1,849 children, 424 women, 115 paramedics, and 115 journalists. Of those injured, 5,814 were hit by live ammunition. The Trump/Pence regime responded by blaming the unarmed Palestinians for the violence.46

U.S. drone strikes in Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Somalia, 2002-present


George W. Bush (R)

Obama (D)

Trump (R)

Following the attacks of September 11, 2001, the George W. Bush administration launched the so-called “war on terror”—a global war to retaliate for the attacks and expand and strengthen the U.S. empire. This war went after all manner of states and forces the U.S. rulers considered obstacles or opponents, and America’s drone war became a key component.

Drones deployed from dozens of secret facilities in the Middle East, Africa, and Southwest Asia, directed from operational hubs in the U.S.—where the buttons are pushed and the missiles launched, thousands of miles away from the bloodshed.

Over the next years, tens of millions in Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Somalia came to live in daily danger of terrorist attack—from U.S. drones. People gathered in groups at wedding parties, tribal meetings, or car convoys have been slaughtered by America’s remote-controlled high-tech death machines. In the dehumanizing jargon of the U.S. military, people killed by drones on purpose are referred to as “jackpots” while unintended deaths are referred to as “EKIAs”—“Enemies Killed in Action”—a category that includes women, children, and people bombed in homes or at social gatherings.

The Obama administration greatly stepped up the number of unmanned drone attacks, launching more than 300 against Pakistan alone—six times the number ordered by Bush—as well as dozens more against Yemen, Somalia, and perhaps other countries in the region.

Totals to date:

Minimum Confirmed Strikes: 5,861

Total Killed: 8,289-11,792

Civilians Killed: 758-1,619

Children Killed: 252-36947



1. American Crime Case #97: August 6 and 9, 1945—The Nuclear Incineration of Hiroshima and Nagasaki,, May 23, 2016  [back]

2. American Crime #49: 1950-53— Encircling, Threatening and Attacking the Chinese Revolution,, January 1, 2018; William Blum, Killing Hope – U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II(Common Courage 1995), pp. 21-23; Alpha History, “The Chinese Civil War,” 2018.  [back]

3. American Crime Case #88: “Nuclear Testing in the Pacific,”, July 18, 2016  [back]

4. Blum, Killing Hope, pp. 34-39; “Greek Civil WAR (1946-1949),” The Apricity.  [back]

5. American Crime #93: U.S. Invasion of Korea—1950,, June 13, 2016.  [back]

6. American Crime #49: 1950-53— Encircling, Threatening and Attacking the Chinese Revolution,, January 1, 2018.  [back]

7. Case #98: 1953 CIA Coup in Iran: Torture and Repression – Made in the U.S.A.,”, May 16, 2016  [back]

8. Larry Everest, Oil, Power & Empire – Iraq and the U.S. Global Agenda (Common Courage, 2004), pp. 65-67  [back]

9. American Crime #96: Vietnam, March 16, 1968 – The My Lai Massacre,, May 23, 2016.  [back]

10. Daniel Ellsberg, The Doomsday Machine – Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner, p. 3  [back]

11. “Case #73: The CIA-Directed Murder of Patrice Lumumba,”, November 7, 2016; Rogue State, pp. 137-138; see also, Stephen R. Weissman, “What Really Happened in Congo - The CIA, the Murder of Lumumba, and the Rise of Mobutu,” Foreign Affairs, July/August 2014; “Zaire: An African Horror Story,” Atlantic, August 1993; “LOOKING BACK IN ANGER: LIFE IN MOBUTU'S ZAIRE,” Washington Post, June 1, 1997  [back]

12. American Crime #45: The Bay of Pigs Invasion, 1961,, February 12, 2018  [back]

13. The Nuclear Close Calls: The Cuban Missile Crisis, Atomic Heritage Foundation, June 15, 2018.  [back]

14. American Crime #68: The 1965 U.S. Invasion of Dominican Republic, #476, January 28, 2017.  [back]

15. American Crime Case 100: "1965 Massacre in Indonesia,",  May 2, 2016.  [back]

16. Killing Hope, p. 88; “The Bombing of Laos: By the Numbers,” ABC NEWS, September 6, 2016 6  [back]

17. American Crime Case #47: The Bombing of Cambodia, 1969-1973, #526, January 15, 2018  [back]

18. American Crime Case #34: America's 1972 Christmas Bombings North Vietnam,, December 17, 2018.  [back]

19. American Crime Case #57: The 1973 CIA Coup in Chile,, October 22, 2017;William Blum, Rogue State – A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower (Common Courage, 2000), p. 143  [back]

20. Rogue State, p. 147; Killing Hope, pp. 249-257; “Apartheid in South Africa: Decades of Serving the U.S. Empire,”, December 9, 2013; Polgreen, Lydia, "Angolans Come Home to 'Negative Peace,'" New York Times, July 30, 2003  [back]

21. Mahmood Mamdami, “Good Muslim, Bad Muslim: A Political Perspective on Culture and Terrorism,” American Anthropologist, Sept 2002; Mozambique: Civil war, World Peace Foundation, August 7, 2015; “Evolution of political events in the Southern African region,” Extracts from APARTHEID TERRORISM - Destabilisation report by the Commonwealth Secretariat, 1989 (from “A Crime Against Humanity—Analysing the Repression of the Apartheid State,” posted at South African History Online (SAHO).  [back]

22. “Massacre: The Story of East Timor,” Democracy Now!, November 12,1997  [back]

23. Oil, Power & Empire, p. 90; The Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan, 1979-1989,  [back]

24. Oil, Power & Empire, pp. 91-93, Ellsberg, p. 321  [back]

25. American Crime Case #38: The U.S. Backs El Salvador’s Death Squad Government, 1980 to 1992,”, July 9, 2018.  [back]

26. Oil, Power & Empire, p. 99  [back]

27. Rogue State, P. 146-147; “Legacy of Civil Wars - In Central America, Reagan Remains A Polarizing Figure,” Washington Post, June 10, 2004  [back]

28. American Crime Case #95: Reagan's Butcher Carries Out Genocide in Guatemala,, #441, May 30, 2016  [back]

29. Cole, Ronald (1997). “Operation Urgent Fury: The Planning and Execution of Joint Operations in Grenada”  [back]

30. Oil, Power & Empire, pp. 113-114  [back]

31. Oil, Power & Empire, p. 111  [back]

32. American Crime Case #43: The U.S. Invasion of Panama, 1989-1990,, April 23, 2018  [back]

33. American Crime Case #32: The 1991 Persian Gulf War, "Operation Desert Storm",, December 17, 2018.   [back]

34. American Crime Case #76: U.S.-UN Sanctions On Iraq,"A Legitimized Act of Mass Slaughter,, #461, October 17, 2016.  [back]

35. "Yugoslavia: The American Way of War - "Destroying the Village to Save It,Revolutionary Worker #1003, April 25, 1999.  [back]

36. Costs of War -- Update on the Human Costs of War for Afghanistan and Pakistan, 2001 to mid-2016, Watson Institute, Brown University.  [back]

37. American Crime Case #70: Operation Iraqi Freedom, 2003,, December 5, 2016; and "Iraq conflict has killed a million Iraqis: survey," Reuters, January 30, 2008; "1.3 million children displaced by Iraq's war with Islamic State: UNICEF," Reuters, January 19, 2018; "The Staggering Death Toll in Iraq," Medea Benjamin, Nicolas J. S. Davies, AlterNet, March 15, 2018.  [back]

38. American Crime Case #35: The U.S.-NATO War on Libya,, September 3, 2018  [back]

39. “85,000 Children in Yemen May Have Died of Starvation,” New York Times, November 21, 2018; “Yemeni children die as warring sides block aid deliveries: UNICEF,” Reuters, NOVEMBER 2, 2018; “Saudi Arabia Escalates Genocidal, American-Backed War in Yemen-U.S. Rulers Maneuver as 14 Million Yemenis on Brink of Starvation,”, November 26, 201.  [back]

40. Oil, Power & Empire, p. 61; McDowall, David; Claire Palley (1987). The Palestinians. Minority Rights Group Report no 24. p. 10; The Nakba did not start or end in 1948-Key facts and figures on the ethnic cleansing of Palestine. 23 May 2017,  [back]

41. "Six Day War,' Encyclopaedia Britannica, November 26, 2018.  [back]

42. Gawrych, George (2000). The Albatross of Decisive Victory: War and Policy Between Egypt and Israel in the 1967 and 1973 Arab-Israeli Wars; Herzog, Encyclopaedia Judaica, Keter Publishing House, 1974, p. 87; Oil, Power & Empire, p. 56, Ellsberg, p. 321.  [back]

43. Fisk, Robert (2001). Pity the Nation: Lebanon at War. Oxford University Press; Molly Dunigan (28 February 2011). Victory for Hire: Private Security Companies’ Impact on Military Effectiveness. Stanford University Press. pp. 103.  [back]

44. Al-Mughrabi, Nidal, “Israel tightens grip on urban parts of Gaza,” Archived 9 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine; Noam Chomsky, “Exterminate all the Brutes”: Gaza 2009.  [back]

45. "Key figures on the 2014 hostilities - Data featured in the Report of the Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict," United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Occupied Palestinian Territory, June 23, 2015; "U.S. Senate Unanimously Approves Resolution Giving Full Support of Israel on Gaza," HAARETZ, July 20, 2014  [back]

46. “U.S.-Israeli Massacre Kills 60 Palestinians and Wounds Over 2,700 
Everyone Must Stand Up and Protest Against These Crimes Against Humanity!
,”, May 14, 2018;, Seven Protesters Killed, Two of Them Children, and 257 Injured at Friday Demonstrations in Gaza, Al Mezan Center For Human Rights, September 29, 2018; “Total US Foreign Aid to Israel 1949-Present,  [back]

47. Drone Warfare, The Bureau of Investigative Journalism.  [back]



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Revolution #581 February 4, 2019

Hey Brittney Cooper—

Do You Realize How Politically and Morally Bankrupt It Was For You To Invoke the War Criminal Nancy Pelosi When You Shut Down A Revolutionary?

| Revolution Newspaper |


From a member of the Revolution Club,

Last week, at a public program, Rutgers professor Brittney Cooper led a crowd to drown me out to stop me from asking a pointed question. After calling me a “typical man in a feminist space” she smugly proclaimed, “We will Pelosi this shit and shut you down!”

Here's my response:

[1] Brittney, when you turned Pelosi's name into a verb, which definition were you thinking of?

Did you mean like: “The people of Gaza got Pelosied”? You know, like the time Nancy Pelosi pushed a resolution backing Israel's one-sided slaughter of 1,400 people—including almost 300 children—in 2009.

Or did you mean it like: “The migrants at the border are being Pelosied”? Let's not forget Pelosi's insistence that she opposes Trump's Fascist Wall only because she wants “more effective” means of militarizing the border and policing immigrants.

Or maybe you meant it like: “The people in Guantanamo and Abu-Ghraib got Pelosied.” Remember, as the leading Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Nancy Pelosi knew about the government’s torture policy in 2002 and did nothing to oppose it.

Or by “Pelosi that shit,” did you have some other monstrous crime in mind that we're supposed to cheer for because it was carried out by a woman?

[2] Exactly how many people is it okay to massacre or cage in order to claw one’s way to the top of this imperialist dungheap called America?

That night you “contextualized” the towering crimes of Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and Kamala Harris by insisting that we appreciate what it takes to be the “first”:

“What I'm really, really, really bothered by is the way that people think that you’re radical and you’re right because you can yell out '[Kamala] was a prosecutor and that's bad.' Or, 'She locked people up for truancy,' which is bad, without thinking about: What does she have to do to even have a shot at being president?”

Well that really, really, really begs the question: If in order to become “the first,” Kamala Harris had to throw Black and other oppressed people in prison... and Hillary had to call Black youth “super predators,” threaten to “obliterate” Iran, back a coup in Honduras, destroy Libya... and Obama had to drone bomb 7 countries, set records for deportations, call Black youth “thugs” for rising up against the police murder of Freddie Gray... then why the hell should anyone want to be the first, second, third, or any part of that?

The truth: We don’t need fresh new faces on the same rotten system, we need to OVERTHROW this system through an actual revolution.

[3] A “typical man”? No, I’m a revolutionary communist.

Brittney led the audience to drown me out because I am a man. This is wrong. I don't speak as a male. I speak as a representative of the fundamental interests of the 7 billion people on this planet. I don't base myself on my own experience or anyone else's, but on a scientific understanding of the real roots of the problem and the solution to the excruciating conditions that humanity faces every single day.

To those interested only in rearranging who is on top of this fucking nightmare, I've got nothing to say to you.

To those who really want to end all this oppression and get humanity free, stop getting played by focusing only on identity and deal with the CONTENT of what we’re fighting for, because it holds the way out.

For those who are serious, this is the place to start: Watch Why We Need An Actual Revolution, And How We Can Really Make Revolution, a speech by the leader of the revolution, Bob Avakian, at REVCOM.US.

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Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution

A speech by Bob Avakian
In two parts:


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Revolution #581 February 4, 2019

Reposted from

Women in White Surrender to Trump's Thoroughly Fascist State of the Union

| Revolution Newspaper |


The following article, written by Coco Das of Refuse Fascism and originally posted on, sharply analyzes important elements of Trump's important – and fascist – State of the Union speech.

By Coco Das, contributing editor to

Trump’s State of the Union address on February 5th was a disgusting display of white supremacist demonization of immigrants straight out of Hitler’s playbook, Christian fascist lies about abortion that went almost completely unchallenged in the news commentary, vicious “America First” chauvinism putting Iran, Venezuela, and the people of the world in its crosshairs, and a grim glimpse of our nightmare future if fascists are allowed to consolidate their power. This was a speech in which new groups of people were being recruited and won over to fascism, with great success. People who should be fiercely resisting the Trump regime instead played by the rules and got played:

If you have a heart for humanity, as sickened and disgusted as you should have been by Trump making crude conciliatory gestures and then going in for his vicious attacks on immigrants, women, and the people of the world—you should be more disgusted by the response from the women in white who were supposed to represent the people most under attack by this regime. The color white was chosen as a tribute to the Suffragette movement, but it is also the color of surrender, and surrender they did. Despite a few eye rolls and grim expressions at the most hateful parts of Trump’s speech, quickly forgotten once he moved on, despite their crisp white outfits contrasting with the stiff suits of the GOP, despite “raising the roof” when Trump boasted about women entering Congress, and despite Nancy Pelosi’s supposed sarcastic applause, they did nothing to oppose Trump. Nothing to draw a line in the sand for the people who are under the boot of ICE, Homeland Security, the police, the prison system, the military, and all of the departments and institutions now guided and controlled by Trump’s fascist regime. They stood when they were supposed to stand and clapped when they were supposed to clap.

But, believe it or not, it got even worse than that. The lowest point of the night was this: when the women in white chanted “USA USA USA,” louder and more exuberantly than any of the Republican fascists in the room, that was the moment when Trump won. That ugly MAGA chant coming out of the mouths of those women as they celebrated America’s gangster power around the world, showed us what this #resistance is really about. It’s about maintaining American empire without all the ugly words. Let’s dress prettier and use prettier words and go bomb the shit out of some people. Let’s plunder the world’s resources and distribute the spoils among us. Fuck the rest of the world.

At Trump’s State of the Union, the women in white showed us that they are ready to do their job—to COLLABORATE with a fascist regime and lead their followers to do the same. This is what it is ... not the “politics of resistance,” as Trump called it, but the politics of conciliation, the politics of complicity, the politics of collaboration.

If you found yourself fooled by this spectacle, if you were comforting yourself with some hope that this regime will be stopped by sarcastic clapping and eye rolls, snap out of it. It’s long past the time to dispense with the “leadership” of those who are leading you down a road to disaster. It is up to us to stop this catastrophe for humanity at the soonest possible time, thousands leading to millions in the streets, day after day, acting with courage and determination and refusing to go home until this cruel, illegitimate, fascist regime is removed from power. is a movement of people coming from diverse perspectives, united in the recognition that the Trump/Pence Regime poses a catastrophic danger to humanity and the planet, and that it is our responsibility to drive them from power through non-violent protests that grow every day until our demand is met.

Go to to learn more and find out how to participate.

During the SOTU


New York City


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Revolution #581 February 4, 2019

From Revolution Club, Los Angeles:

The Green New Deal: Sustainable Snake Oil for a Green American Empire

| Revolution Newspaper |


The Green New Deal is not only an utterly ridiculous delusion, it’s a program for an American chauvinist “better business plan.” It promises a complete reconfiguration of the American economy without confronting the reality that things are produced through vast and interconnected global networks of exploitation, and it promises Americans better distribution of the spoils gained from that exploitation.

The problem isn’t that we need a better business plan for a Green American Empire. The problem is this system of capitalism-imperialism that’s driving the destruction of the planet.

The Green New Deal Resolution modestly states that the U.S. has a “disproportionate responsibility for greenhouse gas emissions, having emitted 20 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions through 2014” and rolls the real dirt on the U.S. under the rug.

The U.S. is king-of-the-hill on top of the capitalist-imperialist system where 77% of the world’s resources are consumed by 20% of the world’s people. And in order to remain the top gangster of planet earth -- the U.S. requires a massive military to brutally enforce its domination of countries and edge out its strategic competitors.  

This has caused massive environmental devastation and human misery not to mention the fact that the U.S. Military is the single largest institutional consumer of oil in the world. With the need to gas up America’s murder machinery, and with the help of Democratic president and so-called ‘friend to the planet’ Barack Obama, the U.S. has become the #1 Fossil Fuel producer in the world.

It’s the very laws of this system that drive capitalists and imperialist governments like the U.S. to move from one part of the globe to another, compelled by expand-or-die competition. The search for profit, and the do-this-more-ruthlessly-or-your-competitors-will dynamic drives them to prey on the people of the world and plunder the planet for resources, causing wars and leaving devastation and destruction in their wake. And anything that goes significantly up against the rules of the game will be rolled back. Just look at the response to the existing paltry protections: this same system has brought to power an anti-science fascist regime that’s revving up the chainsaws and bringing back coal.

Don’t get played! As long as capitalism-imperialism dominates over humanity, the destruction of the planet will and can only continue and accelerate, even if small, utterly insufficient protections are passed, and no matter who you vote for. And you cannot deal with this through small-scale individualized solutions. The consumption of fossil fuels and the destruction of the environment are tightly interwoven with the whole development of capitalism and it is going to take massive upheaval to uproot this system on a world scale to actually take humanity on a different course.

The Green New Deal and its hypemongers are doing nothing but funneling you back into the same system that causes these problems and has brought humanity to the brink of extinction; they are telling you feel good honeyed bullshit to get you revved up to vote for the new ‘woke’ faces of the Democratic Party; they are corralling your righteous anger and locking you up in the voting booth while the planet burns.

What we need to deal with this climate crisis is a real revolution to OVERTHROW the system of capitalism imperialism - to uproot the old ways and build a society in which human beings have a planned and rational interaction with the planet, and where humanity acts as the caretakers of the earth. Everyone who cares about the future of humanity has to work for this revolution NOW.

Further exposure and analysis to come at REVCOM.US

Revolution Club, Los Angeles:
(323) 424-6687
2716 S. Vermont Ave Unit 8, Los Angeles, CA


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