Deja Vu in Ukraine

by Jacob G. Hornberger
May. 06, 2014

Pardon me, but Im experiencing dj vu with respect to Ukraine, specifically relating to the CIA.

As everyone knows, the CIA's business involves regime change, operations in which the CIA oftentimes secretly and surreptitiously ousts democratically elected regimes that are independent of or unfriendly to the U.S. government and replaces them with regimes that will do the bidding of the U.S. government.

Both during and after the CIA's regime-change operations, innocent people are killed. But that never seems to matter to the CIA. What matters is the mission -- regime change. If innocent people have to die in the process of fulfilling the mission, well, that's just way life is sometimes.

What we also know is that when these regime-change operations are taking place, Congress never schedules hearings to determine whether the CIA is involved in the operation. The mainstream press also goes silent on the issue. The mindset becomes: There is no evidence that the CIA is involved in the process and so there is no need to ask the CIA whether it is, in fact, behind the operation.

Several years later, when evidence surfaces showing that the CIA secretly engineered the regime change, the attitude becomes: "That's history. Let's move on."

We saw this phenomenon during the CIA's secret regime-change operation in Iran in 1953. During that operation, the CIA hired violent street thugs to foment anti-government demonstrations in the streets. Hundreds of innocent people were killed. Those deaths didn't matter. They were a cost of doing business. What mattered was the ouster of Iran's democratically appointed prime minister, who was independent of the U.S. Empire, and his replacement by an unelected brutal tyrant, the Shah of Iran, who did the bidding of the U.S. government.

Those Iranian demonstrations bear a remarkable resemblance to the recent demonstrations in Ukraine that succeeded in ousting the democratically elected president of the country, a president who was not complying with the dictates of the U.S. government.

Of course, that doesn't necessarily mean that the CIA was involved. It's just to say that the pattern -- ousting a democratically elected, independent ruler and replacing him with a pro-U.S. stooge is entirely consistent with CIA regime-change practices.

Moreover, it does seem a bit coincidental that after the regime change took place in Ukraine, CIA Director John Brennan flies into Kiev to meet and consult with the new rulers.

What was the director of the CIA doing in Ukraine? We don't really know for sure. Maybe he was just making the arrangements for the CIA to train the new regime's military-police-intelligence force, just like the CIA did with the Shah's SAVAK's forces, which tyrannized the Iranian people for some 25 years.

What would be wrong with Congress' subpoenaing Brennan to a formal hearing, putting him under oath, and asking him directly: Did the CIA have any role in the recent regime change in Ukraine? One gets the sense that maybe Congress just doesn't want to know and doesn't want to intrude on the jurisdiction of the national-security branch of the federal government. The same goes, of course, for the mainstream press, which prefers to focus on the Russia response to the crisis, not what the U.S. government did to precipitate the crisis.

As Ukraine devolves into civil war, we shouldn't forget that this wouldn't be the first time that a CIA regime-change operation has done that. Recall Guatemala in 1954, where the CIA secretly and surreptitiously engineered the ouster of the democratically elected president, Jacobo Arbenz, another ruler independent of the U.S. Empire, and replaced him with an unelected military brute who was pro-U.S.

That produced a 30-year civil war in Guatemala that succeeded in killing more than a million people. In the minds of the CIA, however, those deaths, while perhaps unfortunate, were, in fact, worth it because the mission -- regime change -- was fulfilled.

Why would it surprise anyone that a civil war would be the outcome of a CIA regime-change operation in which a democratically elected ruler is replaced by an unelected pro-U.S. stooge? If foreign citizens are prevented from electing the person of their choosing, then what recourse do they have to oust a tyrannical regime that the CIA has installed in their country except through violent revolution? Thats, in fact, what happened in Iran in 1979, when the Iranian people finally revolted against their CIA-installed tyrant. The U.S. government is still dealing with the effects of that revolution, which, of course, was rooted in the CIAs 1953 regime-change operation in Iran.

And let's not forget another big advantage of CIA regime-change operations. They produce crises and chaos that can then be used to justify the existence of the U.S. national-security state and ever-increasing budgets.

Consider the ongoing events in Ukraine. Aren't U.S. officials and the mainstream press using the crisis to say that NATO, Pentagon, and the CIA are more necessary than ever, notwithstanding the fact that it was NATO's expansion eastward toward Russia's borders that give rise to the crisis in the first place? Of course, I'd be remiss if I failed to point out that one of NATO's members is Germany, the nation that invaded Russia in both world wars.

Of course, died-in-the wool warfare statists would say, "Jacob, our government would never intentionally precipitate an international crisis and certainly not with Russia, which has nuclear weapons."

Oh, really? Then, Mr. Died in the Wool Warfare Statist, how about explaining the following exchange with national-security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski relating to the Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan. Notice particularly the part about how Brzezinski addresses the risk of Islamic terrorists engendered by what the U.S. government has done to induce the Soviets to invade Afghanistan.


Question: The former director of the CIA, Robert Gates, stated in his memoirs ["From the Shadows"], that American intelligence services began to aid the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan 6 months before the Soviet intervention. In this period you were the national security adviser to President Carter. You therefore played a role in this affair. Is that correct?

Brzezinski: Yes. According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahadeen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise: Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention.

Q: Despite this risk, you were an advocate of this covert action. But perhaps you yourself desired this Soviet entry into war and looked to provoke it?

B: It isnt quite that. We didnt push the Russians to intervene, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would.

Q: When the Soviets justified their intervention by asserting that they intended to fight against a secret involvement of the United States in Afghanistan, people didnt believe them. However, there was a basis of truth. You dont regret anything today?

B: Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter: We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war unsupportable by the government, a conflict that brought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire.

Q: And neither do you regret having supported the Islamic fundamentalism, having given arms and advice to future terrorists?

B: What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?

Q: Some stirred-up Moslems? But it has been said and repeated: Islamic fundamentalism represents a world menace today.

B: Nonsense! It is said that the West had a global policy in regard to Islam. That is stupid. There isnt a global Islam. Look at Islam in a rational manner and without demagoguery or emotion. It is the leading religion of the world with 1.5 billion followers. But what is there in common among Saudi Arabian fundamentalism, moderate Morocco, Pakistan militarism, Egyptian pro-Western or Central Asian secularism? Nothing more than what unites the Christian countries.

Is it really unusual that Ive got that dj vu feeling with Ukraine?
Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News' Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano's show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at and from Full Context. Send him email.

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