An annual report released by the United States released thursday claimed that Iran was the leading sponsor of terrorism in the world, a self-centered claim that ignores Washington’s own role in fueling conflicts and supporting terrorism whether by states or non-state actors around the world.
The United States have over the past few decades supported state and non-state terrorism while also providing support to numerous right-wing militias, coups and dictatorships in Latin America against progressive and leftist movements.
Leading linguistic professor and political commentator Noam Chomsky has repeatedly called the United States the “world's leading terrorist state,” because of its deadly, CIA-run operations in the likes of Nicaragua, Cuba and Afghanistan.
On Cuba, Chomsky wrote in a column in 2014 that “the toll of the long terrorist war was amplified by a crushing embargo, which continues even today in defiance of the world.”
In that same opinion piece for the Truth-Out website, Chomsky also highlighted the dirty wars the U.S. brought to anti-imperialist opposition groups in Central America in the 1980s through assassinations and the funding of right-wing insurgencies.
However, such dirty activities orchestrated by Washington have continued since then in Central America, but in a more subtle and strategic way. The most notable example is the U.S.-backed 2009 coup in Honduras which ousted democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya.
Under then-Secretary of State Clinton, the U.S. State Department aided the coup by blocking Zelaya from returning to power after he was ousted.
In her autobiography “Hard Choices,” Clinton admits she used her power to bring pro-U.S. "stability" to Central America, even if it meant forgetting about democracy.
“We strategized on a plan to restore order in Honduras and ensure that free and fair elections could be held quickly and legitimately, which would render the question of Zelaya moot,” Clinton wrote.
The current government of Honduras has been accused of corruption within its political leadership, human rights violations as well as turning a blind eye to crimes against Indigenous communities as well as gender, ethnic and racial discrimination. Despite all these accusations and abuses, the U.S. continues its full support for the government there.
Meanwhile in Venezuela, successive U.S. administrations have provided support to right-wing factions and opposition leaders against the elected and progressive governments in Caracas. In 2002, the U.S. government expressed support for the short-lived coup against late President Hugo Chavez and recognized the new coup government that was established, calling it a “transitional civilian government.”WATCH: Carriles behind assassination plan against President Maduro
It has also been revealed that the plotters of terrorists attacks against Spanish and Colombian missions in Venezuela in 2003 received protection from the United States. The attacks were part of a second attempt to oust President Chavez, less than a year after the coup.
Beyond sponsoring terror, in a recent interview with Al-Jazeera Chomsky argued that the U.S. is a generator of terror in terms of the consequences of the destruction and wars unleashed in the Middle East. One of the worst and most devastating consequences of the recent Washington interventions is the Islamic State group.
Washington – through its intelligence agency in neighboring Langley, Virginia, the CIA – also provided financial and military support for various factions within Afghanistan’s Mujahideen resistance, who were carrying out an insurgency against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan.
Among the diverse fighters and figures within the mujahideen resistance was al-Qaida’s late leader, Osama bin Laden. Many of Bin Laden's followers and co-fighters later rebranded themselves as al-Qaida, an extremist Sunni force arrayed against the U.S. and Western interests in the region.
A revealing example of sponsoring state terrorism would be the U.S.’s massive support to Israel, which amounts to more than US$3 billion in annual military aid.
Israel has been slammed by many aid groups, activists and political experts over its continuing occupation of Palestinian lands, its illegal settlement activity as well as the extrajudicial killing and imprisonment of Palestinian men, women and children.
Israel's Fundamentalist Alliance
Chomsky accused Israel of committing far worse abuses and crimes against Palestinians than those committed by apartheid-era South Africa. He has also called Israel a "terrorist state" over its three wars so far in Gaza and its continuing blockade there.
He said in one of his numerous interviews with Democracy Now that by supporting Israel “the U.S. is both in violation of its commitments to international humanitarian law and also in violation of U.S. domestic law.”
While the U.S. and its allies continue to brand other nations around the world as “sponsors of terrorism,” one could not help but see how such claims by Washington do not reflect reality.