US intervention

1957-1975: The Vietnam War

Howard Zinn's short history of the war in Vietnam from the beginning of the Communist insurgency in 1957 until the defeat of US and South Vietnamese forces in 1975.

Following the partitioning of Vietnam into the pro-independence Democratic Republic of Vietnam in the North, and the US puppet state the Republic of Vietnam in the South in 1954 (see our short history of Vietnam from 1945 to 1957) elections were due to be held on re-unification.

1968-1990: The invasion of Panama and US intervention


Noam Chomsky's account of the US invasion of Panama, its intervention over the previous twenty years and its backing of drug-trafficking dictarator Manuel Noriega.

Panama has been traditionally controlled by its tiny European elite, less than 10% of the population. That changed in 1968, when Omar Torrijos, a populist general, led a coup that allowed the black and mestizo [mixed-race] poor to obtain at least a share of the power under his military dictatorship.

1986: The Iran-Contra Affair

Chomsky's brief account of the US selling arms to Iran via Israel in order to fund far-right paramilitary contras in Nicaragua.

The major elements of the Iran/contra story were well known long before the 1986 exposures, apart from one fact: that the sale of arms to Iran via Israel and the illegal contra war run out of Colonel Oliver North's White House office were connected.

1970-1987: The contra war in Nicaragua

Noam Chomsky's account of the US-backed “contra” counter-insurgency in Nicaragua against the left-wing government brought to power on the back of a popular mass movement from below.

It wasn't just the events in El Salvador that were ignored by the mainstream US media during the 1970s. In the ten years prior to the overthrow of the Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza in 1979, US television - all networks - devoted exactly one hour to Nicaragua, and that was entirely on the Managua earthquake of 1972.

1944-1989: The coup and US intervention in Guatemala

Noam Chomsky on the US intervention and coup following the 1944 revolution which overthrew Guatemala's brutal dictator.

Making Guatemala a killing field

1970-1990: The war of counter-insurgency in El Salvador

Noam Chomsky on the ultra-violent war of the right-wing regime in El Salvador against grassroots resistance of workers, peasants and liberation theologists – socialist clergymen and women.

The crucifixion of El Salvador
For many years, repression, torture and murder were carried on in El Salvador by dictators installed and supported by the US government, a matter of no interest in the US. The story was virtually never covered. By the late 1970s, however, the government began to be concerned about a couple of things.

21. Carter-Reagan-Bush: The Bipartisan Consensus

Halfway through the twentieth century, the historian Richard Hofstadter, in his book The American Political Tradition, examined our important national leaders, from Jefferson and Jackson to Herbert Hoover and the two Roosevelts—Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives. Hofstadter

12. The Empire and the People

Theodore Roosevelt wrote to a friend in the year 1897: "In strict confidence . . . I should welcome almost any war, for I think this country needs one."

A Brief History of Liberia 1822-1991

A short history of Liberia written by a visitor to the country during the 1991 civil war.

It was intended to be background for a feature in Black Flag that never happened. It probably needs improving, especially on the responses of the people who lived there to their role as supplier of raw materials to the west, but is at least a start.


Conkers or bonkers? Humanitarian war in Kosovo

Anti-aircraft fire over Belgrade

Explanations in terms of both imperialist gains and a descent into irrationality grasp only part of the reason why Europe and the USA recently went to war in Kosovo. This article argues that the timing of events is explicable in terms of both the end of the Cold War and the recent world financial crisis.


After the Gulf War we carried an article that considered the failure of No War But the Class War to make an effective communist intervention in the anti-war movement. This time round, despite the fact that support for the war was incredibly weak on the part of the population at large, there was barely a credible anti-war movement to make an intervention in!