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Worried About Election Interference? 5 Clear Times the US Meddled in Elections Abroad

Washington D.C. (GPA) – If you read any article about the “Russian hacking” or “U.S. election interference” you will likely see some reference to the U.S.’s own long history of election interference. Yet most of these articles defend the U.S. by claiming that such interference campaigns dropped off significantly since the end of the Cold War.

This assumption, however, is fundamentally wrong. In the past 15 years alone, there are many cases of the U.S. interfering in the Democratic process of foreign nations. Below are some of the worst examples of this election interference.

Nazis and Hand-Picked Leaders in Ukraine, 2014

While the mainstream media blames Russia for the civil war in Ukraine, the truth is that the West started the conflict. The crisis began in 2013 when Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych rejected an EU offer of closer economic cooperation and instead chose to pursue closer economic ties with Russia

The U.S. then decided it was time for a new government in Kiev. In an entirely illegal process, pro-western politicians seized power from the democratically elected Yanukovych. It was later revealed in a leaked phone call that the U.S. handpicked leaders of this new illegal government. The U.S. even supported Ukrainian neo-nazis and other far-right fascist organizations that supported the Western coup. When Ukrainian rebels in the east took up arms against the new Western-backed government, the country plunged into a civil war that continues to this day.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro
Image: Twitter – Prensa Presidencial

Election Interference in Venezuela, 2018

Washington’s main attacks against Venezuela have generally occurred through sanctions and economic warfare, but the U.S. has also meddled in Caracas’s elections.

In an attempt to discredit the most recent presidential election, the U.S. declared the election illegitimate before a single vote had been cast. U.S. puppet states in the region followed suit by also declaring the election illegitimate. Despite this, international observers from over 40 countries confirmed the validity of Venezuela’s election.  In the wake of the election, both China and Russia issued statements calling for the elections results to be respected.

Even more recently, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro escaped a botched assassination attempt. The Venezuelan government blames the armed opposition, Columbia, and the U.S. for the failed drone attack.

Yasin Rantisi Hamas Wahlkampf
Hamas election campaign in Ramallah
Image: Wikimedia Commons

Election Interference in Palestine, 2006

Palestinians have also had their elections interfered with by the U.S.

In 2006, on the eve of parliamentary elections in Palestine, the U.S. flooded the moderate Fatah party with foreign aid money meant to steal the election away from Hamas backed politicians. The Bush regime ended up giving the Fatah party 2 million dollars, which was roughly double Hamas’s total budget for the election according to a Hamas spokesperson.

Additionally, Israel carried out heavy election interference by banning pro-Hamas activists from campaigning in East Jerusalem and arresting major Palestinian political leaders. Despite the U.S. and Israel’s best efforts, Hamas crushed the moderate Fatah party and ended up winning 74 seats to Fatah’s 45.

Sham Elections in Iraq, 2005  

The U.S. invasion of Iraq killed at least a half a million innocent Iraqis and completely destroyed most of the country’s infrastructure.

After the U.S. invasion, it quickly became clear that America had no concern for rebuilding the country. One way this can be seen is the rushed, undemocratic elections the U.S. facilitated to write a new constitution. More than 100 attacks took place on polling stations during the election leaving at least 44 people dead.

Iraq’s Sunni population largely boycotted the election in protest of the U.S. occupation and to avoid the violence largely directed at them. In addition to holding what basically amounted to a sham election, the U.S. has also been accused of rigging the results. Scott Ritter, a high ranking U.N. weapons inspector in Iraq, alleges that the U.S. changed the results after the election.

Attribution 2.0 Generic Flickr: ResoluteSupportMedia

Election Interference in Afghanistan, 2009

The U.S. also tried to rig the 2009 Afghanistan election according to former Defense Secretary, Robert Gates.

Gates says the U.S. “tried to oust Hamid Karzai by manipulating Afghan elections.” Karzai’s government has long accused the U.S. of interfering in the election. In Gate’s memoir, he says that senior U.S. diplomat Richard Holbrooke worked to illegally delay the vote and then to illegally secure a runoff vote.

“There was no exaggeration on our side when talking about this, and now a very senior U.S. official is accepting this fact and talking about it,” Karzai’s spokesman, Aimal Faizi, told The Guardian. Karzai’s government alleges that the interference went much further than what Gate alleges in his memoir.

According to Karzai’s spokesperson, the U.S. presented ultimatums to either stack Karzai’s cabinet with U.S. puppets or be unseated in a runoff election.

Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic Flickr: Alexander Jonesi

Ongoing Meddling Abroad and Corruption at Home

This list is far from complete, but due to the nature of these election interference campaigns, it is impossible to identify Washington’s meddling in every country.

Every point on this list besides Venezuela only became public thanks to whistleblowers or leaked communications. Still, these whistleblowers and direct communication represent much better evidence than the easily altered IP addresses that supposedly tie the Russian government to the hacking of the DNC.

But even if Russia did it, does it matter? The Wikileaks emails show corruption at the highest levels of the U.S. government, whether it was presidential candidate Hillary Clinton telling bankers behind closed doors that her public positions on Wallstreet were an elaborate lie, Clinton receiving debate questions in advance, to the full control of party funds by the Clinton campaign during the primary.

The utter hypocrisy of the U.S. getting upset about election interference and the complete lack of substantial evidence tying Russia to the hacking does not matter to the U.S. The Russia hacking narrative isn’t about logic or facts; it is a way to distract from the corruption of the U.S.’s own government — corruption that has evidence and facts to substantiate it.

Featured photo: American Eagle by Theodore Roszak, US Embassy, London | CGP Gray

Author: Brandon Stout