by Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research, September 21, 2008
The secession of Bolivia’s Eastern provinces is part of a US sponsored covert operation, coordinated out of the US State Department, in liaison with US intelligence.
The death squads armed with automatic weapons responsible for killing supporters of Evo Morales in El Porvenir are supported covertly by the US. According to one report, “USAID has an “Office of Transition Initiatives” operating in Bolivia, funneling millions of dollars of training and support to right-wing opposition regional governments and movements.”(The Center for Economic and Policy Research, September 2008). The US also provides support to various opposition groups through the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).
The expelled US Ambassador Philip S. Goldberg worked under the helm of Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte, who directly oversees the various “activities” of US embassies around the World. In this regard Negroponte plays a far more important role, acting behind the scenes, than Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice. He is also known as one of the main architects of regime change and covert support to paramilitary death squads both in Central America and Iraq.
Philip S. Goldberg’s mandate as ambassador to Bolivia was to trigger the fracture of Bolivia as a country. Prior to his appointment as ambassador in early 2007, he served as US Chief of Mission in Pristina, Kosovo (2004-2006) and was in permanent liaison with the leaders of the KLA paramilitary, who had integrated civilian politics, following the NATO occupation of Kosovo in 1999.
Supported by the CIA, the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), whose leaders now head the Kosovar government, was known for its extensive links to organized crime and the trade in narcotics. In Kosovo, Goldberg was involved in setting the stage for the subsequent secession of Kosovo from Serbia, leading to the installation of an “independent” Kosovar government.
In the course of the 1990s, Goldberg had played an active role in the break up of Yugoslavia. From 1994-1996 he was responsible for the Bosnia Desk at the State Department. He worked closely with Washington’s Special Envoy Richard Holbrooke and played a central role as Chief of Staff of the US negotiating team at Dayton, leading up to the signing of the Dayton Accords in 1995. These accords were conducive to the carving up of Bosnia-Herzegovina. More generally they triggered the destruction and destabilization of Yugoslavia as country. In 1996, Goldberg worked directly as Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott (1994-2000), who together with Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, played a key role in launching the war on Yugoslavia in 1999.
The Central Role of John Negroponte
Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte plays a central role in the conduct of covert operations. He served as US ambassador to Honduras from 1981 to 1985. As Ambassador in Tegucigalpa, he played a key role in supporting and supervising the Nicaraguan Contra mercenaries who were based in Honduras. The cross border Contra attacks into Nicaragua claimed some 50 000 civilian lives. During the same period, Negroponte was instrumental in setting up the Honduran military death squads, “operating with Washington support’s, [they] assassinated hundreds of opponents of the US-backed regime.” (See Bill Venn, Bush Nominee linked to Latin American Terrorism, Global Research, November 2001)
“Under the rule of General Gustavo Alvarez Martnez, Honduras’s military government was both a close ally of the Reagan administration and was “disappearing” dozens of political opponents in classic death squad fashion.
(See Peter Roff and James Chapin, Face-off: Bush’s Foreign Policy Warriors , Global Research, July 2001)
This did not prevent his nomination to the position of US Permanent Representative to the UN under the Clinton administration.
The Salvador Option
Negroponte became Ambassador to Iraq in 2004, where he set up a “security framework” for the US occupation, largely modeled on the Central American death squads. This project was referred to by several writers as the “Salvador Option”.
While in Baghdad, Negroponte hired as his Counselor on security issues, a former head of special operations in El Salvador. The two men were close colleagues going back to the 1980s in Central America. While Negroponte was busy setting up the death squads in Honduras, Colonel Steele had been in charge of the US Military Advisory Group in El Salvador, (1984-86) “where he was responsible for developing special operating forces at brigade level during the height of the conflict.”:
“These forces, composed of the most brutal soldiers available, replicated the kind of small-unit operations with which Steele was familiar from his service in Vietnam. Rather than focusing on seizing terrain, their role was to attack ‘insurgent’ leadership, their supporters, sources of supply and base camps.” (Max Fuller, For Iraq, “The Salvador Option” Becomes Reality, Global Research, June 2005)
In Iraq, Steele was “assigned to work with a new elite Iraqi counter-insurgency unit known as the Special Police Commandos”. In this context, Negroponte’s objective was to encourage ethnic divisions and factional strife, by triggering covert terrorist attacks directed against the Iraqi civilian population.
Negroponte was appointed as the Head of the Directorate of National Intelligence in 2005, and subsequently in 2007 came to occupy the Number Two position in the State Department.
The Kosovo Option: Haiti
This is not the first time that the “Kosovo model” of supporting terrorist paramilitaries has been applied in Latin America.
In February 2003, Washington announced the appointment of James Foley as Ambassador to Haiti. Ambassadors Goldberg and Foley are part of the same “diplomatic stable”. Foley had been a State Department spokesman under the Clinton administration during the war on Kosovo. He was involved at an earlier period in channeling support to the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA).
Amply documented, the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) was financed by drug money and supported by the CIA. ( See Michel Chossudovsky, Kosovo Freedom Fighters Financed by Organized Crime, Covert Action Quarterly, 1999 )
At the time of the Kosovo war, the then ambassador to Haiti James Foley had been in charge of State Department briefings, working closely with his NATO counterpart in Brussels, Jamie Shea. Barely two months before the onslaught of the NATO led war on 24 March 1999, James Foley, had called for the “transformation” of the KLA into a respectable political organization:
“We want to develop a good relationship with them [the KLA] as they transform themselves into a politically-oriented organization,’ ..`[W]e believe that we have a lot of advice and a lot of help that we can provide to them if they become precisely the kind of political actor we would like to see them become… “If we can help them and they want us to help them in that effort of transformation, I think it’s nothing that anybody can argue with..’ (quoted in the New York Times, 2 February 1999)
In other words, Washington’s design was “regime change”: topple the Lavalas administration and install a compliant US puppet regime, integrated by the “Democratic Platform” and the self-proclaimed Front pour la libération et la reconstruction nationale (FLRN), whose leaders are former FRAPH and Tonton Macoute terrorists. (For further details see Michel Chossudovsky, The Destabilization of Haiti, Global Research, February 2004)
Following the 2004 coup d’Etat which led to the downfall of the Aristide government, KLA advisers were brought into Haiti by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to assist in the country’s reconstruction. (See Anthony Fenton, Kosovo Liberation Army helps establish “Protectorate” in Haiti, Global Research, November 2004)
Specifically, the KLA consultants were to assist in restructuring the Haitian police force, bringing into its ranks, former members of FRAPH and the Tonton Macout.
[In support of] the “Office of Transition Initiatives,” (OTI) … USAID is paying three consultants to help consult for the integration of the former brutal military into the current Haitian police force. And who are those three consultants? Those three consultants are members of the Kosovo Liberation Army.” (Flashpoints interview, November 19, 2004, http://www.flashpoints.net )
USAID’s “Office of Transition Initiatives” (OTI)
The Salvador/ Kosovo option is part of a US strategy to fracture and destabilize countries. The USAID sponsored OTI in Bolivia performs much the same function as a similar OTI in Haiti.
It is also worth noting that there was an Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI) in Venezuela, where a plot, according to reports, was recently uncovered to allegedly assassinate President Hugo Chavez. The role of the OTI office in Venezuela is discussed in Eva Golinger’s recent book “Bush vs. Chavez.”
The stated purpose of US covert operations is to provide support as well as as training to “Liberation Armies” ultimately with a view to destabilizing sovereign governments. In Kosovo, the training of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) in the 1990s had been entrusted to a private mercenary company, Military Professional Resources Inc (MPRI), on contract to the Pentagon.
Pakistan and the “Kosovo Option”
It is worth noting that in Pakistan, recent developments point towards direct forms of US military intervention, in violation of Pakistani sovereignty.
Already in 2005, a report by the US National Intelligence Council and the CIA forecast a “Yugoslav-like fate” for Pakistan “in a decade with the country riven by civil war, bloodshed and inter-provincial rivalries, as seen recently in Balochistan.” (Energy Compass, 2 March 2005).
According to a 2006 report of Pakistan’s Senate Committee on Defence, British intelligence was involved in supporting the Balochistan separatist movement. (Press Trust of India, 9 August 2006). The Bolochistan Liberation Army (BLA) bears a canny resemblance to Kosovo’s KLA, financed by the drug trade and supported by the CIA.
Washington favors the creation of a “Greater Balochistan” [similar to a Greater Albania] which would integrate the Baloch areas of Pakistan with those of Iran and possibly the Southern tip of Afghanistan, thereby leading to a process of political fracturing in both Iran and Pakistan. (Michel Chossudovsky, The Destabilization of Pakistan, December 30, 2007)
Global Research Articles by Michel Chossudovsky