JOHN MENADUE. The question Leigh Sales didn’t ask Senator John McCain.

In her “exclusive interview” with Senator John McCain on 7.30 Report last week, Leigh Sales was told: “The Russians tried to destroy the foundations of democracy and to change the outcome of the American election … and they have just tried to affect the outcome of the French election.”  

Leigh Sales failed to ask Senator McCain if the United States has ever interfered in the elections of other countries or sought to change their governments, even when they were democratically elected. Not a word from Leigh Sales. Senator McCain had a free ride.

Just consider some examples of US interference or involvement in the affairs of other countries:

  • In the Spanish-American War (1899 – 1902) the US overthrew a recently independent Filipino republic at a cost of over 250,000 Filipino lives. It was called “… a great misunderstanding“. MARK TWAIN put it this way: “There must be two Americas: one that sets the captive free and one that takes a once-captive’s new freedom away from him and picks a quarrel with him with nothing to found it on, then kills him to get his land.”
  • In the late 1940s, the United States intervened massively in Italy to head off the prospect of a socialist/communist coalition.
  • In 1953, the CIA directed the overthrew of the democratically elected Mosaddeq Government in Iran and installed the Shah.
  • In 1954, the United States helped overthrow the Arbenz Government in Guatemala.
  • In 1954, the United States refused to allow the implementation of the Final Declaration of the Geneva Conference that the people of Vietnam should vote on a unified Vietnam. Subsequently, US Administration contrived to continue the war in South Vietnam and attacked North Vietnam.
  • In 1973, the CIA engineered the overthrow of the Allende Government in Chile.
  • In the 1980s, the United States attempted to use the Contras to get rid of the Sandinista Government in Nicaragua, but failed.
  • In 1991, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Clinton administration intervened massively to support Boris Yeltsin.
  • In 2003, the United States, together with the UK and Australia, illegally invaded Iraq to topple the regime of Saddam Hussein. That was not just interference, it was direct regime change.
  • In 2011, NATO, with the support of the United States, toppled the Gaddafi regime in Libya.

Talk about interfering in the affairs of other countries!

Perhaps Senator McCain is sensitive about foreign involvement in US elections because his country has instigated, with impunity, numerous foreign interventions over many decades.

But Leigh Sales chose to give John McCain an armchair ride instead. The US got away with it again.

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John Menadue is the publisher of Pearls & Irritations. He has had a distinguished career both in the private sector and in the Public Service.

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