Pat Robertson was Right

OK everybody, calm down. Take a deep breath and count to ten. The Pat Robertson fiasco is nothing to get so upset about. If you really think about it, maybe there is a bit of truth in the remarks of Preacher Pat. It would be cheaper and save lives if the U.S. used assassination to eliminate someone every time that we got mad at them.

We should call this new approach to Foreign Relations our Bargain Basement Foreign Policy. OOP’s, this is not a new policy. This is the old policy that we have been following for many years. If assassination is the norm then why did so many seem shocked at Pat’s statement. Could it be that, as a nation, we have been in denial for a long time?

Here is the list of assassination attempts as compiled by historian William Blum.[1]

  • 1949 – Kim Koo, Korean opposition leader
  • 1950s – CIA/Neo-Nazi hit list of more than 200 political figures in West Germany to be "put out of the way" in the event of a Soviet invasion
  • 1950s – Chou En-lai, Prime minister of China, several attempts on his life
  • 1950s, 1962 – Sukarno, President of Indonesia
  • 1951 – Kim Il Sung, Premier of North Korea
  • 1953 – Mohammed Mossadegh, Prime Minister of Iran
  • 1950s (mid) – Claro M. Recto, Philippines opposition leader
  • 1955 – Jawaharlal Nehru, Prime Minister of India
  • 1957 – Gamal Abdul Nasser, President of Egypt
  • 1959, 1963, 1969 – Norodom Sihanouk, leader of Cambodia
  • 1960 – Brig. Gen. Abdul Karim Kassem, leader of Iraq
  • 1950s-70s – José Figueres, President of Costa Rica, two attempts on his life
  • 1961 – Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier, leader of Haiti
  • 1961 – Patrice Lumumba, Prime Minister of the Congo (Zaire)
  • 1961 – Gen. Rafael Trujillo, leader of Dominican Republic
  • 1963 – Ngo Dinh Diem, President of South Vietnam
  • 1960s-70s – Fidel Castro, President of Cuba, many attempts on his life
  • 1960s – Raúl Castro, high official in government of Cuba
  • 1965 – Francisco Caamaño, Dominican Republic opposition leader
  • 1965-6 – Charles de Gaulle, President of France
  • 1967 – Che Guevara, Cuban leader
  • 1970 – Salvador Allende, President of Chile
  • 1970 – Gen. Rene Schneider, Commander-in-Chief of Army, Chile
  • 1970s, 1981 – General Omar Torrijos, leader of Panama
  • 1972 – General Manuel Noriega, Chief of Panama Intelligence
  • 1975 – Mobutu Sese Seko, President of Zaire
  • 1976 – Michael Manley, Prime Minister of Jamaica
  • 1980-1986 – Muammar Qaddafi, leader of Libya, several plots and attempts upon his life
  • 1982 – Ayatollah Khomeini, leader of Iran
  • 1983 – Gen. Ahmed Dlimi, Moroccan Army commander
  • 1983 – Miguel d’Escoto, Foreign Minister of Nicaragua
  • 1984 – The nine comandantes of the Sandinista National Directorate
  • 1985 – Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, Lebanese Shiite leader (80 people killed in the attempt)
  • 1991 – Saddam Hussein, leader of Iraq
  • 1993 – Mohamed Farah Aideed, prominent clan leader of Somalia
  • 1998, 2001-2 – Osama bin Laden, leading Islamic militant
  • 1999 – Slobodan Milosevic, President of Yugoslavia
  • 2002 – Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Afghan Islamic leader and warlord
  • 2003 – Saddam Hussein and his two sons

Of course the official explanation for all of these assassination attempts is that we didn’t really do it, the intelligence was wrong, my wife made me do it, the dog ate my homework, I don’t remember anything, it’s just a vicious Communist plot, it happened when the Democrats were in power, it happened when the Republicans were in power…

So maybe Preacher Pat did all of us a big favor. He should receive the praise of a grateful nation. His statements could chip away at the denial that most of us are wallowing in. Anyone with enough smarts to not have to call tech support when they want to use a stapler, should finally get it. We are a nation that has relied on assassination as an integral part of our foreign policy. Like it or not, that’s the way it is. Preacher Pat was right.


[1]. The list of assassination plots was taken from "Killing Hope" by William Blum.