This year will mark the 30th anniversary of the Iran-Contra affair. This "scandal" briefly revealed the massive crimes that are always going on behind America's facade of respectability. It revealed the activities of the Secret Team of current and former CIA agents who for thirty years had been training and supporting drug-dealing exile armies, from China, to Burma, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam, Cuba, Afghanistan, and of course Nicaragua. Drugs, weapons dealing, money laundering, political bribery, terrorism, assassination, covert wars were just a few of their activities. But you'll have to read part one to find out more about that. This time, instead of examining the scandal itself I'll be widening the focus to reveal the worldwide covert war the US was waging with renewed intensity during the 80's, the final decade of what I call World War 3. World War 3 was primarily a war on the third world; it began before World War 2 even ended in places like Greece and China. With the end of World War 2 it kicked into high gear, targeted the Soviet Union with a covert war using fascist exiles like the Ukrainians and waging a massive and almost forgotten war to prevent Mao from liberating China, and later waged covert war on China using drug-dealing KMT exile armies. The Philippines became a laboratory for counter-insurgency and psychological operations. Millions would die in wars waged on Korea, Indonesia, Vietnam and Laos.

For Latin America the war had started before World War 2 had even begun. In El Salvador in the thirties for example, the US backed Maximiliano Hernandez Martinez as he seized power and waged a bloody war on all opposition real and imagined, which killed over 40,000 peasants in a dirty war very similar to the one El Salvador would wage with Reagan's backing in the 1980's. In fact it began even before World War 1 with America's forgotten wars on Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti, where after waging bloody colonial wars it then installed military dictators that would form the pattern for the rest of the century.

Of course it began even before that with the Spanish-American War and even before that in America's scores of forgotten wars in Latin America during the 19th century. Mercenary William Walker invaded Nicaragua during the middle of the 19th century and installed slavery, to give the most relevant example. But of course one could write a book or even fill a library on either the events of World War 3 or of the many bloody and genocidal wars the US has waged on Latin America. Thus I will focus on the 80's, which saw the end of World War 3 with the destruction of the Soviet Union. It was also a time when many of the seeds of the wars of World War 4 were planted. The current wars on Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yugoslavia, Lebanon, Ukraine, Panama, Somalia, Rwanda, DRCongo, and many more all had their origins in the 70's and 80's, a topic I discussed at the end of part one.

Before I plunge into a tour of World War 3 in the 80's, I'll add a a little more context. This whole era was shaped by the glorious victory of the people of Vietnam over US Imperialism. For the US it was a humiliating defeat 1975 the year South Vietnam collapsed was an important origin point for all the events of this era. Like America's recent defeat in Iraq it led to an increasing reliance on "proxy forces", in other words bands of CIA- and special forces-trained death squads. They reasoned that so long as no American soldiers were dying the American people wouldn't care. As I mentioned, this is very similar to the post-Iraq strategy, the redirection which has seen an increasing reliance on death squads to wage war in places like Syria and Libya.

To return to the late 70's, ironically it had been this strategy of waging war through CIA death squads that had led to the Vietnam war in the first place and the related wars in all of Southeast Asia. History repeats itself and America is losing a war in Afghanistan that it launched covertly in the 70's using its army of drug-dealing proxies. A war it had renewed in 2001, again using drug-dealing proxies. In invading Afghanistan it seems that US imperialism intentionally tried to give itself its own second Vietnam, an endless war for the sake of endless war aimed solely at expanding the CIA-controlled global heroin trade. And ironically Afghanistan only became the center of the global heroin trade in response to the US loss of Southeast Asia. For more on this topic see Peter Dale Scott's American War Machine.

The final years of World War 3 thus saw a sort of Global "Contra" war. ("Contra" meant counter-revolutionary, by the way.) This is appropriate since in many ways one could see one of the origins of the Iran-Contra Affair in the closing days of World War 1. In Russia a second Communist revolution overthrew the provisional government established after the "Bourgeois Democratic" February Revolution. Russia's proto-fascist "White" forces were eventually defeated and became a fanatically anti-communist exile army used by the West to wage covert war and espionage on what became the Soviet Union. They were important influences on the birth of fascism, especially the figure of Alfred Rosenberg. Before the revolution and during the civil war these counter-revolutionary death squads had waged war on all progress and had terrorized Russia's minorities, especially the Jews. During the failed 1905 Russian revolution these proto-fascist death squads were called the "Black Hundreds." In Germany in the wake of World War 1 the government relied on right-wing paramilitary death squads to put down a series of failed revolutions and to assassinate all progressive forces. They were secretly controlled by German intelligence. These were the true origins of the Nazi party and fascism. During World War 2 the Nazis would create an army of fascist death squads from all over Europe: the Waffen SS, who would wage a genocidal campaign across the eastern front killing millions of Jews, Russians, Poles, Belarussians, Serbs and many other victims in a largely suppressed aspect of World War 2.

After World War 2 they were recruited by the CIA and NATO. Many were recruited into the CIA and American special forces. In turn American special forces and the CIA would train death squads around the world. Of course one also shouldn't forget the role of the British and French in shaping America's counter-insurgency strategies or of course America's own long experience waging dirty wars, gained suppressing slave revolts, and committing genocide on Indians, then honed in its wars on Latin America and the Philippines. Like Russia, America had always had its own Black Hundred that went by names such as the KKK, the Black Legion, the Silver Shirts, the Minutemen, etc. Even before the Civil War, pro-slavery vigilantes would terrorize anyone daring to oppose slavery, lynching even whites for this crime, as Gerald Horne points out in his Negro Comrades of the Crown.

All the same, White Russians, the Nazis, and the many other fascists played a very important role in shaping the American doctrines of counter-insurgency. In fact American army manuals were actually written from the Nazi perspective, claiming that instead of attempting to conquer the east the Nazis had tried to "liberate" eastern Europe, while partisan resistance forces that were fighting to liberate their lands from Nazi occupation were called terrorists. This attitude persists to this day wherever America is conquering and destroying some new country: they claim to be acting as liberators, while all resistance is labeled as terrorism. This is no mere speculation on my part, but was thoroughly documented in Michael McClintock's indispensable Instruments of State Craft.

Hence, drawing on the experiences of French and British imperialism and on the fascist death squads, America launched its bloody World War 3 on the planet. Greece would prove an important early testing ground as would the Philippines, where CIA psyops specialist Ed Landsdale built up Ramon Magsaysay into a right-wing dictator that would be the model used to build up Diem in Vietnam as the French were losing their war. Next came coups in Iran and Guatemala, covert wars on Indonesia, followed eventually by a coup and a genocidal massacre. You'll have to read William Blum's classic Killing Hope for a much fuller account, although even he doesn't manage to catalog all of America's crimes during world war 3 - to do so would take a library rather then a single book.

No one has yet managed to capture just how interconnected all these wars were; instead they are seen as separate wars, not one single giant endless war as it should more truly be seen as. This is how the planners themselves viewed it and they actually used the term World War 3. I don't know who said it first - my guess would be it was plagiarized from some fascist, like so many "Cold War" slogans. Churchill stole the term Iron Curtain from Goebbels, for example. "Better dead then Red" was another bit of Nazi propaganda plagiarized by the West. The phrase World War 3 was used in the Santa Fe Statement that provided a blueprint for Reagan's Rollback strategy during the 80s. It was also used by the fascist Argentine junta during their dirty war on their own people during the 70's and early 80's. So far the earliest reference I have come across is in Fletcher Prouty's The Secret Team where he includes a speech by General Ennis C. Whitehead, later founder of Air Defense Command, who claimed back in 1949 that "World War 3 has already begun."

Iran-Contra should be seen as a window onto all the covert wars of the era the final years of World War 3. Many of these wars were closely connected. There was the covert war on Nicaragua using the Contra death squads who waged a terror campaign on their former country. They would occupy a village and round up anyone they thought was connected with the government, like teachers or doctors, and gather the whole village together so they would be forced to watch as the Contras cut their victims up, murdering them in the ugliest manner possible. They would of course also bomb hospitals and schools kidnap children, rape women, kidnap, torture, and murder anyone they felt like and then rob the locals. More than 50,000 people would be killed in the tiny country. This war was of course closely connected to the bloody and genocidal wars being waged by El Salvador and Guatemala on their own people. Villages were constantly being bombed, napalmed and shelled or invaded by US-trained paramilitary death squads. 100,000 would die in Guatemala just in the 80's. In El Salvador the death toll was 75,000. Anyone working on behalf of the poor, whether teachers, students, labor leaders, clergy or even doctors were singled out for torture and disappearance. All based on the "National Security State" ideology created with the help of the Nazis and taught all over Latin America and indeed the world.

Meanwhile, lower-intensity conflicts - as the Pentagon called its mass murder campaigns - were being waged in Costa Rica and Honduras, where death squads killed and tortured hundreds. The Contras based there also terrorized the locals. To the north there was Mexico, which was then as today waging an endless dirty war on its people. To the south their were all the dirty wars of Operation Condor. They had moved their network into Central America which already had its own Condor-style network called Condeca dating back to the 60's. Condor operatives in Chile, Argentina, and Bolivia would play important roles in training the Contras in the art of torture and murder - what the Pentagon calls counter-insurgency. Nazi exiles had played an important role in all 3 countries, especially Bolivia, where Klaus Barbie would be one of the ringleaders in the "Cocaine" coup, along with famed Gladio terrorist Stefano delle Chiaie, who also helped train the Central American death squads. Colombia with its own dirty war would also be closely involved with the Contras as a source of cocaine and money. The rise of Colombia in the drug trade had been propelled by the Cocaine coup in Bolivia. To understand the dirty wars in Latin America one must read J. Patrice McSherry's Predatory States. All throughout South America the CIA, the Pentagon, and their client states waged a terror campaign against the people of the continent that continues to our own day and is expanding throughout the continent.

Across the ocean in the Middle East and Central Asia there was another closely connected series of wars. There was Israel's endless war of occupation against the Palestinians of course. Oliver North was involved in manipulating Israeli-controlled Palestinian factions (Abu Nidal is one infamous example) to launch attacks which Israel could use as an excuse to attack the PLO and any country they were based in. Israel had also foolishly intervened in the Lebanese Civil War, which they'd provoked in the first place with their promises to the fascist Phalange in Lebanon. They hoped to break the spirit of Palestinian resistance in the occupied territories by destroying their base of resistance in Lebanon. Instead the Palestinians would later rise up in the 1st Intifada, so that part of the plan proved a failure. Kissinger had earlier manipulated Hafez Assad into intervening into Lebanon because he feared that if the more radical faction (an alliance of Palestinian and Lebanese nationalist and socialist groups) won the Lebanese Civil War Israel would invade. However, Israel later invaded anyways and, despite American promises, attacked the Syrian forces. They hoped to force the Palestinian resistance out of Lebanon. They hoped to install a puppet government in Lebanon. Instead they provoked the birth of Hezbollah and eventually suffered a humiliating defeat. America also intervened in this war, shelling the anti-Israel factions with their fleet. This provoked a bombing of first CIA headquarters and then the Marine Barracks.

The bombing of the Barracks forced Reagan to withdraw, but he took his revenge on the Third World by invading Grenada back in the Caribbean, overthrowing the socialist government there. The CIA was probably responsible for the death of Maurice Bishop at the hands of a faction claiming to be Marxist-Leninists. Bishop had been a close friend of Fidel Castro; no genuine revolutionary would have murdered him. The murder was the excuse for the invasion.

Another island was closely connected to Iran-Contra, I recently learned. In the 70's the CIA launched a destabilization campaign against Jamaica and they used the same infamous CIA Cuban exiles that they would use in so many of their covert wars, including Luis Posada Carrilles and Felix Rodriguez. Once again the CIA would create a drug-dealing death squad to terrorize Jamaica, and they would prove almost as important as the Contras in spreading crack cocaine. Unlike the Contras they had their own street-level distribution network. They CIA Cubans were also deeply involved in Venezuela's dirty war. In fact, the CIA helped Carriles escape from a Venezuelan prison where he was being held for bombing a Cuban airliner so he could help run the Contras in Nicaragua.

To return to the Middle East. Close to Lebanon was Syria, where in the 80's a covert war was waged using the Muslim Brotherhood which bears a striking resemblance to the war of today. Thankfully Hafez Assad was able to crush the first attempt. Syria was also battling Israel in the bloody Lebanese Civil War. It never receives the credit it deserves for the heroic sacrifice of its air force or the glorious achievement of its army in holding back the Israeli forces. From Syria we move to Iraq, where Assad's fellow Baathist, but bitter enemy, Saddam Hussein had been manipulated into invading Iran by Zbigniew Brzezinski and fed phoney intel that Iran would be an easy target because of the chaos brought on by the Iranian Revolution. In reality he was playing into the hands of the Israelis, who wanted to destroy Iraq. They were busy supplying the Iranians with weapons in defiance of the Americans, who were funneling weapons to Saddam so he could wage war on their behalf in revenge for the fall of the Shah. But of course the Americans were also secretly arming the Iranians, first in return for not releasing the hostages until Reagan's inauguration, then of course as part of Iran-Contra. At the same time, it was flooding Saddam with weapons, giving him access to satellite imagery and near the end of the war using the US Navy to blow an Iranian passenger jet out of the sky - a warning to let Iraq win or else. At the same time it had already begun plotting his downfall, manipulating Kuwait into provoking Iraq.

Turkey must be mentioned: it was a waging a bloody dirty war using fascist drug-dealing death squads, most notoriously the Grey Wolves. Turkey would go on to play a major role in spreading Al Qaeda, a fact now obvious in Syria but with a long covert history. Turkey was connected with the Mafia and P2, and its own fascist mafia and intelligence service closely resembled the situation in the Condor countries. Dewey Claridge had worked in Italy, then Turkey, before later going to El Salvador.

Now moving east again we have Iran desperate for weapons since it was under sanctions and under attack by Iraq. 800,000 Iraqis and Iranians would die in this war. Iran was an ally of Syria and was supporting the Shiite militias of Hezbollah in the Lebanese Civil War. The wave of kidnappings their proxies carried out were actually in revenge for the kidnapping of high-ranking Iranian officials in Lebanon years before by Israel's fascist proxies. In addition, after invading, Israel started sending Lebanese prisoners en masse back to Israeli prisons for years of torture. In revenge, Iran's allies in Lebanon would launch their own wave of kidnappings. Unfortunately many of the victims had actually been sympathetic to their cause, since few foreigners were crazy enough to remain in Beirut during Lebanon's bloody civil war except those with deep local ties or who were there to observe the bloody war for political reasons. However, one of their victims, William Buckley, was not so innocent: he was the CIA chief of station in Lebanon and was in charge of counter-terror (a euphemism for terrorism itself in Pentagon speak) for the entire region. He was tortured on video tape revealing many embarrassing secrets that only Iranian intelligence now knows. It must have involved Oliver North's massive network of terrorist death squads. His kidnapping would provide a major motive for the arms and hostage trading that so upset Reagan's supporters.

Like Syria, Libya would also experience a preview of its future war during the 80's, when the Reagan administration tried to destabilize Libya and overthrow Gaddafi. They failed to overthrow him, but the CIA made many Libyan contacts it would use decades later when they destroyed the country. Libya was the target of a massive propaganda campaign based on lies supplied by Mossad agent and arms dealer Manucher Ghorbanifar. The American public spent years in hysteria over imaginary hit teams that Ghorbanifar made up. When Gaddafi had been thoroughly demonized the US tried to assassinate him in a bombing campaign, killing his adopted baby daughter instead. Also in Africa there was the war between Ethiopia and Somalia, with the US and Israel backing Somalia and Cuba, and the Soviets backing Ethiopia. It was this war that would lead to the complete collapse of the Somali state, opening them up to decades more of foreign intervention. Ethiopia was also waging a war against Eritrea.

Africa had too many wars going on to discuss them all and there are doubtless more then a few that I haven't even heard of. One vital war during this period was the covert war in Uganda where the CIA was backing Museveni and his Lieutenant Paul Kagame in their brutal takeover of the country, involving psyops, genocide and child soldiers. Once Museveni was successful, Paul Kagame would later begin his brutal war on Rwanda in 1990, backed by the US and utilizing the tactics he learned studying psychological warfare in the US thanks to the army training him. After 800,000 people were killed in Rwanda during the war; he seized power and launched a war on the Congo that has left 10 million dead and continues to this day.

The wars of national liberation being waged in Southern Africa were closely connected the Iran-Contra network. Israel and South Africa were close allies. The US and Britain were also close allies of South Africa, although sometimes they tried to disguise this increasingly unpopular alliance. In addition to supporting Apartheid South Africa they were allied with them in wars against Angola, Mozambique, Namibia, and earlier Zimbabwe. The wars on Angola and Mozambique were very similar to the war on Nicaragua. The US and its allies backed the terrorist death squads of UNITA and Renamo as they waged a bloody war against the people of Angola and Mozambique. In Angola one of UNITA's specialties was attempting to bring agriculture to a standstill by planting land mines in the farmers' fields so they would be afraid to farm; the results were starvation death and tens of thousands of people with their limbs blown off, just one of UNITA's many atrocities. The Contras, UNITA, and the Afghan Mujahideen all had the same friends and the funding of their terror campaigns were closely linked. They were also all supported by the World Anti-Communist league uniting fascist SS veterans, drug lords, Taiwanese fascists, Latin American death squads, "scientific racists" and other unsavory American allies who had put Reagan in office in the first place. Needless to say UNITA, the Contras and the Mujahideen also shared enemies with the Cubans and the Soviets aiding Angola, the ANC and Nicaragua. I have written at length about the war in Angola.

I wrote a series on Cuba's intervention in Africa which led to the fall of Apartheid in Namibia and South Africa. It began when Che travelled to the Congo. Castro foiled Kissinger's plans to use South African troops to install a puppet government in Angola. CIA whistleblower John Stockwell exposed the covert war on Angola and helped get many of "the Secret Team" fired. Thanks to the Iran-Contra scandal Reagan was no longer able to threaten Cuba with invasion. Castro decided to send an air force to Angola and managed to decisively win the war, leading to the liberation of Namibia and South Africa.

While on the subject of Cuba, as mentioned, many members of the Secret Team were Cuban exiles and they had captured and killed Che while he was in Bolivia. Felix Rodriguez, a close friend of George H.W. Bush and Donald Gregg and a central figure in the Iran-Contra scandal (under the fake name Max Gomez), would wear Che's watch the rest of his life.

To illegally fund the war on Angola the US and its allies had founded the Safari Club. This Safari Club would prove important in the creation of Al Qaeda. France, UK, and Saudi Arabia were among the key members. The Safari Club was deeply involved in funding the covert war on Afghanistan. This was the CIA's largest covert war, begun by Brezinski in 1978 and probably even before with the Shah waging a covert war beginning much earlier. With the fall of the Shah the US sought to replace the loss of Iran with an increased role in Pakistan. General Zhia al Haq was to play the role of the Shah, only this time far more invested in manipulating religion. Needless to say Pakistan, like Turkey and Saudi Arabia, would play a key role in the creation of Al Qaeda and 9/11 itself. Pakistan would form the base from which the CIA would wage its covert war on Afghanistan, yet again using an army of drug-dealing exiles.

This would be a good time to bring up the Saudis. They sent a billion dollars to wage the war on Afghanistan. They also were the biggest cash donor to the Contras, and helped fund UNITA thru the Safari Club. Given recent events in Syria I should point of that MSF "Doctors Without Borders" provided medical care to the terrorist death squads in Afghanistan. Obviously the war in Afghanistan is too complex to go into here in much detail, but apparently contrary to myth, the Russians' intervened to depose the CIA agent Amin who was slaughtering people on CIA orders while pretending to be a communist. The Soviets entered the country on Amin's invitation, then killed Amin, installing their own candidate.

They got bogged down into a bloody civil war as the CIA sent wave after wave of death squads into the country, trained and armed in Pakistan. They funded themselves thru the heroin trade and as was usual with CIA armies' weapons were smuggled in, drugs were smuggled out, and Afghanistan quickly went from a zero percent share of the world heroin market in 1978 to a 60% share in 1981. The Taliban briefly cut back on opium production but after the CIA invasion using the drug-smuggling northern alliance as their proxies Afghanistan is now the source of 96% of the world's heroin. Thanks to its covert wars in Asia and Latin America the CIA has controlled the global drug trade for many decades.

To return to the 80's, finally in Asia there were the covert wars the CIA continued to carry out supporting the Khemer Rouge and China against Vietnam and waging a secret war I unfortunately know little about. However, for decades after the final liberation of their country the US continued to wage covert war on Vietnam using a drug-dealing exile army, the CIA and special forces.

Before we complete our tour of World War 3 and while on the topic of Asia, I should mention the very important role of Taiwan and South Korea in the Iran-Contra affair. After Mao had succeeded in liberating China from the fascist pawns of the imperialists, or KMT as they called themselves, the KMT had decided to make their base on the island of Formosa, which they conquered like a brutal army of occupation, killing anyone who dared to complain. South Korea and South Vietnam had similar origins in that they violently imposed their rule, killing all dissenters. Back in the United States this is what passed for the "Free World." Of course they did it all with the help of their OPC and later CIA advisers, so US silence on their misdeeds is unsurprising. Yet to this day whenever the Korean War or Vietnam War is discussed in the media they always fail to mention anything about the origin or nature of the states that America fought for, killing millions to prevent the rise of communism.

South Vietnam would eventually be liberated and Vietnam reunited. Taiwan and South Korea however remained right wing authoritarian regimes. They were the two most important founding members of WACL and they also funneled huge sums of money to buy American politicians. One of the stranger players in the Iran-Contra scandal is Reverend Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church. It was closely allied with George Bush and also owns the Washington Times. It was a front for the Taiwanese, Korean, and Japanese Mafias. It was also a front for the CIA and Japanese, Taiwanese and Korean Intelligence, the unoriginally named KCIA. Thru its political front CAUSA it played an important role in the Bolivian cocaine coup, and in the wars in Central America. Taiwan was also vital to Iran-Contra; it was where many of the right-wing Latin American death squads had been trained and indoctrinated in "political warfare" and counter-insurgency (mass murder and torture). Taiwan was a key WACL country and helped get Reagan elected. As Mentioned, Michael Deaver was the PR man for Taiwan, Argentina, and Guatemala and he would later work for South Korea. Iran-Contra tied together not only the many wars of the era but the many right-wing dictatorships who were all major Contra sponsors. They all coordinated their efforts thru WACL and other groups like the Safari Club. Iran-Contra also tied together a huge number of foreign lobbies - the heroin-financed "China" lobby (Taiwan lobby) that had played such a major role in the origins of World War 3. After the Guatemalan coup of 1954 the China Lobby had helped set up a powerful Guatemala and Somoza lobby. Senator Charlie Wilson, who lobbied on behalf of the Afghan death squads, was owned by this Guatemala Somoza lobby, Peter Dale Scott mentions in passing. The CIA made an idiotic movie about him: Charlie Wilson's War.

To return to lobbies, the Israel Lobby - today the most powerful - was obviously deeply involved. The Saudi lobby was also heavily involved. It was in the Reagan era that the Saudi and Israeli lobby began their alliance after Israel failed to stop the AWACS deal, which was actually a cover for funding covert wars all over the planet, just like the recent massive sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia was a cover for the massive expansion of ISIS. And of course the Cuban exiles have their own powerful lobby financed through drug deals. Sibel Edmonds has also exposed the activities of the Turkish lobby, which like the "China lobby" is funded through heroin profits and is involved in buying American politicians with huge suitcases of cash. And it was not just foreign lobbies involved. The military industrial complex had their own lobby, the American Security Council, which had sent John Singlaub to Central America to give encouragement to the Contras and solicit illegal donations for the Reagan campaign from the wealthy oligarchs of El Salvador and Guatemala. Singlaub would later become the head of WACL. Also heavily involved in buying politicians worldwide was the bank BCCI which was used to funnel money to death squads across the world, buy politicians, sell weapons, and of course launder the massive drug profits of the Iran-Contra era. Although the bank would finally close, many of its former employees were later exposed funding Al Qaeda in the aftermath of 9/11, no surprise since the CIA, the Saudis, the Pakistanis, and the Safari club had been deeply involved with the bank.

Aside from covert wars and lobbies, Iran-Contra was about the secret "black" global economy, the endless secret transfer of money around the world from shell company to shell company. The endless funneling of weapons and drugs around the world and the massive profits gained. The endless corporate theft that goes on in the big corporations that is only discussed when it all crashes but is what the economy is really all about: legalized theft for the billionaires using complex methods the rest of us can barely even understand. However the savings-and-loan scandals were closely tied to the Iran-Contra scandal. Then there are the massive secret fortunes. I recently learned of the massive amounts of gold the US seized from the Nazis and Japanese, which they then used to fund the covert wars of World War 3 as Peggy and Sterling Seagraves reveal in Gold Warriors, which I haven't read yet but learned of through their interviews. This hidden stash of gold is still being used in all sorts of schemes.

To return to banks, the Italian Iran-Contra connection involved the P2 lodge and the infamous Banco Ambrosiano in Milan, the Mafia Gladio, Sitbam, the CIA. The Italian Iran-Contra scandal was almost as complex as the American Iran-Contra and also deeply tied to covert wars all over the planet. In Sweden the assassination of Olof Palme was also Iran-Contra connected. Above all in the Soviet Union there is a whole story waiting to be uncovered of the destruction of the USSR, a story still largely hidden merely because no one has bothered to look for it, but all many clues are there. On the more obvious level there was the war in Afghanistan and the massive expansion in military spending under Reagan. There was an expanded economic war. As the CIA covertly directed a flood of heroin into the USSR it made alliances with all sorts of gangsters, terrorists and corrupt officials. Ironically, so-called Detente played another major role. One of the conditions called for greater freedom for dissidents while at the top levels revisionist Soviet officials began meeting with big business, a process that indirectly and directly corrupted them and served doubtless as the perfect recruiting ground for the CIA. These are some of the trails to follow that I came across while researching Iran-Contra.

I could go on forever, or so it seems, on Iran-Contra, World War 3, the War on Drugs, the birth of Al Qaeda, the fall of the USSR. Even now I've only scratched the surface; I have a hundred pages of notes on the topic. As my friend @arrghshell said: "Iran/Contra is not just a can of worms, it is a wormhole". In other words, as I've demonstrated, Iran-Contra connects with everything from the beginnings of the Cold War and even before to the present day, where the Contra war continues in Libya, Syria, Iraq, Colombia, DRCongo, and a hundred other places. As massive as World War 3 was in the Reagan Era, involving major covert operations in 50 countries, today it is even more massive, involving more then a hundred - 140 if I recall correctly. Meanwhile the flow of drugs from these covert wars continues from Afghanistan to Colombia and Mexico. It was thanks to the Iran-Contra era that Al Qaeda was born. The War on Drugs, the War on Terror continue in all their absurdity despite all the evidence, all the books, all the whistleblowers, the hearings showing it is one big lie. On that depressing note, let me end this discussion of Iran-Contra. I'm tempted to go on, connecting Iran-Contra to GLADIO, the Phoenix Program, Operation Condor, and other covert operations that never seem to end but endlessly carry on their horrors of terrorism, torture, and assassinations. Or to connect Iran-Contra to Watergate, JFK, the shooting of the pope, the Lockerbie bombing, 9/11. However, for now I'll leave it there. After all, many of my future researches will also connect with the Iran-Contra affair. For those seeking to understand America's deep history, Iran-Contra is the perfect place to start and I have given you more then enough clues to begin your own search into the maze of Iran-Contra connections.

Sources

My main source was The Iran-Contra Connection: Secret Teams and Covert Operations in the Reagan Era by Jonathan Marshall, Peter Dale Scott and Jane Hunter. However, after re-reading this book I couldn't resist re-reading the epic American War Machine: Deep Politics, The CIA Global Drug Connection and the Road to Afghanistan by Peter Dale Scott, which I highly recommend to anyone wishing to understand the world's "deep history".

In Part 1, I gave a list of recommended reading on the CIA and the War on Drugs; this time I have a list of books on covert wars. Killing Hope by William Blum is of course the definitive account of World War 3. Two more pieces of essential reading on the topic of covert wars: Instruments of Statecraft by Michael McClintock, a must-read, and Safe For Democracy: The Secret Wars of the CIA by John Prados. Doug Valentine wrote the definitive book on the Phoenix Program: The Phoenix Program. I also recommend his novel on the Secret War in Laos, TDY. I wrote an article based on the "Phoenix Program". Valentine also traces the impact of the Phoenix Program on the dirty war in El Salvador where they didn't even bother to change the name but launched Operation Phoenix.

For more on Operation Condor read Predatory States: Operation Condor and Covert War in Latin America by J. Patrice McSherry, a must-read for understanding the dirty war in Latin America. I also wrote an article on it. CIA whistleblower John Stockwell wrote The Praetorian Guard and In Search of Enemies. Guard has good material on Nicaragua and Stockwell was the first to identify "World War 3" as the War on the Third World. Enemies is on the war in Angola. Turning the Tide by Noam Chomsky was an important source despite my many issues with him (I could write an article just on this).

For more on Angola there is Piero Gleijeses' Conflicting Missions and Visions of Freedom. For More on Syria, Asad: The Struggle for the Middle East by Patrick Seale is a must-read. For more on the war on Lebanon read Beware of Small States by David Hirst. He also wrote a great history of Israel: The Gun and the Olive Branch. I'm currently reading the classic The Secret Team by Fletcher Prouty, a sort of prequel to Iran-Contra.

Sibel Edmonds on Iran-Contra, 9/11, and much more - one of the most important interviews of all time. Check out these great excerpts from the book Rollback on Reagan's foreign policy. Another great article on the Reagan era. I found it as part of the links to this podcast from @arrghshell. Check out this hidden part of World War 3, the war on Black America, in another great podcast. John Stockwell on World War 3. And a great podcast on Jamaica with Casey Gane McCalla that ties in with the Iran-Contra scandal. He wrote a book called Inside the CIA's Secret War in Jamaica that I can't wait to read. And an interview with the Seagraves. For more on fascism, Iran-Contra and much more, there is a huge archive of shows from Dave Emory which inspired my tangent on the origins of fascist death squads.

Also check out this great Doug Valentine series of articles someone compiled that is highly relevant to Iran-Contra and the origins of the war on terror.