Tag Archives: Honduras

Just another normal day in USA-run Dictatorship Honduras

Yesterday was a selection day in the USA-run coup made Honduras. Top Honduran parties chose presidential candidates ….But what did the day really look like though? See Death Squads, Swastikas and "Medieval Methods" of Torture Honduras’ Post-Coup Elections by CHARLES HINTON for a better glimpse of life in Tegucigalpa, the Honduran capital.

US military working with Honduran dictatorship according to The New York Times

‘Lessons from Iraq and the War Against Drugs in Honduras- The New York Times in its May 5th edition published an article that stated in its first paragraph: “The United States military has brought lessons from the past decade of conflict to the drug war being fought in the wilderness of Miskito Indian country, constructing this remote base camp with little public notice…

…but with the support of the Honduran government.” The Iraqization of Honduras is more evident than ever: the induced failed state has a script fabricated in the U.S. Southern Command, having among other results, a Honduras submerged in violence to the point of occupying the denigrating first place in homicides in the world, in addition the unstoppable arms trafficking, an example of which is the Castaway Operation, promoted by the Department of Justice.’

Complete analysis can be found at http://quotha.net/node/2256 where much good information about US military involvement in Central America can be found.

US military out of Honduras now!

The US has spread its drug war killings from its own inner cities into Peru and Colombia and then north into Mexico and now back once again into Central America as well. The US military is not going to stop drug trafficking and should get out of all of Latin America now. Why are Americans silent about these wars and supportive of military interventionism? Americans get what they sow…. which is a Police and Military State society everywhere. Honduras protest over (US DEA agent) shootings (of Hondurans inside Honduras)

How come Pottery Barn rules don’t apply to Haiti?

When Tony posted nearly three years ago (!) about how shocking conditions in Haiti had become, it was a magnet for people saying the starving kids pictures (from Medicins sans frontiers, internationally respected medical aid agency, just not so much here in America) were recycled pictures from Ethiopia 3, 2 and one decade ago.
Then when that was refuted, and before they raised that Stupid Response again, the people of Haiti were blamed for their own misfortunes. As though their LEADERS had actually been empowered by popular vote instead of installed, against the expressed will of the People, by and for the profit of American Corporate Hegemony. Alternating with French Hegemony until the AmeriCorp bought out the French.
We broke it, we supposedly bought it, right? That’s the one of the irRationale for staying in Iraq and Afghanistan.
(rationale is both plural and single, I checked, you didn’t, kiss off) Of course, it’s not the American Corporations who are Paying the bills “we” ran up by breaking all the pottery, although they seem to be getting quite a lot of public funding to manipulate the Public Army and the Public intelligence community and the public “rebuilding” campaign, which mostly consists of taking very expensive videos and photographs of Other People moving the shards around.
Much the same way they’re paid to watch and take pictures while other people bury the Dead “shards” in Haiti. Through public funding for their private “efforts”.

Some have seen fit to criticize my frequent use of Capitalization and italics and bold type and ComBinatiOns Of tHem but some people need a little help finding juicy nuggets amidst the kibble. Both are Nourishing Mind Food but the juicy bits are more fun. Sometimes.

Some of the people have difficulty seeing, which is a condition with which I can easily relate. Others are just kind of inured to reading and hearing Bullshit from the likes of Glenn Beck and need a little help finding emphasis in NORMAL thoughts. It’s not that Glenn Beck is mentally defective, it’s what he’s paid to say, in the Corporate anticipation of the Audience being mentally defective.

In a way, though, the situation in Ethiopia and Haiti is the same case, revisited. “Conservative” (their own code word for Racist Right Wing Extremists) Pundits insist that black people are incapable of governing themselves so it’s up to the Great White Father in Washington to guide and assist and let’s face it, outright Rule Over the poor little darkie savages.

But Ethiopia has for several occasions been the richest nation on earth and in cumulative time they managed to do it for longer than the Americas have actually experienced European Rule. Intermittently because the times Ethiopia has been devastatingly poor have been periods of colonial rule. Like the Romans exacting tribute from them, and in the past couple of centuries European and European-American Corporate Rule turning Their nation into Our plantation. Same with Haiti. When the U.S. went to war with Hawaii and deposed their “tyrannical” native government for the crime of taxing American Corporations who “just wanted to bring the glory of Civilization to the Native Darkies” in 1893, and the quickly ensuing War of Conquest based on a fake Terrorist Incident errr… “anti-Imperial war with Spain” at least the Natives of Puerto Rico and Hawaii were eventually given citizenship. Now the government is reneging on the Puerto Rican citizens, all P.R. Citizens now have to exchange their Puerto Rican birth certificates for “valid” ones. What do you want to bet the Tea-Bags and their other Klan Related groups like the Minutemen will be demanding the same of Hawaiian birth certificates? It’s not that they’re “RACIST” in any way, it’s just that Glenn Beck and Lou Dobbs and Sarah Palin and the other Right Wing Extremist FREAKS have “proven” that darker skinned people are naturally terrorists.

With Haiti, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Colombia, las islas filipinas, Ethiopia and other Corporate Plantations with Puppet Regimes masqueraded as “Sovereign” nations, there was no such pretense of offering them full citizenship or even limited citizenship rights.

The Corporate Regime Broke It, so they “bought” it, but they have figured out ways not to actually have to PAY for what they “bought”.

Freedom & duress NOT the same thing

A gentleman wrote earlier that Ireland signed a paper partitioning the Nation, and likewise, Scotland and Ireland had signed papers joining their people to the United Kingdom. And that therefore Scots and Irish Separatists are breaking a treaty and how very dare they do so, it’s dishonorable etc.
 
He was too busy reviling me personally to revile them but that is the gist of his words.

What wasn’t mentioned was that in either treaty the People of Ireland and the People of Scotland weren’t consulted. The “Lords” whose ancestors were in turn appointed and ennobled by the British Crown during prior invasions and occupations, signed the papers, and that at the point of gun and sword. Not by the people nor by their elected officials.

This was in comparison, by the way, to the Conquest and Occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan.

It’s like an armed robbery on a massive scale.

I mean, IF I were ever to want to control people, I’d not last very long at the enterprise mostly because anybody I could get to assist me in doing so would be under coercion. I could, theoretically, walk into a 7-Eleven or a Liquor store with an Uzi, and demand that the proprietor surrender to my will, do as I say, and that he promise to cooperate with my Armed Might, my one-man “Army of One” submachine gun, and provide me with as much of the goods and money in his store as I could carry away.

In an enterprise using an Army of MANY the logistics of the actions are more complex but the concept, the germ, the Basic Foundation of those actions would be Exactly The Same.

To go back to the Store Owner v. Probably Deranged Person w/Submachine Gun parable, if the person with the gun leaves the store, would the Store Owner be breaking some sort of Treaty to immediately call for help? If the gunman were, in the middle of the “treaty” to turn his attention and the Shopkeeper took the opportunity to disarm the gunman and perhaps kill the gunman, would the Shopkeeper be a “terrorist” or an “insurgent” or “unlawful combatant”?

If the gunman has a Gang of similar thugs with him, and the shopkeeper captures and disarms one or more of them, and holds a gun to their heads and demands the other Gunmen cease their robbery and threats of further violence, would that be a Terrorist Insurgent taking hostages, a Despicable act of Cowardice?

But that’s what the British and American Warmongers insist the “shopkeeper” of Iraq, and Afghanistan, and the Irish PEOPLE and Scots PEOPLE do or should have done.

Negotiate only with the Representatives of the people who were appointed to that position by the Conquering Invaders?

What kind of a Farce is that?

The Conquerors of Iraq and Afghanistan have no more right to demand the abject surrender of the people of those nations than the British Crown did with Scotland and Ireland, indeed, the “Nobles” with whom the English Crown negotiated the treaties, would have no more a legitimate enforceable authority to make such a treaty, for generations to come, than the Vichy Government did for the people of France, nor for all the French colonials.

To put it in a way the Right Wing would understand, their NEW conquests of Iraq, Afghanistan, Honduras, are no more legitimate because the Puppet Governments empowered by the Conquerors signed treaties, at the point of gun, sword, machine gun, the Mother Of All Bombs and the assembled armies of the Coalition. than the “Conquest” of Poland, East Germany, the Czech and Yugoslav and Armenian etc Republics were validated by the signing, under duress, of any treaties by their respective Puppet Dictators appointed by the conquering Armies of Britain, The U.S. and the Soviet Union.

Nor were the Irish under any such obligation to honor the partitioning of ireland, under duress, by the British. They were not in any way obligated to allow the British to keep Ulster.

To say that they were, or that the Iraqi and Afghan people are obligated to Obey The American and British Coalition in every thing that’s commanded… Is not just a Lie, it’s an Arrogant Lie.

And all the “PROOF” I need to say that those invasions were based on greed, and nothing more.

Certainly not any “fears of WMDs” and MOST CERTAINLY not any concern for Freedom for the Iraqi or Afghan people, any more than the British had concern for the Irish peoples freedom.

They show themselves to be the REAL terrorists.

Panama Banana say that three times real fast…

But there was a strike against the Government run Banana Industry which unlike the traditional “Banana Republic” isn’t a government owned by the Banana Industry. Close enough though, they’re bought and Paid (on long credit terms) for by American Fat-Cats who believed and their descendants still do that their money and American (not Rich) soldiers providing the Assassinations necessary to maintain that money entitles them to own the whole world. Especially those nations physically closest to our Arbitrarily assigned borders.
By the way, Corporate Warfare and Corporate Welfare are two of the key components of Fascism.
The government forces attempted to take the Union leaders prisoner, and killed two union members and wounded 120 others (by Government count) three of whom are in hospitals in comas. And under arrest. Probably for violently attacking a Police Billy Club or Gun Muzzle with their foreheads. Repeatedly throwing their heads under the stomping Jack-boots of the Police even after being handcuffed. The workers, Indigenous people mostly, (that’s code for “held in perpetual povertyslavery on the basis of Race” by the way) responded by taking 4 of the cops prisoner. Only the Right Wing code for that is “hostages”. One of the causes of the strike was the Puppet Government of Panama (guess which American Corporate Government holds the puppet strings) trying, of course not on American orders, that would be silly to contemplate… passed laws forbidding Union Activity especially strikes.

The government “graciously” suspended enforcement of the law, temporarily until they can find some way to get enough American gunboats and Marines into the country to put the Union down for good errr… I mean, find some way to Legally enforce it.

Panama wasn’t the Original “Banana Republic”, although it follows the model, have U.S. Corporations, backed by the Military, which they’ve exempted themselves from paying the bills thereof, incite a “revolution” in the country which doesn’t have strong laws to force the people to surrender their lands, resources, freedoms and especially their labor to the corporate Overlords. The “revolutionaries” run into resistance from the non-cooperative government, then call for the United States government to send soldiers to come and rescue them. It’s how the Republic of Texas was formed. How the U.S. took over Hawaii. Puerto Rico. Panama. Iraq….
How we got a third of the land area of the Republic of Mexico after our Former Puppet General Antonio Jose y Maria Lopez de Santa Ana didn’t provide quite the level of cooperation they had expected.

Why Panama was re-taken from the Former Puppet Dictator Manuel Noriega refused to cooperate with the Reagan-Bu’ush Regime, in yet another arranged Coup. Panama was taken from the Republic of Colombia in the exact same manner because Colombia was leaning toward allowing a French firm to build the Canal (which was going to be built regardless)

Noriega helped finance the Banana Republic attempted coup in Nicaragua allegedly by being a go-between for Oliver North and the Medellin cocaine growing and marketing industry. The part about the North connection is “erased” in the American Memory Hole OR WAS IT?

The original “Banana Republic” was Honduras. Honduras which has ONCE MORE been taken down in a Coup against a populist “dictator” who made the horrendously Anti-American decision that the labor and resources of the Nation of Honduras belongs to the PEOPLE of Honduras, and not to the American Corporate Overlords. The true and exact reason the U.S. government condemns the nations of Cuba and Venezuela as “rogue states” because they actually stand for the national interests of THEIR OWN nations rather than the Corporate Owners of the United States.

And anybody who resists Corporate Fascism anywhere in the world is declared under the still-in-effect Bu’ush Regime directives like the so-called “Patriot” act to be a Terrorist.

Oderint dum metuant, crucifixion … Spartacus and Dracula

Since the opinion has been foisted onto us that we should basically DEATH DEATH KILL THEM ALL!! BWAAAHAAAAHAAAHAAA! those who Dare to oppose our Mighty Empire… And a comment from a lady who is upset that we, the people, rejected her Emperor Bush last year about this time… thus, we and not her Imperial Overlords are responsible for the shootings at Ft Hood…

The “Crucify them as an example to others” was a policy also expressed by a(nother) Mad Emperor named Gaius Julius Caesar the Second, known by his childhood nickname Little Boots, aka Caligula. It was also used earlier by a Roman Republican Senator named Crassus. Against a group of Slaves who Dared In Their Arrogance to think themselves the equal of their Masters.

It was also used by Vlad Dracula, the real villain not the prettified very nice by comparison Dracula of the movies.

The real Dracula was famous for fighting the Turks. Fierce in battle, say his critics and apologists alike. Defended Europe from the Islamic Horde, AND that part is now being celebrated by the Modern Crusaders. The part he was most famous for was hanging people on pikes, tall spears. The death involved the body slowly settling down around the spear, massive organic damage, and by having the piked one with his feet barely touching the ground… it could go on for days.

The people he did that to, weren’t Muslims or Turks. They were “his” people. Christians. Supposedly he himself was a Christian and the devil worship rituals are, according to the Right Wing “mere rumors to slander a Great Crusader Leader”.

Kind of like Richard Cheney only more civilized.

It was wonderful that the two Right Wing Extremist responders (so far) were so incredibly hate filled. Makes it much more difficult for Our Friends like Mr Paige to deny the basic Hater label that he and his less erudite comrades placed around their own necks. The Extremist Leaders can talk all they want about being Christian, about being FOR freedom and goodness and light and not at all Conquest, slavery and murder. In the immortal words of their own Joe Wilson THEY LIE!

Those of our IDF friends who like to post and tell us how much the Republicans love Judah (renamed Israel) and the Jewish people and it’s We, the Left, who are anti-semitic… Look to what ALL-CAPS BOY wrote, that the Romans had a Good Idea, crucifying all “terrorists” meaning among others, the Jews who didn’t embrace Roman rule. Much like the Iraqi and Afghan and Pakistani “insurgents” who don’t Joyously Embrace the Imperial Rule of the modern-day Roman General Petraeus.

I was flipping through the pages of a book the other day, on “Freedom in the Ancient World”. The author said much the same thing that CHARLES CAPS-LOCK BOY said.

How those bad, naughty backward uncivilized Jews rejected Trajan’s majestic gift of rebuilding Jerusalem with a temple to Jupiter in the midst, to grant them the honor of Roman slav… errr… Civilized Benevolent Rule.

Just by a coincidence, the Romans lost everything they had, including any technological advantages… by placing their faith in a capitalist system based on subjugating other nations to their will and demanding that they pay the Romans to “protect” them… much like the United States Capitalist Shadow Government does in Honduras, Mexico, Guatemala, Chile, Iraq, (the Iraqi oilfields were supposed to have paid the bills for U.S. soldiers “liberating” them and then placing them in the Civilized Management of the American Oil Companies)

The Crusaders also got their armor kicked all the way back to Central and Northern Europe. Thus setting up the situation where such Civilized Christian Terrorist Leaders like Dracula and the legendary matamoros El Cid could get away with killing their own countrymen.

Perhaps CHARLIE CAPS-LOCK is fantasizing being able to crucify somebody, more likely, he’s not got the balls to do it himself but maybe he’ll be one of those in the crowd cheering the New Romans on. Maybe they’ll let him lick the blood from their swords.

His corporate masters have labeled the Cherokee Nation protesters in Chattanooga as “Terrorists”. Maybe he hopes to see Cherokee people hanging from crosses.

Or just ANY people. Folks who get their rocks off to pain, suffering blood and death aren’t really all that choosy about who the victims are.

Major Hasan, convicted without trial, and let the Mad Hate Fest Begin!

See, this can be used to justify Racist (mostly) attacks on Americans who are Muslim… and then they can use the War on Drugs and the “insurgency” where the People of Honduras are rejecting the U.S. Corporate puppet dictatorship as an excuse to Kill American Catholics with Spanish names…
Oh, yeah, they ALREADY HAVE by murdering the American Raul Flores and his American Child Briseña, age 9, this spring in Arivaca Arizona. That was our local Friends the Minutemen, or merely the Southern Arizona branch thereof who say they follow the orders of the (Locally situated) National Leadership of their party. Oh, excusez vous, their “Army” of “patriots”.

Next they can go after them thar Nigras oh, wait, they already do. Yes, let’s all join hands, and commit the most outrageous hate crimes, and do it in the name of God and America, just as long as they don’t have to join hands with no Nigras’ mixcans Injuns Ay-rabs muslims Jews, Faggots, Catholics or anybody else who’s on their Hate List at the time.

US government continues its terrorist attacks against Iran

jundullah Iranian commanders assassinated. The US government, under multiple administrations has such a long record for using terrorism throughout multiple regions of the world that it is actually incredible that it has the gall to proclaim that it is now engaged in a ‘global war against terrorism’, even as it uses terrorism in areas like Somalia, Honduras, and Iran, not to mention other countries. Open up your eyes, my fellow Americans. Your own government is a terrorist government itself!

The following is copied from Wikipedia and is about the terrorist group run by the US called Jundullah…

United States
ABC news reported in April 2007, citing US and Pakistani tribal and intelligence sources,[38] that the terrorist group “has been secretly encouraged and advised by American officials” to destabilize the government in Iran.[39] According to this report by Brian Ross and Christopher Isham of ABC News, the United States government had been secretly encouraging and advising the Jundullah in its attacks against Iranian targets. This support is said to have started in 2005 and arranged so that the United States provided no direct funding to the group, which would require congressional oversight and attract media attention.[40] The report was denied by Pakistan official sources.[41] But despite their denial ABC stood by their claim.[42] Alexis Debat, one of the sources quoted by Ross and Isham in their report alleging US support for the Jundullah, resigned from ABC News in June 2007, after ABC officials claimed that he faked several interviews while working for the company.[43]

Brian Ross, an award winning journalist and the correspondent who worked most closely with Mr. Debat, said the Jundullah story had many sources. “We’re only worried about the things Debat supplied, not about the substance of that story,” he said in regard to the Jundullah report. So far, ABC has found nothing that would undermine the stories Mr. Debat worked on, Mr. Ross said last night. But he acknowledged that as the stories of fabrications continue to roll in, the network “at some point has to question whether anything he said can be believed.”[44] This caused the network in 2007 to send a second team of producers to Pakistan investigating the original reports.[45] ABC never retracted the story. The ABC exclusive further reveals that U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney discussed the activity of the group against Iran during his visit to Pakistan.[46] The exclusive makes parallels between American support for Jundallah and U.S. involvement in Nicaragua through Contras.[47]

Fars News Agency, an Iranian state run news agency, reported that the United States government is involved in PRMI’s terrorists acts.[48]

Gholamali Haddadadel, Iranian parliament speaker in 2007, speaking to reporters said, Jundallah is part of pressure tactics used by United States to subdue Iran and hoped with Pakistani help, Iran would be able to defeat Jundallah.[49]

On April 2, 2007, Abdul Malik Rigi, appeared on the Persian service of Voice of America, the official broadcasting service of the United States government, which identified Rigi as “the leader of popular Iranian resistance movement” and used the title of “Doctor” with his name. This incidence resulted in public condemnation by Persian-American communities in the U.S, as well as the Iranian government.[50][51][52][53][54][55][56][57]

Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh revealed another report in July 2008 that US congressional leaders had secretly agreed to former president George W. Bush’s USD 400 million funding request, which gives the US a free hand in arming and funding terrorist groups such as Jundullah militants.[58]

Iranian speaker of parliament Ali Larijani, three days after the 2009 terror attack against Zahidan mosque revealed, Iran has intelligence reports regarding the United States links with certain terrorist groups operating against Iran and accused United States, of commanding them. He implicated United States of trying to start a civil war between shia and sunni segments of Iranian society.[59][60] Regarding the investigation of the terrorist act he added that Iran would want Pakistan to cooperate fully and not become a mere part of the designs against Iran.[61]

It is said Jundallah is just one part of a Black Operation Plan involving psychological operations and other covert operations to support dissents among minorities (Baloch, Arab, Kurds, Azeris, etc.) in Iran, which along with tactics of military posturing, risky maneuvers and occasional conciliatory gestures are designed to improve United States bargaining position in any future negotiation with Iran.[62][63][64][65] Furthermore these Black Operations build upon a coordinated campaign consisting of disinformation, placement of negative newspaper articles, propaganda broadcasts, the manipulation of Iran’s monetary currency and international banking transactions.[66][67][68]

Iranian Interior Minister Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi, has said, United States intelligence operatives have been meeting and coordinating with Anti-Iranian militants in Afghanistan as well as encouraging drug smuggling into Iran.[69] Jundallah is currently, not included in the U.S. State Department’s list of foreign designated terrorist groups. Inclusion on the list would prohibit US citizens, companies, or government agencies from supporting the group, and trigger criminal or civil penalties for doing so.[70][71] A former Chief of Army Staff of the Pakistan Army General Aslam Beg has accused the Coalition Forces in Afghanistan of training and supporting Jundallah against Iran.[72]

Top 10 secret armies of the CIA

Found this on the web, will try to retrace provenance, worth a read: The United States have a well known history of providing military support to countries in need. But from time to time, the US Government has provided secret forces. While many are successful, there have also been a number of failures. This is a list of the ten top secret armies of the CIA.

1. Ukrainian Partisans
From 1945 to 1952 the CIA trained and aerially supplied Ukranian partisan units which had originally been organised by he Germans to fight the Soviets during WWII. For seven years, the partisans, operating in the Carpathian Mountains, made sporadic attacks. Finally in 1952, a massive Soviet military force wiped them out.

2. Chinese Brigade in Burma
After the Communist victory in China, Nationalist Chinese soldiers fled into northern Burma. During the early 1950s, the CIA used these soldiers to create a 12,000 man brigade which made raids into Red China. However, the Nationalist soldiers found it more profitable to monopolise the local opium trade.

3. Guatemalan Rebel Army
After Guatemalan president Jacobo Arbenz legalised that country’s communist party and expropriated 400,000 acres of United Fruit banana plantations, the CIA decided to overthrow his government. Guatemalan rebels were trained in Honduras and backed up with a CIA air contingent of bombers and fighter planes. This army invaded Guatemala in 1954, promptly toppling Arbenz’s regine.

4. Sumatran Rebels
In an attempt to overthrow Indonesian president Sukarno in 1958, the CIA sent paramilitary experts and radio operators to the island of Sumatra to organise a revolt. With CIA air support, the rebel army attacked but was quickly defeated. The American government denied involvement even after a CIA b-26 was shot down and its CIA pilot, Allen Pope, was captured.

5. Khamba Horsemen
After the 1950 Chinese invasion of Tibet, the CIA began recruiting Khamba horsemen – fierce warriors who supported Tibet’s religious leader, the Dalai Lama – as they escaped into India in 1959. These Khambas were trained in modern warfare at Camp Hale, high in the rocky mountains near Leadville, Colorado. Transported back to Tibet by the CIA operated Air American, the Khambas organised an army number at its peak some 14,000. By the mid-1960s the Khambas had been abandoned by the CIA but they fought on alone until 1970.

6. Bay of Pigs Invasion Force
In 1960, CIA operatives recruited 1,500 Cuban refugees living in Miami and staged a surprise attack on Fidel Castro’s Cuba. Trained at a base in Guatemala, this small army – complete with an air force consisting of B-26 bombers – landed at the Bay of Pigs on April 19, 1961. The ill-conceived, poorly planned operation ended in disaster, since all but 150 men of the force were either killed or captured within three days.

7. L’armee Clandestine
In 1962, CIA agents recruited Meo tribesmen living in the mountains of Laos to fight as guerrillas against Communist Pathet Lao forces. Called l’armee Clandestine, this unit – paid, trained, and supplied by the CIA – grew into a 30,000 man force. By 1975 the Meos – who had numbers a quarter million in 1962 – had been reduced to 10,000 refugees fleeing into Thailand.

8. Nung Mercenaries
A Chinese hill people living in Vietname, the Nungs were hired and organised by the CIA as a mercenary force, during the Vietnam war. Fearsome and brutal fighters, the Nungs were employed throughout Vietnam and along the Ho Chi Minh Trail. The Nungs proved costly since they refused to fight unless constantly supplied with beer and prostitutes.

9. Peruvian Regiment
Unable to quell guerrilla forces in its eastern Amazonian provinces, Peru called on the US for help in the mid-1960s. The CIA responded by establishing a fortified camp in the area and hiring local Peruvians who were trained by Green Beret personnel on loan from the US army. After crushing the guerrillas, the elite unit was disbanded because of fears it might stage a coup against the government.

10. Congo Mercenary Force
In 1964, during the Congolese Civil War, the CIA established an army in the Congo to back pro-Western leaders Cyril Adoula and Joseph Mobutu. The CIA imported European mercenaries and Cuban pilots – exiles from Cuba – to pilot the CIA air force, composed of transports and B-26 Bombers.

11. The Cambodian Coup
For over 15 years, the CIA had tried various unsuccessful means of deposing Cambodia’s left-leaning Prince Norodom Sihanouk, including assassination attempts. However, in March, 1970, a CIA-backed coup finally did the job. Funded by US tax dollars, armed with US weapons, and trained by American Green Berets, anti-Sihanouk forces called Kampuchea Khmer Krom (KKK) overran the capital of Phnom Penh and took control of the government. With the blessing of the CIA and the Nixon administration, control of Cambodia was placed in the hands of Lon Nol, who would later distinguish himself by dispatching soldiers to butcher tens of thousands of civilians.

12. Kurd Rebels
During the early 1970s the CIA moved into eastern Iraq to organize and supply the Kurds of that area, who were rebelling against the pro-Soviet Iraqi government. The real purpose behind this action was to help the shah of Iran settle a border dispute with Iraq favourably. After an Iranian-Iraq settlement was reached, the CIA withdrew its support from the Kurds, who were then crushed by the Iraqi Army.

13. Angola Mercenary Force
In 1975, after years of bloody fighting and civil unrest in Angola, Portugal resolved to relinquish its hold on the last of its African colonies. The transition was to take place on November 11, with control of the country going to whichever political faction controlled the capital city of Luanda on that date. In the months preceding the change, three groups vied for power: the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), the National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA) and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA). By July 1975, the Marxist MPLA had ousted the moderate FNLA and UNITA from Luanda, so the CIA decided to intervene covertly. Over $30 million was spent on the Angolan operation, the bulk of the money going to buy arms and pay French and South African mercenaries, who aided the FNLA and UNITA in their fight. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, US officials categorically denied any involvement in the Angolan conflict. In the end, it was a fruitless military adventure, for the MPLA assumed power and controls Angola to this day.

14. Afghan Mujaheedin
Covert support for the groups fighting against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan began under President Jimmy Carter in 1979, and was stepped up during the administration of Ronald Reagan. The operation succeeded in its initial goal, as the Soviets were forced to begin withdrawing their forces in 1987. Unfortunately, once the Soviets left, the US essentially ignored Afghanistan as it collapsed into a five-year civil war followed by the rise of the ultra-fundamentalist Taliban. The Taliban provided a haven for Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda, the perpetrators of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001.

15. Salvadoran Death Squads
As far back as 1964, the CIA helped form ORDEN and ANSESAL, two paramilitary intelligence networks that developed into the Salvadoran death squads. The CIA trained ORDEN leaders in the use of automatic weapons and surveillance techniques, and placed several leaders on the CIA payroll. The CIA also provided detailed intelligence on Salvadoran individuals later murdered by the death squads. During the civil war in El Salvador from 1980 to 1992, the death squads were responsible for 40,000 killings. Even after a public outcry forced President Reagan to denounce the death squads in 1984, CIA support continued.

16. Nicaraguan Contras
On November 23, 1981, President Ronald Reagan signed a top secret National Security Directive authorising the CIA to spend $19 million to recruit and support the Contras, opponents of Nicaragua’s Sandinista government. In supporting the Contras, the CIA carried out several acts of sabotage without the Congressional intelligence committees giving consent – or even being informed beforehand. In response, Congress passed the Boland Amendment, prohibiting the CIA from providing aid to the Contras. Attempts to find alternate sources of funds led to the Iran-Contra scandal. It may also have led the CIA and the Contras to become actively involved in drug smuggling. In 1988, the Senate Subcommittee on Narcotics, Terrorism, and International Operations concluded that individuals in the Contra movement engaged in drug trafficking; that known drug traffickers provided assistance to the Contras; and that ‘there are some serious questions as to whether or not US officials involved in Central America failed to address the drug issue for fear of jeopardizing the war effort against Nicaragua’.

17. Haitian Coup
In 1988, the CIA attempted to intervene in Haiti’s elections with a ‘covert action program’ to undermine the campaign of the eventual winner, Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Three years later, Aristide was overthrown in a bloody coup that killed more than 4,000 civilians. Many of the leaders of the coup had been on the CIA payroll since the mid-1980s. For example, Emmanuel ‘Toto’ Constant, the head of FRAPH, a brutal gang of thugs known for murder, torture, and beatings, admitted to being a paid agent of the CIA. Similarly, the CIA-created Haitian National Intelligence Service (NIS), supposedly created to combat drugs, functioned during the coup as a ‘political intimidation and assassination squad.’ In 1994, an American force of 20,000 was sent to Haiti to allow Aristide to return. Ironically, even after this, the CIA continued working with FRAPH and the NIS. In 2004, Aristide was overthrown once again, with Aristide claiming that US forces had kidnapped him.

18. Venezuelan Coup Attempt
On April 11, 2002, Venezuelan military leaders attempted to overthrow the country’s democratically-elected left-wing president, Hugo Chavez. The coup collapsed after two days as hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets and as units of the military joined with the protestors. The administration of George W. Bush was the only democracy in the Western Hemisphere not to condemn the coup attempt. According to intelligence analyst Wayne Madsen, the CIA had actively organised the coup: ‘The CIA provided Special Operations Group personnel, headed by a lieutenant colonel on loan from the US Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, to help organise the coup against Chavez.

Rock Creek Free Press available in COS

The Rock Creek Free Press is available online, but if you want it in print, the DC monthly is available in Colorado Springs at the Bookman, 3163 W. Colorado. The September issue features a speech given by legendary Australian journalist John Pilger on July 4th in San Francisco.

Here’s the RCFP transcript:

Two years ago I spoke at “Socialism in Chicago” about an invisible government which is a term used by Edward Bernays, one the founders of modern propaganda. It was Bernays, who in the 1920s invented public relations as a euphemism for propaganda. And it was Bernays, deploying the ideas of his uncle Sigmund Freud, who campaigned on behalf of the tobacco industry for women to take up smoking as an act of feminist liberation calling cigarettes “tortures of freedom”. At the same time he was involved in the disinformation which was critical in overthrowing the Arbenz government in Guatemala. So you have the association of cigarettes and regime change. The invisible government that Bernays had in mind brought together all media: PR, the press, broadcasting, advertising and their power of branding and image making. In other words, disinformation.

And I suppose I would like to talk today about this invisible government’s most recent achievement, the rise of Barrack Obama and the silencing of much of the left. But all of this has a history, of course and I’d like to go back, take you back some forty years to a sultry and, for me, very memorable day in Viet Nam.

I was a young war correspondent who had just arrived in a village in the Central Highlands called Tuylon. My assignment was to write about a unit of US Marines who had been sent to the village to win hearts and minds. “My orders,” said the Marine Sergeant, “are to sell the American way of liberty, as stated in the Pacification Handbook, this is designed to win the hearts and minds of folks as stated on page 86.” Now, page 86 was headed in capital letters: WHAM (winning hearts and minds). The Marine Unit was a combined action company which explained the Sergeant, meant, “We attack these folks on Mondays and we win their hearts and minds on Tuesdays.” He was joking, of course, but not quite.

The Sergeant, who didn’t speak Vietnamese, had arrived in the village, stood up on a Jeep and said through a bullhorn: “Come on out everybody we’ve got rice and candies and toothbrushes to give you.” This was greeted by silence. “Now listen, either you gooks come on out or we’re going to come right in there and get you!” Now the people of Tuylon finally came out and they stood in line to receive packets of Uncle Ben’s Miracle Rice, Hershey Bars, party balloons, and several thousand toothbrushes. Three portable, battery operated, yellow, flush lavatories were held back for the arrival of the colonel.

And when the colonel arrived that evening, the district chief was summoned and the yellow, flush lavatories unveiled. The colonel cleared his throat and took out a handwritten speech,

“Mr. District Chief and all you nice people,” said the colonel, “what these gifts represent is more than the sum of their parts, they carry the spirit of America. Ladies and gentlemen there’s no place on Earth like America, it’s the land where miracles happen, it’s a guiding light for me and for you. In America, you see, we count ourselves as real lucky as having the greatest democracy the world has ever known and we want you nice people to share in our good fortune.”

Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, even John Winthrope sitting upon a hill got a mention. All that was missing was the Star Bangled Banner playing softly in the background. Of course the villagers had no idea what the colonel was talking about, but when the Marines clapped, they clapped. And when the colonel waved, the children waved. And when he departed the colonel shook the Sergeant’s hand and said: “We’ve got plenty of hearts and minds here, carry on Sergeant.” “Yes Sir.” In Viet Nam I witnessed many scenes like that.

I’d grown up in faraway Australia on a cinematic diet of John Wayne, Randolph Scott, Walt Disney, and Ronald Reagan. The American way of liberty they portrayed might well have been lifted from the WHAM handbook. I’d learned that the United States had won World War II on its own and now led the free world as the chosen society. It was only later when I read Walter Lippmann’s book, Public Opinion, a manual of the invisible government, that I began to understand the power of emotions attached to false ideas and bad histories on a grand scale.

Now, historians call this exceptionalism, the notion that the United States has a divine right to bring what it calls “liberty” to the rest of humanity. Of course this is a very old refrain. The French and British created and celebrated their own civilizing missions while imposing colonial regimes that denied basic civil liberties. However, the power of the American message was, and remains, different. Whereas the Europeans were proud imperialists, Americans are trained to deny their imperialism. As Mexico was conquered and the Marines sent to Nicaragua, American textbooks referred to an Age of Innocence. American motives were always well meaning, moral, exceptional, as the colonel said, “There was no ideology” and that’s still the case.

Americanism is an ideology that is unique because its main feature is its denial that it is an ideology. It’s both conservative and it’s liberal. And it’s right and it’s left. And Barack Obama is its embodiment. Since Obama was elected leading liberals have talked about America returning to its true status as, “a nation of moral ideals”. Those are the words of Paul Krugman, the liberal columnist of The New York Times. In the San Francisco Chronicle, columnist Mark Morford wrote,

“Spiritually advanced people regard the new president as a light worker who can help usher in a new way of being on the planet.”

Tell that to an Afghan child whose family has been blown away by Obama’s bombs. Or a Pakistani child whose house has been visited by one of Obama’s drones. Or a Palestinian child surveying the carnage in Gaza caused by American “smart” weapons, which, disclosed Seymour Hersh, were re-supplied to Israel for use in the slaughter, and I quote; “Only after the Obama team let if be known, it would not object.” The man who stayed silent on Gaza is the man who now condemns Iran.

In a sense, Obama is the myth that is America’s last taboo. His most consistent theme was never “change”, it was power. “The United States,” he said, “leads the world in battling immediate evils and promoting the ultimate good. We must lead by building a 21st century military to ensure the security of our people and advance the security of all people.” And there is this remarkable statement, “At moments of great peril in the past century our leaders ensured that America, by deed and by example, led and lifted the world; that we stood and fought for the freedoms sought by billions of people beyond our borders.” Words like these remind me of the colonel in the village in Viet Nam, as he spun much the same nonsense.

Since 1945, by deed and by example, to use Obama’s words, America has overthrown 50 governments, including democracies, and crushed some 30 liberation movements and bombed countless men, women, and children to death. I’m grateful to Bill Blum for his cataloging of that. And yet, here is the 45th (sic) president of the United States having stacked his government with war mongers and corporate fraudsters and polluters from the Bush and Clinton eras, promising, not only more of the same, but a whole new war in Pakistan. Justified by the murderous clichés of Hilary Clinton, clichés like, “high value targets”. Within three days of his inauguration, Obama was ordering the death of people in faraway countries: Pakistan and Afghanistan. And yet, the peace movement, it seems, is prepared to look the other way and believe that the cool Obama will restore, as Krugman wrote, “the nation of moral ideals.”

Not long ago, I visited the American Museum of History in the celebrated Smithsonian Institute in Washington. One of the most popular exhibitions was called “The Price of Freedom: Americans at War”. It was holiday time and lines of happy people, including many children, shuffled through a Santa’s grotto of war and conquest. When messages about their nation’s great mission were lit up; these included tributes to the; “…exceptional Americans who saved a million lives…” in Viet Nam; where they were, “…determined to stop Communist expansion.” In Iraq other brave Americans, “employed air-strikes of unprecedented precision.” What was shocking was not so much the revisionism of two of the epic crimes of modern times, but the shear scale of omission.

Like all US presidents, Bush and Obama have very much in common. The wars of both presidents and the wars of Clinton and Reagan, Carter and Ford, Nixon and Kennedy are justified by the enduring myth of exceptional America. A myth the late Harold Pinter described as, “a brilliant, witty, highly successful act of hypnosis.”

The clever young man who recently made it to the White House is a very fine hypnotist; partly because it is indeed extraordinary to see an African American at the pinnacle of power in the land of slavery. However, this is the 21st century and race together with gender, and even class, can be very seductive tools of propaganda. For what is so often overlooked and what matters, I believe above all, is the class one serves. George Bush’s inner circle from the State Department to the Supreme Court was perhaps the most multi-racial in presidential history. It was PC par excellence. Think Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell. It was also the most reactionary. Obama’s very presence in the White House appears to reaffirm the moral nation. He’s a marketing dream. But like Calvin Klein or Benetton, he’s a brand that promises something special, something exciting, almost risqué. As if he might be radical. As if he might enact change. He makes people feel good; he’s a post-modern man with no political baggage. And all that’s fake.

In his book, Dreams From My Father, Obama refers to the job he took after he graduated from Columbia in 1983; he describes his employer as, “…a consulting house to multi-national corporations.” For some reason he doesn’t say who his employer was or what he did there. The employer was Business International Corporation; which has a long history of providing cover for the CIA with covert action and infiltrating unions from the left. I know this because it was especially active in my own country, Australia. Obama doesn’t say what he did at Business International and they may be absolutely nothing sinister. But it seems worthy of inquiry, and debate, as a clue to, perhaps, who the man is.

During his brief period in the senate, Obama voted to continue the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He voted for the Patriot Act. He refused to support a bill for single payer health care. He supported the death penalty. As a presidential candidate he received more corporate backing than John McCain. He promised to close Guantanamo as a priority, but instead he has excused torture, reinstated military commissions, kept the Bush gulag intact, and opposed habeas corpus.

Daniel Ellsberg, the great whistleblower, was right, I believe, when he said, that under Bush a military coup had taken place in the United States giving the Pentagon unprecedented powers. These powers have been reinforced by the presence of Robert Gates – a Bush family crony and George W. Bush’s powerful Secretary of Defense. And by all the Bush Pentagon officials and generals who have kept their jobs under Obama.

In the middle of a recession, with millions of Americans losing their jobs and homes, Obama has increased the military budget. In Colombia he is planning to spend 46 million dollars on a new military base that will support a regime backed by death squads and further the tragic history of Washington’s intervention in that region.

In a pseudo-event in Prague, Obama promised a world without nuclear weapons to a global audience, mostly unaware that America is building new tactical nuclear weapons designed to blur the distinction between nuclear and conventional war. Like George Bush, he used the absurdity of Europe threatened by Iran to justify building a missile system aimed at Russia and China. In another pseudo-event, at the Annapolis Naval Academy, decked with flags and uniforms, Obama lied that America had gone to Iraq to bring freedom to that country. He announced that the troops were coming home. This was another deception. The head of the army, General George Casey says, with some authority, that America will be in Iraq for up to a decade. Other generals say fifteen years.

Chris Hedges, the very fine author of Empire of Illusion, puts it very well; “President Obama,” he wrote, “does one thing and brand Obama gets you to believe another.” This is the essence of successful advertising. You buy or do what the advertiser wants because of how they make you feel. And so you are kept in a perpetual state of childishness. He calls this “junk politics”.

But I think the real tragedy is that Obama, the brand, appears to have crippled or absorbed much of the anti-war movement – the peace movement. Out of 256 Democrats in Congress; 30, just 30, are willing to stand up against Obama’s and Nancy Pelosi’s war party. On June the 16th they voted for 106 billion dollars for more war.

The “Out of Iraq” caucus is out of action. Its member can’t even come up with a form of words of why they are silent. On March the 21st, a demonstration at the Pentagon by the once mighty United for Peace and Justice drew only a few thousand. The out-going president of UFPJ, Lesley Kagen, says her people aren’t turning up because, “It’s enough for many of them that Obama has a plan to end the war and that things are moving in the right direction.” And where is the mighty Move On, these days? Where is its campaign against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? And what, exactly, was said when Move On’s executive director, Jason Ruben, met Barack Obama at the White House in February?

Yes, a lot of good people mobilized for Obama. But what did they demand of him? Working to elect the Democratic presidential candidate may seem like activism, but it isn’t. Activism doesn’t give up. Activism doesn’t fall silent. Activism doesn’t rely on the opiate of hope. Woody Allen once said, “I felt a lot better when I gave up hope.” Real activism has little time for identity politics which like exceptionalism, can be fake. These are distractions that confuse and sucker good people. And not only in the United States, I can assure you.

I write for the Italian socialist newspaper, Il Manifesto, or rather I used to write for it. In February I sent the editor an article which raised questions about Obama as a progressive force. The article was rejected. Why, I asked? “For the moment,” wrote the editor, “we prefer to maintain a more positive approach to the novelty presented by Obama. We will take on specific issues, but we would not like to say that he will make no difference.” In other words, an American president drafted to promote the most rapacious system in history, is ordained and depoliticized by important sections of the left. It’s a remarkable situation. Remarkable, because those on the, so called, Radical Left have never been more aware, more conscious of the inequities of power. The Green Movement, for example, has raised the consciousness of millions, so that almost every child knows something about global warming. And yet, there seems to be a resistance, within the Green Movement, to the notion of power as a military force, a military project. And perhaps similar observations can also be made about sections of the Feminist Movement and the Gay Movement and certainly the Union Movement.

One of my favorite quotations is from Milan Kundera,

“The struggle of people against power is [the] struggle of memory against forgetting.”

We should never forget that the primary goal of great power is to distract and limit our natural desire for social justice and equity and real democracy.

Long ago Edward Bernays’ invisible government of propaganda elevated big business from its unpopular status as a kind of mafia to that of a patriotic driving force. The “American way of life” began as an advertising slogan. The modern image of Santa Claus was an invention of Coca Cola.

Today we are presented with an extraordinary opportunity. Thanks to the crash of Wall Street and the revelation, for many ordinary people, that the free market has nothing to do with freedom. The opportunity, within our grasp, is to recognize that something is stirring in America that is unfamiliar, perhaps, to many of us on the left, but is related to a great popular movement that’s growing all over the world. Look down at Latin America, less than twenty years ago there was the usual despair, the usual divisions of poverty and freedom, the usual thugs in uniforms running unspeakable regimes. Today for the first time perhaps in 500 years there’s a people’s movement based on the revival of indigenous cultures and language, a genuine populism. The recent amazing achievements in Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, El Salvador, Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay represent a struggle for community and political rights that is truly historic, with implications for all of us. The successes in Latin America are expressed perversely in the recent overthrow of the government of Honduras, because the smaller the country, the greater is the threat of a good example that the disease of emancipation will spread.

Indeed, right across the world social movements and grass roots organization have emerged to fight free market dogma. They’ve educated governments in the south that food for export is a problem, rather than a solution to global poverty. They’ve politicized ordinary people to stand up for their rights, as in the Philippines and South Africa. Look at the remarkable boycott, disinvestment and sanctions campaign, BDS, for short, aimed at Israel that’s sweeping the world. Israeli ships have been turned away from South Africa and Western Australia. A French company has been forced to abandon plans to build a railway connecting Jerusalem with illegal Israeli settlements. Israeli sporting bodies find themselves isolated. Universities in the United Kingdom have begun to sever ties with Israel. This is how apartheid South Africa was defeated. And this is how the great wind of the 1960s began to blow. And this is how every gain has been won: the end of slavery, universal suffrage, workers rights, civil rights, environmental protection, the list goes on and on.

And that brings us back, here, to the United States, because I believe something is stirring in this country. Are we aware, that in the last eight months millions of angry e-mails, sent by ordinary Americans, have flooded Washington. And I mean millions. People are outright outraged that their lives are attacked; they bear no resemblance to the passive mass presented by the media. Look at the polls; more than 2/3 of Americans say the government should care for those who cannot care for themselves, sixty-four percent would pay higher taxes to guarantee health care for everyone, sixty percent are favorable towards Unions, seventy percent want nuclear disarmament, seventy-two percent want the US completely out of Iraq and so on and so on. But where is much of the left? Where is the social justice movement? Where is the peace movement? Where is the civil rights movement? Ordinary Americans, for too long, have been misrepresented by stereotypes that are contemptuous. James Madison referred to his compatriots in the public as ignorant and meddlesome outsiders. And this contempt is probably as strong today, among the elite, as it was back then. That’s why the progressive attitudes of the public are seldom reported in the media, because they’re not ignorant, they’re subversive, they’re informed and they’re even anti-American. I once asked a friend, the great American war correspondent and humanitarian, Martha Gellhorn, to explain the term “anti-American” to me. “I’ll tell you what anti-American is,” she said in her forceful way, “its what governments and their vested interests call those who honor America by objecting to war and the theft of resources and believing in all of humanity. There are millions of these anti-Americans in the United States, they are ordinary people who belong to no elite and who judge their government in moral terms though they would call it common decency. They are not vain; they are the people with a waitful conscience, the best of America’s citizens. Sure, they disappear from view now and then, but they are like seeds beneath the snow. I would say they are truly exceptional.” Truly exceptional, I like that.

My own guess is that a populism is growing, once again in America evoking a powerful force beneath the surface which has a proud history. From such authentic grass roots Americanism came women suffrage, the eight hour day, graduated income tax, public ownership of railways and communications, the breaking of the power of corporate lobbyists and much more. In other words, real democracy. The American populists were far from perfect, but they often spoke for ordinary people and they were betrayed by leaders who urged them to compromise and merge with the Democratic Party. That was long ago, but how familiar it sounds. My guess is that something is coming again. The signs are there. Noam Chomsky is right when he says that, “Mere sparks can ignite a popular movement that may seem dormant.” No one predicted 1968, no one predicted the fall of apartheid, or the Berlin Wall, or the civil rights movement, or the great Latino rising of a few years ago.

I suggest that we take Woody Allen’s advice and give up on hope and listen, instead, to voices from below. What Obama and the bankers and the generals and the IMF and the CIA and CNN and BBC fear, is ordinary people coming together and acting together. It’s a fear as old as democracy, a fear that suddenly people convert their anger to action as they’ve done so often throughout history.

“At a time of universal deceit,” wrote George Orwell, “telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

Thank you.

Mission not Impossible for John Yettaw

Your mission: neutralize Aung San Suu Kyi’s eligibility for Myanmar’s upcoming elections, to assure the uninterrupted political instability critical to western oil and mining industries, your sponsors.

Swim to the compound of Aung San Suu Kyi, impose yourself and force the populist icon to violate the terms of her 20-year house arrest, thus giving her jailers cause to extend her imprisonment. The US government will disavow your employment, but if you act the sufficient fool, your extraction will be effected by fellow veteran, now senator, Jim Webb, whose visit with the Burma junta will initiate a formalization of relations with their criminal regime. It may sound confusing to Freedom and Democracy fans.

Where peoples and their governments behave autonomously in defiance of global pillage, the US promotes “reform.” Where professional militaries undo elections under the pretext of “corruption,” the US stands by. For example, Iran’s rebuke of US hegemony: needs reform; Honduras slipping to the Left: undo reform. Will Senator Webb next be stopping by Honduras to legitimize their recent military coup as well?

National Assembly is antiwar exclusively

unite-against-the-warReports are emerging from July’s National Assembly, the vital effort to unite antiwar forces into a common movement. Delegates from the major peace organizations hammered out a strategy to address Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Palestine. Missing from the consensus? Nonviolence, and good riddance. It goes without saying that humanitarian activists are peaceful. To legislate a dogma of non-confrontation plays right into the hands of the authoritarians. Here’s the official report:

AN ASSESSMENT OF THE FIRST YEAR OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY TO END THE IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN WARS AND OCCUPATIONS

Address given by Marilyn Levin, member, National Assembly Administrative Body, and Planning Committee, Greater Boston United for Justice with Peace Coalition, to the National Antiwar Conference held July 10-12, 2009 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

July 10-12, 2009, 255 people representing diverse organizations and constituencies from all over the country came together in Pittsburgh:

1) To look at where we are today,

2) To articulate our long range goals to rejuvenate the antiwar movement towards building a massive movement capable of forcing an end to their wars and occupations, to take our money back from the war machine to meet pressing social needs, and to save our planet for our children, and

3) To develop and vote for action plans as steps to realize these objectives.

All of our major objectives were accomplished and we leave today with a comprehensive action agenda to carry us through to next spring. Everyone had a chance to speak and differences were aired without rancor or splits to achieve unity in action.

Friday night’s speakers, along with many conference participants, grappled with how to unify and broaden the movement. Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning, we presented a great roster of workshops covering the major issues we face today. Saturday night’s rally was dynamic and inspiring.

There were two highlights of the conference for me. First was the international component where activist comrades joined us from Canada and courageous labor leaders of powerful mass movements in Haiti and Guadaloupe reminded us that imperialism and the struggle against it are global. There was a statement by members of the Viva Palestina aid convoy detained in Egypt. We passed motions in solidarity with the struggles of the people of Haiti, Honduras, and Palestine.

The second highlight was the discussion on Iran, where, in spite of strong passions stirred up by the rapidly evolving events there, we were able to illuminate the issues and debate our differences. Finally, we were able to agree on a unity position that all could embrace, as well as meeting the foremost call of the Iranians – US Hands off! No Sanctions! No interventions! Self-determination for the Iranian people! A wonderful example of a united front –- as inclusive as possible and taking principled positions that most will accept and act on.

So what is the National Assembly? What you saw this weekend explains who we are and how we function.

Democracy. All were invited and all perspectives welcomed. There was acceptance of the will of the conference even when it diverged from the proposals put forward by the leadership body. We were especially gratified that representatives from all the major antiwar coalitions came and addressed our conference.

Our willingness to struggle for unity and compromise when needed in order to move forward, as evidenced by a leadership that did not impose personal political views on others in service to unity.

An organization that admits to and learns from its mistakes and accepts its limitations when the unity we seek can’t yet be achieved.

An organization that has built a growing cadre of leaders that has developed trust, a structure that works, and a strong working relationship.

And finally, confidence, vision, and optimism. Confidence that we can provide leadership in rebooting our movement. A vision regarding how to accomplish that and an understanding of the necessity for these kinds of conferences leading to action. Optimism that masses of people will move in opposition to these horrendous policies that bring death and destruction and that they will have the power to change the world.

I’ve been asked to give an assessment of the first year since our initiation as an ongoing network with a mission, from our first conference in June, 2008 until today. Last year, we weren’t sure anyone would come and lo and behold 400 people came together in Cleveland to inaugurate a year of activities and set up a structure to maintain our work. A lot has transpired in that year and the National Assembly is well on its way as an established organization recognized throughout the movement as providing leadership and promoting a direction towards growth.

I need to start a little earlier and go back to why the National Assembly was called into existence in the first place.

What we saw, in the spring of 2008, was a movement at a low ebb – one that was shrinking rather than growing in spite of the war dragging on — this while the antiwar sentiment couldn’t be higher, and the disapproval rating for the Bush Administration couldn’t have been lower. From the high point of the largest action against the Iraq War in September, 2005 which drew 700,000 people, there was a pulling away from mass action by significant sections of the movement which supported electoral politics as the central strategy, in spite of a recurring pattern of disappointment when Democratic “antiwar” candidates voted again and again for war and war funding, and a split between the two major national coalitions, UFPJ and ANSWER, one that continues to this day. For the first time in five years, there was not enough unity or mass action perspective for any national demonstrations to take place marking the 5th year of the occupation of Iraq. Fundamentally, there was a vacuum of leadership.

Some far-sighted people like Jerry Gordon and Jeff Mackler, with experience gained from leadership in the last powerful antiwar movement that ended the Vietnam War, felt impelled to act. They began to organize a base of diverse but like-minded activists committed to building and expanding an effective antiwar movement in this country. The vehicle to accomplish this was the first national assembly, a national conference to pull activists together, to analyze the present state of the movement, to discuss where we needed to go and the actions that were needed to get us there.

We developed a unity statement with five basic principles that we hold today as the basis for where we stand:

1) Unity – all sections of the movement working together for common goals and actions;

2) Political Independence – no affiliations or support to any political party;

3) Democracy – decision-making at conferences with one person, one vote;

4) Mass Action – as the central strategy for organizing while embracing other forms of
outreach and protest; and

5) Out Now – the central demand to withdraw all military forces, contractors, and bases
from the countries where the U.S. was waging war on the people.

It seems simple but no one else saw it that way. Our conference was unique in the history of the present movement.

The organizers didn’t know what the mood and composition or strength of the conference would be, so we were cautious and minimal in the program we posed to the conference. We focused on Out Now from Iraq and modest action proposals, not being strong enough to initiate national actions on our own. The conference participants were ahead of us and ready to tackle the larger issues. Proposals were passed to add “Out Now from Afghanistan”, “End U.S. Support for the Occupation of Palestine”, and “Hands off Iran” to our set of demands, and given what has transpired in these areas, we were well prepared to take on a major role.

October 10th actions held in 20 cities were endorsed as well as a call for December actions building towards what we hoped would be unified, nationally coordinated bicoastal mass actions in the spring of 2009, the 6th year of the Iraq occupation. When Gaza was brutally assaulted, we joined with ANSWER and others to march in Washington and to demonstrate in the streets all over the country, and we’re still working under Palestinian leadership to bring justice and relief to a beleaguered population.

We made a concerted effort to find a common date for spring bi-coastal mobilizations. As you know, ANSWER chose March 21st as a day of united protests which we endorsed, while UFPJ called for a national march on Wall St. on April 4th. A number of National Assembly supporters who were also delegates to the UFPJ conference in December formed a mass action unity caucus and went to the conference with a resolution to allow delegates to vote for one or both actions but this was rejected. We’ll keep trying for 2010. The National Assembly endorsed and built both actions and marched behind our signs with our demands. The demonstrations were small (but spirited) and still of major importance.

For us, it’s quality, not quantity, as we position ourselves to be in the forefront as the pendulum swings in our direction once again.

Some take the position that mass demonstrations are not effective, unless we can pull 100,000 protestors into the streets. This is short-sighted and does not address how we get from small to large. Any successful movement for change doesn’t start with 100,000 people, and there has never been significant social change without mass actions. I remember my first anti-Vietnam war demonstration was in 1963 in Detroit and we had 15 people. In 1965, SDS called the first national march against the war in Washington. 25,000 people turned out and we thought it was huge!

Everyone talks about reaching out to the thousands of young people who mobilized to elect Obama. We agree, but we say the way to do this is by offering education and action. Action beyond calling, and emailing, and faxing the politicians they placed in office.

Why are mass demonstrations so important to building a powerful movement? It is because they accomplish so much in the process of building them. They provide:

Continuity. You can’t build anything by starting anew each time. Each action should lead to the next action or open national conference, with success building upon success. We need a continuity of leadership that builds trust and a reputation for integrity, and that learns lessons to improve. We need a continuity of organization and structure that can implement the tasks before us.

Visibility. Actions in the street give heart to the people the U.S. is attacking and occupying, letting them know that they are not alone. Mass actions create solidarity, offering support to anti-war soldiers, vets and their families, and a counter-force to the economic draft facing our youth, and they strengthen and deepen the antiwar sentiment of the people.

Inspiration. New people are brought into the movement, especially the youth, through activism. Have you ever talked to young people coming to a mass demonstration for the first time? They are inspired and thrilled to hear powerful speakers who are leaders of social justice movements and soldiers resisting the wars. They see they are not alone and get a taste of the power of large numbers of people marching together. They are energized to go home and join with others to continue to organize opposition to brutal U.S. wars and occupations. This is the way to reach out to the Obama supporters.

Explanation. An analysis of what is going on is offered along with tying together what seem at first to be disparate elements, i.e., war is tied to the economy, the war budget, bail-outs of the rich, the lack of basic needs being met, justice denied, and the impoverishment of the people.

Pressure on Government. People in this country are taught to be quiet. We’re told that our job is to elect officials whom we agree with periodically and then go home and wait while they fix things. This conveniently maintains the status quo but it sure doesn’t put pressure on them, or scare them, or force social change. Mass actions provide the most effective way to make significant change happen.

Let’s look at the present period. Obama’s election was based in large part on the hopes and aspirations of Americans for peace and a better life based on the promises and assumed promises that were made of peace, justice, and prosperity, which have not and will not be met.

Contrary to expectations, the previous administration’s policies are continued with a more handsome and articulate face. We all know that rather than winding down, wars and interventions are escalating and the rapacious greed of this immoral system knows no bounds.

Simultaneously, the economic crisis is causing terrible hardship for working people and for people who are no longer able to find work and their families. They are using this self-created financial disaster to further cut the standard of living and eliminate a secure future for older people and the young.

It was very moving and yet appalling to see this visually demonstrated when Robin Alexander of the United Electrical Workers Union asked people in the audience to stand who were unemployed, personally knew of soldier casualties, lived in communities where services were being cut, or who were otherwise negatively impacted by the wars and the failing economy. Nearly the entire room, a microcosm of the wider society, was standing by the end of that exercise.

It is inevitable that the present period of quiescence and hanging on to the hope that Obama and the new Congress will save us will come to a crashing end. People will not sit idly by forever while the world around them collapses. We are already seeing the beginnings of stirring. There is a greater willingness to go out in the streets to protest. There is more organizing taking place on campuses, more young people joining the movement. The many proposals for October actions are an indication that there is a widespread awareness of the need for actions this fall and the conviction that the movement must find common dates.

Brian Becker, National Coordinator of ANSWER, urged that we all work together to mount nationally coordinated actions next spring. Michael McPhearson, Co-Chair of UFPJ and Executive Director of Veterans for Peace, announced his support for October 17 and his willingness to do what he could to spur unified actions in the spring of 2010. We must have the faith and confidence that the people have the power to end the atrocities resulting from U.S. wars and occupations, and that they will recognize and utilize this power. As this happens, we must build a stronger antiwar movement that is able to provide leadership and the optimism to forge ahead no matter what the opposition throws at us.

The National Assembly to End the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars and Occupations is helping to provide that leadership and the vision that is needed. Although young and small, in one short year, we are now a force to be taken seriously and negotiated with, and by our persistent call for unity and mass action, our demonstrated ability to organize, and our coordinated strategy for revitalizing the movement, we are having an impact larger than our forces would indicate. In some ways, we too are a product of (and some say an antidote to) the 2008 election. To counter the malaise of the movement, we have quietly been building a solid core of activists and leaders around the country that understand the importance of a united front organized around principled demands and mass actions, not just calling Washington politicians when bills come up and crises happen.

At this conference, we have laid out an ambitious program of action that will take us through the spring of 2010. We are proud that we could provide the kick off for national organizing to bring a massive turnout to Pittsburgh for the G-20 protests September 25. Homeland Security is already making preparations to keep protesters hidden and stifle our right to speak out, but we won’t be silenced.

Following that, are a series of October building actions, culminating in large local and regional demonstrations on October 17 marking dates of significance related to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and occupations and remembering the legacy of the anti-Vietnam war movement. Throughout the year, we will organize educational programs, support various forms of protest and organize around the inevitable emergencies caused by our government’s unholy interventions and threats to other nations.

We have initiated a Free Palestine Working Committee to ensure this work, which includes the growing boycott, divestment, and sanctions campaigns and the efforts to break the siege of Gaza, continues to be in the forefront and fully integrated in our work until justice and self-determination and return is in the hands of the Palestinians.

And lastly, we will continue to advocate for unity of the movement and once again bring thousands to Washington and the West Coast in the spring, to let our government and the world know that the U.S. movement against wars and occupations is alive and will not be quiet.

We will march and continue to march until all U.S. forces come home, bases are dismantled, and the sovereign people of the world have the right to control their own resources and determine their own futures, and the war budget becomes the peace budget.

Don’t sit on the sidelines and watch history being made. We urge all organizations to join the National Assembly and to play your part in building and shaping the powerful movement that is coming.

All out for the September 25 G-20 march in Pittsburgh! All out for the actions in early October! All out October 17!

2p, 2p and Honduras… and Mexico… and Nicaragua… and…

I don’t know if I’ve published this here or not or how I packaged it. But for background, the “p” stands for “piastre” a South VietNamese coin that was worth a little less than a quarter of a U.S. penny. This was the “Great Free Market Opportunity” our government was sending people to fight and die to defend. The way I heard it on some occasions it’s used to condemn the VietNamese people.”How nasty and vile and filthy they are” for living in such poverty.

But it was the VietNamese version of a washroom attendant, a little old granny lady… “Wipe your ass for you, GI… 2p, 2p do extra good job 2p, 2p…”

Yes, we were there, so it seems, to give the people such a wonderful Free Market and the opportunity to wipe our asses for less than a half a cent per “use”.

And to despise them for being so desperately poor.

I wasn’t there, my sources were, so what if you say it’s false?

Talk to them, those who are still alive that is.

Now there’s a war going on in Honduras, backed exclusively by U.S. and Canadian corporations, to topple a “Dictator” who was going to nationalize the resources of Honduras and make the U.S. and Canadian corporations pay more than the 3-4 dollars a day for the labor of the People of Honduras.

The police and military have been battling in the streets for a week now, busting the heads of “elitists” who are trying to “enslave” everybody in Honduras. They did this in a Military coup ahead of an election that the “Dictator” probably would have won.

That there’s no CIVILIANS out busting the heads of these “elitists” and “Communist Radicals” tells a far different story than you might hear on, say, Fox News or in the Colorado Springs Gazette.

In Nicaragua the goon-squads were called “Contras” and backed by the same people who bring us Fox News and the Gazette. They bombed and shot up schools, orphanages, churches and hospitals, and “our” government called them Heroes and Freedom Fighters.

In Mexico, the PAN party has been running the show for a while now. They took over from the “socialist radicals” in the PRI party and for the same reason as Honduras, and Nicaragua, and South VietNamese, to give the people “Freedom” and the unfettered “Free Market” and all the benefits of Capitalism.

Doug Lamborn and Tancredo and Michelle Malkin tell us so, thus, it must be true.

They also tell us that the economy in Mexico after two and a half terms of a PAN controlled “Free” government, so filled with opportunity… is somehow oh.. how does one make this sound logical… fueling a massive wave of Illegal Immigration into the United States. By people seeking to feed their families.

Record Numbers in fact.

My my my my my… give them all the Benefits of a Reagan-inspired Libertarian Free Market and their country falls to shit and more of the people have to flee poverty and come here to find work.

Like the KTEL commercials used to say “Now how much would you pay? BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE!”

They’re wanting to expand the same Corporate Free Market Rule all across the United States as well, promising us such wonderful Economic Freedom and Opportunity…

Wipe your ass GI, 2p, 2p…

Cuba declines OAS offer of Trojan Horse

Over US objections, the Organization of American States (OAS, OEA) voted to invite Cuba back into the fold, from which it had been expelled in 1962 for hanging with Communists. Cuba’s reply? No thanks! Although Cuba’s acceptance by fellow nations was hailed a victory, Fidel Castro wrote: “It is naive to think that the good intentions of one president justifies the existence of a body that… supported… neoliberalism, drug trafficking, military bases and economic crises.”

In an essay published the day before Cuba’s official repudiation of the offer to recommit to the OAS, Fidel Castro recalled a lesson from the siege of Troy. Castro was reported widely as having called the OAS a “U.S. Trojan horse.” In reality, Castro blamed the OAS for having “opened the gates” to the Trojan horse of US post-colonial despotism.

The Trojan horse

RAFAEL Correa, president of Ecuador, currently visiting Honduras, stated the day before the OAS meeting: “I believe that the OAS has lost its raison d’être, maybe it never had a raison d’être.” The news, circulated by ANSA, adds that Correa, “prophesized ‘the demise’ of that organization given the many errors it has committed.”

He affirmed “that the countries of the American continent, given their geographic conditions, cannot all be put ‘in the same basket.’ And for that reason Ecuador proposed some months back the creation of the Organization of Latin American States.

“’It is not possible for the region’s problems to be discussed in Washington; let us construct something of our own, without countries alien to our culture, our values, and obviously including countries that were inexplicably separated from the inter-American system, and I am referring to the concrete case of Cuba… that was a tremendous shame and demonstrates the double standards that exist in international relations.’” On his arrival in Honduras, both President Zelaya and Correa stated that “The OAS must be reformed and reincorporate Cuba; if not, it will have to disappear.”

Another cable from the DPA news agency affirms:

“Cuba’s reintegration in the Organization of American States (OAS) has moved from being an issue per se of the organization’s General Assembly in Honduran San Pedro Sula, to once again being turned into an excuse for a struggle of interests that goes much further than the limits of the Caribbean island and could (once again) call hemispheric relations into question.

“The president of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, made that very clear on describing the hemispheric meeting that begins this Tuesday in Honduras in quasi military terms.

“It will be,” he said, an ‘interesting battle’ in which if it is demonstrated that the OAS ‘continues being a ministry of the colonies’ that is not transformed in order ‘to subordinate itself to the will of the governments comprising it,’ it will be necessary to propose ‘leaving’ the organization and creating an alternative.”

“’Latin American countries are making Cuba the litmus test for the quality of the Obama administration’s approach to Latin America,” Julia E. Sweig, a Cuba scholar at the Council on Foreign Relations, told The Washington Post on the eve of the Honduran meeting.”

In resisting the aggressions of the most powerful empire ever to have existed, our people fought for the other sister peoples of this continent. The OAS was an accomplice of all the crimes committed against Cuba.

At one moment or another, the totality of the countries of Latin America were victims of interventions and political and economic aggression. There is not one single one that can deny that. It is naive to believe that the good intentions of a president of the United States can justify the existence of that institution that opened the gates to the Trojan horse that backed the Summits of the Americas, neoliberalism, drug trafficking, military bases and economic crises. Ignorance, underdevelopment, economic dependence, poverty, the forced return of those who emigrate in search of work, the brain drain, and even the sophisticated weapons of organized crime were the consequences of interventions and plundering proceeding from the North. Cuba, a little country, has demonstrated that it can resist the blockade and advance in many fields, and even cooperate with other countries.

Today’s speech by the president of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, at the OAS General Assembly, contains principles that could go down in history. He said admirable things of his own country. I will confine myself to what he stated on Cuba.

“…In the Assembly of the Organization of American States that begins today in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, we must initiate the process of wise rectifications of old errors committed.

“We, the Latin Americans who were recently here, a couple of weeks or months ago, had a grand summit within the Rio Group in Salvador de Bahía, Brazil. There we made a commitment. The commitment, which was taken down in writing and unanimously by all of Latin America, is that in this San Pedro assembly, by majority vote or consensus, that old and worn error committed in 1962 of expelling the Cuban people from this organization would have to be amended.

“We must not go from this assembly, my dear dignitaries, without repealing the decree of that 8th meeting which sanctioned an entire people for having proclaimed socialist ideas and principles, principles now practiced in all parts of the world, including the United States and Europe (Applause). Today, principles of seeking different development alternatives are evident precisely in the change that there has been in the United States with the election of President Barack Obama…

“We cannot go from this assembly without making amends for that error and that infamy because, on the basis of this Organization of American States resolution, in existence for more than four decades, an unjust and useless blockade has been maintained against this sister people of Cuba, precisely because none of its aims have been achieved, but what it has demonstrated is that here, a few kilometers from our country, on a little island, there is a people prepared to resist and to make sacrifices for their independence and sovereignty.

“… not doing so would make us accomplices of a 1962 resolution to expel a state from the Organization of American States simple because it has other ideas, other thoughts, and proclaims principles of a different democracy. And we are not going to be accomplices of that.

“…We cannot go from this assembly without repealing what was enacted in that epoch.

“An exceptional Honduran, called in our country – and one of our national heroes – José Cecilio del Valle, the sage Valle, stated on April 17, 1826, in his famous article ‘Sovereignty and non-intervention’ – we had just proclaimed our independence from the Spanish kingdom – “’The nations of the world are independent and sovereign. Whatever its territorial extension or number of inhabitants might have been, a nation must treat others with the same treatment that it desires to receive from these. A nation does not have the right to intervene in the internal affairs of another nation.’”

With those words of Cecilio del Valle and the mention of Mahatma Gandhi, Jesus Christ, Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln, Morazán, Martí, Sandino and Bolívar, he concluded his speech.

A few minutes later, at the press conference after the opening of the Assembly, he responded to questions and reiterated principles. Then he gave the floor to Daniel Ortega, who was the author of one of the most profound and well-argued papers at the OAS Assembly. At Zelaya’s invitation, Fernando Lugo, president of Paraguay, and Rigoberto Menchú also spoke, expressing themselves in terms similar to Zelaya and Daniel.

The Assembly has been debating for hours. As I am concluding this Reflection, almost at nightfall, there is still no news of the decision. It is known that Zelaya’s speech was influential. Chávez is talking with [Venezuelan Foreign Minister] Maduro and urging him to firmly maintain that no resolution can be admitted that conditions the repeal of the unjust sanction against Cuba. Never has such rebellion been seen. Without any doubt, the battle is a hard one. Many countries are dependent on the index finger of one hand of the government of the United States pointing at the Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the InterAmerican Development Bank or in any other direction for punishing rebelliousness. Having waged it is already a feat in itself on the part of the most rebellious. June 2, 2009 will be recalled by future generations.

Cuba is not an enemy of peace, nor reluctant to interchange or cooperation among countries of distinct political systems, but has been and always will be intransigent in the defense of its principles.

Fidel Castro signature

Fidel Castro Ruz – June 2, 2009

Benazir Bhutto of Team America

Benazir Bhutto in true colorsWhy was Benazir Bhutto’s return to Pakistan feted with bombs? Whether the bombers were Pakistani security forces or Talibani “terrorists” or western black-ops (each faction by coincidence also fingered for 9/11), they targeted Bhutto because she represents US interests for Pakistan.
 
Our media says she heralds Democracy, their corporate owners know the truth is Capitalism of the most sordid exploitive kind. The press corps traveled with Bhutto on her much hyped homecoming from self-exile. Did their emotion-drenched personal interest leave any doubt their girl’s a member of the American-Dream team?

Team America includes:
Hamid Karzai, President of AFGHANISTAN
Alvaro Uribe, President of COLOMBIA
Meles Zenawi, President of ETHIOPIA
Rene Preval, President of HAITI
Emile Lahoud, President of LEBANON
Felipe Calderon, President of MEXICO
Mahmoud Abbas, President of OCCUPIED PALESTINE
Mohammed Yousef, Puppet in waiting in SOMALIA
Yoweri Museveni, President of UGANDA

Remember these US agents?
General Jorge Rafael Videla, President of ARGENTINA
Colonel Hugo Banzer, President of BOLIVIA
General Humberto Branco, President of BRAZIL
Sir Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan of BRUNEI
General Augusto Pinochet, President of CHILE
Fulgencio Batista, President of CUBA
Rafael Leonidas Trujillo, President of the DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Maximiliano Hernandez Martinez, General of EL SALVADOR
Alfredo Cristiani, President of EL SALVADOR
Halie Selassie, Emperor of ETHIOPIA
General Sitiveni Rabuka, Commander, Armed Forces of FIJI
George Papadopoulos, Prime Minister of GREECE
General Efrain Rios Mont, President of GUATEMALA
Vinicio Cerezo, President of GUATEMALA
François & Jean Claude Duvalier, Presidents-for-Life of HAITI
Roberto Suazo Cordova, President of HONDURAS
General Suharto, President of INDONESIA
Mohammad Reza Pahlevi, Shah of IRAN, King of Kings
Saddam Hussein, President of IRAQ
General Samuel Doe, President of LIBERIA
Hussan II, King of MOROCCO
Anastasio Somoza, Sr. And Jr., Presidents of NICARAGUA
Mohammed Zia Ul-Haq, President of PAKISTAN
General Manuel Noriega, Chief of Defense forces, PANAMA
Alfredo Stroessner, President-for-Life of PARAGUAY
Ferdinand Marcos, President of the PHILIPPINES
Antonio De Oliveira Salazar, Prime Minister of PORTUGAL
Ian Smith, Prime Minister of RHODESIA
P. W. Botha, President of SOUTH AFRICA
Park Chung Hee, President of SOUTH KOREA
Ngo Dinh Diem, President of SOUTH VIET NAM
General Francisco Franco, President of SPAIN
Chiang Kai-Shek, President of TAIWAN
Turgut Ozal, Prime Minister of TURKEY
Mobutu Sese Seko, President of ZAIRE

How the US and its allies stole children in El Salvador

Many Americans are somewhat aware that the Argentinian allies of the US once stole babies from mothers that they had imprisoned, tortured, and then murdered. Those babies were then given to families of the leaders of the Argentinian military and government itself! This is an international scandal that still effects how many people perceive Argentinian society to this very day. It is a horrible legacy of the Dirty War that the US and its ally, the Argentinian government, waged on the Latin American Left.

In El Salvador, as in Guatemala and Honduras, too, the allies of the US engaged in the same sort of war crime; the stealing of children from their parents. Some of these children ended up in the US, others in Europe, and others were found dead, or inside El Salvador with families other than their natural ones. The New York Times has a recent story about one such child that as an adult has just relocated her natural family with the help of an organization called Pro-Busqueda. Check out their website for more info on their work.