Tag Archives: School of the Americas

Banana Republic Redux

Like the infamous Case Law which decided over a century ago that Guatemala, Costa Rica and El Salvador to be, while still “sovereign” nations, the property of American Banana Companies      And Cocaine, which was legal at the time, and Coffee, and other “strategic resources”. Only this time, the people in the Banana Republic, in this case Colombia, are contesting the Imperial Corporations and their so-called “right” to use private armies to murder private citizens in what is essentially a Puppet Dictatorship.  This could possibly lead somewhere, since the U.S. has shot off all the ammunition the people for generations to come are going to be buying because it was all bought on Credit.There’s a line of creditors waiting outside our Collective Door including Russia, China, Brazil, the European Union and various member states of each entity with everything short of an eviction notice.        “Paw, the Sheriff’s at the door and he’s got a handful of Papers”     

I don’t for a moment believe that any replacement Empire will be better than what is already established, “mejor el diablo que ya tiene, que el Santo desconocido” which is a Spanish saying “Better the devil you know than the Saint you don’t”  which sounds more than a little satanic.        On the other hand, there don’t seem to be many Saints in that growing line of Sheriff’-at-the-door.              Now would be as good a time as any to add the U.S. Military to the list of defendants because, really, they’ve been backing the Banana Companies the same way.  The U.S. Military was used as a private army in a rigged “revolution” in Panama to ensure U.S. Corporations got to build the Panama Canal.  “panama” which at the time was part of Colombia.

When Puppet Dictator and Iran/Contra accomplice Manuel Noriega started making waves about the U.S. Corporate Dictators, his Masters, reneging on the Canal Zone treaty which would have given their Corporate Subsidiary Panama control over the Canal,

The U.S. Corporate Military created a provocation, CLAIMING that a U.S. Serviceman was murdered in the Canal Zone, and, as always, “Sent in the Marines”. to “protect freedom”. Lying sacks of shit they are.

Their sole reason was to rein in a Rogue Puppet who had tried to break his strings. Just like their Puppet Saddam Hussein and the former mercenaries the Taliban, once the Soviet Union was declared dead.

Everything else is just a made-up excuse.


Yes it was the iconic reaction shot

The White House Situation Room group photo of everyone fixated on the live video feed of Operation Geronimo was “iconic” alright, in composition virtually Alfred Aisenstaedt’s original. Your eye is drawn to center right where Hillary Clinton recoils not sure what to think, she’s a foil to the uniform enthusiasm. Scanning the background as we read a page, Biden knows they’re going to hell, Obama is the everyman caught mid-gasp, he reflects us. The rest are the upraised arm, cheering with ass-kicking glee. In Paris they were watching St. George slay the dragon, puppets no less –how far we’ve come– though Punch & Judy would have been analogous enough: a Navy Seals home invasion, Fort Benning School of the Americas style; a night-visioned, take-no-prisoners death squad, riding in on not just the proverbial black helicopters, but apparently a black-budget three-rotor model never yet publicly unveiled, literally, bin Laden was shown it and they had to kill him.

Reagan’s legacy in El Salvador

soa-school-americas-fort-benningAfter the US government put the death squads in power with oodles of US tax payer money pouring in to pay for the Pentagon organized terrorism there, what is his legacy in El Salvador today? Funes Enjoys Honeymoon Period in El Salvador with a 70% approval rating. He is the FMLN (the people Reagan had us killing) candidate who is now President after 4 ‘terms’ of US/ ARENA dictatorship imposed by the Pentagon on the Salvadoran people.

Barack says his effort at image repair for US government to begin immediately

Western Hemisphere Institute for Security CooperationHow do you begin to repair US image abroad without really doing so much of anything? You don’t say a word really against the torture regime that your political party participated in running along with its supposed political opposition, the Republicans, but you begin to close the US Government’s most blatant image problem down…. name wise. That would be Gitmo… Guantanamo. See: Obama prepares to issue order to close Gitmo.

That’s kind of like in 2000 how Slick Willie Bill Clinton changed the US military’s torture school from the name of School of Americas (the SOA) to the totally obscured name of Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC). Nothing else changed except the name. Not too surprising since Obama has stacked his new Administrative Cabinet with all those old Slick Willie retreads.

Bet you had never even heard of the name WHINSEC, now had you? And I bet you that Obama has no plans to really end US government use of torture but rather to hide it more away. Bets on that Obama will actually close down ‘WHINSEC’? Didn’t think so… The US Government has always used torture on POWs. The Vietnamese could tell the typical American something about that, as so could many a Latino. How many Democratic Party presidents and top politicians have helped administer US military torture through the years? How many countries has the US government helped their government use torture on other peoples? Your guess is as good as mine?

Close the School of the Americas

Click for more pictures on SOA press conferenceDennis Apuan and Genie and Bill Durland, pictured at right, head to Fort Benning Georgia to make an annual plea to close the S. O. A. aka School of Assassins, where Central and South American military death squads are known to receive their training.

Here is the address which Dennis Apuan delivered:

Friends in the struggle,
For almost 60 years, the School of the Americas has trained over 60,000 Latin American soldiers in tactics that are used to wage war against their own people. Courses taught at the school include counterinsurgency techniques, sniper training, commando and psychological warfare, military intelligence and interrogation tactics. Among those targeted by SOA graduates are educators, union organizers, religious workers, student leaders, and others who work for human rights.

Despite this targeting, large social movements throughout Latin America fight for justice and have successfully brought popular change to their countries. For 15 years, tens of thousands of people in the United States have worked in solidarity to close the SOA through a variety of means.

On November 17-19, 2006, at least three Colorado Springs residents will converge with tens of thousands on Fort Benning – one of the largest military bases in the world and home to the notorious School of the Americas – to confront injustice, to speak out for peace and to change oppressive U.S. foreign policy. This is a time of great change in our world, and justice is within our reach when we stand up in numbers too big to be ignored.

We will close this school that has created so much death and suffering.

History is made by movements – mass movements of people who organize themselves to struggle collectively for a better world. An increasing number of people have realized that U.S. government policy is out of alignment with their values. The movement for justice and against war and exploitation is growing stronger.

So many around the world continue the struggles for justice and human rights: peasants, indigenous and black communities, trade unionists and students are taking to the streets. By standing up and standing together, we can overturn any injustice. By standing up and standing together, we can change the world.

The movement to close the School of the Americas is a nonviolent force to change oppressive U.S. foreign policy as represented by institutions like the SOA. It is made up of people from many backgrounds who work towards a positive and fundamentally different alternative to the racist system of violence and domination.

We at the peace movement have been tremendously successful. The SOA issue has educated thousands about the reality of U.S. intervention in Latin America and U.S. foreign policy in general. Thousands have mobilized and engaged in nonviolent direct action. Because, as Arundhati Roy writes, “the trouble is that once you see it, you cannot unsee it. And once you’ve seen it, keeping quiet, saying nothing, becomes as political an act as speaking out. There’s no innocence. Either way, you’re accountable.”

SOA Watch made history on June 9, 2006 when the House of Representatives voted on our amendment to cut funding for the SOA. Rep. Jim McGovern of Massachusetts and Rep. John Lewis of Georgia introduced an amendment to the Foreign Operations Appropriations bill that would have cut funding for the notorious school.

While the amendment failed by a vote of 188 to 218, this vote was a major victory for our movement. After 6 years without a vote in Congress, we gained ground with bipartisan support for opposing the school despite the vote occurring in one of the most conservative Congresses in recent memories. Some more of our victories include:

Securing support of 29 Republican Members of Congress.

Attracting the interest of powerful members of Congress to speak in favor of our amendment including Rep. Lee (CA), Meehan (MA), Lowey (NY), Kucinich (OH), and Schakowsky (IL).

Forcing the opposition to win by only 218 votes; the bare minimum to win the majority of the House.

Gaining the support of many new members of the House, as well as retaining previous supporters.

Surprising the opposition with the amendment, and forcing them to concede time in the House floor debate due to a lack of support on their side

These victories have undoubtedly energized our movement. We are grateful to our sisters and brothers in Latin America for their inspiration and the invitation to join them in their struggle for justice. The Americas have a strong legacy of resistance. As activists and organizers in North America, we have a lot to learn from our companeras in Latin America who have been fighting oppression for the past 514 years. To do so, we must come to grips with our own privilege and recognize how it shapes our assumptions about struggle and the future.

-Dennis Apuan, Colorado Springs, November 14, 2006