Central America, Yelling Louder: A Dead Man’s Treasury of Death Squads, Torture, Fascism

When is the last time you saw much news about any nations of Central America from MSM sources?  Or remember how the atrocities there were given the diminutive descriptor “football wars?”

If there is one thing to note about the Babylon war, it is that those headlines obscure so much back story to torture, death squads and fascism as sponsored by the US taxpayer since World War II.

Due to recent demand for discussion of Latin American issues, this diary is a mere primer, a postcard in relation to a world of ills wreaked upon Central America with official US support since just the 1970’s.  Public comprehension among the US public is so feeble it is difficult to know where to start.  Therefore this account is submitted as a mere scratchpad to which the author requests others to attach relevant links and information.  Because the sore recent history of the region known as Central America is diffused by individualizing separate nations’ ills.  When viewed as a region it might paralyze one’s conscience for shock.

The very concept of Central America is up for grabs, depending on whether you ask US, Latin American or European sources, some which include or disclude Belize and southeastern Mexico.  In English, Central America is understood to be the extreme tip of the North American Continent and for our purposes here will include Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama.

Historically the majority of modern Central America was part of Mesoamerica, but for purposes of studying recent conflict one needs to look to the numerous Spanish invasions of the region, starting with their conquest of the Maya in the 1520s.

In 1540 Spain established the Captaincy General of Guatamala  extending from southern Mexico to Costa Rica which includes current Central America minus Belize.  Three centuries later a rebellion inspired by Mexico’s War of Independence (against the Spanish) of 1812 resulted in the vigorous and, alas, successful oppression of primarily indigenous people (most people from Mexico south are primarily native American, Spanish only in surname) by a tyrannical Spanish-blooded aristocracy who outdid all other Spanish for expropriation of native rural lands.  

Before it turned utterly ugly, upon successful revolt from Spanish authority, the Captaincy General of Guatemala was part of one First Mexican Empire and then a Guatemala City-based Federal Republic of Central America which lasted 15 years (including present day Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica (incorporating regions of Panama and Chiapas).

And this is where history becomes quite sketchy and biased, wiki tersely mentioning how the Republic disintegrated into “civil wars.”

_____

Speaking as one who has spent the last year living and traveling in Mexico, it is quite telling how differently history has played out for this nation as opposed to the rest of Central America (some define Central America as including Mexico).  In their five revolutions the Mexican people have more or less successfully driven back the Spanish aristocracy, taking back the land for the people.  While reputed to be poor, most rural Mexicans have this:  they own their land free and clear.  They are surely a mostly “uncapitalized” landowner class, known as “the unbanked” by bankers, as they have historically refused to place money in banks or deal with them in much of any way.  Therefore when reading poverty statistics in Mexico, do bear in mind that there is no way for “official” sources to count monies of people who bury all their coin in their yards.

Central America, on the other hand, collectively reeks of brutal oppression by the few landowning families which have oppressed their peasants.  No doubt taking note of the incremental defeat of the Spanish aristocracy in Mexico, the Central American “Oligarchies” have done everything in their power to ensure that rural agrarian indigenous people remain landless servants of the privileged class.  

These conflicts have been interpreted by the US MSM as “fighting communism” [hold bag, think of Reagan, begin wretching now]. While Marx may have held sway over the minds of literate indigenous Central Americans, the overall story dynamic might be told quite differently by the people.  

But :  after what they have gone through in the past 30 years when US taxpayers’ money funded CIA-sponsored activity (think School of the Americas) with the military dictatorships joined at the hip with Spanish Central American Oligarchy… don’t be expecting indigenous Central America to talk too much.  For that matter, the more eloquent among them are long dead, mostly committed to mass graves by death squads.  After development of a police state not unlike something out of 20th century Germany, the voice of the common man of Central America is pretty well broken.  Still.

At this point, for brevity’s sake, it is perhaps expedient to reduce our focus for a taste of modern Central American affairs.  One of the prime moving forces for maintaining a Central American federation of some kind has been El Salvador.

Meet the Oligarchy

Perhaps the worse case study of an oligarchy can be found in the economic one trick pony of El Salvador (95% of the economy is coffee production) we see the roots of a tyrannical police state:

The enormous profits that coffee yielded as a monoculture export served as an impetus for the process whereby land became concentrated in the hands of an oligarchy of few families. A succession of presidents from the ranks of the Salvadorian oligarchy, nominally both conservative and liberal, throughout the last half of the nineteenth century generally agreed on the promotion of coffee as the predominant cash crop, on the development of infrastructure (railroads and port facilities) primarily in support of the coffee trade, on the elimination of communal landholdings to facilitate further coffee production, on the passage of anti-vagrancy laws to ensure that displaced campesinos and other rural residents provided sufficient labour for the coffee fincas (plantations), and on the suppression of rural discontent. In 1912, the national guard was created as a rural police force.  *

The one trick pony economy of El Salvador (95% coffee) was profitable… if you were a member of the oligarchy.  If you were a peasant, you might run to the hills only to be rounded up by the rural police force, then forced into labor on a plantation.  Thus almost ceaseless peasant unrest countervailed by ever more brutal oppression techniques of the oligarchy and their military/paramilitary organizations:

El Salvador’s early history as an independent state was marked by frequent revolutions; not until the period 1900-30 was relative stability achieved. The economic élite, based on agriculture and some mining, ruled the country in conjunction with the military.

The economy, based on coffee-growing after the mid-19th century, as the world market for indigo withered away, prospered or suffered as the world coffee price fluctuated. From 1931–the year of the coup in which Gen. Maximiliano Hernández Martínez came to power until he was deposed in 1944 there was brutal suppression of rural resistance. The most notable event was the 1932 Salvadoran peasant uprising, commonly referred to as La Matanza (the massacre), headed by Farabundo Martí and the retaliation led by Martínez’s government, in which approximately 30,000 indigenous people and political opponents were murdered, imprisoned or exiled. Until 1980, all but one Salvadoran temporary president was an army officer. Periodic presidential elections were seldom free or fair and an oligarchy in alliance with military forces ruled the nation. As in many Latin American countries, this inequality led to peasant opposition to the oligarchy. The result was the Salvadoran Civil War (1980-1992), largely a peasant revolution.   *

Earlier during 1976-1980 President Jimmy Carter cut off military funding from the El Salvadoran oligarchy, but other suppliers jumped right in:

When the Carter Administration took office in 1977 it wasted little time putting into practice a principle enunciated during the presidential campaign and by Congress in 1976: U.S. aid would be cut off to recipients who were gross and persistent abusers of human rights. The idea was to encourage dictatorial regimes to modify their behavior and reinstate themselves in Washington’s good graces.

It was a fairly reasonable assumption; after all, many of these tyrants had been through U.S. military programs and had adopted the anticommunist line that a succession of U.S. governments had encouraged. Washington had sired both the Nicaraguan and Guatemalan regimes, and was not without profound influence in El Salvador.

(…)

In the 1960s, the U.S. had presided over the foundation of CONDECA, a regional military council intended “to coordinate and centralize military command of the region under U.S. military supervision.” In El Salvador, the Kennedy Administration set in motion a series of meetings among Central American leaders that led to the establishment of the feared ANSESAL secret police and its “parallel domestic security agencies in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, Honduras, and Costa Rica.” Years later the CIA connections of ANSESAL would come to light in close connection with the death squads which have terrorized El Salvador since the 1970s.

 *

So just what kind of human rights abuses are we talking about, President Carter?

It turns out the roots of torture – literally the laboratory and the writers of the torture manuals themselves – were right next door in Honduras (realize that when the oligarchy settled, they did not necessarily confine themselves within borders – at that time the region was a federation).

Ever wonder why tiny little El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicauragua were ever included in the “Coalition of the Willing?”  It was a handy way to fund Central American torture specialists who graduated from the School of the Americas, specifically those who were a part of the notorious Battalion 316 of Honduras.  All that Wiki has to say about it:

Battalion 316 was a Honduran Army unit responsible for carrying out hundreds of political assassinations and widespread torture of suspected political opponents of the government during the 1980s. Battalion members received extensive training and support from the United States Central Intelligence Agency both in Honduras and at US military bases.  wiki

Another source looks much deeper.  From a Baltimore Sun article titled Torture was taught by CIA; Declassified manual details the methods used in Honduras; Agency denials refuted, here are the very manuals used in contemporary times:

WASHINGTON — A newly declassified CIA training manual details torture methods used against suspected subversives in Central America during the 1980s, refuting claims by the agency that no such methods were taught there.

“Human Resource Exploitation Training Manual — 1983” was released Friday in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by The Sun on May 26, 1994.

The CIA also declassified a Vietnam-era training manual called “KUBARK Counterintelligence Interrogation — July 1963,” which also taught torture and is believed by intelligence sources to have been a basis for the 1983 manual.

Torture methods taught in the 1983 manual include stripping suspects naked and keeping them blindfolded. Interrogation rooms should be windowless, dark and soundproof, with no toilet.

“The ‘questioning’ room is the battlefield upon which the ‘questioner’ and the subject meet,” the 1983 manual states. “However, the ‘questioner’ has the advantage in that he has total control over the subject and his environment.”

The 1983 manual was altered between 1984 and early 1985 to discourage torture after a furor was raised in Congress and the press about CIA training techniques being used in Central America. Those alterations and new instructions appear in the documents obtained by The Sun, support the conclusion that methods taught in the earlier version were illegal.

A cover sheet placed in the manual in March 1985 cautions: “The use of force, mental torture, threats, insults or exposure to inhumane treatment of any kind as an aid to interrogation is prohibited by law, both international and domestic; it is neither authorized nor condoned.”

The Sun’s 1994 request for the manuals was made in connection with the newspaper’s investigation of kidnapping, torture and murder committed by a CIA-trained Honduran military unit during the 1980s. The CIA turned over the documents — with passages deleted — only after The Sun threatened to sue the agency to obtain the documents.

Human rights abuses by the Honduran unit known as Battalion 316 were most intense in the early 1980s at the height of the Reagan administration’s war against communism in Central America. They were documented by The Sun in a four-part series published from June 11 to 18, 1995.   *

These early manuals detail methods reported in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib.  A chilling read for those with the stomach for it.

Back to the future

One can but be amazed by the police state set up in El Salvador during the ’70’s with US tax dollars in defense of the oligarchy and their military henchmen:

El Salvador simply began to buy its weapons from Israel. Between the 1977 U.S. cutoff and the resumption of U.S. aid in 1981, El Salvador obtained over 80 percent of its weapons from Israel.

(…)

During this period as well, Israeli technicians began installing a computer system able to monitor utilities usage, thus giving the military the ability to pinpoint houses where the telephone is heavily used, presumably signifying that political organizing is going on. (A similar system provided by Israel to Guatemala does the same with water and electricity use. According to former Col. Guerra, the Israelis began work on the system in 1978. As an electronic engineer familiar with El Salvador’s telecommunications installations, he did not believe that another company would be brought in to finish the work, despite two changes of government and the reentry of the U.S., following the installation of the Reagan Administration.

It is quite certain that installation was completed. A CIA source described a telephone-monitoring computer system to a journalist in El Salvador, and Arnaldo Ramos of the FDR (the Democratic Revolutionary Front, the political grouping fighting against the U.S.-backed government) has spoken of another use to which the Salvadoran regime puts the computer equipment:

They periodically block several downtown areas and take the ID’s of people, just to check who they are. If they find the person happens to be downtown in an area where he’s not supposed to be too often during the week, that right away makes him a suspect.

 *

Sometime around the 1970’s, death squads got going in earnest throughout Central America, credited with genesis in El Salvador along with state-sponsored torture and police state repression.

Perhaps the exact numbers who fell to death squads in Central America will never be known.  The numbers too are difficult to match with population statistics, for first you have to believe that “official sources” can or even want to count with accuracy.  Given world population growth almost doubling in the past several decades, given the current stated population of Central America (42,382,000 (2006 est.)), the amount of the population executed (never mind the millions who fled) are disturbing.  El Salvador’s current population is stated to currently be a little over 5 ¾ million; given a population of 3 million in 1975, and stated estimates of 75,000 killed by death squads over the next ten years, that would be 2.5% of the population.  These figures are elusive, but a certain index of the horrific slaughter seen in the region.  Guatemala death squad estimates often run around 200,000; Honduras evidently has no clear figures available nor Nicaragua, except to note citations that the torture training occurred in Nicaragua’s neighbor Honduras in order to bring the “experts” in to aid Contra activity in the ’80s.

The police state activities in El Salvador worsened courtesy of US tax dollars once Reagan was back at the helm.  This is when death squads came into play more than ever:

El Salvador, 1961-84.

During the Kennedy administration, agents of the U.S. government set up 2 security organizations that killed thousands of peasants and suspected leftists over the next 15 years. Guided by Americans, these organizations into the paramilitary units that were the death squads: in 1984 the CIA, in violation U.S. law, continued to provide training, support, and intelligence to security forces involved in death squads. Over the years the CIA and U.S. military organized Orden, the rural paramilitary and intelligence net designed to use terror. Mano Blanco grew out of Orden, which a U.S. ambassador called the “birth of the death squads;” conceived and organized Ansesal, the elite presidential intelligence service that gathered files on Salvadoran dissidents and gave that information to the death squads; recruited General Medrano, the founder of Orden and Ansesal as a CIA agent; supplied Ansesal, the security forces, and the General Staff with electronic, photographic, and personal surveillance of individuals who later assassinated by death squads; and, trained security forces in the use of investigative techniques, weapons, explosives, and interrogation with “instruction in methods of physical and psychological torture. The Progressive, 5/1984, pp. 20-29

 *

Revolution broke out during the ascendancy of President Duarte.  Of course the US MSM presented it as a “struggle against communism:”

The United States was supporting the government of El Salvador, said President Ronald Reagan, because it was trying “to halt the infiltration into the Americas, by terrorists and by outside interference, and those who aren’t just aiming at El Salvador but, I think, are aiming at the whole of Central and possibly later South America and, I’m sure, eventually North America.”

(…)

If the insurgents in El Salvador, the smallest country by far in all of Central and south America, were engaged in what Ronald Reagan perceived as a plot to capture the Western Hemisphere, others saw it as the quintessential revolution.

Viewed in the latter context, it cannot be asserted that the Salvadorean people rushed precipitously into revolution at the first painful sting of repression, or turned to the gun because of a proclivity towards violent solutions, or a refusal to “work within the system” or because of “outside agitators”, or any of the other explanations of why people revolt, so dear to the hearts of Washington opinion makers. For as long as anyone could remember, the reins of El Salvador’s government had resided in the hands of one military dictatorship or another, while the economy had been controlled by the celebrated 14 coffee and industrial families, with only the occasional, short-lived bursting of accumulated discontent to disturb the neat arrangement.  

It seems in retrospect that US involvement strove to outdo Israel’s support of the oligarchy in developing a police state:

In December 1980, New York Times, reporter Raymond Bonner asked Jose Napoleon Duarte “why the guerrillas were in the hills”. Duarte, who had just become president of the ruling junta, responded with an answer that surprised Bonner: “Fifty years of lies, fifty years of injustice, fifty years of frustration. This is a history of people starving to death, living in misery. For fifty years the same people had all the power, all the money, all the jobs all the education, all the opportunities.”

(…)

Throughout the 1960s, multifarious American experts occupied themselves in El Salvador by enlarging and refining the state’s security and counter-insurgency apparatus: the police, the National Guard, the military, the communications and intelligence networks, the co-ordination with their counterparts in other Central American countries … as matters turned out, these were the forces and resources which were brought into action to impose widespread repression and wage war. Years later, the New York Times noted:

“In El Salvador, American aid was used for police training in the 1950’s and 1960’s and many officers in the three branches of the police later became leaders of the right-wing death squads that killed tens of thousands of people in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s.”


(…)

The government and its paramilitary right-wing vigilante groups-“death squads” is the self-named modern genre- countered with a campaign centered upon leaders of labor unions, peasant organizations and political parties, as well as priests and lay religious workers. “Be Patriotic-Kill a Priest” was the slogan of one death squad. Church people were accused of teaching subversion to the peasants, what the church people themselves would call the word of God, in this the only country in the world named after Christ. The CIA and the US military played an essential role in the conception and organization of the security agencies from which the death squads emanated. CIA surveillance programs routinely supplied these agencies with information on, and the whereabouts of, various individuals who wound up as death squad victims.

(…)

The amount of American military aid to El Salvador from 1980 to the early 1990s, for the hardware alone, ran into the billions of dollars. Six billion is the figure commonly used in the press, but the true figure will never be known. The Arms Control and Foreign Policy Caucus, a bipartisan congressional group, accused the Reagan administration in the mid ]980s of supplying “insufficient, misleading and in some cases false information” concerning aid to El Salvador. The administration, concluded the Caucus study, categorized most military aid as “development” aid, and undervalued the real cost of the hardware even when it was properly categorized as military aid.”

To this must be added the cost of training Salvadorean military personnel by the thousands in the United States, and the Panama Canal Zone, as well as in El Salvador; the further training which was provided in the earlier years by Argentina, Chile and Uruguay at US behest; and the substantial military aid routed through Israel, a maneuver employed by the United States elsewhere in Central America as well.

(…)

Officially, the US military presence in El Salvador was limited to an advisory capacity. In actuality, military and CIA personnel played a more active role on a continuous basis from as early as 1980.

A little more about the “protected class” known as the Oligarchy:

For the benefit of which Salvadoreans did Arena remain in power? For which of them had 75,000 civilians been killed? For whom was the US Treasury reduced by $6 billion. Two reports from the New York Times ..

.

‘Over canapés served by hovering waiters at a party, a guest said she was convinced that God had created two distinct classes of people the rich and people to serve them. She described herself as charitable for allowing the poor to work as her servants. “It’s the best you can do,” she said.

The woman s outspokenness was unusual, but her attitude is shared by a large segment of the Salvadoran upper class.

The separation between classes is so rigid that even small expressions of kindness across the divide are viewed with suspicion. When an American, visiting an ice cream store, remarked that he was shopping for a birthday party for his maid’s child, other store patrons immediately stopped talking and began staring at the American. Finally, an astonished woman in the check out line spoke out. “You must be kidding,” she said.’

One of their class, who had had enough and was leaving, commented to the Times: I can’t accept the fact that if you’re born a peasant here, you die a peasant and your children are going to be peasants. There’s no vision that kids of farmhands should be going Harvard and running this country one day. There’s no vision of a modern society.”  

(…)

The extent of American mercenary involvement in El Salvador is not known, but Lawrence Bailey, a former US Marine, has stated that he was part of a team of 40 American soldiers of fortune paid by wealthy Salvadorean families living in Miami to protect their plantations from takeover by the rebels.

*

And the outcome?

In October 2000 those who read the inside pages of the New York Times were able to keep up with the lives of Generals Vides Casanova and Garcia. They had retired, and they lived in South Florida. They had been living there since 1989, and as the lawyers for the plaintiff alleged in a lawsuit soon to be described, they lived there “surrounded by relatives.” They had been granted “green cards,” permanent residence, by the United States government. In addition, they received awards from the United States military, as well as the United States Legion of Merit award from President Ronald Reagan in 1984.

(…)

As is usually the case with truth commissions, the one for El Salvador did not focus on Washington’s support for the government despite this, the chapter provides sufficient evidence to prove this support for San Salvador along with the other two central questions that the evidence is asked to resolve)   That terror was committed in El Salvador is not disputed. Those who doubt this should reread the above and realize that an estimated 75,000 were killed in this small country in the period 1980 to 1991. The truth commission found that the terrorism that was committed in the country was overwhelmingly governmental terrorism, committed by the Salvadoran army, the National Guard, and their death squads and affiliated agencies. They were responsible for 95 percent of the deaths, the guerrillas for only five percent.

These were the same institutions that were the concern and the favorites of Washington-receiving its indoctrination and training and profiting from its largess. El Salvador received six billion dollars in aid from Washington in the period 1979 to 1992. This subsidy to the tiny country during the government repression and terrorism came to average out at $100,000 for each member of its armed forces.   *

POSTSCRIPT

Here is an eye-witness report of my visit to El Salvador last November. It illustrates the legacy of our government’s $6 billion “investment” in that war after 15 years of peace-and provides a sample of what we can expect from our $1.6 trillion and counting “investment” in Afghanistan and Iraq.

* * * * *

A shoeless boy wearily weaves his way down the street, alone, in a limp pair of soiled shorts and a torn t-shirt. Heaps of trash pile up in the vacant corners of neighborhoods and on grassy medians on the city’s streets. Dogs, comprised of many breeds, some of them obviously sick with disease, listlessly amble through the streets avoiding the path of a strutting rooster or a mother hen with her perky and curious chicks.

A shabby, dazed, young man slumps on his rump over one of the benches of a busy community laundry. As the women scrub their family’s clothes or those they’ve put out for hire, the man cuddles a greasy, white, plastic canister of glue with his nose stuck down deep in it as much as his face will allow.

Two men with sawed-off shotguns stand in front of a Burger King. The police, who work long, boring hours and lack the public’s respect, are unable to guarantee order consistently so business owners hire private guards to protect themselves, their customers, and their property.

Even on Saturdays the young women of the sweatshop factories, the maquiladoras, rouse themselves to report to work at 6 a.m. where they will spend the next 14 hours sewing fashion clothing soon be sold in stores all over the United States.

It’s dark at 6 p.m. in November and by 8 the streets of La Chacra, one of the poorest neighborhoods in the capital city of San Salvador, are deserted because the 30,000 residents close up their shops and lock the doors of their homes in order to secure themselves against the vagrancies of warring youth gangs with guns and drugs.

The polluted Rio Acelhuate runs through La Chacra but the kids who play in it and their families who use it for watering animals lack an understanding of basic public health principles. This means that they typically suffer physical ailments from their poverty: dermatitis and fungus (skin diseases caused by wet feet and close contact with garbage), gastro-intestinal conditions (from parasites), diabetes, arthritis, and hypertension.

It’s easy to see why upper respiratory diseases are so prevalent in the city. A thick, black cloud constantly hovers over the city due to all the diesel emissions of cars and especially the buses. At rush hour you can hardly breathe the air it is so polluted. Even the rain offers no relief and summer must be awful when the seamy, humid tropical air adds to this noxious soup.

While most Salvadorans obtain a sixth grade education, one of the lowest rates in the world, only 50 percent complete the ninth grade and 25 percent make it through high school. Unemployment or underemployment in the country is about 50 percent and the illiteracy rate stands at 60-70 percent. Most of the elderly cannot read. Consequently, education is highly valued and desperately needed to help this country improve its future economic and social outlook.

(…)

The current right-wing ARENA government denies that the country has a poverty problem; it wants the country to look good after getting such bad press during the 1980’s war. It also makes a lot of promises to improve health and education but then fails to follow through. Consequently, funds that poured in from abroad during and since those terrible war years are drying up as needs elsewhere in the world take priority.

Before the war started in 1980, 14 families of El Salvador owned most of the country’s wealth. Now the remaining eight families are privatizing the country’s resources and making trade agreements like the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), which greatly advantages U.S. corporations.

President Bush’s call for a Coalition of the Willing in 2003 yielded only El Salvador’s participation from Latin America despite negative public opinion, according to the Council on Hemispheric Affairs. (Nicaragua, Honduras and the Dominican Republic sent a small number of troops at the beginning of the war but pulled them out in spring 2004.) Of the 1300 Salvadoran troops sent, five have been killed. Last March when President Bush visited Latin America, he didn’t even bother to stop by in El Salvador to thank them for their service.

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39 comments

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  1. this goes well, there is more to report… Guatemala and Nicaragua in particular.  So much more it makes a person sick.

  2. Guess what El Salvador’s currency is?  

    Yep… the US$.

    • Tigana on November 28, 2007 at 8:20 pm

    Thank you, Stonemason, for putting together this diary at some personal cost.

    It is admirable as Dengre’s work on the CNMI.

    America and the world are waking up. Allies will carry the facts and truth of this genocide to the wider community.  

    • Tigana on November 28, 2007 at 8:29 pm

    by Canadian Bruce Cockburn

    • Tigana on November 28, 2007 at 8:37 pm

    http://www.economist.com/blogs

    • Tigana on November 28, 2007 at 8:43 pm

    http://www.pen.org/viewmedia.p

    Bill Moyers, El Salvador

    and don’t miss their slide show on torture

    http://www.pen.org

    • Tigana on November 28, 2007 at 8:53 pm

    http://www.mitfamericas.org/In

    You’d be poor, too, if >90% of your land had been seized by Blackwater-type

    soldiers and handed over to the government to grow coffee.  

    • Tigana on November 28, 2007 at 8:55 pm

    http://www.worldpress.org/Amer

    • Martiki on November 28, 2007 at 10:07 pm

    Please.

  3. know of America’s “Democracy-Spreading” around the world, I am shocked and very disappointed in myself, that I ever bought the “Utter Bullshit of Benevolent Empire”TM…hell, I read “Roots” at 11, I shoudl have known then and there that America’s core was rotten from the days of the Mayflower Pact going forward…the new immigrants landed in the “Land of the Free” with African and indentured slaves, for crying out loud…how fucking Orwellian can one get in the 17th Century?

    The more I see of American Empire’s dark and stinking underbelly, the more I have to turn my nose away from the entire nation as a whole…

    If such evil had been wrought in my name…well, I might still be trying to justify it…as many everyday Americans still do…

    Empire is Empire…and they are all corrupt, murderous and without moral compass from beginning to end, whatever the history books say.

  4. you have a strong stomach. This is needed. Please, keep writing.

  5. essay about controlled demolition. My wife and I spent about 10 days in a fog of youtube videos and Dr. Steven Jones’ paper on the subject. We have not quite reconciled the news and only family life and the demands of homesteading pulled us out of the funk. One of the most disturbing aspects is that the so called progressive blogasphere has all but shunned the mountain of evidence supporting controlled demolition and the mountain of evidence dispelling planes and fires. All this means is that there is no real opposition to what can only be called pure unadulterated malevolence. In any case we are glad that we read your essay as it is better to know now then be blindsided later. All the best to you.  

    • OPOL on November 29, 2007 at 12:31 am

    of the Universe itself and the gods of every religion fall gently and protectively upon the heads of those who stand up for the poor and the downtrodden in the face of such monumental evil.  Such courage, such spirit, such grace – I speak of those like you stonemason.  I’m proud to have you as my friend.

  6. thanks for a great diary.

    Looking forward to the Nicaragua and Guatemala sequels!

  7. Thank you for this diary.  Two things:

    1.  Everybody should get a copy of James D. Cockcroft, Latin America: History, Politics, and US Policy (ISBN 0-8304-1398-7.  I have the second edition; I think it’s on the third or fourth by now.  It tells the story of US policy by country and in chronological order.  It is an essential text to understand central americam but also covers the Caribbean and South America.

    2.  It would be a dream come true if folks here continued to post about and discuss latin american topics.  Most of the group of people I know who used to post in orange about latin america are now here.  And it would really add some salsa picante to the site if the latin american diaries were frequent and as well thought out as this one.

    Thank you again.

  8. I’m just starting to read it.

    Empire’s Workshop: Latin America, the United States, and the Rise of Neoimperialism.

    By Greg Grandin, a historian at NYU

    Grandin even traces the origins of the militarism that led to the Iraq war to the Reagan administration – “when an increasingly internationalist New Right not only reestablished violence as a legitimate instrument of state but justified that violence in ever more idealistic terms.”

    • pico on November 29, 2007 at 4:50 am

    It’ll take me a while to wade through all the links and information, but thank you for putting this all together.  Cheers.

  9. Look for updates here

  10. I am old enough to remember most of it but not the details you flesh out. I have been sickened so long now and now that I am 73 there are more people who know what I know. I think it has to do with one’s level of consciousness. I did start as a Randian and almost got sucked into the inner circle. They are still fighting it out BTW.

    And good to see you here SM since my legal diaries got me ousted at (censored). I was banned twice in the very beginning in 03 for posting 9-11 stuff. I can see why kos doesn’t want conspiracy stuff there as he is going for bigger cake. Newsweek. Ah at last I made it!

    My neighbor in Philly wrote sports for Newsweek. He was Japanese and filled me in on how bad the pay was. Not to mention other things he was dissatisfied with.

    9-11;Pearl Harbor;The Lusitania;The Maine and one I forget. Why change the pattern when it works so well.

    Reading Toynbee saved me. I recognized all our symptoms of a disintegrating empire. It is at the stage now of hiring mercenaries and barbarians, teaching them modern warfare which they will use against us, and the benevolent mask is off and the teeth are showing. The end is when wars are fought far from home with mercenaries.

    Hi Tigana. Glad to see you again.

    • Tigana on November 29, 2007 at 6:03 pm

    http://www.wtoloteria.com/

    Another great project of the Tides Foundation and Corpwatch

    http://www.corpwatch.org/

    and probably the wonderful folks who brought us the YesMen.

    Catch up with the Yes Men here:

    http://www.theyesmen.org/

  11. keep it up

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