Sunday, September 03, 2006

Immigration, and Nicaragua Remembered

This LA Times opinion piece popped up in July, but just getting to it now. The immigration debate rush has passed, but now the attack on Iran is about to commence. We thought we should look back at the immigration debate issue before it gets forgotten completely. Let's go to the video-tape:

The most formidable leader Nicaragua ever produced was José Santos Zelaya, who ruled in the first decade of the 20th century. He was a crusading reformer who built roads and ports, challenged the power of the clerical-backed elite and dreamed of converting his country from a feudal backwater into a modern capitalist state.

Zelaya's nationalism, however, placed him in conflict with several American companies that were active in Nicaragua. They brought their complaints to Washington, and in 1909 the U.S. government engineered Zelaya's overthrow. In his place it installed the chief accountant of an American mining company. With the help of U.S. Marines, he suppressed a series of rebellions and kept Nicaragua in its backward state.

U.S. overthrows yet another government, same old story, whatever - nothing new here. But check this part out:

Through a combination of immaturity, arrogance and incompetence, however, Sandinista leaders — including Daniel Ortega, who served as president from 1985 to 1990 and who is again running for president this year — squandered their historic chance and turned most Nicaraguans against them. Their decade in power was a period of war, repression and steady impoverishment.

So, the government of Nicaragua 'squandered their historic chance'. And then somehow, magically perhaps, Nicaragua was wracked with 'war, repression and steady impoverishment'. War with or against who?

Well, you see, the writer's former employer, The New York Times, has a track record too - of supporting U.S. military interventions abroad - wherever they may be, for whatever reasons our government tells us. And now the LA Times has allowed him to hawk his wares in their paper. Color me not surprised.

Ever heard of those terrorists called the Contras? Sure you have, but the New York Times doesn't want to remind you that the U.S. government was busy terrorizing the civilian population of Nicaragua for ten years, until they finally relented and elected a U.S.-supported candidate. And they won't even deign to tell you that they were, in fact, terrorists - terrorists of the worst kind. Bill Blum's got the goods. As do many other folks - like South End Press.

It's as if the Sandinista government just decided that a war should take place against some unknown, nonexistent enemy. Hilarious. Or, not.

This is the kind of straight-up propaganda that the New York Times and other corporate newspapers like the LA Times produce every day. Most Americans are not even aware of it. The passive voice is one of the tell-tale signs of propaganda. Nobody was actually responsible for anything, things just happened.

We got sidetracked on the propaganda aspect of this story, but the point of this post was supposed to be about the fact that America destroyed the economies of Central America through massive state terror, and the destruction of those economies is what has forced so many Central American people to come to the U.S. to earn a living. If the U.S. government had never wrecked the economies of those countries in the first place, we might not be having an immigration debate at all.

How odd that, as you continue to learn the true role of the U.S. government in the world, you see how our government has been involved in massive violence around the globe for decades - many decades - hundreds of years, even! It's all a bit surreal.

There's been a massive escalation in U.S. terror since WWII, sure, but we're been doing it as long as we've been able to get away with it. And with your new knowledge of the American Empire you begin to see how U.S. terror campaigns always seem connected somehow. We installed the Shah of Iran in 1953, then American hostages are taken by pissed-off Iranians during Carter's presidency, then Reagan gives weapons to Iran to trade for the hostages, but he needed money for the arms for Iran and for his terror force, but he needed to do it without the knowledge of the U.S. people or the U.S. Congress, so he smuggled drugs into the U.S. from Central America, all the while raping, torturing, and murdering the people of Nicaragua in his eventually-successful campaign to install a pro-U.S. ruler in Nicaragua.

It's just too much. How could anyone possible be so sadistic? I think that's the question many of us ask. And it's not just one person - it's the top 1% or top one-half of 1% of Americans who are most responsible for these decisions. Power and privilege are powerful drugs, that much seems apparent.

UPDATE: Fixed typo - changed 'overthrew' to 'installed' wrt the Shah of Iran in 1953. The wiki seems somewhat knowledgeable, but I prefer to stick to the documentary record.

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Samuel A. Eger said...

Have you heard of the biggest terrorist in Nicaraguan History?, the US brought them into power and now Carter is paying for his stupidity. Yes I am talking about the Sandinistas, the group that used Guerilla warfare and terrorism to overthrow the Somoza regime thanks to Jimmy Carter. If the US would have let Somoza get the ammunition and arms he needed from Israel and Guatemala the worst terrorist in Nicaraguan history would have never gained power.

Yes, it is funny how liberal presidents in the US mess up a country and then the conservative presidents have to come back to clean it up and vice versa. Yes, the US needs to stop intervening in other countries politics as long as other countries do the same. Everyone blames the US for intervention but they love ignoring the fact that there are other countries already intervening in the politics of that country.

Take for example Nicaragua, currently Hugo Chavez from Venezuela an imperialist country itself by all standards is trying to influence the Nicaraguan elections. So is it wrong if the US gets involved???

Thanks for letting me comment on your blog, cool topic!!!

Auriel said...

The Sandinistas were referred to by Oxfam as "the threat of a good example".

The United States funded the Contra terrorists who unleashed some of the most violent and sickening assaults on innocent civilians the world has ever seen. These atrocities have been documented and the US was fully aware of what was going on. These brutal savages would often cut off the face of a father in front of his children; other times they would reverse the roles.

The US knew about this; they funded it; they supported; and they continue to try and justify their actions.

Over the last 100 years the United States of America, a nation that was founded on the very principles of freedom, liberty and the dignity of the individual, has been administered by terrorists and criminals who are well versed in the mechanisms of propaganda to control the public opinion.

shmooth said...

biggest terrorist in Nicaraguan History?...I am talking about the Sandinistas

we're trying to be serious on this blog.

Yes, it is funny how liberal presidents in the US mess up a country and then the conservative presidents have to come back to clean it up and vice versa

amen, brotha.

Yes, the US needs to stop intervening in other countries politics as long as other countries do the same

yes - stop all foreign interventions. agreed.

but the part about other countries interfering with America somehow? c'mon man - again, we're trying to be serious, here. there is always going to be some 'interplay' betweeen the elites who head any individual nation - whether it be money to fund opposition groups or whatever - the question is one of scale. When was the last time a foreign country 'interfered' with America? This is just fantasy. Even the Japanese didn't attack us until we all but forced them to. Don't be an apologist for state terror. Just don't.

Everyone blames the US for intervention but they love ignoring the fact that there are other countries already intervening in the politics of that country.

By this logic, it's OK for the US to pile into a gang rape as long as other countries are already doing some raping, too. Again I say - let's be serious, here. I'm sorry your sensibilities are offended by people around the world denouncing US terror, but, from what I gather, it sucks to be a victim of US terror - you should allow a little room for dissent by those people being bombed, raped, murdered, tortured, terrorized, and otherwise brutalized directly or indirectly by the US government. It just makes sense to allow the victims their dissent.

So is it wrong if the US gets involved???

Yes. Just stay out. It's none of the US's business. At all. Ever. Stay. Out. It's really very simple.

We should also mention that part of the reason Chavez is getting involved elsewhere in the South is because he's not safe from American interference himself - having already been ousted once by Bush and his cronies. He's trying to build influence wherever he can. It's not a justification - it's a natural reaction. Of course it is. It is to be expected.

Hugo Chavez from Venezuela an imperialist country itself by all standards

what standards are those? there is just no evidence to support that rhetoric. this isn't Fox News - the truth actually matters over here. don't insult us with that garbage.

Listen, the truth is out there, and it's not difficult to find. There is an alternative press and there are books being written based on the documentary record - I've already provided a couple of links. I'd suggest this one for a start. And then I'd go over here. Read that - verify the documentary evidence provided by the extension footnotes, and then come back and we'll chat more intelligently about what's going on. If you don't agree with what's been written in those books and/or disagree with the documentary record, then feel free to produce a rebuttal. Just make sure to reference the appropriate documentation.

I have both those last books, there, so if you'd like to borrow them, just let me know.