Friday, March 21, 2008


Deterring Democracy Copyright © 1991, 1992 by Noam Chomsky. Published by South End Press.
Chapter 8: The Agenda of the Doves: 1988 Segment 4/11
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In short, plainly it is their fault, however improper the obsessive Reaganite response after the forthcoming Carter years. In those better days, Somoza's Nicaragua was a friend, and remained one of the highest per capita recipients of U.S. aid in Latin America, including military aid, because, as the AID mission explained in 1977, Somoza was a valued ally and "U.S. investment is welcomed in Nicaragua's developing free enterprise economy." "As late as May 1979," Walter LaFeber observes, "two months before Somoza fled, the United States supported his request for a $66 million loan from the IMF," and shortly after, the White House "declared the Guard had to be kept to `preserve order'" while "at that moment Somoza's troops were dive-bombing slums, murdering unarmed people in the streets, and looting the cities," "killing thousands of women and children."10

Reviewing the Carter years, Pastor makes it clear that no thought was given to displacing Somoza until the tyrant had become "indefensible" in the face of internal opposition so broad as to include the conservative business community, the natural U.S. allies. "Somoza's decision to strike at the moderate opposition" in September 1978, including the arrest of the far-right corporate manager Adolfo Calero and other business leaders, "was one of the major factors motivating the United States to review its previous policy of strict noninterference in internal affairs." The fate of the poor at his hands had elicited no such review.

The U.S. then sought to ease Somoza out, but, as Pastor makes clear, always on the condition that his National Guard, which had been attacking the population "with the brutality a nation usually reserves for its enemy," remain intact. In November 1978, the Policy Review Committee of the National Security Council "emphasized again that the unity of the Guard was an important objective for U.S. policy." "There was no disagreement on this latter point," he writes, "as everyone recognized that a post-Somoza government that lacked a firm military base would be overrun by the [Sandinista] FSLN."11

As the policy of sustaining "Somocismo without Somoza" collapsed, the objective remained to support the "democrats" against the Sandinistas. A meeting of June 29, three weeks before the end, "was the first time in a year of NSC meetings that anyone had suggested the central U.S. objective was something other than preventing a Sandinista victory"; efforts to maintain the National Guard and exclude the Sandinistas from power had by then collapsed after the refusal of the "moderates," including the business association COSEP, to go along with the U.S. plan. Carter doves then sought "to moderate the FSLN" through military training and economic aid, classic means of control. When the U.S.-backed regime collapsed, Carter offered economic aid, mostly to the private sector, with the enthusiastic support of business lobbyists, "including the Council of the Americas, which represented 80 percent of U.S. businesses with investments in Latin America."12

Meanwhile policymakers weighed such "tough questions" as whether to support an October 1980 coup attempt by "a group of moderate civilians" led by "the young and dynamic president of the Union of Nicaraguan Agricultural Producers," Jorge Salazar -- a question put to rest when Salazar was killed in a confrontation with security forces. And the Administration remained "unaware" when National Guard officers including Enrique Berm£dez (later contra commander) met with Somoza lobbyist congressman John Murphy and held a press conference in Washington in August 1979, warning of the threat of communism and meeting to prepare plans to overthrow the Sandinistas. Presumably, it also remained "unaware" when the Argentine military regime sent advisers to train ex-Guardsmen in Honduras for the attack against Nicaragua a year later. Sandinista transgressions then set the mutual reliance on force on its inevitable course, according to Pastor's account.

Pastor calls for an end to "the resulting relationship of counterproductive policies and strident name-calling." He endorses the position of the "moderates" who are "interested in democracy," specifically Ramiro Gurdián, the leader of the pro-U.S. business opposition (other qualifications as a "moderate democrat" are not offered), who calls for "reality" in place of "mutual obsession."

Pastor holds that the United States has never been motivated primarily by "a desire to extract resources or to implant a political philosophy, although the history of U.S. policy in Central America is replete with examples of both"; rather, by fear. This is perhaps "an unseemly fear," but nevertheless one that is quite real: "the fear that a hostile group could come to power and ally with a rival of the United States" -- what we bitterly denounce as the "Brezhnev doctrine" when advanced by the enemy, which, perhaps, has security concerns in Eastern Europe approaching ours in Central America, in the light of history.

Pastor's basic thesis is straightforward, and a clear expression of political opinion at the left-dove dissident extreme:

The United States did not want to control Nicaragua or the other nations in the region, but it also did not want to allow developments to get out of control. It wanted Nicaraguans to act independently, except when doing so would affect U.S. interests adversely. [His emphasis]

In short, Nicaragua and other countries should be free -- free to do what we want them to do; they should choose their own course independently, as long as their choice conforms to U.S. interests. If they use the freedom we accord them unwisely, we have every right to respond in self-defense, though opinions vary as to the proper tactical choices.

Go to the next segment.

10 Tom Barry and Deb Preusch, The Soft War; LaFeber, Inevitable Revolutions.

11 On the support for the Guard by Carter doves, see chapter 10.

12 See chapter 10, section 3, for more on these efforts and the reasons for them. KEYWORDS terrorist democracy elections cia mossad bnd nsa covert operation 911 mi6 inside job what really happened wtc pentagon joint chiefs of staff jcs centcom laser hologram usa mi5 undercover agent female sex exploitation perception deception power anarchy green social democratic participation japanese spy black-op false flag gladio terror.

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posted by u2r2h at 10:23 PM


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