Friday, March 21, 2008

dd-c08-s10

Deterring Democracy Copyright © 1991, 1992 by Noam Chomsky. Published by South End Press.
Chapter 8: The Agenda of the Doves: 1988 Segment 10/11
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Arias's tolerance for terror and repression in the U.S.-backed "fledgling democracies" made him particularly welcome to U.S. elite opinion. His probity was further demonstrated as he cooperated fully with the U.S. government in undermining the Esquipulas accords. He kept silent about the rapid escalation of U.S. supplies to the contras immediately after the accords, in violation of what the accords termed the one "indispensable condition" for peace in the region. He also backed U.S. initiatives to revise the accords so that they would apply to Nicaragua alone, and to eliminate international supervision that would stand in the way of Washington's efforts to disrupt them. Thus, he fully accepted the blatant violations of the accords in the states where he recognizes "freely elected governments," agreeing that mounting atrocities there are of no real significance. Arias of course continued to insist upon the provisions of the accords that call for "the fully guaranteed participation of the people in truly democratic political processes based on justice, freedom and democracy," guarantees for "the inviolability of all forms of life and liberty," "social justice, respect for human rights," and so on -- but only as these apply to Nicaragua. His tolerance for the practices of his "democratic" colleagues, who provide a fig leaf for state terror as he knows, has served effectively to legitimate, and thus enhance, the continuing atrocities and U.S. participation in them, another reason for his immense popularity and prestige in the West.

Observing these principles, Arias informed the press in August 1988 that "I told Mr. Shultz that the Sandinistas today are bad guys, and you are good guys, that they have unmasked themselves." The Sandinistas had "unmasked themselves" when police used tear gas and violence after they had been attacked at a protest march at Nandaime in July 1988, arresting several dozen participants. The Council on Hemispheric Affairs commented that this "mob assault on police followed exactly instructions in the notorious August 1984 CIA psychological warfare manual issued to the contras. U.S. embassy officials were present, and videotapes and accounts of eyewitnesses support Nicaraguan government charges that they directed the affair." That the U.S. had been actively engaged in fomenting opposition to the government with the goal of evoking a repressive response had long been known, including Embassy activities of a sort that few countries would tolerate for a moment, surely not the United States.31

The Nicaraguan reaction was a "major sin" against the peace accords, Arias announced, singling out Nicaragua for criticism and urging that "it is time to rally some support to put pressure on those who fail to comply," that is, Nicaragua alone. During these July transgressions, the Sandinistas had behaved much in the manner of the Costa Rican security forces at the same time, approaching some of the lesser abuses of the "democratic" states -- which were not only continuing to break up demonstrations with tear gas and violence, but also conducting their "pedagogy of terror" in the bloodier manner that Arias found acceptable, escalating since the 1987 accords were signed. The Sandinista-style abuses in the other countries evoked not a whisper of protest, and in fact hardly a mention in news reports.32

At a meeting with the presidents of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, and Secretary of State George Shultz, Arias said that "Nicaragua has unfortunately failed us." He expressed "my disappointment, my pain, my sadness," as he discussed abuses in Nicaragua with his colleagues from the "democratic" states; about their murderous repression he expressed no disappointment, pain or sadness, as least so far as the media report. "Mr. Shultz and the Foreign Ministers of Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and Costa Rica expressed `their respect for the principles of peace, democracy, security, social justice and economic development'," Stephen Kinzer reported without comment.33

For Oscar Arias, Mr. Shultz is a "good guy" despite his enthusiastic sponsorship of extreme and continuing terror in the "fledgling democracies," where he sees "the results [as] something all Americans can be proud of" (see p. 388). Evidently, Arias agrees. Accordingly, he is granted the role of arbiter of adherence to the provisions of the peace accords and of democratic practice, though he is a shade too independent for the hard-liners who demand still higher standards of obedience.

Arias lent his support to the demolition of the peace accords in other ways as well. The New York Times reported him as saying that "Honduras could not be expected to close contra camps and ban clandestine supply flights if the Sandinistas do not negotiate a cease-fire with the contras and issue a broad amnesty."34 The accords set no such condition on cessation of contra aid, and Arias did not announce that foreign aid to the indigenous guerrillas in El Salvador and Guatemala is legitimate until the governments begin to live up to the terms of the accords and accept guerrilla offers to negotiate. The continued refusal of these governments to negotiate despite appeals from the Church, from Arias, and others, while Nicaragua did reach a cease-fire agreement in March 1988, also did not affect Arias's judgment that Nicaragua alone stands in the way of a peace settlement.

In subsequent months, the process of tightening the screws on Nicaragua through the device of demand escalation by the contras continued, no doubt following the script of Arias's "good guys" in the State Department. Each new government agreement, going far beyond the terms of the accords, simply led to new demands. Sandinista proposals to renew negotiations were repeatedly rejected by the U.S. and its clients. Arias backed the project all the way, expressing his pain and sadness over Sandinista iniquity as the U.S. and its forces continually pressed for further advantage and atrocities continued to mount in the terror states under the cover of legitimation provided by Arias and his fellow democrats, and in violation of the long-forgotten peace accords. In August 1988, Senate doves implemented legislation providing renewed aid to the contras -- in violation of international law and the peace accords -- and warning Nicaragua that military aid would follow if they continued to stand alone in the way of peace and democracy or attack the contra forces, who, at that time, were refusing to enter into negotiations and continuing to carry out terrorist atrocities in Nicaragua.35 Across the political spectrum, it was taken to be illegitimate, a further proof of communist totalitarianism, for Nicaragua to defend itself against U.S. attack or to protect the population from U.S.-run terrorists.

If Arias had any objections to what his "good guys" were up to, I have been unable to discover it. He also apparently kept silent about the delivery of "humanitarian" aid to the contras -- which does not qualify as humanitarian under international law, as the World Court determined unequivocally. The aid was also in blatant violation of the terms of the March 1988 cease-fire agreement and the congressional aid legislation, and elicited a strong protest from OAS Secretary General Soares, who was assigned responsibility for monitoring the agreement, to which the congressional legislation was explicitly subordinated. Arias remained untroubled. Doubtless aware of the character of these aid deliveries, Arias banned them in Costa Rica; government spokesman Guido Fernández stated that to permit supplies to pass through Costa Rica to the contras would be a form of "aggression against a government of the region" and "contrary to the peace accords," the Honduran press reported. But I have found no statement available to the American public.36


Go to the next segment.

31 Arias, Richard Boudreaux, Los Angeles Times, Aug. 5, 1988; COHA, "News and Analysis," Sept. 23, 1988. For more on this U.S. propaganda triumph, see next chapter, p. 287.

32 See Necessary Illusions, 247ff.

33 Boudreaux, LAT, Aug. 5; Kinzer, NYT, Aug. 2, 1988.

34 Stephen Kinzer, NYT, Oct. 15, 1987.

35 For one serious example, three days earlier, see chapter 9, p. 289.

36 See Necessary Illusions, 94f.; Fernández, El Tiempo (Honduras), Aug. 22, 1988. See next chapter, p. 297. 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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