Thursday, March 20, 2008


Deterring Democracy Copyright © 1991, 1992 by Noam Chomsky. Published by South End Press.
Chapter 12: Force and Opinion Segment 16/20
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It might be noted that the treatment of the murdered Jesuit intellectuals themselves is not really different. Their murder and the judicial inquiry (such as it is) received attention, but not what they had to say. About this, one will find very little, even when it would take no initiative to discover it. For example, the August 1990 conference of the American Psychological Association in Boston had a series of panels and symposia dealing with the work of Father Mart¡n-Baró, including one in which the videotape of his California talk shortly before his assassination was played. The conference was covered by the Boston Globe, but not these sessions. On the day they were held, the Globe preferred a paper on male facial expressions that are attractive to women.68 First things first, after all.

When Antonio Gramsci was imprisoned after the Fascist takeover of Italy, the government summed up its case by saying: "We must stop this brain from functioning for twenty years."69 Our current favorites leave less to chance: the brains must be stopped from functioning forever, and we agree that their thoughts about such matters as state terrorism had best not be heard.

The results of U.S. military training are evident in abundance in the documentation by human rights groups and the Salvadoran Church. They are graphically described by Rev. Daniel Santiago, a Catholic priest working in El Salvador, in the Jesuit journal America. He reports the story of a peasant woman, who returned home one day to find her mother, sister, and three children sitting around a table, the decapitated head of each person placed carefully on the table in front of the body, the hands arranged on top "as if each body was stroking its own head." The assassins, from the Salvadoran National Guard, had found it hard to keep the head of an 18-month-old baby in place, so they nailed the hands onto it. A large plastic bowl filled with blood was tastefully displayed in the center of the table.70

To take just one further example, striking because of the circumstances, we may turn back to January 1988, when the U.S. completed its demolition of the Central America peace accords, exempting its murderous clients from the provisions calling for "justice, freedom and democracy," "respect for human rights," and guarantees for "the inviolability of all forms of life and liberty." Just as this cynical success was being recorded, the bodies of two men and a teenage boy were found at a well-known death squad dumping ground, blindfolded with hands tied behind their backs and signs of torture. The nongovernmental Human Rights Commission, which continues to function despite the assassination of its founders and directors, reported that 13 bodies had been found in the preceding two weeks, most showing signs of torture, including two women who had been hanged from a tree by their hair, their breasts cut off and their faces painted red. The reports were given anonymously, in fear of state terror. No one failed to recognize the traditional marks of the death squads. The information was reported by the wire services and prominently published in Canada, but not by the U.S. national press.71

Rev. Santiago writes that macabre scenes of the kind he recounts are designed by the armed forces for the purpose of intimidation. "People are not just killed by death squads in El Salvador -- they are decapitated and then their heads are placed on pikes and used to dot the landscape. Men are not just disemboweled by the Salvadoran Treasury Police; their severed genitalia are stuffed into their mouths. Salvadoran women are not just raped by the National Guard; their wombs are cut from their bodies and used to cover their faces. It is not enough to kill children; they are dragged over barbed wire until the flesh falls from their bones while parents are forced to watch." "The aesthetics of terror in El Salvador is religious." The intention is to ensure that the individual is totally subordinated to the interests of the Fatherland, which is why the death squads are sometimes called the "Army of National Salvation" by the governing ARENA party, whose members (including President Cristiani) take a blood oath to the "leader-for-life," Roberto d'Aubuisson.

The armed forces "scoop up recruits" from the age of 13, and indoctrinate them with rituals adopted from the Nazi SS, including brutalization and rape, so that they are prepared for killing with sexual overtones, as a religious rite. The stories of training "are not fairy tales"; they are "punctuated with the hard evidence of corpses, mutilated flesh, splattered brains and eyewitnesses." This "sadomasochistic killing creates terror," and "terror creates passivity in the face of oppression. A passive population is easy to control," so that there will be plenty of docile workers, and no complaints, and the sociopolitical project can be pursued with equanimity.

Rev. Santiago reminds us that the current wave of violence is a reaction to attempts by the Church to organize the poor in the 1970s. State terror mounted as the Church began forming peasant associations and self-help groups, which, along with other popular organizations, "spread like wildfire through Latin American communities," Lars Schoultz writes. That the United States should turn at once to massive repression, with the cooperation of local elites, will surprise only those who are willfully ignorant of history and the planning record.72

Father Ignacio Ellacur¡a, rector of the Jesuit university before he was assassinated along with Father Mart¡n-Baró, described El Salvador as "a lacerated reality, almost mortally wounded." He was a close associate of Archbishop Romero and was with him when the Archbishop wrote to President Carter, pleading in vain for the withdrawal of aid from the junta. The Archbishop informed Father Ellacur¡a that his letter was prompted "by the new concept of special warfare, which consists in murderously eliminating every endeavor of the popular organizations under the allegation of Communism or terrorism..."73 Special warfare, whether called counterinsurgency, or low-intensity conflict, or some other euphemism, is simply international terrorism -- and it has long been official U.S. policy, a weapon in the arsenal used for the larger sociopolitical project.

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68 BG, Aug. 14, 1990.

69 Giorgio Amendola, Storia del PCI (Riuniti, Rome, 1979), 142, cited by Kelly, The Anti-Fascist Resistance, 10.

70 Daniel Santiago, "The Aesthetics of Terror, the Hermeneutics of Death," America, March 24, 1990.

71 Toronto Globe & Mail, Feb. 3, AP, Feb. 2, 3, 1988. See my article in Z Magazine, March 1988, for many further details on these and other cases.

72 Schoultz, National Security and United States Policy, 88f.

73 Ellacur¡a, "The UCA Regarding the Doctorate given to Monsignor Romero," March 1985; reprinted in the Nicaraguan Jesuit journal Env¡o, Jan. 1990; Brockman, op. cit. 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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