May 16, 2013

Dead Indians irrelevant to Reagan

Guatemala Genocide Conviction Should Prompt More Just Vision for American Continent

By Roberto Cintli RodriguezThroughout the duration of the RĂ­os Montt dictatorship, his regime was the bloodiest on the American continent. Why did the world permit his brutality, and why did it take more than 30 years to successfully prosecute him? His genocidal campaigns, in full view to the world, were committed in real time.

The simple answer is the actions--and inactions--of US President Ronald Reagan, the man who provided cover for every tin-pot dictator on the continent. A better answer is the preeminence of "America," with its mythological foundation and narrative. The best answer is the actions--or rather, inertia--of the citizens of the United States of America. It is we who permitted the atrocities of not simply this dictator, but all the military dictators on the continent during that bloodthirsty era.

The majority of US voters put Reagan in office, not once, but twice ... and then rewarded his imperial reign by subsequently electing his vice president, Papa Bush, into office. And then he got airports, freeways and buildings named after him.

Former Congressman Dennis Kucinich recently called for a truth and reconciliation commission to investigate how the United States got itself into Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan (plus Yemen and Somalia). That would be an important step. However, before it takes place, a commission must be created to examine the US role in Central America, primarily in the 1980s, which resulted in the deaths and disappearances of hundreds of thousands of civilians from Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Honduras. All these wars were financed by US tax dollars. All those ruthless dictators and their leading military officers were trained by the US military. Yet in Reagan-speak, the United States was simply spreading democracy (with heavy weaponry) in Central America--the same goal Bush claimed in launching the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. And from a Reagan-based perspective, the hundreds of thousands of Central American victims were little brown people whose lives were irrelevant.
Comment:  Dead Indians were also irrelevant to the politicians--most of them conservatives--who also supported Central American thugs and killers. That's because these politicians are racist at the core.

Ronald Reagan and killing Indians, see Guatemalan Dictator Charged with Genocide and Reagan Aided Atrocities Against Indians.

Below:  "Ronald Reagan campaigning in the Central Coast area in the 1960s." (Photo: Fresh Conservative/flickr)


Anonymous said...

Reagan made his political career on paranoid conspiracy theories about communists. You and I both know paranoid conspiracy theories lead to genocide eventually. So it's no surprise.

Anonymous said...

Bush Sr. is tied to this era as well, but everyone wants Obama's head instead today.

dmarks said...

Anon: The Soviet intervention in Latin America was extensive and bloody. They even created the war in Guatemala. It would be good to see those in Russia who created this catastrophe go on trial also.

Reagan made his political career on telling it like it is, not paranoid conspiracy theory. His real failing here was not intervening in Guatemala's internal affairs: he supported the existing Guatemalan leader in its very flawed effort to defend the country against the Soviets, as opposed to appointing a much better leader to do this. And the USSR kept funneling weapons into this place which was the real cause of this war.

Anon 2: There is no Bush Sr. I do wonder about your credibility if you get someone's name wrong