Sunday, November 25, 2007

Dictators in the Empire's Employ

By Mumia Abu-Jamal
Dictators in the Empire's Employ
[col. writ. 11/18/07] (c) '07 Mumia Abu-Jamal
With the teeth of the Pakistani dictatorship now bared, we are beginning to see a mirror image of most of U.S. history throughout the last century.
Although perhaps best seen in the vicious wars of Latin America, it is a fact that the U.S. government supported brutal, violent dictatorships on every continent, almost always against popular, and especially workers movements.
Although most Americans would be hard pressed to actually recall the names of 4 U.S. backed dictators of the 20th century, it is a safe bet that the people who tried to survive in those countries will remember them for the rest of their lives.
From Haiti's infamous Duvaliers, to Cuba's Batista, there were no dictators too wretched, too violent, too vicious for the U.S. to support.
There's a good reason why when President Lyndon B. Johnson took the Oval Office after John Kennedy's assassination, he told one of his aides, "We've been running a damned branch of Murder, Inc. in the Caribbean."*
That's because Washington was essentially internationalizing its program of repression and McCarthyism, according to at least one Latin American country. Scholar (and former diplomat) Clara Nieto wrote, in her remarkable 2003 work, Masters of War, the story of how the U.S. got almost the entire continent to go its way:
At the Tenth Inter-American Conference requested by {former State Dept. chief John} Dulles and held in Caracas in 1954, he easily persuaded the meeting to adopt a declaration condemning international communism and advocating hemispheric solidarity and mutual defense against "Communist aggression." The chancellor of Guatemala, Guillermo Toriella, warned that on "the pretext of combating Communism, fundamental principles of democracy can be contravened, violations of human rights justified, and the principle of non-intervention infringed upon." The declaration, he argued was "the internationalization of McCarthyism." The majority - all dictatorships - supported it; Argentina (under Peron) voted against it and Mexico abstained. Costa Rica did not attend the meeting, since Jose Figueres refused to participate in this "assembly of dictators in a country governed by the most brutal and corrupt of them all, General Perez Jimenez" {C. Nieto, pp.138-139}.
Thus, generations were subjected to the terrorism of their own governments, their own armies, paid, and trained by the Americans. These U.S. trained terrorists launched wars against their own people; students, teachers, trade unionists, writers, intellectuals, priests, Indians, and beyond.
Yet, that was then. What now?
Despite all the gas and rap about "freedom", "democracy", and the like, the U.S. is, once again, depending on a dictator who has essentially shut down the Supreme Court, whipped lawyers in the streets, waged fraudulent elections, exiled his political opponents, and ruled with an iron fist. The differences between Burma and Pakistan could be measured in inches.
Yet, none of this really matters to the White House. What matters is what has always mattered. That the dictator do the bidding of his imperial masters - the people be damned.
There's a reason why Latin America has elected predominantly anti American governments in the past decade, and it had nothing to do with the easy media fiction that Hugo Chavez made them do it. For millions of people, they remember the so called 'secret wars' waged by armed puppets of the Americans-and they want no more of it.
Dictatorship 2 -- Democracy 0.
--(c) '07 maj
*[Source: Nieto, Clara, Masters of War: Latin America and the U.S. Aggression (From the Cuban Revolution Through the Clinton Years) {New York: Seven Stories Press, 2003} ]
Mumia Abu-Jamal is a political prisoner in the United States, framed and in prison, with what could be the final decision on his legal appeals possibly coming down this summer. That decision could give Mumia his freedom, a new trial, life in prison, or execution. It is time to turn up the heat against this injustice.
Free Mumia!

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