I'm watching this longish CNN ...,
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taking a seat on the bus...,
the salvador option:
anybody remember what that one was about?
Here I am wastin my Friday evening away in front of the boob tube, watchin' RealTime, as is my way.
Did Joe Scarborough just pass it off to Bill Maher that Reagan's campaign in El Salvador ended the Cold War? People really claimed that "an elite US-trained army unit murdered six Jesuit priests in cold blood"? How outrageous. Were that all so true should blame go to Reagan for Carter policy? Did Bill Maher just say that he doesn't remember any torture during President Cartegan's campaign in El Salvador? Did the former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights really just let that one slide right past her without comment?
They could check with the UN Truth Commission on El Salvador, perhaps, which in its sample:
registered more than 22,000 complaints of serious acts of violence that occurred in El Salvador between January 1980 and July 1991. ... Over 60 per cent of all complaints concerned extrajudicial executions, over 25 per cent concerned enforced disappearances, and over 20 per cent included complaints of torture.
60 percent of these were atributed to the US trained, funded, armed, and chaperoned Salvadoran armed forces.
If the UN isn't yer cup of tea you can try the US military - as if the Pentagon's use of "salvador option" to describe possible US policies in Iraq weren't clue enough - perhaps this old USMC presentation on the origins and present of the conflict from 1984 will help. It describes:
May 14, 1980 saw the Sumpul River Massacre. The Army,
joined by ORDEN, launched a sweep in the mountains of
Chalatenango Province. Every one in the area was assumed to
be a guerilla, and they were driven to the Sumpul River which
borders Honduras. With the Honduran soldiers refusing to
allow peasants to exit the river on Honduran soil, the
Salvadorean soldiers stood on the river banks and fired.
Women were tortured and children were thrown in the air for
You will no doubt not recall that the organization referred to throughout as a "terrorist organization", ORDEN, was a US creation in the first place. If it went a little berserk once in a while who were we to do anything other than handle the cover up?
Got more spare time? Have some more sources.
From there Joe might suggest how much more humane the Iraq war has been as regards the treatment of detainees compared to other conflicts [1980s El Salvador had about one sixth the pop. of Iraq], and note that the high level of terrorism in El Salvador in fact helped his noble persuit of Joemocracy, in which the United States can still tell Salvadorans who to vote for, and they still obey.
It's timely and effecacious that our talking heads should bring the matter up, really, as this past week a retired Salvadoran army colonel who's been 'vacationing' in Florida since the war ended just went up on trial for torture and extra-judicial execution charges.
But hey, who remembers these old podunk conflicts? Torture!? Lies! We did what we had to against vicious Soviet aggression! We had to prevent peasant El Salvadorans from usin them three river patrol boats we gave 'em to restrict our access to the Panama Canal! It was leftist commie US military aid blackmail! Heil Reagan!!