Monday, January 10, 2005

Yes, the Republicans are pro-death squads...still


...the Pentagon is intensively debating an option that dates back to a still-secret strategy in the Reagan administration’s battle against the leftist guerrilla insurgency in El Salvador in the early 1980s. Then, faced with a losing war against Salvadoran rebels,he U.S. government funded or supported "nationalist" forces that allegedly included so-called death squads directed to hunt down and kill rebel leaders and sympathizers. Eventually the insurgency was quelled, and many U.S. conservatives consider the policy to have been a success—despite the deaths of innocent civilians and the subsequent Iran-Contra arms-for-hostages scandal. (Among the current administration officials who dealt with Central America back then is John Negroponte, who is today the U.S. ambassador to Iraq. Under Reagan, he was ambassador to Honduras.)

Following that model, one Pentagon proposal would send Special Forces teams to advise, support and possibly train Iraqi squads, most likely hand-picked Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and Shiite militiamen, to target Sunni insurgents and their sympathizers, even across the border into Syria, according to military insiders familiar with the discussions. It remains unclear, however, whether this would be a policy of assassination or so-called "snatch" operations, in which the targets are sent to secret facilities for interrogation. The current thinking is that while U.S. Special Forces would lead operations in, say, Syria, activities inside Iraq itself would be carried out by Iraqi paramilitaries, officials tell NEWSWEEK.

Also being debated is which agency within the U.S. government—the Defense department or CIA—would take responsibility for such an operation. Rumsfeld’s Pentagon has aggressively sought to build up its own intelligence-gathering and clandestine capability with an operation run by Defense Undersecretary Stephen Cambone.

Isn't that special? There's inter-agency bickering over who gets to run the death squads...

And remember folks, last time they didn't care whether or not you were a Christian or an American or whatever. Don't expect them to care this time, either.

Evidently some Republicans (link)
have finally figured out that Iraq wasn't a really great idea, and it's time to get out. Somehow. So the "El Salvador" model is one idea that's come to them: get the country to the "point" where it's like El Salvador was, put in a poop-load of Special Forces types, weapons, and turn a blind eye to the ultra-violence, and - assuming your real adversary, the "Soviets" go belly up in 10 years, voila! "Victory," provided you don't look too closely, or you'll see things like this:

USULUTAN, El Salvador — Teamsters organizer Jose Gilberto Soto liked to call himself "the voice of the voiceless."

In early November, while standing outside his childhood home here, Soto was silenced — shot in the back by unknown assailants. He died moments later in his sister's arms.

The 49-year-old New Jersey resident had planned to meet the next day with truck drivers from El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua — part of an ambitious, multi-union effort to organize every step of the global shipping system.

Yes, folks, what a model of "democracy" and "freedom." Keeps on killing.

Thanks to this poster at Kos.

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