Thursday, May 12, 2005

Doomed To Repeat It Doomed To Repeat It Doomed To Repeat It 

Amy Goodman has given some marvelous air to Seymour Hersh on the radio show Democracy Now, about the increasingly common tales of torture and abuse oozing out from under the rocks. Yesterday she spoke with him on the events building in Iraq. It's a fascinating interview--he talks about the declassified documents that, in 2000, revealed that Cheney and Rumsfeld had discussed ways to shut him up when he was reporting on the Vietnam War, and considered typically Nixonian options like having the FBI break into his house, or trying to force the NYTimes to shut him up--but particularly interesting was this:

"SEYMOUR HERSH: But we created an image that they were planning massive attacks. And when they didn't come off -- they were the usual daily assortment of attacks -- it's a victory. I mean, the information is totally controlled by the American government. I don't fault the press in Baghdad, because they can't get out and they can’t do it. They're stuck.

AMY GOODMAN: Civil war?

SEYMOUR HERSH: Why not? What is it? Where do you think we're at? There was a piece in The New York Times a week ago Sunday in the magazine section. I would say one of the most stunningly obtuse -- I don't know what they're thinking in my old newspaper. A piece essentially praising the fact that we have -- the United States is supporting a paramilitary group --.

AMY GOODMAN: This is the cover of the magazine, the “Salvadorization of Iraq.”

SEYMOUR HERSH: Right, and as you mentioned in your talk last night, with one of the American commanders who was involving and supporting and aiding the El Salvadorian hunter-killer teams back two decades ago, in charge, being the adviser to this group -- this is a group that, in The New York Times story, committed significant violations of the Geneva Convention, and it's almost being praised by it.There isn’t a sense in the article -- there is not any sense of the big picture, that these are violations of the Geneva Convention, that this is exactly -- this is the former Mukhabarat, the former secret police of Saddam. These are the people that we went to war against, and we're now writing articles in favor of them."

Add Negroponte, stir, and serve.

It's been apparent for some time that what 's happening in Iraq is civil war. I used to scratch my head as I watched it growing, and wonder why our policy was so clueless about it, but now I understand: the chaos of this kind of war offers infinite cover for the same kinds of maneuvering and atrocity-filled repressions that we saw in Vietnam and El Salvador. This kind of madness just feeds on itself, each horror reaping a retaliatory horror, until the overall "mission" is lost in a blood-red haze of escalating vengeance. Does anyone know what we're doing there anymore? Does anyone really think all those torture stories are old news? Read the Peter Maass article Hersh referenced in the interview, and be disabused.

corrente SBL - New Location
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