Alex W / Operation Itch – 2009-02-03 09:36:00
(January 31, 2009) — A subject that has always interested me is the continuing effects on society of having lived through a dictatorship or totalitarian rule. This is an important topic for the United States, because we live in a society that has supported dictatorships for many years, and as nations are emerging from the turmoil inflicted upon them by the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. during the Cold War, we’re starting to see the long-term effects. We need to pay attention, and avoid continuing to cause these problems for future generations.
One obviously can point out that today we reap what we sewed; World War II fractured the Middle East, because of its oil, the U.S.S.R. tried to take advantage of it, we armed the militant fundamentalists to fight them, and then we tried to gain control of the oil for ourselves. If you’re reading this, you’ve probably heard the arguments.
What I’d like to focus on now is the condition in South America, where the U.S. took similar action against the spread of, in most cases, democratically-elected governments which we considered a little too pinkish. The military dictatorships we helped financially and in some cases militarily tortured and killed thousands in the name of fighting terrorism. An entire generation in several nations were in very real danger. The crimes punishable by death in clandestine torture chambers varied from being a militant revolutionary, being a communist or socialist, or simply going to college or helping the poor.
I’ll save my comparison of the long-term effects this has had on society and the adamant human rights organizations that came out of this to what may happen in the future due to the new U.S. torture and detainment policies for a later date, but you can expect an article on it. For now I want to address the issue of the stagnant throwbacks which remain sympathetic to an overthrown dictatorship.
In Argentina, where current leadership has reflected a social viewpoint which has completely turned against the “neoliberal” (right) power which held the nation under military rule, you can still find traces of the old way. You still find people who say, “Sure, they killed a lot of people, but those people were expendible, and at least there were jobs back then.”
The most famous example of Kissinger’s proxy wars in South America, however, is Chile, where to this day there are very strong elements sympathizing with Pinochet, the state terrorism poster boy who enjoyed wealth, status and freedom until his death at a ripe age. And to this day, Kissinger continues to meet occasionally with the President to share his wisdom, and the controversial mercenary army Blackwater is finding cheap hired guns left over from the military dictatorships of old.
According to Pagina/12, an Argentine newspaper, Blackwater affiliate Red Tactica (Tactical Web) recruited retired Chilean military officers to join Blackwater personnel in Iraq. Red Tactica president Jose Miguel Pizarro is wanted by the Chilean justice system and the United Nations, and the commercial relations manager in Santiago, Chile is Hermany Brady, the son of Minister of Defense under Augusto Pinochet.
What’s very interesting about this is that Blackwater is exploiting both the bellicose attitude residing in Pinochet sympathizers and the bad economic situation South America has suffered because of the long U.S.-supported democratic hiatus. This is classic outsourcing. You may have heard that mercenary soldiers are costing the U.S. treasury much more than normal military recruits, but you may not have known that the mercenaries themselves, at least those from third-world nations, are actually receiving lower pay. According to Pagina/12, the 2200 Chilean Blackwater personnel are not paid more than $1200 a month each. Many of them have come back complaining about mistreatment and lack of compensation. Like in other outsourced jobs, the U.S. is hiring cheap labor, underpaying and mistreating the workers, and pocketing the profits.
One can’t help but question the true motives of Operation Iraqi Freedom when we recruited former foreign military officers sympathetic to one dictatorship to fight another dictatorship.
Written by operationitch
Posted in Alex W, News
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