One of the things I focused on was the kind of curious mix of realism and militarism and "idealism" — for lack of a better word — that was coming out of the Bush administration and its neocon policy intellectuals. It seemed to be unique for the Republican Party to justify militarism in such idealistic terms — "bringing democracy to the world. Even prior to the invasion of Iraq there was discussion, mostly in the form of snide comments about how so many of the Bush administration advisors and hangers on seemed to have been recycled out of Iran Contra. There was Eliot Abrams, John Negroponte, Otto Reich, and even John Poindexter for a brief period — who had been dusted off and put in charge of a "Total Information Awareness" program before he had to back down on that. People seemed to be perplexed as to why all of these people were being recycled, so I tried to provide a little deeper history about why that was happening. And look at Central America as the place that first brought together all of these groups.
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This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form. Welcome to Democracy Now! They searched historical analogies. They looked to the U. In Germany and Japan after World War II, they compared it to Rome and Britain and the French empire, but they all seemed to ignore the one place where the United States had the most extensive imperial experience, and that was in Latin America. In Latin America was where the United States learned how to be an exceptional empire, extraterritorial — administer extraterritorial countries without actual direct colonialism.
And during the first term of Bush, Jr. Pro-Counsel in Honduras. He presided over the Contra war as the U. There was obviously Guatemala. And under Eisenhower, there was the Dominican invasion in And you could take it back further to Haiti and the Dominican Republic in the early 20th century.
And this is the particular contribution, I think, from people like Douglas Feith, who you focused on, reported on earlier. People like James Steele, who was a colonel, was involved in the U. What would you say was the picture in the s? What did happen? And this is why Central America has such a pull on the imagination of the neo-cons, is that it occurred simultaneously with the end of the Cold War. Now, Reagan for the most part acted in moderation everywhere else in the world, in other hotspots of the world.
In El Salvador, the U. In Nicaragua, we supported an anti-communist insurgency, which resulted in the murder of 30, to 40, civilians. And in Guatemala, we provided moral justification for a regime that was committing genocide, murdering somewhat around , civilians, mostly Mayan Indians.
And that was throughout the s. Can you connect Pinochet to Iraq? And Chile — this is stepping back a little bit — this is more in the s. Chile becomes something of a mecca for the new right, who head down, and they bring delegations down to see the Chilean miracle at work.
And it was a complete, what was called shock therapy, complete privatization through hundreds of thousands of people out of work.
They saw the New Deal written large across global stage with third world state developmentalism, and they saw Chile as a kind of bridge head in which they could breach that kind of that economic model which they railed against. And in some ways there is a direct connection, I think, between Iraq and Chile. Can you talk a little bit about that? I mean, just to give you some statistics, free market capitalism of the kind advanced by the United States under Reagan and then Clinton, extended by Clinton with all of the free trade agreements, has been an absolute failure.
And then, obviously, this is connected to the rise in migration to the United States. I think there have been moments in which the U. So when it gets kicked out of Southeast Asia in the s with the defeat in Vietnam and elsewhere, it turns back to Latin America. The dissecting room and the slaughter-house furnished many of my materials; and often did my human nature turn with loathing from my occupation, whilst, still urged on by an eagerness which perpetually increased, I brought my work near to a conclusion.
Some of the death squads were certainly death squads, and torture rooms were certainly dissecting rooms, along those lines. The United States obviously has had horrible — the U. And so that quote kind of captures that kind of bringing it towards completion, of certain danger involved.
Do you see a renewed U. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow. Some of the work s that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us. Up Next.
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