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Look, we're the good guys, they're the bad guys. Simple.
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Joo Rip Gwa Rhhee



Joined: 25 May 2003

PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2005 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know how to answer that but this is El Salvador today

Quote:
Right wins El Salvador election
By Claire Marshall
BBC correspondent in San Salvador


El Salvador has elected a new leader. The right-wing Arena party has triumphed for the fourth time in a row.
Tony Saca beat the former rebel commander, Schafik Handal, by more than 20 percentage points, according to official preliminary results.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3555995.stm


Not prefect but a lot more tolerant and liberal than most mid east nations.
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R. S. Refugee



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Location: Shangra La, ROK

PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2005 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joo Rip Gwa Rhhee wrote:
Well they can't win an election - can they?


It's hard to overcome all the money and the threats the US has used against that tiny country to swing the elections there ever since the hot war there ended.

Say it is not so, Joo.
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Joo Rip Gwa Rhhee



Joined: 25 May 2003

PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2005 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why don't you say that is so , in other words prove it.

Nice to know that you know the election dynamics of El Salvador so well -even better than the BBC.

Quote:
It seems that for the left to become a significant force in modern Salvadorean politics, its leaders will have to modernise.


That couldn't be the reason could it?
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R. S. Refugee



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Location: Shangra La, ROK

PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2005 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joo Rip Gwa Rhhee wrote:
Why don't you say that is so , in other words prove it.

Nice to know that you know the election dynamics of El Salvador so well -even better than the BBC.

Quote:
It seems that for the left to become a significant force in modern Salvadorean politics, its leaders will have to modernise.


That couldn't be the reason could it?


"The outcome on election day reflect the tactics of the ARENA presidential campaign, including the influence of their benefactors the Bush Administration. In fact the FMLN has declared fear as the real winner of the election.

U.S. intervention in Salvadoran electoral politics began early, long before the official start of the presidential campaign season. Last June, outgoing Ambassador Rose Likins in interviews with the Salvadoran press, publicly denounced the leadership of the FMLN and threatened that U.S. investment in the country could pull-out in the event of an FMLN victory. As the campaign season heated-up at the beginning of this year and polls indicated that the FMLN was closing on ARENA the U.S. turned up the interventionist heat. In early February Assistant Secretary of State for Latin American Affairs Roger Noriega visited El Salvador to meet with the presidential candidates but at the last minute canceled his meeting with Handal and then in an afternoon press conference made statements warning the Salvadoran people against voting for a candidate who does not share a common economic vision with the U.S. At the end of February Florida Governor Jeb Bush visited El Salvador while on a five-day tour in Central America touting the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) and in interviews with the press touted capitalism as the true economic partner of democracy. He met only with Saca and current ARENA President Francisco Flores.

March 14th's news headlines displayed ostensibly independent reporters ensconced at the ARENA party headquarters, conducting phone interviews with Bush's Special Envoy to Latin America Otto Reich (a familiar name to Latin America solidarity activists). Reich warned Salvadorans "to choose a government that they know will have good relations with the United States and which shares the values of private initiative and the war against terror." And late last week three Republican Congressional representatives in a press conference made perhaps the most outrageous statements of all, with anti-immigration stalwart Rep. Thomas Tancredo from Colorado explicitly warning the Salvadoran people that a vote for the FMLN could well lead to changes in the Temporary Protected Status for Salvadoran immigrants-threatening the remittances (money) that the estimated 1.5 million Salvadorans living in the U.S. send back to their families. Remittances are the biggest source of revenue for the Salvadoran economy (over $2 billion per year).

It is clear that ARENA was able to effectively take advantage of the climate of fear that such intervention generated and will continue to push the prescribed economic agenda of free trade and privatization for the Salvadoran people. While none of this is surprising as the legacy of U.S. intervention in its "backyard" Latin America is well-documented, what happened in El Salvador is yet another indication of the limits of "democracy" as conceived by U.S. global empire. "

[That couldn't be the reason, could it Joo? Say it is not so. Very Happy Laughing Wink ]

El Salvador Elections: "Democracy" in the Empire's Backyard
by Jim Goronson

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0324-10.htm
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Joo Rip Gwa Rhhee



Joined: 25 May 2003

PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2005 12:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fact is the writer is a left winger writing for a left wing site . The fact is that the rebels never won, not even before Bush came to office. The fact is the rebels lost by 20 points.

He of course offers no proof that any US statements were the reason that the left wing side lost.

Reich warned Salvadorans "to choose a government that they know will have good relations with the United States and which shares the values of private initiative and the war against terror."

Oh the horror, by the way did Reich "warn" Salvadorans or did he call on them to to choose a pro US government?

We can't really know from your article. Of course world wide there were people who "warned " the US electorate not to vote for Bush. Two can play that game.






Quote:
And late last week three Republican Congressional representatives in a press conference made perhaps the most outrageous statements of all, with anti-immigration stalwart Rep. Thomas Tancredo from Colorado explicitly warning the Salvadoran people that a vote for the FMLN could well lead to changes in the Temporary Protected Status for Salvadoran immigrants-threatening the remittances (money) that the estimated 1.5 million Salvadorans living in the U.S. send back to their families. Remittances are the biggest source of revenue for the Salvadoran economy (over $2 billion per year).


He is about as influential as Cynthia Mckinney.


You mean those statements - one of which we can't even be sure of- are the reason why the left wing party never won in El Salvador and in fact lost by 20 points.
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hypnotist



Joined: 04 Dec 2004
Location: I wish I were a sock

PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2005 2:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you remember the outright hostility towards the Guardian when it made a very limited intervention in the presidential election? Many Americans - quite rightly - told the paper to butt out and leave the country to decide on its own.

Why does a different standard apply to El Salvador and a leading member of the US Government, when he lectures the people of a sovereign nation about who they should vote for, and threatens them with the consequences of not voting the right way?

It's sheer and utter hypocricy. The US intervention in Venezuela was even worse.
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peemil



Joined: 09 Feb 2003
Location: Koowoompa

PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2005 2:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

R.S. I usually agree with you, but don't fall into that historical revisionist ideology. We were the good guys in that one.
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R. S. Refugee



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Location: Shangra La, ROK

PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2005 3:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

peemil wrote:
R.S. I usually agree with you, but don't fall into that historical revisionist ideology. We were the good guys in that one.


I'm hoping that you're referring to the OP and not the more recent example that was mentioned of El Salvador, peemil.

I agree that relatively speaking we were a lot better than the Nazi's in that war. But, if I remember the OP correctly at this point, the point that it was making is that where warfare is concerned "good guys" is a somewhat relative and simplistic term, that while we denigrate the Soviets for raping and pillaging their way across Europe and venting their rage at having lost some 20 million or so of their people (more civilians than soldiers) in their holocaust, we don't acknowledge the significant raping and pillaging that was committed by British and American troops that was largely ignored then when it happened and ignored now by those who are always so eager to dump on anyone they don't like -- in this case, the Soviets -- without acknowledging to what extent these crimes were also committed by our troops.

The expression 'war is hell' is old and trite and true. It brings out the very worst crimes that the human soul is capable of because people can indulge their most evil impulses with little concern for being punished. Murder, rape, torture, stealing, destroying for fun, they've all been frequently and predictably indulged in by all sides in this horror called war. But to me, the greater horror is to pretend that our side is only noble and ignore the fact that they did do such things also. That is the greater horror to me because it enables people to commit such crimes and rationalize them and even deny them at the same time they are committing them. It isn't a rational thing and doesn't easily yield to rational discussion.

I can never celebrate war, just as I can never ooh an aah and say "way cool" when the Blue Angels do their little performances over Lake Washington every summer.

If they did an honest performance, they would end their aerial acrobatics by picking out a house across the lake, and hitting it repeatedly until it was reduced to rubble without bothering to check and see if anyone was in it to really wow the crowds. Because that's what war really is.

People are lessened by their participation in it and, in my opinion, the only time anyone should be willing to be lessened by this savage experience is when they really are defending their homeland, not for indefensible and illegal wars half way around the world on an empty shell of a state like Iraq. And cynically lying their fucking heads off to their countrymen to gather support for their war crimes. They deserve no respect and will certainly never get any from me. They deserve to be tried for war crimes and if I ever look up and see pigs flying, I'll turn on the radio right away hoping to hear of their arrest (and get a broad-brimmed hat to wear).

But at least one insane apologist on this forum will patiently explain in never-ending diatribes how any war crime -- mass murder, rape, torture, shooting children through the head, anything is justified if they oppose American foreign policy and probably what they deserve if they don't get with the American program -- if they oppose the "good old USA."

I disagree.
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peemil



Joined: 09 Feb 2003
Location: Koowoompa

PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2005 4:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OP.
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Sleepy in Seoul



Joined: 15 May 2004
Location: Going in ever decreasing circles until I eventually disappear up my own fundament - in NZ

PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2005 5:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

peemil, I agree with you, but having seen how the spin doctors are twisting (and lying about) the truth so much about Iraq, it seriously makes me wonder about the real history to do with the First and Second World Wars...

I had relatives that fought in both, and while I would like to believe that they fought the good fight on behalf of people who were not able to fight for themselves, and for the forces of good, it does make me wonder...

I can't believe that my uncles and grandfather weren't better than Hitler and his minions, but it really does make me wonder about the real reasons behind the political actions that were involved.
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Kuros



Joined: 27 Apr 2004

PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2005 5:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sleepy in Seoul wrote:
peemil, I agree with you, but having seen how the spin doctors are twisting (and lying about) the truth so much about Iraq, it seriously makes me wonder about the real history to do with the First and Second World Wars...


I would recommend Wartime by Paul Fussell (sp?). Good book, even if it doesn't touch on the rapes (Paul himself was in combat, so the picture is sympathetic to the common soldier). I read it when I was young and before movies like Saving Private Ryan and The Thin Red Line came out, so it really had an impact on me. But you'll discover that the strength of media censorship during WWII makes the American media coverage of Iraq pale in comparison.
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Joo Rip Gwa Rhhee



Joined: 25 May 2003

PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2005 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
May 13, 2005, 8:08 a.m.
Remembering World War II
Revisionists get it wrong.

As the world commemorated the 60th anniversary of the end of the European Theater of World War II, revisionism was the norm. In the last few years, new books and articles have argued for a complete rethinking of the war. The only consistent theme in this various second-guessing was a diminution of the American contribution and suspicion of our very motives.

Indeed, most recent op-eds commemorating V-E day either blamed the United States for Hamburg or for the Soviet domination of Eastern Europe, or for our supposed failure to credit the Russians for their sacrifices.

It is true that the Russians paid a horrendous price. Perhaps two out of every three soldiers of the Wehrmacht fell on the Eastern Front. We in the West must always remember that such a tragic sacrifice allowed Hitler to be defeated with far less American British, Canadian, and Australian dead.

That being said, the Anglo-Americans waged a global war well beyond the capability of the Soviet Union. They invaded North Africa, took Sicily, and landed in Italy, in addition to fighting a massive land war in central Europe. We had fewer casualties than did the Russians because we fought more wisely, were better equipped, and were not surprised to the same degree by a treacherous former ally that we had supplied.

The Soviets invaded the defeated Japanese only in the last days of the war; the Anglo-Americans alone took on two fronts simultaneously. Submarine warfare, attacking the Japanese and German surface fleets, conducting strategic bombing over Berlin and Tokyo, and sending tons of supplies to Allied forces — all this was beyond the capability of the Red Army. More important, Stalin had been an ally of Hitler until the Nazi invasion of 1941, and had unleashed the Red Army to destroy the freedom of Finland and to carve up Poland.

Do we ever read these days that when the Luftwaffe bombed Britain, Russia was sending the Nazis fuel and iron ore? When Germany invaded Russia, however, Britain sent food and supplies.

Yes, World War II started to free Eastern Europe from fascist totalitarianism, and ended up ensuring that it would be enslaved by Soviet totalitarianism. But Roosevelt and Churchill were faced with an inescapable reality in 1945 that to keep the Russians out of Eastern Europe they would have had to restart the war against their former ally that possessed it — a conflict that might well have gone nuclear in two or three years. The latter had been in great part armed and supplied for four years by their own taxpaying democratic citizenries. The Red Army was near home in Eastern Europe; the American 3rd Army was 5,000 miles from the United States.

Of course, we bombed German civilian centers. But in a total war when 10,000 a day were being gassed in the death camps, and Nazi armies in the Balkans, Russia, and Western Europe were routinely murdering thousands a week and engaged in breakneck efforts to create ballistic missiles, sophisticated jets, and worse weapons, there were very few options in stopping such a monstrous regime. This was an age, remember, before computer guidance, GPS targeting systems, and laser-guided bombs.
When the lumbering and often unescorted bombers started out against Europe and Japan, the Axis infrastructure of death — rails, highways, communications, warehouses, and decentralized production — was intact. When the bombers finished their horrific work, the economies of both Axis powers were near ruin. Armies that were systematically murdering millions of innocents in forgotten places like Yugoslavia, Poland, the Philippines, Korea, and China were running out of fuel, ammunition, and food.

Revisionism holds a strange attraction for the winners of World War II. American textbooks discuss World War II as if a Patton, Le May, or Nimitz did not exist, as if the war was essentially the Japanese internment and Hiroshima. That blinkered and politically correct focus explains why so many Americans under 30 are simply ignorant about the nature and course of World War II itself. Similarly, the British have monthly debates on the immorality of their bombing Hamburg and Dresden.

In dire contrast, even the post-Soviet Russian government will not speak of the Stalin-Hitler non-aggression pact, the absorption of the Baltic states, the murder of millions of German citizens in April through June 1945 in Eastern Europe, and the mass execution of Polish officers. If we were to listen to the Chinese, World War II was about the gallant work of Mao¡¯s partisans, who in fact used the war to gain power, and then went on to kill 50 million of their own citizens — about the same number lost in all of World War II. Japan likewise has never come to terms with the millions of Asian civilians its armies butchered or its systematic brutality waged against American POWs.

The truth is that the supposedly biased West discusses the contribution of others far more than our former enemies — or Russian and Chinese allies — credit the British or Americans.

The German novelist Gunter Grass — who served in the Wehrmacht — recently lectured in the New York Times about postwar ¡°power blocs,¡± in terms that suggested the Soviets and the Americans had been morally equivalent. German problems of reunification, he tells us, were mostly due to a capitalist West, not a Communist East that caused them.

Grass advances the odd idea that Germany was not liberated from American hegemony (¡°unconditional subservience¡±) until Mr. Schroeder¡¯s recent anti-Bush campaign distanced the Germans from the United States. To read this ahistorical sophistry of Grass is to forget recent European and Russian complicity in arming Saddam, their forging of sweetheart oil deals with the Baathist dictatorship, and the disturbing German anti-Semitic rhetoric that followed Schroeder¡¯s antics. Unmentioned are the billions of American dollars and years of vigilance that kept the Red Army out of Western Germany, or the paradox that the United States is ready to leave Germany on a moment¡¯s notice — which might explain the efforts of the Schroeder government to keep our troops there.

There is a pattern here. Western elites — the beneficiaries of 60 years of peace and prosperity achieved by the sacrifices to defeat fascism and Communism — are unhappy in their late middle age, and show little gratitude for, or any idea about, what gave them such latitude. If they cannot find perfection in history, they see no good at all. So leisured American academics tell us that Iwo Jima was unnecessary, if not a racist campaign, that Hiroshima had little military value but instead was a strategic ploy to impress Stalin, and that the GI was racist, undisciplined, and reliant only on money and material largess.

There are two disturbing things about the current revisionism that transcend the human need to question orthodoxy. The first is the sheer hypocrisy of it all. Whatever mistakes and lapses committed by the Allies, they pale in comparison to the savagery of the Axis or the Communists. Post-facto critics never tell us what they would have done instead — lay off the German cities and send more ground troops into a pristine Third Reich; don¡¯t bomb, but invade, an untouched Japan in 1946; keep out of WWII entirely; or in its aftermath invade the Soviet Union?

Lost also is any sense of small gratitude. A West German intellectual like Grass does not inform us that he was always free to migrate to East Germany to live in socialist splendor rather than remain unhappy in capitalist ¡°subservience¡± in an American-protected West Germany — or that some readers of the New York Times who opposed Hitler might not enjoy lectures about their moral failings from someone who once fought for him. Such revisionists never ask whether they could have written so freely in the Third Reich, Tojo¡¯s Japan, Mussolini¡¯s Italy, Soviet Russia, Communist Eastern Europe — or today in such egalitarian utopias as China, Cuba, or Venezuela.

Second, revisionism requires knowledge of orthodoxy. One cannot dismiss Iwo Jima as an unnecessary sideshow or allege that Dresden was simple blood rage until one understands the tactical and strategic dilemmas of the age — the hope that wounded and lost B-29s might be saved by emergency fields on Iwo, or that the Russians wanted immediate help from the Allied air command to take the pressure off the eastern front in February 1945.

But again, most Americans never learned the standard narrative of War II — only what was wrong about it. Whereas it is salutary that an American 17-year-old knows something of the Japanese relocation ordered by liberals such as Earl Warren and FDR, or of the creation and the dropping of the atomic bomb by successive Democratic administrations, they might wish to examine what went on in Nanking, Baatan, Wake Island, Guadalcanal, Manila, or Manchuria — atrocities that their sensitive teachers are probably clueless about as well.

After all, this was a week in which thousands of the once-enslaved Dutch in Maastricht were protesting the visit of a president of the nation that once liberated their fathers, while thousands of neo-Nazis were back in the streets of Berlin. A Swedish EU official recently blamed the Second World War on "nationalistic pride and greed, and¡¦international rivalry for wealth and power" — the new mantra that Hitler was merely confused or perhaps had some ¡°issues¡± with his neighbors. Perhaps her own opportunistic nation that once profited (¡°greed¡±?) from the Third Reich itself was not somehow complicit in fueling the Holocaust.

How odd that Swedes and Spaniards who were either neutrals or pro-Nazi during World War II now so often lecture the United States not just about present morality but about the World War II past as well.

If there were any justice in the world, we would have the ability to transport our most severe critics across time and space to plop them down on Omaha Beach or put them in an overloaded B-29 taking off from Tinian, with the crew on amphetamines to keep awake for their 15-hour mission over Tokyo.

But alas, we cannot. Instead, the beneficiaries of those who sacrificed now ankle-bite their dead betters. Even more strangely, they have somehow convinced us that in their politically-correct hindsight, they could have done much better in World War II.

Yet from every indication of their own behavior over the last 30 years, we suspect that the generation who came of age in the 1960s would have not just have done far worse but failed entirely.

— Victor Davis Hanson is a military historian and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. His website is victorhanson.com.


http://www.nationalreview.com/hanson/hanson200505130808.asp
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