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Posts Tagged ‘nigeria

Military Dictatorships: Friendly and Not-So

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The Times’ front page today: ‘Clinton Fears Iran Is Headed For Military Dictatorship

An excerpt:

DOHA, Qatar — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said on Monday that the United States feared Iran was drifting toward a military dictatorship, with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps seizing control of large swaths of Iran’s political, military, and economic establishment.

“That is how we see it,” Mrs. Clinton said in a televised town hall meeting of students at the Doha campus of Carnegie Mellon University. “We see that the government in Iran, the supreme leader, the president, the Parliament, is being supplanted and that Iran is moving towards a military dictatorship.”

A brief list of US-sponsored military dictators:

Gen. Augusto Pinochet – Chile, 1974-1990

Ferdinand Marcos – Philippines, 1965-1986

Gen. Fulgenco Batistia – Cuba, 1933-1944, 1952-1959

Marshall Castillo Branco – Brazil, 1964-1967

Gen. Medici – Brazil, 1969-1974

Gen. Geisel – Brazil, 1974-1979

Gen. Figueiredo – Brazil, 1979-1985

Gen. Mobutu Sese-Seko – The Congo, 1965-1997 (guilty of genocide)

Gen. Sani Abacha – Nigeria, 1993-1998

Gen. Redondo – Argentina, 1976-1981 (guilty of genocide)

Col. Hugo Banzer – Bolivia, 1971-1978

Bolivian Military Junta – Bolivia, 1978-1989

Gen. Maximilliano Martinez – El Salvador, 1931-1944

Alfredo Christiani – El Salvador, 1980-1994 (guilty of genocide)

Gen. Francois Duvalier – Haiti, 1957-1971

Gen. Jean-Claude Duvalier – Haiti, 1971-1986

Gen. Manuel Noriega – Panama, 1983-1989

Gen. Suharto – Indonesia, 1967-1998 (guilty of genocide)

Turgut Ozal – Turkey, 1983-1993

Gen. Yahya Khan – Pakistan, 1969-1971 (guilty of genocide)

Gen. Muhammad Zia – Pakistan, 1976-1988

Gen. Musharraf – Pakistan, 1999-2008

Saparmurat Atayevich Niyazov – Turkey, 1990-2006

Gen. Somoza Senior – Nicaragua, 1957-1967

Gen. Somoza Junior and subsequent Junta – Nicaragua, 1967-1980 (guilty of genocide)

Alfredo Stroessner – Paraguay, 1954-1988

Gen. Efrain Rios Montt – Guatemala, 1982-1983 (guilty of genocide)

I wonder if The Times has a sense of irony. Or shame. What they meant to write in their headline, obviously, is that Secretary Clinton fears Iran might be headed for an unfriendly military dictatorship. Otherwise, I fail to see her problem with the concept.

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At War With…. Everyone

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The New York Times’ jingoist At War blog gives us a fantastic proposition, starting with the observation that Yemen is not the only “haven” out of which Al Qaeda might operate.

But there is nothing new about Yemen. It has long been a base for Al Qaeda. Osama bin Laden’s family comes from Yemen, the U.S.S. Cole was attacked in Yemen in 2000, many Yemeni fighters were either killed or captured in Iraq, and, during the last decade, the US has helped the Yemeni government fight.

As a side note, will we ever forget this USS Cole incident? It happened a decade ago, and only killed 17 soldiers. I’m willing to bet more die per year in just run-of-the-mill accidents. Taking that aside, this intrepid blogger continues:

But there are many havens for radical militants who follow the violent tenets of Al Qaeda — from North Africa to Europe to Asia.

Today, the front line of the war against terror can be anywhere in the world. Mr. Abdulmutallab was radicalized, recruited and trained in three continents before attempting to explode the Detroit-bound plane.

Yes, that is the solution – instead of rethinking our parameters in this “war against terror”, we must infinitely expand them! But of course this would not be The New York Times without the assumption of the justice of our goals:

The war against terror did not begin with the Bush administration and it will not end during President Obama’s. The battle has started, but I do not see any end. The release of Guantanamo’s prisoners has not helped to deter attacks. President Obama’s use of soft power, the withdrawal plan from Iraq, his Cairo speech, his alteration of the semantics of war, by dropping the term “war against terror,” have not stemmed the flow of would-be suicide bombers.

Imagine! A slight change in semantics (following no real change in murderous policy) failed to staunch the anger against the US! Who would have thought?

Of course, all this war-mongering must have some kind of internationalist counterweight, so our intrepid blogger throws this line in at the very end:

The U.S. cannot unilaterally wage this war. The war against terror is universal; it has no specific zone because the entire world is its war zone. Who will be the next: Yemen or Somalia or Nigeria, or…….? It is a long list.

This is one of the most insidious articles I’ve ever seen out of the Times.

Written by pavanvan

January 7, 2010 at 11:29 am