“I’m so bored. I hate my life.” - Britney Spears

Das Langweilige ist interessant geworden, weil das Interessante angefangen hat langweilig zu werden. – Thomas Mann

"Never for money/always for love" - The Talking Heads

Monday, June 20, 2005

bolivia and the dirty dream

There is the American dream and there is the dirty American dream. The latter has been generally maintained by subaltern torturers and Fort Benning alumni in Central and Latin America. So we find it entirely appropriate that Rumsfeld is considering moving General Ricardo Sanchez to the command of the American army’s Latin division. Sanchez’s wonderfully innovative practices in the fields of German Shepherd unleashing, heart attack induction, and forced orgies has, after all, made Abu Ghraib a byword of America’s solidarity with the freedom lovin people of Iraq. And the Bush administration’s management strategy of promoting those who’ve done the most damage to America’s interests and prestige to ever higher posts made it Sanchez’s promotion almost inevitable.

Latin America has been stirring beneath the American dirty dream. This must worry the Bush people – this is a white house staffed, after all, with men and women who, in the eighties, rubbed epaulets with Ollie North and various contra drug dealers in the crusade against New World Communism. Others from that crusade – the editorial writers at the Washington Post, for example – have been openly fretting about Bolivia. The blood-in- our-mouth editorial in the WP today, with its distinct threat that the U.S. should support the separation of the Eastern province in Bolivia (where the gas is) if the Indians there get too uppity, and its casting of Evo Morales as the next Latin American matinee terrorist, after Chavez, is evidence that the old and vile boys on the Potomac are wondering what is up with Bush’s hardliners – too distracted by Iraq to manipulate a few Bolivian generals into whipping up a corrective massacre or two, it looks like.

Isaac Biggio’s analysis of the current events in Bolivia is well worth reading. He is particularly interested in the autonomy movement in Bolivia’s Santa Cruz department – a department that is much wealthier than the Indian cities, like El Alto. After exploiting the Indians for four centuries and using the U.S. to siphon massive amounts from Latin America into the international financial market, Bolivia’s elite sees the possibility of failure looming – and is responding by making separatist noises that Biggio thinks could echo throughout Latin America, where more and more countries are deviating from the Dirty Dream.

‘The separatism of the rich regions could also have consequences well beyond Bolivia’s borders. In Ecuador, for example, the idea that the territories most inclined to free enterprise could separate themselves from the mountainous, hostile Indian zones could induce a piecemeal nationalism.”

So -- after the Bush failure to put a little trojan horse in the OAS to justify some further coup attempt in Venezuala, the talk about General Sanchez should send a signal to the Dirty Dream's benifiaries in Latin America -- don't worry, help is coming. If it requires tactics a little more extreme than Abu Ghraib -- the dirty war in Argentina, prompted in part by Kissinger, comes to mind -- so be it. Freedom lovin' is hard work.

PS – Some Bolivian blogs:

MAPP’s Bolivian blog leans towards the moderate. It is a good source of Bolivian news:

A more lefty view is presented on this blog.

The Narconews, as always, provides gringos with the best periscope to peer into the region. The story of the Gas War so far is presented here.

Barrio Flores is a thoughtful Bolivian American who asks good questions about the nationalization issue. Tourists of the revolution -- and this includes LI - would do well to ask some questions, too. It needs to be said: no LDC has yet discovered how to leverage a dominant primary product export into the foundation of growth economy and a just society. If nationalisation arrives in Bolivia as an instrument of justice, instead of as the best thought out plan for getting the best deal in the marketplace, it will fail to deliver.

1 comment:

Brian Miller said...

The last summarized comment is interesting. In listening to reports of the protestors last year "Give us Jobs" it made me wonder: exactly how is this to take place?

Will isolated, historically scarred Bolivia ever be anything but a desperately poor place? Will overthrowing the Euro-Bolivian elite really result in improvements in the country? I don't presume to know.