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Thursday, March 10, 2016

from nicaragua in 1983 to Libya in 2010 - same story

It is a shame that the Sandinista issue in the debate is proving to be just Clinton's way of calling out to old Reagan-ites and doing her shitty redbaiting, because what happened in Central America in the eighties has a lot of relevance to what is happening today. 
The eighties were the crest of a century of American interventions in Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America. Any quasi-endogenous political structure had to be vetted with the USA, or the USA would simply knock it over. Ditto with economic policy.
However, although the US took the right to intervene as it saw fit, it did not, as other imperialist systems did, take on the responsibility for governing, or for developing these areas in any way. Even the Soviets in Eastern Europe aided the development of industry. Not the US.
In consequence of a hundred years of soft imperialism, the US helped produced a perfect pocket of poor and desperate people. Many of them have, in the past two decades, decided to immigrate, one way or another, to the US. Why not? After all, they have the experience of having their own independence in their own countries overturned by the whim of American power.
This is not, as the snark-fest on twitter treats it, just an old story. It is the story of the pattern of American foreign policy.
To see what Reagan did in Central America is to see what Clinton advocated in North Africa and the Middle East. Intervention without responsibility.
The result is a sort of speeded up picture of Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala. Libya is a perfect example. Intervention ruined the country, and irresponsibility didn't wait around to build it up. The Benghazi crime is not, as the GOP would have it, that Clinton abandoned Benghazi. The crime is that Obama, with CLinton urging him on, performed another immoral act of imperialism on the cheap.
Result? In Central America, the result is not only poverty, but a huge drug economy and states like El Salvador crippled by gangs. In Libya, the result is a state fractured between gangs, and providing a launching point for desperate refugees aiming for Europe.
Unfortunately, there will not be a question in this election campaign that will come close to pointing at this malign syndrome. Nobody will ask the obvious question: why, if we are unwilling to accept millions of immigrants, did we spend a trillion dollars in Afghanistan over the last fourteen years instead of Mexico or Central America? Because the answer is rooted in the same shadow side in the States that produces systematic racism: exploitation without responsibility, and a wholly unearned feeling that the fruits of that exploitation are somehow "earned".

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