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Thread: US-backed general guilty of genocide in Guatemala

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    Default US-backed general guilty of genocide in Guatemala

    Crimes don't come worse than genocide and Efrain Rios Montt was a butcher of the highest order who was backed 100% by Ronald Reagan and his administration.

    He was just one of a long line of dictators to rule Guatemala following a US-backed coup in 1954 that ended democratic rule.

    To all those who claim the US supports freedom and democracy...

    Guatemala's Rios Montt guilty of genocide - CNN.com

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    Politics.ie Member stopdoingstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joeyjoejoe View Post
    Crimes don't come worse than genocide and Efrain Rios Montt was a butcher of the highest order who was backed 100% by Ronald Reagan and his administration.

    He was just one of a long line of dictators to rule Guatemala following a US-backed coup in 1954 that ended democratic rule.

    To all those who claim the US supports freedom and democracy...

    Guatemala's Rios Montt guilty of genocide - CNN.com
    Indeed, he was wildly popular with Regan and Schultz.
    On 5 December 1982, Ronald Reagan met the Guatemalan president, Efraín Ríos Montt, in Honduras. It was a useful meeting for Reagan. ‘Well, I learned a lot,’ he told reporters on Air Force One. ‘You’d be surprised. They’re all individual countries.’ It was also a useful meeting for Ríos Montt. Reagan declared him ‘a man of great personal integrity . . . totally dedicated to democracy’, and claimed that the Guatemalan strongman was getting ‘a bum rap’ from human rights organisations for his military’s campaign against leftist guerrillas. The next day, one of Guatemala’s elite platoons entered a jungle village called Las Dos Erres and killed 162 of its inhabitants, 67 of them children. Soldiers grabbed babies and toddlers by their legs, swung them in the air, and smashed their heads against a wall. Older children and adults were forced to kneel at the edge of a well, where a single blow from a sledgehammer sent them plummeting below. The platoon then raped a selection of women and girls it had saved for last, pummelling their stomachs in order to force the pregnant among them to miscarry. They tossed the women into the well and filled it with dirt, burying an unlucky few alive. The only traces of the bodies later visitors would find were blood on the walls and placentas and umbilical cords on the ground.
    Ronald Reagan: Efraín Ríos Montt is “totally dedicated to democracy” — Crooked Timber
    Faoi mhóid bheith saor

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    Politics.ie Member Aristodemus's Avatar
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    That was 30 years ago. Times change, policies change.

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    Politics.ie Member Mr Aphorisms's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aristodemus View Post
    That was 30 years ago. Times change, policies change.
    Actually, no. They were supporting a genocidal occupation of East Timor, right up until the end in 1999. That's just one example. God what a pathetic response to another dictator America has supported. It truly is repulsive. We see the genocide denial in this country regarding the Famine and we see excuse after excuse for American genocide of the natives, right up to their support for it in other countries.

    It really is incredible how America is able to just say 'that was years ago' but when it comes to Provisional Sinn Féin? The great and the good repeatedly go back to the past.

    Once again, just as they were silent on the Obama torture cover up thread, the great and the good on here are not coming on, giving all of their faux indignation, demanding reparations, apologies, etc. The contradictions and hypocrisy are repugnant.

    "We should cease to talk about vague and unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of the living standards, and democratization." George Kennan

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aristodemus View Post
    That was 30 years ago. Times change, policies change.
    I presume you'd be on the same page if a political figure you disliked was in the dock.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joeyjoejoe View Post
    Crimes don't come worse than genocide and Efrain Rios Montt was a butcher of the highest order who was backed 100% by Ronald Reagan and his administration.

    He was just one of a long line of dictators to rule Guatemala following a US-backed coup in 1954 that ended democratic rule.

    To all those who claim the US supports freedom and democracy...

    Guatemala's Rios Montt guilty of genocide - CNN.com
    This is fairly likely to be a quiet thread.

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    Politics.ie Member eoghanacht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aristodemus View Post
    That was 30 years ago. Times change, policies change.

    I must remember that the next time your dragging Mrs McConville's ghost around shinner threads.
    Britain operated death squads - ''97% of the Loyalists I interviewed were working directly for the State.'' - Nuala O'Loan. #FreeAhedTamimi

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    U.S. foreign policy is not something this particular American contemplates with anything approaching pleasure. Our record in Latin America is particularly dire. My uncle was serving in the Peace Corps in Chile when the Allende government was toppled, and always had some interesting stories to tell (my cousin is from that country, and was adopted, after being orphaned in the fighting that followed the coup). Some family friends were in San Cristóbal in Chiapas, Mexico, when the Zapatista rose up, in response to NAFTA. As for me, I grew up volunteering at a monthly musical cafe in the basement of our church (discovered some great music in the process!), that raised money for CASA (the Central American Solidarity Committee). It is a sobering reality that many of the worst human rights abusers in various Central American militaries were trained at the SOS (School of the Americas), and that we supported these regimes. I'm glad this verdict has been handed down, and hope that the work of documentation and historical clarification continues. Sometimes I feel that's all you have, really, in human rights work: the ability to document. You hope that enough documentation will eventually lead to policy change, but does it?

    Sometimes I feel like the posters on this site are a little crazy, with their "blame the US for everything" attitude, but when it comes to Latin America, and our foreign policy, well, there's just no getting around the fact that there's a lot of blameworthiness. Alas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by An eachtrannach View Post
    U.S. foreign policy is not something this particular American contemplates with anything approaching pleasure. Our record in Latin America is particularly dire. My uncle was serving in the Peace Corps in Chile when the Allende government was toppled, and always had some interesting stories to tell (my cousin is from that country, and was adopted, after being orphaned in the fighting that followed the coup). Some family friends were in San Cristóbal in Chiapas, Mexico, when the Zapatista rose up, in response to NAFTA. As for me, I grew up volunteering at a monthly musical cafe in the basement of our church (discovered some great music in the process!), that raised money for CASA (the Central American Solidarity Committee). It is a sobering reality that many of the worst human rights abusers in various Central American militaries were trained at the SOS (School of the Americas), and that we supported these regimes. I'm glad this verdict has been handed down, and hope that the work of documentation and historical clarification continues. Sometimes I feel that's all you have, really, in human rights work: the ability to document. You hope that enough documentation will eventually lead to policy change, but does it?

    Sometimes I feel like the posters on this site are a little crazy, with their "blame the US for everything" attitude, but when it comes to Latin America, and our foreign policy, well, there's just no getting around the fact that there's a lot of blameworthiness. Alas.
    'Americans' are many things alright, and a lot of them are very savvy about the role of their govt globally. I suppose the election of somebody like GWB wasn't a great sign, but Obama leaves a lot of European leaders in the shade.

    The US can't play the role of Unique Global Superpower without catching some, most or all of the blame for many things. With regard to the issues at play here, I don't recall any concern in the body politic in Britain or in Ireland over the events under discussion. Thatcher was providing aid to Pol Pot's henchmen in Cambodia, and we were bending over backwards to make Reagan feel at home.

    Genocide or near-genocide isn't too bad so long as it's for the right reasons, in defence of the right principles or carried out against the right people. Or if the perpetrators are useful to Western powers.

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    Yep, a quiet thread.

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