Friday, January 20, 2006

Socialism; The Southern Front

The United States, in the midst of the war on terror, has got to keep it's eye on the growing socialist movement in Latin America. With this Sunday's surprising victory of Michelle Bachelet, a self described leftist, Chile becomes the next country in a growing list of socialist or socialist leaning countries in South America.

Here's a list of countries in the Pro-Castro Axis
1) Cuba
2) Brazil
3) Venezuela
4) Bolivia
5) Uruguay
6) Ecuador

And the list of targeted countries
1) Argentina
2) Peru
3) Columbia
4) Paraguay
5) Nicaragua
6) Honduras
7) El Salvador
8) Guatemala


Chile

"Michelle Bachelet , a socialist doctor and former political prisoner was elected Sunday as the country's first female president, defeating a conservative multimillionaire opponent in a race that reflected Latin America's increasingly leftward tilt.

She has bescribed herself as: "I was a woman, separated, a socialist, an agnostic ... all possible sins together," Chile's next president Michelle Bachelet will be joining the ranks of Latin American leaders including leftists such as Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and newly elected Evo Morales of Bolivia.

Bachelet indicated she would work with all the region's leaders. "We shouldn't take Latin America back to the Cold War. Chavez, Morales, they are presidents elected by their peoples. Chile must have relationships with all of them."


Uruguay

Until recently, Uruguay could be counted upon as one of Washington's staunchest friends in the hemisphere. But then Mr. Vazquez, an oncologist and former mayor of Montevideo, broke the traditional two-party mold of Uruguayan politics by leading the Frente Amplio (Broad Front) leftist coalition to an overwhelming election victory.

Venezuela

From the WSJ and MARY ANASTASIA O'GRADY

"with Iranian nuclear aspirations gaining notice, it's worth directing attention to the growing relationship between Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Venezuela's President Hugo Chávez. The Reagan administration repulsed Soviet efforts to set up camp in Central America. Iranian designs on Venezuela perhaps deserve similar U.S. attention.

The warmth and moral support between Ahmadinejad and Chávez is very public. The two tyrants are a lot more than just pen pals. Venezuela has made it clear that it backs Iran's nuclear ambitions and embraces the mullahs' hateful anti-Semitism. What remains more speculative is just how far along Iran is in putting down roots in Venezuela.

In September, when the International Atomic Energy Agency offered a resolution condemning Iran for its "many failures and breaches of its obligations to comply" with its treaty commitments, Venezuela was the only country that voted "no." Ahmadinejad congratulated the Venezuelan government, calling the vote "brave and judicious."

Three months later, in a Christmas Eve TV broadcast, Chávez declared that "minorities, the descendants of those who crucified Christ, have taken over the riches of the world." That ugly anti-Semitic swipe was of a piece with an insidious assault over the past several years on the country's Jewish community. In 2004, heavily armed Chávez commandos raided a Caracas Jewish school, terrifying children and parents. The government's claim that it had reason to believe that the school was storing arms was never supported. A more reasonable explanation is that the raid was part of the Chávez political strategy of fomenting class hatred--an agenda that finds a vulnerable target in the country's Jewish minority--and as a way to show Tehran that Venezuela is on board. Ahmadinejad rivals Hitler in his hatred for the Jewish people."


From Humberto Fontova

"Basically this "master plan" involved massive loans, financial aid and shipments of free oil to Castro from Venezuela so he could carry out his anti-American jihad without fear of economic strangulation from the "Gringos." Betancourt balked and no sooner had Castro returned home empty handed than he was planning subversion in Venezuela, including assassination attempts against Betancourt and sneaking in guerrilla bands. These guerrillas were trained primarily by Che Guevara, so naturally they were completely routed and stomped out in short order.

It took Hugo Chavez to finally enlist with Castro's plan. In 2004 Cuba got 1.3 billion in essentially free oil from Venezuela. By mid 2005, 160,000 barrels of oil were flowing from Venezuela to Cuba daily. This is much more oil than Cuba's refineries can process, because most of this oil is resold to Central American nations by Cuba, which pockets the handsome profit. Here's the second half of the "master plan against the gringo's" that Castro had originally proposed to Romulo Betancourt.

The mainstream media naturally ignored this, but just last month the Ecuadoran government captured a group of rebels who admitted they were trained and equipped in Venezuela. Colombian president Alvaro Uribe has to be painstakingly circumspect in his public pronouncements, but he knows good and well who is arming, supplying and providing safe haven for Colombia's FARC guerrillas. "Thanks to Castro" boasted Colombia's FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia) commander "Tiro-Fijo" in a 2001 interview, "we are now a powerful army, not a hit and run band." The conduit for this type of aid and sanctuary is, of course, Venezuela."


From Steve Johnson

"Despite his need for surrogates and seclusion, Fidel is still in control. Thousands of his advisers form a shadow government in Caracas to ensure that Chavez doesn't flub his chance at dictatorship the way Nicaragua's Sandinista comandantes or El Salvador's guerrillas once did. Fortunately for him, U.S.-backed democratic and market reforms in the region have barely gone beyond elections and free trade, disappointing those who hoped they would deliver greater prosperity. And at a time when the United States is preoccupied in the Middle East, few U.S. policymakers are interested in advancing these reforms in Latin America--although more comprehensive ties and greater restructuring is needed and wanted.

Democracy is unraveling in Bolivia and Ecuador, and is under assault in Nicaragua and Mexico where the Venezuelan government has sent activist ambassadors to aid the campaigns of leftist politicians. Meanwhile, renewed turmoil in the region will cost the United States in lost trade, security woes, rising drug and arms trafficking, and floodtides of migrants fleeing closed societies patterned on the ramblings of an island-bound sociopath."


From Philip Peters

"From the perspective of U.S. policy and strategy, I think it's important to examine the void into which Cuba and Venezuela are rushing in so many Latin American countries. This void is real and durable, and while it may not threaten the survival of democratic governance, it is almost guaranteed to shape it in ways we do not like.

1.There is a big opening for Cuba and Venezuela to provide doctors, teachers, oil, and other forms of aid, financed mainly by Venezuelan oil revenues - and as in any aid program, there will be political benefits for the donor. This aid will also highlight ways in which many Latin Americans do not see eye to eye with many Americans. First, they have few qualms about the collaboration. Uribe in Colombia, for example, has welcomed thousands of Cuban teachers, last week thanked Cuba for hosting peace talks between his government and Colombian guerrillas, and recently signed a long-term energy pact with Venezuela that includes big investment projects. Second, people in countries with poor systems of delivery of social services are likely to admire Cuba´s health care system because of its universal reach. They could care less about its deficiencies. They are happy to have a Cuban doctor in a place where no doctor has been before.

2.We are in for a period (already underway) in which there is an opening for left-of-center politicians (including many with mainstream ideas, not Evo Morales´ brand of populist extremism) to gain ground in Latin America; they will move away from the last decade´s "Washington consensus" economic policies and they will be critical of U.S. foreign policy.

3.If we don´t like #1 and #2, the only antidote is to engage in the serious long-term work of making democratic capitalism work in Latin America. That is, we have to close the void. If we are serious, we would expect results in generations, not years. And we will have to ruffle the feathers of many Latin American elites"


From Jaime Suchlicki

"The US has an interest in preventing and reversing political conditions that could a) generate hostility toward the US and its economic and political interests; b) divide the region into antagonistic groups c) give rise to violence and armed conflict; and d) work to the detriment of the US or the Hemisphere.

What's to be done? For starters:

1.Develop policies and strategies to focus sustained attention on the problems of Latin America.

2.Redirect foreign aid programs to the region to deal with grassroot development, social and economic issues.

3.Direct public diplomacy programs to the region.

4.Support electoral candidates favorable to US interests.

5.Establish a major center in the US to train and support democratic candidates in the region.

6.Open offices in select countries to train future political leaders.

7.Strengthen covert intelligence capabilities. Covert actions should be used when critical to the security of the US, when significant chances and success exist, and when diplomatic, propaganda, or other efforts have little prospect of success.

8.The quality, motivation, and language capabilities of US diplomats and other personnel being sent to Latin America should be improved.

9.Cultural and exchange programs should be strengthened and expanded.

10.Consideration should be given to the establishment in the US or Puerto Rico of "the University of the Americas," a specialized technical, business, and diplomatic school to train Latin Americans."


We have got to focus our attention on South America and develop a clear plan to deal with this growing tide of socialism. We have to apply the same type of foreign policy, as it relates to dictators and their atrocities, as we do to the Middle East.

I believe if we apply the right kind of pressure and point out the failures of this ideology to the Latin American people combined with the reality their economic situation we may be able to turn the tide.

This situation may ultimately play itself out in our favor just like communism is Europe did, but I think you'll agree this is a situation we need to monitor very closely.

3 comments:

gordontaylor said...

Steve, for years there were conservative telling us to watch our Southern Neighbors. Seems like it slipped a lot of peoples minds, including mine. Thanks for bring it back into the forefront of my memory.

Gordon Taylor

Tokyo Tom said...

Steven:

Sorry to mispost this, but it seems you don't have a thread here on the Pappy Boyington memorial issue, so this will have to do (I was "retired" ealier today from RS - too much "posting while nonpartisan" I suppose! - so I can't give you this update on your RS thread).

The UW students have, as I expected, updated the memorial resolution to cover all five of the Medal of Honor winners who were produced by the UW and should be voting on it soon. The US senate thread on it is here - you may have to set up an account to see it. Here's the gist:


WHEREAS the Medal of Honor is the highest award an American can receive, which is awarded for "for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life, above and beyond the call of duty, in actual combat against an armed enemy force.", and,

WHEREAS the University of Washington has produced five men who have been awarded the Medal of Honor, two of those awards being at cost of their lives, these men are:

- Col. (then Maj.) Gregory Boyington, USMC (Class of 1934) – who during the period 12 September 1943 to 3 January 1944 as commander of Marine Fighting Squadron-214 in the Central Solomons area, the highest scoring Marine fighter ace of World War II, did “consistently outnumbered throughout successive hazardous flights over heavily defended hostile territory, Maj. Boyington struck at the enemy with daring and courageous persistence, leading his squadron into combat with devastating results to Japanese shipping, shore installations, and aerial forces…and, by his forceful leadership, developed the combat readiness in his command which was a distinctive factor in the Allied aerial achievements in this vitally strategic area.”

- 1LT Deming Bronson, USA (Class of 1914) - who during the period 26-27 September 1918 near Eclisfontaine, France, while repeatedly wounded, refused treatment and evacuation multiple times, and while so doing affected the capture of many enemy prisoners in capturing an entrenched position, engaged in the capture of Eclisfontaine, France, and “After the capture he remained with Company E and participated with it in the capture of an enemy machinegun, he himself killing the enemy gunner. Shortly after this encounter the company was compelled to retire due to the heavy enemy artillery barrage. During this retirement 1st Lt. Bronson, who was the last man to leave the advanced position, was again wounded in both arms by an enemy high-explosive shell. He was then assisted to cover by another officer who applied first aid. Although bleeding profusely and faint from the loss of blood, 1st Lt. Bronson remained with the survivors of the company throughout the night of the second day, refusing to go to the rear for treatment. His conspicuous gallantry and spirit of self-sacrifice were a source of great inspiration to the members of the entire command.”

- Brig. Gen (then Maj.) Robert Galer, USMC (Class of 1935) – who from May 1942 to March 1943 as commander of Marine Fighting Squadron-224 in the Central Solomons area, did demonstrate “conspicuous heroism and courage above and beyond the call of duty as leader of a marine fighter squadron in aerial combat with enemy Japanese forces in the Solomon Islands area. Leading his squadron repeatedly in daring and aggressive raids against Japanese aerial forces, vastly superior in numbers, Maj. Galer availed himself of every favorable attack opportunity…His superb airmanship, his outstanding skill and personal valor reflect great credit upon Maj. Galer's gallant fighting spirit and upon the U.S. Naval Service.”

- 2LT Robert R. Leisy, USA (Class of 1968) – who on 2 December 1969 in the Phuoc Long province, Republic of Vietnam, did demonstrate “For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. 2d Lt. Leisy, Infantry, Company B, distinguished himself while serving as platoon leader during a reconnaissance mission. One of his patrols became heavily engaged by fire from a numerically superior enemy force located in a well-entrenched bunker complex. As 2d Lt. Leisy deployed the remainder of his platoon to rescue the beleaguered patrol, the platoon also came under intense enemy fire from the front and both flanks. In complete disregard for his safety, 2d Lt. Leisy moved from position to position deploying his men to effectively engage the enemy. Accompanied by his radio operator he moved to the front and spotted an enemy sniper in a tree in the act of firing a rocket-propelled grenade at them. Realizing there was neither time to escape the grenade nor shout a warning, 2d Lt. Leisy unhesitatingly, and with full knowledge of the consequences, shielded the radio operator with his body and absorbed the full impact of the explosion. This valorous act saved the life of the radio operator and protected other men of his platoon who were nearby from serious injury. Despite his mortal wounds, 2d Lt. Leisy calmly and confidently continued to direct the platoon's fire. When medical aid arrived, 2d Lt. Leisy valiantly refused attention until the other seriously wounded were treated. His display of extraordinary courage and exemplary devotion to duty provided the inspiration and leadership that enabled his platoon to successfully withdraw without further casualties. 2d Lt. Leisy's gallantry at the cost of his life are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the U.S. Army.”

- PFC William K. Nakamura, USA (non-graduate, left the UW in 1942) – who on 4 July 1944 near Castellina, Italy, “During a fierce firefight, Private First Class Nakamura’s platoon became pinned down by enemy machine gun fire from a concealed position. On his own initiative, Private First Class Nakamura crawled 20 yards toward the hostile nest with fire from the enemy machine gun barely missing him. Reaching a point 15 yards from the position, he quickly raised himself to a kneeling position and threw four hand grenades, killing or wounding at least three of the enemy soldiers. The enemy weapon silenced, Private First Class Nakamura crawled back to his platoon, which was able to continue its advance as a result of his courageous action. Later, his company was ordered to withdraw from the crest of a hill so that a mortar barrage could be placed on the ridge. On his own initiative, Private First Class Nakamura remained in position to cover his comrades’ withdrawal. While moving toward the safety of a wooded draw, his platoon became pinned down by deadly machine gun fire. Crawling to a point from which he could fire on the enemy position, Private First Class Nakamura quickly and accurately fired his weapon to pin down the enemy machine gunners. His platoon was then able to withdraw to safety without further casualties. Private First Class Nakamura was killed during this heroic stand. Private First Class Nakamura’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the United States Army.”

BE IT RESOLVED BY THE ASSOCIATED STUDENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON:

THAT we consider these men to be a prime example of the excellence that this university represents and strives to impart upon its students, and,

THAT we desire for a memorial, consisting of stele, for these men be commenced by the University of Washington as quickly as funding can be secured, and the design, arrangement & placement of stele have been agreed upon, which will be publicly displayed, so that all who come here in future years will know that the University of Washington produced five of this country’s bravest men, and that we as a community hold this fact in the highest esteem, and

THAT for all future instances of a UW alumnus being awarded the Medal of Honor, that the addition of a stele for that person should be commenced without delay and added to the memorial."


Steven, I wonder if you can update those interested in this at RS; it is a much better deal than simply honoring Col. Boyington. Since the first resolution failed by a tie vote on issues such as what to do about the other MOH recipients, I understand that this resolution is now practically a done deal, and shows how great the students are at the UW (despite it being a hotbed of crazy and disrespectual Seattle liberals!).

Apparently the FOX's national desk guys are going to show up for the proceedings!

Regards,

TT

Tokyo Tom said...

Steven:

I've been banned (although I'm tring to get back on, they don't even bother to respond to me) so I can't post this at RS, but the expanded UW memorial was approved on April 4:

R-12-26 A Resolution Calling a Memorial for UW Alumni awarded the Medal of Honor

http://senate.asuw.org/legislation/12/R/R-12-26.html.

You might want to make note of it.

Regards,

TT