That's right; if the army teaches it soldiers to kill, they should also make sure they are done under international laws. Police academies teach people to shoot, but they must comply with rules and regulations.
Training people to kill has some responsibility attached to it unless you are a terrorist organization.
If so many from South America are being trained at Ft Benning, and history shows that many turn into terrorists, we have failed on two fronts. Our intelligence has failed in addition to not responding to the atrocities committed by those people we have trained as killers.
The high incidence of those trained at Ft Benning should tell our leadership that something is not working right. If they can't control it, then we should not continue training them.
The Army school at Ft Benning DOES teach its students in accordance with applicable international law - as do all our armed forces in basic training.
Destabilization in slow motion
excerpted from the book
by William Blum
When the American military forces left Nicaragua for the last time, in 1933, they left behind a souvenir by which the Nicaraguan people could remember them: the National Guard, placed under the direction of one Anastasio Somoza ... Three years later, Somoza took over the presidency and with the indispensable help of the National Guard established a family dynasty which would rule over Nicaragua, much like a private estate, for the next 43 years. While the Guardsmen, consistently maintained by the United States, passed their time on martial law, rape, torture, murder of the opposition, and massacres of peasants, as well as less violent pursuits such as robbery, extortion, contraband, running brothels and other government functions, the Somoza clan laid claim to the lion's share of Nicaragua's land and businesses. When Anastasio Somoza II was overthrown by the Sandinistas in July 1979, he fled into exile leaving behind a country in which two-thirds of the population earned less than $300 a year. Upon his arrival in Miami, Somoza admitted to being worth $100 million. A US intelligence report, however, placed it at $900 million.
It was fortunate for the new Nicaraguan leaders that they came to power while Jimmy Carter sat in the White House. It gave them a year and a half of relative breathing space to take the first steps in their planned reconstruction of an impoverished society before the relentless hostility of the Reagan administration descended upon them; which is not to say that Carter welcomed the Sandinista victory.
In 1978, with Somoza nearing collapse, Carter authorized covert CIA support for the press and labor unions in Nicaragua in an attempt to create a "moderate" alternative to the Sandinistas. Towards the same end, American diplomats were conferring with non-leftist Nicaraguan opponents of Somoza. Washington's idea of "moderate", according to a group of prominent Nicaraguans who walked out on the discussions, was the inclusion of Somoza's political party in the future government and "leaving practically intact the corrupt structure of the somocista apparatus", including the National Guard, albeit in some reorganized form. Indeed, at this same time, the head of the US Southern Command (Latin America), Lt. General Dennis McAuliffe, was telling Somoza that, although he had to abdicate, the United States had "no intention of permitting a settlement which would lead to the destruction of the National Guard". This was a notion remarkably insensitive to the deep loathing for the Guard felt by the great majority of the Nicaraguan people.
After the Sandinistas took power, Carter authorized the CIA to provide financial and other support to their opponents. At the same time, Washington pressured the Sandinistas to include certain men in the new government. Although these tactics failed, the Carter administration did not refuse to give aid to Nicaragua. Ronald Reagan was later to point to this and ask: "Can anybody doubt the generosity and good faith of the American people?" What the president failed to explain was:
a) Almost all of the aid had gone to non-governmental agencies and to the private sector, including the American Institute for Free Labor Development, the long-time CIA front.
b) The primary and expressed motivation for the aid was to strengthen the hands of the so-called moderate opposition and undercut the influence of socialist countries in Nicaragua .
c) All military aid was withheld despite repeated pleas from the Nicaraguan government about its need and right to such help-the defeated National Guardsmen and other Supporters of Somoza had not, after all, disappeared; they had regrouped as the "contras" and maintained primacy in the leadership of this force from then on.
In January 1981, Ronald Reagan took office under a Republican platform which asserted that it "deplores the Marxist Sandinista takeover of Nicaragua". The president moved quickly to cut off virtually all forms of assistance to the Sandinistas, the opening salvos of his war against their revolution. The American whale, yet again, felt threatened by a minnow in the Caribbean.
Among the many measures undertaken: Nicaragua was excluded from US government programs which promote American investment and trade; sugar imports from Nicaragua were slashed by 90 percent; and, without excessive subtlety but with notable success, Washington pressured the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the World Bank, and the European Common Market to withhold loans to Nicaragua. The director of the IDB, Mr. Kevin O'Sullivan, later revealed that in 1983 the US had opposed a loan to aid Nicaraguan fishermen on the grounds that the country did not have adequate fuel for their boats. A week later, O'Sullivan pointed out, "saboteurs blew up a major Nicaraguan fuel depot in the port of Corinto", an act described by an American intelligence source as 'totally a CIA operation''.
Washington did, however, offer $5.1 million in aid to private organizations and to the Roman Catholic Church in Nicaragua. This offer was rejected by the government because, it said, "United States congressional hearings revealed that the [aid] agreements have political motivations, designed to promote resistance and destabilize the Revolutionary Government.'' As Nicaragua had already arrested members of several of the previous recipient organizations such as the Moravian Church and the Superior Council of Private Enterprise (COSEP) for involvement in armed plots against the government.
The Reagan administration was not deterred. Cardinal Miguel Obando and the Catholic Church in Nicaragua received hundreds of thousands of dollars in covert aid, from the CIA until 1985, and then-after official US government aid was stopped by congressional oversight committees-from Oliver North's off-the-books operation in the White House basement. One end to which Obando reportedly put the money was "religious instruction" to "thwart the Marxist-Leninist policies of the Sandinistas''.
As part of a concerted effort to deprive the Nicaraguan economy of oil, several attacks on fuel depots were carried out. Contra/CIA operations emanating in Honduras also blew up oil pipelines, mined the waters of oil-unloading ports, and threatened to blow up any approaching oil tankers; at least seven foreign ships were damaged by the mines, including a Soviet tanker with five crewmen reported to be badly injured. Nicaragua's ports were under siege: mortar shelling from high-speed motor launches, aerial bombing and rocket and machine-gun attacks were designed to blockade Nicaragua's exports as well as to starve the country of imports by frightening away foreign shipping. In October 1983, Esso announced that its tankers would no longer carry crude oil to Nicaragua from Mexico, the country's leading supplier; at this point Nicaragua had a 10-day supply of oil.
Agriculture was another prime target. Raids by contras caused extensive damage to crops and demolished tobacco-drying barns, grain silos, irrigation projects, farm houses and machinery; roads, bridges and trucks were destroyed to prevent produce from being moved; numerous state farms and cooperatives were incapacitated and harvesting was prevented other farms still intact were abandoned because of the danger.
And in October 1982, the Standard Fruit Company announced that it was suspending all its banana operations in Nicaragua and the marketing of the fruit in the United States. The American multinational, after a century of enriching itself in the country, and in violation of a contract with the government which extended to 1985, left behind the uncertainty of employment for some 4,000 workers and approximately six million cases of bananas to harvest with neither transport nor market.'
Nicaragua's fishing industry suffered not only from lack of fuel for its boats. The fishing fleet was decimated by mines and attacks, its trawlers idled for want of spare parts due to the US credit blockade. The country lost millions of dollars from reduced shrimp exports.'
It was an American war against Nicaragua. The contras had their own various motivations for wanting to topple the Sandinista government. They did not need to be instigated by the United States. But before the US military arrived in Honduras in the thousands and set up Fortress America, the contras were engaged almost exclusively in hit-and-run forays across the border, small-scale raids on Nicaraguan border patrols and farmers, attacks on patrol boats, and the like; killing a few people here, burning a building down there,' there was no future for the contras in a war such as this against a much larger force. Then the American big guns began to arrive in 1982, along with the air power, the landing strips, the docks, the radar stations, the communications centers, built under the cover of repeated joint US-Honduran military exercises, while thousands of contras were training in Florida and California.
US and "Honduran" reconnaissance planes, usually piloted by Americans, began regular overflights into Nicaragua to photograph bombing and sabotage targets, track Sandinista military maneuvers and equipment, spot the planting of mines, eavesdrop on military communications and map the terrain. Electronic surveillance ships off the coast of Nicaragua partook in the bugging of a nation. Said a former CIA analyst: "Our intelligence from Nicaragua is so good ... we can hear the toilets flush in Managua."
Meanwhile, American pilots were flying diverse kinds of combat missions against Nicaraguan troops and carrying supplies to contras inside Nicaraguan territory. Several were shot down and killed.' Some flew in civilian clothes, after having been told that they would be disavowed by the Pentagon if captured. Some contras told American congressmen that they were ordered to claim responsibility for a bombing raid organized by the CIA and flown by Agency mercenaries. Honduran troops as well were trained by the US for bloody hit-and-run operations into Nicaragua ... and so it went ... as in El Salvador, the full extent of American involvement in the fighting will never be known.
The contras' brutality earned them a wide notoriety. They regularly destroyed health centers, schools, agricultural cooperatives, and community centers-symbols of the Sandinistas' social programs in rural areas. People caught in these assaults were often tortured and killed in the most gruesome ways. One example, reported by The Guardian of London, suffices. In the words of a survivor of a raid in Jinotega province, which borders on Honduras:
"Rosa had her breasts cut off. Then they cut into her chest and took out her heart. The men had their arms broken, their testicles cut off, and their eyes poked out They were killed by slitting their throats and pulling the tongue out through the slit."
Americas Watch, the human-rights organization, concluded that "the contras systematically engage in violent abuses ... so prevalent that these may be said to be their principal means of waging war."
In November 1984, the Nicaraguan government announced that since 1981 the contras had assassinated 910 state officials and killed 8,000 civilians.
The analogy is inescapable: if Nicaragua had been Israel, and the contras the PLO, the Sandinistas would have long before made a lightning bombing raid on the bases in Honduras and wiped them out completely. The United States would have tacitly approved the action, the Soviet Union would have condemned it but done nothing, the rest of the world would have raised their eyebrows, and that would have been the end of it.
After many contra atrocity stories had been reported in the world press, it was disclosed in October 1984 that the CIA had prepared a manual of instruction for its clients which, amongst other things, encouraged the use of violence against civilians. In the wake of the furor in Congress caused by the expose, the State Department was obliged to publicly condemn the contras' terrorist activities. Congressional intelligence committees were informed by the CIA, by present and former contra leaders, and by other witnesses that the contras indeed "raped, tortured and killed unarmed civilians, including children" and that "groups of civilians, including women and children, were burned, dismembered, blinded and beheaded". These were the same rebels whom Ronald Reagan, with his strange mirror language, called "freedom fighters" and the "moral equal of our founding fathers". (The rebels in El Salvador, in the president's studied opinion, were "murderers and terrorists".)
The CIA manual, entitled Psychological Operations in Guerrilla Warfare, gave advice on such niceties as political assassination, blackmailing ordinary citizens, mob violence, kidnapping, and blowing up public buildings. Upon entering a town, it said, "establish a public tribunal" where the guerrillas can "shame, ridicule and humiliate" Sandinistas and their sympathizers by "shouting slogans and jeers". "If ... it should be necessary ... to fire on a citizen who was trying to leave the town," guerrillas should explain that "he was an enemy of the people" who would have alerted the Sandinistas who would then "carry out acts of reprisals such as rapes, pillage, destruction, captures, etc."
In fact the incidence of such actions is quite small compared to the numbers being trained and the size of the armies on the continent. Moreover, compared to the histories of these countries, such events have becone less frequent compared to what prevailed before the school was started.
TEACHING NICARAGUA LESSON
It wasn't just El Salvador that was ignored by the mainstream US media during the 1970s. In the ten years prior to the overthrow of the Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza in 1979, US television-all networks-devoted exactly one hour to Nicaragua, and that was entirely on the Managua earthquake of 1972.
From 1960 through 1978, the New York Times had three editorials on Nicaragua. It's not that nothing was happening there-it's just that whatever was happening was unremarkable. Nicaragua was of no concern at all, as long as Somoza's tyrannical rule wasn't challenged.
When his rule was challenged, by the Sandinistas in the late 1970s, the US first tried to institute what was called "Somocismo [Somoza-ism] without Somoza"-that is, the whole corrupt system intact, but with somebody else at the top. That didn't work, so President Carter tried to maintain Somoza's National Guard as a base for US power.
The National Guard had always been remark ably brutal and sadistic. By June 1979, it was carrying out massive atrocities in the war against the Sandinistas, bombing residential neighborhoods in Managua, killing tens of thousands of people. At that point, the US ambassador sent a cable to the White House saying it would be "ill advised" to tell the Guard to call off the bombing, because that might interfere with the policy of keeping them in power and the Sandinistas out.
Our ambassador to the Organization of American States also spoke in favor of "Somocismo without Somoza," but the OAS rejected the suggestion flat out. A few days later, Somoza flew off to Miami with what was left of the Nicaraguan national treasury, and the Guard collapsed.
The Carter administration flew Guard commanders out of the country in planes with Red Cross markings (a war crime), and began to reconstitute the Guard on Nicaragua's borders. They also used Argentina as a proxy. (At that time, Argentina was under the rule of neo-Nazi generals, but they took a little time off from torturing and murdering their own population to help reestablish the Guard-soon to be re named the contras, or "freedom fighters.")
Reagan used them to launch a large-scale terrorist war against Nicaragua, combined with economic warfare that was even more lethal. We also intimidated other countries so they wouldn't send aid either.
And yet, despite astronomical levels of military support, the United States failed to create a viable military force in Nicaragua. That's quite remarkable, if you think about it. No real guerrillas anywhere in the world have ever had resources even remotely like what the United States gave the contras. You could probably start a guerrilla insurgency in mountain regions of the US with comparable funding.
Why did the US go to such lengths in Nicaragua? The international development organization Oxfam explained the real reasons, stating that, from its experience of working in 76 developing countries, "Nicaragua was...exceptional in the strength of that government's commitment...to improving the condition of the people and encouraging their active participation in the development process."
Of the four Central American countries where Oxfam had a significant presence (El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua), only in Nicaragua was there a substantial effort to address inequities in land ownership and to extend health, educational and agricultural services to poor peasant families.
Other agencies told a similar story. In the early 1980s, the World Bank called its projects "extraordinarily successful in Nicaragua in some sectors, better than anywhere else in the world."
In 1983, The Inter-American Development Bank concluded that "Nicaragua has made noteworthy progress in the social sector, which is laying the basis for long-term socio-economic development."
The success of the Sandinista reforms terrified US planners. They were aware that-as Jose Figueres, the father of Costa Rican democracy, put it-"for the first time, Nicaragua has a government that cares for its people." (Although Figueres was the leading democratic figure in Central America for forty years, his unacceptable insights into the real world were completely censored from the US media.)
The hatred that was elicited by the Sandinistas for trying to direct resources to the poor (and even succeeding at it) was truly wondrous to behold. Just about all US policymakers shared it, and it reached virtual frenzy.
Back in 1981, a State Department insider boasted that we would "turn Nicaragua into the Albania of Central America"-that is, poor, isolated and politically radical-so that the Sandinista dream of creating a new, more exemplary political model for Latin America would be in ruins.
George Shultz called the Sandinistas a "cancer, right here on our land mass," that has to be destroyed. At the other end of the political spectrum, leading Senate liberal Alan Cranston said that if it turned out not to be possible to destroy the Sandinistas, then we'd just have to let them "fester in [their] own juices."
So the US launched a three-fold attack against Nicaragua. First, we exerted extreme pressure
to compel the World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank to terminate all projects and assistance.
Second, we launched the contra war along with an illegal economic war to terminate what Oxfam rightly called "the threat of a good ex ample." The contras' vicious terrorist attacks against "soft targets" under US orders did help, along with the boycott, to end any hope of economic development and social reform. US terror ensured that Nicaragua couldn't demobilize its army and divert its pitifully poor and limited resources to reconstructing the ruins that were left by the US-backed dictators and Reaganite crimes.
One of the most respected Central America correspondents, Julia Preston (who was then working for the Boston Globe), reported that "Administration officials said they are content to see the contras debilitate the Sandinistas by forcing them to divert scarce resources toward the war and away from social programs." That's crucial, since the social programs were at the heart of the good example that might have infected other countries in the region and eroded the American system of exploitation and robbery.
We even refused to send disaster relief. After the 1972 earthquake, the US sent an enormous amount of aid to Nicaragua, most of which was stolen by our buddy Somoza. In October 1988, an even worse natural disaster struck Nicaragua-Hurricane Joan. We didn't send a penny for that, because if we had, it would probably have gotten to the people, not just into the
pockets of some rich thug. We also pressured our allies to send very little aid.
This devastating hurricane, with its welcome prospects of mass starvation and long-term ecological damage, reinforced our efforts. We wanted Nicaraguans to starve so we could accuse the Sandinistas of economic mismanagement. Because they weren't under our control, Nicaraguans had to suffer and die.
Third, we used diplomatic fakery to crush Nicaragua. As Tony Avirgan wrote in the Costa Rican journal Mesoamerica, "the Sandinistas fell for a scam perpetrated by Costa Rican president Oscar Arias and the other Central American Presidents, which cost them the February  elections."
For Nicaragua, the peace plan of August 1987 was a good deal, Avrigan wrote: they would move the scheduled national elections forward by a few months and allow international observation, as they had in 1984, "in exchange for having the contras demobilized and the war brought to an
end...." The Nicaraguan government did what it was required to do under the peace plan, but no one else paid the slightest attention to it.
Arias, the White House and Congress never had the slightest intention of implementing any aspect of the plan. The US virtually tripled CIA supply nights to the contras. Within a couple of months the peace plan was totally dead. As the election campaign opened, the US made it clear that the embargo that was strangling the country and the contra terror would continue if the Sandinistas won the election. You have to be some kind of Nazi or unreconstructed Stalinist to regard an election conducted under such conditions as free and fair- and south of the border, few succumbed to such delusions.
If anything like that were ever done by our enemies...I leave the media reaction to your imagination. The amazing part of it was that the Sandinistas still got 40% of the vote, while New York Times headlines proclaimed that Americans were "United in Joy" over this "Victory for US Fair Play."
US achievements in Central America in the past fifteen years are a major tragedy, not just because of the appalling human cost, but be cause a decade ago there were prospects for real progress towards meaningful democracy and meeting human needs, with early successes in El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua.
These efforts might have worked and might have taught useful lessons to others plagued with similar problems-which, of course, was exactly what US planners feared. The threat has been successfully aborted, perhaps forever.
Regarding Denmark, it is irrelevant whether the Muslims are legal or illegal immigrants. The piece makes it clear that the USA should be very selective regarding who we allow to immigrate here. Also, we should glean that it is important to keep out illegals. Do you really want to admit a group of people who wish to, say, adopt a shariah legal system in the USA, and who believe that their law should prevail relative how they treat their women, etc.?
Dragging in Jews is a red herring. The Nazis slaughtered them because they considered Jews an inferior race.
I'm not "draggin in Jews" to this discussion. I am merely pointing out that your sweeping comments about moslems generally and their supposed corrosive effects on the Western societies into which they have immigrated, legally or illegally, are entirely reminiscent of, and indeed nearly identical to, the various canards used to rationalize intolerance towards Jews and finally under the Nazis, a ghastly attempt to exterminate them. That is a matter of readily observable fact.
I don't really know why individual Nazis proposed or merely participated in the slaughter of Jews. It is very clear from the record that they expended great effort to depict them as an inferior race and one that had both exploited and contaminated the supposed Teutonic virtues they wished to model: the contradictions here are themselves worthy of note. However these are the basic themes that have been used from time immemorial to rationalize the persecution of one group by another.
There are traces of this evident in the Zionist insistence of a Jewish state unpolluted with the blood or culture of the people they are displacing and who live around them. And now you have expressed the very same things.
The rather tragic irony here is very telling, and I am glad to see that you have evidently been ruminating about it. We are all human beings and all share the same human nature. Intolerance and injustice are hateful things whether they are visited by Christians on Jews; Jews on Moslems; or Moslems on Chriatians. Moreover one does not rationalize or justify the other. They are all equally wrong.
The rehetoric of the Israeli government and indeed of many Israeli apoligists in this country - and on this site - is that Palestinians are unable to: govern themselves; get over their hatred for the Zionist entity that has displaced them from their homeland; wish for anything other than the extermination of all Israelis; or to participate usefully in any political dialogue based on the principal that all have equal rights as human beings. While this does involve some specific variations on the Nazi theme, I see little of substance that differentiates it from the hateful rhetoric of the Nazis.
Mitchell Cohen writes: Christopher Jones would like to know ” where Jews have improved humanity”. This might have been one of the most ignorant questions of all time. While I don’t have the time to list the hundreds of significant contributions, I will merely mention a few of the Jewish scientists and inventors who have helped to improve society. Paul Zoll- inventor of the cardiac defibrillator and pacemaker, Julius Lilienfeld- inventor of the transistor, Theodore Maiman- co-inventor of the laser, Irving Millman- creator of the vaccine for Hepatitis B, Robert Rines- inventor of sonogram sonar, Lias Reiss-invented converter of alternative electric current, Harold Rosen- geosynchronus satellite, Benjamin Rubin- vaccination needle, Reinhold Rudenberg- electron microscope, Issac Singer-sewing machine, Max Tishler- poultry antibiotic, Samuel Blum- LASIK eye surgery, Stanley Cohen- genetic engineering ( Nobel Prize) , Carl Djerassi- antihistamines , Willem Einthoven- inventor of EKG (Nobel Prize in Medicine)� Paul Eisler- inventor of printed circuit board, Gertrude Elion- anti-leukemia drugs� ( Nobel Prize in medicine) Julius Hess- incubator for premature babies, Charles Kelman- cataract surgery, Stanford Ovshinsky- amorphous solar cells, Jonas Salk- developed the first polio vaccine, Elie Metchnokoff- Nobel Prize in medicine (immunity studies) Paul Ehrlich- Nobel Prize for discovering a treatment for syphilis, Bernard Katz- Nobel Prize in medicine (neuromuscular studies), Baruch Blumberg- Nobel Prize in medicine (epidemiology), Andrew Schally- Nobel Prize in medicine ( endocrinology) Joshua Lederberg- Nobel Prize in medicine( viral studies), Georges Charpak- Nobel Prize in Physics for particle detection, Selman Waksman- Nobel Prize for physiology , Harold Kroto- Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Cesar Milstein- Nobel Prize in medicine (immunology) Hermann Muller- Nobel Prize in medicine ( biology) Leon Lederman-Nobel Prize in physics, Tadeus Reichstein- Nobel Prize in medicine, Howard Temin- Nobel Prize in medicine, Ferdinand Cohn- a co-founder of bacteriology, Arno Penzias- Nobel Prize in physics ( interstellar isotopes), Aaron Klug- Nobel Prize in Chemistry ( x-ray analysis) Stanley Pruisiner-Nobel Prize in medicine ( discovery of prions) Niels Bohr- Nobel Prize in Physics ( atomic structure) Fritz Haber- Nobel Prize� in chemistry, Rita Levi- Montalcini- Nobel Prize (nerve growth) . These are just a few of the Jews who have made enormous contributions to humanity. At least Cameron Sawyer and Ronald Hilton acknowledge that the world is a much better place for the incredible contributions made by a tiny group of followers of an ancient faith. Does Mr. Jones really believe there are only “irrational generalizations” concerning the contributions of the Jews to all aspects of society.?� I have not even mentioned Jews who made significant contributions in mathematics, sociology, economics, and psychology. In terms of Jewish business acumen, Mr. Jones would have us think this is a bad thing. Yet, it is an under appreciated fact that many successful Jews have been incredibly philanthropic over the years. This generosity has, in turn, led to medical discovery, the building of new educational facilities, improved hospital technology, and the building of all types of community projects. Instead of having an intense “irrational” dislike of Jews, Mr. Jones should respect them for all they have done for humanity. It is truly amazing that a religious group numbering only a few million in a world of� more than 6 billion could so greatly enhance humanity.
It is so difficult to live with Muslims.
It's quite depressing, isn't it? There are over 1 billion Muslims in the world and this is a problem not only in Denmark. In England, they are influencing education, in France, the government's policies, in India they are fighting Hindus, in Pakistan they are causing havoc. It looks as if the strict Danish immigration policy will be copied in many, if not most, Western countries, including ours.