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I think I have died and gone to irony heaven. Or maybe irony hell. That might explain the conversation going on in the corner.

Soren Kierkegaard: It's infinite, absolute negativity.

Alanis Morissette: It's like rain on your wedding day.

Soren Kierkegaard: Infinite negativity.

Alanis Morissette: Rain on you wedding day.

Soren Kierkegaard: I can't even talk to you when you get like this.

Blaise Pascal: It's the eternal silence of the infinite spaces.

Soren Kierkegaard: No, it isn't.

Where was I? Oh yes, IRONY HEAVEN: Oliver North is back in Nicaragua because...because the Nicaraguan people "have suffered enough from the influence of outsiders."

I almost peed myself.

It betrays the paucity and the rigidity of much neocon thought that the reelection of Daniel Ortega is causing hysterical (and entirely speculative) fear-mongering about WMD at our back door.

News flash: the Cold War is over. Don't you all remember taking credit for it?

The Sandinistas were never that bad in terms of governance. They overthrew the Samoza kleptocracy, they instituted free elections, they made unbelievable strides in literacy, they didn't "disappear" people. They weren't perfect--they exercised prior restraint on the presses and they forcibly removed indigenous people from their land. Amnesty International concluded, though, that these abuses were (apart from the repression on the press) not sanctioned by the government, but were the unauthorized acts of the militia and the FSLN attempted to prosecute the offenders.

The real reason - and not entirely unwarranted - that the US was concerned about the Sandinistas was that they had ties to the Soviets and had received military assistance (during the Samoza regime) from the KGB.

There's no KGB anymore. And Ortega is now a Christian free-marketer. So why all the fuss?

I think it has something to do with the trauma theory of memory--that certain events in our past can't become integrated into a seamless narrative, and thus acquire a distorted and distortive significance: we return to them again and again and we are forced to misread them in order to make them fit into the narrative we want to tell.

I guess Nicaragua is that for the neocons--the Iran Contra Hearings are the scene of trauma to which they return and rewrite and relive. By sending North again, a North who is speaking against foreign involvement, they can reimagine themselves as liberators.

Funnily enough, while this is the traumatic scene in the neocon memory, most everyone else has forgotten the Iran Contra scandal.

Except me--I'm still obsessed with it. How can you not love a trial of top government officials that produces the line, "I am not a potted plant."


Originally posted to Feemus on Mon Nov 20, 2006 at 11:20 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I just hope... (6+ / 0-)

    ....that Ollie North is arrested and tried for war crimes and given a life sentence.

  •  I KNEW he'd come slithering out along w/the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    other '80s retreads being foisted onto jr by poppy.

  •  I must say I like your style. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Content ain't half bad either. :-)

  •  North always reminds me of Reagan (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bronte17, Feemus

    and it baffles that Reagan is held in such high esteem. The Iran Contra scandal, firing 14,000 air traffic controllers, "trickle down" economics resulting in a record deficit that "is big enough to take of itself," kecthup is a vegetable for school lunches, c'mon what is so great about this guy?

  •  This was a few weeks ago (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bronte17, Russ Jarmusch, Feemus

    before the elections and I guess nobody listened to Ollie as Daniel Ortega was elected.

    Meanwhile, just Friday, the current President, Enrique Bolaños signed a bill outlawing abortion under any circumstances, a bill wich Sr. Ortega said he supported.

  •  That's "Somoza." (8+ / 0-)

    In 1927, Augusto César Sandino, Commander of the Army to Defend the National Sovereignty, launched a guerrilla war against U.S. forces in Nicaragua.

    In 1934, after five hundred battles fought against U.S. marines and sympathizers, Sandino successfully expels U.S. armed forces from Nicaragua. The U.S. withdraws, leaving Nicaraguan military officer, Anastasio Somoza as Commander of the National Guard.
    Under the tutelage of Arthur Bliss Lane, U.S. ambassador to Nicaragua, Somoza masterminds the assassination of Augusto César Sandino and founds a brutal dictatorship, fueled by U.S. funds, which is passed from father to son to brother for over 43 years.

    In 1978, the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN), anti-Somoza guerrilla forces launch a violent uprising against the military. Nicaragua is plunged into a near civil war.

    Somoza resigns on July 17th, and flees to Miami, exiling to Paraguay. On July 20th, Sandinista forces enter Managua, and hundreds of thousands of Nicaraguans celebrate their triumph. The Sandinista government implements social programs, which receive international recognition for their gains in literacy, health care, education, childcare, unions, and land reform. For the first time in history, Nicaraguans are called to decide their own future. Just as they struggle for increased self-sufficiency, the Reagan-Bush administration begins funding the Contra War. The goal is to undermine the Sandinista regime. This ten-year war is fought at the cost of 60, 000 lives, 178 billion dollars, and the Nicaraguan infrastructure and economy.

    Ollie NOrth is a war criminal who should be prosecuted for his participation in the COntra war against Nicaragua and the Sandanistas.

    "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex" Dwight D. Eisenhower

    by bobdevo on Mon Nov 20, 2006 at 11:56:05 AM PST

    •  thanks... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I'm not much of a speller.
      Great history and analysis.

    •  Don't Forget (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      that the resulting choas gave a fertile ground for the rise of such gangs as MS-13 which have now moved northward into the US.

      The very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world. Lies will pass into history. ~ George Orwell

      by JaketheSnake on Mon Nov 20, 2006 at 01:15:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You left out Somoza's end (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bobdevo, Feemus

      being assassinated on the streets of Asuncion, Paraguay.

      Torture is Wrong!

      by tom 47 on Mon Nov 20, 2006 at 01:16:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Isn't Paraguay where Bush just bought land? (0+ / 0-)

        Like the Nazis and Somocistas of old, I can just see some Gated Neocon Commune in the Paraguayan jungles, where Cheney can shoot tethered animals, Dubbya can snort Peruvian flake and Rummy can devour the still-beating hearts of the locals . . .

        "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex" Dwight D. Eisenhower

        by bobdevo on Mon Nov 20, 2006 at 01:42:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  well, funny but not exactly true (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          PY is the 3rd-poorest country in the western hemisphere, after Haiti and Bolivia.  Trying to govern itself after +/-35 years of dictatorship which ended in 1992.  It's a long slog, when the US continues to interfere there, and the distribution of wealth looks like the angle of repose of a handful of mud thrown at the wall (not to mix physics, economics and geology).

          The "Nazis and somocistas in the jungle" thing is cute, but only an exaggeration of a bit of truth from Mengele having possibly been there after fleeing Germany (unsubstantiated).  Meanwhile, the people of the country try to deal with coming in to the 21st century while learning to govern themselves.

          Torture is Wrong!

          by tom 47 on Mon Nov 20, 2006 at 01:52:52 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Cheney? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bobdevo, corvo

          He'll be shooting tethered people.

          You live and learn. At any rate, you live. -Douglas Adams

          by wandabee on Mon Nov 20, 2006 at 01:56:58 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  You got it right! Next to Castro we hate (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bobdevo, corvo, Feemus

      Ortega for daring to go up against our dictator.

      The contras were taught by our military to go after soft targets: school; vilages; hospitals and well you get it.

      Then, of course, our evangelist churches go over there afterwards to rebuild for them. After they voted for Reagan who destroyed them.

      I'm a gonna set my neighbor's house on fire and then help him rebuild it. He's gonna be ever so grateful for my help.

  •  One more thing I hate (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wandabee, Feemus

    about North was the atrocious hair-cuts most right wringers sported during his hey-day. UGH!!!

  •  Thanks for the memories... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I have never stopped being incensed about this. I was not politically active until Iran-Contra tied a string around my wrist and dragged me directly to the volunteer sign-up sheet in Michael Dukakis's Los Angeles campaign office.

    George W. Bush learned how to lie right at his daddy's knee -- remember Vice President George H. W. Bush asserting he hadn't been "in the loop" on the arms for hostages plan?

    You made my day by reminding me of the "potted plant" quote, though. I had completely forgotten that.

    You live and learn. At any rate, you live. -Douglas Adams

    by wandabee on Mon Nov 20, 2006 at 03:11:08 PM PST

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