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."