cj#702> The Hague – sickening hypocrisy


Richard Moore

Dear cj,

The world cheered when NATO storm troopers kidnapped a "war criminal"
recently, shooting his colleague, and brought him to the Hague to face

I personally find the whole development utterly repulsive.

Not only because the US and Germany set up the whole Yugoslav
destabilization process in the first place, not only because they watched
it fester with callous disregard for human suffering, not only because they
engineered the outcome to their own advantage, and not only because the
atrocities of one side in the conflict are publicised while those of the
other are overlooked - although these should be more than enough - but even
more because of the many crimes-against-humanity committed - and still
being committed today - by Uncle Sam, who has the gall to then stand up
before the world as champion of justice.  How does the US get by with it??
It's as if Al Capone were to be elected Police Chief.  The mind boggles.

I had another look at "Panama Deception" the other day, the excellent
documentary of the Panama invasion (thanks to Joshua2 for my copy).
Eyewitnesses described how prisoners were set out on the lawn, hands tied
behind their backs, and then machine-gunned in front of onlooking citizens.
Eyewitnesses described how GIs went from house to house, systematically
burning down entire neighborhoods.  Eyewitnesses told how people were
pulled out of cars at roadblocks, laid down on the pavement, and shot.  The
camera showed mass graves being dug up, and the tears of those uncovering
the shame of "Operation Just Cause".

Meanwhile, the only thing on US television regarding the invasion was "the
hunt for Noriega the drug dealer" - a phony cover-story sideshow.  Panama
continues its role in the CIA-managed world drug trade - as a financial
center of money laundering and drug brokering.  Noriega's actual "crime"
was his opposition to US policy in Central America, which brings us to
another episode of US crimes against humanity.

The "School of the Americas" continues to operate to this day - the
training center for torture and brutal police suppression which is directly
responsible for decades of death squads and hundreds of thousands of
"disappearances" throughout Latin America.  What greater crime against
humanity than to systematically subject an entire continent to
Gestapo-tactics police-state regimes?

The above are of course only random examples.  A full indictment of Uncle
Sam for crimes against humanity would also include Hiroshima and Vietnam,
and would mention such episodes as burying-alive three thousand Iraqi
soldiers with bulldozers, and engineering the starvation of Iraqi

Until the likes of Haig, MacNamara, Kissinger, Bush, Schwartzkopf, and
Clinton are in the docks of the tribunal, I for one reject the legitimacy
of the court.

It is making a show trial of a minor pawn, so that the major criminals can
remain free, so the world can seduce itself into believing that progress
toward justice is being made, and so that the Judge Dredd US/NATO strike
force can continue the dismantlement of national sovereignty.  It is a sham
and a disaster.


Incidentally, as regards Latin America, here may seem to have been a
retrenchment recently from suppression/death-squad tactics, what with the
peace settlement in El Salvador, etc.  But, as the article below reveals,
the old-style operations are not gone (nor is the School for the Americas
closed down), and the only significant consequence of El-Salvador-style
settlements may turn out to be the disarming of the guerillas, which they
may yet come to regret.


From: •••@••.•••
To: "Workers World News Service" <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Colombian death squads
Date: Tue, 5 Aug 1997

Via Workers World News Service
Reprinted from the August 7, 1997
issue of Workers World newspaper


By Andy McInerney

Following a series of highly publicized defeats at the
hands of the revolutionary forces in Colombia, the ruling
class is striking back with a vengeance. Death squads backed
by the Colombian armed forces have massacred scores of
civilians, tortured others and forced thousands to flee in
recent weeks.

Some 150 thugs entered the Mapiripan department of the
southeastern Meta province on July 20. According to the New
Colombia News Agency (ANNCOL), over 30 people were killed
outright in a bloody killing spree that lasted some five

The death squads decapitated six people and hung heads on
lampposts in the town square. Twenty-seven others were
tortured in the assault.

At least 500 of the municipality's 2,500 residents have

"It wasn't an indiscriminate massacre," according to
ANNCOL, quoting human-rights organizations. "It was a plan
developed almost three years ago. The authors are sectors of
the military high command, economic groups of the Colombian
oligarchy, fascist political sectors, and known paramilitary

The Mapiripan massacre was not an isolated incident. On
July 17 Mauricio T=A2pias and Camilo Suarez, two leaders of
the banana workers in the coastal region of Ci=82naga, were
kidnapped. They were found dead three days later.

The FECODE union federation representing Colombian
professors launched a four-day general strike on July 22 to
demand an end to threats against educators. Twenty-two
professors have been killed by death squads in the past six

"The situation of threats and murders of Colombian
teachers has no comparison in other countries and must
stop," said Fred Van Leewen, secretary general of the world
labor body Educational International.

On July 25, death squads planted a 130-pound bomb in front
of the national headquarters of the Patriotic Union (UP)
party. Over 4,000 members of the UP, a broad leftist front,
and the Communist Party of Colombia have been assassinated
in the past 10 years.

Death-squad activity has increased since a 1994 conference
of paramilitary groups like the misnamed "Peasant Self-
defense Group of C=A2rdoba and Urab=A0." The conference created
"special vigilance and private security services," known as

These are essentially legalized death squads. They
coordinate their activities with the Colombian armed forces.

The results have been deadly. Since the 1994 elections,
death squads have assassinated 226 councilors and 20 mayors.
Seven hundred Communist Party members have been killed in
the northern Urab=A0 region alone.

In the San Alberto region, a stronghold for the militant
oil workers' union, only 300 of an original 1,700 members


Right-wing violence has been a constant factor in Colombia
for the past 10 years. But the recent escalation is a direct
product of the same social crisis that has provoked vast
mass mobilizations over the past year.

In September 1996 hundreds of thousands of people--
workers, peasants, students--took part in massive street
demonstrations against President Ernesto Samper's
government. At the same time the armed revolutionary
movement led by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-
People's Army (FARC-EP) launched its most sustained
offensive in decades.

On June 15, the FARC gained world attention by peacefully
handing over 70 government troops captured in battle. The
negotiations preceding the prisoner turnover drove a
political wedge between Samper and military hawks like Gen.
Harold Bedoya.

Samper fired Bedoya on July 24, reportedly over Bedoya's
refusal to consider any type of negotiation with the FARC.
But Bedoya--who has close ties to the Pentagon and was
trained at the infamous School of the Americas--has hinted
strongly that he will run for the presidency in the 1998

The Colombian military is the biggest recipient of U.S.
military aid in the Western Hemisphere. A November 1996
Human Rights Watch report, "Colombia's Killer Networks,"
documented the role of the Pentagon and Central Intelligence
Agency in organizing and training death squads.

In early June the London-based Guardian newspaper reported
on the multinational conglomerate British Petroleum's
efforts to use former elite Special Air Service commandos to
train Colombian police and a private army to protect BP's
investments in Colombia.

                         - END -

(Copyright Workers World Service: Permission to reprint
granted if source is cited. For more information contact
Workers World, 55 W. 17 St., NY, NY 10011; via e-mail:
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