Tuesday, April 27, 2004

With the US military pounding Muslim temples in Falooja today compounding the already bad situation in Iraq, I thought it might be fun to take a look at the new US Ambassador in charge of overseeing this Clusterfuck with a capital "C". Meet John Negroponte, of Central America fame:
There is no question that Negroponte and the rest of the senior embassy personnel must have known about the disappearances and tortures of Honduran leftists since some of the most widely-distributed newspapers in the country carried at least 318 stories about such military abuses in 1982 alone. Negroponte also had direct contact with General Gustavo Alvarez Martinez, by then the chief of the Honduran armed forces and the secret head of Battalion 316. Negroponte himself has insisted that on occasion he requested the release of a torture victim when the story was close to breaking in the U.S. press. This happened in the 1982 case of the arrest and torture of journalist Oscar Reyes and his wife, Gloria. Clearly, Negroponte and the embassy knew enough about these cases to act appropriately on occasion and when compelled by circumstances to do so.

The replacement of Binns by Negroponte reflected a shifting foreign policy strategy for Central America, witnessed by the introduction of the Reagan administration’s hard-line policy and its implementation by Elliot Abrams; regarding Honduras, it was represented by the zealotry of the ambassador in Tegucigalpa, John Negroponte.

Negroponte’s objective in Honduras was eerily familiar to the Bush administration’s present goal in Iraq. The U.S. government, again, is attempting to implement a democratic format in a country that has not yet chosen to do it on its own, and not necessarily by democratic means. To implement this complex task will inevitably create a less than ideal situation for the ambassador to fulfill his instructions. But given Negroponte’s well-practiced M.O. of dark box chicanery, the spread of false information and outright lying, it is doubtful that he will be any less controversial or contrived in his task of successfully introducing democracy in Iraq than he was in Honduras, perhaps because “democracy” is not exactly his stigmata. John Negroponte is preeminently an-ends-justifies-the-means operator. He repeatedly in the past has proven that he is willing to employ practices which seem to be the antitheses of the definition of “democratic”, in democracy’s good name. Negroponte’s career has been one where in his professional life he has shown a willingness to use authoritarian means to professedly advance democracy.

He ought to fit right in over there. All who have possibly been a part of a war crime please raise your hand.