Noam Chomsky, Tom Hayden, Brian Wilson: At Work for John Negroponte?

On June 16th the Nicaraguan centre-right newspaper El Nuevo Diario published a letter [1] from various well known people calling for the Nicaraguan coalition government, led by the Sandinista FSLN, not to shut down political freedom and to hold a national dialogue to address the food crisis and the high cost of living in Nicaragua. This appeal was made in solidarity with Dora Maria Tellez, the former president of the neo-liberal social democrat Movimiento Renovador Sandinista. The letter’s signatories end their appeal by saying that Tellez represents a broad section of Nicaraguan political opinion and should be listened to.

The signatories’ response to criticism of their endorsement of the former MRS president’s oportunistically calculated, factitious appeal is likely to be that critics of their letter themselves offer misplaced solidarity the FSLN government does not merit. But a brief review of the facts of the MRS record in the last few years renders the dishonesty and shiftiness of Dora Maria Tellez and her colleagues in the MRS leadership very clear. Apologetics on behalf of the FSLN are superfluous in this case. The facts speak for themselves.

It is also possible the signatories might try and evade the issue by pretending they can separate Dora Maria Tellez as a person from the MRS party. They may try and suggest that her 12-day hunger strike – intended to apply moral pressure the Supreme Electoral Council – was not wholly designed to promote the political agenda of the MRS. If they were to make that argument, the letter’s signatories would be adding pathetic absurdity to their already glib intervention in Nicaraguan domestic politics.

Confirmation that the MRS cynically engineered the whole affair came with the letter’s sequel. First appeared a paid advertisement in the local press from the group of foreign cooperation development donor countries – who like the Bush regime have consistently promoted the MRS – criticising the Supreme Electoral Council’s interpretation of Nicaragua’s electoral law. Then the same day, the MRS held a national rally in support of Dora Maria’s protest. According to the MRS newspaper, El Nuevo Diario, the rally attracted a few thousand supporters from all over the country. The whole series of events was very clearly orchestrated by the MRS leadership, including Dora Maria Tellez herself.

Any attempt to patronise the signatories of the letter, suggesting maybe they are somehow unable to analyse all this for themselves along with what is happening in Nicaragua would be extremely foolish. They are all very politically sophisticated people, as well able as anyone to research via the Internet and to confirm via personal conversations the nature of the developing destabilisation campaign in Nicaragua of which the MRS is, from the US State Department’s point of view, a vital part. So one has to assume they know what they are doing and have no regrets about serving the interests of the campaign by the Bush regime and its European allies to destroy the solidarity based ALBA initiative, led by Cuba and Venezuela, in Central America and the Caribbean.

Before clarifying that assertion, it may help to recall some context vis-a-vis the MRS. The MRS themselves are very sophisticated political and diplomatic operators. Domestically, they have locally powerful and influential media at their disposal in the shape of the Canal 8 TV channel, the El Nuevo Diario daily newspaper. On the internet those news media are supplemented by the web sites of numerous NGOs who are extremely active political supporters of the MRS.

Since they are mostly talented and personally charming individuals, it has not been difficult for the MRS leadership and their supporters to sustain friendships and acquaintanceships forged during the 1980s, during the Sandinista revolution of those years, with similar individuals influential in North American and European media, academic and political circles. The FSLN has not been very effective internationally in combatting the MRS disinformation effort.

This explains in part how such a short document can come loaded with such a weight of disinformation both explicit and implicit. Nor is it surprising that a group of social democrats and liberals – in the USAmerican sense – should be doing John Negroponte’s and Tom Shannon’s low intensity war propaganda work and that of US ambassador Paul Trivelli, with his Masters in National Security from the Naval War College. Prior to the 2006 presidential election in Nicaragua, much of the US solidarity movement showed no qualms at all in duplicating the US embassy’s propaganda line that the FSLN and its leader Daniel Ortega were undemocratic. They said the same about the right wing Constitutional Liberal Party.

In the 2006 presidential election, the FSLN won almost 39% of the votes cast, the PLC won just over 26% and the MRS just over 7%. What that means is that the “undemocratic” parties won 65% of the vote between them, while the MRS alliance – the alliance, not the MRS party itself – just made the 5% cut off point below which they would have had to return public money disbursed to them for their electoral expenses. If the MRS party had run alone it is quite possible they would not even have made that 5% cut. This is the political party of which Dora Maria Tellez was president that the letter’s signatories allege represents a broad section of Nicaraguan political opinion.

The MRS party does not represent a broad body of Nicaraguan political opinion. It represents a very limited managerial class based largely on professional people and the plethora of non-governmental organizations who often claim, falsely, to represent Nicaraguan civil society. It is not surprising that the letter’s signatories are in solidarity with the MRS since they occupy a very similar class position to that of the MRS leadership in the societies of their own countries.

The MRS manage two – to keep matters simple, because they actually manage several – main discourses, one for domestic consumption and one, with the appropriate variations depending on context, for foreign consumption. Within Nicaragua their political and economic arguments are for neoliberal economic policies in line with the practice of their European, Third Way, New Labour-style social democrat supporters and acceptable to their supporters in the US government. Outside Nicaragua they tend to drop those arguments and put up front alleged concerns about democracy and freedom of speech. The division of labour is clear. Sergio Ramirez sells the MRS to the centre and the right. Monica Baltodano sells it to the left, Sofía Montenegro to feminist opinion, María López Vigil to progressive church opinion, and so on.

In striking consonance with the anti-Hugo Chavez, anti-Evo Morales formula, along with those freedom and democracy concerns they also stoke criticism about government economic policy. Sometimes they do this from the right via the perspective of Edmundo Jarquin, especially when the government criticises multinational corporations like Union Fenosa or Esso. Sometimes they attack from the left via the consummate opportunism of Monica Baltodano who, when she had the opportunity to vote against the grotesque manipulation of the Venezuelan RCTV case by the MRS and its right wing allies in the National Assembly, abstained.

Just so as to be clear about the level of identification the MRS leadership have with US and European policy one should remember that the MRS leadership – including former FSLN comandantes Luis Carrion and Victor Lopez Tirado – negotiated funding from the US electoral destabilisation quango, the International Republican Institute to train up MRS electoral officials prior to the 2006 presidential election. As part of that successful negotiation they held a meeting with Jean Kirkpatrick, IRI board member, whose record as US ambassador to the UN under President Reagan in support of mass murderers like the Argentinian junta and Augusto Pinochet, Rios Montt in Guatemala, the army death squads in El Salvador and of the Nicaraguan Contra should need no elaboration.

Likewise, they actively sought a meeting with Robert Zoellick when Zoellick was still Condoleezza Rice’s deputy Secretary of State. Current Assistant Under Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Thomas Shannon was quoted by Nuevo Diario of June 27th 2006 saying that then MRS Alliance leader, Herty Lewites, and right wing oligarch Eduardo Montealegre “represent the future of this country and the chance to open a space for all Nicaraguans.” The MRS is an active political ally of the US embassy’s political intervention inside Nicaragua and also that of European governments whose most vocal representative has tended to be Sweden’s ambassador, Eva Zetterberg.

Since the 2006 presidential election the MRS has consistently voted with the right wing Alianza Liberal Nicaraguense in the National Assembly including those votes critical of the Chavez government in Venezuela. The only issue on which their voting record has been more progressive than the FSLN is on the issue of abortion rights. On almost every other issue their voting record has been well to the right of the FSLN. Edmundo Jarquin, the party’s leader in the National Assembly worked for ten years as a senior official in the Inter-American Development Bank. So the affinities of the MRS leadership, whatever their role as individuals in the years of the Sandinista Revolution, are now very firmly with the discredited Washington Consensus as its proponents slowly help it shape-shift towards a workable policy program appropriate to an updated neocolonialist agenda.

It may help to remind the letter’s signatories of all this. They are all busy individuals. It is possible they had either forgotten or that they never knew. That factual review of matters is by no means intended to justify any allegedly repressive actions by the Nicaraguan government. In fact, it is the majority in the National Assembly, the right wing parties and their centre-right allies in the MRS, who have behaved with consistent vindictiveness and aggression since losing the presidential election to Daniel Ortega. Dialogue and negotiation have necessarily been the FSLN’s strategy ever since it lost power in the election in 1990, because they have not enjoyed a majority in the National Assembly since then.

It is also worth pointing out that the MRS formed part of the FSLN-led Convergencia Nacional until late in 2005. The FSLN is visibly very much the same party with the same leadership that it was during all the years the MRS formed part of the Convergencia. The only thing that has changed is that after the MRS jumped ship in 2005, the FSLN, electorally, did better than ever. Tellez and her colleagues would give even Alan Dershowitz a run for his money in terms of chutzpah, vindictiveness and doubletalk.

So now the MRS are alleging that a coalition government with a minority in the National Assembly is somehow imposing a dictatorship. It alleges the FSLN achieves this Incredible Hulk feat by means of an anti-democratic deal with the PLC. With just barely 7% national support, the MRS accuses two parties with 65% electoral support of an anti-democratic pact while the MRS themselves have struck deals and alliances consistently ever since 2005 with the most reactionary sectors of Nicaragua’s traditional oligarchy – most of whom, incidentally, also voted against abortion rights for women at the time that measure came before the National Assembly.

It is in all this context that the MRS decided quite deliberately not to comply for well over a year with repeated attempts, urging and encouragement from the Supreme Electoral Council to bring their electoral legal status up to date by satisfying various requirements in relation to procedural and administrative anomalies in violation of their party’s own statutes. The relevant electoral law was legislation supported by the MRS itself at the time of its approval in the National Assembly.

This same party that has repeatedly called for consolidation of a sound legal basis for public institutions in Nicaragua itself broke, in the most flagrant, negligent way, the very legality it so vociferously and demagogically purports to revere. They had every opportunity to put the relevant documentation in order. They did not do so. So what was the Supreme Electoral Council supposed to do? The MRS made it impossible for the Council members not to cancel the party’s formal electoral status. Unless one adopts Tony Blair, New Labour style obtuseness, one has to conclude on the facts that they did so deliberately to provoke a crisis.

If one looks at the modus operandi of US and European governments from the time of the overthrow of Prime Minister Mossadeq in Iran to the present, it hardly varies – media attacks, economic disruption, political division, military intimidation. It is hard to believe the letter’s signatories cannot discern the propaganda gift they have handed the US government. Condoleezza Rice, John Negroponte and Thomas Shannon can all now say, “Well look, it’s like we said all along. Even Tom Hayden, Brian Wilson and Noam Chomsky agree with us….”

The FSLN is not shutting down democratic spaces in Nicaragua. On the contrary, it is the victim of a vicious international disinformation campaign. The FSLN government is the Central American government doing most in the region to address the looming food crisis with investment, unprecedented since the Sandinista Revolution in the 1980s, in credit, technical support and subsidised inputs for small farmers, innovative sustainable agriculture programmes and an active environmental conservation policy.

The accelerating inflation rate throughout the dollar zone in Latin America is a direct result of deliberate dollar devaluation by the US monetary authorities who are increasing the money supply currently at a rate of 16% and more a year. They are doing that while local US government allies in Nicaragua hypocritically throw up their hands at accelerating price inflation, a world wide phenomenon. The government’s response has been to consult widely with the banking, industrial, farming and business sectors and with cooperatives and labour unions.

Whether they eventually work out a successful anti-inflation policy under the dauntingly adverse international economic situation is anyone’s guess. One thing is certain though, the stale, neoliberal managerial-class recipes on offer from the MRS will do little to ameliorate things any more than their deliberate attempts to provoke a bogus political crisis. The signatories of the letter in support of former MRS president Dora Maria Tellez have made themselves part of that fakery. Hayden, Chomsky, Wilson and the others have helped Thomas Shannon and his team pull off another propaganda coup to notch up alongside the RCTV farrago, the Buenos Aires suitcase affair, and the FARC laptops.

This is a time when the ALBA solidarity based trade project is under fierce attack by means of diplomatic pressure, internal destabilisation, military intimidation and economic disruption. Nicaragua is an important member of ALBA. The FSLN government’s friendly relations with other Central American governments facilitate continual discussion about how to extend ALBA’s solidarity based model in the region.

The FSLN government programme very clearly seeks to meet the needs of Nicaragua’s impoverished majority within an adverse configuration of political power. The country’s media are controlled by the right and the centre-right. The FSLN face an opposition majority in the National Assembly. The right and centre-right – like the MRS – accuse them of being authoritarian because the FSLN oppose the neocolonialist corporate globalization agenda advocated by the MRS and its backers in the NATO governments who dominate Nicaragua’s foreign development cooperation budget. Resistance to NATO government policy is invariably characterised as populist and anti-democratic.

The FSLN government is in some ways a quixotic attempt to manage seemingly irreconcilable contradictions. The Sandinista bourgeoisie rode to power in 2006 on the overwhelming popularity of Daniel Ortega. Their contribution was to fund the campaign and bring on board Nicaragua’s politically open-minded business classes. The popular base in the urban barrios, in rural areas, in the cooperatives and labour unions mobilised the electoral support. These two main components of the FSLN’s political viability enjoy an equivocal relationship which tends to be reflected in government policy. The MRS acts constantly to upset that equivocal balance and lever internal FSLN contradictions, so far without notable success.

The MRS is a key component of the US government’ efforts to stymie and destroy ALBA’s appeal in the region and promote corporate friendly policies like those implemented in, for example, Brazil or Uruguay – never mind all the throw away, ready-to-go “pink tide” commentary. US policy in the region will not change even if Barack Obama becomes US President. Noam Chomsky, Brian Wilson and Tom Hayden and their fellow signatories have helped the Bush regime recoup lost ground for unjust US and European militarist corporate domination in Latin America which they will bequeath to whichever US plutocrat dauphin is anointed in November.


Notes

1. Documento de grandes figuras internacionales – Dora María merece ser escuchada, El Nuevo Diario, 16 June 2008.

Translation :

The signatories of this pronouncement have, one way or another, shared Nicaragua’s history. During the Sandinista struggle against the dictatorship of Anastasio Somoza and afterwards during the years in which Nicaragua suffered the aggression produced bythe interventionist policy of the Reagan Administration, we accompanied revolutionary Nicaragua with our positions and our actions. Many of us formed part of a broad solidarity movement.

From that time on we have gotten to know and admire the valour and commitment of Dora María Tellez. Her integrity, prestige, dedication and the risk caused to her life by staying on hunger strike for 13 days prompts us to make a pronouncement asking the Nicaraguan government to meditate well on the consequences of not paying attention to the demands she represents.

What led Dora María to once more put her life and health on the line is a clear demand : that political spaces not be closed and that a national dialogue take place to resolve the food crisis and the high cost of living which, like many countries, Nicaragua faces.

None of these demands is irrational and a government that wants popular support ought to respond to them.

We want to support this demand and this protest. Political representation is a right. It is a right to protest against mechanisms that shut down this space. Dora María is exercising her right. She represents a broad sector of Nicaraguan society that ought to be listened to. We ask for her right, for that of her comrades and that of all Nicaraguans.

  • Noam Chomsky
  • Susan Meiselas
  • Ariel Dorfman
  • Salman Rushdie
  • Eduardo Galeano
  • Hermann Schulz
  • Juan Geiman
  • Brian Willson
  • Tom Hayden
  • Bianca Jagger
  • Mario Benedetti

22 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Lloyd Rowsey said on June 22nd, 2008 at 5:03am #

    I’ve been jumping around a lot this morning, and I hope to get back and read this piece carefully. But what’s its point? That two of our intellectual heroes — one of them a politico — and Brian Wilson, the Beachboy? — can be fooled by scumbag intelligence assholes with the most powerful computers in existence?

    Hey, Bianca Jagger’s pretty hot herself.

  2. dan e said on June 22nd, 2008 at 10:08am #

    This is the same misapprehension as Dr Bishart’s application of “blunder” to Obama’s criminal stance. Like we’re sposta say “Oh, Noam & Tom just got fooled this once, but the rest of the time they’re Intellectual Heroes”. What a crock. Dunno if that’s what you meant to say, I’m just going by your comment’s text.

    Noam Chomsky is no doubt a brilliant intellectual, but also a Zionist who has long been exposed as such by Jeff Blankfort and others. Tom Hayden one the other hand is a stupid chump who has parlayed his accidental proximity to important events in the Vietnam era into a career as petit-bourgeois politician in service to his Imperial masters.

    Petit-bourgeois “antiwar” activists who continue to accept either character as part of the Global Left, that is as allied with the class of people all over the planet who do not derive their livelihood from Property or privileged access to education, information, technology, healthcare, are helping the cause of the Zionist Power Config which now, with the aid of allies & jr partners, runs US Imperialism.

    For an Anglo in the US, dependent on US Media, it’s impossible, esp. if your Espanol is limited (like mine) ,to follow developments south of Nicholas B. Frist’s line on the map. But if you want to understand the overall political situation in the US you need to try to keep up best you can.
    Never forget what neighborhood you live in.

  3. hp said on June 22nd, 2008 at 12:41pm #

    Here’s a fine example of just that. The epitome of USrael.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onNzrNEFs1E&feature=PlayList&p=181923B27C885CDF&index=0&playnext=1#

  4. Lloyd Rowsey said on June 22nd, 2008 at 2:28pm #

    Maybe we use the word “intellecual” differently, dan e. Both Chomsky and Hayden spoke and wrote directly to the major concerns of thinking leftists, in their day, and I’m happy to say neither of their day’s has passed. It’s easy for you to dump on Hayden as a petit-bourgeois politician; does that distinguish him in your mind from Barbara Lee and Dennis Kucinich, or do you dump all three in the trash together?

    I’m not even going to approach the Israel-as-the-Root-of-All-Evil matter. You and hp can enjoy your circle-jerk together on that subject.

  5. hp said on June 22nd, 2008 at 2:36pm #

    How about if uncle Tom says it himself, Lloyd?

    http://www.counterpunch.org/hayden07202006.html

  6. Giorgio said on June 22nd, 2008 at 5:16pm #

    hp,
    Thanx for the links to those Wallace videos, most refreshing…

    “USrael-as-the-Root-of-All-Evil” ? Why not?
    Hitler and Nazism has been branded, unchallenged, the root of ALL Evil for the last 60 years, why not NOW this duo?

    My advice is, now that he has dropped out of the presidential nomination, to join in the Ron Paul REVOLUTION and put a break on this madness…

  7. Shabnam said on June 22nd, 2008 at 7:23pm #

    hp:
    From uncle Tom:
    “What I fear is that the “Israeli lobby” is working overtime to influence American public opinion on behalf of Israel’s military effort to “roll back the clock” and “change the map” of the region, going far beyond issues like prisoner exchange. “
    [What I fear is the rehabilitation of the discredited U.S. neoconservative agenda to ignite a larger war against Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria and Iran. The neoconservatives’ 1996 “Clean Break” memo advocated that Israel “roll back” Lebanon and destabilize Syria in addition to overthrowing Saddam Hussein. An intellectual dean of the neoconservatives, Bernard Lewis, has long advocated the “Lebanonization” of the Middle East, meaning the disintegration of nation states into “a chaos of squabbling, feuding, fighting sects, tribes, regions and parties.”]
    Is this not exactly what we have been saying many times in the past? Those who advocate the phony slogan of “no blood for oil” to deflect attention to serve Israel’s interest are fooling no one except themselves. The Zionist lobby, a fifth column, is pushing for another war against Iran now, which is not in the interest of American people and they MUST ACT NOW to prevent further war and destruction beneficial to “greater Israel” where goes from Mauritania to
    Afghanistan against American interest. The Zionists and their gatekeepers who try to fool the public with “no blood for oil” are using Americans military power to destroy their enemies to raise their own empire in the region. Iranian and the people of the region will make sure that these people take their wishes into their graves including the gatekeepers.
    The Shah of Iran who had close relationship with Israel said AIPAC had a lot of influence on US foreign policy in 1976 in an interview with Mike Wallace.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQgZ3oLp_WY
    This is an interview with Ahmadinejad who apparently “surprised” one of the members of the media.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykd-syzZ4ZY

  8. hp said on June 22nd, 2008 at 7:31pm #

    What does ‘Uncle Gore’ have to say about this most unsettling matter?
    He’s been saying it since 1986, at least.

    https://www.dissidentvoice.org/Articles/Pettifer_Zionism.htm

  9. john wilkinson said on June 22nd, 2008 at 8:09pm #

    “…spoke and wrote directly to the major concerns of thinking leftists”

    that’s the problem, they’re “thinking” in their isolated ivory towers and echo chambers (of which this is a fine example). real thinking comes from thinking AND doing AND interaction with the real world. “intellectuals” have been at the root of many evils thru history.

    “…does that distinguish him in your mind from Barbara Lee and Dennis Kucinich, or do you dump all three in the trash together?”

    well, i dump ALL you “intellectuals” and “leftists” and “progressives” in the trash together. i mean i want to throw up when i consider the difference btw your hype and what you really stand for. just look at your luminaries, they’ve done pretty well for themselves while not helping the people or the country ONE IOTA. anyone can bullshit in an armchair. and no, not ONE of them, would really like to be in a position of authority and responsibility, that would mean getting their hands dirty, all these presidential runs are just side shows for base points, fame, power and money. it’s much easier making your millions by bullshitting the blind.

    do you think that barbara lee, or tom hayden, or dennis kucinich would even notice that you or I entered the room? (unless it’s posing for cameras). no, they would look straight through us, we don’t even exist in their little cliques. they could give shit what we think or how it is to be in our shoes. to them, we’re not even ants. it’s not about us, it’s about them, they’ve got a nice little gig going all these years.

    “I’m not even going to approach the Israel-as-the-Root-of-All-Evil matter.”

    yes, it’s great living in an israeli colony and being the colonized, and having your taxes go toward israeli concerns (while making US the target of THEIR blowback) and having your “leaders” commit high treason by licking israeli boots and kissing israeli ass (IN PUBLIC), and giving israel priority over all other states of the US.

    get out in the world, lloyd, REAL WORLD, and smell some fresh air, instead of hanging around this echo chamber. how many people do you think read this article? lessee, there are a grand total of 8 comments (including mine), so, let’s be optimistic and assume that only 1 in 100 readers leaves a comment (wildly optimistic, since it’s so easy). that makes a grand total of 800 readers of this article (while 80 is more like it). and how many would really change their mind? so, you see, this site makes as much difference as an ant in India.

    and i didn’t even read the article, i’m just commenting on these cobwebs surrounding the article. i know my comments also don’t make a diff, but i just enjoy calling you “intellectuals” on your bullshit once in a while.

  10. john wilkinson said on June 22nd, 2008 at 8:15pm #

    “Both Chomsky and Hayden spoke and wrote directly to the major concerns of thinking leftists.”

    this sentence says it all. why are they speaking and writing to the concerns of “thinking” (sic) leftists, instead to the concerns of the PEOPLE of this country and this country? in your mind these are obviously two different things!!!! so, what good are you leftists?

    there’s really not much to add, once you’re done with all the subtraction.

  11. samson said on June 23rd, 2008 at 7:17am #

    OK, after all the ranting about the MRS, what’s wrong with calling for a government to “not to shut down political freedom and to hold a national dialogue to address the food crisis and the high cost of living in Nicaragua”?

    That sounds like a basic principle I could support, regardless of the endless yiping about one political party or another. In fact, I’d like to see that happen in America.

  12. Lloyd Rowsey said on June 23rd, 2008 at 7:28am #

    what a pleasure to be the carrion on which hp and John Wilkison feed.

  13. hp said on June 23rd, 2008 at 8:25am #

    I’m only here for the cake.

  14. rosemarie jackowski said on June 23rd, 2008 at 10:56am #

    There are a lot of Brian Wilson’s. The one I know is a vet, activist, and protester. He was protesting a train load of weapons, being transported, when he was run over – maybe on purpose. He was left without proper help and lost his legs. He is a real hero.

  15. Terry Townsend said on June 23rd, 2008 at 4:16pm #

    Readers might be intertested in the following article:
    “Nicaragua: Anti-FSLN opposition seeks unity to topple Ortega government” at http://links.org.au/node/482

  16. Deadbeat said on June 23rd, 2008 at 4:17pm #

    The signatories look like the same folks who signed on with an Iranian “peace” group that was shunned by the British. I recall that discussion here on DV. It was an article written by Ron Jacobs if I’m not mistakened.

  17. Deadbeat said on June 23rd, 2008 at 4:25pm #

    Petit-bourgeois “antiwar” activists who continue to accept either character as part of the Global Left, that is as allied with the class of people all over the planet who do not derive their livelihood from Property or privileged access to education, information, technology, healthcare, are helping the cause of the Zionist Power Config which now, with the aid of allies & jr partners, runs US Imperialism.

    This is a great observation. There has been a lot of talk of “Imperialism” as a way to obscure the ZPC. But the question is who influences and in whose interest is Imperialism being advanced in today’ era. This question is not being asked by those on the “left” who likes to merely throw out “Imperialism” as an esoteric label.

  18. Lloyd Rowsey said on June 24th, 2008 at 12:14pm #

    Maybe someone can explain to me what the difference is between Israel controlling US foreign policy and US foreign policy being completely deferential to Israel, in terms of effective opposition to pro-Israel legislation and military support by America. In both cases, we as American citizens, or at least we as persons located in America and without the means to travel outside America’s borders, are compelled to work within parameters operative in America. Do we not?

    So whether one thinks the tail (Israel) wags the dog (the US), or vice versa, is essentially a matter of emphasis. With one difference, however. Thinking — and preaching — that the tail wags the dog opens one to the charge of Anti-Semitism (racism), which charge when levelled by Americans against Americans, in my humble opinion, resonates with such forceful negativity among America’s rulers that it further empowers the tail.

  19. dan e said on June 25th, 2008 at 11:32am #

    Come on Lloyd, where you been? IMHO you a pretty good guy, but you behind the curve on this Hayden character. He usta be a legislator here in Sac, back when I was a Poverty Warrior going to hearings etc. Remember “Economic Democracy”? “CED”? What a crock.

    “The greatest weapon in the hands of the Oppressor is the Mind of the Oppressed.”

    Anyone who has grown up in the US of A has been subjected to Colonization of the Mind. So the first assignment for each of us is to Decolonize our own thought processes.

    Rule No 1: ASSUME NOTHING

  20. Lloyd Rowsey said on June 25th, 2008 at 5:42pm #

    Thanx for stepping back into the thread, dan e. I lump Tom Hayden into the category of white-leftists-all-of-whom-failed in significant part because they thought white radicals confronted the same issues as black radicals. To quote myself in a post to Robert Jensen’s DV article of June 6:

    ‘Although the left was not even radical in the 1990’s, it was grasping at the same straws as it had been hoping would “ignite” the masses at least since Watergate. This hope, combined with a not-totally unjustified fear that real radicalism — a la Malcolm X and the Black Panthers — would subject them to the same treatment (as well as set back if not end their imagined progress with middle Americans), largely explains their contribution to the nihilistic nineties.’

    In fact I was so disillusioned with white-leftists after the 1970’s that I stopped paying attention to the politics of Hayden, and all other legislators in Sac, and have not really paid them any mind since. So I don’t remember the crocks you mention. Since about four years ago I have become somewhat politically active, as well as very politically aware, and in terms of support for politicians, I’ve contributed bucks to Dennis Kucinich and Barbara Lee and Cindy Sheehan.

    I appreciate your quotation. Who said it? Whoever it was is a very courageous person as well as being right, ultimately. And I hope I follow your Rule 1. Always. I know I try to.

  21. Terry said on July 11th, 2008 at 7:48pm #

    Your facts are wrong. The majority of Nicaraguan´s voted for the two Center-Right parties, the PLC and the NLC. The PLC and FSLN, with El Pacto, embody the worst of strongman-third world corruption. I was living in Nicaragua at the time, and had been living there for the two previous years. the MRS would have faired better in the election had the original candidate lived (Herty Lewites died, quite conspicously, four months prior to the election). A split ticket (Lewites was a former Sandinista spliting the ticket with Ortega) and a split Liberal ticket (Rizo was Aleman´s puppet, Monteleagre is a very popular centrist) would have put Monteleagre in front. By Lewites death, Ortega was able to win the election with 38% of the vote (the previous constitution–before El Pacto–required a run-off election between the top two candidates until someone wins with 50% at least. Eliminating this rule (Ortega knew he would get at least 36% of the vote), and Lewites untimely death, led to Ortega`s victory. Had Rizo not taken a percentage of Monteleagre`s split vote (which would have happened in a run-off election, there is no question that Monteleagre would currently be president. The election results were 14% Rizo, 32% Monteleagre, 38% Ortega, 7% Jarquin (Lewites was running closer to 18% before he died). So, Liberals and Liberal dissendents had 46% of the vote to Sandinista and Sandinista dissendents totalling 45%.
    Corruption is such a central concern of Nicaraguans that Lewites and Monteleagre (though political opposites) were able to march side-by-side in the streets of Managua declaring that either of them would have a place in the others administration. The march was understood to be against El Pacto–against the corruption of Ortega and Aleman.

    Since taking office, Ortega has created his own Citizen´s Counsel in each region to spend the 570? million dollars that he has received from Chavez. Instead of putting that money into the government and allowing democratic channels like the National Assembly to decide how it is spent, Ortega has guarenteed himself complete control over where (and more importantly to whom) the money goes. How is that democratic? There has also been a level of secrecy and censorship which has not been in Nicaragua since the 80s.

    Dora Maria Tellez has the moral autority to condemn Ortega`s government because, unlike the majority of FSLN members, she refused to play a part in la piñata (the theft of money and property that Sandinistas split amongst themselves after taking office). The most respected and idealistic of the Frente Sandinista from the days of the revolution are all MRS members now from Sergio Ramirez, Dora Maria Tellez, Edmundo Jarquin and the late Herty Lewites.

    The FSLN is not the party it was in the 1980s. It is one half of the power-sharing couple of Aleman and Ortega. The Nicaraguan people deserve better.

  22. oscar jose said on October 18th, 2008 at 12:30am #

    it has been to my amazement how alot of liberal white websites claim to understand latin america. relative to me is nicaragua. how can this article claim that ortega was a popular elected president. what are the bearings they have to claim this?