Sunday, November 26, 2006

Rummy's replacement advocated illegal bombing of Nicaragua

In 1984, Robert Gates, Bush's current nominee to replace Rumsfeld as Secretary of Defense, advocated bombing Nicaragua in a memo to his then boss, CIA director William Casey.

Whatever the military and political merits of that action or of overthrowing the Sandinista in general, if Gates' advice had been followed, the Reagan administration would have been breaking the law (further). This was hardly an obscure law either. It was all over the news at the time.

The 1982 Boland Amendment forbid giving any military assistance to the overthrow of the Nicaraguan government, financial or direct.

It should be noted that the Sandinistas came to power as part of a coalition that included the woman the administration approved of to take Ortega's place. The Sandinistas won an internationally monitored election before that.

when they lost the next one, they peacefully handed over power.

It is worth noting that the US backed replacement privatized industries the Sandinistas had nationalized. How many Nicaraguans do you suppose that benefited?

I don't have any particular love for the Sandinistas (or animosity either), but if we claim to support democracy we should do so even when the results of elections get some corporation's knickers in a knot. Also, given the last couple of years, if the Bush faction demonizes someone, I would at least pause and take a good hard look at them before kicking them too.

Gates is probably more in the mold of Papa Bush's men, quiet, competent, and bland. But the policies he will pursue will be no less destructive than those of the more brazen, blundering Baby Bush crowd.

I doubt that the Democrats will oppose him. There are bigger fish to fry. But they should at least get his feet in the frying pan and make him feel the hot grease.

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