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domingo, diciembre 04, 2005

Those Who Forget History

As the ramp up to war in Iraq finally gets more scrutiny in the media and the Grand Jury, some of the Administration's statements on how easy and quick winning the war would be, how Iraqis would greet the invading troops with flowers and dancing in the streets, and how Iraqis would rise up to overthrow Sadam seem like a bad dream. But it's not a new bad dream; it's a very old story.

In his wonderful biography of Che Guevara Companero Jorge G. Casteneda writes about the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba:

The plan was relatively simple, and ludicrous. It relied on a series of faulty and biases analyses asserting that the Cuban population, weary of the regime's terror and privations, would welcome a brave and prestigious expeditionary force. According to CIA informers, division and unrest prevailed within the rebel armed forces; they would not hesitate to rise against the government. The plan called for the "freedom fighters" to establish a beachhead near the Escambray mountains where there was spme armed opposition to the regime. There they would receive foreign (that is, United States) recognition and support, and deploy a massive propaganda campaign. This would suffice to topple the government, or at least involve it in a civil war which would quickly become internationalized. (Castaneda, p.198)

I knew I knew that story. It has been told over and over again in the past 60 years. I've heard it a dozen times. The Bay of Pigs was probably not the first time it was told. Vietnam. Panama. Grenada. Haiti. The Dominican Republic. Iraq. It is an old, old story frequently retold. And it is, of course, festooned with the calculated lies that always seem to preceed regime change and invasion. Has this story ever been the truth? And if it hasn't, how can people still accept it? Are Norteamericanos that gullible, or do they relish the myth of being welcomed so deeply that they can't recognize that it's fallacious?