Israel/Palestine and Iraq are not the only places in the world where American neoconservatives have contributed to death and destruction. I have just been to the southernmost border of the United States, to learn more about the flood of refugee mothers and children who are fleeing gang violence in Central America. My first-hand report in The Nation makes clear that America’s disastrous policies in that region back in the 1980s are a major reason the kids are running for their lives today. As I state there, Americans have little understanding of those policies.
Americans, especially young Americans, probably know more about the 1994 genocide in Rwanda than they do about how their own government funded murderous right-wing dictatorships in Central America back in the 1980s.
Neoconservatives, both in and out of the Reagan administration, were major supporters of the immoral blunders that have caused the huge refugee problem today. Elliott Abrams, who worked at the State Department, is Exhibit A. This site has already explained at some length how he lied to cover up for death squads in El Salvador. It is quite extraordinary to remember that Abrams and the Reagan administration he served maintained friendly relations with colonels who had actually ordered the murder of Archbishop Oscar Romero, a courageous man who is today being considered for sainthood. The U.S. actually gave these military murderers $5 billion.
Robert Kagan was not nearly as prominent back then. But Kagan, who today is publicly sucking up for a post in a Hillary Clinton administration (with the assistance of the New York Times), also worked in the Reagan State Department. Kagan later wrote A Twilight Struggle, his long, turgid account of the U.S. undeclared war against the Sandinista government in Nicaragua. The book – I unfortunately had to read it to write a review – is a whitewash and a coverup of how the U.S. violated international law, by, among other crimes, mining the country’s harbors. Outside government, neoconservatives in the ’80s led raucous cheerleading for these callous, violent policies, even in the pages of supposedly liberal publications like The New Republic. What is astonishing about the mainstream press coverage of the present exodus from Central America – 90,000 unaccompanied children from there are expected to cross the border by September 30 – is that none of the reports take even a brief look at history; no mainstream accounts are making this vital connection, which shows American responsibility.