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Parry writes: "If there is one consensus in the mainstream US news media, it seems to be that not a discouraging word can be spoken about Ronald Reagan. On those rare occasions when major US news outlets do make mention of the Guatemalan genocide of the 1980s, they circumspectly reframe the story to avoid mentioning Reagan's role."

The Ronald Reagan myth persists in the US, but the fallout is still being sorted in Central America. (photo: Bettmann/Corbis)
The Ronald Reagan myth persists in the US, but the fallout is still being sorted in Central America. (photo: Bettmann/Corbis)

Reagan's Hand in Guatemala's Genocide

By Robert Parry, Consortium News

24 January 12


Guatemala has begun a politically difficult process to make human rights violators of the 1980s accountable for their crimes, including genocide inflicted on Indian villages, but the United States still heaps praise on the killers' chief American accomplice, Ronald Reagan, writes Robert Parry.

uatemala is taking steps to hold an ex-dictator accountable for genocide committed against Maya-Ixil Indians in the 1980s, even as the United States continues to honor the American president - Ronald Reagan - who helped make that genocide possible.

A Guatemalan judge ordered Efraín Ríos Montt to appear in court on Thursday in what could be the start of a process for trying the former military dictator on genocide charges for authorizing scorched-earth campaigns against Maya-Ixil villages suspected of sympathizing with leftist guerrillas.

In the late 1990s, a United Nations truth commission investigated the slaughters, which involved the killing of men, women and children, and labeled the massacres carried out during Ríos Montt's 17-month reign in 1982 and 1983 as "genocide." Two of Ríos Montt's generals were arrested on war crimes and genocide charges last year.

However, while Guatemala, though beset by many serious problems including widespread poverty, takes politically difficult steps to impose some accountability on these war criminals, the U.S. politician most associated with Ríos Montt and his genocide, remains the subject of endless adoration.

The mere mention of Ronald Reagan's name at Republican presidential debates is a sure-fire applause line; the American people are reminded over and over how the former actor made them "feel good"; he's credited with "winning" the Cold War though he actually may have prolonged it; his centennial birthday in 2011 was celebrated with lavish speeches and fawning documentaries; and a new Reagan statue was recently unveiled at Washington's airport, which has been renamed in his honor.

If there is one consensus in the mainstream U.S. news media, it seems to be that not a discouraging word can be spoken about Ronald Reagan. On those rare occasions when major U.S. news outlets do make mention of the Guatemalan genocide of the 1980s, they circumspectly reframe the story to avoid mentioning Reagan's role.

Yet, it was Reagan's Cold War obsessions that emboldened right-wing "death squads" to slaughter tens of thousands of their own people across many parts of the Third World but no place more so than in the desperately poor countries of Central America.

An Ardent Defender

In the 1970s and 1980s, as Latin American security forces were sharpening themselves into finely honed killing machines, Reagan was there as an ardent defender, making excuses for the atrocities, and sending money and equipment to make the forces even more lethal.

For instance, in the late 1970s, when Argentina's dictators were inventing a new state-terror program called "disappearances" - the unacknowledged murders of dissidents - Reagan was making himself useful as a columnist deflecting the human rights complaints coming from the Carter administration.

At the time, Argentina's security forces were rounding up tens of thousands of political opponents who became subjects of ingenious torture techniques often followed by mass killings, including a favorite method that involved shackling naked prisoners together, loading them onto a plane, piloting the plane out to sea and shoving them through the plane's door, like sausage links.

However, since Argentina's rightists were devout Catholics, they had a special twist when the prisoners were pregnant women. The expectant mothers would be kept alive until they reached full term and then were subjected to either induced labor or Caesarian sections.

The babies were handed out to military families and the new mothers were loaded aboard the death planes to be dumped out over the sea to drown. The children were sometimes raised by their mothers' murderers. [See's "Argentina's Dapper State Terrorist" or "Baby-Snatching: Argentina's Dirty War Secret."]

As ghastly as Argentina's "dirty war" was, it had an ardent defender in Ronald Reagan, who used his newspaper column to chide President Jimmy Carter's human rights coordinator, Patricia Derian, for berating the Argentine junta. Reagan joshed that Derian should "walk a mile in the moccasins" of the Argentine generals before criticizing them. [For details, see Martin Edwin Andersen's Dossier Secreto.]

Sympathizing With Torturers

So, there was good reason for the right-wing oligarchs and their security services to celebrate when Reagan was elected president in November 1980. They knew they would enjoy a new era of impunity as they tortured, raped and murdered their political opponents.

Even before Reagan took office, four American churchwomen in El Salvador were kidnapped by elements of the right-wing Salvadoran military. Because the women were suspected of harboring leftist sympathies, they were raped and executed with high-powered bullets to their brains, before their bodies were stuffed into shallow graves.

The incoming Reagan administration was soon making excuses for the Salvadoran killers, including comments from Reagan's U.N. Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick and Secretary of State Alexander Haig. The brutal Argentine generals also got a royal welcome when they visited Washington. Kirkpatrick feted them at an elegant state dinner.

More substantively, Reagan authorized CIA collaboration with the Argentine intelligence service for training and arming the Nicaraguan Contras, a rebel force created to overthrow Nicaragua's leftist Sandinista government. The Contras were soon implicated in human rights atrocities of their own.

Torture was also on the Reagan's administration's menu for political enemies. Years later, a 2004 CIA Inspector General's report which examined the CIA's "war on terror" interrogations noted the spy agency's "resurgence in interest" in teaching harsh interrogation techniques in the early 1980s "to foster foreign liaison relationships."

The report said, "because of political sensitivities," the CIA's top brass in the 1980s "forbade Agency officers from using the word 'interrogation" and substituted the phrase "human resources exploitation" in training programs for allied intelligence agencies.

Euphemisms aside, the CIA Inspector General cited a 1984 investigation of alleged "misconduct on the part of two Agency officers who were involved in interrogations and the death of one individual." In 1984, the CIA also was faced with a scandal over an "assassination manual" prepared by agency personnel for the Nicaraguan Contras.

While the IG report's references to this earlier era were brief - and the abuses are little-remembered features of Ronald Reagan's glorified presidency - there have been other glimpses into how Reagan unleashed this earlier "dark side" on the peasants, workers and students of Central America. Arguably, the worst of these "dirty wars" was inflicted on the people of Guatemala.

Genocide in Guatemala

After taking office in 1981, Reagan pushed to overturn an arms embargo that Carter had imposed on Guatemala for its wretched human rights record. Yet even as Reagan moved to loosen up the military aid ban, U.S. intelligence agencies were confirming new Guatemalan government massacres.

In April 1981, a secret CIA cable described a massacre at Cocob, near Nebaj in the Ixil Indian territory. On April 17, 1981, government troops attacked the area believed to support leftist guerrillas, the cable said.

According to a CIA source, "the social population appeared to fully support the guerrillas" and "the soldiers were forced to fire at anything that moved." The CIA cable added that "the Guatemalan authorities admitted that 'many civilians' were killed in Cocob, many of whom undoubtedly were non-combatants."

Despite the CIA account and other similar reports, Reagan permitted Guatemala's army to buy $3.2 million in military trucks and jeeps in June 1981. To permit the sale, Reagan removed the vehicles from a list of military equipment that was covered by the human rights embargo.

Confident of Reagan's sympathies, the Guatemalan government continued its political repression without apology.According to a State Department cable on Oct. 5, 1981, Guatemalan leaders met with Reagan's roving ambassador, retired Gen. Vernon Walters, and left no doubt about their plans. Guatemala's military leader, Gen. Fernando Romeo Lucas Garcia, "made clear that his government will continue as before - that the repression will continue."

Human rights groups saw the same grisly picture. The Inter-American Human Rights Commission released a report on Oct. 15, 1981, blaming the Guatemalan government for "thousands of illegal executions." [Washington Post, Oct. 16, 1981]

But the Reagan administration was set on whitewashing the ugly scene. A State Department "white paper," released in December 1981, blamed the violence on leftist "extremist groups" and their "terrorist methods," inspired and supported by Cuba's Fidel Castro.

More Massacres

Yet, even as these rationalizations were pitched to the American people, U.S. intelligence agencies in Guatemala continued to learn of government-sponsored massacres. One CIA report in February 1982 described an army sweep through the so-called Ixil Triangle in central El Quiche province.

"The commanding officers of the units involved have been instructed to destroy all towns and villages which are cooperating with the Guerrilla Army of the Poor [known as the EGP] and eliminate all sources of resistance," the report stated. "Since the operation began, several villages have been burned to the ground, and a large number of guerrillas and collaborators have been killed."

The CIA report explained the army's modus operandi: "When an army patrol meets resistance and takes fire from a town or village, it is assumed that the entire town is hostile and it is subsequently destroyed." When the army encountered an empty village, it was "assumed to have been supporting the EGP, and it is destroyed. There are hundreds, possibly thousands of refugees in the hills with no homes to return to. …

"The well-documented belief by the army that the entire Ixil Indian population is pro-EGP has created a situation in which the army can be expected to give no quarter to combatants and non-combatants alike."

In March 1982, Gen. Efrain Ríos Montt seized power in a coup d'etat. An avowed fundamentalist Christian, he immediately impressed Official Washington with his piety. Reagan hailed Ríos Montt as "a man of great personal integrity."

By July 1982, however, Ríos Montt had begun a new scorched-earth campaign called "rifles and beans." The slogan meant that pacified Indians would get "beans," while all others could expect to be the target of army "rifles." In October 1982, Ríos Montt secretly gave carte blanche to the feared "Archivos" intelligence unit to expand "death squad" operations, internal U.S. government cables revealed.

Defending Ríos Montt

Despite the widespread evidence of Guatemalan government atrocities cited in the internal U.S. government cables, political operatives for the Reagan administration sought to conceal the crimes. On Oct. 22, 1982, for instance, the U.S. Embassy claimed the Guatemalan government was the victim of a communist-inspired "disinformation campaign."

Reagan personally took that position in December 1982 when he met with Ríos Montt and claimed that his regime was getting a "bum rap" on human rights.

On Jan. 7, 1983, Reagan lifted the ban on military aid to Guatemala, authorizing the sale of $6 million in military hardware, including spare parts for UH-1H helicopters and A-37 aircraft used in counterinsurgency operations. State Department spokesman John Hughes said the sales were justified because political violence in the cities had "declined dramatically" and that rural conditions had improved, too.

In February 1983, however, a secret CIA cable noted a rise in "suspect right-wing violence" with kidnappings of students and teachers. Bodies of victims were appearing in ditches and gullies. CIA sources traced these political murders to Ríos Montt's order to the "Archivos" the previous October to "apprehend, hold, interrogate and dispose of suspected guerrillas as they saw fit."

Despite these ugly facts on the ground, the annual State Department human rights survey sugarcoated the facts for the American public and praised the supposedly improved human rights situation in Guatemala. "The overall conduct of the armed forces had improved by late in the year" 1982, the report stated.

A different picture - far closer to the secret information held by the U.S. government - was coming from independent human rights investigators. On March 17, 1983, Americas Watch representatives condemned the Guatemalan army for human rights atrocities against the Indian population.

New York attorney Stephen L. Kass cited proof that the government carried out "virtually indiscriminate murder of men, women and children of any farm regarded by the army as possibly supportive of guerrilla insurgents."

Rural women suspected of guerrilla sympathies were raped before execution, Kass said. Children were "thrown into burning homes. They are thrown in the air and speared with bayonets. We heard many, many stories of children being picked up by the ankles and swung against poles so their heads are destroyed." [AP, March 17, 1983]

'Positive Changes'

Publicly, however, senior Reagan officials continued to put on a happy face. On June 12, 1983, special envoy Richard B. Stone praised "positive changes" in Ríos Montt's government. But Ríos Montt's vengeful Christian fundamentalism was hurtling out of control, even by Guatemalan standards. In August 1983, Gen. Oscar Mejia Victores seized power in another coup.

Despite the power shift, Guatemalan security forces continued to kill anyone deemed a subversive or a terrorist. When three Guatemalans working for the U.S. Agency for International Development were slain in November 1983, U.S. Ambassador Frederic Chapin suspected that "Archivos" hit squads were sending a message to the United States to back off even the mild pressure for human rights.

In late November 1983, in a brief show of displeasure, the administration postponed the sale of $2 million in helicopter spare parts. The next month, however, Reagan sent the spare parts anyway. In 1984, Reagan succeeded, too, in pressuring Congress to approve $300,000 in military training for the Guatemalan army.

By mid-1984, Chapin, who had grown bitter about the army's stubborn brutality, was gone, replaced by a far-right political appointee named Alberto Piedra, who was all for increased military assistance to Guatemala. In January 1985, Americas Watch issued a report observing that Reagan's State Department "is apparently more concerned with improving Guatemala's image than in improving its human rights."

Other examples of Guatemala's "death squad" strategy came to light later. For example, a U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency cable in 1994 reported that the Guatemalan military had used an air base in Retalhuleu during the mid-1980s as a center for coordinating the counterinsurgency campaign in southwest Guatemala - and for torturing and disposing of prisoners.

At the base, pits were filled with water to hold captured suspects. "Reportedly there were cages over the pits and the water level was such that the individuals held within them were forced to hold on to the bars in order to keep their heads above water and avoid drowning," the DIA report stated.

The Guatemalan military used the Pacific Ocean as another dumping spot for political victims, according to the DIA report. Bodies of insurgents tortured to death and live prisoners marked for "disappearance" were loaded onto planes that flew out over the ocean where the soldiers would shove the victims into the water to drown, a page taken from the Argentine military's playbook.

'Perception Management'

Guatemala, of course, was not the only Central American country where Reagan and his administration supported brutal counterinsurgency and paramilitary operations - and then sought to cover up the bloody facts.

Deception of the American public - a strategy that the administration called "perception management" - was as much a part of Reagan's Central American activities as the Bush administration's lies and distortions about weapons of mass destruction were to the lead-up to the war in Iraq in 2003.

Reagan's falsification of the historical record became a hallmark of the conflicts in El Salvador and Nicaragua as well as Guatemala. In one case, Reagan personally lashed out at a human rights investigator named Reed Brody, a New York lawyer who had collected affidavits from more than 100 witnesses to atrocities carried out by the U.S.-supported Contras in Nicaragua.

Angered by the revelations about his beloved Contras, Reagan denounced Brody in a speech on April 15, 1985, calling him "one of dictator [Daniel] Ortega's supporters, a sympathizer who has openly embraced Sandinismo."

Privately, Reagan had a far more accurate understanding of the true nature of the Contras. At one point in the Contra war, Reagan turned to CIA official Duane Clarridge and demanded that the Contras be used to destroy some Soviet-supplied helicopters that had arrived in Nicaragua. Clarridge recalled that "President Reagan pulled me aside and asked, 'Dewey, can't you get those vandals of yours to do this job.'" [See Clarridge's A Spy for All Seasons.]

On Feb. 25, 1999, a Guatemalan truth commission issued a report on the staggering human rights crimes that Reagan and his administration had aided, abetted and concealed. The Historical Clarification Commission, an independent human rights body, estimated that the Guatemalan conflict claimed the lives of some 200,000 people with the most savage bloodletting occurring in the 1980s.

Based on a review of about 20 percent of the dead, the panel blamed the army for 93 percent of the killings and leftist guerrillas for three percent. Four percent were listed as unresolved. The report documented that in the 1980s, the army committed 626 massacres against Mayan villages.

"The massacres that eliminated entire Mayan villages … are neither perfidious allegations nor figments of the imagination, but an authentic chapter in Guatemala's history," the commission concluded.The army "completely exterminated Mayan communities, destroyed their livestock and crops," the report said. In the northern highlands, the report termed the slaughter "genocide."

Torture and Rape

Besides carrying out murder and "disappearances," the army routinely engaged in torture and rape. "The rape of women, during torture or before being murdered, was a common practice" by the military and paramilitary forces, the report found.

The report added that the "government of the United States, through various agencies including the CIA, provided direct and indirect support for some [of these] state operations." The report concluded that the U.S. government also gave money and training to a Guatemalan military that committed "acts of genocide" against the Mayans.

"Believing that the ends justified everything, the military and the state security forces blindly pursued the anticommunist struggle, without respect for any legal principles or the most elemental ethical and religious values, and in this way, completely lost any semblance of human morals," said the commission chairman, Christian Tomuschat, a German jurist.

"Within the framework of the counterinsurgency operations carried out between 1981 and 1983, in certain regions of the country agents of the Guatemalan state committed acts of genocide against groups of the Mayan people," Tomuschat said.

During a visit to Central America, on March 10, 1999, President Bill Clinton apologized for the past U.S. support of right-wing regimes in Guatemala. "For the United States, it is important that I state clearly that support for military forces and intelligence units which engaged in violence and widespread repression was wrong, and the United States must not repeat that mistake," Clinton said.

Though Clinton admitted that U.S. policy in Guatemala was "wrong" - and the new evidence of a U.S.-backed "genocide" might have been considered startling - the U.S. news media mostly treated the story as a one-day event. U.S. complicity in genocide prompted no panel discussions on the cable news shows, which then were obsessed with Clinton's personal life.

But there was another factor in the disinterest. By the late 1990s, Ronald Reagan had been transformed into a national icon, with the Republican-controlled Congress attaching his name to public buildings around the country and to National Airport in Washington.

Democrats mostly reacted to this deification of Reagan as if It were harmless, an easy concession to the Republicans in the name of bipartisanship. Many Democrats even have cited Reagan as supportive of some of their positions as a way to deflect attacks from the Right. To this day, when defending some policy, "even Ronald Reagan" is a favorite phrase of left-of-center pundits and Democrats, including President Barack Obama.

This Democratic appeasement, however, had many negative consequences. With Reagan and his brutal policies shielded from serious scrutiny, the path was left open for President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney to return to Reagan's "dark side" after the 9/11 attacks, authorizing torture and extrajudicial killings of their own - and expecting to avoid accountability.

So, even as Guatemala struggles to address the grim chapters of its recent history, the United States continues to lavish love on the Gipper, the president who made Americans "feel good" about themselves even as he did evil in their name.

For more on related topics, see Robert Parry's "Lost History," "Secrecy & Privilege" and "Neck Deep," now available in a three-book set for the discount price of only $29. For details, click here.

Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, "Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush," was written with two of his sons, Sam and Nat, and can be ordered at His two previous books, "Secrecy & Privilege: The Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq" and "Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & 'Project Truth'" are also available there. your social media marketing partner


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+91 # Activista 2012-01-24 20:10
US/Reagan Guatemala's Genocide is right there with the Cambodian killing fields.
When USA will start to pay $billions in reparation to people of Guatemala as Germany is paying to Israel last 50 years?
-107 # infohiway 2012-01-25 00:31
+74 # Todd Williams 2012-01-25 08:20
It is NOT hogwash. Every bit of that story is true. You are a right winger with no compassion. Regan was as evil as they come and that is a FACT. Got it?
+29 # reiverpacific 2012-01-25 13:18
Quoting infohiway:

Well, give us some feedback then! -You can't just get away with a statement like that without backup.
I can hardly wait for another Reagan apologist to come forward.
How about a little reason and fact based debate then? Give us the foils then!
+81 # giraffee2012 2012-01-24 23:34
I think I want to puke! We are barbarians. Why in g-d's name can anyone in America want to help with the killing of humans in another country - Did they make money or are humans sick animals. I have to re-read this article because I never saw the why any of these "pResident" would promote slaughters of humans. Money is usually the reason but this is pure sadism. Reagan turned me from a Repugnut to a Democrat bc of the S&L mess - and I didn't even know about all the other crap he did.

The debates show who we are as the audience boos when a candidate says something human and claps when a candidate is for something repulsive.

I'm mad now and will give to the OWS - and pray they find leadership soon - i.e. somebody with enough money to fund their non-violent protests against our "militant" police.
+45 # Majikman 2012-01-25 00:34
Ah, mon ami, that is merely the tiniest tip of the iceberg in US foreign policy. The powers that be are aligning their forces to do the same to this country. Although they may take a brief side excursion to Ecuador first.
+52 # goodsensecynic 2012-01-25 07:52
"Why in g-ds name ..."?

It's called "imperialism." It's not new. The US has been practicing it for a long time. Some countries have practiced it for even longer. The US did so in Guatemala in 1954. It did so in Guatemala in 1984. If it is distracted from its Middle Eastern adventures, it could do so more vehemently in Guatemala in 2014.

"Did they make money or are humans sick animals"?

The two are not mutually exclusive. In fact the search for treasure encourages "sick" behaviour. As for "human nature," answering that one is above my pay grade; however, it seems to me that people are capable of anything ... including compassion and cooperation. We therefore need to attend to social arrangements that will encourage good behaviour and discourage bad behaviour.

This, of course, entails relentless interrogation of Mr. Obama and utter rejection of monsters such as Mr. Santorum, Mr. Gingrich and Mr. Romney. (I'd include Mr. Paul, but he's got it right on "imperialism," though wrong on everything else.)
+15 # noitall 2012-01-25 17:29
Its about OIL (and whatever)! Whether admitted or not, Americans are silent and in the case of many, choose not to hear any of the 'messy' details of how we get oil as long as we can keep the prices down. "OIL" can be used to symbolize any resource that we feel is our god-given right to shop the world for, and all for our convenience. Mow down rainforests for burgers and comfy chairs to sit in while we eat them. Whether we're blatant supporters of our policies or silent enjoyers of the 'life style', we are all guilty for not being in the streets by the millions. By the way, no matter which of these slave holders, murderers, and silver spoon fed busts are carved into the sacred lands of Mt. Rushmore, it is a blasphemous act; to have added reagan's repugnant mug would have been a turd on the top.
+86 # angelfish 2012-01-24 23:35
"B" Actor Ronald Reagan, was an affable Moron, led around by the nose by his wife and ultra-conservat ive Handlers in the White House. He didn't have the intellectual capacity of a flea, in my opinion, and was incapable of doing ANYTHING but acquiescing to what his Handlers TOLD him to do! Ravaged by the Alzheimer's Disease that would eventually kill him, he was a blithering idiot by the end of his second term! NONE of the guilty will EVER be made accountable for the Guatemalan Genocide nor of the ones that go on to date!
+52 # cadan 2012-01-25 00:51
Angelfish --- i agree that (probably!) none of those directly responsible for the Guatemalan genocide will be held accountable.

But i think it is very important that the story be told (and told and told) and somehow eventually that we make some kind of reparations to Guatemala (which, per Activista, will not be in the billions, but any non-zero amount is an important step).

It is very important to establish and somehow get official recognition of the fact that we in the US are capable of and have committed war crimes (or non-war genocide, as i guess this is).

If we can pry open this door, somehow, then maybe those who are committing war crimes today will be chilled a little.

(Thanks Robert Parry for the article!)
+16 # John Lewis 2012-01-25 13:12
Even if not a penny would be spent, just the fact that these crimes have been committid and a sincere apology by the humans responsible (Should we call them Human?) for such crimes. "Gipper" was just the village idiot who was used by the powerfuls...
+89 # Dion Giles 2012-01-24 23:53
Holding Reagan in high regard says a lot about the character of those who do so. Reagan's political career started as a fink betraying his workmates to the McCarthyite House Un-American Activities committee before he descended to even worse, presiding over the despicable crimes described in this article. His parting gift for America was to leave the country in massive debt, its manufacturing base heading for today’s state of ruin.
+35 # paulanad 2012-01-25 00:58
And not to mention his beloved Reaganomics...f reakin Milt Friedman and his cancerous economics have destroyed the banking system in the country and the world. not likely to recover unless there is and overhaul of it all and a return to gold instead of creating money from debt and cancerous ever-growth. Reagan was a disaster, and there are so many more to follow in his image. The human race needs to get a grip on its addiction to believing everything a 'politician' tells them and start using their very own grey matter....this could actually save the planet if people started THINKING for themselves instead of taking and being so bloody lazy. Time to take responsibility for where we are in life and deal with it ourselves. Time to admit to our failed belief systems (reagan/pres=go d)and religion is MAN MADE..and has been bastardized by man to serve OUR needs/greeds/wa nts/evils. Enough is enough. Let's clean up our act and focus on our own problems and failings for a change. Leave the other guys alone, and allow these crimes to be punished so as not to be repeated yet again!! Man humans are stupid!
+23 # Progressive Patriot 2012-01-25 01:11
And the debt remains, and has gotten twice as bad, under one of his protegees.
-57 # infohiway 2012-01-25 00:28
Get real. Pathetic whining pap.
That 12-year-long madness was (vp) Bush driven with the 'crazies' operating under Reagan's unwitting 'cover'. You know who. The usual bloodsucking: Cheney, Rummy, Poindexter, North, the neoCONning lot - running amok whilst looting the S&Ls, setting up the DotCON bubble - all covered-up by 911 (two planes knock-down 3 buildings bloodfest insurance job - eh?) plus two illegal 'wars' since-less (sic-k); racking-up well over million dead and maimed (mega-bloodfest ) with a few more trillion buck$ of debt slavery on top - financed by the Federal (NOT!) Reserve (NONE!) System (BANKSTER'S PONZI SCAM).

Reagan helped heal America's Vietnam wounds and the S&B ilk blew it all, literally and figuratively.

Fact is, yes Reagan made American's feel good about America again. Get over it.
Bush 41 and 43 with the usual characters PLUS compliant democraps destroyed that for the foreseeable future. Now She's reduced to mass poverty, mega-mortgage frauds, torturing innocents and martial law - that had nothing to do with Ronnie. Nothing.
+53 # John Locke 2012-01-25 09:27
infohiway: You seem to be living in some alternate reality... Regan was knee deep in the Drug trade with his VP George HW Bush, Regan was a clown and I suspect not very bright. Read my post below and wake up and smell the real flowers. Regan may in fact already had been suffering the early stages of his disease when he was in his first term. The CIA overthrew the legitimate Gutamalan government altheway back in 1954. and was involved in every goverment change in South America. Whether Regan can be fully blamed or whether he was a puppet of HW Bush may never be known, however what we do know is that Bush was very instramental in the CIA activities going back to before the Kennedy (JFK)assasinati on. and while this was going on was in fact the head of the CIA.
+25 # John Locke 2012-01-25 10:16
Are you ready for more? Look up 50 USC CHAPTER 32 - CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL WARFARE Program Section 1512. This Federal law allows the US Government to test Biological and Chemical weapons on US Citizens... WITHOUT OUR KNOWLEDGE OR CONSENT... Do you trust Our Government? Have these weapons been used against us already? ... there is much you don't know!
-15 # infohiway 2012-01-26 00:15
Alas, if only you could spell. Well, Donald REgan was a piece of work...
S&B Bush (fired by Carter over his parts in the CIA's Watergate AND the Kennedy affairs) was forced on Reagan by Rocky. Then they shot (and terrified) him just 30-odd days into his 1st term. When Jeb Bush is 'drafted' by the RNC, and wins (because BHO resigned in disgrace), do not be surprised if those 'good ole boys' want to 'have a word' with (little ole illiterate) you - clown.
+26 # gentry cooper 2012-01-25 12:20
No, what you believe about Ronnie the RayGun, as in Star Wars, ZAPP!!! is HOGWASH. Hey, he really made me feel good with his bashing of all of those welfare "queens" cruising around in their cadillac eldorados, no I don't think so. I worked with poor mothers on welfare for years back then and I can count on one hand the number who owned a ford pinto let alone a caddilac. You are delusional about the RayGun. His presidency was an atrocity and a travesty whose real effects are hidden from the american people and lied about by conservatives such as yourself. But you let me know when you spot one of those welfare "queens" cruising in a caddilac. Try going on a hunger strike until you find one.
+9 # John Lewis 2012-01-25 13:23
Making one's feel good is alright as long as it is not made to the detriment of other human beings, don't you agree?
+3 # reiverpacific 2012-01-25 13:32
Quoting infohiway:
Get real. Pathetic whining pap.
That 12-year-long madness was (vp) Bush driven with the 'crazies' operating under Reagan's unwitting 'cover'. You know who. The usual bloodsucking: Cheney, Rummy, Poindexter, North, the neoCONning lot - running amok whilst looting the S&Ls, setting up the DotCON bubble - all covered-up by 911 (two planes knock-down 3 buildings bloodfest insurance job - eh?) plus two illegal 'wars' since-less (sic-k); racking-up well over million dead and maimed (mega-bloodfest) with a few more trillion buck$ of debt slavery on top - financed by the Federal (NOT!) Reserve (NONE!) System (BANKSTER'S PONZI SCAM).

Reagan helped heal America's Vietnam wounds and the S&B ilk blew it all, literally and figuratively.

Fact is, yes Reagan made American's feel good about America again. Get over it.
Bush 41 and 43 with the usual characters PLUS compliant democraps destroyed that for the foreseeable future. Now She's reduced to mass poverty, mega-mortgage frauds, torturing innocents and martial law - that had nothing to do with Ronnie. Nothing.

See more later.
+44 # Progressive Patriot 2012-01-25 01:08
I, for one, am one American who _never_ admired Reagan as President. I never understood people who thought they were better off under him than under Johnson or Carter. I was better off under Nixon, and that's not saying a lot.
+46 # Rick Levy 2012-01-25 01:16
Reagan's record on human rights is abominable. That's been obvious for years.
+45 # grouchy 2012-01-25 02:50
First of all, let me state that he was a great Grandfather image, especially when he grinned--bless his evil heart!

But the above essay lists only a few of his nasty stunts and for an addition I'd add the selling to Iran of weapons to support his precious contras.

From that time on I have become a believer of hauling these devils into court, giving them a trial, then locking them up for LONG terms. And this means Ronnie, Bush 1, Bush 2 and I'd lean toward Obama who has chosen to carry on with their programs. Let's as a nation lock these guys up and stop this awful immoral tradition!!!!
+34 # Todd Williams 2012-01-25 08:24
Joe Stalin had that loveable, teddy bear grandfather thing going too!
+8 # Johnny 2012-01-25 12:09
Why give Clinton a pass? He murdered half a million children under 5 years old and his secretary of state said, "We think it was worth it."
-1 # infohiway 2012-01-26 00:38
The Clinton gang bombed Christian Serbia (civilians) with DEPLETED (NOT!) URANIUM. A known WMD.
Just Crimes Against Humanity and where are those all of charity buck$ for Haiti BILL AND GEORGE?
In Swiss numbered accounts?
The Caymans?
+42 # John Locke 2012-01-25 03:16
One point the article was lacking in was the CIA's Involvement...T he CIA's interest in Guatemala was in creating an authoritarian government (in Guatemala) in place of its functioning democracy for the sole purpose of protecting US corporate interests, such as "United Fruit"...the CIA was involved very deeply in the affairs of the Guatemala government and Between 1954 and 1990, human rights groups estimate, the repressive operatives of successive US-sponsored military regimes murdered more than 200,000 civilians, with another 100,000 who disappeared. George HW Bush was the director of the CIA during much of this oppression and slaughter He was in the agency from the early 1960's (during the Kennedy Assasination) and was the Director in 1976, and VP under Regan...during the 1980's. It is also a theory that Bush ran the Regan white house... as for Argentina The CIA trained and led death Squads known as Operation Condor from 1976 to 1983 and is responsible for another 60,000 (minimum known) deaths.
+32 # John Locke 2012-01-25 09:16
Lets add another point here, Barry Seal was a CIA asset who worked directly under Oliver North during the Iran Contra Drug trade in which the Medellian Cartel was also associated with the CIA and trained at fort Brag running drugs into Mina AK...Bobby Seal was trying to testify against HW Bush at the time he was murdered by CIA assets. Lewis Unglesby, Seal’s lawyer confirmed that the man Seal was willing to testify against was George H. W. Bush. Barry Seal was murdered in December 1985 to cover up Bush's involvement in the Drug Trade, which could have exposed the White House... Regan and Bush...
+52 # 666 2012-01-25 06:15
actually Dion, Reagan started working as an anti-communist & anti-union informant for the FBI in the late 30s; HUAC (& Hoover) belong to the very late 40s and very early 50s.

Thanks to Robert Parry for his continuing, well-researched work reminding us what an SOB reagan and his circle were. They built the foundations for the fascism and war crimes of today.
+38 # Ken Hall 2012-01-25 06:21
He was such a jerk, and a disaster as a president, starting the US on the long, sad, slide to where we are now.
+15 # James Klimaski 2012-01-25 07:24
The Church Commission was the last time our country examined our poor human rights record. Despite former President Carter's reputation for advancing peace, we should not forget his administration' s indirect support of the Khmer Rouge. When they were driven out of Cambodia by the Vietnamese, since we did not like the fact they had liberated their country, we condemned the invasion and enabled the Chinese to support the Khmer Rouge just to harass the people who sent us packing in Southeast Asia.
+2 # infohiway 2012-01-26 00:48
Indeed. A 'tangled web' built on the 'Gulf of Tonkin' (let's make-up war) lies. Even pResident Carter didn't dare expose that - huh.
0 # infohiway 2012-01-26 00:49
+33 # walt 2012-01-25 08:00
All part of a long history of the US supporting many horrible regimes around the world while paying no attention to the consequences.

And the GOP considers Reagan as their hero??
-12 # infohiway 2012-01-26 00:51
History says so. Eat your heart out.
+18 # rhgreen 2012-01-25 09:40
If you haven't, read Stephen Kinzer's books, Just google for his name or search for him on Amazon. He gives you the facts. His book titles are not obscure so you can tell what each book is about. If you know the facts you're better able to deal with vague right-wing Republican anti-communist justifications.
+30 # Kootenay Coyote 2012-01-25 09:51
Voodoo Economics, Guatemala & Iran-Contra, the battle AGAINST AIDS research: why don't the Republicans just name Satan as their hero, it would be so clear...
+21 # CandH 2012-01-25 11:44
Why no mention of the School of the Americas (SOA?)

The SOA is a combat training school for LatinAM soldiers, located at Ft Benning, GA. In '01 renamed the West Hemisphere Inst for Security Coop (WHINSEC).

It was initially established in Panama in '46 however it was expelled from Panama in '84 under the terms of the Panama Canal Treaty (article iv) and reinforced under the Treaty Concerning the Permanent Neutrality and Operation of the Panama Canal (article v).

Former Panamanian Prez, Jorge Illueca, stated that the SOA was the “biggest base for destabilization in Latin America.” The SOA have left a trail of blood and suffering in every country where its graduates have returned. For this reason the SOA has been historically dubbed the “School of Assassins”.

Since '46, the SOA has trained over 64,000 Latin American soldiers in counterinsurgen cy techniques, sniper training, commando and psychological warfare, military intelligence and interrogation tactics. These graduates have consistently used their skills to wage a war against their own people. Among those targeted by SOA graduates are educators, union organizers, religious workers, student leaders, and others who work for the rights of the poor. Hundreds of thousands of Latin Americans have been tortured, raped, assassinated, “disappeared,” massacred, and forced into refugee by those trained at the School of Assassins.
+8 # CandH 2012-01-25 11:49
School Of The Americas Graduates Database - 60,000 entries from:

Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominica Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatamala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago, USA, Uruguay, Venezuela
+10 # motamanx 2012-01-25 13:40
Reagan didn't start AIDs, but his administration stymied the funding that might have stopped it. What was his reason for this terrible choice?
+10 # X Dane 2012-01-25 16:53
motomanx, I think he hoped gay men would die.
...Don't acnowledge the diease.... Many of the men will get sick and die! Punishment by god. problem solved!
Remember religious idiots are simple minded.
He probably didn't understand HOW big, and HOW serious AIDS is.
-5 # infohiway 2012-01-26 00:55
What part of GEORGE H.W. BUSH do you not get?
+11 # tomo 2012-01-25 13:48
Parry's account fits well with lessons set forth in the National Catholic Reporter over the years regarding El Salvador and Guatemala--and regarding the infamous "School of the America's," a house of horrors still funded under a different name by your tax dollars and mine. Both Parry and NCR operate with a kind of baffled sense of what allows such things to proceed without public repudiation.

Reagan's reputation survives because it is part of a fairy tale that masquerades as "The American Story." The story opens with pius Puritans "just trying to worship God in peace," and it reaches right up to the present moment. To get the flavor of the story, think for instance of Andrew Jackson. He is The Great Champion of Democracy and the Common Man. That he had no regard whatever for human rights, violating ever Indian treaty he could get his hands on, is either conveniently left out of the story, or is reconfigured to show how sensitive he was to "the rights of settlers." (The people who profited most from his policies were, so far as I can see, land speculators.) So it has been with Jackson. (Democrats gather annually to burn incense at his throne.) So it is--and probably will continue to be--with Reagan. Reagan is "the opium of the people." So long as we are addicted to him, we will continue to decay. Like polar meltdown, the process is accelerating.
+19 # reiverpacific 2012-01-25 13:51
Reagan was a fink, blackleg and spy for McCarthy long before he took office and a particularly nasty piece of work. He made idiots "Feel Good" by acting and wanton ignorance about the world in general and Central America in particular the logical successor to the Dulles bro's fanatical anti-left or progressive, devastators of countries, especially Guatemala.
Read the works of indigenous resister Rigoberta Manchou about what has been wrought in the name of United Fruit (Now Chiquita) in the southern hemisphere Americas and I'VE SEEN IT PERSONALLY AND UP CLOSE!
He was given to simplistic statements like “I was poor once but made it (on the backs of the many Hollywood colleague’s lives he ruined and by pandering to the rightist power characters-assassins)".
Hecozied up to the military but never served a day in uniform, like so many other military worshippers and fooled the populace, including so many “Reagan Democrats” (shame on these poor clods) by being the first to use infotainment as opposed to substantive facts and avoidance of real issues.
He truly escalated the decline of the fortunes of the American middle and working classes towards it’s present decimated state and facilitated the running of arms between Iran (enemies) to the brutal Contras in Nicaragua and the drug running by the CIA.
Do you want more???
Nice life and presidency to be proud of “Ronnie” -innit!
Not whining, just recalling from a fact-based viewpoint.
-7 # infohiway 2012-01-26 01:14
One disagrees. Accordini to you - one hand RR is the devil incarnate and on the other he is adedled. Machevelian events are often far bigger than mere mortals.
+13 # jmillay 2012-01-25 14:05
Ronald Reagan used traitorous activity to become president. He sent the elder Bush and Casey to Iran to negotiate a better settlement for the hostages than Carter had already negotiated. They were not US representatives at the time, therefore this was a traitorous act. They did this to encourage a foreign country to influence our elections and to defeat Carter. Bush became vice-president, and Casey was made director of the CIA. For more information about this see the book "October Surprise" by Barbara Honegger. She was working in the Reagan White House after the election, and had access to information. is also her web site for more questionable republican activities. Her picture, bio and additional statements are included near the end of a new book: Radiant Minds: Scientists Explore the Dimensions of Consciousness.
-10 # infohiway 2012-01-25 16:49
Rocky-feller AND Morgan (who insisted on Bush Sr as RR's VP) set-up the deal to release IRAN's frozen funds IN LONDON the very day Ronnie was sworn in.
Less than a month later they had RR shot in the street. Hinkley was told exactly where RR would be. HILL & KNOWLTON handled the 'PR' for the BUSH gang.
-9 # infohiway 2012-01-26 01:28
Reagan did not know about BUSH's Iran-Contra and CIA sxit. EOS. He read the vile scripts he was given, just like Obama does.
+11 # David Starr 2012-01-25 14:37
Ronald Reagan, the U.S. Right's god, the Verbal Masterbator who "modestedly" expressed glib one-liners that certainly got his supporters/shoc k troops off. Well, he certainly had the acting skills to play the role of president; but it was merely a role, a facade, an illusion expressed by his "humbleness" & "affiability." And what a B/W contrast to his actions as the article cites w/ the example of Guatemala! This is a virtual tradition amongst the Right & Reagan was certainly their poster boy for it. Reagan's Reaction-it wasn't a revolution-offi cially spawned a resurgence that reminds me of the title of the Star Wars film, "The Empire Strikes Back." He appealed to the illusions of granduer that have intoxicated those U.S. citizens who so far can't get over their superiority complex; that "American Exceptualism", a too-good-to-be- true "American Utopia." Now his fellow Right-wing fanatic, Rios Mont, has his past misdeeds catching up w/ him, a la another Repub buddy, Pinochet. Reagan did get one thing right: He once said,"I'm a contra, too." Indeed, he had a lot in common w/ those who were former members of the Guardia Nacional, a virtual private army, of the U.S.-backed-50- year Somoza family dictatorship, which was perhaps the biggest reactionary-ter rorist group in Nicaragua.
-12 # infohiway 2012-01-26 01:18
It would be rather nice if you had some. ;-)
+9 # David Starr 2012-01-26 13:54

Consciousness. A word used by someone who I can accurately say is unconscious.

Scenario: This is your brain. [Picture of a healthy brain] This is your brain on Reagan [Picture of no brain]

Any questions?
+10 # Guy 2012-01-25 15:52
Check out John Pilger's documentary on the US intervention in Central and South America.Learn what the US has done in your name.

Award winning journalist John Pilger examines the role of Washington in America's manipulation of Latin American politics during the last 50 years leading up to the struggle by ordinary people to free themselves from poverty and racism. Since the mid 19th Century Latin America has been the 'backyard' of the US, a collection of mostly vassal states whose compliant and often brutal regimes have reinforced the 'invisibility' of their majority peoples. The film reveals similar CIA policies to be continuing in Iraq, Iran and Lebanon. The rise of Venezuela's Hugo Chavez despite ongoing Washington backed efforts to unseat him in spite of his overwhelming mass popularity, is democratic in a way that we have forgotten or abandoned in the west. True Democracy being a solid 80% voter turnout in support of Chavez in over 6 elections...... ..............
-24 # infohiway 2012-01-25 15:56
At least you know how to SPELL REAGAN.
As BA-AD as you imagine RR to be, loonies: Carter, Mondale and Ferraro?
You cannot be serious or were not there.
+7 # David Starr 2012-01-26 14:08

Well, there you go again. At least you know how to spell. Reaganism is as bad as crystal meth. It can eat away your brain cells, the political ones anyway. And what about Carter, Mondale & Ferraro? You really think there was an IDEOLOGICAL difference between them & Reagan, despite tactical differences? Sure you don't. Can you spell B-o-n-z-o?
+16 # Legion 2012-01-25 16:21
The fact that Reagan was sympathetic to Latin despots is well-known, but apparently not to most younger people who rely on electronic media for their news. For me, this is vindication of my conviction that Reagan should have not been elected president. Rios Montt's "born again"-ness and Reagan's reciptivity to this posturing reminds me of many mindless souls in ages past who loved Chiang Kai-Shek because he was a professing Christian. Reagan was generally a very stupid and ignorant man and an embarrassment to all of us.
-17 # infohiway 2012-01-25 16:33
+12 # reiverpacific 2012-01-25 17:38
Quoting infohiway:

Is this the best you can do?
I'm tempted to consider you a "Pap-Smear(er)" -no offense ladies!
By the way (also) you DO know, or perhaps care not to, that daddy Bush made a deal with the Iranian hostage holders to keep them there until after the elections so that their release would be credited to R' by the oh-s-o-impressi onable U.S. voters like you?!
"Ronnie" was I repeat, a sneak an a fink for McCarthy and a bloody poor actor into the bargain. His alliance with the appalling Thatcher probably made him look a little more worldly than he was -I'm British and detested her but she was certainly not a dim bulb like her US counterpart.
If course the C.I.A. loved him as courtier of the far right and burgeoning ideologues who later pushed the "New American Century", which probably kept him in the saddle longer than he should have been there.
Keep y'r head in the sand and love him if you like -you have the right of whatever conviction you choose hold onto; as the old Yorkshire saying goes "There's none as daft as them as wants to be"
And I also maintain that he set the "descent" lever in motion that operates ever-lowering bar for the ever-dumber US electorate who now view politics as a kind of game show on the flickering screen: how else would you explain Bush the twit and the current crop of Republican tragicomic wannabe's?
Be pap-a re- pap and out!
+3 # KittatinyHawk 2012-01-25 19:04
I am dong speed reading..but a bigger point is Papa Bush and his involvement in Covert Affairs, CIA since the 40's Grow up writer there was a lot of Bush Sr in this and you seem to miss the whole picture from the beginning when Bush Sr took some time from a Government going schizo in 40'/50s, he had free reign to start a reign of terror we are still backing today.
Pointing fingers again. Now do you really think that the President of the USA reads everything? If you do then you have a real problem and the GOP are looking to recruit ya.
President Kennedy probably was one of the few that actually read over what was going on, perhaps easier since there was not a million scam jobs going at one shot everyday. He had Military Background he took seriously, knew the games.
President Kennedy surrounded himself with people he knew, people who had intelligence in background he was putting them to task. I believe after Jack, Government got sleazy, Carter was the one they showed us they were Puppeteering, We slept thru it.
We made mockery of a good man, therefore helped put noose over the USA. Clinton yes, he was the one who fooled me, many environmentalis ts. If we knew he was going to use WhiteHouse to make his future investment, pay off Hilary, I do believe he would have one termed it. If all of you are so smart about him, why didn't you vote him out?
What started as unity after WWII culminated into a takeover by Bush Sr then allowed Jr in.?
-11 # infohiway 2012-01-26 01:47
That's SIR Ronald Reagan to you - pleb. LOL!
U$ masochist slaves do so love their chains.
They polish and lick 'em daily.
Thank you, massuh BARKY for CHAINS you can believe in.
Ha, ha and ha - you bloody cowards.
+7 # reiverpacific 2012-01-26 11:47
Quoting infohiway:
That's SIR Ronald Reagan to you - pleb. LOL!
U$ masochist slaves do so love their chains.
They polish and lick 'em daily.
Thank you, massuh BARKY for CHAINS you can believe in.
Ha, ha and ha - you bloody cowards.

You must really hate the English language and it's ability to express reason and ideas clearly and respectfully, looking at the nature of y'r posts. Please stop the slaughter of a nice lingo, British or American; it's too good for you; reason is also apparently dead to you.
So in your terminology belt-up and dunk yer head in a bucket o' "pap" where in resides. "Nuff said.
Reagan resides in the sludge-pit of history already except in the selective minds of the blinkered and reason-atrophie d right. I don't even think that William Buckley liked him or respected his simplistic persona.
I'm done in this pointless exchange with an empty vessel.
+4 # David Starr 2012-01-26 14:39
"SIR Ronald Reagan"? Reagan was never knighted, but in your warped imaginings I wouldn't be surprised if you thought so. But Reagan slaves will beleive anything re. their Verbal Masterbator. "Masochism"? Coming from someone who probably flagellates himself daily w/ a Reagan-autograp hed whip while crying, "I'm not worthy, Ronnie!" But what about Carter, Mondale & Ferraro? What about Obama? Anything intelligent you'd like to say re. them? (If you're capable, but I don't have much hope.) But then, receiverpacific makes a valid point about dealing w/ "an empty vessel." Someone who's all snipe & no smarts. So go back to flagellating yourself, preferably back to the Dark Ages where you belong. Reactionary asskisser.
-9 # infohiway 2012-01-26 01:56
JFK was murdered over E.O. 11110 that terminated the private Federal (NOT!) Reserve (NONE!) System ( PONZI bankster slave scam).
NOW - Ron Paul wants to end that and their IRS (private shitbag collection Agency).
+9 # David Starr 2012-01-26 14:53
Ron Paul? Is this another one of your gods? Yeah, the "apostle" of Right Libertarianism; freedom for the few because they can afford it, but for the unfortunate, well, tough shit, you'll have to lift yourself up by your bootstraps. No bootsstraps? Well, tough shit. I guess there's "slavery" & then there's slavery; & visa versa.
+10 # ericlipps 2012-01-26 08:45
I remember watching Pat Robertson's "700 Club" during that era and hearing the TV preacher praise Rios Montt to the skies for supposedly bringing Guatemala back to God. Apparently the dictator's routine violation of the commandment against killing didn't pose a problem as long as it was supposedly being done to fight Communism.
+1 # BellBuoy 2012-01-26 22:57
Mark Ash- Why are you not letting my comments be posted, but you let infohiway shit all over the above comments about Reagan???
+4 # Cabbagehead 2012-01-27 10:44
The Bush Dynasty is the tale of a German Bund hiding in plain sight to create a fascist state based on corporate support of right-wing politicians. It controls the GOP and permeates the Dems in Congress. We won WWII but entered an Orwellian world of puppet wars for resources controlled by the 1 per cent. The media are well-paid accessories in the tradition of Joseph Goebbls. No hope there. There is no way out except by revolution, using the Internet, and that is soon to be choked off. Reagan is an example of how the game is played; Obama doesn't know where the strings are being pulled; he just does the dance and thinks he is one smart fella. Then he turns to his handlers (many left-over Bushies) and gets his signals. It is a Cadillac presidency for the celebrity pres; just keep singing the song.
0 # bonnie dilger 2015-01-31 13:27
There's little for me to add due to the painfully accurate reports above of the Central America's regional war of which the facts were little known by the US citizens at the time! The only difference in my story and theirs lies in the fact that I was in the pueblo of Santiago Atitlan when the Guatemalan Government sent its soldiers to invade and occupy the pueblo. October,1980 A wave of killing and torture began and never really stopped until the pueblo "kicked out" the army with the help of Vinicio Cerezo, the then civilian president of Guatemala, at the end of his term in 1990. As shocked and horrified as I was to learn that there are governments that kill their own citizens without benefit of a trial, the most bitter time of all awaited me upon returning to the US -- the realization that our country was supporting these murderers! I had heard Guatemala's dictator declare when the war escalated to include all sectors of Guatemala, "When Ronald Reagan becomes President, we'll have no more trouble with our gringo friends to the North of us. Listening to this "insane rhetoric," I responded tacitly, "You fool! No president of ours, whether Republican or Democratic, will support the likes of you!" End of innocence and the beginning of what I could only have considered a betrayal from my own beloved country, the one I had heretofore believed to be on the right side of justice. More information can be found on several blogs, the book, "Guatemala: Blood In The Cornfields."
0 # Guy 2015-01-31 14:14
Am anxious to read your book Bonnie.

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