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Ronald Reagan-Accessory to Genocide

Ronald Reagan-Accessory to Genocide

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Published by Michael Drew Prior
Now that Rios Montt has been found guilty of genocide, maybe a some Americans who have great regard for Ronald Reagan will notice that he, too. was responsible for that genocide. Is it good, having great regard for a enabler, an encourager, of genocide?
Now that Rios Montt has been found guilty of genocide, maybe a some Americans who have great regard for Ronald Reagan will notice that he, too. was responsible for that genocide. Is it good, having great regard for a enabler, an encourager, of genocide?

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Published by: Michael Drew Prior on May 14, 2013
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12/09/2013

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http://consortiumnews.com/2013/05/11/ronaldreagan-accessory-to-genocide/ 
Ronald Reagan: Accessory to Genocide
May 11, 2013
Exclusive:
More than any recent U.S. president, Ronald Reagan has been lavishedwith honors, including his name attached to Washington’s National Airport. But theconviction of Reagan’s old ally, ex-Guatemalan dictator Rios Montt, for genocide means“Ronnie” must face history’s judgment as an accessory to the crime, reports RobertParry.By Robert ParryThe conviction of former Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt on charges of genocideagainst Mayan villagers in the 1980s has a special meaning for Americans who idolizeRonald Reagan. It means that their hero was an accessory to one of the most grievouscrimes that can be committed against humanity.The courage of the Guatemalan people and the integrity of their legal system to exactsome accountability on a still-influential political figure also put U.S. democracy toshame. For decades now, Americans have tolerated human rights crimes by U.S.presidents who face little or no accountability. Usually, the history isn’t even compiledhonestly.
 
President Ronald Reagan.By contrast, a Guatemalan court on FridayfoundRios Montt guilty of genocide andcrimes against humanity and sentenced the 86-year-old ex-dictator to 80 years inprison. After the ruling, when Rios Montt rose and tried to walk out of the courtroom,Judge Yasmin Barrios shouted at him to stay put and then had security officers take himinto custody.Yet, while Guatemalans demonstrate thestrength to face a dark chapter of their
 
history,the American people remain mostly oblivious to Reagan’s central role in tens ofthousands of political murders across Central America in the 1980s, including some100,000 dead in Guatemala slaughtered by Rios Montt and
 
other
 
military dictators.Indeed, Ronald Reagan – by aiding, abetting, encouraging and covering up widespreadhuman rights crimes in El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua as well as Guatemala –bears greater responsibility for Central America’s horrors than does Rios Montt in hisbloody 17-month rule. Reagan supportedGuatemala’s brutal repression both beforeand after Rios Montt held power, as well as during.Despite that history, more honors have been bestowed
 
on Reagan than any recentpresident. Americans have allowed the naming of scores of government facilities inReagan’s honor, including Washington National Airport where Reagan’s name elbowedaside that of George Washington, who ledthe War of Independence, oversaw thedrafting of the U.S. Constitution and served as the nation’s first president.
 
So, as America’s former reputation as a beacon for human rights becomes a bad joke tothe rest of the world, it is unthinkable within the U.S. political/media structure thatReagan would get posthumously criticized for the barbarity that he promoted. No one ofimportance would dare suggest that his name be stripped from National Airport and hisstatue removed from near the airport entrance.But the evidence is overwhelming that the 40
th
president of the United States was guiltyas an accessory to genocide and a wide range of other war crimes, including torture,rape, terrorism and narcotics trafficking. [See Robert Parry's
Lost History 
.]
Green Light to Genocide
Regarding Guatemala, the documentary evidence is clear that Reagan and his topaides gave a green light to the extermination campaign against the Mayan Ixilpopulation in the highlands even before Rios Montt came to
 
power. Despite receivingU.S. intelligence reports revealing these atrocities, the Reagan administration alsopressed ahead in an extraordinary effort to arrange military equipment, includinghelicopters, to make the slaughter more efficient.“In the tortured logic of military planning documents conceived under Mr. Ríos Montt’s17-month rule during 1982 and 1983, the entire Mayan Ixil population was a militarytarget, children included,” the New York Timesreported
 
from
 
Rios Montt’s trial lastmonth. “Officers wrote that the leftist guerrillas fighting the government had succeededin indoctrinating the impoverished Ixils and reached ‘100 percent support.’”So, everyone was targeted in these scorched-earth campaigns that eradicated morethan 600 Indian villages in the Guatemalan highlands. But documents from this periodindicate that these counterinsurgency strategies predated Rios Montt. And, theyreceived the blessing of the Reagan administration shortly after Reagan
 
took power in1981.A document that I discovered in the archives of the Reagan Library in Simi Valley,California, revealed that Reagan and his national security team in 1981 agreed tosupply military aid to Guatemala’s dictators so they could pursue the goal ofexterminating not only “Marxist guerrillas” but people associated with their “civiliansupport mechanisms.”This supportive attitude took shape in spring 1981 as President Reagansought to relaxhuman-rights restrictions on military aid to Guatemala that had been imposed byPresident Jimmy Carter and the Democratic-controlled Congress in the late 1970s. Aspart of that easing, Reagan’s State Department “advised our Central Americanembassies that it has been studying ways to restore a closer, cooperative relationshipwith Guatemala,” said a White House “Situation Room Checklist” dated April 8, 1981.The document added: “State believes a number of changes have occurred which couldmake Guatemalan leaders more receptive to a new U.S. initiative: the Guatemalansview the new administration as more sympathetic to their problems [and] they are less

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Ronald Reagan aided and abetted Genocide--what does that say about U S?

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