FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Laurels for Negroponte?

As one of them, I know Greek-Americans share inordinate pride in democracy having begun in the land of their roots, ancient Greece. So it’s appalling to find one of us who has sought to destroy the principles of that heritage will be honored by the United Hellenic American Congress in Chicago, Nov. 12. A letter from UHAC informed me:

“At the Fairmont Hotel in Chicago, UHAC will honor yet another outstanding Hellene whose distinguished career in foreign service has brought him national and international recognition: Ambassador John Dimitri Negroponte.” It went on to paint a fictional portrait of Negroponte as “representing his country with valor, pride and commitment to democratic principles. You have no doubt heard about his outstanding efforts and recent accomplishments.”

Yes, I have heard this willing functionary of the Bush Administration has bounced around to three high profile government positions in recent years: ambassador to the United Nations, then ambassador to the nation we have devastated, Iraq, and now in the brand new post of National Intelligence czar.

What I also know is something more important, ignored by those who wear ethnic blinders: Negroponte– supposedly committed to democratic principles– first surfaced as Ronald Reagan’s instrument for trashing democracy in Central America. As ambassador to Honduras in the 1980s, he was a chief facilitator for Reagan’s arms-for-hostages scandal, Iran-Contra.

Another item from his political vita one won’t hear from UHAC is hard evidence of how he circumvented Congress and the Constitution when he made possible torture and death squads from Honduras to advance Reagan’s illegal and covert policies.

When I moved from Chicago to Oregon, Negroponte’s criminal actions took on a local face: that of the young Oregon social worker he victimized. Ben Linder of Portland was murdered by Contras as he helped build hydroelectric power for peasants in Nicaragua. An auditorium in the University of Oregon student union is named in his memory.

My fellow ethnics and I have been burned before. Spiro Agnew gave our egos a boost when he became Richard Nixon’s vice-president, only to leave office when impeached. In more recent times, George Tenet became head of the CIA, only to be discredited for giving Bush the lies he sought to justify war with Iraq. Even Greek-Americans wearing blinders winced when Bush rewarded Tenet for his fabrications, giving him the U.S. Medal of Freedom.

Greeks can be forgiven for their Agnew-Tenet excitement, as it was only later we learned of their malfeasance. No such excuse is there for Negroponte, whose illegal actions have been known for a quarter century.

Socrates: where are you when we need you?

GEORGE BERES, retired in Eugene, Ore., once was executive director of the Hellenic Foundation in Chicago in the mid-1970s. He can be reached at: gberes@uoregon.edu

 

 

More articles by:
bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
April 08, 2020
Melvin Goodman
The Impact of COVID-19 on the Body Politic
Eve Ottenberg
Amid Plague, Sanctions are Genocide
Vijay Prashad, Du Xiaojun – Weiyan Zhu
How China Learned About SARS-CoV-2 in the Weeks Before the Global Pandemic
Bill Quigley
Seven Disturbing Facts About COVID-19 in Louisiana
Joyce Nelson
BlackRock Takes Command
Geoff Dutton
Coronavirus as Metaphor: It’s Not Peanuts
Richard Moser
From Strike Wave to General Strike
Gary Leupp
Could COVID-19 Kill Capitalism?
Thomas Klikauer – Nadine Campbell
Corona, Capital and Class in Germany
Tom Crofton
Aspirational vs Pragmatic: Why My Radicalness is Getting More Radical
Steve Kelly
Montana Ballot Access Decision Suppresses Green Party Voters
Jacob Hornberger
Muhammad Ali’s Fight Against the Pentagon
Phil Mattera
The Rap Sheets of the Big Ventilator Producers
Manuel García, Jr.
Why Remdesivir and Hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19?
Rick Baum
When “Moderate” Democrats Lead the Ticket and Win, Down-Ballot Candidates Soon Suffer Losses
Jake Johnston
Tens of Millions Will Be Pushed into Poverty Amid COVID-Induced Recession
Kim C. Domenico
Healthy and Unhealthy Fear in the Age of Coronavirus
John W. Whitehead
Draconian Lockdown Powers and Civil Liberties
Binoy Kampmark
University Bailouts, Funding and Coronavirus
Luke Ruediger
BLM Timber Sale Increases Fire Risk, Reduces Climate Resilience and Harms Recreation
John Kendall Hawkins
Slavoj Žižek’s Virulent Polemic Against Covid-19, and Stuff!
Nyla Ali Khan
Finding Meaning and Purpose in Adversity
April 07, 2020
Joel McCleary – Mark Medish
Paradigm Shift by Pandemic
Matt Smith
Amazon Retaliation: Workers Striking Back
Kenneth Surin
What The President Said (About The Plague)
Patrick Cockburn
The Chaotic Government Response to COVID-19 Resembles the Failures of 1914
Marshall Auerback
The Coronavirus Pandemic Has Opened the Curtains on the World’s Next Economic Model
Vijay Prashad, Paola Estrada, Ana Maldonado, and Zoe PC
Trump Sends Gun Boats to Venezuela While the World Partners to Fight a Deadly Pandemic
Jeremy Lent
Coronavirus Spells the End of the Neoliberal Era. What’s Next?
Dean Baker
The Big Hit: COVID-19 and the Economy
Nino Pagliccia
A Simple Democratic Transition Framework for Venezuela: End All “Sanctions”
Colin Todhunter
Locked Down and Locking in the New Global Order
Robert Fisk
Biden Says He ‘Doesn’t Have Enough Information’ on Iran to Have a Vew. How Odd, He Negotiated the Nuclear Deal
Wim Laven
GOP’s Achievement is Now on Display
Binoy Kampmark
Boastful Pay Cuts: the Coronavirus Incentive
Dave Lindorff
It’s Spring and I’ve Turned 71 in a Pandemic-Induced Recession
Steve Brown
FLASH! Trump Just Endorsed Bernie’s Medicare-For-All Health Plan
Marc Haggerty
Class and COVID-19: Those Who Can and Those Who Can’t
Manuel García, Jr.
A Reply to Jeffrey St. Clair’s “Strange Things Happening Every Day”
George Wuerthner
How Fuel Breaks Fuel Fires
Marshall Sahlins
Election 2020
April 06, 2020
Richard D. Wolff
COVID-19 and the Failures of Capitalism
W. T. Whitney
Donald Trump, Capitalism, and Letting Them Die
Cesar Chelala
Cuba’s Promising Approach to Cancer
David A. Schultz
Camus and Kübler-Ross in a Time of COVID-19 and Trump
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail