FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Does the US Need a Civilizing Mayan Invasion?

As Americans went to the polls, a very brave man from the Mayan highlands remarked in Spain that when he returned to his mother’s house once the US-backed Guatemalan army had gotten through with it, he found that his entire family had been “carbonized,” i.e. burnt carbon-black and crispy.

Soon after, the US sent more money (and other things) to that very army, perhaps pioneering — under Reagan — the first known application of the “carbon credits” concept.

They are here to testify about the US-sponsored Guatemalan officers who, in the ’70s and ’80s, murdered their families, and came out on top as rich men, drug dealers, US embassy consultants, and Harvard fellows.

It’s not as if you can bring back the dead wives, missing kids, or shot-in-the cerebrum husbands, or even sufficiently punish the guilty, who now grin in elegant Zona Cinco pools and in MacLean, Virginia homes with lawns. They still twirl power and walk around, uncuffed, in polite society.

But you can, as one of the mountain corn farmers observed yesterday, “Capture them, imprison them. That’s sufficient,” which is generous of him, since they butchered his dear ones, friends, and animals, and burnt his gut till his intestines spilled out — and it is to the great credit of Spain’s judiciary that they are willing to let him try.

This is a case of torture, state terrorism, and genocide — and international arrest warrants have been issued — but the big, tough Generals who once could answer the question (posed by the conservative Guatemalan daily, El Grafico, [May 17, 1982]) “How is it possible to behead an 8- or 9-year-old child? How is it possible for a human adult to murder in cold blood a baby of less than a year and a half?” are now afraid to fly to Madrid and face the parents of the kids they consumed while pocketing cash from Langley. (Grafico referred to the massacre of Semeja II, Chichicastenango, but, in all, according to army records, 662 villages were destroyed, and perhaps 120,000 civilians were murdered in a place the population of New York City).

They’re afraid because there’s been something like a tear in the fabric of the political universe and, somehow, as in one of those anomalies of quantum physics, there has emerged — in this world — a stray particle of civilization: a legal forum perhaps willing to enforce the murder laws, even against high officials.

Not yet too high, mind you. There are not yet American names on the defendants list. But as we say in the sports which American guys love, its not over till its over.

The case is in Spain’s Audiencia Nacional (National Court), which, operating on the principle ‘We’re all people here,’ is exercising its right under international law to try atrocity cases involving non-Spaniards.

(Mayan survivors of things like crucifixion by hanging — from the big log cross at Rio Negro — will be testifying. I’ll be testifying as well, on the army, the massacre policy, and the US. Lawyers and professionals advancing the case come from CJA [US], APDHE [Spain], RMTF [Guatemala], CALDH [Guatemala], Hastings Law School [US], Impunity Watch [The Netherlands], and the National Security Archive [US].)

Imagine if that precedent caught on. Today’s US primary might be awkward, as candidates and advisers dodged the cops, were pressed to sign pledges to stop murdering, and were asked by the press to explain their own pasts — vis a vis killing civilians, not trivia — and to explain their bipartisan ideological softness on official crime.

In this particular US-killing matter, one of dozens from around the world, the Republicans’ patron saint is Ronald Reagan, so beloved by the Guatemalan leaders who slaughtered the Mayans (and others) that they hung ten-foot portraits of him in their homes as he sent them CIA men, surveillance equipment, covert money and — most importantly — open political blessings. The US Democrats’ dove is Barack Obama, whose chief foreign adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, greenlighted Israel to deliver the actual killing rifles (Galils) to Guatemala, since his President — Carter — was a little embarrassed.

Is that the difference between the two big US parties on mass murder — embarrassment versus pride? Maybe.

We shouldn’t have to wrestle with such fine — though, sometimes, bitterly consequential — distinctions.

We should be able to vote effectively against, and prosecute, murder.

Maybe US politics needs a civilizing Mayan invasion.

ALLAN NAIRN can be reached through his blog.

 

 

 

 

More articles by:

ALLAN NAIRN writes the blog News and Comment at www.newsc.blogspot.com.

September 20, 2018
Michael Hudson
Wasting the Lehman Crisis: What Was Not Saved Was the Economy
John Pilger
Hold the Front Page, the Reporters are Missing
Kenn Orphan
The Power of Language in the Anthropocene
Paul Cox – Stan Cox
Puerto Rico’s Unnatural Disaster Rolls on Into Year Two
Rajan Menon
Yemen’s Descent Into Hell: a Saudi-American War of Terror
Russell Mokhiber
Nick Brana Says Dems Will Again Deny Sanders Presidential Nomination
Nicholas Levis
Three Lessons of Occupy Wall Street, With a Fair Dose of Memory
Steve Martinot
The Constitutionality of Homeless Encampments
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
The Aftershocks of the Economic Collapse Are Still Being Felt
Jesse Jackson
By Enforcing Climate Change Denial, Trump Puts Us All in Peril
George Wuerthner
Coyote Killing is Counter Productive
Mel Gurtov
On Dealing with China
Dean Baker
How to Reduce Corruption in Medicine: Remove the Money
September 19, 2018
Bruce E. Levine
When Bernie Sold Out His Hero, Anti-Authoritarians Paid
Lawrence Davidson
Political Fragmentation on the Homefront
George Ochenski
How’s That “Chinese Hoax” Treating You, Mr. President?
Cesar Chelala
The Afghan Morass
Chris Wright
Three Cheers for the Decline of the Middle Class
Howard Lisnoff
The Beat Goes On Against Protest in Saudi Arabia
Nomi Prins 
The Donald in Wonderland: Down the Financial Rabbit Hole With Trump
Jack Rasmus
On the 10th Anniversary of Lehman Brothers 2008: Can ‘IT’ Happen Again?
Richard Schuberth
Make Them Suffer Too
Geoff Beckman
Kavanaugh in Extremis
Jonathan Engel
Rather Than Mining in Irreplaceable Wilderness, Why Can’t We Mine Landfills?
Binoy Kampmark
Needled Strawberries: Food Terrorism Down Under
Michael McCaffrey
A Curious Case of Mysterious Attacks, Microwave Weapons and Media Manipulation
Elliot Sperber
Eating the Constitution
September 18, 2018
Conn Hallinan
Britain: the Anti-Semitism Debate
Tamara Pearson
Why Mexico’s Next President is No Friend of Migrants
Richard Moser
Both the Commune and Revolution
Nick Pemberton
Serena 15, Tennis Love
Binoy Kampmark
Inconvenient Realities: Climate Change and the South Pacific
Martin Billheimer
La Grand’Route: Waiting for the Bus
John Kendall Hawkins
Seymour Hersh: a Life of Adversarial Democracy at Work
Faisal Khan
Is Israel a Democracy?
John Feffer
The GOP Wants Trumpism…Without Trump
Kim Ives
The Roots of Haiti’s Movement for PetroCaribe Transparency
Dave Lindorff
We Already Have a Fake Billionaire President; Why Would We want a Real One Running in 2020?
Gerry Brown
Is China Springing Debt Traps or Throwing a Lifeline to Countries in Distress?
Pete Tucker
The Washington Post Really Wants to Stop Ben Jealous
Dean Baker
Getting It Wrong Again: Consumer Spending and the Great Recession
September 17, 2018
Melvin Goodman
What is to be Done?
Rob Urie
American Fascism
Patrick Cockburn
The Adults in the White House Trying to Save the US From Trump Are Just as Dangerous as He Is
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
The Long Fall of Bob Woodward: From Nixon’s Nemesis to Cheney’s Savior
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail