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roody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 05:53 PM
Original message
Obama's CHANGE is lagging in Latin American issues.
Don't let him get away with this right wing crap!

February 15-17, 2009: Lobby Days and SOA Watch Encuentro in Washington, DC

Join human rights activists from across the country in Washington, DC and lobby your Member of Congress to get on board for the closing of the School of the Americas (SOA/WHINSEC).

With 35 Representatives who voted to continue funding the SOA/WHINSEC losing their seats in Congress on November 4th, we are in a great position to pressure the new Congress to permanently shut down the school in 2009. The last vote to defund the SOA/WHINSEC, in 2007, lost by a margin of only six votes.


Make Your Voice Heard: Ensure True Change in Latin America Policy

Grassroots activists and organizers will converge on Washington, DC calling for a new Latin America policy and opposing militarization.

SOA Watch is working with other Latin America Solidarity and social justice groups on a series of events from February 15-17, 2009 to push the U.S. Congress and the White House to close the School of the Americas and to bring real change to U.S. Latin America policy.
Schedule of Events

Saturday, February 14
7pm Meet and Greet at the SOA Watch office

Sunday, February 15
9am - 4:30pm SOA Watch Encuentro / Strategy Meeting
dinner break 4:30pm - 6:00pm
6:00pm - 9:00pm Anti-Militarization Program
organized in cooperation with the Latin America Solidarity Coalition (LASC) and the North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA)

Monday, February 16
9:00am - 11:00am Grassroots Lobby Training
1:00pm - 4:00pm Arts and Action Workshop
Lobby Visits and Street Theater on Capitol Hill

Tuesday, February 17
Lobbying on Capitol Hill

I'll be there. Join me.
www.soaw.org
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annabanana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 05:58 PM
Response to Original message
1. lagging? already?
whew
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roody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:00 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Check out the Latin American forum.
Edited on Sat Jan-24-09 06:02 PM by roody
It is a bit depressing, but I trust Obama will find a new way to deal with Latin America's people's democracy movements.
One sample: http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:02 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. He was sort of never way out front.
But, I like to remember, neither was Jack Kennedy and he made great strides before he was killed.
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roody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:04 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. I hope that Obama is lulling the right wing into complacency,
to prepare to make real democratic change. We have to keep the pressure on him.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:07 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. Most people don't know what his positions are on Latin America
so your OP might seem like it's coming out of the blue.

But, I agree with you. As Obama himself said, this is just the beginning and it's good to start out on the right track.
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OPERATIONMINDCRIME Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 05:59 PM
Response to Original message
2. My God How Stupid.
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Still Sensible Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:18 PM
Response to Reply #2
9. Best I can tell, the SOA
is a military run outfit at Fort Benning that trains police and military for Latin American countries. This group SOA watch was organized because some bad actors have, in fact, gone through the school. I'd like to hear from supporters of the school to get a balanced view.
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roody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:34 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. list of graduates
The last list of SOA graduates, released because of FOIA rules, had every name blacked out. Hopefully under Obama, we can get a list of the graduates.
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Still Sensible Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:36 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. That would be great.
But hell, Bush came out of Yale, should we shut it down, too? Sorry, just that's how this OP hits me... like they are against anything military.
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roody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:32 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. It does say "opposing militarization."
This is a peace group.
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stillcool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 02:12 PM
Response to Reply #9
32. they've changed their name..
and have a place in Panama as well. They seem to do great work in training people to over-throw democratically elected governments.
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roody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-26-09 11:09 PM
Response to Reply #9
33. If you want names, check out now-sentenced-for-tresspassing
Mr. Wolf's statement at trial.

http://www.soaw.org/article.php?id=1718
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Siwsan Donating Member (385 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:06 PM
Response to Original message
6. Let's see - he's been President for 4 days!
and is facing an unbelievable mess. He's done a remarkable beginning at repairing, already. Give the man a chance!
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roody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:10 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. I will and I love him but,
we must not rest if we want peace and justice for every person on earth.

One of several discouraging stories on his Latin American stands: http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:37 PM
Response to Reply #6
12. I've to agree. Foreign policy and economy come first. ____-American stuff later. Right now
we're ALL "Americans". Without an economy and showing the world we are going to change, everything else is zilch.

It's like worrying about a hangnail instead of that big malignant tumor growing on one's pancreas.
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 09:27 PM
Response to Original message
14. The School of the Americas is known to have trained Latin American fascists in
torture techniques, and murder, as well as how to foment riots and destabilization, and topple democracies. The utter horrors that were inflicted on Guatemalan Mayan villagers (200,000 thousand slaughtered with Reagan's direct complicity), on Nicaraguans, on El Salvadorans, on Argentinians--torture, mass slaughter, horrible deaths--and many others, are all connected to U.S./corporate policy and training at the SOA, of Latin American fascists in systemic oppression, coordinated among the fascist/military elites in different countries (--coordinated by us in Plan Condor).

This is not just a "peace group" issue. This is a matter of fundamental illegality-- violation of numerous national and international laws--and indecency--egregious violations of human rights--for the purpose of corporate profit and war and police state profiteering--and it is still going on. The U.S./Bushwhacks have larded $6 BILLION of our tax dollars on the Colombian government, in military aid. The Colombian military and closely tied rightwing paramilitary death squads have murdered thousands and thousands of union leaders, small peasant farmers, human rights workers, political leftists, journalists and others--recently, this year, last year, and ever since Plan Colombia was instituted by Bill Clinton.

Which brings me to Obama, and the great worries and reservations that many of us who follow events in Latin America have expressed about Obama's Latin America foreign policy.

There was/is one little ray of hope in Obama's L/A policy. In speaking to the Miami anti-Castro mafia in May '08, Obama broached the idea of "talking to" Castro. That was a brave thing to do to that crowd. The speech was otherwise full of Bushite-sounding, Monroe Doctrine-sounding anti-leftist cant, about Latin Americans "needing U.S. leadership," which is blustery bullshit these days.

Latin Americans--bolstered by the peaceful, democratic election of leftist governments all over South America--in Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay (of all places!) and Chile (center-left), and moving into Central America--with the election of leftist governments in Nicaragua and Guatemala, and the pending election of a leftist government in El Salvador--have formed their own 'common market,' UNASUR, without the U.S., in order to have an economic/political organization that is not dominated by the U.S., and to further their own social justice and independence/sovereignty goals.

This organization--UNASUR, formalized this year--met its first crisis this September, when the Bushwhacks tried to instigate a civil war in Bolivia, by funding and organizing white separatists, who want to split off the gas and oil rich eastern provinces into a fascist mini-state in control of Bolivia's main resources, and who wanted to destroy the national government of Evo Morales, the first indigenous president of Bolivia. These fascists, with the support of the U.S. ambassador and the DEA, rioted for days, sacked and destroyed government and NGO buildings, beat up the indigenous, blew up a gas pipeline and machine-gunned some 30 unarmed peasants. Morales threw the U.S. ambassador and the DEA out of Bolivia, for supporting this insurrection, and UNASUR held a meeting, organized by Michele Batchelet, president of Chile, and with important support from Brazil and Argentina, unanimously backed the Morales government, and instituted a peace process with the saner elements of the fascist (minority) opposition in Bolivia, and also set up a commission to investigate the mass murder.

This peace process is coming to fruition this Sunday, when Bolivians vote on their new Constitution, which will enshrine the civil and human rights of the indigenous as the law of the land. (Bolivia is a largely indigenous country with a bad history of white enslavement of the indigenous; also massive land theft, and ugly bigotry to this day).

Evo Morales is the "Martin Luther King" of South America. The Bushwhacks tried to overthrow him. All of South America came to his defense. These people "need U.S. leadership"--according to Obama? Give me a break.

So, Obama is out of touch, very poorly advised, and headed for disaster if he listens to people like Hillary Clinton, Eric Holder and others (all with miserable records of supporting fascists and opposing democracy in South America--there is not one good Latin American advisor on Obama's team, that I can see--not one). The U.S. policies of "free trade" (killing union organizers and further impoverishing the majority) and the militarization of the corrupt, murderous, failed U.S. "war on drugs," have been largely rejected by most South Americans, who want the U.S. the fuck out of their countries, if it is going to continue as a malevolent force. And that is the question: Is it?

I don't know the answer. Obama says he wants to flood the place with Peace Corps volunteers (whom the Bushwhacks were using as spies, in Bolivia) and new consulates "in remote places." He says he wants peaceful dialogue--but is he being set up for a "Bay of Pigs" trap, like the CIA tried to do to JFK*--that is, a war he doesn't want (in this case, an oil war against Venezuela)? There is considerable evidence that that is the case, which I won't go into here**. (It is a very great concern of mine.) One clue that Obama is either misinformed, or can't risk speaking the truth, was his description of Hugo Chavez as "authoritarian" (--a Bushwhack, corp-fascist 'news,' DLC, 100% goddamned lie) to the Miami mafia and in other venues. And he apparently repeated it, very recently, adding other insults to Chavez, in a Univision interview (corpo/fascist 'news' monopoly)--although I have not been able to verify that this interview even took place. Chavez reacted to it, when the articles were quoted to him, and said that it had the "stench" or "smell"--depending on the translation--of Bush, which it certainly did, if what Obama is alleged to have said is true--that Chavez supports "terrorism"--another TOTAL BUSHWHACK FABRICATION.

Was this a Bushwhack "dirty trick" (the alleged interview of Obama), to sour relations, and hope of dialogue, right off the bat? Why would Obama, after saying he wants dialogue, go out of his way to insult Chavez, days before his inauguration? If he did, then his policy is two-faced. If he didn't, well, we need to know that, don't we? Who is undermining his policy, and why? Is his desire for peace and constructive discussion being sabotaged?

His new Sec of State, Hillary Clinton, had a paid agent of the narco-fascist government of Colombia, as her chief campaign adviser. Eric Holder, his new A.G., was the attorney for Chiquita Brands, whose execs paid $1.7 million dollars, over a seven-year period, to rightwing death squads in Colombia, to murder some 4,000 union leaders on Chiquita farms (and got these corporate execs off with a handslap). Obama's other appointments are similar in outlook and history. These are NOT good signs of a peaceful, pro-democracy Obama policy in Latin America. That is why we are worried--that, and the precedent of the "Bay of Pigs" (the CIA-instigated war on Cuba that the CIA tried to blackmail JFK into supporting*).

----------------

*(Recommended reading: "JFK and the Unspeakable: Why he died and why it matters," by James Douglass - recently published by the Maryknoll fathers).

**(I've been following the evidence for this Bushwhack war plan in South America for two years now. Rafael Correa, president of Ecuador, has said that it is a three-country civil war plan--Ecuador, Venezuela, Bolivia. We saw the Bolivia plot unfold in September, and fail--at least thus far. Venezuela and Ecuador are bigger oil prizes--both members of OPEC--and these war plans are still brewing, with Venezuela perhaps the most vulnerable of all, because of its borders with Colombia and the Caribbean, where the Bushwhacks recently reconstituted the U.S. 4th Fleet. Lula da Silva, president of Brazil, said that the 4th Fleet threatens Brazil's oil reserves on the Atlantic coast, as well, and he proposed creation of a 'common defense' along with their 'common market,' UNASUR, which has been approved and is being implemented. Perhaps the most serious concern is Colombia, and the rightwing death squads, private armies (Blackwater), U.S. troops and out-of-control, murderous Colombian military, all operating right over the border from Venezuela's oil rich state of Zulia (on the Caribbean), a fascist stronghold. If Obama is being cornered into his own "Bay of Pigs," that is likely where it would occur. So, if you start hearing claims of "freedom fighters" in Zulia, who just want their "independence" from that "dictator" Chavez, you will know what this is all about: Oil War II.)

**(Not to be missed: Donald Rumsfeld's op-ed in the Washington Post, of Dec '07, entitled, "The Smart Way to Defeat Tyrants Like Chavez," in which he urges "swift action" by the U.S. in support of Bushwhack "friends and allies" in South America.")
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roody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 09:48 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. Thank you for taking the time to inform DU.
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Radical Activist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 09:54 PM
Response to Original message
16. What right wing crap is Obama getting away with?
Closing the SOA is very important. I've contacted my Congressman several times and been to the protest at fort Benning.

But can we lobby for something without acting like Obama started the SOA? You're headline and first sentence would make more sense if he announced he would veto the bill to close SOA if it passes. As far as I know he hasn't said that.
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roody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 10:20 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. His AG pick, his Latin America advisors,
Edited on Sat Jan-24-09 10:22 PM by roody
bellicose remarks about Venezuela. I believe that Obama will sign the legislation to close SOA when the legislature passes it. He could do it by executive order, but I don't think he will. I see my first sentence only makes sense to me. How about continued attacks in Pakistan?
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Radical Activist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 10:32 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. He said he's going to stop the SOA
from teaching torture and terror tactics that we object to by executive order. I want him to go a step further and shut it down completely. I think calling his position "right wing crap" and saying he's getting away with something is untrue and needlessly alienates people.
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roody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 11:12 PM
Response to Reply #18
24. I am sure you are right. I had just been reading some posts
at the Latin America forum. I think he will sign the legislation to shut it down.
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hack89 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 10:44 PM
Response to Reply #16
20. I doubt he is even aware it is a problem
it is one of those fringe progressive issues that mainline democrats have ignored for ever. He will be no different.
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Radical Activist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 10:51 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. No. Obama has spoken about SOA.
He already pledged to end the SOA's practice of teaching torture and terror tactics. Part of that he already did by executive order banning torture. But he hasn't committed to shutting it down completely yet.
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hack89 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 10:54 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. We'll see
If they no longer teach torture and terror then there is no need to shut it down, is there?

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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 02:29 AM
Response to Reply #20
26. "Fringe progressive issues"? Tell that to the thousands and thousands of Latin Americans
who have been tortured and killed by School of the Americas graduates. In Colombia, recently, rightwing paramilitary death squads chainsawed union leaders alive and threw their body parts into mass graves. They have slit children's throats in front of their parents on suspicion of their being leftists. Amnesty International's report says that 92% of the murders of union leaders in Colombia, as of 2005, were committed by Colombia's military (about half) and closely tied rightwing death squads (the other half). WE TRAIN the Colombian military, and the death squads come from their ranks, and often work in coordination with them. We have also flooded the society with guns, rockets and other military hardware, and high tech surveillance and weaponry, with which to oppress their own people. $6 BILLION of our tax dollars have gone down this putrid, genocidal rat hole.

"Fringe progressive issue"?! Beware of accepting the corpo/fascist 'news' determination of what is fringe and what isn't. They have been very successful at turning common decency into a 'fringe,' 'leftist' issue.

I'm not sure of your intent. It is one thing to accurately describe our national political establishment's cruel, greedy-eyed obliviousness to the suffering that we inflict, directly or by proxy. It is quite another thing to agree with their inhumanity. Do you think that our training Latin American fascists in torture, murder, oppression and injustice in a "fringe" matter? Are you being ironical? Or are you merely trying to be accurate about our privileged, pampered, collusive "mainline Democrats"?
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hack89 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 06:13 AM
Response to Reply #26
27. It is a fringe issue in American politics
That is my only point.

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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 06:17 AM
Response to Reply #27
28. Let me try again. Do you think it SHOULDN'T be a "fringe" issue? nt
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hack89 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 07:32 AM
Response to Reply #28
29. There are bigger issues
if he can deal with it in his eight years in office I would be happy. It should not be in his top 10 for his first year in office. Jobs, health care and ending the war are much more immediate issues right now.
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NeedleCast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 10:42 PM
Response to Original message
19. Cant get enough of these ridiculous threads
Boo Hoo, Obama hasn't waved his magic want to fix my personal favorite issues yet! Why Obama, Why?!?

You know, I've got no problem with you pointing out something that needs fixing, but accusing Obama of lagging behind after four and a half days as president is both selfish and, frankly, bullshit.
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HughMoran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 11:01 PM
Response to Original message
23. "Don't let him get away with this right wing crap!"
How can a post with this as the lead expect to be taken seriously?
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roody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 12:25 AM
Response to Reply #23
25. Sorry I was a little perturbed just having read these:
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 08:20 AM
Response to Reply #25
30. Don't let them bully you into NOT criticizing Obama. He may have been in office
only five days, but he has been planning policy and making appointments--some very bad appointments--since the November, and probably well before that, so that we CAN see some very worrisome trends and problems already. Better to say it NOW than to wait until until he's made potentially disastrous mistakes. And that is very, VERY possible in Latin America.

And wasn't this MAIN PROBLEM with Bush-Cheney--the corpo/fascist media stifled all criticism? Our Democratic Party leaders, most of them, went along with that. And where are we now? Busted, broken, bankrupt, guilty of massive war crimes, our Constitution in tatters, every institution in our society negatively affected, set back ten years in progress on numerous, urgent problems. Lack. Of. Criticism.

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roody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 01:41 PM
Response to Reply #30
31. With the continued bombing of Pakistan, etc.,
many will soon see that we cannot let up. I am as thrilled and caught up in the lovely spectacle of the Obamas as most Democrats, but poor people of color are still dying because of US foreign policy.
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