Sunday, March 27, 2016

Truest statement of the week

“It takes courage for a society to address uncomfortable truths about the darker parts of its past. Confronting crimes committed by our own leaders… is essential to moving forward to building a peaceful and prosperous future in a country that respects the rights of all of its citizens.”
These were the words of President Barack Obama in praise of Mauricio Macri, Argentina’s new right-wing president, spoken at a ceremony held in Buenos Aires on March 24, the 40th anniversary of the military coup that brought to power the murderous US-backed dictatorship of Gen. Jorge Videla.
Obama could just as well have been speaking of the crimes committed by the United States against the people of Argentina and the rest of Latin America. But as the remainder of his remarks, aimed at covering up Washington’s crimes, made clear, his policies are directed not at building a society based on peace, prosperity and basic rights, but on defending the wealth and power of a rapacious capitalist oligarchy.
In his brief visit to the Parque de la Memoria in Buenos Aires, dedicated to the 30,000 Argentine workers, students and leftists who were murdered and “disappeared” under the junta, Obama was surrounded by a small army of Secret Service agents, watched over by snipers and helicopters, and kept a safe distance from the hundreds of thousands of Argentine workers and youth who took to the streets to mark the day. He was accompanied by Macri, whose basic policies are in continuity with those of the bygone junta.
What were the “uncomfortable truths” and “darker… past” Obama chose to confront in terms of Washington’s own role in the bloody events in Argentina? US officials, he said, had failed to “live up to the ideals that we stand for” and had been “slow to speak out for human rights.”
It is hard to imagine more mealymouthed and dishonest words from an American president.

-- Bill Van Auken, "Obama’s pivot to Latin America" (WSWS).

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