In the board game of Geopolitics there are always two sides playing. Or more, obviously. What is not so obvious is that reputed political analysts sometimes are just re-writing the guidelines provided by just only one of the players. This is what I thought of the brief Andres Oppenheimer’s piece I had to illustrate for my newspaper (in Spanish). I had a confirmation of my suspects reading this article by Michael Shifter in Foreign Policy. Written with a longer, more sophisticated and nuanced version of the same guidelines, this is nonetheless the version the Secretary of State wants the American people will buy.
In this version, a suffocated Ahmadinejad (thanks to the successful work of Mrs. Clinton) runs away of the cliff of isolation into the arms of an equally isolated Chavez, while the “pragmatic” Brazilian president Rousseff (a former “guerrilla woman” just months ago) gives them a “cold shoulder”. Because Latin America (we’re told) have become increasingly independent from external influence and is unwilling to take new alignments, least of all with Iran, despite their growing commercial and diplomatic ties. Even the “terror” influence faded as shown by Argentina’s sustained claims for the “suspected” involvement of Iran in attacks in Buenos Aires in the past. So, don’t you (American people) worry about this trip. We have all under control.
This is a tale full of half-truths, directed at appease the hysterical pressing by the hard-line Republicans at Congress, while avoiding to recognize that all the inconveniences the incumbent administration has to overcome are direct consequences of the foolish (even criminal) previous mismanagement by the bushies neo-cons. From the failed coup against Chavez, to the failed ALCA initiative (to submit all of LatAm to a free-trade agreement) to the failed invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan (which pushed a surrounded Iran to seek the nuclear option).
The question remains: Why not to take political gains from indicting the Republicans for those failures? Is it because of patriotic loyalty to the troops or because nationalistic proud? Is it because of imperialistic convergence by both Dems and Reps as the Left likes to reassess? I have no definitive answer to this but another question instead, supposed such a recognition was done: How much would the American people have to pay to millions of Latin-americans, Vietnamese, Iraqis and others, in lives and properties ruined by unprovoked, criminal invasions and coups carried out by each American administration since the end of the Second World War? Is there an accountant aboard?
PS. 01/14/12 Just today I realized that John Tirman raised similar questions in a Washington Post article. Even thought, I think my way is less naive than his. He talks about compassion while I’m talking about money. American people tend to indict German people for its collective guilt in Nazi crimes (“¿How they possible ignore what was going out?”) but are unaware of their own. Germans got to pay to the victims in collective and particular lawsuits. Now, the question is: Who will force the American people pay for the crimes carried on by their elected governments?