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November 29, 2005

The Salvador Option

-- by Dave Johnson

The "Salvador Option" -- Will they start using it here?

Go read Newsweek, January 9, 2005, The Salvador Option.

Now, NEWSWEEK has learned, the Pentagon is intensively debating an option that dates back to a still-secret strategy in the Reagan administration’s battle against the leftist guerrilla insurgency in El Salvador in the early 1980s. Then, faced with a losing war against Salvadoran rebels, the U.S. government funded or supported "nationalist" forces that allegedly included so-called death squads directed to hunt down and kill rebel leaders and sympathizers.

. . . Following that model, one Pentagon proposal would send Special Forces teams to advise, support and possibly train Iraqi squads, most likely hand-picked Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and Shiite militiamen, to target Sunni insurgents and their sympathizers, even across the border into Syria, according to military insiders familiar with the discussions.

Now, almost 11 months later, we begin to see the policy in action.

Sunnis Accuse Iraqi Military of Kidnappings and Slayings,

As the American military pushes the largely Shiite Iraqi security services into a larger role in combating the insurgency, evidence has begun to mount suggesting that the Iraqi forces are carrying out executions in predominantly Sunni neighborhoods.

Hundreds of accounts of killings and abductions have emerged in recent weeks, most of them brought forward by Sunni civilians, who claim that their relatives have been taken away by Iraqi men in uniform without warrant or explanation.

Some Sunni men have been found dead in ditches and fields, with bullet holes in their temples, acid burns on their skin, and holes in their bodies apparently made by electric drills. Many have simply vanished.

Some of the young men have turned up alive in prison. In a secret bunker discovered earlier this month in an Interior Ministry building in Baghdad, American and Iraqi officials acknowledged that some of the mostly Sunni inmates appeared to have been tortured.

More at War and Piece, "The Salvador Option." And at Kos, The Salvadoran Option. Some time ago at Billmon, The Salvadoran Option and The Salvadoran Option II. Update - Kevin Drum, Tapped, Roger Ailes, more Billmon today, AMERICAblog, Steve Soto. More at LA Times.

Two years ago I wrote,

Sometimes lately - since Bush v Gore - I imagine I'm looking at current events as if I am a future historian, tracking the record of "what happened" - sort of like how we now look back at Germany in the 30's, trying to understand how it happened.

I used to wonder, if I was in Germany in the 30's, at what point would I have seen what was happening, and gotten out?

It creeps up slowly. How many times have we compared our reactions to Bushism to the frog in water that is getting hotter? Eventually it boils.

We are entering the most dangerous time. The Bush regime is faced with exposure of their crimes. What will they do? Will they just let themselves be taken off to prison? Will their backers willingly give up their direct access to the U.S. Treasury? Do you think they won't fight back?

The "Salvador Option" -- Will they start using it here?

Watch your backs.

Posted by Dave Johnson at November 29, 2005 8:20 AM

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I received an e-mail from a reader who tried to leave a coment to my post The Salvador Option, in which I referenced the following from a couple of years ago:Sometimes lately - since Bush v Gore - I imagine... [Read More]

Tracked on November 30, 2005 8:59 AM


We must continue to speak out, loudly and often. This is a time for heroes to arise.
"Hoka-Hey! Cowards to the rear, brave men follow me. Remember the helpless ones in the camp. It's a good day to die!"
It is also a good day to live.

In The Spirit of Crazy Horse.

Posted by: Art Durand aka Whitebear at November 29, 2005 5:48 PM

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