Turning the Tide: U.S. Intervention in Central America and the Struggle for Peace
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Turning the Tide succinctly and powerfully addresses three interrelated questions: What is the aim and impact of the U.S. Central American policy What factors in U.S. society support and oppose current policy? And how can concerned citizens affect future policy?
Turning the Tide shows how U.S. Central American policies implement broader U.S. economic, military, and social aims even while describing their impact on the lives of people in Central America. A particularly revealing focus of Chomsky's argument is the world of U.S. academia and media, which Chomsky analyzes in detail to explain why the U.S. public is so misinformed about our government's policies.
Whether the U.S. initiates a major invasion in Central America or instead continues to support reaction through the region by economic pressure, CIA intervention, and proxy military activity, many U.S. citizens will want to argue for a more humane policy. Chomsky provides the most compelling available analyses of what is going on, why, and what concerned citizens can do about it.
sufficiently disruptrive so as to impose costs that they are unwilling to face, just as domestic public opinion is of no concern until it reaches a level of dissidence that threatens order and stability at home. International terrorism is “scandalous” only if it infringes upon elite prerogatives or carries a potential cost to elite interests. Congress does represent various systems of power; therefore, violation of explicit Congressional directives is a scandal that cannot be ignored, in
loss of these client States in 1979 was a serious matter. Nicaragua under the Somozas, as discussed in the text above, was the major base for the projection of U.S. power in the region. Iran was part of a tripartite alliance (Iran, Israel, Saudi Arabia) constructed by the United States in the 1970s (with earlier roots) as a component of the Nixon Doctrine, which recognized that the U.S. no longer had the capacity to carry out military intervention everywhere and must therefore rely on surrogate
1. 10. See David Johnson, director of research of the Center for Defense Information, Inquiry, June 1983, reviewing the Pentagon publication Soviet Military Power, 1983; also Andrew Cockburn, “Threat Inflation,” in the same issue. On the misrepresentations and outright falsehoods in the 1984 volume, see Fred Kaplan, BG, April 15, 1984. 11. For an excellent discussion of this topic, see William Schwartz, et al., The Nuclear Seduction: Why the Arms Race Doesn’t Matter, Boston Nuclear Study Group,
the country organizing legally, all the agrarian reform cooperatives would turn communist.” Another problem is that the left might organize among school-age youth and in the labor movement. Shirley Christian reports in the Times that the National Federation of Trade Unions is “making tough wage demands,” and that “Christian Democrats say they are haunted by the memory of 1979, when the same groups were prominent in the near-anarchy that swept El Salvador,” leading to the October 1979 coup, soon
Gleijeses points out that Bosch had been the candidate of “the peasants, the urban unemployed, the working-class poor,” people who “previously had never played a role in the political life of the nation.” He introduced a “modern and democratic” constitution and legal system, attacked the endemic corruption, and defended civil liberties, attempting “to create a sense of civic spirit, an elementary honesty that could have sparked a true renaissance of Dominican society.” He compelled the police to