I was involved in pro-peace, anti-war, anti-US Imperialism efforts during the most hideous years of the Reagan/Bush administrations (from 1980 – 1992) that resulted in the deaths and sufferings of millions of innocent people in virtually every South and Central American nation you can think of.
As I remember the many innocent – often “disappeared” – war-refugees who suffered, starved and died at the hands of my war-profiteering national leaders, I am unable to shed any tears for the guilty ones, even if they are now dead or dying, for they were war-mongers that never apologized for their misdeeds. They were members beholden to Wall Street and War Street whose intentions made them responsible for brutal massacres, assassinations, torturing, mass killings, starvation and the impoverishment of millions of innocents that wanted to live in peace in their homeland that had been targeted for exploitation by my once-beloved homeland.
When our past history of US-inflicted economic and military cruelty is forgotten (or never learned in the first place, as is the case of our current president), our people and politicians can’t make the connections between
- 1) America’s Wall Street and War Street exploitation of the rest of the world and
- 2) the current global crises of Big Business-induced global warming, Wall Street-induced economic disparities/oppression/refugees and War Street’s perpetual wars that have been going all over the planet since the Reagan/Bush administrations went into deep debt by lavishing trillions of dollars on America’s military, nuclear weapons and its conventional arsenals.
I know that many of my readers also grew tired of the endless accolades for ex-president George Herbert Walker Bush (US President # 41) who died last Friday. Having to endure listening to the repetitive accounts of the small handful of good and decent things that he was given credit for made me turn off the radio and TV for most of the last 5 days. One such accolade that was particularly undeserved was his signing – not authoring or proposing or even politicking for – the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
There are many points that need to be made when powerful US leaders die, especially presidents. But the accolades need to be balanced with what are often unwelcome truths.