[News] The NYT and the School of Assassins

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Fri Aug 17 13:13:12 EDT 2012


Weekend Edition August 17-19, 2012
http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/08/17/the-nyt-and-the-school-of-assassins/



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School Out? Not Yet


  The NYT and the School of Assassins

by JOAN ROELOFS

Saturday, August 11, /The New York Times/ printed a front page article 
about the nun, Sister Megan Rice, age 82, who committed civil 
disobedience at the Oak Ridge Tennessee nuclear reservation in a protest 
against nuclear weapons.  The article also informs us that she had been 
arrested in 1998 protesting at the School of the Americas in Fort 
Benning, Georgia. /The Times/ then notes that some of the trainees from 
that school "went on to commit human rights abuses."  You might think of 
denials of same-sex partner medical benefits, or censorship of soldiers' 
mail; in fact, the abuses were (and still are) assassination, torture, 
and military overthrow of elected governments.

/The  Times/ then states: "The school has since been closed."  This is 
not the case at all.  The name has been changed to Western Hemisphere 
Institute for Security Cooperation, with the same curriculum.

The SOA, aka WHISC, is probably the best known locale of foreign 
military training, because of the vigil and civil disobedience organized 
every November by the School of the Americas Watch organization.  Some 
mainstream news sources note this event; /The New York Times/ usually 
ignores it.  Perhaps that is why they think the school is closed; if it 
is not in the /NYT/, it can't possibly exist.

SOA graduates include the murderers of Jesuit priests, the lay 
missionary and 3 nuns, Archbishop Romero, and the El Mazote massacre of 
900 civilians in El Salvador; and many other victims. SOA training 
manuals advocate torture. The recent overthrow of Honduras government 
was the work of graduates of SOA.  Other alumni are Manuel Noriega and 
Omar Torrijos of Panama, Leopoldo Galtieri and Roberto Viola of 
Argentina, Juan Velasco Alvarado of Peru, Guillermo Rodriguez of 
Ecuador, and Hugo Banzer Suarez of Bolivia.

Ecuador, Costa Rica, Argentina, Uruguay and Venezuela have withdrawn 
participation in SOA.

"Multicultural" education doesn't stop with the SOA.  More than 200 
institutions in the US train foreign military personnel, and US military 
sponsored training occurs all over the world, in our overseas 
institutions and in situ. The 571 page State Department Report on 
Foreign Military Training for 2010 indicates that approximately 67,100 
students from 159 countries participated.

"Education" is offered through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) Program, 
and activities funded through Defense and State Departments. All 
armament sales are accompanied by training.  The State Department 
International Military Education and Training (IMET) is a major 
offering. The Expanded IMET (E-IMET) program (arising from criticism of 
our past trainees' post-graduate projects---assassination, torture, 
military takeovers, etc.) is supposed to teach respect for civilian 
control of the military, human rights, and belief in the rule of law.

*Among the DOD **programs is Joint Combined Exchange Training (JCET). 
**US Special Operations Forces (SOF) train "with friendly foreign 
forces. . . The primary purpose of JCET is always the training of US SOF 
personnel, although incidental training benefits may accrue to the 
foreign forces."*

Programs exist for combating terrorism, counter-narcotics training, 
humanitarian demining, and a whole university of military and civilian 
subjects.  Civilian government leaders of many countries are also 
invited and participate in the trainings.

The WHISC brags that it teaches peaceful skills such as public 
administration, but the purpose is clear: when the troops take over a 
country they have to know how to do it.  Perhaps the DOD has learned 
from the experience of Lawrence of Arabia: his men captured Damascus, 
but didn't have any public administration skills, so lost it.

Each branch of the military has its own network of schools, the military 
academies have exchange programs, there are regional centers, and 
civilian institutions have foreign military students. Even military prep 
schools can get into the picture; some start at pre-Kindergarten. 
Private contractors also perform training.

Some examples of participating institutions among the 200 are the Africa 
Center for Strategic Studies (In D.C., Senegal, and Ethiopia); the US 
Army JFK Special Warfare Center and School, Fort Bragg, NC for Special 
Forces training (Green Berets); and the George C. Marshall European 
Center for Security Studies (Marshall Center).

Land-grant universities were originally planned to include military 
training, and they are today important centers for these programs. 
Indonesian special forces---Kopassus---were trained at Norwich 
University in Vermont. When this was revealed by a reporter, a scandal 
ensued, the reporter was fired from her newspaper, and the program was 
shut down. However, the University's president recently announced that 
the relationship was resuming.

Among the many countries participating in our military training are 
Sweden and Switzerland, sometimes thought to be neutral.  They are 
affiliated with NATO, in a "Partnership for Peace" status.  So also is 
Russia, and its troops joined ours in anti-terrorism training this May 
in Colorado.  Another odd grantee is the tiny Pacific island nation of 
Tuvalu, as Lora Lumpe points out in her excellent 2002 Report on 
military training.

One goal of these programs is to enable foreign military forces to 
support combined operations and "interoperability" with US forces. 
Military hardware is also advertised and demonstrated, being an 
important part of US exports.

The larger picture is positioning the US as a "holding company" for all 
the world's militaries. These are also being groomed to penetrate 
civilian governments, in some cases by the old fashioned military coup. 
More sinister is the influence our past trainees, now heavily 
represented in foreign defense ministries, exert on the temporary 
elected governments in countries considered democracies---especially 
those considered the most democratic, such as Sweden and Denmark. 
Currently fashionable "networking" is indeed a potent technique of US 
domination.

/*Joan Roelofs* is Professor Emerita of Political Science, Keene State 
College, New Hampshire. She is the translator of Victor Considerant's 
Principles of Socialism 
<http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0944624472/counterpunchmaga> (Maisonneuve 
Press, 2006), and author of Foundations and Public Policy: The Mask of 
Pluralism 
<http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0791456420/counterpunchmaga> (SUNY 
Press, 2003) and Greening Cities 
<http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0942850351/counterpunchmaga> (Rowman 
and Littlefield, 1996). Web site: www.joanroelofs.wordpress.com 
<http://www.joanroelofs.wordpress.com> Contact: 
joan.roelofs at myfairpoint.net <mailto:joan.roelofs at myfairpoint.net> /

/An article related to this one, concerning  the NATO empire, is "The 
Bananazation of Europe." Spinwatch  (September 24, 2007).  Available by 
request.
/

-- 
Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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