Whitewashing Imperialism

When the media erases the crimes of US imperialism, they make future atrocities more likely.

Emanuel Stoakes in Jacobin:

Victims_Of_The_Mozote_Massacre_Morazán_El_Salvador_January_1982In the final weeks of summer, a minor news item shed light on a corner of the recent past largely forgotten by those north of the Rio Grande. “Beatification of Oscar Romero ‘unblocked’ by Pope Francis” read the headline, referring to the martyred Salvadoran bishop whose path to sainthood had previously been obstructed by a Vatican wary of the late prelate’s political influence.

Romero, as the piece explains, was “one of the heroes of the liberation theology movement in Latin America”; his criticism of atrocities committed by the US-backed Salvadoran armed forces precipitated hisassassination at mass in March 1980.

Shortly before his killing, Romero wrote to President Carter pleading him to end military aid to the ruling junta, predicting that such support would “surely increase injustice here and sharpen the repression that has been unleashed against the people’s organizations fighting to defend their most fundamental human rights.”

Carter declined to directly reply, while Romero’s murder would prevent him from seeing his bitter prophecy not only fulfilled, but exceeded: El Salvador soon descended into outright civil war, a conflict that lasted for another twelve years, displacing over a million people and claiming the lives of 75,000, most of them killed by the regime.

More here.