Some fear that Latin America is veering to the left and that our influence in the region is waning. They fear that our shattered economy and over extended military is no longer up to the job.
They are wrong.
Even as Latin America moves to the left, it remains mired in the tar pit that is our foreign policy as America’s (ours, not theirs) black angels keep gnawing at the insurgent democracy that threatens a century-long tradition of mutual cooperation and support between their oligarchs and ours.
Do not think for a minute that sixty-plus years of institutionalized paranoia is asleep at the switch. Who needs a threat to feel threatened? Not us. With the Cold War a fading memory and your Eternal War of the Empty Policy losing its panache, we are seeing the emergency of a hybrid that is the new cornerstone of our regional policy.
Yes George, we begin with that bulwark against marijuana madness and crack coitus, The Global War on Drugs. Then we throw in some Islamofascists for good measure, and sprinkle some commies on it to add zest.
What we are seeing is the merging of three separate “wars” in to one big lollapalooza that will keep the lights burning late in the Pentagon as the geeks tally up their latest appropriation.
One writer reassures us that “the Bush administration is on the alert to Iran’s presence in Latin America…This puts into context Washington’s evidence-lacking assertions that the Tri-Border Area, where Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina meet, is a hub for Islamic Terrorists groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas.”
I have no doubt these terrorists are in daily contact with the Russians and the Chinese, whose influence is also growing in the region. The Russians are conducting joint naval exercises with Venezuela, which one alert official compared to the Cuban missile crisis, and China just bought a Peruvian copper mine.
But all is not lost. As the above writer tells us, “But because of the deeply embedded and institutionalized nature of Washington’s imperial machine, it doesn’t matter which party controls the White House and Congress.” The shit will keep rolling down hill.
There are lamentations that our problems in Latin America are blowback from our rather exploitive treatment of the region. However, what some call blowback is simply good policy, and if a couple of airplanes fly into a couple of buildings, it is a small price to pay for our robust national security that has created a business-friendly environment for America’s transnational corporations.