Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The FMLN and the U.S.

Roger Noriega was Asst Sec of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs until he was replaced by Thomas Shannon. There is a reason U.S.-Latin American relations improved after he left, as evidenced by the Op-Ed on El Salvador he published yesterday. It has two main arguments. First, the FMLN might govern normally, but more likely will destroy everything we hold dear. Second, the Salvadoran governments of the 1980s were "patriots" and ARENA's current politicians are "creative activists."

The FMLN has accused its critics of preying on the voters' fears by waging a ''negative'' campaign. If telling the truth about the FMLN, its powerless front man Funes or its sponsor Hugo Chávez is ''negative,'' then that says more about them than about those telling the truth.

Particularly sad is the way in which El Salvador's complex internal political dynamics are simply boiled down to Hugo Chávez somehow pulling the strings. The idea that Salvadorans might want change, or might be sick of ARENA for legitimate reasons, or might just like to make their own decisions, is left unexamined.

3 comments:

Steven Taylor 10:54 AM  

Oh, come now, Greg: US-LatAm relations is easy: just draw a line down a piece of paper and make two lists: Pro-Chavez and Anti-Chavez and then politicians/countries in the "Pro-Chavez" column are the "bad guys" and the "Anti-Chavez" column are the "good guys."

Any operationalization, by the way of "pro-/anti-Chavez" will have to wait until the next memo.

Justin Delacour 4:46 PM  

Particularly sad is the way in which El Salvador's complex internal political dynamics are simply boiled down to Hugo Chávez somehow pulling the strings. The idea that Salvadorans might want change, or might be sick of ARENA for legitimate reasons, or might just like to make their own decisions, is left unexamined.

A very good point. Unfortunately, the type of propaganda that reduces every left-of-center party to a Trojan horse of some external bogeyman has often been effective. That's part of the reason that the right always engages in such hysteria.

In the Machiavellian world of politics, nuance and sound analysis are not always the winning formula, unfortunately.

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