They Don't Say!

September 25, 2007

A slip of the tongue; a blatant revelation of what they're really thinking; a public admission of something we all know already. These are the kinds of statements that sometimes keep you chuck- ling all day, or shaking your head in disbelief and dismay. At NACLA we have the habit of collecting these kinds of newspaper clips. We'd like to share some from our collection with you, and hope you'll send us gaffes from your local papers. "They Don't Say!" will ap- pear from time to time in UPDATE. Proto-Democracles [UN Ambassador Jeane J. Kirk- patrick] now seems to be working on a new category [of states] that might be labeled "pre-democra- tic" or "proto-democratic." In a speech to the Argentine- American Chamber of Commerce, Mrs. Kirkpatrick said that Argen- tina, a nation ruled by a military junta, contains the "essential pre- conditions for stable, free, liberal, constitutional democracies." She described it as "profoundly plur- alistic," citing "independent labor unions," "an independent church," the "tradition of a strong family" and "voluntary associations" like chambers of commerce. A spokesman for the AFL-CIO said that American labor regards Argentine unions as independent "only when compared with the trade union movement in the So- viet Union." The New York Times February 13, 1983 July/Aug 1983 Historical Amnesia Does the U.S. repudiate its sup- port of Somoza? U.S. Ambassador to Nicaragua Anthony Quainton: We have no desire to return to somocismo. We're the ones who got him out-- well, the Frente Sandinista did. And this steady flow is unde- tectable? Quainton: We now know that massive amounts of arms are go- ing by dugout canoes across the Gulf of Fonseca. These cannot be detected from satellites. Massive amounts of arms are flowing into El Salvador by dugout canoes? Well, substantial amounts. Some are going by small planes. Sojourners March 1983 Winning Just One Little War. It is dusk outside an apartment house near the center of El Salva- dor's capital, and an American military adviser walks into the courtyard with a visitor, who starts to climb into a waiting taxi. The adviser was an infantryman in Vietnam and trained troops in Cambodia, Laos and Thailand in the late 1960s. He breaks into a grin. "All I want to do is win one war, that's all, just one," he says. "It'll be like winning the World Series for me." The New York Times November 8, 1982 Maintaining High Standards Peruvians note with some relief that while the police systematically engage in beatings, hanging even common criminals by their wrists and holding their heads under water, they do not use electric shock or assassinate suspects. "This is not El Salvador," said Enrique Zileri, the respected editor of Caretas magazine. The New York Times September 9, 1982 How Good of Them to Hide It Like every third world country, Costa Rica has its hungry poor, but because cleanliness is a way of life, family ties are strong and its people so proud, the face of pov- erty doesn't humiliate or embar- rass the tourist as it does in many Latin American countries. The New York Times January 9, 1983 Reagan's Eye-Opener "Well, I learned a lot," Reagan replied. "That's what I wanted to do. I didn't go down there with any plan for the Americas, or anything. I went down there to find out from them and [learn] their views. You'd be surprised. They're all individual countries." The Washington Post December 6, 1982 Manifest Destiny-1983 [Defense Secretary Caspar] Weinberger, in response to ques- tions, said one reason for contin- ued U.S. aid to El Salvador is that it "is on the mainland of the United States, and we do have a respon- sibility for the defense of the conti- nental United States, over and above all other priorities." The Washington Post June 15, 1983

Tags: quotes, slip-ups, Ronald Reagan, Imperialism

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