Who Doesn't Love Contras?

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Polls in Nicaragua show Daniel Ortega within striking distance of reclaiming the presidency. If you're the opposition, trying to head off the return of the Sandinistas, who you gonna call?

Oh, isn't it obvious?

Speaking in the capital, Managua, [ex-White House aide Oliver] North said Mr Ortega's election would be the worst thing that could happen to Nicaragua.

"I think that ought to have everyone concerned," he said.

"My hope is that the people of Nicaragua are not going to return to that. That's not good for your country. That's not good for my country."

Mr North visited a memorial for fallen Contra rebels.

He also met conservative Jose Rizo, who according to polls is running third behind the conservative candidate favoured by Washington, Eduardo Montealegre.

So if North has any effect, will he spoil the preferred conservative candidate's chances? Or is he poisoning the other conservative candidate to let Montaealgre catch up? Wait, is he even that smart?

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  1. See, I would think that the worst thing that could happen to Nicaragua, election-wise, would be for a superpower to fund a terrorist campaign against voters and poll workers in the runup to the election.

    But hey, that’s just me.

  2. The illegal aspects of North’s moves aside, the funding of the Contras was not a high point for libertarianism, regardless of how bad the Sandinistas were. Since we turned a blind eye to previous, just as bad regime there, it was nothing more than a proxy war with the Soviets at the expense of the Nicaraguan people.

  3. How does North get a pass on the weapons to Iran thing while working for Fox News? I thought his time might finally be up once his favorite client state was labeled part of the axis of evil and put next on the list by Fox News. Oh, well.

  4. How does North get away with what he did? Easy. Fox’s target audience is folks who saw him on TV and sided with him rather than the investigation.

    Much as I think ON is a scumbag, what can you say about a guy who’s both a communist and a right-to-lifer?

    A. The worst of both worlds.
    B. He’s pandering on abortion and won’t enforce the ban.
    C. At least the system will wear itself out extra fast with all those unwanted babies.

  5. I so wish my junior high school years would finally end. Ortega seized power in what? 1978? He can now join Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld as evil 70’s revenants. Is it too much to ask the world to provide itself with some NEW leaders in more than thirty years?

  6. The commie right-to-lifer in my post above is Ortega, not ON, who is a fascist right-to-lifer.

    Sorry that wasn’t clear.

    And one other thing. Isn’t North just helping to elect Ortega? A lot of folks in Nicaragua still hate his guts, and for those who like him, he’s helping to split the right-wing vote by endorsing Rizo.

  7. Foreign terrorist wars funded by drug sales were stupid. That said, isn?t the whole point of keeping Soviet influence out of Central and South America now moot?

  8. “See, I would think that the worst thing that could happen to Nicaragua, election-wise, would be for a superpower to fund a terrorist campaign against voters and poll workers in the runup to the election. But hey, that’s just me.” – joe

    Well, you and Noam Chomsky, anyway. I wish I could claim to be surprised that joe is up on the latest “What Uncle Sam Really Wants” routine.

  9. It’s anyone surprised that rob approves of terrorism in those cases that Noam Chomsky denounces it?

    Oh, no, the magic invocation of the name “Chomsky” didn’t work! Quick, cast the “Bill Clinton” spell!

    Oh no! Aaaaaa! Michael Moore is fat! Michael Moore is fat!

  10. Aaaahhh!! I had almost completely forgotten about that North buffoon! Can’t we just pretend that he doesn’t exist? Why give him any press, good or bad?

    I clearly have Ollie North induced PTSD. Quick! Someone pass me a Lorazepam.

  11. From the CBS coverage of the story comes what might well be the most hilarious quote of the month.

    Visiting a memorial for fallen Contras, North said he hoped Nicaragua doesn’t follow the lead of Bolivia and Ecuador, both of which had elections he said were influenced by Venezuelan government of leftist President Hugo Chavez.

    He said Nicaragua had suffered enough from the influence of outsiders.”

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/10/24/ap/world/mainD8KUOMC00.shtml

  12. “Oh, no, the magic invocation of the name ‘Chomsky’ didn’t work! Quick, cast the ‘Bill Clinton’ spell! Oh no! Aaaaaa! Michael Moore is fat! Michael Moore is fat!” – joe

    Now, joe, you have to sit at the kid’s table until you can act like a grown-up again… I doubt anyone will hold their breath for that.

  13. I hope fucking Ortega doesn’t nationalize everything again, Joya de Nicaragua makes excellent, affordable Nicaraguan “puro” cigars.

    The Antano blend is really quite good.

  14. As the Soviet Union no longer exists, can someone please explain why anyone in the United States should care who is president of Nicaragua, Ecuador, Bolivia, Venezuela, etc.?*

    As far as I can tell, none of those countries pose any threat to the United States.

    Please don’t waste my time with War on Terror or War on Drugs arguments. The idea that either can be seriously influenced depending on who rules Ecuador is laughable.

  15. rob,

    You could have at least made a show of saying you oppose the Contras’ terrorism before starting in with the name calling.

    I guess we can’t all be sufficiently thoughtful and mature to realize that “Noam Chomsky said that, too” is an unanswerable rebuttal to the charge that Oliver North helped fund the Contras’ terror campaigns.

  16. rob,

    You could have at least made a show of saying you oppose the Contras’ terrorism before starting in with the name calling.

    I guess we can’t all be sufficiently thoughtful and mature to realize that “Noam Chomsky said that, too” is an unanswerable rebuttal to the charge that Oliver North helped fund the Contras’ terror campaigns.

  17. rob,

    You could have at least made a show of saying you oppose the Contras’ terrorism before starting in with the name calling.

    I guess we can’t all be sufficiently thoughtful and mature to realize that “Noam Chomsky said that, too” is an unanswerable rebuttal to the charge that Oliver North helped fund the Contras’ terror campaigns.

  18. My brother saw North speak in Texas a little over a decade ago. He said the high point was when a guy suddenly walked to the front of the room and started screaming “OLIVER NORTH IS THE REINCARNATION OF JESUS CHRIST! OLIVER NORTH IS THE REINCARNATION OF JESUS CHRIST!”

  19. Davebo, that reminds me of this 2003 quote from Wolfowitz: “I think all foreigners should stop interfering in the internal affairs of Iraq.”

  20. “That’s not good for your country. That’s not good for my country.”

    Am I the only one who thinks that sounded like a threat?

  21. Boy, I know that I, for one, lay awake at night worrying which caudillo thug the Nicaraguans are going to elect to power next. Nicaragua is supposedly the second poorest country in the hemisphere. Maybe Ortega can re-nationalize everything and help them catch up with Haiti for the top spot.

  22. ChrisO,

    Ortega could win, acquire a nuclear weapon, set it off in Managua in revenge for the ousting of the Sandinistas, and Nicaragua would still come out ahead of Haiti.

  23. BB

    Or the Marines letter home. Talking about going into a town and asking an old man if he’s seen any foreign fighters around.

    “Just you guys”

  24. We do have Iran-Contra to thank for making Fawn Hall’s underwear a matter of national concern.

  25. Classic, Davebo! I had not heard that one before.

  26. to mutt, lower case……
    one of the truly remarkable bits of historic rewriting is casting the Sandinistas (whom, during the revolution, numbererd in the hundreds, and in the low thousands after Samoza felll) as “communists”.Words have meaning. The 3 Nicaraguan communist factions were, prior to the uprising, decidedly anti Sandinista. Cozy w/ Samoza, to a degree. They went along to get along, as far as you could w/ the uniqueSamoza machine….they undercut the FSLN at every oppotunity. Like the Communists in Cuba were w/ Batista. 2 of the 3 Communist parties joined in coalition with Violetta Chamorro to defeat the FSLN in the ’90 election. (You remember: years of war, & among other things, Bush Sr publically promising 300 million to the Contras if Chamorro lost) (The last, MAP/ML, was opposed to both, and took up arms against the FSLN in 79-80, but got over it. )
    While thier numbers were few, thier support was very broad. thats why the town squares were awash in black & red flags when muchachos were few & far between. Unlike the contra. You wanna bitch about MIA? call our clients to account for Nicaraguas MIA.
    The Sandinistas did what they had to do. They handed out guns to peasants, & made a high priority in teaching people to read. They gave over tracts of land to peasants who never owned squat, siezed from murderous scumbags who lost. Ah, history. They had thier own ideas, some worked, asome didnt. But i lived there a year in the mid 80’s & they wernt communists, unless to to you figures like North & Reagan & the NYT have credibility. If they do, well, there you go.
    But dismissing the FSLN as “communists” does you and recent history a serious disservice.
    What they did- and what their namesake, AC Sandino did,
    is well worth a libertarians time to look into.

  27. I hope fucking Ortega doesn’t nationalize everything again, Joya de Nicaragua makes excellent, affordable Nicaraguan “puro” cigars.

    Forget the cigars. I’m just hoping he doesn’t fuck with Flor de Ca?a.

    When I was down there last May, the PLC (Constitutional Liberal party) supporters I spoke to were concerned about an Ortega victory but didn’t think the repurcussions would involve any large-scale siezures of industry because there’s enough of a more-or-less liberal middle class that likes the advances they’ve made since the ’80s.

    (Of course, I don’t really know how clueless they might have been. At that time, they were hoping that either their candidate or the ALN guy would drop out, because Ortega would have a definite plurality otherwise.)

  28. joe – Why bother? You’ve apparently got my position, your position, AND Noam Chomsky’s pre-programmed. Why would you need to make a show of asking me what my position is when you’ve already decided?

    All this from my observation that it’s unsurprising that you and Noam Chomsky see this the same way? (Based on what you’ve actually WRITTEN and Chomsky’s actually written.)

    Didn’t you just say on another thread that having someone you consider to be an expert who agrees with you makes you right?

  29. Could the return of Ollie mean the return of cheap cocaine?

    Not that I care about that… anymore..

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