Recently I published a piece entitled “How Lies Become Truth and History is Denied” wherein I outline a few notable stories that whitewash history, how the truth of what really happened is inverted, eclipsed or omitted, and how these lies are then published in textbooks, taught in history classes and passed on as history. The two remaining imperial powers where this rewriting of history is most egregious are the United States, an empire in serious decline and the now-defunct empire of the United Kingdom. All empires ultimately fail and come to an end, some taking longer than others, and these two are now in their last stages of malignancy and decay. When a sitting president and the elected lawmakers from both legislative houses of an entire branch of government can stand in praise of, applaud and extol an unelected, low-life criminal -an individual that this country groomed and this president appointed- as the head of state of a sovereign country and when everyone is ok with this attempted usurpation, the end is near for this nation and empire.
Those who have been long-waiting for or looking towards the newly elected “progressives” to provide leadership and a path forward towards authentic democracy, champions for the people, both here at home and abroad, are now left with no one. From the recent surrender and utter capitulation of Bernie Sanders- how he betrayed a movement and his entire following when they needed him the most during a time tailor-made for the policies he’s long-espoused, to the betrayal of the American people with the largest theft of a national treasury in recorded history, a theft ostensibly hailed as a “bailout” and supported by Sanders and the young “progressives” such as Reps. Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, one can safely conclude that the progressive movement has no one.
Anyone who gives the now deceased British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, any positive reference or affirmation, such as Rep. Ilhan Omar did in her recent interview on NPR, is completely ignorant of history and adds to the already very-deep bucket of lies presented as truth. Like most Americans, Omar’s view of the world ends at the US border; I say this in all honesty and with full knowledge of her beginnings and the difficult travails necessary for her to arrive at her current station in life.
Most Americans have no clue how the rest of the world lives and suffers, millions in dozens of countries, countless people disappeared, murdered, displaced and lost to time and history, mostly at the hands of the US Regime Change machine, the Military-Industrial Complex, the CIA and the rest of the US “Security Apparatus“. Margaret Thatcher was right there with Ronald Reagan during the 1980’s at the height of the US-UK Reign of Terror in Central and South America; she was standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Reagan, during his illegal covert war with the Sandinistas and the elected government of Nicaragua and his participation in Operation Condor. To get a sense of their “Special Relationship“, we have to rewind 10 years, back to the Administration of Richard Nixon and the role he and his CIA played in the 1973 overthrow and ultimate death of Salvadore Allende, the widely popular president of Chile:
While discussing Margaret Thatcher, Pinochet, Latin America and Chile, it should be pointed out that, although Chile remained officially “neutral” in La Guerra de Las Islas Malvinas (Sp) or the War of the Malvinas Islands or, euphemistically, the “Falkland Islands” war, Margaret Thatcher publicly thanked Pinochet, expressing her indebtedness for his “support” of the British in their conflict with Argentina over that country’s territorial islands. It has emerged that Britain would have lost that war if not for the help of Pinochet and Chile, especially their long range radar and its ability to detect distant incoming aircraft and troop movements.
How did Pinochet fit into the geopolitical and economic vision for Latin America being pushed by the United States and many Western powers such as the United Kingdom? The flawed economic model known as “NeoLiberalism” was first introduced by Anglo-Austrian Economist Friedrich Hayek. His academic life was mostly spent at the University of Chicago, Freiburg, and the London School of Economics. Soon after being elected leader of the British Conservative Party in 1975, Margaret Thatcher met with Hayek and thus, the die was cast.
In terms of projecting geopolitical influence and power by the United Kingdom and, in turn, by the United States and, in deference to the more academically robust and successful Keynesian economic model, NeoLiberalism was chosen as it was aligned with Thatcher’s hard-right neo-facist conservatism and socio-political world view. Academically, Keynes was, by far, superior in intellect, achievement and in renown but, because his system was more broadly “liberal”, it was rejected by the neo-conservatives in Britain and here, in the United States first, by Ronald Reagan and then by George H. W. Bush.
In a previous article, I discuss her special affinity for Augusto Pinochet, the genocidal monster of Chile, put in place by Nixon’s CIA as a “test case” for NeoLiberalism in the Americas. It wasn’t long before Reagan implemented its privatization and austerity doctrines in the US with his “Trickle-Down” economics and his hostility towards unions, specifically PATCO and how he summary dismissal hundreds of Air Traffic Controllers, mirroring Thatcher in England and her actions against the North-English Coal Miners Union.
Show me your friends and I’ll tell you who you are
Operation Condor was a US-backed campaign of political repression and state terror involving intelligence gathering operations and assassination of opponents in South America. It was officially and formally implemented in November 1975 in right-wing US-puppet dictatorships in the southern half of South America, countries that included Chile, beginning with Pinochet in 1973, followed by Argentina and Brazil later on. There were, at a minimum, 30,000 disappeared teachers, youth, labor leaders, union officials, professors, fathers, sons, working-class men or anyone who had a voice in Argentina, disappeared, never to be heard from again; the actual number is unknown and is probably much higher. Although it “officially” ended in 1989, Operation Condor’s legacy endures today in the form of usurpations, coups, attempted coups and covert interventions in Central and South America as the US Government seeks to maintain its regional hegemony according to the Monroe Doctrine.
Margaret Thatcher’s tyranny wasn’t confined to Latin America; closer to home, she played her role in British-state repression and persecution of the Irish in the north of Ireland, most famously in her refusal to recognize Bobby Sands, a political prisoner who died while on hunger strike in the infamous H-Block of the Maze Prison, County Down, in the north of Ireland.
In his article on Thatcher and her brutality towards the Irish, Finian Cunningham sums it up:
Her epitaph of “Iron Lady” is often said with admiration or even sneaking regard for her supposed virtues of determination and strength. In truth, her “iron” character was simply malevolent, as can be seen from her policies towards the Irish struggle for independence from Britain…..
As a result of Thatcher’s intransigence to negotiate Irish rights, the violence in the North of Ireland would escalate over the next decade, claiming thousands of lives. As with Las Malvinas dispute with Argentina, Thatcher deliberately took the military option and, with that, countless lives, rather than engage in reasoned, mutual dialogue. Her arrogance and obduracy blinded her to any other possibility.
Margaret Thatcher’s role in the misery and suffering of the Irish, of Argentina, the Peronists and the rest of South American along with the nameless, countless and forgotten people across the globe, is epic and can’t be confined to a single article and thus I’ll conclude here with this final post:
Margaret Thatcher was a criminal fascist, a monster like no other and for Rep. Omar, in any way, shape or form, to utter even a word of affirmation, recognition or praise for the Butcher of Downing Street is an affront to history and an insult to the memory of the countless lives lost, the disappeared, the forgotten dead, all those lost or who suffered at the hands of this War Criminal now extolled as a national icon in Britain.
Rep. Omar’s nauseating comments follow NPR’s title and cozy phraseology describing a genocidal monster and one of the worst human begins who ever lived
Ilhan Omar On Her Memoir And Moving The Needle Toward Progressive Policies
On why the conservative former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher is a political role model
It’s interesting, right? Oftentimes, we’re told who our heroes can be. And for me, I find it to be inspirational for a woman, when there were really no other women around who were leading, to say, “I can do this.” And I think as I think about my own journey, dealing with the ideas that many within my own community had about, “a boy should be the first.” I needed to have sort of an inspiration, and obviously, she’s left a very dark mark in history. But we can’t take away how inspirationally bold she was to believe that she can lead as a woman in her time.
Featured image credit:
Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., attends a press conference on Feb. 26 on Capitol Hill. Omar tells NPR the progressive left “has moved the needle on the national conversation” surrounding certain policies.
Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images