Bush's Endless Hypocrisy on Terror, By Robert Parry


Bush's Endless Hypocrisy on Terror

By Robert Parry
May 21, 2008

Is a government guilty of terrorism if it harbors known terrorists? What should one say about a country that permits open fund-raising on behalf of a terrorist implicated in the mass killing of civilians?

What about a government that secretly arms a guerrilla army that wantonly kills and abuses civilians while seeking to overthrow an elected government?

If your answer to those questions is to recite George W. Bush’s dictum that a government that harbors or helps terrorists should be punished just like the terrorists, then you must turn your wrath on the U.S. government and the Bush family -- guilty on all the above points.

But the U.S. political/media system continues to view the world through a cracked lens that focuses outrage on “enemy” regimes while refracting away a comparable fury from similar actions by U.S. officials.

So, while President Bush ponders whether to add Venezuela to the terrorist list – because of a captured Colombian guerrilla computer that appears to implicate Hugo Chavez’s government in weapons smuggling – Bush would broach no criticism of Ronald Reagan who armed Nicaraguan contra guerrillas in the 1980s.

Reagan continued that covert war even after the ruling Sandinistas won an election in 1984 that most outside observers praised as free and fair and even after the facts of the contras’ human rights abuses – kidnapping, torturing and murdering civilians – became widely known and were acknowledged by some senior contra leaders.

Though Reagan was well aware of the contras’ cruelty (he privately called them “vandals”), he hailed them publicly as “freedom fighters” and equated them with America’s “Founding Fathers.”

Reagan kept arming the contras even after Congress ordered him to stop and the World Court ruled against the CIA’s secret mining of Nicaragua’s harbors.

Continued . . .