February 5, 2005

Thank you Mr Abrams....

The Washington Post has a snarky and deceptious announcement:

Elliott Abrams, who pleaded guilty in 1991 to withholding information from Congress in the Iran-contra affair, was promoted to deputy national security adviser to President Bush. Abrams, who previously was in charge of Middle East affairs, will be responsible for pushing Bush's strategy for advancing democracy...
...His name surfaced last year as part of the investigation into who leaked the name of a CIA operative whose husband publicly disputed Bush administration claims that Iraq tried to buy uranium in Africa. White House spokesman Scott McClellan has said that Abrams denied responsibility.

Once again, the Gasping Media fail to give us the information we need to understand what's going on. The Plame reference is just a smear-by-association, and is beneath contempt. ("Surfaced." The usual passive-voice smear tactic.)

As for Iran-Contra, if you get your history from the approved sources, you don't know that the result of the affair was that Nicaragua became a democracy, instead of the Cuba-style totalitarian dictatorship that all the fashionable people (including John Kerry) were supporting and rooting for. Abrams was in the thick of that. But there's a lot more about Elliot Abrams that the WaPo doesn't want you to know...

This is by David Frum:

...One of the great ironies of Abrams’ career is that this man so reviled by the left is probably the single figure most responsible for what honest leftists ought to recognize as one of the most important achievements of the 1980s: the abolition of the old double-standard in favor of anticommunist dictatorships.

From the 1930s until the 1980s, the United States tolerated (more or less unhappily) Latin American authoritarianism, on the old principle, "he may be a son of a bitch, but he's our son of a bitch." The motives for this tolerance were understandable, even pardonable: Latin America did not spontaneously generate democratic alternatives, and the United States was too busy saving Europe and Asia to divert attention and resources to help invent such alternatives. In the context of global struggles first against Nazism and then against Communism, the United States allowed itself to be associated with some fairly disgusting regimes.

However, by the late 1970s, the Cold War had stalemated itself in Europe and Asia, and Latin America was emerging as the conflict’s hottest front. Abrams was one of those who perceived that the United States had to invest more effort and prestige in the region. He recognized that just as the authoritarianism of Portugal, Spain, and Greece had weakened the anticommunist cause in Europe, so now dictatorship south of the Rio Grande was weakening the anticommunist cause in Latin America. Abrams became a forceful advocate of democratization in Mexico, in Chile, in Argentina, and in Brazil. When the Republicans entered the executive branch in 1981, the only Latin countries whose governments had been competitively elected were Costa Rica, Colombia, and Venezuela. By the time they left in 1992, the
only Latin country without a competitively elected government was Cuba...
Posted by John Weidner at February 5, 2005 7:33 PM
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