Alex W • Operation Itch Contributing Writer
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A subject that has always interested me is the continuing effects on society of having lived through a dictatorship or totalitarian rule. This is an important topic for the United States, because we live in a society that has supported dictatorships for many years, and as nations are emerging from the turmoil inflicted upon them by the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. during the Cold War, we’re starting to see the long-term effects. We need to pay attention, and avoid continuing to cause these problems for future generations.
One obviously can point out that today we reap what we sewed; World War II fractured the Middle East, because of its oil, the U.S.S.R. tried to take advantage of it, we armed the militant fundamentalists to fight them, and then we tried to gain control of the oil for ourselves. If you’re reading this, you’ve probably heard the arguments.
What I’d like to focus on now is the condition in South America, where the U.S. took similar action against the spread of, in most cases, democratically-elected governments which we considered a little too pinkish. The military dictatorships we helped financially and in some cases militarily tortured and killed thousands in the name of fighting terrorism. An entire generation in several nations were in very real danger. The crimes punishable by death in clandestine torture chambers varied from being a militant revolutionary, being a communist or socialist, or simply going to college or helping the poor.
I’ll save my comparison of the long-term effects this has had on society and the adamant human rights organizations that came out of this to what may happen in the future due to the new U.S. torture and detainment policies for a later date, but you can expect an article on it. For now I want to address the issue of the stagnant throwbacks which remain sympathetic to an overthrown dictatorship.
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