Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Who remembers Nicaragua?

So, on Face the Nation this weekend, Peggy Noonan called New York mayor Bill De Blasio a "Sandinista" – she tried to walk it back almost immediately, as soon as the host called her on it.

But, you know, it's a funny thing: that idea seems to be the latest right wing talking point. In November, Rush Limbaugh called De Blasio a Sandinista and a communist, as did the pundits on Fox "News."

So let’s be clear what’s going on here: the right wing is assuming (perhaps justifiably, considering how they’ve destroyed education) that nobody knows who the Sandinistas were. But before we get to them, the first thing you should know is that the Somoza family ran Nicaragua for 43 years (either directly or through puppets); they were wonderful guys, who kept power through assassination and torture; their relations with the US finally fell apart finally when the Nicaraguan National Guard was caught on tape gunning down ABC reporter Bill Stewart (and his translator Juan Espinoza) in early 1979.

In 1979, the Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional (FSLN) overthrew the Somoza regime by force: the only way possible when faced with a tyrant, with a secret police force and a prison full of anyone who spoke out against them. In 1988, Bill De Blasio traveled to Nicaragua, and came away with admiration for what the Sandinistas were accomplishing to help their people.

And, admittedly, the Sandinistas got a little repressive later on - mostly in order to fight the Contras (more on them later), but never, by any stretch of the imagination, did they get as bad as the government they replaced.

But Peggy Noonan was speechwriter for Ronald Reagan, who supported the Somoza regime. This was not surprising, because Reagan had this habit of supporting murderous thugs around the world, like the Taliban, the racist government of South Africa and their policy of apartheid, Augusto Pinochet in Chile, and many others. Essentially, it wouldn't matter how many of his own people a dictator killed or tortured: if they bought their guns from the US instead of the USSR, Reagan liked them. He was friendly that way.

In fact, one of the most memorable acts of the Reagan administration (you might have heard of it) was when they quietly sold arms to Iran (the same country that had just recently taken over their American embassy), and funneled the money to a terrorist organization called the Contras.

Remember the Contras? They opposed the Sandinista government. And they showed their opposition through the gentle, humanitarian tactics of rape, murder, destruction of entire towns, kidnapping, blowing up health care clinics, and targeting doctors for assassination. You know, just good, clean fun; these were the people Reagan supported.

So, let's draw a few lines: Peggy Noonan worked for Reagan, who supported the Contras, who were opposed to the Sandinistas. So I guess it's understandable that Noonan might think badly of the Sandinistas, as well.

Because she, too, apparently loves murderous thugs and hates freedom. At least, that’s the impression I get. Can anybody explain what it is that I might be misunderstanding?


  1. "America's foreign policy supports freedom, democracy, and human dignity for all mankind, and we make no apologies for it."


    "yeah, right."


    You see, that love of freedom is what made it mandatory for him to attack opponents of Apartheid, who of course were the real danger to F,D and HD.

    Reagan seems to be less in favor although they haven't repossessed his halo yet. Probably because he wasn't quite enough of a bastard for today's Tea Party taste. I truly wish there were a hell, but if there were, he wouldn't be the only American leader howling on the spit. We've long been engaged in killing, torturing and oppressing people by the millions in the interests of "freedom" which of course means mostly protecting corporate profits and colonial interests.

    I always wanted to ask him, if government is inherently bad and inherently the enemy of freedom -- and if government is the result of democratic choice, why isn't Democracy the enemy? Democracy abroad certainly was Reagan's bogeyman and sadly Eisenhower's, Johnson's and Nixon's.

  2. But Peggy knows she can count on America's amnesia, ignorance and obsession with commercial pop culture. America doesn't remember much at all. According to Kent State University, recognition of who Paul Revere was and what he did has dropped by half since the 1980's. Remember Palin's answer to that question?

    Only a third as many remember that it was Franklin who discovered that lightening was electric, and among college students, In 1980 identifying the capital of France was the sixth most correctly answered general knowledge question. In 2012 it ranked as 23rd.but they sure as hell know Batman's name. Thirty percent of 2012 test-takers also thought that Baghdad was the capital of Afghanistan. Twenty-one percent also found Budapest to be the capital of India.

    Remember the Sandanistas? Yeah Right. Let's talk about real things like twerking and dancing with the stars.

  3. Oh my. Our Lady of the Magic Dolphins has gotten too much into the sweet turpentine again.

    Peggster always amuses, what with her supercilious tone concerning all things O'bummer and now O'DiBlasio. So the word's been put out to compare him to a Sandinista? Did someone let Frank Luntz out of the ferret cage again?

  4. By "amuse" you mean projectile vomiting, right?

  5. I remember Nicaragua well. Ugly then..ugly still...unless you're Ollie North.

  6. He was a Conservative Patriot hero, right? I mean the guy who warned us about Osama while the Lib-er-uls dawdled, right? Great man who helped us preserve our freeeeeeeedom.

  7. In the virtual world of wingnut politics, we underestimate the power of words to alter reality: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with Peggy,” for whom wordsmithing changes everything … changes tyrants into allies, changes freedom fighters into terrorists, makes the Sun revolve around the Earth, and turns the Earth from round to flat. In mathematics, one plus one equals two; but in politics one plus one means anything you want it to be. Magical thinking! Projection!

    Yes, projection: Accuse your enemies of doing exactly what you are doing and … presto … transfer all your transgressions onto your opponent, who now becomes guilty of your worst sins as you place pious halos upon your head [ref. Karl “Marx” Rove]. Repeat. Repeat. And repeat again. Spoken often enough, the most outrageous lies turn into political truth.

    I have often considered the virtual world of politics to be a form of mental illness in which you are no longer living in the real world but one of deception, delusion and paranoia.

  8. Amongst the fragmentary documents recovered at Nag Hammadi was part of the Gospel of John where the Coptic ΝЄϤϢΟΟΠ replaces the Koine Λόγος we translate as "word"

    Recent scholarship casts doubt on the Coptic rendering as infrared analysis of the the gnostic parchment makes it look like ΝЄΟΟΠ, or Noonan. Additionally alternate greek texts recently unearthed show σβουνιά instead of Λόγος or Logos which raises the question of whether the long lost original really should read "in the beginning was the Noonan" or "in the beginning was the turd" Perhaps the difference is only an illusion.


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