[NetBehaviour] Confusion of the Split

marc marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Mon Jul 4 13:23:47 CEST 2005

*"For Iraq, "The Salvador Option" Becomes Reality*

Max Fuller
Centre for Research on Globalisation


The following article examines evidence that the 'Salvador Option' for 
Iraq has been ongoing for some time and attempts to say what such an 
option will mean. It pays particular attention to the role of the 
Special Police Commandos, considering both the background of their US 
liaisons and their deployment in Iraq. The article also looks at the 
evidence for death-squad style massacres in Iraq and draws attention to 
the almost complete absence of investigation. As such, the article 
represents an initial effort to compile and examine some of these mass 
killings and is intended to spur others into further looking at the 
evidence. Finally, the article turns away from the notion that 
sectarianism is a sufficient explanation for the violence in Iraq, 
locating it structurally at the hands of the state as part of the 
ongoing economic subjugation of Iraq.

On 8 January this year, Newsweek published an article that claimed the 
US government was considering a 'Salvador Option' to combat the 
insurgency in Iraq. The Salvador Option is a reference to the military 
assistance programme of the 1980s, initiated under Jimmy Carter and 
subsequently pursued by the Reagan administration, in which the US 
trained and materially supported the Salvadoran military in its 
counter-insurgency campaign against popularly supported FMLN guerrillas. 
The Newsweek article was widely cited in the mainstream media but the 
allegations were rapidly dismissed by Secretary of Defence Donald 
Rumsfeld. Though the reports mentioned human-rights violations, they 
generally made little of the fact that it was the very units that US 
military advisors had instructed that were frequently responsible for 
the most unspeakable crimes* and that there was at times a clear 
correlation between fresh bouts of training and subsequent atrocities 
(see Noam Chomsky, 'The Crucifixion of El Salvador').


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