Friday, November 13, 2015

Time of commitment and joy

GUEST: Maria Luisa Rosal, field organizer for SOA Watch, and planner for the upcoming vigil on Nov 20 - 22 to close the School of the Americas at Fort Benning, Georgia, talks about the disastrous results of US military training being given to Latin American army personnel.

I remember first hearing former Roman Catholic priest Roy Bourgeois, founder of SOA Watch, at the St. Margaret's Episcopal Church in Staatsburg. He has a gift for educating people about the difficult subject of American militarism abroad. Most of his work has been done in Central and South America, a part of the world still suffering from US sponsored death squads and CIA funded coups against democratically elected presidents.

The subject is difficult for two reasons. We as American citizens rarely hear about what is being done to other countries in our name. Our media is closer to state sponsored propaganda than most of us realize, and since The New York Times doesn't cover imperialism in Latin America, we just don't know about it.

It is also difficult because once we learn the full extent of the suffering, we experience intense grief. Tens of thousands of women and children have been murdered by US supported dictators. Some of the worst butchery has been carried out using US supplied guns, ammunition and training. It is only after we have come to terms with this grief that we can organize to oppose US policy.

There is an exhilaration that comes from seeing that we can resist our country's racism and militarism in Latin America. Armed with a knowledge of US oppression, we can expose the long history of wars and military interventions based on US corporate profits.

November 20 - 22 is such a time of commitment and joy.

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