Guatemala: ‘Instant’ Karma For Perez Molina, Jeb Bush.

by Jerry Alatalo

 GUATEMALA (photo: topnews.in)
GUATEMALA
(photo: topnews.in)

Alphabet Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina faces the loss of political power and possible indictment for his alleged part in a multi-million dollar scandal involving bribery over import customs fees. For the people of Guatemala, Molina’s chances of winning the nation’s presidential election scheduled for September may have vanished, in what could be described as Guatemala’s version of an “August surprise”.

Infamous American mafia figure Al Capone somehow escaped prosecution for murder, illegal alcohol bootlegging, and other of his major crime – and only went behind bars after his conviction on tax evasion charges. In a similar situation, Molina has escaped prosecution for his actions during the 1980’s as a commander of right-wing death squads in Guatemala that murdered and maimed thousands of Guatemalans, most likely as part of the Reagan administration’s deadly “destabilization” campaign primarily directed at Nicaragua, but involving all nations in Central America.

This story has ramifications for Jeb Bush and his run for president, because during the killings in Guatemala Jeb Bush’s father George H. W. Bush was Vice President under Reagan – and a former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Jeb Bush cannot escape from answering questions concerning his father’s role – and Jeb’s personal role while in Florida – in 1) the Iran-Contra scandal and 2) GHW and Jeb Bush’s responsibility for planning and facilitating mass murder in Central America.

How Bush answers serious questions about mass murder of thousands of innocent men, women and children in Central America during the 1980’s when his father was Vice President and then President will determine whether his candidacy continues or if he will become forced to drop out of the race. Jeb Bush has become challenged forcefully in explaining his brother’s decision to attack Iraq based on outright lies told to the American people and the world, and it’s very possible that when Jeb Bush starts getting questioned about the exact role his father and he assumed in the 1980’s mass murders in Central America his run for president will crumble.

Admittedly having done little research on the historical political situation in Guatemala since the 80’s, it came as a surprise to learn that this former death-squad commander in the 80’s had become president of the country, especially in light of the population’s horrific memories of massacres from that time (1982-83) under then-president Efrain Rios Montt, recently (2013) – finally –  convicted of genocide and sentenced to 80 years in prison.

One basic aspect of karma is that persons are unable to escape having to account for their actions, even though criminal, harmful actions may never become punished using traditional legal means. For mass-murderers who never face accountability and punishment in a court of law, all the while believing they “got away with it”, their remaining time on Earth will include extreme psychological and spiritual difficulties producing negative effects that are the same as those experienced by persons in prison behind bars.

It seems that in this instance Mr. Molina’s chances of telling himself he “got away with it” are rapidly vanishing, after most of his cabinet resigned and the Guatemalan people are letting their voices of opposition to him remaining in office become heard very loud and clear. Thank you to the Guatemalan people for standing up to corruption in high places and giving people in other nations a great example to follow.

Perhaps that great example will help to speed up arriving at the day when political corruption and war crimes in all their forms around the Earth come to an end, each of its practitioners face full accountability, and only moral, honest, benevolent elected representatives remain  in office.

Nobody knows when that fine day will come. It may come decades from now, or, by some miracle, in weeks. It all depends on karma.

Allan Nairn and Amy Goodman traveled and worked together as investigative journalists in Guatemala in the time of Rios Montt’s rule, when current President Otto Perez  Molina was a military commander carrying out Rios Montt’s orders of genocide. The following videos, the first from 2013 and the second from today in 2015, will give readers a good idea why the situation in Guatemala is important, not only for the people of Guatemala but also for Americans – as this story relates to Jeb Bush.

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(Thank you to Democracy Now at YouTube)

From April 2013, during the genocide trial of Efrain Rios Montt:

… And now in August 2015:

Searching For FDR.

by Jerry Alatalo

“The real truth of the matter is that a financial element in the large centers has owned the government since the days of Andrew Jackson.”

—-

“We shall not be able to claim that we have gained victory in this war if any vestige of Fascism in any of its malignant forms is permitted to survive anywhere in the world.” Message to Congress, September 14, 1943

– FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT (1882-1945) 32nd President of the United States

361aIn his talk with President of the Henry George School of Social Science Andrew Mazzone, Thomas Palley says we (Americans) don’t have leaders like FDR anymore on the side of the people, but that politicians have become driven solely by polls and money.

Mr. Palley, Chief Economic Advisor to the AFL-CIO, with Mr. Mazzone cover America’s economic history, divided into three time periods: 1) Pre-1940 (before the New Deal), 2) 1940-1980 (Era of New Deal Keynesianism / Golden Age / Structural Keynesianism), and 3) 1980-2015 (Era of neoliberalism).

Mr. Palley’s view is that America’s business lobby – the Republican Party (GOP) – has never accepted the New Deal policies instituted during the time of FDR in response to the Great Depression, the GOP accepted structural Keynesianism for 40 years until 1980, and that the appearance of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher and neoliberal economic policies resulted in an extreme shift having consequences still felt the world over today.

Using their elite-backed political power and respective “bully pulpits” in the USA and Britain, Reagan and Thatcher were able to convince large segments of their respective citizenry that they didn’t need unions, corporations were benevolent citizens – not predatory capitalists, and initiated economic reforms with lasting negative results. The results can be seen today with the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), Trade in Service Agreement (TiSA), “structural adjustment” or austerity, and strong push back against neoliberal policies in both America and Europe.

Mr. Palley describes how owners of corporations in America began “outsourcing” jobs by moving production plants from the “rust belt” states in the north where unions were strong to southern states where unions were almost non-existent, thereby effectively eliminating union membership in the nation’s manufacturing sector.

Despite what Palley describes as “many good people in corporations who’ve become saddened since 1980 by the outsourcing phenomenon”,  outsourcing grew/went from an action involving moving jobs and facilities to lower wage states inside America to even lower wage nations around the Earth. Because of competitive advantages gained by corporations who’d moved to production in China etc., even those “good people in corporations saddened” came to have no choice but to follow the trend or risk going out of business.

While Americans became satisfied with lower priced goods coming from China, Vietnam, Mexico and other low-wage countries, the trend of outsourcing became increasingly a matter of concern simply because good jobs were disappearing across the country, until now in 2015 the public’s push back against TPP, TTIP and TiSA has been massive – both in the United States and Europe.

Mazzone and Palley go on to discuss how business school graduates / executives from the 1960’s differ in mindset from those leaving college after 1980. Where graduates in the 60’s held the view that social restraints were important, after 1980 and the beginning of neoliberal economic policies, business school graduates believed in “no societal restraints”, maximization of profits for shareholders as the only goal, and a “let it rip” business philosophy – anything goes.

Advances in information technology made outsourcing increasingly easier; corporate managers could now control operations at production facilities located in more than one country virtually anyplace on the planet, and all from one “nerve center”, sometimes from home.  More and more company owners followed the higher profits offshoring trend, more Americans saw their jobs move to overseas countries, and GOP members who’d held to their disapproval of FDR’s New Deal laws most likely felt a sense of winning.

Mr. Palley believes it’s possible to bring about economic policies which reverse the “race to the bottom” global trend, but that it is admittedly a difficult challenge.  His suggestions include:

Opposition to TPP, TTIP, TiSA, which, once signatory nations have entered the agreement(s), “lock in” nations who will find it nearly impossible to exit

Demanding removal of so-called “Investor State Dispute Settlement” language that kills democracy

“Lock in” a progressive economic trajectory, including measures aimed at full employment, increasing the minimum wage, increased membership in unions, more public investment, tax reform to enable higher expenditure on education, health, etc., a public option addition to the Affordable Care Act, expansion of Social Security, and more

Mr. Mazzone and Thomas Palley also talked about the 2016 presidential race in the United States. Palley singles out FDR, Abraham Lincoln and Harry Truman as presidents who were unique in that they were willing to challenge their “base”, took unpopular positions and actions, and effectively educated supporters of what they (citizens) want.

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In a very interesting 30-minute discussion, Mr. Palley and Mr. Mazzone manage to deliver much information while doing an excellent job in covering a number of important, timely topics related to the global economy.

For more information, visit: http://henrygeorgeschool.org

(Thank you to Henry George School of Social Science at YouTube)