El Mozote Paper - Hannan Merritt HIST-231 Modern Latin...

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Hannan Merritt HIST-231 Modern Latin America Paper II- U.S. Perspective The United States had and still has a fixation on the abolishment of Communism from the  consciousness of the world .  The “Red Scare” which really picked up during the era of Senator  Joseph McCarthy in the 1940’s and 50’s carried over until the Soviet Union disbanded in the  early 1990’s .  This underlying fear of communism led the U.S. government to support non- Communist governments across the world but specifically those within their hemisphere with aid  and military support to fight any insurgency that arose against them .  Specifically in the context  of El Salvador, the United States would essentially approve any policy if it furthered the cause of  stamping out the guerrilla forces and enhancing American national security . This policy was no  clearer than in the case of El Mozote where American officials repeatedly reported “facts” to  both Congress and the American public that simply weren’t true and only furthered the political  goals of the current Administration . In essence, “… it had become clear to all… that for the Americans in El Salvador  ‘national security’ came first” (92) .  This focus on national security allowed the El Salvadoran  government and military to have free reign over their citizenry .  This power was both supported  1
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and enhanced by the U .S. government to stop, “… any advance of Communism in the  hemisphere” (92) . The massacre at El Mozote wasn’t simply a result of U .S. government policy but also  came from the military tactics that American military advisers were providing to the El  Salvadoran Army .  The main tactic is called a “scorched earth” policy where you “take the water  from the fish” by destroying the villages and communities that support the guerillas . This policy 
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This note was uploaded on 05/05/2008 for the course HIST 231 taught by Professor Ristow during the Spring '08 term at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

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El Mozote Paper - Hannan Merritt HIST-231 Modern Latin...

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