Today, class, our history lesson involves that demented fool Reagan and America's support of Iran and the Contra terrorists in Nicaragua, starring the new NRA president and convicted felon, Oliver North. For a nice review, see this piece in the Intercept.
In brief, Reagan and all the cold-warriors in the administration were convinced that the Sandinistas in Nicaragua were the next to the last domino before Soviet tanks would be rolling up Pennsylvania Ave. Reagan used his Iranian contacts, which he had previously developed, following the GOP playbook, to delay resolution of the Iran hostage crisis until after the election. (Much the same play as Nixon had used, opening a secret back-channel to the North Vietnamese to sabotage negotiations with the Johnson administration and delayimg the end of that war until after the election, insuring several more years of conflict and the deaths of tens of thousands of young Americans - and Vietnamese - in order to improve his electoral chances). Reagan and North had a scheme to sell arms - illegally under an existing embargo - to the Iranians and then use the money to fund the Contras.
Unfortunately, it wasn't enough. It was Ollie North's brainchild to tap into the drug trade (in which the CIA was already involved) and use those additional funds to provide support for the reactionaries to destabilize the Sandanistas, hopefully re-establishing the corrupt ruling dictatorship in Nicaragua. He called on US assets including Manuel Noriega to set the Contras up importing cocaine into the US.
In any case, it was a bust. The Contras got too used to the easy money of drug trading and bailed on the revolution. The scheme was exposed, Ollie was tried and convicted, sent to prison, but soon pardoned. Now, where there are nearly failed states in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala, where armed gangs, drug traffickers, and the corrupt police and army hold sway, you don't have to look too hard to see Reagan's (and North's and the CIA's) fingerprints. Blowback, it's a bitch.
Just the kind of patriotic American we can look up to, defending our rights - well at least one of them.
Posted by Gordon, No Hair Blog, May 12, 2018
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