US Backed a Genocide

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Updated: Mar 28, 2022
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This research paper focuses on The United States lack of political action against human rights violations against the Argentina citizens by the military dictatorship and General Jorge Rafael Videla. The fact the United States knew about the human right violations, had a team conduct investigation in to the matters and supported the military dictatorships. Creates a moral and ethical question here as to how the US justified their support of the military dictatorship and the Foreign Policy that played into their decisions, this research paper focuses on those topics Why did the United States offer military and finical support to Argentina even after they knew about the human right violation and mistreatment of citizens.

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A declassified document obtained by the National Security Archive shows that within vast human rights violations by Argentina’s military dictatorship regime in 1976, then Secretary of State Henry Kissinger told Argentine Foreign Minister Admiral Cesar Augusto Guzzetti “If there are things that have to be done, you should do them quickly. But you should get back quickly to normal procedures.” Henry Kissinger gave his approval to the human rights violations to suppress left winged idealist and guerillas to stop the spread of communism that was spreading in thanks to the Soviet Union. In Argentina in the 1970s in which up to 30,000 people were killed, kidnapped, disappeared, tortured, raped or thrown off planes in the ocean. According to newly declassified US state department documents, Secretary Kissinger, is shown to have advocated the Argentinian military dictatorship regime to act before the US Congress resumed session and told General Videla Washington would not cause it “unnecessary difficulties”. A portrait of Kissinger as the ruthless cheerleader, if not the active co-conspirator, of Latin American military regimes engaged in war crimes. In evidence that emerged from previous declassifications of documents during the Clinton Administration, Kissinger was shown not only to have been aware of what the military was doing but to have actively encouraged it.

The Moral and Ethical question at play is for what reason would the US back these far-right military junta’s in Latin American and more specifically in my paper Argentina. In four primary documents that I found online at the US Department of State website because of the Freedom of Information Act that allowed for several documents to be declassified. These documents implicate that the senior members of the president’s cabinet and the President of the United States himself knew about the human rights violations and still sent military aid and economic aid to the Argentina government. During the Gerald R. Ford administration, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger’s subtle support for the Argentine military junta despite widespread state-sanctioned violence against perceived subversives was a continuation of a historical process rooted in the early years of the Cold War. U.S. support for anti-communist Latin American military establishments. In contrast, President Jimmy Carter’s effort to promote human rights in United States Argentine relations was a courageous effort to fulfill his campaign promise to bring “competence and compassion” to the Oval Office. Although clearly not unlimited, Carter’s emphasis on human rights, particularly evident in his selection of Patricia Derain as Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs, provided an unprecedented government-sanctioned arena for human rights advocacy. It showed that with a new President was elected for the united states that President Carter was trying to change the United Sates stance on the support for the juntas in Latina America.

The Military Junta took control over several aspect to control leftist ideas. The first document is titled Attack on Academic Freedom in Argentina and it is dated 6th September 1976, it roughly explains that the military junta’s process of shutting down what they think are subversives. As well as scientists that think were a danger to the military regime. In the document the military regime cut funding to the psychiatric intuition’s because they believe that “progressive psychologist have been accused of subverting their patient’s and of giving “ideological support” to the guerrillas.”  The military junta also suspended the Argentinian Federation of Psychiatrists because they raised their voice to the mistreatment of political prisoners and the lasting effects of the detention of prisoners. The military junta, associated subversion with psychiatry so they forced them to leave or quiet their practices because of death threats, from the AAA which was The Argentine Anticommunist Alliance was a right-wing death squad secretly founded in Argentina. The document also explains what happened at the university of the South and how they tried to control the education in Argentina.

“In the universities, the posts of vice-chancellor, dean end even director of studies have been taken over by the military men, who are also in charge of research institutes. Students and staff have to submit to regulations governing political behavior in their private lives. University libraries have been purged of subversive books. Those of Marx and Freud branded “ideological criminal” so by the new secretary-general of the National University of Cordoba, who is an Air Force Officer, have even been publicly burned.”

What this document ultimately shows to the powers that be and who read it, from the United States point, that the military dictatorship regime limited the University and the students by taking control of them, they limited the psychiatric medical hospital because they were thought to be teaching progressives ideals. When did the United States start to think it was ok to limit education, and freedom of thought and the idea of expressing new thinking and having healthy friendly debate.

The second document that I found explains the political situation in Argentina the document was given to United State Officials in November of 1976. It gives four main topic and gives the situation with explanations for example the first topic is Political Situations and it states

“Political violence became a problem in Argentina in the late 1960s with the formation of the People’s Revolutionary Army (ERP) and the Montoneros, both Marxist organizations dedicated to the overthrow of the government and working closely with         Marxist guerrillas in Uruguay, Chile and Bolivia. When guerrilla organizations were defeated or ousted in these three countries, many of their members fled to Argentina,         beginning in the early 1970s with the defeat of the Tupamaros in Uruguay. In the three years of the Peronist administration (1973-76), over 2,000 Argentines died as a result of terrorism. Since March, political violence has claimed at least 1,000 lives.”

This section clearly states the situation on going in Argentina and the matters that have been shown and displayed to the United States, but military aid and economic funding and support were a constant during the military junta’s control of the Argentina. The Declassifying these extensive documents bring a shining light and puts focus on shameful period of American foreign policy, during which Washington D.C. condoned and, in some instances, supported the brutal tactics of right-wing military dictatorships in the region. Another part of the same document is a section entitled Observances of Internationally Recognized Human Rights, which give five different articles detailing different human right violations, notifying the powers at be in D.C. of the chaos and oppression of the Argentina citizens.

The third document, titled Human Rights Information in this document especially gives off a bias stand point that, the only problem facing Argentina is the left-wing ideas that are threats to the society and public as a whole. In subsection “B” which is titled Observance of Internationally-Recognized Human Rights it explains several different actions and reason for the action of the military regime. Giving the document a legitimacy or reason for the human rights violations. In article five of the subsection “B” of the declassified document it states

“While torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment have not been a general practice in Argentina, such methods are reportedly used by the security forces to extract information from some prisoners, particularly suspected or proven terrorists. After initial questioning, prisoners of this type apparently receive more or less

normal treatment.”

Giving the actions of the military regime vindications for the human rights violations, and what is their definition of “normal treatment”. The document gives detailed account of the US knows about the violations going on and conversations with Argentine officials on the matter. In. subsection “D” it states the Justification for Continuation of Program. In which the document outlines the reasons for why the United States have backed the military regime. Some of them are military sales consisting of 48.4 million dollars. Stated on page 7 “U. S. military credits are used almost exclusively for major investment items, such as ships and aircraft. They have little or no bearing on the counterterrorist capability of the armed forces”. With all the asset that the United States were giving to the military junta and they were not using them for subversive control? Makes you wonder who was making these reports and if they were lying to the US government in the information they were sharing.

The fourth and final document comes from the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Human Rights. In which the Academy sent three scientists to Argentina in search for two missing scientist and their where bout’s. This is from April of 1978 two years after the coup and General Jorge Videla took control of Argentina and the United States are still giving aid and support to the military regime. In the report they state their finding as this

“It is the Committee’s judgment that the situation for science is adversely affected by the state of human rights in Argentina. Concern for personal safety, the continued practice of arbitrary dismissal from scientific posts, the substantial number of scientists who have disappeared and about whom the governmental authorities profess no knowledge, are clear violations of human rights.”

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Even with document such as the one I explained before you. The United States government turned as blind eye to the Human rights violations in Argentina at the cost of their own greedy pride. As well as their ideas on how to stop far leaning leftist ideas from taking over the southern cone.

In conclusion of the four documents, the evidence is clear, the idea to do nothing to help the people of Argentina that the heinous acts were being committed against their own citizens in retrospect for saving the country from spreading the communism ideology that some had. The United knowingly and undoubtedly supported the killings and torture of men, women, and children. In hopes of winning the cold war against the Soviet Union and it left leaning ideology. President Nixon, and Henry Kissinger Foreign Policy in Latin America should be shameful to men who believe in the freedom of speech and other American constitutional values. The Dirty War was just that “Dirty” the military regime cruel and coning when it comes to silencing subversives, the United States, backed the ideas and gave aid and military supported even after finding out about the human right violations. The document shows a lack of foreign policy action and humanitarian action on the part of the United States.

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US Backed A Genocide. (2019, Dec 27). Retrieved from