But today they were reading the crowds differently. There was no belligerence in those headed for the Plaza. There was only jubilation and rampant national sentiment. They were going there to celebrate, to congratulate the very dictators that had repressed them for seven long years, to thank them for taking back what British colonialism had usurped so long ago from Argentina’s sovereign territory. It was a far cry from the attitude of growing unrest that had been seething just beneath the surface and that, just that week, in the final days of March, had boiled over into unbridled violence.
In theory, it almost sounded plausible, as espoused by the brilliant Dr. Kirkpatrick. But in fact, it didn’t always work. For instance, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, better known as the Shah of Iran, was brought to power as a rightwing dictator through a CIA plot called Operation Ajax that ended the government of Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh in the 1950s after his administration nationalized Anglo-US oil interests. Previously a figurehead king within a democratic system, the Shah became an absolute monarch with military backing. Although he protected US interests for three and a half decades and practically became a cult icon in the West, he never showed signs of being ‘nudged toward democracy’. On the contrary, his despotic policies and intolerance of dissent were the direct cause of the Iranian Revolution that brought Islamic extremist clerics to power in the late ‘70s, turning
Nor was the definition of ‘rightwing’ always clear. Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, for instance, was an Arab Socialist. And yet, because of his position as a bulwark against Iranian advances in the Middle East, he was seen as ‘a friendly’ by
In the process of trying to legitimize the regime’s image, they had, of late, been courting international organizations in a bid to generate backing for their call for negotiations to end a century and half of British colonialism in the tiny, remote enclave located less than
Be that as it may, the war attained one major achievement: It spelled the beginning of the end for the National Reorganization Process. Gone from Plaza de Mayo were the fawning crowds of April 2, 1982. With the announcement of the mid-June surrender, the angry throngs of March 30 returned to the center of downtown
©2009 by Dan Newland. All Rights Reserved by the Author