HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Places » International » Latin America (Group) » New film to document the ...

Sat Mar 28, 2015, 09:44 PM

New film to document the Buenos Aires Herald’s human rights stance.

By Julio Nakamurakare
Buenos Aires Herald
March 28, 2015

New film charts the newspaper’s editorial policy during the last military dictatorship

Proving that it was a fallacy to say that the Buenos Aires Herald, a centenary newspaper by the mid 1970s, was just a British community medium, the first three years (1976-1979) of the brutal military dictatorship saw the English-language news outlet soar to unprecedented heights when it took a fierce stance against human rights violations perpetrated by the military.

While the rest of the media, later referred to as the prensa canalla (scoundrel press), looked the other way and ignored the brutalities being committed in the name of the fight against terrorism, the Buenos Aires Herald, with Robert Cox at the helm, bravely reported on the thousands of cases of “disappearances,” described verbatim by other media as Armed Forces press releases about “shootouts in which terrorists were killed.” The Herald was the one and only news outlet to receive the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo, an organization that had just started to take shape in order to find answers to questions the military government, Catholic Church dignitaries and society at large consistently refused to confront.

The story —that of a small foreign-language newspaper braving a dictatorship and standing up for human rights — has been told in hundreds of newspaper articles, books and film documentaries. Now comes Messenger On A White Horse, a documentary written and directed by former Herald staffer Jayson McNamara. An indie project financed through crowd-funding and the unflinching support of human rights organizations — not to mention the filmmakers’ own willingness to work long hours at no profit — Messenger On A White Horse promises to take viewers on a long ride through a painful period in recent Argentine history.

At: http://buenosairesherald.com/article/185396/documenting-the-herald%E2%80%99s-human-rights-stance

Not surprisingly, Herald editor-in-chief Robert Cox had to leave Argentina during the fascist 1976 dictatorship (which the GOP vocally applauded, until they turned into loose cannons and invaded the Falklands of course). We're very fortunate to have a living link to history like him and so many others still around, and still fighting the good fight.

Here's Bob Cox at the Carter Center last July. Skip to 1:20:00 for his contribution, although the entire segment is worthwhile for anyone interested in learning more about the Argentine Dirty War (all the more so since history is being repeated in Colombia, Honduras, and Mexico as we speak).

5 replies, 1253 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 5 replies Author Time Post
Reply New film to document the Buenos Aires Herald’s human rights stance. (Original post)
forest444 Mar 2015 OP
Judi Lynn Mar 2015 #1
forest444 Mar 2015 #2
Judi Lynn Mar 2015 #3
forest444 Mar 2015 #4
Judi Lynn Mar 2015 #5

Response to forest444 (Original post)

Sun Mar 29, 2015, 05:03 AM

1. Really looking forward to watching the clip, reading the interview after getting some sleep.

Listened to the video long enough to hear the list of panelists for the brief session at the end of the film. It's amazing Robert Cox wasn't thrown out of an airplane himself. Probably the only things which saved him was his British citizenship, and his place as a public figure who would clearly be missed. He could have brought them more trouble than they would want, had they snuffed him, too.

Thanks for providing some great Sunday food for thought, Forest444. Just what the doctor ordered!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to Judi Lynn (Reply #1)

Sun Mar 29, 2015, 03:17 PM

2. Glad you liked it.

I'm sure Bob Cox would agree with your assessment of the situation at time. I hope the documentary can be made available online before too long.

Every time I read your updates on the situation in Colombia, Honduras, and Mexico, it's a stark reminder of how history does indeed repeat itself.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to forest444 (Reply #2)

Sun Mar 29, 2015, 06:33 PM

3. Just finished the video you posted here.

It was the first time hearing some of the material covered, since our own corporate "news" sources didn't feel it was their job to inform us during the time it was happening. Didn't want to bother with the hassle of sharing the truth with the U.S. public, apparently.

Had no idea the part the Carter administration played in applying pressure to the Dirty War in the way it did. No hint of it from our corporate media. They were too busy bellowing about the gas prices, and the right-wing howling about what a bad President Carter was. Yeah, the same guys who've acted as if the world was ending every time a Democrat was in office, since F.D.R. was first elected. A$$holes.

I had never heard of Pat Derian! Wonder why! Apparently the U.S. fascists didn't want her to be recognized and the media included her in their Dirty War whitewash.

Found this from Mother Jones:

New Memo: Kissinger Gave the "Green Light" for Argentina's Dirty War

—By David Corn

| Tue Jan. 14, 2014 4:23 PM EST

Only a few months ago, Henry Kissinger was dancing with Stephen Colbert in a funny bit on the latter's Comedy Central show. But for years, the former secretary of state has sidestepped judgment for his complicity in horrific human rights abuses abroad, and a new memo has emerged that provides clear evidence that in 1976 Kissinger gave Argentina's neo-fascist military junta the "green light" for the dirty war it was conducting against civilian and militant leftists that resulted in the disappearance—that is, deaths—of an estimated 30,000 people.

In April 1977, Patt Derian, a onetime civil rights activist whom President Jimmy Carter had recently appointed assistant secretary of state for human rights, met with the US ambassador in Buenos Aires, Robert Hill. A memo recording that conversation has been unearthed by Martin Edwin Andersen, who in 1987 first reported that Kissinger had told the Argentine generals to proceed with their terror campaign against leftists (whom the junta routinely referred to as "terrorists". The memo notes that Hill told Derian about a meeting Kissinger held with Argentine Foreign Minister Cesar Augusto Guzzetti the previous June. What the two men discussed was revealed in 2004 when the National Security Archive obtained and released the secret memorandum of conversation for that get-together. Guzzetti, according to that document, told Kissinger, "our main problem in Argentina is terrorism." Kissinger replied, "If there are things that have to be done, you should do them quickly. But you must get back quickly to normal procedures." In other words, go ahead with your killing crusade against the leftists.

The new document shows that Kissinger was even more explicit in encouraging the Argentine junta. The memo recounts Hill describing the Kissinger-Guzzetti discussion this way:

The Argentines were very worried that Kissinger would lecture to them on human rights. Guzzetti and Kissinger had a very long breakfast but the Secretary did not raise the subject. Finally Guzzetti did. Kissinger asked how long will it take you (the Argentines) to clean up the problem. Guzzetti replied that it would be done by the end of the year. Kissinger approved.

In other words, Ambassador Hill explained, Kissinger gave the Argentines the green light.

That's a damning statement: a US ambassador saying a secretary of state had egged on a repressive regime that was engaged in a killing spree.

In August 1976, according to the new memo, Hill discussed "the matter personally with Kissinger, on the way back to Washington from a Bohemian Grove meeting in San Francisco." Kissinger, Hill told Derian, confirmed the Guzzetti conversation and informed Hill that he wanted Argentina "to finish its terrorist problem before year end." Kissinger was concerned about new human rights laws passed by the Congress requiring the White House to certify a government was not violating human rights before providing US aid. He was hoping the Argentine generals could wrap up their murderous eradication of the left before the law took effect.


[center]~ ~ ~[/center]
So much from this time was ignored, so the right-wing could use all the space to revile, mock Jimmy Carter concerning everything he did, or attempted to do.

Just the little I heard told me Pat Derian had been a very busy State Department employee, working for the GOOD side of diplomacy, rather than what we've seen from the fascist element which seems to have run away with the State Department altogether.

There is still far more to be learned from records and witnesses regarding what happened to allow these monsters to seize total control of their country, and have the entire U.S. sitting like the fool on the hill, laughing at butterflies, while the monsters were hard at work torturing, and throwing political prisoners out of airplanes into the ocean, and the rivers of Argentina, where people standing on the banks could see them floating around. That move, in itself, was another aspect of the terror campaign which paid off big time when the citizens realized what was happening and were even further encouraged to try to dig the biggest hole they could find and disappear, politically, to keep the government from doing the same to them.

That's what is called REAL TERRORISM, done up in a BIG way.

Thanks for that good dose of reality.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to Judi Lynn (Reply #3)

Sun Mar 29, 2015, 11:57 PM

4. Absolutely.

What you described above was one of the most interesting chapters in both U.S. and Argentine modern history.

Patt Derian, who learned the ropes as a civil rights activist in Mississippi, was herself arguably the most fascinating official in the beleaguered Carter administration - which I still think of as a "second Camelot" in many ways for the integrity, transparency, and departure from the good-ole-boy/warmonger form of governance we've had almost continuously since Vietnam.

Carter lacked Kennedy's charisma; but like Kennedy, Carter sought reform and real changes - above all to our foreign policy and all its bad faith. And like Kennedy, he found that resistance to even modest changes can be overwhelming. Carter was eventually stopped by gas lines orchestrated by oil industry "maintenance shutdowns" (the day after Poppy Bush announced he was running in 1980).

We all know how they stopped Kennedy.

As a final note, here's an interview Patt Derian granted in 2009 to Argentine activist Juan Mandelbaum (Jews bore a disproportionately heavy brunt of Dirty War fatalities, as you may know). Not for the faint of heart.


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to forest444 (Reply #4)

Mon Mar 30, 2015, 08:20 AM

5. No, not for the faint of heart, is it? She is a magnificent person.

What a horror it is to realize how unlikely there are any others of her quality in the State Department. What if she had been the only one who actually ever cared about people?

It really makes you wonder.

Clearly she stood up for her conscientious beliefs. That takes her totally out of the political world.

If you hadn't posted, we would probably not have heard of this heroic person.

(Videla really look shifty in his body language and movements, didn't he? Damn! So glad he finally got sent to the slammer, despite the right-wings efforts to give him and all the others total immunity.)

So glad to have seen this short video: even more impressed than I was after seeing the first video with President Jimmy Carter.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread