When Will They Learn Volume XX

This op-ed piece by Everett Ellis Briggs, former US ambassador to Panama about the machinations behind the US relationship with Manuel Noriega in Sunday's New York Times makes for interesting reading.

He loses me somewhat here:

DESPITE deserving credit for going after General Noriega, the
Department of Justice is the chief culprit in this sorry story for

allowing the indictments to be publicized. Although that decision led

to the prosecution of a wanted felon, the success was accomplished at

the cost of heavy collateral damage.

Almost everyone in
government, however, shares some of the blame. America's civilian and

military intelligence agencies must be fingered for putting General

Noriega on their payrolls, for being unable or unwilling to detect his

criminal activities and for their resistance to ditching him once it

became obvious that he was out of control.

While I agree with the second sentence of that section, I want to call your attention to this quote:

Mr. Noriega's rise and fall is instructive only insofar as it tells us
how the United States should not conduct itself when faced with a

thuggish foreign dictator who happens also to have been a longtime

intelligence "asset."

The US should not be conducting itself at all with "thuggish foreign dictators" and one of the best ways to do that is to never fund proxy wars against governments we do not like that have not threatened us. It is even more mind-numbingly stupid to go after these "thuggish foreign dictators" for narco-trafficking while  effectively ignoring the drug-trafficking by the proxy army.

The mind reels at the layers of hypocrisy.

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