Saturday, February 20, 2010

Haig Beats Hague

Another Reagan-era terrorist has died. Alexander Haig, whose "White Paper" on El Salvador was an attempt to pave the way for direct US intervention in Central America, is gone, his legacy one of loyal service to our imperial state. Happily, the American public, with Vietnam very fresh in memory, largely opposed Haig's plans as a solidarity/sanctuary movement grew in response to his saber-rattling. Unhappily, the Reagan gang conducted a proxy war instead, slaughtering hundreds of thousands throughout the region.

Unlike the Saddams, Milosevics and Pol Pots, our war criminals never receive the same opprobrium and punishment. They usually live long, comfortable lives, are celebrated as honorable statesmen and women who nobly served the nation's interests. Alexander Haig reminds us that imperial double standards remain very much in place, something that Bush, Cheney, and Obama are doubtless happy to know.

Although satirist Mort Sahl found Haig sane enough to support in the 1988 presidential sweepstakes, other comics took a dimmer view. Here Larry David and Melanie Chartoff dissect Haig's bizarre press conference after Reagan was shot by John Hinckley. From Fridays, April 3, 1981.