Tuesday, August 17, 2004

With troops in Iraq, and virtual threats, is dissent possible?

The third contingent was supposed to leave today, but will be slightly delayed.

A fifth threat has appeared via the internet against El Salvador because of this deployment, this one giving 20 days to withdraw.

Meanwhile, the FMLN continues to oppose the deployment, and a few minutes ago, I saw Shafick Handal sticking to his guns, and proclaiming the right of the Iraqi people to resist the US occupation in Iraq.

More worrisome than a few hundred people protesting this action, however, are the words of various government officials who see the threat as likely national in origin. Here's President Tony Saca, who is --after a fairly auspicious beginning with his mesas de dialogo (but not with the maneuvering around the TSE, about which I'll comment later) -- beginning perhaps to reveal his true colors, and sounding an awful lot like his Northern colleague. I quote (my translation):

When another threat appears on the internet, what the FMLN does is take to the streets to demonstrate and deny their votes for the Anti-terrorist

To me it seems that this is a theme that Salvadorans should pay attention to, because today is when we ought to define which of us are in favor or against
terrorism, and who are in favor.

I have asked for an anti-terrorist law, which is urgent to have in the country for whatever circumstance, and nevertheless the FMLN is resisting giving its votes for this anti-terrorist law.

So, and here it seems to me very strange that, all of a sudden, more threats appear and that the FMLN parades in the streets of San Salvador, creating problems for Salvadorans who are in the United States, because they speak very badly of the U.S.

Here, for example, I'm try to get us a TPS [Temporary Protected Status] for 400,000 Salvadorans and they go around talking bad about the United States there in El Salvador, and the only thing this will do is provoke a loss of TPS for our compatriots, that is, in that case the FMLN will be the ones responsible if that
This is taken from a Radio YSKL broadcast. Just as I suspected, the issue of troops in Iraq may play into a very questionable redefinition of what constitutes patriotism and legitimate dissent in El Salvador.

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