The Reagan administration reviles the horrific spectre of “leftist” terrorism; it singles out the political left as the international source of brutal, fanatic terrorism. This assertion is patently false:
In Guatemala, a nation ruled by a right-wing military, one hundred people are killed or disappear every month;
— El Salvador’s right-wing death squads still operate with impunity, despite the illusion of democracy;
— The so-called Contras in Nicaragua routinely rape, torture, and murder women, children, the aged, and other “enemies of democracy;”
— The nation of Chile, whose military dictator Augusto Pinochet Ugarte is frequently compared to Hitler, lives a nightmare of political torture, murder, and mutilation;
— European organizations like “Rose of the Winds” and its successor, “P-2,” account for more murders and terrorist acts than leftist groups like the PLO and the Red Brigades (which reportedly may be heavily infiltrated by agent provocateurs; the killing of Aldo Moro certainly benefited the right far more than it did the left);
— Right wing terrorists, like Stefano Delle Chiaie (one of the principals in the terrorist bombing at the Bologna railway station on August 2, 1980) make Carlos The Jackal look like a pacifist.
The American press appears to be a co-conspirator in stereotyping leftists as terrorists. One example can be drawn from the lack of U.S. press coverage given to an article which appeared in the August 5, 1984, issue of the Italian magazine VESPRESSO.
In the article, the head of the Italian internal security organization complained that the U.S. was letting the most wanted terrorist in the world (Stefano Delle Chiaie) operate unmolested in this hemisphere; and the head of the Italian military intelligence organization complained that a U.S. administration official was an undesirable meddler who should be barred from Italy. The “undesirable American” is Michael Ledeen who has been a contract consultant on terrorism for the State Department ever since Reagan took office; the Pentagon also has confirmed that Ledeen has a consultant contract with the Defense Department “in line with his-background” as an expert on European and Soviet affairs.
Neither the NEW YORK TINES nor the WASHINGTON POST carried a word about the potentially sensational charges contained in the article.
Since the closing days of WWII, the United States has attacked “left-wing” terrorism while supporting “right-wing” terrorism around the world as a means of fighting Communism. Terrorism, whether from the left or the right, should be a target of all nations concerned with democracy and human rights; the press should reflect this rather than support the administration’s red-baiting rhetoric.
COVERT ACTION INFORMATION BULLETIN, Number 22, Fall 1984, “The Fascist Network,” by Edward S. Herman, pp 44+