Dante Caputo: anecdotal evidence of the Cold War in Argentina

Reflections on former Argentine foreign minister’s recent concepts published in his column entitled ¨Yankees Come Home¨, by website. With a disturbing -and unexpected- result: the legal concept of 'command responsibility'.

06 de Marzo de 2013

Cristina Kirchner's dialectics just helped a new miracle’s inception: the ideological defense of guerrilla warfare during the 1970s in our country pushed former Foreign Minister, Dante Mario Antonio Caputo, to wisely look back at certain relevant chapters of the Cold War in Argentina.

National Government, tormented by its strategic ingenuity, was led by the nose towards the abyss, represented by the given support to an Argentine-Twitter, Matías E. RuizIranian 'Truth Commission', which essence is, logically, considered by most analysts as an 'impunity pact'. Slowly but steadily, the President has made sure that –as soon as the political subsystem that she represents falls into disgrace– public opinion will start wondering about the true role molding many of government officials' actions (Horacio Verbitsky, Dante Gullo, Carlos Zannini, Carlos Kunkel, James Grossman, Jorge Taiana, etc.) during the 'years of lead'. And –worth mentioning– it is likely that the irreverent philosopher José Pablo Feinmann was right when he suggested that, as soon as the head of state completes her cycle in the Executive, they would go for her (or them).

Caputo’s thesis (foreshadowed into Yankees come home, in Spanish borrows certain unwritten preambles from U.S. National Security Doctrine. There, it was practically concluded that any method was lawful in order to build a wall against the virulent Soviet-Cuban infiltration in Latin American nations during the 1970s. Conceptualization modeled after the OSS (then, the CIA, Central Intelligence Agency) modus operandi in Europe after World War II, where the U.S. intelligence proposed and implemented, for example, the service of Corsican mafia elements to forcefully eradicate strikes and student movements of Soviet communism in Italy in 1948. Eventually, these events would lead to an advocated joint venture between the Agency and the local Christian Democrats. In Argentina, later and unfortunately –as it is well known–, Washington finally set up business with the worst insane leaders of the Argentine Army. Distinguished and Scotch devotees visitors of West Point (since everybody slips off the French navy), the protagonists launched themselves with extreme prejudice and without discretion against guilty and innocent alike. Indiscriminately and lacking any reasonably competent manual of proceedings.

Dante CaputoIn either case, in his column, Caputo refers to his coffee talks with Castro dictatorship’s former chief of intelligence, Manuel Piñeiro (ex DGI, Cuban secret service, aka 'Barba Roja'), in which the macabre character shared with the former Minister details about the local insurgent workforce preparation and training in Cuba. Perhaps, Alfonsin’s ex official was not aware of it, but his writing could lead him to future subpoenas to testify as qualified witness. From his narration it could be easily certified that the insurgents of vernacular behavior were far from being a 'passionate and fervent group of youths', but served as an irregular/asymmetric paramilitary force of cellular structure, which acting under a foreign power command, carried out military operations against our country. As already discussed in previous columns, this sort of crimes and outrages are not simply misdemeanors: they can be classified as war crimes, unreached by a prescription of any kind. Alive Argentine perpetrators are reached, then, by the parameters considered in the 'treason' section of the Criminal Code. Ironically, the legal concept of command responsibility would apply in this context, regularly used by lawyers to prosecute and convict former leaders of the Proceso de Reorganización Nacional (National Reorganization Process). But irony increases: the same concept could benefit the victims of the military circle, since agreements with the Islamic Republic grant impunity to Tehran former officials involved in attacks like AMIA bombing. Do President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and her advisers work to end up favoring 'genocidal', eternal protagonists in her propaganda booklet? And what would happen if, eventually, a law firm resorted to command responsibility to chase her and Amado Boudou because of their dangerous proximity to the Train Tragedy in Once (a Buenos Aires neighborhood)?

Regarding the 1970s, at least for now, we must say that perhaps very few seem eager to open that Pandora's box. Since it illustrates not only on terrorism, infrastructure sabotage and assassinations favored by the Cuban dictatorship, but also sheds light on operations to introduce drug trafficking that later on would serve the mechanism of successive political and union trade cash. Nikita Khrushchev knew how to put it forward in his famous speech delivered to the Politburo, in which he encouraged fighting the western world 'by means of their own bad habits' (drugs). The 'revolutionary tax' paid by local entrepreneurs to guerrilla groups in order to grant inland goods transportation (though prohibited by law, punishable by imprisonment) and the funds from Born siblings kidnapping by Montoneros also lead us to juicy chapters of a story that no one seeks to figure out or resume. That would be like a glimpse at Medusa’s reflection in the shield.

To recall that no constitutional government ever denied caresses and congratulations to Raúl and Fidel Castro Ruz is enough to define what Argentina’s leadership is made of. This has been the way in which local politicians have reacted to Castro's bloody and destructive job in these lands. In view of these facts, perhaps it would not be surprising that in the current momentum, Cristinism subsystem outrageously and in tears embraces both Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the lame duck, and the ideology of exporting the revolution advocated by Iran's spiritual and supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Nor should anyone be surprised if President Cristina Elisabet Fernández Wilhelm insists on the dangerous prerogative of technological assistance from unscrupulous and Machiavellian Hezbollah puppeteers. Kirchner's widow future career can be almost foreseen, and needless to say, it will not be bright.

Herbert Spencer –British sociologist and naturalist ostensibly influenced by Darwin– referred to the features of conflict between nations. He claimed the clashes took place between homogeneous societies (simple) and heterogeneous societies (more complex and therefore victorious). Euphemisms and allegories for 'might is right' or 'nation-states lacking a strategy become part of other nation-states’ strategy'.

Irrefutable corollary: shortly, the useful idiots –in any Administration– are count by the dozen. The National Security Doctrine returns as a Phoenix. But, this time, Irán is the leading character. And the insanity prevailing in Casa Rosada has fully immersed us into this quagmire.

* Translated into English by Debora Gravano Jordán | e-Mail: debora.gravano @


Matías E. Ruiz | Editor