The Vietnam war has been digested by the U.S. political system with hardly a trace. Essentially the same people manage national affairs, and possess virtually exclusive access to the mass media; the critics of the war have lapsed, or been forced, into silence; and the media have not allowed the vast accumulation of sordid details about our Vietnam involvement to disturb the myth of U.S benevolence and concerned pursuit of democracy abroad. This myth has remained unruffled even in the face of the accelerating "Brazilianization" of the Third World over the past decade, very often under active U.S. sponsorship, with frequent displacement of democratic governments and extensive and growing resort to repression, including physical torture, imprisonment, death squads, and mysterious "disappearances," all within the U.S. sphere of influence. In this context, the state which has sponsored and supported the Somoza family, the Shah, Marcos, Park, Pinochet, Suharto, and the Brazilian generals can announce a campaign for human rights throughout the world and be taken with the utmost seriousness.
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