COUP U: SOUTHCOM, FIU and "Strategic Culture"

From the masking mass murder as an intellectual endeavor files, which in 2009-10 include:

  • American University's School of International Service providing academic cover for golpista Micheletti spokesman (while he was illegally working as an unregistered foreign agent and after he helped plan the Honduran coup and stole $20,000 from the Honduran embassy budget, i.e., from the Honduran people) Roberto Flores Bermúdez and offering said cover for Paul Bremer, who is personally responsible for countless deaths and other fiascos stemming from his atrocious management of the Iraq war (Bremer ultimately ended up not coming)
  • Georgetown hiring Álvaro Uribe as a professor

...SOUTHCOM gets its own university

Florida International University has been partnering with the U.S. military's Southern Command to provide pseudointellectual cover for what is understood throughout Latin America correctly as a policy of military occupation in defense of the U.S. empire and its economic interests, attacking democracies and supporting coups d'etat. One form this partnership has taken is the numerous "Strategic Culture" workshops held at FIU. The invocation of culture, as with the Human Terrain System, is another attempt by the U.S. army to coopt the central concept of anthropology to legitimize aims that directly contravene what Hugh Gusterson yesterday at the Public Anthropology Conference called "the prime directive of Anthropology"—don't harm your subjects.

The FIU-SOUTHCOM Strategic Culture initiative is described at FIU's Applied Research Center's website:

Florida International University's Applied Research Center (FIU ARC), in collaboration with FIU's Latin American and Caribbean Center (LACC) and Middle East Studies Center (MESC), has recently formed a partnership with the United States Southern Command (SOUTHCOM). The partnership entails FIU providing the highest quality research-based knowledge to further explicative understanding of the political, strategic, and socio-cultural dimensions of state behavior. The program provides both the public and SOUTHCOM with an autonomous academic perspective to SOUTHCOM research requirements. ARC will apply the strategic culture approach to study Latin American states.

The program defines strategic culture as follows: "the combination of internal and external influences and experiences - geographic, historical, cultural, economic, political and military - that shape and influence the way a country understands its relationship to the rest of the world, and how a state will behave in the international community." FIU will identify and expound upon the strategic and cultural factors that inform the rationale behind the perceptions and behavior of select states in the present political and security climate by analyzing demography, history, regional customs, traditions, belief systems, and other cultural and historical influences that have contributed to the development of a particular country's current security rationale and interpretation of national security.

See an example of what they mean by "strategic culture" here, from their publication titled Peruvian Strategic Culture Document, by Joseph S. Tulchin and Brian Fonseca:

The elements of the new strategic culture, if it continues to emerge, will be to end or reduce the plaintive note of victim-hood in discussion of the nation's role in world affairs. Ironically, Chile will become the model for the new Peruvian strategic culture - focused on the successes of economic growth, political stability, and an honest effort to incorporate peripheral regions and marginal groups into national life. Peru, more than Chile, can base its national pride on multi-ethnic assimilation. This new national integration, along with the openness to trade and investment will be the principal components of Peru's new soft power...Peru will join Brazil and Chile as bulwarks of democracy and open economies, set as an example against the archaic rhetoric and self-defeating economic autarchy of the Bolivarian alliance.

[UPDATE 10/20/10: See examples of other reports here along with papers presented at the workshops, or click on the following for reports alone:
El Salvador

On October 7th, an Honduras Strategic Culture Workshop was held. Workshop Participants included:

  • Dr. Jose Rene Argueta, whose affiliation is listed as University of Pittsburgh. This is false. Argueta holds a PhD from Pittsburgh ('07) in Political Science, but according to the University of Pittsburgh's directory has no current affiliation with the institution. Nonetheless, he has been using the fraudulent affiliation to legitimize his representing Honduras all over the anti-democratic non-profit-military-industrial-complex, from the FIU conference two weeks ago, to the USAID-sponsored Americas Barometer conference this November, to the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems program. And it goes beyond that...the further examples aren't important, what matters here is again, the academic deception involved in the creation and legitimation of anti-democratic policies in the North for the South. [Update 10/19/10: The University of Pittsburgh Political Science Department confirms that Argueta has had no affiliation since graduating]
  • Dr. Norman A. Bailey, Institute for Global Economic Growth, where he holds the title of "Adjunct Professor of Economic Statecraft." Bailey is the ideologue author of gems like Iranian Penetration into the Western Hemisphere Through Venezuela. [Update 10/27/10: Bailey has a long career attacking Latin American right to self-determination, starting with his army stint in strategic intelligence and joint operational planning; followed by his time as Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and Senior Director of International Economic Affairs on the staff of the National Security Council in the Reagan White House; many years in the shadier corners of the oil and investment banking industries; and later as Mission Manager for Cuba and Venezuela, directly under Director of National Intelligence John D. Negroponte. See here, here, y ver aquí.]
  • Coronel Jose Amilcar Hernandez Flores, Honduran Armed Forces (the same military that carried out last year's coup). Hernández Flores has graduated from School of the Americas (SOA) three times, the first at the height of 1980s death squad activity when SOA was training Battalion 3-16 in the torture techniques still in use today, the second for a course titled "Course in the Maintenance of Democracy" (thanks to SOA Watch for providing this information). In order of Name, Rank, Course, Date, Country:
    1. Hernandez Flores Jose A. Tte. Curso de Administración de la Instrucción de Unidades Pequeñas 0-2A 21 July- 2 September 1982 Honduras
    2. Hernandez Flores Jose Amilcar Tte. Cnel. Curso De Sostenimiento Democratico 6 April- 15 May 1998 Honduras
    3. Hernandez Flores Jose Amilcar Tte. Cnel. Curso Basico De Computadoras 18 May- 2 June 1998 Honduras
  • Dr. Ernesto Galvez Mejia, "Independent Scholar." Gálvez was an aide in Maduro's government, is an assistant to the current ambassador in Washington representing the de facto administration of Pepe Lobo, and is an admitted homophobe. He was involved in the conspiracy against Zelaya's government and in the Civil Society group during that administration but was fired. He declared at the workshop that the armed forces of Honduras have the right to attack and repress the resistance movement, because its members (he alleges) are violent and are provoking disorder and that the public security forces have the obligation to exert a monopoly over state power.
  • Guillermo Pena Panting, Consejo Hondurefio de la Empresa Privada (COHEP). COHEP was one the the primary financiers of the coup, and the main proponent of its execution.
  • Marifeli Pérez-Stable, vice president for democratic governance at the Monologue (that perfectly horrible Washington "liberal" think tank that played a key role in legitimizing the coup here) and sociology professor at FIU.
  • Brian Fonseca, Florida International University, former U.S. Marine and a graduate of National Defense University's Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies' Advanced Transnational Security, Stability, and Democracy Program. As the ARC's About Us page notes, Fonseca oversees the FIU-SOUTHCOM Academic Partnership and Strategic Culture Studies Program at FIU's Applied Research Center.
  • [UPDATE 10/20/10: Moisés Caballero, co-facilitator with Fonseca, is also former Marine Corps, and has taught "Principles of Banking" at Volunteer State Community College as adjunct faculty. He is listed as "Research Analyst" for his About Us page at the FIU Strategic Culture site, which also notes he is currently working on his MA in Latin American and Caribbean Studies (MALACS) at FIU with a focus in Cuban and Cuban American Studies.]
  • Dr. Rodolfo Pastor Fasquelle. The only actual recognized intellectual in the bunch, Pastor Fasquelle is a well-respected historian who has held appointments at Harvard and El Colegio de México and who served twice as Minister of Arts and Culture, most recently for President Zelaya. Dr. Pastor Fasquelle, who had heard nothing of FIU, was misled into believing that his dear friend and colleague Leticia Salomón, sociologist, economist and outspoken critic of last year's military coup, would be at the event. Instead, he found himself surrounded by people who were indirectly and directly responsible for the assassinations of many of his friends, and for his being forced into exile following the coup. Horrified by what he saw there, and by the fact that his presence was being used to give a veneer of academic legitimacy to the ongoing U.S. militarization of Latin America in general, and Honduras in particular, Dr. Pastor Fasquelle passed along the conference materials to me.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of Honduras Strategic Culture Workshop program is the historical timeline provided therein. I'd like to say it's a prime example of ideological manipulation, but in fact, its assertions of historical "facts" are all over the map. This demonstrates either a sinister brilliance in the construction of plausible deniability (i.e., "we may have explicitly said it wasn't a coup over here, but we said it was over there"), or complete incompetence. The old evil vs. stupid question. Call me a conspiracy theorist, but when it comes to SOUTHCOM I tend to err on the side of evil, although I certainly wouldn't put stupid past them.


FIU Shame on U

Thank you Adrienne for revealing who "Gusanera Coup U" supports
and the horror of its feeding deceptive information to students.