A couple interesting bits from The Culture of Terrorism by Noam Chomsky:

1987. During Reagan's proxy war against Nicaragua, Senators Bob Dole and John McCain visited Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega. Senator John McCain opened the meeting by informing Ortega breezily that he had just met with the contra military commander Enrigue Berm?dez of Somoza's National Guard: "Colonel Berm?dez sends his very best regards," Senator McCain told Mr. Ortega as the meeting began. [This is the group that was basically going buckwild on "soft targets" like farmers and nuns, burning down schools and hospitals, supported with money and training and daily airdrops of supplies by people under orders from Reagan, with the approval of McCain and Dole.] "Colonel Berm?dez and Ronald Reagan should stop killing Nicaraguan children," Ortega responded.

...When Senator Dole protested the [Sandinistas'] jailing of two opposition lawyers for 30 days for participation in an unauthorized protest rally..., Ortega responded by producing "a photograph of an American priest, the Rev. Roy Bourgeois, being arrested in the United States in April during a protest against American support for the contras." He offered to free the two lawyers immediately in exchange for the freedom of Father Bourgeois, a Navy veteran wounded in the Vietnam war and now a Maryknoll priest, who is serving a nine-month sentence in Federal Prison in Louisiana for trespassing after a demonstration at a military base; in Ortega's words, "held in your jail for protesting your president's immoral policy of killing Nicaraguans." The two opposition leaders were released in the custody of Rep. Thomas Harkin; Rev. Bourgeois remained in prison, with no further comment here, as there had been none before this odd point was raised by the totalitarian Sandinistas. [Forgive Chomsky's sarcasm there, but he tends to use the Orwellian terms employed by conservatives and the popular press. So the Sandinistas were "totalitarian" in the same way that Guatemala and El Salvador were "fledgling democracies".] Senator Dole's press aide described the exchange offer as "a gimmick," adding that "It is ludicrous to compare our system with theirs." Shown a photo of the priest being dragged off by two policemen at the moment of his arrest, Dole responded: "You have us mixed up with the Soviet Union."


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