Terrorism in Latin America. Que? Yes, it’s there. It is exists and it is fueled by the likes of Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, and many others in the Americas and the Middle East. Yet media pays little, if any, attention to it. Equally bizarre is the curious ambivalence that reeks from pockets of the U.S. foreign policy establishment. If someone even remotely suggests further study of the matter, they look at that person like some sort of three-eyed cyclops.
One of the last true scholars of regional adventurism by radical Islamist jihadists was the late Constantine Menges. Among his many accomplishments, Menges served as the national intelligence officer for Latin America in Bill Casey’s and Ronald Reagan’s CIA. When it came to terror in the Western Hemisphere, as with Argentina’s Alberto Nisman, Menges was ahead of his time.
In the late 1990s, Menges talked a lot about preventing “a nuclear-armed axis of evil in the Americas” as well as terrorism in the Americas. This new axis would be led by a group of radical leftist governments starting with Cuba (led by the same motley crew that is in power today) and would wind its way throughout the Americas and include Brazil, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Ecuador, Argentina, and many others.
In September 2001, Cuba hosted a regional summit of leaders in Havana to discuss what Menges dubbed the Bolivarian Axis. Menges’s predictions had already come true. The radical Left was on a new timetable, due to 09.11.01. It was then, and remains today, much more complex that random act of terrorism. These people harbor strong anti-American, pro-left sentiments and will continue to work against liberty. With a few exceptions in the U.S. foreign policy establishment, Menges’s work has been mostly ignored.
How does Nisman fit in to all this? To my knowledge, these two lovers of liberty and rule of law never collaborated, albeit not directly. However, Nisman’s work in Argentina is an important piece of the anti-terror in the Americas puzzle.
The latest terror attack or, more accurately, radical Islamist-rooted death in Latin America hails from Argentina. Nisman was no ordinary prosecutor. He was a dogged attorney in the front line of the global war against radical Islamists. For the Christina Kircher, he was most certainly a political and legal cyclops. And because she is a left-wing dictator who sides with the anti-American axis of the Americas, you’ve heard little about Nisman or his work.
Whether self-inflicted or carried out by others, the death of Argentine prosecutor Nisman is directly connected to his efforts to close a chapter in an ugly book in the global war against radical Islamist jihad. Before the terrorist attacks on the United States on 09.11.01, the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires was attacked in 1992 (29 civilians killed, close to 300 injured) and, in 1994, a Jewish community center was also bombed by radical Islamists (killing 85 people, injuring hundreds more).
Nisman figured out, with evidence, that the Iranians were involved and he’s been a thorn on their sides for decades. These and other terror attacks in the 1990s ushered in a new phase in the global struggle against radical Islamists, and Nisman’s work to uncover the truth is essential to understanding and combating these people today.
Nisman’s latest case is a political hot potato. The day before he died, he was scheduled to testify before a Congressional Committee that the President and her foreign minister had been colluding with the Iranians to cover up Iranian links to the 1990s terror attacks, in exchange for a trade deal. Yes, for a few measly bucks. It’s Kirchner and the Left. What do you expect? These people only care about justice and rule of law when it involve alleged wrongs by a conservative or right-wing government.
The United States should’ve done a lot more to assist Nisman but, as with Menges, he was a truth teller with a very politically inconvenient truth: the United States, and our allies in the region, had failed to stop the 1990 terror attacks in Argentina as well as the United States (the 1993 World Trade Center attacks, for one). Scratch a little more and you’ll find more policy failures that extended all over the Americas. Just look at today’s Brazil, Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and others. Iran has an official presence in all of them, and it is growing.
Nisman’s work has already yielded a treasure trove of intelligence about Iran, Hezbollah, and many others operating in Latin America. Nisman’s work needs to continue, no matter where it takes Argentinean prosecutors or the Argentine Congress.
Finally, if Argentine officials were involved in Nisman’s death, the Congress should, among other things, consider Sergei Magnitsky-like sanctions that would freeze assets and block entry to the United States of any person involved in Nisman’s death. If necessary, Members from key oversight committees of the United States Congress should offer assistance to colleagues in Buenos Aires. The Obama Administration is not going to do it, at least not without some prodding.