Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Family of Salvadoran Soldier Killed in Iraq Gets Nothing

I found this on Tim's El Salvador Blog This is tragic, this article in the San Francisco Chronicle talks about how bad things are going for the family of Salvadoran soldier, Natividad "Tivito" de Jesús Méndez Ramos, who died in Najaf, Iraq.

Here lives Herminia Ramos, whose son Natividad bears the dubious distinction of being the poorest coalition soldier to die in the Iraq war. "Tivito" fell when the ammunition his superiors had supplied him proved tragically insufficient, forcing the soldiers to use knives to fight the enemy. Four brave soldiers fended off the Iraqi insurgents after Tivito was killed and 12 others were injured, prompting their Spanish-speaking counterparts in their brigade to dub them "Los Guacamayos," a takeoff on their hometown.

Tivito's monthly salary of $120 from the Salvadorian army was crucial for the family's survival. His father died when he was young, and the soldier inherited the role of "man of the house." But now that he is dead, those funds no longer arrive. Unlike the United States, this country does little to compensate the widows or mothers of its fallen soldiers.


This is outrageous!! El Salvador is a poor country, and can not afford to pay this kind of money. But the United States is another story. It is the U.S. government that encouraged the Central American governments to send troops, and we know too well that the justifications given were suspect. And the Salvadorans in particular have acquited themselves incredibly well, with decades of experience due to their recent civil war, they have made great bodyguards.

It is even more outrageous if you think about the money the government is spending (and losing) billions of dollars in questionable "reconstruction" efforts that involve contractors like Halliburton. This poor kid fought with the bravery, tenaciousness and fearlessness, that is the Latin American soldier at his best. His family deserves more from the U.S. government, than flying his body in.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ramos is a hero and I am grateful for what he did. However, it's not axiomatic that the US has to shell out extra money
because a soldier from another nation died in the effort to eradicate terrorism from the WORLD.

Boli-Nica said...

it's not axiomatic that the US has to shell out extra money
because a soldier from another nation died in the effort to eradicate terrorism from the WORLD.


Ummmmm, invading Iraq (at least in the short run) hardly constitutes 'erradicating terrorism from the WORLD.' And El Salvador really has little interest or risk from Iraq-based terrorists. They have enough trouble with gangs.

It really is Bush's nation-building exercise, which he sold under false premises to the U.S. people. White House arrogance has also turned even reasonable people around the world against the scheme.

Bush should be grateful that the Salvadorans chose to send troops - specially considering his clumsy efforts at 'coalition building'. The Salvadorans have performed tasks that contractors would have over-billed the heck out of us for.

Considering past administrations support for nasty killers in El Salvador, it would do the U.S. some good publicity if it compensated this family, whose son died in a U.S. war.

Anonymous said...

"Ummmmm, invading Iraq (at least in the short run) hardly constitutes 'erradicating terrorism from the WORLD.' And El Salvador really has little interest or risk from Iraq-based terrorists. They have enough trouble with gangs."

Well, I guess Uncle Sucker is the only nation that has to step up to the plate even if it's outside our "interests." In the recent past, off the top of my head, we've sent troops to Kosovo, Bosnia, and Somalia. None of those places were any threat to us.
We also already provide foreign aid to Latin America, provide the Lion's share of UN funding, most of NATO, and
the burden of guaranteeing the security of oil passing through the Persian Gulf to all destinations on the planet. I guess we just aren't doing enough.

Iraq, for a zillion reasons, was chosen as the spot to open up another front against the terrorists. You may not think it's in Salvador's interest, but if terrorists set off a WMD inside America's borders, the world economy will most likely collapse and Salvador will obviously feel the pain as much as anyone.

"White House arrogance has also turned even reasonable people around the world against the scheme."

I hear people say this all the time. What specifically did the White House do to alienate everyone?

Boli-Nica said...

, Iraq, for a zillion reasons, was chosen as the spot to open up another front against the terrorists. You may not think it's in Salvador's interest, but if terrorists set off a WMD inside America's borders, the world economy will most likely collapse and Salvador will obviously feel the pain as much as anyone. ,

That is pretty hilarious do you really believe that?

Follow closely: Iraq had no WMD, so invading Iraq and occupying it, did not decrease the chances of 'terrorists' blowing WMD in the U.S.

Therefore: El Salvador is not suddenly less at risk from suffering the secondary effects of WMD's due to Iraq invasion.

--Get real, if anything the risk of WMD deaths, might even be more, spending $$$ in Iraq would probably be better spent in buying every damn warhead in the former Soviet Republics.

Easy enough.



,"White House arrogance has also turned even reasonable people around the world against the scheme."

I hear people say this all the time. What specifically did the White House do to alienate everyone?



Dang, that one is so wide open.

1. How about pimping the whole going to war thing, citing faulty/deficient intelligence - which THEY knew at the time was faulty.

2. Getting attacked by terrorists operating out of country A. and then retaliating by invading country B. which for the most part has nothing to do with the terrorists originally based in country A. And then loudly claiming to everyone else that it is the same 'war on terror':p

3. Invading a country, whose ruler was pretty much contained, while terrorist supporters in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Iran, roam around free - and some even have a part in running their countries.

In the larger scheme of things, the U.S. does have to win this war, and democratize Iraq, but if Bush needed to do 'nation-building' in the Middle East, he needed another more useful country - as in one where Al Qaeda was actually in.

Doing a better job in Afghanistan could have been enough.

Tim said...

OK, so how do we set up a PayPal link to take donations? Do we need to set up a separate bank account, or do people just trust that their donations will get there? Is it better done through an existing organization?

Boli-Nica said...

Tim said...
OK, so how do we set up a PayPal link to take donations? Do we need to set up a separate bank account, or do people just trust that their donations will get there? Is it better done through an existing organization?


That is a good question, everytime I have done something like that, has been w/friends, and we normally used one account - obviously would not do that here.

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