Further Exploration into Human Rights

An important facet of the Argentine Dirty War was the ideology that drove the mass-murdering

machine of the military junta, as it represents an accurate example of genocidal behavior towards a

civilian population. Language used by Argentine officials demonstrated a clear motivation to eradicate

all political opposition to the regime as well as a determination to silence any potential whistle-blowers

which may have alerted the international community of the atrocities occurring. “First we will kill all

the subversives; then we will kill their collaborators; then…their sympathizers; then…those who

remain indifferent; and finally we will kill the timid.”(Brown, PowerPoint W6, C2) Rhetoric such as

this statement confirm that there was no clear targeting pattern which would justify the methods used

by the government in an attempt to promote national security. In fact, national security did not appear

to be the main reason for the implementation of kidnappings and torture, as many of the victims did not

have knowledge that could have been useful in bolstering security. Instead, it appears that only priority

of the Argentine military government was the stabilization of the regime and the eradication of any

political dissidents. The result was the violation of the basic principles established by international

human rights treaties such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as a complete

disregard to upholding the standards of protecting the civilian population.

The primary obstacle to changing the behavior of the regime was the fact that the military

blatantly killed anybody who was opposed to changing the power dynamic of the situation. This

necessitates that even if a policy-maker had the potential to change the course of action of the

government, doing so would have resulted in being targeted and disappeared. Similarly, the lack of a

civilian government meant the absence of elected political officials who would have had the ability to

change the system from within. Instead, the military was able to silence all dissidents as they controlled

both the political institutions which had the ability to question the methods of the Dirty War as well as

the methods of enforcing policy that would have protected the citizens from their mistreatment. With

such an expansive grasp on the means of domestic control, it would have been very difficult for change

to occur within the system. International influence was instrumental in ending the atrocities of the Dirty

War, as the international community provided security for the Argentinians protesting the actions of the

government as well as provided the means of questioning and interrogating the leaders of the genocide.

Likewise, the dynamic of power in Argentina was ultimately crushed by foreign influence, as the

United Kingdom's victory in the Falkland War destabilized the military junta and probed the regime as

a violator of international human rights. In conclusion, the state had an overwhelming dominance on

domestic means of remedying the situation and thus it was vital that the international community, and

key policy makers from outside of Argentina, play the role of questioning the activity of the Argentine

government in the Dirty War.

Although the implementation of policy to prevent the inhumane treatment of the people of

Argentina was incredibly problematic, the tactics used by the Argentine military junta were deplorable

and violated the fundamental principals of the international human rights regime. The actions taken by

the government should have been denounced and the citizens of Argentina should have demanded that

their government cease their dangerous activity. What occurred during the Dirty War was unfortunate

and reflects the reality of situations in which the opposed people lack the political institutions necessary

to protect the rights of its citizens. If I had been an influential policy maker during this period of time, I

would have advocated for the spreading of information about what was occurring to the international

community as well as domestically so that people could have the ability to react to the injustices that

were occurring. The unfortunate reality of this particular event in history is that the state preserved a

monopoly of control over the spreading of such information, and was therefore successful in

maintaining its gross human rights violations over this period in time. Through this example, the

international community can better prepare itself to handle similar totalitarian regimes, as well as use

this precedent to better identify potential human rights violations at the state level. In conclusion, the

Argentine Dirty War is a prime example of the importance of international cooperation to prevent

systemic abuses of human rights as well as state-sponsored genocide in the future and should be

utilized as a guide for recognizing similar behavior elsewhere around the globe.

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