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The United States Response to El Salvador

Dublin Core

Title

The United States Response to El Salvador

Subject

El Salvador -- Foreign relations -- United States.
El Salvador -- History –- 1979-1992.

Description

Oral history video clip featuring David Scheffer, United States Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues. This video was originally produced by Media Entertainment, Inc., for the 2000 documentary The Genocide Factor.

Creator

Media Entertainment, Inc.

Source

Genocide Factor Collection, Oral History Program, Tampa Library,
University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida.

Publisher

Tampa, Fla. : University of South Florida Tampa Library.

Date

1999-09-08

Contributor

Scheffer, David

Relation

G36-00066
Tape number: 4060G

Format

video / mp4

Language

English

Type

Oral History

Coverage

United States.

Oral History Item Type Metadata

Interviewer

Prior, Cecily

Interviewee

Scheffer, David

Location

United States Department of State, Washington D.C.

Transcription

Well, in response to some of this criticism of not responding to what occurred in Cambodia in the late 1970s, what was occurring in El Salvador in the 1980s, I think—you know, I cannot really speak for the administrations that controlled this government during that time period. But I would just say that I think we learned a lot of lessons from the 1970s and the ’80s, and we’re trying very hard to apply those lessons now in the 1990s in the Clinton administration. And the lessons include: you must know your information as quickly as possible, and you cannot turn a blind eye to reports coming out of a particular part of the world that crimes in fact are being committed against civilian populations, that there has to be a very forthright response. Now, what that response is will vary depending on the situation, the conflict, what our capabilities are, et cetera; but there must be a response that focuses on that criminal activity, and not one simply assumes that, because it’s halfway around the world, it’s not part of our concern. We don’t have that, shall we say luxury, anymore. And nor do we, nor should we draw particularly from, I think, the lesson of El Salvador that strategic concerns are the only concerns that should be prominent in our scopes. It also has to include many other concerns that involve human rights. And that’s not to say that there was a total absence of concern about human rights in El Salvador, but I think we’ve learned a lesson that there has to be as much prominence as possible in decision-making given to what’s happening to civilians on the ground.

Original Format

Beta tape

Duration

2:32

Citation

Media Entertainment, Inc., “The United States Response to El Salvador ,” USF Library Special & Digital Collections Exhibits, accessed October 20, 2018, http://exhibits.lib.usf.edu/items/show/740.