Us-salvadoran relations reflection in massacre at el mozote

Mark Danner writes that El Mozote epitomized, “the classic debate of the late Cold War: between those who argued that … the United States had no choice but to go on supporting a ‘friendly’ regime, however disreputable … and those who insisted that the country must be willing to wash its hands of what had become a morally corrupting struggle.” (9)

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In what ways was the massacre at El Mozote framed by the terms of that debate? How did it play out in public discussion in the United States?


In addition to Danner’s text, use the following sources to inform your response to this question.

1.       Document 9: Secretary Enders Goes to Congress (208-224)


                Document 11: The Media’s War (229-233) and Document 14: The War’s Over (257-260)

2.       Document 16: The State Department Looks at Itself (272-278)

3.       “The Lesser of Two Evils,” David F. Schmitz (Problems, 201-205)

4.       “The Beliefs behind the Policies,” Lars Schoultz (Problems, 213-218)


a.       Your paper should have an introduction, body and conclusion. The thesis statement (or argument) of your paper should be the answer to the above questions. In the rest of your paper, you should present and analyze important examples (i.e. evidence) in support of your thesis statement.

b.      While you may quote from the texts where appropriate, do not rely on long quotations.

c.       You may use a simple form of citation. If you quote from or paraphrase a specific passage of Mozote, you should include the appropriate page number in parentheses at the end of the sentence. If you are quoting one of the documents in the appendix, include the title of the document along with the page number. For the two pieces in the Problems book, include the name of the author and the page number in parentheses.

d.      Examples:

                                                                           i.      Danner writes that Mozote was “a central parable of the Cold War.” (10)

                                                                         ii.      Enders testified that El Salvador was making progress on human rights. (Enders, 209)

                                                                        iii.      The Wall Street Journal wrote that the village of Mozote was “a battleground of international propaganda.” (War’s Over, 257)

                                                                       iv.      Schmitz argues that policy was driven by the belief that people in the Third World were not prepared for democracy. (Schmitz, 202)

e.      Use standard formatting: 12 pt font, 1” to 1.5” margins, double spaced.





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