Wilson won re-election in 1916, his campaign running on the slogan, 'He kept us out of war.' But he could then betray his anti-war supporters knowing that a rising political coalition - made up, in part, of men looking to redeem a lost war by finding new wars to fight - had his back.
Defenders of Wilson are correct to beg for context when considering his legacy. But it is they who ignore the context: the role Wilson played in using war, including Haiti's racist counterinsurgency, to nationalize white supremacy, militarism, and Christian evangelism.
The CIA's always-useful World Fact book says that a staggering 6.3 million Colombians have been internally displaced (IDP) since 1985, with 'about 300,000 new IDPs each year since 2000,' the year Bill Clinton enacted Plan Colombia. Added up, that's 2.4 million people during Clinton's eight-year presidency.
It is a job requirement of U.S. envoys to El Salvador to be skilled in the art of the threat. And Aponte, named ambassador in 2010, is a pro. In particular, she's been tasked with making sure the former insurgent FMLN, which first won the presidency in 2009 and was reelected in 2014, reconciles itself to neoliberal reality.
Beyond institutional amnesia, a rejection of causal analysis is the existential rock on which American Exceptionalism sits. The United States unique sense of itself depends on an ambiguous relationship to the past. History is affirmed, since it is America's unprecedented historical success that justifies the exceptionalism.