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Trump version of gangster capitalism in foreign policy: Shoot-first-ask-questions-later

Tomahawk salvo in Syria, deployment of anti-missile system in South Korea directed against China (under smoke screen of hysteria about North Korea rocket launches), and deployment of additional troops in Afghanistan is a strange start for former (at least during Presidential campaign)  isolationist;
Trump looks more and and more like Hillary in disguise...

News American Imperialism, Transnational Capitalist Class and Globalization of Capitalism Recommended Links Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Syria civil war Korea saber-rattling Reversal of planned detente with Russia Trump after his Colin Powell moment
New American Militarism Neoconservatism as an attack dog of neoliberalism History of American False Flag Operations Betrayal_of_Michael Flynn Ambush of Russian Su-24 over Syria Hillary Clinton and Obama created ISIS Who Shot down Malaysian flight MH17? Hillary role in Syria bloodbath and first "sarin based" false flag attack
 Obama: a yet another Neocon Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Machiavellism False flag operations as important part of demonization of the enemy strategy Civil war in Ukraine Leo Straus as the godfather of neocons Nulandgate Hillary role in Libya disaster
Torture as an instrument of social control US Presidential Elections of 2016  Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton Jingoism of the US neoliberal elite Anti-Russian hysteria Mayberry Machiavellians Politically Incorrect Humor Etc
  Trump isn’t just flirting with World War III, he’s inviting it. He wants everyone to know that he’s crazy enough to pull the trigger; thinks it’ll help him twist some arms, thinks he can force the big boys to negotiate.

Trump I told Chinese president about Syria airstrikes over dessert TheHill

"Making America first" without isolationalism is essentially the same as US-style "Deutschland Uber Alles" -- a neocon foreign policy with extreme version of nationalism instead of the idea of building global neoliberal empire led by the USA as the only difference. Even though the 1871 meaning of  "Deutschland Uber Alles" was of "Unity, not division, of German states" when the Nazi used it, they gave it the meaning of world domination by military conquest.   Similar things are now happening with "make America Great again" slogan.

The actual content of Trump foreign policy became the same as the dream of US neocons - an unending  and expensive fight for the global empire dominated by the USA as the sole superpower.  With the only difference that in Nazi interpretation that included exterminating certain Undermensch people because of their nationality (Slavs, Jews, Gypsies).  Add  to this Nikki Haley at UN (she is a typical neocon, no questions about it) and the differences with Obama administration by-and-large disappear. Moreover some minor differences that exist are in favor of Obama administrations.

After Trump's 180 degrees reversal and launching Syria rocket attack (which is attack of sovereign nation and as such represents a war crime) Trump positioned himself as typical neocon. The same is true about Trump position on Yemen, so this is not an accidental change of policy.  Not that different from Hillary Clinton.  trump actions were instantly lauded as bipartisan! The Neoliberal, Neocon, corporate alliance has come out of the closet, in a  show of war mongering solidarity.

Before he was elected, he has only one war hawk "point": Saber rattling against Iran. May be two (Iran+Korea). Now he is all over the place with essentially the same level of bellicosity as Hillary Clinton.  Here are signs of his 180  degrees  turn in foreign policy:

  1. Appeasing Israel
  2. Attack of Assad forces in Syria. There was no investigation, not even a hack job to frame Assad up like Bush II did in 2003 with Colin Powell UN address. Trump himself spoke out against the airstrikes in 2013. He demanded a formal declaration of war by congress “unconstitutional if not”. Pointed out just how stupid and destructive such a decision would be…
  3. Cooperation with KSA in Yemen war
  4. Implicit cooperation with al Qaeda in Syria.
  5. Saber rattling with North Korea.
  6. Troops increase of Afghanistan without clear policy goal ("kick the can down the road"). Rumors are that Trump wants to exploit Afghanistan mineral riches to offset the costs, but  rocks are heavy and roads are bad and controlled by  Taliban.
  7. Elimination from the administration people who were countervailing force against neocon influence (such as Bannon).

Here are a couple of comments from Asia Times

Maziar Khoshsima Apr 13, 2017 3:14pm
There are so many "petty dictators" in the Middle-East, I wander why all the concentration is on the removal of Assad by US and its allies. Is it not because:
  1. Although Saudi and (Persian) Gulf Arab dictators are worse than Assad in all aspects, it is of the interest of US to protect these dictators.
  2. US policy solidified by Bush II was articulated beautifully and honestly as “either you are with us or against us.” That means either you serve my interest or the consequence will be your destruction and removal.
  3. Arab dictators serve US interest so in return there will be a guarantee that they will be protected by mafia boss, namely US.
  4. Main US partner, Western Europe is also the share holder in this so called humanitarian endeavor to bring peace and stability in the Middle East. Whereas the truth is mafia boss and its Western gang are after exploitation of the neighborhood while they have traitors who work for them (Turkey and Arab dictators)
  5. Why Assad? Well, Assad is Nuisance to Israel’s expansion. He opposed Israel contrary to Turkish and Arab beggars who constantly lick the rear end’s hole of the Jewish State.
  6. Assad helped Iran to block Israel from further atrocities in Lebanon and hopefully in Palestine.
  7.  could go on and on. It is the story of Western domination and exploitation were it is being collaborated by Turk and Arab traitors so that like dogs, a loaf of bread somehow will be thrown at them by their master and owner, USA.
Mofakkerul Islam · Police Lines School & College, Rangpur
This bastard dog is one-eyed.He can only see the crime of ASAD not others in the ME.

The best analysis of Trump betrayal ("tuning of dime") in foreign policy  (which means betrayal of his voters in best style of the "king of bait and switch" Obama) was done by Justin Raymondo:

Behind Trump’s Syria Turnabout

Trump came into office touting his “America First agenda,” disdaining NATO, and asking “Why is it a bad thing to get along with Russia?” He told us he abjured “regime change” and held up Libya as an example of bad policy. Now he’s turned on a dime, bombing Syria, and welcoming tiny (and troubled) Montenegro into NATO. His intelligence agencies are even accusing Russia of having advance knowledge of the alleged chemical attack in Syria (although the White House disputed that after it got out). And all this in the first one hundred days!

How did this happen? It’s easy to explain, once you understand that there is no such thing as foreign policy: all policy is domestic.

That’s the core principle at the heart of what I call “libertarian realism,” the overarching theory – if such a grandiose term can be applied to what is simply common sense – that explains what is happening on the world stage at any particular moment. And there is no better confirmation of this principle than the recent statement by Eric Trump, the President’s son, who said: “If there was anything that Syria [strike] did, it was to validate the fact that there is no Russia tie.”

Oh yes, and Ivanka was “heartbroken” – and so it was incumbent upon the President to change course, break a major campaign promise, and declare via his Secretary of State that “Assad must go.”

Got it.

Trump’s Syrian turnabout is clearly a response to the coordinated attack launched on his presidency by the combined efforts of the Deep State, the media, the Democrats, and the McCain-Graham-neocon wing of the GOP – a campaign that still might destroy him, despite his capitulation to the War Party.

Vladimir Putin has likened the current Syria imbroglio to what happened in Iraq, with claims of “weapons of mass destruction” and a war fought on the basis of false intelligence, but there is one major difference: this time, the bombing came first, with the “evidence” an afterthought. You’ll recall that in the run up to the invasion of Iraq there was an extended and quite elaborate propaganda campaign designed to make the case for war. Now, however, that process has been reversed: bombing first, “evidence” later.

Speaking of which, Bloomberg national security reporter Eli Lake tells us that the US is about to release a “dossier” explaining the rationale for the Syria strike: it is “short on specific intelligence” but long on “its refutation of Russian disinformation.” As in the case of the “Russian interference in the election” narrative, we’ll doubtless be told that protecting “sources and methods” precludes us peons from seeing the actual “intelligence.” Ours is not to question why, ours is but to do and die, as the old saw goes: but is that – not to mention the moral imperative of safeguarding Ivanka’s fragile emotional state – really enough to justify a 180-degree shift in US foreign policy?

The real significance of this “dossier” has little to do with justifying the Syria strike insofar as actual evidence of Assad’s alleged crime is concerned, and more with signaling to the heretofore hostile “intelligence community’ and political actors in the US that the days of President Trump trying to achieve détente with Russia are over. As Lake points out:

“But it is really the report’s condemnation of the Russian response that is most striking. Trump has sought to reset the relationship with Moscow, as President Barack Obama hoped to do in 2009 and 2010. Now, one U.S. official tells me, Russian officials in phone calls with their Trump administration counterparts repeated in private the same propaganda lines their government was issuing in public. ‘That has led to a lot of frustration at the highest levels of the government,’ this official said.“

Translation: Forget getting along with Russia – just call off your bloodhounds.

We now have Putin warning that more “provocations” are in store, with some pretty specific details supplied. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least, but we’ll have to wait and see if that pans out. In the meantime, however, three factors are percolating in the mix:

  1. Our spooks, not content with having turn around of  the Trump administration on Syria policy, won’t let up on the alleged “Russian foreknowledge” angle. These guys mean business.
  2. The previously stalled effort to overthrow Assad by funding and arming the Islamist savages championed by McCain, Graham, & Co. will recommence, with some success, and
  3. The campaign to smear Trump as a Kremlin tool will continue, unabated, with both the House and Senate investigations barreling full speed ahead, with plenty of help from the “former intelligence officials.” They aren’t about to let Trump off the hook quite so easily.

What all this shows is how far removed the making of US foreign policy is from actual facts on the ground, and the rational calculation of American interests. What it all comes back to is how it serves the political interests of those in power – and those who aspire after power. Facts have nothing to do with it except insofar as they can be manipulated – or created – so as to fit a preexisting agenda.

There are very few good arguments for striking out at the Syrian government. One of the pseudo-credible ones is that the use of sarin and other similar weapons, if allowed to go unpunished, would hurt our legitimate interests, since their use would then become pandemic. The riposte is that anyone who would even consider using such weapons is not likely to be deterred by US retaliation, no matter how swift.

In any case, this raises the question: did Bashar al-Assad drop sarin gas on a bunch of civilians at Idlib? Despite the rush to judgment, we don’t know the answer to that question, but several factors make it unlikely. He was winning the civil war, and this, if you’ll pardon the expression, seems like overkill. Furthermore, for years the Syrian rebels have been doing their damnedest to frame Assad for just such a heinous crime in order to provoke US intervention on their behalf, to little avail – until now. Their record speaks for itself.

If indeed Assad is guilty, then it’s conceivable – although I would disagree – that one could make an argument for a one-off warning strike. Yet that is not what we’re seeing at all: already, Secretary of State Tillerson is echoing that old Obama-Clinton slogan, “Assad must go.” This isn’t a one-off: it’s a complete reversal of what candidate Trump said he’d do once in office.

As I said in my last column, the silver lining is that many of Trump’s prominent supporters – and former supporters – are waking up to the importance of non-interventionism as one of the pillars of “Trump_vs_deep_state.” Their former hero’s betrayal is putting them on a learning curve – and the best of them will come out the other side with a new awareness of what “America First” really means.

On the other hand, we are going to have to live with the consequences of this terrible turnabout – not all of which are readily apparent, and none of which redound to the benefit of the United States and its citizens. 

Here is a couple of comments from Guardian:

Robert Rudolph 12 Apr 2017 17:40

Instead, the western powers have followed the example cited by Machiavelli: "in order to prove their liberality, they allowed Pistoia to be destroyed."

... ... ...

Cedar

In late 2015, Eren Erdem, a Turkish MP, said in Parliament that the Turkish state was permitting Da'esh to send sarin precursors to Syria. He had a file of evidence, so was accused of treason for accessing and publicising confidential material. The investigation into the people responsible for the transfer of toxic chemicals was shut down.

That surely ought to make us at least ask evidence-seeking questions about the Idlib gas attack before yet again demanding regime change.

Al-Assad is certainly capable of murdering opponents, and not bothering too much about collateral damage, but strategically it makes no sense for him to do this now, when peace talks under the aegis of Russia and Iran have begun, and the world is watching. Also, Assad has been engaged in a reconciliation process, allowing members of the FSA to return to the Syrian army, and Aleppans remain in Damascus if they didn't wish to go to Idlib. At such a juncture, using chemical weapons would be counter-productive. If Sarin was used at his command, he should be properly prosecuted: but bombing a Syrian air base merely assists Da'esh and its cronies.

unsouthbank

I have just watched the press conference in which Trump labelled Assad a butcher, and went on again about dead babies. I just wish that someone at one of these conferences would have the guts to point out to Trump his own butchery. Anyone watching this performance would think that US forces had never been responsible for killing innocent civilians, men, women, children and babies. To listen to Trump, you wouldn't think that US forces had ever killed over 150 civilians in Mosul, dozens in Raqqa, or had bombed hospitals in Afghanistan, or schools in Iraq, or were supporting the Saudi blockade of Yemen resulting in the starvation of children and babies, or had destroyed wedding parties with drones,.....I could go on. If Assad is a butcher, he is only a junior, apprentice, corner-shop butcher. Trump is the real thing, the large-scale, wholesale, expert butcher.

The attack on Syrian airbase without any serious investigation, done purely as PR stunt (as somebody called it "military twit"). Which was probably dictated by desperation from unrelenting attacks of neocons and globalists along the lines "Trump is the Russian agent".  Trump witch hung became the pasture of Democratic Party, which during Hillary Clinton campaign successfully converted itself into the second War Party, competing with Republicans in jingoism "on equals"..

Now after Syria was hit with tomahawks neocons and subservant to them MSM like CNN and MCNBC (with this despicable military-industrial complex pressitute Rachel Maddow really excited about this attack) are happy and are less Trump problem.  But political calculation directed on making peace with neocon "at any cost" have consequences for Trump.

It is clear to everybody that Trump bowed to NeoCon pressure. He was supposed to be different. But then so was Obama. 300,000 people have died in Syria during Obama presidency. Were deaths of those killed by bombs and bullets any less tragic? Who is funding, arming and supporting ISIS? Are not those countries America allies?

So it is logical to assume that Trump "retaliation" was not about dead children. It was a signal to allies such as Turkey and KSA that the course is unchanged and  the USA will continue to pursue anti Assad/Iran/Russia policy in the region, no matter what will be the costs.  Again, 300,000 have died already under Novel Peace winner who initiated this Syrian quagmire and destabilized yet another ME country. All according to PNAC plan. 

First of all Trump voters have memory. On April 6 he might completely lost anti-war right, which was an important part of his base. As well as a large part of paleoconservatives. To say nothing that his administration demonstrated absolute, utter incompetence dealing with Obamacare. 

Russians also have memory. They still remember the stunts the US pulled under Reagan, Bush I and Clinton. Especially attempts to dismember the country and convert it into vassal state under Clinton,  using corrupt puppet regime of drunken Yeltsin and his neoliberal "advisors" from Harvard  as a tool (aka economic rape of Russia).  Of course after being weakened to the standard of living dropped to $1 a day per person -- the level of object poverty.  all due to Harvard "friends" like Sachs ( see Harvard Mafia, Andrei Shleifer and the economic rape of Russia.)  Russia needs time to recuperate and restore its economics. So it is not interested is premature skirmishes with Uncle Sam.

This is the age of disinformation. Even facts prevented via video can be false as vidio now id often staged. As in all similar recent events there are more questions then answers in this story. http://www.dw.com/en/is-assad-to-blame-for-the-chemical-weapons-attack-in-syria/a-38330217

General context:

Only few undisputed facts are know about Khan Sheikhoun attack

The "known unknown" area is much larger.  Even basic facts are disputed  (was it "sarin"; was it air attack of munitions depot explosion? what is staged event (aka false flag operation) or a blunder by Assad forces which accidentally hit chemical depot in a school or close to a school.  Here is attempt to collect the most interesting questions about this event that I have found in various forums (collected from foreign sources, mostly from British and German): 

  1. Is not unilateral military intervention in a sovereign country that does not threaten the USA constituting an act of aggression, a war crime by the UN statute? Or, as an exceptional nation, the USA is above the UN...

  2. How can journalists and Western diplomats be so lacking in the desire or ability to question what they are told? http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2017/04/its-wmd-all-over-again-why-dont-you-see-it-.html, The Kremlin issued a statement saying that Russian President Vladimir Putin found it "unacceptable to make groundless accusations against anyone without conducting a detailed and unbiased investigation."

  3. Cue bono?  Effectively the USA acted as Al Nustra (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Nusra_Front) air force. Which promptly initiated an attack on government forces in Palmira.  Does this means that the USA foreign policy in Syria is now aligned with Gulf monarchies policy and Israeli policies of dismembering this country and establishing a permanent Al Nusra Caliphate on the part of the territory as well as  possibly Kurdish enclave ?  The Syrian regime may not have had a compelling motive, believes Günther Meyer, the director of the Research Center for the Arab World at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz. "Only armed opposition groups could profit from an attack with chemical weapons," he told DW. "With their backs against the wall, they have next to no chance of opposing the regime militarily. As President [Donald] Trump's recent statements show, such actions make it possible for anti-Assad groups to receive further support."http://www.dw.com/en/is-assad-to-blame-for-the-chemical-weapons-attack-in-syria/a-38330217 Is not Israel the major beneficiary of this bombing? Syrians shot down an Israeli jet a week before using this airbase. Now this airbase is destroyed.

  4. On April 3, the USA government announced that the US is no longer insisting that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has to step aside. The attack happened on April 4th, a day after.  On April 6 after the attack, but before any investigation, the USA goverment  changed its mind. Did Trump reneg on his promises to fight ISIS and establishing détente with Russia after unprecedented attack by neocons in Washington and folded?   Removal of Bannon might be connected. Does this mean that Trump metamorphosed into Hillary Clinton in around 100 days in office? Or does that mean that the president does not matter and deep state rules the country?

  5. Previous sarin attack was a false flag: The attack took place while UN weapons inspectors were in the country, on Assad's invitation, said Meyer. Assad had asked them to investigate a chemical weapons attack from March 2013 outside Aleppo, which killed Syrian soldiers. Former weapons inspector Richard Lloyd and MIT professor Theodore Postol cast further doubt on Assad's role in the Ghouta attack. They reported in 2014 that the chemical weapons could have only been fired from rebel-held territory, with a range of up to 2.5 kilometers (1.6 miles).

  6. The Nusra Front's weapons include chemical weapons and they inflicted casualties on Syrian army.  This Al Qaeda affiliate is today the most significant rebel group in the northern Syrian province of Idlib. Along with other jihadi groups, it has turned itself into the "de facto ruler of Idlib." Syrian government reiterated the claim, echoed by Moscow, that the tragedy occurred because the rebels had been stockpiling sarin gas, and the Syrian army had no way of knowing it was there.

  7. What will be consequences (other then deserved Nobel Peace Price for Trump) for the USA if the investigation implicated the rebels? BTW none of "volunteers" treating victims died from poisoning, despite working without HASMAT suits, which suggest that at least "sarin" version is bogus. 

  8. What was the function of the buildings hit by air strike (hitting a depot of chemical weapons is the Russian version of events)?  it is clear they they were in or close to residential area were those private residences or not is unclear. What was exact time of Assad forces attack? Rebels are known to store munitions in schools and mosques to protect them from air strikes. Why so many children were affected if only two houses were hit. Outside school,  in Syria  children are usually accompanied by women. There were  less victims among adults.

  9. Are we one step closer to the hot conventional war with Russia instead of promised by Trump to voters "détente"? Will Russia retaliates or not ?  It did not retaliated military when Turkish air forces shot down its bomber which was on mission without fighters escort, so let’s hope it will not this time too.  Russia did suspend 2015 memorandum of understanding on the air operations ( https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/russia-condemns-us-missile-strike-on-syria/2017/04/07/c81ea12a-1b4e-11e7-8003-f55b4c1cfae2_story.html )

    Under the pact, the two countries have traded information about flights by a U.S.-led coalition targeting the Islamic State and Russian planes operating in Syria in support of the Assad government. Moscow was taking its action, the Defense Ministry said, because it sees the U.S. strike “as a grave violation of the memorandum.”


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Old News ;-)

[May 13, 2019] Crappy little countries

This was true about Iraq war. This is true about Venezuela and Syria.
Notable quotes:
"... In a rather odd article in the London Review of Books , Perry Anderson argued that there wasn't, and wondered aloud why the U.S. war on Iraq had excited such unprecedented worldwide opposition - even, in all places, within the U.S. - when earlier episodes of imperial violence hadn't. ..."
"... Lots of people, in the U.S. and abroad, recognize that and are alarmed. And lots also recognize that the Bush regime represents an intensification of imperial ambition. ..."
"... Why? The answers aren't self-evident. Certainly the war on Iraq had little to do with its public justifications. Iraq was clearly a threat to no one, and the weapons of mass destruction have proved elusive. The war did nothing for the fight against terrorism. Only ideologues believe that Baghdad had anything to do with al Qaeda - and if the Bush administration were really worried about "homeland security," it'd be funding the defense of ports, nuclear reactors, and chemical plants rather than starting imperial wars and alienating people by the billions. Sure, Saddam's regime was monstrous - which is one of the reasons Washington supported it up until the invasion of Kuwait. The Ba'ath Party loved to kill Communists - as many as 150,000 according to some estimates - and the CIA's relationship with Saddam goes back to 1959 . ..."
"... Iraq has lots of oil , and there's little doubt that that's why it was at the first pole of the axis of evil to get hit. (Iran does too, but it's a much tougher nut to crack - four times as big, and not weakened by war and sanctions.) ..."
Apr 30, 2003 | www.leftbusinessobserver.com

Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small c rappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business.
- Michael Ledeen , holder of the Freedom Chair at the American Enterprise Institute

Actually, the U.S. had been beating Iraq's head against the wall for a dozen years, with sanctions and bombing. The sanctions alone killed over a million Iraqis, far more than have been done in by weapons of mass destruction throughout history. But Ledeen's indiscreet remark, delivered at an AEI conference and reported by Jonah Goldberg in National Review Online , does capture some of what the war on Iraq is about.

And what is this "business" Ledeen says we mean? Oil, of course, of which more in a bit. Ditto construction contracts for Bechtel. But it's more than that - nothing less than the desire, often expressed with little shame nor euphemism, to run the world. Is there anything new about that?

The answer is, of course, yes and no. In a rather odd article in the London Review of Books , Perry Anderson argued that there wasn't, and wondered aloud why the U.S. war on Iraq had excited such unprecedented worldwide opposition - even, in all places, within the U.S. - when earlier episodes of imperial violence hadn't. Anderson, who's edited New Left Review for years, but who has almost no connection to actual politics attributed this strange explosion not to a popular outburst of anti-imperialism, but to a cultural antipathy to the Bush administration.

Presumably that antipathy belongs to the realm of the " merely cultural ," and is of no great political significance to Anderson. But it should be. U.S. culture has long been afflicted with a brutally reactionary and self-righteous version of Christian fundamentalism, but it's never had such influence over the state. The president thinks himself on a mission from God, the Attorney General opens the business day with a prayer meeting, and the Pentagon's idea of a Good Friday service is to invite Franklin Graham , who's pronounced Islam a "wicked and evil religion," to deliver the homily, in which he promised that Jesus was returning soon. For the hard core, the Iraq war is a sign of the end times, and the hard core are in power.

Lots of people, in the U.S. and abroad, recognize that and are alarmed. And lots also recognize that the Bush regime represents an intensification of imperial ambition. Though the administration has been discreet, many of its private sector intellectuals have been using the words "imperialism" and " empire " openly and with glee. Not everyone of the millions who marched against the war in the months before it started was a conscious anti-imperialist, but they all sensed the intensification, and were further alarmed.

While itself avoiding the difficult word "empire," the Bush administration has been rather clear about its long-term aims. According to their official national security strategy and the documents published by the Project for a New American Century (which served as an administration-in-waiting during the Clinton years) their goal is to assure U.S. dominance and prevent the emergence of any rival powers. First step in that agenda is the remaking of the Middle East - and they're quite open about this as well. We all know the countries that are on the list; the only remaining issues are sequence and strategy. But that's not the whole of the agenda. They're essentially promising a permanent state of war, some overt, some covert, but one that could take decades.

Imperial returns?

Why? The answers aren't self-evident. Certainly the war on Iraq had little to do with its public justifications. Iraq was clearly a threat to no one, and the weapons of mass destruction have proved elusive. The war did nothing for the fight against terrorism. Only ideologues believe that Baghdad had anything to do with al Qaeda - and if the Bush administration were really worried about "homeland security," it'd be funding the defense of ports, nuclear reactors, and chemical plants rather than starting imperial wars and alienating people by the billions. Sure, Saddam's regime was monstrous - which is one of the reasons Washington supported it up until the invasion of Kuwait. The Ba'ath Party loved to kill Communists - as many as 150,000 according to some estimates - and the CIA's relationship with Saddam goes back to 1959 .

Iraq has lots of oil , and there's little doubt that that's why it was at the first pole of the axis of evil to get hit. (Iran does too, but it's a much tougher nut to crack - four times as big, and not weakened by war and sanctions.)

It now looks fairly certain that the U.S. will, in some form, claim some large piece of Iraq's oil. The details need to be worked out; clarifying the legal situation could be very complicated, given the rampantly illegal nature of the regime change. Rebuilding Iraq's oil industry will be very expensive and could take years. There could be some nice profits down the line for big oil companies - billions a year - but the broader economic benefits for the U.S. aren't so clear. A U.S.-dominated Iraq could pump heavily and undermine OPEC, but too low an oil price would wreck the domestic U.S. oil industry, something the Bush gang presumably cares about. Mexico would be driven into penury, which could mean another debt crisis and lots of human traffic heading north over the Rio Grande. Lower oil prices would be a boon to most industrial economies, but they'd give the U.S. no special advantage over its principal economic rivals.

It's sometimes said that U.S. dominance of the Middle East gives Washington a chokehold over oil supplies to Europe and Japan. But how might that work? Deep production cutbacks and price spikes would hurt everyone. Targeted sales restrictions would be the equivalent of acts of war, and if the U.S. is willing to take that route, a blockade would be a lot more efficient. The world oil market is gigantic and complex, and it's not clear how a tap could be turned in Kirkuk that would shut down the gas pumps in Kyoto or Milan.

Writers like David Harvey argue that the U.S. is trying to compensate for its eroding economic power by asserting its military dominance. Maybe. It's certainly fascinating that Bush's unilateralism has to be financed by gobs of foreign money - and he gets his tax cuts, he'll have to order up even bigger gobs. But it's hard to see what rival threatens the U.S. economically; neither the EU nor Japan is thriving. Nor is there any evidence that the Bush administration is thinking seriously about economic policy, domestic or international, or even thinking at all. The economic staff is mostly dim and marginal. What really seems to excite this gang of supposed conservatives is the exercise of raw state power.

Jealous rivals

And while the Bushies want to prevent the emergence of imperial rivals , they may only be encouraging that. Sure, the EU is badly divided within itself; it has a hard enough time picking a top central banker , let alone deciding on a common foreign policy. German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder is already semi-apologizing to Bush for his intemperate language in criticizing the war - not that Bush has started taking his calls. But over the longer term, some kind of political unification is Europe's only hope for acting like a remotely credible world power. It's tempting to read French and German objections to the Iraq war as emerging not from principle, but from the wounded narcissism of former imperial powers rendered marginal by American might. Separately, they'll surely hang. But a politically united Europe could, with time, come to challenge U.S. power, just as the euro is beginning to look like a credible rival to the dollar.

(Speaking of the euro, there's a theory circulating on the net that the U.S. went to war because Iraq wanted to price its oil in euros, not dollars. That's grossly overheated speculation. More on this and related issues when LBO begins an investigation of the political economy of oil in the next issue.)

An even more interesting rivalry scenario would involve an alliance of the EU and Russia. Russia is no longer the wreck it was for most of the 1990s. The economy has been growing and the mildly authoritarian Putin has imposed political stability. Russia, which has substantial oil interests in Iraq that are threatened by U.S. control, strongly opposed the war, and at least factions within the Russian intelligence agency were reportedly feeding information unfriendly to the U.S. to the website Iraqwar.ru . There's a lot recommending an EU-Russia alliance; Europe could supply technology and finance, and Russia could supply energy, and together they could constitute at least an embryonic counterweight to U.S. power.

So the U.S. may not get out of Iraq what the Bush administration is hoping for. It certainly can't want democracy in Iraq or the rest of the region, since free votes could well lead to nationalist and Islamist governments who don't view ExxonMobil as the divine agent that Bush seems to. A New York Times piece celebrated the outbreak of democracy in Basra, while conceding that the mayor is a former Iraqi admiral appointed by the British. The lead writers of the new constitution are likely to be American law professors; Iraqis, of course, aren't up to the task themselves.

Certainly the appointment of Lt. Gen. Jay M. Garner (Ret.) - one of the few superannuated brass not to have enjoyed a consulting contract with a major TV network - to be the top civilian official guiding the postwar reconstruction of Iraq speaks volumes. A retired general is barely a civilian, and Garner's most recent job was as president of SY Technology , a military contractor that worked with Israeli security in developing the Arrow antimissile system. He loves antimissile systems; after the first Gulf War, he enthused about the Patriot's performance with claims that turned out to be nonsense. He's on record as having praised Israel's handling of the intifada. If that's his model of how to handle restive subject populations, there's lots of trouble ahead.

lightness

In the early days of the war, when things weren't going so well for the "coalition," it was said that the force was too light. But after the sandstorm cleared and the snipers were mowed down, that alleged lightness became a widely praised virtue. But that force was light only by American standards: 300,000 troops; an endless rain of Tomahawks, JDAMs, and MOABs; thousands of vehicles, from Humvees to Abrams tanks; hundreds of aircraft, from Apaches to B-1s; several flotillas of naval support - and enormous quantities of expensive petroleum products. It takes five gallons of fuel just to start an Abrams tank, and after that it gets a mile per gallon. And filling one up is no bargain. Though the military buys fuel at a wholesale price of 84¢ a gallon, after all the expenses of getting it to the front lines are added in, the final cost is about $150 a gallon. That's a steal compared to Afghanistan, where fuel is helicoptered in, pushing the cost to $600/gallon. Rummy's "lightness" is of the sort that only a $10 trillion economy can afford.

The Bush gang doesn't even try to keep up appearances, handing out contracts for Iraq's reconstruction to U.S. firms even before the shooting stopped, and guarding only the oil and interior ministries against looters. If Washington gets its way, Iraq will be rebuilt according to the fondest dreams of the Heritage Foundation staff, with the educational system reworked by an American contractor, the TV programmed by the Pentagon, the ports run by a rabidly antiunion firm, the police run by the Texas-based military contractor Dyncorp , and the oil taken out of state hands and appropriately privatized.

That's the way they'd like it to be. But the sailing may not be so smooth. It looks like Iraqis are viewing the Americans as occupiers, not liberators. It's going to be hard enough to remake Iraq that taking on Syria or Iran may be a bit premature. But that doesn't mean they won't try. It's a cliché of trade negotiations that liberalization is like riding a bicycle - you have to keep riding forward or else you'll fall over. The same could be said of an imperial agenda: if you want to remake the world, or a big chunk of it, there's little time to pause and catch your breath, since doubt or opposition could gain the upper hand. Which makes stoking that opposition more urgent than ever.

Losing it all

There's a feeling around that Bush is now politically invulnerable . Certainly the atmosphere is one of almost coercive patriotism. That mood was nicely illustrated by an incident in Houston in mid-March. A teenager attending a rodeo failed to stand along with the rest of the crowd during a playing of Lee Greenwood's "Proud to be an American," a dreadful country song that has become a kind of private-sector national anthem for the yahoo demographic, thanks to its truculent unthinking jingoism. A patriot standing behind the defiantly seated teen started taunting him, tugging on his ear as an additional provocation. The two ended up in a fight, and then under arrest.

There's a lot of that going around, for sure. Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins get disinvited from events, websites nominate traitors for trial by military tribunal, and talk radio hosts organize CD-smashings. But things aren't hopeless. A close analysis of Greenwood's text might suggest why. The song's core argument is contained in its two most famous lines: "I'm proud to be an American/where at least I know I'm free." But the oft-overlooked opening reads: "If tomorrow all the things were gone/I'd worked for all my life," the singer would still be a grateful patriot. That's precisely the condition lots of Americans find themselves in. More than two million jobs have disappeared in the last two years. Millions of Americans have seen their retirement savings wiped out by the bear market, and over a million filed for bankruptcy last year. Most states and cities are experiencing their worst fiscal crises since the 1930s, with massive service cuts and layoffs imminent. In the song, such loss doesn't matter, but reality is often less accommodating than a song.

As the nearby graphs show, W's ratings are much lower than his father's at the end of Gulf War I, and his disapproval ratings much higher. Their theocratic and repressive agenda is deeply unpopular with large parts of the U.S. population. Spending scores of billions on destroying and rebuilding Iraq while at home health clinics are closing and teachers working without pay is potentially incendiary. Foreign adventures have never been popular with the American public (much to the distress of the ruling elite). An peace movement that could draw the links among warmongering, austerity, and repression has great political potential. Just a month or two ago, hundreds of thousands were marching in American streets to protest the imminent war. Though that movement now looks a bit dispirited and demobilized, it's unlikely that that kind of energy will just disappear into the ether.

[May 11, 2019] From Russiagate to Gunboat Diplomacy by Branko Marcetic

Notable quotes:
"... Particularly shameless was Florida Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart, who went on Tucker Carlson's show to peddle half-baked innuendo as brazen as anything claimed in the lead up to the Iraq War. If Maduro's government survived, he claimed, it would be "a green light, an open door for the Russians and for the Chinese and for others to increase their activity against our national security interest right here in our hemisphere." ..."
May 11, 2019 | jacobinmag.com

Russiagate hysteria is already being used to push Trump into an act of armed aggression against Venezuela. It's a disastrous result of a pointless delusion.

One of the things Russiagate skeptics found unsettling about the frenzy over supposed "collusion" was that it made war more likely. Not only did the now-debunked conspiracy theories and resulting political climate push officials into a more aggressive posture toward Russia, but once the Kremlin was returned to its status as the foreign policy elite's Big Bad, it was easy to imagine a situation where the threat of a Russian bogeyman could be used to justify any number of unrelated foreign adventures. This appears to be exactly what's happening with Venezuela right now.

First there was Fareed Zakaria, who two months ago tried to goad Trump into attacking Venezuela by pointing to Russia's support for Maduro. "Putin's efforts seem designed to taunt the United States," he said (it might also have something to do with the billions of dollars Russia sank into the country), making reference to the Monroe Doctrine. He asked if Washington would "allow Moscow to make a mockery of another American red line," warning that "if Washington does not back its words with deeds" the country could become another Syria. Zakaria concluded: "will Venezuela finally be the moment when Trump finally ends his appeasement?"

More recently, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo charged that Russia had "invaded" Venezuela before claiming the Kremlin had dissuaded Maduro from fleeing the country at the last moment, something Pompeo has provided no evidence for but much of the media has treated as fact since.

National Security Advisor John Bolton has said that "this is our hemisphere" and "not where the Russians ought to be interfering." Democratic Sen. Doug Jones echoed this sentiment on CNN, praising the Trump administration for saying "all options are on the table" to deal with Venezuela, something he suggested may have to be acted on "if there is some more intervention [by] Russia."

The national press, taking a break from warning about Trump being a dangerous authoritarian, has been demanding to know why he hasn't been more aggressive toward the country over this.

Particularly shameless was Florida Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart, who went on Tucker Carlson's show to peddle half-baked innuendo as brazen as anything claimed in the lead up to the Iraq War. If Maduro's government survived, he claimed, it would be "a green light, an open door for the Russians and for the Chinese and for others to increase their activity against our national security interest right here in our hemisphere."

He went on to claim that Russia had already placed nuclear missiles in the country, and that it could lead to a Cuban missile crisis-like conflict. There is no evidence this is true, and Díaz-Balart didn't provide any.

Of course, no coverage of the Trump administration's relations with Russia would be complete without a trip into Rachel Maddow's fractured psyche. After Trump repeated Putin's personal assurances that he wasn't interested in getting involved in Venezuela -- contradicting Pompeo and Bolton -- Maddow addressed the two officials :

Hey John Bolton, hey Mike Pompeo, are you guys enjoying your jobs right now? You each thought your job this week was to name and shame and threaten and counter Russian government involvement in Venezuela while saber-rattling about how everybody else better get out of the way because the US is really mad about it. Guys, turns out your actual job is figuring out how and why you work for a president who says whatever Vladimir Putin tells him.

Maddow went on to express her sympathy for one of the most unhinged warmongers in a city teeming with them ("I mean, John Bolton, God bless you"), and again seemed to suggest that Bolton's "job" of "push[ing] Russia back because of what they're doing in Venezuela" was the correct course of action.

It's now clear there is nothing -- not Trump's years-long belligerence toward Russia's Venezuelan ally, not his near-constant bellicosity toward Russia since taking office, not Robert Mueller's failure to indict a single person for conspiring with Russia, not even his report's explicit and implicit denial that any such conspiracy existed -- that will make these people give up the talking point that Trump is secretly in bed with Putin. If Mueller himself denied it, they would claim he was a Russian in disguise. It's simply too convenient an attack line, and too professionally embarrassing to admit otherwise.

There is also an Orwellian level of doublethink going on here. Russia, a Venezuelan ally, has sent personnel and equipment to the country with the consent of its government at a time when it's being threatened by multiple hostile regional powers. Meanwhile the US, one of those hostile powers, has for years been laying siege to the country and killing its people, trying to destabilize and oust its leadership, and even threatening to invade it.

Yet according to the media and political class, it's Russia's actions that are an unacceptable intrusion into another country's affairs -- an "invasion," even. They are holding up four fingers to your face and telling you you're seeing five.

Meanwhile, these same quarters, after spending close to three years hyperventilating about Russia's meddling in domestic US affairs -- an "act of war," in some minds -- have now seamlessly pivoted to cheering Trump as he attempts to engineer a change of Venezuela's government, even calling for him to possibly attack the country. This is glaringly hypocritical, but the Russiagate frenzy was never about principled outrage or any sort of moral consistency.

Lastly and most significantly, the rhetoric around Venezuela is now taking on an explicitly imperialistic character, in the most literal sense of that word. Zakaria invoked the Monroe Doctrine to urge Trump to intervene in Venezuela; National Security Advisor John Bolton "proudly proclaim[ed]" upon launching a fresh round of sanctions that "the Monroe Doctrine is alive and well," and one MSNBC guest insisted the Trump administration was "right in being completely flabbergasted" at Russia's presence in the country because "this is our hemisphere," echoing Bolton .

When these figures talk about "our hemisphere," they don't mean the hemisphere in which the US happens to be located; they mean this is literally their hemisphere. The US is the imperial power with dominion over this part of the world, and only it has the right to interfere in the countries that populate it.

Their objection is not that an outside power is involving itself in a Latin American country's business, but that this outside power isn't the one in Washington. The fact that the US has been doing this very thing for years in Russia's part of the world -- expanding NATO right up to its border, sending weapons to Ukraine -- goes conveniently unmentioned.

Russiagate skeptics were criticized for being hyperbolic in comparing that scandal to the bogus WMD tale that led to the Iraq War; the latter, after all, killed hundreds of thousands and destabilized an entire region. But the full consequences of Russiagate will not be felt immediately; they will unfold over time. And while floating the specter of Russia might not work this time, expect it to be used over and over in the coming years to justify all manner of military aggression .

[May 11, 2019] Leaked USA s Feb 2018 Plan For A Coup In Venezuela

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... It was comprehensive -- directing military, diplomatic, and propaganda, policies -- regarding the Trump Administration's planned "Overthrow" of Venezuela's Government. His plan has since guided the Administration's entire operation, including "the capacities of the psychological war," regarding Venezuela. ..."
"... Encouraging popular dissatisfaction by increasing scarcity and rise in price of the foodstuffs, medicines and other essential goods for the inhabitants. Making more harrowing and painful the scarcities of the main basic merchandises." ... ..."
"... intensifying the undercapitalization of the country, the leaking out of foreign currency and the deterioration of its monetary base, bringing about the application of new inflationary measures." ... ..."
"... Fully obstruct imports, and at the same time discouraging potential foreign investors in order to make the situation more critical for the population." ... compelling him to fall into mistakes that generate greater distrust and rejection domestically" ... ..."
"... To besiege him, to ridicule him and to pose him as symbol of awkwardness and incompetence. To expose him as a puppet of Cuba." ... ..."
"... Structuring a plan to get the profuse desertion of the most qualified professionals from the country, in order 'to leave it with no professionals at all', which will aggravate even more the internal situation and along these lines putting the blame on of Government." ..."
May 05, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Leaked: USA's Feb 2018 Plan For A Coup In Venezuela

by Tyler Durden Sun, 05/05/2019 - 11:20 2 SHARES Authored by Eric Zuesse via Off-Guardian.org,

A detailed plan from "UNITED STATES SOUTHERN COMMAND" dated "23 FEBRUARY 2018" was issued with the title "PLAN TO OVERTHROW THE VENEZUELAN DICTATORSHIP 'MASTERSTROKE'" and is here presented complete.

This document was personally signed by Admiral Kurt W. Tidd , who was the Commander (the chief), at SOUTHCOM , and he was thus the top U.S. military official handling Venezuela. But this was far more than just a military plan.

It was comprehensive -- directing military, diplomatic, and propaganda, policies -- regarding the Trump Administration's planned "Overthrow" of Venezuela's Government. His plan has since guided the Administration's entire operation, including "the capacities of the psychological war," regarding Venezuela.

It instructed SOUTHCOM:

Encouraging popular dissatisfaction by increasing scarcity and rise in price of the foodstuffs, medicines and other essential goods for the inhabitants. Making more harrowing and painful the scarcities of the main basic merchandises." ...

intensifying the undercapitalization of the country, the leaking out of foreign currency and the deterioration of its monetary base, bringing about the application of new inflationary measures." ...

Fully obstruct imports, and at the same time discouraging potential foreign investors in order to make the situation more critical for the population." ... compelling him to fall into mistakes that generate greater distrust and rejection domestically" ...

To besiege him, to ridicule him and to pose him as symbol of awkwardness and incompetence. To expose him as a puppet of Cuba." ...

Appealing to domestic allies as well as other people inserted from abroad in the national scenario in order to generate protests, riots and insecurity, plunders, thefts, assaults and highjacking of vessels as well as other means of transportation, with the intention of deserting this country in crisis through all borderlands and other possible ways, jeopardizing in such a way the National Security of neighboring frontier nations. Causing victims and holding the Government responsible for them. Magnifying, in front of the world, the humanitarian crisis in which the country has been submitted to."

Structuring a plan to get the profuse desertion of the most qualified professionals from the country, in order 'to leave it with no professionals at all', which will aggravate even more the internal situation and along these lines putting the blame on of Government."

the presence of combat units from the United States of America and the other named countries, under the command of a Joint General Staff led by the USA."

It was posted online at the Voltairenet site , and was first copied to a web archive on 14 May 2018 . So, it has been online since at least that date. However, because the photo in it of the document wasn't made available via software which includes the individual symbols, but presented only the full visual image of the paper document, it still hasn't yet gone viral on the Web.

Here, therefore, is the first appearance, on the Web, of the full document, that's manually copied, character-by-character, so that each phrase in this document becomes, for the first time, web-searchable, and thereby conveniently available for journalists and historians to quote from.

This prophetic document -- the source for what has happened afterward in and to Venezuela -- might therefore finally receive the public attention that it so clearly merits.

The document starts with propaganda against Venezuela's existing Government (and it totally ignores the extent to which the pre-existing U.S. economic sanctions against Venezuela had actually caused these problems ), and it then proceeds to present the U.S. plan to overthrow the 'dictatorship'. (Tidd refers to Maduro only as "the Dictator," except at the very start and very end.

At the end, he commands "the denouncement toward Maduro's regimen" and he also uses the phrase "the enemy" to refer to him -- as if there had been the U.S. Constitutionally required authorization, by the U.S. Congress, of this "war." The close urges "the dispatch of a UNO military force for the imposition of peace, once Nicolas Maduro's corrupt dictatorship is defeated." The U.N. is militarily to "impose" "peace," after the U.S. and its allies have conquered Venezuela.)

Although Tidd placed 100% of the blame for Venezuela's problems upon Maduro, and ignored the crucial extent to which U.S. economic sanctions had caused them, his plan emphasized that the U.S. must actively make things even worse for the Venezuelan public than America's economic sanctions had yet done.

His coup-plan is loaded with such statements, and, in fact, opens with one:

"Encouraging popular dissatisfaction by increasing scarcity and rise in price of the foodstuffs, medicines and other essential goods for the inhabitants. Making more harrowing and painful the scarcities of the main basic merchandises."

So: he wasn't naive. America's induced suffering upon Venezuelans was part of his plan for Venezuelans, in order to get them to do what the U.S. regime wants them to do -- overthrow Maduro. Furthermore, the United States Government has had extensive successes in previous such operations. One example is that this was how Chile's Salvador Allende was brought down in 1973 (at a time when the U.S. Government's claims to have done it for 'national security' reasons had much more credibility than its current excuse of helping the Venezuelan people does, because the supposedly ideological Cold War was still on).

The only excuse that the perpetrators can come up with, this time around, is "to put an end to the Venezuelan nightmare and the awakening of theirs beloved nation at a luminous dawn, in which the vision of fortune, true peace and tranquility predominate for their fellow citizens."

Impoverish the nation, in order to help Venezuelans attain "true peace and tranquility." That's the plan.

Here is the document's entire text:

SOUTHCOM
TOP SECRET
23 FEB 2018

PLAN TO OVERTHROW THE VENEZUELAN DICTATORSHIP "MASTERSTROKE"

UNITED STATES SOUTHERN COMMAND 23 FEBRUARY 2018

TOP SECRET/20180223

CURRENT SITUATION

The Venezuelan Chavista dictatorship staggers as a result of its frequent internal problems; there is a great shortage of foodstuffs, an exhaustion of the sources of foreign currency and a rampant corruption. The international support, won with petrodollars, becomes scarcer each time and the purchasing power of its national currency is in a constant downfall.

Such scenario is not supposed to change, but the Venezuelan present-day leaders, as they usually do, in their despair to preserve their power, are capable to appeal to new populist measures that perpetuate their positions of privilege; the only mechanism that sustains them obstinate to the struggle to hold on their positions.

Maduro's corrupt regimen will collapse but regrettably, the divided opposing forces, legitimate defenders of democracy and the well-being of their people, do not have power enough to put an end to the Venezuelan nightmare and the awakening of theirs beloved nation at a luminous dawn, in which the vision of fortune, true peace and tranquility predominate for their fellow citizens.

The internal disputes, the supreme particular likings, the corruption similar to the one of their rivals, as well as the scarcity of rooting, do not grant them the opportunity to make the most of this situation and to give the necessary step to overturn the state of penury and precariousness in which the pressure group, that exercises the leftist dictatorship, has submerged the country. We are at the presence of an unprecedented criminal action in Latin America.

This affects the entire region, there is no respect to international right and local political alternatives are unacceptable.

Democracy spreads out in America, continent in which radical populism was intended to take over. Argentina, Ecuador and Brazil are examples of it. The rebirth of democracy has the support of the most valuable determinations, and the conditions in the regions run in its favour.

It is the time for the United States to prove, with concrete actions, that they are implicated in that process, where overthrowing Venezuelan dictatorship will surely mean a continental turning point.

It is the first opportunity of the Trump Administration to bring forward the vision in reference to security and democracy. Showing its active commitment is crucial, not only for the administration, but also for the continent and for the world.

The time has come to

Step to speed up the definite overthrow of Chavismo and the expulsion of its representative:

Undermining the decadent popular support to Government. Securing he the present-day dictator's irreversible deterioration Increasing the internal instability to a critical level. Using the army officers as an alternative of definite solution. Information Strategie

[signature]

K.W. TIDD

Admiral, USN

COMMANDER


WorkingClassMan , 9 minutes ago link

The US military learned their international terrorism activities from the best, the Mossad. This country is run (since at least Lincoln) by terrorists. Money stolen from us every year in the form of taxes used for ******** that destabilizes nations, destroys heritage and expands greater isn'treal.

All this and **** none of us even heard of yet...while our own borders remain wide open and our infrastructure crumbles.

Good use of money you ******* scum.

frankthecrank , 17 minutes ago link

It's fake. The military doesn't engage in such things, the spooks at the CIA do-along with the NSA. Just looking at that pic is humorous -- as if that's what they would title the document.

Gullible people.

fezline , 13 minutes ago link

Who is Gulible now??

https://documents.theblackvault.com/documents/jfk/northwoods.pdf

PeterLong , 9 minutes ago link

https://www.southcom.mil/Portals/7/Documents/Posture%20Statements/SOUTHCOM_2017_posture_statement_FINAL.pdf?ver=2017-04-06-105819-923

Joiningupthedots , 8 minutes ago link

The golden rule of finding yourself in a hole.......

STOP DIGGING!

gdpetti , 26 minutes ago link

BLah, blah, blah... in other words, the usual.... same as always... CIA's Crowley complained about these idiots after he retired... one example is the difference in Bush 1 and Bush Jr....

This plan is just the usual regime change script written about in many books... the only difference is how 'western' it is in targeting the mind of the masses... which only happens in 'democracies'.... real ones make you do that....

Wait till the puppets in DC really get frustrated... .and then see how frustrated their puppet masters get when their plans go awry as well... time is running out for both puppet and its master... Imagine being Putin and having to deal with these freaks.

mailll , 30 minutes ago link

I have a conspiracy theory. Since one of my theories is this: We want to gain control of Venezuela oil in order to secure oil imports coming into the US for when we attack Iran for the sake of Israel. The 22% of imports we get from the middle east, much of which comes from the Persian Gulf region, will be disrupted due to this war. And we would have a shortage here in the US along with skyrocketing oil prices. And we would surely bitch about it. But Venezuela oil will keep the oil coming into the US uninterrupted. And for those of you who believe we are energy independent, we are not. We use about 19 million barrels of oil per day, we produce about 12 million barrels per day, and we import about 6-7 million barrels of oil per day to help feed our craving for oil.

But to add to this conspiracy theory, I believe the window of opportunity is closing and the Zionists have to act quickly. So they will just say, OK, lets take Venezuela with our military and see how the world responds. We will never know until we try, so let's do it. And if it was a bad idea, don't worry boys, we are untouchable. We got away with it in Iraq, so let's do it again. Venezuela today, Iran tomorrow, and Israel always. They pay very well.

But this is just a conspiracy theory of mine, perhaps even a foolish one.

[May 08, 2019] Reporter INSIDE Venezuelan Embassy Under Siege! w/Anya Parampil

May 08, 2019 | www.youtube.com

The Invisible Man , 18 hours ago

Funny how a comedian is the truth teller here. This is literally clown world

samslog , 17 hours ago

Brave woman. Solidarity from France. Thank you Jimmy!

crownretro , 17 hours ago (edited)

"They want to play government they way I used to play house as a little girl" Brilliant description of these puppets Stay strong Anya!

david august , 18 hours ago

Another day, another coup. Keep up the good work Jimmy.

Steve Warwick , 16 hours ago (edited)

Anya you're doing great journalism work on Venezuela, stay safe!

SFx , 17 hours ago

Uprising? The only uprising is the small one in Marco Rubio's pants.

MexicanosDelMundo , 17 hours ago

This is getting out of hand and increasingly dangerous...

Dave Saenz , 17 hours ago

They are trying to "WMD's" us into another war with their blatant lies.

RP McMurphy , 18 hours ago

50+ years of Allegiance to the Petrodollar...

luke maxwell , 16 hours ago

In a Time of Universal Deceit, Telling the Truth Is a Revolutionary Act - George Orwell.

Katalin McCune , 18 hours ago

I think your videos are remarkable.

Otaku Senpai , 17 hours ago

Good job Dore. MSM sucks. Dont expect them to rreport this.

Gail Doyle , 16 hours ago

Not one other news source is reporting this! Thank you, Jimmy and Anya.

Z ZZ , 16 hours ago

Mike Pompeo. The fat and sweaty face of US faux humanitarianism.

vinm300 , 17 hours ago

23:21 look at Jimmy's face, he is 100% sympathetic to the protestors. That face is the definition of empathy.

R. Scott MacLeod , 17 hours ago

There is only one reason the media goes along with the military lap dogs....$$$$

Chris Petryk , 17 hours ago

can you have Anya on once a week, please? thank you

Johnny Espinal , 15 hours ago

its truly disgraceful how evil our government IS

Esen B. , 17 hours ago

US did the same to Russian consulate and embassies since launch of Russiagate.

Frank Cardoza , 17 hours ago

They wrote the book on corporate media lapdog-ism. in Venezuela years ago!

SNAKEPIT359 , 18 hours ago

As usual. When it suits, the rule book goes out the window. But equally when it suits they will quote rule after rule from the very same book when it suits their agenda.

david Urrea , 18 hours ago

Blowhorns can cause seizures the people inside need ear protection asap

[May 07, 2019] Venezuela and Binary Choice - Craig Murray

May 07, 2019 | craigmurray.org.uk

When a CIA-backed military coup is attempted by a long term CIA puppet, roared on by John Bolton and backed with the offer of Blackwater mercenaries, in the country with the world's largest oil reserves, I have no difficulty whatsoever in knowing which side I am on.

Juan Guaido has been groomed for 15 years as a long-term CIA project. His coup attempt yesterday, which so far appears to have stalled, was the culmination of these efforts to return Venezuela's oil reserves to US hegemony.

It is strange how the urgent installation of liberal democracy by force correlates so often with oil reserves not aligned to the USA, as in Libya, Iraq or Venezuela, while countries with massive oil reserves which permit US military domination and align with the West and Israel can be as undemocratic as they wish, eg Saudi Arabia. Venezuela is an imperfect democracy but it is far, far more of a democracy than Saudi Arabia and with a much better human rights record. The hypocrisy of Western media and politicians is breathtaking.

Hypocrisy and irony are soulmates, and there are multiple levels of irony in seeing the "liberal" commentators who were cheering on an undisguised military coup, then complaining loudly that people are being injured or killed now their side is losing. Yesterday the MSM had no difficulty in calling the attempted coup what anybody with eyes and ears could see it plainly was, an attempted military coup. Today, miraculously, the MSM line is no coup attempt happened at all, it was just a spontaneous unarmed protest, and it is the evil government of Venezuela which attempts to portray it as a coup. BBC Breakfast this morning had the headline "President Maduro has accused the opposition of mounting a coup attempt" Yet there is no doubt at all that, as a matter of plain fact, that is what happened.

The MSM today is full of video of water cannons against "protestors" and a horrible video of a military vehicle ramming a group. But it has all been very carefully edited to exclude hours of footage of the same military vehicles being pelted and set alight with molotov cocktails, and shot at. The presentation has been truly shocking.

In any civilised country, attempting to mount a military coup would lead to incarceration for life, and that is what should now happen to Juan Guaido. The attempt by the West to protect their puppet by pretending the failed military coup never happened, must be resisted, if only in the cause of intellectual honesty.

The resort to violence forces binary choice. I have been and am a critic of Maduro in many respects. I believe the constitutional changes to bypass Parliament were wrong, and the indirectly elected Constituent Assembly is not a good form of democracy. Venezuela does have a rampant corruption problem. US sanctions exacerbate but are not the root cause of economic mismanagement. There are human rights failings. But Chavez made revolutionary changes in educating and empowering the poor, and it is a far better governed country for the mass of its population than it would ever be under a US installed CIA puppet regime. Maduro was legitimately elected. The attempt at violence forces a binary choice.

I know which side I am on. It is not Guaido and the CIA.

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[May 05, 2019] Viva to another jolly little war by Eric Margolis

May 05, 2019 | www.unz.com

Sure. Let's invade Venezuela. Another jolly little war. It's full of commies and has a sea of oil. The only thing those Cuban-loving Venezuelans lack are weapons of mass destruction.

... ... ...

Venezuela is in a huge economic mess thanks to the crackpot economic policies of the Chavez and Maduro governments – and US economic sabotage. But my first law of international affairs is: 'Every nation has the absolute god-given right to mismanage its own affairs and elect its own crooks or idiots.'

[May 04, 2019] The art of provocation and Sacral victims of Maidan

Color revolution is a military operation in which protesters are just a tip of the iceberg. the key players are Embassy staff, three letter agencies, NGOs, bought and foreign owned neoliberal press, some oligarchs (who might be pressed into submission with the threat of confiscating their assets), compradors and bought players within the government.
The initial crash with police was organized by one of such players (supposedly Lyovochkin). One of the key instruments were huge cash flows in diplomatic mail that feed the protest ("bombing country with dollars"). In a sense in any neoliberal republic color revolution is designed to be a success, the fact which EuroMaidan proved quite convincingly.
Ukraine actually was a very easy target. Yanukovich was essentially neutralized and paralyzed by threats from Biden. Security services were infiltrated and partially work for Americans. Several bought members of the government (Lyovochkon?) did their dirty job in organizing the necessity clashes with policy to feed the protest.
Notable quotes:
"... The script writers of the Maidan, in his opinion, were Americans. ..."
Feb 21, 2015 | vesti-ukr.com

Former Prime Minister Azarov explained his version of events on the Maidan. The script writers of the Maidan, in his opinion, were Americans.

Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov told the NTV about how coup d'état of February of the last year was organized. According to him, the script of the coup d'état was written at the U.S. Embassy.

"The main puppeteers were not on the Maidan," Azarov said. The protests started because of the decision of Ukrainian authorities to suspend the signing of the Association agreement with the EU.

"There was, of course, the enormous pressure from the leaders of the European Union, from several European countries. The meaning of this pressure was the fact that we must put aside all doubts and to sign this agreement," said the former Prime Minister. "They just needed an excuse, a reason to overthrow our government. Because we were frankly told: "If you do not you sign this agreement, it will sign another government, another President,"

In this regard, according to Azarov, they needed a provocation to start protest and such a provocation became the use of force on Independence square in Kiev, where supporters of European integration were staying for several nights. "The action was slow. The organizers understood that without the sacred victims they will be unable to ignite the crowd. Suddenly around 3 am several TV crews arrive, set lights, camera. What to shoot? This ordinary situation, when people spend the night at the square?" - said Azarov.

Ukrainian people were cynically played. According to Azarov at this moment "prepared by gunmen in masks" arrived to the square. They started beating on duty policemen with metal sticks. When police called reinforcements instigators quickly disappeared. And when riot police began detention, "they detain generally innocent people who spend night at the square as a part of peaceful protest."

Speaking about the negotiations Yanukovich with the opposition, Azarov noted that the current Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk "every day spend most of his time in the American Embassy and following their instructions to the letter."

In the end, an agreement was signed between the President and opposition leaders on the peaceful resolution of the conflict, the guarantor which were several European countries, but no one except the Yanukovich, fulfilled their obligations. "I still do not understand, how foreign Ministers of Poland, Germany, France, which signed an agreement on February 21 feel themselves. In the history of diplomacy this agreement will be included as an example of the utmost degree of cynicism and deceit," said Azarov.

See also

[May 04, 2019] That nonsense about a plane waiting to shuffle him off to Cuba was complete American lie.

Notable quotes:
"... "What I am saying is that I am confident that the people of Venezuela know a thing or two about what happened in Chile." ..."
"... They also know what happened when the "militares" took over in Argentina (Videla), Paraguay (Stroessner), Brazil (1964-1985), Nicaragua (Somoza), Dominican Republic (Trujillo), Guatemala (1954), Honduras (2009) Panama 1983 (Noriega – see Confessions of an Economic Hit Man on plane crash of Omar Torrijos), and on and on. ..."
"... If there is a US military attack on Venezuela one thing's for sure; many, many young men and women will be making their way from all over Latin America to take on the Gringos. ..."
"... I'm sure the Venezuelan govt knows all about Operation Condor and how that lost the entire South American continent a generation of its best people and degraded its progress and development. ..."
"... Bolton and Abraham are senile. They are totally out of touch with the new realities of the new millenium. they stupidly think that their old tricks still work... in my view both and also Pompeo are near the door out of the White House for good... they won't survive the summer. ..."
"... Clearly, Venezuelans take their oaths of allegiance far more seriously. By comparison, the Outlaw US Empire's entire Neocon and Neoliberal cabal are traitors to their nation and their oaths of office. And it's that very major distinction that's known by the vast majority of Venezuelans that's the real difference maker whereas the US public's mostly illiterate. ..."
"... One curious aspect of the recent events in Venezuela is the lack of signs of wider support for Guaido compared with "energetic" demonstrations and riots few years ago. ..."
"... Initially, some thugs were mobilized to support "humanitarian relief", but it was a smallish crowd and their most spectacular achievement was torching a "relief truck". ..."
"... Then there were "electricity protests", I have no data about their scope. I would theorize that electricity issue decreased the support for Guaido ..."
"... Seems that Russia acted in a characteristically minimalist fashion. Security of power system was improved, gasoline supplies* were improved, and a subtle security operation was launched. Bear in mind that when dealing with domestic opposition Putin is highly flexible, no "one hammer fits all", similarly with "near abroad". Letting Guaido walk around and repetitively make idiot of himself has a resemblance of handling Navalny and similar folks in Russia. ..."
May 04, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jane , May 3, 2019 6:22:50 PM | link

Maduro needs to man up. He needs to recognize that this is ideological battle, not just a battle for his personal survival.


arby , May 3, 2019 6:31:16 PM | link

Jane @45

Where do you come up with the idea that Maduro is about his personal survival?

IMO, Maduro is quite genuine in taking his position and job very seriously and in no way is this about him.

That nonsense about a plane waiting to shuffle him off to Cuba was complete American lie.

Lochearn , May 3, 2019 6:35:01 PM | link
@ 36 William Gruff
"What I am saying is that I am confident that the people of Venezuela know a thing or two about what happened in Chile."

They also know what happened when the "militares" took over in Argentina (Videla), Paraguay (Stroessner), Brazil (1964-1985), Nicaragua (Somoza), Dominican Republic (Trujillo), Guatemala (1954), Honduras (2009) Panama 1983 (Noriega – see Confessions of an Economic Hit Man on plane crash of Omar Torrijos), and on and on.

If there is a US military attack on Venezuela one thing's for sure; many, many young men and women will be making their way from all over Latin America to take on the Gringos.

Jane , May 3, 2019 6:41:36 PM | link
@arby 46

I really do not know Maduro. I do not know how ideologically grounded he is. But I heard stories about corruption and connections with drug syndicates. I hope that is not true. Otherwise, his apparent weakness will be exploited to the hilt by his ideological enemies.

Jen , May 3, 2019 6:50:02 PM | link
William Gruff @ 36, Lochearn @ 47:

I'm sure the Venezuelan govt knows all about Operation Condor and how that lost the entire South American continent a generation of its best people and degraded its progress and development.

virgile , May 3, 2019 6:51:23 PM | link
Bolton and Abraham are senile. They are totally out of touch with the new realities of the new millenium. they stupidly think that their old tricks still work...
in my view both and also Pompeo are near the door out of the White House for good... they won't survive the summer.
karlof1 , May 3, 2019 7:26:19 PM | link
Jen @49--

Yes, most certainly wasn't lost on Chavez. The changes he made after 2002 to the military and other security-related areas of government are now serving Maduro well. If there was the sort of 5th Column anti-government feelings required of a coup, they would have manifested themselves when the armed demonstrations first began to beset Maduro in 2014, a year after Chavez's passing, which in essence is when the slow moving coup began. Condor and other operations were certainly used in educating higher level officers about the importance of loyalty to Constitutional methods and that one owes their allegiance to the Constitution not the individual just as it's supposed to be within the USA

Clearly, Venezuelans take their oaths of allegiance far more seriously. By comparison, the Outlaw US Empire's entire Neocon and Neoliberal cabal are traitors to their nation and their oaths of office. And it's that very major distinction that's known by the vast majority of Venezuelans that's the real difference maker whereas the US public's mostly illiterate.

Piotr Berman , May 3, 2019 8:22:04 PM | link
One curious aspect of the recent events in Venezuela is the lack of signs of wider support for Guaido compared with "energetic" demonstrations and riots few years ago.

Initially, some thugs were mobilized to support "humanitarian relief", but it was a smallish crowd and their most spectacular achievement was torching a "relief truck".

Then there were "electricity protests", I have no data about their scope. I would theorize that electricity issue decreased the support for Guaido . First, the tales that the troubles were due to mismanagement and neglect look not so probable if you look at the timing of incidents: a wave of incidents at the time "convenient" for the "cause of Guaido" preceeded and followed by rather normal situation. Government surely spend effort to explain the incidents with transmission lines and transformer stations as vile sabotage, ruthlessly inflicting severe hardships on the entire population (including the middle class that should be the social base of Guaido).

Seems that Russia acted in a characteristically minimalist fashion. Security of power system was improved, gasoline supplies* were improved, and a subtle security operation was launched. Bear in mind that when dealing with domestic opposition Putin is highly flexible, no "one hammer fits all", similarly with "near abroad". Letting Guaido walk around and repetitively make idiot of himself has a resemblance of handling Navalny and similar folks in Russia.

Who supported 12 hours of revolution? Videos showed a motorcycle gang, few hundred of energetic young men who blocked a highway bridge and a smallish crowd of housewives and other non-violent type -- I must stress that I wholly approve non-violent types, but in part because this is not a coup material. Why so little? (a) Guaido was never popular, he was in a most histrionic of several opposition parties, popular mobilization without support of the rest of the opposition was a flop. (b) The first two episodes of his "revolution" did not approve his support, to the contrary. (c) On the gangland front that could provide armed muscle and provoke bloody incidents Maidan style, the government probably did some preparatory homework.

[May 04, 2019] Venezuela - Forensics Of A Clownish Coup

Notable quotes:
"... I know the Venezuelan military; I've trained some of them .... The majority of them, if the U.S. military arrives in Venezuela, will take to the hills – very formidable hills, with jungle-like backdrops – and they will harass, kill, take prisoner from time to time, and generally hold out forever or until the "gringos" leave. We might remember how the North Vietnamese and the Taliban accomplished this; well, so will the Venezuelans. ..."
May 04, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Venezuela is not an easy target. Colonel (ret.) Larry Wilkerson, the former Chief of Staff for Secretary of State Colin Powell, writes :

I know the Venezuelan military; I've trained some of them .... The majority of them, if the U.S. military arrives in Venezuela, will take to the hills – very formidable hills, with jungle-like backdrops – and they will harass, kill, take prisoner from time to time, and generally hold out forever or until the "gringos" leave. We might remember how the North Vietnamese and the Taliban accomplished this; well, so will the Venezuelans.

The opposition is warry of a U.S. intervention :

Many believe U.S. troops could ignite internal conflicts within the military, irregular forces linked to Maduro and criminal cartels. Intervention would also undermine Guaidó's claim to be a grass roots Venezuelan leader by seeming to confirm that he's exactly what Maduro has claimed: A puppet of the United States.

A U.S. military intervention would "bring more problems than solutions, " said Carlos Valero, a Guaidó supporter in the National Assembly.
...
Political analyst Felix Seijas, director of the Delphos polling agency in Caracas, says fewer than a fifth of the Venezuelans he has surveyed this year support a military intervention. The numbers have gone up only slightly since the beginning of the year.

There were more warnings from Russia during a Trump-Putin phone call today :

While exchanging views on the situation around Venezuela, the President of Russia underscored that only the Venezuelans themselves have the right to determine the future of their country, whereas outside interference in the country's internal affairs and attempts to change the government in Caracas by force undermine prospects for a political settlement of the crisis.

The planning and decision making for the next phase of the U.S. attack on Venezuela will take time.

Meanwhile we can continue to analyze why the U.S. coup plan failed so devastatingly.

Cont. reading: Venezuela - Forensics Of A Clownish Coup

[May 03, 2019] Trump lost anti-war right. Forever.

Notable quotes:
"... Trump *escalated* US-Iran and US-Venezuela conflicts and intensified the sabre rattling towards both countries, according to all analysts. For the first time a POTUS openly said direct US invasion to Venezuela "is on the table" and his Adelson bought appointment for USNSA Bolton publicly showed in a notebook the writing "5000 troops to Colombia" openly suggesting a direct invasion was imminent. For the first time the White House asked the Pentagon to draw up options for military strikes against Iran. ..."
"... Trump's administration declared a whole branch of the Iran armed forces (IRGC) as a terrorist organisation. This is an escalation and according to most analysts, considered an act of war. ..."
"... Trump administration heavily increased sanctions to Iran, Russia and Venezuela and in the latter case even instigated a failed uprising and coup d'etat, going as far as to declare a virtual political Venezuelan nobody the "official" president of the country, which is in itself unbelievable and has no historic precedent. Another act of war actually. ..."
"... Trump administration also escalated the tensions with China, ordered the arrest and de facto kidnapping of Chinese corporate executives and openly used the US legal apparatus to attack and hinder a foreign corporation. ..."
"... Trump has been, objectively, the most neocon Israel-firster POTUS in US history. ..."
"... Friendly reminder that voting for Republicans and expecting US Jewish lobby/Corporate America promoted policies such as open borders and US imperialist interventions to stop is moronic beyond belief. Republicans are the most pro corporate pro US Jewish lobby of the two parties by far. At least there is talk and critique about how the Israel Lobby owns the USG in the Dem party. Nothing of the sort going on in the GOP. ..."
May 03, 2019 | www.unz.com

Scalper , says: May 3, 2019 at 9:45 am GMT

@A123 You Trump shills are chutzpah personified:

The U.S. missile strike on Shayrat Airbase on 7 April 2017 was the first time the U.S. became a deliberate, direct combatant against the Syrian government and marked the start of a series of deliberate direct military actions by U.S. forces against the Syrian government and its allies in May -- June 2017 and February 2018.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/06/trump-syria-missiles-assad-chemical-weapons

Trump *escalated* the war from covert support to insurgents to direct intervention and official *invasion* in Syria. This is the equivalent of going from financing and supporting a faction in a so called proxy war in say Vietnam to leading the US to go full Iraq WMD and become a warring and invading faction in the conflict. Again, this is an escalation.

The number of boots on the ground vs Obama's is data you just took out of your bottom. Sources for your cheap PR shilling? You don't have any because this statement of yours is a blatant lie.

Trump *escalated* US-Iran and US-Venezuela conflicts and intensified the sabre rattling towards both countries, according to all analysts. For the first time a POTUS openly said direct US invasion to Venezuela "is on the table" and his Adelson bought appointment for USNSA Bolton publicly showed in a notebook the writing "5000 troops to Colombia" openly suggesting a direct invasion was imminent. For the first time the White House asked the Pentagon to draw up options for military strikes against Iran.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jan/13/white-house-asked-pentagon-plans-strike-iran

Trump's administration declared a whole branch of the Iran armed forces (IRGC) as a terrorist organisation. This is an escalation and according to most analysts, considered an act of war.

Trump's administration ended the Iran deal without any objective reasons, ie Obama's effort to deescalate the Israel firsters driven Iran-US conflict

Trump administration heavily increased sanctions to Iran, Russia and Venezuela and in the latter case even instigated a failed uprising and coup d'etat, going as far as to declare a virtual political Venezuelan nobody the "official" president of the country, which is in itself unbelievable and has no historic precedent. Another act of war actually.

Trump administration declared Golan Heights part of Israel brought US embassy to Jerusalem, increasing the tensions and animosity towards the US in the ME.

Trump administration will declare Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation, increasing the animosity from Arab countries in the ME to unbelievable levels. This includes non Arab country Turkey also, a traditional ally until neocon Trump took power.

Trump administration also escalated the tensions with China, ordered the arrest and de facto kidnapping of Chinese corporate executives and openly used the US legal apparatus to attack and hinder a foreign corporation.

Trump has been, objectively, the most neocon Israel-firster POTUS in US history.

Friendly reminder that voting for Republicans and expecting US Jewish lobby/Corporate America promoted policies such as open borders and US imperialist interventions to stop is moronic beyond belief. Republicans are the most pro corporate pro US Jewish lobby of the two parties by far. At least there is talk and critique about how the Israel Lobby owns the USG in the Dem party. Nothing of the sort going on in the GOP.

Immigration restrictionism is a traditional pro working class, leftist policy.

Non intervention and "pacifist" policies the same. How many GOP supporters were against the Vietnam and Iraq war? Not many yeah.

Johnny Walker Read , says: May 3, 2019 at 1:20 pm GMT
@A123 Here's your numbers TROLL.

Trump has dropped more bombs and missiles on Middle Eastern countries in a comparable period of time than any modern U.S. President. Presidents Bush, Obama and now [2017] Trump have dropped nearly 200,000 bombs and missiles on Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. Trump's rate of bombing eclipses both Bush and Obama; and Trump is on a pace to drop over 100,000 [180,000 to be precise] bombs and missiles on Middle Eastern countries during his first term of office -- which would equal the number of bombs and missiles dropped by Obama during his entire eight-year presidency.

Here's more perspective:

The United States Government, under the Trump administration, reportedly drops a bomb every 12 minutes, which means that 121 bombs are dropped in a day, and 44,096 bombs per year. The Pentagon's data show that during George W. Bush's eight years he averaged 24 bombs dropped per day, that is, 8,750 per year. Over the course of Obama's time in office, his military dropped 34 bombs per day, 12,500 per year. This shows that even though American presidents are all war criminals, Trump is the most vicious of them all.

Yes, Trump is dropping almost FOUR TIMES MORE BOMBS than Barack Obama and over FIVE TIMES MORE BOMBS than G.W. Bush -- which included military invasions of two countries.

We also know that Trump expanded America's wars in Afghanistan and Syria (and, no, he is NOT bringing U.S. troops home from Syria) and is ramping up America's war machine against Venezuela, Iran, China and Russia. And this does not even take into account the way Trump has given Benjamin Netanyahu's raunchy racist regime the green light to expand its wars against the Palestinians, Lebanon, Syria and Iran or the U.S./Israeli proxy war (with Saudi Arabia taking the lead) in Yemen.

Then there is Somalia:

In the age of Donald Trump, wasn't that [the Battle of Mogadishu -- Black Hawk Down] a million presidencies ago? Honestly, can you even tell me anymore what in the world it was all about? I couldn't have, not without looking it up again. A warlord, starvation, U.S. intervention, 18 dead American soldiers (and hundreds of dead Somalis, but that hardly mattered) in a country that was shattering. President Clinton did, however, pull out those troops and end the disastrous mission -- and that was that, right? I mean, lessons learned. Somalia? Africa? What in the world did it all have to do with us? So Washington washed its hands of the whole thing.

And now, on a planet of outrageous tweets and murderously angry white men, you probably didn't even notice, but more than two years into the era of Donald Trump, a quarter-century after that incident, American airstrikes in yep, Somalia, are precipitously on the rise.

Last year's 47 strikes, aimed at the leaders and fighters of al-Shabaab, an Islamist terror outfit, more than tripled the ones carried out by the Obama administration in 2016 (themselves a modest increase from previous years). And in 2019, they're already on pace to double again, while Somali civilians -- not that anyone (other than Somali civilians) notices or cares -- are dying in significant and rising numbers.

And with 500 troops back on the ground there and Pentagon estimates that they will remain for at least another seven years, the U.S. military is increasingly Somalia-bound, Congress hasn't uttered a peep on the subject, and few in this country are paying the slightest attention.

So consider this a simple fact of the never-ending Global War on Terror (as it was once called): the U.S. military just can't get enough of Somalia. And if that isn't off the charts, what is? Maybe it's even worth a future book (with a very small print run) called not Black Hawk Down II but U.S. Down Forever and a Day.

And now that I've started on the subject (if you still happen to be reading), when it comes to the U.S. military, it's not faintly just Somalia. It's all of Africa.

After all, this country's military uniquely has a continent-wide Africa Command (aka AFRICOM), founded in 2007. As Nick Turse has often written for TomDispatch, that command now has its troops, thousands of them, its planes, and other equipment spread across the continent, north to south, east to west -- air bases, drone bases, garrisons, outposts, staging areas, you name it. Meanwhile, AFRICOM's outgoing commanding general, Thomas Waldhauser, only recently told Congress why it's bound to be a forever outfit -- because, shades of the Cold War, the Ruskies are coming! ("Russia is also a growing challenge and has taken a more militaristic approach in Africa.")

And honestly, 600-odd words in, this wasn't meant to be a piece about either Somalia or Africa. It was meant to be about those U.S. wars being off the charts, about how the Pentagon now feeds eternally at the terror trough, al-Shabaab being only a tiny part of the slop it regularly digests.

And, while America's wars are way up, according to Gallup, church attendance in America is way down:

As Christian and Jewish Americans prepare to celebrate Easter and Passover, respectively, Gallup finds the percentage of Americans who report belonging to a church, synagogue or mosque at an all-time low, averaging 50% in 2018.

U.S. church membership was 70% or higher from 1937 through 1976, falling modestly to an average of 68% in the 1970s through the 1990s. The past 20 years have seen an acceleration in the drop-off, with a 20-percentage-point decline since 1999 and more than half of that change occurring since the start of the current decade.

Most interesting is this Gallup observation:

Although the United States is one of the more religious countries, particularly among Western nations, it is far less religious than it used to be. Barely three-quarters of Americans now identify with a religion and only about half claim membership in a church, synagogue or mosque.

The rate of U.S. church membership has declined sharply in the past two decades after being relatively stable in the six decades before that. A sharp increase in the proportion of the population with no religious affiliation, a decline in church membership among those who do have a religious preference, and low levels of church membership among millennials are all contributing to the accelerating trend.

Obviously, America's Jewish and Muslim populations pale compared to its Christian population. The vast decline of attendance to religious services, therefore, primarily means church attendance. Notice, also, that this steep decline commenced at the beginning of this century (2000) -- when G.W. Bush became President of the United States.

I tried to warn readers -- and listeners to my nationwide radio talk show -- that due to his insatiable war fever, G.W. Bush was going to forever warp the perception in people's minds of Christianity. And, sadly, I was absolutely right. After eight years of the warmongering G.W. Bush in the White House, millions of Americans came to associate Christianity with wars of aggression. As a result, the exodus out of America's churches began in earnest.

Enter Donald Trump.

As noted above, Trump has expanded Bush's war fever exponentially. But Trump has done more than that: He has aggressively put the United States smack dab in the middle of Israel's wars. It could even be argued that Donald Trump has turned the U.S. military into a proxy army for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

Don't get me wrong: I am very cognizant of the fact that G.W. Bush's "war on terror" was nothing more than a proxy war for Israel. But the Israeli connection was covert and completely covered up. Not anymore. Donald Trump is unabashedly and explicitly partnering the mission of the U.S. military with that of the IDF. No wonder Benjamin Netanyahu promises to name a community in the Israel-seized, Israel-occupied Golan Heights after Donald Trump. (Trumplinka would fit Netanyahu's concentration-style occupation nicely.)

So, not only are millions of Americans now associating Christianity with G.W. Bush's wars of aggression, they are associating Christianity with Donald Trump's wars of aggression for the racist apartheid State of Israel. The result: the steepest decline in church attendance and church affiliation in U.S. history.

The longer evangelical Christians continue to support Donald Trump's radical pro-Israel, pro-war agenda, the deeper America will plunge into an anti-Christian country.

The good news is that all over America, people are waking up to the Israel deception. Support for the erroneous doctrine of dispensational eschatology is in a giant free fall; the myth of Zionist Israel being a resurrected Old Testament Israel is being repeatedly exposed; the attempts by Israel's toadies to characterize people whose eyes are open to the truth of Zionism as being "anti-Semitic" is losing more and more credibility by the day; and more and more people are becoming aware of the utter wickedness of the Zionist government in Israel. Plus, more and more people are beginning to understand the plight of the persecuted people (including Christian people) in the Israeli-occupied territories of Palestine.

Ron, maybe your shipmates on the USS LIBERTY didn't die in vain after all.

From an historical perspective, overextended wars are the downfall of any empire; from a financial perspective, warfarism is the precursor to an economically depressed middle class; and from a Scriptural/spiritual perspective, God cannot and will not bless a warmongering nation.

Let's be clear: God is not building a "Greater Israel." God is not building a third Jewish temple. God is not speaking through phony prophets who are attributing some sort of divine calling to Trump's pro-Israel warmongering. God is not blessing America because we are blessing Zionist Israel. Just the opposite: The more America aligns itself with Israel's belligerence, bullying and bombing of innocent people, the more God will deliver us over to becoming an antichrist country. After all, one cannot idolize and partner with antichrists without becoming one himself.

After Trump finishes this term in office, two-thirds of this young century will have seen a "Christian" warmonger in the White House. It is no coincidence that during this same period of time, wars are way up and church attendance is way down.
https://chuckbaldwinlive.com/Articles/tabid/109/ID/3866/Americas-Wars-Are-Way-Up-Church-Attendance-Is-Way-Down.aspx

Anonymous [102] Disclaimer , says: May 3, 2019 at 1:23 pm GMT
Burning down the house. Driving like a madman on the road to nowhere has put the nation on a path to its own demise. Our foreign policy is a disaster that does nothing to promote democracy anywhere in the world. Our military has provided nothing but instability in the world since the end of world war 2. Ask yourself, why are we involved in so many useless wars that don't make the world a better place?
Don't you feel like we are being used by war hawks who see every skirmish as a threat to our national security? Why can't we cut out all the military BS and just trade with with nations that want to trade, and ignore those who want to kill each other. Let them figure it out on their own. Social Capitalism is the only policy we should be supporting.
Johnny Walker Read , says: May 3, 2019 at 1:36 pm GMT
America's foreign policy since the end of WWII. End of story.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/O66UKjCwmTw?feature=oembed

EliteCommInc. , says: May 3, 2019 at 2:50 pm GMT
"All statements of Trump do not count. All Trump statements are results from stress of torture by Democrats, and deep state."

When this president stated during the campaign,

that christians don't have to forgive their enemies, I rolled my eyes stated he wrong, and understood well he doesn't know what christianity means and supported him anyway

that he supported same sex marriage, I rolled my eyes, rebuffed the the silliness of his comments and understood, he is not a conservative and beyond that he doesn't know what christianity means

when it was uncovered that he had in fact had relations outside of marriage, I rolled my eyes, and understood that alone could be a disqualifying factor in light of the competition and supported him anyway

when some of the most respected departments of government leaders said he colluded with Russians, based on the evidence, I said "poppycock" and supported him anyway

when media swirled with tales of Russian bath houses and carousings abounded, I thought nonsense and supported hum anyway

when the rumors of underage girls and same sex parties and orgies seped into the main, I rolled my eyes and supported him anyway . . .

when he spouted off about Charlottesville prematurely, I supported him anyway . . .

when became clear he actually advocated torture, I choked, spat and supported him anyway, afterall he's not schooled in international relations and the consequences for our service personnel, much less apparently the basics of tortures effectiveness, especially in large scale strategies such as the US is engaged in

when it came to light he was completely ignorant of how our criminal justice system gets it wrong as exampled by the Cen 5 case, I supported him anyway . . .

I supported him in spite of his comments about the poor and people like me who supported him

There's a long list of tolerance is support of this president based on his advocacy regarding turning the attention to the US welfare . . .

And when he actually agreed that the Russians had sabotaged the US elections and even engaged in murder in the states of our European allies -- I knew, that in all liklihood the turn inward was dead.

Here' a man who beat all the odds because of stalwart support of people like me, who repeatedly bit the sides of our cheeks in the understanding that the returns would exceed the price only to discover that the man who beat the odds doesn't seem to have a spine to stand on ideologically which were the foundations of my advocacy: national security, less reckless spending, holding business and financial organizations accountable for misbehavior, investing in the US citizen, restructuring our trade deals to benefit the US, not merely shooting up tarrifs that would in turn be priced to the citizens the supposed tarrifs were intended to protect, tax cuts that actually gave middle americans less, no evidence of a draw down in our careless ME behaviors, i even gave him some room to deal with israel as perhaps a new way forward -- it's a new way alright – no pretense of acting as honest brokers – that's new, Immigration is worse and by worse he might as well be serving tea and crumpets at the border welcoming illegals . . .

If the man you elected to turn the corner actually becomes the vehicle for of what you elected him to reject and change, eventually one has to acknowledge that fact. he beat the deep state, he just either had not the courage, the integrity, or the ability, perhaps all three to withstand the victory and do the work. Of course he had opposition and not much of it very fair and nearly all of it damaging to the country. But he had support to stand against it -- he chose an easier path.

And while I support him still, I have no intention of pretending that he is fulfilling the mandate for which he was elected. I would be lying to myself and doing a disservice to him.

I have not changed, I knew he was a situational leader, I knew what that meant, but I voted for a particular agenda, he left the reservation on his own accord and the "deep state", the establishment", the democrats, the liberals, the libertarians, can only be held to blame for so much --

But several weeks ago, on top of a complete failure to ensure US order security, the armed forces paid homage to Mexicans on US territory by relinquishing their weapons and surrendering -- and given the tenure thus far -- - it devastatingly fitting that this occurred under this admin.

And in the midst of all this, he is pandering to those engaged in same sex behavior -- – deep state my eye . . .

the path of least resistance. I cling to the belief that having voting for any of the other candidates -- matters would have been far worse.

I make no apologies for being a conservative and Christian and holding a loyalty to the US.

I reject your whine, it had legs and even some salience still, but at this stage, very little.

Now he is bed with Sen. Rubio, Sen. Cruz and others on mucking around in SA -- I can only consider your comments as an attempt at humor.

[May 03, 2019] Tucker Carlson Takes On Venezuela Intervention by Brad Griffin

Notable quotes:
"... As much as Trump has proven to be a disaster with his appointments of Bolton/Pompeo/E Abrams, things could still be worse. We could have wound up with Little Marco, the John McCain of his generation. All praise to Tucker for having the guts to go against the grain. ..."
"... The answer here is simple. When the President of of the US stated that he believed Russia under the instructions of Pres. Putin attempted to sabotage the democratic process, and from the mouths many of our leadership -- was successful he made a major power on the world stage a targeted enemy of the US. When that same president accused Pres. Putin of plotting the same in Europe and ordered the murders inside those sovereign states -- ..."
"... He essentially stated that our global strategic interests include challenging the Russian influence anywhere and everywhere on the planet as they are active enemies of the US and our European allies. What ever democratic global strategic ambitions previous to the least election were stifled until that moment. ..."
"... Sanctions and blockades are acts of war. Try doing it to Washington or one of its vassals, and watch the guns come out. ..."
"... Historically, sanctions are not an alternative to war; they are a prelude to it. Sanctions are how Uncle Scam generally softens up foreign countries in preparation for an invasion or some sort of 'régime-change' operation. ..."
"... All of this is smoke in mirrors. The real story is that Washington is headed for default on it's 22 trillion dollar debt and the Beltway Elites are losing it. They are desperate to start a conflict anywhere, but especially with an oil rich nation like Venezuela or Iran install their own puppets and keep this petro-dollar scam running a little while longer. ..."
"... Syria, Iraq and Libya were not destroyed for oil. Oil provided cover for the real reason. In fact, oil companies opposed war for oil. It doesn't benefit the US or those companies. Those three countries were and are Israel's primary enemies and neighbors and that is why they were destroyed. Only if you stick your head in the sand and ignore the enormous power of Israel and their Jewish supporters which is constantly on full display constantly can someone not see that. ..."
"... Venezuela has one of the highest murder rates in the world. I'm pretty sure there are still lots of guns around. They're not using rocks to kill one another. The U.S. military richly deserves to get itself trapped in a Gaza type situation of house to house fighting in the favellas above Caracas. ..."
"... Trump is a Trojan horse under zionist control who had 5 draft deferments but now is the zionists war lord sending Americans to fight and die in the mideast for Israel just like obama and bush jr. , same bullshit different puppet! ..."
"... America is Oceania , war is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength and I would add to what Orwell said, war in the zio/US is perpetual for our zionist overlords. ..."
"... Imperialists always see themselves as spreading good things to people who will benefit from them. And imperialists necessarily always dilute their own culture. ..."
"... If the imperialist culture is already rootless cosmopolitan, it will see no downside to the above. If the Elites of a culture have become cosmopolitans divorced from any meaningful contact with their own people (i.e. those of their own blood and history), then they will lead their people into ever more cultural pollution and perversion. ..."
"... Remember. The choice was between Trump and Clinton. Not Trump and Jesus. ..."
"... The funny thing is, the Alt-Right or the 2.0 movement is united to a man on opposing the Trump administration's military interventions in Syria, Iran and Venezuela, but has failed at articulating its own ardent opposition to imperialism and its commitment to humanity and international peace. No one in American politics is more opposed to destructive regime change wars. ..."
"... I'm not sure what "Alt-Right" or "2.0 movement" really means in the current shills-vs-people wars but all the best and the brightest in our ranks are clearly against the globalists. ..."
May 03, 2019 | www.unz.com

H/T Daily Stormer

Venezuela illustrates why a 3.0 movement is necessary.

The funny thing is, the Alt-Right or the 2.0 movement is united to a man on opposing the Trump administration's military interventions in Syria, Iran and Venezuela, but has failed at articulating its own ardent opposition to imperialism and its commitment to humanity and international peace. No one in American politics is more opposed to destructive regime change wars.

The Trump administration's interventions in Syria and Venezuela are victimizing mainly poor brown people in Third World countries. And yet, the Alt-Right or the 2.0 movement is extremely animated and stirred up in a rage at the neocons who are currently running Blompf's foreign policy. Similarly, it has cheered on the peace talks between North Korea and South Korea.

Isn't it the supreme irony that the "racists" in American politics are the real humanitarians while the so-called "humanitarians" like Sen. Marco Rubio and Bill Kristol are less adverse to bloodshed and destructive wars in which hundreds of thousands of people die than the "racists"?


Endgame Napoleon , says: May 2, 2019 at 4:48 am GMT

It is ironic. There is also the issue of economic-based US interventionism, particularly in the oil-gifted nations mentioned. It's their oil. Since the US economy is oil-dependent -- and since fracking is a short-lived "miracle" of unprofitable companies that have already extracted the easy pickings -- it is the role of US leaders to make sure that we can buy oil from nations like Venezuela, keeping relations as good as possible for those means. But US leaders have no business telling them who should rule their country, much less stirring up trouble that can end up in bloodshed.

There's a comment on here about US forces and the Kurds in Syria, helping themselves to oil, while Syrians wait in long lines for gas in a country that is an oil fountain. I have no idea whether or not it is true, and since the US press would rather gossip than report, we'll probably never know. But since oil prices have gone up recently in the USA, it might be true, especially since politicians always want to pacify the serfs facing other unaffordable expenses, like rent. If true you can see how that would make the people in an oil-rich country mad.

lavoisier , says: Website May 2, 2019 at 12:44 pm GMT

Isn't it the supreme irony that the "racists" in American politics are the real humanitarians while the so-called "humanitarians" like Sen. Marco Rubio and Bill Kristol are less adverse to bloodshed and destructive wars in which hundreds of thousands of people die than the "racists"?

There is nothing ironic about your simple statement of fact. The humanitarians you mention are about as much interested in human rights as John Wayne Gacy. There is gold in them there hills, and their "friends" no longer control that gold. So we must go to war.

Rubio is running neck and neck in my mind as one of the most disgusting political whores of all time.

No simple accomplishment that.

follyofwar , says: May 2, 2019 at 2:01 pm GMT
@lavoisier

As much as Trump has proven to be a disaster with his appointments of Bolton/Pompeo/E Abrams, things could still be worse. We could have wound up with Little Marco, the John McCain of his generation. All praise to Tucker for having the guts to go against the grain.

Joe Stalin , says: May 2, 2019 at 4:31 pm GMT
V.I. Kydor Kropotkin: "Look, you want to save the world? You're the great humanitarian? Take the gun!"

[Hands James Coburn full-auto AR-15]

Dr. Sidney Schaefer: [firing machine gun] " Take that you hostile son of a bitch! " " The President's Analyst" (1967)

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0062153/

https://www.youtube.com/embed/mHQYPZqZ_kI?feature=oembed

conatus , says: May 2, 2019 at 5:21 pm GMT
Why not ship some AR-15s and and few million rounds with some 20 round clips?.Venezuela seized all private guns in 2012 to 'keep the people safe'
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-18288430

How is that working out now? Those are rocks those guys are throwing..right? Why not let THEM do the fighting and keep the guys from Ohio and Alabama here?

lavoisier , says: Website May 2, 2019 at 6:34 pm GMT
@follyofwar Yeah, McCain immediately comes to mind as the front runner.
A123 , says: May 2, 2019 at 8:37 pm GMT

The funny thing is, the Alt-Right or the 2.0 movement is united to a man on opposing the Trump administration's military interventions in Syria, Iran and Venezuela

What Trump administration military intervention? Number of Boots on the ground:

It is quite amazing that Trump Derangement Syndrome [TDS] can take ZERO troops and falsely portray that as military intervention. In the real, non-deranged world -- Rational thought shows ZERO troops as the absence of military intervention.

Trying to use non-military sanctions to convince nations to behave better is indeed the exact opposite of military intervention. If the NeoConDem Hillary Clinton was President. Would the U.S. have boots on the ground in Iran And Venezuela?

Why is the Trump Derangement Syndrome [TDS] crowd so willing to go to war for Hillary while misrepresenting TRUMP's non-intervention?

Those who pathologicially hate Trump are simply not rational.

PEACE

EliteCommInc. , says: May 2, 2019 at 9:05 pm GMT
The answer here is simple. When the President of of the US stated that he believed Russia under the instructions of Pres. Putin attempted to sabotage the democratic process, and from the mouths many of our leadership -- was successful he made a major power on the world stage a targeted enemy of the US. When that same president accused Pres. Putin of plotting the same in Europe and ordered the murders inside those sovereign states --

He essentially stated that our global strategic interests include challenging the Russian influence anywhere and everywhere on the planet as they are active enemies of the US and our European allies. What ever democratic global strategic ambitions previous to the least election were stifled until that moment.

Until that moment foreign policy could have been shifted, but after that moment

-- fo'ge'd abou'd it.

Fidelios Automata , says: May 3, 2019 at 1:50 am GMT
Don't forget the genocide in Yemen. Wanting to exclude Yemenis from the USA means you're an evil racist, but turning a blind eye to mass murder is A-OK.
Biff , says: May 3, 2019 at 4:14 am GMT
@A123 Sanctions and blockades are acts of war. Try doing it to Washington or one of its vassals, and watch the guns come out.
wayfarer , says: May 3, 2019 at 4:28 am GMT
"Guiado Attempts a Coup in Venezuela."

https://www.youtube.com/embed/WAvbX3A7igk?feature=oembed

"Venezuela Uprising Day Two."

https://www.youtube.com/embed/edvjV0HfRRo?feature=oembed

xwray-specs , says: May 3, 2019 at 5:52 am GMT
Gold, Black Gold and Pirates : all about wealth and people getting in the way of the 21st Century Privateers who will stop at nothing including overthrowing governments in Syria, Libya, Iraq and elsewhere.
Anon [358] Disclaimer , says: May 3, 2019 at 6:11 am GMT
Our deep state sure hates losing elections don't they? The lengths they will go to nullify voter will is a sight.
Digital Samizdat , says: May 3, 2019 at 6:32 am GMT
@A123 Historically, sanctions are not an alternative to war; they are a prelude to it. Sanctions are how Uncle Scam generally softens up foreign countries in preparation for an invasion or some sort of 'régime-change' operation.

I appreciate the fact that Team Trump has not actually sent in the tanks yet, whereas Hellary probably would have by now. Believe me, that is probably one of the very few good arguments in favor of Trump at this point. But if we want to make sure that he never does attack, then now is the time to make some noise– before the war starts.

Paul , says: May 3, 2019 at 8:20 am GMT
We do not need yet another U.S. imperialist adventure in Latin America.
JEinCA , says: May 3, 2019 at 8:26 am GMT
All of this is smoke in mirrors. The real story is that Washington is headed for default on it's 22 trillion dollar debt and the Beltway Elites are losing it. They are desperate to start a conflict anywhere, but especially with an oil rich nation like Venezuela or Iran install their own puppets and keep this petro-dollar scam running a little while longer.

If we weren't on the brink of economic collapse I could never see the Washington Elites risking it all with a game of nuclear chicken with Russia and China over Ukraine and Taiwan.

Anonymous [578] Disclaimer , says: May 3, 2019 at 8:49 am GMT
This commentator lost me when he decided Guaido was as socialist as Maduro. Nope. He would not have US backing were that the case. I checked out Telesur on Youtube on April 30 – its continued functioning was one sign the coup attempt had failed. The comments section was full of Guaido supporters ranting about how much they hated Chavistas and socialists and some were asking where Maduro was, probably trying to sustain the myth that he had fled.
PeterMX , says: May 3, 2019 at 9:05 am GMT
"When was the last time we successfully meddled in the political life of another country" The answer to that, Tucker, depends on who you ask. While Syria, Iraq and Libya were "failures" because we were told we would bring peace and prosperity to those countries, that was not the goal of the architects of those wars, neither was it oil. The primary goal was to pacify these countries and neuter them so they would not stand up to their neighbor and enemy Israel. And if they had to be destroyed to accomplish that, that's fine. Minus Egypt, those three countries were Israel's primary enemies in the three Arab-Israeli wars. Venezuela is not "another" war for oil, but it might be the first.
PeterMX , says: May 3, 2019 at 9:19 am GMT
@Endgame Napoleon

Syria, Iraq and Libya were not destroyed for oil. Oil provided cover for the real reason. In fact, oil companies opposed war for oil. It doesn't benefit the US or those companies. Those three countries were and are Israel's primary enemies and neighbors and that is why they were destroyed. Only if you stick your head in the sand and ignore the enormous power of Israel and their Jewish supporters which is constantly on full display constantly can someone not see that.

Anon [424] Disclaimer , says: May 3, 2019 at 9:20 am GMT
@EliteCommInc. The russians are not the ennemies of the europeans , the russians are europeans , the yankees are nor european .

If the yankees were the allies of the europeans , why they should need hundreds of military occupation bases in Europe ? why they should impose on europeans self defeating trade sanctions against Russia ? , strange " allies " .

Anon [424] Disclaimer , says: May 3, 2019 at 9:28 am GMT
@conatus you are late conatus , the russians are building in Venezuela a factory of Kalasnikov rifles , and Maduro is traing a militia of two million men , to help the army .

https://www.defensa.com/venezuela/fabricacion-venezuela-fusil-ruso-ak-103-comenzara-2019

War for Blair Mountain , says: May 3, 2019 at 11:52 am GMT
If JFK were alive ..and POTUS in 2019 he would give the order to overthrow the Maduro Goverment .
Johnny Smoggins , says: May 3, 2019 at 12:13 pm GMT
@conatus Venezuela has one of the highest murder rates in the world. I'm pretty sure there are still lots of guns around. They're not using rocks to kill one another. The U.S. military richly deserves to get itself trapped in a Gaza type situation of house to house fighting in the favellas above Caracas.
Avery , says: May 3, 2019 at 12:25 pm GMT
@War for Blair Mountain {If JFK were alive ..and POTUS in 2019 he would give the order to overthrow the Maduro Goverment .}

JFK was alive way back then, when he gave the order to overthrow Castro and the result was the Bay of Pigs disaster. And – for better or worse – Cubans are still running their own country, not some foreign installed puppet.

'The order to overthrow Maduro' today would have the same disasterous end.
It should be obvious by now, that despite all the hardships, majority of Venezuelans don't want a foreign installed puppet.

Z-man , says: May 3, 2019 at 12:28 pm GMT
Tucker ' Iz Da Man' ! Unfortunately he has to skate a fine line to dodge the arrows* of the Cabal of the right and the Cabal of the left .

*Arrows? No, BULLETS.

War for Blair Mountain , says: May 3, 2019 at 12:37 pm GMT
US Military Intervention in Venazuela .
Mick Jagger gathers no Mosque , says: May 3, 2019 at 12:52 pm GMT
What is really going on in Venezuela was anticipated long ago

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Z1QVthvDhPo?feature=oembed

DESERT FOX , says: May 3, 2019 at 12:52 pm GMT
Carlson is right on Venezuela but was wrong on 911 truthers which he said back in September 2017, that 911 truthers were nuts! 911 which was done by Israel and the zionist controlled deep state lead to the destruction of the mideast for Israel and the zionist NWO!

Trump is a Trojan horse under zionist control who had 5 draft deferments but now is the zionists war lord sending Americans to fight and die in the mideast for Israel just like obama and bush jr. , same bullshit different puppet!

America is Oceania , war is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength and I would add to what Orwell said, war in the zio/US is perpetual for our zionist overlords.

One more thing, if Venezuela did not have oil the zio/US would not give a damn about it!

Jake , says: May 3, 2019 at 1:15 pm GMT
Imperialists always see themselves as spreading good things to people who will benefit from them. And imperialists necessarily always dilute their own culture.

If the imperialist culture is already rootless cosmopolitan, it will see no downside to the above. If the Elites of a culture have become cosmopolitans divorced from any meaningful contact with their own people (i.e. those of their own blood and history), then they will lead their people into ever more cultural pollution and perversion.

Jews are a people who fit the opening sentence of the preceding paragraph. The WASP Elites fit the second sentence.

Fool's Paradise , says: May 3, 2019 at 1:19 pm GMT
If "no one is more opposed to destructive regime-change wars than the Alt-Right", it means that the Alt-Right are traditional conservatives, paleo-(as opposed to neo)conservatives. Real conservatives have always opposed getting into foreign wars that posed no threat to the U.S. They opposed Wilson lying us into WW1, Roosevelt lying us into WW2. When the neo-conservatives (American Jews loyal to Israel) got Washington under their thumb, we started our decades of disastrous regime-change wars based on lies, starting with the invasion of Iraq. Those neocon mf ers are still in charge.
DESERT FOX , says: May 3, 2019 at 1:46 pm GMT
@Johnny Walker Read Agree, the great zio/warlord got 5 deferments, but he will bomb any country the zionists put the hit on at the drop of a maga hat!

Trump is a zionist judas goat leading America to destruction for his zionist masters, and by the way his son-inlaw is mossad!

War is peace, ie the peace of the dead!

friendofanimals , says: May 3, 2019 at 1:52 pm GMT
Maduro was trading oil in non-Fed Reserve, Jew-Dollar just like Iran, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan and Syria. can't have that .
Anonymous [392] Disclaimer , says: May 3, 2019 at 2:02 pm GMT
An Alt Right 2.0 concept that is compassionate with the damage done by US war and economic exploitation against the poorest people of the world who are mostly brown people is an interesting concept.

But I think it will ultimately fail, since so many of the white people who make up the Alt Right are angry with minorities and see them as a lower race. And these white people are more interested in playing the victim card anyways.

TKK , says: May 3, 2019 at 2:07 pm GMT
@A123 You speak truth and cite facts, these loons go bananas.

Thank God they have no real power.

Hopefully they don't even own a hamster . probably would make the little fella read Mien Kempf.

Because a hamster reading is just as cogent and linear as their arguments.

They are frustrated they cannot find a way to blame the Jews! for Maduro being a greedy murdering sweathog who lets zoo animals starve while he looks like animated male cellulite.

Funny- in their prostrations to dictators ( these retards actually defend and admire Jong-Un) they conveniently have omitted Putin is cutting Russia from the WWW- the Internet.

They will have a Russia intranet.

Pointing out to the obtuse daily commenters that under the tyrants that practically fellate- they would be arrested and tortured for their Unz hissy fits and word diarrhea

-Does not compute.

TKK , says: May 3, 2019 at 2:16 pm GMT
@Johnny Walker Read All those words, and nary a coherent point made.

Nationwide radio talk show? Wow! What's the station name, number and air time?

If you listen to people with actual media shows, they don't call people TROLL just because they have a different opinion. They don't engage in female hysterical ranting because someone has a different idea about the mechanics of the world.

Who are your sponsors? I can't imagine you would not want the free publicity .

wayfarer , says: May 3, 2019 at 2:22 pm GMT
"Venezuela 'Coup Attempt' Footage They Don't Want You to See." https://www.youtube.com/embed/6OzF5ktFiCk?feature=oembed

"Massive Deception Coming From Corporate Media on Venezuela." https://www.youtube.com/embed/JjXzw51GZtc?feature=oembed

peter mcloughlin , says: May 3, 2019 at 2:37 pm GMT
I agree, there is irony in labels, in trying to tell who is more disposed towards 'bloodshed and destructive wars in which hundreds of thousands of people die'. Why do we fight? It is for power. Power (manifested as interest) has been present in every conflict of the past – no exception. It is the underlying motivation for war. Other cultural factors might change, but not power. Interest cuts across all apparently unifying principles: family, kin, nation, religion, ideology, politics – everything. We unite with the enemies of our principles, because that is what serves our interest. It is power, not any of the above concepts, that is the cause of war. And that is what is leading the world to nuclear Armageddon.
https://www.ghostsofhistory.wordpress.com/
Johnny Walker Read , says: May 3, 2019 at 2:42 pm GMT
@TKK My sponsors are truth and America first. All Zionist hucksters are on my hit list. Again, I suggest you and yours consider "making aliyah".
https://www.nbn.org.il/
HallParvey , says: May 3, 2019 at 2:47 pm GMT
@A123

What Trump administration military intervention?

Number of Boots on the ground:
-- Syria -- Reduced vs. Obama, at most a few thousand
-- Iran -- ZERO
-- Venezuela -- Again ZERO

We will see in the future. Trump has to stir the pot. The foaming at the mouth media and his political opposition, in both parties, need something to blather on about. Jus like rasslin'. Remember. The choice was between Trump and Clinton. Not Trump and Jesus.

Gapeseed , says: May 3, 2019 at 2:50 pm GMT
@TKK Oh, I see a point there, and it's an interesting one – openly Christian presidents discredit their Christianity by engaging in non-righteous wars. After contemplating the point, I don't think the foreign policy of W or Trump is anywhere close to being the primary factor in the decline in church attendance. After all, the Catholic Church and other denominations are mired in myriad sex scandals, the internet pulls people from God with private depravity, science offers compelling hows if not whys, entertainment options abound, and so on. Nonetheless, an orthodox and faithful Christian president committed to peace and not fighting for oil or foreign interests would be a thing to behold. With caveats relating to perceived sanity, that person would get my vote.
Anon [398] Disclaimer , says: Website May 3, 2019 at 2:52 pm GMT
But nothing seems to happen to the scumbags.
EliteCommInc. , says: May 3, 2019 at 3:00 pm GMT
"The russians are not the ennemies of the europeans , the russians are europeans , the yankees are nor european . "

These comments don't make any sense to me based on what I wrote. My comments have no bearing on whether the Russians are an actual threat or not. I see them as competitors with whom there are some places to come to some agreements. They doesn't mean I truth them.

Furthermore, my comments have no bearing on the territorial nature of Russian ethos. That's not the point. Europeans have been at each other since there were Europeans. From the Vikings and before to Serbia and Georgian conflicts. But none of that has anything to do with my comments.

You might want to read them for what they do say as opposed to what you would like them to say.

Agent76 , says: May 3, 2019 at 3:04 pm GMT
Jul 26, 2017 CIA director hints US is working to topple Venezuela's elected government

CIA Director Mike Pompeo indirectly admitted that the US is pushing for a new government in Venezuela, in collaboration with Colombia and Mexico.

Feb 22, 2019 An Ocean of Lies on Venezuela: Abby Martin & UN Rapporteur Expose Coup

On the eve of another US war for oil, Abby Martin debunks the most repeated myths about Venezuela and uncovers how US sanctions are crimes against humanity with UN investigator and human rights Rapporteur Alfred De Zayas.

EliteCommInc. , says: May 3, 2019 at 3:09 pm GMT
"After all, the Catholic Church and other denominations are mired in myriad sex scandals . . ."

Not even to the tune of 4%, and I am being generous. The liberals have managed to make the Church look a den of NAMBLA worshipers -- hardly. In the west the Churches are under pressure from the same sex practitioners to reject scriptural teachings on the behavior, but elsewhere around the world, Catholic institutions, such as in Africa -- reject the notion.

The scandal is more fiction that reality --

A123 , says: May 3, 2019 at 3:11 pm GMT
@TKK Thanks. Ignoring mindless trolls is a necessary skill for the site.
____

Given the end of the Mueller exoneration, both Trump and Putin are looking to strengthen ties. Thus it is:

-- Unlikely that Putin is heavily committed to helping Maduro. The numbers are too small for that. Also, what would Putin do with Maduro? The last thing Putin needs is a spoiler to the developing detente.

-- Much more likely the troops have a straightforward purpose. Brazilian military/aerospace technology would jump ahead 20 years if they could grab an intact S-300 system. Russia doesn't want a competitor in that market, so they have a deep interest in reclaiming or destroying S-300 equipment as Maduro goes down.

PEACE

Gapeseed , says: May 3, 2019 at 3:40 pm GMT
@EliteCommInc. You are certainly right. I have no doubt that the vast majority of priests are good men innocent of these charges, and that there are more public school sex scandals (by both raw numbers and percentage) then similar Church scandals. The scandals do have public currency and legs, though, and are one reason often cited as to why the pews are empty. I am at fault for helping to keep this ruinous perception alive with my online rhetoric, and thank you for pointing it out.
Wally , says: May 3, 2019 at 3:47 pm GMT
@PeterMX Bingo!

' It's the oil ' canard has always been the excuse cultivated for suckers, and boy do suckers fall for it.

US oil companies have not received the big oil deals in countries where the US, at the behest of "that shitty little country", have interfered militarily. However, Russia, China, & to a limited degree, a few European companies have.

follyofwar , says: May 3, 2019 at 4:06 pm GMT
@PeterMX Bibi's biggest enemy, his main prize, has always been Iran. He is afraid that, if Trump refuses to do his bidding now, it may well be too late in an election year. One way or another Bolton and Pompeo are going to convince their token boss to green light a massive bombing campaign, especially if Iran attempts to shut down the Straits of Hormuz. It will happen this year if Trump fails to come to his senses.
Digital Samizdat , says: May 3, 2019 at 4:33 pm GMT
@Scalper In the first place, your bizarre partisan rant is a little out of place. There aren't too many QAnons here at Unz, and there are probably a fair number of regulars here who wouldn't even identify as Republicans or 'conservatives' (whatever that term means today).

Secondly, some of your talking points aren't even accurate:

Trump administration will declare Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation, increasing the animosity from Arab countries in the ME to unbelievable levels. This includes non Arab country Turkey also, a traditional ally until neocon Trump took power.

If Trump were truly to declare the Brotherhood to be a terrorist organization, a lot of Arab rulers would actually thank him. You see, the Brotherhood is actually illegal in most Arab countries today, precisely because it has a history of collaborating with foreign intelligence services such as MI6, the CIA and Mossad. More recently, it was strongly associated with failed régime-change projects in countries like Egypt and Syria; so with a few exceptions (like Qatar), the Brotherhood is not well liked by Arab rulers.

Immigration restrictionism is a traditional pro working class, leftist policy.

Traditionally leftist? Sure up until the Hart-Celler Act of 1965! The sad fact is, we don't an anti-immigration party in the US at all today. Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats have any interest whatsoever in halting–or even just slowing down–immigration.

follyofwar , says: May 3, 2019 at 4:34 pm GMT
@PeterMX It's obvious that FOX is giving Tucker a lot of latitude. They continued to support him when advertisers left, and when accusations of racism emerged from a radio interview he'd done years ago with a shock jock. They dare not fire him as he has the largest and most fervent base of supporters on cable news. But Tucker knows that there is one big issue, the Elephant in the room, of which he dare not speak. It's that shitty little country calling the shots, whose name begins with an I.
Digital Samizdat , says: May 3, 2019 at 4:40 pm GMT
@Anonymous I think there may be more alt-righters opposed to foreign wars and exploitative 'free' trade treaties than you assume. Most of the alt-righters I know oppose the current régime's "invade the world, invite the world" policies (to borrow a phrase from our own Steve Sailer). But unlike the anti-imperialist left (with whom they often do ally), they usually argue against such policies based on popular self-interest rather than abstract universal morality. They usually choose to argue that being a mighty world empire has worked to the detriment of the majority of people in America; that the whole thing is just a scam to enrich and empower a small, corrupt élite.
joe webb , says: May 3, 2019 at 4:45 pm GMT
what goes unremarked here and elsewhere is the ethnic composition of Venezuela. From a few searches, Whites are only about one-third of V.

The Tipping Point for chaos is clear. Brazil is half White, Argentina is near 100 % White, ditto Chile. (Argentina ca. 1900 exterminated a large number its "Indigenous." ) The most stable of Latin America is Costa Rica, which is apparently about three quarters White.

Meanwhile the jewyorktimes reports the narco-traffickers in the Maduro administration.

Hopeless. Any Brown or Black Country is doomed. Brazil works cuz Whites know how to control the 45% mulattos and 5 % Blacks. For now anyway. Mexico is a narco-state with the only 9% Whites able to control the half breeds and Indigenous thru co-option. Wait for Mexico to blow up.

Joe Webb

Republic , says: May 3, 2019 at 4:46 pm GMT
Tucker's viewpoints seem to indicate a split in the US ruling class. US Bipartisan Unity on Venezuela Starting to Crumble. which is very good news!
DESERT FOX , says: May 3, 2019 at 6:02 pm GMT
@joe webb The major drug runners in the world are the cia and the mossad and mi6.
twocalves , says: May 3, 2019 at 6:31 pm GMT
@Endgame Napoleon https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-04-30/us-troops-syria-long-haul-atop-lot-oil-resources-top-pentagon-official
tldr ; Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Middle East says us occupying syria, because we much stronger
DESERT FOX , says: May 3, 2019 at 6:49 pm GMT
@anonymous Agree, and the same can be said of Hannity, who is another warmonger for his zionist masters.
Mike P , says: May 3, 2019 at 7:11 pm GMT
@follyofwar

It's that shitty little country calling the shots, whose name begins with an I.

Yes, those gosh-darn Icelanders.

Anonymous [173] Disclaimer , says: May 3, 2019 at 7:35 pm GMT

The funny thing is, the Alt-Right or the 2.0 movement is united to a man on opposing the Trump administration's military interventions in Syria, Iran and Venezuela, but has failed at articulating its own ardent opposition to imperialism and its commitment to humanity and international peace. No one in American politics is more opposed to destructive regime change wars.

That's an amazing point. I'm not sure what "Alt-Right" or "2.0 movement" really means in the current shills-vs-people wars but all the best and the brightest in our ranks are clearly against the globalists.

Robjil , says: May 3, 2019 at 9:59 pm GMT
@Avery The Deep state/CIA did the Bay of Pigs. JFK was not informed about it before it happened. JFK was fighting the CIA and deep state throughout his presidency. He wanted to shatter the CIA into a million pieces. Read "JFK and the Unspeakable" by James W. Douglass. His peace speech on June 10, 1963 was too much for our deep state. That speech was the biggest triggers that set the motion for his assassination.
Realist , says: May 3, 2019 at 10:24 pm GMT
@War for Blair Mountain

US Military Intervention in Venazuela .

=

Unending Wounded Warrior Project Infomercials

Why do the naive people have to beg for donations ..make the warmongers pay.

Realist , says: May 3, 2019 at 10:26 pm GMT
@Jake

Imperialists always see themselves as spreading good things to people who will benefit from them.

No they don't .They see power and wealth.

Acknowledging Gravity , says: May 3, 2019 at 10:45 pm GMT
Whatever anyone thinks about the Alt-Right it did expose a lot of things about our current era, our history, our politics, and power paradigms that once seen can not be unseen.

And what are you going to do about it? What can anyone really do, honestly?

Not too much at least in America. Eastern Europe still has a good chance.

In America, the trajectory and machinations of power have been set for a long time and revolutionary romanticism tends to work better for the Left than the Right. A quick look at the data easily reveals this.

So what do you do when you realize how so much of everything that's presented as real and true isn't real or true? And there are so many truly bad human beings with major power over our culture, politics, and society?

Well, when has that not been the case in human history? At some point, acknowledging all the black pills is sort of like accepting your human limits, your finitude, your genetics, the unanswered mysteries of existence, the nothingness of Earth in the grand scheme, and just basic gravity.

You could become a courageous online revolutionary and eventually trigger some unstable person to get things shut down and deplatformed.

Or you could organize with socially and psychologically healthy and mature adults who try to prioritize attainable and realistic goals and gain some moralizing victories that can buffer against the demoralizing defeats.

Luckily, out of the winter of our discontent have emerged many healthy tendrils of new growth.

[May 03, 2019] Tucker Carlson: Before The Bombers Take Off, Let's Ask A Few Questions About Venezuela

Notable quotes:
"... Will the overthrow of disputed President Nicolas Maduro make Venezuela a more stable and prosperous country? More to the point, would it be good for the United States? Lots of people claim to know the answer to that, but they don't. They have no idea. If recent history is any guide, nothing will turn out as expected. Few things ever do. ..."
"... Are we prepared for the refugees a Venezuelan war would inevitably produce? A study by the Brookings Institution found that the collapse of the Venezuelan government could force eight million people to leave the country. Many of them would come here. Lawmakers in this country propose giving them temporary protected status that would let even illegal arrivals live and work here, in effect, permanently, as many have before, with no fear of deportation. Are we prepared for that? ..."
May 02, 2019 | www.realclearpolitics.com

TUCKER CARLSON: There is much we don't know about the situation in Venezuela. What we do know is that Venezuela's current government has done a poor job of providing for its own people. Venezuela has the world's largest oil reserves, yet it remains one of the most impoverished and the most dangerous places on the planet. That is beyond dispute.

Everything else is up for debate. Will the overthrow of disputed President Nicolas Maduro make Venezuela a more stable and prosperous country? More to the point, would it be good for the United States? Lots of people claim to know the answer to that, but they don't. They have no idea. If recent history is any guide, nothing will turn out as expected. Few things ever do.

But that has not stopped the geniuses in Washington. It has not even slowed them down. On Tuesday afternoon, on a bipartisan basis, they agreed that the United States ought to jump immediately, face-first, into the Venezuelan mess. When asked whether U.S. presence in Venezuela would make any difference, Sen. Rick Scott of Florida told Neil Cavuto the following: "Absolutely. I was down at the Venezuelan border last Wednesday. This is just pure genocide. Maduro is killing his own citizens."

When asked whether Venezuela was worth risking American troops' lives, Scott said, "Here is what is going to happen. We are in the process, if we don't win today, we are going to have Syria in this hemisphere. So, we can make sure something happens now, or we can deal with this for decades to come. If we care about families, if we care about the human race, if we care about fellow worldwide citizens, then we've got to step up and stop this genocide."

All right, I just want to make sure that it is clear. If you care about families and you care about the human race -- if you want to stop genocide -- you will send your children to Venezuela to fight right now, without even thinking about it, without even weighing the consequences. You will just do it. Assuming you are a good person, of course.

If you don't care about families or the human race -- if for some reason you despise human happiness and support genocide -- then you will want to join Satan's team and embrace isolationism, the single most immoral of all worldviews. That is what they're telling you. That is what they are demanding you believe.

Message received. We've heard it before. But before the bombers take off, let's just answer a few quick questions, starting with the most obvious: When was the last time we successfully meddled in the political life of another country? Has it ever worked? How are the democracies we set up in Iraq, in Libya, in Syria, and Afghanistan right now? How would Venezuela be different? Please explain -- and take your time.

Are we prepared for the refugees a Venezuelan war would inevitably produce? A study by the Brookings Institution found that the collapse of the Venezuelan government could force eight million people to leave the country. Many of them would come here. Lawmakers in this country propose giving them temporary protected status that would let even illegal arrivals live and work here, in effect, permanently, as many have before, with no fear of deportation. Are we prepared for that?

Are we prepared to absorb millions of new Venezuelan migrants? All of them great people, no question, But many would have little education or skills or would not speak English.

Finally, how, exactly, is any of this good for the United States? Our sanctions on Venezuela have already spiked our gas prices. That hurts our struggling middle class more than virtually anything we could do. So what's is the point of doing that? So our lawmakers can feel like good people?

And if they are, indeed, good people, why do they care more about Venezuela than they care about this country, the one that they run? They are happy to send our military to South America at the first sign of chaos. But send U.S. troops to our own border to stem the tide of a hundred thousand uninvited arrivals a month? "No way," they tell us. "That is crazy talk!"

So, what is the thinking here?

[May 01, 2019] India and Europe stopped buying iranian oil. 1 billion $ of iranian oil stays blocked in China, no one wants to touch it. Even Khamenei admitted that Europe left the JCPOA in practise.

Notable quotes:
"... The Empire is not weak, this is poor analysis. India and Europe stopped buying Iranian oil. 1 billion $ of Iranian oil stays blocked in China, no one wants to touch it. Even Khamenei admitted that Europe left the JCPOA in practice. ..."
"... Iran is in deep recession. Venezuela is in deep recession and is surrounded. ..."
"... Iraq? US troops are staying there. Syria? US troops are staying there long term. 1 third of the country containing the biggest oil fields is under US control. There is fuel shortage crisis due to sanctions. Europe is not stopping its sanctions either. ..."
May 01, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Passer by , May 1, 2019 8:19:31 PM | link

"The Empire only appears to be strong. In reality it is weak, confused, clueless"

The Empire is not weak, this is poor analysis. India and Europe stopped buying Iranian oil. 1 billion $ of Iranian oil stays blocked in China, no one wants to touch it. Even Khamenei admitted that Europe left the JCPOA in practice.

Iran is in deep recession. Venezuela is in deep recession and is surrounded. Almost all of Latin America now has pro-US governments. CIA linked Bolsonaro took over in Brazil. Turkey is in deep recession and Erdogan lost the big cities.

India is moving closer to the US. Europe remains a vassal. Russian economic growth is weak. The US won the trade war against China as Andrei Martyanov himself admitted.

Iraq? US troops are staying there. Syria? US troops are staying there long term. 1 third of the country containing the biggest oil fields is under US control. There is fuel shortage crisis due to sanctions. Europe is not stopping its sanctions either.

There is no doubt that they will be weaker in the future, but they will fight hard to stop this and gain time.

[May 01, 2019] Does Juan Guaido realize what comes next

Notable quotes:
"... The opposition's hoped-for split in the military didn't emerge, a plane that the United States claimed was standing by to ferry Maduro into exile never took off and by nightfall one of the government's bravest opponents, who defied house arrest to join the insurrection, had quietly sought refuge with his family in a foreign embassy. ..."
"... Those that didn't take explicit positions nonetheless wrote articles blaming all or most of Venezuela's woes on Maduro and Chávez. Economics wiz Paul Krugman (New York Times, 1/29/19) gave his spiel: ..."
"... Hugo Chávez got into power because of rage against the nation's elite, but used the power badly. He seized the oil sector, which you only do if you can run it honestly and efficiently; instead, he turned it over to corrupt cronies, who degraded its performance. Then, when oil prices fell, his successor tried to cover the income gap by printing money. Hence the crisis. ..."
"... Note that Krugman failed to mention the 57 percent reduction in extreme poverty that followed Chávez's replacement of management of the state-owned oil industry ..."
"... The total failure of the coup is obvious when one looks at what happened to Leopoldo López, the mentor of Juan Guaidó. He was under house arrest for leading the violent demonstrations and deadly riots in 2014 ..."
"... The generals in the Pentagon will not like the rhetorical build-up at all. They will look at their maps and find that Venezuela is twice the size of Iraq and 30% larger than Afghanistan. ..."
"... It is unlikely that Trump wants to launch a war on Venezuela. He likely knows that it would not be a cake walk, and that it would be a severe risk for his reelection. But who knows what Bolton or Pompeo might tell him to get their way. They just got snookered by the Maduro government. Why would they not snooker Trump? ..."
May 01, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

gjohnsit on Wed, 05/01/2019 - 12:50pm Juan Guaido's U.S.-backed coup failed pitifully yesterday.

He called it the moment for Venezuelans to reclaim their democracy once and for all. But as the hours dragged on, opposition leader Juan Guaidó stood alone on a highway overpass with the same small cadre of soldiers with whom he launched a bold effort to spark a military uprising and settle Venezuela's agonizing power struggle...

The opposition's hoped-for split in the military didn't emerge, a plane that the United States claimed was standing by to ferry Maduro into exile never took off and by nightfall one of the government's bravest opponents, who defied house arrest to join the insurrection, had quietly sought refuge with his family in a foreign embassy.

Guaido's mentor Leopoldo Lopez sought refuge in Chile's embassy in Caracas, while at least 25 pro-Juan Guaido troops asked Brazil for refuge. President Nicolas Maduro is actually in a stronger position now than a week ago. So does the U.S. give up this imperialist project? Nope.

We simply take it to the next level. Juan Guaido must die .

He has been a kind of a hapless figure so far. He calls for mass protests and no one shows up. I don't think he realizes right now that he is actually now worth more dead than alive not only to the CIA, but also to his own opposition people. A shot in the crowd or something like that to take Guaido out. It might shock you, Dr. Paul, but the CIA is pretty good at this kind of things.

Juan Guaido probably only has days or weeks to live.
I wonder if he realizes the danger he is in?

It's unlikely that the Trump Administration will wait long before putting a bullet in their CIA puppet.

"The President has been crystal clear and incredibly consistent. Military action is possible. If that's what's required, that's what the United States will do," Pompeo said on Fox Business Network. "We're trying to do everything we can to avoid violence. We've asked all the parties involved not to engage in the kind of activity. We'd prefer a peaceful transition of government there, where Maduro leaves and a new election is held.

But the President has made clear, in the event that there comes a moment -- and we'll all have to make decisions about when that moment is -- and the President will have to ultimately make that decision. He is prepared to do that if that's what's required."

You don't think that

Maduro would imprison Guaido first?

Is Maduro not able to capture Guaido? Or is he protected by the US and unreachable?

Lookout on Wed, 05/01/2019 - 1:08pm
My guess is Maduro

@dfarrah
Thinks arresting Guaido triggers a US military invasion. Eric Prince is trying to put together a mercenary force if the US troops don't go in.

aliasalias on Wed, 05/01/2019 - 1:48pm
Right wing nuts are joined by faux 'liberals'

calling for the same results that Pompous, Bolton, tRump etc. advocate, the 'liberals' just use nicer language. (highlights are mine)

"...Francisco Rodríguez and Jeffrey D. Sachs (New York Times, 2/2/19) envision similar efforts for a "peaceful and negotiated transition of power," and (Ro) Khanna made sure to characterize Maduro as "an authoritarian leader who has presided over unfair elections, failed economic policies, extrajudicial killings by police, food shortages and cronyism with military leaders."

In other words, Maduro the Dictator must be overthrown -- but don't worry, the US would be diplomatic about it.

Those that didn't take explicit positions nonetheless wrote articles blaming all or most of Venezuela's woes on Maduro and Chávez. Economics wiz Paul Krugman (New York Times, 1/29/19) gave his spiel:

Hugo Chávez got into power because of rage against the nation's elite, but used the power badly. He seized the oil sector, which you only do if you can run it honestly and efficiently; instead, he turned it over to corrupt cronies, who degraded its performance. Then, when oil prices fell, his successor tried to cover the income gap by printing money. Hence the crisis.

Note that Krugman failed to mention the 57 percent reduction in extreme poverty that followed Chávez's replacement of management of the state-owned oil industry (.

I picked the examples above from the article above but it would be a mistake to not point out that this is about all of the media but the NY Tool really stands out, of course Wapoop is never far behind.

However to not make this post too long I'll put up just two of the opening paragraphs and it gets a lot better...

"A FAIR survey of US opinion journalism on Venezuela found no voices in elite corporate media that opposed regime change in that country. Over a three-month period (1/15/19–4/15/19), zero opinion pieces in the New York Times and Washington Post took an anti–regime change or pro-Maduro/Chavista position. Not a single commentator on the big three Sunday morning talkshows or PBS NewsHour came out against President Nicolás Maduro stepping down from the Venezuelan government.

Of the 76 total articles, opinion videos or TV commentator segments that centered on or gave more than passing attention to Venezuela, 54 (72 percent) expressed explicit support for the Maduro administration's ouster. Eleven (14 percent) were ambiguous, but were only classified as such for lack of explicit language. Reading between the lines, most of these were clearly also pro–regime change. Another 11 (14 percent) took no position, but many similarly offered ideological ammo for those in support.

"

https://fair.org/home/zero-percent-of-elite-commentators-oppose-regime-c...

dfarrah on Wed, 05/01/2019 - 2:59pm
So people are stuck with

@aliasalias a choice between corrupt socialists and corrupt capitalists. Yay.

So now I'm watching tv, and oh noes, some guy says that Caracas is a war zone! But all I see is a bunch of people and some sort of smoke bombs going off. But no one yet is shooting. People are throwing rocks at some military vehicles.

The Aspie Corner on Wed, 05/01/2019 - 3:06pm
Krugman is a capitalist stooge.

@aliasalias I'm also willing to bet he was perfectly fine with the US ordering its client states in the Middle East to ramp up oil production to manipulate prices.

What I find particularly laughable is the fact that so many idiots on and offline think Venezuela is socialist despite the fact that their economy is 70 percent private, or mixed, like ours used to be before the capitalist pigs sold off the commons to the highest bidders piece by god damn piece.

Liberals and conservatives are just 2 sides of the same fascist coin at this point.

Battle of Blair... on Wed, 05/01/2019 - 2:04pm
Fight fire with fire

Whats good for the goose is good for the gander.

leveymg on Wed, 05/01/2019 - 3:35pm
Most pathetic CIA coup attempt, yet.

Even after an effective multi-year economic embargo that's caused hyperinflation in Venezuela, and despite a plague of Stuxnet-like viruses that took down most of the country's electrical and communications grid, all the CIA has managed to do is make itself look ineffectual at what really matters. Same in Iran.

All we really still do well is wreck stuff, cause starvation, and cut down the supply of oil going to the world market.

The Agency doesn't really confuse and intimidate anyone, anymore, except The New York Times.

Cassiodorus on Wed, 05/01/2019 - 3:47pm
Is it just me?

Or is the American public missing the obvious? All I see from the folks advocating for a coup in Venezuela is that

1) people are starving,

2) Maduro is a "dictator" (supported by what evidence I don't know) and

3) something must be done. They have no evidence for the counter argument that

4) they are comprador elites who want nothing more than

5) to get their hands on PdVSA's oil after 6) their American sponsors take the lion's share and that

7) it's perfectly obvious that, apart from the end of the US-led embargo, nothing is going to get any better for the vast majority of Venezuelans if the comprador elites are allowed to take over the country. This is because their methods are

9) at least as dictatorial as those they accuse Maduro of employing. And then we have the undemocratic idea that

10) the United States government should somehow have a "say" in who rules Venezuela, a proposition that appears to have the open assent of most of the world's governments.

DonMidwest on Wed, 05/01/2019 - 3:43pm
Guaido got snookered

Venezuela - Guaidó Got Snookered - White House Starts Beating War Drums

Moon of Alabama has an excellent article.

Generals promised him that they were with him, but they were not.

US failed again. And the world knows it.

The total failure of the coup is obvious when one looks at what happened to Leopoldo López, the mentor of Juan Guaidó. He was under house arrest for leading the violent demonstrations and deadly riots in 2014. Yesterday morning the guards let him go. While the circumstances are not clear, the police chief responsible for the guards has been fired. López promised his followers that he would go to the Miraflores Presidential Palace. But he wasn't even able to leave eastern Caracas.

Yesterday evening López, with his wife and daughter, fled into the Chilean embassy. They seem to have disliked the accommodations. Two hours later they moved into the Spanish embassy.

While the embassy food may be good, it will be a quite different life than in their own comfortable mansion. A few of the soldiers who supported Guaidó took refuge in the Brazilian embassy. Guaidó is still free.

The generals in the Pentagon will not like the rhetorical build-up at all. They will look at their maps and find that Venezuela is twice the size of Iraq and 30% larger than Afghanistan. It has impenetrable jungles, mountains and slums that even Venezuelan troops do not dare to enter. It has a functioning army and halfway decent air defenses which were recently upgraded by Russian specialists.

It is unlikely that Trump wants to launch a war on Venezuela. He likely knows that it would not be a cake walk, and that it would be a severe risk for his reelection. But who knows what Bolton or Pompeo might tell him to get their way. They just got snookered by the Maduro government. Why would they not snooker Trump?

[May 01, 2019] War with Venezuela Is Unnecessary, Illegal, and Wrong by Daniel Larison

May 01, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

There are absolutely no vital U.S. interests at stake in Venezuela, and the Venezuelan government poses no threat to the United States. There is no way under these circumstances that military action could be "required," so when Pompeo suggests that it could happen we are clearly talking about a war of choice divorced from any U.S. security interests. It would be a war fought solely for the purpose of achieving regime change, and the only reason why the U.S. would do that is to vindicate the Trump administration's reckless blunder of taking sides in an internal political dispute. No Americans should die for the sake of Trump's ego or for the ambitions of hawkish senators.

Attacking the Venezuelan government would be a terrible error and a violation of international law. It would be a calamity for the people of Venezuela, who would bear many of the costs of turning their internal crisis into an international war, and it would likely cause more displacement and increase the number of people fleeing the country in the short term. I suspect it would also be a more difficult and costly war than most of us expect, and it would be a massive waste of U.S. resources and American lives in an unjustified and unnecessary war. If all that isn't enough, an unauthorized Venezuelan war would also be completely illegal under U.S. law. The American people have no appetite for a new war for regime change anywhere in the world, and there is not much support for it even in Congress. If Trump tries to take the U.S. to war in Venezuela, he will be in clear violation of the Constitution and should be impeached for it.


Collin , says: May 1, 2019 at 11:48 am

The thing I really don't understand about Venezuela here is why is this not China's problem while the US and Russia doing old cold war dance here? They are in debt to their eyeballs here with them.

At this point, Bolton and Pompeo are doing everything to suck President Trump into the battle for Venezuela and we must be not support military action. (I fear the talking heads at Fox News here.) Because it appears the people, or majority, of Venezuela are generally tiring of Maduro government but they do not want US military assistance. (Note any truth the CIA dropped weapons to the Guiadro forces? They do have US guns but this stuff get trade fairly easily without US government doing.)

Allen , says: May 1, 2019 at 12:34 pm
If America goes to war in Venezuela, Trump loses my vote in 2020. If we don't get out of at least one more unnecessary war like Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan, etc, he's on thin ice. Getting OUT of foreign wars was one of his major campaign promises.
james , says: May 1, 2019 at 1:39 pm
It seems that wars of opportunity are the only kind we engage in over the past few decades. If we don't have a war with either Venezuela or Iran, I will be shocked and very relieved.
However, I am not optimistic. Our foreign policy seems to be completely controlled by NeoCons, arms merchants, and Saudi / Israeli interests, with no honest benefits to our own nation's security or strategic interests.

[May 01, 2019] Bay of piglets

May 01, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Hoarsewhisperer , Apr 30, 2019 2:09:11 PM | link

Apologies to b, but today's Xymphora post really tickled my fancy.>

Bay of piglets, Tuesday, April 30, 2019

"Venezuelan coup attempt 'directly planned in Washington' – FM". Guido's cute little coup-let. If you stage a coup and nobody notices as it is so half-assed, is it really a coup? "Venezuela: Military Uprising in Caracas (in Development)".

"Venezuela - Bay of Pigs Redux?" (Lang). Obviously, the government can no longer tolerate Guido's shenanigans, which have become a public safety matter.

Emily Dickinson , Apr 30, 2019 4:53:38 PM | link

Apparently, both López and Guaidó have sought asylum in the Chilean embassy.

https://www.chiletoday.cl/breaking-venezuelan-opposition-leader-escapes-to-chilean-embassy/

I look forward to the embassy video showing them skateboarding in their quarters. I don't, however, believe any self-respecting cat will befriend either one of these tools.

Emily Dickinson , Apr 30, 2019 5:00:30 PM | link
Correction to 114 above. The Venezuela Analysis tweet linking to the Chile Today story claiming that both Guaidó and López had taken refuge in the Chilean embassy has been removed, and the story only claims that López is there. Miscommunication in a rapidly developing situation? In any case, surely Guaidó is seeking refuge SOMEplace.
wendy davis , Apr 30, 2019 5:10:07 PM | link
multiple sources are reporting similar information to telesur's update:

UPDATE: 3:11

pm Chile's Foreign Affairs Minister Roberto Ampuero confirmed that Venezuelan opposition politician Leopoldo Lopez and his family requested asylum at the Chilean embassy in Caracas.

"Lilian Tintori and her daughter entered as guests of our diplomatic mission in Caracas. A few minutes ago her spouse, Leopoldo Lopez, joined his family in that place. Chile reaffirms commitment with Venezuelan democrats," Minister Ampuero tweeted.

that seems that this iteration of the coup has fizzled. stay tuned for what comes next.

[May 01, 2019] It seems Guaido and even L pez were used as pawns in this scheme by US intelligence

The difference with EuroMaydan is that there is no distinct region of the country which supports the opposition.
Notable quotes:
"... US media will milk this to increase sanctions and economic blockade on the country. ..."
"... The show will go on produced and directed by US intelligence. They are using psychological warfare not only on Venezuelans but on American and European citizens. ..."
May 01, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Comandante , May 1, 2019 8:46:35 PM | 67 ">link

So called "coup" attempt was just a show for American and European audience consumption. You can easily tell by watching the Western coverage the last couple of days(CNN, fox, European news) and compare it to actual reality on the ground seen through interviews with Venezuelans and social media videos.

US media will milk this to increase sanctions and economic blockade on the country.

It seems Guaido and even López were used as pawns in this scheme by US intelligence and/,or Venezuelan and Russian intelligence. You can tell by looking at their faces on photos taken that early morning and by the fact that López immediately ran to the Chilean embassy. They knew they'd been duped and used as pawns.

The show will go on produced and directed by US intelligence. They are using psychological warfare not only on Venezuelans but on American and European citizens.

Be aware US intelligence is running the show they don't spend 100 billion in Intelligence to let an idiot like Guaido run the show. Guaido is their dancing monkey. Watch the monkey dance. Dance monkey! Dance!

[May 01, 2019] Is the time for Washington-sponsored snipers on roooftops near?

Is Maduro put in Yanukovich situation by Washington. If so he is doomed...
Notable quotes:
"... Cue the snipers on rooftops. Not wishing for this, but that's what history suggests. Naturally, Maduro would then be blamed. ..."
"... The carnage was blamed on Yanukovich and the Berkut, but the actual killers were from the rebels. ..."
"... All that's needed are a few snipers killing some actually innocent protestors, and blame for the carnage would be pinned on Maduro. Like others in this blog, I think that Maduro should immediately arrest Guaido et al., and not allow the situation to progress further. He should be wary of repeating Yanukovich' mistake. ..."
"... That said, I agree with previous commenters that Guaidó and his clique have gone beyond seditious "baiting" and advocating violent rebellion to engaging in armed insurrection-- however staged and phony. ..."
"... My guess - the CIA want Guaido out of the way to start a serious run at Madura. Sacrifice Guaido and blame Madura (he'll be dead in a week I guess) ..."
May 01, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Blue | Apr 30, 2019 3:16:56 PM | 89

Beware of snipers on the roof alla the Takism massacre in Turkey 1977 May Day with the Ecevit (leftist) gov't in power.
Of course Bengazi and Kiev come to mind as well.

Jackrabbit | Apr 30, 2019 12:00:05 PM | 37

Cue the snipers on rooftops. Not wishing for this, but that's what history suggests. Naturally, Maduro would then be blamed.
William Gruff , Apr 30, 2019 1:57:37 PM | link

Chevrus @44

Absolutely correct, Prince's mercs could not actually win territory and hold it. Their attack would just be a "bloody their nose" sort of thing that American psychos are so fond of. Basically Prince's attack dogs create chaos as long as they can get away with and when the Venezuelan military begins a methodical counterattack they retreat to Colombia. Beyond destabilizing the government somewhat I don't see what it could accomplish, though.

I think the concern raised by others is much more likely; that is snipers killing dozens or hundreds of people celebrating May Day in such a way that the mass media can spin it as the government's doing. Most Americans do not know what May Day is and will assume that any Venezuelan crowds their TVs show them will be Random Guaido's faithful flock protesting against Maduro. Guaranteed that's how the New York Langley Times will spin it tomorrow. If mystery snipers (CIA death squads) shoot up the festival-goers it will not be difficult to fool Americans into thinking that the mystery snipers are pro-Maduro forces trying to kill a few Guaidog supporters for some reason.

What further suggests this possibility is that the US State Department's astroturf Twitter army has been trying to force the meme that Random Guaido is actually a socialist and is more left than Maduro. This is to seed the idea among people who actually do know what May Day is about that Maduro would oppose May Day celebrations and thus reinforce the forced meme that Maduro loyalists are responsible for tomorrow's sniper attacks.

Still, selling it to the gullible American public is one thing. It is another entirely to fool the Venezuelans since many of them will be seeing this happen firsthand. If the Venezuelan people don't buy that the government is behind the sniper attacks then they will close up ranks around Maduro rather than throw their lot in with Guaidog's coup attempt.

Rob , Apr 30, 2019 2:05:04 PM | link

@jayc (68) Are the coup planners and advisors smart or dumb? In one sense, they are smart, because they can reason from some basic assumption and reach a conclusion that seemingly flows from the rules of logic. OTOH, they are dumb, because the basic assumption from which their reasoning begins is a steaming pile of crap. So, I vote for DUMB.
cassandra , Apr 30, 2019 2:17:21 PM | link
This is a very dangerous situation. Recall the leaked conversation between Cathering Ashton and Umas Paet, indicating that Maidan sniping was coming from the hotel occupied by the protestors.

https://thesantosrepublic.com/2014/03/06/kiev-snipers-estonia-confirms-leaked-nuland-call-yanukovych-innocent/

The carnage was blamed on Yanukovich and the Berkut, but the actual killers were from the rebels.

All that's needed are a few snipers killing some actually innocent protestors, and blame for the carnage would be pinned on Maduro. Like others in this blog, I think that Maduro should immediately arrest Guaido et al., and not allow the situation to progress further. He should be wary of repeating Yanukovich' mistake.

Ort , Apr 30, 2019 2:35:42 PM | link
This is just to further confirm that this stunt is being hyped by US mass-media as if it is "the big one", i.e. that Guaidó and his "revolutionary" forces are practically storming the presidential palace.

I listen to the local all-news radio station at the top of the hour. It's a reliable indicator of the tune du jour being played on the mass-media Mighty Wurlitzer.

This morning, as noted, it was the "top story"-- and presented as if the long-anticipated nation-wide coup was raging. Despite the usual overwrought sensationalism, I suspected that there was less than met the ear: this local station didn't throw over to their parent network for a Special Report, as it typically would if the conflict had actually escalated into open rebellion.

"Special Report" mode is announced with dramatic theme music, and Team Coverage featuring the Usual Suspect celebrity network correspondents and a gaggle of house "experts".

So I correctly concluded that despite the breathless tone, this was much ado about little.
____________________________________________________

That said, I agree with previous commenters that Guaidó and his clique have gone beyond seditious "baiting" and advocating violent rebellion to engaging in armed insurrection-- however staged and phony.

It seems to have intentionally crossed a line to further test the Maduro government's patience and resolve.

I'm not one of those who finds fault with embattled statesmen for refusing to act precipitously in response to obvious provocations. Maduro and loyal Venezuelans know perfectly well that even a reasonable response to blatant illegal and illicit provocations may be used by the golpistas (which includes the US/Western sponsors and enablers) as a pretext for foreign intervention.

But the prudent policy of tolerance and forbearance cannot continue indefinitely in the face of outright treasonous provocations, since this will eventually be perceived as the government turning a blind eye, or winking at, the rule of law upon which it relies for legitimacy.

It's a difficult dilemma.

William Gruff | Apr 30, 2019 3:25:23 PM | 93

psychohistorian @87 said

"...with very few shots being fired."

This is an important point. The Russians and Chinese seem to have the psycho empire psychoanalyzed and are offering good guidance to Venezuela, assuming Venezuelans themselves are not also clued into how the psycho empire works.

In essence, America needs a pretext to attack. Americans need to maintain the delusion that they are the victims, and that it was their victims who forced America to attack against America's bogus peace-loving will.

The pretext doesn't need to be very convincing, but it needs to exist. For this reason it could be wiser to just leave Random Guaido alone, but arrest and court martial the military personnel who took part in this little stunt. Lopez should also be re-arrested and tried for violating the terms of his detention.

This arresting should be done by regular police for Lopez and military police for the military personnel who violated the chain of command. No shooting or even guns drawn. Just calmly take them into custody and let the legal process work on them.

NOBTS | Apr 30, 2019 3:34:39 PM | 96

Now that CIA poster boy Leopoldo is available to take charge Juan Doe is prime sniper fodder!

Tobin Paz | Apr 30, 2019 3:58:20 PM | 101

US Unconventional Warfare Manual - Plain Text

The Unconventional Warfare Manual sets out the techniques of subversion the US uses in targeting nation states that don't toe the line.

Although the document is of recent date, the policy has clearly existed for a long time. Based on Church Committee hearings, it has been estimated that the US has carried out tens of thousands of covert operations since WW2.

Michael Droy | Apr 30, 2019 6:06:43 PM | 133

Guaido is just an opportunity for Bolton to stir up trouble.

He has never been part of a CIA long term regime change plan. If he was then his wikipedia page would not have been created just 2 weeks before Trump recognised him as President (or at least it would have been manipulated to appear a lot older).

And he would have been mentioned in WaPo a hundred times in the last 2 years instead of only a week before Trump recognition.

My guess - the CIA want Guaido out of the way to start a serious run at Madura. Sacrifice Guaido and blame Madura (he'll be dead in a week I guess).

[May 01, 2019] On Venezuela, America Should Check Its Regime Change Impulses at the Door

Notable quotes:
"... it was Russia that attacked Iraq on the basis of lies? ..."
"... It must have been Russia that turned Libya into a failed state, complete with slave markets? ..."
"... Instead of spinning fantasies about Maduro going into exile or being overthrown by some kind of joint (and illegal) Latin American task force, how's about we consider the very reasonable idea of Guaidó being arrested and tried for treason? ..."
May 01, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Kurt Gayle, says: May 1, 2019 at 1:23 pm

"Tulsi Gabbard: Say NO to the costly interventionist wars that have cost us trillions of dollars" March 12, 2019:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/PziNiTsFByU

Kouros , says: May 1, 2019 at 1:51 pm
Please refrain in using the term "democracy" so easily. US is a republic with the surface of elected representative system, and we know exactly how that works. See the election of Truman as VP instead of Wallace in 1944 or so or very recently the election of Hillary Clinton as democratic representative.

A true democracy is done via a sortition system that selects randomly from the roster of eligible citizens to represent the will of the people.

Imagine that in the Second Amendment instead of "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed" we would have: "A well educated Citizenry, being necessary to the security and well-being of a free, moral, and ethically sound State, the right of the people to get a sound Education in Philosophy, Ethics, Civics, Logic, Finance, and Health, shall not be infringed".

Bah, Utopia

Sid Finster , says: May 1, 2019 at 2:38 pm
Javier:

let me guess,

  1. it was Russia that attacked Iraq on the basis of lies?
  2. It is China that is gleefully assisting the Saudi tyrants to commit genocide?
  3. It must have been Russia that turned Libya into a failed state, complete with slave markets?
  4. Is China now that is frantically threatening war on Iran?
  5. Russia must have been responsible for supporting jihadists to turn Syria into another failed state, right?
  6. For that matter, is it Russia and China that are threatening war on the elected and UN recognized government of Venezuela?

Seriously, after America's long and bloody track record of failed and bloody interventions, it baffles me that anyone could say something so ridiculous.

cka2nd , says: May 1, 2019 at 3:57 pm
" fearmongering about the "Yankee" empire to the north."

What, this isn't justified?

Instead of spinning fantasies about Maduro going into exile or being overthrown by some kind of joint (and illegal) Latin American task force, how's about we consider the very reasonable idea of Guaidó being arrested and tried for treason?

[May 01, 2019] Random Guyaid 's New Coup Attempt Turns Out to Be A Dangerous Joke

May 01, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Chevrus , Apr 30, 2019 8:53:36 AM | link

Guaidó seems to have neither a base nor large scale military support nor access to significant military equipment. If that does not change this coup attempt is likely to fail within a few hours.

We may have jumped the shark in to the realm of the monthly coup attempt. Mostly a media event to see if they can get a buy-in. Didn't work? Not to worry we will try again next month!

Can you imagine a force of 5000 or so mercs staging a combat assault on a large and reasonably well armed country?

If it didn't involve so much killing and dying it would be amusing to watch the "private army" get pinned down and butchered.

Seriously without air cover it would turn into bloody squalor. Meanwhile Russia and perhaps China are likely providing signal intel fo the Venezuelan military and keeping a close eye on what the gringoes are up to. Much like the RAND document on destabilizing other nations it will probably be a slow bleed by sabotage and scarcity.


Geoff , Apr 30, 2019 8:59:52 AM | link

I can't see either Guaido, the US, or any other of the coup fomentors ceasing their attempts until they've achieved some kind of result. Guaido running around, and I can see the rationale behind allowing him to do so, is an ongoing problem. Too much is at stake for the powerful interests to let go of any of their global plans. People everywhere do not really matter all that much.
Kadath , Apr 30, 2019 9:07:34 AM | link
Looks like the Neo-Cons just replied with their unavoidable escalation, this smacks of desperation. I wouldn't be surprised if Abrams told Random Guy to announce a coup and even if it fails the US will protect him or use it as an excuse to invade. Once this coup fails Maduro should stick both of these traitors in a "real" prison and see if that loosens their tongues a bit, neither of these fools have experienced real hardship so just taking away their sliver spoons and private aircraft would convince them to rat out their fellow traitors
Sally Snyder , Apr 30, 2019 9:11:47 AM | link
As shown in this article, the New York Times has been highly biased in its coverage of the situation in Venezuela:

https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2019/04/the-new-york-times-its-anti-maduro-bias.html

While everyone is aware of the existence of fake news, we are less aware of how editorial conflicts of interest can be used to sway public opinion, particularly in the case of a highly influential and widely read newspaper like the New York Times.

Steve Keith , Apr 30, 2019 9:26:21 AM | link
Harvard Law School
Barack Obama, an alumni of Harvard Law School, was the United States President who ordered the destruction of Africa's richest, most literate and developed country, Libya, and reduced that country to rubble and a state of lawlessness. Thousands died.

The sovereign wealth fund of the oil rich country has disappeared without trace. Libya's premier medical facilities that were the envy of it's continent and it's neighbours in the Middle East have been destroyed, precisely at the time that it's citizens required them. Many of the doctors, nurses and ancillary staff, as highly trained as their counterparts in Europe, have also disappeared without trace, many presumed drowned in the waters of the Mediterranean trying to flee to save their lives. Libya is now the poorest state in Africa. The leader who had united it and raised the infrastructural standards to be on a par with the first world, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, never had his day in a court of any description, he was beaten, tortured and sodomised with a knife, before being murdered on the blood soaked streets by a mob.

We have to wonder what it is that they are teaching at the Harvard Law School? In the 1980's the tiny countries of Central America, Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua suffered from their own brutal civil wars. Extreme, right wing governments and militias were either trying to hold onto power or to seize it for themselves from the impoverished indigenous citizenries who sought democracy and guarantees of their fundamental civil and human rights. The United States sent in Elliot Abrams, now to be found lurking in the jungles of Venezuela, to support the fascistic regimes in the brutal battle against their own civilians. Mr Abrams was another product of the esteemed Harvard Law School. By the end of his time there, hundreds of thousands of some of the world's poorest people and been murdered, their bodies tossed into mass graves if they were lucky. There was no rule of law, in spite of the fact that there were constitutions and courts, judges and the concept of jurisprudence.

The current Secretary of State of the United States, Mr Mike Pompeo, recently addressed an audience of American students and told them that his former department, the Central Intelligence Agency, of which he was the Director from 2017 until 2018, routinely "lied, cheated and stole" as and when it suited or the occasion demanded. Mike Pompeo is another American official who studied at and graduated from the Harvard Law School.

This Massachusetts institution has had scores of it's students graduate and pass through, onwards and upwards into positions of authority in the halls of power. It is difficult to see what ethical foundations were laid down in those formative years of studying the law in the seminars of that Cambridge campus. Three alumni of Harvard Law School who have recently served and continue to serve in some of the highest offices of the United States, have done irreparable damage to a number of countries and have done so by breaking every international law that existed to protect them. They did this unapologetically, in order, as Secretary of State Pompeo admitted in a rare moment of candour, to "cheat and steal" from defenceless nation states and their helpless populations.

Perhaps Harvard Law School is not the best place to send one's kids to learn about ethics, democracy and the rule of law.

EricT , Apr 30, 2019 9:27:59 AM | link
@ #3, for a second I thought you were describing the Bay of Pigs fiasco.
Zico , Apr 30, 2019 9:43:41 AM | link
IF this coup succeeds, Moduro had it coming. He let the wannabe gangster roam free - bad move!

Seems the grandchildren of the plantation owners will get their plantations back after all.

Hoarsewhisperer , Apr 30, 2019 9:44:30 AM | link
Couldn't help noticing that Guyaido looks like a frightened little bunny which just soiled its underwear or is about to. Lopez seems to be in a similar state of near-panic. I don't know why the govt doesn't just disappear them. They could be stuffed and embalmed and put on display in the National Museum as a reminder that abject stupidity isn't a virtue in Venezuela.
BM , Apr 30, 2019 10:11:45 AM | link
OK, both Random Guy and Lopez are openly committing armed insurrection and high treason. Now is the time to arrest both, try in the courts (public and televised) for high treason. Unlimited military force (as required) is fully justified in making the arrests. Not to do so is appeasing the criminal actions of a foreign force attempting to use violence to usurp the legitimate and democratically elected government of a sovereign state.

Until now there have been legitimate strategic grounds for holding off from arresting Random Guy. No longer. They must be crushed with the full force of the law backed by military power if necessary, and immediately prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Limit the prosecution in the first instance to Random Guy and Lopez, and to High Treason and military insurrection. All other charges and defendents can be tried later in a separate trial, but these two need a straightforward and legally watertight conviction as quickly as possible, so that there is then no rotting carcase of ambiguity left.

Cesare , Apr 30, 2019 10:27:16 AM | link
Trump won't be gaining any "wave" from attacking Venezuela. In fact, it stands to alienate a large part of his base and energize the meekly antiwar Democrats.

It might be moot since it looks like this putsch has failed to get more support, and if so Guadó will spend the next months in a cage.

Alaric , Apr 30, 2019 10:35:25 AM | link
Maduro didn't arrest random guy to deny the US an excuse to invade. The US was bluffing I think but simply ignoring random dudecwas wise at that point.

But things have changed now. Lopez and Guaidó must be arrested and tried now. Failure to do so would encourage additional coups.

This does indeed smack of desperation as a previous poster observed.

Cesare , Apr 30, 2019 11:22:37 AM | link
Remember the (if I remember correctly) supposed 1800+ Venezuelan soldiers being kept in hotels in Cucuta, Colombia across the border? This and the white house rejection of the Prince scheme show that some combination of the US, the Colombians, and Guaidó's people have had little faith in the route of using that as the core of a contra force. Now they might have to.

As for our boy Juan, presidente encargado, unless something drastic happens very soon, he'll be wishing for some black helicopters to show up and pluck him off that bridge. Unless, of course, being arrested is the plan. This may be a case of believing your own propaganda - the opposition claims it's 90% of Venezuela. Maybe Guaidó truly believed all he needed to do was orchestrate something like Prince's "dynamic" event and the army would rally to Altamira with the masses in tow.

About a month ago, when his motorcade went outside of his east Caracas haunts and got pelted by rocks, you had all the internet trolls denouncing it as staged.

You see, there are mafialike Chavista bosses, Cubans all, forcing the barrios to act like they hate their beloved interim president. Maybe instead of taking the hint and changing strategy, Juan believed his own spin.

Or maybe he did take the hint, and figures the struggle against Cuban oppression is better waged from the dock than the streets, where he can force action from his allies and supporters by claiming abuse. Time will tell.

Jackrabbit , Apr 30, 2019 12:00:05 PM | link
Cue the snipers on rooftops.

Not wishing for this, but that's what history suggests. Naturally, Maduro would then be blamed.

Kadath , Apr 30, 2019 12:04:40 PM | link
The US media is really talking up this latest coup attempt by random guy, but I still don't see the meat on it. successful coups are fast moving and depend on quickly seizing key targets like media centers, power generators and most importantly of all seizing high value government officials. Currently, it looks like Random Guy just found some more random guys to stand around him and pose while he declares a coup. so this looks doomed to failure within a few more hours (6-8), what really matters is what does the US do once it fails, realistically, there aren't anymore sanctions they can put on Venezuela and Colombia has made it clear they won't send their own army in to fight the US's war.

That basically leaves just Erik Prince's planned mercenary army or a direct US invasion, previously Prince's plan had faced a lot of opposition so it is interesting that this failure of a coup is launched right now. If Trump was ever serious about not starting anymore stupid wars (and thus won't invade Venezuela before the 2020 elections) I imagine he'll now be more supportive of the idea of loaning money to Random Guy's backers so that they can buy Erik Prince's mercenaries and use them. Even if they use Prince's troops I doubt that they will succeed, Prince's mercenaries might be good at massacring civilians, but Venezuela has a massive civilian militia made up of the poorest citizens they will know right away what Random Guy's mercenaries will do to them and their families if their coup succeeds. So they will fight very, very hard. This could setup another Bay of Pigs type situation for the US and their mercenaries.

Red Ryder , Apr 30, 2019 12:26:14 PM | link
Several thoughts to keep in mind:

Trump will be lied to by CIA and NSC and State, so if he okays this or really wants this, it does not matter. He was couped and the Deep State uses him. He's happy being POTUS. That is all that matters to Trump.

The uprising will depend on hundreds of thousands in the streets, not several thousand.

The goal is hundreds of dead protesters.

Maduro has to snatch Guaido and put him on trial.

Looks like they are massing the people successfully.

The question for the moment is will the US agents and officers on the ground turn this into a Venezuelan Tiananmen 2. They certainly know how.

JOHN CHUCKMAN , Apr 30, 2019 12:28:27 PM | link
Imagine trying to overthrow your elected government at the behest of John Bolton?

If anyone in the United States pulled a stunt like this - and, remember, the US is packed with armed extremist loons like militias and survivalists and Aryan churches - they would be stormed with federal agents and soldiers and either dragged away to prison in chains or shot.

I am not exaggerating in the least. He would be charged with treason, and I think we all know, from our memories of how the United States has treated prisoners at Guantanamo what kind of treatment he would receive in prison for treason.

But the same United States not only thinks this is just fine to do in another country, they encourage it.

Simply the most lawless of all advanced nations, that's America. Utter contempt for rule of law and blind belief that American laws should overrule everything else everywhere.

So, what is Canada's Foreign Minister, Ms Chrystia Freeland - someone who has shamed Canada with her fervent support for Washington's illegal activities in Venezuela - doing today to assist Bolton and his unelected, self-appointed "president?"

Ripe Fruit , Apr 30, 2019 12:49:55 PM | link
If I were a Russian or Chinese strategist, I would be salivating at the thought of the US willfully creating another Vietnam right on its own doorstep and throwing the only Continent connected to it by a landbridge into complete upheaval and stark class warfare.

Class-based Civil War could easily spread to Brazil, Colombia, and beyond, throwing the lives of hundreds of millions of people into upheaval, all on Uncle Sam's dollar.

After the failures of Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya and the Ukraine, the several million Latino refugees and the expenditure of another 6 trillion or so over the next decade should be enough to throw the US itself into Civil War and Coup territory and finish off its hegemony over EurAsia for good.

Don't give Maduro too much aid just yet. Sucker the US to commit its hand and go in, then, as elsewhere, give just enough aid to keep the US in perpetual zugzwang as it slowly bleeds itself to death.

Austerity and War for the Americas, OBOR and peaceful development for EurAsia.

This is too easy a call.

WJ , Apr 30, 2019 12:59:20 PM | link
Red Ryder @47

"Maduro has to snatch Guaido and put him on trial."

This might be exactly what the U.S. wants Maduro to do. The arrest and/or imprisonment of Guaido by the "repressive regime" could be the pretext for a sudden "popular uprising" to which the "Venezuelan State" (ie. CIA operatives and hired assassins) responds "violently." A small gathering in any city square suddenly disrupted by the gunfire death of a dozen or so innocents--all miraculously captured "live" on cell-phone video and streamed direct to social media--is all that it would take to give the US sufficient domestic support for any further action. I suspect this action would not take the form of direct US military action but rather the freeing of Erik Prince and his mercenaries upon the dirty brown socialist peasants.

Maduro surely has anticipated that his arrest of Guaido is likely to play into US hands. Guaido may be too stupid to know he is being used as live bait, or he may be simply being coerced by his handlers to undertake increasingly reckless actions until Maduro bites.

I think the best thing Maduro might do would be to arrange for a public meetin and reconciliation between him and Guaido away from his U.S. handlers. The US is not expecting that and would then have to explain why they are opposed to the peaceable reconciliation of the conflict. If Guaido feels he has become disposable to the US, he may not be disagreeable to some kind of pardon and face-saving but largely superficial compromise.

Noirette , Apr 30, 2019 1:20:22 PM | link
The Rovian dictat We make our own reality (mutter it in growling mafia accent) is shredded to confetti, or almost.

Look at Ukraine, a comedian who acts the part of a nobody guy propelled to a presidential position in a TV show, is elected as president in RL!

Coluche was a French comedian who stood for president, 1980. Polls showed 16 to 25% of the vote. (He was supported by Charlie Hebdo.. them again..)

His manager was murdered and Coluche withdrew.

He was then himself killed (1985) in mysterious, highly suspicious, circumstances. Won awards for Best Actor and died because.. a truck..

Beppe Grillo is another comedian who created a Pol Party, the 5 Star, Cinque Stelle, party in Italy (with another guy.) Grillo could not be elected, by law, because he has a conviction on his blotter, for manslaughter.

Random Guy-do is within this landscape a feeble contender - a clown who pretends to be serious! He has no acting credentials, nada. No self proclamation presence. A confused, hapless, manipulated placeholder.

No way that is going to end well. For him. Maybe night - school acting classes? Ouch.. Idk. Operation Freedom, anyone who takes that on is pushed offstage..

Better to be a real clown! One can live on (Grillo) or die an honorable death (Coluche)!

:) :)

carroll , Apr 30, 2019 1:20:29 PM | link
oil
WJ , Apr 30, 2019 1:21:48 PM | link
Venezuela's FM is wisely playing down the guilt of the thirty or so military personnel involved in the coup. Such personnel were first described as likely deceived or misled by Guaido and now the FM is explicitly claiming plan and execution of coup came from Washington. The military personnel were not involved in its planning and so can be treated mercifully. (Who knows if some of them weren't blackmailed to join in? We are dealing with the CIA after all.)
bevin , Apr 30, 2019 1:22:03 PM | link
MediaLens has this story today:
"A new report on April 25 by a respected think tank has estimated that US sanctions imposed on Venezuela in August 2017 have caused around 40,000 deaths."
The question for Canadians is whether Freeland and Trudeau are ready to take ownership for, say, 5,000 of those deaths..and counting. Toss them in with the thousands killed thanks to Canadian assistance in Ukraine and a share of the daily carnage in Yemen and the bloody nature of the Ottawa cabal begins to become clear.
RJPJR , Apr 30, 2019 1:28:41 PM | link
Posted by: Circe | Apr 30, 2019 11:50:18 AM | 33 wrote: "It sounds like Abrams connivance."

Abrams is NOT conniving. He is dead in the middle of it all, the planner, the string-puller, the manipulator.

Ghost Ship , Apr 30, 2019 1:28:55 PM | link
>>>> jsb | Apr 30, 2019 11:26:52 AM | 27
According to reports, a group from Venezuela's Sebin intelligence service freed Leopoldo Lopez from house arrest early Tuesday morning.

Lopez and Guaido could have been set up in a stunning black op. Get Lopez and Guaido to come out openly and claim they're running a coup which is treason. If they stayed out of jail previously will they stay out of jail now? Probably not.

BTW, it's interesting that today's events are being called a coup. The coupist, Guaid and Lopez, have maintained the fiction that Guaido is president of Venezuela so in their narrative, how can this be a coup implying they're the usurpers. Surely it should be a counter-coup, which it obviously isn't so someone has fucked up big time. Perhaps John Bolton and/or Elliott Abrams as they're both stupid and arrogant enough to do so.

Miss Lacy , Apr 30, 2019 1:31:36 PM | link
Another vomitona from Guido Gusano and his boy friend. They're clearly out past curfew and should head back to the dorm. Idiots.
AriusArmenian , Apr 30, 2019 1:38:10 PM | link
Now, finally, after letting the clown run around creating a lot of noise, now that they tried a hapless attempt at a military uprising will the government of Venezuela arrest, imprison, and put on trial for treason the moron Guaido and the idiot Lopez?
Christian J Chuba , Apr 30, 2019 1:38:40 PM | link
Where is the money we stole from Venezuela?

We keep hearing the Neocons saying that Maduro and his 'thugs' are thieves and robbing the 'Venezuelan people'. The Administration has stolen many of their assets like Citgo and given them to Guaido.

So where is that money, his bank account? I'd love to hear someone in the MSM ask Pompeo that question.

Hoarsewhisperer , Apr 30, 2019 1:38:59 PM | link
DW is casting doubt on Guyaido's claim of "widespread support" based on DW's observation that there's very little visible evidence...
Domza , Apr 30, 2019 1:42:33 PM | link jayc , Apr 30, 2019 1:43:40 PM | link
Despite the sanctions, the Lima Group, the OAS, and the relentless public relations stunts, all the self-declared "government" has to show for itself is thirty recruits standing on a bridge. That's a poor result. Maybe all the smart think-tank people who dreamed up the Guaido charade aren't actually so smart, or place too much faith in PR optics as opposed to actual politics. The lack of smarts certainly characterizes the Venezuelan opposition - who would want these people to be in charge of anything?

Credit to Mexico for retaining clearly articulated principles, as displayed at OAS recently.

Miss Lacy , Apr 30, 2019 1:44:03 PM | link
to steve keith # 7 and anitspin # 12 - School of International Atrocities is just right. Remember Haaahvaaad gave us napalm which was field tested in North Korea, along with other such treats as Larry "Garbagemen" Summers, and MacGeorge "Green Ford Foundation" Bundy. " Fight fiercely Harvard, do...." ah yes, and Geo "Is Our Children Learning" Bushboy. Wonderful.

[Apr 28, 2019] The top five special interests groups and institutions that seek to benefit from a coup in Venezuela

Apr 28, 2019 | failedevolution.blogspot.com

April 16, 2019 globinfo freexchange

As the US continues to attack the Maduro government, keep these special interests in mind. Think about who gets rich off of the regime-change agenda. It's the same people that said we had to invade Iraq in order to prevent nuclear apocalypse. It's the same people who said the world would stop turning on its axis if we didn't carpet bomb Libya and Syria.

Now they're trying to get us to support war in Venezuela. You won't be any freer or more prosperous after the Maduro government is toppled. It's just war propaganda.

Saddle the Venezuelan people with enormous debt to the IMF

The trojan horse for the return of neoliberalism in Venezuela, Juan Guaido, stated that he's going to borrow money from the IMF to fund his government, which would make all Venezuelans indebted to this predatory institution. Guaido spends the money and the poor and working people work to pay taxes that pay off the principal and the interest.

The IMF was created in New Hampshire in 1945 to internationalize and standardize capitalism and its rules in an increasingly globalized and US-dominated world.

Its primary function is acting as an international lender-of-last-resort to indebted countries. IMF member states decide which countries will receive loans, but the member states with the largest say are the ones with the largest share of the IMF's funds, which have always been the United States and its allies.

This is why the IMF's standard "structural adjustment program" is based on the so-called Washington Consensus. A set of 10 economic policies entirely concocted by US think tanks, the IMF, the World Bank and the Treasury Department.

The Washington Consensus is as follows:

In exchange for a loan, often with a high-interest rate that many would call predatory, the IMF overhauls the protective and redistributive policies of a country for neoliberal policies, making the target country ripe for finance capital investment and profit-making.

Control the oil reserves

There's little doubt that the oil industry is pushing the US to overthrow the Maduro government, especially when John Bolton openly states this on national television.

Bolton was himself once part of the oil industry, serving as the director of Diamond Offshore Drilling, Inc. in 2007. So, he is no stranger to advocating for the interests of the fossil-fuel industry.

Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world by far and Washington won't let that wealth go unexploited, or worse, be shared among its enemies like the Maduro government, Russia, China, or Iran.

And with so many politicians, Republican and Democratic, bought off by industry players -- companies like ExxonMobil, Koch Industries, and Chevron -- it's impossible to imagine anyone in Washington advocating for Venezuela maintaining ownership over its own sovereign natural resources.

Establish military dominance and arm your puppet

One of the most bizarre things about America is that it created one of the world's largest private industries around arms dealing. And like any industry, whether it be JDAM bombs or beef, private businesses often resort to lobbying Congress to squeeze political favors out of the government in the form of subsidies. Or, in the case of the military industrial complex, a foreign policy of endless war, one based on elusive ideas like combating terrorism or defending democracy.

You can see that wherever the US goes, expensive construction projects follow. Behind every multi-billion dollar base construction, some private contractor is there reaping the profits.

Once the US military presence is firmly established, the weapons sales begin. And we all know no US ally, or puppet state, is complete without a full fleet of Lockheed Martin F-16s. Then they'll be able to fend off all of those pesky leftist rebels with freedom missiles.

With Venezuela's neighbors, Colombia and Brazil, growing closer to NATO and accepting US military presence in their countries, we can only assume Venezuela is Washington's next target.

As the strategic approach of regime change evolves, new industries arise to meet these needs.

After the massive anti-war protests following the invasion of Iraq, outright invasion and occupation were no longer viable strategies due to negative public opinion. Washington sought to disguise war propaganda using humanitarian rhetoric.

Create the humanitarian alibi

Privately owned NGOs dedicated to human rights and promoting "American style" democracy have played a much larger role in regime-change operations in recent years. They serve as soft-power institutions, which attempt to subtly sway a population against its own government through propaganda laced with words like 'freedom', 'democracy', and 'human rights'.

These NGOs are given the full blessing of the US government and the two often work in tandem.

The US Agency for International Development's regime-change arm, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), funded opposition groups in Nicaragua, Venezuela (during the 2002 coup), Haiti, Ukraine, and most recently China and North Korea. And whenever US foreign policy sets its sights on a certain target, private industries usually develop to help meet that goal as well as make a quick buck along the way.

For example, Thor Halvorssen -- the first cousin of Leopoldo Lopez, the founder of Juan Guaido's party, Popular Will -- calls himself a human-rights activist. He founded the notorious Human Rights Foundation (HRF) and makes a living giving speeches and TV appearances, talking about why the governments of Venezuela or North Korea are not legitimate and need to be overthrown.

Unsurprisingly, the HRF is funded by the conservative Sarah Scaife Foundation, which is itself funded by think tanks like the top neoconservative think tank, the American Enterprise Institute, as well as the Heritage Foundation. HRF is also funded by the Donors Capital Fund and the Diana Davis Spencer Foundation, which are also funded by the American Enterprise Institute. It's one big web of moving money that all leads back to the same cast of characters.

The crisis in Venezuela has been a huge gift for people like Halvorssen, who use the US's war on Venezuela to promote themselves and their organizations.

Buy the facts from the think tanks funded by the Military Industrial Complex

Like NGOs, think tanks also play an important role in giving regime change a sense of legitimacy -- in their case, intellectual legitimacy. Think tanks rely on donations to operate and many find willing donors among the capitalist class. These fat cats pay for fancy looking reports meant to justify their desired goal: the delegitimization of socialist governments and the legitimization of coup governments that uphold the Washington Consensus.

The Cato Institute has been deeply involved in the attempted overthrow of the Venezuelan government. In 2008, Cato awarded Venezuelan opposition leader, Yon Goicoechea, the Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty and $500,000 for his role in disrupting a constitutional referendum in Venezuela. That money was used to finance the political rise of Juan Guaido, and his clique known as Generation 2007.

These seemingly independent research groups have intimate networks that they leverage to amplify the message their donors have given them.

Whether it was the bank bailouts following the 2008 crisis, or the lack of action on climate disaster, in America it seems the government always puts the interests of the rich ahead of the poor and working class, and the situation in Venezuela is no different.

More:

http://content.jwplatform.com/players/ufxBptWt-YuKiCfZc.html

[Apr 24, 2019] It's complete fiction that the US is going after Venezuelan oil so as to confront Iran.

Notable quotes:
"... Plenty of people still fool themselves into believing Trump has been captured by the deep state and is only going along with them to stay alive. Bunk. Ever since Trump sat in the power chair he willingly joined the deep state. He's even going one further and his goal is a one world government led by the US. He knows the American populace won't condone a new war so his weapons are sanctions, the dollar, and trade wars. All viable tools as long as the US continues to control the financial system. ..."
Apr 24, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

snedly arkus , Apr 24, 2019 4:06:05 PM | link

It's complete fiction that the US is going after Venezuelan oil so as to confront Iran. If Maduro goes so does Venezuela as civil war erupts and spreads to other countries. No oil company is going to put itself and it's employees in such a danger zone.

It is also complete fiction that Trump was against going after Venezuela as he has been on them almost from day one and every time Trump announces more sanctions or makes threats he's as giddy as a kid in a candy store and relishes handing out the pain. In one of his latest speeches to a gathering of the faithful he not only gleefully stomped on Venezuela but also announced the US is going to overthrow the governments of Cuba and Nicaragua.

Trump was barely in office when the US undid the efforts by Obama to normalize relations with Cuba and as of the first of the year put sanctions on Nicaragua.

This after NED and USAID last summer brought radicals from Nicaragua to DC for training in riots and rabble rousing. Which they did after returning home. In his speech Trump claimed that by overthrowing those governments this hemisphere will be the "only totally free hemisphere in the world". If the plan was to get Venezuelan oil so as to shut off Iran the US would have supported Maduro, Venezuela is no danger to US security, and offered to send in the best engineers to get the oil industry rolling. The US is now sanctioning the tankers so as to cut off even more revenue to Venezuela and deprive Cuba of oil.

Plenty of people still fool themselves into believing Trump has been captured by the deep state and is only going along with them to stay alive. Bunk. Ever since Trump sat in the power chair he willingly joined the deep state. He's even going one further and his goal is a one world government led by the US. He knows the American populace won't condone a new war so his weapons are sanctions, the dollar, and trade wars. All viable tools as long as the US continues to control the financial system.

If the US does attack Iran it will be a Libya affair using only air power to cripple them and cause internal chaos.

[Apr 23, 2019] Mapping The Countries With The Most Oil Reserves

Apr 23, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Benito_Camela , 33 minutes ago link

" Venezuela tops the list with 300.9 billion barrels of oil in reserve – but even this vast wealth in natural resources has not been enough to save the country from its recent economic and humanitarian crisis."

LOL, good one. It's BECAUSE of their vast wealth that they cannot operate a country free of external interference, internal sabotage and the world's biggest bully attacking its electrical generation and grid. We can't have a successful socialist economy with THAT much oil, now, can we? And while Maduro did make some mistakes with the economy, it wasn't enough to bring about this "economic and humanitarian crisis." No, that level of shitstorm requires the intervention of the Yoo Nited States of America and "experts" on the region like Elliot Abrams (why isn't he in jail again? Oh yeah never mind, two systems of law in this country) and Mike Pom-Pom-Peon.

If the U.S. hadn't attempted coup after coup after coup, and actually let Venezuela's little experiment in Chavismo socialism play out on its own, we'd probably be seeing a South American version of Libya - at one time the richest country in Africa with healthcare for everyone - before France and the Yooo Nited States decided to destroy it. Of course it's too much to ask for a blog called "Visual Capitalist" to acknowledge this, and it's also pretty much par for the course with the sour right who comes to ZH for their daily fix of liberal bashing and rah, rah America is great! And so are (((they))). Of course.

https://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/14263

Benito_Camela , 20 minutes ago link

You're way out of your depth on this topic. You wouldn't be able to point to a single thing that Maduro did which would have had long-lasting consequences such as what we are seeing now. Total moron - the Venezuelan masses wealth was stolen by the landed former Spanish colonialists and their offspring, who then were given all the good oil leases, and bailed on the country (sabotaged it on their way out - along with the food supply) as Chavez started giving wealth BACK to the masses. You know NOTHING about Venezuela and like many other things you parade around pretending to be some kind of expert while you're just a typical zionist moron.

The US and our buddies have been cutting VZ off from any external capital, but more importantly FREEZING their assets and preventing them from accessing THEIR OWN gold. If that was happening to one of our so-called allies, we'd be calling it THEFT. You idiot.

But let's play - find me a source that backs your assertions. Point to paragraph and sentence where your claims are laid out clearly for all to see. How did Maduro COMPLETELY **** up Venezuela? Your turn...

Benito_Camela , 19 minutes ago link

The Bolivarian Revolution, a series of economic and social reforms that dramatically reduced poverty and illiteracy while greatly improving health and other living conditions for millions of Venezuelans, drew worldwide acclaim. The reforms, which included nationalizing key components of the nation's economy as part of an agenda of socialist uplift, made Chávez a hero to millions of people and the enemy of Venezuela's oligarchs. The exportation of the Bolivarian Revolution, which included forging stronger, more peaceful inter-American relations and even the provision of free home heating oil for hundreds of thousands of needy people in the United States, made Chávez a marked man in Washington.

The administration of George W. Bush -- whom Chávez infamously called "the devil" in a speech before the United Nations -- backed a failed military coup against Chávez in 2002. The attempted coup was closely linked to prominent neoconservatives including Elliott Abrams , the disgraced Iran-Contra criminal who played a key role in covering up massacres committed by US-backed death squads in Central America and Otto Reich, a staunch supporter of Cuban exile terrorists who have killed at least hundreds of innocent men, women and children throughout the Americas. Two key coup plotters, Army commander Efraín Vasquez and Gen. Ramirez Poveda, were trained at the US Army School of the Americas. The coup briefly ousted Chávez but loyalist forces and popular support restored his rule 47 hours later.

Barack Obama continued Bush's policy of demonizing Chávez, whose government he called "authoritarian." This, despite the fact that former president Jimmy Carter, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work at the election-monitoring Carter Center, called Venezuela's election process "the best in the world." In 2015, Obama declared Venezuela an "extraordinary threat to national security," a bewildering assertion considering the country has never started a war in its history. The United States, on the other hand, has intervened in, attacked, invaded or occupied Latin American and Caribbean nations more than 50 times and, as Obama spoke, the US military was busy bombing seven countries in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. For decades, successive US administrations have also lavished Venezuela's neighbor Colombia -- which has been condemned for its government and paramilitary death squad massacres and deadly corporate-backed crackdowns on indigenous peoples and workers -- with billions upon billions of dollars in military and economic aid.

Benito_Camela , 17 minutes ago link

How would they reinstate that "talent" if it was being blocked and bribed not to go to Venezuela by....you know who?

Chavez purged the firm because it was the same rich elites running it and threatening to use it as a form of blackmail.

Failure to regrow human capital base? Is that a repeat of what you just said about PDVSA? What does that even mean?

What about the US sanctions, freezing of their access to their own money, coup attempts, sabotage, the rich cutting off the food supply chain, etc? Which of these things contributed more to the current state of VZ?

Benito_Camela , 15 minutes ago link

Here's a good resource to counter the lies/propaganda you've read:

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/02/01/sorting-through-the-lies-about-venezuela/

President Chávez had to withstand three successive attempts to remove him -- the 2002 coup, 2002-03 bosses' lockout and the 2004 recall referendum. Five times he was elected president, never with less than 55 percent of the vote, and overall he won 16 of 17 elections and referendums in which his movement participated. The election system put in place by the Chávez government was declared by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter's Carter Center to be " the best in the world ." None of this prevented the late president from being furiously denounced as a "dictator."

and

Government officials have repeatedly discovered vast quantities of consumer goods hidden in warehouses by local capitalists who are artificially causing shortages.

re: PDVSA

The latest, issued on January 28, freezes all property and interests of PDVSA subject to U.S. jurisdiction -- in other words, blocking Venezuela from any access to the profits generated by PDVSA's U.S. subsidiary, Citgo, or any PDVSA activities in the United States. The Trump administration expects Venezuela to lose US$11 billion this year, The New York Times reports.

and Maduro being a "dictator"

President Maduro is repeatedly called a "dictator," an epithet endless repeated across the corporate media. But when a portion of the opposition boycotts, can it be a surprise that the incumbent wins? The opposition actually asked the United Nations to not send observers , a sure sign that they expected to lose a fair election despite their claims that the election would be rigged. Nonetheless, a coalition of Canadian unions, church leaders and other officials declared the election to be "a transparent, secure, democratic and orderly electoral and voting process."

So yeah, you're on the same side of this issue as Barack Obama, George Soros and Hillary Kkklinton. Hope you're happy with that company.

[Apr 21, 2019] Whenever someone inconveniences the neoliberal oligarchy, the entire neoliberal MSM mafia tells us 24 x7 how evil and disgusting that person is. It's true of the leader of every nation which rejects neoliberal globalization as well as for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange

Highly recommended!
Apr 21, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Have you ever noticed how whenever someone inconveniences the dominant western power structure, the entire political/media class rapidly becomes very, very interested in letting us know how evil and disgusting that person is? It's true of the leader of every nation which refuses to allow itself to be absorbed into the blob of the US-centralized power alliance, it's true of anti-establishment political candidates, and it's true of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Corrupt and unaccountable power uses its political and media influence to smear Assange because, as far as the interests of corrupt and unaccountable power are concerned, killing his reputation is as good as killing him. If everyone can be paced into viewing him with hatred and revulsion, they'll be far less likely to take WikiLeaks publications seriously, and they'll be far more likely to consent to Assange's imprisonment, thereby establishing a precedent for the future prosecution of leak-publishing journalists around the world. Someone can be speaking 100 percent truth to you, but if you're suspicious of him you won't believe anything he's saying. If they can manufacture that suspicion with total or near-total credence, then as far as our rulers are concerned it's as good as putting a bullet in his head.

Those of us who value truth and light need to fight this smear campaign in order to keep our fellow man from signing off on a major leap in the direction of Orwellian dystopia, and a big part of that means being able to argue against those smears and disinformation wherever they appear. Unfortunately I haven't been able to find any kind of centralized source of information which comprehensively debunks all the smears in a thorough and engaging way, so with the help of hundreds of tips from my readers and social media followers I'm going to attempt to make one here. What follows is my attempt at creating a tool kit people can use to fight against Assange smears wherever they encounter them, by refuting the disinformation with truth and solid argumentation.

This article is an ongoing project which will be updated regularly where it appears on Medium and caitlinjohnstone.com as new information comes in and new smears spring up in need of refutation.

[Apr 17, 2019] The media's interest in the well-being of a foreign population is directly proportional to the West's interest in toppling its government, while editorial standards are inversely proportional to its enemy status

Highly recommended!
Apr 17, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Apr 16, 2019 7:26:23 PM | link

Ah yes, Prescient observation regarding Venezuela:

"The media's interest in the well-being of a foreign population is directly proportional to the West's interest in toppling its government, while editorial standards are inversely proportional to its enemy status."--John McEvoy

So, lets employ this maxim to Russiagate and the Skripal Saga and the respective national media. In the first case, the Russian public's completely ignored unless it's a member of the so-called opposition while Putin and Russia get slandered constantly. The same treatment goes for the UK media and a case could be made that the two act in tandem, implying innerconnectivity between their spy agencies as suspected.

[Apr 16, 2019] Defending The Revolution a short film about the People's Militia in Venezuela. Not gonna be easy.

Apr 16, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Desolation Row , Apr 14, 2019 2:19:05 PM | link

Defending The Revolution a short film about the People's Militia in Venezuela. Not gonna be easy.

And one more time, Whitney Webb is doing a bang up job with this series:

This article is Part II of a multi-part investigative series examining the efforts of the global elite, as well as powerful elements of the global Zionist lobby and the government of Israel, to create an independent state out of Argentina's southern Patagonia region in order to plunder its natural resources and to fulfill long-standing Zionist interest in the territory that dates back to the "founding father" of Zionism, Theodore Herzl. Part I, which focuses on the de facto "parallel state" created by British billionaire Joe Lewis in Argentina's Patagonia, can be read here. Part II focuses on Eduardo Elsztain -- one of Argentina's wealthiest businessmen, who is deeply connected to the global elite and global Zionist lobbies -- and his role in a scheme to undercut Argentina's democracy by hijacking its voting system.

See my "lost" comment at the end of OT 2019-20, #167

[Apr 15, 2019] The Absurdity of Our Regime Change Policy in Venezuela

Notable quotes:
"... Even if Maduro were forced out by his current supporters in the military, it does not follow that Guaido or any other opposition figure would take over later. At that point, does the policy of forcing regime change continue shuffling forward like a zombie, or will the U.S. then accept a military government in Venezuela that is run by someone not named Maduro? How long does the U.S. keep trying to install its preferred government in power before admitting that it won't work? ..."
"... Since these haven't occurred, they have no plan except to strangle Venezuela's economy further through sanctions. Perhaps the best part is that the administration claims that Guaido is president of Venezuela, but that his presidency hasn't actually started yet. The administration's special representative, Elliott Abrams, claimed this in a press briefing last month , saying that the 30-day "interim" period of Guaido's "presidency" won't begin until after Maduro leaves office. ..."
"... Abrams' comments remind us of the shaky legal basis for everything that Guaido has been doing this year. As Noah Feldman pointed out shortly after this started, the provision in the Venezuelan constitution that Guaido invoked to claim his position as "interim" president was intended to apply in cases of death or incapacity of the incumbent president. It wasn't a loophole for declaring the presidency vacant when it is still very much occupied. Now because it is occupied, the official line is that Guaido's "interim" presidency hasn't really begun. Judging from how the regime change effort has been going so far, it probably never will. ..."
Apr 15, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro. Credit: StringerAL/Shutterstock The Trump administration's statements about Venezuela are beginning to sound eerily like Western governments' pronouncements about Syria over the last seven years:

The United States has no timeline for a change in government in Venezuela, a U.S. top official said, but is certain embattled President Nicolas Maduro will not remain in power.

Almost three months have passed since the U.S. threw its support behind Guaido as "interim" president. During that tine, the opposition has made no discernible progress in taking over, and the military remains firmly on Maduro's side for now. The administration has no "timeline" for when Maduro will leave power because they and the opposition have no idea how to achieve the regime change they are seeking, but that isn't stopping them from pursuing it anyway. Like the confident Western assertions from 2012 that Assad "must go," the administration is "certain" of an outcome that seems increasingly unlikely to happen.

It is possible that the top military brass will eventually decide that it is better for them to rid themselves of the unpopular ruler and retain power for themselves, just as Algeria's military did with Bouteflika and Sudan's military did with Bashir recently, but there is no guarantee that this would lead to a "restoration of democracy."

On the contrary, a transition that depends so heavily on the military is much more likely to produce another dictatorship.

Even if Maduro were forced out by his current supporters in the military, it does not follow that Guaido or any other opposition figure would take over later. At that point, does the policy of forcing regime change continue shuffling forward like a zombie, or will the U.S. then accept a military government in Venezuela that is run by someone not named Maduro? How long does the U.S. keep trying to install its preferred government in power before admitting that it won't work?

The absurdity of the administration's current policy is quite remarkable. They insist that Maduro is no longer president, but the president they recognize controls nothing. The success of their ill-conceived regime change "plan" depended almost entirely on mass defections from the military, but they have found no way to spur these defections.

Since these haven't occurred, they have no plan except to strangle Venezuela's economy further through sanctions. Perhaps the best part is that the administration claims that Guaido is president of Venezuela, but that his presidency hasn't actually started yet. The administration's special representative, Elliott Abrams, claimed this in a press briefing last month , saying that the 30-day "interim" period of Guaido's "presidency" won't begin until after Maduro leaves office. According to them, Guaido is the "legitimate" president but has not yet assumed office:

QUESTION: So Juan Guaido is the interim president of an interim that doesn't exist yet?

MR ABRAMS: The 30-day end to his interim presidency starts counting. Because he's not in power, that's the problem [bold mine-DL]. Maduro is still there. So they have decided that they will count that from when he actually is in power and Maduro's gone. I think it's logical.

QUESTION: So then he really isn't interim president, then?

MR ABRAMS: He is interim president, but he's not --

QUESTION: With no power.

MR ABRAMS: -- able to exercise the powers of the office because Maduro still is there.

Abrams' comments remind us of the shaky legal basis for everything that Guaido has been doing this year. As Noah Feldman pointed out shortly after this started, the provision in the Venezuelan constitution that Guaido invoked to claim his position as "interim" president was intended to apply in cases of death or incapacity of the incumbent president. It wasn't a loophole for declaring the presidency vacant when it is still very much occupied. Now because it is occupied, the official line is that Guaido's "interim" presidency hasn't really begun. Judging from how the regime change effort has been going so far, it probably never will.

[Apr 15, 2019] With the situation stalled the US is ramping up talk of a military attack on Venezuela to create psychological pressure

Apr 15, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

The Washington Post again laments that the U.S. coup attempt in Venezuela failed:

Venezuela's military, despite U.S. expectations, has not turned on Maduro

Nearly three months later, Venezuela's top-heavy military remains largely intact under President Nicolás Maduro. The once-brisk pace of defections to neighboring Colombia has slowed to a trickle. Fewer than 1,500 Venezuelan soldiers, relieved by the Colombian government of their weapons and uniforms and housed in sparsely furnished hotel rooms near the border, now sit waiting for something to happen.

The idea that the Venezuelan army would defect was always crazy. Anyone with a bit of knowledge of Venezuela could predict that it would never do so. Reports of lonely soldiers isolated in fourth class hotels in Columbia will not incite any further defections. While the random opposition guy promised amnesty for any soldier moving to his site, the U.S. seeks to arrest one of the few who did:

Venezuela's ex-spy chief arrested in Madrid on US warrant

Venezuela's longtime spy chief was arrested Friday in Madrid by Spanish police acting on a U.S. drug warrant a few weeks after he threw his support behind opponents of President Nicolas Maduro.
...
The opposition saw Carvajal's criticism of Venezuela's socialist government as a stimulus to prod other military figures to defect, but the country's armed forces have remained largely loyal to current Maduro.

With the situation stalled the U.S. is ramping up talk of a military attack on Venezuela:

US Military Attack on Venezuela Mulled by Top Trump Advisors and Latin American Officials at Private DC Meeting

EXCLUSIVE: Away from the public eye, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) think tank hosted a top-level, off-the-record meeting to explore US military options against Venezuela.

Such talks are poor attempts to create some psychological pressure. There are no sound military options. The U.S. is not going to invade Venezuela. It will ramp up sanctions and press its 'allies' to do the same. Venezuela and its people will suffer but they will not give up on resisting U.S. pressure. The current situation will only resolve itself when the regime in Washington or in one of Venezuela's neighboring countries changes.

[Apr 15, 2019] Canada To Russia Meddling Is Okay If It Destabilizes You But Not The Other Way Around

Notable quotes:
"... While Russia is being set up as the scapegoat of the collapsing western liberal establishment, this most recent red alarm by Freeland and Canada's response to the "danger" is useful for two reasons: ..."
"... First and foremost, Freeland's shameless warnings over "foreign interference" have become so loud that an irony has become unavoidable. She has after all been caught red handed behind the destabilization of both Ukraine and Venezuela. Secondly, by reviewing the mechanisms being created by Canada to counter-act this "threat", a clear insight is provided into the inner workings of the actual foreign influences which infiltrated Canada many decades ago. ..."
"... On the first point, Freeland's role as a co-architect of the nazi-fueled overthrow of a pro-Russian government in February 2014 is now well known. Aside from her family's Nazi connections going back to her grandfather Michael Chomiak's leading role as a Nazi collaborator in WWII, and her own mother's role in helping to draft Ukraine's neo-liberal constitution, Freeland herself not only befriended leading neo-Nazi collaborators such as Canadian Ukrainian Congress' president Paul Grod and but has also promoted NATO's anti-Russian expansion across eastern Europe. ..."
"... Freeland set up a program for regime change which involved a two-part formula of 1) mobilizing mass direct support for the overthrow of a government, and 2) gaining international support for said overthrow. ..."
"... Canada itself was infiltrated by a foreign player many years ago and what we will briefly see is that Canada can only be called the "world's first post national-state nation" because it never really became a genuine nation in the first place, but was always manipulated by a foreign power... although not the one you think. ..."
"... It is from this cybernetics central node that the web of governance both in Canada and also across other British infiltrated territories in the Trans-Atlantic system is coordinated under the directives of London. ..."
Apr 15, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Canada To Russia: 'Meddling' Is Okay If It Destabilizes You But Not The Other Way Around

by Tyler Durden Mon, 04/15/2019 - 18:50 74 SHARES Authored by Matthew Ehret via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

In the midst of one of the most de-stabilizing scandals to rock Canada in years, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland announced on April 5 that the threat of "Foreign interference" going into the October 2019 elections was at an all-time high. Sitting beside her UK counterpart at a G7 meeting in France, Freeland stated:

"Interference is very likely and we think there have already been efforts by malign foreign actors to disrupt our democracy" . Her warning was echoed by an embattled puppet Prime Minister in Ottawa who stated it is "very clearly that countries like Russia are behind a lot of the divisive campaigns that have turned our politics even more divisive and more anger-filled than they have been in the past. "

The Measures to Defend the British Deep State

In order to counteract this "foreign threat", several Canadian mechanisms have been announced to "keep democracy safe" in alignment with the G7, Five Eyes and NATO. These mechanisms are:

The creation of an " Incident Public Protection Panel " run by five Privy Council bureaucrats under the Clerk of the Privy Council which will exist outside of the authority of the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada, whose job is to maintain the integrity of elections. In defense of this mysterious group, Canada's Democratic Institutions Minister Karina Gould stated that "it won't be one person who will decide what Canadians will be allowed to know" (apparently having five people decide is more democratic). The new Clerk of the Privy Council is Ian Stugart, who served as former deputy minister to Chrystia Freeland until just a few weeks ago.

A Security and Intelligence Election Threats Task Force which will incorporate all of Canada's intelligence agencies such as the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, the RCMP, the Communications Security Establishment (CSE) and Freeland's Global Affairs Canada. All of these agencies are Privy Council organizations.

The Rapid Response Mechanism of the G7 created in June 2018 and headquartered in Ottawa Canada in Freeland's Global Affairs Office and Privy Council Office.

While Russia is being set up as the scapegoat of the collapsing western liberal establishment, this most recent red alarm by Freeland and Canada's response to the "danger" is useful for two reasons:

First and foremost, Freeland's shameless warnings over "foreign interference" have become so loud that an irony has become unavoidable. She has after all been caught red handed behind the destabilization of both Ukraine and Venezuela. Secondly, by reviewing the mechanisms being created by Canada to counter-act this "threat", a clear insight is provided into the inner workings of the actual foreign influences which infiltrated Canada many decades ago.

Chrystia Freeland: Regime Change Princess of Ukraine and Venezuela

On the first point, Freeland's role as a co-architect of the nazi-fueled overthrow of a pro-Russian government in February 2014 is now well known. Aside from her family's Nazi connections going back to her grandfather Michael Chomiak's leading role as a Nazi collaborator in WWII, and her own mother's role in helping to draft Ukraine's neo-liberal constitution, Freeland herself not only befriended leading neo-Nazi collaborators such as Canadian Ukrainian Congress' president Paul Grod and but has also promoted NATO's anti-Russian expansion across eastern Europe.

Less well known but equally important is Freeland's leading role in planning for the Venezuelan coup attempt which has been recently halted thanks to Russia's March 23rd intervention.

Working alongside fellow Oxford operative Ben Rowswell (now head of the Canadian International Council/ Chatham House of Canada) during his three year tenure as Ambassador to Venezuela (2014-2017), Freeland set up a program for regime change which involved a two-part formula of 1) mobilizing mass direct support for the overthrow of a government, and 2) gaining international support for said overthrow.

Rowswell's on-the-ground work was designed to achieve the former as he himself admitted in a 2017 interview saying "We became one of the most vocal embassies in speaking out on human rights issues and encouraging Venezuelans to speak out" . Before leaving his post to become the head of the Chatham House of Canada, he tweeted "I don't think they (anti-Maduro forces) have anything to worry about because Minister Freeland has Venezuela way at the top of her priority list" .

Working on fulfilling the 2nd part of the formula, Freeland directed the creation of the "Lima Group". A Global News article of January 24 described the group in the following terms:

"Playing a key role behind the scenes was Lima Group member Canada, whose Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland spoke to Guaido the night before Maduro's swearing-in ceremony to offer her government's support should he confront the socialist leader".

It shouldn't be too surprising in our day and age that a nation with such a high reputation as "polite Canada" is actuality, an active agency for regime change and global governance. Canada's very Prime Minister did assert in 2016 that "Canada is the world's first post national-state nation" . What may surprise some readers is that Canada itself was infiltrated by a foreign player many years ago and what we will briefly see is that Canada can only be called the "world's first post national-state nation" because it never really became a genuine nation in the first place, but was always manipulated by a foreign power... although not the one you think.

The "Foreign Influence" Controlling Canada

While a longer presentation is needed to do this story justice, it is enough to note for now that neither Freeland, nor Rowswell are operating on behalf of Canada's interests, but are rather both operatives run by an entity that took over Canada many decades ago and are currently directed by two interlocking organizations: The Privy Council Office and the Rhodes-Milner Round Table Group .

The Privy Council Office

The Privy Council office was set up in 1867 in order to act as the British hand guiding its newly formed confederacy (Canada nearly became a part of Lincoln's America in the wake of the Civil War. The only thing stopping that outcome was Britain's creation of a confederation. The full story is told in the Imperial Myth of Canada's National Policy. ). While its power was always great, there was still room for independent policy making by nationalistic elected officials when the international conditions were favorable.

This was nearly entirely destroyed during the reign of technocratic golden boy Pierre Elliott Trudeau during his 1968-1973 reform of the Federal Government under the guidance of the OECD's Sir Alexander King. It was during this time Sir King's Club of Rome (Ottawa branch) was set up in Ottawa under the guidance of Trudeau and his clerk of the Privy Council Michael Pitfield, and other neo-Malthusian technocrats such as Privy Council President Michel Lamontagne, Maurice Strong, and Governor General Roland Mitchener.

It was from this control point in Ottawa in 1971 that the work later to become known as Limits to Growth was funded by tax payers and which became the bible for the new Malthusianism and blueprint for the "post-industrial society". It is from this cybernetics central node that the web of governance both in Canada and also across other British infiltrated territories in the Trans-Atlantic system is coordinated under the directives of London.

... ... ...


sir lozalot , 14 minutes ago link

this whole world wide medeling thing after our govs have been unashamedly meddling everywhere for years , it just shows thier fear, they are loosing thier populaces and looking for scapegoats, i love it, times are changing

Reaper , 19 minutes ago link

Obedience to a degenerating noble class or hegemony's psycho neo-ruling class is self-destructive.

Dude-dude , 1 hour ago link

...will Canada follow suit in order to become a true sovereign nation freed of all foreign imperial influence once and for all?

Ha ha (Bart Simpson style). Canada has, and will always be, a British-USA vassal-state (with a veneer of democratic elections). Washington tells the Ottawa government to jump! After asking permission from the UK, Canada negotiates with America as to how high - since the country is technically insolvent there isn't that much jumping room.

Neochrome , 2 hours ago link

Russia is charged with bringing things in the open, to the light, instead of letting creatures of the dark skulk in shadows, plotting, backstabbing, poisoning and conducting their "business" as usual. Because apparently democracy flourishes in darkness and ignorance...

[Apr 14, 2019] Russia remains an obstacle for Trump goal of colonizing Venezuela

Apr 14, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

b4real , Apr 14, 2019 5:20:25 PM | link

@ james your 38 from post on iran thread.....


" it seems the usa is no longer willing to go full on.."

What is being missed by most is that we entered a new era March 2018 when Putin unveiled his new toys. The u.s. is no longer the presumed supreme military power on the planet. Of course they will not not admit this, but I believe we are approaching the moment when the U.S. will be told to stand down or suffer the consequences, whether it be in Syria, Venezuela or Ukraine.

Link

"I want to tell all those who have fueled the arms race over the last 15 years, sought to win unilateral advantages over Russia, introduced unlawful sanctions aimed at containing our country's development: Everything that you wanted to impede with your policies has already happened," he said. "You have failed to contain Russia."

"No one listened to us then. So listen to us now," Putin said to thunderous applause in the speech, which was held at a venue just outside the Kremlin and televised live nationwide.

The pentagon has admitted it has no defense against those hypersonic missiles.

Link

"If that happens, what kind of defense do we have against the hypersonic threat?" Inhofe asked.

Hyten replied, "We have a very difficult -- well, our defense is our deterrent capability. We don't have any defense that could deny theemployment of such a weapon against us, so our response would be our deterrent force, which would be the triad and the nuclear capabilities that we have to respond to such a threat."

Putin has quite clearly stated the what the Russian response will be should the U.S. resort to the use of nuclear weapons.

Link

"Only when we know for certain – and this takes a few seconds to understand – that Russia is being attacked we will deliver a counter strike. This would be a reciprocal counter strike. Why do I say 'counter'? Because we will counter missiles flying towards us by sending a missile in the direction of an aggressor. Of course, this amounts to a global catastrophe but I would like to repeat that we cannot be the initiators of such a catastrophe because we have no provision for a pre-emptive strike. Yes, it looks like we are sitting on our hands and waiting until someone uses nuclear weapons against us. Well, yes, this is what it is. But then any aggressor should know that retaliation is inevitable and they will be annihilated. And we as the victims of an aggression, we as martyrs would go to paradise while they will simply perish because they won't even have time to repent their sins. "


Russia is not going to allow the U.S. to destroy Venezuela, Iran, Syria or Ukraine. It makes sense because Ru cannot allow the United States and vassals to continually put Ru in the position of one step forward two steps backs via their destructive policies and I firmly believe that Putin will not allow the u.s. time to develop counters to their new missiles. That would be foolish as the u.s. has shown what they are capable of when there is no serious threat to their military. It will be a world war and the unites states has been pushing hard to keep its allies on a short tether.

U.S. has been stalemated in Syria, (soon to be ejected) Ukraine is about to fall back into ru orbit after the elections next week. Venezuela has Russians on the ground. They dare not go into Iran, because the iron dome is rusty and one direct hit by the foab about 13k southeast of dimona is going to make a large part of that illegal settlement called israel uninhabitable .

There is much room for miscalculation, and I believe war is an almost certainty. At the same time, I think we need a few tens to hundreds of millions to meet their maker as the human race is only growing more stupid by the minute and eliminating a large portion of the race will likely extend its survival. Sad but true.

'nuff said


b4real

[Apr 13, 2019] Pompeo repeats Gene Sharp recipes: China, Russia Spread Disorder And Corruption In Latin America

That happened often when a second rate provincial lawyer became the Secretary of State. At least Kerry knows French. Pompeo knows absolution nothing and is capable only of repeating old cliché.
Today's special word is: Projection
Notable quotes:
"... Pompeo should go into advertising. Since the late '50's, we've torn Latin America to shreds, but we're the good guys, eh?!. ..."
"... Doesn't Pompeo also believe in the rapture. ..."
Apr 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

idontcare , 2 minutes ago link

Pompeo should go into advertising. Since the late '50's, we've torn Latin America to shreds, but we're the good guys, eh?!.

I luv my country, but I hate my government.

beemasters

This must have been the most transparently crooked administration ever in the US history! Ain't that the pot calling the kettle black!

2willies

Doesn't Pompeo also believe in the rapture.

Idaho potato head

At some point even the most deluded sheep has got to realize he is being lied to. Or is it just as in the Matrix, there is an age limit as to when a mind can be awoken.

After reading CYMS1 below I retract that question.

The political and commercial morals of the United States are not merely food for laughter, they are an entire banquet

Mark Twain

[Apr 13, 2019] "We support peoples of all countries in independently choosing their development paths that cater to their national conditions. We never interfere in other countries' internal affairs, nor do we impose anything on other countries," Ma added.

Apr 13, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

psychohistorian , Apr 11, 2019 1:02:58 AM | link

@ Grieved with the UN/Pence story....here is China's take on the situation
"
UNITED NATIONS, April 10 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese ambassador to the United Nations on Wednesday rejected U.S. Vice President Mike Pence's accusation against China over Venezuela.

"China categorically rejects the accusation," Ma Zhaoxu, China's permanent representative to the United Nations, told a Security Council meeting on the situation in Venezuela.

"Earlier in his intervention, the U.S. representative leveled an unfounded accusation on China's position on Venezuela in the Security Council," he said, referring to Pence's remarks that Russia and China obstructed Council action on Venezuela with their veto power.

China has all along maintained friendly and cooperative relations with other countries around the world, including Venezuela, on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, he said.

"We support peoples of all countries in independently choosing their development paths that cater to their national conditions. We never interfere in other countries' internal affairs, nor do we impose anything on other countries," Ma added.

Members of the Security Council should faithfully abide by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and the universally recognized norms of international relations, genuinely respect the choices of peoples of other countries, and do more positive and practical things for the people of Venezuela rather than the opposite, said the Chinese envoy."

[Apr 09, 2019] Maduro government policy protecting Guaido's car in Caracas from being lunched by the mob.

Apr 09, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Jen April 1, 2019 at 2:24 pm

Global Research publishes the video of a Venezuelan TV news show interview in which a recording of Juan Guaido's apparent admission of culpability in the sabotage of Venezuela's electricity system and intent to disrupt other essential utilities is played.
https://www.globalresearch.ca/juan-guaido-confesses-being-behind-the-sabotage-of-venezuelas-electric-system/5673104
Mark Chapman April 1, 2019 at 3:45 pm
Just to point out once again, it is a war crime and a violation of the International Rules of Armed Conflict for the ENEMY to cut civilians off from the services they need to live. And he wants to lead the country??!!

https://ihl-databases.icrc.org/customary-ihl/eng/docs/v2_rul_rule54

Certainly getting the poor and the middle class on his side. Here's an NPR interview with Ari Shapiro, on the Colombian border with Venezuela. Along with bigging up the impression that there is a shitload of military deserters just waiting to have a crack at Maduro, including the 80% who want him gone but don't dare say so out of fear – by the simple device of interviewing some young men we know nothing about, not even their names because their identities must be kept secret – he says this:

"This is the Colombian ambassador to the U.S., Francisco Santos. Ambassador Santos insists there is still time for what we'll call plan A – international pressure and sanctions to force Maduro out. Venezuela would then hold elections, and Guaido would take power."

Guaido would take power. Oh, wait, wait: we have to have an election first.

Obviously it is inconceivable that anyone else might win. The guy most of the country had never heard of a year ago, now is a shoo-in for the presidency. Isn't democracy fun ???? You just never know what's going to happen!

https://www.npr.org/2019/03/28/707722484/venezuela-hovers-on-the-brink-of-conflict-many-fear-the-situation-will-escalate?ft=nprml&f=

The USA and its 'partners' are moving forward with a debt-restructuring plan for Venezuela – which you just know is going to include massive loans by the IMF and arm-twisting of allies to persuade them to forgive debt to help the US State Department's newest plaything – just as if Guaido is inevitable.

Well, he's not. And few things would give me as much pleasure as seeing the smirk slapped off their faces.

yalensis April 2, 2019 at 3:26 am
"And I repeat, the cessation of darkness will definitely come with the cessation of usurpation," culminates the self-proclaimed Juan Guaidó"

It's odd that the sabotage includes that element of blackmail, i.e., "put me in office, and I will turn the lights on again." How would he expect to do that, if the grid has been damaged?
Such blackmail only makes sense if Guaidó had, like, the secret password that would turn off the viruses(?)
Because, if the damage is physical, then it will take a while to fix, even if Guaidó and the American engineers worked at it night and day.

Mark Chapman April 2, 2019 at 1:40 pm
Even if he has no control over it, he is talking it up like he has, more like "I know people". Which tends to make it sound more as if it is his backers doing it.

I would say he is well on his way to making himself the most hated man in Venezuela, at least barring those who hope to sweep him into power.

yalensis April 2, 2019 at 3:38 pm
I know. How can you even imagine being that guy? Who deprives your neighbors of their electricity and then asks them to vote for you, so you would turn it on again?
A person like that would be lynched!
Jen April 2, 2019 at 5:31 pm
There have already been some reports of people attacking Guaido's car in Caracas when they see it and the occupants inside (Guaido doesn't travel on his own).
https://www.rt.com/news/455308-guaido-police-caracas-rally-venezuela/

As Grayzone Project's Max Blumenthal says, the irony is that Nicolas Maduro's government is protecting Guaido and his freedom to travel around Caracas through the police. So much for Maduro being a tyrannical dictator

[Apr 07, 2019] What Monroe Doctrine

Apr 07, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

What Monroe Doctrine?

by Tyler Durden Sun, 04/07/2019 - 08:10 94 SHARES Authored by Philip Giraldi via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

Because there is a presidential election coming up next year, the Donald Trump Administration appears to be looking for a country that it can attack and destroy in order to prove its toughness and willingness to go all the way in support of alleged American interests. It is a version of the old neocon doctrine attributed to Michael Ledeen, the belief that every once in a while, it is necessary to pick out some crappy little country and throw it against the wall just to demonstrate that the United States means business.

"Meaning business" is a tactic whereby the adversary surrenders immediately in fear of the possible consequences, but there are a couple of problems with that thinking.

The first is that an opponent who can resist will sometimes balk and create a continuing problem for the United States, which has a demonstrated inability to start and end wars in any coherent fashion.

This tendency to get caught in a quagmire in a situation that might have been resolved through diplomacy has been exacerbated by the current White House's negotiating style, which is to both demand and expect submission on all points even before discussions begin. That was clearly the perception with North Korea, where National Security Advisor John Bolton insisted that Pyongyang had agreed to American demands over its nuclear program even though it hadn't and would have been foolish to do so for fear of being treated down the road like Libya, which denuclearized but then was attacked and destroyed seven years later. The Bolton mis-perception, which was apparently bought into by Trump, led to a complete unraveling of what might actually have been accomplished if the negotiations had been serious and open to reasonable compromise right from the beginning.

Trump's written demand that Kim Jong Un immediately hand over his nuclear weapons and all bomb making material was a non-starter based on White House misunderstandings rooted in its disdain for compromise. The summit meeting with Trump, held in Hanoi at the end of February, was abruptly canceled by Kim and Pyongyang subsequently accused Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo of making "gangster-like" demands.

The second problem is that there are only a few actual casus belli situations under international law that permit a country to attack another preemptively, and they are usually limited to actual imminent threats. The current situation with Venezuela is similar to that with North Korea in that Washington is operating on the presumption that it has a right to intervene and bring about regime change, using military force if necessary, because of its presumed leadership role in global security, not because Caracas or even Pyongyang necessarily is threatening anyone. That presumption that American "exceptionalism" provides authorization to intervene in other countries using economic weapons backed up by a military option that is "on the table" is a viewpoint that is not accepted by the rest of the world.

In the case of Venezuela, where Trump has dangerously demanded that Russia withdraw the hundred or so advisors that it sent to help stabilize the country, the supposition that the United States has exclusive extra-territorial rights is largely based on nineteenth and early twentieth century unilaterally declared "doctrines." The Monroe Doctrine of 1823 and the Roosevelt Corollary of 1904 de facto established the United States as the hegemon-presumptive for the entire Western Hemisphere, stretching from the Arctic Circle in the north to Patagonia in the south.

John Bolton has been the leader in promoting the Monroe Doctrine as justification for Washington's interference in Venezuela's politics, apparently only dimly aware that the Doctrine, which opposed any attempts by European powers to establish new colonies in the Western Hemisphere, was only in effect for twenty-two years when the United States itself annexed Texas and then went to war with Mexico in the following year

[Apr 02, 2019] Guaido Set to Enact Uprising Rooted in US Regime-Change Operations Manual

EuroMaydan scenario for Venezuela?
Notable quotes:
"... Putin understands that both the loser and the winner lose in the confrontation. Therefore, he always offers a compromise for a long time, almost to the last opportunity, even to those who clearly do not deserve it, moving to other solutions only after the opponent has clearly crossed all possible red lines and can pose a threat to the vital interests of Russia. An agreement based on consideration of each other's interests is always stronger than any short-term 'victories', which tomorrow will result in the need to reaffirm their status of the winner again and again. It seems to me that Putin understands this well. Hence the effectiveness of his actions. ..."
Apr 02, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Grieved , Apr 1, 2019 2:16:53 PM | link

@73 karlof1

That's a great piece by Escobar, and it contains snippets from his talk with Ishchenko, which I recall he said was coming but which I don't think I ever saw anywhere until now.

I have to quote this perfect illustration of Putin from Ishchenko:

Putin understands that both the loser and the winner lose in the confrontation. Therefore, he always offers a compromise for a long time, almost to the last opportunity, even to those who clearly do not deserve it, moving to other solutions only after the opponent has clearly crossed all possible red lines and can pose a threat to the vital interests of Russia. An agreement based on consideration of each other's interests is always stronger than any short-term 'victories', which tomorrow will result in the need to reaffirm their status of the winner again and again. It seems to me that Putin understands this well. Hence the effectiveness of his actions.

As to Pepe's main theme, that the Pentagon is hardening its stances, it's well reported, and fits nicely with the latest piece from Whitney Webb, which Escobar linked form his Facebook page, by the way (I get a lot of good "heads-up" links from there). I'll post it in the next comment.

Grieved , Apr 1, 2019 2:24:53 PM | link

more from #75

Speaking of hardening, Whitney Webb's latest shows exactly how the US plans to act in Venezuela:

Guaido Set to Enact Uprising Rooted in US Regime-Change Operations Manual

Webb's story is about the newly developed RED team, the "sole contractor" to USAID with regard to Venezuela. The piece illustrates both the exact playbook to be used in Venezuela and a hardening of stance in the covert activity sphere equal with the military sphere's hardening that karlof1 cites @73:

For instance, one respondent asserted that the RED Team system would "restore the long-lost doing capacity of USAID." Another USAID official with 15 years of experience, including in "extremely denied environments," stated that:

"We have to be involved in national security or USAID will not be relevant. Anybody who doesn't think we need to be working in combat elements or working with SF [special forces] groups is just naïve. We are either going to be up front or irrelevant USAID is going through a lot right now, but this is an area where we can be of utility. It must happen."

This seems to speak a lot of the Trump administration's true ambitions in the Rambo theater of fantasy and cruelty. This RED team is armed with cash and weaponry for offensive violence, along with an entire vocabulary of institutional words that almost seem harmless until you explore the implications, as Webb does.

I have to say in passing that I just don't know if we've ever been able to see so clearly before - i.e. at the level of one magazine article citing the published declarations of the actors - the exact and precise methods by which regime change will attempt to be imposed on a target country.

Presumably Gerasimov and the rest of the Russia team are hip to every one of these moves, and will counter effectively and creatively.


[Apr 02, 2019] Juan Guaid Confesses Being Behind the Sabotage of Venezuela's Electric System

Apr 02, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

linda gentsch , Apr 1, 2019 5:48:26 PM | link

Juan Guaidó Confesses Being Behind the Sabotage of Venezuela's Electric System

https://www.globalresearch.ca/juan-guaido-confesses-being-behind-the-sabotage-of-venezuelas-electric-system/5673104

Just say it like it is. Follow Bolton, Abrams, Pompeo and Trump's examples. I don't think the VZ people will be intimidated.

karlof1 , Apr 1, 2019 5:50:08 PM | link

Random Dude's legal troubles escalate:

"The Supreme Court of Justice of #Venezuela ratifies precautionary measures to Juan #Guaidó: prohibition to exit the country, prohibition to transfer his property, blockade and immobilization of bank accounts or any other financial instrument in Venezuela."

"The Supreme Court of Justice imposes a fine on Juan #Guaidó and asks the National Constituent Assembly to lift the parliamentary immunity after Guaidó broke the prohibition of leaving the country."

What will be the next "Or Else" utterance by the Naked Emperor's Agents be? Will they threaten to throw the table holding all those possibilities? Perhaps also add the chairs?

Meanwhile, China delivers another freighter full of medical supplies.

[Apr 02, 2019] 'Yats' Is No Longer the Guy by Robert Parry

Highly recommended!
This article by late Robert Parry is from 2016 but is still relevant in context of the current Ukrainian elections and the color revolution is Venezuela. The power of neoliberal propaganda is simply tremendous. For foreign events it is able to distort the story to such an extent that the most famous quote of CIA director William Casey "We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false" looks like constatation of already accomplished goal.
Apr 11, 2016 | consortiumnews.com

Exclusive: Several weeks before Ukraine's 2014 coup, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Nuland had already picked Arseniy Yatsenyuk to be the future leader, but now "Yats" is no longer the guy, writes Robert Parry.

In reporting on the resignation of Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, the major U.S. newspapers either ignored or distorted Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland's infamous intercepted phone call before the 2014 coup in which she declared "Yats is the guy!"

Though Nuland's phone call introduced many Americans to the previously obscure Yatsenyuk, its timing – a few weeks before the ouster of elected Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych – was never helpful to Washington's desired narrative of the Ukrainian people rising up on their own to oust a corrupt leader.

Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, who pushed for the Ukraine coup and helped pick the post-coup leaders.

Instead, the conversation between Nuland and U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt sounded like two proconsuls picking which Ukrainian politicians would lead the new government. Nuland also disparaged the less aggressive approach of the European Union with the pithy put-down: "Fuck the E.U.!"

More importantly, the intercepted call, released onto YouTube in early February 2014, represented powerful evidence that these senior U.S. officials were plotting – or at least collaborating in – a coup d'etat against Ukraine's democratically elected president. So, the U.S. government and the mainstream U.S. media have since consigned this revealing discussion to the Great Memory Hole.

On Monday, in reporting on Yatsenyuk's Sunday speech in which he announced that he is stepping down, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal didn't mention the Nuland-Pyatt conversation at all. The New York Times did mention the call but misled its readers regarding its timing, making it appear as if the call followed rather than preceded the coup. That way the call sounded like two American officials routinely appraising Ukraine's future leaders, not plotting to oust one government and install another.

The Times article by Andrew E. Kramer said: "Before Mr. Yatsenyuk's appointment as prime minister in 2014, a leaked recording of a telephone conversation between Victoria J. Nuland, a United States assistant secretary of state, and the American ambassador in Ukraine, Geoffrey R. Pyatt, seemed to underscore the West's support for his candidacy. 'Yats is the guy,' Ms. Nuland had said."

Notice, however, that if you didn't know that the conversation occurred in late January or early February 2014, you wouldn't know that it preceded the Feb. 22, 2014 coup. You might have thought that it was just a supportive chat before Yatsenyuk got his new job.

You also wouldn't know that much of the Nuland-Pyatt conversation focused on how they were going to "glue this thing" or "midwife this thing," comments sounding like prima facie evidence that the U.S. government was engaged in "regime change" in Ukraine, on Russia's border.

The 'No Coup' Conclusion

But Kramer's lack of specificity about the timing and substance of the call fits with a long pattern of New York Times' bias in its coverage of the Ukraine crisis. On Jan. 4, 2015, nearly a year after the U.S.-backed coup, the Times published an "investigation" article declaring that there never had been a coup. It was just a case of President Yanukovych deciding to leave and not coming back.

That article reached its conclusion, in part, by ignoring the evidence of a coup, including the Nuland-Pyatt phone call. The story was co-written by Kramer and so it is interesting to know that he was at least aware of the "Yats is the guy" reference although it was ignored in last year's long-form article.

Instead, Kramer and his co-author Andrew Higgins took pains to mock anyone who actually looked at the evidence and dared reach the disfavored conclusion about a coup. If you did, you were some rube deluded by Russian propaganda.

"Russia has attributed Mr. Yanukovych's ouster to what it portrays as a violent, 'neo-fascist' coup supported and even choreographed by the West and dressed up as a popular uprising," Higgins and Kramer wrote . "Few outside the Russian propaganda bubble ever seriously entertained the Kremlin's line. But almost a year after the fall of Mr. Yanukovych's government, questions remain about how and why it collapsed so quickly and completely."

The Times' article concluded that Yanukovych "was not so much overthrown as cast adrift by his own allies, and that Western officials were just as surprised by the meltdown as anyone else. The allies' desertion, fueled in large part by fear, was accelerated by the seizing by protesters of a large stock of weapons in the west of the country. But just as important, the review of the final hours shows, was the panic in government ranks created by Mr. Yanukovych's own efforts to make peace."

Yet, one might wonder what the Times thinks a coup looks like. Indeed, the Ukrainian coup had many of the same earmarks as such classics as the CIA-engineered regime changes in Iran in 1953 and in Guatemala in 1954.

The way those coups played out is now historically well known. Secret U.S. government operatives planted nasty propaganda about the targeted leader, stirred up political and economic chaos, conspired with rival political leaders, spread rumors of worse violence to come and then – as political institutions collapsed – watched as the scared but duly elected leader made a hasty departure.

In Iran, the coup reinstalled the autocratic Shah who then ruled with a heavy hand for the next quarter century; in Guatemala, the coup led to more than three decades of brutal military regimes and the killing of some 200,000 Guatemalans.

Coups don't have to involve army tanks occupying the public squares, although that is an alternative model which follows many of the same initial steps except that the military is brought in at the end. The military coup was a common approach especially in Latin America in the 1960s and 1970s.

' Color Revolutions'

But the preferred method in more recent years has been the "color revolution," which operates behind the façade of a "peaceful" popular uprising and international pressure on the targeted leader to show restraint until it's too late to stop the coup. Despite the restraint, the leader is still accused of gross human rights violations, all the better to justify his removal.

Later, the ousted leader may get an image makeover; instead of a cruel bully, he is ridiculed for not showing sufficient resolve and letting his base of support melt away, as happened with Mohammad Mossadegh in Iran and Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala.

But the reality of what happened in Ukraine was never hard to figure out. Nor did you have to be inside "the Russian propaganda bubble" to recognize it. George Friedman, the founder of the global intelligence firm Stratfor, called Yanukovych's overthrow "the most blatant coup in history."

Which is what it appears if you consider the evidence. The first step in the process was to create tensions around the issue of pulling Ukraine out of Russia's economic orbit and capturing it in the European Union's gravity, a plan defined by influential American neocons in 2013.

On Sept. 26, 2013, National Endowment for Democracy President Carl Gershman, who has been a major neocon paymaster for decades, took to the op-ed page of the neocon Washington Post and called Ukraine "the biggest prize" and an important interim step toward toppling Russian President Vladimir Putin.

At the time, Gershman, whose NED is funded by the U.S. Congress to the tune of about $100 million a year, was financing scores of projects inside Ukraine training activists, paying for journalists and organizing business groups.

As for the even bigger prize -- Putin -- Gershman wrote: "Ukraine's choice to join Europe will accelerate the demise of the ideology of Russian imperialism that Putin represents. Russians, too, face a choice, and Putin may find himself on the losing end not just in the near abroad but within Russia itself."

At that time, in early fall 2013, Ukraine's President Yanukovych was exploring the idea of reaching out to Europe with an association agreement. But he got cold feet in November 2013 when economic experts in Kiev advised him that the Ukrainian economy would suffer a $160 billion hit if it separated from Russia, its eastern neighbor and major trading partner. There was also the West's demand that Ukraine accept a harsh austerity plan from the International Monetary Fund.

Yanukovych wanted more time for the E.U. negotiations, but his decision angered many western Ukrainians who saw their future more attached to Europe than Russia. Tens of thousands of protesters began camping out at Maidan Square in Kiev, with Yanukovych ordering the police to show restraint.

Meanwhile, with Yanukovych shifting back toward Russia, which was offering a more generous $15 billion loan and discounted natural gas, he soon became the target of American neocons and the U.S. media, which portrayed Ukraine's political unrest as a black-and-white case of a brutal and corrupt Yanukovych opposed by a saintly "pro-democracy" movement.

Cheering an Uprising

The Maidan uprising was urged on by American neocons, including Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Nuland, who passed out cookies at the Maidan and reminded Ukrainian business leaders that the United States had invested $5 billion in their "European aspirations."

A screen shot of U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland speaking to U.S. and Ukrainian business leaders on Dec. 13, 2013, at an event sponsored by Chevron, with its logo to Nuland's left.

Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, also showed up, standing on stage with right-wing extremists from the Svoboda Party and telling the crowd that the United States was with them in their challenge to the Ukrainian government.

As the winter progressed, the protests grew more violent. Neo-Nazi and other extremist elements from Lviv and other western Ukrainian cities began arriving in well-organized brigades or "sotins" of 100 trained street fighters. Police were attacked with firebombs and other weapons as the violent protesters began seizing government buildings and unfurling Nazi banners and even a Confederate flag.

Though Yanukovych continued to order his police to show restraint, he was still depicted in the major U.S. news media as a brutal thug who was callously murdering his own people. The chaos reached a climax on Feb. 20 when mysterious snipers opened fire, killing both police and protesters. As the police retreated, the militants advanced brandishing firearms and other weapons. The confrontation led to significant loss of life, pushing the death toll to around 80 including more than a dozen police.

U.S. diplomats and the mainstream U.S. press immediately blamed Yanukovych for the sniper attack, though the circumstances remain murky to this day and some investigations have suggested that the lethal sniper fire came from buildings controlled by Right Sektor extremists.

To tamp down the worsening violence, a shaken Yanukovych signed a European-brokered deal on Feb. 21, in which he accepted reduced powers and an early election so he could be voted out of office. He also agreed to requests from Vice President Joe Biden to pull back the police.

The precipitous police withdrawal opened the path for the neo-Nazis and other street fighters to seize presidential offices and force Yanukovych and his officials to flee for their lives. The new coup regime was immediately declared "legitimate" by the U.S. State Department with Yanukovych sought on murder charges. Nuland's favorite, Yatsenyuk, became the new prime minister.

Throughout the crisis, the mainstream U.S. press hammered home the theme of white-hatted protesters versus a black-hatted president. The police were portrayed as brutal killers who fired on unarmed supporters of "democracy." The good-guy/bad-guy narrative was all the American people heard from the major media.

The New York Times went so far as to delete the slain policemen from the narrative and simply report that the police had killed all those who died in the Maidan. A typical Times report on March 5, 2014, summed up the storyline: "More than 80 protesters were shot to death by the police as an uprising spiraled out of control in mid-February."

The mainstream U.S. media also sought to discredit anyone who observed the obvious fact that an unconstitutional coup had just occurred. A new theme emerged that portrayed Yanukovych as simply deciding to abandon his government because of the moral pressure from the noble and peaceful Maidan protests.

Any reference to a "coup" was dismissed as "Russian propaganda." There was a parallel determination in the U.S. media to discredit or ignore evidence that neo-Nazi militias had played an important role in ousting Yanukovych and in the subsequent suppression of anti-coup resistance in eastern and southern Ukraine. That opposition among ethnic-Russian Ukrainians simply became "Russian aggression."

Nazi symbols on helmets worn by members of Ukraine's Azov battalion. (As filmed by a Norwegian film crew and shown on German TV)

This refusal to notice what was actually a remarkable story – the willful unleashing of Nazi storm troopers on a European population for the first time since World War II – reached absurd levels as The New York Times and The Washington Post buried references to the neo-Nazis at the end of stories, almost as afterthoughts.

The Washington Post went to the extreme of rationalizing Swastikas and other Nazi symbols by quoting one militia commander as calling them "romantic" gestures by impressionable young men. [See Consortiumnews.com's " Ukraine's 'Romantic' Neo-Nazi Storm Troopers ."]

But today – more than two years after what U.S. and Ukrainian officials like to call "the Revolution of Dignity" – the U.S.-backed Ukrainian government is sinking into dysfunction, reliant on handouts from the IMF and Western governments.

And, in a move perhaps now more symbolic than substantive, Prime Minister Yatsenyuk is stepping down. Yats is no longer the guy.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America's Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com ).


Khalid Talaat , April 16, 2016 at 20:39

Is it too far fetched to think that all these color revolutions are a perfection of the process to unleash another fake color revolution, only this time it is a Red, White and Blue revolution here at home? Those that continue to booze and snooze while watching the tube will not know the difference until it is too late.

The freedom and tranquility of our country depends on finding and implementing a counterweight to the presstitutes and their propaganda. The alternative is too destructive in its natural development.

Abe , April 15, 2016 at 18:49

Yats and Porko are the guys who broke Ukraine. By the end of December 2015, Ukraine's gross domestic product had shrunk around 19 percent in comparison with 2013. Its decimated industrial sector needs less fuel. Yatsie did a heck of a job.

Abe , April 15, 2016 at 18:35

Carl Gershman: "Ukraine is the biggest prize" -- Paragraph 6 of https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/former-soviet-states-stand-up-to-russia-will-the-us/2013/09/26/b5ad2be4-246a-11e3-b75d-5b7f66349852_story.html

David Smith , April 12, 2016 at 13:51

The timing of "Yats" departure is ominous. Mid-April, six weeks from now would be the first chance to renew the invasion of DPR Donesk/Lugansk."Yats" failed in 2014, and didn't try in 2015. Who is "the new guy"? Will the new Prime Minister begin raving about renewing the holy war to recover the lost oblasts? 2016 is really Ukraine's last chance. Ukraine refuses to implement Minsk2, and they have been receiving lots of new weapons. I believe President Putin put the Syrian operation on " standby" not only to avoid approaching the border, provoking a Turkish intervention, but also so he can give undistracted attention to DPR Donesk/Lugansk.

Bill Rood , April 12, 2016 at 11:50

I guess I must be inside the Russian propaganda bubble. It was obvious to me when I looked at the YouTube videos of policemen burning after being hit with Molotov cocktails.

We played the same game of encouraging government "restraint" in Syria, where we demanded Assad free "political prisoners," but we now accuse him of deliberately encouraging ISIS by freeing those people, so that he can point to ISIS and ask, "Do you want that?" Targeted leaders are damned if they do and damned if they don't.

Andrei , April 12, 2016 at 10:26

"the Ukrainian coup had many of the same earmarks as such classics as the CIA-engineered regime changes in Iran in 1953 and in Guatemala in 1954", Romania 1989 Shots were fired by snipers in order to stirr the crowds (sounds familiar?) and also by the army after Ceasescu ran away, which resulted in civilians getting murdered. Could it possibly be that it was said : "Iliescu (next elected president) is the guy!" ?

Joe L. , April 12, 2016 at 11:00

Check out the attempted coup against Hugo Chavez in Venezuela 2002, that is very similar with protesters, snipers on rooftops, IMF immediately offering loans to the new coup government, new government positions for the coup plotters, complacency with the media – propaganda, funding by USAID and the National Endowment for Democracy etc. John Pilger documents how the coup occurred in his documentary "War on Democracy" – https://vimeo.com/16724719 .

archaos , April 12, 2016 at 09:45

It was noted in the minutes of Verkhovna Rada almost 2 years before Maidan 2 , that Geoffrey Pyatt was fomenting and funding destabilisation of Ukraine.
All of Svoboda Nazis in parliament (and other fascisti) then booed the MP who stated this.

Mark Thomason , April 12, 2016 at 06:57

Also, the Dutch voted "no" on the economic agreement the coup was meant to force through instead of the Russian agreement accepted by the President it overthrew. Now both "Yats" and the economic agreement are gone. All that is left is the war. Neocons are still happen. They wanted the war. They really want to overthrow Putin, and Ukraine was just a tool in that.

Realist , April 12, 2016 at 05:51

You're right, it doesn't have to be the military that carries out a coup by deploying tanks on the National Mall. In 2000, it was the United States Supreme Court that exceeded its constitutional authority and installed George W. Bush as president, though in reality he had lost that election. I wonder when that move will rightfully be characterized as a coup by the historians.

Bryan Hemming , April 12, 2016 at 04:00

"On Sept. 26, 2013, National Endowment for Democracy President Carl Gershman, who has been a major neocon paymaster for decades, took to the op-ed page of the neocon Washington Post and called Ukraine "the biggest prize" and an important interim step toward toppling Russian President Vladimir Putin."

It should be remembered that Victoria Nuland took up the post of Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs in Washington on September 18, 2013.

Coincidentally, two other women closely connected to events in Ukraine were also in Washington during September 2013.

Friend of Nuland and boss of the IMF, which has its own HQ in Washington, Christine Lagarde was swift to respond to a Ukraine request for IMF loans on February 27th 2014, just five days after the removal of Yanukovych on February 22nd. Lagarde is pictured with Baronness Catherine Ashton in Washington in a Facebook entry dated September 30th 2013. Ashton was High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy at the time.

Though visiting Kiev at the same time as Nuland in February 2014 Catherine Ashton never appeared in public with her, which seems a little odd considering the women were on the same mission, and talking to the same people. Nevertheless, despite appearing shy of being photographed with each other the two women weren't quite so shy of being pictured with leaders of the coup, including the right wing extremist, Oleh Tyahnybok.

Ashton refused to be drawn into commenting on Nuland's "Fuck the E.U.!" outburst, describing Nuland as "a friend of mine." The two women certainly weren't strangers, they had worked closely together before. September 2012 saw them involved in discussions with Iran negotiator Saeed Jalili over the country's supposed nuclear arms ambitions.

The question is not so much whether the three women talked about Ukraine's future – it would be ridiculous to think they did not – but how closely they worked together, and exactly how closely they might have been involved in events leading up to the overthrow of the legitimate government in Kiev. More on this here:

https://bryanhemming.wordpress.com/2015/04/01/double-double-toil-and-trouble-the-cauldron-of-kiev/

Pablo Diablo , April 11, 2016 at 22:56

Another failed "regime change". Aren't these guys (Neoconservatives) great. They fail, piss off/kill millions, yet seem to keep making money and retaining power. Time to WAKE UP AMERICA.

Skip Edwards , April 11, 2016 at 20:06

Read "The Devil'Chessboard" by David Talbot to understand what has been occurring as a result of America's Dark, Shadow government, an un-elected bunch of vicious psychopaths controlling our destiny; unless stopped. Get a clue and realize that "Yats is our guy" Victoria Nuland was Hillary Clinton's "gal." Hillary Clinton is Robert Kagen's "gal." Time to flush all these rats out of the hold and get on with our lives.

Joe L. , April 11, 2016 at 18:40

Mr. Parry thank you for delving into the proven history of coups and the parallels with Ukraine. It amazes me how anyone can outright deny this was a coup especially if they know anything about US coups going back to WW2 (Iran 1953, Guatemala 1954, Chile 1973, attempt in Venezuela 2002 etc. – and there are a whole slew more). I read before, as you have rightly pointed out, that in 1953 the CIA led a propaganda campaign in Iran against Mossadegh as well as financing opposition protesters and opposition government officials. Another angle, as well, is looking historically back to what papers such as the New York Times were reporting around the time of the coup in Iran – especially when we know that the US/Britain overthrew the democratically elected Mossadegh for their own oil interests (British Petroleum):

New York Times: "Mossadegh Plays with Fire" (August 15, 1953):

The world has so many trouble spots these days that one is apt to pass over the odd one here and there to preserve a little peace of mind. It would be well, however, to keep an eye on Iran, where matters are going from bad to worse, thanks to the machinations of Premier Mossadegh.

Some of us used to ascribe our inability to persuade Dr. Mossadegh of the validity of our ideas to the impossibility of making him understand or see things our way. We thought of him as a sincere, well-meaning, patriotic Iranian, who had a different point of view and made different deductions from the same set of facts. We now know that he is a power-hungry, personally ambitious, ruthless demagogue who is trampling upon the liberties of his own people. We have seen this onetime champion of liberty maintain martial law, curb freedom of the press, radio, speech and assembly, resort to illegal arrests and torture, dismiss the Senate, destroy the power of the Shah, take over control of the army, and now he is about to destroy the Majlis, which is the lower house of Parliament.

His power would seem to be complete, but he has alienated the traditional ruling classes -the aristocrats, landlords, financiers and tribal leaders. These elements are anti-Communist. So is the Shah and so are the army leaders and the urban middle classes. There is a traditional, historic fear, suspicion and dislike of Russia and the Russians. The peasants, who make up the overwhelming mass of the population, are illiterate and nonpolitical. Finally, there is still no evidence that the Tudeh (Communist) party is strong enough or well enough organized, financed and led to take power.

All this simply means that there is no immediate danger of a Communist coup or Russian intervention. On the other hand, Dr. Mossadegh is encouraging the Tudeh and is following policies which will make the Communists more and more dangerous. He is a sorcerer's apprentice, calling up forces he will not be able to control.

Iran is a weak, divided, poverty-stricken country which possesses an immense latent wealth in oil and a crucial strategic position. This is very different from neighboring Turkey, a strong, united, determined and advanced nation, which can afford to deal with the Russians because she has nothing to fear -and therefore the West has nothing to fear. Thanks largely to Dr. Mossadegh, there is much to fear in Iran.

http://www.mohammadmossadegh.com/news/new-york-times/august-15-1953/

My feeling is that the biggest sin that our society has is forgetting history. If we remembered history I would think that it would be very difficult to pull off coups but most media does not revisit history which proves US coups even against democracies. I actually think that the coup that occurred in Ukraine was similar to the attempted coup in Venezuela in 2002 with snipers on rooftops, immediate blame for the deaths on Hugo Chavez where media manipulated the footage, immediate acceptance of the temporary coup government by the US Government, immediately offering IMF loans for the new coup government, government positions for many of the coup plotters, and let us not leave out the funding for the coup coming from USAID and the National Endowment for Democracy. I also remember seeing the New York Times immediately blaming Chavez and praising the coup but when the coup was overturned and US fingerprints started to become revealed (with many of the coup plotters fleeing to the US) then the New York Times wrote a limited retraction buried in their paper. Shameless.

SFOMARCO , April 11, 2016 at 15:16

How was NED able to finance "scores of projects inside Ukraine training activists, paying for journalists and organizing business groups", not to mention to host such dignitaries as Cookie Nuland, Loser McCain and assorted Bidens? Seems like a recipe for a coup "hidden in plain sight".

Bob Van Noy , April 11, 2016 at 14:36

Ukraine, one would hope, represents the "Bridge Too Far" moment for the proponents of regime change. Surely Americans must be catching on to what we do for selected nations in the name of "giving them their freedoms". The Kagan Family, empowered by their newly endorsed candidate for President, Hillary Clinton, will feel justified in carrying on a new cold war, this time world wide. Of course they will not be doing the fighting, they, like Dick Cheney are the self appointed intellects of geopolitical chess, much like The Georgetown Set of the Kennedy era, they perceive themselves as the only ones smart enough to plan America's future.

Helen Marshall , April 11, 2016 at 17:11

I wish. How many Americans know ANYTHNG about what has happened in Ukraine, about Crimea and its history, and/or could even locate them on a map?

Pastor Agnostic , April 12, 2016 at 04:11

Nuland is merely the inhouse, PNAC female version of Sidney Blumenthal. Which raises the scary question. Who would she pick to be SecState?

[Apr 02, 2019] Even though the assailants mostly young South Koreans living in the US and trained in military action took away the hard drives of the embassy's security cameras, the police was able to partially recover the footage before its automatic deletion. This is what allowed investigators to observe the intruders' "extremely violent and professional" behavior, and to identify them

Apr 02, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

bjd , Mar 31, 2019 2:43:18 PM | link

El Pais: North Korean embassy assailants filmed the attack to prove their actions, say Spanish police

The 10 individuals who broke into the North Korean embassy in Madrid last month, assaulting staff members and taking audiovisual material with them, had micro-cameras that they used to provide evidence of their actions to whoever ordered and financed the operation , according to Spanish investigators.
...
The 35-year-old is a US resident with a Mexican passport who "owns several dubious companies and is in contact with various intelligence services. "

Investigators are now exploring whether Hong Chang played a role "in other violent incidents against North Korean interests in other countries." Near the Madrid embassy, the police found an Italian driver's license belonging to Hong Chang but showing a fake name . The North Korean ambassador to Italy has been missing since January, and is presumed to have defected.
...
Investigation sources say the attack was perfectly planned down to every last detail, something that would require "significant infrastructure and financing, which the individuals involved lack."
...
Even though the assailants – mostly young South Koreans living in the US and trained in military action – took away the hard drives of the embassy's security cameras, the police was able to partially recover the footage before its automatic deletion. This is what allowed investigators to observe the intruders' "extremely violent and professional" behavior , and to identify them.

-
The CIA cover group has gone silent. It may be that Adrian Hong gets another gig. Not again Libya from where he transferred Islamist to the Syrian war theater, but how about Venezuela?

Free Joseon says it is going on a hiatus

Most notably, according to AFP, Hong was spotted in Tripoli, Libya, during the Libyan civil war in 2011. He helped Libyan war victims receive treatment at hospitals in Jordan.

-
Mystery group tied to break-in at DPRK embassy in Madrid will suspend activities

Notably, the source said that South Korea's embassy in Madrid also had some knowledge of the incident shortly before it took place and immediately after.

-
Presumably to prevent that the case gets buried, North Korea finally acknowledges the raid:

North Korea said Sunday it wants an investigation into a raid on its embassy in Spain last month, calling it a "grave terrorist attack" and an act of extortion that violates international law.
...
The North's official media quoted a Foreign Ministry spokesman as saying that an illegal intrusion into and occupation of a diplomatic mission and an act of extortion are a grave breach of the state sovereignty and a flagrant violation of international law, "and this kind of act should never be tolerated."

He claimed an armed group tortured the staff and suggested they stole communications gear.

b. you should do a piece on invasions of Embassies and Consulates, which app. is becoming en vogue, as are appropriations of territory (the similarities, the differences)

This briefing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kkfr7rzSle8 by Maria Zarakhova mentions a few I wasn't aware of. At around 09:30 min.

Appalling precedents are created before our eyes.

michaelj72 , Mar 31, 2019 2:49:22 PM | link

well, that was fast


https://www.nbcnews.com/news/north-korea/fbi-has-data-stolen-north-korea-embassy-anti-kim-regime-n988906
FBI has data stolen from North Korea embassy by anti-regime group
A group calling for the overthrow of Kim Jong Un has given the FBI data seized in a raid of North Korea's embassy in Spain, a law enforcement source says.


"....Receiving intelligence stolen from a foreign embassy in a NATO country puts the FBI in a delicate position, but there is no U.S. legal prohibition against the American government making use of the material, legal experts say....."


[Mar 31, 2019] Guaido Set To Enact Uprising Rooted In US Regime-Change Operations Manual

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Given that Guaidó was trained by a group funded by USAID's sister organization, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) -- and is known to take his marching orders from Washington, including his self-proclamation as "interim president" and his return to Venezuela following the "humanitarian aid" showdown -- it is worth considering that this USAID document may well serve as a roadmap to the upcoming and Guaidó-led "tactical actions" that will comprise "Operation Freedom." ..."
"... Titled "Rapid Expeditionary Development (RED) Teams: Demand and Feasibility Assessment," the 75-page document was produced for the U.S. Global Development Lab, a branch of USAID. It was written as part of an effort to the "widespread sentiment" among the many military, intelligence, and development officials the report's authors interviewed "that the USG [U.S. government] is woefully underperforming in non-permissive and denied environments," including Venezuela. Notably, some of the military, intelligence and development officials interviewed by the report's authors had experience working in a covert capacity in Venezuela. ..."
"... The report goes on to state that "RED Team members would be catalytic actors, performing development activities alongside local communities while coordinating with interagency partners." It further states that "[i]t is envisioned that the priority competency of proposed RED Team development officers would be social movement theory (SMT)" and that "RED Team members would be 'super enablers,' observing situations on the ground and responding immediately by designing, funding, and implementing small-scale activities." ..."
"... Also raising the specter of a Venezuela link is the fact that the document suggests Brazil as a potential location for a RED Team pilot study. Several of those interviewed for the report asserted that "South American countries were ripe for pilots" of the RED Team program, adding that "These [countries were] under-reported, low-profile, idiot-proof locations, where USG civilian access is fairly unrestrained by DS [Diplomatic Security] and where there is a positive American relationship with the host government." ..."
"... This January, Brazil inaugurated Jair Bolsonaro as president, a fascist who has made his intention to align the country close to Washington's interests no secret. During Bolsonaro's recent visit to Washington, he became the first president of that country to visit CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. President Donald Trump said during his meeting with Bolsonaro that "We have a great alliance with Brazil -- better than we've ever had before" and spoke in favor of Brazil joining NATO. ..."
"... This is supported by the troubling correlation between a document produced by the NED-funded group CANVAS and the recent power outages that have taken place throughout Venezuela, which were described as U.S.-led "sabotage" by the country's government. A recent report by The Grayzone detailed how a September 2010 memo by CANVAS -- which trained Juan Guaidó -- described in detail how the potential collapse of the country's electrical infrastructure, like that recently seen in Venezuela, would be "a watershed event" that "would likely have the impact of galvanizing public unrest in a way that no opposition group could ever hope to generate." ..."
"... The document specifically named the Simon Bolivar Hydroelectric Plant at Guri Dam, which failed earlier this month as a result of what the Venezuelan government asserted was "sabotage" conducted by the U.S. government. That claim was bolstered by U.S. Senator Marco Rubio's apparent foreknowledge of the power outage. Thus, there is a precedent of correlation between these types of documents and actions that occur in relation to the current U.S. regime-change effort in Venezuela. ..."
Mar 31, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Guaido Set To Enact Uprising Rooted In US Regime-Change Operations Manual

by Tyler Durden Sat, 03/30/2019 - 21:30 184 SHARES Authored by Whitney Webb via MintPressNews.com,

With its hands tied when it comes to military intervention, only covert actions - such as those described in the RED Team document - are likely to be enacted by the U.S. government, at least at this stage of its ongoing "regime change" effort in Venezuela.

Juan Guaidó, the self-proclaimed "interim president of Venezuela" who is supported by the United States government, recently announced coming "tactical actions" that will be taken by his supporters starting April 6 as part of " Operation Freedom ," an alleged grassroots effort to overthrow Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.

That operation, according to Guaidó, will be led by "Freedom and Aid Committees" that in turn create "freedom cells" throughout the country -- "cells" that will spring to action when Guaidó gives the signal on April 6 and launch large-scale community protests. Guaidó's stated plan involves the Venezuelan military then taking his side, but his insistence that "all options are still on the table" (i.e., foreign military intervention) reveals his impatience with the military, which has continued to stay loyal to Maduro throughout Guaidó's "interim presidency."

However, a document released by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in February, and highlighted last month in a report by Devex, details the creation of networks of small teams, or cells, that would operate in a way very similar to what Guaidó describes in his plan for "Operation Freedom."

Given that Guaidó was trained by a group funded by USAID's sister organization, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) -- and is known to take his marching orders from Washington, including his self-proclamation as "interim president" and his return to Venezuela following the "humanitarian aid" showdown -- it is worth considering that this USAID document may well serve as a roadmap to the upcoming and Guaidó-led "tactical actions" that will comprise "Operation Freedom."

RED Teams

Titled "Rapid Expeditionary Development (RED) Teams: Demand and Feasibility Assessment," the 75-page document was produced for the U.S. Global Development Lab, a branch of USAID. It was written as part of an effort to the "widespread sentiment" among the many military, intelligence, and development officials the report's authors interviewed "that the USG [U.S. government] is woefully underperforming in non-permissive and denied environments," including Venezuela. Notably, some of the military, intelligence and development officials interviewed by the report's authors had experience working in a covert capacity in Venezuela.

The approach put forth in this report involves the creation of rapid expeditionary development (RED) teams, who would "be deployed as two-person teams and placed with 'non-traditional' USAID partners executing a mix of offensive, defensive, and stability operations in extremis conditions." The report notes later on that these "non-traditional" partners are U.S. Special Forces (SF) and the CIA.

The report goes on to state that "RED Team members would be catalytic actors, performing development activities alongside local communities while coordinating with interagency partners." It further states that "[i]t is envisioned that the priority competency of proposed RED Team development officers would be social movement theory (SMT)" and that "RED Team members would be 'super enablers,' observing situations on the ground and responding immediately by designing, funding, and implementing small-scale activities."

In other words, these teams of combined intelligence, military and/or "democracy promoting" personnel would work as "super enablers" of "small-scale activities" focused on "social movement theory" and community mobilizations, such as the mobilizations of protests.

The decentralized nature of RED teams and their focus on engineering "social movements" and "mobilizations" is very similar to Guaidó's plan for "Operation Freedom." Operation Freedom is set to begin through "Freedom and Aid committees" that cultivate decentralized "freedom cells" throughout the country and that create mass mobilizations when Guaidó gives the go ahead on April 6. The ultimate goal of Operation Freedom is to have those "freedom cell"-generated protests converge on Venezuela's presidential palace, where Nicolás Maduro resides. Given Guaidó lack of momentum and popularity within Venezuela, it seems highly likely that U.S. government "catalytic actors" may be a key part of his upcoming plan to topple Maduro in little over a week.

Furthermore, an appendix included in the report states that RED Team members, in addition to being trained in social movement theory and community mobilization techniques, would also be trained in "weapons handling and use," suggesting that their role as "catalytic actors" could also involve Maidan-esque behavior. This is a distinct possibility raised by the report's claim that RED Team members be trained in the use of both "offensive" and "defensive" weaponry.

In addition, another appendix states that RED Team members would help "identify allies and mobilize small amounts of cash to establish community buy-in/relationship" -- i.e., bribes -- and would particularly benefit the CIA by offering a way to "transition covert action into community engagement activities."

Feeling Bolsonaro's breath on its neck

Also raising the specter of a Venezuela link is the fact that the document suggests Brazil as a potential location for a RED Team pilot study. Several of those interviewed for the report asserted that "South American countries were ripe for pilots" of the RED Team program, adding that "These [countries were] under-reported, low-profile, idiot-proof locations, where USG civilian access is fairly unrestrained by DS [Diplomatic Security] and where there is a positive American relationship with the host government."

This January, Brazil inaugurated Jair Bolsonaro as president, a fascist who has made his intention to align the country close to Washington's interests no secret. During Bolsonaro's recent visit to Washington, he became the first president of that country to visit CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. President Donald Trump said during his meeting with Bolsonaro that "We have a great alliance with Brazil -- better than we've ever had before" and spoke in favor of Brazil joining NATO.

Though Bolsonaro's government has claimed late in February that it would not allow the U.S. to launch a military intervention from its territory, Bolsonaro's son, Eduardo Bolsonaro -- an adviser to his father and a Brazilian congressman -- said last week that "use of force will be necessary" in Venezuela "at some point" and, echoing the Trump administration, added that "all options are on the table." If Bolsonaro's government does allow the "use of force," but not a full-blown foreign military intervention per se, its closeness to the Trump administration and the CIA suggests that covert actions, such as those carried out by the proposed RED Teams, are a distinct possibility.

Frontier Design Group

The RED Team report was authored by members of Frontier Design Group (FDG) for USAID's Global Development Lab. FDG is a national security contractor and its mission statement on its website is quite revealing:

Since our founding, Frontier has focused on the challenges and opportunities that concern the "3Ds" of Defense, Development and Diplomacy and critical intersections with the intelligence community. Our work has focused on the wicked and sometimes overlapping problem sets of fragility, violent extremism, terrorism, civil war, and insurgency. Our work on these complex issues has included projects with the U.S. Departments of State and Defense, USAID, the National Counterterrorism Center and the U.S. Institute of Peace."

FDG also states on is website that it also regularly does work for the Council on Foreign Relations and the Omidyar Group -- which is controlled by Pierre Omidyar, a billionaire with deep ties to the U.S. national security establishment that were the subject of a recent MintPress series. According to journalist Tim Shorrock, who mentions the document in a recent investigation focusing on Pierre Omidyar for Washington Babylon , FDG was the "sole contractor" hired by USAID to create a "new counterinsurgency doctrine for the Trump administration" and the fruit of that effort is the "RED Team" document described above.

One of the co-authors of the document is Alexa Courtney , FDG founder and former USAID liaison officer with the Department of Defense; former manager of civilian counterterrorism operations in Afghanistan for USAID; and former counterinsurgency specialist for U.S. intelligence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton.

In addition, according to Shorrock, Courtney's name has also been found "on several Caerus [Associates] contracts with USAID and US intelligence that were leaked to me on a thumb drive, including a $77 million USAID project to track 'licit and illicit networks' in Honduras." Courtney, according to her LinkedIn account, was also recently honored by Chevron Corporation for her "demonstrated leadership and impact on development results." MintPress recently reported on the role of Chevron in the current U.S.-led effort to topple Maduro and replace him with Guaidó.

Send in the USAID

Though Devex was told last month that USAID was "still working on the details in formulating the Rapid Expeditionary Development (RED) Teams initiative," Courtney stated that the report's contents had been "received really favorably" by "very senior" and "influential" former and current government officials she had interviewed during the creation of the document.

For instance, one respondent asserted that the RED Team system would "restore the long-lost doing capacity of USAID." Another USAID official with 15 years of experience, including in "extremely denied environments," stated that:

We have to be involved in national security or USAID will not be relevant. Anybody who doesn't think we need to be working in combat elements or working with SF [special forces] groups is just naďve. We are either going to be up front or irrelevant USAID is going through a lot right now, but this is an area where we can be of utility. It must happen."

Given that the document represents the efforts of the sole contractor tasked with developing the current administration's new counterterrorism strategy, there is plenty of reason to believe that its contents -- published for over a year -- have been or are set to be put to use in Venezuela, potentially as part of the upcoming "Operation Freedom," set to begin on April 6.

This is supported by the troubling correlation between a document produced by the NED-funded group CANVAS and the recent power outages that have taken place throughout Venezuela, which were described as U.S.-led "sabotage" by the country's government. A recent report by The Grayzone detailed how a September 2010 memo by CANVAS -- which trained Juan Guaidó -- described in detail how the potential collapse of the country's electrical infrastructure, like that recently seen in Venezuela, would be "a watershed event" that "would likely have the impact of galvanizing public unrest in a way that no opposition group could ever hope to generate."

The document specifically named the Simon Bolivar Hydroelectric Plant at Guri Dam, which failed earlier this month as a result of what the Venezuelan government asserted was "sabotage" conducted by the U.S. government. That claim was bolstered by U.S. Senator Marco Rubio's apparent foreknowledge of the power outage. Thus, there is a precedent of correlation between these types of documents and actions that occur in relation to the current U.S. regime-change effort in Venezuela.

Furthermore, it would make sense for the Trump administration to attempt to enact such an initiative as that described in the document, given its apparent inability to launch a military intervention in Venezuela, despite its frequent claims that "all options are on the table." Indeed, U.S. allies -- including those close to Venezuela, like Colombia -- have rejected military intervention, given the U.S.' past role in bloody coups and civil wars throughout the region.

Thus, with its hands tied when it comes to military intervention, only covert actions -- such as those described in the RED Team document -- are likely to be enacted by the U.S. government, at least at this stage of its ongoing "regime change" effort in Venezuela.

[Mar 31, 2019] Putin To Trump Mind Your Own Business On Venezuela; Russian Troops Will Stay As Long As Needed

Notable quotes:
"... On Wednesday while meeting with the wife of opposition leader Juan Guaidó, President Trump called on Russia to pull its troops out of Venezuela, warning that "all options" were on the table to make that happen. ..."
Mar 31, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Days after Trump's Secretary of State Mike Pompeo demanded that Russia " cease its unconstructive behavior " by landing a transport plane full of Russian troops in Caracas last Saturday, the Kremlin has responded - essentially telling Washington to pound sand - and that their troops will remain in Venezuela "for as long as needed " according to the Independent .

In the latest indication the crisis in Venezuela is taking on elements of a proxy battle between the former Cold War rivals, a spokeswoman for Russia's foreign ministry said the troops had been dispatched to fulfil "military contracts".

" They are involved in the implementation of agreements in the sphere of military and technical cooperation ," said Maria Zakharova, according to the AFP, adding that the troops would stay there " for as long as needed ".

" Russia is not changing the balance of power in the region, Russia is not threatening anyone ," she said. - Independent

Last week we also noted that new satellite images reveal a major deployment of S-300 air defense missile systems to a key air base south of Caracas shortly after Russia arrived.

On Wednesday while meeting with the wife of opposition leader Juan Guaidó, President Trump called on Russia to pull its troops out of Venezuela, warning that "all options" were on the table to make that happen.

[Mar 31, 2019] Without police presence, the Yankee puppet would in all likelihood end up lynched and hanging from lamppost.

Mar 31, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Augustin L , Mar 30, 2019 8:37:24 PM | link

Juan Guaido getting a ''warm'' welcome from population in El Valle. Apparently, Venezuelan masses have had enough of comprador sellouts backed by European powers.

Without police presence, the Yankee puppet would in all likelihood end up lynched and hanging from lamppost.

Exceptionals are in for a rude awakening, if they attempt to overthrow Chavistas using direct kinetic operations.

Any invasion will be met with fierce resistance. No volveran to Pre-Chavez years. Orange dotard and his neo-confederates in the white house fancy themselves crushing ''subhuman'' resistance from shitholes and securing the hemisphere for wall street looters. The gambit will backfire, and could end up kickstarting hostilites that will span the Continent from Patagonia to Rio Grande. MAGA the gift that keeps on giving. #winning... https://www.facebook.com/venesolidarite/videos/814971605532561/

[Mar 31, 2019] Seems to me what that BigLie's of Us propaganda is this tale: Relations with Russia during the post-USSR age were going along swell until Russia began involved in the Venezuelan Crisis.

Mar 31, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Mar 30, 2019 7:15:26 PM | link

b--

Seems to me what that BigLie's about is this tale: Relations with Russia during the post-USSR age were going along swell until Russia began involved in the Venezuelan Crisis.

The attempt is to try a new narrative using a different angle to blame Russia which is the goal of the BigLie. Signal a new line of approach in dealing with the attitude toward Russia to the trusty echoers of His Master's Voice.

That's what it seems, b.

[Mar 30, 2019] The US desperately needs Venezuelan oil

Highly recommended!
Mar 30, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

dh-mtl , Mar 30, 2019 5:00:04 PM | link

The U.S. desperately needs Venezuelan oil.

They lost control of Saudi Arabia, after trying to take down MBS and then betraying him by unexpectedly allowing waivers on Iranian oil in November.

The U.S. cannot take down Iran without Venezuelan oil. What is worse, right now they don't have access to enough heavy oil to meet their own needs.

Controlling the world oil trade is central to Trump's strategy for the U.S. to continue its empire. Without Venezuelan oil, the U.S. is a bit player in the energy markets, and will remain so.

Having Russia block the U.S. in Venezuela adds insult to injury. After Crimea and Syria, now Venezuela, Russia exposes the U.S. as a loud mouthed-bully without the capacity to back up its threats, a 'toothless tiger', an 'emperor without clothes'.

If the U.S. cannot dislodge Russia from Venezuela, its days as 'global hegemon' are finished. For this reason the U.S. will continue escalating the situation with ever-riskier actions, until it succeeds or breaks.

In the same manor, if Russia backs off, its resistance to the U.S. is finished. And the U.S. will eventually move to destroy Russia, like it has been actively trying to do for the past 30 years. Russia cannot and will not back off.

Venezuela thus becomes the stage where the final act in the clash of empires plays out. Will the world become a multi-polar world, in which the U.S. becomes a relatively isolated and insignificant pole? Or will the world become more fully dominated by a brutal, erratic hegemon?

All options are on the table. For both sides!

[Mar 29, 2019] Stay Out Of Western Hemisphere! Bolton Warns Russia Over Troops In Venezuela

Mar 29, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Stay Out Of Western Hemisphere! Bolton Warns Russia Over Troops In Venezuela

by Tyler Durden Fri, 03/29/2019 - 18:25 162 SHARES

The White House has dramatically stepped up its rhetoric threatening action against Russia's military presence in Venezuela after the Kremlin deployed a troop contingency to Caracas last Saturday.

Trump's national security adviser John Bolton took tensions to a new level, on Friday issuing a new Monroe doctrine of sorts, telling Moscow any attempt to establish or expand military operations in the western hemisphere constitutes a "provocative" and "direct threat" to international peace and security in the region. "We strongly caution actors external to the Western Hemisphere against deploying military assets to Venezuela, or elsewhere in the Hemisphere, with the intent of establishing or expanding military operations," Bolton said in a statement .

"We will consider such provocative actions as a direct threat to international peace and security in the region," he added. This follows the president's own warning on Wednesday that "all options" are on the table regarding potential expanding Russian presence in Venezuela.

Two Russian aircraft carrying about 100 servicemen and 35 tons of cargo arrived in Caracas last Saturday, led by Russian General Vasily Tonkoshkurov, identified as chief of the Main Staff of the Ground Forces and First Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Land Forces of Russia.

This prompted Trump's Wednesday warning to Russia against involvement in the Latin American nation; he told reporters in the Oval Office that :

" Russia has to get out."

Kremlin officials responded by explaining that it deployed military specialists merely to service preexisting arms contracts with Venezuela, and that Russia is not interfering in the Latin American country's internal affairs.

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a press briefing on Thursday when asked how long the Russian troop contingency led by a high ranking general will stay:

"How long? As long as they need to, and as long as the Venezuelan government needs them. It all is being done based on bilateral agreements."

Russia's position is that it is not interfering in Venezuela's internal affairs by merely cooperating on legal and existing service contracts, and that no other country should do so either. It said that only "specialists" had entered Venezuela under a pre-existing agreed upon military cooperation deal .

However, the White House isn't buying it, as Bolton's Friday statement further condemned Maduro's "use of foreign military personnel in his attempt to remain in power, including the introduction of Russian military personnel and equipment into Venezuela."

"Maduro will only use this military support to further repress the people of Venezuela; perpetuate the economic crisis that has destroyed Venezuela's economy; and endanger regional stability," Bolton said .

All of this also comes as the Maduro government stripped US-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido of his position in the National Assembly, further barring him from holding public office for 15 years .

[Mar 29, 2019] Escobar Empire Of Chaos In Hybrid War Overdrive

Notable quotes:
"... When we mix this with the recent India-Pakistan scuffle, a wider message emerges. There was absolutely no interest by Prime Minister Imran Kahn, the Pakistani Army and the Pakistani intelligence, ISI, to launch an attack on India in Kashmir. Pakistan was about to run out of money and about to be bolstered by the U.S., via Saudi Arabia with $20 billion and an IMF loan. ..."
"... At the same time, there were two almost simultaneous terrorist attacks launched from Pakistan – against Iran and against India in mid-February. There's no smoking gun yet, but these attacks may have been manipulated by a foreign intelligence agency. ..."
"... Lavrov explained how Washington was engaged in acquiring mortars and portable air defense systems "in an East European country, and mov(ing) them closer to Venezuela by an airline of a regime that is rather absolutely obedient to Washington in the post-Soviet space." ..."
"... That leaves Plan D – which is essentially to try to starve the Venezuelan population to death via viciously lethal additional sanctions. Sanctioned Syria and sanctioned Iran didn't collapse. Even boasting myriad comprador elites aggregated in the Lima group, exceptionalists may have to come to grips with the fact that deploying the Monroe doctrine essentially to contain China's influence in the young 21stcentury is no "cakewalk." ..."
Mar 29, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

A hefty case can be made that the Empire of Chaos currently has no allies; it's essentially surrounded by an assortment of vassals, puppets and comprador 5thcolumnist elites professing varied degrees of – sometimes reluctant – obedience.

The Trump administration's foreign policy may be easily deconstructed as a crossover between The Sopranos and late-night comedy – as in the whole episode of designating State Department/CIA regime change, lab experiment Random Dude as President of Venezuela. Legendary cultural critic Walter Benjamin would have called it "the aestheticization of politics," (turning politics into art), as he did about the Nazis, but this time it's the Looney Tunes version.

To add to the conceptual confusion, despite countless "an offer you can't refuse" antics unleashed by psychopaths of the John Bolton and Mike Pompeo variety, there's this startling nugget . Former Iranian diplomat Amir Moussavi has revealed that Trump himself demanded to visit Tehran, and was duly rebuffed. "Two European states, two Arab countries and one Southeast Asian state" were mediating a series of messages relayed by Trump and his son-in-law Jared "of Arabia" Kushner, according to Moussavi.

Is there a method to this madness? An attempt at a Grand Narrative would go something like this: ISIS/Daesh may have been sidelined – for now; they are not useful anymore, so the U.S. must fight the larger "evil": Tehran. GWOT has been revived, and though Hamza bin Laden has been designated the new Caliph, GWOT has shifted to Iran.

When we mix this with the recent India-Pakistan scuffle, a wider message emerges. There was absolutely no interest by Prime Minister Imran Kahn, the Pakistani Army and the Pakistani intelligence, ISI, to launch an attack on India in Kashmir. Pakistan was about to run out of money and about to be bolstered by the U.S., via Saudi Arabia with $20 billion and an IMF loan.

At the same time, there were two almost simultaneous terrorist attacks launched from Pakistan – against Iran and against India in mid-February. There's no smoking gun yet, but these attacks may have been manipulated by a foreign intelligence agency. The Cui Bono riddle is which state would profit immensely from a war between Pakistan and Iran and/or a war between Pakistan and India.

The bottom line: hiding in the shadow of plausible deniability – according to which what we understand as reality is nothing but pure perception – the Empire of Chaos will resort to the chaos of no-holds-barred Hybrid War to avoid "losing" the Eurasian heartland.

Show Me How Many Hybrid Plans You Got

What applies to the heartland of course also applies to the backyard.

The case of Venezuela shows that the "all options on the table" scenario has been de facto aborted by Russia, outlined in an astonishing briefing by Maria Zakharova, spokeswoman of the Russian Foreign Ministry, and then subsequently detailed by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj at a crucial RIC (part of BRICS) summit in China, Lavrov said, "Russia keeps a close eye on brazen US attempts to create an artificial pretext for a military intervention in Venezuela The actual implementation of these threats is pulling in military equipment and training [US] Special Forces."

Lavrov explained how Washington was engaged in acquiring mortars and portable air defense systems "in an East European country, and mov(ing) them closer to Venezuela by an airline of a regime that is rather absolutely obedient to Washington in the post-Soviet space."

The U.S. attempt at regime change in Venezuela has been so far unsuccessful in several ways.

That plan had already been exposed by WikiLeaks, via a 2010 memo by a U.S.-funded, Belgrade-based color revolution scam that helped train self-proclaimed "President" Random Dude, when he was just known asJuan Guaidó. The leaked memo said that attacking the Venezuelan power grid would be a "watershed event" that "would likely have the impact of galvanizing public unrest in a way that no opposition group could ever hope to generate."

But even that was not enough.

That leaves Plan D – which is essentially to try to starve the Venezuelan population to death via viciously lethal additional sanctions. Sanctioned Syria and sanctioned Iran didn't collapse. Even boasting myriad comprador elites aggregated in the Lima group, exceptionalists may have to come to grips with the fact that deploying the Monroe doctrine essentially to contain China's influence in the young 21stcentury is no "cakewalk."

Plan E -- for extreme -- would be U.S. military action, which Bolton won't take off the table.

Show Me the Way to the Next War Game

So where do all these myriad weaponizations of chaos theory leave us? Nowhere, if they don't follow the money. Local comprador elites must be lavishly rewarded, otherwise you're stuck in hybrid swamp territory. That was the case in Brazil – and that's why the most sophisticated hybrid war case history so far has been a success.

In 2013, Edward Snowden and WikiLeaks revealed how the NSA was spying on Brazilian energy giant Petrobras and the Dilma Rousseff government beginning in 2010. Afterwards, a complex, rolling judicial-business-political-financial-media coup ended up reaching its two main objectives; in 2016, with the impeachment of Rousseff, and in 2018, with Lula thrown in jail.

Now comes arguably the juiciest piece of the puzzle. Petrobras was supposed to pay $853 million to the U.S. Department of Justice for not going to trial for crimes it was being accused of in America. But then a dodgy deal was struck according to which the fine will be transferred to a Brazilian fund as long as Petrobras commits to relay confidential information about its businesses to the United States government.

Mattis: Wrote on hybrid war in 2005.

Hybrid war against BRICS member Brazil worked like a charm, but trying it against nuclear superpower Russia is a completely different ball game. U.S. analysts, in another case of culture jamming, even accuse Russia itself of deploying hybrid war – a concept actually invented in the U.S. within a counter-terrorism context; applied during the occupation of Iraq and later metastasized across the color revolution spectrum; and featuring, among others, in an article co-authored by former Pentagon head James "Mad Dog" Mattis in 2005 when he was a mere lieutenant general.

At a recent conference about Russia's military strategy, Chief of General Staff Gen. Valery Gerasimov stressed that the Russian armed forces must increase both their "classic" and "asymmetrical" potential. In the U.S. this is interpreted as subversion/propaganda hybrid war techniques as applied in Ukraine and in the largely debunked Russia-gate. Instead, Russian strategists refer to these techniques as "complex approach" and "new generation war".

Santa Monica's RAND Corporation still sticks to good ol' hot war scenarios. They have been holding "Red on Blue" war games simulations since 1952 – modeling how the proverbial "existential threats" could use asymmetric strategies. The latest Red on Blue was not exactly swell. RAND analyst David Ochmanek famously said that with Blue representing the current U.S. military potential and Red representing Russia-China in a conventional war, "Blue gets its ass handed to it."

None of this will convince Empire of Chaos functionary Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who recently told a Senate Armed Services Committee that the Pentagon will continue to refuse a "no first use" nuclear strategy. Aspiring Dr. Strangeloves actually believe the U.S. can start a nuclear war and get away with it.

Talk about the Age of Hybrid Stupidity going out with a bang.

[Mar 24, 2019] One of warnings delivered by Ryabkov is understood to have been that no American military intervention in Venezuela will be tolerated by Moscow.

Mar 24, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

JohninMK , Mar 24, 2019 2:09:42 PM | link

Suddenly everything has changed in Venezuela.

Following the 'red lines' meeting between Ryabkov and Elliot Abrams in Rome a couple of days ago, after which Ryabkov said bluntly:

"We assume that Washington treats our priorities seriously, our approach and warnings."

One of those warnings delivered by Ryabkov is understood to have been that no American military intervention in Venezuela will be tolerated by Moscow.

For his part, Abrams sounded as if he had emerged from the meeting after having been given a severe reprimand.

"No, we did not come to a meeting of minds, but I think the talks were positive in the sense that both sides emerged with a better understanding of the other's views," he told reporters.

"A better understanding of the other's views," means that the American side was given a red line to back off.

So, the Russian Army advanced party has arrived today, 99 in an Il-62 and goodness knows what in an An-124 on a direct flight from Syria.

And now, according to journalist Javier I. Mayorca, Colonel General Vasily Tonkoshkurov, chief of the Main Staff of the Ground Forces - First Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Land Forces of Russia, arrived in Venezuela.

So we have one of the most significant Russian Generals now in Venezuela with his staff and protection teams with their equipment coming out the back of the Antonov and I think we can be certain that there is no beachware included.

This is looking more like the start up of Russian ops in Syria. This is the 'what do you need, how can we help' team.

This could be Venezuela transforming from a hedgehog into a porcupine.

karlof1 , Mar 24, 2019 5:01:42 PM | link

JohninMK @1--

I bet the An-124 was filled with captured NATO arms, particularly TOWs, of which there're many warehouses in Syria packed to the rafters--$billions$ in armaments at no charge! In contrast with France, every Saturday there's a massive Solidarity March in Caracas and other Venezuelan cities in support of Maduro, the government and the Bolivarian Constitution. One of the most important differences between Venezuela and other South-of-the-border regime changes is that an entire generation has grown up under Chavezismo, the Bolivarian Constitution, and the great social changes--literacy and education for the masses being #1--that have occurred over the past 20+ years. Those coming of age now will be even more Anti-USA and Anti-OAS than ever before. This chart shows almost 50% of the current population's coming of age During the Bolivarian/Chavista Age proves that point.

As with Iran and Cuba, the Bolivarian Revolution's ingrained into the government's structure, and perpetuated by society and culture. The penchant for the Outlaw US Empire to task its vassals with killing off the entire Leftist political spectrum leaving only reactionaries and their kin has always been genocidal in scope, and in Venezuela's case would amount to @22 million requiring purging. And let's not kid ourselves--A world filled with docile reactionaries is exactly the sort of prole-based planet the Outlaw US Empire craves.

[Mar 20, 2019] Trump Sticks To Sanctions - U.S., North Korea Summit Fails - Updated

Incompetent, cowboy style foreign policy is the hallmark of Trump administration. they can only bully, they can't hold a constructive negotiations. As one commenter observed "American diplomacy still consists of behaving like a bull in a china shop: do what we say or die."
His appointment of Bolton and Pompeo means that Trump is a neocon in foreign policy and/or does not control foreign policy of his administration. .
Notable quotes:
"... This is just a hunch but I have a feeling it was undermined by Bolton and Pompeo from the start. ..."
"... Every time I hear a Neocon say this on FOX / CNN I want to strangle the host for not asking any follow up question as in, 'like what?' What has the U.S. given up. ..."
"... Why does the USA keep economic sanctions on DPRK? This article helps to explain it: Despite himself Trump admits the superiority of China's socialist economy to capitalism ..."
"... Jong-un Kim has an advantage his predecessor didn't: he has China. He doesn't need to invent nothing: he already has the long-term solution next door. ..."
"... My guess is the USA and South Korea know if the sanctions are lifted, North Korea will become a mini-powerhouse under China's sphere of influence. They have to create a situation equal to Libya's, where they can invade the North militarily and quickly occupy its territory, thus using its population as cheap labor force for the American multinationals and South Korean chaebols. ..."
"... The US military/foreign policy establishment wants North Korea to disarm so that it can give them a Carthaginian peace. Until then, they are content to do their cushy jobs and rake in the money from South Korean businessmen. ..."
"... An excellent article from Tom Engelhardt on Consortium News, in which he attempts to explain how the USA had the world at its feet, and squandered the chance to do good and instead went on a series of further Imperial military adventures: https://consortiumnews.com/2019/02/21/the-neocons-have-their-caesar/ ..."
"... American diplomacy still consists of behaving like a bull in a china shop: do what we say or die. ..."
"... summit was derailed by last minute attendance of Bolton, who added demands for NK to also report chemical/biological weapons, in response to which NKs increased their demand for sanctions relief in Korean ..."
"... No surprise that the US is always 'all or nothing'. It thinks it is 'uber alles'. ..."
"... IMO, the key was laid bare by Trump: "Basically they wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety, and we couldn't do that." [My Emphasis] ..."
"... as you and many others have noted, the US argument seems to be "give up your nukes so we can Libya you into oblivion". if venezuela had nukes would they be putting up with the incessant stupidity of the "blob"? they'd still have sanctions but i doubt the dumb twats running the surrounding countries would be as eager to aid and abet US hijinks. ..."
"... And it seems Trump lied about the impasse that led to Kim walking out, proving that Kim's initial assessment of Trump as dotard was 100% correct. ..."
"... When did Bolton's coups and intimidations ever work? He is, in essence, a megalomanic mustache. ..."
"... I think that Trump represents a pivot from containment of China/Russia to one of "Quick, pull what pieces of empire we can defend/control together." ..."
"... I think that the West is delusional to think they can defeat any alternative that doesn't have profit as its God. That said, that monotheistic myth of "better than others" runs deep as evidenced by some of the opinions expressed in this venue ..."
"... Any nation which still trust any promise coming from the USA and its European, Australian and Canadian poddles deserves to be colonized and destroyed. ..."
Mar 01, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

twhstmmwmafilwwwww , Feb 28, 2019 8:13:44 AM | link

This is just a hunch but I have a feeling it was undermined by Bolton and Pompeo from the start. They know the DPRK wasn't gonna give up its nuclear deterrent unilaterally, so the next best thing behind a the dream of a Libya situation is to once again have an aggressive relationship with the North to be able to continue to justify all sorts of "defense" maneuvering around China now that foreign policy has now officially pivoted away from terrorism and towards China(+Russia).

Similar to AEGIS Ashore in Eastern Europe in order to "defend" Europe from "Iran".

Christian Chuba , Feb 28, 2019 8:22:32 AM | link

We've given up everything, they have given up nothing

Every time I hear a Neocon say this on FOX / CNN I want to strangle the host for not asking any follow up question as in, 'like what?' What has the U.S. given up.

We talked to them giving them legitimacy, OMG, as if we have some kind of glorious halo that is worth a billions of $ or even more. This makes me want to puke when I heare this.

The N. Koreans have stopped ALL nuclear and ballistic missile testing. We the U.S. have put in place even more draconian sanctions under Trump than were in place before. We raised the ante. We have more room to give then the N. Koreans do.

steven t johnson , Feb 28, 2019 8:28:11 AM | link
Believing Trump is or ever was open to breaking with US imperialism is Trumpery. He wants to sweat the subordinates, wants them to spend more on the military, buy more US weapons, do more fighting. But to make things look good he will say anything, and renege.

Some people think Trump etc. are trying to detach the north from a Chinese alliance. There are two problems here. First, there's no sane reason to think the Chinese aren't engaged in economic warfare against the north. Not wanting to squeeze hard enough to cause a total collapse is not supporting the north. Second, if that's what Trump wanted, he'd actually try offering the north concessions.

The issue in the background is whether Trump will let the south out of the US orbit. It's an easy question to answer: He won't. Empires don't give up their territory until they're made to. The Soviet withdrawal from central Europe is not an exception, as the USSR was not an empire. (Yes, everyone who says "Soviet empire" and means it is a shithead.)

Ts'yew Taw-Loh , Feb 28, 2019 8:30:46 AM | link
Formally, the Korean War was between Chosôn on the one side and The United nations and Hangok (Daehan)on the other. The UN security council is the ones to have instituted tthe sanction regime and thus in practice committed a crime against Humanity by inflictin starvation the people of the North. In practice it was a US & their allie's war against the entire population of Korea. Formally, peace must be signed by Chosôn and the UN and sanctions lifted by the latter. In Practice, the US must be made to abide with agreements.
vk , Feb 28, 2019 8:48:36 AM | link
Why does the USA keep economic sanctions on DPRK? This article helps to explain it: Despite himself Trump admits the superiority of China's socialist economy to capitalism

Jong-un Kim has an advantage his predecessor didn't: he has China. He doesn't need to invent nothing: he already has the long-term solution next door.

My guess is the USA and South Korea know if the sanctions are lifted, North Korea will become a mini-powerhouse under China's sphere of influence. They have to create a situation equal to Libya's, where they can invade the North militarily and quickly occupy its territory, thus using its population as cheap labor force for the American multinationals and South Korean chaebols.

David Wooten , Feb 28, 2019 8:58:41 AM | link
The US military/foreign policy establishment wants North Korea to disarm so that it can give them a Carthaginian peace. Until then, they are content to do their cushy jobs and rake in the money from South Korean businessmen.

Moon would probably like to unite the two Koreas and kick US out. But then, the US mil/fp would sanction him and all Korea.

donkeytale , Feb 28, 2019 9:07:21 AM | link
This was yet another photo op on the road to nowhere with our reality show presidency. As Conway Twitty sang, "it's only make believe." The path to "normalisation" with NK winds through SK.
Ant , Feb 28, 2019 9:09:01 AM | link

An excellent article from Tom Engelhardt on Consortium News, in which he attempts to explain how the USA had the world at its feet, and squandered the chance to do good and instead went on a series of further Imperial military adventures: https://consortiumnews.com/2019/02/21/the-neocons-have-their-caesar/

American diplomacy still consists of behaving like a bull in a china shop: do what we say or die.

Time to grow up, it's not the 1990's. You're just another country, and we're not so frightened any more.

b , Feb 28, 2019 9:34:31 AM | link
This is quite possible ...
Kevin Gray @DrKevinGray Former SK unification minister Chong Se-hyun suggests that summit was derailed by last minute attendance of Bolton, who added demands for NK to also report chemical/biological weapons, in response to which NKs increased their demand for sanctions relief in Korean
snake , Feb 28, 2019 10:06:12 AM | link
@8

We've given up everything, they have given up nothing. Every time I hear a Neocon say this on FOX / CNN I want .. follow up question {answered} as in, 'like what?' What has the U.S.[ A given up. [please note that unless you are a member of the 527 persons that make up the USA, you the " WE does not include you. Americans get to elect by a vary strained highly polarized (Republican vs Democrat) process, 525 persons under Article I, but not the two persons who are the CEOs that govern the USA ?

Americans cannot elected the CEOs that make all of the decisions. The CEOs of the USA are elected by persons who many or may not be Americans, have a look PLEASE!

... ... ...

The N. Koreans have stopped ALL nuclear and ballistic missile testing. We the U.S. have put in place even more draconian sanctions under Trump than were in place before. We raised the ante. We have more room to give then the N. Koreans do.<= once again I remind you that the " WE d/n include you..

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Feb 28, 2019 8:22:32 AM | 5

Jason , Feb 28, 2019 10:54:18 AM | link
So we give up nothing, not even a temporary ease in sanctions and they give up their nuclear weapons program in whole, what a deal.

Its obvious that even if Trump went there with the intention of making a realistic two sided deal the permanent war state would just scuttle it anyway by refusing to follow the plan or staging some new provocation like some war games or bomber fly over.

DPRK has to see that after Iran complied with the inspections regime and abandoned its civilian nuclear program the goal post was moved to not even being allowed to have ballistic missiles.

What I don't understand is how long before South Korea demands we respect its sovereignty in it's own military affairs and asks us to remove a sizable chunk of our war machine so a lasting peace can be made. Can South Korea not forge its own tit-for-tat peace plan with the North that makes sense to both sides and tell the US not to interfere, sabotage or ask it to leave? It seems the opportunity is ripe to exclude the empty suit Trump and his group of Neo-con madmen and forge ahead with opening up trade and mutual thawing of feeling in Koreas, but is there political will to do so in South Korea?

AriusArmenian , Feb 28, 2019 11:02:39 AM | link
No surprise that the US is always 'all or nothing'. It thinks it is 'uber alles'.
Jackrabbit , Feb 28, 2019 11:06:39 AM | link
fairleft @16

The link @12 is another form of apology for Trump. Essentially, an insanity defense:

All of this not only gave Americans a visibly unhinged president -- think of him, in axis-of-evil terms, as a rogue state of one -- but an increasingly unhinged country. You can feel so much of this in Trump's confused and confusing attempts to both end American wars and ratchet them up . . .

[So] ... think of this piece as an obituary of sorts ... not as an obituary for a single loopy president, a man who ... was elevated to a strange version of power by a troubled republic showing signs of wear and tear [but of a nation] . . . whatever Donald Trump does, the Caesarian die was cast early in this century as the neocons crossed their own Rubicon.

It's not Trump's fault - it's the neocons! They constructed a system that allowed for the election of this "loopy" President and are using him for their own ends.

Sure, the neocons deserve much blame but the Deep State and their US President compatriots (Bush Sr., Clinton, Bush Jr., Obama, and Trump) are also guilty just as the driver of the getaway car is just as guilty as the bank robbers.

karlof1 , Feb 28, 2019 12:17:31 PM | link

IMO, the key was laid bare by Trump: "Basically they wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety, and we couldn't do that." [My Emphasis]

Wouldn't or couldn't? Using "couldn't" tells me that possibility was zero to begin with and Bolton's appearance had nothing to do with anything other than the fact that the impasse was pre-determined. Kim knew it would happen; I was 99% sure it would happen; and of course Trump knew. And that's where it will likely remain until 2021, although there's a slight possibility that the UNSC sanctions will be modified and lessened.

Escobar's recap of recent events seems rather bland, although between the lines I think he's saying that solving Kashmir is more important than solving Afghanistan, an important point overlooked too long.

So, Koreans are left to their own devices and will continue their unification drive, while the quadrangular relations between China, Russia, and the two Koreas will grow tighter; all of which serve to increase pressure on Abe and Japan to drop the Empire's line.

BM , Feb 28, 2019 12:24:57 PM | link
It would be easy to be put off by the failure of the summit under the Americans' blatent treachery, but it is probably better that way.

Consider what would happen if the US and NK were to have a "fantastically successful" summit with agreements signed - what are the chances that the US would subsequently honour their commitments? NILL. What would be the effect on NK if NK does not honour it's commitments? Devastating at best.

Because of the US' well-established behaviour patterns, it is hard to imagine how NK could benefit from signing an agreement with the US - any concrete agreement - the US will ignore it's commitments, while forcing NK to abide by its commitments.

Therefore a situation in which the US clearly shows itself to be the treacherous partner while the NK side is beyond reproach is the perfect outcome for NK, allowing her to establish a good reputation in world public opinion and - hopefully - together with SK find their own way to achieve peaceful reunification without the US.

Peaceful reunification with US blessing was never on the cards and never will be.

Fortunately Kim Jong-Un has thus far been truly masterful in playing his cards, getting the geostrategic benefits at each throw, while the US only succeed in clearly establishing their treachery and progressively undermining their geostrategic hand.

With support from China and Russia, may the two Koreas eventually successfully achieve their own peaceful reunification without the US!

james , Feb 28, 2019 12:31:38 PM | link
thanks b... aside from liking what @26 psychohistorian said, i wonder who really benefits from these sanctions the usa is so quick to use as a tool against others impose or maintain? the usa appears to be built on this system of financial sanctions and can't function without it.. is it that the thought of north and south korea working together means the usa gets cut out of the action? is that a big part of it?? at some point it is going to happen anyway... same deal russia and the rest of europe and same deal iran and the rest of the world... it seems to me the usa is squandering all the promise they might have had at one time by catering to whoever profits from these financial sanction routines..

so yeah.. it is back to rome didn't fall in a day, and the usa's time is coming soon enough..

Red Ryder , Feb 28, 2019 12:35:04 PM | link
A large impediment to North Korea achieving a lifting of sanctions is the long list of UNSC resolutions establishing global unanimity for a sanctions regime.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_Nations_Security_Council_resolutions_concerning_North_Korea

The US has managed to corral China and Russia to join these sanctions.

However, a case can be made that since no nuke testing has transpired, no missile tests have continued, and the threat to neighbors and the region is now flat-lined, North Korea should be acting, not with the US alone, but with all the UNSC and other nations, in a way that demonstrates it is walking from nuclear development and ICBM achievement.

We shall see if Russia and China can press this argument in order to pursue economic development as a reward for international inspection and IAEA control of the NK nuclear program.

What the US wants is to get Moon out of the picture and retain fanatical South Korean leadership that would be against North Korea development. Trump may see the potential in North Korea, but the MIC and Deep State absolutely do not want to have to leave South Korea as a base.

arby , Feb 28, 2019 12:52:37 PM | link
To the posters who think Russia should intervene everywhere... Just reading on Orlov's blog and he pointed to an article he wrote about Russia and Putin in 2014 from a Valdai meeting---Putin--

"5. Russia has no intention of going fishing in the murky waters created by America's ever-expanding "empire of chaos," and has no interest in building a new empire of her own (this is unnecessary; Russia's challenges lie in developing her already vast territory).

Neither is Russia willing to act as a savior of the world, as she had in the past."

the pair , Feb 28, 2019 1:21:18 PM | link
as you and many others have noted, the US argument seems to be "give up your nukes so we can Libya you into oblivion". if venezuela had nukes would they be putting up with the incessant stupidity of the "blob"? they'd still have sanctions but i doubt the dumb twats running the surrounding countries would be as eager to aid and abet US hijinks.

i know it's based in "realism" or "realpolitik" or whatever euphemism for "do what we say or be murdered" people prefer, but south korea not telling the west to kiss the tastiest part of its ass and siding with the dprk and china to settle things is just absurd. other than financial punishment, what are they afraid of? no more disgusting tainted beef? no more deliveries of WWIII-level military gear without permission? a drop in sex tourism among pasty white anglos?

at least this does away with all pretense of trump being a "peace president" in the slightest. that was always a fantasy of the MAGA/"we liek him cuz hes xtian lol" crowd to begin with but now even the suggestion of such is laughable.

b , Feb 28, 2019 1:23:41 PM | link
The North Korean Foreign Minister gave a press conference in Hanoi. I updated the piece above at its end with the reports of what he said.
worldblee , Feb 28, 2019 1:28:41 PM | link
The bi-partisan War Party wins again, the world loses.
the pair , Feb 28, 2019 1:29:15 PM | link
@#36

i despise trudeau and all, but this oddly timed "scandal" is based on nothing but one woman's testimony (as believable as she is) and the screeching of the scumbag conservatives along with their bootlickers in the media. global and CTV have always been conservative party infomercials but lately it's just ridiculous.

saying "a canadian politician did a corrupt thing" is like saying "we caught water being wet". odd how canada has a reputation as being "smarter" than the US yet its citizens have already forgotten the ten years of dripping, oily sleaze under harper and his coterie of fat doughy apes (the fattest and oiliest of which - jason kenney - has been oozing from the telly screen on a constant basis on said channels).

with his repulsive bootlicking on the huawei affair and venezuela, it's easy to want justin out yesterday . but any conservative taking his place will be harper 2.0 and therefore trump's maple mini-me.

apologies for off topicness.

james , Feb 28, 2019 1:52:15 PM | link
ot - @36 karlof1... next election is oct 2019... it probably doesn't matter as i doubt very much he gets elected in october.. it is kinda true what the pair is saying @40 too... we will get getting our version of trump, as we are one cycle behind the usa... some conservative jackass will be running canada towards the end of the year to make matters even worse.. canucks are not all that bright, lol..
S , Feb 28, 2019 2:04:06 PM | link
South Koreans, where are you? You should be camping 24/7 in front of the U.S. embassy, demanding the immediate removal of sanctions. The unification will never happen if you don't take a more active stance.

The international community wants it, North Koreans want it, it all comes down to you. Kick the American troops out, break up your chaebols, and start the unification process. Any sanctions the U.S might impose on you will be more than offset by cheap Russian pipeline gas, a rail link to Europe, and an economic boom due to integration with the North. What are you waiting for? You may never have another chance like this.

one off poster , Feb 28, 2019 4:04:14 PM | link
@38 b:
Thank you very much for the update, b. I am pleased that the DPRK called the press conference. It is a pity the video has been viewed only 1179 times.

Here is video footage of the DPRK news conference.

The 1st part is the prepared statement read out by foreign minister Ri Yong Ho with english translation following. The 2nd part of the interview consists of Q&A (sound quality v bad). It mainly reiterates the 1st part, but from 10:25 on, she says that (an) American Inspector(s) visited a factory called "Yun Soo" within the Yong Byon. She wanted to emphasise that that factory was put on the table for closure as well by DPRK.

Given that the sanctions the DPRK was seeking to be lifted were not US imposed sanctions, but UN sanctions, can the UN Sec Gen intervene (kind of like what happened in Yemen)?

It does make one wonder why POTUS said that DPRK was seeking the removal of ALL sanctions. Was he expecting something like this? It is so easy to refute that the fact it was said at all is intriguing.

PavewayIV , Feb 28, 2019 4:06:44 PM | link
Otto B@33 - I suppose I can't argue with your logic - especially if this was part of an 'Art of the Deal' seminar. I will simply point out that your premise completely ignores what US citizens think is in THEIR best interests.

Pulling out all of our forces from South Korea permanently and ending sanctions on North Korea would be more than enough for them to denuclearize (and probably unify with the South). THAT is in US citizens' best interests, period. Chickenhawks within the US government are the only ones demanding an eternal occupation of South Korea and an eternal standoff with North Korea. They sell this as a necessary price to pay for 'security', except we're damn tired of hearing about our psychopathic leaders' manufactured enemy and we don't need protection from it.

Same goes for Iran, despite their nuclear capabilities, or lack thereof. 'Protecting US interests' is not 'protecting the US'. No amount of marketing or propaganda is going to make Iran a credible threat to the US or its citizens EVER. We don't need protection from a manufactured enemy. Three million people (give or take a million) were slaughtered in Southeast Asia to protect us against the last manufactured enemy: those homicidal CHICOMs. I don't recall seeing any fresh, bloody human heads mounted on pikes in downtown Hanoi during the talks this weekend. How is that possible?

I don't need a better Iranian 'deal'. I need my psychopathic leaders to stop antagonizing the hell out of Iran and stop punishing the Iranian people. Israel's psychopathic obsession with destroying Iran or somehow containing its regional influence has NOTHING to do with the security of US citizens - despite the incessant narrative. Are you honestly expecting the little people in the US to believe the DC chickenhawks or the MSM again?

karlof1 , Feb 28, 2019 4:12:47 PM | link
RT editorial savages BigLie Media for the usual reasons--but--in choosing to highlight Susan Rice's NY Times op/ed in an attempt to discredit her, she actually suggests the very sort of incremental moves agreed to in the initial summit's Declaration:

"To move the needle, the United States and North Korea will need to agree on a series of incremental, reciprocal steps that would build mutual confidence as part of a road map to full denuclearization."

Oops!! All in all, the editorialist misrepresents Rice, which is what he accuses BigLie Media of doing--OUCH!

Rice's conclusion will surprise a few here:

"In Hanoi, Mr. Trump has an opportunity to achieve incremental progress toward denuclearization. Unfortunately, history suggests that Mr. Trump will be content with another colorful photo opportunity and more diplomatic shadow boxing that perpetuates the illusion of success, while running down the clock on a nearly intractable challenge."

And it seems Trump lied about the impasse that led to Kim walking out, proving that Kim's initial assessment of Trump as dotard was 100% correct.

Yeah, Right , Feb 28, 2019 4:35:58 PM | link
@27 Jose Garcia: "My question. What will South Korea do now?"

Well, they only have two choices:

Option 1: Continue to be the USA's loyal lapdog, in which case several million of them are doomed to die in the (increasingly inevitable) replay of the 1950-2 war.

Option 2: Hold secret talks with North Korea that lead to the surprise signing of a peace treaty that contains a clause that says "Both Koreas agree that no foreign forces shall be stationed on the Korean Peninsular". Then brace themselves to be sanctioned within an inch of their lives.

They'll go hungry under Option 2, and it will be inevitable that they flip into the "Chinese orbit". But they'll still be alive, which is not nothin'.

They'll make a stab at Option 2, because under Option 1 they'll all end up dead.

Rob , Feb 28, 2019 5:03:57 PM | link
@fairleft (16)

When did Bolton's coups and intimidations ever work? He is, in essence, a megalomanic mustache.

TDeL , Feb 28, 2019 5:17:43 PM | link
@6

Actually there is one sane reason to think the Chinese aren't engaged in economic warfare against the north: a Shengyang rail link to Seoul via Pyongyang. This could be constructed in less than 3 years and will take some pressure off congestion in the Bohai Sea-Yellow Sea shipping lanes. And provide efficient transport of materials, goods & people in new & expanded markets. I'm sure there are others.

Thank you b for the timely update on the latest theatrical entertainment, Nobel Peace Prize episode

uncle tungsten , Feb 28, 2019 5:36:43 PM | link
fastfreddy # 44

Agreed ff but regarding the Trump timeline from afar he has deliberately and methodically filled the white house staff with more and more extreme people. Slowly boiling the frog comes to mind. We are supposed to be acclimatized to this huckster being surrounded by hawks whereas he and his entire family are predators more deadly than hawks.

S #42

Thank you, you nailed it. Perhaps the assembled mass of South Koreans in front of the US embassy could wear a vest symbolising healing or unity. Perhaps they could assemble around a UN flag demanding that it back off from being a USA puppet. I don't recall having seen a UN flag burned yet but it would be an appropriate symbol from South Korea, or Haiti, or Libya, or......

Thank you again b and all the comrade writers, it has been a great read.

Chas , Feb 28, 2019 5:50:42 PM | link
What I can't understand is why NK would give up its nuclear capability without requiring the empire to do the same. It isn't equitable for NK to give up its nukes for the mere promise of the empire to not place nuclear weapons on the Korean peninsula. The empire could still strike Nk from outside the peninsula. What's good for one country is good for the other.
karlof1 , Feb 28, 2019 5:59:53 PM | link
Yeah, Right @50--

For your Option #2 to fly, the existing treaty with Outlaw US Empire must be negated along with the entire arrangement with UN that's existed since 1950. Given Imperial intransigence combined with ever escalating political will within RoK, such a happening may occur before 2020 begins.

The most recent article on reunification I was able to find in English is 3 months old and provides grounds for optimism given the concept's positive direction. IMO, Moon and Kim need to continue down the path they've made for each other,, while the diplomatic action moves into the UNSC which is where most of the sanctions were born and the only venue where they can be rescinded.

Red Ryder , Feb 28, 2019 7:49:53 PM | link
@35, S,

I always check my comments in preview, often many times. The URL seemed to be fine. It works. However, I'll be more cognizant in the future with any long URLs.

Thanks.

Jen , Feb 28, 2019 8:29:00 PM | link
S @ 42:

For South Korea to do as you suggest, Japan must do exactly the same. The South Koreans are more afraid of what Japan would do if they (SK, that is) were to throw out the Americans, downsize their own military and start a reunification or a "one-state-two-systems" process, and Japan does not follow suit with demilitarisation.

Incidentally the current Japanese PM Shinzo Abe's grandfather Nobusuke Kishi served as Munitions Minister under PM Hideki Tojo in the early 1940s. Under his watch, thousands of Chinese and Koreans were employed as slave labour in factories and mines. Kishi also ran the puppet state Manchukuo during the 1930s as his personal technocratic industrial slave state.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nobusuke_Kishi
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/east-asia-cant-escape-the-sins-of-the-father/article15987729/

Much later Kishi also got a turn as Japanese PM but his legacy as PM may have been to design a political system in which the Liberal Democratic Party (a conservative party in Japan) was always the main political party in government from 1955 to 1993.
https://www.japantimes.co.jp/community/2011/09/27/general/no-nos-for-noda-japans-top-10-most-useless-pms/#.XHiKklwzaUk

Needless to say, Abe hero-worships Kishi.

psychohistorian , Feb 28, 2019 9:29:16 PM | link
I want to add some more thought to those I shared with Jen. What about the Philippines? I think that at this time in history all of the outposts of empire are at risk.

I think that Trump represents a pivot from containment of China/Russia to one of "Quick, pull what pieces of empire we can defend/control together."

I think that the West is delusional to think they can defeat any alternative that doesn't have profit as its God. That said, that monotheistic myth of "better than others" runs deep as evidenced by some of the opinions expressed in this venue

Are we going to see the dominoes of empire fall? I damn well hope so!

Kiza , Feb 28, 2019 9:31:48 PM | link
Is it not funny how the boss Bolton shows up at negotiations and El Presidente falls into (his unrealistic) line? El Presidente de la republica bananera is just a low level employee of his own staff BullbyTon and Pompous Maximus.

Nobody asked this here yet, but how did we get to US negotiating against NK on behalf of UN Security Council ?

Who did China and Russia on the Security Council serve, did they get anything for their service to the republica bananera?

One can recognise how ruthless US is, but one also has to recognise how worthless China and Russia are. US ignores UN Resolutions it does not like and uses UN Resolutions it initiated as a head-club for achieving its goals whilst China and Russia go along. This is exactly why the things are as they are - the Selfish Human Condition.

Oh, we are all so happy when someone does not do like the majority of the worthless humanity does (Russia out of own interest in Syria). Otherwise, back to being the usual shitbags.

Yeah, Right , Feb 28, 2019 9:36:01 PM | link
@60 Karlof1 As ever, it is instructive to read the text of a treaty.

In this particular case the treaty between South Korea and the USA contains within it the answers to your concerns.

1) either party can end the treaty with 12 month notice.
2) the stationing of US troops is by mutual agreement I.e. if South Korea "No longer agrees" to US troops stationed on its soil then those troops have to leave.

Uncle Sam would have no grounds to refuse, as the treaty itself says that both signatories have to agree. And, no, the treaty doesn't have to be "renegotiated" to produce that outcome: the South Koreans need only say "we don't agree any more".

That's what the treaty says, so that's what the treaty means.

Sad Canuck , Feb 28, 2019 9:45:27 PM | link
@31 Red Ryder

Nothing will change until S Korea decides to be an independent country instead of a low vassal. Watching a foreign country negotiate peace in your own civil war without being at the table must be deeply humiliating to at least some S Koreans surely?

As for the sanctions, if the Koreas re-united as ROK and the DPRK disappeared as an entity, I assume the UN sanctions on extinct entity would be void.

Jen , Feb 28, 2019 10:54:54 PM | link
Psychohistorian @ 67:

It's significant that the current PM of Japan is a grandson of a politician with a very dark past, and moreover idolises his grandfather and believes the policies he followed were right.

"Formed in childhood, roots of Abe's conservatism go deep"
https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2012/12/26/national/formed-in-childhood-roots-of-abes-conservatism-go-deep/#.XHirsVwzaUk

You and I live in the year 2019 but the issue is whether Shinzo Abe does.

For that reason South Korea is unlikely to demilitarise and get rid of its US bases unless Japan commits to doing the same.

The two countries also continue to dispute the ownership of a set of islands called the Liancourt islands in the Sea of Japan, midway between the two nations.

Uncle $cam , Feb 28, 2019 11:12:52 PM | link
https://twitter.com/DrKevinGray/status/1101089899430793221?link_id=3&can_id=6b614a325626aa55ec3e7563bb5103b1&source=email-why-did-hanoi-summit-really-fail-interviews-available&email_referrer=email_502522&email_subject=why-did-hanoi-summit-really-fail-interviews-available

Former SK unification minister Chong Se-hyun suggests that summit was derailed by last minute attendance of Bolton, who added demands for NK to also report chemical/biological weapons, in response to which NKs increased their demand for sanctions relief

Pft , Feb 28, 2019 11:14:31 PM | link
South Korea is a puppet government of the US. Its constitution was written by the US and its early leaders were those who worked with the Japanese during the occupation. Anyone against the government and continued occupation by foreign forces was labelled Commmunist and shot. Up until the late 80's South Korea was under martial law

While much of the population is aware of this being humiliated by foreign powers has been a way of life for over a century. Reunification is a pipe dream unless the North is under the Empires control and the US will not pull out even then because its conveniently located at Russia and Chinas borders

I can imagine Trump talking to Kim and asking him how he would like to live like him and the global elite. It worked with Gorbachev and Deng. Just need to adopt the neoliberal religion and loot the resources of your own people (bottom 95%) for eventual handover to the Empire (privatization or sending cash back to buy Treasuries and other investments).

My guess is Kim and NK elite live pretty well already, but who knows. In any event he knows he cant trust them.

karlof1 , Mar 1, 2019 12:12:52 AM | link
Yeah, Right @70--

Guess I need to find a way to create more time to do stuff as I know I'm skimming way too much.

PavewayIV , Mar 1, 2019 1:53:34 AM | link
Schmoe@55 -

[sigh...] Yes, you're right. I suppose I got kind of got carried away there. But I can't believe the polls '50% approval rating' for the Syrian retaliatory strike, at least in my little world.

Most people I encounter through the day, especially college kids and millennial debt slaves, don't care about Syria or Israel and never will. Zero expectations of their government and can't understand why some old people are concerned about distant wars.

They feel absolutely no responsibility for the actions of the US government any more than they feel responsible for the actions of their next door neighbors. Society is slowly devolving itself in toad freak show!

V , Mar 1, 2019 3:55:42 AM | link
Deschutes | Mar 1, 2019 2:55:06 AM | 81

I posted this over at TAE. It might resonate with some few. Any one who has held on to their sanity, surely sees the fantastical reality created by twisted people and their twisted ideals. If that accurate vision is the context from which the U.S. is framed; then its true health is obvious.

A sick society ruled by equally sick fascisti

Record numbers of U.S. citizens are leaving for distant places they view as an improvement. If in fact they find respite; it will likely not last, until and unless the U.S. is brought to ground.

uncle tungsten , Mar 1, 2019 4:16:58 AM | link
Chas # 58

May I suggest there is a small matter of war reparations owed by the USA that needs immediate resolution well prior to any yak yak about denuclear strategies. Ms Susan Rice's piece also blithely ignores that question. And so do all the yankees as they are fully liable for an unwarranted assault on Korea - both north and south - and reparations are immediately owed to the north.

Pay up yankees.

Will someone tell that to John Bolt-on. I would love see his mustache quiver.

Kiza , Mar 1, 2019 5:19:42 AM | link
One of these days I am going to write a piece on what the World would look like one month after the Second US Civil War starts.
Steve , Mar 1, 2019 6:03:28 AM | link
Any nation which still trust any promise coming from the USA and its European, Australian and Canadian poddles deserves to be colonized and destroyed.
Yeah, Right , Mar 1, 2019 6:49:19 AM | link
@77 Karlof1 "Guess I need to find a way to create more time to do stuff as I know I'm skimming way too much."

It's not difficult to dig out the source text, and most international treaties relating to Int'l Humanitarian Law are not exactly dense reads.

The Kellogg-Briand Pact is a mere three articles long, with the first two being single sentences. The Mutual Defense Treaty between the USA and South Korea consists of only six articles.

The NATO Charter is but fourteen articles long. The Hague Regulations are a comparatively hefty fifty-six articles, but even the UN Charter - an outlier if ever there was one - contains only 111 Articles.

The Geneva Conventions are much longer but, boy, do the Swiss like to talk.

But none are like slogging through some Hemingway or Melville. Simple prose, as unambiguous as possible while still satisfying all the negotiators.

In fact you can find all the treaties in one place: http://avalon.law.yale.edu/default.asp

A one-stop-shop for all things relating to treaties, highly recommended.

BM , Mar 1, 2019 7:13:57 AM | link
I've just read two articles that in one fell swoop can explain a large part of Trump's behaviour, together with policies to eliminate nuclear arms control, first strike policies, apocalyptic policies towards Iran and North Korea, policies towards Israel, policies aimed at blowing up the Middle East, willingness and eagerness to precipitate destruction and chaos on a global scale, precipitate policies towards Russia and China, support for Islamic jihadism, anti-environmentalism, and climate denial:

The key are the so-called "Rapture Christians" nuts - of whom there are 12 in Trump's cabinet [out of how many?]. I've never looked into this obscure sect of insane nutcases before, but people urgently need to understand this phenomenon - they are an obscure sect, but they hold the keys to political power in the US, and have determined the key political events of the last several decades!

These nutters are a million times more dangerous than Islamic jihadists - they have no fear of all-out nuclear war, global destruction, climate change, environmental devastation or all the things that wise people with foresight advise against - on the contrary they are eager to bring all these things on as soon as possible, because they associate these things with the return of Jesus, and ascent to heaven for all the sect's believers.

A key fact in understanding this phenomenon is that they deny evolution, and a scientific basis for reality in its entirety, and therefore are completely closed to rational argument.

Quote from the second article: 'In an April 2 Bible study, Drollinger focused on the "huge and dire error" of "radical environmentalism". He argues that humans are incapable of destroying the earth on their own, because it is up to God to "continually renew the face of the earth until He forms a new heaven and a new earth in the end times."'

They support Trump because they believe he is the "tool of God".

BM , Mar 1, 2019 7:28:23 AM | link
For that reason South Korea is unlikely to demilitarise and get rid of its US bases unless Japan commits to doing the same.
Posted by: Jen | Feb 28, 2019 10:54:54 PM | 74

That seems like a strange argument to me. The US is not in Korea to protect Korea from Japan, nor are they in Japan either to protect Japan from Korea nor to protect Korea from Japan. In both cases the true target is China.

If the two Korea's unite it will necessarily be under the military protection of Russia and China - there is no other possibility, because they need protection from the US. Both Koreas are obviously much safer under Russian and Chinese protection than under US "protection" - the latter being no more than mafia style "protection".

In this case Japan would clearly oppose such an arrangement - in allignment with the US - therefore the last thing [imperialist] Japan would want would be the pull-out of the US (what ordinary Japanese people might want is another matter - unfortunately they have no say).

Mig-21-Block 70-2022 , Mar 1, 2019 7:34:39 AM | link
N.K. should just ask Russia to buy 1000 warehoused MIGs 21 refurbished for year 2023 and thats it!
Kim should go for a No deal with the US.
Mig 21s just shot down brand new f-16s over in India.
Whole world world including Chinese airmen are laughing.
Well maybe except the starving Greeks threw 1 bill. eu out of the window for a new deal with Trumps Lokheed for f-16 modernizations.
b real , Mar 1, 2019 7:47:45 AM | link
manufactured controversy to get the top of the news cycle and take focus off the cohen testimony so it dies quickly
rattlemullet , Mar 1, 2019 8:05:02 AM | link
The trio of Trump, Pompeo and Bolton, quite frankly spells failure. The leader has zero capacity to learn and understand the motivation behind North Korea and their very exacting understanding of the English language. Every single word written has a clear and precise meaning tied into complete sentences. The fact that is written on paper and executed by both parties memorizes the document. Trump literally has not read the first agreement as executed. To place any faith in this trio of clowns to negotiate with the North Koreas is laughable. The basic fact is that North Koreans will never trust the US as we literally tried to bomb all their cities out of existence during the Korean intervention. Trump's trio does not understand the lasting impact that those actions burned into North Korean souls. Trump is completely out his league on the world stage he has made a fool of the US.
arby , Mar 1, 2019 8:22:57 AM | link
b real @ 90--

That was my thoughts as well. The real reason Trump handlers sent him to Viet Nam was to not be around for a damning testimony.

Scotch Bingeington , Mar 1, 2019 9:42:07 AM | link
Tom Luongo claims that Bolton's spoke in Trump's wheel was to add chemical & biological weapons to US demands ( Link ). There, just like that. Pretty clever actually. Bolton may be the king of scumbags, but he sure is resourceful. The picture they have in the article of Bolton watching over Trump is scary and probably very telling.
BM , Mar 1, 2019 10:20:07 AM | link
"Trudeau was detonated today by his former Attorney General, Jody Wilson-Raybould, Canada's first Aboriginal A-G. She just testified in Parliament, in meticulous detail, how Trudeau and his staff tried to get her to drop criminal charges against a corrupt company that he liked."
Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 28, 2019 1:15:41 PM | 36

I've just finished reading the article on the testimony in the National Post, linked in Karlof1's link:

Read the full text of Jody Wilson-Raybould's statement to the House of Commons justice committee
(That's the title of the article; actually it is not the full text it is important extracts, but generous extracts).

Wow! Everybody should read this! This lady is someone who deserves a lot of respect! This text is fascinating in how it details the arm-twisting that goes on in power - nothing that would surprise us that it happens, but here it is described in black and white by a former government witness - including even such titbits as:

"if Jody is nervous, we would of course line up all kinds of people to write OpEds saying that what she is doing is proper."

Hey, James, you have some good Ministers over there in Canada, despite the more famous ones. Erm, well, one. Erm, well, had.

I am interested in some of the things she is declining to speak about (due to confidentiality of counsel issues), and am wondering if that might include the Huawei CFO issues, for which she was in a pertinent position. Any connections to the dates 11th February, and 19th February? (Actually I was travelling at that time so was out of the loop). Then there is the meeting with the PM on 17th September, requested 2 weeks earlier, which seems to have been intended primarily about something other than the SNC affair. The Huawei CFO was arrested in early December, I think, so that should be something else.

frances , Mar 1, 2019 12:19:47 PM | link
reply to Mig-21-Block 70-2022 89

"...Mig 21s just shot down brand new f-16s over in India.Whole world world including Chinese airmen are laughing.Well maybe except the starving Greeks threw 1 bill. eu out of the window for a new deal with Trumps Lokheed for f-16 modernizations."

Maybe laughing but maybe not, this fellow seems to feel they are evenly matched depending on their respective upgrades and concludes by saying it comes down to pilot expertise. BTW he considers Pak as having superior pilots.


frances , Mar 1, 2019 12:25:54 PM | link
reply to Scotch Bingeington 93
"....The picture they have in the article of Bolton watching over Trump is scary and probably very telling."

Yes, I am inclined to think Bolton was foisted upon him. I do think he chose Pompeo though.

Another very telling photo is that of Trump at Bush Sr.'s funeral, in the row behind him was Chaney, the look on Chaney's face as he stared at Trump's back was very interesting to me, he looked almost afraid.

karlof1 , Mar 1, 2019 2:14:11 PM | link
President Moon's confidence remains strong despite summit outcome. He tweeted this [machine translation] earlier today:

"Independence of spirit and national integration based on the 'faith based system'considerably.
Please gather all the power of the people.
Peace on the Korean peninsula will drive new economic growth across the North and South, encompassing Northeast Asia, ASEAN and Eurasia."

Today marks then 100th anniversary of the Declaration of Korean Independence, and Moon makes clear in his speech that there was and is only one Korea and one Korean people:

"One hundred years ago today, there was no South and North Korea.

"From Seoul and Pyeongyang to Jinnampo, Anju, Seoncheon, Uiju and Wonsan, loud chants of [the masses] erupted on the same day, and these calls for independence spread like a wildfire to every corner of the country.

"For two months from March 1, [mass] protests took place in 211 out of the total 220 cities and counties across the country regardless of the region – whether they belonged to what is now a part of South or North Korea."

Gotta love Moon's optimism in his closing remarks:

"The history of the past 100 years proves that we can achieve changes and innovation if we do not lose hope no matter how difficult our present reality is.

"Over the next 100 years, the growth of the people will directly lead to the growth of the nation. When unity is achieved from within by moving beyond ideological confrontations, and when peace and prosperity are accomplished from outside, genuine independence will be completed."

I'd be very interested in discovering what Kim did today. Hopefully, he, too, gave an address similar to Moon's.

james , Mar 1, 2019 3:49:21 PM | link
@94 BM - maybe Jody Wilson-Raybould can run for the prime ministers job if she can get on the top of the heap of the liberal party.. chances of this are slim!

[Mar 16, 2019] CIA Blames Its Proxy For Its Raid On North Korea's Embassy In Spain

Another CIA false flag?
Notable quotes:
"... At least two of the 10 assailants who broke into the embassy and interrogated diplomatic staff have been identified and have connections to the US intelligence agency ..."
"... Some of the assailants were Asian and spoke Korean language. They were probably from the South Korean National Intelligence Service (NIS), a subsidiary of the CIA know for its extremely hawkish politics. It often rigged elections in South Korea in support of hawkish conservatives candidates. ..."
"... A story was thought up and pushed to the favorite CIA outlet, the Washington Post . It wasn't the CIA which did it, writes the Post's national security reporter, it was a CIA controlled 'regime change' organization. ..."
"... The White Helmets, the MI-6 organization for 'regime change' in Syria, has the website domain "www.syriacivildefense.org". Cheollima's website domain is "www.cheollimacivildefense.org". The logos of the two organization are also somewhat similar. ..."
Mar 15, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

March 15, 2019 CIA Blames Its Proxy For Its Raid On North Korea's Embassy In Spain james , Mar 15, 2019 7:15:08 PM | link

The CIA is the main suspect in the military style raid on the North Korean embassy in Madrid. It now launched a somewhat hapless effort to deflect from it. The original Spanish report said :

At least two of the 10 assailants who broke into the embassy and interrogated diplomatic staff have been identified and have connections to the US intelligence agency. The CIA has denied any involvement but government sources say their response was "unconvincing."

That the CIA is the main suspect in the assault was reported on Wednesday in the Spanish mainstream paper El Pais . The paper made the extra effort to publish an abbreviated English language version . It was widely picked up by other international outlets . Some of the assailants were Asian and spoke Korean language. They were probably from the South Korean National Intelligence Service (NIS), a subsidiary of the CIA know for its extremely hawkish politics. It often rigged elections in South Korea in support of hawkish conservatives candidates.

Attacking a foreign embassy in a third country is far out of bounce of international law and diplomatic decency. After the El Pais report something had to be done to direct the attention away from the CIA and to find some other culprit.

A story was thought up and pushed to the favorite CIA outlet, the Washington Post . It wasn't the CIA which did it, writes the Post's national security reporter, it was a CIA controlled 'regime change' organization.

A shadowy group trying to overthrow Kim Jong Un raided a North Korean embassy in broad daylight

In broad daylight, masked assailants infiltrated North Korea's embassy in Madrid, restrained the staff with rope, stole computers and mobile phones, and fled the scene in two luxury vehicles.

The group behind the late February operation is known as Cheollima Civil Defense , a secretive dissident organization committed to overthrowing the Kim dynasty, people familiar with the planning and execution of the mission told The Washington Post.
...
People familiar with the incident say the group did not act in coordination with any governments. U.S. intelligence agencies would have been especially reluctant to do so given the sensitive timing and brazen nature of the mission. But the raid represents the most ambitious operation to date for an obscure organization that seeks to undermine the North Korean regime and encourage mass defections, they say.

The CIA agents, led by torture queen Gina Haspel, are snowflakes who would never break the law or cause some international outrage. It must have been some independent group:

"This group is the first known resistance movement against North Korea, which makes its activities very newsworthy," said Sung-Yoon Lee, a North Korea expert at Tufts University.

The identity of the assailants is a particularly sensitive topic given the delicate nature of Trump and Kim's relationship.
...
Any hint of U.S. involvement in an assault on a diplomatic compound could have derailed the talks , a prospect the CIA would likely be mindful of.

Derailing the talks was and is exactly what Trump's National Security Advisor John Bolton wanted to do. We know that because the Post reported it on February 20, two days before the raid on the embassy and seven days before the Trump-Kim summit in Hanoi:

Last month, in a lengthy speech at Stanford University, [Trump's special envoy Stephen E.] Biegun set out his vision for North Korea to dismantle its plutonium and uranium enrichment facilities in exchange for "corresponding measures" by the United States.

Hawks such as Bolton have fiercely opposed this "step-by-step" process in favor of maintaining maximum pressure through economic sanctions that would, in theory , force a better deal by eroding North Korea's resolve.

Tasking the CIA to raid a North Korean embassy to spoil the talks is exactly a thing John Bolton would do. The Post's shameful attempt to make believe otherwise is laughable :

"Infiltrating a North Korean embassy days before the nuclear summit would throw that all into jeopardy," said Sue Mi Terry, a former Korea analyst at the CIA . "This is not something the CIA would undertake."

The agency declined to comment.

We can of course fully believe the 'former' CIA analyst's assertion that the CIA never do such a thing. Aside from Bolton's urge to sabotage the negotiations it would have had no motive. Except, of course, it would have many:

Experts say the computers and phones seized in the raid amount to a treasure trove of information that foreign intelligence agencies are likely to seek out from the group.

In 2017 Spain asked the North Korean ambassador Kim Hyok Chol to leave. He is now the leader of the negotiations with the United States. To know everything about him is important. He may even be susceptible to blackmail:

The assailants also possess a video recording they took during the raid, which they could release anytime, said one person who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive and illegal operation.

The Spanish language version of the El Pais report had a side box that might explain the possible content of a video (machine translated):

One of the darkest aspects of the assault on the North Korean Embassy in Madrid is the interrogation to which the head of the command, who called himself The Entrepreneur, subjected the charge of business, leading the diplomatic delegation since the ambassador was expelled. The head of the commando separated the diplomat from the rest of the hostages and locked himself alone with him. It is not known what he intended, but the current head of the Pyongyang delegation in Madrid probably knows a lot about Kim Hyok Chol, head of the North Korean delegation in the nuclear negotiations before the US, with whom he coincided when the latter was ambassador in Madrid, between 2014 and 2017.

Mentioning a video recording taken during the raid is supposed to sow 'fear and doubt' in the North Korean negotiator.

The new Washington Post /CIA story goes on to describe the 'regime change' organization that is supposed to divert from the direct CIA involvement in the raid:

The Cheollima group, which also goes by the name Free Joseon, came to prominence in 2017 after it successfully evacuated the nephew of Kim Jong Un from Macau when potential threats to his life surfaced. The nephew was the son of Kim Jong Nam, the North Korean leader's exiled half brother who was assassinated in a nerve-gas attack in a Malaysian airport in 2017.

...

For safety reasons, the leader of the group does not disclose his name, and his identity is known only to a small group of people.

Cheollima is the name of a mythical horse in Chinese and Korean folklore. The Joseon dynasty ruled Korea from 1392 to 1897. It went down when Japan tried to gain control of the country which it achieved a few years later.

Kim Jong Nam was killed on February 13, 2017. In a redacted video his son Kim Han-sol thanks the people who picked him up. (They might want to use him as a future replacement for Kim Jong-un.) The video was recorded on February 15 2017 ("my father was killed two days ago"). It was published on March 7 2017 on a Cheollima channel on Youtube created on March 4 2017. The Cheollima website domain the group uses was anonymously registered in March 2017. It was updated on November 29 2918 shortly after the South Korean NIS received new orders from its headquarter in Washington DC.

Cheollima/Free Joseon also seeks defectors from North Korea. On February 28 2019 (not "in March" as the Post claims), the very same day the Trump-Kim summit in Hanoi failed , Cheollima published a manifest that clearly aims at 'regime change' in North Korea:

WE DECLARE ON THIS DAY the establishment of Free Joseon, a provisional government preparing the foundations for a future nation built upon respect for principles of human rights and humanitarianism, holding sacred a manifest dignity for every woman, man, and child.

We declare this entity the sole legitimate representative of the Korean people of the north.

The U.S. driven 'regime change' attempt in Venezuela also has a figure that claims to be the "sole legitimate representative" while having zero power in that country.

The English version of the manifest reads like it was written by someone who is a native English speaker or at least studied English literature:

Joseon must and shall be free. Arise! Arise, ye who refuse to be slaves!

We reject the chains of our historic unrequited grief, declare henceforth a new era in our history, and prepare the way for a New Joseon. We therefore proclaim the birth of our revolution and our intentions towards building a more just and equal society, as truest expressions of the shared affections of our people.

A report on the manifest launch in the British Sun remarks :

The Cheollima Civil Defense (CCD) organisation has declared itself as a shadow government which is working to overthrow the regime.
...
Not a lot is known about the CCD but some people believe it is linked to South Korea's spy agency.

The White Helmets, the MI-6 organization for 'regime change' in Syria, has the website domain "www.syriacivildefense.org". Cheollima's website domain is "www.cheollimacivildefense.org". The logos of the two organization are also somewhat similar.


Is there a corporate design/marketing company specialized in spy service cutouts for 'regime change'?

The 'former' CIA analyst in the Post piece 'predicts' that there will be more 'embassy raid' operations:

"In its messaging, the group said they have formed a provisional government to replace the regime in Pyongyang," said Terry, who is a scholar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. "They have now shown the seriousness of their intent and some capabilities to carry out operations. We will see in the coming months the extent of their capabilities."

While the CIA makes a hapless attempt to cover its traces in Madrid, North Korea continues to follow its game plan for the next round of negotiations. It prepares the public for a U.S. failure :

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will soon decide whether to continue diplomatic talks and maintain his moratorium on missile launches and nuclear tests, a senior North Korean official said Friday, adding that the U.S. threw away a golden opportunity at the recent summit between their leaders.
...
She said Pyongyang now has no intention of compromising or continuing talks unless the United States takes measures that are commensurate to the changes it has taken -- such as the 15-month moratorium on launches and tests -- and changes its "political calculation."

The North Korean statement blames Bolton and Secretary of State Pompeo for the failure of the negotiations while it empathizes a special relation between Kim and Trump.

The signaled satellite launch by North Korea will proceed. It will push the Trump administration back to the starting point of its efforts to 'denuclearize' North Korea.

The difference now is that North Korea has earned good will in China and Russia. It showed its willingness to negotiate and stuck to its commitments made in the Joint Declaration in Singapore while the U.S. obviously refused to fulfill its parts. China and Russia already gave North Korea some unofficial 'sanction relief'. They are unlike to again support the failed 'maximum pressure' approach the Trump administrations once set out with.

The hapless CIA nonsense will not change those facts.

Posted by b on March 15, 2019 at 06:50 PM | Permalink

Comments thanks for this b.. fascinating.. reality is stranger then fiction.. trust the wapo prints mostly fiction to run to the cias rescue..

yeah, i just can't imagine the cia doing anything bad... that would really be unlike them!! the logo designers are going to have to be more creative, but until such time as they are, we can count on such branding that appears to come out of the same graphic design outfit.. i wonder how the poodle spain proceeds from here??


Zachary Smith , Mar 15, 2019 7:24:22 PM | link

Tasking the CIA to raid a North Korean embassy to spoil the talks is exactly a thing John Bolton would do.
So it was probably Bolton after all. If he had no authority to issue orders within the CIA, things would have been lots fuzzier with that "proxy". Especially if somebody was waving around shopping bags full of large bills. The other day at the xymphora site the blogger wrote this:
More Bolton hyper-aggression on multiple fronts. Bolton out of control is the best example of the complete deterioration of Trump. Remember it was Sheldon who forced Trump to appoint him, and the equally incompetent Abrams. One of the problems with the Deep State animosity towards Trump is that the 'adults' who would normally move in to fix this have relatively little influence over Trump, who is now flailing away under the influence of shekels and the most obvious blackmail I've ever seen.
Influence! But only today did I read a comment which caused me to add 2 + 2 to get 4.

It has to be Mossad-Epstein nasty pedophilia videos.

Maybe Trump will fire Bolton and Abrams. That's not the outcome I expect if the apartheid Jewish state holds videos demonstrating behavior both sinful and criminal.

Sally Snyder , Mar 15, 2019 7:26:01 PM | link
Here is an article that looks at what one former U.S. president had to say about trusting his own intelligence network:

https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2019/02/americas-intelligence-community-can.html

Given the current world geopolitical situation and the American intelligence network's close involvement in the Russian meddling narrative, it's looking this former president's assessment was prescient.

Yonatan , Mar 15, 2019 7:28:04 PM | link
"Is there a corporate design/marketing company specialized in spy service cutouts for 'regime change'?" (presumably rhetorical)

https://alexandrabader.files.wordpress.com/2017/01/otporinterna.jpg

steve , Mar 15, 2019 7:31:50 PM | link
It was not me defence does not work in real life. In the master of reality distortion field it is accepted effective SOP. My SITRAP tells me that this operating system is due to crash.
John , Mar 15, 2019 7:35:53 PM | link
Some more context on "Cheollima," in Korean mythology the Cheollima arrives to sanctify the founder of a new dynasty, thus quite literally a reference to "regime change." Also, Joseon is both a reference to the last dynasty and a reference to the official name of North Korea, which prefers "Joseon" to South Korea's "Han." Both terms are frequently used in Juche ideology, meaning they've worked out a communications strategy for this outfit that fits with the ruling ideology of the Communist Party.
robjira , Mar 15, 2019 8:11:15 PM | link
"We will see in the coming months the extent of their capabilities."
Followed by...
"While the CIA makes a hapless attempt to cover its traces in Madrid..."
My god, are these fkrs even trying to be subtle anymore, or are they (as the Saker has asserted) just that stupid? They sure as sheise aren't doing very well at the "cover its traces" part...
I'd also like to add that despite all the cracks about "little rocket man," "fat boy," pie, and cakes, etc., Kim Jong Un is proving to be just about as sharp as Kim Il Sung (I hear Kim's sister, Kim Yo Jong is also very bright).
Excellent report; many thanks once again, b.
DontBelieveEitherPropaganda , Mar 15, 2019 8:17:49 PM | link
@B: Thanks for connecting the dots. Thats the great strength of MoA IMHO, that you put all details together, revealing the whole picture. Those details, that even supposed first class journalists dont (want to) remember. Thus enabling a look on the deeper truths.

@John: Thanks for the background info!

Trump IS being blackmailed. Not by Russia, but by Sheldon Adelson and Co. With the neocons in the admin being the price DJT and we all now pay.
That this can not end well, no matter if with Trump or Clinton or whoever, should be clear by now. The USA and us their vassals are on a path on which there are no happy endings i fear. Only crash and burn, and the near hope to rebuild something liveable out of the ruins. Dystopia.

dltravers , Mar 15, 2019 8:20:57 PM | link
Do not forget the Democrats hand in this. They want Trump to fail. They held the Cohen hearings while Trump was negotiating with Kim in Vietnam. Clearly that was intended to show that Trump is weak and not in control. Joined together with the embassy raid it shows the NK leadership that any promises made are not likely to be kept by the next administration.

Trump needs to change tack by backing off slightly on his demands and getting the UN more involved bypassing his national security establishment.
I cannot recall there ever being a regime change organization directed at North Korea.

All of this is obvious, the war party is using its resources to push North Korea away from the table. In my opinion the South is way to smart to swallow that BS. The South does have its war hawks as well but it appears that the desire for reunification is quite strong.

Piotr Berman , Mar 15, 2019 8:30:00 PM | link
The Tick 201 The Little Wooden Boy, part 2, dialog around 5:50 of the You Tube video:

Wonder Woman: "So it is true! The Swiss mean to take over the City!"

Anonymous person with gray mustache, a leader of a masked group, all armed in huge and very special Swiss Army Knives: "No, no, no, no! Silly American woman, we are certainly Swiss, but our actions IN NO WAY represent the policies of the Swiss government. Actually, we are more like, err, criminals."

Wonder Woman: "Yea, this is what they all say."

David , Mar 15, 2019 8:42:15 PM | link
Another possibility not mentioned is the possibility of a false flag operation carried out by the NOKO's themselves (or some other entity).
Jackrabbit , Mar 15, 2019 8:46:07 PM | link
1) AFAIK Bolton can't order the CIA to do anything.

2) If Bolton has any 'pull' it's because he is a neocon and advances their agenda (but he can't order CIA to do anything).

3) Gina Haspel is Brennan's gal at CIA. Trump appointed her as well as others connected to his (supposed) enemies like:

- VP Pence, long-time friend of John McCain;

Bolton, who Trump had praised long before the election;

William Barr, who is close to Robert Mueller;

4) In foreign policy, Trump plays the good cop to the Deep State's bad cop.

5) We've seen apologists give numerous excuses for Trump:

- he's a foreign policy neophyte, getting played by the neocons!

- he's playing 11-dimensional chess!

- Bolton!

The same sort of excuses were made for Obama, USA's previous faux populist President.

When people tire of the excuses, maybe they will start to see how a) faux populism is a political model that serves the establishment and b) revisit the 2016 Presidential election and connect the memory-holed dots:

- the Deep State wanted a nationalist President to counter the challenge from Russia-China ( Kissinger alluded to MAGA in his WSJ Op-Ed in August 2014) ;

- Trump was the ONLY populist running on the Republican side (out of 19 candidates!) ;

- Trump was close to the Clintons for years (even their daughters are close) ;

- Felix Sater worked for Trump for over a decade while an informant for Robert Mueller's FBI (Sater's family had Russian mob connections) ;

- Virtually all of the dubious Russian oligarch ties attributed to Trump are Jewish and are likely (if not known to be) more connected to Israel than Russia;

- Sanders was a sheepdog (this 25-year friend of Hillary's was not a real candidate) ;

- Hillary deliberately alienated key voter groups (Sanders progressives, BLM blacks, 'delorable' whites) ;

- CIA/MI6 'meddled' in the election and arranged to trap Wikileaks and Flynn and agents of Russia/Turkey.


6) USA/Trump/neocons were never interested in Korean peace. The first Summit was a PR event to further the Trump psyop.

.
Welcome to the rabbit hole.

Jen , Mar 15, 2019 9:12:00 PM | link
Jackrabbit @ 12 beat me in saying that John Bolton has no authority over the CIA to tell them to do anything but he's head of the NSA and that organisation could have been tasked with organising the raid using mercenaries.
Jackrabbit , Mar 15, 2019 9:40:15 PM | link
Jen

John Bolton is National Security Advisor (NSA), and as the name implies, it is an ADVISORY position (with no formal command authority):

The National Security Advisor participates in meetings of the National Security Council (NSC) and ... is supported by NSC staff who produce research and briefings ...

The influence and role of the National Security Advisor varies from administration to administration and depends not only on the qualities of the person appointed to the position, but also on the style and management philosophy of the incumbent President....

National Security Agency (NSA) is headed by Gen. Paul M. Nakasone:

... (NSA) is a national-level intelligence agency of the United States Department of Defense, under the authority of the Director of National Intelligence [DNI] . The NSA is responsible for global monitoring, collection, and processing of information and data for foreign and domestic intelligence and counterintelligence purposes ...
Jackrabbit , Mar 15, 2019 9:45:44 PM | link
Jen

I'm glad you reiterated the point (that Bolton has no such authority). It's an important one.

I rarely beat you at making important points, and even rarer do I make them as well as you do!

bevin , Mar 15, 2019 9:53:49 PM | link
No Bolton can't order the CIA to do anything. But he can indicate to the Korean Intelligence Service (Formerly known as the Korean CIA) that an attack on the Embassy would be a good thing to do.
There are rogue players here, one is the ultra right Korean deep state. Another is Japan. Both are committed to keeping US troops in Korea and to continuing to treat the North as an enemy.
Then there is the influence, in both Korea and Japan, of the Pentagon or elements within it equally committed to maintaining the status quo: permanent war with the North, permanent control over South Korea's forces, butting up to China's border, and the continued hostility between Japan and China.
One thing we do know is that the South Korean government will not have approved of this raid.
Sasha , Mar 15, 2019 9:59:37 PM | link
@Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 15, 2019 8:46:07 PM | 12

Agree in that Trump is not innocent at all, as clearly states Miles Copeland in an article linked by P. Armstrong in his last Russian SitRep ....

Ordinarily, when you get an order from headquarters you never obey it the first time because you're not sure they mean it. It might be some guy telling you to do something to get himself off the hook, being on record as having ordered it. So you always wait until the second time. But if there's a White House code word, you'd better take it seriously. The message from the White House said he was to assassinate Lumumba(...)

(...)my complaint has been that the CIA isn't overthrowing enough anti-American governments or assassinating enough anti-American leaders, but I guess I'm getting old. What's keeping the agency inactive is Congress and disinformed public opinion(...

Especially interesting the part dedicated to poisonoing, Skripal case comes to mind, taking into account the coordianted effort in expelling diplomats and the US expelling more than anybody, even than UK...

Trump approves all this outrage, it has his seal all the way...

Jackrabbit , Mar 15, 2019 10:20:47 PM | link
bevin:
But he can indicate to the Korean Intelligence Service ...
Any NSA that stepped out of bounds like that with out authorization would be sacked.

The point stands: Trump is not being undermined or blind-sided by Bolton, Trump approves of what Bolton does and has done.

In fact, Trump has admired Bolton for a long time. Two and a half years before appointing Bolton as NSA, Trump mentioned Bolton as someone that is his "go to" person for military/foreign affairs :

CHUCK TODD:

Who do you talk to for military advice right now? ... is there a go-to for you?

DONALD TRUMP:

Yeah, probably there are two or three. I mean, I like Bolton. I think he's, you know, a tough cookie, knows what he's talking about . Jacobs is a good guy--

CHUCK TODD:

Do you mean Ambassador John Bolton--

DONALD TRUMP:

Yes. I think he's terrific --

CHUCK TODD:

You mean Colonel Jack Jacobs?

DONALD TRUMP:

Colonel Jack Jacobs is a good guy. And I see him on occasion.

karlof1 , Mar 15, 2019 10:26:10 PM | link
With this quite obvious violation of International Law on top of the seemingly infinite previous violations, Pompeo and Bolton have tag teamed to tell the ICJ they'll sanction anyone that comes after any Outlaw US Empire individual, the threat itself likely being against the UN Charter and thus unlawful. I really don't have much further comment on this incident other than to reiterate that the United States of America should no longer be called that as it now proven beyond all doubt to be the Outlaw US Empire--internationally, the USA's Federal government's an Outlaw and must be treated as such. It's time to flip GW Bush's ultimatum on its head and tell every nation on the planet that if you're with the Outlaw US Empire then you're also an Outlaw, part of its Evil designs and abettor of its crimes. The UK & Zionistan have already proven themselves to be the top accomplices, with France and Canada their juniors. It's long past time to form an international posse, and no nation can claim ignorance.
mourning dove , Mar 15, 2019 10:38:43 PM | link
damn b, you just tear it up, thank you so much!!

[Mar 14, 2019] Who Attacked the North Korean Embassy in Spain

Mar 14, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The BBC reports on a very strange story from Spain about last month's attack on the North Korean embassy:

Spanish investigators are probing an alleged attack on the North Korean embassy in Madrid.

On 22 February, a group of 10 assailants reportedly broke into the building, tying up, beating and interrogating eight people inside.

The incident took place just days before a key summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

And now there are reports US intelligence services were involved.

The alleged involvement of men with ties to the CIA was first reported in the Spanish daily El Pais . According to El Pais ' sources, the men that attacked the embassy may have been looking for information on North Korean diplomat Kim Hyok-chol, who had served as North Korea's ambassador to Spain until he was expelled in 2017. Kim has also been one of the leading officials involved in the negotiations with the U.S. over the last year.

Whatever the reason for it, invading another state's embassy and assaulting the personnel there obviously constitute gross violations of the conventions governing protections for diplomatic facilities. Judging from these reports, the attack was extraordinarily brazen and risky. It is doubtful that any information obtained from the devices that the assailants stole could have been worth the risk of attacking an embassy and beating up embassy staffers, but someone must have thought it was. If anyone connected with the U.S. government was involved, both Spain and North Korea will be understandably outraged. The intelligence committees in Congress should look into this matter to determine what role, if any, the U.S. government had in this incident.

Sid Finster March 14, 2019 at 12:41 pm

Note that El Pais is the Spanish equivalent of "solidly MSM", not the National Enquirer or Antisemitic Conspiracy Theorist Weekly Roundup.

[Feb 26, 2019] War whore. Well, they sure pay well

Feb 26, 2019 | www.unz.com

Asagirian says: Website February 26, 2019 at 4:34 pm GMT War whore. Well, they sure pay well.

Boeing taps Nikki Haley to join board of directors

hill.cm/f4w38Wm

0:19 AM-Feb 26, 2019

108 people are talking about this

follyofwar , says: February 26, 2019 at 6:12 pm GMT

@Asagirian I've read that she is still in line to primary Trump. Surely someone will, so it might as well be a neocon Israel-first Sikh woman who is even more ignorant and psychotic that our current Tweeter-in-Chief. If she wins, she can even keep Pompeo and Bolton to finish off Iran and start WWIII.

[Feb 11, 2019] The Making of Juan Guaidó How the US Regime Change Laboratory Created Venezuela s Coup Leader by Dan Cohen and Max Blumenthal

Dismal economic performance of Venezuelan economy and impoverishment of population created perfect environment for the color revolution...
Notable quotes:
"... But after a single phone call from from US Vice President Mike Pence, Guaidó proclaimed himself president of Venezuela. Anointed as the leader of his country by Washington, a previously unknown political bottom-dweller was vaulted onto the international stage as the US-selected leader of the nation with the world's largest oil reserves. ..."
"... CANVAS is a spinoff of Otpor, a Serbian protest group founded by Srdja Popovic in 1998 at the University of Belgrade. Otpor, which means "resistance" in Serbian, was the student group that gained international fame -- and Hollywood-level promotion -- by mobilizing the protests that eventually toppled Slobodan Milosevic. ..."
Jan 30, 2019 | grayzoneproject.com

Juan Guaidó is the product of a decade-long project overseen by Washington's elite regime change trainers. While posing as a champion of democracy, he has spent years at the forefront of a violent campaign of destabilization.

Before the fateful day of January 22, fewer than one in five Venezuelans had heard of Juan Guaidó. Only a few months ago, the 35-year-old was an obscure character in a politically marginal far-right group closely associated with gruesome acts of street violence. Even in his own party, Guaidó had been a mid-level figure in the opposition-dominated National Assembly, which is now held under contempt according to Venezuela's constitution.

But after a single phone call from from US Vice President Mike Pence, Guaidó proclaimed himself president of Venezuela. Anointed as the leader of his country by Washington, a previously unknown political bottom-dweller was vaulted onto the international stage as the US-selected leader of the nation with the world's largest oil reserves.

Echoing the Washington consensus, the New York Times editorial board hailed Guaidó as a "credible rival" to Maduro with a "refreshing style and vision of taking the country forward." The Bloomberg News editorial board applauded him for seeking "restoration of democracy" and the Wall Street Journal declared him "a new democratic leader." Meanwhile, Canada, numerous European nations, Israel, and the bloc of right-wing Latin American governments known as the Lima Group recognized Guaidó as the legitimate leader of Venezuela.

While Guaidó seemed to have materialized out of nowhere, he was, in fact, the product of more than a decade of assiduous grooming by the US government's elite regime change factories. Alongside a cadre of right-wing student activists, Guaidó was cultivated to undermine Venezuela's socialist-oriented government, destabilize the country, and one day seize power. Though he has been a minor figure in Venezuelan politics, he had spent years quietly demonstrated his worthiness in Washington's halls of power.

"Juan Guaidó is a character that has been created for this circumstance," Marco Teruggi, an Argentinian sociologist and leading chronicler of Venezuelan politics, told The Grayzone . "It's the logic of a laboratory – Guaidó is like a mixture of several elements that create a character who, in all honesty, oscillates between laughable and worrying."

Diego Sequera, a Venezuelan journalist and writer for the investigative outlet Misión Verdad, agreed: "Guaidó is more popular outside Venezuela than inside, especially in the elite Ivy League and Washington circles," Sequera remarked to The Grayzone, "He's a known character there, is predictably right-wing, and is considered loyal to the program."

While Guaidó is today sold as the face of democratic restoration, he spent his career in the most violent faction of Venezuela's most radical opposition party, positioning himself at the forefront of one destabilization campaign after another. His party has been widely discredited inside Venezuela, and is held partly responsible for fragmenting a badly weakened opposition.

"'These radical leaders have no more than 20 percent in opinion polls," wrote Luis Vicente León, Venezuela's leading pollster. According to León, Guaidó's party remains isolated because the majority of the population "does not want war. 'What they want is a solution.'"

But this is precisely why he Guaidó was selected by Washington: He is not expected to lead Venezuela toward democracy, but to collapse a country that for the past two decades has been a bulwark of resistance to US hegemony. His unlikely rise signals the culmination of a two decades-long project to destroy a robust socialist experiment.

Targeting the "troika of tyranny"

Since the 1998 election of Hugo Chávez, the United States has fought to restore control over Venezuela and is vast oil reserves. Chávez's socialist programs may have redistributed the country's wealth and helped lift millions out of poverty, but they also earned him a target on his back.

In 2002, Venezuela's right-wing opposition briefly ousted Chávez with US support and recognition, before the military restored his presidency following a mass popular mobilization. Throughout the administrations of US Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, Chávez survived numerous assassination plots, before succumbing to cancer in 2013. His successor, Nicolas Maduro, has survived three attempts on his life.

The Trump administration immediately elevated Venezuela to the top of Washington's regime change target list, branding it the leader of a "troika of tyranny." Last year, Trump's national security team attempted to recruit members of the military brass to mount a military junta, but that effort failed.

According to the Venezuelan government, the US was also involved in a plot, codenamed Operation Constitution, to capture Maduro at the Miraflores presidential palace; and another, called Operation Armageddon , to assassinate him at a military parade in July 2017. Just over a year later, exiled opposition leaders tried and failed to kill Maduro with drone bombs during a military parade in Caracas.

More than a decade before these intrigues, a group of right-wing opposition students were hand-selected and groomed by an elite US-funded regime change training academy to topple Venezuela's government and restore the neoliberal order.

Training from the "'export-a-revolution' group that sowed the seeds for a NUMBER of color revolutions"

On October 5, 2005, with Chávez's popularity at its peak and his government planning sweeping socialist programs, five Venezuelan "student leaders" arrived in Belgrade, Serbia to begin training for an insurrection.

The students had arrived from Venezuela courtesy of the Center for Applied Non-Violent Action and Strategies, or CANVAS. This group is funded largely through the National Endowment for Democracy , a CIA cut-out that functions as the US government's main arm of promoting regime change; and offshoots like the International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs. According to leaked internal emails from Stratfor, an intelligence firm known as the " shadow CIA ," CANVAS "may have also received CIA funding and training during the 1999/2000 anti-Milosevic struggle."

CANVAS is a spinoff of Otpor, a Serbian protest group founded by Srdja Popovic in 1998 at the University of Belgrade. Otpor, which means "resistance" in Serbian, was the student group that gained international fame -- and Hollywood-level promotion -- by mobilizing the protests that eventually toppled Slobodan Milosevic.

This small cell of regime change specialists was operating according to the theories of the late Gene Sharp, the so-called "Clausewitz of non-violent struggle." Sharp had worked with a former Defense Intelligence Agency analyst, Col. Robert Helvey , to conceive a strategic blueprint that weaponized protest as a form of hybrid warfare, aiming it at states that resisted Washington's unipolar domination.

Otpor at the 1998 MTV Europe Music Awards

Otpor was supported by the National Endowment for Democracy, USAID, and Sharp's Albert Einstein Institute. Sinisa Sikman, one of Otpor's main trainers, once said the group even received direct CIA funding.

According to a leaked email from a Stratfor staffer, after running Milosevic out of power, "the kids who ran OTPOR grew up, got suits and designed CANVAS or in other words a 'export-a-revolution' group that sowed the seeds for a NUMBER of color revolutions. They are still hooked into U.S. funding and basically go around the world trying to topple dictators and autocratic governments (ones that U.S. does not like ;)."

Stratfor revealed that CANVAS "turned its attention to Venezuela" in 2005, after training opposition movements that led pro-NATO regime change operations across Eastern Europe.

While monitoring the CANVAS training program, Stratfor outlined its insurrectionist agenda in strikingly blunt language: "Success is by no means guaranteed, and student movements are only at the beginning of what could be a years-long effort to trigger a revolution in Venezuela, but the trainers themselves are the people who cut their teeth on the 'Butcher of the Balkans.'ť They've got mad skills. When you see students at five Venezuelan universities hold simultaneous demonstrations, you will know that the training is over and the real work has begun."

Birthing the "Generation 2007" regime change cadre

The "real work" began two years later, in 2007, when Guaidó graduated from Andrés Bello Catholic University of Caracas. He moved to Washington, DC to enroll in the Governance and Political Management Program at George Washington University, under the tutelage of Venezuelan economist Luis Enrique Berrizbeitia, one of the top Latin American neoliberal economists. Berrizbeitia is a former executive director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) who spent more than a decade working in the Venezuelan energy sector, under the old oligarchic regime that was ousted by Chávez.

That year, Guaidó helped lead anti-government rallies after the Venezuelan government declined to to renew the license of Radio Caracas Televisión (RCTV). This privately owned station played a leading role in the 2002 coup against Hugo Chávez. RCTV helped mobilize anti-government demonstrators, falsified information blaming government supporters for acts of violence carried out by opposition members, and banned pro-government reporting amid the coup. The role of RCTV and other oligarch-owned stations in driving the failed coup attempt was chronicled in the acclaimed documentary The Revolution Will Not Be Televised .

That same year, the students claimed credit for stymying Chavez's constitutional referendum for a "21st century socialism" that promised "to set the legal framework for the political and social reorganization of the country, giving direct power to organized communities as a prerequisite for the development of a new economic system."

From the protests around RCTV and the referendum, a specialized cadre of US-backed class of regime change activists was born. They called themselves "Generation 2007."

The Stratfor and CANVAS trainers of this cell identified Guaidó's ally – a street organizer named Yon Goicoechea – as a "key factor" in defeating the constitutional referendum. The following year, Goicochea was rewarded for his efforts with the Cato Institute's Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty, along with a $500,000 prize, which he promptly invested into building his own Liberty First (Primero Justicia) political network.

Friedman, of course, was the godfather of the notorious neoliberal Chicago Boys who were imported into Chile by dictatorial junta leader Augusto Pinochet to implement policies of radical "shock doctrine"-style fiscal austerity. And the Cato Institute is the libertarian Washington DC-based think tank founded by the Koch Brothers, two top Republican Party donors who have become aggressive supporters of the right-wing across Latin America.

Wikileaks published a 2007 email from American ambassador to Venezuela William Brownfield sent to the State Department, National Security Council and Department of Defense Southern Command praising "Generation of '07" for having "forced the Venezuelan president, accustomed to setting the political agenda, to (over)react." Among the "emerging leaders" Brownfield identified were Freddy Guevara and Yon Goicoechea. He applauded the latter figure as "one of the students' most articulate defenders of civil liberties."

Flush with cash from libertarian oligarchs and US government soft power outfits, the radical Venezuelan cadre took their Otpor tactics to the streets, along with a version of the group's logo, as seen below:

"Galvanizing public unrest to take advantage of the situation and spin it against Chavez"

In 2009, the Generation 2007 youth activists staged their most provocative demonstration yet, dropping their pants on public roads and aping the outrageous guerrilla theater tactics outlined by Gene Sharp in his regime change manuals. The protesters had mobilized against the arrest of an ally from another newfangled youth group called JAVU. This far-right group "gathered funds from a variety of US government sources, which allowed it to gain notoriety quickly as the hardline wing of opposition street movements," according to academic George Ciccariello-Maher's book, "Building the Commune."

While video of the protest is not available, many Venezuelans have identified Guaidó as one of its key participants. While the allegation is unconfirmed, it is certainly plausible; the bare-buttocks protesters were members of the Generation 2007 inner core that Guaidó belonged to, and were clad in their trademark Resistencia! Venezuela t-shirts, as seen below:

That year, Guaidó exposed himself to the public in another way, founding a political party to capture the anti-Chavez energy his Generation 2007 had cultivated. Called Popular Will, it was led by Leopoldo López , a Princeton-educated right-wing firebrand heavily involved in National Endowment for Democracy programs and elected as the mayor of a district in Caracas that was one of the wealthiest in the country. Lopez was a portrait of Venezuelan aristocracy, directly descended from his country's first president. He was also the first cousin of Thor Halvorssen , founder of the US-based Human Rights Foundation that functions as a de facto publicity shop for US-backed anti-government activists in countries targeted by Washington for regime change.

Though Lopez's interests aligned neatly with Washington's, US diplomatic cables published by Wikileaks highlighted the fanatical tendencies that would ultimately lead to Popular Will's marginalization. One cable identified Lopez as "a divisive figure within the opposition often described as arrogant, vindictive, and power-hungry." Others highlighted his obsession with street confrontations and his "uncompromising approach" as a source of tension with other opposition leaders who prioritized unity and participation in the country's democratic institutions.

By 2010, Popular Will and its foreign backers moved to exploit the worst drought to hit Venezuela in decades. Massive electricity shortages had struck the country due the dearth of water, which was needed to power hydroelectric plants. A global economic recession and declining oil prices compounded the crisis, driving public discontentment.

Stratfor and CANVAS – key advisors of Guaidó and his anti-government cadre – devised a shockingly cynical plan to drive a dagger through the heart of the Bolivarian revolution. The scheme hinged on a 70% collapse of the country's electrical system by as early as April 2010.

"This could be the watershed event, as there is little that Chavez can do to protect the poor from the failure of that system," the Stratfor internal memo declared. "This would likely have the impact of galvanizing public unrest in a way that no opposition group could ever hope to generate. At that point in time, an opposition group would be best served to take advantage of the situation and spin it against Chavez and towards their needs."

By this point, the Venezuelan opposition was receiving a staggering $40-50 million a year from US government organizations like USAID and the National Endowment for Democracy, according to a report by the Spanish think tank, the FRIDE Institute. It also had massive wealth to draw on from its own accounts, which were mostly outside the country.

While the scenario envisioned by Statfor did not come to fruition, the Popular Will party activists and their allies cast aside any pretense of non-violence and joined a radical plan to destabilize the country.

Towards violent destabilization

In November, 2010, according to emails obtained by Venezuelan security services and presented by former Justice Minister Miguel Rodríguez Torres, Guaidó, Goicoechea, and several other student activists attended a secret five-day training at the Fiesta Mexicana hotel in Mexico City. The sessions were run by Otpor, the Belgrade-based regime change trainers backed by the US government. The meeting had reportedly received the blessing of Otto Reich, a fanatically anti-Castro Cuban exile working in George W. Bush's Department of State, and the right-wing former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe.

At the Fiesta Mexicana hotel, the emails stated, Guaidó and his fellow activists hatched a plan to overthrow President Hugo Chavez by generating chaos through protracted spasms of street violence.

Three petroleum industry figureheads – Gustavo Torrar, Eligio Cedeńo and Pedro Burelli – allegedly covered the $52,000 tab to hold the meeting. Torrar is a self-described "human rights activist" and "intellectual" whose younger brother Reynaldo Tovar Arroyo is the representative in Venezuela of the private Mexican oil and gas company Petroquimica del Golfo, which holds a contract with the Venezuelan state.

Cedeńo, for his part, is a fugitive Venezuelan businessman who claimed asylum in the United States, and Pedro Burelli a former JP Morgan executive and the former director of Venezuela's national oil company, Petroleum of Venezuela (PDVSA). He left PDVSA in 1998 as Hugo Chavez took power and is on the advisory committee of Georgetown University's Latin America Leadership Program.

Burelli insisted that the emails detailing his participation had been fabricated and even hired a private investigator to prove it. The investigator declared that Google's records showed the emails alleged to be his were never transmitted.

Yet today Burelli makes no secret of his desire to see Venezuela's current president, Nicolás Maduro, deposed – and even dragged through the streets and sodomized with a bayonet, as Libyan leader Moammar Qaddafi was by NATO-backed militiamen.

The alleged Fiesta Mexicana plot flowed into another destabilization plan revealed in a series of documents produced by the Venezuelan government. In May 2014, Caracas released documents detailing an assassination plot against President Nicolás Maduro. The leaks identified the Miami-based Maria Corina Machado as a leader of the scheme. A hardliner with a penchant for extreme rhetoric, Machado has functioned as an international liaison for the opposition, visiting President George W. Bush in 2005.

"I think it is time to gather efforts; make the necessary calls, and obtain financing to annihilate Maduro and the rest will fall apart," Machado wrote in an email to former Venezuelan diplomat Diego Arria in 2014.

In another email , Machado claimed that the violent plot had the blessing of US Ambassador to Colombia, Kevin Whitaker. "I have already made up my mind and this fight will continue until this regime is overthrown and we deliver to our friends in the world. If I went to San Cristobal and exposed myself before the OAS, I fear nothing. Kevin Whitaker has already reconfirmed his support and he pointed out the new steps. We have a checkbook stronger than the regime's to break the international security ring."

Guaidó heads to the barricades

That February, student demonstrators acting as shock troops for the exiled oligarchy erected violent barricades across the country, turning opposition-controlled quarters into violent fortresses known as guarimbas . While international media portrayed the upheaval as a spontaneous protest against Maduro's iron-fisted rule, there was ample evidence that Popular Will was orchestrating the show.

"None of the protesters at the universities wore their university t-shirts, they all wore Popular Will or Justice First t-shirts," a guarimba participant said at the time. "They might have been student groups, but the student councils are affiliated to the political opposition parties and they are accountable to them."

Asked who the ringleaders were, the guarimba participant said, "Well if I am totally honest, those guys are legislators now."

Around 43 were killed during the 2014 guarimbas . Three years later, they erupted again, causing mass destruction of public infrastructure, the murder of government supporters, and the deaths of 126 people, many of whom were Chavistas. In several cases, supporters of the government were burned alive by armed gangs.

Guaidó was directly involved in the 2014 guarimbas . In fact, he tweeted video showing himself clad in a helmet and gas mask, surrounded by masked and armed elements that had shut down a highway that were engaging in a violent clash with the police. Alluding to his participation in Generation 2007, he proclaimed, "I remember in 2007, we proclaimed, 'Students!' Now, we shout, 'Resistance! Resistance!'"

Guaidó has deleted the tweet, demonstrating apparent concern for his image as a champion of democracy.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/bh4DjOUsShQ

On February 12, 2014, during the height of that year's guarimbas , Guaidó joined Lopez on stage at a rally of Popular Will and Justice First. During a lengthy diatribe against the government, Lopez urged the crowd to march to the office of Attorney General Luisa Ortega Diaz. Soon after, Diaz's office came under attack by armed gangs who attempted to burn it to the ground. She denounced what she called "planned and premeditated violence."

In an televised appearance in 2016, Guaidó dismissed deaths resulting from guayas – a guarimba tactic involving stretching steel wire across a roadway in order to injure or kill motorcyclists – as a "myth." His comments whitewashed a deadly tactic that had killed unarmed civilians like Santiago Pedroza and decapitated a man named Elvis Durán, among many others.

This callous disregard for human life would define his Popular Will party in the eyes of much of the public, including many opponents of Maduro.

Cracking down on Popular Will

As violence and political polarization escalated across the country, the government began to act against the Popular Will leaders who helped stoke it.

Freddy Guevara, the National Assembly Vice-President and second in command of Popular Will, was a principal leader in the 2017 street riots. Facing a trial for his role in the violence, Guevara took shelter in the Chilean embassy, where he remains.

Lester Toledo, a Popular Will legislator from the state of Zulia, was wanted by Venezuelan government in September 2016 on charges of financing terrorism and plotting assassinations. The plans were said to be made with former Colombian President Álavaro Uribe. Toledo escaped Venezuela and went on several speaking tours with Human Rights Watch, the US government-backed Freedom House, the Spanish Congress and European Parliament.

Carlos Graffe, another Otpor-trained Generation 2007 member who led Popular Will, was arrested in July 2017. According to police, he was in possession of a bag filled with nails, C4 explosives and a detonator. He was released on December 27, 2017.

Leopoldo Lopez, the longtime Popular Will leader, is today under house arrest, accused of a key role in deaths of 13 people during the guarimbas in 2014. Amnesty International lauded Lopez as a "prisoner of conscience" and slammed his transfer from prison to house as "not good enough." Meanwhile, family members of guarimba victims introduced a petition for more charges against Lopez.

Yon Goicoechea, the Koch Brothers posterboy and US-backed founder of Justice First, was arrested in 2016 by security forces who claimed they found found a kilo of explosives in his vehicle. In a New York Times op-ed , Goicoechea protested the charges as "trumped-up" and claimed he had been imprisoned simply for his "dream of a democratic society, free of Communism." He was freed in November 2017.

David Smolansky, also a member of the original Otpor-trained Generation 2007, became Venezuela's youngest-ever mayor when he was elected in 2013 in the affluent suburb of El Hatillo. But he was stripped of his position and sentenced to 15 months in prison by the Supreme Court after it found him culpable of stirring the violent guarimbas .

Facing arrest, Smolansky shaved his beard, donned sunglasses and slipped into Brazil disguised as a priest with a bible in hand and rosary around his neck. He now lives in Washington, DC, where he was hand picked by Secretary of the Organization of American States Luis Almagro to lead the working group on the Venezuelan migrant and refugee crisis.

This July 26, Smolansky held what he called a "cordial reunion" with Elliot Abrams, the convicted Iran-Contra felon installed by Trump as special US envoy to Venezuela. Abrams is notorious for overseeing the US covert policy of arming right-wing death squads during the 1980's in Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Guatemala. His lead role in the Venezuelan coup has stoked fears that another blood-drenched proxy war might be on the way.

Four days earlier, Machado rumbled another violent threat against Maduro, declaring that if he "wants to save his life, he should understand that his time is up."

A pawn in their game

The collapse of Popular Will under the weight of the violent campaign of destabilization it ran alienated large sectors of the public and wound much of its leadership up in exile or in custody. Guaidó had remained a relatively minor figure, having spent most of his nine-year career in the National Assembly as an alternate deputy. Hailing from one of Venezuela's least populous states, Guaidó came in second place during the 2015 parliamentary elections, winning just 26% of votes cast in order to secure his place in the National Assembly. Indeed, his bottom may have been better known than his face.

Guaidó is known as the president of the opposition-dominated National Assembly, but he was never elected to the position. The four opposition parties that comprised the Assembly's Democratic Unity Table had decided to establish a rotating presidency. Popular Will's turn was on the way, but its founder, Lopez, was under house arrest. Meanwhile, his second-in-charge, Guevara, had taken refuge in the Chilean embassy. A figure named Juan Andrés Mejía would have been next in line but reasons that are only now clear, Juan Guaido was selected.

"There is a class reasoning that explains Guaidó's rise," Sequera, the Venezuelan analyst, observed. "Mejía is high class, studied at one of the most expensive private universities in Venezuela, and could not be easily marketed to the public the way Guaidó could. For one, Guaidó has common mestizo features like most Venezuelans do, and seems like more like a man of the people. Also, he had not been overexposed in the media, so he could be built up into pretty much anything."

In December 2018, Guaidó sneaked across the border and junketed to Washington, Colombia and Brazil to coordinate the plan to hold mass demonstrations during the inauguration of President Maduro. The night before Maduro's swearing-in ceremony, both Vice President Mike Pence and Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland called Guaidó to affirm their support.

A week later, Sen. Marco Rubio, Sen. Rick Scott and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart – all lawmakers from the Florida base of the right-wing Cuban exile lobby – joined President Trump and Vice President Pence at the White House. At their request, Trump agreed that if Guaidó declared himself president, he would back him.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met personally withGuaidó on January 10, according to the Wall Street Journal. However, Pompeo could not pronounce Guaidó's name when he mentioned him in a press briefing on January 25, referring to him as "Juan Guido."

By January 11, Guaidó's Wikipedia page had been edited 37 times, highlighting the struggle to shape the image of a previously anonymous figure who was now a tableau for Washington's regime change ambitions. In the end, editorial oversight of his page was handed over to Wikipedia's elite council of "librarians," who pronounced him the "contested" president of Venezuela.

Guaidó might have been an obscure figure, but his combination of radicalism and opportunism satisfied Washington's needs. "That internal piece was missing," a Trump administration said of Guaidó. "He was the piece we needed for our strategy to be coherent and complete."

"For the first time," Brownfield, the former American ambassador to Venezuela, gushed to the New York Times, "you have an opposition leader who is clearly signaling to the armed forces and to law enforcement that he wants to keep them on the side of the angels and with the good guys."

But Guaidó's Popular Will party formed the shock troops of the guarimbas that caused the deaths of police officers and common citizens alike. He had even boasted of his own participation in street riots. And now, to win the hearts and minds of the military and police, Guaido had to erase this blood-soaked history.

On January 21, a day before the coup began in earnest, Guaidó's wife delivered a video address calling on the military to rise up against Maduro. Her performance was wooden and uninspiring, underscoring the her husband's limited political prospects.

At a press conference before supporters four days later, Guaidó announced his solution to the crisis: "Authorize a humanitarian intervention!"

While he waits on direct assistance, Guaidó remains what he has always been – a pet project of cynical outside forces. "It doesn't matter if he crashes and burns after all these misadventures," Sequera said of the coup figurehead. "To the Americans, he is expendable."


Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and the author of several books, including best-selling Republican Gomorrah , Goliath , The Fifty One Day War , and The Management of Savagery . He has produced print articles for an array of publications, many video reports, and several documentaries, including Killing Gaza . Blumenthal founded The Grayzone in 2015 to shine a journalistic light on America's state of perpetual war and its dangerous domestic repercussions.

Dan Cohen Dan Cohen is a journalist and filmmaker. He has produced widely distributed video reports and print dispatches from across Israel-Palestine. Dan is a correspondent at RT America and tweets at @ DanCohen3000 . http://www.dancohenmedia.com/

[Feb 11, 2019] US sanctions, threats striving for a civil war is not just "doing something" but doing something wrong (but then, who gives a fuck for international law ? Who respects sovereignty ?)

Feb 11, 2019 | www.unz.com

animalogic , says: February 3, 2019 at 9:15 am GMT

@Tyrion 2 good, as Venezuela "resists" America." This is complete nonsense. "Doing things" is corrupt" ? Thus, doing nothing is "good ? I mean, WHAT ? Venezuela is not "good", per se, except that in this particular case of international relations its largely innocent . The US has unilaterally decided that the election loser is the election

winner

( Clinton actually "won" in 2016; she's the real president).
US sanctions, threats & striving for a civil war is not just "doing something" –but doing something wrong (but then, who gives a fuck for international law ? Who respects sovereignty ?)

Tyrion 2 , says: February 3, 2019 at 1:28 pm GMT
@animalogic America is to blame?

What a despicable ideology makes people think like that? It is cloying and maudlin and resentful.

US sanctions, threats & striving for a civil war is not just "doing something" –but doing something wrong (but then, who gives a fuck for international law ? Who respects sovereignty ?

Sovereignty is exercised by the legitimate government. Maduro is not the legitimate head of the Venezuelan government. Expecting him to step down or at least call a proper Presidential election is respecting this.

We can argue about that, but pearl clutching appeals to "but America is competent so America is bad" are gross.

Uncommonground , says: February 3, 2019 at 2:10 pm GMT
@Tyrion 2 Your mindless postmodernism is astonishing. So you think that facts don' t matter and you haven't noticed that people are commenting facts based on what is happening, what different acteurs have done? If you have no idea about Venezuela, why don't you read what Mark Weisbrot or Max Blumenthal and others have written about the theme recently?

[Feb 10, 2019] US to Use All Tools to Stop President Maduro's Revenue Streams - Bolton

Feb 10, 2019 | sputniknews.com

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The United States will continue to use all measures available to stop Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's revenue streams, National Security Advisor John Bolton said in a statement on Friday.

"The US will continue to use all tools to separate Maduro [and] his cronies from money that rightfully belongs to the people of Venezuela", Bolton said via Twitter. "Those who continue to plunder the resources of Venezuela & stand against its people will not be forgotten".

He also called on Russia and other nations to recognise Juan Guaido as Venezuelan President.

Bolton added that countries and companies buying Venezuelan oil must take steps to ensure that President Nicolas Maduro and his government cannot access and divert the payments for their own use. In late January, the United States blocked all assets of Venezuela's state energy giant PDVSA in its jurisdiction and imposed a ban on deals with the company. US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin explained the United States was taking care of the PDVSA in the interests of the Venezuelan people and also protecting its own market.

On January 23, opposition leader Juan Guaido proclaimed himself interim president of Venezuela after the opposition-controlled National Assembly claimed Maduro has usurped power. The United States and some of its allies have recognised Guaido as interim president.

Russia, China, Mexico and several other countries have said they recognise Maduro as Venezuela's only legitimate president.

Maduro has accused the United States of orchestrating a coup and informed the US of his decision to sever diplomatic relations. Washington, however, has refused to withdraw its diplomatic mission personnel from the Latin American country.

[Feb 10, 2019] US Contacting Venezuelan Military Officials Directly to Urge Defections - Report - Sputnik International

Notable quotes:
"... The US State Department announced last month that Washington froze some $7 billion in assets belonging to Venezuelan state-owned oil company PDVSA in order to make some of that money available to Guaido and his team. ..."
"... Maduro, after launching a signature-gathering campaign against alleged US interference, has repeatedly stressed his sentiment that the main objective behind Washington's interest in the political outcome in Venezuela is the nation's oil reserves, said to the largest in the world. ..."
Feb 10, 2019 | sputniknews.com

The US intelligence community is directly communicating with members of Venezuela's military in attempts to convince them to abandon beleaguered President Nicolas Maduro while also considering additional sanctions to ramp up the pressure, a senior White House official divulged to Reuters. Despite the fact that only a few senior officers have to date abandoned Maduro, the Trump administration expects additional military personnel to jump ship.

In late January, Juan Guaido, the head of the opposition-led National Assembly, proclaimed himself the South American nation's interim president, in a move swiftly recognized by the US and a handful of other countries.

"We believe these to be those first couple pebbles before we start really seeing bigger rocks rolling down the hill," the unnamed White House official speaking on a condition of anonymity, told Reuters. "We're still having conversations with members of the former Maduro regime, with military members, although those conversations are very, very limited."

The unnamed official did not provide additional details regarding what form motivation was being offered to top military officials to gain their support, according to Reuters.

Many members of the Venezuelan military remain loyal to Maduro, mostly in fear of being targeted by the embattled leader. To convince those on-the-fence members to abandon Maduro, the US must offer something that makes a turncoat move worthwhile, noted Eric Farnsworth, vice president of the Council of the Americas think tank in Washington.

"It depends on what they're offering," Farnsworth told Reuters. "Are there incentives built into these contacts that will at least cause people to question their loyalty to the regime?"

A few European nations have joined the Trump administration in its support of Guaido as the interim president, although those nations professing political support have not taken the additional step of backing US sanctions on Venezuela's state-owned oil giant PDVSA as well as other restrictions on financial transactions imposed by Washington.

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro © AP Photo / Ariana Cubillos Montevideo Calls Venezuela's Guaido 'More Non-Legitimate' Than Maduro's Gov't

The US State Department announced last month that Washington froze some $7 billion in assets belonging to Venezuelan state-owned oil company PDVSA in order to make some of that money available to Guaido and his team.

According to the US official who spoke anonymously to Reuters, the Trump administration is also considering imposing sanctions on Cuban military and intelligence officials who are thought to be assisting Maduro.

Maduro, after launching a signature-gathering campaign against alleged US interference, has repeatedly stressed his sentiment that the main objective behind Washington's interest in the political outcome in Venezuela is the nation's oil reserves, said to the largest in the world.

[Feb 09, 2019] Backing Maduro could be costly for Moscow

Notable quotes:
"... Recently, Guaido addressed both Russia and China, trying to convince them that a change in government would actually be in their economic interests. "What most suits Russia and China is a change of government," he said. "Maduro does not protect Venezuela, he doesn't protect anyone's investments, and he is not a good deal for those countries." ..."
"... But despite these power projection ploys, Russia's real capabilities to influence the outcome of the crisis seem limited. After a new US oil embargo against PDVSA was announced last week, Maduro's regime was cut off from its main source of revenue. Analysts say that the fate of Venezuela now rests in the hands of the military – on whether, and how long, it will remain loyal to Maduro. ..."
Feb 09, 2019 | www.asiatimes.com

As of 2017, Russia controlled 13% of Venezuela's crude exports, Reuters reported . According to some experts, Rosneft has been taking advantage of Venezuela's difficulties to secure deals which will be profitable in the long term.

The Kremlin's point man for Venezuela is Igor Sechin, CEO of Russian state-owned company Rosneft and a close Putin ally, who has made frequent visits to Caracas in recent years. Rosneft has provided $6 billion in loans to PDVSA, which is repaying them with oil. Rosneft has also gained a share of ownership in five of Venezuela's petroleum projects, while playing a middleman role in global markets, selling Venezuelan oil on to customers worldwide.

However, Russia's investments in Venezuela look far from lucrative. In 2017 the two countries agreed to restructure Venezuela's debt, amounting to over $3 billion, by shifting the repayment terms to 2027.

The beleaguered country's economy is on the verge of collapse and the oil sector, which accounts for over 90% of national export revenues, has not been spared. Last year, oil production dropped by 37% compared with 2017. So, Maduro has been struggling to pay back the loans and last year, Sechin had to fly to Caracas to negotiate with the Venezuelan leader over delayed oil supplies.

Russia's concern about a collapse in Venezuela's economy is tangible. A delegation of high-ranking Russian officials flew to Caracas in October to advise the government on how to overcome the crisis. With the country in a state of turmoil, Russia's Deputy Minister of Finance Sergei Storchak said he expects Venezuela to struggle to repay its debt, and the next $100 million tranche is due next month.

... ... ...

Recently, Guaido addressed both Russia and China, trying to convince them that a change in government would actually be in their economic interests. "What most suits Russia and China is a change of government," he said. "Maduro does not protect Venezuela, he doesn't protect anyone's investments, and he is not a good deal for those countries."

But Russia's switch of sides is highly unlikely at this point, for economic interests are not the only factor involved.

Russian bridgehead

As Krutikhin pointed out, supporting Maduro is a matter of principle for Russia. Betraying Maduro at this point would make the Kremlin look weak in front of its domestic audience.

Also, Russia's support for the Maduro regime is based on geopolitics. Together, with Ecuador, Bolivia and Cuba, Maduro's regime is a key Russian ally on the American continent.

This alliance is essentially a Cold War legacy, dating back to when the Kremlin actively supported anti-US governments in Latin America, such as Fidel Castro's Cuba and the Sandinista regime in Nicaragua.

Today, Putin's Russia is defying the US-led world order by supporting leaders such as Syria's Bashar Assad and Maduro's Venezuela, even though, in the case of the latter, that comes with substantial economic costs.

In return, Venezuela has been taking Russia's side in international disputes. One example came after the brief Russo-Georgian conflict in 2008. Venezuela was among the few states recognizing the Russia-backed breakaway republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

On the strategic front, Russia has been granting Venezuela multi-billion dollar loans to buy Russian heavy weaponry, such as Sukhoi fighter jets, T-72 tanks and S-300 air defense systems.

In return, Maduro has been offering Russia a platform to showcase its military power right in the US backyard. In late 2018, Russian TU-160 strategic bombers – which are capable of carrying nuclear weapons – flew to Caracas for joint exercises. That provided proof of Russia's global reach in a region a long way from its traditional area of influence.

According to Reuters, Russian military contractors arrived recently in Caracas to protect Maduro from a possible violent coup. The mercenaries reportedly belong to the secretive private military company "Wagner," which has been defending Russian interests in both Syria and Eastern Ukraine. The Kremlin, however, denied these claims.

But despite these power projection ploys, Russia's real capabilities to influence the outcome of the crisis seem limited. After a new US oil embargo against PDVSA was announced last week, Maduro's regime was cut off from its main source of revenue. Analysts say that the fate of Venezuela now rests in the hands of the military – on whether, and how long, it will remain loyal to Maduro.

For Russia, a best-case scenario looks unlikely.

If Guaido's revolution succeeds, Russia will lose a major ally in the region. If Maduro manages to hold on to power, the Kremlin will preserve its geopolitical foothold, but at a hefty economic price.

[Feb 09, 2019] Americans Should Reject Military Intervention in Venezuela

The problem for the USA military intervention is whether the Venezuelan resistance can make it a second Iraq?
Notable quotes:
"... It is stupid and dangerous for Guaido to be talking about U.S. military intervention, and in doing so he is almost certainly making it more difficult to resolve the crisis in Venezuela peacefully. ..."
"... Floating the idea of a foreign invasion for any reason gives the top military commanders an added incentive to stick with Maduro and resist attempts to depose him, and they already have several reasons to remain on his side. ..."
"... An all-or-nothing approach to the crisis is likely to lead to escalation, and so far that has been the only kind of approach that the Trump administration knows how to do. Military intervention would be the absolute worst form that approach could take, and Congress and the public need to oppose any moves by this administration in that direction. ..."
Feb 09, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
won't rule out calling for U.S. military intervention:

Venezuela's self-proclaimed acting president Juan Guaido refused to rule out on Friday the possibility of authorizing United States intervention to help force President Nicolas Maduro from power and alleviate a humanitarian crisis.

National Assembly leader Guaido told AFP he would do "everything that is necessary to save human lives," acknowledging that US intervention is "a very controversial subject."

It is stupid and dangerous for Guaido to be talking about U.S. military intervention, and in doing so he is almost certainly making it more difficult to resolve the crisis in Venezuela peacefully. The military's support for Maduro remains the largest and most significant obstacle to the opposition's claim to power. Floating the idea of a foreign invasion for any reason gives the top military commanders an added incentive to stick with Maduro and resist attempts to depose him, and they already have several reasons to remain on his side.

U.S. military intervention in Venezuela must not happen, and members of Congress should make clear that it is not an option. Rep. Ro Khanna responded to Guaido's statements earlier today:

me title=

Attacking Venezuela would be a costly and unnecessary war for the U.S., but more than that it would be a calamity for the people of Venezuela, whose country would be plunged into even worse conditions for the duration of the conflict. The U.S. needs to be willing to consider some sort of compromise solution, whether it is a power-sharing arrangement or negotiations that lead to the holding of early elections. An all-or-nothing approach to the crisis is likely to lead to escalation, and so far that has been the only kind of approach that the Trump administration knows how to do. Military intervention would be the absolute worst form that approach could take, and Congress and the public need to oppose any moves by this administration in that direction.

[Feb 09, 2019] From oil to infrastructure, why China has plenty to lose from political turmoil in Venezuela

Feb 09, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Teamtc321 , just now link

SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST

From oil to infrastructure, why China has plenty to lose from political turmoil in Venezuela

As Venezuela's biggest creditor, China is bound to be affected by the outcome.

Here are some of the Chinese investments that have already hit trouble in Venezuela:

Oil-for-loan deals

The last loan Maduro got from China was one of US$5 billion in September 2017. This was in addition to US$65 billion loaned by China to Caracas over the past decade, which the South American nation has been repaying in oil shipments.

Several state-owned Chinese oil corporations have bought stakes in or entered joint ventures with Venezuelan counterparts.

EU parliament recognises Guaido as Venezuelan interim president

But after the escalating political chaos, it was reported last week by Reuters that PetroChina planned to drop Petroleos de Venezuela as a partner in a planned US$10 billion oil refinery and petrochemical project in southern China.

China has provided more than US$100 billion in loan commitments to Latin American countries and firms since 2005. This would mean China's loans to Venezuela accounted for well over half of its loans to South America.

China, as the biggest oil importer in the world, is receiving 240,000 barrels of oil a day – mostly as debt repayment – from Venezuela, which has the world's biggest oil reserves.

Latin America's high-speed railway

Even before the current chaos over the presidential race, Venezuela's economy had long been hampered by its political instability. This led to the abandonment in 2016 of a Chinese-backed high-speed rail project that had cost US$7.5 billion.

The 462km Tinaco-Anaco line was intended to become part of South America's first high-speed rail route and carry 5 million passengers and 9.8 million tonnes of cargo a year.

Beijing-backed China Railway Engineering Corporation had a stake of 40 per cent in the project, with Venezuela holding the rest, and construction began in 2009.

But it fell behind schedule and was abandoned by the Chinese state company in 2015, according to an Associated Press report. By 2016, the construction sites and factories had been ransacked for power generators, computers, metals, ceramics and other materials.

Mining opportunities

In 2017, China agreed to help diversify Venezuela's oil-dependent economy by developing its mining sector. A US$400 million joint venture was established between the Corporacion Venezolana de Mineria, Chinese firms CAMCE and Yankuang Group, and Colombia's Inter-American Coal to boost Venezuela's coal mining and port operations.

CAMCE, a construction engineering affiliate of state-owned China National Machinery Industry Corporation, and Yankuang, a Shandong-based coal company, have also promised to invest US$180 million to develop the country's nickel industry.

No progress has been reported from the project so far, but other mining projects in the country have been hindered.

Baoji Oilfield Machinery Company suspended its activities in Venezuela in 2015 following a series of political protests. In March 2016, a gang gunned down 17 miners in an area of the Orinoco Mining Arc site that was licensed to Yankuang.

https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy/article/2185467/oil-infrastructure-why-china-has-plenty-lose-political-turmoil

captain noob , 22 seconds ago link

So it seems USA is a much worse place than Venezuela. I call for regime change

Helg Saracen , 1 minute ago link

Everything is as usual. Old American slogan: Do you have oil? We are going to you to teach you democracy (that is, we will rob, but democratically). And after that, Americans sincerely wonder why the rest of the world (except for Israel and Saudi Arabia) "loves" them so much.

nope-1004 , 9 minutes ago link

The USA has no interest in other communist regimes of the world that have no gold or oil. Seems to me the MO is obvious. The use of the outdated MSM planting lies is also worth noting because it's not even on the fringe of expansion or acceptance, it's dying a slow death.

The old American way of invading a country because it has oil and, coincidentally, is experiencing a "humanitarian crisis" while using corrupt MSM outlets is so friggin' old.......

chunga , 3 minutes ago link

It's hard to square when you think of Heather Nauert giggling on camera about school buses getting blown up in Yemen.

Steel Hammerhands , 10 minutes ago link

I went to Venezuela to drink some beer. I find that it's pointless to try to tell the truth about Venezuela to most Americans. People say that, because I went to a small town instead of Caracas, I couldn't possibly know the 'real' situation.

https://youtu.be/yThaTpA07BE?t=1101

JB Say , 10 minutes ago link

Zorov description of Caracas is a giant Potemkin Village. The refugees flooding into Columbia and Brazil are just actors hired by CIA to make Maduro look bad. Sounds like paradise!

LiberateUS , 12 minutes ago link

Plenty of well fed fat people.

johnjkiii , 15 minutes ago link

Gresham's Law is reversed in the socialist paradise and good money drives the bad from circulation? Right. Got it. If this trolling reporter actually believes that, I have some Continentals for him. I'll print them up to order.

me or you , 15 minutes ago link

US one nation on food stamps.

BlackChicken , 17 minutes ago link

I start to think that I don't feel sorry for Maduro at all. He really corrupted en entire country with such generous handouts. And they willingly take, but no one says "thank you," just that they want more and more.

Sounds familiar, I see this **** in the US and the left is setting up it's constituents to starve and suffer.

tmosley , 17 minutes ago link

>There is no starvation in Venezuela

Reminds me of how we were told there was no starvation in North Korea. What's it like outside the capital?

me or you , 18 minutes ago link

Venezuela can be drowning on poverty but there are more homeless and junkies in USA than in Venezuela.

morethan1 , 4 minutes ago link

Not true most likely, but even if it IS, it's by the persons own choice....

VWAndy , 19 minutes ago link

If anyone was talking about going after bankers Id pay attention.

BlackChicken , 15 minutes ago link

The Fed is the very root of the tree of evil; strike the root, not the branches.

Mike Rotsch , 20 minutes ago link

Our Air France flight was grounded in Paris for 5 hours; no one wants to land in Venezuela in the middle of the night, due to the "dangerous criminal situation."

So what would you call the situation in Paris, exactly? Mayberry? And this is precisely why journalistic bias works better than anything else when it comes to exposing the kind of stupidity that rivals what existed during the Dark Age. They call themselves out, shout "Hey! I'm a moron!", and then we all laugh.

me or you , 22 minutes ago link

USA is the only country in the world ruled by dual citizens.

Pollygotacracker , 22 minutes ago link

The people in the photos look better off than Americans in many ways.

chubbar , 9 minutes ago link

I was going to say that it looks like america, at least a few major cities.

Oldwood , 23 minutes ago link

Is it just my imaginings or has ZH gone full MADURO!?

chunga , 13 minutes ago link

I don't know what ZH has gone but on the fake news this morning the experts were telling me Maduro was stopping humanitarian aid sent from the US at the border.

This is the same thing that happens to anybody that questions Trump. Doing that means they support Honest Hill'rey or is a "libtard". Without knowing much at all about Maduro, US intervention in Venezuela is somthing I do not support at all and the maverick outside is POTUS. So right or wrong I blame him.

fbazzrea , 24 minutes ago link

thanks for sharing your boots on the ground perspective... let 'em sort out their own affairs. if they fail, it's their problem. not ours.

reboot!

aloha_snakbar , 31 minutes ago link

Don't we have enough brown drama to deal with in our own country? Leave Venezuela alone, We should be giving zero fuks about what goes on there...

iSage , 26 minutes ago link

Just build the wall...

[Feb 09, 2019] Venezuela is split in half. And the situation there may change at any moment.

Feb 09, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

A Reporter's Diary From Venezuela: "Insolent American Bastards Should Be Hanged On The First Tree" Via The Saker blog,

Reporter's Diary from Venezuela.

Georgy Zotov (author of AIF weekly)

This is the personal view of the correspondent on today's life of Caracas.

Translated by Scott

Day one...

Our Air France flight was grounded in Paris for 5 hours; no one wants to land in Venezuela in the middle of the night, due to the "dangerous criminal situation." The airliner is half empty, the passengers, judging by nervous conversations, are only Venezuelans. A taxi driver, while leaving the airport, locks the doors, and sweetly warns that after dark, bandits scatter spikes on the roads and rob the stranded cars. "Oh, don't worry, Amigo, I have an old car. They are not interested in old, cars." That's where you understand why Caracas is ranked first in the ranking of the most dangerous cities in the world. It's too late for supper, but I at least want to exchange my US dollars for Venezuelan bolivars. I ask my cab driver. He violently shakes his head:

"No, no, no. I do not mess with such things, it's illegal!"

"Whatever," I laugh at him.

"Tomorrow, someone will take the dollars, maybe even with my hands torn off." I was wrong

The following morning, no one at the hotel wants to look at my dollars.

The hotel employee tells me to go to one of the official "exchange stores" but honestly adds: "only Americans, or complete jerks go there."

In Venezuela, the official dollar exchange rate is 200 bolivars, and the "black market" exchange rate is 2,715. And if you exchange your currency in a bank, then according to this calculation, a bottle of ordinary water will cost 330 rubles, and a modest lunch in an inexpensive cafe -- 7,000 rubles per person. Judging by the stories on the Internet, in Venezuelan people should simply kill each other for dollars, but this is not the case.

There is also other things different from perception. On western news, it is shown that demonstrators fight with police daily, tens killed, hundreds wounded, the sea of blood. But in Caracas, all is quiet. In an afternoon, people are sitting in cafes and idly sipping rum with ice, while maintenance crews sweep the streets. It turns out that the world 's leading TV new sources (including CNN and the BBC) show some fantasy film about Venezuela. "Demonstrations?" yawns Alejandro, a street vendor selling corn. "Well, Saturday there will be one, sort of. On one end of the city will be a rally of opposition supporters, and on the other, Maduro supporters. The police keep them separate to prevent fights."

Amazing.

You browse the Internet, you turn on the TV, and you see the revolution, the people dying on streets to overthrow the "evil dictator Maduro." And you come here, and nobody cares.

Then it got even better. Never in my life have I had so many adventures while trying to exchange one currency for another. The country has a problem with cash money, long queues waiting for the ATM, and even the street dealers of "currency" have no "efectivo," as they call cash. I wander inside a jewelry store and ask if they want some "green." The answer is "No." Everyone acts like law-abiding citizens. I am told that police recently started arresting people for private exchange, that's why people don't want to associate. One owner of the jewelry store almost agrees.

"What do you have? Dollars? No, I won't take that."

"Why now?"

"I take only the Euros dollar, man, is the currency of the aggressor, they try to tell us how to live!"

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