September 30, 2015
“We’ve ended two wars.” — Barack Obama, July 21, 2015, at a DSCC fundraiser held at a “private residence”…
September 30, 2015
“We’ve ended two wars.” — Barack Obama, July 21, 2015, at a DSCC fundraiser held at a “private residence”…
By Patrick Martin
4 June 2014
In the 72 hours since he was released by the Taliban in exchange for five prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay, Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl has come under increasingly vitriolic attack from right-wing US political circles and the media, which have denounced him as a deserter and traitor. There have been calls for him to be tried and even shot.
His father, Bob Bergdahl, has likewise been vilified for his efforts to obtain his son’s release, which included learning Pashto and Dari, the main languages of Afghanistan, communicating via the Internet with the Taliban, and growing a long and uncut beard to mark the time his son was held captive.
Media outlets from CNN to NBC and the other major broadcasters have repeatedly run interviews with soldiers who served with Bergdahl accusing him of deserting his post. Some of them have placed the blame on Bergdahl for the death of six US troops who, they claim, were killed during a six-month intensive search for the missing soldier.
The media has also made a great deal of recent Twitter posts from Bob Bergdahl expressing sympathy for Afghans killed in the war and their families and calling for the release of all detainees being held at Guantanamo.
Prior to his disappearance, Bowe Bergdahl made clear in letters to his family and discussions with fellow soldiers his revulsion over the US war in Afghanistan and his sympathy for the Afghan people. There is little doubt that the primary factor behind the vitriol against the Bergdahls is their antiwar sentiment and the fear in ruling class circles that it will further fuel already broad popular opposition to the war in Afghanistan and the general warmongering policy of the Obama administration…
…According to the New York Times, Bergdahl “left behind a note in his tent saying he had become disillusioned with the Army, did not support the American mission in Afghanistan and was leaving to start a new life…”
…Rolling Stone magazine reported in 2012, based on an interview with Bergdahl’s parents, that three days before he disappeared he sent them an e-mail that said, “I am ashamed to even be American,” and “The horror that is America is disgusting.”
“I am sorry for everything here,” Sergeant Bergdahl wrote. “These people need help, yet what they get is the most conceited country in the world telling them that they are nothing and that they are stupid, that they have no idea how to live.”
He described seeing an Afghan child run over by a US military vehicle. “We don’t even care when we hear each other talk about running their children down in the dirt streets with our armored trucks,” he wrote…
Excerpted; full article link: https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/06/04/berg-j04.html
By Thomas Gaist
24 May 2014
WikiLeaks on Friday revealed that the US has been surveilling all cell phone conversations in Afghanistan as part of its SOMALGET mass data collection program. SOMALGET is one component of a broader NSA effort, including a program called MYSTIC, which collect communications data in Mexico, Kenya, the Philippines, Iraq and elsewhere.
Millions of voice clips and reams of telephone metadata are collected and stored as part of the SOMALGET/MYSTIC program, which taps into entire national cellular networks. Three days ago, Glenn Greenwald’s The Intercept, revealed that SOMALGET was being used to collect phone calls made from the Bahamas and an unknown country, now revealed to be Afghanistan.
Greenwald said at the time that revealing the second country would “lead to deaths,” and complied with demands from top US security officials that he not publicize the information. The Washington Post also chose to preserve the secrecy of the surveillance against Afghanistan.
In a “statement on the mass recording of Afghan telephone calls by the NSA” published Friday, WikiLeaks rejected the “national security” rationale for concealing the country’s identity. A statement from WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange stated, “The Intercept stated that the US government asserted that the publication of this name might lead to a ‘rise in violence’. Such claims were also used by the administration of Barack Obama to refuse to release further photos of torture at Abu Ghraib in Iraq… WikiLeaks has years of experience with such false or overstated claims made by US officials in their attempts to delay or deny publication.”
“WikiLeaks has confirmed that the identity of the victim state is Afghanistan. This can also be independently verified through forensic scrutiny of imperfectly applied censorship on related documents released to date and correlations with other NSA programs,” the statement said.
The mass spying against Afghanistan underscores that a primary function of the spying apparatus is to identify and target opponents of the neocolonial agenda being pursued by the US ruling elite, while terrorizing the civilian population into submission. As noted by the WikiLeaks statement, the US government’s targeted drone program relies heavily on information gathered from NSA surveillance operations.
“We know from previous reporting that the National Security Agency’s mass interception system is a key component in the United States’ drone targeting program. The US drone targeting program has killed thousands of people and hundreds of women and children in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia in violation of international law. The censorship of a victim state’s identity directly assists the killing of innocent people,” the WikiLeaks statement said…
By David Edwards
April 28, 2014
Last month, we reviewed the mind-boggling contrast between corporate media coverage of the January 2005 election in Iraq and the March 2014 referendum in Crimea.
Whereas all media accepted the basic legitimacy of an Iraq election conducted under extremely violent US-UK military occupation, they all rejected the legitimacy of a Crimea referendum conducted ‘at [Russian] gunpoint’.
It was not difficult to guess how the same media would respond to the Afghan presidential election of April 5 under the guns of Britain and America’s occupying force.
The Daily Telegraph had welcomed ‘the first democratic elections’ in Iraq (Leader, ‘Mission accomplished,’ December 6, 2004) and dismissed the Crimea vote as ‘an illegal referendum conducted at gunpoint’. As for Afghanistan:
‘The sight of millions of Afghans defying the Taliban to vote in their country’s presidential election should induce genuine humility. We might take democracy for granted; they emphatically do not.’
Democracy it was, then. Had the editors forgotten that the vote was taking place under US-UK military occupation? In fact, no:
‘The idea that the Taliban are waiting to sweep back to power as soon as American and British troops depart has also taken a knock. If this poll continues to proceed smoothly, the country should have the inestimable benefit of a legitimately elected leader.’
The election was thus declared both democratic and legitimate. As in Iraq, the delegitimising effect of military occupation was ignored – ‘our’ occupations are simply accepted as legitimate and uncontroversial.
A Sunday Times leader hailed ‘democratic elections’ in Iraq, noting only that they were threatened by ‘terrorists’ – Iraqis, not the illegal foreign invaders who had wrecked the country with war, sanctions, bombing and more war (Leader, ‘Send more troops,’ October 10, 2004). By contrast, The Times claimed that the Crimea referendum was made absurd by Russian troops ‘massing on their western border’. (Leading article, ‘Russian Pariah,’ March 17, 2014)
But The Times found nothing absurd about the Afghan election:
‘We should honour and celebrate the resolve of these voters, their commitment to the democratic process.’
To be sure, military involvement had been a problem:
‘The Taleban has been malignly active in the run-up to the election, attacking foreigners in restaurants and showering death threats on democratic activists.’
What about the occupation?
‘As US and British troops ready themselves for withdrawal by the end of this year, the Afghans are evidently eager to take command of their own political destinies.’
And yet this was impossible in Crimea, although Russian troops were not occupying and fighting, merely said to be ‘massing’ on the border.
For the BBC, the Iraq election was ‘the first democratic election in fifty years’. (David Willis, BBC1, News at Ten, January 10, 2005) But the West had dismissed the Crimea referendum ‘as illegal and one that will be held at gunpoint’.
The BBC felt no need to reference the West’s view on Afghanistan, stating baldly:
‘The election marks the country’s first democratic transfer of power.’
On Channel 4 News, Alex Thomson, a courageous and comparatively honest reporter, covered the Afghan vote from Kabul. We tweeted him:
‘How free are these elections, Alex? What’s the state of press freedom, for example?’
We supplied some context:
‘In 2004-5, press supplied no analysis of state of press freedom prior to elections in Iraq, January ’05. Will you in Afghanistan?’
Thomson responded: ‘huge questions gents’. He added:
‘quick honest answer? I probably won’t regrettably. There’s a civil war on and it’s not too priority…’. Moreover: ‘I can only work 18-20 hours a day and there isn’t time is truthful answer. Someone should find research.’
Establishing whether the elections were actually free and fair – or not – was not ‘too priority’, somebody else’s job. A few moment’s research, and indeed thought, would have told Thomson that an election under US-UK occupation could not be described as free and fair.
Thomson later commented on his Channel 4 blog:
‘So enjoy your election in all its colour, noise, excitement and yes, valid democratic exercise up to a limited point.’
= Guardian – Working The ‘Very Hard Clay’ =
The vote in Iraq was ‘the country’s first free election in decades’ for the Guardian (Leader, ‘Vote against violence,’ January 7, 2005), which dismissed the Crimea referendum as ‘irrelevant’ because ‘it took place while the autonomous region was under military occupation’.
No surprises there. As for the election in Afghanistan:
‘And yet, in spite of Taliban attacks, Afghans will go to the polls on Saturday to elect a new president, with the turnout expected to be high, and media coverage voluminous and varied. Irregularities will be high, too, and more difficult to measure because of Taliban threats to monitors and foreign observers. But the leading candidates, even given their warlord connections, are credible figures. Ethnic deals should permit some transcending of regional loyalties. There is a woman candidate for vice-president.’
Far from ‘irrelevant’, then. The only identifiable military problem involved the usual bad guys – Afghans:
‘The Taliban may have changed… behind an unyielding facade. Or it will have to if the shift in public mood is reinforced by a successful election.’
Despite US-UK military occupation, the election could be ‘successful’.
From the lofty moral and intellectual heights of British civilisation, the Guardian editors patronised effortlessly:
‘Could we make the Afghans more like us? That has been the question ever since the Americans and their allies went into Afghanistan 12 years ago…’
This indeed was the central theme of the editorial, as indicated by the title:
‘Afghanistan: more like us: It is hard to resist the feeling that Afghans, responding to the chaos and opportunity of foreign intervention, have changed.’
Changed for the better, thankfully. That is, they have become ‘more like us’. The ‘intervention’ – in fact an illegal invasion – was an ‘opportunity’ for the victims, according to the UK’s leading liberal newspaper. As with every colonial mission, there have been difficulties:
‘Afghanistan is a very hard clay in which to work, and those who tried to work it were very slow and unskilled.’
Naturally, the British and American states that have ravaged the people and planet of this earth for hundreds of years have the right to ‘work’ the lowly Afghans, who are such ‘very hard clay’, in an attempt to remake them in ‘our’ exalted image. As for the problems:
‘The failures, the follies, and the tragedies which followed have been well documented. Generals, ambassadors, high representatives, aid experts and special envoys have come and gone. NATO soldiers have died, including 448 British, many more in the ranks of the Taliban, and more still among Afghan civilians.’
Chief among the failures, follies, tragedies, and indeed criminal complicity, has been the inability of our ‘free press’ to perceive the criminality of ‘our’ ‘unskilled’ work. This simply isn’t done. As for the Afghan ‘clay’, why even offer a ballpark figure for the casualties of ‘our’ blood-drenched pottery?
Passing over the criminal record of master potter Tony Blair, the Guardian splashed his complementary views across its front page. Independent commentator John Rentoul summarised the shared worldview with approval:
‘Now he [Blair] is calling on us to rescue true Muslims not just from dictators but from a perversion of their own religion.’
Blair’s comments were also treated to front-page coverage in the Independent and on the BBC website. Seumas Milne noted the perversity in the Guardian:
‘Quite why the views of a man whose military interventions in the Muslim world have been so widely discredited… should be treated with such attention by the media isn’t immediately obvious. But one reason is that they chime with those of a powerful section of the political and security establishment.’
Milne failed to mention his own newspaper’s front-page, or the ugly example of its ‘hard clay’ editorial. In fact, the Guardian has always been Blair’s greatest cheerleader. In May 2005, even after the invasion of Iraq, the editors wrote:
‘We believe that Mr Blair should be re-elected to lead Labour into a third term this week.’ (Leader, ‘Once more with feeling,’ The Guardian, May 3, 2005)
The Guardian-Blair view has a long, violent history stretching back many hundreds of years. In the nineteenth century, English civil servant Herman Merivale offered guidelines for government administrators interested in the control of native customs:
‘It will be necessary, in short, that the colonial authorities should act upon the assumption that they have the right in virtue of the relative position of civilised and Christian men to savages, to enforce abstinence from immoral and degrading practices, to compel outward conformity to the law of what we regard as better instructed reason.’ (Quoted, John Bodley, Victims of Progress, Mayfield Publishing, 1982, p.105)
In 2000, senior Guardian commentator Polly Toynbee updated the doctrine in an article titled, ‘The West really is the best’:
‘In our political and social culture we have a democratic way of life which we know, without any doubt at all, is far better than any other in the history of humanity. Even if we don’t like to admit it, we are all missionaries and believers that our own way is the best when it comes to the things that really matter.’ (Toynbee, The Observer, March 5, 2000)
Back in the real world, a study by Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page, ‘Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizen’, to be published in the autumn 2014 issue of the academic journal, ‘Perspectives on Politics’, finds that ‘the democratic way of life’ of the United States is in fact oligarchy masquerading as democracy:
‘When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or well organized interests, they generally lose. Moreover, because of the strong status quo bias built into the U.S. political system, even when fairly large majorities of Americans favor policy change, they generally do not get it.’
The authors add:
‘When the preferences of economic elites and the stands of organized interest groups are controlled for, the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy… we believe that if policymaking is dominated by powerful business organizations and a small number of affluent Americans, then America’s claims to being a democracy are seriously threatened’.
To compound the comedy, the Guardian reported of the June 3 presidential election in Syria, the latest unfortunate to be added to the list of official enemy states:
‘Western and Gulf Arab countries that back Assad’s opponents had called plans for the vote a “parody of democracy” and said it would wreck efforts to negotiate a peace settlement.’
The US oligarchy’s allies, the ‘Gulf Arab countries’ – currently waging merciless war on Syria – are themselves, of course, violent, unaccountable tyrannies. The Guardian failed to mention the irony, being itself a parody of an independent, progressive newspaper.
Jan. 30, 2014
by Peter Hart
The issue of innocent civilians killed by US forces in Afghanistan (or anywhere else) is not always a top concern for US media outlets. But the New York Times has shown keen interest in the topic [recently] –only because they think they’ve caught the Afghan government lying about it.
The story started with a Sunday piece (1/26/14) headlined “False Claims in Afghan Accusations on US Raid Add to Doubts on Karzai.” The government of President Hamid Karzai had published its findings about a US airstrike on January 15 in the village of Wazghar. The Times in the lead noted that it was “the kind of dossier that the Taliban often publish,” an ” inflammatory dossier” that was “an apparent effort to demonize their American backers.” The paper added:
An examination of the dossier by the New York Times also revealed that much of the same material was posted on a Taliban website last week, a rare instance of the militant group’s political speech matching that of the government it is fighting to topple.
It is not until rather deep into the piece that you get a sense of what actually happened:
No one disputes that civilians died in the airstrikes, which hit Wazghar, a remote village in a valley thick with Taliban fighters. But more than a week after the raid, the death tolls offered by the American-led coalition and the Afghan government differ starkly, as do their accounts of how the civilians died.
So the US government says two children died in the airstrike, while the Afghans say the death toll is 12, and perhaps more. The Times thinks something is amiss here because two images in the Afghan report might not be from this particular airstrike: “One was taken at the funeral of victims of a NATO airstrike in northern Afghanistan in 2009, which killed at least 70 civilians.”
The Times (1/27/14) was back on the Wazghar story, covering a press conference where the Afghan government brought out what it said were witnesses to the attack:
The briefing with the villagers was hastily arranged by the Afghan government specifically to rebut a report in the New York Times on Sunday that much of the evidence in the dossier, assembled by President Hamid Karzai’s aides, had been misrepresented or could not be verified.
One of the witnesses is quoted saying, “If there were not 13 fresh dead bodies in the village, I would say you should hang me…. The New York Times spreads lies to put salt in our wounds.” Today the paper’s editorial page (1/30/14) weighed in with a piece, “President Karzai’s Perfidies,” that argued, “Instead of dealing with the issue honestly, Mr. Karzai uses it to demonize America.”
If Karzai’s government is misrepresenting what happened at Wazghar, that’s worth reporting. But the level of attention this is getting from the Times is rather perplexing, given that the dispute is over not whether the United States killed children but how many it killed. If it’s official misstatements about dead civilians the paper is seeking to uncover, one might reasonably ask how the Times has dealt with US claims that proved to be false or misleading – or how much attention the paper has given credible accounts of Afghan deaths.
There are, sadly, plenty of examples to choose from. A pretty typical instance, from 2010 (FAIR Blog, 8/6/10), had Afghans claiming 52 civilians had died in one attack, while US/NATO officials claimed the death toll was six. That death toll came from unnamed sources who had never visited the site of the attack–just like the the Afghan officials who are currently being excoriated by the paper. And in that incident, the Times noted that “officials from the international force denied at first that civilians had been killed.” Yet there was no sense of the outrage that seems to be fueling the reporting on Afghan claims of civilian deaths.
Or take a more notorious incident, also from 2010, which was thoroughly reported in the documentary Dirty Wars. That attack included the gruesome spectacle of Special Operations forces actually digging bullets out of the bodies of women they had killed in an attempt to cover up their atrocity. As we noted (FAIR Blog, 4/5/10), the Times reported that incident under the headline “US Admits Role in February Killing of Afghan Women.” The initial account in the Times (2/13/10), based on NATO’s reporting of what had happened, was entirely false. Again, there was no particular sense of outrage over the US/NATO deception–no editorials about “perfidies.”
There are many other examples, not just from Afghanistan. As I documented (FAIR Blog, 12/13/13), the Times has published accounts of attacks in Yemen that rely heavily on the words of US government officials – and have proven to be wildly misleading. It did not produce sustained, critical coverage of the US government’s tendency to issue false statements absolving its military forces of wrongdoing.
Clearly, New York Times journalists do not like being lied to, especially about a topic as serious as dead children. Unless, that is, it’s their own government that’s doing the lying; in those cases, they tend to be far more forgiving.
This is what NATO liberation looks like. Puppet Karzai is also damned by this. Compare the constant increase of opium production under NATO occupation with the concurrent increase in children’s malnutrition. – Zuo Shou
– Poor nutrition in first two years has permanent effect on growth and development, and could spell disaster for country –
26 January 2014
Afghanistan is raising a stunted generation whose hobbled development could spell disaster for the country’s feeble economy and undermine the impact of billions of dollars in aid poured into health, education and other areas…
(c) Guardian News & Media Ltd
April 26, 2013
Two major terrorists’ attacks took place almost simultaneously: in Boston, two alleged Chechen terrorists set off bombs during the annual Boston Marathon killing three people and injuring 170; in Venezuela, terrorist-supporters of defeated presidential candidate, Henrique Capriles, assassinated 8 and injured 70 supporters of victorious Socialist Party candidate Nicolas Maduro, in the course of firebombing 8 health clinics and several Party offices and homes. In the case of Boston, the terrorist spree resulted in one further fatality – one of the perpetrators; in Venezuela, some of the terrorists are under arrest but their political mentors are still free and active – in fact they are now presented as ‘victims of repression’ by the US media.
By examining the context, politics, government responses and mass media treatment of these terrorist acts we can gain insight into the larger meaning of terrorism and how it reflects, not merely the hypocrisy of the US government and mass media, but the underlying politics that encourages terrorism.
Context of Terrorism: From Chechnya to Boston : A Dangerous Game
Chechnya has been an armed battleground for over two decades pitting the secular Russian State against local Muslim fundamentalist separatists. Washington , fresh from arming and financing Muslim jihadis in a successful [sic] war against the secular Soviet-backed Afghan regime in the 1980’s, expanded its aid program into Central Asian and Caucasian Muslim regions of the former Soviet Union.
Russian military might ultimately defeated the Chechen warlords but many of their armed followers fled to other countries, joining armed, extremist, Islamist groups in Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan and later Egypt, Libya and now Syria. While accepting Western, especially US arms, to fight secular adversaries of the US Empire, the jihadis’ ultimate goal has been a clerical (Islamic) regime. Washington and the Europeans have played a dangerous game: using Muslim fundamentalists as shock troops to defeat secular nationalists, while planning to dump them in favor of neo-liberal ‘moderate’ Muslim or secular client regimes afterwards.
This cynical policy has backfired everywhere – including in the US. Fundamentalists in Afghanistan took state power after the Soviets pulled out. They opposed the US, which invaded Afghanistan after the attacks of September 11, 2001, and have successfully engaged in a 12 year war of attrition with Washington and NATO, spawning powerful allies in Pakistan and elsewhere. Taliban-controlled areas of Afghanistan serve as training bases and a ‘beacon’ for terrorists the world over.
The US invasion of Iraq and overthrow of President Saddam Hussein led to ten years of Al Qaeda and related-clerical terrorism in Iraq, wiping out the entire secular society. In the case of Libya and Syria , NATO and Gulf State arms have greatly expanded the arsenals of terrorist fundamentalists in North and Sub-Sahara Africa and the Middle East. Western-sponsored fundamentalist terrorists were directly related to the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington and there is little doubt that the recent actions of the Chechen bombers in Boston are products of this latest upsurge of NATO-backed fundamentalist advances in North Africa and the Middle East.
But against all the evidence to the contrary, Chechen terrorists are viewed by the White House as “freedom fighters” engaged in liberating their country from the secular Russians … Perhaps after the Boston terror attack, that appraisal will change.
Venezuela : Presenting Terrorism as “Peaceful Dissent”
The candidate of the US backed and financed opposition, Henrique Capriles, has lived up to his reputation for violent politics. In the run-up to his failed candidacy in the Venezuelan presidential election on April 15, his followers sabotaged power lines causing frequent national blackouts. His supporters among the elite hoarded basic consumer items, causing shortages, and repeatedly threatened violence if the election went against them.
With over 100 international observers from the United Nations, European Commission and the Jimmy Carter Center there to certify the Venezuelan elections, Capriles and his inner circle unleashed their street gangs, who proceeded to target Socialist voters, campaign workers, health clinics, newly-built low-income housing projects and Cuban doctors and nurses.
The “white terror” resulted in 8 deaths and 70 injuries. Over 135 right-wing street thugs were arrested and 90 were charged with felonies, conspiracy to commit murder and destroy public property. Capriles, violent political credentials go back at least a decade earlier when he played a major role in the bloody coup which briefly overthrew President Hugo Chavez in 2002. Capriles led a gang of armed thugs and assaulted the Cuban embassy, ‘arresting’ legitimate Cabinet ministers who had taken refuge. After a combined military and popular mass movement restored President Chavez, Capriles was placed under arrest for violence and treason. The courageous Venezuelan Attorney General, Danilo Anderson, was in the process of prosecuting Capriles and several hundred of his terrorist supporters when he was assassinated by a car bomb – planted by supporters of the failed coup.
Though Capriles electoral propaganda was given a face-lift – he even called himself a candidate of the “center-left” and a supporter of several of President Chavez’s “social missions”, his close ties with terrorist operatives were revealed by his call for violent action as soon as his electoral defeat was announced. His thinly veiled threat to organize a “mass march” and seize the headquarters of the electoral offices was only called off when the government ordered the National Guard and the Armed Forces on high alert. Clearly Capriles’ terror tactics were only pulled back in the face of greater force. When the legal order decided to defend democracy and not yield to terrorist blackmail, Capriles temporarily suspended violent activity and regrouped his forces, allowing the legal-electoral face of his movement to come to the fore.
Responses to Terror: Boston and Venezuela
In response to the terrorist incident in Boston, the local, state and federal police were mobilized and literally shut down the entire city and its transport networks and went on a comprehensive and massive ‘manhunt’: the mass media and the entire population were transformed into tools of a police state investigation. Entire blocks and neighborhoods were scoured as thousands of heavily armed police and security forces went house to house, room to room, dumpster to dumpster looking for a wounded 19 year old college freshman. A terror alert was raised for the entire country ad overseas police networks and intelligence agencies were involved in the search for the terrorist assassins. The media and the government constantly showed photos of the victims, emphasizing their horrific injuries and the gross criminality of the act: it was unthinkable to discuss any political dimensions to the act – it was presented, pure and simple, as an act of political terror directed at ‘cowering the American people and their elected government’. Every government official demanded that anyone, even remotely linked, to the crime or criminals face the full force of the law.
On the other hand and coinciding with the attack in Boston, when the Venezuelan oppositionist terrorists launched their violent assault on the citizens and public institutions they were given unconditional support by the Obama regime, which claimed the killers were really ‘democrats seeking to uphold free elections’. Secretary of State Kerry refused to recognize the electoral victory of President Maduro. Despite the carnage, the Venezuelan government did not declare martial law: at most the National Guard and loyalist police upheld the law and arrested several dozen protestors and terrorists; many of the former – not directly linked to violence – were quickly released. Moreover, despite the internationally certified elections by over 100 observers, the Maduro government conceded the chief demand for an electoral recount – in the hope of averting further right-wing bloodshed.
US Media Response
All the major Western news agencies, including the principle ‘respectable’ print media (Financial Times, New York Times and Washington Post) converted the Venezuelan political assassins into ‘peaceful protestors’ who were victimized for attempting to register their dissent. In other words, Washington and the entire media came out in full force in favor of political terror perpetrated against an adversarial democratic government, while invoking a near-martial law state for a brutal, but limited, act of terror in the US . Washington apparently does not make the connection between its support of terrorism abroad and its spread to the US .
The US media has blocked out discussion of the ties between Chechen terrorist front groups, based in the US and UK, and leading US neoconservatives and Zionists, including Rudolph Giuliani, Richard Perle, Kenneth Adleman, Elliott Abrams, Midge Dector, Frank Gaffney and R. James Woolsey – all leading members of the self-styled ‘American Committee for Peace in Chechnya’ (re-named Committee for Peace in the Caucasus after the horrific Beslan school massacre). These Washington luminaries are all full-throated supporters of the ‘war on terror’ or should we say supporters of ‘terror and war’ (“Chechen Terrorists and the Neocons” by former FBI official Coleen Rowley 4/19/13). The headquarters and nerve center for many ‘exile’ Chechen leaders, long sought by Russian authorities for mass terrorist activities, is Boston, Massachusetts – the site of the bombing – another ‘fact’ thus far ignored by the FBI and the Justice Department, perhaps because of long-standing and on-going working relations in organizing terrorist incidents aimed at destabilizing Russia.
Former Presidential candidate and New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, after the bombing, stated that Chechens ‘were only focused (sic) on Russia ’ and not on the US (his Chechens perhaps). Interpol and US intelligence Agencies are well aware that Chechen militants have been involved in several Al Qaeda terrorist groups throughout South and Central Asia as well as the Middle East . The Russian government’s specific inquiries regarding any number of suspected Chechen terrorists or fronts have been given short shrift – apparently including the activities of one Tamerlan Tsarnaev, recently deceased.
(As a historical aside (and perhaps not unrelated), the Boston-based FBI was notorious from the 1970’s through the 1990’s for protecting a brutal gangster hit man, James ‘Whitey’ Bulger, as a privileged informant, while he murdered dozens of individuals in the New England area.)
The Deeper Meaning of the War on Terrorism
US support for Venezuelan terrorists and their political leader, Henrique Capriles, is part of a complex multi-track policy combining the exploitation of electoral processes and the clandestine funding of NGO’s for “grass roots” agitation of local grievances, together with support for ‘direct action’ including ‘trial runs’ of political violence against the symbols and institutions of social democracy. The versatile Capriles is the perfect candidate to run in elections while orchestrating terror. Past US experience with political terror in Latin America has had a boomerang effect – as evident in the Miami-based Cuban terrorist engagement with numerous bombings, gun-running and drug trafficking within the USA, especially the 1976 car bombing assassination of the exile Chilean Minister Orlando Letelier and an American associate on Embassy Row in the heart of Washington, DC – an action never characterized as ‘terrorism’ because of official US ties to the perpetrators.
Despite financial, political and military links between Washington and terrorists, especially fundamentalists, the latter retain their organizational autonomy and follow their own political-cultural agenda, which in most cases is hostile to the US. As far as the Chechens, the Afghans and the Al Qaeda Syrians today are concerned, the US is a tactical ally to be discarded on the road to establishing independent fundamentalist states. We should add the scores of Boston victims to the thousands of US citizens killed in New York, Washington, Libya, Afghanistan and elsewhere by former fundamentalist allies of the US .
By siding with terrorists and their political spokespeople and refusing to recognize the validity of the elections in Venezuela, the Obama regime has totally alienated itself from all of South America and the Caribbean. By supporting violent assaults against democratic institutions in Venezuela, the White House is signaling to its clients in opposition to the governments of Argentina, Bolivia and Ecuador – that violent assaults against independent democratic governments is an acceptable road to restoring the neo-liberal order and US centered ‘regional integration’.
Washington has demonstrated no consistent opposition to terrorism – it depends on the political goals of the terrorists and on the target adversaries. In one of the two recent cases – the US government declared virtual “martial law” on Boston to kill or capture two terrorists who had attacked US citizens in a single locale; whereas in the case of Venezuela, the Obama regime has given political and material support to terrorists in order to subvert the entire constitutional order and electoral regime.
Because of the long-standing and deep ties between the US State Department, prominent neo-con leaders and Zionist notables with Chechen terrorists, we cannot expect a thorough investigation which would surely embarrass or threaten the careers of the major US officials who have long-term working relations with such criminals.
The White House will escalate and widen its support for the same Venezuelan terrorists who have sabotaged the electrical power system, the food supply and the constitutional electoral process of that country. Terror, in that context, serves as its launch pad for a full scale assault against the past decade’s social advances under the late President Hugo Chavez.
Meanwhile, in order to cover-up the Chechen-Washington working alliance, the Boston Marathon bombing will be reduced to an isolated act by two misguided youths, lead astray by an anonymous fundamentalist website – their actions reduced to ‘religious fundamentalism’. And despite an economy in crisis, tens of billions of more dollars will be allocated to expand the police state at home, citing its effectiveness and efficiency in the aftermath of the bombings while secretly sending more millions to foment ‘democratic’ terror…in Venezuela .