Archive for the Hugo Chavez Category

The struggle of Venezuela against ‘a common enemy’ [Johnpilger.com]

Posted in Hugo Chavez, Media cover-up, Media smear campaign, US imperialism, USA, Venezuela on March 27, 2015 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Feb. 17, 2015

Albert: Why would the United States want Venezuela’s government overthrown?

Pilger: There are straightforward principles and dynamics at work here. Washington wants to get rid of the Venezuelan government because it is independent of US designs for the region and because Venezuela has the greatest proven oil reserves in the world and uses its oil revenue to improve the quality of ordinary lives. Venezuela remains a source of inspiration for social reform in a continent ravaged by an historically rapacious US…

Excerpted; full article link: http://johnpilger.com/articles/the-struggle-of-venezuela-against-a-common-enemy

“Break the silence: a world war is beckoning” by John Pilger [JohnPilger.com]

Posted in Afghanistan, Anti-Arab / Antisemitism, Anti-communism, Anti-Islam hysteria, Chile, Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, Iran, NATO, Russia, State Department, Ukraine, US "War on Terror", US imperialism, USA, USA 21st Century Cold War, Venezuela on May 21, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

13 May 2014

Why do we tolerate the threat of another world war in our name? Why do we allow lies that justify this risk? The scale of our indoctrination, wrote Harold Pinter, is a “brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis”, as if the truth “never happened even while it was happening”.

Every year the American historian William Blum publishes his “updated summary of the record of US foreign policy” which shows that, since 1945, the US has tried to overthrow more than 50 governments, many democratically elected; grossly interfered in elections in 30 countries; bombed the civilian populations of 30 countries; used chemical and biological weapons; and attempted to assassinate foreign leaders.

In many cases Britain has been a collaborator. The degree of human suffering, let alone criminality, is little acknowledged in the west, despite the presence of the world’s most advanced communications and nominally freest journalism. That the most numerous victims of terrorism – “our” terrorism – are Muslims, is unsayable. That extreme jihadism, which led to 9/11, was nurtured as a weapon of Anglo-American policy (Operation Cyclone in Afghanistan) is suppressed. In April the US state department [sic] noted that, following Nato’s campaign in 2011, “Libya has become a terrorist safe haven”.

The name of “our” enemy has changed over the years, from communism to Islamism, but generally it is any society independent of western power and occupying strategically useful or resource-rich territory. The leaders of these obstructive nations are usually violently shoved aside, such as the democrats Muhammad Mossedeq in Iran and Salvador Allende in Chile, or they are murdered like Patrice Lumumba in the Congo. All are subjected to a western media campaign of caricature and vilification – think Fidel Castro, Hugo Chávez, now Vladimir Putin.

Washington’s role in Ukraine is different only in its implications for the rest of us. For the first time since the Reagan years, the US is threatening to take the world to war…

Excerpted; full article link: http://johnpilger.com/articles/break-the-silence-a-world-war-is-beckoning

How International Financial Elites Change Governments to Implement Austerity [counterpunch]

Posted in 9/11, Afghanistan, Allende, Bolivia, Capitalism crisis early 21st century, Chile, Early 21st Century global capitalist financial crisis' US origins, Ecuador, Egypt, France, Georgia, Germany, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Hugo Chavez, IMF - International Monetary Fund, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Nicaragua, Nukes, Somalia, Syria, Thailand, U.K., Ukraine, US imperialism, USA, Venezuela, Yemen, Zelaya coup on March 7, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Feb. 28, 2014

by ISMAEL HOSSEIN-ZADEH

Many countries around the world are plagued by all kinds of armed rebellions, economic sanctions, civil wars, “democratic” coup d’états and/or wars of “regime change.” These include Ukraine, Venezuela, Syria, Thailand, Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt, Yemen, Somalia and Lebanon. Even in the core capitalist countries the overwhelming majority of citizens are subjected to brutal wars of economic austerity.

While not new, social convulsions seem to have become more numerous in recent years. They have become especially more frequent since the mysterious 9-11 attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001 and the 2008 financial collapse in the United States, which soon led to similar financial implosions and economic crises in Europe and beyond.

Despite their many differences, these social turbulences share two common features. The first is that they are largely induced, nurtured and orchestrated from outside, that is, by the Unites States and its allies—of course, in collaboration with their class allies from inside. And the second is that, contrary to the long-established historical pattern of social revolutions, where the desperate and disenfranchised masses rebelled against the ruing elites, in most of the recent struggles it is the elites that have insigated insurgencies and civil wars against the masses. The two features are, of course, integrally intertwined: essentially reflecting the shared interests and collaborative schemes of the international plutocracies against the global 99%.

Fighting to Make Austerity Economics Universal

The official rationale (offered by the U.S. and its allies) that the goal of supporting anti-government opposition forces in places such as Syria, Ukraine and Venezuela is to spread democracy no longer holds any validity; it can easily be dismissed as a harebrained pretext to export neoliberalism and spread austerity economics. Abundant and irrefutable evidence shows that in places where the majority of citizens voted for and elected governments that were not to the liking of Western powers, these powers mobilized their local allies and hired all kinds of mercenary forces in order to overthrow the duly elected governments, thereby quashing the majority vote.

Such blatant interventions to overturn the elections that resulted from the majority vote include the promotion of the Orange Revolution in Ukraine (2004 and 2014), Rose Revolution in Georgia (2003), Cedar Revolution in Lebanon (2005), Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan (2005) and the Green Revolution in Iran (2009). They also include the relentless agitation against the duly elected governments of the late Hugo Chavez and now his successor Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela, as well as the rejection (and effective annulment) of the duly elected Hamas government in Palestine.

So, the real driving forces behind wars of regime change need to be sought elsewhere; specifically, in the imperatives of expansion and accumulation of capital on a global level. Socialist, social-democratic, populist or nationalist leaders who do not embrace neoliberal economic policies, and who may be wary of having their markets wide open to unbridled foreign capital, would be targeted for replacement with pliant leaders, or client states. This is, of course, not a new explanation of economic imperialism; it is as old as the internationalization of trade and investment.

What is relatively new, and seems to be the main driving force behind the recent wars of regime change, is that, as the U.S. and other major capitalist powers have lately embarked on austerity economic policies at home they also expect and, indeed, demand that other countries follow suit. In other words, it is no longer enough for a country to open its markets to investment and trade with Western economic powers. It seems equally important to these powers that that country also dismantle its public welfare programs and implement austerity measures of neoliberalism.

For example, after resisting imperialist pressures for years, the late Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi eventually relented in 1993, and granted major oil and other transnational corporations of Western powers lucrative investment and trade deals. Under pressure, he even dismantled his country’s nuclear technology altogether in the hope that this would please them to “leave him” alone, so to speak. None of the concessions he made, however, proved satisfactory to the U.S. and its allies, as his regime was violently overthrown in 2011and he was literally butchered by the thuggish gangs that were trained and armed by Western powers.

Why? Because the U.S. and its allies expected more; they wanted him to follow the economic guidelines of the “experts” of global finance, that is, of the U.S. and European economic “advisors,” of the International Monetary Fund and of the World Trade Organization—in short, to dismantle his country’s rather robust state welfare programs and to restructure its economy after the model of neoliberalism.

The criminal treatment of al-Gaddafi can help explain why imperialist powers have also been scheming to overthrow the populist/socialist regimes of the late Hugo Chavez and his successor in Venezuela, of the Castro brothers in Cuba, of Rafael Correa Delgado in Ecuador, of Bashar Al-assad in Syria and of Evo Morales in Bolivia. It also helps explain why they overthrew the popularly elected nationalist governments of Mohammad Mossadeq in Iran, of Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala, of Kusno Sukarno in Indonesia, of Salvador Allende in Chile, of Sandinistas in Nicaragua, of Jean-Bertrand Aristide in Haiti and of Manuel Zelaya in Honduras.

The imperialist agenda of overthrowing al-Gaddafi and other “insubordinate” proponents of welfare state programs abroad is essentially part of the same evil agenda of dismantling such programs at home. While the form, the context and the means of destruction maybe different, the thrust of the relentless attacks on the living conditions of the Libyan, Iranian, Venezuelan or Cuban peoples are essentially the same as the equally brutal attacks on the living conditions of the poor and working people in the US, UK, France and other degenerate capitalist countries. In a subtle way they are all part of an ongoing unilateral class warfare on a global scale. Whether they are carried out by military means and bombardments or through the apparently “non-violent” processes of judicial or legislative means does not make a substantial difference as far as their impact on people’s lives and livelihoods is concerned.

The powerful plutocratic establishment in the core capitalist countries does not seem to feel comfortable to dismantle New Deal economics, Social Democratic reforms and welfare state programs in these countries while people in smaller, less-developed countries such as (al-Gaddafi’s) Libya, Venezuela or Cuba enjoy strong, state-sponsored social safety net programs. Plutocracy’s intolerance of “regimented” economies stems from a fear that strong state-sponsored economic safely net programs elsewhere may serve as “bad” models that could be demanded by citizens in the core capitalist countries.

In a moment of honesty, former U.S. President Harry Truman is reported as having expressed (in 1947) the unstated mission of the United States to globalize its economic system in the following words: “The whole world should adopt the American system. The American system can survive in America only if it becomes a world system” [1].

In a similar fashion, Lord Cecil Rhodes, who conquered much of Africa for the British Empire, is reported to have suggested during the heydays of the Empire that the simplest way to achieve peace was for England to convert and add the rest of the world (except the United States, Germany and few other Western powers of the time) to its colonies.

The Mafia equivalent of Truman’s or Rhodes’ statements would be something like this: “You do it our way, or we break your leg.”ismaelhz

The mindset behind Truman’s blunt statement that the rest of the world “should adopt the American system” has indeed served as something akin to a sacred mission that has guided the foreign policy of the United States ever since it supplanted the British authority as the major world power…

Excerpted; full article link: http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/02/28/how-international-financial-elites-change-governments-to-implement-austerity/

“Washington’s Presumption” — Venezuelan prez terms Obama ‘grand chief of devils’ [PaulCraigRoberts.org]

Posted in Assassination, Bourgeois parliamentary democracy, China, CIA, FBI, Germany, Hugo Chavez, India, Japan, Nazism, Obama, Poland, US Agency for International Development, US imperialism, USA, USSR, Venezuela on May 17, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

May 7, 2013

The new president of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, is cast in Chavez’s mold.
On May 4, he called US president Obama the “grand chief of devils.”

Obama, who has betrayed democracy in America, unleashing execution on American citizens without due process of law and war without the consent of Congress, provoked Maduro’s response by suggesting that Maduro’s newly elected government might be fraudulent. Obviously, Obama is piqued that the millions of dollars his administration spent trying to elect an American puppet instead of Maduro failed to do the job.

If anyone has accurately summed up Washington, it is the Venezuelans.

Who can forget Chevez [sic] standing at the podium of the UN General Assembly in New York City speaking of George W. Bush? Quoting from memory: “Right here, yesterday, at this very podium stood Satan himself, speaking as if he owned the world. You can still smell the sulphur.”

Hegemonic Washington threw countless amounts of money into the last Venezuelan election, doing its best to deliver the governance of that country to a Washington puppet called Henrique Capriles, in my opinion a traitor to Venezuela. Why isn’t this American puppet arrested for treason? Why are not the Washington operatives against an independent country–the US ambassador, the counsels, the USAID/CIA personnel, the Washington funded NGOs–ordered to leave Venezuela immediately or arrested and tried for spying and high treason? Why allow any presence of Washington in Venezuela when it is clear that Washington’s intention is to make Venezuela a puppet state like the UK, Germany, Canada, Australia, Turkey, Japan, and on and on.

There was a time, such as in the Allende-Pinochet era, when the American left-wing and a no longer extant liberal media would have been all over Washington for its illegal interference in the internal affairs of an independent country. But no more. As CounterPunch’s Jeffrey St. Clair has recently made clear, the American left-wing remains “insensate to the moral and constitutional transgressions being committed by their champion”–the first black, or half-black, US president–leaving “Rand Paul to offer official denunciations against [Washington’s] malignant operations” against independent countries.

Against the Obama regime’s acts of international and domestic violence, “the professional Left, from the progressive caucus to the robotic minions of Moveon.org, lodge no objections and launch no protests.” St. Clair has written a powerful article. Read it for yourself: http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/05/03/the-game-of-drones/print

I think the American left-wing lost its confidence when the Soviet Union collapsed and the Chinese communists and Indian socialists turned capitalist. Everyone misread the situation, especially the “end of history” idiots. The consequence is a world without strong protests of Washington’s and its puppet states’ war criminal military aggressions, murder, destruction of civil liberty and human rights, and transparent propaganda: “Last night Polish forces crossed the frontier and attacked Germany,” or so declared Adolf Hitler. Washington’s charges of “weapons of mass destruction” are even more transparent lies.

But hardly any care. The Western governments and Japan are all paid off and bought, and those that are not bought are begging to be bought because they want the money too. Truth, integrity, these are all dead-letter words. No one any longer knows what they mean.

The moronic George W. Bush said, in Orwellian double-speak, they hate us for our freedom and democracy. They don’t hate us because we bomb them, invade them, kill them, destroy their way of life, culture, and infrastructure. They hate us because we are so good. How stupid does a person have to be to believe this BS?

Washington and Israel present the world with unmistakable evil. I don’t need to stand at the UN podium after Bush or Obama. I can smell Washington [DC]’s evil as far away as Florida. Jeffrey St. Clair can smell it in Oregon. Nicolas Maduro can smell it in Venezuela . Evo Morales can smell it in Bolivia from where he cast out CIA-infiltrated USAID. Putin can smell it in Russia, although he still permits the treasonous “Russian opposition” funded by US money to operate against Russia’s government. The Iranians can smell it in the Persian Gulf. The Chinese can smell it as far away as Beijing.

Homeland Security, a gestapo institution, has “crisis actors” to help it deceive the public in its false flag operations. http://www.governamerica.com/black-ops/boston-bombings/110-fema-hiring-actors-to-run-live-terror-drills

The Obama regime has drones with which to silence American citizens without due process of law.
http://www.salem-news.com/articles/may042013/drones-boston-wh.php

Homeland Security has more than a billion rounds of ammunition, tanks, a para-military force. Detention camps have been built.

Are Americans so completely stupid that they believe this is all for “terrorists” whose sparse numbers require the FBI to manufacture “terrorists” in so-called “sting operations” in order to justify the FBI’s $3 billion special fund from Congress to combat domestic terrorism?

Congress has taxpayers paying the FBI to frame up innocents and send them to prison.

This is the kind of country American has become. This is the kind of “security” agencies it has, filling their pockets by destroying the lives of the innocent and downtrodden.

“In God we trust,” reads the coinage. It should read: “In Satan we follow.”

Article link: http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2013/05/07/washingtons-presumption-paul-craig-roberts/

“Boston and Venezuela: Terrorism There and Here” by Dr. James Petras [Globalresearch.ca]

Posted in 9/11, Afghanistan, Capitalist media double standard, Corporate Media Critique, Cuba, Egypt, FBI, Hugo Chavez, Iraq, Libya, NATO invasion, Obama, Pakistan, Police, Police State, Russia, State Department, Syria, US "War on Terror", US Government Cover-up, US imperialism, USA, USSR, Venezuela on April 29, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

April 26, 2013

Introduction

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’.

Conclusion

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 .

Article link: http://www.globalresearch.ca/boston-and-venezuela-terrorism-there-and-here/5333091

“Margaret Thatcher and misapplied death etiquette” by Glenn Greenwald – Vicious UK press propagandizes Thatcher at death, censures her critics [Guardian]

Posted in Black propaganda, Cameron, Capitalist media double standard, Chile, Corporate Media Critique, Hugo Chavez, Indonesia, Iraq, Nelson Mandela, Pinochet, South Africa, U.K., U.K. War Crimes, Venezuela on April 9, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

8 April 2013

News of Margaret Thatcher’s death this morning instantly and predictably gave rise to righteous sermons on the evils of speaking ill of her…

…This demand for respectful silence in the wake of a public figure’s death is not just misguided but dangerous…

…the key point is this: those who admire the deceased public figure (and their politics) aren’t silent at all. They are aggressively exploiting the emotions generated by the person’s death to create hagiography. Typifying these highly dubious claims about Thatcher was this (appropriately diplomatic) statement from President Obama: “The world has lost one of the great champions of freedom and liberty, and America has lost a true friend.” Those gushing depictions can be quite consequential, as it was for the week-long tidal wave of unbroken reverence that was heaped on Ronald Reagan upon his death, an episode that to this day shapes how Americans view him and the political ideas he symbolized. Demanding that no criticisms be voiced to counter that hagiography is to enable false history and a propagandistic whitewashing of bad acts, distortions that become quickly ossified and then endure by virtue of no opposition and the powerful emotions created by death. When a political leader dies, it is irresponsible in the extreme to demand that only praise be permitted but not criticisms.

Whatever else may be true of her, Thatcher engaged in incredibly consequential acts that affected millions of people around the world. She played a key role not only in bringing about the first Gulf War but also using her influence to publicly advocate for the 2003 attack on Iraq. She denounced Nelson Mandela and his ANC as “terrorists”, something even David Cameron ultimately admitted was wrong. She was a steadfast friend to brutal tyrants such as Augusto Pinochet, Saddam Hussein and Indonesian dictator General Suharto (“One of our very best and most valuable friends”). And as my Guardian colleague Seumas Milne detailed last year, “across Britain Thatcher is still hated for the damage she inflicted – and for her political legacy of rampant inequality and greed, privatisation and social breakdown.”

To demand that all of that be ignored in the face of one-sided requiems to her nobility and greatness is a bit bullying and tyrannical, not to mention warped. As David Wearing put it this morning in satirizing these speak-no-ill-of-the-deceased moralists: “People praising Thatcher’s legacy should show some respect for her victims. Tasteless.” Tellingly, few people have trouble understanding the need for balanced commentary when the political leaders disliked by the west pass away. Here, for instance, was what the Guardian reported upon the death last month of Hugo Chavez:

To the millions who detested him as a thug and charlatan, it will be occasion to bid, vocally or discreetly, good riddance.”

Nobody, at least that I know of, objected to that observation on the ground that it was disrespectful to the ability of the Chavez family to mourn in peace…

Exactly the same is true of Thatcher. There’s something distinctively creepy – in a Roman sort of way – about this mandated ritual that our political leaders must be heralded and consecrated as saints upon death. This is accomplished by this baseless moral precept that it is gauche or worse to balance the gushing praise for them upon death with valid criticisms. There is absolutely nothing wrong with loathing Margaret Thatcher or any other person with political influence and power based upon perceived bad acts, and that doesn’t change simply because they die. If anything, it becomes more compelling to commemorate those bad acts upon death as the only antidote against a society erecting a false and jingoistically self-serving history.

[Edited]

Full article link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/apr/08/margaret-thatcher-death-etiquette

Behind the selection of a new Pope [Workers World]

Posted in Anti-communism, Argentina, Corporate Media Critique, Fascism, Hugo Chavez, Torture, US imperialism, USSR, Venezuela on March 23, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Deirdre Griswold on March 19, 2013

There are many different religions in the United States and also a large number of people who adhere to no religion.

The Catholic Church’s efforts to deny its members the right to birth control, divorce and abortion have caused many to leave its fold. The hierarchy’s insistence that women cannot be priests and their opposition to same-sex marriage have divided the church’s own ranks.

The persistent call for justice and reparations for the sufferings of those who were sexually abused by priests has further added to the church’s decline in numbers and revenue.

– WASPs and Catholicism –

In this country, Catholicism on the national level has been a minority religion. The ruling establishment earned the nickname “WASPs” — white, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant — because those who first settled here, on land seized from the Native peoples, came mostly from northern European countries where the rising capitalist class was in revolt against the Catholic Church.

It was only after industrialization that more Catholics, largely working class and from southern and eastern Europe, migrated to the U.S. They often faced discrimination and outright hostility.

Yet this long history of a ruling class dominated by WASPs — it was considered a big breakthrough when John F. Kennedy became the first (and last) Catholic U.S. president — has not stopped the corporate media from treating the selection of the new Pope with admiration that borders on fawning.

Public reverence for the Catholic Church hierarchy, regardless of the private views of much of the ruling class, has especially saturated the U.S. media since John Paul II was elected in 1978. This “Polish Pope” was idolized, especially for his role in helping to tear down the East European socialist regimes allied to the Soviet Union.

The newly elected pope, formerly Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, has adopted the name Pope Francis. He is being eulogized as “humble,” “simple,” “a man of the people.” Such labels are hard to reconcile with the silken, gilded and bejeweled trappings accorded to Catholic cardinals, officially known as “princes of the church.”

Like John Paul, Francis has a political role that fits into the strategy of U.S. transnational banks and corporations. He is termed a “conservative” in church matters, meaning he refuses to entertain even the slightest deviation from traditional church stands on marriage (none for priests, nuns or same-sex couples), reproduction and other social/personal issues. This is at loggerheads with the views of many in the church and, of course, even more outside the church.

But his even deeper conservatism concerns the role he played in Argentina, which is still coming to grips with the horrors committed in the 1970s under a fascist military dictatorship.

– Bergoglio and the generals –

Some 30,000 people, mostly young progressives trying to move their country to the left, were murdered during this undeclared “dirty war” of the generals. Argentina is a Catholic country, and the role of the church during that time has come under heavy criticism. Bergoglio was then an important figure in the hierarchy — the Jesuit Provincial superior for all Argentina.

Horacio Verbitsky is a leading Argentine journalist, human rights activist and head of the Center for Legal and Social Studies. He was interviewed on “Democracy Now” on March 14 about Bergoglio’s connection during that period to the abduction of two priests, who were held by the military for six months and tortured. According to Verbitsky, Bergoglio “was accused by two Jesuit priests of having surrendered them to the military.”

The generals had asked the Jesuits to stop their social work, and when they refused, Verbitsky related, Bergoglio “stopped protecting them, and he let the military know that they were no more inside the protection of the Jesuits’ company, and they were kidnapped.”

During that period, the Latin American Church was close to a split between reactionaries like Bergoglio and those who advocated “liberation theology,” which supported the struggles of the masses against the landowners and capitalists in repressive countries like El Salvador, Guatemala, Chile and Colombia.

Washington, Operation Condor and role of U.S. bishops

The U.S. government was solidly behind the ruling classes. In 1973, as part of Operation Condor, it colluded with Gen. Augusto Pinochet in Chile to destroy the progressive Popular Unity coalition government of President Salvador Allende and massacre the left.

Operation Condor was not confined to Chile. Right now, in Argentina, 25 former officials of the military dictatorship of Gen. Jorge Rafael Videla, who is now serving a life sentence, are on trial for the crimes they committed while applying Operation Condor to that country. The courtrooms are packed every day by elderly survivors of that terrible period.

There has been no reporting yet in the corporate media about the role played by the U.S. bishops in the secret conclave that elected Bergoglio. Tainted by the sex abuse scandal, they have kept a low profile. But as leaders of the wealthiest part of the church after the Vatican and its bank, they had a great deal of clout in determining the outcome.

It should be remembered that on Aug. 28, 1978, at a time when financial scandal plagued the Vatican bank, Cardinal Albano Lucio, an Italian, was chosen as Pope John Paul I. He died very unexpectedly just 33 days later. A second conclave was held in which Cardinal Karol Wojtyla — Washington’s choice, no doubt about it — was elected Pope John Paul II. All the counterrevolutionaries in Eastern Europe were elated.

Thus, the election of an Argentine cardinal like Bergoglio sends shivers down the spines of many in Latin America who have been struggling for social justice. They have looked to courageous progressives like Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez — a lay Catholic — to foil the counterrevolution planned by Washington and its accomplices among the elites. Some had hoped to have the church on their side — or at least neutral — but that looks ever more impossible.

In domestic U.S. politics as well, Bergoglio can be expected to exert pressure from the right, especially on the growing Latino/a population, which has been organized and strong in demanding the rights denied to millions of undocumented immigrants.

For women of all backgrounds, the appointment of this social conservative only deepens the need to fight the hold of the patriarchy as an inborn feature of capitalist society, whether those who exploit women do their dirty work in the plush boardrooms of corporations like Walmart or prowl the vestibules of echoing cathedrals.

Article link: http://www.workers.org/2013/03/19/behind-the-selection-of-a-new-pope/

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