53

Getting Out of Afghanistan, Staying Out of Venezuela

David Lindsay

As it was always going to do, the war in Afghanistan is culminating in the victory of the people who had never had anywhere else to go. Apparently, the restored “Taliban” are going to be made to promise not to allow Afghanistan to be turned into a base for jihadis. Well, good luck with that, but it would at least be an improvement on Kosovo, Iraq or Libya following our own works of improvement there. Or on Saudi Arabia, whence came the attacks of 11th September 2001. Or on Sudan, the oil-rich country that is in the midst of a popular uprising but which is not all over the news.

In the form of Elliott Abrams, the oil-rich country that is in the midst of a popular uprising and which is all over the news is now under the benign gaze of the people who brought peace and order to Kosovo, to Afghanistan, to Iraq, and to Libya. Oh, yes, they did. They did not in any way bring Islamist terrorism, or rampant pederasty (Afghanistan), or rampant people trafficking (Kosovo), or rampant heroin-trafficking (both Afghanistan and Kosovo), or open and public slave markets (Libya). Oh, no, they did not.

The neoconservatives are simultaneously conspiring to bring down the Trump Administration over ridiculous claims about Russia, and to direct its policy of regime change in, for the time being, Venezuela. They have effectively taken over both parties, making meaningful electoral choice an illusion, if that. As on the cause that is dearest of all to neoliberal hearts, the legalisation of drugs, so also on much of foreign policy, Bernie Sanders and Kween Alexandria are little or no better than the neocons.

Donald Trump’s promise of a break with neoconservatism has itself been broken, and far from withdrawing from NATO, he is lining up with Colombia, which is a candidate for NATO membership, and with Brazil, which has also now expressed the desire to join. NATO already commits us to the defence of Turkish Islamists and of Eastern European neo-Nazis. To those, we may soon be adding Latin American caudillos. We need to get the hell out of it, before it gets us into Hell.

On the grounds of the presence of Islamist militants, there was more of a case to invade numerous European countries or at least four of the Five Eyes than there was in to invade Iraq or even Afghanistan. Likewise, there is widespread, crippling hunger both in the United States and in the United Kingdom, but no one is suggesting an invasion of those countries because of the economic incompetence of their governments. Nor is anyone proposing to invade France, where dissent is currently being repressed more forcefully than in Venezuela.

Why, there are not even the sanctions that, as in Iraq, could starve even an oil-rich country into submission, because that is the point of them. Except, of course, that even sanctioned into starving Iraq did not submit, and nor will sanctioned into starving Venezuela. We all know what comes after that.

Trump is not a politician. Including the campaign that led up to his election, he will be in politics for no more than nine years, and those in the autumn of his days. He is a patriarch and a businessman, in that order, which is the correct order. He fulfils those roles in whatever capacity he happens to find himself, and his present capacity is as the President of the United States. As that, he seeks North Korea’s coal so that his dynasty might supply it to a dependent world deep into the twenty-second century, an arrangement to which the people who run North Korea seem perfectly amenable in principle. But as that, he also seeks Venezuela’s oil so that his dynasty might supply it to a dependent world deep into the twenty-second century, an arrangement with which the people who run Venezuela will have no truck. So the people who run Venezuela are just going to have to go. And in order to make them go, this businessman and patriarch now has at his disposal the full resources of the Imperial Presidency of the United States.

It is indeed time to pick a side. On one side, as ever, will be most Democrats and almost all Republicans, most Labour MPs and almost all Conservatives. They could not have shown you on a map which was Kosovo and which was Montenegro, which was Afghanistan and which was Pakistan, which was Iraq and which was Syria, which was Libya and which was Algeria, which was Syria and which was Iraq. They could not now show you on a map which was Venezuela and which was Colombia. They pedalled, and they possibly even believed, any old rubbish about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, put about by the likes of Ahmed Chalabi.

They are now pedalling, and they possibly even believe, any old rubbish about the privations in Venezuela, put about by startlingly similar characters. On the other side, as ever, will be a handful of commentators from the Unofficial Right, together with the rather larger but still mostly ignored or derided Left, which of course has always included Jeremy Corbyn.

Corbyn has been right about Kosovo, right about Afghanistan, right about Iraq, right about Libya, and right about Syria, where at least his enemies were denied the chance to give catastrophic effect to their error. Why should he, and the others who have been right on all of those occasions, be wrong about Venezuela? Ron Paul, say? Why should Ron Paul be wrong, and Mike Gapes be right?

Why should the people who have been wrong about Kosovo, which among other things is now the source of many of the illegal firearms with which Britain has been flooded, be right about Venezuela? Why should the people who have been wrong about Afghanistan, where the complete surrender that has always been inevitable is now only days or even hours away, be right about Venezuela? Why should the people who have been wrong about Iraq, be right about Venezuela? Why should the people who have been wrong about Libya, be right about Venezuela? And why should the people who have been wrong about Syria, be right about Venezuela?

A low-level legislator from one of the least populous parts of Venezuela, the 35-year-old Juan Guaidó was educated in Washington DC, before spending the whole of the intervening period inside the American regime change factory, of which he is an immediately recognisable product.

Imagine that Russia or China unilaterally recognised as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom a 35-year-old low-level legislator from one of the least populous parts of the United Kingdom, who had been educated in Moscow or Beijing before spending the whole of the intervening period inside the Russian or Chinese regime change factory. If that factory does not already exist, then it very soon will.

So that Donald Trump’s descendants might control Venezuela’s oilfields deep into the twenty-second century, and future Board member John Bolton has as good as said as much several times, we may look forward to an imminent intervention in support of the “moderate rebels” of “the Free Venezuelan Army” or some such.

As surely as the “moderate rebels” of the “Free Syrian Army” were in fact the so-called Islamic State, which in turn was in fact the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, so the “moderate rebels” of “the Free Venezuelan Army” will in fact be textbook examples of Latin American Fascism, properly so called, which in its present form is of course the Brazil of Jair Bolsonaro.

Supposedly conservative people who are lining up with Tony Blair and the Clintons against Pat Buchanan and Ron Paul, I hope that you are exactly as proud of that you ought to be.

Meanwhile, like Wikipedia, the Saudi puppet Mike Gapes, that expert who pronounces Spanish as if it were French, is already calling Guaidó “social democratic”, because of course Trump, Bolton and Bolsonaro just love social democrats. Bolton appears with a Cold War style of map, showing the countries that have recognised Guaidó in blue, and those which have not done so in red. Most Labour MPs and almost all Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats and the SNP, are of that same, downright evil frame of mind.

Another hung Parliament is coming, however, and we need our people to hold the balance of power in it.

David Lindsay is a freelance journalist and an Independent political activist based in Lanchester, County Durham.

Filed under: Afghanistan, empire watch, latest, Venezuela

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David Lindsay is a freelance journalist and an Independent political activist based in Lanchester, County Durham.

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Robert Laine

Many thanks, David, for writing about this important issue.

Given recent Middle East disasters and long history of US military interventions in Latin America there is much to worry about with the current Venezuela situation. Neo-conservative ideology has resurfaced with Bolton and “true believers” are always a threat.

Trump is a wild card. Based on public statements and actions he is not a neo-con (eg. pulling out of Afghanistan and Syria), nor a neo-lib (eg. pulling out of TPP). So the main question is: how much control does he have over Bolton and will he take his meds?

Will Venezuela and Venezuelans be able to exercise national sovereignty given that countries with economic and military power often override both sovereignty and international law. The will of the majority needs to be respected and coups resisted. Venezuela has a Constitution and democratic institutions to defend that Constitution.

In 1992 Chavez and a group of military officers attempted a coup, mainly against the neo-lib policies of the Perez government and rampant corruption. It failed, but in 1998 Chavez used the democratic process and won the presidency.

In 2002 there were large protests against government changes to the state oil company. This resulted in a coup when Carmona, the chamber of commerce president proclaimed himself president of Venezuela with military backing. However, he dissolved the Constitution, eliminated the National Assembly and, Supreme Court by decree. Two days later the military removed him and restored Chavez.

On January 23rd Guaidó became interim president of Venezuela. According to Article 233 of the 1999 Constituion, approved during the first Chavez presidency, the National Assembly(AN) has the power to declare the position of President vacant and did so when President Maduro completed his term of office on January 10, 2019. The AN stated that the presidential election of May 2018 did not adhere to the Constitution in terms of time frame etc. In the parliamentary elections of December 2015 the opposition took control for the first time since 1998 winning 67% of the seats.

A new election must be held within 30 days. It will be almost impossible to effect a new election within that time. The election has yet to be called and primaries need to be held, therefore the time limit needs to be extended.

The President of the AN becomes the Interim President of Venezuela automatically until the election if he/she accepts that responsibility. Guaidó was elected as an AN deputy in 2010, President of the AN in December 2018 and accepted the position of Interim President on January 23, 2019. Comparing the 1992 attempted coup and 2002 actual coup, this recent event appears to be neither.

As for the humanitarian crisis I would disagree that the privations are “rubbish” or that they have been caused mainly by sanctions. The latter began in 2015 under Obama and targetted individuals who were guilty of major crimes. The Trump financial sanctions of last month, however, definitely will have an impact.

Your article began by mentioning a “victory of the people” which would certainly be my desire. The majority of Venezuelans supported the Bolivarian Revolution until the crises of food scarcity, inflation etc. reached crisis stage and the government was unable to deal with them. By December of 2015 the majority wanted a change and began voting for the opposition. If a new government reverts back to a neo-liberal strategy and does not protect Venezuela’s oil sovereignty, etc., the position of the majority would likely shift again.

mark
mark

All the Blairite Backstabbers were queueing up in droves in Parliament today to slag off Venezuela and Corbyn and support the oily (ex oil trader) Alan Duncan in cheerleading for Washington’s puppet coup leader and shedding bucket loads of tears over the “poor Venezuelans.”
20 years of US economic strangulation and US threats to invade the country were a “myth.”
“We need to get behind the US. The bashing of the US in the media is disgraceful.”
“Maduro has stolen $1 billion.”

There was outrage and more bucket loads of tears over a couple of trucks carrying US supplied aid at the Colombian border.

Is there any point at all in voting Labour? Why vote for a Red Tory when you can vote for an actual Tory?

Jay-Q
Jay-Q

Interesting article on Morning Star regarding British military presence near Venezuela. Read into it what you will.

https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/b/british-military-presence-near-extremely-concerning

Antonym
Antonym

Again an article about Afghanistan without mentioning Pakistan’s continues negative influence there – a form of fake news. The Pakistani army wants Afghanistan as “strategic depth” in case of a war with India; a colony in short. Therefore they support the Taliban till today over the elected government. Uncle Sam had to buy off Pakistan for decades in order to supply their remote basis at Bagram.
Pakistan’s latest donor China also eyes the minerals in Afghanistan, while KSA wants to keep it as a safe heaven for ISIS etc.
Imagine that Afghanistan used to be Buddhist when Alexander the Great came through!
When the US moves out, the Pakistani military will move in. After they will intensify their terror support against India.

Yarkob
Yarkob

i think you’ll find Imran Khan is not like previous Pakistani leaders. if anyone can sort it out it’s him. i’m sure he’ll be assassinated soon, returning him to the mean. Inertia is as huge a factor in Pakistan as militant islam.

Antonym
Antonym

Pakistan is not a country with an (Punjabi) army but an army with a country..

Pakistani politicians are just muppets for public show, the generals and mullahs rule since decades.

mark
mark

Pakistan is just protecting itself against threats of US aggression and possible invasion by India.
It’s true they supported the Taliban – they were PAID to do so by Uncle Sam as part of dirty US geopolitical games.
Pakistan was full of CIA training camps to support CIA assets like Bin Laden.

vexarb
vexarb

The U$A owns “vassal states” not only in South America:

“France, Spain, Germany, Britain, Portugal, Sweden, Denmark, Austria and the Netherlands on Monday came a day after the expiry of an eight-day ultimatum for Maduro to call a new election.”

European nations recognise Guaido as Venezuela’s acting president
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/02/european-nations-recognise-guaido-venezuela-acting-president-190204122026259.html

Yarkob
Yarkob

but not plucky little “populist” italy. another reason to denigrate them for the shills in the commission.

Gezzah Potts
Gezzah Potts

Vexarb: way down here in Australia, ever so keen to prove it’s abject loyalty and deference to the hegemon, Foreign Minister Marise Payne recognised Guiado as Venezuela’s ‘legitimate president’ back on January 27th. Almost nothing an Australian Govt, (whether Labor or Liberal is irrelevant) will do to bend the knee to those who give the orders. Sad and pathetic. And most Australian’s fully believe they live in an independent, sovereign nation, and the United States is ‘an ally’. Tho I’m sure quite a few do realise the truth, as evidenced by Aussie commentators here and other alternative news sites.

Yarkob
Yarkob

But not insignificant little New Zealand. The cheek of that woman, not bending the knee to the hegemons

Gezzah Potts
Gezzah Potts

Hah! Yarkorb, am actually a Kiwi living in Aussie. Yeah, a bit reminiscent of David Lange and the NZ Govts anti nuclear stance, which caused Uncle Sam to express much angst from memory, however it was the Lange Labor Govt (and slimy Roger Douglas) who went gung ho Thatcher, and implented Neoliberalist economic ‘reforms’ in NZ. But, end of the day New Zealand is still very much part of the Five Eyes.

Oslo - Norway
Jay-Q
Jay-Q

Excellent link – thanks for posting – anyone with any interest in the situation in Venezuela should take the time to read this article.

Tim Jenkins
Tim Jenkins

Not just some excellent on the ground researched journalism with some objective history of the situation in Venezuela , Jay-Q , one could easily add that the photo (not shopped) of Guaido’s naked arse, is also of a fine quality as evidence & an excellent demonstration of what a complete ass & CIA propaganda sock-puppet Guaido really is, his attention grabbing methods & mentality, and how anyone with a brain found the violent guttersnipe ever credible , remains an embarrassing mystery to all nations supporting such a political non-entity, who loves flashing his arse to demonstrate, when his brain fails to even fart start his image management,

Talk about childish & those supporting Guaido, equally so . . .

vexarb
vexarb

RTJ, you have nailed it to the mast: The Manifesto of the Truther Party!

Without such a Party and a Leader who matches up to that Manifesto, the people stumble in darkness.

“Ye shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall set ye free”. — New Testament

crank
crank

Or on Saudi Arabia, whence came the attacks of 11th September 2001.

Fail.

Care
Care

Littering and rubbishing every corner of the planet is appalling but they are standard procedures for the imperialists –part of their DNA.

Even when exploring the moon, US astronauts left a huge mess.

The lunar surface is strewn with hundreds of manmade items, from spacecraft to bags of urine

Apparently, crash-landing is a standard procedure to end unmanned lunar missions, leaving tons of garbage in a supposedly pristine location.

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/12/the-trash-weve-left-on-the-moon/266465/

Fair dinkum
Fair dinkum

The Dollar dies.
The oils rise.
Handy, that.
https://www.truthdig.com/articles/goodbye-to-the-dollar/

Jen
Jen

“… A low-level legislator from one of the least populous parts of Venezuela, the 35-year-old Juan Guaidó was educated in Washington DC, before spending the whole of the intervening period inside the American regime change factory, of which he is an immediately recognisable product …”

This understatement about Guaidó in David Lindsay’s post might suggest the fellow was groomed in hermetically sealed and plush surrounds but Off-Guardian readers should not be lulled into thinking that Guaidó is a green, smooth-talking cardboard cut-out clone of Barack Obama or Emmanuel Macron.

Elsewhere in his post, Lindsay says most US and UK politicians across the political spectrum would not know where to locate Montenegro or Kosovo on a map. I’m betting that of all people, Guaidó sure knows where these places are. He appears to be linked to a group of Venezuelan right-wing opposition university students identified by a US-funded regime-change organisation that arose from OTPOR, the organisation that organised the protests that overthrew Slobodan Milosevic as President of Serbia.

Dan Cohen and Max Blumenthal, “The Making of Juan Guaido: How the US Regime Change Laboratory Created Venezuela’s Coup Leader”
https://www.mintpressnews.com/the-making-of-juan-guaido-how-the-us-regime-change-laboratory-created-venezuela-coup-leader/254387/

Jen
Jen

>i>”… He appears to be linked to a group of Venezuelan right-wing opposition university students identified by a US-funded regime-change organisation that arose from OTPOR, the organisation that organised the protests that overthrew Slobodan Milosevic as President of Serbia …”

Aaack, as usual I got distracted and didn’t complete the sentence properly. It should read:

“… He appears to be linked to a group of Venezuelan right-wing opposition university students identified as future rebel protest leaders and insurrectionists by a US-funded regime-change organisation that arose from OTPOR, the organisation that organised the protests that overthrew Slobodan Milosevic as President of Serbia …”

Jay-Q
Jay-Q

I’ve just returned from two weeks in the Daily Mail comments section and I have been left staggered and flummoxed by the things I was reading over there in regards to the anti-Maduro/pro-coup/pro-Trump comments. As they run an upvote/downvote system, as in here, one is able to gauge how ones comments are being received. Even factual comments would receive a large number of down votes. What truly astounded me were the constant stream of comments linking Corbyn to Venezuelan ‘socialism’, and stories in the US media about poor Venezuelans eating their pets and raiding zoos because they were starving (starving masses was also a common theme).

Robert Hardman of the Daily Mail is a disgusting piece of work and his articles on the DM are classic Goebbels propaganda – grave robbing to steal jewellery to buy food; extermination teams, children and disabled being arrested and tortured for no reason. That kind of stuff.

Another thing that struck me was the rejection of comparisons to Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Egypt and Libya. That Venezuela was somehow different and a righteous cause. I was strongly under the impression that the comments sections were actually being manipulated by counter-intelligence, such as information warfare, or even by Venezuelan opposition themselves.

What really sticks out is just how quickly it seems that the propaganda has been soaked up by so many. The US audience are showing signs of being hysterical, such are the divisions in that country. The coup in Venezuela has bipartisan support, which in itself is bizarre. The Guardian opened up an article by Simon Jenkins (crap) and it was good to see that many over there aren’t falling for the regime-change propaganda, although some were. These days it is hard to tell if comments are genuine posters or paid trolls, 77th Brigade/Integrity Initiative etc.

Loverat
Loverat

Jay-Q

Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria were all good causes in the eyes of many just before the destruction was unleased – WMD, human rights, terrorism narratives. Most people,(and more than average in DM) don’t have the intelligence or attention span to reflect on the track record of regime change and war. They can only think in the present hence why 25 years of murder and chaos is forgotten. Now it’s Venezuala – lap up the lies, destroy it – criticise the war when it’s revealed as a fraud – forget that and support the next war. Probably Iran after this one.

People never learn hence why mankind is on borrowed time.

To be fair though, your experience is not typical of some mainstream outlets. For example The Independent have good reader comments – I don’t read the articles to learn what;s going on – just the comments.

vexarb
vexarb

@Loverat: “The Independent have good reader comments – I don’t read the articles to learn what’s going on – just the comments.”

Same here (in the days when I used to follow MSM). Glad to hear it still holds. Same as the Indie had two half-decent ME reporters.

eddie
eddie

If Robert Fisk is relegated to “half-decent”, then we might as well call it a day, imo. Cockburn is also half-decent, and both are still at the Indie.

I briefly signed on there, and had others posting comments under my user name.. Live and learn..

Glasshopper
Glasshopper

The Indie comments section has become a second home for un-hinged remainers to pledge their undying love for Brussels when the comments are down at The Guardian. Dejevsky, Fisk and Cockburn are all worth reading, but most of the comments come from obsessive EUrophiles locked out of the first home.

Andy
Andy

I occassionally go there and post, but rarely do the posts appear. It may appear that nearly all the commentators are swivel eyed loons though I suspect thats partly because they have a filter to keep any one showing signs of sanity out.

Bootlyboob
Bootlyboob

What struck while me watching a news report of the protests against Maduro a couple of days ago were the actual protestors themselves. They were all wealthy looking, well fed, well clothed middle to upper class people. Some were even in suits, like they just somehow stepped out of the office to protest Maduro on their lunch break. I thought the whole narrative was it was the poverty stricken masses (in their millions?) that were protesting against the evil dictator and this whole intervention was a humanitarian issue? Obviously, for the mainstream media, a protest can mean whatever you want it to mean: just show the images, tell the story that suits your purpose and the majority will believe it.

I haven’t watched the news in Australia for a while because it generally infuriates me but a few months ago I saw a member of our Labor party, Tanya Plibersek, who I actually kind of like as a person, condemn Maduro on television in the same banal, baseless way that basically everyone is now. I was actually quite disappointed but I was not surprised. I don’t believe a lot on the left actually believe stuff like this when they say it. It’s more like self preservation, because the Israel lobby is very strong in Australian politics (our Labor candidates have pretty much been through the same smear campaign as Corbyn).

This is a pretty interesting article:
https://middleeastrealitycheck.blogspot.com/2019/01/kevin-rudds-pm-years.html

eddie
eddie

You don’t remember 2002? The same scenario is happenning now, but with a whole 5 Eyes mob involved, not just a chancy CIA one-off..

Gezzah Potts
Gezzah Potts

Jay-Q. Its the mainstream ‘media’. Thats their purpose: to manufacture consent, to obfuscate, to censor, to lie, to titillate, to distract with 500 different things, to provide smokescreens….. To Protect The Status Quo. Journalists manipulate us in the interests of the powerful, the oligarchy. I think Mark made this comment couple days ago: ‘its all a theatre, and they tell us when to clap and when to boo’. Exactly.

Glasshopper
Glasshopper

The Simon Jenkins (crap) piece was anti regime change, like all his pieces on Libya, Syria, Iraq etc.

I’m not sure why you felt obliged to put in the “C” word.

Jenkins may be the only non interventionist left at The Guardian.

Jay-Q
Jay-Q

I found many things wrong with the Jenkins piece. For starters, the premise of the article is that Maduro needs US intervention to shore up his position is patently false and misleading – “one thing alone could save the Maduro regime in Venezuela. That is western intervention.” This is pure journalistic fantasy. Intervention is the last thing Maduro or the Chavista’s want or needs – it would be catastrophic; it would strengthen their position one bit.

The caricature of Maduro as a madman, tyrant who would welcome civil war and setting his troops on fellow Venezuelans is an essential part of the regime-change/intervention narrative. As it stands, a civil war would initially be a one-sided bloodbath until foreign soldiers and weapons arrived to support the right wing and far-right in Venezuela. In one respect it is the Guardian’s fake attempt at showing balance whilst it has already made it clear that it supports the objectives of the US, UK and EU.

Plus, there is a distinct lack of historical insight into the situation in the country, where Jenkins chooses to deliberately paper over the cracks of the previous political and economic mess in Venezuela prior to Chavez taking power – “It was a (relatively) peaceful and prosperous country before Hugo Chávez.” Relative to what? Jenkins quickly moves on and refuses to linger on context.

As if scribbled on the back of a fag packet, Jenkins’s 2nd to last paragraph is a stark contradiction. First, supporting the idea of non-intervention and sovereignty. Secondly, he then claims that – “Outside intervention is its one best hope.” Which one is it?

“Now those Venezuelans who have not fled the chaos are facing the dreadful moment of having to topple their own government.” This is a disingenuous use of journalistic license. The capital classes in Venezuela are outnumbered by those in the country who are not involved in the regime change mentioned – this minority is attempting to overthrow a government that has been voted in to rule. Jenkins offers no condemnation of the affect this would have on the many millions who would immediately become disenfranchised should the minority succeed in toppling the Maduro government. Hence, it contributes to the narrative even if it is more discrete. No mention of the 6 million Venezuelans who voted for Maduro and his party at the last election, just under 1/3 of the electorate.

His article provides such scant context for the situation on the ground – socio-political, economic, class, – that it comes across as not even half finished. No mention of the many millions of people in Venezuela who are from neighbouring countries – that many of those leaving Venezuela are not even Venezuelan. That Guaido is a right-winger from a minority party, schooled and trained in the USA, and represents a class of people who will return Venezuela to the same economic model that will make the poor second and third class citizens in their own country.

Those in control of the means of production are largely from the private sector that controls over 2/3 of the economy. Those bemoaning the lack of ‘free press’ in Venezuela say nothing of the anti-government, anti-Maduro press that is largely free to be one-sided and myopic, if not outright dangerous. The simple fact of the matter is that the US has been attempting to destabilise Venezuela for 20 years and that this campaign has contributed to the dire situation in the country.

How hard would it have been for Jenkins to use his imagination and have a little bit of vision about how Venezuela can be rescued both from itself and without military, economic and political interference? Even if the West and the capital classes in Venezuela succeed in staging the coup, little is being said about the disastrous consequences this would pose for the country.

One has to ask, why are The Guardian publishing such shallow and ‘unfinished’ articles? Jenkins is a veteran ‘journalist’, could he not have given the article just another 10 minutes of his time to elaborate?

Glasshopper
Glasshopper

Venezuela has significant support from China and Russia on top of it’s colossal oil reserves, and yet it is a basket case. A Venezuelan friend of mine told me it was a basket case long before Maduro took over. People were afraid to leave the house due to the crime levels.

Plenty of countries – Iran for example – function under far worse sanctions and intimidation than Venezuela has ever had to put up with, and it has long been clear that the country is dismally mismanaged.

Jenkins opposes regime change by force, while acknowledging the status quo cannot continue. This is not a neocon perspective, it is common sense.

Jay-Q
Jay-Q

There is very little separating the neocons from the neoliberals. Force is not limited to neocons, as has been proven time and time again. In fact the Neocons and Neoliberals have a splendid little merry-go-round going on. When neocon politics fails they always have the ‘common sense’ of the neoliberals to fall back on.

mark
mark

Neighbouring Colombia (now a NATO member) has had a decades long US sponsored civil war that cost 250,000 lives, with 7 million internal refugees (more than Syria.) Tens of thousands of peasant farmers, indigenous people and trade unionists were slaughtered by US trained and bankrolled death squads. But for some strange reason you don’t see anything about it in the Guardian and you don’t get all the Blairite Backstabber MPs shedding bucket loads of tears about it in Parliament. Odd.

mark
mark

The article was probably supplied direct by MI6 or the FCO for some bought and paid for hack stooge to put their name on it. Whether it’s Jenkins or Harding or Sid Scurvy, Ace Reporter for the Daily Bugle, doesn’t really matter.

eddie
eddie

The shrieking, provocative nature of many of their comments suggest a large group of spy-agency troll farmers. The average person is simply not that stupid.

Glasshopper
Glasshopper

This is exactly the kind of language found at CIF when there is disagreement, except of course it’s Russian Troll /Putin Bot etc over there. It’s ironic that this site is becoming more and more like CIF all the time.

mark
mark

Probably Captain Mainwaring and his men at the 77th Brigade.

mark
mark

What a lot of people don’t realise is that the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to the US is greater, in real terms, than the cost of fighting WW2 (of course the cost to the people of those countries is far greater.)
How can this be, given the great campaigns in the Pacific, Normandy, and so on, in WW2?
Firstly, the scale and duration of those wars is far greater than realised.
Over 3 million troops have been rotated through those countries. From the US, and obviously a lot of US satellite countries have supplied forces, like the UK and many other vassal states, and proxy terrorist groups.
Some of those troops were given enlistment bonuses of $50,000 and more.
The duration of those wars, 18 years and counting.
The gargantuan cost of the equipment used. Like Javelin missiles used by infantry at £70,000 a throw.
The monumental waste, graft and incompetence that are characteristic features of the campaigns.
The logistics nightmare of fighting in landlocked hell holes like Afghanistan, where a gallon of petrol costs $250 at the point of delivery.
They have so far cost over $4,700 billion and will cost at least $7,000 billion, provided they are wound down in the near future, which is extremely unlikely. Slightly more than the Neocons’ “$60 billion, tops.”
This is why bridges and levees are falling down in the US and why there is no money for health care or anything else. Aggression and imperialism don’t come cheap.

Jay-Q
Jay-Q

Great post, Mark.

Rhisiart Gwilym
Rhisiart Gwilym

Lost me in the first paragraph, David. Do you REALLY still believe that the 11/9/01 attacks were made in Saudi Arabia? If this is truly the level of your savvy, you’ll just be relegated to yet another commentator whom I don’t bother to follow. Do catch up. Bald hint: It was a made-in-Isael scam, with a clique of traitorous USAmerican ‘elite’ stiffs also involved. That’s it in a nutshell, on the present balance of – real-world – evidence. The sort of thing that would actually stand up in an – honest – court of law. Do you REALLY imagine that the comic-opera ‘Desert Song’ clods of the al-Saud kindred are in any way capable of organising such a sting? After watching their hopeless, utterly, stupidly barbarous performance in Yemen; quite apart from the ludicrous dark-age condition of their own ersatz ‘state’? They couldn’t even organise a clean, efficient murder of Khashoggi, ffs!

Or were you just being sophisticatedly ironic?

vexarb
vexarb

@Gwyliam: “Lost me in the first paragraph, David. Do you REALLY still believe that the 11/9/01 attacks were made in Saudi Arabia?”

Hear, hear! The author might be covering his rear, like those two half-decent ME reporters on the Indie. Throwing a quote from the Catechism of 911 as a sop to Cerberus.

Glasshopper
Glasshopper

Neither you, nor Lindsay, nor i know the facts about 9/11. You are talking out of your hat.

BigB
BigB

Three buildings – two planes. The third building (Building 7) did not fall from fire damage. The temporary, localised suspension of the laws of physics. Not facts enough to infer who did do it: facts enough to rule out who did not do it. 19 men with boxcutters – along with the rest of the official story – is an obvious fallacy.

Glasshopper
Glasshopper

So you don’t know what you’re talking about either.

It seems to be a recurring theme around here.

Admin
Admin
Admin

Explain what was inaccurate about BigB’s comment or be dismissed as a troll. Don’t post any more one line sniper attacks, if you disagree cite sources or give explanations

Glasshopper
Glasshopper

While i share your scepticism of the official 9/11 narrative, there is plenty of evidence of the Saudis with boxcutters. If you want to say they were aided by controlled explosions, fair enough. The poster attempted to undermine the author, Mr Lindsay, on the grounds that he highlighted a Saudi link. He then embarked on the tiresome “it wuz the Jooz wot dun it” routine.

I have read and watched widely on this topic and am unconvinced with the official narrative like most people. However the kind of conspiracy we’re encouraged to believe by many, would involve thousands of accomplices, and until we start to see convincing whistle blowers come forward, i shall remain sceptical of their narratives too.

vexarb
vexarb

GlassHopper, pray set out facts about 911 to counter the facts from Architects&Engineers for 911 Truth. Plainly, clearly, briefly and without careful hopping over fragile glass of the Official Catechism.

“Only the facts, Ma’am, just gimme the facts”. — Dragnet.

Rhisiart Gwilym
Rhisiart Gwilym

He/she/they can’t do that Vex. But this is the sort of thing that trolls and hasbarollocksers do routinely, whenever the subject comes up. The evidence-body accumulated by such as AE9/11Truth – of which I’m a long-time member – and the recent book published by David Ray Griffin and Elizabeth Woodworth, ‘9/11 Unmasked’, as well as a slew of other high-quality sources within the truth-seeking global community of volunteers demonstrates – literally beyond reasonable doubt already – that the atrocities simply had to have been a false flag. No other conclusion remotely complies with basic physics realities. That basic reality is now established beyond any credible questioning. This, together with Chris Bollyn’s tireless investigative research and information-aggregation, allow any serious dweller in the real world to say quite categorically – with massive chapter and verse – It was a false-flag; and the perps. were Israeli, USAmerican, and dual-nationality stiffs drawn, from the ‘elite’ gic-class (gangsters-in-charge) in those two states. The geo-realpolitikal reasons why – to do with the ziocrims’ sick-souled purposes in the ME – have also become more starkly obvious with time.

Some back-handed comfort to see how they’ve failed, though, isn’t it…? :O) Sheer evil doesn’t always triumph.

Glasshopper
Glasshopper

I don’t know the facts. And neither do you. There are plenty of articles disputing Richard Gage and the A and E “facts” as a quick google will confirm.
As far as i’m concerned, the official 9/11 story is unconvincing, and they certainly look like controlled explosions to me. However, unlike you i do not know the “facts”, and will wait until i do.

Rhisiart Gwilym
Rhisiart Gwilym

Your first sentence may be correct, Glass. Your second one is definitely wrong. Now troll along, do! Byeee!

rtj1211
rtj1211

There is a rather interesting paradox about independent-mindedness in whipped bipartisan political herds: you tend to find less and less reason to join such parties.

So the likelihood is that most if not all people who are prepared to stand squarely against Boltonism in all its facets (up to and including telling all US citizens wishing to live in this country than they cannot support his policies and stay here) are not part of any organised political machine to get elected.

There is after all no party openly espousing:

1) Strict limits on foreign ownership of Uk housing stock;
2) Strong policies limiting second home ownership in time of uncontrolled immigration and population surges;
3) A clean Brexit followed by proper control of immigration;
4) A resignation from NATO and an expulsion of US Forces from this country;
5) Tax breaks for mutually owned organisations and removal of charitable status for all organisations actively liaising with security services to maintain privilege through despicable and parasitic spying;
6) Ensuring that all pension contributions of those living outside SE England are managed outside SE England by those living outside SE England;
7) Managing science and medicine according to prudent financial principles (which will mean widespread relocation of most medical and scientific research to the regions outside London for cost purposes);
8) Abolition of FPTP elections and replacement with properly proportional systems, creation of an English Parliament to be located in a regional city;
9) Requirement of all senior organisation officials to declare annually who they have put under surveillance through informed consent and to sign away their lives if they are spying without informed consent on any UK citizen free of criminal records or mental health concerns;
10) A non-negotiable commitment to ensure appropriate taxation of corporates and UHNWIs, to include incarceration without trial or access to legal representation, asset appropriation and offshore asset recovery upon stonewalling, lying or otherwise attempting to continue tax avoidance and/or evasion;
11) A requirement for all Remoaners to house a family of immigrants at their own expense until said immigrants can look after themselves;
12) An absolute commitment to murder without trial any Uk and/or EU officials who attempt to permanently stall or stymie a clean Brexit through the use of delaying Backstops prior to removal of Article50 from EU treaties. This will definitely include Verhofstadt, Barnier and Selmayr, but in no way will be limited to those three.