empire watch, latest, United States, Venezuela

The US Must Be Stopped in Venezuela

Andre Vltchek

Enough is enough! There have been plenty of empty talk and peace conferences, more than enough of begging: “Please, West, stop murdering people, stop your genocides, stop robbing all continents of their resources, stop enslaving billions!”

Look where it has ended up! Nowhere. Absolutely nowhere. The more people begged, the more they protested, the harder the West hit.

Rulers in Washington, London and Paris have no mercy. They have no sense of justice. They only know greed and power.

On February 13, 2019, RT reported [emphasis added]:

The US staked a claim on half the world, as Senate Armed Services Committee chair Jim Inhofe said Washington might have to intervene in Venezuela if Russia dares set up a military base not just there, but “in our hemisphere.”

“Our hemisphere”

Finally, it is all out in the open. The good old ‘Monroe Doctrine’. In the Western Hemisphere (which is obviously owned by the US), there is not one single ‘Latin’ country where the West has not overthrown the government, where it has not raped the will of the people, where it did not stop socialism. From the Dominican Republic to Chile!

Do you know why we have fascism in Brazil, Colombia and elsewhere? Because our left wing leaders have either been murdered, or imprisoned.

The record of human rights violations is monstrous. The cynicism of what has been going on is equally repulsive.

And now, Washington basically warns Russia and others: Do not dare to come close and help your friends and allies in the region! Just stay back and watch from a safe distance, how we rape one country after another. And if you dare to intervene, we will hit even harder at the victims. We will not only violate Venezuela: we will kick her with our military boots, we will put bullets through her arms and legs, chain her as we did the African slaves who built our country! We can do it, because Europeans, those colonialists whose blood circulates in our veins, and those South American elites, who are of the same stock as we are, would again sit in their cafes and on their couches, enjoying the show, applauding us from distance!

This should be the last drop. No, no more words, please. Action! This banditry, this terrorism has to be stopped.

Mr Trump, Mr Inhofe, damn you! People are not cattle and they are not slaves. You wish they were, but they are not! You treated them like animals, you fooled them, robbed them of everything; you and your kind, for decades and centuries. But even you yourself must be aware of this, or at least suspect: all this atrocity has to end; one day, very soon!

RT commented:

Inhofe said that a flow of Russian troops or weapons into the Western hemisphere “would be a threat to the United States of America.” The United States, meanwhile, reads from a different rulebook.

The US maintains nearly 800 military bases in over 70 countries worldwide, with a foothold on every continent. And, while Inhofe wants to keep an entire hemisphere free from Russian influence, the US is currently in talks to establish a permanent military base in Poland, right on Russia’s doorstep. Given the long history of animosity between Poland and Russia, the Polish government has offered to cough up $2 billion towards setting up the base.

Further afield, no hemisphere is beyond the reach of the United States. The US military divides the globe up into six Combatant Command ‘Areas of Responsibility,’ which it maintains in times of peace and war. Russia, meanwhile, divides its territory into four military districts, all within its own borders.

Who agreed on this sick double standard? Who gave green light for this terror? France, Germany, U.K. and few other Western countries/beneficiaries? Is this what China wants, India accepts?

Venezuela is our sister. It is the sister of Russia and Cuba, of Iran, Bolivia and even China.

This is truly a decisive moment.

Compromises and weakness of the past broke the neck of the anti-imperialist struggle; compromises during the Gorbachev and Yeltsin eras led to the destruction of Afghanistan, of Yugoslavia, Iraq and several other countries. History should never repeat itself!

Reason is not what can be expected from the West. It controlled the entire world through colonialism, and it now tries to do the same by imperialist thuggery.

If it is not stopped, it will again subjugate our entire planet.

Russia, Cuba, China, Iran and others have to defend Venezuela! If necessary, they should fight for it! Decent people and decent countries should not negotiate with brutal and merciless bandits. They should not be told by brigands what to do and how to behave; what actions to take!

There should be no double standards, anymore, if we want our humanity to survive.

For years and centuries, the West has been pushing; it is trying to see, how far it can go and what it can get away with. If it is not stopped, it will take it all. If non-Western countries do not fight for their rights in unison, protecting each other, they will go back to where they used to be – to slavery. It is not a fantasy – just look at the world map of the very beginning of the 20th century! We have already had this situation on our Earth, before.

In Venezuela, if we have to fight, we will be fighting for Johannesburg and Moscow, Beijing and Havana, for Teheran, Damascus and Mexico City. We will be fighting against oppression, slavery and colonialism.

Thank you for your honesty, Mr. Inhofe! Your words sound very familiar: we heard them before, in London, Paris, Berlin and Pretoria.

And this is our reply to you: you are not a global policeman, you are simply a thug who has to be stopped! And sooner than later, humanity will curse you, and your bloody imperialist degeneracy will be put to an end!

Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He has covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. Three of his latest books are Revolutionary Optimism, Western Nihilism, a revolutionary novel “Aurora” and a bestselling work of political non-fiction: “Exposing Lies Of The Empire”. View his other books here. Watch Rwanda Gambit, his groundbreaking documentary about Rwanda and DRCongo and his film/dialogue with Noam Chomsky “On Western Terrorism”. Vltchek presently resides in East Asia and the Middle East, and continues to work around the world. He can be reached through his website and his Twitter.

68 Comments

  1. mark says

    Branson is laying on some kind of pop concert against Maduro to support Trump’s regime change plans. These billionaires like to stick together.

  2. Michael McNulty says

    Russia and China invested money in Venezuela to help the country grow. The US wants to steal Venezuela. And they’re the good guys? The world won’t be safe until America’s a ruin.

  3. On a Lighter Note, the British Foreign Minister has opened his mouth. Anon BTL Saker Vineyard, just about the kindest comment there:

    “Anonymous on February 16, 2019 · at 1:55 pm EST/EDT

    It is interesting the state of the political systems that promote men such as him and Bolton to high, responsible positions in charge of military and foreign policy of nations. It is a symptom of the collapse and breakdown of nations like the UK and the USA that they are now incapable of putting well-trained, qualified and intelligent people into positions of power. It used to be that even when the appointment went to political pot, the permanent staff and some general sanity in the government kept them at least close to the reservation. But not any more. It is quite obvious that not only are people who are incompetent running things, but that the system has so broken down that they have no one to restrain them.”

    • bevin says

      The Foreign Minister is bad-the entire government is rotten to the core-but the Defence minister is worse. The very worst. I believe that he got his current job by proving his worth as Party Whip, blackmailing and bullying Tory MPs into not following their instincts and voting against May.
      Having proved that he could do that he has now been elevated to a position in which he can attempt to bully China and blackmail Russia- the results are predictably abysmal.
      But the good thing is that Mr Williamson- who looks uncannily like Tony Blair- is proving that he lacks any of the qualities needed to be successful politically, except the ability to bully weaklings and blackmail hypocrites.

  4. Stephen Morrell says

    There’s no doubting that Venezuela right now is on the verge of a pre-revolutionary situation, and right now is the time to act decisively. Venezuelan workers, with oil industry workers in the lead, can suppress the rightwing opposition by stopping the economy dead with a general strike, run by elected strike committees, to immediately end the sabotage by the Venezuelan bourgeoisie. A general strike really is the only way to begin an adequate response to this coup.

    The extant grass roots organisations must be mobilised quickly in solidarity with the strike and other actions, and, importantly, seize the warehouses hoarding many of the vital necessities. Workers and citizens militias must be formed under the command of the elected strike committees to effect this and help distribute badly needed supplies and medicines. Existing militias must be enlisted and placed under the command of the workers defense organisations to arrest and disarm those murderous opposition forces (guarimbaistas) who are burning people alive. Supporters of this attempted coup must be let known in no uncertain terms that they’re a minority and will be subject to the will of the strike committees.

    Revolutionary-minded elected leaders of the general strike would say this to the Maduro government: “We defend you against this imperialist-orchestrated attack because we’re defending ourselves and the gains already made for workers and the poor of Venezuela. But we offer you no political support. You are corrupt and incompetent, and are still a capitalist government. You have compromised our existence by allowing for too long the capitalist class to sabotage any small gains we’ve made; and you’ve made unacceptable concessions to the imperialists. We have no illusions that you are ‘socialist’. Since you’ve not prevented the depredations of the bourgeoisie, we will expropriate them and end their sabotage and exploitation once and for all. We will subject the whole economy to democratic planning, and you will answer to the leadership of our strike committees or whichever organs of workers power (eg, soviets) will evolve from our struggle. Do not stand in our way”.

    To the rank and file of the military, revolutionary-minded striking workers’ leaders would say this: “Are you with us or against us in our fight against the imperialist aggressor and the domestic bourgeois saboteurs? Are you for a real ‘Bolivarian Revolution’ where the workers and the oppressed take full control of the economy and have a genuine say over how the country is run and the direction society will move? If you support this, then join us in defense of our mobilisations and of our rights against the reactionary opposition and their bourgeois masters; and help us defend Venezuela against this crude imperialist attack. This is a historic opportunity for you to play a key role in cutting the Gordian knot of imperialist strangulation, sabotage by the local capitalist class, and failing social and vital services.”

    To their Latin American and US class brothers and sisters, the strike committee leadership would appeal with: “Stand with us and use your industrial power to prevent your rulers from interfering with our struggle and decisively break the US siege. Strike where it hurts them: shut down their airports and other vital transport arteries until they desist with this flagrant coup attempt. If we lose this, either a Venezuelan Pinochet or a direct US military occupation, like Iraq, will be the bloody result. Without your help and solidarity we cannot prevail against the imperialist juggernaut.”

    Unfortunately, revolutionary-minded leaders of major strikes and rebellions don’t come out of thin air, or from existing workers organisations like trade unions. A revolutionary party is needed for that, and Venezuela, like everywhere else, suffers from a crisis of revolutionary leadership, ie, its absence.

    For a Venezuelan general strike! No ‘negotiation’ with the coup plotters who already have blood on their hands! Drive Chevron and Halliburton out of Venezuela! Cancel all debt repayments to the imperialist bankers and financiers! Expropriate the bloodsucker oligarchs and banks! For a real workers government of Venezuela!

    19
    1
  5. Bernard R J says

    I’d much prefer the imperialsm of the West to the dictatorships of Russia and China, which is what we’ll inherit if the West falls. It’s in the nature of Man to seek to conquer and rule. The question is, “Which system of tyranny is the more preferable?” I think I’ll take my chances with Western tyranny for now thanks.

    50
    • No one’s offering you that choice. You’ve swallowed the American NATO narrative. Russia has an economy roughly the size of Italy and spends roughly a tenth as much as America on “defence”. Certainly, it is a nuclear power and has as yet untapped resources but it’s no more a “dictatorship” than America is. China meanwhile, is as ever, going its own way and has not threatened “the western hemisphere”. It (China) will conquer the world economically at some point, aided and abetted by America, who has gambled on a military based economy. It can’t change direction without crashing the economy, so the only way forward is to keep taking countries one by one.
      The “dictatorship” you are scared of is the one presented by Hollywood – an evil foreigner in charge of a authoritarian regime where people are disappeared at night. The “dictatorship” you have is “managed democracy”, one you vote for every now and then. You should be very scared of it.

      35
      • Martyn Wood-Bevan says

        If you use GDP that us true. PPP is a more accurate term for measuring economic strength and by that measure Russia is 5th equals with Germany, with UK 9th (Purchasing Power Parity).

        • mark says

          Very good point.
          Bismarck said, “Russia is never as strong as it seems. But it is never as weak as it seems either.”
          People swallow whole deceptive dollar comparisons,
          US $20 trillion GNP v. Russia $1.6 trillion.
          US military budget $1,134 billion v. Russia $61 billion, with a planned reduction to $46 billion.
          But firstly, that money buys about 3x as much in Russia as in the US.
          So the discrepancy isn’t quite so large.
          Then there is the issue of these figures being expressed in $.
          After Maidan in 2014, the US organised a speculative attack on the ruble, driving it down from 30 to the $ to 80. So by this measurement, the “size” of the Russian economy fell by more than half overnight, though they were producing the same amount of steel, oil, wheat, cars, tractors etc. It has since risen to about 55. Washington was hoping to wreck the economy and force Moscow to use up the large gold and foreign currency reserves. But they didn’t play ball – just let the ruble float. Exports were cheaper and imports more expensive. A big boost for domestic production.
          And then again the US is never as strong as it seems either. 40% of the US economy is parasitic finance capitalism – our Goldman Sachs chums shuffling pieces of paper around Wall St. and pretending they are worth billions, contributing precisely nothing to the real economy. Another 18% is “healthcare”, charging $750 for a pill that costs a few cents to produce, and $5,000 for an ambulance journey. So every piece of price gouging, every extortionate pill and ambulance journey, artificially boost the size of the US economy.
          Then there is the gargantuan military budget. $21 trillion has officially “gone missing” from the US military budget and cannot be accounted for. There is monumental waste, corruption, graft and mismanagement. What is not looted or wasted is frittered away on white elephant projects that are complete failures, 1,000 global military bases and golf courses for generals, and troops in 50 out of 52 African countries.
          Then there are failed military adventures like Iraq and Afghanistan, 18 years and counting, $7,000 billion and counting.
          So maybe Bismarck was right – but don’t bother trying to explain it to the Exceptional And Indispensable People.

          11
    • Yarkob says

      Western tyranny has been tried and found hideously wanting, i’m afraid. Time for change whether or not suckers like you are ready for it or not. Clearly you drank deeply from the kool-aid urn and are not ready at all..

      you’ll need to go and live in the USSA if you want to continue to get ass-fucked whilst your tormentors are smiling at you from their private jets, whilst counting the money they’ve stolen from your grandchildren

      25
      • Bernard RJ says

        Unfortunately key board warriors like yourself typically revert to insults and aggression rather than facts and reasoned arguments when someone disagrees with your particular point of view. This modus operandi is exactly the alternative you propose in place of Western tyranny. I’m not so naïve to believe the western powers are motivated by anything other than self interest. Nonetheless, what are you proposing as an alternative which would be better. May I suggest you study, from credible sources, the history of 20th century Europe. You may also wish to study 20th Latin American history, especially that of Cuba and similar dictatorships.

        1
        37
        • milosevic says

          You might take your own advice, and compare social conditions in Cuba with any other country in Latin America or the Caribbean, particularly those which have been subjected to repeated Humanitarian Interventions, such as Haiti.

          United Nations Human Development Index

          27
          • bevin says

            Cuba compares well in such matters as health, life expectancy and infant mortality with the United States, never mind Haiti.

        • Where are your facts and reasoned arguments? You’ve merely presented standard capitalist talking points then insulted and made demands of others.

          You’re a drone by the looks.

          17
    • mark says

      This is a false choice, entirely bogus. Russia and China have always been status quo powers. They are largely content with what they have. Huge nations which do not subjugate other countries or seek to grab territory because there are oil wells or gold mines or agricultural land there. Rulers of those countries, going back hundreds of years, whether they are kings, emperors, Bolsheviks, communists, have been preoccupied with holding on to power from challengers, and developing and modernising their vast territories. They have enough on their plate doing this without following the pattern of western countries of slaughter, massacre, genocide, slavery, exploitation and tyranny across the planet. They wish mainly to be left in peace but have had to fight savage wars against invaders seeking to behave in those countries as they did towards African natives.

      If Russia or China had become the dominant world power, the end results would have been altogether more humane and less bloody than the imperialist rampage across the planet that actually occurred. In the 1400s, Admiral Cheng Ho led a vast naval fleet on a voyage of discovery across Asia and Africa. They did not massacre, enslave or exploit. They gave lavish gifts to local rulers who were willing to symbolically acknowledge the Emperor as the Son of Heaven, and took back novelties like giraffes back home to amuse the Emperor. Then they lost interest in the outside world and concentrated on their internal problems.

      It’s the same story with the Tsars. They never invaded their neighbours, just fought back against foreign aggressors seeking rich pickings in Russia. This has been true from the times of Ivan The Terrible, through Stalin to the present day. Russia has never been interested in colonising other countries. Stalin was never interested in proletarian revolutions in other countries. He was always ready to cooperate with capitalist countries, though they treated him like a fool and tried to jerk him around – hence the 1939 Pact with Hitler.

      At this point the professional Russia haters normally start frothing at the mouth and saying what about Poland, what about Czechoslovakia. But Russia didn’t invade Hungary because it wanted its cornfields. Or Romania because it wanted its oil wells. Romania sent one million troops to join the 1941 invasion. Or Poland because it wanted the coal mines. Those countries had been an invasion route into Russia three times in a generation, costing tens of millions of lives. You can understand why Russia would want to control that invasion route to prevent a recurrence, at a time when Churchill and Roosevelt were actively planning to attack Russia with rearmed German troops and 200 atomic bombs. Western countries did far more with far less justification.

      So the pimp’s argument that if I didn’t do it somebody else would, doesn’t really hold water. When you rule over a country of 8.6 million square miles, or a population of 1.5 billion, it isn’t all that enticing to start a war to grab a bit of extra territory or a couple of million extra people. If either China or Russia had come to dominate the world, the history of the past 500 years would almost certainly have been far less bloody.

      22
    • Maggie says

      OMG Bernard RG, which stone have you crawled out from under. The world has changed so much since you fought in the first world war.

      Russia is now THE NO 1 place on earth that actually CARES about ALL PEOPLE OF THE WORLD. Unllike the hegemony and Imperialism of the US. I’m guessing you have never ever watched Putin’s open debates with the world’s press? I don’t mean the ones produced by CNN or VOX….
      This is a True Leader. Who speaks honestly from a place of knowledge, without a tele prompter….Makes Chris Wallace the interviewer look a proper dick.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cX9sjqP3Gy0

      Because you are incapable of doing research for yourself, I have spent the day doing it for you. Please have the courtesy to read it before offering any more stupid comments about Russia….
      I apologise for it’s length but this subject is over 70 years old,

      Communism died the day Yeltsin became President, and Russia became a Socialist country.
      Yes Putin became a KGB INTELLIGENCE Officer after completing a University degree to become a Lawyer.
      A KGB SECURITY officer is a member of a legal KGB Residency who is appointed as assistant to the ambassador on matters of security. His functional duties include defining and executing measures to protect the premises of Soviet representations in the targeted country and their official duties, and the organization of work to ensure the security of Soviet citizens stationed abroad and their families. The security officer is entrusted to maintain official contacts with the special services of the host country in certain situations.
      A KGB INTELLIGENCE Officer is a person employed by an organization to collect, compile and/or analyse information – known as intelligence. Putin worked in Dresden from 1975 – 1991 gathering information connected with Russia’s strategic adversary, NATO. Putin says his job was pretty routine, recruiting informants, information gathering and transferring all received data to Moscow. https://www.rbth.com/politics_and_society/2017/08/08/everything-you-ever-wanted-to-know-about-putins-work-in-east-germany_818928

      When the communists assumed power across Eastern Europe in the aftermath of WWII, their stated intention was to create a new, more democratic and egalitarian society..
      It was soon widely recognised that membership of the communist party didn’t just give you political standing, but also provided access to numerous socio-economic advantages. Possession of a party card opened the door to numerous ‘perks’, including the allocation of a superior standard of accommodation, access to special shops (containing domestically produced goods in short supply and imported luxury items from the West) and holidays in special health resorts. Little wonder then, that many people have subsequently justified their decision to join the East European communist parties, as motivated not by any genuine ideological or political commitment, but simply to ‘get along in life’. The higher up the power structure you climbed, the more levels of privilege reached ridiculous proportions. While official salary levels among the nomenklatura (communist-era Bureaucrats) remained relatively low in monetary terms, in practice communist officials could supplement their basic income through corruption, bribery, and they also enjoyed a whole range of other ‘perks’.
      Following STALIN’s death in 1953, the extensive privileges enjoyed by the East European political elite became even more apparent.
      1958 to 1964. KHRUSHCHEV denounced Stalin, and was responsible for the de-Stalinization of the Soviet Union, for backing the progress of the early Soviet space program, and for several relatively liberal reforms in areas of domestic policy. Khrushchev’s party colleagues removed him from power in 1964, replacing him with Leonid BREZHNEV , who combined the positions of General Secretary and chairman of the Presidium, and came into power at a time where the USSR had managed to industrialise, increase its arms and develop new technology however – it had failed in the production of consumer goods and agriculture
      Standards of living which had previously been increasing were starting to decrease again. A lot of money was being spent on the military and the space programme
      Brezhnev wanted to increase consumer goods and agriculture by putting in place reforms that would use the ‘market force’ to increase these, however he was prevented from doing so, as some feared that these would lead to a tendency towards ‘capitalism’.
      However he allowed farmers to work on state owned plots which gave them the motivation to produce more as they could keep or sell the surplus.
      Previously Collectivization had been the policy in which individual landholders had to give up their land ownership and combine this land with those of other landholders to create large farms
      However when living standards did not change, even though Brezhnev did try to increase production in the ninth and tenth five year plan, this was not a success and production decreased.
      Consumer goods were only largely available on the black market,
      In the 1970s the rest of the world was suffering from a petroleum shortage but due to the focus on consumer goods and agriculture the USSR did not manage to increase its production of petroleum and so failed to benefit from the high demand
      In 1975 the USSR suffered from another poor harvest and so Brezhnev had to increase agricultural imports to keep the citizens fed.
      The people started to criticise the government.
      The USSR went into Afghanistan in December 1979 and cited the Brezhnev Doctrine as a reason, but the official reason was that the PDPA ”asked for support” from the USSR to stop the Mujahideen from taking power
      The KGB were in favour of a limited operation which would stabilise the situation and prevent it from spreading into surrounding countries
      The defence ministry wanted to overthrow the PDPA to prevent Pakistan or Iran from invading Afghanistan, because there was worry that Amin and Taraki had been involved in pro-US activities and that this would lead to the end of socialism in Afghanistan.
      There was 70000 Soviet Troops in Afghanistan by the 27th of December with still no clear objectives on how to proceed . The Soviet position was weak because even though they controlled the cities, the ”rebels” (terrorists al Qaida) which were being supported by the US controlled the countryside
      This was the start of a ten year intervention in Afghanistan which cost the USSR many lives and billions of dollars
      The Soviet citizens where totally against this intervention which resulted in international condemnation. So the US imposed sanctions, limiting grain sales to the USSR and also boycotted the 1980 summer Olympics which were due to be held in Moscow

      1982 Brezchnev died of a heart attack? and was succeeded by Yuri ANDROPOV who wanted to change the USSR’s economic stagnation by putting in place policies criminalizing truancy in the workplace. And sought to eliminate corruption and inefficiency within the Soviet system by investigating long-time officials for violations of party discipline. He also closed down most of the Soviet space program in 1983 to try and cut down expenses
      He tried to get rid of Brezhnev’s and Chernenko’s followers and replace them with political elites who were loyal to him and were willing to encourage change within the economy, with the help of Mikhail Gorbachev
      The situation in Afghanistan started in the Brezhnev era worsened
      The relation between the US and the USSR was already bad but it was made worse when in September 1983 the Soviets were accused of shooting down a Korean Airlines flight that had strayed into Soviet airspace
      In February 1983 Andropov’s health deteriorated and he stopped appearing in public, and his health deteriorated rapidly. On February 9, 1984, he died of total renal failure.
      He wanted Gorbachev to succeed him however when he died in he was succeeded by CHEMENKO who didn’t change any foreign or domestic policies. Chernenko’s health also ‘deteriorated quite fast’ and he needed to rely more and more on his deputy Gorbachev, and he died of Emphysema and heart failure in 1985.
      GORBACHOV (Of whom Margaret Thatcher said ”I like this man, we can do business together.”) was a reformer, whose efforts it was hoped would succeed in shifting the USSR toward a democratic system and a market oriented economy, and his decision to allow elections with a multi-party system and create a PRESIDENCY for the Soviet Union began a slow process of democratization that eventually destabilized Communist control and contributed to the collapse of the Soviet Union.
      Gorbachev’s leadership style differed from that of his predecessors. He would stop to talk to civilians on the street, forbade the display of his portrait at the 1985 Red Square holiday celebrations, and encouraged frank and open discussions at Politburo meetings. To the West, Gorbachev was seen as a more moderate and less threatening Soviet leader; some Western commentators (MSM) however believed this an act to lull Western governments into a false sense of security. Gorbachev was aware that the Politburo could remove him from office, and that he could not pursue more radical reform without a majority of supporters in the Politburo. So he sought to remove several older member and replace them with more liberal men like Boris Yeltsin, who was made a Secretary of the Central Committee in July 1985. Most of these appointees were from a new generation of well-educated officials who had been frustrated during the Brezhnev era. In his first year, 14 of the 23 heads of department in the secretariat were replaced. In doing so, Gorbachev secured dominance in the Politburo within a year, faster than either Stalin, Khrushchev, or Brezhnev had achieved. The first stage of Gorbachev’s perestroika was uskorenie (“acceleration”), a term he used regularly in the first two years of his leadership. The Soviet Union was behind the United States in many areas of production, but Gorbachev claimed that it would accelerate industrial output to match that of the U.S. by 2000. .By the 1980s, drunkenness was a major social problem and Andropov had planned a major campaign to limit alcohol consumption. Alcohol production was reduced by around 40 percent, the legal drinking age rose from 18 to 21, alcohol prices were increased, stores were banned from selling it before 2pm, and tougher penalties were introduced for workplace or public drunkenness and home production of alcohol. However, moonshine production rose considerably, and the reform had significant costs to the Soviet economy, resulting in losses of up to US$100 billion between 1985 and 1990. Gorbachev later considered the campaign to have been a mistake and it was terminated in October 1988.
      In April 1986, he introduced an agrarian reform which linked salaries to output and allowed collective farms to sell 30% of their produce directly to shops or co-operatives rather than giving it all to the state for distribution
      Gorbachev began speaking of glasnost 9opemess0 as a necessary measure to ensure perestroika by alerting the Soviet populace to the nature of the country’s problems in the hope that they would support his efforts to fix them. For many Soviet citizens, this newfound level of freedom of speech and press—and its accompanying revelations about the country’s past—was uncomfortable. Though some in the party thought Gorbachev was not going far enough in his reforms; a prominent liberal critic was Yeltsin. He had risen rapidly since 1985, attaining the role of Moscow city boss. Like many members of the government, Gorbachev was sceptical of Yeltsin, believing that he engaged in too much self-promotion. In early 1986, Yeltsin began sniping at Gorbachev in Politburo meetings,calling for more far-reaching reforms than Gorbachev was initiating. The two men became in opposition and Yeltsin then resigned as both Moscow boss and as a member of the Politburo. From this point, tensions between the two men developed into a mutual hatred.
      In April 1986 the Chernobyl disaster occurred. In the immediate aftermath, officials fed Gorbachev incorrect information to downplay the incident.
      As the scale of the disaster became apparent, 336,000 people were evacuated from the area around Chernobyl and the disaster marked “a turning point for Gorbachev and the Soviet regime”. Several days after it occurred, he gave a televised report to the nation and cited the disaster as evidence for what he regarded as widespread problems in Soviet society, such as shoddy workmanship and workplace inertia… and later described the incident as one which made him appreciate the scale of incompetence and cover-ups in the Soviet Union.From April to the end of the year, Gorbachev became increasingly open in his criticism of the Soviet system, including food production, state bureaucracy, the military draft, and the excessive size of the prison population. The major issue concerning him was Soviet involvement in Afghanistan where 12.000 young Russian men had died. On becoming leader, Gorbachev saw withdrawal from the war as a key priority. In October 1985, he met with Afghan Marxist leader Karmal, urging him to acknowledge the lack of public support for his government and pursue a power sharing agreement with the opposition. That month, the Politburo approved Gorbachev’s decision to withdraw combat troops from Afghanistan, although the last troops did not leave until February 1989.
      He had inherited the high tension pf the Cold War and believed strongly in the need to sharply improve relations with the United States; he was appalled at the prospect of nuclear war, was focussed on the fact that high military spending was detrimental to his desire for domestic reform. Although’ privately’ also appalled at the prospect of nuclear war, U.S. President Ronald Reagan ‘publicly’ appeared to not want a de-escalation of tensions, having scrapped détente and arms controls, initiating a military build-up, and calling the Soviet Union the “evil empire”.
      At the Geneva summit, discussions between Gorbachev and Reagan were sometimes heated, and Gorbachev was initially frustrated that his U.S. counterpart “Does not seem to hear what I am trying to say”. The summit ended with a joint commitment to avoiding nuclear war and to meet for two further summits: in Washington D.C. in 1986 and in Moscow in 1987. Following the conference, Gorbachev travelled to Prague to inform other Warsaw Pact leaders of developments.
      In January 1986, Gorbachev publicly proposed a three-stage program for abolishing the world’s nuclear weapons by the end of the 20th century.] An agreement was then reached to meet with Reagan at Reykjavík, Iceland in October. Gorbachev wanted to secure guarantees that SDI would not be implemented, and in return was willing to offer concessions, including a 50% reduction in Soviet long range nuclear missiles.
      Both leaders agreed with the shared goal of abolishing nuclear weapons, but Reagan refused to terminate the SDI program and no deal was reached.
      After the summit, many of Reagan’s allies criticised him for going along with the idea of abolishing nuclear weapons….. Gorbachev meanwhile told the Politburo that Reagan was “An extraordinarily primitive troglodyte, and intellectually feeble”. (THAT IS BECAUSE HE WAS AN ACTOR PLAYING A PART??)
      He sought improved relations with China, who had split with the soviets.
      In June 1985 he signed a US$14 billion five-year trade agreement with the country and in July 1986, he proposed troop reductions along the Soviet-Chinese border, hailing China as “a great socialist country”. He made clear his desire for Soviet membership of the Asian Development Bank and for greater ties to Pacific countries, especially China and Japan
      Following the failures of earlier talks with the U.S., in February 1987, Gorbachev held a conference in Moscow, titled “For a World without Nuclear Weapons, for Mankind’s Survival”, which was attended by various international celebrities and politicians. By publicly pushing for nuclear disarmament, Gorbachev sought to give the Soviet Union the moral high ground and weaken the West’s self-perception of moral superiority. Aware that Reagan would not budge on SDI, Gorbachev focused on reducing “Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces”, to which Reagan was receptive.
      On 9 November 1989, people in East Germany (the German Democratic Republic, GDR) were suddenly allowed to cross through the Berlin Wall into West Berlin, following a peaceful protest against the country’s dictatorial administration, including a demonstration by some one million people in East Berlin on 4 November.
      On 15 March 1990, Gorbachev was elected as the first executive President of the Soviet Union with 59% of the Deputies’ votes. He was the sole candidate on the ballot.
      Following the elections, Gorbachev faced conflicting internal political pressures: Boris Yeltsin and the pluralist movement advocated democratization and rapid economic reforms while the hard-line ”Communist elite” wanted to thwart Gorbachev’s reform agenda. More significantly for Gorbachev’s position, Boris Yeltsin reached a new level of prominence, as he was elected Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Russian SFSR in May, effectively making him the de jure leader of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic.In October 1990, DemRossiya, a Russian pro-reform coalition, was founded; a few days later, both Ukraine and Russia declared their laws completely sovereign over Soviet laws. The ‘war of laws’ had become an open battle, with the Supreme Soviet refusing to recognise the actions of the two republics. Gorbachev published the draft of a new union treaty in November, which envisioned a continued union called the Union of Sovereign Soviet Republics, but in 1991, Gorbachev’s actions were steadily overpowered by secessionism. On the eve of the treaty’s signing, hard-line Soviet leaders, calling themselves the ‘State Committee on the State of Emergency’, launched the August coup in an attempt to remove Gorbachev from power and prevent the signing of the new union treaty.
      Under the pretence that Gorbachev was ill, his vice president, Yanayev, took over as president. Gorbachev spent three days (19, 20, and 21 August) under house arrest at his dacha in the Crimea before being freed and restored to power. However, upon his return, Gorbachev found that neither Union nor Russian power structures heeded his commands, as support had swung over to Yeltsin, whose defiance had led to the coup’s
      collapse.
      For all intents and purposes, the coup destroyed Gorbachev politically. On 24 August, he advised the Central Committee to dissolve, resigned as general secretary and dissolved all party units within the government. Shortly afterward, the Supreme Soviet suspended all Party activities on Soviet territory. In effect, Communist rule in the Soviet Union had ended. The Soviet Union collapsed with dramatic speed during the latter part of 1991, as one republic after another declared independence. By the autumn, Gorbachev could no longer influence events outside Moscow, and he was challenged even there by Yeltsin. Following the coup, Yeltsin suspended all CPSU activities on Russian territory and closed the Central Committee building at Staraya Square. He also ordered the Russian flag raised alongside the Soviet flag at the Kremlin. In the waning months of 1991, Russia began taking over what remained of the Soviet government, including the Kremlin.
      The presidents of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus met in Belovezha Forest, near Brest, Belarus, on 8 December and signed the Belavezha Accords, which declared the Soviet Union had ceased to exist and formed the Commonwealth of Independent States as its successor. Gorbachev initially denounced this move as illegal.[275] Nonetheless, there was no longer any doubt that the Soviet Union, in the words of the Accords’ preamble, no longer existed “as a subject of international law or geopolitical reality.”
      Dec 25 Gorbachov televised his resignation,
      The dissolution of the Soviet Union occurred on December 26, 1991, officially granting self-governing independence to the Republics of the Soviet Union. It was a result of the declaration number 142-Н of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union.
      Two days after Gorbachev left office, on 27 December 1991, Yeltsin moved into Gorbachev’s old office.
      Gorbachev had aimed to maintain the CPSU as a united party but move it in the direction of Scandinavian-style social democracy. But when the CPSU was proscribed after the August coup, Gorbachev was left with no effective power base beyond the armed forces. In the aftermath of the coup, his rival YELTSIN quickly worked to consolidate his hold on the Russian government as well as the remnants of the Soviet armed forces, paving the way for Gorbachev’s downfall.
      The Yeltsin era effectively began in August 1991, when he clambered atop a tank to rally Muscovites to put down a right-wing coup against Mr. Gorbachev, a heroic moment etched in the minds of the Russian people and television viewers around the world; it ended with his electrifying resignation speech on New Year’s Eve 1999.
      In office less than nine years, beginning with the collapse of the Soviet Union, and plagued by severe health problems and an excessive fondness for alcohol, Mr. Yeltsin added a final chapter to his historical record when, in 1999, he stunned Russians and the world by announcing his resignation, becoming the first Russian leader to give up power on his own in accordance with constitutional processes. He then turned over the reins of office to Mr. Putin on New Year’s Eve 1999, and after that was out of the public eye. Mr. Yeltsin was the most populist of politicians. He rejected the notion of forming a political party, insisting that he was elected by “ALL OF THE PEOPLE” But it was a position that left him weak at the task of building coalitions to further necessary reforms. He sometimes ‘played with the truth and surrounded himself with cronies’.
      Then, in failing health and under suspicion of enriching himself and his inner circle at the expense of the state.. he resigned. In a speech that surprised the world, he asked ‘forgiveness for his mistakes’ and turned over the government to Mr. Putin. In return, Mr. Yeltsin — and, it was rumoured, his family — received a grant of immunity from criminal prosecution and ‘credit for leaving the Kremlin voluntarily’.
      Mr. Yeltsin left with his fondest wish for the Russian people only partly fulfilled.
      “I want their lives to improve before my own eyes,” he once said, remembering growing up in a single room in a cold, communal hut.
      In fact, in the chaos that accompanied the transition from the centralized economy he had inherited from the old Soviet Union, most people saw their circumstances deteriorate. Inflation became rampant, the poor became poorer, profiteers grew rich, the military and many state employees went unpaid, and criminality flourished. Nevertheless, Mr. Yeltsin brought about fundamental economic change: a market economy, however distorted and corrupt; an emerging younger class of business executives; and, in the last years of his presidency, a gradual reduction in crime.
      Politically, too, his reforms had impact. The legislature began to shape politics, the news media kept most of their newly acquired freedoms, and political rivals competed openly in elections.
      In his lifetime, the worst that many in Russia and the West had feared — a Communist revival or new fascism built on chaos — never materialized. However: although the Russian constitution provides for freedom of speech and press; the government application of law, bureaucratic regulation, and politically motivated criminal investigations have forced the press to exercise self-censorship constraining its coverage of certain controversial issues, resulting in infringements of these rights. (SO in line with the BBC then?)

      In August 1999, Yeltsin resigned and was succeeded by his deputy, Vladimir PUTIN, who then won the March 2000 presidential election. Gorbachev attended Putin’s inauguration ceremony in May, the first time he had entered the Kremlin since 1991. Gorbachev initially welcomed Putin’s rise, seeing him as an anti-Yeltsin figure. Although he spoke out against some of the Putin government’s actions, Gorbachev also had praise for the new regime; in 2002 he said that “I’ve been in the same skin. That’s what allows me to say what Putin’s done is in the interest if the majority”.
      At the time, he believed Putin to be a committed democrat who nevertheless had to use “a certain dose of authoritarianism” to stabilize the economy and rebuild the state after the Yeltsin era. At Putin’s request, Gorbachev became co-chair of the “Petersburg Dialogue” project between high-ranking Russians and Germans.
      In 2000, Gorbachev helped form the Russian United Social Democratic Party.[329] In June 2002 he had a meeting with Putin in which the latter praised the venture, suggesting that a centre-left party could be good for Russia and that he would be open to working with it.

      Russia has gone from strength since then, despite US sanctions….
      He asked the billionaire businessmen to move their business from being registered abroad and paying taxes to other countries, to being registered in Russia and paying Russian taxes.

      27th January 2018
      Vladimir Putin was first elected as Russian President in 2000. Here’s how the Russian economy has transformed in the intervening years by numbers.
      QUALITY OF LIFE:
      Before Putin’s election, Russia had a $9,889 GDP per capita by Purchasing Power Parity (PPP). The figure had almost tripled by 2017, and has now reached $27,900. Russia has the highest GDP per capita among its fellow BRICS countries, with the next-highest, China, having just $16,624. The PPP takes into account the relative cost of living and the inflation rates of countries in order to compare living standards in different nations.
      The average nominal monthly wage has grown almost 11-fold from $61 to $652. Unemployment has contracted from 13 percent to 5.2 percent. Pensions have grown over 1,000 percent in the same period from $20 to $221.
      ECONOMY PERFORMANCE:
      Russia is the sixth-largest economy in the world by PPP, with a $4-trillion GDP. PwC has predicted that, by 2050, the country will become the largest economy in Europe by this measure, leaving behind Germany and the United Kingdom.
      Back in 1999, the Russian economy by PPP was worth only $620 billion. So, in the last 18 years, Russian economic output in these terms has increased by 600 %.
      Inflation rates have decreased from 36.5 % to 2.5 % by the end of 2017. The total value of assets of the Russian banking system has risen 24-fold to $1.43 trillion. Capitalization of the Russian Stock Market has grown more than 15-fold to $621 billion.
      PUBLIC DEBT & FOREIGN RESERVES:
      When Putin was elected in 2000, Russia had just $12 billion in reserves, accompanied by a public debt, which was almost equal to the country’s economic output at 92.1 percent.
      Things have changed markedly in 18 years, as Russia’s public debt has now shrunk to 17.4 percent of GDP and reserves have increased to $356 billion. Low debt and growing reserves helped the country to live through the economic crisis of 2008 and the recession of 2014-2016, caused by a fall in oil prices and Western sanctions. Russian gold reserves have increased by more than 500 % since 2000. The Central Bank of Russia (CBR) added 9.3 tons of gold to its reserves in December, bringing the total yearly holdings to a record 1,838.211 tons – worth over $76 billion in monetary terms.
      The World Gold Council shows that Russia is the largest buyer of gold and is the world’s third-biggest producer, with the Central Bank purchasing from domestic miners through commercial banks.
      AGRICULTURE.
      While the Russian economy remains dominated by oil and gas revenues, its agriculture sector has boomed in recent years. Russian farmers produced their largest ever crop in the 2017 agricultural year, breaking the 40-year-old Soviet record, and harvesting more than 130 million tons.
      In 2016, Russia became the world’s leader in wheat exports. Since the early 2000s, the Russian share of the world wheat market has quadrupled, from four to 16 %.
      Although agriculture still remains far behind the energy sector, it ‘surpassed arms sales’ and became the country’s second-largest export.
      Russia started exporting grain in 2002, selling a little over seven million tons. In 2017, Russia wanted to sell 45 million tons – an increase of more than 600 %.

      THIS IS WHY RUSSIA IS SEEN AS SUCH A THREAT TO AMERICANS!

      Despite recently closing hundreds of bases in Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States still maintains nearly 800 military bases in more than 70 countries and territories abroad—from giant “Little Americas” to small radar facilities.
      Britain has 16… France has 9, and Russia have 9… Germany has 3, Australia has 2, China has 1.

      21
      • Thanks, Maggie, for this extensive history. Always good to start with the facts. The demonisation of Russia, China etc. can only be bad for world peace. Sadly, the majority of USAmerica MSM is pushing us toward Cold War 2.0 and maybe WWIII via Russiagate.

        17
        • Maggie says

          Thank you Robert for bothering to read what took me hours to research.
          As you say, the ‘demonization of Russia and China’ will end in tears for all of us. And doesn’t need to happen… all we have to de is be willing to seek the truth for ourselves. It is ignorance that is our ENEMY.
          I don’t know where you live, but there was a programme on TV this week called The Real Marigold Hotel on Tour, where a group of ‘celebrities’ this week visited Russia.
          https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0c3h57d/the-real-marigold-on-tour-series-3-1-russia
          Miriam Margolyes,( an actress who delights in being vulgar) Shiela Furguson (American singer in the Three Degrees who was famous for allegedly having an affair with Prince Charles) Bobby George (A retired proffessional darts player) and Stanley Johnson (Boris Johnson’s father)

          I was absolutely sickened by the attitude of Margolyes who is THE rudest, vulgar, aggressive, self agrandising twit. She verbally abused and insulted practically every Russian she met. God only knows the impression she left with the Russians about the British. At one point she said to a lady who was minding her own business ”I don’t like Putin” clearly ignorant. She behaved as if she was on day release from and establishment where the mentally impaired live. The vilest creature I have ever seen… put forward as our Ambassador?
          Sheila Furguson, appeared to be apprehensive and afraid about going to Russia, because as a schoolchild she had been taught they were her enemies!!! And was then amazed at how warm, welcoming and open the people were, but thought it strange that they would gather to see Putin go by on Navy Day and were so patriotic???
          Bobby George just appeared to go with the flow and enjoy himself.
          Stanley Johnson was the most surprising. In every programme he has appeared in, he always immerses himself, he has a phrase book and tries the language, gets involved in the customs, is respectful, and is a genuinely decent bloke. When Furguson and Margolyes were waffling on about Russia being our enemies, he got quite annoyed and said they were being silly, Russia was simply a country getting on with it’s own business and making a good job of it, or words to that effect.

          My lasting impression of this programme is how level headed and intelligent the Russians are. they appear to be living in a utopia.. though I am sure this is NOT what the BBC intended when they first commissioned this programme. Unlike the one about India, we were not subjected to faeces in the street and piles of garbage… perhaps because there was none? And it confirmed my belief that the Russian people are thoroughly decent human beings who have not been indoctrinated to hate..
          I am not so naïve as to believe it is all roses over there. I have watched many programmes about their penal system and the Police, who are almost as bad as the Americans.
          But overall, my opinion remains positive.

          13
          • JudyJ says

            Maggie

            I agree entirely with all your comments. Your ‘dissertation’ higher above is a work of epic proportions …well done.

            Margolyes was such a puerile, ignorant embarrassment I had trouble watching her in action. I am convinced she has Aspergers Syndrome. When she asked the middle aged respectable lady waiting at the bus stop with them what her name was and the lady replied “Olga”, MM immediately retorted “Oh you’re not Olga the spy are you!” The poor lady was clearly most upset by her remark. But we are all supposed to sit at home laughing at how entertaining Margolyes’ quips are. I see a review in the London Evening Standard refers to MM as “a joy” but Stanley Johnson “leaves us cold”. I too was impressed by what we saw of the latter. He clearly has far more intelligence and wisdom than his son.

            And of course the voiceover had to give a negative slant to all the positive elements of Putin’s incumbency. Having explained that fitness classes are provided free of charge to citizens (I can’t recall precise details) the justification given by the BBC was that he wanted to be sure that in times of armed combat everybody would be fit enough to play their part… unbelievable. And “even elderly pensioners were encouraged to practice throwing grenades”. Couldn’t it just be that there was a massive surplus of defunct and redundant grenades which are better used in this way rather than have them rotting away in landfill? As we know Putin can’t win in the eyes of ‘the West’ … he is criticised and held responsible for poor health standards among the Russian population and he is criticised for trying to do something about it.

            • JudyJ says

              Having re-read my comments above and at the risk of digging myself a deeper hole (!), could I just add that I am not suggesting that people with Aspergers are puerile and ignorant embarrassments. My brother has the condition and I know how challenged sufferers are at social interaction and that it can lead to confrontational situations. What I was trying to suggest, but clumsily, was that because MM doesn’t (as far as I know) claim to have Aspergers, then her behaviour could only be described as puerile and ignorant.
              Apologies if I have caused any offence to anyone.

          • @maggie This week I had discussions with 3 people where Russiagate came up. One was my daughter living in the US and the other 2 gringo friends living here in Chile. I admit to being brainwashed about Russia before I went to uni, but for intelligent people to be brainwashed at this late date is Orwellian. I had to change the subject when one of my friends got quite vehement and accused me of moral equivalency (I had to look it up later). Points out just one of many obstacles to having a conversation that results in more light than heat.

        • Steve Abbott says

          Thanks Maggie. Much appreciated, and perfectly packaged for a dyslectic such as I. Again thanks.

      • Bernard RJ says

        While you were doing your research did you by any chance read Gulag Archipelago by Solzhenitsyn, Gulag by Anne Applebaum, Alexander Dolgun’s Story, Life and Fate by Vasily Grossman just to name a few. In addition you may which to research the body count under Chairman Mao or speak to the Dalai Lama about the Chinese invasion of Tibet. Just for a bit of balance.

        13
        • Maggie says

          Bernard RJ
          The Gulag was the government agency in charge of the Soviet forced labour camp system, for criminals and war prisoners, that was created under Vladimir LENIN and reached its peak during Joseph Stalin’s rule from the 1930s to the 1950s.
          Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, The Gulag Archipelago has been officially published, and since 2009, is mandatory reading as part of the Russian school curriculum.
          The Gulags were a part of Russian history that they are ashamed of and do not want a repeat of, hence the subject is taught in depth in their schools?
          The body count under Chairman Mao, and The Chinese invasion of Tibet? What exactly has this to do with Putin and Russia today?

          As a reader of History, I am already familiar with the atrocities committed by insane people throughout History. That is how we learn – by their mistakes, and then progress.. that is except America. Which is clear to all but the brain dead sheep awaiting slaughter.
          Pity there aren’t contemporary books of American atrocities to be mandatory reading in American schools, which might stop the rapidly advancing cancer.
          Like: The virtual annihilation and subjugation of the Indigenous Americans: The unforgiveable slavery of the native Africans, Guantanamo, Abu Grahib, American Soldiers urinating on dead prisoners, Massacring them like animals in Vietnam, after raping them… and the list goes on.. and that is only THIS CENTURY!

          Did you bother to read the article that was posted yesterday?
          ‘Unlearning the myths of American Innocence.’
          https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/aug/08/unlearning-the-myth-of-american-innocence

          No? I thought not.

          11
        • mark says

          Did you by any chance research the body count of western imperialism, the genocide of 100 million Americans, the 30 million victims of African slavery, the 10 million butchered by tiny Bejgium in Congo. I’ll leave out the 500 other genocides and massacres for the sake of brevity.

      • vexarb says

        Thanks, Maggie, for the facts, only the facts. Pardon me this interpolation (in UPPER CASE), it may seem trivial but I think it is important for the coming eco-minded generation:

        “Russia started exporting grain in 2002, selling a little over seven million tons. In 2017, Russia wanted to sell 45 million tons – an increase of more than 600 %.” NONE OF THIS RUSSIAN WHEAT HAS BEEN GENETICALLY MODIFIED BY AN INDUSTRIAL CHEMICAL COMPANY. ALL RUSSIAN AGRICULTURE IS NON-GM.

        10
        • Maggie says

          True Vexarb,
          GMO is banned in all of Russia, as is ‘promoting’ immorality. Which isn’t to say it doesn’t exist or that it isn’t tolerated.
          But it cannot be promoted to children who instead are taught to respect themselves, their parents and their country.. That way they are free to engage in sports, arts and hobbies that improve them, and are encouraged to be the very best they can. Rather from being over-exposed to carnal pursuits.
          That isn’t to say that everyone is perfect, far from it, as is evident by their prison population. and the people living on the streets….
          I guess I will receive flack from some quarters for saying this. But the fact is that I WAS NEVER subjected to these influences, perhaps that is why I am able to dedicate myself to research and assimilate, instead of being distracted? And have maintained very exacting jobs.
          That said. I have been in the same relationship since I was 14. Happily married at 20, for 50+ years, and had a fantastic sex life. Have two wonderful children who are also married, who I am extremely proud of, and two even more wonderful grandchildren. All thanks to our family – moral values.. How many of the young people today will be able to say that?

  6. Hope says

    Thank you for this, and for the whole site, giving access to news blocked by the bought-and-sold media – about events in Haiti for example.
    Today’s funny story: Katherine Murphy in the Guardian, of all people, declaring “facts matter”, while her paper has recently published (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/feb/06/venezuelan-troops-blockade-bridge-to-stop-aid-from-colombia) utterly misleading guff about closure of the Tiendatas bridge “which connects the two countries and has become a staging ground for the planned relief effort”. Her writers, and she as well, I expect, must know perfectly well that the bridge, completed in 2016, has never yet been opened to traffic, as plainly stated on wikipedia ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tienditas_Bridge – stand by for that entry to change!)

    26
  7. wardropper says

    Quite right.
    But who is going to stop it?
    “If the West is not stopped, it will take it all”…
    But it already has taken it all.
    The survivors are merely what the West needs to man its workhouses.
    To take a historic example: Our history books make it quite clear what an appalling time the Jews have had at the hands of other countries.
    But compare that to the 6 Billion gentiles who are about to have an equally appalling time during the next hundred years… That’s what appears to be currently on offer.
    I am not always optimistic that any decent human being will survive.
    After all, what’s the point of being decent in a world which is run like this?
    Sure, you can be decent at home, but what about when your home is taken from you and you are out on the streets proving that Darwin’s survival of the fittest works exactly as intended?
    Where is decency then?
    Mankind still has some very hard lessons to learn – if only it was just the wicked who had to learn them…
    It is also our fate to watch one fool after another presume to “represent” us, only to fall, like all the other fools, into the abyss, while we do our best to survive as shepherdless sheep.
    The hardest lesson of all, perhaps, (while we’re on the topic of sheep) is to take exactly the idea of the Good Shepherd, along with His uncomfortable words: “My kingdom is not of this world”, as seriously as we can, and try to keep our souls afloat while we wallow in the quagmire of earthly life, gradually separating in our minds the beautiful and the good from the hideous and the evil in order to be ready for whatever comes next. What makes it so hard is the clear implication in those uncomfortable words that we are wasting our time expecting divine intervention on our behalf while we are living here.
    To me that leaves only the idea that we have to find “the divine” for ourselves now that God does not choose sides like the Old Testament stories tell us He used to. In case it isn’t obvious, I am not talking about going to church.
    And it is quite certain that Washington and Westminster are NOT the places to look for the divine, or even the decent.
    Perhaps eventually the Good will have to become a sacred, secret concept, just as the monks of olden days created beautiful manuscripts, sometimes obliged to do it in secret, because they were inspired to, despite the often brutally antagonistic attitude of some of the rulers of their time…
    Revolution, alla France, is frankly not an appealing thought either, but must admit I’m rapidly running out of ideas, and I’m usually quite good at ideas.
    The iniquity in today’s world is something new, at least compared with Biblical times. The possibility of annihilating the planet’s viability entirely is now a reality, and the buffoons who rule us even elevate that possibility to a probability. The authors of the Bible knew no such wickedness, so this is a problem for us to solve without Old Testament wisdom.
    It will take some doing.

    10
  8. DunGroanin says

    “For years and centuries, the West has been pushing; it is trying to see, how far it can go and what it can get away with. If it is not stopped, it will take it all. ”

    Fortunately it has been stopped. It took a while. From the failure in Korea, to the failure in Vietnam to the failure in Syria.

    I’m a glass half full kinda guy. I believe the high water mark of the march of anglo imperialism has been reached!

    The panicked full spectrum propaganda war to keep the ‘centre’ intact is evidence enough. But as we demonstrate daily on sites such as this, their efforts are in vain. The real grass roots from localities across the ‘old world’ are relentlessly thinking and organising themselves.

    The empire needs to be stopped not by external resistance but from the its own vital body. We are the only real cure of our own ill-willed aristocractic entitlement.
    By using the democratic machinary effectively from bottom- up and removing the age old top down order.

    15
    • Maggie says

      From the comments I read on off Guardian I am optimistic that our collective consciousness can and will conquer the evil that is walking the earth, just as we did with Vietnam. We didn’t physically rise and fight, we protested in our hearts and minds… and won.
      I read the article I am posting 8 years ago, by someone calling themselves ‘Chewey Bees’… while researching ‘Assasinations by induced heart attacks and cancer’… and it resonated with me, I have changed some bits but the truth of the original remains:
      https://www.sott.net/article/232912-Assassinations-by-induced-heart-attack-and-cancer

      >>>
      Raising the Bar.

      My comments, could be construed as eccentric, over the top or just plain silly. I’ll admit I do put things out there to stimulate my mind in a new direction, as much as getting others on tangent. I’m willing to lay out whatever conjecture or perceived truth I have for the soul purpose of getting the log-jam in the river moving. That is me.

      The attempt by anyone who tries to make a difference, for the positive, against the Powers That Be, in this ‘physical world’ of the second and third dimensions has always lead to suffering and death,
      The stranglehold the masters and hoarders of material have on the material is all but complete. There is no action, or means, or strategy that can be engaged that can make a difference against these extortionists, racketeers, pirates, fraudsters, murderers, rapists, thieves and assassins.
      But that’s only on this plain of existence……

      We all have within us a source of power, taught by untold sages…Collective Consciousness, the energy of the creator. (God if you like?.) If enough of us could admit and accept it, and use it in the only way it can be used… as a manifestation of the higher emotions and energy, namely LOVE, then we could truly make a monumental and permanent change in the life of this planet.
      ( I don’t mean by joining a ‘church, cult or becoming religious..)
      This is the ultimate power that is constantly under attack, through 24/7 advertisements to the contrary, a school system that creates corporate automatons, a set of religions seemingly at odds.. but all in search of the same goal ‘control’. It goes on and on.
      Government, Science, Religion, a Trinity of Control.
      Everything in the life of a man on planet earth is in constant subjection to distraction, inebriation, and fear….. None of these states of human consciousness can produce LOVE, or anything resembling that magnificent state of SPIRITUAL GRACE.
      The battle must be waged in a new realm, a Kin-dom of men, willing to raise their level of conscious thought, and project that thought outward and around the very targets we wish to change.
      For example, if I’m wasting energy pining away about the evils of politicians and Government, then rather than whine, moan and cry about it, which places fear and anger against it, as my limited tools of power.
      I should instead meditate it into a higher vibrational state, attack it with Love by sending Love at it.
      I try to envision a ball of white or bluish white light, surrounding the place or being. It can be the whole earth, it can be one man. If we can live our life in righteousness and manifest the higher emotions then we could have this power.
      We can practice it, refine it, and utilize it. It can be as little as a few minutes a day, if we can meditate and manifest what is needed… but it can not be based on harm. It must remain in the positive.
      This may seem hard to understand but the more these parasites are attacked with negative, lower vibrational energies, the more they grow……. When you wish death and destruction you are singing their song and playing right along with their composition.
      We need to understand, if a battle is to be waged, and the opposing side is bound and determined to create a state of fear and dread and loathing.. there is a reason.
      Everyone reading this knows the difference between Love and Evil. There is very little grey area there.
      The Powers That Be feed on the dark energies, the lower vibrational states that crush the spirit of the individual and the planet in general.
      So to resist this, we need to remotely transfer the power we have, and have built up, on to those that need it most, and that it would best change.
      There is far more power in this, than praying to some ‘external god’ for external things to happen.
      The power has to go through US, like a magnificent capacitor of the divine, and then sent out to transfer the frequency necessary to correct the errors on the mother(board).
      If you need help connecting to the source then, Search for it. Ask for it.
      It is not the same for everyone, but there are some great starters our there that you can develop on your own. Find them.
      Try it. It can’t hurt, can it?
      If you can’t see yourself as just as powerful as them, then they have already won. They already have all they need, the powerless and the incapable.

      We are better than that. <<<

      Already on Off Guardian we are connected to others throughout the world, who are like minded..
      We are power-full, all we need is to plug in….

        • Maggie says

          Thanks for this link Bevan,
          To steal a quote from one of the commenters..
          >>This article packs so much truth in it, that it
          might be the equivalent of Chemotherapy for one’s psyche.
          Not sure how many readers could survive it, but it will be liberating, if not
          depressing. Choose liberation as the first step from the socially
          induced depression we face. <<

          I shall revisit it tomorrow and open all the links there in. I may be gone for some time. :-))

          It has made my mind up on one thing, and that is that I will not be voting in our elections.
          I refuse to take any further part in the pantomime.
          Jeremy Corbyn is a very good, honest man, just like Michael Foot, and Tony Wedgewood Benn, but he will NEVER be allowed to be Prime Minister. He is there just to distract us all from the dirty dealings being done by the W-bankers.
          And in the event that he was elected, they would arrange for him too meet an untimely end, because they have no dirt on him that they could blackmail him with to make him toe their line.
          Why would I want to be party to that?

  9. Gary Weglarz says

    I’m posting below a rather interesting article by a young American woman who talks about her awakening from the dream world of our “American exceptionalism” through her travels. Keep in mind only 12% of Americans even have a passport. She is truly one in a million in her journey to some enlightenment, but she makes some very perceptive observations about the American system of indoctrination and what it took to free her from it. She also has some wonderful quotes from the great African American writer James Baldwin. It’s from, of all places, the Guardian, I know, I know:

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/aug/08/unlearning-the-myth-of-american-innocence

    James Baldwin talking about America and the white American mind:

    “White children, in the main, and whether they are rich or poor, grow up with a grasp of reality so feeble that they can very accurately be described as deluded.”

    “White Americans are probably the sickest and certainly the most dangerous people, of any colour, to be found in the world today.”

    I would guess these quotes from Baldwin came from American civil rights era of the 1960’s, but I dare say they resonate as still quite true today in my mind.

    17
    1
    • wardropper says

      A remarkable article. It’s very instructive to follow the development of her line of thought during all those years.

    • Maggie says

      A fantastic revealing article, thanks Gary.
      Hopefully this information will eventually permeate the naivety of the American psyche.

  10. bevin says

    To put this article into perspective we have to recognise that the US position in the world today is-though on a global scale- what Germany’s in eurasia was in May 1940.
    And once again the temptation, irresistible to those with much to lose in the material sense, is to appease the aggressor.
    The world is already on notice, it would seem, from China and Russia, that US aggression in Asia will not be tolerated. It is a matter of enormous regret that Vlad Putin was not President in 2011 when Medvedev made the fatal error of allowing the US to push its phony ‘no fly zone’ resolution, unvetoed, through the UNSC. Had it been vetoed and European leaders of the Cameron and Sarkozy sort, (political bric a brac on the lookout for a moment of glory, hyenas posing by big game, come upon by chance), made to back down from threats that they had neither the power nor the stamina to carry out, Libya would be a better place and Africa less open to re-colonisation.
    Venezuela is in a bad position. At any moment the United States could initiate hostilities in which, in the best case, hundreds of thousands will die in war. But the Venezuelans at least have their fate under their control. The real losers in any US takeover of Venezuela will be Europeans.
    For Europe is the key, here, it is already in the position of being within political millimetres of becoming an open American Protectorate, with the United States reserving the right to make the final decision on any European Country’s political choices. All Europeans, and this includes Canadians and Antipodeans too, have to do is to open their eyes. There, see it, the US tells your ‘government’ what it can do.
    Does anyone, watching what is happening to Maduro, really believe that the UK will be allowed to elect a socialist government and undertake the radical reforms necessary to protect its people from the famines and blizzards that the marketplace has in store?
    Does anyone in France, where Marie Antoinette would blanche at the deliberate violent provocations undertaken by the state to tempt people into revolutionary action, doubt that behind Macron stands the US deep state in all its ugly, know nothing, glory?
    Few people in Germany, at least, are unaware that their ‘sovereignty’ has been limited and on sufferance since 1945 and that Merkel et al are effectively dual citizens, beholden to Washington to a degree that, in comparison, the gormless Guiado is his own man.
    As to Poland, the Baltic lands, and, with the possible exception of Hungary, the rest of eastern Europe, its leadership would shiver with fear at the prospect of being left to get on with life without constant instructions from the prompting box across the Atlantic.
    The denunciation of the INF Treaty is, as Putin has said, notice to the Europeans that they have been enrolled again into the job of soaking up nuclear responses to attacks on Russia and China and providing handy bases for masses of US short range missiles aimed at Russian cities.
    It is an indication of the utter vacuity of European claims of sovereignty that the US has come very close to persuading its ‘governments’ to turn down the cheap and dependable gas supplies Nord stream etc offers them, in favour of LNG from, still to be built, liquification facilities at twice the price and guaranteed to keep on coming for months rather than years.
    Clearly the subtext to such ‘offers’ is that the US has assured Europe that it will soon be controlling Russia’s oil and gas industry. If necessary by invading a country that spends less on its armed forces than the US does on its municipal police.
    Which is why this generation of political nullities in the EU exists: none of its members has any conviction that the country they ‘lead’ is in any sense sovereign. They all do as they are told. Their political skill consists simply, though there is nothing simple about it, in understanding whose orders take priority. Those of the EU Commission or the Central Bank? Those of Parliament or the US Embassy? Those of the public-expressed in overwhelming poll numbers- or those of US Healthcare Industry lobbyists? The UN Charter and international law or the ‘gut feeling’ expressed in the US President’s National Security Advisor’s personal emissary’s text message?
    If the public in Europe and the ‘west’ do not express their opposition to US aggression in Venezuela-aggression aimed at their important, strategically crucial countries far more than at Venezuela itself, which is just more co-lateral damage in the campaign to conquer the world- then they had better prepare themselves to become Puerto Ricans in political terms.
    So far the signs are not good: while the crude and cynical nature of the US campaign is open to all to see, the voices of opposition are muted and cowed. Leaving aside the US Congress from which honest people are barred by bi-partisan agreement, what has been heard from the European Left? Not much. And,largely because, it is controlled by Washington’s agents to the extent that even socialists know that they risk short term disaster by giving their fifth columns the cue to sing America The Beautiful.
    The attacks on Panama and Grenada, Iraq and even Libya were all much more controversial than an attack on Venezuela which is almost indistinguishable from an old fashioned mixed economy, social democracy.

    And just one more point: those who think that this is all about oil are, inadvertently no doubt, saying what Washington wants us to believe. It is all about everything. But mostly it is about the US ruling class maintaining its ‘full spectrum’ domination over the people. The 1% ensuring that the 99% don’t get in their way.
    It has been like this since 1776 when, alarmed at Lord Mansfield’s Sommerset judgement suggesting that slavery might come under challenge, and frustrated by the Royal Proclamation banning settlers from acquiring land west of the Allegheny mountains, the 1%, clothing themselves in the rhetoric of Whiggism, rose up and drove out the Crown. The freedom to steal land, under colour of confected law, and reduce humanity to chattel slavery is at the heart of the US ruling class’s view of the world. It was then. It is now. It applies to Venezuela. And it applies to the rest of the world.
    Except in those places prepared to resist it.
    Wondering for whom the bell is tolling? The bell tolls for us. Not just for Maduro, and the people of the barrios but for all who would be free everywhere.

    36
    • Haltonbrat says

      But behind the USA is Israel and their Sayanim.

      11
    • Gary Weglarz says

      bevin – I just had 20 minutes of writing disappear with a message that I was “posting too fast.” Damn! So I’ll make this brief. Thank you for your excellent post. From the belly of the beast I thank you. The only hope I see on the horizon is if at least some of the European nations peal away from their subservience to the U.S. empire and join Russia, China, and others in openly opposing our insane immoral military interventions, coups, color revolutions, and regime change by jihadist proxy adventures. Our U.S. economy is a house of cards and would never survive a sanctions regime by Europe. Even threats to boycott U.S. weapons systems would get serious attention of Washington. We don’t actually “make” anything else these days.

      I quite agree with your analysis. The planners in the U.S. halls of power have no concern whatsoever for how many European lives might be lost in even a limited nuclear exchange triggered between the U.S., NATO and Russia as a result of the U.S. and U.K. doing all we can to revive the cold war. Full spectrum dominance is the ONLY thing U.S. planner have in their sights, all the rest is rhetoric. That so much of Europe has openly supported the Orange One in what is so obviously an illegal immoral U.S. regime change operation in Venezuela truly surprised me. I thought Trump to be a very poor “face” for U.S. to rally Europe behind any more insane imperial actions, but that apparently didn’t seem to matter at all. Amazing.

      17
      • Sometimes that notice appears if you press the submit button too long by milliseconds….sometimes going back revives your post again.

      • Maggie says

        >>I just had 20 minutes of writing disappear with a message that I was “posting too fast.” Damn! So I’ll make this brief.<<
        I've had this experience before Gary, so if I write a 'long' post I now cut and paste it to a document first, to ensure that it isn't lost.

    • BigB says

      Bevin

      Excellent comment. But it leaves me scratching my head. As clearly as you see the EU: which is politically aligning with Guaido and regime change via the International Contact Group – how does this square with urging everyone to join the Labour Party? A Labour Party that is clearly aligned with the EU – with a leader who is set to have his own talks with Verhofstadt? Supporting the Labour Party which is voluntarily subservient to the EU, which is subservient to regime change? Did I miss something about sovereignty? So how will this set us free?

      https://www.voltairenet.org/article205180.html

      5
      1
      • bevin says

        BigB
        Currently, and for the first time in its existence, the Labour Party is organised denocratically. that means that it is possible for people to join their local party, put forward resolutions and persuade people to vote for them.
        To put forward a resolution calling on the party and the local MP/ppc to work to facilitate the return of sovereignty and withdrawal from the EU is as easy as writing pieces here. What the Labour Party needs is people who can think for themselves to join in the battle to win power for the people. It needs news media and opinion mongers, it needs articulate voices on the doorstep and in its counsels and it needs people to drive out the Fifth Columnists and, in particular, the corrupt local councillors and MPs who disgrace the cause and make people cynical and apathetic.
        Waiting for Thornberry to speak truth to tel aviv won’t work: but censuring her in the local party will.
        Mind you, its easy for me to say- I live thousands of miles to the west and all I do is read.
        Peace be with you.

        • BigB says

          Bevin

          As I have mentioned over the last year or so, I was a member of the local PLP. And as I mentioned as recently as last week, I was ostracised. So my experience does nor match how you think the PLP/Momentum grassroots ‘democracy’ is organised. But that is not my point. My point is about sovereignty and radical responsibility.

          The finest minds that have ever lived have told us that this world is fully intentional (karmic). The world is not determined by invisible forces, but by personal choice. Choices count: and the total summation of all choices is the world. It must be entailed in this statement that nearly 100% of those involved are not aware of this process: so the world is the result of unconscious unchoosing. It also must be apparent that not every personal set of choices carry the same weight. The majority of humanity are given no choice at all. Therefore, those who are given any form of choice should exercise that choice very carefully, IMHO.

          Power is arranged hierarchically: which has the effect of concentrating choices. Power is exercised as a supervention upon the personal level. But this does not remove the radical responsibility of the chooser. Our choices validate the power structure and legitimate the choices made by the groups we choose and vest our consent in. They may make the policy: but we at least retain partial shared responsibility for the choices they make.

          Leaving aside the profound dissatisfaction that everyone should share in this miserable alliance of power and personal autonomy.

          On Venezuela: JC’s position is ambiguous …in that he does not have a declared position. However, he did Tweet on 4th Feb:

          “Great to meet Bolivia’s Vice President Álvaro García Linera today, who along with Mexico and Uruguay are already playing an important role in mediating a negotiated political solution in Venezuela.”

          On the 7th, on the initiative of the very same Mexico and Uruguay, they convened the International Contact Group with the EU. Can this be a coincidence? The ICG communiqué addressed only the National Congress, not the bona fide President, Nicolas Maduro. So what does the phrase “mediating a negotiated political solution” actually mean: especially if they are only addressing Guaido?

          I can only speculate, until a position is declared. The fact that Thornberry has allegedly been sidelined (for her comments on Venezuela) may or may not prove incidental. The position on the EU is much clearer, and will become even clearer from Thursday (when JC meets Verhofstadt). Assuming that a permanent customs union is the basis of this deal: then any personal choosing becomes subjacent to EU foreign policy. A foreign policy that is anti-democratic and pro-regime change. Even if it is by a circuitous causality of choice – the de-politicisation of personal autonomy (that the current neoliberal regimes of power rely on) – support for Labour becomes indirect, undeclared, and non-redressable support for regime change.

          Power is subtle, and exercised in indirect and undemocratic ways. We do not even know who makes our choices for us. And if and when we do not agree, we can take it to the PLP …but what authority do they even have? So long as we keep validating the current profoundly depersonalised faceless power structures: what say do we actually have? As far as I am concerned, the only real choice left for the thinking, critically conscious subject – is to exercise the right not to consent. Then seek alternative avenues of exercising agency. This can only be effective en masse: if and when people take it upon themselves to validate peace. But what do I know, my position is too radical for most.

          Peace be with you too.

          • Maggie says

            I totally AGREE with ‘everything’ you have said.
            My family have been long time Labour supporters, but lost the will when Bliar came to prominence with his smarm and lies. I knew instinctively that he was a bad apple. Especially when Thatcher said ”Tony Blair and New Labour were her greatest legacies”.
            As Bevan says WHY IS HE STILL A MEMBER OF THE LABOUR PARTY? Why wasn’t he ex communicated and tried for war crimes along with the ‘full of his own shit’ Alistair Campbell.
            We all joined the Labour Party when Corbyn came to the fore, and really believed he would genuinely make a difference.
            I am convinced that he is a genuine, good man, who puts the country and people before anything… Just like Putin.
            BUT I really hate to say this but he is fighting a losing battle. The witch hunts and smears have taken their toll, and he is unable to function because they have tied his arms down. And we have considered tearing our cards up, but how will that benefit our country. All it will do is give the snakes a bigger bite of the pie.. so we have to persevere. Even though the evil MSM and BBC is controlling all the narratives ensuring that the plebians will NEVER know the truth. So it is up to you, me and others like us to keep on informing and encouraging people. I personally write on numerous sites to get the messages across?
            How many of them do you think even use the internet to research anything that is crucially important to their wellbeing and that of their children/grandchildren.
            How many people knew the exact proportions of the children demonstrating on Friday against Climate Change? There was a fifteen minute spot showing kids with banners… but no in depth reporting or interviews. And now it is forgotten. That is what happens…
            Yet every night we had someone standing outside Westminster talking about Brexit while a small group of people stood waving flags, and the camera zoomed in on the remoaners who were the least of those there!
            We have been stupefied and confused, deliberately, by all the infighting and conflicting messages. We had a vote – result was to LEAVE. Like Putin says, how many votes are we going to have until everyone is satisfied? We don’t need a deal… we have the world to deal with. The EU need us more than we need them.
            Let all the Oligarchs ship out to America and Dublin.. They have been skimming all the cream and haven’t been paying taxes here anyway.. Then there will be more opportunities for the Businesses who remain.
            So, we will all have to tighten our belts ready for a bumpy ride? We can do it. Our parents did it. All their threats and blustering will come to nothing, We are the many, they are the few!!!

            • JudyJ says

              Maggie

              You might be interested to read the linked article: “Understanding Russia, undemonizing Putin” by American Sharon Tennison who in 1983 founded the Center [sic] for Citizen Initiatives whose primary purpose is to encourage and promote positive relations between the US and Russia. When I originally read the article on the Consortium News website I emailed Sharon to express my gratitude for her very reasoned profile of President Putin and, in spite of her no doubt hectic schedule, she took time to email me a very warm and appreciative reply. She also added me to the Center’s email list and I regularly receive updates on the Center’s activities and circulations of other reports of interest. If you would be interested I have also linked to the Center’s website where you can get yourself onto their mailing list.
              https://consortiumnews.com/2018/02/06/understanding-russia-un-demonizing-putin/
              https://ccisf.org/

              J.

              • Maggie says

                Thanks for that Judy, I will do that.
                Mx

        • crank says

          Currently, and for the first time in its existence, the Labour Party is organised denocratically. that means that it is possible for people to join their local party, put forward resolutions and persuade people to vote for them.
          To put forward a resolution calling on the party and the local MP/ppc to work to facilitate the return of sovereignty and withdrawal from the EU is as easy as writing pieces here. What the Labour Party needs is people who can think for themselves to join in the battle to win power for the people.

          I can only conclude that either:

          1. The majority of the hundreds of thousands of activists who have joined the LP in the past three years are incompetent, apathetic or ignorant. If not, then why have they not yet got control of the party? Why us Tony Blair still a member? Why is there still a witch hunt of Leftists and anti-racists? Why is the AS label allowed to be freely weaponised? How did members lose the mandatory reselection vote? Why are they not united on leaving the EU? etc.

          2. What you have written there is an oversimplification or just plain mistaken, and in fact the party is still controlled by mechanisms and individuals that are antithetical to democracy and socialism.

          3. Some combination of the above.

      • Yarkob says

        undermine the US at every available turn

    • mark says

      No.
      Let it collapse under its own weight.
      Like the GDR in 1989.

  11. BigB says

    We are all Venezuela now: the fate of the Bolivarian Revolution is in our hands. Syria and Venezuela can be the inflection point in a re-orientation to a universal humanism and resocialisation. So I am in total agreement with Andre: no pasaran! But I am left wondering: by what mechanism? What is the praxis by which the Bolivarian socialist revolution shall become the internationalle of a humanist eco-communalisation?

    We are all the victims of the dynamics of the system we were born into. There is no blame attached: and let me assume that everyone who might read this is anti the systemic self-maximising violence and greed. But we are still like insects trapped in liquid amber – there is no escaping the vicious inputs, outputs, and inherent self-organised dynamics of the hyper-violence system. Perhaps a better and more apposite image is of mammals caught in an ancient tar pit: ineluctably drawn in and paleo-fossilised …despite all our escape intentionality and remonstrations.

    Hands off Venezuela. No one wants the oppression. No one wants a war. No one wakes up in the morning with the intent to oppress: but everything everyone does has an oil element to it. Nearly every micro-action in the industrialised world is a micro-contributary act – toward the inevitability of a Venezuela. That is not a metaphysical truth claim: more a simple statement of fact. So long as oil is the global master resource: countries like Venezuela will be a target of Wall St vultures; Capitalism’s Invisible Army – and its more visible cousin …the US Imperium war machine. [Potentially including the EU military Frankenstein?]

    Of course they do it for themselves, for their own self-maximisation. There isn’t a single drop of benevolence or altruism. But every developed economy runs on the very dynamic that they have leveraged for their own benefit. They own the system: we are the unwilling and unconscious prisoners of the systemic process. There is no escaping that the system is fundamentally a biophysical process of burning oil. The military is a hyper-carbonisation machine.

    Oil imperialism is indeed too one dimensional: but it is a major, if not decisive factor. To a system addicted to oil: the fact that even in strict economic terms – Venezuelan ‘oil’ should be considered an ‘unburnable carbon’ and negative stranded asset. But it won’t be. So I am left wondering: who really wants a solution?

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is gaining a lot of airtime. She wants a ‘Green New Deal’. Leaving aside that there is less than zero chance of getting such a proposal through the “dark money” Congress: I read the proposal. As fine as it is: it is based on two major predicates – the reversibility of time and the Laws of Physics (2nd Law); and the preservation of lifestyle effortlessly transitioned to renewable resources. Jobs, labour unions, productivity …all well and good. But entropy is higher now, the fossil fuels have been burnt, the resources are in landfill (emitting methane). Time and entropy have moved on: irreversibly.

    Our champagne socialists want to hitch us to the EU wagon: for much the same reasons. So, decarbonisation: who really wants it? It would seem that it is a pseudo-demand: not truly embraced. It seems that there is a desire for the lifestyle, without the guilt of the energy and resource imperialism. But the two are co-fused in the dynamics of the systemic process. What if the true and only real solution to the oppression of Venezuela – and all tomorrows Venezuelas – is a massive drop in living standards …even supposing that could be done egalitarianly? I wonder: who really wants it?

    Because when enough people truly want post-carbon peace: then the praxis will emerge …though perhaps not until. When humanity can face the enormity of the challenge – for which the privileged industrialised middle classes are perhaps the only available catalyst – that should be enough impetus for the compassion they pay lip service to …to truly actualise. But I am not really sure that anyone actually wants it, that’s all.

    12
    • AOC’s “Green New Deal” has nothing to do with FDR’s New Deal, and certainly nothing to do with socialism. On socialism, think: Liberals spent the past quarter-century calling on us to protect the advantages of the better-off, the middle/working class, within our capitalist system. Americans are hard-wired to believe that people are deserving only of what they, personally, can afford to purchase, and this includes the most basic human rights (food and shelter). Because this ideology dominates, there is no chance of the US leaning toward socialism.

      12
      3
    • crank says

      What if the true and only real solution to the oppression of Venezuela – and all tomorrows Venezuelas – is a massive drop in living standards …even supposing that could be done egalitarianly? I wonder: who really wants it?

      Exactly this.

    • bevin says

      Sorry that was meant to be a reply-by way of amplification-to Gary Weglarz.

    • Another surface scratched 😉

      in the backyard ,

      of greener grazing ,

      patterns of behaviour ,

      disposable human resources ,

      intent on resources ,

      brutal chain gang ,

      Connect the dots ,

      ^^^ Venezuelan Vortex Guaido ^^^

      Weaponised Geopolitical Engineering

      Geo-engineering weather whiplash ,

      Floating climate change ,

      Out of control ,

      Intent on controlling ,

      any collateral damage ,

      Get big picture ?

      Not the Guardian !

  12. The most important step would be if Europeans stop their governments of being supportive vassals of the US Empire!
    “Europe: There Will be no Peace and no Social Progress Without a Revolution Against US Dominance!”: https://wipokuli.wordpress.com/2018/04/26/europe-there-will-be-no-peace-and-no-social-progress-without-a-revolution-against-us-dominace-deutschland-europa-es-wird-keinen-frieden-und-keinen-sozialen-fortschritt-ohne-eine-revolution-gegen/

    15
  13. Gary Weglarz says

    Thank you Mr. Vltchek. And who does the empire bring in to oversee it’s criminal intervention program in Venezuela? Elliot freaking Abrams – the spawn of satan. Few beings are walking the planet today that can claim more blood, more torture, more terrorizing of innocent people and more mass murder than Abrams.

    Abrams was the architect of the “death squad democracies” of Central America in the 1980’s. The death-squad slaughter of tens of thousands in El Salvador and Guatemala in order to insure the continued rule of the small local pro-U.S. oligarchy has become known as the “Salvador Option” among those who deal in such mayhem for a living. Murder labor leaders, rape and murder nuns, murder priests, teachers, social workers, even the archbishop, anyone who stood with the poor. But of course torture them first. Leave the body by the roadside for all to see. Cut off a head and throw it through the family’s window as a message. All done through U.S. “counter-insurgency training” and military support. This is the legacy of Elliot “death-squad” Abrams. It is exceptionally well documented.

    Many, as I did, participated in the Central American solidarity movement and saw first hand the torture scars, the PTSD, the photos of the dead family members, and the most recently murdered bodies executed by the death squads, all up close and first hand when we traveled to those nations. On multiple visits to U.S. embassies we were invariably told by the smiling CIA jackals there that “we didn’t see what we saw,” “there are no death squads,” “the human rights situation is improving,” “the army doesn’t torture,” and other endless shameless lies.

    Mr. Abram’s career work has been simply put the mass torture, murder and terrorizing of the poor of Latin America. Now he hopes to continue his “legacy” in Venezuela. We cannot allow that to happen.

    36
    • Stopping a US military invasion is paramount to avoiding another Iraq, etc. This means stopping the neo-con axis of evil (Bolton-Pompeo-Abrams) from triggering the military option.

      Trump is the wild card. Apparently he got interested in Venezuela when the wife of political prisoner Leopoldo Lopez visited the White House and decided to help. I can see him telling Bolton to deal with it as he headed for the first tee. Thrilled, Bolton probably hatched an overkill (no pun intended) strategy. As head of the National Security apparatus (CIA) etc. it is his job to ensure world hegemony for the US and protect the interests of the arms industry.

      Believe it or not, Trump is our only hope (IMO)! He tells Bolton to pull the troops out of Syria, for example, although later Bolton gets him to switch to drones. The humanitarian aid event at the Colombia border on Feb. 23rd will be a test of wills and the intended recipients may end up being the victims (as always – cf. Vietnam).

      Congratulations on your solidarity movement work, Gary. I spent 3 months in Guatemala during grad school helping get an urban planning programme up and running at San Carlos University. I saw the grizzly results of the “Mano Blanco (White Hand)” death squad. We all need to do our bit to stop this military invasion madness.

      15
      • Purple Library Guy says

        Leopoldo Lopez isn’t a political prisoner. He’s an old fashioned “in jail for committing crimes” prisoner. Sure, he committed the crimes for political reasons, but it wasn’t the politics he got put in jail for, it was the incitement to violence and conspiring terrorism. You can tell because there’s all those other people with the same politics doing and saying things that would totally get them jailed in the UK or Canada, let alone the US, walking around free getting interviewed on Venezuelan national TV.

        11
        • @Purple Library Guy (great name btw). Thanks for the reply. I used the term “political” prisoner rather than “common criminal” prisoner because at the time (2014) Lopez was involved in a peaceful protest march, a political act, and was the leading presidential candidate for the opposition. The violence and resulting deaths were mainly caused by armed motorized “collectives”. This was a group struggle, not an individual act and was a challenge to the existing power structure.

    • Maggie says

      @ Gary,

      Ilhan Omar has really owned Abrams, showing him up for the lying scum he is.
      https://www.libertybugle.com/backlash-grows-over-ilham-omars-viciously-offensive-question-at-congressional-hearing/

      So the ‘big guns’ are really after her now, branding her an anti-semite.…..
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxjNOp-c2VQ

      THIS IS WHAT WE ARE LACKING IN OUR PARLIAMENTARY SYSTEM!
      Someone who has the guts to research and speak the truth, regardless of their own safety, or monetary gain.

      Who the hell do AIPEC and the Jewish Lobby think they are?

Comments are closed.