57

Venezuela: Media Factcheck and the Lima Conference

Eric Zuesse

This past week’s meeting of the U.S.-and-Canada-created anti-Venezuela Lima Group of nations failed to achieve the U.S. regime’s intention of organizing a coalition of its members to participate in a U.S.-led invasion to overthrow Venezuela’s Government and install Trump’s choice, the self-styled ‘interim President’ of Venezuela, Juan Guaido, to rule there. Although 100 nations had been invited, only 60 attended, and the U.S. regime wasn’t able to obtain even one ally for an invasion.

John Bolton (U.S. National Security Advisor) and Wilbur Ross (U.S. Secretary of ‘Commerce’ — mainly U.S. oil companies) represented U.S. President Trump at the meeting, which started on August 5th. The meeting ended with no official announcement. It was a humiliating defeat for the U.S. regime.

Below is a report about this meeting, by Agence France-Presse, a typical U.S.-allied ‘news’-medium. The italicized additions in brackets in and near the article’s end are essential historical context; it’s taken from Wikipedia’s article “International sanctions during the Venezuelan crisis”, and thus also isn’t from me.

This way, the reader will be able to see what the ‘news’-report here leaves out, which is essential background in order for readers to know the reality that stands behind this particular ‘news’ report. The minor typos in the original report are also left unchanged; the entire article is unchanged, except that I boldface the passages toward the end, which passages are subsequently contextualized immediately below them.

Afterward, I shall add my own comments, in order to provide a fuller context:

US warns off Venezuela’s supporters as Lima meeting opens

Date created: Tuesday 6 August 2019, 06/08/2019 – 20:07

AFP, Lima (AFP): Washington warned third parties on Tuesday to avoid doing business with the Venezuelan regime of Nicolas Maduro, as delegates from some 60 countries met in Lima to discuss ways of ending the crisis in South American nation.

The warning came one day after President Donald Trump ordered a freeze on all Venezuelan government assets in the United States and barred transactions with its authorities.
“We are sending a signal to third parties that want to do business with the Maduro regime: proceed with extreme caution,” said Trump’s National Security Advisor John Bolton, speaking in Lima.

“There is no need to risk your business interests with the United States for the purposes of profiting from a corrupt and dying regime.”
The Trump administration is determined to force Maduro from power and support opposition leader Juan Guaido’s plans to form a transitional government and set up new elections.

The sanctions drew an angry response from Caracas, which denounced the US move as “another serious aggression by the Trump administration through arbitrary economic terrorism against the Venezuelan people.”

Crisis-wracked Venezuela has been mired in a political impasse since January when Guaido, speaker of the Natinal Assembly, proclaimed himself acting president, quickly receiving the support of more than 50 countries.

Tuesday’s meeting was called by the Lima Group, which includes a dozen Latin American countries and Canada, most of which support Guaido.
The Lima meeting comes as representatives of Maduro and Guaido are involved in “continuous” negotiations mediated by Norway.

The first round of talks were in Oslo in May, and three further rounds have taken place in Barbados.

Caracas claims the US sanctions show that Washington and its allies are “committed to the failure of the political dialogue” because “they fear the results and benefits.”

Bolton, who is in the US delegation alongside Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, said Maduro was “not serious” about talks.
He said Trump’s move “authorizes the US government to identify, target and impose sanctions on any persons who continue to provide support” Maduro’s “illegitimate regime.”

He said it would “deny Maduro access to the global financial system and to further isolate him internationally.”

Venezuela’s opposition considers Maduro a usurper over his re-election last year in a poll widely viewed as rigged.

They want him to stand down so new elections can be held — but Maduro, with support from the country’s powerful military, refuses to go.

Maduro says the talks must lead to “democratic coexistence” and an end to what he describes as an attempted US-orchestrated “coup.”

But on Tuesday the White House was emphatic: the “dictatorship must end for Venezuela to have a stable, democratic, and prosperous future.” The United States would “use every appropriate tool to end Maduro’s hold on Venezuela,” White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement.

Oil-rich but cash-poor Venezuela has been in a deep recession for five years.

President Barack Obama signed the Venezuela Defense of Human Rights and Civil Society Act of 2014, a U.S. Act imposing sanctions on Venezuelan individuals held responsible by the United States for human rights violations during the 2014 Venezuelan protests, in December of that year.[13][14] It “requires the President to impose sanctions” on those “responsible for significant acts of violence or serious human rights abuses associated with February 2014 protests or, more broadly, against anyone who has directed or ordered the arrest or prosecution of a person primarily because of the person’s legitimate exercise of freedom of expression or assembly”.[8]

Food and medicine shortages are routine, and public services are progressively failing.

As the humanitarian crisis deepened and expanded, the Trump administration levied more serious economic sanctions against Venezuela on 28 January [2019], and “Maduro accused the US of plunging Venezuelan citizens further into economic crisis.”[3] Rafael Uzcátegui, director of PROVEA, added that “sanctions against PDVSA are likely to yield stronger and more direct economic consequences, and that “[w]e should remember that 70 to 80 percent of Venezuela’s food is imported, and there’s barely any medicine production in the country.”[3]

The U.S. regime’s sanctions against Venezuelans were aimed at producing such distress amongst the population so as to cause them not to vote for Maduro. It didn’t work. The sanctions had the intended effect of distressing Venezuelans, but this deprivation drove so many of the most anti-Maduro Venezuelans to leave the country so that the sanctions failed to force the expected “regime change.”

It drove too many of his enemies out. The U.S. regime is therefore trying even-stronger measures to grab the country. Trump is dictating to Venezuela that “the dictatorship must end.” He has even chosen the person, Guaido, who is to replace the current nationally elected President, whom the U.S. regime has long been trying to oust. Guaido has never even been a candidate in any national Venezuelan election, but he was trained in the U.S., and has always cooperated with the U.S. Government’s repeated efforts to take control over Venezuela. Venezuela has never invaded nor even threatened the United States.

This coup-attempt is purely an effort for imperialistic conquest of Venezuela, but it is cloaked in ‘democratic’ and ‘humanitarian’ lies, for fools, like America’s invasions and coups typically are. Only idiots can’t see what the U.S. pattern is here, especially after the lies that had suckered Americans in 2003 to support “regime-change in Iraq.”

Trump is continuing Barack Obama’s policy, which continued that of George W. Bush. Whatever changes in personnel occur within the U.S. regime, the regime itself remains basically the same, though its theatrics change, and that’s enough change to satisfy most Americans that we live in a democracy. Virtually all of the U.S. Congress supports these efforts to conquer Venezuela, and this fascism includes all of the Democratic Party’s Presidential candidates.

Therefore, none of the candidates are being challenged about their votes supporting this (or any other) attempted conquest by the U.S. regime. The neoconservative policy is bipartisan in America, though the personnel do change, from the representatives of one group of billionaires, to the representatives of another group of billionaires. And the vast majority of Americans think that it’s good, or at least okay — even after all of the lies have been exposed, they still approve. Of course, most Italians, Japanese, and Germans, thought favorably about their Government’s imperialistic conquests, during WW II; but Americans became opposed to that when we were hit by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor and Germany declared war against us.

This time around, we are the Japanese, and the Germans, and the Italians. Things weren’t supposed to turn out this way, but it has happened. The U.S. is today the world’s leading fascist nation. And very few Americans recognize that it’s the way that things did turn out. Very few Americans know that we live in a fascist nation — today’s leading fascist nation.

AFTER THAT NEWS-REPORT:

The next day, August 7th, Venezuela’s Telesur headlined “EU Opposes Recent US Total Blockade Against Venezuela” and reported that Trump had failed to get the EU — his biggest hope for destroying Venezuela short of militarily invading it — to accept even that proposal.

The EU said “We oppose the extraterritorial application of unilateral measures.” They further said “A negotiated outcome remains the only sustainable way to overcome this multidimensional crisis.” The EU couldn’t muster enough fascists to go along with anything that the U.S. regime proposed.

At this point, Trump isn’t far from the moment when he will need either to abandon his effort to grab Venezuela in this round, or else spring a blitz invasion without allies. Even if he calls off the effort, that would only be temporary. Perhaps if and when he is re-elected, he will feel freer just to send in thousands of troops, tanks, and missiles, to get the job done.

However, if Russia stands firm, then such an invasion could spark WW III. He would have to decide whether grabbing the world’s largest oil reserves is worth that risk.

Meanwhile, he will almost certainly continue to try to make life as difficult as possible for the Venezuelan people, all the while blaming Maduro for their misery. This has been the basic American plan, since well before Trump occupied the White House.

At this stage, an American President is just a figurehead for one or another faction of America’s 607 billionaires, and it seems that whereas some of them demand conquest of Venezuela, none of the others opposes such a conquest. The only issue, therefore, for the American regime, is how and when to do that.

On August 8th, Venezuela, Iran, China, and Russia, held “war games” at Kaliningrad, Russia, on the Baltic coast, which military exercises had been organized by Russia, perhaps in order to indicate to Washington that a U.S. invasion against any of these four would be militarily responded to by all of the four.

This symbolic act warns the fascist, and fascist-accepting, regimes: Your imperialist alliance has 60 nations, but is fractious; ours, on the other hand — all resolute supporters of national sovereignty, and therefore opponents of imperialism — has 4 nations, but we are united.

Consequently, though “US warns off Venezuela’s supporters as Lima meeting opens,” Venezuela’s three allies here answered that verbal threat immediately after the Lima Group meeting, by a joint action, which symbolized that they are ignoring it.

First published on The Saker
avatar
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
mark
Reader
mark

There was a recent assessment that 40% of humanity is now subject to US economic strangulation, but this has clearly now been overtaken by events.

It would be far simpler to draw up a list of countries NOT subject to US economic warfare (there aren’t many, and their numbers are diminishing daily.)

There are the old favourites, long targeted for destruction by the Ziocons.

Russia – world’s largest country, major military power, immense natural resources.
China – world’s largest population, largest or second largest economy according to the yardstick used, world’s greatest manufacturing and trading nation.
Venezuela and Iran – major world energy producers and exporters.
DPRK – now a nuclear power.
Syria.
Cuba.
Nicaragua.
Bolivia.

More significantly, the new victims include some of the formerly most obedient and servile satellites.

Canada
Mexico
Turkey
India
Germany
France
EU
Pakistan
Palestine
And others.

There are historical precedents for this type of behaviour in assessing likely outcomes.

After his naval defeat at Trafalgar in 1805, Napoleon tried to bring Britain to heel by imposing his “Continental System” on conquered Europe. The nations of the continent, from Spain to Russia, were prohibited from trading with Britain. It was an attempt to strangle his adversary economically.

The boycott failed. It was largely ignored. People were not prepared to forego this profitable trade, which continued, at first on a clandestine basis, and then increasingly openly and blatantly. The Tsar of Russia refused to comply, and this was a major factor in the 1812 invasion of the country, and Napoleon’s ultimate downfall. One of the largest military disasters in history.

Whether this will again lead to war remains to be seen. Certainly America will increasingly find itself frozen out of the global economy which it has previously dominated. Alternative banking and financial systems, payment systems are emerging, and this will continue apace. It is an open question how long the dollar can retain its reserve currency status.

Ben Trovata
Reader
Ben Trovata

The Big Lie covers like a wet blanket,chills everything underneath it.Everyone gets soaked,but some pretend not to notice.Almost no one is immune,but delusions sell like hotcakes!

nottheonly1
Reader
nottheonly1

Thank you. While I certainly had differing opinions in regard to previous articles of the author, it this masterpiece that deserves to be lauded.

The most important aspect though is, that Eric Zuesse is correctly referring to the U.S. as having a regime. A fascist one at that. The reason why the American population by a large margin has no problem with that, lies within both its proclivity for fascism and the belief to be special, to be exceptional. Chosen by their fantasy god to rule the world. For which they receive support from other exceptional Nations.

During the last 20+ years in Hawai’i, I had the opportunity to meet a few real Americans that are now as appalled by what is happening in the district of criminals, than most other human beings on Earth. Unfortunately, being appalled might be a motivator to take it to the next level of dissent – however, the regime used the past 18 years to install a system for the brutal oppression of the population, should it ever decide to march to demand redress from their open tyrannic regime.

The Western propaganda – as exemplary displayed by the fascist U.S. regime – is saturated with psychological projection. Ones own crimes are projected on Nations that never came even close to the war crimes and crimes against humanity perpetrated by U.S. regimes. A Nation that has nuked Hiroshima and Nagasaki solely to intimidate its declared enemy the U.S.S.R., has burned and bombed North Korea into oblivion, burned and bombed Vietnam without ever achieving its sickening goals, had bombed Serbia to prevent the continuation of the Yugoslavian Republic, starved to death millions of people through illegal sanctions from Iraq to Venezuela – dares to point its fascist finger at any other Nation on this planet?

And in a slightly altered quote from Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’ – that was not foreseeable to Orwell, or omitted to ensure that a wider readership would be reached – it must be clear by now, that in the U.S.:

The trough is always the same – only the fascist pigs change.

It should also be noted that the willful stooges of the fascist regimes are saturating the commenting boards in force. Character defamation, ridicule and discord are applied on all a-social networks. As I have stated elsewhere, these are the real dark ages. And if one truly believes, that Guantanamo Bay is less perverse that the Spanish inquisition, or that the bombing and burning of innocent children and their mothers in the Middle East are worse than burning witches for witchcraft, one should reconsider and take a closer look at the contemporary depravity of the Western regimes in question.

Viva Venezuela!

jesus
Reader
jesus

sounds like none of you have visited venezuela since it fell to “socialism”. a couple of points…1) trump is an isolationist, they’ll be no “boots on the ground” inspite of whatever your “journalistic accumen” tells you. 2) guaido is the legitimately elected leader of the national assembly and invoked the chavez-created constitution to become interm-president. 3) russia is scavenging the socialist government’s corpse, they will not go to war over venezuela. 4) if the maduro government goes to war, it will be bankrupt and china will lose its investments. if china sides with maduro and guiado wins, china will lose its investments. china is an alleged non-interventionist. 5) this piece isn’t reporting. it’s fan fiction.

mark
Reader
mark

Venezuela is a mixed economy with a large private sector.
The oil industry was nationalised in the mid 70s (long before the Chavistas came to power in a series of free and fair elections.)
Uncle Sam was quite happy with that arrangement – Venezuela’s natural wealth was run as a private piggy bank for the corrupt comprador elite with 2nd homes in Miami, worshipping at the altar of all things American.
“Trump is an isolationist.” Tell that to the Iranians. Tell that to the Syrians. Tell that to the Koreans. Tell that to the Russians. Tell that to the Chinese. Tell that to the Marines.
Gweedo is a neocon puppet with zero support inside the country. No Venezuelans had ever heard of him until Trump and Wall Street appointed him as their puppet ruler of the country.
Not only was Gweedo not the elected leader of the country, he didn’t even stand as a candidate – on the instructions of his Washington handlers. They realised he ahd about as much chance of winning a free election as he did of being struck by lightning.
There was an opposition leader who contested the election against Maduro. He got 32% of the vote – and was promptly sanctioned by Washington for contesting the election against neocon orders.
Russia and China are trading freely and fairly with Venezuela, as they do with most of the countries on the planet.
The Venezuelan people will not go to war with anybody – but they will defend their country against US aggression and US imperialism and US intrigue, as they always have.
If Washington’s puppet Gweedo did succeed in seizing power on their behalf, they would immediately loot the natural wealth of Venezuela, as they have on so many occasions in the past.

Apart from those few minor points, everything you say is correct.

Bootlyboob
Reader
Bootlyboob

I appreciate the effort, Mark. It must have taken a bit of time out of your day to reply to what can only be described as a brain-fart of a comment that any reader here would perhaps best ignore.

wardropper
Reader
wardropper

My own rule-of-thumb is to make the effort at least once.
It quickly comes to light whether a second effort has any point.

Francis Lee
Reader
Francis Lee

”I appreciate the effort, Mark. It must have taken a bit of time out of your day to reply to what can only be described as a brain-fart of a comment that any reader here would perhaps best ignore.”

The above is not a political argument or statement of any kind. It contains no relevant facts, is basically saying nothing apropos of the issues raised and contains a rather silly, irrelevant comment directed at regular contributors to these columns.

I can just imagine this guy sitting in front of a televised sporting event beer in hand giving his view on life. Essentially he says nothing of consequence but simply emits a stream of highly personalised verbal diarrhea. Or he could be possibly some well-paid, vetted MSM type who is trying his best to take on the personna of a regular sort of no-nonsense macho type. I can well imagine that this type of ‘work’ is well-paid. Plenty of presstitutes in this line of work.

Please note the erudition and sophistication (sarcasm) of these replies of which the above is all too typical. No attempt at a sound, disinterested arguments, or even well-argued polemic, just truck-driver patter which knows nothing is embarrassingly gauche and apparently proud of the fact.

OffGuardian seems to becoming a magnet for these troll retards. You can spot them in an instant. In one way this an interesting development as it is bringing OffGuardian to our opponents attention. But I would draw admins attention to this troll influx as they are not prepared (or able) to put forward and serious or indeed rational arguments to support their views. All we get is cheap one-liners which the perpetrators think so ‘cool’ and ‘iconoclastic’.

mark
Reader
mark

The chap just got a few of the details wrong.
But of course we live in a post truth era.
You have to choose your own reality nowadays.

mark
Reader
mark

For all these countries, Venezuela, Iran, Cuba, Russia, Iraq, Syria, Nicaragua, wherever, you can always find an émigré Quisling Fifth Column living the high life on Uncle Sam’s taxpayer dollar in Washington, ready, willing and able to agitate for US military aggression, terrorism, and economic strangulation directed against their own homeland. Eager useful idiots begging for the destruction of their own people.

They staff the NED/ Neocon/ Soros funded “Committee for Freedom in (fill in the blank)” or “Committee for Democracy in (fill in the blank).”

There are the dispossessed Cuban American brothel keepers in Miami who were kicked out after the Revolution, pimping for an invasion of the country, for US terrorism which has cost the lives of thousands of Cubans, and for economic strangulation which has cost a small nation over $1 trillion.

There are the Iranian Americans, the son of the Shah and the monarchists, hoping to regain their throne under a carpet of American bombs. Or the MEK terrorists with their US training camps in satellite Albania, formerly willing tools of Saddam Hussein, and now under new management. Recipients of Bolton’s $600 million a year largesse to bring about regime change.

You see the same whores, chancers, grifters, con men, opportunists, criminals, terrorists, halfwits, fantasists, flotsam and jetsam, and dregs of humanity, from all these places, eager to line their own pockets, sing for their supper, and serve whatever happens to be Uncle Sam’s objective at the time. The Chalabis and the Curveballs, the Gweedos, the Khordokovskys, Gessens and Kasparovs, the Contras. It would be tedious to list them all. There is an unlimited supply of these people.

Our friend “Jesus” could probably join this crowd of people and line his own pockets. There are unlimited opportunities for his kind in Washington.

Gezzah Potts
Reader

Bravo. Completely on point and correct Mark. Gawdd…. another bloody troll. Suspect this one is either from Miami or maybe in a large building in Virginia.

Jen
Reader
Jen

Must be a relative of Matt, the Venezuelan currently studying in Canada and who sends money back to his Venezuelan relatives (at the same time they send money to him) and who was briefly notorious for flooding Off-Guardian comments forums with reams and reams of pointless trolling when he should have been studying.

Gezzah Potts
Reader

Have noticed last couple months, there seems to be a surge in troll in the number of trolls visiting us. Hmmm, perhaps Louis Proyect is sending the little critters to annoy us. Or more probably, 3 letter agencies.

Tim Jenkins
Reader
Tim Jenkins

Good lord, Gezzah, your math is a little bit ‘off’, today:
Mos-sad ‘mothers’ employ always 6 at a time when others need only 3 🙂

Gezzah Potts
Reader

Er, greetings Tim. Unfortunately, the only subject I failed in High School was, um, maths. There you go! Of course Mossad is involved. My whole gut feeling (yes, I know I don’t actually have, er, proof) is this was Not a suicide. Call me a ‘conspiracy theorist’ if you wish, but that’s how I feel.
And yes, obviously Mossad is involved in a lot of, shall we say, evil doing. Taken a break from commenting, my head gets quite bamboozled with the state of the World, as in…. incredulity. Few really good stories last couple days, time to get back on the horse. The new one about China and zombies looks interesting. Will post this before phone zonks out. Hope your weekend goes well, and its not too hot.

George
Reader
George

And have YOU been to Venezuela? Or are you simply as omnipresent as your name implies?

wardropper
Reader
wardropper

We haven’t visited the Moon either, but we know that if it crashes into us, we’re history.
Guaido is a thick numbskull who happens to look a bit prettier than Maduro, if you’re into that sort of thing. If you had visited Venezuela, you would know that the population do not want him. Yes, population. Remember them?
As for investments, they don’t mean much on a scorched Earth.
Better to set your sights higher than that when you’re trying to repair and maintain a society.

DunGroanin
Reader
DunGroanin

I haven’t been as impressed as much as this by EZ before. Brilliant. Bravo! Thankyou.

By way of a bedtime story, a tale of empires downfall for all us sleepy heads off the top of my head…

The US is one of the 5+1 eyed anglo Empire at the stub end of it’s centuries long expansion – just like all such previous human empires, when they faltered they cracked like a mirror – it is over. Bolton is their last unelected caesar generals chasing around the globe to get the 5+1 to commit boots on the ground as a last ditch counter attack! The aussies being isolated and nurtured away from the civilising proximities of different peoples and cultures are robotic and dumb enough to buy into their anglo imperial superiority (a bit like the Afrikanners who railed against the end of Apartheid and dissolved when it happened. Terre Blanche is Bolton), the Fartage is there stirring it up. Bolton is in the UK ostensiably for post Brexit planning but actually to get the Cabinet, DS stooges, to move us to putting boots on the ground. I think the talk of Boris calling a Elwction is baloney, he has been chosen as the poundshop Wartime Churchill, for his oratary prowess. The multiple provocations – The ‘Color (black) revolution engineered to the same end; the tanker and plane aggressions, hoping that a Royal Navy ship gets attacked and sailors die, thus getting the populace on side – all to get the Empires canon fodder to fight against the dying of its time in the light.

The mirror has cracked into multiple pieces but still in the frame and is reflecting multiple self images of the doomed Empire.

The non Anglo controlled Europeans know it and can sense freedom from the nato yoke – they are not playing and refuse to be forced. (Macron the bankers worm-tongue apart – but he isn’t representing the majority proud French).

It would be totally insane for the US to lead boots on the ground in Venezuela – they wouldn’t have enough body bags and planes and military cemetery places for it.

So that only leaves strategic weapons – and the only way they have been avoided from use since Japan was MAD.

The SCO and it’s affiliates including nuclear India and Pakistan now can stand guarantors of that rationality and it seems they will.

The Empire is over – it’s legacy will never disappear – but it’s aristocrats and martial baronial families will not stride and rule the World as they have become accustomed to over the centuries.

Sweet dreams!

mark
Reader
mark

It’s sad to see the degraded state into which Britain has fallen.
Our armed forces as Trump’s Gurkhas.
Bojo The Clown is playing Benito Mussolini to Trump’s Adolf Hitler.
Trump’s lackey and faithful jackal.
And Britain will suffer the same fate as Mussolini – not just defeat, but humiliation, ignominy, disgrace, and universal contempt.

B.J.
Reader
B.J.

The British establishment have always held a secret (and sometimes not so secret) admiration for the fascist.
Before he came to power Mussolini was on MI6’s payroll to the tune of £100 a week.

wardropper
Reader
wardropper

Good to have confirmation of my long-standing conviction that the US has no allies.
I was beginning to think that I was just being mean-spirited.
With all due consideration for my many American friends and acquaintances, whom I love and respect.

DunGroanin
Reader
DunGroanin

The US is part of the 5+1 eyed allies.

wardropper
Reader
wardropper

Sure, but I was referring to traditional allies, of which there are none.
The deep-state “allies” are all built upon money and power alone, and therefore have to be maintained by bribery and threats, which always ends in tears.
I don’t call those allies.

JudyJ
Reader
JudyJ

wardropper,

Just before seeing your comment I happened to read this article demonstrating how some countries are starting to revolt against US bully boy tactics:

http://www.newsilkstrategies.com/news–analysis/a-blow-below-the-belt-us-allies-refuse-to-go-against-russia

wardropper
Reader
wardropper

Thank you JudyJ. There is definitely some encouragement in all this.

A. Scott Buch
Reader

I am wondering if the propaganda apparatus behind American Fascism is more sophisticated than were those of other historical fascisms, or if human beings in general, or perhaps only Americans specifically, are just predisposed to systems of indoctrination?

wardropper
Reader
wardropper

To my mind that propaganda apparatus most certainly is more sophisticated.
But we should not forget, either, that the extent to which Americans (and, by association, Brits) have been dumbed down by the wilful machinations of the owners of our media is also unprecedented.
The naive, the uneducated, and the trusting – most of us, in other words – surely succumb tragically easily.

Jim Scott
Reader
Jim Scott

I agree that the corporate media is the major cancer in our collapsing democracies. There is hope in the more courageous online media that is exposing the CIA and GCHQ controlled corporate propagandist that pose as news media. I congratulate Off Guardian for its efforts. I would suggest that the many online non corporate news and comment publications create an allied body that promotes real news in the face of the fascist publications. By holding broadcast seminars it could educate the public to the perils of the corporate propaganda alliance and its links to deep state erosion of liberties.

B.J.
Reader
B.J.

If our schools’ curriculum could include critical thinking, then perhaps our children could grow to adults able to differentiate between truth and lies propagated by the state and its lackeys in the media.

JudyJ
Reader
JudyJ

B.J. If only. That’s precisely why the curriculum doesn’t include critical thinking. For the same reason that (university) debating societies now appear to be discouraged on the grounds that they might encourage ‘objectionable’ views.

wardropper
Reader
wardropper

B.J.
That’s exactly what’s needed.
I am old enough to have been at school when there was a new subject introduced: “Uses of English”.
I remember that a rather severe teacher taught us to think about the TV advertisements to which we were beginning to be subjected when ITV offered the first ever competition with the BBC.
“Persil Washes Whiter”, was one example, and our teacher encouraged us to ask, “Whiter than what?”.
The subject was pulled after a couple of years, and that was way, way back before idiots became prime ministers and presidents.
Things have not looked up since.
Now, we just go out and buy Persil, because it washes whiter than Boris Johnson’s purple underpants…

wardropper
Reader
wardropper

LOL … somebody took that seriously enough to downvote it.
I wonder which bit offended him… probably the pants …
Can’t be helped.

nottheonly1
Reader
nottheonly1

Make also mandatory the viewing of ‘Threads’ in all classrooms from middle school on.

Jim Scott
Reader
Jim Scott

The fascist propaganda in the USA is no longer subtle under Bolton and Pompeo. It is blatant and arrogant. It’s as if sufficient numbers of US citizens are so inured by the constant bias of the corporate media they can no longer recognise the truth. Too many Americans want to be identified as ‘exceptional’ even when they can’t pay the rent or their mortgage. So their view of Venezuela and other smaller states is that they belong to the USA so that the Trump regime can openly admit they want to take Venezuelan oil through violence and hand it to American corporations.

Ben Trovata
Reader
Ben Trovata

It may not be “subtle” but that doesn’t mean that it’s not effective.

Jen
Reader
Jen

You obviously were never a victim of the education system from kindergarten to Year 12 in an English-speaking country.

Off-Anything
Reader
Off-Anything

A few years ago this video was meant as a sort of the parody. Sadly, it represents reality today. Cultural Marxism has won.
Modern Educayshun education
https://youtu.be/iKcWu0tsiZM

bevin
Reader
bevin

What do you mean by ‘cultural marxism’?
What appears to have won is something much simpler: stupidity, of the sort that you appear to espouse.

Off-anything
Reader
Off-anything

bevin: would you be circumcised by any chance?
Cultural Marxism, ideological subversion, psychological warfare:
KGB defector Yuri Bezmenov’s warning to America
https://youtu.be/bX3EZCVj2XA
Yuri Bezmenov: Deception Was My Job (Complete)
https://youtu.be/y3qkf3bajd4

mark
Reader
mark

That’s an interesting question. Goebbels (whatever you think of the regime) was a very shrewd and competent operator. His first major job was to win over the big cities before coming to power. Places like Hamburg and Berlin were communist strongholds with powerful unions. Goebbels was sent with a couple of hundred Brownshirts to take over Berlin from a quarter of a million communists, on what was widely regarded as a suicide mission. He was very successful with innovative use of the new media. I think the same applies to Italy. A fairly sophisticated propaganda machine.

Whatever your political prejudices may be, US media is uniformly crude, even infantile. There are very few impressive media figures. Maybe the odd one, like Carlson. Otherwise it’s just a parade of cloned synthetic peroxide bimbos with fake tits, screeching out the AIPAC talking points. It’s quite painful to watch. That’s even if you agree with the content.

A. Scott Buch
Reader

I think I’ve found myself leaning towards agreeing with you, mark. As much as I am tempted to believe that the apparatus has somehow grown more sophisticated, you do have a point about how crude the US media can be. There is immense spectacle about it too, however, so perhaps I’ve got the question wrong, and its not that the apparatus has grown more sophisticated, but just more distractingly consuming?

mark
Reader
mark

The Trump Regime makes the Third Reich appear quite sane and moderate by comparison.
The Nazi leadership was probably far more rational and coherent than the present incumbents in the White House, whatever its shortcomings.
Western leadership in general is the worst in its history. Arrogant, venal, corrupt, infantile, delusional, irredeemably ignorant, and ideologically driven.
Compare Bush or Macron or Merkel with Putin.
Or polished professionals like Sergei Lavrov and Mohammed Zarif with a crude, loudmouthed two bit ignorant thug like Pompeo, or the clownish Johnson.
Or the fake western MSM with RT or Telesur or Press TV.
The leadership of Syria or even the DPRK appears quite impressive by comparison.
War can no longer be avoided. It is only a question of when and where it breaks out.
And when it does, it will come as something of a relief, as in 1939.
People were living on their nerves for years waiting for the inevitable.

wardropper
Reader
wardropper

Today, the idea of waiting for the inevitable, when “the inevitable” is in the hands of psychotic monsters like Bolton, is intolerable.
It’s time for rational people to insist on something better than a Hollywood script built upon an ancient Flash Gordon story to safeguard their future.
Americans have a constitutional right to insist, and we have a parliamentary right to do the same.
Seriously, a bit of insisting is long overdue.

mark
Reader
mark

Sadly, I think we’re way past that point. I don’t see how war can now be avoided. I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t think so. I thought war was imminent in April last year. We have come very close to it on many occasions since 2007.

It’s like the 1930s. Everybody knew war was coming. It was only a question of when.

vexarb
Reader
vexarb

mark: “Everybody knew war was coming. ”

Could you document that a bit? Who were “everybody” and against whom was the war to be?

My reading of the period is that “everybody” were the European Right (France, Italy, Poland, Germany, Hungary etc) and Anglo-American-Capitalists (the Hitler-Chamberlain Conspiracy to partition CzeckoSlovakia between Nazi Germany, Rightwing Hungary and Rightwing Poland, and the war was to be against Socialist Spain and Communist Russia. The Capitalists got their war — but it was against the wrong enemy: Hitler had turned and bit the hand that fed him; attacked us instead of attacking Russia. But until that unexpected bite of treachery from “everybody’s” pet attack dog (Hitler) war wasn’t “coming” it was already being waged: in the 20s by Anglo-Zio-Capitalist financial run on the Social Democratic Weimar Republic and AZC financial aid to Fascist parties in Europe. FUKU$ (French Anglo U$) military, industrial and political assistance to Fascist conquests over Ethiopia, Spain and CszeckoSlovakia were in full swing by 1938; and “everybody” was eagerly anticipating a Fascist conquest of Communist Russia. To my mind, the last thing “everybody” expected was, that by autumn 1939 FUKU$ would be engaged in a war against Fascism — and embarrassed by having to embrace Communist Russia as their most powerful ally.

mark
Reader
mark

If you talk to people from that time, they were living on their nerves for several years prior to 1939. It came close to war several times from 1935, with 1938 providing a very short lived deceptive anti climax. Britain was in a very weak position. A lot of people thought that war would lead to a rapid and inevitable defeat.

vexarb
Reader
vexarb

@mark: “It came close to war several times from 1935, with 1938 providing …”

Yes but, against whom were those wars being fought, whom was “everybody” fearing, whom were “everybody” cheering? Not against the Fascist nations:

1936 Mussolini invades Ethiopia with Churchill cheering Musso’s Mustard Gas.

1936 Hit & Muss bomb Republican Spain, France & Britain sanction arms supply to the Republic, Royal British Air Force plane flies Franco in from exile to command the Fascist forces.

1938 France and Britain persuade Poland to reject Communist Russia’s offer to form a United Front (with France and Britain) against Nazi Germany.

1938 Hitler takes over CzeckoSlovakia with the blessing of British PM Chamberlain and French President Laval.

Hence, by one of History’s Little Ironies:

1939 “Everybody” get the war they feared — but it’s against the wrong enemy! France and Britain forced into an unprepared war against Hit & Muss with embarrassing ally Communist Russia as their “bulwark against Fascism” (and little Princess Lilibet rapidly being taught to forget the Nazi salute which she had learnt from her Mother and Uncle).

Ben Trovata
Reader
Ben Trovata

Interesting argument you’ve put forward here!

vexarb
Reader
vexarb

Ben, for anyone interested in the subject of Anglo-French relation to Hitler’s plans for Eastern Europe, a ben trovata could be The Chamberlain-Hitler Collusion, by Finkel & Leibovitz. It was not so much “appeasing Hitler” as siccing Hitler on — until the treacherous hound turned and bit the hand that fed him.

vexarb
Reader
vexarb

@mark: “The Nazi leadership was probably far more rational and coherent than the present incumbents in the White House”.

I would say they had equally irrational and incoherent policies: arrogantly insult everyone who is not “exceptional like we are”; start fights with several opponents at the same time, thousands of miles apart; and cap it all by marching on Moscow.

mark
Reader
mark

Hitler was playing against long odds under great time pressure and realised he had to take what seemed like extremely reckless gambles to win.
Examples of this are the campaigns in Scandinavia and the West in 1940.
He had to strike before the British and French worldwide empires built up their strength and strangled him.
He staked everything on a very high risk operation, which fortunately for him came off.
The 1941 operation against Russia very nearly came off as well. It was prompted by a desire to remove the danger from Russia before Britain built up its strength, and before America entered the war against him, which he rightly regarded as inevitable.
Having failed to achieve success in 1941, Russian losses were so colossal that he believed he could complete the operation successfully in 1942. This was not completely irrational.
He needed a breathing space to bring this off before America entered the war against him. This was why he declared war on America – occupy it in a war against Japan while he completed the Russian operation.
Obviously this ended in failure. But it was based on rational considerations.

vexarb
Reader
vexarb

mark: “Russian losses were so colossal that he [Hitler] believed he could complete the operation successfully in 1942. This was not completely irrational.”

Tolstoy makes a similar point about the Russian campaign of France’s own little tin god, Napoleon. Beautiful paragraph in War and Peace, wish I could remember it enough to quote. Starts with something like, “Who would have thought that with the French Army occupying Moscow …”.

Not (completely) irrational — just wrong.

mark
Reader
mark

Yes, but we don’t all have the benefit of hindsight.
British Intelligence thought that Russia would last 6 weeks.
America gave them 6 months – and this was considered to be absurdly optimistic.

vexarb
Reader
vexarb

@mark: “British Intelligence thought that Russia would last 6 weeks.”

There are 5 grades of Intelligence: Divine, human, animal, artificial and military. Military being the lowest.

vexarb
Reader
vexarb

mark: “Yes, but we don’t all have the benefit of hindsight.”

No buts about it: we _do_ all have the benefit of hindsight. It was those little tin soldiers, Hit & Nappy, with their “not completely irrational” (just completely wrong) Military Intelligence who did not have the benefit of hindsight.

“If I had known how big Russia was, I would not have started that war”.

Guy
Reader
Guy

Reported by Agence France-Press which is so full of holes that their article hardly qualifies as journalistic.
They call it a crisis but failed to mention that it was a crisis orchestrated by the US ,while they are begging for support from other nations so they can finally achieve their goal of gaining access to what is called one of the largest oil reserves in the world.
Bolton lies when he states that Maduro does not want to negotiate ,he really means that Maduro does not want to step down .They are clowns but the world is watching ,and frankly getting tired of watching fascism flourishing in US politics .
On another note and a good sign ,Alberto Fernandez won the first round in Argentina’s election with a safe lead of 47 % .

https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/Argentina-Frontrunner-Bolsonaro-Is-Racist-Misogynist-Violent-20190813-0006.html?utm_source=planisys&utm_medium=NewsletterIngles&utm_campaign=NewsletterIngles&utm_content=10

Ben Trovata
Reader
Ben Trovata

“The world is tired of U.S. lies. They did not start with Donald Trump, a pathological liar…The U.S. has been losing credibility for many years…Gary Leupp”