The Coup against Maduro Gallops On...

‘Venezuelans take to streets in push to force Maduro from power; Demonstrators say they are close to achieving objective of forcing president to step down, via the Grauniad, groundhog day (note the photo)

Tens of thousands of Venezuelan protesters streamed on to the streets of the nation’s capital on Saturday for what they described as the final push to force Nicolás Maduro from power.

“I believe [the end] is coming very soon – this week,” said Barbara Angarita, 49, as she and thousands of other demonstrators poured down the Avenida Principal de las Mercedes in Caracas. “We must have a free country, free for all Venezuelans and for our descendants.”

“I feel we are on the verge of achieving our objective,” added Angarita, lifting aloft a placard that read: “We all have reasons to protest in peace.”

Around her demonstrators broke out in chants of: “It’s going to fall, it’s going to fall, the government is going to fall.”

from @amalsaad_lb  “This AFP tweet was written while it was 7 a.m. in Caracas, well before AFP could have an idea about the scale of protests. Yet it’s already reporting “tens of thousands” of pro-Guaido protestors are “set to pour onto the streets” so that we make the association no matter the numbers”

@maduro_en feb. 2  “The people have shown, during these # 20AñosEnBatallaYVictoria, a deep loyalty and infinite love for the Bolivarian Revolution, which fills us with strength to continue on the path of Commander Chavez. Thanks for so much love!” (his Tweet with photos)

@maduro_en  “I thank the people of Miranda, Carabobo, Portuguesa and Monagas for the extraordinary mobilizations today #01Feb. They are signs of love, commitment and dedication for the Homeland of our Liberators. Long live the Bolivarian Revolution!”  (Maduro’s Tweet w/ photos)

From telesurenglish Feb. 2:  ‘Trump Admin Pressured Spain Gov’t to Support US-Backed Coup in Venezuela: Report’

“The United States has exerted considerable pressure on the left-leaning government in Spain, led by Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, in order to come out against the Venezuela president Nicolas Maduro, recognize the opposition lawmaker Juan Guaido as the country “interim president,” and not to endorse or participate in any talks or dialogue between the opposition and the government, the Spanish newspaper El Pais reported Friday.

“We are under a lot of pressure – I won’t tell you from whom but you can figure it out –[ya think it might be Bolton?] to vote against the creation of this group,” Foreign Minister José Borrell told El Pais, alluding to an EU-sponsored international contact group meant to foster dialogue in Venezuela.

The newspaper reported that in several meetings ahead of Jan 23, the day Guaido proclaimed himself the interim president, and since, that U.S. diplomats and senior officials placed pressure on counterparts in the Spanish government and other in the European Union to follow the same position as that of the United States and its right-wing allies in Latin America.”

“The US diplomat made two demands: for Spain to immediately recognize Guaidó as the legitimate president, and to cut off all dialogue with Maduro,” the newspaper reported.

Spain’s secretary of state for Cooperation and Ibero-America Juan Pablo de Laiglesia was in Washington to meet with the assistant secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs Kimberly Breier where the U.S. officials told the Spanish official that “important events” were expected in Venezuela in the coming days.”

@dancohen3000  “Both Reuters (his Tweet w/ banner images) and The Economist have changed their header images to photos of Juan Guaidó, the US’s pawn in Venezuela. They’ve abandoned any pretense of non-bias and are serving as regime change propaganda outlets.

From Michael Hudson’s wide-ranging Feb. 1 Trump’s Brilliant Strategy to Dismember U.S. Dollar Hegemony’ (h/t mr. wd) narrating the history that’s led to the end of dollar hegemony sooner than he’d expected…

“The root cause is clear: After the crescendo of pretenses and deceptions over Iraq, Libya and Syria, along with our absolution of the lawless regime of Saudi Arabia, foreign political leaders are coming to recognize what world-wide public opinion polls reported even before the Iraq/Iran-Contra boys turned their attention to the world’s largest oil reserves in Venezuela: The United States is now the greatest threat to peace on the planet.

Calling the U.S. coup being sponsored in Venezuela a defense of democracy reveals the Doublethink underlying U.S. foreign policy. It defines “democracy” to mean supporting U.S. foreign policy, pursuing neoliberal privatization of public infrastructure, dismantling government regulation and following the direction of U.S.-dominated global institutions, from the IMF and World Bank to NATO. For decades, the resulting foreign wars, domestic austerity programs and military interventions have brought more violence, not democracy.

In the Devil’s Dictionary that U.S. diplomats are taught to use as their “Elements of Style” guidelines for Doublethink, a “democratic” country is one that follows U.S. leadership and opens its economy to U.S. investment, and IMF- and World Bank-sponsored privatization. The Ukraine is deemed democratic, along with Saudi Arabia, Israel and other countries that act as U.S. financial and military protectorates and are willing to treat America’s enemies are theirs too.”

A point had to come where this policy collided with the self-interest of other nations, finally breaking through the public relations rhetoric of empire. Other countries are proceeding to de-dollarize and replace what U.S. diplomacy calls “internationalism” (meaning U.S. nationalism imposed on the rest of the world) with their own national self-interest.”

It’s long, fascinating, easy to understand, and Hudson hits it out of the park again.

‘The Making of Juan Guaidó: US Regime-Change Laboratory Created Venezuela’s Coup Leader’, Max Blumenthal and Dan  Cohen, consortiumnews.com, January 29, 2019.  It’s an exceptional in-depth piece of journalism, much I knew, but a hella lot I hadn’t, especially how deeply Otpor!, CANVAS, and Gene Sharpe was involved in Guaido’s rise from obscurity to Grabbing the Crown of Venezuela.  A couple outtakes:

Training for Insurrection 

On Oct. 5, 2005, with Chavez’s popularity at its peak and his government planning sweeping socialist programs, five Venezuelan “student leaders” arrived in Belgrade, Serbia to begin training for an insurrection. 

The students had arrived from Venezuela courtesy of the Center for Applied Non-Violent Action and Strategies, or CANVAS. This group is funded largely through the National Endowment for Democracy, a CIA cut-out that functions as the U.S. government’s main arm of promoting regime change; and offshoots like the International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs. According to leaked internal emails from Stratfor, an intelligence firm known as the “shadow CIA,” “[CANVAS] may have also received CIA funding and training during the 1999/2000 anti-Milosevic struggle.”

“Otpor was supported by the National Endowment for Democracy, USAID and Sharp’s Albert Einstein Institute. Sinisa Sikman, one of Otpor’s main trainers, once said the group even received direct CIA funding. According to a leaked email from a Stratfor staffer, after running Milosevic out of power, “the kids who ran OTPOR grew up, got suits and designed CANVAS… or in other words an ‘export-a-revolution’ group that sowed the seeds for a NUMBER of color revolutions. They are still hooked into U.S. funding and basically go around the world trying to topple dictators and autocratic governments (ones that U.S. does not like).”

“In 2009, the Generation 2007 youth activists staged their most provocative demonstration yet, dropping their pants on public roads and aping the outrageous guerrilla theater tactics outlined by Gene Sharp in his regime change manuals. The protesters had mobilized against the arrest of an ally from another newfangled youth group called JAVU. This far-right group “gathered funds from a variety of U.S. government sources, which allowed it to gain notoriety quickly as the hardline wing of opposition street movements,” according to academic George Ciccariello-Maher’s book, “Building the Commune.”

This photo has been identified by ‘many Venezuelans’ as Juan Guaido:

Guaidó was directly involved in the 2014 guarimbas. In fact, he tweeted video showing himself clad in a helmet and gas mask, surrounded by masked and armed elements that had shut down a highway that were engaging in a violent clash with the police. Alluding to his participation in Generation 2007, he proclaimed, “I remember in 2007, we proclaimed, ‘Students!’ Now, we shout, ‘Resistance! Resistance!’” 

A few items I’d added late to Jan. 28th’s ‘The Coup against Nicola Maduro Intensifies’:

In his ‘US escalates threats against Venezuela’ today, Bill Van Auken, wsws.org brings us up to date on military options, among other dark arts afoot.

“Among the schemes floated by US officials is the opening of a “humanitarian corridor” into Venezuela for the ostensible purpose of sending in food, medicine and medical supplies. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced last week that the US was appropriating a paltry $20 million for that purpose, but Washington is also attempting to shift all assets and bank accounts that it can lay hold of into the hands of Guaidó.

The Trump administration’s newly appointed special envoy for Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, the veteran US war criminal who played a leading role in defending the near-genocidal repression by US-backed dictatorships in Central America and in organizing the illegal CIA “contra” terrorist war against Nicaragua, floated the “humanitarian corridor” proposal Wednesday, declaring that “it is something we are looking at.”

Mauricio Claver-Carone, the right-wing anti-Castro activist elevated to the position of senior director for Western Hemisphere Affairs at the National Security Council, was somewhat more explicit, telling reporters that Washington was looking for “the best peaceful way” to deliver aid to Venezuela, but was “exploring many options” and would not rule out military intervention to open up a “corridor.”

But but telesur english is reporting today:

“Stephane Dujarric, the spokesman for the U.N. secretary-general, confirmed that Guterres responded to a letter, which was sent by Juan Guaido asking the agency to send humanitarian aid to Venezuela.
Guterres reiterated his concern about the impact of the current Venezuelan crisis on the people.
However, regarding Guaido’s request, the secretary-general requested to communicate with the Government of Venezuela, which is headed by President Nicolas Maduro.”

Now the Twittersphere seems to believe that the ‘humanitarian corridor’ will be by way of sea, not a Trumpeted ‘no-fly zone’, but from apnews.com: ‘Red Cross talks to US about risks of sending Venezuela aid’, Feb. 2:

“The International Committee of the Red Cross has talked to the United States about the risks of delivering humanitarian aid to Venezuela without the approval of security forces loyal to President Nicolas Maduro, an official with the agency said Friday.

Opposition leader Juan Guaido has said he will defy Maduro’s refusal to allow aid by asking neighboring nations to help send in large convoys of medicine and food. Guaido has declared himself interim president of the country.

The Trump administration has announced it is ready to deliver aid to Venezuela whenever and however is decided by Guaido.

Alexandra Boivin, ICRC delegation head for the United States and Canada, said the ICRC had told U.S. officials that whatever plans “they have to help the people of Venezuela, it has to be shielded from this political conversation.”

It’s not even clear to me if Guaido/Bolton had asked the ICRC to help; it’s sure hard to imagine…

@AmbJohnBolton  “Pursuant to the request of Interim President Juan Guaido, and in consultation with his officials the US will mobilize and transport humanitarian aid—medicine, surgical supplies, and nutritional supplements for the people of Venezuela. It’s time for Maduro to get out of the way.”

@VP  “As I told the crowd in Miami, this is no time for dialogue. This is time for action, & the time has come to end the Maduro dictatorship! The National Assembly & Pres. @jguaido have our full support because we recognize the truth – Maduro’s dictatorship is destroying Venezuela.”

Twitter takes down hundreds of accounts linked to Venezuela amid US calls for regime change’, rt feb.1 (well, over 11 hundreds), via RT

“Host of the Empire Files, a documentary & interview series, Abby Martin lamented that amid Twitter censorship of pro-government supporters, “pro-coup Venezuelans & right-wing exiles dominate the media sphere.”

And as he’d promised when he’d stopped by c99%, Brett Wilkins’ Elliott Abrams: A Human Rights Horror Show in Three Acts’, Feb. 1, counterpunch.org  (an edifying in-depth, if not enjoyable exposé)

Act I: Dictators, Death Squads and Drug Dealers
Act II: Neoconned
(PNAC, approval of the 2002 coup against Chavez, and more)
Act III: Prelude to Regime Change?’

And h/t Café author/commenter Greyson Smythe: ‘Son of Brazil President Bolsonaro joins Steve Bannon group’, france24.com, Feb.2  (a chip off the Old Block)

“Bannon, who left as White House strategist in August 2017 and had a public falling-out with Trump, started The Movement in Europe to transmit far-right nationalist values and tactics he hopes will win sympathizers seats in the European parliament.

Bannon said enlisting Bolsonaro, a deputy in Brazil’s Congress, was part of the group’s “pursuit of a populist nationalist agenda for prosperity and sovereignty for citizens throughout the world.

(cross-posted from Café Babylon)

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EyeRound's picture

that we can't get elsewhere.

Anyone who considers her/himself well-informed has to take a good look at these articles.

Off to read the Hudson piece for starters.

Thank you, Wendy Davis.

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wendy davis's picture

@EyeRound

hudson is so...comprehensible, as he speaks not in economic jargon to sound like an 'erudite economist', but in plain tongue. he's got several essays on VZ, but it's too late to dig them out.

i did want to add to blumenthal and cohen piece on 'the making of juan guiado, that they'd breezed by (accidentally?) the facts that socialist milosevic was exhonerated of war crimes posthumously after dying in a cell at the hague. he was also under a gag order during his trial (from 2003).

"Mr. Milosevic has been deprived of visits from his wife and immediate family since March 2003. In August, the Registrar banned visits from members of the Serbian Socialist Party and “associated entities”. The present order constitutes a wide ranging ban on all visits, with very limited exceptions: legal counsel, and consular representation."

that was bill clinton's Nato war, iirc.

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wendy davis's picture

solidarity events for maduro; lots of new tweets at #HandsOffVenezuela on twitter by now. london, canada, baltimore, nicarugua, one comnig in deecee in march(???).

but the second images accidentally tells the story:

night all; i'm closing down for then night. we'll see what tomorrow may bring.

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@wendy davis I am so impressed by this supposed spontaneous uprising to get so many different flags up.

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dfarrah

wendy davis's picture

@dfarrah

: D

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CB's picture

why the US is engineering the coup in Venezuela.

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wendy davis's picture

@CB
but i don't find any of it a laughing matter, CB. not to mention pompeo doesn't need truth serum, neither does bolton, as they say all of this right out loud bold as brass. invade colombia? hell, that's where the invasion would start, a number of amerikan bases are there, and colombia's in Nato.

sigh, sorry to be grumpulous, but then i don't care for dore, in any event.

on later edit, via RT today:

"Any military action against Caracas will have a destructive impact not only on Venezuela itself, but the whole region, former UN Special Rapporteur Alfred de Zayas believes.
“I’m concerned, that if there’s an attack – from Colombia and Brazil, coordinated and with the logistical or other support from Washington – that there will be a civil war and tens of thousands of deaths,” de Zayas told RT, adding that as “the United States is threatening with the use of force,” which is illegal under international law, Washington’s behavior should be immediately addressed by top UN officials.

At the same time, the US is seemingly aiming at fueling dissent within the country – and its military in particular – hoping it will drift under the banner of the self-proclaimed “president.”

“I think that the United States is betting that the military will eventually switch over to Guaido, that they will not remain loyal to Maduro. That, of course, would be a massive defeat for the principle of national sovereignty, for the principle of democracy and the rule of law in Venezuela, but it would avoid, of course, the shedding of blood,” de Zayas said." ???

but yeah, bolsonaro (guaido's BBF) will want a piece of it.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@wendy davis

I think it is unsafe not to be watching RT, if you are an American. The amount of brainwashing we have all absorbed is a danger to our nation and to our lives. RT, while it lasts in the US, is the only antidote to the toxin of normalcy we have been dosed with. Watch the US version, especially.

On another note, Dore is not on RT yet. Like him or not, he is one of the few people around who has actual immunity to US propaganda. It is not a political stance for him. He does not need to go though an intellectual process to get there; he appears to have no receptors for propaganda. Most people have to work to reinstate their critical thinking and reasoning skills; or they have to stay on top of it and look facts up all the time to maintain their logic and clear-headedness in the face of propaganda bombardment.

What we are hearing from Pompeo and Bolton are words that should horrify any American capable of thought. But I'm not reading or seeing any horror from the masses. The worst part is, those two Deep State Neocons are not saying things that they even believe themselves. They are saying things that they believe will make you surrender to them.

That's how they mastered control over Trump's blank-slate mind. Fear.

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The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.
– Albert Camus
Pluto's Republic's picture

@Pluto's Republic

There is only one goal, as you know. Control over all oil-producing nations. It is the only protection the US has over having its own economy routed and held hostage, while it is attempting to reach full Empire status over the world.

The Deep State of the US State Department has done this dozens of times in dozens of places. They are working from a script. Bolsonaro works for the US Deep State. They created him for this very purpose.

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The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.
– Albert Camus
wendy davis's picture

@Pluto's Republic

believe the other part of the equation is finally smashing the bolivarian revolution to bits; it began in mexico, was murdered in prep for (iirc) IMF loans, and the ruling class unwound the ejido agricultural commons system. then came nieto and NAFTA, and all hell broke loose for the peasant class, an not only due to: no more seed and food sovereignty. but the day it went into effect, the zapatistas took charge of their own lives, even though their communities in chiapas were bombed and strafed by the IDF. but it's long been said that the reason they survived was because the ordinary citizens were in their camp, and proud of them.

but there was that one WSJ thing (behind a paywall i couldn't manage to trick) that said "Cuba's next!" and wouldn't that be authored by marco rubio and the 'cubano exiles'?

can't have no leftist gummnits, nossir, while the right-wing nationalists are gaining power! (jair's son eduardo and bannon, for instance)

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@wendy davis

...as long as it did. I've asked both ordinary Republicans and Democrats about the ridiculousness of a 50-year sanction on a nation that poses no threat to the US — but sadly and without exception, their brains are too broken to engage in the topic. The most cogent reply I ever got was that Cuba was still being punished for being communist. I would point out that the US trades with many communist nations. Then they suggested it was because the Soviet Union put missiles there. I would point out that there haven't been missiles there for 50 years.... and so forth.

Their brains were broken by exceptionalism, the same thing that broke the brains of the banking class.

Still, why does Cuba still exist? The US was not waiting for a random Rubio to come along to vaporize it.

Cuba must be serving a different purpose.

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The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.
– Albert Camus
CB's picture

@Pluto's Republic
is to demonstrate how 'bad' socialism is. It is interesting that Cuba has a considerably lower child mortality rate compared to the US plus they live longer.

Any progress made by Cubans to improve their lives will be slapped down by the war mongers in the US government.

The Real News Network
Published on Nov 19, 2017
The State Department announced a tightening of the US economic embargo against Cuba, which hurts average Cubans and reverts to failed Cold War policies, explains Cuba specialist Professor Sujatha Fernandes

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@CB

The State Department actually did stoop that low.

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The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.
– Albert Camus
CB's picture

@Pluto's Republic
is alive and flourishing.

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false" - William Casey, CIA Director, February 1981

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wendy davis's picture

@CB

quantities of doctors and supplies to nations damaged by natural disasters. as when hugo chavez sent heating oil the the US northwest, it put him closer into a target for amerika (was it dubya?)

but i found it at sputnik news. 'US to Boost Pressure on Venezuela, Cuba to Curb Russia, China in Region – Report', jan. 31

"US attempts to oust Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro mark a new step in implementing the current administration’s plan to reinforce control over the region and curb Russia’s and China’s influence there, The Wall Street Journal reported.

According to the newspaper’s source, the Trump administration has adopted a new strategy towards Latin America, and it’s not just about Venezuela.

The insider claims that Cuba will likely return to the spotlight, since it’s “an antagonist that has dominated American attention in the region for more than 50 years, as well as recent inroads made by Russia, China and Iran”.

The WSJ writes that even though Washington has long criticised Maduro and his predecessor, Hugo Chavez, there’s a number of administration officials who believe that Cuba presents a greater threat from the national security perspective.

Those officials have reportedly cited Cuba’s intelligence operations in the US and its attempts to push the anti-American agenda forward in neighbouring Latin American countries.

The publication further elaborates that the Trump administration is seeking to sow discord between Venezuela and Cuba, and to cause the “collapse of the regimes” in both countries.", etc.

now 'insiders' could be the WSJ editorial board, gina haspel, who knows? but it's interesting, as a construct in any event.

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wendy davis's picture

@Pluto's Republic

to the empire's conventional wisdom get a gig at RT, many other lesser known sites are important to 'contravening the empire's corporate news' as well. and it can depend on which subject area where i travel online on a particular day.

dore may have some innate eye to getting agitprop, but on this occasion...he's clearly misinformed. why do you thing nato grabbed colombia, for instance? not for all the amerikan bases there, eh? why does amerika have a military understanding memo now that rafael correa was putched? (even if one agrees or not on the various takes on 'the whys' of that.) no, not just the desire for a large loan from the IMF; it's all gladio, alla time, as well as control of the oil spigots.

and bolsonaro has been at the thick of the coup from the get-go. fuck me, he was even at davos when i was there.

so don't press me on dore and won't tell you what i really think of him; lee camp has a gig there, and i haven't cared for him since he'd appointed himself King of Komedy of the Occupy movement, the potty-mouthed show-boater. and yes, i know most of you her adore jimmy; i simply don't care for his smarmy style, his stupid hounds-tooth hat, nor his failure to keep actually/factually informed. ooopsie, i've said too much.

gotta shut down and rest my burned out 5 a.m. eyes. ; )

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@wendy davis

I am not his defender. I'm not even a podcast watcher.

My comment was about RT, and Dore not on RT. I don't watch Lee Camp (too loud) or Larry King (too boring). I was talking about news streams and about a dozen regular shows like On Contact, Renegade, CrossTalk, Keiser Report, Rick Sanchez, Documentary, Watching the Hawks, etc.

Basically, I was comparing live television to live television.

Reading essays on the Internet is another thing altogether. I spend most of my time with that.

My current interest, however, is with the media where Americans who insist on voting get their news.

Have a nice rest.

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The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.
– Albert Camus
wendy davis's picture

@Pluto's Republic

news, and most of the time i just pass them by unless there's transcript. now i'm always glad when RT grabs 'putin apologist' stephen cohen's colums from the nation, finian cunningham, too, cheeky dude that he is. ; )

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@Pluto's Republic with videos.

Speaking is just too slow for me, except when the speaker is really fast. I would much rather read transcripts - it is much quicker.

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dfarrah

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@wendy davis

To me, the episodes I watch are good, but with some significant holes.

For instance, he is one of the few left-of-center people in this country talking about oil resources and the petrodollar. And he champions Assange and calls out the CIA. Well worth continuing to watch even though he gets some things wrong.

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Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

wendy davis's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

then, amiga. we all have different sensibilities, a feature, not a bug (i hope). ; )

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@Pluto's Republic Whether it's Chris Hedges' 'On Contact', Jesse Ventura's 'The World According to Jesse', 'Watching the Hawks' (which has Jesse's son as one of the hosts), Lee Camp's' Redacted', 'Cross talk' and many others but now I have to go online to watch them because Comcast has removed RT from it's program list here in Washington State (probably further as well), replacing it with a streaming ads channel.

This happened just before the New Year and I spent a lot of time on the phone talking to one dept. after another only to get from the expected, 'I don't know', to a line telling me it was a contract problem which another dept.said they couldn't say whether or not that was true, down to another person telling me it might be my cable box (I laughed at that before I could stop myself). Then they told me all about the benefits of the new cable box to which I asked why would that matter and was told they didn't know but were sure I'd like the newer one better.
A dead end and so far I've received no answer from one email address I found for RT here in the US.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@aliasalias

The panicked US government is determined to gain iron-fist control over the US narrative. That narrative is key to brainwashing American voters, and key to normalizing the absurdity of the kabuki democracy.

There is no realistic remedy to the American surrender, in any event, because the people are now far too ignorant to muster their reality-based self-determination — and self-determination is the one fundamental human right that could have empowered them.

Nevertheless, if the actual facts in the world continue to be reported on broadcast media by RT — it would eventually exacerbate the anger and despair Americans are about to suffer as depopulation and reduced quality of life is accelerated for them. Thus, RT must be blacked out in the US along with a good portion of the Internet.

I knew I would have to leave, at some point. I can't help from inside the US, that's for sure.

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The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.
– Albert Camus
wendy davis's picture

@Pluto's Republic

RT register as a foreign agent or some such, and they'd complied? any idea where you'd head?

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@wendy davis

And they were immediately taken off the air in the Washington DC area.

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The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.
– Albert Camus
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Pluto's Republic

who don't buy the garbage they're selling; it's just that those people are exiting politics. They correctly perceive that politics is now a no-win game and also a toxic pile of garbage teeming with maggots, so they don't talk unless somebody else brings it up. Those who opt out might be left, right, or neither; what they have in common is their unwillingness to go along with the current assumptions and talking points that are being sold.

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Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

CB's picture

@wendy davis
of the rare people that can reach the Dems with the truth. He does it with humor, many times black, sarcastic and profane.

If you have not been following, I suggest the following:

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wendy davis's picture

@CB

but i won't partake, although others surely will. as i'd said, tulsi can kiss my grits over 'being conflicted about torture', as well as a few other reasons...on is spelled narendra modi.

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CB's picture

@wendy davis
Who do you have in mind to run in 2020?

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wendy davis's picture

@CB

think of; i've voted green the last several cycles, nader, then stein, then ajamu baraka. but if stein runs, i sho' won't vote for her again. raising buckets of money in three states because: 'russian (later foreign) interference' in our elections. all against the wishes of the green steering committee and her own damned running mate.

but then...at least she's not conflicted about torture (i hope). but it slays me that at RT she's called a russian operative by some...still...after all that rot. don't have to vote for any prez candidate, though. but how fooking idiotic that 'stupid season' began the day after the congressional primaries, don't you think?

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magiamma's picture

From Hudson at consortium......

By 2010, Popular Will and its foreign backers moved to exploit the worst drought to hit Venezuela in decades. Massive electricity shortages had struck the country due the dearth of water, which was needed to power hydroelectric plants. A global economic recession and declining oil prices compounded the crisis, driving public discontentment.

Stratfor and CANVAS – key advisors of Guaidó and his anti-government cadre – devised a shockingly cynical plan to drive a dagger through the heart of the Bolivarian revolution. The scheme hinged on a 70 percent collapse of the country’s electrical system by as early as April 2010.

“This could be the watershed event, as there is little that Chavez can do to protect the poor from the failure of that system,” the Stratfor internal memo declared. “This would likely have the impact of galvanizing public unrest in a way that no opposition group could ever hope to generate. At that point in time, an opposition group would be best served to take advantage of the situation and spin it against Chavez and towards their needs.”

By this point, the Venezuelan opposition was receiving a staggering $40-50 million a year from U.S. government organizations like USAID and the National Endowment for Democracy, according to a report by the Spanish think tank, the FRIDE Institute. It also had massive wealth to draw on from its own accounts, which were mostly outside the country.

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wendy davis's picture

@magiamma

and once again, bless wikileaks and julian assange.

consortium news was max and dan, but there are so many links in this edition it's easy to get confused. but yanno, it puts paid to the 'unknown guaido' meme, doesn't it? whoa, nellie, the earliest necons new him very well.

a dimension entered by flag at this guido march yesterday:

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@magiamma

million a year into climate change mitigation.

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Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

lotlizard's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal  
and the sultan of Brunei . . .

. . .folks who, in a capitalist, money-driven world, are fantastically rich and therefore also fantastically powerful in discreetly invisible ways.

These are people who can literally get away with murder — Khashoggi? Who’s that?

Ergo, moving away from a capitalist model of economic growth and stopping use of fossil fuels in a way that affects profits is not going to happen unless the world’s current ruling elites are overthrown.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

....in regions where they best serve the Neocons immediate goals.

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The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.
– Albert Camus
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Pluto's Republic

Just kidding. Smile

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Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

wendy davis's picture

@Pluto's Republic

actually do, depending on what time period. but part of the reason i'd put in the global drought monitor (kept fairly current in time) was so folks might look at VZ for instance, which looks pretty good except for the southern end to me. the blumental/cohen (imo, cohen was the better influence on max) story on drought and the electricity for hydro plants, etc.

unless of course you're pinging those who say that the climate is down to intentional geo-engineering by chemtrails. the café had such an author for a time, and i read every damned link he'd provided, and still dinnae see it.

now drought by neo-colonization in south america and africa, etc. , yes, but those ingredients are a much longer conversation.

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CB's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal
$360 BILLION for renewable energy in 2017 to be spent over a period of 3 years and they ARE spending the money for this purpose. They will probably attain their goals this year - a year ahead of time. This was 47% of the world total. For comparison, the US pledged $5 billion or 1.4% for the same period in 2017. As a result, China is now the world leader in solar cells, wind energy and electric vehicles.

Meanwhile, the US, under Obomba, pledged a trillion (1,000 billion) dollars over the next decade to make nuclear weapons user friendly.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@CB

popularizing and probably perfecting the technology Americans invented back when we invented other things than bombs.

Funny how we invented the technology and then broke its fingers and stuck it in a cage for forty years.

Meanwhile others go "Huh. Looks like it could be useful," and offer asylum to the beleaguered tech, which thrives in its new environment.

I just wish that global power were more based in nation-states, less, well, global. If that were true, renewable energy and climate mitigation would be much further ahead. The U.S. can isolate itself as a nation, but it's barely a nation at this point: the real problem is the business interests who park here for some obscure reason. It sure as hell isn't because they have any feelings for the place they were born.

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Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

magiamma's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal
but there is no acknowledgement of climate anything let alone climate emergency by the ptb. yes, a few congress critters but not enough. not to mention mitigation, sequestration, adaptation planning...

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wendy davis's picture

@magiamma

the emergency began 20 years or more ago, and was ramped up at the sick joke of the 'Rio 2012 sustainability conference'. the conference forced the Indigenous to hold side meetings: they weren't allowed in with the Big Boy Capitalists. their indictments, by the by, were spot on, and when in my reporting i'd learned how craven the Big US Climate Gods were/are.

but yeah, now the bucks should be going to deep adaptation and mitigation, as in relocating the inhabitants of island nations under water as the oceans are rising, what, 40 times faster than predicted even four years ago? yeppers, i'm a grouch on that subject as well, but rather philosophical about the sixth extinction being baked in lest: help by aliens. but how would any technology cool the oceans in which most of the heat is stored?

with such a crap memory, i can only guess i've read the same about the arctic ice and warm water, not just methane release, but see: February 4, 2019 'Thwaites Glacier Startles Scientists by Robert Hunziker, counterpunch

and the himalayan glaciers are melting at an alarming rate. maybe the species that remain will evolve into better custodians of this once-gorgeous blue-green ball of a planet.

on noon noon: from nasa 2015, , same grace, etc. programs: ‘Warming Seas and Melting Ice Sheets’

“The Greenland Ice Sheet, spanning 660,000 square miles (an area almost as big as Alaska) and with a thickness at its highest point of almost 2 miles, has the potential to raise the world’s oceans by more than 20 feet. Situated in the Arctic, which is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the planet, Greenland fell out of balance in the 1990s, and is now shedding more and more ice in the summer than it gains back in the winter.

“In Greenland, everything got warmer at the same time: the air, the ocean surface, the depths of the ocean,” said Ian Joughin, a glaciologist at University of Washington. “We don’t really understand which part of that warming is having the biggest effect on the glaciers.”

Observations from the Jason series have revolutionized scientists' understanding of contemporary sea level rise and its causes. We know that today's sea level rise is about one-third the result of the warming of existing ocean water, with the remainder coming from melting land ice.

but iirc, the dark ice melt absorbs even more heat, and somehow the deep seabed methane is released, even causing volcanoes to erupt. but of course, not all climate scientist agre on that. ; )

how warm were ocean in 2018? global ocean temps.
https://www.seatemperature.org/

by nation:
https://www.seatemperature.org/countries.htm
if the site is correct, of course.
https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/warming-seas-and-melting-ice-sheets

aggregate average temps they dinnae have.

but it might be time to call your newsletter 'hot air, hot water'.

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The Aspie Corner's picture

It won't be long before capital has no more markets or countries to rape for their own personal gain. Most people likely won't miss it when capitalism finally dies as it should have in 1929.

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Modern education is little more than toeing the line for the capitalist pigs.

Guerrilla Liberalism won't liberate the US or the world from the iron fist of capital.

wendy davis's picture

@The Aspie Corner

with no clothes? (as per hudson as well). a multipolar world w/ 2 alliances creating alternatives to SWIFT? ah, but they will be punished! this was rather shocking news to me:

"The World Bank, for instance, traditionally has been headed by a U.S. Secretary of Defense. Its steady policy since its inception is to provide loans for countries to devote their land to export crops instead of giving priority to feeding themselves. That is why its loans are only in foreign currency, not in the domestic currency needed to provide price supports and agricultural extension services such as have made U.S. agriculture so productive. By following U.S. advice, countries have left themselves open to food blackmail – sanctions against providing them with grain and other food, in case they step out of line with U.S. diplomatic demands."

guess that was what had prompted biden to say that if Leader __, didn't play ball wid us, he won't get his IMF loan.

but isn't it always said that as empires die, they are at their most dangerous with their loose-cannon policies, both militarily and 'war by other means'? so tragic that the long, long, agitprop against maduro has been been reified to this point:

'Will Venezuela oil sanctions be the silver bullet to fell Maduro regime?; Drivers in the oil-rich country fear the pumps may soon run dry as US tightens economic screw... thanks, guardian of the empire.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@wendy davis

Will Venezuela oil sanctions be the silver bullet to fell Maduro regime?

South America is finished.

Both China and Russia are deeply invested in Venezuela and deeply committed in trade agreements with other SA nations. But they will be forced to abandon these allies and put all their resources into weapons. Everyone knows that a first strike against the US is their only hope.

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The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.
– Albert Camus
wendy davis's picture

@Pluto's Republic

but for now i'm forced to remain agnostic on that. guess we'll see sooner than later.

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mimi's picture

@wendy davis

The World Bank, for instance, traditionally has been headed by a U.S. Secretary of Defense.

according to Wikipedia three out of twelve were related to the Department of Defense, McCloy, McNamara and Wolfowitz, only McNamara was Sec. of Defense, the other two either deputy or assistant Sec. of Defense. The rest were mostly bankers, lawyers etc.


Presidents of the Worldbank

  • Name - Dates - Nationality - Previous work
  • Eugene Meyer 1946–1946 United States Newspaper publisher and Chairman of the Federal Reserve
  • John J. McCloy 1947–1949 United States Lawyer and US Assistant Secretary of War
  • Eugene R. Black, Sr. 1949–1963 United States Bank executive with Chase and executive director with the World Bank
  • George Woods 1963–1968 United States Bank executive with First Boston Corporation
  • Robert McNamara 1968–1981 United States President of the Ford Motor Company, US Defense Secretary under Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson who escalated the Vietnam War[29]
  • Alden W. Clausen 1981–1986 United States Lawyer, bank executive with Bank of America
  • Barber Conable 1986–1991 United States New York State Senator and US Congressman
  • Lewis T. Preston 1991–1995 United States Bank executive with J.P. Morgan
  • James Wolfensohn 1995–2005 United States
  • Australia (prev.) Wolfensohn was a naturalised American citizen before taking office. Corporate lawyer and banker

  • Paul Wolfowitz 2005–2007 United States US Ambassador to Indonesia, US Deputy Secretary of Defense, Dean of the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University, prominent architect of 2003 invasion of Iraq, resigned World Bank post due to ethics scandal[30]
  • Robert Zoellick 2007–2012 United States Deputy Secretary of State and US Trade Representative
  • Jim Yong Kim 2012–2019 United States - South Korea (prev.) Former Chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard, president of Dartmouth College, naturalized American citizen[31]

Peace.
Just saying...no offense.

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wendy davis's picture

@mimi not

i was just quoting michael hudson; thanks for digging into it. i appreciate it; i hope i hadn't taken him out of context, but that looked pretty straight forward to me.

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mimi's picture

@wendy davis
I like him a lot, just get lost in threads and links here and elsewhere and don't know to which link you related his words.

Sorry for that.

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wendy davis's picture

@mimi

sorry, ma soeur; there wasn't a link, but i've added it. #WhatAKnothead

but here it is...

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mimi's picture

@wendy davis
I remember now that I had started to read Hudson's article before, just gave up and not reading it to the end. I think it's hard to decide what the most important message from that article is for people not that knowledgable about how the IMF and Worldbank work. I thought this one to be 'telling' (I had to do my own excerpting to get through all the goodies of that article by Hudson. Please forgive, if all of it was mentioned in your essay, it is not meant as an offense, just a way to get my thoughts in order)

At the United Nations, U.S. diplomats insisted on veto power. At the World Bank and IMF they also made sure that their equity share was large enough to give them veto power over any loan or other policy. Without such power, the United States would not join any international organization. Yet at the same time, it depicted its nationalism as protecting globalization and internationalism. It was all a euphemism for what really was unilateral U.S. decision-making.

Inevitably, U.S. nationalism had to break up the mirage of One World internationalism, and with it any thought of an international court. Without veto power over the judges, the U.S. never accepted the authority of any court, in particular the United Nations’ International Court in The Hague. Recently that court undertook an investigation into U.S. war crimes in Afghanistan, from its torture policies to bombing of civilian targets such as hospitals, weddings and infrastructure. “That investigation ultimately found ‘a reasonable basis to believe that war crimes and crimes against humanity.’”1

Donald Trump’s National Security Adviser John Bolton erupted in fury, warning in September that: “The United States will use any means necessary to protect our citizens and those of our allies from unjust prosecution by this illegitimate court,” adding that the UN International Court must not be so bold as to investigate “Israel or other U.S. allies.”

That prompted a senior judge, Christoph Flügge from Germany, to resign in protest. Indeed, Bolton told the court to keep out of any affairs involving the United States, promising to ban the Court’s “judges and prosecutors from entering the United States.” As Bolton spelled out the U.S. threat: “We will sanction their funds in the U.S. financial system, and we will prosecute them in the U.S. criminal system. We will not cooperate with the ICC. We will provide no assistance to the ICC. We will not join the ICC. We will let the ICC die on its own. After all, for all intents and purposes, the ICC is already dead to us.

What this meant, the German judge spelled out was that: “If these judges ever interfere in the domestic concerns of the U.S. or investigate an American citizen, [Bolton] said the American government would do all it could to ensure that these judges would no longer be allowed to travel to the United States – and that they would perhaps even be criminally prosecuted.”

and this:

But then came Venezuela. Desperate to spend its gold reserves to provide imports for its economy devastated by U.S. sanctions – a crisis that U.S. diplomats blame on “socialism,” not on U.S. political attempts to “make the economy scream” (as Nixon officials said of Chile under Salvador Allende) – Venezuela directed the Bank of England to transfer some of its $11 billion in gold held in its vaults and those of other central banks in December 2018. This was just like a bank depositor would expect a bank to pay a check that the depositor had written.

England refused to honor the official request, following the direction of Bolton and U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo. As Bloomberg reported: “The U.S. officials are trying to steer Venezuela’s overseas assets to [Chicago Boy Juan] Guaido to help bolster his chances of effectively taking control of the government. The $1.2 billion of gold is a big chunk of the $8 billion in foreign reserves held by the Venezuelan central bank.”2

and this:

President Trump’s breaking of the 2015 nuclear agreements negotiated by European and Obama Administration diplomats has escalated to the point of threatening Germany and other European countries with punitive sanctions if they do not also break the agreements they have signed. Coming on top of U.S. opposition to German and other European importing of Russian gas, the U.S. threat finally prompted Europe to find a way to defend itself.

and this:

Likewise, the IMF has been forced to admit that its basic guidelines were fictitious from the beginning. A central core has been to enforce payment of official inter-government debt by withholding IMF credit from countries under default. This rule was instituted at a time when most official inter-government debt was owed to the United States. But a few years ago Ukraine defaulted on $3 billion owed to Russia.

The IMF said, in effect, that Ukraine and other countries did not have to pay Russia or any other country deemed to be acting too independently of the United States. The IMF has been extending credit to the bottomless it (me: ? may be that was supposed to be the word 'pit'?) of Ukrainian corruption to encourage its anti-Russian policy rather than standing up for the principle that inter-government debts must be paid.

It is as if the IMF now operates out of a small room in the basement of the Pentagon in Washington. Europe has taken notice that its own international monetary trade and financial linkages are in danger of attracting U.S. anger.

and this

Where is the left in all this? That is the question with which I opened this article. How remarkable it is that it is only right-wing parties, Alternative for Deutschland (AFD), or Marine le Pen’s French nationalists and those of other countries that are opposing NATO militarization and seeking to revive trade and economic links with the rest of Eurasia.

The end of our monetary imperialism, about which I first wrote in 1972 in Super Imperialism, stuns even an informed observer like me. It took a colossal level of arrogance, short-sightedness and lawlessness to hasten its decline — something that only crazed Neocons like John Bolton, Elliott Abrams and Mike Pompeo could deliver for Donald Trump.

FUBAR. I am shocked and awed by Mr. Moustache, the Pompelman and godly Abraham. Indeed. Well done, those steaks, and tough like leather. Undigestible. Aggressive

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wendy davis's picture

@mimi

judges at the ICC would have deserved its own diary, really, the fuquewad. but this is exactly what lotlizard had called 'ironic' on the last VZ thread:

"How remarkable it is that it is only right-wing parties, Alternative for Deutschland (AFD), or Marine le Pen’s French nationalists and those of other countries that are opposing NATO militarization and seeking to revive trade and economic links with the rest of Eurasia."

but what he said about the Great Orange One's sanctions and threats forcing alternatives to the SWIFT system was what he'd asked 'intentional or unwitting destruction of dollar hegemony', or close. as i remember it, he sure did have his tongue in his check while he had some fun with it.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@mimi

And bringing forward all the salient points. It's an excellent reference on the corrupting of the global economy via politics. Really. The quotes you pulled may be the weakest link. Future historians will spend centuries analyzing this one depraved event, because this is precisely where western civilization turned to complete shit.

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The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.
– Albert Camus
Pluto's Republic's picture

@wendy davis

Just to say, Michael Hudson is an uncommon god among economists. I need to read more and talk less.

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The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.
– Albert Camus
wendy davis's picture

@Pluto's Republic

as i like mark weisbrot and another fellow at CEPR. they all tie their economics to social an political globally, but not in the way, say, of bloomberg news. 'Bloomberg’s Hit Job on Venezuela – and Me', michaelhudson.com, april 3, 2017

he often quotes marx, but obviously can't come out as a socialist. ; )

"I told her [bloomberg reporter jenkins] that I had not followed Venezuela’s economy closely in recent years. I did say that I had discussed how Argentina and Greece were subjected to austerity as a result of foreign debt, and my belief that no sovereign nation should be obliged to impose austerity on its population to pay foreign bondholders. That has indeed been the problem confronting Latin America for decades, and is a central theme of all my books since Super Imperialism in 1972.

And to cap matters, of course, U.S. foreign policy has mobilized the World Bank and IMF to back creditor interests, foreign investment and privatization – while isolating countries from Cuba through Venezuela (and now Greece) to demonstrate that neoliberal diplomacy will make such a country a pariah if it makes a serious attempt to oppose austerity and financialization.

She said that the country looked like it was straining to pay its foreign debts and might soon default. I replied with the same advice that I had given Greece: If you are inevitably going to default on sovereign debt, it’s best to stop paying now and keep what foreign exchange you have, and try to renegotiate the debt to bring it within the ability to be paid. Otherwise, you will end up suffering the legal tangle of default, but be stripped of funds needed by the domestic economy to survive."

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@wendy davis

...scales down to individual sovereignty , as well:

If you are inevitably going to default on sovereign credit card debt, it’s best to stop paying now and keep what foreign exchange hide what cash and liquid asset you have, and try to renegotiate the debt to bring it within the ability to be paid. Otherwise, you will end up suffering the legal tangle the bad credit trap of default, plus be stripped of funds needed by the domestic economy to invest in your own enterprise in order to survive.

Play to win.

And to cap matters, of course, U.S. foreign policy has mobilized the World Bank and IMF to back creditor interests, foreign investment and privatization – while isolating countries from Cuba through Venezuela to demonstrate neoliberal [supremacy] and [crush them with] austerity and financialization.

And then .... China came along. They made the Yuan a reserve currency with the IMF — then built a fairer banking model than the World Bank. With one-hundred nations signing on as partners, the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank of China has the money and the clout to build a 21st-century economic infrastructure — at a record pace — across the entire Eastern Hemisphere.

And it was good.

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The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.
– Albert Camus
wendy davis's picture

@Pluto's Republic

isn't he? "and it was good", by way of an Amen. i hadn't kept up w/ the BRIICS bank, last i'd seen, it wasn't all that well capitalized, but i do know he'd have some knowledge. ; )

consortium news has borrowed his recent column, but it was too hellish long for me to read. maybe it's in there. but at least CS has stopped their BS: "special to consortium news", when most of their exclusives are published at many sites, especially escobar (almost always at atimes.com

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@wendy davis

...I notice he has something at Consortium referenced at Zero Hedge: Escobar: MAGA Misses The Eurasia Train. Haven't read it yet, but it's generally on this topic.

BRICS is much smaller that the AIIB, and limited to just a few nations.

The AIIB has basically won the world. Every day it looks more and more like the UN. Climate change is their first order of business. But it is so much larger than that. Little wonder that DC is beside themselves, making one mistake after another.

Really, after a second look, Escobar really puts this new world rising into perspective:

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-02-04/escobar-maga-misses-eurasia-train

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The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.
– Albert Camus
wendy davis's picture

@Pluto's Republic

provided at consortium news, having thought you dinnae need the title. and apologies, in my increasing dotage, i'd confused the two banks.

but the guardian had another hit on maduro today, 'Maduro issues threat to jail Venezuela’s opposition leader', but toward the end:

“Some observers fear that the aid convoys risk sparking – or may even be designed to spark – a confrontation with Venezuelan troops loyal to Maduro. On Monday, Guaidó urged members of the military to allow the aid into his economically-collapsed country.
In Cúcuta, the busiest crossing on Colombia’s 1,378-mile (2,219 km) border with Venezuela, warehouses were filled with boxes of aid which began to arrive on Sunday evening. Photos shared on social media on Saturday by Mark Green, the head of USAid, showed boxes of food being prepared for delivery, emblazoned with a US flag.

Though it is not yet known how the aid will be delivered to Venezuela, Colombian officials with knowledge of the process said it was an operation lead by Guaidó from Caracas in coordination with US aid workers and regional governments. On Monday, Canada pledged $40m (£31m) of aid destined for Venezuela, while the US last week promised $20m."

linking to this tweet:

@cordeliers "The whole world knows that Foodlike Products from @usaid are cheap smears of lipstick on the ghastly face of US imperialism."

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wendy davis's picture

told that tulsi gabbard had voted for the house Nato Defense bill. when i'd read that not one dem had voted against it, i assumed she had. but just to be certain, i did finally find the roll call vote, and she just hadn't voted, nor had a long list of other Ds, for whatever reasons.

but according to stephen lendeman chronicling her mixed record:

"After the February 2014 US coup in Ukraine, replacing democratic governance with illegitimate Nazi-infested fascist rule, Gabbard supported supplying the regime with “military assistance,” shamefully claiming America can’t stand “idly by while Russia continues to degrade the territorial integrity of Ukraine.”

No “Russian aggression” existed then or now. Yet Gabbard disgracefully claimed otherwise, urging “more painful economic sanctions” on Moscow, pretending the regime in Kiev is a “peaceful, sovereign neighbor.”

In July 2017, she supported legislation imposing illegal unilateral US sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea."

i'd offer more reasons that she's not 'anti-war', but bats for the Empire, but that's enough for now. but again: my sincere apologies for my mistake.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@wendy davis

...is so vehemently opposed to Gabbard?

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The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.
– Albert Camus
wendy davis's picture

@Pluto's Republic

they believe her self-styled branding, as they do freaking ocasio-cortez's?

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@wendy davis

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The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.
– Albert Camus
wendy davis's picture

@Pluto's Republic

seeing the title of snoopy's (close) to 'russia wants tulsi for president', and that must be because she'd gone to syria, had met with assad', etc. yes, that would have earned her demerits with the CIA dems, most especially, if that's which entities you mean by the deep state. i dunno how many iterations of that term there are, myownself, sometimes in competition, some times in concert.

i hadn't meant to derail this diary by starting arguments/discussions over her, but apparently...i've done just that, but as i'd indicated,i'd wanted to apologize for my assumption that she'd voted on the Defense of Nato bill. but as we're on the subject, i will say that any candidate for prez who's 'conflicted about torture...because presidents and ticking time bombs', well good gawd all-friday. jeffrey kaye must be rolling over in his canoe. she can kiss my grits! was she 'charlie hebdo' back in the day?
okay, sorry, that was uncalled for; but that shit was just after all the photos from abu ghraihb were published.

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wendy davis's picture

@wendy davis

on breaks while making thai sesame noodles sauce. yeppers: on the twit machine:

@jeff_kaye Jan 16
Replying to @TulsiGabbard
Tulsi, can you say the same about your comments about torture. You may not know it, but there are many foreign torture survivors living in America now, having been granted political asylum. Your old comments could be quite painful to them as well.

@pmcall
Replying to @jeff_kaye @TulsiGabbard
Thanks Jeff. I didn't know about this so I went looking. I just found this video and quite frankly I'm shocked at what Tulsi said about the torture report : (
(the video)

@jeff_kaye Jan 16
Replying to @pmcall @TulsiGabbard
If I’m not mistaken, this is similar to Hillary Clinton’s position re ticking bomb scenario circa 2013 https://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/dc/hillary-torture-blog-entry-1.1661354

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Big Al's picture

@wendy davis @wendy davis it's her acknowledgement that the war on terror is real, that it is about defeating radical Islam, which is total bullshit and THE excuse for 21st century imperialism, although Russia and China are now coming front and center. She likes to say we need to defeat those "who attacked us on 9/11", etc. Same as the neocons which is why many on the far right like her.

https://www.votetulsi.com/node/25013

But we know what the war on terror is and has been for the last 17 years and we know what really happened on 9/11. She can't and won't go against U.S. imperialism, just some of the tactics. She's a member of the Council on Foreign Relations for gawds sake. This business that the establishment/deep state, whatever, hates her therefore she must be the real deal is misguided in my view. In fact, I'm still trying to figure out really why she's running. Kind of like why was Bernie running.

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wendy davis's picture

@Big Al

too much for me to grok at the end of hard day in RL. member of CFR along w/ george clooney, don cheadle, warren beatty et.al.?

'look out south sudan; hollywood stars are on the case!, café babylon, sept. 2016 wooot!

CIA plan to add film to bolster imperial psyops: what was the program (what IS the program?)

on edit: i'd missed this in my stupor: "it's her acknowledgement that the war on terror is real, that it is about defeating radical Islam, which is total bullshit and THE excuse for 21st century imperialism, although Russia and China are now coming front and center."

oh, my yes. if the west would stop occupying those nations the FUKUS do, plus nato and africom...for fun and profit, well, then...peace might break out. can't have that now, can we?

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snoopydawg's picture

@wendy davis

never going to end and how the media can make up lies about anyone who speaks against the empire gets tarred with agreeing with Russia's goals.

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

wendy davis's picture

@snoopydawg

and read much the same in the twittersphere over the past couple days.

but this was my personal fave, i guess, and i thought after seeing your (misremembered title), had i the time, i would have dropped it by. you may have seen it already...

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4 users have voted.

@wendy davis It is very informative.

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wendy davis's picture

@on the cusp

but not tonight, that's for certain. victoria and albert are on, and OMG, do i need to veg out.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@wendy davis

(at least). Pushing AOC serves the purposes of one of those fights; shutting her down serves the purposes of the other.

One fight is about politics (in the sense of candidates, elections, parties) and the other is about perception management.

We have a Hannity and Colmes politics: helpless, largely mild-mannered left-of-center types "arguing" with aggressive extreme rightists in a parody of debate which always ends in the liberal conceding. This charade exists to prop up a political system which is, I think, ultimately run by neither the extreme rightists nor the helpless liberals. Let me clarify: I'm talking about neo-Nazis in pickup trucks with little money, not the richer ones who work for think tanks, intelligence agencies, etc. I have no idea how many of those infested our halls of power after World War II, nor how many homegrown shitheads were already Nazi sympathizers along with Dulles, and I don't know how many are still around wielding power.

In this fight, it's useful to have an Ocasio-Cortez making some noise as long as she is massively outnumbered and ends up having no impact on policy. In other words, as long as she never wins. Since she never accomplishes anything beyond advancing her own career, she becomes an emblem of futility. Or, what is even better, she is used to transform the very notion of what a political victory actually is, which ends up having little or nothing to do with policy change. At its most extreme, this strategy uses hope itself (the next campaign cycle, the next progressive running) in place of victory: rather than noticing that nothing is changing, one is supposed to consider any progressive getting elected as a win in itself and a sign that things are getting better.

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Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Big Al's picture

@wendy davis as it should be called. Says so right on her own website plain as day. It's humorous how people want to play that down considering the immensity of the war on terror. She's like Obama, says she's against some wars, but for others, i.e., she's an imperialist. An "antiwar imperialist", if you take the definition that antiwar can be against some wars but not others.

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wendy davis's picture

@Big Al

i hadn't known that. that could cover a lotta ground if she doesn't specify which war on terror she'd continue. i do remember one tankie on twitter who'd provided a transcript of an interview w/ tulsi on CNN in 2015 or 2017 saying she'd wanted to federalize iraq, but that's none of bidness either is it? save for the old saw about "you broke it, you own it", arrgh.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

I'll get people in my city to wave signs with my face on them. If I can get a few thousand supporters on camera, then I can legitimately claim to be President, and then we won't have to live through another campaign season.

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6 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

wendy davis's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

"... then we won't have to live through another campaign season."

now it's possible if you'd played your cards right earlier... but i really can't imagine why anyone would i) want to be president of this #shitholenation, and ii) have the hubris to believe they could do it well (dependidng on what the person's 'well' was. some wag had offered long ago that there were three professions for which applications...anyone should be immediately disqualified. now i likely have the first two wrong, but 'cop, priest' or President', but po-po and prez for certain.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@wendy davis @wendy davis

But the point I was making was something more like this:

"If I went round saying I was an Emperor, just because some moistened bint had lobbed a scimitar at me, they'd put me away."

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4 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

wendy davis's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

that brilliant jewel. i thank you for it profusely. just re-read mark weisbrot on the subject (and a lot of other things), so now...i can quote him:

"If Russia, China, and North Korea decided to recognize Nancy Pelosi as the president of the United States, would Americans go along with that? I mean, the ones who don’t like Trump, think he is a real threat to the country, or even not a legitimately elected president?

(I don’t think so. But Trump, his secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, and National Security Adviser John Bolton all think that the United States should be able to choose a new president for Venezuela. So does “ouster in chief” ― as The New York Times recently described him ― Senator Marco Rubio. And this sordid bunch has just recruited an experienced war criminal from the 1980s, Elliott Abrams, to help make their dream come true.)"

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wendy davis's picture

in his ‘US tightens the noose on Venezuela: will the coup succeed?’, jorge martin, jan. 31...

sanctions, sanctions, stolen oil revenues, death by sanctions, make the economy scream', bolton's bellicose threats, and much more, but he notes so far the military is standing w/ maduro. as bill auken at wsws often says (with a lot more venom):

The army holds, the opposition struggles (one bit)

One of the main reasons for the loyalty of the heads of the Venezuelan army is down to concessions they have recieved in the last few years. Military officers manage the importation and supply of food, many of the state-owned companies and PDVSA itself. On top of this, the creation of CAMIMPEG gave them access to lucrative contracts in oil, gas and mining. From these positions, they derive power and wealth, by legal means and also through corrupt schemes and open theft. As long as the Maduro government guarantees them these positions they will be loyal. If they reach the conclusion that he is about to be removed they will queue up to jump ship. Guaidó has announced that he has “had clandestine meetings with members of the armed forces and the security forces.” Surely, there have been meetings, but not organised by the bellboy of US imperialism. These meetings have been organised directly by the CIA and the State Department, the driving forces of the coup."

Anti-imperialist mood not utilised by Maduro (one bob)

We should not underestimate the strong, anti-imperialist feeling which exists in Venezuela, which goes beyond the ranks of those who support the government more-or-less critically. Such a mood also exists within the armed forces.

Finally, there is the factor of foreign support for the Maduro government. So far, Russia and China, as well as Turkey and Iran, have been clear in their opposition to the coup, but they have couched it mainly in terms of opposition to foreign interference. This is an indication that they might be amenable to a “solution” from within Venezuela: some sort of negotiated “transition”, perhaps led by the army.

but this is what i'd found most interesting:

'The revolutionary masses must resist the coup!

On 28 January, as the US announced economic sanctions and asset seizures, finally Maduro announced the setting up of 50,000 “popular defence units” to prepare the country for military invasion and promised to turn Venezuela into another Vietnam. That is a welcome step, but it needs to be turned from words into actions. Too many times in the past there has been talk of strengthening the militia, but the army officers have always been very reluctant to turn them into a genuine popular workers’ and peasants' militia.

To face off the imperialist coup, Venezuela needs to adopt the policies the Cubans followed in 1959-62 in the face of growing imperialist aggression: the expropriation of all multinational property, and raising a workers’ and peasants' army. That is how the Bay of Pigs invasion was defeated.

Instead, Maduro seems to be following in war (and this is what we are talking about) the same failed policy he followed in peace: appeals for negotiations, concessions to the capitalists and a slow and constant undermining of the conquests of the revolution. This is the road to disaster.'

which is why i'd kinda sighed when i'd seen various versions of this: ‘Venezuela's Maduro Marks 20 Years of Bolivarian Revolution, Calls for Parliamentary Elections’ feb. 2, telesur english

"Stop calling the war, stop calling for military intervention, stop supporting a coup that has failed, failed and was not realized, here the revolution is ruling, and we will continue to govern," he added.

The president also called for parliamentary elections in order to restore the legislative power, currently in contempt since 2016."

baffling, but in one version he'd noted he'd have to consult the supreme court. he's said Boss Tweet won't meet w/ him because: bolton, but he does seem to be well...groveling too much. but maybe his top generals advise it, and he's afraid too many are being bribed by the CIA?

is he pinging de zayas?

“I think that the United States is betting that the military will eventually switch over to Guaido, that they will not remain loyal to Maduro. That, of course, would be a massive defeat for the principle of national sovereignty, for the principle of democracy and the rule of law in Venezuela, but it would avoid, of course, the shedding of blood,” de Zayas said."

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Thanks.

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wendy davis's picture

@on the cusp

for others, commie. and oooh, do they loathe fake socialists, esp. @aoc.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@wendy davis

...phonies that flood DC.

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The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.
– Albert Camus
wendy davis's picture

@Pluto's Republic

ajamu baraka, glen ford, cordelier, red kahina and others, my fave is cordeliers, but all are anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist, and staunch supporters of the maduro administration's survival. cord and kahina loathe ocasio in particular as she's their congresswoman, and know deleted history well. alliances with de blasio's gentrification schemes, and things like that.

@cordeliers

one recent tweet as a thread; click for stand-alone to read what he posts underneath.

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My reading indicates the right wing opposition does not have the numbers nor the military at this time to overthrow Maduro. Next step is for Trump to invade or supply mercs and weapons to opposition.

More war.

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wendy davis's picture

@MrWebster

turn more generals is the big Q right now. and it's not hard to believe that this will all end in blood soon.

eric london had a lot to say this a.m in his 'US issues new threats of war for oil against Venezuela' at wsws, but he doesn't say where he'd scored some of what he's claiming in regard to 'colombian troops at the border' and 'maduro's death squads against protestors at night'.

but i did see this part at common dreams yesterday:

"Bolton, who helped author the playbook that was used to launch the 2003 invasion of Iraq, issued a blunt threat Friday that the US would kill or jail and torture Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro if he did not resign. Comparing Maduro to Nicolae Ceaușescu and Benito Mussolini—both of whom were killed—Bolton told right-wing radio host Hugh Hewitt: “The sooner he takes advantage of that [i.e., resignation], the sooner he’s likely to have a nice quiet retirement on a pretty beach rather than being in some other beach area like Guantanamo.”

i did grab the video of hewitt's show, but dinnae watch. moving on:

"Self-proclaimed “interim president” Juan Guaidó, the US and their allies in South America and Europe are preparing a new provocation aimed at forcing the Venezuelan military to abandon Maduro, with Guaidó announcing that the US will deliver aid at three locations along the Venezuelan border in the coming days.

While Maduro and the Venezuelan military leadership have said they will refuse the aid, the US hopes that images of crowds gathering to receive food and medication will either provoke the military to defect to the opposition and help distribute the aid or provide valuable propaganda footage justifying the need for a “humanitarian” intervention.

Over the weekend, hundreds of armed Colombian soldiers dressed in battle fatigues deployed to one of the three “aid distribution” centers, Cúcuta, on the Venezuela-Colombia border. Colombia’s far-right President Iván Duque issued a statement proclaiming, “Few hours remain to the Venezuelan dictatorship.” At a press conference last week announcing Washington’s moves to topple Maduro, Bolton held under his arm a note pad with the words written in plain view: “5,000 troops to Colombia.”

Guaidó also announced that one of the “aid” locations would be on the border with Brazil, which deployed troops to the border last year, while the third would be on an island in the Caribbean.

The stepped-up pressure produced an initial crack in the Venezuelan military, which remains the backbone of the Maduro government. Over the weekend, one Air Force general and a small group of mid-level Air Force officials defected and issued public statements calling on their colleagues to join them.

Germ án Ferrer, a sitting Venezuelan legislator and United Socialist Party member who opposes Maduro, told the CBC that Maduro has disabled combat aircraft for fear the Air Force will turn on the government.

oh fie, i've been trying to narrate some of the rest, but i'll paste in more:

"The Brookings Institution explained that the present stage of the coup operation is aimed at “building an off-ramp for the Maduro regime.” In the parlance of US imperialism, countries whose leaders do not take the “off-ramp” are, like Saddam Hussein in Iraq, Gaddafi in Libya and Assad in Syria, subject to a hailstorm of bombs and missiles from the air and US troops or proxy armies on the ground.

As the Council on Foreign Relations’ O’Neil told the corporate conference call, “If it [sanctions] doesn’t work in dislodging this regime, then there’s not a lot left in the toolkit besides things like military intervention.”

A military intervention in Venezuela—population 30 million—could kill hundreds of thousands or millions of people and transform Latin America into an imperialist slaughterhouse.

The geopolitical intelligence think tank Stratfor recently noted, “A military intervention could quickly snowball into one of the largest worldwide military operations since the 2003 invasion of Iraq.”

Francisco Toro, a Washington Post columnist and anti-Maduro think tank analyst, told the Council on Foreign Relations gathering that a military intervention would lead to “a kind of Syrian civil war” and confrontation between nuclear-armed powers.

He said: “There is this definite threat that if a military operation takes any amount of time in Venezuela, that other countries then start to move in too. And you can imagine, easily, Brazil moving into the southeast, Colombia into the southwest. You can imagine Russia trying to defend its oil interests, because Russia has big oil investments in Venezuela. You can imagine China doing I don’t know what. And Cuba has already intelligence penetration into the Venezuelan armed forces.”

but it sounds as though the parties want a greater war w/ china and russia. i can't say if china would intercede save for diplomatically, nor if russia would be prepared to, but iirc (hardly likely) jorge martin at marxist.com upthread dinnae think so.

further assassination attempts on maduro *do* seem likely, though. and most of the western capitalist nations' ruling class would weep crocodile tears...on twitter. if that.

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ggersh's picture

@wendy davis but here in Vz all they got is socialism, my gut
tells me the it's a step to far for tptb, though that
won't stop them from going for it.

I would highly doubt China/Russia interfere here but they
could make life for the empire quite dicey elsewhere on
the globe while we go huntin for oil. China for sure is the
wildcard, as Guido tells China he's better for biz w/them
than Maduro and Xi cares about his pocket like tRump does.

Just my .02c

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trump amerika's last president

Caitlin Johnstone

Anyone who's sure they know what humanity is and where we're headed is suffering from a psilocybin deficiency.

wendy davis's picture

@ggersh

and thanks for the perkins cartoon. i'd wondered if t'were he as i watched and listened. yeah, monthly review authors call this iteration of capitalism 'monopoly capitalism', noting that in earlier iterations corps were kinda family bidnesses, then as they consolidate their power, fewer and fewer ruled the planet, with the disastrous results afoot now (i'd been kinda prepping a post of 'monoply capitalism and mental health issues based on one long essay there.) but as i remember it, marx had foretold it all, but scantily.

now make of this what you will as so many authors are gaming the issue, but today: ‘Make Latin America Great Again? On the REAL chances of a US invasion of Venezuela’, RT this a.m. (Mikhail Khodarenok, military commentator for RT.com. He is a retired colonel. He served as an officer at the main operational directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces.)

he gets to the point...eventually:

The US will not repeat itself

"This time, the US almost certainly will not launch a direct military intervention in Venezuela. The sky above the Bolivarian Republic is unlikely to one day be filled with the white freckles of parachutes of the 82nd Airborne Division or helicopters of the 101st Airborne Division, and its sandy beaches probably will not see the boots of the US Marine Expeditionary Force. Again, a classic (Grenada-like) scenario for the start of military hostilities is doubtful.

First of all, it could lead to the most undesirable consequences for the US, since the people of Venezuela could unite in the face of foreign intervention.

Second, the international fallout is a problem the US would rather avoid.

Third, Venezuela has quite complex terrain which is not really fit for military action – you cannot occupy jungles – Americans know that very well from the war in Vietnam. The US is sure to apply every trick in the book against Venezuela, but bombing and air-to-surface missile attacks most probably will not take place."

"In this regard, it seems reasonable to assume that the US will be working towards two main objectives. On the one hand, America will attempt to render completely inoperative the government and military command of the Maduro regime and to discredit once and for all the current government of Venezuela. On the other hand, the US will utilize all necessary support for the opposition, including information, organization efforts, and financing."
.................
"There is no doubt that to deal with possible emergencies, the US will deploy its special forces to Venezuela, such as rangers, green berets, Navy SEALs, Special Operations Wings, and others. They can be used to perform a number of tasks, even eliminating certain leaders of the Bolivarian Republic who couldn't be convinced to cooperate."
.................
"It is possible that the US will form a coalition of Latin American states of sorts to confront Nicolas Maduro. Immediate candidates are Columbia and Brazil. These two countries can together establish control over the border crossings and partially block Venezuela from the sea in order to prevent any humanitarian aid ships from arriving."

but not full-scale bombing efforts...

awesomely enough, john perkins of 'confessions of an economic hitman' fame, kinda plagiarized by klein and her 'shock doctrine', started a blog on 'spiritual capitalism'. it was kinda funny, but when i tried to find it again a year or so ago, i wasn't able to.

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ggersh's picture

@wendy davis when was the last time a merger was denied?
monopoly "markits" are the only way today's CEO's know
how to operate, Steve Jobs might've been the last great
amerikan innovator, today it's all about outsourcing,
layoffs, tax cuts and stock buybacks, w/out those the
amerikan corporations would all be in the shitter(not
sure they ain't)

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3 users have voted.

trump amerika's last president

Caitlin Johnstone

Anyone who's sure they know what humanity is and where we're headed is suffering from a psilocybin deficiency.

wendy davis's picture

@ggersh

that mikhail k. kinda agrees with you.

as to monopoly capitalism, paul sweezy says it came into full bloom post WWII, and it was accomplished by:

"The way to succeed in a competitive market is to cut costs and expand production, a process which requires incessant accumulation of capital in ever new technological and organizational forms. In Marx’s words: “The battle of competition is fought by cheapening of commodities. The cheapness of commodities depends, ceteris paribus, on the productiveness of labor, and this again on the scale of production. Therefore the larger capitals beat the smaller.” Further, the credit system which “begins as a modest helper of accumulation” soon “becomes a new and formidable weapon in the competition in the competitive struggle, and finally it transforms itself into an immense social mechanism for the centralization of capitals”. [snip]

"Prices under conditions of monopoly, he thought, are indeterminate and hence unstable. Whenever concentration enables capitalists to achieve higher than average profits, suppliers and customers are put under pressure to create counter combinations which wiI1 enable them to appropriate part of the extra profits for themselves. Thus monopoly spreads in all directions from every point of origin. The question then arises as to the limits of “cartellization” (the term is used synonymously with monopolization)."

marxist theory is all quite out of my comfort zone and academic heft, but monopoly capitalism doesn't always require merger, perhaps not even the hostile takeovers we've seen so often. a case in point is when walmart, for instance, tells Rubbermaid: nope, we won't buy this or that unless you cut the price, and Rubbermaid eventually goes bankrupt, someone's there to strip the corporations of its assets, etc.

and of course, cutting labor costs, even outsourcing to nations whose people earn $2 a day, need suicide nets (apple in china), etc. has sincerely taken a toll on mental health. think how many just in this #ShitholeNation are working 2 or 3 job a day, no benefits, never see their kids, and are one pay cycle away from bankruptcy. well, anyway, i dunno if i'll ever grok it all enough to be able to fashion a diary, but the 'mental health' statistics matthews, i think his name is...sure do beg some exploring.

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wendy davis's picture

US and global:

for the global one, click + on the right sidebar to zoom in. here in SW CO we've finally moved out of Exceptional to Extreme (they almost needed to add Existential it's been so dry here. but...we had some snow last week, and last night was unseasonably warm....and it rained.
rain rain rain rain...beautiful rain. g'night. let this be the closing song; see you anon, lawd willin' and the creeks don't rise.

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wendy davis's picture

and hellary and kam lovers:

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