Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 01, 2019

Venezuela - Coup Propaganda Claims Gang Violence Is Coup Supporting Protest

To demonize the President of Venzuela, Nicolás Maduro, and Venezuelan government forces, a concerted effort is made to falsely depict gang violence, and the police reaction to it, as a confrontation between coup supporting protesters and the Maduro government.

Gang violence in the various slums in Caracas and elsewhere has been a problem for decades. The phenomenon is by far not exclusive to Venezuela. The gangs mostly fight each other over territory, but sometimes collide with the police that tries to keep the violence level down. This violence has nothing to do with the recently attempted coup or the anti-government protest by the mostly well-off people who support it.

On January 29 the Washington Post, the CIA's favored outlet, launched the campaign. As detailed yesterday an incident of gang violence and the police's reaction to it was manipulated into a story of anti-government protest.

The first three paragraph of the story told of an alleged anti-government protests in a slum in Caracas which included the arson of a culture center. The next day the police arrested some culprits which led to more violence. Some twenty propaganda filled paragraphs about the coup attempt follow. Only at the end of the Washington Post piece was revealed what really happened. The arson incident took place a January 22, a day before the coup attempt. It was a gang attack:

Around midnight, neighbors say, a group of hooded boys threw molotov cocktails at the culture center.

The following day the police arrested some of the arsonists. More rioting followed:

A group set fire to barricades, threw stones and attacked an outpost of the National Guard. ... Neighbors said that criminal gangs were among the crowd and created havoc by violently confronting the police.

The whole tit for tat incident was typical gang vs. police violence. It likely had nothing to do with the coup attempt.

On January 30 the New York Times added to the propaganda theme:

The agents barged into the home of Yonaiker Ordóñez, 18, on Sunday morning as he slept. Dressed in helmets and carrying rifles, the men grabbed the teenager and forced him to another room without explaining why they came, his family said.
...
The operation resembled one of the many police raids against the gangs that terrorize Venezuela’s poor neighborhoods. But Mr. Ordóñez’s only crime, his family said, was that he attended a protest against the government days before.

The Times goes on to claim that a special police force, the FAES, has replaced the National Guard as anti-protester force. It quotes an 'opposition lawmaker', a 'human rights organization', a 'former military general who broke ranks with Mr. Maduro', a 'criminologist in Caracas who teaches at the Central University of Venezuela' and an 'opposition activist' in support of that claim. No attempt is made to quote someone from the police or government side. How the FAES, a special police force with some 1,000 officers in Caracas, could ever replace the 70,000 strong militarized National Guard is left unexplained.

On January 31 an op-ed by the dude the U.S. wants to make president of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó, was published in the NYT. He mentioned (not by chance) the same incident describe in the Washington Post. He also claimed that it was motivated by anti-Maduro sentiment:

Last week in Caracas, citizens from the poorest neighborhoods that had been Chavista strongholds in the past took to the streets in unprecedented protests. They went out again on Jan. 23 with the full knowledge that they might be brutally repressed, and they continue to attend town hall meetings.

The phrase 'they went out again on Jan. 23' confirms that the incident happened before the coup-attempt on January 23 and the demonstrations related to the coup.

Today Bloomberg reports of the same incident as WaPo and NYT before. It also falsely claims that the FAES police raids against gangs are part of a government reaction to an alleged anti-Maduro sentiment:

Since protests against Maduro began last week, the socialist regime has regularly sent the police’s elite Special Action Force racing into Caracas slums on personnel carriers and motorcycles. Its masked members, all in black, attack demonstrators with weapons including tear gas, guns and even grenades. They settle long-standing scores and rob residents’ homes, eyewitnesses say. At least 35 people have died amid the demonstrations, adding to scores of deaths in two years of unrest.

The government sent the FAES to arrest gang criminals in Caracas' slums ever since that force was founded for exactly that purpose. To say that it does so "since protests against Maduro began last week" makes absolutely no sense.

The unhinged National Security Advisor John Bolton highlighted the alleged anti-government protest in a radio interview today:

[W]hat we’ve seen, the violence you’ve referred to already, which interestingly has been largely in the poorest parts of Caracas, that is to say directed against the poorest residents of the city, the former supporters of Chavez by basically armed gangs called collectivos [sic!] in Spanish trained and equipped by Cuba. These are the thugs and killers that have been sent out in the past days, were sent out against earlier expressions of opposition to Maduro. And it’s these people, they are absolutely ruthless. This is as cold-blooded, they’re capable of cold-blooded murder, and they’ve engaged in it already. 

"The slums are rising up!" "They get brutally repressed!" It is the same story repeated again and again. It is also false.

Gang violence is a huge problem in Venezuela. Like in other countries it is a side-effect of rapid urbanization and the uncontrolled growth of new city quarters or slums. Other factors are drugs and the availability of weapons. Some six million guns are believed to be in civilian hands and drug dealing is rampant. Youth unemployment exacerbates the problem. The same gang problem exists in Brazil, Honduras, Colombia, Mexico and elsewhere. In Los Angeles 60% of all homicides are gang related.

The problem is not new. In March 2011 the Guardian reported on Drugs, murder and redemption: the gangs of Caracas. In October 2012 Time Magazine published a photo essay about the The Street Gangs of Caracas. In June 2015 the government created a joint military and police force to get a grip on the problem. It was not successful: Controversy Continues over Venezuela’s New Security Operation. The Daily Mail ran a typically sensational piece about gang violence in Caracas in June 2016: Boss of brutal kidnap gang boasts of murdering HUNDREDS - and police admit they're powerless to stop him. In August 2016 Reuters chimed in: Ultra-violent gangs thrive in chaotic Venezuela despite crackdown. In May 2017 the LA Times headlined Venezuela's raging homicide epidemic is going unrecorded.

Since the late 1980s the homicide rate in Venezuela (and elsewhere) has constantly risen. The gang violence existed in Venezuela way before 2002 when the socialists under Hugo Chavez came to power. Several large programs were created to calm it down with more or less success. Special anti-gang forces were created and abandoned. The problem still does not go away. There are many ideas of how to fight gang violence. Some may work, some may not. They all require lots of money and time.

In 2017 the Venezuelan government created the Bolivarian National Police Special Forces (‘FAES’ in Spanish). It replaced a joint military and police force, the Operation Liberate the People, that was criticized after some bloody incidents. The FAES are equipped like typical SWAT teams and have a similar function. Here are pictures of them in a recent raid against criminal groups. There are only 1,000 FAES officers in Caracas, a city with 3 million people. Their job is to react to violent gang crime. The force is too small to be tasked with controlling anti-government demonstrations. That is the job of the regular police and national guard.

Criminal gang activity in the slums and the police reaction to it that has been going on for decades. To now claim that it is somehow related to the recent coup attempt and anti-Maduro activities is nonsensical.

It is typical demonization propaganda. As soon as the U.S. government declares some head of state an 'enemy', U.S. media start to villainize that person. The same stories that were written about alleged cruelty of Saddam Hussein, Muhammad Ghaddafi, Kim Jong-Il and Bashar al-Assad will now be recycled with regards to Nicolas Maduro. In Syria the shabiha, youth groups supporting the Baath party, were claimed to be a secret killer force for the government. The same claim is now made about colectivos in Venezuela. These are civil neighborhood groups doing social work in support of the United Socialist Party. It is lather, rinse, repeat 'reporting' in the service of war mongering.

The people who live in the slums of Caracas have profited most from the socialist policies of Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro. They are the most avid chavistas. It were those people who took to the streets and came to Chavez' help during the failed coup in 2002. If they would really rise up against the government, the streets would be full and Maduro would be finished.

To claim that these people now engage in the anti-government protests is at best wishful thinking of the coup-attempt supporters. More likely it is war drums propaganda.

Posted by b on February 1, 2019 at 20:08 UTC | Permalink

Comments
« previous page

@ psychohistorian | Feb 2, 2019 8:59:08 PM | 198
Love your spinning plate analogy, illustrated here.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 3 2019 2:10 utc | 201

@193 zachary

Come and get my kid, pal.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Feb 3 2019 2:25 utc | 202

Interesting article on Venezuela for those who did not know Venezuela is not socialist but 70% capitalist, among other interesting details on its social programs. So hard to get any information thats not blatant propaganda. I’ll have to give this a closer read but it passes the sniff test after a quick pass

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/02/01/sorting-through-the-lies-about-venezuela/

I”ll have something to say on vaccines in the upcoming openthread.

Posted by: Pft | Feb 3 2019 2:28 utc | 203

@ Don Bacon with the link to a plate spinner expert....thanks

It is all about controlling the narrative so empire has to have lots of them going and we might be approaching max plate spinning before some start flying off.......

And it helps to have a Liberace Trump to dazzle the faith breathers with all the blather about the spinning.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 3 2019 2:42 utc | 204

Also, fwiw, Mattis resigned, he wasn't fired.

Posted by: mourning dove | Feb 3 2019 2:47 utc | 205

Also, fwiw, Mattis resigned, he wasn't fired.

Posted by: mourning dove | Feb 3 2019 2:49 utc | 206

Oops, sorry for the double post there.

Posted by: mourning dove | Feb 3 2019 2:50 utc | 207

I am sitting here thinking that blather is not descriptive enough

Under Trump blather becomes DazzleSpeak to fit with the Orwellian meme.

DazzleSpeak is what gets empire plates spinning and keep them in play as needed.

DazzleSpeak by Trump reminds me of a quote by Issac Asimov

"There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life: nurtured by the false notion that democracy means “my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”’ - Isaac Asimov

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 3 2019 2:57 utc | 208

I'd like to take this opportunity to remind everybody that Venezuela isn't mentioned anywhere in the Bible book called "The Revelation of John." But come to think of it, a more modern "John" (Bolton) may be attempting a revision of the old story.

Whatever it is that's happening down in South America, I believe we're safe to assume the Rapture Fans are still focused on the mideast. With that in mind, I went looking for recent news on Iran. Mostly there is hyperventilation about a "new" cruise missile. A propagandist site for the apartheid Jewish state is pretending to freak out about it with a headline of "Neither Israel nor US has the capacity to counter Iran’s new cruise missile". I can't quite make out what they're peddling with this line, but if there is anything "new" about the Hoveizeh missile, it's the shorter range. From truth-challenged Reuters comes this:

Iran unveils long-range cruise missile on revolution anniversary

It's a strange blend of over-hyping the most recent variant of the "Soumar family of cruise missiles" with hints the towelheads are probably lying about everything.

In the course of making my duckduckgo search I also found:

Iran bans dog-walking in Tehran

This is a consequence of having your nation run by a bunch of religious nuts.

Speaking of which, here is something from 2016:

Mike Pence Will Be the Most Powerful Christian Supremacist in U.S. History

We're one heart attack / invocation of the 25th amendment / impeachment & conviction / resignation away from President Pence. If Trump gives you the willies, just remember, things can - and probably will - get worse.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Feb 3 2019 2:58 utc | 209

@203 pft

Looking forward to your thoughts, pft. Russ has been a good contributor to the topic in this thread.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Feb 3 2019 3:01 utc | 210

I've said it before but the US/NATO is looking increasingly like the old Soviet Union/Warsaw Pact, namely, that the bribery and threats used to keep the vassals inline is breaking down. It's simply too expensive to bribe every elite throughout the world to put US interests ahead of their own and the bribes they are paying are effectively hallowing out their own country. Identity politics within the US as a part of divide and rule strategy worked when 90% of the population was white, so they could keep most of the whites on board vs a non-white minority, but with nearly 50% of the country non-white (and both parties actively encouraging more migration to further crush labour wages), now it's simply tearing the country apart. Again, there are too many interest groups within the United States to bribe all of them and the costs (economic, social & judicial) of losing the battle for political influence are increasingly obvious to a larger and larger portion of the population that people are becoming unhinged in the pursuit of their interests (even if people don't articulate in that manner).


I think this interpretation is key for understanding US policies, Trump and the trajectory of the US going forward. Obama when he came into office, basically spent his time in office preening for the media and stroking his ego rather than implementing his own foreign and domestic policies. His statement that he was "looking forward" regarding Bush era war crimes can be understood as not simply ignoring past crimes but approving their continuation under his regime (the rogue security state). This hands off approach climaxed with several things, 1) the Pentagon and the CIA fighting a proxy war in Syria (Pentagon/SDF vs CIA/Al-Qaeda/ISIS) 2) also in Syria, the US Secretary of State John Kerry signs a de-escalation agreement with Russia and in less than 24 hours, "someone" orders US bombers to target a Syria Army base which is immediately followed by a major attack from Isis troops, killing more than 70 Syria troops(looks like someone vetoed that agreement). 3) in the Ukraine, the US organizes a coup to overthrow an insufficiently pro-American president, but the behaviour of Obama during the coup seems to suggest he wasn't directly involved in planning or organizing it and didn't move quickly to legitimate it (compare how he acted vs Trump acted during this Venezuela situation).

Whatever Trump's policies are good or bad, he clearly had ideas he wanted to implement when he came into office (improving relations with Russia, ending some of the foreign wars and building that wall). Trump has achieved exactly zero of these policies and all the Democrats and many Republicans seem to feel that Trump is the devil himself for wanting to implement these policies. With respect to the fact that Trump chose many of the Neo-cons who are now publicly undermining his policies, did he really choose them. a weak President with no cross party support, under threat from an highly aggressive prosecutor, loathed by many senior members of his own party. I can certainly see scum bags like Rubio, McCain and Graham offering their support conditional on Trump appointing some "adults" to watch over him.

heck, let's brieftly list all the things Trumps enemies have done since he won the Republican nomination, Senior Republicans hire a “former” British agent (Mr. Steele) to compile a list of sleazy, unprovable allegations against Trump (the dirty dossier). When Trump won the nomination they handed over the dossier to the Clinton campaign team. The Clinton team tried to get the media to publish the allegations, when they refused (due to the possible legal issues around it), they handed the dossier to John McCain, McCain then handed the dossier to the FBI and asked them to investigate it (without noting it came from the Clinton Campaign team). The FBI opened an investigation on Trump and used the dossier to spy on senior members of the Trump campaign (almost certainly including Trump himself). The FBI then told then President Obama about it and “somehow” the dossier and the investigation details were then leaked to the US media . When Trump wins the election, US celebrities and political figures come out of the wood work to try to convince members of the electoral council to NOT elect Trump. When this fails, the Media talks about declaring Trump mentally unfit for office. When those talks don’t produce results they go back to the dossier and reopen the investigation into the claims – which has been going on for two years at this point and looks certain to continue for another 2 years if not until Trump leaves office. Finally, since the 2018 mid-terms, the Democrats have constantly threatened to impeach Trump even if there is no evidence of criminal wrong doing. Trump is in a weak position and there are certain interests that will take advantage of that to pursue their goals

Posted by: Kadath | Feb 3 2019 3:23 utc | 211

>>>> NemesisCalling | Feb 2, 2019 5:32:32 PM | 166

1. That vaccination with MMR results in Autism.

2. That the United States is and will continue to be a first world country. Under the ultra-capitalist system now in control of the United States, it's already been surpassed in most measures of human welfare by countries that were regarded as developing countries as few years ago. Much more of this and within a few years it will regress to being a third-world shitpile at which point that "relatively innocuous disease" measles will become a major killer.

What conspiracy theory pray tell am I peddling?
That people should have a choice as to how they want to approach a relatively innocuous disease. Yes I highly doubt your WHO stats. Sanitation has been the prime mover with regards to disease eradication the world over. I am speaking as an American for Americans. Go peddle your compulsory vaccine agenda for 3rd worlds elsewhere.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Feb 3 2019 3:31 utc | 212

Zachary Smith
"Towelheads"???
Using racist slurs diminishes your position. And if you want to talk about what happens when religious nuts run a government, there is plenty to say about the US.

Posted by: mourning dove | Feb 3 2019 3:34 utc | 213

@212 Ghost Ship

Wait for the open thread.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Feb 3 2019 4:10 utc | 214

I see Twitter has banned a bunch of pro Maduro accounts. Frankly, people are going to have to start cancelling their Twitter and Face Book, at least those who still have them. Send some sort of message. That should be an easy one

Posted by: Pft | Feb 3 2019 4:12 utc | 215

@190 VERY accurate - the German “Antideutsche” movement has attempted to create a left frothingly favourable towards the Zionist state and the US. Most German antifas and socialists recognise it as fraudulent, and there is evidence that it’s a deep state creation, but it has nonetheless succeeded in bullying the Left Party, Germany’s main socialist/communist force, into rejecting their GDR anti-colonial heritage by condemning BDS (fortunately much of the party is very against this).

Posted by: Blooming Barricade | Feb 3 2019 4:16 utc | 216

When conducting the 1953 CIA coup against Mossadeq in Iran. Kermit Roosevelt paid off criminal gangs (E.g. Rashidian Brothers) in Iran to cause riots. It is very much possible that the ZioCons are enciting violence in Venezuela, especially as a former Death-Squad pioneer, Elliot Abrams, is trumpeted as US envoy to Venezuela.

Posted by: Amir | Feb 3 2019 4:20 utc | 217

@ mourning dove | Feb 2, 2019 9:47:01 PM | 205
Also, fwiw, Mattis resigned, he wasn't fired.
It's not worth anything. When your boss does the opposite of what you recommend and doesn't talk to you any more, consider yourself fired.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 3 2019 4:29 utc | 218

@ Amir | Feb 2, 2019 11:20:35 PM | 217
criminal gangs (E.g. Rashidian Brothers) in Iran to cause riots. It is very much possible that the ZioCons are enciting violence in Venezuela
That was then, this is now. Russia China and Iran have serious interests in Venezuela, and Russia (for one) excels in signals intelligence. If the conspirators communicate with carrier pigeons they may be okay.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 3 2019 4:34 utc | 219

I see the Venezuelan ambassador to Iraq has defected to the US side.
https://sputniknews.com/latam/201902031072074723-venezuelan-ambassador-iraq-says-recognizes-guaido/
Be interesting to see Iraq's position on this one.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 3 2019 4:36 utc | 220

@Krollchem | Feb 2, 2019 7:05:34 PM | 176

Here is a balanced analysis of the Crisis:

https://medium.com/insurge-intelligence/venezuelas-collapse-is-a-window-into-how-the-oil-age-will-unravel-f80aadff7786

Excellent article, thanks.


Posted by: Cyril | Feb 3 2019 4:42 utc | 221

@191

Thanks for doing this comradely task, it must have been difficult to sit through the ideological bloviaing of the capitalist sharks. My own “opposition research” has led me to a column published in the Wall Street Journal by their most insane neocon columnist, Mary O’Grady. She basically repeats the same talking points about the tide of history against socialism you mention and ties them back explicitly to the rise of Ocasio-Cortez, Bernie Sanders, and Corbyn. Perhaps one of the goals behind this dismantling of the Pink Tide and Cuban socialism is to create a “1989 style” ideological counterrevolution globally? No wonder right wing Schumer, Pelosi and the soon to be founded UK Chuka “the poor are trash” Umumma party in the UK have called for a mopping up in the region....

Posted by: Blooming Barricade | Feb 3 2019 4:43 utc | 222

@203 Pft

Thanks for that link. I took the time to read it closely, and I confirm your initial impression that it's a valuable article. It actually serves as a good reference to Venezuela, its recent history and its economic and social condition. It's well sourced with good links.

Sorting Through the Lies About Venezuela - Pete Dolack

The author is a self-described activist and seems to write principally about socialism. As such, he provides a good lens through which to examine how the social structure has changed in Venezuela since 1998. It's definitely happening from the bottom up, and the roots precede the Bolivarian revolution. There are at least 30,000 communal councils throughout the country, each of 200 to 400 households, and they are tasked with offering proposals and solutions, and they receive funding. This reminds me of the Iranian Basij to some degree. This is a fledgling direct democracy intended to grow even stronger over time, and a work still in progress.

The only negative aspect is that the country is still 70% capitalist, and the socialist changes are still taking place. The evolution can be uphill at times, as the old corruption takes over every time someone turns their back. One could say that the fully socialist society and economy is several decades away, the revolution has barely gotten started in many ways, and if the country were not under external attack, one could leave it alone to perfect its political transformation over time.

Maduro's faults are all noted here, the same as we've seen elsewhere. What's that expression about being too gentle to run with the wolves? The currency has been exploited and gamed by speculators for years - and I don't know many people or countries that have the smarts to defend against that. This has also crashed oil production. The sanctions are very real and have crippled the development of the economy. Maduro's fault is that with an economy intimately tied to a ruthless capitalist system, he wasn't John Maynard Keynes. I find it hard to condemn him for that deficiency - and I assume he will learn fast going forward.

The article is an excellent introduction to the grass roots of Venezuela, and for those inclined to socialist values, an inspiring one. Highly recommended.

Posted by: Grieved | Feb 3 2019 4:54 utc | 223

@ Peter AU 1 | Feb 2, 2019 11:36:36 PM | 220
I see the Venezuelan ambassador to Iraq has defected to the US side.
Reminds me of the CIA ops guys who went into Afghanistan with bags of money for handing over "terrorists." . .It works both ways.
Also: US ambassadors are usually top campaign contributors, not dedicated civil servants. It's probably common.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 3 2019 4:56 utc | 224

Ottawa is up to its eyeballs in the Venezuela caper.

Huawei, Venezuela, ms Meng......

One stone kills two birds ?

Is China caving in ?

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/51032.htm

Posted by: denk | Feb 3 2019 5:04 utc | 225

The number of Venezuelan diplomats and VIP's swapping sides is surprising. I wonder how many have their families with them. It is not past the likes of Bolton to threaten a targets family.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 3 2019 5:05 utc | 226

A look back--

AP, Jul 4, 2018 — As a meeting last August in the Oval Office to discuss sanctions on Venezuela was concluding, President Donald Trump turned to his top aides and asked an unsettling question: With a fast unraveling Venezuela threatening regional security, why can't the U.S. just simply invade the troubled country?

Because it's stupid, that's why. And now all the US can show in 17 months is a boy wonder "president" and a few bought-off defectors! Give it up.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 3 2019 5:07 utc | 227

Re: Peter AU1 226,

As I recall one UN diplomat (José Bustani) claims that Bolton threatened his children after he negotiated with Saddam Hussein in the lead up to Iraq war

Posted by: Kadath | Feb 3 2019 5:09 utc | 228

@ denk | Feb 3, 2019 12:04:32 AM | 225
Ottawa is up to its eyeballs in the Venezuela caper.
Oh yeah, I talked about that on my 110.

>Canada to convene Lima Group and other countries about Venezuela crisis Monday -- The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today announced that Canada will host the 10th ministerial meeting of the Lima Group in Ottawa, Ontario on February 4, 2019. The Lima Group was established in August 2017, in Lima, Peru, to co-ordinate participating countries' efforts and apply international pressure on Venezuela until democracy is restored. The group's meetings have included representatives from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Saint Lucia. -- Canada rules the world on anti-Venezuela as a US stooge to avoid the "Yankee go home" and 'stupid gringo" tags

The go-to think tank (essential for these things) is Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) in Waterloo Ontario. On the US side, State gave a million dollars to the Atlantic Council Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center in late 2017 to "start identifying the building blocks for a new democratically run government."

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 3 2019 5:19 utc | 229

@ 229
Another influential US think-tank, which is working with CIGI:
The Inter-American Dialogue is a U.S.-based think tank in the field of international affairs primarily related to the Western Hemisphere. Headquartered in Washington, D.C it intends to "foster democratic governance, prosperity, and social equity in Latin America and the Caribbean".

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 3 2019 5:26 utc | 230

I thought that Venezuela may have nationalized its banking system under Chavez but went looking and the Central Bank for Venezuela is still private.......since 1939

So here we have all this empire DazzleSpeak and coup threatening over a country that has a private Central Bank and is 70% capitalist according to another report.

How capitalist is the US? Do we count the mortgage dreck from the TBTF banks on the public books of the FED since 2008 as socialist or capitalist?

What should be the correct percentage of socialism/capitalism? How does one measure such? Reading the fascist positions and commentary here it would seem that 100% of one or the other is the only acceptable alternative but I know that both exist now and probably will into the future.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 3 2019 5:39 utc | 231

@ denk | Feb 3, 2019 12:04:32 AM | 225
Is China caving in?
No.
Sep 14, 2018
China says promise of more money for Venezuela part of ‘mutually beneficial cooperation’
Premier Li Keqiang says Beijing will support South American country’s efforts to develop its economy, improve people’s livelihoods
Over the past decade, China has loaned US$50 billion to Venezuela, and while Caracas has been gradually paying off that debt with oil shipments, it still owes Beijing about US$20 billion.
Developing relations with Venezuela was a strategic decision for China, Xi said during the meeting, extracts of which were shown by state broadcaster CCTV.
“China and Venezuela have to enhance friendly mutual trust and push for mutually beneficial cooperation,” he said. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 3 2019 5:44 utc | 232

@ psychohistorian.. read the link pft and grieved provided... 2017 saw the devaluation of the venezuala currency... obviously the imf hasn't made any money off venezuala for some time.. but if the west can help the imf/world bank - read your local private banking system), they will work very hard to do so... that is part of the game plan here... get guaido in power and offer big imf loans, are shark rates, lol..

Posted by: james | Feb 3 2019 5:49 utc | 234

cyril - your link doesn't work..

Posted by: james | Feb 3 2019 5:50 utc | 235

@ james | Feb 3, 2019 12:47:21 AM | 233
Why is the CBC Lying About Venezuela?
Why is the CBC lying?
Because it "binds us together" (with federal funding).

Nov 30, 2018
Ambrose Tells Trudeau To 'Just Say No' To Giving CBC $400M In Additional Funding

Federal Conservatives are urging the Liberal government not to give the CBC/Radio Canada more than $400 million in additional annual funding so that the public broadcaster can go ad-free.
Interim Tory Leader Rona Ambrose rose in question period Wednesday to bemoan the request CBC made this week to Canadian Heritage.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shot back that Conservatives fail to grasp the importance of cultural industries to both the economy and national identity.
Investing in the stories that bind us together as a nation, in both official languages, ensuring that Canadians understand each other’s lives and experiences is at the heart of the mandate of the CBC,” he said. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 3 2019 5:58 utc | 236

K @ 211 opined; "Whatever Trump's policies are good or bad, he clearly had ideas he wanted to implement when he came into office (improving relations with Russia, ending some of the foreign wars and building that wall)"

To each their own K, but IMO, DJT came into office with two major thoughts, to do as he is told, and to enrich himself and his family. At both he clearly excels.

PS.. Just like most of his predecessors...

Posted by: ben | Feb 3 2019 6:11 utc | 237

@ don bacon.. problem with the cbc is they need to stick to radio and skip trying to compete in tv... they waste way more money in tv then radio... cbc has some great radio shows.. the conservatives are a bunch of right wing whack jobs only interested in privatizing everything... they are sick in the head given the wrong headed agenda they have..

Posted by: james | Feb 3 2019 6:12 utc | 238

huffington post... another sick in the head organization... let me know next time you are linking to that and i will skip it.. thanks!

Posted by: james | Feb 3 2019 6:13 utc | 239

Interesting article on the US Chargé d’ Affaires in Caracas here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 3 2019 6:23 utc | 240

@ james | Feb 3, 2019 1:13:24 AM | 239
let me know next time you are linking to that
request denied - go pound sand

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 3 2019 6:25 utc | 241

Bolton and Abrams. Both played major roles in Bush's build up for the Iraq war. By employing them, Trump does intend to attack Venezuela. As Trump and his stooges have stated - "Nothing is off the table". It seemed odd that Venezuelan diplomats were suddenly recognising the usurper as president but with Bolton's record nothing is off the table when it comes to threatening Venezuelan diplomats and VIP's. I believe the head of the Venezuelan oil concern in the US also jumped ship.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 3 2019 6:58 utc | 242

@ Peter AU 1 | Feb 3, 2019 1:58:33 AM | 242
Can you help us out and link to all this jumping?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 3 2019 7:38 utc | 243

Attacking Venezuela would be a huge mistake, as the military will tell Trump if in fact he does intend so.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 3 2019 7:41 utc | 244

Cyril@221 (your link works)

Looks like the Gringos of the US and Canada think that the black gold of Venezuela will save their economies.
Valuing Venezuela’s Orinoco Oil Belt
https://www.globalresearch.ca/valuing-venezuelas-orinoco-oil-belt/5667266

Note that Venezuela's oil is not as heavy as Canada's oil sands, is closer to the sea for rapid transport to Texas and is not frozen for part of the year. However, given the recurring droughts, water may be an issue in the steam extraction process. Similar to the US Permian basin fracking play!

I also remember that the USGS estimated the Caspian Sea oil reserves to be about 200 billion barrels of light sweet crude. It turned out that it was not so sweet and their estimated was off by a factor of about 8-10. NATO still created the Chechen and Dagistan civil wars to get access to the oil and dismembered Yugoslavia to control the oil transportation route to Europe.

Apparently, W(i)shington and Ottawa don't recognize that Russia and China already have contracts to revitalize the oil fields and Cuba, and Russia have military advisors to assist the Venezuela government.
Here is a likely overestimate of the Cuban medical and security personnel in Venezuela.
https://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2017/11/16/venezuela-gen-socialist-govt-employs-92700-cubans-to-bolster-castros-ill-fated-communism/

Contrary to the Saker article at UNZ.com, the SU30s and S300VM defensive batteries are formidable, especially if protected with advanced Russian radar technologies. One should recall that the SR-71 was mothballed because the SU30 interceptor and its missiles could catch it.

The stakes are higher than in Syria. Russia does not bluff so we must wait and see if the orange man will fold after his twitter storm. I sure hope so...


Posted by: Krollchem | Feb 3 2019 7:49 utc | 245

Pft

I see Twitter has banned a bunch of pro Maduro accounts. Frankly, people are going to have to start cancelling their Twitter and Face Book, at least those who still have them. Send some sort of message. That should be an easy one

The banning is censorship but cancelling accounts wont solve anything, social media should be used 100% now in trying to correct the view whats going on in Venezuela (and elsewhere).

Posted by: Zanon | Feb 3 2019 8:27 utc | 246

Off Topic

The Steele dossier came true? (Behind a pay wall!)
http://www.spiegel.de/plus/donald-trump-was-der-ex-spion-christopher-steele-ueber-den-us-praesidenten-zusammengetragen-hat-a-00000000-0002-0001-0000-000162162980
"Im Zentrum von Donald Trumps Russlandaffäre steht ein geheimnisvolles Dossier, das ein britischer Ex-Agent erstellt hat. Seine Mutmaßungen hängen dem Präsidenten nach – vieles davon hat sich bewahrheitet. Von Christoph Scheuermann, Jörg Schmitt“ from
01. Februar 2019.
In German "...hat sich bewahrheitet." means "...came to be true."

Posted by: Hausmeister | Feb 3 2019 8:41 utc | 247

If it's true that new parliamentary elections would bring a decisive pro-Maduro result, and the US thugs know this, then presumably Guano and his fellow traitors would again refuse to participate and the US and its followers would again simply deny that the election was legitimate. I'm not clear on what progress would have been made, unless Maduro could somehow use the new election as a rallying point to muster real activist support which then could be used in a more direct, aggressive way against the coupsters.

As for those who are worried about Maduro somehow provoking a US invasion, there's a precedent where the call for a vote itself triggered the invasion. In 1938 Hitler was putting great pressure on the Austrian government and demanding, among other things, that Chancellor Schuschnigg step down and be replaced by an Austrian Nazi. But it seems Hitler wasn't thinking in terms of the full-blown Anschluss until Schuschnigg announced a plebiscite where the Austrians would vote on a proposition which would be so worded as to bring a big Yes vote for an "independent" Austria. This was supposed to embarrass Hitler and make his claims to having the support of the Austrian people look hollow.

Upon this announcement Hitler called in the political and military leadership and went into war council mode, and they quickly cobbled together the plan to invade and depose the Austrian government by force.

The big difference is that unlike in Venezuela today where most oppose the coup, evidently most Austrians did welcome the Anschluss. But they have in common that the aggressor chose invasion over letting a vote take place which he thought would go against him.

Posted by: Russ | Feb 3 2019 9:55 utc | 248

| @ karlof1 | Feb 1, 2019 7:50:05 PM | 38

A late response to your comments. For some time now whenever whatever Bolton is saying is being reported the image that comes to mind, thanks to the 'Star Wars' idiom and respecting their copyright interests is of 'Durth Bolton', replete in black costume with white stash. Others in the Trivial Triumvir of Treason are Lard Pompeo and Jailbait Abrams. A fine kettle of four day old fish they.

As eyesight is failing and following these posts and commentary is becoming more difficult, I will address these remarks to yourself although they also apply to a goodly number of others in the commentariat at the bar here. Background: Once as result of a traffic accident I was accused of actions that did not happen and as a result had to defend myself at court. Ultimately the result was loss of voice in that forum and negative results. Since, I take great offence at censorship and am no longer engaged here, this is the sole exception.

Thanks to your and others addressing the economic issue concerning banking, bringing both a fuller and more accurate view of banking to these pages than had been present hitherto. You-all have been brilliant in your presentations and show there is another approach to economic knowledge that that of MBA Economics 101 (a.k.a. neoliberal economics). I was unable to engage the proponent of distain for banking in any meaningful way and lack of communication meant no meaningful dialogue could occur, and now never will. I am not unread of the subject but also not proposing a non-existing alternative. The historian in question has not indicated any recognisable recent history, where the banks the historian rails against have ceased to exist, that happening slightly before vacant storefronts began appearing in city streets and the subsequent rise of Walmart. Something else happened that caused their demise, their replacements were no longer private banks but something else. No exploration has ever been put forward as to what else was concurrently happening in the economy. I would agree with the historian that something is amiss but the historian's dependence on an emotional Mammon leads nowhere and serves to cloud any view of what actually happened. Whatever epiphany I have will go to ground with me now, you will have to figure it out by yourselves, if you can, but you will need a far better model of economics than you currently have. Such endeavour is possible but until necessity drives its genesis highly unlikely. Good luck getting there.

Apologies for off topic. Somehow I expect no replies and am unlikely to engage further if there are (exception made for any exceptional comment).

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear |

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Feb 3 2019 11:20 utc | 249

This is now taking the shape of a textbook color revolution, as is in Gene Sharp's "From Dictatorship to Democracy".

Gene Sharp -- who claims to be inspired by Lenin (!) -- wrote his infamous book where the major conclusion is this: you can make a regime change look like a revolution if you (i.e. the USA) time it correctly. First, you must ensure you have one significant portion of the ruling elites on your side (i.e. willing to do the coup), then, you must forge some kind of popular revolt. When this critical mass hit the streets, this elite must do the coup. This gives the illusion it was the protests -- not the CIA's backstage machinations -- which toppled the government. Hence the name "color revolution": a fake revolution, a revolution without purpose.

Posted by: vk | Feb 3 2019 12:56 utc | 250

bevin says:

The ability of the US Treasury to print inflation proof dollars and buy anything it wants is coming to an end. So is US domination over the world financial system, SWIFT etc

i read a report that contends that Huawei is at a fairly advanced stage in the development of an international financial transactions system, alternative to SWIFT, and that this is the real reason for the present US coercion. the report is unverifiable, of course, but i'm posting it anyway 'cause it seems highly plausible.

...

Fascism generally ends in the way that it did in Hitler's bunker

indeed, fascists only relinquish power when it is pried from their cold, dead hands.

Posted by: john | Feb 3 2019 13:04 utc | 251

Another warning for those that claim Maduro is "sensible" having new elections or want to "talk":

Trump confirms use of US military in Venezuela among ‘options’ on table, talking is not one the options
https://www.rt.com/usa/450498-venezuela-us-troops-trump/

You cannot talk with neocons.

Posted by: Zanon | Feb 3 2019 14:39 utc | 252

@ Peter and Kadath

Bolton also became furious at the head of the Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons, because that organization was publishing truthful reports, and caused that individual to resign by threatening his children.

He and Abrams are true psychopaths, and Pompeo is a fanatical religious lunatic. Their boss is a scatterbrained ignoramus, though, so we can all relax, as we are all in safe hands . . .

Posted by: AntiSpin | Feb 3 2019 14:52 utc | 253

trump using bolton and abrams, both psychopathic liars and warmongers, tells us everthing we need to know about his intentions toward venezuela. after initially making non warmonger noises about the iraq war in the 2016 election, trump has been every bit the loyal neocon dog clinton was.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Feb 3 2019 15:32 utc | 255

Don Bacon

While Ottawa's is heavily complicit, I've no doubt
the UsualSuspects in Washington are leading from behind....as they always do.

Posted by: denk | Feb 3 2019 16:01 utc | 256

CIA playbook,

Smear campaign targets the govn,

Foment social/ethnic unrest,

Agent provocateurs staged FF to incite communial clash, civil wars,

Finish off with economic sanction or outright invasion.

Case study,
Haiti, Venezuela, Chile….

‘The CIA has developed great expertise in undermining the governments of other countries. They use a great variety of methods, including propaganda, disinformation, fabricated incidents, infiltration of labor unions and other organizations
…………………………………

Chile prior to the overthrow of Salvador Allende is an excellent example of how the CIA uses propaganda. Thousands of posters were produced showing Chilean children with a hammer and sickle stamped on their forehead. A radio spot was produced featuring the sound of a machine gun followed by a woman’s cry: ” They have killed my child-the communists.” The announcer then added in impassioned tones: “Communism offers only blood and pain. For this not to happen in Chile, we must elect Eduardo Frei president.” All sorts of lurid gossip about the private lives of targeted leaders like Salvador Allende are produced to sway public opinion about them in a negative direction. They use agent provocateurs in demonstrations to create incidents and sometimes deaths that reflect unfavorably on the government. A striking example was in Italy, where the CIA in collaboration with Italian fascists blew up the Bologna railway station and blamed it on communists.’

http://rochester.indymedia.org/node/1503

Posted by: denk | Feb 3 2019 16:38 utc | 257

@245 Krollchem.. it is odd that i get the message '404 We couldn’t find this page.' when i try to open @221 cyrils link then.. the url looks fine.. i searched and found it on medium, but the link never went straight thru..

it is an excellent article that i encourage others to read.. here is the link again for anyone interested.. thanks cyril and krollchem for getting me to try to access it again via the search feature at medium..

@256 denk.. i agree... in fact, if you read the link that cyril linked to earlier - it is a very good run down that highlights the role the imf has played in venezuala's present situation too.. the imf is a front for raping countries western style by getting them hooked on debt that can never be repaid and comes with all sorts of unrealistic austerity measures which include selling off public assets..

Posted by: james | Feb 3 2019 16:42 utc | 258

@257 james

The key element of debt that is often overlooked is how it looks from the lender's point of view. Whenever a loan generates compound interest - which is practically always in our capitalist system - the lender would be a fool to want the principal paid back. In today's world, the principal doesn't even need to exist to create a loan. But whether it exists or not, what matters is the interest payment. This is income for the lender.

So when we see a generation indebted with student loans, and nations crippled by IMF payments, it's only necessary to remember why banks call their loans "assets" - they perform to produce income each month. The goal is never to get the loan repaid, but to get it rolled over, refinanced, and have the future interest payments extending far beyond all foreseeable horizons.

Posted by: Grieved | Feb 3 2019 16:53 utc | 259

james 257

Lets put it this way,
I'd be damned if uncle sham isnt involved in
this coup.

It can be verified by empire watch rule no 1.
As far as fukus is concerned,
Assume it guilty until proven innocent.

P.S.
some post caught by the filter, :-(

Posted by: denk | Feb 3 2019 16:53 utc | 260

@258 grieved.. indeed....i think this is why we have to find an alternative to the monetary system we presently have..

the article that cyril linked tohad left was very insightful and worth the read for anyone who hasn't read it..

Posted by: james | Feb 3 2019 16:55 utc | 261

@259 denk.. uncle scam is overseeing most of the economic sanctions, not to mention being in a lead position with regard to the imf and etc. etc... canada is pipsqueak by comparison, although trying hard to keep up with uncle scam, lol...

Posted by: james | Feb 3 2019 16:57 utc | 262

UN rejects Venezuela's Guaido, will only cooperate with recognized government of Maduro


Fri Feb 1, 2019 05:18PM

The United Nations (UN)'s Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has rejected an aid request by Venezuela's self-proclaimed "interim president" Juan Guaido, stressing that the body only cooperates with the country's recognized government led by President Nicolas Maduro.

Stephane Dujarric, a spokesman for Guterres, conveyed the secretary general's reply to the aid request in a public press briefing on Thursday.

"The United Nations is ready to increase its activities in Venezuela in the areas of humanitarian assistance and development. However, for this, the United Nations needs the consent and the cooperation of the Government," said Dujarric.

Last week, Guaido published a copy of a letter sent to Guterres requesting UN humanitarian action in Venezuela.

The letter came shortly after Guaido's self-proclamation as "interim president" of Venezuela, rejecting the presidency of Maduro, who was sworn in earlier after winning an election boycotted by the opposition....

https://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/news/2019/02/mil-190201-presstv04.htm

Posted by: nwwoods | Feb 3 2019 17:05 utc | 263

If you want to see a anti Maduro troll, check this account:

https://twitter.com/LorlopVzla

For those that use Twitter, click and make report to Twitter.

Posted by: Zanon | Feb 3 2019 17:07 utc | 264

I haven't read all the above posts so apologies if this has been mentioned re compound interest: a handy rule of thumb that's useful for interest charges that are not extremely low (e.g., close to zero) or very high is "the rule of 72": at 6% the principal will double in about 12 years (6x12 = 72); at 8%, the principal will double in about 9 years, etc. If convenient, e.g., for 7%, use "the rule of 70" instead - at 7%, 10 years. Works pretty well for most rates we see.

Posted by: spudski | Feb 3 2019 17:26 utc | 265

@262 Humanitarian Aid is going to be the next ploy. Not sure how it will work but my guess is it's designed to provoke some kind of confrontation.

The BBC is getting excited already....

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-47109380

Posted by: dh | Feb 3 2019 17:38 utc | 266

denk@256

Hereabouts-south of Georgian Bay- there is a sustained effort to get the Honduras government to release the prisoners-being held in appalling conditions, atrociously treated- arrested for protesting against the, obviously, corrupted electoral process in the 2017 election. One of them being the husband of a local woman.
Naturally those involved have gone to Ottawa and appealed to the "Liberal" government to use its best officers etc. To no avail. And now they know why: Freeland is absolutely committed to bringing the Lima Group-which includes the Honduras dictatorship- together to provide cover for the imperialist attack on Venezuelan democracy.
Canada is not just a puppet in this matter but Bolton's willing executioner, leading the way, prostituting the last shreds of the country's reputation for liberalism, playing a role that if not indispensable is at least extremely convenient for Washington.
I should add that while successive Canadian governments-since 1867- have slotted in behind the imperialism of the day and thus have no claim at all to any moral high ground (and that is even before looking at Canada's terrible treatment of the indigenous) there is some truth in the image of a Canadian public opinion which strives to be on the right side morally and to support the victims of Empire.
It is this innocent and dilettante optimism which Freeland, a cynical neo-fascist worthy successor to Michael Ignatiev, is trashing in her anxiety to serve the cause of saving the petrodollar by sacrificing the lives of Venezuelans and the peace of a continent.
Bolton and Pompeo have the excuse that they are what they are- US supremacists, dedicated to the god of war, loyal servants of the capitalist oligarchy.
Freeland and Trudeau have no such excuse. They have always pretended to be different. I cannot believe that they will survive the coming election.

Posted by: bevin | Feb 3 2019 17:39 utc | 267

Venezuela vs Nepal….

In case you forget,

Two of the must brutal regime change of the century,

1 the Indon caper to remove pro Beijing Sukarno, CIA fingered the Chinese as fifth columns, almost 3M civilians were massacred in the ensuing bloodbath

2 The 2001 palace massacre in Nepal to take out pro Beijing King Birendra, his entire family was wiped out in that CIA/RAW joint caper.

[while some analysts like Madsen implicate Birendra’s successor, KIng Gyanendra , others suggest the dead crown prince Diprenda as the patsy……in any case, CIA/RAW’s role is beyond doubt]

===========
‘One thing about the CIA is that their playbook rarely changes. Take for example, the agency’s involvement in the recent abortive military coup against Venezuela’s democratically-elected President Hugo Chavez

The CIA, which had a special covert team in Venezuela since last June, had groomed these potential coup leaders, which now appears to have also included members of the proto-fascist Roman Catholic cult, the Opus Dei ….

But the most interesting aspect of the visits of Venezuelans to the U.S. Embassy before the coup there is the similarity to events that took place in Kathmandu during the months prior to the massacre of Nepal’s Royal Family last June.

According to unblemished sources in Kathmandu, the king and his family were quickly dispatched by a Nepali army commando unit trained at the time by U.S. Special Operations forces sent by U.S. Pacific Commander in Chief Adm. Dennis Blair (he’s the same guy who propped up Gen. Wiranto with special training while the good general was committing genocide in East Timor). What was to become the Pentagon’s Office of Strategic Influence (PSYOPs division) prepared a story, with the assistance of India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) intelligence agency, that the King and his family were murdered as a result of the Crown Prince going nuts with automatic weapons after being forlorn over his mother’s refusal to allow him to marry a commoner
…………….

https://monthlyreview.org/commentary/comparisons-between-recent-u-s-backed-coups/

Posted by: denk | Feb 3 2019 17:40 utc | 268

@james | Feb 3, 2019 11:42:01 AM | 259

Don't thank me, Krollchem found it.

Posted by: Cyril | Feb 3 2019 17:40 utc | 269

@267 I posted that before I saw b's new post. Honest. It's called serendipity.

Posted by: dh | Feb 3 2019 17:52 utc | 270

bevin 268

* I cannot believe that they will survive the coming election*

That'll be great, but we can never over estimate
fukus ability to get its puppet elected or re-elected. !

Talking about the 5lies,
Even the seemingly least belligerent member, NZ, is now fully onboard fukus bandwagon.
There's a Macarthy style witch hunt going on there to fan the fear of 'Chinese fifth columns',
similar to the yellow peril fear mongering in Oz.
Both Oz., NZ get their cue from Washington of course, where Trump recently tweets that 'all Chinese students are spies' !

Other than Russia../China/Iran....practically the entire world is under uncle sham's thumb now.
The outlook is very depressing indeed.

Posted by: denk | Feb 3 2019 18:06 utc | 271

@james | Feb 3, 2019 12:50:26 AM | 236

cyril - your link doesn't work..

The page was there yesterday; it disappeared for a while, came back, and is gone now. Looks like there's a fight in medium.com between honesty and neoconning tendencies, and the neocons are winning (for now).

Here is a Google cache of the article. It hasn't been censored yet.

Posted by: Cyril | Feb 3 2019 18:10 utc | 272

@268 My limited understanding of Canadian politics suggests Trudeau was elected as the anti-Harper. No doubt the family name helped sway millenials his way....that and going on gay pride parades, wearing native headresses and colourful socks.

Posted by: dh | Feb 3 2019 18:21 utc | 273

@266 spudski... thanks for that quick overview..

@267 dh... that bbc article is pretty funny.. "Mr Guaidó's move last month won swift backing from the US and others but triggered a power struggle." mr. guaidos move, designed, sculpted and executed from the usa/cia headquarters, it was his move? lol... keep those lies coming 24/7 bbc... bbc and cbc are on the same page, i will give you that..

@268 bevin.. don't underestimate canucks stupidity.. however, i do believe we are going to get a very right wing gov't next that will make freelands extremism pale in comparison... that is, i think they direction we as canucks are headed in the short term..

@273 cyril.. thanks.. i provided the link @259 as well..

@274 dh.. correct... but, next it will be the anti-trudeau vote which will bring some right wing nutso to power..

Posted by: james | Feb 3 2019 18:50 utc | 274

@266 spudski

Come the next open thread let's have a talk about compound interest. As I can see you already know, when the numbers are laid out over the term of the debt, it shows itself as the Devil's very own invention.

Posted by: Grieved | Feb 3 2019 19:08 utc | 275

@A #44 (and @Don Bacon #46, karlof1 #75)
It would be perilous to assume that Dr. Michael Hudson is wrong in what he said.
The first World Bank President (Eugene Meyer) was also President of the Federal Reserve.
The 2nd and 3rd World Bank Presidents (John Jay McCloy and Eugene Robert Black) were ex-Chase National bank - where Dr. Michael Hudson worked.
The 4th World Bank President was president of Brookings Institute.
The 5th was McNamara, the 6th - Alden W. Clausen - was SRI International.
I'd suggest that what Dr. Hudson intended to say was that the World Bank President is a Secretary, Under Secretary, Deputy Secretary or Assistant Secretary, of Defense (or War). There are literally dozens of such positions, and there is no way to see what past ones were outside of the top position (the Cabinet level one).

Posted by: c1ue | Feb 3 2019 19:23 utc | 276

@Jackrabbit #125
Hudson didn't state that Trump drove China/Russia together - it was the neocons who did that starting with Clinton's expansion of NATO, continuing through W. Bush's unilateral actions and on through Obama.
What he did say is that Trump's actions - arguably in support of isolationism albeit using neocons as blunt instruments - is accelerating the demise of the dollar hegemony.

Posted by: c1ue | Feb 3 2019 19:26 utc | 277

denk@269
I can never forget that Obama's step father was part of that military coup, that his mother, working for the Ford Foundation was an anthropologist working in the villages from which a million members and sympathisers of the Communist Party were taken and killed. And that the young Barack was brought up in the aftermath of the coup in an atmosphere of heated anti-communism run amok.
Of course it can't be blamed on him, but experiences in childhood obviously mould character.

Posted by: bevin | Feb 3 2019 21:33 utc | 278

bevin 279

Obama the Manchurian candidate was chosen to seduce Africa, apparently the Nobel peace prize laurette already had a regime change feather on his cap even before his stint in the WH./.....

'In 2006, the European Command (i.e. the regional command of U.S. troops whose authority then covered both Europe and most of Africa) solicited Barack Obama, a Senator of Kenyan origin, to participate in a secret inter-agency (CIA-NED-USAID-NSA). The goal was to use his status as a parliamentarian to conduct a tour of Africa that would allow both to defend the interests of pharmaceutical companies (against off-patent productions) and to counter Chinese influence in Kenya and Sudan [2].
...............

Barack Obama and his family, accompanied by a press officer (Robert Gibbs) and a political and military advisor (Mark Lippert), arrived in Nairobi on a special plane chartered by Congress. Their plane was followed by a second one, chartered by the U.S. Army and carrying a team of specialists in psychological warfare led by the supposedly retired General J. Scott Gration.

Senator Obama was greeted like a native son and his journey was hyper-publicized. He interfered in local politics and participated in Raila Odinga meetings. He called for a "democratic revolution" and his "companion", General Gration, gave Odinga one million dollars in cash. These actions destabilized the country and raised official protests from Nairobi to Washington.
Following this tour, Obama and Gen. Gration reported to General James Jones (then head of the European Command and NATO Supreme Commander) in Stuttgart before returning to the United States.

The operation continued. Madeleine Albright, as NDI President (the branch of the National Endowment for Democracy [4] that specializes in handling left-wing parties) travelled to Nairobi, where she oversaw the organization of the Orange Movement. Then John McCain, as chairman of the IRI (the branch of the National Endowment for Democracy that specializes in handling right-wing parties) complemented the opposition coalition in dealing with small right-wing organizations [5].
During the parliamentary elections of December 2007, a survey funded by USAID announces the victory of Odinga. On election day, John McCain announced that President Kibaki rigged the election in favor of his party and that in fact the opposition led by Odinga had won. The NSA, in conjunction with local phone operators, sent anonymous text messages to the population. In areas populated by the Luo (Odinga’s ethnic group), they read "Dear Kenyans, the Kikuyu have stolen our children’s future... We must treat them in the only way that they understand... with violence." In areas populated by Kikuyu, they read: "The blood of any innocent Kikuyu will be paid. We will slaughter them right to the heart of the capital. For Justice, establish a list of Luos that you know. We will send you the phone numbers to call with such information." Within days, this peaceful country sank into sectarian violence. The riots caused over 1 000 deaths and 300 000 displaced. 500 000 jobs were lost.
Madeleine Albright came back. She offered to mediate between President Kibaki and the opposition trying to overthrow him. With finesse, she stepped aside and placed in the spotlight the Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights. The board of this respected NGO was newly chaired by the former Prime Minister of Norway, Thorbjørn Jagland.

Breaking with the Center’s traditional impartiality, he sent two mediators on site, whose expenses were entirely footed by Madeleine Albright’s NDI (that is to say ultimately out of the U.S. Department of State’s budget): another former Norwegian Prime Minister, Kjell Magne Bondevik, and former UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan (the Ghanaian is very much on the scene in Scandinavian states since he married the niece of Raoul Wallenberg). Compelled to accept the compromises forced on him in order to restore civil peace, President Kibaki agreed to create a prime minister post and to entrust it to Raila Odinga, who immediately began reducing trade with China.
Small gifts between friends'

https://www.voltairenet.org/article162559.html

Posted by: denk | Feb 4 2019 5:11 utc | 279

denk@272&280
Wow. Thanks for all that.

Posted by: mourning dove | Feb 4 2019 6:15 utc | 280

mourning dove 281


tptb likes to color code its regime change capers,
it also likes to play color card at home.


Obama the 'son of Africa' was used to beguile the Africans, so that they dont even know when they'r being penetrated.

' the main reason the US is invading Africa is no different from that which ignited the Vietnam war. It is China. In the world of self-serving, institutionalised paranoia that justifies what General David Petraeus, the former US commander and now CIA director, implies is a state of perpetual war, China is replacing al-Qaeda as the official American “threat”. When I interviewed Bryan Whitman, an assistant secretary of defence at the Pentagon last year, I asked him to describe the current danger to America. Struggling visibly, he repeated, “Asymmetric threats … asymmetric threats”. These justify the money-laundering state-sponsored arms conglomerates and the biggest military and war budget in history. With Osama bin Laden airbrushed, China takes the mantle.'

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article29461.htm

Posted by: denk | Feb 4 2019 12:40 utc | 281

karlof1 41

Trump's pax americana reminds me of the Randy Newman song.

Posted by: Dadda | Feb 5 2019 7:45 utc | 282

The gangs should be considered proxy forces of the Empire. Their role is to destabilize and terrorize. In the US, heavily militarized police forces have impunity to kill unarmed, non-threatening people of color, even children, with barely a peep from the presstitutes. That thought leads to the white-suprematist nature of the Empire and how the genocide and ethic cleansing of the US has been so complete that indigenous people today are less than 1% of the population and are still viewed by the ptb as an impediment to "progress". Remember how the Standing Rock protests ended? The hubris and hypocracy of the Empire knows no bounds. Posted by: mourning dove | Feb 1, 2019 7:33:20 PM | 33
You said it.

Anyone remember the notorious Operation Fast and Furious scandal about ten years ago in which the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) ran a sting operation allowing licensed gun dealers to sell firearms to buyers working for Mexican drug cartels, in the belief that tracking the guns would lead to making arrests of their ultimate owners? Eventually so many guns ended up south of the US border in Mexico that the ATF couldn't track any of them. Quite a few of those guns ended up killing US border patrol police. We would be naive to think that some version of Operation Fast and Furious hasn't been repeated elsewhere.

How much of the gang violence in Venezuela is associated with drugs, the US War on Drugs in other parts of Central and South America, and the United States' own involvement in selling drugs through the CIA and other agencies in those areas, and the gang networks that have benefited and allowed to grow from there into other countries in the Western Hemisphere: that would be interesting to know.

Posted by: Jen | Feb 1, 2019 5:00:47 PM | 14

You're on-to-it.

The Diario 21 newspaper of Iguala reported that "a police policeman Jesús Montiel Romero, two other agents and a student, were killed in an ambush at dawn
on August 18, 2014, on the Iguala—Taxco highway, at kilometer 109.

Security sources reported that four police officers were also wounded, including the operating director of the police corporation Eruviel Salado Chávez and two civilians who were hit by stray bullets.

In a call to the emergency numbers at 4:30 in the morning, it was reported that the municipal force had been ambushed. Other wounded among them, were the policemen Alberto Mancilla Reyes, Joel Gerardo Aquino and Miguel Angel Castillo.

Two civilians named Maximiliano Gonzalo Díaz Colín, 39, and Martha Yanet Estrada Romero, of 29, were hospitalized.

This confrontation occurred only three days after Huitzuco municipal troops were also ambushed by armed men in the community of Quetzalapa, where two alleged offenders died."

On April 11, 2009, the Guerrero regional newspaper El Sur published Rumor and
Psychosis Of Armed Violence Caused Stampede on Holy Thursday Night in Taxco

"Holy Thursday turned this city into a night of dread and madness; causing the people to stampede through the streets in search of refuge before an alleged action of armed men at midnight on Thursday.

Authorities attributed the psychosis to a street fight between schoolboys; the mother of one would have shouted during the procession, and that originated the alarm of the people. Another version, which the same police source related, was that there had been an electrical short circuit.

The truth is that the alarm spread like wildfire throughout the city, with the rumor that a commando of armed assassins operated with violence right in midst of the Holy Week procession.

Some rumors affirmed that there were men with high power arms seen near the barrio of Chavarrieta, in the street of Chachalacas. Still others claimed that in the Vicente Guerrero Park in the neighborhood of San Nicolás, several men pushed the people, as if they were in a persecution of someone, and others said that they had heard detonations of firearms.

The candles and rosaries were lost. Those who ran, left their flip—flops and their shoes. They abandoned the Christs with their burdens of thorns. And, in the end, nobody knew what happened.

The tumult took everyone by surprise. This time fear pounced; it was generated by the stories people had been repeating: of kidnaps, tortured, burned-alive, executions, of clandestine graves in the ventilation shafts of mines."


Posted by: Guerrero | Feb 5 2019 15:52 utc | 283

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