rocksolid / rocksolid.shared.news / Re: Venezuela US-Backed Coup Leader Immediately Targets State Oil Company
Re: Venezuela US-Backed Coup Leader Immediately Targets State Oil CompanyFrom: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thu, 31 Jan 2019 20:16 UTC
Let's not forget the faithful servants in the EU coming to the oil, I mean to the aid as well. Like pigs in a sty...
Posted on def4
Subject: Re: Venezuela US-Backed Coup Leader Immediately Targets State Oil Company
Date: Sat, 2 Feb 2019 12:18 UTC
Everybody loves war (not really, just sayin')
“I Oppose Interventionism, But-” But Nothing. Stop Being A Pro Bono CIA Propagandist.
In a recent interview with The Corbett Report, the Ron Paul Institute‘s Daniel McAdams spoke disdainfully of those ostensibly anti-interventionist libertarians who picked this moment of all times to loudly and aggressively condemn Venezuela’s president Maduro, just as the US power establishment is ramping up its campaign to topple the Venezuelan government.
“All of a sudden now there are millions of Venezuela experts in America, and many of them could not point Venezuela out on a map five days ago,” McAdams said. “And everyone has to have this disclaimer, ‘Well, I know it’s probably worse than North Korea, but the US government shouldn’t get involved.’ It’s cowardice, because once the war starts, they can say ‘Hey I never called for US intervention!’ No, but you’re a conveyor belt for propaganda. You’re a conveyor belt to get the machine ginned up for war. And so you’ve got to stand up and take responsibility.”
McAdams has for years consistently operated in the hub of one of America’s most forceful and effective branches of opposition to US interventionism, and he is absolutely correct here. On both sides of America’s political divide, the primary objections you will see to this administration’s campaign to delegitimize and topple the Venezuelan government are prefaced with a strong condemnation of Maduro followed by some feeble equivocations voicing vague objections to Trump’s actions, if that.
Even more often, what you will see is excuses made for the US government’s aggressive attempts to control who runs Venezuela, followed by some mumbling along the lines of “I don’t want us to go to war, though” dribbling out of the corner of their mouths. Some silly, arbitrary line in the sand saying that Trump’s current ongoing starvation sanctions, CIA covert ops and premeditated campaign to delegitimize and overthrow Venezuela’s government is fine, and hey, maybe arming some right-wing militias via Columbia would be fine too, but don’t send American troops to do the killing or we’ll be a tad upset.
All these wimpy, wishy washy “I oppose US interventionism sorta kinda but not really P.S. fuck Maduro” mouth noises are infuriatingly obnoxious, for a number of reasons. Firstly, someone who claims to be antiwar or anti-interventionist but reserves their objections solely for the most overt forms of warfare is not really antiwar or anti-interventionist, because warfare in modern times is designed to take many less overt forms in order to prevent the kind of attention-grabbing public objections seen over Vietnam and Iraq. A look at what the US empire did to Libya and Syria shows that hundreds of thousands can be killed, millions can be displaced, and humanitarian disasters beyond our ability to imagine can be unleashed without any overt conventional invasion.
Secondly, by wrapping your resistance to US warmongering in loud criticisms of the Venezuelan government and “Go people’s rebellion!” cheerleading, you are functioning as a pro bono propagandist for the CIA and the US State Department, and thereby helping to advance the warmongering agendas of those depraved agencies.
A common refrain is “It’s possible to be opposed to US interventionism while also opposing these tyrannical governments, you know.” But it isn’t. Not really. It’s impossible to oppose US interventionism while also helping to advance its propaganda narratives against targeted governments.
All US-led military agendas begin with propaganda. If the public were allowed to see the reality of war with fresh eyes, they would all instantly recoil in horror and adamantly demand its immediate end. The only reason the US-centralized empire is able to sow death and destruction around the world without this happening is because of propaganda, which is why Americans are the most aggressively propagandized people in the world: the violent agendas of the most powerful military force ever assembled are far too important to be left up to the will of the citizenry.
So before they can launch missiles, planes, and ships, they launch propaganda. They launch mass media psyops. They launch narrative control campaigns to make sure that Americans hate the leader of Targeted Nation X and want the people of Targeted Nation X to have Freedom and Democracy™. Day after day after day, they seed the idea that Targeted Leader X “must go”, until the story has become so thoroughly indoctrinated that it almost looks like the US and its allies have no choice but to intervene with increasingly violent measures.
When you help advance those propaganda narratives, you are actively facilitating the first steps of war in a very real way. It’s the same as if you personally picked up a rifle and began picking people off; the only difference is that you’re participating in an earlier stage of the bloodshed rather than a later one. The people are just as dead in the end as if you personally had killed them with your own hands, you just helped with an earlier part of the mechanizations of war rather than a later one. Hell, the one firing the bullets is arguably in a more moral position, because at least they’re putting something on the line and reckoning sincerely with the reality of what they’re doing. The one hiding behind a keyboard and acting as a pro bono war propagandist while inserting “…but I oppose direct interventionism” at the end is vastly more cowardly and dishonest. In the end, the one with the gun is just delivering the bullet that was put in the mail by the propagandist.
Over and over and over I run into this stupid herd mentality while arguing about this stuff online where people (seemingly deliberately) conflate the notion of Venezuelans sorting out Venezuelan affairs with US interventionism. I’ll be clearly and explicitly condemning US interventionism, and some foam-brained Trump supporter will come up to me saying “I don’t understand, Caitlin! Why don’t you support the Venezuelan people??”
That phrase, “the Venezuelan people,” incidentally, is exclusively used in propaganda articles to refer to those who support regime change in Venezuela, as documented here by Fair.org’s Alan MacLeod. Like the people who support their government aren’t Venezuelan people.
And I don’t mean to just single out Trump supporters here; they’re just the ones who are more vocally gung-ho for this particular intervention. For the last two years I’ve had Democrats up in my face all the time calling me a “genocide denier” and an “Assad apologist” for opposing the Syrian war propaganda and demanding to know why I hate the Syrian people. The rest of the time I’m being asked why I don’t support the Iranian people by Republicans and why I love Putin by Democrats. This mind virus is totally bipartisan.
It is unlikely that the US war machine is gearing up for an all-out invasion of Venezuela as its Plan A. That’s not its MO. First we’re likely to see continually tightening starvation sanctions, more narrative control, more CIA covert operations, and the arming of oppositional militias within Venezuela. If that doesn’t work we can perhaps expect to see some drone warfare and a coalition being formed, with ground troops sent in only if these other measures fail to rip the country apart by themselves, and only if our rulers can manufacture consent for it. The time to begin disrupting that consent-manufacturing apparatus is now, not later.
The only thing keeping the public from using its numbers to force an end to imperialist warmongering is that most people lack a deep understanding of how horrific and widespread it is, and the only thing preventing them from developing that understanding is propaganda. By regurgitating the propaganda narratives being spouted by neoconservative death cultists like Mike Pompeo, John Bolton and Elliott Abrams, you are helping them pave the road to acts of mass slaughter as sure as if you were perpetrating it yourself.
If you wouldn’t go to a country and start killing everyone between you and its leader personally, stop helping to construct the narrative framework that is being set up to accomplish exactly that. The most powerful thing in our society is narrative. Please treat it with an appropriate level of respect.
Posted on RetroBBS
Subject: Re: Venezuela US-Backed Coup Leader Immediately Targets State Oil Company
Date: Sat, 2 Feb 2019 12:23 UTC
Just one example for me is remembering the U.S. invasion of Panama. All the cheering Panamanians in the streets waving American flags, so grateful. This was after the fact (invasion), but it helps keep people in agreement (see, we did a good thing)
rocksolid light 0.6.5e
All you really need afterward is a desk covered with porn (stock photo) to show once you catch whomever.
The ‘Venezuelan People’ Are Whoever Agrees With Donald Trump
NYT: The Venezuelan People Are Feeling Hopeful
Headline over a letter published in the New York Times (1/24/19)
The latest bizarre episode in the Trump presidency is currently playing out in Venezuela. Just weeks after President Nicolás Maduro’s inauguration, Trump officially recognized Juan Guaidó, the 35-year-old head of the National Assembly—a man who has never even run for president—as the rightful head of state. A White House statement (1/29/19) announced, “President Trump stands with the people of Venezuela as they demand democracy, human rights and prosperity denied to them by Maduro,” noting that the “people” had “courageously spoken out,” and that the US would pursue increased sanctions on the country.
More alarmingly still, Trump has continually threatened a military intervention in Venezuela (New York Times, 8/12/17), and his National Security Advisor John Bolton allowed himself to be filmed with a notepad that read, “5,000 troops to Colombia” (CNN, 1/29/19).
Before any troops are sent anywhere, we should ask ourselves, who exactly does Trump mean by “the people of Venezuela”? A recent local poll shows that 86 percent of Venezuelans oppose military intervention, while 81 percent already disagree with the current US sanctions.
Nevertheless, it appears that the media have decided that “the people” want regime change, after all. PBS NewsHour (1/30/19) interviewed one Venezuelan resident of New York City who claimed he spoke for the entire population: “I—not only I—but 30 million people support the US circumstance,” meaning Washington’s attempt to replace the government. The New York Times (1/24/19) published a letter from someone in Boston using the phrase “the Venezuelan people” and “us” interchangeably, claiming Guaidó is “what we need” and that we are “feeling hopeful.”
On MSNBC (1/30/19), reporter Mariana Atencio declared matter-of-factly: “This is a battle right now between legitimacy and power. Guaidó has the legitimacy, but Maduro has the guns, meaning the power.”
WaPo: Democrats should stand for democracy in Venezuela — and democratic values in America
Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy and Obama adviser Ben Rhodes (Washington Post, 1/29/19) praised Trump’s “statement demanding democracy for the people of Venezuela and calling for the removal of President Nicolás Maduro.”
A Washington Post op-ed (1/29/19) declared that we should provide more support for “the Venezuelan people” who are demonstrating in the streets by working with the UN Human Rights Council to “tighten the sanctions” on Maduro, presenting a picture of the US leading a unified world against a dictatorship oppressing its people.
But in reality, the UN Human Rights Council has formally condemned the sanctions, noting they “disproportionately affect the poor and most vulnerable”; it called on all member states to break them, and even began discussing reparations the US should pay to Venezuela. A UN rapporteur who visited the country described Trump’s actions as possible “crimes against humanity” (London Independent, 1/27/19). This has not been reported by the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN or any other US national media outlet.
Ignoring all this relevant information, the Post (1/29/19) noted that the emergence of Guaidó has brought hope to the “Venezuelan people” (or “long-suffering Venezuelans”) for the “restoration of their democracy.” This is despite the fact that more than 80 percent of Venezuelans have never heard of Guaidó, and that the body he leads, the National Assembly, has an over 70 percent disapproval rating (roughly the same as the disapproval rating for Maduro).
There has been a great deal of coverage (CNBC, 1/23/19; New York Times, 1/23/19; Fox News, 1/23/19) of the “Venezuelan people” protesting for Guaidó, but very little of the counter-protests in support of the government that complicate the picture. This continues a longstanding media policy of treating “the Venezuelan people” as a term that exclusively means “anyone who agrees with US policy.”
In a study of over 500 articles over a 16-year period published this week (Race & Class, 1/25/19), I found that terms like the “Venezuelan people” or “civil society” were used exclusively to refer to opposition groups in alignment with (and funded by) the US government. US intentions and actions in the country were consistently presented as democratic, regardless of their nature.
The US supported the opposition’s 2002 coup attempt to remove Maduro’s elected predecessor, President Hugo Chávez. White House press secretary Ari Fleischer framed the events as “the Venezuelan people rising up to defend democracy” (Washington Post, 4/13/02) and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice stated that “Chávez’s policies are not working for the Venezuelan people” (New York Times, 4/15/02). Media followed the government’s lead, with the London Times publishing an opinion piece (4/13/02) lauding “the people of Venezuela” for “mobilizing” against the government, while the Miami Herald (4/15/02) quoted an observer declaring that Chávez’s restoration meant that “the Venezuelan people have been betrayed.”
When acknowledged to exist at all, government supporters were consistently dehumanized as “thugs” (Washington Post, 3/29/14) or “gangs” (London Times, 4/12/14). The New York Times referred to the working-class counter-protesters that saved democracy in 2002 as “armed thugs” (4/15/02), “Dobermans” (4/12/02) or “furious mobs of Chávez supporters marching violently through the capital looting stores in poor areas” (4/16/02). (The latter article described the coup supporters as engaging in “a week of peaceful marches.”)
During a 2014 US-supported opposition attempt to violently overthrow the government, the Washington Post editorial board (3/29/14) implied the country was calling for foreign intervention:
Venezuelans despair at the lack of international interest in the political crisis that is rocking their country. Since anti-government protests began early last month, at least 34 people have been killed, most of them opposition supporters gunned down by security forces or government-backed gangs.
Referring to the same event, the Miami Herald (2/26/14) published an op-ed headlined “The Fight Is Between Nicolás Maduro and the Venezuelan People.”
President Maduro is unpopular, with approval ratings consistently below 30 per cent. Yet 31 per cent of the entire electorate voted for him in 2018, a higher percentage than Trump or Obama received in 2016 and 2012, respectively. (No one realistically maintains that Henri Falcón—the leading opposition candidate, who was hampered by widespread boycotting—actually got more votes in the election than Maduro.)
Venezuela certainly does need radical change, but erasing the voices and even existence of the people, as the media has done, will only hinder public understanding of the issue and hamper reconciliation.
Posted on RetroBBS