Cuba condemns terrorist sabotage of Venezuelan electrical power system

Source:  Granma

March 12 2019

by Redacción Digital | internet@granma.cu

The Revolutionary Government strongly condemns the sabotage perpetrated against the Venezuelan electrical power system, which is a terrorist act intended to harm the defenseless population of an entire nation, and taking it hostage in the non-conventional war launched by the government of the United States against the legitimate government headed by comrade Nicolás Maduro Moros and the civic and military union of the Bolivarian, Chavista people.

maduro granma mar 2019Photo: misionverdad.com

Several U.S. politicians have rushed to celebrate an action that deprives the population from an essential basic service; leaves hospitals without the power they require to work; disrupts other basic services which are indispensable  in the everyday-life of people, such as food, water supply, transportation, communications, public safety, trade, bank transactions, and crtedit card payments. Such acts affect work in general and the proper functioning of schools and universities.

The sequence and modality of these actions remind us of the sabotage perpetrated against the oil industry in 2002 by a U.S. company that owned and operated the automated system that controlled production, refining, transportation, and distribution of oil.

This adds to the ruthless economic and financial warfare imposed on Venezuela with the clear intention to subjugate, through shortages and deprivation, the political and sovereign will of a people that has not been brought to its knees.

This is an escalation of a non-conventional war led by the U.S. government against this sister nation, which is taking place after the failed provocation  orchestrated on February 23 with the intention of introducing by force alleged humanitarian aid into Venezuela, thus challenging the legitimate authorities of the country and violating international law and the principles and norms of the United Nations Charter, with the purpose of causing widespread death and violence as a pretext for a “humanitarian intervention.”

The experience of Cuba’s own history and the history of other countries in the region show that these actions are a prelude to violent acts of a larger scope, as was the case of the armed invasion at the Bay of Pigs in 1961.  The international community has accumulated sufficient evidence to be on the alert.

The usurper and self-proclaimed “president” made in the U.S. has publicly said that, when the time comes, he would invoke Article 187 of the Constitution to authorize the use of foreign military missions in the country; and has repeated exactly the same phrase used by his U.S. mentors: “All options are on the table.”

He just needs to receive an order from Washington, since it is known that, during his tour through South America, he has already asked certain governments to support a military intervention in his country.

The offensive launched against Venezuela has been accompanied by a ferocious campaign of McCarthyist propaganda and lies coordinated by U.S. National Security Advisor, John Bolton, as a pretext to apply by force the Monroe Doctrine, for which he has counted on the active participation of anti-Cuban Senator Marco Rubio, who has frantically resorted to social networks, thus evidencing his personal interest and conspiratorial involvement in the maneuvers perpetrated against Venezuela.

One of the most relentless and shameless statements made is the slanderous assertion that Cuba has “between 20 and 25 thousand troops in Venezuela” which “exercise control” on that sovereign sister nation and  “keep” the members of the glorious and combative National Bolivarian Armed Forces “under threat”.  Cuba categorically rejects that lie and equally strongly refutes any insinuation that there is some level of political subordination of Venezuela to Cuba or Cuba to Venezuela.

John Bolton is a well-known liar, whose trajectory goes back a long way. He was the U.S. government official who, in 2002, accused Cuba of having a program to develop biological weapons, a fallacy that was publicly denied by former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who was his superior at the time; and by former President James Carter. This falsehood also obliged Bolton to undergo a U.S. Congress investigation.

Back in 2003, Bolton was also among those who disseminated the lie that the government of Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and a program to develop them.  Such a lie, after being repeated at every level of the U.S. government and magnified by the corporate media, served as a pretext for the aggression and military occupation of that Middle East country by the United States at a cost of almost one million deaths and millions of displaced Iraqis, plus thousands of U.S. soldiers killed and wounded during a military campaign whose goal was also oil.

As has been publicly announced and is known by all honest and well-informed persons, bilateral relations between Cuba and Venezuela are based on mutual respect, true solidarity; a shared commitment, based on the ideas of Bolivar, Marti, Fidel and Chavez , with the integration of an independent and sovereign “Our America”; the willingness to practice complementary cooperation among all peoples of the South and the common effort to implement and defend the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace.

The projects contained in the Comprehensive Cooperation Agreement that was signed between the two countries involves the participation of a little more than 20,000 Cubans, most of them women.  Ninety six per cent of them are devoted to the provision of health services to the population. Others work in other sectors such as education, culture, sports, and agro-food production.

Just to mention some figures, the historical impact of that cooperation in Venezuela has been reflected in the 1,473,117 human lives that have been saved; the 717,029,310 medical diagnoses made; the medical assistance received by 62,031,309 persons suffering from eye problems; the 12,915,648 vaccines against measles and tuberculosis administered; and the 3,095,564 persons who have learned to read and write.

It is absolutely not true that Cuba is taking part in operations carried out by the National Bolivarian Armed Forces or security services.  This is a slanderous rumor deliberately disseminated by the government of the United States.  When Bolton as well as other politicians and officials of the U.S. government rely on such rumors, they are deliberately lying to pursue aggressive political purposes.  They have sufficient data and information and know the truth.

Cuba does not interfere in the internal affairs of Venezuela, just as Venezuela does not interfere in Cuba’s internal affairs.

Unlike the United States, which has some 80 military bases in Latin America and the Caribbean, including one on usurped Cuban territory in Guantánamo; and around 800 across the entire planet, with more than 250,000 quartered troops, Cuba does not have any bases in any country; or specialists in torture and police repression; or secret prisons; or naval or air forces prowling around the coasts or the immediate air space of sovereign states; or satellites watching every single detail.

It was through the use of lies that imperialism promoted the bloody coup d’état of Augusto Pinochet in Chile and many other coups and repressive dictatorships in the region.  It was through the use of lies that more than 10,000 defenseless citizens were assassinated during the military invasion against Panama in December of 1989.   It was through the use of lies that the military aggression and destabilization of Libya was perpetrated.

It was with lies that the United States and other powers fully supported, until the very last minute, the opprobrious apartheid regime in South Africa.

The Revolutionary Government warns and denounces the tendency of the government of the United States to lie without limit or restraint whatsoever, which has already had dangerous consequences in the past, that could be replicated in the present.

U.S. military adventure against Venezuela must be stopped

Source:  Granma
February 14 2019

Cuba condemns the U.S. government’s escalating preparations for a military adventure in Venezuela and calls on the international community to mobilize to prevent its consummation

cuban venezuelan flags.jpg

The Revolutionary Government of the Republic of Cuba condemns the escalation of pressures and actions by the U.S. government in preparation for a military adventure under the guise of a “humanitarian intervention” in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, and calls on the international community to mobilize in order to prevent its consummation.
Between February 6 and 10 of 2019, several military transport aircraft have flown to the Rafael Miranda Airport in Puerto Rico, the San Isidro Air Base in the Dominican Republic, and other strategically located Caribbean Islands, most certainly without the knowledge of the governments of those nations. These flights took off from U.S. military facilities where Special Operation Troops and U.S. Marine Corps units operate. These units have been used for covert operations, even against leaders of other countries.
Media and political circles – including within the U.S. – have revealed that extremist figures of the government with a long history of actions and slander aimed at causing or instigating wars, such as John Bolton, U.S. National Security Advisor; and Mauricio Claver-Carone, Director of the National Security Council’s Office of Western Hemisphere Affairs, counting on the connivance of Marco Rubio, Senator of the anti-Cuban mafia in Florida, designed, directly and thoroughly organized, and funded, from their posts in Washington, the attempted coup d’etat in Venezuela by means of the illegal self-proclamation of a President.

U.S. government has intensified its international political and media campaign

They are the same individuals who, either personally or through the State Department, have been exerting brutal pressures on numerous governments to force them to support the arbitrary call for new Presidential elections in Venezuela, while promoting recognition for the usurper who barely won 97,000 votes as a parliamentarian, against the more than 6 million Venezuelans who elected Constitutional President Nicolás Maduro Moros last May.
After the resistance mounted by the Bolivarian and Chavista people against the coup, evidenced by the mass demonstrations in support of President Maduro, and the loyalty of the National Bolivarian Armed Forces, the U.S. government has intensified its international political and media campaign, and strengthened unilateral economic coercive measures against Venezuela, among them the freezing of Venezuelan funds in third countries banks, worth billions of dollars, and the theft of the this sister nation’s oil revenue, causing serious humanitarian damage and harsh deprivation to its people.

Fabricate a humanitarian pretext in order to launch a military attack

In addition to this cruel and unjustifiable plunder, the U.S. intends to fabricate a humanitarian pretext in order to launch a military attack on Venezuela and, by resorting to intimidation, pressure, and force, is seeking to introduce into this sovereign nation’s territory alleged humanitarian aid – which is one thousand times inferior as compared to the economic damages provoked by the siege imposed by Washington .
The usurper and self-proclaimed “President” shamelessly announced his disposition to call for a U.S. military intervention under the pretext of receiving the aforementioned humanitarian aid, and has described the sovereign and honorable rejection of that maneuver as a crime against humanity.
High-ranking U.S. officials have been arrogantly and blatantly reminding us all, day after day, that when it comes to Venezuela, “all options are on the table, including military action.”

Resorting to deception and slanders

In the process of fabricating pretexts, the U.S .government has resorted to deception and slanders, presenting a draft resolution at the UN Security Council which, cynically and hypocritically expresses deep concern for the human rights and humanitarian situation…, the recent attempts to block the delivery of humanitarian aid, the millions of Venezuelan refugees and migrants, the excessive use of force against peaceful protesters, the breakdown of regional peace and security in Venezuela, and calls for taking the necessary steps.
It is obvious that the United States is paving the way to forcibly establish a humanitarian corridor under international supervision, invoke the obligation to protect civilians and take all necessary steps.

Yugoslavia, Iraq, and Libya

It is worth recalling that similar behaviors and pretexts were used to by the U.S. during the prelude to wars it launched against Yugoslavia, Iraq, and Libya, which resulted in tremendous human losses and caused enormous suffering.
The U.S. government attempts to remove the biggest obstacle – the Bolivarian and Chavista Revolution – to imperialist domination of Our America and deprive the Venezuelan people of the largest certified oil reserves on the planet and numerous strategic natural resources.
It is impossible to forget the sad and painful history of U.S. military interventions perpetrated more than once in Mexico, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba, Honduras, and most recently Grenada and Panama.
As was warned by Army General Raúl Castro Ruz on July 14, 2017, “The aggression and coup violence against Venezuela harm all of Our America and only benefit the interests of those set on dividing us in order to exercise their control over our peoples, unconcerned about causing conflicts of incalculable consequences in this region, like those we are seeing in different parts of the world.”
History will severely judge a new imperialist military intervention in the region and the complicity of those who might irresponsibly support it.

The will of the people, or the recognition of foreign powers

What is at stake today in Venezuela is the sovereignty and dignity of Latin America and the Caribbean and the peoples of the South. Equally at stake is the survival of the rule of International Law and the UN Charter. What is being defined today is whether the legitimacy of a government emanates from the express and sovereign will of its people, or from the recognition of foreign powers.
The Revolutionary Government calls for an international mobilization in defense of peace in Venezuela and the region, based on the principles established in the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, which was adopted by heads of state and government of CELAC in 2014.

The Montevideo Mechanism

It likewise welcomes and supports the Montevideo Mechanism, an initiative promoted by Mexico, Uruguay, the Caribbean Commonwealth (CARICOM), and Bolivia, which seeks to preserve peace in Venezuela based on the principles of non-interference in the internal affairs of states, legal equality of states, and the peaceful resolution of conflicts, as stated in its recent declaration.
It welcomes the positive consideration given to this initiative by President Maduro Moros and the international community, and expresses its concern given the U.S. government’s categorical rejection of the dialogue initiatives promoted by several countries, including this one.
The Revolutionary Government reiterates its firm and unwavering solidarity with Constitutional President Nicolás Maduro Moros, the Bolivarian Chavista Revolution and the civic and military unity of its people, and calls upon all peoples and governments of the world to defend peace and mount a joint opposition, over and above political or ideological differences, to a new imperialist military intervention in Latin America and the Caribbean, which will damage the independence, sovereignty and interests of all peoples from the Rio Bravo to Patagonia.

National March on Washington, Saturday, March 16: HANDS OFF VENEZUELA!

Source:  PopularResistance.org
February 1 2019

hands off venezuela 3.png

NOTE:   Sign the petition HERE to tell your elected officials NO US-ENGINEERED COUP In Venezuela!

“People Of The U.S., I Ask For Your Support To Reject The Interference Of Donald Trump’s Government In Making My Homeland A Vietnam In Latin America. Don’t Allow It!”  President Nicolas Maduro, January 31, 2017.

Saturday, March 16, 12pm
White House, Washington, D.C.

Sign On As An Endorser Here!

On Saturday, March 16, thousands of people will march in Washington, D.C. against the Trump administration’s effort to engineer a coup in Venezuela and a new devastating war there. The aggressive policy against Venezuela repeats the ugly pattern of wars for regime change in the oil-rich countries of Iraq and Libya. National Security Advisor John Bolton is reading from the same script, declaring a “troika of tyranny” in Latin America (like the “axis of evil”) as a precursor for regime change first in Venezuela, and then Cuba and Nicaragua. Trump has always said that the “mistake” of the Middle East wars was that the U.S. didn’t “take the oil.”

It is time to stand up and with a clear voice say NO to the newest example of the “Monroe Doctrine,” which the U.S. government has used for over two centuries to repeatedly invade Latin America and Caribbean, control its politics and extract its resources.

The White House aims to overthrow the government of President Nicolás Maduro and replace him with Juan Guaidó. Guaidó is a U.S.-trained operative who was unknown to the vast majority of Venezuelans before he proclaimed himself president — at Vice President Mike Pence’s urging. Although Guaidó has the backing of Trump, the CIA, and the Republican and Democratic Party leaderships alike, huge numbers of Venezuelans have marched to reject this coup and defend their independence.

On March 16, the people of the United States will come together to say:

  • U.S. hands off Venezuela!
  • NO to the coup — the U.S. does not have the right to select other country’s leaders!
  • NO to the sanctions, oil embargo and economic war on Venezuela that aims to cause suffering for ordinary people in the country.
  • NO to intervention and war from the U.S. and their proxies in the region.

Initial signers:

  • ANSWER Coalition
  • CodePink
  • Black Alliance for Peace
  • Alliance for Global Justice
  • Popular Resistance
  • Cuba and Venezuela Solidarity Committee
  • Haïti Liberté
  • International Support Haiti Network
  • Popular Education Project
  • Abby Martin, journalist, The Empire Files
  • Dr. Jill Stein, 2016 Green Party presidential candidate
  • Dr. Jared Ball, Prof. of Communication Studies, Morgan State Univ., imixwhatilike
  • Medea Benjamin, activist and author, CodePink
  • Cindy Sheehan, activist and author, Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox
  • Berthony Dupont, Director, Haïti Liberté
  • Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, constitutional rights attorney
  • Max Blumenthal, journalist
  • Ajamu Baraka, National Organizer, Black Alliance for Peace
  • Mike Prysner, Iraq War veteran, producer, The Empire files
  • Dr. George Ciccariello-Maher, author
  • Dr. Anthony Monteiro, Saturday Free School
  • Dr. Jodi Dean, author, Prof. of Political Science, Hobart & William Smith Colleges
  • Gloria La Riva, National Coordinator, Cuba and Venezuela Solidarity Committee
  • Kim Ives, journalist
  • Anoa Changa, host, The Way With Anoa
  • Dan Cohen, journalist and filmmaker
  • Chuck Kaufman, National Co-Coordinator, Alliance for Global Justice
  • Eugene Puryear, Stop Police Terror Project
  • Jeanette Charles, International Solidarity Liaison, Venezuela Analysis
  • Lucas Koerner, Editor and Analyst, Venezuela Analysis
  • Margaret Flowers, Co-Coordinator, Popular Resistance
  • Kevin Zeese, Co-Coordinator, Popular Resistance
  • Dan Kovalik, author and human rights lawyer
  • Mahdi Bray, National Director, American Muslim Alliance (AMA)
  • Brian Becker, National Director, ANSWER Coalition

    Sign On As An Endorser Here!

Suicide rate surging among Afghanistan Iraq war veterans

Source:  Popular Resistance
September 30 2018

By Whitney Webb, Mintpress News.
EDUCATE!

Sgt. Jacob Hayes, c2.jpg

Above photo: Sgt. Jacob Hayes, 25, of Welcome Md., of the U.S. Army’s 2nd Platoon Apache Company of 2nd Battalion 87th Infantry Regiment, part of the 3rd Combat Brigade 10th Mountain Division based out of Fort Drum, N.Y., smokes at Combat Outpost Tangi in Afghanistan’s Wardak Province. Apache company lost 22 soldiers to injuries and one killed on a month that saw 48 IED’s, 7 that were attacks, 41 diffused or destroyed in that timeframe. David Goldman | AP

“Is This What We Destroy Lives For?” Iraq, Afghanistan Vets’ Guilt, Unanswered Questions Spike Suicide Rate

While the VA report may call the jump in young veteran suicides an “urgent crisis,” it unfortunately seems to be a crisis with no end in sight until the country is finally forced to reckon with its dark legacy of regime-change wars and military occupations around the world.

Washington – New data released Wednesday by the Department of Veterans Affairs has shown that the suicide rate among young military veterans continues to climb, despite a decline in the overall suicide rate among U.S. military veterans, amid department efforts to combat the problem.

The new data was made available in the VA’s National Suicide Data Report, which found that, in 2016, 6,079 veterans ended their own lives compared to 6,281 in 2015. However, the suicide rate for veterans between the ages of 18 and 34 increased from 40.4 deaths per 100,000 veterans in 2015 to 45 in 2016, four times higher than that of other age groups. Notably, veterans below the age of 35 were the only age group that saw an increase in suicides from 2015 to 2016. The suicide rate was even greater for young female veterans.

The report also noted that veterans accounted for 14 percent of all suicides in the U.S. in 2016, even though veterans account for only 8 percent of the national population, with more than 6,000 veterans committing suicide every year for the past decade. On a related note, the suicide rate in the U.S. has increased nationwide in recent years, rising nearly 30 percent since 1999.

Joe Chenelly, the executive director of the national veterans group Amvets, called the revelation of increasing suicides among young veterans a “national emergency that requires immediate action.” “We’ve spent the last decade trying to improve the transitioning process for our veterans, but we’re clearly failing, and people are dying,” he added in a statement quoted by The Guardian.

Chenelly also pointed out that these young veterans are those of the “post-9/11 era,” meaning that many of the veterans affected served in Afghanistan – now the longest-running war in U.S. history – or in Iraq.

America’s post-9/11 wars, Iraq and Afghanistan in particular, have seen a record number of veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which affects one in five Iraq and Afghan war veterans. There is a clear correlation between the increase in PTSD cases and the suicide epidemic among veterans, as the suicide rate among veterans has reached its highest level since those two wars began a decade ago.

While some experts have blamed the burden of repeat deployments, most remain “baffled” by the rise. Suicide notes from young veterans who have chosen to end their lives suggest that certain acts they were ordered to commit by their superiors while serving overseas were often to blame for their tragic decision.

For instance, the suicide note of Daniel Somers, an Iraq war veteran who took his own life at age 30, stated that his PTSD was largely the result of having been ordered to “participate in things” including “war crimes, crimes against humanity.” Somers noted that “though I did not participate willingly, and made what I thought was my best effort to stop these events, there are some things that a person simply cannot come back from.”

Indeed, some of the atrocities that have been conducted by U.S. troops in Iraq include orders to slaughter all “military age men” in a given area, torturing detainees, raping children, massacring groups of civilians, and sodomizing prisoners with broom sticks.

Later on in his final letter, Somers questioned the purpose of the war that caused his suffering:

And for what? Bush’s religious lunacy? Cheney’s ever-growing fortune and that of his corporate friends? Is this what we destroy lives for?”

Beyond the country’s leaders at the time the wars began, Somers’ suicide note also placed blame on U.S. government institutions. He wrote:

To force me to do these things and then participate in the ensuing cover-up is more than any government has the right to demand. Then, the same government has turned around and abandoned me. They offer no help, and actively block the pursuit of gaining outside help via their corrupt agents at the DEA. Any blame rests with them.”

Indeed, veteran addiction to opioids is a major problem, which – like the national opioid crisis and the veteran suicide crisis – has been on the rise since the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. National media reports in the U.S. have blamed the Department of Veterans Affairs for helping to fuel the national opioid epidemic as well as the epidemic of opioid use among veterans.

While the VA report may call the jump in young veteran suicides an “urgent crisis,” it unfortunately seems to be a crisis with no end in sight until the country is finally forced to reckon with its dark legacy of regime-change wars and military occupations around the world.

 

Whitney Webb is a staff writer for MintPress News and a contributor to Ben Swann’s Truth in Media. Her work has appeared on Global Research, the Ron Paul Institute and 21st Century Wire, among others. She has also made radio and TV appearances on RT and Sputnik. She currently lives with her family in southern Chile.

Going Down With the Bad Ship U.S.A.

Source:  Black Agenda Report
March 15 2018

going down with the bad ship.jpgGoing Down With the Bad Ship U.S.A.

“All that it can offer to the emerging nations of the world is a bad example and the threat of annihilation.”

There is no mystery to the ideological collapse of U.S. ruling class politics under late stage capitalism and imperial decline. Simply put, the corporate duopoly parties have nothing to offer the masses of people except unrelenting austerity at home and endless wars abroad. A shrunken and privatized Detroit serves as the model for U.S. urban policy; Libya and Syria are the scorched-earth footprints of a demented and dying empire. The lengthening shadow of economic eclipse by the East leaves the U.S. Lords of Capital with no cards left to play but the threat of Armageddon.

As China reclaims its historic place at the center of the earth, alongside the huge and heavily armed landmass of Russia, Washington flails about in a frenzy of firewall-building, buying time with the blood of millions, hoping to somehow preserve its doomed hegemony. But the “exceptional” superpower has no Marshall Plan to rescue itself from the throes of systemic decay, and all that it can offer to the emerging nations of the world is a bad example and the threat of annihilation. Its own people tire of the “Great Game,” finally realizing that they are the ones who have been played.

“Washington flails about in a frenzy of firewall-building, buying time with the blood of millions.”

George Bush drawled the “last hurrah” of empire with his declaration of “Mission Accomplished,” 15 years ago — and was quickly contradicted. With the failure in Iraq, the pretense of “spreading democracy” came ingloriously undone. A refurbishing of the imperial brand was attempted, with a bright and shiny new face – a Black-ish one — plus a new logo to justify invasion and regime-change: “humanitarian” intervention. But Obama’s assault on Syria revealed that the U.S. and its junior partners could only project power in the region through an alliance with Islamic jihadist terror. The architects of the War on Terror were, in fact, the godfathers of al Qaida.

“Do you realize now what you’ve done?” Vladimir Putin demanded of the Americans, at the United Nations, in 2015. “It is hypocritical and irresponsible to make loud declarations about the threat of international terrorism while turning a blind eye to the channels of financing and supporting terrorists, including the process of trafficking and illicit trade in oil and arms. It would be equally irresponsible to try to manipulate extremist groups and place them at one’s service in order to achieve one’s own political goals in the hope of later dealing with them or, in other words, liquidating them.”

The U.S. and its junior partners could only project power in the region through an alliance with Islamic jihadist terror.”

Washington’s jihadist strategy has rapidly unraveled ever since. The empire was unmasked in the world’s most public forum, revealing the utter depravity of U.S. policy and, more importantly, the weakness of Washington’s position in the region. The mighty fortress of global capital, the self-appointed defender of the world economic “order,” was revealed as, not just in collusion with head-chopping, women-enslaving, sectarian mass-murdering terrorists, but militarily dependent on the very forces it claims to wage a twilight, “generational” battle to destroy. The U.S. has been spouting The Mother of All Lies, and most of humanity knows it. Deep down, most Americans suspect as much, too.

With its intervention in Syria as a stalwart foe of jihadism and in defense of the principle of national sovereignty, Russia spoke the language of international law and morality, presenting a fundamental challenge to U.S. imperial exceptionalism. By deploying his forces against Washington’s jihadist proxies, in a region infested with American bases, Putin put muscle behind his call for a “multi-polar” world order.

China understands clearly that the ultimate U.S. aim is to block China’s access to the region’s energy and markets, at will. Beijing has praised Russia’s military role in the war, and stood with Moscow in vetoing western Security Council resolutions targeting Damascus. China routinely joins with Russia – and most other nations on the planet — in pursuit of a more “multi-polar world.”

“Putin put muscle behind his call for a “multi-polar” world order.”

The U.S. now uses the desperate Kurdish militia as surrogates in Syria, in an attempt to justify its presence in the country, while continuing to arm, finance and train other “rebel” groups, reportedly including former ISIS fighters. The U.S. has always avoided targeting the al Qaida affiliate in Syria, formerly known as the al Nusra Front — which, with ISIS on the run, remains the most effective anti-government force in the country.

The Trump administration declares that it will remain in Syria for the foreseeable future — without even a fig leaf of legal cover. Although there is now no possibility for a jihadist victory, Washington seems intent on drawing out the war as long as possible. The truth is, Washington doesn’t know how to extricate itself, because to do so would amount to yet another admission of defeat, and lead quickly to the dissolution of the jihadist networks the Pentagon has so long cultivated.

Withdrawal from Syria — and, sooner rather than later, from Iraq, whose parliament this month called for a timetable for U.S. forces to vacate the country — would totally unravel U.S. strategy to dominate events in the oil-rich region. Obama launched the jihadist war against the Syrian government in 2011 to force his way into the country. ISIS’s seizure of Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, gave the U.S. the opportunity to return to that country, militarily. There will be no third chances, in Syria or Iraq.

“Washington doesn’t know how to extricate itself, because to do so would amount to yet another admission of defeat.”

The American people will not stand for another such adventure. They feel tainted by the experience in both Syria and Iraq, and don’t trust what their government says about the “good guys” and the “bad guys” in the Arab world. If only for reasons of racism, they want out.

Everyone smells U.S. defeat, inside and outside the empire. It is a stink that only Americans that were conscious in the Vietnam era can remember. It makes folks anxious — like the loss of a cocoon. Just as whites reaped a “psychological wage ” from Jim Crow privileges, according to W.E.B. Dubois, even if they were poor, so do citizens of empire feel psychological benefits, even when the cost of the war machine is impoverishing the country. U.S. politics in the era of imperial decline will be nasty, stupid, petty and racist — just as we are already experiencing. There must be scapegoats for the national de-exceptionalization. The Russians fit the bill, for now, and so does anybody that talks like a Russian, or a Chinese — for example, people that would like to live in a “multi-polar world.”

Do not expect the Republicans or the Democrats to make any sense of a world of diminishing empire. The duopolists are incapable of seeing any future beyond their rich patrons’ vision –- and the rich have no vision beyond continued accumulation of wealth, which requires a harsher and harsher austerity.

Most dangerous, they cannot imagine a world in which they are not on top. We will have to fight to keep them from blowing us all up, in rich man’s despair.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com .

When Is there Going to be Accountability for US Wars and Aggression?

Source:  Cuba-Network in Defense of Humanity

February 5 2018

by Rick Sterling

us accountability

  • US makes new claims of WMD in Syria
  • It’s WMD all over again.

Anonymous “US officials” are once again accusing a targeted “regime” of using “chemical weapons” and threatening that the U.S. military may have to “hold it accountable”. Once again, western media is broadcasting these accusations and threats without skepticism or investigation.

The Washington Post story is titled “Trump administration: Syria probably continuing to make, use chemical weapons”. Jane’s Defence Weekly quotes a U.S. offical saying “They clearly think they can get away with this ….”

Jerusalem Online says “A US official says Syrian President Assad’s forces may be developing new types of chemical weapons, which which could reach as far as the US..”

The Reuters story in the New York Times says “US officials have said the Syrian government may be developing new types of chemical weapons, and President Donald Trump is prepared to consider further military action…. President Bashar al Assad is believed to have secretly kept part of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile….”

The Washingon Post article concludes with the threat, “If the international community does not take action now . . . we will see more chemical weapons use, not just by Syria but by non-state actors such as ISIS and beyond,” the first official said. “And that use will spread to U.S. shores.”Based on a review of facts from recent history, it is very likely the story is false and is being broadcast to deceive the public in preparation for new military aggression. Anyone who thinks that politicians don’t consider timing and marketing needs to only recall the statement of a GW Bush official that “from a marketing point of view, you don’t introduce new products in August.” The “product” was the PR campaign to get the American public to accept the invasion of Iraq.

Accountability for the US military industrial complex

When is there going to be some accountability for the US military industrial complex and their political and media enablers and promoters?

Vietnam

The invasion of Vietnam with over 500 thousand US soldiers was preceded by the phoney Gulf of Tonknin incident where a US ship was supposedly attacked by a North Vietnamese vessel. It was untrue and President Johnson knew it. The resolution was passed unanimously (416-0) in the House and only Wayne Morse and Ernest Gruening had the integrity and insight to oppose it in the Senate. Was anyone ever held accountable for the lie that led to 55 thousand dead US soldiers and millions of dead Vietnamese? No.

Iraq

The 1991 attack on Iraq and subsequent massacre of Iraqi soldiers and civilians was preceded by the fabricated testimony of the Kuwaiti Ambassador’s daughter pretending to be a nurse who had witnessed Iraqi soldiers stealing incubators and leaving Kuwaiti babies on the floor. Were the marketing officials Hill & Knowlton and politicians such as Tom Lantos who managed this deceit ever held accountable? No.

In 2003 the US launched the invasion of Iraq leading to the death of over a million Iraqis based on the false and fabricated evidence provided by the CIA and uncritically promoted by the mainstream media. For example, Michael Gordon and Thomas Friedman promoted and lauded the invasion at the NYTimes. Were they held to account? No, they carry right on to today.

Libya

In 2011 the US led NATO attacks on Libya with the stated purpose to “protect civilians” from massacre. This was explained and encouraged by journalists and pundits such as Nicholas Kristofand Juan Cole. NATO officials bragged about their operation. After the brief western euphoria, it became clear that the campaign was based on lies and the real result was an explosion of extremism, massacres and and chaos which continues to today. Accountability? None. One rarely hears about Libya today. Out of sight, out of mind.

Syria

In August of 2013 we heard about a massive sarin gas attack on the outskirts of Damascus. Human Rights Watch and others promoting a western attack quickly accused the Syrian government. They asserted that Assad had crossed Obama’s “red line” and the US needed to intervene directly. Subsequent investigations revealed the gas attack was not carried out by the Syrian government. It was perpetrated by a Turkish supported terrorist faction with the goal of pressuring the Obama administration to directly attack Syria. Two Turkish parliamentarians presented evidence of Turkey’s involvement in the transfer of sarin. Some of the best and most time-proven US investigative journalists, including Robert Parry and Seymour Hersh, researched and discovered the evidence points to Turkish supported “rebels” not Syria. Despite the factual evidence exposing the “junk heap” of false claims, mainstream media and their followers continue to assert that Assad committed the crime.

In April 2017 it was the same thing: US and allies made accusations which were never proven and ultimately discredited. The UN / OPCW investigation team never visited the scene of the crime. They discovered the curious fact that dozens of victims in multiple locations showed up at hospitals with symptoms of chemical injuries before the attack happened. This is strong evidence of fraud but that investigation was not pursued. With or without awareness of the deceit, Trump ordered missile strikes on a Syrian air base which killed 13 people including four children. Accountability? None.

Recently it has become clear that dark forces in the US government ad military do not intend to stop their efforts to destroy Syria. Despite confusion and contradictory claims in the US administration, a core fact is that the US is training and supplying a sectarian military militia inside northern Syria against the wishes of the Syrian government. The US said they were in Syria to get rid of ISIS but now that ISIS is largely gone, the US military says it is not leaving. On the contrary, the US military helped escort ISIS fighters from Raqqa to al Bukamal and the US is nowtraining ISIS fighters to be reincarnated as yet another anti-Assad “rebel” force.

As always, US aggression needs some measure of political support. To gain that, they need a justification. Thus it’s WMD all over again. Once again. the “bad guys” are using chemical weapons on their own people. Supposedly the Syrian government is incredibly stupid …. they just keep on using chemical weapons and giving the US a justification to act as judge, jury and executioner.

The American public

Most of the American public is too busy, distracted or overwhelmed with problems to investigate U.S. government claims. Mainstream media, including some alternative media, are failing badly. They are supposed to be holding government to account, critically questioning the assertions, investigating the facts, exposing contradictions and falsehoods. Along with the politicians and government, they have some responsibility for the ongoing wars and aggression. They all should be accountable. When is that going to happen?

Cuba-Network in Defense of Humanity

Sabotage to democracy in Venezuela

Source: lasantamambisa

February 9 2018

sabotage to democracy in venezuela.jpgRamos Allup, Julio Borges, Rodríguez Zapatero in Santo Domingo

By Atilio Borón

Once again fulfilling its dismal mission, the United States has just sabotaged a laboriously reached agreement between the government and the Venezuelan opposition in the dialogues of Santo Domingo.

The letter that on February 7 made public the former president of the Spanish government José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero reveals his surprise – and, in a more subtle way, his indignation – before the “unexpected” resignation on the part of the representatives of the opposition to sign the agreement when everything was ready for the protocol ceremony in which the good news would be announced publicly.

As revealed in the letter RZ says that after two years of dialogue and discussions an agreement was reached to set in motion “an electoral process with guarantees and consensus on the date of the elections, the position on the sanctions against Venezuela, the conditions of the Truth Commission, cooperation in the face of social and economic challenges, the commitment to normalization institutional and the guarantees for the fulfillment of the agreement, and the commitment for a fully normalized operation and development of democratic politics. ”

A potentially gigantic step

This agreement, had it been signed by the opposition, would put an end to the political crisis that, with its economic and social repercussions, had unleashed one of the most serious crises in Venezuela in its history. It was also a gigantic step towards the normalization of a regional situation increasingly stressed by the resonances of the Venezuelan conflict.

The pretext surprisingly used by the ashamed opposition was the renewed demand that the presidential elections be monitored by the Lima Group, a collection of countries (Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Santa Lucia) whose governments compete to see who shows the greatest servility when it comes to obeying the orders issued by the White House to attack Venezuela.

The Lima Group is not an institution such as UNASUR, the OAS or others. The document prepared in the Dominican Republic put in the hands of the General Secretariat of the UN to organize the oversight of the presidential election, an infinitely more serious and prestigious institution than the Lima Group – a group where the narco-presidents abound; where the coup-makers like the leaders from Brazil and Honduras are blessed by the United States; where governments exist such as the one in Mexico that made electoral fraud an art of incomparable efficiency, or the one in Chile, whose greatest democratic achievement is to have disappointed its people so much that less than half of the electorate went to vote in the last presidential election.

Nevertheless, the demand that this unpresentable group of governments be in charge of guaranteeing the “transparency and honesty” of the presidential elections in Venezuela was the pretext used to boycott an agreement that had cost so much work to seal. How tcan this sudden and unexpected change in the opinion of the Venezuelan opposition be explained?

sabotage to democracy in venezuela 2.jpg

The model is Libya or Iraq

To answer this question you have to travel to Washington. As was foreseeable for the White House, the only acceptable solution is the dismissal of Nicolás Maduro and a “regime change”, even if this option entails the danger of a civil war and huge human and economic costs. In other words, the model is Libya, or Iraq, and in no way can there be an agreement re transition between the government and the opposition, or even less, can there be an acceptance of the survival of the Bolivarian government in exchange for some gestures of moderation on the part of Caracas.

From the geopolitical perspective that informs all the actions of the White House, no moral scruples can interfere in the project of putting Venezuela under the yoke of the United States, that sick obsession of the empire to turn it into a North American protectorate a country that has the largest oil reserves in the world. planet and a territory endowed with immense natural resources.

For the Washington hawks any option other than that is pure sentimentality, and if the politicians of the Venezuelan opposition believed that these negotiations would be if not endorsed at least tolerated by the White House they fell into a childish illusion: believing that the United States cares about democracy, or what they call “humanitarian crisis”, or the rule of law in Venezuela. To the empire these questions are completely irrelevant when one speaks of the immense majority of the “countries of shit” that constitute the periphery of the world capitalist system. So it was no coincidence that the order to refrain from signing agreements coincide with the visit to Rex Tillerson to Colombia, and was President Juan M. Santos who had the dishonorable task of transmitting the ukaseimperial to the representatives of the opposition gathered in Santo Domingo.

sabotage to democracy in venezuela 3.jpg

A military solution – Tillerson’s tour

How will this story continue? Washington is tightening the rope to make a “military solution” inevitable in Venezuela. That is why Tillerson toured 5 Latin American and Caribbean countries, in an effort to coordinate on a continental level the actions of what could well be the beginning of a final assault against the homeland of Bolívar and Chávez.

The Southern Command is enlisting personnel of the United States Air Force in Panama without another credible purpose than to attack Venezuela. Meanwhile, the diplomatic and media offensive is spreading all over the world. The European Parliament has given new samples of its putrefaction process and redoubles the sanctions against Venezuela, while the Latin American and Caribbean servants of Washington are embittered with aggression. On February 8, the Chilean government announced the indefinite suspension of its participation in the Venezuelan dialogue because, according to La Moneda, “minimum conditions have not been agreed for a democratic presidential election and institutional normalization.”

It seems that, as José Martí once said, in Venezuela the “hour of the ovens is arriving and it is not necessary to see more than light.”

‘Venezuela not Enemy or Threat to US’: Open Letter to People in US

Source:  TeleSUR
September 6 2017

venezuelan women in support aug 2017.jpgVenezuelan women in support of their government. | Photo: EFE

“As was the case in Iraq, we might be on the verge of an unfair and baseless military intervention, where oil is paramount,” the letter says.

An open letter from the people of Venezuela to their counterparts in the United States urges them to demand U.S. President Donald Trump stop its “warmongering” and called on the people to join Venezuela in defending peace, freedom, and cooperation between the two nations.

RELATED:  Venezuela Military, Civilians Hold Exercises Amid US Threats

The letter, which was published in the New York Times and the Hill, includes Trump’s recent threat of a direct military intervention and the unilateral economic sanctions on the country, that the letter notes is intended “to economically isolate Venezuela.

“These threats and unilateral decisions will affect our economy and our means to obtain resources for food, healthcare and production, seriously impairing our citizens’ everyday life,” the letter says.

It further states that this was recognized by the U.S. government to be the same plan used in 1973 to overthrow the government of Salvador Allende in Chile which paved the way for the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.

letter from the venezuelan people to the us.jpeg“Furthermore, these actions also affect ordinary U.S. citizens who would face the possibility of a hike in gasoline prices,” says the open letter. “While thousands of workers risk losing their hard-earned savings as retirement funds are affected by the ban on Venezuelan bonds.”

As was the case in Iraq

The letter, which was published by the Foreign Affairs Ministry, warns, “As was the case in Iraq, we might be on the verge of an unfair and baseless military intervention, where oil is paramount.”

RELATED:  Venezuelan Constituent Assembly Passes Decree Against US Sanctions

These actions create problems inside the U.S. making life harder, while outside it “generates global rejection and resentment towards the U.S. government and indirectly towards its people, who have nothing to do with these warmongering actions,” the letter explains.

The latest sanctions ban the trading of Venezuelan debt and prevent the country’s state-run oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela SA, from selling new bonds to U.S. citizens or financial groups.

Venezuela is neither an enemy of the United States nor does it represent a threat to its security,” the text says.

Antigua & Barbuda Warn Against Threats to Venezuela – ‘Libya and Iraq Are Lessons’

Source:  TeleSUR
August 25, 2017

antigua says no to interference in venezuela.pngSeveral countries have commissioned statements in defense of the South American nation’s sovereignty. | Photo: Reuters

Gaston Browne Antigua 2.jpgAntigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne says countries should be allowed to work out their domestic problems.

Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne has criticized efforts against Venezuela’s government, urging nations to avoid interfering in the South American country’s internal affairs.

RELATED: Venezuela’s Maduro Speaks on Chavez, Trump and Opposition

Following recent threats made by U.S. President Donald Trump against Venezuela, Browne recalled the consequences of foreign intervention.

“It is easy to interfere and intervene, but it is most difficult to restore post-intervention peace and stability,” the prime minister said.

“The instability in Libya and Iraq are lessons from which we should learn.”

Venezuelans should “determine their destiny and decide who govern their affairs.”

Having long defended dialogue between diverse sectors of Venezuelan society, Browne said Venezuelans should “determine their destiny and decide who govern their affairs.”

“Countries should be allowed to work out their domestic problems, especially where they do not pose a threat to global and hemispheric peace and tranquility,” Browne said.

“We should resist the urges of intervention and interference in the name of democracy and respect the sovereignty and independence of all states.”

Since Trump announced that he is keeping a “military option” open against Venezuela, several countries have commissioned statements in defense of the South American nation’s sovereignty. Dozens of social movements around the world have also expressed solidarity with President Nicolas Maduro and the Bolivarian Revolution.

Looking Back at 9/11 After 15 Years of Wars

Source:  TeleSUR
September 10 2016

By: Gregory Shupak

The U.S. government responded to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks by killing thousands more…Physicians for Responsibility finds that the first ten years of the Bush-Obama “war on terror” killed 1.3 million people in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

us army soldier in afghanistan.jpg

U.S. Army soldiers from the 2nd Platoon, B battery 2-8 field artillery, fire a howitzer artillery piece at Seprwan Ghar forward fire base in Panjwai district, Kandahar province southern Afghanistan, June 12, 2011. | Photo: Reuters

The fifteenth anniversary of 9/11 should occasion reflection on how the U.S. government has interacted with the rest of the world in the years following the attacks. The atrocities made clear the consequences of the U.S. ruling class’ pursuit of global hegemony since the American state laid the groundwork for 9/11 in its Cold War proxy war with the USSR.

But, because U.S. foreign policy is set by people with a vested interest in war profiteering and global supremacy, there was no chance the U.S. would change course. Instead the U.S. has carried out countless 9/11s of its own—in fact, it has done far worse and played a major role in the almost total destruction of several countries—and in so doing has created conditions for further 9/11s in America and states with which it is allied.

OPINION:  Afghanistan: The Forever-War We Never Question

The U.S. invaded Afghanistan

Immediately after the attacks, the U.S. invaded Afghanistan, where it is still at war. The Bush administration said the war was necessary because Afghanistan’s Taliban government was harbouring 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden but, when the Taliban offered to turn over bin Laden in exchange for an end to US-bombing, the U.S. rejected the offer and opted for war instead.

During the fifteen year occupation, Western bombings in Herat, Farah, and Kunduz have caused mass civilian casualties as have nighttime house raids in Ghazi Khan and Khatabeh. In Oct. 2015, an MSF Trauma centre in Kunduz was hit several times during sustained bombing by US-led coalition forces, leaving the hospital very badly damaged and killing at least 42, including 24 patients; MSF repeatedly provided the coalition with the coordinates of the hospital and had done so as recently as four days before the attack.

Twelve million Afghans are internally displaced

Such violence cannot be seen as a high price for the ultimately worthwhile cause of bringing peace, freedom, and prosperity to Afghanistan. While the Bush administration as well as many Democrats and liberals in the media said that the war was necessary to liberate Afghans, they continue to live in dire conditions. The UN reports that for the last decade one third of Afghans have been continuously food insecure and that the war is one of the underlying reasons. The country has the worst infant mortality rate in the world. Twelve million Afghans are internally displaced, a figure that has doubled since 2013. Meanwhile, the Taliban hold more ground in Afghanistan than at any point since 2001 and the condition of the country is such that ISIS has been able to find a home there.

The 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq – over a million civilians deaad

The 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq ripped the country apart. Estimates of the numbers of Iraqis killed by the invasion vary but all are massive: The World Health Organization put the number at 151,000 by June 2006; the Lancet estimated 426,369–793,663 by July 2006, Britain’s Opinion Business Research counted over a million civilians. U.S. elites made a killing off the killing and one result was the birth of ISIS.

In Syria, U.S. policy has been to carry out a proxy war against Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah

In Syria, U.S. policy has been to carry out a proxy war against Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah. This cannot be understood as an effort to help Syrians replace the highly repressive government they currently have with one that respects human rights. America and its allies have backed vicious sectarian forces in Syria, including Jaish al-Fatah, a coalition led by al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate, Jabhat al-Nusra. Al-Nusra’s leader, Rania Khalek shows, has openly praised the 9/11 attacks. As Asa Winstanley writes, “15 years on from 9/11, who would have imagined that we would be having to make the case that Western and Israeli support for Al-Qaeda is a bad idea and should stop?”

INTERVIEW:  Anand Gopal on the Iraq War That Never Ended

At the same time that the U.S. supports jihadists in Syria, it bombs Syria in what it says is an effort to defeat the jihadist group ISIS and one recent strike that appears to have been carried out by the US-led coalition killed at least 56 civilians and perhaps many more. Thus far coalition airstrikes in the anti-ISIS campaign have killed an estimated minimum of 1,592 Iraqi and Syrian civilians.

Since the US-led coalition overthrew the Libyan government, the country has been in a state of chaos

In the 2011 Libyan war, the U.S. refused to explore possible diplomatic solutions and caused civilian deaths: its motives included a desire to establish American military bases throughout Africa, resource competition with China, and Wall Street’s interests. Since the US-led coalition overthrew the Libyan government, the country has been in a state of chaos that enabled the spread of weapons to other conflict zones such as Syria, sent Libyan refugees to die at sea, and allowed ISIS to gain a foothold in Libya. Now, citing the presence of ISIS, the U.S. is again bombing Libya. This campaign will surely kill more civilians and send more refugees fleeing but it’s virtually impossible to imagine that it will help resolve Libya’s political crisis and bring its people peace.

The U.S. played a central role in a Saudi-led war on Yemen – Yemeni hospitals cannot cope with the volume of dead bodies

Since 2015 the U.S. has also played a central role in a Saudi-led war on Yemen that aims to secure regional hegemony for the U.S. and its proxies. US-Saudi aggression has inflicted a humanitarian disaster on Yemen and, like Afghanistan, has involved attacks on MSF hospitals. The war has been so devastating that Yemeni hospitals cannot cope with the volume of dead bodies. Furthermore, the war has strengthened Al-Qaeda’s Yemeni franchise as well as the ISIS outfit there.

U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan and Somalia

Furthermore, U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan and Somalia in the name of fighting terrorism have caused untold civilian death in those countries. Physicians for Responsibility finds that the first ten years of the Bush-Obama “war on terror” killed 1.3 million people in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

More 9/11s in the U.S. and the countries with which it is allied

All of these policies are virtually certain to result in more 9/11s in the U.S. and the countries with which it is allied. Elites in the U.S. and its partner countries know what they are doing—they have access to everything cited in this article and much more. They simply care more about enriching themselves than protecting civilians in their own countries or around the world.

All is not dire

All is not dire, however. Configurations like The Movement for Black Lives and the Palestine solidarity movement aim to weaken the hegemony and militarism of the U.S. and its clients and have considerable momentum, particularly among young people. To stop or curb the U.S. from causing more 9/11s abroad and at home, mass movements like these will need to dramatically re-shape the balance of power inside America and its ancillary states.