Saturday, August 18, 2007

CIA War on Democracy in Venezuela

CIA War on Democracy in Venezuela

by moonwolf | August 18, 2007 at 11:48 am | 51 views | 2 comments
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CIA Seal

CIA Seal

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September 11, 1973 the democracy of Salvador Allende in Chile was ended in a CIA backed coup to install General Pinochet, a pro-USA strongman as dictator. The bloodbath that ensued and the legacy left makes the World Trade Center attack pale by comparison. Later in Nicaragua the CIA, under the direction of Ronald Reagan continued the USA's secret policy to disrupt and subvert social democratic movements in Central and South America that would not cow-tow to Washington and corporate America. Decades of death and torture were the result of resisting the oligarchs and their desire for easy profits.

Now that Hugo Chavez has begun to lift Venezuela out from under the domination of American and international kleptocrats their is an eerie sense of deja vu as the CIA once again moves to unseat a democratically elected leader by stealth, wealth and misinformation.

This editorial by world renowned documentary film maker John Pilger puts the current situation in Venezuela into context as he bears witness to the continuing attempts by Washington and the CIA to kill or discredit and topple Chavez.

I walked with Roberto Navarrete into the national stadium in Santiago, Chile. With the southern winter's wind skating down from the Andes, it was empty and ghostly. Little had changed, he said: the chicken wire, the broken seats, the tunnel to the changing rooms from which the screams echoed. We stopped at a large number 28. "This is where I was, facing the scoreboard. This is where I was called to be tortured."

Thousands of "the detained and the disappeared" were imprisoned in the stadium following the Washington-backed coup by General Pinochet against the democracy of Salvador Allende on September 11 1973. For the majority people of Latin America, the abandonados, the infamy and historical lesson of the first "9/11" have never been forgotten. "In the Allende years, we had a hope the human spirit would triumph," said Roberto. "But in Latin America those believing they are born to rule behave with such brutality to defend their rights, their property, their hold over society that they approach true fascism. People who are well-dressed, whose houses are full of food, bang pots in the streets in protest as though they don't have anything. This is what we had in Chile 36 years ago. This is what we see in Venezuela today. It is as if Chávez is Allende. It is so evocative for me."

In making my film The War on Democracy, I sought the help of Chileans like Roberto and his family, and Sara de Witt, who courageously returned with me to the torture chambers at Villa Grimaldi, which she somehow survived. Together with other Latin Americans who knew the tyrannies, they bear witness to the pattern and meaning of the propaganda and lies now aimed at undermining another epic bid to renew both democracy and freedom on the continent.

The disinformation that helped destroy Allende and give rise to Pinochet's horrors worked the same in Nicaragua, where the Sandinistas had the temerity to implement modest, popular reforms. In both countries, the CIA funded the leading opposition media, although they need not have bothered. In Nicaragua, the fake martyrdom of La Prensa became a cause for North America's leading liberal journalists, who seriously debated whether a poverty-stricken country of 3 million peasants posed a "threat" to the United States. Ronald Reagan agreed and declared a state of emergency to combat the monster at the gates. In Britain, whose Thatcher government "absolutely endorsed" US policy, the standard censorship by omission applied. In examining 500 articles that dealt with Nicaragua in the early 1980s, the historian Mark Curtis found an almost universal suppression of the achievements of the Sandinista government - "remarkable by any standards" - in favour of the falsehood of "the threat of a communist takeover".

The similarities in the campaign against the phenomenal rise of popular democratic movements today are striking. Aimed principally at Venezuela, especially Chávez, the virulence of the attacks suggests that something exciting is taking place; and it is. Thousands of poor Venezuelans are seeing a doctor for the first time in their lives, having their children immunised and drinking clean water. New universities have opened their doors to the poor, breaking the privilege of competitive institutions effectively controlled by a "middle class" in a country where there is no middle. In barrio La Línea, Beatrice Balazo told me her children were the first generation of the poor to attend a full day's school. "I have seen their confidence blossom like flowers," she said. One night in barrio La Vega, in a bare room beneath a single lightbulb, I watched Mavis Mendez, aged 94, learn to write her own name for the first time.

More than 25,000 communal councils have been set up in parallel to the old, corrupt local bureaucracies. Many are spectacles of raw grassroots democracy. Spokespeople are elected, yet all decisions, ideas and spending have to be approved by a community assembly. In towns long controlled by oligarchs and their servile media, this explosion of popular power has begun to change lives in the way Beatrice described.

It is this new confidence of Venezuela's "invisible people" that has so inflamed those who live in suburbs called country club. Behind their walls and dogs, they remind me of white South Africans. Venezuela's wild west media is mostly theirs; 80% of broadcasting and almost all the 118 newspaper companies are privately owned. Until recently one television shock jock liked to call Chávez, who is mixed race, a "monkey". Front pages depict the president as Hitler, or as Stalin (the connection being that both like babies). Among broadcasters crying censorship loudest are those bankrolled by the National Endowment for Democracy, the CIA in spirit if not name. "We had a deadly weapon, the media," said an admiral who was one of the coup plotters in 2002. The TV station, RCTV, never prosecuted for its part in the attempt to overthrow the elected government, lost only its terrestrial licence and is still broadcasting on satellite and cable.

Yet, as in Nicaragua, the "treatment" of RCTV is a cause celebre for those in Britain and the US affronted by the sheer audacity and popularity of Chávez, whom they smear as "power crazed" and a "tyrant". That he is the authentic product of a popular awakening is suppressed. Even the description of him as a "radical socialist", usually in the pejorative, wilfully ignores the fact that he is a nationalist and social democrat, a label many in Britain's Labour party were once proud to wear.

In Washington, the old Iran-Contra death squad gang, back in power under Bush, fear the economic bridges Chávez is building in the region, such as the use of Venezuela's oil revenue to end IMF slavery. That he maintains a neoliberal economy, described by the American Banker as "the envy of the banking world" is seldom raised as valid criticism of his limited reforms. These days, of course, any true reforms are exotic. And as liberal elites under Blair and Bush fail to defend their own basic liberties, they watch the very concept of democracy as a liberal preserve challenged on a continent about which Richard Nixon once said "people don't give a shit". However much they play the man, Chávez, their arrogance cannot accept that the seed of Rousseau's idea of direct popular sovereignty may have been planted among the poorest, yet again, and "the hope of the human spirit", of which Roberto spoke in the stadium, has returned.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Smoking Mirrors: Dov Zakheim and the Missing Trillions.

Smoking Mirrors: Dov Zakheim and the Missing Trillions.

What is the most outrageous piece of news that isn’t being discussed? I would venture to say it is the strange tale of Dov Zakheim and the missing trillions. I hear all kinds of numbers. I hear 2.3 trillion from Rumsfield and I hear about one trillion that Zakheim can’t explain. Still, you’ll need to check the dates of Zakheim’s days in the saddle as Pentagon Comptroller and then you can wonder to your hearts content. There’s no doubt the money is gone and there’s no doubt about who should know where it went but…what do I know? I know one trillion dollars is a lot of money. Isn’t one trillion dollars a million million? Zounds!!!

Has the cost of the entire Iraqi incursion come to a trillion dollars yet? It certainly isn’t anywhere near 2.3 trillion. Why isn’t this under discussion? Is it just too big a thing, too enormous to comprehend, that our minds go blank when we think about it? Hmmm…

There are a number of researched sources for all of the details you need to get a grasp of the situation. I’m not going to go into that kind of detail here. It’s been done better than I can manage at places like here and here this last link gives you many further links. You might want to read some of this before you continue here. And you should probably read this by the author of the first link.

The man at the center of this sub rosa controversy is Dov Zakheim. Here is what is said about him. He’s a dual national Zionist and also a Rabbi. He’s the co-author of this PNAC gem or, he isn’t the co-author but he signed off on it and it was really written by Kristol and Kagan. I read different things and, having been burned once, I’m in no mood for putting anything out that isn’t just as close to the truth as I can get. If you read the sources I have given and you extrapolate out to some degree you will find that Rabbi Zakheim is right there in the bed and under the covers snuggled up tight with all the other names that keep coming up. You’ll also find an alarming amount of connections to 9/11. WTF?

Here are a few salient features that struck me. He resigned in March 2005 when it was discovered that a trillion dollars was missing

On September 10th, 2001 (note this auspicious ‘night before Christmas date) Rumsfield announced that 2.3 trillion was missing.

Now wait a minute… doesn’t this come to over 3 trillion dollars? Is Zakheim responsible for all of it or part of it? Is it a mere trillion for him and someone else lost the rest? I’m relying on you to square this away for me. This blog is interactive.

How can you not account for this amount of money in this day and age with computers?

Why has this, along with other news, (such as the WTC being near condemned status, prior to the attacks, because of billions in required refurbishments) with which we are familiar, disappeared from the landscape?

Most importantly, what was a dual nationality cat like Rabbi Zakheim doing in charge of the Pentagon’s money supply? Forget that, what is Chertoff, another dual nationality cat doing in charge of Homeland Security? You might find a number of things in this article interesting, one of which is this, "Chertoff allowed scores of suspected Israeli terrorists and spies to quietly return to Israel . In several cases, Israeli suspects working for phony moving companies, such as Urban Moving Systems from Weehawken, N.J., were caught driving moving vans which tested positive for explosives. On September 14, Dominic Suter, the owner of the moving company, which was found to be a Mossad front company, fled to Israel after FBI agents requested a second interview.

One group of 5 Israelis was seen on the roof of Urban Moving Systems videotaping and celebrating the destruction of the World Trade Center. These Israeli agents were returned to Israel on visa violations.

These Israeli suspects, and others, who had apparently transported explosives in the New York area, were allowed to return to Israel without being properly interrogated or their presence and activities in the United States having been vigorously investigated." (1)

Does it all sound like science fiction to you? Put “Chertoff dual nationality” into Google and see if you have enough time in your life to read the things you find.

Any time you start looking into the rabbit hole you run across the same names. There is this handful of people who constantly show up. Why are there continuous connections to Israel? As I have said before, I don’t enjoy having to reach these conclusions. There is no more heavyweight subject than Israeli involvement in 9/11. There is nothing that causes more screeching and name calling, slander and opprobrium. But… every time you look and everywhere you look, the same names, the same connections, the same events pop to the surface of the lake like a dead body and smell as bad.

Now, either this is the most fantastic, most outrageous set of coincidences of which there is no parallel in human history or… there is something to it.

What are so many members of one of the smallest groups of people in the world doing in so many sensitive areas of the American government? How come they have so many irrefutable connections to one of the biggest events in American history? Honestly, I just want some answers. I don’t know what to think and I don’t like having to think about and speak about things that can make me a target of powerful interests that seem to be in control of a whole lot of bad shit.

Now, once again, either there is something to all of this or it is an unbelievable chain of coincidence that defies reason. What do we make of this? This website had to remove it due to Zakheim’s lawyers. There’s a lot of information from several sources here ...I don’t speak to the truth of the contents. I’d just appreciate it if you would READ, THINK, REFLECT and REASON. What I have placed before you is a small, small portion of what you can find which all speaks to the same thing. And speaking of outrageous coincidences, what is Zakheim doing as Corporate Vice President of System Planning Corporation? …more freaking coincidences. I’ve got more coincidences than there are illegal immigrants.

Unfortunately for me, this has gone way past coincidence and the circumstantial. This is some unknown animal hiding in plain sight. I don’t know what to call it. It can’t be coincidence or circumstantial, there are enough grains of sand here to create your own beach. It blares at me through klaxons. It’s screaming from rooftops. It’s dancing with ten thousand Broadway revues surrounded by all the lights of Las Vegas. I have to conclude what I fear to conclude.

How do we come to empirical fact? We get there by repeating experiments, by observation and by weighing evidence to the point where doubt is removed from our conclusions. I’d really appreciate the readers weighing in with their thoughts and any further information they might have. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck and looks like a duck and you see it mating with other ducks and producing more ducks; what do you think it might be?

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Smoking Mirrors: The Lonesome Death of the American Dream

Smoking Mirrors: The Lonesome Death of the American Dream

The Lonesome Death of the American Dream

As bad as we know it is; two terms of an unelected psychopathic stooge in the presidency, a murderous assault on home ground by the very government empowered to protect the people against it, the daily erosion of personal freedom, the trashing of the economy, the banal vomit inducing entertainments, the collective efforts of disinfo agents who present themselves as truthseekers, the cowardly opposition party crawling backwards in estrus toward the dark side, the control of American foreign policy by a foreign government and the enormous human suffering it has all brought about… as bad as it all is, it just keeps getting worse.

The worst part of all the evils presently operating under diplomatic immunity and protected by SWAT-bot forces of true believer enforcement agencies is what is happening to The Laws of the Land. America was a nation of laws. You may think it is the police and the army that protects you. You may think God is watching over America. You may have the idea that The Second Amendment provides you with a catastrophe backup and… there… there… is the area I want to visit today; no, not The Second Amendment but that of which it is a part.

The most serious danger you face is not from terrorists, crazed gun nuts, or even your poor discipline about what you eat and your reluctance to exercise. The first two are minor possibilities akin to being struck by lightning. The second is a real concern but more of a long term thing. Your most serious danger is what is happening to your laws; to the basic foundation of your rule of law. And this, this is what is intended by those who are determined to and engaged in the effort to enslave you.

It is your laws that determine how and where and when the military will act; how the police will act. It is your laws that determine whether agents of the law can drag you from your homes in the middle of the night. It is your laws that allow for you to be beaten by agents of the law for flying a flag up side down on your front porch. It is your laws that determine whether you can be shoved around, denied the right of assembly and generally messed with whenever they want to mess with you. Where are the laws that go into force when those who enforce the law are breaking the law? Where is the process that should be automatic that deters the abuse of the law by those empowered to defend it? Where is this thing that isn’t working as I type these words?

You don’t wake up one morning in a concentration camp and then wonder what happened. You were supposed to see the steps in the process. You were supposed to say something. You were supposed to get together with your neighbors and make a whole helluva lot of noise. You should have been smart enough to see all the manufactured events that led to all of the laws that were being designed to protect you from the imaginary threats being drummed up by those who were empowered to protect you and which wound up stripping you of your basic rights.

You should have wondered at the missing ballots in Ohio. You should have wondered at the yo-yo terror alerts. You should have wondered at the endless string of lies that justified all the horror and bloodshed and… you should have done something. You should have been part of a greater movement of citizens who gathered by the thousands and tens of thousands in parks and community centers and commercial areas and demanded that these ruthless profiteers and traitors be held accountable. You should have all refused to go to work. A nation that refuses to go to work WILL bring down the government. An informed public is a safe public and so… you should have wondered and you should have wondered aloud. You would have found that most everyone else was wondering too. Meanwhile you got fatter and shorter and more stupid until, one day, you couldn’t remember when it first was that you dropped down on to all fours and forgot to get back up. You forgot when the last time you spoke a human language was. Now you make these animal sounds and no one can understand what you are saying.

Is this the way it is? Is America a nation of sheep? One poll after another show that you believe by a wide majority that 9/11 was an Inside Job, one poll after another show that you have no confidence in your leaders, one poll after another show that you want the U.S. out of Iraq, one poll after another show that you know, you think, you feel… that a whole lot of things have gone wrong. And one day after another your leaders on both sides of the aisle show that there’s only one side of the aisle filled with milling opportunists and professional liars.

All of this comes down to an agenda driven core of merciless psychopaths who are agents of a foreign power. These PNAC/AIPAC vampire overlords in cahoots with the multinational corporations own the media that informs you of what to believe, even though you don’t believe it. Unless you band together and shout from the rooftops and refuse to turn the wheels of the machine, you are lost. Don’t blame me. Don’t blame fate. Don’t blame the immigrants. Don’t blame the weather. Blame yourselves. Shut it down now.

Look at this people. Use your freaking reason. Use your minds- look at this and listen to what the BBC says about what cannot be explained away, no matter what sort of BS they employ. And yeah, The UK is also in the hands of the same people who are doing the same thing to you.

Look at this people and look at who is behind this presentation. Could it be more clear? Do I have to grab you by the back of the neck and rub your face in it and scream at you to tell me what you smell? Is it the buffet on the table that you smell? Is it your own fear that you smell which convinces you that you had better convince yourself that you don’t smell anything at all? Wake the Hell up.

Now you want to run around like Chicken Little because some bridge fell down in Minnesota and a handful of people died? More people are dying in the Egyptian desert right now than went down off of that bridge and they don’t have to die. They are being murdered. Yeah, let’s all just wring our hands for awhile about a bridge collapse and then we won’t notice that much larger numbers of people are dying every single day because your country is in the hands of agents of a foreign power.

History repeats itself. It’s doing it right now. Very few Germans were Nazi’s. They only needed a few. It’s easy to accomplish once you control the law-making process and thereby those who enforce the law. It’s enough to intimidate a village if you imprison or kill a few of the residents. You can always then count of a portion of the rest of the village to enforce further atrocity just so they can avoid it themselves. Human nature isn’t a virtue.

You had better start holding your leaders accountable. You had better start taking responsibility for what happens in your name or you soon won’t even have a name, you’ll have a number. You had better get about it today. Now is the hour. Let me hear the sound of millions of voices raised in protest. Let me hear the sound of silenced machines. Let me see stalled cars and empty trains and buses and airplanes. Let me see empty malls and empty amusement parks.

Then… let us collectively listen to the anguished screams of the corporations as they gasp for breath. It doesn’t matter what it may cost in the short term. It doesn’t matter if some of us must die if it means that freedom shall continue after. Many before us have paid the price. You ‘had’ what you had because they did.

Something for you to listen to

Monday, August 06, 2007

Dying for the Government

June 2003 Issue
It Seems to Me by Howard Zinn

Our government has declared a military victory in Iraq. As a patriot, I will not celebrate. I will mourn the dead--the American GIs, and also the Iraqi dead, of whom there have been many, many more.

I will mourn the Iraqi children, not just those who are dead, but those who have been blinded, crippled, disfigured, or traumatized. We have not been given in the American media (we would need to read the foreign press) a full picture of the human suffering caused by our bombing.

We got precise figures for the American dead, but not for the Iraqis. Recall Colin Powell after the first Gulf War, when he reported the "small" number of U.S. dead, and when asked about the Iraqi dead, replied: "That is really not a matter I am terribly interested in."

As a patriot, contemplating the dead GIs, I could comfort myself (as, understandably, their families do) with the thought: "They died for their country." But I would be lying to myself.

Those who died in this war did not die for their country. They died for their government. They died for Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld. And yes, they died for the greed of the oil cartels, for the expansion of the American empire, for the political ambitions of the President. They died to cover up the theft of the nation's wealth to pay for the machines of death.

The distinction between dying for your country and dying for your government is crucial in understanding what I believe to be the definition of patriotism in a democracy. According to the Declaration of Independence--the fundamental document of democracy--governments are artificial creations, established by the people, "deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed," and charged by the people to ensure the equal right of all to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Furthermore, as the Declaration says, "whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it."

It is the country that is primary--the people, the ideals of the sanctity of human life and the promotion of liberty. When a government recklessly expends the lives of its young for crass motives of profit and power, always claiming that its motives are pure and moral ("Operation Just Cause" was the invasion of Panama and "Operation Iraqi Freedom" in the present instance), it is violating its promise to the country. War is almost always a breaking of that promise. It does not enable the pursuit of happiness but brings despair and grief.

Mark Twain, having been called a "traitor" for criticizing the U.S. invasion of the Philippines, derided what he called "monarchical patriotism." He said: "The gospel of the monarchical patriotism is: 'The King can do no wrong.' We have adopted it with all its servility, with an unimportant change in the wording: 'Our country, right or wrong!' We have thrown away the most valuable asset we had--the individual's right to oppose both flag and country when he believed them to be in the wrong. We have thrown it away; and with it, all that was really respectable about that grotesque and laughable word, Patriotism."

If patriotism in the best sense (not in the monarchical sense) is loyalty to the principles of democracy, then who was the true patriot, Theodore Roosevelt, who applauded a massacre by American soldiers of 600 Filipino men, women, and children on a remote Philippine island, or Mark Twain, who denounced it?

With the war in Iraq won, shall we revel in American military power and--against the history of modern empires--insist that the American empire will be beneficent?

Our own history shows something different. It begins with what was called, in our high school history classes, "westward expansion"--a euphemism for the annihilation or expulsion of the Indian tribes inhabiting the continent, all in the name of "progress" and "civilization." It continues with the expansion of American power into the Caribbean at the turn of the century, then into the Philippines, and then repeated Marine invasions of Central America and long military occupations of Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

After World War II, Henry Luce, owner of Time, Life, and Fortune, spoke of "the American Century," in which this country would organize the world "as we see fit." Indeed, the expansion of American power continued, too often supporting military dictatorships in Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, because they were friendly to American corporations and the American government.

The record does not justify confidence in Bush's boast that the United States will bring democracy to Iraq. Should Americans welcome the expansion of the nation's power, with the anger this has generated among so many people in the world? Should we welcome the huge growth of the military budget at the expense of health, education, the needs of children, one fifth of whom grow up in poverty?

I suggest that a patriotic American who cares for his or her country might act on behalf of a different vision. Instead of being feared for our military prowess, we should want to be respected for our dedication to human rights.

Should we not begin to redefine patriotism? We need to expand it beyond that narrow nationalism that has caused so much death and suffering. If national boundaries should not be obstacles to trade--some call it "globalization"--should they also not be obstacles to compassion and generosity?

Should we not begin to consider all children, everywhere, as our own? In that case, war, which in our time is always an assault on children, would be unacceptable as a solution to the problems of the world. Human ingenuity would have to search for other ways.