Paul Craig Roberts: Washington’s Benevolent Mask is Disintegrating

[ Ed. note – This commentary by Paul Craig Roberts was posted on Tuesday, March 7 though apparently before revelations surfaced of the Wikileaks so-called “Vault 7” disclosure, or at least before the story had gained wide traction. In this piece Roberts discusses the campaign to start a war with Russia, and he also makes some excellent comments on the candidacy of Marine Le Pen in France and the ongoing efforts to sabotage it. His main argument is that “Washington’s mask of benevolence is falling away, revealing the face of greed and evil that is its true face.” It is an argument that is given exponentially greater force by the disclosures–which go unmentioned in the piece–of the CIA’s vast arsenal of cyber weaponry and its active involvement in spying on people via smart phones, TVs, and other devices. ]

By Paul Craig Roberts

The few weeks of Trump’s presidency suffice to make clear that there will be no change this time either. Normal relations with Russia are on the back burner, if not off the stove. The material needs of the military/security complex for an enemy in order to justify its budget and police state powers, and the ideological needs of the neoconservatives for US world hegemony, are deemed to be more important than trust between thermo-nuclear powers. As for the liberal/progressive/left, they regard working to preserve life on earth as merely a pretext for being soft on Russians and those who commit treason by favoring friendly relations with Russia.

The American working class has discovered that it has among Trump’s government no larger a constituency than have the Russians. Having been told by corporations, which are spending billions of dollars buying back their own stock, that they are too poor to pay US wages, Trump has found that the path to economic security for the work force lies in corporate tax reduction. Identity politics marches for open borders for Muslims and Hispanics and for transgendered toilet facilities, not for bread and peace, and wants Trump impeached because he is not yet at war with Russia.

Trump’s Russophobic appointments, such as McMaster, Mattis, and Fiona Hill are actually worse than Obama’s Victoria Nuland, Samantha Power and Susan Rice. Just as Hillary and Nuland brought regime change to Ukraine, Tillerson at the State Department has signaled regime change of the democratically elected government in Venezuela. Ecuador and Bolivia won’t be far behind.

Washington has never supported governments that put the interests of their peoples ahead of the interests of those who rule the US. From Africa to South America to Indonesia to Cuba to Vietnam to Iran to Egypt, Washington has always misrepresented the forces for change as communist. Washington overthrew the first democratically elected government in Iran http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/cia-assisted-coup-overthrows-government-of-iran , the first in the Congo https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/poverty-matters/2011/jan/17/patrice-lumumba-50th-anniversary-assassination , the first in Egypt http://www.timesofisrael.com/announced-as-president-of-egypt/ , and a large numbers of others. Read Stephen Kinzer’s The Brothers. Read General Smedley Butler who said that he and the US Marines made South America safe for the United Fruit Company and investments of the New York Banks. Read John Perkins, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man.

Washington opposes democratic change with an iron fist. Now Marine Le Pen, the favored candidate for the presidency of France in the upcoming election, is in the process of being destroyed by Washington.

Marine is not on Washington’s approved list. The reasons are: (1) she speaks to French interests, not to Washington’s or the EU’s, (2) she opposes the Trans-Atlantic Partnership, which gives US global corporations immunity to French laws against GMOs, and French labor, safety, and environmental standards, (3) she supports French opinion that the French are French and not “European” and wants out of the European Union, and (4) she wants France out of NATO, which uses France as a tool for American aggression.

Washington first attacked Marine via its surrogates in the French press and government, who managed to nullify her parliamentary immunity. With this achieved, she is now accused of “misuse of EU funds.”

The charge, of course, is a hoax, a frame-up. The charge, if it proves effective, will rely on the French presstitute media’s portrayal of Marine as a “fascist” for representing French nationalism. Today, if a European person is loyal to his or her own country and not to the EU, the person is considered to be a “nationalist,” a term that has been merged with “fascist.” The consequence is that anyone in France who wants to represent the French is a “fascist.”

Marine Le Pen lost her parliamentary immunity because she posted photos of ISIS victims on Twitter. The photos she posted were accurate and correct, simply the truth. But the charge is that to tell the truth about ISIS means that you are anti-Muslim, which today is like being anti-Jew, anti-black, anti-homosexual and anti-transgendered. The protection of Identity Politics now extends not only to the Muslim refugees from America’s wars who are overrunning the Western world but also to ISIS. The accurate and truthful photos violated Identity Politics.

The consensus of those few in Europe who reside outside the Matrix created for them by Washington and the American presstitutes is that the CIA will not permit Le Pen to become President of France. She is a threat to Washington’s empire. If she cannot be destroyed with scandal and false charges, like Dominique Strauss-Kahn, she will be assassinated.

Democracy cannot function without an honest media. Nowhere in the Western world does an honest media exist. There are a relatively few sites on the Internet media, such as this one, your site, that are independent of ruling elites and speak the truth to the extent that they can find it. But the very shadowy PropOrNot website, likely a product of the CIA or George Soros, has declared those who understand that good relations between thermo-nuclear powers are essential to be “Russian agents.”

One dozen Russian Satan 2 ICBMs are sufficient to destroy the United States. One is sufficient to destroy France, the UK, or Texas. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/10/25/russia-unveils-satan-2-missile-powerful-enough-to-wipe-out-uk-fr/ Why is Washington and Washington’s European, Canadian, and Australian puppets inviting such an outcome with continuous false accusations against Russia (and China). No person with any intelligence can possibly regard the thrice elected president of Russia as “the new Hitler,” “a Mafia Don,” “ a thug.”

By orchestrating Russophobia in the West, Washington has put all of humanity at risk. The Russians have watched Washington’s false accusations against Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Libya, Yeman, Pakistan, Iran and against Russia herself—“invasion of Ukraine.” False accusations have in the 21st century always been Washington’s set-up of the target country for invasion or bombing.

These provacations issued daily by the idiot Western press, the idiot Western governments, and the idiot commentators have prepared the groundwork for a misunderstanding that can result in thermo-nuclear war and the end of life on earth.

Continued here

Venezuela Half-Way Done With Chavez’s Dream: 3 Million New Homes

Venezuela Half-Way Done With Chavez’s Dream: 3M New Homes

Hugo Chavez set the goal of building three million homes for the country

The public housing program is innovating for requiring its inhabitants to self-organize in order to complete construction and pay back the state loan.

Venezuela reached the halfway point of its goal to build three million homes for poor Venezuelans this week, the only program of its kind and one of the government’s most successful ones.

RELATED: Venezuela to Internationalize Social Housing Programs

Created in 2011 by Hugo Chavez, the nine-year program is being attacked by sectors of the opposition as a waste of public funds. The public housing program is either free or low of cost, depending on the family’s means.

The mission was first launched to provide housing for Venezuelans who lost their homes in the devastating 2010 floods. However, since then the GMV has been expanded to provide low-cost housing to the wider population. In 2011, then-President Hugo Chavez explained the mission would address the “social debt” left behind by former governments that failed to provide quality housing to all Venezuelans.

WATCH: Venezuela: Housing Program delivers 1 Millionth Home

 

The project aimed to involve Venezuelans in the process as much as possible, with homeowners responsible for 60 percent of town planning.

Trump: America’s Latest Warrior President, Surrenders to Wall Street and War Profiteers

Global Research, February 23, 2017
Donald Trump

Trump’s first month in office proved nothing he said campaigning holds water. All politicians lie, saying whatever it takes to get elected, doing whatever they please once in office.

In short order, America’s 45th president surrendered to Wall Street and war-profiteers, gorging at the public trough – at the expense of humanity at home and abroad.

The hoped for antidote to Hillary appears no different when on policymaking – both subservient to monied interests at the expense of popular ones, both warriors, not peacemakers, both intolerant of challenges to America’s hegemonic aims, both hostile to all sovereign independent states, a deplorable situation, a dangerous one risking  possible nuclear war.

Hillary’s defeat didn’t dodge a nuclear bullet. It gave Trump the trigger, perhaps as willing to squeeze it to prove his machismo.

Both aspirants appear near two sides of the same coin, much alike on issues mattering most. It’s a tough judgment this soon into Trump’s tenure. Things sometimes change, though rarely, except for the worst, not better.

Trump calling NATO “obsolete” on the stump proved deceptive hyperbole. He fully supports the alliance, according to Vice President Pence, Defense Secretary Mattis, for sure hawkish National Security Advisor McMaster, and UK Prime Minister Theresa May.

Trump’s South China Sea saber-rattling risks confrontation with Beijing. Other administration figures speaking for him, demanding Russia end Kiev’s war on Donbass and relinquish its Crimea territory, is a prescription for no change in hostile US policy toward Moscow.

Threats made against Iran, North Korea and Venezuela risk more trouble, thinly veiled ones for regime change. All this going on in a few short weeks into Trump’s tenure is breathtaking and disturbing for a White House aspirant promising a different way.

There’s more. Additional US combat troops may be sent to Afghanistan to continue America’s longest war – instead of ending what never should have been waged in the first place.

Bipartisan members of Congress want a new Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) to wage phony war on terrorism – instead of demanding recision of the September 14, 2001 measure, three days post-9/11.

US Central Command head General Joseph Votel wants more US combat troops for Syria – not to fight terrorism, to support it.

The way to defeat ISIS and likeminded groups is by no longer providing them with weapons, funding, training and direction. They exist because of foreign backing. Without it, they’re a spent force once exhausting their supplies.

Trump directing “mad dog” Mattis to develop a preliminary plan on how to defeat ISIS appears more about designing a way to use these foot soldiers more effectively – continuing America’s war OF terror on humanity, not waging peace instead.

His campaign hoopla about draining the swamp was deceptive hyperbole. His agenda continues serving privileged interests at the expense of most others.

US imperial madness remains unchanged – world peace and stability as threatened as ever.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

 

Venezuela – Washington’s Latest Defamation – To Bring NATO to South America?

February 17, 2017

by Peter KoenigVenezuela – Washington’s Latest Defamation – To Bring NATO to South America?

The Trump Administration has just accused Venezuela’s newly appointed Vice-President, Tareck El Aissami, of being involved in drug trafficking, thereby dishing out the usual criminal spiel – illegal sanctions against a foreign dignitary with travel bans and asset seizures. This is Washington’s abject behavior at its best, as are so many others around the world of similar nature.

Therefore, let me say upfront: We can protest as much as we want. The Anglo-Zionist empire in Washington and its European vassals do not care one bit. To the contrary, the more hapless protests there are, the more they laugh to themselves – ‘Bingo! We did it again. – Case closed. And sanctions stay. New ones are invented at will, wherever and whenever it pleases the empire. Because nothing happens from the opponents – other than hot air.

Sanctions – economic sanctions, as most of them are, can only stand and ‘succeed’, as long as countries, who oppose Washington’s dictate remain bound into the western, dollar-based, fraudulent monetary scheme. The system is entirely privatized by a small Zionist-led elite. FED, Wall Street, Bank for International Settlement (BIS), are all private institutions, largely controlled by the Rothschild, Rockefeller, Morgan et al clans. They are also supported by the Breton Woods Organizations, IMF and World Bank, conveniently created under the Charter of the UN.

Few progressive economists understand how this debt-based pyramid scam is manipulating the entire western economic system. When in a just world, it should be just the contrary, the economy that shapes, designs and decides the functioning of the monetary system and policy.

Even Russia, with Atlantists still largely commanding the central bank and much of the financial system, isn’t fully detached from the dollar dominion – yet.

‘Renegades’ of the US-globalized Deep State must de-dollarize and migrate towards the eastern SCO-based economy (SCO = Shanghai Cooperation Organization, including Russia, China, most of Central Asia, Pakistan, Iran; – and India for good or for bad, is a contender), where the future is, where huge and honest prospects of future economic development are emerging, especially the Chinese initiated New Silk Road, or OBOR – One Belt-One Road – that foresees an infrastructure, industrial and technological boom, connecting Vladivostok with Lisbon and Shanghai with Hamburg – and everything in between. China’s President Xi Jinping has opened the door for everyone to join – no force, sheer invitation.

This also means breaking loose from the IMF’s and World Bank’s debt tentacles and the rest of the western monetary gangsters. It doesn’t happen overnight, but steps towards regaining sovereignty should be initiated rather sooner than later – to reduce, speak withstand and eliminate sanction imposed damages. For Russia, despite the Atlantists, sanctions were a blessing. They are the best that could have happened to our economy, Mr. Putin said. They pushed us to promote an economy of self-reliance, especially in agriculture and industrial development. In 2015, Russia was the world’s first wheat exporter.

—–

Back to drugs and fighting drug lords. The Plan Colombia which started in 2000 and has since cost about US$ 20 billion, was officially designed precisely to fight the drug mafia’s coca plantations and drug cartels. Yet, since the Plan begun, the surface of coca plantations has more than doubled in Colombia; and output efficiency today is almost three times what it was in 2000.

Washington’s fake accusations and outrageous slandering of Venezuela’s Vice President, Mr. Tareck El Aissami, are totally absurd. They are aiming in a first instance at further bad-mouthing Venezuela among the uneducated MSM-brainwashed international public. It’s ‘false news’ propaganda, attempting to pull Venezuela into the drug ‘war’ playing out between Colombia, Mexico and Peru – all fomented by Washington.

Up to his recent assignment as Vice-President, Mr. El Aissami was Interior Minister, successfully fighting drug mafias, covertly promoted by the DEA and the CIA. Clamping down on the new Vice-President might be a punishment for his unwavering fight against the US backed drug lords, while he was Interior Minister. In fact, during his ministerial tenure, Tareck Al Aissami, a man of full integrity, has hit hard the cartels of international drug dealers, capturing 102 drug lords, of whom 21 were extradited to the United States. To make things even more ridiculous, apparently Tareck Al Aissimi does not even hold a US visa neither has he any assets in the USA that could be frozen as claimed.

The bigger and larger scale agenda behind this latest defamation scheme maybe a monstrous attempt to bring NATO to South America. Yes, you read right – Pentagon’s European military branch, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. They have absolutely nothing to do in Latin America, but as long as nobody screams murder and acts against it – the impunity of the empire is almost bottomless.

The little publicized fact is that President Manuel Santos of Colombia has recently invited NATO to come to Colombia to help him ‘fight organized crime’ – meaning, most likely a new FARC war, easily revived with a few false flags – as already happened recently (http://thesaker.is/colombia-inviting-nato-to-fight-organized-crime-a-menace-for-latin-america/ ).

This move has been under preparation since 2012 / 2013, right from the beginning of Peace Negotiations between the Santos Government and FARC. It started with a so-called ‘best practice technical assistance agreement’ between NATO and Colombia – extendable to real troops and armory movements into Colombia – meaning automatically NATO spreading all throughout Latin America. The Natoization of LATAM! – What a prospect!

Venezuela with Hugo Chavez was the only country protesting already during Colombia’s initial negotiations with Brussels / NATO. Today, except for Venezuela, I don’t know of any other Latin American country that shouted out in protest. Not that it mattered, as nothing matters to the exceptional nation. But it would help spread awareness about what Washington has in store as its latest oppressing atrocity for Latin America.

Might this be one of the chief purposes of this intimidating defamation launched against Venezuela and her Vice President, whose ethical integrity is proven beyond doubt?

Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a former World Bank staff and worked extensively around the world in the fields of environment and water resources. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for Global Research, ICH, RT, Sputnik, PressTV, The 4th Media, TeleSUR, TruePublica, The Vineyard of The Saker Blog, and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance.

The Struggle of the Venezuelan People against U.S. Interventionism

Gathering of Canadian Intellectuals in Support of the Bolivarian Revolution

Global Research, January 29, 2017
The Gathering of Canadian Intellectuals
Opposition demonstrators take part in a women's rally against Nicolas Maduro's government in San Cristobal

Following the spirit of solidarity expressed in the message released by the participants of the XII Meeting of the “Network of Intellectuals, Artists and Social Movements In Defense of Humanity,” held in Caracas, on April 11, 2016, and as testimony to the support on behalf of all the progressive forces of the world toward the Bolivarian Government and the Venezuelan people, in their struggle against the constant attacks carried out by the local and imperial oligarchy, we, the undersigned Canadian intellectuals, reiterate our support for the sovereignty and self-determination of the Venezuelan people.

We emphasize that the oligarchic/imperial aggressions reflected in the “economic war” and the “media war” directed against Venezuela are not isolated cases. Rather, they form part of an overall global strategy to silence the dissonant voice of the Bolivarian government and Venezuelan people for their opposing the structures implanted by global capitalism’s centres of power.

In this sense, we express our concern regarding the current mechanisms of manipulation, propaganda and intervention used to destabilize Venezuela’s democratic political institutions and social structures with the objective of restoring the previous order of oligarchic elitism as well as re-establishing the nefarious neoliberal policies that seek to dismantle the social gains achieved by the Bolivarian popular transformation process launched in 1998.

Likewise, we denounce that these incessant attacks have increased with the disinformation campaign carried out by media outlets, which have focused on the shortage of food and medicine without mentioning the economic war waged by the domestic oligarchy and other sectors of the local and imperial fifth column, to the detriment of the entire population, particularly the poorest sectors of Venezuelan society.

We also raise our voice against allegations of human rights violations in Venezuela, in particular the unfounded claims of a supposed existence of “political prisoners” in Venezuela. In fact, they are politician-prisoners who have violated Venezuelan penal laws by inciting violence that has caused the death of innocent Venezuelans. Nobody has mentioned this fact at the international level, as these opposition politicians echo that irrationality and have caused numerous deaths, hundreds of wounded and considerable material damage.

We express our admiration because, despite these attacks, aggressions and accusations, we note that Venezuela maintains its Bolivarian principles and enjoys a solid international prestige. In this regard, we congratulate the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela for the successful organization of the XVII Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Non-Aligned Movement, held in Margarita Island, on September 17 and 18, 2016. This Summit took place under the theme of “Peace, Sovereignty and Solidarity Towards Development.” On this occasion member states reaffirmed their commitment to respect the sovereignty, national unity, and territorial integrity of states, their sovereign equality, non-interference in the internal affairs of states, the peaceful settlement of disputes, the defense of the right of self-determination of the peoples, to refrain from using threats or force, to reject illegal policies in regards to changes to constitutional governments, and to condemn the promulgation and application of unilateral coercive measures.

Furthermore, we wish the best of success to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in its exercising of the Presidency of the Non-Aligned Movement for the 2016–2019 period, and, given its leadership, strengths and commitment to the less fortunate, we believe its tenure will reinforce and revitalize the aspirations of humankind to build a world of peace, justice, solidarity and shared development.

We recall that, despite the permanent aggression during 17 years of government management centred on the human being, coupled with a holistic view of human rights, the Bolivarian Revolution, inspired by the ideals of the Liberator Simón Bolivar and led by Commander Hugo Chávez Frías, has achieved one of the fairest distributions of wealth in Latin America, obtaining universal recognition of the progress made in education, food and income distribution, and community and popular development.

We emphasize that this policy of social assistance has been invigorated under the mandate of President Nicolás Maduro Moros, overcoming the adverse effects of a global crisis and the induced collapse of oil prices, given that the sharp drop of this commodity has been a consequence of a “financial war” that promotes stock market speculation as well as the overproduction of fossil fuels generated by, among other factors, the use of hydraulic fracking, a process that has aggravated the ecological fragility of the planet.

We express our firmest condemnation of reactionary actions taken to censor and silence the voice and critical opinion of TeleSUR through measures intended to weaken its image as a communication tool available to the entire world. For this reason, we deplore the Republic of Argentina’s untimely withdrawal from this communication platform, a departure that undermines political and media pluralism as well as the tangible progress of Latin American integration.

In order to counter these actions of censorship and misinformation regarding Venezuela, we express our willingness to contribute toward popularizing the broadcast of TeleSUR’s programming in Canada, employing the tools of modern media technologies and social networks, which have a high penetration rate in various sectors of Canadian public opinion.

In light of the long and dark interventionist record of the U.S. in Latin America, we vehemently declare our rejection of interventionist acts by the U.S. government against the democratic and institutional stability of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, imperial actions that are part of a new offensive inserted into a “Continental Condor Plan” in order to regain its lost influence in the region. These actions have sponsored a national and international vilification media campaign and a dehumanizing domestic economic war, without let-up, with the aim of provoking the suppression of the Bolivarian process.

Venezuela is not a security threat to any country but an example of hope, though it does represent a threat to the prevailing imperial order. In this regard, we demand the immediate repeal of the dismal and infamous U.S. government Executive Order, in which Venezuela is considered a threat to its national security and foreign policy; this Executive Order has been rejected by an overwhelming majority of countries around the world.

We reject any attempt to undermine the sovereignty of Venezuela through direct imperial actions, or by using hemispheric  or international organizations to promote a change of government by illegal means that restore the old oligarchic structures and dismantle the social gains achieved through revolutionary governmental social programs.

Therefore, we express our commitment to defend Venezuela’s institutions in the face of the de-legitimization campaign orchestrated in the current process of activating a constitutional option for convening a recall referendum, as definitely these operations of discrediting erode the fundamental precepts contained in the Bolivarian Constitution of 1999.

Given the recent destabilizing experiences against progressive governments in Latin America, evidenced in “soft” or “constitutional” coups, we reaffirm our solidarity with the Bolivarian government and people, and announce that we will remain alert to report any aggression against the Venezuelan constitutional order; therefore, we continue to support the Bolivarian process and the empowerment and deepening of popular grass-roots education and participation as a legacy of Commander Hugo Chávez Frías and as a guarantee of the continuity of the struggle for social justice and equality.

Finally, we reaffirm our full support towards Venezuela, whose government has been legitimately elected by the majority of the Venezuelan people, and, from this perspective, we call on the Canadian government to distance itself from interventionist U.S. policies that seek to dismantle progressive governments in Latin America and the Caribbean, framed in the American global strategy of promoting “wars by region” worldwide.

Ottawa – October 7, 2016

Michel Chossudovsky

James Cockcroft

Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

Kathy Hogarth

Maricarmen Guevara

Víctor Ramos

Stuart Ryan

Jorge Sorger

Santiago Escobar

Jean-Claude Balu

Luis Gómez

Félix Grande

Claude Morin

Arnold August

Trump Considers Elliott Abrams for No. 2 Position at State Dept.

 photo abrams45_zpsyiqomjzk.jpg

[ Ed. note – Elliott Abrams, a longtime Washington insider who in the 1980s attempted to coverup atrocities committed by death squads in Central America, is reportedly now being considered by President Trump for the position of Deputy Secretary of State. ]

Who is Elliott Abrams?

By David Kinzer

With Rex Tillerson inching ever closer to being confirmed as secretary of state, the Trump transition team is now focusing on Tillerson’s number 2, and today, The Wall Street Journal reports that Elliot Abrams is a front-runner for the position.

But who is Elliot Abrams?

Unlike Tillerson, who is new to the political stage, Abrams is an experienced diplomat and a true-blue Neoconservative who was convicted and later pardoned of crimes committed while serving in the Reagan Administration.

In short, he is a man with credentials. And baggage.

Born to a Jewish family in New York City in 1948, Abrams’s life followed the emblematic Neoconservative trajectory, with degrees from prestigious institutions (Harvard for his B.A. and J.D., with a Master’s from the London School of Economics on the side) and brief forays into liberal politics, working for two Democratic Senators. He ultimately switched over to the Republican Party in 1980, after growing disattisfied with liberal diplomacy.

By 1981, Abrams was appointed to President Ronald Reagan’s State Department. There he held several positions, including Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs. That experience may be meant to balance out Tillerson, who was criticized after his confirmation hearings for appearing weak on human rights.

However, it was Abrams’s subsequent post that landed him the most attention, not all of it good. As Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs, he supported the government of El Salvador while it committed war crimes like the El Mozote massacre and was a key participant in the Iran-Contra affair, secretly coordinating deals with foreign governments to help the right-wing Nicaraguan Contras obtain weapons. He did this even though Congress had specifically forbidden the US from assisting the Contras in acquiring weapons or overthrowing the Nicaraguan government.

Despite the negative scrutiny, Abrams held onto his post until the end of the Reagan administration. Afterward, he cooperated with Iran-Contra investigators and pled guilty to two counts of withholding information from Congress in 1991. The following year, President George H.W. Bush pardoned him.

Continued here


The Wikipedia article on Abrams contains some interesting information on Abrams, for instance the following:

In early 1982, when reports of the El Mozote massacre of hundreds of civilians by the military in El Salvador began appearing in U.S. media, Abrams told a Senate committee that the reports of hundreds of deaths at El Mozote “were not credible,” and that “it appears to be an incident that is at least being significantly misused, at the very best, by the guerrillas.”[14] The massacre had come at a time when the Reagan administration was attempting to bolster the human rights image of the Salvadoran military. Abrams implied that reports of a massacre were simply FMLN propaganda and denounced U.S. investigative reports of the massacre as misleading. In March 1993, the Salvadoran Truth Commission reported that over 500 civilians were “deliberately and systematically” executed in El Mozote in December 1981 by forces affiliated with the Salvadoran government.

And it seems he also may have played a role in the attempted coup in Venezuela in 2002:

The Observer has claimed that Abrams had advance knowledge of, and “gave a nod to,” the Venezuelan coup attempt of 2002 against Hugo Chávez.[29] However, a review by the State Department’s inspector general made the following conclusion: “Our government’s opposition to the use of undemocratic or unconstitutional means to remove President Chávez was repeated over and over again during the relevant period by key policymakers and spokespersons in Washington and by our representatives in Caracas in both public and private forums. And, far from working to foment his overthrow, the United States alerted President Chávez to coup plots and warned him of an assassination threat that was deemed to be credible.”[30] Yet the U.S. government gave tacit approval to the coup initially, refusing to condemn the coup until after the president installed by the coup had already been forced to resign by the people.

It seems Trump is falling into the same trap Obama fell into: surrounding himself with neocons. Is he really this politically naive? Or was that maybe his intention all along?

Related Posts

Here we go again, Rex Tillerson Already Talking Regime Change in Venezuela

Rex Tillerson Already Talking Regime Change in Venezuela

Rex Tillerson testifies during a confirmation hearing.

Rex Tillerson testifies during a confirmation hearing. | Photo: Reuters

The secretary of state nominee attacked both Venezuela and Cuba.

The new U.S. administration of Donald Trump has made it public that it will seek a regime change policy in Venezuela disguised in “transition to democracy” rhetoric, the country’s potential new Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in an interview this week.

OPINION:
Rex Tillerson Has a Long, Troubled History in Venezuela

“If confirmed, I would urge close cooperation with our friends in the hemisphere, particularly Venezuela’s neighbors Brazil and Colombia, as well as multilateral bodies such as the OAS, to seek a negotiated transition to democratic rule in Venezuela,” the former executive in ExxonMobil told Latin America Goes Global.

He further claimed that the economic crisis in the oil-rich South American country was “largely a product of its incompetent and dysfunctional government, first under Hugo Chavez, and now under his designated successor, Nicolas Maduro.”

The government of President Maduro has, however, blamed the recent crisis on an economic war by right-wing politicians as well as corporations who are hoarding products and halting production to put pressure on the socialist administration.

Meanwhile, Tillerson struck a less aggressive tone when pressed about how he would deal with the standoff between the government and the opposition-led national assembly in Venezuela.

“The U.S. should continue to support legitimate dialogue to resolve the political crisis between the Maduro government and the opposition that now controls the National Assembly.”

But then he called for sanctions against what he called “human rights violators” when asked about political prisoners while also slamming Maduro’s government for “undemocratic practices.”

The right-wing website also asked the nominee for U.S. top diplomat post “about the controversial and misguided decision to normalize relations with Cuba” to which he did not suggest a full rollback from Barack Obama’s steps on Cuba.

“I will engage with Cuba but continue to press for reform of its oppressive regime. I will support human rights defenders and democracy activists in Cuba, empower civil society, defend freedom of expression, and promote improved internet access and I will ask our allies to do the same,” he said.

He added that he would engage in bilateral and multilateral talks with Havana in order to “press Cuba to meet its pledge to become more democratic and consider placing conditions on trade or travel policies to motivate the release of political prisoners.”

However, when the interviewer pressed further Tillerson said he would stand by statements made by Vice President Mike Pence stating that the Trump administration would reverse Obama’s Cuba rapprochement policy.

RELATED:
War Criminal Kissinger Dotes Praise on Trump Secretary Pick

“Yes. There will be a comprehensive review of current policies and executive orders regarding Cuba to determine how best to pressure Cuba to respect human rights and promote democratic changes.”

Tillerson and Venezuela, in fact, have a bitter history and some say he might pursue personal revenge against the socialist government as he takes the international diplomatic stage in Washington.

In 2007, late President Hugo Chavez ordered the nationalization of 22 major multinational corporations operating in the country including ExxonMobil, then headed by Tillerson.

He rejected the compensation deal offered by the government of US$1 billion and took Venezuela to the international arbitration court demanding instead US$10 billion. But the rarely defeated CEO lost and his company settled for US$1.6 billion.

“(Tillerson) took it very personal with Chavez,” said Ghassan Dagher, a Venezuelan oil industry consultant to the New York Times in December.

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