UK Government Defends Arming Saudi Arabia: Secret Court Hearing. Are British Forces in Yemen?

Global Research, April 12, 2019
Morning Star 10 April 2019

The government refuses to confirm or deny the presence of British special forces in Yemen.

Its missions are exempt from freedom of information and even Parliament’s defence committee.

This wall of secrecy cracked slightly after five SBS members were injured in Yemen, causing an insider to speak out anonymously last month.

The insider’s allegations were then raised in Parliament, just hours after Foreign Office Middle East minister Alistair Burt resigned over Brexit.

At the Court of Appeal — The government will defend its arms sales to Saudi Arabia at a secret court hearing in London tomorrow in a bid to obscure sensitive details about Britain’s covert role in the Yemen war.

The Court of Appeal went into closed session this afternoon with journalists, campaigners and some lawyers forced to leave court room 72 until later today.

Only security-vetted judges and special advocates remained to discuss “a large quantity” of evidence behind locked doors.

The government said the secrecy was required to “protect national security” and avoid divulging highly sensitive aspects of its relationship with Saudi Arabia and the ongoing war in Yemen.

It comes amid incendiary allegations in the press that British special forces are directing Saudi bombing raids in Yemen.

The Mail on Sunday has claimed that members of the Royal Navy’s elite Special Boat Service (SBS) have “forward air controllers” on the ground in Yemen. These are specially trained commandos who guide fighter jet pilots on bombing runs to ensure they hit targets.

Their presence in Yemen could explain the British government’s insistence that Saudi air strikes are not causing civilian casualties.

Sir James Eadie QC, a lawyer who represents the Department for International Trade, has repeatedly cast doubt on reports by Amnesty International, Medecins Sans Frontieres and even a UN panel of experts who say Saudi Arabia is bombing Yemeni schools, mosques and hospitals.

Mr Eadie said in open court yesterday that International Trade Secretary Liam Fox is privy to more information than charities and the UN about the Saudi military’s decision-making process.

He refused to explain how this was possible in public session and promised to reveal more in secret court.

He only hinted that the Ministry of Defence (MoD) “is able to base its analysis on a wide range of information including sensitive MoD-sourced imagery.”

Mr Eadie said this “secures a more comprehensive and immediate picture than that provided by third party commercial imagery” which is used by the UN.

Burt’s shoes were filled at short notice by Mark Field, who went off script and promised to hold an internal investigation – into an issue he could neither confirm nor deny existed.

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The 26th of March is the end of the Saudi era and the start of the Yemeni one 26 آذار نهاية الحقبة السعوديّة وبداية الزمن اليمنيّ

 The 26th of March is the end of the Saudi era and the start of the Yemeni one

Written by Nasser Kandil,

When the Vietnam’s revolutionaries and people defeated the American occupation of their country they were doing so out of their pure patriotism, they did not think that they are doing that on behalf of all the nations and their liberals, they did that to humiliate this arrogant aggressor who controlled the fate of people and their wealth. When the world celebrated the victory achieved by the Vietnamese, they did not express admiration of the miracles achieved by the simple, the poor, and the weak in confronting the killer which is protected by money, techniques, and the limitless capacity of killing, but the world was sighing because America which frightened the world with panic is getting out of the war differently, it will be less brutal not because it got lessons but because it is bleeding and unable to wage it once again.

On March 26, 2015 the rulers of Riyadh considered that the freedom of Yemen forms a source of danger against the Saudi era which overshadowed on the Islamic and the Arab worlds since the defeat of the Arab armies in 1967 by the Zionist occupation army which assigned the political outcome of its military victory to its allies as the House of Saud which was also hostile to Gamal Abdul Nasser who was the title of the confrontation with the occupation entity. Therefore, the rulers of Riyadh decided to wage a swift crucial war against the forces of the resistance in Yemen to save the Saudi era from collapse in the light of the understanding on the Iranian nuclear file without taking into consideration the Saudi and the Israeli demands by the West countries on one hand, and in the light of the variables which led to the failure in the war led by Washington on Syria and funded by Saudi Arabia and run by its armed groups o9n the other hand.

On March 26, 2015 Yemen was liberated through a popular and military uprising in which the revolutionary and the popular committees participated along with the army, clans, and elites. This led to the liberation of the cities, towns, areas, barracks and institutions. The man of Saudi Arabia Mansour Hadi did not find anyone who carries his photo or shoots a bullet for his sake from Sanaa to Aden. The meeting on the Yemeni-Yemeni political solution was like the consensus on sticking to the independence. But on March 26th of 2015 the House of Saud announced to end the Yemeni independence and to impose the regime of trusteeship and occupation on it, thinking that this issue will take few days by the Crown Prince who wanted to express his leadership of the Arab and Islamic worlds through a swift war and a decisive victory and to impose his authority in preparation for the deal of the Century which was prepared with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu under the title “Jerusalem is a united eternal capital of Israeli”.

On March 26, 2015, Riad Yassin the Yemeni Foreign Minister at the era of Mansour Hadi announced from Sharm Al Sheikh where the Arab Summit was held to support the Saudi Aggression and to cover it that Eilat will no longer be target of the missiles fired from Al Hodeidah and threaten the security of Israel in any war to come. Now the war is in its fifth year, the dreams of the Saudi Crown Prince are as the promises of Mansour Hadi and his group and as the Deal of the Century and as the security of Eilat, because Al Hodeidah is still steadfast under the control of the Yemeni resisters, and the world which sold UN resolutions that cover the aggression to the Saudi rulers is searching for a settlement that announces the end of the Saudi era as an inevitable result of the failure of the war.

The Saudi rulers have succeeded in committing the greatest massacre in the history, the biggest famine, and the displacing of the largest number of inhabitants from children and women without shelter, food, or medicine, but they failed to win in the bet of the war which they waged five years ago thinking that it is a five-days war or five-weeks war. The heroes of Yemen and their courageous and wise leaderships succeeded in repeating what the heroes of Vietnam and their courageous leadership did in getting rid of the ugly brutal slavery that belongs to ignorance, darkness, and injustice. The Yemenis waged our war by proxy, as the House of Saud waged the war of the Americans, the Israelis, and the terrorism, but they were defeated and we won.

It is the beginning of the Yemeni era.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

 

26 آذار نهاية الحقبة السعوديّة وبداية الزمن اليمنيّ

مارس 25, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– عندما كان ثوار وشعب فييتنام يُلحقون الهزيمة بالاحتلال الأميركي لبلدهم كانوا يفعلون ذلك بدافع وطنيتهم الخالصة، ولم يكن في حسابهم أنهم يفعلون بالنيابة عن كل شعوب الأرض وأحرارها، ما يجب لكسر شوكة هذا المعتدي المتعجرف الذي بنى على قوته العمياء تحكمه بمصائر شعوب الأرض وثرواتها. وعندما خرج العالم يحتفل بالنصر الذي حققه الفييتناميون، لم يكن يعبر عن الإعجاب بالإعجاز الذي تحقق على أيدي البسطاء والفقراء والضعفاء في مواجهة آلة الموت العمياء، التي تحميها الأموال والتقنيات وقدرة القتل بلا حدود، بل كان العالم بطريقته يتنفّس الصعداء لأن أميركا التي أرعبت الدنيا وملأتها ذعراً تخرج من هذه الحرب على غير ما دخلتها، وستكون أقل توحشاً ووقاحة بعدها، ليس لأنّها تتعلم الدروس وتتخذ العبر، بل لأنها جريحة تنزف وأعجز من أن تكرر فعلتها مرة أخرى.

– في 26 آذار 2015 قرّر حكام الرياض أن حرية اليمن تشكّل مصدراً أولَ للخطر على الحقبة السعودية التي خيّمت على العالمين العربي والإسلامي منذ هزيمة عام 1967 للجيوش العربيّة على يد جيش كيان الاحتلال الصهيوني لفلسطين، الذي قام بتجيير العائد السياسي لنصره العسكري لحساب حلفائه آل سعود الذين شاطروه العداء لجمال عبد الناصر الذي كان يشكل عنوان المواجهة مع كيان الاحتلال، وبناء عليه قرّر حكام الرياض أن حرباً سريعة وحاسمة تنهي قوى المقاومة في اليمن صارت ضرورة لإنقاذ الحقبة السعودية من التداعي الذي أصابها، في ضوء مشروع التفاهم على الملف النووي الإيراني دون الأخذ بالطلبات السعودية والإسرائيلية من قبل دول الغرب، من جهة. وفي ظل المتغيرات التي بدأت ترتسم فشلاً في الحرب التي تقودها واشنطن على سورية وتمولها السعودية وتدير جماعاتها المسلحة، من جهة مقابلة.

– في 26 آذار 2015 كان اليمن قد تحرّر عبر إنتفاضة شعبية وعسكرية تشاركت فيها اللجان الثورية والشعبية والجيش والعشائر والنخب، وتساقطت المدن والبلدات والمناطق والثكنات والمؤسسات بأيدي المنتفضين، ولم يجد رجل السعودية في اليمن منصور هادي من يحمل له صورة، أو يطلق دفاعاً عنه رصاصة، من صنعاء إلى عدن، وكان الإجماع على أن الحل السياسي اليمني اليمني يوازي الإجماع على التمسك بالاستقلال، لكن في 26 آذار 2015 أعلن آل سعود أنهم قرروا إنهاء الاستقلال اليمني وفرض نظام الوصاية والاحتلال على اليمن، وفي ظنهم أن الأمر رحلة أيام يمضيها ولي العهد الذي أراد تدشين زعامته للعالمين العربي والإسلامي بحرب خاطفة ونصر حاسم يؤدّب خصومه، ويفرض مهابته، تمهيداً للتبشير بصفقة القرن التي تم إعدادها بالتشارك مع رئيس حكومة الاحتلال بنيامين نتنياهو، وعنوانها، القدس عاصمة أبدية موحدة لـ«إسرائيل».

– في 26 آذار 2015 كان وزير خارجية منصور هادي، رياض ياسين يعلن من شرم الشيخ حيث انعقدت القمة العربية التي أعلنت دعم العدوان السعودي ووفّرت له التغطية، أن إيلات لن تكون بعد اليوم في مرمى الصواريخ التي تتخذ من الحديدة مراكز انطلاق لها لتهديد أمن «إسرائيل» في أي حرب مقبلة. وها هي الحرب تدخل سنتها الخامسة، وأحلام ولي العهد السعودي كما وعود منصور هادي وجماعته، وصفقة القرن، وأمن إيلات، تتبخّر جميعاً، والحديدة صامدة بأيدي المقاومين اليمنيين، والعالم الذي باع لحكام السعودية قرارات أممية تغطي العدوان وتتبنّى شروطه يبحث عن كيفية التموضع على شروط للتسوية تأخذ بالاعتبار نهاية الحقبة السعودية، كنتيجة حتمية لفشل الحرب.

– نجح حكام السعودية بارتكاب أضخم مجزرة بشرية في التاريخ، والتسبّب بأكبر مجاعة، وتشريد أكبر عدد من السكان والأطفال والنساء بلا مسكن ولا طعام ولا دواء، لكنهم فشلوا في الفوز برهان الحرب التي خاضوها منذ خمس سنوات، وفي ظنهم أنها حرب خمسة أيام أو خمسة أسابيع، ونجح أبطال اليمن وقيادتهم الشجاعة والحكيمة في تكرار ما فعله أبطال فييتنام وقيادتهم الشجاعة والحكيمة، بتخليص البشرية من نير عبودية غاشمة وغشيمة، تنتمي للجهل والظلمة والظلم، لقد خاض اليمنيون حربنا جميعاً بالوكالة، كما خاض آل سعود ومَن معهم حرب الأميركيين والإسرائيليين والإرهاب جنباً إلى جنب، فهزموا جميعاً، وانتصرنا.

– إنها بداية الزمن اليمني.

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Yemenis Mark 4 Years of Saudi War in Nationwide Mass Rallies

By Staff, Agencies

Millions of Yemenis took to the streets of the capital, Sana’a, and other major cities to mark the fourth anniversary of the Saudi regime’s devastating war against the Arab country and reiterate their steadfastness in the face of the ongoing aggression.

Many provinces and cities, including Sana’a, Sa’ada, Ta’izz, Ibb, Bayda and Raymah, have been witnessing mass rallies since Monday, Yemen’s al-Masirah television network reported.

However, the protests reached their peak on Tuesday, March 26, the day the Saudi regime and a coalition of its vassal states launched the US-backed military campaign against Yemen in 2015 to reinstate the ex-Yemeni government – a close Riyadh ally – and destroying the popular Ansarullah revolutionary movement.

The demonstrators carried placards and Yemeni national flags, chanting slogans against Riyadh, ‘Israel’ and Washington, which has been providing military support to the Saudi-led coalition over the course of the war.

The offensive initially consisted of a bombing campaign, but was later coupled with a naval blockade and the deployment of ground forces into Yemen.

Relatively, Yemen’s Grand Mufti was among the keynote speakers at the rally in Sana’a, where he called on the Arab country’s religious scholars as well as the Muslim world not to remain silent in the face of the crimes the Al Saud regime and its allies have been committing against Yemenis.

Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, the chairman of the Supreme Revolutionary Committee of Yemen, also delivered a speech and stressed, “The Yemeni nation will continue fighting to the end and [we] will never give in. We will finally defeat the enemy.”

He further condemned US President Donald Trump’s decision on Monday to formally recognize Syria’s occupied Golan Heights as part of the “Israeli territory.”

The Saudi-led war has taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure, destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The UN has already said that a record 22.2 million Yemenis are in dire need of food, including 8.4 million threatened by severe hunger. According to the world body, Yemen is suffering from the most severe famine in more than 100 years.

A number of Western countries, the US and Britain in particular, are also accused of being complicit in the ongoing aggression as they supply the Riyadh regime with advanced weapons and military equipment as well as logistical and intelligence assistance.

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New Saudi Massacre in Yemen: 20 Women, Children Killed

Source

By Staff

Nearly 5 years on the Saudi brutal aggression on Yemen, the Saudi killing machine continues to slaughter civilians amid an international silence.

In a new massacre, two dozen women and a child have been martyred in the latest round of Saudi airstrikes in Yemen.

Local sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Saudi warplanes bombarded residential buildings in Talan village of Kushar district in Yemen’s northwestern province of Hajjah on Sunday afternoon, leaving 20 women and a child dead, Arabic-language al-Masirah television network reported.

The sources added that the attacks leveled five houses to the ground. Locals were looking for possible survivors under the rubble.

Saudi warplanes also reportedly targeted ambulances, preventing doctors and paramedics from reaching the area.

The leader of Yemen’s Ansarullah movement recently said Yemeni women and children are being brutally killed by US and Western-made munitions used in the campaign.

For his part, the adviser of the Human Rights Ministry in Yemen stressed that the crime reflects the defeat of the aggression forces and tools.

“The United Nations organizations must carry its responsibility to investigate the facts and document the crimes of the Saudi aggression in Yemen,” he added.

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From Madero to Maduro: Lessons of the Mexican Revolution for 21st Century Venezuela

From Madero to Maduro: Lessons of the Mexican Revolution for 21st Century Venezuela

MARTIN SIEFF | 21.02.2019 | WORLD / AMERICAS

From Madero to Maduro: Lessons of the Mexican Revolution for 21st Century Venezuela

Just over 100 years ago, Mexico had a popular, much beloved democratically elected President determined to reduce foreign influence and obscene profits flowing out of the country and raise the standard of living for his people. The US financial interests on Wall Street orchestrated a military coup and made sure he was brutally murdered.

The president obviously was not Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela, who has been set up to receive the same treatment this year, but his name was remarkably close – Madero not Maduro. The parallels and contrasts between the two men are thought-provoking.

Unfortunately poor Francisco Madero, an idealistic reformer who ruled as President of Mexico from 1911 to 1913 did not have the tough political street smarts and plain common sense that Venezuela’s Maduro has exhibited throughout his long, controversial but undeniably successful career.

Madero naively trusted in the army commander-in-chief he had inherited from his predecessor President Porfirio Diaz, General Victoriano Huerta. Huerta had prospered throughout the long 35-year rule of Diaz from 1876 to 1911 by carrying out genocidal campaigns for him against the Yaqui Indians and the Mayans.

In 1913, Wall Street interests enthusiastically supported Huerta when he carried out a coup against the innocent Madero. Woodrow Wilson, the US president of the day was an exceptionally ugly racist who despised the Mexican people and at first went along with Huerta’s coup.

The huge financial and mining interests in New York were eager to continue plundering Mexico’s resources while more than 90 percent of its people lived virtually as slaves in appalling poverty under Diaz.

In the last decade of Diaz’s rule – securely supported by the Wall Street financial robber barons, as historian Matthew Josephson called them and by the complacent administrations of Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft – at least 600,000 people were worked to death as real slaves on the estates of Diaz’s supporters. Not a whisper of disapproval was heard from Washington.

Huerta ruled with his usual mindless thuggish brutality for less than a year and a half before provoking such national revulsion that he was ousted in a brief and bloody civil war. He fled of course to the United States but then made the mistake of alienating US business and military leaders alike by openly embracing Imperial Germany to plot his militaristic comeback.

Huerta died in loose US military custody in 1916 after a night of dining out and carousing. Poisoning by the Americans was widely suspected but the cause may well just have been heavy drinking. His autopsy revealed extreme cirrhosis of the liver.

To this day Huerta is reviled as the murderous mass killer and cowardly murderer and tool of cynical foreign interests he was while the well-meaning, but tragically ineffectual Madero is genuinely loved by the people of Mexico. The days from the start of Huerta’s coup to the president’s murder – gunned down by an impromptu firing squad of assassins by night along with his own brother and vice president are remembered as La Decena Tragica, The Ten Tragic Days.

In the years that followed, Mexico endured all the horrors of a collapsed state with rival feuding bands slaughtering each other and everyone else they came across. The population of the country plummeted from 15 million in 1910 to 11.6 million a decade later. Factoring in how many deaths were masked by the high birth rate, well over four million people, or more than 25 percent of the total population died in the years of anarchic violence that Huerta’s murder of President Madero set in motion.

La Decena Tragica continues to reverberate in Mexico to this day. When current President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador continues to withstand massive pressures from the Trump administration to recognize their preferred puppet, Juan Guaido as Washington’s preferred figurehead president of Venezuela, he is heeding his people’s reverence for martyred President Madero and remembering the bloodbaths and chaos that the hated Huerta unleashed in his place.

Madero naively trusted in the honor of his army commander, the murderous Huerta. By contrast, President Maduro in Venezuela, like his political mentor and predecessor Hugo Chavez, has taken care to always have an army high command loyal to the democratically elected national civilian leadership. Nevertheless, today, US leaders have openly called on Venezuela’s military leaders to scrap their own cherished constitution and political processes and violently topple President Maduro – All of course in the name of their usual mythical and never-defined “freedom.”

However, Bloomberg News pointedly noted in a recent report that in a Venezuelan military establishment of more than 2,000 generals and admirals, only a single officer who did not even command any troops has sworn allegiance to National Assembly Speaker Juan Guaido, the farcical boy toy whom the Trump administration is trying to set up as “president” of Venezuela in Maduro’s place.

It is just as well. The precedent of Mexico more than a century ago teaches us that if the US plot to topple President Maduro were to succeed, as the one to remove and murder President Madero did so tragically 106 years ago, then civil war, chaos and the violent death of multiple millions of innocent people would rapidly follow.

In the seven years following the murder of Francisco Madero, more than a quarter of the population of Mexico were slaughtered or starved to death. The history of states where 21st century US administrations have successfully orchestrated “regime change” makes clear that Venezuela would suffer a similar fate.

Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, South Sudan and Ukraine remain appalling object-lessons to the world in US criminal incompetence – at the very least – in “nation-building.” The consequences of the endless failed attempts to topple the government of Syria tell the same terrible story.

The bullets that slammed into gentle, naïve little President Madero more than a century ago continue to ricochet in our own bloodstained age.

Cupid’s Zionist Arrows Missing Maduro

By Hussein Samawarchi

I wasn’t waiting to see if the Arabs participating in the most recent US charade against the free world would exchange Valentine’s love cards with the “Israelis” or not. That is something only a person who is acutely naive would doubt. I just wanted to see if they did it publicly or not. After all, the bosses of Pence and Pompeo are the same ones who need to ensure that the bloodthirsty Netanyahu continues his rampage against Palestinian children and that can only be accomplished by getting him to win elections, the results of which would be almost secured if the scandal-plagued Zionist PM proves to the settlers that he’s opening Arab airports for them.

One way or another, the “Israeli” media was going to celebrate candlelight dinners between the lords of Petroleum and the PM who, not so long ago, was shown on video speaking openly about the US public opinion being his to manipulate. They, the “Israeli” newspapers and TV stations, leak such news frequently. And, unfortunately, this is one aspect where public deception is not the case.

It is all related to Venezuela, whose legal president, Mr. Nicolas Madura, has proved that it is possible for a Latin to be more Arab than many of those who wear the traditional Dishdashah. Actually, more humanely correct and closer to the philosophy of Islam than most of them. Mr. Maduro and the brave people of Venezuela are living proof that the gap between Christianity and Islam is nonexistent when it comes to right and wrong.

The major Latin American nation has been subject to enormous pressures by the US for as long as we can remember. The Venezuelans’ natural tendency to refuse being dictated to has led them to be on the blacklist of the CIA; they are simply too proud to receive late night phone calls from some American ambassador and this is just unfathomable to the agency that orchestrated the infamous Operation Condor. They want to control Venezuela’s natural resources and its politics.

Nevertheless, it has become obvious that the objective behind the insistent campaign to destroy the very foundations of Venezuela and starve its citizens goes beyond wanting to turn it into another puppet state.

The graduates of Kissinger’s school of political terror have found that bringing a nation like this great Bolivarian one with all its top natural and human resources to its knees would serve as a lesson to the Arab leaders who were still hesitant regarding being seen in the same room with “Israel” and Cupid. If the CIA can starve the Venezuelans into overthrowing a government that says NO to imperialism, then the same could be done with the dictators of the Gulf region. It’s a very simple concept: Forget the Palestinians or we will bring someone in your place who would.

The exaggerated “Israeli” flag portrayed during the separatists’ demonstration in Venezuela was a signal to Arabs preparing to fly to Warsaw. Pompeo probably authorized the $10 payment to each person carrying it while planning the shameful seating arrangements for the summit along with the comical little microphone act that was staged.

Iran has been subject to crippling embargos for the past 40 years; high-quality medicine is not only produced there, but it is also affordable by everyone. There is no fear of falling sick in the Islamic Republic and not finding the proper medical attention for free. Even dental care which is not covered by insurance in so many so-called first world countries is available free of charge in centers around the Iranian capital. This is just one simple example of what an anti-imperialist government gives to its people.

President Maduro realizes this and so do the majority of his people. There is no doubt that Venezuela will pull through this ordeal and it will do so by primarily sticking to its high ethical standards in international affairs and then by keeping its close relationships with the countries supporting real independence and freedom of choice.

The assassin of Imam Mohammad Baqir Al Sadr was buried in disgrace. The kidnapper of Imam Mousa al-Sadr was buried in disgrace. Those trying to assassinate Palestine will be buried in disgrace. No amount of celebrating Valentine’s with Netanyahu by officials will make the Arab citizen forsake his true love, Jerusalem.

Starving Venezuela into Submission

You are so kind-hearted! I shed a tear thinking of American generosity. “So many delightful goodies: sacks of rice, canned tuna and protein-rich biscuits, corn flour, lentils and pasta, arrived at the border of troubled Venezuela – enough for one light meal each for five thousand people”, – reported the news in a sublime reference to five thousand fed by Christ’s fishes and loaves. True, Christ did not take over the bank accounts and did not seize the gold of those he fed. But 21st century Venezuela is a good deal more-prosperous than 1st century Galilee. Nowadays, you have to organise a blockade if you want people to be grateful for your humanitarian aid.

This is not a problem. The US-UK duo did it in Iraq, as marvellous Arundhati Roywrote in April 2003 (in The Guardian of old, before it turned into an imperial tool): After Iraq was brought to its knees, its people starved, half a million of its children killed, its infrastructure severely damaged… the blockade and war were followed by… you guessed it! Humanitarian relief. At first, they blocked food supplies worth billions of dollars, and then they delivered 450 tonnes of humanitarian aid and celebrated their generosity for a few days of live TV broadcasts. Iraq had had enough money to buy all the food it needed, but it was blocked, and its people received only some peanuts.

And this was rather humane by American standards. In the 18th century, the British colonists in North America used more drastic methods while dispensing aid to disobedient natives. The Red Indians were expelled from their native places, and then they were provided humanitarian aid: whiskey and blankets. The blankets had been previously used by smallpox patients. The native population of North America was decimated by the ensuing epidemics from this and similar measures. Probably you haven’t heard of this chapter of your history: the USA has many Holocaust museums but not a single memorial to the genocide near home. It is much more fun to discuss faults of Germans and Turks than of your own forefathers.

First, you starve people; then you bring them humanitarian aid. This was proposedby John McNaughton at Pentagon: bomb locks and dams, by shallow-flooding the rice, cause widespread starvation (more than a million dead?) “And then we shall deliver humanitarian aid to the starving Vietnamese”. Or, rather, “we could offer to do [that] at the conference table.” Planning a million dead by starvation, in writing: if such a note would be found on the ruins of the Third Reich, it would seal the story of genocide, it would be quoted daily. But the story of the genocide of the Vietnamese is rarely mentioned nowadays.

They did it in Syria, too. At first, they brought weapons for every Muslim extremist, then they blockaded Damascus, and then they sent some humanitarian aid, but only to the areas under rebel control.

This cruel but efficient method of breaking nations’ spirit has been developed by lion tamers for years, perhaps for centuries. You have to starve the beast until it will take food from your hands and lick your fingers. ‘Starvation-taming’, they call it.

The Israelis practice it in Gaza. They block all export or import from the Strip, interdict fishing in the Mediterranean and drip-feed the captive Palestinians by ‘humanitarian aid’. Jews, being Jews, make it one better: they made the EU to pay for the humanitarian aid to Gaza AND to buy the aid stuff from Israel. This made Gaza an important source of profit for the Jewish state.

So in Venezuela they follow an old script. The US and its London poodle seized over 20 billion dollars from Venezuela and from Venezuelan national companies. They stole over a billion in gold ingots Venezuela had trustingly deposited in the cellars of the Bank of England.

Well, they said they will give this money to a Venezuelan Random Dude, rather. To the guy who already promised to give the wealth of Venezuela to the US companies. And after this daylight robbery, they bring a few containers of humanitarian aid to the border and wait for the rush of bereft Venezuelans for food.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted: “The Venezuelan people desperately need humanitarian aid. The U.S. & other countries are trying to help, but Venezuela’s military under Maduro’s orders is blocking aid with trucks and shipping tankers. The Maduro regime must LET THE AID REACH THE STARVING PEOPLE.”

Venezuelans aren’t starving, even though they are going through difficulties. The biggest noise is made by the wealthy, as always. If Pompeo wants to help Venezuelans, he might lift the sanctions, return the funds, lift the blockade. The biscuits he wants to provide are of but little use.

President Maduro is right when he refuses to let this hypocrisy bribe the stomachs and hearts of his people. It is not just that he remembers his Virgil and knows, Timeo danaos et dona ferentes, “beware gift-bearing Greeks.” There are too many American and Colombian soldiers around the pending delivery place, and this place is suspiciously close to an airport with an extra-long runway suitable for a an airlift.

The US is known for its propensity to invade its neighbours: Panama was invaded in 1989 to keep the Panama Canal in American hands and to roll back the agreement signed by the good-hearted President Jimmy Carter. President George Bush Sr sent his airborne troops in after calling Panama president “a dictator and cocaine smuggler”. This is exactly what President Trump says about Venezuela’s president.

They are likely to use this aid to invade and suborn Venezuela. Wisely, Maduro began large military exercises to prepare the army in case of invasion. The situation of Venezuela is dire enough even without invasion. Their money has been appropriated, their main oil company is as good as confiscated; and there is a strong fifth column waiting for Yankees in Caracas.

This fifth column consists mainly of compradors, well-off young folk with a smattering of Western education and upbringing, who see their future within the framework of the American Empire. They are ready to betray the unwashed masses and invite the US troops in. They are supported by the super-rich, by representatives of foreign companies, by Western secret services. Such people exist everywhere; they tried to organise the Gucci Revolution in Lebanon, the Green Revolution in Iran, the Maidan in the Ukraine. In Russia they had their chance in the winter of 2011/2012 when their Mink-Coat Revolution was played at Moscow’s Bolotnaya Heath.

In Moscow they lost when their opponents, the Russia-First crowd, bettered them by fielding a much-bigger demo at Poklonnaya Hill. The Western news agencies tried to cover the defeat by broadcasting pictures of the Putin-supporters demo and saying it was the pro-Western Heath. Other Western agencies published pictures of 1991 rallies saying they were taken in 2012 on the Heath. In Moscow, nobody was fooled: the mink-coat crowd knew they were licked.

In the Ukraine, they won, for President Yanukovich, a hesitant and pusillanimous man of two minds, failed to gather massive support. It is a big question whether Maduro will be able to mobilise Venezuela-First masses. If he is, he will win the confrontation with the US as well.

Maduro is rather reticent; he hasn’t disciplined unruly oligarchs; he does not control the media; he tries to play a social-democrat game in a country that is not Sweden by long shot. His subsidies have allowed ordinary people to escape dire poverty, but now they are used by black marketeers to siphon off the wealth of the nation. Far from being a disaster zone, Venezuela is a true Bonanza, a real Klondike: you can fill a tanker with petrol for pennies, smuggle it to neighbouring Colombia and sell it for market price. Many supporters of the Random Guy have made small fortunes this way, and they hope to make a large killing if and when the Americans come.

A bigger problem is that Venezuela had become a monoculture economy: it exports oil and imports everything else. It does not even produce food to feed its 35 million inhabitants. Venezuela is a victim of neoliberal doctrine claiming that you can buy what you can’t produce. Now they can’t buy and they do not produce. Imagine a democratic Saudi Arabia hit by blockade.

In order to save the economy, Maduro should drain the swamp, end the black market and profiteering, encourage agriculture, tax the rich, develop some industry for local consumption. It can be done. Venezuela is not a socialist state like orderly Cuba, nor a social-democratic one like Sweden and England in 1970s, but even its very modest model of allowing the masses to rise out of misery, poverty and ignorance seems too much for the West.

It is often said there are two antagonists in the West, the Populists and the Globalists, and President Trump is the Populist leader. The Venezuela crisis proved these two forces are united if there is a chance to attack and rob an outsider country. Trump is condemned at home when he calls his troops back from Afghanistan or Syria, but he gains support when he threatens Venezuela or North Korea. He can be sure he will be cheered on by Macron and Merkel and even by The Washington Post and The New York Times.

He has the real WMD, the Weapons of Mass Deception, to attack Venezuela, and these WMD had been activated with the beginning of the creeping coup. When a rather unknown young politician, the leader of a small neoliberal rabidly pro-American fraction in the Parliament, Random Dude, claimed the title of president, he was immediately recognised by Trump, and the Western media reported that the people of Venezuela went out in mass demos to greet the new president and demand Maduro’s removal.

They beamed videos of huge Caracas demos back to Venezuela. Not many viewers abroad noticed that the video was old, filmed in 2016 demos, but the Venezuelans saw that at once. They weren’t fooled. They knew that there is no chance for a big protest demo on that day, the day of a particularly important baseball game in the professional league between Leones of Caracas and Cardenales de Lara from Barquisimeto.

But the WMD kept lying. Here is a report by Moon of Alabama: the reports of large anti-government rallies are fake news or prophecies hoping to become self-fulfilling ones:

Agence France-Press stated at 11:10 utc yesterday that “tens of thousands” would join a rally.

AFP news agency @AFP – 11:10 utc – 2 Feb 2019

Tens of thousands of protesters are set to pour onto the streets of Venezuela’s capital #Caracas Saturday to back opposition leader Juan Guaido’s calls for early elections as international pressure increased on President #Maduro to step down http://u.afp.com/Jouu

View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter

AFP news agency

@AFP

Tens of thousands of protesters are set to pour onto the streets of Venezuela’s capital Saturday to back opposition leader Juan Guaido’s calls for early elections as international pressure increased on President to step down http://u.afp.com/Jouu 

That was at 7:10am local time in Caracas, several hours before the rally took place. Such “predictive reporting” is now supposed to be “news”. A bit later AFP posted a video:

AFP news agency @AFP – 15:50 utc – 2 Feb 2019″>

VIDEO: Thousands of opposition protesters pour onto the streets of Caracas to back Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan #Guaido who is calling for early elections, as international pressure increases on President Nicolas #Maduro to step down

AFP news agency

 

A Venezuelan air force general has rejected the authority of President Nicolas , becoming the highest-ranking military officer to recognize opposition leader Juan as the country’s acting president http://u.afp.com/JobJ 

Venezuelan air force general declares allegiance to Guaido: video

A Venezuelan air force general rejected the authority of President Nicolas Maduro Saturday, becoming the highest-ranking military officer to recognize opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country’s…

news.yahoo.com

AFP news agency

@AFP

VIDEO: 🇻🇪 Thousands of opposition protesters pour onto the streets of Caracas to back Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan who is calling for early elections, as international pressure increases on President Nicolas to step down pic.twitter.com/JdWS12j9KJ

Embedded video
That was at 11:50am local time. The attached video did not show “thousands” but some 200 people milling about.

They lie that there are army deserters spoiling for a fight with the army. The young guys CNN presented weren’t deserters, and they didn’t live in Venezuela. Even their military insignia were of the kind discarded years ago, as our friend The Saker noticed.

However, these lies won’t avail – my correspondents in Caracas report that there are demos for and against government (for Maduro slightly bigger crowds), but the feelings aren’t strong. The crisis is manufactured in Washington, and the Venezuelans aren’t keen to get involved.

That’s why we can expect an American attempt to use force, preceded by some provocation. Probably it won’t be a full-blown war: the US never fought an enemy that wasn’t exhausted prior to the encounter. If the Maduro administration survives the blow, the crisis will take a low profile, until sanctions do their work and further undermine the economy.

In this struggle, President Trump is his own bitter enemy. He seeks approval of the War Party, and his own base will be disappointed by his actions. His sanctions will send more refugees to the US, wall or no wall. He undermines the unique status of the US dollar by weaponising it. In 2020, he will reap what he sow.

Israel Shamir can be reached at adam@israelshamir.net

This article was first published at The Unz Review.

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