Maduro Critic Even Argues A U.S. Coup Attempt is Occurring in Venezuela

A great Democracy Now! interview with a Caracas professor who, though being a Maduro critic, explains how U.S. aid is an attempt to incite the Venezuelan publics support for a Guaido/U.S. coup.

Also explains how U.S. sanctions are true cause for Venezuelan economic crisis.

Plus, for good measure, they have snippets of Trump spewing lies at one of his rallies calling Maduro a “Cuban Puppet.”

www.democracynow.org/2019/2/22/this_is_not_humanitarian_aid_a

The History of Maliki and Iraq’s Current Troubles

iraq1403715010Stop whatever your doing, right now. I mean, RIGHT NOW!!!

There is a great, must-read piece in The Post by a former U.S. official who worked in Iraq that relates how the Premiere Nouri al-Maliki came to power, and how his past and current actions, along with many of U.S. officials involved, has led to the dire situation Iraq finds itself in today.

The author is who was the longest continuously serving American official in Iraq, serving from 2003 to 2009, who acted as a special assistant to five U.S. ambassadors and as a senior adviser to three heads of U.S. Central Command. He was also a close associate to Premiere Maliki and explained his relationship with him in the following paragraph:

I have known Maliki, or Abu Isra, as he is known to people close to him, for more than a decade. I have traveled across three continents with him. I know his family and his inner circle. When Maliki was an obscure member of parliament, I was among the very few Americans in Baghdad who took his phone calls. In 2006, I helped introduce him to the U.S. ambassador, recommending him as a promising option for prime minister. In 2008, I organized his medevac when he fell ill, and I accompanied him for treatment in London, spending 18 hours a day with him at Wellington Hospital. In 2009, I lobbied skeptical regional royals to support Maliki’s government.

By 2010, however, I was urging the vice president of the United States and the White House senior staff to withdraw their support for Maliki. I had come to realize that if he remained in office, he would create a divisive, despotic and sectarian government that would rip the country apart and devastate American interests.

 America stuck by Maliki. As a result, we now face strategic defeat in Iraq and perhaps in the broader Middle East.
Hopefully, after reading that excerpt, you are hurriedly clicking on our link to get to this op-ed immediately. It is even more compelling than the excerpt leads on. So go read it! NOW!

 

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“Lone Survivor”: “A movie has no politics is in itself an ideological position…”

lone_survivor-620x412A good piece at Salon.com by Andrew O’Hehir about military movies, such as “Lone Survivor,” and the message they put forth vs. what the creators and actors claim to put forth.

Read Here.

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Why is Syria Using Chemical Weapons?

22syria-cnd-articleInlineAccording to the latest reports, like this one in the NYT, al-Assad’s regime conducted an attack yesterday in Syria using a nerve-agent against the rebel forces there. Now these reports could be untrue for al-Assad and his staunch ally
Russia, claim that these are false reports transmitted by the rebels in an effort to provoke the U.S. and other Western powers to aid them in their fight against the loyalists and Hezbollah. But according to what I’ve seen today, unlike other times the rebellion has claimed to have video of victims of nerve gas, these look very convincing.

Now, if the al-Assad loyalists and Hezbollah are really using WMD’s against the rebels now, I have one question: Why?

The ruling regime is winning the war. They have Russia backing them almost 100%. Why would they risk the advantageous position they currently hold when using chemical weapons may provoke the U.S. and the U.N. into taking action against them? Why would they cross Pres. Obama’s metaphorical “red line” that he has drawn regarding the use of chemical weapons?

I know that crazy things happen in war. And maybe the use of a chemical weapon was not ordered from high-above but by a low-level officer and that is why al-Assad and Russia are denying ithese reports so vehemently. Maybe some even lower-level troops put together what was reported by the NYT, a make-shift missile which was launched in this attack because they just got tired of seeing their buddies killed and opted for revenge instead of a more rational approach to war.

But maybe the regime is that irrational for killing your own citizens is always an irrational act.

“Zero Dark Thirty”: Justifies Torture According to Greenwald

Zero Dark ThirtyA thoughtful piece in The Guardian by Glenn Greenwald imploring that the film “Zero Dark Thirty’s” torture scenes puts forth that American torture was essential to locating and the killing of Osama bin Laden. Also, he explains how both “Zero Dark Thirty” and the Best Picture winner at the Oscars,  “Argo,” with both of their production assistance by the CIA, put the CIA in a terrific light that might not be historically true.

Read Here.

More On Afghan Ban on U.S. Forces in Region

JP-AFGHAN-articleLargeAnother good article in The Post on the reaction by the U.S. and NATO forces regarding Pres. Karzai’s ban of U.S./NATO troops from a key region in Afghanistan due to reports of civilian deaths and other abuses.

Read Here. 

Karzai Orders U.S. Forces Out of Region While Citing War Crimes

wardakThis article in The Post reports that Afghan President Karzai has ordered U.S. special forces out of a particular province in Afghanistan citing incidents of torture and murder. Hopefully these reports will not be true and I think this conflict between Karzai and U.S./NATO forces shows that it’s time to leave.

Read Here.

Is The Answer A ‘War Tax’?

imagesA good op-ed in the NYT puts forth that a “war tax”, a tax enacted during wartime to account for the costs, would be a very good way for Americans to weigh rather or not to engage in violent action. An interesting idea.

Read Here.

Drone Strikes Creating More Terrorists?

imagesA good article in the NYT regarding John Brennan’s upcoming testimony this Thursday on the clandestine drone attack campaigns taking place in countries like Yemen, Pakistan, and Sudan. It explores many individual examples of drone strikes that kill innocents or very low-ranking Al-Quaida members. But what struck me in this article was the points it made that seem similar to the Vietnam War. First, we are attacking countries that we do not understand socially, politically, or ideologically. Secondly, attempts on Quaida leaders that end up killing numbers of civilians could drive the ordinary Yemeni to action. This same thing happened in Vietnam. The American bombings of South Vietnam to force Vietnamese civilians into refugee camps so they could no longer aid the Viet Cong-dynamic is also present here. Like the Viet Cong, many Yemenis may not be for Al-Quaida, but joining “the base” is the only way to strike back at the U.S. which has taken close relatives or neighbor’s lives with drone missiles.

Read Here.

Rendition and The United State’s Partners

redn_adpA good article in The Guardian on a report recently released that outlines the countries that partnered with the U.S. in their rendition of both foreign peoples and domestic citizens.

Read Here.