Smart Diplomacy In Action: US Ambassador to Libya Abandons Twitter After Tweeting False Bombing Casualty
by Patrick Poole
by Patrick Poole
Some common themes can be seen in many of these U.S. military interventions.
First, they were explained to the U.S. public as defending the lives and rights of civilian populations. Yet the military tactics employed often left behind massive civilian “collateral damage.” War planners made little distinction between rebels and the civilians who lived in rebel zones of control, or between military assets and civilian infrastructure, such as train lines, water plants, agricultural factories, medicine supplies, etc. The U.S. public always believe that in the next war, new military technologies will avoid civilian casualties on the other side. Yet when the inevitable civilian deaths occur, they are always explained away as “accidental” or “unavoidable.”
Second, although nearly all the post-World War II interventions were carried out in the name of “freedom” and “democracy,” nearly all of them in fact defended dictatorships controlled by pro-U.S. elites. Whether in Vietnam, Central America, or the Persian Gulf, the U.S. was not defending “freedom” but an ideological agenda (such as defending capitalism) or an economic agenda (such as protecting oil company investments). In the few cases when U.S. military forces toppled a dictatorship–such as in Grenada or Panama–they did so in a way that prevented the country’s people from overthrowing their own dictator first, and installing a new democratic government more to their liking.
Third, the U.S. always attacked violence by its opponents as “terrorism,” “atrocities against civilians,” or “ethnic cleansing,” but minimized or defended the same actions by the U.S. or its allies. If a country has the right to “end” a state that trains or harbors terrorists, would Cuba or Nicaragua have had the right to launch defensive bombing raids on U.S. targets to take out exile terrorists? Washington’s double standard maintains that an U.S. ally’s action by definition “defensive,” but that an enemy’s retaliation is by definition “offensive.”
Fourth, the U.S. often portrays itself as a neutral peacekeeper, with nothing but the purest humanitarian motives. After deploying forces in a country, however, it quickly divides the country or region into “friends” and “foes,” and takes one side against another. This strategy tends to enflame rather than dampen a war or civil conflict, as shown in the cases of Somalia and Bosnia, and deepens resentment of the U.S. role.
Fifth, U.S. military intervention is often counterproductive even if one accepts U.S. goals and rationales. Rather than solving the root political or economic roots of the conflict, it tends to polarize factions and further destabilize the country. The same countries tend to reappear again and again on the list of 20th century interventions.
Sixth, U.S. demonization of an enemy leader, or military action against him, tends to strengthen rather than weaken his hold on power. Take the list of current regimes most singled out for U.S. attack, and put it alongside of the list of regimes that have had the longest hold on power, and you will find they have the same names. Qaddafi, Castro, Saddam, Kim, and others may have faced greater internal criticism if they could not portray themselves as Davids standing up to the American Goliath, and (accurately) blaming many of their countries’ internal problems on U.S. economic sanctions.
One of the most dangerous ideas of the 20th century was that “people like us” could not commit atrocities against civilians.
German and Japanese citizens believed it, but their militaries slaughtered millions of people.
British and French citizens believed it, but their militaries fought brutal colonial wars in Africa and Asia.
Russian citizens believed it, but their armies murdered civilians in Afghanistan, Chechnya, and elsewhere.
Israeli citizens believed it, but their army mowed down Palestinians and Lebanese.
Arabs believed it, but suicide bombers and hijackers targeted U.S. and Israeli civilians.
U.S. citizens believed it, but their military killed hundreds of thousands in Vietnam, Iraq, and elsewhere.
Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro has publicly accused the United States of trying to foment a coup in Venezuela. The accusations come as the Obama Administration has bizarrely labeled Venezuela a national security threat to the United States despite that obviously not being true.Maduro’s accusation stems not just from being labeled a national security threat but from a plot Venezuelan security services uncovered which was publicly detailed by Maduro on Venezuelan TV.
According to Maduro the plot involved Carlos Manuel Osuna Saraco who operates out of New York and Miami, allegedly with the help of the US government. There is audio of Osuna dictating a statement rebel leaders should read after the coup.
If the plot is true it will be the second attempt by the US to foment a coup in Venezuela this century. The first being an amazingly blatant attempt in 2002 against President Hugo Chavez which the White House itself publicly supported before the coup was reversed and Chavez was returned to power.
Which brings us to the laughing stock State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki became yesterday when she claimed [VIDEO] in response to Maduro’s accusations:
As a matter of long standing policy the United States does not support transitions by non-constitutional means. Political transitions must be democratic, constitutional, peaceful, and legal.
We’ve seen many times that the Venezuelan government tries to distract from its own actions by blaming the United States or other members of the international community for events inside Venezuela. These efforts reflect a lack of seriousness on the part of the Venezuelan government to deal with the grave situation it faces.
The Associated Press reporter, Matt Lee, immediately jumped in with quite reasonable incredulity saying “I’m sorry. Whoah, whoah, whoah. The US has a long-standing practice of not promoting [coups] – how long-standing would you say?” Lee continued audibly scoffing and laughing “In particular in South and Latin America that is not a long-standing policy.”
Their Unholy Alliance Fully Exposed
…by Joachim Hagopian
Renowned investigative journalist and author Seymour Hersh astutely saw the writing on the wall way back in 2006 (emphasis added):
To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, ineffect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has cooperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.