by Edu Montesanti, on Nolan Chart (US), May 19, 2011
On May 10, the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), released its latest "dossier" based on documents found in the computer files of Luis Edgar Devía Silva, better known as "Raúl Reyes", a senior FARC commander who was killed in a 2008 raid, supposedly seized by the Colombian government in 2008. The IISS "dossier", The FARC Files: Venezuela, Ecuador and the Secret Archive of 'Raúl Reyes', links both the Venezuelan and the Ecuadorian leftist Presidents, Hugo Chávez and Rafael Correa, respectively, to the terrorist network as reported The New York Times.
On the same May 10, the History Professor at New York University, Greg Grandin, heavily refuted such a theory in the Guardian: "The report appears to be an attempt by hawks in the US and the UK to perpetuate, using 'black propaganda', the failed policies of the George W Bush administration, as well as previous administrations of the cold war era, to which they respectively once belonged. All of its conclusions are based on the false premise that the documents that it claims to analyse are entirely trustworthy", wrote Professor Grandin, among other absolutely convincing arguments.
He also remembered that, "What Interpol actually said, in its 2008 report on the documents, was that the Colombian military's treatment of the files "did not conform to internationally recognised principles for the ordinary handling of electronic evidence by law enforcement". Interpol noted that there was a one-week period between the computer documents' capture by Colombia, and when they were handed over to Interpol, during which time the Colombian authorities actually modified 9,440 files, and deleted 2,905, according to Interpol's detailed forensic report. This "may complicate validating this evidence for purposes of its introduction in a judicial proceeding, Interpol noted at the time".
It is old the US "interest" on Latin America, the richest region in biodiversity in the world, and very rich in natural gas (Bolivia), and oil (Venezuela and Brazil) but, at the same time, the most unequal region in the world. Actually, the US relationship with Latin America is marked by interventions through invasions, coups, plots, blockades, boycotts, bombings, assassinations, bribery, and corruption throughout the twentieth century, and now in the beginning of the XXI century.
We might remember President Theodore Roosevelt's Big Stick policy, or more recently the so bloody military dictatorships all over the region supported by the US, removing from power absolutely democratically and honest governments, directly elected by the people.
Well, since the "winds of communism" stopped blowing in 1991 with the Soviet Union collapse, the US has found other "enemies" to be fought in Latin America: "terror" and drugs, so justifying its endless "battle for liberty and peace" in the region.
In 2002, the Bush administration supported the failed coup in Venezuela against President Hugo Chávez. Six years later, new oil sources would be found in Brazil, elevating the country to the most oil producers in the world. At the same time, "curiously" the US, 58 years later, reactivated the Fourth Fleet, created to fight Nazism, but at the time active on South-American waters: 22 ships, four missile cruisers, four destroyers with missiles, 13 missiles and frigates with a hospital ship - according to Bush, to accomplish five specific missions: responsiveness in the event of natural disasters, humanitarian operations, medical aid, antinarcotics efforts, and cooperation in environmental and technology matters.
Early this year, WikiLeaks released very important US Embassy classified cables on Latin America. Some of them:
I. Mercosur is "Anti-American" [unites Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, with possbilities of Venezuela entry, in commercial cooperation, attributing less importance to US ALCA] (Reported by Pàgina 12, 3.7.2011; original cable here, May, 8 and 9, 2007)
Pàgina 12 comment:
For the first time, has come to light a State Department document of the US that qualifies Mercosur as an organization "anti-American. " Not recorded in any public records such references by a State Department official. The document which was obtained by filtration Página/12, Wikileaks reveals the contents of a US ambassadors meeting in the Southern Cone, in Rio de Janeiro.
II. "US Media War" in South America (Reported by Al-Jazeera, 3.26.2011; original cable here, 2007).
Passage of the cable:
"The U.S. cannot expect the regions leaders to rally to our defense; rather we need to more proactively make the case for and implement our transparent strategy for the region."
Barack Obama was totally null on Latin America affairs during his presidential campaign, for which many local commentators took breath and state at the time: "Well, maybe it can be a sign that the US will forget us, and care about its problems".
But it did not took much time for the US President to reveal his aggressive and corrupted policy for the region, as imperialst as his predecessor: in 2009, the US government was absolutely null to the violent military coup in Honduras, against the democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya, a leftist kidnaped by the local conservative militaries, exiled from the country (there are serious rumors that the US directly supported it, which would be "normal", taking into account both the current and historical reality).
Such a posture goes totally against the US allegations of being interested on peace and liberty for the region, as well as goes against its positions when its interests are at stake. As in the Middle East, Obama sent his message for Latin America.
Another attempt of coup directly sponsored by the US, took place in Ecuador in 2010: a leftist President largely supported by people, Rafael Correa has suffered, through his four years in the presidency, constant conspiracies and defamations by the conservative media and the elite. During the repressive attempt of coup aganist the Ecuatorian President, when the police attacked people, Unasul (Union of South American Nations) loudly supported the democratically elected president of Ecuador.
In October 2010, said Walter Isaacson, chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, recording the Cold War Times revealing, once again, how they seem to miss those black times in world history: “We can't allow ourselves to be out-communicated by our enemies. You've got Russia Today, Iran's Press TV, Venezuela's TeleSUR, and of course, China is launching an international broadcasting 24-hour news channel with correspondents around the world [and has] reportedly set aside $6 -10 billion dollars – we have to go to Capitol Hill with that number – to expand their overseas media operations”.
Mr. Isaacson's statement send us back towards WikiLeaks, in Obama times:
I. Strategy for Engaging Brazil on Defamation Religions - Getting the Support the Local Media Support (original cable here, 12.22.2009)
Passage of the cable:
"(...) O Estado de S. Paulo and O Globo, and Veja magazine, can devote themselves to report on risks that may arise from punishing those who defame religions, particularly among the country's elite. This mission has achieved significant success in deploying interviews ordered to reporters, with senior officials of the US government, and respected intellectuals (...)".
II. Under the Table, Washington Blames Mexico for Arms Trafficking (Reported by La Jornada and Telesur, March 2011; original cable here, 10.27.2009).
La Jornada comment:
Mexicans - president, attorney general, military ministers - claim, publicly and privately, that Washington holds the transfer of weapons, banned by law in Mexico whichnorth of the border. Meanwhile - now one knows - part of that illegal traffic had the green light from the government in Washington, through its covert operation known by its codename Fast and Furious. Thanks to this, is circulating in the country more than 2000 high-caliber rifles, out of control.
U.S. agencies involved, the ICE, by the Department of Homeland Security, and Control Agency of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, by the office of attorney general, had all access required. The result was the scandal of the Fast and Furious Operation, is not known how far goes the responsibility of the American Executive in this secret and failed operation.
Reported by Telesur:
"Firstly, I [Obama] did not authorize. Eric Holder, the Attorney General, has not authorized. (...) Not only the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were involved in smuggling arms into Mexico, as well as officials from the Department of Homeland Security, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Department of Customs and Immigration and Tax Department of Justice were at least aware of the controversial operation. (...) "This is a very big government, I have many spread pieces, " Obama said.
Well, it is really curious in this case that the US blames Mexico and Latin America for drugs crossing its borders, making of Americans the largest drug consumers in the world - an alledged reason for its "War on Drug" in the region, settling military bases in Colombia. But once discovered the official US arms trafficking towards Mexico, the Latin American country is summarily blamed for it, not the only world superpower for sending those arms.
It is worth recording a few more words by Professor Grandin, in the Guardian:
"Following their remarkable initial "discovery" and "capture" (the computers, we were told, survived a bombing raid completely unscathed), the Colombian military made "revelations" that quickly turned out to be false. A photo depicting a high-level Ecuadorian official meeting with the Farc was revealed to be a fake. Even more embarrassing, the Colombian military's claims that files showed the Farc were planning to make a 'dirty bomb' were publicly dismissed by the US government and terrorism experts.
"The documents' evidence of Venezuelan support for the Farc was so weak that Organisation of American States secretary general José Miguel Insulza told the US House subcommittee on western hemispheric affairs just a month later that there was "no evidence" of such support or collusion.
"US policy, during much of the Uribe administration (2002-2010), seemed designed to provoke tension between Colombia and Venezuela. Now, with Santos in office (...) promoters of this policy are again hoping to stir up trouble, through the IISS.
"The world is being asked to trust the word of former Bush administration intelligence officials and national security advisers – who help to oversee IISS's activities – and their counterparts in the UK, who include former advisers to Blair and Thatcher. The IISS expert chosen to present the dossier's findings this week in Washington, for example, is a former British intelligence officer who conducted intelligence operations in Latin America. Other notable IISS advisory council members include Robert D Blackwill (former deputy national security adviser to George W Bush), Eliot Cohen (formerly secretary of state Condoleezza Rice's senior adviser on strategic issues), Sir David Manning (formerly foreign policy adviser to Tony Blair) and Prince Faisal bin Salman bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia. In other words, some of the same people who deceived the people of the United States and the United Kingdom into invading Iraq now want us to believe their "revelations" about Venezuela, Ecuador and the Farc."
Ambassador Cason, "Mercosul is 'Anti-American'", released by WikiLeaks:
"Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is aggressively seeking to divide Latin America between those who buy into his populist anti-American policies and authoritarian message for those who seek to establish and strengthen free-market democratic based policies and institutions."
Well, perhaps Latin Americans are not so fighter as Iraqis and Afghans, but are surely mettlesome, have been prepared to defend their sovereignty as we have seen, and another thing is right and clear now: for Latin America, more and more, such US proposals for "liberty and peace" based on "free-market", really do not interest in the region.
Latin America urges the US lords of democracy to care its serious problems, stopping its ambassadors-spies job while the message from he region has been democratically emphatic: Latin Americans, for a long time, prefer their absurd and ridiculous Social-Democratic Allende, Joao Goulart, Morales, Kirchner... It has been the peoples' choice, a choice for their matchless richness.
by Edu Montesanti, on Nolan Chart (US), May 10, 2011
"With the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on Sept. 11, Bin Laden was elevated to the realm of evil in the American imagination once reserved for dictators like Hitler and Stalin. He was a new national enemy, his face on wanted posters. He gloated on videotapes, taunting the United States and Western civilization", wrote Ms. Kate Zernike in The New York Times on May 2, one day after the Osama bin Laden's death, leader of Al Qaeda and mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, one of the saddest days for this generation.
Since last May 1, we are watching a subtle, perfect and highly dangerous flash-back to the Bush-era, especially to post-9/11, by President Barack Obama, by the international media and by the American people. By Obama, through sayings and dones; by the media, for not discussing Bin Laden's killing in the context of the "War on Terror "(which we will briefly do here), for not questioning some key points about this murder (also will be exposed in the lines below), making of this death a "big spectacle" for the world public opinion as it was done on 9/11; and by Americans in general, for perfectly getting this message exactly as it was got after the 9/11, forgetting important implications about the death of the terrorist.
We will consider each of these "spectacular" points below, in order to understand the bottom of the current events, the level of the present and so-called U.S. victory, thus concluding what we can expect in the near future.
"The World Is Safer" (Obama Version, Seven Years Later)
"The world is safer. It is a better place to live, because of the death of Osama bin Laden," said President Barack Obama, in a White House ceremony last May 2, identical to Bush's words in July, 2004, after invading Afghanistan and Iraq, removing from local power both Taliban and Saddam Hussein, respectively. On the same day, in his announcement at the White House about Bin Laden's killing in Pakistan, the President, Nobel Peace Prize 2009, also declared: "Justice has been done".
First of all, justice has not been done anywhere unilaterally, without a trial - we must remember that the Nazis themselves were taken to the Nuremberg Trials, international courts specially created after World War II, to try the German crimes. Lesser, justice has been done as says Obama, as the SEALs killed Bin Laden and four other people at the small town Abbottabad, where the terrorist lived for six years, since none of those killed in the compound has never attacked the 25 Americans: they invaded the house only prepared to kill, as Obama himself proudly admits.
What justice is there without any proof of the action? The world has all current and historical reasons, to demand proofs lending doubt to the US President's words now. And even more: what justice is there, if the US denied Bin Laden's family the right of having his body to a funeral, something guaranteed by international law to anyone, anywhere, no matter how evil that person might have been? The Islam that Obama said to respect to "bury" Bin Laden at sea, does not preach such an act as the President says, except for deaths at sea without any possibility to be buried on land.
"But tonight, we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to," was one of the last Obama' words in his speech announcing to the world Bin Laden's killing. This declaration is the most theoretical evidence that for US politicians, the concept of power and actions find no limits in the world. And the practice of this criminal policy is as recent as the words themselves, which totally contradicts Obama's own professed sense of justice: such killing in Palistan completely goes against international law and the least sense of sovereignty, as US operations flew and attacked on its soil without prior permission from the local government, which was not even aware of it.
WikiLeaks has released more than 250 thousand secret cables from the US Embassy, adding to the already known History spying and all kind of sabotage by US politicians and its ambassadors, all over the world. What if one of these countries, victims of the American Embassy, decided to invade the US without any prior authorization and kidnap for instance Bush, whose crimes against humanity are much worst than the Bin Laden's, and "bury" him at sea without any accountability? What action do you think the media, international law and the US would take, what kind of reaction do you honestly imagine?
As said Leonardo Boff, a Brazilian theologian, "Revenge has been done, not justice". Likethe criminally arrogant Bush-era and its invasions, and Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, Obama is faithfully accomplishing the policy of the world's sheriff.
Hours or minutes after Obama had said that the world is safer now, the CIA and US politicians seriously and publicly feared further terrorist attacks by the al-Qaeda itself.
Like after 9/11, the media today is exceedingly triumphalist instead of being realistic, touching the feeling of the American people who accept it, dangerously repeating post-9/11 fatal mistakes. Bin Laden's death has been reported separately from the reality of the "War on Terror" (which itself has not been presented in its reality over the years, far from it).
One example is Ms. Zernike's article itself, diverting attention from the essence of the problem saying that Bin Laden taunted the "Western civilization", while in fact his claim as the other morbid terrorists' is the imperialist US policy in the Middle East.
What victory has been achieved in the fight against world terrorism by killing Bin Laden, nearly 10 years after the 9/11 attacks? What victory is there if Bin Laden was found by torturing prisioners at Guantanamo, not through fast and effective CIA operations? U.S. Intelligence failures originating before 9/11 were denounced by Richard Clarke: "(...) Frankly, I find it outrageous that the president is running for re-election on the grounds that he's done such great things about terrorism. He ignored it. He ignored terrorism for months, when maybe we could have done something to stop 9/11. Maybe. We'll never know".
What victory can there be in the fight against worldwide terrorism, if the U.S. government is so unsuccessful in this "War on Terror" as its intelligence? Al-Qaeda is actively operating in Iraq, which the terrorist network did not do before the US invasion to Afghanistan in 2011 at all. In both countries the US/NATO forces lead totally lost operations, killing many more civilians than military targets or even terrorists themselves (videos and photos on Edu Montesanti's blog, pages 8, 9, 10 and 11). In Afghanistan, the Taliban is getting stronger year by year, as the warlords of the Northern Alliance put in power by the US, commit the same crimes against the population that the Taliban themselves, with one difference: during the Taliban years in power, opium production in the country was about 0% of the total world production, while today under the Northern Alliance this production is above 93% - with the participation of the CIA, according to local sources.
Given the anti-American feeling only grows throughout the Middle East, what victory does the US cheer today?
Let us remember some of the best moments of the media spectacles in this "War on Terror", during the Bush administration, much similar to the current coverage:
One Nation, Indivisible: strongly touched American sensibilities after the 9/11, Time magazine and the media in general forgot that Bush was corrupt (recently, he had won the 2000 presidential election through fraud in Florida, as well as corruption in Ohio in 2004 re-election, and it was proved his involvement in the scandal of Enron), and forgot, or postponed, the reality of the economic crisis in people's minds.
Americans generously accepted the reality sold by the media, on behalf of a patriot plea which generated a hysteria similar to the German's in their years of severe crisis after the World War I (such a plea and feeling are always the motor for totalitarian regimes)
Hussein was executed with "expression of fear on his face", said CNN. First, it is very curious about what we were supposed to expect from whom was ready to be hanged - laughter? Jokes?. Secondly, neither CNN nor any mass medium have never reported the serious crime committed on filming Saddam Hussein' hanging. Thirdly, they never remind us that Hussein had no connection with bin Laden, and that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq - the reasons for invading the country.
Politicians Spectacles and the Lessons Learned Never
Foreign Policy magazine reminded important contradictions by US politicians, before and after Bin Laden's killing. Let us consider these contradictions:
George W. Bush, March 13, 2002: "Terror is bigger than one person. And he's just -- he's a person who's now been marginalized. (...) I don't know where he is. You know, I just don't spend that much time on him.
"This momentous achievement marks a victory for America, for people who seek peace around the world, and for all those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001. The fight against terror goes on, but tonight America has sent an unmistakable message: No matter how long it takes, justice will be done."
Nancy Pelosi, Sept. 7, 2006: "And even if he is caught tomorrow, it is five years too late. He has done more damage the longer he has been out there. But, in fact, the damage that he has done is done. And even to capture him now I don't think makes us any safer."
May 2, 2011: "The death of Osama bin Laden marks the most significant development in our fight against al Qaeda. I salute President Obama, his national security team, [CIA] Director Panetta, our men and women in the intelligence community and military, and other nations who supported this effort for their leadership in achieving this major accomplishment.
Mitt Romney, April 26, 2011: [Romney] said the country would be safer by only "a small percentage" and would see "a very insignificant increase in safety" if al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was caught because another terrorist would just rise to power. "It's not worth moving heaven and earth spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person," Romney said.
May 2, 2011: "This is a great victory for lovers of freedom and justice everywhere.... Congratulations to our intelligence community, our military and the president. My thoughts are with the families of Osama bin Laden's many thousands of victims, and the brave servicemen and women who have laid down their lives in pursuit of this murderous terrorist."
Dick Cheney, Sept. 10, 2006:"He's not the only source of the problem, obviously..... If you killed him tomorrow, you'd still have a problem with al Qaeda, with Zawahiri, and the others."
May 2, 2011: Though bin Laden is dead, the war goes on. We must remain vigilant, especially now, and we must continue to support our men and women in uniform who are fighting on the front lines of this war every day. Today, the message our forces have sent is clear -- if you attack the United States, we will find you and bring you to justice."
Donald Rumsfeld, April 8, 2002: "Some of the senior people, al Qaeda and Taliban, are still at large. And we're still looking for them. It is interesting to me that Osama bin Laden doesn't seem to be putting out any videotapes lately."
May 2, 2011: "The man who once called the United States 'a paper tiger' and issued a fatwa to 'kill all Americans' believed that our nation would not strike back if provoked. Today that man, responsible for the deaths of 3,000 Americans on September 11th, Osama bin Laden, is dead. It is an achievement of which our country can be proud."
Barack Obama, Jan. 18, 2009: "My preference obviously would be to capture or kill him. But if we have so tightened the noose that he's in a cave somewhere and can't even communicate with his operatives then we will meet our goal of protecting America."
May 2, 2011: "For over two decades, bin Laden has been al Qaeda's leader and symbol, and has continued to plot attacks against our country and our friends and allies. The death of bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation's effort to defeat al Qaeda."
Extra - John McCainon the sovereignty of Pakistan,
July 28, 2008 LARRY KING: "If you were president and knew that bin Laden was in Pakistan, you know where, would you have U.S. forces go in after him?"
JOHN MCCAIN: "Larry, I'm not going to go there and here's why, because Pakistan is a sovereign nation. I think the Pakistanis would want bin Laden out of their hair and out of their country and it's causing great difficulties in Pakistan itself."
May 2, 2011: "I commend the president and his team, as well as our men and women in uniform and our intelligence professionals, for this superb achievement.
Now let us see some results of their rhetoric, as politicians, in practice, take advantage of terror:
After killing Bin Laden, Obama jumped 11% approval among Americans, now reaching 57% in a The New York Times/CBS News survey.
On the eve of 9/11, the approval rating for Bush was not superior to 57%, according to Gallup. After the terrorist attacks, the rate reached 90% approval, oscilating in the subsequent months, rose to 75% during the Iraq invasion. After that, his rating fell (see graphic): Bush left the White House with 22% approval, according to CBS/The New York Times, one of the most unpopular departing US presidents in history. The graveness of the economic crisis reached heights about Americans, so they could no longer deceive themselves.
That leads us a little more back in time, reminding us of the strong similarities to the Bush senior administration, before invading Iraq in 1991, Bush's approval rating was around 30%. After the so short first gulf war that lasted 100 days, his ratings struck 90%. A year later, Bush was defeated by William Clinton in the presidential election, leaving a growing income concentration: when Clinton took office, 1% of Americans had at the time 70% of national wealth, and 40% of people lived below the poverty line (source: A Outra Amèrica: Apogeu, Crise e Decadência dos Estados Unidos, José Arbex Junior. Editora Moderna, Brazil).
"Finally ... Peace." Sure?
Today, Americans once again welcome the loud patriot message of the media: as in the Bush senior times, when he decided to invade Iraq, it did not matter to people the economic crises, nor that the US had launched the Mini-Nuke on Iraq, nuclear weaponsfrom 6 to 30 times more powerful than the atomic bomb that devastated Hiroshima at the end of World War II. Bush the father's ratings meteorically rose.
Today, Americans once again embrace President's message of justice without law, as done in the Bush Jr. administration when it did not matter if Afghanistan had not attacked the U.S. first, which goes against international law US Constitution itself. At the time, it did not matter if the Taliban had offered to extradite Bin Laden if the US could prove any link between the Afghan government with the terrorist, which Bush summarily rejected. Even so, his popularity was above all the crises and all his crimes.
As in the Bush administration, when it did no matter whether the UN, through the resolution 1441, assured that Iraq under Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction - even so Bush invaded the country and killed the former dictator - today, no matter if Obama, in contrast to his loud campaign promises, keeps running Guantanamo and its tortures. No matter if the President invaded Libya (a richcountry in oil) massacring civilians, fighting the same Muammar Gaddafi that the US supported in prior years, while today Obama himself supports other cruel dictatorships in the region, like Saudi Arabia. Even so, Americans have gone out to the streets to dance with bottles of champagne to celebrate the verdict of the new world emperor, and the President's approval rose overnight, as we reported more above.
Hitler killed himself in 1945. Stalin would die eight years later. The infamous Vietnam war and the shame of the U.S. there are a remote past, and communism collapsed. Hussein and Bin Laden are died. From nightmare to nightmare, among their endless enemies the emperors in fashion also remember our animated and cheap bread and circuses, while their watchdogs from the media distort reality.
Terrorism can never be defeated with terrorist responses, and global terror or even Al Qaeda have not died with Bin Laden. Now, we cannot do anything but wait to see what will it take for Americans wake up from this marvelous dream, to see reality again. It seems that economic issues better wake up people, than sacrificed lives. Americans, instead of reflecting, enthusiastically celebrate the death of others. This only incites terror in chorus with politicians and their policies. History will show us how and when Americans will open their eyes, if at all.
U.S. politicians have learned well the lesson of Vietnam: when facing the truth, the local public opinion is strong, strong enough to stop the illegal acts of the rulers. After the Vietnam War, have come the biggest extraordinary lies of the media. While Al-Qaeda vows to revenge the US and Americans everywhere, it is crucial that Americans with their culture of capital revenge, learn their lesson. History is used to revenging, too.
Recommendation: Leading to War (film documentaries about the lies which led to the Iraq invasion)