Category Archives: Foreign Policy

U.S. Regional Imperialism: Big Sticks, and Even Bigger Guns, by Danny Sjursen

There are a myriad of good reasons why people in Latin America want Yankees to go home. From Danny Sjursen at theamericanconservative.com

Our history in Latin America is marked by arrogance and aggression. Is what’s happening in Venezuela any different?

Uncle Sam straddles the Americas while wielding a big stick labeled ‘Monroe Doctrine.’ American cartoon by Louis Dalrymple, 1905. (public domain)
Uncle Sam doesn’t have the best track record in Latin America. Few foreign policy elites seem to care. Yet, in what the regional proconsul, Admiral Craig Faller of Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), recently called “our hemisphere” and “our neighborhood,” the actual residents haven’t forgotten. Odds are, the U.S. will be even less welcome after the latest local adventure, the bizarre foiled American mercenary-led coup meant to topple President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela.

It is tempting and not unreasonable to dismiss the recent folly as an incompetent one-off. No doubt, by any practical measure it must be judged—an appropriate term since “Operation Gideon,” was named for a biblical Hebrew jurist—a total failure. Karl Marx famously intoned that “history repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce.” Seen thus, the disastrous 1961 CIA-sponsored Bay of Pigs invasion of Fidel Castro’s Cuba counts as the tragedy; and the newest escapade as farce. Neat though the analogy be, this would be a mistake.

The broad contours of the coup attempt are widely reported. Combat-seasoned former U.S. green berets from the private military company Silvercorp, allegedly negotiated a lucrative contract with the Venezuelan opposition to violently replace Maduro with Juan Guaidó. The mission fell apart for a variety of reasons: incompetence, internecine division, and regime infiltration. Yet, for all the drama involved its occurrence wasn’t a total shock.

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The Trump Administration Kills Coldly in Yemen, Putting Jobs Before Lives, by Doug Bandow

Why has America been Saudi Arabia’s bitch for so long? From Doug Bandow at antiwar.com:

Many observers have been mystified by the Saudi regime’s hold over President Donald Trump. For years he had criticized the gaggle of corrupt, dissolute royals. He also asked why Americans were paying to defend the wealthy, licentious al-Saud family, as it practiced totalitarianism at home and promoted Islamic fundamentalism abroad, including in America.

Yet Trump made his first trip as president to Saudi Arabia. Some observers wondered if Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had salvaged his infamous orb from Mordor’s collapse eons ago and used it to take control of the president’s mind. No other explanation made sense.

Now the New York Times reports that the fault lies with Peter Navarro, the protectionist aide who spends much of his time urging economic and real war with China. He apparently was instrumental in convincing the president to put the profits of munition makers before the lives of Yemenis.

Consider the tragedy that had befallen Yemen, a deeply divided and tragically impoverished nation. During the Arab Spring the Yemeni people ousted the longtime president, leaving a weak and unpopular successor. The former chief executive joined a longtime rebel movement to overthrow the government. All par for the course in a divided land that has never known peace or stability.

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What on Earth Is the US Doing by Bombing Somalia? by Danny Sjursen

In answer to the title question, it’s clear that Somalia poses a clear and present danger to the US and its citizens, and should be bombed into oblivion. From Danny Sjursen at antiwar.com:

The Trump administration has quietly ramped up a vicious bombing – and covert raiding – campaign in Somalia amid a global coronavirus pandemic. Neither the White House nor the Pentagon has provided any explanation for the deadly escalation of a war that Congress hasn’t declared and the media rarely reports. At stake are many thousands of lives.

The public statistics show a considerable increase in airstrikes from Obama’s presidency. From 2009 to 2016, the U.S. military’s Africa Command (AFRICOM) announced 36 airstrikes in Somalia. Under Trump, it conducted at least 63 bombing raids just last year, with another 39 such attacks in the first four months of 2020. The ostensible US target has usually been the Islamist insurgent group al-Shabab, but often the real – or at least consequent – victims are long-embattled Somali civilians.

As for the most direct victims, it’s become clear that notoriously image-conscious AFRICOM public affairs officers have long undercounted and underreported the number of civilians killed in their expanding aerial bombardments. According to Airwars, a UK-based airstrike monitoring group, civilian fatalities – while low relative to other bombing campaigns in Iraq, Afghanistan, or Syria – may exceed official Pentagon estimates by as much as 6,800 percent. Only these deaths don’t tell the half of it. Tens of thousands of Somalis have fled areas that the US regularly bombs, filtering into already overcrowded refugee camps outside of the capital of Mogadishu.

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A Bicephalous Monoparty and the Four Pillars, by Fred Reed

In America all political debate is a sideshow to divert attention from the fact that we always get more power for an ever expanding government and less freedom for the people. In this, all respectable opinion is in agreement. From Fred Reed at unz.com:

Totalitarianism for Dummies

The genius of America’s totalitarian system of government is that it is not totally total, and sometimes not very totalitarian at all. It is just total enough. Truly total government–“Your papers, citizen,” stop-and-frisk, permission needed to travel from city to city–might spark revolt. By contrast, a sufficiency of totalitarianism, but not an excess, keeps the populace in adequate torpidity. Thus done astutely, totalitarianism is hardly noticed.

The founder of this philosophy was that rascal, Abe Lincoln. As we have all heard in what has become almost a cliche, he said, “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.” He wisely did not add, “…but you can fool enough of the people enough of the time.”

Lincoln’s Principle of Sufficiency is the First Pillar of Practical Totalitarianism. The Second Pillar is reliance on the private sector for effectuation. This gives the government plausible deniability. For example, Google has all your email for decades back, This is annoying but not truly alarming. If the federal government (openly) collected emails, conservatives would shriek about…totalitarianism. But Google isn’t the government–is it?

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The Foreign Policy Blob Strikes Back: We’re Just Fine, Proclaim Architects of Endless Wars, by Doug Bandow

The foreign policy blob is like an autonomous vehicle that repeatedly rams into people and other vehicles and just keeps going. From Doug Bandow at antiwar.com:

Ben Rhodes, who served as President Barack Obama’s deputy national security adviser, labeled the nation’s foreign policy elite as “the Blob.” Members of this well-educated, well-connected group disagree on peripherals but agree on essentials of foreign policy. Their almost unanimous bottom line is that the U.S. government must run the world.

The result over the last couple decades has been catastrophic. Thousands of dead Americans. Tens of thousands injured, many maimed horribly. Hundreds of thousands of dead civilians in the nations Washington was supposed to be liberating. Millions of people driven from their homes. Trillions of dollars wasted. Enemy nations empowered. Terrorists created. America’s reputation shattered.

Heck’uva job, Blob members!

The problem with the professional foreign policy class is not that its members hate children. That they are unpatriotic. That they are stupid. Or that they have bad intentions.

Rather, the problem is their underlying philosophy, a predisposition to use American power against friends and foes alike. They assume the ability and duty to micro-manage the globe, engaging in social engineering here, there, and everywhere. Perhaps no one better captures this philosophy than former secretary of state Madeleine Albright, a fount of foolhardy internationalist aphorisms.

First, the Blob knows what is best: “We stand tall and we see further than other countries into the future, and we see the danger here to all of us,” she declared. Second, the Blob gets to decide: “we think the price is worth it,” Albright responded when asked about the death of a half million babies due to sanctions on Iraq. Third, to achieve its ends the Blob is entitled to treat Americans as pawns in a global chess game: “What’s the use of having this superb military you’re always talking about if we can’t use it,” she famously asked Colin Powell, then chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

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FBI ‘Mistakenly’ Releases 9/11 Bombshell In Court: Key Saudi Diplomat Who “Tasked” Hijackers Named, by Tyler Durden

Slowly, very slowly, the curtain is being drawn back on official Saudi Arabian complicity in the 9/11 attacks. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

It’s being called “a complete government cover-up of the Saudi involvement” according to 9/11 victims’ families who are in a lengthy ongoing lawsuit seeking to expose Saudi involvement in the 9/11 attacks and US efforts to cover it up.

A new bombshell has been dropped which the families of victims are hailing a huge success: FBI court documents inadvertently left a key Saudi embassy official’s name unredacted, revealing one of the government’s most sensitive secrets regarding the September 11 attacks and state sponsorship.

A Yahoo News exclusive reveals, based on what has since been admitted as “a giant screw-up,” the identity of “a mysterious Saudi Embassy official in Washington who agents suspected had directed crucial support to two of the al-Qaida hijackers.”

 

Impeachment Boomerang: Contacts exposed between US embassy, Hunter Biden-connected Ukraine firm, by John Solomon

Contrary to her sworn testimony, former US ambassador to the Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch was well aware of Ukrainian firm Burisma’s connection to Hunter Biden and its efforts to clean up its image. She met with a Burisma representative and there were extensive communications about Burisma within the embassy. From John Solomon at justthenews.com:

During President Trump’s impeachment, former U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch testified to Congress that she knew little beyond an initial briefing and “press reports” about Burisma Holdings, the Ukrainian natural gas firm that had hired Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter and was dogged by a corruption investigation.

“It just wasn’t a big deal,” she declared under oath on Oct. 11, 2019.

But newly unearthed State Department memos obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show Yovanovitch’s embassy in Kiev, including the ambassador herself, was engaged in several discussions and meetings about Burisma as the gas firm scrambled during the 2016 election and transition to settle a long-running corruption investigation and polish its image before President Trump took office.

Yovanovitch, for instance, was specifically warned in an email by her top deputy in September 2016 — three years before her testimony — that Burisma had hired an American firm with deep Democratic connections called Blue Star Strategies to “rehabilitate the reputation” of the Ukrainian gas firm and that it had placed “Hunter Biden on its board,” the memos show.

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