Category Archives: History

Venezuela’s collapse is a window into how the Oil Age will unravel, by Nafeez Ahmed

A comprehensive examination of Venezuela’s oil industry, mostly free of political dogma. From Nafeez Ahmed at medium.com:

For some, the crisis in Venezuela is all about the endemic corruption of Nicolás Maduro, continuing the broken legacy of Chavez’s ideological experiment in socialism under the mounting insidious influence of Putin. For others, it’s all about the ongoing counter-democratic meddling of the United States, which has for years wanted to bring Venezuela — with its huge oil reserves — back into the orbit of American power, and is now interfering again to undermine a democratically elected leader in Latin America.

Neither side truly understands the real driving force behind the collapse of Venezuela: we have moved into the twilight of the Age of Oil.

So how does a country like Venezuela with the largest reserves of crude oil in the world end up incapable of developing them? While various elements of socialism, corruption and neoliberal capitalism are all implicated in various ways, what no one’s talking about — especially the global oil industry — is that over the last decade, we’ve shifted into a new era. The world has moved from largely extracting cheap, easy crude, to becoming increasingly dependent on unconventional forms of oil and gas that are much more difficult and expensive to produce.

Oil isn’t running out, in fact, it’s everywhere — we’ve more than enough to fry the planet. But as the easy, cheap stuff has plateaued, production costs have soared. And as a consequence the most expensive oil to produce has become increasingly unprofitable.

In a country like Venezuela, emerging from a history of US interference, plagued by internal economic mismanagement, combined with external intensifying pressure from US sanctions, this decline in profitability became fatal.

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Homo Credulus, by Joel Bowman

Humanity will joyfully embrace almost everything, except the truth. From Joel Bowman at internationalman.com:

Man: He’ll go along with just about anything.

Given the right circumstances… a little programing… and enough time for it all to marinate in his soft, mammalian brain… there is almost nothing Homo Credulus will not learn to embrace.

Don’t believe us?

Take a look at the historical record; you’ll soon wonder how we ever got this far.

Sure, you’ll discover gizmos and flying contraptions… art and agriculture… music and mathematics. You’ll witness spectacular scientific breakthroughs, the number “0” and a man’s footprint on the moon. You’ll also find automobiles with so many cup holders, you won’t know where to holster your oversized 7/11 Big Gulp.

But you’ll also scratch you head. Perhaps you’ll even weep. And if you think hard enough, you’ll put a few things to serious question…

“Central banks?” “Modern democracy?” “The Rosie O’Donnell Show?”

How has mankind survived such atrocities? Self inflicted, no less! And why, moreover, does he rush so earnestly to repeat and replay his worst mistakes?

Don’t be too hard on yourself, Dear Reader. After all, repetition is nothing new…

You’ll recall that it was the Greeks who first gave the world democracy – from the Greek, dēmokratía, literally “Rule by ‘People’”. (And yes, it was those very same Greeks who put their own beloved Socrates to death… by a majority vote of 140-361.)

Today, democracy is a cherished tenet of “the West.” It is woven into the civic religion, sewn into the social fabric. Men march off eagerly to fight for it, to proselytize it … and to die in forgotten ditches defending it.

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Globalists Want Venezuela As The Next Jewel In Their Crown, by Richard Enos

Who wouldn’t want one of the world’s biggest pools of oil? From Richard Enos at collective-evolution.com:

IN BRIEF
  • The Facts:Juan Guaidó, the 35-year-old leader of Venezuela’s opposition-controlled national assembly, recently declared himself president of Venezuela, as part of a globalist-backed coup in attempt to overthrow recently inaugurated president Nicolas Maduro.
  • Reflect On:What are the ways in which we are continuing to condone these geopolitical activities? Are we having trouble separating Western propaganda from our basic human values?

The attempted coup taking place in Venezuela right now is very instructive for those seeking to better understand the current geopolitical power struggle, as it is one of the most transparent illustrations of the well-worn tactics employed by the forces behind Western hegemony.

Ideologies such as ‘socialism,’ ‘economic growth’ and ‘democracy’ continue to be bandied about in mainstream discourse with the highest degree of distortion. This is often intentional in order to justify political and military action that simply enriches the global elite at the expense of humanity at large. The problem is that much of the general public in the West continue to support these tactics by failing to see the thinly-veiled hypocrisy inherent in them.

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The CIA Then and Now: Old Wine in New Bottles, by Edward Curtin

Only those of strong constitution should delve into the sordid history of the CIA. For those so constituted, this article by Edward Curtin is a gem. From Curtin at edwardcurtin.com:

“And as the flames climbed high into the night
To light the sacrificial rite
I saw Satan laughing with delight
The day the music died”

– Don McLean, “American Pie”

The Nazis had a name for their propaganda and mind-control operations: weltanschauungskrieg – “world view warfare.”  As good students, they had learned many tricks of the trade from their American teachers, including Sigmund Freud’s nephew, Edward Bernays, who had honed his propagandistic skills for the United States during World War I and had subsequently started the public relations industry in New York City, an industry whose raison d’ȇtre from the start was to serve the interests of the elites in manipulating the public mind.

In 1941, U.S. Intelligence translated weltanschauungskrieg as “psychological warfare,” a phrase that fails to grasp the full dimensions of the growing power and penetration of U.S. propaganda, then and now.  Of course, the American propaganda apparatus was just then getting started on an enterprise that has become the epitome of successful world view warfare programs, a colossal beast whose tentacles have spread to every corner of the globe and whose fabrications have nestled deep within the psyches of many hundreds of millions of Americans and people around the world.  And true to form in this circle game of friends helping friends, this propaganda program was ably assisted after WW II by all the Nazis secreted into the U.S. (“Operation Paperclip”) by Allen Dulles and his henchmen in the OSS and then the CIA to make sure the U.S. had operatives to carry on the Nazi legacy (see David Talbot’s The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, The CIA, and The Rise of America’s Secret Government, an extraordinary book that will make your skin crawl with disgust).

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If the Army Stands With Maduro, What Is Plan B? by Patrick J. Buchanan

As in most dictatorships, or call it an authoritarian regime if you’d like, the military plays the essential role in Venezuela. From Patrick J. Buchanan at buchanan.org:

“Pay the soldiers. The rest do not matter.”

This was the deathbed counsel given to his sons by Roman Emperor Septimius Severus in A.D. 211.

Nicolas Maduro must today appreciate the emperor’s insight.

For the political survival of this former bus driver and union boss hangs now upon whether Venezuela’s armed forces choose to stand by him or to desert him and support National Assembly leader Juan Guaido.

Wednesday, Guaido declared Maduro’s election last May to a second six-year term to be a sham, and had himself inaugurated as acting president.

Thursday, the defense minister and army chief General Vladimir Padrino Lopez, with his top brass, dismissed the 35-year-old Guaido as a U.S. puppet, and pledged allegiance to Maduro.

Friday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the U.N. Security Council: “Now it is time for every other nation to pick a side. … Either you stand with the forces of freedom, or you’re in league with Maduro and his mayhem.”

By Friday, however, the world had already taken sides.

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Venezuela – A Case Of Socialist-Organized Theft, by Daniel Lacalle

Setting aside the issue of whether or not the US should be trying to force regime change in Venezuela, the economy there is a disaster and would be even in the absence of economic sanctions from the US. From Daniel Lacalle at dlacalle.com:

Much has been written about the economic disaster perpetrated by the Maduro-Chavez regime in Venezuela. The magnitude of it is simply difficult to match. A sad global example of how to destroy a rich country.

The mistake that many make is to think that this wreck has been caused by a combination of incompetence and folly. And they are wrong. The Venezuelan socialist regime has carried out the largest organized robbery in history and has done so with a perfectly designed plan.

The plan was always to expropriate the wealth of the whole country for the benefit of a few political leaders through plundering, destruction of currency and decapitalizacón of the state oil company

What has happened to Venezuela is not a disaster or a coincidence, it is socialism.

It is important to start by debunking the lies of the regime propaganda:

The nonexistent blockade. The United States is one of Venezuela’s largest trading partners. Trade between the United States and Venezuela in 2018 grew by more than 9%. Venezuela has bilateral trade agreements with more than 70 countries. Chavismo, like the Castro regime in Cuba, manipulates its followers by calling the sanctions against members of the regime and the fraudulent use of the country’s funds a “blockade”. The only blockade suffered by Venezuela is that of Chavismo against its citizens.

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The U.S. Military’s Lost Wars, by William J. Astore

Once upon a time militaries were supposed to win wars. From William J. Astore ate tomdispatch.com:

Overfunded, Overhyped, and Always Over There

One of the finest military memoirs of any generation is Defeat Into Victory, British Field Marshal Sir William Slim’s perceptive account of World War II’s torturous Burma campaign, which ended in a resounding victory over Japan. When America’s generals write their memoirs about their never-ending war on terror, they’d do well to choose a different title: Victory Into Defeat. That would certainly be more appropriate than those on already published accounts like Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez’s Wiser in Battle: A Soldier’s Story (2008), or General Stanley McChrystal’s My Share of the Task (2013).

Think about it. America’s Afghan War began in 2001 with what was essentially a punitive raid against the Taliban, part of which was mythologized last year in 12 Strong, a Hollywood film with a cavalry charge that echoed the best of John Wayne. That victory, however, quickly turned first into quagmire and then, despite various “surges” and a seemingly endless series of U.S. commanders (17 so far), into a growing sense of inevitable defeat. Today, a resurgent Taliban exercises increasing influenceover the hearts, minds, and territory of the Afghan people. The Trump administration’s response so far has been a mini-surge of several thousand troops, an increase in air and drone strikes, and an attempt to suppressaccurate reports from the Pentagon’s special inspector general for Afghan reconstruction about America’s losing effort there.

Turn now to the invasion of Iraq: in May 2003, President George W. Bush cockily announced “Mission Accomplished” from the deck of an aircraft carrier, only to see victory in Baghdad degenerate into insurgency and a quagmire conflict that established conditions for the rise of the Islamic State. Gains in stability during a surge of U.S. forces orchestrated by General David Petraeus in 2007 and hailed in Washington as a fabulous success story proved fragile and reversible. An ignominious U.S. troop withdrawal in 2011 was followed in 2014 by the collapse of that country’s American-trained and armed military in the face of modest numbers of Islamic State militants. A recommitment of U.S. troops and air power brought Stalingrad-style devastation to cities like Mosul and Ramadi, largely reduced to rubble, while up to 1.3 million children were displaced from their homes. All in all, not exactly the face of victory.

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