What makes US progressives think that the Lords of Capital will be more tolerant of austerity-busting ‘socialists’ here at home than they are with Venezuela?
“Imperialism permeates U.S. culture, infecting most American brands of leftism and even ‘socialism.’”
The historical U.S. embrace of apartheid Israel is rooted in much more than “the Benjamins” wielded by Zionist lobbies. The two most lawless states on the planet revel in their shared roguishness, bound together by race-based colonial ideologies that sanction and celebrate their crimes against humanity. Were it not for the U.S. superpower, there would be no State of Israel, an outpost of Europe in Arabia that most white Americans perceive as inhabited by kindred souls surrounded by savages, like the settlers of American mythology. It is the United States’ “exceptional” duty to arm and protect the “chosen” people of Israel, whose expansionist imperatives are perceived as benign and defensive, mimicking American Manifest Destiny.
White evangelicals -- once and still the greatest source of anti-Semitism in the U.S. – are paradoxically the firmest supporters of Warrior Israel and its Bible-mandated role in ushering in the coming “tribulation” and Christ’s defeat of evil. Accordingly, 53 percent of evangelical Christians supported President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, while 63 percent of the general U.S. public opposed the move. Rev. William Alberts, the “Counterpunch Minister,” writesthat 87 percent of U.S. white evangelicals rallied to George Bush’s Iraq war because their spiritual leaders thought the invasion “would create exciting new prospects for proselytizing Muslims.” Rev. Albert calls this “Biblically legitimized imperialism,” but white Americans don’t require divine sanction to find excuses for killing non-whites. It’s how the West was won, and how the U.S. became a superpower.
“Israel’s expansionist imperatives are perceived as benign and defensive, mimicking American Manifest Destiny.”
Racialized imperialism is embedded in the white American worldview, including most whites that call themselves “progressives” – which is why so many of them support U.S. “humanitarian” military intervention in places like Libya and Syria, and now Venezuela. Humanitarian interventionists share with George Bush and Donald Trump the belief that the U.S. has the right – no, the responsibility – to use its superpowers to “protect” other peoples from their own governments. No such right exists in international law or the United Nations Charter, but American exceptionalism trumps international law -- in white American imaginations.
Even the congressional “progressives” that co-sponsored Rep. Ro Khanna’s bill demanding an end to economic sanctions and military threatsagainst Venezuela feel the necessity to meddle in – and to lie about -- that country’s internal affairs. In a letter to Secretary of State Pompeo, Congressman Khanna felt compelled to buttress the U.S. disinformation campaignagainst Venezuela, even as he urged a halt to Washington’s. aggression:
“We strongly condemn the Maduro government's actions, including repression of Venezuelan civil society, failed economic policy, the killing of unarmed protestors, disregard for the rule of law, the holding of unfair elections, and blocking humanitarian aid from entering the country. However, threats of military intervention against a failed autocrat who poses no threat to our national security are simply unacceptable.”
“Congressman Khanna felt compelled to buttress the U.S. disinformation campaignagainst Venezuela.”
With friends like these… But, that’s what passes for progressivism in the belly of the empire. Imperialism permeates U.S. culture, infecting most American brands of leftism and even “socialism.” Khanna is a lying propaganda-spewer who only seems to be a decent human being when compared to his interlocutor, Mike Pompeo. In a press briefingat the State Department this week, Pompeo accomplished a total inversion of truth.
U.S. cyber warfare is widely seen as behind the power blackout in Venezuela. Pompeo gloated at the paralysis and hardship inflicted on millions. “Over the past few days,” he bragged, “Venezuelans have been thrown literally into darkness thanks to a massive electrical blackout. Patients awaiting treatment in hospitals are dying, food is rotting, telecommunication networks are entirely collapsing.” Whodonit? Socialism did it.
“Nicolas Maduro promised Venezuelans a better life in a socialist paradise, and he delivered on the socialism part, which has proved time and time again is a recipe for economic ruin," said Pompeo. "The paradise part, not so much. Just consider the facts. The World Bank ranks Venezuela’s business environment 188th out of 190 countries. Only Somalia and Eritrea are worse. The United States did not do that.”
“Pompeo gloated at the paralysis and hardship inflicted on millions.”
Yes, it did. The U.S. has waged a generation-long campaign of economic sabotage and political destabilization against Venezuela, culminating in the outright theft of every national asset that Washington and its imperial allies could lay their hands on, supposedly on behalf of their designated Quisling, Juan Guaido. The U.S. has imposed a virtual blockade -- an act of war – designed to cause widespread misery and bloody revolt. More than coveting oil, of which the U.S. has plenty, the aim is to overthrow the government and discredit the very idea of socialism.
“One month of food today for an average Venezuelan costs a family more than 100 times the monthly minimum wage,” said the top U.S. diplomat, gleefully. “Nearly 70 percent of Venezuelan hospitals lack basic medicines. More than 90 percent of Venezuelans live below the poverty line. All of this brought to you by the socialism of Maduro.”
The Cubans, who have endured three generations of blockade by the U.S, are portrayed as the other evil aggressors against the Venezuelan people, having cruelly sent nearly 20,000 doctors to treat millions of patients in the poor corners of the country. Together, according to Pompeo, the Maduro and Cuban governments constitute, “a deeply corrupt ruling class.”
“The U.S. has imposed a virtual blockade -- an act of war – designed to cause widespread misery and bloody revolt.”
Imperialism steals even the language of revolution. It is a system of omni-theft that is trying to snatch away the world’s future because it has no future of its own, not even a glimmer of a vision. Nor does U.S. imperialism have a legal leg to stand on, which is why Washington’s lawless aggressions are instead backed by “coalitions of the willing” comprised mainly of former colonial powers, the English-speaking white settler states, and various Arab kleptocracies. Three quarters of the world’s nations continue to recognize the lawful government in Caracas, while about 50, mostly white-led states side with the superpower. The South American nations that aligned with Washington are led by white elites that oppress their Black, brown and indigenous populations, as was the case in Venezuela before the election of Nicolas Maduro’s late predecessor, Hugo Chavez.
“The nations that support Maduro are, by the nature of this illegitimate regime, carrying out the very foreign interventionism of which they accuse others,” said Pompeo, aiming his remarks at Russia and China but finally acknowledging that Washington stands accused of multitudinous crimes against humanity and against peace.
“The South American nations that aligned with Washington are led by white elites that oppress their Black, brown and indigenous populations.”
The U.S. empire is once again drawing a line around the planet, as George Bush did at the outset of his war against Iraq. “Today,” said Pompeo, “the United States is drawing a clear line between those who aid the forces of repression and those who give life to the Venezuelan people’s democratic dreams.” Or, as Bush put it, “You are with us or against us.” The strategy, this time, is to assault the trading rights of all nations that do not participate in the illegal blockade of Venezuela, in an attempt to create a global regime of ILLEGALITY under the dominion of the United States. And, to outlaw socialism within that domain.
U.S. progressives like Rep. Khanna heap lies and scorn on the Venezuelan project while demanding that the U.S. government refrain from illegal economic and military warfare against Caracas. They thus hope to shield themselves from charges of “aiding the forces of repression,” as defined by Pompeo and his ilk. What makes them think that the Lords of Capital -- the class that the national security state and the leaders of both corporate parties answer to – will be more tolerant of austerity-busting “socialists” here at home than they are with Venezuela, where the socialist project had, in fact, never gone beyond the most tentative stages before the oil price collapse and U.S. sanctions plunged the economy in crisis? (See “A Venezuelan Union Leader’s Analysis of Crisis” in this week’s BAR.)
The chickens of ideologically justified U.S. lawlessness abroad are coming home to roost -- maybe as soon as this presidential cycle, which threatens to pit a nominal socialist who is unacceptable to much of the ruling class against an undependable incumbent who has been largely delegitimized by the bulk of the ruling class-allied media. What are the Lords of Capital and their operatives capable of doing to avoid losing direct control of both governing parties in the headquarters state of imperialism?
Maduro knows he has to watch his back. Bernie better learn.
BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at [email protected].
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