Sunday, January 27, 2019

A View From The Boston Local Left -NEW WARS / OLD WARS – What Could Possibly Go Wrong

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NEW WARS / OLD WARS – What Could Possibly Go Wrong

I don’t claim to know all the facts about what is happening in Venezuela but I do know that the US has no right to intervene into the affairs of any sovereign country, even if the situation is not ideal from the point of view of democracy or local policies. This is true of Venezuela – and of Nicaragua, Syria, Iran or anywhere else where our government chooses to selectively oppose governments it deems “enemies” while backing to the hilt friendly dictatorships all over the world such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the Israeli occupier.  While US officials shed crocodile tears for the people of these countries, sanctions imposed on their governments have made their humanitarian situation worse. Not only hypocritical, but US interventions have invariably caused more harm than any ostensible good. We should firmly oppose any unilateral US interventions, whatever the supposed justifications.  The situation is increasingly alarming s the embattled Trump administration may be tempted to create an international crisis to deflect attention from its own failures.

Friday, January 25
Protest tonight: HANDS OFF VENEZUELA!!!
5:30 - 6:30 pm, Copley Square, Boston
Yesterday, US President Donald Trump took the extraordinary and illegal action to recognize the president of Venezuela's legislature as the "interim president" of the country. The Alliance for Global Justice has launched a campaign against US intervention that includes a petition against regime change efforts. Sign the petition HERE to tell your elected officials NO US-ENGINEERED COUP In Venezuela! It is clear that the US government and corporate media believe they have entered the final offensive to replace the elected Venezuelan government of President Nicolas Maduro with one that will be subservient to US interests. Tell your elected officials (US and Canadian) that you oppose foreign intervention in Venezuela's internal affairs. This action is counter to both the United Nations and Organization of American States Charters and thus illegal under international law.
Massachusetts Peace Action has joined other groups in supporting an emergency speak out tomorrow against U.S. regime change efforts in Venezuela:

Please join us at the speak out and sign the Alliance for Global Justice Petition  by clicking the button below.

Trump Moves to Oust Maduro & Install Pro-U.S. Leader in Oil-Rich Venezuela
This is unprecedented, not only in Venezuelan history, but in Latin America. The only similarity, as a historian, that I can recall was with the Bay of Pigs, in which part of the U.S. plan in landing troops in Cuba was to declare a government in exile, and then that government in exile, up in arms, would request U.S. military assistance, and the U.S. would then land troops. This is a scenario that likely could play out in Venezuela. It depends on what Juan Guaidó decides to do. There is no way that Maduro can accept another sovereign, another person, declaring to be president within the country. So this is an effort to escalate the crisis, to polarize the conditions further. It is the equivalent, essentially, of Nancy Pelosi saying that Donald Trump is a usurper, he is corrupt, he has laid off 800,000 federal employees, and I’m going to declare myself president of the U.S., and she would be recognized by France, Germany and England. It’s unprecedented.   More

Over 70 Scholars and Experts Condemns US-Backed Coup Attempt in Venezuela
"Actions by the Trump administration and its allies in the hemisphere are almost certain to make the situation in Venezuela worse, leading to unnecessary human suffering, violence, and instability," the letter reads. "The U.S. and its allies must cease encouraging violence by pushing for violent, extralegal regime change. If the Trump administration and its allies continue to pursue their reckless course in Venezuela, the most likely result will be bloodshed, chaos, and instability."  Highlighting the harm American sanctions have inflicted upon the Venezuelan economy and people, the letter goes on to denounce the White House's "aggressive" actions and rhetoric against Venezuela's government, arguing that peaceful talks are the only way forward.   More

The risk of a catastrophic US intervention in Venezuela is real
The US government and opposition also share responsibility. The US has acknowledged that its sanctions could harm Venezuelans, with the following appearing in a November 2018 Congressional Research Service report:Although stronger economic sanctions could influence the Venezuelan government’s behavior, they also could have negative effects and unintended consequences. Analysts are concerned that stronger sanctions could exacerbate Venezuela’s difficult humanitarian situation, which has been marked by shortages of food and medicines, increased poverty, and mass migration. Many Venezuelan civil society groups oppose sanctions that could worsen humanitarian condition. There is little doubt sanctions have worsened humanitarian conditions. The main reason is that harsher sanctions imposed in mid-2017 severely curtailed Venezuela’s ability to incur debt, and in so doing decimated Venezuelan oil production. This has lessened the public resources available to an increasingly desperate population. Far from being an accidental side effect, this seems to be one of the intents of US policy: make Venezuelans so desperate that they turn against Maduro. The inhumanity of such a policy is clear.    More

War Against Iran Becoming Ever More Likely
Trump’s position has never been weaker. And despite what appears to be his personal desire to extract U.S. troops from the Middle East, as shown by his order to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria and his assertion two weeks later that Iran’s leaders “can do what they want” there, his deepening political problems may make war more attractive…  With Trump in political trouble at home, Mattis out, and Bolton centralizing power in an increasingly hawkish NSC, certain foreign powers with a well-established interest in military conflict between the United States and Iran-–notably Israel, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Bahrain—may see an unprecedented but transitory window for provocation. Indeed, like Trump, both Netanyahu and MbS are facing difficulties of their own and may be eager to create new distractions that could rally domestic opinion behind them…  The potential of some kind of conflict with Iran escalating into a larger regional war is very real, possibly more real than ever.   More

US Congress votes to sanction anyone who does business with Syria
The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously adopted a bill this week that would sanction anyone who does business with the Syrian government.  According to the bill, the U.S. President will sanction anyone who does business with or provides financing to the Syrian government, including the Syrian intelligence and security services, or the Central Bank of Syria. The sanctions will target anyone who provides aircraft or spare parts for aircraft to Syria’s airlines; anyone who funds the construction and engineering projects controlled by the Syrian government; and anyone who supports Syria’s energy industry.   More

As Nations Get Ready for Nuclear War, Their Governments Work to Create the Illusion of Safety
The latest report from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, issued on January 24, reminds us that the prospect of nuclear catastrophe remains all too real. Citing the extraordinary danger of nuclear disaster, the editors and the distinguished panel of experts upon whom they relied reset their famous “Doomsday Clock” at two minutes to midnight.  This grim warning from the scientists is well-justified. The Trump administration has withdrawn the United States from the painstakingly-negotiated 2015 nuclear weapons agreement with Iran and is in the process of withdrawing from the 1987 Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with Russia. In addition, the 2010 New Start Treaty, which caps the number of strategic nuclear weapons held by the United States and Russia, is scheduled to expire in 2021, thus leaving no limits on the world’s largest nuclear arsenals for the first time since 1972. According to Trump, this agreement, too, is a “bad deal,” and his hawkish national security advisor, John Bolton, has denounced it as “unilateral disarmament.”   More

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