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20 September 2017


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Seamus Padraig

"That's essentially what Donald Trump did yesterday. He spoke from the gut without thinking through the consequences ... But Trump is not the only one spouting such madness. We've heard the same delusional threats from SecDef Mattis and National Security Advisor McMaster."

Exactly. Why would you assume that Trump was speaking "from the gut" in this case? Do you think he actually writes his own speeches? Anyway, I, too, heard McMaster and Mattis when Trump was speaking.

"Trump, like Johnson, has a vision for fixing America at home. But that plan will be destroyed because of his foreign policy craziness."

I don't think we're going to have to wait on that one. It seems that Trump has already sold us out on domestic policy, too.

Bannon was right: this presidency is now over. Stick a fork in it!



Here here!

I also recommend we covertly support independence movements in all Canadian provinces. When Chaos occurs (and lets help with a few covert bombs, maybe blow up a dam or two), we can at long last invade for th3 good of the Canadian people. Purely because we love the Canadian people and feel their pain. Oh, and after all our humanitarian expenses, well, that oil clearly is American oil.

If that doesnt work, lets give our friends in Al-Q/ISIS passports (from Indonesia) and send them across the border in North Dakota.

oops, did I just describe Syria?
Seriously, though, the opportunity to set a precedent while the US still is the dominant global power is disappearing. I for on will not be surprised when China does the same in the US in a few decades (given economic trends in both countries and our 1%'s lack of patriotism).

Norbert M Salamon

No, Mexico's oil is almost gone, Venezuela has the largest reserve in the world per US Geological assessment

Babak Makkinejad

Given our mutual antipathies, building multiple walls could be considered a step in the right directions; we need a Diocletian Wall, a Seljuk Wall, a Hindu-Sikh Wall, a Muslim-Buddhist Wall etc.

Until such times that a new interstellar travel technology has been invented and all these myriads of groups of human beings could relocate to a suitable earth-like planet.

There could be a planet for Deobandis, one for Mahayana Buddhists, a few thousand for India, one for Cata-Loonia, one for the Basque, six or seven for the Kurds, several hundred for the mountain people of Caucasus and so on and so forth.

In this manner, one can hope to live one's life in abject tranquility, never having to think anything new or meet anyone who holds different beliefs.

Can you imagine that?

It would be Paradise in Heaven for the majority of mankind.

For a small tiny minority there could be something akin to the Federation (of Start Trek TV series fame).

Let us all pray now for that.


Getting rid of Maduro should be done quietly with no U.S. finger prints.

Query: Why there should be any "getting rid of Maduro" in the first place?


"Work with other countries on Venezuela's borders (e.g., Colombia, Brazil, etc) and push ahead with a plan to support credible opposition elements."

1) Any examples when it worked in the past?

2) I ask again - why replace Maduro?

Publius Tacitus

I will not indulge trolling or stupidity. You are guilty of both. If you don't understand the problem Maduro represents to the wealth and well-being of Venezuelans then there is really no basis for an informed discussion. Maduro's crackdown on political opponents while bankrupting the country and causing widespread malnutrition and even starvation demands some action in terms of defending the basic human rights of Venezuelans.


PT with respect, your dislike of Maduro and call to arms over the Venezuelan situation would be laudable if it was part a consistent foreign policy based on absolute moral standards.

There are plenty of governments that need a kick upside the head for humanitarian reasons, not just Venezuela. When, for example, is Zimbabwe going to be targeted, let alone Saudi Arabia?

The highly selective nature of American concerns for 'human rights" is one of the reasons American Administrations have no foreign policy credibility any more. The rest of the world takes this capricious bellicosity into account when framing their own policies.


I agree in broad outline about the China scenario - maybe not intervening exactly as we do, but more likely through co-opting interests looking to latch onto China's rising economic star as our own system descends further into dysfunction. Look at the Vancouver BC and see the future. And the funny thing is, that might not be an entirely bad thing.



I bring it up because, often, there seems to be the belief that US can unilaterally disengage from East Asia, whether it is the goal of the administration, present or past.

I don't think it is possible for US to unilaterally disengage, whether we want or not. NoKo will have us trapped as long as they have a long range missile program with weapons potentially capable of reaching North America, and as long as NoKo has us trapped, we are a pawn in their game. The added danger, however, is that, once we "succeed," we will not want to extricate from the region.


So, it's clear that IF you are a socialist in Venezuela, you can easily acquire a gun. Does that suggest that a person could possible fake hi/her feelings about socialism in order to get one?

In regard to Iran, I could not find as much other than there might be a background check involved. To me that means if you apply the background check might automatically confirm that you are an enemy of the state.

So horrifying. My great-grandparents escaped Bolshevik Russia with their large families just in time. Most of my family were pacifists by religion--though they did not really continue that way here in the U.S.

So happy they got out in time.


PT - Bull crap. We have have been actively, covertly seeking regime change in Venezuela since Chavez was elected while the opposition has engaged in violent protests, torched health care centers and government buildings.

US support for regime change in Venezuela is a mistake
The Guardian (UK) 18FEB2014


It's clear to me that there is an active disinformation campaign being waged in the US and international media. What is unclear to me is why you've bought into it.

PS: Your reply to Lyttenburg was rude and uncalled for.


well, according to Trump the wall will be "big, beautiful, powerful" - i.e. it will splendid, pretty, huge, utterly unpassable, make America forever super safe and all that.

Now, that written, there is a little problem with that wonderful mega wall, and that is that it is effing expensive to build.

Ah well, that is hardly a real problem since Trump has decided to solve it, quite elegantly, well, or brazenly, with a post-mathematical, rhetorical and post-American solution - he said it'll be paid for by someone else - Mexico. The problem is solved! And so easy!

Well, except for this: Mexico wasn't asked about it and Mexico says it won't pay. Well, that's hardly a truly surprising reaction to such post-mathematical, magic approaches to foreign policy.



Thinking over it: IMO Trump has put America into an embarassing situation. There's all that grandiose talk about the gigantic policy program for a totally supersized SUPER SAFE, PRETTY, SUPERB, BIG, BEAUTIFUL, POWERFUL, UNPENETRABLE, AWESOME, GRAND, MAGIC - no - GRAND MAGIC and MEGA WALL - and then it turns out to be... unaffordable?!

Opsie. And America is unwilling or incapable to pay for it? And Mexico brazenly refuses to pay for it these, say, negligible 2 trillion Dollars´needed to build it? What a totally unforeseeable development. How can something like that happen I wonder.


I have to admit I did a double-take when I saw Colombia and Brazil's names. Brazil is in a complete meltdown as its political parties practice self-immolation and Columbia, while improving slowly, is the fate the Venezuelans have being try to avoid - government of the people by the elite for the elite.

Publius Tacitus

If you don't like it go away and do not read or comment on my pieces. Just because an article appears in the Guardian (your source, not mine) does not make it true. Have you ever been on the ground in Venezuela in recent years? I have. Do you even grasp the horror that Maduro is visiting on the Venezuelan people? Apparently not.


2) I ask again - why replace Maduro?

Maduro, the vile villain, has just declared that his country's oil exports from now on can be paid for in chinese money and Euros, and he departed from the dollar being 'the only money oil is being paid for'.

Venezuela announced that it will no longer accept payment in U.S. dollars for its oil, a major divergence from typical oil market practices. It is said that Venezuela and its national oil company, PDVSA, will operate with euros. The given explanation is that this is an attempt to circumvent sanctions imposed by the U.S. government, but the real reason may be a sales pitch to China, India, and other large oil markets, that Venezuela hopes to attract as customers.


The dollar is the money through which the US can pressure any government relying on oil exports through sanctions and pressure on US companies that are involved in such businesses. When oil export is being done in dollar, the US have their finger in the game.

When the Venezuelans go to the Euro and chinese money, it is de facto a reduce of dependence from the US, and an improved economical thing for the chinese. For the Venezuelans it is a step towards less dependence on US politicos, behaviour and preferences.

For Maduro's opponents in the US that's of course a sufficient reason to replace him, because he endangers American unlimited power and in consequence limits American influence. That's hard to swallow for the American first-... , err, American pre-eminence folks.

Nasty sceptics will of course say that, irrespective of Maduro, it is also American rhetoric, practice, policy and its sanction happiness that's driving countries away from the dollar. What vile heresy to suggest that.



I beg to disagree.

IMO, it is none of our business if Venezuela descends into chaos. That's for the Venezuelan people to sort out. Throughout history there have been social strife and tyrants in many societies. No one has given us the authority and mission to "clean up" social conflicts around the world.

One thing that struck me in watching a recent episode of Ken Burn's Vietnam documentary is that while we considered the North Vietnamese and Vietcong "gooks", they considered us as invaders. Now I fully understand why soldiers need to make the enemy less than human. The point however is that in most cases when we intervene in the internal affairs of other societies, we are considered as an outsider, an invader. And our recent experience is that we cause more chaos and destruction through our interventions than the tyrants did.

Philosophically, I am in agreement with this statement by Pat Buchanan:

"...America has no divinely mandated mission to democratize mankind. And the hubristic idea that we do has been a cause of all the wars and disasters that have lately befallen the republic."


I favor a non-interventionist foreign policy and the use of military force only when we face an existential threat.


PT, and again, with respect, "the horror that Maduro is visiting on the Venezuelan people"? I am sure you are quite right and it is horrible but that does not change the argument.

There are plenty of horrible things inflicted daily by a variety of dictators both past, present and no doubt in future. To be tactful. successive American administrations have not been averse to ignoring such peccadillos when it suits us.

Why Venezuela? Why now? Could it be that we perceive that our "interests" are threatened?


Maybe some of the reader's here will find this informative:

Empire Files: Head of Venezuela National Guard on Insurgency & US Threats (20170731)


Empire Files: Abby Martin Meets the Venezuelan Opposition (20170703)

I'm seeing a lot of similarities between Caracas and events in Kiev and Damascus


I take it this topic is not open for discussion? Then why did you write it?


I am not sure I understand why the US position on Venezuela should be anything aside from standing back and letting the Venezuelans solve the issues themselves.

No matter what happens in Venezuela, it is unlikely to impact the US in any significant fashion; if they manage to create a humanitarian crisis needing help, that would most appropriately be dealt with on a multilateral basis with everyone else in this hemisphere (and the organizations to do that exist and are quite prepared to act).



I heard it when Vincente Fox was in Detroit telling Mexican Americans how to vote the last election.



It is up to PT whether he wants to anser you. pl


It's unfortunate that he chooses not to.

Christian Chuba

I was struck by how much Trump channeled GWB at his UN speech and at how much the U.S. public loved it.
Yes, N. Korea is indeed a very serious threat, they are developing nuclear ICBM's and there is a good chance that they will sell them in the future to other countries. But Iran is now the new Iraq.

1. He trotted out the 'axis of evil' (I'd like to congratulate Venezuela but somehow it feels like they are just their to round out the number to three).

2. Wild, unproven assertions are being tossed out as fact, 'we must stop Iran's nuclear weapons program' (who says they have one?). Lot's of analysts are even saying that Iran is aiding N. Korea's weapons development (next to Saddam's Anthrax bunker).

3. Threat inflation - Iraq was the center of terrorism and instability in the M.E., now it's Iran.

4. France now, as then, is the voice of reason. If we start using the term 'freedom fries' again we're done.

We the U.S. public loved it. We want every nation in the world to either look to us as their leader or shrink in terror at the prospect of facing our righteous judgment, including Venezuela, but are tired of nation building and endless war. We want to have our cake and to eat it too.

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