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conspiracy evidence of NATO attempt to unite west into 1 ideological political body
03-27-2010, 06:20 PM, (This post was last modified: 04-01-2010, 06:13 PM by h3rm35.)
#1
conspiracy evidence of NATO attempt to unite west into 1 ideological political body
Quick note - this is a work in progress.



The attitude explored in this article is a prelude to the attempt at a unified western hemisphere. The SPP and NAFTA are the nice, soft, squishy, policy agendas that are admitted publicly. This article is an example of the dark underbelly of the process the elite are using to create the beginning stages of the TOTAL American union - not just the North American Union. It's a continuation straight out of the neocon playbook, just like supporting the Honduran coup, and working to turn Haiti into a nation-sized sweatshop in the wake of the quake. They've already turned Columbia into a military base for US SOUTHCOM in preparation for military action, and have begun moving military into Mexico under the guise of fighting drug cartels - the imperialistic creep has begun in earnest.
Venezuela In Washington's Crosshairs

By Stephen Lendman

23 March, 2010
Countercurrents.org

Washington fears Hugo Chavez for good reason. His "good example" threat raises concerns that other regional leaders may follow. As a result, throughout his tenure, he's been targeted and vilified - to discredit, weaken and undermine his government to destroy Bolivarian benefits millions of Venezuelans now enjoy, won't easily give up, nor should they.

Several failed coup attempts included:

-- April 2002 for two days, an effort aborted by mass street protests and support from many in Venezuela's military, especially from the middle-ranking officer corp;

-- the 2002 - 2003 general strike and oil management lockout, causing severe economic disruption and billions of dollars in losses; and

-- the August 2004 national recall referendum that Chavez won overwhelmingly with a 59% majority.

Thereafter, disruptions regularly followed to help domestic and US oligarchs regain what they lost, so far without success, but they persist, with supportive editorial, op-ed, and on-the-ground reporting. Also from an Organization of American States (OAS) report, the Vision of Humanity's annual Global Peace Index (GPI), US State Department, and Pentagon.

On March 19, Reuters reported that, in testimony before the House Armed Services Committee, General Douglas Fraser, USSOUTHCOM (US Southern Command) head, claimed Chavez backs Colombian leftists, saying:

His government "continue(s) to have a very anti-US stance and look(s) to try and restrict US activity wherever they have the opportunity to do that. (It's) continuing to engage with the region....and continuing to pursue (its) socialism agenda. (It) remain(s) a destabilizing force in the region."

He said Venezuela continues to support FARC-EP rebels, providing "financial logistical support" and a safe haven based on evidence found on a laptop seized in a 2008 Ecuadorean guerrilla camp raid - information later proved bogus.

Yet a week earlier, before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Fraser testified otherwise, saying:

"We have not seen any connections specifically that I can verify that there has been a direct government-to-terrorist connection" between Chavez and either the FARC-EP or the Basque separatist group ETA. "We have continued to watch very closely for any connections between illicit and terrorist organization activity within the region. We are concerned about it. I'm skeptical. I continue to watch for it," but as yet haven't found it.

During her March 1 - 5 Latin American tour, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gratuitously insulted Chavez. So did Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Arturo Valenzuela, in Senate testimony, accusing him of FARC-EP ties - suggesting much more to come to boost opposition candidates in September parliamentary elections.

US State Department 2009 Human Rights Report: Venezuela

Released on March 11, it followed earlier ones, bogusly accusing Chavez of:

-- harassing and intimidating political opponents;

-- targeting the media; and

-- numerous human rights violations, including:

-- "unlawful killings;

-- summary executions of criminal suspects;

-- widespread criminal kidnappings for ransom;

-- prison uprisings resulting from harsh prison conditions;

-- arbitrary arrests and detentions;

-- corruption and impunity in police forces;

-- a corrupt, inefficient, and politicized judicial system characterized by trial delays and violations of due process;

-- (targeting) political opponents and selective prosecution(s) for political purposes;

-- infringement of citizens' privacy rights by security forces;

-- government closure of radio and television stations and threats to close others;

-- government attacks on public demonstrations;

-- systematic discrimination based on political grounds;

-- considerable corruption at all levels of government;

-- threats and attacks against domestic NGOs;

-- violence against women;

-- inadequate juvenile detention centers;

-- trafficking in persons; and

-- restrictions on workers' right of association."

Other charges have included drugs trafficking and ties to bogusly designated "foreign terror organizations" like the FARC-EP and ETA.

These sham charges and similar ones repeat regularly to discredit and undermine Chavez. Ironically, they're more descriptive of American domestic and foreign policies - ones that defy US and international laws with regard to human and civil rights, equal justice, war, occupation, domestic tranquility, and the Constitution's Article I, Section 8 for the Congress to "provide (for) the general welfare of the United States," the so-called welfare clause applying also to the Executive and judiciary.

In contrast, Chavez promotes world solidarity, democratic freedoms, human and civil rights, judicial fairness, fair and open elections, and a free and open media. He doesn't invade other countries, has no secret prisons, doesn't practice torture, or conduct fraudulent elections. As a result, he inspires millions worldwide, and has widespread domestic majority support. Yet bogus State Department charges persist.

Ones as well from a recent OAS report titled, "Democracy and Human Rights in Venezuela," produced under the mandate of the Washington-based Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).

Among others, its bogus accusations include:

-- restricting human rights "enshrined in the American Convention on Human Rights;"

-- no independent separation among government branches;

-- state punitive power to "intimidate or punish people on account of their political opinions;"

-- denying journalists the right to report freely;

-- "a pattern of impunity in cases of violence," especially against "media workers, human rights defenders, trade unionists, participants in public demonstrations, people held in custody, campesinos (small-scale and subsistence farmers), indigenous peoples, and women;"

-- restricted opportunities for opposing political candidates to secure "access to power;"

-- disempowering opposition politicians through legal and other means;

-- intimidating and punishing dissent against official policy through harassment, violence, and criminal proceedings;

-- targeting peaceful opposition demonstrations;

-- the absence of an independent, impartial judiciary; and

-- numerous other charges like the US State Department's, more descriptive of America, suggesting a hidden motive behind the report's issuance; perhaps also its timing, two weeks before the State Department's similar accusations.

Chavez called it "pure excrement....ineffable (and) ignominious" in denouncing the IACHR as "menacing....a true mafia and is part of the OAS, which is why one of these days this organization must disappear....It is the same Commission which backed (the de facto government of Pedro) Carmona" after the April 2002 coup. "But this is part of the attacks, of continued threats against the Bolivarian Revolution, (a) continued campaign (supported by Venezuelan and American oligarchs to) isolat(e) Venezuela."

OAS history is long and shameful in deference to US interests.

Writing in Granma Internacional in June 2009, Editor Oscar Sanchez Serra said:

Throughout its history, the OAS "made democracies ungovernable, turned them into dictatorships, and when they were no longer useful, reconverted them into even more diminished and servile democracies, because in the new, neoliberal era, with transnationalized oligarch(ic) capital, they were part of a much more sophisticated power structure, whose bases were not necessarily located in the presidential palaces or parliaments, but in continental corporations."

OAS nations had decades of "involvement with death, genocide and lies for (it) to survive these times. It is a political corpse and should be buried as soon as possible....The reality is, without the OAS, the United States would lose one of its principle political/legal instruments of hegemonic control over the Western Hemisphere."

In February 2004, Washington got its backing to justify ousting Haiti's President Jean-Betrand Aristide. Then in 2009, it abstained from strong actions after Honduran President Manuel Zelaya was deposed, opting instead for symbolic toothless measures. It's new report reveals transparent support for bogus US charges, not Venezuela's participatory democracy, largely absent in the region and unimaginable in America where Washington is corporate controlled territory, and popular interests go unaddressed.

The Global Peace Index (GPI)

Launched by Australian entrepreneur, Steve Killelea, in May 2007, it claims to be the first study of its kind ranking nations according to peacefulness, identifying key peace drivers. Its initial report included 121 countries, increased to 140 in 2008 and 144 in its latest 2009 report, released in June last year.

Its problematic endorsers include:

-- the Dalia Lama, a known CIA asset from the late 1950s to mid- 1970s, and may still be one now;

-- John Malcolm Fraser, former Australian Prime Minister;

-- Kofi Annan, infamous as UN Secretary-General for backing US imperial wars while ignoring the plight of oppressed Africans and others globally;

-- Ban Ki-moon, current UN Secretary-General, performing the same services as Annan;

-- corporate figures including Ted Turner (CNN founder) and Richard Branson (chairman, Virgin Group);

-- an array of prominent current and past political and diplomatic figures;

-- two members of Jordanian royalty;

-- numerous academics; and others.

Organizations preparing GPI's report and/or responsible for its data include:

-- the Economist Intelligence Unit (founded by a former UK director of intelligence), calling itself "the world's foremost provider of country, industry and management analysis" since 1946;

-- the Uppsala Conflict Data Program at Sweden's Uppsala University, producing annual "States in Armed Conflict" reports;

-- the Oslo, Norway International Peace Research Institute, a private/publicly funded organization, producing "Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding Annual Reports;" and

-- the London-based International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS), calling itself "the world's leading authority on political-military conflict" with 450 corporate and institutional members.

The world was less peaceful in 2008, according to GPI, reflecting intensified conflicts and the effects of rising food and fuel prices at a time of global economic crisis, impacting employment, incomes, savings, and for many shelter, enough to eat, and the ability to survive.

GPI used 23 indicators to measure the level or absence of peace, divided into three broad categories, including:

-- ongoing domestic and international conflict;

-- safety and security in society; and

-- militarization.

Scores were then "banded, either on a scale of 1 - 5 (for qualitative indicators) or 1 - 10 (for quantitative data, such as military expenditure or the jailed population, which have then been converted to a 1- 5 scale for comparability when compiling the final index)."

Indicators include:

-- number of external and internal conflicts from 2002 - 07;

-- estimated number of deaths from external conflicts;

-- estimated number from internal ones;

-- level of internal conflicts;

-- relations with neighboring countries;

-- perceptions of criminality in society;

-- number of displaced people as a percentage of population;

-- political instability;

-- level of disrespect for human rights;

-- potential for terrorist acts;

-- number of homicides per 100,000 people;

-- level of violent crime;

-- likelihood of violent demonstrations;

-- number of jailed population per 100,000 people;

-- number of internal security officers and police per 100,000 population;

-- military expenditures as a percent of GDP;

-- number of military personnel per 100,000 population;

-- volume of major weapon imports per 100,000 people;

-- volume of major weapon exports per 100,000 people;

-- funding for UN peacekeeping missions;

-- total number of heavy weapons per 100,000 people;

-- ease of access to small arms and light weapons; and

-- the level of military capability.

Conspicuously absent is any measure of outside influence causing internal violence, instability, and/or disruption. Top rankings went to New Zealand, Denmark and Norway. Ranked worst were Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia and Israel.

Venezuela ranked an implausible 120th behind Yemen, Haiti, Iran, Honduras, Uzbekistan, Uganda, Rwanda, and dozens of other unlikely choices. America was 83rd, despite hands down being the world's most violent lawless state, directly or through global proxy wars for unchallengeable world dominance.

It's also a domestic armed camp, using police state laws to quash human rights and civil liberties, criminalize dissent, illegally spy, control information, persecute political opponents, steal elections, and transfer public wealth to elitist private hands.

In contrast, Venezuela is democratic and peaceful, except during periods of Washington-instigated disruptions. America alone endangers global stability and world peace, waging permanent wars, targeting peaceful nations, and claiming the unilateral right to use first strike nuclear weapons preemptively. It also maintains over 1,000 bases and many secret ones in over 130 countries. Its annual military budget tops all other nations combined - way over $1 trillion plus tens of additional billions for intelligence and black operations, mostly for covert destabilization.

It overthrows democratically elected governments, assassinates foreign leaders and key officials, props up friendly dictators, practices torture as official policy, operates the world's largest domestic and offshore gulag, destabilizes world regions, and is hated and feared globally as a result.

In contrast, Chavez seeks regional and global alliances; engages foreign leaders cooperatively; assassinates no one internally or abroad; has no nuclear weapons or seeks them; spends less than one-half of one percent of the Pentagon's official budget; doesn't export weapons to neighbors; is socially responsible at home; has no secret prisons; respects the rule of law; is a model participatory democracy; governs peacefully; supports civil and human rights and social justice; affirms free expression; bans discrimination; and uses Venezuela's resources responsibly - for people needs, yet is friendly to business at home and abroad.

Nonetheless, GPI ranks it below America in human and civil rights, level of organized internal conflict, relations with neighboring countries, potential for terrorist acts, level of violent crime, political instability, perceptions of criminality in society, ease of access to small weapons, freedom of the press, political democracy, adult literacy (way above the US Department of Education's assessment), and willingness to fight.

Transparency International (TI) also rates Venezuela low in its 2009 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), indicating the perceived level of public sector corruption by country, claiming a 90% confidence of accuracy. It ranks America implausibly high at 19th and Venezuela outrageously low at 162nd out of 180 countries, behind notoriously corrupt states, including corporate occupied Washington, siphoning trillions of public dollars to private hands as part of the greatest ever wealth transfer.

In ranking America v. Venezuela, TI, GPI, and OAS measures look suspiciously manipulated to place a global hegemon above a peaceful democratic state that coincidentally is Washington's top regional target.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://prognewshour.progressiveradionetwork.org/

http://lendmennews.progressiveradionetwork.org/
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03-28-2010, 10:16 PM, (This post was last modified: 03-29-2010, 05:18 PM by h3rm35.)
#2
RE: conspiracy evidence of the US attempt to unite west into 1 ideological political body
U.S. Plunges Central America Back To Era Of Coups And Death Squads

By Rick Rozoff

Global Research, March 26, 2010
Stop NATO

March 24th of this year was the thirtieth anniversary of the assassination of Oscar Arnulfo Romero, the Roman Catholic archbishop of El Salvador.

His killing drew attention to the murderous rampages of death squads in that nation and throughout Central America as no other slaying had, although hundreds of thousands of civilians were slaughtered in El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Honduras before and during the 1980s by paramilitary formations usually led by graduates of the U.S.'s School of the Americas and covertly funded by the same nation's Central Intelligence Agency.

Graduates of the Pentagon's School of the Americas at Fort Benning, Georgia (now the equally euphemistic Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation) include the man responsible for ordering Romero's killing, the late Roberto D'Aubuisson; Efrain Rios Montt, head of the military junta in Guatemala in 1982-1983 which perpetrated some of the worst atrocities in the nation's bloodstained history; and Romeo Vasquez Velasquez, who was dismissed as chief of the Honduran military on June 25 of last year and led the coup against President Manuel Zelaya three days later.

After being appointed El Salvador's top ecclesiastic in 1977 Romero, hitherto considered a doctrinal if not a political conservative, spoke out forcefully against the abuses of the country's military and the deaths squads linked to it.

Two months before he was killed he wrote to then U.S. President Jimmy Carter imploring him to desist from arming and training the Salvadoran army, particularly plans to "train three Salvadoran battalions in logistics, communications and intelligence," and criticizing the fact that three months before "a group of six Americans was in El Salvador...providing $200,000 in gas masks and flak jackets and teaching how to use them against demonstrators.” [1]

His appeal was ignored.

On the last full day of his life Archbishop Romero celebrated mass at the Cathedral of San Salvador and ended his homily (a sermon ordinarily based on the day's Gospel reading) with impassioned words that were an indictment, plea and command:

"I would like to make an appeal in a special way to the men of the army, to the police, to those in the barracks. Brothers, you are part of our own people. You kill your own campesino brothers and sisters. And before an order to kill that a man may give, the law of God must prevail that says: Thou shalt not kill! No soldier is obliged to obey an order against the law of God.

"No one has to fulfill an immoral law. It is time to recover your consciences and to obey your consciences rather than the orders of sin. The church, defender of the rights of God, of the law of God, of human dignity, the dignity of the person, cannot remain silent before such abomination. We want the government to take seriously that reforms are worth nothing when they come about stained with so much blood. In the name of God, and in the name of this suffering people whose laments rise to heaven each day more tumultuously, I beg you, I ask you, I order you in the name of God: Stop the repression!" [2]

The following evening he said mass at the small chapel of the Divine Providence cancer hospital. During the most solemn segment of the Catholic service, the liturgy of the Eucharist, the officiating priest consecrates and elevates in turn the communion wafer and wine.

As he lifts first the host, then the chalice, he utters an account of Jesus at the Last Supper:

"Before he was given up to death, a death he freely accepted, he took bread and gave you thanks. He broke the bread, gave it to his disciples, and said: Take this, all of you, and eat it; this is my body which will be given up for you.

"When the supper was ended, he took the cup. Again he gave you thanks and praise, gave the cup to his disciples, and said:

"Take this, all of you, and drink from it; this is the cup of my blood, the blood of the new and everlasting covenant. It will be shed for you and for all so that sins may be forgiven. Do this in memory of me."

It was while Romero recited the last words that a shot from an M-16 assault rifle pierced his heart, leaving him to bleed to death in front of the altar, his blood mingling with the spilled communion wine.

Thirty years later no one has ever been convicted of, no one has ever been charged with, his murder.

The Salvadoran death squads and their opposite numbers elsewhere in Central America tried to hide their violent and grisly crimes under the cloak of religiosity, but to murder El Salvador's top religious leader at the moment and under the circumstances they did was the work of men without moral or spiritual motives. It was the act of brutes.

Eight years ago a BBC report stated that the killing was, "according to declassified US documents and other witnesses, carried out by Salvadorean police intelligence agents on the orders of Major Roberto D'Aubuisson." [2] The U.S. military-trained D'Aubuisson carried the details of his role to the grave with him in 1992.

After Romero's death, after his - even in the most secular acceptance of the word - martyrdom, the mantle of the U.S. presidency was passed from Carter to Ronald Reagan, who appointed then recently retired Army general and NATO Supreme Allied Commander Alexander Haig as his secretary of state.

In his eighteen-month tenure at what is formally the top diplomatic post in the U.S., Haig was involved in military, covert and in some instances openly terrorist operations against the governments of Afghanistan, Angola, (post-Khmer Rouge) Cambodia, Ethiopia, Grenada, Mozambique, Poland and Suriname among other nations, but from the day he took the helm at the State Department his main focus was on Central America.

It was during his watch there from 1981-1982 that the death squad campaigns in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras and the Contra war against Nicaragua began in earnest.

During the early years of the first Reagan term U.S. military aid to El Salvador was increased from $5.9 million 1980 to $35.5 million in 1981 and to $82 million in 1982. A fourteenfold increase in two years.

This March 24th a government of El Salvador for the first time officially apologized on behalf of the state for the murder of Romero. President Mauricio Funes, elected last June on the ticket of the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front - the very group Washington armed and trained the Salvadoran military to exterminate thirty years ago - said on the anniversary that "This is something that should have been done a long time ago." [4]

His comment was uttered during a ceremony unveiling a mural dedicated to Oscar Romero at San Salvador's international airport.

A thousand Salvadorans marched from the chapel he was killed in to the cathedral in the capital chanting Romero's own words: "They can kill me, but they will never kill justice."

His words, his example have unfortunately assumed more urgency thirty years after his death than any would have wished.

Last June 28 D'Aubuisson's fellow graduate of the School of the America's, Hondura's General Romeo Vasquez Velasquez, led a military coup d'etat against the standing government of President Manuel Zelaya and forced the head of state into exile in Costa Rica.

The very next day President Barack Obama welcomed Colombian head of state Alvaro Uribe, linked to Latin America's longest death squad horrors, to the White House, and the visit was followed by news that the Pentagon was acquiring the use of seven new military bases in the South American country. Colombia borders Venezuela and Ecuador, both Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) members along with Honduras before the coup.

To use an apt Cold War term, the coup was the opening salvo in the "rollback" against the most serious attempt in Latin America's history to assert itself against centuries of U.S. domination.

On January 13th of this year the post-coup regime of non-popularly elected Roberto Micheletti withdrew Honduras from ALBA, the only time a member has left the alliance.

"Honduras’s entrance into the bloc in 2008 under the leadership of President Manuel Zelaya is considered to be one of the motivations for the right wing military coup that kidnapped and expelled Zelaya last June." [5]

Washington's desperation has increased dramatically since the meeting of the Rio Group in Mexico last month, which "agreed to form a Latin American alternative to the Organization of American States that excludes the United States and Canada." [6]

Cutting across major ideological lines, 24 Latin American and 15 Caribbean nations (with some overlapping) met at what was declared a Unity Summit, and in the words of the host country's President Felipe Calderon, "We have decided to create an organization that includes all the organizations of Latin America and the Caribbean. We have decided to base an organization on shared values including sovereignty and the non-use of force, including threats of force, international cooperation, ever closer integration of Latin America and the Caribbean and permanent political dialogue." [7]

The new and expanded organization proposed, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), will include all nations in the Western Hemisphere except for the U.S. and Canada, will supplant and render moribund the U.S.-dominated Organization of American States (OAS), and will "resolve a host of problems, including the launching of interaction with Mercosur, the Andean Community of Nations, the Union of South American Nations, the Organization of Ibero-American States and ALBA - the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas." [8]

A Russian analyst suggested that "There is little, if any, doubt that the future Community will be at loggerheads with the OAS, since Washington is used to bossing Latin America around and imposing on the region what strategically important decisions suit it best."

He also warned that "The United States is certainly not about to trust some newly-formed organization with control of the processes under way in the countries south of the Rio Grande.

"The Empire is getting ready to 'act energetically' to foil a constituent summit of the future Community of Latin American and Caribbean States." [9]

Early in March U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Costa Rica to embrace her nation's new surrogate in Honduras, Porfirio Lobo, and to chastise Latin America for defying Washington's will. Lobo, for example, was the only Latin American head of state (though one only recognized by the U.S. and a few allies) not invited to the Unity Summit in Mexico on February 22-23. His exclusion was a frank commentary on the June 2008 coup by every government in the Western Hemisphere except his own and those of the U.S. and Canada.

"The United States helped to broker November elections that brought Honduran President Porfirio Lobo to power, but his government has been shunned by several countries in the region because the polls were organized by the de facto government that overthrew Zelaya."

Clinton was "winding up a six-nation Latin American tour during which she was challenged by leaders who repeated charges that the United States did not take a hard enough line against the coup, which echoed a long history of military takeovers in the region." [10]

With a command of diplomatese that renders her a worthy successor of the late Alexander Haig, Clinton stated it was time to "move forward," as "We think that Honduras has taken important and necessary steps that deserve the recognition and normalization of relations."

Unintentionally emphasizing why there is a need for ALBA and CELAC, she added, "Other countries in the region say that they want to wait a while. I don't know what they're waiting for...."

In Costa Rica she met with Lobo and "said she had notified Congress that the United States would restart the flow of more than USD 30 million in non-humanitarian aid to Honduras that was cut off after the June 28 coup that ousted Zelaya."

While offering lip service to the relative undesirability of military coups in the U.S.'s backyard, she nevertheless asserted "But we think its time to move forward and ensure that such disruptions of democracy do not and cannot happen in the future." [11] Scant comfort to other ALBA member states awaiting Washington's next maneuver.

To refute what Clinton characterized as the Lobo regime's "commitments to
re-establish constitutional order in the country," on March 24 Honduran professor Jose Manuel Flores, an active opponent of the newly-installed government of Porfirio Lobo, was murdered at the Instituto San Jose del Pedregal where he taught, "shot in the back when hooded individuals entered the school through the roof...." [12]

Hooded assassins murdering dissenting academics conjures up nightmares from the darkest period of death squad atrocities in the 1980s.

According to human rights and resistance groups in Honduras, since last year's coup there have been 130 murders and over 3,000 arrests of opponents of the junta. [13]

On March 25 the National Popular Resistance Front announced plans for a mass rally in the capital that "will coincide with a general strike and a national mourning campaign convened by teachers' organizations after Professor Jose Manuel Flores was killed by hooded men two days ago," blaming "the Honduran oligarchy and Porfirio Lobo's de facto regime" [14] for the latest killing of those Clinton demands "move forward" by submitting to Washington's diktat.

In late February over 10,000 supporters of deposed President Manuel Zelaya left the main university in the capital of Tegucigalpa, but "were blocked by soldiers from nearing the presidential palace and diverted to the parliament in the city center...." Troops ordered from their barracks by a regime that "has taken important and necessary steps that deserve the
recognition and normalization of relations," as Hillary Clinton would phrase it a week later.

"Six teachers' unions backed the protests and called for classes to be suspended nationwide." [15]

Military coups d'etat and masked hit squads are back in Central America with Washington's blessing and the threats are not limited to Honduras, which is intended as both object lesson and prototype by the White House and the State Department.

In February Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez warned "that the right-wing in Latin America was being organized to attack the Bolivian Alliance of the Americas (ALBA) and the Union of South American Nations (Unasur)," adding however that "the U.S. government would not be able to stop the development of ALBA in Central America despite the coup in Honduras."

"The U.S. Empire" will employ reactionary and covert forces to subordinate the next government of Brazil (a general election will be held this October), "which also will be terrible for the unity of South America." [16]

In addition, it was reported on March 25 that Nicaragua's ambassador to the Organization of American States, Denis Moncada, accused the U.S. ambassador to his nation, Robert Callahan, of "meddling in Nicaraguan internal affairs." Callahan, Moncada continued, "has publicly supported attempts by Nicaraguan opposition parties, rating as fraudulent the 2008 municipal elections, when the Sandinista National Liberation Front won the majority of the country's mayoralties." [17]

The Nicaraguan press recently published an article by Uruguayan journalist Jorge Capelan titled "The United States and its Web of NGOs in Nicaragua," which detailed that "the destabilizing strategy the United States has pursued in Venezuela through non-governmental organizations and 'contractor' firms is also being applied in Nicaragua against the Sandinista government."

The report documented that since 1994 the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) created "so-called Offices of Transition Initiatives (OTI) in several countries worldwide.

"They were originally created to support transition to capitalism in Eastern European countries, but they later spread to other states where it was necessary to address situations in which US interests were threatened."

An OTI was launched in Venezuela in July of 2002, two months after the 47-hour coup there, and in late 2005 in Bolivia in an attempt to prevent Evo Morales' victory in the December 18 presidential election.

Although there "is no OTI in Nicaragua," USAID is concocting "a similar strategy against the Sandinista government through the CampTransparencia program run by the paramilitary DynCorp firm.

"CampTransparencia has organized forums and other similar activities in Nicaragua. Its main cadres have experience in 'regime change' operations." [18]

The current preferred method of effecting the subversion and overthrow of governments considered to present obstacles to U.S. geopolitical designs is the "color revolution" model first employed in Yugoslavia in 2000 and replicated in the former Soviet states of Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan. The first attempt to export a variation of the technique to Latin America was in Bolivia two years ago.

Last May Hillary Clinton railed against "growing Iranian, Chinese and
Russian influence in the Western Hemisphere," which has ostensibly encouraged "leftist leaders like Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, Bolivia's Evo Morales and Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega to promote anti-U.S. sentiment and rely on aid from China, Iran and Russia." [19] She particularly singled out Nicaragua, stating "We are looking to figure out how to deal with [President Daniel] Ortega" as "the Iranians are building a huge embassy in Managua. You can only imagine what it's for." [19]

In the 1980s the Reagan administration frequently invoked alleged Russian and Iranian influence in Nicaragua to justify its support for the Contra war against the nation.

To Central America's immediate north, on March 22 Defense Secretary Robert Gates and chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen accompanied Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Mexico, and upon returning top U.S. military commander Mullen spoke of Mexico's "own version of counterinsurgency," and said, “We’re working with them to generate as much capability as they can in that fight.” [19] In speaking as he did, Mullen reiterated his statements in January of 2009 that the U.S. military was prepared to employ the same counterinsurgency tactics used in Afghanistan and Iraq for Mexico and that the infamous Plan Colombia could be the "overarching" model for the wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Earlier this month the joint commander of United States Northern Command (NORTHCOM) and North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), General Victor Renuart, spoke before the Senate Armed Services Committee and said of his dual commands that their missions range "from supporting law enforcement on the U.S.-Mexico border to monitoring Russian military planes and ships off U.S. borders," and that "Northcom has shared military lessons learned in Iraq and Afghanistan to combat violence and illegal activity on the Southwest border." [20]

The White House and the Pentagon are not prepared to allow the rest of the nations in the Americas to determine their own destiny without interference. Without intervention.

The 2002 coup in Venezuela and the 2009 coup in Honduras are not the last that Washington will support given the opportunity. Latin American vigilance and unity are required more than ever before.

Notes

1) http://liturgyhouse.blogspot.com/2008/03/archbishop-oscar-romeros-letter-to.html
2) http://www.sojo.net/index.cfm?action=magazine.article&issue=soj8005&article=800512
3) BBC News, March 24, 2002
4) Los Angeles Times, March 24, 2010
5) Venezuelanalysis.com, January 15, 2010
6) Americas Society/Council of the Americas, February 23, 2010
7) Cancun Mexico News, February 23, 2010
8) Nil Nikandrov, OAS without US: An Alternative
Strategic Culture Foundation, March 21, 2010
9) Ibid
10) Reuters, March 5, 2010
11) Ibid
12) Prensa Latina, March 24, 2010
13) Ibid
14) Prensa Latina, March 25, 2010
15) Agence France-Presse, February 26, 2010
16) Xinhua News Agency, February 8, 2010
17) Prensa Latina, March 25, 2010
18) Prensa Latina, March 22, 2010
19) Associated Press, May 1, 2009
20) United States Department of Defense
American Forces Press Service
March 24, 2010
21) United States Department of Defense
American Forces Press Service
March 11, 2010

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The U.S. and its Unruly Latin American 'Backyard'

By Dr. Éric Toussaint

Global Research, January 26, 2010

U.S. aggressiveness towards the Venezuelan, Bolivian, and Ecuadorian governments has increased in response to diminishing U.S. influence over the Latin American and Caribbean area, which Washington has been blaming on Hugo Chávez in particular (and also on Cuba, but Cuba is a much older story).



Several examples illustrate the United States’ waning control


During the negotiations that followed Colombia’s attack on Ecuador on 1 March 2008,[1] instead of appealing to the Organization of American States (OAS) of which the United States is a member and which is headquartered in Washington, the Latin American presidents held a meeting in Santo Domingo, within the framework of the Rio Group,[2] without inviting their great neighbour from the North, and clearly laid the blame on Colombia, a U.S. ally. In 2008, Honduras -- traditionally and wholly subordinated to U.S. policy-- joined Petrocaribe, which was created on the initiative of Venezuela to provide oil to the non-exporting countries in the region at a lower price than that practised on the world market. Honduras also joined the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA), another initiative for regional integration launched by Venezuela and Cuba. In December 2008, another important summit took place bringing together most of the Latin American presidents in Salvador de Bahía, with the noteworthy presence of the Cuban Head of State, Raúl Castro, next to whom was seated the Mexican president, Felipe Calderón, who until recently had adopted a hostile attitude towards Cuba, to keep in line with the directives from Washington. A few months later, the OAS decided, in spite of U.S. opposition, to reintegrate Cuba, which had been excluded in 1964. In 2009, Ecuador also joined ALBA, and terminated the U.S. army’s lease of the Manta air base.



Washington has systematically attempted to thwart the shift towards the left


As the following examples illustrate, since the beginning of the 2000s Washington has systematically attempted to thwart the shift towards the left made by the peoples of Latin America: supporting the coup d'Etat against Chávez in April 2002, offering massive financial support to the anti-Chávez opposition movement, supporting the Venezuelan bosses’ strike from December 2002 to January 2003, the active intervention of the U.S. ambassador in Bolivia to prevent the election of Evo Morales, the World Bank's remote control intervention in Ecuador in 2005 to obtain the resignation of Rafael Correa, who was then the Minister of Economy and Finance, the organization of joint military operations in the Southern Cone,[3] the resurrection of the Fourth Fleet,[4] and a very significant increase in military aid to its Colombian ally, which serves as a bridgehead in the Andean region. In addition, to overcome the failure of the FTAA (Free Trade Area of the Americas) in November 2005, Washington has been negotiating and/or signing as many bilateral free trade agreements as possible (with Chile, Uruguay, Peru, Colombia, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Costa Rica).



Coup d'Etat in Honduras


U.S. aggressiveness towards what it sees as a dangerous “Chavist contagion” in Latin America went up another notch in June-July 2009 with the mi
litary coup d'Etat in Honduras, which overthrew the liberal president Manuel Zelaya just as he was calling for a referendum on the election of a constituent assembly by universal suffrage. The Pentagon had resented this shift to the left by a president it thought would behave obediently because Honduras is one of its subordinate countries in the region. If a constituent assembly had been elected by universal suffrage, it would have inevitably had to rule on the demand for agrarian reform, which would have called into question the enormous privileges of the major landowners and foreign agri-business transnationals present in the country. It is mainly for this reason that the local capitalist class, a significant number of whom come from the agrarian sector, supported the coup. It is also important to take account of the fact that this capitalist class is a class of compradors who are completely turned towards import-export business and dependent on good relations with the United States. This explains why it supported the signing of a free trade agreement with Washington and was opposed to ALBA. Zelaya’s order for an increase in the minimum wage is also one of the factors that pushed the bosses to plot his overthrow.[5] In addition, we know that Zelaya intended to ask Washington to leave the Soto Cano air base located less than 65 miles from the capital so that it could be converted into a civilian airport. Even imagining – which is highly improbable – that the Honduran generals acted on their own initiative in collaboration with the local capitalist class, it is inconceivable that Roberto Micheletti, the puppet president designated by the military and by corporate and liberal party leaders, could have stayed in power if the U.S. government had vigorously opposed it. The U.S. has been training Honduran generals for decades, and has an important military base in Soto Cano (with 500 American soldiers stationed there on a permanent basis); moreover, as Hillary Clinton admitted after the coup, the U.S. has massively funded the opposition to President Zelaya.[6] In addition, U.S. transnational companies, particularly in the agri-business sector, are well-established in this country, which they consider to be a banana republic.



The seven U.S. military bases in Colombia


In order to further increase the threat against Venezuela and Ecuador, Washington got President Álvaro Uribe to announce in July 2009 that seven Colombian bases would be handed over to the American army, thereby enabling their fighter aircraft to reach all regions of the South American continent (except Cape Horn).
[7] It is no coincidence that only a short time separated the military coup in Honduras and the Colombian President’s announcement: Washington was clearly indicating that it wanted to immediately halt the extension of ALBA and nip this 21st century socialism in the bud. It would be irresponsible to underestimate Washington’s capacity to do damage, or the continuity characterizing U.S. foreign policy in spite of the election of Barack Obama and a softer rhetoric. While President Manuel Zelaya, who returned to his country secretly on 21 September 2009, was taking refuge in the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa and the putschists were violently repressing demonstrations by partisans of the constitutional President, closing down opposition media, and on September 27 declaring a 45-day state of siege, all that Lewis Amselem, n°2 representative of Washington at the OAS, had to say was: “Zelaya’s return is irresponsible and foolish.” Meanwhile, for several days Hillary Clinton failed to condemn the extended curfew imposed by Micheletti to prevent people from gathering in front of the Brazilian embassy. The agreement reached on 30 October under the auspices of Washington between representatives of Manuel Zelaya and those of Roberto Micheletti expressly stipulated that the parties undertake not to call either directly or indirectly for the convocation of a constituent assembly or for any consultation of the people (point 2 of the agreement). In addition, it did not explicitly allow for the return of Manuel Zelaya to the presidency of Honduras in order to finish his term (which is due to end in January 2010). Roberto Micheletti and his partisans then decided not to restore the presidency to Zelaya, who then appealed to the population not to participate in the general elections called for 28 November 2009. The main left-wing candidate for the presidency, Carlos Reyes, together with a hundred or so candidates from different parties (including a sector of the liberal party), withdrew his candidature. On 10 November 2009, an embarrassed Washington announced at a meeting of the OAS that it would recognize the results of the elections of 29 November 2009. On the eve of the elections, human rights organizations had recorded the assassination of more than twenty political opposition activists since the coup d’Etat, 211 people injured during the repression, close to 2,000 cases of illegal detention, two attempted kidnappings and 114 political prisoners accused of sedition. Media opposing the coup were either shut down or harassed. The UN, the OAS, the European Union, UNASUR, the member countries of the Rio Group and ALBA had decided not to send observers. Estimates of the number of citizens who did not vote vary, depending on the source. According to the pro-putschist electoral Supreme Tribunal, the percentage of non-voters was 39%, while several independent organizations advance figures between 53% and 78%. In spite of this, State Department spokesman Ian Kelly considered these illegal and fraudulent elections “a necessary and important step forward.”[8] Washington recognized the election to the presidency of Porfirio Lobo of the National Party, a hardline representative of the property barons and the political right who organized the coup d’Etat. The U.S. Ambassador in Tegucigalpa declared that the elections were “a great celebration of democracy” and said the U.S. would work with Porfirio Lobo, whose nickname is Pepe. “Pepe Lobo is a man of great political experience”, Ambassador Llorens told HRN radio. “I wish him luck, and the United States will work with him for the good of both our countries. [...] Our relations will be very strong.” While the Honduran parliament decided on 2 December 2009 not to restore President Zelaya to office up to the end of his term on 27 January 2010, Washington continues to support the process put in motion by the putschist government.[9] This creates an extremely serious precedent because Washington has repeatedly stated that the ousting of Zelaya definitely constituted a coup d’Etat.[10] Supporting an electoral process stemming from a coup d’Etat and working to promote international recognition of both the authorities that perpetrated the coup and those benefiting from it gives clear encouragement to putschist aspirants who choose to rally to the Washington camp. This clearly applies to a large number of right-wing people in Paraguay.



Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo could be overthrown

In December 2009 the liberal senator Alfredo Luís Jaeggli, chair of the domestic commission and of the budget commission, called President Fernando Lugo to be overthrown, whom he charged with wishing to enforce the Chavist model of 21st century socialism, like Manuel Zelaya. Alfredo Jaeggli, whose party belongs to the current government and represents its main 'support' in parliament, claims that the coup in Honduras was not really a coup. He sees the overthrow of Manuel Zelaya, and what has been done by the de facto regime since, as perfectly legal.[11] He would like the Paraguayan parliament to initiate a political trial against Fernando Lugo, so as to remove him from his function and replace him with the Republic's Vice-president, namely the right-wing liberal Federico Franco. Senator Jaeggli's complaint has nothing to do with Lugo's moral behaviour, his attack is focused on his political options. He complains that he does not follow the lead of countries that carried out a successful economic reform, such as Chile under Pinochet and Argentina under Carlos Menem.[12] Clearly, Honduras can easily become a dangerous precedent as it opens the door to military coups condoned by some state institutions, such as the parliament or the Supreme Court.



Conclusion


In the light of this experience, we can see that the Obama administration is in no hurry to break with the methods used by its predecessors: witness the massive funding of different opposition movements within the context of its policy to “strengthen democracy”,[13] the launching of media campaigns to discredit governments that do not share its political agenda (Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Manuel Zelaya’s Honduras and so on), maintaining the blockade of Cuba, the support for separatist movements in Bolivia (the media luna and the regional capital, Santa Cruz), in Ecuador (the city of Guayaquil and its province), and in Venezuela (the petroleum state of Zulia, the capital of which is Maracaïbo),
[14] the support for military attacks, like the one perpetrated by Colombia in Ecuador in March 2008, as well as actions by Colombian or other paramilitary forces in Venezuela.


The recent dispatch of 10,000 soldiers to Haiti in the wake of the January 2010 earthquake, as well as the potential support for a constitutional coup d’Etat planned by some sectors of the Paraguayan right to overthrow President Fernando Lugo in 2010, are among other threats posed by the U.S. policy in Latin America and the Caribbean that should be paid attention to in the coming weeks.



Eric Toussaint, president of CADTM Belgium (Committee for the Abolition of Third World Debt, http://www.cadtm.org ). He is the author of Bank of the South. An Alternative to the IMF-World Bank, VAK, Mumbai, India, 2007; The World Bank, A Critical Primer, Pluto Press, Between The Lines, David Philip, London-Toronto-Cape Town 2008; Your Money or Your Life, The Tyranny of Global Finance, Haymarket, Chicago, 2005.

Translated by Charles La Via and Judith Harris

Notes


[1] The Colombian army bombed and captured FARC rebels in a guerrilla camp in Ecuadorian territory, killing some twenty people, including civilians. It is important to know that although the Colombian army is extremely strong, it has very little presence on the Colombian-Ecuadorian border, a fact that has allowed FARC guerrillas to set up camps there, including one in which Raúl Reyes, one of its main leaders in charge of international relations, was present at the time. Ecuador has regularly criticized Colombia for not providing adequate border control between these two countries.

[2] Created in 1986, the Rio Group comprises 19 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean: Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Ecuador, Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, plus, on a rotating basis, one representative of the Caribbean Community (Caricom).

[3] Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile

[4] A structure created in 1943 to protect ships in the South Atlantic, and abolished in 1950. It officially resumed operations on 1 July 2008.

[5] For an in-depth description of the sectors that backed the coup d’Etat, read Decio Machado’s study (in Spanish), which provides a list of the companies and their CEOs that encouraged or actively supported the putschists: “Quiénes apoyan al gobierno ilegítimo de Roberto Micheletti”, http://www.cadtm.org/Quienes-apoyan-al-gobierno

[6] Washington had paved the way for a putsch by massively financing the various opposition movements in the context of its policy to “strengthen democracy”. A month before the coup, different organizations, business groups, political parties, high officials of the Catholic church and private media, all opposed to Manuel Zelaya’s policies, grouped together in the coalition called “Democratic Civil Union of Honduras” in order to “reflect on how to put an end to it”. (http://www.lefigaro.fr/international/2009/07/07/01003-20090707ARTFIG00310-zelaya-toujours-banni-du-honduras-.php).

The majority of these groups received over US$ 50 million annually from USAID (the US Agency for International Development) and from NED (the National Endowment for Democracy) to “promote democracy” in Honduras. Read “Washington behind the Honduras coup: Here is the evidence”, by Eva Golinger, http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=14390

[7] Eva Golinger on the website http://www.centrodealerta.org published two original documents produced by the U.S. Air Force regarding the agreements on the 7 bases concerned. The first document dates from May 2009 (i.e. before the agreement was publicly announced) and stresses the vital importance of one of the 7 bases, observing that it will, among other things, make possible the “full spectrum operations in a critical sub-region of our hemisphere where security and stability are under constant threat from narcotics-funded terrorist insurgencies, anti-U.S. governments, endemic poverty and recurring natural disasters.” (http://www.centrodealerta.org/documentos_desclasificados/original_in_english_air_for.pdf). Eva Golinger adds the following comment: “It’s not difficult to imagine which governments in South America are considered by Washington to be ‘anti-U.S. governments’. The constant agressive declarations and statements emitted by the State and Defense Departments and the U.S. Congress against Venezuela and Bolivia, and even to some extent Ecuador, are evidence that the ALBA nations are the ones perceived by Washington as a ‘constant threat’. To classify a country as ‘anti-U.S.’ is to consider it an enemy of the United States. In this context, it’s obvious that the military agreement with Colombia is a reaction to a region the U.S. now considers full of ‘enemies’.” (“Official U.S. Air Force Document Reveals the True Intentions Behind the U.S.-Colombia Military Agreement” http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=15951).

[8] Quoted by AFP on 30 November 2009: “a necessary and important step forward” http://www.easybourse.com/bourse/actualite/honduran-elections-necessary-and-important-step-767041

[9] The right-wing Latin American governments who are allies of Washington (Colombia, Peru, Panama and Costa Rica) do likewise.

[10] See also the press conference given by Arturo Valenzuela, n°2 of the State Department for the Western Hemisphere, on 30 November 2009: “…the election is a significant step in Honduras’s return to the democratic and constitutional order after the 28 June coup…” “ … these elections are not elections that were planned by a de facto government at the last minute in order to whitewash their actions.” “We recognize that there are results in Honduras for this election. That’s quite clear. We recognize those results, and we commend Mr. Lobo for having won these elections.”

Arturo Valenzuela nevertheless sounded clearly embarassed when he declared in the same press conference: “The issue is whether the legitimate president of Honduras, who was overthrown in a coup d’Etat, will be returned to office by the congress on December 2nd, as per the San Jose-Tegucigalpa Accord. That was the accord that both sides signed at that time.” http://www.state.gov/p/wha/rls/rm/2009/132777.htm The fact is that 3 days later, the Honduran parliament voted by an overwhelming majority against Zelaya’s return to office, which did not deter Washington from continuing to support the de facto authorities.

[11] On 17 December 2009 Alfredo Luís Jaeggli said on the Argentinian public radio: “The Honduran president, assuming the presidency with a liberal model, thereafter betrayed this model and replaced it with the Socialism of the twenty-first century. What happened in Honduras (Jaeggli clearly refers to the 28 June 2009 coup), excuse me, for me it is completely legal. ” An audio version of the interview can be accessed at http://www.radionacional.com.ar/audios/el-senador-del-partido-liberal-habla-sobre-fernando-lugo-y-los-presuntos-planes-de-derrocamiento-en-paraguay.html

[12]"Paraguay is the only country along with Haiti and Cuba that did not reform in order to modernize. You had your modernization; you know well with the Menem government, what I mean. Brazil also had it, as well as Uruguay, Bolivia, too, but unfortunately they had an involution. Paraguay does not, it is still as if in the 50s ..." "In Chile, (...) do you believe that the socialists in Chile are those who made the economy grow? They have not changed anything, not even the Chilean labour code. The Chilean labour code is still the code implemented by Pinochet!"



[13] Eva Golinger explained : “(...) Obama called for an additional $320 million in “democracy promotion” funds for the 2010 budget just for use in Latin America. This is a substantially higher sum than the quantity requested and used in Latin America for “democracy promotion” by the Bush administration in its 8 years of government combined”! http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=14390

[14] Because of the failure of the mobilizations in the media luna in Bolivia at the end of 2008 and of the right in Guayaquil, Ecuador, led by the city’s mayor Jaime Nebot in September 2008, Washington has put its support on hold but may reactivate it if the context requires and allows it. The same may be said for the right in the state of Zulia in Venezuela.
[Image: conspiracy_theory.jpg]
Reply
03-29-2010, 03:29 AM,
#3
RE: conspiracy evidence of the US attempt to unite west into 1 ideological political body
Quote:The attitude explored in this article is a prelude to the attempt at a unified western hemisphere. The SPP and NAFTA are the nice, soft, squishy, policy agendas that are admitted publicly. This article is an example of the dark underbelly of the process the elite are using to create the beginning stages of the TOTAL American union - not just the North American Union. It's a continuation straight out of the neocon playbook, just like supporting the Honduran coup, and working to turn Haiti into a nation-sized sweatshop in the wake of the quake. They've already turned Columbia into a military base for US SOUTHCOM in preparation for military action, and have begun moving military into Mexico under the guise of fighting drug cartels - the imperialistic creep has begun in earnest.

That's an interesting proposition. However, it looks like a big FAIL to me. The US has been pushing fascism down their throat for over a hundred years and they keep spitting it back up. I could honestly see an overt north v. south situation (and I don't mean these proxy wars like Plan Columbia) develop before any sort of puppet oustering. They're sick of that crap and not buying. NAU the ideologies pretty much line up but that doesn't happen in the full hemisphere. Anyway nice finds got a little more to sift through in the second article when I get a chance. Keep posting this stuff. You find a lot of good shit.

Quote:-- harassing and intimidating political opponents; US
-- [] harsh prison conditions;
-- arbitrary arrests and detentions;
-- corruption and impunity in police forces;
-- a corrupt, inefficient, and politicized judicial system characterized by trial delays and violations of due process;
-- (targeting) political opponents and selective prosecution(s) for political purposes;
-- infringement of citizens' privacy rights by security forces;
-- government [purchase] of radio and television stations and threats to close others;
-- government attacks on public demonstrations;
-- systematic discrimination based on political grounds;
-- considerable corruption at all levels of government;
-- trafficking in persons [by US PMCs abroad never prosecuted]; and

Other charges have included drugs trafficking and ties to . . . "foreign terror organizations"
Welcome to the USA.

Quote:-- restricting human rights "enshrined in the American Convention on Human Rights;"
Erm. The US has never even ratified this treaty.
Reply
03-29-2010, 06:12 AM,
#4
RE: conspiracy evidence of the US attempt to unite west into 1 ideological political body
I know it's not fully developed yet - I plan on continuing to dig stuff up and build the case more - there are other threads I've posted that I have to merge with this one, and other stuff I know I've read before but haven't had the time to work on finding again. I just started a nation-wide nutritional supplement sales coordination job, so that along with the other different issues I'm working on right now have left this one a little threadbare. These pieces are just the beginning of this case. There will be more in the near future.
[Image: conspiracy_theory.jpg]
Reply
03-29-2010, 04:46 PM, (This post was last modified: 03-29-2010, 05:14 PM by h3rm35.)
#5
RE: conspiracy evidence of the US attempt to unite west into 1 ideological political body
Chavez: Clinton thinks US owns 'the continent'


Global Research, March 29, 2010
Press TV - 2010-03-28

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez scorns US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as an ancient thinker, charging her with interfering in Venezuelan domestic affairs.

"She still considers herself the imperial lady. She is behind the times," Chavez said during his visit to Ecuador on Friday.

"She still thinks the United States is the owner of this continent," he added.

Chavez made the remarks after Clinton criticized Caracas over the detention of television station owner Guillermo Zuloaga.

During a Latin American tour, Clinton said that the Venezuelan government is limiting freedom and should restore "full democracy."

"A Venezuelan judge comes along and orders the detention of a criminal in Venezuela who owns a media outlet," Chavez noted.

"And then they attack the government of Venezuela ... for attacking press freedom, for attacking journalists and the news media - what cynicism. It's the cynicism of the (US) empire."

Attorney General Luisa Ortega said Zuloaga is charged with deliberately spreading false information and insulting Chavez at an Inter-American Press Association meeting in Aruba last weekend.

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US Keeps Meddling in Nicaragua Affairs


Global Research, March 26, 2010
Prensa Latina - 2010-03-25

Managua - The US constantly interferes in Nicaragua's internal affairs through its ambassador here, Sandinista political circles denounced on Thursday in this capital.

Such were the statements made by sources interviewed by Prensa Latina, after Nicaraguan Ambassador Denis Moncada's denunciation on Wednesday in the Organization of American States (OAS), when he directly alluded to Washington's representative to this capital Robert Callahan.

The Nicaraguan diplomat accused Callahan of meddling in Nicaraguan internal affairs, and said the latest example occurred this week, when he refused to attend a meeting to open a highway section built in Leon department, with funds from the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA), sponsored by Washington.

On several occasions, the US diplomat has publicly supported attempts by Nicaraguan opposition parties, rating as fraudulent the 2008 municipal elections, when the Sandinista National Liberation Front won the majority of the country's mayoralties.

In addition, he made continuation of the MCA conditional on the Nicaraguan government's promotion of freedom of speech, respect for human rights, and free clean elections.
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I know some of you have a particular taste for Chomsky, but when it comes to discussing US hegemony, he's an expert, so I'm using him anyway. Tongue

Militarizing Latin America

by Noam Chomsky


Global Research, March 25, 2010
ZSpace - 2010-03-24

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The United States was founded as an "infant empire," in George Washington's words. The conquest of the national territory was a grand imperial venture, much like the vast expansion of the Grand Duchy of Moscow. From the earliest days, control over the Western Hemisphere was a critical goal. Ambitions expanded during World War II, as the US displaced Britain and lesser imperial powers. High-level planners concluded that the US should "hold unquestioned power" in a world system including not only the Western Hemisphere, but also the former British Empire and the Far East, and later, as much of Eurasia as possible.

A primary goal of NATO was to block moves towards European independence, along Gaullist lines. That became still more clear when the USSR collapsed, and with it the Russian threat that was the formal justification of NATO. NATO was not disbanded, but rather expanded, in violation of promises to Mikhail Gorbachev that NATO would not even fully extend to East Germany, let alone beyond, and that "NATO would be transforming itself into a more political organization." By now it is virtually an international intervention force under US command, its self-defined jurisdiction reaching to control energy sources, pipelines, and sea lanes. And Europe is a well-disciplined junior partner.

Throughout the expansion of US Empire, Latin America retained its primacy in global planning. As Washington was considering the overthrow of the Allende government in Chile in 1971, Nixon's National Security Council observed that if the US couldn't control Latin America, how could it expect "to achieve a successful order elsewhere in the world?" That policy has become more severe with recent South American moves towards integration, a prerequisite for independence, and establishment of more varied international ties, while also beginning to address severe internal disorders, most importantly, the traditional rule of a rich Europeanized minority over a sea of misery and suffering.

In July 2009, the US and Colombia concluded a secret deal to permit the US to use seven military bases in Colombia. The official purpose is to counter narcotrafficking and terrorism, "but senior Colombian military and civilian officials familiar with negotiations told The Associated Press that the idea is to make Colombia a regional hub for Pentagon operations." There are reports that the agreement provides Colombia with privileged access to US military supplies. Colombia had already become the leading recipient of US military aid. Colombia has had by far the worst human rights record in the hemisphere since the Central American wars of the 1980s wound down. The correlation between US aid and human rights violations has long been noted by scholarship.

AP also cited an April 2009 document of the US Air Mobility Command, which proposed that the Palanquero base in Colombia could become a "cooperative security location" (CSL) from which "mobility operations could be executed." The report noted that from Palanquero, "Nearly half the continent can be covered by a C-17 (military trans- port) without refueling." This could form part of "a global en route strategy," which "helps achieve the regional engagement strategy and assists with the mobility routing to Africa." For the present, "the strategy to place a CSL at Palanquero should be sufficient for air mobility reach on the South American continent," the document concludes, but it goes on to explore options for extending the routing to Africa with additional bases.

Establishing US military bases in Colombia is only one part of a much broader effort to restore Washington's capacity for military intervention. There has been a sharp increase in US military aid and training of Latin American officers, focusing on light infantry tactics to combat "radical populism" -- a concept that sends shivers up the spine in the Latin American context Military training is being shifted from the State Department to the Pentagon, eliminating human rights and democracy conditionalities under congressional supervision, which has always been weak, but was at least a deterrent to some of the worst abuses. The US Fourth Fleet, disbanded in 1950, was reactivated in 2008, shortly after Colombia's invasion of Ecuador, with responsibility for the Caribbean, Central and South America, and the surrounding waters. The official announcement defines its "various operations" to "include counter-illicit trafficking, theater security cooperation, military-to-military interaction and bilateral and multinational training."

Militarization of South America is a component of much broader global programs, as the "global en route strategy" indicates. In Iraq, there is virtually no information about the fate of the huge US military bases, so they are presumably being maintained for force projection. The immense city-within-a-city US embassy in Baghdad not only remains but its cost is to rise to $18 billion USD this year, from an estimated $1.5 billion USD last year. The Obama administration is also constructing mega embassies that are completely without precedent in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

In short, moves towards "a world of peace" do not fall within the "change you can believe in," to borrow Obama's campaign slogan.

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Rumors Of Coups And War: U.S., NATO Target Latin America


By Rick Rozoff

Global Research, November 18, 2009
Stop NATO

There is no way of overestimating the challenge that the emergence of ALBA and the overall reawakening of Latin America pose to the role that the U.S. arrogates to itself as lord of the entire Western Hemisphere. The almost two-century-old Monroe Doctrine exemplifies Washington's claim to exclusive influence over all of North, Central and South America and the Caribbean Basin and its self-claimed right to subordinate them to its own interests. Never before the election victories of anti-neoliberal forces throughout Latin America over the past eleven years has the prospect of a truly democratic, multipolar New World existed as it does now.

It is in response to those developments that the U.S. and its former colonialist allies in NATO are attempting to reassert their influence in the Americas south of the U.S. border.


November 28 will mark five months since the coup led by U.S.-trained commanders deposed the president of Honduras, the next day will see a mock election in the same nation designed to legitimize the junta of Roberto Micheletti, and the day following that will be a month since Washington signed an agreement with the Alvaro Uribe government in Colombia for the use of seven military bases in the country.

While intensifying a full-scale war in South Asia, continuing occupation missions in Iraq and the Balkans, maintaining warships off the coasts of Somalia and Lebanon, and deploying troops and conducting war games in most parts of the world, the United States and its NATO allies have not neglected Latin America.

Central and South America and the Caribbean are receiving a degree of attention from the U.S. and its partners not witnessed since the Cold War and in some ways are the targets of even more intense scrutiny and intervention.

Nearly five months since the June 28 coup d'etat against Honduran President Manuel Zelaya led by General Romeo Vasquez Velasquez, a graduate of the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, formerly the School of the Americas, Washington has not used its substantial - decisive - leverage with the illegal government and its military supporters to reverse the armed takeover of power. Instead it has conspired with the junta to drag out deliberately futile negotiations and has thrown its weight behind the November 29 election which, occurring without the previous reinstalling of President Zelaya, will be a travesty of law and international protocols and is in fact intended to lend false credibility to the current regime.

On November 15 Manuel Zelaya wrote a letter to American President Barack Obama decrying Washington's machinations and stating that accepting the terms of the U.S.-sanctioned (to say no more) arrangement with Micheletti regarding the upcoming election would amount to “covering up the coup d’etat, which we know has a direct impact due to the military repression on the human rights of the inhabitants of our country.”

The letter also said “The same day that the accord’s Verification Commission was set up in Tegucigalpa the statements by officials from the State Department surprised (everyone) where they modify their position and interpret the accord unilaterally with the following statement: ‘the elections should be recognized by the United States with or without the reinstatement’" of President Zelaya. [1]

The accord in question was one brokered by Costa Rican President Oscar Arias and signed on October 29 which would have led to a unity government with Manuel Zelaya returned to the presidency preparatory to a new election.

Micheletti and his supporters in the country's business community and "muscle" in the military unilaterally abrogated the terms of the agreement by thwarting Zelaya's reinstatement and appointing all members of the national cabinet. With the active connivance of Washington, as Zelaya's letter to Obama contends.

If a government friendly to the United States was overthrown in the manner that the Honduran one was on June 28 it would not take the White House and the State Department five months to respond, and even then only to abet the crime. Censure, sanctions and covert operations would have been resorted to immediately.

In nations where candidates not entirely to the West's liking win elections or unapproved presidents win reelection, the whole panoply of "regime change" interventions are put into effect with some variation of a "color revolution" ultimately negating and reversing the result. That such efforts have not been extended in Honduras is ample proof that the U.S. is satisfied with matters as they stand and would prefer the likes of Micheletti and General Vasquez to preside over a country where the Pentagon has a military facility at the Soto Cano Air Base and there stations its Joint Task Force Bravo replete with Black Hawk and Chinook helicopters.

On November 16 a photograph appeared on a Pentagon website, Defense Link, of the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen, and his Colombian opposite number, General Freddy Padilla de Leon, shaking hands outside the Pentagon three days earlier. [2]

No story on or details of their meeting are available, not even on Defense Department sites. Only the photograph and brief notices on Facebook and Twitter.

Padilla's resume is both illustrative and typical. He earlier matriculated in "terrorism studies" at George Washington University and received a fellowship for the Foreign Service Program at Georgetown University, as well as taking a course on advanced military studies at Fort Belvoir, Virginia and and training in strategic intelligence at the Defense Intelligence Analysis Center in Washington, D.C.

The transcripts of his discussions with Mullen would prove intriguing, focusing as they no doubt did on the buildup at the seven military bases in Colombia recently turned over to the Pentagon and on the uses thereof.

Since the agreement on their acquisition by the United States was signed on October 30 confirmation of the bases' dual purpose - escalating the counterinsurgency war inside the country and containing and confronting two of its neighbors, Venezuela and Ecuador - has been witnessed.

Bogota reported that nine of its soldiers were killed and four wounded in a major clash with FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) fighters in the southwestern department of Cauca on November 10.

Five days later Colombia seized four Venezuelan border guards on a river off Colombia's Vichada Department. A few days earlier two Venezuelan National Guard troops were killed in the state of Tachira on the Colombian border, leading Caracas to deploy 15,000 troops to the area on November 5.

The preceding week Venezuela arrested eight Colombian nationals and two locals suspected of paramilitary activity on the two countries' border. Government official Ricardo Sanguino "denounced increasing paramilitary activity as a strategy to conceal soaring US access to Colombian military bases" and said "they are trying to destabilize the government of Venezuela...." [3]

Recently Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez renewed repeated concerns over the new American bases on the territory of his western neighbor, saying "that according to recently produced documents, the military bases would be used for espionage purposes, allowing US troops there to launch a military offensive against Venezuela." [4]

On November 8 Bolivian President Evo Morales said that "the use of Colombian military bases by U.S. troops meant a provocation to the Latin American peoples, mainly to the members of the Bolivarian Alliance of the Americas (ALBA)."

He specified that "With the excuse of fighting against drug trafficking and terrorism, thousands of U.S. soldiers will be deployed in Colombia." [5]

ALBA, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America, consists of Bolivia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Honduras (until the coup), Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Antigua and Barbuda, the last three nations joining this June.

Washington using Colombia as the nucleus of a new Latin American military bloc to counteract ALBA has been explored in a previous article in this series. [6] Other prospective candidates include post-coup Honduras, Panama, Peru and Chile, with pressure placed on Brazil, Guyana and Suriname to either supply bases or in other ways augment American and European military presence in Latin America and the Caribbean. [7]

The seven new U.S. military bases in Colombia allow the Pentagon far more scope than is required merely for alleged drug interdiction surveillance and even for the counterinsurgency war against the FARC. The agreement on the bases, bearing the sleep-inducing title of Supplemental Agreement for Cooperation and Technical Assistance in Defense and Security Between the Governments of The United States of America and the Republic of Colombia, lists where U.S. military personnel and equipment will be deployed:

German Olano Moreno Air Base, Palanquero; Alberto Pawells Rodriguez Air Base, Malambo; Tolemaida Military Fort, Nilo; Larandia Military Fort, Florencia; Capitan Luis Fernando Gomez Nino Air Base, Apiay; ARC Bolivar Naval Base in Cartagena; and ARC Malaga Naval Base in Bahia Malaga. [8]

The document also states that "the Parties agree to deepen their cooperation in areas such as interoperability, joint procedures, logistics and equipment, training and instruction, intelligence exchanges, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, combined exercises, and other mutually agreed activities" and Washington's Colombian client concedes, in addition to the seven bases named above, "access to and use of other facilities and locations as may be agreed by the Parties."

Furthermore, "The authorities of Colombia shall, without rental or similar costs to the United States, allow access to and use of the agreed facilities and locations, and easements and rights of way, owned by Colombia that are necessary to support activities carried out within the framework of this Agreement, including agreed construction. The United States shall cover all necessary operations and maintenance expenses associated with its use of agreed facilities and locations."

U.S. military, intelligence and drug enforcement personnel - and American private contractors - "and their dependents" are granted "the privileges, exemptions, and immunities accorded to the administrative and technical staff of a diplomatic mission under the Vienna Convention....Colombia shall guarantee that its authorities verify, as promptly as possible, the immunity status of United States personnel and their dependents who are suspected of criminal activity in Colombia and hand them over as promptly as possible to the appropriate United States diplomatic or military authorities."

One of the military bases obtained by the United States - the Larandia Military Fort in Florencia - is within easy striking distance of Ecuador (as the Alberto Pawells Rodriguez Air Base in Malambo is of Veneuzela).

Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa and Defense Minister Javier Ponce visited Russia late last month and on October 29 the two nations signed a declaration on strategic partnership. Correa and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev discussed energy and military cooperation. Ahead of the visit Ecuador's president stated, "We need to restore the might of our army" in reference to the U.S. buildup in Colombia, its neighbor to the north. "Ecuador has been alarmed by the decision of Colombia, with which it severed diplomatic relations in March 2008, to allow U.S. troops to use its bases." [9] The severing of relations occurred after Colombia's army launched an attack inside Ecuador.

Ecuador and Russia signed a contract for the delivery of Mi-171E Hip transport helicopters to the Ecuadoran Ground Forces and a Russian newspaper said "Russia could supply six Su-30MK2 Flanker multirole fighters, several helicopters, and air defense systems to Ecuador, which would increase the value of their military cooperation to over $200 million." [10]

Like other members of ALBA - Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua - Ecuador is purchasing Russian military equipment as a counterbalance to traditional U.S. domination of its defense procurements, with the potential for sabotage and blackmail it entails, and as protection against potential attacks from Washington and its proxies, most notably Colombia.

There is no way of overestimating the challenge that the emergence of ALBA and the overall reawakening of Latin America pose to the role that the U.S. arrogates to itself as lord of the entire Western Hemisphere. The almost two-century-old Monroe Doctrine exemplifies Washington's claim to exclusive influence over all of North, Central and South America and the Caribbean Basin and its self-claimed right to subordinate them to its own interests. Never before the election victories of anti-neoliberal forces throughout Latin America over the past eleven years has the prospect of a truly democratic, multipolar New World existed as it does now.

It is in response to those developments that the U.S. and its former colonialist allies in NATO are attempting to reassert their influence in the Americas south of the U.S. border.

The Pentagon recommissioned the Navy's Fourth Fleet, disbanded in 1950 after World War II, last year and fully activated it this one. Its area of responsibility is the Caribbean Sea and Central and South America.

In early November a new commander for U.S. Army South was appointed, Major General Simeon Trombitas. The Army Times of November 10 provided background information on him:

"Trombitas, a 1978 West Point graduate, began his career in the 2nd Armored Division and served three tours with 7th Special Forces Group. He served in U.S. Southern Command and Special Operations Command in Panama and commanded the U.S. Military Group in Colombia. His general officer assignments include commanding general of Special Operations Command, Korea, and he served on the Iraq National Counter-Terrorism Force Transition Team." [11]

The United States is not alone in threatening a newly and truly independent Latin America and Colombia and Honduras are not the only parts of Washington's plans. On November 5 Paraguay's President Fernando Lugo replaced the nation's top military commanders - Army General Oscar Velazquez, Navy Rear Admiral Claudelino Recalde and Air Force General Hugo Aranda - against a backdrop of what Agence France-Presse reported as a fear of "an ouster similar to the one that befell Honduran President Manuel Zelaya...." [12]

That the Honduran putsch is intended to be the first in a series of similar plots in Latin America and is neither an aberration nor the last of its kind was also indicated last week when Nicaragua expelled a Dutch European Union parliamentarian. Radio Netherlands characterized the motivation for the action as follow: "Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega says Dutch MEP Hans van Baalen was in Nicaragua to see how the army felt about attempting a coup d´etat, but found no officers willing to go along with the idea."

Van Baalen then moved to Honduras to "mediate in the political conflict between ousted President Manuel Zelaya and his de facto successor Roberto Micheletti." [13]

Mexican journalist Luis Gutierrez, speaking at a conference against NATO's global expansion in Berlin last month and in particular of the bloc's Article 5 military mutual assistance clause, observed that "Mexico's 3,000 kilometer border with the United States is also a border with NATO." [14] Troops from 50 nations on five continents and in the Persian Gulf, the Caucasus and the South Pacific are serving or pledged to serve under NATO command in Afghanistan at the moment because of Article 5.

The Netherlands, for example, is not only assisting its American NATO ally in Nicaragua and Honduras, but allows its island possessions in the Caribbean - the Netherlands Antilles - to be employed for surveillance of and future military actions against Venezuela.

In Curacao, a Dutch possession only 70 kilometers from the Venezuelan coast, the leader of an opposition party, Pueblo Soberano (Sovereign People), demanded that the U.S. military base on the island be closed down.

Helmin Wiels said that "he wants to prevent Curacao from being dragged into what he predicts will be a future war between the US and Venezuela.

"The US has a number of military bases in Colombia, and Mr Wiels claims the country is intent on a confrontation with Venezuela's leftwing President Hugo Chavez." [15]

In May of 2008 a U.S. warplane flying from Curacao violated Venezuelan airspace, conducting surveillance of the Venezuelan military base on
Orchila Island. President Chavez said of the intrusion: "They're spying, they're even testing our reaction capacity." [16]

Moreover, Venezuela accused the U.S. of coordinating the action with Colombia, whose soldiers had crossed the Venezuelan border the day before.

In 2005 Chavez appeared on the American television news program Nightline and warned that the U.S. and its NATO allies were rehearsing invasion plans for his nation, codenamed Balboa, which involved aircraft carriers and warplanes, and said that American troops had been deployed to Curacao as part of the preparations.

He further admonished: "We are coming up with a counter-Balboa plan. That is to say if the government of the United States attempts to commit the foolhardy enterprise of attacking us, it would be embarked on a 100-year war. We are prepared." [17]

A former Dutch possession in the Caribbean, Suriname, one country (Guyana) removed from Venezuela, offered the Pentagon bases to test military vehicles for jungle warfare in 2007.

In Guyana, Venezuela's eastern neighbor, the nation's former colonial master Britain canceled a security agreement after the Guyanese government questioned its partner's real intentions.

The nation's Office of the President released a statement which in part said: “This decision by the UK Government is believed to be linked to the administration’s refusal to permit training of British Special Forces in Guyana using live firing in a hinterland community on the western border with Brazil and Venezuela.” [18]

The Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr. Roger Luncheon, stated, "It could be that the UK Government did not fully appreciate how dearly held was our position on the non-violation of the sovereignty of Guyana. Their insistence in installing in their design in April...management features that seriously compromise Guyana’s ownership and when our new design re-established ownership that was more consistent with our notions of sovereignty, the plug was pulled...." [19]

With U.S. bases in Colombia to the west and in the Netherlands Antilles to the north, British military presence in the east would tighten the encirclement of Venezuela. A collective siege conducted by NATO allies the U.S., the Netherlands and Britain.

This June the chief of the Pentagon command that covers Central America, South America and the Caribbean - Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) - Admiral James Stavridis, was transferred to Brussels to become top military commander of United States European Command (EUCOM) and NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR).

The transition was seamless, as one of the first initiatives on his new watch was to recruit U.S.-trained Colombian counterinsurgency troops for the war in Afghanistan. When they arrive they will be the first forces from Latin America, and the Western Hemisphere in general except for NATO members the U.S. and Canada, to serve under the Alliance's command in the escalating South Asian war. [20]

Elsewhere in the Caribbean, Panamanian opposition sources report that Washington is in the process of securing four air and naval bases in their country. A news story from late September revealed that a preliminary agreement on the bases "was reached between Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during recent talks in New York." [21]

On November 9 Senator Bill Nelson of Florida spoke out against drilling for oil off his state's coast, saying "many of the activities at Florida military bases, including testing missile and drone systems and training pilots, depend on the vast open stretches of ocean, much of it restricted airspace."

He mentioned that the Gulf of Mexico is "the largest testing and training area for the U.S. military in the world." [22]

A Cuban analysis of three years ago described the overall American military blueprint for Latin America and the Caribbean:

"The United States has a system of bases that has managed to establish two areas of control:

"1. The circle formed by the Caribbean islands, the Gulf of Mexico and Central America, which covers the largest oil deposits in Latin America, and is formed by the bases of Guantanamo, Reina Beatriz, Hato Rey, Lampira, Roosevelt, Palmerola, Soto Cano, Comalapa and other lesser military posts.

"2. The circle that surrounds the Amazon basin, downward from Panama, where the canal, the region’s wealth and the location of an entry to South America have been essential, and which is formed by the bases of Manta [closed by Ecuador this July], Larandia, Tres Esquinas, Cano Limon, Marandua, Riohacha, Iquitos, Pucallpa, Yurimaguas and Chiclayo, which in their turn are linked to those of the region further north...." [23]

The U.S. strategy to control the Amazon Basin and the Andean region depends on Colombia on the northwest of the South American continent and on obtaining bases and military allies further south. Peru is one such likely location and so is another which is at loggerheads with it, Chile.

Under former defense minister and current president Michelle Bachelet the nation has amassed a formidable arsenal of advanced weapons from NATO states: Hundreds of German, French and American tanks; F-16s from the Netherlands and the United States; Dutch and British destroyers; French Scorpion submarines. [24]

This unprecedented - and unjustified - arms buildup has alarmed Chile's neighbors: Argentina, Bolivia and Peru.

A commentary from four years ago pointed out that "Foreign analysts have said that Chile is seeking hegemonic military power in Latin America vis-a-vis Peru, Argentina and Bolivia in order to defend Chilean economic interests in those countries and, in case of armed conflict, to expand its territory in the way it has done in the past.” [25]

On November 6 Bachelet appointed General Juan Miguel Fuente-Alba Poblete as new commander in chief of the Chilean army, which "aroused objections from human rights organizations, since he has been accused of being involved in a series of massive [violations] during the military regime of 1973-1990." [26]

Six days later the Reuters news agency reported that the U.S. is to provide Chile with $655 million dollars worth of new arms: "The Pentagon on Thursday [November 5] advised the U.S. Congress of the possible sale of stinger missiles worth about $455 million, AIM medium-range missiles worth $145 million and Sentinel radar systems worth $65 million." [27]

Several days later a report titled "U.S. Authorizes Sale of German Missiles to Chile" detailed:

"Seven months after Chile's Defense Minister expressed interest in purchasing a fleet of used (U.S. made) F-16 Fighter Jets from Holland, the U.S. government helped seal the deal by supporting Chile's bid to buy missiles for the jets."

It added: "Also last week, the Pentagon endorsed two other possible defensive arms sales for Chile's army. The first purchase would include six new Sentinel radar systems and six SINCGARS radio systems, at a cost of US$65 million. The second deal could include 36 Avenger planes and 390 ground-to-air missiles at a cost of US$455 million." [28]
....
The accelerating pace and wide-ranging scope with which the U.S. and its allies are militarizing the world is unparalleled. Even during the depth of the Cold War most nations avoided being pulled into military blocs, arms buildups and wars. No longer. And Latin America is no exception.

Notes

1) CNN, November 15, 2009
2) Photograph
http://www.defenselink.mil/dodcmsshare/homepagephoto/2009-11/hires_091116-N-0696M-004d.jpg
3) Prensa Latina, November 2, 2009
4) Press TV, November 16, 2009
5) Xinhua News Agency, November 10, 2009
6) Colombia: U.S. Escalates War Plans In Latin America
Stop NATO, July 22, 2009
http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/09/01/colombia-u-s-escalates-war-plans-in-latin-america
7) Twenty Years After End Of The Cold War: Pentagon’s Buildup In Latin
America
Stop NATO, November 4, 2009
http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/11/04/stop-nato
8) http://justf.org/content/supplemental-agreement-cooperation-and-technical-assistance-defense-and-security-between-gov
9) Vedomosti, October 27, 2009
10) Ibid
11) Army Times, November 10, 2009
12) Agence France-Presse, November 6, 2009
13) Radio Netherlands, November 15, 2009
14) World Future Online, October 24, 2009
15) Radio Netherlands, November 16, 2009
16) Bloomberg News, May 21, 2008
17) Associated Press, September 16, 2005
18) Stabroek News, October 28, 2009
19) Ibid
20) Afghan War: NATO Builds History’s First Global Army
Stop NATO, August 9, 2009
http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/09/01/afghan-war-nato-builds-historys-first-global-army
South Asia, Latin America: Pentagon’s 21st Century Counterinsurgency
Wars
Stop NATO, July 29, 2009
http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/09/01/south-asia-latin-america-pentagons-21st-century-counterinsurgency-wars
21) Russian Information Agency Novosti, September 27, 2009
22) Tampa Tribune, November 10, 2009
23) Granma International, April 18, 2006
24) NATO Of The South: Chile, South Africa, Australia, Antarctica
Stop NATO, May 30, 2009
http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/08/31/nato-of-the-south-chile-south-africa-australia-antarctica
25) OhmyNews International, December 31, 2005
26) Xinhua News Agency, November 7, 2009
27) Reuters, November 12, 2009
28) Santiago Times, November 16, 2009
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Permanent Agression: War on the Horizon in Latin America

By Eva Golinger

Global Research, March 12, 2010
Postcards from the Revolution - 2010-03-11

The Empire will stop at nothing to find mechanisms and techniques to achieve its final objective, and we cannot disregard the possibility of a military conflict in the near future. If the US places Venezuela on the “terrorist list” this year, we could be on the verge of a regional war.

Latin America has suffered constant aggressions executed by Washington during the past two hundred years. Strategies and tactics of covert and overt warfare have been applied against different nations in the region, ranging from coup d’etats, assassinations, disappearances, torture, brutal dictatorships, atrocities, political persecution, economic sabotage, psychological operations, media warfare, biological warfare, subversion, counterinsurgency, paramiliary infiltration, diplomatic terrorism, blockades, electoral intervention to military invasions. Regardless of who’s in the White House – democrat or republican – when it comes to Latin America, the Empire’s policies remain the same.

In the twenty-first century, Venezuela has been one of the principle targets of these constant aggressions. Since the April 2002 coup, there has been a dangerous escalation in attacks and destabilization attempts against the Bolivarian Revolution. Although many fell beneath the seductive smile and poetic words of Barack Obama, it’s not necessary to look beyond the past year to see the intensification of Washington’s aggressions against Venezuela. The largest military expansion in history in the region – through the US occupation of Colombia – the reactivation of the Fourth Fleet of the US Navy, as well as an increased US military presence in the Caribbean, Panama and Central America throughout the past year, can be interpreted as preparation for a conflict scenario in the region.

Escalation in Aggressions

The hostile declarations from various Washington representatives during the past few weeks, accusing Venezuela of failure to combat narcotics operations, violating human rights, “not contributing to democracy and regional stability”, and of being the “regional anti-US leader”, form part of a coordinated campaign that seeks to justify a direct aggression against Venezuela. Soon, Washington will publish its annual list of “state sponsors of terrorism”, and if Venezuela is placed on the list this year, the region could be on the brink of an unprecedented military conflict.

Evidence seems to indicate a move in that direction. A US Air Force document justifying the need to increase military presence in Colombia affirmed that Washington is preparing for “expeditionary warfare” in South America.

The 2009 Air Force document, sent to Congress last May (but later modified in November after it was used to demonstrate the true intentions behind the military agreement between the US and Colombia), explained, ““Development of this CSL (Cooperative Security Location) will further the strategic partnership forged between the US and Colombia and is in the interest of both nations... A presence will also increase our capability to conduct Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), improve global reach, support logistics requirements, improve partnerships, improve theater security cooperation and expand expeditionary warfare capability”.

On the Verge of War

The first official report outlining the defense and intelligence priorities of the Obama administration dedicated substantial attention to Venezuela. The Annual Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community – which has mentioned Venezuela in years past, but not nearly with the same emphasis and extension – particularly signaled out President Chavez as a major “threat” to US interests. “Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has established himself as one of the US’s foremost international detractors, denouncing liberal democracy and market capitalism and opposing US policies and interests in the region”, said the intelligence document, placing Venezuela in the same category as Iran, North Korea and Al Qa’ida.

Days after the report was published, the State Department presented its 2011 budget to Congress. In addition to an increase in financing through USAID and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) to fund opposition groups in Venezuela – more than $15 million USD – there was also a $48 million USD request for the Organization of American States (OAS) to “deploy special ‘democracy promoter’ teams to countries where democracy is under threat from the growing presence of alternative concepts such as the ‘participatory democracy’ promoted by Venezuela and Bolivia”.

One week later, the Inter-American Human Rights Commission of the OAS – funded by Washington – emitted a whopping 322-page report slamming Venezuela for human rights violations, repression of the press and undermining democracy. Despite the fact that it was a report – and a Commission – dedicated to the topic of human rights, the detailed study barely mentioned the immense achievements of the Chavez government in advancing human rights; advances which have been recognized and applauded over the past five years by the Unted Nations. The evidence used by the OAS to elaborate the report came from opposition testimonies and biased media outlets, a clear demonstration of dangerous subjectivity.

Simultaneous to these accusations, a Spanish court accused the Venezuelan government last week of supporting and collaborating with the FARC and ETA – organizations considered terrorist by both the US and Spain – provoking an international scandal. President Chavez reiterated that his government has absolutely no ties with any terrorist group in the world. “This is a government of peace”, declared Chavez, after explaining that the presence of ETA members in Venezuela is due to an agreement made over 20 years ago by the government of Carlos Andres Perez in order to aid Spain in a peace treaty with the Basque separatist group.

The Empire Has No Color

Last week, on tour in Latin America, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton couldn’t stop attacking Venezuela during her different declarations made before international media. She expressed her “great concern” for democracy and human rights in Venezuela, accusing President Chavez of not “contributing in a constructive manner” to regional progress. In a cynical tone, Clinton advised President Chavez to “look further south” for inspiration, instead of towards Cuba.

Clinton’s regional trip was part of a strategy announced by the Obama administration last year, to create a divide between the so-called “progressive left” and the “radical left” in Latin America. It’s no coincidence that her first tour of the region coincided with the announcement of a new Latin American and Caribbean Community of States, which excludes the presence of the US and Canada.

The Coming Conflict

A military conflict is not initiated from one day to the next. It’s a process that involves first influencing public perception and opinion – demonizing the target leader or government in order to justify aggression. Subsequently, armed forces are strategically deployed in the region in order to guarantee an effective military action. Tactics, such as subversion and counterinsurgency, are utilized in order to debilitate and destabilize the target nation from within, increasing its vulnerability and weakening its defenses.

This plan has been active against Venezuela for several years. The consolidation of regional unity and Latin American integration threatens US possibilities of regaining domination and control in the hemisphere. And the advances of the Bolivarian Revolution have impeded its “self-destruction”, provoked by internal subversion funded and directed by US agencies. However, the Empire will not cease its attempts to achieve its final objective, and a potential military conflict in the region remains on the horizon.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Permanent Agression: War on the Horizon in Latin America

By Eva Golinger

Global Research, March 12, 2010
Postcards from the Revolution - 2010-03-11

The Empire will stop at nothing to find mechanisms and techniques to achieve its final objective, and we cannot disregard the possibility of a military conflict in the near future. If the US places Venezuela on the “terrorist list” this year, we could be on the verge of a regional war.

Latin America has suffered constant aggressions executed by Washington during the past two hundred years. Strategies and tactics of covert and overt warfare have been applied against different nations in the region, ranging from coup d’etats, assassinations, disappearances, torture, brutal dictatorships, atrocities, political persecution, economic sabotage, psychological operations, media warfare, biological warfare, subversion, counterinsurgency, paramiliary infiltration, diplomatic terrorism, blockades, electoral intervention to military invasions. Regardless of who’s in the White House – democrat or republican – when it comes to Latin America, the Empire’s policies remain the same.

In the twenty-first century, Venezuela has been one of the principle targets of these constant aggressions. Since the April 2002 coup, there has been a dangerous escalation in attacks and destabilization attempts against the Bolivarian Revolution. Although many fell beneath the seductive smile and poetic words of Barack Obama, it’s not necessary to look beyond the past year to see the intensification of Washington’s aggressions against Venezuela. The largest military expansion in history in the region – through the US occupation of Colombia – the reactivation of the Fourth Fleet of the US Navy, as well as an increased US military presence in the Caribbean, Panama and Central America throughout the past year, can be interpreted as preparation for a conflict scenario in the region.

Escalation in Aggressions

The hostile declarations from various Washington representatives during the past few weeks, accusing Venezuela of failure to combat narcotics operations, violating human rights, “not contributing to democracy and regional stability”, and of being the “regional anti-US leader”, form part of a coordinated campaign that seeks to justify a direct aggression against Venezuela. Soon, Washington will publish its annual list of “state sponsors of terrorism”, and if Venezuela is placed on the list this year, the region could be on the brink of an unprecedented military conflict.

Evidence seems to indicate a move in that direction. A US Air Force document justifying the need to increase military presence in Colombia affirmed that Washington is preparing for “expeditionary warfare” in South America.

The 2009 Air Force document, sent to Congress last May (but later modified in November after it was used to demonstrate the true intentions behind the military agreement between the US and Colombia), explained, ““Development of this CSL (Cooperative Security Location) will further the strategic partnership forged between the US and Colombia and is in the interest of both nations... A presence will also increase our capability to conduct Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), improve global reach, support logistics requirements, improve partnerships, improve theater security cooperation and expand expeditionary warfare capability”.

On the Verge of War

The first official report outlining the defense and intelligence priorities of the Obama administration dedicated substantial attention to Venezuela. The Annual Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community – which has mentioned Venezuela in years past, but not nearly with the same emphasis and extension – particularly signaled out President Chavez as a major “threat” to US interests. “Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has established himself as one of the US’s foremost international detractors, denouncing liberal democracy and market capitalism and opposing US policies and interests in the region”, said the intelligence document, placing Venezuela in the same category as Iran, North Korea and Al Qa’ida.

Days after the report was published, the State Department presented its 2011 budget to Congress. In addition to an increase in financing through USAID and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) to fund opposition groups in Venezuela – more than $15 million USD – there was also a $48 million USD request for the Organization of American States (OAS) to “deploy special ‘democracy promoter’ teams to countries where democracy is under threat from the growing presence of alternative concepts such as the ‘participatory democracy’ promoted by Venezuela and Bolivia”.

One week later, the Inter-American Human Rights Commission of the OAS – funded by Washington – emitted a whopping 322-page report slamming Venezuela for human rights violations, repression of the press and undermining democracy. Despite the fact that it was a report – and a Commission – dedicated to the topic of human rights, the detailed study barely mentioned the immense achievements of the Chavez government in advancing human rights; advances which have been recognized and applauded over the past five years by the Unted Nations. The evidence used by the OAS to elaborate the report came from opposition testimonies and biased media outlets, a clear demonstration of dangerous subjectivity.

Simultaneous to these accusations, a Spanish court accused the Venezuelan government last week of supporting and collaborating with the FARC and ETA – organizations considered terrorist by both the US and Spain – provoking an international scandal. President Chavez reiterated that his government has absolutely no ties with any terrorist group in the world. “This is a government of peace”, declared Chavez, after explaining that the presence of ETA members in Venezuela is due to an agreement made over 20 years ago by the government of Carlos Andres Perez in order to aid Spain in a peace treaty with the Basque separatist group.

The Empire Has No Color

Last week, on tour in Latin America, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton couldn’t stop attacking Venezuela during her different declarations made before international media. She expressed her “great concern” for democracy and human rights in Venezuela, accusing President Chavez of not “contributing in a constructive manner” to regional progress. In a cynical tone, Clinton advised President Chavez to “look further south” for inspiration, instead of towards Cuba.

Clinton’s regional trip was part of a strategy announced by the Obama administration last year, to create a divide between the so-called “progressive left” and the “radical left” in Latin America. It’s no coincidence that her first tour of the region coincided with the announcement of a new Latin American and Caribbean Community of States, which excludes the presence of the US and Canada.

The Coming Conflict

A military conflict is not initiated from one day to the next. It’s a process that involves first influencing public perception and opinion – demonizing the target leader or government in order to justify aggression. Subsequently, armed forces are strategically deployed in the region in order to guarantee an effective military action. Tactics, such as subversion and counterinsurgency, are utilized in order to debilitate and destabilize the target nation from within, increasing its vulnerability and weakening its defenses.

This plan has been active against Venezuela for several years. The consolidation of regional unity and Latin American integration threatens US possibilities of regaining domination and control in the hemisphere. And the advances of the Bolivarian Revolution have impeded its “self-destruction”, provoked by internal subversion funded and directed by US agencies. However, the Empire will not cease its attempts to achieve its final objective, and a potential military conflict in the region remains on the horizon.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
America's good buddies in imperialism, the brits, are also moving in to secure their claim to natural resources that aren't actually theirs, and you know if there's any move to stop them, AMerica will ram some drones up the Argentinians' asses.
British and Argentinean Ships Near Falklands


Global Research, February 27, 2010
Makfax - 2010-02-26

London -- Britain said Friday a Navy warship came into contact with an Argentine vessel last month not far from the territorial waters of the Falkland Islands.

But defence officials insisted there was "friendly dialogue by radio" between the ships, amid a growing sovereignty row with Buenos Aires over the islands which are ruled by Britain but claimed by Argentina.

Britain's Ministry of Defence also declined to comment on a report in the Sun newspaper that a submarine had been sent to the Falklands, but added it was not increasing its forces in the area.

The Falklands are at the centre of a dispute between London and Buenos Aires after three British oil companies announced drilling plans off the islands, over which Argentina and Britain fought a short war in 1982.

--------
South Atlantic: Britain May Provoke New Conflict With Argentina

By Rick Rozoff

Global Research, February 24, 2010
Stop NATO

On February 22 two major developments occurred in the Americas south of the Rio Grande. The two-day Rio Group summit opened in Mexico and Great Britain started drilling for oil 60 miles north of the Falklands Islands, known as Las Malvinas to Argentina.

The meeting in Mexico was identified as a Unity Summit because for the first time the 24 members of the Rio Group (minus Honduras, not invited because of the illegitimacy of its post-coup regime) - Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela - were joined by the fifteen members of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM): Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago. (Haiti, Jamaica and Suriname are members of both organizations.)

Ahead of the summit the Financial Times wrote, "The Mexican-led initiative, a clear sign of Latin America’s growing confidence as a region, will exclude both the US and Canada. Some observers believe it could even eventually rival the 35-member Organisation of American States (OAS), which includes the US and Canada and has been the principal forum for hemispheric issues during the past half century." [1]

In fact on the first day of the summit Bolivian President Evo Morales called for a "a new US-free OAS," [2] stressing Washington's centuries-long history of perpetrating military coups, blackmail, looting of natural resources and, over the past generation, the scourge of neo-liberalism in the Americas.

In 1986 the Rio Group grew out of the four-member Contradora Group consisting of Colombia, Mexico, Panama and Venezuela which was formed in response to Washington's Contra and death squad campaigns in Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala in the 1980s. Part of the legacy Bolivia's Morales was referring to.

Coinciding to the day if not the hour of the beginning of the summit, the British Desire Petroleum company began exploring for oil and gas off the Falklands/Las Malvinas, seized from Argentina by Britain in 1833 and fought over by the nations in a 74-day war in 1982. "Neighbouring Argentina, which lays claim to the islands, is fiercely opposed to the drilling. Earlier this month, the Argentinian government filed a formal protest with the British government." [3]

Britain lost 255 soldiers in the conflict, the highest wartime fatalities it had suffered since the Korean War and the Malayan conflict. The British death toll in Afghanistan recently surpassed that number.

London's energy grab in the South Atlantic did not go unnoticed in Mexico, where 26 presidents and prime ministers were among the participants at the Unity Summit. Argentine President Cristina Fernandez denounced the British actions as "unilateral and illegal" [4] and a breach of her nation's sovereignty.

She further stated "There continues to be systematic violation of international law that should be respected by all countries....In the name of our government and in the name of my people I am grateful...for the support this meeting has given to our demands." [5]

Fernandez characterized the unanimous backing provided her at the summit as an "exercise in self-defence for all" [6] and blasted nations with permanent seats in the United Nations Security Council - she undoubtedly meant Britain, the United States and France - for "continu[ing] to use that place of privilege to disregard international law." [7]

Her Venezuelan colleague President Hugo Chavez, indicating the dangerous dimension a new British-provoked altercation with Argentina can escalate into, said, "The English are still threatening Argentina. Things have changed. We are no longer in 1982. If conflict breaks out, be sure Argentina will not be alone like it was back then." [8]

Before the summit began he said, "We support unconditionally the Argentine government and the Argentine people in their complaints. That sea and that land belongs to Argentina and to Latin America." [9]

He reiterated that position during his speech on February 22. While highlighting the military threat posed by Britain off the coast of Argentina, he alluded to a British submarine site in the Falklands/Las Malvinas and said "we demand not only [that] the submarine platform...be removed, but also [that] the British government...follow the resolutions of the United Nations and give back that territory to the Argentine People." [10]

Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega, also in attendance at the summit, stated "We will back a resolution demanding that England return Las Malvinas to its rightful owner, that it return the islands to Argentina." [11]

The Times of London quoted Marco Aurelio Garcia, foreign policy adviser to Brazil's President Lula da Silva, as adding: "Las Malvinas must be reintegrated into Argentine sovereignty. Unlike in the past, today there is a consensus in Latin America behind Argentina's claims." [12]

The comments by Venezuela's president, addressing as they did the threat of a new military confrontation between Britain and Argentina, bear particular scrutiny in light of recent actions by London and statements by its head of state.

In late December Britain conducted a two-day military operation off the coast of the Falklands/Las Malvinas which included the use of Typhoon multi-role fighters and warships. The exercises, code-named Cape Bayonet, "took place during a tour of the Falklands by British forces ahead of the start of drilling in the basin in February 2010" and "simulated an enemy invasion...." [13]

A news report at the time added, "Britain has strengthened its military presence in the Falklands since the [1982] war and has a major operational base at Mount Pleasant, 35 miles from the capital Stanley.

"The prospect of the islands transforming into a major source of oil revenue for Britain has raised the military's argument for more funding to beef up the forces in South Atlantic." [14]

Four days before British drilling began off the islands, Prime Minister Gordon Brown stated "We have made all the preparations that are necessary to make sure that the Falkland Islanders are properly protected," [15] although Argentine officials have repeatedly denied the possibility of a military response to British encroachments and provocations in the South Atlantic Ocean.

On the same day, February 18, Argentina's Vice Minister of Foreign Relations Victorio Taccetti accused Britain of "a unilateral act of aggression and subjugation" [16] in moving to seize oil and gas in the disputed region. Buenos Aires has prohibited ships from going to and coming from the Falklands/Las Malvinas through Argentine waters.

What is at stake are, according to British Geological Survey estimates, as many as 60 billion barrels of oil under the waters off the Falklands/Las Malvinas.

In late January a Russian military analyst explained that even that colossal energy bonanza is not all that Britain covets near the Falklands/Las Malvinas and further south.

Ilya Kramnik wrote that "along with the neighboring islands controlled by the U.K., the Falklands are the de facto gateway to the Antarctic, which explains London's tenacity in maintaining sovereignty over them and the South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, as well as territorial claims regarding the South Shetland and South Orkney Islands under the Antarctic Treaty."

Regarding Antarctica itself, "Under the ice, under the continental shelf, there are enormous mineral resources and the surrounding seas are full of bio-resources. In addition, the glaciers of Antarctica contain 90% of the world's fresh water, the shortage of which becomes all the more acute with the growth in the world's population." [17]

A Chinese analysis of over two years earlier described what Britain in part went to war for in 1982 and why it may do so again: Control of broad tracts of Antarctica.

“The vastness of seemingly barren, ice-covered land is uncovered and exposed to the outside world, revealing a ‘treasure basin’ with incredibly abundant mineral deposits and energy reserves....A layer of Permian Period coal exists on the mainland, and holds 500 billion tons in known reserves.

“The thick ice dome over the land is home to the world’s largest reservoir for fresh water; holds approximately 29.3 million cubic kilometers of ice; and makes up 75% of earth’s fresh water supply.

“It is possible to say that the South Pole could feed the entire world
with its abundant supplies of food [fish] and fresh water...[T]he value of the South Pole is not confined to the economic sphere; it also lies in its strategic position.

“The US Coast Guard has long had garrisons in the region, and the US Air Force is the number one air power in the region." [18]

The feature from which the preceding excerpts originated ended with a warning: “[T]he South Pole [Antarctic] Treaty points out that the South Pole can only be exploited and developed for the sake of peace; and can not be a battle ground. Otherwise, the ice-cold South Pole could prove a fiercely hot battlefield.” [19]

Two days before the May 13, 2009 deadline for “states to stake their claims in what some experts [have described] as the last big carve-up of maritime territory in history,” [20] Britain submitted a claim to the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf for one million square kilometers in the South Atlantic reaching into the Antarctic Ocean.

An article in this series written five days afterward detailed the new scramble for Antarctica initiated by Britain and Australia, the second being granted 2.5 million additional square kilometers in the Antarctic Ocean in April of 2008. [21]

A newspaper in the United Kingdom wrote about London's million-kilometer South Atlantic and Antarctic ambitions beforehand that “Not since the Golden Age of the Empire has Britain staked its claim to such a vast area of land on the world stage. And while the British Empire may be long gone, the Antarctic has emerged as the latest battleground for rival powers competing on several fronts to secure valuable oil-rich territory....The Falklands claim has the most potential for political fall-out, given that Britain and Argentina fought over the islands 25 years ago, and the value of the oil under the sea in the region is understood to be immense. Seismic tests suggest there could be about 60 billion barrels of oil under the ocean floor.” [22]

Last autumn a Russian news source warned about the exact initiative of this February 22 in stating "Many believe that the 1982 war between Britain and Argentina with almost 1,000 servicemen killed in the hostilities was all about oil and gas fields in the South Atlantic. In this sense, Desire Petroleum should certainly think twice before starting to capitalize on what was a subject of the bloodbath in 1982...."

Regarding the territorial claims submitted by Britain last May (still in deliberations at the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf), the report pointed out London's "eagerness to expand its Falkland Islands' continental shelf from 200 to 350 nautical miles, which would enable Britain to develop new oil fields in South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands," and ended with a somber warning:

"Given London's unwillingness to try to arrive at a political accommodation
with Buenos Aires, a UN special commission will surely have tougher times ahead as far as its final decision on the continental shelf goes. And it is only to be hoped that Britain will be wise enough not to turn the Falkland Islands into another regional hot spot." [23]

Unlike the first South Atlantic war of 1982, when the regime of General Leopoldo Galtieri garnered no support from other Latin American nations, a future standoff or armed conflict between Argentina and Britai
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04-01-2010, 06:12 PM,
#6
RE: conspiracy evidence of the US attempt to unite west into 1 ideological political body
Argentina's Oil Battle with the United Kingdom
Buenos Aires Running Out Of Options In Falklands Oil Fight

By Fawzia Sheikh

Global Research, March 30, 2010
OilPrice.com - 2010-03-26

As Argentina's oil battle with the United Kingdom rages on, the only other obstacle the South American country can throw at oil companies planning to drill near the Falkland Islands is to interdict U.K. ships or equipment - but regional expert Riordan Roett doubts the Argentines are “stupid enough to do that.”

This would be a “very dangerous move” on the part of the Argentine government, said Roett, director of Latin American studies at Johns Hopkins University in Washington. Argentina, which went to war with the U.K. in 1982 over Falklands’ sovereignty, is “very careful” about challenging the British in reaching the islands, Roett noted.

The dispute between the old foes erupted in February when U.K.'s Desire Petroleum towed an oil rig from Scotland to the South Atlantic to drill near the Falklands.

Experts tout the area beneath the islands contains as much as 60 billion barrels of crude oil but there are many doubts about this claim.

Geologists and political-risk specialists say such a vast deposit is possible -- after all, the Atlantic Coast downward from Brazil boasts a great deal of oil – but whether the Falklands is the next place to find such resources will be a question mark for “a couple of years,” Roett said.

Oil and Latin American experts, moreover, have mixed opinions about whether U.K. oil firms actually need the Argentine government's help to siphon out any oil from the contested waters.

U.K. firms can do without Argentine infrastructure but much will depend on current technologies, Roett argued. If companies can retrieve and pour oil into super tankers, it can then be shipped back to the U.K. or wherever their clients are based “without worrying about Argentina -- unless the Argentinians were stupid enough to try to stop the tankers,” he said.

Even if commercially viable oil at current prices or natural gas is found, projects would “somehow require the use of infrastructure in Argentina” such as ports and pipelines, Daniel Kerner, a Latin America analyst at the Eurasia Group in New York, told OilPrice.com. At the very least, he said, this infrastructure would help make the project more viable, otherwise all of the needed equipment would have to be shipped in, he added.

The price of a barrel of oil when potential Falklands’ reserves are brought up in another few years will also play into how challenging exploration will be, Roett noted.

“Is it worth the investment? Are there rigs available? The South Atlantic is not a particularly hospitable place to do any kind of deep-water drilling. So we still have to find out whether or not the technology which exists is applicable to the Falklands.”

Even though Argentina is pushing for a meeting with the U.K., and the United States has encouraged such a move, Roett dismissed the chance of an exploration partnership because Kirchner's administration is “not a transparent government.”

The U.K., with an election looming, would not want to seem weak by agreeing to negotiate either, Roett added.

Yet Kerner argued that such collaboration is “possible but it’s hard.” While this kind of a relationship would certainly assist with exploration, it’s the “most that Argentina can aspire to” and success will ultimately depend on the reservoir size and value, he maintained.

In the midst of this, it’s doubtful any Latin American country will cooperate with the U.K., Kerner said.

Argentina’s President Christina Fernández de Kirchner in fact has been rallying support from her continental neighbours, and in recent days began to mend fences with Peru, a country it fell out of favor with 16 years ago.

Kirchner has done everything in her power to make it difficult for companies pursuing the potential oil windfall. Kirchner forced boats using Argentine ports or passing through the country's waters en route to the Falklands to get special permits, and introduced a United Nations resolution reprimanding the U.K. for permitting oil exploration off the islands. The president also tabled a
bill that would impose a 30-day deadline on firms to sever ties with the islands or be run out of Argentina.

The U.N. has passed several resolutions urging both sides to negotiate but the British have declined, Kerner said.

Except for Latin America, most of the countries in the world recognize the British position on the Falklands, Roett told OilPrice.com. British sovereignty over the Falklands was declared in 1833. The Argentine military “ran into Margaret Thatcher in 1982. I don't think Christina Fernández de Kirchner wants to run into the British fleet here in 2010.”

The U.K., which reportedly dispatched a nuclear submarine to the islands to safeguard oil exploration there, has “reinforced on the Falklands their military capabilities, particularly their air force,” Roett said. And the British are better prepared to dominate the air space over the islands, he added, but doubted the row will lead to actual war again.

That no significant international oil company is participating in the drilling, meanwhile, is telling, Kerner charged.

Apart from Desire Petroleum, Spain's Repsol plans to start drilling in Argentine territorial waters -- but not in the contested area -- via its Argentine operator, YPF, which is leading a consortium.

Large IOCs so far are “moving very carefully” due to the risks associated with a “very unpredictable Argentine government,” Roett said. But if Desire Petroleum demonstrates there probably is a “reasonably large deposit,” companies will descend, he said.

With the world’s oil supplies shrinking, and more oil in the hands of producers like Saudi Arabia, Iran, Venezuela and Russia, places like the Falklands become especially important, said S. Rob Sobhani, president and founder of Caspian Energy Consulting in Potomac, Maryland.

With North Sea reserves dwindling and having already peaked, Sobhani said, countries like the U.K and Argentina see these South Atlantic reserves as a possible “game changer.”
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