Iran’s Axis of Resistance Rises Reply

 

An important article in Foreign Policy from 2017.

The “solution” for the Middle East: The US should cease its “regime change” operations and support for jihadis. Israel should withdraw to its pre-1967 borders, and Saudi Arabia and the Gulf monarchies should be isolated and contained as pariah states.

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By Payam Mohseni and Hussein Kalout

Foreign Policy

“In 2006, in the midst of a fierce war between Israel and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice famously stated that the world was witnessing the “birth pangs of a new Middle East.” She was right—but not in the sense she had hoped. Instead of disempowering Hezbollah and its sponsor, Iran, the war only augmented the strength and prestige of what is known as the “axis of resistance,” a power bloc that includes Iran, Iraq, Syria, Hezbollah, and Hamas in Palestine.

But the 2006 war was only one in a series of developments that significantly transformed the geopolitical and military nature of the axis—from the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, which first opened the door to greater Iranian regional influence, to the more recent fall of Mosul to ISIS in 2014, which led to the proliferation and empowerment of Shiite militias. These changes have prompted a fundamental reconfiguration of the contemporary Middle East order. Arab elites, grappling with the consequences of an eroding Arab state system, poor governance, and the delegitimization of authoritarian states following the 2011 Arab Spring, enabled Iran and its partners, including Russia, to build a new regional political and security architecture from the ground up. With the support of Tehran as the undisputed center of the axis, Shiite armed movements in Iraq and across the axis of resistance have created a transnational, multiethnic, and cross-confessional political and security network that has made the axis more muscular and effective than ever before.”

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The Next Ron Paul? 7

I almost never endorse politicians. I generally regard all elected officials, from the President to dogcatchers, as employees of the real ruling class (C. Wrights Mills’ “power elite”). Voting is merely participating in the king’s coronation rituals in a way that conveys legitimacy on the state. However, there are times when political campaigns can be used for propagandistic purposes. Ron Paul’s presidential campaigns in 2008 and 2012 are examples, and Tulsi Gabbard’s present campaign is another potential example.

I doubt she will get the nomination. The Democrapic party will either find a way to block that from happening (i.e. cheating), or she will simply fail to do well in the primaries because, in my experience, most of the kinds of people who are likely to be voters in the Democratic primaries are not people who consider foreign policy to be a primary issue. What passes for “the Left” in the US is, with some exceptions, pathetic when it comes to international relations. They’re far more interested in idpol, expanding the welfare state, and environmentalism (i.e. advancing the interests of the left-wing of the First World middle class). However, a Tulsi vs. Trump contest in 2020 would be a highly interesting turn of events for a range of reasons.

I think she would actually do better in a general election than in the primaries, though I don’t know if she could beat Trump or not. I think not because not only are there the standard issues like incumbent’s advantage but also because, given her views on international relations, the overlord class would pour money into the Republicans to keep Tulsi out of the White House, and the media would work overtime to ensure her defeat. Notice the only time the media (other than FOX) ever said anything good about Trump were the two times he attacked Syria. It would be a highly interesting and comical situation because the political class, capitalist class, deep state, media, etc would suddenly rally behind Trump after years of endless hating on him because they would view him as objectionable though more easily contained and less immediately threatening to the empire’s interests. It would be a true “memory hole” moment. Such a situation would also greatly exacerbate the cleavage between neoliberals (most of whom would move to Trump) and progressives (most of whom would stay with Tulsi). Certain dividing lines would become clearer among the center (radical center vs. establishment center) and right (neocons vs nativists vs populists vs non-interventionists) as well.

Of course, even if she won Gabbard would be constrained by the wider ruling class, political, and deep state apparatus. At best, she would be another Jimmy Carter, i.e. a moderate who is a generally decent person but essentially unable to maneuver within the framework of a system of overwhelming opposition by elites. The “Trump hate” that has been piled on by the wider ruling class is nothing compared to the “Tulsi hate” that would come about if she were elected (the same would be true of a Republican with similar views).

Any US president who seriously moved against the interests of the oligarchy would meet the same fate as Mosadegh, Arben, Suharto, Diem, Sihanouk, Allende, Saddam, Qaddafi, so many others.

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Iran main force against US-Israel-Saudi alliance in Mideast Reply

Press TV. Listen here.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s upcoming trip to the Middle East is yet another attempt by the United States to shore up support for anti-Iran projects it has long been running with help from its “Zionist and Saudi” allies in the region, an American analyst says.

Pompeo will fly to the Middle East on Tuesday, stopping first in Kuwait before heading to Israel and Lebanon.

Keith Preston, director of Attackthesystem.com, said Washington was trying to strengthen the alliance between the US, Saudi Arabia and Israel — what he referred to as the “Atlanticist-Zionist-Wahhabi” alliance– in order to push back against Iran, which is the main force keeping them from taking full control of the region.

Saudi Arabia and some other Arab governments in the Persian Gulf region “have a common objective in opposing the influence of Iran in the region.”

“Obviously Iran is the primary bulwark against the greater Israel, against Israeli expansionism and of course, the (Persian) Gulf states have wanted to expand the region a well and at this point they see Iran as the primary obstacle to that,” he added.

That is how those countries have been running all sorts of plots such as financing Daesh and other Takfiri groups to take out Syria, their other rival in the region, the analyst argued.

“So once again, there is a convergence between the interests of the Gulf monarchies, between the Israelis and between the Americans in trying to eliminate any kind of political autonomy that nay Middle Eastern nation might have,” he added.

The reason, according to Preston, is “because the Americans, the Saudis and Israeli have been largely successful in destroying many other nations in the region.”

Pompeo made a similar trip to the region in January to try to forge a unified Arab front against Iran, a dream that has brought together even Saudi Arabia and Israel.

PressTV-Pompeo to push anti-Iran message in Mideast next week

PressTV-Pompeo to push anti-Iran message in Mideast next weekUS Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will start a five-day tour of the Middle East next week, where he will discuss security issues in the region.

Pompeo’s main objective in the tour was laying the groundwork for the Middle East Strategic Alliance (MESA), a concept similar to an Arab NATO. Trump first floated the idea of forging MESA during his visit to Saudi Arabia in 2017.

The US hosted an anti-Iran summit last month in Warsaw, Poland. However, US efforts to build pressure against Iran faced a setback after ministers from several European Union members opted out of the summit.


Colbert Smears Tulsi Gabbard To Her Face While Telling Zero Jokes Reply

It’s obviously true that most of the MSM, particularly television, is simply the propaganda arm of the Democratic National Committee, just as FOX, talk radio, Christian broadcasting, and the Wall Street Journal are simply the propaganda arm of the Republican National Committee.

By Caitlin Johnstone

Medium

Hawaii Congresswoman and Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard recently appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, where instead of the light, jokey banter about politics and who she is as a person that Democratic presidential candidates normally encounter on late night comedy programs, the show’s host solemnly ran down a list of textbook beltway smears against Gabbard and made her defend them in front of his audience.

Normally when a Democratic Party-aligned politician appears on such a show, you can expect jokes about how stupid Trump is and how badly they’re going to beat the Republicans, how they’re going to help ordinary Americans, and maybe some friendly back-and-forth about where they grew up or something. Colbert had no time to waste on such things, however, because this was not an interview with a normal Democratic Party-aligned politician: this was a politician who has been loudly and consistently criticizing US foreign policy.



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I don’t “believe” in electoral politics, because elected officials are just the paid employees of the power elite proper (see C. Wright Mills), but this would still be great because it would force the power elite to really step foward and show its hand. “Hell, no. We ain’t having this!”

The ruling class has already waxed hysterical over Trump, who is just an old-fashioned Nixon-Rockefeller Republican (“Nixon was the last liberal president”-Noam Chomsky) and governs like a normal Republican on most domestic issues. Imagine how the oligarchy would respond to Tulsi/Paul?

Any US president who seriously moved against the interests of the oligarchy would meet the same fate as Mosadegh, Arben, Suharto, Diem, Sihanouk, Allende, Saddam, Qaddafi, so many others.

Keith Preston: US sponsoring regime change in Venezuela Reply

Press TV. Listen here.

The United States is obviously sponsoring regime change in Venezuela, according to American political analyst Keith Preston.

Preston, who was speaking to Press TV on Tuesday, pointed out the regime change was Washington’s standard “mode of operation” in countries which resist serving US interests. 

PressTV-Hawkish neocon to head up US policy toward Venezuela

PressTV-Hawkish neocon to head up US policy toward VenezuelaUS Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has appointed Elliott Abrams, a hawkish neoconservative, to handle US policy toward Venezuela.

The director of Attackthesystem.com emphasized that in Latin America, particularly, US policy has been to install subservient puppet regimes.

“Historically, the United States has frequently organized military coups — or other types of political coups — against governments, or particular nations to which they were opposed … This is a standard mode of operation for the United States on foreign policy issues.”

Preston said Americans have always viewed Latin American countries as being in the United State sphere of domination.

By organizing a regime change and toppling the current leftist government in Venezuela and installing a puppet regime in its place, Americans want to gain control over the oil-rich South American country’s vast mineral resources, according to Preston.

“Venezuela is an oil-rich country and the United States wants control over its oil wells,” Preston pointed out, adding that Washington wanted to install a puppet regime that was willing to carry out its demands.

Meanwhile, Americans are pushing hard to install opposition leader Juan Guaido, instead of President Nicolas Maduro.

PressTV-No signs Maduro is willing to resign: US envoy

PressTV-No signs Maduro is willing to resign: US envoyThe US envoy to Venezuela Elliott Abrams says there are no signs that Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is willing to resign from office despite the growing US and Western pressure.

Most Western countries have recognized Guaido as Venezuela’s interim head of state, but Maduro retains the backing of Russia and China as well as control of state institutions, including the military.

The administration of US President Donald Trump considers Maduro’s 2018 re-election a sham and recognized the 35-year-old Guaido as the country’s acting president in January.

CNN’s Horrible, Terrible, No Good Tulsi Town Hall Questions Reply

A good discussion of how the corporate imperialists circle the wagons around anyone with even moderately anti-interventionist views. US foreign policy is essentially a Roman-like imperialism that is committed to large-scale massacres as a matter of policy. The Democrats and Republicans are fine with this, and committed to preserving it. Most progressive liberals and SJWs consider anti-imperialism to be just another issue, or a matter of indifference. Even a supposed “far leftist” like Alexander Reid-Ross-Podhoretz-Kristol is more concerned about Russo-Assadist conspiracies on behalf of the Learned Elders of Thule than opposing the US empire of corpses.

Keith Preston: ‘Saudi a liability to US in terms of its international reputation’ Reply

Press TV. Listen here.

A political analyst says that Saudi Arabia has become “something of a liability to the United States in terms of international standing.”

Keith Preston made the remarks in an interview with Press TV when was asked about a bipartisan group of US senators in Congress who have warned against growing human rights violations in Saudi Arabia.

At the confirmation hearing of new US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia John Abizaid on Wednesday, Republican and Democratic US senators censured the kingdom over its devastating war on Yemen and other rights abuses, including the detention and torture of women’s rights activists and the grisly murder of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey.

Republican Senator Marco Rubio said Saudi Arabia was the “most difficult” US ally “because it almost asks us to agree to stay silent on grotesque violations of human rights both domestically and abroad.”

PressTV-US senators slam Saudi crown prince as ‘full gangster’

PressTV-US senators slam Saudi crown prince as ‘full gangster’A bipartisan group of US senators in Congress have warned against growing human rights violations under Saudi Crown Prince bin Salman, the de facto ruler of the kingdom.

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In Condemning Ilhan Omar, Democrats Have Proved Her Right 1

By Tom Williams

Truthout.Org

At a time of heightened anti-Muslim discrimination and hatred, the Democratic establishment has taken unprecedented steps to single out a Muslim representative for her criticisms of AIPAC and the U.S.’s relationship with Israel. After first publicly rebuking Rep. Ilhan Omar, the Democratic establishment, led by House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi, began drafting a resolution condemning anti-Semitism, amounting to an indirect censure.

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The First World Left vs. Anti-Imperialism, Third Worldism, Pro-Indigenous, and Lumpenproletarianism 1

The problem I have with figures like Bernie and Alexandria is that they’re not radicals. They’re simply representatives of the left-wing of the First World middle/upper middle class, pushing issues that are important that socioeconomic demographic. Unlike the traditional American middle class (now the right-wing of the middle class) they don’t necessarily see the state as impeding their upward mobility by means of taxes, business regulations, etc. Instead, the left-wing of the middle class represents upwardly mobile members of traditional outgroups like ethnic minorities, feminist women, gays, etc (hence, the fanatical emphasis on idpol), their aesthetic interests (hence, their interest in environmentalism), their desire to be protected from the “dangerous classes” (hence, their fanatical emphasis on gun control, and their fear of guns in the hands of icky rural rednecks and inner-city brothas). They see the state as a means of upward mobility by means of public sector employment, social security, free schools and healthcare, anti-discrimination laws, etc.

I have no time for any of this. I am (generally speaking) anti-imperialist, Third Worldist, and pro-indigenous in international relations, and pro-lumpenproletarian in First World class relations. Historically, the Right was the party of the traditional elite, the Center was the party of the middle class, the Left was the party of the respectable working class, and the Anarchists were the party of the lumpenproletariat. I stand with the latter.

Burlington’s Foreign Policy Reply

A writer at National Review (Neocon Central) inadvertently points out how Sanders has been a complete sell-out on foreign policy as his career has advanced.

“Burlington has changed over the past three and a half decades; progressives have moved up in the world. And Sanders’ foreign policy vision reflects the appetites and prejudices of a class that is moving up in the world.”

By Michael Brendan Dougherty

National Review

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks in Emeryville, Calif., during his 2016 presidential campaign. (Elijah Nouvelage/Reuters)

In the 1980s Bernie Sanders cozied up to dictators from around the world. Now, his updated foreign policy reflects a certain gentrification.

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Tulsi Gabbard vs. “Human Rights” Imperialism: Educating the Ignorant Women Of “The View” Reply

In an article I wrote for LewRockwell.Com 12 years ago, I introduced my theory of “totalitarian humanism” (i.e., the co-optation of cultural leftism by the state and capitalism) as the emerging ideology of the ruling class. Read the original article here. These were the core precepts of “totalitarian humanism” that I identified:

  1. Militarism, Imperialism and Empire in the guise of ‘human rights’, ‘democracy’, modernity, universalism, feminism and other leftist shibboleths.
  2. Corporate Mercantilism (or ‘state-capitalism’) under the guise of ‘free trade’.
  3. In domestic policy, what I call ‘totalitarian humanism’ whereby an all-encompassing and unaccountable bureaucracy peers into every corner of society to make sure no one anywhere, anyplace, anytime ever practices ‘racism, sexism, homophobia’, smoking, ‘sex abuse’ or other such leftist sins.
  4. In the realm of law, a police state ostensibly designed to protect everyone from terrorism, crime, drugs, guns, gangs or some other bogeyman of the month.

The reception that Tulsi Gabbard received during her appearance on “The View” is a shining example of totalitarian humanism human being applied to the foreign policy realm. An authentic cultural leftism would be more in the vein of Thaddeus Russell or Abbie Hoffman, not this crap.

The End of Our World Order Is Imminent Reply


A writer at The Nation points out how more than 200 empires have risen and fallen in world history, and the US empire will eventually fall as well. I think this author likely overstates the prospects for future Chinese dominance, and his environmental alarmism may be overstated as well. Most likely what will replace US hegemony is the system that the author describes the US as having a pivotal role in creating, i.e. the system of global capitalism. As the US recedes, international organizations will increasingly come to dominate, e.g. the UN, World Bank, IMF, WTO, G20, transnational corporations, NGOs, foundations, international media conglomerates, etc. US military power will likely retreat as various European and Asia powers come to dominate their particular regions, but within the wide framework of global capitalism.

By Alfred McCoy

The Nation

Once upon a time in America, we could all argue about whether or not US global power was declining. Now, most observers have little doubt that the end is just a matter of timing and circumstance. Ten years ago, I predicted that, by 2025, it would be all over for American power, a then-controversial comment that’s commonplace today. Under President Donald Trump, the once “indispensable nation” that won World War II and built a new world order has become dispensable indeed.

The decline and fall of American global power is, of course, nothing special in the great sweep of history. After all, in the 4,000 years since humanity’s first empire formed in the Fertile Crescent, at least 200 empires have risen, collided with other imperial powers, and in time collapsed. In the past century alone, two dozen modern imperial states have fallen and the world has managed just fine in the wake of their demise.

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US aid ‘smokescreen’ for regime change in Venezuela 17

Press TV. Listen here.

The United States is using humanitarian aid as a cover to bring down Venezuela’s legal government and break the country’s will to stay independent, says an American political analyst.

Keith Preston, director of Attackthesystem.com, said Washington wanted a puppet regime that could allow it to take over Venezuela’s oil resources.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Saturday that the US “will take action” in support of anti-government protesters amid clashes between them and Venezuelan police.

Venezuela’s opposition leader and self-proclaimed president, Juan Guaido, has vowed that humanitarian aid would enter the crisis-hit South American country in open defiance of President Nicolas Maduro, who has stated that the aid is a US plot to disguise an intervention in Venezuela.

Violence has broke out in Venezuela’s border city of San Antonia de Tachira on Friday, after trucks and protesters attempted to break through the barricaded Simon Bolivar bridge to bring humanitarian aid into the country.

“What is happening in Venezuela is that the United States is trying to sponsor what is commonly called a regime change,” Preston told Press TV on Sunday. “They are trying to overthrow the government of Nicolas Maduro and they are trying to install a government that will simply be a puppet of the United States.”

Taking control Venezuela’s vast oil reserves and defeating the country’s resolve to follow an “independent course” were the two objectives behind Washington’s push to topple Maduro, Preston said.

PressTV-US to 'take action' amid anti-govt. protests in Venezuela

PressTV-US to ‘take action’ amid anti-govt. protests in VenezuelaSecretary of State Pompeo says the US “will take action” amid clashes between Venezuelan police and anti-government protesters.

According to the analyst, Washington was concerned about the example Caracas was setting for other countries that had joined the so-called “Pink Tide” in the region, a movement that revolves around independence from the US and its allies.

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Keith Preston: US war against Daesh was cover to undermine Syrian government Reply

Press TV. Listen here.

The US military intervention in Syria to fight the Daesh terrorist group was a cover for removing the government of President Bashar al-Assad, an American analyst in Virginia says.

“The way that the United States got involved in Syria was simply by sending troops to Syria ostensibly under the guise of fighting the Daesh, or ISIS as they’re called here,” said Keith Preston, chief editor of AttacktheSystem.com.

“In reality the objective was to undermine the regime of President Assad,” Preston told Press TV on Tuesday.

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The History Of American Imperialism, From Bloody Conquest To Bird Poop 4

What a succinct headline.

National Public Radio

Historian Daniel Immerwahr shares surprising stories of U.S. territorial expansion, including how the desire for bird guano compelled the seizure of remote islands. His book is How to Hide an Empire.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I’m Dave Davies in for Terry Gross. American presidents like to describe the United States as a force for freedom and independence in the world. Our guest, historian Daniel Immerwahr, says there are also plenty of times in our history when we’ve subjugated and ruled foreign lands – sometimes with bloody conquests. Today, roughly 4 million people live in the American territories of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa and the Northern Marianas.

Immerwahr’s new book is a colorful look at the history of and forces behind U.S. territorial expansion, including – and I’m not kidding – the need for massive quantities of bird poop in the 19th century. Daniel Immerwahr is an associate professor of history at Northwestern University and the author of a previous book “Thinking Small: The United States And The Lure Of Community Development.” His new book is “How To Hide An Empire: A History Of The Greater United States.”

https://www.npr.org/2019/02/18/694700303/the-history-of-american-imperialism-from-bloody-conquest-to-bird-poop?fbclid=IwAR3STkAlxapdo2svAmBwR3vt5OSF5V0ySKKLyscZ1vn2Lpm4RmG0cqGflhwREAD MORE

Slavoj Žižek: Trump’s rise is a symptom of a dark and subtle force 23

For 25-30 years, I have said that the main political issues in the USA are imperialism, widening class divisions, and use of the wars on drugs, crime, and (later) terrorism to create a domestic police state. Regrettably, most of liberal and left opinion during this time has been more focused on “identity” issues and (to a lesser degree) environmentalism or expanding the welfare state instead.

We are seeing the consequences of that now. The US has killed millions of people in the past 20 years with wars of aggression. Class divisions are the widest they have been in a century, and incarceration rates are setting world records. In fact, it’s often been the far right (paleocons, libertarians, sovereign citizens, isolationist xenophobes) who are more in tune on many of these issues than liberal and left opinion.

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Keith Preston: Israel lobby losing power in US as BDS gains traction Reply

Press TV. Listen here.

The Israel-lobby’s strong influence on the US government has started to fade as a result of recent changes in the American public’s view of the Tel Aviv regime, an American political analyst says.

Keith Preston, director of Attackthesystem.com, argued that the frustration amid American with Washington’s unconditional support for Tel Aviv was growing among American people and politicians.

“Well, it’s certainly true that Israel has a very very powerful grip over the American government,” Preston told Press TV on Sunday, adding that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) maintained the most influence the policy-making process in the US.

The analyst said the influence of the pro-Israel lobby was best seen when Donald Trump and other 2016 US presidential election hopefuls attended events by AIPAC to reassure the powerful interest group of their commitment to protect Israeli interests.

However, the political landscape in the US has seen some changes with regards to Israel and although politicians remained strong allies of the regime more people were turning against it.

“While Americans have generally been very very pro-Israel; that is starting to decline somewhat,” Preston argued. “I think more and more people for example in the United States are getting tired of American constantly being at war in the Middle East in large part because of the influence of the Israeli lobby over American foreign policy.”

Another notable change, he said, was the growing population of ethnic and religious minorities in the US, who “correctly see Palestinians as an oppressed people.”

Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, who became the first Muslim members of the House of Representatives in January, have been outspoken about their criticism of Israel’s crimes against the people of Palestine.

PressTV-US Muslim lawmakers irk pro-Israel lobby by backing BDS

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The Councils Before Maduro! 1

By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit

Exile in Happy Valley

Venezuela is fucked up. A nation hanging from the edge of a cliff by its broken and bloody fingernails. Thick noxious clouds of acrid black smoke gather around the capital of Caracas as the bodies continue to stack up. There is all out chaos in the streets as warring clans of half-starved people open fire on each other indiscriminately. The sides are ill-defined. There seem to be leftists, soldiers and cops in uniform on both ends of the melee. The government of Nicholas Maduro rounds up scores of hellions, holding the ones who don’t get shot in the streets indefinitely in unknown locations. Meanwhile the western vaunted opposition launches full blown terrorist attacks, killing scores of soldiers and civilians alike. There are no clean hands in this fist fight. Everyone has lowered their standards of human decency to meet the standards of their nations new era of depravity. Few things are clear here. The streets and social media alike are awash with rumors and hearsay. One thing that is clear is that we’re not in Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela anymore. The once robust egalitarian experiment of Bolivarianism has devolved into violent statist hell and this was the point.

Venezuela is fucked up because its been fucked up, subjected to a concerted campaign of economic sabotage that started long before Maduro’s absurd Dengist market socialist reforms. The United States launched this campaign through its numerous tentacles, public and private, in response to a democratic revolution that also began long before Hugo Chavez became its benevolent figure head. Under this relentlessly oppressive regime of crippling sanctions and monetary manipulation, a nation state of any kind would crumble beneath the pressure. Just add the constant threat of coup de tats and a return to the western sanctioned petro-fascism of past decades and even the most egalitarian experiments will take on increasingly statist and authoritarian policies to protect their revolution and the people it serves. The cruel irony being that by taking these desperate measures they adopt the very same attributes they’re attempting to stave off in the name of a revolution that these very trends betray. An almost operatic tragedy of the commons.

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