Venezuela Next?

ted_bloody_maul

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(looks like they're not preparing to rely on the international community)

Venezuela plans biggest military reserve in Americas


Around 500,000 Venezuelans will start a four-month military training programme today to turn them into members of the country's territorial guard. They are the first group of a total of 2m Venezuelan civilians who have so far signed up to become armed reservists.

By the summer of 2007, Venezuela is likely to have the largest military reserve in the Americas, which is expected to be almost double the size of that in the United States.

The huge recruitment drive is part of President Hugo Chvez's plan to create a people's army that would answer directly to him in the event of civil unrest or an armed conflict.

General Alberto Muller Rojas, one of the members of the army high command who helped to devise the new thinking in military strategy being adopted by Venezuela's leftwing government, said: 'If for example the United States were to invade Venezuela one day, and that's what many people are expecting, the only way we could repel such an attack would be a full scale guerrilla war against the foreign aggressors.'Our professional army only numbers 80,000 soldiers, so we would need to use civilians like in Iraq to fight the Yankee forces.'Top military officials are confident that a reserve force of 2m, or one in five adults, would be sufficient to dissuade any country from invading Venezuela, the world's fifth biggest oil exporter and fifth biggest supplier of crude oil to the US.

Many of Venezuela's state-owned companies, such as the oil giant PDVSA, have started their own territorial guard units. However, they are being asked to join the formal training programme offered by the armed forces.

Richard Arrais, 40, a marketing executive who works at PDVSA's headquarters in Caracas, has his own office and works in a nine-to-five job Mondays to Fridays. But once a week he and his friends meet up as reservists.He said: 'Since January we've been holding informal meetings to discuss military tactics and to receive courses such as first aid.'But the training starting this Saturday will be tougher. There will be drill, weapons training and assault courses, as well as a military exercise in the countryside.'Mr Arrais and others like him say they are happy to give up every Saturday in defence of their fatherland and the values of President Chvez's socialist revolution. They believe internal opposition forces and the United States could strike at any moment.

So far service in the territorial guard is voluntary. But the Venezuelan parliament is studying proposals to make it obligatory for all Venezuelan adults to join the territorial guard.Mr Chvez has sought to position himself at the vanguard of a bloc of Latin American leftist leaders acting as a counterpoint to US hegemony in the region.

Tensions between Caracas and Washington have simmered in recent weeks with an espionage row that has resulted in a US naval attache being expelled and disputes on a range of issues from the war on drugs to aviation safety restrictions.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/venezuela/sto ... 74,00.html
 

ted_bloody_maul

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Venezuela gallops left with new flag

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Sunday raised a new flag with one extra star and its white horse galloping left instead of right -- changes that he said pay tribute to independence hero Simon Bolivar but that critics called frivolous and wasteful.

Chavez hoisted the eight-starred flag -- approved by congress last week -- at an outdoor ceremony while soldiers stood at attention, and then he applauded and smiled.

"Long live the fatherland!" Chavez said. He called the eighth star, which Bolivar once proposed, "the star of victory, the star of the future."

"The white horse is now liberated, free, vigorous, trotting toward the left, representing the return of Bolivar and his dream," said Chavez, who has been heading left himself -- leading a "Bolivarian Revolution" to install socialism and help the poor.

Thousands of Chavez's supporters attended a government parade marking Flag Day and the 200th anniversary of Venezuela's tricolor flag.

While a white horse, floats, dancers and soldiers in revolutionary-era uniforms paraded past Chavez, his opponents planned their own, separate march to protest the new flag and coat of arms.

Critics call the changes a waste of money for a political whim. The new seal is eventually to be reflected in the currency, passports and government letterhead.

Chavez has displayed a penchant for changing Venezuela's national symbols since he was first elected in 1998, overseeing the drafting of a new constitution, renaming Congress as the National Assembly and renaming the country itself: now the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

Many have suggested the turnabout of the horse in the coat of arms, which appears in the official flag's upper left corner, is simply a metaphor for Chavez's politics.

The president has acknowledged the political symbolism only vaguely but has said the horse looked odd running to the right while craning its neck back the opposite direction, and that historical drawings showed the horse was supposed to be running "freely to the left."

Venezuela's solidly pro-Chavez National Assembly overwhelmingly approved the new flag design Tuesday as proposed by Chavez.

Venezuela's yellow, blue and red flag has had seven stars since 1863, representing the original seven provinces that rose up against Spain.

Chavez suggested the eighth star to represent the early 19th-century eastern province of Guayana, which bordered what is today the independent country of Guyana. That province was initially loyal to Spain but then joined an independent Venezuela.

Bolivar once proposed a flag with eight stars in 1817, and it was used for several years. Chavez has called the eighth star the "Bolivarian star."

The new coat of arms, among various new details, also adds a bow and arrow to represent Venezuela's indigenous people and a machete to represent the labor of workers.

The new seal appeared on flags unfurled for the occasion, but the government apparently didn't have time to update Chavez's presidential sash; It still bore the old coat of arms with the horse galloping to the right.

http://edition.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/ameri ... z.flag.ap/
 

Olveres

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"The US has stepped up its rhetoric against the Venezuelan president lately, with the secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, calling the country a "negative force" in Latin America and accusing Mr Chavez of turning it into a totalitarian society. "

Aw is Condoleeza jealous???
 

Mighty_Emperor

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Chavez blasts Bush as "donkey" and "drunkard"

Sun Mar 19, 3:59 PM ET

CARACAS, Venezuela (Reuters) - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Sunday lobbed a litany of insults at U.S.
President George W. Bush ranging from "donkey" to "drunkard" in response to a White House report branding the left-wing leader a demagogue.

Chavez is one of Bush's fiercest critics and has repeatedly accused the U.S. government of seeking to oust him from the presidency of Venezuela, the world's No. 5 oil exporter and a supplier of around 15 percent of U.S. crude imports.

"You are a donkey, Mr. Bush," said Chavez, speaking in English on his weekly Sunday broadcast.

"You're an alcoholic Mr. Danger, or rather, you're a drunkard," Chavez said, referring to Bush by a nickname he frequently uses to describe the U.S. president.

A White House report released last week on pre-emptive force in national security described Chavez as a "demagogue" who uses Venezuela's oil wealth to destabilize democracy in the region.

Washington is increasingly at odds with the former soldier over his close alliance with Cuba and
Iran. U.S. officials dismiss his anti-U.S. tirades as rhetoric meant to stir nationalism before presidential elections in December.

Chavez's remarks also came after Venezuela's El Universal newspaper printed an interview with U.S. Ambassador to Venezuela William Brownfield, who reiterated his government's concern over growing ties between Venezuela and Iran.

Tensions between the Washington and Caracas rose in January after Venezuela expelled a U.S. naval attache on espionage charges and the U.S. State Department responded by removing a top Venezuelan diplomat from Washington.

Chavez was elected in 1998 on an anti-poverty platform, and has used billions of dollars in oil revenues to finance development programs for the poor as part of his self-styled socialist revolution.

He won a overwhelming victory in a recall referendum in 2004, but his critics at home and in Washington say he is centralizing power in an increasingly authoritarian system and cracking down on political opponents.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060319/pl_ ... vez_usa_dc
 

ted_bloody_maul

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U.S. Says Venezuela Complicit in Attack


WASHINGTON (AP) - The State Department accused Caracas city officials of complicity Friday in an attack on the car of U.S. Ambassador William Brownfield in the Venezuelan capital.

Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns summoned Venezuelan Ambassador Bernardo Alvarez to the State Department and told him that Venezuela was in violation of an international treaty that requires the host countries to ensure the safety of foreign diplomats, department spokesman Sean McCormack said.

The incident ``clearly was condoned by the local government,'' McCormack said.

Pro-government activists bombarded Brownfield's car with fruit and vegetables and a group of motorcyclists chased the convoy, at times pummeling the vehicles with their fists.

McCormack said local government officials were handing out snacks to the perpetrators as Brownfield was participating in a ceremony at a Caracas stadium. The event included a gift of baseball equipment to children. McCormack said it was the fourth government-sponsored attempt to intimidate U.S. diplomats in Venezuela, three having occurred in the past three weeks.

``We will not be intimidated,'' McCormack said.

According to McCormack, Burns warned Alvarez that there will be ``severe diplomatic consequences between our countries'' if there is another incident.

U.S. relations with Venezuela have deteriorated sharply over the past 18 months.

Venezuela's socialist president, Hugo Chavez, has accused the United States of planning an invasion and said Washington was behind a failed coup attempt in 2002.

The Bush administration has denied the allegations while charging that Chavez is systematically dismantling Venezuelan democracy and using oil revenues to buy political influence in Latin America.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uslatest/stor ... 76,00.html
 

tastyintestines

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Is this a threat or just another attempt to garner publicity,wealth, and support through mockery?? Also is he exploiting the poor?


Chavez offers oil to Europe's poor

Venezuelan President promises fuel to the needy and proclaims 'final days of the North American empire' before visit to Britain today

Sunday May 14, 2006
The Observer

Venezuela's president Hugo Chavez arrives in London today with an extraordinary promise to offer cut-rate heating oil for needy families in Europe, modelled on a similar campaign in the US which has been seen partly as a bid to embarrass President George Bush.

Last night Chavez also issued a taunting obituary for the 'American empire' on the eve of a visit where he will be shunned by Downing Street but welcomed by London Mayor Ken Livingststone.

Chavez said in Vienna yesterday that the 'final hours of the North American empire have arrived ... Now we have to say to the empire: "We're not afraid of you. You're a paper tiger."'

Referring to his supply of heating to poor American families last winter, Chavez told a meeting of political supporters: 'I'd like to do the same here in Europe.'

He was addressing an 'alternative summit' held alongside a three-day meeting of leaders from the European Union, Latin America and the Caribbean in the Austrian capital. 'I want to humbly offer support to the poorest people who do not have resources for central heating in winter and make sure that support arrives,' he said.

Though he said that Venezuela has two refineries in Germany and one in Britain, he did not provide further details about how the supply scheme would work. But he said Venezuelan ambassadors in Europe were looking into the matter. 'You Europeans can help us greatly. Your European social networks can make sure the support arrives where it should,' Chavez told the conference.

This past winter, Venezuela delivered cut-rate oil to low-income Americans through Citgo, the Houston-based subsidiary of Venezuela's state-owned oil company.

Chavez appealed to the audience to unite and promote social change. For example, he said, more business should be steered toward smaller companies to the benefit of labourers in poorer regions, and that doing so would cut out intermediaries. 'We have to unite all possible movements, otherwise the world is not going to change,' he said.

Chavez, with a growing regional profile built on a mix of populist rhetoric and his country's oil wealth, has been publicly feuding with Bush, whom he has likened to Adolf Hitler - with Tony Blair dismissed as 'the main ally of Hitler.'

While Downing Street has pointedly emphasised that Chavez's visit to Britain is private, with no official contacts planned, London's mayor yesterday defended his decision to host a luncheon in honour of the Venezuelan leader.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme, Livingstone said that Chavez had been responsible for significant social reforms and called him 'the best news out of Latin America in many years.'

Dismissing human rights groups' concerns about Venezuela's treatment of political opponents, Livingstone said: 'He's won 10 elections for his party in the last decade and he's pushed through a whole programme of social reform.

'Venezuela was like a lot of those old Latin American countries - a small elite of super-rich families who basically stole the national resources. He's now driven a new economic order through, you've got for the first time healthcare for poor people, illiteracy has been eradicated.'

Chavez is scheduled to begin his visit with an address on his social reforms and a meeting with supporters at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in London today. Tomorrow, he will meet left-wing Labour MPs and trade union officials and hold a joint news conference with Livingstone at City Hall.

Tomorrow evening, Chavez is due to give a lecture at Canning House, an institution that works to strengthen commercial and cultural ties between Britain and Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries. On Tuesday, the final day of the visit, the Venezuelan leader is due to open a museum and speak at Banqueting House in Whitehall.

Livingstone said that one reason he was keen to welcome Chavez was because of the potential benefit for the capital from a strong financial and economic relationship with Venezuela.

'The reason he [Chavez] wants to come to London is because clearly, as the Latin American economies really begin to emerge from the American shadow and grow, they don't want all their eggs in the Washington basket,' Livingstone contended. 'They're looking for allies in Europe and Asia and it's very much in London's interests that as Venezuela's companies go, they should see London as a natural home every bit as much as Madrid.'

The mood surrounding Chavez's two-day trip contrasts sharply with the warm welcome he received from Blair during an official London visit five years ago.

Relations with the Venezuelan leader have frayed badly as Chavez has drawn steadily closer to Fidel Castro's Cuba and tried to galvanise South American opposition to US policies.

Earlier this year, Blair declared in the Commons that Venezuela 'should abide by the rules of the international community,' adding that it would help further if Cuba became a 'functioning democracy.'

Chavez reacted to the remarks, and denounced Blair as a 'pawn of imperialism.'

The Venezuelan leader then further angered Downing Street by declaring that the Falkland Islands rightly belonged to Argentina. 'Tony Blair, you have no moral right to tell anyone to respect international laws, as you have no respect for them, aligning yourself with Mr Danger [Bush] and trampling on the people of Iraq,' he added. 'Do you think we still live in the times of the British empire?'

Venezuela's embassy in London has played down the reluctance of Blair to take any part in the Chavez visit, issuing a statement last week pointing out that he had already had an official welcome during his 2001 trip to London.

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/world/st ... 49,00.html
 

wembley8

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tonyblair11 said:
Is this a threat or just another attempt to garner publicity,wealth, and support through mockery?? Also is he exploiting the poor?
Well, his fuel aid to poor families in the US was well appreciated, and if it will help people over here it's hard to complain. You may question his motives, but it's surely better than 'helping' people by bombing them.
 

rynner2

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US bans arms sales to Venezuela

The US is imposing a ban on arms sales to Venezuela.
The US state department said the decision was taken because of what it said was Venezuela's lack of support for counter-terrorism efforts.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said the ban "doesn't matter to us at all", saying it confirmed that Washington wanted to trample on smaller countries.

Relations between the US and Venezuela are severely strained on a number of issues, including oil prices and trade.

The left-wing Mr Chavez has described his US counterpart George W Bush a "terrorist", denouncing Washington's Middle East policies.

Trading accusations

Venezuela is an important source of crude oil for the US, but the relationship between the two countries has been deteriorating for some time.

The state department has repeatedly expressed its concern over Venezuela's contacts with Iran and Cuba and also over its relations with armed groups operating in Colombia which the US considers terrorist organisations.

US state department spokeswoman Darla Jordan said that for a year Venezuela had shown what she called nearly total lack of support for counter-terrorism efforts.

As a result Venezuela was being listed as "a country of concern".

The ban means Washington will not permit any military sales to Venezuela, the spokeswoman said. The re-sale of arms manufactured in other countries would also be prohibited.

In London, Mr Chavez brushed aside the US move.

"It's the empire and it has a great capacity to do harm to the countries of the world," he told the Associated Press news agency.

He said his government would not respond with punitive measures.

US officials argue that the rule of President Chavez is eroding democracy and human rights in Venezuela and that he is working to undermine American influence in the region.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/4774475.stm
Luckily Venezuela has no oil....

Oops! Seems I'm wrong there.


So they need to be invaded to impose democracy, remove mad dictator, find WMD, etc......
 

lupinwick

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The state department has repeatedly expressed its concern over Venezuela's contacts with Iran and Cuba and also over its relations with armed groups operating in Colombia which the US considers terrorist organisations.
So its OK for the US to fund armed groups (AQ in afghanistan - god knows where else). Hypocrisy anyone?

Can you blame Chavez for wishing to erode US influence? Hmmm not really. Who's going to lose out? The rich corporations who bankroll the government?

As for democracy and human rights. Patriot act anyone? The current NSA wiretapping mess? The terorism laws in the UK?

Perhaps an additional law should be passed - You can only invade a country if your elected leader can point to that country on a globe without any prompting.
 

ted_bloody_maul

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lupinwick said:
The state department has repeatedly expressed its concern over Venezuela's contacts with Iran and Cuba and also over its relations with armed groups operating in Colombia which the US considers terrorist organisations.
So its OK for the US to fund armed groups (AQ in afghanistan - god knows where else). Hypocrisy anyone?
not really. first of all america didn't fund AQ in afghanistan, it funded a number of different strands of resistance to an invading army. it's arguably the last time america's foreign policy towards that region could be described as ethical, whatever the underlying motivation. i think any government that has the resources is obliged to assist in such circumstances and it is the privilege of those countries which are powerful enough to take action against those it believes are acting in an aggressive or dangerous fashion.
 

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ted_bloody_maul said:
not really. first of all america didn't fund AQ in afghanistan, it funded a number of different strands of resistance to an invading army. it's arguably the last time america's foreign policy towards that region could be described as ethical, whatever the underlying motivation. i think any government that has the resources is obliged to assist in such circumstances and it is the privilege of those countries which are powerful enough to take action against those it believes are acting in an aggressive or dangerous fashion.
By that token is it okay for China or Russia to fund terrorists in Iraq because they see that as an agressive or dangerous act?
 

ted_bloody_maul

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Heckler20 said:
ted_bloody_maul said:
not really. first of all america didn't fund AQ in afghanistan, it funded a number of different strands of resistance to an invading army. it's arguably the last time america's foreign policy towards that region could be described as ethical, whatever the underlying motivation. i think any government that has the resources is obliged to assist in such circumstances and it is the privilege of those countries which are powerful enough to take action against those it believes are acting in an aggressive or dangerous fashion.
By that token is it okay for China or Russia to fund terrorists in Iraq because they see that as an agressive or dangerous act.
if they believe that it is for the greater good, yes.

should america or britain not have offered support to the french resistance?
 

Heckler

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ted_bloody_maul said:
if they believe that it is for the greater good, yes.

should america or britain not have offered support to the french resistance?
Rather a bad example, we shared not only a common enemy with the French Resistance but a common ideology. The common enemy was also in danger of arriving on our shores in the very near future, the same cannot realistically be said of for example the USSR on the verge of invading the USA prompting the funding of the resistance in Afghanistan.

I suppose you could argue the so-called domino effect was a real fear but how realistic was the idea of the Russian war-machine rolling into New York Harbour?
 

ted_bloody_maul

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Heckler20 said:
ted_bloody_maul said:
if they believe that it is for the greater good, yes.

should america or britain not have offered support to the french resistance?
Rather a bad example, we shared not only a common enemy with the French Resistance but a common ideology. The common enemy was also in danger of arriving on our shores in the very near future, the same cannot realistically be said of for example the USSR on the verge of invading the USA prompting the funding of the resistance in Afghanistan.

I suppose you could argue the so-called domino effect was a real fear but how realistic was the idea of the Russian war-machine rolling into New York Harbour?
you could argue the same prospects of a nazi u-boat. america could easily have stayed out of the second world war and that's arguably true of britain as well.

in any case it is a point of principle: the most powerful nations, whether we like it or not, do have the veto on what happens regarding world affairs. as we can see from the second world war the predecessor of the united nations failed completely to deal with aggression and it was left to others to clean up the mess.

the example of afghanistan was a particularly bad one to use in this instance since the americans were sponsoring afghan nationalists fighting an oppressive force for their independence. this resistance would serve the cause of human rights and liberty. i'm not too sure that sponsoring terrorism or insurgents in iraq is going to acheive that irrespective of why the americans are there.
 

Heckler

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ted_bloody_maul said:
the example of afghanistan was a particularly bad one to use in this instance since the americans were sponsoring afghan nationalists fighting an oppressive force for their independence. this resistance would serve the cause of human rights and liberty. i'm not too sure that sponsoring terrorism or insurgents in iraq is going to acheive that irrespective of why the americans are there.
But the point is, one man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist. It could be argued that the Iraqi insurgents are fighting an invading army that has placed a puppet government in power in an action bordering on colonialism, therefore funding them could promote the cause of human rights & liberty. (Note that I am arguing an extreme and polar view to the one you expressed, not neccessarily one I would advocate).

Anyhoo, Venezuela then. Are you suggesting that it is okay for a 'developed' nation to meddle in another sovereign state but not an 'undeveloped' one?
 

ted_bloody_maul

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Heckler20 said:
ted_bloody_maul said:
the example of afghanistan was a particularly bad one to use in this instance since the americans were sponsoring afghan nationalists fighting an oppressive force for their independence. this resistance would serve the cause of human rights and liberty. i'm not too sure that sponsoring terrorism or insurgents in iraq is going to acheive that irrespective of why the americans are there.
But the point is, one man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist. It could be argued that the Iraqi insurgents are fighting an invading army that has placed a puppet government in power in an action bordering on colonialism, therefore funding them could promote the cause of human rights & liberty. (Note that I am arguing an extreme and polar view to the one you expressed, not neccessarily one I would advocate).

Anyhoo, Venezuela then. Are you suggesting that it is okay for a 'developed' nation to meddle in another sovereign state but not an 'undeveloped' one?
no, and i don't think i've suggested anything like that. the point i'm making is that the usa, or any other country that can exercise that kind of military power, does have the right to act unilaterally. unfortunately, this can lead to abuse by the greater powers but it's a fact of life. fearing the wrath of the united nations is a waste of time as america proved with the iraq war. likewise abiding by a decision made by those unaffected or being concerned by their definitions is not neccessary.
 

wembley8

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[the US] " funded a number of different strands of resistance to an invading army."

Actually no. The Soviets did not invade - it was a client state and technically they were invited in. However, since they behaved exactly like an occupying army it did not make much odds to the population.

The US invasion, on the other hand, was not invited. Either way it's hard to argue that an Islamic fundamentalist Afghan guerilla is a good guy when he shoots at one invader and a bad guy when he shoots at another invader for identical reasons.

Geneva makes some fairly valid distinctions between legal and illegal combatants, may we agree this as a set of rules?
 

lupinwick

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To be honest, I was hinting towards the US policy since the second world war, the backing of AQ is one of the recent ones.

1947-48: U.S. backs Palestine partition plan. Israel established. U.S. declines to press Israel to allow expelled Palestinians to return.

1949: CIA backs military coup deposing elected government of Syria.1

1953: CIA helps overthrow the democratically‑elected Mossadeq government in Iran (which had nationalized the British oil company) leading to a quarter‑century of repressive and dictatorial rule by the Shah, Mohammed Reza Pahlevi.

1956: U.S. cuts off promised funding for Aswan Dam in Egypt after Egypt receives Eastern bloc arms.

1956: Israel, Britain, and France invade Egypt. U.S. does not support invasion, but the involvement of its NATO allies severely diminishes Washington's reputation in the region.

1958: U.S. troops land in Lebanon to preserve "stability".

early 1960s: U.S. unsuccessfully attempts assassination of Iraqi leader, Abdul Karim Qassim.2

1963: U.S. supports coup by Iraqi Ba'ath party (soon to be headed by Saddam Hussein) and reportedly gives them names of communists to murder, which they do with vigor.3

1967‑: U.S. blocks any effort in the Security Council to enforce SC Resolution 242, calling for Israeli withdrawal from territories occupied in the 1967 war.
http://www.zmag.org/shalomhate.htm

And so on and so on........ The UK and the rest of europe probably have an equally poor track record. And note, this is just the middle-east.

And try here for more:

http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?ItemID=10139

Hardly a glowing record now?
 

ted_bloody_maul

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wembley8 said:
[the US] " funded a number of different strands of resistance to an invading army."

Actually no. The Soviets did not invade - it was a client state and technically they were invited in. However, since they behaved exactly like an occupying army it did not make much odds to the population.

The US invasion, on the other hand, was not invited. Either way it's hard to argue that an Islamic fundamentalist Afghan guerilla is a good guy when he shoots at one invader and a bad guy when he shoots at another invader for identical reasons.

Geneva makes some fairly valid distinctions between legal and illegal combatants, may we agree this as a set of rules?
well if you consider the invitation of an unelected and unpopular government inviting its kin to enter their borders not to be an invasion then fine. the us invasion of afghanistan was, like its invasions of italy or france, no more or no less solicited than the invasions of poland or czechoslovakia by the germans.

the original point being made, iirc, was that there was hypocrisy in america's stance towards afghanistan since they supported al qaeda (not true) and then attacked afghanistan on the pretext of fighting terrorism. america supported groups, through pakistan, who were fighting primarily for their independence from a foreign army. when america attacked afghanistan many years later it was on the basis that it was harbouring and assisting people who were responsible for the death of upwards of 2,500 people on their soil. i fail to see how in this regard america can be considered hypocritical.

with regards to geneva - admirable concept but countries who wage war generally do so in the belief that they can't be brought to trial. how long have we had the geneva convention and how many genocides have we seen in that time? in any case i would guess that the majority of countries that have broken the conventions have already broken international law in some other form and should be dealt with on that basis although most likely that will only happen if the most powerful countries back action.

in any case this is going some distance off-topic.
 

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ted_bloody_maul said:
the original point being made, iirc, was that there was hypocrisy in america's stance towards afghanistan since they supported al qaeda (not true) and then attacked afghanistan on the pretext of fighting terrorism. america supported groups, through pakistan, who were fighting primarily for their independence from a foreign army. when america attacked afghanistan many years later it was on the basis that it was harbouring and assisting people who were responsible for the death of upwards of 2,500 people on their soil. i fail to see how in this regard america can be considered hypocritical.
IIRC the original point was that America was hypocritical for criticising Chavez for funding/supporting groups seeking armed regime change in Columbia when they themselves had funded/supported any number of recent (and not so recent) regime changes, many of which in the same region.
 

lupinwick

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Thank you heckler. As I stated earlier AQ was not the best example.

The problem is that the established first world powers (UK, US, Russia et al) seem to think they're above any law or indeed any moral code. He with the biggest stick wins - back to playground politics.
 

wembley8

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"well if you consider the invitation of an unelected and unpopular government inviting its kin to enter their borders not to be an invasion then fine. "

I think you have to. The key point is that the Soviets did not have to fight their way in - the fighting started once they were there.


"the us invasion of afghanistan was, like its invasions of italy or france, no more or no less solicited than the invasions of poland or czechoslovakia by the germans. "

No- big differences. The French government in exile was internationally recognised as requested the help. Whereas Italy was an Axis power and hence an enemy at the time it was invaded (but gave up shortly afterwards).


" i fail to see how in this regard america can be considered hypocritical. "

I guess we will have to agree to disagree on this specific case.

However, would you accept that the US has supported guerilla groups in the past - eg in Cuba and Nicaragua - that would be regarded as terrorists ot at least 'illegal combatants' by most?
 

ted_bloody_maul

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wembley8 said:
However, would you accept that the US has supported guerilla groups in the past - eg in Cuba and Nicaragua - that would be regarded as terrorists ot at least 'illegal combatants' by most?
absoultely. my objection to the remarks made earlier were that they were a poor example (which the poster has acknowledged) of the kind of hypocrisy america often gets correctly labelled with. it's not unusual and is entirely appropriate to oppose organisations you previously supported as circumstances change.

with regard to venezuela it would appear likely that the US already has given some kind of support to illegitimate rebels.
 

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ted_bloody_maul said:
with regard to venezuela it would appear likely that the US already has given some kind of support to illegitimate rebels.
Quite, the attempted coup of 2002 was allegedly US backed:

The failed coup in Venezuela was closely tied to senior officials in the US government, The Observer has established. They have long histories in the 'dirty wars' of the 1980s, and links to death squads working in Central America at that time
Source
 

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From Today's Granuaid:

Bush bans arms sales to Chávez

Ewen MacAskill in Washington and Duncan Campbell
Tuesday May 16, 2006
The Guardian


Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez speaks during a press conference in London. Photograph: Richard Lewis/EPA



The US finally reacted to goading by the Venezuelan president, Hugo Chávez, by slapping a full arms ban on the country last night, claiming it had failed to cooperate in the fight against terrorism.
Janelle Hironimus, a state department spokeswoman, said Venezuela had forged close relations with Iran and Cuba, both classified by the US as state sponsors of terrorism. She said: "Venezuela has publicly championed the Iraqi insurgency."

Mr Chávez, in London yesterday on a two-day private visit, dismissed suggestions that he supported terrorism. He told the Guardian: "Washington has said I am a modern-day Hitler." The Bush administration had accused him of terrorism because it was unhappy with his government's success, he said. "They are very concerned, that is why they say these things." He brushed aside the arms embargo, saying "this doesn't matter to us at all". Venezuela would not respond with punitive measures against the US, he said. The US was "an irrational empire" that "has a great capacity to do harm".

Among reasons given for the ban, the state department referred to Venezuela's "nearly total lack of cooperation with antiterrorist efforts over the past year" and claimed that it provided a safe haven for Colombian "narco-terrorists".
The US, according to the latest congressional figures, sold $8m (£4.25m) in arms to Venezuela in 2004, mainly pistols, rifles, ammunition and riot-control equipment, and $51m in the three years prior to that. But it will try to put the squeeze on other countries that have been engaged in arms sales to Venezuela worth billions.

Ms Hironimus said the arms ban would apply to new equipment and spare parts. She said Venezuela would feel the impact when it wanted to buy parts for its planes.

Relations between the US and Venezuela have deteriorated sharply since Mr Chávez became president. Mr Chávez has described Mr Bush as a "terrorist" and criticised the invasion of Iraq. He has claimed that the US may invade Venezuela, and that it has bought planes from Brazil, ships from Spain and helicopters and assault rifles from Russia.

When announcing the ban, the US made no mention of oil. It is a big importer of Venezuelan oil and cannot afford to cut off that supply. But the arms ban highlights the extent to which the US is being challenged by Venezuela and Bolivia. A string of elections in Latin America has tipped the balance towards leftwing or centrist governments.

Venezuela denies aiding Colombian terrorists and claims it has cooperated with the Colombian government. But the state department claims two Colombian guerrilla groups, Farc and the National Liberation Army, operate out of safe areas in Venezuela, which they use for rest and resupply "with little concern they will be pursued by Venezuelan security forces".

Ms Hironimus said: "Weapons and ammunitions from official Venezuelan stockpiles and facilities had turned up in the hands of Colombian-based terrorists.

The state department also referred to Venezuela's challenges to UN security council resolutions setting out steps countries had to take to stop weapons of mass destruction and terrorism.

Yesterday Mr Chávez met Labour MPs and union leaders and was a lunch guest of the London mayor, Ken Livingstone. Last night he was due to leave the UK for Algeria and Libya. At the weekend he was one of nearly 60 leaders who met in Vienna for a summit on relations between the EU and Latin-American and Caribbean countries. Tony Blair was also at the meeting but the two did not meet in London.
Source
 

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Apologies for another cut and paste but this relates to the above point:

Venezuela to Replace U.S. F-16 Fighters With Russian Su-35s
Created: 17.05.2006 11:04 MSK (GMT +3), Updated: 11:04 MSK, 9 hours 27 minutes ago

Venezuela is considering replacing its contingent of U.S.-built F-16 multi-role fighters with Russian Su-35s, a high-ranking Venezuelan general was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying.

“We are considering procurement of Russian Su-35 fighter aircraft to replace the F-16s, after the United States banned weapons exports to Venezuela,” Venezuelan General Staff official General Alberto Muller Rojas said. “At the moment the Su-35 is world’s best multi-role fighter.”

The United States announced a ban on arms sales to Venezuela May 15. The U.S. State Department accuses the South American country of having an intelligence-sharing relationship with Iran and Cuba, both of which the U.S. says are state sponsors of terrorism.

The sanctions against Venezuela, a major U.S. oil supplier, come after years of antagonism between the leftist Venezuelan president and the White House, on issues ranging from trade to oil prices, which have dragged ties to their worst state in decades, Pravda.ru website reports.

President Hugo Chavez has accused the United States of breaching an agreement to supply parts for Venezuela’s F-16s.

Rojas, a military advisor close to Chavez, said the possibility of procurement of Russian fighter Su-35 had previously been discussed with Moscow, but that the White House’s decision to stop supplying spare parts for U.S. aircraft had given fresh impetus to the talks.

General Alberto Muller Rojas, said earlier he had recommended to the defense ministry that Venezuela consider selling its F-16s after the U.S. announced a ban on arms sales to the country. Muller said he thought it worthwhile to consider “the feasibility of a negotiation with Iran for the sale of those planes.”

But the Defense Minister’s spokesperson said that this was Muller’s personal opinion only and that he “is not a spokesman of the armed forces,” Chicago Tribune daily newspaper reports.

The Iranian Embassy in Caracas said no deal involving warplanes had been proposed.

A U.S. State Department spokesman said Monday that the United States would not allow Venezuela to sell the planes to Iran.

Under U.S. arms-sales contracts, “you can’t transfer these defense articles, in this case, F-16s, to a third country,” State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said. “And I would expect that even if such a request were made that [permission] would not be forthcoming from the U.S. Government.”

The U.S. and Venezuela signed a contract on the F-16s in 1982, and Venezuela does not have the right to re-sell its F-16s under the terms of that contract. However, Rojas said the U.S. had broken the agreement unilaterally, so Venezuela considered itself free not to comply with its obligations
Source

A bit of spear shaking and yank baiting there with the Iranian F16 sale, I sincerely doubt the Iranians would want second hand planes with no possibility of resupply of spares in the future.
 

crunchy5

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No need to apologise for cut and paste, if folk don't want to read it it's easy to slide past and it's way better than waiting for a link only to find it's dead or even just waiting for a link if things have slowed down. :)
 

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Venezuelan anger at computer game

Pandemic specialises in all-action shoot 'em up games
Venezuelan politicians have complained about a forthcoming "shoot-em-up" computer game that simulates an invasion of the South American nation.
In production by Los Angeles-based Pandemic Studios, Mercenaries 2: World In Flames is based around the overthrow of an imaginary Venezuelan "tyrant".

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has long accused the US of planning to invade, something Washington denies.

His supporters say the game aims to drum up support for a real invasion.

'Realistic possibility'

Pandemic has insisted that the title - due to be released next year - is solely about entertainment.

I think the US government knows how to prepare campaigns of psychological terror so they can make things happen later

Venezuelan congressman Ismael Garcia

"Pandemic has no ties to the US government," Greg Richardson, the firm's vice president of commercial operations, told the Associated Press.

"Pandemic Studios is a private company, focusing solely on the development of interactive entertainment."

Yet Pandemic's publicist Chris Norris said its designers "always want to have a rip from the headlines".

He added: "Although a conflict doesn't necessarily have to be happening, it's realistic enough to believe that it could eventually happen."

Messes with oil

Mr Chavez and the US have been at daggers drawn for most of the eight years since he came to power in 1998.

In addition to repeatedly accusing Washington of seeking to overthrow him, Mr Chavez has greatly increased state control over its oil industry, the world's fourth largest, and responsible for 15% of US supplies.

In Mercenaries 2: World In Flames, gamers play soldiers sent to overthrow "a power-hungry tyrant [who] messes with Venezuela's oil supply, sparking an invasion that turns the country into a war zone".

Venezuelan congressman Ismael Garcia, a supporter of Mr Chavez, said the computer game was preparation work for a real invasion.

"I think the US government knows how to prepare campaigns of psychological terror so they can make things happen later," he said.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/5016514.stm
 

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