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Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:31 PM

How Hugo Chavez botched the Arab Spring

Nearly two years ago, as unrest spread throughout the Arab world, many wondered what trajectory future revolutions might take. As we now know, Islamists were able to wrest control and capitalise on the Arab Spring and later shaped much of the political and social agenda to their liking.

At the beginning, however, it was far from clear that backward religious conservatives would prevail. Indeed, some may have hoped that the Arab revolutionaries, having sloughed off authoritarian leaders, might rush to embrace more secular rule while injecting left politics into everyday life.

Where could idealistic youth and others turn to for inspiration? Halfway across the world, South America's leftist "Pink Tide" was in full force, having earlier consolidated political control over many countries throughout the region. For years, South American leaders had bucked right-wing economics while making great strides in the social arena through the implementation of successful anti-poverty programmes.

To be sure, populists cultivated religious support and even incorporated messianic political rhetoric at times. By and large, however, the South American left eschewed any radical religious agenda, preferring instead to pursue a more secular path.

More at: http://en-maktoob.news.yahoo.com/hugo-chavez-botched-arab-spring-090844590.html

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Response to Zorro (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:42 PM

1. The "Arab Spring" has empowered the anti-secularist right.

There's little progressive about it anywhere, in my opinion. That goes for Tunisia, Libya, Syria, Egypt, and so on.

On the contrary, the economies and states of those countries are languishing as compared with before. Feudal ideologies are ascendant. Social rights are being undermined.

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Response to Zorro (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 08:32 AM

2. Hugo Chavez was rather busy

and he still is.

Hugo also knows his limitations. He'd rather work for his own people, given the chance.

This author sounds cuckoo.

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Response to Zorro (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 10:46 AM

3. I didn't realize, til the end of the article, that this tripe was written by Nicholas Kozloff...

...or I wouldn't have bothered to puzzle through it.

Kozloff is one of these flabby-brained, Christian Science Monitor-type "liberals" who hate Hugo Chavez almost more than the CIA and Exxon Mobil do, and despise and revile the leftist democracy revolution that Chavez and the Venezuelan people pioneered in Latin America.

Kozloff has been trying to degrade and demonize Chavez in every article he's written about it. He must be pissing in his pants that Chavez won re-election and that even people here are beginning to grasp the "Big Lie' techniques that have been used to disinform us about Chavez and Venezuela. This particular Kozlov crapola has a "sour grapes" feel to it, as well as being ... how to describe it?... confused and even crazy.

We are now to believe that Kozloff actually likes Chavez and that, if only Chavez hadn't "botched the Arab Spring," he would be a great leader of the third world and there would be women's liberation and all these other wonderful democratic things in Arabia?

Understand, first of all, that Kozloff speaks for the global corporatists and war profiteers whom he has served in his long, flatulent, nasty hit pieces in the New York Slimes and other publications about Chavez and other leaders of the Latin American left. But--a lot like the Slimes--he coats his service to these interests with a sort of pink slime of liberalism and fake journalism. Here, I think he has several objectives: to slime Chavez again (as retribution for his re-election), to damage Latin America's influence in the "global south" movement, and to deflect attention from U.S. covert operations in the so-called "Arab Spring."

The irony of the article (and its headline) is that it is the U.S. that "botched the Arab Spring" because democracy in the Middle East and North Africa was never the U.S goal. Installing puppet leaders is the U.S. goal. Gaddafi and Assad asserted the sovereignty of their countries. They were/are not U.S. puppets. That is their only real crime in the U.S. government's view. Everything else is bullshit. The U.S. government gladly supports dictators and gross violators of human rights when it suits them, and itself commits mass murder, torture, weapons trafficking and all sorts of crimes, and, believe me, those crimes did not cease with the end of the Bush Junta. Drone bombings--targeting people around the world for execution without trial, and not being too fussy about "collateral damage"--have been added to the U.S. crime sheet since the Bush Junta.

The U.S. is involved in all sorts of covert ops around these so-called "liberation" movements in the Middle East/North Africa--either instigating them or inflltrating them, and, in several cases, arming them (with catastrophic results in Syria). The CIA is assassinating leaders it doesn't like and promoting those whom it can control. And the U.S. doesn't give a goddamn how these conflicts turn out, as long as the U.S. has a chokehold on whoever ends up on top. You think the U.S. wants democracy in the Middle East? Look at Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, the U.A.E.! THAT is who and what the U.S. supports in the Middle East--greedy sultans and absolute tyrants.

The CIA has been doing this sort of shit forever. They would like us to forget they OVERTURNED DEMOCRACY in Iran in 1954 and inflicted that country with 25 years of torture, brutal repression and vast corruption. Why did they overturn Iran's first elected president? Because he asserted Iran's sovereignty when he nationalized the oil!

Repeat x 1,000--in the Middle East AND in Latin America! The U.S. goals in both regions have been, a) control, or, b) chaos, in the interest of eventually achieving control.

And I'm sure that it pisses off the moguls of the "military-industrial complex" no end that they can no longer bully Latin America into playing along with their dirty, bloody games in the rest of the world. And they can thank their Supreme Count/Diebold-intalled Bush Junta for that! After a half a century of bloody interference by the U.S. in Latin America, capped by the Bush Junta, Latin Americans have HAD IT with the U.S. and have, finally, begun to devise their own counter-strategy, which has two main planks: 1) defense of the sovereignty of targeted countries, and 2) "south-south" cooperation and having each other's backs.

This LatAm counter-strategy began with the Venezuelan peoples' resistance to the BUSH-SUPPORTED rightwing coup d'etat attempt in 2002--and has included, for instance, successful regional resistance to a U.S./Bush Junta coup d'etat attempt in Bolivia in 2008, and the formation of USASUR and CELAC (LatAm alternatives to the U.S.-dominated OAS)--and is now being extended across the global south, for instance, with Venezuela's and Brazil's defiance of the U.S. on Iran. It also, quite importantly, involves trade deals and other sorts of interaction between and among the countries that the U.S. has looted and ravaged or has targeted for looting and ravaging.

And, of course, Venezuela, where the leftist democracy revolution first occurred--and where U.S. interference was first turned back--is one of the key architects of this counter-strategy, first of all at home, in Latin America, and then extending worldwide to other regions where the U.S. seeks domination of resources and governments--the Middle East, Africa, Asia. This counter-strategy involves trade deals with targeted countries outside of Latin America and also political support for sovereignty. Venezuela, Brazil and other key leaders of this strategy do NOT interfere in countries like Iran, Libya or Syria, the way the U.S. does, sneakily and bloodily seeking puppet leaders. They defend sovereignty and independence, in whatever ways they can, and in whatever forums, and seek partners--equals--in a multi-lateral world. They do NOT dictate forms of government, laws, economic systems or anything else.

The U.S. and its transglobal corporate rulers and war profiteers above all want to destroy national sovereignty in targeted countries--the ability of the country to make its own laws, conduct trade in its own interest and control its own resources in the interest of its people. We saw this in its rawest form in Iraq--first invasion, then forcing the U.S. installed puppet government to sign U.S.-written oil contracts. They've done it (tried to destroy sovereignty) through ruinous World Bank/IMF "loans" and the corrupt, murderous, failed U.S. "war on drugs" in Latin America and other regions. They've done it directly through invasion in Iraq. They've done it through covert ops, sabotage, "sanctions" and other dirty rotten means.

That is why Venezuela, Brazil and others are supporting Iran, for instance. They aren't supporting the mullahs. They are supporting Iran's sovereignty. Iran's current government is the most legitimate government they've had since the U.S. destroyed their secular democracy back in 1954. Cuba is a similar case. Cuba's current government is the most legitimate government they've ever had, and is most certainly 100% better than the horror of the bloody U.S.-BACKED Batista dictatorship in the 1950s. Now all of Latin America supports Cuban sovereignty against U.S. "sanctions" and other bullshit--even rightwing LatAm governments. It is virtually unanimous and it is not support for "communism"; it is support of Cuba's sovereignty--its right to form its own government, make its own laws and control its own resources, without being dictated to by the U.S. government and ravaged by U.S.-based transglobal corporate rulers and war profiteers.

Kozloff's article is COVER for the supremely anti-democratic activities of the U.S. in the Middle East and around the world. Blame the failure of the "Arab Spring" on...Chavez?!?!?

That is ridiculous.





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Response to Peace Patriot (Reply #3)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 11:04 PM

4. So you applaud and cheer Hugo's active support of the current Syrian and Iranian regimes

because it's an issue of "sovereignty".

Got it.

How very democratic.

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Response to Zorro (Reply #4)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 06:53 AM

5. The Iranian government is the most legitimate government Iran has had in the modern era.

What is the alternative, in your view? The Shah of Iran? Give me a break. Or is it the chaos in Iraq? Or the tyranny in Saudi Arabia?

The U.S. wants to overthrow the most legitimate government Iran has had, to get control of its oil and put some fat sultans in charge of it for the benefit of our transglobal corporate rulers and war profiteers.

I don't agree with this policy of the U.S. government.

As for the bloody civil wars in Syria and Libya, BOTH sides believe that they are asserting their country's sovereignty--the existing government (former government--Gaddafi's government--in Libya's case) and their military personnel believe that they are defending their country's sovereign government; and the rebels believe that THEY are the legitimate representatives of their countries and have the right to accept arms from the CIA and kill those defending the existing government. And which side IS sovereign? The one that all of the countries of the world recognized as the legitimate government prior to violent insurrection, or the violent rebels?

I don't buy the propagandistic scenarios of the U.S. government in either case. And further, you would have to be a "know-nothing" and deny most of the history of the last century not to realize that the U.S. government and its allies either instigated both insurrections (Libya and Syria) or infiltrated and control the insurrections or groups within the insurrections, trying to find and buy the future sultans who will do their bidding and get them installed in power.

So, how are countries in Latin America who don't obey U.S. dictates, and who, indeed, have achieved independence from the U.S. to the great benefit of their own people, going to view these events? How are they going to view U.S. hostility to Iran, which won't obey U.S. dictates either, and whose democracy was smashed to pieces by the U.S. in 1954? How are they to view U.S. drone-bombings of Libyans to destroy what was their legitimate government, recognized by all? How are they to view U.S. arms trafficking to the Syrian rebels, to keep up the fighting and chaos in that country, until its heretofore recognized government succumbs? How are Latin Americans to view the U.S. war machine and the U.S. propaganda machine and U.S. intentions?

I think it's very understandable that independent Latin American countries would not side with the U.S., especially in view of what the U.S. has done to Iraq, not to mention Afghanistan, and the long history of similar interference in Latin America. U.S. interference never results in democracy. It always results in chaos and grief and, if it is successful, in sons-of-bitches taking power and serving U.S. interests and grossly and violently oppressing their own people.

None of these are ideal governments (Iran, Libya, Syria) but then, the U.S. and its allies have been grossly interfering in these countries for more than half a century. The reaction has been to seek stability and, above all, sovereignty--control over their own affairs. Iran's government has done this in the most democratic manner of the three. Gaddafi did it by savvy control of Libya's warring tribes and strong assertion of sovereignty and of North African union. Syria is the least democratic or representative. They have a hereditary ruler--a king (a useful being, as to unity and stability). Stability is not easy to achieve with a behemoth like the U.S. breathing down your neck, looking for every weakness, engaging in infiltration and black ops, constantly looking to gain control of your resources and your laws, punishing you when you don't obey them, and, recently, amassing a huge war machine all around you.

I am a peacenik myself and have no sympathy for either side in a shooting war. I think all modern weapons should be banned. Hotbloods can go at it with sticks and swords, if they must. Deny them all firearms, bombs, drones and missiles. Send it all to Mars instead of rovers. But I realize that, given that everybody is armed to the teeth--not the least as the result of U.S. weapons trafficking--that U.S. targets don't have much of a chance unless they band together. Latin Americans have learned this important lesson within their region and are trying to apply it to the "global south." They have no ability or desire to interfere and control. They want stable, independent trading partners in a multi-lateral world--a world NOT dominated and controlled by the U.S. and its transglobal corporate rulers.

I think that Chavez and his allies--for instance, the president of Brazil--would be the first to hail genuine democratic uprisings anywhere in the world. They DON'T see these violent insurrections as genuine democratic uprisings, and I agree with that assessment. And in the face of non-genuine, violent uprisings, stability is better. It is not ideal. It is merely better than the chaos that the U.S. fosters in order to end up in control.

I don't like cultures that oppress women--and all three of these countries do. I wouldn't fare well in these countries. I would probably be stoned to death. I don't like "kings." I don't like tribal chiefs (Gaddafi). And i certainly don't like some of the leaders of Iran. But this is irrelevant. I have no right to interfere or to impose my beliefs there--and the U.S. government's interference and imposition of its ideology has been disastrous wherever it has occurred. It's best to leave these countries alone, respect their sovereignty and let them work out their own problems. I strongly believe that that is the attitude of the Latin American leaders who have aligned themselves with stability and against U.S. interference in all three cases. It is NOT a question of democracy. You CAN'T IMPOSE democracy. And, believe me, the U.S. does NOT have that goal.

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