Fallujah as Guernica, Venezuela as Nicaragua ?  

Posted by Big Gav

The Guardian has a good story about omnipresent US apparatchik Bob Zoellick's recent visit to Fallujah.

One thing is certain: the attack on Falluja has done nothing to still the insurgency against the US-British occupation nor produced the death of al-Zarqawi - any more than the invasion of Afghanistan achieved the capture or death of Osama bin Laden. Thousands of bereaved and homeless Falluja families have a new reason to hate the US and its allies.

At least Zoellick went to see. He gave no hint of the impression that the trip left him with, but is too smart not to have understood something of the reality. The lesson ought not to be lost on Blair and Straw. Every time the prime minister claims it is time to "move on" from the issue of the war's legality and rejoice at Iraq's transformation since Saddam Hussein was toppled, the answer must be: "Remember Falluja." When the foreign secretary next visits Iraq, he should put on a flak jacket and tour the city that Britain had a share in destroying.

The government keeps hoping Iraq will go away as an election issue. It stubbornly refuses to do so. Voters are not only angry that the war was illegal, illegitimate and unnecessary. The treatment inflicted on Iraqis since the invasion by the US and Britain is equally important.

In the 1930s the Spanish city of Guernica became a symbol of wanton murder and destruction. In the 1990s Grozny was cruelly flattened by the Russians; it still lies in ruins. This decade's unforgettable monument to brutality and overkill is Falluja, a text-book case of how not to handle an insurgency, and a reminder that unpopular occupations will always degenerate into desperation and atrocity.

There are alternatives to the approach used in Fallujah of course - this is an interesting history of US interventions in Latin America over the years, and how these same methods are being applied in Venezuela.
Former-CIA agent Felix Rodríguez recently told Miami television that the US was looking for a change in Venezuela, possibly one brought about by violence. He gave the Reagan administration's assassination attempt against Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi as an example.

Is this a likely scenario for US intervention in Venezuela ? Well, remember that where Qaddafi is concerned, the United States believed that Qaddafi had organized the bombing of this discothéque in Berlin, and the raid on Tripoli was in retaliation. Now Chávez has made no provocation like that, so there is no justification for a military strike and I cannot believe that the United States has come to the point where they would so blatantly seek to assassinate the President of another country. I mean, things are bad enough in the United States—worse than they've ever been—but I don't think we've quite come to that.

One thing that is very important for the Chávez movement, the Bolivarian movement here, to keep in mind always, is that the United States will never stop trying to turn the clock back. US interests are defined as the unfettered access to natural resources, to labor, and to the markets of foreign countries. It is countries like the Latin American countries that assure prosperity in the United States. The more governments with their own agendas, with an element of nationalism, and that oppose US policies such as the neoliberal agenda come to power, the more of a threat these movement are seen to be in Washington, because what's at stake is the stability of the political system in the United States, and the security of the political class in the United States.

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I'm glad you posted the Steele/Jamail article. It's excellent. The quote from the CIA agent was also intereting but odd. I had always been told by my dad (a proud pinko) that the CIA had tried to assassinate Castro many times. It seems like something we'd try to do. I'll have to look it up see. Maybe it doesn't account if the leader is a "dictator". I certainly doesn't count if organize a coup and get the people to kill the leader.

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