War With Venezuela Would Boost Media Ratings–As War Always Has

“5,000 troops to Colombia.”

That’s what National Security Adviser John Bolton had scrawled at the top of his notepad with which he walked into a briefing on Monday.

Does that mean we’re planning on sending soldiers to Columbia?

Why Columbia?

Perhaps it has something to do with its neighbor, Venezuela.

Are we on the verge of fomenting a coup d’etat to oust Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro?

Nothing would make the mainstream media more pleased.

As reported in Truthdig:

“The New York Times continued its long, predictable tradition of backing U.S. coups in Latin America by publishing an editorial praising Donald Trump’s attempt to overthrow Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. This will be the 10th such coup the paper has backed since the creation of the CIA over 70 years ago.”

Out of 12 U.S.-supported South American coups since the 1950s, the Times editorial board has supported 10.

If the corporate media actually revealed to the public the role the CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies have always played, sometimes not so surreptitiously, perhaps there would be enough outcry to change the traditional trajectory.

But it’s the mainstream media, so, as always, none of the Times’ editorials says a word about our involvement. Instead, they make South American “cycles of violence” out to be organic, something dysfunctional in South American countries’ governments that compel us to play the hero.

Here are some past quotes:

  • “They [Brazilians] have, throughout their history, suffered from a lack of first class rulers.”
  • “No Chilean party or faction can escape some responsibility for the disaster, but a heavy share must be assigned to the unfortunate Dr. Allende himself.”
  • “It was typical of the cynicism with which many Argentines view their country’s politics that most people in Buenos Aires seemed more interested in a soccer telecast Tuesday night than in the ouster of President Isabel Martinez de Perlin by the armed forces. The script was familiar for this long‐anticipated coup.”

But let’s not spend the entire piece bashing the Times.

Other mainstream outlets are hard at work spinning the myth as well.

In a recent piece featured in The Hill titled “Analyst says US policy toward Venezuela doesn’t qualify as intervention,” Ana Quintana, policy analyst at the conservative Heritage Foundation, is quoted as saying:

“This is not U.S. intervention. This is over 50 countries that are working together. What’s important to recognize is that for the first time in history, you have a coalition of partners in the majority of Latin America that support what’s going on here. That’s something that never existed before. The Cuban regime has been in place for over 60 years; there’s never been regional consensus that they need to go. With Venezuela, that is the case.”

She goes on to defend Donald Trump’s decision to impose new sanctions on Venezuela’s oil company PDVSA:

 “Power does not respond to kind words and diplomacy. They don’t know how Trump is going to respond. Trump’s unpredictable nature is one of the best factors we have going for us right now.”

Interestingly, in its exposition, The Hill makes sure it inserts that Venezuela’s oil company is “state-owned.”

That plays right into the conventional stereotype that because Venezuela is a socialist country, anyone adopting the “S-word” label in any permutation, such as Democratic Socialists Sen. Bernie Sanders or Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, is aligning him or herself with Venezuela- or Soviet-style Socialism, as ridiculous as that is.

Alfred de Zayas, who visited Venezuela as a U.N. representative in 2017, told Democracy Now!:

“The mainstream media has been complicit in this attempted coup. This reminds us of the run-up to the Iraq invasion of 2003…Now, we have had, for the last years, actually, a media campaign against Venezuela…We should be asking ourselves: Do we want a coup d’état in Venezuela? And what legitimacy would the government of Guaidó have? And what kind of elections would be held? Now, there have been 26 or 27 elections in Venezuela since 1998. And President Jimmy Carter and the Carter Center went repeatedly to Venezuela to monitor those elections. And Carter had a very good opinion of the system and of the safeguards of elections in Venezuela. So, if the opposition really considers itself democratic, it has to play the democratic game, and it has to participate in the elections. They have chosen to boycott the elections over the last years.” 

We don’t need to go far to see this media complicity in action, even from the so-called “liberal” media outlets.

Here is a headline from today’s Washington Post“His power under threat, Maduro punishes protesters in Venezuela’s once-loyal slums”

In December, WaPo ran the headline: “Trump Needs to Destroy Venezuela to Save It.”

In November, it ran an op-ed titled: “Venezuela’s health crisis demands an urgent regional response.”

Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIRpublished a post criticizing Human Rights Watch’s (HRW) Tamara Taraciuk Broner and Johns Hopkins professor Kathleen Page for “whitewashing” Trump’s efforts to exacerbate Venezuela’s economic crisis.

Broner and Page report:

“But most sanctions—imposed by the United States, Canada and the European Union—are limited to canceling visas and freezing assets of key officials implicated in abuses and corruption. They have no impact on the Venezuelan economy.

“In 2017, the United States also imposed financial sanctions, including a ban on dealings in new stocks and bonds issued by the government and its state oil company. But even these include an exception for transactions to purchase food and medicines. In fact, the government has purchased food from abroad, but these efforts have given rise to corruption allegations.”

FAIR‘s Joe Emersberger stated:

“Appropriately enough, at the end of the piece, the Post recommended four other articles (11/23/18, 9/11/18, 6/20/18, 8/21/18) that either attacked Venezuela’s government or stayed conspicuously silent about the impact of US economic sanctions.”

He adds:

“The U.S. allies Taraciuk and Page mentioned mainly provide propaganda cover for a U.S.-led assault. Bear in mind that the United States, Canada and other countries within the European Union are supplying weapons and other essential military support to Saudi Arabia, even as it inflicts famine on Yemen. Why do you suppose governments barbaric enough to arm Saudi Arabia also target Venezuela with economic sanctions? Does concern over human rights and corruption, which Taraciuk and Page uncritically cited as a rationale, pass the laugh test?”

Are we about to engage in another military action in our own backyard?

Once again, the mainstream certainly hopes so and is providing the propaganda to make sure the public is sufficiently duped again.

So much for the “liberal media.”

Image credit: Canada Free Press

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