Sunday, December 11, 2005

CIA corruption in Venezuela is expression of customary procedure in USA

Published: Sunday, December 11, 2005
Bylined to: Chris Herz

CIA corruption in Venezuela is expression of customary procedure in USA commentarist Chris Herz writes: US leaders are ever ready to pick up bits of loot here and there. And Iraqi oil is certainly the great prize of the world. But this war there and the way it is being fought is in many ways revenge for Vietnam.

But you say, Iraq had nothing to do with aiding the Viets, so how can this US assault be revenge?

And of course you are right. Iraq had no more to do with the Vietnam War than it had to do with knocking down the World Trade Center. Nothing.

But, all North Americans have waged among themselves in a political way, the humiliating aftermath of an unsuccessful war. And it has always been a mantra among the right-winger nut cases that somehow had the US only held out longer it would have won this war.

And these same forces of militarism and reaction also tell us that we made mistakes in limiting our violence, both in intensity and in area. We should have used nukes, some say ... or invaded North Vietnam, or even Hainan Island.

These voices tell us that we erred also in tolerating so much internal dissidence; and certainly the Congress should never be permitted to check the Army or the CIA. Conservatives today have moved vigorously to the correction of these mistakes.

The Bush regime and thus far anyway, most of the rest of our political classes remain determined to "stay the course" -- remain in Iraq until "our objectives are won." And so the villainous violence will go on.

We learn from the well-informed Sy Hersh, that half a million tonnes of bombs have been dropped by just one Marine air wing over Iraqi towns and cities. This is incredible and indicates both the determination of the US to wage war a la outrance, as well as to keep secret the real dimensions of this war (Hersh was able only to obtain this information by accident, and from only one of many air units).

We see their determination also in the well-orchestrated practices, familiar to all Latin-Americans of disappearance and abuse. The only difference between then and now being that such torture is more-or-less openly done by US forces directly as well as by satellite forces like Poland or Egypt. This of course in utter disdain for all law, international or domestic.

Government and police here are also experimenting to see how far they can go in breaking up demonstrations, and arresting and jailing those participating. For instance, several persons are jailed for up to six months at a time for protesting the infamous Army School of Torture in Fort Benning. Colleges and universities seem much more aggressive in expelling or suspending students participatory in resistance to war and military recruiting.

But perhaps most amazing of all are the revelations coming from the investigations, both legal and journalistic, into the corruption conviction of now former-Congressman Randy Cunningham of California.

Thanks to the work of some of our blogging colleagues searching through dry and voluminous records, we are seeing how Republicans, from the President down have benefited financially by the looting of defense and intelligence contracts. The size and scale of the looting, the proceeds of which go for political purposes as well as mere personal enrichment, may indicate the complicity of the professional bureaucracies in both organizations.

If this is so, the corruption practiced by the CIA in Venezuela is only the expression of their customary procedure in ours. People have accumulated much evidence of all this, and for years the officers of the military have openly expressed their right-wing sympathies. Birds of a feather flock together.

I certainly do not see how the US polity can survive all this.

Truly the Iraq war is destabilizing the empire as much as the middle east ... but let's keep reading and studying and watch the fun in the columns of

Chris Herz

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