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Trump Threatens Nuclear War if Russia Protects Venezuela

Eric Zuesse

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On March 27th, U.S. President Donald Trump said that “Russia has to get out” of Venezuela, and that “All options are on the table” if Russia refuses to withdraw from Venezuela the protection it has recently provided to Venezuela’s elected Government, which Trump is attempting to overthrow, by an illegal coup. And Vice President Mike Pence, on the same day, said “Nicolás Maduro is a dictator with no legitimate claim to power, and it is the policy of the United States of America, at the direction of President Donald Trump, that Nicolás Maduro must go.” The United States is therefore trying to do to Maduro what Barack Obama did to Victor Yanukovich in Ukraine in 2014, and to Muammar Gaddaffi in Libya in 2011, and tried to do to Bashar Assad after 2011 in Syria, and what George W. Bush did in 2003 to Saddam Hussein in Iraq. But, this time, there is a difference, because right up front, Russia isn’t allowing it, and is sending men and equipment to Venezuela, to prevent it from happening — in other words, to block the U.S. Government from achieving a conquest of Venezuela.

On the night of January 22nd, Juan Guaido, who had been the President of the National Assembly of Venezuela (somewhat equivalent to Nancy Pelosi in the U.S. House of Representatives), was instructed by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, to declare himself the ‘interim President’ of Venezuela, and Guaido did that the very next day, though the Venezuelan Constitution says that only Venezuela’s constitutional court (the “Supreme Judicial Tribunal”) can authorize the National Assembly to even consider the possibility of removing Venezuela’s President, and though the only person who (under the Constitution) can follow (succeed) the elected President of Venezuela if an elected President becomes removed from office, is Venezuela’s Executive Vice President, the equivalent of America’s Vice President — not  the President of the National Assembly. The Supreme Judicial Tribunal did no such thing. So: Guaido was (and is) following Pence’s instruction to perpetrate actually a coup against his country. This coup-attempt was long in the planning. It is a follow-on to what Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, was trying to do.

Russia has sent troops and weapons to Venezuela to protect Venezuela from a possible U.S. invasion. Trump and Pence are telling Russia they won’t accept this. They demand that their coup-attempt succeed. Russia is no more-likely to accept that in Venezuela than in Syria, where the U.S. invasion-via-proxies continues. So, the U.S. is now committed, in at least those two places, to regime-change, where Russia is less publicly and explicitly, but perhaps even more, committed to halt America’s aggressions.

The idea of the United States as a ‘policeman of the world’ has now become an insult to the United Nations and makes clear what John Bolton had meant when he said:

Congressional Record, Volume 154, Part 8, May 22, 2008 to June 6, 2008 [ultimate source being Unification Church’s neocon Insight on the News magazine during 1999, interview w. Bolton]

“It is a big mistake for us to grant any validity to international law even when it may seem in our short-term interest to do so — because over the long term, the goal of those who think that international law really means anything are those who want to constrain the United States.”

Global Structures Convocation in New York on 3 February 1994

“JOHN BOLTON: The point that I want to leave with you, in this very brief presentation, is where I started, is there is no United Nations. There is an international community that occasionally can be led by the only real power left in the world, and that’s the United States, when it suits our interest and when we can get others to go along. … The Secretariat Building in New York has 38 stories. If you lost 10 stories today, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference.”

Anyone today who supports the United States Government opposes the United Nations, and despises democracy — not only domestically, but especially internationally.

Specifically in regard to the ongoing U.S. coup-attempt against the sovereign nation of Venezuela, here is what Bolton said on January 23rd:

“We’re looking at the oil assets. That’s the single most important income stream to the government of Venezuela. We’re looking at what to do to that. … We don’t want any American businesses or investors caught by surprise. They can see what President Trump did yesterday. We’re following through on it. … We’re in conversation with major American companies now that are either in Venezuela, or in the case of Citgo here in the United States. … It will make a big difference to the United States economically if we could have American oil companies really invest in and produce the oil capabilities in Venezuela.”

Why does John Bolton keep coming back to power in the U.S.? Because he represents America’s billionaires no matter what, and because the U.S. Government does, too — it doesn’t represent America’s public; it represents only  the individuals who overwhelmingly finance America’s politicians; and those politicians, in turn, represent the 585 U.S. billionaires’ interests, and not  the interests (the priorities) of the American public. The public are merely to be manipulated, not represented. That’s why we invaded Iraq. That’s why we invaded Libya. That’s why we invaded Syria. That’s why the U.S. regime took over Ukraine. That’s why it now is trying to take over Venezuela. The public don’t learn from history but instead are constantly being manipulated — the public are constantly gullible. A gangster-led nation hires professionals to fool them, constantly. This is serious business, not for amateurs. The naive view of ‘democracy’ makes it sound natural, but it’s not — not at all. Sometimes things that are unnatural are essential; and this is increasingly coming to be the case. Calling the U.S. a ‘democracy’ is to support this government that the entire world (in the only polls that have been done of the matter) recognizes to be the most aggressive and dangerous regime on Earth. This Government is natural, but it’s rotten, through and through.

This, in other words, is international piracy. So: instead of U.S. being the international policeman, it’s the leader of the biggest international gang; it is the global leader in international gangsterism, dwarfing the Mafia. That’s the reality. And this explains why the U.S. Government despises the U.N.

Anyone today who supports the United States Government opposes the United Nations, and despises democracy — not only domestically, but especially internationally, which means the U.N. (not that it’s perfect — nothing is — but it’s the only one, at the present time). Either the world will be led by its top gangster, who represents the top gang and definitely not the global public (and not even his own national public — see this and this), or else the world will be led by the only international democracy that currently exists. And this is why the U.S. regime wants to destroy the U.N. — to eliminate even the little democracy we’ve actually got.

PS: In order to anticipate the U.S. regime’s next step, which is expected to be citation of America’s ‘Monroe Doctrine’ as ‘justifying’ its actions specifically in Venezuela (and, generally, as ‘justifying’ U.S. imperialism in the Western Hemisphere), there will be quoted below relevant highlights from the superb Ph.D. thesis of Nicholas Cleaver, which thesis documents that America’s first modern application of the Monroe Doctrine was against, and not for, U.S. imperialism (and so the Trump regime has no justification, even in U.S. law, to do this):

Rise to Power?: The Foreign Policy of the Second Grover Cleveland Administration, 1893-1897. Nicholas Cleaver, Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, University of East Anglia, School of American Studies, February, 2012:

This thesis argues that, confronted by the same changing circumstances for the nation on the world stage which had created the public demand for a more aggressive foreign policy, Cleveland, Gresham and Olney set out a new template for how the United States should conduct itself in global affairs. This template rejected imperialist expansion and proposed a more limited interaction with other nations based upon legalist principles. It also included elements of moral duty and a belief that the United States should be an example to other nations. …

The special message [by President Cleveland, to the U.S. Congress, on 17 December 1895] concluded with a declaration that it would be the duty of the United States to “resist by every means in its power as a wilful aggression upon its rights and interests the appropriation by Great Britain of any lands or the exercise of governmental jurisdiction over any territory which after investigation we have determined of right belongs to Venezuela.”115 The potential significance of this was underlined by the statement: “In making these recommendations I am fully alive to the responsibility incurred, and keenly realize all the consequences that may follow.”116

The December 17 special message brought the Venezuelan Border Dispute to a head and raised the spectre of war between the United States and Great Britain, but it also marked the first step in a movement towards a settlement. … The result was an Anglo-American agreement concluded on November 12, 1896, which would form the basis of a treaty between Great Britain and Venezuela. The agreement provided for an arbitral tribunal which would investigate and define the new border. …

CONCLUSION

Foreign policy was not a priority for Grover Cleveland when he returned to the Executive Mansion on March 4, 1893. His first term in office had demonstrated that he was a domestic-minded president and the ever-increasing financial calamity afflicting the United States in 1893 ensured that there would be no shortage of domestic problems that would require his attention. While Cleveland might have preferred to have devoted the entirety of his second term in office to dealing with these domestic problems, a series of incidents in global affairs provided constant distraction. The fact that Cleveland felt obliged to involve the United States in these incidents is indicative of the nation’s growing stature as a world power and the breadth of its interests and contacts overseas, but it also refutes any suggestion that Cleveland himself was purely an isolationist. Although his opposition to American imperialism would remain unwavering until his death, he was not himself purely in favour of isolation and much of the administration’s foreign policy would be decidedly internationalist in its attempts to formulate new frameworks through which international disputes might be resolved through methods short of war. Despite these views, however, the formulation of foreign policy was still a decidedly ad hoc affair and, while the same might be said for much of the administration’s domestic policy as well, it is clear that domestic issues held priority.

Only later, with the thuggish U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt, did the U.S. become an imperialistic power, but TR’s “corollary to the Monroe Doctrine” was only an announcement in his 1904 State of the Union address, no U.S. law, at all. Even the Monroe Doctrine itself was only a “policy” of James Monroe, no law — and, until TR, it was entirely anti-imperialistic (aimed to end European imperialism in the Americas). U.S. imperialism started with TR. Later, FDR (who designed the U.N.) tried to end America’s imperialism, but his successor Truman went back to TR’s policy, and Truman’s successor Eisenhower did it full-force by coups in 1953 Iran (where the Monroe Doctrine was entirely irrelevant), and 1954 Guatemala. All that exists within U.S. law regarding imperialism is U.S. policies — no U.S. law at all. Only in international  law (what Bolton despises) is imperialism prohibited; and what recent American Presidents and Congresses are carrying out are internationally illegal U.S. policies — no laws, at all; just international thuggery, on behalf of America’s billionaires.

Author’s note: first posted at strategic-culture.org

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010

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Americas

Scandinavia Veers Left plus D-Day Reflections as Trump Storms Europe

Dr. Arshad M. Khan

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Mette Frederiksen of the five-party Social Democrat bloc won 91 of the 169 seats in the Danish parliament ending the rule of the right-wing Liberal Party group that had governed for 14 of the last 18 years.  The election issues centered on climate change, immigration and Denmark’s generous social welfare policies.  All parties favored tighter immigration rules thereby taking away the central issue dominating the far-right Democrat Freedom Party which has seen its support halved since the last election in 2015.

Ms Frederiksen promised more spending to bolster the much loved social welfare model and increased taxes on businesses and the wealthy.  A left wave is sweeping Scandinavia as Denmark becomes the third country, after Sweden and Finland, to move left within a year.  Mette Frederiksen will also be, at 41, the youngest prime minister Denmark has ever had.

Donald Trump has used the 75th anniversary of D-Day commemorations to garner positive publicity.  The supreme promoter has managed to tie it in with a “classy” (his oft-chosen word) state visit to the UK spending a day with royals.  It was also a farewell to the prime minister as her resignation is effective from June 7.  Add a D-Day remembrance ceremony at Portsmouth and he was off to his golf course in Ireland for a couple of days of relaxation disguised as a visit to the country for talks — he has little in common with the prime minister, Leo Varadkar, who is half-Indian and gay.

Onward to France where leaders gathered for ceremonies at several places.  It is easy to forget the extent of that carnage:  over 20,000 French civilians were killed in Normandy alone mostly from aerial bombing and artillery fire.  The Normandy American cemetery holds over 9600 soldiers.  All in all, France lost in the neighborhood of 390,000 civilian dead during the whole war.  Estimates of total deaths across the world range from 70 to 85 million or about 3 percent of the then global population (estimated at 2.3 billion).

Much has been written about conflict resolutions generally from a cold rational perspective.  Emotions like greed, fear and a sense of injustice when unresolved lead only in one direction.  There was a time when individual disputes were given the ultimate resolution through single combat.  Now legal rights and courts are available — not always perfect, not always fair, but neither are humans.

It does not take a genius to extrapolate such legal measures to nations and international courts … which already exist.  Just one problem:  the mighty simply ignore them.  So we wait, and we honor the dead of wars that in retrospect appear idiotic and insane.  Worse is the attempt to justify such insanity through times like the “good war”, a monstrous absurdity.

It usually takes a while.  Then we get leaders who have never seen the horror of war — some have assiduously avoided it — and the cycle starts again.

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Americas

To Impeach Or Not To Impeach? That Is The Question

Dr. Arshad M. Khan

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Robert Mueller let loose a thunderbolt midweek.  Donald Trump had not been charged, he said, because it was Department of Justice policy not to charge a sitting president.  Dumping the issue firmly into Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s lap, he reminded us of the purpose of the impeachment process.  According to Mueller there are ten instances where there are serious issues with the president obstructing justice adding that his report never concludes that Trump is innocent.

So here is a simple question:  If Mueller thought the president is not innocent but he did not charge him because of Justice Department policy, and he appears also to favor impeachment, then why in heaven’s name did he not simply state in his report that the preponderance of evidence indicated Trump was guilty?

Nancy Pelosi is wary of impeachment.  According to the rules, the House initiates it and when/if  it finds sufficient grounds, it forwards the case to the Senate for a formal trial.  The Senate at present is controlled by Republicans, who have been saying it’s time to move on, often adding that after two years of investigation and a 448-page report, what is the point of re-litigating the issue?  They have a point and again it leads to the question:  if Special Counsel Mueller thinks Trump is guilty as he now implies, why did he not actually say so?

Never one to miss any opportunity , Trump labels Mueller, highly conflicted, and blasts impeachment as ‘a dirty, filthy, disgusting word’,  He has also stopped Don McGahn, a special counsel at the White House from testifying before Congress invoking ‘executive privilege’ — a doctrine designed to keep private the president’s consultations with his advisors.  While not cited anywhere in the Constitution, the Supreme Court has held it to be ‘fundamental to the operation of government and inextricably rooted in the Separation of Powers under the Constitution.’  Separation of powers keeps apart the executive branch, the legislature and the judiciary, meaning each one cannot interfere with the other.

Nancy Pelosi is under increasing pressure from the young firebrands.  Rep Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez has already expressed the view that it is time to open an impeachment inquiry against Trump given the obstruction of lawmakers’ oversight duty.

Speaker Pelosi is a long-time politician with political blood running through her veins — her father was Mayor of Baltimore and like herself also a US Representative.  To her the situation as is, is quite appealing.  Trump’s behavior fires up Democrats across the country and they respond by emptying their pockets to defeat the Republicans in 2020.  Democratic coffers benefit so why harm this golden goose — a bogeyman they have an excellent chance of defeating — also evident from the numbers lining up to contest the Democratic presidential primaries, currently at 24. 

Will Trump be impeached?  Time will tell but at present it sure doesn’t look likely.

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Americas

When Republicans Are In Power, Banks, Real Estate, and Insurance Companies Crush The People

Rahul D. Manchanda, Esq.

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There is certainly a correlation by and between when conservatives and Republicans talk about “de-regulation” and “freedom” of business, in the outright and total crushing of the American people underneath a boot of immorality.

For example, insurance companies will start to increase the use dishonest and unethical “adjustors” to set out to deny lawful proper claims for insurance, such as when someone has fully paid their expensive premiums, but then is cruelly and out of hand denied much needed assistance from these insurance companies for various health problems, automobile accidents, home and renters policy mishaps, professional liability defense, general business liability assistance, property damage, and other types of accidents and mishaps that these insurance companies state that they were designed to protect their customers with.

These insurance companies know fully well that the poor and middle class do not have the ability to hire and retain competent high powered lawyers to defend their interests, either by entangling with them or in dealing with the entities that are coming after them in the above named types of life problems.

The Democrats had created and implemented such consumer watchdog agencies such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) and the New York Department of Financial Services (“DFS”) and these agencies were very successful in prosecuting, investigating, and beating back insurance company and banker predatory behavior, but then the lobbying groups for these industries began to buy and pay for Republican whores and populated the Congress and Senate with their “people,” and low and behold, we got an avalanche of “deregulation” from the Executive and Legislative Branches, gutted agencies and replacement of its leaders, all of a sudden leaving the American people at the will and hellish end of the retaliatory insurance and banking industries, and now things are worse than they ever were before.

Similarly, as the Insurance industry benefited from screwing over the American people, the Banking industry simultaneously have begun again to rape the American people, by instituting usurious collections and interest rates, sometimes as high as 50-60%, on such things as student loans in default through no fault of the borrower (due to sickness, injury, loss of employment, bankruptcy) and credit card companies now routinely rape and pillage the American people with ungodly APRs and other “bait and switch” mechanisms designed to fleece their customers, enriching themselves while impoverishing their customers.

All the while these banks and insurance companies are charging more than ever for premiums, simple day to day processes such as ATM machine usage, finance charges, late fees, and other highway robbery-type methods to steal from the American people.

The real estate industry, headed up by men such as Ben Carson of HUD, have now mercilessly began to crush tenants and mortgage holders, denying them basic warranties of safety and habitability, skirting all state and federal regulation so as to make a buck.

“Freedom” as used by Republican and conservative leaders was supposed to mean something different than giving trillion dollar international banks, real estate, and insurance companies the license to rape and pillage the American people, but “deregulation” is the proverbial “wolf in sheep’s clothing” or “trojan horse” by these communist industries to devastate the American people, and they must be reigned in once again by the Democrat led powers in the Congress and the Senate, and perhaps even the Judiciary (state and federal).

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