Bulletin N 346



18 March 2008
Grenoble, France

Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,
When our children and grandchildren look at the hunting parties that were once organized and poised for the kill of other men, women and children, they will acknowledge the failure of their families to live fully as human beings, to fulfill the important potentialities of their species. The dependent power pyramids of murderous associations are being trained and will continue to be trained by our basic institutions --such as family, church, and school-- in the political economy that makes these institutions so influential. Almost from birth, we are blinded by illegitimate power hierarchies, and we soon discover ourselves disabled to even recognize the rituals which mutilate us and render us "normal" in an world of ultra violence. We loose that human ability to see ourselves as others see us, and instead we enter a blinding competition to the end, but to what end and at what price we are only dimly aware . . . .

Animal psychologists have compared the behavior of our species to that of caged rats, and our everyday language reflects this same concern. (We invite CEIMSA readers to read the description of rat experiments that we first published in the March 2006 CEIMSA Bulletin N° 294.) Large library shelves are full of scientific and literary descriptions of the "rat race" --of envy, jealousy, resentment, revenge, and murderous competition-- which once passed as civilization building and still does. The blind are leading the blind, while the words of Machiavelli, in his famous letter to Lorenzo de' Medici, fall now on deaf ears:

for, just as those who paint landscapes place themselves in a low position on the plain
in order to consider the nature of the mountains and the high places and place themselves
high atop mountains in order to study the plains, in like manner, to know well the nature
of the people one must be a prince, and to know well the nature of princes one must be
of the people.

Hunters have no time to contemplate the environment. The satisfaction of the kill is their only reward, and in our society which places such high value on "success," failure is a fate worse death. We are our own grave diggers --hunters and prey, alike-- and what we share in common is that we have not a clue of how to change this vicious system.

Last week, from 13 to 16 March, The Winter Soldiers Association met in Washington, D.C. to hear testimony from U.S. soldiers who had participated in the U.S. invasion of Iraq. These heart-wrenching testimonies of Kamikaze tacticians from the United States of America who engaged in the murderous activities of Imperialist warfare are a reminder of the "no-win" rules of the capitalist game which governs the behavior of those of us who do not own capital. Working for a living in modern class society involves suicidal and murderous injunctions. While money protects the owners of capital from the worst effects of this competition for higher rates of profit, the rest of us are engaged in a permanent struggle "to make ends meet." And what we do to succeed is not particularly appetizing. A quick look at the testimonies of those working in the U.S. military may be instructive for understanding our own struggles in this political economy which turns humans into monsters :

US Army Suppresses Rand Report + WINTER SOLDIERS



13-16 March in Washington, D.C.

The 7 items below serve to help identify those patterns which connect past events with present circumstances, the specific with the general, the local with the global. . . .  Without the intellectual skills of making these connections, we find ourselves "walking, talking colonies", imperialized, occupied, and ever ready to repeat the thoughts of our masters : "Law and Order" (instead of justice and equality), "Jobs" (instead of creativity), "Duties" (instead of rights), "Growth" (instead of development), etc., etc., etc. . . .

Item A. are two articles by Axel Brot, the nom de plume of a German defense analyst and former intelligence officer, writing on how Germany is ready for the "endless war".

Item B. is a short video documentary from Al Jazeera on "Palestinian rocket men in Gaza" and "Israelis in gun ships"

Item C. is a Noam Chomsky interview on U.S. policy in Latin America.

Item D. is an Al Jazeera pod cast on the March 3, 2008 Latin American summit in the Dominican Republic .

Item E. is an article by Bill Van Auken, of the World Socialist Web Site, on "Latin American crisis triggered by an assassination 'Made in the USA'."

Item F. is an article by Associated Press staff writer, Jonathan M. Katz, on the Latin American leaders' move to end the crisis.
Item G. is an article by Eva Golinger, author of Bush vs. Chávez : Washington’s War on Venezuela, describing the Rio Group Summit in Santo Domingo this past March 7, where U.S. imperialist fantasies were once again dashed against the shores of Latin American solidarity in the hard light of reason.

And finally, we urge CEIMSA readers to watch the pod cast of Howard Zinn's May 12, 2006 speech in Los Angeles, California on "Unjust War" :



Francis McCollum Feeley
Professor of American Studies
Director of Research
Université Stendhal Grenoble 3

from Information Clearing House:
Date: 10 March 2008
Subject: The European Alliance with U.S. Militarism.

Frustration and the craving for revenge have become main drivers of US policies. The events of September 11 focused their common dysfunctionality, but they are not its root cause.

Germany, The Re-engineered Ally: Readiness For Endless War
 by Axel Brot*
(* Axel Brot is the pen name for a German defense analyst and former intelligence officer.) 



Everything Is Broken
by Axel Brot*


from Al Jazeera :
Date: 15 March 2008
Subject: Terror and State Terror.
Paul Martin gains unique access to a Qassam rocket launching team in the Gaza Strip and the Israeli helicopter pilots charged with hunting them down.

Rocket Men
by Al Jazeera

from ZNet:
Date: 11 March 2008
Subject: Noam Chomsky on U.S. policy in Latin America.

American Foreign Policy in Latin America
by Noam Chomsky

from Al Jazeera :
Date : 7 March 2008
Subject: The South American Summit.

The angry exchanges came as Colombia announced it had killed another top commander from the Farc, the country's biggest rebel movement.

Sparks Fly at South American Summit
 by Al Jazeera

from Information Clearing House :
Date: 37 March 2008
Subject: War on the Colombia-Ecuadoran Border?

One would never guess that Washington had any role in the bloody events on the Colombian-Ecuadoran border. The Bush administration portrays itself-and is largely portrayed by a compliant media-as a selfless champion of democratic values and faithful ally of the people's of the southern hemisphere.

Latin American Crisis “Made In The USA”

by Bill Van Auken

from The Associated Press :
Date: 9 March 2008
Subject: Latin American Negotiations.

A Latin American summit on calming a border crisis erupted into an angry showdown Friday, with finger-jabbing lectures and passionate speeches before a plea for goodwill prompted stiff handshakes between the leaders of Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela.

Latin American leaders approve move to end crisis


from ZNet :
Date: 11 March 2008
Subject: The Rio Group Summit, where Reality and Imperialist Fantasies Clashed.

The Peacemaker

by Eva Golinger

President Chávez’s diplomatic tone and calm demeanor brokered peace between Andean nations on the brink of war at the Rio Group Summit in Santo Domingo late last week, yet the media portrays him as a “dictator” and “threat to the region”.

ERHAPS the most misrepresented and demonized figure in the media today, President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela, recently became a symbol of peace and diplomacy at the Rio Group Summit in Santo Domingo this past March 7. Chávez’s diplomatic, affectionate tone and his call to peace between sister nations calmed tensions between Colombia, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Venezuela, which just hours before had been on the brink of war after Colombia unilaterally violated Ecuador’s territory without permission or notification in order to bomb and assassinate a leader of the Fuerzas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) who was camped with a group of visiting Mexicans on the Ecuatorian side of the border. All those stationed at the FARC camp were killed, with the exception of three women, including one Mexican, who were injured and left by Colombian soldiers to die but were later rescued by Ecuatorian armed forces. Chávez, who had ordered his troops to the Colombian border and warned President Uribe of Colombia that a similar attempt to violate Venezuela’s sovereignty would be met with force, was quickly labeld by the international media as a “warmonger” and “responsable” for the conflict in the region. Colombia’s government, publicly backed by President Bush himself, accused Chávez and President Correa of Ecuador of aiding and funding the FARC, a group labeled “terrorist” by the United States, Colombia and the European Union, and even went so far as to implicate Chávez in the proposed sale of uranium to the FARC in order to build dirty bombs. These unsubstantiated – and extremely dangerous – allegations fall right in line with the increased efforts of the Bush Administration to label Chávez’s Venezuela as a nation that supports “drug trafficking”, “terrorism” and “money laundering”, and to classify Chávez as a “dictator”, “authoritarian” and “threat to U.S. interests.”

Debunking the Chávez myth is not as easy as it should be. Coverage of President Chávez and Venezuela is negative and distorted in 90% of major media outlets in Europe, Latin America and the United States. An analysis of the Washington Post editorial page during the past year shows that of the twenty-three editorials or OpEds specifically written about Venezuela, only one – written by Venezuela’s Ambassador to the US – presented a balanced vision of the South American nation’s political and economic situation. President Chávez was labeled as a “dictator”, “autocrat”, “strongman” or “despot” on ten occasions and references to his government as “dictatorial”, “authoritarian” or “repressive” were made in almost every article. Even worse, the Washington Post perpetuated the falsehood of Venezuela’s relationship with terrorism in almost a dozen editorials during the last year.

None of these claims about Venezuela and President Chávez’s slippery slope towards a terrorist dictatorship have ever been seriously substantiated with real evidence. In fact, a frightening parallel can be drawn between the Bush-Cheney lies about weapons of mass destruction in Sadaam Hussein’s Iraq and the false allegations about Chávez’s Venezuela funding and arming Colombian terrorists and facilitating drug trafficking and money laundering. The mere reference made by President Uribe regarding a possible sale of uranium to the FARC to build bombs is eerily reminiscent of Pat Robertson’s outrageous claims in 2005 that President Chávez was building a nuclear bomb with Iran to blow up the United States. While ridiculous, such allegations justified the U.S. invasion of Iraq after government officials hammered the false claims into public opinion and the media recycled lies. Those cynical or too naive to believe that a similar aggression could occur against Venezuela need only remember the U.S. invasion of socialist Grenada in 1983 or the bombing and invasion of Panamá in 1989. In both instances, neither government represented a real threat to the U.S., and in both cases, myths about “dangerous dictatorships” were perpetuated in the media in order to justify the unilateral attacks. When the truth comes out years later, as is the case with Iraq, U.S. officials offer insincere apologies and shrug it all off as “in the past” and anyway, they were all bad guys.

Over the past year, the U.S. State Department has classified Venezuela as a nation “not collaborating” with either the “war on drugs” or the “war against terrorism”. The Pentagon and the intelligence communities released reports earlier this year citing Venezuela as a “major threat to U.S. national security” and have proposed beefing up military presence in the region. The White House and Congress have increased USAID and National Endowment Funding to opposition groups in Venezuela in an effort to rebuild ailing conservatives that favor a U.S. agenda. International media portray Chávez as “public enemy #1” and the leader of a Latin American “axis of evil” that is threatening regional stability. Meanwhile, poverty in Venezuela has been reduced by more than 50% under the thrice-elected President Chávez, 100% of Venezuelans have access to free, quality health care and education beyond the doctoral level, voter participation has skyrocketed to unprecedented, historical levels and more new hospitals, schools, highways, bridges, railways and industries have been built since during the entire 40-year period of “representative democracy”.  And to top it all off, Chávez has negotiated the release of six hostages held by the FARC for more than five years, helped pay off Venezuela’s, Argentina’s and Nicaragua’s foreign debt and established regional initiatives such as Telesur, the Bank of the South, PetroCaribe, UnaSur (Union of South American Nations) and ALBA, a cooperative trade agreement between Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua and Bolivia.

Hugo Chávez is a man of peace. The question to ask is why the Bush Administration and mass media continue to portray him as an evil dictator. But we all know the answer to that: Venezuela has the world’s largest oil reserves. So what we really need to be asking is why public opinion – you - allow the perpetuation of this dangerous myth?

Eva Golinger is a lawyer and the author of The Chávez Code: Cracking U.S. Intervention in Venezuela (Olive Branch Press 2006) and Bush vs. Chávez: Washington’s War on Venezuela (Monthly Review Press 2008). You can visit her blog at www.chavezcode.com.