BRANDOLAND: Talking to God...For You!

Friday, November 04, 2005

Trouble in Central America

Yo.

(Pass this post on - if you can.)

Venezuela: Fumbling A Pop Up

The Bushies can't stand Hugo Chavez:
The Pentagon has begun contingency planning for POTENTIAL MILITARY CONFLICT with Venezuela as part of a broad post-Iraq evaluation of strategic threats to the United States.

The planning has been precipitated by general and specific directives issued by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and his civilian policy assistants.

Internal documents associated with the 2005 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) and preparation of the fiscal year 2008-2013 future defense plan identify five specific "threat" countries in three groups requiring "full-spectrum" planning.

The first group includes North Korea and Iran, both justified for their involvement in the development of weapons of mass destruction. China is listed as a "growing peer competitor" and threat of tomorrow. Syria and Venezuela are listed as "rogue nations."

To call Venezuela a "rogue" nation, a retro-label usually reserved for the worst lawless regimes, is both lazy and small minded.

Relations between the U.S. and Venezuela have deteriorated steadily since President Hugo Chavez, an anti-imperial populist, was elected in December 1998.

Chavez has become a champion of opposition to U.S. policies and activities throughout the world, and has established closer relations with Russia, China and Iran. The Pentagon also believes that Chavez is encouraging revolutions in both Bolivia and Ecuador, as well as providing support for Columbian paramilitaries.

Though autocratic, Chavez has also presided over UNPRECEDENTED GROWTH in the Venezuelan economy, setting the stage for a significant increase in PUBLIC services.
That drives the old school Venezuelan elites crazy.

That's why "they" (like the Bushies) want him gone.
Given solid resources and political backbone, Chavez has been able to keep much of his word to the poor, resulting in a level of domestic popularity that Karl Rove would kill for.

Military sources ascribe Venezuela's emergence on a list of actual military threats as a reflection of an important post 9/11 war reality: The events themselves of September 11 provide justification -- and perceived need -- to take risks in thinking about unanticipated threats.
TRANSLATION: If we don't like 'em...take 'em out.
Oil rich Venezuela provides approximately 15 PERCENT of the OIL imported to the United States.
Well, well, well. Whaddaya know about that?

Chavez knows it, too.

President Chavez?

Chavez warns U.S. against invasion

"United States says it has no plans"

This article was posted on CNN back on October 20th.
PARIS, France (AP) -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Thursday that his government is preparing for a possible U.S. INVASION, and he warned that such "aggression" would send gasoline prices in the United States soaring.

The U.S. government repeated that it is not planning any such thing.
We're planning for a POTENTIAL MILITARY CONFLICT, but not an invasion.

Totally different.

"That's right."
Chavez, a vocal critic of "imperialism" and the Bush administration, said he was not against the American people -- just the current government.

"We are sure that it will be very difficult for the United States to attack Venezuela," Chavez said. He said his country has eight oil refineries and 14,000 gasoline stations in the United States.

"If the United States tried to attack Venezuela by a direct invasion, forget the oil," he said during a two-hour news conference beamed live to Venezuela. "Everyday we send 1.5 million barrels to the United States."

The barrel price of crude oil could hit $150 following a U.S. attack, Chavez said. Currently New York light sweet crude oil trades around $60 a barrel.

"That's why Pat Robertson, the spiritual adviser of Mr. Bush, is calling for my assassination. That would be much cheaper than an invasion," Chavez said.
And here's Robertson's quote, from the August 22 broadcast of the 700 Club:
"You know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I THINK WE REALLY OUGHT TO GO AHEAD AND DO IT.

It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war.

And I don't think any oil shipments will stop.

But this man is a terrific danger and the United ... This is in our sphere of influence, so we can't let this happen.

We have the MONROE DOCTRINE, we have other doctrines that we have announced. And without question, this is a DANGEROUS ENEMY to our south, controlling a huge pool of oil, that could hurt us very badly.

We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability.

We don't need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator.

It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with.
Classic wing-nuttery.

"Why do you care, commie? You in love with Chavez?"

No.

I'm just saying that our moves are fairly transparent.

It's fun to watch the Bushies march toward another war.

And it's fun to watch them "make the case."

Back to the first article:
...Venezuela is identified in Defense Department briefings and documents as a "pop up" threat, an example of an unanticipated and asymmetric challenge.

In the military mind, Venezuela's proximity to the United States also elevates it to a "homeland security" threat, instantly increasing the priority for planning.

There is another bureaucratic reality of Venezuela as the pop up threat and recipient of contingency planner attention: U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), which is responsible for Latin America, NEEDS SOMETHING TO DO.
If you're in the business of war...you need war for business.
Since 9/11, the Miami-based command has been robbed of much of its responsibilities for homeland and maritime security, relegated to doing little more than fighting the war on drugs.

The AL QAEDA terrorist threat in Latin America, which RUMSFELD'S OFFICE was trumpeting in 2001 and 2002, has also proven to be A BUST.
You're kidding?

"Intelligence" from Rumsfeld's office (The Office of Special Plans) turned out to "be a bust?"

WHERE HAVE WE HEARD THAT BEFORE?

Quick info on the OSP from the UK's Guardian.

This article ("The Spies Who Pushed for War") was written on July 17, 2003.

When most Americans were still dealing with their post 9/11 hangover:
According to former Bush officials, all defence and intelligence sources, senior administration figures created a SHADOW AGENCY of Pentagon analysts staffed mainly by ideological amateurs to compete with the CIA and its military counterpart, the Defence Intelligence Agency.

The agency, called the Office of Special Plans (OSP), was set up by the defence secretary, DONALD RUMSFELD, TO SECOND-GUESS CIA information and operated under the patronage of hardline conservatives in the top rungs of the administration, the Pentagon and at the White House, including Vice-President DICK CHENEY.
Sound familiar?

Al-Qaeda in Venezuela.

Iraq tried to buy "yellowcake" from Niger.
The ideologically driven network functioned like a shadow government, much of it off the official payroll and beyond congressional oversight.

But it proved powerful enough to prevail in a struggle with the State Department and the CIA by establishing a JUSTIFICATION FOR WAR.
It all ties together, people.

It all ties together.

More later...

(PLEASE READ THE PREVIOUS POST - ANOTHER GREAT STORY FROM WARREN JEFFSLAND.)

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