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Thread: Top US general: Venezuela not a national security threat

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    Top US general: Venezuela not a national security threat

    The Air Force general responsible for U.S. military operations in most of Latin America said Tuesday that he does not believe Venezuela, despite ongoing arms purchases and close ties to Iran, poses a national security threat to the United States.

    Fraser was asked if he thought Venezuela’s newly announced development of unmanned aerial vehicles and continued purchase of billions of dollars’ worth of weaponry, including anti-aircraft missiles from Russia and other nations, did not present a danger to his country.“From my standpoint, no, I don’t see it that way,” he told The Associated Press in a phone interview. “I don’t see them as a national security threat.”Fraser, chief of the U.S. Southern Command, said from his headquarters in Miami that he views the anti-aircraft missile purchases in particular as primarily defensive in nature.He also said he did not consider Iran’s ties with Chavez’s socialist government to amount to a military alliance.“As I look at Iran and their connection with Venezuela, I see that still primarily as a diplomatic and economic relationship,” he said, with Iran using it to counter international sanctions over its alleged development of nuclear weapons.



    Read more @: Top US general: Venezuela not a national security threat - The Washington Post

    So the US top general for affairs in Latin America does not view Venezuela as any type of threat. He does not believe the alliance between Iran and Venezuela is a military alliance, and he also does not believe that the new purchase of weapons to Venezuela is offensive at all. So how does this play out with Romney? It just makes him look like a bigger and bigger idiot.

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    Re: Top US general: Venezuela not a national security threat

    This won't make any difference because facts have never mattered in the mainstream conversation about Venezuela. I think I remember that in the democratic primaries in 2008 every almost every candidate said Chavez was a dictator. This was despite every international election agency declaring that the elections were fair and representative of the Venezuelan will. Even when Chavez narrowly lost a major policy referendum mainstream American politicians still had no problem calling him a dictator...

    The only Latin American policy issue that will matter to Romney in this election is how tall the fence should be that immigrants "self deport" over back to Mexico. Iran is one of those countries that no matter what they do it is only considered further evidence of evilness. So any interaction with Iran gives politicians free reign to say whatever they want about Venezuela. I wish Chavez would ease up on his relationship with Iran, but it's not like the U.S. doesn't deal with countries that are just as bad.

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    Re: Top US general: Venezuela not a national security threat

    They're not a threat only because we could kick their ass in about five minutes. We know what they're up to, and they're too stupid to even know it.

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    Re: Top US general: Venezuela not a national security threat

    Quote Originally Posted by Erod View Post
    They're not a threat only because we could kick their ass in about five minutes. We know what they're up to, and they're too stupid to even know it.
    Haha and that's why the U.S. backed coup failed so miserably in 2002. The U.S. was the only country in the world to recognize the coup government before the people of Venezuela flooded into the streets to demand putting their president back in power.

    The days where the U.S. could call all the shots in Latin America are coming to a close. When Bush took America's boot off the region to place it on the Middle East he let Latin America take the few steps leftward that it had been trying to take for a century. In a few decades when Latin America starts to really produce world forces Americans will realize why the number one foreign policy objective for most of U.S. history was to dominate the hemisphere politically and economically.

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    Re: Top US general: Venezuela not a national security threat

    Quote Originally Posted by E-M View Post
    Haha and that's why the U.S. backed coup failed so miserably in 2002. The U.S. was the only country in the world to recognize the coup government before the people of Venezuela flooded into the streets to demand putting their president back in power.

    The days where the U.S. could call all the shots in Latin America are coming to a close. When Bush took America's boot off the region to place it on the Middle East he let Latin America take the few steps leftward that it had been trying to take for a century. In a few decades when Latin America starts to really produce world forces Americans will realize why the number one foreign policy objective for most of U.S. history was to dominate the hemisphere politically and economically.
    When are you going to start backing your assertions? Get proof and come back.
    "He who does not think himself worth saving from poverty and ignorance by his own efforts, will hardly be thought worth the efforts of anybody else." -- Frederick Douglass, Self-Made Men (1872)
    "Fly-over" country voted, and The Donald is now POTUS.

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    Re: Top US general: Venezuela not a national security threat

    Quote Originally Posted by TheDemSocialist View Post
    Read more @: Top US general: Venezuela not a national security threat - The Washington Post

    So the US top general for affairs in Latin America does not view Venezuela as any type of threat. He does not believe the alliance between Iran and Venezuela is a military alliance, and he also does not believe that the new purchase of weapons to Venezuela is offensive at all. So how does this play out with Romney? It just makes him look like a bigger and bigger idiot.

    Thoughts?
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    Response? [/FONT][/COLOR][/LEFT]
    I think we can file this under "No Duh!"
    You know the time is right to take control, we gotta take offense against the status quo

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    Re: Top US general: Venezuela not a national security threat

    Chavez's policy regarding the U.S. is limited to some petty insults. Frankly, I don't get why everyone makes a big deal about him.

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    Re: Top US general: Venezuela not a national security threat

    Quote Originally Posted by TheDemSocialist View Post
    Read more @: Top US general: Venezuela not a national security threat - The Washington Post

    So the US top general for affairs in Latin America does not view Venezuela as any type of threat. He does not believe the alliance between Iran and Venezuela is a military alliance, and he also does not believe that the new purchase of weapons to Venezuela is offensive at all. So how does this play out with Romney? It just makes him look like a bigger and bigger idiot.

    Thoughts?
    Comments?
    Response? [/FONT][/COLOR][/LEFT]
    This does't address the real point that Romney was making which was that Venezuela represents a threat because of his support for militias and radical agitator groups throughout Latin America including FARC.

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    Re: Top US general: Venezuela not a national security threat

    Quote Originally Posted by American View Post
    When are you going to start backing your assertions? Get proof and come back.
    I used this as an excuse to build up a little base of sources on the 2002 coup and write a comprehensive comment on how exactly the U.S. has wronged Venezuela.

    Soon after the 2002 coup the U.S. put out this press release http://web.archive.org/web/200610060.../wwwh1785.html This was not a knee jerk reaction, but a clearly prepared policy position held throughout the administration. The CIA Was Involved In the Coup Against Venezuela's Chavez | venezuelanalysis.com

    This is the first part of the statement:
    In recent days, we expressed our hopes that all parties in Venezuela, but especially the Chavez administration, would act with restraint and show full respect for the peaceful expression of political opinion. We are saddened at the loss of life. We wish to express our solidarity with the Venezuelan people and look forward to working with all democratic forces in Venezuela to ensure the full exercise of democratic rights.
    That same day Pedro Carmona was sworn in by the opposition. After declaring "The strongman era has ended," he preceded to abolish all national elected bodies and began to rule by decree.

    In his first hours in power, Mr Carmona:
    Dissolved the National Assembly, promising elections by December
    Pledged presidential elections - in which he will not stand - within one year
    Declared void a 1999 constitution introduced under Mr Chavez
    Promised a return to the pre-1999 bicameral parliamentary system
    Repealed 48 laws that gave the government greater control of the economy
    Reinstated retired General Guaicaipuro Lameda as president of state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA).
    BBC News | AMERICAS | Interim Venezuelan president sworn in

    Apparently the U.S. preferred a right-wing government that promised democracy while destroying it over a left-wing government that actually employed and followed it.

    This next statement shows the U.S. interest in supporting two pillars of the coup.
    The Venezuelan military commendably refused to fire on peaceful demonstrators, and the media valiantly kept the Venezuelan public informed.
    During the coup the right-wing media basically acted as an arm of the opposition. They went as far as to misleadingly slice together footage to make it look like Chavez supporters had fired upon opposition supporters. Pictures of Chavez supporters on a bridge shooting pistols were spliced together with opposition supporters being fired upon. If you zoom the video out a bit it is clear that there were no opposition supporters below the bridge or near the Chavez supporters. Instead, the Chavez supporters believed they were being targeted by snipers and were shooting back. The Venezuelan media intentionally falsified information in order to demonize Chavez and his supporters. I would imagine that in most countries this would boarder on treason. THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT BE TELEVISED

    Now for the next part of the statement:
    Yesterday's events in Venezuela resulted in a transitional government until new elections can be held. Though details are still unclear, undemocratic actions committed or encouraged by the Chavez administration provoked yesterday's crisis in Venezuela. According to the best information available, at this time: Yesterday, hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans gathered peacefully to seek redress of their grievances. The Chavez Government attempted to suppress peaceful demonstrations. Chavez supporters, on orders, fired on unarmed, peaceful protestors, resulting in more than 100 wounded or killed. Venezuelan military and police refused orders to fire on peaceful demonstrators and refused to support the government's role in such human rights violations. The government prevented five independent television stations from reporting on events.
    None of this has ever been verified. You can look but no evidence has come up to support these accusations.

    What is more concerning is that the U.S. knew the coup was going to take place and how it was going to take place. CIA documents dated 5 days before the incidents mentioned in the press release stated this:
    "To provoke military action, the plotters may try to exploit unrest stemming from opposition demonstrations slated for later this month or ongoing strikes at the state-owned oil company PSVSA."
    CIA says U.S. knew of Venezuela coup plot - Baltimore Sun

    So while there is no evidence that Chavez ordered attacks on his own people there is hard evidence that the opposition wanted that to be the narrative that lead up to the coup. It is unconscionable that the U.S. government would know that a group of people planned to put their own supporters in danger to topple a democratic government and then continue to support them. Today the events of the incident are still debated. The only thing we know for certain is that the opposition wanted it all to happen.

    The results of these provocations are: Chavez resigned the presidency. Before resigning, he dismissed the Vice President and the Cabinet. A transition civilian government has promised early elections.
    Note the blatant spin here. Chavez was violently captured and forced to resign. To this day it is under dispute whether he actually did resign or not. What is undisputed is that he was kidnapped by the opposition while Carmona was ruling the country by decree.

    There is also a long standing dispute about how much the U.S. supported the coup. On the one hand apparently the CIA documents "repeated warnings that the United States will not support any extraconstitutional moves to oust Chávez." http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/03/in...venezuela.html On the other hand, the U.S. instantly gave its verbal support to the coup once it gained power. According to that article the reason the U.S. opposed the coup not because it supported democracy, but because they knew Chavez was too popular to be easily toppled. At the end of the article hard evidence is cited that "show that $2.2 million was spent from 2000 to 2003 to train or finance anti-Chávez parties and organizations" by the U.S. government. It doesn't say if the funding started under Clinton (it may have), but it proves that Bush tried to topple Chavez. Chomsky once made a good point about what would happen if we found out other countries were funding one of our parties; we would go ****ing nuts. Yet tampering with other nations democratic functions is fair game.

    Overall, what appears to have happened is that the Bush administration knew it had a problem on its hands with the rise of Chavez. He was the exact type of of leader that the U.S. has made a habit of deposing for the last century. (If you want evidence do some cursory research on Chile and Allende. No one can argue that Nixon and Kissinger weren't heavily involved in the coup that put Pinochet to power. Going back further and there is no doubt the CIA orchestrated large parts of the Guatemalan coup in 1954 and lied to the American public to do it. If you can find this article elsewhere you should read it JSTOR: An Error Occurred Setting Your User Cookie) My guess would be that Bush was focused on the Middle East, and for that reason couldn't expend the political capital to heavily support a military coup in Latin America. The amount he supported the opposition and opposed Venezuelan democracy is still despicable though. All evidence points towards the idea that the administration was willing to go to extreme lengths to take Chavez out of power. This never happened because the opposition jumped the gun and attempted the coup before they were truly prepared to take power.

    Under Bush the "pink tide" was allowed to catch steam and left-wing or center-left parties came to power across Latin America. Going forward this will mean more of the oil and other natural resources that are produced by the Latin American people will be consumed by the Latin American people. Most Americans live in complete ignorance of how much we have dominated our neighbors in the hemisphere. Even if Chavez has been far from a perfect leader he has set the example of how to resist the U.S. while using the new found economic independence to raise massive amounts of the population out of poverty. It is no wonder that the mainstream media continues to demonize him and everyone he associates with.
    Last edited by E-M; 08-01-12 at 11:43 PM.

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