Newspaper logo  
 
 
Local Stories, Events

Ref. : Civic Events

Ref. : Arts & Education Events

Ref. : Public Service Notices

Books, Films, Arts & Education
Letters

Ref. : Letters to the editor

Health Care & Environment

02.22 Report: Climate Denier to Lead White House Climate Panel [“Stupid is as stupid does.” –Forrest Gump]

02.22 The Uninhabitable Earth [Lots more important than all other problems put together]

02.22 Europe faces 'biodiversity oblivion' after collapse in French birds, experts warn

02.22 World's food supply under 'severe threat' from loss of biodiversity

02.22 Venezuela crisis threatens disease epidemic across continent - experts

02.21 'Moment of reckoning': US cities burn recyclables after China bans imports

02.20 Young climate strikers can win their fight. We must all help

02.20 Voyage to the Garbage Patch: the female sailors taking on plastic

02.19 Bees brought Bavarians together. And they have a lesson for us all

02.19 Florida is drowning. Condos are still being built. Can't humans see the writing on the wall? [Fear that Trump & Fox News incite makes us avoid unpleasant information we need to know]

02.18 Tesla big battery is holding its own in a burgeoning energy storage market

02.18 Trump administration condemned over delaying action on toxic drinking water

02.16 New experimental drug rapidly repairs age-related memory loss and improves mood

02.16 Toxic black snow covers Siberian coalmining region [0:49 video; If its killing us, stop doing it]

02.16 Renewable energy will be world's main power source by 2040, says BP [But in America's capitalistic bubble, bribed-to-be-biased media and government defy reality]

02.16 My generation trashed the planet. So I salute the children striking back

02.16 US coastal businesses hit by everyday impact of climate change, study shows

02.16 What the pesticides in our urine tell us about organic food [What does inaction tell us about capitalism and our government?]

02.14 Exposure to Glyphosate-Based Herbicides and Risk for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma: A Meta-Analysis and Supporting Evidence [If its killing us, make it illegal]

02.14 To avoid environmental catastrophe, everything must change [Consider why this headline is laughable or confusing to many, if not most, Americans...]02.13 Study Shows Toxic Pesticide Levels in Families Dropped by 60% After One-Week Organic Diet [2:10 video; Produce and canned vegetables laced with toxic chemicals—from fertilizers and herbicides, too—must be quickly phased out to use safe organic alternatives]

02.12 Biggest offshore windfarm to start UK supply this week

02.12 Scientists Are Totally Rethinking Animal Cognition

02.12 Politicians are complicit in the killing of our insects – we will be next

News Media Matters

Daily: FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

02.22 So How's Your Tax Refund? Thanks to GOP Tax Scam, Big Banks Made Extra $28 Billion Last Year

02.21 Why Bernie Sanders Matters More Than People Think

02.21 Bezos Says Amazon Drones Ready to Deliver Mueller Report to Every American Household

02.21 Devin Nunes Was Trump’s Mole Inside the Gang of Eight

02.21 Alec Baldwin fears for family's safety after Trump 'retribution' threats [0:40 video]

02.20 Intimidation, Pressure and Humiliation: Inside Trump’s Two-Year War on the Investigations Encircling Him

02.20 ‘Sustained and ongoing’ disinformation assault targets Dem presidential candidates [If you can sense them, block them!]

02.20 The 2020 U.S. Presidential Race: A Cheat Sheet

02.20 Why Bernie Sanders' radicalism can take out Trump

02.20 Why vote for Sanders when you can have Elizabeth Warren instead?

Justice Matters

02.19 California Leads 16 States Suing to Block Trump Border Plan

02.19 Fighting pollution: Toledo residents want personhood status for Lake Erie [Hurrah!]

High Crimes?

02.20 Despite the slaughter in Yemen, Britain is still chasing arms sales [and the Great-Again-America is too...Capitalism without morality is horrible]

02.16 Elliott Abrams Defends War Crimes As Happening Back In The ’80s When Everyone Was Doing It

Economics & Corrupting-Capitalism

02.21 Historian who confronted Davos billionaires leaks Tucker Carlson rant

02.20 A Centuries-Old Idea Could Revolutionize Climate Policy

International & Futurism
Sanders Has an Advantage, and It’s Not [Just] About Economics

02.22 When multilateralism crumbles, so does our rules-based order [this enables easier corruption by banks and oligarchs and may result in complete societal breakdown, chaos and war]

02.22 Trump has turned foreign aid into shabby political theatre [Psychopaths are a sub-human species without empathy or morals.]

02.21 John Oliver Compares Brexit ‘Disaster’ to Will Smith’s Genie in Live-Action ‘Aladdin’ (Video) [21:26 video; we’re approaching an Idiocracy-type of society, where stupidity is “normal”]

02.20 House report lays bare White House feud over Saudi nuclear push [Its hard to keep up with all the criminal crap going on...]

02.20 My grandfather was a Nazi. I’ve seen why we need the EU

02.19 Centrism isn’t the solution to the mess we’re in

02.19 Renewables need urgent investment to ease Australia's transmission bottlenecks, experts warn

We are a non-profit Internet-only newspaper publication founded in 1973. Your donation is essential to our survival.

You can also mail a check to:
Baltimore News Network, Inc.
P.O. Box 42581
Baltimore, MD 21284-2581
Google
This site Web
  House Resolution Designates Venezuela a State Sponsor of Terrorism
Newspaper logo

COMMENTARY:

House Resolution Designates Venezuela a State Sponsor of Terrorism

by Stephen Lendman
Wednesday, 4 November 2009

State terrorism designation—if HR 872 passes—would mean halting normal relations, prohibiting US companies from exporting and operating there, and denying America vitally needed Venezuelan oil.

At a time of growing US poverty, hunger, homelessness, and despair, imperial wars without end, and the Obama administration even worse than its predecessor, Venezuela:

  • is a model participatory democracy;
  • holds free, fair and open elections;
  • respects the rule of law, civil liberties, and human rights;
  • doesn't intimidate its neighbors;
  • uses its resources responsibly for the people;
  • provides essential social services for the needy;
  • champions judicial fairness and the rule of law;
  • has a model free and open media;
  • wages no foreign wars;
  • doesn't torture or imprison its adversaries;
  • conducts effective operations to halt illicit drugs trafficking;
  • promotes global peace, solidarity, equality and social justice; and
  • its only threat is its good example that shames its northern neighbor.

In contrast, America:

  • is a serial belligerent and world class bully;
  • spends more on militarism than the rest of the world combined at a time it has no enemies;
  • backs the world's worst dictators and faux democrats like Colombia's Alvaro Uribe, a man closely linked to the country's paramilitary death squads and drug cartels; and
  • through the CIA, has actively engaged in global drugs trafficking since the agency's 1947 founding; it profits hugely from its dealings with local traffickers; so do major US banks and other powerful business and financial interests.

In addition, Washington

  • serves the rich at the public's expense;
  • tolerates corruption at the highest levels;
  • subverts democracy through electoral fraud;
  • has a closed, corrupted dominant media system serving the powerful, not the greater good;
  • incarcerates hundreds of political prisoners;
  • uses torture as official policy; and
  • wages state-sponsored terrorism and global wars.

So consider the hypocrisy. On October 27, Rep. Connie Mack (Rep. FL) introduced HR 872: Calling for the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to be designated a state sponsor of terrorism for its support of Iran, Hezbollah, and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC-EP). Its sole co-sponsor was Rep. Ron Klein (Dem. FL).

Connie Mack is a notorious right-wing ideologue. In an accompanying statement he said:

"The evidence linking Venezuela's Hugo Chavez to the FARC and Hezbollah - two of the most dangerous terrorist organizations, responsible for many bombings, kidnappings, killings and drug trafficking - is overwhelming. Naming Venezuela as a state sponsor of terrorism will strengthen the stability of the region. The Administration must not turn a blind eye to Chavez's dangerous aggression and must add Venezuela to the state sponsors of terrorism without delay."

Fact Check

Iran hasn't attacked a neighbor in over 200 years, but has defended itself vigorously when attacked, including during the 1980-88 war with Iraq, a conflict the Carter administration triggered in an attempt to destabilize and weaken both countries.

Noted Latin America expert James Petras calls the FARC-EP the "longest standing, largest peasant-based guerrilla movement in the world (that was) founded in 1964 by two dozen peasant activists (to defend) autonomous rural communities from" Colombian military and paramilitary violence.

Hezbollah is no terrorist organization. It's a legitimate resistance group, and, as a political party, is part of Lebanon's elected government. In addition, it's well respected for providing essential social services, including a network of schools, medical clinics, and organized relief after Israeli South Lebanon bombings in 1993, 1996, and 2006.

Also, according to Aijaz Ahmad writing in the Indian magazine, Frontline:

It's "the only entity which has, through armed resistance, forced the Israelis to relinquish any territory that the Jewish state has ever captured" through decades of regional belligerency.

Mack Attack Round Two

HR 872 is round two for Mack. On March 13, 2008, he and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R. FL) introduced HR 1049 (with eight co-sponsors) "calling for the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to be designated a state sponsor of terrorism (and) condemn(ing) the Venezuelan government for it support of terrorist organizations," at that time referring to the FARC-EP. The resolution died in the Foreign Affairs Committee.

Referred there as well, the new one won't fare better. Otherwise the implications are serious as state terrorism designation means halting normal relations, prohibiting US companies from exporting and operating there, and denying America vitally needed Venezuelan oil. It's the nation's fourth largest supplier after Canada, Saudi Arabia and Mexico.

In its "State Sponsors of Terrorism Overview," the US State Department imposes the following sanctions:

  1. "A ban on arms-related exports and sales.
  2. Controls over exports of dual-use items (that may be anything, including oil), requiring 30-day Congressional notification for goods and services that could significantly enhance the terrorist-list country's military capability or ability to support terrorism.
  3. Prohibitions on economic assistance.
  4. Imposition of miscellaneous financial and other restrictions, including:
    • Requiring the United States to oppose loans by the World Bank and other international financial institutions;
    • Lifting diplomatic immunity to allow families of terrorist victims to file civil lawsuits in US courts;
    • Denying companies and individuals tax credits for income earned in terrorist-listed countries;
    • Denial of duty-free treatment of goods exported to the United States;
    • Authority to prohibit any US citizen from engaging in a financial transaction with a terrorist-list government without a Treasury Department license; and
    • Prohibition of Defense Department contracts above $100,000 with companies controlled by terrorist-list states."

In other words, it halts virtually all normal diplomatic, political and business dealings with "terrorist-list states."

Corporate interests won't tolerate it at a time every business opportunity counts. Nor will Venezuela with strong regional support given the political, security and economic implications.

As long as Bolivarianism flourishes, expect new efforts to vilify, isolate, destabilize, and topple Chavez, no more likely to succeed than others, and here's why. According to the Venezuelan Institute of Data Analysis (IVAD), his latest approval rating tops 62% after nearly 11 years as president. Governing responsibly keeps him popular compared to Barack Obama's noticeable slippage from his post inaugural high.

According to the November 3 Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll, only 28% of voters strongly approve of his performance, 41% strongly disapprove, 46% somewhat approve, 52% somewhat disapprove, and for Congress it's far worse - 15% say its doing a good or excellent job compared to 53% ranking it poor.

Given Washington's inattention to essential needs, watch for even greater erosion compared to Chavez remaining popular by a two-to-one margin - a profile befitting a democrat, not a state-sponsor of terrorism.


Steve Lendman

Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization. He lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to The Global Research News Hour on RepublicBroadcasting.org Mondays from 11AM to 1PM US Central time for cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on world and national topics. All programs are archived for easy listening.

Mr. Lendman's stories are republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.



Copyright © 2009 The Baltimore News Network. All rights reserved.

Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.

Baltimore News Network, Inc., sponsor of this web site, is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed in stories posted on this web site are the authors' own.

This story was published on November 4, 2009.
 



Public Service Ads:
Verifiable Voting in Maryland