Glenn Greenwald at The Intercept weighs in on the absurdity of the US targeting Venezuela as a threat to it because of its human rights violations, a topic that I wrote about a few days ago, when I pointed out that it is the US that has been waging a long-standing covert and not-so-covert war against that country’s government.
That nothing is more insincere than purported U.S. concerns over political repression is too self-evident to debate. Supporting the most repressive regimes on the planet in order to suppress and control their populations is and long has been a staple of U.S. (and British) foreign policy. “Human rights” is the weapon invoked by the U.S. Government and its loyal media to cynically demonize regimes that refuse to follow U.S. dictates, while far worse tyranny is steadfastly overlooked, or expressly cheered, when undertaken by compliant regimes, such as those in Riyadh and Cairo (see this USA Today article, one of many, recently hailing the Saudis as one of the “moderate” countries in the region). This is exactly the tactic that leads neocons to feign concern for Afghan women or the plight of Iranian gays when doing so helps to gin up war-rage against those regimes, while they snuggle up to far worse but far more compliant regimes.
Any rational person who watched the entire top echelon of the U.S. Government drop what they were doing to make a pilgrimage to Riyadh to pay homage to the Saudi monarchs (Obama cut short a state visit to India to do so), or who watches the mountain of arms and money flow to the regime in Cairo, would do nothing other than cackle when hearing U.S. officials announce that they are imposing sanctions to punish repression of political opposition. And indeed, that’s what most of the world outside of the U.S. and Europe do when they hear such claims. But from the perspective of U.S. officials, that’s fine, because such pretenses to noble intentions are primarily intended for domestic consumption.
As for Obama’s decree that Venezuela now poses an “extraordinary threat to the national security” of the United States, is there anyone, anywhere, that wants to defend the reasonability of that claim? Think about what it says about our discourse that Obama officials know they can issue such insultingly false tripe with no consequences.
If Obama and supporters want the government of Venezuela to be punished and/or toppled because they refuse to comply with U.S. dictates, they should at least be honest about their beliefs so that their true character can be seen. Pretending that any of this has to do with the U.S. Government’s anger over suppression of political opponents – when their closest allies are the world champions at that – should be too insulting of everyone’s intelligence to even be an option.
He linked to a Democracy Now clip of the state department spokesperson Jen Psaki saying that “as a matter of long-standing policy the United States does not support political transitions by non-constitutional means”. This was so obviously untrue that Matt Lee of the Associated Press could barely contain his laughter and pressed her as to how ‘long-standing’ this policy was, since the US record of interference and overthrowing governments in Central and Latin America has been so well-established. Another reporter then pointed out last year’s unconstitutional seizure of power in Ukraine that the US instigated and supported. Faced with such obvious contradictions to her bald-faced lie, Psaki then backtracked and then said that she was referring only to the latest charge of a coup against Venezuela.
You can see the exchange below.
These people are shameless liars and the only reason that they can continue to lie is that there is no real large-scale outrage. Reporters prefer to focus all their attention on the dramas, real and ginned up, surrounding Hillary Clinton because that has consequences for the presidential election and that horse race is all they seem to really care about or even understand.
It is reported that Psaki has been ‘promoted’ and has now moved from the State Department to the White House as its communications director. It is a good choice. A person who is so willing to lie in the face of well-established facts is just the right person to communicate the Obama administration’s actions to the public, no?