Autor: João

Venezuela

What the Crisis in Venezuela Reveals   Richard Haass Sep. 26, 2018   With inflation skyrocketing, infrastructure crumbling, crime running rampant, and hunger spreading, Venezuela’s situation is bleak, and shows no signs of improving. The question for the rest of the world is how bad conditions should be allowed to get before intervening   The New York Times recently reported that US President Donald Trump’s administration had held meetings with rebellious Venezuelan military officers who were plotting to overthrow Nicolás Maduro’s government. In the end, US policymakers backed off the idea; but, not surprisingly, the reaction to the article was mostly negative. To be sure, there are good reasons to oppose a US-supported coup in Venezuela. Many of those likely to be involved would have unsavory reputations, given their ties to the drug trade and their record of human-rights violations. A coup would almost certainly fail, giving an already repressive government a new justification to crack down on its opponents. Another option would be an armed intervention led by Venezuela’s neighbors. They are adversely affected by the flow of refugees, which already numbers 2-4 million and is growing at a rate of 50,000-100,000 per month. If these countries took the lead, they would not have the political baggage of a US-led military operation. But this scenario, too, can be ruled out, owing to the regional bias against military interventions and...

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Russia’s Betrayal

Is Russia Being Betrayed By Its Own Intelligensia?   Paul Craig Roberts Sep. 25, 2018   The Russian military refused to buy Putin’s excuse for Israel’s intentional murder of 15 Russian Air Force personnel. The Russian military knows precisely what happened and has not been hesitant to make completely clear Israel’s total betrayal of the Russian government’s naive and gullible trust in the criminal state of Israel. One marvels at the foreign policy incompetence of Putin’s civilian advisers. Apparently there is no Russian awareness that the ONLY REASON for Washington’s fake “war on terror” is to clear out of the Middle East all governments with foreign policies independent of Washington, governments that are in the way of Israel’s expansion. Israel is especially interested to annex southern Lebanon and wants the Hezbollah militia, which Israel has been unable to defeat, out of the way by using Washington to put Syria and Iran into the same chaos as Washington put Iraq and Libya. Once Syria and Iran are in chaos, there is no one left to supply Hezbollah, and Israel can again march into Lebanon. Does the Russian government not understand that the “terrorists” are Washington’s operatives? Washington pretends that some of these “terrorists” are “democratic rebels” opposing the alleged “Syrian dictatorship.” Washington pretends that others of its mercenaries are “terrorists,” whose presence is Washington’s justification for having US military forces...

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A Hard Russian Foot To Come Quickly

Emotion Is Supplanting Evidence As The Basis For Truth   Paul Craig Roberts Sep. 22, 2018   One of the reasons that truth is on the decline is that truth is becoming emotion-based, not evidence-based. It is all about feelings. This seems to have begun with feminists, but teaching women to trust their feelings, that feelings are truth, couldn’t be kept just in the women’s locker room. It has spread into the men’s as well and is now also an affliction of some of the younger men. I have learned this from readers’ emails. Some are puzzled by what seems to them to be a switch on my part from being for Putin to being against him. They want to know why I stopped liking him. In other words, they interpret my growing concern about his policy as an indication that I don’t like him anymore. I am writing about Putin’s policy, not about my feelings for Putin. His policy of ignoring provocations made perfect sense for a while. It demonstrated to Europeans that Putin, unlike Washington, is level-headed and non-confrontational. Putin’s openess and responsible behavior was contrary to the image of “Russian threat” that Washington had put in European heads. The hope was that Europe would switch from being an enabler of Washington’s aggression to becoming an obstacle to it. The problem with a policy of turning the...

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Syria

Bolton Throws Down the Gauntlet   Melkulangara Bhadrakumar Sep. 25, 2018   A terrible beauty was born last night with the sequence of dramatic events taking a curious turn, following the shooting down of the Russian plane on September 17 near the coastline of Latakia, Syria, killing fifteen personnel on board the aircraft. After a meticulous investigation by the Russian side, Moscow has blamed Israel. It has also constituted a criminal case. Indeed, under international law, a criminal act took place and a crime is per se accountable and punishable. Tel Aviv must be acutely conscious of that. Meanwhile, Russia has begun initiating moves that ensure that such tragic incidents do not recur. As initial step, Moscow proposes to equip Syrian air defence establishment with the formidable S-300 missile defence system. More such measures are expected in the coming days and weeks. At which point, last night, US National Security Advisor John Bolton came in from the cold and tweeted that the Russian move regarding S-300 is a “significant escalation” and that Moscow should “reconsider”. Washington has decided to make a lateral entry into what so far wore the look of a Russian-Israeli-Syrian triangle. It stands to reason that Bolton has been watching developments with an eagle’s eye all but kept mum until Russia made its first big move. Last night, the Russian-Israeli-Syrian triangle morphed into a US-Russian-Israeli triangle....

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Trumpism

The Mass Psychology of Trumpism   Eli Zaretsky Sep. 18, 2018   Since the Republican primaries of 2015-16, some people have turned to psychiatry in an effort to locate the irrational wellsprings of Trump’s victory, but so far little progress has been made. This is because most of the effort has gone into analysing Trump, who is often described as suffering from ‘narcissistic personality disorder’. Not only are such diagnoses, made from a distance, implausible; they also fail to address a more important question: the nature of Trump’s appeal. Constituting something close to a third of the electorate, his followers form an intensely loyal and, psychologically, tight-knit band. They are impervious to liberal or progressive criticisms of Trump or his policies. On the contrary, their loyalty thrives on anti-Trump arguments, and digs in deeper. There is an older body of psychological thought, however, that illuminates the kind of tight bond Trump has forged with a significant minority of Americans. Inspired by Freud, this thought arose following the rise of fascism and Nazism in Europe, when Americans, too, had become wary of authoritarian elements in their society. Southern politics had been rife with race-baiting demagogues like Mississippi’s Theodore Bilbo since the 1890s, and the popularity of the pro-Mussolini radio priest, Father Coughlin, demonstrated the appeal of an authoritarian message to the immigrant North. At the highpoint of the New Deal,...

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