Lawlessness – part 4

Honduras Dead
From the article:
Demonstrators carry crosses with the names of the victims killed in the political crisis, mostly at the hands of state forces, during a protest against military brutality, Comayagüela, Dec. 20, 2017. Source: Heather Gies

“Honduras: Military Intelligence Behind Assassinations, Tortures, and Forced Disappearances” by ? (Radio Progreso)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Captain Orellana Rodríguez was dishonorably discharged [AQP added link] from the military for having mentioned publicly that the president’s brother, Congressmember Antonio “Tony” Hernández, was being investigated by the DEA for drug trafficking, and denounced that Congressmember under investigation had used official airplanes to transport drugs.

In an interview with Radio Progreso (RP), Captain Santos Orellana Rodríguez (SOR) spoke of the actions of the Armed Forces during the current political crisis and the role they have played in the JOH [Juan Orlando Hernández] government…

RP: How does military intelligence operate?

SOR: The Armed Forces are in charge of intelligence in Honduras. They created an intelligence agency of the State but the Armed Forces themselves operate it. Coronel Germán Alfaro is the national director of intelligence, he has been investigated for drug trafficking, he has been investigated for abuse of authority and human rights abuses. The gringos were investigating him for the death of a boy in Tocoa.

RP: What is your opinion of the Armed Forces that you belonged to?

SOR: The Armed Forces are a noble institution that serves society, but at the present moment our Armed Forces are not serving the people…

RP: How do they pick a target?

SOR: Okay so they say let’s eliminate this leader because [s/]he’s creating problems for us, and once we get rid of that sort of person the others will be afraid, scared, intimidated, all that. It’s a delicate theme – there needs to be a thorough investigation and that will never happen in a government like this one. Honestly I tell you this even though it pains me to say it- the Armed Forces will not be audited or investigated for their role in everything that has happened in this country, the disasters that have taken place, the murders that the Armed Forces have committed, none of this will be investigated by this government. Tell me who they answer to: they answer to the government, they answer to the president of the Republic, they are his arms, he is the one who controls them.

RP: What do you propose?

SOR: The Armed Forces and the police should not be beholden to the executive branch of power; they should pertain to the legislative branch.

That is a startling report. Our ex-military whistleblower is clearly conflicted. His “noble” armed forces are indoctrinated, fascist, anti-people and a big part of the problem, but he has a hard time accepting it even when what he reports leads to that conclusion. By his answers I gather that he is not that educated, which is not a knock (and something he alludes to when he explains recruitment in the military). He’s somewhat hysterical – not wrong or bad intentioned – in fact. His comment about all the vandalism and so forth (which he sort of contradicts later on in his interview) being caused by black ops hurts his argument. Is he saying that no one else in the whole country is a criminal and would do something like vandalism? However, Considering what he and his country has gone through, and is going through, I think we can forgive our friend for being a bit hysterical. And it’s worth nothing that the link in the Upside Down World article to a Washington Post (state propaganda and fake news) article turns up nothing. That, in my view, works in favor of Santos Orellana Rodríguez’s credibility. One final point: I think he’s wrong about keeping the executive power away from the military. Just because ‘his’ executive, President Juan Orlando Hernández, is a fascist who will happily eat his own people, that doesn’t mean that that’s how it should be. In fact, given the way fascism today comes into being and is sustained, namely via Uncle Sam’s help, I think it’s vital that the executive keep a very, very watchful eye on his military and police. I recently attached a comment to an important article, about the ongoing menacing of Venezuela by the US, on the Axis Of Logic website (which is great). What Les Blough said, in response to my comment, is what I would hope is happening in every Latin American (still free) country. Here’s my comment and Les’s response:

RB: What sort of connections do Venezuela’s military and police have with the US, because that – long cultivated connections with foreign military officers and police forces that absorb the ideology of imperial uncle Sam and are a ready, willing and able to betray the people for the global 1% who really matter – the standard practice and an unfailing source of successful US-directed coups that install National Security States that are “stable,” in the technical sense (anti-people, pro business)?

Les Blough: The Military (FANB), Bolivarian National Guard (GNB), Intelligence Services (CICPC), Bolivarian National Police (PNB) and Civil Militia are intact and local to the government. Ideologically they are socialist and anti-imperialist. That of course doesn’t preclude an occasional rogue officer like Óscar Perez or Resistencia breaking ranks but when they do they are quickly neutralized which I fully support b/c we are in the Middleton of a war. In his Latin American destabilization tour this week began by stupidly calling for the military to rise up against Maduro and he did it in México, not exactly a friend of Venezuela. Reuters reportes that Mexican FM, Luis Videgaray quickly chastized Tillerson,

“Mexico, in no case, would back any option that implies the use of violence, internal or external, to resolve the case of Venezuela,”

along with many other Latin American leaders. They finally realize that “if they can do it to him, they can do it to me.

From pages 53 & 54 of “The Washington Connection And Third World Fascism, The Political Economy of Human Rights – Volume I,” by Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman, the following:

==== =
Military training and supply, the build-up and cultivation of the military and intelligence establishments, as well as CIA surveillance and destabilization, have been key elements of the “Washington connection,” employed to protect U.S. interests in its client states in the post-World War II era. The United States trains client military personnel in some 150 bases and training schools, and sends mobile units and advisors to serve on an in-country basis. This training has placed great weight on ideological conditioning and has “steeped young Latin officers in the early 1950s anti-Communist dogma that subversive infiltrators could be anywhere.” In addition to the ideological cement of this world view, U.S. military training has purposefully helped build a network of personal relationships between United States and Latin American military cadres. This tie has been further consolidated by military aid from the wealthier power as well as cooperative maneuvers and logistical planning. Over 200,000 Latin American military personnel have been trained in the U.S., and since 1949 over 35,000 Latin American officers have trained in the School for the Americas alone: a school identified in Latin America by its historic function as the “school of coups.”

In testimony before Congress, there has been a pretense by spokesmen for the military and foreign policy establishment that our training and contacts will have a “pro-democratic” impact and will serve to bring more “humane” methods to the Latin American police and military. Precisely the opposite effects have occurred. Our training and aid have enhanced the power of the military, and our ideological and moral support and training have encouraged them to assert themselves politically. They have become more “pro-American,” but any spinoff of democratic values is as yet undetectable…”
= ====

White Supremacist Jim Mattis and his buddy, a terrorist White Helmet
photo source:

“Mattis Threatens Military Action Over Syria Gas Attack Claims, Then Admits “No Evidence”” by Tyler Durden

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

This week the American public was once again bombarded by fresh headlines alleging the Syrian government under President Bashar al-Assad gassed its own people. And in predictable fashion the usual threat of US military force soon followed…

On Friday Defense Secretary Jim Mattis addressed the latest claims, confidently asserting the Syrian government had as a matter of routine used chlorine as a weapon against the remaining pockets of opposition areas of the country – specifically in the Damascus suburb of East Ghouta, but it appears at this point that even Reuters has suddenly found its journalistic skepticism… Yes, actual knowledge on whether or not there was even a chemical attack to begin with is indeed thin enough for Reuters to headline its own report with “Mattis says has no evidence of sarin gas used in Syria, but concerned”…

But Mattis was also forced to admit the following, according to Reuters:

Mattis, speaking with reporters, said the Syrian government had repeatedly used chlorine as a weapon. He stressed that the United States did not have evidence of sarin gas use.

“We are even more concerned about the possibility of sarin use, (but) I don’t have the evidence,” Mattis said. “What I am saying is that other groups on the ground – NGOs, fighters on the ground – have said that sarin has been used, so we are looking for evidence.”

Like with previous allegations, US government officials are issuing threats of military action based on NGO’s and fighters on the ground…

In this case it once again appears to be the word of the White Helmets, which it seems just about every other week issue new and unverified claims of chemical weapons attacks by the Syrian government. As is now generally well-known the White Helmets are funded by US and UK governments to the tune of many tens of millions of dollars, and have further been frequently filmed and documented cooperating closely with al-Qaeda factions on the ground in Syria.

The US is in Syria illegally

“U.S. Murders 100 Syrian Soldiers, Claims “Self-Defense” In Country America Invaded And Occupies” by Brandon Turbeville

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

In the latest instance of American war criminality, the United States launched an air attack against the Syrian military on Wednesday, February 7, 2018. This brazen aggression against the sovereign government of Syria has resulted in the death of at least one hundred “forces aligned with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad” according to U.S. military officials…

The U.S. attack represents yet another brazen act of hubris and arrogance that goes hand in hand with the Western imperialism which has seen the United States and NATO march across the world, leaving nothing but their bloody footprints behind them. To claim “self-defense” in a country that you have destabilized, invaded, and occupied is hypocrisy to say the least. It is also a violation of national sovereignty and international law.

From Venezuelanalysis website:
A US soldier, on a US Army M113, in Panama during “Operation Just Cause” on December 21, 1989. Harvard economist Ricardo Hausmann presents the US invasion as a model for international intervention in Venezuela. (J. Elliot / US Department of Defense)

“Harvard Economist Suggests D-Day Style Invasion to Fix Venezuela’s Crisis” by Ryan Mallett-Outtrim

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

According to Ricardo Hausmann, the best way to fix an economic downturn is by replacing it with a full-blown humanitarian catastrophe…

Seeking to justify foreign intervention, Hausmann himself looked to the 1989 US intervention in Panamá as a model.

“It would be akin to the US liberating Panama from the oppression of Manuel Noriega, ushering in democracy and the fastest economic growth in Latin America,” he stated.

Fun fact: anywhere from a few hundred to 4,000 Panamanian non-combatants were killed during the intervention. In the aftermath of the violence, even the Washington lapdogs at Human Rights Watch couldn’t contain their horror at the conduct of US forces…

This brings me to my next key point. As the perceptive reader may have noticed, there’s a common pattern among Western interventions: they’re all followed by years – if not decades – of horrific internal conflict and instability. Any rational observer would assume the same would be true of Venezuela, a deeply divided country with an extremely complex political situation. Hausmann himself should be aware of this, given his impressive résumé.

A former Venezuelan planning minister, he is today a professor of economics at the Harvard Kennedy School and Director of the Centre for International Development at Harvard University. Needless to say, his academic credentials and familiarity with Venezuela would lead one to presume he should already understand everything I’ve mentioned here. The same could be said for virtually all prominent voices demanding direct intervention in Venezuela. With decades of data under our collective belts, the question of whether or not military intervention can be conducted humanely is well and truly settled. Intervention is just a polite term for mass murder.

FILE – In this Nov. 19, 2014, file photo, fighters from Kurdish popular defense units YPJ (women) and YPG (men) gather during a short break before heading out to fight for new positions in Kobani, Syria. U.S.-backed Kurdish forces have forcefully displaced thousands of Syrian civilians, mostly Arabs, and demolished villages in northern Syria, often in retaliation for the residents’ perceived sympathies for the Islamic State group and other militants, Amnesty International said Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015. (AP Photo/Jake Simkin, File)

“Kurds in Conflict-Ridden Northeastern Syria Turn to Kidnapping, Conscription, ISIS-like Tactics” by Sarah Abed

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

One of the most startling allegations made is that the People’s Protection Units (YPG) and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have been arresting and kidnapping men aged 18 to 40 in the Al Hassakah governorate, which includes Al Qamishli and other towns under their control. They are taking these men against their will to Kurdish militia training camps, where they will stay for some time and receive training before being forced to fight in the so-called “New Syrian Army” or “North Syrian Army.” I was told that some of these men are being taken to the front lines to fight in Afrin as well…

Eddie Gaboro Hanna told me: “They [the Kurdish militias] are still taking land and property from Christians by force and charging the Christian businesses a tax.” They are also destroying historical sites and claiming Assyrian artifacts to be Kurdish in origin. Historical revisionism is taking place, and the indigenous people are crying out for the world to stop these violations…

Kurdish independence has been falsely portrayed as an ethno-religious, democratic, feminist, revolutionary cause by mainstream and even some alternative media outlets. However, these media sources completely ignore facts and realities that contradict the romanticized version being publicly displayed. A point they often disregard is that the Kurds are not the original inhabitants of the lands that they now claim. Assyrians, Aramaeans, Armenians and other Christian minority groups are indigenous to the Levant…

A popular misconception that is regularly touted by Kurdish sources is that they are the largest stateless group of people in the world. However, that title belongs to the Tamil people, an ancient ethnic group in South Asia who mainly reside in India and Sri Lanka. With a population of over 79 million, the Tamils are double the size of the Kurdish population…

For the United States, the Kurdish cause has always been a ploy in order to carry out its formidable foreign interventionist strategy. Without its Kurdish “allies” the United States would not be able to establish its illegal military bases and thereby have a presence in the region. The northeastern region of Syria is the most oil/gas and agriculturally rich region in the country, which adds to its significance and geopolitical importance.

In addition to fueling perpetual war and conflict in the Middle East, the U.S. is using its strategic presence to assist its number one regional ally, “Israel,” and to keep an eye on its proclaimed adversary, Iran.

The mountains of the South Cotabato province of Mindanao Island in the southern Philippines, where the primitive Tasaday people live, is seen, July 1971. (AP Photo)

“Operation Pacific Eagle in the Philippines: Washington’s New Colonial War” by Elliot Gabriel

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Pacific Eagle, an open-ended mission aimed at “countering radicalization and violent extremism” in the Southeast Asian region, could see the U.S. military re-establish itself as a virtually permanent fixture in a former U.S. colony described by President Donald Trump as a “prime piece of real estate.”…

The operation comes to light months after the conclusion of the bloody siege of Marawi, a now-pulverized city in the southernmost island of Mindanao that became the scene of a ruinous counterinsurgency campaign by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) against hundreds of alleged “Islamic State affiliates” of the Maute and Abu Sayyaf groups…

The U.S. participation was seen by the country’s leftists as proof of President Rodrigo Duterte’s hypocrisy, exposing his angry anti-U.S. statements and pledges to align with regional powerhouses such as Russia and China as the empty bluster of a U.S. puppet.

A report published for the U.S. Congress last Friday by Lead Inspector General Glenn Fine repeatedly invokes “ISIS-Philippines” as justification for the report while subtly mentioning “other terrorist organizations” that remain unnamed:

“OPE-P is described as the comprehensive counterterrorism campaign by the DoD, in coordination with other U.S. Government agencies and international partners, to support the Philippine government and military in their efforts to isolate, degrade, and defeat Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) affiliates and other terrorist organizations in the Philippines.”

Critics see the use of the term “other terrorist organizations” as a red flag signaling that the Pentagon’s focus is far from limited to those who are seeking to help establish a global “caliphate” from the Southeast Asian archipelago…

Duterte once called himself a “socialist” and “anti-imperialist,” and even expressed sympathies for the red fighters in a manner considered taboo in a country that, for decades under former dictator Ferdinand Marcos, once nursed a single-minded hatred of the left.

Since 1986, however, Manila has taken part in intermittent peace talks with the banned Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) through the National Democratic Front, an alliance of social movements affiliated with the clandestine party.

While Duterte initially championed the peace process, which hinged on the implementation of an ambitious socio-economic reform agenda, the negotiations were derailed last May after his declaration of martial law in Mindanao.

Accordingly, the end of last year’s peace talks eventually led to Duterte designating the Philippine communists, both armed and unarmed, as “terrorists.”

“I will follow America, since they say that I am an American boy,” Duterte noted. “OK, granted, I will admit that I am a fascist. I will categorize you already as a terrorist.”

I recall a number of lefties arguing that Duterte was actually a good guy. I must confess, they almost had me fooled. Almost.

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