By Martin Love

Rarely has the world been so challenged by U.S. hubris

February 4, 2019 - 16:58

NORTH CAROLINA - Who knows, but it may be that the people of Venezuela, beset with upheaval and possible civil war if not an invasion by the U.S. or proxies, will become the sacrificial lambs who finally sink the U.S. thoroughly in world opinion and the U.S. could get bogged down there to some extent the way they did in Vietnam and Iraq, not to mention the real costs in money and lives.

 Maduro may well fight, it's just hard to say how MUCH support he has in his country, but a recent poll suggests that he has a majority of the country behind him, at least to the extent that Venezuela's people despise the U.S coup attempt. And it does appear that many Americans are not, and would not be, keen on seeing Trump ignite another war.

Trump, under the thumb of the troika of Pence, Bolton and Pompeo (and other Neocons like Eliot Abrams, who has been tasked with directing the coup in Venezuela), lurches from one dramatic, hysterical move to the next, including yet another treaty abrogation, the INF, which regulated some missile defense balances between the U.S. and Russia.

 National security advisor to Trump, John Bolton, has proven his complete insanity (as if further proof were needed) by threatening to send Nicolas Maduro to the U.S. prison base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba if Maduro does not quietly retire and leave Venezuela. It would make sense for Maduro’s Cuban allies to shut down the Guantanamo base and reclaim the far east of Cuba, whatever the reaction. Imagine, if you will, the war on Cuba, too, and never forget the Bay of Pigs debacle decades ago, a losing bid to topple Fidel Castro.

Caracas has anyway committed the ultimate “sin” – really by attempting to bypass the U.S. dollar and trade its resources for other assets or currencies, perhaps even the “Petro”. But the attack on Maduro at the bottom also constitutes an attack on Eurasian integration between key countries: Russia, China, Iran, and Turkey, all of whom are, to one degree or another, trading or beginning to trade without the fiat dollar.

 China, in particular, may eventually buy all its oil imports with the “Petroyuan”. China is Saudi Arabia’s number one oil customer, and if Saudi Arabia were ever to do anything positive, it would accept other currencies for its oil, too. (There must be some kind of curse on countries that have oil, given the U.S., nonetheless.)

Key is what China and Russia might do going forward. China is apparently Venezuela’s largest creditor. Last year Maduro visited China and received an extra $5 billion in loans and signed a score of bilateral agreements. And Russia is also invested in Venezuela, having recently been given access to mine that country’s gold resources, for one thing, and last December Putin infuriated the U.S. when it flew a couple Russian bombers to Caracas for a friendly visit.

 Putin has given full support to Maduro, citing that interference in Venezuela by the U.S. “violates the basic norms of international law”. No question about that. The U.S. has been violating international law for decades, thinking it IS “international law”. Interesting to note that the best expert on Russia in the U.S., Dr. Stephen Cohen, claims that the current situation between the U.S. and Russia is more dangerous than the post-World War 2 Cold War ever was.

The U.S. has made its move against Maduro, but it has not been a kill shot (as imagined it might be) and the situation may well stabilize. It did when the Saudis, for example, tried to overthrow Qatar’s government with a financial and military blockade. Every day that Maduro manages to hang on in Caracas raises the odds of a failed coup as the panic diminishes and Venezuela may eventually get on with selling oil for the so-called “Petro”, not the buck, and relying on China and Russia to help renovate infrastructure.  

As for Iran, it’s hard to know whether the attack on Venezuela and apparent efforts to ignite a civil war there involves a capitulation of sorts whereby the U.S. is going after control of Venezuelan resources because of the realization that it may not be able to grab dominance over and control of Middle East and Eurasian resources as it desires.

If, for example, Trump is aiming for U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and Syria – despite huge efforts by U.S. politicians demanding the Trump not withdraw – then the move on Venezuela and its resources makes some sense to the Neocons, and perhaps to the eventual benefit of Iran, which so far has not made stupid moves especially with its adherence to the JCPOA and with its measured appeals to Europe to erect the SVP and make it work.

And also, IF the U.S. gets bogged down in South America, it’s quite likely that the mere concept of war with Iran or war with yet another country will look increasingly insane and so stretch a virtually bankrupt U.S. as to make it impossible. Overreach and hubris have always finally proven to be the bane of every historical “empire” that has fallen, and the U.S. “won” none of its major military engagements in decades, especially the Vietnam War despite all the horrific carnage and destruction it has wrought in so many places.

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