Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Themes for 2012: Petraeus and the fantasies of Hugo Chávez

The Magic General
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez speculated on Wednesday that the United States might have developed a way to give Latin American leaders cancer, after Argentina's Cristina Fernandez joined the list of presidents diagnosed with the disease.Chavez, Fernandez, Paraguay's Fernando Lugo, Brazil's Dilma Rousseff and former Brazilian leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva have all been diagnosed recently with cancer. All of them are leftists.(...) "this is very, very, very strange ... it's a bit difficult to explain this, to reason it, including using the law of probabilities." (Hugo Chávez). Reuters
David Seaton's News Links
Hugo Chávez, Venezuela's irrepressible president/strongman (take your pick) is more or less accusing the  United States of America of giving several left wing, Latin American leaders, including himself, cancer. Absurd.

The most disturbing part of this absurd accusation is what makes it absurd... As far as I know it is impossible to "give" people cancer, but I would not doubt for a moment that if it were possible, the CIA might try to do it... They have done even crazier stuff than that in their time with often quite disastrous results. Today they are doing things that no previous administration had ever dared to do before and some of that would be really hard to top.

Under the Obama administration, we seem to be entering a "golden age" of the CIA, where accusations like the one Chávez is making would be par for the course.

People reveal themselves by what they say and what they do, especially by what they do. By naming "magic general", David Petraeus, to run the CIA, Obama gives the game away.  Covert operations, drones, Israeli style targeted assassinations and the destabilizing of other countries' governments or economies by the CIA and front organizations, is now going to be the preferred or "smart" way of managing the empire... more cost effective than the hitherto horribly indecisive, hideously expensive or dismally failed armed adventures featuring thousands of uniformed soldiers, corrupt private contractors, aircraft carrier battle groups, etc. What could be smarter than that?

And what is most disturbing thing of all this "pragmatism" and smartness, is that the firewalls between what the US military and espionage establishment is allowed to do abroad and what is is allowed to do at home, even habeas corpus, are being breached. This gets to a point where "smart" moves into a territory that the British would call "too clever by half"... where the USA is in the gravest danger of outsmarting itself. DS

No comments: