Rage Against the Machine!
does the American government continue to ignore the popular plight at home, to decimate
the country’s marginalized, to etch away at liberties and withhold them, to amplify
its fascism abroad, to hemorrhage public funds for the sake of corporate welfare,
and to lay waste to one geopolitically “strategic” land after another?
1991, a band of musicians by the name of Rage Against the Machine (RATM) put
out their self-titled album. Track six of the album, entitled “Know Your
Enemy”, featured a strong message for listeners. Almost twenty-five years ago, in
fact, this song lyricized the hypocritical nature of the American government,
which fancies itself a defender of freedom despite the elitist corporatocracy
puppeteers it and the wars it starts abroad.
song asks, “What? The land of the free? Whoever told you that is your enemy!” A
punctuation at song’s end, the last few lyrics delineate the problems that conscientious
Americans faced in the early 1990s. “Compromise, conformity, assimilation,
submission, ignorance, hypocrisy, brutality,” it hums with acerbic irony, “—all
of which are the American dream!”
the 1991 RATM hit echoed the sentiments of those Americans who questioned the
legitimacy of the First Gulf War and the legacy of American foreign
interventionism that preceded it. What is certain, however, is that the band’s initial
daemonic inspiration for its critical tune truly resounds today. Incredibly,
and sadly, the group could not have divined with its lyrics all the havoc that
American wars and political predation would wreak today, especially not some twenty-five
years and hundreds of thousands of deaths later.
Venezuela: A Security Threat? Really?
the mourned absence of comrade Chávez, Americans once again hear that Venezuela
is firmly caught in the crosshairs of the imperial US. Venezuelan President
Nicolás Maduro has announced the recent capture of an America pilot and
subsequently issued a “terror ban” on American lawmakers due to this most
recent instance of Yankee espionage in Venezuela. For some, this breaking news
has almost no history or momentum behind it, that is, no history behind it
other than Fox News reporting how America is once again the ‘good guy’ and
Venezuela the ‘bad’. Yet, for far too many others, the story that unfolds has a
reproachable and seriously imperial history that is quite old.
Monday, 9 March 2015, US President Barack Obama issued an executive order. He
officially declared Venezuela a “national security threat,” and he sanctioned
seven people in particular. Obama cited his concern about Venezuela’s
government and its treatment of political opponents. Josh Earnest, the White
House spokesman, stated, “Venezuelan officials past and present who violate the
human rights of Venezuelan citizens and engage in acts of public corruption
will not be welcome here, and we now have the tools to block their assets and
their use of US financial systems.” Earnest further propagandized that “criminalizing
dissent” will not fix Venezuela’s problems.
US has officially targeted Venezuela and its people, starting with sanctions
against specific individuals. The US has decried the crimes of those who have
committed violent acts or abused human rights, who have prohibited the freedom
of expression, and who have taken part in public corruption. President Maduro has
responded, armed with the truth. He rebuffed Obama’s tactics and astutely noted
that the US president’s ridiculous measures were part of a political ploy,
which coincided with America’s recent failure to launch a successful coup in
said, “After we dismantled the coup attempt…the US and President Barack
Obama…decided to personally fulfill the task of ousting my government.” Maduro also
revealed his receipt of intelligence divulging that many State Department and
the White House meetings took place within recent days to deliberate possible
actions against his government. Just as RATM had noted two-and-a-half decades
ago, the American government’s relentless hypocrisy is ever glaring. Maduro
called Obama’s executive order “a Frankenstein, a monster,” and it is. Maduro
was also right to allege that Washington is frustrated and desperate. This
recent aggression aimed at Venezuela is certainly proof.
highlighted the sad and intolerable truth that many Americans too quickly gloss
over or forget. “You are the real threat, who trained and created Osama Bin
Laden,” said Maduro to the American authorities, “you are the people who
created al-Qaida.” Indeed, the Reagan administration pumped billions of dollars
into funding Afghanistan’s Islamic resistance, and the CIA trained Bin Laden to
fight the Soviets in Afghanistan.
American not know its enemy?
of Americans already stand with Maduro, who implores, “Defend the human rights
of the black US citizens being killed in US cities every day, Mr. Obama.”
Maduro’s calls for Obama not to fall victim to the tempting interventionist
cancer—suffered by so many other US presidents—has fallen on deaf ears. Indeed,
like Nixon and his destruction of Chile’s democracy in the 1970s, like
Clinton’s plan for Colombia, like Bush’s ousting of Chavez, Maduro is right to
say that Obama now joins their ranks. Washington no doubt thinks that a regime-toppling
in Venezuela might cause the other dominos in the Andean region to fall more
easily into alignment with the ends of America’s endless project for a
liberalized world order.
Enough is Enough: Know Your Enemy!
Why does the US war with South America once more? Or, for that matter, why is
the US at war with the world? Does the Venezuelan political bent and
socio-political trajectory pose a threat to America’s outright hegemony in the
hemisphere? Can it really be an issue of security? Or, could it be that
Venezuela has the world’s largest oil reserves, at least twice the amount of
oil as Iraq? Is this all just comeuppance for the
2007 nationalization of ExxonMobil oil assets in Venezuela, as well as those of
ConocoPhillips? Why all this gringo subterfuge?
Washington views Chavez’s legacy as a deep-seated threat that must be put to
is, like many other instances in Latin America have proven to be, an
alternative to the American project for a capitalist world order. What is more,
there exists a powerful amount of Americans that think and feel this way. They
are marching on bridges, blocking ships, occupying, and more. There are plenty
who want to study Venezuela’s political developments and social ideas in order
to enhance democracy at home.
want to right the wrongs, to secure their liberties, to end fascism, to end
capitalist greed run amok, and to end war and build with estranged peoples of
other nations. But Washington simply will not stand for this. Venezuela will
not be allowed to affect the American conscious in such a way. It will not be
allowed map out its own destiny, buoy other South American states in the
process, compete with Washington’s interventionist Colombian Frankenstein, or
oppose the liberalized world order with socialist policy, revolution, and
Mateo Pimentel is an Axis of Logic columnist, living on the US-Mexico border. Read the Biography and additional articles by Axis Columnist Mateo Pimentel.
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