Past is Prologue

COVID-19 has reportedly killed more than 1,400 people and infected thousands more in what could turn out to be one of the great tragedies of our times if we subscribe to the mainstream news media’s approach to almost everything. The destructive effects of the virus have certainly been felt across the world, including South Florida where Coronavirus-linked contractions in the Chinese service sectors has impacted the lobster fishing industry. Local tourism dollars are also expected to take a hit as quarantined cruise vessels are sure to cool off what has been a historically hot leisure travel market.

Sitting squarely at the top of the global supply chain, the world can barely withstand a significant disruption to China’s economy. If the virus becomes the catastrophe some have warned we could be on the precipice of a civilizational realignment comparable to when Venice, a merchant trading empire at the height of its power, met the beginning of its end through plague-infested rodents, which crawled out of their own ships and into St. Mark’s Square straight into the heart of feudal Europe.

A pandemic of relatively similar proportions afflicting China would place the current economic paradigm in dire straits. But, are the alarmists right about this particular virus or are we witnessing a familiar script from the old geopolitical playbook?

Exhuming Leviathan

Theories about the virus’ origins proliferated almost as fast as the disease. In January, a team of Indian scientists published a paper pointing to the existence of HIV strains in the Coronavirus’ RNA; a tell-tale sign that the virus had been manufactured.

Mixing HIV into another pathogen might sound like the work of a Bond villain intent on destroying humanity, but it is actually a practice pioneered by Japanese scientist, Yoshihiro Kawaoka and colleagues at the University of Wisconsin, as a way to turbo-charge a virus’ replication process. His findings were published in 2011 after a series of experiments carried out on a pathogenic specimen extracted from the exhumed corpse of a frozen Alaska Native who had perished during the Spanish Influenza epidemic of 1918-1919; a virus that killed close to 80 million people.

The Western response to the claims made by the Indian scientists was swift, however. The widely-respected Scripps Research Institute, which receives funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, called their conclusions into question and contributed to the pressure that forced the scientists to remove their paper.

Scripps’ Co-Chair of the institute’s Immunology and Microbiology Department, Dr. Michael Farzan, was rather vague on the issue in a recent radio interview. The main criticism of the Indian paper centered on their findings that the virus genome contained HIV “inserts”; prompting Chinese doctors to administer AIDS medication to patients afflicted with the lethal bug, which they have done with some success. Farzan admits that the Coronavirus has “similar kinds of proteins” to the AIDS virus, but chalks up the fact that China is using AIDS meds to treat the disease to simply using “what is available”. Ultimately, he leaves unanswered the question of whether anti-HIV medications work, leaving the listener to choose their own side. “As far as we can tell”, Dr. Farzan stated, “they should not be especially active against the Coronavirus proteins.”

Sales Force

The good doctor from Scripps spent about 30 seconds on the question dealing with the mysterious HIV-like proteins in the Coronavirus and the rest of the show driving home his real agenda: Drug sales.

That message had already been made on a far bigger platform four days earlier by the Director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, Anthony S. Fauci when he appeared on Face the Nation that Sunday previously to relay the missive to the interested parties: “I’m seeing interest on the part of pharmaceutical companies that we didn’t see with SARS and other outbreaks”, said Fauci, clearly putting out a CTA for any Big Pharma execs who might be watching that morning.

FILE PHOTO: Dr. Michael Farzan

The NIAID director indirectly exhorted drug makers to make the outlay of “hundreds of millions of dollars” required to manufacture and distribute a vaccine. Fauci didn’t belabor any of his prepped talking points, but did save this particular point for the end of the exchange. Dr. Michael Farzan of the Scripps Institute would not have to be so subtle – and most certainly wasn’t – during his prime time radio interview on Florida’s NPR-affiliate, making five separate appeals to the pharmaceutical industry.

In the middle of boilerplate answers about the virus’ characteristics, the doctor cuts himself off to get right to brass tacks. “I should state that our large challenge now is not identifying compounds that are effective”, Farzan brags by way of introduction. “But, rather, manufacturing and distributing those compounds”.

It was the opening salvo in a barrage of charged pleas to the pill shop owners, like a man who can’t get that meeting he needs. “The good news”, according to Farzan is that the scientific community and ostensibly Scripps itself, already knows everything it needs to develop a vaccine. “The bad news,” he continues, “is that it takes a good deal of time to manufacture…”.

Farzan would work this message into every answer for the remainder of the interview, no matter the relevance to the actual question. The full show is enlightening, but a clip of all the instances Farzan makes appeals to the drug-makers is as just as telling:

The campaign to woo Big Pharma through these public displays likely ties back to behind-the-scenes jostling by the CDC, who’s been refused entry into China and has been lobbying to gain access. While Farsan only touched on the issue in his interview, Fauci led with a common trope used when a non-aligned nation resists official American aid. “Our CDC epidemiologists are the best in the world”, boasted Fauci, as if the arbitrary qualification should be enough reason for China to let agents of an openly hostile government within its borders.

When he was not begging Big Pharma to put up the capital, Farzan was doing an excellent job of extolling the competence and superiority of his own institute and the Western scientific establishment, in general. The script was as tight as a Shark Tank pitch and he did not waver, despite contradicting information about the knowledge epidemiologists actually have to this point about the Coronavirus.

Farzan claims the scientific community attained nearly complete understanding of the Coronavirus since day one, and yet just days after this interview aired, Dr John Sinnott, chair of the Department of Internal Medicine at USF’s Morsani College of Medicine, told WLRN that the medical community was basically in the dark. Farzan, on the other hand, spoke at length about how much and soon they already knew. “The most important information that was made available to us… was the genetic sequence of the virus”, Farzan stated unequivocally. “And that was made available to us in early January” he continued, stressing that the science on a vaccine had been all but completed and only two months away from production.

Admit One

An unstoppable, airborne virus would do wonders for the continued encroachment into the free movement of people since the Patriot Act, implementation of draconian surveillance technology at the border and legitimization of xenophobic federal entities like ICE. In the same Face the Nation interview, Fauci warned quarantined American citizens returning home in a NIAID-coordinated flight that they would be held for 14 days for further medical evaluation. The director also underlined that any American who chose to stay behind in Asia would still be required to undergo a 14-day quarantine whenever they chose to come back.

FILE PHOTO: Dr. Anthony Fauci – PHOTO CREDIT: Kaveh Rezael VOA

It was an odd detail to include in the statement, considering that it is highly unlikely that any of the Americans being evacuated from the quarantined cruise ship would choose to stay behind in Asia or even be allowed to, for that matter. But, it was important in one respect: to the viewing American public, it signaled the open-ended nature of this kind of detention at all entry points.

Other questions surrounding the real source of COVID-19 have arisen, such as the location of the virus’ first appearance in the city of Wuhan, an extremely busy travel hub raising suspicions that it was specifically chosen to maximize contagion. Igor Nikulin, former member of the UN Biological and Chemical Weapons Commission, doubts that COVID-19 could develop in the wild. According to the Russian scientist, the virus shows several signs that it is a laboratory creation.

Speculating about the motivations anyone might have for the creation of a deadly pathogen, Nikulin suggested that perhaps American pharmaceutical firms were poised to make a killing on a cure they could already have in stock. Such an accusation might be taken as vile anti-Americanism by a jealous Russian, but in light of Fauci and Farzan acting like pharmaceutical sales reps, the only question remaining is how much they will ultimately profit from it.

Father Time

Today marks the 58th anniversary of the ill-fated Bay of Pigs invasion, a date commemorated each year by the surviving members of Brigada 2506, the makeshift contingent of Cuban army defectors and other anti-Castro Cubans who enlisted to be a part of the U.S. government’s secret plot to overthrow the island’s putschist regime.

The famously failed mission kicked off a decades-long enmity between the Cuban Exile Community and the Democratic Party of the United States. GOP operatives like George H.W. Bush pounced on the opportunity to create a loyal voter base, which was fostered through government handouts and preferential immigrant policies. Over the next several years, they formed a hardline Republican block in South Florida.

CORAL GABLES, FL – April 17: Former U.S. Congressman, Lincoln Diaz-Balart, shakes a guest’s hand at the Biltmore Hotel on the occasion of the 58th anniversary of the Bay of Pigs operation in Coral Gables, Florida on April 17, 2019 | PHOTO CREDIT: Raul Diego for deepcitychronicles ©2019 Deep City Chronicles. All Rights Reserved.

Not coincidentally, Cubans would rise to the top of the political pyramid in Miami during the Reagan years, when Bush was Vice President, and play a pivotal role in the hegemonic wars carried out in the name of “anti-communism”. South Florida’s cocaine economy helped funnel cash to fund covert operations around the world, including the Contras in Nicaragua.

Sixty years later, the usefulness of the Cuban exile community to the American political establishment is reaching its natural end. A new generation of exiles is being groomed to replace them as the specter of communism is once again evoked in South America.

Passing of the Torch

This year, the Bay of Pigs commemorative activities were held at the iconic Biltmore Hotel in the swankiest part of Dade-County instead of the usual venue on the equally iconic, but far lower-rent 8th Street, where a permanent flame burns atop the monument dedicated to the fallen members of Brigada 2506.

CORAL GABLES, FL – April 17: City of Miami Mayor, Francis X. Suarez, embraces a member of the Brigada 2506 at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, Florida on April 17, 2019 | PHOTO CREDIT: Raul Diego for deepcitychronicles ©2019 Deep City Chronicles. All Rights Reserved.

The colorful street murals and fruit stands of Little Havana didn’t quite suit the expectations of the guest list. Miami’s most privileged minority community came decked out in their best Spring attire to the Coral Gables landmark where a string quartet welcomed them to yet another political event headlined by Trump’s National Security Advisor, John Bolton.

Bolton, who was in Miami just last February, chose the anniversary of the Bay of Pigs to announce a new round of sanctions and banking restrictions on the countries of Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela. In addition, the Trump administration will activate a dormant law, that greenlights legal action against corporations doing business with Cuba. Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, created in 1996, has been ignored by all previous administrations over clear international opposition.

CORAL GABLES, FL – April 17: Members of the Cuban exile community gather at the Biltmore Hotel for the 58th anniversary of the Bay of Pigs operation in Coral Gables, Florida on April 17, 2019 | PHOTO CREDIT: Raul Diego for deepcitychronicles ©2019 Deep City Chronicles. All Rights Reserved.

The European Union has already stated it will challenge any such law with the WTO, while other countries such as Canada, already have legislation in place blocking enforcement of Helms-Burton against companies based in their nations.

Title IV of the act, which calls for the denial of visas to those involved in “trafficking” properties confiscated by the Cuban government, is also set to come into effect, further pushing America back in time to a bygone era of communist paranoia.

Bolton’s job in Miami is to help recruit the new batch of exiles to underpin America’s re-invigorated hegemonic foreign policies in Latin America. But, the freshmen class of Venezuelan exiles isn’t turning out to be as receptive to his overtures as their Cuban counterparts were back in the 60’s.

Maduro has, so far, been able to keep the vast majority of the Venezuelan military on his side and the Guaidó operation seems to have fallen flat, despite the mainstream media’s efforts to maintain the illusion of his “presidency”.

CORAL GABLES, FL – April 17: Former Mayor of Miami, Tomás Regalado, mingles with the guests at the Biltmore Hotel on the occasion of the 58th anniversary of the Bay of Pigs operation in Coral Gables, Florida on April 17, 2019 | PHOTO CREDIT: Raul Diego for deepcitychronicles ©2019 Deep City Chronicles. All Rights Reserved.

Clearly, a regime-change scenario in Venezuela is a much more complicated proposition than the one half-heartedly attempted in Cuba all those years ago. However, given the political gold mine that South Florida has proven to be for the Republican party, in particular – and precisely as a result of the failure of American policy towards Cuba – one can only question the true motivations behind these largely toothless measures now being enacted against Venezuela and the other two countries which have a large exile community in the region.

Interest or Principle

When a bank issues a loan, the principle is listed as an asset on the bank’s books. If you pay off the principle, that money disappears from the bank’s ledger. If you only pay the interest on the loan, however, the bank not only keeps the asset on its books, but it makes a profit, too.

Similarly, when a government makes a promise it will collect as much interest (votes) as it can before delivering on that promise. Just like a bank, once they deliver on the promise they can’t collect interest anymore.

CORAL GABLES, FL – April 17: TV News anchor, María Elvira Salazar, mingles with the guests at the Biltmore Hotel on the occasion of the 58th anniversary of the Bay of Pigs operation, while behind her, Miami Mayor, Francis X. Suarez, talks on the phone in Coral Gables, Florida on April 17, 2019 | PHOTO CREDIT: Raul Diego for deepcitychronicles ©2019 Deep City Chronicles. All Rights Reserved.

Venezuelan exiles in Miami should ask themselves what the true motives of the United Sates are when it comes to intervening in their country’s affairs. They should take a long, hard look at the fate of the “martyrs” of Brigada 2506 and the community of Cuban exiles who decade after decade continue to support policies, like the embargo, which have only changed things for the worse.

They should ask themselves if they want to take out this loan. They should remember that it will show up as an asset on the political ledger of the United States, but a liability on their account.

The Uninspired Opposition

By the time the big name speakers were done and gone, the line of cars along 87th Avenue flanking the right southbound lane was still backed up for a quarter of a mile as more Venezuelans continued to arrive – hours late – to a12 o’clock-scheduled rally at Doral Central Park.

The energy of the crowd was decidedly lukewarm and never really numbered more than a thousand people at one time. Jose Antonio Colina, who leads many of these Venezuelan opposition events in Miami, was visibly frustrated with the people’s laissez faire disposition on this mildly hot Saturday afternoon and tried teasing them with jokes, at first. As the proceedings moved on, the attendees’ demeanor was not meeting with the former military man’s expectations. Eventually, Colina resorted to cheerleading at the top of his lungs over already booming speakers hoping, fruitlessly, to elicit a response in kind.

DORAL, FL – February 2: Venezuelan expats gathered behind barricades for a pro-Guaidó rally in Doral Central Park in Doral, Florida on February 2, 2019 | PHOTO CREDIT: Raul Diego for deepcitychronicles ©2018 Deep City Chronicles. All Rights Reserved.

Some on the portable stage, towed there earlier, seemed to credit the weather via indirect remarks for the seeming lack of emotion. But, it was not particularly warm for South Florida standards and definitely far less humid than usual. No. This wasn’t a weather-related dud of a crowd. Perhaps, deep down, they all knew something was wrong.

A Telegraphed Coup

Few were caught off guard when Juan Guaidó swore himself in as president of Venezuela last week. The systematic attacks against the Maduro regime by the Atlanticist axis, led by U.S. economic sanctions, manipulation of oil prices and outright theft of sovereign assets in excess of a billion dollars have had the desired result in the South American country. Buttressed by sabotage from oligarchic factions within the country itself, which (contrary to Western media propaganda) control important business sectors, the nation’s economy has been brought to its knees. Guaidó’s “inauguration” was simply part of the same, ongoing subversive operation.

The usual suspects immediately declared themselves on Twitter, which seems to be the platform of choice for dissemination of Atlanticist discourse. Senator Marco Rubio came out ahead of the rest, throwing his total support behind the CIA-bred usurper and rallying the other pro-coup members of the house and senate. The Tweeter-in-Chief chimed in soon enough and the chorus began to regurgitate the party line around the globe. Brazil, recently fitted with their very own far-right, rich man’s populist was among the first countries to ratify the brazen affront to national sovereignty. A slew of aligned governments around the world followed in tow and the lapdog press has been treating Maduro’s downfall as a fiat accompli.

DORAL, FL – February 2: Retired Venezuelan military officer, Jose Antonio Colina, addresses rally-goers at Doral Central Park in Doral, Florida on February 2, 2019 | PHOTO CREDIT: Raul Diego for deepcitychronicles ©2018 Deep City Chronicles. All Rights Reserved.

The reality, of course, is much different. Maduro remains in control as the Venezuelan military and a big enough base continues to support him. Washington’s de jure president has been appointing his cabinet while embassy hopping; hiding first in the American and then the Colombian embassy – as has been reported. Meanwhile, Maduro has offered to hold a dialogue with the pretender; a strange move for a so-called “dictator”. Guaidó, predictably declined to entertain the idea as such optics would ruin the pretense.

Speaking of pretense, all of it was dropped when Trump’s National Security Advisor, John Bolton, matter-of-factly stated America’s intention of taking Venezuela’s oil as ransom. Such imperialist candor is very 21st century, ushered in as it was by the controlled demolition of two skyscrapers and a CIA vault (building 7) and subsequent declaration of perpetual war. The real estate developer cum reality star Donald has taken it to the next level, of course. The “open conspiracy” is here and Venezuela is quickly becoming a case study on how the world’s only superpower plans on flexing its muscle hereafter.

Guaidó himself issued a formal request for a U.S. invasion of his own country within the first 24 hours of self-appointing himself head of the Venezuelan people, cloaking it as “humanitarian aid”. The news cycle, currently embroiled in another tabloid scandal involving high school yearbooks, has not kept us abreast of the progress of his request. But, we can be sure it is being processed.

Exiles in Arms

Almost from the get-go at Doral Central Park, a distinction was drawn between those who are waiting to return to Venezuela and those residing permanently in Miami; the latter being the largest contingent, by far. Jose Antonio Colina and later, exiled clergyman Jose Palmar, exhorted those present to keep resisting Maduro’s regime from afar.

Palmar fled Venezuela in 2018 via Mexico, after years of criticizing the Bolivarian government of Venezuela on social media and leading anti-government protests. The catholic priest claims he was arrested and tortured by state forces in multiple attacks beginning in 2014. According to Palmar, he became a target after exposing corruption in the state-run oil concern PDVSA back in 2007.

DORAL, FL – February 2: Venezuelan Catholic Priest and political refugee, Jose Palmar, conducts impromptu blessing ceremony on his knees during a pro-Guaidó event at Doral Central Park in Doral, Florida on February 2, 2019 | PHOTO CREDIT: Raul Diego for deepcitychronicles ©2018 Deep City Chronicles. All Rights Reserved.

Given Venezuelans’ ubiquitous religiosity, the father’s emotive delivery managed to generate excitement behind the barricades. It was intended to set the stage for the political luminaries who were about to come on the platform and drive home the message of exile-to-exile solidarity.

First up was Juan Carlos Bermudez, Mayor of the city of Doral. Cuban-born Bermudez would lead off with references to the Cuban exile experience, assuming a paternalistic tone as he urged Venezuelans to follow the path laid down by his anti-Castro brethren. Bermudez showed no trace of topical awareness when he twice joked about assuming power in Miami-Dade County on account of Mayor Gimenez’ absence. Only his fellow grifters waiting under a small tent beside the stage laughed.

Next up came Miami-Dade Commissioner for district 12, Jose “Pepe” Diaz, who laboriously made his way onto the stage and continued with parallels between Venezuela and Cuba, though his shockingly unintelligible Spanish likely precluded anyone present from actually understanding anything he was saying. Florida Senator, Jose Javier Rodriguez, and Miami Mayor, Francis X. Suarez followed with similar talking points.

In between, a three-headed hydra of the new, pro-war left came on to deliver short, trite speeches. Recently elected Congresswoman, Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, struggled to look up from her lengthy notes, while her congressional colleague, Donna Shalala, had nothing much to say beyond a smattering of embarrassingly jumbled Spanish words. Of the three democratic members of the federal government, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz was clearly the most prepared and seasoned speaker. Of the three – and possibly of all those present – she also has he most to gain from the events currently unfolding in Venezuela.

Wasserman-Schultz was just appointed to lead the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs. Her District (22) is home to a number of security firms with extensive links to the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and she has a long history of taking money from defense industry sources, including General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, and BAE Systems.

DORAL, FL – February 2: Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz poses with Guaidó supporters at pro-Venezuelan opposition event at Doral Central Park in Doral, Florida on February 2, 2019 | PHOTO CREDIT: Raul Diego for deepcitychronicles ©2018 Deep City Chronicles. All Rights Reserved.

Her demeanor on and off stage betrayed the importance she is giving this particular issue. At one point, she walked along the entire barricaded perimeter with her assistant, collecting photo ops with rally-goers. None of the other politicians did anything close. Just the fact that she used this event to build political capital foreshadows bad tidings, as we are left to wonder how she intends to spend it.

Surely, someone in the building only a few yards away can offer an educated guess.

The Overseers

U.S. Southern Command is the head of the spear in American interventions from the Caribbean to Tierra de Fuego. So, it was more than appropriate for this anti-Maduro rally to take place within earshot of Southcom headquarters in Doral. It’s unlikely that any of the people wearing Venezuelan flag colors that day understood where they actually were. Most Americans, to be frank, don’t know what Southcom is or does, either.

They don’t know, for instance, that when this military agency was headquartered in Panama, it played a vital role in assisting right-wing military dictatorships all over South America murder, torture and repress their citizens. Southcom was the central relaying point for intelligence on left-leaning political and social groups in the hemisphere.

They also don’t know, that a few decades ago it became the single lead agency in the interdiction of drugs both inside and outside of the United States. A much more comprehensive treatment of these facts can be found in my recently completed docu-series “Borderline – The Unhinged Truth About the Drug War”, which is streaming free online.

The so-called drug war, is intimately related to the events happening in Venezuela. As I posit in my series – far from being the failed policy alleged by many – the war on drugs is actually a tool of American hegemony in this hemisphere and beyond.

DORAL, FL – February 2: U.S. Southern Command headquarters visible in the background as attendees to a pro-Guaidó event at Doral Central Park lean against barricades in Doral, Florida on February 2, 2019 | PHOTO CREDIT: Raul Diego for deepcitychronicles ©2018 Deep City Chronicles. All Rights Reserved.

Accusations against the Maduro government of engaging in state-sponsored drug trafficking follow the same pattern utilized against any target country in the farcical drug war. More than once during the rally was the Venezuelan government branded as “Narcoterrorista”, an amalgam between narco-trafficking and terrorism emerging from the neo-con, post-911 perpetual war crew in Washington.

If an invasion of Venezuela does take place, it will be Southcom leading the way. Indeed, thanks to the drug war bilateral agreements signed by Venezuela’s closest neighbors, drug-war-trained troops are already lining up along their borders. It will also displace millions of people, creating an avalanche of refugees and placing undue pressure on neighboring states. Southcom has been preparing to manage an exodus of this magnitude since, at least, 2007 when they published “United States Southern Command Command Strategy 2016 – Partnership for the Americas”.

Unless the army has integrated psychics into their ranks, we should take this as a clear sign that there is much more than meets the eye to what is happening in Venezuela.

Ignorance of Treason is No Excuse

It might not be part of their conscious awareness yet, but the men, women and children who came out to support the Atlanticist coup of Venezuela on Saturday in Doral, Florida seemed to have a funny feeling about the whole affair. Their awkward silences and less than enthusiastic reactions when called to cheer Guaidó’s name revealed that, perhaps, in the back of their minds they don’t really believe this is the right course of action.

Regardless of the very real problems facing the Venezuelan people, much of it critically exacerbated by sabotage from without, the unabashed frothy-mouthed war hawks openly declaring their lust for Venezuela’s oil – the cornerstone of the country’s economy – might have given some of them pause.

After all, what will the future generations of Venezuela say of those who lent their support to the military invasion of a country they no longer call home, but still claim as their own and willingly handed over its most important natural resource to the invaders themselves?

Distance is one of those factors that favors lying. The farther away you are from a person, circumstance or situation, the easier it is to believe completely untrue assertions regarding anything and anyone. Rarely is this fact more obvious than with political propaganda. History is full of mendacious leaders and politicians looking to provoke conflicts by disseminating patently false claims about an enemy.

Often, whole-cloth lies are used to instigate ill will between two factions by a third party who stands to benefit by their mutual destruction; a tactic frequently used by the British Empire in India throughout Victorian times. One such incident led to a deadly escalation between two warring camps, when the Her Majesty’s minions spread parallel rumors, telling one side their enemies greased their gun barrels with pig oil and the other, that cow grease was used by them for the same purpose. Since either side held each particular animal sacred, the results were predictably bad.

When the distance is both spatial and cultural, a lie is almost impossible to expose. Such a great advantage has been enjoyed by the United States for decades. The targets of their Tomahawk missiles and drone strikes have been, generally, very far away from the its shores. The horrific profiles painted in the mainstream press of their chosen antagonists are laughably absurd, yet completely believable to the vast majority of Americans, who are fed a steady diet of Hollywood stereotypes and hero-worship. Saddam, Gaddafi, Assad, Putin, and so many others are the devil incarnate for a gullible, TV-guzzling, social media-crazed public, unimaginable to Howard Beal himself.

The so-called Military Industrial Complex – a fancy term for a crude partnership between government and the arms sector – has ridden this wave of cognitive dissonance to an unprecedented expansion of muscle around the globe. With over 800 military bases erected o virtually every continent, only the most alienated still challenge the fact that the good ole’ US of A is an empire.

But, thanks to the relentless indoctrination afforded by the most sophisticated storytelling machine in the history of humankind, hundreds of millions actually believe in the fairy tale of a benevolent overlord. Like Madeline Albright, they consider the murder of hundreds of thousands of children the price of freedom and democracy.

Americans are either ignorant of the crimes committed in their names in countries they’ve never heard of or they accept the ludicrous premise offered by their leaders: “They’re bad, we’re good”. Holding fast to such a simplistic concept of the world calls sanity into question. At the very least, it points to the stunted development of critical faculties. The increasing frequency of mass shootings and extreme polarization around relatively inconsequential issues is a symptom of a society running out of coping mechanisms.

Now we have Venezuela on the threshold. Another resource grab by the most energy-intensive economy on the planet, cloaked in the reliably effective fable of good and evil. The usual covert activities to vilify and uplift the proper parties has been ongoing for over a decade, but the U.S. public will only hear what has been curated for them.

As the cultural distance grows by leaps and bounds, the physical distance becomes less critical to maintain the lies. Trump’s wall has already shown this to be true and as the border discourse grows louder the distance between us becomes greater. We can expect, in turn, for the lies to get bigger and the false threats to get closer.


Hi everyone. I am Maram Susli. I am a Syrian journalist with a background in chemistry, but having grown up seeing the wars in Syria and Iraq I have come to understand them and how they connect with each other… And, um, first of all there’s basically the obvious thing… You have the same propaganda driving both wars (unintelligible), regime change, dictatorships, you know, “we have to liberate the people” and, uh, the superior West has to pass down their superior democracy onto these barbarian nations… um, nobody seems to question, however, that the West itself doesn’t have a proper democracy; especially when you have a Clinton and a Bush and a Clinton and a Bush running for power and the same people are constantly running things behind the scenes. Another war narrative that is often pushed forward for both this war in Syria and the war in Iraq are the WMDs and chemical weapons.

In 2003 you had, well actually, in 1991 they forced Iraq to disarm its chemical weapons and the reason they did that was not out of humanitarian concern or because these weapons can, you know, kill civilians but because these are (unintelligible) weapons. They are basically an answer to nuclear weapons. They are a cheap man’s nuclear weapons and that’s why they call them weapons of mass destruction, because they can kill thousands and thousands, tens of thousands of people and the U.S. can’t risk invading a nation or attacking a nation when that nation has nuclear weapons or chemical weapons and so this argument is pushed before any imperialism or overt imperialism takes place.

So in 1991 when Iraq disarmed, the U.S. then, later in 2003 comes back with a narrative that it didn’t, in fact, disarm and that there are some chemical weapons still left over and they use that as a casus belli for attack even without any United Nations resolution or any word from the OPCW that agrees with them and, as a matter of fact, this kind of sequence was so predictable that in 2014, in an interview I did with Vice, when they asked me what I’d predict would happen, uh, now that Syria has given up its chemical weapons. I said that the U.S. is going to “claim that Syria has not completely disposed of its chemical weapons and use that as an excuse to airstrike army positions and possibly after another small chemical weapons attack is set up. This is going to be a similar scenario to the lead up to the Iraq war of 2002. I believe that the U.S. will start air-striking the Syrian military, as well as Al-Qaeda-linked rebels, effectively attacking both sides of the war. Now, I’m not a psychic. This is just how they work and I think it should be obvious to everybody by now.

The other war narratives that have been pushed forward are what Jay touched on: minority governments; and at the same time they have the contradictory, simultaneous narrative that they have to protect minorities. So, they have to get rid of minority governments but then they have to protect minorities and it’s a bit schizophrenic. One of the things that you hear is that Saddam is a Sunni, majority of Iraq is Shiite; Assad is Alawite, majority of Syria is Sunni and no one, you know, the fact that these governments are secular in their basis doesn’t feature and the fact that Obama was black, black people are a minority in the United States didn’t occur to him when he said that Syria had a minority government. So, um… (audience laughter) Now, you know… once they kind of destabilize the country or even get rid of its government they move on to the second narrative, which is that they have to protect the minorities. So in, um, Iraq’s case, you know, Saddam gets the Kurds or more recently ISIS is killing Christians in Yazidis, so we have to go in and protect them and in Syria, at the moment, they’re protecting the Kurds, but even in 2014 we had like some hints that they were pushing for the new narrative, which is that they have to protect the Christians and even the Alawites and it became a perplexing thing because all along they were pushing for Al-Qaeda to take power in Syria for then to turn around and pretend that they’re protecting Christians and other minorities is ridiculous. I guess perhaps that was a bit premature of a narrative to push because the plan was, uh, always for Syria to be divided and for Assad to actually run away to the coast where the majority of Alawites are, and in doing so, um, basically disband the army and create a situation where the U.S. can come in to save the Alawites and the only way to create a situation where you can save the Alawites is to create the threat that’s attacking them, which is to create terrorism.

So, um, I’d like to go to… backwards now. Maybe five thousand years ago, um, thereabouts… I don’t know, 1750 B.C. and just to see how Iraq and Syria connected. Back then, in the olden days, Syria and Iraq were separate entities but then under the Assyrian empire they were connected as one state. It’s a very famous empire. It brought a lot of things to our society and then under the Roman empire again considered Syria and Assyria, separate states, but they always had some sort of connection between them and the reason why this is significant is these people from five thousand years ago, like the, the people, their history and ethnicities, they still exist today and the considerations that existed way back then, they still exist today. I mean, the Armenians still exist, the Syrians certainly still exist and all the battles that were happening five thousand years ago are actually affecting what’s happening now. Um, and here comes Sykes-Picot.

When the Ottoman empire fell, of course… sorry, I misspelled Sykes-Picot, excuse me… But um, when the Ottoman empire fell, basically the French and the British divided the Middle East amongst each other and um, the narrative is kind of pushed forward subtly in media that Iraq and Syria are artificial nations because the borders were drawn up by Sykes-Picot. Well, in reality, um, the borders that were drawn out by Sykes-Picot were wrong only because they didn’t encompass enough territory of the natural borders of Iraq and Syria. So, the purpose that Sykes-Picot had in drawing up these borders is to try to, as much as possible, create landlocked nations. Um, Lebanon and Kuwait were basically created as a way to restrict Syria and Iraq access to the Mediterranean and gulf seas and they were also designed to divide population centers from resource-rich areas. Kuwait holds a lot of petrol and Lebanon holds a lot of water. So, this is a way to kind of make sure that people stay in poverty and, of course, finally they want to divide people along sectarian lines and keep them fighting with each other for centuries or decades to come and, um, Lebanon and Syria were exactly created along these religious and sectarian lines. You know, initially in fact, Sykes-Picot wanted to create even more divisions inside Syria. But, all sects of Syrian society or religions were against it. So, if you look at the first map, um, that is in fact how the Sykes-Picot was meant to be drawn up. The… Uh, there was supposed to be an Alawite state over here, a Druze state, Damascus and Aleppo was supposed to be divided but the only thing that they achieved was the, uh, region of Lebanon because of the Maronite relation there, um, they achieved that division and they annexed this Turkish part right here… and if you can just keep this in mind and compare it to the new Sykes-Picot, the new drawing up of the Middle East and the divisions that they want to create you can see that it’s very similar to the states that,… well they divided Lebanon, they divided Hatay, they want to go back and get their Alawite state and get their Druze state, as well; and with Iraq, you know, they want to divide Sunnis and Shiites and Kurds, and the only thing really different about this map to the previous map, um, which I’m not going to risk going backwards, um, is that they have this Kurdish section here.

So, this Kurdish section wouldn’t have existed back then in Sykes-Picot’s time because the Kurdish population in Syria wasn’t as significant. The only reason it grew in Syria is, um, because of the Armenian and Assyrian genocide and the Kurdish population’s involvement and help with the Turkish government in doing that and then, subsequently, the wars that were fought against Turkey… multiple wars that were fought by the Kurdish uprising against Turkey to try to, um, you know, get their own independent state and as a result of that there were several influxes of refugees coming to Syrian territory, which continued up until the fifties.

So, um, this is something I’m going to talk about more deeply in my next talk but, the interesting thing, um, this map here – the beginning map – is from The Center of, I’m sorry, The Council on Foreign Relations. Much of these maps are drawn up by think tanks that – the Washington government basically replicates any advice that they’re given by these think tanks – and as you can see, they wanted to create not only Kurdistan and the Alawite state, but something called Sunnistan and if you compare that to the borders of where ISIS is, you can see that ISIS is exactly the Sunnistan that they wanted to create. In fact, ISIS has been essential to all these plans, um, because the Syrian war and the sectarianism that happened in this war would not have been possible without the Iraq war; it wouldn’t have been possible without the introduction of violence and weapons and militias and hatred between Shiites and Sunnis and Iran and Iraq, if not for the Iraq war… and the U.S. at the time of the Iraq war, I remember, the theme the media was saying is that ‘we need to prevent a civil war’ and the U.S. is, like, there to prevent a civil war, but as a matter of fact they were acting to always undermine the unity of Iraq by introducing, for example, federalism into the constitution for removing a secular government and introducing a religious-leaning Shiite Dawa party by disenfranchising one sect and empowering another and getting an army built from one sect to fight cities that were resisting in another… and also, they would even go down… well, I’ll just say Saudi influence also funding these groups and finally they would even stoop to creating false flag attacks. These two men are SAS (British Special Forces) soldiers. They were caught by the Iraqi police, pro-U.S. government Iraqi police – caught them dressed up as Arabs shooting at them and this was a story that was quite hidden in the media because on that very same day, British tanks destroyed the entire police station to get these two men out. So, you can see that they were already trying to, um, get some sectarian tensions happening. So, um, I’m gonna rush. I forgot the time. So, Syria and Iraq, you know, now the foreign policy papers are coming out with: ‘Do Syria and Iraq exist?’, ‘Should we even consider they exist?’ and ‘Should we base our U.S. policy on the idea that these sovereign nations that are seen as sovereign under the United Nations exist?’. Basically, they say that they no longer exist and, of course, the narrative is that Sykes-Picot got it wrong and that’s why there are wars and that by separating these nations under sects, this will be the end of wars. But, in reality, the wars are happening because the imperialists want to implement Sykes-Picot as it was originally meant to be implemented, dividing people further.

And you might ask, you know, why would that be? Well, of course, it is to control landlocked countries, it’s… there… to make sure they’re resource-poor, to make sure they continuously fight alongside (sic) of each other and they want to have a way to get their oil pipelines through without having to ask a government that controls the land to get their pipelines through. Now at the moment, the U.S. is actually building illegal military bases in the north of Syria and just, you know, they plan to invade from the south so they can connect their pipeline through. And, you know, speaking of these think tanks that are re-drawing these maps and creating these maps of the Middle East, I believe Condoleezza Rice called it the “birth pangs” of a new Middle East. What she meant was, you know, all the children that were dying in Iraq – that suffering was just the birth pangs of a new Middle East.

All of that is actually predated by the Israeli Odid Yinon plan, which was written in 1982, which said explicitly that these nations should be divided under sectarian and ethno-centric lines, so that they would be in perpetual war with each other and Israel could have its casus belli of expansion and, in fact, at the end of the day a lot of it is about imperialism, yes. But there is this other agenda driven under the scene of a greater Israel, of a creation of… expansion of Israel, of driving populations out. The land that is written in the Zionist handbook is that everything from the Nile to the Euphrates and of course the Kurdish borders that are being drawn up by these think tanks  are everything beyond the Euphrates and that’s why you have Turkey coming into Syria with Operation Euphrates Shield, because these borders and this chaos that’s been happening has been planned a long time ago. So, the thing is though that these redrawing maps might not be… someone that’s (not) a nationalist, you might not care about borders but in order to redraw these maps ethnic cleansing has to take place, because in order to create areas that are designated for different sectors of society you have to get rid of areas of the ethnicities that are already in certain areas. So, um, for example, to create the Kurdish state right now they’re… In Iraq and Syria a Syrian minority is getting pushed out of their land by the Kurdish, uh, U.S. supported Kurds, um, Yazidis… and ISIS has been, like crucial to this because whilst the Kurdish militias are well armed, the other ethnicities have no arms and no training and, in fact, when they do arm themselves the Kurdish militias threaten them with attack if they do not disarm and once they disarm… uh, there has been recently, in fact, in Iraq where the Pashmerga basically left the Assyrians and the Yazidis to the devices of ISIS. So, ISIS has been, basically, the enzyme that’s built to create these (unintelligible) and there will be more on that in my next presentation, but I’d like to finish off with a little bit of, um, a counter statement because these things are not set in stone. For example, really what they expected was for the Al-Qaeda to be too strong, to overwhelm the Syrian military to begin to do what they promised, which is to ethnically cleanse Christians and Alawites. What they hoped was for Assad to run to the coast and therefore they would come in with savior complex and create an Alawite state. That hasn’t succeeded because, in fact, the people of Aleppo who were running away from the Al-Qaeda rebels, the majority of them are Sunni and where did they run? They ran to the coast. So, this is actually the opposite of the, uh, the ethnic division that they want to create. In fact, they achieved more of a unity inside the coast. The only thing that they have been moderately successful with is the creation of this Kurdish state; and now, Kurds are 1.5 million people in Syria. Our population is 22 million. So, you can imagine, you know, one out of twenty-two trying to take over this swath of land filled with oil and water. Um, so the counter narrative of that, however, is that Syria is planning to connect Palmyra, Dier ez-Zur and Qamishli thereby cutting off what would have been a sliced-in-half Syria and that’s probably the reason why the U.S. is conducting air strikes on Dier ez-Zur, the Syrian army location, because even though it has been under siege by ISIS for so many years, they really want it to fall. So, this is what’s happening now. We’ll talk more about the ethnic cleansing element of it and more specifically about which areas are being ethnically cleansed in my next talk so I hope you’ll stay.

Transcript by Deep City Chronicles


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