T Nation


I need to clarify my previous post. I used “protestors” twice within the same paragraph to refer to two different groups. The Venezuelan military staged its coup in response to Chavez’ brutal suppression of one group of protestors. The second group of protestors, those demonstrating against the coup, were those protesting against the possibility of the previous aristocracy gaining power. Sorry for any confusion.

3L - Who are we to cast judgement on the Venezuelan elections. Have you forgotten about the reports of African American voters suddenly mysteriously not being registered to vote? And who could be more marginally elected than Bush. He didn’t have the popular vote. Does that mean he is illegitimate and should be overthrown? Of course not!
Also, I think you’re mistaken, the second protest was against the coup not against the possibility of it being overthrown. Additionally If you look at the officials who had a hand in this mess , it turns out that many of them had a hand in the contra death squads in nicarigua but were generously pardoned by george w’s daddy. Is it impossible that they might be ,heaven forbid, LYING?

One piece of evidence that Bush knew 9-11 was going to happen. Just one lion. That’s all I ask. Even Cynthia “distrust the white man” Mckinho admitted later that she had absolutely no evidence. If I was Bush I would accuse her of killing and canabalizing children and small kittens. When asked for evidence he need only to claim that he is using Cynthia’s burden of proof…just make it up. By the way, the Coup folks were refused by the admin for any help in getting the Pres. of Ven. to resign. We were in no way obligated to help him defend his throne, in any way whatsoever. You can not refute that. There is no evidence that we participated in the coup at all. Sorry, you lose that round. There is no binding agreement that forces us to provide intell to Mr. Chavez. The treaty is that we can not PARTICIPATE in overthrowing a democratically elected gov. Again, not to share information whatsoever. What happened there was internal.

I’ll tell you who we are to cast judgment: We’re ones from whom they want support, money, information, recognition, etc.

As for our elections, the rate of misregistration in the past U.S. election was no higher than in the previous election in which Clinton was elected. There was no massive disenfrachisement of the black man, and no plot to do so.

If fact, in the counties that had the major problems, it was suggested to them previously that they update their voting systems, the inadequacy of which is the major cause of their problems. They declined to do so.

The main problem we have in our elections is that the states were charged in the Constitution with handling the election procedures, and they subsequently delegated the responsibility of choosing how to vote and getting and maintaining equipment to the counties – those counties chose not to have updated voting equipment.

All charges that blacks were stopped from voting or given extra scrutiny were refuted. Try to find one conviction. Try to find one successful civil suit. You won’t. That was all a facade, just as the whole question of a re-count was a facade. Bush came out ahead on every re-count, including those conducted by liberal media organizations such as the Miami Herald.

What I found most interesting from the last election and what wasn’t given much media play were interviews with liberal college students and some liberal minority citizens who had no qualms confessing on camera that they voted multiple times in the election – for Gore. They freely admitted to voting absentee at home and voting in one or more different districts at home. Which isn’t even to mention the number of illegal aliens who voted in CA, TX, FL and other border states (but especially CA) – presumably also for Gore.

This brings us to the next obvious point. Little deficiencies in our voting system, which are pointed out and can be fixed, and actually affect only a miniscule percentage of the vote, are not the same thing as the massive voter fraud (in terms of ballot-box stuffing) and physical intimidation of voters by armed thugs that occurred in the Venezualan elections. A few localized, unsubstantiated complaints are not comparable to systematic, nationwide fraud and intimidation. To even attempt such a simile draws your analytical ability into question.

As to the popular vote in the last election, it is irrelevant who receives the popular vote for President in our system, because the founding fathers set up an electoral college – which has some good aspects in terms of preserving federalism even if it was put into place mostly to ensure that there was a check against a stupid electorate. Go check the Constitution – I promise, it’s in there. So Bush was elected according to the stated rules. Bush’s election was legitimate. Chavez, however, purported to run a fair and democratic election, but engaged in (or someone engaged in on his behalf) massive fraud and voter intimidation. That election was not held according to the stated rules. Chavez’ election was not legitimate. See the difference?

Next, his overthrow was orchestrated by Venezualans, not by us, so our decision not to interfere in an internal Venezualan matter cannot be said to be tantamount to participating in his removal. Venezualans do not equal the U.S. government any more than the New York Times does. You’ve got to get clear on this.

Next, the protests were not against the coup itself – the military generals who initiated the coup were never going to take power. The protests were against the old aristocracy using the coup as an inroads by which to regain power, and the generals and military leaders who had initiated the coup withdrew their support from the coup when it became clear that the old aristocracy’s return to power was much more likely than was a real democratic regime. Their withdrawl of military support for the coup allowed Chavez to return to power.

Lastly, what are you talking about in your last sentence? Which officials? U.S. officials who didn’t warn the Venezualans? Is that how they were involved? The Venezualans themselves? I can’t tell to whom you are referring.

But really, it’s beside the point anyway, because we had no duty to help Chavez, nor would we want to offer him any help. He was not democratically elected, he supports terrorists and leftist guerillas, and is generally anti-American. America can act in her best interests without having a guilty conscience, especially when “acting” is simply not doing anything at all.

As for liars, you seem especially anxious to believe things that come from the mouths of terrorists and dictators, but loathe to credit the State Department (was Colin Powell the “contra death squads in nicarigua (SIC)” guy?). If one were to rate the reliability of sources, one would think the State Department wins that battle.

I’m sorry that George W. Bush can’t be evil so that you can make a nice little morally relativistic reality for yourself in which America stands on the same footing as Iran, massive fraud and intimidation are the same as unsubstantiated claims of purposeful disenfranchisement and Arafat is not a terrorist, but that’s the way it is.

Lion, have you read the previous posts? They are beautiful. Each one of your emotionally based ideas are directly refuted with cold, hard facts. I am very pleased that my fellow T-mag friends do not swallow the liberal media line. I’m sure that you feel like you are some sort of sage standing against the conservative tide. In fact, you are just regurgitating little rumors and half-truths. Did you notice how the writers of the previous posts actually read beyond the headlines and delved into the meat of the stories. This is called analysis. If you ignore everything in this thread, I want you to read the portion about the presidental election of 2000. In particular, I want you to read the previous post when the writer talks about the electoral college and the failure of various counties to institute meaningful reforms. It all comes down to personal responsibility. If the counties and voters could not figure out a butterfly ballot, they should have either made a new ballot or asked for help. Taking reponsibility for one’s actions. It is a central theme that the Democrats seem to ignore. Remember, it must all be a “vast right wing consipiracy.” Finally, take a little peek at the sentence where the writer talks about DEMOCRATIC voter fraud. Did that garner any headlines? No. Are you seeing a pattern here.

I hate to break the chain of thought, but was that lady democrat from cali the same one that said the best and the brightest didn’t have to go to Vietnam ? That piece of shit. 58000 of the best america had died in that hell hole and that cunt runs her stupid mouth. What the hell has people like that ever done for America. It’s pretty damned plain to me that she got where she is by laying on her back.
And Michelle, one more reason women should not be allowed to vote.

If Bush keeps using terms like “Crusade” and “Axis of Evil” we will have to have our next elections during WWIII. What the hell is he thinking using the word “Crusade” if we remember history this is when the English tried converting/killing Muslims, holy war? Does he need to have his dad proof read his speeches? Don’t get me wrong I would never want the pressure of being president after September 11th, but he is starting to walk a thin line and we do not need anymore enemies. Looks like soon we are even going to loose the support of Saudi Arabia, how’s next… I think it would be nice if all Dem and Rep would work together and get the world back to normal or back to having some sanity.

You know, the world is full of double standards. We base our personal standards on truths that are revealed to us through family, culture, religion, and our very experience of living. It is not uncommon for well intentioned people to disagree on truth(s). I can not imagine that either party - democratic or republican - has contempt for truth and doing the right thing. Our three branch government was built that way to ensure a “checks and balance” on the responsibility of government - not because because government is inherently good or evil, but because power and will-to-power can corrupt the best of people. Likewise it is good we have people from both sides of the isle asking the other to “show their cards,” in a manner consistent with “checks and balance.” After all is said and done aren’t we all playing on the same side ?
Sure - people go into government for sometime less than noble reasons - but to expect otherwise is like waiting for utopia - the only thing we can hope for is balance and a clear head and patients to work together when we (country, world, state, church group, civic group, family, individual, etc . . )are out of balance.
Call your shots against whoever you will, but remember - while attending to the splinter in their eyes - we must first remove the log in our own.

Don’t get tied up in our elections we’ve already been though that, my point was that 3L seemed to think that a “marginally elected” leader didn’t warrant the same respect as (I assume ) some elected by an overwhelming majority. But whether its by a margin(which it wasn’t in the case of venezuela) or by losing the popular vote and winning the electoral vote, they are still the winner.
Consider this, Otto Reich is the US Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs and one of the “officials” who supposedly did no wrong. He is a Cuban exile who served in the 1980s as the head of the State Department’s Office of Public Diplomacy. Investigations at that time concluded that Reich’s office had “engaged in prohibited, covert propaganda activities,” using CIA and military resources to spread disinformation, vilify the Nicaraguan government and build support for the contras. Not only that though, when he was US ambassador to Venezuela his claim to fame was working successfully to free the anti-Castro terrorist Orlando Bosch, who was jailed for putting a bomb on a civilian Cuban aircraft, killing 73 people. Talk about hypocritical. With his credentials you wouldn’t think he would now be working for george “anti-terror” bush.
My point about the reports is that reports are oftentimes declared unfounded after investigation as you yourself so rightly pointed out for me 3L. Regarding your version of the Venezuelan elections, maybe you could cite a reference or two because if I remember correctly, representatives from the carter center in Atlanta monitored the election including the follow up appeals and recounts. In developing countries corruption is a daily part of life and that’s why oftentimes international observers are called to monitor elections. None of this negates the fact that an overwhelming majority support chavez and that he is the recognized president of the country. I cannot imagine that you would maintain that we have no duty to warn a recognized president of an impending coup if we know of it of it in advance. That’s ludicrous. Ignoring any other part we might have played in the coup, this alone makes up accomplices.

The facts are, it was in our interests for chavez to be overthrown, we had prior knowledge of the coup and hailed it as right when it happened.

As far as chavez not being a rightful president, note that we are the only country that is vilifying him. He has successful relations with the “oil producing and exporting countries” as well as Mexico and other latin American govts who openly voiced their protests against the coup.
You pointed out that the military leaders who spearheaded the coup gave up when they realized that it was likely that the aristocracy would return to power. Obviously you’re not familiar with the mechanics of a coup. When folks stage a coup they usually plan ahead for miscellaneous things like who is going to run the country. . Do you think they planned a coup and expected a “democratic regime” to pop up overnight and out of the blue? Is this what you are saying happened? Do you believe that? The reason coups usually have the military involved is that you can forcibly run a country only under martial law. In this case it was the small military group and some of the businessmen headed by pedro carmona who spearheaded the coup and then realized that they didn’t have the support from many sections of the military and the civilian population.
As far as being a “crusader for the truth” and “a sage against the conservative tide” ,please, I enjoy debate. But if some thing walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and craps all over my backyard, I say it’s a duck even if the media says it’s a “war on terror” ,” a crusade against evil” or a “benevolent innocent superpower”. World politics and economics are not simple games, people lie, go to war, make unlikely alliances and manipulate the media to further their interests. You, and much of the public like it simple, a good guy against a terrorist or dictator, so that’s what you get fed. Enjoy!

Excuse me, Mike, WHAT THE FUCK IS YOUR PROBLEM? “It’s pretty damned plain to me that she got where she is by laying on her back. And Michelle, one more reason women should not be allowed to vote.” So, she slept with her ENTIRE voting district to get elected? Get your head out of your fucking ass. Moron.

I made a few posts here, then decided not to split hairs and act like I know everything there is to know about every government in the world. From reading this thread we evidently have a few of the top political analysists in the country on T-mag. It is amazing how some of you know all this shit and still manage to have time for a day job... or are you just reading conservative papers for your information instead of the 'evil liberal mass media'?

And you're right, women should not be allowed to vote, most of us use our brains. We wouldn't want intelligent people electing leaders now would we? The electoral college was set up because the founding fathers didn't want the uneducated masses directly electing a leader. They felt the general population was not intelligent enough to make that decision. Technically, the electoral college can vote any way they see fit. The popular vote does NOT have to be followed. I will point out that only men were allowed to vote at this time, so evidently male voters are too stupid to know who they want as president - according to the founding fathers.

The sad thing is is that conservatives have always championed right wing militaristic movements across the world, but specifically in Latin America, for decades. Since the advent of the Platt Amendment in Cuba and the Monroe Doctrine concerning “spheres of influence”, Republicans have done everything that they can to keep US friendly right wing personalistic regimes in power. Think about the US protection of the Somozistas in Nicaragua and the Reagan/ Bush administrations’ horror when the National Capital was taken over by the populist Sandinista regime. The Sandinistas did more to reallocate land, privatize industry, and raise the literacy rate than Somoza ever did, yet Reagan and Bush Sr. was chomping at the bit to get a regime in power that was far from any gasp socialist leanings. Take El Salvador. Reagan trained the Salvadorian Guardia to fight the insurgence yet acts of horror such as the massacre at El Mozote occurred, where the majority of the dead were women and children, because they knew that the US would turn their heads from any wrongs performed by the military regime. The US loves the militaristic and dictatorial regimes in Central and South America because of the cheap primary imports that they provide and because of the ability of IGO’s to go in and set up shop, facilitate cheap labor, and nab all of the primary resources that they can for a cheap cost. That is precisely why the Bush administration didn’t cry foul when Hugo Chávez was desposed. He was scared of Chavez’s talks with Cuba and other “unfriendly” nations to the US. He wanted to see a US friendly leader occupy the helm for cheap exports and oil. He looked the fool when Hugo Chávez was reinstated. I have a feeling that the CIA was involved in those actions and we’ll only find out decades later, as we have with covert actions in the Americas and Cuba. Sadly, I still vote Republican because I hate to think of all my money going to entitlement welfare moms. The need for a viable third party…

LaVieBoheme, are you French? If so, I would ask that you refrain from joining any discussion on politics or world affairs. Thank you.

“That is precisely why the Bush administration didn’t cry foul when Hugo Chávez was desposed. He was scared of Chavez’s talks with Cuba and other “unfriendly” nations to the US. He wanted to see a US friendly leader occupy the helm for cheap exports and oil.” And? What is your point? It’s not our job to protect their civilian killing leaders. Again, there is noone claiming we trained anyone or armed anyone to do this. We didn’t have to. This wasn’t a rag-tag band of querillas. It was their military. Where a little busy with our own war right now to care about some marxist revolutionary wannabe, protester killing leader. We are not here to police every shitholes INTERNAL problems. Again, NOT ONE PERSON has pointed out any intell, training, or any help whatsoever given by the US. Sorry you’re arguement is based completely on you X-files conspiracy type attitude.

I have a final tomorrow so I don’t have time at the moment to deal with all the interesting points others have brought up, but I just wanted to tell you not to get all upset with me about what others post.

If you’d like to know about my time, I’m a 3rd-year law student, so I have lots of time to read all sorts of sources of info, especially the international (even more especially the British) press – and read some of the top political and/or financial “analysts” who put their stuff in print.

So before you run off and get into a tissy about information sources or take pot shots about jobs and what have you, just ask next time. I’ll be happy to tell you.

PS – I generally enjoy your posts and respect your point of view, but I don’t like pot shots taken at me, especially as I wasn’t the one who made the post that set you off. Out.

3L - I am sorry if I offended you, but there are posts up here, as on all of the political threads that sound as if they were written by a political analyist. It gets really old.

So, I make a few comments, then realize that I will have to spend hours typing to stay in the thread and decide to drop it and get dragged in by Mike... it pissed me off... just a bit *grin*

I don't really need sources or anything else, because politics are not exactly my main interest. I find self-ritious politicial postings extremely irritating, because 99.9% of politicians are crooks, so we are always looking for the lesser of the evils.

My comments were not aimed at you, they were just general and I honestly had no particular poster in mine when I wrote them. (Except for my opinion of Mike, which I stand behind fully.)

Oh yeah, and when I want to make a pot shot, I’m much more direct at it. Subtility is not my strong point grin Later!

First off, I’m not French. La Vie Boheme just happens to be the name of my favorite opera. Secondly, I’m not a guy. The fact that Bush issued a very nonsupportive public reply to the Venezuelan people exhibits the idea, “He was a Marxist, therefore, we don’t care if he’s the victim of a coup.” I can assure you that if the victim would have been Vicente Fox or another pro- capitalism Latin American leader who craves American approval, the Bush admin. would have demonstrated much more concern for a popular leader being overthrown. Does the 1973 ousting of Allende by Gen. Pinochet in Chile ring a bell? Besides, do you really believe that the “War on Terrorism” in Afghanistan is the US’s only focus in the entire world now? I’m not claiming that it was American led or even American trained forces that caused the coup, but Americans have trained/ led coups in other countries, especially during the alignment movement during the Cold War. If you really believe that my argument is based on “X- Files” type conspiracy theories, let me know and I’ll direct you to the .gov sites and other documentation of the American influence in Latin America since the 1890’s.

Hello, all. We have drifted away from the central theme of this thread. We need to discuss just how hypocritical and petty the Democratic party is. Let’s not talk any more about Venezuala. We should be talking about things like: (1)Have you noticed how the Democrats always say they are for the people while enriching themselves at the people’s expense? See Dan Rotankowski (former House Rep in Illinois) or Billy Boy trading pardons for “donations.” (2)How hard the Democrats are trying to block presidential appointments. Remember the uproar when Chavez was being considered. I love the Democrats trying to take the moral high ground. These same Democrats were defending Billy Boy’s many, many trangressions. Let’s return back to these key points.
P.S. It’s okay to discuss the French as well.

I used to vote rep. Next time I will not vote at all. All the a-holes in DC are out for themselves and whoever they owe. Witness the standard practices of a congressman. He is elected on promises to bring jobs, env. cleanup, whatever to his constituents, right? This always involves either sponsoring legislation to create gov’t programs or jobs in his district or helping to land gov’t contracts for his district. OK, but the money for all this doesn’t just appear in thin air. It is taken from you and me. Essentially we have a system where each representative tries to steal from the country at large for the benefit of his gang. It doesn’t matter whether we have a dem or a rep in office. Gov’t will continue to grow until we look a lot more like Britian or Denmark than the US of past. Meanwhile, everyone seems to be caught up in debates over non-essentials while their freedoms are being eroded. Drill in Anwar or save the caribou? That’s not even the fucking question! The question is where in the constitution does it say that the gov micromanages the production of energy? Prayer in schools? What the fuck is the state doing in the education business? Drug laws? Now the state thinks it owns my body! Wake up sheep, it’s almost over. Oh, and here in VA it is illegal for me to do anal with my honey. Meanwhile I pay these assholes piles of money so thay can give it to people I don’t even know. That’s like holding someone’s coat while they molest your child. Don’t fall for the Rep/Dem dichotomy. It is an illusion at its base. The difference between them is insignificant compared to the difference between our present system and the one spelled out by the founding fathers.

it wouldn’t surprise me, if someone within the bush administration did have advance knowledge of the sept. 11 attacks, anything is possible in the world of politics…on the other hand al gore is a piece of shit hypocrite…