By Lucy Komisar
April 8, 2018
At the April 4th Council on Foreign Relations meeting in New York, a panel of ex-State Department and other operatives discussed how to overthrow the government of Venezuela. They were almost gleeful in taking about the terrible conditions, lack of food, of medicine, and the success of US sanctions that had contributed to Venezuelans’ misery.
Near the end of the meeting I was called on– after a lot of people contributed their advice about how the coup could happen. Well, they didn’t quite call it that, just changing the government. Everybody knew what they meant.
I asked, “Given that Venezuela is not a threat to the United States, what is the justification for waging economic warfare against it, creating the”exacerbating the terrible economic conditions and suffering that you have described, in order to get regime change? Why should the US be in the business of destabilizing countries it doesn‘t like?
I noticed a few furtive nods, smiles, in the audience, among those who perhaps wondered why in nearly an hour nobody had raised the question of what right the US had to overthrow another government much less to cause such suffering.
Nothing from the panel except from neocon Shannon O’Neil who works for the Council and expected a big job if Hillary had won. (Neocons are both Democrats and Republicans.) She said a goal was to promote human rights. This by a country that tortures. She also said she was an idealist. I don’t even want to go there.
Underlying the conversation was the understood lipstick-on-the-pig, American exceptionalism. It means the US is morally superior and can do what it likes. American exceptionalism is linked to policies seeking military and economic hegemony. This used to be called imperialism.
For text and video, go here. Question at 1hr 08 minutes in.