Tag Archives: Burma

Top 10 secret armies of the CIA

Found this on the web, will try to retrace provenance, worth a read: The United States have a well known history of providing military support to countries in need. But from time to time, the US Government has provided secret forces. While many are successful, there have also been a number of failures. This is a list of the ten top secret armies of the CIA.

1. Ukrainian Partisans
From 1945 to 1952 the CIA trained and aerially supplied Ukranian partisan units which had originally been organised by he Germans to fight the Soviets during WWII. For seven years, the partisans, operating in the Carpathian Mountains, made sporadic attacks. Finally in 1952, a massive Soviet military force wiped them out.

2. Chinese Brigade in Burma
After the Communist victory in China, Nationalist Chinese soldiers fled into northern Burma. During the early 1950s, the CIA used these soldiers to create a 12,000 man brigade which made raids into Red China. However, the Nationalist soldiers found it more profitable to monopolise the local opium trade.

3. Guatemalan Rebel Army
After Guatemalan president Jacobo Arbenz legalised that country’s communist party and expropriated 400,000 acres of United Fruit banana plantations, the CIA decided to overthrow his government. Guatemalan rebels were trained in Honduras and backed up with a CIA air contingent of bombers and fighter planes. This army invaded Guatemala in 1954, promptly toppling Arbenz’s regine.

4. Sumatran Rebels
In an attempt to overthrow Indonesian president Sukarno in 1958, the CIA sent paramilitary experts and radio operators to the island of Sumatra to organise a revolt. With CIA air support, the rebel army attacked but was quickly defeated. The American government denied involvement even after a CIA b-26 was shot down and its CIA pilot, Allen Pope, was captured.

5. Khamba Horsemen
After the 1950 Chinese invasion of Tibet, the CIA began recruiting Khamba horsemen – fierce warriors who supported Tibet’s religious leader, the Dalai Lama – as they escaped into India in 1959. These Khambas were trained in modern warfare at Camp Hale, high in the rocky mountains near Leadville, Colorado. Transported back to Tibet by the CIA operated Air American, the Khambas organised an army number at its peak some 14,000. By the mid-1960s the Khambas had been abandoned by the CIA but they fought on alone until 1970.

6. Bay of Pigs Invasion Force
In 1960, CIA operatives recruited 1,500 Cuban refugees living in Miami and staged a surprise attack on Fidel Castro’s Cuba. Trained at a base in Guatemala, this small army – complete with an air force consisting of B-26 bombers – landed at the Bay of Pigs on April 19, 1961. The ill-conceived, poorly planned operation ended in disaster, since all but 150 men of the force were either killed or captured within three days.

7. L’armee Clandestine
In 1962, CIA agents recruited Meo tribesmen living in the mountains of Laos to fight as guerrillas against Communist Pathet Lao forces. Called l’armee Clandestine, this unit – paid, trained, and supplied by the CIA – grew into a 30,000 man force. By 1975 the Meos – who had numbers a quarter million in 1962 – had been reduced to 10,000 refugees fleeing into Thailand.

8. Nung Mercenaries
A Chinese hill people living in Vietname, the Nungs were hired and organised by the CIA as a mercenary force, during the Vietnam war. Fearsome and brutal fighters, the Nungs were employed throughout Vietnam and along the Ho Chi Minh Trail. The Nungs proved costly since they refused to fight unless constantly supplied with beer and prostitutes.

9. Peruvian Regiment
Unable to quell guerrilla forces in its eastern Amazonian provinces, Peru called on the US for help in the mid-1960s. The CIA responded by establishing a fortified camp in the area and hiring local Peruvians who were trained by Green Beret personnel on loan from the US army. After crushing the guerrillas, the elite unit was disbanded because of fears it might stage a coup against the government.

10. Congo Mercenary Force
In 1964, during the Congolese Civil War, the CIA established an army in the Congo to back pro-Western leaders Cyril Adoula and Joseph Mobutu. The CIA imported European mercenaries and Cuban pilots – exiles from Cuba – to pilot the CIA air force, composed of transports and B-26 Bombers.

11. The Cambodian Coup
For over 15 years, the CIA had tried various unsuccessful means of deposing Cambodia’s left-leaning Prince Norodom Sihanouk, including assassination attempts. However, in March, 1970, a CIA-backed coup finally did the job. Funded by US tax dollars, armed with US weapons, and trained by American Green Berets, anti-Sihanouk forces called Kampuchea Khmer Krom (KKK) overran the capital of Phnom Penh and took control of the government. With the blessing of the CIA and the Nixon administration, control of Cambodia was placed in the hands of Lon Nol, who would later distinguish himself by dispatching soldiers to butcher tens of thousands of civilians.

12. Kurd Rebels
During the early 1970s the CIA moved into eastern Iraq to organize and supply the Kurds of that area, who were rebelling against the pro-Soviet Iraqi government. The real purpose behind this action was to help the shah of Iran settle a border dispute with Iraq favourably. After an Iranian-Iraq settlement was reached, the CIA withdrew its support from the Kurds, who were then crushed by the Iraqi Army.

13. Angola Mercenary Force
In 1975, after years of bloody fighting and civil unrest in Angola, Portugal resolved to relinquish its hold on the last of its African colonies. The transition was to take place on November 11, with control of the country going to whichever political faction controlled the capital city of Luanda on that date. In the months preceding the change, three groups vied for power: the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), the National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA) and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA). By July 1975, the Marxist MPLA had ousted the moderate FNLA and UNITA from Luanda, so the CIA decided to intervene covertly. Over $30 million was spent on the Angolan operation, the bulk of the money going to buy arms and pay French and South African mercenaries, who aided the FNLA and UNITA in their fight. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, US officials categorically denied any involvement in the Angolan conflict. In the end, it was a fruitless military adventure, for the MPLA assumed power and controls Angola to this day.

14. Afghan Mujaheedin
Covert support for the groups fighting against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan began under President Jimmy Carter in 1979, and was stepped up during the administration of Ronald Reagan. The operation succeeded in its initial goal, as the Soviets were forced to begin withdrawing their forces in 1987. Unfortunately, once the Soviets left, the US essentially ignored Afghanistan as it collapsed into a five-year civil war followed by the rise of the ultra-fundamentalist Taliban. The Taliban provided a haven for Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda, the perpetrators of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001.

15. Salvadoran Death Squads
As far back as 1964, the CIA helped form ORDEN and ANSESAL, two paramilitary intelligence networks that developed into the Salvadoran death squads. The CIA trained ORDEN leaders in the use of automatic weapons and surveillance techniques, and placed several leaders on the CIA payroll. The CIA also provided detailed intelligence on Salvadoran individuals later murdered by the death squads. During the civil war in El Salvador from 1980 to 1992, the death squads were responsible for 40,000 killings. Even after a public outcry forced President Reagan to denounce the death squads in 1984, CIA support continued.

16. Nicaraguan Contras
On November 23, 1981, President Ronald Reagan signed a top secret National Security Directive authorising the CIA to spend $19 million to recruit and support the Contras, opponents of Nicaragua’s Sandinista government. In supporting the Contras, the CIA carried out several acts of sabotage without the Congressional intelligence committees giving consent – or even being informed beforehand. In response, Congress passed the Boland Amendment, prohibiting the CIA from providing aid to the Contras. Attempts to find alternate sources of funds led to the Iran-Contra scandal. It may also have led the CIA and the Contras to become actively involved in drug smuggling. In 1988, the Senate Subcommittee on Narcotics, Terrorism, and International Operations concluded that individuals in the Contra movement engaged in drug trafficking; that known drug traffickers provided assistance to the Contras; and that ‘there are some serious questions as to whether or not US officials involved in Central America failed to address the drug issue for fear of jeopardizing the war effort against Nicaragua’.

17. Haitian Coup
In 1988, the CIA attempted to intervene in Haiti’s elections with a ‘covert action program’ to undermine the campaign of the eventual winner, Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Three years later, Aristide was overthrown in a bloody coup that killed more than 4,000 civilians. Many of the leaders of the coup had been on the CIA payroll since the mid-1980s. For example, Emmanuel ‘Toto’ Constant, the head of FRAPH, a brutal gang of thugs known for murder, torture, and beatings, admitted to being a paid agent of the CIA. Similarly, the CIA-created Haitian National Intelligence Service (NIS), supposedly created to combat drugs, functioned during the coup as a ‘political intimidation and assassination squad.’ In 1994, an American force of 20,000 was sent to Haiti to allow Aristide to return. Ironically, even after this, the CIA continued working with FRAPH and the NIS. In 2004, Aristide was overthrown once again, with Aristide claiming that US forces had kidnapped him.

18. Venezuelan Coup Attempt
On April 11, 2002, Venezuelan military leaders attempted to overthrow the country’s democratically-elected left-wing president, Hugo Chavez. The coup collapsed after two days as hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets and as units of the military joined with the protestors. The administration of George W. Bush was the only democracy in the Western Hemisphere not to condemn the coup attempt. According to intelligence analyst Wayne Madsen, the CIA had actively organised the coup: ‘The CIA provided Special Operations Group personnel, headed by a lieutenant colonel on loan from the US Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, to help organise the coup against Chavez.

Mission not Impossible for John Yettaw

Your mission: neutralize Aung San Suu Kyi’s eligibility for Myanmar’s upcoming elections, to assure the uninterrupted political instability critical to western oil and mining industries, your sponsors.

Swim to the compound of Aung San Suu Kyi, impose yourself and force the populist icon to violate the terms of her 20-year house arrest, thus giving her jailers cause to extend her imprisonment. The US government will disavow your employment, but if you act the sufficient fool, your extraction will be effected by fellow veteran, now senator, Jim Webb, whose visit with the Burma junta will initiate a formalization of relations with their criminal regime. It may sound confusing to Freedom and Democracy fans.

Where peoples and their governments behave autonomously in defiance of global pillage, the US promotes “reform.” Where professional militaries undo elections under the pretext of “corruption,” the US stands by. For example, Iran’s rebuke of US hegemony: needs reform; Honduras slipping to the Left: undo reform. Will Senator Webb next be stopping by Honduras to legitimize their recent military coup as well?

Can Clinton charm Obama into freeing civilians falsely accused in Guantanamo?

You’d think the international community could have thought to do it. Ambassadorship 101: send convivial fat man to make entreaties. The US has enjoyed outrageous success springing its non-combatant innocent- trespasser media-propagandists from Iran and North Korea. The so-called axes of evil have granted special pardons to accommodate air-brained Americans, lest our public opinion start crying for blood. Evil has more grace than the US has shown for its innocent detainees in Guantanamo, which it force-feeds through hunger-strikes as they protest indefinite and wrongful internment. But when our enemies release their captives, we call it saving face.

Now of course Iran is faced with the capture of three more itinerants, hikers Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd and Joshua Fattal. And lo, Bauer is now revealed to be a journalist for New American Media. Easily confused with Laura Ling and Euna Lee’s “Current Media LLC?”

[UPDATE 1: NOW TWO of the hikers are known to be journalists, having reported about Genocide in Darfur and the Golan Heights, among other US State Dept approved stories.
UPDATE 2: NOW media mouthpieces are expressing fears that delicate information carried by Laura Ling and Euna Lee about North Korea escape routes was uncovered by their NK captors. Meaning… uh, Ling and Lee were actually working against NK interests after all?]

The three –how improbable– Berkeley grads were apprehended where the US military has long admitted to be operating special forces. Are we to expect that all US commandos do not have a media-ready cover? What are the Delta Forces but American recreation nuts, crazy for outdoor hardship and manly games with knives and balaclavas?

Only Burma stand obstinate, determined that Mormon-playing-idiot John Yettaw, is more a bumbling Hasenfus than an Aung San Suu Kyi groupie. The bumbling, epileptic ideologue archetype serves America well when its intelligence agents are apprehended. Was Yettaw trying to spring Suu Kyi, or was he there to trip the wires and send the iconic freedom worker to prison?

Name is Yettaw, John Hasenfus Yettaw.

John William Yeattaw takes self-portrait before swimming Yangon Inya Lake to see dissident Aung San Suu KyiUgly American John William Yettaw snapped this picture of himself before swimming across a Burmese lake to meet with detained Myanmar democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Yettaw claims to be writing an inspirational book on heroes and was apprehended on his return lap. Now Suu Kyi is facing charges of violating the conditions of her house arrest.
 
The last time a faceless middle-aged American bungled into world events, his funny name was Eugene Hasenfus, another pot-bellied religious Vietnam vet, who turned out to be a private contractor for the CIA. Could Yettaw have been plumbing covert communications equipment in anticipation of Suu Kyi’s role in Myanmar’s upcoming elections, or was Yettaw intended to trip the wire?

Gore says 2009 is Turning Point in Environment Battle- Isn’t that a bunch of complete nonsense?

al gore aglowThe DP liberals over at the Common Dreams website are out there pushing Al Gore dope off on us once again.

To the liberal ‘Peace’crat voter, somehow they have remade in their own minds Al Gore out to be the MAX ‘Green’, who is then made to stand alongside that MAX ‘Peacenic’, Jimmy ‘Peanut Butter’ Carter, always the two out under the spotlight as neo Democratic Party Saints!

Here it is then… Gore: 2009 Turning Point in Environment Battle …WTF? Not hardly, Al. Not even by a long shot! What a dope! And what a Democratic Party hack!

If you’re not on CD’s no fly shun list feel free to write them about pee GREEN Al. I did, and my comment is listed at #5 on the list of comments. I wonder if it will be removed? (I’m hoping that CD has gotten away from that sort of thing though???)

Just in case, here below are my remarks about Al Gore there.
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Gore, wasn’t he the ‘environmentalist’ who administered 8 years of economic war against the children of Iraq? YES! Now I remember him! He also began the fencing off and militarization of The Border between the US and Mexico, too. He is some sort of Green for sure! He and his Administration friends, Silvestre Reyes and Madelyn Albright.

Wait, something about oil in Colombia, too? And here’s Al in March this year…

‘I’m not a reflexive opponent of nuclear. I used to be enthusiastic about it, but I’m now sceptical about it.’

Well, YES, Al! My you’ve changed! Or have you really?

‘Yes, there is [more appetite for nuclear power now]. And because of the carbon crisis there will be more nuclear plants built and some of those being retired will be replaced by others. I think it will play a somewhat larger role, but it will not be the main option chosen.’

YES, such scepticism!

‘. People have said for years that there are now completely different [nuclear] technologies. OK, but if you have a team of scientists that can build a reactor, and you’re a dictator, you can make them work at night to build a nuclear weapon. That’s what’s happened in North Korea and Iran. And in Libya before they gave it up. So the idea of, say, Chad, Burma, and Sudan having lots of nuclear reactors is insane and it’s not going to happen.’

Let’s go to war, Gore! It’s the ‘green’ thing to do and now I see what a great environmentalist you are! You’re against nuclear power in Iran and Chad and Burma! Of course, but here it will be an option, but just maybe not ‘the major option’?

(Remarks taken from a Leo Hickman interview with Gore for the UK Guardian)
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And a final comment about Al Gore not put on CD just yet from The Tennessee Center for policy Research a comment titled

Al Gore’s Personal Energy Use Is His Own “Inconvenient Truth”
Gore’s home uses more than 20 times the national average

He says he’s fixed all that up though, using his own company, Generation Investment Management. He hopes to turn a nice profit in the eco- Business World while saving the planet for the Democratic Party!

Who should cast stones at the Chinese?

Free Tibet banner hung near Bird Nest Stadium BeijingActivist hung this FREE TIBET banner in Beijing. To whom is it addressed? It’s in English.
 
I’ll say it again. I would leave criticism of the Chinese over Darfur, Burma and Tibet, to advocates with some moral authority. Perhaps activists from countries not actively engaged in genocide.

How unbecoming really, of Americans, Canadian and Brits to point the finger at China for its links to the deaths of Sudanese, Burmese and Tibetans, while we have the blood of over a million Iraqis and Afghans on our hands! Our OWN hands! Westerners also have the blood of countless millions of African AIDS victims to whom we refuse our medicines. How ever in the world IS IT OUR PLACE to admonish China, when we are not stepping up to arrest our own governments?!

Do you know who is behind the FREE TIBET and SAVE DARFUR efforts? The Western governments! Those “grass-roots” efforts are fully funded. They are media endorsed. SKY TV coverage of Free Tibet action Look at this Canadian TV coverage. They offer up the protest group website! Since when have you known mainstream media to publicize activist websites?!

The Tibet/Darfur campaigns are aimed at US/UK audiences, to mobilize English speaking populations against China, our chief rival to Western empire.

Before China’s 8-8-8 was Burma’s 8888

Repression in BurmaThe superlatives were flying at the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Hyperbowl: it was China’s defining moment of the modern age, on, the newscasters said, “eight eight of o’ eight.” But before 888 in Beijing was August 8 of 1988 in Rangoon, known as the 8888 Uprising. This movement for democratic reform in Burma was brutally suppressed by General Ne Win who directed that his soldiers’ “Guns were not to shoot upwards.” This resulted in the massacre of 3,000 students and priests and a military coup which survives today, supported by the Chinese government.

China’s Olympic image makeover redux

Beijing 1989 Tiananmen Square
I replaced the dancing figure in China’s Olympic emblem with the red motorcycle crushed by tanks at the Tiananmen Square Massacre.

The heavy red outline around the figure above the official Beijing 2008 logo resembles a Chinese written character, but it could also be blood pooled around the chalk outline of a body.
beijing-olympic-tibet-shame.jpg
Here’s what some activist artists conceived for an Olympic logo to commemorate the Chinese repression of Tibet. They placed massacred Buddhist monks around the red seal. They could just as easily be referring to the monks killed in Burma by the authoritarian military junta which is supported by China.

Tiananmen Square before Olympic spirit

Beijing 2008 boycott
Human rights activists are crying foul about China’s role in Tibet and Burma. Here’s a illustrated time-line of the events which led to the totalitarian repression of the Tiananmen protests of 1989. Reprinted from Christus Rex.

Beijing Spring -A look back at the 1989 Spring that impacted a nation. Visit original website to see archival video footage from the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather.

April 15
Hu YaobangFormer Communist Party chief Hu Yaobang, a leading reformist, dies of a heart attack at the age of 73. Students at Beijing University put up posters praising Hu that indirectly criticize the opponents who forced his resignation following student demonstrations in 1986-87.
 

Students marchApril 17
Thousands of students march in Beijing and Shanghai shouting “long live Hu Yaobang, long live democracy, long live freedom, long live the rule of law.”
 

 

April 18
2,000 students from Beijing bicycle into Tiananmen Square and protest before the Great Hall of the People. Student leaders, including Wang DanIncluded in their demands for democratic reforms is the repudiation of official campaigns against freedom of the press.

April 21
Crowds of up to 100,000 demonstators gather in Tiananmen Square to mourn Hu.
Policeman supporting students

April 22
Students defy police orders to leave the square, while riots break out in the provincial capitals of Xian and Changsha. Official memorial ceremonies are held for Hu at the Great Hall of the People.

Student strike at Beijing University
 
 
 
April 23
Beijing students announce a boycott of university classes.
 

April 24
Tens of thousands of students at Beijing universities go on strike, demanding a dialog with the government.

Student rally in the squareApril 27
Bolstered by broad-based support, more than 150,000 students surge past police lines and fill Tiananmen Square, chanting slogans for democracy and freedom.

April 29
Government officials meet with student leaders, but independent student groups say they will continue a class boycott at 41 university campuses in Beijing.

May 2
6,000 students march in Shanghai.

May 4
100,000 students and supporters march on Tiananmen square to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Student hunger strike China’s first student movement, while similar demonstrations are held in Shanghai, Nanjing and other cities. 300 journalists protest outside the official Xinhua News Agency.

May 9
Journalists petition the government for freedom of the press.

May 13
2,000 students begin a hunger strike in Tiananmen Square.

Rally on the eve of GorbachevMay 15
Government deadline for students to leave the square comes and goes. A welcoming ceremony for Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s state visit is moved to the airport.

tienanmen-12-rally.jpgMay 16
Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators occupy the square.

May 18
One million people march in support of the hunger strikers. Li PengLi Peng, Premier of the State Council, issues a stern warning to student leaders and refuses to discuss their demands.

May 19
Zhoa ZiyangA tearful Zhao Ziyang, China’s General Secretary, makes a pre-dawn visit to weakened hunger strikers. Li also visits the students briefly. In the evening the students decide to end the hunger strike, but quickly change their mind when Li and President Yang Shangkun announce martial law. Zhao reportedly resigns or is ousted from power after failing to convince Li and others to compromise.

Yang ShangkunMay 20, 1989
Chinese authorities ‘pull the plug’ on Dan Rather who is reporting live from Beijing.

May 28
About 80,000 people (mostly students from outside the capital) demonstrate but, unlike past rallies, few workers participate.
Goddess of Democracy
May 30
Students unveil their “Goddess of Democracy,” a replica of the Statue of Liberty, on the square. The government calls it an insult to the nation.

May 31
Farmers and workers stage the first of several pro-government rallies in Beijing’s suburbs.

June 1
The Beijing Municipal Government bans all foreign press coverage of the demonstrations.

June 3
Tens of thousands of troops advance on the city shortly after midnight, but are repulsed by residents who put up barricades. PLA troops stopped by civilians By the afternoon 5,000 troops appear outside the Great Hall of the People, but are again surrounded and stopped. In the final assault that evening, troops shoot and beat their way to the square.

Taping the beginnings of the massacre, correspondent Richard Roth is arrested.

June 4
Troops occupy the square and smash the “Goddess of Democracy” with tanks. The shooting continues with soldiers periodically firing on crowds gathered on the outskirts of the square. Residents set fire to more than 100 military trucks and armored personnel carriers. The government claims the “counterrevolutionary riots” have been suppressed. Meanwhile, riots break out in southwestern Chengdu.

Richard Roth is released and reports further on the night’s violence.
PLA troops confront civilians
June 5
There are reports of clashes between rival military groups around Beijing. President Bush condemns the “bloody and violent” crackdown and orders a suspension of U.S. military sales and contacts with the Chinese government.

June 5, 1989
Richard Roth reports: one anonymous man stops a column of 18 tanks.
Wounded civilian
June 6
Foreign embassies advise their nationals to leave China. The government says 300 people were killed and 7,000 injured in the crackdown, but claims most of the dead were soldiers. There are more reports of clashes between military units. Six people are killed in Shanghai when a train runs through a barricade. The U.S. State Department announces that dissident Fang Lizhi and his wife have sought refuge in the U.S. Embassy.
An advancing tank
June 7
Troops, responding to what they say is sniper fire, shoot into a foreign diplomatic compound. The United States and other governments order the mandatory evacuation of dependents of diplomatic personnel.

June 8
Premier Li Peng appears in public for the first time since the crackdown to congratulate troops.
Deng Xiaoping
June 9
China’s leader Deng Xiaoping appears for the first time since May 16. In a speech to military officers he blames the turmoil on counterrevolutionaries attempting to overthrow communism.

Motorcycle crushed by a tankJune 10
Beijing authorities announce the arrest of more than 400 people, including student and labor leaders.

June 11
The government issues a warrant for the arrest of Fang Lizhi and his wife, saying they committed crimes of “counterrevolutionary propaganda and instigation.” Fang Lizhi

June 12
The government bans all independent student and labor organizations and says police and soldiers should shoot all “rioters and counterrevolutionaries.”PLA tank on patrol

June 13
The government issues a wanted list for 21 student activists who led the democracy movement.
Student leader Wang Dan

June 14
China orders the expulsion of Associated Press reporter John Pomfret and Voice of America Bureau Chief Alan Pessin.

June 15
Three Shanghai men are sentenced to death for burning a train that ran over protesters. The nationwide arrest total reaches above 1,000.
Soldiers seen through window of burned vehicle
June 17
A Beijing court sentences eight people to death for attacking soldiers and burning vehicles during the June 3-4 assault.

June 18
Politburo member Qiao Shi appears prominently in the official media, adding to speculation the party security man will replace Zhao.

A burned tank
June 20
The government nullifies all exit permits in an apparent attempt to stop fugitives from leaving the country.

Burma refusing USAID military advisors

“Myanmar military seize aid shipment.” As opposed to …? Who’s supposed to seize it then? We distribute aid using soldiers. Can’t they?

Not that the western media shouldn’t want to stack the deck against the Burmese junta, but isn’t Burma’s forced labor, brutality and repressive military rule reason enough to foment our disapproval? I say the headlines have been looking more and more like US calls for Darfur intervention. Cyclone casualty figures went from 800 to thousands to 20,000 and now 100k. Without NGOs being able to get in and say exactly. The numbers escalate like a bidder eager to overcome the seller’s reluctance. What figure will launch an outcry suitable to relax Myanmar’s borders?

Does Myanmar want to retain its sovereign privacy so much as prevent western influence from arming potential rebels in the countryside?

Myanmar’s leaders are refusing to permit entrance to US aid workers, so we’re told. While that sounds synonymous to saying they don’t want Americans distributing the aid, it really means quite precisely they don’t want USAID personnel. For some odd reason, our media report “US aid” and USAID as synonymous, even though USAID stands for U.S. Agency for International Development, not “aid.” USAID is a branch of the US government, widely accused of being linked to the CIA. Venezuelan opposition groups were funded by USAID. The same has been going on in Cuba.

Where the Peace Corps was avowedly not affiliated with the US State Department, it was famously used by the CIA. The US government agency USAID, which deploys military crews, is the emergency philanthropic arm of the world trade lending system. It’s full of capitalist partisans, and hooked up, in intelligence parlance.

The iron fist of the marketplace

Burmese priests protestThink you’re the only one who’s come to the conclusion that the average person can be relied upon only as far as you can drag him by the ear? Do you lament that the common sense of common heads put together adds up to a hill of beans?

If you think you know better, your challenge might be to cajole or inform, in hopes of motivating the herd, where others high on the food chain would simply ride roughshod.

Burmese monks leave their sandals behindI find it odd to use animal kingdom analogies to explain human behavior when Homo Sapiens comprise neither competing species, genus, class or phyla stalking each other.

Of the nurture versus nature, I mean carrot versus stick herd management option, which approach do you observe governments most often employ? In public schools it’s authoritarian, on the streets it’s civility so long as people submit appropriately to their fleecing. But as recent events have shown, dissent has meant government reaction with black gloves, masks, armor padding, truncheons, and low tech brutality. Every aspect something you’d expect more from those traditional masters of persuasive communication, the mobsters.

The people most alarmed by totalitarian repression are the educated class who over the centuries have fought for every liberty their overlords were forced to yield. The working classes represented the leverage used to negotiate each concession, and thus came along for the ride. But its muscled ranks have always served as the labor pool for the thugs the governors would use to fight any progressive reformers.

Your police departments all have riot gear to don in the event of civil disturbances. Can you say you’ve approved of their harsh measures in the event of your getting hysterical? That equipment isn’t for soccer hooligans, it’s to break strikes and beat back political assemblies.

We’ve seen police around the world fire on crowds assembled peaceably in Burma, Mexico, Tibet and Iraq. In New Orleans we’ve seen police taser crowds of people just like us, who wanted to protest a public meeting where the decision was being made to condemn their houses.

If you think massacres are beyond the pale for our corporate overlord class, think again. If they can do it without inciting a mass rebellion, they will. The independent minded people of East Timor were massacred with US weapons and the tacit complicity of a media which let it happen off camera. So long as you don’t see it, it doesn’t bother anyone’s conscience apparently. Children labor as slaves in Bangladesh, Africa and Asia for our corporations. You don’t see it, so it’s not a problem. For the profit-mongers all corporate genocide is OK, be it by economic starvation, accident, contamination, or pollution. If you could understood the depravity inherent in their exploitation of world poverty and its resources, can you doubt they’d hesitate to fire live rounds into a crowd who threatened their rule?

Burma, Chevron, the US, and China

Burma lies politically and geographically sandwiched between the 3 major encroaching powers of India, China, and the US. See India cuts to the chase in Myanmar

The country’s military rulers have tried to maintain some semblance of internal control over the national economy by brutally suppressing its own population, which is deeply divided along ethnic lines. All this began to fall apart when the regime was forced to more than double fuel prices this August, prices which had been previously held artificially lower than world world prices. Thus, the rebellion began.

In effect, the country is becoming yet another US-China battle line in the military and economic struggle for position to control world fuel sources. In the center smack dab, is Chevron, which owns the major source of fuel produced by the country Let’s hope that somewhere in all this international propaganda battle to place blame, that the Myanmar people themselves can gain control over their own country, and keep it independent of US, Chinese, and national military control.

Otpor and the US made coup attempts against Chavez in Venezuela

As a leader of Otpor (now called Canvas) meets with people in Colorado Springs and at Colorado College, it might be of interest to follow the trail of Otpor to Venezuela, and efforts of the US to overthrow Hugo Chavez there.

Contrary to how Otpor represents itself, it is not just a group of nice Serbian student leaders from Belgrade, that through Gandhi inspired tactics non-violently overthrew Milosevic in the wake of a very violent US war on Yugoslavia. The story is quite a bit more complex than that, so we follow their trail to Venezuela.

To understand the following Reuters report dated back in 2003, though, one must first realize that Otpor is connected with ‘The Albert Einstein Institute’ of which Colonel Robert Helvey is an integral part of. This is a US government run operation designed to link Gandhian methods of nonviolent protest to Pentagon and US State Department efforts to overthrow foreign governments. Hence, we move from Belgrade to Caracas as the US government goes after Hugo Chavez. It’s Gandhi in the service of the Pentagon to help make a coup!
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US democracy expert teaches Venezuelan opposition
By Pascal Fletcher

CARACAS, Venezuela, April 30, 2003 (Reuters) – Retired U.S. army colonel Robert Helvey has trained pro-democracy activists in several parts of the world so he knows something about taking on military regimes and political strongmen.

Now he is imparting his skills in Venezuela, invited by opponents of President Hugo Chavez who accuse the leftist leader of ruling like a dictator in the world’s No. 5 oil exporter.

Helvey, who has taught young activists in Myanmar and Serbian students who helped topple the former Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic in 2000, is giving courses on non-violent opposition tactics this week at an east Caracas university.

Secrecy surrounds the classes. A sign outside the door, apparently there to deflect the curious, reads: “Seminar on strategic marketing.”

But the strategies Helvey is sharing with some of Chavez’s foes focuses not on balance sheets but on how to resist, oppose and change a government without the use of bombs and bullets.

After initially declining to answer questions, Helvey, a former U.S. military attache in Burma and now a consultant with the private U.S. Albert Einstein Institution that promotes non-violent action in conflicts, told Reuters non-violence was the key to the tactics he taught.

“In every political conflict, there is a potential for violence, and it is incumbent on leaders to make sure they don’t cross the threshold of violence,” he said.

Organizers of the seminar did not welcome journalists. “This is a private meeting of friends,” one said.

The attendees included representatives of Venezuela’s broad-based but fragmented opposition, who are struggling to regroup after failing to force Chavez from office in an anti-government strike in December and January.

Chavez, a fiery populist first elected in 1998, survived a brief coup last year by dissident military officers who now form part of the opposition movement, which also includes labor and business chiefs, politicians and anti-Chavez civic groups.

CHAVEZ, DEMOCRAT OR DICTATOR?

Opposition sources said Helvey was invited to Caracas by a group of businessmen and professionals. They in turn organized the course involving a broad cross-section of the opposition.

Helvey’s presence comes at a time when a debate is raging inside and outside Venezuela about whether Chavez is a democrat or a power-hungry autocrat. That debate is important for the United States, which is a major buyer of Venezuelan oil.

Chavez’s critics portray him as a dangerous, anti-U.S. maverick who has extended his personal political control of the country’s political institutions, judiciary and armed forces.

They say he has strengthened his country’s ties with anti-U.S. states like communist Cuba, Iran, Libya and — until the U.S.-led invasion toppled Saddam Hussein — Iraq.

Since the April 2002 coup that briefly overthrew him, Chavez’s relations with the United States have remained edgy. The U.S. government has fiercely denied accusations from some Venezuelan officials that it encouraged or supported the coup.

Chavez fiercely condemned the invasion of Iraq. But Venezuelan oil shipments to the U.S. have kept on flowing.

The Venezuelan leader, who was elected to office six years after failing to seize power in a botched coup, denies he is a communist, says his government is democratic and regularly pillories his opponents as “terrorists” and “coup-mongers.”

His foes have staged huge, anti-Chavez street protests over the last 18 months. He portrays them as a wealthy, resentful elite opposed to his self-styled “revolution” which he says aims to benefit the oil-rich nation’s poor majority.

Neither Helvey nor the organizers of the Caracas seminar would give details of exactly what opposition tactics were being taught. But in his work in Serbia before Milosevic’s fall, Helvey briefed students on ways to organize a strike and on how to undermine the authority of a dictatorial regime.

In the mid 1990s, he traveled to the Thailand/Myanmar border to give classes in non-violent resistance to exiled Burmese students opposing the military junta in their country.

His former students remember him as “Bob.”

“He used his military skills in strategic planning for non-violent protest methods … Everybody was fascinated by Bob, because he was a military man and was applying that to non-violence,” Aung Naing Oo, former foreign secretary for the All Burma Students Democratic Front, told Reuters.

A spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Caracas told Reuters the embassy knew nothing about Helvey’s visit and had nothing to do with the secretive seminar.
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Oh, yes, for sure. lol… This article, interestingly enough, is from ‘Burma Related News’. It’s a small world it does appear.

http://www.burmalibrary.org/TinKyi/archives/2003-05/msg00000.html