After the purge of the strategist Steve Bannon from the ultra-nationalist entourage of Donald Trump by the troika of generals who took over the White House: James "Mad Dog" Mattis, Secretary of Defense; H.. R. McMaster, National Security Adviser, and John Kelly, Chief of Staff, the non-conventional and asymmetric war against Venezuela, partially declared by the President of the United States, could now pass to a new phase of military escalation.
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This would follow on from Trump’s conflictive and starkly imperialist discourse before the United Nations on 20 September, which twisted the concept of sovereignty, and named Iran, North Korea, Cuba and Venezuela as the new "Axis of Evil". It rekindled the more aggressive aspects of the military approach towards multiple and political wars of "regime change" as seen in the administrations of Bush/Clinton/Obama but now under the "Mattis Doctrine".
Trump said at the U.N. that he was prepared to take "new actions" against the "socialist dictatorship" of Nicolas Maduro. Washington already imposed financial sanctions against Venezuela and on Sunday 24 September included Venezuelan government officials in a list of countries with travel ban to the United States. Even last August, the administration run by the generals of the “puppet Trump” - as James Petras calls him - did not exclude the "military option".
In this context, it cannot be ruled out that on September 20, during "dinner à la carte" with his lapdogs Michel Temer of Brazil, Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia and Juan Carlos Varela of Panama, plus the Vice President of Argentina, Gabriela Michetti, Trump briefed them on some aspects of the military strategy designed by those colloquially called “my generals”. This would be the core of a new destabilizing, covert offensive that would facilitate a “humanitarian military intervention” in Venezuela.
The constitutional and legitimate government of Nicolas Maduro managed to survive 120 days (April-July 2017) of the most brutal bellicose offensive which, in the framework of a hybrid war, used terrorist agents, paramilitaries and organized crime. Simultaneous irregular tactics were employed, combined with the aggressive use of the latest technologies and an elite of experts in electronic warfare, virtual reality and "democratic" propaganda, in order to overthrow him.
It was just the latest phase in four years of a wide-ranging 4th Generation War – a concept that alludes to a combination of strategies in the era of information technology (optical fiber, cables, computers and electronic devices for the trafficking and generation of information) and global communications. This involves media converted into new armies of conquest or media units fighting a war without firing a bullet through the planned use of propaganda and psychological actions, aimed at controlling behavior for the purpose of mass social, political or military control.
With its hub as a strategy of full spectrum dominance the 4th Generation War against Venezuela included simultaneously and continuous psychological warfare (intelligence actions designed by experts in communication and mass psychology to generate a type of mental colonization to control society); the economic/financial war using hoarding and shortages by 20 transnational from the food and pharmaceutical sectors; manipulation of the exchange rate in illegal markets to wreck the economy and increase the country’s Risk Rating as a weapons of war, and so on.
There is cyber warfare (through social media such as Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, WhatsApp, Instagram), articulated with campaigns of white, gray and black propaganda expertly managed by the seven largest communication corporations that work with the same global ideology (Time Warner Corporation, General Electric, News Corporation, Sony Pictures, The Walt Disney Company, CBS Corporation and Bertelsmann). They work as a cartel controlling more than 70 percent of the global mass media (television, radio, print media and the private news website) and act as a policeman enforcing the dictatorship of neo-liberal thought (controlling the cultural superstructure), in addition to the political war led by the OAS of the ineffable Luis Almagro and the 12 countries of the so-called Lima Group, with Mexico as its figurehead.
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There is little doubt that Maduro, according to José Vicente Rangel, had been the most harassed and insulted President in the history of Venezuela, and an obsessive target of attacks by the US, the international right-wing and the opposition that rejects the alternative political Bolivarian project. This project embodies a mixed model that combines representative and participatory democracy. It includes communal councils and communes as well as a Constituent Assembly that are all part of a doctrinaire process that holds the people as the original citizens and which, after the 30 July this year, was fully activated in the shape of the National Constituent Assembly.
The right-wing attacks did not succeed, because with cunning, courage and decision, great strategic and tactical skills and a successful management of intelligence and the new technologies of communication, Maduro and his government team managed to abort several coups. Examples are violent street protests (guarimbas), maneuvers to undermine the loyalty of the military high command, economic war, and planned destabilizing hatched in specialized laboratories of the Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
But the defeat of the U.S. and its allies at this stage has also been possible because unlike the military institutions of other countries of the region (with the exception of Cuba) that have been conceived as forces for internal occupation, Venezuela has a Strategic Operational Command of the Bolivarian Armed Forces,, which for 12 years has a structure and a doctrine that is anti-imperialists, anti-oligarchic, humanistic and aimed at integrating Latin American.
Derived from the genius and the geopolitical vision of Commandante Hugo Chavez, who defined a new military strategy in 2004 based on the fact that the United States constituted a real threat for Venezuela, a civic-military union has been constructed, which has as one of its fundamental premises the active participation of the people in the comprehensive defense of the nation, under the principle of co-responsibility.
With that frame of reference, and to combat the threats from Trump, at the end of August, 200,000 soldiers of the Bolivarian Armed Forces, 700,000 militia, reservists and civilians participated in the military exercise named Bolivarian Sovereignty 2017. This was based on the conception that before a U.S. invasion could ensue, the armed forces would disperse -"we would become earth, air and water" - and lead a war of resistance.
Nonetheless, the Bolivarian victory at that stage, and taking into account the words of the theoretician of 4th Generation Warfare, William S. Lind, the United States is a one-party state: "the single party is the party of the establishment, which is also the party of permanent war for permanent peace". It is safe to say that the military junta that controls Donald Trump will not waver in its efforts to overthrow Maduro.
One option, says Rangel, is assassination - in other words, the physical elimination of Maduro. This is a variable managed by the big-mouth, Vicente Fox, the former Mexican President using his habitual mobster language. He stated that "Maduro will leave the Presidency with legs facing forward in a wooden box". Another option which is a new offensive by the presidential shills of the so-called Lima Group that is used by Washington is to manufacture a new version of the thesis of the "humanitarian crisis", peppered with false flag provocations on the border with Colombia.
In this context, we must not lose sight of the fact that at the beginning of November, the armies of the United States and Brazil will hold joint military exercises in the Amazon jungle, in a border area that includes Peru and Colombia. Such maneuvers could be aimed at accelerating “Mad Dog” Mattis’, McMaster’s and Kelly’s plans to produce regime change in Venezuela. If this option were to prosper, it would certainly transform South America into a new Afghanistan.
First published in Rebelión on Sept. 27, 2017.
Translated from Spanish by Arturo Rosales from Axis of Logic.