Re: Kozloff – It’s a hit piece on Chavez, and puff piece for Condi

Taken from Democratic Underground 

He tries to disguise the puff piece for Condi by calling her strategy
"divide and rule." But he'a actually FOR her strategy and presents it
in a very positive light. His hostility to Chavez is not disguised at
all. At every point, he chooses the most negative word he can to
describe what Chavez has said or done, even in neutral contexts–and he
omits highly relevant facts. Kozloff almost approaches Associated Puke
levels of Chavez bashing.

For instance:

"In line with his usual penchant for over the top rhetorical flourishes, Hugo Chávez of Venezuela
stressed the need for Mercosur to be 'decontaminated' from the ravages
of neo-liberal economics. Mercosur, noted the Venezuelan leader, was an
'outdated mechanism and is leaking like a sieve.' The trade bloc,
Chávez added, was 'founded in the context of a free- market economic
model and offers integration for the élites, for business, for
transnational companies, not integration for the peoples.' Such remarks
have riled the Bush White House which has come to distrust Mercosur, an
entity which has acted to block the corporate-friendly Free Trade Area
of the Americas." –Kozloff (emphasis added)

But are Chavez's
allegations true? Have "neo-liberal economics" ravaged South America?
Does South America need to be "decontaminated" because of it? These
things are quite true. Kozloff even admits it in the next paragraph
(that the U.S. neoliberal agenda is "in tatters"). Why then call
telling the truth "over the top rhetorical flourishes"?

And here it is again: "Rhetorically, Chávez rails against the market and globalization, thus sparking fear in Brazil that the Venezuelan leader will scare off investors from flocking to the region."

He "rails against the market"? Hell, American homeowners are starting to do that!
But it is not "railing." It is not "bombast." It is not "rhetorical."
It is a very good, legitimate, elected leader talking about the real
human pain of the vast poor majority of South America, which has been totally fucked over by "the market" and "globalisation."

More such Chavez-bashing: "In order to advance Venezuelan interests,
Chávez provides development assistance and oil at discount prices to
sympathetic regimes in the hemisphere. He has sought to bring Venezuela
into Mercosur and hopes to subvert the bloc from within , presumably by shifting the entity's focus from free trade to more equitable, reciprocal trade."

The first statement is not only inaccurate–Chavez has also provided cheap oil to the poor in the U.S., which is not
"a sympathetic regimes in the hemisphere"–but Kozloff also chooses the
most divisive-sounding motive–of many possible motives–that Chavez is
doing this "to advance Venezuelan interests." Yeah, that could and
should be part of Chavez policy. He is, after all, the President of
Venezuela! But he may also be implementing a wise, generous,
compassionate policy, aimed at relieving suffering. Why say that it is
only "to advance Venezuela's interests"? Why go out of your way to say
that, when you didn't need to ascribe a motive at all? Or why not use
words like "likely" or "seems," when you are describing someone else's
motives–something you cannot know?

Kozloff then uses the word
"subvert" to describe Chavez's interest in Venezuela joining Mercosur.
His interest is not to better Mercosur, not to influence it for the
good; it is to "subvert" it. "Subvert the bloc from within" is Joe
McCarthy anti-communist crusade language, which colors Chavez's motives
and makes them appear negative. An anti-war politician might run for
Congress in order to "subvert" Congress "from within" on its support
for the war, but is that the right way to put it? What would you be
trying to imply? That the politician is unamerican, is devious, is
opposed to something that is actually a good thing, and is trying to
weaken the institution (rather than strengthening it, by bringing it
more into alignment with the overwhelming views of the American
people). To state this without such coloration, you would say that the
politician intends to "work within" Congress to change war policy–not
"subvert" it "from within." And how does Kozloff know this–that
Chavez's intention is to "subvert" (weaken, undermine) Mercosur, and
not to "work within" Mercosur for better, more socially just policy?

This is over-the-top, rhetorically flourished writing!

And here is another. Kozloff's article is just rife with these hits on Chavez.

Brazil, the biggest thorn in Chávez's side has been the Senate, which
was outraged by Venezuela's refusal to renew Radio Caracas Televisión's
broadcast license; the station was a hotbed of opposition sentiment. Characteristically, Chávez flew off the handle and accused the Brazilian Senate of being subservient to the United States."

"Characteristically"? I don't think Chavez has ever
"flown off the handle"–at least never that I could tell, from
following events pretty closely. Indeed, his temper is
characteristically mild–doesn't hold grudges, doesn't try to "get" his
political enemies, even forgave the coup plotters of 2002, and sent all
the Colombian foot soldiers who had been assembled in Venezuela to
foment another coup and to assassinate him, back to Colombia without
prosecuting them for their illegal weapons caches. Lula da Silva,
president of Brazil, called him "the great peacemaker" for his actions
after the U.S./Colombia bombing/incursion against Ecuador, which almost
caused a war. No mention of that by Kozloff.

And consistent
with the above, Kozloff combines this gratuitous lie–that Chavez
"characteristically" flies off the handle–with a big black hole of
disinformation about RCTV. He says that RCTV was "a hotbed of
opposition sentiment." But there are many corporate
broadcasters in Venezuela that are rightwing hotbeds. Chavez only
denied a license renewal to ONE of them. Why? Because that station,
RCTV, had actively participated in the violent rightwing military coup
against the legitimate, elected government, in 2002, which suspended
the Constitution, the National Assembly, the courts and all civil
rights, as well as kidnapping Chavez and threatening his life. They
hosted this coup on RCTV! They doctored videotape to make it appear
that the Chavez government was shooting protesters.* Chavez may have
personally forgiven the coup plotters, but he could not permit the
PUBLIC airwaves in Venezuela to be used for ORGANIZING a coup against
the government! Good Lord, any democracy in the world would be more
than justified in pulling that license.

So, is it "flying off the handle" to say that those who echoed the Bushite line on this were serving the U.S.–or was it accurate?
Kozloff sides with the Bushites and their echoers, and doesn't even ask
if their condemnation of Chavez was justified. He himself is re-echoing
this whole bullshit line that Chavez somehow opposes free
speech–Chavez, who somehow survives, with huge popularity, in the most
virulently fascist corporate media culture in the hemisphere, and
perhaps in the world. And this supposed "leftist"–Kozloff–furthermore
doesn't ask the most important question: IS it "free speech" to
have global corporate predator news/entertainment monopolies
controlling virtually all of the public airwaves in a country (or,
indeed, in our hemosphere)?

I just want to mention, in
passing, Kozloff's failure to convey the genuinely warm and supportive
friendship between Chavez and Brazil's President, Lula da Silva.
Kozloff seems to go out of his way to mis-characterize this
relationship. I think that is very wrong–and serves Condi Rice's
"divide and rule" agenda yet again. He is also does a number on Nestor
Kirchner–painting him in the worst light possible–but I won't get
into that, because there is something worse in this article–or not in this article.

portrays Condi Rice's strategy in South America as a sort of "kinder,
gentler" Bushitism. He says the Bushites realize they have lost South
America and are now content to play little economic games, trying to
separate the good left from the bad left (the more "free
trade"-friendly left–Brazil, Chile–from the more socialist
left–Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Argentina). As if Bushite activities
in South America were a sort of ladies tea party, that rules the social
roost, but doesn't really affect people all that much.

This is
such bullshit, I can't believe it. Condi Rice's little tea party is
backed with lethal power. The biggest black hole in this article is the
complete absence of one word about the huge Bush-instigated military
build-up, with $5.5 BILLION of our tax dollars, in Colombia, and the
menace that this presents to the entire region, but most especially to
Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia and Argentina.

Colombia has the
one of the worst human rights records in the world–with recent
slaughters of union leaders and peaceful protesters, and a history over
the last half decade of the murders of thousands of union leaders,
political leftists, peasant farmers, human rights workers and
journalists. This is Condi Rice's and George Bush's and Donald
Rumsfeld's** good buddy in South America, and virtually their only
ally. And they mean to use it, and have used it, for hostilities
against the Bolivarian democracies. Their economic and military goals
are to destabilize these countries, topple their democratic, elected,
leftist leaders, install fascist regimes, and regain global corporate
predator control of the Andes oil fields.

Not one word about this in Kozloff's article.

The Bushites' strategy is not "divide and rule." It is "divide and conquer."
Kozloff treats Condi as if she were some sort of shepherdess, who wants
to herd all these unimportant little countries into her flock. Her
"rule." He leaves out the "conquer" part, where they're all herded into
a stadium and summarily executed. That is the Bushites' habit. That is
their intention. That is the design behind all their actions in South
America. They are failing in Iraq–it will never be stable enough to
steal the oil. China stopped them in Iran. So now they are after the
oil in South America. And it ain't going to be no tea party of "divide
and rule." It is going to be a war, this year. The first shots have
already been fired in Ecuador. This is what all the Bushite lies, and
psyops, and disinformation, and dirty tricks, and recent
destabilization efforts (including Exxon Mobil's recent effort to
freeze $12 billion in Venezuela's assets) have been about. The
relentless lie that Chavez is a "dictator." The more recent lie that
Chavez and President Rafael Correa of Ecuador are "terrorist-lovers."
All this crap in the Associated Puke press. It is preparation for war
in South America–just as surely as the lies about WMDs were
preparation for war on Iraq.

The Bushites are going to lose
this war–and leave us with a legacy of yet more hatred, added to their
other legacy of a $10 TRILLION deficit. But when did that ever stop
these war criminals?


*See "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" (at YouTube, or )

**"The Smart Way to Beat Tyrants Like Chávez," by Donald Rumsfeld, 12/1/07…

Also recommended:, and .