American interventionists learned a lesson from Iraq: pre-empt the debate. Now everyone is for regime change.
By Matt Taibbi and cross-posted from Rolling Stone.
The United States has just suspended flights to Venezuela. Per the New York Times:
CARACAS — The United States banned all air transport with Venezuela on Wednesday over security concerns, further isolating the troubled South American nation…
A disinterested historian — Herodotus raised from the dead — would see this as just the latest volley in a siege tale. America has been trying for ages to topple the regime of President Nicholas Maduro, after trying for years to do the same to his predecessor, Hugo Chavez.
The new play in the Trump era involves recognizing Juan Guaidó as president and starving and sanctioning the country. Maduro, encircled, has been resisting.
The American commercial news landscape, in schism on domestic issues, is in lockstep here. Every article is seen from one angle: Venezuelans under the heel of a dictator who caused the crisis, with the only hope a “humanitarian” intervention by the United States.
There is no other perspective. Media watchdog FAIR just released results of a study of three months of American opinion pieces. Out of 76 editorials in the New York Times, Washington Post, the “big three Sunday morning talk shows” or PBS News Hour, zero came out against the removal of Maduro. They wrote:
“Corporate news coverage of Venezuela can only be described as a full-scale marketing campaign for regime change.”
Allowable opinion on Venezuela ranges from support for military invasion to the extreme pacifist end of the spectrum, as expressed in a February op-ed by Dr. Francisco Rodriguez and Jeffrey Sachs called “An Urgent Call for Compromise in Venezuela”:
“We strongly urge… a peaceful and negotiated transition of power rather than a winner-take-all game of chicken…”
So we should either remove Maduro by force, or he should leave peaceably, via negotiation. These are the options…