Letters: 2/28/19

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On Venezuela

In today’s mainstream media, meaning among Hillary Clinton Democrats and all Republicans, Trump’s aggression against Venezuela is being viewed as a bold stroke for human freedom. But Venezuelan rightists are more fascist than freedom fighter, and unfolding here is another ugly episode in “regime change” and modern American empire. Washington’s rationales are preposterous, particularly its claims to have international law on its side.

An analogy: somewhere, from this world or elsewhere, there is an immensely powerful nation; its military power dwarfs even ours; it doesn’t like the United States, or at least, our government. Thus, SuperNation launches an economic blockade against our country, crippling us. It claims it’s doing this for the most noble reasons, mind you: they’re incensed at the way President Trump is treating the American people. And in their deep compassion for us, they want to help, to be a good and strong older brother who will see that right is done.

So, of course, they decide to recognize House Speaker Pelosi as our new president. She’s delighted, can’t stop passionately pounding her chest, her heart pulsating with “liberty” and “freedom!” Incredibly, many other governments, often at the insistence of SuperNation, now recognize Pelosi as our legitimate president.

But there’s resistance from some misguided souls in the American military and among a huge portion of the people; thus, SuperNation decides to send 5 million troops to sit on the Canadian border — for our own good, of course. As for generals who haven’t yet gone over to the “good guys,” they can be bought for five million apiece — mere pocket change for SuperNation. Congratulations, President Pelosi! And thank you, compassionate SuperNation, for saving us from the “bad guys.”

What our analogy leaves out is SuperNation’s desire to control Venezuela’s oil. Thus, Trump’s National Security Advisor, John Bolton, says overthrowing Venezuela’s government will allow American oil companies to “really invest in and produce the oil capabilities in Venezuela.”

And how is it that democracy, the rule of a nation by its people, can mean submitting to the domination of a foreign power? Just what kind of “democracy” are we fostering in Venezuela? I believe the phrase is “puppet government.”

Those living in imperial nations are taught to believe that they’re making the world a better place, doing something noble and humanitarian. But there’s nothing vaguely democratic, humanitarian, decent or kind about running an empire; it’s the moral equivalent of owning slaves and running a plantation. Let’s free our “slaves” and wash the blood of neo-colonialism off our nation’s hands. Negotiations in Venezuela (as endorsed by the Vatican, Mexico and Uruguay) and an end to the blockade and all forms of aggression against that nation.

Paul Dougan/Boulder

Danish wrong on the Green New Deal

Once again, Paul Danish seems more interested in scoring rhetorical points than providing realistic ideas to address the problems we face (Re: “The Green New Deal and the mother of all Kinsley gaffes,” Danish Plan, Feb. 14, 2019).

You know what? Nobody of consequence — left, right, center or otherwise — is going to support policies that provide income to those unwilling to work.

You know what else? Scientists tell us we are running out of time to prevent an absolute climate catastrophe. We’re already seeing a drying of Colorado’s climate, devastating fires and heat waves in California, and more powerful hurricanes. The humanitarian disasters in Syria and Yemen are partly the result of droughts caused by climate change. In a few years we’ll see refugees from regions with inundated coastlines. 

This is not hypothetical for the young people demanding action on climate and leading the effort for a Green New Deal. They’ll have to deal with what we’ve already seen, and much worse, for their entire lives.

Legions of those of us with kids, as well as those who just plain care, are working to leave our children a livable climate. We owe them nothing less, and a Green New Deal would be an outstanding down payment.

It’d be great if Paul Danish had something constructive to contribute. Right now he looks like a selfish bystander, sneering from the sidelines.

Eric Johnson/Boulder


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