The Tragedy of Venezuela is the Tragedy of the US

Trump doesn’t give a farthing about Venezuela and is letting his underlings let slip the dogs of war in  so long as it secures Florida’s electoral votes for Trump 2020, says Lawrence Wilkerson.

By Lawrence Wilkerson

Knowing what I know about my own administration’s attempt to unseat Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in 2002, I was not surprised when the effort was recently renewed by the Trump Administration, particularly when such arch-defenders of Latin American rights as Elliott Abrams, Marco Rubio, and Rick Scott – not to mention John Bolton – began to appear on the White House payroll.

Knowing as well that Trump did not give a farthing for what happened in Venezuela but was concentrated on what he is always focused on, domestic politics, I knew these underlings would be allowed to cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war in Venezuela so long as doing it secured Florida’s electoral votes for Trump in 2020.

What I did not know – but looking back to 2002, should have – is how utterly incompetent the CIA would be in pulling off the “soft coup d’etat” that its leaders promised Trump. The events of the past 48 hours have demonstrated that incompetence markedly, as well as the real motivations of Trump’s lackeys on Venezuela, from the shrimp-lusting-after-Cuba Marco Rubio to the bombastic former governor of Florida Rick Scott, to the pardoned criminal Abrams, to the supine and totally incompetent Juan Guaido and his backer, Leopoldo Lopez in Caracas. What a crew the GOP can muster!

And they just might have let slip the dogs of war.

And they let them slip into a potentially first-class disaster – just like Somalia in 1992, Iraq in 2003, Libya in 2011, Syria in 2012, Afghanistan today and yesterday, and on and on.

Venezuelan military. (Telesur)

I know the Venezuelan military; I’ve trained some of them. They are not your usual “I want to shower after meeting them” crowd, as I would describe for instance the Honduran military. Instead, they are reasonably professional, reasonably aware of Venezuela’s historical commitment to democracy, and reasonably competent at their day jobs. They are proud of the fact that they are not Panama, i.e., a country into which the U.S. can send paratroopers overnight, kill several thousands, grab a narco-trafficker, and leave.

The majority of them, if the U.S. military arrives in Venezuela, will take to the hills – very formidable hills, with jungle-like backdrops – and they will harass, kill, take prisoner from time to time, and generally hold out forever or until the “gringos” leave. We might remember how the North Vietnamese and the Taliban accomplished this; well, so will the Venezuelans.

Were I looking down from Mars and with no dog in this fight, I might say that it would be suitable comeuppance for the sheer stupidity of the Trump gang. One might shout loudly as the quagmire develops, “Get elected now, Mr. Reality-TV man!”

But the bloodshed in Venezuela – military and civilian – and the dead and wounded U.S. Marines and soldiers will afford this old soldier no comfort at all. Instead such an outcome will make me regret even more profoundly our Founding Fathers’ grievous error in creating the Electoral College because they feared the demos in democracy.

Keep going, Trumpster. You’ll founder this ship of state soon enough.

This article was reprinted with the permission of the author.

Larry Wilkerson is a retired colonel, U.S. Army (ret.), and former Chief of Staff for Secretary of State Colin Powell.

74 comments for “The Tragedy of Venezuela is the Tragedy of the US

  1. May 5, 2019 at 19:51

    Bravo to Wilkerson for focusing on the REAL problem with the EC. Other commentator either hate the EC because it elected Trump or love the EC because it elected Trump. The real problem is that the EC allows politicians to take the easy road. With the EC, a party only has to worry about a few thousand people in Florida. If the party pleases a few thousand people, the rest of the country has to live with the result. Without the EC, parties would have to appeal to a majority of the country. This wouldn’t be perfect… the majority would be more urban than rural … but it would completely factor out these tiny groups of Floridians.

  2. May 5, 2019 at 09:37

    I couldn’t agree more to this former US Colonel. He is right on the eye bull in all his commentaries. The only thing, he didn’t mention is the two millions and half milicians, created and organized by Hugo Chavez in a futuristic view of what could be done by the Empire. I also agree, that a military intervention is not the solution, because the bloodshed in both sides will be enormous, but at the end of the day, the Venezuelan military forces will prevailed, and that lost that US military will suffer will be a collapse in US prestige as military power. I hope, that something comes out, before a tragedy happens. Also, we have to take in account the immense possibility that Russia and China come to get involved in this irresponsible actions of a gang of criminals that are lying to Trump. and this could be a catastrophic event in the whole world.

  3. Louise-Lora Somlyo
    May 5, 2019 at 03:23

    Ret. Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, just spoke (for no speaking engagement charge) tonite, May 4th, at Peace Action ME Annual Mtg. WE learned much from his Talk.
    He’s extremely articulate, knowledgeable, historically factual, current professor at Wm. & Mary College, VA.
    I hope his speech will be aired on YouTube, though it will be aired on CTN-TV, Portland & Cumberland Metro cable TV, so America will have the opportunity to hear & learn from Professor Lawrence Wilkerson, too.

  4. May 4, 2019 at 19:56

    Time as measured has reached May 2019, and humanity faces a truly historic decision-point or fork in the road: Will civilization continue on the path of horrifically self-destructive to the family of man wars, or will mankind wake up from its overly long slumber, end warfare once and for all time, establish genuine peace on Earth for the 1st time – and create the best gift ever passed on to future generations?


  5. Bob
    May 4, 2019 at 15:19

    The amount of excuses people will make for Authoritarian Socialism is endless.

  6. Realist
    May 4, 2019 at 02:30

    Unfortunately, the problem is not just Trump, Mr. Wilkerson.

    Trump is essentially dancing to the tune of the entire Deep State. He’s a puppet of the neocons, not Putin (if anyone really believed the latter).

    As you yourself said, that same Deep State tried this same stunt when your former boss was in office.

    These neocons and Deep State swamp creatures are deranged. They will never stop trying to take control of the entire planet through naked aggression. All their policies are triggered by the same neural reflex arc that governs Israeli actions. If it’s not you and it moves, shoot it. If this makes matters worse, just tell everyone to STFU and get effed.

    Sadly, electoral college or not, the voters had no reasonable choice in the 2016 election.

    One of the candidates was an outspoken warmonger who would have ended life on the planet by now.
    She is still taking potshots at Mr. Putin and trying to convince the world that he stole the election from her.
    What a sicko. Electing one of her cronies, like Biden, or one of the numerous young sell-outs, I mean zealots, chasing money and power improves nothing. They will all take orders from the same entrenched insiders.

    The other candidate conveniently lied about being some sort of peacenik, wanting normal relations with Russia and intending to end the seven wars of choice Obama had foisted on this government, its people and its military.

    The candidate elected to the office of president, whatever the mechanism, chose to capitulate to the bipartisan war party and their neocon string pullers and not only continue all the bloody, pointless and illegal wars (NONE ever declared by the belligerent but craven Congress) but to gin up several new ones (now works in progress in Venezuela and Iran–he’s already fighting economic wars, marked by increasingly unjust and absurd ultimata, against those countries if not yet kinetic ones) with on-again/off-again conflicts he refuses to leave die in Syria and Ukraine.

    Threatening his re-election is probably the most effective and least lethal mechanism to leverage him away from all those conflicts, but the Deep State just ain’t gonna quit trying to push their agenda of world domination no matter what specific politicians fill the elective offices in either of the two major parties. Therein lies the existential inflection point which will determine extinction or long-term survival of the human species. How to extirpate the neocon maniacs from the Deep State? None of them are subject to personal election or rejection at the ballot box. None of them are reasonable people and none will leave the scene without the biggest and ugliest political purge in the history of this republic. And who is up for doing that? (Trump sure wasn’t.) I don’t trust the military any more than I trust the other factions with clout: the politicians, the bankers, the lawyers or the aristocracy and their legion of retainers. This has become a case of ultimate FUBAR which will not end on a gentle upnote. I hope there is not too much collateral damage in the rest of the world whilst this country tears itself apart. I think Putin, Xi, Rouhani, Modi, Erdogan and the other key players would want to keep their noses OUT, if Washington lets them.

    • Coleen Rowley
      May 4, 2019 at 13:44

      So accurate! I agree 100% and will share your comment on FB but I think there are at least a couple Dem candidates that would, if given the chance, challenge the FUBAR situation. Unfortunately the war propaganda has worked so well that it’s not likely that either Tulsi Gabbard or Mike Gravel will be given that chance. But at least we all ought to try, first by getting them into the debate and then just keep pushing. But even if one got elected, they would face incredible odds against the insane War Machine that seems bent on destruction, including self destruction.

      • Realist
        May 4, 2019 at 13:55

        Thanks for your many years of dedicated work in the field, Coleen.

        I agree with you about Tulsi Gabbard and Mike Gravel.

        I’d also take the risk of turning the keys over to Rand Paul as long as he stays true to the anti-war policies preached by both him and his father.

        • Coleen Rowley
          May 6, 2019 at 19:00

          Absolutely. Just signed and shared this petition asking Rand Paul to try and lead Congress to stop the Saudi-US War Machine that is starving and killing thousands of women, children and other Yemeni civilians:

    • Bob
      May 4, 2019 at 15:21

      ROFL? A puppet of the neocons? LMAO.

      No, trump was the REACTION to neocons, who are now called never Trumpers.

      May want to stay away from the conclusory reasoning.

      • Realist
        May 11, 2019 at 02:49

        What do you think Pompeo is? What do you think Bolton is? What do you think Abrams is? What do you think that Adelson who ponies up the money for the political machinary that sustains these maniacs is? They are all Israel-first neocon warmongers. Who is calling the shots, them or Trump? It is certainly their rhetoric and their policies that have currency in the media and on the world stage, not Trump’s professed isolationism which got him elected. You think that Trump is implementing the foreign policies that he rain his campaign on? Get real. That is long forgotten. He caved to them when the entire bi-partisan warparty, which is neocon to the core, ganged up on him immediately after the election. As long as he plays the puppet he doesn’t get impeached.

        You can go LYAO, but “reasoning” is something obviously quite unfamiliar to you. Try again. Harder this time.

    • Louise-Lora Somlyo
      May 5, 2019 at 03:31

      Right ON? Couldn’t state above statement any clearer, nor better?

    • Michal Sokolowski
      May 7, 2019 at 00:57

      Excellent comment, thank you!

  7. Tomonthebeach
    May 3, 2019 at 18:19

    Larry, I hope your accurate depictions of the Trump chickencoup does not goad them into doubling down. What a waste of fortune and life. Trump clearly is deluded that he is Julius Ceasar or something. Of course, running a DOD via stand-ins, and shuffling cabinet members like a Vegas blackjack dealer surely has Putin and Maduro trembling.

  8. May 3, 2019 at 15:42

    Mike Gravel for President. I’m still not impressed with anybody for VP. It would have to be somebody to the left of him so he survives his first term… send him ten bucks so he hits the needed number to be in the debate!


  9. Jill
    May 3, 2019 at 12:34

    Venezuela Analysis has pointed out the Bolton and Pompeii just left the war room called “The Tank” after a talk w/acting Sec. of War. They are going to do this. Our people will die, their people will die. Perhaps Erik Prince will just do this one for the neo-cons.

    This is madness. I wrote basically to “whom it may concern” at the WH, and asked if these chickenhawks had ever heard of trade between nations.

    These people are going after the US as much as VZ. I can’t read it any other way. They want this nation in ashes. Pence wants Armageddon for religious reasons. I’m not certain why Bolton et al want to kill everyone in sight but it seems that is what they want. Trump wants it too but I don’t even bother addressing my concerns to him as he seems to be only a willing participant, not the person in charge.

    Congress should demand the power to declare war and kinetic actions but most of those people want bloodshed as well. If someone has info to leak that might stop this cruelty, this would be a good time to do it.

    • Stephen Nightingale
      May 3, 2019 at 14:44

      Well haven’t you figured out that the deaths and ‘collateral damage’ do not matter at all. ‘Winning’ does not matter at all. The entire purpose of the American war machine is to sell weapons and materiel “at a profit” to feed the MIC bottom lines. It is the ultimate self-licking ice cream cone. The bigger the quagmire, the more that the War industries profit. The recipients of the bombing of course do not benefit. The American taxpayer of course does not benefit, and neither is s/he ‘more secure’. That we have spent several trillion dollars on bombing other people’s countries, while there is no money at home to fix the Nation’s healthcare, the Nation’s dysfunctional infrastructure, any semblance of planning for a sustainable future, and by the way, Flint’s water supply, is way beyond criminally insane.

      But the Warmongering will continue as long as the American public is complacent about it.

      • Jill
        May 3, 2019 at 20:29

        Why no Stephen, I had never thought of that! :) I agree with your last sentence. I write the WH all the time. I constantly point out that there are ways to make money through trading with other nations, lots of money, lots of tax sheltering, etc. Just today I talked about having access to excellent accountants and lawyers that should make trade a pretty good deal for them. I told them I understood it wouldn’t be as profitable as weapons sales and killing everyone, but it would still be possible to make a lot of good money using various scams and the like. Personally, I feel people like Prince should just be given money if they promise to do nothing at all! My advice was to declare victory, leave and start trading.

        P.S. I also contact the city govt. in Flint about their cruelty towards their own citizens!

      • Derrick
        May 4, 2019 at 14:25

        You are on point. But that is not the entire point. A civil war (a very real possibility) would be beneficial for the US – think Ukraine, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc. You might ask what was the ACTUAL goal in these place? it is the same policy we’ve pushed for decades.

    • Procopius
      May 4, 2019 at 07:31

      I don’t think Trump WANTS to kill people. I just think he doesn’t understand that sending American soldiers to Venezuela isn’t going to be like playing a video game. On the bright side, I don’t believe the U.S. has forces ready to go, at least not more than a couple thousand, which wouldn’t be effective. It takes three or four months to get even elite forces like Air Assault and Airborne ready to attack. That’s why we didn’t get the invasion of Iraq until 2003.

  10. JB
    May 3, 2019 at 12:26

    It is not the abject incompetence of Trump the man. It is not a ‘deep state’ at all. That is not even a good colloquialism. The President’s puppeteers are as clear as day, and most are of the ilk of his son in law. There is more than ample evidence of that, partially revealed by the only (real) accomplishments thus far by Trump, and they are Jerusalem, and now the Golan.
    I digress. Other than the obvious oil interests, and I am not convinced that it is all about the oil (quote me on that), there is much more going on in Venezuela than we are being told. That we will be once again be mired down in conflict if we enter militarily is a foregone conclusion. If this is escalated, and the Venezuelan Army takes up in the jungle/forest, WE WILL BE PULVERIZED (again). 17 years in Iraq/Afghanistan, and we still can’t figure it out.

  11. Theo
    May 3, 2019 at 04:07

    Good article.Thanks.Not taking sides but succinctly showing the facts.

  12. Liberty
    May 3, 2019 at 03:42

    Colin Powell and all who worked for him and nstalled him are deepstate. Trump is not running USA these deepstaters are McCain rubio cruz McConnel comey Mueller Rosenstein JON BKERRY Clinton Are all stooges of Federal Reserve and are deepstate. Rubio Cruz and McConnel alone Have,public record, taken nearly $1 billion from Goldman Sachs alone.
    Consortium you need to dump this Wilkerson and better vet who you publish here if you wish to retain credibility.

    • DW Bartoo
      May 3, 2019 at 11:10

      Liberty, Colonel Larry Wilkerson is a member of VIPS.

      VIPS members have a very active and much appreciated presence at Consortium News and at numerous other sites where actual reality and consequences are discussed.

      You might check out the VIPS membership list of thoughtful people, who have a range of perspectives and background experience, yet who agree, it is apparent, on many very critically important principles that are fundamental to actual democracy and, I consider, to the very survival of our species.

      You certainly are entitled to hold and express any opinion you wish.

      But you might just find it useful and even wise to gain a bit more nuanced a perspective before deciding just what your opinion is.

      Were you familiar with Colonel a Wilkerson’s views, which clearly you are not, then you might have a better grasp of a number of things.

      That is not to say that there are not areas where one could disagree with the Colonel, and civil debate and discussion allows and even encourages such difference because the exchange is always instructive.

      To simply throw out the perspectives of another, on the basis of past association, alone, does not serve honest or open discourse. It does not promote understanding nor develop areas of common agreement.

      It is a sad characteristic of our “interesting” times that, far too often, channels of communication are closed down or platforms are used to silence voices that ownership “authority” does not wish to be heard.

      Indeed, many members of VIPS are not, or no longer, welcome on MSM because they present ideas which the current power structure abhors.

      Especially ideas and perspectives that counter or question conventional narratives of aggression, as in Venezuela, or champion the work of people like Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning, and even members of VIPS.

      • OlyaPola
        May 3, 2019 at 13:40

        Quite understandably Mr. Wilkerson and his associates to a varying degree perceive a Greek tragedy with a lesser admixture of Greek comedy and hence they tend to the view that “The United States of America” is reformable.

        Not all concur with Mr. Wilkerson and his associates interpretations of the data, but most accept that Mr. Wilkerson and his associates are capable of forming valid interpretations.

        This is not the case with many of their former colleagues as Mr. McGovern, Mr. Wilkerson will likely confirm subject to the oaths that they have taken.

        • DW Bartoo
          May 3, 2019 at 16:24

          Well said, OlyaPola.

    • Alois Mueller
      May 3, 2019 at 16:24

      This short comment tells all the truth!

  13. May 2, 2019 at 22:50

    A sane species would…ummm….I guess that doesn’t really apply to us, does it? Since there isn’t much in written human history that reflects that concept. At least if you don’t read the prettified versions.

    It’s always been the worst of the species that sit on the top of the dung heap proclaiming their glory.

    The biggest anti-war demonstrations ever held on the planet and that didn’t stop the War Crime of invading Iraq…but Biden and Hillary were sure for it, weren’t they? And I don’t hear Bernie hollering loudly to stop this new War Crime on Venezuela, But then he didn’t say much about Hillary & Obama’s War Crime of the destruction of Libya and the drone bombings etc etc..

    Back and forth the political ping pong ball goes but always on the same table with the owners, same rules, and same referees, so it doesn’t seem to matter which side of the net it lands on because the end results are always the same.

    I really, really hope those nice space aliens (not the ones that do anal probes!) come soon with their cures for the primate mind sickness that seems to have infected us. And maybe they would bring their technology to re-freeze the poles? Maybe something that would suck all the GHGs out of the atmosphere? De-acidify the world-wide ocean and clean up the toxics and radiation spread throughout the planet?

    I know it’s a lot to hope for but having any hope for the idiots that run our world would, based on past performance, be a losing bet at a crap table run by the Mafia with loaded dice.

    Maybe there is a tooth fairy. I always found a dime or a quarter under my pillow as a kid…


    • DW Bartoo
      May 3, 2019 at 12:11

      Your comment, sealintheSelkirks, is much appreciated.

  14. rosemerry
    May 2, 2019 at 18:36

    It is NOT only Trump and his merry band but the “Democratic Party” which is deeply into this illegal, cruel and disastrous treatment of Venezuela, but all the US administrations since Chavez took power.

  15. ranney
    May 2, 2019 at 16:44

    I’ve always liked Col. Wilkerson. So far he has always been a straight shooter. If we had more like him (i.e. Republican) at the Pentagon and in Congress, this country wouldn’t be in such a mess. I’m particularly thinking of the Pentagon which seems to run our foreign policy. Too bad all the clear thinking guys like Wilkerson have mustered out and all that’s left are men (yes it’s pretty much men) who whine that they don’t have enough money and we need to spend more on “protecting the U. S.”

    • anon4d2
      May 2, 2019 at 20:47

      Can you think of a Republican who did not campaign primarily on the platform of more military spending? The problem with the Dems is that they were bought out by the Reps. I’ll grant you that Johnson and Obama were pushed into war by the MIC and other factions, but they campaigned against war. Carter was the last president to strongly oppose war since JFK.

      • IvyMike
        May 3, 2019 at 12:47


      • May 3, 2019 at 22:36

        jfk was president only 32 months. During that time his regime accelerated the war in SE Asia, tried a coup in Cuba, almost caused a war with Soviet Union, and, as a sidebar encouraged the fbi psychopath, hoover, to destroy mlk

  16. Patricia Gracian
    May 2, 2019 at 16:30

    Thank you Col Wilkerson for opposing the insane overthrow of a democratically-elected government.

  17. robert e williamson jr
    May 2, 2019 at 15:56

    Thanks colonel for caring so much. Everyone should listen to this man. His is the voice of experience and wisdom we seldom get exposed to. This country needs so much more of this from those who know so much and seek little in return for their knowledge.

    When was the last time anyone heard a politician talk truth that way? If you have best listen to them.

    Another voice of reason in favor of changing our severely crippled “FREE ELECTIONS”.

    But I have a question. Why is it that even with a long list of examples of secrecy used illegally and sanctioned by the U.S. Dept. Of Justice (?), such as the Kennedy murders, Martin Luther King and others (note that list is till growing almost daily), the HEU theft from NUMEC, the Vietnam war, Iran Contra, 911, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, etc., no one can seem to get a viable case together to prove that “Our ” Dept. of Justice works in conjunction with “Our” intelligence community to facilitate their criminal enterprises.

    This free country has two very obvious problems. The first I agree is our electoral college. It’s outdated and a damaging distraction to those seeking the highest office in the land. Where is the hell are all those high powered political scientists? The Colonel has it right.

    The second problem is our obviously compromised judicial system. A president was murdered and the intelligence community a half a century later still fears the truth coming out about that death. Why? A death mired in mystery because the judicial system has been hamstrung by one simple sentence, a misleading claim, used mendaciously by both the intelligence community’s spokesmen and the branch of government, that we all must agree, was meant to work as a check and balance against this obvious an abuse of such power, the Department of Justice. A DOJ that refuses to allow the release of the material in question because, ” It may or will reveal our sources and methods.” That sentence can be worded differently but the essence is always the same. And so we find ourselves, our own freedom compromised by one sentence that the courts, charged with being a system of checks and balances against this misuse of power fail to address and are there by either complicit or compromised. And are in my opinion both.

    This country of ours desperately needs less secrecy and more sunlight because that lack of sunlight is killing the true growth of our society. Col. Wilkerson as have all the rest of us have never seen peace on earth in out time. Ask yourself why.

    OCCUPIED BERLIN 1968-1970

    • Sam F
      May 2, 2019 at 20:18

      Good points about the corruption of DOJ and the judicial branch. Of course DOJ are political appointees who often have an agenda, and the judiciary are nearly all “conservative” in their incorrect sense of disposing of the Constitution so as to “conserve” the privileges of the rich and powerful. Both are extremely tribalist, believers in protecting their tribe (DOJ or judiciary), and accept various unsupportable notions of the unconditional tribal virtues of the wealthy and powerful, and of the US generally.

      Almost none of them (less than one percent certainly) would consider any rational exposition of wrongdoing by the government, or by the wealthy or powerful. They must attack dissent for the same reason that the people of Salem persecuted witches in 1692: they fear their own tribe because they are its social and economic dependents, and the tyrants of their tribe tolerate no dissent. Their willingness to vilify Mr. Assange is the measure of their cowardice in refusing to examine alternative views, which in turn is the measure of their opposition to democracy itself.

      In that situation, there is no prospect of their exposing the falseness of the rationales for secrecy in government, which they fully well know is intended solely to prevent the People of the United States from making public policy. It is their primary mode of corruption; it is their job in the dictatorship of the rich; their lives would be promptly ruined if they even hinted at dissent.

    May 2, 2019 at 14:16

    The TRUMP GANG –ABRAMS–POMPEO–BOLTON ETC.–Like their LOUD-MOUTHED BOSS –MR REALITY TV MAN–are Chronic–Habitual and Pathological–LIARS–who want to steal VENEZUELA`S OIL—I`M sure none of them will be in RE-CON CO. DURING THE ATTACK—

  19. Eddie
    May 2, 2019 at 12:28

    The CIA was created during the reactionary Harry S. Truman administration as the Cold War and hysterical Red Scare began to bloom. As Wilkerson points out the “utterly incompetent the CIA ” failed in its attempt to oust President Nicolas Maduro and replace him with a Barack Obama lookalike during the week’s follies.

    This latest CIA failure is unsurprising. This money-wasting and moronic US agency has never gotten anything right. The leadership of the CIA has nearly always been among the most privileged alcoholics of the US oligarchy that rarely, if ever, fought in any real wars themselves. They never anticipate any of the blowback that results from their hare-brained schemes.

    It is time to start legal prosecutions for the war criminals involved in this racketeering organization and put the arrogant bastards into the gulag system that our taxes paid for.

  20. schrubs
    May 2, 2019 at 12:20

    Is the author remotely aware that Venezuela has the largest petroleum reserves on the planet and Washington is saturated with petroleum and MIC lobbyists?

    • Richard Kean
      May 2, 2019 at 18:30

      Yes he is
      So what?

  21. David Otness
    May 2, 2019 at 11:59

    Bravo, Colonel Wilkerson!
    I have learned so much from you.

    He has many informative YouTube videos I heartily recommend, including speeches and analysis on Israel/U.S. strategic goals, and much to say about U.S. foreign policy in ongoing interviews with Paul Jay on The Real News Network.

  22. Jeff Harrison
    May 2, 2019 at 11:53

    I spent 1969 to 1975 in the US Air Force. I resented it. My father was a career military man and I wanted nothing to do with it. I never had a problem defending my country but I also knew that I wasn’t defending it in Vietnam. I also knew that we weren’t defending it in Grenada, Panama, Kuwait, Iraq, Yugoslavia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, or, now, soon to be Venezuela. The last time the US military defended the country against a foe hell bent on damaging or destroying us was in WWII. Somebody should think about that.

  23. Ken
    May 2, 2019 at 11:19

    Trump Derangement Syndrome on full display. If the authors treasonous war criminal boss, George W. Bush hadn’t sold American’s privacy down the river and destroyed the middle class with globalism, we wouldn’t be here. Bolton is wrong in any situation, and George W., the traitor, groomed him. Dear author, shut up and go away. You have done enough damage.

    • geeyp
      May 2, 2019 at 18:47

      Here, hear!

  24. May 2, 2019 at 10:59

    Good article, but I disagree that the Electoral College made one bit of difference–it’s the US doing its usual “exceptional democracy” b.s. and Hillary would have gone right in on Syria, and Russia nonstop, ad infinitum, and of course Venezuela. Can you imagine what we would hear if Russia or China tried a coup on this “exceptional democracy”? I also read from Engdahl that Venezuela has more than oil, there is tantalum prized for computers as well as other minerals. Trump is completely under control of hawks and neocons; with Bolton and Pompeo he has two madmen. But their cover is blown, the world won’t sit by anymore!

  25. Walter
    May 2, 2019 at 08:55

    The clownish fools and the insane business in Venezuela – it’s as Wilkerson says. But the implication that the female criminal candidate would have been better is unsupported. Quite possibly Hillary would have been worse.

    Perhaps she would have managed the coup successfully. Would the esteemed old soldier prefer that?

    Many voted for Trump because of Hillary’s low character, intending to install a fool so as to hurry the Imperial catastrophe.

    The electoral college could have elected anybody native born and 35+ years old. Anybody. They indeed did fail when they chose between T and H. They might have elected Bernie… They could have. They ought to have.

    We are watching hysterical and hallucinating self-ruin. Such is the ordinary pathway of Imperial endings.

    • Danno
      May 2, 2019 at 10:11

      Having an incompetent reality TV show celebrity as the head of the empire during its demise seems fitting. Imperial catastrophe is indeed coming soon.

    • DW Bartoo
      May 2, 2019 at 11:39

      The purpose of the Electoral College, Walter, has always been to allow the few to dampen any ardour of the many for actual democracy.

      Yet, even more significant is the naive belief, so strenuously inculcated, that if just the “right” person, woman or man, might be made president, then such a savior would make all ills go away.

      The problem is, especially since the emergence of the national security state, beginning with the creation of the CIA, in 1947, that the entire SYSTEM is corrupt.
      Indeed, and in fact, that has been so from the beginning of the nation, founded as it was in genocide and slavery, but with Truman’s decision to keep the Military/Industrial/Congressional Complex (as Eisenhower originally and honestly termed it) going, ostensibly to keep employment high but also to increase the power of the Executive over the other two “branches”, turning the Judicial branch into the “legal” counsel of the Executive, and the Legislative branch, bereft of the power of the purse and that of declaring war, into a comfortable club dedicated to making money for its members and being easily bought by the corporate and financial elite.

      • Walter
        May 3, 2019 at 14:41

        Perhaps so. Nevertheless Electoral College can vote as I wrote. The idea that this is wrong is unsupported, friend. How can you know the purpose of EC? Were you there? Have you read the diaries?

        More broadly, it probably does not matter.

        You may also be in error about the “since Truman…” bit.

        Ask Geronimo…

        The operation has always been one of exploitation and imperialism, since 1492… And is a thalassocratic Anglosaxon expression. Alas, however, because of the unification of Heartland the formerly dominant method of economic control (by interdicting maritime traffic) is non-operative. The new and objectively dominant reality is tellurocratic.

        Whatever, the Imperial ambition of the hallucinating nitwits is futile, except within approximately geographic limits of CONUS.

        Interestingly, this strongly implies the dissolution into regions of political sway within CONUS.

        The Electoral College may endure as an anachronism in whatever remains after regionalization. Quite possibly this will be approximately the original 13 states.

        • DW Bartoo
          May 3, 2019 at 16:51

          Walter, I agree the rot goes all the way back to the so-called “Age of Exploration”, when “the West” sailed forth to bring religion to the “savage” people whose lands were plundered and much of what the West terms “the law” was premised of the odious Doctrine of Discovery.

          My point about Truman is simply that he and others, even before the end of “the good war”, determined that the U$ would henceforth rule the world even more ruthlessly and viciously than ever before, because the U$ then had the means to become the destroyer of worlds, at least this one.

          But the vision of such domination goes back to many nodes.

          One such was when Kipling penned, with Teddy Roosevelt’s happy encouragement, “The White Man’s Burden”.

          Many have been the Trails of Tears …

          And, this nation, began with genocide and slavery, now swaggers in its drunken stupor toward many ugly and violent episodes before it shall halt or be halted, else it shall murder time and usher in the Final Solution.

          • Walter
            May 5, 2019 at 09:57

            Glad you agree…but the troubles we have today are process-developed over thousands of years. Politics seems relevant, but it is merely the product of objective realities…the replacement of peoples on a vast scale, climate change, technical changes creating fragile and also vital systems, and their inevitable collapses, and “perfect storms”, and so on. Truman himself is not even a footnote. When the E.C. failed to decide Gore v Bush (43) and also the more recent failure, it did not generate a reason to eliminate it as an institution. Of course anybody who reads the relevant Constitutional procedures knows that El Presidente is not selected except by the E.C. and the Senate. The popular vote means zero.

            That’s probably a good thing, although here at the end of the Anglosaxon era and well into the 6th mass extinction it hardly matters.

            Along these lines, related to the manipulation of masses of people, a trio of fine essays @ Vera’s wonderful site. See these essays (alas, in German) and also refer to the authors cited therein. “Manipulation der Massen (Teil 1)” [and two and three] ( )

            Many might also look at Eric Cline’s books in re the Collapse of 1177 BCE, and read Kitto’s “The Greeks” with care. Cline builds of the famous Kitto’s work.. See>

    • May 2, 2019 at 15:17

      “They might have elected Bernie… They could have. They ought to have.”

      But, the event showed Bernie a pitiful weak reed. Given an hour to speak at the Dem Convention to nominate Crooked Hillary, any Man would have used the occasion to declare the nomination defaulted to him on account of Hillary’s cheating. Instead…, i have to puke, can’t go on. And now comes the 2nd act farce. Reminds me of HHH.

      • Bethany
        May 2, 2019 at 18:51


      • May 3, 2019 at 00:35

        robert – absolutely spot on. The only ethical thing for Bernie to do at that time of the convention, when you, I and the whole world knew from the Wikileaks emails that the DNC had rigged the entire primary process, was for Bernie to call for an open convention and to allow the delegates to discuss and decide who to support given what was known of the corruption at play. Bernie’s cowardly betrayal of his supporters rings every bit as hollow, cynical and corrupt as Barack Obama’s empty “yes we can,” “hope & change” nonsense that when translated simply meant 8 more years of Bush the Dumber’s domestic and foreign policies. I have no faith in our electoral process whatsoever, but I do hope we get to see Tulsi Gabbard in the debates openly challenging the amoral bi-partisan insanity of our war-monger politicians.

        • Skip Scott
          May 3, 2019 at 07:31

          Amen Gary! Bernie is to blame for why we wound up with Trump. How many millions of his supporters stayed home rather than follow the sheepdog into the lion’s den? I suspect that was the plan all along, except they just “knew” Hillary would defeat his Royal Orangeness! Whoops! Time for plan B- RussiaGate!

          I am hoping that Tulsi is “the real thing” and makes a good showing, but I think she is foolish to make her run from within the DNC controlled democratic party. The real “prize” is the televised debates in the run up to the General Election. The dems are purposely flooding the field with the aim of sending the primaries into a second round where their “superdelegates” rule the day, ensuring corporate sponsored warmonger from column B gets the nod. Tulsi’s only hope is to go over to the Greens and run a powerful internet based campaign with the goal of making the 15% mark for the General Election TV debates.

          • robert scheetz
            May 3, 2019 at 10:43

            Agreed. You touch all the points, Skip. Democrat/Republican, the one-party state (Wall St/War Party) is a suckers’ game this long time.
            Tulsi Gabbard is onto the one, anti-war, pressing theme, …and the Times are indeed pressing, and AOC the other; but, within the existing electoral system where $’s have the only vote, it’s a waste of our special resources. The Internet
            (pace, Julian) and BDS type action, offer still-perhaps-maybe-at least some hope …??

            Now in my 70″s, I think often of Poe’s, Masque of the Red Death, …I read a sophomore in HS.

          • DW Bartoo
            May 3, 2019 at 11:59

            Skip, there are those who have encouraged Tulsi Gabbard to move outside then Democratic “kettling”, including Jimmy Dore.

            I suspect that Gabbard hopes, as does Gravel, that their presence at the Dem debates would allow discussion of topics, war and the environment, for example, that are kept off the fabled table of permissible “issues”.

            Sanders is precisely as has been described.

            He threw away integrity and proved to be the sheepdog Glen Ford predicted he would be.

            Frankly, I think that no “real thing” candidate can do much to change things BUT to raise the critical truth of things in the hope that the many will dare talk to each other about our common crisis and the potential, even inevitable, calamities we face, not just as U$ians, as a species.

            The problem is not who is president, it is the entire system is corrupt and destructive and it is the entire system, economic, political (which two are really one), legal, educational, and so on, which we must dare rebuild from
            grounded principle foundation on up,

            A critical question to start with is whether people actually want a genuine democracy (or whether a mere pretense, “we have elections!” ) and the engaged involvement of everyone, not manufactured “consent”, that actual democracy, in all aspects of life, requires.

            Yes, we have to start somewhere.

            A test of possibility will be how the people of the U$ respond to what is being done tomAsssnge.

            To her credit,Gabbard HAS said something.

            While Bernie, has said nothing.

            Another test; Venezuela.

            In the absurd “Horse race” media “coverage”
            Biden is, of course, “the Dem chosen” .

            Gabbard is completely ignored, and many “progressive” sites refuse to acknowledge her existence quite as thoroughly as the MSM,
            because she has not the numbers.

            So, if Gabbard is to be known about, even to the meager level of recognition that Jill Stein (Who?), then it will have to be through word of mouth, as used to be said.

            Perhaps the very best that may be hoped for, a lesson I thought might have been learned in 2016, is that the Democratic Party is not a public institution but a private club, which can change its rules to suit its corporate owners, at any whim, any time, and any place it, secretly and privately, chooses to do so.

            Sanders remains, for too many, an empty canvas upon whom they project their own chosen images and wishes, in the naive belief that he intends and has the capacity to actually change things.

            Yet he has already agreed to all the Dem demands of docile acquiescence,

            If 2020 (perfect vision!)
            leads to people talking with each other, beyond the false left-right paradigm, sharing visions of a better, more sane, humane, and sustainable society, of cooperation and not mindless greed and competition, of peace and not domination.

            And there is profound support for these things already among growing numbers of those yet possessed of critical thinking skills …

            Then real progress, real resistance just might become manifest.

            Tulsi to the Greens!!!

          • DW Bartoo
            May 3, 2019 at 12:07

            Do you imagine, Skip, that Tulsi Gabbard and Howie Hawkins might find sufficient common ground to share a political ticket?

            Or do personal ambitions get in the way?

          • Skip Scott
            May 3, 2019 at 13:14


            I am not at all familiar with Hawkin’s personality, so I couldn’t guess if personal ambitions would get in the way. That said, I think most Greens are primarily concerned with advancing a progressive agenda, so I would hope that they would choose to go with the most electable candidates that conform to their ideals.

            The MSM shills for empire set many roadblocks for progressive candidates, first and foremost being the amount of coverage they are afforded. Then there are the loaded questions, and other efforts to poo-poo their platform as unsophisticated or unrealistic “idealism”.

            There are a lot of younger folks nowadays that watch very little network TV. They spend most their time on social networks and surfing the web. Unfortunately many of them are addicted to “infotainment”. Still I think a web based campaign may be the ticket for 2020, especially for the Greens, who are excluded from nearly all MSM coverage, mainly because their platform’s elements are the most serious challenge to the Oligarchy. Of course, the Libertarians are equally excluded for many of the same reasons. If they could get to the 15% polling mark and get to the TV debates, they would then have the opportunity to speak to a large enough audience to make the difference. Forty-two percent eligible voters didn’t even go to the polls in 2016, so the potential for an upset in 2020 is very real.

            We are certainly plagued with living in “interesting times.”

          • DW Bartoo
            May 3, 2019 at 17:14

            We are in much agreement, Skip, and, were the many who do not vote, because they correctly understand that voting has been made empty ritual, to hear substantive policy proposals and explanations of what constitutes the right actions required to improve their lives and our collective society, to have clean water, healthy soil, rebuild the infrastructure on green and renewable, full-employment including insulting homes, rebuilding rail lines into high speed long distance and economical local transportation systems, publicly owned, along with public banks and an end to wars of terror, on drugs, on make-believe enemies conjured up to enrich the few, the choice, “war and profit for the few, or peace and prosperity for the many”, would be answered in the positive, with healthcare not insurance, and education not debt.

            Imagine a revitalized society, staunchly committed to participatory democracy and motivated toward cooperation and healing the environment, as the responsibility of all, for the benefit of all.

            What do you think?

            Would people consider that worth voting for, worth working for, worth living for?

            Who would advocate for that, not as “commander”, not as “decider”, not as someone others had to “get on board” with, but as simply good and useful ideas?

            Might Gabbard or Hawkins be willing to do that less than grand and pompous thing?

            That really simple and necessary thing.

            Not because they are “great”, but because they know it is needed.

            It would take real courage to be that real, that open, honest, and even vulnerable.

        • Sharon
          May 3, 2019 at 16:38

          Keep in mind that, at the time, young democratic activists were supporting Bernie for the primary. They were at the the dem convention holding signs and chanting for a Bernie win. The 3 young leaders of this group, Seth Rich and 2 others died soon after, Seth Rich in George Town, DC, shot dead. The other 2 died mysteriously in their homes—something way fishy here.

    • Richard
      May 4, 2019 at 00:40

      You misunderstood. the inference that the “female candidate” was that she would have been WORSE (not better)

  26. Skip Scott
    May 2, 2019 at 08:41

    The electoral college is only one small part of the problem of “demos” of democracy. Wilkerson’s master, George W, would not have been president if not for our illustrious “Supreme Court”. The military and civilian bloodshed that was the Iraq War happened during Wilkerson’s tenure. It seems to me he is a bit late to the dance.

    • geeyp
      May 2, 2019 at 18:50

      Yeah, Skip, his memory needs reawakening.

  27. Sam F
    May 2, 2019 at 07:32

    The US has usually overthrown S. America democracies with very small mercenary proxies, solely to calm the fear of domestic socialism among the US dictatorship of the rich. Direct intervention by a largely poor/black/hispanic US military would not be popular here among Trump’s lower middle class supporters, although many will go along with the TV lies they live for. The blusters of Trump et al about SA and NK may be mere distractions from Mideast proxy wars for Israel/KSA/MIC/WallSt, who pay the DemRep election bribes.

    The DemReps are always willing to lie and kill for personal gain, and never speak of aid, compromises among factions, genuine diplomacy, or consideration of opposing views. They do not govern the US, but merely lie, cheat, steal, conspire, and threaten. They are the last US pretense of democracy, which it lost during WWII.

  28. Kiwiantz
    May 2, 2019 at 07:27

    Kim Jong Un must be watching Trumps bungling, incompetent attempts to steal Venezuela’s oil reserves via the usual US “Coups R US”, tried & true method of forced Regime change & Kim must be thinking “Yeah, Nah”, I think I’ll hang on to my Nuclear Weapons to avoid Venezuela’s fate? The cowardly US bully wouldn’t dare attack a nuclear armed Nation & its a pity Russia hasn’t supplied Venezuela with nukes, that’s the only way to avoid American aggression & invasion? And I don’t agree with this retired General that says the Venezuelan Military or its people would run for the hills if invaded by tbe US? Just as when the US tried to overthrow Chavez back in 2002, the Venezuelan people & Army will defend their Country & Maduro to the death, That’s something that the idiotic US Govt & it’s Military has never learned from the lessons of past, humiliating failures in conflicts such as Vietnam & now in the Military quagmire of Afghanistan? Overwhelming US firepower can’t defeat overwhelming willpower, of a determined people devoted to defending their Homeland!

    • AnneR
      May 2, 2019 at 09:50

      Wilkerson did not mean that the Venezuelan military (or ordinary people) would “run away” to hide in the hills like scaredy cats. Rather he was saying that what the US military (or a CIA proxy force) would encounter would be a guerilla war of the sort the Americans couldn’t deal with in Vietnam. A guerilla war fought by a people for the independence of their country from servitude to the US and its minions. Guerilla wars – when the guerilla forces are the native peoples of a country fight with every inch of themselves against an invading force and are all but impossible to defeat. As the US *ought* to have learnt from Vietnam, Afghanistan. But apparently hasn’t.

      • Realist
        May 4, 2019 at 22:57

        Another factor in the equation from which a lesson should be learned in Syria is the role that will be played by the compradors and the elites in the fighting. Just as the Syrian army had to defeat a well-equipped and trained faction of locals in the fighting in addition to the NATO troops and their terrorist mercenaries from around the world, so too will the Chavezista movement have to soundly put down the local traitors, led by Guaido and supported lavishly by Washington.

        Do not overlook their capacity to also wage guerilla warfare and perpetrate despicable false flag strikes just like the vile White Helmets. Their chief American advisor will be the one and the same Eliot Abrams who organised and led the infamous Death Squads in several Central American conflicts back in the 80’s. Nicaragua has remained on their radar as a target, so I am sure this crowd still has an active reserve ready and willing to serve Washington interests in the general region.

        Heretofore both Brazil and Colombia have seemed hesitant to take any hits as surrogates for Washington’s aggression, but once the shooting starts, Washington will surely increase the incentives offered to their leaders for the rental of native Latino cannon fodder.

        Maduro’s army will have to remain steadfast, even if their leadership takes major casualties. The cause cannot be abandoned even if Washington manages to take out Maduro himself, which they will try. Pompeo has been putting the idea in his head by constantly alluding to his readiness to flee the country. This is hard core Yankee psy-ops. Expect no honor or chivalry from Uncle Sam in an armed conflict. That is the best advice the Russians could have given to Maduro, assuming they delivered no new weapons on their recent transports. (A few of those Chinese shipkillers would be an effective rejoinder to another “Shock and Awe,” it seems to me. But neither Xi nor Putin really want to escalate in a way that would drag their countries into a shooting war with Washington on the opposite side of the globe. So the carnage will be asymmetrical, as always.)

        Consequently, when the fighting starts for real, you take out Guaido ASAP rather than showering him with continued professional courtesies. You listen to the best advice Fidel’s troops who have been deployed around the world have to offer, because they have survived Uncle Sam’s worst for exactly 60 years now. Or, maybe someone in the intel agencies bothered to do the math and realised they shouldn’t want to terminally piss off an entire continent full of Latinos in close proximity to our own porous borders. One can hope that our warmongers occasionally do a risk-benefit analysis before implementing their glorious plans of conquest.

    • DW Bartoo
      May 2, 2019 at 11:13

      Kiwiantz, Colonel Larry Wilkerson has made quite clear that he respects the Venezuelan military, and is suggesting, equally clearly, TO those who would engage in, or even contemplate a military assault on that capable military, that the terrain in Venezuela favors the defenders.

      The Colonel also happens to be a member of VIPS, and generally seems to have learned and understood some important lessons from his time in the military and as part of the Bush II administration.

      The only way Venezuela could be “won”, in the political parlance of U$ hegemony, would be to effectively destroy the nation in order to “save” it. A notion that not only recalls a painful, if well-deserved “loss” in a place far distant from Venezuela, but also runs the risk of disgusting even those U$ vassal nations who are now on board the money-train express, but who might lose stomach for a war of attrition as easily as they have surrendered their backbone of sovereignty.

      That Wilkerson seems to suggest that, had the Electoral College not existed, we would be in a better situation, is open to question on several levels.

      Hillary Clinton was the principle architect of the destruction of Libya.

      She also played a major and significant role in the “new” Cold War with Russia.

      She has supported every military aggression that the Executive, of either wing of the war party has desired.

      She has quite as much expressed antipathy toward Iran and is quite as supportive of Israeli “interests” as Donald Trump.

    • Ames Gilbert
      May 2, 2019 at 11:47

      I’m very far from being an expert on military matters, but it seems inconceivable that the Venezuelan military is going to just sit there while the U.S. does its ‘shock and awe’ stuff, which is how the campaign will begin. The U.S. will pull another Iraq, pour tens of thousands of missiles and bombs on Caracas and other major cities in the first week, then expand outwards, destroying all the military AND civilian infrastructure they can. Then they will invade, probably leading in with Special Forces ops. So the Venezuelan military would do well to disperse themselves and their equipment well in advance. If they have foresight, they will have already put stocks of material out there in the hills and jungles, ready for such an eventuality. And they will have studied Vietnam and Iraq and Afghanistan, and they will be advised by countries that themselves have fought successful guerrilla campaigns against invaders. And the guerrilla campaign will succeed in the end, because they will have most of the civilian population on their side, and the Chinese will show them how to keep them on their side. Hopefully, unlike Vietnam, Iraq, et al, Maduro’s army will have proper ‘first world’ intelligence and signal capability with the help of Russia and China, and they will have the best wishes of much of the world.

    • David Otness
      May 2, 2019 at 12:08

      “And I don’t agree with this retired General that says the Venezuelan Military or its people would run for the hills …”

      You must have stopped reading right there. For what he went on to say was anything but that:

      “very formidable hills, with jungle-like backdrops – and they will harass, kill, take prisoner from time to time, and generally hold out forever or until the “gringos” leave. We might remember how the North Vietnamese and the Taliban accomplished this; well, so will the Venezuelans.”

    • May 2, 2019 at 12:37

      The Venezuelan Military is not stupid, nor are the trainers they have from Cuba. How long would they last in a face to face battle with the US military with it,s navy, air forces, and marines . Smart militaries choose when to fight and frame the fight to their choosing. Of course Venezuela would use it`s terraine much the same as the Cubans, Vietnamese and Koreans did. That is where they are going to bleed the US Military. the Vietcong, and Cuban Revolutionary forces did not set up set piece battles against the Americans . They hit and ran and continued to do so until the Americans had to pick up and run for their lives. The Venezuelan`s would be crazy to do other wise.

    • Zhu
      May 3, 2019 at 01:57

      By “take to the hills”, I thought n W. meant guerrilla warfare.

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