Influential D.C. think tank the Atlantic Council has printed a 26,000-word report laying out its strategy for combating China. Published anonymously, the report states that “the single most important challenge facing the United States” in the twenty-first century is China’s growth to rival their own power.
To do so, the report states that the U.S. must use “the power of its military,” the dollar’s role as the global reserve currency, and American control over technology and communication to suffocate the nation of 1.4 billion people. It advises President Biden to draw a number of “red lines” past which the U.S. would directly intervene (presumably militarily). These include Chinese attempts to expand into the South China Sea, an attack on the disputed Senkaku Islands, or moves against Taiwan’s independence. A North Korean strike on any of its neighbors would also necessitate an American response against China, the report insists, because “China must fully own responsibility for the behavior of its North Korean ally.” Any backing down from this stance, the council states, would result in national “humiliation” for the United States.
Perhaps most notably, however, the report also envisages what a successful American China policy would look like by 2050: “the United States and its major allies continue to dominate the regional and global balance of power across all the major indices of power;” and that head of state Xi Jinping “has been replaced by a more moderate party leadership; and that the Chinese people themselves have come to question and challenge the Communist Party’s century-long proposition that China’s ancient civilization is forever destined to an authoritarian future.” In other words, that China has been broken and that some sort of regime change has occurred.
Awitness at the heart of the botched invasion of Venezuela in May 2020 has stated that the US and Colombian governments were involved in the regime-change operation. Coup-plotter Yacsy Álvarez said she met with officials from the FBI and DEA in Florida and informed them of their plans.
Álvarez also revealed that Colombia’s President Iván Duque and his powerful mentor Álvaro Uribe, who is closely linked to drug cartels and death squads, were aiding the Venezuelan coup-plotters. Colombia’s top intelligence agency supported the conspirators before and after the attempted invasion, and Álvarez explained that “they knew everything.”
But the Colombian government later turned on Álvarez and her fellow coup-plotters and arrested them. Her lawyer has accused Colombia’s intelligence services of setting a “trap,” so Bogotá could pin the blame on her and her associates and wash its hands of the operation.
The failed invasion, which aimed to violently overthrow Venezuela’s elected President Nicolás Maduro, was spearheaded by a Florida-based private military company called SilverCorp, led by former US Army Special Forces officer Jordan Goudreau.
Goudreau said in a breach-of-contract lawsuit that he had met with two Donald Trump administration officials at the former US president’s National Doral Miami golf resort to discuss the coup plans, and was told that the White House supported it.
Trump’s base has been forcefully pushing the narrative that the previous president didn’t start any new wars, which while technically true ignores his murderous actions like vetoing the bill to save Yemen from US-backed genocide and actively blocking aid to its people, murdering untold tens of thousands of Venezuelans with starvation sanctions, rolling out many world-threatening cold war escalations against Russia, engaging in insane brinkmanship with Iran, greatly increasing the number of bombs dropped per day from the previous administration, killing record numbers of civilians, and reducing military accountability for those airstrikes. Trump may not have started any “new wars”, but he kept the old ones going and inflamed some of them. Just because you don’t start any new wars doesn’t mean you’re not a warmonger.
Rather than a throwback to “new wars” and the old-school ground invasions of the Bush era, the warmongering we’ll be seeing from the Biden administration is more likely to look like this. More starvation sanctions. More proxy conflicts. More cold war. More coups. More special ops. More drone strikes. More slow motion strangulation, less ham-fisted overt warfare.
The US congress just passed their Covid stimulus bill, or the “Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021” to give its official title. So what’s actually inside it? What has just been passed into law?
The answers to that is “nobody really knows”, least of all the members of congress, who passed the law without reading it, as they so often do. It’s the longest bill in US history, at over 5500 pages and it sailed through the voting mostly sight unseen.
We’ve downloaded a copy of the full document and will embed it below for those of you patient or masochistic enough to tackle the whole thing. We’ve read some already, and will point out the highlights:
- “Foreign aid” is a big winner. Egypt is getting $1.3 billion, Sudan, Israel and Ukraine get over 500 million each, and many other countries around the world sizeable contributions, much of which will be spent on “defense”. Which is to say sent straight back to America via massive arms purchases.
- Not all the money being sent overseas is for buying weapons, some is for backing coups. Venezuela and Belarus get special mention here, each getting their own section of the bill detailing how terrible their “illegal regimes” are. There’s also a large section on “combating Chinese influence”.
- For some reason there’s another section on copyright law, which makes illegal streaming copyrighted content a federal crimes, punishable by up to three years in prison.
- Nearly 300 million is put aside to develop influenza vaccines and prevent a future influenza pandemic.
- 4 BILLION dollars for the Gates-funded GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance.
- Vaccine “misinformation” is also a concern, and the bill provides for a pro-vaccine propaganda campaign – or rather a “PUBLIC AWARENESS CAMPAIGN ON THE IMPORTANCE OF VACCINATIONS”
So – huge amounts of foreign aid, support for various coups, totally irrelevent copyright laws, provisions for pro-vaccine propaganda campaigns…it’s not your typical “stimulus bill” so far, is it?
The longest piece of legislation in United States history, containing both a coronavirus relief package and the annual omnibus spending package, quickly passed through Congress on December 22, with little opposition. While technically separate bills, the omnibus and stimulus were debated and passed together, at the same time.
The massive piece of legislation — a staggering 5,593 pages in length — lays bare the priorities of the US government, prioritizing regime change in foreign nations and the imperatives of empire over the basic needs of Americans.
In just a few hours, it passed through the House of Representatives by 359-53, and through the Senate by 92-6.
While the US public was forced to grovel for months for a $600 direct payment, the same piece of legislation pumps billions of dollars into “democracy programs” — US government code for regime-change operations via civil society NGOs — and foreign military assistance. The measly $600 survival checks pale in comparison to the massive foreign spending on regime change and titanic allocations to prop up US-friendly authoritarian militaries.
On so-called “Democracy Programs” alone, the legislation appropriates $2.417 billion, and $6.175 billion on the “Foreign Military Financing Program.” Another $112.9 million is appropriated for “International Military Education and Training.”
$6 billion more is allocated toward the domestic procurement of US Air Force missiles and US Navy weapons of war. This is in addition to the $740 billion defense bill passed earlier in December.
By contrast, the stimulus package comes at a value of $900 billion, with the largest portion devoted to business bailouts.
Another CLS Strategies partner, Juan Cortiñas, boasted on the firm’s website that he has represented top right-wing leaders and major corporations in Latin America, including the Venezuelan opposition.
Since the fake news ring was exposed, however, CLS Strategies has edited its website to scrub some of these compromising materials, removing the bios of associates like Feierstein and Cortiñas.
This controversy underscores how US PR firms, elite Washington insiders, and foreign opposition groups work in tandem to promote right-wing regimes in Latin America while astroturfing opposition to democratically elected left-wing governments.
Given the extensive links CLS has to the Democratic Party, this scheme also highlights the bipartisan consensus around regime change and support for corrupt neoliberal leaders linked to death squads and drug trafficking.