"The Guaraní Aquifer, located beneath the surface of the original four Mercosur countries (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay), is one of the world's largest aquifer systems and an important source of fresh water for its people."
The ranch bought by the Bush family in Paraguay that so many have speculated would be used by them in the event they needed to abscond in the face of criminal investigations including impeachment, while it may yet serve that function, may only be secondary to the coming struggle for control over water resources brought on by the world's increasing population and the exacerbation caused by global warming.
It may also be related to the recent development of mercenary training bases in South America used to mine the Chilean government's School of the Americas trained paramilitary forces of former American corporatist-supported dictator General Augusto Pinochet, who replaced the democratically elected Salvador Allende in the CIA-backed coup in 1973 at the height of the Nixon regime, and then had Allende and his family assassinated.
One thing is certain, the Bush Family has not wasted a moment in office while exploiting its insider knowledge and political influence in bringing about the best possible conditions for self-aggrandizement.
Both Paraguay and Uruguay are "neutral ground" for the recruitment and training of mercenary forces by groups such as Blackwater, DynCorp and Triple Canopy, recruitment and training that has angered the people of the region and their left-leaning reformist governments. Earlier this year, in May, Journalist Dave Lindorff had this to say about the Bush Family's choice of refuge in South America:
Back in late 2006, it was widely reported in the Latin American media that President Bush, or perhaps his old man, had bought a 100,000-acre farm in a remote area of Paraguay.After detailing the dirty laundry list of war crimes and crimes against the Constitution committed by the Bush Administration, Lindorf went on to report this bit of bad news for the First Family in the event they continue to entertain hopes of finding refuge with South America's Hole-In-the-Wall Gang of exiled dictators, lamsters and fugitive Nazis:
What struck people at the time was the choice of country. Paraguay, of course, has gained a certain Club Med status among the world's villains and criminal elements as the place to go when the law's on your tail. The country, ruled for six decades by the dictatorial and fascist Colorado Party of Gen. Alfredo Stroesser, an almost cartoon caricature of a Latin American dictator, has no extradition treaty with any nation.
That's why it has long harbored aging Nazis, bank robbers, and a string of ousted or retired Latin American dictators and their assistants over the years.
Last month [April, 2008], a former Roman Catholic Bishop with leftist, populist tendencies, Fernando Lugo, surprised almost everyone in Paraguay, and no doubt President Bush, by winning the national presidential election, ousting the Colorado Party for the first time in 61 years. There is talk that among other things, Lugo is thinking of returning Paraguay to the community of nations, by signing some of those extradition agreements.
If he does that, Bush may be stuck having to hide behind his rump squad of Secret Service agents down at the Crawford Ranch, hoping they can keep the process servers from Brattleboro and Marlboro, VT, with their war crimes arrest warrants, at bay.In fact, given the presence of highly trained Chilean mercenaries who once operated under Pinochet but who are now in the employ of American private mercenary contractors, all that could turn on a dime if the powers that be decide it is Lugo's time to go.
Have faith, dear hearts of the Bush regime, all is not lost as long as the dollar holds steady relative to all other currencies now slumping, retaining its status as the coin of the realm and American insider corporations like Eric Prince's Blackwater Worldwide continue to mine troops in the region for deployment in the Middle East, including Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as in Colombia and for secret black-ops in Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Malaysia.
Conversely, if Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran and Hugo Chavez of Venezuela are successful in establishing a trend in the world energy markets to shift the payment for oil from dollars to euros (or a combinations of currencies other than the dollar), the dollar is irrevocably doomed. If their tactic is successful, the U.S. can no longer play its world dominating monetary game whereby it borrows from foreign investors at a fixed rate to pay for U.S. foreign wars, a rate that we make sure is outpaced by the rate of inflation which we control through national banking systems to insure that by the time our debts are paid off we will have paid less than the real value of the loans at the time the loans were made.
In long-term economic realities, this world monetary con-game (which depends upon the dominance of an essentially free-floating dollar with nothing but faith to back it since Nixon removed it from the gold standard in the 70s) amounts to an artificial global system of taxation levied for the privilege of being a U.S. trade partner. As long as all who play benefit through continued economic growth, no one complains; but, as some economists speculate, Saddam's tactical desertion of the dollar to establish his own oil bourse based on the euro may be the ultimate reason for the invasion of Iraq.
As stated above, the OPEC nations of Iran, Venezuela and Ecuador have followed suit by establishing their own oil bourses, amounting to an economic declaration of war on the dollar and thereby on the United States and its closest economic allies. If the price per barrel of oil stabilizes -- in current dollar value, around $70/brl -- and oil settles in temporarily as the new world gold standard against which currencies establish their exchange rate now that the dollar no longer dominates those rates of exchange (thanks to OPEC), the United States is fated to drown in its own debt, no longer able to play The Sting.
But The Great Game [see map above] "ain't over until the fat lady sings." And the aria she performs may well turn out to be about renewable sources of energy. Oil, now at its world production peak and beginning to decline, can never provide the stability as did precious metals long through history as the standard of exchange between currencies.
In the meantime, the ever patriotic Bush Family and their corporatist cronies, including Richard B. Cheney, have begun to diversify their personal fortunes, gained at the expense of world peace and the American middle class, moving their investments offshore to the European economic markets without compunction or the slightest sign of grimace as the damage they helped bring about through monetary con-games and greed-driven privatization of government functions continues to affect the economic collapse of Pax Amerikana as the baby at home "drowns in its own bathwater." [Grover Norquist paraphrased.]
For BushCo, this emergency diversification has included South America. For almost three years now, about the time Bush Family managers purchased the huge track of ranch land in Paraguay near a military base, the handwriting has appeared on the walls of Latin America: The Dirty Little Wars made notorious by Nixon and the CIA's own George Herbert Walker Bush are now in resurgence. Their lives, their land, their water and their oil and gas reserves are now at increasing risk. The peasant land reforms promised in revolution after bloody Latin American revolution continue to advance and fade in a dizzying flux of history dominated by American corporatists and it's paramilitary arm of foreign policy enforcement, the CIA, now expanded and repackaged as the Department of Homeland Security, operating under the motto: "Preserving our freedom."
Concurrent with these developments are increasingly vociferous voices among the people in Chili, Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay who, in union with families in Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Panama remember those "disappeared." They remember those tortured at the hands of paramilitaries trained at Fort Benning Georgia at the School of the Americas [we can no longer link to Fort Benning with a secure Internet connection that includes trustworthy certificates -- surprise!]; and they are fully aware that the raising of private military forces within their borders continues and that it violates both their sovereignty and their dignity.
Soon after the national elections, between November 21-23, the annual vigil at the School of the Americas will be held by SOA Watch. Perhaps if enough of us raise our voices during this crucial nexus in the history of The Republic the American people will begin to pay attention despite our betrayal by the fourth estate.
It is important to note, however, that despite years of protest which have included the voices of Edward Kennedy and others of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives as well as the clergy, not only have the U.S. schools of torture, disappearance, assassination, snipping, intimidation, kidnap and terrorism continued, but they have proliferated under private contractors, such as at Blackwater U.S.A.'s training compound in northeastern North Carolina and elsewhere.
The torturously tragic irony of this is that Blackwater was founded and is administered by, Eric Prince, a conservative "Christian" with deep-pocket connections to American Values founder and chief hypocrite Gary Bauer, the paragon of American righteousness, as he will tell you himself no doubt. My God! Who allowed these wolves to get off with so many sheep?
Jeremy Scahill, author of Blackwater, has provided concise information in the video below that is relevant to the Latin American theater of war as well:
As it turns out, to no one's surprise among progressives, the Drug Enforcement Administration functions in the region not so much in the Congressionally mandated job of curtailment of drug trafficking as it does in the dual covert roll of assisting in the training of private mercenaries for Congressionally non-sanctioned paramilitary adventurism around the globe currently unfolding under Cheney's Pentagon, another diversion of American resources toward the covert goals and objectives of the American shadow government under him [cf. also Dr. Richard Boylan's site for a more controversial, flavorful analysis].
Perhaps even more threatening to the stability of the Americas, the DEA's current mission in Latin America involves more than assisting crony-connected private enterprise in the recruitment and training of mercenary forces for deployment to the Middle Eastern war -- co-operations with the private paramilitary forces who have been allowed to operate with officially sanctioned impunity in Iraq and Afghanistan at enormous profit and below the radar of Congressional review -- they involve covert paramilitary operations in and out of Colombia against Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia.
To wit: There is no "War on Drugs," just as there is no "War of Terrorism." We are currently self-destructively enmeshed within an economy-busting world war against OPEC and the Russian Federation for complete control of the energy markets and no one is talking about it in terms that transcend the Straussian propaganda frames enforced upon us by the corporatist owned mainstream media.
In the Latin American theater, the war is now being waged against OPEC's Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías, of Venezuela, and Rafael Vicente Correa Delgado, of Ecuador as well as Bolivian President Evo Morales.
The Neocon-led war in Latin America began during the Clinton Administration with Hugo Chavez's refusal to sign onto the proposed Latin American Free Trade Agreement that the Venezuelan government rightly recognized, as well as did Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador, Uruguay and Argentina, as a redux of the neocolonialism meted out against them during the days of the Dulles CIA, it's infamous institution of "banana republics" and the right-wing government of war hawks under Richard M. Nixon, directed by his foreign policy adviser of Realpolitik, the notorious Henry Kissinger.
It is said that when the American trade proposal was reviewed by the economic advisers of Brazil's President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, affectionately known as "Lula," you could hear the LAFTA all the way to Caracas.
Despite their famously congenial relationship, compared to Brazil's Lula [pictured at left], Hugo Chavez has been at best a disappointment to idealists on the left who had hoped for a truly progressive democracy to emerge in Venezuela as an outcome of the Bolivarian Revolution, and at worst a democratically elected socialist driven to leftest dictatorship out of sheer self-defense against corporatist driven American black-ops seeking to overthrow him.
The neocolonialist subversion [cf. also: neoliberalism and globalization] directed against his socialist government has even included abuses perpetrated against Venezuelan sovereignty by CIA field operatives acting under cover as missionaries working for televangelist Pat Robertson's Christianist New Tribes Missions.
This situation was known widely among those in intelligence circles long before it was brought to the attention of Hugo Chavez. In fact, it was the missionaries themselves who brought forth the issue fearing a loss of trust and credibility among the people caused by Robertson's allowance and televangelist exploitation of the penetration.Robertson's notoriously unchristian calls for the assassination of Chavez, based upon his quite revelatory allusions to his having been privy to official intelligence coming out of the region, have led to accusations that Robertson is more functionally a part of the Bush Administration's disinformation campaigns on behalf of right-wing neoconservative political objectives than to any pretentious role of apostleship he arrogantly clams or any genuine evangelical missionary work undertaken by his organization in Latin America.
Robertson himself is estimated to hold personal assets worth from $150 to $200 million. At one time he owned and refused to give up stakes in apartheid South African gold mines that used a system of indentured servitude that amounted to slavery; he owned and ran a race horse; and had plans to build a multi-million dollar theme park complex on the Sea of Galilee. The Israeli government eventually banned Robertson's participation in the venture because of insults he directed at them for their willingness to trade land for peace. How radically Zionist is that, eh?
Despite his dubious claims, including the ability to leg-press at age 78 over 2000-lbs because of his life-sustaining and nutritious power shake, which comes in two invigorating flavors and can be ordered by calling the 1-800 number at the bottom of your screen, the argument is mooted by the fact that the Evangelical Movement itself has become irrevocably corrupted by partisan politics and has failed it's founding prophet by becoming, as is the general historical tradition in such affairs as institutional religion has dedicated itself, just another conquering sword of imperialism.
Note of Fair Warning: Be sure you have a good anti-virus program in place before you go to Robertson's 700-Club thespian-christian site to complain or conduct journalistic inquiries about his questionable "missionary outreach." When this writer did so in 2003, Robertson's 700-Club handlers sent him a return email containing a nasty virus that wiped out his entire hard drive. Robertson is certainly a warrior Zealot, but his suspect "Christian" bona fides leave one breathless vis-à-vis the ever more urgent need for church and state separation.
Another Note: I've just got to say this and I'll justify if by calling it Gonzo Journalism: When I think of all the money my poor Irish Catholic mother sent to him and his 700-Club out of her retirement account, I just want to slap that shit-eatin' grin off his face from Bumfuck to Tel Aviv.
Countries in the region whose leaders were brazen enough to accept the self-aggrandizing offers extended to them by American corporatists [read: "bribes" and "kickbacks"] are now subject to a resurgent Bolivarian Revolution, romanticized and inspired in the hearts and minds of the people by the legendary Ernesto Che Guevara, who actually disdained the intrusion of Soviet Communism despite the accusations of American propagandists, rightly recognizing Sovietism to be just another force of exploitation being fomented vis-à-vis the dichotomously confrontational paradigms of the Cold War which demanded, as does Bush, that "You're either for us or against us." In fact, his disagreements with Castro regarding the acceptance of the Soviet mission into Cuba, led to the demise of Guevara as Castro sent him out to the front lines more to get rid of him than to use him to inspire. The jealousies of King David of the Old Testament come to mind, Castro being the grandiose persona of narcissism that he is.
This week's announcement, if confirmed, that Cuba has discovered a 20-billion+ barrel offshore oil field, one that is substantially larger than first estimated, one that could elevate the island nation to the status of 20th largest oil producing nation, is both a blessing and a curse. Other than its strategic location near Florida, once the Meyer Lansky-led Mafia's gambling empire in Havana was written off after newly presiding President Johnson canceled the second invasion scheduled to come in the wake of the coup d'etat assassination of John F. Kennedy -- an assassination partly intended as a false-flag provocation by the '63 Coup that would then justify the invasion of Cuba by Cuban exile forces stationed in Guatemala under the administration of CIA's George H. W. Bush to be fully supported by American naval and air support -- and with Soviet-American missile agreements firmly in place, there was no longer any pressing need to reacquire the island nation in the Caribbean. [cf. Brothers; the Hidden History of the Kennedy Years, by David Talbot; and Ultimate Sacrifice: John and Robert Kennedy, the Plan for a Coup in Cuba, and the Murder of JFK, by Lamar Waldron and Thom Hartmann].
So we put off the Cuban "crisis" to escalate the Vietnam War. One of the chief reasons for the removal of Kennedy was that he had secretly (he thought) planned to withdraw from Vietnam after the '64 national elections. In the meantime, throwing red meat to the dogs of war, LBJ imposed an economic blockade to placate them, a blockade with which all but the American citizens with no interest to travel there continue to comply to the present. At that, the blockade is only half-heartedly enforced as a conciliatory political measure aimed at Florida's exiled Cuban population who continue to align with the right-wing of the Republican Party and cheer every time Fidel Castro develops diarrhea.
All these conditions change with the discovery of oil off the Cuban coast, especially with Cuba's close association with "enemies" such as Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia and their unified outreach to China for fair trade agreements that may eventually develop into a formidable military alliance if China continues to burgeon toward world status. The Chinese are currently forging such alliances with the nations of Southeast Asia and the Russian Federation is at least toying with the notion of trade alliances with them. Economists view such alliances not so much as military threats or economic competition -- as do the paranoid Neocons; but rather, as "economic zones" within the continually emerging global economy.
Venezuela is our 4th largest supplier of foreign oil, behind Canada, Saudi Arabia and Mexico. Ecuador ranks 9th; Colombia 10th; Brazil 12th.
In this week's final presidential debate, both American presidential candidates were terse in their comments about current paramilitary operations against FARC rebels in Colombia. In fact, the introduction of the subject of paramilitary involvement in the region seemed to be the result of a slip of the tongue by Senator John McCain in the context of addressing the need to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
The fact that FARC has been broken by defeat into small isolated groups without an effective system of communication between them seemed to have escaped the Senator from Arizona who spoke as if our presence in Colombia was one of urgent need for counterinsurgency measures to protect the Colombian democratic republic from fascist Venezuelan subversion. The inverse is the case. The U.S. presence in Colombia continues to be one of destabilization and provocation.
The United States-sponsored paramilitary black-ops against Colombia's independent minded neighbors are still incipient; therefore, the United States is still exploiting Colombia as a base of paramilitary operations while pretending that we are there to protect the current Colombian regime. If the DEA happens to stumble over drugs in transit through the region it is because the drugs are being trafficked for the same reason the United States allowed the cartels to burgeon in the first place -- to finance revolutions by taxing their transit through "the plaza" bottlenecks, such as Panama. It's just that some plazas are acceptable to the United States and some are not. Generally, where there is smoke there is the fire of American accusations that Chavez is allowing the trafficking of drugs by FARC guerrillas in Colombia through Venezuela to ports in the Dominican Republic. Not surprisingly, the latest reported plane crash carrying cocaine out of the region happened to be one owned by the CIA.
The "straight talking" McCain didn't go there or anywhere near any of that. But turning metaphor into talking point, McCain was astute enough to point out that Obama has never traveled south of the border, thereby inadvertently providing Obama with an excuse for his ignorance at the same time he doubled his own hypocrisy for just having reinforced the Bush Administration's public disinformation campaign. This is a region under escalation by the Russian Federation as well, who will be conducting joint-Venezuelan naval exercises in the Caribbean next month in response to U.S. meddling in Georgia and the Caspian, yet McCain, who boasts of his family naval tradition, seemed completely unaware of any but the most remote developments regarding South America.
Russian Federation battlecruiser Pyotr Veloky is currently in route to the Caribbean to participate with Venezuela in joint naval exercises scheduled for November 10-14, 2008Interesting to note: That despite recent revelations -- now disappearing quickly from the Internet -- that the current president of Colombia, Álvaro Uribe Vélez [pictured at right] was part of the Medellin Cartel and one of Pablo Escobar's chief operations officers within the Colombian government (then serving as senator), he continues to have the firm support of the Bush Administration. Again, there is no war on drugs. That is all sound bite and blunderbuss designed as cover for the real story: there is a world war for control of energy resources that threatens to expand to include water and other natural resources. Part of that war is for control of the cocaine, heroin and cannabis markets because of their usefulness in financing covert operations that Congress refuses to acknowledge or support. Meanwhile, your kids are getting high behind your back, and who wouldn't with asshole parents like you. [How am I doing, Moose?]
Bush Administration support for Uribe is not all that surprising when one considers the role of Colombian cocaine in helping to finance the Nicaraguan Contras deployed by the CIA against socialist President Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua during the now infamous Iran-Contra Affair. Then Vice President under Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, former head of CIA, was in charge of the covert operations in contravention of the will of Congress. While not taking an active role in trafficking of cocaine into the western United States and the parts of Southeast, the CIA passively facilitated the activity just as it facilitated the Burmese heroin trade in Vietnam as a source of covert funding and just as it currently facilitates the trafficking of Afghanistan heroin and nuclear technology as both a source of funding for covert ops in the Middle East and the channeling to Iran of allegedly non-functional nuclear technology [cf. the ongoing suppression of the Sibel Edmonds and Valerie Plame/Brewster Jennings scandals].
Some have accused G. H. W. Bush and his top cadre of operatives of rationalizing the operation based on racist attitudes that the cocaine was being sold illegally by black drug addicts to black Los Angelenos in poverty stricken neighborhoods by agents of expatriated Nicaraguan Contra rebels. [cf. Dark Alliance, by Gary Webb.]
Returning to the discussion of this week's presidential debate, Senator Barack Obama followed the remarks by McCain by vaguely issuing a seemingly faux-patriotic, pandering comment to the effect that Venezuela is our enemy. IMHO this revealed Obama's ignorance on foreign policy issues and his naive and unquestioned acceptance vis-à-vis the disinformation and manipulation of the public through the corporatist owned mainstream media, just as he revealed his ignorance and naiveté at the outbreak of the recent Russo-Georgian conflict by immediately issuing a statement of support for "victim" Georgia who turned out to be the aggressor in the conflict.
This piece of brown-colored appeasement for war mongers of the right was preceded this summer by his outrageous support for the renewal of FISA, containing retroactive immunity for telecom companies for their part in spying on American citizens as part of NSA's overly zealous and paranoid world elctronic surveillance program. FISA came under fire in the courts just this week via a federal lawsuit filed in California challenging FISA's tack-on telecom immunity provision as unconstitutional in presuming to limit the court's right of judicial review regarding the culpability of these telecoms, as well as that of the NSA, at the same time FISA attempts to strengthened the unconstitutional "unitary presidency," a renegade executive branch quickly morphing itself under the influence of authoritarian personality Dick Cheney into a fascist regime by all definitions of the term. Wherefore, the lawsuit maintains that the renewal of FISA threatens to exacerbate the crisis regarding the issues surrounding constitutional separation of powers among the branches of government that threaten the structue and integrity of our democratic republic itself. Obama's apparent ignorance of these issues is totally inexcusable.
Red flags should be going up all over the MSM. The operative word in that last sentence is "should."
In the meantime, Blackwater Worldwide announced late this week that it is now in the business of providing naval security to bolster the merchant marine. At no time in our history have we seen such an unabashed display of imperialism that recalls to mind the abuses of the British East India Company who raised their own armies, forced their opium trade upon a sovereign 19th century China, traded in slaves and molasses to the Americas, enforced conditions of slave labor and apartheid in South Africa while committing genocide against native tribes and then dominated the entire subcontinent of India until the British Empire crumbled. All sanctioned by the British Crown. However, they did succeed in forwarding the career of Mahatmas Gandhi, if even unintentionally.
What great spiritual leader is now arising in conditioned geneses riding the Sublime Winds of Ruah to challenge the violence, the injustice and the destructive greed of Pax Amerikana and her grand dragons of Leviathan? What is her name? Where is he immerging as needed by the huddled masses yearning to breathe free?
There is no family in America better positioned through crony networking and family tradition to exploit the current surge of privatized corporatist takeover (fascism) than the very family who has been its foremost champion since the days of it's patriarch, Prescott Bush, who both plotted the overthrow of FDR during WWII and participated in the Coup d'Etat of 1963 with the dream that it might someday benefit his posterity. If there are Nazis still alive in Paraguay -- and I write this in the full knowledge that most will just not understand our shadowed history and be able to make the necessary connections -- they will surely make room for one of their own.
Who would dare disturb this slumbering giant of moral righteousness who thinks of herself as "free" and that she continues to represent the enlightened advance of liberty? The mainstream media? King George of Kennebunkport? I don't think so. In Crawford, Texas, they have an expression that the national media seems to have assimilated as their own: "Let sleeping dogs lie." The ambiguity of that aphorism is ripe with irony, given the Texas White House as its context.
The coming national elections -- tragically -- may represent one final opportunity to change the direction of this country. All may be lost to the threatening economic collapse anyway. The question of Obama's ability to provide enlightened vision to a Pax Amerikana world in decline, beyond his current rhetoric of change, is a legitimate one. Let us pray that he can deliver and that they will let him.
"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"