Well, I didn’t think I would find an example so quickly about the dangers I mentioned in my previous post about Eisenhower. [He warned us about the military-induistrial complex, but not for the right reasons.] We are now using the military as a “make jobs” program to boost our economy, but we are doing it under the guide of “protecting our national security interests.” It’s a lie. The US Navy has decided that it wants to re-establish the Fourth Fleet. (I didn’t know they just “dissolved” them; I thought they just parked the ships some place.) The new fleet will be led by a nuclear aircraft carrier to be used “in support of conter-terrorism efforts.” And from which part of the world do they expect the next threat of terrorism to come? Is it the Middle East, where the Fifth Fleet already patrols? No. Is it off the coast of Asia, where the Seventh Fleet patrols? No. The next threat must be coming from, wait for it, Venezuela! The Fourth Fleet will patrol “the waters of the Caribbean and Latin America.” But they wanted to make sure we knew that this move “will send a message to the entire region, not just Venezuela. The focus will probably be on security.” Folks, it is not the security of our nation that these ships will be protecting, it is the financial interests of the corporations that have invested in that region that these ships are being sent to protect.
To understand why our government would lie to us (yet again) and tell us that the next threat to our national security will come from Venezuela, oops, I meant to say, the South American region, you have to understand that it is not our nation’s interests that they are concerned with, it’s the investment of the many huge corporations that is at risk. It is not because of drug dealers and the endless “War on Drugs”. Really, there are better and far less expensive solutions than military intervention, but if we don’t use our military, the economy could collapse. [I highly recommend sitting down some day and going through Greg Palast’s great site, for some real education about what our country is doing, and has done before, in South America. He knows, he was part of it at one time.] Many nations in South America are much poorer than us, and they often need financial help to solve their problems. Luckily for them, as nation states and not regular folks, there is an organization established by the world community to make loans to such countries to help them get back on their feet. It is called The World Bank. One of the tactics that the World Bank likes to use is to tell the country borrowing the money that they have to privatize their public utilities. Do they always do that? Let’s see what The World Bank says:
Q: Does the Bank always make developing countries privatize their industries and assets?A: No, our advice is shaped by the needs and circumstances of each country. In some cases, state-owned industries are propped up with public funds that could be better used to improve health care, hire new teachers or build roads. Each country is different, and therefore we assess a country according to its own circumstances and tailor our advice to best implement the policies the country has laid out for economic and social development.
Not always, but sometimes they do, and lately they’ve been doing it a lot. (As you learn more about what they do, it will become clearer why such a disgusting person as Paul Wolfowitz was picked to head the World Bank, for a while.) But they don’t simply make the countries privatize their assets, they make them sell them to foreign investors. They are not allowed to buy them, nor are they permitted to let local citizens, who may be wealthy businessmen already, buy the assets. So whatever the country had that was worth selling, the money is going outside the country, and it doesn’t count as payback for the loan. They still have to come up with the money, but now they have nothing to sell to get it, because the World Bank made them give it away to foreigners.
In a nutshell, that’s what the World Bank was doing to some of the South American countries. Now, believe it or not, Venezuela is sitting on HUGE oil reserves, estimated to be five times the size of the ones in Saudi Arabia. The problem is that it is not the light, sweet crude like they have in the ME, that’s much easier to purify and refine. It’s the really heavy crude, and it isn’t economically feasible to drill for it unless you are going to get at least $50 per barrel for it. Have you heard what the price of oil is lately? Now it is economically feasible to go get that oil, beause you can still make a profit on it. And Hugo Chavez’s country is getting a lot of money for it. So much money, in fact, that he has gone around and helped get his South American neighbors out of the debt of the World Bank’s crushing loans. This is not making the World Bank happy. Banks of any kind don’t like it when you pay back your loans early, because they make less money in interest from it if you do. (That’s precisely why they only want about 2% of your credit card balance each month as a minumum payment, so you’ll end up paying more in finance charges.) In fact, Chavez is using his nation’s new found wealth to make the entire continent less dependent on the United States and its corporations. And this does not sit well with the greedy corporations of America. They want Chavez out of power.
Hence, the Fourth Fleet.