From wikileaks, and UNASUR

A couple of things today. First, this wikileaks leak on US Army military management is worth mentioning and worth a read. The point is something that is familiar in this world of ’embedded journalism’ (John Cusack’s satirical film, War Inc., did a great job taking this ’embedded journalism’ to its logical conclusion, where journalists get a chip injected into their necks and then go into an movie theater where they watch battles on a screen), which is that media management is an important part of US bombings, invasions, and occupations. It is a training manual in PR for US military involved in that work. To see it in action, watch “Control Room”, the film about Al-Jazeera in the early days of the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 – one of the characters is a US military PR person, who has a moment where he realizes that he would not like seeing his people being slaughtered if he were Iraqi, but then manages to get over such feelings and get back to the job.

Also, from COHA, this piece about UNASUR, and specifically the CSD, which would be a Latin American military defense scheme like NATO. Spearheaded by Brazil, I could still see it acting as an imperial subcontractor, given Brazil, Chile, and Argentina’s role in that capacity in Haiti. Colombia won’t be joining the CSD, however, and that bodes ill for Brazil’s plan for it, which was to use it to try to mitigate against Colombia’s role as a US client in destabilizing the region. In military terms, Colombia has done a massive increase in the size and armament of its military since Plan Colombia in 2000. Its alliance with the US affords it that much, though the blood price for its people – and to its neighbours – is high. The COHA article, by Jared Ritvo, also suggests that Venezuela’s agenda, more expansive and for Latin America as a whole, is different from Brazil’s, which is to gain more influence for itself on the world stage. This explains their different positions on Haiti, for example, where Chavez spoke and tried to act out of some respect for Haiti’s sovereingty. The article ends by mentioning the return of the US Fourth Fleet to Latin America, a show of US muscle against Latin America’s aspirations for autonomy. If the US lost its Colombian proxy, though, it would have few ways to intervene in Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, or anywhere else.

Author: Justin Podur

Ecology. Environmental Science. Political Science. Anti-imperialism. Political fiction. Teach at York U's FES. Author. Writer at ZNet, TeleSUR, AlterNet, Ricochet, and the Independent Media Institute.