Punishing America’s Enemies

Punishing America’s Enemies by  for UNZ Review

Denying medicines to Iran and Venezuela is a crime against humanity

Much remains to be learned about the coronavirus, though it is quite possible that it will not be possible to determine how it developed if the various governments that might be involved prove to be uncooperative. The Chinese carefully controlled the information on the virus in its early stages, though they eventually adopted a complete lockdown to prevent its spread that seems to have been successful and might serve as a model for other nations to follow if they can overcome concerns about threats to civil liberties that evolve from placing too much power in the hands of corrupt and ignorant government officials.

Over two weeks ago, I suggested that the current form of corona might have possibly escaped from someone’s lab where a weaponized virus was being developed, most likely in China itself, though nations like the United States and Israel which are believed to have significant capabilities in biowarfare as well as a geopolitical motive to unleash the disease on certain countries should not be excluded. I still believe that assessment should be considered as viable particularly as the politicization process involving the virus is now fully in play.

China is now claiming that U.S. soldiers involved in the World Military Games held in Wuhan back in October might have deliberately planted the virus, while President Donald Trump and other Republicans in the U.S. are calling the disease the Wuhan or China virus, implying willful or careless behavior by the Chinese and a clear effort to demonize the Beijing government by exploiting the appearance of the virus as a wedge issue. And one might take note of the fact that the virus has particularly hit both China and Iran, countries that are on Washington’s enemy list, which generates additional conspiracy theories.

Donald Trump is not exactly a person overflowing with compassion. When corona virus began to emerge in the U.S. he called it a “hoax” and urged everyone to keep going to work even if ill, precisely the opposite of what was being recommended by most responsible medical authorities. He is now planning to throw $1200 dollars at each American resident whether they need it or not to undo the political damage, a proposal that will cost as much as $500 billion of money that the United States does not have and which it will have to either print or borrow. The money should be going to those who are now unemployed as a result of the virus, a point that surprisingly enough is being made by several Republican Senators.

Hundreds of billions more will go to the usual “victims,” banks and large corporations that will use the cash to pay off long terms loans and also to buyback their own stock and raise the value of their shares for investors. That is precisely what happened in 2008, with little to show for the average American.

One of the most truly despicable aspects of the coronavirus is how it is being exploited by Washington to punish countries like Iran and Venezuela, currently the enemy-designates of the inside the Beltway crowd. It would be possible to describe the Trump Administration policy towards both nations as sadistic apart from the fact that the behavior of the president and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo might actually shock the Marquis de Sade.

Venezuela has been denied a $5 billion International Monetary Fund loan to combat the virus based on the seemingly irrelevant and politically motivated argument that it is not clear who represents the legitimate government in the country, whether it is Nicola Maduro, the president, or Juan Guaido, the aspirant to the position of head of state being promoted by Washington. The White House has also declared a “maximum pressure March” directed against the Venezuelan economy, with the health care sector particularly targeted. So, Venezuelans will die and Maduro will undoubtedly continue to run the government, making the position of the Trump Administration demanding regime change both toxic and pointless.

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For decades I have spent a couple of hours every morning carefully reading The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and several other major newspapers. But although such a detailed study of the American mainstream media is a necessary condition for remaining informed about our world, it is not sufficient. With the rise of the Internet and the alternative media, every thinking individual has increasingly recognized that there exist enormous lacunae in what our media tells us and disturbing patterns in what is regularly ignored or concealed. In April 2013 I published “Our American Pravda,” a major article highlighting some of the most disturbing omissions of our national media in issues of the greatest national importance. The considerable attention it attracted from The Atlantic, Forbes, and a New York Times economics columnist demonstrated that the mainstream journalists themselves were often all too aware of these problems, but perhaps found them too difficult to address within the confining structure of large media organizations. This reinforced my belief in the reality of the serious condition I had diagnosed.