When I wrote about the absolutely atrocious massacre perpetuated by Venezuelan soldiers against their own people trying to bring in aid, in the back of my mind I thought about how many people must think this is some kind of false flag operation to inspire war.
Then, as though it was manna falling from heaven, I read one of the most ridiculous pieces in quite awhile. Using “alternative media” sources, “independent journalist” Caitlin Johnstone writes how this entire saga is essentially fake news. As I learned with my ex-wife, trying to understand crazy drives you crazy, so I neither have the time nor the inclination to go through the whole thing, but a few examples should suffice.
She says that the media is lying about Venezuela and aid from Russia and China is entering the country. But I didn’t access “alternative” media sources and I knew about that. I still think it’s rather heinous that one of the richest countries in the world needs aid in the first place, and that the leader is using the military to determine which nations can give them aid. So Johnstone is trying to prove that we are in the matrix, when a simple but careful reading of respected outlets already gave the same information.
Moreover, she conspiratorially blames America for intervening because the people providing aid are really just a front for gun-runners. I don’t think it’s bad to arm a people that are being abused by their own leaders, as we have a long tradition of fighting for liberty in this country and celebrate those traits every 4th of July. But this is an example of how America gets blamed for not helping, and then they get attacked for helping, and for people like this, they just can’t win.
The CIA has done some underhanded things in the past, and intervention has numerous unintended consequences and entanglements so it should be cautiously employed. But that doesn’t mean America should sit on their hands in this case or that providing aid is wrong.
What is wrong is a heatedly conspiratorial argument that reminds this reader of the classic article “The Paranoid Style of American Politics.” As Richard Hofstadter said, and it really applies to Johnstone: “no other word adequately evokes the sense of heated exaggeration, suspiciousness, and conspiratorial fantasy” that she uses to argue.
There are a variety of important factors at play in this situation. Armed intervention carries significant risks, but in some cases such as crimes against humanity, genocide, and American interests, it is not only allowed but necessary. The mainstream media is lame, but I doubt alternative sources are any better in disregarding their agenda. They certainly don’t present some kind of hidden truth. And this writer who has pretenses of being professional resorts to calling people “f**cking” idiots and morons. As a fellow writer myself, I tend to think we should have a bit more of a vocabulary, such as my calling this person’s arguments and thoughts facile, fatuous, and flabbergasting. There is a good deal to argue about in trying to help the Venezuelan people throw off the yoke of a corrupt and murdering dictator. But this joke of a writer at Lew Rockwell is not contributing to that conversation.