BUSHINGTON, D.C. (Dominion of Cheney) - "Why would Venezuela's
32,000-strong Army need 100,000 new rifles?", was the question
asked by U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who suggested
that Chavez's acquisition of these weapons could lead to a new
arms race in South America.
Rumsfeld's reaction to the news that Venezuela had purchased 100,000
AK-47 assault rifles from Russia is hypocritical when the U.S. govern-
ment has given Colombia about $3 billion in military aid in the last few
years. U.S. government double standards are also applied to other
regions of the world, with the Bushites agreeing to sell F-16 fighter jets
to Pakistan, and weapons to other nations.
Venezuela's Army has 100,000 soldiers, along with 30,000 reserve
troops -- higher than the 32,000 troops claimed by Rumsfeld, who
revealed the reason why he distorted the facts by saying he could not
imagine what would happen to the AK-47's -- with Rumsfeld further
claiming that Venezuela would supply Colombian guerrillas with these
military rifles. Rumsfeld lied about the number of Venezuelan troops,
and "failed" to mention that Venezuelan troops are currently using the
old Belgian FAL rifles.
Colombia, like Israel and Egypt, is one of the biggest recipients of
U.S. military aid, with its military armed with U.S. M-16 and
Israeli Galil assault rifles. The Colombian military has received more
than 65 Blackhawk and Huey helicopter gunships in the last several
years -- U.S. Special Forces have trained and armed new battalions
of Colombian troops, and given them access to the tools of U.S.
Rumsfeld's reference to a new arms race in South America has its
origins in the recent increase of U.S. military aid to Colombia,
under the guise of the war on drugs and terror. This U.S. backed
buildup of Colombian troops has caused concerns with the
Venezuelan government, especially when you consider the fact
that it was only the U.S. and Colombian governments who
recognized the coup that briefly overthrew Hugo Chavez in April
Rumsfeld's statement about Venezuela buying assault rifles is not
surprising, just one more tidbit in the constant stream of anti-
Chavez rhetoric we hear from the Bush administration. In its frantic
efforts to destabilize the Venezuelan government, the U.S. State
Department released its annual human rights report, which severely
criticizes Venezuela for its violations of human rights, and
simultaneously lauds Colombia's human rights record. Colombia is
among the top ten when it comes the murder of those who oppose the
oppressive U.S. backed regime, and the arrest, detention, and torture
of other dissidents. The International Criminal Court is investigating
war crimes committed by Colombia's military and right-wing militias,
who are responsible for the kidnappings and disappearances of
thousands of people. A spokesman for the International Criminal
Court said that there is no evidence that any human rights abuses
had been committed by Hugo Chavez's government.
The latest comments by Rumsfeld, along with all of the other
Chavez-bashing rhetoric being spewed by the Bush adminis-
tration is indicative of the U.S. government's plans for South
America -- total support for those who back the U.S.
colonialist agenda, like Colombian president Uribe, America's
current poster boy, and attacking those who refuse to accept the
U.S. agenda, like Venezuela, who has often criticized the U.S.
for its Imperial ambitions.
It is hypocritical for Rumsfeld to suggest that Venezuela is responsible
for an arms race when the U.S. agreed to sell fighter jets to Pakistan,
Musharraf's reward for supporting the U.S. war against terrorism,
which has only served to increase tensions between Pakistan and
India, who each have about 745 combat aircraft. The U.S.
government says that it will offset the imbalance by also selling F-16
fighter jets to India.
In the Bush created post-9/11 world, and its resulting in a new
"Cold War", it is business as usual for U.S. weapons manufacturers.
Only the U.S. government and its military industrial complex will profit
with the hundreds of millions of dollars made from the sale of weapons
to foreign governments, which is why the U.S. continues to create
global instability. The U.S. considers it essential to wage wars in the
Middle East and elsewhere to ensure the rapid growth of its
weapons industries. This is nothing new.