8 February 2019 — 21st Century Wire
The rhetoric of the establishment media and political class in their attempt to vilify the mildest dissent from Jeremy Corbyn is shocking, not because it is unexpected, but because it is now apparently normal to break international law and plot to overthrow a government. In fact it’s the done thing if Corbyn just hints disapproval. An article written by William Hague, former British Foreign Secretary, attacking Corbyn for his non-intervention stance on Venezuela shows our foreign policymakers are out of control.
Corbyn said on Friday that he opposes “outside interference in Venezuela” and that Jeremy Hunt was wrong to call for more sanctions on the regime. He clearly does not agree with those governments now recognising Juan Guaido as the new and legitimate leader of the country. This is a hugely revealing moment, which tells us a great deal about the limits of any moral compass in Corbyn’s mind.
William Hague’s gunning for the overthrow of Maduro comes as no surprise, given his role in the overthrow of Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi in 2011. In an interview in 2016 on his role in the destruction of Libya he offered advice for when the British Foreign Office next planned to overthrow a government:
A major issue for future interventions is that the leaders who were well-liked disappeared from the scene very quickly… Future interventions’ need longer transitions…
At the time of Hague’s comments, the consequences of the invasion of Libya by the UK, France and the US had had years to take root. They include the genocide of Blacks, slavery, a refugee crisis, and thousands of people drowning at sea in an attempt to flee the resulting conflict and they are still unfolding. Hague does not have regrets about Libya; he could only make ‘unpalatable choices.’ In fact, he says if he had to do it again, he would not avoid intervention. Perhaps if Hague lived in Libya and experienced the results of his plotting he might have a different view. For now he is keen to do it all over again:
But even more telling is the justification he (Corbyn) uses for his position – hostility to “outside interference”. This is the language of authoritarian rulers the world over, the constant refrain of those who fear a compassionate and responsible world coming to the aid of people they have impoverished and oppressed.
In 2011 Hague helped lead an attack that not only destroyed Libya but destabilised the entire region around it. In 2016 he was still talking about overthrowing governments, and in 2019 he is comparing Corbyn to a dictator for rejecting regime change. This is not so surprising given that in his article Hague presents intervention as a noble cause, and this is also how he presented it when defending his role:
“The threat, the possibility, the stated intentions – of the Gadhafi government to kill large numbers of people – the Arab League thought it was going to happen…”
But, the massacre did not take place, and Hague’s ‘stand against tyranny’ to ‘prevent another Rwanda’ can be seen for what it was. What took place in Libya has been described as an insurrection planned months in advance. Confirmation of this is found in emails released by Wikileaks in its Global Intelligence Files:
He (Abdelhakim Belhaj) and his men were being trained for the siege of Tripoli for months, however. This is a prime example of the secret side of the war that NATO, France, the UK, U.S. and Qatar were fighting.
Hilary Clinton’s emails also released by Wikileaks further question the motive for regime change in Libya following revelations that Gadhafi was intending to create a pan-African currency based on the Libyan gold Dinar.
— William Hague (@WilliamJHague) February 5, 2019
This is not Hague’s only attempt to shape public opinion with selective facts and rhetoric. He also deceived the British public and Parliament about the events in Ukraine in 2014. He claimed falsely that the removal of the elected President Yanukovych was in accordance with the constitution of Ukraine. Hague’s statement was designed to mask the US intervention, which led to the overthrow of the Yanukovych government, presented to Western audiences as a colour revolution.
Former Tory leader, William Hague.
As well as joining in a needless aggression on Libya that led to a failed state, Hague was influential in easing the arms embargo in Syria so he could supply arms to the opposition. As it was recognised that the opposition included many Islamist extremists this ran the risk of weapons ending up in the hands of terrorists. He supported crippling sanctions that added to the misery of the population while at the same time he enabled lifting of some sanctions so that the ‘opposition’ could sell Syria’s oil to the EU. So Venezuela makes number four on Hague’s hit list of interventions that now spread across entire regions of the world: North Africa, the Middle East, Europe. The next stop: South America.
Hague is likely to approve of the weapons used against Venezuela to gather imperialist muscle. One such weapon is the Lima Group. Informal gatherings of concerned nations are useful in that they present a picture of neighbourly humanitarian concern while carrying out acts of aggression on their target. The purpose of the Lima Group has always been to bring down the Venezuelan government. Its very existence undermines the non-intervention clause of the Organisation of American States Charter which each member individually signed. The Friends of Syria, attended by Hague while Foreign Secretary, had a similar purpose. Like the Lima Group its members were also US allies and stakeholders in intervention. These ‘friendly’ groups were set up to isolate and force the governments into submission regardless of the consequences on the civilian population.
This is a list showing ways the Lima Group is trying to subordinate Venezuela but it may not be comprehensive:
travel sanctions against members of the Venezuelan government
cutting diplomatic ties
enlisting the International Criminal Court and other Western institutions
freezing of assets
accusations such as sponsoring of terrorism
discrediting legitimacy of elected leaders
floating the idea of military intervention either as a genuine threat or as a form of intimidation
using humanitarian aid to gain access and influence
appealing to internal and sovereign institutions such as the military
supporting US-backed opposition
The Friends of Syria created the same list for the Syrian government and added the supply of arms to groups they knew included Islamist extremists.
Another mechanism used by Hague in the past is the creation of puppet governments, especially useful when the US and EU arm non-state actors in violation of international law. Western audiences are expected to believe interim governments spontaneously and conveniently pop-up when NATO decides to invade a country, and these new interim governments are sympathetic to NATO and the US for some reason. Interim governments or councils in each country targeted for intervention have almost always included groups linked to extreme ideology. In Venezuela the self-proclaimed ‘interim President’ Juan Guaido is of the right-wing Popular Will party that has a history of violence and collusion with the US government, and Guaido’s own involvement has been uncovered.
Given that the US-backed opposition attempting to overthrow the elected Venezuelan government is so divided and violent, it is fitting that Hague, after years of supporting ‘rivalling moderate rebels’ sees them as just a…
‘… united and moderate opposition.’