Saturday, May 17, 2008

Propitious Circumstances Develop

Earlier this week, while rereading Chalmers Johnson’s 2006 Nemesis, I underlined this passage because I was charmed by the rueful wording, should propitious circumstances develop.
Planners in the Pentagon believed they needed at least one more CSL [Cooperative Security Location] in the cone of South America to monitor developments in Bolivia, the poorest country in South America. They want to be ready to intervene against the new Evo Morales government, now that it has nationalized the second-largest natural gas field on the continent, should propitious circumstances develop. [emph added]
Serendipity struck. A day or two later, I came across a link to this report, US Backs Eastern Secession in Bolivia: Minority Landholders Vote for Independence.

Do you smell gas too?
Bolivia’s landowning eastern elite voted on Sunday for autonomy from President Evo Morales' central government. According to author Forrest Hylton the US government has spent up to $125 million dollars supporting the secession movement, a movement which has been disregarded by a large percentage of the Bolivian population as well as governments from Bolivia's neighboring countries. [emph added]
Okay, and here’s one more really, really whiffy thing.
Warning that he would take “radical decisions” against foreign diplomats who become involved in Bolivian politics, Morales remarked “I cannot understand how some ambassadors dedicate themselves to politics, and not diplomacy, in our country. That is not called cooperation. That is called conspiracy." [emph added]
Just who is the US Ambassador to Bolivia? Why that would be Philip Goldberg, who served as Chief of Mission in Pristina, Kosovo (2004-2006) before flying directly to La Paz to serve as ambassador.

You remember Kosovo: the US helped it to secede from Serbia (see Welcome to the Military-Petroleum Complex, Kosovo). The huge US military base, Camp Bondsteel, will sit astride the AMBO Trans-Balkan Pipeline once the pipeline is completed.

It seems that wherever Philip Goldberg lands a job, propitious circumstances develop.

Other fun things to read:

U.S. Is Promoting Secession in Bolivia, by Nicholas Kozloff at Counterpunch.

The Sourcewatch entry on the National Endowment for Democracy, a private non-profit entity that somehow is solely funded by Congress. Along with USAID, the National Endowment for Democracy has been accused of fiddling around in Bolivia.

Ambassador Goldberg’s official resume. Astonishingly, he actually speaks Spanish, or so he says.

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