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Vietnam to Venezuela: US Interventionism and the Failure of the Left

Vietnam to Venezuela: US Interventionism and the Failure of the Left

Adolph Reed Jr.

Vietnam came to my attention when I was maybe eleven or twelve, during the last years of the Eisenhower administration.


Nice article. Very thorough. To those who would like to learn more, I recommend Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States: http://www.historyisaweapon.com/zinnapeopleshistory.html

Knowledge is power, particularly when it goes viral.


Tremendous research essay, with personal commentary, for a fairly thorough study, particularly of US and Latin America history and US oppression, 1903 (US General Smedley Butler’s testimony) until the present day.

This is another good reason to support Common Dreams.


One of the better articles I have read on Common dreams in quite some time. While lengthy it well worth the read. I look forward to more by this person.

Indeed this prompted a donation.


Good article by Adolph Reed Jr. Articles like this is why I have supported Common Dreams in the past and will continue to do so in the future.


The U.S. “official” argument for intervention in Venezuela is pure B.S.!
We have NO justification for interference in their internal policies. Anyone with EYES or a BRAIN knows this is about access to OIL.
• Really. When have we EVER cared about whether a functional democracy exists in another country or not? Example: our buddy, Saudi Arabia.
• This is the long-term continuation of policies that put the interest of our powerful business interests above any and all human or humane considerations.
• The U.S. Oligarchy does this not only abroad with considerable frequency and little justification, but there is the constant Domestic Brand of this policy going on all the time, as well, interfering with and diminishing whatever remains of democratic policy in this nation.


I haven’t read the whole article but just from the title, it looks like he’s trying to prove something.

US Interventionism, yes yes yes. Obvious and nauseating.

But I would instead observe and suggest, the failure of humanity.

Adolph Reed:
“Even many of those who consider themselves radicals, while denouncing corporate bias and ideological censorship, assume that progressive political strategy should require pressuring capitalist media to provide a neutral forum for anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist perspectives. They won’t; they’re on the other side. The stubborn belief that corporate media must give opposition voices an honest hearing is an effect of decades of defeat and the incoherence that has resulted from it, including a “left” political imagination whose horizons have retracted to incremental modifications of liberal capitalism.”

“They [corporate media] are on the other side.” Corporate media is the institution that manufactures ideological conformity among the population to the interests of the ruling class. It should be seen as your enemy. Don’t consume it. The WMD in Iraq hoax and now Russiagate, should not be seen as “failures of our media” but rather for propaganda successes that they were.


I agree with advocate 22, there is no real reason for our Venezuelan intervention other than to allow the privatization of their state oil monopoly, so that our multinational oil companies can control the greatest oil reserve in the world.
As a long-time student, and Professor of Latin American History, I can say that this is a fine, well researched article by Adolph Reed, Jr. and he deserves credit for the work he put into it. He should also set forth a shortened, but potent version of this article that more people would take the time to read.


i was involved in some MNS-style “nonviolent revolutionary” organizing and action in the 1980s. i read some of Sharp’s work at that time. i believe that Sharp provides some great analytical and practical tools.

It is a sad reality that Sharp’s tools have been mostly put to use by and for proponents and funders of neoliberal imperialist “regime change.”

i super appreciate Reed’s insistence that these tools cannot be divorced from realistic class-based analysis and recognition of who our allies are and who our enemies are.

The tools of nonviolent revolution should never be viewed as “non-ideological.” We need to retain a firm understanding that in our revolution: The rule of capital must be ended; The destruction of the Earth’s ecology must be stopped; The legacies of white supremacy, colonization, genocide and enslavement must be accounted for and redressed; The transition will include “disruptive or violent politics” among allies that we must remain in solidarity with.

More to say, gotta run!


That’s quite a leap. From the prerogatives of the US ruling elites (a tiny fraction of the US population, let alone the world) to blaming every human on the planet? Is there a better definition of a misanthrope?


Thanks - Well worth the long read. Libya and the Obama/Clinton overthrow and murder of Gadhafi missing from the shameful chronicle.


On a nuts and bolts level, I think there’s collusion from elites near and far re our interventionism abroad. Not just our idiots here in the states making it happen.

And, beyond that… reality functions on levels much more sophisticated and nuanced than what you can see and point a political finger at. At least, some people see it that way. I.E. we are all at some level creating this magical mystery tour. Blaming no, participating yes.

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This is an excellent article the helps define the “framing” of all issues political by corporate media and the effects it has at undermining democracy everywhere. It should be obvious to any Progressive who watches MSM that important analysis of ay country or political movement is conspicuously asset. Debate is framed within the narrow framework of “Should we invade now or later?” rather than discussing any actual background or cross checking any gathering of facts.
I never like to call our elites “stupid” because in reality the elites have developed the most sophisticated apparatus of propaganda that the world has ever seen. The ability to divide and conquer the 99% or as I like to refer to them as ‘The Left’, have been quite successful as the Reed has pointed out numerous times in this article. Exposure of these evil practices by the 1% have been next to impossible because of the control of the mainstream media and the media’s relentless pursuit of the Great Western Narrative. This is why CD is so crucial if we’re going to dismantle American imperialism. I too, will donate to CD today.