Top U.S. Officials Gather To Discuss “Military Options” In Venezuela As Russia Warns Of “Grave Consequences” If America Invades

On Wednesday afternoon, senior U.S. officials gathered at the White House to discuss possible military options for Venezuela.  Meanwhile, the Russians are warning of grave consequences if the U.S. invades, and so the stage is being set for a potential showdown between the world’s two foremost military powers.  Previously, administration officials had hoped that the Venezuelan people would rally around Juan Guaido to such a degree that it would not require military intervention to oust Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, but that hasn’t happened.  In fact, Guaido’s big push to start a revolution in the streets over the past few days has ended up being a total flop.  The following comes from Yahoo News

Guaido had called for the “largest march” in Venezuela’s history and said on Twitter that “millions of Venezuelans” were in the streets in “this final phase” of his move to oust Maduro.

But by late afternoon, many of the protesters in the capital Caracas were drifting home.

Despite Guaido’s calls for the military to support him, the armed forces leadership has so far remained loyal to Maduro, who has been in power since 2013.

In the long-term, the situation in Venezuela isn’t going to change much if the U.S. is able to replace one socialist president (Maduro) with another socialist president (Guaido).  Socialism always ends badly, and the people of Venezuela are going to have to decide for themselves that they don’t want socialism any longer.

But that isn’t what this is about.  U.S. officials have decided that it is time to impose their will on the people of Venezuela, and they have determined that Maduro must go.  If Guaido cannot create a successful internal revolution, then other options will be explored.

And as I mentioned in the opening paragraph, there was a very, very important gathering of top U.S. officials at the White House on Wednesday afternoon

Senior U.S. administration officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford, and National Security Advisor John Bolton, will meet at the White House Wednesday afternoon. With the situation on the ground still “extraordinarily fluid,” according to Shanahan, the U.S. says it is still weighing military options.

Don’t you wish that you could have been a fly on the wall for that meeting?

Of course we already know what Pompeo and Bolton are thinking.  This is what Pompeo just told Fox Business

“Military action is possible. If that’s what’s required, that’s what the United States will do.”

In other words, if Guaido can’t get the job done, our boys and girls are going in.

And John Bolton has repeatedly insisted that “all options are on the table” regarding Venezuela, and he just told reporters the following about potential Russian interference

“This is our hemisphere,” he told reporters outside the White House. “It’s not where the Russians ought to be interfering. This is a mistake on their part. It’s not going to lead to an improvement of relations.”

So precisely what would Bolton like us to do about it?

The Russians already have troops and military equipment in Venezuela, and they are there with the permission of the Venezuelan government.  Does Bolton really want us to attack and risk a war with Russia?

And for what?  Venezuela certainly has a lot of oil, but the truth is that there is no fundamental national security interest at stake in Venezuela.

Unfortunately, there is a growing consensus in Washington that something must be done about Venezuela, and the hysteria has already reached absolutely ridiculous levels.  For example, just consider the words of U.S. Senator Rick Scott

“Here is what is going to happen. We are in the process, if we don’t win today, we are going to have Syria in this hemisphere. So, we can make sure something happens now, or we can deal with this for decades to come. If we care about families, if we care about the human race, if we care about fellow worldwide citizens, then we’ve got to step up and stop this genocide.”

Did you catch that?

Apparently, if you are not in favor of a U.S. invasion of Venezuela, you don’t “care about families” and you don’t “care about the human race” either.

In response to those comments, this is what Tucker Carlson had to say

When was the last time we successfully meddled in the political life of another country? Has it ever worked? How are the democracies we set up in Iraq, in Libya, in Syria, and Afghanistan right now? How would Venezuela be different? Please explain — and take your time.

Are we prepared for the refugees a Venezuelan war would inevitably produce? A study by the Brookings Institution found that the collapse of the Venezuelan government could force eight million people to leave the country. Many of them would come here. Lawmakers in this country propose giving them temporary protected status that would let even illegal arrivals live and work here, in effect, permanently, as many have before, with no fear of deportation. Are we prepared for that?

If we are going to ask members of our military to shed their blood, it had better be for a really, really good reason.

And switching out one socialist leader for another socialist leader in Venezuela definitely does not qualify.

Of course that is the best case scenario.

In a worst case scenario, a U.S. military invasion of Venezuela would spark a war with Russia, and the Russians are making it very clear that there will be “grave consequences” if we attack…

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told Pompeo by phone on Wednesday that further “aggressive steps” in Venezuela would have grave consequences, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said.

Meanwhile, the U.S. is getting dangerously close to war with Iran as well.  The Iranians are threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz in retaliation for Washington cutting off all their oil exports, and if the Strait of Hormuz gets shut down all hell could break loose.

U.S. officials want to “get tough” with all of our enemies around the world, and that is fine as long as you know what are you doing.

Because even one miscalculation can result in missiles flying back and forth, and once peace is taken from the Earth things could get wildly out of control very rapidly.

So let us hope that cooler heads prevail, because right now we are quickly approaching a tipping point.

Get Prepared NowAbout the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

2 Aircraft Carriers Have Left Port – Are The USS Eisenhower And The USS Roosevelt Headed South Toward Venezuela?

Juan Guaido has initiated a violent uprising in an attempt to overthrow Nicolas Maduro, and it appears that the U.S. may be preparing to intervene in the conflict militarily.  The USNI News Fleet and Marine Tracker accurately tracks the current positions of U.S. naval assets, and according to them the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower has left port on the east coast and the USS Theodore Roosevelt has left port on the west coast.  In both cases, each aircraft carrier was originally slated for “training” exercises, but now there is lots of speculation that they are both steaming south toward Venezuela.  Since there has been no official confirmation from Washington, let me stress that once again that any talk about the potential destination of these carriers is just speculation.  But considering what is taking place in Venezuela at this moment, it certainly would not surprise anyone if the waters off Venezuela is precisely where they are heading.

Earlier today, the Intel_Radar Twitter account created quite a stir with a series of seven tweets

BREAKING: US Navy deploys two aircraft carriers, both southbound, one from each coast, amid Venezuela crisis.

Update 1 : Eisenhower left Virginia headed South, on the same day Roosevelt deployed out of San Diego headed for the Panama Canal.

Update 2 : US Navy Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (MMSI:368962000|CS:NIKE) departed Norfolk ~2019-04-26, was off AIS for 4 days, and seems to be headed South, off the US East Coast.

Update 3 : American Roll-on Roll-off Carrier (ARC) RoRo Integrity (IMO:8919934|MMSI:367063310) departed Mexico with a fake destination, “hiding their destination”.

Update 4 : USS Dwight D. Eisenhower has earned a number of awards, including the Battle “E” in 1979, 1980, 1981, 1985, 1990, 1998, 1999, 2006 and 2012 as the most battle efficient carrier in the Atlantic Fleet.

Update 5 : 6248 kHz LSB Venezuela naval freq still active. Also morse code in background.

Update 6 : A US Navy fast combat support ship departed Norfolk just a little bit ago.

If all of this information is true, it would certainly seem to indicate that something is up.

Could it be possible that the U.S. is about to go to war with Venezuela?

If you are not familiar with what happened in Venezuela on Tuesday, here is a pretty good summary

It was a ploy that from its outset felt like a long shot. Before dawn Tuesday, Juan Guaido, flanked by his political mentor Leopoldo Lopez and a handful of soldiers who had broken ranks, issued a message to Venezuela and the world: The time to topple Nicolas Maduro’s authoritarian regime was right now.

By dusk, with Maduro still firmly in control of the military command, Lopez had sought refuge in the Chilean ambassador’s residence in Caracas and the streets were beginning to empty of the protesters who had heeded Guaido’s call to join what he called Operation Liberty.

Either Guaido is completely suicidal, or he is coordinating with the U.S. and he believes that U.S. military help in on the way.

The second option seems more likely, and on Tuesday John Bolton even admitted that “a deal had been struck” with key members of Maduro’s regime…

The whole episode was so bizarre — with Guaido seemingly lacking the military might to have any chance at all — that it was hard to understand the day’s events. One explanation, as related by National Security Adviser John Bolton, was that a deal had been struck behind the scenes and that key members of Maduro’s regime had agreed to flip, paving the way for Guaido to easily assume power.

Well, either Bolton was bluffing or those officials double-crossed him, because it just hasn’t happened.

And perhaps that would help to explain this very angry tweet from Bolton

.@vladimirpadrino, @Ivanr_HD, @MaikelMorenoTSJ: Your time is up. This is your last chance. Accept Interim President Guaido’s amnesty, protect the Constitution, and remove Maduro, and we will take you off our sanctions list. Stay with Maduro, and go down with the ship.

In response to Bolton’s tweet, one top Venezuelan official posted the following

Dream on … Not today!

Subsequently, Bolton once again told the press that “all options are on the table” when it comes to Venezuela…

Bolton later told reporters that the U.S. would consider intervening in Venezuela.

“We want, as our principal objective, the peaceful transition of power, but I will say again as the president has said from the outset and as Nicolas Maduro and those supporting him — particularly those who are not Venezuelan — should know, is all options are on the table,” Bolton said.

But if the U.S. goes into Venezuela, it will be a full-blown war against a seasoned military with more than 300,000 troops in a country twice the size of Iraq.

In addition, the Russians and the Cubans already have troops there, and they have no intention of pulling their forces out.

In other words, an invasion of Venezuela could potentially spark World War 3.

But John Bolton doesn’t seem fazed by any of that.  He is a hardcore war hawk, and he has been calling for military conflict for years.  If you will remember, he actually called for a pre-emptive war against North Korea just two months before joining the Trump administration

For John Bolton, the national-security adviser, the summit represented a conundrum. Two months before he entered the White House, in April, 2018, he had called for preëmptive war with North Korea. During the past two decades, Bolton has established himself as the Republican Party’s most militant foreign-policy thinker—an advocate of aggressive force who ridicules anyone who disagrees. In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, he argued that Kim’s regime would soon be able to strike the United States with nuclear weapons, and that we should attack before it was too late. “The threat is imminent,” he wrote. “It is perfectly legitimate for the United States to respond to the current ‘necessity’ posed by North Korea’s nuclear weapons by striking first.”

We truly live in ominous times, and many are deeply concerned that Bolton seems to have so much influence over U.S. foreign policy right now.

Ultimately, we don’t know what is going to happen next, but it is interesting to note that White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney also used the phrase “all options are on the table” during an interview with Maria Bartiromo…

“The only messages I think we are trying to get out there is that we want to make sure the Russians and the Cubans know they are not supposed to get involved and that we do and have said a bunch of times that all options are on the table” said Mulvaney during a conversation with FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo from the Milken Institute Global Conference Opens a New Window.

They are making it very clear that a full-blown invasion of Venezuela is a real possibility, and most Americans have absolutely no idea what that would mean.

We are talking about a conflict that would be several magnitudes greater than the Iraq war, and it could be right around the corner.

Get Prepared NowAbout the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

Airstrikes, Tanks Heading To The Border And Planes Shot Down – India And Pakistan Are In A State Of War

War has erupted in Asia.  India is the second largest country in the world by population, and Pakistan is the fifth largest, and they both possess large nuclear arsenals.  If this conflict continues to escalate, things could get really, really bad very quickly.  On Wednesday, military aircraft were shot down by both sides, there was shelling across the border by both armies, and in recent hours videos have been posted of Pakistani tanks and Indian tanks both heading to the border.  Once one army crosses the “Line of Control”, it is going to be very difficult to get the two sides to sit down at the negotiating table.  War is one of the elements of “the perfect storm” that I have been warning you about, and I have a feeling that this is just the beginning of the conflict that we are going to see in 2019.

The Pakistani military was greatly embarrassed by the successful Indian airstrikes on Monday, and on Tuesday military aircraft from both sides were shot down

Earlier today Pakistan and India said they had shot down each other’s warplanes, in a dramatic escalation of the dangerous confrontation between the nuclear-armed rivals.

Pakistan said it downed two Indian jets in its airspace and captured two pilots, later amended to one: whom they then seemingly paraded – blindfolded and bloodied – for the camera.

On Tuesday evening, Islamabad used heavy calibre artillery to shell 12 to 15 places along the Indian side creating panic among the populace on the border where bunkers are being hastily thrown up to ease their fears.

When the Indian pilot that was shot down was discovered by locals in Pakistan, they started beating the living daylights out of him.  The following comes from the Mirror

The brief clip shows the cameraman approach a group of people huddled around the stricken pilot in what appears to be a small creek.

The pilot, whose arms are being held above his head, is struck in the face twice before being kicked in the back of the head, with someone behind him appearing to attempt to knee him.

The Pakistani military was able to rescue the pilot from the locals, and they are now holding him in a detention facility.

In addition to airstrikes, it is being reported that both armies “have been shelling across the LoC (Line of Control)”.  Needless to say, a lot of civilians that live along the border are really freaked out, and on the Indian side of the border a total of 14,000 bunkers are hastily being constructed to give concerned citizens some shelter.

Most westerners don’t really think of India and Pakistan as prominent global military powers, but the truth is that they both have very large standing armies.  And at this point India is allocating even more money than the UK toward military spending…

India, home to 1.3 billion people, has a conventional army of about 1.4 million soldiers. Pakistan, with a population of over 200 million people, has about 650,000 troops. Both countries have spent billions developing conventional arms. Last year, Pakistan spent about $11 billion or about 3.6 percent of its gross domestic product on defense. India meanwhile allocated about $58 billion, or 2.1 percent of its GDP on defense, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies. India’s ballooning military spending has propelled it to the world’s fifth-biggest defense spender, surpassing the United Kingdom, according to the IISS.

But the big concern is that this crisis could go nuclear.

If India and Pakistan fought a war and it stayed strictly conventional, the rest of the world would probably not be affected too much.

However, it is being reported that India and Pakistan both “possess more than 100 nuclear warheads each”, and if such weapons are actually used the global impact would be “devastating”…

Both India and Pakistan are believed to possess more than 100 nuclear warheads each and have conducted atomic weapon tests. Both countries have test-fired nuclear-capable missiles. Pakistan also has refused to renounce a first-strike option with its atomic bombs should it feel outgunned in a conventional war. It takes less than four minutes for a missile fired from Pakistan to reach India. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists warns that “computer models have predicted that the physical impacts of a nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan, or even a single strike on a large city, would be devastating and would reverberate throughout the world.”

Approximately one out of every five people on the entire planet lives in either India or Pakistan.

So the death toll in a nuclear conflict between these two nations could result in a death toll that would be unimaginable.

And let us not forget that it looks like the U.S. is about to enter another new war as well.  In an article that I posted yesterday, I discussed the fact that Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev has just accused the United States of shipping troops to Colombia and Puerto Rico in preparation for an invasion of Venezuela.  China has come out very strongly against western military intervention in Venezuela, and the Russians already have special forces there.

If someone makes the wrong move, it could end up sparking World War 3.

We are living in one of the most pivotal times in all of human history, and most people don’t even realize it.

If India backs down, Pakistan will probably be willing to go to the negotiating table.  But if India’s tanks cross the Line of Control, Pakistan may feel forced to resort to using nukes because they can’t match India’s military strength, and then all hell could break loose.

Similarly, if the U.S. backs down and doesn’t arm the opposition in Venezuela, there probably won’t be a bloody war in that nation.  But if the U.S. arms the opposition and decides to invade on top of that, it is going to unleash a series of negative consequences that we will not be able to control.

Critical decisions are being made right now that are going to greatly alter our future, and let us hope that cooler heads prevail.

Get Prepared NowAbout the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

Shocking Intel: It Is Being Alleged That Weapons And Ammunition Are Being Moved Into Position For The Coming War In Venezuela

It looks like the war in Venezuela could begin as soon as next month, and it doesn’t appear that there will initially be much opposition to the conflict in the United States.  There is widespread bipartisan support for “regime change” in Venezuela among both Democrats and Republicans, and the mainstream media is clearly willing to go along for the ride.  Donald Trump is now surrounded by extremely hawkish advisers that are very eager to do something about Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, and if Trump decides to pull the trigger it is likely that the vast majority of his supporters will fully back the decision.  And at this point most of the other major western nations are also calling for Maduro to go, but Maduro insists that he isn’t going anywhere.  So a peaceful solution to this crisis appears to be out of the question, and that means that war is almost certainly coming.

This weekend was the first step.  If western aid could be forced across the border, it would show that Maduro was losing control of the country.  But if Maduro was able to block the aid that was coming across, that would make him look like a leader that doesn’t care about his people to those in the western world, and sympathetic media reports would help drum up support for war.  Of course by now most of us have seen images of the violence that happened along the border over the weekend, and a lot of blood was needlessly shed.  The following comes from Vox

Starting Friday, violent clashes erupted at several points along Venezuela’s border with Colombia as armed government forces tried to block shipments of aid from entering the country. By the end of Saturday, at least four people had reportedly been killed along that line and along the Latin American country’s border with Brazil; hundreds more were injured. Maduro has insisted that the humanitarian supplies are unnecessary and spent the weekend continuing to celebrate his ongoing rule with his supporters — even as the United States and other international leaders amped up calls for him to step down.

CNN, MSNBC and Fox News are going to endlessly run footage of the violent clashes over the weekend, and this will build support for whatever action is ultimately taken.

During the Bush years, direct military action was the preferred model, and we saw this in Afghanistan and Iraq.  During the Obama years, arming the “resistance” and starting civil wars was the preferred model, and we saw this in Syria and Ukraine.

So what will Trump ultimately decide to do?

Well, the Russians appear to believe that in this case the Obama model will be followed, and they are accusing the United States of making preparations to arm the opposition in Venezuela.  According to Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova, the U.S. has already transported special forces personnel and military equipment “closer to Venezuelan territory”

Zakharova alleged that the US had moved special forces and military equipment ‘closer to Venezuelan territory’ and was considering large-scale weapons purchases to arm the opposition.

Noting that it had been five years since the Ukrainian revolution that ousted a Russian-backed leader – which Moscow has accused the US of orchestrating – Zakharova said Washington was preparing for more regime change in Venezuela.

‘It seems that in Washington there is nothing to mark the fifth anniversary of the coup d’etat in Ukraine, so they decided to hold a new coup d’etat,’ she said.

She also told the press that the U.S. is planning to transfer “a large batch of weapons and ammunition” from an Eastern European nation to those that are ready to fight against Maduro’s government in Venezuela…

“We have evidence that US companies and their NATO allies are working on the issue of acquiring a large batch of weapons and ammunition in an Eastern European country for their subsequent transfer to Venezuelan opposition forces”, she said during the briefing.

If these allegations are true, the United States is about to turn Venezuela into a horrific war zone.

And Zakharova went on to say that “the cargo” is scheduled to arrive in Venezuela “in early March”

“The cargo is set to arrive in Venezuela in early March through a neighboring country on aircraft flown by an international shipping company,” she said.

Could it be possible that everything that the Russians are saying is untrue?

Sure.

But when they publicly call us out on something like this, they usually have their ducks in a row.  And if these allegations are true and the Russians were able to acquire this information somehow, this represents a stunning security failure for the U.S. military.

Of course a civil war is quite unlikely to be successful in overthrowing Maduro, and it is still possible that President Trump may opt for direct action by the U.S. military.

In fact, it appears that Venezuela’s self-declared “acting president” Juan Guaido could be on the verge of formally asking the U.S. military for help in “the liberation of our homeland”

The threat comes just Guaido announced he would attend a summit of the Lima Group – a meeting of 12 American states which have recognized him as “legitimate” leader of Venezuela.

Crucially, Guaido is to meet with US Vice President Mike Pence at the summit where he will “propose formally to the international community that we should keep open all options for the liberation of our homeland, which is fighting and will continue to fight,” according to a tweeted statement Saturday evening.

If Guaido does officially request U.S. military intervention, it will only be because the U.S. has already assured him that he will get it.

In recent days, President Trump has repeatedly stated that all options are “open” when it comes to Venezuela, and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stressed the same thing during an interview with Fox News on Sunday

It appears this weekend’s provocations and border showdown over US aid entering Venezuela were just the beginning. US State Secretary Mike Pompeo discussed the prospect of military action against Caracas on Fox News Sunday, saying the Maduro regime’s days are “numbered” and that “every option” is on the table toward making that happen.

Pompeo said the US is “going to do the things that need to be done” and this will not stop until “makes sure” that “there is a brighter future for the people of Venezuela,” which includes continued support for self-proclaimed interim president, Juan Guaido.

There are a few voices on the right and a few voices on the left that are speaking out against war in Venezuela, but right now the overwhelming consensus in Washington is that regime change is necessary.

Needless to say, whenever there is an overwhelming consensus on something in Washington, it is usually a really, really bad idea.

My regular readers already know that I believe that the U.S. should not be “the police of the world”, and that if we are going to ask young American men and women to die it should be for a very, very good reason.

Replacing one socialist leader in Venezuela with a slightly less socialist leader does not qualify.

But the winds of war are now blowing all over the globe, and this is something that I detailed in my recent article entitled “‘Wars And Rumors Of Wars’: The U.S., Venezuela, Cuba, Russia, India And Pakistan All Move Closer To Military Conflict”.

Steve Quayle has noticed all of the war talk as well, and in his most recent alert he called these “very dangerous times”

MANY DIFFERENT AREA’S IN THE WORLD SEEM TO HAVE BEEN KICKED INTO WAR MODE, AT THE FLIP OF THE GLOBALIST SWITCH-KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE ESCALATION BETWEEN PAKISTAN AND INDIA, AS WELL AS RUSSIA VERSUS THE UKRAINE. BACKROOM TALK OF CUBA BEING PUT ON WAR FOOTING ALSO. PRESIDENT PUTINS ANGER, IS OFF THE CHARTS AND THE WEST IS ABOUT TO INITIATE A SERIE OF EVENTS THAT WILL ESCALATE RAPIDLY-USE TOMORROW TO TOP OFF PREPS JUST IN CASE! RUN THROUGH YOUR LISTS TONIGHT -GOOD TIME TO RUN THROUGH YOUR CHECKLIST-AND CHRISTIANS PRAY AND INTERCEDE WITH YOUR WHOLE HEART-VERY DANGEROUS TIMES

I have written this article with a very heavy heart.  I have a really bad feeling about what is going to happen, and I wish that I could do something to stop it.

Peace is being taken from the Earth, and what is coming next is going to shock all of us.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

Uh Oh – Please Tell Me That The U.S. Is Not About To Go To War With Venezuela…

Is the United States about to be dragged into another pointless war that will drag on for years?  Have we learned nothing form the wars in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq?  When Juan Guaido boldly declared himself the new leader of Venezuela during an opposition rally on January 23rd, everybody realized that something was up.  There is no way that he ever would have done that unless he knew in advance that the United States was going to publicly back him.  And when John Bolton appeared at a White House briefing with “5,000 troops to Colombia” scribbled on a yellow note pad, it became exceedingly clear what was about to happen.  Diplomatic pressure would be used to try to force Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro from power, but if that didn’t work then regime change would be achieved by force.

Maduro has seen this playbook before, and he has told the Venezuelan people that if “the North American empire attacks us, we will have to defend ourselves”.  He is officially freaked out, and for good reason.

The push toward war is officially on, and over the weekend Donald Trump told CBS reporter Margaret Brennan that sending U.S. troops to Venezuela is “an option” that is being considered…

MARGARET BRENNAN: What would make you use the U.S. military in Venezuela? What’s the national security interest?

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Well, I don’t want to say that. But certainly it’s something that’s on the – it’s an option.

Yes, Nicolas Maduro is an absolutely horrible leader, but do we get to overthrow the governments of other countries just because we don’t like who is in charge?

And how would you feel if somebody else decided to attack us because they don’t like who is in the White House?

The U.S. was the first major power to recognize Juan Guaido as the “legitimate” president of Venezuela, and now the UK and most other European nations have also backed Guaido.

But Russia and China continue to back Maduro, and so that sets up a very interesting situation.

Will the western powers go ahead with their plans for regime change even though the international community is divided?

In particular, Russia has a very strong incentive to keep Maduro in power.  The following comes from Zero Hedge

“Russia is now so deeply invested in the Maduro regime that the only realistic option is to double down,” writes senior fellow at the Carnegie Moscow Center Alexander Gabuev.

He details in a Financial Times op-ed that Moscow-based state oil giant Rosneft owns two offshore gas fields in Venezuela and further has “stakes in assets boasting more than 20m tonnes of crude.” But as embattled President Nicolas Maduro faces US-led efforts to oust him in favor of opposition leader Juan Guaido, billions are on the line for Moscow making its interest in preserving the regime run deep.

So just like in Syria and Ukraine, the U.S. and Russia once again find themselves on opposite sides in a very tense conflict.

This crisis could end very quickly if Maduro steps down, but that isn’t going to happen.  In fact, he was quite defiant when the major European powers decided to recognize Guaido…

He also rejected European calls for elections, saying: “We don’t accept ultimatums from anyone. I refuse to call for elections now – there will be elections in 2024. We don’t care what Europe says.”

And he warned Trump that this will be a war that “will leave the presidency stained with blood”

“Stop. Stop, Trump! Hold it right there! You are making mistakes that will leave your hands covered in blood and you will leave the presidency stained with blood,” Maduro warned during a combative interview with the Spanish journalist Jordi Évole. “Why would you want a repeat of Vietnam?

That certainly doesn’t sound like someone that intends to throw in the towel.  Maduro has the Venezuelan military and the Venezuelan police solidly behind him, and former State Department official Eric Farnsworth thinks that it is unlikely that Maduro will leave without violence…

“If people are not prepared to take steps designed to support the nascent Guaido government, this could flop and that would be a huge setback,” Farnsworth said. “Does that mean the ultimate answer is U.S. troops? I don’t think that’s a healthy conversation to have. If Maduro wants to have U.S. troops at his doorstep, he’ll start targeting U.S. citizens.”

Farnsworth said the only scenario where Maduro is pressured to leave without violence involves Russia and China becoming convinced that Maduro’s potential successor would be better for them than the status quo and working with the international community on a transition plan. Russia and China continue to recognize Maduro, and Russia has sent aircraft to Venezuela amid reports that Maduro is looking to remove gold reserves from the country.

If the U.S. wants Guaido to be successful, he is going to need military help, and that would mean a full-blown invasion of Venezuela.

A full-blown invasion of Venezuela would be an ugly, bloody war.  Without a doubt, the U.S. would ultimately win, but global opinion would turn against us very rapidly just like it did during the wars in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq.

We live at a time of wars and rumors of wars, and hopefully this will just turn out to be one of those rumors.

Because going to war with Venezuela is one of the stupidest ideas that I have heard in a very long time, and President Trump must not do it.

Get Prepared NowAbout the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.  His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News.  From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the nation.  If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so.  The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

America Is Committing Suicide: Over The Past 12 Months, The U.S. National Debt Has Increased By 1.271 Trillion Dollars

If we do not change course, our once great nation will be destroyed by a debt that has grown wildly out of control.  We are facing an unprecedented debt crisis that literally threatens to bring our country to an end, and yet our politicians are almost entirely silent on this issue in 2018.  In fact, Republicans and Democrats just worked together to pass another big, fat spending bill through Congress that is actually going to increase the pace at which we are going into debt.  What the Republicrats are doing is not just wrong.  To be honest, the truth is that they are committing crimes against humanity, and they are completely wiping out the very bright future that our children and our grandchildren were supposed to have.  How in the world is America supposed to be “great again” when we are buried in so much debt that future generations can never have any possible hope of getting free from it?

The fiscal year of the federal government goes from October 1st to September 30th.  During the fiscal year that just ended, the U.S. national debt increased by 1.271 trillion dollars

The federal debt increased by $1,271,158,167,126.72 in fiscal 2018, according to data released today by the Treasury.

The total federal debt started the fiscal year at $20,244,900,016,053.51 according to the Treasury, and finished the fiscal year at $21,516,058,183,180.23.

This is one of the reasons why I wanted to go to Washington.  Our current “representatives” are completely and utterly failing us.

Once upon a time, at least members of the Tea Party would stand up and say something, but these days nobody seems to care that America’s future is being systematically destroyed.  Republicans have been in control of both houses of Congress, but our debt problems just continue to get worse and worse.  And the truth is that the budgets that have been passed since Donald Trump became president are simply slightly revised Obama budgets.  The Republicans have allowed the Democrats to have their way time after time, and it has been absolutely disgusting to watch.

In 8 of the past 11 fiscal years, the U.S. national debt has risen by more than a trillion dollars, and the U.S. national debt is now sitting at an all-time record high of 21.52 trillion dollars.

What we are doing is literally insane, and if we want our nation to survive we must change course immediately.

These days, there is a lot of discussion about the political gains that “Democratic socialists” have been making all over America, and Republicans are trying to assure us that the American people don’t actually want socialism.

But you know what?

We have already gone most of the way down the road toward socialism.  I think that Ron Paul made this point very well  in his most recent article

We know socialism does not work. It is an economic system based on the use of force rather than economic freedom of choice. But while many Americans seem to be in a panic over the failures of socialism in Venezuela, they don’t seem all that concerned that right here at home President Trump just signed a massive $1.3 trillion dollar spending bill that delivers socialism on a scale that Venezuelans couldn’t even imagine. In fact this one spending bill is three times Venezuela’s entire gross domestic product!

Did I miss all the Americans protesting this warfare-welfare state socialism?

If you are really against socialism, you should be fighting for the federal government to be greatly reduced in size and scope.

But so few Americans seem to believe in true limited government these days.

It would be a great first step if we would actually try to start living within our means.  But if 1.271 trillion dollars of government spending was pulled out of the economy over the past 12 months, the result would be a horrible economic depression.  And politicians do not like economic downturns, because when things get bad voters tend not to vote for incumbents.  So they just keep going into more debt and they keep kicking the can down the road.

But if we stay on the path that we are currently on, the CBO says that the United States will be 99 trillion dollars in debt by 2048.

Of course we will never actually ever get to 99 trillion dollars in debt.  America will cease to exist long before we ever reach that mark.

If we want to save America, we must take action now, but very few people seem to even care about our exploding debt at this point.

And it isn’t just our national debt that is the problem.  State and local government debt is at record levels all over the nation, corporate debt has doubled since the last financial crisis, and U.S. consumers are more than 13 trillion dollars in debt

If you added up the personal debt of every American — what they owe on their mortgages, credit cards, student loans, and more — the total is staggering. Collectively, we’re $13.2 trillion in the red. That’s the highest ever, according to the New York Fed.

Yet no one seems to be panicking. Maybe that’s because we can’t comprehend $13 trillion. Imagine buying every NFL team. And every NBA team. And every NHL team. And every Major League Baseball team. But that only adds up to $191 billion.

America is committing suicide in slow-motion, and it is an absolutely heartbreaking thing to witness.

It is almost as if we lack the will to survive as a nation.  All we seem to care about is our comfort level at this moment, and we don’t want anyone to tell us that we have to cut back on anything.  I think that Chris Martenson summed things up very well in his most recent piece

Nothing grows forever.  Cancer tries, but always defeats itself in the process.  Yeast parties until all the sugar in the vat is gone or it pollutes itself out of an active existence.

Can humans do better? The jury is still out on that.

But so far, the signs say that, as a group, we lack the ability to organize effectively against big, complex challenges. Especially if doing so requires us to willingly choose to live a life of less. We’re simply too addicted to more.

We cannot continue to go down this road.

Because at the end of this road is not just economic collapse.  What we are talking about is literally the end of the United States of America.

All throughout history, great societies have been done in by greed, sloth, corruption and laziness, and we are headed down the exact same path.  If we want to survive, emergency surgery is necessary, but at this point nobody is even tending to the dying patient.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

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Destroying America: It Is Being Projected That The U.S. National Debt Will Hit 99 Trillion Dollars By 2048

Temporary prosperity that is created by exploding levels of debt is not actually prosperity at all.  At this moment, the U.S. government is 21.4 trillion dollars in debt, and we have been adding an average of more than a trillion dollars a year to that debt since 2009.  And if we stay on the path that we are currently on, the trajectory of our debt will soon accelerate dramatically.  In fact, as you will see below, the Congressional Budget Office is now projecting that the U.S. national debt will reach 99 trillion dollars by 2048 if nothing changes.  Congressional Budget Office projections always tend to be overly optimistic, and so the reality will probably be much worse than that.  Of course we will never actually see the day when our national debt reaches 99 trillion dollars.  Our government (and our entire society along with it) will collapse long before we ever get to that point.  In our endless greed, we are literally destroying America, and emergency action must be taken immediately if we are to survive.

Debt always makes things seem better in the short-term, and it is always destructive in the long-term.

When we go into debt as a nation, we are literally stealing from the bright future that our children and our grandchildren were supposed to have.  Through the first 11 months of this fiscal year, the official U.S. budget deficit was $895,000,000,000, which means that we continue to steal more than 100 million dollars from future generations of Americans every single hour of every single day.

And it is important to remember that not all additions to the national debt are included in the official budget deficit.  One year ago, our national debt was sitting at 20.1 trillion dollars, and that means that we have added an astounding 1.3 trillion dollars to the debt over the past 12 months.

This is complete and utter insanity, and it must stop now.

Let me try to put this into perspective.  Not too long ago, Venezuela was once one of the wealthiest countries in South America.  These days, many Americans like to laugh at them, but we are on the exact same path that Venezuela has gone down.  Eventually, the day comes when there is not enough of someone else’s money to spend, and suffocating levels of debt make the option of printing giant mountains of money too tempting to resist.  At that point it is just a matter of time before the currency is destroyed and society devolves into chaos.

If current Congressional Budget Office projections area anywhere close to accurate, America’s date with destiny is rapidly approaching.  The following comes from CBS News

Under the new baseline incorporating recent changes in law, the national debt reaches $99 trillion in 2048 — equivalent to 152 percent of GDP.

And the CBO is also projecting that our yearly budget deficit will go from one trillion dollars today to 6 trillion dollars by 2048…

The federal budget deficit is expected to break through a trillion dollars in 2020 and never look back, reaching $2 trillion in 2032 and $6 trillion in 2048.

But like I said, we will never actually get there, because our society will collapse by then.

So we only have a limited amount of time to save America, and the clock is ticking.

At this point, the total amount of U.S. government debt held by the public has already surpassed all household debt

Debt held by the public will top $127,000 per household by the end of the year, according to JPMorgan. Personal debt per household will average about $126,000.

“This is an astonishing statistic,” said David Kelly, chief global strategist at JPMorgan Funds. “Americans have a lot of debt. I always feel nervous signing a mortgage or a car loan. I think, can I afford all this debt? Then you realize the government is busy borrowing even more money on your behalf.”

I wish that I could get more people to understand just how serious this is.

Do you know what the inflation rate will be in Venezuela this year?

The IMF is projecting that it will be more than a million percent.

Chaos is everywhere, crime is out of control and people are starving, and yet we refuse to learn from what has happened to them.

We just keep spending and spending, and we think that we have found the key to prosperity.

But what we have really found is an accelerated path to economic hell.

And it isn’t just the U.S. that is in deep trouble.  The entire globe has been on a massive debt binge, and it is only a matter of time before this gigantic debt bubble implodes.  The following comes from an excellent piece by Larry Elliott

The BIS says in its latest annual report that there are already material risks to financial stability. “In some respects, the risks mirror the unbalanced post-crisis recovery and its excessive reliance on monetary policy. Where financial vulnerabilities exist, they have been building up, in their usual gradual and persistent way. More generally, financial markets are overstretched … and we have seen a continuous rise in the global stock of debt, private plus public, in relation to GDP. This has extended a trend that goes back to well before the crisis and that has coincided with a long-term decline in interest rates.”

Behind the dry official language, the message is clear. A recovery that is based around high and rising levels of debt is really no recovery at all. The world economy is, in all material respects, the same as it was in the run-up to the 2008 crisis. The necessary reforms to a flawed model have not taken place, which is why the BIS warning should not be ignored.

On a personal level, have you ever gotten into debt trouble?

At first, it was a lot of fun enjoying all of the new things that all of that debt bought, but the pain afterwards greatly outweighed the initial temporary prosperity.

The same principle is going to also apply on a global scale.  The U.S. government is now more than 20 trillion dollars in debt, and the entire globe is now more than 250 trillion dollars in debt, and a day of reckoning is coming.  The following comes from David Stockman

And it’s that $20 trillion, built up over the last two decades, that has basically distorted everything – falsified prices, repressed interest rates, caused an explosion of debt. Twenty years ago there was $40 trillion of debt in the world today there is $250 trillion worth of debt in the world. The leverage of the world has gone from 1.3 times which is stable…to 3.3 times, which basically means the world has created a huge temporary prosperity by burying itself in debt.

It would take an unprecedented effort to turn things around, but right now hardly anyone seems concerned about bringing all of this debt under control.

So we continue to roll on toward our date with financial disaster, and most people are completely oblivious to what is about to happen to us.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

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