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Tag Archives: Venezuela

Trump Gets Frustrated with John Bolton’s Interventionism

Seems like maybe President Trump is not going to let himself get dragged by Neocons into a war in Venezuela.

According to the Washington Post:

President Trump is questioning his administration’s aggressive strategy in Venezuela following the failure of a U.S.-backed effort to oust President Nicolás Maduro, complaining he was misled about how easy it would be to replace the socialist strongman with a young opposition figure, according to administration officials and White House advisers.

The president’s dissatisfaction has crystallized around national security adviser John Bolton and what Trump has groused is an interventionist stance at odds with his view that the United States should stay out of foreign quagmires.

Trump has said in recent days that Bolton wants to get him “into a war” — a comment that he has made in jest in the past but that now betrays his more serious concerns, one senior administration official said.

The administration’s policy is officially unchanged in the wake of a fizzled power play last week by U.S.-backed opposition leader Juan Guaidó. But U.S. officials have since been more cautious in their predictions of Maduro’s swift exit, while reassessing what one official described as the likelihood of a diplomatic “long haul.”

Bad Idea Developing: Trump Administration Vows Military Action to Help Guaido

So this Venezuela thing is starting to move toward a point of no return as President Trump’s own advisors seek to box him in and force military action in Venezuela.

Both Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Advisor John Bolton made statements Wednesday that put U.S. credibility on the line, saying military force would be used if necessary. They both went beyond the “all options are on the table” formulation they previously have been using.

According to the Washington Post:

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that a peaceful resolution was still desired but that “military action is possible. If that’s what’s required, that’s what the United States will do,” he told Fox Business Network.

Asked if the U.S. military would be used to protect Guaidó, White House national security adviser John Bolton told MSNBC that President Trump “has been clear and concise on this point: All options are open. We want a peaceful transfer of power. But we are not going to see Guaidó mistreated by this regime.”

This is what’s known in technical, foreign policy language as a BAD IDEA. Venezuela is a problem, but the U.S. military is already over-extended with obligations and the need to be ready to face true enemies like Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, and various Islamists. WE HAVE TO CHOOSE OUR FIGHTS. Great nations of the past have fallen when they tried to do too much.

The military, and Trump, are unconvinced they we need to send in troops. But they are being dragged into a conflict, and Trump needs to rein in Pompeo and Bolton if he doesn’t want to invade Venezuela.

Top Pentagon officials emphasized nonmilitary options and said they had not been given orders to pre-position troops or prepare for conflict. “We’re obviously watching the situation very closely in Venezuela. The president’s made it clear that all options are on the table,” Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in congressional testimony. “To date, most of our actions have been diplomatic and economic.”

Trump has shown little willingness to plunge into Venezuela, according to current and former aides, although he has already imposed sanctions on Cuba — which the administration has accused of controlling the Venezuelan military — and threatened more. Russia, the White House said in a statement late Wednesday, “must leave” Venezuela “and renounce their support of the Maduro regime.”

The president has occasionally mused to others that Bolton wants to get him into wars. Two advisers who have discussed Venezuela with him said Trump often brings up Florida politics, and his golf club in Doral, when talking about the subject. Both said Trump was unlikely to authorize any sort of long-term military action there.

At the same time, however, aides said he has given Bolton wide purview over Venezuela.

As he has pushed for a more aggressive policy, Bolton has angered some within and outside the White House. Even before Tuesday’s events, his staff clashed with Gen. Paul Selva, Dunford’s vice chairman, during a meeting to address the ongoing Venezuelan crisis, according to several officials with knowledge of the exchange.

Trump has to make some decisions. Once we get into Venezuela, the extent to which we will have to escalate is completely unpredictable. China and Russia will be all too happy to bog us down there.

The situation is tragic, but we cannot save everyone. The Venezuelans chose the people who now oppress them. Socialism has repeatedly been shown to lead to tragedy, despite what some leading Democratic presidential hopefuls are telling you.

Of course, still, the Venezuelans don’t deserve this fate. But we, and our brave young men and women, don’t deserve to be pulled into it either.

United States Threatens to Intervene Militarily in Venezuela’s Internal Affairs

I think most people have missed it, but the United States Monday threatened to launch an invasion of Venezuela to oust Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro for actions he might take against other Venezuelans, not just against U.S. personnel in the country.

Here is the key phrase from National Security Advisor John Bolton, who briefed at the White House Monday:

The United States will hold Venezuelan security forces responsible for the safety of all U.S. diplomatic personnel, the National Assembly, and President Guaidó.  Any violence against these groups would signify a grave assault on the rule of law and will be met with a significant response

Bolton went on to say that “all options are on the table.”

Get it? Maduro moves against Guaido, who has claimed power with U.S. backing, and U.S. troops may enter the country.

And then install Guaido. And then what? Do we just leave and let Venezuela suffer once we’re there. Once the TV cameras are rolling? Or do we start nation-building? And militarily rooting out Maduro’s remaining supporters.

How about in a couple of years when the very people we’re trying to help start chanting, “Yankee bastards, go home!”

Save our precious military assets for the enemies who threaten us, like Russia, China, and North Korea. The military that was depleted by Obama is already stretched too thin.

U.S. Headed Toward Possible Military Action in Venezuela

I’m not sure why this administration seems so intent on using our military to help fight it out in Venezuela.

I’m very sorry the Latin American nation decided it needed socialist leadership, but it did, and it is now paying the price of all others who have been subject to socialism. We don’t need young Americans dying in Venezuela to help them correct their mistake.

The White House is now recognizing some guy there who declared himself president instead of Nicolas Maduro, the current dictator. Maduro has ordered U.S. personnel to leave, and the United States is rejecting the demand. It looks to me like we are trying to provoke a confrontation.

“The United States does not consider former president Nicolas Maduro to have the legal authority to break diplomatic relations with the United States or to declare our diplomats persona non grata,” said Secretary of State Pompeo.

Asked if military force was being considered President Trump said: “We’re not considering anything, but all options on the table,” he said. “All options, always, all options are on the table.”

So that means “Yes.” So what’s the plan here? Invading Venezuela? For what, exactly?

I’d like to know what’s driving U.S. policy toward the country. I don’t think it’s oil. Someone in the administration seems to have an agenda. But if it is oil, I’ll gladly pay a few more bucks for gasoline to save our kids from fighting in the streets of Caracas.