It’s the smartest political maneuver I’ve seen in quite a while, a set up job to beat all set up jobs – a dirty trick by a master trickster and it’s being played out right out there in public, not in the shadows as is usually the case.
I’m talking about the fake invasion of Venezuela, a project assigned by the President to the neocon faction in the administration.
Hey wait a minute – the neocon faction? There isn’t supposed to be any such thing! If you recall Trump explicitly attacked the neocons in his first foreign policy speech. Why is he appointing his mortal enemies?
And they are indeed his enemies: Elliott Abrams denounced him as unfit to be President and compared him to George McGovern – a dangerous isolationist whose followers must be driven out of the Republican Party.
Trump has a Neocon Problem. How to solve it?
If the neocons have a failing, a vice, it is their love of power. Their method is to whisper in the ear of the king. That means getting close to the throne. It was almost funny to read their articles agonizing over whether it’s moral to accept a job in this administration.
Ensconced in the National Security Agency, they’ve been given a special project all their own in a venue that has always been one of their favorites: South America. The target this time: the socialist regime of Nicolás Maduro, which has been besieged by his rightist enemies for years – while inflation is over 1000 percent, starvation looms, and a civil war is in progress.
The stage is set – but for what? Will they greet us as liberators just like they didn’t in Iraq?
It might make a real joke if human lives and the destiny of a nation weren’t involved. Because there will be no invasion of Venezuela by the US: the Pentagon would never allow it. Furthermore, the one institution that is still working is the Venezuelan Army, which is fiercely loyal to Maduro. If, after all this time, the generals have stood behind the regime, they are not about to defect now.
Another problem: the opposition. Split ten ways Tuesday, beset by feuds, jealousy, and a record of failure, they are an insult to the healthy nationalist instincts of ordinary Venezuelans. The pretentious tactic of proclaiming the appointment of “President” Guaido is so stupid that it seems designed to fail.
An outcome which the President is undoubtedly hoping for.
Oh, don’t get me wrong: Trump would surely like to see Maduro overthrown and the country opened up to American development (“Have you seen their beaches? And the condos you could build!”)
But that’s a side issue. All told, success is highly unlikely – and the neocons will be the ones to take the “credit.” John Bolton will own this 21st century version of the Bay of Pigs. And the America First nationalists in the administration can turn to their adversaries and say “See guys, we tried it your way and look what happened – the same thing that happened in Syria.”
Instead of taking on the neocons directly, Trump embraces them – and we can see the knife go in as this whole scenario plays out.
How did someone with no political experience, no party, and no real chance to win – under normal circumstances – become President of the United States? Watching Trump defy, outwit, and ultimately destroy his enemies is quite a sight to see, and surely the most entertainment we’ve had in a long time.
NOTES IN THE MARGIN
You can check out my Twitter feed by going here. But please note that my tweets are sometimes deliberately provocative, often made in jest, and largely consist of me thinking out loud.
I’ve written a couple of books, which you might want to peruse. Here is the link for buying the second edition of my 1993 book, Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement, with an Introduction by Prof. George W. Carey, a Foreword by Patrick J. Buchanan, and critical essays by Scott Richert and David Gordon (ISI Books, 2008).
You can buy An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard (Prometheus Books, 2000), my biography of the great libertarian thinker, here.