Sunday, May 5, 2019

May 5, 2019


MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey

PAT BUCHANAN Writes on Domestic Politics, 2020, and Warns about Venezuela

Friends,

Every now and then I pass on columns by Patrick Buchanan—columns that I collect and save, that I gather in some order to reflect Pat’s consistent, well-framed Old Right traditionalist conservative views on the issues that affect us as Americans (and oftentimes affect Europe and the world, as well).  There is, as I say, a real consistency in what he writes, a vision of the Old Constitutional Republic we once had, a vision that he has patiently and carefully exposited in a dozen or so critical books over the past three decades.

Today I remit six columns, from April 9 to May 3, 2019, and I have attempted to arrange them topically beginning with American domestic politics, in particular Pat’s observations on the real fracturing of the American nation which, barring Divine intervention or some immense and all-consuming national catastrophe, is irreparable. And, then, his comments on several Democrats running for president who exemplify this unbridgeable and growing chasm. (Some sort of secession may be our only non-violent solution.)

Lastly, I pass on his latest column, published May 3, a strong cautionary note warning about America getting into what potentially would be another intractable civil war, this time in Venezuela. As Pat points out, the American record of “nation building”—of going around the world to “impose democracy” on recalcitrant and deeply divided countries where civil conflict rages is, quite frankly, horrendous…worse than terrible. Indeed, when we have “gone in,” usually the results have been far worse than had we just stayed out: Bosnia, Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia—the list goes on and on—usually with hundreds of thousands either dead or displaced, lives destroyed, cultures uprooted.

Yet there are some fanatical “war hawks” in the Trump administration (e.g. John Bolton, Elliott Abrams, and others) who never, it seems, saw a conflict they did not want to commit American boys to. And the body bags keep coming, and other young men return home forever wounded and scarred, billions of dollars are spent on making matters far worse, and empty American homes are without a father or son, all so that the zealous globalist Neoconservatives might satisfy their quasi-religious and unhinged passion to impose their theology of kleptocratic “democracy” in foreign lands.

Here is hoping the Donald Trump reads Pat Buchanan; after all it was Buchanan in so many ways who made the way for Trump’s victory to “make America great again” in 2016.

A Nation at War With Itself
By Patrick J. Buchanan   Friday - April 26, 2019
President Donald Trump has decided to cease cooperating with what he sees, not incorrectly, as a Beltway conspiracy that is out to destroy him. "We're fighting all the subpoenas," Trump said Wednesday. "These aren't, like, impartial people. The Democrats are out to win in 2020."

Thus the Treasury Department just breezed by a deadline from the House Ways and Means Committee to deliver Trump's tax returns. Thus the White House will invoke executive privilege to deny the House Judiciary Committee access to ex-White House counsel Don McGahn, who spent 30 hours being interrogated by Robert Mueller's team. Thus the Justice Department is withholding from the Oversight Committee subpoenaed documents dealing with the decision to include a question on the 2020 Census about citizenship status.

Across the capital, the barricades are going up figuratively as they did physically in the 1960s and '70s. Once more, it's us against them.

Cognizant of the new reality, Trump seems to be saying:

These House investigations constitute a massive political assault, in collusion with a hostile media, to destroy my presidency. We do not intend to cooperate in our own destruction. We are not going to play our assigned role in this scripted farce. We will resist their subpoenas all the way to November 2020. Let the people then decide the fate and future of the Trump presidency — and that of Nancy Pelosi's House.

In response to Trump's resort to massive resistance, Rep. Gerald Connolly said: "A respect for the limits of your branch of government, a respect for the role of other branches of government, is sort of the oil that makes the machinery work. ... Absent that this breaks down. And I think we're definitely seeing that."  Connolly is not wrong. But the requisite mutual respect between the Democratic House and the Republican White House simply does not exist. It broke down a long time ago.

The campaign of 2020 is on. And the stakes are huge. Not only are the first and second branches of government in play, so, too, is the third, the Supreme Court. Many Democrats, refusing to accept the success of the 50-year conservative long march to capture the court, are determined to pack an expanded court with liberal justices to overturn the conservatives' victory.

With Republicans having won two presidential elections in 20 years, with fewer popular votes, Democrats are also resolved to rewrite the Constitution and abolish the Electoral College. Not only ex-convicts but felons in prison must now be allowed to vote, says Bernie Sanders, even if that means the Boston Marathon bomber.  Under the Sanders reform, if someone murders you, he is still entitled to an absentee ballot. The right to vote is apparently more sacred than the right to life. Truly, this is the divination of democracy.

Trump's defiance of House subpoenas will fire up his base, which sees the world as he does and has never cottoned to what President Gerald Ford cherished as "the politics of compromise and consensus."

Whatever may be said about the "deplorables," they are not obtuse. They do not believe that people who call them racists, sexists, nativists and bigots are friends and merely colleagues of another party or persuasion.

Trump's defiance of subpoenas, however, will force the more moderate Democrats to join the militants in calling for hearings on impeachment in the House Judiciary Committee, which is where we are headed.

The media are already salivating over the possible removal of a president they have come to loathe more than their great nemeses of the 20th century — Joe McCarthy and Richard Nixon.

And the media will reward those who echo the call for impeachment. This week, two more Democrats running for president, including Sen. Kamala Harris, came aboard. Soon, the House will capitulate to the clamor and the stampede will be on.

The problem for Democrats?

Attempting to overturn the election of 2016 and remove a president who has the passionate support of a third of the nation will sunder the Democratic Party base as surely as it will unite the Republicans.

Should impeachment succeed, a wound would be inflicted on the American body politic that would take years to heal.

In the longer run, however, the question being raised today goes to the long-term health of the republic itself. America surely does not lack for diversity. Its diversity — racial, religious, cultural, ethnic, ideological, political — is visible and ever-growing. What is missing is the concomitant of unity.

Moreover, it is the more racially, culturally, religiously, ethnically, and ideologically diverse of the parties, the Democrats, that seems the more splintered than a Republican Party that is supposed to be afflicted with the incurable and fatal disease of Trumpism.

The questions raised by the present state of our politics, which might fairly be described as an American civil war without arms, are these: How does a nation so divided stand united in the world?

And if it cannot stand united in the world, how long does it remain a great nation?
 
Already Deep in the Politics of Hate
By Patrick J. Buchanan  Tuesday - April 9, 2019

During an Iowa town hall last week, "Beto" O'Rourke, who had pledged to raise the level of national discourse, depicted President Donald Trump's rhetoric as right out of Nazi Germany. Trump "describes immigrants as 'rapists' and 'criminals'" and as "'animals' and 'an infestation,'" said Beto.  "Now, I might expect someone to describe another human being as 'an infestation' in the Third Reich. I would not expect it in the United States of America." The crowd lustily cheered the analogy.

By week's end, Beto's Third Reich comparison had been matched in nastiness by Bernie Sanders' description of the president to the cheering activists of Al Sharpton's National Action Network:  "It gives me no pleasure to say this but today we have a president who is a racist, sexist, a homophobe, a xenophobe and a religious bigot."

Sanders managed to appeal to almost all elements of the Democrats' coalition by accusing Trump of hating blacks, women, gays, foreigners and Muslims.

Sanders' outline of Trump calls to mind Hillary Clinton's now-famous attack on the white working-class folks who would give Trump his victory: "(Y)ou could put half of Trump's supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables ... racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic — you name it ... he has lifted them up."

Where Hillary's slander of the Donald's MAGA constituents as a thoroughly rotten crowd of Americans came two months before the 2016 election, Bernie's assault on Trump's character comes fully 20 months before the 2020 election.
If this is the level of discourse from Beto and Bernie, two of the leading candidates for the nomination, two years from Election Day, 2020 looks to be one of the ugliest campaigns in American history.
And what does it say about democracy if this is the character of politics at the highest level in the world's leading democracy? When such language is deployed without admonition from the major media, what does that say about the sincerity of the media's calls to unite and heal the country?

And if Democratic leaders are openly massaging the hatreds of the party base with such slanders, what does it tell us about those leaders? If they believe such charges — "It is the truth and we need to confront that," said Sanders — why do Democrats not impeach and remove such a ogre? Why has Nancy Pelosi ruled that out?

At the end of a week where he withdrew his nominee to head Immigration and Customs Enforcement and saw the departure of his Secretary of Homeland Security, Trump, referring to the 175,000 migrants apprehended crossing the U.S. border in February and March, protested repeatedly, "Our country is full."

Echoes of Hitler's Germany, said The Washington Post:
"Adolf Hitler promised 'living space' for Germans as the basis of an expansionist project, which historians said distinguishes the Third Reich from today's xenophobic governments. Still, experts found parallels….‘The echoes do indeed remind one of the Nazi period, unfortunately,’ John Connelly, a historian of modern Europe at the University of California at Berkeley, said in an interview with The Washington Post. 'The exact phrasing may be different, but the spirit is very similar. The concern about an ethnic, national people not having proper space — this is something you could definitely describe as parallel to the 1930s.' "The president's words became even more freighted when he repeated them on Saturday before the Republican Jewish coalition in Las Vegas, saying, 'Our country is full, can't come. I'm sorry.'"

Trump's actions and words last week do seem to portend tougher action on illegal immigration, but one need not look to Nazi Germany for precedents. They may be found in our own history. The 1924 immigration act restricted legal immigration into the U.S. and imposed ethnic quotas. That was American, not Nazi, law and was enforced by Presidents Coolidge, Hoover, FDR, Truman, Eisenhower and Kennedy.

Eisenhower, who led the Allies to victory over Germany, sent Gen. Joseph Swing to the U.S. border to remove a million people who had entered Texas illegally from Mexico, which the general proceeded to do.  Ike had crushed fascism and understood that securing the homeland against illegal mass migration is fascism only in the minds of those who have forgotten, if ever they knew, what a country is.

From his words and actions, Trump clearly senses that this may be the existential issue of his presidency: Can he secure the border against what seems to be an unstoppable invasion from the global south?

Nor is this only an American issue. In the capitals of Europe — Budapest, Berlin, Paris, Rome, London, Madrid — the gnawing fear is not of Vladimir Putin leading a mighty Russian army back to the Elbe to recreate Stalin's empire, but of the African and Muslim hundreds of millions looking hungrily north to the pleasant lands of the former mother countries.

Biden Plays the Race Card
By Patrick J. Buchanan  Tuesday - April 30 2019

As he debated with himself whether to enter the race for the 2020 Democratic nomination, Joe Biden knew he had a problem.

As a senator from Delaware in the '70s, he had bashed busing to achieve racial balance in public schools as stupid and racist.  As chairman of Senate Judiciary in the hearings on the nomination of Clarence Thomas in 1991, Biden had been dismissive of the charges by Anita Hill that the future justice had sexually harassed her.

In 1994, Biden had steered to passage a tough anti-crime bill that led to a dramatic increase in the prison population. Crime went down as U.S. prisons filled up, but Biden's bill came to be seen by many African Americans as discriminatory.

What to do? Acting on the adage that your best defense is a good offense, Biden decided to tear into President Donald Trump — for giving aid and comfort to white racists.

His announcement video began with footage of the 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, highlighting Trump's remark, after the brawl that left a female protestor dead, that there were "very fine people on both sides."   "With those words," said Biden, "the president of the United States assigned a moral equivalence between those spreading hate and those with the courage to stand against it. And in that moment, I realized that the threat to this nation was unlike any I had seen in my lifetime."

Cut it out, Joe. This is just not credible. Even he cannot believe Trump had in mind the neo-Nazis and Klansman chanting, "Jews will not replace us!" when Trump said there were "fine people" on both sides.

If this were truly a road-to-Damascus moment for Biden, calling forth a new resolve to remove so morally obtuse a resident of the Oval Office, why did he have to agonize so long before getting in the race?  And was Charlottesville, a riot involving Klansmen, neo-Nazis and radicals, really a "threat to this nation" unlike any Biden had seen in a lifetime that covers the Cuban missile crisis, Vietnam, the riots in 100 cities after Martin Luther King's assassination and Sept. 11?

Even the anti-Trump media seemed skeptical. Their first interviews after Biden's announcement were not about Charlottesville but why it took so long to call Anita Hill to apologize.

Yet there is an unstated message in the Biden video. It is this:  With the economy firing on all eight cylinders, and the drive for impeachment losing steam, a new strategy is emerging — to take Trump down by stuffing him in a box with white supremacists.

The strategy is not original. It was tried, but backfired on Hillary Clinton when she called Trump supporters "deplorables ... racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic ... bigots."

This didn't sit well with some white folks in Wisconsin, Michigan and Middle Pennsylvania.  Yet the never-Trumpers seem to think it could work this time.

After Saturday's attack on the Passover service in Poway, California, which took a woman's life, Trump denounced the atrocity, expressed his condolences, called Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, who had been wounded, and consoled him for 15 minutes.  “Nevertheless," wrote The Washington Post Monday in a front-page headline, "President's words push race to fore of campaign."

"The rise of white nationalist violence during Trump's tenure is emerging as an issue," said the Post, because Trump "previously played down the threat posed by white nationalism (and) ... also has a long history of anti-Muslim remarks."

The article should be taken seriously. For the Post is not only an enemy of Trump but a powerful institutional ally of the left. And during presidential campaigns, it doubles as an oppo research and attack arm of the Democratic Party.

"Violence, Hate Crimes Emerge as 2020 Issues" declared the inside headline on the Post story. The Post is not talking about customary crimes of violence in America or D.C. — robbery, rape, assault, battery, murder — a disproportionate share of which are committed by minorities of color.  The crimes that interest the Post are those committed by white males against minorities, which can be used to flesh out the picture of America that preexists in the mind of the left, if not in the real world.

Yet it does appear that issues of race, tribe and identity are becoming an obsession in our politics. This weekend, The New York Times faced charges of anti-Semitism for a cartoon of a blind Trump in a skullcap being led by a seeing-eye dog with the face of "Bibi" Netanyahu, who had a Star of David on his collar.

Recoiling under fire, the Times pulled the cartoon and apologized.

On Monday, Rev. Al Sharpton met with "Mayor Pete" Buttigieg. Subject of discussion: Reparations for slavery, which ended more than a century before the mayor was born.

"All is race," wrote Disraeli in his novel "Tancred." "There is no other truth."
 
Mayor Pete and the Crackup of Christianity
By Patrick J. Buchanan  Tuesday - April 16, 2019

Buttigieg declared his candidacy Sunday, and his bid ensures that America's
deepening moral divide will be front and center in 2020...


"(T)here is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so," said Hamlet, who thereby raised some crucial questions:  Is moral truth subjective? Does it change with changing times and changing attitudes? Or is there a higher law, a permanent law, God's law, immutable and eternal, to which man's law should conform?

Are, for example, the Ten Commandments of the Old Testament, Christian teaching and natural law unchangeable and applicable to all men at all times? Or can some of the 10 be consigned to the dumpster of antiquated moral prohibitions?

This question has been brought straight into the presidential primaries by Pete Buttigieg, breakout star of the spring of 2019.

"Mayor Pete" is proudly gay and living happily with his “husband” [sic!]. He says God made him the way he is, and he is living the life God intended for him. Raising the same-sex marriage issue himself, the mayor defiantly taunted Mike Pence: "Yes, Mr. Vice President ... it has moved me closer to God. ... That's the thing I wish the Mike Pences of the world would understand: That if you have a problem with who I am, your quarrel is not with me. ...Your quarrel, sir, is with my creator."

Buttigieg declared his candidacy Sunday, and his bid ensures that America's deepening moral divide will be front and center in 2020.

Our culture wars will not be ending anytime soon.

This weekend, General Social Survey data revealed that Americans who profess to have "no religion," 23.1%, now exceed Catholics, our largest religion with 23%, and Evangelicals at 22.5%. And the "nones" have grown by 266% since 1991. As for the mainstream Protestant congregations, together, they are not half as numerous as those Americans who profess no religion. Added to our racial and ethnic diversity, America is growing more diverse religiously, de-Christianizing with all deliberate speed.

We are becoming another people, and a post-Christian America appears to be our destiny well before the end of this century.

Consider what has changed already:  In the 19th century, blasphemy was a crime. In the Roaring '20s the "vices" of booze and gambling were outlawed. Now they are major sources of state revenue.

Divorce was a rarity. Now half of all marriages are dissolved.

After the sexual revolution of the '60s, births out of wedlock rocketed to where 40 percent of all children are born without a father in the home, as are half of Hispanics and 70 percent of all black children.

Pornography, which used to bring a prison term, today dominates cable TV. Marijuana, once a social scourge, is the hot new product. And Sen. Kamala Harris wants prostitution legalized.

In the lifetime of many Americans, homosexuality and abortion were still scandalous crimes. They are now cherished constitutional rights.

Yet, Mayor Pete's assertion — that God made him gay, and God intended that he live his life this way, and that this life is moral and good — is another milestone on the road to a new America. For what Buttigieg is saying is that either God changes his moral law to conform to the changing behavior of mankind or that, for 2,000 years, Christian preaching and practice toward homosexuals has been bigoted, injurious and morally indefensible.

If Pete is right, since the time of Christ, Christians have ostracized and persecuted gays simply for being and behaving as God intended.  And if that is true, what is the defense of Christianity?

Already, among a good slice of America, especially the young, the West is guilty of centuries of racism, imperialism, colonialism, slavery, sexism, ethnic cleansing, religious persecution and cultural genocide against indigenous peoples.

Now, according to Mayor Pete's logic, the West is also guilty of centuries of hateful homophobia toward people living as God made them and intended them to live.

What does this portend for 2020?

While Democrats defend Mayor Pete's same-sex marriage as moral, they will also insist that women's "reproductive rights" remain sacrosanct, and that unborn infants, 60 million of whom have been killed in the womb since Roe v. Wade in 1973, still have no rights at all, not even the right to life.

How does a nation so divided ever come together again?  How can a nation, many of whose elites are so ashamed of its history and heritage and deplorable other half — as "racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic ... and bigoted" — credibly claim to be a “shining city on a hill” or a light unto the nations?

America is today as powerful, prosperous and free as any nation the world has ever seen. And we have used that wealth and freedom to create a culture and a society many of our own people and much of the world now see as dissolute and decadent.

Post-Christian America, in many ways, is beginning to mirror what we were once taught that the pre-Christian Roman Empire looked like.

Indeed, if the mayor's lifestyle is moral, Christianity got it wrong for 20 centuries.

Is Bernie Stealing Trump's 'No More Wars' Issue?
By Patrick J. Buchanan Friday - April 19, 2019
 
"The president has said that he does not want to see this country involved in endless wars... I agree with that," Bernie Sanders told the Fox News audience at Monday's town hall meeting in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Then turning and staring straight into the camera, Bernie added:

"Mr. President, tonight you have the opportunity to do something extraordinary: Sign that resolution. Saudi Arabia should not be determining the military or foreign policy of this country."

Sanders was talking about a War Powers Act resolution that would have ended U.S. involvement in the five-year civil war in Yemen that has created one of the great humanitarian crises of our time, with thousands of dead children amidst an epidemic of cholera and a famine.

Supported by a united Democratic Party on the Hill, and an anti-interventionist faction of the GOP led by Sens. Rand Paul and Mike Lee of Utah, the War Powers resolution had passed both houses of Congress.

But 24 hours after Sanders urged him to sign it, Trump, heeding the hawks in his Cabinet and National Security Council, vetoed S.J.Res.7, calling it a "dangerous attempt to weaken my constitutional authorities."

With sufficient Republican votes in both houses to sustain Trump's veto, that should be the end of the matter.

It is not: Trump may have just ceded the peace issue in 2020 to the Democrats. If Sanders emerges as the nominee, we will have an election with a Democrat running on the "no-more-wars" theme Trump touted in 2016. And Trump will be left defending the bombing of Yemeni rebels and civilians by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia.

Does Trump really want to go into 2020 as a war party president?

Does he want to go into 2020 with Democrats denouncing "Trump's endless wars" in the Middle East? Because that is where he is headed.

In 2008, John McCain, leading hawk in the Senate, was routed by a left-wing first-term senator from Illinois, Barack Obama, who had won his nomination by defeating the more hawkish Hillary Clinton, who had voted to authorize the war in Iraq.

In 2012, the Republican nominee Mitt Romney, who was far more hawkish than Obama on Russia, lost.

Yet, in 2016, Trump ran as a different kind of Republican, an opponent of the Iraq War and an anti-interventionist who wanted to get along with Russia's Vladimir Putin and get out of these Middle East wars.

Looking closely at the front-running candidates for the Democratic nomination of 2020 — Joe Biden, Sanders, Kamala Harris, Beto O'Rourke, Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker — not one appears to be as hawkish as Trump has become.

Trump pulled us out of the nuclear deal with Iran negotiated by Secretary of State John Kerry and reimposed severe sanctions.

He declared Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization, to which Iran has responded by declaring U.S. Central Command a terrorist organization. Ominously, the IRGC and its trained Shiite militias in Iraq are in close proximity to U.S. troops.

Trump has recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital, moved the U.S. Embassy there, closed the consulate that dealt with Palestinian affairs, cut off aid to the Palestinians, recognized Israel's annexation of the Golan Heights seized from Syria in 1967, and gone silent on Bibi Netanyahu's threat to annex Jewish settlements on the West Bank.

Sanders, however, though he stands by Israel, is supporting a two-state solution and castigating the "right-wing" Netanyahu regime.

Trump has talked of pulling all U.S. troops out of Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet the troops are still there.

Though Trump came into office promising to get along with the Russians, he sent Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine and announced a pullout from Ronald Reagan's 1987 INF treaty that outlawed all land-based intermediate-range nuclear missiles.

When Putin provocatively sent 100 Russian troops to Caracas — ostensibly to repair the S-400 anti-aircraft and anti-missile system that was damaged in recent blackouts — Trump, drawing a red line, ordered the Russians to "get out."

Biden is expected to announce next week. If the stands he takes on Russia, China, Israel and the Middle East are more hawkish than the rest of the field, he will be challenged by the left wing of his party, and by Sanders, who voted "no" on the Iraq War that Biden supported.

The center of gravity of U.S. politics is shifting toward the Trump position of 2016. And the anti-interventionist wing of the GOP is growing.

And when added to the anti-interventionist and anti-war wing of the Democratic Party on the Hill, together, they are able, as on the Yemen War Powers resolution, to produce a new bipartisan majority.

Prediction: By the primaries of 2020, foreign policy will be front and center, and the Democratic Party will have captured the "no-more-wars" political high ground that Candidate Donald Trump occupied in 2016.

Let Venezuela Decide Its Own Destiny
By Patrick J. Buchanan   Friday - May 3, 2019

"Who would be free themselves must strike the blow...

"By their right arms the conquest must be wrought."

So wrote Lord Byron of Greece's war of independence against the Turks, though the famed British poet would ignore his own counsel and die just days after arriving in Greece to join the struggle.  Yet Byron's advice is the wise course for the United States, and for the people of Venezuela who seek to free their country of the grip of the incompetent and dictatorial regime of Nicolas Maduro.

Let the Venezuelans decide their own destiny, as did we.

As of today, Caracas seems to be in something of a standoff. Opposition leader Juan Guaido, recognized by the U.S. and 50 other nations as president, has failed to persuade the army to abandon Maduro. Yet he can still muster larger crowds in the streets of Caracas to demand the ouster of Maduro than Maduro can call out to stand by his regime.

Tuesday and Wednesday, Guaido announced that the regime's final hour was at hand. But by midweek, the army's leaders, including the minister of defense, still stood with Maduro. Guaido's opportunity seems to have passed by, at least for the moment. Maduro remains in power, though his generals, weighing the odds, have apparently been negotiating in secret with Guaido.

The Trump administration has backed Guaido, only to see him fail twice now at taking power.  The White House backed the plan in February to breach Venezuela's borders with truckloads of food and medicine, counting on the army not to use force to block the trucks.

Vice President Mike Pence traveled to the border. But Guaido and the Americans miscalculated. The army stood by Maduro. The trucks were kept out.

This week, when Guaido called out the crowds again to bring the strongman down, the White House went all in. President Donald Trump, Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and John Bolton all tweeted support for the uprising. But by Thursday, it was again clear that no matter what Washington had been told and anticipated, the army remained loyal to Maduro.

Frustrated, exasperated, appearing at once bellicose and impotent, Washington has now begun to bluster about military intervention.

"All options are on the table," says Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford. Presumably that includes the 82nd Airborne.  "While a peaceful solution is desirable, military action is possible," said Pompeo. "If that's what required, that's what the United States will do."


"All options are open," says Bolton. "We want a peaceful transfer of power. But we are not going to see Guaido mistreated by this regime."  Clearly, Juan Guaido is our man in Caracas.

Bolton also had strong words for Vladimir Putin: "(T)his is our hemisphere. It's not where the Russians should be interfering. This was a mistake on their part."

"The brutal repression of the Venezuelan people must end, and it must end soon," said Trump. "People are starving. They have no food; they have no water. And this was once one of the wealthiest countries in the world."

Yet Trump is reportedly reluctant to intervene. Let us hope that his anti-interventionist impulses guide his decisions. Venezuela's future is not ours to decide.

This civil conflict is not our war. We have not been attacked. Not only is there no justification for U.S. military intervention, but also any arrival of U.S. troops on Venezuelan soil could turn into yet another 21st-century strategic debacle. There could be again Americans killing and dying in a country where no vital interest was imperiled, no matter how obnoxious the regime.

There is no Tiananmen Square slaughter, no massive human rights violations going on in Venezuela to justify military intervention. Indeed, there appears to be a conscious effort on the part of Maduro to minimize casualties and bloodshed, and the consequences they could bring.

Troops are not firing indiscriminately on protestors, though rock-throwers in the streets are provoking the soldiers. Planeloads of Russian or Cuban troops are not pouring into the country.

U.S. intervention in a nation of 30 million people, with an army of scores of thousands of troops, would enable Maduro to cast himself in the role of martyr of Yankee imperialism.

Finally, time is on our side, not Maduro's. The Venezuelan economy, one of the richest in the hemisphere owing to the world's largest oil resources, is now in shambles. Some 3 million people, 1 in every 10 Venezuelans, have fled the disaster that Maduro and his mentor Hugo Chavez created.

The currency is sinking to Weimar levels. Oil exports are falling. Shortages of food and medicine are spreading. Power blackouts have been reported. It is difficult to foresee any turnaround the Maduro regime can execute to revive the economy or prevent the continued exodus of its people. Most of the nations of Latin America are with us and against Maduro.

Venezuela's situation is not sustainable. Let the fate of the Marxist Socialist regime of Nicolas Maduro be decided by the people of Venezuela.

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                                                  May 8, 2021     MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey Aggressive Abroad and Despotic at Home:  ...