Trump was more aggressive than usual yesterday when he said that he’s not ruling out a “military option” in Venezuela, and the international media went haywire speculating that the President was considering an invasion. Nothing justifies what Trump said, but taking aside all moral considerations, his statement shouldn’t have been surprising, and interestingly enough, it might even backfire on him.
All US Presidents routinely restate the rhetoric that “all options are on the table” when dealing with the crises that their country provoked abroad, which in this case is the Hybrid War on Venezuela that seeks to attain proxy control over the world’s largest oil reserves in the Orinoco River Belt and smash the socialist-multipolar ALBA grouping.
Venezuela’s preexisting socio-political vulnerabilities and institutional weaknesses were exploited by the US’ economic machinations against the country in order to trigger a Color Revolution against the government. When that failed, the regime change movement transformed into an urban insurgency and recently expanded its operations by staging a terrorist attack against a military base in the central part of the country.
It’s very likely that the situation will devolve into an externally triggered “civil war” with the eventual intent of sparking a military coup attempt against President Maduro, but the odds of the US directly intervening in this scenario are slim. Rather, Trump’s threatened “military option” probably relates to the “Lead From Behind” role that the US is slated to play in using Colombia as its regional partner for funneling weapons and other forms of assistance to the “moderate rebels” in Venezuela just as it used Turkey to do vis-a-vis Syria for the past six years.
Additionally, it can be confidently assumed that the CIA is hard at work trying to engineer its desired military coup, though the chances of its success are unlikely unless the Hybrid War becomes a full-fledged externally triggered “civil war” like in Syria. These two interconnected reasons explain what Trump meant by refusing to rule out a “military option”, though there’s admittedly the extreme case that can’t be discounted whereby a “humanitarian intervention” of varying scale is unleashed in the final stages of the crisis in order to decisively topple the government at its weakest moment.
No matter what the US ultimately does or doesn’t do, however, Trump’s braggadocious statement might actually backfire on him by increasing President Maduro’s appeal among the on-the-fence members of the so-called “opposition”. It’s one thing to detest an elected leader and hope for his downfall, but it’s another to actively support the foreign invasion of one’s country by the hemisphere’s traditional hegemon, especially given the US’ bloody history of military activity in the Americas across the past century.
Trump’s comments therefore put the US’ regime change proxies in a bind because they’re now caught in a dilemma between supporting what the world at large perceives to be a threat to invade their country or to support its legitimate leader whom they’ve been rioting against for months already. The average anti-government supporter can be presumed to be equally against Maduro, a speculated US invasion of their country, and the “opposition’s” riots, wanting only to hold snap elections in the hope of peacefully carrying out regime change.
They’ve been backing the “opposition” up until this point, however, because they saw them as the “least-bad” option available, but Trump’s implied military threat essentially exposes them in acting as the tip of the spear in a possible invasion, seeing as how the chaotic “civil war” conditions in which the US could conventionally intervene in Venezuela would be due to their intensified Hybrid War actions.
This fact should rightly give pause to self-identifying “patriotic opposition” members and prompt them to reconsider their “least-bad” normative assessment that they previously gave to the “opposition”. If they engage in some serious self-reflection, they’ll see that it’s actually President Maduro who’s the “least bad” of the two, and that the best way to achieve their objective of regime change is to begrudgingly wait until the next democratic vote is scheduled to be held.
Continuing to throw one’s weight behind the “opposition” at this point is tantamount to openly supporting the steps that are needed to create the conditions for Trump’s media-hyped “military options” against their country, up to and including a “humanitarian intervention”. It’s not known what proportion of the “opposition” satisfies the “patriotic” criteria that these points would apply to, but if their numbers are large enough, then their passive “defection” from the anti-government movement’s ranks in response to Trump’s threat could deal a blow to the regime change effort.
On the other hand, and approaching the subject from a cynical angle as the “devil’s advocate”, it might not tangibly change much at all if the US already has its mind dead-set on escalating the Hybrid War on Venezuela to a Syrian-like level, though it would nevertheless represent an important moral victory for the legitimate government by further exposing the “‘opposition’s” treasonous connivance with the US.
In any case, regardless of what Trump really meant in his “military options” comment and despite whatever the “patriotic opposition” members decide to do, all indications suggest that Venezuela is at a fateful turning point and that the coming weeks will decide its future for what might end up being the years to come.
Author and geopolitical analyst Andrew Korybko and contributor to 21st Century Wire. He studied international relations at the Moscow State University of International Relations (MGIMO), and is as a member of the expert council for the Institute of Strategic Studies and Predictions at the People’s Friendship University of Russia. He also works as a current affairs writer for Sputnik News and is host of ‘Trend Storm’ on Sputnik Radio. His book, “Hybrid Wars: The Indirect Adaptive Approach To Regime Change”, extensively analyzes the situations in Syria and Ukraine and claims to prove that they represent a new model of strategic warfare being waged by the US.
AUGUST 13, 2017 BY 8 COMMENTS