Friday, July 20, 2012

Conflict and intervention

Hugo Chávez says the Syrian conflict should be resolved peacefully and without foreign intervention. The former is nonsensical--the regime would never allow such a thing to happen--but in combination with the latter I wondered if Chávez would have made this argument for Nicaragua in 1979, for example.

Though he criticizes the U.S. all the time, his criteria for action are essentially identical. You determine your strategic interests and craft arguments accordingly that make no sense when viewed in a comparative context. So the U.S. argues that opening up to China is the way to bring capitalism and democracy, while in Cuba it is the opposite. Chávez does not care about conflict or intervention per se--he just naturally wants his allies to win. He applauded the fall of a tyrant in Egypt and railed against it in Libya.

This realist perspective is understandable, but for Venezuela, as with the U.S., it will erode the credibility of your purist rhetoric. Neither country is really for democracy all the time.


Jim 3:28 AM  

Brilliant piece; succinct and accurate. I agree wholeheartedly, but then aren't we stuck with the old problem of "politics"? If this type of talk didn't "work" or if, as you say, he's undermining his own purist rhetoric, wouldn't that show up in the voting booth? I think Chavez understands his voters very well. Those who disagree with his illogic, wouldn't vote for him anyway. Those that will, will also ignore (or never notice) the inconsistency.

Greg Weeks 7:07 AM  

I actually had regional rather than domestic audiences in mind. I think Chávez is less influential than usually portrayed, and has less stature for the reasons I laid out.

SwampNigger 10:34 PM  

Less stature for pointing out US and European imperialism?$---as with the disgrace that occurred in Lybia, when the imperialist forces backed opponents of the government and bombed to a degree that caused significant human death.

And now the US and it's allies are backing with weapons and propaganda elements within Syria that commit warcrimes in order to take power. US concerns have to do with geopolitical control in the region--and human rights concerns are simply disguise for brute power grabs and enforcing status quo outcomes in the region.

That the US would see the murder of hundreds of thousands in the Americas so that it can maintain it's standing as superpower, the will of the people be damned, is beyond dispute.

And your conflation of the Venezuelan government with US hypocrisy, Greg, really does function to elide and hide the ethical judgements that any thinking human should weigh when discussing solutions to the problems we face at this moment.

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