Thursday, April 14, 2016

Arguing Venezuela

The Washington Post published an editorial yesterday calling for undefined "political intervention" in Venezuela. The WaPo periodically publishes poorly-argued editorials on Latin America, which are basically Cold War conservative.

What I found more interesting was a response in Slate, which adopted a kitchen sink response about why intervention was not necessary, going back to the Guatemalan coup of 1954. I don't understand these responses, which are similar to meandering LASA resolutions. Back in 2013 I wrote about one such resolution, concluding:

I dislike lumping tons of unrelated things together. Get one issue alone and drive it home. Even if this is approved, it is a jumbled mess, with parts of it perhaps written a very long time ago.

I felt the exact same way reading this article. You actually convince fewer people when you jump all around, from Venezuela to presidential approval ratings (why are these relevant?) to the Middle East to Honduras back to Venezuela to Cold War Latin America to Noam Chomsky.

Effectively refuting the WaPo is not hard, and should not include references to anything except the many ways in which "political intervention" (and since the WaPo didn't define it you would have to do that first) will backfire. Otherwise we're just in a loop of people saying lots of non sequiturs to each other.


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