Friday, December 28, 2012

Paranoia about Venezuela

The Strategic Studies Institute published this report by Max Manwaring on Venezuela. It can best be characterized as a meandering and conjecture-laden rant. Its main point seems to be that if you repeat the phrase "Marxist-Leninist," and sometimes also "Leninist-Maoist," then your reader will understand what you mean even if your narrative makes no sense.

Like many other paranoid accounts of Venezuela, the report is based on the premise that even after over a dozen years in power and countless threat assessments, we are still having the wool pulled over our eyes by Hugo Chavez, who is an evil genius of almost supernatural ability. He will destroy all we hold dear and maybe even steal our precious bodily fluids.

I admit, I had to start skimming. What rational person would dive deep into rhetoric like the following?

The dominating characteristic of a war of this kind is political-military, economic-commercial, or cultural- moral. Within the context of these combinations, there is a difference between the dominant sphere and the whole, although a dynamic relationship exists between a dominant type of general war and the supporting elements that make up the whole. As an example, Qiao and Wang state that conventional military war must be strongly supported by media (propaganda/information/moral) warfare and a combination of other types of war that might include but are not limited to psychological war, financial war, trade war, cyber war, diplomatic war, proxy war, narco-criminal war, and guerrilla war.

Anyway, so what do we do about a genius as evil and conniving as Hugo Chavez? Given the scope of the argument, the recommendations surprisingly don't address Venezuela at all. Instead, they argue that the US Army should be remodeled to combat new types of threats. They suggest that once Chavez destroys states--apparently his goal--then we should be prepared to step in and "coordinate" their rebuilding. Okey doke.

The sad thing is that members of Congress will undoubtedly take this and wave it about as "proof" supporting their outlandish claims about Hugo Chavez.

h/t Steven Bodzin, who I guess I should blame.


Justin Delacour 1:05 AM  

I guess the word "Latinobarómetro" would just sound too ethnic to the army brass. "Latinobarometric polls" somehow has a better ring to it for those guys.

Lillie Langtry 6:37 AM  

What I take from this is that excessive use of hyphens/compound adjectives makes you look serious and intellectual (or not).

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