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Florida Man Waiting to Declare War on Venezuela

Senator Rubio has been outspoken on the topic of Venezuela.  Now, junior Senator Rick Scott joins him.

Please bear with my hyperbolic title.  The DailyCaller reported that Senator Rick Scott put forth some new ideas for how to handle the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela.

In a tweet on Wednesday, Scott said,  “People are suffering. People are dying. In our hemisphere. On our watch. The aid in this warehouse can feed 30,000 people for 10 days, but Maduro’s blocking it. It’s clear that we’ll have to consider American military assets to deliver aid. [Maduro] has left us no choice.”

The language coming from Florida presents us with some challenging national security considerations.  The DailyCaller says this, “Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has also expressed increasingly strong support for Guiado, calling the situation a national security threat, but has stopped short of calling for a military intervention.”

How do we navigate these two situations?

One says it’s a humanitarian crisis warranting military intervention.

The other says it’s a national security threat not warranting military intervention.

I get the feeling that some want the US military to be an armed Red Cross.  Scott says he wants to military to intervene in order to deliver aid.  Could you imagine Eisenhower invading China to deliver aid to victims of the Great Leap Forward Famine? An unwanted military presence will escalate to war.

 Now, if we are talking something along the lines of a Berlin Airlift, okay, we can discuss that, but these Senators come off as Cold War nostalgics.  They are looking to play with the American Military, in opposition to a non-existent evil empire, while trying to avoid actual war.  

Rubio’s characterization of this crisis illustrates that nostalgia. Using mental gymnastics akin to commerce clause case law, the national security threat is whatever Rubio wants it to be.  Anything can be argued to threaten our national security just as anything can be argued to have an effect on interstate commerce. 

These Senators are conflating the Truman and Monroe Doctrines.  Look, I have no problem if someone wants to argue that we should intervene in every humanitarian crisis or in every scenario where our security is threatened.  There is consistency in that goal even if it might be disagreeable.

As various pundits and politicians have pointed out, voters have rejected the policies of perpetual war and nation building.

Yet Senators Rubio and Scott insist upon wasting our time with endless denunciations of dictatorships. We get it, the situation in Venezuela sucks. Right now, the United States government shouldn’t care inasmuch as we have our own problems to worry about.

By my estimation, Iraq was the last time the United States successfully engaged in regime change.  While the war was bungled after Saddam was removed, the initial success has largely been ignored.  Ann Coulter has summarized her feeling about the war in this way…it was a good idea, executed well, but it was left to be handled by individuals who would squander success. Since Iraq poisoned the regime change well and since the international norms of war have changed, military intervention seems pointless.

While bold individuals may suggest propping up Pinochet-types for a time, we are left with these realities:

1: Assassinations are out.

2: Coups are out.

3: Interference in foreign elections is out.

4: Regime change wars, even in pursuit of national security and humanitarian causes, are out.

The only solution then is a form of isolationism or a bold and ruthless plan to bring the world into alignment with our interests, international repercussions be damned.

Middle ground results in fickle idealism a la Obama or a weak and uncommitted realism like the Rubios of the world. Neither of which have any capacity to achieve goals in peace or war.

Commit to the concerns of your people and ignore the rest of the world.  Or commit to the rightness of your cause and carry it out.

Don’t hem and haw about what constitutes a humanitarian or national security crisis in a country on a different continent.


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