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The Madness of Military Intervention in Venezuela

August 23, 2018 in Economics

By Doug Bandow

Doug Bandow

War is the ultimate human calamity. Despite the fevered hopes
and utopian promises of its advocates, loosing the dogs of war
almost always results in abundant death and destruction, and
sometimes unimaginable slaughter, devastation, and horror.
America’s last four wars, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and
Yemen, should serve as sufficient proof of this fact.

At least would-be humanitarian warriors make serious moral
claims, even if they usually end up killing many of those whom they
promise to help. Worse are the war advocates seeking geopolitical
advantage, upset that this or that government churlishly refuses to
follow Washington’s dictates.

The very worst, however, are the arguments based on cash. In the
bad old days, warmongers spoke of plunder. Over time they grew more
genteel, instead citing trade and commercial opportunities. Now
they point to increases in GDP. Bomb, invade, occupy a country, and
watch it flourish!

Despite the fevered hopes
and utopian promises of its advocates, loosing the dogs of war
almost always results in abundant death and destruction, and
sometimes unimaginable slaughter, devastation, and
horror.

Venezuelan expatriate Daniel Di Martino has made just such a
case.

Last year, President Donald Trump famously asked his aides
whether the U.S. should intervene militarily in Venezuela. They
argued against the idea. He then asked top Latin American leaders
for their opinion. They were strongly opposed.

However, wrote Di Martino, “While calls for the use of
military force were dismissed among diplomats, American
intervention could have economic benefits for both Venezuela and
the United States.” Waging war would lower Venezuela’s
“Misery Index,” unemployment rate, and poverty rate.
Indeed, “the economic miracle that would follow” the
country’s liberation “would be unprecedented,” Di
Martino claimed. Price and currency controls would end and
“oil production would surge.”

In contrast, he predicted that allowing the regime to stay in
power “will surely result in millions of deaths” while
the death toll from a U.S. assault would be low. He extrapolated
from America’s operation in Panama to estimate just 3,500
civilian casualties. By this calculus, “intervention would
bring enormous rewards for Americans and Venezuelans alike.”
The president, he said, should be strong and declare: damn the
advisors, full speed ahead.

It is a terrible argument.

There is no question that socialism has been a catastrophe for
Venezuelans, at least those who aren’t close to power.
Venezuela was once among Latin America’s wealthiest
countries. Today its people starve and flee.

Because of hyper-inflation, reported The Washington Post’sMatt
O’Brien
, some $333,000 worth of bolivars six-and-a-half
years ago would be worth just $1 today. Three weeks ago a cup of
coffee cost two million bolivars. The regime can barely afford the
hard currency necessary to pay foreigners to …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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