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Thursday, April 04, 2019

The anti-imperial alliance

Now China has sent troops to Venezuela as well:
A group of Chinese soldiers arrived in Venezuela on Sunday as part of a cooperation program between Beijing and Caracas. According to reports, more than 120 soldiers from the Chinese People’s Liberation Army arrived at Venezuela’s Margarita Island to deliver humanitarian aid and military supplies to the government forces.

The arrival of the People’s Liberation Army in Venezuela comes just days after the Russian armed forces deployed to the country to install a military helicopter training facility.

However, this move by the Russian military has not come without heavy criticism from the Trump administration and several U.S. congressmen.

“Maduro calls for hands off #Venezuela while he invites security forces from Cuba and Russia, so he and his cronies can keep plundering Venezuela. It is time for Venezuelan institutions to stand for their sovereignty. Russia and Cuba, #HandsOffVenezuela,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted on March 28th.

These moves by the Russian and Chinese armed forces appear to be a powerplay against the U.S. administration, who is actively pushing to remove Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro from power.
As I observed last year, Syria was a major turning point and will likely mark the end of the global US empire. The fall of Libya and the near-expansion of NATO to Ukraine and Georgia forced the Russians and the Chinese to realize that the time for resistance had finally arrived, and their strategists recognized that the US military is too weak and overextended to be capable of enforcing the Monroe Doctrine.

Since the US is almost certain to back down on Venezuela, where its chosen puppet has absolutely no popular support, it is safe to expect US retreats on other fronts as China and Russia start putting on the pressure elsewhere in South and Central America. Remember, China already controls the Panama Canal and has considerable influence on the west coast of Canada.

I suspect this is why Israel is being so aggressive with regards to the Golan Heights and Gaza, as they must recognize that their ability to act underneath the aegis of US protection is rapidly running out of time.

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91 Comments:

Blogger ZhukovG April 04, 2019 6:19 AM  

Our inept actions actually serve to increase the popularity of an otherwise vulnerable regime.

Vox is right, the days of US hegemony are over.

Blogger Miguel April 04, 2019 6:26 AM  

They think we are still in the 90s.

Blogger The Scribe April 04, 2019 6:37 AM  

So what next?

Does Trump carefully consider the changing reality, or does he listen to Wormtongues like Bolton and get us into an even bigger mess?

I don't see any wedge coming between China and Russia anytime soon. Despite the internal problems in these two countries, I don't see time on our side here either.

Some dark days ahead .....

Blogger cisbio April 04, 2019 6:37 AM  

While Washington's ongoing regime-change programme ratchets up, the presence of Russian and Chinese troops may signal a rush to protect assets of those countries in Venezuela. It may in fact signal the approach of an end-game.

The prize for Washington is PDVSA's vast hydrocarbon reserves, of course. Russia and China would rather keep preferential rates from the NOC, while the western oil majors eye lucrative buy-ins once PDSVA is opened up by a US-friendly regime. I doubt there's much Russia and China can do about the present situation.

Blogger VD April 04, 2019 6:42 AM  

I doubt there's much Russia and China can do about the present situation.

As usual, you have it completely backwards. It's the USA that can't do much about it. They thought they'd have a new puppet regime installed already. Instead, both China and Russia have established military footprints in South America. This is a nearly unprecedented strategic disaster for the USA that will likely have global ramifications.

Blogger Lazarus April 04, 2019 6:43 AM  

Chinese, Russian, and Israeli stategists recognize the weakness. Do the Americans not?

Blogger Azimus April 04, 2019 6:55 AM  

Thank God The Hag lost in 2016 or there would've been a WW....

Blogger pyrrhus April 04, 2019 6:58 AM  

<while the western oil majors eye lucrative buy-ins once PDSVA is opened up by a US-friendly regime.

The US's heavy handed and completely inept attempt to install a nobody as head of Venezuela has destroyed all chances of a US-friendly regime, and caused the nobody to flee for his life....the same is true of our efforts in Iran....Bolton is a complete idiot, and Trump not much better for listening to him.

Blogger Sylvester Corleone April 04, 2019 7:03 AM  

I like the idea that both Russia and China show up in Venezuela, it increases the chance that, as things proceed, neither one of the two will politically or economically claim the country as theirs. South America has seen enough of liberation by foreign countries. They don't want another remake.

Blogger VD April 04, 2019 7:18 AM  

Chinese, Russian, and Israeli stategists recognize the weakness. Do the Americans not?

Sure they do. That's why we're just seeing Pompeo bluster instead of military action.

Blogger LZ April 04, 2019 7:18 AM  

Venezuela had collapsed itself and was a threat to no one but itself. Trump won't fire Bolton or Kushner, he is another globalist stooge with better rhetoric.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan April 04, 2019 7:33 AM  

In the careful what you wish for category, I have been waiting for these days since 1989 the day I woke up to hear of the Panama invasion and having a premonition that as a American of the old stock that the empire would cook my goose.

My.02 is that America goes the Thomas Chittum "YugoAmerica" route, must stay in shape.

Blogger SciVo April 04, 2019 7:36 AM  

This is one for the history books. And it's a perfectly natural consequence of our longest war ever.

Did the "perfumed princes of the Pentagon actually think that they could change such a major strategic variable, and everything else would remain the same?

Truly, as Glenn Reynolds says, we have the worst ruling class in American history.

Blogger Damelon Brinn April 04, 2019 8:00 AM  

I don't care in the least what goes on in Venezuela. But it might be a good time to put a bunch of troops on our border. Building the Wall would be a good reason for them to be there.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd April 04, 2019 8:11 AM  

If it comes down to a choice between the Monroe Doctrine and Israel, I think dominating our hemisphere is infinitely more important than dominating theirs.

Blogger Robert What? April 04, 2019 8:14 AM  

It is absurd. Russia is the natural ally of the United States, not of China. If it weren't for the (((NeoCon Wormtongues))) whispering in Trump's ear. Has all that Diet Pepsi poisoned Trump's brain?

Blogger Ominous Cowherd April 04, 2019 8:18 AM  

Lies! All lies! Says Beijing.

I suppose the story will be that they aren't troops but advisors, or something like that. What did we call the troops in Vietnam, before we were officially fighting on the ground? That's probably what they'll call them.

Blogger Johnny April 04, 2019 8:19 AM  

Maduro is running Venezuela so incompetently that unless he can be overthrown, supporting Venezuela will never be much more than an expense. Perhaps it isn't really damaging to our interests if somebody else picks up the bill. As for our imperial power, it would seem our internal politics will make that impossible to sustain regardless.

Blogger DraveckysHumerus April 04, 2019 8:33 AM  

Industrialists shuttered the HOVENSA/Hess refinery on St. Croix USVI several years ago. It was purpose-built to refine nasty Venezualan crude oil. Last year an investment group plowed more than a billion USD into reviving the refinery, which is set to reopen this year. Somebody is operating under the belief Venezuala and the US are going to be trading buddies pretty soon.

Blogger Stg58/Animal Mother April 04, 2019 8:34 AM  

It seemed like Guaido had a lot of popular support, from the crowds he had at his rallies. He's definitely faded away these past couple of weeks.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd April 04, 2019 8:37 AM  

Johnny wrote:As for our imperial power, it would seem our internal politics will make that impossible to sustain regardless.

We could maintain our position in North America, and maybe the Monroe Doctrine, if we weren't trying to maintain our positions everywhere else in the world.

What's the only border in the world the US military doesn't protect?

Blogger Johnny April 04, 2019 8:52 AM  

>>What did we call the troops in Vietnam, before we were officially fighting on the ground... Advisors, which they were at first. And we kept it up even after our troop numbers were so large that the claim was absurd.

Blogger dc.sunsets April 04, 2019 9:06 AM  

I don't know the future. The USA is bankrupted by the parasites citizen complacency allowed to rule, a complacency born of Peak Success (the genesis of the Myth of American Exceptionalism.) Hot water and comfortable cars turned us all into "What, Me Worry?" SWPL fools.

American Empire wasn't about robbing the Wogs and carrying home the loot. It was a means to disguise the Top Executives robbing blind the firm they run; we see this literally in Corporate America (where as long as share prices rise in a bull market, no C-suite malfeasance is resisted) but metaphorically it's like our "elite" set the factory on fire in order to cover up their robbing the vending machines in the employee cafeteria.

Will China/Russia/whoever leave us alone when our center stops holding, or will they (or surrogates) fan the flames when America's innumerable, irreconcilable belief systems attempt to Go Their Own Way?

Left alone I expect it to be BAD. If the rest of the world chooses to get in on the act, my "bad meter" doesn't read that low.

Blogger Mr Smith April 04, 2019 9:07 AM  

Chinese soilders in Venezuela. Ok, maybe the threat of Chinese troops marching across the US-Mexican border will be enough of an emergency to get a wall started.

Blogger Iron Spartan April 04, 2019 9:10 AM  

I don't give a damn about Venezuela other than for the entertainment value.

A single company of Chinese troops is essentially meaningless. When it turns into a division I might think about starting to pay attention.

What I am looking forward to is the natives raiding the food supply of the Chinese and Russians. I think the only phrase capable of describing that is "hilarity ensues."

Blogger Iron Spartan April 04, 2019 9:14 AM  

@19

Clowns in America can only manufacture fake support for so long, and that time frame gets shorter every time the try it.

Blogger freddie_mac April 04, 2019 9:17 AM  

@13 SciVo
This is one for the history books.

Something I've noticed recently is that the big flashy battles get all of the attention, but they're not necessarily the game changers that everyone believes. Usually, the little footnotes (Syria, Venezuela) are more important as those minor events change peoples' perception of the enemies' strength and their own.

Semi OT: can anyone recommend books or authors on Asian, esp Chinese history? I'm particularly interested in pre-20th century, but a general survey that includes 20th century events would be fine.

Blogger Jack Ward April 04, 2019 9:17 AM  

Having problems with google dropped my comment profile and will not let me change it. It will try and show email address as comment name. Also, will go to blogger to set profile but won't let me do that. Artifact of new comment moderation?
Jack Ward

Blogger Ken Prescott April 04, 2019 9:18 AM  

"Instead, both China and Russia have established military footprints in South America. This is a nearly unprecedented strategic disaster for the USA that will likely have global ramifications."

Amateurs talk strategy, professionals talk logistics.

The Russians and the Chinese have placed personnel far beyond their ability to reliably sustain them--and that is NOT taking into consideration the possibility of hostile action by the United States. The local powers would be quite enough to run the Russian and Chinese forces' boomsticks out of boom.

Blogger sykes.1 April 04, 2019 9:19 AM  

If you go to Moon of Alabama blog,

https://www.moonofalabama.org

you will see that story debunked. Even China's FM has debunked it.

Blogger Jack Ward April 04, 2019 9:20 AM  

Did I miss something? How did China get control of the Panama Canal?
Also having trouble with google/blogger dropping my comment name. Almost never got beyond the blogger loop to get my comment name back. Artifact of new comment moderation?

Blogger Brett baker April 04, 2019 9:25 AM  

Didn't we tell the Russians to get out of Cuba?

Blogger VD April 04, 2019 9:32 AM  

A single company of Chinese troops is essentially meaningless.

You're confusing tactics for strategy. It is not there for tactical reasons, but to provide justification for large-scale reinforcement if it's attacked.

Assuming it is there at all, of course. It could be Russian disinformation meant to further dissuade the US from intervening.

Blogger Kerryman86 April 04, 2019 9:32 AM  

During the decline of the western roman empire the roman army could no longer protect its borders effectively, the army being poorly paid and trained due to the steady corruption and apathy of the ruling elite of that time. The goths along its borders became increasingly aggressive and effective at attacking roman garrisons along its borders. The emperor at the time Valens whose main army was busy fighting the Sassanids or what is modern day Iran and unable to provide proper support for its border troops. During that time Valens granted settlement rights to a small contingent of goths fleeing a Hun invasion from the east led by its leader Fritigern, this supposed small controlled movement of people turned into a stampeded of a million goths which amounted to a invasion. Flitgern agreed to disarm under the agreement but the roman officials were so corrupt that they never bothered to check the people if they had given up their weapons while at the same time decided to price gouge the refugees on food and shelter. This led to a revolt which ended in Valens defeat at Adrianople.
Trumps troops cannot seal the border to invading mestizos due to wasteful wars in the east as well as corrupt elites taking in these invaders in order to use them as price gouged consumers redirecting the ever decreasing wealth of the productive Anglo population. When the wealth diminishes to a point when the Anglo can no longer support their family a Gothic revolt is inevitable.

Blogger VD April 04, 2019 9:33 AM  

you will see that story debunked. Even China's FM has debunked it.

China has also "debunked" its published plan to settle 100 million colonists in Africa. But more and more Chinese settle in Africa every year.

Blogger xevious2030 April 04, 2019 9:33 AM  

@16 (RW) Correct (natural ally). Though Russia has incentive for good relations with China. All this Russia BS, and allowing it to continue, pissed away a shift in direction which would have places the US on the right side in Syria (finally), and taken off unnecessary pressures which would have put the US in a more stable position, allowing the US to focus on actual existing problems rather than the distractions of newly created ones. There has been time enough to seize control of key components of national security, and it is time to begin disentangling the Deep State and send it reeling. As #19 (SA) pointed out, if there was inclination to utilize momentum (necessary or not), that too has been pissed away. In Venezuela, Russia and China are filling a vacuum the US created by going about things half assed. Sabotage of US projection and influence (rightly or wrongly), paving the way for further incursion by China all wrapped up in a nice pretty red bow.

Blogger VD April 04, 2019 9:38 AM  

Amateurs talk strategy, professionals talk logistics.

Your talk doesn't even rise to the level of amateur. Logistics are totally irrelevant here because the Russian troops are not there to fight any more than the US speed bump in the Fulda Gap was expected to stop a Soviet tank invasion.

They are there to test how ready for war the USA really is after it backed down in Syria. And to send a message that they don't buy the USA's martial rhetoric.

Blogger English Tom April 04, 2019 9:49 AM  

Re: Israel acting under the aegis of US protection.

Doesn't this make it more likely that Israel will attempt to embroil the US/West in a war against Iran before the US empire dissolves completely?

Blogger VD April 04, 2019 10:00 AM  

Doesn't this make it more likely that Israel will attempt to embroil the US/West in a war against Iran before the US empire dissolves completely?

They've been trying to do that for 18 years. It's almost certainly not going to happen now. About their only chance would be staging a nuclear false flag, but I doubt they'd be able to make it convincing now that the American public is suspicious of every mass shooting and terrorist event being manufactured.

Blogger Talios Hammerfist April 04, 2019 10:04 AM  

You definitely will not see this on any news channel/site.

Blogger cloom April 04, 2019 10:06 AM  

Neighbouring to Venezuela is Guyana which is having oil disputes with Venezuela, drilled/not-drilled by Exxon as the conflict brews. I have not verified this hilarious crisis, which is described by my friend:

The government fell by one vote (33/32), with 65 voting representatives. The failing black government claims half the voting is 32.5 therefore the round up of that is 33 and the majority is required to be one more, 34, not 33, to vote a government out. The Indian opposition took this to court.

The court ruled that 34 idea is nonsense. This got appealed to the three black members of the appeals court. They voted 2/1 (3 judges), that 34 is correct. So now the black government did not fall. The top Indian lawyer of Guyana pointed out 3 judges divided by 2 is 1.5 and rounds up to 2, therefore one more is 3. So 3 is the correct number of judges required to win, therefore the judges' 2 to 1 decision has failed to overturn the first courts' decision.

A couple weeks have gone by and the country is in stalemate over this, says my friend. I heard low IQ squabbling on satellite TV in Canada, but that is my friend's quick summary of it.

Blogger Alexander April 04, 2019 10:09 AM  

One of my pet theories is that overnight the Jewish diaspora will go from refugees welcome to 'we must all band together to expel the jihadists'

Saturating America and Europe with Muslims (or just hostile foreigners in general) and then having them all violently expelled, thus granting themselves a sort of blanket immunity from the west when Israel 'does the same thing'.

There's plenty of reasons why it wouldn't work as advertised, but as an idea it strikes me a plausible.

Blogger Ken Prescott April 04, 2019 10:11 AM  

Logistics are relevant, Vox, if the Russians or the Chinese can't sustain their forces against LOCAL threats. At that point, the issue of US readiness isn't even on the table. If the Duchy of Grand Fenwick beats you, your claim to Greay Lower status is rather dubious. (Yes, I understand that goes for the US, too, that's why I used Grand Fenwick.)

Blogger wahr01 April 04, 2019 10:12 AM  

"their strategists recognized that the US military is too weak and overextended to be capable of enforcing the Monroe Doctrine"

Likewise, they lack the capacity to project power beyond their regional spheres.

Observations of the lack of political will is axiomatic of babel.
If "diversity + proximity = war" then that axiom necessitates a disunity that manifests in complete paralysis and lack of purpose in all policy spheres.

Interestingly, the lack of political will for foreign entanglements is also what was predicted from a boomer-con perspective of a still-united states by private intel personalities like Peter Zeihan as an always popular distaste for foreign adventurism meets new demographic and geo-economic realities that remove the incentive for local US elites to push back.

Whether we see meaningful attempts to about-face back into cold war posturing in the next 10 years will bear out how powerful foreign/globalist elites are in the USA.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan April 04, 2019 10:19 AM  

Just a coincidence that these types of threads about comment 30 up shows the wunderwaffe brigade to inform us of the omnipotence of the Empire.

About the Chinese army what a genius to expect the Chinese army to show up in uniform to hold a friggin parade. A good buddy of mine has a son who did local truck delivery and he would go to this Chinese run warehouse and he recognized that the workers in the warehouse were military, in that their appearance and bearing were recognizable as military in nature. Of course the wunderwaffe brigade will laugh that observation off but next week inform us that the Russian military with no uniforms is staffing the rebel army in the Donbass.

Blogger doctrev April 04, 2019 10:26 AM  

Johnny wrote:Maduro is running Venezuela so incompetently that unless he can be overthrown, supporting Venezuela will never be much more than an expense. Perhaps it isn't really damaging to our interests if somebody else picks up the bill. As for our imperial power, it would seem our internal politics will make that impossible to sustain regardless.

Thank you. Smart to not treat this move as a real-life game of Risk. Venezuela is in basic humanitarian crisis, and foreign support would need to be aimed at ending the crisis, especially the blackout issue. 1000 engineers would make more of a difference than an infantry company, and yet China sends soldiers. At least they brought some food, allegedly, but can they bring enough water for millions of people? Doubtful, to put it mildly.

The problem is that China doesn't actually have good options here. Fixing the Venezuela power grid is going to cost billions of dollars, a great deal of time, and will require huge technical knowledge. Maybe China can do it, but maybe it can't. At least the likely option of the soldiers being there to evacuate their top local allies and loot the country will have one advantage: it might FINALLY silence the people who insist that Russia and China will be caring liberators compared to the American Empire.

Blogger Richard Rahl April 04, 2019 10:35 AM  

This is one of the many negative results of spreading the military too thin throughout the world as a result of fighting 2 wars on the other side of the planet.
I hope Vox's analysis is wrong and I admit I struggle looking at these issues without bias having served for 8 years, but this type of action would never have received such a puny physical threat from the US in the past. The Monroe doctrine seems to be unenforceable now that the US has depleted their resources so far from "home-base."

Blogger Iron Spartan April 04, 2019 10:39 AM  

@35

or the Neocons faking into trying to scare the US into intervening yet again.

China doesn't have the lift to sustain a force in the Atlantic, and their relationship with Russia is cool at best, bordering on hostile. I can't see the either country being willing to share Venezuela. China's sights are set on control of SE Asia and the Indian ocean.

Blogger Borsabil April 04, 2019 10:44 AM  

They tried to install a Macron clone in Venezuela and it backfired horribly. Empty threats of invasion to back an obvious globalist stooge. I'm mostly happy with Trump but stuff like this leaves me scratching my head.

Blogger dc.sunsets April 04, 2019 11:00 AM  

They've been trying to do that for 18 years. It's almost certainly not going to happen now.

I must rely on others' discussions of what is real US military capability. Apparently Kratman's Social Justice Armed Forces satire was too close to real to let it remain outside the Memory Hole.
https://web.archive.org/web/20160118141734/http://www.everyjoe.com/2016/01/11/politics/social-justice-armed-forces-going-to-war/#1

Is there any there there in the military now, given that the most pressing discussion of late was whether the Pentagon would pay for men to get estrogen shots and have their genitals amputated, turned inside-out and somehow implanted?

Are such things some weird kind of propaganda or the tip of a moon-sized iceberg? When the news is revealed as fiction, nothing beyond my window is real anymore.

Blogger Andy in San Diego and Elsewhere April 04, 2019 11:18 AM  

Don't forget the Iranian missile base in Venezuela https://twitter.com/i/web/status/1091382650831585281

Blogger VD April 04, 2019 11:25 AM  

Logistics are relevant, Vox, if the Russians or the Chinese can't sustain their forces against LOCAL threats.

Stop digging. There are no LOCAL threats to them. They are there at the request of the government and its forces, which are a lot more popular than the US puppet non-regime.

Blogger J.M. April 04, 2019 11:37 AM  

VD wrote:Logistics are relevant, Vox, if the Russians or the Chinese can't sustain their forces against LOCAL threats.

Stop digging. There are no LOCAL threats to them. They are there at the request of the government and its forces, which are a lot more popular than the US puppet non-regime.


As someone who works in the region, and in the area of logistics I can say that you are wrong. The only reason why Colombia or Brazil haven't invaded to stem the migrant flow (specially Colombia) is due to the high costs of an invasion, occupation and the international order that would thwart any of their attempts to conquer and drain the resources of Venezuela. If they could be assured that there would be no repercussions if they were to invade and take profit from that invasion, they would do it in a heartbeat. Venezuela's collapse is a threat to the stability of the region due to the millions of persons that would flee heading to Colombia and to a lesser extent, Brazil and neighbouring countries. Colombia has already more than 2 million Venezuelan refugees and Colombia is not a rich country by any standard. And those refugees have come just in the last 1.5 years...

Russian and Chinese hypothetical forces cannot sustain a position against "irregulars" who officially claim no allegiance to any country...even if they were Colombian and Brazilian guerilla soldiers paid, trained and outfitted by Uncle Sam...

In all likelihood if they are there, they are there to protect and evacuate their nationals, their allies and possibly to the loot Venezuela's remaining wealth, just as the commie traitors did in Spain when they saw the writing on the wall in the last civil war...

Blogger ZhukovG April 04, 2019 11:39 AM  

The Russian and Chinese forces aren't there to win or even fight a war. They are there to call a bluff.

Logistics is a non-issue when nobody is going to stop you from resupplying.

Blogger wahr01 April 04, 2019 11:40 AM  

@52

At the same time they lack the ability to meaningfully project power into our local sphere.
The idea the Monroe Doctrine is under external threat from a token set of advisors is a bit much to assert. If anything it's the Domestic side the places it under threat: a combination of "muh diversity" related dysfunction and a base-line anti-interventionist populism that has always been present in the USA.

Blogger PolitiCrump April 04, 2019 11:42 AM  

Looks like the "unipolar moment" for the US is finally up.

Blogger J.M. April 04, 2019 11:49 AM  

ZhukovG wrote:The Russian and Chinese forces aren't there to win or even fight a war. They are there to call a bluff.

Logistics is a non-issue when nobody is going to stop you from resupplying.


That is correct. The problem is that there are many local actors willing to stop you from resupplying and willing to kill you. The only thing that stops them is the lack of adequate support...and if that support ever comes, those forces on the ground, far away from their logistics chains and their sphere of influence, are as good as dead. In other words, only US incompetence guarantees their safety...

Blogger wahr01 April 04, 2019 11:58 AM  

I've seen numerous posts about "muh empire collapsing" and it's important to point out the rise of populism has placed the "New American Century [of empire]" types in the doghouse.

It's very clear Trump is deliberately stepping the USA back from "empire" status by selling arms to regional powers and encouraging them to keep their own houses in order (most prominent of these being the saudis).

Trump being a builder, the most clear analogy is a large NY building "going condo".
He's selling the bits off piecemeal to the current occupants with the aim of eliminating the expense of empire without allowing a central threat to rise.

The important thing is this is what the people voted for. Americans WANT this. It's 100% voluntary and the result of the isolationist side "winning" the ongoing struggle for the direction of US foreign policy.

Blogger Damn the torpedos April 04, 2019 12:00 PM  

What do the learned elders of neoconnery even want in Venezuela?

Blogger xevious2030 April 04, 2019 12:00 PM  

@48 (IS) China’s sights.
(2018) China blocked from buying the Chicago Stock Exchange (not implying connection to below).
(2016) China bought an oil and gas block from Mexico.
(2006) China formed a partnership with Cuba for oil exploration.

Blogger xevious2030 April 04, 2019 12:02 PM  

@53 (JM) Is anyone inside Venezuela overthrowing the government? Is anyone taking in, training, and equipping the migrants to prepare them to return and topple the government? Is there mass interception of government or goods based convoys? There was a potential to change regimes, and it flopped. Sometimes people just wallow in misery.

Blogger wahr01 April 04, 2019 12:26 PM  

@61
There was never a potential for "regime change".
The "political battle" there is between 2 different degrees of extreme socialism.

Blogger freddie_mac April 04, 2019 12:44 PM  

@61 xevious2030
There was a potential to change regimes, and it flopped. Sometimes people just wallow in misery.

And maybe Venezuela hasn't hit bottom yet. Sure, things look bad to those of us in the west, but only the Venezuelans can decide when conditions have become so bad that they're willing to force a regime change.

Blogger VFM #7634 April 04, 2019 12:56 PM  

What do the learned elders of neoconnery even want in Venezuela?

To rehabilitate their image. Maduro is a complete incompetent who's running his country into the ground and trying to turn it into a larger Cuba. One-tenth of Venezuelans have already left the country, flooding across South America. But he's in hock to the Russians and Chinese, and they want to protect their investment.

The smart thing for Russia and China to do would be to do their own regime change and replace Maduro with someone more capable. Otherwise they'll end up looking worse than the yanquis.

Blogger Frank Lee April 04, 2019 1:02 PM  

Obama lost Venezuela long ago. Trump using minimal resources (and no troops) to keep it in chaos doesn't cost the US anything. Meanwhile, Tropical Trump is embracing the US in Brazil. And the Chinese are welcome to try to fix Africa. The notion that America was the only "superpower" in the 90's was an illusion. I don't see any reason to be more pessimistic about US influence around the world than in the 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's or basically any time in history. We were never in a position to run the world and I can't see why we would want to.

Blogger xevious2030 April 04, 2019 1:14 PM  

@62 (W) We are not in disagreement on that, see the context of #53 (JM).
@63 (FM) Almost as soon as I posted, I had wished I added to misery, “for a while,” but thank you for stating it. Context of #53.

Blogger 1st Earl Hardwicke April 04, 2019 1:58 PM  

Reminds of the Video game "Balance of Power", station "advisors" to deter invasion and gradually expand influence in key regions. Side with the most points/influence wins. Escalation to Nuclear, means everyone loses.

Permitting massive Chinese influence in Canada and on the electronics industry, what a mess. I wonder what implications China as the Worlds superpower has.

Blogger Adlow April 04, 2019 2:17 PM  

@53 Russian and Chinese hypothetical forces cannot sustain a position against "irregulars" who officially claim no allegiance to any country...even if they were Colombian and Brazilian guerilla soldiers paid, trained and outfitted by Uncle Sam...

Sure they can, if they stay behind the wire on their bases near Caracas. They're not there to fight, they're there to show the flag.

Blogger J.M. April 04, 2019 2:18 PM  

xevious2030 wrote:@53 (JM) Is anyone inside Venezuela overthrowing the government? Is anyone taking in, training, and equipping the migrants to prepare them to return and topple the government? Is there mass interception of government or goods based convoys? There was a potential to change regimes, and it flopped. Sometimes people just wallow in misery.

What I mean by local forces are whatever forces neighbouring countries can muster. Venezuela is an extreme example of the effects of emigration. The best portion of the population fled that country during the last decade. What's left of that country are mostly the dregs and the regime leeches. The brighter folks left that land not 2 years ago but 10 years ago. Most of the people with the guts and intelligence to mount resistance are either on Maduro and co' payroll or abroad. If the regime is to be toppled, the trigger will come from without (irregular forces, terrorists, saboteurs, even foreign soldiers disguised as Venezuelan military...), not from within. Take into consideration that Venezuelans are almost completely unarmed, hungry and sick while the regime and criminal bands are outfitted with every weapon you can imagine and well fed. Venezuela literally became dumber and craven by the day, for the last 20 years. By the way, I'm not justifying any intervention, I'm just driving the point home that almost no one outside the regime circles is content with the regime. Source: My work in the region and daily sightings in many countries (Colombia, Panama, Perú Argentina, you name it) of ever increasing Venezuelan expats and refugees. No one happy with his government votes with his feet.

As I said before if there were no external interference or some guarantees of no intervention, Colombia and Brazil (and maybe even others) would have toppled the regime and distributed among themselves the spoils...

Blogger SciVo April 04, 2019 2:32 PM  

Damn the torpedos wrote:What do the learned elders of neoconnery even want in Venezuela?

Hugo Chávez ended diplomatic relations with Israel over the Gaza War -- a policy that Nicolás Maduro has continued -- and since then, the number of Jews in Venezuela has declined from 20,000 to 5000. I do not know what material interests are represented by those items, but opposition leader Juan Guaido has pledged to reverse both.

Blogger Opiter April 04, 2019 2:40 PM  

"Historically ... it is traditional and habitual for us to be inadequately prepared. This is the combined result of a number factors, the character of which is only indicated: democracy, which tends to make everyone believe that he knows it all; the preponderance (inherent in democracy) of people whose real interest is in their own welfare as individuals; the glorification of our own victories in war and the corresponding ignorance of our defeats (and disgraces) and of their basic causes; the inability of the average individual (the man in the street) to understand the cause and effect not only in foreign but domestic affairs, as well as his lack of interest in such matters. Added to these elements is the manner in which our representative (republican) form of government has developed as to put a premium on mediocrity and to emphasise the defects of the electorate already mentioned."

- Admiral Ernest King, COMINCH U.S. Navy.

Blogger cheddarman April 04, 2019 3:23 PM  

Russian and Chinese forces inside Venezuela have the support of the government, and much of the local populace. They have no need of logistical support. They can get all their beans bullets and bandages locally.

Blogger Clay April 04, 2019 3:42 PM  

Like I've said before on this blog, station that Carrier they plan to retire, (I think it was the Truman), off some Caribbean Island, and use them for military exercises.

Blogger Iron Spartan April 04, 2019 3:59 PM  

cheddarman wrote:Russian and Chinese forces inside Venezuela have the support of the government, and much of the local populace. They have no need of logistical support. They can get all their beans bullets and bandages locally.

The locals don't have beans, bullets, or bandages for themselves, let alone to spare for some well fed foreigner. I don't care how much the ruling party likes the Rooskies or the Chicoms, no one on the streets of Caracas would hesitate to steal every single scrap of food, medicine, or ammo designated for foreigners. If they get enough guns, they might even decide to take it by force. Hilarity ensues.

Blogger Clay April 04, 2019 4:09 PM  

The Harry S Truman aircraft carrier. I thought they were going to retire her. If i'm not mistaken, she is out to sea again.They should park her up against from Carribean Island, and conduct military "training ecxecises"


I'm sure that slected island would benefit, financially.

Blogger weka April 04, 2019 5:43 PM  

Ken, pretty much what the US tries to do in Eastern Europe. They have lost influence with the aussies and Kiwis - - our interests align with our ttaxe, which is with the peoples republic not Great Britain or North America.

Trump knows this. Imperial over reach leads to strategic vulnerabilities as you can no longer pay the logisticians, your troops are exhausted, and you assume that the political purity of your new soviet army will correct these deficits.

It will not end well. Let the Russians and EU be robbed. Protect the borders instead.

Blogger weka April 04, 2019 5:52 PM  

My guess is that they are there to act as security for Russian and Chinese intersts and to piss off Bolton, and any other foolmin Washington who thinks the Monroe doctrine still works (It died a long time ago: you canno coerce sovereign nations. Brussels nd Zuckerberg please note).

The geography there is brutal. The USA should choose the place where they stop any invasion with care. North of the Darien gap would help.

Blogger Ford Prefect April 04, 2019 6:31 PM  

Chinese influence in Canada is not limited to the left coast. Here in Winnipeg, most, if not all, ATMs offer you service in Chinese (as well as anglais and French). Not sure if it's really needed here or if the banks just find it easier to have one version of their ATM software, but it was shocking to me the first time I saw Chinese on an ATM here.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd April 04, 2019 7:21 PM  

weka wrote:... any other foolmin Washington who thinks the Monroe doctrine still works (It died a long time ago: you canno coerce sovereign nations.

Weka, as I recall, the Monroe Doctrine was that we would not allow European nations to invade or install puppet governments in our hemisphere. It did not require us to invade or install puppet governments ourselves.

You may be thinking of the United Fruit Company Doctrine, under which we invaded and installed puppet governments and seized guano rocks throughout this hemisphere.

Blogger CM April 04, 2019 7:34 PM  

It did not require us to invade or install puppet governments ourselves

Interesting. For some reason I thought that coincided with us actually doing it, even if it didn't require it.

Blogger wahr01 April 04, 2019 8:15 PM  

@80

The removal of a credible global threat (even the other 'great' powers are focused regionally) and more importantly our increasing energy independence have rendered the need for "puppet regimes" obsolete.

Our goal now is exiting the world stage without catastrophic collapse of geopolitical stability (which could give rise to a credible global threat).

Blogger HoosierHillbilly April 04, 2019 8:46 PM  

@19. A billion into a shut down oil refinery in the Caribbean is chump change sir. That barely gets your CUI inspection/repair done, and certainly not get back to running heavy sour.

St. Croix is a massive terminal. You put money into it for the storage capacity now that US can export. Hold oil, play with the Gulf import\export market and make profit on oil swings. You process a little crude to sell to the East Coast, but your feedstock ain't coming out of Venezuela bud. Your running light, sweet American if you only dumped a billion in. Cut it with some heavier Middle East/African if you need the bottom.

That move is not for a US/Ven trading boom.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd April 04, 2019 8:49 PM  

CM wrote:Interesting. For some reason I thought that coincided with us actually doing it, even if it didn't require it.

The Monroe Doctrine was a U.S. foreign policy regarding domination of the American continent in 1823. It stated that further efforts by European nations to colonize land or interfere with states in North or South America would be viewed as acts of aggression, requiring U.S. intervention.[1] At the same time, the doctrine noted that the United States would neither interfere with existing European colonies nor meddle in the internal concerns of European countries. The Doctrine was issued in 1823 at a time when nearly all Latin American colonies of Spain and Portugal had achieved or were at the point of gaining independence from the Portuguese and Spanish Empires. The United States, working in agreement with Great Britain, wanted to guarantee that no European power would move in.

Instead, Roosevelt added the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine in 1904, asserting the right of the United States to intervene in Latin America in cases of "flagrant and chronic wrongdoing by a Latin American Nation" to preempt intervention by European creditors.

The United Fruit Company was formed in 1899. Roosevelt's Corollary might have had something to do with their Latin American interests. Smedley Butler thought so, at least.

In short, I think the Monroe Doctrine started out as a net positive for Americans, and became a net negative about 80 years later. I'm all in favor of maintaining the original version of it, as long as it doesn't keep us from closing our borders. If maintaining the original Monroe Doctrine forces us to bring our troops back to this hemisphere, so much the better.

Blogger Centurion Revolt April 04, 2019 8:54 PM  

Of the many bad decisions that Drumpf has made, hiring Bolton was the worst.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd April 04, 2019 9:44 PM  

Centurion Revolt wrote:Of the many bad decisions that Drumpf has made, hiring Bolton was the worst.

Bolton hasn't gotten us into any wars yet.

How about Rex Tillerson, the man who queered the Boy Scouts?

How about the bump stock ban?

Don't forget backing down on closing the Southern border. You don't look strong by spouting off, then backing down.

Blogger VFM #7634 April 04, 2019 11:57 PM  

Don't forget backing down on closing the Southern border. You don't look strong by spouting off, then backing down.

Supposedly Trump got the Mexican migra to crack down on the squatemalans heading for El Norte in exchange for not closing the border and tanking the Mexican economy. We'll see...

Blogger Ominous Cowherd April 05, 2019 8:27 AM  

VFM #7634 wrote:Supposedly Trump got the Mexican migra to crack down on the squatemalans heading for El Norte in exchange for not closing the border and tanking the Mexican economy.

He probably did. It might work. The downside is looking like a blow-hard.

Trump does make mistakes, and this might be one of them. A Big, Beautiful Wall will cover a multitude of mistakes. We'll see ...

Blogger CM April 05, 2019 2:29 PM  

In short, I think the Monroe Doctrine started out as a net positive for Americans, and became a net negative about 80 years later. I'm all in favor of maintaining the original version of it, as long as it doesn't keep us from closing our borders. If maintaining the original Monroe Doctrine forces us to bring our troops back to this hemisphere, so much the better.

Thank you, OC!

That cleared some things up for me. We briefly touched on this in AP History in HS and my gut reaction was that I wasn't a fan of Roosevelt or globalization. It was an instinctual fall into nationalism, but I also stopped studying any 20th century history because of it.

Trying to correct that lately.

Blogger eclecticme April 05, 2019 2:58 PM  

The US threatened military invasion so VE activated its S300s with Russian help. That went well .....

There is no significant irregular force in VE, certainly not armed. The VE military have the arms. Any irregulars would be lucky to obtain even food. Let's hope the US does not kick start and supply a civil war like we did in Libya, Syria, etc.

China has its own version of the Monroe doctrine and the US is none too happy about it.

Blogger Steve Rodger April 05, 2019 4:53 PM  

Vox, are you interested in reading about fairly recent developments that lead to the current situation in Venezuela? If so research about "Foro de São Paulo" a series of meetings between Latin American leftist political parties and narcoguerrillas, started near the fall of the Soviet Union, where they openly announce their mutual collaboration toward a shared vision for the future of the continent. They also published their discussions, and they managed to elect several presidents in South American until very recently when right-wing parties reclaimed power, while also revealing massive corruption scandals. They tried to make and EU like supranational state called "Patria Grande" or "Unasur/Unasul", and they allied themselves with European globalists through high ranking openly Masonic parties, and figures like Soros to implement agenda 2030 of the UN. Since Trump that alliance crumbled and the few Comunist parties still in power pushed for full dictatorship like in Venezuela. Brazilian journalist Olavo de Carvalho brought public attention to those development in Brazil, do you can ask for your Brazilian followers to share sources about that. All of those documents has also been published in spanish by the leftists themselves. Brazilian recent pledge to enter NATO might signals that this crisis in South America is heading to a decades long period of regional instability in the future. It looks like Maduro's allies in Mexico and the Caribbean have been colluding to organise the several caravans of migrants that headed to the US.

Blogger Scott April 06, 2019 12:41 AM  

Amusing.

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