Saturday, September 17, 2005

Newsflash: Chavez is an idiot

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is telling everyone he has documented evidence that the US is planning to invade Venezuela and that the plan involves "aircraft carriers and planes." Well, stop those presses, folks!

Let's see, we have no common border with Venezuela. There's no secured highway from Texas down to the tip of Panama. Colombia's not likely to allow passage of a huge invasion army to finish the trip even if there were. So if an invasion force were going to be sent from here to there it would very likely "involve" ships. Of course, we need air cover, and that means (drumroll please) aircraft carriers and planes. Damn, that Chavez character is just brilliant!

Ah, but he's on to us now:

::::::::He added: "We are coming up with the counter-Balboa plan. That is to say if the government of the United States attempts to commit the foolhardy enterprise of attacking us, it would be embarked on a 100-year war. We are prepared."::::::::

Chavez is preening for the international set and he knows it. Unlike an enemy like Al Qaeda, we know precisely where Chavez is. We know where his military strength is located and we know what area in the world his operations are concentrated within. In short, he's a sitting target. Say whatever you like about the US military, their history is replete with examples that prove we're very, very good at taking out such targets.

The last guy who boasted that the US couldn't possibly take him out militarily skoffed at our abilities, technology, and training. He loudly predicted that our troops would wither in the desert and our "toys" would simply be of no use in real combat. The first time we kicked that guy's ass out of a country he had invaded in something like 100 hours. The second time we went after him we destroyed his vaunted military and removed him from power in about a week. That guy is now sitting in a jail in Baghdad awaiting trial.

The situation for Chavez - IF the US had invasion of Venezuela on our minds - would be very different than it was for Saddam. First, it's about 2000 miles from Washington, DC to Caracas. That's about the same distance as it is from here to Las Vegas, Nevada. That's within the range of our airlift capability without requiring airborn refueling. And that assumes a takeoff from Washington, DC. We can do it from Florida and be a lot closer still. Second, the troops that engaged in the Coalition assault on Iraq contained some combat veterans, but were still comprised largely of well-trained though untested soldiers. That's not the case today - the vast majority of our standing troop strength now has live combat experience and a large chunk of that is in urban warfare. Trust me, Chavez, you do not want to try going head to head with US troops in a non-urban environment now. Giving these guys a target in a situation where they can lay into you with no concern about innocent civilians or infrastructure and you will not be walking away.

Everyone who has even the slightest familiarity with the military capacity of these 2 countries knows what I've just said is true. So why challenge the US to a fight? Because he's scared to sh*tting his pants, that's why, and he knows the only defense he's got is to try to get enough of our friends to scowl disapprovingly at us should the subject come up. That and to try to mobilize all those university students who think wearing his mug on a T-shirt is just the height of cool. In short, he's doing exactly what General Vo Nguyen Giap and bin Laden and Zarqawi are doing: relying on our media and our academia to sap the will of the American public and erode support for any military operation. In Chavez's case, he's doing it in a preemptive manner.

I've got no problem whatsoever in the removal of Chavez from his position. Jimmy Carter notwithstanding, there was enough evidence of electoral fraud to call his presidency into real question and his prior record makes him a clear enemy of democracy. Seeing him punted won't raise any tears from me. That said, I wouldn't commit troops to the job - just yet - and wouldn't suggest anyone else do so, either. I consider this to be some dictator who knows he's on thin ice puffing up for the media. In short: he's an idiot.