Amid all the talk about important issues (like Avengers: Endgame being soooooooo awesome), the country of Venezuela has been undergoing internal strife that has come to the surface in the past few weeks. To give you the short version of events, their economy sucks, their current leader is a tyrant not above using the military to kill people, and there’s a new guy trying to take over with the support of the United States.
Naturally, the Left, with all of its vast foreign policy knowledge and gravitas, is siding with the dictator.
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-On’tKnowShit) recently said the sanctions we put on Venezuela crippled its economy, thus causing the unrest there. (Of course, it couldn’t have been because they dabbled with socialism during a time when there was oil money coming in like a giant petroleum slot machine looser than Bill Clinton’s morals, right? Naaaaaaah!) The concept of sanctions in general is interesting and deserves a closer look.
What the Left thinks it means – harmful foreign and economic policy decisions designed to force countries to adopt our standards
What it really means – a step designed to try to prevent war
The way sanctions work is by cutting off a need for a certain country, like money or medicine, in the hopes they’ll get their acts together and stop being assholes. Granted, sanctions don’t always work because in order for them to be effective, the target country has to believe the sanctions have teeth to them.
Remember Saddam Hussein? This is a perfect example of the sanctions with no teeth approach. The United Nations imposed strict sanctions against Iraq when he was trying to make moves on Kuwait in 1990. After their first attempt failed, they imposed more sanctions noting Iraq failed to comply with their initial sanctions. After Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm showed Saddam had the strategic acumen of Wile E. Coyote, Iraq at least tried to pretend they were complying. Of course, they weren’t, but they knew the UN was (and still is) all talk and no action unless the US gets involved again.
So, what did 10+ years of UN sanctions get us? A second trip to Iraq, more lives lost, and sand getting into the nooks and crannies of a lot of good men and women. Then, when it was time to go back to war, the Left came out against Iraq War II: Electric Boogaloo demanding we give the sanctions that didn’t work in the first place more time to, well, not work.
Venezuela is different, however. Their economy was already tanking like Adam Schiff’s chances of being anything more than a bug-eyed freak with more leakage problems than a Wiffle Diaper before the sanctions were put in place. And from there, it only got worse. I’m talking literally eating zoo animals due to widespread starvation worse. And many of the same Leftists who wanted us to let the sanctions work in Iraq blamed sanctions for Venezuela’s mess. And this is while they’re saying we shouldn’t get involved militarily.
That’s the part the Left doesn’t get about sanctions. You can’t pick and choose when you support them, especially if you’re wanting to avoid warfare. The military has three main jobs: kill the enemy, break their stuff, and prevent the enemy from doing the same to them. When we go to war, we can’t half-ass it. That’s right. We have to whole ass it! But the thing we try to do before then is to exhaust all possible options.
That’s where sanctions come in. As much as the Left thinks we’re a bunch of shoot first, ask questions never cowboys, we don’t automatically break out the new toys against an opposing country. If so, Israel wouldn’t have a problem with its neighbors anymore…because there wouldn’t be enough of them to form a softball league. When asking nicely doesn’t work, we have to try to flex our might in another way, and that means cutting countries off from money and/or goods. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but at the very least it shows we’re willing to give these countries a chance to redeem themselves either through willing compliance or through the threat of revolution. If that doesn’t work, then we consider warfare.
Put another way, sanctions are meant to be a deterrent to war, not a cause of it. If the Left really is against military action, they should consider supporting the sanctions until the leader chosen by the country’s legislative body is put into power. Either that or get ready for war (and I don’t mean organizing anti-war protests or trying to get President Donald Trump impeached).
Of course, these are the same people who sided with the dictator, so the chances of them making a smart decision here are slim.
Oh, well. At least Avengers: Endgame kicked ass, right?