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How Exciting: The Birth of a New Official Enemy!


There are few events more exciting in people’s lives than the birth of a child.

Similarly, there is always a tremendous air of excitement that comes with the birth of a New Official Enemy of the U.S. national-security state.

This past week, the American people got to experience this exciting event in the life of the national-security state. Through an official decree issued by President Obama declaring that Venezuela now poses a grave threat to the “national security” of the United States, a new official enemy — Venezuela — was brought into existence as the latest Official Enemy of the U.S. Empire.

How exciting is that!

How exactly does Venezuela pose a grave threat to U.S. “national security”? Unfortunately, Obama didn’t exactly make that clear, but who cares? What matters is that United States has a brand new member of the Official Enemy family.

Making Venezuela a new Official Enemy enabled Obama to unilaterally impose sanctions on select officials within the Venezuelan government. But as the Iraqis, Iranians, Cubans, Russians, North Koreans, and others will attest, limited sanctions are just the beginning. Gradually, Obama will use his decree powers to expand his Venezuelan sanctions with the aim of causing as much economic harm to the Venezuelan people as possible.

What’s the purpose of the sanctions? The same purpose sanctions served in Cuba, Iraq, and others: regime change. The idea is that by economically strangling the Venezuelan people to the maximum extent possible, they will oust Maduro from power and replace him with a pro-U.S. dictator, perhaps even through a military coup, like in Chile.

And make no mistake about it: No amount of death and destruction is too small in the attempt to achieve regime change. Recall U.S. Ambassador to the UN Madeleine Albright’s infamous declaration that the deaths of half-a-million Iraqi children from the sanctions against that country were “worth it.”

Don’t forget what the U.S. national-security state did in Chile. President Nixon ordered the CIA to make the Chilean economy “scream.” The CIA’s actions, combined with the socialist economic policies of elected Salvador Allende, sent the Chilean economy into a tailspin, causing the Chilean people to greet a military coup with open arms, a coup that was orchestrated by the U.S. national-security state.

Today there are people who still love, glorify, and extol Gen. Augusto Pinochet’s long unelected military dictatorship in Chile that replaced the Allende administration. They praise the dictatorship for its “free-market” economic policies, notwithstanding the fact that the dictatorship proceeded to kidnap, round up, incarcerate, rape, torture, disappear, or execute some 40,000 innocent people — that is, people whose only “crime” was being a supporter of Allende or a believer in socialism.

What’s interesting is that the Pinochet lovers are very quiet during this exciting time of a birth of Venezuela as a new Official Enemy of the national-security state. Why so? Wouldn’t you expect them to be calling for expanded sanctions on Venezuela in the hopes of bringing another pro-U.S. military dictatorship to Latin America?

After all, Maduro’s socialist policies are no different from those of Allende (and, well, for that matter from those of Franklin Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, and Richard Nixon). Maduro is a friend of Cuba’s Fidel Castro, as Allende was. And Maduro is independent of the U.S. Empire, as Allende was.

Wouldn’t you think that the Pinochet lovers would be screaming to the mountaintops for another U.S. intervention, one that would oust Maduro from office and install another Pinochet-like dictatorship in his stead? Why the silence?

Suppose you knew as a fact that a pro-U.S. military dictatorship in Venezuela would kidnap, incarcerate, rape, torture, disappear, or kill 40,000 Venezuelan supporters of Nicolas Maduro and, at the same time, would reject Maduro’s socialist economic policies and adopt “free-market” economic policies.

Which of the following two choices would you make:

  1. The U.S. government leaves Venezuela alone to muddle through its socialist economic chaos until its next presidential election?
  2. The U.S. government intervenes in Venezuela by trying to make economic conditions worse for the Venezuelan people and then orchestrate a military coup, just like it did in Chile?

Who would select #2? I’ll tell you who: the Pinochet lovers would. They’d say that the concentration camps and military dungeons and the rape, torture, disappearance, or execution of 40,000 Venezuelan people who believe in socialism and interventionism would be worth the “free-market” policies that the military dictatorship would bring to Venezuela. Isn’t that what they say about Chile?

I say: No amount of “free-market” economic policies can justify one single rape, torture, or murder, much less 40,000 of them.

I say: the U.S. government should butt out of Venezuela’s affairs (and every other country’s affairs).

Hasn’t the U.S. national-security state done enough damage to people in foreign countries? When are the American citizenry going to finally say to the national-security establishment: “Enough is enough!”

The worst event in the history of the United States was the birth of the national-security state. It was akin to the birth of Rosemary’s Baby.

This post was written by:

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.