‘What does it stand for? Populism, socialism, militarism, xenophobia, nationalism, Marxism, anti-Americanism, class warfare, Bolivarian revolution, lawlessness, corruption, financial collapse—it depends on where you stand.’
‘The boss loves to talk and has clocked up speeches of Castro-like length. Bolívar is the theme of which he never tires. His early uniformed movement of mutineers—which failed to bring off a military coup in 1992—was named for Bolívar.’
There are a loyal group of followers crying in the autocratic populist’s wake, as he directed the spigot of oil wealth somewhat in their direction. There are also some other anti-American, anti-capitalist types who hold him up as a model.
‘I like to think of Hugo Chavez as the result of what would happen if a politician of the limited intellect, naiveté and fiery populism of a Jesse Jackson on the left or Sarah Palin on the right were to win the presidency in our country, or better yet, if a reality TV star became president.’
Garfinkle points to this NY Times piece, which alleges the Chinese have been supplying the Iranians with weapons, and the Iranians have been funneling around the Middle East, arming potential allies, damn the consequences, as they get closer to nuclear viability.
‘As the article makes clear, the Iranians, via the Revolutionary Guard Corps, are accelerating the volume and sophistication of weapons supplies transferred to extent and potential proxies in the region. In the case of Yemen, that’s the Houthi rebellion. In all cases, Iran’s support is to Shi’a or Shi’a offshoot groups fighting Sunni government or groups.’
Should we just let them go at each other?
Meanwhile, the remarkably cautious, White House-centralized, internationalist-tempered-by-realpolitik foreign policy platform has taken a stand on Iran, saying a nuclear Iran is a red-line.
That new liberal internationalist world order vision is fading fast. Events are catching up.