Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel suddenly concerned Trump may...invade Venezuela

(Language warning.)

With all of Chicago's problems and scandals, from its Caracas-level violence to its financial straits to its corrupt and sex-harassing pols to its Obama library sweetheart deal to its issues with illegals to even Catholic Church scandals, Mayor Rahm Emanuel is concerned about...Venezuela – and, more specifically, the prospect that President Trump might invade it, which, in his mind, could only be for political gain.

CNBC's John Harwood reports:

Rahm Emanuel, the former top aide to President Barack Obama who is now Chicago's mayor, is publicly warning that the mercurial commander-in-chief may blow past the hesitation of national security advisors in search of a rally-around-the-flag political boost.  He wants Congress to flash caution lights.

"We have a phrase in this country: the October surprise," Emanuel, Obama's first White House chief of staff, told me in an interview.  "I think in this situation he is looking to do anything and will do anything."

So the number-one item on his agenda is the inside-baseball speculation that Trump might invade Venezuela to get his poll numbers up – as President Clinton did in the Balkans to get out of the Lewinsky scandal.  Right, Rahm – we know that you know all about that.

CNBC doesn't do itself very proud, either, with Harwood buttressing his argument with claims that President Trump is against Latinos over the illegal immigration issue, followed by Marco Rubio's statement that he wouldn't be against such military action.  Rubio, for Harwood's information, is Latino.

The response to all of this twaddle, from Venezuela itself, was harsh:

It goes to show how unserious Rahm is, focusing on Washington issues in exclusively Trumpian terms, as if Trump lives rent-free inside his head, and apparently not recognizing that Venezuela is a real problem.  His swamp focus certainly would explain why he's doing nothing in Chicago.  You can take the swampster out of the swamp...

More to the point, the mayor doesn't seem to be aware that there's a mass exodus of Venezuelans fleeing a monstrous socialist hellhole, now amounting to at least 3 million people.  Amnesty International just reported that Venezuela's extrajudicial killings number about 8,000 they can prove now, a massive crisis of state slaughter.  Starvation is rife, and Venezuelans have lost an average of 24 pounds this year.  Nicolás Maduro, the country's dictator, was last seen openly dining on steak and cigars in Istanbul.  Inflation is heading for a million percent.  The currency is garbage.  The oil production has slipped to 1948 levels.  Mass arrests of shop-owners as hoarders and wreckers have just thrown more than two dozen in jail against the backdrop of 40% of Venezuela's shops shutting down overnight.  The chief of the Organization of American States brought up military intervention, and while he's since backtracked and many Latin nations protested, Colombia and Guyana, Venezuela's most menaced neighbors, went mysteriously silent.  Something serious is going on over there.

And in Rahm's mind, it's all a matter of Trump wanting to engineer an October surprise, with Venezuela as some ginned up artificial issue.

Nope, Rahm.  It's serious.  What it really sounds like is that Rahm is trying to distract attention from his own failures as mayor in his own crisis-ridden city, by drawing attention to Venezuela and Trump.  Sorry, Rahm: This one's for the big boys.  Do what Señor Duquenal tells you.

Update: Welcome, Instapundit readers! Here are some updated thoughts on this same issue in light of the new warning from Mike Pompeo.

Image credit: Daniel X. O'Neil via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.

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