While you were distracted: Was Rahm Emanuel trying to sabotage a U.S. strike against Venezuela?
The puzzle pieces are starting to fill in a bit after Chicago Mayor and former Obama administration White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel made the weird charge the other day that President Trump was cooking up an invasion against Venezuela. Emanuel claimed the whole thing was an October Surprise, something he might know about given that he served as a strategic advisor to President Bill Clinton in his first stint in the White House. You know, back in those 'wag the dog' days when Hillary Clinton dodged a lot of gunfire. Emanuel's out-of-the-blue warning was an obvious attempt to unite the rabid far left that still supports the socialist regime there with the run-of-the-mill Trump haters ahead of midterms.
But now we have new information that suggests maybe it was something more. According to Reuters:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States is preparing a “series of actions” in the coming days to increase pressure on the Venezuelan government, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News on Friday.
“You’ll see in the coming days a series of actions that continue to increase the pressure level against the Venezuelan leadership folks, who are working directly against the best interest of the Venezuelan people,” Pompeo said. “We’re determined to ensure that the Venezuelan people get their say.”
So right ahead of the news coming out that something unpleasant is underway for the Maduro regime, Rahm is out there warning about October surprises.
It's probably just sanctions on the regime, although I think the new White House advisor for Latin American affairs, Mauricio Claver-Carone, is sharper than that. Presidents Bush and Obama did lots of sanctions on Venezuela's socialist officials and lotta good that did, because they're still just as entrenched in power as they always have been, having literally starved their own citizens into submission. Maybe it's more than sanctions.
It could perhaps be an oil cutoff, something that would probably affect the U.S. very little, given that the U.S. has become a net exporter of energy and its purchase of Venezuelan crude has already declined sharply. Not a big sacrifice from us. The fact that the socialists are having a hard time even producing the oil anyway and have driven Venezuela's production down to 1948 levels at about 1.4 million barrels per day, according to Russ Dallen at Caracas Capital, pretty much serves as a self-cutoff. That said, the U.S. remains Venezuela's top oil customer, or at least, the top one that pays for it, so it could be a hard blow to them yet a nothingburger to us. In fact, I can see this happening.
But there's also the military option, interesting, given that President Trump hasn't backed down from leaving it on the table. And there was that meeting with disgruntled military men, which although the Trump administration declined to support in their effort to throw out the Maduro regime, the New York Times dutifully let us and the Maduro regime know about, quite likely getting some Venezuelan tortured for it.
In addition, there was that fracas with the Organization of American States. When I wrote about here, I hailed it as an unprecedented move forward from that otherwise namby-pamby United Nations-style multilateral organization. Well, not quite. The OAS chief backtracked on his comments a bit, saying intervention was not off the table but he really wants to look at other stuff. He did that after lots of OAS members suddenly got all huffy with him and said they were all in for non-intervention of other nations' internal affairs, as if millions of refugees pouring over their borders weren't interference of a kind in their own internal affairs. But despite the dust storm from that still-useless organization, there were two players whose silence was noticible: Colombia and Guyana, the two nations that have been repeatedly threatened by the Venezuelan socialist dictatorship. Funny how they didn't want to dish any criticism for talk of military intervention.
Now we have Pompeo announcing some new squeezes for the Venezuelan regime, and who knows what the Department of Defense is doing. Maybe nothing, but there sure are a lot of reasons for doing something.
And Rahm Emanuel, mayor of Chicago, out of the blue ... yelling October Surprise.
Was Rahm trying to sabotage something? If anything dramatic comes in the next few weeks, while we all are sleeping, the feds ought to just start looking at who he's still in touch with in the Deep State (and we know he's got to know some of them), which would still do absolutely anything to Get Trump. Why's he trying to sabotage something like this?