As Venezuela implodes for the simplistic reason that socialism inherently sucks, Democrats are opposing United State intervention whether they be military or diplomatic. In large parts they are opposing policies that aren’t being suggested, like an invasion of Venezuela, and using the age old “for their oil” to subvert the intentions of the Trump administration. However, I counter this claim by stating that America has never really fought a real oil war on the offensive. Furthermore, I find the motives of the Trump Administration to be more directed at the horrors of socialism. The left is merely either doing one of two things:
First, they could just be opposing Trump to simply oppose Trump. If Trump cures cancer they will protest doctors who use the new treatment. It’s pathetic and prideful but these people exist in droves in American society. But Trump’s a Russian puppet, and that’s why he’s opposing Russia here.
The second reason is that they don’t want to draw attention to the failing socialist economy, one which was praised only a number of years ago by prominent socialists. The economic failure of Venezuela, being in the news, threatens the shine of an AOC, Kamala Harris, or Bernie Sanders. The Socialist movement would greatly benefit from this story becoming nothing, thus opposition to any intervention and the support of the regime.
“For the oil” is a catchy phrase used often in multiple conflicts, mainly Iraq. The only problem is that this phrasing and ascribed motivations simply are not true. If one needs an example of an oil war, we need look at World War 2. The Nazis invaded the USSR which had a treasure trove of oil. And while war between these two dictators was likely inevitable, increasing oil production was essential to the Third Reich’s future. The same was true for Japan. The undoing of both these powers involved systematically strangling their resources. Unlike Germany or Japan, America’s invasions hardly involved seizing control and ownership of a country’s resources. Both invasions of Iraq left the oil in the hands of the Iraqis. Even the invasion of Afghanistan did not pave the way for America to be the benefactor of the country’s abundance of rare earth minerals, enough to call it the Saudi Arabia of lithium. In fact China stood to be the economic benefactor of the War in Afghanistan.
America has a habit of involving itself in wars with no realized economic benefit, to where even Trump has suggested we should have taken Iraqi oil. This debate is worthy of another time, however the case is clear America didn’t invade Middle Eastern countries for their oil, and if we did, we sucked at this objective. However, it is worth noting that America has intervened for economic purposes in the past. In the 1950’s, the United States and Britain, went into Iran. A growing would be dictator by the name of Mohammad Mosaddeq, wanted more national control of the country’s oil. In a coup that barely worked, only by the popularity of Mosaddeq suddenly tanking, the Shah was reinstated in control and was much more favorable to western interests. This is a textbook example of America doing something “for the oil” and it looks nothing like the invasion of Iraq.
Venezuela is closer to another proxy conflict with other powers, but unlike Syria or Ukraine, America can achieve strategic objectives in both foreign policy and more importantly, combating the rising popularity of socialism domestically. Venezuela is about socialism, not oil. Trump, on the world stage, has long been critical of socialism, making this conflict more akin to a Cold War epilogue than a Iraqi invasion or an Iranian Coup. I’ll close with this Trump quote:
“The problem in Venezuela is not that socialism has been poorly implemented, but that socialism has been faithfully implemented.”