Sunday, May 15, 2016

The Reality-Based Nation

Let's recall how socialism can wreck a country even when it sits on a sea of oil to pay for all the government you want.

Socialism wrecked Venezuela and now the socialists are sending in the troops (tip to Instapundit) to remind the people that government is really just the name we call the things we do together:

Police and National Guard killed four suspects Tuesday during a wide raid in Western Caracas that involved tanks and helicopters, as Venezuela also underwent the rare climate phenomenon known as a “solar halo.”

“As has been the request of our people, we have deployed OLP New Phase in 4 areas of Caracas,” tweeted Interior Minister Gustavo Gonzalez as the operation began unfolding. Local media said eight suspected criminals were killed during the operation, but Gonzalez spoke only of four killed when resisting police action. Some 400 vehicles were used during the operation, ranging from motorcycles to tanks and choppers.

And we have a side bonus of how socialism must twist words to hide reality:

For the first time ever, tanks were deployed in one of Caracas’ few “zonas de paz”, or “peace zones” -- Cota 905.

Like the OLP itself, the “peace zones” are a divisive, highly controversial initiative: high-crime areas were police stopped patrolling three years ago, after talks with local gangs. Now the cops are back and in full force.

Let's ignore the fact that socialism didn't spread out enough goodies to reduce crime. So much for that root cause.

Let's enjoy the full 1984 scope of the terminology: Peace zones! That is, no-go zones for the police that left the people at the mercy of criminal gangs.

Apparently, a Venezuelan version of Ben Rhodes works for Venezuela's socialist government.

Thank goodness Bush 43 didn't support a coup early in his term to keep Hugo Chavez from taking over and imposing the most bizarre form of socialism on Venezuela, and leave his hapless successor to be the guy who sends in the troops.

Yet despite the departure of Bush 43, who Chavez had likened to the Devil, and arrival of President Obama, the anti-Bush of hope, change, and sorrow for past American policies, the Venezuelan government still sees American plots:

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro declared a 60-day state of emergency on Friday due to what he called plots from within the OPEC country and the United States to topple his leftist government. ...

"Washington is activating measures at the request of Venezuela's fascist right, who are emboldened by the coup in Brazil," Maduro said during a Friday night broadcast on state television.

Some people are just immune to the soothing balm of hope and change, it seems. Everybody plots against poor Venezuela, preventing their socialism from working as it should.

And there is this:

With dire shortages of basic goods, a looming foreign debt payment, horrific street crime and intransigent political divisions, Venezuela is in danger of collapsing into waves of deadly violence, U.S. intelligence officials warned Friday.

We don't have enough problems around the world and now we have to face the prospect of a country in our hemisphere exploding.

But this is possibly better than I worried about when I called Venezuela under Chavez the lead member of the "Axis of El Vil (the vile)" perhaps seeking promotion to the Axis of Evil. I didn't suspect that Chavez and his successor could destroy oil-rich Venezuela so rapidly before the big promotion.

The Dutch might want to review contingency plans.

UPDATE: But no worries about such socialist delusions taking hold here! Oh no. We have professional journalists to explain Venezuela and how it will all lead to ruin a glorious future:

Chavez became the bugaboo of American politics because his full-throated advocacy of socialism and redistributionism at once represented a fundamental critique of neoliberal economics, and also delivered some indisputably positive results. Indeed, as shown by some of the most significant indicators, Chavez racked up an economic record that a legacy-obsessed American president could only dream of achieving.

But that is so three years ago when other people's money was still available.

Tip to Instapundit.