Thursday, October 20, 2005

Bucking for a Promotion

I've often mocked Hugo Chavez as being part of an Axis of El Vil (the vile one) along with Castro. I judged he is a thug and annoying, but we have bigger worries than Venezuela, such as Iran and North Korea.

Well, Iran has apparently decided that being the next up in the Axis of Evil to be destroyed is no fun. And so the mullahs have decided to troll for regime change with Hugo, joining forces with his regime. Dangle a threat closer to America and we will leave Iran alone for a while, seems to be the line of reasoning in Tehran.

Sadly, Hugo is willing to be the sacrificial poodle to buy time for the mullahs to go nuclear:

While cooperation in the nuclear and economic spheres has been loudly trumpeted by the two nations, the greatest potential threat this alliance poses will most likely remain a less heralded one.

It is no secret that a large portion of the international terror network calls Tehran its master. Hezbollah and similar organizations are either controlled or receive assistance from Tehran. And let us not forget that the mullahs have been, at the very least, willing to shelter many of al Qaeda's most wanted.

Chávez, like his mentor Fidel Castro, is no stranger to terrorism. Venezuela has been a safe haven for Marxist narco-terrorist groups such as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the Colombian National Liberation Army (ELN). A growing body of evidence indicates that support for these groups is the official policy of Chávez's regime. According to the State Department's 2003 Global Patterns of Terrorism, "weapons and ammunition--some from official Venezuelan stocks and facilities--continued flowing from Venezuelan suppliers into the hands of" these organizations.

As we are able to ramp back our force presence in Iraq when Iraqi forces step up, I think we will need to pull back and reconstitute our Marines first, just in case. Army troops can scale back direct operations while going into large bases to deter Iran from invading Iraq and providing only emergency troop reinforcements; while embedded soldiers advise the Iraqis and special forces assist in offensive operations. But the Atlantic Marines should be made ready and kept free for action.

A vile annoyance may be trying to become a real evil threat on par with the Iranians. Hugo Chavez hasn't made it past the post yet, but we must be concerned about how hard he is trying.

No wonder Chavez worries about an American invasion--he knows he deserves one.