I think we all know the quote attributed to Sir Edmund Burke: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” That quote was also used by US President John F. Kennedy. But it is not just “doing nothing,” it is the display of timidity, reticence, and recalcitrance in the face of the advance of evil. Consider the abject weakness of Neville Chamberlain as he sat across from Adolf Hitler at the Munich Agreement. Chamberlain returned with a signed document from Herr Hitler claiming “peace in our time.” Hitler went onto overrun Austria, Sudetenland, Czechoslovakia, and Poland. Hitler referred to the same document as a piece of paper.
Barack Obama referred to ISIS as the “JV team,” and to this day, the same barbaric, savage Islamic jihadist group is still taking innocent lives.
There comes a time when we must realize that evil — something not hard to spot — must be resoundingly defeated. When we engage evil with half-hearted measures, well, we end up as we have in Afghanistan for some 18 years now. Prussian military strategist Carl von Clausewitz stated that “war is the imposition of one’s will upon another.” Sadly, when you play patty cakes with the bad guy, you embolden them, and our men and women sacrifice their lives.
So it is in Venezuela. We witnessed the rise of a socialist dictator, Hugo Chavez, and stupidly, we had Americans who rushed down to praise this deranged individual. We had actors like Sean Penn, Danny Glover, Harry Belafonte, and Oliver Stone singing the praises of a socialist dictator. Much the same as we had one Jane Fonda taking pictures with North Vietnamese Army troops on anti-aircraft guns used to shoot down American pilots, who were imprisoned not far from where she was taking her propaganda shots. Today we have those useful idiots masquerading as elected officials who espouse the same insidious socialist rhetoric of Chavez, and his successor/henchman, a former bus driver, Nicolas Maduro. Here in America, we have a former bartender socialist spouting the same.
We have witnessed the descent of Venezuela into an abject case of human tragedy. Yet, we run more commercials in America about saving dogs and cats, which have become food for starving Venezuelans. We spend more time ranting, foolishly, about Russian collusion when the damn Russians are in Venezuela, and Vladimir Putin is laughing his arse off at us, with his shirt off.
Barack Obama opened up relations with Cuba, and they have deployed tens of thousands of mercenaries to Venezuela, along with Russia, to aid a socialist dictator in maintaining power.
Yet, we respond with tweets and rhetoric. Last time I checked, there was still something in our law called the Monroe Doctrine. Jimmy Carter gave away the strategic engineering miracle called the Panama Canal, and Chinese contractors have moved in to operate. Oh yeah, the Chinese are engaged in Venezuela as well, financially and otherwise, as they are all throughout the Caribbean building ports and other infrastructure. And, we, the powerful United States of America, do nothing.
Now, understand, having been an Army officer for 22 years and deployed into several combat zones, I do not say these things lightly. However, when diplomatic and financial measures bring no closure to the strategic goals and objectives desired, then you must use a hammer. It is not, nor should it be, the first option, but a credible military deterrent is often the only thing that despots, theocrats, and autocrats comprehend — talk is cheap. And, talk, when unarmed people are being repressed and slaughtered in the streets, is not a credible response to Russia, China, Iran, Turkey, Cuba, and Nicaragua — all really swell folks supporting Nicolas Maduro, in our hemisphere.
No, I do not, and never will advocate for a US unilateral military operation in Venezuela. But, we must come to a realization that there is already an outside military intervention happening in Venezuela, with the Russians and Cubans mainly. I have no doubt that the Iranians, with their Quds Force, have operatives in the country. Let us not forget, all of this is happening while we have folks in America, charlatans, progressive socialists, who are advocating for open borders.
What needs to happen in Venezuela could be similar to what we did with Operation Just Cause in Panama. I believe that the cause in Venezuela is far more just than the one in Panama. No, this is not to be a go alone US military operation, but one with a multi-national special operations and light infantry forces flavor. The strength of the United States is our military strategic mobility. And, our special operations forces are the best in the world in foreign internal defense (FID) missions. No, we do not need another Bay of Pigs type of operation, where we were embarrassed. We do need an Operation Desert Shield/Storm model of a powerful coalition force that rapidly built up combat power, deployed, executed its mission, defeated the capability of the enemy in achieving stated objectives, and then redeployed. We did not stick around to rebuild anything in Kuwait, we were in and out 6-7 months.
My concern is that the longer we dilly-dally and do nothing, the more emboldened the gathering opposition of the worlds most evil actors will become. If we allow a repressive socialist dictatorship to take root in our hemisphere, just hours away from Key West, what does that say about us, America?
No, I do not believe in being the global policeman. However, in World War I and II we sat back until evil knocked on our door. The sinking of the Lusitania and the bombing of Pearl Harbor resulted from not taking the action to crush evil early. Just the same happened when we did not engage militant Islamic jihadism early on in Mogadishu, we convinced Osama bin Laden that the US was just a paper tiger.
There are those who say you cannot fight, or kill your way out of these situations. The funny thing is that the reality of the enemy must become your own, eventually, it will. The bad guys do not seem to have the same calculations as we do, nor do they seem to care who, or how many, get killed. When we let loose our military on ISIS, well, their little happy earthly caliphate collapsed. It ain’t over, but we kicked their arses. If we would give proper guidance and intent to our military, as we did in Operation Desert Shield and Storm, and fight, I am quite sure the US could lead another western hemisphere coalition that kicks Russia, China, Iran, Cuba, and any other chuckleheads out of Venezuela. And, Maduro would be on the first plane out.
What enables evil to be defeated, strong, resolute, and determined leaders who punch light into darkness, relentlessly. And, that gets the attention of evil.
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During his 22 year career in the United States Army, Lieutenant Colonel West served in several combat zones and received many honors including a Bronze Star, three Meritorious Service Medals, three Army Commendation Medals, one with Valor device, and a Valorous Unit Award.
In November of 2010, Allen was elected to the United States Congress, representing Florida’s 22nd District.
He is a Fox News Contributor, Director of the Booker T. Washington Initiative at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Senior Fellow at the Media Research Center, contributing columnist for Townhall.com, and author of Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Family, Faith and Freedom, and, Hold Texas, Hold the Nation: Victory or Death, published October 16, 2018, from Brown Books Publishing Group.