The Guardian UK reports on an AP story filed earlier today:
Donald Trump repeatedly raised the possibility of invading Venezuela in talks with his top aides at the White House, according to a new report.
Trump brought up the subject of an invasion in public in August last year, saying: “We have many options for Venezuela, including a possible military option, if necessary.” But the president’s musings about the possibility of a US invasion were more extensive and persistent than that public declaration, according to the Associated Press.
The previous day Trump reportedly took his top officials by surprise in an Oval Office meeting, asking why the US could not intervene to remove the government of Nicolas Maduro on the grounds that Venezuela’s political and economic unraveling represented a threat to the region.
Quoting an unnamed senior administration official, the AP report said the suggestion stunned those present at the meeting, which included the then national security advisor, HR McMaster, and secretary of state, Rex Tillerson. Both have since left the administration.
The administration officials are said to have taken turns in trying to talk him out of the idea, pointing out that any such military action would alienate Latin American allies who had supported the US policy of punitive sanctions on the Maduro regime.
Their arguments do not seem to have dissuaded the president.
A grim-faced Tillerson stood alongside Trump the next day at his New Jersey golf course at Bedminster as the president warmed to his theme.
“We have many options for Venezuela, this is our neighbour,” Trump said.
“We’re all over the world and we have troops all over the world in places that are very very far away, Venezuela is not very far away and the people are suffering and dying. We have many options for Venezuela including a possible military option if necessary.”
(click here to continue reading Trump repeatedly suggested invading Venezuela, stunning top aides – report | US news | The Guardian.)
Honestly, this scares me quite a bit. Trump is a creature of the corporate media (Fox, obviously, but CNN and the major newspapers too – Trump cares if they cover him), and has been trained by years of corporate media’s jingoistic support of any military action the United States happens to be involved in. Trump saw what happened to Bush’s ratings during the Iraq War1, how the invasion of Grenada played out, Noriega’s overthrow, yadda yadda. Trump is looking for any excuse to send our troops into battle, not for any geopolitical reasons, but to juice his approval ratings.Footnotes:
- both of them, actually, Bush the Smarter, and W’s adventures in the Middle East [↩]