September 18, 2007

Hugo Plays Hide The Salami

Michael Stickings provides an interesting comparison between the Soviet efforts to co-opt Europe and the tactics of Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez. Using a model described in a British television series, Stickings calls Chavez’ slow push towards tyranny “salami tactics”. By going one slice at a time rather than in a rush, Chavez hopes to hold off any strong reaction to his power grab, and it seems to be working.

Stickings, who blogs at The Reaction as well as at TMV, can hardly be dismissed as a conservative with a chip on his shoulder regarding socialism. He is one of the few on the Left who sees Chavez for the threat to personal liberty that he is. At Heading Right, I take a look at Venezuelan salami and wonder how long it will take before Venezuelans -- and Chavez apologists -- start to choke on it.


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Comments (19)

Posted by Carol Herman | September 18, 2007 10:54 AM

Ooh, does this raise a good question?

First off, IF the press loves you; and you get kissed by Cindy Sheehan; how much is this worth in the real world?

The New Yuk Times is dying. In case you didn't know it's hit its all time low; and the BOND HOLDERS have grabbed ahold of Pinch's testicles.

Again, no facial expressions.

Your eyes might pop. But no one who is anyone ... who can "act" has to worry about give the story away, by some wide-eyed expression. Doesn't happen.

Chavez is "doing stuff" that the press hopes rubs salt in our wounds. That makes us feel bad. That's telling us "he can have his way with our women." So, let him take Cindy; and up-end her; and stare into the Madonna of the Ditch's private parts. I couldn't care less.

IF Chavez really wasn't in so much trouble ...

And, again, that's the real news; he wouldn't be tampering with this scheme that he needs to be photographed holding up his middle finger at us.

What a Caesar Come Lately.

Most of his people hate his guts. They see very little of the weath of their nation. But they do see the guns he can buy. Boat loads. Doesn't build the tourist trade, either.

Goons don't care about "tourist trade," which means over in Lebanon, both Nasrallah and Assad have what to worry about, when they're not around mirrors. Or flash photographers.

Venezuela is an "oil player." In a world similar to the arabs. ONE, you can't build a popular army, because the guns would be turned against ya.

TWO, you can't count on your troops to stay and do battle. (Well? To keep troops facing the front, it wasn't uncommon for Ulysses S. Grant to shoot those who took off to the rear.)

Of course, the movies never portray reality.

Gosh. I was so young when movies upset me, so; and, my dad said: "Just picture the camera! This is all done for the CAMERA. In a much larger room, that if you saw reality, you wouldn't get scared at all."

No. It does not make sense to swat at every common dictator. Enough of them have enemies on the inside. So, when they drop? Like the Bear went. It could happen in a moment's notice. This louse can be replaced by another stinker.

But that's the price you pay being in this world; and needing oil to run our stuff.

There really is no perfect way.

It's like coming to terms with pirates. Need I remind you that, starting with independence in 1776, we were just little fishes to the greedy arabs; who plied the waters, where we traded.

More than a million white men, sailing on our ships, were captured. Tortured. And, sold into slavery.

First? Oy. George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison ... 4 of them; decided it was "cheaper" to pay the tribute. While the public clamored for action.

What stood in the way? Congress. States rights. The fear that a navy would promote a Federal government, and weaken states'rights. What a fight! Just to get to 6 frigates.

Not overnight. Obviously. But on December 2, 1823, in his second term in office, President James Monroe, went into the Well of Congress, and announced the MONROE DOCTRINE. Which put America's mightest military step forward. Oh, and we stopped paying tribute to the arabs, until 1928; when politicians handed those bandits wandering the desert, the plums that went to the House of Saud.

Sure, we manufactured our own problems.

We didn't want to become "colonizers."

Today, we're stuck.

Maybe, we'll figure out some other solutions. We could go broke, first. But if we go under, the paper the Saud's hold would become worthless.

Making friends is more difficult than getting reluctant cooperation. And, I'll settle for "reluctant cooperation," ahead.

How many empty years can the Wahabbi sect travel on; if it looks like islam doesn't provide the riches of others, to steal? Just asking.

Posted by PCachu | September 18, 2007 11:29 AM

And may I just say, for the headline: Ew.

Posted by Immolate | September 18, 2007 11:59 AM

Your metaphor wandered off the reservation.

Posted by Crunchy Frog | September 18, 2007 12:57 PM

Can't we just invade Venezuela for the oil?

That's why we're in Iraq, right?

Posted by Carol Herman | September 18, 2007 1:33 PM

D'oh, Crunchy Frog. All we have to do is keep our ships at sea, alert.

Irak's stand alone. I don't anticipate any sequels.

Let alone what happened when, after the Alamo, we found our army in Mexico City. And, realized Americans don't "colonize" others. We drew the line at the Rio Grande. But the world shrunk.

Besides, what if Chavez is just playing to the gallery? And, hamming it up?

At home? Starvation. Loss of profits.

And, a drop in tourism.

Seems ya gotta be a Capitalist to figure out what works. And, what doesn't.

Posted by james23 | September 18, 2007 2:05 PM

Hide the Salami? think you intended that one for one of your Bill Clinton posts, right?

Posted by Gregory | September 18, 2007 3:00 PM

This just in: President Chavez has just outlawed choking. Violators will be strangled.

Posted by NoDonkey | September 18, 2007 4:23 PM

"He is one of the few on the Left who sees Chavez for the threat to personal liberty that he is."

Since when does anyone on the left give a tinker's damn about personal liberty?

If so, why are they on the left?

To be a leftist, is by definition to believe that the state reigns supreme. You can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs and you can't bring about universal "justice" without abolishing individual rights in favor of collective (non)rights and by enslaving or killing people who don't agree with you.

That's why leftist governments murdered over 100 million people in the 20th century. Sounds like the little Venezuelan chicken choker down south is aching to make his contribution to the 21st century score.

All leftists are morally and intellectually bankrupt. I'm fine with them as long as they keep me out of their little Utopian schemes, but I will call them out the moment they try and include me.

Posted by gregdn | September 18, 2007 4:35 PM

I fail to see why this is any of our concern. They voted him in and can take him out.

Posted by burt | September 18, 2007 5:07 PM

Chavez is working hard but he will never be higher than a B league murderer when you have guys like Mao and Stalin in the game.

"They voted him in and can take him out." That doesn't follow and may well not be true.

Posted by pst314 | September 18, 2007 5:14 PM

"I...wonder how long it will take before...Chavez apologists start to choke on it."

Well, a historian once noted that leftists didn't decide there was something wrong with Stalin until he started killing lots of commies. (Millions of dead peasants and workers was just fine.) Likewise for perceptions of Mao, etc.

As Tony Judt pointed out in his book Postwar, the left likes thuggery:

"...writers, professors, artists, teachers and journalists frequently
admired Stalin not in spite of his faults, but because of them. It was
when he was murdering people on an industrial scale, when the show
trials were displaying Soviet Communism at its most theatrically
macabre, that men and women beyond Stalin’s grasp were most
seduced by the man and his cult. It was the absurdly large gap
separating rhetoric from reality that made it so irresistible to men
and women of goodwill in search of a Cause."
--Bruce Bawer in "In the Shadow of the Gulag: Tony Judt’s Europe", in the Winter 2007 issue of the Hudson Review, quoting a passage in Postwar by Tony Judt

Posted by gregdn | September 18, 2007 5:16 PM

Regardless, we don't need to be involved.

Posted by Del Dolemonte | September 18, 2007 8:01 PM

It should be interesting to watch Chavez over the next few years to see if he tries to pull a Falkland Islands on the nearby Netherlands Antilles, which are a very short distance off his shores.

2 of the 3 islands (Aruba and Curacao) have the same things Cuba had before Castro "liberated" them. Namely hotels, casinos, energy, etc.

Posted by Del Dolemonte | September 18, 2007 8:03 PM

Oops, my bad. The 3rd NA island also has casinos.

Posted by patrick neid | September 18, 2007 9:03 PM

Everyday the lamp post, the one I predict chavez will be hanging from, gets a little closer.

Posted by pst314 | September 18, 2007 9:20 PM

Are there enough lampposts for all the Western "progressives" who praised Chavez while demonizing his opponents?

Posted by Les Nessman | September 18, 2007 11:06 PM

This story makes me thank God America has the 2nd Amendment.

Posted by geekWithA.45 | September 19, 2007 9:30 AM

It's funny how the reference to salami slices was placed at the feet of a British comedy, rather than at a far more appropriate source: Matyas Rokosi.

Comrade Rokosi was Stalin's Hungarian protege, who originated "salami tactics", once boasting that he would cut off his enemies one by one, "like slices of salami".

Hugo Chavez is using pretty much the same script to subvert Venezuela that the Soviet backed Hungarian communists used to subvert Hungary following WWII, one institution at a time.

Posted by Chris Chittleborough | September 20, 2007 1:16 AM

That show was not just "a British television series"! It's one of the greatest television series ever made. It explains how governments really work better than anything else I've ever seen or read.

Oh, and it's hilariously funny too.

(You can buy "Yes , Minister" and "Yes, Prime Minister" as DVDs and books; I highly recommend getting both.)

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