South of the Border, Chavez Means War; Obama's Blink Portends Disaster for U.S

Article excerpt

Byline: Jose Cardenas, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Supporters of President Obama scrambled last week to defend his startling comments that Venezuelan firebrand Hugo Chavez poses no threat to U.S. national security. In the face of fierce criticism from Republican challenger Mitt Romney, the Obama campaign responded, People like Hugo Chavez want attention - and that's exactly what Mitt Romney and his supporters gave him today. Gov. Romney is only playing into the hands of Chavez by acting like he's 10 feet tall.

Another supporter told the Miami Herald, Hugo Chavez is not going to attack us, he's not going to occupy our embassy, he's not going to bomb U.S. planes arriving in Caracas at Maiquetia Airport. He is a loudmouth who enjoys listening to himself.

Yet in trying to defend the president, his supporters are only reaffirming that this administration still has no comprehension of the Chavez threat.

Of course, Venezuelan marines are not going to invade South Florida. No one has ever made such an outlandish claim. That is a straw man. Neither is rhetorical banter essential to Mr. Chavez's political project. Sure, he enjoys microphone diplomacy with the empire to the north, but that is merely a side show to obfuscate his real agenda.

More important is that behind all the posturing and preening is a deadly serious ideologue who believes in a messianic vision of waging war against the United States across a variety of fronts - and possesses the economic resources to do so.

Anyone who has actually bothered to listen to Mr. Chavez would know he is a devotee of asymmetric warfare as practiced by radical Islam, a doctrine which holds that in the face of overwhelmingly unfavorable military capabilities, one is compelled to employ all manner of irregular methods (i.e., terrorism, guerrilla warfare and insurgency) to balance the odds. In other words, you take advantage of every opportunity to harm your opponent's interests wherever and whenever you can.

It is hardly ironic that at the same time Mr. Obama said Mr. Chavez posed no security threat to the United States, the Wall Street Journal reported that Venezuela is providing the embattled regime of Syrian leader Bashar Assad with critical fuel shipments and helping him to otherwise evade international sanctions.

Nor is it surprising that just last month, Mr. Chavez presided over a public ceremony celebrating the fruits of his military cooperation with Iran: a joint program to build unmanned aerial vehicles in Venezuela. For good measure, Mr. Chavez tossed in an update on a deal with Russia to manufacture hundreds of thousands of AK-103 assault rifles, which just happen to be the weapon of choice for Colombian narco-terrorists. …