The Trio of Villains Is Still Around: A Look at Venezuela, Iran, and North Korea

While COVID-19 causes a frenzy around the world and gives governments an excuse to implement authoritarian measures, the United States government continues business as usual in its antagonistic approach towards noncompliant nations. The trio of “villains” must still be stopped and forced to change course, of course. Nicolas Maduro, Ali Khamenei, and Kim Jong-un have stood up to the might of the United States, but which one will break first?

The Trump administration has been eyeing Maduro’s Venezuela for some time, even recognizing the illegitimate leader Juan Guaido as president of the country. Despite Guaido’s failed attempts at gaining power, the United States has been finding creative ways of orchestrating soft coups against the legitimate leader without making it seem like there is too much American involvement. In March, President Trump indicted Maduro on narcoterrorism and other drug-related charges and issued a bounty of $15 million for information leading to his capture and a slightly smaller reward for those within Maduro’s inner circle. As a show of force, the United States sent a naval fleet down in the vicinity of Venezuela like it was attempting to repeat the 1989 invasion of Panama to capture Manuel Noriega. Some American mercenaries attempted to get involved in the fray, and after the botched coup attempt led to their capture, the Trump administration plausibly denied knowledge of the operation. Even if President Trump was unaware of the coup attempt, his indictment and reward bolstered the actions. Look out for future actions in South America because this will likely not be the last one.

Outside of the exchanging of rockets and missiles in Iraq, hostilities between the United States and Iran have been ramping up. President Trump is showing that he is ready to strike Iran after he vetoed a bill in both houses of Congress that would have limited his ability to wage war in the Persian nation. Although the mainstream media generally does not question why the United States even has its ships located in the Persian Gulf and awaiting a misfire that could easily provoke a war, Iranian boats encircled American Navy warships in an aggressive manner. President Trump has expressed interest in extending the conventional arms embargo against Iran that is set to expire soon as part of the 2015 deal that the United States withdrew from in 2018. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has vowed to give a “crushing response” if the United States pushes for furthering the embargo’s reinstatement. Whatever response that Rouhani was alluding to, we can be sure the United States will reciprocate. A war against a virus may not be the only conflict we see on the horizon.

During the last couple of weeks, the mainstream media had been spreading the false narrative that Kim Jong-un was dead without providing the evidence (something that fact checkers generally blame “unreliable” or “fake” news sources of doing). Since rising from the “dead,” the North Korean leader has condemned South Korea’s military exercises, seen a skirmish along the demilitarized zone, and continued construction on a nuclear facility that is presumed to be able to house missiles capable of reaching the United States. If North and South Korea end up engaging each other in armed conflict, whether intentionally or by accident, the United States is sure to join in to support its ally on the southern side of the border. This will be the excuse necessary to oust Kim Jong-un, a leader who has not backed down to American intimidation and has continually worked towards nuclear missile capabilities to ensure the survival of his regime.

Will war against any of these three nations occur with the coronavirus crisis occupying the United States’ time and energy? It is hard to say at this point, but the crisis is the perfect cover for covert coup operations because the entire country is fixated on the death tolls and the economic impact from a virus that is likely to not disappear for quite some time. It may be that the war hawks in Washington, D.C. will focus on confrontation with China, whether economically or militarily, in the upcoming weeks, but do not rule out the possibility of some behind the scenes operations in Venezuela, Iran, or North Korea. These countries have been targeted with economic sanctions, coup attempts, and military intimidation for years, and there is no reason to believe that this will end because of a virus.

Thank you for reading, and please check out my book, The Global Bully, and website.
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Published on May 11, 2020 16:39
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