About two weeks ago an anonymous commenter asked of me ( and also Dan of tdaxp)

“What would an example of moral counter-blitz by the US against Al Qaeda? Are counters that have a negative effect on the morale of the external culture counter-productive? If so, what justifications would there be for short-term gains via negative counters-measures?”

Dan referenced Colonel John Boyd’s famed Patterns of Conflict brief, slides 105 -111 and then went on to give a more developed Boydian answer in the comments section of my post . The anonymous commenter also brought in to play John Robb’s post on Evo Morales. John followed up Sunday on his more formal blog by elaborating on a Morales Bolivia as a ” Gray Democracy” with gray denoting ” gray market” and not, as in the case of the EU or Japan, a sharply aging demographic.

So we have two types of strategic threats represented here for american policy makers to deal with – a 4GW conflict represented by al Qaida and an indirect ” Global Guerilla” geoeconomic and geopolitical attack in the vein of unrestricted warfare being played out on an international chessboard. Let us set al Qaida aside to look at the second threat so that we clarify its nature. John Robb wrote:

“Rogue democracies? Evo Morales (a very popular candidate for President of Bolivia), has given his support for legalizing coca production and voiced an intent to walk away from US anti-drug policies: “We are not interested in protecting US interests.” Additionally, Hugo Chavez in Venezuela is actively using his countries oil wealth to subvert US policy in the region. “

In my opinion, neither Morales nor Chavez are democrats except in the same nominal sense as Slobodan Milosevic -i.e. participating in a democratic electoral system only to the extent that they can maximize outcomes for themselves. Chavez is a former putschist and Morales toppled two democratically elected governments with street demonstrations; the only democratic scenarios these guys respect are the elections that their side wins. At best, Morales and Chavez are illiberal populists and the only intelligent aspect of a generally hapless U.S. policy toward Venezuela has been not providing Chavez with an anti-yankee pretext to formally seize absolute power.

These men and the explicitly authoritarian political networks they represent are the enemy every bit as much as al Qaida. They are the global radical Left regrouped after the fall of the Soviets in a corporate merger with the world’s most atavistic cultural reactionaries.

The challenge of the alternative economic model Chavez and Morales represent America has seen before, though not for some time, in the form of state -directed capitalism of fascist and quasi-fascist states during the 1930’s and 1940’s, including Peron’s Argentina and managed trade type barter agreements pioneered by Hjalmar Schacht. Essentially, it is an anti-free market policy designed to control currency reserves ( back then we would have said gold) for the regime’s import priorities and allow the state to exert control over the direction of the economy without the responsibility of total state ownership ( though Chavez may go in that direction in time).

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