Just Do The Opposite

Not so long ago, the Bush administration was pushing covert (and not so covert) actions to oust Venezualan president Hugo Chavez. This April 15, 2004 article from GlobalSecurity.com explains some of what passed:

Documents showing U.S. funding for Venezuelan opposition groups have prompted an increase in personal attacks by President Hugo Chavez against President Bush, according to a U.S. lawyer who helped unearth the evidence.

Eva Golinger, a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based attorney who supports Chavez, said documents obtained through the U.S. Freedom of Information Act showed that around $4 million in U.S. Congress-allocated funds had been channeled to the groups before and after a 2002 coup that briefly toppled Chavez.

“These groups are being financed by a foreign government, a U.S. government that has taken an open stance against the Chavez administration, that supported the coup … it’s major meddling,” Golinger told Reuters in an interview Wednesday.

… U.S. officials deny any involvement in the 2002 coup or that Washington is trying to topple Chavez. But they say the Bush administration supports “pro-democracy” groups.

So, at a minimum, the Bush administration was funding anti-Chavez (read “pro-democracy”, even though Chavez was elected in 1998) groups. At worst, it was something more than that but short of the measures taken to replace Allende with Pinochet in the 1970s. In any event, the administration is clearly anti-Chavez.

On the other hand, lowering oil prices was included as a side-benefit of the Iraq invasion. Given the track record of failure, is it any surprise that

1) Oil prices have risen steadily since the invasion of Iraq, and markedly of late, and

2) When Chavez, who the US opposed and sought to displace, survives a recall vote, oil prices fall:

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. stocks gained on Monday as oil prices dipped after reports of victory for the Venezuelan president in a referendum on his rule eased fears about the country’s oil exports.

In short:

  • Successfully invade Iraq and, counter to pre-war claims, oil prices go up.
  • Unsuccesfully seek to displace Chavez, see Chavez’s term as president endure, and oil prices go down.

I’m not generally one to give advice to President Bush, but if he wants to have a real chance in the next election, he might want to give very serious consideration to revising his policy formulation process. Something like this might work a lot better:

LIBBY/FEITH/CHENEY/ROVE/CARD/BOLTEN: Mr. President, we really need to do X, posthaste.

BUSH: Posthaste?

LIBBY/FEITH/CHENEY/ROVE/CARD/BOLTEN:Quickly. Let’s do X, right away.

BUSH: I’ve been watching you these last few years. Let’s do the exact opposite of X!