Latin America

If You Liked 'Axis of Evil,' You're Gonna Love 'Troika of Tyranny'

John Bolton makes a pitch for American confrontations with Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua.

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DAVID MDZINARISHVILI/REUTERS/Newscom

In a Miami speech on Thursday afternoon, Trump administration national security advisor (and persistent advocate for spreading democracy at the point of a gun/drone/ballistic missile) John Bolton promised the United States would take a more aggressive stance towards left-wing dictators in Latin America.

Specifically, Bolton identified the nations of Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela as a "Troika of Tyranny" responsible for "immense human suffering" and the cause of "enormous regional instability." Bolton made it clear that the Trump administration would be putting more pressure on Cuban president Raúl Castro, Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega, and Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro—with the goal of seeing "each corner of the triangle fall," according to The Washington Post's Josh Rogin.

If this seems like almost comically bad rebranding of the George W. Bush administration's "Axis of Evil"—consisting of Iraq, Iran, and North Korea—well, that's because it is.

It's also a political maneuver. Delivering this sort of tough talk just days before the midterms is at least partially an attempt to court Cuban voters (and Hispanic voters more broadly) who will be crucial to the outcome of Florida's gubernatorial and Senate races.

Though the speech lacked specific policy proposals, there are at least a few concrete plans. Vox reports that Bolton called on Maduro to release hundreds of political prisoners, while the Trump administration is also ramping up sanctions against Venezuela and tightening diplomatic backchannels with Cuba.

To be sure, dictators Castro, Ortega, and Maduro have openly embraced socialist economic policies that have ravaged their countries and created humanitarian nightmares. An estimated 2 million people have fled Venezuela since 2014, seeking refuge from the financial collapse that has made it virtually impossible to buy even the most basic goods. Latin America would be a better place without those three men and the poisonous ideology they've inflicted on millions.

The best thing the United States could do is accept the refugees fleeing those oppressive states and recognize them for what they are: human beings seeking freedom and a better life. Given the Trump administration's general view of immigration, however, I'm rather skeptical that's going to happen. Indeed, whatever form this more aggressive posture takes—particularly if it includes sanctions on countries where people are already starving—it is a good bet that it won't help the people who most need it.

Slapping labels like "Troika of Tyranny" on the three countries is unlikely to do much good. At best, it's a diplomatic mistake that will make it more difficult to do the important work of stoking capitalism and freedom across Latin America. Lumping together the different circumstances of three different countries is foolish—dealing with a slowly liberalizing Cuba requires a different approach than dealing with the complete humanitarian disaster that is Venezuela.

At worst, this is a prelude to policies that will make the situation worse, just like the infamous Axis of Evil speech was part of the calculated build-up to going to war with Iraq. In some ways, this is old hat for Bolton. Before he became one of the primary cheerleaders for the Iraq War, Bolton actually floated the idea of invading Cuba over suspected chemical weapons (which were later found to not exist).

It's unclear whether Bolton is suggesting that military options are on the table for dealing with these Latin American dictators—though Trump has already floated the incredibly stupid idea of a military invasion of Venezuela at least once, and Bolton has never been known for his foreign policy restraint.

Even if this isn't the first step on the road to a Latin American version of the Iraq War, Bolton's suggestion that he's seeking the "collapse" of Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela should be worrying. As he should have learned by now, you can't fix regional instability by creating more of it.

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  1. No, Johnny, not enough Mooslims!

    1. Say what you will about John Bolton, but his is an equal opportunity warmonger. He’ll start a war with any nation that starts thinking for itself, regardless of their race or religion

      1. Did you think of that yourself?

        *raises fist*

        1. “John Bolton makes a pitch for American confrontations with Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua.”

          Because our confrontation with the goat-fuckers of Afghanistan is going SOOOO well!!!!

          Despite $900 Billion Spent and 2,400 U.S. Lives Lost, Afghanistan Continues to Deteriorate
          The government’s Afghanistan watchdog releases sobering report on the progress of the war.
          Christian Britschgi|Nov. 1, 2018 2:15 pm

          https://reason.com/blog/2018/11…..2400-us-li

          1. Looking the other way when the Taliban destroyed 2 historic Buddhist statues did not work well either. There are two anti-war arguments to consider. One relies on the pacifism that only works if another country is willing to fight and die to keep the pacifists safe. The other relies on the non-interventionism that considers Bolton and members of the BDSM ovement morally equivalent.

      2. “any nation that starts thinking for itself”
        Just because, as libertarians, we don’t believe in wars of intervention, doesn’t mean we have to pretend that these little Orwellian tyrannies are open-minded outposts of good government.

      3. John reminds me of Teddy Roosevelt.

        A bully fellow to be sure, but with twice the moustache, and half he brains.

      4. Just a question, are the people of Venezuala, Nicaragua and Cuba really thinking for themselves? Or are they living under totalitarian dictators who have imprisoned and murdered their political foes?

    1. I own that one. Good flick

      1. Is it like the 3 Muskateers along with all the sword fighting?

      2. Huh, didn’t think you were into gay porn.

        1. Jeez, what did Chuck Schumer ever do to you?

        2. Woah, woah, woah, bigot. You got a problem with my affinity for gay porn?

          1. Not at all. More power to you. I just didn’t think that was your thing. It would be like John expounding on the beauty of skinny women.

            1. You would be surprised how many women give me their phone numbers as soon as I mention my boyfriend in Europe. I didn’t know until this year that it was an effective pickup line for anyone who likes chicks.

      3. “I own that one. Good flick”

        I hear it ends well, although leaving the principals in a sticky situation.

    2. Need another country for Quartet of Quislings.

  2. “The best thing the United States could do is accept the refugees fleeing those oppressive states and recognize them for what they are: human beings seeking freedom and a better life.”

    These are exactly the he kind of refugees that we want – they have real world experience with socialism and will help keep it at bay here.

    1. These are exactly the he kind of refugees that we want – they have real world experience with socialism and will help keep it at bay here.

      Because they did such a great job of keeping it at bay where they came from or, upon seeing it’s premises take root, took a principled stand or, seeing the people taking principled stances falling one by one got out while the getting was good?

      These people stayed where they did and voted for the people they voted for until they ran out of drinking water and toilet paper and, even then, aren’t going to the next country over where they can make a better life but are specifically aiming for the US because they hear we hand out lots of free shit.

      1. You are absolutely full of shit.

        Nearly 4 million Venezuelans have left the country since Chavez took over. Nearly one million this year alone have crossed into Colombia and from there head into Peru, Panama and Ecuador. Ecuador has taken in 300,000. Brazil has taken in thousands, as has Argentina, Chile, Spain, Canada and even Israel.

        As if your monkey ass has ever stood up to a dictator. Coward.

        1. Tens of millions of Americans stood up to a dictator- Hillary Clinton.

          1. Zing!

        2. This.

          I know several Venezuelans. None of them or their families were Chavez supporters. They are all educated professionals. Their experience there makes them allergic to dictatorships, not nostalgic for them.

        3. I and half a million buddies for the he US and various other countries stood up to this dude over in Baghdad circa 1991. Turns out he and his pals were a bunch of pussies.

        4. As if your monkey ass has ever stood up to a dictator. Coward.

          That reminds me, the drug dealers at that off-Broadway drug den in Paterson went overboard this week with the bug spray in the air intake for my car, because they got pissed when I did my laundry at the laundromat a couple of blocks from them. Maybe we should criticize people who fund one side of the Drug War when they buy illegal drugs, because we do criticize our elected officials who fund the other side of the Drug War when they spend our tax dollars.

          Suburban Americans are fighting a proxy war in urban neighborhoods within walking distance of their home, because the full ramifications of Lyft and Uber have not occurred to them yet. For half a century, American domestic crime policy was based on the assumption that a lack of cars in the inner city made inner city crime someone else’s problem.

        5. “Since Chavez took over”??? Nice try. Chavez was elected, and many of the 4 million economic migrants you identified doubtless voted for him. If you vote for a socialist, don’t come crying to me when you get socialism.

        6. Nearly 4 million Venezuelans have left the country since Chavez took over. Nearly one million this year alone have crossed into Colombia and from there head into Peru, Panama and Ecuador. Ecuador has taken in 300,000. Brazil has taken in thousands, as has Argentina, Chile, Spain, Canada and even Israel.

          Good on them. The US has taken in something between half and a quarter million as well. Their cultural, ethnic, and ideological brethren could use the help and will likely support them, as Venezuelans, better than we ever could.

          As if your monkey ass has ever stood up to a dictator. Coward.

          If you’ve fled the country are you standing up against anyone? If you stand up against a dictator and get killed unless you inspire people around you, it doesn’t much matter whether you were brave or dumb. Envy the country that has heroes! I say pity the country that needs them.

    2. Maybe, but then again, the Irish escaping the Corn Laws did not become famous for opposing America’s march towards the Progressive Era, even though progressive philosophy motivated the English to tell the Irish to simply stop making so many babies. Then again, Appalachia is not exactly Harvard territory, so you could say they protested in their own way by staying independent of the progressive machine. The victors write the history.

  3. Naturally, whatever the question, Reason’s answer is always, “Moar immigruntz!”

    1. And Bolton’s answer is always MOAR WAR! How is that any better?

      1. Who said it is? I don’t see what one has to do with the other.

        1. Okay, then how about neither more war nor more immigrants?

      2. where exactly is Bolton calling for war? I see it in the imaginations of journalists but not in what they report him actually saying.

        Skepticism of Bolton and his hard line is one thing and rightfully deserved but jumping at shadows is another.

        1. Sanctions are an act of war, as Ron Paul has always said.

          1. that is retarded.

            1. How is it “retarded”?

              1. Sanctions may be an act of aggression but act of war is over the top.

                1. Is a naval blockade an act of war?

                  1. A blockade seems rather warlike, as it causes suffering for the people.

                  2. Sanctions prevent a country from trading with the country that sanctions it. A naval blockade prevents a country from trading with third party countries that want to trade with it. It’s the difference between divorcing your spouse and sowing your spouse shut. Only the latter is an act of war.

          2. Okay, then I guess Trump was making peace when he offered to lift the sanctions on Russia right? Reason is totally down with sanctioning Russia and convinced Trump is a traitor if he doesn’t.

            1. I guess Trump was making peace when he offered to lift the sanctions on Russia right?

              Pretty much.

              1. I don’t think it is unreasonable to claim that he was. I really don’t want to go to war with Russia and if the sanctions put us closer to war, then they should end.

                What is unreasonable is to criticism him for that and then whine about sanctioning Cuba and Venezuala like reason is doing here. That is just pathetic.

                1. One can argue that Russia’s interference was an act of war. Therefore the sanctions we placed on Russia were not an act of aggression but rather just retaliation. Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua did nothing to us. This the two issues are not the same.

                  1. One can imagine a lot of things. The reality is that Russia’s inteference was virtually nonexistent and nothing that justifies nuclear war over. Go fuck yourself if you want anyone to support a new World War so you can feel vindicated in your fantasies about Trump not really winning the election.

                    1. Who said anything about nuclear war? Sanctions are not nuclear war.

                    2. If you don’t want a war with Russia, why are you accusing them of acts of war and demanding we retaliate?

                    3. Retaliate with sanctions, not nukes. It’s pretty wimpy to not retaliate at all, even for a libertarian.

                  2. Are you sure Russia’s interference wasn’t an act of retaliation against our “act of war” in imposing sanctions against them for their own internal politics?

                    After all, the whole discussion at the Trump Tower meeting (all what, 10 minutes) was about sanctions already in effect.

                2. And let’s be honest, if The Hag were Empress, we would be much closer to a military confrontation with Russia than we we will ever be with Trump.

                  1. Yeah, when Clinton was Secretary of State, the USA wanted to pull out of Iraq so we could focus on countries that are in Asia.

            2. Only the really deranged commenters think we should just sanction the fuck out of anybody that looks at us sideways.

              Personally, I’ve always felt that sanctions only end up hurting the poor and middle class of any given country. And it never foments the supposed thing we want: those same people rising up and overthrowing their oppressive governments. It’s just stupid all around.

              1. Reason thinks we should be sanctioning Russia and Saudi Arabia as well. And trading with a tyranical nation never helps the population either since any benefits that come from trade are stolen by the regime and just serve to finance the oppression of the population.

                1. Who on Reason said to sanction the Saudis?

                  1. They have like 20 articles on the evils of selling them arms. That is trading with teh Saudis.

                    1. Even Rand Paul says not to sell them arms because they aren’t our allies.

                    2. So is Rand Paul for sanctions?

                    3. So is Rand Paul for sanctions?

                    4. Yes. Rand Paul voted for sanctions. In fact, when I heard Ron Paul speak during his presidential campaign, Rand introduced him and was heckled by the crown for voting for sanctions for Iran.

            3. I think a some inconsistency in the foreign policy that pundits advocate stems from a continuing desire to end the war in Vietnam.

          3. I agree with Dr. Paul. And that’s why I find your inconsistent position on sanctions to be bizarre

            1. Russia meddling = act of war. Thus sanctions (act of war) can be justified even with a libertarian anti-war ideology.

              1. And that meddling would be?

                Tread lightly, we do our own meddling all around the world.

                1. I posted links to sites that give the evidence of Russian interference, but maybe Reason does not allow links. Mueller has even indicted Russians, and a Republican Senate panel agreed that there was interference by the Russian government. Every intelligence agency agrees as well, and Trump even said they meddled and signed sanctions.

                2. The “I don’t believe they meddled” BS is appropriate for BreitFART but not this site.

              2. LOL- what meddling occurred? Please explain.

                For someone who cites Ron Paul, you really don’t pay attention to him when it contradicts CIA talking points it seems

                1. I don’t agree with Ron Paul 100%. He thinks global warming is a hoax and is a creationist.

                2. The Russian government hacked the Democrats, and they hired people to promote misinformation and to attack Hillary and promote Trump.

                  1. What misinformation? None of the stuff that was leaked about Hillary or the DNC has been denied.

                    Hillary and the DNC colluded with the fucking media to get Trump to the Republican nomination because they thought he’d be easy to beat. Hillary colluded with the media to prep for the debates by receiving the questions before hand.

                    Hillary lost because she was a shitty candidate who thought it was her turn and the country was just going to hand her the presidency like a fucking crown.

                    1. 1. I never said I supported Hillary.
                      2. Colluding with the media is not illegal.
                      3. I never even accused Trump of colluding with Russia. All I said was that Russia meddled. Whether it affected the election or not is irrelevant.

                    2. I’m not attacking Trump here. I’m just admitting that Russia interfered.

                    3. I wasn’t trying to imply that you were supporting Hillary or attacking Trump.

                      Sometimes, especially online, it’s hard to determine what people are actually meaning when they say “interfered”. Most of the liberals that post here use it as short hand for collusion and actual vote tampering.

    2. Considering half of the US population is too dense to realize they’ve elected an opportunist with much love for authoritarians, maybe some immigrants would push the IQ scale a bit.

  4. “The best thing the United States could do is accept the refugees fleeing those oppressive states and recognize them for what they are: human beings seeking freedom and a better life.”

    Refugees with actual experience of socialism will help keep it away from here. Bring ’em in!

    1. Three generations of useful idiots is more than enough.

      1. +1

  5. Your publication advocated for economic sanctions against Russia for lolz and then pushed CIA talking points about Russia fever dreams, not even two months ago.

    Physician heal thyself

    1. Well, didn’t Russia interfere in our election? What did Venezuela do to us?

      1. Russia interfered in our elections? How so? Some bots?

        OK, then we should sanction China if we’re going to pretend like this is a legitimate reason to sanction a nation

        1. Russia interfered in our elections? How so?

          Troika of Tyranny”

          What more proof do you need?

      2. If there was ever an NPC meme that needs to be made it’s got to be someone recite “Russia interfered in our elections” as if this makes any sense

        1. NPC… Jesus fuck man. If ever we needed proof that 4chan does not turn out clever people.

          1. Yeah, 4chan. Or Michael Malice.

            I honestly have never been on 4chan, nor would I know how to get on it. In case you were wondering, there are a bunch of libertarian commentators who have latched on to the NPC thing

            1. Why would you want to thus beclown yourself by behaving like those stunted nerds?

              So you think the shitfuckton of evidence that Russia interfered in the election is bunk, but people with different opinions from yours on the internet are magic robots or something. *Pats you on the head*

              1. What is this “shitfuckton of evidence”, Tony?

                Honestly, you need help. The NPC meme works, because it’s true and you prove it daily

                1. Just Say’n you need to learn to be better to NPCs.

                2. The NPC meme is fucking retarded. Don’t debase yourself by using it, man.

                  1. NPC chipper morning baculum, begging for approval
                    Sad.

                  2. No more retarded than the Russia fever dreams meme.

                3. Damn, that NPC thing really hits a raw nerve

              2. Please quantify “shitfuckton”, and also please quantify the extent of the alleged interference.

                1. The investigation is ongoing. The one started by the Trump administration.

                2. And why do you people defend Russia beyond reason anyway? Because of its libertarian culture?

                  1. Probably because we don’t care to recycle CIA talking points meant to provoke more war. The sanctions against Russia are no less worse than these sanctions.

                  2. And why do you people defend Russia beyond reason anyway?

                    If you think Russia is the reason Hillary lost the election, you haven’t been paying attention.

                    Seriously, figure it out. She was so terrible that Trump was the better option. Trump as a Putin stooge was the better option. the next Hitler as a Putin stooge was the better option.

                  3. Tony, the allegation boils down to Russians participating in democracy by publishing things. It’s a 1st Amendment issue. If we do not defend the right of Russians to influence our elections by posting on Facebooks, we will have to fight for our right to influence our elections by posting on Faceboook in 2020.

              3. Tony, what evidence, what single piece of evidence, is there that the Russians did anything that we haven’t done dozens of times around the world?

                1. I will grant that propaganda can lead to awkward situations if it spreads beyond our borders.

              4. Tony, arussia has been interfering in our elections in one way or another for many decades. But as you are a progressive, everything is the history of now, forget yesterday and tomorrow.

                In fact, it’s a proven fact that you’re beloved ‘lion of the senate’, Ted Kennedy, conspired with Yuri Andropov against Reagan in 1983.

            2. No. There are a bunch of fauxbertarians/Contards who are sock-puppeting an acronym to hang with the cool kids.

            3. There is a scene in “The Fountain Head” where the protagonist talks to a woman and realizes that she is simply a vessel for other people’s thoughts instead of someone who can think for herself. The NPC meme might derive from that.

          2. Tony|11.1.18 @ 4:42PM|#

            NPC… Jesus fuck man. If ever we needed proof that 4chan does not turn out clever people.

            Tony, if that wasn’t clever, people like you wouldn’t be raging over it.

            Tony can’t meme.

            1. It goes against his team, so it’s bad.

    2. You guys should really start making sense when it comes to sanctions.

      Here’s an idea: oppose all sanctions, even if your cocktail party friends tell you that you really need to support the sanctions against the latest baddie du jour

      1. Russia is not even the subject here, but it seems you are saying we should have just ignored their election meddling.

        1. I mean since the only proof of any meddling was some Facebook ads, I’d say you look awfully retarded objecting to these sanctions, but thinking those against Russia somehow make sense.

          Try to be consistent.

          1. Vince Smith|11.1.18 @ 4:54PM|#

            Sanctions are an act of war, as Ron Paul has always said.

            1. Election meddling by a foreign nation’s government is an act of war as well. This isn’t Breitbart, so let’s not deny reality. Our intelligence agencies have a ton of evidence on Russia.

              1. War over Facebook ads? That’s your official position? And you presume to be libertarian?

                1. Retaliation does not violate libertarian principles.

                  1. Retaliation does not violate libertarian principles.

                    Facebook ads constitute aggression? That’s your official position?

                    1. Facebook ads constitute aggression? That’s your official position?

                      Seriously, you’re making W look like a totally legitimate President here.

              2. All that evidence has shown that they paid for some facebook advertising, set up some twitter bots, and attempted to hack some machines in some states.

                Which, if you knew anything about world politics, is pretty much routine behavior from all major governments.

                Should every nation on earth declare war against the US, you know, since there is a fuckshitton of evidence that we meddle?

                1. attempted to hack some machines in some states
                  A couple of Russian IP’s ran a few probes looking for exploits before moving on, just like what happens to every other website on the planet several times a month.
                  The fact that the NYT and WaPo reported these as “hacking attempts” shows just how disingenuous the “resistance” media is.

                2. and attempted to hack some machines in some states.

                  Come to think of it, maybe I did so well when I ran for public office because my mom was working the polls that day.

              3. Defone’meddling’ in this case. Are you talking about Russian proxys positing shit in social media? Or are you talking about Russians actually participating in election fraud, like hacking voting machines and the like?

        2. would be nice if you had evidence of that assertion beyond a few troll accounts exercising protected speech.

          1. Foreigners don’t get free speech unless it’s speech we like!

            /progs

        3. but it seems you are saying we should have just ignored their election meddling.

          We demand that other countries ignore when we blatantly rig elections or foment rebellions, or plain old bomb the shit out of governments we don’t like.

          I think if the US can do the above then the US can stand a few foreign Facebook posts.

      2. Do you have a link where Eric Boehm specifically called for sanctions? Because your collectivizing of all Reason writers into some undifferentiated entity is really getting old.

        1. You posting and begging for acceptance is really old.

  6. Bolton and Trump are fools.
    Cuba, Venezuela and, in the future, Nicaragua) all enjoy the delights and pleasures of a socialist heaven.
    These countries have been liberated from the burdens of free speech, gun ownership, capitalism and the worst form of slavery of all, thinking for themselves.
    Now the masses of these enlightened societies don’t have to worry about what to choose from at the grocery store but instead enjoy the wonders of rations stores, secret police, gulags, re-education camps and political indoctrination for their offspring.
    All the people in this “Troika of Tyranny” toil happily for their ruling elitist masters who know what the masses need instead of what they want.
    If only America could be so lucky.

    1. It’s an honor to see you among us, Senator Sanders.

    2. Bolton supported the war in Iraq. Of course he is a fool.

      1. Do did most of the Democrats in Congress.

        1. So that excuses Bolton?

          1. Yes. It clearly wasn’t that unreasonable of a mistake or so many people on both sides of the isle would not have made it.

            1. Except Bolton STILL thinks it was the right move.

            2. Iraq war okay but sanctions on Russia unforgivable?

  7. Have guys with prominent mustaches ever been a net positive on international relations?

    1. Your buddy Stalin?

      1. Seriously, though, he had a sweet stache. Bolton’s mustache seems forced

        1. Stalin, Hitler, Che, Trotsky, Castro, Lenin, Ho Chi Minh… nothing stimulates the face follicles better than the blood of the masses.

          Only Pol Pot and Mao lacked great facial topiary. Maybe once you exceed 45 million or 1/3 of your citizens it’s overstimulation.

    2. See Harry Flashman.

    3. Hmmm, interesting question. Off the top of my head, Grover Cleveland was opposed to US imperialism in the Pacific and he had a decent mustache.

    4. Stossel is a net positive.

    5. Tony, that depends. My friend in Egypt had a prominent mustache when he first met me online. How do you feel about cross-dress?

    6. Thomas Magnum? Or at least Tom Selleck?

  8. I like the alliteration, although I think “Triangle” works better than “Troika” for Americans. It’s still missing something… ah, more cowbell!

    1. Dumbass should have called it a Troika de Tiran?a.

      1. @Jerryskids – even better, combines the languages of two of the most evil regimes on the planet, Russia and Venezuela, respectively.

        Crazy idea – that could be the next album/hit single title by a collaboration of Shakira, Juanes, and Alejandro Sanz.

  9. “Given the Trump administration’s general view of immigration, however, I’m rather skeptical that’s going to happen. Indeed, whatever form this more aggressive posture takes?particularly if it includes sanctions on countries where people are already starving?it is a good bet that it won’t help the people who most need it.”

    If reason and other lefties are so intent on “help[ing] the people who most need it” they should embrace Christianity since it is demonstrably the most charitable religion in world history. People will help others when they are freely allowed to do so. When they are robbed by government almighty and forced to “help” others, and told they are racist or xenophobic if they don’t like it, it breeds resentment.

    1. Christian churches and charities are responsible for 82% of the world’s free medical care, dwarfing amounts spent by Western universal healthcare programs.
      Why they’re demonized and hated for frowning on sodomy just like every other non-Westerner on the planet, to the point of eliminationist rhetoric is beyond me.

      1. Yep. I’ll debate a social conservative’s theology by discussing his own text with him, but I won’t scream “hater” at him. Social conservatives tend to be non-violent. Plenty of progs beat the crap out of people trying to have same-sex relationships, because they know that the neighbors are too afraid to stop it.

  10. So allowing these countries to ship all of their malcontents to the US and avoid the consiquences of their own policies is the best thing the US can do for these countries.

    Yeah that makes sense. And these nations are tyrannies. Reason should hate these governments more than Bolton does. And they sure as hell shoudln’t be bitching and moaning about Bolton telling the truth about them. What the hell is wrong with you people?

    1. I don’t disagree, but fuck Bolton. Fuck him good and hard.

      1. Sorry, but I wouldn’t even fuck him with your dick.

    2. Makes sense if you’re looking out for what’s best for those countries and don’t care about what happens here in the US.

    3. He is the worst sort of fucking chickenhawk. One who is never taken seriously by our enemies because he’s a chicken and never taken seriously by our friends cuz he’s a moron. NOTHING out of his mouth should ever be viewed as some mere observation or the truth.

      If you can’t come to your own understanding about what is true in the world – without listening to a word he utters; then that just means you yourself are too stupid to have an opinion worth listening to.

      1. JFree, list our friends who do not take him seriously.

  11. Just another Reason obfuscation of legal and illegal immigration;
    nothing to see here, move along

  12. Though the speech lacked specific policy proposals, there are at least a few concrete plans. Vox reports that Bolton called on Maduro to release hundreds of political prisoners, while the Trump administration is also ramping up sanctions against Venezuela and tightening diplomatic backchannels with Cuba.

    Reason is of course all about sanctions against the evil Russians. But not against Venezuela?

    And oh my God, he called for the release of political prisoners. What a war monger. Who could possibly want that?

    1. Stop stealing my point, John.

      And why the hell is Vox the only outlet that Reason writers ever cite? Can they not read above a sixth grade level?

      1. They are all millenials and no they can’t read above a sixth grade level. Vox is what passes for deep thought for most of them.

        And your point is not unique and can’t be made enough.

      2. They’re all assistant editing – nobody got time to read.

  13. Which would you like to see next:

    Melange of Malevolence?

    -or-

    Hodgepodge of Hegemony?

    1. “Hodgepodge of Hegemony?”

      Seems like the status quo

  14. An obstensively Libertarian magazine is criticizing a US official for demanding the release of political prisoners in a socialist tyranny. Just let that sink in for a moment. It shocks even me how far reason has fallen from its professed ideals.

    1. Libertarians are against us playing world police.

  15. Should have left that dick at the UN.

    1. Maybe so. But I don’t see how you can criticize him for calling Cuba and Venezuala what they are and putting the screws to their leftist gangster governments.

      1. Yeah, they deserve to be criticized but other than that we need to STFO of it. They made their bed. We have enough of our own problems to deal with.

        1. I agree. I really don’t care about Cuba or Venezuala. If the people there get tired enough of it, they will put a stop to it themselves. If they don’t, then maybe they like it that way. Regardless, the US should not take their refugees or do much of anything beyond let them sort it out themselves.

  16. The solution to all of the world’s problems is just bring all of the people who voted for those problems here. Then utopia.

    1. And rather than have to deal with the suffering and objections of their people, let these governments just send everyone who has a problem with them to the US. That is clearly the best thing we can do for these countries.

  17. Truth = correlation with reality.

    Reason is not in the business of truth.

  18. John Bolton promised the United States would take a more aggressive stance towards left-wing dictators in Latin America.

    Specifically, Bolton identified the nations of Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela as a “Troika of Tyranny” responsible for “immense human suffering” and the cause of “enormous regional instability.”

    Just because those three countries call themselves left wing, is that any reason to put the words “left-wing” in Bolton’s mouth? There are right-wing authoritarians in Latin America, at least as dictatorial as Nicaragua and Venezuela.

    It’s the same weird word bias I see from time to time of “far-right politics” without any mention of, say, Bernie, Lizzie, or Occasional Cortex as being far-left. If you have to be an actual dictator to be far-left, then far-right deserves the same respect.

  19. Can we still call them Banana Republics or is that problematic now?

  20. Can we replace him with Jeff Foxworthy?

    I know, I know, “here’s my sign.”

    1. That’s Bill Engvall, not Foxworthy.

      1. …welp, here’s my sign, AGAIN.

  21. At least he’s sticking with the Monroe Doctrine this time.

  22. He has got it all wrong. Those three along with Libya, Sudan and five other nations form the Minyan of Misery.

    Not to be confused with the recently formed Northern European Synod of Sensible Shoes

  23. Is Bolton just squirting airplane glue right up his nose these days? Because I can’t even begin to imagine otherwise how you could get high enough to be calling for the “collapse” of the government of Nicaragua while simultaneously freaking out over waves of refugees from Central America.

    1. I know, right? It’s history repeating itself yet again.

      – Destabilize a country
      – Watch a bunch of refugees want to leave the misery
      – Say “screw you” to the refugees, demand more money for trashing the Fourth Amendment border security

      1. Basically same as our War on Drugs.

      2. Nicaragua isn’t exactly stable right now. Carpet bombing the Palacio de la Presidente might be an improvement.

      3. Besides the War on Drugs, which to be fair has been a fucking disaster for the entire region, what has the US done to really destabilize Cuba or Venezuela? And didn’t Honduras elect a bunch of socialist who instigated a coup, or am I remembering that wrong?

      4. And when will the USA come clean about causing the Sicilian refugee problem in the 1860’s so that a certain Republican president would have cheap immigrant labor to fill the ranks of his army? Common guys. Did we really need to fight the Confederacy? When will those chicken hawks learn to stop imposing freedom at gunpoint?

        😉

  24. Actually, Raul Castro isn’t even the President of Cuba anymore. He is still the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, which is “the most senior position in the socialist state”, but he no longer holds the title of President.

  25. Why do I care if Venezuela sucks?

    1. There is an argument to make that if, say, Haiti falls apart, millions of Haitian refugees will come flooding into the United States by any means available.

      I suppose that’s the penny smart/pound foolish argument. Putting Haiti back together could be seen as the “Keep the Haitians in Haiti Fund”. If it costs less than millions flooding onto our beaches?

      1. Good luck with that. We “put Haiti back together” during our occupation from 1915 to 1934. We built highways, bridges, and hospitals, established schools and improved the educational system, upgraded the port at Port-au-Prince. Then we left, and the country sank back into the miasma from which we had tried to pull it.

        1. THIS. 3rd world toilets will ALWAYS be 3rd world toilets, unless they make THEMSELVES not 3rd world toilets.

          We could give everybody in Honduras a million USD, and the place would be a ramshackle piece of shit country again in a decade or two, if not less. People that don’t know how to take care of themselves will always be failures.

  26. John Bolton sucks because of what he did in the run up to the Iraq War. Criticizing what he said incorrectly minimizes the awfulness of what he did.

    And there’s nothing wrong with criticizing the governments of Nicaragua (awful), Venezuela (even more awful), and Cuba (awful for the longest of the three). Those are authoritarian communist governments, and the heads of all three governments would look magnificent on a pike.

    There is something wrong with suggesting that the United States get involved in accomplishing that, but that’s no reason to pretend those countries’ governments aren’t evil and awful. Here’s to hoping the people of Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Cuba free themselves.

    1. ‘Cuz God help them if we come down there and free them. They won’t recover from that freedoming for a couple of generations.

      1. Yep, a video map on Gizmodo shows the rise and fall of different empires. You can look at it to see the size of France and England before and after America saved them during the world wars.

      2. I DO agree that they would all turn back into shitholes… But that isn’t universally the case. It really depends on the nation and how it was, its culture, other factors, etc before hand.

        See Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, etc. If we’d managed to win Vietnam, I bet it would be a highly successful country today too.

        They didn’t have broken ass cultures that kept them in the gutter after we gave them the opportunity to do things right, so they kicked ass. The thing is, being able to soberly look at a country and ask yourself if 1. We should be meddling either way. and 2. If we DO meddle, will it actually work?

        Any person with a brain can look at the middle east, or most of central/south America and figure out that they will slide straight back to being a wreck no matter HOW much fixing we do.

  27. Ah, the Bolton family. Michael, John – the gift that keeps on giving.

    1. “Why should *I* change, *he’s* the one who sucks!”

  28. BreitFART comments are mostly supportive of this policy. BreitFART foreign policy is basically “We’re for whatever Trump does.”

  29. Can somebody please shave Bolton’s mustache while he’s sleeping?

  30. Even if this isn’t the first step on the road to a Latin American version of the Iraq War, Bolton’s suggestion that he’s seeking the “collapse” of Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela should be worrying. As he should have learned by now, you can’t fix regional instability by creating more of it.

    Meh, the Oslo Accords also created more instability.

  31. A Guardian article has a different opinion about curing national problems through emigration. It says:

    A high price was paid by the British involved. Settlers, soldiers, convicts ? those people who freshly populated the empire ? were often recruited to the imperial cause as a result of the failures of government in the British Isles. These involuntary participants bore the brunt of conquest in faraway continents ? death by drowning in ships that never arrived, death at the hands of indigenous peoples who refused to submit, death in foreign battles for which they bore no responsibility, death by cholera and yellow fever, the two great plagues of empire.

    Many of these settlers and colonists had been forced out of Scotland, while some had been driven from Ireland, escaping from centuries of continuing oppression and periodic famine. Convicts and political prisoners were sent off to far-off gulags for minor infringements of draconian laws. Soldiers and sailors were press-ganged from the ranks of the unemployed.

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