Subscribe to InI’s Mailing List/Newsletter
 News and opinions on the situation in Venezuela

United States attack would involve immediate destruction of Venezuela’s naval and air forces


Published: Thursday, July 20, 2006

Bylined to: Chris Herz commentarist Chris Herz writes: Venezuela’s 1999 Bolivarian constitution recognizes the parallel responsibility of authority and people to defend the nation. So far as I know this is the only such document in the world which recognizes in the basic law of a nation the real fact of modern war. And that is that it is waged by populations. Not merely by armies, and not merely by governments.

None of the modern totalitarianisms, Communism or Fascism were simply authoritarian dictatorships … they grew out of mass organization.

  • As such, they were actually at least as democratically legitimate as the contemporary corporatism of the USA.

In the case of Germany or Italy, there was never any question in their heyday that Nazism and Fascismo enjoyed broad popular approval: They achieved electoral victory. Japan went to war in 1941 with the full support of her people, who had seen their aspirations stifled for years by white, Euro-American colonialism. Not unreasonably they were left to wonder why it was they could not enjoy a piece of the action too. The Spanish dictator Francisco Franco is still regarded by about a third of his present-day countrymen as the savior of the state.

The Bolsheviks won a terrible civil war with massive support from the Soviet people. Then survived the collectivization, the purges and World War II. They could not have done so without the approval of a very large percentage of their peoples.

Scholars of the political sciences figure that a modern state can survive with only about 15-25% participation from its total electorate. While only about 12% at the most of Soviet citizens were party members still there was an irreducible core of support that even today forms a very hefty parliamentary opposition. The various Fascist nations seem to have enjoyed a level of one-third support. And Japan much more.

Modern military doctrine, always pragmatic, has long recognized this reality. Since at least as far back as World War I, we understand armed conflict between nations to be just that: One people are attempting to subordinate by force another. Unrestricted bombing, even to the point of using nuclear weapons against whole cities, destruction of electrical, water and sanitary infrastructure so as to disorganize the enemy population are simply a rational reduction of the realization that war is today fought between peoples.

This doctrine does indeed render the strictures of the Geneva Conventions “quaint.”

At least insofar as they relate to carpet bombardment, etc. And the Nuremberg court had to deal with this problem, the issue being raised by the very competent, the best in Germany, lawyers of the various Nazi defendants. The court simply ruled that the population of the aggressor country, because they had not removed from power the outlaw regime, were complicitous in its crimes. They had thus made themselves liable to terror attack. In short, the bombing of London was a crime. That of Berlin was not.

Since the Bush regime here has made its response to the 9/11 crime a “war on terror” it has implicitly accorded to its enemies the status of legal combatants. And in any legal process, either within the USA or in the Hague these people may well be able to claim that their actions were legal, in view of the aggressive state terror levied upon their peoples by various agencies of the US government or its Israeli surrogate long before the Twin Towers came crashing down upon their occupants.

For Venezuela, we can see that any US attack would involve the destruction of defending naval and air forces immediately. Followed by the systematic elimination of electrical generating and distribution systems, telecommunications, the destruction of highways and rail facilities. Then would follow attacks on regular armored or mechanized ground forces. All aimed at crippling civil life throughout the country. This is how matters are proceeding right now in Lebanon.

  • The tactical objective of any imperial operation against you will be to make the people of Venezuela unable to support their own defense.

This means that defense of any country today must start with the ordinary citizen. He must understand by word and by deed that his life, those of his wife and his children need the protection and sustenance of his own government and society. For asymmetric warfare, the guerrilla resistance is the only means by which a non-nuclear power can withstand the onslaught of the corporate empire.

Every Venezuelan should be warned in advance by his own government that the lights and the water supply will be terminated by the enemy, he should know where to find the nearest medical facility, he should know to store food and water.

The defending authorities, both military and civil, must be thoroughly embedded within the ranks of ordinary citizens.

Every citizen should see his kids in school, his elderly properly pensioned, his sick decently cared for; all as the result of state initiative. He must be the ultimate stakeholder in the survival of his government and his society. He should be entrusted with his own rifle. He should know where to rally with his neighbors, one or two of whom are regular trained soldiers, and where they may jointly find ammunition and explosives (the improvised explosive device is the major cause of imperial casualties in Iraq) when needful.

All that is needful for the successful defense of Venezuela is concrete operation of the doctrine already advanced in the basic laws of the Fifth Republic.

The demonstration that this has been properly done is very likely the primary requisite to ensure that these defenses will never be needed.

Chris Herz


Main Index >> Venezuela Index >> Media Index