The Duck of Minerva

The Duck Quacks at Twilight

Know your enemies, 2006 edition

May 15, 2006

In the war on terror, the United States now officially considers Venezuela part of the problem. The BBC today:

The US is to impose a ban on arms sales to Venezuela, US state department officials have said.

A spokeswoman, Darla Jordan, said the decision was taken because of lack of support by Venezuela for counter-terrorism efforts.

Condi Rice expressed disappointment in October 2003 at Venezuela’s failure to live up to its “responsibilities in the hemisphere to fight terrorism, to fight narco-trafficking.”

Thus, this is not altogether new policy.

Libya and Muammar Qaddafi, by contrast, are now fully rehabilitated. Again, from today’s BBC:

The US is to renew full diplomatic relations with Libya after deciding to remove it from its list of countries that support terrorism.

The US has not had normal relations with Libya since 1980…

Condi Rice is much less concerned about Libya than she is Venezuela. Again, from the BBC report on Libya:

The US secretary of state said Libya had since shown a “continued commitment to its renunciation of terrorism”.

Announcing the move to renew diplomatic ties, Condoleezza Rice praised Libya for its “excellent co-operation” in the US-led war on terror.

In the last State Department report, Patterns of Global Terrorism, the chapter on state-sponsors included a section on Libya…but nothing on Venezuela.

The replacement document, Country Reports on Terrorism had 22 references to Libya in the most recent 2005 “State Sponsors of Terror Overview,” but no references to Venezuela. The “Western Hemisphere Overview,” however, included these words:

Venezuelan cooperation in the international campaign against terrorism remained negligible. President Hugo Chavez persisted in public criticism of U.S. counterterrorism efforts, publicly championed Iraqi terrorists, deepened Venezuelan collaboration with such state sponsors of terrorism as Cuba and Iran, and was unwilling to deny safe haven to members of Colombian terrorist groups, as called for in UN resolutions.

Oceania had always been at war with Eurasia.”

Remember to ignore anything contrary to that you might have heard or read in the past.

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Rodger A. Payne is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Louisville. He serves on the University’s Sustainability Council and was a co-founder of the Peace, Conflict, and Social Justice program. He is the author of dozens of journal articles and book chapters and coauthor, with Nayef Samhat, of Democratizing Global Politics: Discourse Norms, International Regimes, and Political Community (SUNY, 2004). He is currently working on two major projects, one exploring the role of narratives in international politics and the other examining the implications of America First foreign policy.