Sunday, May 18, 2008

LESSON: Punish Hoodlums Like Chavez When They're Still Small Fry

Mr. Tracinski at The Intellectual Activist uses Venezuela as his 'standing example of the "broken country effect." ' The original term was "broken window effect" in reference to the fact that when a broken window was not repaired it sent a signal to vandals that law and order would not be maintained and so the criminals could take over the streets at will. Remember Mayor Rudy Giuliani and how he cleaned up the streets of the crime ridden New York City by implementing a standard order that broken windows and such were to be repaired immediately?

"The lesson for police work—applied with famous results in New York City—is that vigorous enforcement of even minor violations of the law suppresses all crime. Punishing hoodlums for misdemeanors discourages them from graduating to felonies, because they conclude that they can't get away with it. "

"The lesson for foreign policy is that vigorously opposing dictatorship early on prevents the thugs and strong men from concluding that they are in control—and saves us from having to deal with a much larger crisis later on. How little force would have been required to free our hostage in Iran in 1979—and how much has the failure to do so cost us in the decades since? "

"Or take Venezuela. In 2002, the people of Venezuela briefly forced Hugo Chavez out of office in a peaceful rebellion. But the overthrow of Chavez failed when it received virtually no international support—including from the US. The result? Chavez has wrecked Venezuela's economy, forged an alliance with Iran, and supported the rise of leftist dictators (or would-be dictators, or former dictators) throughout Latin America."

"Now, with the exposure of his support for the Colombian terrorist group FARC, Chavez has become the Western Hemisphere's first state sponsor of terrorism, as Colby Cosh puts it below in Canada's National Post. This story is also covered well in Investor's Business Daily.
And all of this happened because we failed to take relatively simple and easy measures to support Chavez's overthrow in 2002."

Read Colby Cosh's article in the National Post and Investor's Business Daily as well.

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