US invades Venezuela and North Korea instead of Iraq

Millions of confused people would ask "Why? How does this help in the war against Islamic terrorists?". Since the RoK is unlikely to invade the North without clear reasons, US ends up in a bit of a pickle as it appears to have lost its collective mind. Rest of the world is pretty unimpressed.
Well I doubt many people would be too sad too see North Korea and the Chavez regime of Venezuela wiped off the map for good. I doubt it would be that useful to invade either, let alone both. Well already stuck in Afghanistan. Especially since neither achieves any of our objectives in the Middle East against Terror Groups.
I imagine Venezuela would be much more controversial and difficult, for several reasons:

1. Venezuela is no where near as evil as North Korea. Chavez was far from a great ruler, but he was no Kim Jong-Il.
2. Venezuela pulls less wacky publicity threats than North Korea. It would be easy to spiral one of North Korea's various "We might start a war!!1!!11!" type incidents into an actual war, but less easy to do so for Venezuela.
3. If a war can be started with North Korea, we would drag South Korea into it, and quite possibly Japan as well. Venezuela, I don't think we would be able to receive any strong military support from the surrounding countries.
4. North Korea can be absorbed into South Korea. Venezuela would have to have a whole new government created.
5. Venezuela is really, really big compared to North Korea. It also has a lot more wilderness for guerrillas to hide out in. The war will be a lot longer and more drawn-out.

Bush invading North Korea would be one thing, and if the tensions are going the right way, I can see Bush and his crowd deciding to concentrated on North Korea instead of Iraq. But Venezuela is a whole different story, that will be a lot less likely to start, and a lot more difficult to end.
I don't think that any Latin American nation would welcome America's invasion of Venezuela. I certainly don't think most Venezuelans would be happy about the United States intervening to overthrow a democratically elected government in order to install the same group of corrupt and incompetent oligarchs that had been running the place for the last 50 years.

But let's face facts. There's no way that Venezuela could defend against an American invasion. The vast bulk of the population is strung out along the coast, the infrastructure and population centers are easily accessible to the American navy and American air power. The US military outnumbers and outguns Venezuela by several orders of magnitude. On the scale of difficulty, it would fall somewhere between Panama and Iraq.

North Korea is a completely different cup of tea. At the very least, we can kiss the city of Seol, and its millions of people, goodbye. We can assume that the United States will quickly achieve air dominance, but that will do very little good against an enemy so entrenched and hardened. A ground invasion will be necessary, and even with close air support, that's going to be a hard, hideously brutal slog. That's assuming that North Korea is on its own, and that their nuclear and chemical weapons are not deployed, which is not a good bet. And that their patrons in China don't intervene actively, also not a good bet. Or that Russia doesn't step in.


Why? The base motivation behind the invasion of Iraq was the belief that Saddam Hussein had WMDs (he wished) and was engaged in the support of terrorism (more likely) and the fact that he had been an antagonistic dick since 1990 who was the ONLY world leader to praise the 9/11 attacks. Even Chavez condemned the attacks.

North Korea being invaded would need a massive provocation and Chinese blessing. Venezuela would also need some kind of provocation. The oil argument for Venezuela or Iraq is ridiculous as the countries that have benefitted the most from Iraqi oil are the Germans, French, and Chinese; not the US. So Venezuela is also a no go from that perspective.

The only way I see any of this happening is if Kim attacks the South or does a nuclear test so sloppily done that it kills South Korean civilians.


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What possible excuse could ANY Administration find for this sort of idiocy?

The President who ordered it would be removed by his Cabinet as being medically incapable of performance of his duties pending Impeachment.


Even the Bush 44 Administration were not THAT

What would be the ramifications had the United States decides to invade Venezuela and North Korea to overthrow Hugo Chavez and Kim Jong-il instead of Iraq in 2003.

Even the Bush 44 Administration were not THAT delusional.

The truly insane as in "one of the classic blunders land war in Asia" quagmire-to-be their adherents dreamed about was Iran, which, of course, was short-circuited by the (completely surprising, of course:rolleyes:) disasters they served up in Afghanistan and Iraq.

"Well, for North Korea at least, the WMD excuse would actually be legit."

Legit grounds for military invasion? I don't think so. Iraq had agreed to get rid of its WMD, but North Korea hadn't so there's no cause for invasion on that argument.
You weren't going to see operations outside of the Middle East. Bush included NK in his Axis of Evil speech to pressure them, but not to do anything about them.

The real question was what Middle Eastern nations would be targeted. Gaddafi made the right moves after 911 as did Assad and to a lesser extent Iran. Cheney still wanted to target Iran, but due to their size and the fact they always have known the 'red line' with the West Bush didn't seriously consider a ground invasion.

As for Hugo Bush considered him a annoying Latin American banana republic ruler, that if he crossed too many lines our allies in Colombia would deal with.
Since the RoK is unlikely to invade the North without clear reasons, US ends up in a bit of a pickle as it appears to have lost its collective mind. Rest of the world is pretty unimpressed.

Then they take the side of those committing crimes against humanity. And the US couldn’t care less what they think.

North Korea had expressed a willingness to use its wmds to defend from an invasion.

But didn’t have them back then, so that’s irrelevant.
Then they take the side of those committing crimes against humanity. And the US couldn’t care less what they think.

It's a little bit more nuanced than that. China, Russia and Japan are very big economies and very important to the United States.

China in particular is perfectly willing to f*ck us. Remember the Spy Plane incident? Bush grovelled an apology and had to beg for his plane back, which he got piece by piece.

So yes, the US would care what they thought, when the American economy collapses like a house of cards, or when a half million Chinese troops cross the border, or when the Russians start supplying high tech weapons.

But didn’t have them back then, so that’s irrelevant.
Well, actually, they did have chemical weapons, and likely biological weapons.

They did have missiles capable of reaching Japan.

They also had Seoul under the guns of hardened artillery capable of basically vaporising the city. Not technically a wmd, but close enough that the difference is immaterial.

Their nuclear weapons program was believed to be sufficiently advanced that credible sources estimated that they may have had between five and ten uranium devices. It was only the big fizzle that lead to a reappraisal.

There's no possibility that an Invasion of North Korea would be fast or easy. Rather, the realistic outcome is that it would be slow, incredibly costly, devastating to the region and risking escalation.
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"North Korea had expressed a willingness to use its wmds to defend from an invasion."

So does every country with WMD. If you aren't ever willing to use them under any circumstances then that's not much point in getting them.

"Then they take the side of those committing crimes against humanity. And the US couldn’t care less what they think."

Rubbish. We aren't currently invading North Korea so does that mean we all side with Pyongyang when they brutalise their own people? No, it doesn't. It's that sort of idiotic 'you're either with us or against us' neocon stupidity that has caused so many problems in the first place. But even the neocons at their nuttiest weren't this daft.

Let's think about the OP for a second. America has undergone a shock and emotional crisis due to the terrorist attacks on 9/11, they presumably still go into Afghanistan to get Al Qaeda. Then, instead of using the (dubious or not) justification of fighting terrorism to reinvade Iraq and remove Saddam, they instead invade two states on opposing sides of the world, neither of which are even close to the Middle East where the terrorists come from and neither of which appear to have even a remote link to Al Qaeda. The rest of the world, and most of the US, will be asking why? And there is no logic behind the move at all.

Of course the South Koreans aren't going to attack North Korea because the US, or at least a few decision makers in Washington, have gone collectively insane.
ASB, dem New American Century Boyz had their hearts set on Iraq for a decade. Scary looking evil dictator, pariah state, WMD history, military that couldn't fight back, tons of oil, and huge potential for development (on paper at least). It was the perfect place for a demonstration of overwhelming power and Neo-Imperialist client-state-building.

Chavez was ranting about an imminent U.S invasion for years. It was always an obvious scapegoat ploy for domestic consumption. Short of directly blaming 9/11 on Chavez, (OTL they didn't have the cojones to outright make this claim w/ Saddam, so they would oh-so-obliquely imply it from time to time and leave The Great Unwashed to connect the dots, smh) I see no possible way for them to get the country to go along with this. Support for invading Iraq - after a decade of fear & vilification of Saddam, after a year-long sales pitch that does the phrase "false pretext" little justice - barely cracked 50% at its peak. And much of that was people like my dad or Tim Russert who WEREN'T sold, but reluctantly figured "they want this war so badly, they MUST have good reasons.....right?". This isn't a couple cruise missiles - we're talking about a massive invasion, occupation, and rebuilding.

now then,

North Korea?


If nothing else, if everything goes absolutely swimmingly, it's still a f'n bloodbath. This is a "perfect" totalitarian regime which has based its entire existence around preparation for a Second Korean War. They can't win it, but they can reduce Seoul into a firestorm and kill thousands of U.S troops before it's all said and done. And they didn't have nukes by then, but they had enough Chemical Weapons to make South Korea WISH they did. Dubya Bush (to his credit.....i guess) always wanted his wars to be fought on the cheap, with minimal American blood shed.

a hard, hideously brutal slog

....again, in a BEST CASE scenario. Worst case? Christ....Operation Digger from the Anglo-American Nazi War.

And that their patrons in China don't intervene actively, also not a good bet.

China doesn't give a crap about socialist solidarity with their proletariat brothers in North Korea anymore. They're not stupid, they know how FUBAR that country is. The Wikileaks cables confirmed this.

One diplomatic cable disclosed that China’s vice foreign minister told US officials that Pyongyang was behaving like a “spoiled child” to get America’s attention in April 2009 after carrying out missile tests.

Mr Chun claimed that younger generation Chinese Communist party leaders would not risk renewed armed conflict on the Korean peninsula. Mr Chun also alleged that two senior Chinese officials told him that they believed the Korean peninsular should be reunited under South Korea’s control. :eek:

Their only real concern at this point is a refugee flood and regional cataclysm in their backyard. I've been saying for years that an invasion of NK from the NORTH is far more likely than one from the South at this point. This thread's scenario (incomprehensibly batshit stupid POTUS starts completely unprovoked bloody invasion for teh sake of lulz and Extraterrestrial Chiroptera) is about the only one I can think of where modern China is willing to entertain the possibility of WW3 to save Lil' Kim's yacht collection.

Or that Russia doesn't step in.

lol why would Russia waste any time or money on that? Really. Just sit back and watch the idiot Americans disembowel themselves. I can picture a grinning Putin pouring out vodka for his advisers while trading wonderfully profane jokes about how mentally disabled the American leadership must be. Hell, I can see Zhirinovsky doing the same. (although i'm sure the UIS would find a way to make everything worse :rolleyes:)
There's no possibility that an Invasion of North Korea would be fast or easy. Rather, the realistic outcome is that it would be slow, incredibly costly, devastating to the region and risking escalation.

In North Korea's case I'd argue that a "controlled collapse" is better than overt military action and causing the regime to collapse really shouldn't be that hard, since it's just a matter of getting China to be willing to actually enforce most existing sanctions and maybe add one or two more.
No chance of that happening in the near future though, although the North Korean population isn't as isolated as it's always been and the regime has nowhere near the total control it used to have. Furthermore there's no way of knowing when a seemingly random act of desperation, like street vendor lighting himself on fire, will resonate with society at large and set off mass unrest.
Good post, well written. I liked the style. You should post more. Just a couple of points.

Chinese leadership might well be amenable to some scenarios of Korean reunification under the control of South Korea. But I suspect that's not Korean unification under any circumstances at any time.

I would suspect that the optimum unification scenario in the Chinese view would be a Finlandization. South Korea takes over the whole peninsula, the Korean war is officially over, US troops leave and the new Korea is a neutral state which then proceeds to drift into the Chinese orbit.

A worst option would be a bloody war and a US invasion of North Korea, potentially putting American troops and military installations right on the Chinese border. That's a scenario that might well provoke a Chinese response. It's easy enough to see a scenario where during a war, a disintegrating NK administration becomes the finger puppet of the Chinese.

Do you seriously see the Chinese sitting by and doing nothing in the event of a hard contested American invasion of North Korea?

At the very best, that is a massively risky proposition, full of potential miscalculation.

I mean sure, the Chinese might sit on their hands and do nothing. Or maybe not. Back in 1914, the Austro-Hungarians figured they'd have a short sharp little war.... it didn't turn out like that.

This is the thing with this kind of situation, things can go bad real fast and very unpredictably.

We can sit here confidently blowing smoke up peoples asses, but the question is - how confident. Because if you get it wrong, we're looking at WWIII scenarios.